Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hi everybody, Let's begin the chat. I'm all dressed up in my Brian Wilson tuxedo (not) and ready to go.
brad (new orleans)
If the Rays were to fall any further out of contention for the playoffs. Wouldn't now be a perfect time for them to "sell high" on Shields? They couldn't have given him away at the end of last year and now his value may be at an all-time high.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Brad, Interesting question. Andrew Friedman is a smart guy, and the Rays are now 7 games out in the AL East. If it's 8-10 games out in a week, I think he'll listen seriously on both James Shields and B.J. Upton. The Rays are never hesitant to make bold moves, and Shields would be an extremely valuable commodity with the lack of top-shelf starting pitching available at the deadline. It's worth keeping an eye on.
John C (Alcoa, TN)
Will the Phillies get a RH bat, or any bat? Also, I have heard that Lidge is having control issues in AAA. Is that tru? If so, it's nice to see him back to normal!(HAHA)
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
John, From everything I'm hearing, the Phillies are more focused on bullpen upgrades than RH bats. San Diego, Oakland, Toronto and a couple of other teams have bullpen pieces they could move at the deadline. Lidge just pitched back-to-back days for the first time in Reading, but he's going to need more time. Shoulder injuries are the toughest thing to assess.
Jerry Crasnick (1:06 PM)
Dusty, They'll listen on Melky, Francoeur and Jeff Francis, but from what I'm hearing, they haven't gotten any major hits on those guys yet. (And no hits at all on Bruce Chen). Joakim Soria is the big fish there, and as always, Dayton Moore would want the sun and the moon in exchange for him. Hey, it never hurts to ask.
So when do the Nats make a trade for a CF and who do you think it'll be (Upton, Bourn, Borbon)? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
DJ, I don't know if it's fair to say that Mike Rizzo is "obsessed" with BJ Upton, but from everything you hear, that's the guy he wants the most. Andrew Friedman will ask for a lot for Upton, under the theory that BJ is destined to tap into his potential and become a star one of these years. (It sure hasn't happened yet)
Jerry, what MLB team will have a fire sale?
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Joey, I don't know if "fire sale" is the operative term, but the consensus is that Jed Hoyer and the Padres will be very busy. (Heath Bell, Chad Qualls, maybe Adams or Gregerson, Aaron Harang and Ryan Ludwick could all be on the move).
Is Bourn a legitimate trade option for the Braves?
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Clay, I don't see that as a fit. Bourn is better than Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth, but the Braves are looking for an impact RH bat rather than another speedy LH singles and doubles hitter.
Kyle (Cheshire, CT)
J-Man, would it be plausable for a Rasmus for Matt Moore swap between the Redbirds and the Rays? I know the Rays have always loved Rasmus as a player, and now that it looks like he's on his way out of STL, could you see that happen? The other option I've heard would be Rasmus-Shields swap.
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Kyle, As intriguing as Colby Rasmus might be as a player, I don't see any way the Rays trade Matt Moore. Scouts at the Futures Game were absolutely gushing over that kid. The other deal seems a bit more plausible to me, because the Rays could shed some salary, and Colby Rasmus is their type of player (young and affordable). But I don't know if that has been discussed at all.
What would it take for the Indians to trade for Carlos Beltran? Would it be as a rental or with the intention of re-signing him? Would it be worth it?
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Adam, I think the Indians are trafficking more in the Josh Willingham-Ryan Ludwick market than being a viable landing place for Beltran. He's making $8 million, and that's too pricey for Cleveland.
Matt (Denver, CO)
This Ubaldo trade talk in my opinion is all a bunch of new york media trying to hunt out a trade possibility for the Yankees and has no basis in reality. I don't see any benefit to the Rockies in trading him. Why does this story of legs?
Jerry Crasnick (1:16 PM)
Matt, It has legs because writers need something to keep them occupied at this time of the summer. Look, I'm sure Dan O'Dowd will listen on Ubaldo, but he told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he's going to need a "Herschel Walker" type of return to move the guy. Again, it never hurts to ask. I always find it funny when writers and bloggers get so worked up over a GM asking for a huge haul for a valuable commodity. Why shouldn't O'Dowd shoot the moon?
Dave (Bean Town)
Any truth to the Reyes to Boston rumors? Good fit?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Dave, From everything I'm hearing (and lots of other people have reported), Jose Reyes will still be a Met on August 1.
Any new rumors on a trade by the Rangers for pen help?
Jerry Crasnick (1:18 PM)
John, The feeling is that Texas is at the front of the line for Bell, Adams or one of those San Diego relievers. It makes sense to me. Jon Daniels needs to go for it, and that's one area of the club that really needs shoring up.
Joseph (Sacramento, CA)
Knowing that the Nats pushed hard for Greinke over the offseason, is there any way they could be silently trying to go after Jimenez from the Rockies? He would would make for a very formidable rotation for the Nats in '12 with Strasburg and Zimmermann. Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Joseph, Again, I think people are overstating Ubaldo Jimenez's availability. Would Mike Rizzo still want him if he had to give up Jordan Zimmermann and Danny Espinosa in return? That's the type of haul I assume that Dan O'Dowd would be asking for. (What the heck, he might even ask for Stephen Strasburg while he's at it)
What's the latest rumor swirl surrounding the Reds, Jerry?
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Slater, Now that Zack Cozart is up, JJ Hardy has been signed and Jose Reyes is out of play, I don't see the Reds making a SS push. They'd love to add a top of the rotation starter. But if you can find one out there who's been than what they have, let me know.
Hi Jerry. FA question for you. The Indians hold team options for 2012 for both Sizemore and Carmona. If the Indians decide to let both of them go, would they still receive draft pick compensation? Do teams get draft pick compensation when they decline a team option and the player signs somewhere else? I am assuming that if both are not traded...that they will not be back in 2012. Thanks Jerry.
Jerry Crasnick (1:25 PM)
Matt, Believe it or not, I checked with the players union and I have an answer for you. Sizemore would be a free agent, so the Indians can decline his option and still offer him salary arbitration this winter. That would entitle them to draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Carmona is only a 5-plus service time guy. The Indians can still decline his option and tender him a contract. That means he would return to the team and be eligible for salary arbitration. There'll be a quiz at the end of the chat on this.
Just a strange question, but if Nolan Ryan got up on the mound right now, how hard do you think he'd top out at, 80s?
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
Ryan, That's a great question. He threw out the first pitch at a postseason game last year, and I swear he registered in the mid 80s. Let's hope that Big Tex's health is fine and this current bout of heart pain is nothing serious. Best wishes, Nolan.
Anibal Sanchez and Ubaldo are the only guys I can think of, but of course the availability of these guys is in question. I just want the Volquez of '09 back and there is our #1!
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
Slater, I don't think Anibal Sanchez is available, but it would take an awful lot for the Marlins to part with him. Again, James Shields would significantly alter the equation if the Rays make him available at the deadline. Andrew Friedman has a big trump card to throw out there in a week if he so desires.
In your mind, what would be the most intriguing World Series match-up for you?
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
John, I guess the Phillies vs. the Red Sox or Yankees would be a great matchup. Personally speaking, I would get an awfully big kick out of seeing the Indians and Pirates in the World Series. I'm not kidding -- how much fun would that be?
Mr Mike (Chicago)
Hi Jerry..Is it time for umps to have their stats posted for all to see..I keep hearing that each game is reviewed and scored as to ball/strikes and safe/out calls...after a brutal call in the Cubs game at second base...I think it's time for the umps stats to be shown just like the players
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
Mr. Mike, Interesting concept, but somehow I don't see Umpires union president Joe West being a big proponent of that idea.
Steve (Butler, OH)
Sizemore goes down again and SP starting to fade. Which one do the tribe need more, an arm or a bat.
Jerry Crasnick (1:31 PM)
Steve, My understanding (at least as of a week ago) is that Chris Antonetti is focusing more on bats. They'll look internally with the Jeanmar Gomezes and David Huffs if they need starting help. (Indeed, they're doing that already)
The Phillies are overrated. Their hitting doesn't scare anyone, their bullpen is suspect and their starters, while very good, still haven't won anything on the big stage, minus Cole Hamels. Tell me why the Braves can't catch them or take them out in the playoffs like the Giants did last year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Adam, Hey, I picked the Braves to win the World Series (I like to think outside the box). But if you think the Phillies are overrated, you haven't had to stand in the box against Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or Hamels lately. Any team with that rotation has a chance to be a force in October.
Jack (Bronx, NY)
Jerry, I know the answer to this likely varies from team to team, but who do you think is generally seen by GMs as having more overall value in a potential deal deadline deal with the Yankees: Jesus Montero or Ivan Nova?
Jerry Crasnick (1:34 PM)
Jack, I guess it depends on whether you think Jesus Montero can catch or if he's strictly a DH. But I'd go with Montero. He's not having a great season in the minors, but he's still very young.
Should the White Sox be in a "hold" status at the trade deadline? lf so, they'll have to put Kenny in a sensory deprivation chamber until August 1.
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
Mike, Yeah, it's not in Kenny's DNA to be an innocent bystander at the deadline. But they're in a weird spot. How can you trade pitching for a bat when Adam Dunn has $50M plus still owed him and he's hitting .160?
Are there any legitimate Astros trade rumors at this point? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (1:38 PM)
Lars, Opposing teams are having a hard time figuring out the Astros. They have some valued commodities in Pence, Wandy Rodriguez and Bourn, but it's tough for Ed Wade to do the fire sale thing when new ownership is coming in and his job security is hanging by a threat. They're definitely listening on Wandy and Brett Myers. I think it's going to take a lot for someone to pry Hunter Pence loose. My guess is that he's still there after the deadline.
Max (Rockwood, Tn.)
Why have all writers ignored the threat of HGH? There are definite signs major turnarounds is some careers, Papi, etc.MLB has swept this threat under the carpet. Only pressure from the press can force some action.
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Max, I've always been uncomfortable with this topic, because I have a hard time trashing someone's character based strictly on their statistical production. As writers, are we supposed to cry "HGH" every time a player has a career resurgence? Maybe there's a professional way to do it, but I haven't figured it out yet.
Boy, Ian Kennedy would sure look nice in pinstripes wouldn't he?
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
Steven, Yes, he would. On the other hand, you have to wonder if he would be putting up the same numbers against DH-laden lineups in the American League than he is this year against the NL West. I'm not knocking Kennedy, but there's definitely a distinction.
Wow, if Shields becomes available, I would be willing to give up a package of Alonso, Grandal, and then one of Leake, Bailey, Wood. Maybe even more. Of course, I'm not Mr. Jocketty ....Paging Walt....
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Slater, The Reds have a nice core of young guys at the upper levels of the minors, and Walt Jocketty has a history of making bold moves at the deadline. So they're another team worth keeping an eye on.
John (Brookhaven, PA)
If the Mets are willing to eat most or all of Beltran's salary, isn't there a deal to be made if you're Ruben Amaro Jr.?
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
John, I can't see the Mets spending $8M to subsidize Philadelphia's World Series run. If that happens, Sandy Alderson might ask for the entire Clearwater Thresher starting rotation.
Do think the White Sox have enough to win the AL Central?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Crash, I've gotten mixed reviews. One scout told me their lineup is too old and slow. But another guy today said they definitely have the best pitching. I think the AL Central is flawed enough, it's just begging for the Sox to make a run.
Do you think the Cards are interested in Jeff Francis? He fits the mold of a Dave Duncan pitcher.
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Jake, I don't think the Cardinals have expressed any interest in Jeff Francis. But I will say this: The guy is a lot better than his 3-11 record suggests. He's churned out a bunch of quality starts, and his stuff would play pretty well for an NL team looking for depth. But is he a guy you would automatically send out there in a postseason series -- a bona fide difference maker? Not really. Those guys just aren't out there this year.
Assuming the Mets front office agrees to pay a majority, if not all of Beltran's remaining contract, is it out of the realm of possibility that they could net a big time minor leaguer?
Jerry Crasnick (1:49 PM)
Alan, If the Mets pick up most or all of Beltran's salary, they'll definitely be looking for a primo prospect or two. If another club picks up most of the $8M, the prospect haul will be much lighter. That's what the Mets have told potential Beltran suitors.
Fonzo Honolulu [via mobile]
What do the dodgers do at the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (1:52 PM)
Fonzo, I don't see them trading Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, because that would be a PR nightmare. Hiroki Kuroda's name keeps coming up in speculation, but he has a full-no trade clause, so that really limits the universe of suitors. Did somebody say "Jamey Carroll"?
what do you see the marlins doing at the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (1:54 PM)
Donny, They've been on a bit of a roll lately, but they're still too far out to make a run. I think we're looking mainly at bullpen pieces like Leo Nunez, Randy Choate, Brian Sanches et al. being shopped around at the deadline.
The Twins: Buyers or sellers?
Jerry Crasnick (1:55 PM)
Josh, I think they're buyers, but they're primarily looking at a bullpen piece or two to ease the load on Glen Perkins, Joe Nathan and Matt Capps.
Seth A (Moline, IL)
Crane Kenney, Jim Hendry, Mike Quade. All three gone? Two of the three? Ricketts have to make some serious changes right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:56 PM)
Seth, I keep hearing that Jim Hendry isn't in as much trouble as everybody says, but I have no great insight into what Tom Ricketts is thinking. It seems that Cubs fans want some heads to roll, and they're getting more exasperated that Ricketts is this nice guy who appears hesitant to make bold decisions. But the pressure is mounting for something drastic to happen there.
What does Jim Thome have to do to get Derek Jeter type of press?
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Todd, I hear ya. On the other hand, it's tough for Thome to build up any kind of momentum because he keeps picking up nagging injuries and can't stay in the lineup for more than 2-3 games in a row. But as he gets closer to 600, Thome will get more attention from the national media. He's one of the most beloved guys in baseball, so it's certainly no reflection on him personally.
Chris (Carnegie, PA)
Do you see the Bucs making any significant moves? If so, what position should they target, with Pedro Alvarez being such a wildcard?
Jerry Crasnick (2:00 PM)
Chris, Neal Huntington is targeting a lot of bats. But the Pirates will get Ryan Doumit back shortly, Steve Pearce is hitting well in Triple A and there's a chance that Pedro will straighten himself out here in the next few weeks. It's a longterm process in Pittsburgh, so Huntington isn't going to do something just for the sake of doing it.
Any news on the Jays? I'd think that they'd be seriously interested in Rasmus..
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
TC, I see Toronto shopping Rauch, Francisco, Frasor and the relievers. But to me, Colby Rasmus is more of an offseason deal than a midseason pickup. You're certainly not going to get him for Jon Rauch.
Do the tigers have anything up there sleeve by the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (2:03 PM)
Ed, The Tigers want to upgrade the pitching, but they don't think guys like Jason Marquis, Aaron Harang or even Jeremy Guthrie are appreciably better than what they have right now. And the Derek Lowe-to-Detroit speculation has been seriously overblown. If the Rays make James Shields available, I can definitely see Dave Dombrowski jumping into the fray. But I'm not sure the Tigers have enough in the system to land him.
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. Let's do it again next week.