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, Hope your NFL fantasy rosters all clicked yesterday. Let's dive into some baseball talk.
Tom (Fort Worth)
Hi JerryMLB is on pace to see over 415 3 and a half hour games this year....and it seems to be chronic. Why can't the players speed up the game...and is Commish Manfred going to address this and FIX it? I hope so...because right now...a lot of these games are unwatchable on tv. It's not the baseball we all grew up with.
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Tom, Sportswriters probably obsess about this topic more than a lot of fans, but I do think this will be one of many items on Rob Manfred's agenda. It's one thing to have long games when there's a ton of offense. But there's no reason for that many 3-hour-plus games when offense is down to such an extent. Baseball needs to pick up the pace to enhance its popularity with younger fans, in particular.
Brewers done? I saw that they had a players meeting yesterday. What took so long?!?!
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Carl, They've really croaked over the past few weeks. I'm not burying them yet, but you have to like the Giants and Pirates over them as wild card teams, unless Ron Roenicke can figure it out quickly.
Rick (Hamilton, Virginia)
Jerry, my Tigers are killing me, but I am unable to pull the plug. Will they make to the post-season?
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Rick, I've proceeded under the assumption that it's Baltimore, the Angels and Detroit in the three divisions, with Oakland as a wild card and KC and Seattle fighting for the other spot. But it changes every other day. The Royals have a chance to really put their foot on the Tigers' neck with six head-to-head games over the next three weeks. I'd be lying if I told you I knew who'll get in.
Does Dilson Herrera's solid debut (sure, it's not even 10 games) enable the Mets to now package Murphy and pitching for a solid outfield bat like CarGo?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Dexter, Murphy is a good player, but he doesn't give you a ton of power or speed and he's below average in the field. He's also getting more expensive, so I don't know how much trade value he has. Then again, with all of CarGo's injuries, his value is down too. I can't imagine the switch from Coors Field to Flushing would help his numbers much.
It's so simple to speed up games...batters stay in the box!
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Roman, If you change the mindset and carve a few seconds between pitches by getting the pitchers and hitters to dawdle less, that would certainly help.
ricky (noo yawk)
With the Yankees offense completely dead, isn't it absurd to blame Jeter still hitting 2nd?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Ricky, Yeah, Jeters' spot in the lineup is just one issue of many with that team.
Colonel (Oxford, MS)
Thanks for the chat! I always learn something from them. I am wondering about two things.First, please rank in order for 2015: Odor, Schoop, Owings.Second, what are your thoughts on Carlos Martinez for 2015?Thanks much!
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Colonel, Good question. I think Owings, if healthy, puts up the best all-around numbers playing in that park. Schoop has power, but he has 11 walks and 109 strikeouts this year. Yikes. Odor is talented, but he's awfully young and needs to get stronger. So I'd rank them in that order. As for Carlos Martinez, maybe he's trade bait this winter or the Cards keep him in the pen next year. They have Lackey for 2015 and we'll see how Wacha comes back, but it's hard to see where C-Mart fits in the rotation.
Ed (Queens Village)
I ask a month ago if Angels would overtake A's. You said at time "but I think it's going to be tough for them to overtake Oakland." Now a month later are you shock Angels are 7 up on A's?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Ed, Yeah, I'm shocked, but not as much as Billy Beane is.
Brian (Little Rock)
I always love the chats Jerry and appreciate you commenting on comments on your blogs. The current collapses by the A's and Brewers. Yikes! The Brewers were probably never THAT good but the A's? I know the offense overachieved in the first half but the regression to the mean has been startling. Just bad timing that everybody went cold at once? Plus a couple key injuries?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Hey Brian, I asked someone who follows the team and they said the offensive dropoff is 40 percent Cespedes' departure and 60 percent slumps and injuries. I do think some of those hitters were playing over their heads in the first half and it was inevitable they would regress to an extent. I still think the A's will pull out of this and get to the postseason, but the fraternity of believers in that team keeps getting smaller.
Roger Dodger (Philly)
KENNNY GILES! Why not just make him the closer now and save some future money on Paps? He's pitching better anyway so it's not like he could file a greivance.
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Roger, I'm sure the A's would be thrilled with plugging in Giles as their closer and trading Papelbon. But that requires interest from another team that would be willing to pick up some of Papelbon's salary. Maybe Ruben Amaro can put that on his offseason to-do list.
Jerry:If (and it's a big if) Wainwright stays healthy and continues to average 18-19 win seasons for lets say another 5-6 years would he be HOF worthy?
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Kardfan, Wainwright is 33 years old (I believe) with a career record of 116-66. I know voters look beyond W-L records now and Adam has been an elite guy for 5-6 years now. But I think time is getting too short for him to put together the kind of run that will get him to Cooperstown. If he does what you're suggesting, he'd be an elite starter until age 38 or 39. That' tough to envision.
The Indians rotation has been lights-out this month with Kluber turning it back around and everyone else finding some consistency. Bauer, Carrasco, and Salazar have the stuff and they seem to be figuring out how to use it. Far-fetched to think this could be the start of a great rotation for the next few years?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Adam, I'm sold on Kluber, but the other guys still need to prove it over a longer period of time for me. I think Mickey Callaway, the pitching coach in Cleveland, deserves a plug for how well those kids have pitched. He's a really good under-the-radar coach.
Casey (Burkburnett, TX)
My baseball heart broke when Ron Washington resigned. Who would be your pick to be his successor if you were making that decision?
Jesse (Chavez Ravine, CA.)
Happy Clayton Kershaw Day! How are the Dodgers still in first place? Don't get me wrong, I hope they win it ALL, but this team has some major holes. What's your take?
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Casey, Tim Bogar has been a highly-regarded managerial candidate for years, and the Rangers know him well. So I have to think he has the inside track.
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Jesse, I wrote last week about how the season has been a "grind" for the Cardinals, but the same really applies to the Dodgers. Injuries and under-performance by some key players, some bullpen issues and stretches of good and bad play. And an awful lot of Clayton Kershaw. But they have as good a chance as a lot of teams in October because of the pitching.
kevin (boynton beach fl)
The Marlins have come up with a nice young outfield one of the best in the NL Your thoughts on wether they will try to trade any of them given their history
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Kevin, The big question, obviously, is whether they'll trade Stanton. I think they listen hard on him this winter, and if a team like Boston comes at them with enough prospects, Dan Jennings might make the move. But the price will be enormous.
James (Melbourne, Australia)
Is there a potential reunion for Victor Martinez and the tribe?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
James, The Indians are always limited financially. Victor would be a great fit in the middle of that lineup, but I just don't see them going to $15 million annually (or whatever it will take) for a DH in his mid-30s.
Which team looks best heading into the postseason?
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
Jim, I think the Nationals have a really good, balanced team, but they need to get this closer situation straightened out. St. Louis appears to be getting it together at just the right time. I'm not blown away by anybody in the AL. Maybe this is the year for the Orioles to make a deep run.
Aram (Los Angeles)
I don't understand my favorite team, the Dodgers. Play EXCEPTIONAL on the road, average at home. You look at the faces of the bullpen guys, there doesn't seem to be any motivation there. Can't produce a comeback victory if their lives depended on it. ...and yet they're virtually in 1st place in the NL?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Aram, There's not a team in baseball without a bunch of flaws. Some call it parity, and others call it mediocrity. But I don't recall many years where it's been wide open to this extent. I know the Dodgers have been exasperating at times, but to me that seems like a team with the potential to elevate its caliber of play in October. We'll see.
Anthony (Los Angeles, CA.)
The biggest trade of the 2014 offseason: Giancarlo to the Dodgers for Puig and Seager. Done deal?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Anthony, I don't know if it has a chance of happening. But that would definitely knock LeBron and Peyton Manning off the front of ESPN.com for a day or two.
Derek [via mobile]
The starting pitching of orioles is just the worst amongst AL contenders. I just can't buy any team without a definite 1-2 SP to make a deep run into postseason.
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Derek, That's the principal knock against them and the reason some people don't have much faith in them in October. But offense is so down across the board this year, maybe a team with Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris in its rotation (and a great bullpen) has a better chance than usual.
Tyler Smith (Atlanta, Ga)
Do ever remember there being so many BAD teams in the playoff contention? The win total for that second NL Wild Card spot is going to be brutal.
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Tyler, So much of it to me comes down to bad offense. Maybe it's attributable to the rise in strikeouts, or the reliance on shifts, or the preponderance of 95 mph throwers in bullpens. But it's amazing to me how hard it is for some of these contenders to score runs. If the Royals or Mariners give up 4 runs in a game, they're pretty much toast.
Hi Jerry, I agree with your assessment of nationals but humor me - why did Williams wait so long to move Soriano out of the closer role - 91mph fastball and no real out pitch doesn't cut it versus the top 10-15 teams - Is it Williams being a rookie mgr or this belief it is a long season and good players tend to work it out - To me Soriano is aging or has a hidden arm ailment or fatigue - not the same guy as the 1st half Soriano
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
P.J., I'm sure Williams was just trying to have faith in his guy and avoid a closer "controversy." But Soriano's stuff is clearly down, and worse yet, he has terrible body language out there. The Nats are far enough in front that they were able to survive Soriano's issues, but they better get things straightened out in time for the postseason.
The Giants offense seems be clicking and if Belt comes back they will be even stronger. That being said do they have enough pitching to make a run in October? Is Bumgarner, Peavy and Hudson enough?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Frank, Odd that we're looking ahead to October and wondering if the Giants have enough pitching, isn't it? Hudson and Peavy are real pros, but they don't fit the profile of the hard-throwing power pitchers you like to see in October. But as I mentioned earlier, the Giants won't be facing the '27 Yankees revisited in the NL playoffs. So maybe those guys are enough to get them through a round or two.
Cletus Van Damme (Pittsburgh)
Who would be the Pirates wild card game starter? They lack a true ace who can pitch deep and effectively in a game and Hurdle would mismanage the bullpen into a loss
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Cletus, It would have to be Francisco Liriano or Gerrit Cole, wouldn't it?
