Today's Braves Trade Who's and What's it's

First up from Jayson Stark. He says that the D-Backs may match up the best with the Braves:

Every indication is that the Braves have at least touched base with the Rays, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels and Yankees on Teixeira. But Arizona appears to be the team to watch. The Diamondbacks quietly made a big run at Teixeira last July, and they're in just as serious need of some major thump now.

An official of one club that spoke with the Diamondbacks describes them as having "definite interest." But while the Braves would love to wrest away Conor Jackson, it's tough to imagine Arizona dealing away a player it likes that much for two months of Teixeira.

The Braves also have attracted massive interest in left-handed reliever Will Ohman. And they might be able to move Mark Kotsay, as well. Or they could get hot, reverse field and resume their pursuit of Xavier Nady, or some other professional right-handed bat. But if the Braves decide to go for it, they'd probably need to reel in a veteran starting pitcher, too. So however it breaks, they could have a busy week.

Arizona is one of those teams we've heard has interest in Teixeira for several weeks. They are indeed an intriguing possible trade partner as their system has a great depth of talent and they have a first baseman in Conor Jackson they might be willing to part with... or would they? Ken Rosenthal has a bit of a different take:

The Diamondbacks have inquired about Teixeira, major-league sources say, renewing their interest from a year ago. A trade is unlikely — the cost in players would be high, the payroll bump of nearly $5 million difficult for Arizona to absorb. But the D-backs, under general manager Josh Byrnes, have proven to be a resourceful bunch.

The obvious concern for the D-backs is that they traded six prospects for right-hander Dan Haren and minor-league pitcher Connor Robertson, then another youngster, second baseman Emilio Bonifacio, for reliever Jon Rauch. The Braves, though, likely would want a major leaguer — first baseman Conor Jackson — as the centerpiece of any Teixeira package.

That's where this could get interesting.

Three-plus years of Jackson clearly is more valuable than two-plus months of Teixeira. Then again, the Diamondbacks would not bid for Teixeira as a free agent. So, the deal would amount to Jackson for a Teixeira rental plus two high draft picks. The Diamondbacks also could ask for other players back if they traded Jackson and prospects — and they still would have Chad Tracy to play first base next season.

The trade would be difficult to construct; the D-Backs also might want money included. One Arizona official says "there isn't much traction" to the Teixeira concept. Another says he would be "surprised" if the team landed a big bat.

Still there is a new take on the trade from's Jim Molony:

The Braves aren't talking, but other teams say they are looking for a power bat and aren't interested in dealing Gonzalez. The Braves haven't completely shut the door on dealing certain players. They will listen to offers for Jeff Francoeur and Will Ohman and some insiders expect Teixeira to become available if the Braves have a bad week.

Certainly using Jeff Francoeur as a chip to get a bigger bat is a new idea, and a potentially risky one (with the potential to alienate some of the fan base) being that Francoeur was until recently billed as the new face of the franchise. But GM Frank Wren has not been shy about treating Frenchy like any other player regardless of his pedigree.

The common thread through all of these rumors is that the Braves will wait to see where the team is until after this weekends' series in Philadelphia. That series, combined with the series against Florida will tell us what to expect. Another factor in all of this could be the mounting injuires to key Braves like Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, and Tim Hudson. If those guys continue to be bothered by nagging injuires, or if they reinjure themselves, then Frank Wren and company may not want to take the chance they will be available throughout a run at the postseason, and that -- not the Braves record this weekend -- could be the determining factor in any possible trades.

Unless we see a key injury to some other first baseman on a contending team, the offers for Teixeira will likely remain low until just before the deadline. I expect that the Braves will wait until the last minute, and they will be asking for several quality players and prospects in return. After all, they don't "have" to trade Tex (in their mind at least), so they won't be bullied into making the wrong trade.

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