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 noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hey everybody, It's yet another lovely weather day where I live. Let's talk some baseball before I go swim out to the front yard to check the mail.
Phillies have to be considering being sellers in July at this point? I know Lee will be of interest to many teams, but is there a market for Papelbon and Utley (if he comes back healthy)? What should the Phillies expect in return (if they eat money)
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Hey Dylan, Ruben Amaro likes to hang onto hope as long as he can. But if they keep muddling along around .500, he'll have to entertain the thought of selling off some pieces in July. Utley is a rental with health concerns, and Papelbon has more than $30M still owed him (plus a vesting option), so I don't think he's going to hit the mother lode prospect-wise with either of those guys.
What do the Orioles need to do to get over the edge in the AL East at the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Kyle, Ideally, I'm sure they'd love to acquire an ace, top of the rotation starter. But it's hard to see how Dan Duquette is going to pull that off. Kevin Gausman has struggled and Dylan Bundy has health concerns, so it doesn't appear as if the cavalry is going to arrive from within the system.
More important to Rockies - Carlos Gonzalez or Tulowitzki?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Bobby, I've got to go with Tulo, because he gives you such amazing production as a premium defensive position. All things being equal, you have to go with the stud offensive SS over the stud offensive LF.
What are your thoughts on Jedd Gyorko for the rest of the season. He is starting to heat up
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Michael, The kid can really hit. I remember seeing him in spring training -- he's like 5-10, 210 -- and telling a scout that he wasn't very imposing in uniform. The scout says, "Wait until you see him in the batter's box." For what it's worth, he has a .944 OPS at Petco compared to .670 on the road. If he can pick it up in away games, the Pads really might be onto something.
Any chance the A's try to upgrade their catching or are they content with the Jaso/Norris platoon? Norris can't hit and neithr one can throw anbody out.
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Harry, Billy Beane and David Forst are always looking to improve, but I don't think they're going to change their minds on the catching combo two months into the season. The A's have only 2 HRs from their catchers this year, which is disappointing. But the Oakland pitching staff is 10th in MLB in ERA, so Jaso and Norris have been handling their pitching-handling duties just fine. And other than Yadi Molina and a few other catchers, who's that great at throwing out runners?
What do you expect from Gerrit Cole tomorrow? His stuff's great, but his stats are mediocre.
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Hey Bob, He struggled out of the chute, but some people think it just took him a while to get over the disappointment of being sent down in spring training. He's had an issue with walks in the minors. If he can throw strikes, he'll be OK. But that might be a challenge given how amped he'll be in front of that home crowd.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
Do you think the Red Sox will be very active leading up to the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
B Mand, I don't know if I would say "very active." They lead the majors with an .809 OPS, so I don't think Ben Cherington needs to do anything urgent with the offense. If anything, I think they'd like to do something to fortify their pitching -- but not at the expense of ravaging the farm system.
david williams (concord, nc)
Are the cubs winners or losers in the 2013 draft?
Jerry Crasnick (12:12 PM)
David, Keith Law is probably better equipped to answer that question. But I will say I liked the choice of Kris Bryant with their top pick. Put Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup together, and they've got some impressive right-left power to build around.
Jerry, is there a chance the Nats don't re-sign Rizzo? They did the dreaded exercising the option instead of giving him a long term deal in the offseason and its reported they aren't negotiating in season. Is there something going on between him and the Lerners?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Jeremy, If there's any friction, I haven't heard it. The Lerners have given Mike Rizzo a lot of freedom to spend money and exercise his vision, and it's probably going to take a total collapse for them to sour on him. I honestly don't see that happening.
Hey Jerry, do you think that Ike Davis will be the long term solution at 1B for the Mets, or could he be non-tendered this offseason?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Dan, He's a mess mechanically, but maybe he can straighten things out in the minors and get himself back on track. He made over $3 million last year, and that's a lot to pay a guy who's hitting .161. But he also hit 32 homers after a terrible start last season, so it would be a pretty bold move to non-tender him. I have my doubts about that.
