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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Braves - Acquired Teixeira

Atlanta Braves - Acquired 1B Mark Teixeira and P Ron Mahay from the Texas Rangers for C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus, P Matt Harrison, P Beau Jones, and P Neftali Feliz.

Now this is the big deadline trade, one of the biggest in some time.  I’m guessing that this isn’t primarily for Ron Mahay.

This might be the move that bids farewell to Andruw Jones as the Braves are going to have to pony up and pay Tex with the amount of talent they’re investing in him.  And they’re going to have to pay a lot if the reports that Teixeira turned down an 8-year, $140 million contract are true.  The Braves at least have some time to evaluate if Teixeira will be worth the price and won’t necessarily have to start shelling out big dough until 2009.  The outfielder-turned-pitcher Mahay has been about as solid a LOOGY as there is in baseball, with the exception of 2005 which is looking like an anomaly at this point.

With McCann on the team, Salty’s value to the Braves wasn’t as high as it is for most other teams in baseball.  Laird is doing his best to demonstrate that he’s not a long-term solution and Saltalamacchia instantly becomes the best catcher in the organization.  The other four add tremendous depth to the organization - Andrus is highly considered, though years away, Harrison should be a good middle-of-the-rotation guy if he’s healthy, and Jones and Feliz are live arms with upside, especially the latter.

2007 In-Season ZiPS Projection - Mark Teixeira
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  286 48   85 24 1 13 49 45 66   0 .297 .397 .524
Rest of 2007 196 32   57 13 0 10 39 27 42   1 .291 .379 .510
———————————————————————————————————-
2007 Total   482 80 142 37 1 23 88 78 108   1 .295 .389 .519
2008       564 92 162 36 1 31 113 81 117   2 .287 .380 .520
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Alvin Davis

2007 In-Season ZiPS Projection - Elvis Andrus
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  363 39   72 16 2   2 27 23 90 16 .198 .254 .270
Rest of 2007 170 23   36   8 1   1 13 10 39   7 .212 .262 .288
———————————————————————————————————-
2008       486 60 106 24 2   2 41 28 109 19 .218 .266 .288
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp -

2007 ZiPS Projection - Ron Mahay
————————————————————————————————-
Period         W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*    2   0 28   0   39.0 33   12   3 21 32 2.77
Rest of 2007     1   0 18   0   22.0 20   9   2 11 20 3.68
————————————————————————————————-
2007 Total     3   0 46   0   61.0 53   21   5 32 52 3.10
2008         2   2 49   0   62.0 56   26   6 29 58 3.77
————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Mark Guthrie

2007 In-Season ZiPS Projection - Jarrod Saltalamacchia
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  220 21   63 12 0   9 23 20 45   1 .286 .344 .464
Rest of 2007 128 16   33   8 0   5 16 13 25   0 .258 .329 .437
———————————————————————————————————-
2008       316 28   80 18 0 11 38 34 66   1 .253 .329 .415
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Sherm Lollar

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2007 at 10:09 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Swedish Chef Posted: July 31, 2007 at 10:41 PM (#2463654)
I'd rather see Saltalamacchias projection than Andrus.
   2. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: August 01, 2007 at 07:06 AM (#2465291)
Why is Salty projected to be worse in 2008 than he is for the rest of 2007? That seems weird to me.
   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 01, 2007 at 07:23 AM (#2465295)
Well, the Rangers do have more home games than road games left this season.
   4. Honkie Kong Posted: August 01, 2007 at 07:39 AM (#2465298)
Well, I think the Braves gave up too much, but if JS wants to win my EqA bet for me, more power to him
   5. NBarnes Posted: August 01, 2007 at 09:53 AM (#2465332)
Via a piece at BP recently, a league average 1b is going to give you something like 283/369/490. ZIPS thinks Texiera is going to be somewhat but not spectacularly above average for the rest of this year and next year (and nudge his value up a bit 'cause he's good defensively). That's a lot to give for a league average 1b. Carlos Pena says hi.
   6. NBarnes Posted: August 01, 2007 at 09:53 AM (#2465333)
Bleh, my markup fu has failed. BP piece is at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6516
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 01, 2007 at 10:31 AM (#2465337)
Why is Salty projected to be worse in 2008 than he is for the rest of 2007? That seems weird to me.

