baltimoresun.com

« O's will introduce Izturis today (updated) | Main | Could O's, Nats trade non-tenders? »

December 16, 2008

Teixeira speculation: Fasten your seat belts

The Mark Teixeira rumor mill is ramping up, as evidenced by the report this morning by ESPN's Karl Ravech that Tex might be leaning back toward his hometown team. Everybody around here hopes that is true, of course, but I'm not going to take you on another emotional roller coaster ride like last week.

The same dynamic remains at work. Teixeira reportedly wants to make a decision by Christmas, so you're going to see speculation increase by the day until he does, but remember one thing: Until he signs, any of the four or five teams believed to be involved can step in and up the ante.

I would never impugn ESPN's credibility. The World Wide Leader does a great job and I'm a big fan, but I found it interesting that Ravech's report was promoted prominently on the ESPN.com baseball page, but I couldn't find a word written by any of ESPN's great reporters (Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, Jayson Stark, Keith Law) backing the headline.

Though I still think the odds of Teixeira coming home are long, it's important to remember that he and agent Scott Boras are the only ones who really know how he has ordered his priorities. If playing here is the most important thing, the O's are probably close enough to get something done. If it's more about winning and money, forget it. If it's only about money, then Mark's supposed Christmas deadline doesn't really mean a thing, but I'll be on high alert Thursday and Friday nonetheless.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:50 PM | | Comments (90)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

I just don't get it. A quote from a source says that him wanting to come home basically cancels out his desire to win and you still label them a long shot. Unbelievable. I just don't see how their chances are worse than anyone elses?

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Well, good. I hope you're right.

Peter, since you think Tex is a long shot, what are the chances that Patches O'houlihan coming over to play first?

Pete-

After CC signed with NY choosing money over every other preference he had indicated, I had about given up hope that any players remained who would still take less money/years to go somewhere they really wanted to go. However, after Furcal signing with Atlanta for 1 year and $10 million less, how do you think this affects the Teixeira deal if at all? Do you think it will put the idea back in his head if it wasn't already? Or possibly reinforce what he was already thinking? Or is hope causing us to overthink this like the fat kid in high school who just had the cheerleader smile his way briefly?


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't think anything affects a Scott Boras negotiation unless Scott wants it to.

Why do you assert this?
"Though I still think the odds of Teixeira coming home are long, it's important to remember that he and agent Scott Boras are the only ones who really know how he has ordered his priorities."
I ask because this is all fans hear from every baseball pundit. Have you talked to Teixeira? Boras? Or is your opinion based on recent history and simply talking to AM, who isn't an outburst of information?


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Of course I think this, but I used the word "think" because I don't know and nobody else does either. Teixeira has said absolutely nothing of substance and neither has Boras. So, what else could I or anybody else say with any certainty. I know people want me and others to jump on the bandwagoin the minute somebody claims that Tex is sitting in Peter Angelos' suite at the Ravens game, but somebody has to point out that Peter doesn't have a suite at M&T Bank Stadium and that it's possible Tex either isn't there or just went as a fan. Not my job to give credence to every rumor. It is my job to shoot them down if they aren't true, even if my readers really, really want them to be true.

Pete...is anyone from the O's past helping out here? Tex has already said that Ripken was an idol of his...has the organization asked Rip or any other member of the great teams of the 80's and 90's to make a call?

He's going to Boston. He will still get to play home games here when the Red Sox are in town, accompanied by the miserable egg sucking cretins disguised as Red Sox fans.

Thanks for the update, Peter! Thanks to the internet, this NJ Orioles fan can keep up like a Bawlmor local!

I am so hoping we get Teixeira...a switch hitting first basemen with power and a great glove could go along way towards making me forgive the O's for trading Eddie Murray. I know! I know! I shouldn't get my hopes up...but Mark, BABY! If you're out there reading this...I know the O's won't win today, and maybe not tomorrow, but they will soon and for the rest of your baseball life! THIS COULD BE THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP, MARK!

ml

Gil,

I don't know why he would go to Boston unless money was his priority.

I think the two strongest bets are the Angels and the Orioles. If it was money, then he probably would've made it clear that he was going to the highest bidder. The way it stands now, it seems like he's trying to determine whether winning or playing in his hometown is more important. And THAT might come down to money.

I want to respond to your reply:
Pete's reply: Of course I think this, but I used the word "think" because I don't know and nobody else does either. Teixeira has said absolutely nothing of substance and neither has Boras. So, what else could I or anybody else say with any certainty. I know people want me and others to jump on the bandwagoin the minute somebody claims that Tex is sitting in Peter Angelos' suite at the Ravens game, but somebody has to point out that Peter doesn't have a suite at M&T Bank Stadium and that it's possible Tex either isn't there or just went as a fan. Not my job to give credence to every rumor. It is my job to shoot them down if they aren't true, even if my readers really, really want them to be true.

