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 after a week on vacation. I have to say I enjoyed watching Mo'Ne Davis and the Philly Little Leaguers take on Texas last night. It was definitely the baseball game of the day. That said, let's take some questions.
Richard (San Diego)
How come the baseball media hasn't taken Beane to task fortrading his only legitimate hitter (Cespedas)? If this trade had beencompleted by Wren or Moore; the media would be ripping them fora stupid trade. I believe that the trade will cost the A's their chance at getting to the World Series,
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Richard, It would be hypocritical for the media to turn around and bash Billy Beane less than three weeks after praising him for his brilliant act of daring. Let's wait and see how this shakes out. That being said, the A's have to be a little concerned with their offense since the trade. I'm sure Billy would have preferred to add Lester and build a monster rotation without creating a void in this year's lineup. Someone, whether it's Nate Freiman or Brandon Moss or whomever, is going to have to pick up the slack over the next few weeks.
Rick (Virginia Blue Ridge)
Jerry, a very troubled Tiger fan here. I am becoming resigned to the fact that the combination of a non-effective bullpen, slumping hitters, sloppy defense, and an erudite but green rookie manager will sink the team the rest of the way. What do you think?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Rick, I wouldn't give up in them yet, not with that starting pitching. But the Royals are giving them more than they bargained for. If I had to bet, I'd still take the Tigers to hold off KC down the stretch.
What do the Orioles do with Ubaldo Jimenez? He is unwatchable and I would take Gonzalez, Norris, Tillman, Chen and Gausman over him any day of the week.
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Justin, I usually advocate patience, especially with $13 million a year investments, but the Orioles have such a rare opportunity now, it's hard to argue with keeping Ubaldo in the rotation. He not only gives them bad outings -- he kills the bullpen. But I believe they've won 4 of his last 5 starts in spite of how lousy he's been. At some point I think they need to swallow hard and stick him in a long relief-role where he can't do so much damage. There just isn't enough time this year for him to work out his issues in the rotation.
So much speculation this weekend with the Mets playing the Cubs about a possible trade this offseason. Do you think something could actually get done after the season? My guess is Theo would hold out for at least two arms for one of his young bats and Sandy will say guys like Thor and Wheeler are off limits, making a deal impossible.
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Chris, There does seem to be a lot of room for common ground between the two teams. But neither one is a playoff contender, so they can afford to wait until the offseason to talk seriously. One issue for me: People think the Cubs are just going to lower the price on Castro, Baez or whomever because they have so many young shortstops. They're not.
David (Ft myers Florida)
The Reds just seem snakebite this year. Can they make a run or is it over?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
David, I just don't see it. The division is very strong, the Votto and Phillips injuries really hurt them, and I think the mix has gotten stale with that team. There's such a thing as being together too long, and I think that group needs a shakeup over the winter.
Jason (Ellicott City, MD)
Do you think Ubaldo would be effective enough as a reliever? Kinda similar to Andrew Miller and Zach Britton where they were bad at starting but could dial it up for an inning or two and have success? Any idea what Ubaldo's fastball would max out as?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Jason, Some scouts think it's easier for pitchers with command issues to hold it together in shorter doses out of the bullpen. But it didn't exactly work for Jonathan Sanchez and other guys like that. Jimenez has such weird mechanics, it would be a major project to shift him to the pen (particularly mid-season). And they're not paying him $52 million or whatever to be a 7th inning guy.
Jerry,What do you think about the Pirates re-signing Russell Martin? He is a team leader on and off the field. His offensive numbers are very good this year, and his defense as always has been terrific. I am not in the camp that Tony Sanchez is a suitable replacement should Martin leave in free agency. What type of offer will it take to get Martin to stay with the Bucs? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Jeff, Martin is a great fit for the Pirates. I think he and Pittsburgh ownership agree on that. But he's going to be 32 years old in February, and he's got some mileage on him. I think the Pirates would be cool with a two-year deal or two and a vesting option. But Martin probably wants something in the 4-5 year range at well in excess of $10 million annually. They have a significant gap to bridge. And it's late enough in the season now that he might as well go out and test the waters.
Castro for Wheeler and Syndergaard. Is that along the lines of what where looking at?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Greg, I doubt it would take both (and there's no way the Mets would agree to that). But I'm sure the conversation would begin with those kind of names.
John (Cincinnati, OH)
How painful will dropping to wildcard be for the A's? I thought they were all in for 2014, did the offense not get the memo?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
John, Every team goes through a streak or two like this during the season. It's magnified when it happens in early April and late September. In this case, it came after Billy Beane made a flurry of bold moves at the deadline. The A's have a tough-minded group and I think they'll right themselves relatively soon. But they're going to have to get used to the idea that they need to compete without a big presence in the middle of their lineup now.
Jason (Ellicott City, MD)
Is Doug Fister legit or just having a career year in a weak NL east?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
He's legit as far as I'm concerned. He was pretty good in Detroit, too.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Does the sweep of the Braves over the A's say more about the Braves or the A's?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Jean Claude, I think it says something about the lack of dominant teams in MLB this year. Every roster is flawed to an extent and just when you think a team is on a roll, it has a reality check. That's why I wouldn't be surprised to see KC or Seattle have a bad week and teams like Detroit and Oakland reassert themselves soon.
