Cost for Mark Teixeira? Try $195 Million
There were a lot of raised eyebrows when Red Sox owner John Henry said Boston wouldn't be a player for free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira after a meeting between Boston management, Teixeira and infamous agent Scott Boras split up late Thursday night. The reason? Henry said that "it was clear they wouldn't be able to compete with offers from other organizations."
Not surprisingly, the number that Boras was shooting for filtered out to the media some 24 hours later: $195 million. That's right, Boras wants a whopping $195 million for the top free agent first baseman on the market.
Will he get it? Probably not. After all, Boras has made precisely these kinds of outlandish demands numerous times in the past, and he almost always overshoots the eventual contract signed. In fact, that's precisely why the buzz around the major leagues is that, far from being out of the Teixeira bidding, Boston is right back toward the top of any list of possible future destinations for the first baseman.
Depending on which report you read, Boston has offered Teixeira anywhere from $165-183 million. It's likely that the team's offer was for eight years and around $174 million, a number which surfaced in both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald on Saturday, terms which are lower than the team was originally thought to have bid.
However, the plot around Teixeira continued to thicken inexorably Saturday night. MLB.com's Bill Ladson is citing a source "close to the Teixeira negotiations" that says Big Tex will decide where he's going to play this week. And, just in time for things to get interesting, the Yankees may be entering the periphery of the bidding fray for Teixeira. Reports in both Newsday and the New York Times claimed that Boras had reached out Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Saturday and told him that it would take $180 million to sign Teixeira.
Obviously, that's a lower number than the one that emerged from insiders after the Boston meetings, which seem to indicate A) that Boston's offer is somewhere below $180 million (or else the deal would probably already be done or close to done) and B) that the Red Sox were probably much closer to getting a deal done than they or Boras were letting on, or at least than the Red Sox realized they were.
Will any of this resolve itself in the next week? If Nationals owner Ted Lerner or Angels owner Arte Moreno come in and splash $200 million on a deal for the first baseman, it probably will. Otherwise, it's hard not to get the feeling that this deal is going to drag out, giving Boras more time to scratch out leverage for a few more bucks, even with Teixeira's soft deadline of signing by Christmas.
December 21, 2008; 2:46 AM ET
Categories: Angels , Nationals , Orioles , Red Sox
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