Chat with Jayson Stark
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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.
His latest book, "Wild Pitches" examines the "why" behind baseball's winners and losers to give fans a rare look inside the game. He tries to answer questions like, how do high-priced contracts impact a team's ability to compete for a title? How do sabermetrics play a role?
Send your questions now and join Stark Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:03 PM)
Hang on folks! Jayson was a travelling machine today and just got home. He'll be logging in pretty soon!
Jayson Stark (1:05 PM)
Phew. I made it back from Bristol. Ready to go, after I exhale and inhale. So let's get started.
Can you see any scenario where an AL GM takes Rryan Howard off the Phillies hands if Amaro pays for most (sans maybe $5M/year) of what's left on the contract AND get ANYTHING of value in return? If not, why wouldn't they just release him?
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
They've offered him around to any AL team that might theoretically need him and gotten no takers, from what I've heard. They've offered to pay virtually all of the money and not asked for much of anything back, and still gotten no bites. But how can they release him, at least right now? Look at their system. They look as if they'll barely have enough players to field a team next year if they just dump all the guys their fans are tired of. So if releasing him were to happen, it certainly isn't imminent. I thought Bob Brookover wrote a thoughtful column on this topic on philly.com yesterday. Check it out.
Jayson, Where do the Rockies go from here? Trade Tulo, Cargo, etc, and start all over? Clean out the front office? Spend money on bigger free agent pitchers instead of reclamation projects and high-risk/high/reward younger guys?
Jayson Stark (1:10 PM)
I don't think they'll do much of anything in the next week, unless it's to move a reliever or two. But this winter is another story. I can see them dangling CarGo to see who bites. I can see the potential for front-office-changes. But they can't keep changing philosophies every two years. So I don't see anything revolutionary. If that's what you were hoping to hear, sorry!
Mike P (Greater Kc Metro)
The Royals are 1 game above .500 and 7 back of Detroit and 2 games back in the wild card. What move if any can the team make to make a push for playoffs and next year? Also what can Ned Yost do to get this team to hit better or is that a lost cause for the year with it being august already?
Jayson Stark (1:13 PM)
They're looking for a RF bat, and either Marlon Byrd or Alex Rios would be fits. They're not perfect, but they're what's out there. I wish I could tell you there was some magic formula for the guys there now to hit better. But after six hitting coaches in three years, I think that's on the players, not the manager or the coaches. Don't you?
Nick Rome (Orlando)
will the Marlins trade Stanton
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
This is the weekly Giancarlo question. Might as well get it out of the way. They're not trading him. Got it? Maybe this winter, if they determine they can't sign him, that could change. But they need to get to the bargaining table first. Got it? That's all on him for this week. Thanks for playing.
Any thought that Adam Dunn might be a great fit for the Royals? He can still play a below average OF but his offense is what they need.
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
They're pretty much locked into Billy Butler. And they'd prefer a right-handed bat. So where does Adam Dunn fit, other than that he hits for a living?
What do the cards do at the deadline? Big move like Price or get a smaller trade like Peavy? Or an unknown name that hasnt been talked about yet?
Jayson Stark (1:19 PM)
I looked at their trade history the other day while I was working on Rumblings and Grumblings. Their only two deadline blockbusters in this millennium were Matt Holliday in 2009 and Scott Rolen in 2002. So while they're still in on Price, their history says this will be a lower-level move that doesn't involve giving up guys like Oscar Taveras. The Peavy deal is still very much alive, by the way. The Red Sox just brought in their top scouts to watch the Cardinals' New York-Penn League team. And that's telling us something.
Jeff New York [via mobile]
What are the realistic chances Joaquin Benoit gets traded? And if he does where does he land?
Jayson Stark (1:21 PM)
I don't think he'll get traded now, to be honest. He's under control for next year, and the interim GMs making these deals won't be plotting the future beyond the next few weeks. So I'd bet that neither he nor Ian Kennedy get traded in the next week. Both are out there, technically, but being priced higher than you'd expect.
Joe Southern New Jersey [via mobile]
Do you think the Phillies will make multiple moves and do you think they'll be significant?
Jayson Stark (1:23 PM)
In the end, I think they'll make two trades before the deadline -- Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo. If they make a third, it's possible they move A.J. Burnet. But the player option for next year makes that challenging, unless he assures the team dealing for him he's going to retire. The Pirates have some interest, for example. But they wouldn't if they had to pay him $14.25 million next year (which could happen if he makes 30 starts). That option has greatly defused his trade market.
JJ (Detroit) [via mobile]
If Price doesn't move, do Rays make a trade to bolster a run?
Jayson Stark (1:25 PM)
Anything's possible with them at this point. Have a tough week and sell. Have a great week and do some buying. Tread water and hold. As always, they're exploring all options.
Thoughts on Theo's "shot" at the Cards regarding the pick?
