It's the economy, Scott!
Mark Teixeira might want to get his contract done by Christmas to get the negotiations out of the way so he can enjoy the holidays with his family, but Scott Boras should want to get it out of the way for an even more important reason than that.
The global economic crisis really hasn't hit baseball all that hard yet, not when MLB just reported that gross revenues have risen to $6.5 billion (or an average of almost $202 million per team), but the harsh reality of a customer base with far less spending power will soon become apparent as season-ticket renewals come due in January and teams start finalizing next season's sponsorship agreements.
I don't know if any other teams are going to be pulling out of the bidding, but the bad economy might be the reason that Boras hasn't seen the kind of offers he was counting on. The best offer out there is thought to be from the Washington Nationals, though nobody seems to have a clue what it is. The Orioles are believed to have offered a seven-year deal worth up to $150 million, and the Angels have announced that they've made an eight-year offer. The Angels have not revealed their bid, but a baseball exec I talked to earlier today thinks that -- at best -- the total value is only slightly more than $160 million.
Local bad economic news: If you doubt that baseball teams are going to feel the effects of the economic downturn, I'm hearing that the Orioles recently notified game-day employees that they are downsizing their stadium staff for the upcoming season and will need many of them only for the higher-attendance games.