Mark Teixeira’s time at ESPN is coming to an end.
On Tuesday, Teixeira tweeted that he would “forgo the final year of my contract,” and that his last day at ESPN would be February 28th.
— Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) December 15, 2020
Following his departure, Teixeira will move back to Texas, finish his bachelor’s degree, and shift his focus towards investment and philanthropy.
The former Yankees (among other teams) first baseman joined ESPN in February of 2017, and immediately was given a prominent role on the network’s MLB coverage. However, despite that prime positioning on ESPN’s coverage, he failed to move the needle all that much, aside from when he brought hot takes to the party.
I didn’t even think about how many MLB analysts ESPN has lost since the start of the 2019 season. Glancing over our 2019 broadcast primer, the network has lost Teixeira, Ryan Howard (who left after 2019, his lone season with ESPN), John Farrell (lobster fisherman), David Ross (Cubs manager), and Insider Keith Law (The Athletic). The pandemic naturally scuttled some of the network’s plans for 2020, but Chipper Jones more than stepped up in his inaugural year with ESPN.
However, the network may not have a need for a robust MLB studio presence with reports circling about its potential new MLB TV contract. If ESPN airs fewer regular season games, they’ll need fewer analysts for potential pre and post-game coverage, and someone like Teixeira won’t need to be directly replaced. If that make s the coverage smarter and less takey, I’m all for it. But if it simply means less coverage and less airtime for baseball on ESPN’s platforms, I’ll be wholly disappointed.