Carrying a big stick

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Mark Teixeira wore his customary No. 23 on the weekend.

It only seemed that he was wearing a "For Rent" sign on his back as he played first base for the Texas Rangers at Kansas City.

You can bet the house that Teixeira will be wearing a different uniform after tomorrow's non-waiver trade deadline kicks in at 4 p.m.

The Atlanta Braves, who were busy this past winter trying to build a team that could recapture the National Least East, will be at it again before the deadline.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also are after Teixeira and have offered first baseman Casey Kotchman, lefty Joe Saunders and a discounted two-day pass at Disneyworld.

The Braves are willing to part with their blue-chip catching prospect, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, lefty starter Kyle Davis and shortstop prospect Elvis Andrus. Lefty Matt Harrison was among those about to be moved, but he has a sore arm.

In exchange for part, or all of the Braves package, Atlanta will add Teixeira, 27, and a reliever from the Rangers, either closer Eric Gagne, lefty C.J. Wilson or Joaquin Benoit.

ADD A STARTER

Ideally, here is the way the final day of the trade deadline would work for the Braves:

- They'd add a starter by picking up Jon Garland from the Chicago White Sox. But it appears as if White Sox GM Kenny Williams has taken Garland off the market. And after Garland, the best starter available is Kyle Lohse of the Cincinnati Reds.

- They'd add Teixeira and a reliever from the Rangers.

- Or, they'd add Teixeira from the Rangers and closer Octavio Dotel from the Kansas City Royals.

New Royals GM Dayton Moore used to work with the Braves before taking the top job with K.C., and knows Atlanta's minor-league system. Along with the late Jim Kane of Brampton, Moore signed first baseman Scott Thorman of Cambridge as a first- rounder in 2000.

Both the Angels and the Braves want a productive, established bat for the middle of their order. Both have other needs, which could see the deal expanding to land a second Ranger from the bullpen.

Both the Braves and Angels will ignore the old wild west slogan -- one riot, one Ranger.

Teixeira, eligible for free agency after the 2008 season, is a Scott Boras client, as is Andruw Jones. Teixeria has a .297 average with 13 homers and 49 RBIs after yesterday's play.

In his first four years with the Rangers heading into this season, he averaged 35 homers and 119 RBIs, while batting .282.

Texas GM John Daniels is dealing with two veteran GMs in Bill Stoneman of the Angels, who has not made a lot of deadline deals, and John Schuerholz of the Braves, who has been active in the past.

The Braves need bullpen help since reliever Mike Gonzalez underwent surgery and is lost for the season, and since Wilfredo Ledezma is a rare lefty who does better against right-handed hitters than lefties. He gave up a walk-off homer the other night in Arizona to Diamondbacks' Tony Clark.

As for the Blue Jays, in addition to the Philadelphia Phillies, who had assistant GM Ruben Amaro in to see Josh Towers and a reliever Toronto has on the market, the Seattle Mariners have also looked at Towers and that mystery reliever, whom the Jays have told teams is available.

To date, there have not been any major deals.

The Indians added Kenny Lofton, who usually makes the post-season.

The Phillies picked up second baseman Tadahito Iguchi to fill in for Chase Utley, who is out for a month after breaking his right hand.

The Padres added outfielder Scott Hairston from the Diamondbacks, while the Astros added third baseman Ty Wigginton from the Devil Rays for reliever Dan Wheeler.

The addition of Lofton, Iguchi, Hairston or Wigginton likely won't secure a post-season berth. The Angels and the Braves each think they can do that by acquiring Teixeira and a reliever.


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