John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer is hearing a rumor that the Reds are "actively seeking a catcher." He speculates that Ryan Freel could be trade bait.
Fay’s note conveniently gels with some info from a Jeff Brantley radio appearance that a reader passed along. Brantley reportedly said the Reds have been scouting the Rangers’ Gerald Laird. On a not necessarily related note, Brantley also mentioned that they may look to trade Matt Belisle.
MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan recently wrote that the Rangers don’t intend to trade Laird despite some interest. On the other hand, Jon Daniels admitted in Sullivan’s article that he wouldn’t turn a deaf ear to anything. Laird is set to be the Rangers’ starting catcher this year. Jarrod Saltalamacchia would take on a smaller role or try Triple A.
The Reds could also consider trying to acquire San Diego’s Michael Barrett, who has played under Dusty Baker with the Cubs. Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez may also be available.