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Feeding the Mark Teixeira Rumor Mill

If you’re like me, you’re starting to think along the lines of “please, can somebody sign this guy?” Not that the speculation isn’t fun…but it’s getting to the stage where I’m ready for a decision.

In the meantime, though, it’s only right to point out the latest from Roch Kubatko, who reports that, basically, there’s nothing to report. There’s talk of a decision within 48 hours. Peter Gammons offered an opinion that didn’t include the Orioles. Other than that, nothing.

Maybe Scott Boras is playing us for fools. Then again, MacPhail handled the Matt Wieters negotiations pretty well. Everybody thought it was DOA and that the Orioles weren’t going to pony up. That one turned out fine, as I recall.

Truth is, there are only a handful of people who really have any idea how this is playing out, and none of them are talking. Until they do, remember this: nobody has credible information. They may “hear” things or know what people are “saying,” but they don’t really know.

45 comments to Feeding the Mark Teixeira Rumor Mill

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Personally, without hearing the words from Andy MacPhail or whoever the Angels’ GM is, I can’t imagine why it would be down to the Nats and the Sox. Except that Gammons doesn’t report on anything that isn’t about the Sox anymore.

    But, yeah, why would anyone have pulled out? Why would anyone be considered out of it? Why would the Nats be in it and not the Orioles?

    I’m ready. Just get it over with, do it fast like a bandaid. Then the parades or booing can start.

  • dan the man

    Dude… Gammons is no longer a relevant reporter. He’s a hall of famer, yes, and a good guy, yes, and a die hard Sox fan, yes. But relevant, no.

    But Neal, you said it, man. No one knows. Keep hoping.

  • neal s

    I’m starting to have doubts about whether or not signing him even makes sense. I keep going back and forth on it. He’s obviously a cornerstone-type player, and there’s no question he improves the team.

    But, this is a huge amount of money and a very long contract. I realize the team payroll would still be relatively low even with him here, but it’s a risk.

    I keep wondering: if Teixeira wasn’t a local guy, would any of us want him at this price?

    The answer is probably “no,” but that doesn’t automatically mean it would be a bad deal. He’s a valuable asset in ways that extend beyond his performance on the field.

    Damn. Get it over with already.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Don’t get me wrong: I love love love Peter Gammons. But I can’t remember the last time he wasn’t just following around the Sox. Which is, you know, good for him…I wish that when I was his age I was following around the Orioles reporting on them and speculating that they were about to resign Reggie Jackson…but not a good source of speculation information, in my opinion.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Oh and hey, I just watched the clip…he wasn’t even talking about Tex…he was talking about Manny and mentioned briefly that “if Tex signs in the east with Boston or Washington”…

    hardly news, hardly speculation. Seriously, everyone needs to chill out. I can hear Scott Boras laughing, and I’m like 3000 miles away from him.

  • neal s

    Sounds about right.

  • rick

    Until he does sign, I’m still holding out strong hope that the O’s are the club that signs him.

    there’s conflicting arguments about the value, e.g., will Tex put butts in seats, etc., etc. One ESPN analyst cited data from Rodriquez in Texas, and said only 300K more fans showed up the first year he was with the club.

    However, I truly believe Tex would bring a lot of dormant O’s fans out of the woodwork and back into Camden.

    Heard Brian Roberts on the Anita Marks show say that signing Tex would show an incredible commitment by the O’s to building a perennial powerhouse in the AL East and baseball overall.

    The pitching prowess is still likely at least one full season away, especially since a fat contract to Tex will limit other fiscal options.

    However, I just have a very strong gut feeling that Angelos does NOT want Tex to get away. . .at all costs.

    We’ll see.

    Ane yeah, I am so anxious for some sort of decision. The tension is truly palpable.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I think that, outside of the win jump we’ll hypothetically get from replacing Kevin Millar with Mark Teixeira, the biggest contribution he would make is showing the players who we’re trying to get to extend that we actually are building something here and we’re not intending for it to take 10 years. I think signing Tex makes Baltimore instantly more palatable to a lot of guys…

    …On the other hand, didn’t we say the same shit when Tejada signed here? You’d assume we’d continue to build past Tex (duh) and not just surround him with aging Palmeiro, Lopez, and nobody who can pitch at all…but there is definitely a hint of chasing our own tail that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth…

  • Greg

    Tex will only put a butt in a seat if his contribution is directly related to the win/loss ratio. If we go 68-94 for a third year in a row, then people still aren’t going to come out to see the Orioles. That means no dying in September like always. The Orioles have the advantage of being incredibly deep in AAA this year, so we won’t run into the problems of last year.

  • dan the man

    I hate that Drew this morning was saying it would be the Orioles’ fault if he signed elsewhere. It’s like, dude… the player signs the contract, not the ball club. If the O’s offer 10/200 and he signs with Boston for 8/190, then it’s no fault of the Orioles. But he doesn’t mention that at all. It’s like no matter what, this can’t NOT be the fault of the Orioles. That’s so fucking shortsighted. Same with Casey Willett, who said we better get used to seeing Millar or Giambi at 1B, when Giambi already signed with the A’s. Fucking ridiculous. Excuse my rant but I swear to God….

  • Greg

    Just the fact that we are still even being considered at this point is a sign that the offer from the Orioles was a reasonable offer to get Tex here. If Tex decides to go to Boston or LA, you can’t peg this one on the FO. As much as I’d like to hold PGA accountable for everything that this franchise goofs on, this isn’t one of those times.

    You’ve got a FA that loves Baltimore, has a reasonable offer from Baltimore to sign with them… and when he goes and plays for the Red Sox (a team he’s supposed to hate as an O’s fan!)… that’s just ridiculous. If I was in Mark’s position, I could take a $10M paycut from my already set-for-life gigantic $160MM check I’m supposed to receive to honorably sign with my childhood team.

    But I guess I’m not in that position, so I don’t know.

  • neal s

    I won’t be around for most of the day, so if he signs today I guess this will be the thread where the news breaks.

    I’ll also put up some Ravens thoughts later so we can discuss the big came coming up Saturday night.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I wonder what the reaction around Birdland will be when/if Tex doesn’t sign with the Orioles. Obviously there’s a case to be made that it would be in the Orioles’ best wishes to not go crazy with the 180 million dollars (or higher), but I just am having the hardest time imagining anybody picking themselves back up from the sucker punch that is Tex in a Boston uniform and saying “Well, let’s go get some Orioles tickets”. I really can’t. I’m not even sure I would really feel up to going down to the yard – and I love being there and watching baseball (though I don’t see genuine good ball there most of the time).

    But I would brace yourselves, however you need to, one way or another.

  • neal s

    Agreed, Andrew. And I’m pretty sure at this point it’s not happening.

    If you’re out there, Mark, just please don’t sign with Boston. Anaheim’s nice this time of year all year.

  • neal s

    Also: I’m more and more interested in Ben Sheets. “Worth the risk” is the phrase that comes to mind.

  • Greg

    I spent all day yesterday feeling pretty good, but the Gammons/Olney reports today pretty much popped my balloon.

    Did you know that after 2009, the Orioles shed $47M in payroll? Before any extensions, the Orioles would be down to about $20M in salaries. That’s a good sign that our team is pretty young. But it’s also kinda funny that Mark Teixeira commands more than that.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    My balloon isn’t popped. There’s so, so much hearsay going on everywhere that I stopped believing any of it. And I remain confident we see him in black and orange by Saturday. I’m just saying, we have to brace ourselves because the odds are definitely that we don’t get him.

  • Greg

    Just to add to my previous post, 2009 is the last year that you can blame the pre-MacPhail era on any problems. All of the players on the 2010 are MacPhail’s players. He will have a lot of payroll flexibility to give appropriate contracts to the correct players that fit his system. His system seems to be pitching and good defense. I can see Luke Scott being traded in the near future for this reason.

  • df1570

    Someone tell dan the man to read my stuff (here at TLC, where I commented over the weekend – or at WNST.net) and you’ll see firsthand that I’m holding Mark Teixeira directly responsible for his decision to sign (or not) with Baltimore.

