Chat with Rob Neyer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com MLB Insider Rob Neyer will drop by to chat some baseball.
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send your questions now and join Neyer on Thursday at noon ET!
Buzzmaster (10:06 AM)
Rob will be here Thursday at noon ET!
Rob Neyer (12:01 PM)
Reporting for duty, Sarge.
Bawb (Fairview, UT)
I am huge Braves fan and a huge Smoltz fan, but I am not sure if Smoltz has anything to give the Braves this year. Do you think they will really consider signing him?
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
I don't see a great fit there, at least not now. I wouldn't be surprised if he finished his career as a Braves, somehow. But not this spring.
Hey, Rob. Who's had the best offseason?
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
The Mariners and the Twins have both done quite well for themselves. Trying to think of a National League team ... the Diamondbacks helped themselves in the short term and the Brewers did what they had to do.
Is this when we really find out how much it is "only about the money" with Damon? Is Boras really going to push for 2 years or no deal?
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
I don't know if it'll come to that ... I keep reading that Boras is "demanding" a two-year contract, but he's not in a position to demand anything. He (and his client) can *ask* for a two-year contract, but if one isn't forthcoming I think Damon will sign a one-year contract.
Matt Klaassen (GTA, Ontario)
Farnsworth to the rotation... I have no words...
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
Give the Royals credit for zagging when everything thinks they should be zigging ... What's particularly amusing is that it's another K.C. reliever who people think should get a chance to start. I give Farnsworth a 1-in-20 chance of starting more than 5 games in 2010.
Matt Klaassen (GTA, ON)
wRC+ is superior to OPS because it weights events properly and includes basestealing. Murray Career wRC : 131. Thome, 148.
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
You're right that wRC+ is superior ... but your answer is almost the same as using OPS , in which Thome also has a 17-point edge. Funny, that.
Mike Ketchen (Boston(MA))
Rob,Do you realize how good Beckett has been? In the history of the game the only other RHP with a K/9 over and 8 and a BB/9 under 3 are the following. Clemens, Smoltz, Pedro, Vazquez and Schilling. They all pitched well 30-34....so please tell me we resign him.
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
Why would anyone want to resign him? Oh, you mean the Red Sox should RE-sign him. That missing hyphen always confuses me. As always, Mike, it all depends on the years and the dollars. We really don't know what the Sox should do unless we 1) have seen the medical reports, and 2) know what it would take to get his signature on a new deal.
Mike (San Diego)
Rob, any chance at all that the Padres are respectable in the next ten years? What a fleece job to get a new stadium!
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
They'll have their day in the sun, I think. It's probably true that the organization oversold the impact of a new stadium.
Ed (San Diego)
What do you think of the moves Hoyer has made so far in San Diego? I think the addition of Garland was nice and he made some low key good moves like adding the Hairston bros and a solid backup Catcher/mentor in Torrealba
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
I do like what the Padres have done this winter, and the Garland contract in particular was a steal for the club. Baby steps...
So, WAR is great. The stat, not the military action. I love BP for their archive of historical players' WAR data. Is this your go-to stat when comparing players, or do you use a multitude. If so, which do you prefer?
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
I'm hesitant to mention a "go-to stat" because I worry about being pigeonholed (I know: too late). But, yeah - I often turn to WAR in one of its many forms.
Kevin (Boston, MA)
Would it surprise you if Jon Lester won the Cy Young Award? Great defense, he's going to get a lot of wins, and last year his K/9 was over 10.
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me at all. Today he must rank among the top five or six candidates in the league, right? Along with King Felix, Zack Attack, Verlander, Sabathia, Beckett, Cliff Lee, and maybe somebody from the White Sox?
Tell Mike in Boston that Mark Prior makes that list if not for his ill-fated '06 season (which put him 0.11BB/9 over), and Ben Sheets is 0.4 K/9 from being on there too, and see if he's excited about their health from ages 30-34.
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
Heh. Yeah, it all depends on where you draw that line, right?
Nora (St. Louis)
Rob, why did you mention Gold Gloves in your Thome/Murray article as support for why Murray is superior defensively? Whenever a writer uses an award determined by votes as basis for their argument it makes it really hard to take seriously. As much as you mock the Gold Gloves, you're going to also use them as a reason someone is good? Really?!?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
As a shorthand for defensive prowess -- and particularly when talking about first basemen -- Gold Gloves aren't the worst thing. Also, I did point out that whatever edge at first base Murray might have had is balanced to some degree by Thome's seasons as a third baseman.
steve (lakewood, nj)
Sherman on Jeter/Mariano...do you honestly think Cashman is stupid enough to pay Jeter/Mo 25M/15M respectively? The new Yankees have shown they won't go the extra mile on $$$...honestly I see Jeter at 13-14M 3 yrs and Mo at 12M 2 yrs
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
I don't know about Rivera, but I do think Jeter will get quite a bit more than that. Maybe $20 million per season forever, except he stops getting paid when he stops playing.
