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 (12:01 PM)
Hey folks, Glad to be back to chat after the All-Star Game. I'm heading down to see Cliff Lee pitch tonight and going to Cooperstown next weekend for the Upstate New York Atlanta Braves Festival. Let's talk some ball.
Jerry F. (Decatur, IL)
Good morning, Jerry! Recently one of the St. Louis papers' columnists had a tweet out that the Cards were on the "Big Fish". Could the Cardinals really be able to aquire Stanton, or could that be more about Price? What are you hearing? Thanks for your time!
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Jerry F., I'm not sure the Cardinals are on a Big Fish, but I would assume that refers to David Price rather than Giancarlo Stanton. I don't think the Marlins are moving him. (And if the Rays keep playing like this, Price might also be staying put).
Derek (Dayton) [via mobile]
Did Wainwright's All Star game performance hurt his stock in a close Cy Young race?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Derek, In a word, no. The only thing that's hurting Wainwright in the Cy Young race is Clayton Kershaw.
BJ being aggressively shopped? Id he tradeable? And have you heard of talks happening?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Tim, I've heard zilch on BJ Upton being traded. Too much money, and at least he's become a functional member of that team. The Braves are looking for a lefty reliever, but I'd be surprised if they do anything big.
Justin (Charlotte) [via mobile]
Rank these modern rivalries from best to worst: Cardinals-Reds, Cardinals-Brewers, Cardinals-Dodgers, Cardinals-Cubs, Cardinals-Red Sox
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Cardinals fan, Justin. I think the Brewers and Reds are their hottest rivals at the moment. (Thanks in part to Johnny Cueto, Brandon Phillips and Carlos Gomez).
Why do I envision a world with a miserable Pappelbon in Philly on August 1st?
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
As opposed to the always upbeat, cheery Jonathan Papelbon we see now?
Jack Z (Seattle)
Hello Jerry, are the Mariners going to get a trade done? Who do you think is the most likely target?
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Jack Z, For all the Price-Zobrist speculation, I see them as more likely to acquire a Marlon Byrd-Josh Willingham type to upgrade the offense. Maybe Jack is more ambitious than I think, but that's what my gut tells me.
Jerry, How would you fix the Tiger's bullpen?? Other than the trade market, are there any possible pieces in the minors that would help? Is Smyly the missing piece for the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Josh, The Tigers are monitoring every right-handed setup/closer type reliever out there. That means Papelbon, Ziegler, Soria, Qualls, Benoit, etc. It's their one and only priority. The talent they would have to part with depends on the particular guy.
Where is Chase Headley playing on Aug. 1?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Shaun, There's been so much smoke about Toronto, it would almost be anti-climactic. But I could see the Rays and Padres doing that one. Padres are very motivated to talk about both Headley and Denorfia.
Nick (Arlington) [via mobile]
If the Cardinals got Price, would they have the best rotation once Wacha comes back?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Nick, I think the Cardinals need to get a better handle on Wacha and his health before they step up a trade pursuit of Price or any other pitcher.
Is Heyward a must sign for the Braves? What type of deal do you think would get it done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Tim, My sense in spring training was that the Braves invested so much money in Freeman and Simmons, it was going to be tough to invest the kind of cash that would be required to do a long-term deal for Heyward. I assume he's going to want nine figures, given his age, defense and upside. And the Braves sure don't have that in the coffers.
Jerry Crasnick is sexy (Philly)
Trying to get your attention! If you were RAJ would you convince Utley/Rollins to allow a trade? Chase could get us a lot in return!
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Ok, you got my attention (note to other people on this chat: Please don't try this at home). I don't know that Ruben Amaro can be expected to "convince" Utley or Rollins to accept a trade. But it would clearly be easier to sell Utley on the idea of going to SF or Oakland than to, say, Toronto, since Utley and his wife live there in the offseason.
The Nationals have been extremely quiet within this trade market. Do you see any significant moves from them, or just smaller deals to add depth?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Josh, There's been so much talk about the Nationals getting "healthy." Now that Zimmerman and Harper are back, I don't think they have any major voids. My feeling is that Mike Rizzo will try to upgrade the roster, but they won't be doing anything huge.
Buy License to Deal!!!! (USA)
Jerry is Pappelbon the last of the long-term high priced closers? I cannot see anyone signing a closer to a contract like that (not to mention RAJ bid against himself).
