Winter meetings in Las Vegas!
Party time, right? You would think baseball writers would love the notion of the winter baseball meeting in Las Vegas. But covering winter meetings is often a marathon stakeout session, trying to keep track of where a GM or an agent is to get a few words from them. That’s easier to do in a hotel in Nashville than it is in Vegas, where the fear is that execs will be hard to find with all the distractions of sin city.
Scott Boras won’t be hard to find, though. The larger than life agent has the biggest prize of free agency, Mark Teixeira, and will have a list of bidders that surprisingly includes the Washington Nationals and a longer list of writers seeking him out by the hour.
It’s difficult to see the Nationals landing Teixeria, even if they make the offer — $200 million over 10 years — Boras is seeking. It is hard to believe he won’t stay in the American League, where he played most of his career, and then either re-sign with the Angels or go to Boston, both franchises with a history and a likely future of postseason success. I think Teixeria winds up in a Red Sox uniform.
But if there was ever a player the Nationals would make such a huge investment in, this is the guy — a consistent power hitter in the prime of his career who is also a quality fielder and a very smart guy who will take care of himself, and therefore the team’s investment. There has been speculation that Teixeria wants to be close to his Maryland home, which gives the Nationals a chip to play. But the Baltimore Orioles, the team Teixeria grew up watching, has that chip as well, and I can’t believe under any circumstances that owner Peter Angelos would not pay any amount to keep Teixeria out of Washington and get him in an Orioles uniform. It would be a public relations disaster for the Orioles to lose out on Teixeria to the Nationals.
Reportedly, Boras has already met with Nationals owner Ted Lerner. And for what it is worth, back in November 2004, during the GM meetings shortly after the relocation of the Expos to Washington was announced, I spoke at length with Boras about the future of baseball in Washington. He was very enthusiastic about it and talked about how he believed it had the chance to be an elite franchise. Maybe Boras should own the Nationals.
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com.