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A potential 2009 Ranger shortstop?

So, I'm reading Ken Rosenthal's column on the C.C. Sabathia trade, and I come across this item, which piques my interest:

Don't be surprised if the Brewers accelerate their transition this winter by trading shortstop J.J. Hardy and possibly first baseman Prince Fielder for multiple high-end prospects.

The demand for shortstops, in particular, is rising. Hardy, second in OPS only to the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez among NL shortstops, could bring a quality young starting pitcher — think Giants right-hander Matt Cain — if he is packaged with the right youngsters.

The Brewers then could replace Hardy with Class AA shortstop Alcides Escobar, whom they signed at age 16 as an international free agent out of Venezuela. Escobar already is considered a superior defender to Hardy, though he might struggle offensively for a time.

Okay...first of all, let's forget about the trading a quality young starting pitcher for Hardy part.  Let's assume that Milwaukee can't pull that off.

But let's think about the rest of it...the Brew Crew dealing Hardy for multiple high-end prospects...

This could be a fit for Texas, I think.

There's a couple of underlying assumptions to this, of course.  First of all, I think the Rangers are pretty well committed to moving Michael Young to third base this offseason.  And I think they are committed to upgrading their shortstop defense.  And I think they view Elvis Andrus as the shortstop of the future, although he's probably at least a year, and more likely two, away.'ve got a good young core of talent here right now.  You've got a team that, at this point, you can think about contending in the next year or two, particularly if some of the young pitchers can come around.  And you've got a lot of surplus minor league talent in certain areas that would allow you to make a move without mortgaging the future.

What this team needs for 2009 (aside from Brandon McCarthy and Eric Hurley stepping up and performing like they are capable of) is to fix the left side of the infield.  Hank Blalock isn't coming back next year, Andrus isn't ready, Joaquin Arias is a cypher, Young isn't getting the job done defensively at shortstop, and Ramon Vazquez and Travis Metcalf aren't realistic solutions.

However...Young, as I've said before, profiles as a pretty solid defensive third baseman, given his skill set.  And Hardy grades out very well defensively at shortstop...he's second in Dewan's +/- system this year, after being 10th last year (Young is 25th, 29th, and 25th the past three years), is middle of the pack in Pinto's PMR, and is above-average in Lichtman's UZR.

Oh...and blasphemous though this may seem, he's also probably a better hitter than Young right now.  And he's under team control through 2010, which means he'll be a free agent about when you figure Andrus would be ready.

How do the teams match up, needs-wise?  Brewers desperately need a solution at catcher.  The Rangers have a lot of catching options that are major league ready.  Would, say, Saltalamacchia or Ramirez, plus one of the A-ball arms -- say Neil Ramirez or Wilmer Font -- get a deal done?  Or Teagarden and Matt Harrison or Tommy Hunter, plus a Zach Phillips or a Kennil Gomez?  Wouldn't that seem to fit both team's needs?

That allows the Rangers to significantly upgrade their infield defense without really taking a hit offensively, and without mortgaging the future.

The more I think about this, the more I like it...