Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hi folks, Lots of trade news in the air, with the Matt Holliday trade about to go down. As for me, I'm headed to Cooperstown for the Rickey-Rice induction. Should be a fun weekend. Let's chat.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How dangerous are the Cardinals going to be if they end up acquiring Matt Holliday like Kurkjian is reporting?
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Sprung, It's a huge pickup for them, obviously. Holliday gives them a big presence to take some heat off Albert Pujols, and you have to love the starting rotation. The Cards are now the clear favorite in the Central.
Can you give any comparable players to Buehrle on an all-time basis? The best I can come up with is someone like Jamie Moyer.
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Marc, The guy for me is Tom Browning, who also pitched a perfect game (which I happened to cover in my days as Reds beat writer). Neither guy breaks 90 very often. But Browning could be extremely tough on days when he had his best command. I flashed back to Browning several times yesterday while watching Buehrle.
So Beane traded Street, Smith, and Gonzalez for Wallace, Peterson, and Mortensen. From this point of view, good work by Beane?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Adam, We'll see. But from everything I've heard, Brett Wallace is a tremendously gifted hitter who needed to get out of the National League. I think Beane did a very nice job parlaying Holliday into the package he got from St. Louis.
Based on how drastically he has upgraded center field defense, it seems like the Nyjer Morgan pickup was a very good move
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Jeremy, When the Nats made the trade, I thought Pittsburgh might have gotten the better end because of Milledge's upside. But Milledge has so many character and makeup issues, you wonder if he's ever going to turn out to be anything. Morgan gives a team a lot of energy, speed and defense, and there's something to be said for that.
Is all this posing and posturing by JP Ricciardi so he can get the best deal out of the Phillies? Do other GMs get annoyed when they're used in this way, or do they look at it as 'just business?"
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Bob, I think Ricciardi is getting tired of teams saying this or that minor leaguer is "untouchable." It's Roy Freakin' Halladay. Teams have to either be willing to give up a lot, or risk testing Ricciardi's patience by playing around and offering their fourth and fifth best prospects. I don't blame Ricciardi for asking for the moon.
Jerry, who wins the AL central and why?
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Matt, I'm day to day on this, but Minnesota and Detroit both look so shaky right now, I'm starting to think the White Sox just might pull it off.
Wait, so the Cards (apparently) didn't want to give up Wallace in a deal for 1.5 years of Halladay....but they'll move him for 0.5 years of Holliday? What gives?
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
John, I think Toronto really pushed for Colby Rasmus as the linchpin to a Halladay trade, and that's why the Cardinals couldn't get it done. Wallace can really hit, but there's a school of thought that he's strictly a DH. I guess the Cardinals finally came to grips with that.
Over/under on how many times Ricky refers to Ricky in Ricky's acceptance speech? I say 17
Jerry Crasnick (12:10 PM)
Dennis, I'll take the under. And by the way, it's "Rickey," not Ricky.
Jerry, if you could go back in time and attend a baseball game in any decade, which one would you pick? I'd pick the 1920's.
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Matt, I'm with you. You, me and the Babe could go out for hot dogs and beer afterward, and then we'd all hop on the sleeper car for the next series.
Jerry, why aren't we hearing about the Rangers being in the trade talks for Halladay? They seem like a good candidate to get him: stacked farm system, good pitching coach, and they're a team on the brink of contention.
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Shane, The Rangers haven't been as prominent as the Phillies, but they've been involved in the Halladay talks, nevertheless. I think they're hesitant to part with Justin Smoak. And you have to wonder what kind of impact Tom Hicks' financial situation might have on a potential Halladay acquisition.
Aubrey Huff (Baltimore)
I drove in 100 runs last year and am on pace to do so again this year. Is there any market out there for me? Helloooooooo.....
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
Aubrey, For what it's worth, I talked to a front office guy last week who said the Orioles "missed their window" to trade you. Whatever that means ...
Nora (St. Louis)
You are talking about the Holliday trade like it is a done deal. Has it been made official?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Nora, No, it's not official. But when you start hearing words like "close" and seeing the names of the minor leaguers involved, we're getting near the finish line.
ryan (norristown pa)
hey jerry u think roy halladay will be a phillie real soon
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Ryan, As lots of media people have pointed out, the Phillies are the best fit for Halladay. But they're going to have to feel a little pain (in the form of, say, Kyle Drabek), if they want to land him. At the moment, the Phillies also have some bullpen issues to address. They could use a pitcher or two, in any shape or form.
john kazanas (chandler arizona)
thanks for thinking of the scout-- what you wrote meant something to each scout that spends long days - battle horrible weather -travel-- frustration -- to have one day in sharing something very special in baseball---thanks now need to find another special player
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
John, Thanks for the note. Scouts don't get nearly enough credit for their contribution to the game. Congrats on being in on Mark Buehrle on the groundfloor.
