By Eric Denton - Angelswin.com Senior Writer
On a day Southern California was rocked by a magnitude 5.8 Earthquake, little did Angel fans know that just a few hours later the ground would be shaking again.
This time the epicenter was based in Atlanta where the Braves agreed to send All Star first-baseman Mark Teixeira to the Angels for 1B Casey Kotchman and Double A pitcher Stephen Marek.
With Atlanta this season, Teixeira was batting .283 with 20 homers, while driving in 78 runs. The switch hitting, two time Gold Glover now moves on to the Angels, making the best team in baseball even stronger.
For many seasons Angel fans were routinely disappointed that the Halos didn’t acquire a middle of the order bat at the trade deadline. But this season, they got the best player available without having to give up the entire farm.
This off-season the Angels wisely backed out of a deal for Miguel Cabrera that would have cost them at least four players including Howie Kendrick, & Ervin Santana. Waiting until the end of July Tony Reagins was able to acquire a player just as productive in Teixeira. Finally the price was right.
There is some risk involved for the Angels, as Teixeira will be headed for free agency after the 2008 season is completed. To further complicate the issue, his agent is the dreaded Scott Boras.
However, this was a risk the Angels had to take. Clearly this is the best overall team Mike Scioscia has had since 2002 and it would have been travesty if the organization didn’t go the extra mile to trying to win a second World Series championship.
Casey Kotchman will be missed if the Angels are unable to re-sign Teixeira. But with Kendry Morales having a very solid year at Triple-A Salt Lake City the organization had the depth at first-base to be able to deal a major contributor from the 25 man roster in order to add some more thump to the lineup.
Teixeira and Vladimir Guerrero are now the West coast version of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. With additional help in the lineup from Torii Hunter, Howie Kendrick and the surging Garret Anderson and Juan Rivera, the Angels could now be the team to beat for the AL Championship if not the World Series.
Now it’s up to the players to execute and deliver. The front office and ownership has given them the tools they need to reach the ultimate goal.
Hopefully come October there will be a whole lot more shakin’ going on in Southern California.