faceoff: should the orioles sign mark teixeira?

he would be right at home

August 24, 2008|By DAN CONNOLLY

Yes, the Orioles' biggest need right now is pitching. And Mark Teixeira can't paint the black with a 98 mph fastball. But the Los Angeles Angels' first baseman and former Severna Park resident should be the Orioles' No. 1 priority this offseason.

Will he be an Oriole? Probably not, because the New York Yankees and Angels, among others, will make offers. Those two can outspend the Orioles and guarantee a contending team immediately.

Stuck in the American League East, the only way the Orioles can attract top-quality free agents is to overpay, and, in most instances, even that won't work. It certainly won't for pitchers such as CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, who will get equally big money from a contender. But Teixeira might take the overpaying lure because it accompanies the sentimentality of playing for his hometown team.

Remember, we are talking about 2010, 2011 and beyond. The Orioles might have a good offense and little pitching now, but after next season Aubrey Huff, Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora will be free agents. And only Matt Wieters is legitimately waiting in the offensive wings. Most of the club's best prospects are pitchers.

The Orioles need a middle-of-the-order slugger for the next seven-plus years. Teixeira fits, and the Orioles have an outside shot of reeling him home.

So throw the cash and the cash register at Tex.

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