Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:00 PM)
Hi everybody, In this week's Starting 9, I grade the contending teams on their July and August trades. (The Phillies did the best, White Sox not so good). Let's begin the chat.
Dennis Chase (New York)
Giants fans are absolutely over the moon for Buster Posey, but can a rookie catcher batting cleanup really lead a team to the playoffs?
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Dennis, Hey, Posey has helped keep them in the chase so far, so I don't see why not. I don't think people realize how difficult it is for a rookie to produce offensively while handling a premier pitching staff like that for a contending team. He's a "special" player.
Greg (Burtonsville, MD)
Hi Jerry, I wanted to get your opinion on Adam Jones. Eventhough he has a few holes in his swing and hasnt played CF as well as last year, it seems that more fans around here want him traded or moved to LF in lieu of Pie. I love his talent and enthusiasm. Whats your thoughts? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Greg, Adam Jones is 25 years old and came up with a lot of pressure and expectations. Just look at what he's done the last couple of months. I think anyone in Baltimore who's advocating trading him or moving him to LF to make room for Felix Pie needs to go in for some counseling.
Halladay seems less dominant in recent outings, he is starting to get behind batters and hit the strike zone with less precision than usual. What could that be a product of? Or was he just so perfect before that he set the standard to high for himself?
Jerry Crasnick (12:04 PM)
Dan, Roy Halladay might look like a robot-pitcher, but he's over 240 innings this year and he's thrown an awful lot of pitches. Only by Halladay standards can 7 innings and 3 runs be construed as a bad start. You're right -- he's set the bar so high, the expectations get unrealistic. As a Phillies fan, is there anybody else you'd want on the mound in a postseason game (unless it's Oswalt or Hamels)?
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Hottest & the Coldest MLB Game that you have been to?
Jerry Crasnick (12:06 PM)
Chris, The coldest game I've ever been at has to be about 20 different games at Candlestick Park. The hottest was either in Texas, Atlanta, or the last All-Star Game in Baltimore. Absolutely sweltering.
Jerry - curious for your take on the Torre/Manuel situation. I personally don't think Torre was out of line considering he was just answering a question (unlike Gary Carter campaigning for the job two years ago)
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Ryan, I'm sure that Joe Torre didn't want to make it come out that way, but it didn't look very good. Are people so anxious to kick Jerry Manuel when he's down that it's OK to lobby for his job while he still has it? And I've never understood the Gary Carter-Wally Backman double standard. It's OK for Backman to say he wants the job while Manuel still has it, but Carter gets absolutely crushed for doing something similar? I wish someone would explain that to me.
will joey votto win mvp or will he get snubbed
Jerry Crasnick (12:09 PM)
David, I think he wins it. Even with the late Tulo-CarGo euphoria, Votto has been the most consistent producer for a contending team in the NL all season. He'd be my choice.
The Philadelphia Phillies could end up with the best record in the entire MLB... not just the NL. Tell me how Charlie isn't a guarantee for manager of the year? He's used over 70 different lineups this year because the Phillies have had 16 players on the DL this year including Former MVPs J Roll and Ryan Howard, closer B Lidge, starting pitcher Blanton, Former MVP's Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley for 8 weeks!
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Matt, Charlie Manuel is very underrated, and there's no question he's done a terrific job. But that team still has a huge payroll and a boatload of talent, and Ruben Amarao did go out and acquire Roy Oswalt at the deadline. I don't see how Charlie gets it over Bud Black, whose team was a consensus pick to finish last. Or Dusty Baker, for that matter.
Is tonight the biggest game of the season for the Rockies? If they fall another game or two behind, this weekend's series is going to reek of desperation.
Jerry Crasnick (12:12 PM)
Eddie, Yes, the Rockies are approaching crisis mode. They fell too far behind early, and now they're in a position where they have to win games on the road. That team just doesn't play well away from Coors Field.
Mike (Reno, eNVy)
I'm confused. I see what you say about Posey being special, and the increased difficulty in catching at all, let alone arguably the best in baseball, yet people still have him 3rd in ROY races behind Heyward and Garcia. What gives?
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Mike, Well, Jason Heyward is pretty special too. And while it's not as challenging playing the outfield, he's logged about 120 more ABs (I think) than Posey. In hindsight, it really hurt Posey's ROY chances to spend the first couple of months in Triple A. All those bloggers who were agitating for an earlier callup knew what they were talking about.
