Mark Teixeira
Does every Yankee fan hate Mark Teixeira? No? You probably should. He cost the #Yankees Mike Trout. Let’s take a walk down memory lane (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

Does every single Yankee fan hate Mark Teixeira? No? You probably should. Mike Trout just signed a massive $430 million extension with the Los Angeles Angels and my mind couldn’t help but remember how Mark Teixeira helped the Angels with this great deed. Huh? Let me explain.

December 23rd, 2008 Mark Teixeira signed an 8-year, $180 million contract with the New York Yankees. That’s when everything changed. Well, let me backtrack a little. Tex had just been traded just a year and 6 months prior. The Rangers dealt Tex to the Braves for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Neftali Felix, and Beau Jones. The Braves thought they had their first baseman of the future but it turns out that they weren’t close to winning.

The Braves then turned around and traded Tex to the Angels at the 2008 MLB trade deadline. The Angels were trading for a rental who was going to help them in the postseason and he did. Teixeira hit .358 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs after the trade and helped clinch the Angels first 100 win season. Tex even hit .467 in the postseason but the Angels were clobbered by the Red Sox in the first round. Teixeria was ready to hit free agency.

All caught up now? Okay, great. That’s when the slugging first baseman agreed to a mega contract with the New York Yankees. It was George Steinbrenner’s last big free agent contract he gave out. Steinbrenner’s last big free agent plunge with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira won the Yankees their last title.

Mark Teixeira
The Angels drafted Mike Trout with the pick they received after Mark Teixeira left in free agency. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

That’s truly when everything started to turn. The Yankees may have won the world series in 2009 but I bet some fans would be willing to trade that title if it meant never signing Teixeria. The boss died not too long after that and a string of bad luck continued to follow. Because the Yankees signed Teixeria, that meant they had to forfeit their first round in the following draft. The team that lost the free agent (Angels) were awarded the compensation pick. That meant that the Angels were now picking 25th in the 2009 baseball draft. A pick that was previously held by the New York Yankees. Guess who the Angels ended up drafting with that pick… Mike Trout.

It was later revealed that Trout was the player Cashman had ranked second on his draft board behind Stephen Strasburg. Trout dropped in the draft further than he should have because he was hidden from the scouting community and came from a non-traditional baseball power in South Jersey. The Yankees had their own compensation pick for failing to sign, wait for it, Gerrit Cole in the first round the year prior. The Yankees wound up with Slade Heathcott instead with their own pick.

The Free Agency compensation pick rules have since changed but it’s a fun reminder. When you’re clamoring for your favorite team to sign a free agent, you’re forfeiting draft picks. That rule exists in both football and baseball. Fans are idiots and they never take into account the draft picks that change hands when free agents switch teams.

It’s a double-edged sword for the Yankees. On one hand, they should probably hate Mark Teixeira but he is known as a Yankee great. Well, he cost them Mike Trout. On the flip side, Nick Swisher doesn’t get the love he deserves from the Yankee community. Nick Swisher? Oh, yeah, that’s the guy that landed the Yankees Aaron Judge. When Swisher signed with the Indians in the 2012 offseason, the Yankees got a comp pick for his departure. That pick turned into Aaron Judge who has since kick-started the Yankees return to winning. Take this lesson and remember, Mark Teixeira cost the Yankees Mike Trout.