Hey guys, I'll do my best to make it through this chat today despite a worrisome case of Ryder Cup fever. Let's get started.
Jerry, After last nights game, Im starting to think these Twinks just might pull it off. A playoff spot, that is.
Tanner, The Twins have certainly done their best to blow it, but the White Sox aren't playing any better. The key for Minnesota is keeping it close this weekend while they're in Tampa Bay and Chicago is playing KC. The Twins have the edge with the big three-game series next week taking place at the Metrodome.
Jerry--a 134 OPS+ from a catcher is more valuable than a 124 OPS+ from a 2B, correct? By that [correct] reasoning, what's with all the hype for Pedroia to win the AL MVP when Mauer's much more valuable?
Dudeman, I don't know that I'd call Mauer "much" more valuable. Since when is second base considered that much more of an offensive position than catcher? Right now you could probably throw Pedroia, Mauer, Morneau and even Youkilis into a hat for the MVP.
Got a two-part question for you today, Jerry. With the way Fernando Perez has stepped up his game on the field and at the plate, what are the chances the Rays try and move BJ Upton in the offseason? And which team(s) do you see making a bid for Upton should the Rays indeed try and trade him?
Brian, Fernando Perez is certainly intriguing with his speed, but I don't think the Rays are sufficiently convinced that he can hit at the big league level that they'll trade BJ Upton. For what it's worth, Upton is actually a year younger than Perez. If Andrew Friedman did throw Upton's name out there, I can think of maybe 15 teams that would be quite interested.
What would the trade market for Cano look like if the Yankees decide to move on? Would Ankiel, Bryan Anderson, and a Minor League OF prospect get it done?
Jeff, Cano is coming off a terrible year, so the Yankees aren't going to get close for fair value in exchange for him. Plus, he just signed a four-year, $30 million deal. I think that would make some clubs hesitant about giving up a ton in return for him. There are some rumblings that Joe Torre would love to have him in LA -- particularly with Jeff Kent nearing the end -- but I would be surprised to see the Yankees trade Cano this winter.
What is Bochy doing starting a 2B in Left Field last night? A fielding error by a guy who made his 4th career start in Left Field could have potentially lost Tim Lincecum to lose the Cy Young. Your thoughts?
Brad, That was really sad to see, considering how Lincecum pitched his heart out. Still, I would hope that one play wouldn't make the difference in the Cy Young race. For my money, Lincecum has still had the better season than Webb. He's my Cy pick.
K-Rod is having a great season but with Lee being so dominant, doesn't a dominant starter trump a dominant closer for the Cy Young award?
Pete, Except for the save totals, guys like Nathan, Rivera, Soria and Papelbon have all had comparable or even better seasons than K-Rod. No offense to Frankie, but it would be a complete ripoff if he won the Cy Young Award. Cliff Lee is the clear choice.
one of the area papers has the brewers and giants discussing a matt cain for fielder, hardy, and another player in the offseason. am i taking crazy pills or does this seem like the most far fetched scenario?? thanks a lot.
Matthew, A Fielder for Cain swap isn't ridiculous in theory. Milwaukee is going to need a staff ace if Sabathia and Sheets go. If the Brewers blow this, management will be more inclined to do something radical. And the Giants need a big bat in the middle of the order. The thing is, the Giants are already on the hook long-term for Zito and Rowand for almost $190 million -- and now they're going to commit to a young Scott Boras client? Good luck with that.
Phillies, Mets, Brewers. Who's out?
Gregg, I'll be shocked if the Phils don't make it now. As terrible as the Mets' bullpen is, I think they have enough to limp over the finish line for the wild card ahead of the Brewers -- particularly if Ben Sheets is done.
If the Brewers and D-Backs miss the playoffs (looking very likely) do the Cubs have the bst pitching staff in the NL playoffs?
Chuck, Considering how bad the Milwaukee and Arizona bullpens have been, you could make the case that the Cubs have the best pitching staff in the NL regardless of whether those two clubs are still around in October.
Jerry, quick and easy one - if the Mets make it to the playoffs (here's hoping)...do they put Heilman on the roster? You don't know what you're getting when he's out there!
Jonathan, Considering the alternatives, I would have to think that Heilman makes it. But Jerry Manuel's non-committal answer to that question certainly didn't inspire much confidence.
I was just wondering with the way the dodgers have been playing recently and especially swinging the bats, do you see them as a legit contender to win the NL?
Riley, Sure. A starting 3 of Billingsley, Lowe and Kuroda doesn't stack up with what the Cubs can run out there, but LA's bullpen has been very solid. And Manny has the potential to make a huge difference in October, as history has shown.
Any chance Tony Larussa still wins coach of the year now that the cardinals have faded from contention? Despite their recent struggles, he's done alot more than most could have imagined with a team that didn't have much potential or notable talent before the season began.
Andy, I think that ship has sailed, but the NL Manager of the Year voting could be a free for all. Right now you have to think that Joe Torre, Lou Piniella and the two Manuels -- Charlie and Jerry -- are in the mix.