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Hah, That's a good one too. (In the shameless book plug category). The funny thing is, for all the grief Amaro took for that contract, at least Papelbon has stayed healthy and productive. Let's put it this way: His contract looks a lot better than the deal Heath Bell signed with the Marlins. I do think Kimbrel can expect a lucrative deal once he's eligible for free agency, but he's more the exception than the rule.
Jerry is Dan Uggla a Giant in a few days?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Alex, I can see the Giants taking a flyer on Uggla. Why not? It's not going to cost anything, and some other guys have gone into that atmosphere and thrived.
Thoughts on the ASG, Target Field, and the City of Minneapolis?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
JG, It was an entertaining All-Star Game, although I spent more time than I would have preferred chasing the Adam Wainwright controversy. Love Minneapolis as a city. I like Target Field, but I'd put it in the second echelon of new parks.
As a Cards fan I was completely OK with the Dodgers plunking Holliday, especially since Kershaw located it properly. I do take issue with some of the other unwritten rule stuff going on in the game. Can someone please clear up the ridiculously over emphasized "proper etiquette" part of the game so people like Colby Lewis can shut up and go away?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Ryan, I'm with you on Kershaw. I subscribe to the old "let the players police the action on the field" concept. As for Colby Lewis' comments, they made no sense to me or anyone else who read them. He's had a rough year -- and so have the Rangers -- so I guess they were fueled by the proverbial "frustration."
Jerry, it seems like despite his excellent stuff and piling up K's Steven Strasburg keeps giving up runs in bunches, with opponents hitting over .300 against his fastball. What gives?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Hey Jeremy, I need to dig into this a little more. But a guy with Strasburg's expectations and stuff shouldn't be giving up more than a hit an inning. He does have 158 K's in 134 innings, so you have to think he's still a tough AB.
Jesse (Los Angeles, CA.)
Kemp is on the wrong side of 29, and I don't see him regaining his All Star play, at least not with the Dodgers. I say trade him now, what's your opinion?
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Jesse, I think they'd love to trade him, but I don't see much interest based on the things you mentioned. He's bad in the outfield, he's not hitting with power, and he's making a ton of money. Not exactly attributes that will make other teams line up to try and acquire him.
Crasnick > Buster Stark (USA)
Jerry in short--what does Ruben HAVE to do and what WILL he be able to do?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
OK, This one went over the line. (Buster Olney and Jayson Stark are the best). I think Ruben should try to maximize value on his veterans, obviously, and do his best to replenish the farm system. But in the end, I don't see Utley, Rollins, Lee or Hamels getting trade. Maybe Marlon Byrd or Papelbon. But he's not going to be able to rip this up and do an organizational rebuild over the next 10 days.
Hey Jerry! Follow on to the Headley question - what type of package do you think would secure him? He has a big gap between his ceiling and his floor.
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Bob, I don't see the Padres getting a very significant return on Headley, honestly. We're not talking about elite prospects. Maybe a couple of BA top 30 types?
We are 10 days to the trading deadline. When do you think we start to see guys moving?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Frank, There are so many economic ramifications to a lot of these moves, teams can't wait until July 31 to make trades magically appear. But when clubs like the Rays and Red Sox get hot, they're now motivated to wait a few more days, and that's gumming up the works. In this environment, 3-4 bad days for a team can really change the dynamic. Sorry I can't pin it out further, but I know that's the way a lot of GMs are thinking.
More Jerry Chats!!!!!!!!! (USA)
Isn't this the time of year for the annual "move the trade deadline back" discussion? Where do you side?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
I think I saw a quote from the always-thoughtful Doug Melvin saying they should have a couple of deadlines. (If someone can refresh me on the specifics, that would be great). Parity and the wild cards are clearly putting a squeeze on the proceedings, so this is definitely something MLB should take a look at.
One more Headley question: Why do you think the Rays would want him when they have Evan Longoria?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Chris, Did I say Rays? If so, I meant Jays. Sometimes my fingers get ahead of my brain on these chats.
David Price. Stays with the Rays or goes to LAD, StL, SF, WSH, or BAL?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Josh, Quite honestly, if the Rays are 4-5 games out of a wild card spot at the deadline, I think he stays and Andrew Friedman tries again during the offseason.