Rich (Sun Valley ID)
Great way to start the week, Jerry.....the Cardinals continue to bring up quality pitchers, the most recent of which is Kevin Seigrist, another young 20 something who pitched another shut-out inning in relief. The list seems endless: Rosenthal, Wacha, Maness, just to name a few. How much of this is the legacy of Jeff Luhnow and how much is just organizational culture?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Rich, Jeff Luhnow did a great job while he was there, but you also have to credit the organizational culture. I was at the draft last week, and Ryan Franklin, who's now a special assistant to John Mozeliak, was quite enthused about Gonzales and Kaminsky, the two lefty pitchers they drafted in the first round. The Cardinals just seem to know how to do things right. And I feel like a complete dope for not picking them as a playoff team in the preseason.
On the bright side, the Tribe have 70 games left against teams below .500. Even so, being in the middle of this awful stretch, is it time to give up on the season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Roger, I don't think it's time to give up on the season. Terry Francona will continue to keep the atmosphere upbeat and get them through this stretch. However, you do have reason to wonder if they're ready for prime-time given how they melted against the Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers. There are enough mediocre teams on the sked for them to finish with 80-85 victories, as long as the starting pitching remains reasonably effective. But I'm not sure they're capable of more than that.
Hey Jerry will the Nats be looking to add a bat down the stretch? Even getting healthy bodies back this team could use some pop. What about bringing Morse back? He was a big contributor and a fan favorite here plus he's a FA after the season. Make too much sense?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Jeremy, If you look at their lineup, they've got LaRoche, Espinosa or Rendon, Desmond, Zimmerman, Harper, Span and Werth (plus the catchers) if everyone is healthy. I don't see where another everyday bat would fit.
This is something I have been wondering recently with the MLB draft, at what level is college ball played at compared to the minor leagues. What league would the teams in the college world series be able to compete in? High A? AA?
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Brian, I think the best college programs are the equivalent of maybe low "A" ball. How many college kids even get drafted? And when they do get drafted, they usually get shipped to "A" ball somewhere. The depth just isn't nearly as strong on a college roster.
How good will jean segura a career be?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Hunter, What's not to like? He plays with a ton of energy, he has pop, he walks enough to keep pitchers honest, and he's 17 for 19 in steals this year. I think he has several All-Star Games in his future. Wouldn't you love to see Jean Segura and Jose Altuve in the same double play combination together? That would be awesome.
How does Matt Adams ever get a starting gig? Is his bat for real or are we seeing Matheny cherry pick his situations to inflate his stats?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
James, His bat is for real, but he probably needs to be traded to an AL team where he can spend some time at DH. It's a nice trade chip for John Mozeliak, although the Cards don't seem to have any sense of urgency to move him. Adams is an awfully nice guy to have around in case of an injury.
Jake Peavy should be back around July 1st, if he has a couple of good starts once back does he become a wanted commodity before the trade deadline or are injury concerns going to hurt his value?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Paul, It's pretty bad timing for Peavy to get hurt if Rick Hahn had planned on shopping him. But if he comes back and looks good for 3-4 starts, I'm sure you'll hear his name bandied around at the deadline.
Jerry, How did a offensively challenged team like the Mariners let Mike Carp leave? I'll admit as a Red Sox fan I didn't expect much, but this guy is instant offense off the bench.
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Bill, Hey, the Mets had him too. They drafted him in 2004. I'm with you, though; he's got a really sweet swing, and he's pretty good against lefties. I'm not sure how he would fare as an everyday guy, but he has a chance to build a nice career for himself off the bench.
Will Giancarlo Stanton be dealt before the deadline? Are the Mets a good fit for him?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Mike, I saw the Marlins recently, and they seemed enthused about how their lineup will look with Stanton and Logan Morrison and the pending promotion of Christian Yelich. I don't think Stanton is going anywhere at the deadline.
