So, this morning's news is that the Slegna have apparently succumbed to temptation, collapsed on their previous reluctance to go above 6 or 7 years, and made an 8-year, $160 million offer to Mark Teixeira.
Even before this news, I was starting to think thnat the A's should be going after Teixeira; now, I'm leaning even more strongly toward that position.
My relatively disordered, composed-in-the-midst-of-rinsing-diapers argument after the jump ...
- As andeux said earlier this week, Teixeira is "as good a long-term health and performance bet as you’ll ever find on the free agent market" (safer, to be sure, than Furcal, who doesn't want to seem to play in Oakland anyway)
- The principal suitors are now once again our direct rival in the division, who will benefit greatly at our direct expense with Teixeira on their roster for the foreseeable future (and the reverse of that)
- The A's, even in this recession, should have cash available
- Holliday is either going to get much more expensive (if he hits well in the offense-depressing Coliseum; and due to the alleged new emphasis on defense and well-rounded players by MLB execs) or prove to be a bust and not worth extending; there's also virtually no reason whatsoever for Holliday to give the A's any sort of discount, or for him to even bother negotiating with the A's before he hits FA next winter
- The A's already have Holliday for '09--they have his relatively certain production, and they have his relatively certain trade/draft-pick value if they decide not to keep him beyond '09; the Teixeira-or-Holliday dilemma isn't a pure either-or A-B; it's A plus B and then the fruits of selling B. It's only A or B if the A's choose to not pursue Teixeira
- Beane seems to perceive that the A's have a narrow, immediate window of competitiveness in '09, and then have to play a waiting game for prospects to develop in '11 and beyond; the time is, as grover argues below in his Staturday non-rant, now
- None of the A's first-base options project anywhere near Teixeira in the short- and medium-term horizons; by the time he's blocking anyone, the market will likely have caught up to his contract, rendering him tradeable
- The A's have to proceed with their competitive plan regardless of the stadium situation: unless Beane wants to go the Full Marlin, the payroll will have to increase, and you might as well drop the extra cash for the risk mitigation
- Signing--or even making a good-faith, competitive, late-game offer to him--would go a long way toward grover's argument about positioning the team as "competitive" in the eyes of Randy Johnson (and, perhaps, Furcal)
- Finally, even if the A's don't sign him, jumping in with a big offer at this stage could force the Slegna (or the Sux) even higher with their bids; any extra dollars Beane would force them to spend would be dollars unavailable for the rest of their roster
That last point is really the crux of my argument; at this point, I think it's probably a fait accompli that Teixeira signs with the Angels; let's make sure they pay as dear as possible a price.