By all public accounts last night, it seemed as though the Sox had pulled out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. After a night to sleep on it, Jon Heyman’s “multiple baseball sources” say that’s not true. Rather, the Red Sox have made their best offer to Teixeira; they won’t go any higher; and the first baseman’s future is in his own hands. This may just be a dance the two sides are playing to stall negotiations or it may portend a final outcome in which Teixeira and Scott Boras just follow the money. The Yankees are playing this one close to the vest.
Additional pontification by Joe.
The most interesting two paragraphs in the linked Madden article, I think, are these:
It was believed that the Red Sox’s offer to Teixeira was for eight years at around $170 million and that Angels owner Arte Moreno topped out at $160 million over eight years in his offer.
With those figures floating around, it’s not clear what “other offers” Henry was referring to. According to a source, Boras informed the Red Sox that if they were willing to go to $184 million over eight years, they could have Teixeira.
So, like Ben, I believe this is just another part of the dance. The $184 million over eight years represents a $23 million AAV, or exactly what CC Sabathia commanded. I think that, ultimately, the Red Sox would be willing to add Teixeira at this amount. They just don’t want to jump into it now, when it is uncertain whether Teixeira has a better offer in hand than the rumored eight year, $170 million offer from the Sox.
Most interesting, of course, is the final line. “[I]f they were willing to go to $184 million over eight years, they could have Teixeira.” Sounds like that’s an opportunity to swoop in and nab Teixeira. Perhaps, then, the rumors of an insane offer from Washington are overblown (Feinsand’s article mentions an eight-year, $120 million deal, which clearly wouldn’t cut it). Perhaps the $170 million offer is, in fact, the best offer officially on the table, and Boras just wants to squeeze out as much as possible. The Red Sox see this, and are backing off for the moment, confident that their offer will remain the best.
It’s tempting, at least to the fan, to think that all the Yankees would have to do is phone Boras and say “we’ll give Teixeira eight years and $184 million.” If it’s that easy, I’m sure many of you are thinking, why don’t the Yanks just do it? I’m not sure of their exact reasons. I’m sure it has plenty to do with the current payroll scheme, both for the 2009 team and for long term projection. It probably also takes into consideration the relative value of Teixeira — in that he’s not worth the payout.
Clearly, I think the Yanks should do this. However, I realize that if they don’t, they have their reasons, many of which I’m not privy to. It’s easy for you and me to project decisions for the Yanks. We’re passionate observers on the outside looking in. We want what’s best for the team, but we don’t have all the relevant information at hand.