Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dave O'Brien Nails It

What does he nail? The fact that a Teixeira trade -- at least one that will benefit the Braves in any appreciable way -- is very, very unlikely this summer:
Some who’ve talked to Boras about it say he’s sent signals that he’ll ask for $22-23 mill a year in an eight-year deal for Tex. Good luck with that. Can’t see that happening. But if anybody is capable of getting him more than most of us believe Teixeira is worth, it’s certainly Boras, who plays one team against another team, or one offer against another supposed offer from a team that nobody can pin down and many observers will often doubt actually exists.

He’s turned that into art. Offseason art. Not the kind of thing you can pull off in midseason, which is why you don’t see Boras doing the window-to-work-out-a-contract-extension thing with his clients. By that I mean, if the Braves had a deal with, say, the Angels in place that depended upon the Angels first coming to an agreement on a long-term contract extension with Teixeira, well, I can’t see Boras agreeing to do that. Can’t see that at all.

Because what team would he use as leverage? What offer could he say he’s received from this team or that, in July?
That is certainly fits with previous things we've heard about Boras posturing with phantom offers. With no signing window as a trade contingency, the Braves won't get much value for Teixeira, and in that case they may as well let him walk and take the pics.

Assuming, that is, that Braves' management is finally over the Maddux anomaly of 2003 when, I'll be, a Boras client accepted arbitration. I can't see any reason on the planet why Teixeira would do that, so if the Braves don't offer arbitration, well, God help them.

UPDATE: Many of you have forwarded me the FJM post taking apart the very same Dave O'Brien column linked here. For the record, I don't disagree with much of anything they say there. To the extent O'Brien nails anything here, it's the analysis of Boras' m.o. In my opinion, his assessment of Teixeira the player -- he of no big hits and back carrying goodness -- is about as ridiculous as FJM says it is.


Alex said...

I've read good things about the development of some of the Braves prospects traded for Tex (in particular, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus). Unless the extra picks the Braves get for Tex walking turn out to be superstars, doesn't this look like Schuerholz's worst trade? Of course, I think much of the blame could lay with Tex himself -- if he weren't underperforming, the Braves might be in the race, and a playoff berth would make the trade look like a success after all.

Mike said...

See the Fire Joe Morgan take on the same article.

David said...

has he really been underperforming?

Alex said...

Well...career: .285/.372/.535, this year: .281/.384/.508. So, in basic terms, only his slugging is down, and I'm sure most will be quick to attribute that to his move away from a hitter's park. And well...his splits all say he's playing well and clutch and all that too, so I can't back up my argument, which is that I generally agree with O'Brien. I read FJM all the time too, so it kills me to use cliches like "he doesn't know how to win", but that's kinda how I feel about Tex. As a Braves fan, I feel like there's been too many times when he'll just take a walk with men on base. On the other hand, I feel like I've seen Chipper reach out and poke a single over the infield when the team needed a run. Opponents were trying to pitch around him, but he did what he had to do and drove in a run. Also, I think I remember seeing a quote by Tex recently that said, in short, "I'm happy with where my stats are this year." To me, that just screams a guy who's playing for his payday above all else. Why go for the RBI single, when an easy walk will pad your stats just as well? I'm not saying he doesn't want to win... Obviously this is a nebulous and subjective argument, but yeah, I'm on O'Brien's side here.

Daniel said...

Seriously, 8 years for 22-23 million a year? Tex is good, but he's not THAT good. I guess I thought he had slipped more than he really has (137 OPS+ is still nothing to be ashamed of), but he's not the absolute monster that Giambi was when the Yankees gave him that ridiculous deal. Tex does play better defense than the Giambino (actually, a dead musk ox plays better defense than Giambi).

I don't know, I guess I could see the Yankees paying $20 million a year since Giambi is coming off the books, but who else will really be in the bidding? Seattle and maybe the Mets. Enough for Boras to work his magic, I suppose.

Alex said...

"Seattle and maybe the Mets." Don't forget Baltimore. Tex is from the area and I'm sure Boras won't hesitate to say they're listening to offers from the O's.

Daniel said...

Good point, Alex. I guess I was only thinking of high budget teams need a 1bman who are, or pretend to be, contenders (the Mariners fitting into the latter of those). I guess I could see Angelos opening his wallet for Teixeira, especially since the Orioles have outperformed expectations this year.

Mark Smith said...

Yes, because people don't give up four prospects for two months of a reliever. The Braves can get three good prospects for him. Just wait until everyone freaks out. No one ever learns.