Injuries push Braves toward trading
Teixeira and Ohman are most likely players to be dealt
ATLANTA -- It should come as no surprise to learn that Braves general manager Frank Wren has seen everything he's needed to see to make a clear evaluation of the state of his team.
In the span of the past three days, the Braves have lost two games during which they had leads of at least five runs and another by a margin of nine runs. At the same time, they've placed both Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson on the disabled list and watched Brian McCann suffer a mild concussion during a collision at the plate.
As the miserable events have unfolded, Wren has moved to the point where he's all but admitted that he'll be doing some selling before Thursday's Trade Deadline. In other words, Mark Teixeira and Will Ohman should pack their bags and prepare to have a different employer by the time the weekend arrives.
"The reality of the way things have gone recently and the number of injuries we're battling, I think it paints a pretty clear picture what we should do and need to do," Wren said as his team was in the midst of Monday night's 12-3 loss to the Cardinals at Turner Field.
If Wren is able to deal Teixeira later this week, he could determine who is going to win the American League pennant. The Yankees, Rays and Angels are all showing definite interest and have seemingly emerged as the current favorites to land the switch-hitting first baseman, who has enhanced his value while hitting .336 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in his last 29 games.
This surge just further proves that this is the time of year to have Teixeira. He hit .317 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs in the 54 games he played after being acquired by the Braves at last year's Trade Deadline. Plus, his career numbers during the second half of the season include a .295 batting average and .947 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage).
"I think we're in a position of great strength, because we have the best player, some of the best assets out there that people want, and there's lot of competition for them," Wren said. "There are lots of teams that desire them. So I think we're in a very good position."
Wren's concession comments came immediately after he announced that an MRI exam had shown that the ligament in Tim Hudson's right elbow is damaged. While visiting Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham later this week, the veteran right-hander will learn whether he needs to undergo Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery.
By the time Hudson returns to Atlanta, Teixeira and Ohman could be gone and Jason Bay could be one of his newest teammates.
Wren and his top aides talked to at least six teams on Monday about Teixeira. One of those teams was the Diamondbacks. But with the D-Backs offering Chad Tracy instead of Conor Jackson, Wren seems more apt to deal with one of the AL contenders.
While attempting to sell Teixeira, Wren will also be looking to buy a power-hitting bat. A proposed deal that would have brought Jason Bay to the Braves on Friday was nixed by Pirates owners. Bay, who will make $7.5 million in the final year of his contract next season, would bring strength to Atlanta's power-depleted outfield.
The Pirates have interest in shortstop Brent Lillibridge, who they developed before sending to the Braves in exchange for Adam LaRoche last year. In addition, they'd likely ask for outfielder Brandon Jones and a pair of prospects that are currently playing at the Class A level.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.