I think you're conflating two different issues. You and Roch did a great job on Sunday covering that rumor, but that's different from the manner in which everyone depicts the prospects of Teixeira signing with the O's. I know you're not a native, but it seems like you've adopted the baltimorons' habit of looking down on ourselves. My point is this, if you and no one else knows, why always depict it as a long shot? You use the word "think", but as a reader, I have to trust that you know more than I do, because you have access. Well, if you don't actually know more, than why are you pessimistic, and I'm optimistic? Wouldn't it be better for you and the other reporters, or commentators, to portray it in a light that isn't hopeless, or imminent?
Oh well, thanks for responding. That's why I like this format. Thank you


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I guess I have to weigh my experience covering this kind of negotiation and evaluating the parties based on my instincts. I also saw how disappointed everyone got last week when there was some outsized speculation about the O's first offer. If I thought it was 50-50 I would be very positive about it, but I don't think it's close to that. I certainly hope I'm wrong.

The whole process of Tex is taking shape. Now that the Angels and Red Sox have put more in their bid. Will Peter the Great up his money? Do or will the Yankees come to the poker table strong, with the new stadium opeining up how much money do they have.

Pete, for the record I don't understand why you get jumped on for not living in Never-never land, and proclaiming that Tex is coming here for sure when you here specualtion or a crazy rumor that he is. You and Roch (now on masn sports) do a great job. That being said, besides the drama that is the Teixeira negotiations, what's going on with our pitching situation? Any new names being floated around?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Not much of anything. I think Tex is blocking out the sun right now.

The whole process of Tex is taking shape. Now that the Angels and Red Sox have put more in their bid. Will Peter the Great up his money? Do or will the Yankees come to the poker table strong, with the new stadium opeining up how much money do they have.

I do not understand why Boras is perceived as having so much sway. Mark is his own man and will make the decision. It is not "all about money" because Boras is involved. He may control the pace of the negotiations, but Mark will make the final call. Here is betting that the St. Joe boy comes home.

Pete...Do you see the Orioles upping their offer if needed to persuade Tex to come to Baltimore?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Yes, I believe the Orioles will be heard from one more time.

Please take Buster Olney down off your list of ESPN's great reporters. He used to be one of my favorite reporters too until yesterday when he stated that the Orioles and Nats had no business being in the Teixeira bidding. He basically stated that only competitive teams should sign the best players and that the rebuilding teams shouldn't try to improve themselves through free agency. The only thing I can hope is that he, as a former writer for the Baltimore Sun, was using reverse psychology to entice Teixeira to sign with us. I thought his article was pure "lunacy".

We have a great chance to get him…

Beyond the cash, there were logical arguments you could sell him on…

A) Oriole Park @ Camden Yards… …
B) One of the best RF’s in baseball….
C) One of the best defensive CF’s in baseball, with pop…
D) One of the best Catcher’s in baseball…
E) Depth in quality arms with Guthrie, Olson, Albers, Ray, Johnson, Liz, Penn, Bergesen, Hernandez, Tillman, Berken, Arrieta, Matusz, Patton, Spoone, Erbe, Butler etc.
F) Upcoming payroll flexibility.
G) Expected production at DH and LF with Scott and Reimold..
H) With Baltimore, he can expect life-time endorsement deals…

Ultimately, an 8-10 year contract is not about 2009 alone….. And a core of Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman is as good as any to join going forward

Peter,

Forget Texiera. I want to know where you got that shirt in your photo.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: If you want that info, you'll have to email me. I don't give it out to just anybody.

This really is a roller coaster! Pete, some of us appreciate that you arent becoming wildly enthusiastic or completely pessimistic. You are doing your job as a journalist (when's the last time you've been called that) and reporting facts, while identifying rumors. All we want is information and you are doing your job. Once a decision is final by Tex, we will want your opinion one way or the other.

Everyone needs to calm down.... Pete is right, this is all spectulation. No one has any idea where Mark's priorities line up, I don't think Scott Boras knows for sure. If his #1 priority is to come home, then it's the O's and Nats. The O's would stand the best chance because the Nats are further behind as far as winning is concern. The O's need to up the deal: $180 million over 8 years, opt out after 4 years. Do that and signing him won't be a problem, "IF" he wants to come home.... PS - Cal Ripken, make a phone call do some recruiting for a change, jeeze............!!!!

Gil Jr - glad to know you are the almighty and already know where he is going, why didn't you tell us sooner.

Geez, have faith.

Pete - do you know if the FO has Dunn on the radar at all as a backup plan? Or is Hinske more likely?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Surprisingly, I haven't heard Dunn mentioned, but that doesn't mean they aren't considering him.

Hey, it's nice to hear different theories where Tex is heading but it's all speculation at this point. You can put whatever spin you want on it, including the standard-it's all King Peter's fault but personally, I feel Boras is trying to create this massive market that may not be there.
How amny teams can afford to pay 160-200 mill for one player? The fact that the O's & Nationals are included in the 'Final 4' is a stretch because neither team meets Tex's supposed criteria of a winning team any time soon. That leaves only 2 bona-fide suitors the Angels and RedSox. I'm sure the Angels are a little gun shy having foolishly over-paid for Gary Matthews, Jr and to a lesser extend-Hunter. The RedSox don't really need another bat because if Lowell is healthy, where's Youklis going to play? I'd love to see greed set in and Tex sits by his phone over the Xmas holidays. Maybe reality will set in and teams will come to their senses and the bar will lower for say 5 yrs/90 mill. Of course, the Union will then cry collusion!

The timing of the "rate MacPhail" poll is ironic. It would be interesting to see the result now vs. after Tex signs, be it with the O's or elsewhere. I'm sure the change will be precipitous one way or the other.

I heard that Angelos is preparing to sell the org to a Ripken led investment team which includes Biscotti, UnderArmor, Michael Phelps & Geppi Nuts...any truth to that?

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Now, quit teasing my readers. No, I haven't heard that.

Peter-
Can you shed some light on the rumor trail leading back to the source that asserts Mark is leaning toward Baltimore? In other words, how close to the ultimate source can we trace this?

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: For all I know, Karl Ravech and Tex talk every day. It could be very good info or it could be a stretch. I really have no idea.

hey Pete,
if Tex doesn't sign, do you think we will see Millar in an O's uniform? I know his average wasn't high, but he still drove in 70 runs last year with a decent, as compared to his batting average, on base percentage. I think he is also better defensively than Huff.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I'd like to see Kevin back, but my gut says no.

Peter,

If Tex signs, what effect will this have on Markakis on a personal level? If Tex signs, I would think he would instantly become the face of the franchise for a variety of reasons (hometown, salary, etc.). From your experience, does Markakis want to be THE GUY on a team, and would this move offend him in any way? Maybe this is a silly thought, but I'd like to hear your insight on whether there's enough Oriole love to go around.


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I think Tex signing here would help with Brian Roberts, but don't think it would affect Markakis at all. I think he'd be thrilled to have that guy hitting behind him.

Get that nine-year, $192 million offer on the table. For three years I've read fans comments about getting Tex in his free agent year. He's only going to be available once, get moving! We've shed payroll, so it's affordable. Give us O's fans a great Xmas present.

Pete I wouldn't put much stock in anything ESPN says now a days. They get used left and right by the teams and the agents. And if they mention Boston or New York to these ESPN guys its a story that gets 10 minutes on Sportscenter. Not the best place I look to for info on local teams.

Peter

This is typical Boras - it is all quiet and then a littl tid-bit like this shows up to get the pot boiling again!

People seem to forget that Tex is not some average dude, who is all about the money. If you paid attention he has made alot of money already. Maybe playing close to home with his family and wife close by is a factor. Maybe the fact that he loves the O's and Cal Ripken is a factor. He roots for the O's when he isn't playing.Just a hunch.Should be wrapped up by the end of the week.

Do you think he is still miffed at the Sox - see interview from 2006 - impacting his decision...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/features/261292.html

Pete,

The real question is if Teixeira is coming back to Baltimore for Christmas. If he is, wouldn't he want to come back as a newly signed Orioles, instead of as a Red Sock?

I think a lot of us fans are trying to put ourselves into Teixeira's shoes, and wondering where we would play if given $20+ million. I'd have a tough time with it, to be honest, and I'm a diehard Orioles fan. The Red Sox are built for the long haul, have great pitching and great hitting. However, the pull of the Orioles would still be big, especially if I had family there. The chance to play at Camden Yards half the year, and hit in an up&coming lineup with Wieters, Markakis, Jones, and Roberts would be tantalizing. We'd have a very good defensive team, and a pretty good offensive team too, with young pitchers on the way. The chance to bring my favorite team and the fans of Baltimore another pennant and be close to family would win out over playing in Boston (for me).

Maybe it's just a pipedream, but I'd love to see him in a B-more uni.

Hang in there Pete, keep reporting your opinion. That's why we read the blog. I, however, think the O's have the best shot to get Max. They are offering roughly the same amount per year as any other team, so I think Pete will take it if they are equal yearly. I also think he'd want a shorter deal in the hopes that he can get to Free Agency again. 6 years puts him at 34 coming off of what we hope some monster years for the birds.

The way I see it, Tex has the following options:

1) Sign with Boston/New York - make alot of money -probably win a championship or two - be remembered in Boston as a nice player, but not an all-time great.

2) Sign with Baltimore - make alot of money - and if lucky enough to win a championship, be remembered as an all-time great Oriole beside Cal, Brooks, Frank, Palmer, etc.

Either way, he makes alot of money.

I want to see some PITCHING!!

When will we get some decent PITCHERS????

As much as I want to believe that Tex will come here, I have a strong feeling that the recent rumors of Tex leaning towards Baltimore have been planted to raise the offers of the teams that are actually willing and able to blow the roof off. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but what good does it do Boras or Teixeira financially to have a rumor that says they're leaning towards the Red Sox? If the Sox believe they've got him with their current offer, there's no reason for them to offer more.

The biggest O's hater there is now has sources telling him Tex will be an O

http://wnst.net/wordpress/drewforrester/2008/12/16/im-hearing-os-think-theyre-getting-tex

This is the same source he used to confirm Baltimore back on the jersey's weeks before anyone else.

Let's hope he realizes that Boston is a crazy place to play. You can be the hero one day (ala Roger and Manny) and the scapegoat the next day. Boston Talk Radio is the King of Arrogance and they will browbeat and denigrate anyone and everyone. God forbid a fan disagree with them as they cut them off and then mock them. That's what Tex would find in Boston. It drove Roger away, Manny away and Damon away. You can't please Boston fans. Come home Mark. There not going to have a Mt. St. Joe Day for you in Boston.

I hate to be wrong. That being said, Texiera is signing with Baltimore. In these depressing and dreary economic times as Christmas fast approaches, somebody has to finally do the right thing and restore faith in the faithful, and in the process break the vicious cycle that keeps any serious free agent from coming to Baltimore and instead going to the two-headed monster called Boston-New York, and that makes resigning great players a lost cause. Angelos is due to shed the grinch mantle and provide a miracle to Orioles fans. Texiera is who Baltimore wants for Christmas, and I think he wants to come home and be the guy that gets the party started.

This happens every year, a big name FA uses the Orioles to get bigger bucks from another team. As much as all the fans want Tex, he will bolt to Boston and compete against the Yankees.
As for anyone from the past helping to get him here. Well you can forget that because as long as Peter Angelos owns this team, the isn't going to be any help.

I don't know the entire context of the questions asked to Teixeira, but in an SI article (maybe about 2 years ago) he was quoted as saying playing for the Orioles would be a dream come true. I don't know Teixeira personally to know how sincere he is, but now that the Orioles are showing strong interest in signing him... if he is sincere, I don't see why he wouldn't accept the Orioles offer? Or at least attempt to work with McPhail and do everything possible to get something done that both sides feel is fair.

Stoke the fires of uncertainity and the fans will flock to the blogs. You have learned well grasshopper.

We need a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

Oh, contrare. The birds are also in dire need of depth at the position of belly itcher, and I think they could get a good one for the change left over in Pete's other pants after he forks over the eleven gazilliondy jillion dollars to Teixeira. Is Patches O'Houlihan willing to switch positions?

Oy vey!! After reading the comments, an exasperated expression from my Jewish heritage.

Peter,

Do you really want the Orioles to lock up 7-10 years and $140-200M in one player? I am a lifelong fan of the team, I think he's a great player, hell I even share a birthday with the guy; but I'm not sure I can convince myself of this one.

Personally, I just feel that there are bigger priorities. Shoring up the defense up the middle was important. They could stand to lock up Markakis and Roberts, and soon enough they're going to have to commit a huge chunk of change to Wieters as well. And God forbid that a starter or two may emerge over the next few years that they would have to lock up. All of those things could probably squeeze into the same budget as Tex. (Might I also mention that whereas Tex is a first baseman that maybe we'll never have, Wieters plays possibly the most important position on the field and we already have him.)

I have no idea what Peter's checkbook balance is, but I'd be surprised to find out there is enough in there for him to commit both to Tex and all those other things I mentioned. Thoughts?


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I think he can probably do whatever he wants, but he wants to project a fiscally prudent image to the other owners.

pete, let me ask would you pay the
$$$'s needed to sign tex...as a home-
town player???? or would you spend those $$$'s building your organization
for the future??? i would appreciate your comments.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I think they can afford to do both.

Pete,

I don't for a minute believe that Tex is the answer to all of our problems. Lord knows we have holes elsewhere, particularly and glaringly the starting rotation. So I'm not too homeristic or blind to think that not signing Tex is the end of the world. With one exception....

Given the repeated missteps this organization has made (the last year not withstanding), if we lose Tex to the Nationals, there is absolutely no excuse. The Red Sox or some of the other heavy weights are one thing, but him going to the Gnats instead of the O's, REGARDLESS of the contract amount, would be completely unacceptable.

I know that the Gnats aren't the front-runners, but I've also heard that they're willing to up the ante with counter-offers, should Tex hesitate. If he ends up signing with them, I WILL NOT attend another Orioles game. My yearly game attendance has already been dropping....a scenario such as above would ensure that I never step foot in OPACY again.

I think he actually could sign with the Os. They could offer him 8 yrs at $200 million with an option for him to go back on the market after 3 yrs at HIS discretion. If the Os continue to be a lower level team, he can bail.

But if the Os begin to do well, he could then become at least as big in Os lore as the Robinsons, Rip, et al in that he might be the magnet the gives the Os credibility to land some other free agents either this yr or next. He could be remembered for posterity as the guy who brought the Os back to respectability. In that regard, he could be well worth the $$$ and he would have more than $$$ coming his way in terms of his stature in the game, if only in Baltimore.


............................................................................................
Pete's reply: You cannot commit that kind of guarantee and then give him a three-year opt out. That leaves you vulnerable to him making $75 million and walking just when you are getting where you want to go. If you're going to pay him that kind of money this year and next, he has to stay around for the salad years, if there are any. I can see a six-year opt out, but not three.

As far as competing goes, signing Tex isn't about next year or 2010. It's all about 2011 and beyond:

c - Matt Wieters (25)
1b - Mark Teixeira (31)
2b - Brian Roberts (33)
3b - Billy Rowell (22)
ss - FA
lf - Nolan Reimold (27)
cf - Adam Jones (26)
rf - Nick Markakis (27)
dh - FA

1. Brian Matusz (24)
2. Chris Tillman (23)
3. Jeremy Guthrie (32)
4. Jake Arrieta (25)
5. Brad Bergeson (26)

Setup: Kam Mickolio (27)
Closer: Chris Ray (29)

I know that involves a lot of guys panning out, especially in the rotation, but I like that team a lot even before a couple of free agents in the ss and dh holes.

If the O's have approx. $160M to spend over the next 7-8 years, can they please use it to fill their starting rotation? Tex is a GREAT player, but unless he can pitch every 5th day, it won't matter how many HR's & RBI's he has. As much as we all like Guthrie, he's not even a bona fide #1 starter, unless you pitch for Baltimore. The plan was to be "competitive" by 2010. Unless the pitching staff has MAJOR upgrades, 2010 is a pipe dream...with or without Tex.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: That makes sense, but in today's market, that $20 million per year gets you two so-so veteran starting pitchers. I'd rather have the big bat who is a lock for 40 homers and 120 RBI and let the young guys grow into the rotation.

If this isn't a Borass stunt, I think I might get some season tickets.

As much as the O's need Starting pitching, I think this free agent hitter is a safer bet. Trade for young SP's and hone your young pitching talent is the way to go, free agent pitching rarely works out. Too many miles on the arm from that contract season.

CSN just reported that Boston has just made a "HUGE" offer to TEx. No financial terms but it sounds big.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: There has been an 8-year, $200 million rumor floating around all day. Don't know if it's true.

Are you simpletons down there in BALT. or what? "Keep your fingers crossed". Aren't you suppose to be an impartial observer of the O's? So, if Teixeira who has lost in TEX., he's lost in ATL. and he has lost in LA. IF Teixeira wants to win and make money comparable to what a player of his caliber deserves? He'll go to Boston. If he wants to loose, he'll go home to WASH. or BALT. If he's smart, he'd pick WASH over BALT. BALT is a dis-functional club that's held hostage by a crazy owner who doesn't let the people he has hired do their jobs! I just hope he makes up his mind soon! This is getting stupid!


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Whether we are simpletons or not is a matter of opinion, but I'm writing a blog for Baltimore sports fans and they want Teixeira, so I don't see anything wrong with telling them to keep their fingers crossed. I'm also a columnist, so I'm allowed to have opinions.

Heard that Tex was also the ref in disquise that blew the call Sunday at the Ravens game

The Orioles Are Gonna Get Tex!!!!!! I cant wait to see him hitting bombs onto the Flag Court!!

Tex, at Boras' prompting, is leveraging the O's against the BoSox. He has NO intention of signing with Baltimore. But Tex will enable his agent to send such signals out there so that the buzz in B-more gets another couple million out of Boston before signing there. It is sick, really. Boras will get a whole cities hopes high, just so his client can do what he was going to do all along - sign with Boston - but for a few million more. I'm a Red Sox fan and even I think this is manipulative, cruel, and unfair for almost every team in baseball. We desperately need a salary cap.

C'Mon Tex, we need you more than Boston does. They will spit you out. I have not even asked my wife for anythnig for Christmas---just sign with us---Prove to me there really is a Santa Claus.

I agree the Orioles clearly won't contend this year or even next year. But, I don't think the O's are as far away as most people think. They currently have 3 starting pitchers ranked in the top 50 prospects in all of baseball in Chris Tilman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta. - not to mention other up-and-comers like Brad Bergesen and David Hernandez. So for people clamoring for the team to spend big bucks on pitching - it doesn't make sense, especially when you consider there's no pitcher out there worth signing to big bucks. Switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters will be in the bigs sometime this year - he's the 2nd ranked prospect in baseball behind only David Price of the Rays. If you throw these guys into the mix with young players like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones and veteran players like Aubrey Huff, Brian Roberts, Cesar Itzturis, Luke Scott, and someone like Mark Teixeira - you've got the recipe for something special. If it's an 8 year contract Tex signs - it won't necessarily matter that the O's are two or three years from contending. I hope Tex looks at it like this, "I can just go be another piece of a puzzle in Boston" or "I can go home to MY team and put them back on the map." - although the latter likely will not happen. (my fingers are crossed though)

I agree the Orioles clearly won't contend this year or even next year. But, I don't think the O's are as far away as most people think. They currently have 3 starting pitchers ranked in the top 50 prospects in all of baseball in Chris Tilman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta. - not to mention other up-and-comers like Brad Bergesen and David Hernandez. So for people clamoring for the team to spend big bucks on pitching - it doesn't make sense, especially when you consider there's no pitcher out there worth signing to big bucks. Switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters will be in the bigs sometime this year - he's the 2nd ranked prospect in baseball behind only David Price of the Rays. If you throw these guys into the mix with young players like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones and veteran players like Aubrey Huff, Brian Roberts, Cesar Itzturis, Luke Scott, and someone like Mark Teixeira - you've got the recipe for something special. If it's an 8 year contract Tex signs - it won't necessarily matter that the O's are two or three years from contending. I hope Tex looks at it like this, "I can just go be another piece of a puzzle in Boston" or "I can go home to MY team and put them back on the map." - although the latter likely will not happen. (my fingers are crossed though)

