By striking first with the Mark Teixeira deal, the Atlanta Braves sent two messages to the rest of baseball. They told their competitors in the National League that they feel they're good enough to win this season, prospects be damned, and their message for the league as a whole was that Teixeira was head and shoulders above anyone else available in a trade. That doesn't mean there won't be other deals but it does mean that something very unexpected would have to happen to top yesterday's deal for pennant impact.
The Braves may not be done. There were reports out of Kansas City last night that they had acquired closer Octavio Dotel in exchange for starting pitcher Kyle Davies but the deal seems to have hit a snag and Dotel remains a Royal. For the time being anyway. The Braves remain a possibility as do the Mariners, Dodgers and Indians.
Atlanta's deal may have also affected the Mets as they pulled the trigger on a trade for Minnesota second baseman Luis Castillo. They gave up two low-level prospects for the high-average/no-power Castillo. It's hard to see just how much Castillo improves the team, especially in light of the Teixeira move by Atlanta. He's a good fielder and fast but Ruben Gotay was providing similar production even before Jose Valentin went down with an injury. If they don't pick up a righty bat to match with Shawn Green and provide insurance for Moises Alou, there will be a large burden on a Pedro Martinez comeback, he makes a minor league start tomorrow night, and the ageless El Duque to keep the Amazins in front of their Southern rivals.
There's nothing much going on for the Yankees. The Scott Proctor-for-Wilson Betemit rumors continue and they are in on Eric Gagne talks but nothing seems imminent in either case. The Red Sox are also hot on Gagne's trail but Gagne has a no-trade clause for Boston and is unlikely to waive it to go somewhere he can't close because he'd forego bonus money. The Jermaine Dye trade that was reported as close yesterday is still on the table but that probably wouldn't force Brian Cashman's hand in an answer deal. The next six hours should be interesting as deals come together, fall apart and get bandied about by GMs, fans and the media. We'll see what happens when the dust settles but the Teixeira deal will probably still be the one we're talking about when the day ends.