Just some rounding issues.
   8. a bebop a rebop Posted: August 01, 2007 at 11:29 AM (#2465345)
Just some rounding issues.

I can't tell if you're joking, but how does a rounding issue pull a .437 SLG down to .415?
   9. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 01, 2007 at 11:55 AM (#2465350)
That's a lot to give for a league average 1b. Carlos Pena says hi.

Tex is third in the AL in EQA among first basemen this year, 11th in the league. He'll likely do better in the NL (he'd be 5th among 1st basemen, 14th in the league, but they've faced weaker competition) in that lineup, and he's going to do about the same next year. I would guess that only Albert and Howard are a good bet to outhit him over the next year and a half. Maybe Derrek Lee. Wanna bet that Pena will be that good until the end of the 2008 season?
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 01, 2007 at 12:01 PM (#2465352)
I can't tell if you're joking, but how does a rounding issue pull a .437 SLG down to .415?

Actually projects 254/321/425 the rest of the way for 2007 because of 32.51 hits and 4.61 homers. The 2008 projection is "actually" 255/327/423 because of 80.44 hits and 11.46 homers. Young catchers actually have quite poor rates of progressing offensively.
   11. a bebop a rebop Posted: August 01, 2007 at 12:06 PM (#2465355)
Actually projects 254/321/425 the rest of the way for 2007 because of 32.51 hits and 4.61 homers. The 2008 projection is "actually" 255/327/423 because of 80.44 hits and 11.46 homers.

Ah.

Young catchers actually have quite poor rates of progressing offensively.

Gerald Laird says hi.
   12. PerroX Posted: August 01, 2007 at 12:11 PM (#2465359)
a league average 1b is going to give you something like 283/369/490. ZIPS thinks Texiera is going to be somewhat but not spectacularly above average for the rest of this year and next year (and nudge his value up a bit 'cause he's good defensively). That's a lot to give for a league average 1b. Carlos Pena says hi.

CP answered this one, but I thought I'd point out this little rhetorical sleight-of-hand.

Even if Salty becomes and all-star catcher, Andrus eventually becomes more than Tony Pena, Jr and Feliz a league-average pitcher, I still like the deal for Atlanta.
   13. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: August 01, 2007 at 12:24 PM (#2465370)
I don't care how many league-average first basemen or catchers drop into this thread to say "Hi" as long as Scott Thorman's saying "Goodbye."
   14. Colin Posted: August 01, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2465510)
A few notes:
--Teixeira has only hit one HR and has about a 790 OPS since coming off the DL.
--Do Harrison's peripherals project all that well? 6k/9IP at AA doesn't seem that impressive to me.
--Don't rule out Andruw signing a one year deal with ATL to try to get his value back up. this weak season may have cost him $50m in long-term money, and Boras may advise him to try to hit his way into a monster deal next year. Seems like a Boras client has done this before, though I may be mistaken. I don't rate the chance of this as very high (who knows what the Yankees may do this offseason if they miss the playoffs), but yo never know
--There have been some reports that Liberty media intends to raise payroll next year, and Hampton's deal is off the books after 2008, I think; and, at some point in the not too distant future John Smoltz will get cheaper. So this offseason the Braves may well be able to bid for a few expensive players if they can backload the deals beyond to 2009 and beyond.
   15. Loren F. Posted: August 01, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2465534)
I expected Tex's ZiPS projections for 2008 and rest of 2007 to take more of a ding for leaving the Hitpark at Arlington. Dan, does a weaker NL make up for the Arlington-stadium boost to his stats? Or am I missing something?
   16. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 01, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2465546)
I would guess that only Albert and Howard are a good bet to outhit him over the next year and a half. Maybe Derrek Lee.


Prince Fielder would say "Hi", but his mouth is full.
   17. NBarnes Posted: August 01, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2465985)
12: Actually, I did that unconsciously. I accept correction. I'm still not convinced that I like giving up all that for 290/385/520 with good defense. That's not that good.
   18. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 01, 2007 at 11:10 PM (#2466105)
Thorman ain't going nowhere. Julio was DFA'd today.
   19. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: August 01, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2466137)
Well, at least he'll be restricted to mainly only killing one rally per game now.
   20. Mister High Standards Posted: August 02, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2466234)
That's not that good.


