Chat with Jim Bowden
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals vice president and general manager, and current ESPN MLB analyst, Jim Bowden stops by to chat.
In 1992, the Reds made Bowden the then-youngest GM in MLB history, when they hired him at age 31. The Reds finished first three times during his 10 years in Cincinnati. In 2005, he took on the same role for the Washington Nationals when the franchise relocated from Montreal.
In addition to his role with ESPN, Bowden also co-hosts the "Inside Pitch" radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio. Follow him on Twitter: @JimBowdenESPNxm.
Send your questions now and join Bowden Wednesday at noon ET!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Major League Baseball Pitchers are Out for the Season & Out for the 2012 Season Also?
Jim Bowden (11:21 AM)
Here are some of the pitchers that come to mind Bret Anderson, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Josh Johnson, David Aardsma, Johan Santana, Jorge De La Rosa, are out for 2011...they all have some type of chance of getting back in 2012.
What does Johnny Cueto have to do to be in the talks for Cy Young this year? While the reds have struggled this year, he has shined and has an ERA at 2.04.
Jim Bowden (11:25 AM)
Roy Halladay is 15-4 with a 2.51 ERA Cole Hamels is 13-6 with a 2.53 ERA.....Cuetos certainly been the Reds "Cy Young"...if he had more run support and been able to get more wins and a few more innings he'd be in the middle of the race, but now he's on the outside looking in
Dylan Shanklin (Burgaw, NC)
Well, don't count out Johan Santana just yet. I think he will make a start just before the season ends.
Jim Bowden (11:59 AM)
Dylan - I don't want to burst the bubble, but my years in baseball (84-2009) I never had a pitcher successfully come back from a capusule shift surgery....and when they did they were never the same. I pray for Johan and the Mets...but I wouldn't be too optimistic that he returns to his Cy Young form.....
Jim, from a perspective outside of Chicago, how good is Starlin Castro at age 21?
Jim Bowden (12:01 PM)
He's one of the best shortstops in baseball right now...imagine what he'll look like at age 25! The errors will eventually come down...but he's a special special player and is the ONE player the Cubs can build around
Jim, I've always wondered something: How does the manager select his coaches (other teams' managers) for the All-Star Game? Does he just call up his buddies?
Jim Bowden (12:02 PM)
It's up to each All Star Manager. Often times they want to reward their own coaches and then in addition, they choose their friends or someone that has never had the opportunity before. I do think there should be a better way which might include all 3 division leading managers?
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
IF Cashman leaves Yankees- WHERE is best spot for his talents and future? (NO- he isn't leaving, but curious about your take)
Jim Bowden (12:03 PM)
Cashman's best spot is with the Yankees and I see him returning and finsihing his career in pinstripes. Historically, he has a chance to be the winningst GM in baseball history.
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
IF you could name on club as "Best Drafters", "Best Nurturers(growers of talent)", and "Best Managed"... which team(s) would make your list?
Jim Bowden (12:04 PM)
Best Drafters...........you win with PLAYERS first and foremost...if you don't have the talent the other two don't matter
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
Reyes- My take was 1 of 3 things(and only 3) could happen- 1) lose at year end for 2 draft picks 2) megadeal with Mets 3) trade at July 31st for value(anything more than 2 draft picks)... Unless they DO sign him, why didn't they trade him? Makes no sense to me in any way- the best interests of the club dictated trade.. WHAT am I missing?
Jim Bowden (12:07 PM)
Sandy Alderson the Mets GM told me earlier this week that when they balanced all of the issues they came to the conclusion of keeping Reyes and not trading him at the deadline. Here was the reasoning: 1. First Goal is to sign him long term, if they trade him that window after the season could be closed. 2. The talent they were being offered in trade wasn't much better than 2 draft picks. 3. The relationship with the fans is important and trading Reyes could put that at risk. My personal view was that they should have signed him in spring training when the cost was less or traded him at the deadline. Too much risk now and likely they end up with just two picks for one of the best shortstops in baseball.
Can you shed some light on being a GM? At the trade deadline the Cards played on Fox on Sat and ESPN on Sunday. Both times Mozeliak was a guest in the booth and both teams seemed utterly shocked at the fact his team's poor defense. What possibly could've taken him so long to figure this out?
