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Trade odds

I normally would wait until the beginning of the week to do a post like this, rather than put it up on the weekend, but zywica is going to be blogging Monday and Tuesday while I make a quick jaunt to D/FW to watch a couple of Ranger games, and besides, moves are going on this weekend, which could moot this if I wait too much longer.

So...after the jump, the Rangers who seem most likely to be dealt between now and season's end, and the percentage chance that I think they have of being moved.

Frank Catalanotto -- 75%

I think Cat is gone, with the only question being where he goes, and whether the Rangers end up paying some of his deal in an effort to get a decent prospect back.  The Rangers suddenly find themselves flush with DH/COF/1B options, particularly lefty-hitting choices, which makes Cat superfluous. 

But he's a guy who would seem to still have value for a team looking for decent bench bat, or a platoon 1B or DH.  He'd seem to be an ideal option for the Mets, who need some depth at 1B and LF.

Gerald Laird -- 45%

I would have thought that this would have been lower a week or two ago -- I didn't think that there would be enough time for Laird to get healthy before the trade deadline for a deal to be done.  But the Reds are reportedly still high on him, and the Yankees supposedly are interested (with Jorge Posada looking done for the season, and possibly unable to catch full time ever again).

Daniel McCutchen from the Yanks seemed like a reasonable possibility, until he got included in the Nady/Marte trade.  And with New York also picking up Jarrod Washburn from the M's (reportedly), they may feel like they've done what they need to do before the deadline.  But the Rangers need to do something about the logjam of catchers -- realistically, they need to move two of them before this time next year -- and now would seem to be the time to strike on one of my favorites.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- 10%

Personally, I think that, long-term, the ideal scenario for the Rangers would be to go with a Teagarden/Ramirez combo behind the plate, with Teagarden catching the majority of the time and Ramirez getting significant time at DH while backing up Teagarden.  That would also allow Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley to get some DH ABs, as well (assuming Bradley is brought back).

That also means Laird and Salty would be the odd men out.  But Salty is also a guy who could bring a significant return...remember, there was some thought last year that Salty alone could be fair value for Mark Teixeira, and the BoSox and Yanks both have supposedly had interest in him.

I think he's more likely to get moved over the offseason, when he could be packaged with some other pieces to try to land that much-coveted top-of-the-rotation starter under team control for some time that the Rangers have been seeking.  And moving him now is selling low, given how he has struggled this year.

But it is certainly possible that he could end up moving at the break, particularly if the Yanks feel they'd rather land him as a long-term solution behind the plate than get someone like Rod Barajas or Miguel Olivo (or Laird), or if the BoSox feel he's a quality successor for Varitek and they want to keep him out of New York's hands.

Eddie Guardado and Jamey Wright -- 10% each

Looking at this from an unemotional standpoint, these two would seem to be prime pieces to be moved...they are vets, free agents after the season, and relievers seem to bring a premium at the deadline.

However...the bullpen is already a weakness on this team, and moving either of these guys is going to make it that much weaker.  The Rangers clearly want to try to close strong, want to finish no worse than second and with a winning record, both to build momentum internally and help build interest among the fans to help attendance next season. 

Plus, I think the Rangers would like to bring these guys back next year, and see them as possibly being at least Type B free agents next year.  So if worse comes to worse, they could offer arbitration at season's end, and either get them back on one year deals for 2009, or get a compensatory pick.

If a team offers a Gagne-type package -- if a team even offers the equivalent of Engel Beltre -- I think Daniels would bite the bullet and pull the trigger.  But I don't think you'll see one of these guys moved for a George Kontos or a Chad Reineke.

Hank Blalock -- 30%

I've gone back and forth on what is going to happen with Blalock.  I think he is someone who, like Laird, the Rangers might hang on to past July 31, then try to sneak through waivers and move in mid-August.  But I also think he's someone whose injury history, questionable defense at third base, and erratic offense lowers what teams are willing to give up for him right now.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Rangers would have been willing to take Jonathan Meloan and Carlos Santana -- what the Dodgers gave up to get Casey Blake -- if that package had been offered for Blalock.  But it may very well be the Dodgers valued Blake above Blalock.

With the Dodgers now having added Blake and presumably no longer interested in Blalock, that leaves the Giants and Twins as the two teams still standing that were i.d.'d as interested in Blalock.  And someone could end up coming out of left field and make an offer.  I'd set the percentage at about 15% if it we were saying the chances of Blalock getting moved before August 1...I think he has a

But I think it is more likely, at this point, that Blalock finishes the year as the Rangers' third baseman, and the team goes into the offseason with a decision to make on his option, and a decision to make (if they do exercise the option) on whether to stick with him at third base and live with a terrible defensive left side of the infield, or to deal him and look elsewhere for a third base solution.

Milton Bradley -- 2%

I think the Rangers would have to be blown away to move Bradley, and I don't think there is a team out there to give up a big package to get him.  I think the Rangers are more likely to sign him to an extension before season's end than to trade him.

Nelson Cruz -- 80%

My gut feeling?  The Rangers are ready to move on with other options.  They'll move Cruz, be it now or in August, for what they can get, and take their chances with the other outfield options they have.

Marlon Byrd -- 10%

Popular guy in the clubhouse.  No compelling need to move him.  Not too many teams out there who would give up something of value for him.  So he likely stays in Texas.

Kevin Millwood -- 0%

The groin injury means he's going on the d.l., and no contender is going to give up anything of value for him come August, when he's activated, even assuming he clears waivers.  The Rangers will hope he does a better job of staying healthy next year, and will be thankful that his 2010 contract year can be voided if he doesn't throw 180 innings in 2009.

Vicente Padilla -- 10%

This is probably the hardest for me to gauge.  Starting pitchers have a lot of value at the deadline, and Padilla has a decent ERA and has stayed healthy this season, for the most part.  And his contract isn't onerous, particularly given that there's an option for 2010.

But.  Padilla's reputation, like Bradley's, hurts him around the league.  Jon Daniels' asking price for Padilla is supposedly high.  And the Yankees, who seemed the best fit, are apparently adding Jarrod Washburn. 

Plus, with Millwood going on the d.l., the rotation currently consists of Padilla, Feldman, Hurley, Mendoza, and Harrison.  If you deal Padilla now, who replaces him in the rotation?  If you don't get an arm that is ready to step into the rotation immediately, you are looking at putting Dustin Nippert in there, I guess.  Or Elizardo Ramirez.  Or you bite the bullet on the 40 man consequences and bring up Tommy Hunter.

I think, just from a morale standpoint, and to continue with the goal of finishing strong, dealing Padilla is going to require getting at least a decent young starting pitcher back, plus some other significant parts.  And I just don't see that happening.

With a healthy Millwood, Padilla is probably more expendable.  Right now, though, he's the anchor of the rotation.