Teixeira: Still Unemployed For The Moment
The Mark Teixeira pursuit is, of course, a Scott Boras Production, and it just so happens that Boras loves mysteries. He puts them to good use. Ahh, so many questions here. Will the Yankees make some daring last-second, out-of-nowhere bid? Will Teixeira actually stick with his self-appointed Christmas deadline for picking a team? As Boras clearly sees it, the fewer answers we have, the hotter (and more paranoid) the bidding becomes.
Somehow, determining when Teixeira picks a team has become just as complicated as figuring out where he'll go. In an ESPN interview during a Georgia Tech football game in November, Teixeira said he would prefer to find a team by Christmas. When Boras was asked several days ago about this deadline, though, he dismissed that notion by saying, "Well, I didn't watch that show."
But at least one executive from a team involved in the bidding war believes that something will happen by Monday. (You can read elsewhere that things could drag on longer.)
In the meantime, it seems like the Red Sox, Angels and Nationals are the last three legit teams in this horse race (sorry -- lame terminology; let's leave that for the political staff). And according to industry sources, it's probably in that order: Boston, Los Angeles, Washington.
If the Yanks get involved, that whole dynamic changes, of course, but it's looking less and less likely. The Orioles, meanwhile, have drifted to a distant fourth, and this is important to Washington in at least one capacity. If Teixeira really wants to play near his hometown, he'll sign with the Nats.
The Orioles appear not to have raised their initial bid, leaving it to the other three teams to push forward. I've seen lots of industry speculation about second offers and counter-offers from the other involved teams, but nothing yet of substance has been put out there. But it's logical to think that Teixeira won't sign until at least one team, if not more, steps forward from its initial contract offer. (That said, Teixeira probably won't see the 10-year contract Boras initially sought for his client. Red Sox principal owner John Henry, in fact, told the Boston Herald in an e-mail that his franchise would not be willing to offer Teixeira -- or any other player -- a 10-year deal, especially in such a "challenging economic environment.")
Nationals president Stan Kasten, reached today, wished to say little -- only that the team was "examining numerous possibilities," including "alternatives" -- though he didn't reference Teixeira by name. Suffice to say, Washington has made the Teixeira pursuit not just the priority of its offseason, but the purpose of its offseason. Until Teixeira figures out where he's going, everybody else is stuck waiting.
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