The Boston Red Sox have been outbid for free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira and "are not going to be a factor" in acquiring him, owner John Henry said in an e-mail on Thursday night.
BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have been outbid for free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira and "are not going to be a factor" in acquiring him, owner John Henry said in an e-mail on Thursday night.
"We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him," Henry said. "After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."
Henry, general manager Theo Epstein and president Larry Lucchino went to the Dallas area to meet with Teixeira and his agent Scott Boras.
"The Boston ownership was kind enough to request and travel to meet with Mark Teixeira," Boras said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "While it was a very positive meeting, Mark was candid and advised he is in the process of making a decision and is now attempting to eliminate teams."
Henry's reference to the "other offers" leaves open the possibility that he is calling a bluff. Boras represented former Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon, who signed with the New York Yankees in 2005 after the Boston brass apparently refused to believe that the offer from their archrivals was real.
Teixeira hit .308 with 33 homers and 121 RBIs last season, including .358 with 13 homers and 43 RBIs in 54 games with the Angels.
The Texas talks came two years and seven days after Epstein, Lucchino and minority owner Tom Werner arrived in Newport Beach, Calif., to meet with Boras and another client, pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose rights the Red Sox had won with a $51.1 million bid to his Japanese team.
The team officials planned to leave California two days later, with or without Matsuzaka, on Henry's private jet. They arrived at the airport, uncertain if Matsuzaka would join them. He did and they flew to Boston to work on details of his six-year, $52 million deal.
In prior days, Boras had said he would not let Matsuzaka travel to Boston for a physical unless the sides had reached a preliminary agreement.
The Los Angeles Angels, who obtained Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves in July, said last week they made an eight-year offer.
Teixeira also has been pursued by the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, and met before the winter meetings with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Officials of the Orioles and Angels said Boras had not been in contact with them on Thursday.
Henry had expressed concern about a contract of eight years or more.
"We all have limits," he wrote to the AP on Wednesday. "Eight years is a very long time in baseball and everywhere else."
He also said the amount the team is willing to spend on a free agent "depends on both" the economy and the player being sought.
"Baseball as a whole has not yet been hit by the financial crisis, but it will," Henry said. "The degree is in question and won't be answered for a while."
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York and Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed to this report.