Will Salty Callup Lead To Laird Trade?
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been called up, and GM Jon Daniels has no plans for him to warm the bench. Salty performed well at AAA Oklahoma, and when backup backstop Adam Melhuse broke a bone in his hand on Thursday, the call-up seemed imminent. However, incumbent Rangers catcher Gerald Laird has also been solid to start the season. Given the organization's desire to get Saltalamacchia regular at-bats and the lackluster hitting of first baseman Ben Broussard, I think it's likely that the defensively sub-par Salty will see at least some time at the "cold corner."
But with the Rangers off to an absolutely abysmal start--Buster Olney cites a scout today saying that the team looks "out of control"--we have to wonder when the Rangers will open up the treasure chest and share some of their backstop bounty with the rest of the league. As previously noted in this space, the team is expected to be sellers come July. In addition to Laird and Saltalamacchia, the Rangers also have three decent catching prospects. With catching talent so scarce, other GMs will likely come knocking sooner rather than later. Rumors about Laird have been flying to and fro since Texas acquired Saltalamacchia in the Mark Teixeira deal last summer, but Salty's call-up means the clock has officially started ticking. Although Daniels said recently he wasn't planning on trading Laird, I have a feeling he's just playing hard to get. Some possible suitors? The Reds, the Mets, the Blue Jays, or the Red Sox.
I would be thrilled if the Reds could work out a trade to get Gerald Laird. We need catching help in the worst way.