Jim Bowden (12:10 PM)
Every GM wants the 75 REDS that has speed, power, defense, starting pitchers and back end closer. However, most teams aren't perfect. The Cards can will on the hill and at the plate and have sacrificed some range to do it at the plate. I though Mozeliak did well in trading for Rafael Furcal to improve range and arm at shorstop. Remember, the team their chasing (Brewers) aren't a very good defensive club either.
Todd Nicarry (Greencastle, PA)
Dan Uggla is currently in a 30 game hit streak. However last week during the Pirates/ Braves Series his only hit during one of the games was clearly an error by Cedeno at SS. I'm a baseball fan and I enjoy players chasing records but anyone that knows baseball knows this is completely bogus! Any other ballpark and Uggla's streak was over last week. MLB needs to look at that and do the right thing and change the official scoring. Dont they have a special commity that looks at those things so that this very thing does not occur?
Jim Bowden (12:11 PM)
I think for the most part official scorers to an extremely great job. There is an appeal process available through the Commissioner's OFFICE though
Matt (Atlanta, GA)
Jim - Can you just give your thoughts on what us Braves fans can expect from Arodys Vizcaino who was just called up today?
Jim Bowden (12:13 PM)
He has tremendous stuff; a 93-96 mph fastball with a wipe out curve ball that he commands and his change up has gotten better. He has the potential to develop into a top of the rotation starter in time. He'll probably be nervous, but he'll pound the fastball, hopefully David Ross will do like he normally does and put down the right fingers to mix his pitches. Electric arm and stuff
Why haven't the Red Sox offered Ortiz a Contract when they know that is is bothering him?
Can you shed some light on what it takes to smooth the tide for the Pirates offense? One night it's 5 runs, next night 0. It seems like inconsistency and miss-more-than-hit is their calling card. How does a GM approach that?
Do you think the NL Central is the Brewers division to lose?
Jim Bowden (12:16 PM)
I think the Brewers are the team to beat because I like their five man rotation and 8th and 9th inning relievers better than the Cardinals.Both teams are going to hit, both teams are going to manage, both teams will make some defensive mistakes. However, I'm buying Gallardo, Marcum , Greinke and company. Should be a race until the last week of the season though
Jim, what could the Reds get in return for Yonder Alonso this winter? Is a young pitcher like Matusz/Britton/Matzek out of the question? I think Baltimore and Colorado make sense as trading partners.
Jim Bowden (12:18 PM)
I would doubt the Orioles would give up on arms like Britton and/or Matusz unless they felt they were hurt. That's an important part of the future. But I like your thinking! Alonzo and Grandal at some point should bring the Reds a top of the rotation starter or impact RHH LF. Alonzo is def going to hit but can only play 1B and Grandal is NOT beating out Mesoraco who will end up an all star player within a few years....keep the good trade idea's coming!
Ken (Palo Alto (via Syracuse))
Big win for the Indians last night, but both teams cooked their pens. how do you see that playing out for the rest of the series. Which team does it disadvantage more?
Jim Bowden (12:20 PM)
Great game last night btw....love Kipnis and Cabrera's diving plays to their right.....phenomenal bullpens both sides. Neither team has an advantage and they'll run them right back out there tonight if they're needed. It would help if the Tigers or Indians were able to get 7 or 8 innings from their starters. It will be interesting to Ubaldo's second start for them....his mechanics look really screwed up to me with the stab and flying open as much as he is
Jim, don't you think the Reds should try and clear up the 1B logjam this winter? The rumor out of Cincy was that the Reds/Jays discussed a Votto/Bautista trade at the deadline. I think it makes sense both ways. Reds get 4+ years of cost certainty, and Alonso plays 1B. Jays get the hometown MVP. I think the Reds need to shop Votto around regardless; I see no way he remains in Cincy past 2013.
Jim Bowden (12:22 PM)
Bautista is the Pujols of the AL. Blue Jays get to add another canadian to go with Lawrie on the corners. Reds get impact bat for left and Alonzo takes over first. Makes sense to me, although I never had confirmation from anyone that the discussions actually happened. But, I did like the concept for both teams.
