The Francoeur move may be a case of closing the barn door after the horses have already run off. He's been in the Majors for three years now, and has shown no signs of maturation whatsoever. Francoeur seems to be a hopeless case right now. He needed more time in the minors, but once he got off to that hot start in 2005 no one had the guts to send him down again. Since then he has been a team poster boy, a notorious man-about-town, and has shown neither the willingness nor the ability to figure out what the heck he's supposed to be doing in the little white box in front of the umpire. How he has remained so clueless when Chipper Jones -- a perfectly good role model -- has been hanging around the whole time is beyond me, but hopeless he has remained, and his utter lack of production, more than just about everything, is why the Braves are floundering.
Sending out feelers on Teixeira is also a good move. The guy turned down 8 years and $140M from the Rangers last year, and there's no way the Braves come close to offering that. Heck, there's no way the Braves even come close to offering the college town discount to that which, it should be noted, Teixeira has shown no indication of being interested in in the first place. The guy is walking, either to the Bronx, Queens, or to Baltimore, and that's pretty much that. Moreover, given the way the Braves got burned when the offered Maddux arbitration before the 2003 season (the sumbitch accepted it!) my suspicion is that they wouldn't offer it to Teixeira either, thus negating the "keep him around and take the draft picks when he walks" argument. You don't get those picks unless you offer arbitration. I'm pretty bad at valuing trades, so I have no sense of what Atlanta could expect to get for Teixeira, but it seems that something is better than nothing, and Teixeira's bat won't really be missed in the epic battle for third place which looms in the Braves' future.
The streak of division titles ended a couple of years ago, but Braves fans have still been sort of living in the afterglow. Sure, the team hasn't been as strong as it once was, but most of the faces have been the same. There has still been a sense that at any given time the Braves were only a winning streak away from glory. That's still technically true, but it's time for us to let go and face reality. Mark Teixeira is not going to be a part of the next good Braves team. Jeff Francoeur probably isn't going to ever be a part of a good team. Smoltz is probably done, and I'd be shocked if we saw Glavine beyond this year.
This is Kelly Johnson's and Brian McCann's and Yunel Escobar's and Jair Jurrjens' team now. It's around those guys -- with some mentoring from Chipper and Tim Hudson -- that the Braves need to build. Rather than wait until this winter, they should begin that process now.