Mark Teixeira had a nice bounce-back season in 2015, making his first All-Star team since 2009 and topping 30 homers for the first time since 2011. He was limited to only 111 games by a broken leg, but the 36-year-old Yankees first baseman felt good enough overall that he’s now talking about playing another 4-5 seasons.
“My body feels so good, why not play until I’m 40?” told Ryan Hatch of the Newark Star Ledger, specifically citing the 500-homer club as his goal. “I think if I play long enough I’ll get there. God willing I’ll play four, five more years and that’d be a nice number.”
Teixeira has 394 career homers through age 35, which is the 38th-most in MLB history at that age. Of course, his production has slowed down significantly in recent years due to injuries and now he’s entering his late-30s where steep declines are common. Hatch notes that fewer than 20 players in MLB history have hit more than 100 homers after turning 36.
Another key factor is that this is Teixeira’s final season under contract with the Yankees, so his days of making $20 million-plus per season will likely be over and he may have to look for a job each offseason based on the previous year’s performance. Veteran, formerly great first basemen have often found the market lacking when that happens, but obviously another 30-homer campaign in 2016 would generate plenty of interest next winter.
Texeira definitely has a shot to reach 500 homers, but getting past the 400-499 range is often really hard for players winding down their careers and he hasn’t played more than 125 games in a season since 2011.