Just as the Giants look like they should be left for dead with their road struggles, Pagan on the DL and Sandoval looking like he is heading there, they take 2 out of 3 from Arizona (and probably should have won all three). What do you make of this team and would you still consider them the favorite to win the West?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Tim, They're the favorite if their starting pitchers can start clicking in tandem. After two titles in three seasons, they know what it takes to grind it out through the tough times. Bruce Bochy never panics, and that's huge. You can never count out the Giants.
Andrew (Ashburn, VA)
Jerry, what do you think of Anthony Rendon? As a Nats fan, I am pretty biased, but this kid has serious potential, and offensively he is a major upgrade over Espinosa. Defensively, well, that will take time.
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Andrew, Yeah, he has a chance to be a big-time hitter. He just had some injuries in the minors, and Zimmerman blocked his route at third. If they're willing to live with the growth curve defensively, he should be a top 6-8 offensive second baseman in the majors -- if not better.
Listening to a report entitled "do baseball players dope", i started to think of the consequences of doping, and the impact on baseball and it's history. If most of the highest paid ball players are named in the PED scandal, will it matter to them if they ever make the hall of fame or how they are viewed by baseball fans since the money they are payed is more than they would of ever made if they were clean?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
David, I wrote a story last week in which Frank Thomas basically said that all players care about is money today, rather than their legacies. I think that's a tad simplistic. Players use PEDs because they want to stay on the field and recuperate from injuries. That's a major fringe benefit. I just think players don't look that far ahead and worry about the Hall of Fame; they never expect to get caught.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
What will Bud Selig's legacy be when all is said and done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
Andrew Z., This probably isn't a popular sentiment, but I think Selig is a better commish than he's given credit for. Yeah, the PED scandals, the '94 strike and the foot-dragging on instant replay don't help. But MLB has had more labor piece than other sports. Add all the new ballparks, the unprecedented revenue growth, the wild card and a bunch of other things, and I think Bud takes more flak than he deserves.
Do you seem Adam Eaton playing at all this year? Bummed he has been hurt this whole time
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Michael, This lingering elbow injury has to be a concern. In the back of your mind, you can't help but think "Tommy John." I'm sure the D-backs are just trying to be cautious. Like you, I'm disappointed he hasn't played. I did a story on him in spring training, and he's a great kid with infectious energy. He's going to be a good player long-term.
Your answer regarding Adams in St. Louis seems to be something the Nationals should have thought about in the off season. When they shipped Mike Morse to Seattle it was because he didn't have a position. As you said "an awfully nice guy to have around in case of an injury."
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Drew, Yeah, except that it's easier to ask a 23rd round draft pick out of Slippery Rock (Matt Adams) to accept coming off the bench and playing sporadically than it is a veteran like Michael Morse.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Does Ryan Braun become the Lance Armstrong of MLB if he's suspended 100 games for PEDs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Hey Keith, Buster Olney made that comparison last week. I'm not sure if Ryan Braun is the Lance Armstrong of MLB PED use, given that Rafael Palmeiro might already lay claim to that title. But it certainly will tarnish his image irreparably if he's busted in the Biogenegis probe.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
Is Omar Vizquel a future Hall of Famer?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Andrew, The stat folks might not agree, but I think Vizquel has a very strong case. He was an artist at shortstop, like Ozzie Smith, and it's harder to quantify his value in terms of sheer numbers than it is some other players. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Um, wasn't revenue growth entirely driven by PEDs and home-run explosion? How is Selig not held accountable as much if not more than the players who took them in the system he created? Don't forget with his legacy too that he has allowed the Loria and Wilpon ownership groups to hustle taxpayers while destroying three MLB markets.
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Matt, I see your point. But MLB encountered an awful lot of resistance on PEDs from the strongest union in the game. Would you have advocated for MLB to go to the mat on steroids even if it meant another strike or the cancellation of a second World Series?
