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Braves Trade Mark Teixeira to Angels

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The Braves have traded Mark Teixeira to the Angels for first baseman Casey Kotchman and minor leaguer Steven Marek. The Teixeira situation has been a mess for the Braves, who paid a king's ransom to get him last year and are getting back significantly less than that. Still, this isn't a bad trade in isolation, when you consider that Teixeira is now only a rental. Marek's only a good minor league reliever, but Kotchman is still young and should benefit from a move to the easier league. He should be decent and cheap for the next few years--think Adam LaRoche, but less inconsistent.

Obviously, this probably shuts the book on the Jason Bay-to-Atlanta rumors, if that book weren't on the shelf collecting dust already anyway.

By the way, this trade highlights the importance of trading star players before impending free agency causes their value to dwindle. By this point next year, Neftali Feliz, who the Rangers acquired in the first Teixeira trade a year ago, could be one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Elvis Andrus, another player the Rangers acquired, is quietly putting together a decent year at Class AA at age 19 and still has a ton of upside. And all three of the other players who came to Texas look like they have some kind of future.

That's the price the Braves paid for a year and a half of Teixeira (and a half of a year of passable reliever Ron Mahay). Now they're selling a half a year of Teixeira, and they're getting a league-average first baseman with a hint of upside and a minor league reliever.

This is why it's a good idea to aggressively shop someone like Bay now rather than later.