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)
Happy 5th of July! I only have a half-hour to chat today, so let's talk all-stars, trades and Puig-mania. Go!
Puig an AllStar? Yes or no ?
Jayson Stark (1:01 PM)
He'd be on my team! As I've said on the radio and on the podcast with Buster today, what baseball needs is a Rising Star spot on both all-star teams. That would allow players like this to make the team without taking the spot of some veteran player. I'll write more about this in the next couple of days. But this game NEEDS players like this, who make you want to watch.
What type of return can the Phillies realistically expect if/when they trade Utley, Lee, Rollins, Papelbon, MYoung?
Jayson Stark (1:04 PM)
I don't see them trading Lee. Rollins can veto a trade to any team, and I don't see a match with a club he'd go to at the moment. In the end, I bet they won't trade Utley unless he tells them he wants to go. So the two guys on that list I think they'll deal are Papelbon and Michael Young. They'll get a decent but not great prospect for Young. They'd need at least one building-block type young player to move Papelbon. And given the alternatives on the market, I think that's feasible.
You recently wrote that the Tigers are open to moving Nick Castellanos in the right deal, with there biggest need being a closer. Any chance they trade him for Papelbon?
Jayson Stark (1:05 PM)
I bet that comes up. Let's put it that way. I would expect the Phillies to zone in on either Castellanos or Avasail Garcia for Papelbon. If you were the Tigers, would you make that deal? I think I would, given all that's at stake for the Tigers this year.
Mari IL [via mobile]
Is garza out of chicago
Jayson Stark (1:07 PM)
Not yet! Buster and I are hearing different messages on Garza. He thinks the Cubs will trade him soon. I'm hearing that they'll hold him out there until they get their price, which might be a while. He's priced higher than any player on the market right now. That's what I'm hearing.
Derek (work) [via mobile]
Why doesn't the MLB do a Skills Competition during the all star break? I wouldn't mind seeing the fastest double play, accuracy from the outfield to home plate, games fastest player, etc.
Jayson Stark (1:08 PM)
They tried it back in the '90s, and it was a disaster. Barry Larkin hurt his arm in a cutoff-and-relay competition, and that was that.
Anyone from the Jays bullpen you see making the All Star game this year?
Jayson Stark (1:09 PM)
Brett Cecil and Casey Janssen are both great candidates, I think. In a this-time-it-counts scenario, they should take the best left-handed reliever in each league. And for me, Cecil has been the best left-hander in the AL by far. The guy never gives up a hit!
Any idea what Donnie does when Crawford comes back? Can't sit Puig or Kemp but platooning Ethier/Crawford also make no sense
Jayson Stark (1:11 PM)
I was told he's just going to take it day by day. Two left-handed hitters. Two right-handed hitters. The three who make the most sense on any given night will play. Sounds easy. But it has a chance to be a real mess if the odd man (or men) out doesn't take his benching in the, uh, spirit it's intended.
Jayson, what team do you see the best fit for Garza...Texas, Arizona, another team?
Jayson Stark (1:13 PM)
He makes sense for both of them -- and about a half-dozen other teams, too. He's pitching great right now, but teams are still a little fearful of his health history and his streakiness. So it might take the pressure of the deadline approaching for one of those clubs to give up what the Cubs are asking.
Rich (Oaklyn, NJ)
If Papplebon leaves, who closes for the Phillies?
Jayson Stark (1:15 PM)
I guess, depending on what they get back, it would be Antonion Bastardo. But if they trade Papelbon this month, it'll be tantamount to them saying it doesn't much matter who closes for the rest of this year. It would be about building for next year and beyond. Might be tough to sell Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels on that concept, though.
is it time for Brewers to rebuild?
Jayson Stark (1:17 PM)
I don't know if it's time for them to blow it up necessarily. But it's time for them to listen on just about everybody, and I'm hearing that's pretty much the case. Outside of Braun, Gomez and Segura, they're open for business on pretty much all of the rest of the roster. It'll be interesting to see how many of those guys they actually wind up dealing.
