Chat with Jayson Stark
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark will drop in to chat some baseball.
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 Tuesday at noon ET!
Jayson Stark (12:01 PM)
Greetings! We have two weeks to the trading deadline, so I know you've got a million questions. Let's get rolling!
Will the Nats make a trade at the deadline or just wait for Storen, Werth, and Tracy to return?, which is basically like making a trade.
Jayson Stark (12:02 PM)
I think they will. Mike Rizzo is always aggressive, and he has a chance to win. So he won't just sit back and watch from afar. I keep hearing that he's likely to trade for another starting pitcher, since he's about to shut one of his starters down. You might have heard something about that. Right?
Alright Jayson, look into your crystal ball...will Dempster's next start be with the Cubs or with someone else? If someone else, who's leading the pack - Tigers? Dodgers? Someone else?
Jayson Stark (12:04 PM)
I'm going to guess for someone else. I was told by one team that spoke with them that they'd like to move him this week. I'm betting Red Sox or Tigers. But that's just a hunch at this point.
Phils are 10 games out of the wild card... Winners of 3 in a row (for the first time since May).... All the big names are now back and ready to roll....tell me they can make a run...
Jayson Stark (12:06 PM)
I don't see it, Travis. They haven't won a series against a team that isn't now in last place since May. I know they're getting healthier, but they'd have to play at just about an insane pace to pass seven teams. As I said on Mike and Mike this morning, to get to 91 wins, they'd have to go 51-20. They've just come off a stretch where they went EIGHT and 20. So it's just not realistic. Sorry.
Ryan W (Pittsburgh)
Other than Carlos Quentin, who are the low cost OF bats that could be delt?
Jayson Stark (12:08 PM)
I don't know what your definition of "low-cost" is. But if you're talking about second-tier type bats, that group would include Juan Pierre, Mark Kotsay, Jeff Francoeur, David DeJesus. Shouldn't take a whole lot to trade for any of them.
Chuggies (Parts Unknown)
How about the Marlins? Should they buy or sell? Buster said this morning they could make everyone available including JJ and Stanton. That doesn't seem realistic to me.
Jayson Stark (12:10 PM)
I think they're going to wind up doing some limited selling, but I'd be shocked if it ends up being that dramatic. They might "listen" on anyone, including Johnson and Stanton. But I doubt they'd want to send that message to their fan base that they're even remotely in fire-sale mode, not in the middle of Year One of that new ballpark. I'd predict the exit of Infate, Sanchez and maybe Carlos Lee. But I doubt we'd see anything more dramatic than that in midseason.
Rumors abound regarding the Braves making a move for a top starter -- Greinke, Shields, Dempster. Do you see that happening or are they more likely to go for a mid-rotation guy like Liriano or Garza?
Jayson Stark (12:12 PM)
I hear they're only interested in a top-of-the-rotation starter, a difference-maker, an impact arm, etc. But who is that other than Greinke? Unless someone surprising pops onto the market in the next two weeks, Greinke is the only guy who fits their mold (assuming the Phillies won't trade Hamels within the division). And he has all the dollar signs attached to him. Ben Sheets could make this whole discussion irrelevant if he keeps pitching the way he pitched Sunday.
Greinke, recharging batteries or sitting out to avoid injury before he is traded?
Jayson Stark (12:13 PM)
I don't know exactly what to make of this. But the problem for the Brewers is, the teams that were in on Greinke don't know what to make of it, either. Even if this is just to recharge or get him back on a routine, sitting him down in a week where they're playing the Cardinals and Reds raises a million red flags.
Do you think Jason Vargas being held until away from Safeco and the fact they pulled him after only 94 pitches last night means he could be at least a piece of a move?
Jayson Stark (12:15 PM)
He's definitely available. That's for sure. And the teams they've talked to keep raising the fact that his ERA away from Safeco is over 5.00. So if you're saying that was no coincidence, I'm with you!
