Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Hi everybody, This week's Starting 9 is on the site. It's about the very unimpressive relief pitching market before the trade deadline. Let's get started.
Josh S. (Philly)
Should the phillies trade for roy oswalt? Does it sound like this will get done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Josh, Lots of Roy Oswalt questions right off the top. I know the Phillies are working hard on a trade for a starter, and Oswalt is on their list. I think people aren't paying close enough attention to the fact that Oswalt's no-trade clause gives him the final say. Even if the Phillies can assemble the pieces for a deal, I'm very skeptical that Oswalt will sign off on Philly. I don't think it's his kind of town, and the way the Phillies are playing, they might not be contenders pretty soon. Only the wild card is keeping them afloat.
will the braves make any more moves? if so, who do you think they will go after?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Jim, They'd obviously love an impact RH bat, and we've heard Cody Ross' name kicking around for a while. But the Marlins would try to hold them up on a deal for Ross -- especially since they're in the same division. The Braves have enough pitching that I don't think they have the same sense of urgency to make a trade as some other contenders.
Any chance the Orioles trade Guthrie or Tejada? Keep hearing about Wiggington, just wondering what they'd get for Guthrie or Miggy and who'd want them. Thanks for giving us O's fans a little face time, we need something to talk about.
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Jack, Those names are all in play, and I assume the price will come down as the deadline gets closer. Guthrie might be a decent alternative for teams that can't afford the price (in players or salary) that Haren or Oswalt would demand. If Andy MacPhail can find a taker for Tejada or Wigginton, I'm sure he would move them.
Jerry, do you think anyone in Philly's front office realizes (or cares) that WAR says Werth is their second-best position player, best with Utley out?
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Andrew, One thing worth noting about Werth: He's been awful this month when the Phils really needed him to step up in Utley's absence. That said, he is the big RH power bat on a team that's struggling for offense. I've had a hard time putting my finger on precisely why they're so anxious to move him. But there's no doubt they're shopping him around -- and pretty actively.
Tom (San Francisco, CA)
Whom else do you see the Jays moving? Are there specific teams that are on Buck? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Tom, As I mentioned in the Starting 9 today, Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are all in play. I've gotta think the Red Sox and Tigers have at least some degree of interest in Buck, but Boston is holding out hope that Victor Martinez will return in time to have an impact. I've heard Jose Bautista's name, but I don't think Alex Anthopoulos is real anxious to move him.
If the Phillies pull of this Oswalt for Werth 3-way swap, do their chances of making the playoffs really improve at all? The bullpen is still a mess, and no outside of Howard is hitting.
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Ethan, I agree. There's a real disconnect between what I'm seeing on the field and Ruben Amaro's purported agenda. But the Phillies expect the guys on their roster to hit eventually, because they have pedigrees. And Chase Utley will certainly help when he returns. They better hope they're still a postseason contender when that happens. They're a bad, lifeless team right now.
who is your NL cy young and NL mvp?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Scott, Josh Johnson is the NL Cy frontrunner, with Adam Wainwright definitely in the mix. I'd probably go with Joey Votto of the Reds as MVP, but it's hard to discount Albert Pujols. Don't look now, but he's got a 1.000 OPS in July.
Rich (Hailey, ID.)
Jerry, thanks as always for the great insights. My question is on the outfield wealth of riches the Cardinals suddenly find themselves with. Winn, the veteran, is hot. Craig and particularly Jon Jay are making huge contributions. Ludwick has started his rehab. If one presumes that the Cards would not consider trading Ludwick until Albert is resigned, whom among the group of three becomes trade bait? Or am I completely off base and do the Cards see the RF platoon of the future in Jay/Craig and shop Ludwick now? Thanks.....
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Rich, I don't know if John Mozeliak has given that much thought at the moment. The Cardinals have won seven straight and they're ready to make their big push. The short-term goals are beefing up the middle infield and acquiring another starter. One thing I'll say is that Randy Winn is a nice fit on that team as an extra outfielder. He's definitely more comfortable in the NL.
