According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers and Rangers have agreed to a trade will send Gerald Laird to the Detroit Tigers. Heading from the Tigers to the Rangers are Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo.
Moscoso, a pitcher, was an absolute monster in 2008 as he split his time between Lakeland and Erie. He struck out a total of 122 batters in only 86.2 innings. He has drawn comparisons to former Tiger, Jair Jurrjens. Moscoso was ranked as the 10th best prospect in the Tigers organization. According to Baseball America:
Moscosohas a quick arm and a fastball that reaches 91-92 mph with late riding action makes it a swing-and-miss pitch…If he can stay healthy (he’s had shoulder problems) and develop his secondary pitches, Moscoso could be a No. 3 or 4 starter in the majors. He could reach the Tigers at some point in 2009.
Also heading to Texas is Carlos Melo, who is a pitcher. Melois still only 17 years old and appeared in rookie ball for the Tigers last year. He threw 49 innings and struck 61 batters with an ERA over 5.00. If this guy ends up being a good player it will be due to the teaching given to him by the Rangers. It’s too young to project much of anything about Melo.
Moscoso is the big loss here. It’s not like the Tigers have loads of pitching depth and they appear to have given up a good one here. The downside of Moscoso is that he is 25 years old and has thrown only 34 innings above A ball in his career.
Onto Laird. He just turned 29 years old and is known primarily for his defense. Laird will be the Tigers primary catcher in 2009 and you know what? They could have done a lot worse. Laird is a decent player who will come at a reasonable price. Laird got over 400 at bats in 2007 and will likely be asked to catch at least that much in 2009 as the Tigers will likely play both Laird and Dusty Ryan.
The Tigers can know focus on pitching and shortstop as they head to the Winter Meetings. The Tigers cannot afford to give up any more pitching. If they do swing a trade for a SS, they would be wise to trade position players rather than more pitching.
Here’s the scoop from around the internet on the Laird deal:
In the Free Press, JPM makes a good point about Laird: He’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season. That means that Laird should be a relatively low cost catcher for at least the next two seasons. Given the the lack of good catchers and the Tigers financial situation, Laird seems like an ideal fit at catcher.
I’m hesitant to give this trade a stamp of approval. I might just be shell-shocked after the Edgar Renteria trade from last season. I might be a little to attached to Minor League players. Something is preventing me from saying this is a “good” trade. I like Gerald Laird. I’ve always liked watching him play and I am glad he is now a member of the Detroit Tigers. I’m just a little bummed the pitching-starved Tigers gave up two pitchers to get him.
This could turn out like the Renteria deal and be a complete disaster. It could also turn out like the Gary Sheffield deal, where none of the young pitchers traded by the Tigers have amounted to anything. We will have to wait and see.