Early Thursday evening word broke that the Red Sox and Mark Teixeira had agreed on an eight-year, $184 million contract. It seemed like a good time to gird oneself for the proliferation of Manny Ramirez rumors. The Yankees may have struck first this offseason, but they were playing catch-up. Teixeira would move the line farther away from them and an answer would be expected and/or demanded.
A little later, though, there were contradictory reports about the size and status of the offer. Finally, Red Sox owner John Henry not only said that a deal wasn't done, but that one would never get done.
"We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him," Henry said. "After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."
Scott Boras, Teixeira's agent, offered a similar take, but he's notorious for making up "other offers" that prove to be false. The Red Sox probably aren't as out of the chase entirely, instead they're signaling that they've made their best offer. If someone is topping the rumored offer, Boras will advise Teixeira to take it. Even if it is the woeful Nationals. Remember, Boras is the guy who took A-Rod to the Rangers for millions of dollars and hundreds of losses.
There will certainly be some who see this impasse as an opening for the Yankees to swoop in and steal Teixeira, but that seems far-fetched. Spending $25 million a year for many years on another player may be within their means, but Teixeira hasn't seemed to be a priority of theirs at any point this offseason. He'd help them but, at that money, he'd probably help them more if he signed anywhere but Boston.