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 1 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (1:01 PM)
OK, let's eat some gummy "vitamins" and talk some baseball.
Charlie (Irvine, CA)
Is it time for pitchers and catchers to report yet? I can't wait any longer!
David Schoenfield (1:02 PM)
Hey, I live in Connecticut and there's no snow. Spring must be here, right?
Turner (Boise, ID)
I'm still of the mind that once the Tanaka signing happens, more dominoes will fall quick. One of those that I still thinks happens, is Kemp getting moved to Seattle. It just doesn't make sense for LA to hold on to 4 spendy OF's. Your thoughts.
David Schoenfield (1:03 PM)
Right, everything else happens after he signs -- Garza, Arroyo, Jimenez and Santana. I think the biggest issue with the Dodgers and Tanaka isn't Kemp, but signing Tanaka AND Kershaw. With Greinke, you'd be talking about over $500 million for pitchers. With the inherent risks of pitchers, seems like a big gamble.
David Schoenfield (1:04 PM)
I wouldn't completely count out Kemp to the Mariners ... or even Ethier. My guess is the Dodgers view Kemp as a "true" center fielder compared to Ethier, even though Kemp's defensive metrics out there aren't good.
Fan Girl (Brew City)
What is the most likely option for the Brewers at first base? Pretty much every fan wants Francisco gone and Ike Davis isn't all that appealing (especially for what would have to be given up).
David Schoenfield (1:05 PM)
Still seems likely Davis ends up with the Brewers or Pirates. Maybe the Mets hope he hits well in spring training and the Brewers/Pirates realize ... holy crap, the guys we have still stink.
If A-Rod had been playing for a team like the Royals or Oakland and/or was not the top paid player in the league, would MLB have had the same "seek and destroy" attitude towards him?
David Schoenfield (1:06 PM)
Unlikely. That's where the whole "witch hunt" aspect of the whole investigation does have some truth to it.
What do you think the chances are that AROD never plays in a MLB game again?
David Schoenfield (1:07 PM)
Pretty high, don't you think? He's unlikely to win this lawsuit. Don't the Yankees just punt on him next year? Yes, you're throwing away $61 million, but what are the odds he has anything left to contribute anyway after missing an entire season? And I don't see any other team picking him up. Like Bonds, he will be essentially blackballed out of the game.
Chris of the north (the north, mi)
Yankee mascot would have to have a scooter from the scooter store, an AARP card, and a platinum health care plan from obamacare...actually, the Phillie Phanatic might have to add these items too...they could even race scooters, like races in Washington...
Cano...did not see one article mention how horrible he is in post season play. He has a .222 and .267 OBP lifetime post season average! The Yankees lost so many post season games because ARod, Cano, Tex, Swisher are generally absolutely terrible at the plate in playoff games! Cano not worth the money...generally chokes in playoff games...your thoughts?
David Schoenfield (1:09 PM)
51 games now, so the sample size is getting larger. I think the Mariners would just be happy to get to the playoffs!
Hey David/ What do you think of the off season Rick Hahn and the WhiteSox have had? I really like what he is doing. They have gotten younger and more athletic. With their pitching they could be back in the mix of the AL Central sooner rather than later..... Though they still need to address their catching situation....
David Schoenfield (1:12 PM)
Have really liked their offseason. They were basically unwatchable last year when Sale wasn't pitching, but Eaton, Abreu and Davidson will make the team much more interesting.
nick (ut )
what are the chances Kershaw holds out to freeagency?
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
Just guessing here, but 50/50 maybe. As Buster Olney wrote the other day, money isn't going to be a big deal for Kershaw (like it was for Cano) so he's not holding simply to get a record-settign deal. So either he'll want to play in L.A. or not. Maybe he wants to go back to Texas, where he grew up.
CubFan (Perpetual Ennui)
Hey, we got a new mascot! A young cub that will do nothing to actually help win games on the field, sounds like the other 25 guys on the roster. If he fails to develop into a bear by next year, does Dale Sveum get fired again?
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
Have to give the kid at least three years.
Do you think Mike Trout makes it to free agency in 2018 or signs an early extension?
David Schoenfield (1:15 PM)
Prediction? He makes it to free agency.
Hey David, do you think the Mets should pass on Stephen Drew and go hard after JJ Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, or Yunel Escobar next year in free agency instead?