Jayson Stark (1:26 PM)
I agree with him, actually. Since the day the labor deal got done, I've been hearing incredulity that the Cardinals were eligible for that "competitive-balance lottery." Leave the Cardinals-Cubs angle out of it. Isn't it obvious the formula is flawed if a team that successful gets a pick, and a team like the Rays winds up with no pick?
Will the Reds be buyers or sellers? Any big names you see move from the Reds if they do sell?
Jayson Stark (1:27 PM)
They're buying, last I heard. Even after losing six in a row, they're still alive in the division and the wild card. They'd prefer a guy they can control next year, too, though. So Marlon Byrd or someone like Ben Zobrist are both fits.
Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Niese, Gee, deGrom, Montero... obviously Colon doesn't fit into the Mets plans next year. What type of return can the Mets expect for him?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
They've been having trouble moving him, from what I've heard, because of the money for next year, his age and all the reasons other teams didn't want to give him a two-year deal last winter. But there isn't much reliable starting pitching out there right now. So I think they'll be able to move him for a decent prospect. Sandy Alderson has consistently done well with these types of moves.
who in your opinion realistically gets traded FROM Boston? I strongly feel they should trade Drew. To have darn near no chance at the play offs, keeping him when they could get something for him would puzzle me. Your thoughts?
Jayson Stark (1:30 PM)
I've barely heard Drew's name. He's created pretty muich no market for himself, even though he's picked it up a little lately. I think if the Red Sox sell, they'll trade Peavy, Tazawa, Miller and Gomes, or some combination thereof. Really doubt they'll trade Lester. But I keep thinking that if Price doesn't get dealt, there's a real opportunity for the Red Sox and Phillies (with Hamels) to step into that void.
Nick (College Park)
In the realm of the possible (i.e., not magically landing a front-of-the-rotation starter), what move would most help the Orioles? Catcher who can hit? Reliever who can get out lefties? Second baseman?
Jayson Stark (1:32 PM)
I think Kurt Suzuki would be a great fit. But beyond that, a left-handed reliever who is more than just a specialist and a starting pitcher who's an upgrade would be their prime targets. Better shot of landing the reliever than the starter, though, because they're saying no on all their high-end prospects.
If you're the Dodgers, and the price for Price is Seeger and Pederson, wouldn't you rather give that up for Hamels, who you control for 4 years vs. 2 of Price?
Jayson Stark (1:34 PM)
I agree with that, actually. But I don't see them giving up Seager and Pederson in any deal. At least that's what they've told everybody, from what I'm hearing. Can't see how that changes in the next week, given the state of their system and their big-league team. Need to plug SOME young players into that mix at some point.
JJ (Detroit) [via mobile]
Chances of Kemp moving?
Jayson Stark (1:35 PM)
I'll go 25 percent, maybe less. The money is a hugh obstacle. The fact that there are so few bats, and the Dodgers' willingness to eat some of the money, would be the only reason I'd even put it that high.
Any idea what the nationals are thinking after Ryan Zimm went down? Possibly considering trade options for a replacement?
Jayson Stark (1:37 PM)
Not getting much sense that they're getting significantly more aggressive. They don't seem optimistic about this injury. Sounds like he'll be out for a long time. But they have so much depth, they can cover it. So they're poking around for bats and a lefthanded reliever. But as I said, not very aggressively.
Would Susac and Krick be enough to land Price for the Giants? Are they looking for prospects or major league ready guys?
Jayson Stark (1:38 PM)
I don't see that one happening. The Giants would need to overload that deal with quantity, because they don't have that big elite prospect to front the trade. And I get the feeling they're not going down that road. But they really want a starter. And Brian Sabean always seems to find a way to get what he needs this time of year.
Have to disagree on Theo...while he was careful in crafting his words to offer praise for the Cardinals organization, I get the sense this was a guy letting out some frustration that success has been much more elusive than what most think he "should" have accomplished in his current situation (i.e. market) by now. By the way, why should the Cards be punished for thriving despite there being some factors decidedly against them?
Jayson Stark (1:41 PM)
I have no doubt that frustration fueled part of that. But as I said, the entire industry reacted that way when the Cardinals were included in that lottery, and I hear it again every time they get a pick out of it. It's not "punishment" for being successful. It's just that the formula for including them is based on market size. But if this is really about "competitive balance," why is a team with those revenues, that has had this much success, qualify? It's confusing to a lot of people, not just Theo.
Jayson, would the prospect of a one game playoff deter teams on the cusp of the playoff chase making a major move? What's the point in dealing cost controlled prospects at the risk of losing a one game playoff?
Jayson Stark (1:43 PM)
Absolutely. If you're Kansas City, or Pittsburgh last year, or Seattle, it's different. It means something just to say you made the playoffs. But to gut your system for a chance to sneak into that one game, and they have your postseason (and season) end in three hours, is a prospect that rubs a lot of teams the wrong way. So adding that second wild card has really hurt the trade market, because it reduces the number of sellers and because a lot of the buyers aren't really shopping for rent-a-players.
