Chat with Rob Neyer
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send in your questions now and join Rob in The Show on Tuesday at noon ET!
Brian, Phoenix, AZ
Rob, Your thoughts on the Juan Cruz signing by the Royals. Doesn't appear to be a bad contract or certainly a lot better than some of the other acquisitions this offseason.
Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
Great move for a team that's got a chance at winning 85 games OR a team that's willing to trade a good reliever for prospects in July. I'm not sure if the Royals are either of those things, but as always I carry hope in my heart.
Mike - Philly
So does Billy think the AL West is winnable this year? Interesting collection of off season moves.
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
I think he absolutely thinks it's winnable, and he's right. This winter you can get in the game without spending a great deal of money, so why not?
Who is your AL Central champs and why? For the first time in a few years, the division doesn't look as competitive which is why I'm sticking with my Tribe to win it despite their lackluster starting rotation.
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
I like the Indians, but one might make a case for at least three teams and perhaps four. I'll be surprised if anyone in the Central wins more than 88 games.
Do you see the Giants making an offer if the Manny saga with the dodgers continues? What should they offer? 2 year 47 million?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Umm, too much. I like the impulse, but what neither club wants to do is get in a bidding war. I think the Giants might be able to swoop in with a market-value offer if relations between Boras and McCourt deteriorate further.
Rob, what is a realistic expectation for us Indians fans to have for Hafner? Is it a forgone conclusion that he will never be his old self?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
He'll be 32 this summer and I don't think we'll ever see the 27-29 version again. But I do think he's got a few good seasons left in him. Another reason to like the Indians this year.
1) You think the Royals have a chance at winning 85. 2) You would be surprised if anyone in the Central wins 88. With a little bit of luck, do the Royals have a shot? For real?
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
No, and no. Not unless Alex Gordon and Billy Butler suddenly become the hitters we've been waiting for. If they do, all bets are off.
Sorry for the bother, but isn't Boras hurting baseball? I mean, this is getting ridiculous. I tend to agree with Simmons, that Boras has manipulated Manny out of Boston and now is just ruining his rep.
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
Do I think the game might be slightly more enjoyable for the fans if Scott Boras weren't running around there, bamboozling baseball executives? Yeah, maybe. Should players hire agents who are dumber than baseball executives? No, probably not. I've got a tough time pinning anything on Boras or any other agent. The game's a lot bigger than them.
Can the Tigers pitch well enough to make the playoffs? The starting 5 just makes me shake my head in disappointment.
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
Yeah. I don't think they'll finish last again, but it's not at all out of question.
Penny was scratched from his start and JD had a shot in his back, time to worry already in the Nation?
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Nah ... the Red Sox have built plenty of duplication into the system.
Realistically, what should be expected out of Carl Pavano? Is 12-10 pushing it?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
Pushing it? You'll need to come up with something a bit stronger, Nick. Pavano is 9-8 over the last FOUR years. Simple math would suggest a 2-2 record in 2009.
Derek (Albany, NY)
I know the Twins were a couple of runs away from winning the AL Central last year, but do you think their young pitching staff will continue to impress and get better? Or will they take a step back and the Twins struggle?
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
I'm not sure about all of them, but 30 starts from Francisco Liriano might balance a fair number of ills.
Rob - Notwithstanding the Yankees contracts, MLB spending this offseason was considerably more restrained. This is not the case in the NFL. Why?
Rob Neyer (12:26 PM)
Great question, Matthew ... I suspect the NFL considers itself largely economy-proof, but one might imagine other explanations...
Rob, Where does Sizemore go from here?...Is there any other current player who can be so valuable while hitting .270? Who is your best historical comp for Grady?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
I don't know ... Duke Snider, maybe? I think Sizemore's still young for us to place any limits on him. I think he's going to win an MVP Award at some point in the next three or four years.
Bill - canton
Rob - I bet a buddy a case of beer that Hafner goes .275/25/85 this year. Do I have a chance? I mean, those are Casey Blake number.
Rob Neyer (12:28 PM)
I haven't seen any health updates this month, but I think you're winning that bet.