    I said today – and yesterday, and the day before that, and last week – that I will have to question his integrity if he eschews this “once in a lifetime opportunity” (that he has talked about) to sign in Baltimore and goes somewhere else…particularly if the offers were all in the same ballpark (whatever that is).

    But, but, but…

    The Orioles are one of the worst franchises in baseball.

    They’ve done that to themselves through both poor on-field management and some major off-field faux paus’.

    And it’s going to take someone special – VERY special – to be able to overlook the delapidated condition of the franchise and commit to spending 7, 8 or 10 years of his life in that environment.

    I thought that person was Mark Teixeira.

    If he signs in Boston or Washington, I’ll admit I was wrong about him and his character.

    It’s NOT the Orioles’ fault if Teixeira doesn’t sign here.

    But they ARE responsible for the nature of their organization and there’s a price to pay for all of this losing and the diminished crowds at the ballpark.

    In the end, though, Tex decides where Tex goes.

    It’s up to him and I’ll hold him directly responsible for that decision when it comes down.

    But you can’t be honest about this and NOT be willing to blame the O’s in some fashion.

    They’ve done a lot of this to themselves.

  • dan the man

    Where is Olney getting his sources? I doubt it’s straight from MacPhail. And why would Boras keep coming back to the O’s if the O’s “haven’t increased their original offer”. Bullshit. If they didn’t increase their original offer, then we wouldn’t have made it this far. ESPN has reported every single angle of this story. When it’s all over, they will claim to have reported it correctly. http://www.examiner.com/x-436-Baltim…ixeira-bidding There’s a good article that says the same thing. If we were as “out of the bidding” as he says we are, we’d hear it from Andy. Not from Roch who heard it from Buster who heard it from his source. I hope he’s wrong and we get to officially group Olney, Rosenthal, and Gammons into “guys with little or no credibility.”

  • dan the man

    Yes, Drew, that’s what you wrote. But that’s not what you said on the air this morning to a caller. It was clear you would be disappointed in the O’s if they didn’t sign Tex, not the other way around. Now if the O’s end up not offering good money, that’s one thing, and I’m with you.

  • sci

    I hope we’re still in it Dan, of course, but to say that we “wouldn’t have made it this far” if the O’s wouldn’t increase their first offer is discounting the fact that Boras wants to keep up the appearance that as many teams as possible are charging hard toward Tex, even if that’s an illusion. In other words, Boras will always maintain until a player signs that all teams that originally showed interest are still heavily involved, unless a team publicly comes out and says they’re out of it. This is only rational b/c it drives the price up. And in this case the hometown thing is really working for Boras. He can consistently claim that Tex is really, really interested in Baltimore, thus driving the offers from the other teams through the roof.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    You know, it’s true. The Orioles are down in the pits. I don’t know if they’re the “worst franchise in baseball”…but 9 years of totally incompetent leadership and managers like Lee Mazzilli and Sam Perlozzo, neither of whom seemed to really understand what baseball was, or what baseball in Baltimore should be…yeah, it’s a big hole to dig out of. Actually, it’s like nothing else I can imagine. Speaking as a fan only, this past decade really leaves a ringing in your ears when you look up at the division and say “I have no idea how we can ever do this”.

    But can any of us honestly say we haven’t been happy with the way MacPhail has done his job and set a plan and stuck to it. Ok, you say all he’s really done is trim payroll. Well, take it away from such “stars” as Miguel Tejada and Jay Gibbons and Ramon Hernandez and give it to the minor league system (and Wieters/Arrieta/Matusz) and the scouting department. It’s something that had to be done, and of course we won’t notice any perceptible changes from it.

    Point is, Tex isn’t being sold on the 2009 Orioles or the 2010 Orioles. What he needs to be sold on is The Plan, and whether or not The Plan can turn Baltimore around, when it will work, and whether or not he wants to be a part of The Plan. So I don’t think that Mark turns us down because the Orioles have been a terrible team for 11 years – he’ll turn us down because of money, or the certainty of getting a ring, or because he doesn’t think Andy MacPhail’s plan will work.

    And I won’t like him for any of those reasons. Obviously.