Ryan Braun and Palmeiro as poster boys for PED use??? Paging Barry Bonds... Paging Barry Bonds.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Kyle, Yes, Barry Bonds was out there on steroids. I just mentioned the other two guys because Barry never actually failed a test -- for what that's worth.
What do you see the Braves doing with their return with the return of Beachy? I'd trade Maholm if I were Wren.
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Kyle, Typically, pitchers don't return to the rotation at full strength a year after Tommy John surgery. I don't see Fredi Gonzalez rushing to jettison somebody. These thing tend to change quickly and can be very fluid. Just look at what happened last week. Everyone was speculating that Julio Teheran was on the outs, and he almost threw a no-hitter. If someone goes on the DL in the next few weeks, the Braves won't even have a problem.
Charley (South Bend)
What are your thoughts on Jose Alvarez? Since the Tiger's rotation is pretty tough to crack, do you think he could be packaged to get either some bullpen help or perhaps even another catcher (I hear Atlanta has one too many . . .)
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Charley, I don't understand why fans want their teams to rush and trade away pitchers who might serve as welcome depth. Alvarez pitched great yesterday and the Tigers can now take comfort in knowing they have him in their back pocket in case of an injury or emergency. What teams -- other than the Reds and Giants of a year ago -- ever make it through an entire season with five starters now?
Wow. Yasiel Puig. How good is he really?
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Tony, He has tons of talent, but let's see how he fares once teams start throwing him junk and giving him fewer strikes to hit. A lot of his success is going to hinge on how the rest of the LA lineup performs. Other than Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, is there anyone they have right now that opponents really need to be wary of?
John J (Spokane, WA)
Blanton, Espinosa, Richard, Moustakas, Volquez, Pelfrey, etc...so many duds who teams keep sending out there every day. How much of that is GM's who can't or won't admit a mistake ?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
John, Or maybe they just don't have a better alternative. As Ned Yost pointed out recently, third basemen don't grow on trees, right?
Kevin (Reno, NV)
How does Mike Sciosia still have his job with the big payroll in Anahem, and the lack of production? Does he make it to the end of the season if the Angels aren't within five games at the All Star break?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Kevin, Maybe Arte Moreno, in quiet moments, looks in the mirror and realizes he's the guy who pushed for the team to spend $375 million on Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. As for Scioscia, he's signed through 2018, and it just doesn't appear that Moreno has come to grips with the idea of changing managers.
Can David Ortiz keep up his current level of production for the rest of the year? Is he a Hall of Famer?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Joe, I think Ortiz has 412 career homers (give or take). If he can get to 500, maybe he has a shot. That seems like a stretch, but I wouldn't have predicted he'd be doing what he is now.
Jon (Bozeman, MT)
Jerry, I never thought at the beginning of the year that I would say this, but it doesn't look like the Rays have a need to promote Myers. Do they continue to have him play in Durham or do they promote him and try to get him in the lineup?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Jon, From what I've seen, they appear content to let Myers stay in Durham and keep piling up at-bats. Kelly Johnson and Matt Joyce each have 10 homers and OPSes above .800, so the Rays aren't in any urgent need of offense. Did you realize they're fourth in the AL in runs scored?
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Thanks for the questions, everyone. I'll take one more. Let's do it again next week.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Will the A's prove to be the best team AL at the end of the season?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Keith, I don't know about the best, but they certainly seem to have staying power. Josh Donaldson has turned into a monster, and I love the job Bob Melvin does with that team. I also think their young players benefited greatly from their postseason run last year.
Well if Selig is bolstered by his "labor peace", then his refusal to challenge the union on this matter becomes suspect. To achieve labor peace, he knowingly and willingly condoned PED use. He wanted to have it both ways, and someday he'll be called out for it.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
I know I said I was done, but I just want to point out one thing: Why does Selig always get crushed for things that other commissioners are never accountable for? MLB has blood testing for HGH, but the NFL doesn't, and the NBA's system is way behind baseball's. It just seems that Selig is held to a higher standard than other commissioners on everything.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Thanks again, everybody. I have to go now to take a call.