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 (1:04 PM)
Hi. Just letting you know at the outset that I can only chat for a half-hour today. A lot going on! So let's get started.
Andrei (New York)
If the Yanks get Lee, do you see them turning around and trading Vasquez for Werth?
Jayson Stark (1:05 PM)
I'm hearing the Yankees are taking this one deal at a time. If the Lee deal gets done, then they'll discuss whether or not to trade Vazquez, for Werth or anyone else. In the meantime, the Phillies aren't looking to trade Werth for rent-a-players, from what I've heard. If that happens at all, it would be for players who fit now and beyond.
Joe (Trumbull, CT)
Hey Jayson. Any idea what are the other Yankee pieces are besides Montero in the Lee deal ?
Jayson Stark (1:07 PM)
They're still haggling about that, from what I'm hearing. It's likely to be 3-for-1, with Montero, David Adams and another prospect. But I was told that other structures are still possible. So it could be more quantity, a piece coming back from Seattle, etc.
Joey (West Palm Beach)
Does Mr. Montero still project as a Miguel Cabrera-type bat?
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
I have a tough time saying anyone is a "Miguel Cabrera-type bat." I haven't seen many of those in my time covering baseball. But Montero still projects as an offensive force. I agree with that.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
C'mon, Jayson. This Lee talk is a classic Yankees ploy to pump up the asking price for any other team to acquire him. The Yankees are trying to make it that much more expensive for the Twins, Rangers, Sox, etc. Then they'll sign Lee in the off-season "for free," still have Montero in the stable and all the fans and media will be wondering why they fell for it again.
Jayson Stark (1:10 PM)
I don't think so. I thought so once. But at this point, I think the Mariners have basically targeted the Yankees because they view Montero as the perfect centerpiece. And the other teams that have been talking to Seattle are being told the Mariners are almost certainly going in "another direction." So they're past the tinkering/using stage at this point, obviously.
Josh S. (Philly)
Do you think theres a better chance the phillies trade werth or that they trade for some pitching help, maybe dan haren? Are they buyers or sellers this year?
Jayson Stark (1:12 PM)
They still look at themselves as buyers. But they could also buy and sell at the same time. In the end, I bet they don't trade Werth unless they free-fall. But the approach they've taken with clubs that have asked about him is that they'll trade him if they get back players that they can plug in now but also control beyond this year. So far, there's no match. I'm also skeptical that Haren will get traded anywhere, by the way. But the Phillies probably would rank him as their No. 1 target, from what I'm gathering.
Mike W (Chicago)
The Reds were kicking the tires on Lee. Do you see them making a move for another pitcher now or are they going to sit back and hope Volquez is fully recovered?
Jayson Stark (1:14 PM)
Hey Mike, you ask Reds questions every week. Are you the only Reds fan in Chicago? If Lee goes elsewhere, I'd guess it's unlikely they trade for a starter. They'll want to see how Volquez looks first. But it's more likely they try to upgrade their bullpen.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Can you see either Matt Kemp or Josh Willingham going to the Braves for the stretch run?
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
I don't. I keep hearing that the Nationals are telling teams interested in Willingham that they prefer to move Adam Dunn if they move either of them. And it's very unlikely Matt Kemp gets traded. If he does, he'll be very expensive. Also, the Braves can't add much payroll.
What's Montero's ETA in the big leagues if he's traded to Seattle? Is he their starting C, or 1B, immediately?
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
I don't see him going right to the big leagues. Still getting his act together in triple-A. But by season's end if all goes well, or at least early next year. And the Mariners seem to want to give him a chance to prove he can catch before they think about moving him elsewhere.
And why exactly couldn't Ruben Amaro couldn't get anyone as good as Montero for Lee?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
I knew I'd get this question. The biggest question I've always had is why the Phillies, if they knew they wanted to trade Lee, didn't do what the Mariners have done -- shop him around for a couple of weeks and stoke the bidding to get the best offer. They were so concerned with public reaction and with keeping it quiet that they were moving him at all, that it looks as if they only targeted one team. By the way, I should mention that teams I've spoken with still like Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez, even though Gillies has basically been hurt all year and Ramirez hasn't done much this season until recently. But would either of them be considered as good a prospect as Montero? No way.
