I love all the crap I've been reading this morning about how the Yankees "swooped in" and "stole" Mark Teixeira from under the Red Sox "noses." Balderdash. (I'm keeping it clean because it's Christmas Eve.)
Sources last night said that Teixeira had no intention of signing with the Red Sox, and wanted to sign with New York. It was all a ploy by his disingenuous agent, Scott Boras, to get the Red Sox to get the price up so Boras could get the Yankees to give him the highest deal possible. Sure, the Sox were hot after him, but they stuck to their guns, and wouldn't budge from their highest price of eight years, $170 million. (And even that struck me as way too much for someone like him.)
And now it appears that John Henry wasn't really calling Boras' bluff as much as his knowing the Red Sox were just being used by Boras. So be it. Count me in the group that isn't devastated by Teixeira in NY. I'm not happy about it, but I concede them nothing. They can buy all the players they want, and it doesn't guarantee them anything. They beat out the Sox on Jose Contreras, Alex Rodriguez, Carl Pavano and Johnny Damon. Please remind me again, how many titles did they collectively bring to the Bronx? A whopping zilch.
All of this is good news for Mike Lowell, who gets to go back to third without worrying about being traded in spring training. The Red Sox still have plenty of work to do this winter, like resolving the catching situation, and adding a fourth outfielder and fifth starter. (Derek Lowe?) I would bet Theo Epstein is working on it right now (or at least after Christmas). Adding Teixeira would have brought on some problems, like taking a Gold Glove off first base in Kevin Youkilis and moving him to third and all the speculation over Lowell. That will not happen, and that's a good thing. He was just an extremely expensive luxury right now. (And I can't help think of the line, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.")
You know that Teixeira will be in for it every time he steps to plate at Fenway Park next season. Say what you want about Rodriguez, but at least Slappy wanted to play in Boston. (And signing Teixeira also puts all the onus for next season on New York. If they don't win the World Series in 2009, this winter's $420+ million spending spree will have been deemed a colossal, monumental failure. That's not too much pressure on these guys, huh?)
Yeah, the Yankees and their fans are crowing about this, but remember the words of one Theo Epstein a few years back, "We're not trying to win December."