Chat with Jayson Stark
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark will drop in to chat some baseball.
Jayson Stark has been a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com since 2000. His regular contributions include the newsy Rumblings and Grumblings column and his tilted look inside baseball's numbers and quirks, the Useless Information Department.
Send your questions now and join Stark Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jayson Stark (1:00 PM)
Greetings! I only have a half-hour to chat today, so let's get rolling.
Does this trade make sense?Pirates give: Gregory Polanco and Jameson TaillonMarlins give: Giancarlo Stanton
Jayson Stark (1:02 PM)
Know what, Nick? For one thing, I don't see the Pirates trading either of those guys. For another, as much as people talk nonstop about the Marlins trading Stanton, even teams that are interested keep telling me they don't see that happening. Not in the next 5 weeks. Maybe not even next winter. You never know, but I don't see it, either. Not based on what I'm hearing.
RAJ says he won't sell-off Papelbon or Lee but if/when the Phillies completely fall out of the race within the next 3-4weeks, doesn't he need to re-think the idea of at least exploring their markets? I feel the situation is becoming toxic
Jayson Stark (1:04 PM)
"Toxic" is an interesting word. I really don't see their situation as being nearly that ugly, if you're referring to chemistry or clubhouse. But here's my take: I don't see them changing their stance on dealing Lee. I think he stays. But if they don't get back into some kind of race, I think they'll listen hard on Papelbon. I know that teams that have spoken to them don't think Papelbon will be off the table if they decide to sell in a month.
With the way Feldman has been pitching this season, is there a chance he goes from trade fodder to a potential building block? If so, at what point does Theo have to consider that an option?
Jayson Stark (1:06 PM)
I don't think they see him as a building block. I think they see him as a guy who has had a good enough year to turn into a useful trade chip. So unless he has an awful next few weeks, he's one of the five most likely pitchers to get moved before the deadline.
Have you seen Puig play? How does he compare to the two phenoms, Trout and Harper?
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
I think he has more Harper in him than Trout. He has the same sort of motor, with no brake pedal, if you know what I mean. Looks like he wants to run on every ball till he's tagged out, like he wants to catch every fly ball in his area code even if he kills his centerfielder or his infielders, and like he loves every moment of being out there. I obviously think Trout loves to play, too. He's just a more under-control player than Harper or Puig. Regardless, this sport is better for having Puig playing in it.
The Mets finally have a glimmer of hope with Harvey and now Wheeler. But am I wrong to believe that the team's lack of offense will hamstring them for years to come? Their only blue-chip hitter in the minors is D'Arnaud, a catcher with a very troublign injury history. Puello (if he isn't suspended) is the only other guy I can see being an above-average major leaguer, but likely not an all star. With little impact FAs on the market and the $90m budget more of an intention on Alderson's part than something offered by the Wilpons (who have the first of two years of massive debt payments kicking in in 2014), how do the Mets intend to be an offensive and defensive club worthy of their impressive stable of starting pitchers?
Jayson Stark (1:11 PM)
You've articulated the challenge eloquently. Harvey and Wheeler could be the best 1-2 starters in any team's rotation. But where are the position players going to come from. One scout who covers their system said that from double-A on up, D'Arnaud is the only position player he sees as more than a utility guy or extra man. So even though they're clearing a ton of money this winter, the free-agent market isn't going to have enough of what they need. So this will be a test of Sandy Alderson's creativity as much as it will of the Wilpons' checking account.
A writer on another well known online site wrote that Yasiel Puig should be on the ASG roster. I would always prefer to see a player having a career year (think Tommy Herr 1985 110 RBI his only ASG) in the exhibition (can?t call it a game for the last 20 years), than a former superstar hitting 20 points below his lifetime average who gets a Lifetime Career Achievement selection. But Puig won?t even have 300 MLB AB by the ASG break. He?s got 62. He hasn?t even had a career month. He?s had a career half-month.
Jayson Stark (1:13 PM)
Under the current system, I agree with you, Fred. But you know, I've been a long-time proponent of having a Rising Star spot on the roster, for someone like Puig. Let the fans vote for one rookie or young player a year, per league, who excites the populace, regardless of the technicalities. Never heard anyone who didn't like that idea. Which, of course, is why it's never happened.
Any chance of baseball cutting the 162 game schedule back? With interleague play and poor weather teams are either forced to play during monsoon's or play day night double headers. By cutting the schedule back and possibly changing the wildcard game to a 3 game series they'd create some opening in the schedule and would make up some of the revenue. One of Bud Selig's legacy's will be playing baseball in non baseball conditions and havng the fans suiffer through it with insane delays. Your thoughts?
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
Nope. Not that I can see. I've heard players lobby for it and GMs lobby for it. And I heard it was even discussed during the last labor negotiations - the possibility of going to 158 games. But owners don't even want to give up two gates. So obviously, they'd never consider giving up more than that. I'm with you, Dom. This SHOULD be a priority, for all sorts of reasons. But it isn't. And I don't get any sense it will be any time soon.
