Chat with David Schoenfield
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield stops by to chat some baseball.
Schoenfield is a senior writer for ESPN.com and he's been with ESPN.com since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including baseball editor, Page 2 senior editor and writer, and even interim soccer editor. He grew up in Seattle rooting for the Mariners, believes Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame and had no issues with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record.
Send your questions now and join Schoenfield Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (2:04 PM)
This just in: Justin Verlander received all 28 first-place votes. Jered Weaver finished second (97 points), James Shields (66), CC Sabathia (63), Jose Valverde (28 points), C.J. Wilson (9 points), with Dan Haren, Mariano Rivera, Josh Beckett, Ricky Romero and David Robertson (one fifth-place vote) also getting points.
Gary (Las Vegas)
There is no doubting the dominance of Justin Verlander this past season and throughout his career to this point, but should we believe that with the stress he puts on his arm and shoulder with his high velocity that he'll be able to keep it up for an extended career? Does he have the signs of a John Smoltz-like converted closer in the future?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
No signs that I see. I don't believe he's ever missed a start in his career. His delivery seems relatively efficient to me. But as with any pitcher ... you never know, of course. Smoltz always tried to argue that he believed there was less stress starting rather than pitching more often, BTW.
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
And remember that he eventually went back to the rotation after his exile to the pen for a few years.
Luke (GR, MI)
Dave, What kind of season do you see from baby Jesus Montero in 2012??
David Schoenfield (2:09 PM)
The Bill James projections on FanGraphs have him at .289/.351/.505. Seems pretty reasonable to me. I think the big question: How much will the Yankees want him behind the plate, and how many DH at-bats will have to be given to A-Rod and Jeter to rest them/keep them healthy.
mike (garden city, mi.)
Why didnt Miguel Cabrera win the silver sligguer for his position?
David Schoenfield (2:10 PM)
Because the voters picked the wrong guy.
Jonathan (Grand Rapids, MI)
Any thoughts on this rumored Delmon Young for Martin Prado deal? Would Prado at 2b instead of DY in LF help the Tigers?
David Schoenfield (2:12 PM)
I'd do that trade if I were Detroit. I think Prado can hit better than he did in 2011 (he apparently battled a staph infection during the season), and Delmon (despite his playoff heroics) is overrated. Raburn can match Delmon at the plate and is probably a better left fielder as well. Delmon's career OPS+ is 100, which means he's been a league average hitter. Your left fielder needs to be better than that.
As a diehard white sox fan, I'm glad mark buehrle is finally getting the baseball worlds respect, even though ti will prbably mean the white sox will be outbid for his services. How many years do you think his next contract will be? Also, its pretty crazy that hes only a type B free agent...how much does that impact the years/dollars he will receive?
David Schoenfield (2:14 PM)
The classification won't affect his deal. (And Buster Olney reported yesterday that it appears the Type A/Type B system is likely to go away once the new labor deal is finalized. As for years, he's a guy who has never missed a start, so if any pitcher is worth a five-year deal, it's Buehrle.
Mitchell (Lancaster,CA) [via mobile]
Do you think Mark Trumbo should have won the AL ROY over Hellickson?
David Schoenfield (2:15 PM)
No. As I mentioned yesterday, Trumbo's .291 on-base percentage is problematic. He produced some home runs and RBIs, but also made a lot of outs.
Math Nerd (Chicago)
I understand why Hellickson won ROY, but how many teams would rather have him over Pineda?
David Schoenfield (2:15 PM)
Jorge Hernandez (NJ)
Why do they allow 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. place votes. Who cares? Why not just have a vote. I dont vote for who I think should finish 2nd in the Presidential election.
David Schoenfield (2:18 PM)
Hmm ... you know, I've never thought about that. It actually was like that for a few years for the Cy Young vote when it started in 1956. I guess the answer is that it helps prevent ties. And you have to admit it's more fun. Because now we can complain that Jose Valverde received a second-place vote or that David Robertson received a fifth-place vote.
Mike (San Diego)
Why would the Braves trade Prado for Young? Is there anyone out there who really thinks Delmon is an "impact" bat?
David Schoenfield (2:19 PM)
Mike, one of my regulars: You know I agree with you! Not sure why the Braves would do that. If they want a bat, trade a pitcher.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
Rumor has it that the mariners are willing to cover almost all of chone figgins salary to move him. For he have anything left? Potential lottery ticket if he turns it around?
David Schoenfield (2:21 PM)
As a Mariners fan, I've seen way too much of him and I'd say he certainly looks done. My only caveat would be that the M's screwed around with his swing this year, tried to get him to be more aggressive. His whole offensive game is built around taking pitches and drawing walks, not being aggressive. So maybe a new team, new hitting coach, would help. But I don't think so.
Why is it business as usual for the Dodgers when Bud put the kibosh on the Cubs making moves 2 years ago in similar circumstances?
David Schoenfield (2:23 PM)
I don't know the particulars of those situations. I think you had to allow the Dodgers the chance to negotiate with their own player. Considering a new owner probably wouldn't officially take over next season is under way, that would have left them at a huge disadvantage to sign Kemp (at that point, he'd probably just wait for free agency). That's my guess. They did sign Mark Ellis as well. Not sure if they'll be allowed to go after Prince or not.
I think it makes perfect sense to trade Prado for Young. Atlanta needs to add a right-handed power hitter, and to do so without having to give up one of our big/young arms, makes sense. And I read that Detroit might send some cash our way, so that, plus the money saved on Derek Lowe(while not much), the Braves could go out and add another piece. If you look at it like that, this possible Prado/Young trade makes sense for both teams, no?
David Schoenfield (2:25 PM)
But Delmon isn't a power bat -- he's hit more than 13 home runs exactly once. His OBP last year was .302. He's had one moderately good season (2010) and that's it. And he's a bad outfielder. He just isn't that good.
ngord24 (The Internet)
Why won't you address your season long Pedroia-lovefest?
David Schoenfield (2:26 PM)
I'll do an AL MVP preview next week. And, no, Pedroia won't top that list.
David: Love your columns but your earlier chat talked about Derrick Lee doing lots of picks last year, because of Starling Castro. Lee was in Baltimore in 2010 and then Pittsburgh!
David Schoenfield (2:27 PM)
Oops, good catch. I meant Carlos Pena (this year's Cubs first baseman). Sorry about that.
Once Verlander loses velocity do you think he can still be effective? It seems like he could pitch low 90's and be relatively successful as he ages.
David Schoenfield (2:28 PM)
Sure. Power pitchers historically have longer careers than finesse guys. Why? Even if they lose a little velocity, they still throw hard enough. Barring injury, Verlander will have a long and successful career well into his 30s.
Any chance Seattle and New York works out a trade where AJ goes to Seattle and NY gets Figgins. Im not saying to do it straight up, but both teams may be able to find value in the players in a new place.
David Schoenfield (2:31 PM)
Would the Yankees even have a role for Figgins though? I know dumping Burnett makes sense on a lot of levels, but I think if you're New York you just stick with him and hope for the best (but be willing to banish him to the pen if you have better options). You'll never get value in return at this point.
How many wins do you think Verlander finished with? 250, 275, 300?
David Schoenfield (2:33 PM)
Let's see, back of the napkin math: 107 wins so far, if he averages 16 per season for 10 more years, that's 267 through age 38. You can see why 300 is tough. But he's talked about goals like that. He WANTS to be known as an all-time great. I think he has a shot at 300.
Frank (Yonkers, NY)
What would you think of a deal between the Yanks and White Sox: John Danks for Phil Hughes?
David Schoenfield (2:34 PM)
Why would the White Sox do that?
On the Braves, Young would give us a nice, right-handed threat. That's what we're said to be shopping for this off season, and if he can hit like he did with the Tigers, including the playoffs, he'd fit perfectly into our everyday lineup. He's also two years younger than Prado, and I'd rather give up Prado than any of our young SPs. Would you rather we trade Minor, Beachy, Delgado, etc...
David Schoenfield (2:36 PM)
Simon, not to pick on you, but he didn't hit that well with Detroit -- he had a .298 OBP with them. Yes, he hit some home run in the playoffs, but I'm calling that a small-sample size. If Prado hits the way he did in 2009 and 2010, he's the better player.
I'm glad the Angels seem to be relatively quiet given that the free agent market is thin. Dipoto is saying the right things, too. Assuming Morales comes back healthy and Trout gets to play from day 1, what moves can/should they make to bolster their lineup?
David Schoenfield (2:39 PM)
Addition by subtraction, no? Play Wells sparingly, play Hank Conger more at catcher, hope you get improvement from Bourjos and Trout. Third base? Bring back Figgins? (Kidding.) Not to much out there, unless they want to bid on Aramis Ramirez.