Rich (Bayonne, NJ)
RE: And I've never understood the Gary Carter-Wally Backman double standard. It's OK for Backman to say he wants the job while Manuel still has it, but Carter gets absolutely crushed for doing something similar? I wish someone would explain that to me." Very Simple... Gary Carter has campaigned for everything, All Star Games, status in the clubbouse, HOF, manager... he is a shameless shill for himself! Who doesn't roll their eyes when he opens his mouth these days?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Rich, As writers, we always kill players like Eddie Murray who treat us with disdain and never talk to us. Then you get guys like Carter or Steve Garvey, and they're "frauds" because they're helpful to the media. People can say what they want about Gary Carter, but the guy is a Hall of Famer who did go back to the minors to manage. Trust me, a lot of players in his position wouldn't have done that kind of grunt work.
Is the almost complete radio silence on Justin Morneau in the last few weeks a good thing or a bad thing. Any news on him playing again in 2010?
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Greg, I just don't see him playing again -- or at least contributing in any kind of significant way. He's been off so long, he'll need some ABs to get back in the swing, and the minor league seasons are all done. Looking back at what happened with Aaron Hill and some other concussion sufferers, I don't see Morneau playing again until 2011.
Gardner or Crawford? I'm serious.
Jerry Crasnick (12:18 PM)
Nate, No you're not. You can't be.
Whose likely playoff rotation is scarier: Phillies or Giants. Both teams have a top five pitcher (Halladay/Lincecum) , a very underrated, ace for half the league type pitcher (Oswalt/Cain), and a wild card (Hamels/Sanchez)
Jerry Crasnick (12:20 PM)
Jack, I'm OK with this, sort of, until you start comparing Cole Hamels and Jonathan Sanchez. You lose me there. Have you seen what Hamels has done lately? Also, Roy Oswalt, when he's pitching like he has in August and September, is an ace for just about everybody. The Giants rotation is great, and capable of shutting down anybody. But I'll take the Phils.
Jack P. (DC)
Showalter AL Manager of the Year, right? With all respects to Ron Washington and Gardy!
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Jack, If they divided it into months, Buck would win August and September. Personally, I think I'll take Gardenhire. The Twins had a tougher road to the postseason, and it's amazing how the guy gets so much out of the Brian Duensings and Danny Valencias who come up within the system.
If the Reds get home field advantage, how far can they go in the playoffs? I wanna believe, but their bench is shallow after Cairo/Janish/whatever C isn't playing, and there are no real "aces" on the team.
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Jimmy, You nailed it with the second part. Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto have the stuff on a given day, but I just don't think the Reds' rotation stacks up against the other NL teams in October.
Have you seen what Jonathan Sanchez has done lately??! C'mon Jerry!
Jerry Crasnick (12:24 PM)
Ryan, Sanchez can be dominant, but he still averages about 4.5 BB per nine innings over the long haul. Cole Hamels did it for an entire postseason two years ago. Speaking objectively, would you really take Jonathan Sanchez over Cole Hamels if given the choice?
What Nate meant was...Garnder (5 WAR) making $500k or Crawford (6.6 WAR) who'll make $15-16 million....
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Seymour, Since when do the Yankees care about money?
Trevor Cahill shot at the Cy Young?
Jerry Crasnick (12:26 PM)
Adam, No, it's going to come down to Felix and CC. I'd give it to CC by a nose hair at this point, but that could change over the next 10 days.
How about Crawford for $15-20M vs. Gardner for the league min??
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
Steve, Bret Gardner gives the Yankees speed, competitiveness, defense and great plate discipline, but we're talking apples and oranges here. Carl Crawford is an elite outfielder. If you put Gardner on a weaker team, do you think he would have the same impact? (Just take a look at Melky Cabrera in Atlanta). And never mind that if Gardner hangs around another three or four years, he's going to get pretty expensive, too.
Chris (Staten Island, NY)
Jerry, If Yu Darvish is indeed posted this year as we are now hearing rumors he will, do you think he moves ahead of Cliff Lee as the most in demand starting considering the age difference (24 vs 32) and Lee's back problems this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Chris, Not for me. Yu Darvish has a chance to be very good, but there are a lot of variables and question marks with a pitcher coming over from Japan. Cliff Lee is a proven commodity and a top-of-the rotation guy. He'll cost more, but he gives you a more reliable bet. Especially if you're a contending team and you can't afford to mess around.
Jayson Werth. If the Phils get creative (back-loading his contract) is it feasible that he could re-signed in Philadelphia? If not, where's he likely headed?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Ryan, I think that ship has sailed. If the Phillies wanted to sign Werth, they would have done it last winter or even earlier this spring (and before Werth hired Scott Boras as his new agent). I don't have time to go through the list of interested teams, but Werth will find an active market this winter.
John (Lexington, KY)
Dice-K, Kei Igawa, Kawakami....See any trends?
Jerry Crasnick (12:33 PM)
John, From what I've heard, Yu Darvish is better than those guys. But we heard an awful lot of Dice-K hype, and he certainly hasn't performed up to expectations. That's bound to make people skeptical of Darvish.
Ok, here is a better question: Gardner vs. Ellsbury??
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Steve, Nothing against Gardner, but I'd take Ellsbury if he were healthy. (Obviously, that hasn't been the case in a while)
Can the Rox resign DeLaRosa this off season? could he actually get 12-13 mil a year.
Jerry Crasnick (12:35 PM)
Tom, If DeLaRosa is looking for $12 million a year, he won't be re-signing with Colorado. (I'd be shocked if he gets anything close to that).
Here's what it comes down to, Jerry. Would the Yanks be better off the next 4 years with Crawford for approx. $60M or Gardner (approx. $4M) + $56M in other player value?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
Doug, If Jason Bay could get four years and $66 million, I don't think 4 & $60 million is going to land Carl Crawford. Until recently, wasn't the plan for the Yanks to keep Gardner and trade Curtis Granderson to make room for Crawford? Has that changed since Granderson got hot? I have a hard time keeping track of the Yankees' offseason shopping plans.
Jerry, what separates great from elite when it comes to GM's?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Todd, Supportive ownership, for starters. Just look at what Terry Ryan did in Minnesota, or Dan O'Dowd has done in Colorado, when given the time to develop players through the draft. Also, a $150 to $200 million payroll never hurt.
If The Yankees offered Gardner, Nova, Brackman and Brandon Laird and or David Phillips for Colby Rasmus would the Cards do it? What do you think it would take for the Yankees to pull off a trade for Rasmus
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Tony, Colby Rasmus is 24 years old and has an .850-plus OPS as a center fielder. The Cardinals aren't holding any fire sales on him because of this mini-rift with Tony La Russa. And if they do, a lot of teams will be lining up along with the Yankees.
Matt (St. Paul)
I was a major Bill Smith basher early on, but wow...the guy has to be Executive of the Year, right? Resigning Mauer, bringing in Hudson, Hardy, Thome, trading for Capps and Fuentes....he's really got the Midas touch this season.
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
Matt, It's always a collaborative effort in Minnesota. They do a great job with Mike Radcliff in scouting, the minor league people, Gardenhire and Bill Smith, Rob Antony and the front office group. They have a plan and they stick to it, and they've been able to compete with middling resources. Now that they have more $$ from Target Field, they're going to be even more formidable.
Jerry, would it suprise you if both Kenny and Ozzie are let go this offseason ? This off field drama and twittergate cannot continue
Jerry Crasnick (12:45 PM)
Darek,Personally, I get a little tired of it, and I'm not even in Chicago. That said, Kenny and Ozzie won a World Series (albeit in 2005) and they have a track record that a lot of teams would love to emulate. The drama can be fun at times, but it gets old after a while.
Jerry, So you are saying that Yanks should pay through the nose for another aging player like Crawford who is past his prime. Got it. And by the way were you serious in trying to analogize Gardner and Me. Cabrera? If you havent noticed Yanks develop and retain a lot of their farm system and more is on the way including HeathCott for the OF. Trust me they dont need Crawford and will not sign him.
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Nathan, Thanks for the insights. You might want to pass them along to the NY papers, because I imagine they'll be mentioning Crawford's name a few times in November and December. Just a hunch.
Any chance Jays GM Alex A gets consideration for GM of the year? Made low risk signings of Buck, Gonzalez (which he parlayed for Yunel Escobar). Along with trading for Morrow and prospects from the Doc trade.
