Somehow when it comes from Mark Bowman it seems more rational and believable. He puts forward in his latest notes column that the Braves are considered around baseball to be the frontrunners to acquire Mark Teixeira from the Rangers:
Another National League scout said the Braves might be discussing also including a young pitching prospect (possibly Jo-Jo Reyes) and Elvis Andrus, the 18-year-old phenom shortstop who is currently experiencing the struggles of the maturation process with Class A Myrtle Beach.
While Andrus has been promoted as one of the game's next great shortstops, the scout said, "[Braves general manager] John Schuerholz will deal a kid like that if the deal is right."
I think at this point, anyone on the Braves short of Smoltz, Chipper, Frenchy, and McCann are available to be traded - not that they will be, but I'm sure they aren't out of bounds. Similarly, anyone and everyone in the Braves minor league system seems to be available.
Over the past several weeks, Teixeira has been mentioned in rumors as being headed to the Angels, the Dodgers, the Yankees, Red Sox, Padres, Giants, and the Braves. This is the first tidbit of info that we have that the Braves may in fact be the frontrunners. As Ken Rosenthal said recently, the big hang-up keeping the Braves and Rangers from getting the deal done may be cost:
The Braves, though, would be giving the Rangers not just a premium young talent, but also significant salary relief. In recent years, clubs have been willing to grant one or the other, but not both.
Therein may lie the rub of what Schuerholz is trying to extract form Daniels - another player, and not salary relief. The Braves are apparently fine financially and may have more funding for the remainder of the year thanks to Liberty Media, so the need to get cash in return is no longer necessary. Instead they may be asking for that lefty reliever so that they can fill two needs with one trade.
Of course, every time I write stuff like this about possible trades I find myself asking myself "what the hell do I know, and what the hell does anyone know?" This is all just a bunch of rumors (albeit fun to read), but until something happens we will only ever get idle speculation, since Schureholz NEVER tips his hand. One thing about the Bowman piece is interesting, and that is he rarely writes about rumors in such detail. I also appreciate that he told us who the rumors were coming from, not just the "unnamed sources" BS we get from Fox and the World Wide Leader. These rumors came from "scouts." Scouts are usually on the pulse of things like this, and can be considered more of a legitimate "source" than "unnamed sources."
I am rather excited that we will make some big moves before the deadline. Seven days left...