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Mark Teixeira is a Brave

Mark Teixeira Mark Teixeira
Jarrod Saltalamacchia Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Octavio Dotel Octavio Dotel

Slugging first baseman, Mark Teixeira, is the newest member of the Atlanta Braves.  The former Georgia Tech star will not be in uniform Tuesday night after being traded to the Braves from Texas.

The switch-hitting Teixeira is batting .297 this season and over the last three years averaged 38 homers a season.  He will add that consistant punch in the middle of the Braves lineup that has been missing this season as Andruw Jones battles a long slump.  The Braves first basemen have been so weak at the plate that the team recently turned to 48-year-old Julio Franco.

To get the 2-time gold glove first baseman, the Braves had to give up rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Braves highly prized catching prospect.  But, he became expendable when catcher Brian McCann signed a 6-year deal earlier this season.  The Braves also had to part with shortstop Elvis Andrus, righthander Neftali Feliz, and a pair of lefties, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones.

The Braves also get lefthander Ron Mahay in the deal.  The southpaw has limited opponents to a .236 batting average in 28 appearances this season.  He replaces Wilfredo Ledezma in the bullpen after Ledezma was designated for assignment.  The key to this is that Mahay has limited the Mets two big lefthanded bats, Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green, to just one hit in 19 at-bats lifetime.

Teixeira is making $9-million this season and next year will be his final year for arbitration.  He may command up to $15-million for 2008 and could become a free agent after the season.  But Teixeira played his college ball at Georgia Tech and is married to a Georgia woman.  Even with Scott Boras as his agent, there might be a deal in the making.

The Braves also finalized a trade with the Kansas City Royals that brings closer Octavio Dotel to Atlanta for starter Kyle Davies who is currently at AAA-Richmond.  Dotel has recorded 11 saves in 14 opportunities this season with an ERA of 3.91.  He will help bolster the sagging bullpen as a setup man and insurance again Bob Wickman failing all together.

Late in the day, the Braves picked up left handed relief pitcher Royce Ring from San Diego for pitchers Wil Ledezma, who had been designated for assignment, and Will Startup.

Reported by: Rick Snow,


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