The Braves really had to decide if Saltalamacchia was a catcher or a first baseman and the early returns on him being a first baseman were not favorable. So it really boils down to whether they wanted to keep McCann or Salty and they made the right decision for their current team.
McCann is pretty damn good and he has produced at the big league level and they get a gold glove first baseman who can hit 30+ and 100+ and is under control through 2008. All in all, it was a good deal for both teams and though I really do not think Elvis Andrus (Joaquin Arias part II) will be an impact player at any point, the Rangers save a lot of cash and get a big time prospect back that they can insert into the starting lineup right away.
Does any of this make the Braves favorites? Not really, but I'm sure a lot of people will go crazy over the deal and say they are. While first base was a black hole for them, they still have starting pitching issues and bullpen issues. They did receive a reliever back as well, but I do not think Mahay is going to change the face of their bullpen even though he should improve it. Things certainly got more interesting, but the Mets are still the team to beat for me.
As for the Mets trade, Omar did not hit the panic button and trade Lastings Milledge for Mark Loretta or anything. A big concern of Willie was the second spot in the lineup and defense at second base. While I'm not all for Castillo being the second hole hitter, it is a foregone conclusion. In regards to Gotay, he provides some great bench depth and is a valuable pinch hitter. He has been so big for the Mets lately that you hate to see him not start, but Castillo is a perennial .300 hitter, though without much power.
Basically he is what they want out of Paul LoDuca but with a more speed and better bunting skills. I'm not sure if he comes close to LoDuca in regards to intangibles, but he is a good contact hitter that will put the ball in place while giving you stellar defense. The Mets got deeper today for sure even though it was not a blockbuster and it only cost Dustin Martin and Drew Butera. You have to give Omar a lot of credit for this deal as it is a very low cost/low risk move.