Ken (Palo Alto (via Syracuse))
Does the Tribe have to sweep Detroit this time around to remain a legit contender?
Jim Bowden (12:23 PM)
No, they're a legitimate contender.....Tigers/White Sox/Indians all should stay in it at least until September.
Travis (KC MO)
What is your take on Giovatella of the Royals and do you think he can stick as an everyday 2nd baseman. I like him 10X more than Getz but what do you think?
Jim Bowden (12:25 PM)
Love him. High energy, dirty uniform, gamer, puts the barrell on the bat, baseball player. Royals should have their infield set for years to come with Hosmer, Giovatella, Escobar and Moustakas. It's going to be fun to watch their bats develop over the next couple of years.
Carlos Zambrano for AJ Burnett, who says no?
Jim Bowden (12:25 PM)
Cubs don't want Burnett, Yanks don't want Zambrano....ok and also the Cubs don't want Zambrano and the Yanks don't want Burnett....hahahah...(attempted humor)
If the Nats sign a pujols, Prince Fielder, or Reyes, can they be a contender next year?
Jim Bowden (12:27 PM)
They're getting closer. the key will be Strasburg, Zimmerman, Peacock, Milone, Lannan and the starting rotation.....if they reach potential...then yes an impact player like Pujols, Fielder or Reyes could get them to contending status.....a trade for CF would help too.
What are the chances Prince Fielder resigns with the Brewers in the offseason? If not the Brewers, who do you see him signing with?
Jim Bowden (12:29 PM)
I asked that question to Prince Fielder at the All Star game. He told me his "preference would be to stay in Milwaukee because he's spent his whole career there.....BUT IT'S BIG BUSINESS" - he's represented by Scott Boras and my gut says he signs for best deal on table
What should the Cubs do with Alfonso Soriano? Will some team take him at the right dollar amount? Or, is he a sunk cost worth possibly releasing?
Jim Bowden (12:32 PM)
Cubs should offer to pay full balance and deal to team that needs bat and can trade prospects. Problem is that Soriano like Ramirez, and Dempster has a full no trade clause and like the other 2 doesn't want to be traded.......that's why you can't give no trade provisions it just hamstrings an organization years later
With the NFL just resolving their labor dispute, and the NBA in the middle of it, what is the next year MLB could be dealing with similar issues?
Jim Bowden (12:32 PM)
The negotiations are going extremely well with tremendous communication from both sides. I don't think that Commissioner Selig will allow a work stoppage in his final year as Commissioner.
Jim, thanks for taking the Reds questions! They need to give Chapman a chance at starting next year, don't they? You can't waste that stuff by only pitching him 50-60 innings per year.
Jim Bowden (12:34 PM)
not for me. I like him as an eventual closer. I just don't believe the secondary pitches are going to work the 2nd and 3rd time around the lineup...not sure the focus is there either. However, if he could make the transition it sure would help the top of the Reds rotation with Cueto.
Spencer H (Walnut Creek, CA)
How you analyzed Madison Bumgarner pitching and if so, what do you think is his long term upside?
Jim Bowden (12:35 PM)
I love him. 15 game winner 190 IP.....great deception pitching across his body, lighting quick arm out front...good velocity, breaking ball.....it's how you win championships!
Jim - can you comment on how you would have handled Jorge Posada this year - including the earlier stint with dropping in the batting order plus being limited off the bench now....given his tenure in NY....
Jim Bowden (12:39 PM)
honest straight forward communication with Posada and the manager. Make sure everyone is on the same page. If he's done....you have to talk it through him...when his role changed or lineup position changes you give it to him straight...offer to have a Jorge Posada day in Sept of this year or April of next year...try to get him to retire at seasons end....but if he wants to keep playing respect it and let him know if he doesn't swing better in september the door might have to close in NY ....it's a tough position but in the long run...Posada will appreciate honesty.
How do you see the offseason for the Indians shaping up? Are they one outfield right handed bat away from being a serious serious contender?
