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Report Says Nats Have Upgraded Their Offer

For weeks now, Mark Teixeira has contemplated his next home -- a waiting game that has slowly shortened the list of teams in pursuit of his services. But evidently, all of the waiting hasn't yet made Teixeira's price tag drop even the slightest.

One report posted tonight by MASN Sports' Roch Kubatko suggests that the Washington Nationals have upgraded their offer initial offer to Teixeira -- eight years, $160 million -- to somewhere between $178 and $184 million over the same timeframe. No member of the team's front office was willing to add comment on the current offer or indicate whether the team had sweetened the deal.

By way of refusing to offer the numbers of Washington's proposal to Teixeira, team president Stan Kasten said, "There are bargains, but luxury goods are still not being discounted."

Regardless of the money, the team's front office still knows it would take a mild upset for the 28-year-old to settle on a deal with Washington. Sunday night, the Los Angeles Angels withdrew their contract offer to Teixeira, believing he had no sincere interest in playing for the organization with which he ended the 2008 season. Still, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles have offers on the table, and though they have yet to make a concrete offer, the New York Yankees might also contemplate a last-minute bid.

Various news reports late last week pegged the Boston offer to be as high as $184 million over eight years, though subsequent rumors suggested that the numbers are a little lower -- perhaps between $165 and $180 million. The Orioles have the weakest offer of the bunch -- a proposal reportedly worth between $140 and $150 million over seven years.

So far, no team involved has offered a contract longer than eight years. Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, entered the free agency process hoping his client could attract a 10-year deal. Either way, Teixeira will end up with one of the greatest paydays in baseball history, almost certainly exceeding the $161 million (over seven years) that fellow free agent CC Sabathia received from the Yankees earlier this offseason.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 22, 2008; 10:09 PM ET
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Scooped by a Baltimore reporter? One on the MASN payroll? For shame!

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 22, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse


I bet the Yankees will stay out of the Tex saga. ESPN reports that the Bronx Bombers got a Christmas gift from Mr. Selig: a luxury tax bill for $26.9 million! (the only other team to get a bill was Detroit). All the people who want to see Tex in pinstripes keep bringing up the fact that the Yankees have lowered their payroll since last year, even with the quarter of a billion dollars worth of contracts for CC and AJ. Well, writing a $27 million check to MLB would make me consider cutting payroll too...

Posted by: BGinVA | December 22, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else realize that the Nationals' offer to Texeira is getting rediculously close to the contract given to Alex Rodriguez by the Texas Rangers?

It took, what, 30 minutes for the Rangers front office to begin having buyer's remorse.

We're getting awfully close to $23 million a year; that would without question buy Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson.

Who would you rather have, Dunn & Hudson or Texeira all things being equal?

I choose the former. For one thing, I can spell Dunn & Hudson without having to stop and think about it.

Posted by: rushfari | December 22, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Spelling aside rushfari, A-Rod didn't help the Rangers win a damn thing, so your point is spot on. I don't think they should sign Hudson as he is to old for a team building for the future but, I certainly don't think we should be tying ourselves to a contract of this size and limiting ourselves for the next three years of foundation building.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the Rangers was NOT ARod. Seriously. That's the lazy sportswriter's storyline. Look at their payroll from season to season. ARod gave them their money's worth. It was the other big-dollar contracts they gave out that hamstrung them.

It's when you give big money to average performers -- as the Rangers did -- that you have a problem.

Sure, Dunn and Hudson would be nice, but those are both purely short-term options. The idea of signing Tex is that he'll be there still contributing in 4-6 years. Dunn probably won't. And Hudson almost certainly won't be.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 22, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Right but surely the point is that even with A-Rod the Ranger we're still a rubbish team. Even with Teix, we would still be a rubbish team too. We need a couple of years of building up our farm and stockpiling young talent before it's worth this sort of investment. Then when we are close we go after the one or two big signings that finish the team off. Look at our farm system, there is not a single grade A prospect in it. That means we are at least two years off.

