Has Mark Teixeira's day of decision finally arrived? Reports are starting to trickle out that free-agent slugger will announce his destination today, and while one report suggests the Red Sox will win the sweepstakes, a more recent one indicates that none other than the New York Yankees have suddenly become aggressive in their pursuit of the 28-year-old first baseman.
The Washington Times website reported early this afternoon that a major league baseball source told reporter Thom Loverro that there will be announcement today regarding Teixeira's future. Here is the segment that should intrigue Red Sox fans:
While the source declined to discuss specifics, there are strong indications that the Red Sox will announce that they have landed the highly-coveted slugger, who has been courted this offseason by several major league clubs, including the Angels, Orioles and Nationals.
But at a little past 2 p.m., Sports Illustrated.com's Jon Heyman wrote the following on the site's Hot Stove News Tracker:
The Yankees are in deep discussions with Teixeira, in what is now an attempt to beat out the rival Red Sox for Teixeira's services. The Teixeira sweepstakes is considered to be a three-team battle with the Nationals still involved. However, the Yankees' talks have turned serious in recent hours, as the team appears to be stepping up its attempts to lure the free-agent slugger to New York.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Globe's Nick Cafardo reports that league sources told him that the Nationals and Red Sox appear to be the finalists, pending a last-minute offer from the Yankees (which, if Heyman's report is to be believed, may have already happened).
Cafardo says the Nationals are now offering nine years at $180 million, while the Red Sox have apparently not altered their offer of eight years at approximately $170 million. While the Red Sox' offer is at a higher annual value, the Nationals' offer of an extra year could be a factor.
This morning, an ESPN.com report bylined by Peter Gammons and Buster Olney suggests Teixeira's decision is "seemingly imminent," but does not offer a strong indication as to which team among the Red Sox, Nationals, Orioles, and Yankees that he will choose:
. . . The Baltimore Orioles' negotiations for the free-agent first baseman appear dormant. The Yankees, on the other hand, continue to review their options, preparing for the possibility -- however real it is -- that Teixeira might make them an offer that they couldn't refuse.
The Boston Red Sox or the Washington Nationals continue to be the most likely destinations for Teixeira, executives involved in the process believe.
The Yankees made an initial offer to Teixeira, a proposal not close to the others, before they withdrew their bid, and they have maintained contact with the agent, Scott Boras.
Stay tuned throughout the day for more updates.
Nick Cafardo and Adam Kilgore of the Globe staff contributed to this report.