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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.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 21, 2008; 2:46 AM ET
Categories:  Angels , Nationals , Orioles , Red Sox  
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Next: Moment of Levity: Posnanski Out on Teixeira

Comments

I've always been impressed w/ Tex as a player, on the field and off. But, it's starting to dawn on me that he hired Boras, who is a total scumbag in my book. And he is using Boras to play these games and angle for the most money he can possible get. When you are certain to get at least $160m, it reeks of total greed to go through all these gyrations to try to get another $10m.

I just hate that even the "good guys" go through this crap. I'm all for people trying to enrich themselves but at a certain point, it just becomes offensive.

Posted by: Avar | December 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

No BRAVE...in the history of that team...is worth that kind of money.

Posted by: kase | December 21, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Even "nice guys" like Teixeira hire Boras for one reason and one reason only -- to rake in as much cash as possible, regardless of how grubby the process becomes.

Posted by: JoeDalhart | December 21, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Here is a nice article from Fangraphs discussing Teixeira's potential signing and comparing it to Todd Helton's contract. They value Tex in the range that the teams seem to be bidding ($18 - 23m /yr), with a question mark over the length. There's a good point in the comments regarding length, though, pointing out that while his expected extra wins will decline over time, if you assume increasing revenues and salary inflation, this isn't such a problem. There's also another commenter who is skeptical about salary inflation. Note that, since 2001, its averaged about 6% a year. Of course, there's evidence of a correction this year, too.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/teixeiras-progress-and-heltons-value

There's also an article that values Tim Redding at up to $6.5 million for one year.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 21, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is willing to pay Teixeira those top amounts that Boras is apparently asking, good for MT! And, as a Nationals' fan, I sure hope it is us. But, really, when you're 29 years old and you are about to receive a payday that will make you set for life, does it really matter whether you average $20 million or $23 million over those 8 years of the contract? If Teixeira has half the character we are led to believe, I sure hope he steps back and thinks about more than those mind-boggling sums. At those levels, can you conjure any critical difference in your life that $23 million in a year would bring, versus $20 million? Here's hoping Teixeira isn't getting caught in a Boras Ego Struggle with the teams that will leave MT unhappy somewhere.

Posted by: FairfaxDave | December 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

jca - Redding @$6.5M on a 1-yr? And what color is the sky on their home planet?

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

BinM: I'll lift one paragraph from the article and post a link:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-redding-market
"Marcel projects him to pitch 159 innings next season with a 4.77 FIP. He would be responsible for 84 runs should this come to fruition. The replacement starter and reliever combination would surrender 97 runs, deeming Redding +13 runs above replacement. This converts to +1.3 wins, which has a fair market value of $6.5 mil. Tim made just $1 mil in 2008 with the National"

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 21, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is willing to pay Teixeira those top amounts that Boras is apparently asking, good for MT! And, as a Nationals' fan, I sure hope it is us. But, really, when you're 29 years old and you are about to receive a payday that will make you set for life, does it really matter whether you average $20 million or $23 million over those 8 years of the contract? If Teixeira has half the character we are led to believe, I sure hope he steps back and thinks about more than those mind-boggling sums. At those levels, can you conjure any critical difference in your life that $23 million in a year would bring, versus $20 million? Here's hoping Teixeira isn't getting caught in a Boras Ego Struggle with the teams that will leave MT unhappy somewhere.

Posted by: FairfaxDave | December 21, 2008 2:21 PM
******

While 20mill is a lot and you might think 23mill would be no different, think of how much of that $ Texeira has to pay Boras, 10%?

The substract the taxes, what, 40%? So out of 20-23mill a year, he's probably gonna be left with 1/2 that sum.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | December 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

So this is kind of cool, MLB Network will air Don Larsen's perfect game on January 1. Now if only Santa would bring me cable tv...

http://blogs.usatoday.com/gameon/2008/12/at-last-a-chanc.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

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