Jerry, This offseason, do the Phils let Burrell walk and go after a FA starter? Can they do both?
Bob, Pat Burrell has been so bad in the second half, it certainly doesn't help his bargaining power. Plus, the emergence of Jayson Werth makes it less imperative that the Phils keep him as their resident RH outfield power bat. There's an awful lot of pitching out there on the free agent market, and I see the Phillies taking the plunge on a three-year deal for somebody.
Jerry- So who wins the AL MVP then between Mauer, Morneau, Pedroia and Youk?
Brandon, Right now I'd go Pedroia, Mauer/Morneau (not sure in which order) and Youk. I'm sure K-Rod, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Quentin, Josh Hamilton and some others will attract their fair share of support as well.
Okay Jerry, I need a Braves question answered. What direction is this team going in? Cox is still the manager, the two best players miss 30 games a year(Chipper because of injury, McCann because he is a catcher), and they have a lot of okay-good postional players(Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, and Casey Kotchman) on their roster with NO pitching outside of Jurrjens. So you tell me, what do they do?
Eric, I wish I had the answer. Obviously, the big question is whether they commit to another year of Glavine and Smoltz for old times' sake (my sense is the answer is "yes"). They also have to determine whether they want to shop Jeff Francoeur. But you're right: They have a lot of big picture, cosmic issues to confront this offseason.
Shouldn't the Brewers move Braun to first and dump Fielder? Braun cost them the game yesterday and he did the same thing earlier in the year.
Mike, I guess, or they could keep Braun in left field and bring up Mat Gamel to play first base, then trade Fielder. I think Prince's attitude toward the organization has gone a little sour after his early contract renewal issues. This might be the winter to seriously explore moving him. They could get an awful lot in exchange for him.
Jerry, why are players' salaries a matter of public record? It seems obvious that fans' expectations are rooted in players' salaries. Why would struggling players want fans to know how much they're being paid to not perform?!
Rob, I'm sure players would love to have it so that nobody knows their salaries. But when Cleveland just trades CC Sabathia in the middle of the season, don't you think fans are going to want to know why? So many baseball decisions today are rooted in economics, it's a completely different world than it used to be.
Hi Jerry. Do you think the Reds are on the right path? I love our young guys like Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Volquez, etc. but there is not much in terms of veteran presence on this team that can play everyday. Thoughts?
John, I think that's a little overrated. Maybe Walt Jocketty will add a veteran "presence" guy this winter, but the Reds certainly don't need to be spending a total of $30 million a year on a couple of veterans like Griffey and Dunn, as they did this season, when the franchise is still a year or two away. Personally, I think Reds fans should be pretty enthusiastic about going into next season with a rotation headed by Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo. Arroyo has been absolutely lights out in the second half.
Ok Jerry, lets say Game 1 ALDS Sox vs. Angels, Beckett goes 7 strong and the Sox have a 2-1 lead going into the 8th. Who does Tito use? Beckett for another, Paps for a 6 out save, Masterson, Okajima, or Delcarmen?
Largemann, Well, if it's Game 1, there's no way Papelbon pitches two innings. If Beckett's pitch count is reasonable (say, around 100), he might come out for the eighth. If there are a couple of lefties coming up, Okajima is the guy. And Masterson is Boston's resident groundball guy. The choice is going to be much more interesting if it's Game 5 rather than Game 1.
If the Phillies can't re-sign Pat Burrell to a reasonable 2-year deal then what about Raul Ibanez? Any idea where one of the game's most underappreciated bats ends up next year. Truely impressed with his consistency with little help around him the lineup.
Scott, Raul Ibanez is a nice fit for a lot of teams. But the Phillies are so left-handed heavy with Howard and Utley in the power spots, I would think they'd want an RH bat. If they don't sign Burrell, they might have to make a trade rather hit the free agent market. Other than Jermaine Dye, I don't think there are many free agent RH bats in the outfield. (Or am I missing somebody?)
Does Mussina win 20? My guess is no - and I find it ironic he has to do it against Boston...
Todd, Maybe, maybe not. But I think it's ludicrous that Mussina would have to win 20 games this year to validate a Hall of Fame spot. The Moose has given his Hall chances a huge bump this season.
where does huston street end up this offseason? cleveland? mets?
John, If the Mets don't pursue K-Rod -- as they keep saying -- Street is a potential fit there. But Billy Beane always asks for a lot in trades like this, and I'm not sure the Mets have the stomach to bankrupt what's left of their farm system for Huston Street.
Manny is a pretty big free agent RH bat in the outfield
Ryan, Yeah, obviously Manny. I guess I just think of him in a different world from the rest of the free agent market. Of course, there's the Charlie Manuel-Manny connection from the old Cleveland days. But if Manny didn't like playing in Boston, you have to wonder how he would fit in Philly.
Jerry, did baseball writers hand the AL Manager of the Year award to Joe Maddon in June, or can Terry Francona still make a case?