A.Bradley get promoted by DBacks?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Shaun, Nick Piecoro, who covers the D-backs, recently speculated that the team could be paving the way for an Archie Bradley audition by going with a 6-man rotation in September. That sounds plausible to me.
Do the injuries to Tulowitzki and Gonzalez make them unmovable this winter?
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Chris, I wouldn't say "unmovable." But those guys make a lot of money and have had trouble staying on the field, so it certainly could hinder the kind of offers the Rockies get.
Jerry thoughts on A.Guerrero and J.Pderson in sept.?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
David, Apparently they'll be in LA in a couple of weeks. It's hard to predict what their playing time or their roles will be. But if they can give the Dodgers a spark and help them win the West, I don't think Don Mattingly will worry much about hurting anybody else's feelings.
Have Nats turned a corner? 6 in a row, best record in NL, best run differential in NL.
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
David, Coupled with the Braves' recent fade, yes, I think they've taken control of the division. That doesn't mean Matt Williams doesn't have a few problems to iron out down the stretch.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Jerry - Tampa Bay has fought back to the .500 level but lost 2 pf 3 to the Yankees, will the Rays make it to the playoffs or just be a factor on who makes it to the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Rich, The Rays had their run before the Price trade, but it's pretty hard to envision them making the playoffs now. They were too buried to begin with, and there's too much competition for them to emerge as a wild card team.
Ed (Queens Village)
What are two or three things you want to see from new commish?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Ed, As bland as this sounds, I want to make sure Rob Manfred and Tony Clark can get another labor deal done before 2016 without any kind of stoppage. That's priorities 1,2 and 3. But there are a lot of other issues that need to be addressed -- like the draft, the free agent compensation system and reaching out to younger fans to help baseball maintain its popularity. The pace of game thing really does need to be addressed.
Joe (Cubicle Hell)
Will the new commissioner get the umpires to enforce the time between pitches rule? That part of the game makes it almost unwatchable. I can not understand why it takes so long between pitches.
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Joe, I agree with you on this. There's no reason a 2-1 game with 14 hits should take three hours and 15 minutes. When you watch old clips of baseball, the game zips along at a much quicker pace simply because pitchers and hitters don't waste so much time fiddling around. (Does this observation make me sound like a "get off my lawn" type?)
Brewers (Milwaukee, WI)
Our apologies to the national media "experts." Whether you've noticed or not, we're still in first place and just swept the Dodgers. We've beaten Strasburg, Greinke, Kershaw, Wainwright, Lester, Samardzija.......... Wake up!!!
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
You're entitled to gloat. I think a lot of us wondered if the Brewers had staying power. It's obvious they do.
It has been viewed that Jerry Reinsdorf has been the behind the scenes leader for the owners and was not happy his guy was not named commish. How will Reinsdorf influence the new commish as he did with Selig?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Sean, I'm not sure if I would say that Jerry Reinsdorf had to "eat a little crow" with the Rob Manfred selection. But this is clearly a sign that the new commissioner is going to do his best to represent all 30 clubs and not an elite subset of power brokers. Reinsdorf simply doesn't have the longterm relationship and history with Manfred that he did with Selig, and I think that's what scared him about Rob.
Joe from Cubicle Hell is spot on. I can't stand all that time between pitches. Every time I see Ortiz take one swing, then step out, stare into the stands, and smack his hands together, it drives me nuts. Get the ball, throw the ball. This extra time adds no value whatsoever.
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
I hear ya, Josh. (As a side note, I also like the moniker "Joe from Cubicle Hell.")
What are your thoughts on the Hamilton/Scioscia comments? There has been talk about how Hamilton's agent did him a disservice moving him to Angels for highest price.
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Mitch, Mike Moye, Hamilton's agent, is a respected and upstanding guy, so I wouldn't pin it on him. At some point the player has to take responsibility for his own decisions. I think Scioscia's quotes were a sign that the Angels might feel as if they've protected and coddled Hamilton long enough, and now it's time for some tough love. We'll see how well it works.
Might want to fact check: Josh Donaldson this season .252/.340/.466/Brandon Moss this season .254/.344/.476Yoenis Cepedes this season .253/.297/.461
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
JW, I hear what you're saying, but Moss, Norris, Crisp and Jaso have all been terrible in August. That's what I meant to refer to.
Where do you see Castillo signing? And how soon?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Hey Bobby, I was on vacation last week and I've lost touch with the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes. (Just being honest). I'll be checking on it this week and discuss it next week, provided he's still out there.
Well deserved focus has been on the jobs Theo, Beane, and Dombrowski have done so far but any thoughts on Rick Hahn and the White Sox? Looks like they might improve by 15-18 wins over last year.
