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 (1:01 PM)
Hey everybody, Hope all is well. Check the MLB page today and you'll find my annual Hot Stove survey of executives and scouts. They address Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke and a lot more. Let's start the chat.
Matt T (Boston)
Do you agree with the Red Sox's move to bring back Ortiz for 2 years/26 million. He is the best DH is baseball, but his health would be a concern to me as well as his recent complaining. Also, what do you think the Sox will do about Ellsbury? Sign him eventually, trade him, or watch him hit FA?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Matt, It's a bit pricey, but Ortiz has meant a lot to that organization and I'm sure they're paying for goodwill as much as production. I don't see the Sox trading Ellsbury this winter. He only played 74 games last season, so his value is very low right now. If he comes back strong, they'd consider signing him to a long-term deal. But he's a Scott Boras client, so he'll almost certainly want to test the market when he's eligible.
What's your thoughts on Ryu Hyun-jin, have you heard from a lot of MLB teams if they're looking to spend a decent amount on his posting fee?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Dan, He's a talented lefty with a fastball in the low 90s and a great changeup. He also has Scott Boras as an agent, which means the posting fee will be a prelude to some very interesting negotiations.
Do you see the Rays making any major moves to their line-up this off-season? We have a ton of trade assets - any takers?
Jerry Crasnick (1:06 PM)
Kevin, I talked to 22 executives and scouts for my survey, and most of them expect Andrew Friedman to trade a starting pitcher for offense. It could be James Shields, or it could be Hellickson, Niemann or Wade Davis. I would be very surprised if they discuss David Price with clubs. But that would really shake up the offseason, wouldn't it?
Hey How much would it take for the redsox to sign either Edwin Jackson or Anibal Sanchez? / Do u think they could trade for Michael Morse?
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Josh, Anibal Sanchez really helped himself with his last push for Detroit, and Edwin Jackson has averaged more than 200 innings over the past four seasons. I can see them both getting 4 years and $10 million plus annually in an overheated pitching market. You never know how crazy things will get once teams start chasing pitching. I don't have a great feel for Mike Morse at the moment.
It's been mentioned the Phillies recent hires from TB will have an influence in signing BJ Upton, do you agree with that hypothesis?
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Gerry, I think B.J. Upton's decision will hinge more on the size of the contract than who the hitting coach is. (The Phillies just added Steve Henderson). Personally, I'm not sure if Philly is the right spot for him. B.J. is a great kid, but he's also sensitive to criticism, and Philly might be a challenge for him. But as a right-handed hitting center fielder with speed, he certainly fills a need for them.
Chris (Atlantic City)
How much do you think Kevin Youkilis will command on the open market now that he's a free agent? Any chance he could end up on the Indians now that Terry Francona is running the tribe?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Chris, I can't see Youkilis getting more than a couple of years (with maybe an option year) at this stage of his career. But the third base market is really weak, so he has some leverage. I would think he'd be more inclined to go to a contending club than a rebuilding project, which is what the Indians are facing right now.
Will the Astros new uni's make them any better?
Jerry Crasnick (1:13 PM)
John, No. But they'll look a lot more stylish on their way to 105 losses. Hey, give Jeff Luhnow and Bo Porter a little time.
Can you please explain all the hype about Angel Pagan? He had a very good year for the Giants but that was the first time he put up numbers anywhere close to that before and he is 31 years old. I can see a 2 or 3 year deal but have not teams learned that you do not pay guys into their mid 30s who depend so heavily on their legs?
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Tim, I agree. Pagan did some nice things in San Francisco and played a huge role in their World Series victory. But I was pretty taken aback when I started hearing people talk about a four-year, $60 million contract for him. That seems like an overpay to me.
What type of expectations are there for non-pitchers returning from TJ Surgery? Yes, I am indirectly asking about Carl Crawford.
Jerry Crasnick (1:16 PM)
AA, I can't recall too many position players, other than Xavier Nady, who've had TJ surgery. I don't think it will be a huge deterrent for Crawford. I would be more concerned with the step backward that his all-around game took in Boston. You wonder if he's anything close to the player who snagged that $142M contract with the Sox. He has trouble hitting lefties, and he really lost his way in Boston.
Every year it seems that Doug Melvin says the Brewers aren't going to go after any top tier free agents. He then traded for Zack Grienke (top tier) and signed Aramis Ramirez (top tier).Do you think he will go after a top tier free agents this year? Either resigning Zack Grienke or signing Josh Hamilton?The Brewers now have some money to deal with, do you think Hamilton can succeed in Milwaukee? We all know that Grienke can, but will reuniting with JOhnny Narron be enough for him to be successful?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Dave, The Brewers received more Josh Hamilton votes than anybody in my survey. But I can't see Doug Melvin going too crazy for him. That's definitely one to watch, though.
Jeremy Tiermini (Canandaigua, NY)
With the Yankees hell-bent on lowering payroll would a Grady Sizemore signing be beneficial? An OF of Gardner, Granderson, and Ichiro, with Sizemore spelling each of them would be relatively inexpensive and Sizemore can rebuild his value on an incentive-laden deal shooting for that short porch in right.