Is this the real Dodgers team we are seeing? They should end up winning this division right? Any updates on the Utley to LAD talk?
Jayson Stark (1:19 PM)
They've given themselves a chance to be the team they were built to be, thanks to Puig, Hanley Ramirez and a division that didn't put them away when they had a chance. I'm not sure where the Utley-to-L.A. stuff is coming from. The Phillies haven't shopped him to anyone. If you're asking whether he could sign there as a free agent, that's a different issue.
Mike (Lenexa, Ks)
Will the Royals be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline and if a seller who gets sold?
Jayson Stark (1:20 PM)
That's yet to be determined. Sounds like the Royals won't make that call until late this month. Remember, they were pretty much all in this season. So it would take a lot for them to put out the FOR SALE signs. If they do, sounds like Ervin Santana would win the Most Likely Royal to Get Traded sweepstakes.
McCutchen, Grilli, Locke, Melancon, Martin, Alvarez - Who will/should make the all star team?
Jayson Stark (1:21 PM)
I had all of those guys except Martin on the team I picked for ESPN.com. And Martin was my 35th man! I think it's very reasonable for all those guys to make it.
Any word on Brian Wilson's comeback? Wouldn't he be a fit for Detroit?
Jayson Stark (1:22 PM)
He's still weeks away. He could throw for some teams this month, or in early August. But he's told people he's not coming back until he knows he's healthy enough to pitch like he can pitch. And that won't be any time soon.
2ndHS (58 Miles from Miller Park)
How much, if any, interest do you think there will be in Kyle Lohse nearing the deadline? I get that he's older and teams refused to give up the pick to sign him. Still, he's pitched quite well, especially lately and he's on a very reasonably priced contract.
Jayson Stark (1:24 PM)
He's definitely available. I don't know that other teams see his contract as being as reasonable as you describe. But in a market that's short on viable pitching, he's got a chance to get moved, especially after the way he's pitched over the last few weeks.
All bullpens will eventually falter, why do we have to point to overuse as the sole reason?
Jayson Stark (1:25 PM)
You're talking about the Pirates, I'm guessing. Right? This is simple. We point to overuse because it's the No. 1 cause of bullpen volatility. Period. Look at Venters, O'Flaherty and the Braves bullpen. And you know the Pirates are wary of it, because of the little break they just gave Grilli to recharge. It's just a fact of baseball life that good bullpens on teams like this get abused.
Are Cubs on the right track? Solid draft, international signings, trading away decent pieces for future.
Jayson Stark (1:27 PM)
I really like what they're doing. They're all about deliberately building a franchise that has the sort of foundation that allows it to contend every year, or at least seven out of 10 years. And however long that takes to build, that's how long it will take. A lot of good, smart decisions are being made by Theo and Jed, and one of these years, it will all make sense!
Jayson, do you really see anyone taking on Papelbon's huge contract? And if it's not Papelbon, is Gregg the next best option?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
I do. It's two and a half years now, plus a vesting option. And he'll be by far the best closing option on the market. With all due respect to Kevin Gregg, the track records and stuff aren't close to the same. Are they?
Jayson Stark (1:29 PM)
Hard to believe how fast this has flown by, but I only have time for one more. Sorry.
I know it is a huge honor to make the All-Star team but I would prefer players on my team to not make the team and take the much needed 3 days off. It is a long season. I don't miss a Puig AB right now but with this hip bruise I wouldn't mind him taking those days off instead of playing in the AS game.
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
One thing this sport has to get away from is teams finding reasons for their players NOT to play in the All Star Game. This game needs Yasiel Puig. It's that simple. The better and more compelling the All Star Game is, the better it is for the sport and everyone in it. So I hope he makes the team, and I hope he plays a few innings. If he's so sore, how come he didn't miss a game after he crashed into that fence this week?
Jayson Stark (1:31 PM)
Thanks to everyone who checked in. See you down the road in Chat Land!