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Diamondbacks apparent front-runner for Teixeira

Diamondbacks apparent front-runner for Teixeira
Almost immediately after the Braves decided to trade Mark Teixeira on Monday, the Diamondbacks emerged as the apparent front-runner to land the switch-hitting first baseman.

At least two other clubs are in the mix for Teixeira, major-league sources say, but those teams might only be backups for the Braves if their talks with the Diamondbacks fail to progress.

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Angels general manager Tony Reagins told the Los Angeles Times that he would "look at" a Teixeira deal, which almost certainly would cost the team first baseman Casey Kotchman. However, Reagins called the possibility of a trade "unlikely," and another source with knowledge of the club's plans described the Angels' chances of acquiring a hitter as "remote at best."

The Dodgers and Rays also are among the clubs that have shown interest in Teixeira, and both have young players who interest the Braves. But the Dodgers, set at first with James Loney for four more years, have little interest in Teixeira, who is a free agent at the end of the season. And the Rays, seeking long-term success, are less motivated than other clubs to acquire a rental player.

The Yankees and Red Sox are on the periphery of the Teixeira discussions, sources say; the Red Sox are aggressively shopping left fielder Manny Ramirez, but a Ramirez-for-Teixeira exchange would make little sense for the Braves, who are essentially conceding their season.

The Braves' preference in any Teixeira trade is a first baseman they could keep beyond this season. However, they are expected to consider all types of players, including young prospects with high upsides.

The Diamondbacks, sources say, will not part with first baseman Conor Jackson for Teixeira, who is a free agent at the end of the season. But they would be open to moving Tracy, who is signed for $4.75 million next season with a $7 million option for 2010.

The Braves would want at least one other quality player to go with Tracy, who also plays third and could help the team protect against injury to Chipper Jones. Right-hander Micah Owings, a pitcher the Diamondbacks offered to the Nationals in their discussions over right-hander Jon Rauch, could be one possibility.

The Diamondbacks would not trade either of their top pitching prospects, right-hander Max Scherzer or right-hander Jarrod Parker. But a lesser pitcher such as righty Billy Buckner as well as center fielder Gerardo Parra and infielder Jamie D'Antona are among the prospects who could be in play.

Jackson would remain in left field if the Diamondbacks acquired Teixeira, then return to first base next season when Eric Byrnes recovers from his torn left hamstring. The D-backs would not attempt to sign Teixeira long-term, instead accepting two premium draft picks when he departs as a free agent.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 29, 2008

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