I am an Orioles fan- I even had season tickets until 2 seasons ago when I moved and it was too much of a hassle to drive to Baltimore to watch the sadness. I have been reading the responses and I am somewhat conflicted. First of all I think he is a better fit in Boston because they are proven and ready to win. This talk of he would just be a nice player in Boston is crazy talk. If the stats are there he would be one of the greats, just like if he put up the stats here. Secondly, we shouldnt be saying Weiters and the young pitchers we have are going to be sure fire stars. I hope it is the case but dont just assume and discount what other teams have (i.e. Red Sox, Rays). The Orioles had also better count Tex as a part of a team and be willing to raise payroll. Tex will be getting a big chunk of money and we cant sit around and say "well we have to pay this guy 18m so we cant afford this..." The Orioles are also at least 2-3 years away from being a possible contender. The pitching staff is pretty bad. In a division that has the Red Sox that have won 2 world series since 2004 and played in the ALCS last year, the Rays who are the defending AL champs, the Yankees must always be considered a favorite to make the playoffs at least. Where do you see the Orioles fitting? If he wants money and to be close to home by all means sign here! But I just get screams of A-Rod in Texas. If he wants a legitimate chance to win it has to be Boston or possibly Anaheim at least in this point of his career. That is the truth and we all know it...

I read the article by Buster Olney about how the O's and Nats should back out of the Teixera derby and it really made a lit of sense. At best for the first two years we'd have an A-Rod-in-Texas-type situation, and at worse we'd be stuck with a Kevin-Brown-in-LA situation for a long time. I'm perfectly fine with waiting another two years and signing whatever big bat is on the market then rather than spend all our money now.

How big of input does the Player Union have on a player's decision? The Union could sway Tex to pick the more profitable choice, a choice that may not be his number 1.

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I think that's overblown. If Tex offered to sign for five years for $25 million total, they might give him a call, but they don't need to tell Scott Boras to act in his client's and the union's best interests. If Tex wants to take a couple million per year less to go to Baltimore, I don't think the union would bat an eye.

I'm one Oriole fan that doesn't believe the money will be the deciding factor. Lets face it, you can't buy anymore with 21 million than you can with 20 million X 8 yr.= 160 million...WOW ! That being said, you have to choose between winning instantly ( which still doesn't guarantee a World Series.) or come home and play before your family with your favorite childhood team. I personally would pick the latter. Here's hoping Tex does too!!

Boston fan chiming in:

I'd really like to see Mark Teixeria in a Boston uni, personally. I do take offense to the comment bashing Red Sox fans that I saw while reading the comments here, every team has fans that are jerks, we have a wide base so we have a lot of them, I'm sure there are many terrible O's fans out there, but you don't hear from them because of the number difference in attendance.

Regardless, if your hometown get to have Teixeria, he has made the right choice in my mind, I'd love to play up here in my hometown and I feel that all the teams should have a few hometown heroes. I think that family should come before anything, he's doing something he loves and getting paid for it, just be happy for him no matter where he signs I'm sure he'll show his appreciation to his home regardless in some way. Good Luck

Rhetorical question: What is the difference between 160 million or 195 million? Is all that money really going to be spent in a lifetime? OK - two rhetorical questions.

Mark, it's a ton of money any place you decide to call "home". Just think about where "home" is - yes, that's right, it is OPACY and legions of O's fans placing you with Brooks, Cal, Unitas, Frank, Earl, Boog, and yes, Belanger. Happy Holidays all.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I've asked that question many times, but the answer is this: That additional $35 million is a lot more important to the guy getting 5 percent of it than it probably is to the player, though there is some ego involved, too.

I am from Boston and a Red Sox fan. To tell you the truth, I hope Mark, the second coming of Babe Ruth, Texeira DOES go to Baltimore. I don't want Mikey Lowell to leave AND I don't want the Red Sox to give into the devil Scott Boras.

Winning is not about which player team can pay the most or which player gets PAID the most. It is about grit, heart and talent. See Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkliss and yes, Mikey Lowell.


............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I couldn't agree with you more about Lowell. I've been a big fan since he was in Florida. The O's had a chance to get him as a throw-in before the Red Sox and passed because of his hip situation. Would have been a nice addition.

To Jason, while sure, Teixeira would LOVE to head home to Baltimore, Pete is right, the desire to win cancels out the desire to play for his home team.

Boston is barely an hour flight to Baltimore, and about a 3-4 hour flight to Atlanta, (home of Tex's wife).

You know the Sox are gonna through every bell and whistle into their offer to entice Tex to the Back Bay.

What it all boils down to, Tex is a competitor who just got a taste of the playoffs, and no offense, but I think you can admit, even WITH Tex, the O's would be lucky to go .500 in the toughest division in baseball. Sure, he might attract other talent to head to Baltimore, but still, you have to admit, the O's have some tough competition in Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay.

I think Tex will be calling Yawkee Way his new home by the end of the week...