If the new CBA gets rid of compensation for FA's, won't that kill the market for guys in the last year prior to free agency? Why would you give up much of anything for a guy with only one year on his deal if you don't think that you have the money or interest to re-sign him?
David Schoenfield (2:40 PM)
Yep, good point. It will definitely change that dynamic, where a team could trade for a player and at least get a draft pick in return. Does that mean you'll start seeing more guys with TWO seasons left before free agency getting traded? (Like a Joey Votto or David Wright.)
Mike (San Diego)
What are your thoughts on the Matheny hire?
David Schoenfield (2:42 PM)
Can't say I have a strong take on it. Obviously, they wanted a La Russa disciple and someone familiar with the organization. Heard an interview with Jeff Suppan last night (he played with Matheny in St. Louis) and he raved about him as a catcher and teammate.
harry (ny) [via mobile]
Any word on yu darvish?
David Schoenfield (2:43 PM)
He hasn't been posted yet. There is apparently some concern now that he won't be posted this year.
Jon Benke (Detroit)
Any chances the Tigers look at Grady Sizemore, if they can move Delmon Young?
David Schoenfield (2:45 PM)
I'm guessing Sizemore will look for a one-year deal like Adrian Beltre did with the Red Sox in 2010, and hope he can stay healthy and parlay that it into something. Obviously, a high-risk, high-reward type of signing. Detroit seems like the perfect kind of team for him, since Raburn provides a backup plan if Sizemore would get injured.
Mike (St. Pete)
You think the Rays would be bold enough to go after Votto? The Reds need starting pitching and we need a power bat to protect Longo?
David Schoenfield (2:47 PM)
While I'd hate to see the Reds trade Votto, there is no doubt the Rays ARE the perfect team to deal with. I'd love to see Tampa make a splash like that. Shields + something for Votto? Hmm ...
Sabathia led all AL pitchers (even Verlander) in fWAR. I'm fine with Verlander winning, but the idea that this was some sort of no-brainer was wrong IMO. Even more ridiculous is the idea that he should be considered for MVP.
David Schoenfield (2:50 PM)
Yes, CC led, 7.1 to 7.0, which is insignicant. But why is outrageous to consider him for MVP? On B-R WAR, Verlander is tied with Bautista at 8.5 for best in AL. (Sabathia is 6.8.)
i would think that the tigers might want to stray away from a player like grady with the injury history and try to get a more stable guy after what they just went through with mags
Ryan (Auburn Hills)
Do the Tigers have a play for Jose Reyes? Move Perlata back to third and get rid of Inge. Move Reyes into the leadoff spot and move Austin Jackson into the 8 or 9 hole. Seems like a good fit for Detroit.
David Schoenfield (2:51 PM)
I like that idea. I can't take another year of Austin Jackson hitting lead. And I'm not even a Tigers fan.
Chris (Seattle) [via mobile]
Any chance SF adds more offense that's not their standard players-past-their-prime short term solutions?
David Schoenfield (2:53 PM)
I have a feeling Melky was their big move. Their payroll is already estimated at $119 million or so and I don't seem them going higher (like, $23 million for Prince Fielder).
hasnt posted yet and starting to look more and more like he wont be posted this year
David Schoenfield (2:54 PM)
Right ... that's Darvish, BTW. (Sorry, Red Sox and Yankees fans.)
Of Course Verlander was the MVP. I mean, replace 35 verlander starts with, say 35 starts from CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver, or King Felix, no way the Tigers win the division by a bunch of games. Oh wait, that doesn't really work. Anyway, at least Verlander had a CG in all his starts and didn't need his bullpen ever....
David Schoenfield (2:55 PM)
I fail to understand your point ...
Do the Braves and Red Sox match up saying Boston needs and pitching and Braves need a shortstop? (Lowrie, Scutaro, Iglesias)
David Schoenfield (2:58 PM)
Yes, some potential options there, agreed. Will the Braves be a surprise entrant in the Reyes sweepstakes? Braves are SO interesting this offseason. Lots of things they can do and no idea which directions they will go.
what the heck does fWAR stand for?
David Schoenfield (2:59 PM)
FanGraphs WAR (wins above replacement level) from FanGraphs.com
What are your predictions for tomorrow's awards? Does LaRussa have a shot?
