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July 31, 2008

Five hours and counting

The clock is ticking, and phones might or might not be ringing at Rangers World Headquarters in Arlington. (If other teams are calling general manager Jon Daniels' cellphone, it vibrates.)

Before a reliable source told the Star-Telegram that the Rangers had been by told by the Royals that right-hander Zack Greinke wasn't available, a newspaper man in Kansas City said, "The Royals aren't good enough that anybody is untouchable."

That makes sense, but so does not trading Greinke. The Royals have stuck with him through his 2006 bout with depression and anxiety, he doesn't turn 25 until October, and -- most importanly -- he's really good. He might be the Royals' best player, ahead of the so-far-disappointing Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. David DeJesus is pretty good, though, and so is Joakim Soria.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia would fit there because of his ties to former Braves personnel Dayton Moore (GM) and J.J. Piccollo (assistant GM). Saltalamacchia would also be a fit with the Marlins because of their Braves ties (manager Fredi Gonzalez), but the Marlins want to add a veteran catcher.

That's where Gerald Laird comes in. Reports would indicate that he is third on the Florida wish list behind Bengie Molina and Gregg Zaun. Should the Giants part with Molina, they would need a catcher. Hello, Laird.

Does trading Laird make sense with the Rangers only 4 1/2 games out of the wild-card race? Answer: Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra wouldn't be able to make the Rangers pitch any better, so why should anyone think Laird can?

-- Jeff Wilson

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