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)
Hey guys, The weather is terrible here today, but it's always partly sunny come chat time. Let's talk baseball.
Which 3 you like better: Verlander/Jackson/Washburn OR CC/AJ/Andy?
Jerry Crasnick (12:02 PM)
Jason, Interesting question. From the way Washburn has pitched, I'm not sure he's ahead of Porcello in the Detroit pecking order. I'd probably take the Yankees guys because of experience -- although Burnett is a crapshoot on any given day and CC's postseason resume leaves a lot to be desired. The Detroit guys have great stuff, but October is a whole different ballgame.
What team is the biggest surprise of the year? The biggest disappoinment?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Sam, Colorado and Texas are the biggest surprises -- although I picked the Rangers as my preseason darkhorse. The Rockies were 18-28 when they fired Clint Hurdle and replaced him with Jim Tracy. Their turnarouund has been amazing. Biggest disappointment: The Mets, followed by the Cubs. Am I missing someone?
Mike (St. Louis)
This question was asked to Klaw yesterday I wanted to hear your input. Can Brendan Ryan be a full time starter at SS next year? That is one slick glove he's got. Klaw responded with this Not much bat, though - he's a fringy starter, although given what some teams run out there (in the same state) they could do a lot worse. The Cardinals average 1.5 runs against less a game with him in the lineup. Seems like his glove more than makes up his lack of bat.
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Mike, My initial reaction is that Ryan is probably better as a jack of all trades type of guy. They're OK with him in the lineup when they've got Pujols and Holliday and the lineup is really clicking, but in a perfect world, I think you'd like a bit of an upgrade there.
JC, do you think Franklin Morales will be a starter next year? He's too good to be a 7th or 8th guy, and Street is the closer. Also higher upside? Morales or Friedrich?
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
Elier, I get the sense that Morales is one of those Papelbon-Joba-Gagne type of guys who's better when he can go out there for short doses and let it fly. He had some problems staying focused and maintaining his concentration as a starter. Trust me, those 7th and 8th inning shutdown guys are pretty valuable. Carlos Marmol carried the Cubs bullpen for a couple of years until he forgot how to throw strikes.
Dissappointment -- the Rays. not really competitive all year, never really "in" a race for the division or wildcard. big letdown year.
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Tom, I thought about the Rays -- they were my preseason World Series pick -- but a lot of people thought they'd have a tough time duplicating last year. You have to cut them some slack for playing in the AL East. And they hung around for several months before pulling a late fade.
Robbie (Baltimore, MD)
What do you think Kyle Blanks Ceiling is?
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
My buddy Jim Callis of Baseball America tells me he's a solid regular. I think he's a 25-homer, 90-RBI type guy. He did a pretty nice job for the Padres this year even though they forced him to play left field. By the way, today is Kyle Blanks' 23rd birthday. Happy birthday, Big Guy?
Timmyhilfigga of 6burgh [via mobile]
How can anyone expect the pirates to compete when they cant pay players the sexy salaries that other teams can?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Timmy, Hey, Florida, Minnesota, Cleveland and Milwaukee have had their moments, and they're all in similar circumstances as the Pirates. Pittsburgh absolutely has to do a better job of drafting and developing players. The Pirates spent some money on high school pitchers this year, and they've got Pedro Alvarez on the way to join Andrew McCutchen. A lot of people are down on them, but I think there's some reason for hope if some of the young talent pans out.
Any chance the Orioles make a big free agent splash this offseason and try to put some experienced talent around the youngters?? And if so, who would they have in mind?? Lackey, Halladay, Beltre maybe??
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)
Richard, The Orioles need help at third base, first base and pitching this winter, but I don't think they're at the "Big splash" stage yet. They tried that with Miguel Tejada a few years ago, and it didn't work out so hot. By the way, Halladay isn't a free agent. He's under contract with Toronto for 2010.
Jon (Augusta, ME)
If you could keep only one, which Orioles CFer would you pick, Pie or Jones?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Jon, I would keep Adam Jones. And if you asked MLB personnel people, they would unanimously agree with me.
