Everyone smells a bluff.
After John Henry e-mailed members of the media (including me ... nah, he didn't) and said the Sox wouldn't be a factor for Teixeira's services, no one is taking the bait. Nick Cafardo writes that if the Sox were really out of it, it'd be a stunner:
Of the people I've talked to this morning about John Henry's e-mail in which he said that Boston "will not be a factor" for Teixeira, none of them seem to hear any finality in that statement
When the Red Sox get on a plane to visit the player and the agent, they do it to get the deal done. Something Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, said about the other offers on the table didn't sit well. The Sox probably felt they came in with the best offer, or certainly a sizeable offer, in the $170 million-$185 million range over eight years and perhaps Boras feels that he can do better than that in the end.
But this morning there is no evidence of any team trumping the Red Sox. Brian Cashman told the New York Post it wasn't him. Tony Reagins of the Angels has said his team has made a fair offer. The Washington Nationals, rumored by many to be the team to have possibly gone beyond their original 8-year, $160 million deal, also have given no indications they have done so
Cafardo also mentions that a GM in this Teixeira talks said, "I still believe the Red Sox have the best offer on the table. I think this is a negotiating ploy."
The consensus is there isn't a team that has outbid the Sox and no on really thinks that this "not a factor" thing will stick.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal still thinks Teixeira will be a Red Sox when it's all said and done:
For now, though, we're in the familiar Scott Boras Staredown Phase, in which an ardent suitor attempts to call the legendary agent's bluff.
The Sox are experienced at this game.
Boras stuck it to them in Dec. 2005, when Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees without giving the Red Sox a chance to match New York's offer, according to Sox owner John Henry.
The Sox struck back in Dec. 2006, when team officials flew to Boras' home turf in Southern California and forced him to accept a take-it-or-leave it proposal for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Yeah, the Sox are used to this game but I'm sure it's not one of those games you enjoy playing. It'd be nice if the Sox could pull a Braves and say, "We're not working with you anymore" but that's just not possible with Boras. Boras essentially has a monopoly on all the baseball stars and it'd be hard to operate a good ballclub without one of his clients.
It's been a rollercoaster ride that isn't about to end...