By Mac Engel
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
August 20, 2001
Rangers owner Tom Hicks talked with Scott Boras directly Sunday and made a breakthrough in the negotiations that makes it likely the Rangers will sign their first-round draft choice, third baseman Mark Teixeira of Georgia Tech.
“Good progress was made,” Hicks said. “But the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.”
Hicks made a similar statement on the eve of signing Alex Rodriguez to the richest contract in sports history in December.
A high-ranking major-league source said the deal “will get done.”
Neither Boras nor Teixeira could be reached for comment.
Although Hicks and Rangers general manager Doug Melvin declined to talk specifics, the contract offer is believed to be worth more than $10 million over five years. That would put the deal near what the Chicago Cubs reportedly have offered their top draft pick, Southern California pitcher Mark Prior.
Prior was the second overall pick in the draft. Teixeira was fifth overall because teams in front of the Rangers decided they couldn’t afford him.
“We’ve had discussions, but nothing is finalized,” Melvin said.
“We’ll probably talk [today], more than likely. I think there is some optimism, but a deal is never done until a deal is done. We’ve had some discussions, but nothing is finalized.”
Teixeira is enrolled to begin fall classes for his senior year at Georgia Tech today. He said Tuesday he would begin attending classes today but would wait if the two sides were close.
If he doesn’t attend class, the Rangers retain his rights and can continue negotiating.
If he does attend class, the Rangers lose his rights and he can re-enter the draft next June.
As a high school senior in 1998, the Red Sox selected Teixeira in the ninth round, but he turned down their $1.5 million offer.
In his first two seasons at Georgia Tech, Teixeira batted .408 with 31 home runs and 145 runs batted. He missed the majority of his junior season after he broke his right ankle Feb. 24