With Joey Votto being out for the next month do you see the Reds making a push to trade for a big bat to help out? They could use another outfielder anyway
Jayson Stark (12:16 PM)
They know Votto is coming back, and it probably won't be much more than three weeks. So initial indications are that it isn't going to change their approach. They'd like to deal for an outfielder, but it won't be a "big bat" unless something falls into their lap.
Jon (The D)
Anything on Omar Infante or Placido possibly going back to Detroit?
Jayson Stark (12:17 PM)
I've heard a lot of Infante buzz. Polanco not so much.
Evan (College Station)
Any chance Houston moves Altuve? They seem to want to get rid of any valuable piece these days.
Jayson Stark (12:17 PM)
They'll listen on anybody. But that's very unlikely.
When will the Pirates finally decide to either call up Starling Marte or trade him? No one can convince me that Marte isn't an MLB-rightfielder if Josh Harrison is.
Jayson Stark (12:18 PM)
I'm going to make this prediction: If Marte hasn't been traded by Aug. 1, he'll be in the Pirates' lineup. Their M.O. seems to be to try to trade for a veteran outfield bat and if they can't, to call him up and see where it leads.
Tanto (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Hey Jayson. First off, thanks for taking questions. What kind of talent can the Brewers pull in on a Greinke trade? Would the Rangers send Olt and/or Profar? I'd rather trade for future pitching (cause I believe the NL is won by pitching) rather than position players, but those two seem to be ready for the big time.
Jayson Stark (12:21 PM)
I don't see them trading Profar in any deal. And I'm still skeptical they'd move Olt for a rental, if they move him at all. No team has more legit prospects to deal than the Rangers. So there's probably too much focus on those two. I think Greinke, if he comes back and proves he's OK, can get the Brewers one sure-thing young player, and maybe something else. But it's tough to think they'd get more under these labor rules, with no compensation waiting on the back end.
Zach W. (St. Pete, FL)
If you're Andrew Friedman, what do you do with the Rays this year? James Shields and B.J. Upton gone?
Jayson Stark (12:23 PM)
They're a game out in the wild-card race so I don't see them doing wholesale selling. But I've heard from three teams this week that Shields is definitely available, and possibly Wade Davis too. They have enough pitching depth to cover those deals, and they could restock and contend at the same time. Upton is harder to replace. But as we've said a thousand times, their stance largely depends on Longoria.
Marshall (Utica, NY) [via mobile]
With Andy gone for a bit should the Bronx Bombers pick up another starter or keep with what they have?
Jayson Stark (12:24 PM)
They really don't seem motivated to trade for a starter. Sabathia is back tonight. They know Pettitte is coming back in a few weeks. So their feeling is, there's no reason to overpay for another starter. Freddy Garcia looks like he can get them through another month. So it's the Brett Gardner injury, not the Pettitte, injury that is going to have the most impact on what they do.
Paul A. (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
Hey, Jayson, thanks for taking some questions. I've heard rumors about the Tigers making a move for Dempster. Is there any chance they make a move for Shields instead? How much more "expensive" might Shields be?
Jayson Stark (12:27 PM)
Shields seems like their kind of guy. Already signed for next year. Controllable. And basically dependable, despite how he's pitched lately. But he'd also be way more expensive. Too soon to say the price, but they'd have to give up at least one of their good young arms, plus a young bat. But remember, they're all in. Wouldn't shock me if that's a price they're willing to pay.
Andrew Mccutchen is 1st in BA, 2nd in HR, 2nd in Runs and 3rd in RBI, how about a possible Triple Crown?
Jayson Stark (12:28 PM)
He's the kind of guy who could win one. But I still wonder if there's enough protection behind him and enough OBP in front of him to justify teams pitching to him down the stretch and to pad his RBI total enough.
jesse (las vegas)
hey jayson do you see the dodgers doing anything
Jayson Stark (12:29 PM)
I could see the Dodgers making multiple moves. They're in on starting pitchers, corner infielders, another outfield bat and relievers. They'll take anybody's salary dump. So if they don't make at least two or three trades, I'll be surprised.
