Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com baseball writer Jerry Crasnick will drop by to take your questions.
Crasnick 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 your questions now and join Crasnick Friday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hey folks, Headed to the All-Star Game tomorrow. Let's talk some ball.
Jerry, if the Phillies sign Pedro, how much do they really think he'll improve their rotation? And do they still try to go after Halladay?
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Shane, I'm dubious about Pedro. He allowed 19 homers last year in a little more than 100 innings with the Mets, and I don't think all this time off has helped him much. Plus, that park isn't a great fit. Apparently the Phils don't think signing Pedro will eliminate them for Halladay. But I wonder if they're willing to decimate their farm system for him.
Robert (Madison, WI)
What do you think of the job Kenny Williams has done? It seems like his teams are competitive every year without breaking the bank for "major" free agents.
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Robert, I think it's partly a question of style. A lot of people think Kenny Williams is abrasive and arrogant. I personally get a charge out of the guy. He'll tell you what he thinks, and he's fearless in making moves. The White Sox actually have a pretty good resource base, so it's not as if Kenny is combing through Jerry Reinsdorf's couch for spare change. But I agree with you that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.
I have seen things about the Cardinals having intrest in Halladay do you think they might get him. And who else might the Cards go after
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Brad, I personally don't see the Cards as the best fit for Halladay. They've already got Carpenter, Wainwright and Pineiro at the top of the rotation, and I suspect they'd have to give up Rasmus (and/or Brett Wallace) and some other young players for Halladay. Is John Mozeliak really prepared to do that?
do u think that the Reds need to trade for Dye or holliday to contend ?
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Jack, The Reds would love to add a bat, but my understanding is that they have major payroll limitations. There was a Scott Rolen rumor going around yesterday that quickly got shot down. A Garrett Atkins rumor died a quick death as well.
Hitters who are good at ________________ tend to age better than other hitters.
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Greg, ... Getting to bed before 4 a.m.?
Please tell me the Tigers make a move for a closer. Zumaya and Rodney are giving me anxiety problems.
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Matt, There are a bunch of closer types out there, between George Sherrill, Jose Valverde
What do you make of the fact that the Yankee bullpen has the lowest WHIP (1.23) in the AL?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Scott, I make of it that the Yankees have started to learn their lesson -- that you can build a bullpen with young, cheap arms rather than going out and overspending for a Steve Karsay or a LaTroy Hawkins in free agency. Of course, it always helps to have Mariano Rivera at the back end. And I'm still not sold that Aceves, Bruney and those guys are going to carry you all the way through October.
Steve (Erie, PA)
Any updates on any of the hundreds of trade rumors floating around Freddy Sanchez?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Steve, There's legitimate interest in Freddy Sanchez, but teams aren't thrilled over the prospect of paying him $8 million next year. That option will kick in if he makes 600 plate appearances. He could be a pretty good fit in San Francisco or Colorado.
With Manny Parra's promising start yesterday could we see a dominant 1-2 punch with Yo and Manny in the second half?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Josh, Manny Parra has a nice arm, but I wouldn't get carried away yet over one good start. Doug Melvin needs to add another starter (or at least fortify that bullpen) if the Brewers are going to contend in the second half.
Bawb (Fairview, UT)
Why is Vazquez not on the All Star roster? Look at his whip, k/9, ERA, opp batting average. They all compare to Linececum.
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Bawb, He definitely got the shaft, with 136 k's and 23 walks this year. The won-loss record killed him, obviously. Braves GM Frank Wren thinks that Vazquez, Jurrjens and Soriano are all All-Star worthy, and it's tough to argue with that.
Can someone talk at all about the play of the White Sox? They got from 6.5 games back and 6 under .500 a month ago today, to 2 back and 4 over .500 yesterday. Their starters' ERA has been ridiculous (especially the top 4). They've been hitting the snot out of the ball, and every game they lose seems to have been very winnable. Can they keep it up?