Phil bloom (Philadrlphia )
Jason, any chance of Howard, utley, Rollins of hamels gone by the deadline?
Jayson Stark (1:46 PM)
Zero on Howard and Utley. Slim on Hamels, although as I've been writing and saying on the air, it wouldn't be accurate to say he's "unavailable" -- because they've told several teams what it would take to get him. In fact, the Phillies had scouts zeroing in on the Red Sox system in the last few days, and I was told it was because the Red Sox had called on Hamels. Rollins is really, really unlikely. But the Giants have had some interest and that one isn't dead, I'm told. But the contract, and the no-trade, and the fact that Brandon Crawford would have to move to second, are major obstacles.
Jayson,You said the second wild card hurt the trade market and teams aren't looking for rent players. Yet the Phillies are having trouble with teams wanting their players for the very opposite reason (team options, etc.).
Jayson Stark (1:48 PM)
But that's because the backloaded money is either so large or is impossible to calculate, because of vesting options and (in Burnett's case) uncertainty over how much the option would even be worth. Hamels is the one contract that wouldn't be a problem in that regard. The rest are major headaches.
Any chance that the Cubs make a move with Jackson, Lake or anyone else?
Jayson Stark (1:48 PM)
I think they move Russell and Bonifacio. That's my guess.
Jayson, any chance the Brewers do anything to upgrade the bullpen? Will Smith has been good but seems to be wearing down a bit and Wooten and Kintzler should not be on a major league team.
Jayson Stark (1:49 PM)
Definitely looking. And there's a lot of middle relief out there. Doug Melvin is another GM who always seems to find a way to deal for what he needs in July, if the money matches up right.
Do you know if Alderson is shopping anybody else besides Colon? Murphy, Niese, etc...
Jayson Stark (1:51 PM)
Daniel Murphy is the only other name I've heard of significance. They'd definitely move him, but they want quality back. As I said, Sandy Alderson does a really good job of making these types of moves. And there are enough teams looking for a second baseman that I think that's a real possibility.
Rob (Ashland, Ore)
Jayson, help my Pirates. They need a starter and a reliever. Could you see them trying to get Peavy and/or Uehara from the Red Sox?
Jayson Stark (1:52 PM)
Not sure they consider Peavy an upgrade. And they're not really looking for a closer. At least they've told teams they're happy with Mark Melancon. So someone like Junichi Tazawa is more of a possibility than Uehara if they make a deal with Boston.
With the recent tailspin by the Reds, should they consider selling some guys while their value is high (Cueto & Chapman come to mind) in exchange for rebuilding a depleted farm system when it comes to bats? Would a package of Cueto
Jayson Stark (1:54 PM)
Looks like you got cut off there. But they're not moving Cueto or Chapman. They're trying to win. They'd have to do a lot more losing in the next week to sell. And I see no scenario where they dramatically gut their team.
Jack (NC) [via mobile]
Do you see the Tigers trading for a bat or are they set after the deal with Texas
Jayson Stark (1:55 PM)
They're not really bat-shopping. Left-handed relief seems to be the last item on their list.
Ryan (New York)
What are the chances the Yankees acquire a top starting pitcher? And are they working on anything in particular at this time
Jayson Stark (1:58 PM)
They don't have the minor-league pieces to get a "top" starting pitcher. And their approach tells you that they think the same thing. They're shopping in that Ian Kennedy/Jorge De La Rosa type range. And even those guys are probably too pricey for them. They'd gladly take on a Cliff Lee kind of salary dump, but the Phillies aren't trying to just move money, from what I'm hearing. So I see another move or two right out of the mold of what Brian Cashman has already made. Useful players for second-tier bodies. I'd be shocked if they do anything more dramatic than that.
Any chance Longoria gets moved? Those 10 year deals never seem to pay off, no matter how cheap.
Jayson Stark (1:58 PM)
Zero chance. Face of the Franchise.
Brian (Point Pleasant, NJ)
Where is Oscar Taveras on August 1st?
Jayson Stark (1:59 PM)
St. Louis. Really trying to avoid moving him.
Jayson Stark (1:59 PM)
Wow. The hour has whooshed by. I only have time for one more. How'd that happen?
What are the chances Rollins gets moved? I could definitely see the Giants targeting him. He could go back home, Crawford could play 2B, and he shouldn't cost as much as some of the other infielders the Giants have been rumored to be after.
Jayson Stark (2:00 PM)
Really, really, really slim. The Giants might be kicking that around, but without much enthusiasm, it feels like. And Rollins doesn't particularly want to go anywhere else. (And his wife wants to even less than he does.) So you'll be seeing him in 2015, too!
Jayson Stark (2:01 PM)
Wow. Fun hour. Thanks for all the great questions. See you down the road in Chat Land!