Here’s an interesting comparison via Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated:
That [Ryan] Howard received $2 million more than [Mark] Teixeira also seems about right under the circumstances. Teixeira has a more diverse set of skills, is slightly younger and signed in New York as a free agent, but he couldn’t make a case that he has the same offensive impact as Howard, a classic slugger. With the $39 million Howard is making this year and next on his current deal, that means he’ll get $164 million though 2016, or just $16 million less than the eight-year contract Teixeira signed with the Yankees. Teixeira’s defense is superior, but considering all the variables, $164 million isn’t unreasonably high for Howard.
I would have to disagree with Heyman’s notion that Mark Teixeira “couldn’t make a case that he has the same offensive impact” as Ryan Howard and therefore, because of that advantage, Howard will receive more annual money than Teixeira. I think, because Teixeira walks more, hits for a higher average, strikes out less, and does not give up much to Howard with regards to power (Howard’s ISO is higher, but Tex is no Melky Cabrera), he is as impactful, and maybe even more so. Plus, let’s also not forget that Teixeira is a switch-hitter. As I see it, the Phillies simply overpaid Howard due to who he is—the face of their franchise (the Yankees do that, too, so I’m not knocking the overpay, I’m just demarcating it). It really had nothing to do with being more of an offensive threat than Mark Teixeira.
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