Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com baseball writer Jerry Crasnick will drop by to take your questions.
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 noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hey folks, We've got some new chat software today, so hopefully there won't be too many glitches. If I don't get strafed by any low-flying gulls, I think we'll be fine.
Buster the Dog (Greenwich, CT)
Why don't the Mets trade for Carlos Lee? Astros are going nowhere and I would think would like to unload that contract and rebuild. Lee would solve a lot of the Mets offensive problems.
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Buster, Carlos Lee is about to turn 33 and his contract is heavily backloaded. He's got about $65 million remaining on the deal. I'm sure that would temper the Mets' interest. I also suspect that Drayton McLane would disagree with your assertion that the Astros are "going nowhere." We might think that, but Houston has had enough big second-half runs that McLane isn't incline to give up on the season in mid-June.
The Rockies have won 8 in a row and have 19 of there next 28 at Home. Can we officially say that they are no longer considered a seller?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Jason, I think we can officially say that the Rockies' latest hot streak gives GM Dan O'Dowd more time to determine whether his team is a buyer or a seller. But the Rockies are 11 1/2 out, so they're not going to win the division. And do you really think they're better than the 4 or 5 East and Central teams that are going to be fighting for the wild card? I still think O'Dowd will be a selective seller once the Rox come back to earth.
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Tim, It seems as if just about everything has gone wrong for the Cubs, and they're one game out in the lost column in the NL Central. Look, they're going to get Aramis Ramirez back eventually, and that'll be like acquiring another hitter. Does anyone think they could move Bradley, Fukudome or Soriano with those contracts? They'll just have to sit tight and hope that Bradley and Soto can start to contribute something.
Carter (Los Angeles)
Hi Jerry, thanks for your time.Word is that Juan Pierre is available if anyone's interested. While interest in him should be at an all time high since he joined the Dodgers with his current .850 OPS, do you think there is anyone out there that would take him? The Mets?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Carter, Juan Pierre was a great feel-good story for a while, but he has a .589 OPS in June, with one walk. That's not exactly what teams are looking for in a leadoff man. He also has about $25 million left on his contract. If you can find a team that will take that deal off the Dodgers' hands, feel free to give GM Ned Colletti a call. I'm sure he would appreciate it.
Whats the story with Ben Sheets? What is the status with his rehab? Would he be a good high risk/high reward sign for someone like the Mets who desperately need help in their rotation?
Jerry Crasnick (12:12 PM)
Mike, Unless I'm missing something, Sheets' agent, Casey Close, seems to be keeping the progress of his rehab under wraps. So I have no idea when or if he'll be ready to pitch. If teams think he'll be healthy enough to contribute 10-12 starts down the stretch as part of a free agent audition, I'm sure there would be a lot of interest. But that's a big "if."
Mike M (West Chester, PA)
Hey Jerry! What's your favorite moment in World Series history?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Mike, Thanks for asking. My favorite moment in World Series history was Kirk Gibson's homer off Dennis Eckersley in 1988. I've seen some other amazing things -- like Joe Carter's climactic homer, the heroics of Jack Morris and Kirby Puckett, and the groundball through Bill Buckner's leg. But I've never seen anything put a charge through a stadium like Gibby's shot.
How long until the White Sox start selling off pieces? When it happens, who will they look to move, and who will the rest of the league have interest in (Dye, Jenks, Dotel, Konerko, Thome)?
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Steven, Judging from GM Kenny Williams' pronounced dissatisfaction level, I think he'll start wheeling and dealing the moment he thinks this season is a lost cause. I'm sure Dotel and Jenks would attract a lot of interest because of the baseball-wide need for bullpen help. It's a little more complicated with those other guys because of their age, salaries, etc.
Hook (Southern Maryland)
What has been wrong with Markakis the past month or so?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Hook, Beats me. I was in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago, and Markakis wasn't driving the ball at all. One scout told me he seemed a little impatient, but his recent power outage is really puzzling. I think he's homerless since May 21. The guy is such a good hitter, he probably needs a couple of good games for things to click in, and then he'll go on a tear.
Jerry, do the Cubs offensive struggles just prove how important a Aramis Ramirez is to this team? When will he get his due?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Goose, Ramirez did win the Hank Aaron Award in fan balloting, right? I just think the guy gets overshadowed by Zambrano and some of the big personalities on his own team, as well as David Wright, Evan Longoria and the other highly-acclaimed third basemen around the majors.