Any chance the Braves could pry King Felix away from the Mariners. What prospects would need to be included?
Jayson Stark (12:30 PM)
The Mariners keep saying he's not available. Other teams say they're not so sure. So we'll find out who's right. If they're really willing to talk about Felix, that would change the entire market -- for everybody. But I'm still dubious.
Jayson, the Mets are in a tricky spot right now. Should they be buying? Perhaps some bullpen help like Huston Street?
Jayson Stark (12:33 PM)
They have to upgrade their bullpen if they're going to contend. But this is a big week for them. They've already slipped to six back in the division. And they're playing a series against the Nationals over the next three days. If they slip too far back and they're just another wild-card team, is it really worth overpaying for somebody like Huston Street? Read Buster's blog today and then answer me.
Kenny Powers (Mexico)
Assume the Pirates can, and do, only make 1 big trade, is it for a top of the rotation pitcher or a big bat? What would you do?
Jayson Stark (12:34 PM)
A bat. Not even a question to me. They have enough pitching to compete. They don't have enough offense around Andrew McCutchen. It's that simple. And I get the impression they feel the same way. They're chasing bats all over baseball.
Reis Illinois [via mobile]
Will the cardinals make any moves?
Jayson Stark (12:35 PM)
I'd be surprised if they don't add pitching. Shopping for starters and relievers, so anything is possible.
Is it in Phillies best interest to trade Hamels and load up on prospects and maybe try to sign him in FA? Or pay him now! Feel if he's traded, his days in Philly are over.
Jayson Stark (12:37 PM)
I'd trade him and then try to reenact the Cliff Lee Homecoming Story. Of course, if they try to go that route, they run the risk of having to outbid the field, and that's dangerous. But they desperately need to put some younger pieces in place. And trading Hamels is their one hope of doing that. But now that they've got that out of the way, I don't get the vibe they're thinking like I am. Which would be nothing unusual!
Mike Philps (Michigan)
Jayson, Here's an outside the box solution to Tiger's 2nd base problem. Alfonso Soriano! Couldn't be worse than Raburn defensively and could be had cheaper than outher hitters on the market
Jayson Stark (12:38 PM)
I don't know if "outside the box" even describes that. That isn't even in the same solar system as the box. Soriano could absolutely be worse than Raburn defensively. He hasn't fielded a ground ball in years. And the other thing to remember is, if you trade for him, you're stuck with him for two years. I'm a big fan of outside-the-box thinking. But I would never, ever, ever do that.
Brian (Chobee) [via mobile]
Does it make sense for dodgers to give up a bunch for hamels when they are probably the front runners to land him as free agent anyway?
Jayson Stark (12:39 PM)
Not to me. I think they're way more likely to sign him this winter than trade for him this month. They don't have the elite prospect pool it would take, anyway.
MoPETE (Pgh, PA)
"if they try to go that route, they run the risk of having to outbid the field, and that's dangerous"That's no different than what they have to do right now.
Jayson Stark (12:41 PM)
I disagree. They're competing now with the theoretical free-agent market. In November/December, they're competing with the actual market. Hamels can only guess if there's a huge six-year or seven-year deal out there at the moment. By December, if somebody offers him $144M for seven years, do you see the Phillies beating that? I don't.
It's worth mentioning (again) that the DH allows AL squads to assume more financial risk, both in the offseason and at the trade deadline. Do you think, as I do, that this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, particularly since interleague play becomes more widespread next season?
Jayson Stark (12:43 PM)
I think it's an issue you'll see more talk about. But it won't be addressed immediately. And the other thing to remember is that interleague play won't become dramatically "more widespread" next season, just more spread out through the season. But most teams will only jump from 18 interleague games to 20. The first issue you raised will have much more of an impact on this discussion as we move along over the next few years, I predict.