I dont know how you could leave the Indians off the dissappointing list. They've traded away all the talent except for Sizemore. Team had promise two years ago, now they are a laughingstock, and didnt really get *that* much back in return for Sabathia, Lee, VMart, DeRosa, etc.
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Mark, They're a disappointment, for sure, but when you looked at the starting rotation to begin the season, I think they were vastly overrated.
Connor (J-ville, NC)
I haven't seen anyone make this comparision in any chat as of yet, so I thought I might as well. The aquistion of Jim Thome by LA is the equivalent of Matt Stairs aquistion by Philly last year. A PH power bat that had several big post-season moments. Should we expect Thome to have the same effect?
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Connor, I think I made that comparison in a recent chat, believe it or not. The Dodgers were obviously hoping that Thome can come off the bench and hit a big bomb or two down the stretch. Unlike Matt Stairs in 2008, Thome won't have the opportunity to do it against Jonathan Broxton.
Cliff Lee's American League ERA this year: 3.14. His National League ERA this year: 3.11. Let's stop pretending that the AL and NL play at completely different levels.
Jerry Crasnick (12:21 PM)
Kevin, Are you familiar with the term "small sample size"?
Jerry has there ever been a bigger travesty than the offense in Atlanta wasting that good pitching? Any thoughts on who stays and who goes in the offseason. Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Chris, In reality, the Braves are set in a lot of places. They've got a nice rotation moving forward to 2010, and McCann, Escobar and McLouth give them some cornerstone young vets. Chipper is a big question, obviously. Do they consider moving him to first base and going after a third baseman, or do they try to re-sign Adam LaRoche at first? It'll also be interesting to see how aggressive they are in pushing outfielder Jason Heyward. He's a lefty bat, and that team really needs to get more right-handed.
While it's fairly obvious the two leagues play at different levels, some people take that rhetoric way too seriously. A friend of mine tried to argue that Jacoby Ellsbury is better than Matt Kemp because Kemp plays in "AAAA." It's just asinine.
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Rob, Yeah, people can definitely get carried away with it. But the consensus within the game is that the quality of play in the AL is higher than the NL. I can't argue with that.
Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Being a bit presumptious, aren't you, Jerry? Until very recently, Joba had a sub-3.50 ERA as a starter. He's in a bit of a rut, true, but is also being managed very, very badly right now.
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Flemming, That's just my opinion on Joba. I think he has a tough time pacing himself and maintaining his focus as a starter. I'm sure that some people (many of them with the Yankees) would disagree with me.
I am familiar with small sample size. And that's my point. When Cliff Lee started out unhittable in the NL, everyone said that it proved that the AL was much better. Now that Lee has returned to earth, let's have some of you guys eat some crow.
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Kevin, I understand your point. Why didn't you write in two weeks ago when Lee looked so unhittable?
If the Rangers make the playoffs, does Michael Young pass Mauer for MVP?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Bo -- No.
Jerry, did Kenny Williams make a mistake by getting Rios ? Also, should he have waiting until the offseason to pursue Peavy ? Things might have been different if they kept Richard to pitch instead of trotting out Contreras
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Darek, I have a hard time believing Clayton Richard would have made the difference for the White Sox this season. School's out on Rios. He has a lot of natural ability, but doesn't play with a whole lot of fire. As for Peavy, we'll see. That's a big contract for a guy who could have health issues over the next few years. And US Cellular Field is a long way from Petco Park.
What is Aaron Poreda's ceiling?
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Narius, Some people in the scouting community think he's a reliever because he's essentially a one-pitch guy. I think he could be more than that in San Diego.
Jack (Boston )
Do you think Tracy is the MOY with the amazing turn around the Rockies have had? I have heard LaRussa but Trace has done much more with less.
Jerry Crasnick (12:31 PM)
Jack, I've heard a lot of Tony La Russa love out there, but to me, Tracy has to be the guy. That team was going nowhere until Dan O'Dowd changed managers in mid stream.
