Red Sox seen in lead in Teixeira derby

Red Sox seen in lead in Teixeira derby

The Red Sox are in the lead heading down the stretch, no club is going as high as 10 years and the Orioles could increase their offer.

If the latest reports are accurate, this is where the Mark Teixeira derby stands as the owners and general managers go to their fiscal whips.

In a Boston.com story by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, a general manager not associated with any of the Teixeira contenders is quoted with the view that the Red Sox are the horse, or team, to beat.

"I think they're in the lead and ahead of where everyone else is right now," the GM said. "I'm not sure who's bidding against them at this point."

Asked if he thinks the race is almost over, the GM replied, "You just never know where Scott Boras and the Red Sox are involved." He added that he didn't think any team would go to 10 years on a Teixeira contract.

Boston's biggest challenges appear to be from the Angels and Nationals at the moment. The Yankees haven't yet gone all in or even extended a proposal to Boras for Teixeira.

The Orioles, meanwhile, could be out of the picture unless Teixeira, a Maryland native, agrees to a home discount from the 28-year-old slugger who grew up cheering for the Birds.

On ESPN.com, Buster Olney has a source who said, "The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there."

However, Orioles team president Andy MacPhail says that not only does he not consider his club to be out of the running for Teixeira, but there remains a possibility that they could bump up their offer.

"If they came back to us and told us what it would take and we thought that it made sense for us, then [the offer could increase]," MacPhail said.

The Nationals reportedly have an offer of $160 million for eight years on the table, while the Angels extended an eight-year offer at an undisclosed amount at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas for the player they acquired two days before the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline from the Braves.

Hot Stove

According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox will not go to 10 years, Boras' original target.

Principal owner John Henry, in an e-mail response to a question, left that impression when he wrote, "The Red Sox effectively had a 10-year deal with a player determined not to live up to his contract. A lot can change over 10 years, for both sides."

The Red Sox had two option years left on Manny Ramirez's eight-year deal when they sent him to the Dodgers at the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in a three-team deal that brought Jason Bay to Boston from Pittsburgh.

Ramirez could trigger a turf war between the Dodgers and Angels for his free-agent services if the Angels lose out on Teixeira. But Angels general manager Tony Reagins maintained his stance on Tuesday in an interview with MLB.com that prospects of signing Ramirez are "slim."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.