Teixeira's (mis)quote stirs up Angels fans
TEMPE, Ariz. -- A quote attributed to Mark Teixeira created quite a stir on an Angels fan message board today, with many threads ripping the Yankees first baseman for supposedly telling WFAN radio in New York that he "did not like how the Angels, and especially the Red Sox, handled themselves" in negotiations for the free agent this past winter.
One problem: Teixeira never singled out the Angels. I listened to the entire interview with Teixeira, which is posted on WFAN's website. When asked about his decision to sign an eight-year, $180-million deal with the Yankees, while spurning offers from the Angels, Red Sox, Nationals and Orioles, Teixeira said this:
"I always had the Yankees in my sights, and one thing my agent and I had asked every single team is, we're not going to negotiate through the media, and we ask you not to. The Yankees were really the only team that did that. The other teams went out and told everybody their offers, told everybody that they talked to me, that they made this call, made that trip. The Yankees kept quiet. We talked all winter. When they were ready to make their final offer, it was a great offer, and my wife and I were excited about going to New York."
Asked specifically about the Red Sox, who made public comments about their home visit to Teixeira in December, Teixeira said he was bothered.
"I think in the end, it probably worked against them a little bit, because everyone thought the Red Sox were my No. 1 choice," Teixeira said. "... The Yankees had a leg up all along."
About the only public comments the Angels made about Teixeira while he was a free agent was that re-signing him was their top priority. The Angels also confirmed during the winter meetings that they had made a substantial offer to Teixeira, but they never revealed what that offer was. Several media outlets, including The Times, speculated the offer was in the $160-million range, which turned out to be correct. It was exactly $160 million.
The only time the Angels elaborated in their public comments about Teixeira was after they pulled their offer off the table and withdrew from the Teixeira sweepstakes right before Christmas. A few days later, Teixeira signed with the Yankees.
"In my view, we did not negotiate through the media," General Manager Tony Reagins said today, after reading a transcript of Teixeira's quote. "We never said what our offer was. We never said what the number was. At the end of the day, the player is in New York."
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Mark Teixeira signs autographs prior to the Yankees' spring training game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. Credit: Rob Carr / Associated Press