sourceQ: Are the Rangers concerned that Jarrod Saltalamacchia does not appear to be the top-flight prospect he was billed to be. Is he the catcher most likely to be traded?
GRANT: There is some concern at some levels of the organization that Saltalamacchia may be a better prospect than a player. And I've got to say his throwing and hitting haven't overwhelmed me yet, but his plate discipline gets overlooked and I've got to re-emphasize that he's only 23 years old. He is younger than Max Ramirez and Taylor Teagarden. There is plenty of time for him to learn.
But the Rangers have depth at catcher and catcher is a valuable trade commodity. They've suddenly got a logjam at the position with it looking like they have four major league-ready guys. It would be easy to say Gerald Laird is the most likely to be traded since he's the most accomplished in the majors, the closest to free agency and the oldest. But I've seen a lot of growth from Laird this season, and he'll only have about a week before the trade deadline to prove to a team that he's completely ready to help them in a stretch drive.
A team like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox is going to be looking for a catcher for the future as much as the present. With that in mind, I think Saltalamacchia has more value to those teams than Laird. The Yankees might have more interest in Laird than Saltalamacchia simply because they have a more pressing need with Jorge Posada once again hurt.