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Saturday a.m. things

As most folks have heard by now, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is going to be a full-time catcher again:

"Everybody agrees it's in his best interests to catch full-time," Daniels said. "His value is greatest as a catcher, so that's where he's going to be."

The timing of saying this now is odd, but then, the Rangers are also saying that they anticipate going into next season with both Saltalamacchia and Gerald Laird, and Evan Grant's article leaves open the possibility that Laird could be the starter next year.

I've mentioned this before, but I wouldn't really be shocked if Saltalamacchia was moved this offseason, in a move along the lines of the Young/Garza trade, where the Rangers use Saltalamacchia to get another very well regarded young player from another organization.

In the meantime, Frank Catalanotto is apparently going to be the first baseman, at least against righthanders, although the Rangers apparently have some interest in Tony Clark and Sean Casey, as well.

Anthony Andro reports that Akinori Otsuka has been throwing pain-free for the past month, which is a good sign. The progress suggests, to me, that the Rangers will likely offer him arbitration, rather than non-tender him...

Another interesting item:

The Rangers have named Jim Colborn as their director of Pacific Rim operations. Colborn held a similar role for the Seattle Mariners when they signed Ichiro Suzuki and has been a pitching coach in the majors and in Japan.

The team is apparently pretty hot and heavy after Fukudome, and willing to go $10-11 million per year to get him...the Colborn move is probably not unrelated, and seems to be indicative of a move to get more involved in the Pacific Rim...

In other stuff...

On the Lastings Milledge trade...I'm amazed Omar Minaya gave him up for so little. The Transaction Oracle predictably hates it, despite liking Ryan Church (although as a COF, not a CF'er).

The closest the Rangers could have come to matching would have been Gerald Laird and Marlon Byrd, or maybe Frank Catalanotto. I'd have done that, with either Byrd or Cat, and I suspect the Rangers would have, as well...

Bruce Jenkins doesn't like Barry Bonds:

If Beane wants to destroy team chemistry, the clubhouse mood and any semblance of sanity by signing Barry Bonds, hey, maybe he doesn't have that much to lose. Remember this, though: Over the past two seasons, Bonds hurt the Giants more from a baseball standpoint than any steroid-related issues. Without Bonds - even if they don't make a single deal - the Giants will improve at least five games in the standings, simply because they can call themselves a team.

As a DH - as opposed to impersonating a refrigerator in left field - Bonds wouldn't be such a detriment, but let's not pretend this has anything to do with winning. This would be about relevance, headlines, notoriety. We're about to find out if there's a price tag on the A's soul.