It is for the Braves when you have
1) as bad a 1b situation they have.
2) an aging core that is not too far from the sunset.
3) the primary piece of the trade is position blocked by a legit all star.
4) the secondry piece isn't projected to be a star.
5) a need for an offensive core player for the 08 season when one of your current players looks to be leaving.
6) FA compensation to hedge against the lower minor players lost.
   21. zonk Posted: August 02, 2007 at 04:34 PM (#2467503)
I really do not get it.

I understand that 1B need to be judged relative to other 1B. I understand that Teixeira isn't Lou Gehrig. I understand that he's put up good- but maybe not eye-popping - numbers is a good hitter's park.

But why, oh why, the dislike for Teixeira? Am I just too in love with that draft class?

Gimme a choice of any 1B in MLB - taking into account contract and age - and I would only rank 2 obvious players (Howard and Pujols) and probably Prince Fielder - ahead of him.

He's 27 - and power peaks later than other skills. He's a switch hitter -- with pretty good splits, so he's a legit switch hitter. While I know his defense is fairly good at 1B - and he was moved off of 3B for a reason, I suspect he could slide back if necessary... at minimum, I wouldn't feel averse to playing him there for a couple weeks if Chipper comes up lame.

I mean, Carlos Pena? Pena's underrated, but his OPS+ this year -- 150 -- is the ONLY season where he's exceeded Teixeira's lifetime OPS (and that includes Tex's 103 in his age 23 rookie season).

I'm not carving the guy a HOF plaque yet, but he's a legit star. We can argue over the relative value of 1B generally, but I just do not get this trashing of him... fer chrissakes, I saw someone compare him with Dimitri Young in another thread.

Am I just nuts?
   22. BDC Posted: August 03, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2469434)
Zonk, you may be nuts but I tend to agree with you.

Tex's OPS+ this season (141), just to use a readily available number, ranks 6th among regular ML first basemen. The median OPS+ among regular 1Bs this year is ~120, roughly Scott Hatteberg or Kevin Millar. (Pujols has the best, at 159.) People look at that and figure, well, you can get a 120 OPS+ at first base without trying too hard. So why pay so much for 141?

The reason to pay, of course, is that 141 is the 24th-highest OPS+ of any regular in the majors this year. I think people sometimes underrate slugging 1B simply because there are so many sluggers at first base. But you need runs to win games. The 24th-best hitter in baseball is a very valuable commodity, no matter what position he plays. Baseball is not scored on how much your 1B outhits the other 1B, but on how much your team outscores the other team.

Now, as to whether Teixeira is really a 141 OPS+ hitter, or whether he'll hit that well in Atlanta, or whether Salty++ was too much to cede for him even if he's the real thing, figuring the contract situation, those are all different matters. But Tex's lifetime OPS+ is 127. That's 27th among active players with 3000 PA, and most of the top 26 are older guys without a great deal of upside.

And he is a legitimate major-league Gold Glove at first, which is not a "who cares" matter. Many of the guys who are supposedly sitting around in the minors waiting to notch a 120+ ML OPS+ for you for free are born DHs, or weak outfielders unable to figure out how to come up with a ground ball.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:29 PM (#2470032)
Top Comp - Alvin Davis

This does not make Braves fans smile.

Top Comp - Sherm Lollar

I can't remember the last time I saw Lollar's name. Mighty fine player.

Am I just nuts?

Well, if you have to ask ...

Teixeira is one of those guys I never paid that much attention to. I knew he put up good raw numbers but I figured a good chunk of that was the park and I don't recall every bothering to look at his EQA or OPS+ or anything. When these trade rumors started, I was about to write something like "why give up this much for a guy who's a little above league average but with park-inflated numbers" cuz that was my impression. Fortunately I checked before I made a fool of myself ... something I should try more often.

OPS+ of 128, 146, 123, 141 for ages 24-27 with two silver slugger awards (granted, I have no idea on what basis those are doled out) is a damn fine hitter. Who knows if he'll last as long (see Alvin Davis), but he looks to be in the Palmeiro-Murray range which is a nice place to be.

Now, if the Braves turn around and sign him for $25 M a year or something, you may hear a different take from me on Mr. Teixeira's quality. But at the moment, this is closer to the Choi-Lee trade (which I really liked for the Cubs) where the Braves are giving up a guy who might be as valuable as Teixeira (and some prospects) for a guy who is as valuable as Teixeira. Now if Andrus turns into Renteria or one of the pitchers hits big, then this trade will end up looking bad for Atlanta.
   24. Srul Itza Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2470038)
he looks to be in the Palmeiro-Murray range

I tell ya, Eddie Murray don't get not respect.

