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What's the Right Price for Teixeira?

As they have for the past week, rumors are flying around baseball about the possibility of Mark Teixeira going to the Braves. The thing that has caught my eye is what these rumors are saying we will give up for Salty. Here is one from the Dallas Morning News:

The foundation for a deal that would send Teixeira to Atlanta would be 22-year-old catcher-first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, considered the Braves' top prospect. It would likely also include a young pitcher, potentially either 23-year-old right-hander Kyle Davies or 21-year-old left-hander Matt Harrison, and infielder Elvis Andrus. The Braves, however, are not likely to part with lefty Jo-Jo Reyes.

I get the inclusion of Salty in a deal, but a top-flight pitcher and our stud shortstop? Even if the deal has expanded to include a reliever, as many people have speculated, that still seems like a steep price. Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus had this to say about that rumored package:

The rumors surrounding Mark Teixeira are starting to pick up, but few of them are making sense. The biggest, of course, is a rumored deal to Atlanta that would return Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and a pitcher. Nice return, but does it really fit with the Rangers needs? "Salty" is a nice haul for any team, whether he's at first or moves behind the plate, but Andrus is a Single-A phenom who might be ready before Michael Young's contract is up. The Rangers need pitching, and if the best they're getting for the most tradeable player in the game is someone like Jo-Jo Reyes, I'd be stunned. Moreover, the Braves have needs beyond first base. Chipper Jones is calling for a lefty reliever, while most think the Braves could use one more starter. Unless John Schuerholz is suddenly ready to deal off most of the prospects he has, those needs will go unfilled if he starts off with this trade.

Just a few days ago we were believing in what Ken Rosenthal was saying about not taking on salary AND trading a prospect. These latest rumors that have us paying a huge price of top prospects have me shying away from any deal that would send away so much of our future.

Teixeira for Salty I would still do. One of the big reasons I'd pull the trigger is that it would force us to have a regular above average first baseman and middle of the order hitter in the lineup every day. What we currently have is really a patchwork of old and young - four guys who are splitting time at first, Franco, Thorman, Salty, and Woodward, and four guys who are collectively the worst first baseman in the majors.

Whatever the price I hope JS doesn't overdo it. I think we need some extra pieces - ones that will give us an edge in the NL East - and I'm willing to surrender some prospects, but not the number that some of these rumors have us giving away.

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