  • df1570

    I’m sure I did say I’m going to be disappointed in the O’s if they don’t sign him.

    I will be. For sure.

    Because, once again, at a time when they could step to the plate and make something happen, they will have failed.


    And, by not signing Teixeira, they will have also continued to do what they’ve been doing BEST under Andy MacPhail — not spending money on players.

    That said, it’s up to Tex and he holds the ultimate decision-key.

    But the O’s knew that when they dipped their toe in the water.

    They knew, by playing the game, they could fail.

  • dan the man

    How can you say they FAILED when it’s NOT THEIR DECISION? Even if they tried to throw all their money at him?

    You are completely ridiculous, man. You JUST said it’s up to Tex. If the Orioles offer 10/$230 million, and he declines, you’re still calling that a failure on the Orioles for “not spending money”? Are you fucking kidding me?

  • df1570

    Dude, the O’s aren’t going to offer him 10/$230mil.

    Get real.

    They don’t even have the best offer of the four that have been made for the guy.

    You seem to be running from the fact (typically) that the Orioles have created this mess they’re in.

    They have attempted (and may still be) to get Mark Teixeira to sign here.

    That’s what they’re ATTEMPTING to do.

    If he doesn’t sign in Baltimore, those attempts will have failed.

    I’m not sure why you get your panties in a bunch over that.

    I hope Teixeira signs here.

    I’m going to blast his ass for days if he doesn’t.

    But the Orioles aren’t faultless here either.

    Not by a longshot.

    They’ve been saving money, saving money and saving money for the last two years under MacPhail (ask Roberts and Markakis about it) – and while they’re doing all that saving, guess what else they’re NOT doing? Winning. And signing legitimate players.

    And that catches up to them now in the Teixeira saga.

    When (if) he signs in Boston, it will clearly be because of their state of the franchise vs. Baltimore’s.

    Don’t worry, I’ll beat Tex up when he goes somewhere else.

    But I’m gonna have to call it like it is with the O’s – they’ve contributed to this mess by putting out an inferior product over the last 11 years.

  • Joe the Guy

    DF – I agree that the O’s have “made their own bed” and so forth…however:

    didn’t Tampa prove that things can change in 1 season?

    I agree with AiR that Tex’s decision is going to be based more on the next 11 years than the past 11 years.



    Texiera can’t pitch (that I know of).

    Of course Tex would be a great fit here. A symbol of change. A face for the franchise. A draw to free agents in the future.


    In My Opinion – if Garland gets signed and Markakis gets extended then Tex won’t sting as bad, even if he’s in Boston, batting 7th or whatever…

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Well, Joe, no Tex can’t pitch. But can a lack of Tex pitch either?

  • dan the man

    Drew, you (typically) avoided answering my question.

    If the O’s were to offer a huge deal in the realm of 9-10 years/ 190-230 million, and Tex turned it down, would you call that an Orioles “failure to spend money”? I really don’t care if you THINK the O’s won’t offer that much money, I’m just asking, IF they did.

  • dan the man

    My point, of course, is that it’s obviously not a failure on the Orioles’ part IF they offer a ton of money, and certainly not if they offer more money than all the other involved teams. For anyone to say that it’s the Orioles’ failure if Tex takes LESS money to go somewhere other than Baltimore is absolute idiocy.

  • sci

    A lack of Tex is actually a decent late inning match-up southpaw, Andrew. Could potentially slide right into the bullpen if Walker continues his struggles.

  • rick

    at this point only a handful of folks know what’s actually been said and been offered.

    in the end, I still believe Tex will sign with the O’s, despite other clubs offering more money/years, or better chance of winning in the near term.

    why would he sign with the O’s? because as mentioned earlier, the Os can convince him of his integral part of the PLAN, e.g., build from within to get excellent pitching, and to develop outstanding position players.

    McPhail will convince Tex that he’s the major “outside” piece of the plan, the man whose signing will signal the Os intent on becoming, and remaining, a perennial powerhouse.

  • dan the man

    Good Sun article with Andy clearly going against what Olney has reported. His “flexibility” he mentioned sounds a lot like, “we’ve got another offer up our sleeves before this is over”. Until Andy says “we’re out”, we’re in.

