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 last 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's reference to the "other offers" leaves open the possibility that he is calling the bluff of agent Scott Boras, who has been known to inflate the value of offers and the number of suitors pursuing his client. Boras represented former Red Sox centerfielder 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.
Henry and general manager Theo Epstein traveled to Texas to meet with Teixeira and Boras, according to an official with another team, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The Los Angeles Angels, who obtained Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves in July, said last week they made an 8-year offer. Several media outlets put Boston's offer at 8 years and $184 million.
In other news:
* Roger Clemens' former personal trainer cooperated with investigators looking into steroids in baseball under threat of prosecution, an assistant U.S. attorney said in a court filing that could turn into a key factor in the lawsuit filed by the star pitcher.
In a declaration filed in federal court in Houston as part of Clemens' defamation lawsuit against Brian McNamee, assistant U.S. attorney Matthew Parrella said he told McNamee he was not a target of the investigation but could become one if he failed to cooperate.
If McNamee made any false statements to federal investigators or to the law firm hired by baseball to investigate drugs in the sport, Parrella said he could face prosecution. McNamee told former Sen. George Mitchell's investigators that Clemens had used steroids and human growth hormone before baseball players and owners agreed to ban them.
* Free agent Aaron Boone agreed to a $750,000, 1-year contract with the Houston Astros. Boone played for the Washington Nationals last season.
* Rafael Furcal has accepted a 3-year contract worth at least $30 million to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the shortstop's representatives confirmed while refuting the Atlanta Braves' claim that Furcal reneged on a deal with them. *