Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hey everybody, Amazingly, no rain today. Let's get to the chat, and then I can head outside and mow the lawn.
Phil (SF, Ca)
Giants are dropping like flies yet they start a 12 game homestand tomorrow night only 1.5 games behind Arizona. Who wins the west? And will someone tell Bochy that Belt needs to play every day from here on out?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Phil, I was a little more excited about the Diamondbacks before they got abused on that eastern trip. The fact that San Fran has hung close through all these problems bodes well for the Giants down the stretch. As defending champs, they still deserve the benefit of the doubt. And yes, I hear you on Brandon Belt. I think Bruce Bochy does, too.
Are you surprised more players don't take Weaver's approach? That is, I'm happy where I am and I have plenty of money. Why not leave a few million on the table so the team can build around me? As an Angels fan I'm ecstatic today.
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Heath, I always look at long-term contracts for pitchers differently. Yes, Weaver left a few million on the table. But there's so much more injury risk, I have to think pitchers are smart to take the big money when they can get it. There's no question that Weaver's comfort level in SoCal prompted him to push for this deal, because it's not the type of contract that's in Scott Boras' wheelhouse.
Bawb (Fairview, UT)
Jerry, Is it just me or is this September going to lack any real excitement when it comes to the playoff hunt? I think every division and wild card seems to be wrapped up already. With exception of that all exciting A.L. Central
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Bawb, You're right -- it's not a very compelling final month, although the NL West could be a dogfight between the Giants and the D-backs. This is one of those years when a second wild card would probably add some excitement to the mix.
Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)
IF yoou could pick 3 major league players to be managers after their careers- WHO would they be?
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Tony, Great question. I did a survey on this topic a few years ago, and I know that Jason Varitek and Alex Cora rated very highly. I think a guy like Jamey Carroll has managerial potential. And I'm not sure if Michael Young would be interested, but he's a respected guy with a very even-tempered personality and a reputation as a clubhouse leader. If Young decides to pursue it, I think he could manage one day.
Cheese (Washington, DC)
Any chance a surprise waiver-wire deal gets done this season? If so, who? I'm pretty sure no one is going to bite on Dunn, Rios, Soriano, Werth, or Zito. Any high-price temptations out there?
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Cheese, Wandy Rodriguez is the name you hear most often. But the Yankees' reported interest is apparently overblown, and I can't see a team like Arizona (which could use a starter) committing to that kind of money. So my inclination is to say that Wandy stays in Houston.
Vandelay (New York)
Does Milwaukee's excellent season make it more likely that Milwaukee finds another 20 or 30 million to sign Prince Fielder in the offseason? % chance that the Brewers sign Fielder?
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Vandelay, I personally think so, although I haven't found many baseball people who share that opinion. The consensus seems to be that Washington (aka Scott Boras Central) or Seattle, home of Jack Zduriencik, who drafted Fielder in Milwaukee, are prime fits for Prince in free agency.
Jerry, this is ridiculous I know, but let's just play a quick game of What If. What if... the Nats decided they wanted to try and trade Jayson Werth. Not saying they do or don't. But if they did... would he clear waivers, and do you think anyone else would want to trade for him?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
John, He would definitely clear waivers, because no team is going to risk getting stuck with 6-plus years and $110 million or so in salary. I think Werth is a better player than he's shown in Washington this year, but there's no way anybody else would touch that contract.
You have to figure that Boras is "furious" over Weaver signing... Does he make someone pay dearly this offseason for Prince?
Jerry Crasnick (1:14 PM)
Matt, I'm not sure if "furious" it the right word. Boras also followed Carlos Gonzalez's wishes when CarGo signed that deal with Colorado. It's funny: People say that Boras just runs his players around by the nose, but the Weaver and CarGo deals show he'll do a more club-friendly contract if that's what the player wants. Behind the scenes, other agents criticize him for negotiating a "below-market" deal. But if Weaver is happy, isn't that what counts?
Over Reactor (Philadelphia )
After the bullpen blew 2 saves over the weekend, are the Phillies kicking themselves for not picking up a solid reliever via trade?
