Chat with Mark Saxon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Los Angeles Angels writer Mark Saxon will stop by to chat some baseball.
Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.
Send your questions now and join Saxon Thursday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT!
Mark Saxon (6:01 PM)
I'm out at the stadium in Anaheim and it's about 95 degrees here. Mike Napoli is taking early batting practice with Juan Rivera, Erick Aybar and Jeff Mathis. That's the scene. Let's get rolling, shall we?
Hey Mark- lets hope for a good chat. Can you see the Angels trading 2 or their catchers in the offseason to make room for Conger?
Mark Saxon (6:03 PM)
Hi Anthony, good to have you back. I had not thought about that, but yes I could very easily envision that. My guess is they would move Mike Napoli and, possibly, Bobby Wilson. Jeff Mathis would be a good guy for Conger to learn from for a year or two as he splits time for a while.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How did you feel when the New York Yankees Principle Owner George Steinbrenner has Passed Away?
Mark Saxon (6:05 PM)
Chris, I didn't know The Boss. But if you want to know why the AL has been so much better than the AL for the last 15 years or so (Tuesday's game notwithstanding), it's him. He stockpiled so much talent, the Red Sox were forced to try to keep up and, then, so was the rest of the league.
Mark, where will the Angels end up this year? If they make it to the playoffs, how long do you think they will go?
Mark Saxon (6:08 PM)
Hey Branden, as I sit here now my guess is they won't make the playoffs. I doubt it will be very close in the end. There's a talent gap between them and Texas and, if Texas ever wakes up and realizes that, it could pull away.
Chris (Huntington Beach)
What do the Angels plan on doing with Kazmir if he continues to struggle?
Mark Saxon (6:12 PM)
Well Chris, for now they're sticking with Scott. I guess you have to give up 14 runs in a start to get pulled from this rotation. I think things might be different if they had a hot-shot prospect at Triple-A, but Trevor Bell and Sean O'Sullivan don't have them all that excited.
Keith (Huntington Beach)
Do you see the Angels making push for a bat before the deadline? If not, is it time to start trading to rebuild the farm system?
Mark Saxon (6:13 PM)
Keith, push yes, but whether it's just for publicity sake, I can't say. I don't think they'll acquire a big-name hitter unless it's a two-month rental at first base from a team desperate to unload salary. But I'm not sure that makes any sense. The Kazmir trade could hurt this organization for a long time.
Melrick Ibanez (California)
Do you think that the Angels should try to get Pedro Martinez?
Mark Saxon (6:14 PM)
Melrick,No.They didn't want him last year and he's just a year older. They probably have less need in their rotation this year.
David (Huntington Park)
if the halos do become sellers rather than buyers, who do you think would be most likely to get traded from the team?
Mark Saxon (6:15 PM)
David, Funny you should ask. I would place them in this order: Brian Fuentes, Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera, Brandon Wood.
Do you think the Angels will go after any top free agent for a replacement at first base? will they try to hunt after any pitchers?
Mark Saxon (6:16 PM)
Matt, I'm thinking the ship has sailed on Carlos Delgado and Jermaine Dye. If they were interested, it would have happened weeks ago, I'm guessing. I think they'll kick the tires on some relievers, but their main interest is in a bat right now.
Seeing Trout at the futures game was a pleasant reminder of the future, as was Conger's jack. Jiminez.. I don't even think he took the field and looking at his numbers I can't say I'm sure why he got invited. Thoughts?
Mark Saxon (6:19 PM)
Hey Dan, I assume you're talking about the third baseman at Rancho Cucamonga, Luis Jimenez? I didn't realize he was invited to the Futures Game and I was in Oakland when it was played, so I'm afraid I can't be much help. I just looked up his numbers, though, and they look fairly solid. Hitting .292 with 38 RBIs.
Any 1st base thoughts? Trade or status quo? If trade, who do you think?
Mark Saxon (6:20 PM)
Roy, I'd go status quo. I think Napoli is due for a hot streak (he's crazy-streaky) and his overall numbers won't be far off what the rent-a-bats would be in the end.
John (Culver City, CA)
Derrick Lee, Lance Berkman, or Prince Fielder? Who do you think gets traded to the Angels?
Mark Saxon (6:21 PM)
John, I'm going with "D. None of the above," but I could be wrong. The most exciting name, obviously, is Fielder's. But the Angels only need a guy for a couple months, since Kendry Morales should be back next year.
Ben (Mission Viejo)
I saw your article on "sell, sell, sell". What parts do you see the Angels selling off for prospects and to make room for Free Agency? and who do you see the angels targeting in FA with a realistic chance of getting? also do you see any trades in the near future?
Mark Saxon (6:22 PM)
Ben, I doubt they will. I was just offering my unsolicited advice.
Ed (Peoria, IL)
any chance they'll deal for aRam? or will they just wait for Izzy? (pretty big difference)
Mark Saxon (6:24 PM)
Ed, That's an intriguing name you bring up. It makes more sense than some of these first base scenarios. The biggest impediment to that deal might be money. Aramis Ramirez (who I'm assuming is ARam?) makes $30 million or so over the next two years. I've also heard some rumblings that he's not the most coachable guy in the world.
mark who wins the wild card this year?
Mark Saxon (6:25 PM)
Victor, I'll go with the Tampa Bay Rays. I look at that team and don't know how they don't win 100 games every year. They've got it all and I wouldn't want to face their rotation in the playoffs, that's for sure.
Josh S. (Philly)
Better shot at making the playoffs this season: Dodgers or Angels?
Mark Saxon (6:25 PM)
JS, Wait for it........ DODGERS!
Mark Saxon (6:26 PM)
Great chat this week. This was the first time in weeks I've had trouble keeping up with all the good questions. If I didn't answer your question, it's only because I addressed it earlier in the chat. If it's going to be this good, I look forward to next week's chat (from Arlington, Texas).Have a good week, y'all.