Trade Analysis: Mark Teixeira
Angels get: Mark Teixeira
Braves get: Casey Kotchman, Steve Marek
At the time of this trade, everyone figured it would be the highlight of the deadline. How wrong we were.
Still, it can’t be ignored. The Angels picked up the second-most impactful bat on the market, and have the money to re-sign him. Most likely, Teixeira is a rental, but even still, a nice acquisition by the Angels.
The Angels gave up Kotchman, who has a proven bat, an excellent glove, and knows how to get on base. His only negative is that he has yet to develop power, which is generally considered a necessity at the position. He could have a fine career without the long ball — look at Mark Grace — and fits in perfectly with the Braves’ unsexy strategy that brought them 14 straight division titles. MetsToday loyalist “isuzudude” compared Kotchman to Sid Bream, and that makes sense to me. Like Bream, Kotchman is strong in all phases of the game except baserunning, hits consistently for average but not power, shows a good eye at the plate, and rarely makes mistakes. He’s only 25, so there’s still the chance he learns to lift the ball into the stands.
In addition, the Braves picked up a 24-year-old pitcher who has shown flashes of brilliance, but has yet to gain consistency on the mound. Used as a starter prior to this year, Marek was moved to the bullpen and has picked up a few MPH on his fastball, which nears 94, and mixes in a plus curveball. His transition to relief puts him on the fast-track; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the big leagues before the end of this year.
You know what you get with Teixeira, but don’t feel bad for the Angels if they don’t re-sign him this winter — they’ll get two #1 draft picks if he signs elsewhere.
A good deal for both sides, in my opinion, since the Braves get an immediate and future replacement for first base, and an arm who could be valuable to them right away. The Angels get the huge bat to protect Vlad Guerrero that they’ve been pining for since last year. Though I think the Braves might have gotten a better package had they waited it out to the deadline.
Next analysis: Pudge Rodriguez