Glad to see Willie Mays getting some props in a new book. Who would you like to see in a biography?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
Hmmm ... I'm not sure if we've yet seen the definitive Mantle biography (with all due respect to Mantle's various biographers). One thing I like about the Mays book is that it does detail his playing career. I'm disappointed in books and documentaries that skip whole seasons to make more time for rehab and frozen heads and stuff.
Mike (Reno, Nevada)
Rob, do you really think that the Giants pitching will regress to the tune of 13 games this year? I'm mean their offseason wasn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but 13 games?!?!
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Who said anything about their pitching regressing by 13 games? I do think their pitching will regress, and their hitting hasn't really improved so it's hard to see them contending again.
I Got Ripped in 4 Weeks (Not really)
_________ is the MLB star with the most team-friendly contract right now.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
hey rob, thanks for the chat. i just read a fantasy report that ranked Youk way ahead of Kendry Morales at 1B. Am i missing something here, how is it possible that Youk having only two good years ever has catapulted him among the elite first basemen? I would think that Morales' age and last years performance equal far greater upside in general and especially this year in particular.
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
Actually, Youkilis has three good years and two great years, while Morales has one good/great year. I don't know far ahead I would put Youk, but definitely ahead. (BTW, Youkilis's two great years are roughly on par with Jim Thome's whole career. Something to think about.)
corey (san diego)
Rob can I say something to Mike. In the 6 years since the Padres have been in Petco Park they have made the playoffs twice and been to an epic game 163. Give me a break. Gotta love those fair weather fans here in beautiful San Diego.
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
when selig is no longer commissioner (assuming he doesn't outlive us all), who are your top guesses for next commish? is another owner the best place to start speculating?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
Perhaps, but I can't think of any candidates among the current owners. What about Sandy Alderson? I have no idea if he'd want the job, but he would seem to be plenty qualified.
Jeff (Joplin, MO)
Can anything good come of the Ankiel & Podsednik signings for the Royals?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
You just answered your own question, Jeff. Sorry.
Given both teams offseason moves, who do you pick in the AL Central? Is the Sox's advantage in the rotation and bullpen enough to overcome the improvements made to Minnesota's lineup?
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
Good question, Josh. I think I'm waiting for a healthy Jake Peavy to really sink in before I pick against the Twins.
If Youkilis is on par with Jim Thome, then what does that make of Justin Morneau. Who is he on par with?
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
That wasn't my point at all, E.J. When their careers are over, neither Youkilis nor Morneau will stack up with Thome. As hitters, anyway.
What about former President Bush for next commish?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
Only if the post become mostly ceremonial.
John (Arlington, Va)
Is Strasburg going to get any starts in the big league this year?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
If he's healthy? Absolutely. I would look at Mark Prior as a guide; he made only nine starts in the minors before the Cubs brought him up, and he pitched exceptionally well as a rookie.
Onan (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Rob - big fan! I just picked up baseball legends and baseball blunders from Amazon - Great Price! When's the next time you will be in the Atlanta area so I can come out and get them signed?Also, can my Mets compete for a playoff spot this year?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
I'm hoping to be there in August for the SABR convention. Thanks for buying the books, and I'm sorry about your Mets (though things aren't completely hopeless, particularly if Reyes can play 150 games).
Better player in 3 years - Votto or Billy Butler? And are either on their current teams at that time?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
I'll take Votto by a nose, because I think his body and skills will age better than Butler's. And I think both will be with their current teams in three years, thanks to long-term extensions.
ray (burlington, nj)
Rob-thanks for the chat. Have you had the time to review SIERA yet? I am curious what your thoughts are on the new pitching stat. thanks.
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
I haven't, but it's on the to-do list (for those who don't know what we're talking about, SIERA is Baseball Prospectus's shiny new context-neutral pitching metric).
Larry G. (Milwaukee)
Any thoughts on what's going on out there in Portland with the MLS team? Aren't Portlanders well-known baseball fans? Is the city at all nervous about the MLS folding 1 or 2 years after they kick out their baseball team?
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
Actually, there's not much enthusiasm for baseball in Portland. Or not for Triple-A baseball, anyway. I predict that MLS will be a modest success, and Portland winds up with a Northwest League team, just like in the mid-'70s and the late '90s.
Will Grady Sizemore bounceback to his 30/30 capabilities?
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
I believe Sizemore has Hall of Fame skills when he's completely healthy. Whether he'll be completely healthy again, I don't have the foggiest.
Say anything about the NL Central, please.
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
My sleeper team is the Reds?
Best Guess: Is Utley a hall of famer when it's all said and done?
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
My best guess is no, because he got something of a late start and second basemen often don't age particularly well. But I'm pulling for him, and the talent is certainly there.
Mike (Augusta, GA)
Rob do you think the Braves will sign Johnny Damon?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
I think it's as likely as anything else. I have to leave you to Keith Law now, but will close with this: "A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar."