Mark Teixeira is like the anti-Manny. Money Ramirez just wants to hit, be adored on the field and ignored off the field. He forfeited 2 one-year team options for $20 million a piece in the hopes for one last big contract. He’s not known for his fielding, nor his community involvement.
Teixeira is a 2-time Gold Glove winner who is known for his community involvement. He is the ideal team player. The Sox, who couldn’t get rid of Money fast enough, really want Mark. They see this off season as the chance to undo the mistake the previous ownership made in not treating him well after drafting him out of high school. He ended up at Georgia Tech, like their Captain who also switch-hits, before being drafted by the Rangers.
But there is something they have in common beside being hitting cage rats- Scott Boras. Scott is the bane of most GM’s existence. He has a reputation for not negotiating above board, often creating phantom offers. He often gets what he wants for a player (see J.D. Drew & Johnny Damon for example).
He’s up to his old tricks again. The Red Sox had made the highest offer for Teixeira’s services for the next 8 years. During a meeting in Texas, in this lousy economy, the Red Sox were informed their offer was about $25 million short. Ah … so who is going to sign him to that contract at $24 million per year?
Boras must think he’s dealing with the Yankees, whose $161 million dollar offer was about $60 million more than any one else’s offer. The Red Sox have made the biggest offer thus far, but not by much.
The other teams have pretty much maxed out their offers. And, so it seems, have the Red Sox. This is not being cheap- we’re talking nearly $200 million here! But Scott Borat, I mean Bora$, like many a guy on a used car lot, has a figure in his mind and no one has met it.
So what happens? It should be interesting as Teixeira’s personal deadline draws near. Will someone up their offer? Very doubtful at this point unless the Yankees decide to nearly double their contract signings so far. Will Teixeira realize it isn’t going to happen and do what everyone expected him to do and sign with the Sox? Will he persist and wait teams out, possibly until Spring Training? That would hold up a number of other free agents, and he could see the number of teams pursuing him dwindle until THEY have all the leverage and Mark and Bora$ have to save face.
Why should Teixeira sign with the Red Sox?
- They have made the best offer so far- a generous one, mind you.
- They are successful now, and should be for years to come. The Yankees’ window, if the big signings work for them, will be small since their stars are aging and there aren’t enough young stars rising thru the ranks. The Red Sox have vets like Papi, Drew and Lowell, guys entering their prime (Beckett, Youkilis, Dice-K, Bay) and young studs who are the foundation for the next decade (Pedroia, Lester, Ellsbury), and some exciting prospects to boot. They have pitching & hitting.
- They are on the east coast, where he wants to be.
- They have a hitting philosophy just like his. With those hitters around him, he’ll see more good pitches which will lead to some All-Star numbers, possibly Hall of Fame numbers, and lots of victories. He has a chance to become legendary.
- The Angels made it to the playoffs, losing to the Red Sox, and have promptly lost their record-setting closer, and most likely their DH (Anderson). They have the pitching, but not the offense unless they suddenly reload. They may get to the playoffs, but they won’t be favorites to win it all unless other teams are hobbled by injury.
It all makes sense to everyone by Mark and $cott. Or maybe it does, and they are just trying to milk a few million more out of the Red Sox. But doesn’t that reduce their ability to field a winning team around you? Bora$ isn’t concerned about that, just his percentage off a bigger contract. Mark, only you and the Red Sox care about winning championships. Time to change your play.
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