Casey, Joe Maddon is the guy. And if the Twins make the postseason, Ron Gardenhire will be a strong second. Francona does a great job in Boston, but he has no shot at Manager of the Year.
Does Ron Santo finally get into the HoF? Does the Veterans Committee not like to add players because of ego?
Jake, I hope Ron Santo gets into the Hall of Fame this year. I know Bill James said for years that he's the biggest omission from the Hall. And yes, I think you're right about the Veterans Committee. The guys in the Hall of Fame are much more stringent than the Baseball writers. I think they'd be happy to elect nobody everytime they vote.
Jerry, where would you begin with fixing the Nationals? Half of the team salary is locked up in terrible signings (Pena, D. Young/N. Johnson, Kearns). They still have virtually no starting pitching. Bowden has already publicly said they aren't going to bring back Cordero and the rest of the bullpen was traded at the deadline for backup utility infielders. What hope does a Nats fan have?
Tim, Hey, Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden have said they're going to have to do it with scouting and player development, and that takes time. Ryan Zimmerman is a nice player, but I'm not sure you want him to be your franchise guy. At the moment, I guess you have to be content with watching John Lannan, Mike Hinckley, Jesus Flores and some of the other young guys, because it's going to be a long road to respectability.
Hey Jerry. Brandon Wood looks like he's ready. Do the Angels play him at SS next season, or do they move him to third? Were does that leave Figgins or Aybar?
Mitch, Brandon Wood is hitting .194 in 134 at bats this season, so your definition of "ready" must be a little different than a lot of people's.
BK, Cubs vs. Red Sox. Old ballparks, passionate fan bases, and very little room in the press box. It'll be a blast. I'm not sure about the winner yet, though.
The Astros' Cecil Cooper should also garner consideration for NL MAnager of the year too, BTW.
Scott, Yep, the late fade didn't hurt, but Cooper deserves a mention on some ballots.
C Gomez have a shot at a gold glove this year?
Eric, According to the John Dewan plus-minus system, Carlos Gomez is the best defensive center fielder in the game this season. So I'm sure the AL managers and coaches will give it to Torii Hunter strictly on reputation. Isn't that how it works? (On second thought, since the voters can pick all center fielders, maybe they'll both snag one).
Should Yankee fans be concerned about Joba's durability? He was injured all throughout college, and hurt again this year. The front office is babying him like his bones are held together with dental floss. I'm concerned this guy is Mark Prior version 2.0. Your thoughts?
Mickey, It's an issue because they never seem to know how they're going to use him. And Joba isn't the only question. Phil Hughes isn't exactly Mr. Durability.
Aer you taking Keith Law's place while he's on vacation and doing a marathon chat today?
Bob, Nope, I'm only here for an hour. (Maybe I'll stay an extra five minutes). The dog is barking in the backyard. I think she needs to go for a walk.
What do you think happens with Matt Wieters next year?
Mitch, The scouts I've talked to go nuts over the guy, and Baseball America named Wieters the magazine's minor league player of the year. I think the Orioles bring him to camp and let him try to win the job in spring training. If not, I don't imagine he'll be in the minors very long next season. The kid hit .365 in 61 games of Double-A ball. Why hold him back?
Does Coletti have the guts/approval to eat salary and dump Pierre and Andruw this winter?
Jeff, I imagine that call will come from owner Frank McCourt and not Colletti. The Dodgers are really in a bind on this one, because they could clearly use that money to sweeten their offer to Manny.
Wait, if the dog is in the yard can't she just walk, you know, in the yard? How small is your yard Jerry? Maybe ESPN needs to give you a raise.
Josh, There are too many squirrels in the backyard, so the dog barks and annoys the neighbors (not to mention me). I can't bring her in because I'm busy chatting. Does that make more sense?
Jerry, philosophically, how do you differentiate between who should get an MVP and who should get a Hank Aaron Award? Which do you think is more fitting for Albert Pujols?
Casey, Pujols is clearly the Hank Aaron winner, because that goes to the league's best hitter. I think he's the MVP too, but some voters would beg to differ because the Cardinals aren't going to make the playoffs. It's all a matter of personal preference.
Think the Yanks sign Tex or leave 1B open for a Posada/Matsui platoon?
Shaun, If the Yankees are going to shell out nine figures on a free agent, I would have to think it'll be for a starting pitcher (like this CC guy -- he's pretty good) rather than a first baseman.
In 10 years who will be a better player Wieters or Posey?
Tim, I'll say Wieters.
You said Papelbon is having as good of a season as K-Rod (Minus the save number). Have you watched Papelbon pitch this year?
Matias, Have you? Papelbon has a lower ERA than K-Rod (2.11 to 2.35) and a strikeout to walk ratio of 72 to 7. Ask the Mets or the Brewers if that's a bad year for a closer.
Hey guys, Great chat today. It should be a fun weekend with so many tight races. Let's do it again next week.