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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.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 18, 2008; 5:22 PM ET
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Next: Sox Closing In On Teixeira?


Thanks for the posting, Chico. Also, the butler did it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 18, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Ted and Mark Lerner, who beat out Dan Snyder as the Washington area's "Unsportsmen of the Year" in the DC City Paper.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 18, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If the Nationals' really want Teixeira, they need to think about sweetening the pot. Go up from the 8-yr/$160M ($20M AAV) base offer with the something similar to the following...
> No-Trade (without player approval) after 2011 season (2-years early).
>Offer opt-out clause after 2013 (year 5).
>Extend the offer to 10-years, with 9-10 as Club option years; $195M minimum guaranteed if opt-out not excersized.
>$50k for every Gold Glove / Silver Slugger over the length of the contract.
>$100k for being named to the All-Star team, $500k for being voted to the All-Star team over the length of the contract.
>$250k for a top-10 MVP finish, $500k for a top-5 MVP finish, $750k for a top-3, and $1M for winning the League MVP over the length of the contract.

Whether the contract is front-loaded, distributed or back-loaded is a negotiated detail between the FO & Boras.

Posted by: BinM | December 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

One source said he believed that Boston was in for close to $180 million over eight years and the Angels in for about the same. The Nats may be as high, or even higher than that. Some suggest they have either hit the $200 million mark, or gotten very close. Or that someone else has.

this is from MLB Trade Rumors.

Boston's offer is believed to be 8/184. it's also been said that we've offered more than Boston has.

so if Tex chooses Boston, I can't be mad at the Lerners effort here, unless they don't turn around and sign some other folks.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 18, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

According to, Boston may be engaging in face-to-face negotiations with Boras in the "forthcoming hours," which seems to indicate that a deal is imminent.

While other negotiations have fallen apart when there was a supposed deal on the table, seems like it may be close.

On the other hand, the same article did indicate that the Nats were considering upping their offer as well...which seems odd, since I thought, based on the things I've read, they already had.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Make a 9/195 final - seems like Teixeira is driving for Boras to make the deal before x-mas.

Posted by: BinM | December 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

From the Nationals' perspective, they either need to get this deal on the books, or move on quickly.

Posted by: BinM | December 18, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

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