Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Jerry is the author of "License to Deal: A Season on the Run With a Maverick Baseball Agent," which chronicles the ins and outs of what happens off the field.
Send in your questions now and join Jerry in The Show on Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Hey folks, Congratulations to the Big Unit on his 300th career win. Let's talk some ball as we anxiously await the results of David Ortiz's visit to the optometrist.
What did you think of the McClouth trade? Did the Pirates get anyone who may be an impact player in the deal? Did the Pirates deal him too soon?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Jerry, That seems to be the predominant sentiment -- that if Neal Huntington was going to trade a young, affordable OF like McLouth, he should get one "can't miss" prospect in return. But anybody who says the Pirates came up short is really just speculating. We won't know if the Pirates got fair value in return for a couple of years.
Did the Orioles bring up Wieters too soon? Sure it's a small sample, but he doesn't look ready to me.
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Mary, I'm not going to make a judgment after one week, but I will say this: A lot of talent evaluators knew it was going to be a challenge for Wieters just because he's a catcher and he has so much more on his plate than kids at other positions. That's why Dave Trembley is doing a lot of things to take the pressure off him -- like batting him eighth and allowing him to DH here and there. Let's give the kid a little bit of time before we say he was rushed.
dave ( philly,PA)
Who do you think is the best young prospect playing in the majors?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Dave, I guess that depends upon your definition of "young." Evan Longoria is awfully good at age 23, but I'd take my chances with Justin Upton, who's still 21.
Tim Miller (Las Vegas)
Do you see the Cubs making any big moves? We really need some bullpen help and another bat? Your thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Tim, The Cubs have endured an awful lot, and they're still only 3.5 games out in the Central. They're hoping to get Aramis Ramirez back in July, which would be the same thing as going out and acquiring a big bat. Rich Harden might be off the DL soon, and they need Milton Bradley to stay healthy (good luck with that) and Geovany Soto to start hitting. I think Jim Hendry just sits tight for the next six weeks before he seriously explores outside options.
Hook (Southern Maryland)
When will we see Chris Tillman in the Majors and Brian Matusz get promoted to AA Bowie?
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Hook, The Orioles have already called up several young pitchers in Berken, Bergeson and David Hernandez, plus Rich Hill is showing signs that he's on the way back as an effective guy. I think Andy MacPhail is willing to be patient. Maybe Tillman comes up in September. Not sure when they promote Matusz, but he's also having a very good year.
Thoughts on Gordon Beckham? Is he ready? Are expectations too high?
Jerry Crasnick (1:11 PM)
Andy, Some people think Beckham is the next Michael Young. I talked to a scouting guy last week who thinks his swing is a little "long" and isn't quite as high on him. By all accounts, he's a very mature, grounded kid. I don't think they're counting on him to be the savior at this point -- they still have an awful lot of veterans in that lineup.
All this Mauer talk makes me sick, Would he be this good if he wasn't batting in front of Morneau? Will he(justin) make the all-star team?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Chris, Yes, I think Justin Morneau has a strong case for the All-Star team. But I'm mainly posting your question just because it's hard to fathom somebody (from Minnesota, no less) criticizing Joe Mauer.
Do you believe the Brewers got the best free agent in terms of value with Hoffman over the off season? He's been absolutely filthy every time Hells Bells plays.
Jerry Crasnick (1:13 PM)
James, Trevor Hoffman was a great pickup by Doug Melvin, no question, but I think Orlando Hudson of the Dodgers definitely belongs in the conversation, given that they're paying him a base salary of less than $4 million.
Jerry In all your years following baseball who is the "Greatest Player Off the Field?" Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Cosmo, Great question. Among active players, Torii Hunter definitely belongs in the conversation. And it's hard to find them much better than Sean "The Mayor" Casey.
I realize that Edwin Jackson is pitching well above expectations for the Tigers, but could someone please check out past year's stats and notice that Edwin is known for having streaks of dominance and then streaks of just horribleness? Also, for the people that say that this trade was a bad one for the Rays, 6 years of Joyce(power-hitting, "plus"-defender) is worth more than 3 years of Jackson. He's got 3 HRs already in about 30 or so plate appearances.
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Jakub, Glad you raised this point. In a story this week, I called the Edwin Jackson trade a "heist" for Detroit, and that wasn't fair at all to Matt Joyce, who has the potential to be a quality big league outfielder. That said, I think Edwin Jackson's performance this year might be for real. The kid is only 25, and he had to endure some growing pains. Plus, check out his strikeout to walk ratio. It's pretty darned impressive.
