Ken Rosenthal, of FOXSports.com, reports the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have acquired first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek.
Teixeira returns to the American League after a one-year stint in the Senior Circuit. He has been having a very good season so far for the Braves, who have been struggling recently with injuries to both position players and pitchers. The Bravos realized they likely would not be able to keep the impending free agent after this season.
Teixeira is hitting .283 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in 103 games. He also has a good strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out 70 times and walking 65 times this season. Teixeira has been a top power producer during his career. He has hit at least 20 homers in each of his six seasons - at least 30 in his previous four - and has driven in at least 100 runs in each of his past four seasons.
Kotchman has been producing for the Angels this season. He is hitting .287 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 100 games this season. Like Teixeira, Kotchman also has a good strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out only 23 times and walking 18 times this season. He has not shown much power in his brief time in the major leagues. His 12 homers this season are a career high.
Marek was rated the Angels' sixth-best prospect by Baseball America coming into the season. His stats are not the greatest for a relief pitcher. He is 2-6 with three saves and a 3.66 ERA in 34 appearances for Double-A Arkansas this season. He has struck out 57 batters and walked 21 in 46 2/3 innings.
From a fantasy perspective, Teixeira's value increases because he will be protected in the Angels lineup by outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter. He's hitting .385 (5-for-13) with three RBIs at Angel Stadium this season, but his career line is .245-9-24 in 155 at-bats there.
Owners in AL-only leagues should immediately pick him up or use a heavy majority - if not all - of their Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) to acquire Teixeira.
Kotchman will be moving to a weaker offense but should be able to remain productive for the Braves. He recorded an out in his only at-bat at Turner Field in his career. NL-only owners should look to acquire Kotchman because he will likely be slotted in the middle of the batting order. For owners in mixed leagues who have Kotchman on their roster, they should keep him because he likely will continue to put up numbers. He's still worthy of ownership in shallow mixed leagues, as well.
Marek is not expected to make much of an impact this season but could be a factor out of the bullpen within a few years. The 25-year-old is purely watch list material in keeper leagues.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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