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The Suitors Line Up

I spoke today with Scott Boras, who represents Mark Teixeira, the top offensive player on the market -- and indeed, Washington's greatest target in the free agent market. The super-agent was predictably coy about the what's in store for Teixeira, but that's mostly because neither he nor Teixeira really knows yet.

"The one thing I'll say," Boras said, "is that the interest in Mark Teixeira is widespread, and it's something we'll have to narrow here as we work through the process."

One source outside the organization today familiar with those proceedings reiterated that the Nats have indicated extreme interest in Teixeira, who is 28 and a Maryland native. The market for Teixeira hasn't quite taken shape yet, but the Yanks, Red Sox, Orioles, Angels and Nats all figure to be key players. New York and Boston especially have been tight-lipped about their potential pursuits of the first baseman, who could command a contract somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or so years, $20 million annually.

Teixeira right now is in the process of meeting with owners and exploring his options. The latest rumors have the Angels ready to make an offer of some 8 years, $153 million, which would be the first real step in what could be a long dance.

By Chico Harlan  |  November 20, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Teixeira Sets Deadline ... at a Football Game

Comments

Thanks for the update Chico! This is the kind of stuff I love, even if it doesn't provide proof of where Tex lands.

Posted by: NattyDelite | November 20, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ditto (and may we have this dance, Tex?).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If it's starting in Anaheim with 8 years/$153 million, then I shudder to think where and how it's ending.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 20, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

It sure does seem like there's a limitless well of interest in all things Teix, so I'll try my best to keep things coming, even if/when developments are slow-coming. Of course at this point so much of the talk on both sides is transparent posturing, but that's OK. The thrill is always in the chase, eh?

Posted by: chicoharlan | November 20, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Just posted on the previous Teixeira thread Dave Cameron's estimation of a rational Teixeira contract. 7 years, $171 million, based on him being worth an estimated 5 wins a year, a win in free agency being worth $5.5 million, and a discount for length. I actually feel pretty good about my swags of $23+ AAV.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/free-agent-values-mark-teixeira/

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 20, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Just watching SNY "Mets Hot Stove"... they went around the NL East and basically laughed at the Nats going after Teixeira. The "expert" said that the Nats are seriously interested, but in the end Teixeira is not going to sign with a team that will take 4-5 years to start winning... hmmm.... Also, I heard them throw A.J. Burnett's name out as a possible FA signing!? Really, is there anyone else that has the Nats allegedly interested in Burnett?

Posted by: Keenan1 | November 20, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Please let it be us.
Please let it be us.
Please let it be us.
Please let it be us.

Posted by: 6thandD | November 20, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The Nats might be able to make an interesting play for Tex. What if they offered him more per year, but less years? Say $25/year for 5-6 years? The rationale being that at age 34-35 he will be able to sign another mega contract instead of a 2-3 year deal like Manny might get. At 34-35, it might look more like 4-5 years at $30M at that point. He would likely make more money in the long run.

A guys gotta dream right?

Posted by: NatsWin | November 20, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

7 at 171 is probably overpriced. Nats Win may have the right idea as a way to go after him. Shorter term, bigger $. If it all works out by '14 he's settled in, there are at least a couple of playoff runs under the team's belt and enough fannies in the seats to make the Nats a big player. If not, regroup.

Good thought, but probably won't work. Best guess the Saux or Yankees come in with a blow away first offer (8 or 9 at 225 or 240) and everyone else says: Whoa, never mind!

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 20, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

There's 2 possibilities: one team will overpay Texiera, and 29 teams won't. Close doesn't count, here.

I really, honestly don't understand the "make a credible offer" argument--most ticket-buyers (I can't call them fans) here don't seem to know the players on the field at any given time.
Do.
Or do not.

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 20, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@CEJr.

Agreed. If baseball fans, who were fans of a specific team filled most of the seats, that Sox fan wouldn't be suing the Yankees for allowing their patrons to beat up on him.

Also, how many of those $2,500 / game seats will go to people interested in why ARod didn't back off and hit to right in a specific situation? OK, besides Nate Silver, who can now afford it?