Can the Mets get Matt Holliday w/o giving up Fernando Martinez?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Dan, I doubt it.
how do you see the Brad Penny situation unfolding in Boston - will they keep him or send him somewhere? What teams could be involved if he is sent?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Todd, This thing has gotten more complicated than the Red Sox envisioned, now that Penny is throwing so well and Josh Beckett has publicly said he wants the team to keep him. Penny doesn't want to go to the bullpen, and John Smoltz is pretty close to ready. I guess there are a lot worse problems to have.
John Porter (Maryland )
Is espn comming out with grades of the overall draft before the players sign and after they sign with their teams.
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
John, Not that I know of. I don't think Keith Law believes in assigning grades this quickly, and I can't say I blame him. It usually takes a couple of years for a gauge on how a team's draft shook out.
is it safe to say that boston has the deepest pitching depth in the league?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Dan, Yeah, I think it's safe to say that, when Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are tearing it up in the minors while Smoltz is rehabbing for his return. This seems to be working out just the way Theo Epstein and his front office drew it up over the winter.
Juan Carlos (Argentina)
Jerry: Ortiz has hit some "legit" HRs this week. Is this just fluke or do you think he is showing signs of coming out of this funk?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Juan, When he's catching up to CC Sabathia's hard stuff and going to center field and left center, that's a really good sign. As I said before, I don't think Ortiz will ever be the Big Papi of old. But as we learned from Carlos Delgado's second half resurrection last year, fans and the media can be a little too quick to write these guys off sometimes.
Boose (Louisville, KY)
Non-Boston question: Can the Reds stay in it if Volquez and Votto come back healthy? Do they need to add a bat, and if so, who do you think they will go after?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Boose, You can't write off any NL Central team at this point (although I'm not real upbeat about the Pirates' and Astros' chances). But I just don't think the Reds have enough offense to hang in for the duration. How productive is Votto going to be once he returns? The time for Walt Jocketty to add a big bat was over the winter, and he couldn't do it then. I don't see them magically adding a big run producer now.
Ben (Omaha, NE)
Are you going to watch the College World Series? I'm headed down there tomorrow, want me to grab ya a t-shirt?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Ben, Yes, and if you want to send me a box of porterhouses, that would also be great. Have fun -- that's a terrific event.
Is the sky falling on the Angels? For a decade they have been an "on message" team. They seem pretty disjointed right now. An insider knowledge about this? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Mike, I think maybe the approach has gotten a little stale there. They're one impact bat short in the middle of the order, and things would be even worse if not for Torii Hunter. They also seem to overrate some of their prospects (or maybe everybody else does). For all the hype, the Angels sure haven't gotten much out of guys like Howie Kendrick and Brandon Wood (and before them, Dallas McPherson).
Will the Yankees break the bank on a Jeter extension?
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Larry, No, I don't think so. He's a venerated guy -- for good reason -- but do you really want to "break the bank" on a shortstop in his mid-30s? Jeter should probably take a fair deal so the Yankees have more money to spend on other free agents. (Some people might use the word "waste")
Trader Jerry (The great city of Philadelphia)
Hello Jerry, Chris Davis is striking out 4 out of 10 times he steps to the plate. Will Texas send him to AAA to learn pitch recognition or is it trial by fire in the show? Will he snap out of it? Thank you
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Trader Jerry, Jon Daniels, Texas' GM, recently told me that he thinks Davis can be a .260 to .270 hitter in the big leagues, but he has some Grand Canyon-sized holes in his swing. I imagine that a Triple-A tutorial would help, but he's always going to be a big strikeout guy.
IF the Tigers make the playoffs, they have to be a pretty dangerous team with Verlander and Jackson able to go 3 out of 5 games or 4 out of 7 right?
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Jim, That's a pretty dynamic 1-2 punch, but the Tigers are going to need some consistent pitching from the other three guys in the rotation if they're planning to be around in October. And I'm not entirely sold on Galarraga, Willis and Bonderman at this point. And Porcello, let's remember, is still just 20 years old.
Don't you think the Angels just continue to handle prospects incorrectly? They value their prospects, but rarely help make them quality big leaguers. What offensive player currently on the team contributing came from their minor league system? Other than Kendrick
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Chet, I like Mickey Hatcher, the hitting coach, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Based on Kendrick's .230-something average, I'm not sure you could say he's "contributing" much at this point. I'm definitely planning to check in with some scouts early next week to find out what the problem is with him. He should be a much better hitter than that.
Any chance Dan Haren is the NL Starter in the All-star game? With any run support or Bullpen he would have 10 wins by now!!