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Jeremy, As I recall, the Yankees had some interest in Grady Sizemore last winter. But the guy is 29 years old and he's played 33, 71 and zero games over the past three seasons. I think he's basically a minor league invite at this point. Worth a flyer with an incentive laden deal, but that's about it.
What do you see the Reds doing to address their need at lead-off? It is hard to see them signing anyone to a long term deal with Billy Hamilton about a year or so away.
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Alex, I asked someone about this yesterday, and I think they're inclined to just go with the status quo (Drew Stubbs in center) until Billy Hamilton is ready. I've heard he looks pretty good in CF in the Arizona Fall League. The Reds people seem cautiously optimistic that he might be ready midway through the 2013 season -- if not sooner.
The Diamondbacks will trade...?
Jerry Crasnick (1:23 PM)
Brian, It won't shock people if they trade Justin Upton. They've thrown his name around twice now, and while the rhetoric has cooled in Phoenix, I'm getting the sense that Kevin Towers would move him for the right package of young talent. If that's the case, we're talking about the highlight deal of the offseason.
will the cardinals make any trades this offseason?
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
John, Skip Schumacher's name has been mentioned, but I assume you're talking about something bigger than that, correct? Right now they have Wainwright, Westbrook, Garcia, Lynn, Carpenter, Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly as starter possibilities, and Trevor Rosenthal could also be a candidate to start. John Mozeliak needs to sort through those options and go from there.
Jerry, is this the winter that we finally see a blockbuster FA signing from Toronto?
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
SteadyRJ, I don't know about "blockbuster," but they do need starting pitching help, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Alex Anthopoulos jump in on an Edwin Jackson or Anibal Sanchez.
Chances the Phillies find a taker for Howard if they eat a ton of $$$?
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
Logan, Don't see it happening.
As a Cubs fan, I'm really upset about the Marmol/Haren deal falling through. I know they won't be contending (or even competitive) until 2014 at the absolute earliest, but wouldn't that be more of an incentive to make the deal? What good is a closer, especially one that can't throw strikes, on a bad team? Besides, a top 3 of Haren, Garza and Samardzija would be pretty good. The only logic (if you want to call it that) I see behind it is that Haren is more expensive. If that's the case, I hope Jed, Theo & Co. use that money to help shore up the rotation (my number one concern), which the Haren deal would have done anyways. My head hurts. Am I in the wrong here?
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
Chris, Some baseball people I talked to wondered if the Cubs weren't scared off by Dan Haren's health. He's had back problems, and he's logged a huge workload the last few years. I don't think it was money-related. If it was the medicals, the Cubs obviously had their reasons.
Dan (Atlantic City)
Jerry, the Phils have been linked to B.J. Upton, but could you see the Phils signing him AND trying to trade for his brother? Might the mental benefits that would come from playing together help them fully max out their potential?
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Dan, Wow, that's pretty ambitious. I can see them signing B.J. more easily than trading for Justin. What kind of package could Ruben Amaro possibly assemble to acquire a 25-year-old five-tool outfielder and potential MVP candidate? The Phillies just don't have that kind of talent in the minors.
Do you see the Pirates making any big moves? And what do you think they are going to do at catcher?
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Ryan, In the future, you'll have a better chance of getting your question answered if you don't post it 30 times. Just sayin' ...
Can the Mets realistically move both Wright and Dickey in the off-season?
Jerry Crasnick (1:34 PM)
Dexter, Right now the Mets people say they're going to make a sincere effort to sign both guys. My sense is that they'll keep Wright and listen to offers for Dickey if they're convinced they can't sign him to a multi-year deal. He's 37 years old, and they might as well entertain offers if they don't think he's part of their future.
Jerry, do you see Jeff Keppinger getting a starting job/money or will he be more of a super-sub? I'd love him as the right handed super-sub for the Cardinals!
Jerry Crasnick (1:35 PM)
Aaron, I personally think he's better as a guy you can move around the diamond -- some second, some third, a day here and there at SS. He has a good bat. After his performance last season, he should have a pretty active market.
Jon (Bozeman, MT)
Jerry, do you realistically see Soriano getting 4/60M? It seems that most teams are getting smarter and won't give large contracts to closers.
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
Jon, I personally think that's insane, but the Phillies gave Jonathan Papelbon four years and $50 million last year. Soriano will do OK, but 4 x 15 is way over the top for me.
There has been talk that the Diamondbacks aren't very happy with Trevor Bauer and his inability to make the adjustments they've asked him to make. Do you think they look to trade Bauer while his value is still relatively high?
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Frank, There's always a risk in moving an arm like that. But they do have Tyler Skaggs in the big leagues and Archie Bradley on the way. I suspect they'll give Bauer a little more time to find his command before they seriously consider dealing him.
Sorry just trying to get a question answered... i've done alot of these chats and never gotten any answer. Just trying more aggresively to get it answered since ESPN never writes any articles on the Pirates
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
OK Ryan. I don't see the Pirates making a huge splash in free agency. No. 1, they would have to seriously overpay for some mediocre talent this winter. And they'll need kids like Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon to contribute if they're going to take that next step. Just look at the moves Neal Huntington made at the trade deadline, bringing in guys like Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez. The Pirates are always trying to strike that balance between being competitive and sticking with their long-term plan.