Anthony (Mount Ephraim, NJ)
What starting pitcher is a logical option via trade, for the Phillies, to replace Brett Myers in the rotation
Jerry Crasnick (1:19 PM)
Anthony, The Phillies decided to look internally, and so far they're looking smart. Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer have pitched better lately, and J.A. Happ might be fine at the back of the rotation. They might as well give Antonio Bastardo a few starts before they start serious trade talks. Is it a lock that Brad Penny is a major upgrade over that kid?
What's with the new box scores? My eyes don't know where to go!
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Rich, I love the new "pitches seen" feature. When I found that Juan Pierre saw 8 pitches in four ABs yesterday out of the leadoff spot, I could visualize all of his at bats in my head.
Any word on the extent of Miguel Cabrera's injury?
Jerry Crasnick (1:21 PM)
Jack, Apparently it's day to day. The Tigers better hope it's not too many days.
Is Papelbon the least reliable pitcher in the Boston bullpen? He seems to get in trouble every appearance, and never has any 1-2-3 innings.
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Evan, I can understand why people in Boston are a little frustrated with Papelbon, but it's all relative, isn't it? He's putting a lot of runners on base, but he almost always gets out of it. Imagine what it must feel like for fans in Cleveland following that bullpen.
Jerry - can the Braves trade Javy Vazquez, who is having a good year, for a young corner bat with power? Which team would say no first to a Vazquez-Gamel swap?
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Stewie, This deal doesn't work for me on any level. The Braves showed with the McLouth acquisition that they're going for it this year. Vazquez is pitching great, and he also has a big contract. As for Gamel, he's got a nice bat, but he's an infielder -- and not a very good defender at that. So I think you're about 0 for 4.
Patrick (Cheyenne, Wy)
Hey Jerry, what is your stance on how much money Strasburg is going to get I seem to see valid points for each side but ultimately he has the right to get as much money as possible and if that was my kid I would be hoping he would get the 50 million?
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
Patrick, I think that $50 million figure is based on the most prominent international signing -- Dice-K's deal with Boston. I talked to Nats president Stan Kasten this week, and he said the Nats are going to be "aggressive," but also reasonable. Maybe they go to $15 or even $20 million, but 50?
Mike Rizzo (DC)
If Boston is tired of Paplebon we will GLADLY take him off your hands...
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
Mike, Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I think Boston fans are a little spoiled when it comes to this one.
Rich (Sun Valley, ID)
Two words: Chris Carpenter. Two more words: the best. Have you ever seen a pitcher more important to their team, Jerry? This guy came off the DL and the entire pitching staff turned around. Incredible performance last evening...
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
Rich, Yeah, eventually you reach a point where you just run out of superlatives. I think we're reaching that point with guys like Carpenter and Roy Halladay. (And Johan Santana is pretty good, too).
Mark (SF, CA)
This may sound like a ridiculous question, but is it better for a prospect to seemingly cruise through the minors , like a Bumgarner, or do well but struggle too ?
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
Mark, It's not a ridiculous question at all. When I wrote a story on Jeff Francoeur earlier this year, Chipper Jones talked about how the kid never struggled in the minors, so it was a whole new experience when he struggled in the big leagues. Madison Bumgarner is 19 years old and burning through the minors. Right now he's just setting expectations that are going to be difficult to meet when he gets to the big leagues. But he's so good, the Giants don't appear to have much reason to hold him back.
With Hamels pitching better (lights out last night), Romero back, Howard playing better, Lidge looks to be getting healthier... is it possible that the Phils extend their NL East lead and make it a more comfortable September than it has been the last 2 years?
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Mikey, When you can gain ground during an NL West swing, that's always a good thing. I just think that club has an inner confidence because of last season. Because of the World Series win and the Charlie Manuel influence, the Phils don't get rattled. But I'd still like to see how Moyer, Bastardo and Happ fare the next couple of turns before we anoint them.
Could Zach Minor and a spare part get the Tigers a nice 4 month bat rental?
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Ken, Maybe a decent bench bat, but that's it.
Jaymin (Irvine, CA)
Why is it that young hitters a more tradeable than young pitchers? Giants have been trying to ship out Sanchez for a while, but no one seems to be biting.
Jerry Crasnick (1:34 PM)
Jaymin, I've talked to some scouts who think Jonathan Sanchez's future is probably in the bullpen. He just has a tough time maintaining his delivery and his control for 6-7 innings. I think that's why the Giants haven't been able to land an "impact" bat for him.
