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Teixeira Watch

In some respects, even the principals involved in the Mark Teixeira saga are running out of things to say, and whatever developed yesterday did nothing to clarify where Mark Teixeira will end up -- or even when such a decision will be made.

Boston GM Theo Epstein's take on the saga?

From the Globe: "Epstein attended a press conference held by JetBlue at Logan Airport in conjunction with the company becoming the official airline of the Red Sox. Approached by a reporter, Epstein grinned and said, "Nothing. Sorry."

Angels GM Tony Reagins?

From the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., quoting Reagins: "In the last 24 hours, our position hasn't changed."

Oh, thanks.

Of course, developments in the Teixeira pursuit are incremental, and sometimes contradictory. We had reports on ESPN.com yesterday that Boras wanted eight years, $195 million for his client. Boras later told the Web site he never said such a thing. Now, there are some whispers that the Yanks might again become a player in the bidding -- and if that's so, you can be certain Boras won't rush any sort of deal with Boston, Washington, Los Angeles or Baltimore.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 20, 2008; 9:54 AM ET
 
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Next: What Willie Thinks

Comments

THis is turning into a circus. The Lerners have proven to Boras that they are serious, and proven to the fans that they care and now they need to walk away. This deal could cripple a ball club and Boras has all the teams where he wants them. No good can come of that. Lodge an offer and then start to think about what other choices we have. Put money into the farm, draft, Dominican and sign Dunn to sit on first until Rhinehart or Marerro are ready.

This is all getting stupid.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 20, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Soundbloke is right. This is becoming a bit ridiculous.

Makes you wonder whether why MLB has not made the free agency process more transparent, with publicly-available offers and fixed timelines.

Time to focus on Christmas shopping, not Boras BS. If Tex ends up a Nat, great. If not, we'll survive.

Posted by: AshburnVA | December 20, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

So, an 8-year, $160 million offer is the Lerners proving to the fans that they care, but an extra $4 million per season is the Lerners crippling the club for a decade? If you get into the bidding against big market clubs for premier players then this is the cost of doing business. Making an offer just to be seen making an offer is a Peter Angelos move.

Posted by: NTPNate | December 20, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that this guy is not A-Rod. He's just the closest thing there is this free agent market.

The Lerners have gone in as hard as anyone. I'm getting very fed up with the attitude that if we don't land him we have somehow failed. Only one team in baseball gets it's top target every year. Two of the Nat's, Sox and Angels are going to be dissapointed. And no one would ever, EVER, accuse the owners of either of those ownerships of not going after free agents hard enough.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 20, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree with soundbloke. It's becoming absurd. It's all about greed, power, and ego. It's amazing how the Boras' of the world appear to control the industry with, of course, the culpability of owners and players.
The hot stove, all that sort of thing, are becoming less and less enjoyable. I've always been fascinated by how the experts in many fields destroy the very hand that feeds them, always because of greed. Fishermen overfish, farmers destroy the land, politicians, well, you get the picture. And the Boras' continue their own brand of destruction while the average family can't even afford to go to a game.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 20, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

At what point do the Nats move on? Its hard to really pinpoint who has offered what, but by most accounts the Nats have issued a credible, if not the highest, offer. If I'm the Lerners/Bowden and co. I tell Boras if that they haven't decided by Christmas Eve, the offer is off the table. Then sign Dunn. My concern is that the Nats walk away this offseason without Tex or Dunn, and if this drags on any longer, its entirely possible.

From, the former joNAThan

PS: Happy Holidays to all, go Navy

Posted by: jfromPG | December 20, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

so basically it looks like we are definitely getting played.

no matter what we offer and no matter how much higher it is than anyone else, Boras is going to take it back to the Red Sox and try to get them to match or raise their offer.

Tex has no intention of coming here regardless of our offer, Boston is the destination. the only hold up is dollar signs.

I say let's move on and get Dunn now. we've made our statement, and there is no point in hanging around in this, only to boost the Red Sox price, if Tex has no intention of giving this team a real chance.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 20, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I say offer 8/200m and then walk away.

if we decides to accept, then take him with us. if not, keep walking.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 20, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It's the same as it was on day one, guys and gals. Be willing to go 10/$200 for Tex, opt-out clause at four years, might as well have a no-trade clause because you can't trade him anyway at that price.

If not Tex, then you pursue Odalis Perez type free agents unless you happen to get Dunn for cheap (like 4/$40-$45) since we all know that Dunn doesn't do ANYTHING for this team in the long run except act as a spoon full of sugar for the rebuilding medicine. FAs at any other position than first base longer than two years hold up the guys we REALLY want playing.

Posted by: Section506 | December 20, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think the Nats hold the high bid right now and Boras is trying to get BOS or LAA (or NYY) to match it.

The key question is exactly how much money is Teixeira (and Boras) willing to leave on the table to sign with a "contender", 25mil , 15, 10?

Posted by: estuartj | December 20, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The angst is hilarious. A week ago our offer was the cat's meow. Now that it's taken a bit of time and we]ve heard countless incorrect media reports, we've reached the rubicon?

