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 noon ET!
Jerry Crasnick (12:01 PM)
Hey folks, My chat last week never materialized because of the death of Tony Gwynn. Obviously a sad week for MLB, and he'll be greatly missed moving forward. Let's start the chat.
Sam (San Diego)
Assuming the padres get a new GM soon would the GM make changes to the ailing lineup?
Jerry Crasnick (12:03 PM)
Sam, Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch and the folks still there have seen this terrible offense in action, so I'm sure they'll be active in throwing out feelers. I assume Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley will be available, but I would expect the Padres to receive more interest in Ian Kennedy and maybe Huston Street.
A's are getting a fair amount of press these days but one pitcher that's flying under the radar is Drew Pomeranz who is pitching great since joining the starting rotation. Is he a legit #3 type starter?
Jerry Crasnick (12:05 PM)
Hey Dale, Drew Pomeranz punched a chair in frustration after his last outing, and he's on the DL. (This is an affliction also known as "Brad Penny-itis.") They're fortunate it was on his non-throwing hand. But it still wasn't a very bright thing to do. Pomeranz was a high No. 1 pick by Cleveland, so I think he has the ability to be a pretty good middle to back end of the rotation guy. But something always seems to be standing in his way.
Ed (Queens Village)
Padres fire Josh Byrnes. Is Bud Black next guy to get fired from Padres?
Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM)
Ed, I think Bud Black is safe for the rest of this season. But if the offense continues to struggle, I wouldn't be surprised if hitting coach Phil Plantier winds up on the hot seat soon.
Mike Rizzo (DC)
We do not fear this team.... we feel we are better than this team.... we just don't plan on beating them much or any other good team really... is it true that we are about 10 games under .500 against any winning team this year and 10 games over .500 against the weak and hapless? And didn't we do this same thing last year? But you still think we're the greatest dynasty ever constructed in all of sports, right? #Hype-itude
Jerry Crasnick (12:08 PM)
Mike, I also find the Nationals baffling, but they did just win two straight from the Braves. I keep waiting for that team to go on a run, because the division is clearly theirs to lose.
Hey Do you think the Redsox will trade for an OF bat like Carlos Quentin or Matt Kemp?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Hey Josh, I checked this morning and Boston's left fielders rank 15th in the majors in OPS. The center fielders and right fielders are both 29th, so the Sox clearly could use an upgrade. But they were so relieved to get rid of the Gonzalez and Crawford salaries, I just don't see them picking up Kemp's money. He's also started hitting lately for the Dodgers, who are in "win now" mode this season. Quentin might be worth a flyer to a team as a change of scenery candidate, but he's been terrible this year in San Diego. He's also a frequent visitor to the DL. Is he really better than what they have now?
Tyler (Louisville, KY)
What is wrong with the Rockies?
Jerry Crasnick (12:11 PM)
Tyler, CarGo and Cuddyer got hurt, which didn't help, and their starting pitchers have an MLB worst 6.11 ERA in June. Tulo just doesn't get enough help.
William (Michigan) [via mobile]
Andrew Heaney. What will he do in his next 2 starts this week
Jerry Crasnick (12:13 PM)
William, I was impressed with what I saw from him in his first outing. He mixes his pitches and he's very unflappable. But given how closely the Marlins will watch his pitch count, I have a hard time seeing him going more than 5 or 6 innings. Next up for Heaney: The Phillies at CBP.
Not a question, just a small story. RIP Tony Gwynn. As a child, I grew up in Queens and used to frequent Shea Stadium a lot to see the Mets play and collect autographs. One time during batting practice, I was sitting in the seats above the visitors dugout when Tony Gwynn came walking towards us and to the dugout ... I asked him for his autograpgh on my baseball ... he looks at me and tells me he'll sign the sweetspot in exchange for the butterfinger candybar I had in my hand ... it made my day and was my favorite autograph story ever ... He was a really nice guy. Again, rest in peace, Tony Gwynn.
Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM)
Thanks for the great story, Andres. It's amazing how many people have these kind of remembrances about Tony Gwynn.
Jordan (Illinois) [via mobile]
Latest cardinal trade rumors?
