Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Angels trade for Mark Teixeira yesterday was for the most part unilaterally approved. And why wouldn't it be? Teixeira is a beast, he instantaneously becomes the Angels best hitter (Yes, he's better than Vlad now). He immediately gives them punch in the middle of their lineup that they've needed ever since Troy Glaus left his HGH driven prime. And all they had to give up was Casey Kotchman a good but not great 1B in the start of his prime and minor league pitcher Steve Marek who is being turned into a reliever in the minor leagues. And yet, somehow someway some people (Doug Gottlieb) are not a fan of this trade.
Ok so let's analyze this piece by piece. The Angels have the best team in baseball right now, they have the best record and they have as good a chance as any to win the world series. But their strength is pitching, they are currently 19th in the league in runs scored. They needed to add a bat and they needed power. Would it have been nice to add Teixeira and not delete Kotchman? Sure, but the you have to give the Braves something. Regardless, there is no debating that the Angels are better for the remainder of 08 than if they kept Kotchman.
Next, the fear that Teixeira leaves and you lose out on the future of Kotchman for a rental player. A) Teixeira will certainly be a Tier A Free Agent and thus if he leaves the Angels will be receiving a first round pick as well as a 1st round sandwich pick. Kotchman himself was the 13th overall pick in the draft so the Angels will be receiving two picks in close proximity to #13. Secondly the Angels, have a potential future first baseman in the minors in Kendry Morales. Both Kotchman and Morales are 25 and while Morales has not been on the fast track to the majors he is an excellent prospect and potentially the equivalent or better than Kotchman. Since starting his minor league career Morales has never finished a minor league season hitting below .300. Last year during his call up with the Angels he hit .294 in 119 at bats. This year in the minors he's hitting .324. He's their easy replacement for Kotchman if Teixeira does in fact leave via free agency.
This trade is hands down a no brainer for the Angels. Could Kotchman be a solid 1B for a long time in baseball? Sure. Will he ever be an elite hitter? Highly doubtful. So the Angels did what they should, upgraded majorly in a season in an attempt to win a world series. In the offseason attempt to sign Teixeira and if his asking price is too much then simply settle for the 2 first round picks and slotting of Morales as the every day first baseman. It was the easy and correct decision.