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 20, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Said it before, I'll say it again - This is the way the show goes under Boras' Big Top. If the Nationals really want Teixeira, raise the bid.

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The angst is hilarious. A week ago our offer was the cat's meow. Now that it's taken a bit of time and we]ve heard countless incorrect media reports, we've reached the rubicon?

-----------

I still think we have the high bid that is both serious, and impressive.

I'm just beginning to believe that in the end, it doesn't matter what our bid is.

Boras wants his guy to go to Boston, and he's trying to get them to pay what we would pay. my gut says Boras loses this poker game, and Tex takes less money to play for Boston in the end.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 20, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

It's all financial madness. Paying so much for one player who could get injured during spring training is nothing but outrageous. Like the government bailouts, eventually, it's the customers who will pay for this . .. .until such time that they realize the price of a ticket is out of reach, and the whole scheme will collapse. Remember, high priced players don't always get into the playoffs, something the Red Sox and Yankees refuse to learn.

Posted by: cy31b | December 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

MrM: Boras wants his clients to A) get the highest $$$ possible, and B) play in areas where their visibility will be highest (Q-value). That means he pushes clients toward "the usual suspects" (NYY, NYM, BOS, LAD, LAA, CUB); He'll only accept an offer from a lower-tier team when it's completely over the top (TEX w/A-Rod).
He tried to leverage the Sawx into a higher offer & they walked away from the table; he'll probably go back to the LAA next & see if they'll up the pot.
If that fails, he'll turn to the Nats for a final offer; if nothing comes from that, he'll advise his client to sign the last offer from BOS, dim the lights on that "ring" & shift the attention to his next act (Lowe or Manny).

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

A circus is entertaining - this is not. I am not predicting that we won't sign Teixeira, Dunn, or Hudson, but lets assume we don't and all three go elsewhere by New Year's. (Not because we didn't try or offer enough money, just assume they chose to go elsewhere.) All the other free agents are still available and everybody who is waiting to trade suddenly feels free to do so. What could/would/should the Nationals do then:

I'll sign Ivan Rodriguez, Ty Wigginton, Odalis Perez and Rocco Baldelli. IROD backs up/competes with Flores (sorry Wil Nieves, I love you, but IROD is better), Wigginton competes/replaces Johnson (when traded/injurred) or plays 2B (very versatile player). Baldelli shares time in CF with Milledge/Dukes.

We would still need a LH batter for the middle of the order so you trade whichever outfielder you can for a someone fitting that description. Possible players include Konerko, Teahen, LaRoche, Overbay, Tracy, Loney, and other similar players. Most require moving Johnson/Young and/or another starting outfielder off the team. Otherwise, you have to give up on the goal of getting a left handed batter for the middle of the lineup. (If Johnson is healthy he might still be the best option after Dunn/Teixeira. If.) Sean Casey is a possible sign for late winter too.

I like Johnson, Kearns, Belliard, and Flores, but if all four are in your starting lineup, we're looking at another long summer. Dukes and Milledge deserve another year of development. Guzman and Zimmerman are qualified MLB starters. Willingham could still be flipped in another deal, but he should add ummphhh to the lineup. Flores deserves more time to develop, but that OBP has GOT to improve or he will go from the great rule 5 pick up label to decent backup catcher label this year.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 20, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree that this process is a circus. Perhaps our irrational focus on the negotiations are a circus, but the negotiations themselves are not...

Sure, it is an employment contract, but it is a complicated employment contract being negotiated as a part of an auction, and it is worth perhaps as much as $200 million dollars. Add to it that the employee doesn't have to appear in any meaningful way until February, there's no reason the process should be quick, and lots of reasons it should be slow.

You don't have to like Boras, and you don't have to like his tactics. But he does exactly what he is paid to do, and that is to represent the best interest of his client. Baseball owners are not predisposed to offering fair contracts - if they could get players to play for $75,000 a year, they would do it, and complain about giving raises.

The only reason this all seems crazy is because the only available information about the negotiations is the rumor and speculation that the fans demand. But we're not even parties to the negotiation (But as Boz pointed out, we're often better informed than the teams).

If I am an elite player, I want my agent to make sure that I don't leave a million or two lying on the table. That doesn't mean that I necessarily want the organization that offers the highest amount... but there's no reason to settle for ninety percent of what someone is willing to pay me. And when that ten percent amounts to $20 million, you can bet I am taking my time negotiating the contract.

Posted by: wigi | December 20, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

In addition, the one benefit to Boras if the Nats' ultimately get Teixeira is a raised Q-factor for the current odds-on #1 in the 2009 Amateur draft (Strasburg), who is "represented" by Mr. Boras.

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

My impression, having read way too much about this, is that the Nats currently have the highest offer on the table. Several reports suggested as much before Theo et al flew to Texas. Boras is now shopping the Nats offer, to see if anyone will match or raise. The Sox turned him down per Henry's email. Thus, today's media reports indicate that Boras is trying the Angels and Yankees. If neither of those teams will go as high as the Nats, Teixeira signs here next week.

