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October 6, 2:26 PM ET
Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis

Ross (CA)

Hey Jim, the Sacramento Bee has a feature about the Giants and A's this morning and mentions that both teams could have top farm systems. I know Texas and Oakland have been mentioned by you, but where do you feel San Francisco falls?

Jim Callis
  (2:03 PM)

I haven't lined up all the farm systems yet, but the Giants are definitely in the top 10 and maybe in the top five. Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Angel Villalona, Tim Alderson, Nick Noonan, Conor Gillaspie . . . that's a nice start to rebuilding.

Leo Socal

Billingsley or Lincecum?

Jim Callis
  (2:04 PM)

Lincecum.

John (Grand Rapids)

Strictly as a shortstop, how does Mychel Givens compare to Tim Beckham, last year's Number 1 pick?

Jim Callis
  (2:05 PM)

From a pure tools standpoint, Givens might ranks slightly ahead of Beckham. From a baseball skills standpoint, Beckham is a cut above. Givens is pretty raw in terms of skills and instincts, and he might get drafted as a pitcher.

Jimbo (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Braves have shown interest in Peavy. Consensus is that the discussions start with Hanson or Heyward, which I understand. I wonder if we went after a Greinke or Cain would we have to pay the same starting price, or could we get one of them for less? Thank you.

Jim Callis
  (2:07 PM)

Cain would command a similar high price tag because he's younger and cheaper and has a solid track record. Greinke might come a little cheaper because he has been a little more up and down and is closer to free agency, but he still would cost a lot.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

Who will win the LCS's?

Jim Callis
  (2:07 PM)

Red Sox, Dodgers.

Jake, St Louis

With the Rays and Sox having so much success at home and so little on the road when facing each other, does this make the Rays (who have home field advantage) the favorites in your eyes?

Jim Callis
  (2:08 PM)

No. I wouldn't read too much into the regular season series and who won where. The teams were very evenly matched. The Angels beat the Red Sox eight out of nine games in the regular season, and that meant nothing in the ALDS.

Orlando, Palm Bay FL

Will we see David Price in the ALCS? There's talk of Percival being placed back on the roster.

Jim Callis
  (2:09 PM)

I think you will see Price at some point. There wasn't a huge need for him in the ALDS.

Jason (Charlotte)

Would you Braves have the best farm system in the game today if they hadn't made the Teixeria trade? Hanson, Heywood, Felix, Shafer, Freeman, Andrus, Hernandez, Teheran, Rohrough, Jones would make quite an impressive Top 10. Thoughts ??

Jim Callis
  (2:11 PM)

They very well might. Obviously the Rangers would take a hit if that deal hadn't been made, so it would come down to the Braves vs. the Athletics. Oakland would still be a little deeper, though.

Mort (Podunk)

Come next season, will Price take over one of the starting spots in the rotation, or if not, what's his timetable? I find it hard to believe that Maddon will keep him in the pen in the future.

Jim Callis
  (2:13 PM)

He'll definitely be in the rotation next year, probably on Opening Day. The bullpen is just a short-term way for a playoff club to get something out of him when he spent most of the year in the minors.

Doug (NY)

Jim, Any chance the Padres would be willing to take 3 B-level pitchers from among guys like Aceves, Mcallister, Marquez, Coke, Jones for Peavy? The way I see it, while these guys might not see the light of day in the Bronx, they'd all be back-end of the rotation guys for the Padres.

Jim Callis
  (2:13 PM)

There's our Yankees-trade-their-second-tier-guys-for-a-stud proposal of the day. No, the Padres wouldn't do that at all. I think they could do a lot better than that.

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Jim, Always look forward to your insight. After a full season of trades and draft signings, how would you rate the performance of the Pirates' new front office? What should we look for from them this offseason? Thanks for your time.

Jim Callis
  (2:15 PM)

I think they Neil Huntington and Co. made some nice progress. I'd give them a solid B for getting the club pointed toward the future this year. Their plan should be to acquire more young talent if deals present themselves. No point in splurging on short-term free agents.

Ben (Centerville, OH)

Reds prospect Todd Frazier is lighting up the Hawaiian Winter League so far. What is his projection like, what position does he end up at, and how soon could he be in the bigs?

