The Braves, according to major-league sources, have made the Rangers a whopper of an offer for first baseman Mark Teixeira. The Angels, sources say, also have submitted a substantial bid.
From the Braves, the Rangers would receive three highly regarded young players -- catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Class AA left-hander Matt Harrison and Class A shortstop Elvis Andrus -- while giving up only Teixeira.
The Rangers want a better pitching prospect than Harrison, a source says. But at a time when teams are reluctant to trade inexpensive prospects for high-priced veterans, the proposed deal would be a coup for Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.
The Angels, meanwhile, are offering two players for Teixeira, according to sources. The Rangers want a third piece added -- something the Angels probably won't do unless they get a second player back.
First baseman Casey Kotchman is part of the Angels' proposal. The other player is a pitcher, most likely left-hander Joe Saunders, but possibly Class AAA right-hander Ervin Santana. The Rangers also want a top prospect, perhaps Class AAA third baseman Brandon Wood.
Kotchman and Saunders 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. And the Rangers would require the Angels to pay a higher price because they play in the same division.
The Dodgers remain the wild card in the Teixeira sweepstakes. They proposed first baseman James Loney, outfielder Andre Ethier and Class AAA right-hander John Meloan for Teixeira and right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit, according to one source.
However, the fragile state of the Dodgers' rotation could force them to focus solely on pitching, and the Rangers are insisting that they include Class A left-hander Clayton Kershaw, a Dallas native, in a Teixeira deal.
A few thoughts:
- The language on the Dodger deal is interesting..."proposed" is different from "offered". The first suggests, "If we were to make this offer, would you take it?" The second is, "Here's what we are willing to do." Maybe it is the lawyer in me, but I'm wondering if the Dodger package is actually on the table, or if it has just been floated to see if that is something Daniels would accept.
- Kotchman and Saunders wouldn't do it for me. Both of those guys are relatively low-ceiling players. I'd want Adenhart, or possibly Wood (who I'm not as high on as a lot of people), before I'd really consider that, considering what other offers are out there.
- I wonder if the Rangers are going to offer former Brave prospect Max Ramirez back to Atlanta, with Teixeira, to get an upgrade over Harrison.
- I don't like Ethier that much. Seems like a tweener. And the Dodger offer -- Loney, Ethier and Meloan -- is lacking in the big-time, high-ceiling guy that it seems Daniels wants (like Saltalamacchia, Adenhart, or Kershaw would be).
- I have to wonder if we aren't going to end up seeing a Clay Buchholz/Jacoby Ellsbury on the tabble before this is all said and done. Particularly if the Yanks get within 5.5 games of Boston before the deadline.