A text message from Rangers general manager Jon Danniels at 11:33 a.m. read, "Got nothing." Then again, the Mark Teixeira trade was announced more than two hours after the deadline last year. Gerald Laird to the Marlins is the hottest Rangers-related rumor going.
But consider this about Laird, who is a super guy, great teammate, great base runner and above-average catcher.
He is making $1.6 million after avoiding arbitration during the off-season. That came on the heels of a 2007 campaign in which he hit .224. Laird is hitting .320 right now and is arbitration-eligible again after the season. What kind of salary will he command should his numbers and defensive reputation hold steady? Maybe $5 million? (His agent is Scott Boras, after all.)
Should the Rangers pay him, or would they rather have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden or Max Ramirez be their catcher for, oh, around $400,000?
Those who believe Laird should be paid must also believe the Rangers have no other pressing needs in 2009, like starting pitching, relief pitching or help at third base.
-- Jeff Wilson