Word from the public-relations office is that the Rangers did not make a deal before the trade deadline. Not a shock, but perhaps a little disappointing considering the team is 4 1/2 games out of the wild-card race.
Or at least announce one. It looks like Gerald Laird is the only chip out there. There's no way the Rangers deal Eddie Guardado, unless it's for David Wright and Johan Santana. Or maybe Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.
One Rangers-related development: Tommy Hunter is in the clubhouse, and he is one big dude.
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.
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?
If the Rangers are to make a trade before the deadline, Gerald Laird would seem to be the most likely piece to move. Here's one way it could happen:
The Giants send Bengie Molina to the Marlins for Mike Jacobs. The Giants lose no prospects or pitching there.
The Giants would need a catcher, and Laird would be the best available not just to fill a hole for the rest of the season but for a few years until prospect Pablo Sandoval is ready.
The Rangers would like to land Jonathan Sanchez. Laird-for-Sanchez wouldn't happen, so the Rangers could add Joaquin Arias to the mix and maybe a pitching prospect.
Would the Giants pulled the trigger if the Rangers wanted left-handed reliever Jack Taschner for Laird? That would also help the Rangers this season. They're only 4 1/2 games out in the wild-card race.
Just throwing something on a wall. Maybe it will stick.
Pinch-hitter Michael Young delivered a sacrifice fly that brough home David Murphy and with go-ahead run in the eighth. It's 4-3, and UT-Arlington product Mark Lowe is in to pitch. He's pitching because Arthur Rhodes was ejected after the Young sac fly. Rhodes felt he had been squeezed by plate ump Paul Schrieber on the previous batter, Marlon Byrd, who drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that just missed inside. Rhodes had to be restrained on his way back to the dugout.
Another scoreless inning for Eddie Guardado, who is continuing to work bullpen magic for the Rangers with a fastball that tops out at 87 mph. For the most part, hitters can't square one up and usually hit a flyball about 310 feet. It's 3-3 as the Rangers bat in the eighth.
The Rangers put a littl pressure on the Mariners and they cracked. Brandon Boggs stole second in the sixth and Kenji Johjima's throw to second approached Grand Prairie, allowing David Murphy to stroll in from third. It's 3-3 after six and Vicente Padilla and his 93 pitches are still in the game.