Nats may have upped Teixeira offer
Opt-out clause a possibility for bid approaching 10 years
As the Angels went into the bunker on Monday to begin exploring Plans B through Z and the Red Sox, Orioles and Yankees made no known major waves on the Mark Teixeira beachhead, the Nationals reportedly got busy spicing their proposal for the free-agent first baseman.
A report on MASN Online by Roch Kubatko has multiple sources claiming that Washington has raised its offer, spread across eight years, to somewhere in the $178 million to $184 million range.
What's more, there are indications that the Nationals might be talked into going to nine or even 10 years. A 10-year offer would fulfill agent Scott Boras' goal for Teixeira, delivered at the General Managers Meeting in Dana Point, Calif., in November.
Widely considered the favorites in spite of a meeting on Thursday in Dallas that didn't go their way, the Red Sox reportedly have a proposal for eight years at anywhere from $165 to $180 million for Teixeira. The Orioles, the first baseman's hometown team, are believed to have offered seven years in the $140 million to $150 million range.
If the Yankees have put anything in front of Boras, it's an amazingly well-kept secret. They need to make a move soon, given the indications that Teixeira will make his decision by Christmas Day. SI.com made that forecast on Monday, and MLB.com reported on Saturday that an announcement was expected in a matter of days.
With their managing principal owner, Ted Lerner, apparently captivated by the notion of bringing a high-profile, popular star to the nation's capital, the Nationals have been at the forefront of the Teixeira bidding from the outset.
The Nationals' eight-year, $160 million offer at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas was the first to surface with specific numbers. If they do venture beyond eight years, they'll be the first, and very possibly the only, club to go there.
The Angels are believed to have gone to $160 million and eight years, perhaps a bit higher in dollars, for the player they employed for 58 games in 2008 after acquiring him from the Braves on July 29.
The sounds of silence in response from Team Teixeira finally convinced the Angels that the Maryland native is truly committed to spending the next phase of his career on the East Coast. The Angels elected to opt out on Sunday.
Boras responded to the Angels' decision to withdraw on Sunday with a prepared statement: "Mark Teixeira enjoyed his time with the Angels and was an integral part of their success last season. His interest in returning to the club has been sincere, real and continues to be one of his earnest priorities throughout this offseason.
"Clubs are very aware -- in particular, the Angels -- participation in the free-agent process does not signal lack of interest in signing with the club. Case in point, the Angels signed two great free-agent players [Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter] who engaged in the mechanism, receiving and exchanging offers with multiple clubs, while negotiating with the Angels. Therefore, we are assuming that reasons, other than Teixeira's interest in returning to the Angels, were the driving factor."
Angels spokesman Tim Mead affirmed that the club had closed the door on these negotiations and was moving forward. General manager Tony Reagins was unavailable for comment on Monday.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.