For all that, I would still like to see him in a Nat's uniform because it would be awesome.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

You guys are obviously not listening to Balester. With Teixeira we win the World Series. Enough said.

Posted by: bitner | December 22, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm as bearish as anyone, but c'mon, Zimmermann's an excellent pitching prospect.

Also, the team has a very young core. Milledge, Zimmerman, Dukes, Lannan are 24ish or younger, and at least one of them has a really good chance of breaking out. There might not be a ton of prospects, but we've got as much young major league talent as just about anyone -- even if some of those former prospects have lost some of their luster.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 22, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Texeira would be a long-term investment unlike Dunn and Hudson....

....however .....

there is ZERO chance that Boras doesn't add an opt-out after 2011, 2012 at the latest.

There is ZERO chance that Texeira would then resign with the Nationals; he'd get another 8-10 year deal making $3 million more a year (does A.J. Burnett & J.D. Drew ring a bell?) somewhere else.

In reality, then, Texeira would be a 3-4 year rental player, until Bill Rinehart or Chris Marrero or some as yet unnamed first baseman would take over.

And really, that's not a bad thing.

He'd help pack the new digs.

I just wonder why Soriano's $136 million deal seemed so ludicrous but Texeira's $184 million dollar deal "makes sense."


Posted by: rushfari | December 22, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

The only people who've talked about an opt-out is the people on this board. I don't think there's been a single report on it, just a bunch of message board posters, using it as the hot new thing.

If he DOES demand an opt-out, sign Dunn. Dunn won't cost a draft pick.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 22, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"I just wonder why Soriano's $136 million deal seemed so ludicrous but Texeira's $184 million dollar deal 'makes sense.'


Rookie owners getting more experience?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 22, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

"Who would you rather have, Dunn & Hudson or Texeira all things being equal?"


Also, there's never zero chance due to the principle of positivism. Just because something has always happened doesn't mean it always will. Of course, I would put ZERO cents on a bet that there wouldn't be a 4 year opt-out clause.

Soriano's deal was ludicrous because he was 30 with a questionable track record of consistent performance. Teixeira has a much better history of consistency at a time when the team is two humongous years closer to being competitive.

While making offers, the Nationals better be ready for the opt-out scenario. There's a little bit of a wager that Washington will be a far more enticing place to play four years from now. And that Teixeira is a really good player among a weak crop, rather than an A-Rod. He might start thinking of those later years as an "opt-in".

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Because Teixeria can actually catch a baseball.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 23, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

While not related to this new information specifically, check this out:

Posted by: wigi | December 23, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Its not spot on. Reports have the potential highest offer at least $60 million less than AROD's Texas deal. Thats a bullpen. Teixeira's highest offer is as close to Beltrans (which is also a shorter length) than AROD's. And AROD's deal was before internet revenue and revenue sharing.

You know what the Nats already have that the Rangers don't? An established, home grown starter. Look at the Rangers track record for the last 15 or so years - no in house starters of merit. They've had several in their minor league system (Danks, Volquez, Duscherer, Chris Young, Harang & Galarraga come to mind), but they were traded. AROD made an already solid offense spectacular. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the team was unable to sign or develop consistent quality pitching.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 23, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Teixeira is coming here, but I also don't think this is the crap team that the lazy sports writers are pegging us to be.

The coaching staff has been overhauled and even if we have HALF the injuries we did last year, we could have, what, at *least* 10-15 more wins? Our biggest mistakes last year are gone. Plus, Potomac took it all last year and will be moving up, slowly but surely and we should (read: we better) get Strasburg.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 23, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse

i think we've had a pretty good offseason so far. hats off to jim bowden. i know he gets little credit here for much of anything but most moves he's made are easily justifiable to me.

this may sound, for lack of a better word, funny, but next year we could easily be the most improved team! with a good offseason, and potentially very good upcoming draft, we are setting up for a solid future.

it's cold outside. i need some hot stove action.

