2014 Statistics: .216/.313/.398, 22 HR, 100 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR
2015 Contract Status: Signed through 2016, earning $22.5 million each year.
In July 2013, Mark Teixeira had season-ending surgery to repair the tendon sheath in his right wrist. Though he was initially expected to be ready to join the team when spring training rolled around, even that ended up being delayed. In a telling interview back in January, Tex said that he expected the tightness he was still experiencing in his wrist to last until June or possibly even all season. Unfortunately, he was plagued by wrist problems all season, and ended up putting up the worst numbers of his career.
Though much has been said about Teixeira being a notoriously slow starter, he actually played well during the first half of the season. Through the All-Star Break, he hit .241/.341/.464 with 125 wRC+, which is very similar to his stats from 2010-2012. At the end of May, he left a game against the Twins with discomfort in his wrist. He received a cortisone shot and was back on the field after a few games. He really fell off a cliff during the second half of the season, hitting a putrid .179/.271/.309 with just five home runs and 62 wRC+.
His decrease in performance was likely due in part to his wrist bothering him more and more as the season dragged on. Aside from his wrist, he also missed playing time due to "tired legs, a sore knee, dizziness, a strained oblique, a strained hamstring, and a gashed left hand." The hand injury happened when he slid into home and jammed his pinky into the catcher's foot, which ended up requiring stitches. When all was said and done, Tex received three cortisone shots in his wrist over the course of the season. The last one was given to him during the last week of the season, when it seemed like the team would have been better off shutting him down.
Recently, Teixeira stated that his body just wasn't strong enough to make it through the season, which he blamed on his inability to condition during the offseason due to the fact that he was still recovering from the wrist surgery. He has already started his offseason conditioning this year instead of shutting it down for a month like he usually does. When asked if he would try to drop a few pounds, Tex said if anything he wanted to gain weight, because otherwise he wouldn't be able to hit home runs.
The good news is that it took both David Ortiz and Jose Bautista full seasons to recover from the same exact surgery, so there is that possibility. Hopefully Tex is able to strengthen his wrist, and we see him revert back to the numbers he put up over the past few years in 2015. Even if he is able to do so, the Yankees still need to find him a backup during the offseason. The team already made the mistake in 2014 of not having a legitimate backup first baseman, and that was somewhat of a nightmare.