We’re all supposed to believe that Mark Teixeira eventually chose to sign with the Yankees because they ultimately stepped up and offered the most money. But was that really the deciding factor? According to New York sportswriter and baseball Hall of Fame member Murray Chass, Tex spurned Boston for a very simple reason: he and his wife didn’t want to live there.
Additionally, Tex actually had a better financial offer from Washington, and the Nats were reportedly even willing to go higher but never got the chance. But the thing that will sting in Beantown if the Yanks somehow parlay this signing into a World Series title is the fact that he’d rather reside in New York.
Chass is one of the stalwarts of old-school thinking in baseball, and is reguarly ridiculed by statheads like the folks at the late FIRE JOE MORGAN. But he is, as a former NEW YORK TIMES columnist with many years in the business, pretty well-connected. In Chass’ latest entry in what he insists is not a blog (but is), he says Teixeira quite simply rejected Boston because it’s Boston:
The Yankees didn’t snatch him away from the Red Sox because they outbid or outsmarted the Red Sox. Teixeira didn’t sign with the Red Sox, a baseball official said, because he and his wife, especially his wife, didn’t want to live in Boston. If necessary, they were going to choose the big bad city of New York, and they did.
“He just didn’t want to go to Boston,” the official said. “He didn’t want to be a Red Sox so Boras called the Yankees and said he really wants to be a Yankee.”
Scott Boras denied that it was purely geographical, but seemed to suggest that personal reasons were key:
“The family issues and where they reside were obviously part of the decision. Tex and his wife had their discussions. I don’t know what that dialogue was.”
Still, there’s not really any indication that the Red Sox went beyond their 8-year, $168 million offer, which Boras said wasn’t anywhere near what it would take. But it’s very likely that it was the best offer until the Yanks jumped in.
At that point, the Nats had apparenly already increased their offer to something larger than what Teixeira ended up signing for in New York. MASN’s Roch Kubatko says the Nats would’ve gone higher, but Tex jumped so quickly at the Yankees’ offer that they never got an opportunity:
Anyway, just one more note on Mark Teixeira: I’ve heard from a reliable source that the first baseman turned down about $5 million more from the Nationals to sign with the Yankees. And the Nats would have gone higher, but were never given the chance. Teixeira jumped at Brian Cashman’s first offer.
I guess it wasn’t ALL about the money - just mostly about it. Being on a contender every year also brings a certain appeal.
And there you have it. Would we all be as bothered by the “excess” if he had accepted $190 million from the Nats? Probably not, even though accepting that offer would’ve almost been entirely about the money (remember A-Rod in Texas?). While we can be bothered at the Yanks’ spending, they simply made a market offer for a player that was out-bid and they got him anyway. What exactly did they do wrong here?
As for Boston, I wonder what Tex’s wife has against the city. Have they had bad experiences there in the past?