During those same ages, Murray put up OPS+ of 138, 156, 156, 156 (with another 156 at age 128).

That has to be one of the most consistent peaks of all time.
   25. chris p Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2470050)
or one of the pitchers hits big, then this trade will end up looking bad for Atlanta.

if one of the pitchers hits big, he'll be wasted in the american league!
   26. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2470055)
But I do like this for the Rangers too. They didn't really give up much -- 1+ years of Teixeira (at a reasonably hefty price) and the first crack to pay him a ton of money for another 5+ years after that. 6 years of Saltalamacchia will look very nice in comparison to that.

In that way, this is like the Ms-White Sox Freddy Garcia trade. Many here claim that as a major feather in Kenny Williams cap because those prospects didn't pan out and Garcia pitched pretty well for the Sox. But all the Ms gave up, and all the Sox received, was a half-season of Garcia and the opportunity to offer him a contract extension before he hit the FA market (and the Ms refused to let the Sox negotiate with Garcia before the trade so the Sox couldn't be sure they could extend him). That's not a lot to get or give up in exchange for two top prospects. Williams doesn't deserve any extra credit for that trade (Garcia pitched well in that half-season but the Sox missed the playoffs) even if he did think those prospects would flop -- it was a pretty standard deadline deal. He does deserve credit for signing Garcia to the extension (though it was at or close to market rate) and for trading him on at the right time.

The days of looking at how players did post-trade and assessing who won are long over. It's about money and years of control almost or just as much as it is about talent these days. The 2008 Rangers are probably worse because of this trade (though that will depend on how they spend the Teixeira money), but the 2009 and beyond Rangers are likely as good or better even if the prospects don't pan out because either they wouldn't have paid Teixeira enough to stick around anyway or, likely worse, they would.

So a trade I like for both teams.
   27. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 04, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2470059)
(with another 156 at age 128)

That must be some kind of record. How many 100-year olds can say that?
   28. BDC Posted: August 04, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2470061)
The 2008 Rangers are probably worse because of this trade

Though as Hank Aaron once said to Bob Horner, if we finished last with you, we can sure finish last without you :)
   29. Conor Posted: August 04, 2007 at 12:38 AM (#2470090)
That 369/490 the "average" 1B puts up is the average of the 30 guys with the most playing time at first (1 per team). Thats not exactly the same as the average first basemen. the average of ALL first basemen is 358/457.
   30. Suff Posted: May 16, 2009 at 02:08 PM (#3181438)
A couple of years later, this looks like a REALLY good deal for the Rangers, doesn't it?
   31. spycake Posted: May 16, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3181474)
Wow.

Starting catcher, starting shortstop, and LH starting pitcher all in MLB now, plus a promising RH starting pitcher at AAA and LH reliever in AA. All dirt-cheap and only one (Saltalamacchia) is going to sniff arbitration over the next few years.

All of this in return for 1.5 seasons of Teixeira, a half-season of Mahay, a first-round pick in 2009 (from the Yankees for Tex), and I believe a supplemental pick in 2008 (from the Royals for Mahay).

Even without a clear, dominant MLB stud in the group yet, this is pretty good value.
   32. Sam M. Posted: May 16, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3181486)
All of this in return for 1.5 seasons of Teixeira, a half-season of Mahay, a first-round pick in 2009 (from the Yankees for Tex), and I believe a supplemental pick in 2008 (from the Royals for Mahay).

Not exactly. Remember, the Braves traded Teixeira to the Angels instead of keeping him for all of 2008. So "all of this" was in return for (essentially) a full season of Tex, spread over 2007 and 2008, plus a half season of Mahay, plus Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek.
   33. Honkie Kong Posted: May 16, 2009 at 03:56 PM (#3181491)
Can I say how much I hate you guys for digging this thread up, just when I starting to feel the budding blooms of optimism for this current Braves team?!

