Angels stop pursuing Teixeira

Updated: December 22, 2008, 10:51 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

The Los Angeles Angels withdrew their eight-year offer for free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira on Sunday, according to team vice president of communications Tim Mead.

The Angels' departure from the Teixeira sweepstakes leaves the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles as the four teams still in the mix for the premier position player in this winter's free-agent market.

In an e-mail to several media outlets, Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, said his client appreciated his time in Anaheim.

"Mark Teixeira enjoyed his time with the Angels and was an integral part of their success last season. His interest in returning to the club has been sincere, real and continues to be one of his earnest priorities throughout this offseason," Boras wrote.

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Mark Teixeira is going to wind up with a terrific contract, but he'll have to take someone's money soon -- his leverage has likely maxed out, Buster Olney writes. Blog
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On Baseball Today, Buster Olney joins Eric Karabell and Peter Pascarelli to deliver the latest on the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. Listen

"Clubs are very aware -- in particular the Angels -- [that] participation in the free agent process does not signal lack of interest in signing with the club. Case in point, the Angels signed two great free-agent players who engaged in the mechanism, receiving and exchanging offers with multiple clubs, while negotiating with the Angels. Therefore, we are assuming that reasons, other than Teixeira's interest in returning to the Angels, were the driving factor."

The two free agents Boras referred to in his e-mail were outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter.

Angels general manager Tony Reagins revealed before the winter meetings that the team had offered Teixeira an eight-year deal. The dollar figure was undetermined.

Mark Teixeira

Teixeira

It's uncertain where the Angels will turn next. The team had been mentioned as a candidate to sign another Boras client, Manny Ramirez, but after the Angels re-signed Juan Rivera to a three-year, $12.75 million deal this week, a source familiar with the team's plans characterized a Ramirez signing as a "reach" for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles has been mentioned in speculation as a potential landing spot for free agents Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn and Brian Fuentes, among others. Fuentes is a potential replacement for record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez, who left the Angels to sign a three-year deal with the New York Mets.

Los Angeles acquired Teixeira in a trade with Atlanta before the July 31 deadline last season. Teixeira batted .358 with 13 homers and 43 RBIs in 54 games for the Angels.

After Teixeira filed for free agency, the Angels had been considered at a competitive disadvantage because of Teixeira's purported desire to play on the East Coast. Teixeira is a native of Severna Park, Md.

"I know he likes the East Coast,'' Hunter told reporters at the winter meetings in Las Vegas. "I talked to him on a plane this year and he loves the East Coast. But being in Anaheim this year, he saw it, he felt it. He played for the Angels, and he told me, 'This organization is A-1.' ''

Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN Insider.

Jerry Crasnick | email

ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer

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