I suspect free-agent and trade questions will carry the day, and I'll be happy to speculate along with you. But you know I'm a sucker for prospect questions, too, so keep those coming. We just unveiled our first organization Top 10 (Orioles) over at baseballamerica.com.
Can Logan Morrison make the Marlins out of ST?
He'd be a real longshot. Morrison is one of the best unheralded prospects in the minors, but I think Gaby Sanchez gets first shot to replace Mike Jacobs. In time, Morrison will wrest the job from Sanchez, just not in 2009.
Where did Mark Melancon rank on the Yankees list? Who is a good MLB comparision for him? Thanks!
Melancon checked in at No. 9. I hate to force comps and I can't think of an obvious one for Melancon, but I will say that he's got the best chance of any Yankees farmhand to eventually take over from Rivera as closer. That is, if Rivera ever stops being money.
is it time to panic as Austin Jackson keeps struggling? (2K's and no hits last night)
No! Regulars to these chats know my mantra about not worrying about fall/winter stats too much. Jackson is going to be a solid big league regular for the Yankees.
I know your Red Sox Top 10 Prospects list doesn't go live on BA's site for a couple of days now, but can you tell me if Ryan Westmoreland made it and if so, where? Gracias.
Sure, we can do another sneak preview. Ryan Westmoreland was No. 7 on the Red Sox Top 10. Tremendous athlete, can't wait to see what he does in his debut next year.
Why would the Giants send Posey to the HWL and not the AFL? Were AFL rosters already built before he signed?
In the AFL, teams reserve certain positions. My guess (without looking) is either the Giants didn't have dibs on a regular catcher slot, or they already had assigned someone there and didn't want to pull them out.
How much are you playing into the report that Peter Gammons is stating CC is telling his friends he does not want to play in New York? And what percentage are you giving the Brewers of re-signing CC?
I treat all rumors as exactly that, rumors. There also have been stories that Sabathia won't leave money on the table, and we know that the MLBPA will strongly encourage him to take the highest deal and not worry about any intangibles.
Jim, love the chats. Interested in weather or not you think Maybin will be a starting OF in FLA next year. If so what can we expect of him. He was so highly touted, but is a .265 BA, with 10 HR, 35 SB too much to ask?
I don't think Maybin will walk right in and tear up the majors, so those numbers are realistic. Might be more like 15 HR and 25 SB.
Sorry, got on the phone there for a couple of minutes . . .
Is Greg Golson ready to play with the Phils next year?
Great tools, not a ton of refinement. I don't think he's nearly consistent enough to be a regular, especially on a good team.
What would it take for the Braves to pry Magglio loose from the Tigers? If they gave up M. Gonzalez, Lillibridge, and a pitcher (Morton?), would it be sufficient to get the Tigers to eat 4-5 mil for this year (Braves responsible for the balance of the 3 years)?
The Tigers might want to shed the bulk of the guaranteed $36 million remaining on Ordonez' contract, but that package seems a little light to me.
Could you tell us what the future holds for Jeff Niemann? He's got good mechanics for a starter, but Friedman has yet to give him legit time in the Majors, and their rotation is full. Thanks. Redrum!
I think he's destined to be trade bait for the Rays, who already have to squeeze David Price into their rotation and have Wade Davis next in line.
Scott Boras is in a state of denial over "the captain's" decline. Can't the Red Sox just offer him arbitration? If he accepts it's a one year commitment...if he signs somewhere else he is a Type A free agent. Thanks
I think that's the likely move for the Red Sox. They'd love to have him back at a reasonable price, but Boras sounded delusional and not reasonable in his Varitek comments yesterday. Boston surely would rather commit for one year rather than three or four, and if he leaves, they'd get two draft picks.
Can James McDonald be a solid back of the rotation guy for LA in 2009? How does he project in the long run?
Yes, he could. In the long run, he's a No. 3 or 4 starter.
What do you think about Cano and Hughes and Matsui to the M's for Felix Hernandez ?
I think there's our Ridiculous Yankees-Related Trade Selection of the Week.
The Reds rotation is pretty set 1-4 (Volquez, Harang, Cueto, Arroyo), but who do you see emrging as the 5th starter for the Reds out of: Micah Owings, Homer Bailey, Daryl Thompson, Ramon Ramierez, and Matt Maloney?