Posted by: jcj5y | December 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, may I amend your post slightly? It's a nit-pick, but I think it's an important one.

You say, "But he does exactly what he is paid to do, and that is to represent the best interest of his client."

But I think that Boras really represents the best MONETARY interests of his client, for the purpose of maintaining his reputation as a super agent. I'm sure you were just focusing on the other end of the string when you were pointing out that agents play the game, because owners won't play fair if given a choice (reminds me of some great passages in Ball Four).

From the other end of the rope, it's clear that Boras is not with Tex because he thinks he's a swell guy, but because he thinks he's a swell client that he can make a lot of money in tandem with and increase his reputation among other young studs looking to pick an agent (Strasbourg, anyone?).

And this brings us back to an important point to remember in Scott's mind: he wants his clients to think of an agent that will give them either a Tier 1 team or Tier 1 dollars, or both. All this posturing, all these big signings pay off for Boras downfield with the Felipe Lopez's of baseball, and don't think for a second that Scotty isn't cognizant of that.

Posted by: Section506 | December 20, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm just tired, but my gut tells me that we have failed in our task of selling Teixeira on the future of this team and his place in it.

Yes, we have the high bid, but he has decided he won't sign here and Boras is using our offer to get the Sox or Angles as high as possible, but he is willing to leave money on the table as sign elsewhere. Now they are only working to limit the amount they'll leave behind.

Please let me be wrong, but this all looks like a snow job now.

Posted by: estuartj | December 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"You say, "But he does exactly what he is paid to do, and that is to represent the best interest of his client."

But I think that Boras really represents the best MONETARY interests of his client, for the purpose of maintaining his reputation as a super agent."

By definition, the best interests of any Boras client are one and the same as the best monetary interests of that client. It's an implicit condition for a player choosing Boras over another agent. This Teixeira negotiation is ALL about the money. The golden rule (he who has the gold makes the rules) is the only rule that applies. The Lerners' money is every bit as green as any other team's. When the bidding is over (and it may take a while yet) the highest offer will win. Every serious player still in this negotiation (and the Nats are still in it) will have the opportunity to trump any other highest offer until only one team remains. You can count on that, since Boras always wrings every last possible dollar out of the process for his client. The Red Sox may get a little extra time to fully determine for themselves that they're out of the bidding (which they may be doing now, but maybe not) but that's the only consideration they'll be getting from Boras. If the Nats ultimately have the highest offer, they'll get Teixeira. It's as simple as that. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, until the Teix signing gets sorted out, those other guys like Dunn who are second choices to Teixera aren't gonna sign anywhere, so rest easy. When Teixeira ultimately signs, the rest of the signings will start dropping like flies. The whole market will probably resolve itself within a couple of days.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 20, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

As a Mets fan who wishes my team was in this hunt, I would be amazed if Tex winds up in Washington. With the Sox or Angels, he's virtually guaranteed of postseason appearances just about every year for the rest of his career. In Washington, he's the guy everyone else will pitch around and he'll be on the links in October.

Posted by: bigblue1 | December 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@natbisquit: Taking your assumption (no Teixeira, Dunn or Hudson) forward; the Nationals' FO would then need to look toward filling short-term needs (1B, LH "power" bat, top-line SP) for 2009.
The LH power bat could be an issue, but 1B could be filled by the likes of K. Millar (LH bat, gap hitter w/ occaisional power, decent OBP & glove, good guy in clubhouse [from published reports]).
Available options for a top-end SP could include offers to Lowe, Sheets or R. Johnson - they could at least give the pups in the rotation a look at how to win.
Regarding your picks - I-Rod is all but done (yrs already played + no chemical help). He would impede Javier, rather than help him, imo.
Willingham - An ok player, but we already have UTIL players available for less money (Harris, Casto).
Odalis - I'd be ok with bringing him back, but he'd be a #4/5 in the starting rotation, at best.
As for Baldelli - a good ballplayer that could have value, now that he seems to have a solid diagnosis on his medical problem. We would need to move some OF talent to give him a slot, however.

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I see that I'm not the only one who is checking in here today. New (but not news) post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 20, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@estuartj: imo, Boras / Teixeira wouldn't be leaving $$$ on the table currently, unless they signed with the LAA or WAS offer; BOS may have offered fewer years, but a higher AAV.

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

A couple years ago, the Cubs gave a fortune to a worthless former National, Soriano, who has led them exactly nowhere. Meanwhile, the Rays went to the Series with young guys they drafted, developed, and promoted. Pretty clear what works.

Posted by: psiekert | December 20, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Bashing Boras is fine but shouldn't we bash fairly and heap a fair share of our frustration on the golden boy with the "lights out smile" at the center of this drama. He is, after all, the client, Boras works for him. If Teixeira has managed to generate this much divisiveness among numerous fan bases, I expect he'll bring that same drama and divisiveness to the clubhouse he lands at. At this point, I don't care where that is, only that it's not my team's.

Posted by: caiside | December 21, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse

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