We're midway through June and the Yankees are still under .500 on the season. They might be 5.5 games out of first place, but at just three games out of a wild card spot, a deadline sale isn't on their minds just yet. If they can get on another winning streak, and find a little lucky at the same time, they could be in playoff position by the August 1 deadline. It won't be easy, since they will have to leapfrog four teams just to earn a spot, but it isn't impossible just yet. That being said though, you know it has to be on their minds, and if they do decide to sell, Mark Teixeira has certainly messed everything up.
In a perfect world, Teixeira continues his 2015 renaissance season right where he left off, he leads the Yankees to the playoffs, rejects the qualifying offer in the offseason, and signs a multi-year deal with some other team. In a world that is a little less than perfect, Teixeira stays healthy and performs well enough to make himself an enticing piece to a playoff contender at the deadline. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where Teixeira has been neither of those things, and the Yankees will get burned by it.
Mark Teixeira has been so bad this year that even if he did stay healthy, eventually they would have needed to bench him, or something, because he's been a liability so far. His poor play this year means that any potential multi-year contract he might have earned somewhere has likely dried up, and in the coming offseason, Tex will be not much more than a baseball pariah. It would mean that his play has already cost the team a draft pick because there's no way they would take the chance to offer him the qualifying offer now. At 36 and having the worst offensive season of his career, he would pounce at a $15+ million contract, and the Yankees don't have room for him anymore.
Right now there's a strong chance his season–and Yankees career–could come to an end in a matter of weeks. No team will be looking at him as a possible mid-season acquisition, even if he can somehow avoid surgery. He's been so bad this year that even whatever replacement the Yankees wheel out at first base from here on out will be a better option. If they decide to sell at the deadline, Brian Cashman has plenty of pieces he can move, including free-agents-to-be Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran, along with a few other players still under contract. Unfortunately, that laundry list of moveable pieces no longer includes Teixeira.
Even if he returns to the field, who knows what kind of condition he will be in over the rest of the season. Just last year, Jacoby Ellsbury returned from a knee injury and was never the same. They might be different players, but a knee injury will never be good news for anyone in baseball. It might be time to resign ourselves to the notion that no matter what happens to Teixeira from here, the Yankees aren't getting anything in return for him, whether in a trade or by qualifying offer.
The Yankees can still get a few good pieces for Chapman and Beltran, but a full sale with Teixeira will no longer be possible. We're obviously not at this point yet because there is still plenty of time left to right the ship, but that time is slipping and decisions need to be made. It's too bad that Teixeira won't be a part of those decisions. The Yankees could have used his help to stock up the farm system, but it's time we understand that they won't be getting anything in return for Mark Teixeira. The faster we can come to terms with this fact, the less depressing it will actually be in the end.