Jim Callis
  (2:15 PM)

He won't be a shortstop and I see him as more of a third baseman or corner outfielder. He looks like an above-average hitter to me and I could see him in Cincy by the end of 2009.

Steve (Long Island, NY)

Why do these delusional Yankee fans get the posts, giving smart fans the bad names? God that bugs me.

Jim Callis
  (2:16 PM)

Sorry, Steve. That question appeared at the top of the queue and jumped out at me.

Eric (L.A., CA)

Hey Jim. What do you think are the Dodgers chances of signing Sabathia this offseason? Thanks!

Jim Callis
  (2:17 PM)

There was talk that Sabathia was leaning toward the West Coast, but there will be a lot of pressure on him to go wherever he can get the biggest deal. I think the money will talk, and I'd guess one of the New York clubs.

Jim Hendry (Wrigley)

Jim, help a Jim, what do I do now?

Jim Callis
  (2:17 PM)

Just cosmetic changes . . . You had the best team in the National League but it happened to turn in three clunkers in the NLDS. No need for a massive overhaul. I'd re-sign Dempster unless the money gets crazy and look for a lefty bat.

Steve (Long Island, NY)

Any chance you'll answer a REAL Yankee fan question? Could Hughes, Kelvin De Leon, and a solid prospect get it done, or would San Diego require more in the way of ML ready talent or players, i.e. Cano.

Jim Callis
  (2:19 PM)

I think it would take more than that, and more than the Mets gave up for Santana. Santana's pending free agency and his no-trade clause gave him leverage and forced the Twins' hand, while the Padres don't have to deal Peavy.

Tim (O.C., Ca)

Jim, Do you think the Dodgers can beat the Red Sox in a World Series? They certainly have the pitching and now with Manny I think he would want to prove something to Red Sox management. You agree?

Jim Callis
  (2:20 PM)

Like, what, he's a great player when he tries? I think Red Sox management already knew that. The Dodgers can beat the Red Sox or Rays in the Series . . . there won't be a prohibitive favorite and anything can happen in a short series.

Mark (CT)

Jim, do you now consider Jon Lester a true ace in the same sense as Roy Halladay is an ace and not Justin Duscherer is an ace?

Jim Callis
  (2:20 PM)

Yes I do.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

As a Nats fan I've been hearing a lot about Stephen Strasburg lately. I've heard Prior and Price comparisons. Are these comparison legit or partially part of the hype? Could you give a quick synopsis of what to expect if he is taken #1 by the Nats in 2009. Thanks.

Jim Callis
  (2:21 PM)

The comps are made because they were both head and shoulders above the rest of the pitching talent in their draft (as was David Price). Prior was more polished than Strasburg, so I don't think that's the best comp. If the Nats do take Strasburg No. 1 overall, I predict he'll sign at 11:55 p.m. ET on Aug. 15 and be in Washington's rotation by mid-2011 at the latest.

Jolene, San Diego CA

If the draft were held today, would Donavan Tate make it out of the Top 10 picks?

Jim Callis
  (2:22 PM)

No. He's the top high school position player in the draft and would go in the middle of the Top 10.

Chad (Cascade,MD)

What do the o's have to do to make the playoffs?

Jim Callis
  (2:22 PM)

Change divisions. The Orioles are on the right track with their rebuilding, but I don't see how they're going to compete with the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays anytime soon.

Sean (Seattle)

Hey Jim, What ever happened to Kevin Howard out of Miami?

Jim Callis
  (2:23 PM)

Howard was a very good college player at Miami but his tools didn't profile well at any particular position. He signed with the Reds and has bounced around the minors, spending this year in Triple-A with the Dodgers and Mariners.

Jim (Rockville MD)

Jim, There's a lot of print around here about the Nats needing "to make a statement" and jump into the free-agent market with one/both feet, in order to "tell the fans" they're "dedicated to improving". Given (a) their decidedly mixed history (Guzman v. Castillo, et al.), (b) their current position, and (c) talk about the Lerner's tight pursestrings, what are your thoughts? Regardless of the strategy, I don't see much of a whiff at .500 for the next couple of years.

