TAMPA, Fla. — Mark Teixeira joked he can steal two or three bases this season.
The New York Yankees first baseman is happy to be back on his feet. He injured his right shin when he fouled off a pitch on Aug. 17 and still felt pain during three at-bats the following week. An MRI on Sept. 11 discovered a fracture, ending his season.
"The timing was very bad for the baseball season. It worked out for the off-season," Teixeira said Wednesday as Yankees’ position players reported for spring training. "Got off the crutches at the end of October, and I started working out at the beginning of November."
Teixeira, who turns 36 in April, is in the final season of a $180 million, eight-year contract.
"I think I have a lot of good years left in me," he said. "The great thing about contract years is, if you do your job on the field for your team, the contract works out for you. … I’d love to play five more years. My body feels so good. Why not play until 40?
Seeking its first World Series title since 2009, New York is trying to lower the age of its roster. Greg Bird is a possible successor, but he will miss this year following shoulder surgery.
"I’d love to stay here, but we’ll see what happens," Teixeira said. "It’s a little weird. Seven years have gone by in an instant, really. It’s amazing how quickly it has gone by. For me to still be in a very productive position and helping our team win in maybe my last year here, that’s all I could ask for."
Teixeira has a .272 career batting average with 394 homers and 1,254 RBIs. Eleven of his 24 stolen bases have come with the Yankees.
"He’s feels good about where he is in his career," manager Joe Girardi said. "If he stays healthy, he’ll be productive."
Jacoby Ellsbury is not looking back at not starting last year’s AL wild-card game and says his relationship with Girardi has not been impacted.
"It really doesn’t have a bearing on this season, just because I want to win, he wants to win," Ellsbury said. "We had our conversion before the game. We left it at that. Nothing needs to be said."
NOTES: Heavy rain in the morning forced most of Wednesday’ workout indoors. … Masahiro Tanaka, who had a right elbow bone spur removed in October, is scheduled for his fourth mound session Thursday. … 3B Chase Headley, coming off a career-high 23 errors last season, will be focusing on footwork during spring training. Headley said he was "extremely disappointed" with his play at third in 2015.