Philly Phoods (USA)
Jerry you're in Philly tonight? Cheese steaks? Wawa? Jim Salisbury?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Three great Philadelphia icons.
Jesse (Los Angeles, CA.)
Your thoughts on the "Cardinal Way" and their pitchers drilling our guys (Dodgers). After multiple hit batters, it doesn't seem like an accident.
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Jesse, Even though Hanley Ramirez and Don Mattingly were upset, I don't think there's any way Trevor Rosenthal was trying to hit Hanley with that pitch in the ninth inning. Just a fastball that rode a little too much inside.
Do you think the A's are nearing buyer's remorse on Samardzija and Hammel?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Drew, Samardzija has made three starts and he's gone at least 7 innings in all three. Hammel is off to a shaky start in Oakland, but I don't think the A's are feeling "buyer's remorse" after three weeks. That would be a pretty knee-jerk response, wouldn't it?
Doug (Santa Barbara)
Hey Jerry . . . any thoughts on F. Rodney's premature arrow and the response from Pujols/Trout?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Hey Doug, It makes for good theater. If you're Rodney and you make a gesture like that after victories, you have to expect it's going to come back and bit you on occasion. I doubt he took major offense at it?
What is with all this Price to the Cubs talk I am hearing? Do people just throw out rumors to see if they will stick? If so Ryan Howard and Papelbon to Tampa for Price!
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Cubbies, Acquiring a pitcher who's signed for one more year at $20M after stockpiling all that young talent doesn't seem to fit the Cubs' gameplan to me. I'm sure there are plenty of players in Chicago's minor league system that Tampa would have interest in. But I don't see those two teams as a match.
Rich (Sun Valley, ID)
Hi Jerry.....my favorite chat is a great way to start the week. Everyone seemed to think that without Molina and Wacha, the Cardinals would begin to fold, but in some ways it actually seems to have sparked the team. They share first place and are 7-3 in their last ten. Is this sustainable? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Rich, If guys like Holliday, Craig and Wong start to hit, they're the best team in the Central. But they still have to figure out how they'll respond if Wacha's injury prevents him from coming back this season.
Why does everything good happen to Cleveland? Luckiest sports city around.
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
James, This is left over from my last week chat that didn't happen, but I still think it's a point worth repeating. Is any sports city more blessed than Cleveland?
Robert (Bala Cynwyd, PA)
Wasn't the rumor Price to Seattle, with the Cubs being a third team involved and maybe getting someone like Taillon? Never was Price to Chicago.
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Robert, That would make more sense (although I did see a Price-to-the-Cubs rumor floated today). Don't see where Jameson Taillon fits in the conversation, though, since he's a Pirate and recently had Tommy John surgery.
No question, just a comment. I'm so tired of people bashing the "Cardinal Way." The media blew it way up and most fans have absolutely no idea what it is or means. I am certain there is nothing in there about intentionally hitting guys on 0-2 counts in a tie game in the 9th.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Thanks, Ryan. For what it's worth, I also never thought of the "Cardinal Way" as drilling opposing hitters for the fun of it. To me it was more about them passing along the organizational traditions from the Stan Musial days. Am I missing something?
How do you compare Max S. contract to the one Clayton Kershaw signed.While Max has been great, it's hard to ignore the difference in their ages when the contract goes in.
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Mike, I agree with you, but it really doesn't matter what I think, since Scherzer is represented by Scott Boras, and Scott will be working on a booklet to convince teams that Max's age is irrelevant to how much he gets paid.
Robert (Bala Cynwyd, PA)
Meant Walker from Seattle to Cubs. My bad.
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
No problem, Robert. I think I wrote that Chase Headley is a candidate to get traded to the Rays, when I meant the Jays. (I'll need to check the transcript on that).
The Indians: Buyers or stand pat?
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Alec, They're close enough now to making a run at the playoffs, so I'm sure Chris Antonetti will try to add a right-handed bat or a bullpen piece. But the Indians' resources are always limited. So again, I'd be surprised if they do anything earth-shattering.
Jerry Crasnick is one smart due (Bristol, CT)
What happen to all those Marlon Byrd rumors? Where do you think a team needs to be at deadline to consider themselves buyers!