Is Seattle getting a good return for Lee or did Z shoot the M's in the foot here?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
If Jesus Montero is the centerpiece of this trade, he'll be the best player traded for Lee in any of the last three deals.
If the Yanks get Lee, who moves to the pen in the short-run?
Jayson Stark (1:23 PM)
The Yankees haven't sorted that out yet. As I'm guessing you've heard, they've been trying to limit Hughes' innings. So this gives them a chance to back off him a little while they figure it out. They could also mess with a six-man rotation. Or it's still most likely, I'd guess, that they deal Vazquez. I asked an official of one team how difficult or easy it would be for them to move him, and he said: "Easy." Might be the best starter besides Lee who ends up getting traded.
Why are the Yankees changing their recent philosophy and trading prospects for a player they'll likely sign in the offseason? What's different here than what happened with Santana and CC?
Jayson Stark (1:26 PM)
After this, I'm going to try to deal with some questions other than the Yankees, Cliff Lee and the fallout from that deal. But here's what's different: There's no position in their system where they have more depth than at catcher. I know several teams that like Austin Romine better, as an all-around big-league catcher, than Montero. And I've heard the Yankees love Gary Sanchez, another catching prospect in the lower minors. Plus Francisco Cervelli can catch. Plus, if they decide that Montero can't catch, they have no place to move him on the diamond.
How about a non-Lee question? Does Posey have a chance at the ROY? Has his power surprised you this early in his career?
Jayson Stark (1:27 PM)
Absolutely. Buster Posey is the real deal. In my midseason awards column, I gave Jaime Garcia the midseason ROY award. But a lot can change in the second half, with Jason Heyward coming back, Stephen Strasburg going out there every five days, Posey raking and one of the great rookie classes of recent times. If I were Jaime, I don't think I'd reserve a spot on my shelf for that trophy just yet.
At least you acknowledged Ubaldo pitches in Colorado. Getting tired of everyone bashing Rockies hitters for playing there. Anyhow, what are the Rocks chance in the 2nd half? they are normally a 2nd half team.
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
I hope people take into account Ubaldo's home park before they give the Cy Young to somebody else at the end of the year. Anyway, I still think the Rockies will win that division, assuming Tulowitzki makes any kind of impact down the stretch. I think they'll trade for a bat. And I think they're still the most talented team in that division.
Where is Oswalt heading?
Jayson Stark (1:30 PM)
My guess is still nowhere -- not this month, anyway.
Roger (Chicago )
Any good relievers likely to be dealt? With the ChiSox back in the race, Jenks and Thornton off the market, right?
Jayson Stark (1:30 PM)
It's going to be a tough year for relievers. Octavio Dotel? Matt Capps? Kerry Wood? Jason Frasor? It might not get much better than that.
Do you think the White Sox will trade for Zambrano if Hudson fails?
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
Will Uggla to Colorado finally happen? The Rockies need a righty that can hit lefies...he fits the bill. And the dynamic of him and Tulo would be interesting
Jayson Stark (1:32 PM)
Good fit. But the Marlins haven't opened up the shop yet. They're still debating whether to sell, or at least when.
Justin (New York, NY)
how could the NL cy young NOT go to Ubaldo???? i mean, Halladay has been very very good - but c'mon!!!!
Jayson Stark (1:33 PM)
Heard of Josh Johnson? Ubaldo has been awesome. But how 'bout this stat, which you can find in my awards column: He's on pace to have the most starts in a season, allowing 1 run or 0, since Bob Gibson! He's up to 12 already. He leads Ubaldo in almost every category on the stat sheet. The question, as I mentioned earlier, is how we factor in Coors Field.
Jayson Stark (1:33 PM)
Hate to cut this short. But I can only take one more.
The talk around Tampa is get Upton out. But doesn't it make sense to hold on to him for the year. You don't make progress selling low.
Jayson Stark (1:35 PM)
I agree. And sounds like they agree. If they trade him, I doubt it will be in midseason. And I don't know that it's real likely they'd trade him this winter, either. With Crawford leaving, Desmond Jennings can't play both left and center, can he? They still love his defense. So they're not just going to dump him. They'd need to get something good back.
Jayson Stark (1:35 PM)
Thanks again to everybody who checked in. Sorry I couldn't stay for the full hour. Just one of those weeks. Seeya next week in Chat Land.