Orioles remain in running for Teixeira
MacPhail says club would consider increasing its offer
The Orioles do not seem to be counting themselves out in the Mark Teixeira derby as the wheels continue to turn.
Orioles president Andy MacPhail expressed his belief to the Baltimore Sun that the team is still in the race, adding that it would consider increasing its original offer. It was reported as a seven-year proposal between $140 million and $150 million.
"We have indicated before that we have flexibility," MacPhail said. "I don't think anyone expects [Teixeira's agent Scott Boras] to lean over and accept the first proposal.
"If they came back to us and told us what it would take and we thought that it made sense for us, then yes [the initial offer could be expanded]."
A Maryland native who grew up in Severna Park and attended Orioles games, Teixeira is wrestling with offers from the Angels, Red Sox and Nationals, along with the Orioles. The Yankees are believed to be interested but have not stepped up with an offer as yet, according to multiple reports.
A report on ESPN.com on Wednesday suggested that the Orioles likely had fallen out of contention for the slugging first baseman unless it was his strong preference to return home.
"Until we are told he is signing somewhere else," MacPhail said, "I don't think you can take yourself out of it.
"You hear so many different things from day to day. Yesterday we were the favorites, today you are out. You learn to ignore it and deal with the facts as they become available to you."
Teixeira has made no public disclosures of where he might be leaning other than to tell a television reporter at a Georgia Tech football game in November that he'd like to have it done by Christmas.
Boras was traveling to an undisclosed location and could not be reached for comment.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Red Sox principal owner John Henry suggested the economic crisis could impact these negotiations. Boras' stated mission of finding a 10-year deal for Teixeira might not be met. Eight years is believed to be as high as any team has gone.
"We all have limits," Henry wrote. "Eight years is a very long time in baseball and everywhere else. Baseball as a whole has not yet been hit by the financial crisis, but it will. The degree is in question and won't be answered for a while."
Two general managers who were involved in the Teixeira talks both felt the Red Sox had a leg up, according to a Boston Globe report.
"They have the highest offer on the table," said one of the GMs.
One of the GMs responded to Henry's comment to the Boston Herald that the Sox would not go 10 years on any player with, "No one's going there."
The Nationals are believed to have offered eight years and $160 million, but neither the Red Sox nor the Angels have disclosed how high they have gone for the 28-year-old switch-hitter with five consecutive seasons of at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.