December 23, 2008 [LINK / comment]
Those damn Yankees! (Did I really just say that?) Just when the Washington Nationals had a shred of hope for becoming competitive in 2009, the New York Yankees lured Mark Teixera to The Bronx, with an eight-year contract worth $180 million. It was the same number of years that the Nationals had offered the first baseman earlier this month, but with an extra $20 million. Well, I guess that would be enough to make me switch sides in a hurry. The Yankees thus have added another heavyweight slugger to their roster of multimillionnaires, after bolstering their bullpen with A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia. As reported by MLB.com, "According to a Major League source, [his agent Scott] Boras told the Nationals that Teixeira wanted to win now and felt Washington was not ready." Well it's hard to argue with that, I'm sorry to say.
Numerous sources indicated that Teixera wanted to play for an East Coast team, since he grew up in Maryland. That's why the Orioles and Nationals had especially high hopes of landing him. The best the Nationals could probably do now is find a big name player who is willing to sign a one-year contract so that he can prove himself -- like Alfonso Soriano did for the 2006 season.
And so, look out Red Sox! (And for that matter, look out Rays!) Any thought that the Yankees might spend the first year in their new stadium in a "rebuilding" mode, looking toward the future, have been dashed.