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Adam, They have the pieces to make a run, if Contreras, Danks and Floyd pitch well. I wouldn't be shocked to see them make a run at Roy Halladay, either. Kenny Williams has payroll limitations, but he absolutely loves to make bombshell trades.
Just read your article about the Indians. What do you expect they will do? I like their core players, Lee, Victor, Choo, Hafner, Sizemore, Asdrubal, and so far Valbuena. Which is why I am hoping they don't trade any of those guys away. But do you expect Wedge and Shapiro to be fired becuase of the worst bull-pen in the last two years?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Mike, I think Mark Shapiro wants to hold on to Lee and Martinez, get Westbrook and Carmona back to make a significant contribution, fix the bullpen and contend next season. I don't expect Shapiro to be fired. It remains to be seen what will happen with Wedge. He'll be around for the rest of the season. It's also unclear how big a role the owner, Larry Dolan, will play in the process.
How did Cabrera get so shafted this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Robert, Too many good first basemen in the American League. But it's a shock, and a real shame, that Detroit gets four players in the All-Star Game and Miguel Cabrera isn't one of them. That's hard to believe.
long week, need a halladay (philly)
If amaro considers drabek untouchable is a package built around dominic brown, jason donald and either carrasco/knapp enough to get riccardi to listen? do you think halladay would lift the no trade for philly?
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Long Week, I don't think that's enough of a package to bring Halladay to Philly. Heck, even if you include Drabek, I'm not sure it's enough of a package. The Blue Jays need a "sure thing" or two to make this deal work, and the Phillies don't have that young, Colby Rasmus type guy to include as the center piece of a trade. I see that as a problem for them.
Who do you expect to be more available by the trade deadline, dan haren or cliff lee?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Mike, My guess is Lee. Even though Shapiro doesn't want to trade him, the Indians aren't going to re-sign him after the 2010 season. So it would make sense to at least explore what you can get for him now.
Paul (Ashburn Va)
What about Smoak, M. Ramerez and Holland for Halladay and his contract would say he can only pitch away games
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Paul, Roy Halladay is so good, it doesn't matter where he pitches. Texas has the talent to do a deal with the Jays -- and a Smoak-Holland package would be a terrific start. I just wonder if Tom Hicks has the cash to pay Halladay for the rest of this year and next.
Mark (Columbia (MO))
Has Troy Glaus played his last game as a Cardinal?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Mark, I don't think so. Last I heard, Glaus was rehabbing, and now Mark DeRosa is out with a wrist injury. If he can play, the Cards can use him.
Mr. Met (NY, NY)
Jerry - one of Omar's reasons for not trading for a bat is that he does not want to mortgage the future and trade away what few prospects the Mets have. But didn't the Mets/Omar choose that path with all the prospects they lost to the free agent signings of players like Delgado, and the trade for Santana!?!? It's frustrating - b/c if that's the path they've chosen, whether they like it or not, then the Mets just need to go after the players they need NOW. The Mets are built to win now, not tomorrow. Thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Mr. Met, You say the Mets need a bat, and they've been using Tim Redding and Fernando Nieve in the rotation, and Livan Hernandez has gotten pounded in his last two starts. That's the problem: They have so many injuries, Omar Minaya doesn't even know where to begin when it comes to filling holes. Now Fernando Martinez is on the DL as well. This is starting to look like a bad, lost season in Flushing.
Juan Pierre (LA)
I'm bored on the bench! Are the Dodgers going to send me somewhere that needs a good outfielder in exchange for some pitching (I'm thinking Atlanta maybe? Vazquez?)
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Juan, Sorry. The Braves are looking for a bat, but you're not it.
Mike (Belvidere, IL)
Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano are being outplayed by Jake Fox and Micah Hoffpauir. Any chance Lou forgets the money and plays the young guys?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Mike, No. Maybe for a few games here and there. But if the Cubs are going to win the Central, they need to go with the horses. Remember a month or two ago, how everybody was intimating that Derrek Lee was slipping? I know fans don't like to hear this, but you have to give veterans time to work out their problems. It's a long season.