Andy (Sioux Falls, SD)
Jerry, after the Twins lost on Cliff Lee they have been pretty silent in trade rumors. Is a deal for starting pitching still likely?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Andy, The Twins are sniffing around on a starter and perhaps some bullpen help, but I was told yesterday not to be surprised if they "do nothing" at the deadline. Like a lot of teams, they're finding the prices on pitching help to be extraordinarily high. Unless the price comes down between now and July 31, a lot of teams are hesitant to make any kind of acquisition.
What are the chances the Astros move Oswalt by the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Reid, I'm not as optimistic as some of my media brethren seem to be. Oswalt is a small-town, unassuming guy, and I think he's going to go where he feels comfortable. He's earned that right. Unless it's a city where he feels like he has a really good chance to pitch in the postseason this year, he's going to think long and hard about signing off on a deal. That's just my sense.
David (Vernon Hills, IL)
What do the White Sox need more to stay in 1st, a starting pitcher or a left handed power stick like Adam dunn?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
David, Judging from all the chatter, Kenny Williams seems to feel that Adam Dunn is the guy. Now that the Dunn rumors have been splashed all over the place, I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny shifts direction. He loves to make unexpected stealth moves at the deadline.
Vincent (Dallas, TX)
How far can the Rangers go? Nomar picked them to go to the World Series.
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Vincent, They've got the potential now that Cliff Lee is in the mix. That's a heck of a lineup when it's rolling. But let's see how their pitching holds up in the August heat.
Jerry, the Phillies AAA put Dom Brown in left field for the first time last night, any chance Ibanze & not Werth is the one being moved?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Ryan, I don't see how any team would have interest in Ibanez, unless the Phillies pick up a ton of salary.
Aaron (New York)
Jerry, think the Giants have a shot of landing a bat like Werth or Dunn? Seems they need that one extra guy with pop and have the pitching to trade for it.
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Aaron, We've heard a lot of Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, etc. to San Francisco. But they're not going to trade Madison Bumgarner or Matt Cain, and I don't think they'd move Jonathan Sanchez for a rental hitter. I'm not sure what the point is in upgrading one area and weakening an area of strength for the team.
Bruce Bochey (San Fran)
What did you think of my move calling out Mattingly for taking a step off the mound?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Hey, If it helps win a game, anything is fair game to me.
I'm not a big fan of Sergio Mitre. Why wouldn't the Yankees bring up an Ian Nova and get him in the big leagues?
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Josh, Sergio Mitre has pitched well in spurts, and then he usually finds a way to get hurt. I think they'd like to squeeze a couple of respectable outings of him, and that might buy them time to think of a Plan B. He's just a temporary solution.
Andrew (San Diego)
Hey Jerry,i was wondering what the latest rumors about any possible Padres aquisitions. I know they want a big bat and another pitcher but any names?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Andrew, Corey Hart's name floated around quite a bit last week in San Diego. He's pretty streaky and he has the potential to look really bad when he's in a rut, but he does give them a complementary power presence in the middle of the order that they lack.
Your starting nine got me thinking, who has the best bullpen in baseball currently? For my money, I like the braves bullpen, but I think most people would say the padres.
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Jason, Mike Adams has an oblique injury, and that's not good news for the Padres. Personally I like Atlanta's pen. They also just added Mike Dunn, the former Yankees prospect, who throws gas. I heard they're getting a lot of trade feelers on him already.
Andy (Ann Arbor)
Do you see Dotel staying put are being dealt?
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Andy, I can see Neal Huntington moving Octavio Dotel, as long as he doesn't expect a big return for him. Dotel has been around the block, so he'll be comfortable pitching for a contender. But he's awful against lefties, so you have to use him in just the right way for him to be effective.
Mike (Des Moines)
Any chance Haren ends up in a Cardinal uniform at or before the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Mike, The word is that they're looking at Haren and Jake Westbrook, among others. It makes sense, if only because those are two guys that could benefit from a change of scenery and the Dave Duncan Midas touch. Haren requires a two-year, $29M commitment after this season, but if he were out there as a free agent, a lot of teams would make that commitment, wouldn't they?
