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More Thoughts on Teixeira

Now that we've all had some time to digest the news of the Nationals' apparent intention to pursue Mark Teixeira, let's step back and look at the big picture:

*Yes, it is the longest of longshots, and people outside of Washington may be laughing about it. But the Nationals can make a pretty interesting appeal to Teixeira, which might sound something like this (and I'm not saying I necessarily believe all this):

"Mark, you are a once-in-a-lifetime player, especially to a franchise like ours. The Nationals see you as the foundation, someone with deep local ties who could be the face of our franchise for the next [six/eight/ten] years. We will build this team around you, and when we're ready to win it all - and we're closer than people think - you will have been part something truly special.

"Nowhere else in baseball can give you what you can get here, Mark. We're not only just down the road from your hometown. We're also the nation's capital. You'll have congressmen and Supreme Court justices watching you nightly. You might be a regular guest at the White House, given the President-Elect's love of sports.

"Face it: You can never own L.A., or Boston - at least not as long as Kobe and Tom Brady are alive. But you can own this town, Mark. It yours if you want it."

*Of course, all those words might mean nothing if Teixeira and agent Scott Boras are all about the bottom line, and given Boras's history there is every reason to think they will be.

But remember this: While in Atlanta, Stan Kasten once circumvented Boras and negotiated Andruw Jones's contract extension with the player himself. Hmmm.

*I think the Yankees truly are out of the running, although that can always change - especially if Boras goes into his typical four-corners offense in hopes of dragging them back in. If Teixeira is still around in late January, the Yankees could always pounce. They might also want to keep up the perception that they're in on him, even if they're not, in hopes of driving up the price for a division rival (Boston or Baltimore).

But yesterday morning, someone familiar with the Yankees' offseason strategy told me they were out on Teixeira, and I didn't believe it, figuring it was mere posturing. A few hours later, they announced the Swisher deal. Swisher is the perfect solution for them, because in addition to first base he also plays all three outfield positions, which means they can give Jorge Posada some occasional playing time at first base. You can't do that with Teixiera.

And believe it or not, the Yankees' resources are not unlimited. They will probably spend in excess of $200 million on two pitchers - my guess is C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett - but they can't do that and give another $200 million to Teixeira.

*The Nationals' chief competitors might be just up the road in Baltimore. Someone who speaks to Peter Angelos regularly told me that he has never seen him so fixated on a player as he is on Teixeira. Others have told me that Angelos has been asking everyone in baseball what they think of Teixeira.

My educated guess is that the Orioles will end up making the highest bid for Teixeira.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 14, 2008; 9:17 AM ET
 
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Next: Olney: Nats Will Land Manny

Comments

I'm wondering whether there will be a D'Angelo Hall type attitude from Tex, in that he was an O's fan growing up. If that is the case, the Nats will have to come up with a remarkably better offer to get him. It is interesting to think about the dynamics of Tex's future free agent status. What about a 6 year deal at 20-22 per, with three player option years?

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 14, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Face it: You can never own L.A., or Boston - at least not as long as Kobe and Tom Brady are alive. But you can own this town, Mark. It yours if you want it."

30,000 Steelers fans will bring their terrible towels over to Nationals Park and wave them at you, Mark. And unless it's the Pirates we're playing, they may not even boo.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"Others have told me that Angelos has been asking everyone in baseball what they think of Teixeira."

How much would it cost the Nats to pay off the rest of baseball to answer that question with "Actually, he reminds me a lot of Albert Belle."?

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

If he's still around in January?!?!?!

I was hoping for a noon announcement so I could put an end to all this ridiculous optimistic anticipation.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 14, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

ahahahahaahaha, this might be the post of the day!

-------

"Others have told me that Angelos has been asking everyone in baseball what they think of Teixeira."

How much would it cost the Nats to pay off the rest of baseball to answer that question with "Actually, he reminds me a lot of Albert Belle."?

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2008 10:06 AM

Posted by: Section506 | November 14, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I have a question raised by hot stove talk: if the Yankees or the Mets were to sign Street, would he have to start saying his name "How-sten"?

Posted by: Section506 | November 14, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I have a question raised by hot stove talk: if the Yankees or the Mets were to sign Street, would he have to start saying his name "How-sten"?"

No. A professional athlete would never, ever alter the pronunciation of his name for any reason. Just ask Joe Theismann about that if you don't believe me.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

How about a quick and dirty 1 year deal on The Big Unit? I can just see the headlines now...

May 14th: Nats blow 3rd save in a row, Big Unit still at 299
May 20th: Big Unit gets 300th win!
May 25th: Big Unit on 14-day DL - Back
July 1: Big Unit placed on 60-day DL, along with Willingham - Back

BUT, for those glorious first six weeks, imagine the drama!

Posted by: jctichen | November 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

While I doubted that the Swisher deal was going to knock the NYY out, I don't see any indication from any reports anywhere pointing my way. The need for a 1st basemen who can play OF makes a lot of sense given the uncertainty of Posada's health (as well as the other injured oldsters). Actually, that's why I had some doubts about the NYY playing for Teixeira even before this trade.

I'm a bit surprised at Cashman's expectation to fill 3 slots in the rotation through FA. Long term contracts for FA pitchers generally do not work out. I linked to Tony Mazz's piece yesterday that kind of channeled the Red Sox thoughts. The NYY this decade have some prime examples of the down side of high AAV, multi-year FA pitching contracts.

Even CC is one leg injury away from ballooning up to a point he can't pitch. His workload the past two years has been so far beyond what guys do now that you have to assume either he is a freak or that he is doomed. Beyond CC, who would you feel confident beyond 3 years?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 14, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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