Jim Bowden (12:40 PM)
Choo and Sizemore healthy all season would have had them in first place right now. Yes I think they are one middle of the lineup impact bat away from winning the division.....Fielder? Pujols? hmmm
Jim, any familiarity with Reds prospects in A-ball - Billy Hamilton, Corcino, Yorman Rodriguez? High ceilings?
Jim Bowden (12:44 PM)
I love Hamilton...can flat out fly....bat will come....but later....very athletic....could be next big leaguer to steal 100 if he hits enough. Rodriguez is only 18 and probably over his head in Dayton...but has the tools to project. Corcino - I'm usually not a fan of "short right-handers" unless they throw downhill..but his numbers have been impressive at that level...I've never seen him, but some scouts have told me that they think he ends up in the bullpen like jeff Brantley did. Brantley by the way could throw down hill and won a Rolaids for us!
Ray (Burlington, NJ)
Who says no-Dodgers trade Billingsley and Guerrier to Reds for Alonso and Grandal?
Jim Bowden (12:46 PM)
I would say Reds say no. I like Billingsley as a #3 not a
What do you think of the job AA has done with the Jays? Im impressed.
Jim Bowden (12:46 PM)
I love it! Long term planning with no deviation! I'm a fan
What are your thoughts on the job Dayton Moore has done?
Jim Bowden (12:48 PM)
He's done a great job with scouting and player development. When the starting pitching arrives...he'll get the publicity and respect from everyone in the game....hopefully he'll stay the course....he's getting there...maybe 2012 if not, def 2013
Jason (bay Area)
Do you think the yankees would let Posada go if he is claimed off of waivers and do you think about him coming to the giants?? Sabean was a yankee scount him he was drafted??
Jim Bowden (12:48 PM)
Posada is Posada....should finish his career as a Yankee and he should know when it's time to step away (this Nov)
Blake (Abilene, TX)
I dont think of the Rangers as this great pitching team, yet they have 3 starting pitchers ranked in the top 25 in ERA in the AL, and are the only team with 5 starters to have 10 wins or more. How would you rate there starting pitching?
Jim Bowden (12:51 PM)
Ogando, Wilson, Lewis, Holland and Harrison rotation is strong...possibly 5 pitchers that will end up winning 13-16 games a piece. They compete. They're deep. They might not match-up 1-2 with the Angels, Tigers, Yankees and Red Sox...but they do match up 1-5 because it's deep and with 3 left-handers.
What was your favorite part about being a GM? And what was the most difficult part?
Jim Bowden (12:54 PM)
favorite part was finishing in first (94,95,99) and closing the Griffey, Wells, Casey deals....most difficult part was balancing time for the 24/7 work responsibities and being with family
What's your take on the Rasmus deal? It seems that sometimes there just needs to be a change of scenery for a player to take the next step forward (Paul O'Neil comes to mind......)
Jim Bowden (12:55 PM)
This was a horrible long term trade for the Cardinals. As Cards 3B David Freese told me the day of the deal....Rasmus will end up in multiple all star games in his career....and I agree. The Cards are trying to win now and they paid a HUGE price
Charles (San Jose)
Is Posada any worse than Jeter at this point?
There are managers who like to play the numbers and pay attention to stats like WAR, xFIP, etc. Then there are more of the old school managers who go with the gut. Where do/did you fall, and why?
Jim Bowden (12:59 PM)
I think all statistical information is important in making decisions. Every front office provides the managers with as much information as humanly possible from scouting reports, to video to sabermetrics. WAR, FIP, VORP, ratio's, algorithms are all important but the game is not played by computer but by humans. Managers need to motivate, discipline and use gut as part of the all encompassing formula. I stand for both old school and new school and the blend that makes them both work
Do you see the Red Sox giving Ortiz the deal he wants?
Jim Bowden (1:00 PM)
I see them making his a shorter offer in terms of years than what he's expecting......hopefully they'll both work it out...but I did see Big Papi wear a Yankee cap at ESPN last year...just sayin
Jim Bowden (1:01 PM)
Thanks everyone! I enjoyed the chat....let's do it again next Wednesday...same time!! Have a great week and don't be afraid to throw insideJim