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 folks, Thanks for hopping on the chat today. I'll try to handle your questions more carefully than Hunter Mahan did his crystal victory chalice. Let's talk some ball.
Ed (Queens Village)
If AL MOTY was being handed out today is M's Lloyd McClendon the favorite to win?
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Ed, He is for me. Ned Yost will certainly be in the conversation if the Royals win the AL Central (can you believe that, Royals fans?), and Buck Showalter deserves some recognition if the Orioles overcome the injuries to Wieters and Machado and take the East. But I think McClendon is the guy.
Is Oakland done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
No Jim, The A's aren't done, but this clearly isn't the way Billy Beane drew it up when he made that flurry of trades in July. They have to figure out a way to score runs consistently without Cespedes, and the injuries are piling up. But this is a tough-minded team, and Bob Melvin does a great job keeping them on an even keel. That said, they need to find their equilibrium in September if they want to make a deep run in the postseason.
Max, Boston [via mobile]
If you were Phillies GM, what would you do with Howard and his contract?
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Max, Ruben Amaro will be a busy guy in the offseason. He needs to shop Howard and some of his other veterans and be prepared to assume a big chunk of money, but I think he's realistic enough to understand that. I don't necessarily think Howard is as much of a disaster as some people make him out to be. But at this point, a change of scenery would probably be the best thing for both him and the Phils.
HOw has girardi been so overlooked in his value as a manager, especialy the last 2 seasons. look at the records he has put up with the washed up players he is given. IS there any way he will end up in the top 3 this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Hanna, That's a good point. Joe Girardi has done a very good job navigating a lot of injuries and minefields over the past two seasons. Because they're the Yankees and the payroll is so huge, he's never going to get the attention he deserves (unless they go deep into October or win the World Series). But I think he's done a great job this season without a whole lot of acclaim.
BJ for Edwin Jackson...Really? The Cubs would take BJ?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Tim, Obviously somebody balked and prevented the deal from coming to fruition. But at this point, this is probably the kind of deal the Braves have to explore for B.J. -- a change of scenery trade where both sides are willing to assume a bad contract. You'll probably hear more rumors of this type in the offseason.
Brewers (Milwaukee, WI)
Yup, still in 1st. Sorry, ESPN.
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Brewers, Do we have some kind of pro-St. Louis/Pittsburgh/Cincinnati bias that I'm unaware of?
Jerry, sure seems like 2 out of the 3 of KC, DET, and SEA will make the playoffs. Who do you think gets left out?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
DJ, I would have said Seattle a week ago. But with Ackley, LoMo and some other guys hitting so well, they're looking better by the day. I'm also not ready to jump off the Detroit bandwagon yet even though it doesn't look great for the Tigers at the moment. Quite honestly, it looks as if this thing will come down to the waning days of the season. I hate to be a wimp, but I have no clue as of this moment.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Did Mike Minor finally turn things around?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Jean Claude, It certainly appears so. He's been very good his last three times out. The Braves people said he just never got his act together after having such a slow start because of that January urinary tract issue. But he looks like vintage Mike Minor right now. Just in time to help them make a wild card push.
Jon (Long Island) [via mobile]
Quite a run for Lucas Duda. What kind of numbers do you expect from him in future seasons?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Jon, I think most of us envisioned Lucas Duda as a .260, 30-homer guy if things went right this season. At the moment, I believe he's hitting .260 with 26 bombs. He's 28, so I'm not sure his upsided is much higher than this. But if he can hit .260 or .270 with 30-35 HRs in that ballpark, that's a very nice piece in the middle of that lineup.
Ryan (Harrisburg, PA)
Jerry, Ben Revere is an awful outfiedler, has no power & never walks yet he's going to win the NL batting title, is it wrong of me to think he's not an every day cf?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Ryan, I'm reading a lot about Ben Revere's "empty" batting average and his other shortcomings, but I give the kid credit for overcoming the doubters and making the most of what he's got. I asked Ruben Amaro about him the other day and Ruben basically said that Revere is fine provided he has the right players around him. Let's put it this way: On the list of Phillies' problems, he's about No. 20 right now.
Bohn (Mercer Island)
With Tigers struggling with offense do you think the tigers regret trading Fielder
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Bohn, Given that Prince Fielder went down with a season-ending neck injury after 42 games, I think the Tigers are fine with that deal.
Chances that you see Freeman, Heyward and J Upton all together into their 30's?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Tim, The Braves invested so much money in Freeman and Andrelton Simmons (close to $200 million), I doubt they have the cash to give Heyward the kind of money that it's going to take to stay there longterm. That's just my take.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Major League Baseball Team has the Worst Hitting in 2014?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Chris, The Padres pretty much have that designation locked down for 2014. But I do find it interesting that the Yankees, Phillies, Braves, Red Sox, Reds and Cardinals are among the big payroll/high profile teams with offenses that rank among the bottom 10 in the majors in runs scored this season.