I'd still give Bailey every opportunity. If it's not him, wouldn't surprise me if Matt Maloney snuck in there.
Any thoughts on the Yankees making a play for Nick Swisher to play 1B?
Wouldn't be a bad move if they couldn't land Teixeira. I think Swisher will bounce back some in 2009, providing HR and OBP at a reasonable cost.
I see that the Top 10 lists are starting to come out over at BA.com. Thank you!! Where do you see the top 3 or 4 shaking out for the Brewers? Alcides, Gamel, Lawrie, Jeffress?
Those are the top four, though not quite in that order. You'll have to wait for the actual list.
So the Brewers offered CC $100M, probably over 5 years. I realize that if someone offers 6 years at say $125, it would be hard to turn down, but it would also get him to Free Agency a year sooner. Or was the Brewers offer just a formality to justify their trade, with no intent of actually getting him?
I think the Brewers are very sincere about bringing him back and are offering him as much money as they think they can afford. But richer teams will be able to trump that.
Joba, Lester, Lincecum...Rank em' 2 years down the road.
Lincecum, Lester, Joba. Joba still has to prove he can hold up as a starter.
Jim, great chat....Could you rank the 4 Rangers catchers (Tea, Laird, Max R., Salty) only by who would have the most trade value. Who would you deal if you were Jon Daniels?
For me, it would be Teagarden, Saltalamacchia, Laird, Ramirez. Looking to keep my best guy while maximizing what I could get in return, I'd deal Salty.
Jim I just read the Orioles top 10 list and I noticed Troy Patton was 8th on the list. Why so low?
He did miss the entire 2008 season with a labrum tear. Before that, he was as much about savvy as stuff, and we'll have to see how the stuff bounces back.
What do you know about Tigers farmhand Guillermo Moscoso? His numbers from A+ and AA were excellent. Is he a legit prosepct?
He is, one of the better prospects in the Tigers sytem. He has a 91-92 mph with nice riding life, needs to develop some secondary pitches and prove he can stay healthy.
Do you think Parmelee could develop into Adam Dunn Jr. in the majors? He has great plate discipline and decent power. Could he an effective DH?
That's a stretch for me. Dunn was a lot more effective in the Midwest League at the same stage of their careers. I see what you're saying, that Parmelee is out of the same mold, but he's not that kind of prospect right now.
Did you enjoy the Georgia/Florida game? The 'dogs had that coming after last year.
That was not much fun to watch.
Are you ready for some lightning round? I'm ready for some lightning round.
Thoughts on the Aaron Heilman and Parnell or Niese for Sonnanstine or Edwin Jackson rumors?
Would make some sense for both sides, seems reasonable enough.
I know I am asking for a premature evaluation (ha ha), but how do the Orioles' Top 10 compare to the other teams in baseball.
Good start with Wieters, Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta, then it starts to peter out pretty quickly. Their Top 10 probably ranks in the middle of the pack. I haven't tried to stack them all up yet.
Who's a better pitcher this season: Kershaw or Billingsley? 3 years from now?
Billingsley in 2009, Kershaw in 2011.
Who do you want in 2012 - Lester or Buchholz?
Lester. Still have faith in Buchholz, though.
do the angels, blow this team up. and start with a new approach. the can't win in the postseason with that they have
I disagree. The Red Sox didn't so much outplay them as much as they caught a couple of breaks and had a couple more timely hits. The Angels very well could have won this year, they just didn't. Just need some fine-tuning, not demolition.
Jim, Love your insights. As a follow up to Ben's question,Who is the bigger bust at this point in his career, Hughes or Bailey? They were the top two pitching prospects for a few years and as high as #4 and #5 overall.
Bailey would be the bigger bust at this point. Hughes has had more big league success and he hasn't been 100 percent very much due to nagging injuries.
Niese/Pelfrey or Joba/Hughes?
Joba/Hughes, not close.
Bowden or Teagarden? Masterson or Teagarden?
I'll put it this way. If I'm the Red Sox, I'd part with Bowden for Teagarden but wouldn't want to give up Masterson. Not sure the Rangers would do it for Bowden, though.
