SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Miguel Cabrera #24 and Gerald Laird #9 of the Detroit Tigers wait to see if the ball goes foul on a bunt single by Gregor Blanco #7 of the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning as home plate umpire Dan Iassogna watches the play during Game Two of the Major League Baseball World Series at AT&T Park on October 25, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.
Target: Gerald Laird, C
Type of move: Free agency
2012 stats: .282 batting average, .337 on-base %, two home runs, 11 RBIs in 63 games.
Laird is a familiar face to Rangers fans, as he spent six seasons in Arlington, catching at least 75 games per year in three straight seasons. Then, he was unceremoniously run out of town after a run-in with Ron Washington that was rather public. Now, he credits Washington for helping him to become a better catcher and mature as a player. Now, he's played in two straight World Series (with the Cardinals and Tigers) and clearly knows what it takes to win, even if it's been as a backup catcher. That's exactly what he'd be in Texas, a backup to a No. 1 catcher, whether it's Mike Napoli or someone else. He's a good defensive catcher and is pretty solid at throwing out runners, throwing out 42 percent of attempted base stealers in 2009 with the Tigers — his last season as a full-time catcher.