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 21, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

As we have all noted there are plenty of free agents out there and a few very special players, but there really are relatively few non-pitchers that fit neatly into the existing Nationals roster (or anyone elses). Teixeira, Hudson, Dunn, Baldelli, are potentially good fits for the Nationals, but the Nats are not looking for a shortstop (Furcal, Cabrera) or a corner outfileder (Bradley, Ibanez, Abreu) at this point. If you sign a corner outfielder then you can trade one away, but you have to find someone to pay an almost fair price for them.

Given the long odds of winning the Teixeira sweepstakes, I'm rooting for Hudson, Dunn (as a 1B), and a couple of pitchers. I'd be ok with someone like Pavano or Prior. I'd be delighted with Kerry Wood. I'd also be interested in Kapler, Sheets, and Baldelli. But back to my main point, you probably only get one or two and you have to fit those pieces in -- and that is not easy. I think this is one reason why Kasten has been so firm about not building via free agency. It's not just the money (its also the money), its not largely about team chemistry (its somewhat about chemistry), its about finding value that fits into your lineup and roster. Its just not as easy as we would like it to be.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 21, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

>I really, honestly don't understand the "make a credible offer" argument--most ticket-buyers (I can't call them fans) here don't seem to know the players on the field at any given time.<

Nobody does. That's what 150 different lineups in 162 games does to people. Who cares. TEX-XY TEX-XY TEX-XY

Posted by: Brue | November 21, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

>I think this is one reason why Kasten has been so firm about not building via free agency. It's not just the money (its also the money), its not largely about team chemistry (its somewhat about chemistry), its about finding value that fits into your lineup and roster. Its just not as easy as we would like it to be.<

Excuses don't win games. If you stockpile guys at a certain position, then you're able to make trades and improve your team even more at another position. Didn't you hear what Bowden said about that? You need to pay attention - there's nobody on this roster that can't be pushed aside, or into another position outside of Zimmerman and maybe Flores. No sacred cows on this team, baybee. Picking up talent is much easier than everybody thinks, imo, it's just a matter of getting some cajones and actually DOING it. They could sign Dunn AND Tex and you're still only looking at $80 million payroll. Big deal.

Posted by: Brue | November 21, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"Picking up talent is much easier than everybody thinks, imo, it's just a matter of getting some cajones and actually DOING it. They could sign Dunn AND Tex and you're still only looking at $80 million payroll. Big deal."

The problem with your logic here is that you can't sign anyone worth signing for just one year. You have to sign them for anywhere from 6 to 10 years at that per-year price you quote. Why? Because if you don't offer them a multi-year contract at that price, some other team will.

So if a team is at ground zero - as the Nats are now - and they do what you advocate, then one of two things will come to pass. Guaranteed. That team will become either the 1997/2003 Florida Marlins, winning it all (if they're lucky) but then having to dismantle the team the next year via a fire sale just to stay afloat, or the 2008 Seattle Mariners, a team with a payroll over $100M and 100 losses to show for it. You really want either of those outcomes?

Posted by: nunof1 | November 21, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Fair point, but I was thinking more of the 20-somethings behind me in sec. 420, asking why the teams have different "outfits" home and away.

************
>I really, honestly don't understand the "make a credible offer" argument--most ticket-buyers (I can't call them fans) here don't seem to know the players on the field at any given time.<

Nobody does. That's what 150 different lineups in 162 games does to people.
Posted by: Brue | November 21, 2008 8:17 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 21, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

>The problem with your logic here is that you can't sign anyone worth signing for just one year. You have to sign them for anywhere from 6 to 10 years at that per-year price you quote. Why? Because if you don't offer them a multi-year contract at that price, some other team will.<

This is true, although you could probably get Man-ny on a short-term deal 3 yrs. or less, and Dunn could take a hike in annual pay for a shorter contract. Do an old-fashioned free agent 3 year contract with a player option for the fourth. There really aren't that many teams enamored with him.

So now it's:

Milledge 2b
Guzman ss
Dukes cf
Dunn lf
Johnson 1B
Z 3b
Flowers C
Wily Mo rf

Wily Mo gets his stroke back. Healthy. Ready to go - going to hit with more consistency now that he got his shoulder fixed. There's no way he can't.

Posted by: Brue | November 21, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

and they call you negative! a pessimist!


***************
Wily Mo gets his stroke back. Healthy. Ready to go - going to hit with more consistency now that he got his shoulder fixed. There's no way he can't.

Posted by: Brue | November 21, 2008 10:24 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 22, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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