What most of us don't realize, those of us who have never made more than $50,000 or $60,000 per YEAR (much less per at bat), is what was said by John D. Rockefellar some time in the early part of the last century. When, as the world's richest man at the time, he was asked, "How much money is enough," he replied, simply enough, "Just a little more than you've got right now." While many of the bloggers here are right that there isn't much you can buy with $180 million that you can't buy with $160 mil, for Tex and others in that world, it isn't so much about the money, but what the money represents: "I'm better than he is, I want more money than he gets." In our society, most of us are measured, rightly or wrongly, by how much dinero we make, and the great bulk of us guage our own worth to the world that way, too.

That said, sign Tex, Mr. A.

He is playing with my heart at this point. I keep getting pumped with reports that he is leaning toward Baltimore, just to hear an hour later the opposite.


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Tex is doing nothing of the kind. The roller coaster of speculation is coming from an overzealous media.

Michael B - If you are Red Sox fan , why do you waste your time on O's blogs , or even the Yankees or other teams' blogs ?
What ? There are no Red Sox blogs in Boston?
Oh , as O's fan , I do take offense when your fellow Red Sox fans come in here and made some unflattering comments about my team .

Tex will sign with the Orioles very soon . I think he's made his mind up and to satisfy his family he'll soon be an Oriole . The money we're talking about here is like the national debt and being the type of person he is he'll settle for a lot less just to be in front of his home crowd and family . He's a great person and ball player and he'll be a blessing on this team .

I guess the reasons I am hopeful are because of the speculation for years that he wants to play for his hometown team and the fact that this would be the only opportunity for him to do so. If it's true that he wants/wanted to play for the Orioles at some point, now is his only opportunity. Your are correct about Boras, he has an incredible ego and in HIS perfect world, Teixeira would sign for the absolute highest bidder, stuff the max amount of dollars into his wallet, and further affirm his status as a big payday agent. But wouldn't Boras be taking this exact same approach if Tex intentions were to sign in Baltimore this whole time? Wouldn't that be kept on the absolute down low while he kept enticing the maximum amount of teams to keep offering their maximum amount of dollars? Wouldn't he be doing his job as Tex's agent to keep the maximum level of doubt in Macphail/Angelos minds in order to have the Orioles bid against teams that he has no intention of playing for? That way, Boras looks good to future clients, Tex get's paid a kings ransom while going to his desired destination, and the Orioles get played, but get their man, instant credibility, and fans' butts in seats.

I am not an expert in these things, but I suppose that an offer to a player would be based on perceived value and projected resources, as well as the perceived value of the next best option (either currently existing or soon to exist).

I assume that Boston has superior resources, but they probably also have superior current obligations.

I find it hard to believe that Tex is of greater value to Boston than he would be to Baltimore. I also believe that the difference in value between Tex and the next best option is far smaller for Boston than it would be for Baltimore.

Therefore, I find it incredulous to believe that Baltimore would not attempt to financially match any offer coming from Boston. Who in all of baseball could give Baltimore the total value (performance, public relations, etc) that they can get from Tex? And if anyone could approach that value, would they even consider coming to Baltimore?

Tex has more value and more willingness than anyone Baltimore could attract in the next 3-5 years, and if the Orioles ownership/management doesn't take advantage of this, then I see little hope for the franchise.


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: There's logic there, but you can't rule out the Yankee factor. The Red Sox may not view this from an entirely logical standpoint because the Yankees have signed the two top pitchers on the market.

Peter,

Hey, who cares if they sign Mark Texiera or not, when what really matters is Angelos and gang finally changed those unbearable claws on the Oriole bird logo! Seriously, I don't know if I could have kept rooting for the team much longer had they not corrected that. It should have been done years ago. Well, it makes me feel good knowing they really have their priorities in order and are focusing on the really important details that really matter in building a winning team. Well done Pete!

How does throwing 160-180 million dollars at 1 player who doesnt play SS or CF make any sense at all for BAL or WAS, both teams are rebuilding and need a lot more than just one slugging 1st baseman......no sense at all. Either team is still in the bottom half of the league with Mark.

"He's going to Boston. He will still get to play home games here when the Red Sox are in town, accompanied by the miserable egg sucking cretins disguised as Red Sox fans."

maybe O's fans should try showing up to those games......you have no one to blame but yourself O's fans....but hey at least you show your maturity level by insulting fans who will travel multiple states away to see their team on a regular basis.

Is there a bigger Red Sox homer than Peter Gammons? My God...everything that guy talks about concludes with him upselling Boston..I just saw his report that barely mentioned the Orioles..all he said was that Peter Angelos wont go as far as the Nationals to get Texiera in making him the face of the franchise and then he thinks at the end of the day TEX will be in Boston, which totally contradicts what his Baseball Tonight colleague Karl Ravech said yesterday. This guy is rediculous. Go back to Boston Peter, stop by Dunking Donuts, grab a dozen on your way back to your office at Fenway, and shove them up your Red Sox loving A$$!!!

I don't know why he would go to Boston unless money was his priority.

I think the two strongest bets are the Angels and the Orioles. If it was money, then he probably would've made it clear that he was going to the highest bidder. The way it stands now, it seems like he's trying to determine whether winning or playing in his hometown is more important. And THAT might come down to money.

Posted by: Hans |

Hey Hans....

