Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Hey everybody, Since I'll Have Another is out of the Belmont, it looks like we'll have to pin our Triple Crown hopes on Josh Hamilton this year. Let's start the chat.
Danny (Kenosha, WI)
What are the Brewers going to do with Zack Greinke?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Danny, I still think the Brewers have a decent chance to keep Greinke, if only because the big market clubs that would typically throw lots of money at him have reservations about how he would handle a high-pressure environment. But the longer things go, the more incentive he has to hit the open market. The longer into the season he keeps pitching and stays healthy, the more the contract leverage tilts his way.
Hello Mr.Crasnick.Could you give me some insight on Justin Smoak.A couple of weeks ago he seemed to be a bust written all over him, now he looks like he might become the key piece of the franchise.Which Smoak is the real one? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Take, Justin Smoak has been better the last couple of weeks, but he still has a .679 OPS. And from what I've seen, heard and read, he still has issues with breaking stuff and catching up to the real high-octane fastballs. I think he can be an average-production type first baseman, but I don't know if he's ever going to fulfill that "star" potential
Who is the best manager in baseball in regards to getting the most out of their everyday players? Pitchers?
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Kevin, It changes year to year. But so far this season, Terry Collins, Don Mattingly and Buck Showalter have done the best jobs getting the most out of their talent. Did you see the lineup the Dodgers ran out against the Phillies yesterday? I have no idea how that team is 37-21. They really play well together as a group.
Do you think SS Corey Seager, who is the #22 overall prospect for the Draft, will sign once he is drafted or fulfill his commitment and attend the University of South Carolina?
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Tyner, Seager is a Scott Boras advisee, and that always tends to complicate matters. But I'm sure Logan White and the Dodgers picked him with the anticipation that he'll sign. The risks of blowing a first-round pick are too high now for teams to go into the process with major doubts.
Jerry, the Dodgers have been able to win without Kemp, but need help. What about going for Ryan Dempster/Bryan LaHair? Dempster would provide a stabilizing influence in the rotation and LaHair would be an offensive upgrade over Loney
Jerry Crasnick (1:11 PM)
Craig, The Dodgers are looking for offensive help and another starter, so that's an interesting combo to consider. The question, obviously, is Theo Epstein's asking price. I assume the Cubs are scoping out the Dodgers' farm system, along with a bunch of other farm systems. And then there's the additional question of what you do with Loney.
If Jerry Dipoto would to put Ervin Santana and Peter Bourjos on the trading block would MLB teams consider any of this two players?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Jesse, There would be interest. But when you look back at what those two players could have fetched in a trade even last winter, it would be a classic case of Jerry DiPoto "selling low" if he tried to move them right now.
Kris Park Hills,MO [via mobile]
I read about Blue Jays possibly trading a catcher. Would they trade Arencibia or d'Arnauld, and why?
Jerry Crasnick (1:13 PM)
Kris, Catching is such a valuable commodity, Alex Anthopoulos would be entitled to shoot for the moon if he traded one of those guys (especially D'Arnaud). I don't think he's in any rush to make a move there.
Zach Williams (Nashua NH)
Hey Jerry, in your opinion do you think the Orioles are for real?
Jerry Crasnick (1:15 PM)
Zach, I would feel a lot better about them if Arrieta and Matusz could step forward and give them more consistent outings. I still think the Orioles should consider it a successful year if they finish .500. But the rest of the AL East is so jumbled, they might stick around longer than everybody expected.
Dave (Orange, CA)
Jerry, What's your thoughts on Jerry Dipoto and his new front office? Will he be active during the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Dave, Jerry Dipoto is a really smart guy (I covered him when he pitched in Colorado), and he's surrounded himself with some very capable guys with people like Scott Servais, Matt Klentak and Hal Morris. I just wonder if he's on the same page with Mike Scioscia, and whether that could lead to problems. I'm also not sure where Arte Moreno fits into the equation. Dipoto is like a mad scientist when it comes to thinking up trades, so I'm sure he'll make every effort to do something at the deadline.
Ya know who definitely is NOT the best manager in MLB by any measure? Hint: He resides in my hometown.
Jerry Crasnick (1:18 PM)
CC, I think you just set a new land speed record for the obligatory derogatory Fredi Gonzalez rip.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Jerry, could a 9 game road trip to Baltimore, Minnesota and Toronto be exactly what the doctor ordered for the fading Phillies?
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Matthew, It probably can't hurt them to get away from Citizens Bank Park. Unfortunately, Charlie Manuel will be taking the same roster with him. They're just an offensively-challenged group at the moment, and that bullpen is less than stellar.
zach(lititz pa ) [via mobile]
are the pirates for real?
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Zach, Personally, I don't see it. But Clint Hurdle does a very good job of squeezing every drop out of the talent given him (I neglected to mention him earlier). And Ray Searage has to be one of baseball's most underrated pitching coaches.
How about the job Bruce Bochy has done this year. Big injuries to Wilson, Sanchez and Sandoval, no production from first base at all and Lincecum has been a non factor. You have to believe once Sandoval comes back and if Timmy can even be a 500 pitcher the rest of the way, the Giants are going to be right on the tails of the Dodgers come September.
Jerry Crasnick (1:23 PM)
Jeff, Very astute post. I agree with all of it. And they're obviously helped by the extra wild card spot, the disappointing play of the D-backs and the fact the NL East teams will all be beating up on each other in September.
do you think terry francona will return to managing any time soon?
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Alex, I don't have any special insight into this, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Terry Francona is back in the dugout next year. He's great on TV, but I think he has managing in his blood. It has to be a team with a chance to contend, however.
Jay (Long Island, NY)
Hey Jerry; I know its unconventional to like the guy, but Bobby V has done a pretty good job with the Sox. Look at the boxscores and see the team he is forced to run out there every day and tell me they are not lucky to be only 3 games out of first!!
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
Jay, Yep, Bobby seems to have found his footing there after a rocky start. I don't think too many people figured the would be hanging around .500 with all the injuries. Thank god for Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
JP (Columbus, OH)
I see your Fredi Gonzalez and raise you a Dusty Baker. The guy still doesn't understand that your best on-base guys should be batting in front of Votto, not behind him.
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
JP, But he did conclude that Todd Frazier is better than Willie Harris, right? Doesn't that count as a positive?
Dave (Orange, CA)
Jerry, How important is a Hitting Coach on MLB Team?
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Dave, It's a very tough position to assess. And sometimes a guy's message might get stale in one place and he can benefit from a change of scenery. I know the Braves really like Greg Walker. And Jeff Manto, the guy who replaced him in Chicago, is doing a great job with the White Sox. I think it's an important job, but also an easy position to scapegoat when things are going wrong.
Although the Reds have a great bullpen and are able to pound out homeruns, how tough of a season do you think the Reds are gonna have from here on out?
Jerry Crasnick (1:31 PM)
Zach, Their pitching staff is fifth in the NL with a 3.55 ERA. If they can come close to maintaining that, they have a pretty good shot to win the division.
Youkilis ... staying or traded? And, if traded, where?
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Rob, I still think Ben Cherington will move him, if only because there are so many contending clubs that could use an impact RH bat. The Indians, Phillies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks, to name a few. I would only be guessing if I told you where I think he might be going.
Bob (San Diego)
Will Andrew Cashner be an upgrade in the rotation? What's his ceiling?
Jerry Crasnick (1:35 PM)
Bob, He might wind up as a closer in the end, simply because he throws 100 and can overpower hitters. He'll have to develop consistency with his secondary stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. But San Diego is one of the best places in baseball to develop, because of Petco Park and the Bud Black-Darren Balsley coaching support system.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Mark Appell's career fall into the category of former Cardinal standouts Jack McDowell and Mike Mussina? Or that of highly touted pitchers who did not fare well such as Kyle Peterson?
Jerry Crasnick (1:37 PM)
Tony, Geez, It's pretty rough to proclaim him another Kyle Peterson. But I'm not ready to come out and proclaim him a future 270-game winner either. He definitely has front of the rotation potential, and the thought of him, Cole and Taillon in the same rotation is very intriguing. First the Pirates have to get him signed.
The Carlos Zambrano trade is looking MASSIVELY one sided.
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Falco, Zambrano is a walking endorsement for anger management. I watched him pitch this week, and he has a completely different demeanor on the mound. It's also impressive the way he's learned to pitch with less velocity on the fastball. Props to him for re-inventing himself.
I'm sympathetic to the "trade Soriano now now now" contingent, but it should be understood that the Cubs will almost certainly a) be required to eat all or nearly all of his salary, and b) received little in the way of talent in return. Do you agree, and if so, doesn't it make sense to retain him? He still has some value, even to a team like the Cubs that is in rebuilding mode.
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
Dan, Every deal that Theo Epstein considers has to be viewed through the same prism: How will it make the Cubs better two or three years from now? If the Cubs are going to move Soriano, they'd have to eat most or all of the salary to get a decent prospect in return. I'm not really sure it's worth the time and effort.
i have a feeling strasburg or harper will be in a yankee uniform in 7 years, with a rods contract off the books it seems very likely
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Alex, That's pretty far down the road. At present, it's worth noting that the Nationals have more Scott Boras clients than anyone. As long as Mike Rizzo is around, the Nationals will have an open dialogue with Boras and a chance to attract or keep his players
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is there any hope for my A's to once again become serious AL contenders in the near future?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Tony, It's a challenging proposition in that division, because they're outgunned by the Rangers and Angels in terms of resources. And it's not going to change as long as they're in that ballpark. It's guerilla warfare for them every year.
When will Devin Mesoraco start to play more? I'm tired of seeing Hanigan and you might as wellplay the young guy, right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:47 PM)
Quinn, I suggested this on Twitter recently, and it started quite a debate. I can understand why Dusty likes Hanigan, because he's a handy guy who works well with the pitchers and gets on base. But it looks like Mesoraco is on track to get about 200 at-bats this year. Wouldn't he be better served playing 5 or 6 days a week in Louisville? Reds fans might have a better answer to that question than I do.
Charles (San Jose)
Why did the A's let Peter Brand go?
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Charles, I think the A's dumped Peter Brand because he had a lucrative deal to co-star in "21 Jump Street."
Did Barry Zito fing the fountain of youth somewhere in northern California? He has to be comeback player of the year right now in the NL.
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Al, That 39-to-28 strikeout to walk ratio makes me think he's living on borrowed time, but I'm happy for Zito. He's a good guy who's taken a lot of shots in recent years and been very professional about it. Glad to see him pitching well.
Jason (St Louis)
Yes, but you have to also consider trading Soriano is addition by subtraction. Between his defense and low obp they would most likely improve just by putting someone else in his place.
Jerry Crasnick (1:51 PM)
Jason, Yep, That's an obvious consideration: Who do you throw out there in left field if Soriano hits the road?
Matt Wieters....best overall catcher in the AL?
Jerry Crasnick (1:53 PM)
Jack, He's great defensively, but he has really leveled off at the plate after a great start. He still has to prove he can maintain it offensively over an entire season (last year's 22 HRs notwithstanding)
What is going on with Rickie Weeks? I've stubbornly held onto him in fantasy, but this is rough.
Jerry Crasnick (1:55 PM)
Alex, He's a mystery, for sure. I checked the other day, and it's not as if he's swinging at a lot of balls outside the strike zone or being impatient. You always have to wonder if a guy is healthy when he's been this bad -- especially when he has some history with hand/wrist type injuries.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Have you been impressed with Christian Friedrich? Granted, small sample size, but he has looked tremendous...
Jerry Crasnick (1:56 PM)
Scott, He's looked good at times and more hittable on other occasions. I talked to a scout who told me that since he throws over the top, his fastball is straighter than a lot of lefties. He could probably benefit from adding more deception to his delivery. But maybe that would just cause him other problems.
Did someone put an injury hex on the Royals this year?
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
James, They're not the only ones. But I have to admit, I can't recall too many teams that have had three pitchers undergo Tommy John surgery in the same year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
I have time for one more question, folks. Thanks for coming onto the chat. Let's do it again next week.
What are your expectations for the All-Star game in KC? I think the city will put on a pretty good show, hopefully the heat stays away that week.
Jerry Crasnick (1:59 PM)
James, I'm looking forward to the All-Star Game in KC, because I haven't been there in a while. I saw the Royals last week in Baltimore and asked some of them for barbecue recommendations. Kauffman Stadium is a beautiful park, so I'm sure they'll put on a great show.
Jerry Crasnick (1:59 PM)
Thanks again, everybody. Let's talk soon.