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Waiting For Boras

Yesterday around this time, a huge crowd of reporters gathered around the stage where Greg Maddux had just announced his retirement, anticipating a Q-and-A session with agent Scott Boras, who counts among his clients not only Maddux but several of the top free agents on the current market, including Mark Teixeira, Derek Lowe and Manny Ramirez. But Boras, apparently not wanting to upstage Maddux's big day, ducked out a back exit.

I'm fully expecting Boras to meet the media at some point today, and I fully expect him to do his job -- which is to create the impression of frantic interest in his clients, while not revealing anything sensitive about their markets. He has a specific, important agenda, and that must be considered when listening to what he has to say.

At the same time, Boras may offer some guidance on a possible timeline for Teixeira -- who is being pursued by the Nationals, Orioles, Red Sox, Angels and possibly others -- to sign his mega-deal, which could approach $200 million in total value. Boras's characterization of the Teixeira talks, if in fact he makes himself available to the media, will be the primary topic of the day here in Las Vegas.

There have been no known offers made to Teixeira, and certainly the Nationals are wary of making an offer that would only be used as leverage against a richer, more desirable team. They prefer to see how the market develops before deciding whether to jump in. I have also been led to believe they may ultimately decide NOT to make an offer at all, depending upon how high the other teams bid, plus the sense they get about Teixeira's willingness to play for them.

In the meantime, the Red Sox seem to be replacing the Angels as the odds-on favorites to land Teixiera, as typified in this piece by Gordon Edes. I'm sticking with my prediction that Teixeira will sign with the Angels.

More later...

By Dave Sheinin  |  December 9, 2008; 1:09 PM ET
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It sucks to be a Nats fan. Nobody respects a loser trying to be a winner. Until they're a winner. Catch 22 all over again...

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 9, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we've officially entered the "break it to me gently" bad news phase on Tex. Get ready for another year of Kory Casto, Orr, and Boone sharing 1st base for the Nationals.

The economy always seems a little harsher on the Nats ownership than any other team. Does that make sense?

Posted by: WisdomVision | December 9, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Tex to the Red Sox makes no sense. They've currently got the Greek God of Walks at first, and their top prospect, according to Edes, is "Lars Anderson, a left-handed hitting first baseman who projects to make it to the big leagues by 2010." So how does it makes sense for the BoSox to pay through the nose for Tex?

Posted by: TomServo | December 9, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Here is a thought to break up the Teixeira obsession.

A quote from Manny Acta;
"Acta surprised many when he said the Nationals need to get a proven catcher to push Jesus Flores"

How about Montero from Arizona? He's also young, a lefty bat and reportendly a plus defender. ARI is in the market for a cheap 2bman, how about Ronnie Belliard?

Posted by: estuartj | December 9, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Boston is setting a price for the Angels, that's all.

Posted by: Section506 | December 9, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

506, nice "legend" post in the last thread. Teixeira sounds like he might be the kind of guy that would be attracted to that kind of pitch. Let's hope the team is making it.

ESJ, Montero would be a good fit, I think you and I may have agreed on this before.

I wish writers would stop linking the Nats to marginal guys like Juan Pierre and Willie Taveras (ineffective leadoff hitting CFs).

Posted by: BobLHead | December 9, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

TomServo, for clubs like the Red Sox, a prospect like Lars Anderson is just value. If a position comes open and they have a high-value prospect ready to plug in (Pedroia, for example), then fine, they plug him in. Otherwise, if they have a better veteran clogging the prospect's path, then the prospect becomes trade bait.

Anderson's upside may potentially be higher than Teixeira's, but Teixeira will almost certainly put up better numbers than Anderson over the next few years. That, for the Red Sox, closes the deal. If Teixeira disappoints, they can always go out and get a better first baseman.

If the Nats had Anderson, we'd all be salivating over his projected numbers and clearing our calendar for Lars Anderson Bobblehead Day sometime in late May 2010.

Posted by: novamatt | December 9, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Signing Tex would be a dream come true, but remember, thus far the Nationals have been little more than a nightmare.

Adam Dunn makes more sense because the team could use the saved payroll - probably $6-8 million - for another bat or an additional starter.

This could be the National's starting lineup (I'm assuming no injuries as there is no chance the team could be torn apart by the injury bug for 3 straight years, right?)

1B: Dunn -- .250-40-100
2B: Belliard -- .280-15-60
SS: Guzman -- .275-5-50
3B: Zimm -- .285-28-115
LF: Willingham -- .265-25-85
CF: Milledge -- .280-24-75 (30 sb)
RF: Dukes -- .280-30-85 (30 sb)
CA: Flores -- .260-10-50

With the exception of Milledge and Dukes, each player has hit at that level in their careers. Dukes - based on a full season - would have hit .264-26-88 w/.386 OBP last year, and remember, his injuries sapped all of his power for the first part of the year. And Milledge's short career shows that when healthy, he hits homers at a rate of one every 26 at-bats, or about 23 for an entire year.

Adam Dunn, then, and some health, and the Nationals can field a potent lineup. If they can find one more solid starter to add to Lannan / Olsen / Redding et. al., this could be a very above average team.

All that said, I have a funny feeling that Milledge might be traded for a starting pitcher; Willingham - Dukes - Kearns/Pena is not a bad outfield if they trade the kid.

How about this: "The Washington Nationals announce the trade of outfielder Lastings Milledge, first baseman Nick Johnson and minor league pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to the Padres for pitcher Jake Peavy."

We can hope ...

Posted by: rushfari | December 9, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Starting to sound like the Boras dog-and-pony show. You got to figure there will be more teams mentioned in the Tex sweepstakes than there were when the meetings began.

Posted by: Brue | December 9, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think that deal would require more than hope... more like LSD in Kevin Towers' beer.

"The Washington Nationals announce the trade of outfielder Lastings Milledge, first baseman Nick Johnson and minor league pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to the Padres for pitcher Jake Peavy."

We can hope ...

Posted by: rushfari | December 9, 2008 2:36 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 9, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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