Jerry Crasnick (12:15 PM)
Jordan, I'm sure you'll start seeing some pitching rumors around the Redbirds with the injuries to Wacha and Garcia. But they do have Carlos Martinez to plug into the rotation, and Joe Kelly is on a rehab. I think John Mozeliak will try to wait to see how serious this Wacha injury is before he plunges in head-first in the quest for pitching. He does have some young outfield bats to trade, and that's a very scarce commodity that gives him some leverage.
Suarez - major development in Detroit. Our ML scouting reports and GM opinions on this guy starting to get a bit excited and positive about him? He wasn't listed on many best prospect reports coming into the season, but DD and the Tigers really liked him coming into the season
Jerry Crasnick (12:17 PM)
Hey Mark, Suarez has done a nice job for the Tigers. There were mixed reviews on him coming up, and some people thought he might wind up as a utility player. When it comes to kids, you always have to wait and see how they hold up a couple of times around the league -- and how they withstand the rigors of August and September. It's a real grind for a young player who hasn't been through it before.
Jerry any news on a A.Bradley promotion and thoughts on his MLB future? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (12:19 PM)
David, Archie Bradley just returned from an elbow injury and is rehabbing in the Arizona Rookie League. If he pitches well, he could be up sometime after the All-Star break.
Colin(SF) [via mobile]
What are the giants most likely to do at the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:22 PM)
Colin, There are a lot of mixed vibes with that team, but I do know from watching Brian Sabean that he'll be aggressive. He feels a great allegiance to the fans out there, and he's not scared to trade prospects. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he makes inquiries on guys like Price and Samardzija. There are very few bats out there, so most contenders will be focused on pitching.
I'm struggling to think of a worse offseason signing than Chris Young (the outfielder - the pitcher has been great). I can't imagine any other team having given him the contract he got. What does this say about the Mets' decision making?
Jerry Crasnick (12:23 PM)
Matt, Chris Young has been bad, but a one-year, $7.25 million signing isn't the kind of deal that should kill your season. It speaks more of the Mets' payroll limitations and the problems they continue to have under the Wilpon ownership regime.
Tony (Cleveland) [via mobile]
Hey Jerry, any word on potential moves for the Indians?
Jerry Crasnick (12:25 PM)
Tony, I'd love to see a big right-handed bat in the middle of that order, but they don't have the kind of money to pursue a Matt Kemp (even if he were available). And as I mentioned earlier, how much of an upgrade is Carlos Quentin over what they have?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
As a brief aside, guys like Price, Samardzija, Jason Hammels and Ian Kennedy have a chance to make an impact on a team's rotation. But I just don't see many hitters out there. I don't think the Phillies are trading Chase Utley, and they're only 5 games out in the division. The parity in MLB really puts a squeeze on the early trade talks.
Jack (NJ) [via mobile]
What potential moves could the Yankees make at the trade deadline? Cliff Lee?
Jerry Crasnick (12:27 PM)
Jack, Cliff Lee has been on the DL with an elbow injury, so it's tough to speculate on him until he's back in the rotation and pitching effectively.
Derek (work) [via mobile]
What yeas would be interested in Dom Brown as a lottery ticket change of. Scenery guy?
Jerry Crasnick (12:28 PM)
Derek, I do think Domonic Brown needs a change of scenery. But again, he's another lefthanded bat. I have to wrack my brain to find a decent RH bat who can have an impact on a pennant race.
John (Cleveland, OH)
As of Friday(after Gregory Palanco got a hit versus the cubs) he has hit in every game since his promotion. I know pitchers will figure him out eventually, but why have they not done so yet? It seems a little weird to me he has hit this many games straight since he got to the bigs without a pitcher or multiple pitchers leaving him hitless
Jerry Crasnick (12:30 PM)
Hey John, If Polanco has a major weakness that teams can exploit, rest assured they'll find it. You'd think it would happen more quickly now that teams have access to so much video and advance scouting insights. He'll cool off eventually and he'll have to figure some things out and adjust. All young hitters do.
Jerry, I can't remember a Red Sox club that has played this inconsistent and poor at home. Why is the chemistry not there that they had last year?
Jerry Crasnick (12:32 PM)
Mitch, Their biggest issue seems to be the lack of a consistent offense, especially with all their outfield issues. When teams don't hit, they tend to look lifeless. I also think it can be tough to recapture the Boston Strong, team harmony type thing they had last year. The Red Sox had almost everything go right in 2013, and they're having to fight through some adversity this year.