Could it possibly be CHAMPIONSHIPS as the reason Teixeira would choose Boston over Baltimore? Or maybe our fanbase... you know, the ones that take over Camden Yards whenever the Sox are in town!!

signed... "An Egg Sucking Createn"

Mr. Texiera,

Your choice is really very simple. You can be Cal Ripken or you can be Alex Rodriguez.
Cal is respected by the entire baseball world and several generations of fans for his respect for the game and loyalty to home more so than for his fielding percentage and batting average. Yes- every competitor wants to win. But return to Baltimore and you have the opportunity to be a hero that becomes a legend, win or lose.
Or - you can be like A-Rod, universally recognized as a sell-out prima donna. For him, it's all about the money and the game means nothing. That's the assumption for all Boras' clients, so if you're not a sell-out prima donna it's on you to prove it.

I don't know about you, but If my first experience with the Red Sox was this kind of extortion, I would carry that weight with me for a long time.
Here's part of that baseball america interview with tex:


Schwarz: But the Red Sox offered you $1.5 million before the draft, which was pretty darned fair in 1998.

Teixeira: They said take it or leave it. It was a decent bonus, but it wasn't what we were looking for, and we didn't want to cap our negotiation before the draft even happened. It's unfair and illegal to go to a kid and say, "We haven't drafted you yet, we may or may not draft you, but if you don't take 1.5 we're not going to draft you." What would you say? There's 29 other teams out there--why would I ever cap myself before the draft even happens? It doesn't make any sense. It's unfair to those kids. Say, "Draft me and I'll let you know."

I have a very cynical approach toward the draft. I was naive. It was my first realization to the business in baseball. The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn't sign, and when it got to a late enough round, they said, "Let's take a flier on him." So they spoiled me for everyone else--the only one that would draft me was them.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: He's not dealing with the same people now.

we should get Nady, trade Roberts for more pitching prospects, then proceed to blow up the AL east in three years for the next ten years.........free agents will be there next year and the year after that and the year after that and the...

Well as a Red Sox fan in New England, I ventured to this paper to read about Tex. Baltimore, is a great City. I love it! But from an AL East competitor, it isnt the City or your Ballpark, it's your owner. Same guy who just a short month ago was trying to dump a second baseman, is gonna sign the premier first baseman?

As far as Tex being Arod, or Ripken, I think thats why the Red Sox and Angels are in the mix. He does not want to be either. Proven WS winners with trips to the playoffs every year. With the hometown draw, I think the Orioles will land him for significantly less money. Which would make this Red Sox fan smile. I love when a player goes home to better his team. But with Angelos there, and no pitching, it will be a very long 8 years. The Rays have young talent, built for 10 years. The Red Sox have young talent, mixed with money built for the long haul. The Yankees spent ungodly money, built for overspending the long haul. This leaves the Orioles, and the Blue Jays. If you have a winning year, trust me, it's just one. But with the state of your pitching, which one? if you spend resources this much on Tex, what else can you build?

The Orioles are a great franchise, but have a horrible owner. Rest assured Baltimore, that cannot last forever. But until it canges, Im sorry but no winning seasons. I hope you get Tex, then the Red Sox can concentrate on youth, build a winning tradition with great homegrown pitching!

where is cal, brooks, boog, palmer to help out with showing tex the valuble lesson of making a real home in baltimore..remember tex when your parents are gone you will wish you could of been closer, no amount of money can replace them near you for the next 10 years.

When was the last time you saw Cal, Brooks or Boog at any Oriole function?

Maybe he simply wants to W-I-N ??
Boston offers that.

Tex will be forgotten next year.I'ts too much money to spend. He'll be dcelining in a few years anyways.

Don't forget we still have no starting pitching. One man does not make the team.That's been proven here before remember. There has to be talented young players too. Talented. Big time players sign with big time winners. Buying a winner has never been this teams owners m.o.

Big Tex is coming to Boston.

Maybe your boy Michael Phelps can suit up and be your catcher. You do need one of those now, don't you?

So, myself, half of Red Sox Nation, the Red Sox, and Big Tex will be seeing you in Camden soon.

Oh, and, in 2009 you will finish dead last in the AL East. Enjoy that.

justin, great comeback! haha red sox nation are you talking about that fan base of the flakiest fans in all of sports. 15 years ago there was no sox nation. they would beg you to come to the stadium. your fan base used to be cool, because you guys sucked for almost a whole century. builds humility. your team is just another yankee team just in a crappier city with a stupider accent. hey pak da ca in da yad. go red sulx, kevin millaaaar! your worried about us getting a catcher? matt wieters minor league player of the year. but you boston fans are so knowledgable you knew that. guess what the rays worked you and your sorry fan base at a much lower cost, and were going to be doing the same in a couple of years. come on down to camden yards and spend your money please. it will only make the o's stronger, plus you don't have to sit in that dump you guys call a historical landmark. where the weather is great for about 90 days a year. we'll take another year in the dumpster cuz were going to be on top soon, and you'll be paying off mike lowell. hope you choke on some chowda!

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "t" in the field below:
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.

Schmuck column archive

Upload a photo of yourself or a friend wearing the new Peter Schmuck T-shirt, which is on sale at gotschmuck.com
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected