Continued kudos to Jon Daniels. If his apparently improved ability to spark buzz about a player is a reflection on his maturation as a GM, then maybe there is hope after all that he will orchestrate a trade for Teixeira that provides a good return for the Rangers.
I’m loving all this! Every day this week it seems like a different team is reportedly the “favorite” to get Tex. Meanwhile, reports consistently state that the Rangers are asking for a lot. Great! They should! Tex is the biggest offensive sparkplug on the market this season (and a bonified Gold Glover to boot) when several contenders need a boost to their offense. For several of the interested teams, Mark Teixeira could truly be the piece that completes their championship season puzzle.
(I still think the Tigers lead that list and could be risking one, maybe even two World Championships if they stand pat. They would be pohibitive favorites this year and next if they grabbed Tex and Benoit for Casey (whose average has improved but power is still lacking but would thrive in Rangers Ballpark in his free agent season in ’09), Andrew Miller, another starting prospect (Dallas Trahern or Plano’s own Jordan Tata would be my pick), and two outfield prospects (Ryan Raburn and a low prospect would do – it doesn’t have to be Cameron Maybin) .
Yesterday’s reports had the Red Sox as the leading trade partner (which seems a real stretch), and this looks to be the Braves’ day. They’re getting next to zero production at first base. And I’ll always take a pitching product of the Braves system (in fact, I’ve often believed that if a team like the Braves who seem to crank out pitchers at will partnered with the Rangers who have done the same with hitters, the two would be great trading partners and could plan several World Series meetings). Right now, the Braves’ pitching prospects are not overly tantalizing. RHP Manny Acosta may be the best of their bunch, but he’s not yet established at the major-league level. The rest are not impressive statistically and are not ready to make a near-term impact at the major leagues. They have upside, but no more than McCarthy, Loe, Rheinecker, Hurley, Wood and other guys already in the Rangers’ system. For the Teixeira trade to be a success, it must include a starting pitcher who is as sure a bet as can be to be a top-of-the-rotation winner. I don’t see that sureness in what the Braves can offer.
At this point, I still think the Dodgers or Yankees are the best fit, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.