Jim (Morris, Il)
It sounds like the Cardinals are serious about ketting a bat to protect Pujols. Who are their best options?
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
Jim, Well, Matt Holliday is the big bat out there. This seems like another example of Tony La Russa going public in an effort to challenge his GM, Jon Mozeliak, to make a deal. It's easy for La Russa to wax publicly on the prospect of a trade, but it can't be easy on Mozeliak when he gets on the phone and Billy Beane tries to raid his farm system.
Will Adrian Gonzalez remain on the Padres until him current contract is up, or do you think he'll be traded before then?
Jerry Crasnick (1:38 PM)
Bryan, Adrian Gonzalez is a monster hitter, and he's under contract for $4.75 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2011. I think the Padres would need three absolute "stud" young players in exchange for him, or Kevin Towers would be run out of San Diego.
Whats your take on the Jorge Posada HOF debate? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Jim, I love Posada -- and I know that "counting stats" don't apply as much to catchers -- but I think it's going to be a challenge for a guy with 1,400 career hits to get to Cooperstown when Ted Simmons compiled more than 2,400 and didn't get a sniff.
Begging to get this through, for once!
Why do the Angels and Mariners refuse to give Wood and Clement PT to see what they have or at least build trade value? Heck, the M's called up a AA catcher to replace Johjima!! If those teams do not believe in the players why not trade them before all their value is killed?
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Dear Begging, Trust me, a lot of front office people for other clubs have asked the same question. I've heard it a dozen times in relation to Brandon Wood.
Jerry, why do people insist that Joba can't make it as a starter? Wasn't he drafted as a starter and didn't he go through the minors as a starter? Thank you.
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
Nel, I don't think people with a long-term horizon "insist" that Joba can't make it as a starter. It's mostly just knee-jerk New York talk radio.
Mr. Crasnick, Thoughts on Colby Rasmus so far? Does he look that part of an All-Star caliber CF to you?
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Josh, He's a 22-year-old kid who got thrown into the deep end and is holding his own. It's not easy for a rookie who's got tons of hype and is expected to produce immediately. Just ask Jordan Schafer.
how will tommy hanson fair in the immediate future in the bigs and will he be an immediate fantasy ace?
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
John, Everybody loves this kid and thinks he's a future John Smoltz, but I'm sure he'll need some time to get his feet wet. He's fortunate that the Braves have guys like Lowe, Jurrjens and Vazquez who can give him some cover and help him learn. From everything the scouts and the Atlanta players have said, the sky is the limit.
Mark Teixeira (Bronx , NY)
Do you think Theo and Henry regret not going the extra mile for me during this past offseason?
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Mark, I imagine that the thought has crossed the mind of both John Henry in Boston and Arte Moreno in Anaheim. I think this was more a Boston ownership decision than a Theo decision.
Let the guy asking about Clement know that he is NOT a catcher. It might say that in the media guide, but he is a very poor defensive catcher. His present and future are at DH or 1B. That's why the Mariners don't call him up. Defense has value in real baseball.
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Chet, No, I understand that. With Griffey in Seattle, Clement is out of luck for DH at bats this season. The question is, will he hit in the long run? If the Mariners find out the answer is "no" once he arrives in Seattle, he's not going to have much trade value left.
nick (albuquerque, nm)
Mr. Crasnick, with Melky playing well and Gardner playing ok, does it make it harder for A-Jax to get called up this year?
Jerry Crasnick (1:49 PM)
Nick, I'd look at it as a positive. It gives Austin Jackson a chance to develop in Triple A. And once he comes up, presumably in 2010, he'll be a more finished product and the Yankees won't have to yo-yo him back and forth.
Kenny Rios [via mobile]
Hi Jerry, Who is the most dominant pitcher you have ever seen? For me, its The Big Unit hands down. Had the nastiest slider I've ever seen. Thanks, Kenny
Jerry Crasnick (1:51 PM)
Kenny, I covered the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980s and early 90s, and I can't imagine a pitcher who scared the crap out of hitters more than Rob Dibble in those days. Obviously, he's no Randy Johnson. But just go back and check his numbers for a brief period.
What's your impression of Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler so far? Solid #2 and #3 pitchers behind Strasburg?