Greg (Ellicott City)
I know it is early but what kind of stats would you project for Kennys Vargas next year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Greg, He has big power, but some of it is going to be swallowed up by that park. He also has 27 strikeouts and 4 walks since he's come up from the minors. If he can hit .250 with 20 homers next season, the Twins would probably be quite satisfied with that.
Jay (Long Island, NY)
Hey Jerry; do you feel a few of the Red Sox younger players might not meet expectations? I'm specifically talking about Bradley & Middlebrooks, do they have enough MLB at bats to get a feeling about their ability at this point? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Hey Jay, The jury is still out, as they say. And based on this season, you might have to add Xander Bogaerts to the list. I'm not saying any of those guys will turn out to be the next Lars Anderson. But sometimes the hype doesn't match the reality, and those guys all have something to prove.
Do you see any trades happening from here on out? Does Colon get dealt to the Angels ? If Angels claim him, Mets have to make that move in my mind.
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Chris, I talked to a baseball guy who wouldn't be shocked if the Angels claim Bartolo Colon and the Mets just let him go. We'll find out soon enough. But if I'm the Angels and I think I have a legit shot in the AL, I feel a lot better with Colon in the rotation rather than Wade LeBlanc or Hector Santiago.
Jerry, what is the industry take on Wil Myers? I can't shake the feeling that he is a self entitled punk that doesn't work at his craft either offensively or defensively.
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Joe, I think that's a little harsh. Personally speaking, I talked to Myers at a couple of Futures Games and got a pretty good vibe about him. In some ways, I think it comes down to the huge expectations thrust upon young players who just aren't ready to handle it. There aren't many Mike Trouts who just hit the ground running and are perennial MVP contenders from their first day in the big leagues.
Battlecat l.a, ca [via mobile]
Is m kemp going to remain a dodger? what are the dodgers going to do about the weak hitting at the catchers position?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Battlecat, The Dodgers will undoubtedly listen on Matt Kemp in the offseason, but I don't see him going anywhere this season, if that's what you're referring to. As for the catching position, A.J. Ellis and Drew Butera haven't given the Dodgers much. But they have enough big-name veteran firepower that they shouldn't be relying on those guys much for offense. I'm wondering if Ellis is healthy after his knee problems earlier this season.
Hi Jerry! No question here, just a frustrated Jays fan who's ready to give up. I hope they blow up the roster. 1 good month in the last 11 months of games played tells me they're not very good.
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Greg, They're a very disappointing team for me as well. Unlike the Orioles, who've grinded their way through some setbacks this season, the Jays just don't seem able to rise to the occasion. They had a real opportunity to make the playoffs this season and they've squandered it.
Juan samaniego (Atlanta, Ga) [via mobile]
If you were the Atlanta braves manager, what would you do with BJ Upton the rest of the season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Juan, As frustrating as B.J. is to watch, Fredi Gonzalez will probably keep playing him with some periodic Emilio Bonifacio breaks. But I can't see any justification for him ever batting higher than 7th or 8th in the order.
Heyward looking at a deal that resembles Ellsbury's or Choo's?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Tim, Yes, I have to think he's looking at something in that range. He hasn't quite blossomed into the consistent hitter the Braves expected. But he's a great defensive right fielder, he's second to Giancarlo in the NL in WAR this season, and he's still only 25 years old. I think a bunch of teams will be willing to spend big to take a shot at him.
Morris (Pgh, PA)
Jerry, thanks for the great Pete Rose piece. I do love the folks who believe him when he says he never bet against his own team, because as we all know, Pete Rose's word is gold.
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Morris, Thanks for the note. I do believe Pete when he says he always picked the Reds to win. But that still doesn't absolve him from betting on baseball.
Johnny (Long Beach,CA)
Jerry, any chance Urias makes it to the show next year and will it be for the Dodgers?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Johnny, He just turned 18 in August. Even if he zooms through the system, I have a hard time seeing him in the majors before 2016 at the earliest.
Are we going to see Joc Pederson in LA next month?
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Nick, I believe Ned Colletti said recently that Pederson will be joining the team in September. He just joined the 30-30 club, so the Dodgers should give him a callup as a reward for a great season along with the potential lift he can give them down the stretch.
Jerry, earlier you said "Ruben Amaro will be a busy guy in the offseason." I hope you mean busy looking for a new job.
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Hey Lee, I understand Ruben isn't the most popular guy in Philadelphia right now. But everything David Montgomery has said publicly leads you to believe he's going to get a chance to turn that team around. The Phillies will be making some changes in the offseason, but I don't think the GM is among them.
