Today's proposal: Would you offer Gerald Laird or Jarrod Saltalamacchia (their choice) and Omar Poveda to Cincinnati for Homer Bailey?
Does this make any sense? Read on to find out ...
• Why it might make some sense: Think of this as a duplication of the Josh Hamilton-Edinson Volquez deal, but with the teams having different needs. The Reds believe they can contend in 2009 and their farm system entered the year one of the few ranked higher than the Rangers, but catching is a weakness. Though Cincinnati spent is No. 1 on C Devin Mesoraco in 2007, he's at low Class A and high school-drafted catchers usually take a significant amount of time to develop. The Reds are using a journeyman duo of Paul Bako and David Ross there right now and they have checked in on Laird. Bailey was recently called back to the majors, but, after three years atop the Reds' organization ranking, he hasn't lived up to expectations. Laird would be under control for two more years; Salty for even longer than that. The Rangers have depth at catcher and could afford to trade either one. The Rangers absolutely must have pitching if they hope to contend next year. Bailey spent three years atop the Reds' prospect rankings, but he hasn't lived up to expectations. He's pitched better in two starts since being recalled from the minors, but is still 0-3 with a 6.29 ERA and he's fallen behind Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto in the Reds' pecking order.
• Why it might not: Bailey is 22 and has been projected as a potential No. 1 starter for the last three seasons. Though he's 4-5 with a 5.94 ERA in 14 major league starts (including last year), he is merely a pup. If he develops next year and Cincinnati has a young starting trio of Volquez, Cueto and Bailey to anchor their rotation, along with the veteran Aaron Harang, they might just have the best rotation in the NL. They could afford to put Johnny Bench back there (and he'll be 61 next season) and still contend.
A win-win trade? Something that needs a bit of tweaking? Am I abso-flippin'-lutely nuts? You are on the clock.