Jerry Crasnick (1:16 PM)
Over Reactor, I don't think so. They didn't have the money or the stockpile of young talent to add a RH bat and a prime-time reliever. And I don't think too many people in Philly are complaining about Hunter Pence? Is there a stud closer who got traded who would have been an upgrade over what they have now? (K-Rod? I don't think so)
Pete (Madison WI)
Do you see the Brewers shopping for a lefty reliever? Maybe Fuentes? The Brewers say they are not actively looking, but I don't think you can ever have too many good arms out of the pen.
Jerry Crasnick (1:18 PM)
Pete, I was at the Mets game the other night when Ron Roenicke was asked about this, and he said he'd rather go with K-Rod, Hawkins, Axford and other RH relievers who are good against lefties rather than bring in a mediocre LOOGY just for appearance's sake. Maybe I'm wrong, but most or all of the lefty specialists whose names were bandied around at the deadline stayed put. I'm sure Doug Melvin will shop around, but I'm not sure they'll add anything.
Chris Antonetti (Cleveland)
Can I get a do-over on that Ubaldo deal? Think my current squad has enough to catch and overtake the Tigers or are we using the Cleveland tagline, "There's always next year?"
Jerry Crasnick (1:20 PM)
Chris, Too late for a mulligan on Ubaldo. I hope for the Tribe's sake that he's healthy -- Manny Acta says the MRI was "squeaky clean" -- but he just doesn't look like the same guy. As for the Tribe, they've played valiantly, but they just don't have enough weapons to win the Central.
Jerry, I will buy you a reuben from Izzy's if you answer this question. Assuming you could get a "market value" return, would you trade Votto or Alonso this winter if you were the Reds? Assume Votto will leave after 2013.
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Jeff, What, no Skyline chili? I think it's an awfully tough PR move to trade Votto after that team had such high hopes and such a disappointing year. If I were the Reds, I would still be hoping to sign Votto long-term. I don't think Alonso can play left field, so to me, he's definite trade bait. But if they're convinced they can't sign Joey long-term, they might hang onto Alonso as a Plan B.
Alex (San Francisco)
How does Weaver's deal impact Lincecum's arbitration in the offseason?
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Alex, I haven't talked to any agents on this yet, but I think the bigger impact of Weaver's deal will be for Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke and the other pitchers who are going out on the market after the 2012 season. Weaver's deal is perceived as a bit below his open market value, so maybe it will knock down the price on those guys a little bit. But not much, I suspect.
John (Woodbridge, VA)
What what does the Weaver deal mean for Cole Hamels? Should Cole be getting a little more or a little less than Weaver? He's certainly looking at a 5-year deal, right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
John, Let's just say that the agents for Hamels, Cain and Greinke were looking at this deal with interest. It's hard for me to say that Hamels should get more than Weaver until I look at all the comps. Sometimes a player takes a little less money because he wants to stay in a specific place. That appears to be the case with Weaver. I'm not sure how open-minded Hamels is about leaving Philly.
Verlander Twice + Tigers Offense = Team the Yankees/Sox would least like to see in Rd. 1?
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
Jimmy, I don't know that I would go that far. The Rangers don't have that one dominant starter that the Tigers have in Verlander, but it's a balanced rotation and a more well-rounded team, and they'll have a lot of confidence going on based on how they did last October. It's hard to take anything for granted in a short series.
Biggy (Washington, NC)
Any truth to the rumors of Cashman, Friedman, Epstein, or any other AL East GMs to go the Cubbies' front office? Do you think any of them would be a fit? If not, who?
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Biggy, I don't see Brian Cashman or Theo Epstein leaving their teams to go to Chicago. No way. Andrew Friedman might be tempted, though. He's done about everything he can in Tampa Bay, and the Cubs would be an interesting challenge for him. There are a lot of very talented assistant GM's out there -- like Rick Hahn, Ben Cherington, Thad Levine and John Coppollela, to name a few -- but Tom Ricketts has made it clear he's looking for a more experienced guy.
