Braves Acquire Big Bat From Texas

ATLANTA (AP) - Former Georgia Tech star Mark Teixeira found himself in a pennant race Tuesday when the Atlanta Braves finalized a seven-player trade to acquire him from the Texas Rangers.

The Braves sent rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor leaguers to Texas for the powerful, switch-hitting Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay. The two new Braves are not expected in Atlanta for Tuesday night's game against Houston.

Texas acquired Saltalamacchia, slick-fielding shortstop Elvis Andrus, right-hander Neftali Feliz, left-hander Matt Harrison and left-hander Beau Jones.

The swap for Teixeira is already inspiring comparisons to the Braves' 1993 deadline trade for first baseman Fred McGriff.

Atlanta trails the New York Mets by four and a half games in the Natonal League and is in the thick of the wild-card race. The Mets ended the Braves' streak of 14 straight division titles last year.

In addition to playing first, Teixeira may replace Andruw Jones, hitting .216, as Atlanta's cleanup hitter. He joins a lineup that also includes Chipper Jones, Jeff Francoeur and All-Star Brian McCann, but he won't come cheaply.

The 27-year-old Teixeira makes $9 million this year and is eligible for salary arbitration after this season. He can become a free agent after the 2008 season. He is represented by agent Scott Boras.

And the Atlanta Braves have made another trade to bolster their bullpen, getting Kansas City reliever Octavio Dotel for pitcher Kyle Davies. The deal was finalized shortly before Tuesday's 4 p.m. Eastern Time deadline for making trades without waivers.

The acquisition of Dotel, a hard-throwing righty, follows the Braves' trade for Ron Mahay. Atlanta got the left-hander as part of a seven-player swap with Texas involving first baseman Mark Teixeira.

The 31-year-old Dotel is 2 and 1 with a 3.91 ERA and 11 saves in 14 chances this season. Davies, a 23-year-old righty, was 4 and 8 with a 5.76 ERA for Atlanta.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)