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Gary, I think Rick Hahn made some nice moves to make the Sox younger and more athletic in the offseason. They've had some setbacks, and that minus-55 run differential is nothing great. But Rick is a bright guy with a plan, and that organization is in capable hands moving forward. If they win 77 or 78 games, White Sox fans probably couldn't have expected much more.
John (Cleveland, OH)
Jerry, what chance do you give Corey Kulber of winning the Cy Young? He has been nearly as dominant, if not more dominant, than Felix Hernandez in my opinion. He even has tied Hernandez in wins, Strikeouts, and Kluber has thrown 2 complete games compared to King Felix having ZERO! I know that Hernandez is playing for a serious contender, but Kluber and the Indians are not that far out from a wildcard and possibly the AL central with still over a month and tons of games against the Tigers and some against KC.
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Hey John, Corey Kluber has been tremendous, but Felix outpaces him significantly in ERA, WHIP, batting average and OPS against, quality start percentage and a bunch of other significant categories. I don't see any way he wins the Cy barring an injury or complete collapse by the King.
James (Kansas City, MO)
The Royals have the best defense and the best bullpen in baseball. How far do you think it can get them?
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
James, It certainly helped them weather a terrible performance by the offense in the first half. I don't know if I would expect a deep postseason run by the Royals. But they're playing as if they expect to get there, and that's very important for a young team.
Derek [via mobile]
Your take on the rookie manager. Ausmus or Williams?
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Derek, I like both guys. Ausmus is incredibly bright and he has a great demeanor for a veteran team. I have to admit, as an outsider, that I'm a little perplexed about a couple of the Matt Williams-Bryce Harper incidents this season and what Williams was trying to accomplish. But he's a very smart and detail-oriented guy and you have to be impressed with the way he helped the Nats hold things together through the injuries and some of their early struggles.
Hi jerry, I agree with your earlier take about the Nationals, do you consider fiddling with sharing the closing role between Soriano, storen and Clippard or just keep trotting Soriano out there and cross the fingers (he had a great first half of the season but closers that throw 92 and have no real out pitch give me the heeby jeebies
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
P.J. -- We all know how these closer issues work: The manager tries to refrain from making a call until the old guy (whether it's Joe Nathan, John Axford, Jim Johnson or whomever) is so bad it's obvious a change needs to be made. Then he says the team will do it "by committee" rather than completely displace the old guy and shatter his confidence. Matt Williams is fortunate that he has some other options in place if Soriano continues to struggle. Some managers aren't so fortunate.
How concerned should Dodger fans be about having the left side of the infield on the DL, now that the Giants are only 3 games back?
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Frank, Unless the Dodgers are 10 up on the Giants, they're always going to be concerned. But as long as Kershaw and Greinke are in the rotation, it's going to be well-short of full-blown panic time. I still think the Dodgers win the West.
Seth (My House)
How can you explain how the Giants are so bad at home? Yet even with their struggles they lead the wild card and are only 3 back of the Dodgers. Can they catch the Dodgers and if not, will they be in the WC?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Hey Seth, I don't have a great answer off the top of my head. They're 11th in the NL in home ERA this season, which is uncharacteristic for them. But I'd have to bore in a little deeper to come up with a more definitive explanation.
stosh (eclectic al)
If CC, and/or ARod can not play in 2015 for medical or legal reasons will their salaries count against the luxury tax? Do you think either would consider letting the Yankees buy out their contracts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Stosh, Since A-Rod's suspension will be over, I don't see any legal reasons why he won't be eligible to play. And if CC is out because of an injury, that won't take the Yankees off the hook. Unless I'm wrong, I think the Yanks are stuck. And there's no way either player (or the union) would stand for giving up any of the money that's still owed them. Sorry.
Tyler Smith (Atlanta, Ga)
Offseason trade idea: BJ Upton for Josh Hamilton. Who hangs up first?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Tyler, I personally think there's hope for Hamilton to be better, while BJ pretty much is what he is at this point. Then again, maybe my opinion of Hamilton is more upbeat because I don't see him play as much.
Do you believe the Orioles can make it far in the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Avery, I just don't think the rotation stacks up with what Oakland or Detroit will be running out there. Of course, the A's and Tigers haven't looked very good lately. But they have the kind of classic, hard-throwing rotations built for a deep October run. Baltimore doesn't.
Sandy (Flushing, NY)
What's the most the Mets could reasonably get for Colon if we - I mean they - eat a couple of million $ next year?
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
I think it would be pretty much a case of recouping as many dollars as they can. They're not going to get any impact prospects for him. Sorry.
Jason (Citi Field)
I'm a Cubs fan stuck listening to all of these Mets fans think the Cubs will just give them a 24-year old, 3-time All-Star shortstop for a bag of balls. Can you please tell them to get a clue? No one else values their pitching as highly as they do.
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Jason, I do think other people value the Mets pitching quite highly. But you're correct in thinking that Starlin Castro is a much more prized commodity than people give him credit for. It's going to take a lot to pry him loose from the Cubbies.
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Hey everybody, Thanks for the questions. I appreciate it. Have a great week, and we'll do it again next Monday.