A general manager of one of the five teams involved in the Mark Teixeira talks said this morning that in his opinion, if the talks ended right now, Boston would land the coveted free agent first baseman.
"I think they're in the lead and ahead of where everyone else is right now," the GM said. "I'm not sure who's bidding against them at this point."
Asked whether he thought the talks would end soon, he said, "You just never know where Scott Boras and the Red Sox are involved."
The Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, and Angels are the teams still involved in the negotiations. All appear to have genuine interest -- with the possible exception of the Yankees.
If the Yankees' desire is to strongly pursue Manny Ramirez while driving up the price on Teixeira for the Red Sox, they are apparently doing a good job. The Yankees have also been known to swoop in at the last minute and eclipse all offers if they really covet a player. And the Yankees do have a need for Teixeira, even after acquiring Nick Swisher from the White Sox. The Yankees see Swisher as a fallback choice, one who could act as a super-sub because of his ability to play first and the outfield.
The Boston Herald reported this morning that Red Sox owner John Henry has indicated the club would not give any player a 10-year contract. But the Red Sox, at least according to one GM, may be willing to go higher on the annual salary than the other teams -- at least at the moment.