Are the Giants going to make any moves? I've heard Price and Samardjza rumors but a 2B (Utley) or a SS (Zobrist) makes more sense to me.
Jerry Crasnick (12:34 PM)
Chris, Chase Utley would be a wonderful fit on that team, but I don't think the Phillies are moving them. And as my colleague Jayson Stark pointed out last week, Zobrist is such a great fit with that Tampa team, it would take a lot for Andrew Friedman to move him.
Sean (seattle) [via mobile]
Do you think the mariners will make a move before the deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:36 PM)
Sean, Corey Hart is getting close to a return, so I think Jack Z would want to see how that goes before he starts thinking trade. With Hart and LoMo in the lineup, the Mariners will have a couple of veterans to complement Cano and have some stability. Throw in Kyle Seager and Brad Miller starting to warm up, and the lineup starts to look better. They're also first in the majors in team ERA in June.
James (NY) [via mobile]
Who could the Yankees possibly target at the trade deadline?
Jerry Crasnick (12:37 PM)
James, I would have to think Brian Cashman is looking at the starting pitching market, but it might be more a middle or back end of the rotation innings eater-stabilizer than a big gun. Sabathia will be back at some point, and they're still paying him a lot of $$.
You you think The Royals end up as buyers or sellers?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
John, There's no way Dayton Moore sells. The question is how aggressively he buys. And I'm honestly not sure what if anything he might be focusing on. The rotation is pretty solid, the bullpen is strong, they catch the ball, and they were hitting like crazy until Seattle came to town.
Would Houston consider trading Kuechel for prospects or are those days done for the Astros?
Jerry Crasnick (12:39 PM)
Kyle, I haven't heard his name much. He's pretty good and he's affordable, so Jeff Luhnow is really not compelled to move him.
What kind of talent do you think Cherrington is willing to give up to get an OF bat?? Webster, Renaudo, Workman, De LaRosa...
Jerry Crasnick (12:41 PM)
Shawn, As much as some Red Sox fans might not like to hear this, I don't think Ben Cherington is going to trade good, affordable young pitching unless it's for a young outfield bat that he can control for a while. Do you have anyone in mind?
Tommy K (Milwaukee)
Any possible moves at Trade deadline for the BREW CREW?
Jerry Crasnick (12:42 PM)
Tommy K, I don't see the Brewers in the middle of anything huge, but Doug Melvin has made some under-the-radar bullpen depth acquisitions through the years. I could see him going in that direction.
John Dallas [via mobile]
With the Orioles saying they can't re-sign some of their key players in the coming years where does that leave Nelson Cruz? Only on a 1 year deal could he be flipped after a great year so far?
Jerry Crasnick (12:43 PM)
John, They're still in the race, he's probably a starting outfielder in the All-Star Game, and they're paying him next to nothing for what he's giving them. Trading Cruz would be like giving up on the season. I don't see any point in that.
Upton brother to Boston. What do the Braves get in return?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Not happening, Tim.
Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)
The Dodgers are playing great lately and are getting healthy. Am I crazy for they are still the team to beat in the NL?
Jerry Crasnick (12:44 PM)
Mike, I don't know if they're the team to beat, but any team that can run out that kind of starting pitching night after night is capable of going on a long run. I keep waiting for it to happen with the Dodgers.
Jack (NJ) [via mobile]
What kind of bullpen help do you see the Tigers picking up, and what do you think they would have to give up for a quality arm?
Jerry Crasnick (12:46 PM)
Jack, They still have Joel Hanrahan rehabbing in the minors, so I think he was the equivalent of a July deadline acquisition. Dave Dombrowski did it early enough to see if it would work out. Only if Hanrahan can't pitch this season would I see the Tigers jumping back into the late-relief market. (Of course, a lot depends on Joe Nathan, who's showing signs of figuring it out).
Rick (Virginia Piedmont)
Jerry, J.D. Martinez is getting the job done in the 5 spot in the Tiger's line-up. With Hunter, Ajax, Davis and Dirks heading back, how to juggle the outfield?
Jerry Crasnick (12:47 PM)
Hey Rick, I'd file that under "a nice problem to have."