Jerry Crasnick (1:53 PM)
Dan, Jordan Zimmermann showed me a lot with the way he handled that game yesterday. Lots of composure for a young kid. II know the Nationals are very encouraged with both of those guys. I guess I'll wait for the Nats to draft and sign Strasburg before I christen him their staff ace
With regards to Posada's HOF debate, the question is not whether he will get in (probably not since he is very underrated), but whether he is deserving. Most statheads say he is one of the 12 best catchers in history and deserves to get in. In otherwords Posada is the catching version of Bert Blylevan. So, regardless of whether he gets in, do you think he is a HOFer?
Jerry Crasnick (1:54 PM)
Jason, I'm probably in that group that has a hard time voting a guy into the Hall with 1,400 hits when catchers with superior numbers aren't there. Hey, that's just me.
Lee (NL East)
There are constantly rumor buzzing about trades or players the Mets might be interested in. With off season signings such as K-Rod, J.J Putz, and Oliver Perez. Can the Mets really afford to make a run to get someone like Peavy or Oswalt to bolster that rotation?
Jerry Crasnick (1:56 PM)
Lee, Well, I don't think Jake Peavy would approve a trade to NY, and Drayton McLane just said the Astros aren't going to trade Oswalt. If the Mets could add a reliever like a Huston Street or a Chad Qualls in a deal, I think they'd explore that option. But there's no way they get Oswalt or Peavy.
Putz out 8-10 weeks for surgery on his elbow.
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
Ryan, There you go. Acquiring bullpen help has to be high on Omar Minaya's list. But at least 15 other teams could say the same thing.
Joel (Portland, OR)
Okay, please respond to the fact that Posada is a byproduct of his environment, NYC and the players he's been around...top twelve in the history of the game, are we serious? I am completely befuddled.
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Joel, Yeah, I know his offensive numbers are superior to Varitek's. But when you factor in defense, winning, etc., I think you open the door for a bunch of guys if you vote Posada into the Hall.
Kenny Rios, Washington, DC [via mobile]
Jerry do you have an e-mail address where readers like myself can contact you to talk baseball? Also, having just finished reading your book "License to Deal", do you have anything else coming out in the future?
Jerry Crasnick (2:00 PM)
Kenny, I do not have any books in the works. There's an Insider writeback address posted at the bottom of my stories on ESPN.com, where I get reader emails. Always happy for feedback (as long as it isn't too mean-spirited.)
Where does the Erik Bedard for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, and Chris Tillman trade rank with most one-sided trades of all time?
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Neal, It probably ranks up there with the two months-of-Mark Teixeira for Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus trade.
Joe Mauer (St. Paul)
Is it more likely that I hit 40 hrs or .400? (i.e. What's more sustainable my high average or my power?)
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Joe, In most cases I'd say neither, but you're so special I'll make an exception and say "both."
Clayton Kershaw (LA)
Was I rushed to the majors? I'm still only 21 and I'm in my second year. A little more seasoning couldn't have hurt, right?
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Clayton, I talked to Jim Leyland last week about Rick Porcello, and he pointed out that "85 pitches a game in the majors is a lot more than 85 in the minors." The same obviously applies to Kershaw. People just don't realize how selective big league hitters are, and what a toll it takes on a young kid to navigate a major league lineup. That's why people in Atlanta have to be ready to cut Tommy Hanson some slack if he struggles at times, and people in Washington shouldn't expect Stephen Strasburg to be an instant savior.
Don't forget Pierzynski for Nathan, Liriano, and Bonser. (Although Liriano is trying his best right now to make that a more even trade)
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Rich, Thanks for weighing in with that one.
What about the Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Seizmore for 3 months of Bartolo Colone? That has to be on this list with the Bedard and Teixeira deals. Thanks for that one, Omar!
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Scott, And thanks to you as well.
I heard Raul Mondesi is tearing it up in the Mexican league right now. Any chance a team takes a flier on him? The guy is great defensively and still can turn on a fastball.
Jerry Crasnick (2:05 PM)
Dong, Definitely. I think Billy Ashley would also be a fine addition to the middle of somebody's order. And has Julio Franco really retired?
Aren't you paid for baseball knowledge? Then why do you not do any research? When we acquired Mark teixeira, he had two months AND a full year left on his contract. He was not just a rental, but became one after it was clear our pitching was not on par with our line-up with mark in it. Do your job.
Jerry Crasnick (2:06 PM)
John, I'm not sure what that has to do with the haul you gave to Texas in exchange for him, but I'm glad to give you the opportunity to vent.
Jerry Crasnick (2:07 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Let's do it again next week.