What do you expect from Derek Holland in 2010? Can he win 10 games and keep his ERA under 4.00?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
Kevin, I don't see why not. Holland has struggled lately, but he's had several outings where you just say, "Wow." And the Rangers have kept his workload reasonable, so I don't think he'll have any problems with the dreaded Verducci Effect.
Robbie (Balitmore, MD)
Who do you think will sign Chone Figgins this off-season, and for how much? His lead-off skills make him a valuable asset to teams like the White Sox, Cubs, or Yankees among other teams, and the Red Sox will need a 3rd basemen next year.
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Robbie, You've listed several teams that will be interested in Figgins. I have a tough time predicting what he'll make. Is this winter's free agent market going to be anything like last year's? If I had to guess, I think Figgins lands with one of the Chicago teams.
At what point do the white sox move Beckham over 2B?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Zane, I'm not sure why they would consider doing that. Beckham has done a nice job making the adjustment from short to third -- which is always a difficult position to fill. And if they move him to second, aren't they just going to create a hole at third?
Mike (St. Louis)
Would Holliday be a fool to leave St. Louis batting behind Pujols? I mean it seems the numbers he could put up in St. Louis would we worth it to take a small paycut.
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Mike, As I mentioned last week, Holliday recently went public and expressed a desire to stay in St. Louis. That seemed out of character for a Scott Boras client. And as Buster Olney blogged this morning, the Cardinals are on the hook for an awful lot in guaranteed money. It obviously depends on what kind of deal Holliday will fetch in St. Louis. But I'd be shocked if they do anything before he hits the open market. My best guess is that Holliday will not be a Card in 2010.
Isn't the problem with Holliday staying is St Louis the fact that he will have to take a big pay cut, not a small pay cut, if he wants to stay. Someone will give him $20 per.
Jerry Crasnick (12:40 PM)
George, Yes, that could, indeed, be problematic. I'm not sure if Holliday gets $20 million on the open market, but he's enhanced his bargaining position in a big way since coming to St. Louis.
Can you ask Mike in St. Louis if he would take a the same salary to stay at his current employer, or get a big fat raise to go to a competitor?
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Scott, You can't blame Mike in St. Louis for hoping, right? But if Matt Holliday weren't looking for a big, fat, free agent payday, he wouldn't have left his previous agent for Scott Boras, would he?
Keith (Bologna, Italy)
Can Colorado continue to get as much out of its starting pitching to make a serious run at the World Series?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Keith, Ubaldo Jimenez's stuff is as good as anybody's. I'm not quite as sold on Jason Marquis and Jorge De La Rosa, even though they've made big jumps this year. I'll feel better about the Rox once Aaron Cook returns from his strained shoulder and shows he's 100 percent.
Will Jason Bay be reporting to Spring training in a Sox uniform next year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Pete, I think the Sox will find a way to get it done with Bay. He hit a fallow stretch there for a while, but in the end, the numbers are going to be pretty darned good. He's such a great fit in that clubhouse and that lineup, I think they'll find a way to get it done.
chris baltimre [via mobile]
If espn is going to make a huge deal about jeter and his milestone in hits, can we expect the same coverage for the royals, pirates, rays, etc??? This just proves espns love affair with the yankees. Thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Chris, I'm not sure how you equate Derek Jeter catching Lou Gehrig with what those other clubs do. Do you mean that we should break in and have a live shot if the Royals suffer their fifth 100-loss season in eight years?
Jerry, there are 1st graders who haven't ever seen the Yanks do anything. What have you done for me lately?
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Tom, Yeah, it has to be traumatic for those 5-year-olds who've never seen Derek, Mariano
Jerry, How much do you buy into the whole "peaking" idea? Personally, I think the Phillies supported the theory big time last year. If you believe in it, do you think the Yankees and Rockies may be in trouble because they "peaked" so early and statistically shouldn't keep this up?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Ian, I believed in the "peaking" school of thought until the Tigers and Cardinals both stunk it up in late 2006 and wound up playing each other in the World Series. Another thing to consider this year: All the races are basically salted away, so no team is going to be busting it all the way to the finish line. So they're all on an equal playing field, so to speak.
