ATLANTA (AP) -Power-hitting Mark Teixeira was on the brink of being traded from the Texas Rangers to Atlanta, giving the Braves the big bat they want for their pennant push.
Talks between the teams were nearing completion Monday, a day before baseball's deadline for trades without waivers. The negotiations were confirmed by a person familiar with the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it wasn't finalized.
The Braves, who have struggled at first base all season, were set to send rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three prospects to Texas for Teixeira and reliever Ron Mahay.
The pending trade had been widely reported throughout the media.
Third-place Atlanta trails the New York Mets by 4 1/2 games in the NL East and is in the thick of the wild-card race. The Mets ended the Braves' streak of 14 straight division titles last year.
The 27-year-old Teixeira would join a lineup that includes Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur and All-Star Brian McCann, but he won't come cheaply.
Teixeira, making $9 million this year, is eligible for salary arbitration after this season and can become a free agent after the 2008 season. He is certainly familiar with the Atlanta area, having starred at Georgia Tech.
The Braves were ready to send two of their top prospects - Saltalamacchia and minor league shortstop Elvis Andrus - to Texas in the deal.
Saltalamacchia, who like Teixeira is a switch-hitter with power, has spent time at first base this season as the Braves tried to find a way to utilize his bat. Saltalamacchia's path at catcher was blocked by McCann, who this year signed a six-year, $26.8 million deal.
Mahay, 36, is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and one save in 28 games this season.
Final details of the trade may hinge on two other minor leaguers coming to the Rangers.
Teixeira, hitting .297 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs, gives the Braves a home-run threat at first base they lacked after trading Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh in the offseason. Teixeira, a two-time Gold Glove winner, also should be a defensive upgrade.
Teixeira missed 27 games this season with a left quadriceps injury.
The Braves opened the season with Craig Wilson and Scott Thorman splitting time at first base. Wilson was released after hitting only .172. Thorman is hitting .220 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs.
Saltalamacchia has struggled defensively at times when tried at first base. The Braves signed 48-year-old Julio Franco on July 18 after Franco was released by the Mets.
Teixeira has hit 153 homers in five seasons. He set career highs with 43 homers and 144 RBIs in 2005.
Saltalamacchia, 22, is hitting .284 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 141 at-bats.
Andrus, 19, is best known for his strong defense at shortstop, but he plays a position of great depth in the Braves' organization. Rookie Yunel Escobar is hitting .317 in 43 games this season while playing shortstop, third base and second base. Starter Edgar Renteria, hitting .333, is signed through the 2008 season.
AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker in New York and AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed to this report.

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages