If the Red Sox have pulled out of the Mark Teixeira talks for good, it would be a stunner to a lot of baseball people.
Of the people I’ve talked to this morning regarding John Henry’s e-mail in which he said it seems that Boston “will not be a factor” for Teixeira, none of them seem to hear any finality in that statement.
These are high-stakes negotiations at their best or worst.
When the Red Sox get on a plane to visit the player and the agent, they do it to get the deal done. Obviously, something Teixeira’s agent, Scott Boras, said about the other offers on the table didn’t sit well. The Sox probably felt they came in with the best offer, or certainly a sizable offer, in the $170-million-$185-million range over eight years. Perhaps Boras feels that he can do better than that in the end.
But this morning there is no evidence of any team trumping the Red Sox. Brian Cashman told the New York Post it wasn’t him. Tony Reagins of the Angels has said his team has made a fair offer. The Washington Nationals, rumored by many to be the team to have possibly gone beyond their original eight-year, $160 million deal, also have given no indications they have done so. The Orioles have been the most cautious and to this point have put out the smallest offer.
Maybe one of the teams did increase their offer, or promised to increase their offer yesterday to Boras, but according to one of the GMs involved, “I still believe the Red Sox have the best offer on the table. I think this is a negotiating ploy.”
One Red Sox official, when asked if there was some bluffing on Boras’s part, said, “I don’t know.”
Nobody wants to get taken on a deal this size. The teams involved are being very careful to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Boras has not yet returned a call, but we’d love to hear his take on this.