Jerry, Did someone just ask you if Young would pass Mauer for MVP if they make the playoffs? I know I THINK i read it, but i just wanted to make sure my eyes weren't completely deceiving me...
Jerry Crasnick (12:50 PM)
Dave, I do think Michael Young's name appears in the top 10 somewhere. But he has to stand in line behind Mauer, Jeter, Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera, to name a few.
Hey Jerry, will there be chats during the playoffs again this year? I really enjoyed it last year!
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Ryan, I'm not sure what the postseason plan is, chat-wise. We'll make sure to let everybody know if we're doing them. I assume we will.
Will Ricciardi be gone? The teams a mess with Rod Barajas having hit cleanup last week.
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Leigh, I talked to J.P. Ricciardi recently about his job status, and he told me, "I'm not losing any sleep over it." For some reason, there's an assumption out there that interim CEO Paul Beeston isn't a Ricciardi fan. I think that's way overblown. At this point, the biggest question is what's going to happen to Beeston. Bud Selig wants him to stay in charge in Toronto, but Beeston seems committed to making this an interim arrangement.
If the Mets hired you as GM, what are the top 3 changes you would make to this roster come spring 2010? Also what is your take on Fernando Martinez as a prospect in terms of what he can bring to the Mets next season? Thanks !
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Vic, I'm not trying to be a wise guy or anything, but the Mets' situation requires a lot more thought than I convey in this chat format. As for Fernando Martinez, the Mets haven't done him any favors by rushing him to the big leagues. They need to take a deep breath and figure out where they're headed with that kid.
Jerry, Since Jeter is the only player with a legit shot at challenging Rose's hit record, i don't see why so many people have a problem with ESPN tracking his milestones even at this stage. Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Nel, I don't see what the problem is, either. But there's no way Jeter catches Rose. He's 35 years old and he needs more than 1,500 more hits to catch Pete. No way that happens.
Is Tommy Hanson a future Cy Young winner? Sure looks dominant.
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
CC, That kid is terrific. I watched him the other night against Houston, and he was absolutely dealing. If he stays healthy, he's going to be a Cy contender for years to come. Great demeanor and work ethic, too. It's downright Halladay-like.
Liam (Pleasanton, California)
Jerry - Do you think the Giants can dump Zito's contract in the offseason? With the way he has pitched, I think a team would be willing to take on most of the contract.
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Sorry, Liam. He still has four years and $76 million left on that deal, I believe. If Zito were going on the free agent market this winter, would any team pay him anything remotely close to that? There's your answer right there.
Jeff (Los Angeles, CA)
Jerry, you said "But if Matt Holliday weren't looking for a big, fat, free agent payday, he wouldn't have left his previous agent for Scott Boras, would he?" Why do you feel that way? From all the articles I've read, Boras has some of the best strength training and sports psychologists around. Couldn't that be a factor for some of the players too, not just the money?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Jeff, Yes, Boras does a very good job with his agency, but I don't think Matt Holliday signed up with him because of his training program. Scott is the master of preparing players for free agency and negotiating record deals. I've gotta believe that's why Holliday and so many others gravitate to him.
Wow, Jeter is 53 on the all time hit list now, no one made a big deal when Bonds, Ripken, Gwynn or any other modern player passed Gehrig, so why should Jeter get so much attention?
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Ernie, Uhh, maybe it's because Bonds, Ripken and Gwynn played for other teams and weren't breaking the Yankees career hit record held by Lou Gehrig -- one of baseball's all-time icons. Call me crazy, but I think that's the reason for the Jeter coverage.
Sean (New York City)
Jeter probably won't catch Rose, but you have to give him better odds than "no way". He only has 40 or so fewer hits than Rose did at the same age.
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Sean, I believe Jeter was the third fastest player ever to 2,700. But I still have a hard time seeing him chasing Pete Rose's record in 2017. Say what you will about Pete -- he had some late career kick!
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Thanks for the emails and comments, everybody. Let's do it again next week.