Took it to another level - Now I'm getting crazy papes
Mark Teixeira signed a two-year, $15.4 million deal with the Rangers today - avoiding arbitration and keeping him with the Rangers at least until he becomes eligible for free agency in the 2008-2009 offseason.
Big Tex has hit .282 with 107 homers and 340 RBI in only 3 major league seasons, including a mammoth .301 with 43 homers and 144 RBI last year, picking up both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award for his efforts. Given the success that Kevin Brown, Nomar and Jason Varitek have had in the big leagues, it was hard to imagine that Tex would be looking at a career as possibly the best GT alumn in MLB history, but he's on track to give them a run for their money. I watched him play in college, and he hit some balls to places where the sun don't shine, I'm glad to see him succeed the way he has.
Looking a bit deeper, after their age 24 seasons here's a comparison of Varitek, Nomar and Tex (stats from the excellent Baseball Prospectus):
Teixeira - 453 games played, 20.8 wins above replacement player
Nomar - 320 games played, 18.9 wins above replacement player
Varitek - 0 games played (Varitek didn't play a full season until his age 27 season)
Tex has benefited from a rapid rise to the majors, playing less than 100 total minor league games - and the fact that he was a force with the bat from the moment he showed up in Arlington. As long as he can stay healthy, which he has done so far at the big league level, he's going to be a superstar for years to come, and a great ambassador for GT baseball.