Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Breaking News: Angels Land Teixeira

My first response after the news of this trade broke was that this was a great move for the Angels. Since then, I have talked to some people within and close to the organization, and the consensus is unanimous: adding Mark Teixeira to the lineup solidifies the Angels as the team to beat in the American League.

Here's the official release from the team:

ANAHEIM, CA - The Angels Tuesday acquired first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman and minor league right-handed pitcher Steve Marek. This announcement was made by club General Manager Tony Reagins.

“We’re pleased to bring Mark into the Angels family,” said Reagins. “He is a tremendous player and we feel he will impact our club in a very positive way.”

Teixeira, 28, is batting .283 (108/381) with 63 runs scored, 27 doubles, 20 home runs and 78 RBI in 102 games with the Braves this season. Among NL leaders, the switch-hitter ranks fifth in walks (65), sixth in RBI and tied for fifth in RBI ratio (a RBI in every 4.9 at-bats).

A native of Annapolis, MD, Teixeira was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2001 June free agent draft. He was acquired by the Braves (along with LHP Ron Mahay) in exchange for C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, LHP Matt Harrison, INF Elvis Andrus, RHP Neftali Perez and LHP Beau Jones, July 31, 2007.

A two-time Gold Glove first baseman, Teixeira owns a lifetime .286 average (920/3221) with 209 doubles, 13 triples, 190 home runs and 633 RBI in 850 games. Since 2003, his 412 extra-base rank fifth in the major leagues. Teixeira also ranks second in the major leagues with 47 RBI since May 29th (Ryan Howard, PHI, 56).

Teixeira resides in Westlake, TX with his wife Georgia and their children Jack and Addison. He will wear number 25 with the Angels.

Kotchman, 24, is currently batting .287 (107/373) with 47 runs scored, 24 doubles, 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 100 games with the Angels. Since his major league debut in 2005, he owns a career .287 average (311/1137) with 140 runs scored, 74 doubles, three triples, 31 home runs and 165 RBI in 351 games.

A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Kotchman was originally drafted by the Angels in the first round (13th pick overall) of the 2001 free agent draft. He is the son of longtime Angels minor league manager Tom Kotchman (who currently manages rookie level Orem in the Pioneer League).

Marek, 24, is 2-6 with a 3.66 ERA (19 ER – 46.2 IP) and three saves in 34 relief appearances for the double-A Arkansas Travelers. He has 21 walks and 57 strikeouts. Marek, a native of Houston, TX, was originally selected by the Angels in the 40th round of the 2004 free agent draft out of San Jacinto Community College in Houston.

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