So are you still against the Braves trading a prospect package for Jake Peavy?
Yes. Still think they're more than one player away and that Peavy will slightly disappoint whoever gets him.
What's bigger.. your hate of Mike Pelfrey.. or the Grand Canyon?
Grand Canyon by far, because I don't hate Mike Pelfrey. I just call them like I see them.
David Huff or Michael Bowden?
Hmm. Very tough. Might take Bowden because Huff had elbow problems in 2007.
Vitters or Weiters, who has the better MLB career?
Cain for Rasmus. Who blinks first?
Giants. They'd want a little more.
Casey Kelly: Hitter or Pitcher?
Pitcher in the long run.
Joba/Hughes/Kennedy or Lester/Buckholz/Bowden?
Jon Niese or James McDonald?
Beckett or Peavy?
Beckett. Has proven he can pitch outside of a pitcher's park and has a much better track record in big games.
Your take on Matt Moore? Does he need to repeat his success at a higher level to justify his outstanding season in 2008?
Matt Moore is a sleeper LHP in the Rays system. Could be one of the biggest breakout prospects in 2009.
Salty for Homer Bailey. Do the Reds do it?
Yes. Not sure the Rangers would.
Jon Niese or Wade Davis?
Derrik Gibson: The next Pedoria but taller?
No. They're totally different types of players.
What about a Dan Bard/ Carlos Santana swap? Fills needs for both teams, no?
But a regular catcher, especially one with star potential, is more valuable than a reliever. Indians wouldn't do that.
Beavan or Main?
Most likely to be a future All-Star: Lou Marson, Dominic Brown, Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, Jason Donald, Greg Golson?
STL Brian Anderson to SD for Khalil Greene?
Seems fair to me.
If the draft were held today, where would Grant Green get picked?
He'd be the top hitter taken, could go as high as No. 2.
How quickly does Brett Wallace make it to St. Louis, and what's his ceiling?
I have no doubt he'll hit for high average and solid power. Don't really think he's cut out for 3B but he'll play there with Pujols at 1B. I bet Wallace is starting on Opening Day 2010.
Ridiculous Yankees-Related Trade Selection of the Week Take 2: If Hughes+ Melky + Kennedy (equivalent to Hughes + Cano I think) could have gotten us Johan last year, what could Hughes + Cano get us now?
The problem is that every one of those four players has taken a hit in terms of trade value. So they're not going to bring back as much as you might think.
Can the Mets get Davis from the Rays for Heilman and Parnell?
What would it take you to change your mind on Pelfrey?
I like him, just don't love him as much as Mets fans apparently do.
How fast will Jesus Montero make it to the bigs?
Depends on how long he stays at catcher. If he moves, he might make it up in two years.
Scott Boras asking for Posada money for Varitek...insane or sane?
Insane is putting it lightly.
Texeira over/under 8 yrs 160 million
Total value over $160 million.
Looks like the end of the line for Vizquel. Would you put him in the Hall?
No. His bat was way too light and his defense, while stellar, doesn't make the whole package Cooperstown-worthy. I'd take guys like Alan Trammel and Dave Concepcion over Vizquel.
If you're the Padres, do you want Heyward, Hanson, or Yunel Escobar more?
Buzzer beater. Do the Phils bring back Pat Burrell or does he end up in the AL?
How good is anthony hewitt? I heard that he could be the most athletic player to come out of this past year's draft. Is that true?
Yes, he is the best athlete in the draft. But I'm not sold on the bat at all.
Should Matt Kemp be traded?
I'd hold onto him if I were running the Dodgers.
Tram is my hero - what will it take for him to get in the HOF?
Better recognition of exactly how good he was. The credentials are there for me.
Taking the HOF aside, Vizquel's defense was much better than Trammel/Concepcion's, right?
Yes. But Trammell won four Gold Gloves and Concepcion won five, and both were much more dangerous hitters than Vizquel.
Not to pick on Vizquel, but he's been an all-star three times in 20 years. That doesn't say HOF to me.
Kyle Banks or Adrian Gonzalez.
Is Barry Larkin a first ballot HoF?
Would be for me.
Ike Davis or Reese Havens?
Longoria/Upton or Votto/Bruce?
That's it for today. See you next week.