'Twas The Night Before The Night Before Christmas, And Mark Teixeira Had Still Not Accepted or Rejected the Washington Nationals' Generous Offer...

TEIXEIRA UPDATE...as of 9:35 pm EST 12/22/08...Mark Teixeira has not yet accepted or rejected the Washington Nationals' generous offer...

Four teams remain in the race to sign Mark Teixeira, (if you believe that the Los Angeles Angels are really out), and one of the four teams left is the New York Yankees, who rarely sit on the sidelines when big names and dollar amounts are being tossed around, (ed. note - "...though the Yankees have to decide whether they want Nick Swisher playing first or center, or whether they'd rather go for outfielder Manny Ramirez instead of Teixeira, after having already signed pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett this winter, and blah, blah, blah...")...Which leaves us with Baltimore, Boston and Washington, D.C., unless some other team's entreaties have completely escaped detection, which in this day and age would be hard to imagine...

...As has been widely reported, Mark Teixeira, in an ESPN sideline interview at a football game between his alma mater, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Miami Hurricanes, back on November 20th, stated that he'd like to know where he'll be playing for the next eight to ten years before he awoke on Christmas morning, and with only two days left and all offers reportedly on the table, the baseball world's acting as if a decision is imminent, though Teixeira and his agent are in no way bound by this anecdotal deadline...

The fact that the Angels pulled back is as clear a sign as any that Teixeira's agent, Scott "Maximum" Boras, was telling the truth when he stated earlier this week, as quoted in Yahoo! Sports' writer David Brown's article entitled, "Owner John Henry says the Red Sox lost the Teixeira Derby", that his client, "...is in the process of making a decision and is now attempting to eliminate teams."

The reason for Boston's momentary withdrawal from negotiations with Teixera last week, at least according to Sox' owner John Henry, who was quoted in another Yahoo! Sports.com article, by Gordon Edes, entitled, "Red Sox engage in Tex-book tactics", was that Mr. Henry had, to quote him accurately, "heard" about other offers and determined that the Red Sox were, "...not going to be a factor," in the race. 

The reason that the Los Angeles Angels gave yesterday, in announcing their own exit from the Teixeira Sweepstakes, was that, according to MLB.com writer Lyle Spencer's article entitled, "Angels pull out Teixeira chase", which quotes "a source familiar with the negotiations":

"...the Angels decided they didn't want to be used to drive up the bidding if Teixeira wasn't serious about returning to Anaheim."

ESPN.com's Buster Olney still thinks the Red Sox are the front-runners in the race for the 28-year-old switch-hitting first baseman, according to his most recent post entitled, "Red Sox still in the driver's seat to sign Teixeira", where Mr. Olney writes that:

"...circumstances will probably make it necessary for him to make a decision very soon, because his leverage has probably maxed out, and now only runs the risk of being diminished."

Which brings us to December 23rd...Unless a Christmas Eve deal is in the works, Teixeira's self-imposed deadline has arrived, he's eliminated the one West Coast team in accordance with his stated desire to play for a team that's at least on the same coast as his family...and he's got offers from the Red Sox, Orioles and Nationals on the table, with the Sox an elite-level perennial contender, and the O's and Nats Nationals rebuilding, but close to his family's Maryland home, geographically speaking...and still the Yankees haven't officially spoken up...

Just please...don't let it be the Orioles...

ed. note - 

(ed. note - "In ESPN.com's Buster Olney's column, "Red Sox still in the driver's seat to sign Teixeira", Mr. Olney writes of the Washington Nationals:

"Privately, folks within the organization are telling others that they are very pessimistic about their chances, and one high-ranking executive has indicated to confidants that he has not altered his initial offer."

And Now One More...

TEIXEIRA UPDATE...as of 10:19 pm EST 12/22/08...Mark Teixeira has not yet accepted or rejected the Washington Nationals' generous offer...

Follow the news tomorrow here in the Comments section...or at the federalbaseball.com Twitter feed...both of which will be up and running all day Wednesday as we wait and see if Teixeira signs in DC...

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