Jim Callis
  (2:25 PM)

I think it would be silly to go sign an expensive free agent. For one, the difference-makers aren't going to want to come to Washington when they can get more money and have more of a chance to win elsewhere. And two, throwing tens of millions at a Carlos Silva-type aren't going to help the Nationals win. They should sink most of their money into signing amateur talent.

Brett (Mount Prospect, IL)

How does Jess Todd project? The numbers are hard to ignore, yet scouts don't drool over him. He's not the next Kirk Saarloos, is he?

Jim Callis
  (2:25 PM)

Oh, scouts like him some. He's not big but he has a big arm and certainly bigger stuff than Saarloos had. (And I kind of liked Saarloos.) I think Todd will be a good setup man or maybe even a closer in the long run.

Eddie (Fresno)

Jim, If you were Brian Sabean, would you pair either Alderson or Bumgarner with Cain in a trade to get both Fielder and JJ Hardy?

Jim Callis
  (2:26 PM)

Probably not, as crazy as that sounds. I don't think that would make the Giants contenders next year, it would really drive up their payroll and it's hard to give up two frontline pitchers in any trade.

Marie: (Daly City, CA)

Who do you think the giants would pick if the draft was today? A position player, a pitcher, or the best available player?

Jim Callis
  (2:26 PM)

Best available player -- teams at the top of the draft always do this, unless they're crazy.

Mike (Jersey)

Can you give me a current MLB player who Gordon Beckham's ceiling would be equivalent to?

Jim Callis
  (2:28 PM)

Hmmm. Maybe J.J. Hardy from a production standpoint.

Jeff (MPLS)

Do the twin have the pieces to put together a trade for JJ Hardy? Is Revere worth involving?

Jim Callis
  (2:28 PM)

I'd say yes. I like Revere, but if the Twins can use him to make a major upgrade at SS, they should. Revere is at least two years away.

Gavin Solana Beach CA

If the Padres did trade Peavy to the Yankees wouldnt the trade have to start with either Joba or Hughes? along with an outfielder and another pitcher.

Jim Callis
  (2:29 PM)

I'd think it would have to start off with Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson, and the Yankees would have to add two more valuable chips.

Derrick Shea (cleveland)

You picked LA vs Boston for Ws, so Manny gets a ring either way if that happens?

Jim Callis
  (2:30 PM)

Hadn't thought of that. That's pretty funny.

Steve (Long Island, NY)

Are compensatory picks for unsigned players vulnerable to Type A FA signings?

Jim Callis
  (2:30 PM)

No, they're not.

David (Philly)

How much credit does Mike Arbuckle get for the Phillies success? Rollins, Howard, Burrell, Utley, Myers, Hamels and even (sadly) Gavin Floyd have all been great picks.

Jim Callis
  (2:30 PM)

Not as much as he deserves.

Mark (Boston)

Potential Delusional Red Sox trade question: Would Bowden or Bard + Level B prospect pry Teagarden away from the Rangers?

Jim Callis
  (2:33 PM)

The Rangers could have had Bowden as part of the Eric Gagne trade. Not sure they love him, but that trade could make some sense for Texas. Alleviates their catching logjam and brings in some nearly ready pitching.

Tim (Chicago)

Would Manny actually get a ring if BoSox won? Or is it up to the team?

Jim Callis
  (2:35 PM)

I think that traditionally everyone who appeared in a game during the season for the club gets a ring.

Brian (Brooklyn)

When Manny "quit" in Boston in June and July he still OPS-ed 930 and 1.060. That doesn't seem like quitting to me

Jim Callis
  (2:36 PM)

He wasn't running out ground balls and was missing games with a knee injury that didn't show up on an MRI. Call it what you want, I'll say he wasn't giving full effort.

Lightning Round Time

Here we go... Brewers SS next year: Hardy or Escobar? Brewers 1B next year: Fielder or someone else?

Jim Callis
  (2:36 PM)

Escobar and Fielder. I suspect they'll trade Hardy for some pitching.

erin - cincinnati

Amy trade value for Homer Bailey? Should the Reds keep him or trade him?

Jim Callis
  (2:37 PM)

There would be some trade value but the Reds will be selling low. Thus they should keep him.

