The second big trade for the Braves, and the second big trade for the Rangers. While the deadline mostly consisted of relievers switching teams, this was the lone trade that involved a legitimate star.
Braves get: 1B Mark Teixeira, RP Ron Mahay
Rangers get: C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus (A+), SP Matt Harrison (AA), P Beau Jones (A+), P Neftali Feliz (R)
Quick outlook: Teixeira gains value. Saltalamacchia gains a little value. Mahay gains a little value. Harrison gains a little value. Jones is unaffected. Feliz is unaffected
Indirectly affected: Scott Thorman loses value. Gerald Laird loses value. Brad Wilkerson gains a little value. Edgar Renteria gains a little value. Chipper Jones gains a little value. Jeff Francoeur gains a little value. Andruw Jones gains a little value.
Teixeira leaves a good park for homers, but he enters an easier league and a much better lineup. He will bat cleanup for the Braves, with Kelly Johnson, Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones batting ahead of him. Each should be able to score some extra runs. Teixeira will have some combination of Jeff Francoeur, Andruw Jones, and Brian McCann behind him, padding his run total a bit. Those guys should also grab a few extra RBIs. The Braves lineup is definitely one to be feared now.
Bad news for Thorman and his owners, as the only position he is able to play is now filled by Teixeira. Best case is that he stays on the bench and pinch hits. Worst case is that he gets designated for assignment. Either way, most of his value is gone.
His position isn’t set in stone, but no matter where Saltalamacchia plays, he will almost certainly be a full-time player. While he enters a tougher league overall, he will hit in a better park for power. He should have been hitting a few more home runs with the Braves, and looking at his HitTracker data, it appears that a larger than usual power spike might be in order for Salty. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits 10 homers in the next couple of months. The Rangers don’t have many better hitters, so Salty could hit closer to the heart of the order than he did with the Braves, giving him some extra at-bats and some extra RBIs and Runs.
Salty will likely play most of his games at catcher, which cuts into Gerald Laird’s value a lot. It helps Brad Wilkerson, though; he could start most games at first base. Saltalamacchia might also play a little at first, so Wilkerson won’t be in the lineup every day. Regardless, he should be a little more valuable than he was before this trade.
You must realize that the Rangers lineup isn’t very good anymore. Losing Kenny Lofton and Teixeira will hurt the RBI and run totals of the rest of the team, and Hank Blalock might be out another three weeks. Don’t expect anyone on that team to put up gaudy numbers in either category.