Ryan (St. Louis)
Based on ur opinion and what you may hear, %'s on Tony LaRussa being back in St Louis next year whether it be just walking away or heading to the South Side of Chicago? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Ryan, We've gone through this so many times with Tony La Russa in St. Louis, it's impossible to know. Bill DeWitt and the ownership people there always seem to defer to him, and sometimes La Russa comes back from disappointing seasons more motivated. Let's not forget, they lost Wainwright and have this Pujols free agency and a bunch of junk swirling around them. They're 67-60, so it's not as if it's been a disastrous season. How many people picked the Cards to win that division back in March? Not many, I'll wager.
Can you explain how the waiver order is determined? How is it that the yankees have dibs at a player before the Red Sox?
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Jack, I believe it goes by leagues in inverse order or records. So if Houston puts Wandy Rodriguez on waivers, all the NL clubs have first crack at him, then the AL clubs have their shot according to their place in the standings.
Are you concerned about the lack of offense as of late with the Braves? Starting pitching as well as Venters and probable ROY Kimbrel are keeping them winning, but that doesn't seem like a recipe for a late playoff run.
Jerry Crasnick (1:35 PM)
Clay, I'm more concerned about Tommy Hanson's shoulder issues, both from a short- and long-term standpoint. They also need more out of Jason Heyward. And to be honest, I'm a little concerned about the workload for young pitchers like Venters and Kimbrel as we head into September. So there are a few things to keep an eye on in Atlanta.
Does a no trade clause, or 10 and 5 rights protect a player from being claimed off waivers, or does he have to go to the team that claims him (assuming his team lets him go)?
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
John, Yes, I think a full no-trade clause (or 10-and-5 rights, which is basically the same thing) protects a player from being claimed on waivers and having his contract assigned to a new club. That would be a pretty shifty way to move a player out of town, wouldn't it?
Does Eugenio Velez win the Worst Player Currently on Active Roster contest? He's been on the Dodgers' 25-man roster since July 4 and has zero hits and a .083 OPS.
Jerry Crasnick (1:38 PM)
Rob, Yeah, but he's only 0-for-22. Heck, Craig Counsell logged an 0-for-45 earlier this season in Milwaukee. And if you told the White Sox they could trade Adam Dunn and the $40-something million left on his contract straight up for Eugenio Velez, don't you think they would consider it?
Think Baltimore can lose 100 games? As an O's fan I am hoping for that so ownership is embarrassed enough to actually improve the product.
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Joe, Yeah, the O's definitely have a shot at the century mark. It's hard to believe they're going to lose at least 95 given the heightened expectations that surrounded that team in March. It just goes to show that people weren't realistic putting so much stock in last year's 34-23 finish. And when you're cultivating young pitching in the AL East, it's always a dicey proposition.
Jason (St Louis)
When was the last time you saw a team as hot as the Brewers are right now? As a fan from St Louis you have to tip your cap because there isn't much the Cards can do considering the Brewers never lose. Ever.
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Jason, You probably have to go back to that Colorado Rockies team that won just about every game down the stretch on its way to the playoffs a few years back. Nice to see a Cards fan tipping his cap rather than just complaining about Tony La Russa.
Lefty (left field)
Can the Braves remain a factor to the end? And is Milwaukee the team to beat this year? New blood in the mix would be nice.
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Lefty, Sure, those teams can both be dangerous because of their starting pitching. If it's Philly, Atlanta, Milwaukee and San Francisco in October, we might set a record for 2-1 games in the postseason.
What are your thoughts on an MVP possibly going to a pitcher?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Jeff, I'm typically not an advocate of that, but I have to think Justin Verlander merits strong MVP consideration this year. The guy is just automatic, and he pitches so deep into games, he's always saving the bullpen. It's a real jumble in the AL this year, and I think Verlander at least winds up in the top 5.
darryl (new york)
talk me off ledge as a die-hard redsox fan!
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
Darryl, Talk you off the ledge? OK -- Just imagine what life would be like if you were a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. That should give you some perspective.
As a Braves fan I wouldn't mind a Milwaukee matchup in the first round. Brewers have no (good) lefty starters. As hot as MIL has been, no way they keep up this pace for another 8 weeks. That lineup is not deep enough.
