The Braves made possibly the biggest trade of 2007 when they sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones for Ron Mahay and a top first baseman in baseball at the time in Mark Teixeira. It’s no question the Rangers won this deal, as they reached a World Series before Atlanta and Big Tex played only 2 half seasons for the Braves. Let’s take a look at where these players are now:
Tex became a quick fan favorite in Atlanta, as he hit a 3 run shot in his debut (I was at the game) against Houston. He then followed by hitting a home run in the two games that followed, being the first player to do that for the Braves since Gary Sheffield in 2002. Even though he only played 54 games for Atlanta, he finished with 17 HRs, 56 RBIs and a .317 Average. We thought we had OUR GUY. However, in 2008 he was sent to the Angels for Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek. Atlanta feared Tex would want too much money with free agency looming. They were correct, and in 2009 he signed with the Yankees for 8 years and $180 Million. Big Tex has had a few good years in the Bronx, but he’s mostly known for being injured often. He’s currently batting .252 with 18 HRs.
Mahay came along with Teixiera as a throw in. The lefty reliever tossed a scoreless inning in his debut, and finished the year 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his only season in Atlanta. He bounced around to a few teams, before retiring in 2013. He is currently a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I was at the game when the Braves were routed by the Phils in which Salty hit his first home run in 2007, so he’s always been a favorite of mine. Salty had a good 2007 in Texas, batting .251 with 7 HRs and 21 RBIs. He is noted for striking out in 28 straight games, a record for catchers. His minor problems led to him being dealt to Boston in 2010, and he was a member of the 2013 championship team. He signed with the Marlins for 3 years and $21 Million after that, but was released in 2015 after batting under .100. He is currently with Arizona.
Elvis is possibly the biggest loss for Atlanta in this deal, it’s a toss up between him and Feliz. If Simmons wasn’t keeping the middle infield locked down, Braves fans would not be happy about this. Andrus was the Braves #2 prospect at the time of the deal, and he became the Rangers starting shortstop at only 20 years old. Andrus is a 2-time All-Star, and in 2013 he signed an 8 year, $120 Million extension. He’s a career .270 Hitter with 1,016 Hits, 329 RBIs, 23 HRs and 200 Steals.
In my opinion, this is where Atlanta lost the most in this trade. In 2010 he was a top 5 prospect, and holds a record for the third fastest pitch ever recorded at 103.4 MPH. He had the record for saves by a rookie (40) until it was broken by Craig Kimbrel. At only 27, Feliz has a career 2.72 ERA with 241 Ks and 93 saves. He’s recognized as one of the most consistent setup men/closers in the entire game, something Atlanta hasn’t had since O’Ventbrel (Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel).
Beau Jones was a first round pick (41st) in 2005 out of high school. The Lefty has never made it to the show with Atlanta, Texas, Oakland, or Miami.
Matt Harrison has had an up and down career with Texas, but was named to the All-Star Game in 2012. He finished the year with an 18-11 Record with a 3.29 ERA. His 2011 and 2012 seasons were great, but I do not think that Harrison would have lasted in Atlanta. He’s only been able to make 6 starts due to injuries since 2012. He has a 49-33 Career record with a 4.15 ERA with 403 Ks.
All in all, this was not a smart trade for the Braves. I would have asked that Tex sign an extension before the deal was complete, as the losses of Feliz and Andrus cost us our top 2 prospects for less than a year of Mark Teixiera. Salty has been a decent backstop up until this season, and we could have gotten a few decent years out of Harrison. Jones could have made it in Atlanta, but that will never be known. This will go down as one of the worst trades in Braves history, along with the Wainwright trade.