What are some starting pitching names that the Orioles could potentially go after at the deadline?
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza, for starters, if they want to move quickly. I think they'll be the first two pitchers traded. But if they wait, the market could grow, to include names like Jake Peavy, Josh Johnson and Yovani Gallardo, among others. There will be pitching out there to deal for. And they have the chips to make the right deal.
Who is the first SP to change teams before the deadline?
Jayson Stark (1:18 PM)
Just touched on this. Nolasco would be my pick, but I've also heard predictions that Garza goes first. Almost has to be one of those two.
Speaking of Wheeler, I really wish Sabean didn't trade him for a 3 month Beltran rental. Out here he is obviously loved because he has brought 2 rings but how awful is that trade considering the Giants pitching performance this year?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
Obviously, if the Giants had it to do again, they never would have made that deal. It was actually kind of stunning at the time that they made it. I think the scars will shape their approach to this year's deadline. But Brian Sabean always tries to win when he thinks he has a shot. And as a fan, wouldn't you rather have that philosophy in your GM than a guy who always stands pat?
Tommy Two Times (Boston)
Jayson- Do you see the sox making any trades at all?
Jayson Stark (1:21 PM)
There's about a 112-percent chance they trade for bullpen reenforcements.
Kevin (Boston MA)
How hard should the Sox go after Papelbon?
Jayson Stark (1:22 PM)
I think the price tag, if Papelbon gets traded, will be more than they feel like paying. Their philosophy is that the biggest mistakes made at the deadline every year is teams overpaying for relief pitching. So I'd bet on a Jesse Crain more than I would on a Papelbon deal. But it isn't out of the question.
Molina and Mauer have bothed played 9 seasons and are in there 10th. In your opinion who has been better throughout there careers? Mauer has better career averages in every single stat and most arent even close. Mauer has had a WAR over 3 in 6 seasons and 4 seasons with a WAR over 5, Molina has 1 season with a WAR over 3 and 1 over 5. Molina is better defensively but that doesnt make up for how much better Mauer has been all around. So am I right in saying that Mauer has been much better than Molina? Thankyou very much!
Jayson Stark (1:24 PM)
I think you're vastly underselling Molina's impact on his team beyond his slash line. He's probably had the biggest presence on his team and pitching staff of any catcher of his generation. The problem is finding a way to quantify it. On the other hand, I think we've almost taken Mauer for granted the last few years, too. We've had very, very few catchers come along who were this good offensively. So this is a fun debate. Thanks for firing it out there.
If the Rangers make a deal, do you see them going after an impact bat, SP, or bullpen help?
Jayson Stark (1:26 PM)
They have interest in all of the above. And they're always in on everybody and everything. So it's way too early to say. One thing to keep in mind: There may not be a true "impact bat" who gets traded. Right now, unless the market changes, the teams I've surveyed don't see one out there.
What do you see the Tigers doing with Scherzer/Fister/Porcello after the season? Could one or two get spun off for prospects to help alleviate some of the coming costs for free agent spending?
Jayson Stark (1:28 PM)
I could see Porcello getting traded. He's getting pricy for what he is. But if the Tigers plan to sign Miguel Cabrera, I think that means they have no way to afford Scherzer. They'd be looking at spending $80 million a year on three players (Cabrera, Prince, Verlander). So I'd expect them to let Scherzer pitch out his free-agent year, then make him the qualifying offer and wave goodbye.
Everyone talks about the Phillies selling off pitching (Lee, Pap), but would they sell hitting (Utley or Howard)? Could they get much return for either?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
They'd get zero for Howard. He's untradeable. But Utley would have a big market, if he's healthy and he's out there. Which is possible if they don't start playing better and if he proves he's healthy.
Dave (San Jose)
If the Giants can get everyone back healthy is that enough for them to get over the hump or do you think they still go out and get another pitcher and move Lincecum to the bullpen?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
They're stepping up their efforts to trade for a starter. That's what I've heard. So no matter what, that's on their shopping list.
Jayson Stark (1:30 PM)
Sorry to cut this short, but it's one of those weeks. I only have time for one more.
Jimmy Dean (Brunswick, ME)
Just read a story about Trumbo being shopped...any credence and should the Angels even do it?
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
I haven't heard that anywhere, from anyone. He and Trout are their two best players. That makes no sense to me. His kind of thump is irreplaceable. I'd be very skeptical that he'd get moved. They're in a tough spot. They don't have much that makes sense to sell.
Jayson Stark (1:32 PM)
Thanks to everyone who checked in. I can see you folks have the trading deadline on your minds already. And it's still 5 1/2 weeks away! Should be a fun July. Have a great weekend. See you down the road in Chat Land.