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
John, Good question Dan Haren is probably in the team photo, but Matt Cain is making a strong case for himself in San Francisco -- sporting an 8-1 record and a dazzling ERA for that club. And you can never exclude Johan Santana from the conversation.
Why No love for the Blue Jays? They're hanging in there in the tough AL East.
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Drew, We gave them some love early when they were tearing through the non-AL East portion of their schedule and surviving a bunch of injuries to the pitching staff. They need to get Vernon Wells and Alex Rios going if they're going to be in it for the long haul. One thing is for sure: Roy Halladay is the AL All Star starter.
mike (DC) [via mobile]
What are the chances Kenny Williams deals Jermaine Dye? IMO I think it would be tough given his 11.5 million salary. If he does, who do you think he will try to get, if anyone?
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Mike, Jermaine Dye will definitely be on Kenny Williams' "shop him around" list if the White Sox blow it up. But I've heard so many Jermaine Dye trade rumors in the past year, I've stopped keeping track. Wake me when it actually happens.
Olney said yesterday that Verlander has passed Greinke as King of the Pitching Mountain!?! I dont think anybody has passed Greinke yet but if you were to pick somebody it has to be Halladay
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
John, Verlander has been amazing since he got used to that new arm-slot thing. But Halladay is still the guy. Verlander and Greinke are the best "new breed" guys in the AL.
With the market for Austin Kearns seemingly nonexistent, should the Nats just go ahead and release him? He has been a complete zero at the plate this year and seems defeated before the first pitch even arrives.
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Mike, He is what he is, as they say. A lot of scouts figured Kearns would be a consistent .280, 25 homer, 85 RBI guy in the big leagues. Some guys just never develop the way everybody envisions. The Nats aren't going anywhere with or without Kearns, so it's not as if there's a great sense of urgency to the decision.
Ok, but don't you think the Angels have handled Brandon Wood completely wrong? They call him up just to sit on the bench, then they send him down. He's clearly too good for AAA right now and should be in the lineup. But, Mike Scoscia would rather play Izturis and his .322 OBP while Wood has a .375 OBP in Salt Lake. The Angels need some power in the lineup, which is EXACTLY what Wood can provide yet they won't play him. The Angels strategy isn't working, yet they won't do anything about it.
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Chet, I've said the same thing about 100 times. I think Scioscia feels a sense of security with guys like Izturis, but you either have to give Brandon Wood a chance to play everyday or trade him when he has some value. He recently set the franchise HR record in Salt Lake City. I hope that's not going to be his career legacy.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
When do you see teams like the Astros, Indians and Diamondbacks finally giving it up and trading some players?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Sprung, I can see the Indians and D-backs springing into action after the All-Star break. As for Houston, there's always that Drayton McLane factor to consider. They'll have to be absolutely, positively out of it before they back up the truck.
Nora (St. Louis)
Do you think Chris Carpenter has made enough starts to pitch in the All Star Game? I'm hoping the fact it is in St. Louis gives him a little bit of an edge.
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Nora, He's 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA in seven starts, and he still has another four or five before we approach the All-Star Game. If Carp is 7-1 with an ERA below 2.00, I think he'll have a pretty strong case.
One more nominee for best WS moment...im biased, but I was at the WS game in 2001 when Scott Brosious hit the HR of BY Kim, it was absolutely unreal! I know they wind up losing, but it was still amazing.
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Brian, Yeah, that was a good one, but not as good as Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen and Luis Gonzalez dumping that bloop single out of Derek Jeter's reach in Game 7. Sorry to bring that up ...
you sound smarter on the radio than your picture would suggest, you are a good speaker on the radio
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Larry, Thanks for the compliment -- I guess. People have often told me that I have a good face for radio.
Any chance Tony Gwynn would manage in the big leagues? Is it too much of a grind for a guy that already made a ton of money?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Tom, That's an interesting question. I think Tony Gwynn enjoys being involved to the extent he is at San Diego State. It's traditionally been tough for superstars to manage in the majors. Tony's definitely qualified -- and the media would certainly love him.
Watch every Met game on the extra innings and can't get how despite having an OBP of over .460, Manual continues to hit Wright 5th. You would think especially without Delgado in the line-up, they'd go 3. Wright 4. Beltran 5. Sheffield- Wright has been an on base machine. What is Jerry thinking?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Jon, Yeah, I've gotta say there's some credence to this complaint. It's not as if David Wright is hitting with a ton of power in the No. 5 spot.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. I actually liked the new softward once I got a few things figured out. I'm heading down to the Sox-Phillies interleague game tonight. It should be a great baseball weekend. Talk to you next week.