No one wants to remember it. No one wants to write about it. And EVERYONE wonders…what if? Today’s topic…*Ugh* Worst Trades in Braves History: Mark Teixeira.
July 31st, 2007
The Braves were going into the day a mediocre 55-51. Mediocre is a good word to describe every facet of the 2007 team…that should’ve been good. The starting pitching had 2 good pitchers, 1 ok, 2 horrible. The bullpen had 3 good relievers, 2 ok, and the rest horrible. The lineup was the best part of the team but had a black hole at 1B where Scott Thorman, Craig Wilson, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia shared time. It didn’t work. Looking back at it, you can almost hear the words coming out of Wren’s mouth behind the plexiglass…”If we only had a first baseman”. Well, after Mark Teixeira and agent Scott Boras turned down an 8/140MM extension offer from the Rangers, Schuerholz went and got his first baseman.
The Locker Room Responds
On the day of the trade, Teixeira was activated for the game and Turner Field went nuts when he was shown on the Jumbotron in the 7th inning. He didn’t play that night but word reached the clubhouse before the game and, for a 55-51 team, the guys sure were confident.
“Yes, we’ve got the team to win the World Series.”Brian McCann
“We’ve got a World Series team. That makes the whole lineup more dangerous. It’s exciting.”Edgar Renteria
Teixeira? Great! Braves? Same.
Teixeira was an absolute monster out the gate for the Braves, homering in his first 3 games and was responsible for 9 runs crossing the plate. Unfortunately, a horrible bullpen in one and a poor outing from John Smoltz in another demolished chances of winning, and the Braves went 1-2 during those 3 games. Total, Teixeira hit 17 HRs in 54 games, carrying a 1.020 OPS, but it wasn’t enough to move the needle as the team finished exactly 1 game better than they were when the trade went down. 84-78. Third place in the division and behind 3 teams for the Wild Card.
Fast forward a year from the trade and the Braves were just not a good club. Teixeira was in his last year of control and rather than risk losing him for nothing, the Braves traded him to the Angels for a pretty good prospect, right? Wrong. Casey Kotchman. A glove first, first baseman. He stunk in 2008, was ok in 2009, and then he was flipped for Adam Laroche 2.0, who was much better than the original Adam Laroche.
Teixeira for a year (6.2 fWAR). Ron Mahay for a 1/2 season (0.3 fWAR). Casey Kotchman for a year (0.4 fWAR). Adam Laroche for a 1/2 year (2 fWAR). For? Yeah…this is where it gets rough.
Overall fWAR: 8.9
The Rangers MASSIVE Haul
- Saltalamacchia never really figured it out with the Rangers but was traded to the Red Sox and put up 3 really good seasons. During his controlled years, Salty put up 8.6 fWAR.
- Matt Harrison was one of the Rangers best starters in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, of which they gained playoff berths for both seasons. During his controlled years, he put up 8.2 fWAR.
- Neftali Feliz, due to inability to stay healthy as a starter, became a high octane reliever for the Rangers, collecting 94 saves and a 5 fWAR during his controlled years.
- Elvis Andrus was a defensive star from the moment he debuted, and developed into an above average regular for 9 years. During his controlled years, he put up 17.7 fWAR.
- Beau Jones never made it to the bigs.
Overall fWAR for controlled years: 39.5 fWAR
How about we never do this again, eh? And for the record, maybe we Braves Journalers should listen to Stephen a little more.
Thanks for reading Worst Trades in Braves History, Mark Teixeira. Check out the entire catalog of Worst/Best Trades in Braves History here.