Jerry Crasnick (1:47 PM)
CC, Maybe not, but they're getting Rickie Weeks back relatively soon, and that will help. Casey McGehee has been a different guy over the past few weeks, and Nyjer Morgan keeps getting on base consistently. Plus, with the pitching the Brewers have, they don't need to score a ton of runs to win.
Jorge (Chino, CA)
Hi Jerry,What do the Angels do with Vernon Wells next year? Mike Trout looks like a force to be reckoned with
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Jorge, Great question. I think Alex Anthopoulos pulled off a minor miracle getting the Angels to take Vernon Wells and the $80 million left on his contract. I don't think Tony Reagins is going to be tha lucky this winter.
Rick (Virginia Piedmont)
Dream WS for Fox: Phillies v. Yanks or SawxNightmare WS for Fox: Tigers v. Brew Crew
Jerry Crasnick (1:49 PM)
Rick, The Brewers are a fun, very entertaining team, but if you're going strictly by the big-market, small market demographic, I'm sure you're right. Who cares, though? If you like ball, you'll watch. If you're more of a provincial fan, you'll tune out and watch football.
Randy Wolf hasn't been good? I'd dispute that sentiment.
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Daubs, Who said that Randy Wolf hasn't been good? Did I miss something?
Cheese (Washington, DC)
Maybe Kenny Williams should offer Rios straight up for Vernon Wells?
Jerry Crasnick (1:51 PM)
Cheese, Hey, that's the kind of deal it might take. But they would just be swapping salaries. Anthopoulos actually got the Angels' to assume the $$ left on Vernon Wells' deal. Hence, the word "miracle."
Will someone let all the Jose Bautista fans know that the MVP voting isn't fair. Just ask Cabrera from 2010 and Ordonez from 2007. Gotta win the division to win the MVP.
Jerry Crasnick (1:52 PM)
Brian, Jose Bautista is sure to garner his share of support, but it's obviously going to hurt his cause that the Jays are a .500-ish team. That's just the way it works in MVP balloting (except in the case of Andrew Dawson with the '87 Cubs)
CC earlier mentioned the Brewers have no good lefty starters. Wolf has probably been the most consistently good starter on the team this year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:54 PM)
Daubs, I thought the discussion was related to their lack of a lefty in the bullpen. If I gave the impression that Wolf hasn't been good, my mistake. (And if not, it's somebody else's mistake). Sometimes we type our answers so quickly, we forget to digest the actual question.
Ripken in '91 played great on a crummy team and he won the MVP.
Jerry Crasnick (1:56 PM)
Tim, Yep, there are a few other examples. I think the field has to be pretty weak for a player on an afterthought club to win it. The AL field isn't great this year, but there are guys like Granderson and Pedroia who are going to attract a lot of attention for contributing so much offensively at up-the-middle positions. It's going to be hard for Bautista to attract the requisite attention in September.
Do you agree with me that because of Milwaukee's struggles on the road you'd give the Braves an edge in a 1st round series.
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Ty, Not necessarily. I believe the Brewers are 8-1 in their last nine road games (albeit against mediocre competition). That team's pitching is good enough to be competitive at home and on the road.
With the Diamondbacks getting a lot of attention for their coaches (Gibby and Tram), do you think baseball HOF voters will remember Alan Trammell more? I think it's an absolute travesty he isn't in the Hall.
Jerry Crasnick (2:00 PM)
Steve, I know you're not the only one in Detroit who feels that way, but I don't see Trammell's presence on Gibson's coaching staff making a big difference in his Hall status. He came back and managed, and that didn't make much of a difference.
What is a resonable perdiction for Stephen Strasburg when he has a full year to work with? Will he be a 20 game winner or more around 15?
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Steve, Really hard to judge in terms of number of wins, but the Nats still think he's a top of the rotation force if he's healthy. And he'll be 18 months removed from Tommy John in spring training, so he should be ready to deal. That's going to be one of the hot topics come spring.
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Thanks for the questions, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. Let's do it again next week.