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ATANTA -- With nearly three days remaining before non-roster trade deadline on July 31, the Atlanta Braves traded first baseman Mark Teixeira to the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman and Minor League pitcher Stephen Marek on Tuesday.
Major injuries crippled the Braves ability to compete in the National League East, as they find themselves 49-56 and seven and a half games out of first place. With the loss of Tim Hudson putting a damper on any hopes that remained to make a run this seaosn, the Braves turned their attention to finding the best deal for the free-agent to be Teixeira prior to the deadline on Thursday.
Teixeira, 28, was acquired by Atlanta at last season's trade deadline for five minor leaguers, including top prospects Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus. Hitting clean-up for the Braves this season, Teixeira is batting .283 with 20 homers and 78 RBI in 103 games.
In 157 games for the Braves, Teixeira batted .295 with 36 doubles, 37 homers, 134 RBI and 101 runs scored. A two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner while with the Texas Rangers, Teixeira has committed just two errors this season.
Atlanta was seeking a first baseman who would be able to step in and help ease the loss of the switch-hitting Teixiera. Kotchman, 25, the 13th overall pitck in the first round of the 2001 draft, fills that role nicely.
The lefty swinging first baseman is hitting .287 with 12 homers and 54 RBI in 100 games with Los Angeles this year and batted .296 in 137 games last season. Kotchman brings a sterling reputation as a defender as well, matching Teixeira with just two errors on the year.
Marek turns 25 in September and was a 40th round draft selection of the Angels in 2004. He began his career as a starting pitcher but converted to the bullpen this season. In 32 relief apperances this season with Double-A Arkansas, Marek went 2-5 with three saves and a 3.71 ERA, fanning 54 hitters in 43.2 innings.