What do the Rangers have to do in order to get over the hump and win it all next year? I can't take much more heart break.
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Scott, They still have a pretty nice nucleus in place. I just think they got burned out last summer. I definitely see Jon Daniels making a push to upgrade the rotation. The Rangers are usually in on all the big free agents, so I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the mix for Greinke.
Jason (St Louis)
I think I can help Ryan from Pitt out. I heard Rod Barajas is available....
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Hey, Thanks Jason.
Just how much trade value do guys like Justin Upton and James Shields actually have? They have big names, but their production last year was no where near the hype/reputation.
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
Dale, They both have serious value. Shields is making $10M this year and $12M next year. That's pretty reasonable for an innings eater who's been an effective starter in the AL East. Check out the last two seasons -- his numbers are pretty darned good. With Upton, it's more a case of betting on the upside. He has the talent to explode and be a 10-time All-Star. But the D-backs know that too, so they're going to ask for the moon for him.
Are the Giants likely to make any big moves, or stay pat with this team and make another run?
Jerry Crasnick (1:47 PM)
TJ, For what it's worth, a couple of people in my survey mentioned San Francisco as a serious Josh Hamilton "darkhorse." Take that for what it's worth. But Brian Sabean has never been afraid to think boldly.
Hi Jerry,What are the Orioles thinking this offseason?thanks
Jerry Crasnick (1:49 PM)
Bronson, The O's did a lot last year adding Machado and some of the young starters to the mix. They need to figure out what they'd going to at second base and in left field, and figure out if they can bring back Mark Reynolds now that they've decline his option. They've got Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters as core position players, so I think it's more a matter of filling spots than chasing a big star.
Mario Norwalk,Ca [via mobile]
With eithier on the trading block who are they gonna use to fill in that hole?
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Mario, I don't think the Andre Ethier trade rumors are going to amount to much. The Dodgers just invested more than $80 million in him. It's pretty rare for a team to do that with a player, then turn around and deal him.
Tyler Smith (Atlanta, Ga)
How do the Braves replace Chipper and Bourn this winter?
Jerry Crasnick (1:52 PM)
Tyler, Great question. They could always move Prado to third, which would give them the opportunity to chase one of the many free agent outfielders out there. I should have a better feel for where Atlanta is heading after the GM's meetings this week.
Mike (Seattle, WA)
The M's are in serious need of some offense. What do you see them doing this off-season to prevent them from having the worst offense 4 years in a row?
Jerry Crasnick (1:54 PM)
Mike, You might find this heartening: One of my survey respondents picked Seattle as a potential Josh Hamilton destination. I think they're a major longshot, but Jack Zduriencik does have some money to spend, and he needs a veteran bat in the middle of that order.
What do you see the Rays doing this offseason to fix their offense? It was terrible last year, and they are losing Upton's offense and defense.
Jerry Crasnick (1:55 PM)
Dale, As I mentioned previously, Andrew Friedman will dip into his well of pitching and move somebody. James Shields would definitely bring an impact bat in return. Jeremy Hellickson, too.
Jerry, do you think the Cubs would have any interest in Mark Reynolds to play 3B? Obviously no one should have any illusions about his batting average, and he's better defensively at first base than at third. But it's not like they have any better in house options, and they could certainly use his power.
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
Dave, I doubt it. Reynolds is pretty bad at third (much better across the diamond), and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer don't seem inclined to collect veteran names just to increase their win total from 61 to 65. They're thinking much more big-picture than that.
i never say never when it comes to Dumbrowski and Illitch ... is there any chance they go after Hamilton?
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Ben, The Tigers are getting Victor Martinez back, and that should help their offense considerably. I think they're more focused on trying to bring back Anibal Sanchez and make some moves to upgrade the bullpen.
Jerry Crasnick (1:59 PM)
Hey folks, I just have time for one more. Thanks for the emails. I'll be heading to the GM's meetings in Palm Springs tomorrow. (Yeah, I know, it's a rough life).
Todd Boss (Arlington, VA)
Why do baseball pundits continue to insist that the Nationals are interested in a free agent center field option (Bourn, Upton)? Bryce Harper posted a UZR/150 of 17.6 in 700+ innings at center this year, which is better than the uzr/150 rating of the vaunted Mike Trout. And it was his first fulltime season playing the position, implying he'd only get better. Is this just lazy narrative from 2011 that writers keep repeating? It seems to me the Nats HAVE their center fielder for the next few years and moving Harper to a corner position would be a) a waste of his defensive value and b) a waste of FA dollars that could be better spent elsewhere (like a upper-end starter). Thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Todd, I see what you're saying. I do think that Bryce Harper would be best served playing a corner spot over the long-term, because 6-3, 225-pound center fielders might break down in that position. But Harper's ability to play left field gives Mike Rizzo the flexibility to go in a couple of directions.