Philly fan forgetting Halladay here, too costly for me. What combination of Maybury Jr., Jason Donald or Eric Bruntlett, and/or any pitcher not named Drabek in the farm system gets Bedard or Marquis?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Cory, Eric Bruntlett? I haven't heard his name a whole lot. Colorado is contending and Marquis is an All-Star, so I don't see him going anywhere. And if I were the Phillies, I would have serious reservations about bringing Erik Bedard into that environment. He can't stay healthy, and I think that town would eat him alive.
Best defensive 3rd baseman, last 20 years?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Cosmo, Good one. I'll take Scott Rolen -- although Brandon Inge is pretty darned good. I'm sure I'm missing a retired player or two.
jerry you mind touching on a non-big market team, for a minute? Marlins have been real great as of late, especially their pitching but we really need a legit bat in the middle of the order. Whats your thoughts on beinfest going after dunn?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Mendel, Mike Rizzo just came out this week and said the Nats aren't trading Adam Dunn. Dunn also has about $15 million left on his contract, which makes him awfully pricey for the Fish. And I haven't even touched on his defensive skills yet.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
Will there be an Ibanez sighting this weekend?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Stuart,Charlie Manuel plans to play him in a couple of games this weekend heading into the All-Star break.
fernando Lancaster CA [via mobile]
Are you now convinced of how good the Dodgers really are?
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Fernando, They're very good, but you still have to wonder if they're a team that's better built for the long haul than the postseason. Is a rotation of Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw enough to carry you through October? I assume Ned Colletti is pondering that question right now.
What team this year is this year's Rays for you?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Sam, Texas in the American League (if the pitching holds up), and San Francisco in the National League (if Brian Sabean can add a bat or two).
Jerry - how can Sandoval not be on the roster this year with his nickname and play and recent publicity? I think the MLB hurt themselves by not jumping completely on the bandwagon at the right time...someone should have had better influence to Manuel's selection; thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Todd, The Kung Fu Panda definitely warrants an All-Star spot, but so does Mark Reynolds of the D-backs. I haven't checked on it today, but with Carlos Beltran out and Shane Victorino essentially replacing him through the Final Man vote, there's still another NL roster spot to be filled. I would hope that Sandoval is strongly considered for that. If anybody knows what's happening there, feel free to chime in.
Mr Crasnick, My favorite part of All-Star weekend is the Home Run Derby, but with lack of interest in participation by the players, is it feasable to pare down the lineup to three players from each league with the fourth being a retired player for each? Who wouldn't want to see Barry Bonds hitting home runs again and he wouldn't have to worry about ruining his swing for the rest of the season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Wil, That's an intriguing thought, but I can't see MLB allowing Barry Bonds anywhere near that kind of showcase. How about Steve Balboni and Dave Kingman as the retired HR Derby participants?
Otis (Mt Airy)
Dan O'Dowd has never been timid. If Halliday would give his hometown Rockies a discount on an extension, Francis, halliday, Cook, and Jimenez would keep them relevant for several years. Will the Rox make an offer? Would Ianetta, Fowler, Morales, and a top tier prospect get it done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Otis, I don't see it happening, but that's an interesting package.
Barry (Chicago) [via mobile]
Thanks for taking the question. What do you think the chances are of the giants having two twenty game winners? And if lincecum were to win the cy young again, where would that accomplishment rank? Will we be talking about it the way we still talk about gooden's start?
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Barry, Lincecum and Cain have a chance to pull off a Billy Swift-John Burkett deal, but I think the Giants' lack of offense is going to catch up to them eventually. Back-to-back Cys for Lincecum would be an incredible achievement. Either way, I just hope the kid stays healthy for the next 10-15 years, because he's great for baseball.
Mr. Crasnick, What do the Yankees have to do to beat the Red Sox and get to the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Taylor, They don't have to beat the Red Sox to get to the playoffs. All they have to do is beat either the Sox or the Rays. What they need most is continued consistent starting pitching. With all the talk about A-Rod, Joba, Wang, etc., in NY, Sabathia and Burnett, the big free agent acquisitions, have quietly had nice first halves. That's a great sign for the Yankees.
