Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Rangers trade Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves
The underperforming, overpaid non-team player will be sorely missed.
ARLINGTON The Rangers finally traded semi-iconic first baseman Mark Teixeira Tuesday, along with middle reliever Ron Mahay to the Braves for the Braves' top organizational prospects. After three weeks of negotiations, the Braves sent rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor leaguers to Texas for the underperforming, switch-hitter Teixeira.
Rangers owner Tom Hicks said the deal was made only after the star first baseman and his agent, Scott Boras, turned down an offer for an eight-year, $140 million contract extension. Once the offer was rejected, it was only a matter of time before the Rangers shopped the big man around.
Teixeira is batting a disappointing .297 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs, a significant drop in power from his 43 home runs in 2005 and 33 in 2006. He has hit 153 homers in five seasons, setting career highs with 43 homers and 144 RBIs in 2005. Recent problems with manager Ron Washington, as well as some minor injury problems, also may have influenced the decision to trade him.
In addition to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Texas also landed slick-fielding shortstop Elvis Andrus and three pitchers: right-hander Neftali Feliz, left-hander Matt Harrison and left-hander Beau Jones. Saltalamacchia and Andrus were rated as the Braves' top prospects before the season.
Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter with power, has spent time at first base this season as the Braves tried to find a way to use his bat. His strong throwing arm is likely very attractive to a team still searching for a replacement for Ivan Rodriguez. Saltalamacchia, 22, is hitting .284 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 141 at-bats this season.
Andrus, 19, is best known for his strong defense at shortstop.
Posted by Todd M.