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Who Could Be Paired with Gerald Laird?

Here's what we know: The Detroit Tigers are looking for a catcher. The Texas Rangers have a surplus of catchers, and would like to trade one. We also know that the Tigers are interested in Gerald Laird, but might not have the young starting pitcher that the Rangers would prefer in trade.

Or do they? Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has trade proposals for the three teams he deems serious contenders with whom the Rangers could make a deal: The Red Sox, the Florida Marlins, and the Detroit Tigers. And here's his idea for what the Tigers could give up for Laird:

Don't think Laird alone could get the Rangers Jeremy Bonderman and his two remaining years at $12 million per year. Rangers would probably have to include at least one other player, probably a pitcher to make these talks more serious. Now, if the Rangers were willing to take a flyer on lefty Nate Robertson, who is coming off a terrible season, they might have something to discuss. Might even be able to ask Detroit about picking up some of Robertson's remaining contract. I like Robertson more than a lot of people because he's a ground ball guy and because he's had some pretty decent numbers in Arlington.

Would it be worth weakening one aspect of the team to try and bolster another? Are the Tigers a better team with Laird at catcher and without Bonderman in their starting rotation? Bondo is at best Detroit's #2 starter, perhaps #3 at worst. Who would fill that void in his absence?

Of course, I'd be totally on board with dealing Robertson, but wouldn't Detroit clearly have to eat some of Nate's contract in that scenario? (Laird made $1.6 million last year, and isn't eligible for free agency until 2011.)

What would the Tigers be getting in Laird? Last year, he batted .276/.329/.398 with six homers and 41 RBIs in 381 plate appearances (in 95 games). On defense, he threw out approximately the same number of baserunners as Brandon Inge (27%) but allowed 13% fewer passed balls and wild pitches.

If this is something the Tigers were interested in, who is the second player the Rangers could include in the trade? Over at SB Nation's Rangers blog, Lone Star Ball, there are several interesting suggestions, along with mixed feelings on such a potential deal.

So what do you think? Would you give up Bondo in a deal for Laird? Or should all trade talk begin and end with Robertson?