Let’s take a break from the Manny saga and check out another trade rumbling on the horizon: The Texas Rangers are open to trading Jarrod Saltalamacchia for young pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal. This is the storyline you should be following, not Manny. Dude doesn’t need any more attention.
As some of you know, the Rangers have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to catching: Saltalamacchia, Gerald Laird, Max Ramirez and Taylor Teagarden. Since they’re looking for young pitching and the Red Sox have those in spades, a deal may be closer than many think. Let’s look at the candidates that could come over from Texas:
- Gerald Laird is 28 years old and is hitting .316/.368/.444. He has been inconsistent as far as at-bats in the majors go over the last five years, garnering 44, 147, 40, 243, 407 and 187 so far this year. Only 2006 (.296/.332/.473) and 2008 have him flashing offensive potential. Given his age and the fact that the Red Sox would hesitate to throw Laird right into the backup role (and thus right into catching Tim Wakefield), I have to think that this deal is unlikely to happen.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the key to last year’s Mark Texeira trade and may be on the move again. Salty is off to a poor start to the year, hitting only .232/.322/.341 in 164 AB but at age 23, still remains a hot name around sports. He’s not too thrilled to be a Ranger these days as the Rangers told him Gerald Laird will be the starter down the stretch and he’s not too pleased about being a backup. His defensive work still has a long ways to go, according to Ron Washington, the Rangers’ manager. “No. 1, his game-calling can always get better,” Washington said. “I’m not getting on him; I’m just talking about what he can improve. No. 2, blocking balls. No. 3, continue working on his throwing. No. 4, understanding catching is most important. All of it together is a process. It takes time. It’s called experience.” With Salty’s offensive potential, he would certainly fit into the Red Sox’s plans