Chat with Jayson Stark
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark will drop in to chat about the MLB season.
Jayson Stark has been a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com since 2000. His regular contributions include the newsy Rumblings and Grumblings column and his tilted look inside baseball's numbers and quirks, the Useless Information Department.
Send your questions now and join Stark Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jayson Stark (1:02 PM)
Good afternoon -- or good morning, depending on your time zone. Just a quick announcement: I'll have to cut this chat about 15 minutes short. I have a TV appearance right afterward. So let's get started.
Hey Jayson, if the pirates trade lone all-star rep freddy sanchez before the all-star game, would they get another rep? or would freddy just be an "honorary" pirate one last game?
Jayson Stark (1:03 PM)
I'm 99.999999999 percent certain they wouldn't get another rep. Seems to me this happened a few years ago, when Jeff Shaw got traded by the Reds to the Dodgers right before the game, and his first appearance in a Dodgers uniform was in the All Star Game!
Jayson,Any chance the Phils get Pedro AND halladay?
Jayson Stark (1:05 PM)
As Buster reported yesterday, signing Pedro would not preclude the Phillies from trading for Halladay. They'd bring in Pedro essentially to upgrade the black hole at the bottom of their rotation. Halladay is the difference-maker at the top they've been looking for since Mother's Day. They need that kind of guy, Pedro or no Pedro.
Jayson, why not deal the so called untouchables for Halladay if you are Philadelphia? Their time of winning is running short because they won't be able to afford Howard, Utley, Rollins and company for that much longer. Try for back to back and worry about restocking the system later.
Jayson Stark (1:07 PM)
Depends which untouchables. If I were running that team, I would make this deal, within reason. I would trade Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Lou Marson and a couple of younger prospects. I wouldn't trade EVERYBODY (all the guys above plus Dominic Brown, Jason Knapp, Jason Donald, etc.). But Halladay is way too perfect for their park and their needs to pass up, for me. And you're right. I think their window is actually the next two years, not the next three. After 2010, they have some huge decisions to make.
Dave Pierce (eSellOut.com)
If your the Pirates why not talk about guys like Maholm and Duke too?
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
I think they've shown they'll talk about anybody. But they're more willing to move Duke than Maholm, from what I'm hearing. And they'd prefer not to move either, so the price is high.
James (Huntington Beach, Ca)
What moves will the Dodgers make before the trade deadline if any?
Jayson Stark (1:09 PM)
They want a veteran starter and an eighth-inning reliever. But who that would be could depend on how much money they can take on. I'm guessing, based on last year, they have less financial wiggle room than you'd think for a team that cut that much payroll over the winter.
Omar Minaya has said repeatedly he doesnt want to trade away the future, so it would seem the Mets best asset could be the ability to take on payroll - do they have room in the budget to take on significant payroll this year and maybe a bad contract for the future (i.e. Rios)?
Jayson Stark (1:11 PM)
Here's the Mets' problem: They're right below the luxury-tax threshold, and they're adamant that they don't want to go over. Once they get to the offseason, they'd be in a different position. But money is an issue for them right now.
Halladay and Wells to NY for their choice of Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner.
Jayson Stark (1:12 PM)
I'm assuming you're not serious about that, right? The price on Halladay alone is much steeper than that. It would start with Phil Hughes and go from there. And nobody is taking on Vernon Wells, either as an add-on to Halladay or by himself. He has something like $107 million left on his deal. So he's just about un-moveable.
Nick (Columbia, Missouri)
Hey Jayson, I prefer the NL style of baseball, but is there really any logical rationale behind having pitchers hit in the All-Star game? I realize that pinch-hitters are usually used, but if the AL has a big first inning, you can bet we'd have to watch Halladay try to hit a changeup from Lincecum. Who wants to see that?
Jayson Stark (1:14 PM)
Thanks for mentioning that, Nick. Seriously, why has MLB not made the DH a part of every All Star Game? It makes zero sense for pitchers to hit in this game. Maybe less than zero.
The LAD should have some $$$ from savings from ManRam suspension no?