If the Nats hold on to with the NL East, how do you think they will set up their rotation? Strasburg has been inconsistent but pitches better at home, so would you hold him off until Gm 3 and concede only using him once?
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Hey Jay, I'm not sure how Matt Williams will line it up. At this point I'm sure he just wants to make sure the Nats get to the postseason. But they do have some interesting calls to make, given how well Fister and Roark (the purported 4-5 starters) have pitched in the second half.
Hi Jerry, if you were the Mets would you rather trade for established major league hitters or do you think trading for other teams prospects is the better option?
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Vince, The Mets have a chance to take a significant step forward with a potential rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard and DeGrom. I wouldn't be surprised to see them make Niese available in the offseason, since he's starting to get more expensive. (And they still have Colon under contract for $10 mill next year. I think they're looking for a young, major-league ready bat or two rather than long-range prospects. But those types of players aren't easy to acquire.
Why should Pete Rose betting on the reds as a manager have any impact on him making the Hall of Fame as a player? No one is arguing he was a Hall of Fame manager. I'm arguing that the Hall of fame is useless and invalid without Rose and Bonds
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Pat, This has always been my argument: If Pete Rose bet on baseball as a manager, can't he still go into Cooperstown as a player? We're not voting him in based on his managerial exploits. Of course, John Dowd, Fay Vincent and some others think he bet on ball as Reds player-manager in 1985 and '86. Pete denies that, but obviously he has some credibility issues.
With Betts and Castillo, have the Sox given up on Bradley Jr? I think his defense is too good and his minor league numbers were too good to give up on him.
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Otto, I don't think the Red Sox have given up on Jackie Bradley, but it might be time to downsize expectations. Maybe he doesn't have enough bat to be an everyday player and he's more of a fourth or fifth outfielder. We'll see.
Are the Nats the best team in baseball right now?
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
David, At this very second, probably, but we've all seen how quickly that can change.
Jesse (LA, CA)
Are you surprised with the Dodgers not adding a piece to the puzzle up to this point? They clearly need a few pieces in order to make a deep run.
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Jesse, They've added guys like Darwin Barney, Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia -- just not a big splash acquisition. Other than David Price and Jon Lester, who was out there that Ned Colletti could have added who would have made a big splash?
It seems like the Brewers have 6 number 3 starters once Garza comes back in September. Who is the odd man out? Nelson? Fiers? 6 man rotation?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Brian, Michael Fiers certainly isn't out of the equation. He's been their best pitcher. And Lohse, Peralta and Gallardo probably aren't going anywhere, so my guess would be Jimmy Nelson.
Guy (Enfield NH)
Hey Jerry, Bogaerts is 21 as K Law pointed out, Tulow was in AA at that age, might want to not compare him to the other 2. Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Guy, That's fair. But the Red Sox also thought enough of Bogaerts to promote him to the big leagues last season and anoint him as a "guy" this year, so at the very least, someone there didn't do a great job when they determined he was ready to be an everyday player. Bogaerts is hitting .223 in 485 plate appearances this year. I still think he has a chance to be a very good hitter. But that's not exactly a cameo.
Jerry, please walk me back from the edge after the Cubs sweep this weekend and Manny being out. Just when things for the Orioles, of all teams, are doing well, I remember that I am the George Costanza of fans.
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Chris, There aren't any great, dominant teams in ball this year, so everybody (the A's included) is going to go through this type of swoon at some point. The Orioles have built up enough of a lead to withstand a rough patch, and Buck Showalter isn't going to let them feel sorry for themselves. That said, the Machado absence has a chance to come back and bite them in the postseason. And it's obviously tough to see given the ramifications for the kid's future.
What was the reason for sending Polanco back to AAA, don't the Pirates raelize that young players will struggle from time to time? I get it if he is not going to be the everyday RF, but he will be and should be.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Gary, He was 1-for-30 and Travis Snider was getting the bulk of the RF at-bats anyway. I assume he'll have a chance to go back to Triple-A, get his swing and his confidence back and return and help the team in September. Seems like a pretty sensible move to me.
You didn't do a very good job Jerry. Where was the "Oh, they will win the World Series, Chris." just to make sure that I don't do something?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Hey Chris, I didn't think the Orioles had the pitching to win the World Series even before Machado got hurt. And I still don't see it. (Sorry I couldn't be more comforting, big guy).
Jerry doesn't think a player who makes 25 million dollars and puts up a -.09 WAR is "as a big a disaster as people make him out to be." Interesting.
Jerry Crasnick (1:06 PM)
Steve, Yes, Ryan Howard is a mega-disappointment. But I think Ruben Amaro can move him to an AL club in the offseason provided he's willing to assume a very large chunk of the money. I guess the term "disaster" is all relative.
Jerry Crasnick (1:06 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Let's do it again next week.