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Byrd has an $8M option for 2016 (I believe that's the amount) that vests if he reaches a certain number of plate appearances this year and next. I think that's put a damper on some of the trade interest. He also has a limited no-trade clause. These things are an additional barrier to trades that complicate matters.
How is Cleveland the luckiest sports town? We haven't won a championship since the 40s. The drive, the fumble, the shot, the decision, just to name some of the unluckiest times in Cleveland sports.
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Matt, I was just having some fun in the aftermath of the LeBron signing. As a lot of people know, I come from a family of Cleveland sports devotees even though I grew up in New England. The Browns, in particular, have tortured us for decades. My older brothers are the world's biggest Tribe fans.
I know that the Cubs have already made their "splash" transaction, but do you see them trading anything more than situational and/or bench players? I think speculation that they'll trade Castro or any of their elite prospects is pure fantasy right now, so not asking about that.
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Scott, I agree with you. I can see them trading Nate Schierholtz or a reliever, but they would have to be blown away to trade Castro. He's a 24-year-old All-Star shortstop. Do people think they're going to just give Castro away?
Jim C (Houston)
Ryan, putting runners on base intentionally in a tie game just to hit someone isn't the "Cardinal Way". It is the "LaRussa Way". Hence the confusion.
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Hey Jim, At the risk of fanning the flames, I found this comment pretty amusing.
Chris (Salem, Oregon)
How long will the Dodgers wait to improve their team and put Joc Pederson in CF?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Chris, Think about this: Do you really want to take a kid like Joc Pederson, bring him up and stick him in center field and have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier complaining about their lack of playing time every day? That's not really the optimal environment in which to introduce a prospect to the big leagues, is it?
Mark (Lyme, CT)
Is it laughable that I still think my Red Sox have a shot?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Mark, They have a lot of work to do, but the wild card contenders in front of them are so flawed, I think they need to let this thing play out another week and see where they stand. I don't think they have enough offense to put together a monster run. But I'm not ready to declare them dead.
Jim C (Houston)
I live to amuse. Can you answer a question for me? In the wake of the Aiken non-signing, I get that he can go to college. What happens when a college senior doesn't sign? Independent League, then try again in a year?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Jim C, If a kid is a senior and goes and plays in an independent league, I believe that every MLB team has a crack at him and can sign him whenever they want. He doesn't go back into the draft. Is that what you were asking?
Tulo moving? Maybe in offseason?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Rockie, I asked Tulo about the trade rumors at the All-Star Game and he said he plans to sit down with Rockies management this winter and see what direction the team is headed in. That tells me the prospect of a Tulo trade isn't as far-fetched as it once might have been.
Mark (Corona, Ca)
If you are Jack Z. Would you really gut the farm to get Price? Or any real prospect for a Marlon Byrd type? I don't understand that logic just to still finish in 3rd place.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Therein lies my skepticism about the Mariners and Price. He's a guy you acquire to try to win the World Series. I just don't think the Mariners are at that point yet.
Follow up on the Castro comment: SS make the transition to other positions easier than any other transition, so a backlog of potential superstar SS does NOT have to mean you trade them. I can see Castro at 3B, Russell at SS, Baez at 2b, Bryant at RF and Alcantara (the most underappreciated prospect in baseball right now) in CF.
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Yes Scott, your comments echo what Theo Epstein said recently after the Russell trade.
Big discussion around the water cooler at my Insurance Co. has been the lack of consistensy in the AL East this season. Any good clubhouse guys who could move to the Orioles or Jays to get those teams to play a little more hardnosed?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Ken, Well, Jonny Gomes is a "hard-nosed" guy who's played for a bunch of winners, but I don't see him going to either of those teams. Quite honestly, I don't think the Orioles' biggest issue is a lack of toughness. They just need an elite starting pitcher.
Following up on the Aiken question, who takes the blame for this debacle in Houston? Is it the GM, ownership, someone else or is this an organization wide issue?
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Seth, I don't know enough about the ins and outs to hang the blame on anybody. But in my experience, ownership never takes the blame for anything of this magnitude. Also, while the Aiken-Nix-Marshall story was a complete mess, the Astros still have some talent on the farm. This hurts them, for sure, but it's not as if the cupboard is bare there.
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Hey everybody, I have to run. Let's do it again next week. Thanks for all the great questions.