The Detroit Tigers have acquired catcher Gerald Laird from the Texas Rangers for 25-year-old AA RHP Guillermo Moscoso. This has the immediate impact of moving Brandon Inge back to the position he prefers and excelled at, 3B. For the Rangers, the trade opens the catching duties for Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia while adding minor league pitching depth.
I find myself unmoved by the Tigers' acquisition. Laird is just a season removed from a .224 AVG that makes me think Inge's offense could be better behind the plate despite his .205 2008 season. Inge did hit 11 HRs.
More worrisome is the Tigers have flirted with acquiring SS Jack Wilson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. That would be two off-season acquistions that did nothing for the offense but would cost some minor league depth in an already-painfully shallow system.
With a 2008 VORP of 2.7, Wilson ranks 36th amongst SSs per Baseball Prospectus, and Gerald Laird ranks 23rd amongst catchers. Neither player seems to bring the noise the Tigers will need to return to its 2006 World Series form, and neither excites anyone in fantasy baseball.