Aside from the Redskins, there is no huge spending spree going on in the NFL. Plus, I think the hard salary cap ensures a fairly consistent free agent season year-over-year.
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
Thanks, Tim. Also, as Bob in DC points out, since the FA contracts in the NFL aren't completely guaranteed, the dollars often don't wind up being as big as they looked initially.
Rob, what do you consider "market value" for Manny, 1 year 10-15 million? I just want to know how much he's going to cost himself.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Depends on the team, but $15 million - $20 million is the upper range for sure.
The Rangers' Chris Davis' half season in 08' projected to 35 HR, 110 RBI for a full year. Could we expect that in 09?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
I think he might have been just a tad over his head last summer, but I also believe he's going to be a fine hitter, and eventually perhaps a great one.
Do PECOTA or CHONE account for injuries at all or do they assume everyone is healthy?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
They make playing-time adjustments based on a player's record, but the adjustments are by definition pretty crude.
Do you think with Garcia not looking too good in camp, Redding delayed, and Livan being Livan, the Mets should consider bringing Pedro back on an incentive laden deal?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
One, I think it's time to turn that page. And two, Pedro has expressed little interest in a contract like that.
Rob, it's kind of a pointless debate, but does one breakout season automatically make Volquez the Reds' Opening Day/Number One starter..or is that still Harang's "job"?
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Way, way, way too much is made of who's the "No. 1 starter," as most such figurings don't survive contact with the enemy for long. But if you're going to pick a guy, it might as well be the one who gives you the best chance of winning. And that's probably Volquez at this point.
What are the odds that Josh Bard gets more at at bats than Tek this year?
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Jeff (San Fran, CA)
Rob- are you as blown away by I am by Crosby's hope that the A's "respect his wishes" to be traded? 1. i can't imagine any team actually wanting/needing to trade for him, and 2. he simply has not earned the right to make requests like that base on his performance (he was statistically speaking the worst offensive player in baseball last year!)
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
You have to feel for the guy, as he can't be expected to realize what a lousy player he's become. But if the A's could trade him for anything more than a bucket of used sunflower shells, they would have already.
Jay (Lake Havasu, AZ)
Rob, where can I find a list of last year's leaders in OPS+?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
John ( PHX,AZ)
Do the Dbacks have the inside track for the West this year? The Dodgers lost a lot of pitching and the Dbacks have not changed and one more year in the bigs for their young kids!!
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
The 'backs are clearly the best team in the West if the Dodgers don't bring Manny back.
Do you think Marmol is more valuable as the Cubbies closer or the 7th/8th toughest outs of the game guy? And where do you see him at? I think Gregg can have a Wood like season
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
Not a big Gregg fan, but I agree that you want Marmol used in as many high-leverage spots as possible. I think the Cubs will be fine. Thanks for all the questions, but I gotta check out a bit early today and drive my old friend and colleague Scribbly Tate to the airport. Until next time remember, "If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it."
SportsNation on Facebook
THIS WEEK'S CHATS
- 11:00 AMNoleNation's David Hale
- 12:00 PMNFL with Dan Graziano
- 1:00 PMDallas' Jean-Jacques Taylor
- 1:00 PMSweetSpot's Schoenfield
- 1:00 PMCubs, Sox with Levine
- 2:00 PMGeauxTigerNation's Laney
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Kevin Seifert
- 2:00 PMBoxing with Brian Campbell
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Newton
- 3:00 PMFantasy's Stephania Bell
- 4:00 PMNFL with James Walker
- 4:00 PMHornsNation's Wilkerson
- 11:00 AMFantasy's Matthew Berry
- 12:00 PMPatriots with Mike Reiss
- 12:00 PMTideNation's Scarborough
- 12:00 PMWolverineNation's Rothstein
- 12:00 PMMLB Insider Keith Law
- 1:00 PMNFL blogger Mike Sando
- 1:00 PMGiants with Youngmisuk
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Terry Blount
- 2:00 PMBuckeyeNation's Ward
- 2:00 PMSport Science's Brenkus
- 2:30 PMNFL with Bill Williamson
- 3:00 PMNFL with Paul Kuharsky
- 4:00 PMFootball Scientist KC Joyner