After numerous conflicting reports from several of the well known baseball writers, some saying the Dbacks were "very close" to a deal for Mark Teixeira for a package starting with Chad Tracy (huh?), the Braves dealt two months of Mark Teixeira to the Angels for 3+ years of Casey Kotchman and minor league relief pitcher Stephen Marek.
Teixeira will make the Angels one of the favorites to go to the World Series, as they already possess the best record in the majors. Teixeira will hit in the middle of the Angels lineup providing protection for Vlad Guerrero while hitting in front of Tori Hunter.
Here is Keith Law on what Teixeira brings to the Angels:
The Angels get exactly what they need in Mark Teixeira -- an impact bat who'll add power, patience and a legitimate threat against the super pitching they'll face in October.
Teixeira is a true switch-hitter with a great approach who works the count, has power from both sides of the plate and has no trouble turning on good fastballs or adjusting to good offspeed stuff. The Angels don't have another hitter in their lineup who comes close to that description.
Kotchman will play 1b for the Braves for the next 3+ years and hit in the middle of the Braves decimated lineup. Kotchman is a good hitter, but does not hit for much power as evidenced by his .287-.327-.448-.774 stat line. He has hit 12 HR and 54 RBIs with a 23/18 K/BB ratio in 373 ABs. He, like Teixeira, is a very good defensive 1bman.
Marek was the Angels 6th best prospect according to Baseball America. Here's what Ba had to say in their annual Prospect Handbook:
Marek comes after hitter with a powerful three pitch mix. His fastball ranges from 88-94 mph. His 74-77 mph curveball has 11-5 shape and grades as a second plus pitch thanks to his knack for locating it. He made improveemnets to his changeup, which has hard, late sink at times and helped him limit lefthanders to a .183 avg. in 2007. Marek's mechanics are a work in progress. Provided he stays healthy, Marek profiles as a middle of the rotation starter.
Yet he has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in AA Arkansas in the Texas League. In 34 relief appearances he has struck out 57 batters while walking 21, with a 3.66 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .223 avg. He has a 2-6 record and 3 saves.