Teixeira's $180M contract a done deal
NEW YORK — Mark Teixeira sat down with his wife on Dec. 12 to have dinner, his regular Friday "date night" with Leigh at the Vaquero Club in Westlake, Texas.
"I'd been asking her for weeks and weeks, Where do you want to go? Where do you want me to play?" he related. "And she said, 'I want you to be happy. I just want you to be happy.' And finally, she said, 'I want you to be a Yankee.' So that's when it was done. And once we got the contract figured out, it was a no-brainer.
"The Yankees hadn't made their decision yet, but that's when we made our decision," he said with a laugh.
The free-agent first baseman officially joined the Yankees yesterday, finalizing a $180 million, eight-year deal initially agreed to Dec. 23, pending contract language and a physical. Teixeira's news conference might have been the last big event at old Yankee Stadium — the team is set to move on Jan. 23 across 161st Street to its new $1.3 billion ballpark.
"You know what the coolest part is going to be?" he said. "I'm going to get a chance to be the first first baseman that the Yankees have in the new stadium. And, you know, the Bleacher Bums in right are going to do the roll call. That's going to be pretty sweet. Hopefully, we're going to be four games up in the division at the time, and are already rolling."
Athletics: Free-agent first baseman Jason Giambi was close to completing a deal to return to the Oakland Athletics nearly 14 years after making his debut with the club, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The sides had reached a preliminary agreement, pending a physical, on what is expected to be a one-year contract with an option.
Suspension: Philadelphia Phillies reliever J.C. Romero was suspended for the first 50 games of next season yesterday after testing positive for a banned substance contained in a supplement developed by convicted BALCO chemist Patrick Arnold.
Cubs-Rockies: The Colorado Rockies acquired right-hander Jason Marquis (11-9 with a 4.53 ERA last season) from the Chicago Cubs yesterday for right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino (1-2, 5.28 ERA in 43 games).
Mariners: Right-handed reliever Tyler Walker and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract yesterday. Walker was 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA in 65 games last season for the San Francisco Giants.
Indians: The Cleveland Indians and pitcher Carl Pavano, a four-year bust with the New York Yankees because of injuries, agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract yesterday.