    And the pitching will be there. Let’s keep in mind that Andy hired basically a second GM this offseason in former Reds GM, Wayne Krivsky. There’s no reason to think that Krivsky didn’t help facilitate the Ramon trade since he was familiar with the Reds. And I think it’s allowing Andy to deal mostly with Tex, while making sure the other needs are met. They’ve already apparently made an offer to Kawakami.

  • df1570

    Yes, dan, if the Orioles made him a 10-year/$230 million offer and he turned it down, they would have done their part and couldn’t be blamed…

    Unless someone else offered 12-years/$280 million, which is about as far fetched as your 10/$230 question.

    You seem to continually lose touch with the fact that I’m well prepared and willing to criticize Tex if he doesn’t come to Baltimore.

    But, if the O’s made one introductory offer at 7/$125 and then didn’t participate in the proceedings any further, they’re going to get the brunt of the criticism from me and everyone else for failing to pursue him aggressively enough.

    The way this is going to play out, I think everyone’s going to get their fair share of the blame, but the O’s will absolutely get whacked around a little bit for creating this hell hole of a franchise that can’t even lead the hometown wonder boy to sign with them.

  • neal s

    Nothing like an uncorroborated rumor to keep the discussion lively. It’s hilarious that the Orioles swung from “favorites” to “no chance” in a matter of hours.

    There’s a lesson in it: never, ever accept something ESPN is “hearing” or “reporting” until it’s been backed up by another credible outlet/source. If they don’t have a quote and if nobody else is reporting it, it’s probably not true.

  • dan the man

    And Drew, if the O’s don’t budge on something like a 7/125, then I’m right there with you to criticize them. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. I still think we get him. Hell, you could read into the blurb in the Connolly article that said that Boras couldn’t be reached for comment because he was traveling if you wanted to. I, of course, definitely will. Hahaha. Dude’s clearly on his way to Baltimore. 🙂

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Sci, I don’t follow you. A lack of Teixeira is nothing. It’s pocketed money that doesn’t get spent. It’s totally unhelpful. One assumes (and I know we shouldn’t assume, but let’s play along just this once) that the Orioles have said “we can afford to stick to our plan, including grabbing some rotation guys and potentially extending Nick/Brian if we spend X dollars on Mark Teixeira”. I doubt that Andy MacPhail is just sitting up there going “ah, fuck it. We’ll get Tex and call it a year or we’ll get a new rotation, but not both! And I know which one I want. Krivsky, get me Scott Boras on the phone!”

  • sci

    It was an attempt at a very abstract joke. Sorry… I really didn’t mean anything by it except ridiculousness.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I feel like an ass. Thanks A LOT, SCI!

  • sci

    We’re all asses here Andrew. We’re Orioles fans, after all.

  • sci

    Heyman puts our chances to land Tex at 25-1. Boston is even money. The Yanks are 6-1, despite the fact that they have not made an offer, and may not even plan to.

    Heyman really is a jackass.

  • Chris

    Before anyone crucifies Angelos or Tex, what they need to realize is the real fly in the ointment in Boras. All Tex knows is he’s going to be rich regardless of where he ends up. The only one nickel and diming is Boras. You think Boras wants his client coming to Baltimore and taking a pay cut? You think he cares that Tex went to Mt. St. Joe and idolized Cal? No. Boras is what’s wrong with professional sports and why we will only time we see Tex in OPACY is in a Red Sox uniform.

  • neal s

    I pretty much agree with everything you said, up until the “Red Sox uniform” part. Check the new post up on the main page — looks like it’s not happening.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    ANNNNNNNNNNNND the Sox are out of it!!!!!!!!!!!(???)

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    yeah to sort of piggyback what chris said:

    if the orioles manage to appeal enough to this guy to break through the scott boras scum layer and convince him to sign here for less i’ll be very impressed.

    if he just goes to one of the few teams that can compete for the most money possible i’ll feel the same as i have for five or six years.

    baseball is top-heavy and completely devoid of loyalty, meaning or purpose anymore.