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December 10, 2008

Orioles in on Teixeira, but...

texgetty.jpgNo one should be surprised that speculation about Mark Teixeira (right) has heated up considerably in the wake of the news that the Yankees have agreed to terms on a seven-year, $161 million with free agent pitcher C.C. Sabathia, but I think it is taking on a life of its own.

Here's what we think we know. Orioles beat writer Jeff Zrebiec was told by a source that the Orioles did meet with agent Scott Boras last night and it appears that the club made a proposal for Teixeira. But an report that the Orioles are "apparently willing" to offer nine years for $180 million has been met with incredulity from O's officials. Maybe they will get to that point, but I'm hearing they aren't close to that yet.

We're guessing that they are closer to seven years at about $20 million per year, though that doesn't figure to get it done.

Keep in mind that it is in the interest of the player and the agent to have a giant number on the street, especially after Sabathia got an average of $23 million per year from the Yankees. Boras is a competitive guy, so you can bet he's going to try to beat that average salary, which probably doesn't bode well for Tex coming to Baltimore.

I guess it's appropriate that we're in Las Vegas, because the price of poker seems to have gone up.

Coming up on the program...maybe: There's some talk that Boras will make himself available to the media at 4 p.m. PST today, but that is unconfirmed.

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:40 PM | | Comments (34)
Categories: Just baseball



Doesn't it bother your Friday conscience that you're throwing such grandiose numbers around?

I know these ball players are private businessmen, so to speak, but how can we tolerate such exponentially consumptive salaries in these hard times?

Ya know, Pete, that we all pay these salaries in inflated goods sold by the sponsors of these teams, including banks that pay for the naming rights of stadiums.

Why don't you become the first sports writer to really speak out about these ridiculous salaries?

Pete's reply: I've been doing that since the average salary was $500,000.

1. Tex doesn't want to play on the West Coast.
2. Yankees are out.
3. PGA won't let the Nats outbid him.
4. Boston probably won't go as high as the O's/Nats since they are unsure about Lowell and have a young stud 1B in AA who absolutely killed the ball last year.

O's it is. You media types don't want to admit based solely on track record, but it's right there plain as day. Tex is an O.

Just in case you're wondering, to me a reasonable salary would be like a million or so for the top guys, like
A-Rod. For the rest? Back to salaries that may have been higher than the average worker, but within reason of what Joe the Plumber might bank after a hard day of laying pipes--or what a teacher might earn after dealing with the kids at a school.

9 years at $180 - not a bad offer for sure - 9 years at 23 mil is $207 - wow... Where will it end? 10 years at 23 million - 230 million - what about 24 million for 8 years for 192 million? The numbers blow me away...

Pete, the last laugh may be on the Yankees because it is my guess that Sabathia will eat himself out of the majors in two or three years. Seven years is ridiculous for any pitcher. If they also sign Burnett they will have a lot of money on the street while Burnett may have his arm in a sling. He has Ten years in the majors and only 87 wins, and he will be 32 years old in January. He is going to cash out, but not here, which is fine if you look at the long term.

I said months back in would take close to 25 million per year and at least a seven year deal to get Texeira, Nobody is worth that kind of money. I am satisfied where the Orioles are going with the rebuilding. One big free agent is not going to matter for another two or three years.

maybe boras got that LAtimes blogger to toss out some BS numbers to drive the price up.

Keep in mind that it is in the interest of the player and the agent to have a giant number on the street, especially after Sabathia got an average of $23 million per year from the Yankees. Boras is a competitive guy, so you can bet he's going to try to beat that average salary, which probably doesn't bode well for Tex coming to Baltimore.

If Boras is looking to get a $24M+ per year deal for Teixeira, his options become severely limited.

There are maybe four teams in the game that can afford that kind of contract: The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets and maybe the Tigers. Well...

-The Yankees just signed CC Sabathia for $23M per and they're going to sign Ben Sheets, A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe to fill out the rotation. Mark one of those guys down for another $15M per. The Yanks also already have Nick Swisher penciled in at first base, so they don't really need Tex, especiall for that price.

-The Red Sox have Kevin Youkilis at first base. If the Sox sign Tex, Youkilis would probably move to third and the Sox would trade Mike Lowell (if he's healthy). Since Theo Epstein is a disciple of Billy Beane's Moneyball (and since he's probably one of the smartest GM's) in the game, I don't see him coming close to touching $24M per for Tex. Epstein would probably sign/trade for a contingency plan at third base in case Lowell isn't ready to go and keep Youk at first.

-The Mets picked up Carlos Delgado's option for next year and are clearly focused on retooling their bullpen and then their starting rotation. Not a chance.

-The Tigers have Miguel Cabrera at first base for the foreseeable future and could probably benefit from cutting payroll a bit. Not a chance.

That leaves the Nationals and the Orioles. Given the history of the franchise in Baltimore, there's absolutely no way the O's will sign Tex if the price tag goes that high. I don't know much about the Nats, but I can't see how they justify paying one guy half of the team payroll.

So, in short, Boras probably will try to beat Sabathia's annual salary. But I'm not seeing how he's going to do it.

What happens to these incredibly high long-term contracts if the country really goes into a long-term economic tailspin? There are already clear signs that massive unemployment and underemployment are coming this way. If club income is cut in half (definitely within the realm of possibility) these contracts will be untenable, even in New York.

I heard the O's are going to offer 9 years at $220.O's were waiting on the Nats offer.

Pete's reply: If you heard that from Peter Angelos or Andy MacPhail, get back to me,

Hi Schmucker,
how do you rate Tex vs, Palmiero? A little more power, i assume? Both hit around .300 and flash good leather, correct?

Pete's reply: Even though Raffy hit a ton of homers, I think Tex is more of a classic power guy. Different eras, if you get my drift.

"9 years at $180 - not a bad offer for sure - 9 years at 23 mil is $207 - wow... Where will it end? 10 years at 23 million - 230 million - what about 24 million for 8 years for 192 million? The numbers blow me away..." - BirdsFan66

It's the mediocre guys salaries that blow me away:

Carlos Silva was entirely mediocre for his entire career, parlayed an entirely mediocre season into a four year deal and got paid $8.25M last year while putting up a 6.46 ERA

Our new 4th outfielder, Ryan Freel, played in 123 games over the last two years and hit .262 with no power while striking out three times as much as he walked. Over those two years, he got paid $5.3 million.

It's unbelievable that the MLB Players Union helps all these players get these ridiculous guaranteed contracts (not to mention no-trade clauses, opt-out clauses and player options) while workers who actually need unions have trouble getting good benefits and reasonable wage increases.

Everyone always talks about the salary cap, but I'm all for non-guaranteed contracts. If a player doesn't perform, he's done. It doesn't matter if he's in the first year or fourth year of a five year deal. If I signed on to work with a company and my performance slipped to the point where it was hurting business, I'd be fired in a heartbeat. It should be the same with baseball players.

The "Market" established salaries and that's the way it should be. How can you as an individual decide what someone is worth? Don't you think the team owners as a group bidding against each other are in a better position to do that? Does it bother you that Will Smith gets 40 million per film? Not me. He generates the revenue just like Sabatha, so he should get his cut. Would you pay to see the owners out there playing ball?

Pete's reply: I've said and written the same thing many times.

Thank you Dark Side for overpaying for Sabathia so that everyone else now has to overpay to even get noticed. I hate them.

One hundred eighty MILLION dollars, two hundred MILLION dollars.These numbers stagger the imagination. I mean exactly how much money is enough? Better yet, how much is "too much"? My mind just cannot absorb those kinds of numbers.

Open up the Vault for Teixeira, what the Orioles need is a Face for the Fans, We Love Brian, and Nick, and Luke but Teixeira shows the rest of the League that the Orioles are back and want to compete, bring him home Peter, if you sign him, they will come......

Hey, Commies, if you like outsiders (or the government) telling private enterprises what they can pay their top employees, you're going to love our next president.

stop complaining about player salaries and just watch the the games!! If you made that type of money you guys would not be complaining. If a man can earn his money honestly then more power to him.

So logiopath, you want the Yankees owners to just pocket another 175 Mil a year instead of paying players? You want Angelos to pocket another 50 Mil? Someone is going to get the money and for the most part I would rather it be the players.

Considering that revenue DOUBLED from 2000-2008 a real case can be made for payroll being too low in MLB.

While we're waiting on some solid news about Tex and the O's, I have to ask you Pete...

Have you had a chance to check out some of the finer establishments there in Vegas?

Pete's reply: Not really. I've been in the same hotel ballroom (media center) for about 20 hours a day.

if the orioles are prepared to do a 9 year deal at 180 million then i see tex signing here. if it is true that he wants to play on the east coast who else is going to pay that much? and apparently, angelos wants tex as badly as he's ever wanted a free agent. as stunning as it sounds i see tex signing here.

Pete's reply: They aren't anywhere near that number yet.

I always love hearing people complain about ballplayer's salaries and compare them to teachers or firefighters etc.

It's an argument that is emotionally easy to win.

Nobody would EVER argue that a ballplayer is more important than a teacher or firefighter...but thats not an apples to apples comparison.

Pro Athletes, Musicians, Movie Stars...bring in countless dollars from you and I in ticket sales, ad revenue, apparel etc.

These are revenues that teachers and firefighters don't bring in. So the market will always dictate that athletes/musicians etc are more valuable financially speaking.

So let's just curb that argument guys because in the O's case it's a "if we don't get free agents...we suck...if we do...we are overpaying for talent"...let's be happy the Orioles appear to be actually putting in effort this year.

C'MON if we get Tex this is's saying to us fans that we actually want to compete. Not make a half-a***d effort to sign free agents knowing they'll go elsewhere for more money. Maybe this time the O's are the "more money" destination!

Stop complaining about salaries and start complaining about not being able to get close enough seats to see Tex play first base next year because fans are actually coming back to the stadium.

obviously these numbers are mind boggling to us all. i am a college student who doesn't know what to do with 10 bucks other then to get a case of baltimore's finest natty boh. but if giving 200mil to tex is something mr angelos can afford, and will bring in more money for the Orioles franchise, thus helping it succeed, then so be it. Dish out the money

Dave Sheinin on Comcast says the O's and Nats are going to hold back their offers til the very end because they are very concerned Boras is just using them to get Bos and Ana to 200 mil. So don't believe any reports of actual offers being made by either team above 150 mil. Rosenthal on the other hand, says the Red Sox are extremely worried about the O's and Nats going all end since they don't want to go above 160 or 170 mil either and have the added headache of having to wait until mid Spring Training for Lowell to prove he's healthy so they can trade him. I still say the O's are the only team that can justify paying Tex 20 mil a year. He's not THAT good and he doesn't put a single butt in a seat in Bos,NY or Ana. Here he sells tix and gets people to buy advertising on MASN and gets people to actually watch that Wayne's World Network.

I had hoped the average salaries would finally start to drop to reflect the economy. Guess not.

The teams think they can throw this obscene money at players and then recoup it at the box office, etc., and they may be sorely mistaken.

No one has nearly as much disposable income for tickets, souvenirs, etc., and I would think slimmed-down, bailed-out corporations are not going to be throwing money at luxury suites like they did in the past.

So all this money goes out, and not as much comes in ... Will ownership take a financial bath down the road? What do you think, Pete??

Pete's reply: Maybe, but they don't ever look down the road. Right now, MLB is grossing $6.5 billion per year, so they are not hurting.

The O's have to be prepared to open the bank for Big Tex. You have to look at the money he will bring in not just from ticket sales, but endorsements and other streams of revenue. They have to reach over $200 million to get this deal done. I agree with Dan, Mr. Angelos will not allow Tex to slip away to the Nats he would never recover from that.

Thing is, I'd rather see the players making the money than the owners. The money is there. Someone is going to take it home. Who would you rather it go to?

logiopath: While that looks good on paper and all it would actually be a bad thing in reality. B/c you think that if players salaries went down then price of tickets, jersey's ect go down and you have more money in your pocket, if that happens and this country loses a couple hundred millionaires over night then we are all screwed. It would actually put less money in our pockets not more. The top 1% of this country pay for 25-30% of this country every year in taxes. Sabathia will pay over $9 million next year, how do you make up that difference? I don't think we are suddently gonna be spending less on schools, military, goverment service jobs ect.

I say do it. He's going to be a bargain at that price in about 5 years and It would be nice to talk about multiple HoFers in the next couple of Decades going in as O's Tex among them.

logiopath - I understand your thought process, but, economically it makes no sense. The fact is, teachers and plumbers don't bring in the amazing amounts of revenue that the baseball industry does. Pair that with the fact that it's much harder to hit a 90 mph fastball than it is to teach a 2nd grader or install a new sink and you have a great disparity in salary. A couple things - first, it shows how advanced a society is (e.g. our basic needs are met) when we pay our entertainers as much as we do (ever complain about what a guy like Will Smith makes per movie?). Second, if the players didn't make the huge salaries, you'd rather have the owners pocket the extra $$$?

In a perfect society, yes, teachers/plumbers would make more money, but it's just basic economic law that the major players in an industry that makes huge dollars would get paid more.

logiopath - you're crazy. baseball operates under a supply and demand system like any other profession in the world. people love watching baseball and are willing to pay $30 for a jersey, $50 for a ticket, etc. etc. players are paid for their performance on the field, sure, but they're also paid for things like merchandising, season ticket sales, a share of the team's media and sponsorship deals, etc.

if Mark Teixeira playing 1B for the Orioles instead of Kevin Millar nets the Orioles a multi-million dollar profit every year in those areas, does he not deserve the extra money? as long as we, the consumers, are willing to pay (collectively) millions and millions of dollars for this product, the employees (i.e. the players) will benefit hugely. the fault rests solely on the owners willing to put up these numbers and the fans willing to pay these huge costs. it's not Mark Teixeira's fault that he has worked his entire life to become an excellent baseball player and tries to get the maximum monetary compensation for his work.

Angelos promised O's fans that he would open his checkbook to get Teixeira, that's why he kept Millar. If he doesn't keep his promise on this, and doesn't pay the money, then I hope the Baltimore media (and fans) throw him under the bus... hard!!!!

You ever notice that people never whine about actor or musicians salaries? I never hear well Mike Myers got 18 million for The Love Guru what are they thinking? The Wiggles get 35 million a year to act like children that is outragious!! I do wish baseball would goto the non guaranteed contracts.

The O's will not sign Teixiera. They need pitching. They should go after a guy like Derek Lowe or Ben Sheets. They have a proven track record and won't break the bank. And guess what else......they get people out. I'm not going to mention Daniel Cabrera's name in my response. I'm not going to say that he walks more people than Moses led out of Egypt.

You gotta look at the revenue these players generate for owners...and whose to blame for the high salaries? You, me, anyone who pays high ticket prices or watches on tv to help the ratings. Stop going and watching and the salaries will come down. If the Os are good, Camden will fill up at average of $40 a seat? times 45000? 1.8 million/game times 81? You just paid Tex's salary in 10 games. A couple of sponsorships take care of the Markakis extension, etc. Its supply and demand...the agents demand it and the owners supply it because people keep laying down the money to go or taking the time to watch. What are players supposed to say? "No thanks that's way too much...make it 7 years/12 million and give the rest to charity. Not happening. The Os want Tex? The intitial offer is enough to let them know they're serious. The Os have to know its gonna cost a lot more than that. Remember when Kirby Puckett was the first $3m/yr player? At least I think it was him...he was worth every penny. Tex will sell enough T-shirts by Christmas '09 to make a lot of the salary back.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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