Kevin (Boston)

Jim, before this year who did you think had a better shot at being an ace between Lester and Buchholz? Also do you think Buchholz can take a huge Lester like step forward next year? Or would that just be way too much to ask for any pitcher? Buchholz this year kind of reminded me of Lester pre cancer in '06 in how he put too many base runners on and seemed to nibble at the plate.

Jim Callis
  (2:40 PM)

I put Buchholz ahead of Lester in our projected 2011 Red Sox rotation, so I guess that was my vote for Buchholz. I do think he can be a lot better in the future than he was this year. He did have good stuff and struck out nearly a batter per inning in the majors, but he was horribly inconsistent and really seemed to lose his confidence, making it hard for him to get out of jams. I think improving his fastball command is step one.

123 (456)

Does adding Bowden to a group in Texas that includes Hurley, Harrison, Hunter, Feldman, and Mendoza really make that much sense? Texas seems to have a lot of major league ready mid- to back-of-the-rotation starters.

Jim Callis
  (2:42 PM)

I'd take Bowden over any of those guys. That said, if I'm the Rangers, I determine who my best catcher is, keep him and trade a couple of the others. I think their best catcher is Teagarden, so I wouldn't deal him.

Kyle (KC)

Can you see Texas putting together a package to go after Greinke?

Jim Callis
  (2:43 PM)

Sure, just not sure the Royals will trade him.

Ross (CA)

In most cases, do you think it is encouraging or discouraging for a frontline FA pitcher to join a rotation where he may not be the definitive Ace? Do players really care that muchg who slots in at 1 or 2?

Jim Callis
  (2:43 PM)

I don't think they care much at all.

Brian (Brooklyn)

Manny hasn't run out a ground ball in 15 years. Faking injuries used to be known as Manny being Manny. Now it became an issue?

Jim Callis
  (2:44 PM)

You can definitely argue the point that the Red Sox enabled Manny for years. But that doesn't excuse his conduct.

Vince PA

Any surprise that Japanese leagues are trying to block their amateur players from coming to the MLB

Jim Callis
  (2:45 PM)

No surprise. Though I don't understand how banning players for 2-3 years who want to come to MLB is going to deter them.

Anthony (Tampa)

What's the deal with defensive indifference? Shouldn't a stolen base be a stolen base. I don't believe they had this rule back in the day.

Jim Callis
  (2:46 PM)

I wondered the same thing the other night. I'd love to know when this became an option for the official scorer to decide. I'm not up in arms about it, because if the defense is giving up the base then the runner really isn't stealing it, is he?

JO (Chicago, IL)

I heard that the "brain" trust of the White Sox was thinking about putting Beckham at 3B. Have you heard this and if it is true what are they thinking? I still think Ramirez would best serve the team in CF.

Jim Callis
  (2:46 PM)

He'll play all over the infield in the AFL because he didn't get a priority slot. But they intend on keeping him at SS. Ultimately he'll be Alexei Ramirez' double-play partner as either a SS or 2B.

Jim Callis
  (2:47 PM)

Let's go to the lightning round . . .

JR (Vegas)

Better to overpay a Free Agent in years or dollars?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

I'd rather pay more money over a shorter time period so I could get the deal done quicker if it went bad.

Tim (Chicago)

Lee, SOriano, Ramirez - who are Cubs next year?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

All three.

Lunk, DC

If you're the Mets, what do you do: resign Oliver Perez or go for an FA?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

Both.

Brent

Top White Sox prospect: Poreda or Beckham?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

Beckham.

Gabe (lincoln CA)

Austin Jackson or Jordan Shafer?

Jim Callis
  (2:50 PM)

Schafer.

Tully (Boston)

Hey Brian from Brookyln- Was assaulting a clubhouse employee, hitting kevin youkilis, and calling out ownership - Manny Being Manny also? Get a clue

Andrew, Philadelphia

Does Lou Marson start at Catcher for the Phillies at some point next year?

Jim Callis
  (2:50 PM)

Yes.

Paul (San Francisco)

Lars Anderson Fenway ETA?

Jim Callis
  (2:50 PM)

2010.

Ross (CA)

Gut reaction: do one of Peavy, Cain, or Greinke get traded this offseason?

