A Major League source confirmed the Braves are finalizing a deal for Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira and reliever Ron Mahay. Atlanta would send catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, prospect Elvis Andrus and two players to be named later.
Beerleaguer: Not one, but two, significant acquisitions for the Braves' playoff run. Everyone knows what Teixeira will bring, but Mahay is a nice veteran complimentary part and typical of the kind of move John Schuerholz has made in the past in that he gets some pitching as a throw-in. It's funny how he never seems to surrender pitching prospects that work out for the other team (Damian Moss and Dan Meyer come to mind).
Saltalamacchia looks like a future star, but isn’t the cornerstone the Rangers need to fix that club. Andrus is a very good shortstop prospect. I won't claim to know all there is about these two clubs or the players who've changed teams, but it seems like the pitching-poor Rangers would have been better off trying to stockpile young arms. If not in a deal like this, when?
Meanwhile, the Phillies passed the Braves in the standings over the weekend and are a game up. Atlanta dropped two extra-inning games in Arizona, so relief for Bobby Cox and the boys is on the way.
Send out an APB for Joe Thurston: In more important news, Joe Thurston, who was originally scheduled to join the team when Chase Utley went down, doesn’t appear on either the Phillies 40-man or the Ottawa active roster. Thurston had his contract purchased from Triple-A Ottawa Friday when Utley went on the shelf with a broken hand. Fellow Triple-A infielder Danny Sandoval was designated for assignment to make room for Thurston on the 40-man.
With the acquisition of Tadahito Iguchi, Thurston wasn’t needed and probably faced a “designated for assignment” of his own to make room for the Japanese infielder. It’s certainly possible that Thurston got miffed at the club for stiffing him and decided to seek greener pastures. Michael Garciaparra has already been promoted from Double-A Reading to take his spot on the Lynx roster.
This could all be temporary, but I somehow doubt Thurston is worth what it will cost to get Garciaparra on a return flight back to Reading. It’s still possible that Thurston will rejoin Ottawa and may be just waiting for a call from another club, or maybe he'll take Garciaparra's old assignment in Reading.
Isn't it crazy how Utley’s injury left two of the Phillies highest-ranking minor league replacements – Sandoval and Thurston – out of work?
Update: Minor League pitcher Neftali Feliz was named as one of the minor league players and the other hasn't been announced. Feliz is a very young right-hander with a terrific arm, according to John Sickels, who ranked him as the Braves' 13th-best prospect this offseason.