ATLANTA - Mark Teixeira could be the Atlanta Braves' new cleanup hitter as early as tonight.
The Braves reached an agreement on Monday to send rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three minor leaguers to Texas for the powerful, switch-hitting Teixeira. The official announcement of the deal is expected to come today.
The negotiations were confirmed by people familiar with the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it wasn't finalized.
If made official, the deal could help reshape the National League postseason picture.
The Braves were set to send Saltalamacchia, slick-fielding shortstop Elvis Andrus and two more minor-leaguers to Texas for Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay.
The Braves have struggled at first base all season and currently do not have a lefty in their bullpen.
Texas was believed to be studying medical records on two Braves minor-league players before completing the four-for-two exchange.
The Braves also were trying to complete a trade for Kansas City closer Octavio Dotel. Atlanta may be ready to send pitcher Kyle Davies to the Royals.
Today is the deadline for making trades without waivers. The pending 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 4 1/2 games in the NL East and is in the thick of the wild-card race. The Mets ended the Braves' streak of 14 straight division titles last year.
Teixeira may replace Andruw Jones, hitting .216, as Atlanta's cleanup hitter. He would join a lineup that also includes Chipper Jones, Jeff Francoeur and All-Star Brian McCann, but he won't come cheaply.
Teixeira, making $9 million this year, is eligible for salary arbitration after this season and can become a free agent after the 2008 season. He is represented by agent Scott Boras.
The 27-year-old Teixeira is familiar with the Atlanta area, having starred at Georgia Tech.
Phillies Obtain Lohse From Cincinnati
PHILADELPHIA - Kyle Lohse is on the move again at the trade deadline.
The Philadelphia Phillies, looking to bolster their pitching in the stretch, obtained the right-hander from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday for young and durable minor-league lefty Matt Maloney.
The 28-year-old Lohse is 6-12 with a 4.58 ERA in 21 starts this season, going 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA at home but 2-9 with a 6.42 ERA in the road. He is 4-6 in his last 10 decisions
In eight seasons with the Twins and Reds, Lohse is 60-74 with a 4.83 ERA. Cincinnati acquired him from Minnesota at the July 31 trade deadline last year.
Lohse pitched five postseason games while with the Twins from 2002-2004, starting one and going 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA.
Mets Get Castillo From Twins For 2 Prospects
NEW YORK - The NL East-leading New York Mets neatly filled a big hole at second base, acquiring three-time All-Star Luis Castillo from the Minnesota Twins for a pair of prospects Monday.
The 31-year-old Castillo will give the Mets three switch-hitters at the top of their lineup when injured Carlos Beltran returns and brings speed and a .304 average to a batting order already topped by major-league stolen base leader Jose Reyes. Castillo twice was the NL steals leader, though bad knees have limited his running in recent seasons.
A three-time Gold Glove winner who still has above-average range, Castillo also should solidify the defense in a standout infield with Reyes at shortstop, David Wright at third and Carlos Delgado at first. Ruben Gotay had been playing second since Jose Valentin broke a bone in his right leg when he fouled off a pitch at Dodger Stadium on June 21.
Minnesota gets catcher Drew Butera, who will report to Double-A New Britain, and outfielder Dustin Martin, who will go to Class-A Fort Myers. The deal, which came together in less than 24 hours, was completed one day before the deadline for making trades without waivers.
Beltran, who has not played in nearly a week because of a strained oblique muscle, was unlikely to travel with the team to Milwaukee in advance of Tuesday night's series opener and appeared headed for the disabled list.
Elsewhere, Pedro Martinez said he's ready for the next big step toward rejoining the rotation, making his first rehab start since shoulder surgery last fall.
At a news conference at the Mets' spring training complex, Martinez said he plans to throw 45 pitches Wednesday for the St. Lucie Mets and could make another start for the Class A team before determining the next step in his comeback.
'I don't know how I'm going to be,' Martinez said. 'I just know I feel better than the last two years or so.'
MARINERS: Seattle reliever Chris Reitsma said he will have surgery on Thursday to relieve pain in his arthritic right pitching elbow, ending his season in July for the second consecutive year.
'I'm done,' a visibly shaken Reitsma said after meeting Monday afternoon with Mariners medical director Edward Khalfayan. The doctor recommended Reitsma's fifth elbow surgery - and second in just over a year.
When asked if he meant done for the season or done for his career, the 29-year-old who entered last season as the closer for the Atlanta Braves said, 'For the season.'
As for retirement, Reitsma, who had a career high 15 saves in 2005 with the Braves, said: 'Maybe it's just the card I drew and I go on with life. I don't know.
'That's one alternative, but it's pretty hard to get my mind around that right now. ... Basically, I have a 60-year-old's elbow.'