With just over 48 hours left before the trading deadline renders baseball teams nearly impotent to swap players without all that dreaded waiver malarkey, contending teams are scrambling to snatch up the big get of 2008: Atlanta Braves first basegentleman Mark Teixeira. Atlanta GM Frank Wren recently put his prize possession on the trading block after the Braves have pretty much crippled themselves out of contention. Heck, the Braves have more injured players than a MASH unit, so why not trade a productive first baseman on the brink of his inevitable career decline?
So who is going to pony up and win the Tex Sweepstakes?
- Los Angeles Angels: Casey Kotchman started off the year hot hot hot but is OPS'ing just .695 since May 1st. The Angels have an enormous lead in the West but are having trouble scoring runs on a regular basis, despite what Mike Scioscia says. They should make the trade but they won't because Tex isn't scrappy enough.
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Supposedly the frontrunner to get Mark, the D-Backs are trying to avoid trading young stud Conor Jackson. Arizona would be a lot better off trading Chad Tracy and a coupla prospects, but they still need to figure out a way to solve the Alex Romero/Chris Burke platoon in right field. Yuck.
- Tampa Bay Rays: Does anyone else get the feeling that the Rays think they are just a bunch of smug artists, creating their craft below the poverty line and sticking it to the man? No? Just me? Okay. Well their offense would be seriously upgraded penciling Tex into the first base slot, pushing Carlos Pena to DH and sending Cliff Floyd to the unemployment line. But these precious small-marketers feel their team's success is built on chemistry, so they probably won't make the move. Hey Tampa, you know what else was built on chemistry? Napalm.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Tex is not enough of a gamer. No deal.
- Boston Red Sox: Think about the possibilities! The Sox could move Kevin Youkilis to left field and trade Manny Ramirez! Still, I think Boston is only being bandied about in these trade talks is to push the price up for other teams. Kinda like the time I won Billy Martin's set of scotch glasses on eBay for $4995.00 after George Steinbrenner made a bunch of fake bids to jack the price up.
So yeah, Mark Teixeira will be a Baltimore Oriole by day's end because he's homesick.