When the Braves traded for Mark Teixeira last July 31, they were 4½ games out of first place in the National League East, with two teams to pass. Now it's almost a year later, and Atlanta is 6½ games out of first, with three teams to pass.
So do the Braves turn around and trade Teixeira, a pending free agent they admit they have almost no chance of re-signing for next year? Or do they keep Teixeira and try to win now?
|Who wouldn't want Tex? He has 35 homers, 128 RBI as a Brave. (AP)|
Boston is on the list, and so are the Angels and Rays. The Braves still think Arizona could become involved, too -- if they put Teixeira on the market.
So will they? Check back at the end of the week.
The Braves play three games at Florida (while the Phillies play the Mets). Then the Braves play three games in Philadelphia.
By the end of the week, maybe the Braves will be back in it. Maybe they'll be buying (looking for an outfield bat), rather than selling.
Or maybe they'll be far enough out of it that they'll admit what outsiders have already been thinking -- that the Braves just aren't good enough to win this year.
"When (closer John) Smoltz went down for the year, a malaise seemed to set in on that team," one scout who closely follows the NL East said Sunday.
Incidentally, in the 154 games the Braves have played since acquiring Teixeira from Texas, he has 35 home runs and 128 RBI. And in those same 154 games, the Braves have gone 75-79.
They haven't looked like a championship club. And they didn't look like a championship club over the weekend, when they lost two of three at home to the Nationals.
If they don't start looking like a championship club soon -- i.e. this week -- then it's probably time to send Teixeira on his way.
The other stories to watch this week: