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, This might be one of the crazier weeks we've seen in a while, between the trade deadline and continuing developments in the Biogenesis saga. Never mind that the Pirates are facing the Cardinals in a huge series in Pittsburgh. Let's start the chat before my head explodes.
Nate (Washington DC)
Hey Jerry, which left-handed relief pitchers are you hearing connected to the Braves?
jerry crasnick (12:02 PM)
Hey Nate, I talked to a person recently who said that "if a reliever is left-handed and breathing, the Braves have probably asked about him." Joe Thatcher and Javy Lopez are the hot names making the rounds, but there are a lot of other guys out there too -- Oliver Perez, Josh Outman, etc. That's where Frank Wren's focus will probably be in the next couple of days.
With a recent report indicating the Orioles are willing to move Dyland Bundy, what do you see as his trade value?
jerry crasnick (12:04 PM)
Mike, Just my opinion, but I think this rumor has gotten a little ahead of itself. A year ago the Orioles wouldn't even have considered the possibility of moving Dylan Bundy. Now that he's coming back from Tommy John, it's awfully tough to put a value on him. Clubs exchange ideas internally all the time, but this one seems a little far-fetched to me. (I'll say the same thing even if he gets dealt in the next two days).
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Jerry, the royals made it back to .500 over the weekend. this time last week talk was moving Ervin Santana... With the deadline in two days what should the Royals do and what do you expect the Royals to do? I see them standing pat and going with the team that they have. The needs that they need filled are not on the trade market (2nd base, RF, Power Bat)
jerry crasnick (12:06 PM)
Mike, To me, the Royals' recent surge pretty much ensures they'll be standing pat at the deadline. Dayton Moore is under no pressure from the Glasses to move payroll. And I really don't think they want to go in the tank and lose 90 games, particularly with Wil Myers making such a positive impression in Tampa. Moore would have to absolutely be blown away to trade Ervin Santana. And I don't see them dealing Greg Holland, either,
Do you see the Pirates making a move for a RF before Wed.?
jerry crasnick (12:09 PM)
Daryl, Neal Huntington is certainly trying. It's just a question of price. Alex Rios and Nate Schierholtz have been out there for a while, and now you've got the Giants in the mix with Hunter Pence. I'm sure it's just a question of price. The longer Huntington waits, the more reasonable he hopes the prospect demands will get.
Do you think the Redsox will acquire a starting pitcher or a catcher?
jerry crasnick (12:09 PM)
Josh, I would be more inclined to think they get a pitcher or bullpen depth than a catcher at this point.
Jerry, in your opinion, why do managers hold on to the concept of a "closer?" Seems like limiting your best pitcher to a very singular situation is a goofy idea.
jerry crasnick (12:12 PM)
Ian, I think this is one of those "ideas" that makes more sense when you're the manager and you get asked about it every day than a blogger who assesses the idea from afar. I've asked Jim Leyland about it numerous times, and he certainly subscribes to the importance of having a proven closer who can handle the emotional burden of getting the final three outs. Feel free to snicker, but Leyland has been in the game a long time and has a reason to feel the way he feels on the subject.
Josh (high in the Alps )
Jerry, are the Braves going to pull the trigger on someone like Peavy? I have heard rumors they are out of the running for him, what have you heard?
jerry crasnick (12:14 PM)
Josh, As I mentioned earlier, the Braves' focus appears to be more on fortifying the bullpen. They have Minor, Teheran, Medlen, Maholm, Beachy and Alex Wood as starters, and someone was going to have to move to the pen anyway before Hudson got hurt. Frank Wren has looked at the starting pitching market, and I don't think he's enamored with what he sees out there.
Ken (Palo Alto)
Tribe starters are 8-2 with a 1.79 ERA in the past 16 games. Still don't think they have enough pitching to compete?
jerry crasnick (12:16 PM)
Ken, I don't know that I ever said they don't have the pitching to compete. I was more concerned with their poor play against Boston, NY and Detroit and the way they seemed to fade every time they played a big series against an elite club. I will say this: The Indians would rather just hang onto guys like Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar than do someone rash for a guy they perceive as a No. 4 starter. (e.g., Bud Norris).
Doesn't Peavy/Ramirez make sense for St Louis? Both are needs to me
jerry crasnick (12:17 PM)
Taylor, They would both be nice fits, but it appears that John Mozeliak doesn't want to trade Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong or the other young prospects he might have to surrender in exchange for them. I can't say I blame Mozeliak for adhering to that mindset.
Zack (Clarion PA)
What should Pirates fans expect from this deadline? Big time moves, moderate moves or minor moves?
jerry crasnick (12:19 PM)
Zack, I'll go with "moderate moves." Neal Huntington is motivated to do something to make a statement to his club -- even if it's just acquiring a bullpen piece to help ease the blow of Grilli's injury. I'm honestly not sure if a "big time move" is out there. To me, Giancarlo Stanton is a big-time move. Nate Schierholtz or Justin Morneau or even Alex Rios -- not so sure they qualify.
larry (eclectic, al)
any chance david Ortiz is asked to submit a urine sample for steroids after his outburst on Saturday?
jerry crasnick (12:21 PM)
Larry, Is there really a place called Eclectic, Alabama? If so, that's pretty cool. On the subject of Ortiz, he and every other MLB player are required to give samples regardless of assorted temper tantrums. I don't think that will alter the schedule any.
Who should the orioles go after this deadline?
jerry crasnick (12:22 PM)
Sebastian, The Orioles are one of the tougher teams for me to assess. It would be great if they could acquire a No. 1 starter. But other than Cliff Lee, that commodity isn't out there. I guess a veteran DH bat to help lengthen out the lineup. They can probably get that for a more reasonable price.
Charley (South Bend)
Jerry, what are your thoughts on the Jose Veras to Detroit trade?
jerry crasnick (12:24 PM)
Charley, It was a nice, functional pickup. They seem to be content with Benoit and Smyly at the end, and Dave Dombrowski had been targeting a middle reliever to give Leyland more flexibility down the stretch. I think we'll be seeing a ton of these reliever deals between now and Wednesday.
And the annual Astros fire sale is under way, after Veras who is next? Bud Norris? Wesley Wright?
jerry crasnick (12:25 PM)
Manny, Bud Norris makes the most sense, but Jeff Luhnow better come down on the price if he wants to move him. He doesn't have a whole lot of time for that to happen.
jerry crasnick (12:26 PM)
On another front, the Braves have just acquired Scott Downs from the Angels. Frank Wren identified his team's big need and took the plunge.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
With the Cards and Pirates set to begin a rare five game series, who is the series more important to?
jerry crasnick (12:28 PM)
Andrew, Well, the Cardinals have dropped three straight. But given the Pirates' history and all the questions about whether they're for real, it has to be more important to Pittsburgh. The Buccos need to win at least two games to avoid the "impending free-fall" narrative that so many outlets are waiting to write. That kind of stuff always weighs on a clubhouse.
Who do you trust for the rest of the season more- Chris Archer or Brandon Beachy?
jerry crasnick (12:30 PM)
Troy, If this is a fantasy question, I think you have to put more faith in Archer to outperform Beachy, simply because Beachy is just a year removed from Tommy John surgery. The Braves didn't want to be in a position where they would have to depend on him so much. But the injury to Hudson has given them no other choice.
Any misgivings about the whole biogenesis scandal? I mean specifically the way MLB has gone about paying off the "drug dealer" to implicate the "users"? I feel no sorrow for Braun or Arod or any of those caught up in this mess, their problems are of their own making. However, I have a huge problem with MLB going down a road that maybe should not be travelled. I seem to recall a certain Owner being suspended from Baseball for using felons to dig up dirt on his teams players. Maybe Bud and MLB should have stayed out of the mud on this one, even if it meant users/liars like Braun and Arod getting of free.
jerry crasnick (12:32 PM)
George, This debate has a lot of ethical questions we don't have time to address here. I know that players are concerned with reports of MLB paying for information, etc. But Braun caved so quickly, he obviously thought the information from Tony Bosch was credible. MLB is in a tough spot with this. Either they get slammed for ignoring the steroid issue, or ripped for getting down in the mud to catch PED offenders. I just wonder why other sports aren't held to such a high standard.
Jerry, Eclectic Alabama is not far from Tallassee Alabama. Yes Tallassee and not Tallahassee, but i do have a question. With all the support of Tim Hudson, which is good to see, Do you think he might have another 3 or 4 years remaining in the big leagues?
jerry crasnick (12:34 PM)
Thanks, Michael. Ecletic. I love it. I'm not sure about 3-4 more years from Tim Hudson. But he's resourceful and competitive enough that there's no way he'll accept being wheeled off the field on a stretcher as his final MLB moment. I think he has a couple more years of pitching left in him.
Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)
Have the Dodgers become the favorite to represent the NL in the World Series? Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu and that lineup looks really scary in a seven game series.
jerry crasnick (12:35 PM)
Mike, I've talked to some scouts who think the Dodgers are borderline unstoppable now. But I wouldn't want to diss the Cardinals. They've been the best team in the league since Day 1.
Jerry, will MLB wait until after the deadline to announce any Biogenesis suspensions?
jerry crasnick (12:36 PM)
Rick, I'm getting the sense that the deadline will pass before MLB announces the suspensions. Teams have an awful lot on their plate as it is. But this thing is so fluid, it seems to be changing by the day.
Nick Punto is 1 for his last 21 w/ 7Ks. Thank goodness he's scrappy and gritty.
jerry crasnick (12:37 PM)
AA, Miraculously, the Dodgers are also 26-6 in their last 32 games, so they've found a way to overcome Nick's little funk.
Will/Should the Mets trade Marlon Byrd?
jerry crasnick (12:39 PM)
Jjoisey, I think the Mets should have shopped Byrd a little harder. It's really a question of perception. The Mets think Byrd is an attractive commodity given the way he played this season, but a lot of teams looked at him as a mid-30s guy with a recent PED offense on his resume. The Mets' expectations didn't come close to jibing with what other clubs were prepared to give up for Byrd.
It seem the Twins wait to long every year at the deadline and get nothing done. Are theuy valuing Morneau to high or waiting for a respectable offer?
jerry crasnick (12:41 PM)
Jay, I do think the Twins' expectations are a little high for Morneau. They see him as a franchise pillar and former MVP winner. There's clearly an emotional attachment they have to address. Potential suitors, in contrast, see an aging first baseman with an OPS in the .720-.730 range. Something has to give before the Twins deal him.
Hey Jerry, do you see the Giants actually being sellers these last few days? Even in the post-Bonds years, they never truly sold off anything worthwhile.
jerry crasnick (12:42 PM)
Brian, I think Sabean will selectively sell in the next couple of days. I'll be very surprised if the Giants don't make a move or two. Whether that's Javy Lopez or Hunter Pence -- or both -- I can't say at the moment.
With the offense really struggling and there being no easy fix via trade, do the Rangers shop Nathan around and see what they can get, particularly considering they have numerous other players they can plug into the closers role?
jerry crasnick (12:44 PM)
Brian, Jon Daniels and his front office group explore all the options, and putting out feelers on Joe Nathan makes sense. But can you really expect them to get a middle of the order bat for him? The Dodgers are 26-6 in their last 32 games, and Matt Kemp keeps getting hurt. Is Ned Colletti so intent on beefing up the bullpen that he would move Andre Ethier in a deal for Nathan? That seems pretty dramatic to me, given how well the Dodgers are playing.
R. Hobbie (Avalon St Thomas LCC)
Why wouldn't the Phills trade Utley? It's a no brainer to grab a prospect now for his rental. You can always resign him next year. What am I missing?
jerry crasnick (12:45 PM)
R. Hobbie, I agree. If I were Ruben Amaro, I would seriously consider that. But the Phillies are also a hard team to read. They have an emotional attachment to guys like Rollins and Utley, and it's hard for owner Dave Montgomery to cut the cord.
Jerry- There's been some chatter in Philly about the Phillies trading Chase Utley, then trying to resign him in the offseason. Sounds good in theory, but has there ever been an instance of a high-profile star getting traded then resigning with the team that traded him? I assume there must be, but nothing comes to mind.
jerry crasnick (12:46 PM)
Hey Greg, Great question. I checked with Jayson Stark on this, and we couldn't come up with an immediate answer off the top of our heads. If anyone else out there can, feel free to send it along. I wish I had a prize to offer you!
can we get Jerry in the main chat window please?
jerry crasnick (12:47 PM)
Steiny, I'm not sure what the mechanical glitch is here, but I'll make sure to alert the tech folks for future chats. Sorry about that.
