Mark Teixeira's time with the Yankees wasn't perfect, but he will walk away having earned his place among the greats to play first base in pinstripes.
Few players can say that they were pivotal players for historic franchises, but Mark Teixeira was for the Yankees in 2009 — and for the Red Sox.
Teixeira, 36, is a three-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner. His best season came in 2009, his first with the Yankees, when he hit .292 with 39 homers and 122 RBIs and finished second in AL MVP voting. The Yankees won the World Series that season.
Teixeira is in the eighth and final season of a $180 million contract he signed as a free agent in December 2008. He is hitting .198 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in 77 games this season.
When he arrived at spring training in February, Teixeira said, "I'd love to play five more years. My body feels so good. Why not play until 40?"
But he was slowed early this season by a bulging disk in his neck and was on the disabled list from June 4-25 with a right knee cartilage tear, an injury that has caused manager Joe Girardi to schedule repeated off days since Teixeira's return.
Teixeira was limited to 15 games and a .151 average in 2013 after tearing the tendon sheath in his right hand while with the U.S. team at the World Baseball Classic. He had surgery that July 1 and missed the remainder of the season, then hit .216 with 22 homers and 62 RBIs the following year, when the hand was still regaining strength and he was slowed by a hamstring injury.
Fully recovered, he made the All-Star team again in 2015 but fouled a pitch off his right leg Aug. 17, played two more games in pain and then found out he had fractured his shin. He finished the season with a .255 average, 31 homers and 79 RBIs.
Teixeira hasn't appeared in more than 123 games in a season since 2011.
Teixeira, taken by the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, has also played for the Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels over his 14-year career. He owns a .269 career batting average with 404 homers and 1,281 RBIs.
Only nine players have finished their careers with at least 400 home runs and five Gold Gloves. All are in the Hall of Fame except Barry Bonds and Andruw Jones, who will be eligible in 2018.
Teixeira's potential successor at first base is 23-year-old Greg Bird, who is missing this season after shoulder surgery in February.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.