Friday morning Teixeira watch

So, I'm thinking it will be all-Teixeira, all the time for the next 4 days and 6 hours (the deadline is 3 p.m. our time on Tuesday), as the rumors keep flying and teams start getting serious about the Teixeira situation...

Ken Rosenthal has an update on the bidding:

The game is now, "Can you top this?"

The Braves, major-league sources say, have made the Rangers a whopper of an offer for first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The Rangers evidently would receive three highly regarded young players -- catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Class AA left-hander Matt Harrison and Class A shortstop Elvis Andrus -- while sending the Braves only Teixeira.

At a time when teams are reluctant to trade inexpensive prospects for high-priced veterans, such a deal would be a coup for Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

If he can beat the Braves' 3-for-1 proposal, more power to him.

The Dodgers, facing injury concerns in their starting rotation, are likely to focus solely on pitching.

The Angels have submitted a substantial two-player offer for Teixeira, according to an industry source, but are reluctant to go further.

First baseman Casey Kotchman almost certainly is part of the Angels' proposal. The other player likely is a pitcher, possibly Class AAA right-hander Ervin Santana.

Kotchman and Santana are more established than any of the players the Braves are offering. However, Kotchman's upside might not be as high as the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia's. Santana's value, meanwhile, has diminished considerably, in part because of his 7.16 ERA in 36 career road starts.

Even if the Angels swapped out another pitcher for Santana -- left-hander Joe Saunders perhaps, or Class AA right-hander Nick Adenhart -- their offer might not be as strong as the Braves'.

The Dodgers are the wild card, but the questionable state of their rotation could take them out of the Teixeira sweepstakes.

Okay.  The Atlanta offer, if legit, is a very good offer.  If the Braves do have this on the table, then Teixeira should end up being dealt...the only question would be, can they squeeze something more out of the Dodgers or Angels.

I'm not sure whether I'd prefer Kotchman and Adenhart over the Atlanta offer.  I'd have to think about that.  Ditto Loney and Kershaw...

Dave Sessions says that the Rangers have to move Teixeira, and have to NOT move him to Anaheim:

Trading Teixeira to the Angels could be a mistake for Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, who would have to be convinced he was getting value above and beyond the offers from anyone else. Why? Because Teixeira could turn into a Ranger killer, just like Vladimir Guerrero, and remind Daniels of the decision 19 times a season for as long as he's an Angel. Then again, first baseman Casey Kotchman, who would be the lynchpin of that deal from Los Angeles' point of view, is a career .371 hitter in Arlington.

Did we mention Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, has seats behind the plate in both Los Angeles-market stadiums?

Still, the last thing Daniels, or anyone in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for that matter, would like to see is Teixeira crushing home runs to both fields while wearing an opponents' uniform. Trading him to the National League would make that a rare sight some years and an impossibility most years.

Given that the chances of Texas being a playoff team in 2008 are slight, and given that Teixeira is unlikely to re-up with whatever team he signs with, I don't see Teixeira going to Anaheim as being a problem.  I don't care if he kills us for the next season-and-a-half as an Angel...if the return is solid, that's all that matters.

Evan Grant offers some specifics on the Anaheim offer:

The Rangers continue to sift through trade offers for first baseman Mark Teixeira, but Thursday passed with no significant movement. The Los Angeles Angels, one of three teams in the mix for Teixeira, were the most recent to tweak their offer. The Angels had originally offered first baseman Casey Kotchman and a choice of outfield prospects Nathan Haynes or Terry Evans.

It is believed Los Angeles has now added a pitcher to the mix, but the level of pitcher could vary widely from a young prospect with a high ceiling (20-year-old right-hander Nick Adenhart) to an experienced but struggling major leaguer (recently demoted Ervin Santana) to a prospect on the verge of pitching in the majors (lefty Joe Saunders).

Kotchman and one of the outfielders is not a real good offer.  Kicking in Adenhart puts it close to the Atlanta offer, if not better...Saunders and Santana, on the other hand, I'm not that high on.  Santana, I've spoken about before, and Saunders seems like a back of the rotation guy, and the Rangers need something better than that in a Teixeira deal.

