01/06/2009 2:00 PM ET
Yankees sign 1B Mark Teixeira to eight-year deal
The New York Yankees announced today they have signed first baseman Mark Teixeira, a two-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner and 2005 American League All-Star, to an eight-year contract.
Teixeira, 28, combined to bat .308 (177-for-574) with 41 doubles, 33 home runs and 121 RBI in 157 games with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels in 2008. He also drew a career-high 97 combined walks while striking out a career-low 93 times. Following his acquisition by the Angels on July 29, he hit .358 (69-for-193) with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 54 games for the AL West champions, reaching base safely in 49 of those contests. In addition, he saw his first postseason action in 2008, batting .467 (7-for-15) with four runs, one RBI and four walks in four division series games against Boston.
The switch-hitter has a career batting average of .290 (989-for-3414) with 223 doubles, 203 home runs and 676 RBI in 904 games over six seasons with Texas (2003-07), Atlanta (2007-08) and Los Angeles-AL (2008). He is one of only three Major Leaguers to reach 30 home runs and 100 RBI in each of the last five seasons (2004-08), joining Albert Pujols and new teammate Alex Rodriguez. His 203 home runs are the most ever by a switch-hitter in his first six seasons, and among active players, only Albert Pujols (250) hit more home runs in his first six Major League seasons. In his first six professional seasons, Teixeira has averaged 37 doubles and 34 homers per year and played in at least 130 games in all six campaigns.
Over the last five seasons (2004-08), Teixeira ranks third in the Majors in extra-base hits (379), fourth in RBI (592), tied for sixth in home runs (177) and 10th in doubles (194).
Teixeira owns a .288 (815-for-2,825) career batting average in the American League with 187 doubles, 166 home runs and 542 RBI. While with Texas, he was a 2005 All-Star, a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner (2005-06) and a two-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2004-05). He owns a .282 (668-for-2,370) career batting average with 150 homers as a left-handed batter and is a career .307 (321-for-1,044) batter with 53 homers from the right side of the plate.
He has compiled a .996 (31E, 8,065TC) career fielding percentage at first base, ranking second among active qualifiers, just a fraction behind Doug Mientkiewicz (.996). In 2006, Teixeira was ranked as the American League's best defensive first baseman by a Baseball America poll of league managers. He has finished among the Majors' top five first basemen in fielding percentage three times, including the fourth-highest mark in 2008 (.997) and second place finishes in both 2006 (.997) and 2005 (.998). Originally drafted as a third baseman, he converted to first base when he made his Major League debut with Texas in 2003, having never played the position prior to that spring training.
A native of Annapolis, Md., Teixeira was originally selected by the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. Following his sophomore season at Georgia Tech in 2000, he was named the Dick Howser Award winner as the "National Collegiate Player of the Year" as well as "Player of the Year" by Baseball America and the Sporting News.
In 2006, he and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, which provides annual scholarships for students in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as well as contributions to Cook Children's Medical Center in Ft. Worth, the Arlington (Texas) Boys & Girls Club and the Arlington Police Athletic League.