There were points this year when it felt as if the Sox needed another big bat in their lineup. Considering that, Mark Teixeria seemed like a perfect target, the kind of player around whom the offense could be built for years to come. Now, of course, he's a Yankee.
The immediate reaction to this development yesterday afternoon was one of bewilderment. Considering the closeness of the offers by the Sox and the Yankees, why didn't Boston push a bit harder to land the big target?
Then again, Theo + Co. have been canny in their sense of fiscal discipline, and if the Sox had made an incremental increase, there's a good chance that Scott Boras would have continued to play the two teams off against one another. As it stands, the Sox can do a lot with the money once allocated for Tex. And Mike Lowell, one hopes, will be extra motivated to turn in a strong season.
More importantly, Lars Anderson, a power-hitting 1B prospect who will likely spend a good part of this year with the PawSox, may be ready to arrive in the bigs for 2010.
So while Teixeira's signing might feel like a temporary setback, the Sox and the reloaded Yankees (who both need to be concerned with the newly powerful Rays) remain relatively evenly matched.