Just got off the phone with Los Angeles Angels spokesman Tim Mead, who has confirmed reports by FoxSports guy (and former Sun colleague) Ken Rosenthal and Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports that the Angels are out of the bidding for free agent Mark Teixeira.
The Angels were believed to be offering an eight-year deal worth between $160 million and $165 million, but have decided to move in another direction. The decision was characterized as "final," so it differs slightly with the announcement by the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night that they are not "a factor" in the negotiations.
Does this mean Tex (right) is going to end up in the Baltimore/Washington area? Not necessarily, but the chances have improved considerably. If agent Scott Boras overplayed his hand with the Red Sox and Angels -- and nothing changes -- he may be forced into face-saving mode, which would point to the hometown O's, since Boras can always say that he was maneuvering toward that all along.
Of course, the Red Sox may not really be out of it and the Yankees could rear their ugly heads at any moment, but if this thing has come down to the Orioles and the Nats, then it also comes down to a choice that could create an image problem for Teixeira. He either goes for the most money and is viewed as another Boras mercenary or goes to the team he rooted for as a kid.
There's more intrigue to come, but the Orioles clearly are not out of the picture here.
Why did the Angels get out? That isn't quite as clear, but it wouldn't surprise me if owner Arte Moreno came to believe that Teixeira was focused entirely on playing for an East Coast franchise and that his offer was only being used to fuel the market. Either that or the Angels just got tired of this extended game of dominoes and decided to get on with their other offseason priorities.