Was Mark Teixeira's Trade To Atlanta the Worst Trade in Braves History?

Patrick ParsonsAnalyst ISeptember 1, 2008

Last season, the Atlanta Braves, then 4.5 games back of division-leading New York, traded away their future for Mark Teixeira, hoping to jump past the Mets. Well, 13 months later, the Braves are floundering near the bottom of the NL East, seven games ahead of the Washington Nationals after getting swept by bottom-feeding Washington this weekend.

Teixeira, now an Angel, had nice stats as a Brave, batting .317, with 17 home runs and 56 RBI in 54 games last season, and .283 with 20 homers and 78 RBI in 103 games this season.

He is now batting .376 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 30 games for the Angels, boosting them to the best record in the American League.

The Rangers acquired C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus, and three pitchers: Neftali Perez, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones in the deal for Teixeira.

Saltalamacchia and Andrus were rated as the Braves' top prospects at the time of the trade last season. Here are the stats of the players, this season, that the Rangers acquired in the deal, with their age in parentheses.

  • Elvis Andrus- SS AA (20)- .296, 19 2B, 4 HR, 65 RBI, 53 SB
  • Matt Harrison- SP Majors (22)- 6-3, 5.67 ERA, 22 K/23 BB
  • Beau Jones AA SP/RP (22)- 2-1, 3.80 ERA, 9.0 K/9
  • Neftali Perez AA SP (21)- 6-3, 2.52 ERA, 10.2 K/9
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia C/1B Majors (23)- .254, 13 2B, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 60 Games

While the Braves got their one season out of Teixeira, and half of one out of Ron Mahay, they lost two amazing pitching prospects in Harrison and Neftali Perez. Harrison is just 22 years of age and is already in the majors.

Perez is prized in the Rangers' minor-league system and throws absolutely fire. Meanwhile, the Braves have no answer for their pitching problem at the moment.

Saltalamacchia, the main piece in the deal, has struggled but is still a legitimate "C" prospect, and he needs just a bit of time. After all, he is just 23 years of age.

Beau Jones has been moved to a reliever, but he should see his chance for the majors come within the next two years, and I see him being a legitimate MLB-quality reliever.

Elvis Andrus is absolutely tearing up the basepaths. Hitting nearly .300 with 53 steals is amazing, and you know that any team would love to have that.

While the Rangers have built a part of their future with what they got in return from the Braves, Atlanta basically ended up with Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, who is currently inactive, was hitting .176 without a homer, and only five RBI in 20 games for the Braves. His mother has been ill, and he will likely join the team again near the end of the season for a few games.

But honestly, at this point in time, I would take Saltalamacchia instead of Kotchman. As a Braves fan, I for one wish this trade was never made.


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