This article from the Dallas Morning News mentions that the Reds and Rangers might have had talks in the past about a Bailey for Laird deal that possibly could happen next week at the Winter Meetings.
Texas Rangers' GM probably won't wheel and deal
02:49 AM CST on Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Next week could be extremely dangerous for the Rangers' front office. Hole them up at The Bellagio for four days with nobody to talk to, and it could end up being an ugly sight at the craps table.
I can just see Jon Daniels right now, blowing on the dice, yelling: "C'mon eight, baby needs a new pair of shoes!"
While we expect Daniels and his staff to work the floor of the winter meetings with extreme vigor, we also think the team's relative lack of available funds to spend on free agents and the plan to basically hold on to talent is going to make for a rather uneventful week.
That's why we are here. We have some suggestions to keep Daniels away from the dice. Here are five guys worth talking to:
1. Theo Epstein, GM Boston: There is the foundation for a deal of a Rangers catcher for a Red Sox pitcher. The Rangers need more young pitching talent, and the Red Sox need a catcher of the future. Both clubs have depth at the other's need. That's the most significant hurdle toward getting a deal done.
The rest is just negotiation. The Red Sox don't want to give up Clay Buchholz, supposedly under any circumstances. The Rangers want Buchholz. I believe if both clubs continue talking, there is a way to reach a fair compromise that helps both teams improve.
2. Dayton Moore, GM Kansas City: Yes, I've also heard the Royals have no interest in moving right-hander Zack Greinke. But I also know the economy is making everybody think real hard about every big contract. The Royals have multiple holes to fill. The Rangers have lots of farm-talent depth. At one point, there was some thought the teams would be the best possible match – if Kansas City was willing to deal. It's worth checking back in with Moore.
3. Dave Dombrowski, GM Detroit: The Tigers seem to have the most ardent interest in Gerald Laird of any team on the market. The Rangers seem to be in more of a cost-cutting mode. Trading Laird to Detroit for a minor leaguer might save the Rangers almost $3 million. The Rangers probably wouldn't get the top prospect they want (please don't mention Rick Porcello's name), but they could save some money and create more time for Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate (if they don't trade one of the duo). Not to mention that in order to build a self-sustaining minor league system, you've got to have lots of depth.
4. Walt Jocketty, GM Cincinnati: The Reds figure to be the other team that might have interest in Laird. The Rangers went back and forth on whether they'd do Laird-for-Homer Bailey last year. Bailey is injured right now, and his value is even lower. But they may not be able to find a pitcher with a higher ceiling in exchange for Laird.
5. Scott Boras, agent to the stars: No, the Rangers aren't going to get involved in the Mark Teixeira bidding, but finding out where Teixeira is heading could have an impact on how the off-season shapes up. Just about every team involved in the Teixeira chase (Boston, the LA Angels, New York Yankees, Baltimore) has contacted the Rangers about the availability of Hank Blalock. Blalock is a fall-back option for all those clubs in the event they don't sign Teixeira, and he may be one of several fall-back options, but every bit of knowledge the Rangers can have about the best possible deals out there for Blalock can only help. Of course, if they are going to get a lot out of Boras, it would help to have magician Criss Angel or someone like that join the front office. But, it never hurts to ask