Even if you believed the Washington Nationals were a player or two away from contention, who amongst us would conclude that player is free agent 1B Mark Teixeria? The New York Daily News’ Bill Madden, watching the process play itself out dubs the whole scenario very much in character with “the lies and chutzpah of Scott Boras.”
Boras started out seeking 10 years, $250 million for Teixeira, a player who has never finished higher than seventh in the Most Valuable Player award voting, a player who has been with three teams in six years and but one round of the postseason. Ask the Atlanta Braves (who gave up four top prospects to acquire Teixeira from the Texas Rangers in July ’07) how much impact he had for them. This guy is not Albert Pujols even though in this economy Boras is marketing him as such.
Yet, in a lot of ways, Boras potentially had the perfect storm of ingredients to make yet another record score – two of the wealthiest large-market teams, the Red Sox and Angels, desperate to have Teixeira’s bat, and a perennial doormat, the Washington Nationals, desperate to generate enthusiasm from their disillusioned fan base with a high-profile signing. Indeed, the Nats’ Ted Lerner more and more looks to be emerging as this year’s prime candidate for the “One Dumb Owner” (in the mold of Texas’ Tom Hicks) Boras always seems to bamboozle into onerous contracts they immediately come to regret.
Of course, if the Nationals really do wind up having a far superior offer, expect Boras to send Mr. Teixeira to Washington – just as he sent Alex Rodriguez to the last-place Texas Rangers back in 2000. Even the teams that want him realize Teixeira drinks the Boras Kool-Aid – which is to say he accepts the premise that it doesn’t matter where you play as long you’re the highest paid.