Jerry, do you believe any of the high-value Cubs prospects will get dealt this off-season for pitching?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Mo, I'm not sure if it will happen, but I'd be surprised if Theo and Jed don't thoroughly explore the possibility. As people have mentioned before, the Cubs have enough talented position players and the Mets have enough promising young pitchers, there's a lot of common ground between those teams. That's one potential matchup scenario.
Javier Baez (Chicago)
Can everyone calm down with the hype about me? Does anyone realize that I'm going to play good defense but hit like Mark Reynolds?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Ha, We'll see. You're only 20 years old, so I'm willing to give you some time to figure the plate discipline part out. You've got the kind of power they can't teach.
Pineda for Castro - who says no?
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
For Starlin Castro? The Cubs say no to that one.
Derek [via mobile]
Jerry, could you see tulo coming to the bronx this offseason? Both rockies and tulo shall hv a change of scenery and yankees do need a leader to replace the captain.
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Derek, I think Tulo would be a great fit there. He needs to get out of Colorado and he could handle the burden of trying to replace Jeter. The problem is putting the proper value on Tulo as a trade commodity right now. The guy just gets injured so darned much. He's the best player in baseball for 90-100 games a season.
Cubs not only say "No", but they block Cashman's number.
Well at least I'm no longer subjected to the nonsense that Joe Maddon is the "best manger in baseball". There's two guys in his own division that are better,
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Joe, Buck Showalter is a terrific manager and Girardi has squeezed a lot out of that team in NY. But I still love Joe.
Josh (lincoln, NE)
Carlos Martinez & Oscar Taveras for Stanton. Is that enough to get a deal done?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Not sure, but it's a heck of a conversation starter. For all Oscar Taveras' potential, I think some teams aren't sold that he's a future batting champion and a 10-time All Star.
The Cubs would trade Castro or Baez for Syndergaard or Wheeler. That's one that will keep the teams talking if they happen to pick up the phone.
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Eric, That's the kind of deal I'm talking about.
Give us your playoff predictions
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Chris, I'm just not ready to go there yet. I do think the A's will pull out of this funk and make the playoffs, and I'm less sold on the Brewers. In spring training I picked the Cardinals to win the World Series. For all they've been through this year, that's looking like a half-decent pick right now. (Unfortunately, as an aside, I picked them to beat the Rays).
What kind of trade value does Evan Gattis have? Enough to talk a team into taking BJ with him?
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Tim, Power is in such short supply, and the free agent catching market is so bad, Gattis definitely has value. But if the Braves try to attach B.J. Upton to that deal, they'll either lower their return considerably or have to eat an awful lot of $$.
Scott (Costa Mesa)
How much of a factor will the Rally Monkey be in October?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Scott,If the Angels keep taking early leads and stifling comebacks with their bullpen, not much.
Stanton for Puig & Seager... who says no?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Hey Tori, Several people have mentioned this one today. Is this the new hot rumor du jour?
How upset is ESPN that the Yanks and Sox don't make the playoffs? are they going to have to have layoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Hey Chris, I believe it's business as usual even though the Yankees and Red Sox won't be playing in October. Personally, I enjoy seeing teams like the Orioles and Royals in the postseason for the sake of variety and new storylines. That's just me.
Scott (Costa Mesa)
Stanton for Cole Calhoun, Grant Green, and a Bag of Peanuts. Who says no?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Scott, I believe it's Kole Calhoun, and I don't think "bag of peanuts" is capitalized.
(stanton/puig & seager) Makes sense. Cuban big name player comes to Miami. Already a big name (and a team friendly deal) Plus they get a big infield prospect. Dodgers get a superstar to build around for a decade (what Kemp was supposed to be and may become again)... Seems like a win-win
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
I hear ya. I just figure somebody might have tossed this one out on the Internet recently, because I'm seeing it a lot today.
Dodgers would never make the Stanton trade.Puig is under contract until 2018, which will be the highest contract year at $9.2m. Seager has chance to be franchise cornerstone at a position where Dodgers lack options (SS/3B). No way they trade that for Stanton and lock themselves into another huge deal with all of the other bloated OF contracts...
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
ABS, The Dodgers do love Corey Seager, and even though Puig has struggled at times this year, he brings an awful lot of upside for a reasonable price. So you're correct that the deal is a reach for LA on a couple of levels.
Brian (Little Rock)
Seeing as how Marco Estrada has given up roughly 30 bombs in like 140 innings in a seemingly death to offense period we've entered, what would he have "accomplished" in say 1998 or so???
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Brian, Let's be thankful for Marco's sake that he didn't have to experience that firsthand.
To Chris from VA's point, since we likely won't have the Yankees and Red Sox in the playoffs, is it too much to ask one of these years to not have the Cardinals in it? Kind of sick of watching that team be good every single year....every fanbase would look great if they only got to cheer for a winner every season.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Thanks for the note, Josh. As a Cleveland Browns fan since the mid-1960s, I understand what you're saying.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. I enjoyed it. Let's talk again next week.