Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trade: Mark Teixeira to Angels for Casey Kotchman

Well, yesterday's rumored trade of Teixeira to Arizona did not come true. Instead he was traded to the Angels for Casey Kotchman and a AA relief pitcher. When taken in isolation, the Braves did ok in this trade. In Kotchman they got a big league caliber first baseman that is relatively cheap and under control until 2011. Kotchman is not quite the power threat that Teixeira is, but scouts believe that his power will develop.

The problem for the Braves is that the trade will always be looked at in combination with the trade from last year when they acquired Teixeira. The Braves gave up multiple solid prospects, knowing that he would be a free agent after this season. The trade did not result in a playoff appearance for the Braves in 2007 and it will not result in a playoff appearance in 2008. In that sense, the Teixeira era in Atlanta will always be considered a huge failure. He did not improve the team enough to get them to the playoffs and the package they ultimately received for him was far inferior to what they gave up to receive him.

For the Angels, Teixeira probably doesn't represent the difference between making the playoffs or not - in all likelihood they were already going to make the playoffs. What Teixeira does for the Angels is give them a secondary power threat in their lineup behind Vladimir Guerrero. They already had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and a very good defense, now they have an offense that rivals any in the league. The Angels have gone from being one of the players in the American League playoff picture to being the favorite in the American League. If they fail to win it all this year, they will have lost Kotchman, but will have two draft picks as compensation for Teixeira, who is almost certain to test the free agent waters. So, in essence they gave up Kotchman for two draft picks and the increase that Teixeira gives them in their chance of winning the World Series this year. I'd call that a good trade.

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