The first major trade post All-Star break went down on West Coast time last night. The Anaheim Angels’ personal ad “Desperately Seeking Slugger” was answered by the Atlanta Braves in the wee hours of the morning, and first baseman Mark Teixeira is on his way to LA.
Tex, who was dealt to the Braves exactly one year ago for catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor leaguers, is on his way to the Angels in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Steve Marek.
Last season, the trade to the Braves lit quite a fire under Teixeira. In 54 games with the Braves last season, he batted .317 with 17 home runs, 56 RBI, and 38 runs scored. If fantasy baseball owners can get that type of production out of Tex down the stretch this season, he will become quite a difference maker in league championships.
There’s no question that Tex is a must-keep in mixed leagues because of his potential to respond to the trade with a major offensive surge. For AL-only league players, this is also a no-brainer… get your waiver request in for him pronto.
As far as NL-only owners who lose out on Teixeira, we’re kinda sorry for you. But you did get C.C. Sabathia and Rich Harden earlier this month, so chill. Also, Casey Kotchman enters your player universe. The 25-year old left handed hitter is batting .287 with 12 home runs, 54 RBI, 47 runs, and 2 steals. Keep an eye on Kotchman as a potential sleeper hitter down the stretch. He doesn’t provide much power, but if you’re looking for a higher batting average at first base, he is definitely an option.
In 103 games this season with the Braves, Tex was hitting .283 with 20 home runs, 78 RBI, and 63 runs scored. He is expected to join the Angels tonight for their game in Boston, so leagues with daily lineup changes should continue to play Teixeira.