At 11:21 PM EST, MLB.com reported that John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, had issued an email to Boston media that informed them that the team has pulled out of the negotiations with star 1B Mark Teixeira.
The announcement was a shocking turn of events, to say the least. There have been a multitude of reports that had pegged the Red Sox as front runners in the derby, ahead of the Nationals and Orioles, both home town favorites for the Maryland native, as well as the Angels, his most recent employer.
It seemed as though the Red Sox would be willing to part from its unspoken policy of not offering long term, high dollar contracts to attract superstar players. Evidently, that's not going to happen.
But why? No one outside of the Red Sox organization will say exactly. I'd like to venture a guess.
For the last several months America has been sinking into an economic crisis the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression. Money is tight everywhere, and its not going to get better anytime soon.
Despite the struggling economy, however, the New York Yankees signed two of the most coveted pitchers on the the free agent market, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, both of whom were introduced today to the New York media.
Their combined contracts are worth an estimated $246.5 million, a high figure even by MLB standards. I believe that the Red Sox front office has chosen to take a conservative approach, choosing not to get caught up in a bidding war that might encumber them for the next 10 years (the length of the contract being sought out by Teixeira's agent Scott Boras).
Believe it of not, this could end up being the wise course.
Watching from afar, it is almost seems as though the Yankees operate in world not bound by the fiscal restraints that bind the rest of us.
For years now, the Yankees have gone out and assembled the most expensive team in Major League Baseball. They have brought in stars like Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Bobby Abreu, and Jason Giambi, hoping to buy a championship.
This has yet to materialize for them. Despite watching teams like the Rays, who developed a team of young players through their farm system, the large market teams continue to spend millions as if money grew on trees.
Did the light finally go on for the Sox? Did they realize that the Yankees were just driving up the price tag for Teixeira, like some sort of fantasy auction? Or is there some other deal in the works, perhaps for another pitching ace, Jake Peavy?
I guess we won't know for sure until it happens, but I must say, I feel a little better knowing that at least some millionaires are thinking twice before spending money like drunken sailors.