Lucas (Dayton, Oh)
Do you think the Reds will do anything before the deadline? Or just hold pat with Ludwick coming back?
jerry crasnick (12:48 PM)
Lucas, My sense is that the Reds aren't in a spot to do something big. It's a lousy market, and they're financially hamstrung as well.
Jerry, I really, really enjoyed your Corbin article. Sticking with the Diamondbacks and the possible promotion of Archie Bradley to work in relief in late August and September, what is your feeling about the Earl Weaver method of breaking in SPs as RPs in the majors?
jerry crasnick (12:50 PM)
Hey Ryan, Thanks for the comment on the Corbin piece. The relief-apprenticeship approach certainly seemed to work well for Earl Weaver. You just have to make sure the prospect in question has the bounce-back ability and he doesn't get abused in the heat of a pennant race.
Stephen (Blacksburg, VA)
What's the one out-of-the-blue move that we see at the deadline?
jerry crasnick (12:51 PM)
Stephen, The trade speculation is so wall-to-wall and excessive these days, I'm not sure if anything comes "out of the blue" anymore. (Plus, if I had an answer to that question, I would probably throw it out there just to make myself look intelligent).
Jerry.. Rickey Henderson was traded mid season to Toronto, and then resigned back with Oakland in the offseason.. That's the only instance I know of this happening.
jerry crasnick (12:53 PM)
Yep, Robert. I just checked, and it happened during the 1993 season, in a deal that involved Steve Karsay. You win the prize!
Braves acquire Scott Downs for Corey Rasmus. Are they done now?
jerry crasnick (12:54 PM)
Adam, I'm told the Braves would also like to add a utility infielder who can hit a little bit. That's the final item on Frank Wren's midseason agenda.
Why isn't Kyle Lohse's name coming up on trade block? He has been pitching really well for the past couple months and his contract is not unreasonable. He would seem to me to be an attractive SP option, no?
jerry crasnick (12:55 PM)
Andy, Most of the scouts and people I've talked to think Doug Melvin's principal focus is on shopping bullpen pieces. He's already unloaded K-Rod.
Thoughts on Tino Martinez leaving the Marlins under a cloud?
jerry crasnick (12:56 PM)
Matt, That was a pretty stunning development. From my personal encounters with Tino, I've never regarded him as that type of volatile personality. When you have so many young hitters, as the Marlins do, a different kind of approach from the hitting coach is clearly in order. I think this also goes to show that it can be disastrous to stick a manager (in this case, Mike Redmond) with a coach that he doesn't want.
So Papelbon didn't come here for this. I guess when he signed, he didn't notice a roster that was starting to show its age, or he was blinded by the $50 million that nobody else would give him. I hated that signing at the time and would love to see his big mouth and overrated arm shipped out of town. Is there any market for him?
jerry crasnick (12:57 PM)
Scott, If such a market existed, I would advocate that Ruben Amaro explore it. People love to rip the Ryan Howard deal, but that Papelbon contract looks worse and worse by the year.
Cliff Lee was traded and then re-signed with the Phillies. Winter trade, not deadline.
jerry crasnick (12:58 PM)
Yes, Robert. We could devote an entire chat to Cliff Lee's trade history.
With the current situation at 3B, do you see any potential for the Yankees to make a run at Michael Young?
jerry crasnick (1:00 PM)
Kris, For whatever reason, the Red Sox, Orioles and others have been mentioned as Michael Young destinations more than the Yankees. Young fits the description of veteran, professional hitter and great clubhouse influence for a team in the playoff hunt. Defensively at third base ... not so much.
Sidney Ponson was traded to the Giants from the Orioles before resigning with the O's. A sequence in which only Ponson was the winner.
jerry crasnick (1:02 PM)
Brian, That's a great one. Thanks for the addition. I'm not sure if that sequence of moves qualifies as "momentous." But it was certainly big news in Aruba.
jerry crasnick (1:02 PM)
Thanks for the questions and comments, everybody. As I said earlier, this is going to be a huge week. Talk to you next week.