Three Thursday Thoughts
1. There hasn't been a significant development on the Mark Teixeira front in over a week -- only a bunch of incremental ones about what teams WON'T do (the Red Sox won't go 10 years) or HAVEN'T done (the Yankees haven't made an offer yet) -- and if I'm reading this story correctly, at least one team hasn't even decided whether to raise its initial bid.
I take that to mean this thing could drag on for quite awhile -- maybe even past Teixeira's own soft deadline of Christmas. Another reason: If Scott Boras believes there is the slightest chance the Yankees could still jump into the bidding (assuming it's true they haven't yet), he will wait as long as it takes to make that happen.
As for the lack of hard information emerging about these negotiations, I attribute that largely to the fact Boras's M.O. typically is to negotiate directly with ownership when it comes to these major signings -- which serves several purposes, including limiting the number of talkative baseball executives with knowledge of the offers.
Jim Bowden isn't returning any calls or e-mails and hasn't been quoted anywhere in more than a week. When's the last time that's happened?
2. Tough winter for agent Paul Kinzer. First, he is reduced to accepting almost exactly half the contract he originally sought for closer Francisco Rodriguez -- he went public early on with the figure $75 million, and wound up getting $37 million from the Mets. Then, according to the Atlanta Braves, he reneged on a deal with them for shortstop Rafael Furcal. (Telling quote from Braves GM Frank Wren in this story: "That bridge is gone. I don't have to worry about burning it.)
3. Some commenters over on Nationals Journal are wondering if the Nationals would be better off losing out on Teixeira and using that money to sign both Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson. First of all, we don't know that the Nationals would actually spend the Teixeira money elsewhere; they have indicated to me that they consider him a once-in-a-generation exception (because of his age and the unique package of attributes he brings) to their mantra of using free agency only to plug holes when the franchise is ready to contend. Second, we don't know that Dunn and Hudson could be had at the same price as Teixeira (I figure Dunn winds up getting around $13 million-$15 million per year and Hudson gets $10 million-$12 million per, so it would be close.)
But since folks have asked whether AD + OH > MT, let's consult the ultimate authority -- of course, I mean Bill James.
Here are Teixeira's win shares figures for the past five years, according to billjamesonline.net:
And here are the combined win shares for Dunn and Hudson over the same five years:
2004: 45 (29 for Dunn +16 for Hudson)
2005: 40 (25 + 15)
2006: 38 (18 + 20)
2007: 39 (18 + 21)
2008: 38 (21 + 17)
Of course, there are many variables that can't be factored into this equation -- such as predicting how Dunn's body will age over time, or how Hudson's injury history will come into play -- but based simply on these numbers, there's no question you'd rather have Dunn and Hudson.
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