What will the Dodgers OF look like once Crawford comes back, and who do you think will be starting come Sept? Any chance Pederson comes up?
Jerry Crasnick (12:49 PM)
Aaron, Kemp is certainly playing as if he wants consistent ABs in left field. And we know Puig isn't taking a seat. So that doesn't leave Mattingly with many ABs to play with. People keep asking about Joc Peterson, but the Dodgers already have too many outfielders. So where would he fit?
Maybe Alex Rios?? definitely don't want Kemp..
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Shawn, I spoke to Jon Daniels last week and he was in a state of limbo. Obviously the results of the weekend series with the Angels could help nudge him to "sell" mode. Rios has been one of their few consistent producers so far. But if they fall completely out of it, I would have to think he'll listen.
Zac [via mobile]
Any interest in Price by the Atlanta Braves?
Jerry Crasnick (12:51 PM)
Zac, I think they're tapped out financially. There are better fits for Price than Atlanta.
Jack (White Plains)
Jerry, please talk about Pearce. He has been a force for the Orioles and looks like he is starting to play everyday. What do you think about a top prospect from what...5 years ago?
Jerry Crasnick (12:53 PM)
Jack, Every time I watch him, he seems to get a couple of hits. Not an eye-catching guy, but a solid hitter who seems to be thriving in that No. 2 hole in Baltimore. To me, he's one of those guys like J.D. Martinez that you can file under "good scouting." It took him a while to figure it out, but the O's saw something in him that other teams didn't.
Jimmy (PA) [via mobile]
Phillies at the deadline- buyers or sellers? Who would be on the move if they are sellers?
Jerry Crasnick (12:55 PM)
Jimmy, I think they selectively sell. To me, that means Rollins, Papelbon and maybe AJ Burnett. They're too emotionally tied to Utley to move him, and I doubt they'll be aggressive enough to trade Utley. Lee is hurt, and Howard's contract makes him untradeable. Keep in mind that the Phils are also five games out in the NL East. They still don't consider themselves out of it.
Is Joe Panik the answer for the Giants at 2b?
Jerry Crasnick (12:57 PM)
Mike, Glad you mentioned him. He hit in the minors, and he seems like a kid who's mature enough to handle the pressure. He was also their No. 1 draft pick in 2011, so they might as well see what they've got now that they have an opening.
With Lawrie's fractured finger the Jays can't keep the mix and match infield going can they? Lawrie was their best defender and decent with the bat, any potential solutions?
Jerry Crasnick (12:59 PM)
Mark, It's probably no surprise that Brett Lawrie is hurt. He wasn't hitting that much, but he does give them energy, defense and some pop. Alex Anthopoulos suddenly has a few holes to plug, and this is the latest. I will say that I saw Juan Francisco play third a couple of weeks ago in Baltimore, and he had a very bad time of it defensively.
If you need a big bat, why not Adam Dunn? Last year of his deal and is hitting very well this year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Gary, He has 83 strikeouts this year, so if you're a contender with a lot of swing-and-missers, he's probably not your guy. I don't think Rick Hahn is in big "sell" mode yet, but that weekend series with the Twins certainly didn't help.
Rob K (Victoria, BC)
With the injuries to Bautista and Lawrie, and the regression of the Jays pitching -- what do the Jays need to do to keep in the race?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Rob K, To me, they're a team that really needs a front of the rotation power arm. Let's wait and see how serious the Bautista injury is. The Blue Jays are a prime example of how fluid things can be for teams in a race. They looked great a couple of weeks ago, and they barely look like the same team now.
Carlos (Cali) [via mobile]
We're all aware of the crowded outfield that the Dodgers currently have. What are the chances of them moving Andre Ethier to a team like Tampa for Price?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Carlos, Andrew Friedman is going to be looking for 3-4 young, affordable players that they can plug into that roster -- not a veteran who's making $17 million a year. So Ethier makes no sense for the Rays.
Who's the best long term answer at SS for the Mariners? Miller, Franklin, Taylor, Marte?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Abe, Most scouts and talent evaluators I talk to think that Brad Miller is going to be a good player. He had a terrible April and May but is starting to come out of it. So I'd put my money on him.
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Thanks for the questions, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. Let's do it again next week.