The Hot Stove heats up, and other unfounded rumors

Could the Red Sox be seeking a trade with Texas? The scenario makes sense. The Red Sox are making Coco Crisp available and the Rangers are in the market for a center fielder. Moreover, Coco is extremely cost-effective, clocking in around $5 M next season coming into the prime of his career. The prize, free agent center fielders will command a much higher salary. That list includes Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Mike Cameron, and Aaron Rowand.

In return, the Red Sox would probably seek one of the Ranger's catchers: Gerald Laird or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Laird, 27, led the AL in throwing out base-runners and hit .224 with nine homers in 120 games last season.

Saltalamacchia, 22, hit .266 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs last season and is a better prospect by far.

I would happily ship a package of Coco Crisp and Craig Hansen to the Texas Rangers for Saltalamacchia. Securing a cost-controlled, offensively-gifted catcher would be a real prize for the Red Sox. I might even package Crisp with a top pitching prospect, such as Nick Hagadone or even Justin Masterson for young Salty.

How realistic is this? I think Texas would have to be impressed to deal Saltalamacchia, who was the centerpiece of the Mark Teixeira trade.

I guess that Coco Crisp would bring in Gerald Laird in a 1-for-1 deal, or even with an additional, mid-level prospect coming from Texas. I'd rather save Coco for a trade package that really benefits the team long-term.

What do you think, OTM?

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