Sources: Sox still in Teixeira hunt
Sources suggest that the Red Sox remain in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes
Baseball officials indicate that the Red Sox are just unwilling to increase their offer
The Red Sox haven't given up on the idea of signing Mark Teixeira, according to multiple baseball sources.
They are just taking a break from the bidding.
Though Boston's chances to land the multitalented free-agent slugger may have diminished slightly after the sides failed to make progress in their high-powered Texas meeting Thursday night, few baseball people believe the Red Sox are completely out of the picture.
At least a half-dozen baseball executives with some knowledge of the process suggested to SI.com that the Red Sox remain interested in Teixeira and are merely intent on sticking to their last proposal (which one source pegged at close to but probably not more than $180 million for eight years). While none of these people were in the room in Dallas where Red Sox owner John Henry and general manager Theo Epstein met with Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras, they all have some peripheral knowledge of the negotiations.
Several of these baseball executives suggested Henry and Epstein could merely be engaging in a game of poker with Boras, and all said they believed the Red Sox still would like to land Teixeira, the biggest free-agent prize among everyday players.
Henry e-mailed reporters late Thursday and said, "We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed by him. After hearing about the other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor.''
Several subsequent headlines indicated the Red Sox had pulled out of the Teixeira sweepstakes. But the executives suggested all Henry meant is that he is sticking to his number and is not intending to bid higher. In other words, he is calling Boras' perceived bluff but remaining in the high-stakes game.
The Red Sox were perceived by many as the leading contender for Teixeira heading into the Dallas meeting, ahead of the Angels, Yankees, Nationals and Orioles.