David Schoenfield (2:59 PM)
Awards are regular season only. I think Joe Maddon and Kirk Gibson are the big favorites.
Please tell me the Royals are not going to trade a potential bat like Myers for a middling pitcher that is no sure thing for the outside chance they contend this year? People talk about his down year, but where was Hosmer two years ago with bumb thumb and needing eye surgery?
David Schoenfield (3:00 PM)
The Royals will not trade Wil Myers. They are not conteders. Be patient for another year, K.C.
Do you think the Reds should trade Brandon Phillips instead of Votto? He is an aging 2B (albeit still great defensively), free agent after next year, coming off of one of his best years.
David Schoenfield (3:03 PM)
I actually like that idea. Phillips has always been a little overrated (big home/road splits), doesn't have a great OBP. And like you said, coming off his best year at the plate.
Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Verlander winning......that's good. Valverde getting a 2nd place vote.......that's so, SO bad.
David Schoenfield (3:04 PM)
Yep, pretty bad considering so many starting pitchers had great seasons.
Not a Reds fan, but why not package some of their top prospects for Shields and try to sign Votto long term? Couldn't Grandal and another prospect get Shields, who is only 1 year from FA, and give them stability in the rotation? Tampa needs a long term catching solution.
My point: A) How can you be MVP when several other players could have had nearly the same impact. B) How can you be MVP be when you play in only 35 games, and don't play the entire 9 innings when you do play.
David Schoenfield (3:06 PM)
Justin Verlander faced nearly 1000 batters this season. That's about 300 more "plate appearance" than a hitter receives. (Of course, a position player can also affect the game with his fielding.) So, in terms of impact, the top pitchers can have the same influence as a top position player.
Thank you!! My hopes and thoughts exactly with Royals. Please blast that message to Royals fans all around the world who want to part with him for Jurjins. I throw up in my mouth a little every time I say that!!
Mike (San Diego)
Now that LaRussa's gone, can you tell the Mariners to give Brendan Ryan back to the Cardinals?
David Schoenfield (3:07 PM)
Hey, Ryan is the perfect shortstop ... if the Mariners still had Edgar, Griffey and Buhner.
All the talk right now is about a trade between the Tigers and Braves for Prado, but earlier in the week there were rumblings about Prado to the Rockies. Is that deal dead until the Rockies are willing to move Blackmon or Wheeler with Seth Smith, or is there still some hope for the Rockies to pull this off? Also, isn't Coors Field the perfect place for Sizemore to restore his value?
David Schoenfield (3:09 PM)
I did see a report this morning about a Prado-Smith deal. But isn't that just more wheel spinning for the Braves? Not much difference between those two.
What do the M's do to get a Middle of the Order Bat this offseason? What would be their max offer to Prince?
David Schoenfield (3:11 PM)
Jayson Stark estimated Prince will get a seven-year deal at $22-23 million per year. I think the Mariners would have to go well beyond that to have any chance at Fielder. As for another bat ... who knows. Would you trade Felix?
Tell Dave in Buffalo that at least one Royals fan out here agrees with him (and you) 100%.
I think you posted my question with no response! here it is again;Not a Reds fan, but why not package some of their top prospects for Shields and try to sign Votto long term? Couldn't Grandal and another prospect get Shields, who is only 1 year from FA, and give them stability in the rotation? Tampa needs a long term catching solution.
David Schoenfield (3:13 PM)
The Rays have a team option for Shields in 2013 ($9 million), so he's two years away. Trouble in trading Shields: Grandal isn't ready yet. Rays obviously can win now. Trading Shields for prospects hurts them in that regard. Not saying they wouldn't do it with Matt Moore ready for the rotation, but I think it would cost the Reds a lot more than Grandal + some other prospect.
How about a question from north of the border...Miguel Cabrera should win MVP based on his total body of work, nobdoy other than bautista comes close in all reg and sabr stats, Miggy played on a contender while Bautista was on a .500 team, BUT yet why do I have a feeling Cabby wont even make Top 5 ???
David Schoenfield (3:15 PM)
I have a feeling you're right. Ellsbury, Granderson, Verlander, Bautista (in some order) ... actually, looks like Miggy could slip in and finish fifth.
David Schoenfield (3:15 PM)
OK, everyone .. that's it for today. Good questions and comments from everyone. Managers of the year tomorrow (yawn) and then NL Cy on Thursday. THAT will be an interesting vote.