Is there any talk of Jeremy Guthrie being dealt by the O's? He seems to be over whatever viral infection he had, and he had 2 very solid years in 07 and 08 in the rough AL East. Seems like he could be a fall back to Halladay for some teams.
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
Jake, The Orioles would really be selling low if they traded Guthrie right now, so I don't know what the point would be. He's not reliable enough for a team to give up much of value at this point.
It's all about playing poker. It's not "Roy Freakin Halladay" if everyone knows you have to sell.
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Greg, Well, your definition of "having to sell" might be different from mine. J.P. Ricciardi can wait until this winter to try and trade Halladay again. The same goes for Cliff Lee in Cleveland. Halladay can affect two pennant races -- this year's and next year's -- if a team acquires him right now. So Ricciardi has every right to ask for a lot.
Excuse me if I sound stupid, but can you explain the concept of the BABIP stat? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Ryan, BABIP is short for batting average on balls in play. It basically factors in how lucky a hitter is. If a guy's BABIP is .400, a lot of his balls are finding holes. If it's .200, he's probably been hitting a lot of balls at fielders. Eventually, you have to figure things will even out over the course of a 162-game season.
Shoshana (Chapel Hill)
Would a Sherrill for Brandon Wood a Trevor (Bell or Reckling) package be fair, assuming the O's pick up some of Sherrill's salary?
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Shoshana, It doesn't work. The Angels already have Brian Fuentes, who's similar to Sherrill, and teams don't trade big prospects for guys like George Sherrill. I don't know much about Trevor Bell, but Reckling is the Angels' No. 1 guy, and they've held onto Wood for an awful long time. There's no way they trade those guys for George Sherrill.
Joe (New York)
What are your impressions of Fernando Martinez's first MLB stint. Appeared to be overmatched at the plate to me. His swing seemed very mechanical instead of fluid. All the reports i had read said he had a smooth easy swing that generated tremendous bat speed.
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Joe, The big knock against the Mets is that they rushed Martinez through the system too fast. Now, because of injuries, they rushed him to the big leagues. He needs more time to develop. The callup this year certainly didn't help his progression.
jason (richmond va)
rasmus or jones in 5 years
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Jason, It's Adam Jones for me.
Jerry, love your work. For the past two years, the Cubs had a team that many thought could win it all. For whatever reason (pressure, lack of a left-handed bat, curses) it didn't work out. This year everyone is saying they are disfunctional and mediocre. Do you think maybe they can actually make a run this year since many have given up on them? They play in a very mediocre division and we saw in 2006 that any team that just gets to the playoffs can win it all.
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Matt, The Cubs have certainly been able to hang around in the NL Central. But I saw them this week in Philly, and to be honest, I didn't get a great vibe. There's time for them to go on a hot streak, but I don't even know if they're the wild card favorite right now. They just can't hit consistently.
Dear Mr Ricciardo, Final offer: Drabek, Brown, Carrasco, Savery and Marson for Halladay? You biting?
Jerry Crasnick (12:29 PM)
Amaro, That might look pretty good by the start of next week. There's no "sure thing" in the group, though. I think a lot depends on Carrasco, who has great stuff but is immature. Savery doesn't have much appeal, and the Blue Jays already have Arrencebia, so I'm not sure how hot they would be for Marson.
I keep hearing the Giants need "a bat". Um, they need more like 3 bats....
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Rich, The thing is, they could use another starting pitcher as well. Are Jonathan Sanchez, Ryan Sadowski and Barry Zito (and a mid-40s Randy Johnson) that formidable behind Lincecum and Cain? Nobody seems to talk about San Francisco's lack of pitching depth.
Allen (Lubbock, TX)
How good is Clayton Kershaw going to be in your opinion? Is he really worth giving up for Halladay?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Allen, He's 21 years old, a terrific makeup kid, and has great stuff. The Dodgers don't want to give him up, and I don't blame them. Nobody trades young lefties who are that good.
Chris R (PHila)
Jerry - Just curious. Why does Savery not get any "talk" His numbers look good in the minors. Or are they just looking well due to the competition. What is the unattractiveness for? Not pestoring but just curious.
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Chris, From what I understand, Joe Savery's stuff never came back the way the Phillies had hoped after arm trouble. I think he's an upper 80s guy who might hit 90 on the gun now. He might be a serviceable lefty in the pen, or a back of the rotation guy, but probably no more than that.
Is there a possibility that the Braves win the NL wildcard?
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
David, Sure, there's a possibility. The pitching is very good. I know that my colleague, Keith Law, thinks they desperately need a bat. My problem is, that lineup is way too lefthanded with McCann, Church, Anderson, McClouth, etc. They could definitely use a RH impact bat.
Does Jim Hendry get the "Worst Signing of the 08-09 Offseason" Award for the atrocity that is Milton Bradley?
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Marc, Off the top of my head, it certainly ranks up there. But $30 million invested in Milton Bradley still isn't strangling them as much as the $136 million they have tied up in Alfonso Soriano. Any other "worst contract" nominees?
Having seen Derek Holland bounce back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, do you see him as a starter going forward? What is his ceiling?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Gray, I talked to a couple of scouts at the Futures Game who like Holland more than Neftali Feliz -- who has a tremendous fastball but questionable secondary stuff. So I would say that Holland's ceiling is very high. You always tend to wonder how Holland, Porcello and young guys who take their lumps at an early age are going to bounce back.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Mr. Crasnick: Follow up on David from Cleawater's question. What RH impact bats are available to them? I don't know of any off hand that are being dangled as trade bait.
Jerry Crasnick (12:38 PM)
J.B. Josh Willingham and Freddy Sanchez are a couple of names you keep hearing. Are you talking about the Phillies? Problem is, they don't have any starting position jobs open. So those guys would just rot on the bench in Philadelphia.
Jerry, BABIP is better used to explain luck in regards to pitchers, not hitters. Nearly all pitchers tend to regress to something close to a .300 BABIP (though, there is some fluctuation), while hitters have much more control over their BABIP and there is much more fluctuation amongst hitters (that's how a guy like Ichiro who doesn't hit many home runs can still hit .330 year to year).
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Justin, You're correct that it applies to both pitchers and hitters. But I can recall Felipe Lopez hitting .450 or thereabouts for St. Louis late last season, and everybody saying it was a mirage.
Worst Contract Nominee's: Most of the Yankee team? God bless 'em for signing, but is it fair for one owner to have THAT much disposable income???
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
Dave, Hey, the Yankees spent $400 million plus on Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett last winter. But the Yanks are in first place now, so I don't think anybody there is complaining.
jason(buffalo,ny) [via mobile]
If u r cashman-what move would you make before the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Jason, The Yankees have to pick up a pitcher for depth. Assuming that Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves could slot back into the rotation if necessary, maybe Cashman goes for a veteran reliever.
Tysun (Fayetteville, NC)
Will the real Jason Bay plus stand up. Bay has played a total of 141 games for the Red Sox so far. His stats thru games 1 to 70 (8/1/08 to 4/29/09) are .306/.411/.563/.975. His stats thru games 71 to 141 (4/30/09 to 7/22/09) are .229/.336/.466/.801. Have other American league teams figured him out? Also I can't be the only one concerned that he is seeking a contract similar to or greater than the one the Red Sox gave J.D. Drew. Thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Tysun, Jason Bay can be streaky, no question. He fell into dry spells like this in Pittsburgh before the love affair in Boston began. At the end of the year, he's going to give you 30 homers and 100 RBIs, so he's going to get his money.
Do you think Aaron Harang, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Roenicke would be a good trade for Josh Hamilton?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Matt, From Cincinnati's end, sure. But I don't see the Reds trying to reacquire Josh Hamilton. Do you know something that I don't?
What is the sleeper team that could pick up Halladay?
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Sam, I never count on Kenny Williams and the White Sox when it comes to making a big deal. But they're not going to part with Gordon Beckham, and that's the only way it could get done. So that's that.
Scott (Cocoa, FL)
Bay is worth Drew money
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Scott, The question is, is Drew worth Drew money?
Hook (Southern Maryland)
Will Melvin Mora be gone from the O's before the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Hook, I doubt it. I haven't heard that there's a whole lot of interest out there.
Mike (San Fran)
Jerry, big weekend for the Giants!! Any way they could sell the farm (combination of Bumgarner, Posey, Alderson, Villanola, Sadowski, Burriss, Lewis, etc etc) for Halladay, Rios (or Wells) and some cash? Would be a risk as far as improving the offense but to a top 3 of Lincecum, Cain, and Halladay for a year and a half would be unreal.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Mike, I have a better chance of winning "Dancing With the Stars" than Brian Sabean does of making that trade.
Tell me if you have read this script before -- another gem by a starting Tigers pitcher, only to be thwarted by a lack of runs and shoddy relief work. In four of their past fivegames, the Tigers have now lost, 2-1.
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Shawn, It's amazing that only a year ago, the Tigers were considered a 1,000-run threat. Now they can pitch but they can't hit. I'm sure they'd love to add a bat, but they don't have the weapons in the farm system to pick up an impact hitter.
First off, do you see the Twins making any impact moves at the deadline? A Major League 2B and a quality reliever would top my list. Possibly Capps/Sanchez. Second, if the Twins don't make any moves, does this hurt their chances of resigning Joe Mauer, as Mauer has stated he wants to play for a team committed to winning?
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Dan, That move makes some sense to me, although the Twins, like a lot of clubs, wouldn't be very enthused about paying Freddy Sanchez $8 million next season (assuming his option vests). Minnesota is also very hesitant to part with any prospects. Larry Corrigan, who's an assistant to Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington, knows Minnesota's system inside and out because he worked for the Twins for a long time. Intriguing, but probably a long shot.
Joel (Portland, OR )
Are you not answering my questions about the greatness of the Angels because it's quantifiability is irrefutable and yet quite uncomfortable? It's okay, you can be honest here, we're all friends.
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Joel, No, it must have slipped through the cracks. You have to hand it to the Halos being where they are, given the Adenhart tragedy and all the pitching injuries they've endured. Mike Scioscia does a great job there, and it says a lot for the importance of continuity.
SWayne (Delmar NY)
I think Hughes stays in the pen, and so does Aceves, with marte soon to join. Do you think yanks may look at guys like Arroyo, Harang, Doug Davis, Garland, Duscherer?
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Swayne, Supposedly they're looking at Duchscherer. I have my doubts about how some of those other guys would fare in the AL East. Brian Cashman has done well with his recent pitching acquisitions: He might not want to push his luck.
Worst contract this offseason? Easy - Ollie bleeping Perez
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Dave, That's a good one. What would a baseball chat be without a lament from a downtrodden Mets fan?
Hughes' future: starter or reliever?
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Adam, He's a starter long-term.
Worst Contract Carlos Sliva year to of a 4 yar 48 million deal.
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Ryan, That's one bad contract, but it came in the winter of 2007-2008, not this year.
Alex (Wheaton MD)
Is Nolan Reimold a good long term answer in left field for the Orioles? How does he compare to say Josh Willingham, Xavier Nady, or Jason Bay?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Alex, Those seem like pretty good offensive comps to me. Reimold has big power, but he's a big guy with a long swing and teams are going to find his holes. I think the kid will adapt and be a 25-30 home run guy in time, but he's going through some growing pains right now.
Cub Nation (Chicago)
How about a tri-fecta of bad contracts? Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley? Geez, now that I think about it, how does Jim Hendry still have a job?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Cub Nation, But you weren't saying that a year ago when the Cubbies were on their way to winning 97 games.
Riccardi says he wants for Halladay what the O's got for Bedard. Will anyone get fleeced like that? The O's got a 2008 all star in Sherrill, a 2009 all star in Jones, and Tillman, who started the Futures Game, will almost certainly be joining the O's rotation this week.
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Andy, No offense to Erik Bedard, but Roy Halladay is three times the pitcher that Bedard is. He doesn't present nearly as much downside risk because of his character and durability. Again, I don't blame Ricciardi for asking for the moon. It's his call whether he's willing to accept less than that.
Jerry, is it true the Sox would HAVE to part with Beckham to get Halladay? Maybe Poreda, Ramirez and some other guys could get it done?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Rob, I could be surprised, but I don't think the Sox have enough to pull it off without Beckham (unless Ricciardi is willing to settle for less than he wants).
Any chance that Brian Roberts could be moved? I know the Orioles brass felt pressure to extend a 32-year second basemen who was perceived as the most marketable commodity on the team (but lately has been "dogging it" lately [parentheses indicated a subjective opinion)]. Now that the future is Jones, Markakis, Wieters, Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta, is it too late to move that bloated contract?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Kyle,The Cubs will be looking for a second baseman and leadoff catalyst this winter, and Lou Piniella has always been a Brian Roberts fan. But with Orlando Hudson, Chone Figgins and some others out there, the Cubs might be able to sign a middle infield type for less money without giving up any talent in return.
Peter Gammons reported earlier that the Red Sox could make a bigger trade sending Clay Bucholtz to the Tribe for Victor Martinez...Any truth to this?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Sam, I'm never willing to count out the Red Sox on anything -- even Roy Halladay.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Jayson Stark is up next. Let's do it again next week.