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Could Miner Be Paired With Laird?

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If we're not talking about Jack Wilson trade rumors, then it must be time to check in on the Gerald Laird chatter, right? While the Detroit Tigers seem to be playing hokey-pokey (left foot in, left foot out, shake it all about - while various baseball writers file conflicting reports) with a Wilson deal, they appear to be making a move on Laird. (And given the market for catchers vs. shortstops, maybe this is where Detroit should be "more aggressive".)

MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that the Tigers and Cincinnati Reds have shown the most interest in Laird, and lists several young pitchers from each organization that might get a deal done. To my eyes, the Reds' pitching crop looks better, but the Rangers don't seem very keen on Homer Bailey, if that's the player being offered. Meanwhile, the name mentioned for the Tigers is Zach Miner. (Chris Lambert is also listed, but Detroit would surely have to include much more with him in a trade than with Miner.)

Blake beat me to this over at The Spot Starters, expressing reservations about trading Miner, who's been much more productive as a back-end starter than his more celebrated (and higher-paid) teammates. However, our SB Nation broham, Lone Star Ball, scoffs at getting Miner for Laird. (But if you scroll through their comments, a couple of other intriguing deals are proposed.)

Evan Grant attaches Laird to Detroit too, saying that the Rangers are talking to the Tigers and Red Sox about trading a catcher. And if it's Laird being discussed, it's probably with the Tigers. The Red Sox want one of Texas's younger catchers, more than likely Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

I'm a fan of Miner, especially if Jim Leyland realizes that he's much better pitching as a starter than reliever, and would hate to see him go. But realistically, unless Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robertson is somehow dealt, there isn't a place for him in the starting rotation. And though Leyland seems enamored with Miner's sinkerball out of the bullpen, he was far too inconsistent in middle relief last season. So if Dave Dombrowski could package him in a deal that yielded a dependable catcher under club control for two years, that might work out nicely.

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