Really Harrison has been the main surprise, and I think he will regress. Feliz the main disappointment, but Braves fans atleast knew what they were signing up for when this trade happened.
Should now start doing shots at noon on a Saturday?!
   34. Honkie Kong Posted: May 16, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3181492)
err, disappointment from my POV. Great news for the Rangers! One of Feliz/Jones was a throw in, when Rangers expressed doubt about Harrison's shoulder
   35. spycake Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3181493)
That's another way to look at it too -- essentially swapping out the 2009 draft pick and the last couple months of Tex for some unknown return at the 2009 trade deadline.

Still doesn't change too much -- judging by the Angels/Braves deal, Tex's trade value wasn't nearly as high in July 2008 as it was in '07. The Rangers sold at the right time, and appeared to pick a pretty darn good package.
   36. Honkie Kong Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:07 PM (#3181495)
Well, atleast Mahay netted us Brett DeVall. Lets see how that goes.

In the end, the Braves are not really going to miss Andrus / Salty /Harrison. It is how Feliz does really decides whether the trade was just bad, deadline-induced panic move or an utter disaster.
   37. Sam M. Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3181496)
Can I say how much I hate you guys for digging this thread up, just when I starting to feel the budding blooms of optimism for this current Braves team?!

Hey, I didn't do it. I just responded!

And if it makes you feel any better, Casey Kotchman is off to a better start in 2009 than Mark Teixeira, and for a whole hell of a lot less scratch.
   38. spycake Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3181504)
Good news from the Atlanta perspective:
Kotchman may not be chopped liver
Salty would still be blocked and/or a bust in ATL
Harrison's and Andrus' success is limited thus far (and is Andrus being rushed?)
Two of these guys are hard-throwing pitchers who haven't even touched the majors yet, so anything can happen

In general, the Rangers have been very lucky on the younger prospects in this deal, so far.
   39. Spivey Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3181508)
I guess you could say it is lucky. Since they have the best farm system and have done an outstanding job of locating and developing talent the last few years, I'd say they simply swindled Atlanta.
   40. spycake Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3181515)
No doubt they picked a good group of prospects, and have apparently handled them well so far, but to pluck 5 guys from another organization (including 3 young pitchers) and avoid injuries across the board has some residue of luck.
   41. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3181520)
For about .00000001 seconds I thought the Yankees had traded him.
   42. flournoy Posted: May 16, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3181528)
It's not as though the Rangers found some diamonds in the rough with this trade. Saltalamacchia, Harrison, Feliz, and Andrus were all in the Braves' top ten prospect list. They had (and still have) a pretty deep farm system at the time, so it's not as though they were picking from a barren system like the Astros' or something.
   43. Spivey Posted: May 16, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3181535)
It's not as though the Rangers found some diamonds in the rough with this trade. Saltalamacchia, Harrison, Feliz, and Andrus were all in the Braves' top ten prospect list. They had (and still have) a pretty deep farm system at the time, so it's not as though they were picking from a barren system like the Astros' or something.

Agreed. Don't know if this is in response to me, I am mainly just saying that while there has been some injury luck, this was a swindling. And Feliz goes beyond just having a live arm - he has arguably the best fastball in the minors. And Andrus was highly thought of then and is playing damn well for a 20 year old.
   44. The Good Face Posted: May 16, 2009 at 05:57 PM (#3181560)
Harrison's and Andrus' success is limited thus far (and is Andrus being rushed?)


Andrus has an 89 OPS+, is playing a stellar defensive SS, and is TWENTY YEARS OLD. Yes, it's early, but if he finished the year with those numbers, the Rangers would be probably be overjoyed. The signs are there for him to have a VERY productive big league career.
   45. a bebop a rebop Posted: May 16, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3181568)
Andrus has an 89 OPS+, is playing a stellar defensive SS, and is TWENTY YEARS OLD.


This. Andrus has saved at least one game (and contributed greatly to others) with his defense.
   46. spycake Posted: May 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3181895)
No doubt Andrus looks promising. I just noticed his young age and the fact that he skipped AAA entirely -- the Rangers might be advancing him in a slightly sub-optimal manner, if not development-wise, then financially (service time). Even given perfect handling, there is still plenty of time for his development to stall or other negative outcomes to occur, although this is probably no comfort to Braves fans...

Certainly the Rangers should be the best judge of those factors, though, and I will give them the benefit of the doubt as Andrus has looked like a good fit for the big-league club and he's having an impact in their surprise run in the division thus far.
   47. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 19, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3184716)
For about .00000001 seconds I thought the Yankees had traded him.
For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

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