Jerry, with the inconsitency of Lincecum, the shaky bullpen and Madison Bumgarner probably not going to continue to see the success he is having continue due to his K numbers and lack of velocity, do the Giants possibly make a move for MORE pitching?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Nic, I just checked and the Giants' bullpen ranks fourth in the majors in ERA. I know they've struggled a bit lately, but it's hard for a team to keep changing priorities based on short-term blips. As one front office guy told me yesterday, teams tend to overreact when bullpens struggle, because the losses are so gut-wrenching and hard to take.
With the braves needing help in the outfield, why did they never take a look at jermaine dye
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Izzo, He had an awful second half, and he was regarded as a major liability defensively. That and the increasing bias against players in their mid to late 30s really killed Dye's chances of finding a job.
Jeff (Oscoda, MI)
What do you see the Tigers doing in the next few weeks to help their lineup?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Jeff, I know they're looking for bullpen help. As for the lineup, they have to figure out what to do to replace Brandon Inge. Short-term, maybe they call up Scott Sizemore. There are a lot of third base options out there, like Miguel Tejada (or Ty Wigginton). My sense is that the Tigers aren't exactly thrilled by those scenarios.
Andy, do you see the Blue jays moving Scott Downs. If so, What do you think they could get for him?
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Mark, I address this in the Starting 9 today. Downs is very good, but he projects as a Type A free agent. So if the Blue Jays offer him salary arbitration in December and he signs elsewhere, Toronto receives two draft picks in return. The return in trade has to be better than that, so GM Alex Anthopoulos is asking for a lot in return. My guess is that he's not going anywhere.
The Mets, Tigers and Dodgers have been just awful since the All-Star break. Is this a sign that pre-break they were playing over there heads or just a bad week?
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Jason, The Tigers were helped by some lousy interleague competition. The Dodgers have some holes in their rotation. And the Mets need guys like Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran to step it up. Now that they're healthy, there's no reason for Jerry Manuel's team to be this bad offensively. The Mets are also 19-29 on the road. That's not going to get it done.
You don't even mention Ubaldo for Nl Cy Young? He's had 4 bad starts, just cause they were recent doesn't mean he is out of the convo, right?
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Will, No, he's not out of the conversation (and I certainly didn't mean to slight him). But the competition is so fierce this year, four or five starts are enough to put you behind a couple of guys. I can't justify putting Jimenez ahead of Josh Johnson at this point, for sure.
The Angels, being 5 back, need to do something.Robinson Tejada and David Dejesus would both help this team.Possible?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Spencer, There are a lot of names floating around that might help give the Angels' offense a pick me up. (Alberto Callaspo, Jorge Cantu, Adam LaRoche, etc.). Mike Scioscia also needs to find a way to get Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui going. Those two guys are both starting to show their age.
The Cubs next manager is.....
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Nick, I don't see how they can go with anybody other than Ryne Sandberg. He's a Hall of Famer and franchise icon who didn't mind doing the dirty work and learning the trade in the minors. I think it would be a real slap at Sandberg and a potential PR debacle if they pick somebody else. Joe Torre, maybe. But he's 70 years old, and I wonder how much energy he has left for the grind. I don't see the Joe Girardi thing happening, either.
Chris (San Diego, CA)
Jerry, do you see the padres trading Mike Adams or Luke Gregerson for a bat?
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Chris, As I mentioned earlier, Mike Adams has an oblique injury. I can't see Jed Hoyer undermining his bullpen -- a major strength of that team -- to improve the offense. The Padres have to do it with players who aren't integral to this season's surprising run.
Mike (Rochester, NY)
Jerry,are any teams are interested in Fukudome and/or Lilly from the Cubs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Mike, I know Jayson Stark mentioned Ted Lilly in conjunction with the Tigers yesterday. I'm sure he'd have some appeal to several clubs. Fukudome, I can't see him going anywhere.