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
They do, but it's less than you think because 60 percent of Manny's salary this year is deferred. So it's only in the neighborhood of $3 million.
Is there any market for Aubrey Huff? The guy drove in 108 last year, is on pace for 107 this year, and is a pending free agent. What's not to like?
Jayson Stark (1:16 PM)
I think there's a decent chance he gets traded. The Mets have been in on him. But not many contenders need a first baseman. And leatherwork isn't his strong suit, anyway. So it's a limited field, and the Orioles put a big price on all their players.
Jamaal (Sewell, NJ)
Hey Jayson, do the Phillies still need a right-handed bat off the bench or can Mayberry be that guy? Thanks.
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
I think Mayberry is heading back to Lehigh Valley today. Have you checked his strikeout numbers? Not enough contact to be that guy. Charlie Manuel told you all you needed to know when he ran Eric Bruntlett up there to pinch-hit Tuesday instead of Mayberry.
Jayson, with all due respect, if we use the Braves/Tex trade as an example, the Phillies should be parting with Brown, Taylor, Drabek AND Knapp for Roy Halladay.
Jayson Stark (1:19 PM)
I think that's exactly the kind of deal the Blue Jays are looking for. But there is no way the Phillies trade their No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 prospects for anybody.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
The Cubs will now have Soto on the DL to add to their problems, how large are their chances to make the playoffs if they don't acquire an impact player?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
They're impossible to figure. Their problem is, they haven't hit. But you look at the names they run out there, and even Jim Hendry can't figure out which one he'd bench if he could add a bat. They need Soriano and Bradley to rise to their career norms more than they need to make a deal, I think. But they've been thinking that for two months, without much changing in the standings.
The Phils have a weak system and from what you hear, Drabek isn't the kind of top prospect that TOR wants to build a deal around. Sounds like Philly doesn't have the pieces.
Jayson Stark (1:21 PM)
Not sure where you're hearing that. I've been making the rounds of their system on my book tour. And scouts have been raving about their prospects. One guy told me, "I cover 20 teams, and the Phillies have more prospects than any of them."
If the Braves trade escobar, what would they get back? Would Matt Holliday, Justin Duschsher and Bobby Crosby work since Escobar doesn't hit free agency til 2014. Please tell me Frank wouldn't be dumb enough to take any less.
Jayson Stark (1:23 PM)
I see almost no chance they trade Escobar. He's young, affordable offense on a team that desperately needs offense and has limited dollars. And who would play short? Bobby Crosby is a utility man now. Duchscherer is hurt. And Holliday is a rent-a-player. So this is a deal that has zero chance of happening. Good try!
hi Jayson, Who's a better trade piece for the Nats, Johnson, Willingham, Beimel or Dukes?
Jayson Stark (1:25 PM)
I think it's Willingham because he's controllable for so long by the club that trades for him. Johnson is a great fit for a team that needs a rent-a-bat. Beimel is lefthanded and breathing, so he's moveable. Dukes' value is zilch.
Derek (MADISON, WI.)
Do the Brewers have the pieces to get a deal for Halladay done?
Jayson Stark (1:26 PM)
I don't see that one. They stripped their system with the CC deal, and they've told everyone they won't talk about Alcides Escobar or Mat Gamel. Beyond that, just not enough upper-level quality for them to make a trade of this magnitude.
Porcello for Halladay, straight up?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
OK, before we go on here with the Halladay talk, everybody needs to understand the Jays' mindset. They don't have to trade this man. It rips the heart out of their team if they trade this man. And if they keep him, they might be able to contend next year if a few of their pitchers could stay healthy for a change. So they're not just looking to trade him for a nice piece. They're in listening mode -- to see if they can reload in about five or six different ways if they do deal him. So no more proposals like that for the rest of this chat, OK? A Tigers offer would have to start with Porcello -- and include at least three other names.
I know the Indians have been scouting the Red Sox farm system. What are the chances that V-Mart ends up with the Sox before the deadline?
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
Extremely slim. They look at Martinez much like the Jays look at Halladay. They have him signed for next year. He's a great player and a leader. And they believe they can contend with him next year. So unless the Red Sox want to give them Buchholz, Bard and two more great young players, they seem as if they have no motivation to trade this guy.
