Originally written on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 2/4/13

Baseball players have been on the receiving end of some gaudy contracts recently. In fact, salaries have shot up across the board dramatically in the last decade alone. One of those players who has benefited in a tremendous way financially is New York Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira.Teixeira inked a massive 8-year, $180 million free agent deal with the Yankees in January of 2009. He earned approximately $22.5 million in base salary last season and is due to earn the same amount in each of the next four seasons.The 32-year old hasn't exactly performed up to expectations since being rewarded to the big sum of cash, which has many fans complaining about his true value. The 10-year MLB veteran addressed those complaints in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal:"I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you're overpaid. Because I am," Teixeira said. "We all are.""Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it," he continued. "You're not very valuable when you're making $20 million. When you're Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there's nothing you can do that can justify a $20 million contract."Since arriving in New York, Teixeira has seen his average decline steadily. He posted a respectable .292 mark in 2009, but dropped to .256 in 2010, and .248 in 2011. His on-base percentage has fell over 50 points since the '09 campaign; a year in which he finished second in the American League MVP voting.In 2012, the Maryland native set or tied career lows in homers (24), RBIs (84), slugging (.475), runs scored (66) and OPS (.807). Given his age, Teixeira seems to realize that he may be entering the decline of his career."Maybe I'm slowing down a tick. Look, I'm not going to play forever. Eventually you start, I don't want to say declining, but it gets harder and harder to put up 30 [homers] and 100 [RBI]," Teixeira said.Regardless of how he performs, the Pinstripes are still on the hook for $70 million for his services.

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