(ed. note - " (*) = Since this blog only exists on the internets, I might have to settle for consuming a print of this post, which I'll do on camera sans Guy Fawkes mask if by some chance the Nationals actually sign Teixeira? C'mon, Is this stuff serious? Let's see...")
Previously on federalbaseball.com, I wrote...
"Will Mark Teixeira be the Nationals' first (estimated) $100-150 million dollar man? Doubtful...but seeing the Nationals listed with the Angels, Yanks and Sox is interesting...Are the Nationals actually being taken seriously for once? Doubt it...Would Teixeira agree to play in DC? Eh? Don't know...How would being the marquee player in a new market work for the 28-year old slugger? Is there any way Washington could outspend any of the three teams considered contenders for Tex? I'd be surprised..."
-- (Reprinted from a section of a previous post subtitled, "Running Down A Rumor: Nationals Set To Make "Significant Offer" to Teixeira?...")
"Teixeira attracts odd suitor in Nats", was the title that Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin went with for today's examination of the Nationals' interest in the free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira. Mr. Sheinin writes that the Nationals are improbably in a market that basically consists of four teams, the Nationals, Angels, Red Sox and Yankees, which most around the league would consider company the DC franchise is not fit to be traveling in, but Mr. Sheinin writes, citing the ubiquitous "team and league sources", that the Nationals:
"...envision themselves as serious players in the Teixeira sweepstakes...and are believed to be preparing an offer they feel will be competitive with the others Teixeira is likely to receive. In other words, it would almost certainly be north of $100 million, if not $150 million."
Mr. Sheinin's isn't the only article to mention the Nationals' apparently serious interest in Teixeira. Jayson Stark in an ESPN.com feature entitled, "Time to check the shopping lists", writes that the Nationals need, "Bats, starting pitching, a first baseman," and he lists Teixeira as Washington's prime target, but injects some reality into the discussion, writing:
"GM Jim Bowden dreams big. So the Washingtonians will no doubt make a run at both Teixeira and Adam Dunn...But wheeling and dealing is more Bowden's style, and writing humongous checks has never been team president Stan Kasten's style. So expect most of their holes to be addressed in the trade market, not the free-agent market."
Dave Sheinin's Washington Post article addressed the trade scenarios as well, noting that if Teixeira doesn't choose to join the Nationals, (instead opting for teams that might compete in his career), several possibly-available players would be on the Nationals' radar, "...including San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez, Milwaukee's Prince Fielder and Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox)."
MLB.com's Bill Ladson doesn't hold any possibility back in his preview of the free agency period that's now upon us in an article entitled, "Nationals expand hot stove search", where Mr. Ladson drops names, (...like Ronnie Belliard drops every ground ball before picking it up and firing to first), with Mr. Ladson mentioning, Teixeira, Adam Dunn, and Orlando Hudson, as well as two '08 Nationals, Aaron Boone and Odalis Perez, as potential free agent targets...(ed. note - "Washington Times' writer Mark Zuckerman mentions Pete Orr's apparently confirmed return to the Nationals in a "Chatter: A Nationals Blog" post entitled, 'Orr returning to Nats'".)
SI.com's "Hotstove Preview: NL East", is penned by Baseball Prospectus' writer Caleb Peiffer, who mentions the rumors of the Nationals throwing "A-Rod money" at Teixeira, but thinks they'd be more likely to get Dunn, though Mr. Peiffer doesn't know if that's such a good idea for DC noting that signing the OF/1B:
"...would lead to the forfeiting of Washington's second-round draft pick. That and the fact that the outfield is the team's one area of both strength and depth is enough to advise against it."
Mr. Peiffer does think the Nationals should bring back Odalis Perez, as well as another veteran starter to work with Washington's young arms, but in listing Perez, John Lannan and Scott Olsen as being included in the DC starting rotation, Mr. Peiffer doesn't leave much room for the young hurlers like Collin Balester, Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann, or even veterans like Shawn Hill and Jason Bergmann who are on the DC roster as of now...
...and finally, don't forget this uncredited Washington Times' article from 11/5/08 entitled, "Nats outright Young", where the anonymous scribes reported that the DC GM Jim Bowden was at the MLB GM meetings in California, and was:
"...seeking trades that could land a first baseman. Failing that, he could try to get involved in a free agent market that boasts high-priced first basemen Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn and Jason Giambi."
-- Oh, please not Giambi!?. If the Nationals continue to say that they're going to make a play for Teixeira, it's only going to be more disappointing to the DC Faithful if they come up empty or settle for someone like Giambi or Dunn, who provide offense but bring a variety of defensive deficiencies and personal issues with them for any team that ponies up the cash...So there's all the FA buzz...What do you expect the Nationals to end up doing? Are you taking the Teixeira talk seriously? Do you think the money or the Nationals' chances of reaching the postseason will be a bigger factor for prospective free agents considering DC as a destination? Can a team that had close to a $55 million dollar payroll last season truly be expected to add a $20-$30 million dollar a year first baseman? One hour and 11 minutes into Free Agency, the Nationals haven't signed anyone yet...