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Dave, I'm not sure about Executive of the Year, but you have to admire the Jays for the way they've played this year. If they finish over .500, that's a nice accomplishment in an absolutely brutal division. They've gone below the radar.
Can Hamilton still win MVP after missing all of September?
Jerry Crasnick (12:48 PM)
Ryan, Great question. He's got a chance because the rest of the field is so jumbled. No one from the Cabrera, Cano, Konerko, Longoria, Mauer contingent has overtaken him yet.
If the World Series is a rematch, which is the better team this year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Mike, Right now you just have to love the way the Phillies are playing. I'd feel better about them if Rollins were back, but that Big Three is pretty amazing. And Lidge and Madson have both been lights-out lately. That's huge for them.
Is it crazy to think that the Reds have a stronger lineup 1-8 than the Phillies do?
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Eric, The Reds' lineup has been great this year. But Brandon Phillips hasn't hit for about two months, and I'm not sure if I'd take kids like Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey over the Phillies lineup in October. Don't mean to sound like a Phillies' homer this chat, but they're really turning it on at the right time.
Jonny (LA) (LA)
Carl Crawford, past his prime? He's 29...Two years older than Brett Gardner.
Jerry Crasnick (12:52 PM)
Jonny, Thanks for pointing that out. I also enjoyed that Carl Crawford "past his prime" observation.
Jerry, what do I take from this season as a Cardinals fan? They have beaten up Tim Hudson and Matt Latos in the past month, yet just got swept by the Cubs and just about every other bad NL team.
Jerry Crasnick (12:54 PM)
Jeff, They have to figure out how they're going to surround their Pujols-Holliday-Carpenter-Wainwright-Rasmus-Garcia nucleus with a limited budget, and then Tony has to determine if he's coming back. Until those questions are resolved, nothing else really matters.
Saw how possible No. 1 overall pick next June Anthony Rendon, 3B from Rice, got hurt and had screws inserted into his leg. What're scouts saying about his potential and see the Pirates maybe taking him and moving Pedro Alverez to first?
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Rahn, The scouts think Anthony Rendon has the potential to be a big-time player. And if he stays healthy and has a nice junior year, I can definitely see the Pirates choosing him. (For what it's worth, he's another Scott Boras guy, which should make for a lot of fun in August). For what it's worth, most people expect Pedro Alvarez to move to first base eventually.
Jerry, you should be ashamed of yourself for allowing Brett Gardiner to dominate this chat!
Jerry Crasnick (12:56 PM)
Billy, Thanks for the admonishment. You're absolutely right. But these Yankees fans are relentless.
Speaking of the draft, have the Orioles cost themselves a top prospect after their recent winning ways?
Jerry Crasnick (12:58 PM)
Jay, I wouldn't worry about that. This isn't the NFL, where the difference between the No. 1 and No. 3 picks might be huge. It's supposed to be a very strong draft, and Joe Jordan is a great scouting director. The O's should do fine.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
Best Bullpen in the NL: Giants or Padres?
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Ray, It's pretty darned close, although as I mention today in my Starting 9, how much do the Giants really trust Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez at the end of the season? The two pens are 1-2 in everything, so I'll call it a wash.
Who hates the Yankees more, you or Rob Neyer?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Steve, I don't hate the Yankees at all, although the people who keep sending in questions on this chat today are helping to make that a reality.
Jerry,What two teams do you have making it to the WS as of right now, and who wins?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Jon, As boring as this sounds, right now a rematch of the Yankees-Phillies 2009 series looks like a distinct possibility. The Phillies look stronger at the moment only because they have more certainty in their rotation.
Andy (Washington, DC)
How can writers like you not just destroy the Yankees for simply BUYING world series wins. That's what happened in 2009. If they acquire both Lee and Crawford, then what is the point for the rest of the AL?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Andy, Because "buying" players doesn't always equate to huge performance. The Yankees spent $82.5M on A.J. Burnett. Think they might want to reconsider that expenditure? And last I checked, the Yankees hadn't won a World Series in a while before they did it in 2009. I'm one of those baseball romantics who think that a smart front office can still accomplish a lot with less money.
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Thanks for the notes, everybody. Sorry if I riled up a few of the Yankees' true believers. They've got a great club this year and I suspect they'll be hanging around a while in October. Let's chat again next week.