The big news of the last day -- well, since C.C. Sabathia signed with New York -- is the ever interesting courtship of one Mark Teixeira. The Washington Nationals offered a an 8 year, 160 million deal for the first baseman; however, it now looks to be that all the teams involved in this whole affair have placed bids for the slugger.
I still think Teixeira goes to Boston. It's an organization that has put a premium on building winning teams, a place where he could play where the ballpark is filled every night, keep him on the East Coast and get him the national exposure that could expand his marketability.
Will the Red Sox get him despite their abhorrence of signing players to extended deals? Who knows. I think the Red Sox, much like all the teams left in the hunt for Mark have thrown out all the rules.
From Boston.com: "I know there's the position that we're a superpower - we probably are, in some ways, financially - but it seems like every $100 million player that comes around always has the Red Sox in the mix," Epstein said. "We often are in the mix.Epstein is being coy. I think the Red Sox are very well working on a deal for him, and are probably much further along than anyone will admit in this deal.
"But besides [Drew and Matsuzaka], we haven't given out those free agent contracts. That's been partly responsible for our success. We focus more on long-term building and more on building from within. That doesn't mean we won't do it for the right player, and in that circumstance, we will."
In other news, this morning the Orioles picked several players from the Rule 5 draft -- they lost Rocky Cherry as he was unprotected and went to the NY Mets -- thus, here's a brief snippet from Peter Schmuck's blog on the Baltimore Sun website:
The Orioles selected catcher Lou Palmisano from the Nashville Sounds roster with the fifth choice in today's Rule 5 draft. Palmisano, 26, was a third-round pick in the 2003 draft who had a decent season at Double-A Huntsville in 2007, batting .256 with 11 home runs and 63 RBI, but played very little at the rookie ball and Class-A level last year because of a knee injury.As well, Ramon Hernandez was surprised by his trade to Cincinnati (as if we were); Aubrey Huff won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award -- well deserved for his 'comeback' year in '08; Scott Erickson yearns for a comeback to the major leagues (why?); Orioles Hangout's Tony Pente likes the results from the Hernandez trade as does the Loss Column along with Around the Harbor, & Pete Kerzel gives us his take on the deal as does Stan 'The Fan' Charles.
Don't look for him in spring training, because the Orioles intend to sell his rights to the Houston Astros. With the sudden infusion of cash, I wonder if the Orioles will up their offer for Mark Teixeira to $140,050,000.
For a team that started out not planning to select anyone, the Orioles were one of the most active teams in the draft, also choosing 23-year-old Birmingham Barons (White Sox) shortstop Robert Valido in the Triple-A phase of the draft and right-handed pitcher Andrew Barb (Seattle Mariners) in the Double-A phase.
Meanwhile, Drew Forrester of WNST believes that the Orioles' deal for Teixeira would bring a lot of complications if he did indeed sign with the team and also thinks he's got no heart if he signs in Boston; Nestor Aparicio has his thoughts on the whole Teixeira show.
It looks like that Cesar Izturis will indeed become the new shortshop as he has agreed in principle to a two-year deal (estimated to at 3 million per year) that will be finalized once he passed a physical.
Jay Trucker of the Examiner has a great two part series with Ken Weinman of FM 105.7 and his thoughts on the Orioles and the sports talk radio industry; Camden Chat has a little snippet on the history of the Orioles organization; the Roar From 34 has a post on the "O" chant and a little known ordinance; Weaver's Tantrum gives their thoughts on the Winter Meetings; Oriole Central reports that A.J. Burnett is more than likely not coming to Baltimore; and Sixteen Gold Gloves looks back at Wild Bill.