Is it just me or do the Rangers seem very similar to the 2008 Rays? Very good starting pitching, strong bullpen, explosive offense, homegrown talent from a stellar farm system. I think this could be a legitimate WS contender.
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Rob, In some ways, I guess. But Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus came from other places, so I'm not so sure about the "homegrown" part. And we'll see how Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter and CJ Wilson hold up in support of Cliff Lee down the stretch.
Do you see the Rockies making any moves like going after Uggla? What about other things you are hearing?
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Craig, From what I've heard, it sounds as if the Marlins are more likely to keep Uggla now. The Rockies need some production at first base, but I'm not sure if Uggla could have played there, anyway. We'll see if Todd Helton has anything left in the tank once he returns from the DL. Brad Eldred?
Pirates have been raking the last couple games even with McCutchen out. Sign of hope that we could have a ML-caliber offense next year? Now, if we could only get some pitching...
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Mike, I really like Neil Walker -- I think he's going to be a good player. And there's no question about Pedro Alvarez's pop. If he doesn't get too overwhelmed trying to learn to hit against lefties in the big leagues, he could be OK. If I'm a Pirates fan, I at least have to enjoy seeing the enthusiasm and flashes of talent that these kids show. It sure beats the alternative.
Hey Jerry, am I stupid to think that Carlos Santana can be like a Youkilis at the plate? He seems to get on base every game and hits for average. I love this kid!! And what do you think about him behind the plate? He has made some great plays since the AS-Break!! Thanks Jerry!!
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Mike, He really knows what he's doing at the plate, although I'm not sure about the Kevin Youkilis comparisons. It's tough for a young catcher to hit in the big leagues while handling all the responsibilities of running a pitching staff, but Santana looks like the real deal. Now the Indians just need to find about six more like him.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
Jerry, how might a signing of Westbrook or Haren potentially affect locking up Pujols to a long-term deal after this season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Eric, I don't think John Mozeliak is going to do anything that would have an adverse effect on locking up Albert Pujols longterm. He's an entity unto himself. They have to sign him, or there will be a revolt in that city.
hi jerry, who do you think the reds will aquire before the deadline? and who will they let go to aquire these players?
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Brian, They're another team looking for bullpen help, but Walt Jocketty just signed Russ Springer and has an offer out to Jason Isringhausen, so they might go that route. I'm interested in seeing what happens with Aroldis Chapman. Great stuff, but the walk totals in Triple-A are still a little too high for comfort. The Reds are doing the right thing for his longterm development by not rushing him.
If the Mets continue to play bad the rest of the West Coast trip will Jerry still be their manager next week?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Vinny, I don't think I could stand another Jerry Manuel Death Watch, personally. Jason Bay is hitting .261 with 6 home runs. That's not Jerry Manuel's fault.
With all the injuries the Sox are facing right now, do you see them being aggressive at the deadline or just holding out hope that everyone comes back healthy soon? They're only 3.5 out of the WC playing 2 months with half a AAA team.
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Ryan, I think Theo Epstein and his group are still trying to figure that out. They really need to maintain contact during this killer West Coast trip. If they can hang tough until Pedroia, Victor & Co. come back, they might be able to get by without doing a mega-deal.
Andrew (Dinuba, CA)
As an A's fan, I have become accustomed to trade deadline moves. Seems like Oakland is always a picking ground for contenders. Anyone leaving the A's this year?
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Andrew, I think a lot of teams have interest in Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow out of the bullpen, but I don't get the sense Billy Beane is in a huge rush to move them. Ben Sheets is a possibility, but is he really an upgrade for a contending club? When the A's signed him to a one-year deal, I'm sure they envisioned he'd be better than this and they could flip him at the deadline. That 4-9 record isn't helping his trade value very much.
You said Jerry is not responsible for Bay, but how bout the fact that Despite slumping he never gives players a day off, can't the underperformance be blamed on him
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Tom, Fair enough -- although Bay's problems seem to go beyond fatigue.
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. I'm heading to Cooperstown this weekend for the Hall of Fame inductions. That's always a great time. Then it's on to the trade deadline. Let's do it again next week.