Rick (San Diego)
The Cubs are trying to move three guys: Garza, Dempster, and Soriano. What sort of yield are can they expect to get for that between now and August 1?
Jayson Stark (12:44 PM)
A couple of good young players for Garza. One for Dempster. Zilch for Soriano. That's my take, anyway.
Frank (San Gabriel Mountains)
How much longer will the Dodgers wait and or what needs to happend in order to start addressing some of their needs....losing ground pretty quick.....
Jayson Stark (12:46 PM)
It's the sellers who aren't ready to move. The buyers -- and especially the Dodgers -- would pull that trigger any time. The lack of moves this month tells you all you need to know about how difficult it is to make a significant deal at the moment.
What do you see the BoSox doing ?
Jayson Stark (12:47 PM)
Ryan Dempster. Or someone like him.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Jayson: Do the Phillies likely still trade Victorino, even if this team does make a bit of a run in the next couple weeks?
Jayson Stark (12:49 PM)
He'd be my pick as the Most Likely Phillie to Get Dealt. But who's to say what they'll do if they run off, say, eight of nine over the next week and a half? I still think they'd be deluding themselves to think they can get to the postseason. But they clearly want to give their "real" team a chance to prove it deserves that opportunity.
Jayson, the Twins clearly need to address their starting pitching. Who do you consider to be desirable trade bait on the Twins and what teams are in a position to give the Twins some quality pitching in return?
Jayson Stark (12:50 PM)
Denard Span is their most marketable attraction. They still haven't signaled if they'll move him. But they could get a big package from a team like Washington or Texas if they move him, I think.
I guess its safe to assume that Hanley is just a different player than he used to be. Whatever the reason (maturity, big money, injury, etc) does Miami look to get rid of him?
Jayson Stark (12:51 PM)
That isn't impossible. He's certainly been a disappointment. But I haven't heard any talk that they're shopping him. Not yet anyway.
Ryan W (Pittsburgh)
Which pitcher will be the first to move prior to the deadline?
Jayson Stark (12:52 PM)
I'm all in on Ryan Dempster in that derby. As I said earlier in the chat, one team that's been talking to the Cubs told me they'd like to move him this week.
Nick (Charlotte, NC)
Once Simmons returns for the Braves, does Janish provide the infield depth necessary to allow Prado to play full-time in left field? I am not sure how many more times I can watch Diaz/Hinske play the outfield. If not, is there a chance another trade could be made?
Jayson Stark (12:54 PM)
The Braves are looking for righthanded-hitting outfield bats. But it seems as if I've typed that sentence 10,000 times over the last year or so. I don't see them making a major deal for a hitter. But they're looking.
Daniel (St. Louis)
I would like to see Matt Garza in St. Louis. I have liked him since he was a Ray, and I think he is someone the Cards would have interest in and a chance to resign in the offseason. Is this something they may consider, even though it does happen to be trading with the Cubs?
Jayson Stark (12:54 PM)
I'm really, really, really skeptical that we'll see a Cardinals-Cubs trade any time soon.
Jayson Stark (12:55 PM)
Hate to make this announcement, but I have to scoot a few minutes early today. So I only have time to take one more.
Marc (Ontario, Canada)
With Jose Bautista the latest Jay hitting the DL, and their plethora of pitchers on the DL, do you think the Jays are still Buyers trying to make a push for that Wild Card this year? And if so, in your thoughts which addition would make most sense at this point for the Blue Birds?
Jayson Stark (12:57 PM)
I think the Blue Jays have always been on basically the same track: If they can deal for a guy who could make an impact for several years, they'd make that kind of move. But Bautista doesn't make them more inclined to deal for a short-term solution, because they don't think that way. They've always thought they needed one more middle-of-the-order bat for the long haul. And they still do. But there's not much out there that fits that description. So in the end, I'd bet they do very little.
Jayson Stark (12:58 PM)
Gotta run. Thanks for all the great questions. See you down the road in Chat Land!