Here's a prediction: By the time this is over, win or lose, the Red Sox effectively will have made Mark Teixeira the largest contract offer in the history of your storied franchise.
Preposterous, you say? Clearly, you have not been paying attention. Since the Red Sox changed ownership, management, and philosophies early in 2002, the new owners and operators of the Red Sox have stopped at virtually nothing to acquire those things they have coveted most. When the best of the rest were bidding $35 million-$40 million to acquire the rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox bid $51.11 million. When the rest of the world wondered why J.D. Drew opted out of his contract in Los Angeles, the Red Sox dropped $70 million in Drew's lap. And knowing what we know now, nothing might have been more aggressive than the $36 million the Sox paid for Julio Lugo.
The point is this:
When the Sox want something enough, they make sure they get it.
In the case of Teixeira, the parameters have been in place for quite some time. Roughly 18 months ago, before being dealt by the Texas Rangers, Teixeira turned down an eight-year, $144 million offer that translated into $18 million per season. At the time, Teixeira was still a season and a half short of free agency. Teixeira's resume has only grown since then, which likely places Teixeira's current value between $20-$25 million per season over the next six to eight years at a minimum.
Know what that means? It means that in order to sign him, someone must pay $150-$200 million over at least the next six or eight seasons. On the shorter end of that, Teixeira easily will eclipse the annual $20 million salary earned by Ramirez during his productive and somewhat tumultuous time in Boston. On the longer end, Teixeira could end up with a package approaching $200 million, $40 million more than the $160 million deal Ramirez acquired during the winter of 2000-01.
I can't even imagine what the Red Sox lineup would look like with Teixeira anchoring the middle. Undoubtedly, the Sox would have a player capable of hitting in the No. 3 spot forced to hit No. 7 -- Jason Bay? Kevin Youkilis? JD Drew? Any one of those guys could hit No. 3 for most teams...