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Teixeira Timetable

According to what historians would call "a primary source" in Boston, the Red Sox best estimate of the Teixeira timetable is that Mark still wants to have the decision made before Christmas.Probably in the next four days. Get it done over the weekend. Maybe a Monday announcement at the latest. That would be Dec. 22nd. Get the full publicity play before Christmas, then let New England celebrate (if the ice storms ever stop.)

Is that what Boston expects or merely what it hopes? Scott Boras history is that he loves delay.

The handicapping changes daily. But if Teixeira wants to play with an immediate winner, the Red Sox are running ahead of the Angels. If he wants to play near home, the Nationals are ahead of the Orioles. That's it. No Yankee sightings. Favorite: still Red Sox, by lengths. Surprise: That the Nats are still in the photo, though an underdog, and perhaps ahead of the Angels.

In my view, the Nationals should immediately make their last best offer, if they haven't aleady. Go nine years, but not 10, include an early out clause and, if you can arm-wrestle Kasten to his first no-trade clause, then add that, too. If Teixeira can't make a decision by Christmas, why not (with no hard feelings) quietly withdraw the offer, move on to other priorities __like Adam Dunn__ and not gum up the entire off-season by helping Boras drive up the price while letting other free agents make their decisions without Washington in the picture? "Offer good until Santa Day." That's my feeling, not the Nats. They eat, sleep and dream Teixeira. From what I've heard, I think the Nats need to take their best shot, tell Teixeira how much he would mean to them, but that they don't have forever to wait. He said Xmas. Love to have ya. But it's time to "Just do it."

By Thomas Boswell  |  December 18, 2008; 11:27 PM ET
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