Any chance the Cards could get Josh Willingham--sort of Matt Holliday-lite?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Gary, They already have Ryan Ludwick, who's better than Matt Holliday-Lite, so I'm not sure if Willingham fits. The Cards need a third baseman, and they thought they got one in DeRosa. Now that he's injured, John Mozeliak might have to switch gears.
Phill (Charlottesville, VA)
Jerry, what could the Mariners expect to get in return for Bedard, Washburn, and Branyan? Are we talking about top tier prospects for any of them?
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Phil, I don't think we're talking about top tier prospects for any of them. Branyan is 33 and his long-term body of work isn't great. I wouldn't trust Bedard in a pennant race. Washburn is the best of the group, and the guy who could help a contender. He was awesome against Baltimore the other night. But he's up there in years and just a rental, so I don't know if anyone is going to surrender elite prospects for him.
Great article on the O's last week; seems to that there biggest organizational weakness is at SS. With that said, does it make sense to move for Y Escobar? Seems like the Braves want to move him. Maybe Huff, a bullpen arm and a good prospect (other than the stud arms) gets it done...
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
R.C., I was told this week that the Braves' reported dissatisfaction with Yunel Escobar has been overplayed. He's a talented kid who just needs to tone down his act a little. If somebody thinks they're going to "buy low" on him, they're mistaken.
Mike (SF, CA)
Inge? Really? He's one of the two top 3Bs of the last 20 years? He's good, and I'm a fan, but you can't think of anyone better?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Mike, From what I've been, the guy is terrific defensively. I missed Adrian Beltre and some other guys, I'm sure, but I'm a big Brandon Inge fan.
Actually, Fernando Rodney has pitched quite well and has not missed many save opps. Zumaya, on the hand, has been less than awe inspiring.
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Shawn, Fernando Rodney's overall numbers are OK, but he really makes you sweat, doesn't he? The guy's body language is terrible, and he seems to work himself into a lot of jams before working out of him. "Clean inning" just isn't in his vocabulary.
Inge better than Chipper or David Wright
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Jeff, I'd take him over those guys defensively. Someone else just mentioned Ryan Zimmerman. Another very good glove at third.
Hi Jerry, I know the Mets don't have the prospects to get Halladay, but if they were willing to take Vernon Wells and his huge contract as well, can they get something done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Ryan, A lot of people are mentioning a Halladay-Vernon Wells package. I'm not sure they realize just how terrible Vernon Wells' contract is. It's backloaded, so you're looking at four years at $20 million plus. J.P. Ricciardi probably wouldn't have to weigh offers for Halladay if he weren't saddled with Wells' deal. So why would another club want to assume that obligation?
Jerry - pick one if you have to win one game - Lincecum or Halladay?
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Todd, With all due respect to Tim Lincecum, I would take Halladay.
Chad Qualls was complaining of arm soreness earlier in the season, and now Hinch has been saying he's going to start bringing him into the 8th (where was he last night?!)...what are your thoughts on Qualls, and should the DBacks cash him in for some prospects?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Ari, If I were the D-backs, I would think about it. Qualls strikes me as one of these guys who has really good stuff and can be dominant for extended stretches, but you have to wonder about him over the long haul as a closer. If they can move him and get a couple of good prospects, they should consider it. That team isn't going anywhere this year.
Christian ((Washington, DC))
Jerry are you on Twitter?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Christian, Sad to say, I'm not on Twitter yet. But it's on my "to do" list after the All-Star break.
Is it just me or is JP Howell the most underrated RP in baseball? Why can't he continue to close for years to come?
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Jake, I've said this before, but I think J.P. Howell is just as valuable in the seventh and eighth because of his competitiveness and ability to get out righties and lefties. Closing is overrated if you're weakening your setup core.
inge better than caminiti, ventura, chavez, and matt williams with the glove
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Jeff, All very good names. Thanks for passing them along. On that note, we'll bring this chat to a close. Jayson Stark is up next. Enjoy the All-Star Game, everybody.