David Schoenfield (1:17 PM)
I'm not sure what advantage any of those guys have over Drew. Hardy is low OBP hitter. Cabrera's bat has gone backwards and his D isn't as good as Drew's. Lowrie isn't a good shorstop and has been injury-prone. Escobar in New York sounds like trouble. I'd prefer Drew, especially since you know your first-round pick is still protected this year.
Hey Chris from "the north", MI - maybe the tigers mascot can be Dave D trading away Doug Fister for nothing even though he's one of the best pitchers in baseball? How's that for a funny joke?
Phil (Hartford, CT )
What are the chances of Heath Bell rebounding to being the all-star closed he once was for the Rays?
David Schoenfield (1:18 PM)
I'm skeptical, but his velocity was pretty good year last and the Rays obviously have a track record. He is a fly ball pitcher moving to a better park for him and maybe the Rays saw something they can fix (like they did with Rodney).
Who is the most likely to play SS this year Bogaers, Machado, or Profar? Aren't these teams losing value in moving these guys off the premium position?
David Schoenfield (1:20 PM)
Bogaerts. Machado will probably never move back to shortstop because he was SO good at third and Profar will play second. Do the teams lose value? I think you have to evaluate the team separately from the individual. For the Orioles, they have a good shortstop. For the Rangers, having Profar allowed them to acquire Fielder. So the players may lose "value" but actually help their teams more.
David, I saw an story that suggested Miguel Cabrera will do just fine with Victor Martinez hitting behind him; maybe no TC threat, but will still rake without Prince around. Agree?
David Schoenfield (1:21 PM)
Should have no impact. Maybe a few more intentional walks.
Hey David! So I keep hearing that once Tanaka signs, the Blue Jays will make a serious run at either Jiminez or Santana. While the Jays rotation desperately needs an upgrade, why am I so terrified of Jiminez's variable mechanics, or how Santana's fly ball tendencies will play at the Rogers Centre?
David Schoenfield (1:23 PM)
Agreed that Santana seems like a bad fit. The positive with him as the Jays have had so many unreliable starters/injuries that at least Santana stays healthy and can eat up innings. If I'm Toronto, trying to catch Boston and Tampa, I'd rather gamble in Jimenez though. Sometimes you need to get a little lucky ...
Well, MLB did a "seek & destroy" mission on Ryan Braun and he plays for the Brewers? Not sure the whole witch hunt argument holds up. I just don't think MLB likes being shown up.
Did the MLBPA drop the ball by not arguing the purely CBA related points in the A-Rod case, namely the penalty schedule and the confidentiality clause? Those are completely separate from his guilt or innocence and now the CBA and JDA have been successfully cast aside by this arbitrator.
David Schoenfield (1:25 PM)
A-Rod and his lawyers will attempt to argue this. The legal experts all seem to agree that he's unlikely to win this lawsuit.
Good afternoon! It's 2014, and the Mets still don't have a first baseman to replace Carlos Delgado or a shortstop to replace Jose Reyes. Aren't they supposed to be rebuilding or something?
David Schoenfield (1:25 PM)
Why do you hate Lucas Duda?
Legit question: Do you think steroid talk will ever go away? I just don't see how it does. Every HOF induction, every suspended player....
David Schoenfield (1:26 PM)
Nope. Even when Bonds and Clemens (and then A-Rod) come and go from the ballot, they'll re-appear at some point on the Veterans Committee.
For all the brouhaha over the HOF vote - and there were some ridiculous things that happened, like 16 people NOT voting for Greg Maddux and someone voting FOR Armando Benitez - didn't they get it "right" in the end? I mean, the three guys who were clearly top performers in this class over a very long time frame were elected. And several more with legitimate concerns about their candidacy still received plenty of support to have their cases heard in future elections. Maybe people are getting too worked up over practically insignificant details.
David Schoenfield (1:28 PM)
Yes, generally agree. The voters elected three players for the first time since 1999, so we should at least be happy THAT happened. I'll have one more Hall of Fame post coming up later today or tomorrow.
Martin (New York, NY)
Where do you think Tanaka ultimately ends up? NYY?
David Schoenfield (1:28 PM)
That would be my prediction. But I don't think anybody knows.
Do you think Ike Davis can turn it around and fix his issues at the plate this season? He obviously should have a chip on his shoulder coming into this season after the terrible season he had last year and all of the trade talk this winter.
David Schoenfield (1:30 PM)
I'm not giving up on him yet. .286/.449/.505 in the second half. OK, only 130 PAs, but a good sign. Even if he's only a platoon bat, I still think he can be productive against RHP.
Any thoughts on Joe Posnanski's suggestion for a new voting process for the HOF?
David Schoenfield (1:31 PM)
I like his ideas, especially about getting more people (including fans) involved in the process, but the Hall of Fame has shown no inclination to change the current procedures.
David Schoenfield (1:32 PM)
And the ridiculous part of all that: The Hall of Fame does sort of say that it isn't completely comfortable with the BBWAA process since it allows a back-door entry into the HOF via the Veterans Committee. (Although the VC has mostly just elected managers and executives lately.)
Where did you come out on the Jack Morris HOF question? Why?
David Schoenfield (1:35 PM)
I think he's well short of established Hall of Fame standards. I get that he was durable. But he wasn't dominant. Should we elect all the players that were simply durable? Bob Boone? Jamie Moyer? Rusty Staub is 13th on the all-time games played list. Should we put him in? Frank Tanana -- who basically pitched in the same era as Morris -- had more innings. Should we elect him? Being a workhorse isn't enough for me.
Hey David, what do you expect from Travis D'Arnaud this season? Do you think he's the best catching prospect in baseball?
David Schoenfield (1:37 PM)
Has to stay healthy, of course. He *looks* like he'll hit, although his numbers at Las Vegas are Vegas numbers. No, not the top catching prospect. I'd probably go with Austin Hedges of the Padres.
Discounting the future, do you think the moves K.Towers has made so far help the D-Backs this season? I know they may have mortgaged the future a bit, but two 40-potential mashers isn't a bad thing, especially in that park.
David Schoenfield (1:39 PM)
I'm not a huge Trumbo fan because of his mediocre OBPs, but he should have fun hitting in Arizona. I didn't like the Adam Eaton trade as I'm not sold on Pollock as an everyday center fielder (or Cody Ross playing right with Parra in center). Just seems like he's given away too many good parts the past couple of offseason without getting enough back. That said, if he signs another starter (Tanaka or maybe Santana), they should be playoff contenders.
Should Trammell be in the Hall of 100 given the continued media suggestion that he was an equal to Larkin? Or at least in the Honorable Mentions? I agree he was an equal but its hard to make that case true when he deserves equal accolade when he doesn't make the list...your thoughts?
David Schoenfield (1:42 PM)
Was Larkin in the top 100? OK ... yes, he was No. 76. Well, yes, there is not really any difference between the two. Larkin lasted longer but missed more games when playing so they ended up with similar career lengths in terms of games. Their career WAR totals are identical. As I've written, Trammell's legacy was hurt by two things: Comparisons to Cal Ripken; when he first hit the HOF ballot, A-Rod, Jeter, Nomar and Tejada were putting up monster numbers, so he didn't look as good. By the time Larkin hit the ballot, things had "normalized."
per Buster Olney, the Tigers have the best rotation in MLB, the third best line up, and a honorable mention D. that all adds up to ... the best team in baseball? do you agree with Buster's assesment?
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
Maybe I should do my own lists! My only thing is this: We've said this the past two years about the Tigers and they've won "only" 88 and 93 games in a weak division. Of course, they will rightfully be the heavy favorite in that division but I'm not sure they should rate any better than the Cardinals or Red Sox or Dodgers right now.
David Schoenfield (1:46 PM)
Not saying they're not No. 1. I just posted something on their defense -- it should be improved but I'm not sure they have an elite Gold Glove defender on the roster. Iglesias may be that guy; not sure yet if he's more of a flashy, good hands guy or somebody with great range as well.
What do you think the Reds do roster wise before Spring Training and your thoughts where they finish in the NL Central right now. Thanks.
David Schoenfield (1:48 PM)
I sense that Reds fans are angry/disappointed in the offseason so far. Seems like they're set, which worries me. I see the offense is a potential problem. Hamilton may not hit, Ludwick probably isn't that good, Phillips is on the decline. Where will the runs come from?
ARod wouldn't be playing for KC or OAK b/c they won't pay a guy $25m. This wouldn't be as big a story if it were Billy Butler since he's not an all-timer. Sure the NY connection automatically inflates its importance, but if we're talking Brett Gardner it would be back page news.
Phil (Hartford, CT )
@ Kevin NYC ...Yunel Escobar has a $5 million team option with the rays for 2015. Doubt the rays would let him go.
David Schoenfield (1:49 PM)
Not at that price. And Maddon really loved what he gave the team last year.
Chris of the north (the north, mi)
Dave D trades have mostly worked so far, even considering he had to take dontrelle with Miggy...
David Schoenfield (1:50 PM)
We'll see. Just seems that trading Fister to sign Nathan was a bit of an overreaction to one playoff game. THAT said ... it could work out. I think Smyly will deliver close to what Fister gave them and Nathan should be fine. Of course, HIS postseason track record isn't good ...
Morris (Pgh, PA)
To the guy who said A-Rod is "generally absolutely terrible at the plate in playoff games," he has hit 263/369/464 in 75 playoff games ... not as good as his regular seasons, but miles better than Cano/Teix/Swisher and right in line with that guy Jeter.
Rumor has it that Tanaka was asked upon returning to Japan if he had a preference of teams. He said LAA, LAD and NYY. Who has the best odds based on that assumption? And did you think LAA were even in on him?
David Schoenfield (1:51 PM)
I'd go Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs. Not sure the Angels can go as high as what the Yankees/Dodgers can afford. Look for them to sign one of the other starters (everybody seems to think that's where Garza winds up).
Hi David, Do you think puig grows up. and how do you think these off the field issues affect his on the field progress?
David Schoenfield (1:54 PM)
Good question. I think it's fair to suggest that it MAY affect his on-field performance. For the Dodgers to make public some of the issues with him is a sign there was more going on here than just showing up late to the ballpark. Doesn't mean he still won't be great, just not as great as he could be. And sometimes the off-field-stuff doesn't catch up to you until you get a little older. Young guys can survive just fine on a few hours of sleep.
What move would you like to see the M's make next. Not what they may do but what logical move would you prefer to see?
David Schoenfield (1:56 PM)
Tanaka! They need a starting pitcher. Rotation behind Felix and Iwakuma is Erasmo Ramirez and two rookies with no good No. 6 option. They could use another right-handed bat who plays outfield. Nelson Cruz isn't really all that good but that's probably who they end up with. I'd prefer trading for Matt Kemp. So, Tanaka and Kemp. That work?
Does the Cubs new mascot hunt Billy Goats?
"Hammer" Milner (Flushing)
I'm a little shocked people were so critical of the Mets giving Colon a 2nd year at $10M. After coming off a CY-caliber year, isn't he much better option than Kazmir and Hughes? And Kuroda at $16M after his 2nd half last year? (BTW it wasn't just the ballpark that made Hughes bad - he was just plain bad)
David Schoenfield (1:57 PM)
I'd take the Colon deal over the contracts Kazmir and Hughes received. I'm with you: Hughes just isn't that good and good luck keeping Kazmir healthy.
Doesn't it make sense for the Cubs to go after Tanaka? He is young and one heck of a building block. Theo has to believe he can turn this around in a year or two with the cap space and young talent they have.
joey (west palm beach)
before pushing forward, should not arod consider these words from sopranos wise guy "little" carmine lupertazzi: "if there's one thing my father taught me, it's that a pint of blood costs more than a gallon of gold." some freakin' wisdom, huh? all due respect.
Doug (Santa Barbara)
If you're the GM of the Halos, what's your next move? Garza? Arroyo? Tanaka? What would make you a viable playoff team again?
David Schoenfield (1:59 PM)
Well, every team could use Tanaka. I think Arroyo is a great fit for Anaheim -- fly ball guy in a good park for him, very durable. I know you worry about his age and having two guys (along with Weaver) who can't crack 90 on the radar gun, but he's a nice 3/4 starter.
has anyone ever written about why babe ruth only got like 93% of the vote when we was elected to the hall? could you shed some light on this? granted i wasnt alive to see him play, but the guy hit more home runs than most teams did each year
David Schoenfield (2:01 PM)
I'm not sure what the story is there. Obviously, the first vote was different with so many players on it. The voting rules/procedures probably hadn't been clearly outlined. Maybe some felt Ruth hadn't been retired long enough?
What's your opinion on the new rule that prohibits collisions at home plate? I am interested to see how catchers adjust to this new rule on close plays at the plate.
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
We're still waiting for the exact specifics on how the rule will be worded. My guess: The player has to slide. I believe that's the rule in college baseball and there aren't issues there. That prevents collisions but still allows the catcher to block the plate.
HOF - If there was not a veterans committee would more players make the HOF since there is not the backup option?
David Schoenfield (2:03 PM)
Depends if you WANT more players inducted. If you do, you'd have to change the rules.
David Schoenfield (2:03 PM)
OK, I guess we have a meeting at 2 that I'm late for. Apologies. See everyone next week!