Scott Boras and the Red Sox: Something Smells Fishy

Kevin PaulSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2008

Bobby Fischer never played a chess match this intense—nothing like the one that is going on between baseball super-agent Scott Boras, free agent Mark Teixeira, and all the teams chasing after his services—in particular John Henry, Theo Epstein, and the Boston Red Sox.

Over the past few days, the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes have been nothing but a frantic roller-coaster ride of rumors—with the latest focusing on Red Sox owner John Henry.

Henry, after meeting with Boras and Teixeira, was quoted as saying, “We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him. After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."

Something smells fishy—real fishy. If you ask me, Henry’s comment was yet another major chess move in these negotiations—an attack on the king if you will—with Boras being that king.

There’s no way that Henry is throwing in the towel this easily—not after all the reports that Teixeira was the free agent of this offseason that the Red Sox so desperately coveted. No sir—he’s calling Boras’ bluff. And these negotiations are almost requiring it—with every team going “all in” while holding a pair of fives—waiting for Boras to break a sweat or show his hand.

Still, Boras isn’t budging—but we all should have seen this coming, because Boras doesn’t budge—he’s a master of this game—a card shark if you will. He’ll wait until the midnight hour.

Teixeira has apparently set a Christmas deadline. Don’t be shocked if Boras pushes this one to Christmas Eve, when a creature isn’t stirring, not even a mouse.

Yes, over the past couple of days, the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes have morphed from a minor show to a three-ring circus.

First, it was eight-year deals from all teams in the running. Next, the Nationals had an eight-year offer at $160 million—and the Orioles at seven years from $140-150 million.

The Orioles went from a “very attractive” destination for the hometown boy Teixeira to later being an unlikely destination due to their stand-pat low bid (which has flexibility—but people failed to mention that).

Now this: Boston apparently is offering eight years and $184 million, but is being outbid—yet there are no reports of any new mega-bids out there by any other team.

It’s quiet—eerily quiet. Too quiet. Some team is out there lurking in the weeds. It could be the Angels. It could be the Orioles, maybe even the Yankees, or perhaps the Nationals. Maybe there’s a phantom bidder waiting to pounce. And don’t count out the Red Sox—they’re still involved.

A franchise doesn’t give up on a talent like this that quickly, not a rich franchise with two World Series titles during this millennium. Bet on it—in fact, go "all in."

It’s your move, Scott. Boston is calling your bluff.

More accurate, it’s your move, Mark. That Christmas deadline is steadily approaching—and all these teams want for you.