Even though it would hurt the farm system to trade for Doc, doesn't it make sense for a team like the Phillies to pull the trigger considering how terrbile the free agent pitching is this upcoming off-season. I mean, the Phillies are probably not going to resign Myers, meaning their rotation is potentially very thin.
Jayson Stark (1:32 PM)
You make another good point. The other great allure of dealing for Halladay is that he isn't a rental, and they do have an opening for next year. They keep declining the chance to call up Carlos Carrasco, so they're clearly telling you they don't think he's ready yet.
jp manahan (manila)
how is ben sheets doing?
Jayson Stark (1:33 PM)
Ben Sheets almost certainly won't be physically ready to help anybody before next year. It's just about a full-year rehab from that surgery.
James (Huntington Beach)
Do you think there is any chance the Dodgers could land Halladay?
Jayson Stark (1:34 PM)
They'll be in this. But my sense is that they're not in system-gutting mode. They seem to have no desire to trade Clayton Kershaw for anyone, even Halladay. And the package almost certainly would have to start with him.
Chris Stephenson (eSellOut.com)
Any chance the Brewers make a play at a guy like Doug Davis?
Jayson Stark (1:36 PM)
They've already made that play. The Diamondbacks want more than they've offered. But that could still happen.
Robert Likarish (St. Louis, Mo)
I've being hearing several names tossed around for the NL rookie of the year. Do you think that Colby Rasmus will end up on top?
Jayson Stark (1:36 PM)
I think he's the runaway leader. Check out my midseason awards when they get posted later today.
Do you think the asking price will be higher for cliff lee or dan haren? And who do you think is more available?
Jayson Stark (1:38 PM)
Neither. Well, let me hedge that. The Indians haven't said absolutely not on Lee. They've said, "Overwhelm us." But why would they trade him? He's irreplaceable.
If he keeps producing, could Torii Hunter have a shot at MVP?
Jayson Stark (1:39 PM)
I think he's a top-five candidate right now. He'd rank behind Morneau-Mauer-Zobrist, but that's about it on my MVP ballot.
AL comeback player of the year? Inge, Andruw Jones, Branyan, other? Too many to choose from.
Jayson Stark (1:39 PM)
How can Russell Branyan not win this award? He's been one of the most productive players in the league -- after about a decade of nobody having any idea what to do with him.
Mark (Madison, WI)
Doesn't it make more sense for the Braves to wait til the offseason to add a bat by trading Vazquez? The free agent crop is weak and the Braves will know what they have with Tim Hudson by that point.
Jayson Stark (1:41 PM)
That's probably how this will work out, but they're not looking to add a bat for three months. They'd like to do what they did with Nate McLouth -- add a bat for three years. It's hard finding that guy in July or any other time. But that's the thinking -- deal from their strength (pitching depth) for long-term solutions.
Jayson - do you think a team like the Orioles, with so much young pitching on the horizon, should make the move to obtain a veteran starter at some level? I'm a little weary of going into next season with three rookies and two second-year pitchers in the rotation. It hasn't worked out well for the A's.
Jayson Stark (1:43 PM)
I think that's a valid point. But in their situation, they can get away with this approach, of letting their young players grow together. A veteran starter would block their young studs. And their ETA in the AL East race isn't next year, anyway. So I don't see them going that route.
Jayson Stark (1:43 PM)
Hate to do this, folks. But I only have time for one more.
What is going to happen with Matt Holliday? The A's have to trade him, right? They cant possibly risk him accepting arbitration next year with their limited payroll.
Jayson Stark (1:45 PM)
I see very little chance of him accepting arbitration because he wants out of that park. So that's not as big an issue as it's been portrayed. Nevertheless, I expect them to deal him. Clearly, that Scott Hairston deal was a prelude to a Halladay trade. Wasn't it? But it would help if the guy would hit another home run at some point before the trading deadline.
Jayson Stark (1:45 PM)
Thanks to everybody who participated. Enjoy that All Star Game.