The L.A. Times has a story headlined "Teixeira or Bust":

Though there is an outside chance they could acquire Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, it appears to be Mark Teixeira or bust for the Angels, who, according to baseball sources, were rebuffed in their attempts to pry Paul Konerko from the White Sox and have all but given up their pursuit of Cincinnati slugger Adam Dunn.

The Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox are also pursuing Teixeira, the Texas first baseman who in 75 games is batting .299 with 13 home runs and 49 runs batted in, and the Rangers are in the process of leveraging each team against the other in an attempt to drive up the offers for the switch-hitter.

Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman would be part of any package to acquire Teixeira, and the Rangers, who had zeroed in on Ervin Santana before the struggling right-hander was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake on July 18, are believed to be comfortable with left-hander Joe Saunders as part of a deal.

But the Rangers want a third player and are scouring the Angels' farm system to determine who to ask for. If Texas wants one of the Angels' elite prospects, such as third baseman Brandon Wood or double-A pitcher Nick Adenhart, trade talks would fizzle. But if Texas would accept a lesser prospect, a deal would be more likely.

The Rangers are also believed to be interested in outfielders Reggie Willits, Nathan Haynes or Terry Evans as the third player in the deal.

Kotchman, Santana and Willits, Haynes or Evans?  Bleah.

Kotchman, Santana and Adenhart?  Sign me up.

I also have to wonder if seeing the stock on some of these guys plummet may make Stoneman a little more aggressive than he has been in the past.  A few years ago, the Angels had three stud positional prospects that were going to lead them to the promised land -- Kotchman, Jeff Mathis, and Dallas McPherson.  McPherson and Mathis have busted, and Kotchman has turned into a nice player.  Meanwhile, Brandon Wood, Ervin Santana, and Erick Aybar have all seen their stock go down this season.

That might make Stoneman more willing to kick in someone like Adenhart than he would have been in previous years...

Bobby Cox, meanwhile, is praising the work of Julio Franco as their new first baseman, saying he's better than his 4 for 23 start would suggest.  Uh-huh.

David O'Brien at the AJC says that acquiring Teixeira may hasten Andruw Jones' departure from Atlanta, as the Braves may prefer to give $18 million per year long-term to Teixeira instead of Jones.  

The thing there is, though, I don't know if Teixeira is going to take $18 million per year.  I'd bet it is going to take a lot more than that to get him to sign an extension before he becomes a free agent.

Joel Sherman reports that the feeling is the Rangers like the offer from Atlanta, and are basically waiting to see if anyone tops it.

The Boston Herald says that the BoSox aren't making in major moves because of the "exorbinant demands" of the sellers, painting the Rangers as ridiculous for waiting two out of the Buchholz/Ellsbury/Lester trio.  

The Boston Globe says the price for Teixeira is Buchholz, Ellsbury, and a third player...

Personally, I'm not sure that a Lester/Ellsbury package is better than the Atlanta offer or what the Angels will offer, although Buchholz and Ellsbury plus one might be, depending on who the third player is.

New York Newsday says the Rangers need to lower their demands for Teixeira for the Yankees to be involved, and another report says that the Yanks won't part with Chamberlain, Kennedy or Hughes, and thus are going to focus on Ty Wigginton instead of Teixeira.

But hey, the Yankees can pat themselves on the back for not parting with any of their pitching prospects, and can convince themselves that Andy Phillips and a couple of pitchers below the Alan Horne-level of quality was a strong offer, and the Rangers were just being unreasonable, while the BoSox can tell themselves the same thing, that Brandon Moss and Wily Mo Pena was more than reasonable...

Meanwhile, teams aren't interested in Sammy Sosa, because he's not, you know, any good.  However, the New York Post says Omar Minaya may now finally be interested in taking a flyer on Sosa...

In non-trade stuff, Mike Heika has a piece on Travis Metcalf's learning curve, as does Anthony Andro in the S-T.  I don't think Metcalf is going to be a regular third baseman on a good team, but I wouldn't have a problem with him as a platoon guy or a bench player, particularly if the Rangers wanted to look at having Hank Blalock play some first base.

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