Jim Callis
  (2:51 PM)

Yes.

Paul (San Francisco)

Lars Anderson (man crush) or Jessica Alba post-baby?

Jim Callis
  (2:51 PM)

I'd have to go with Anderson. I've moved on from Alba, now infatuated with Anne Hathaway.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

In terms of upside: Lannan, Balester, Detwile, Zimmerman?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

I like Jordan Zimmermann the most of that crew, followed by Detwiler, Balester, Lannan.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

Who's the GM of the Phils next year?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

Ruben Amaro Jr.

Jeff (MPLS)

2009 Kubel or 2009 Garko?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

Kubel.

nick (albuquerque, nm)

does Cano recover from last season?

Jim Callis
  (2:53 PM)

Yes. He's better than that.

Mike, LA

Kendry Morales the real deal? Thanks.

Jim Callis
  (2:53 PM)

Yes.

Arin

What happened to Detwiler this year?

Jim Callis
  (2:53 PM)

Slow start, took him a while to adjust. I think he'll be fine in the long run.

Chris (Hoboken, NJ)

Anne Hatway huh? You and Matthew Berry both! Better shot at Anne Hathaway, Jim Callis or the TMR? Also, make sure you add Havoc to your DVD list :-)

Jim Callis
  (2:54 PM)

I have not talked to TMR about this. He probably has a better shot because 1) he has his Hollywood connections and 2) I'm married (no idea if Matt is). But in a level playing field, I'd have to have the advantage!

Joe (Washington, DC)

Complete this sentence: Next year Sabathia is playing for the _____ and Teixera is playing for the _____.

Jim Callis
  (2:54 PM)

Sabathia to the Yankees, Teixeira to the Angels.

slew (seattle)

carlos santana: top 100? 50? 20?

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

Top 50, though I haven't put my list together yet.

JR (Vegas)

Rank the following Bays: Jason, Michael, San Francisco, Baywatch

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

Jason, San Fran, Michael, Baywatch.

Craig (Vancouver)

You talked about an early mock draft last week in this chat that you had written for BA. I can't find it. Help!

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

It's in the issue headed to subscribers and should be up at baseballamerica.com any day now.

Gary (Sacramento)

Who reaches the majors for good first: Posey or Gillaspie?

Jim Callis
  (2:57 PM)

Posey.

Jake (San Francisco, CA)

I have a conundrum; if I ask a long question I fear it will never be read or answered, but if I shorten it I may sound stupid for not filling in all the details. What should I do?

Jim Callis
  (2:58 PM)

Ask the long question. If it catches my eye, I'll answer it.

Ian

True or False: Chris Parmalee 2012 = Adam Dunn now?

Jim Callis
  (2:58 PM)

False. I don't think Parmelee is going to become a regular 40-HR guy.

The Dirkatron (USA)

Pick the best Rangers' pitching prospect not named Holland or Feliz.

Jim Callis
  (3:01 PM)

Michael Main. Though I really like Robbie Ross and watch out for Martin Perez.

Daniel, SF

Does Lars Anderson get called up to play 1B every day if Lowell can't come back to full strength in 2009?

Jim Callis
  (3:01 PM)

Could see that by mid-2009 if Lowell isn't healthy.

Jake (San Francisco, CA)

OK, here it goes! If CC comes out and says he would like to play near his hometown in SF should the Giants just sign him, and worry about the money later? It would be difficult to have almost $60 million locked up into SP alone, but I think their top system has some promising bats that can fill MLB roles very soon. It also makes a pitcher like Cain somewhat expendable if the proper hitting prospects are offered in return. They have rotational stability for multiple years, and fill the gaps via trade because no FA sluggers want to sign there. Does that make sense?

Jim Callis
  (3:03 PM)

I see the logic, but I think the problem would be that the Giants would then be trading Cain for an expensive hitter, and the payroll would be taking off for a club that still would have a lot of holes.

Chris Tillman

I'm Starting for Baltimore when?

Jim Callis
  (3:03 PM)

Late 2009.

Jim Callis
  (3:03 PM)

I have to run now but you may get me chatting for an entire playoff game in the near future. See you then, or at least by next Wednesday.