ASK ROTOMAN: You like Teixeira better than Papi?!?!?

Dear Rotoman:

Fantasy BB Guide is the only place I’ve seen Teixeira rated higher than Ortiz. The others I’ve looked at have Ortiz higher, by a lot.

Larry Schechter

Dear Larry,

I was kind of surprised when I saw your post at about Ortiz and Teixeira. I didn’t think my valuations were extreme. In the Guide I have Ortiz at $13 and Teixeira at $15. These are conservative bids on an old guy and a guy coming back from a wrist injury.

I don’t think they’re bids that buy either of them, and that’s okay. (I happen to have a $10 keeper on Ortiz in the American Dream League, so I’m hoping he can duplicate last year’s magic, but I don’t expect him to.)


After reading your post, Larry, I went to Wise Guy Baseball to see how much Gene disagreed with me. He has Ortiz at $15 and Teixeira at $12 (but points out that Ortiz should be expected to miss time this year, and Teixeira’s price will go up if he shows power during spring training), which is not really much different from my take.

But then I picked up the Baseball Forecaster and see what you’re getting at. They have Teixeira at an optimistic but reasonable (if he’s healthy) $17 for the coming year, and Ortiz at $27, which for some reason makes me want to say Kiss my grits!

I mean, as an Ortiz owner I’m hoping against hope that he can do it again. He earned $32 last year, so it isn’t out of the question. But then I think about last year’s auction. Ortiz was coming off a $21 season. going into his age 38 season. He’d averaged $25 a year the preceding three years, and he went for just $10.

Why? Because he’s an old DH, and he looked so seriously overmatched in 2009 that it is hard to put the images of his flailing out of one’s mind. That he hasn’t looked overmatched since counts as a little miracle. That his 2008 and 2009 problems were wrist based and similar to Teixeira’s now is certainly meaningful. But most importantly, David Ortiz is going to be 39 years old this year, and old guys with no defensive value do not decline slowly. They’re here, they produce, and when they stumble and fail to produce they are dragged out into the woods to die a noble death, after which they are eaten by bears.

I think it is possible that Ortiz could earn $27 this year. If he was 31 years old I would expect him to, but he’s far older than that and he’s very vulnerable. What I know is that he cost $10 in a keeper league with inflation in 2013. Bump him a few for his great season, but anybody who bids him up to the high teens is trying to beat back time. Good luck with that.

Now, I may have been overly optimistic on Teixeira. He is expected to recover from surgery and be as fine as a 34 year old coming off wrist surgery could be. Which means that maybe there will be a power problem, which would be a big problem because between the defensive shifts he faces and his demonstrable inability to hit for average, if Teixeira doesn’t have any power he’s a poor first baseman. But he is expected to recover, at some point.

The Yanks are slow rolling him into practices and games, supposedly to help his rehab, not because there are concerns about his health. There’s no way to read that except cautiously. If he was 100 percent he’d be playing. He’s not 100 percent, which doesn’t mean he won’t be ready come April. But it certainly doesn’t mean he will be.

So maybe I should have been more cautious about Teixeira. Maybe Gene got the ratio right. I’ll mess with this as we learn more. But what I’m sure of is that paying Ortiz as if he wasn’t going to be 39 years old this year. as if he didn’t qualify only at DH, is a mistake. Unless you think, because he’s going to be 39 years old in November, he’s a young 39.

Which has me wondering. How high will best-selling author Larry Schechter (see the ad in the sidebar, buy the book Winning Fantasy Baseball) go on the Cookie Monster in Tout AL a mere four weeks from now? He ended up wasting $6 on Teixeira in last year’s auction, but it didn’t hurt him (and was a worthy effort). Is he targeting Ortiz? Or just trying to stir up interest among the gullible?