Posted by: longterm | December 23, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

courtesy MLBTradeRumors:

The Pirates offered slightly more than the $2.6MM Daniel Cabrera signed for with the Nationals. D-Cab wanted to remain in the area.

Excellent Smithers, excellent....

Posted by: longterm | December 23, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I recently read that Lerner-Stans where embarressed (probably more the Lerners then "Stan the Plan") by what happened last year so its probably not far fetched that they would be willing to sell the farm to get Teixera. However lets be fair, the "Plan" was put out there for all to digest and at this point (the Stan version) it has either run out of steam or we are on the verge of phase II (the Lerner version). Only JimBo knows for sure!

There is no way ownership can be considered creditable if they play in DC but are run like its Pittsburgh, Kansas City, or Oakland. As a baseball purist I think the whole thing stinks, but how else can you fight the ESPN media mentality like establishment?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 23, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

So if we throw all this money at Texeira, are we going to be able to get anybody else decent this year? Like maybe some actual starting pitching?

Posted by: futbolclif | December 23, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Excellent Smithers, excellent....


Now, release those hounds...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

If signing Tex means he eats up so much payroll that we cant't sign the Dmitri Youngs, Paul LoDucas, and Austin Kearns of the world, then I think we can't afford not to do it.

The Nats should be working with a 100 million dollar payroll and they'll eventually get to that. We're not the Marlins. We can spend money.

Peter King took a shot at the Nats in his weekly NFL column. This Nats bashing is getting out of control.

Posted by: BillyBeane | December 23, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Uncle Teddy was channeling his inner Bill Veeck at 10:45pm yesterday when he wrote, "It's when you give big money to average performers -- as the Rangers did -- that you have a problem."

In the early days of free agency Veeck observed that, "It isn't the high price of stars that is expensive, it's the high price of mediocrity."

Veeck, who lived most of his life as an iconoclastic baseball owner, also wrote in his must-read autobiography "Veeck As In Wreck" that back in the 1960's he'd urged baseball's ownership cabal to approve the sale of the Washington Senators to prospective purchaser Edward Bennett Williams instead of Bob Short (think the team would ever have left DC to become the Rangers if EBW had been their owner?)

Posted by: greggwiggins | December 23, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

If Teixeira has an opt-out--as speculated here--it provides a benchmark for Kasten and Lerners "Plan." They have to be competitive by the opt out date. That would require signing Strasburg this summer. If Strasburg lives up to the hype then by 2011 this is a competitive franchise. If not, then management has bought three years time when Teixeira pulls in season ticket commitments and improved TV ratings. It is worth the money to them and embarrasment has nothing to do with it. The Lerners are businessmen and Tex is smart business.

Posted by: Juliasdad | December 23, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Its been widely reported that the Lerner-Stans actually where embarrassed by the dreadful on-field product that they had a hand in putting out there in 2008. However I also read that Ted Lerner said (paraphrased here) that for the past 2 years he has been doing things the baseball people's way (assume thats the Kasten version), now its time for him to do things his way.

This notion that the Ted Lerner has suddenly cornered the market as some kind of baseball franchise guru because he is a successful business man of mega-malls and office buildings is just blind talk. Outside of this small circle of believers, the Nationals and its ownnership group are just not taken serioulsy.

Bring in all the players you need to be competitive, break the bank if you have to, change the perception, give people more then just the Red Sox and Yankees for petes sake.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 23, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If there's an opt-out, it's not a benchmark. A Scott Boras client with an opt-out is going to use it. If there's an opt-out, it's NOT a seven-year deal. The only way he'd stay with us is if he's injured or if his performance craters. If he hits the way he's supposed to, he WILL opt out.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 23, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Old Ballgame looks like he's got his A game going. Oh Ted you fantastical pre-historic megazoidal troglodyte get in there!!

Posted by: Brue | December 23, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

New post/poll up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

MLB Trade Rumors says Tex will announce his decision later today.

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | December 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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