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November 1, 7:57 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:55 PM)

The, um, 1:55 chat with Keith Law is about to start...

Mickey (Hermosa Beach, CA)

Keith, Any problems with the NL Gold Glove winners? To me, Victorino seems to the shakiest.

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

I doubt there could be any worse call than not giving Utley a Gold Glove. He was only the best defensive player in the league last year, right? If GGs weren't already a complete and utter joke, unworthy of even a moment of our attention, then that's where they are now.

Adam (Bethpage, NY)

ha! I'm still here

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

At least someone is... usually someone from ESPN calls if I'm late for a chat, but we're approaching 2 pm and no one did.

Dan (Oak)

Trevor Cahill vs Neftali Feliz...who has the higher ceiling and who has the higher probability?

Keith Law
  (1:58 PM)

Feliz has the higher ceiling, absolutely. Probability is close to even; Feliz could pitch right now out of a big-league pen, just airing it out and throwing some changeups, whereas Cahill is slightly more likely to work out as a starter. I'm thinking Feliz will be in my top 10-15 prospects overall when I do rankings.

Steve (Baltimore)

Do you believe trading players in the same division? If so, wouldn't an Alex Gordon for Delmon Young trade make since for both KC and Minn?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

I've always thought the idea that a team should pay more to acquire someone in-division was stupid. Value is value. If some team in your division offers 5% more than anyone else, take the deal. Gordon's defense at third has been shaky enough that the Twins should pause before taking that deal.

Eric (San Diego)

A little groggy out here on the west coast?...hmmm?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

I'm home.

Bob(New York)

Hey Klaw think Brad Penny could come into play for either new york teams?

Keith Law
  (2:00 PM)

Yes, or Boston a la Bartolo Colon last year. He's a great upside play if he'll take a one-year deal with incentives.

Chuck (Long Beach, NY)

If Jeter made the play Utley made in Game 5, how many "Jeter's Greatest Hits" montages would we still be seeing?

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

We already see too many of them. They'd just be 20 seconds longer.

Scott (Seattle)

Hey Klaw. I was wondering why Japanese players aren't subjected to the same service time requirements (i.e. 6 years for free agency) as other players? Or pretty much why the Mariner's were scared to lose Johjima after only 3 years.

Keith Law
  (2:02 PM)

I assume you mean once they come here. Most of those players have insisted on a no-arbitration clause - when the player's initial contract is up, he would be eligible for salary arbitration, but the club agrees in that initial contract not to offer it. It's a forced non-tender. And it's perfectly fair because otherwise those players wouldn't get to be true free agents until they were in their mid- to late 30s.

Pat (Philly)

What in the name of all that is holy has happened to Rich Hill? From promising late-blooming pitcher to complete washout. 75 walks for Rich Hill in 82 innings in 2008 (combined between all levels). 56 runs allowed.

Keith Law
  (2:03 PM)

I didn't see him live but I heard from a scout who saw him that he might have the yips (Steve Blass disease). I certainly hope not - I was never as high on Hill as a lot of stathounds were, but he was a strong 4th/5th starter candidate.

justin (atlanta)

did you read Kavalier and Clay yet???

Keith Law
  (2:03 PM)

I just got it via swaptree last week. I'm just past the halfway point in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is amazing.

Pat (Philly)

No GG for Fukudome. He was pretty fantastic in RF according to RZR and OOZ. I hope he was at least considered by the BBRAA

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

Didn't hit enough. I might think less of the Gold Gloves than I do of the BBRAA awards. And that's hard to do.

Russ (Vancouver)

Kinsler of Utley over the next 3 years? Same question for Joba and Price?

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

Utley. Probably Price because we've got a little uncertainty around Joba's shoulder.

clayton Dallas

Do u now anything about this martin perez, lefty prospect for rangers? More upside than holland?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

Yes, a lot more upside, but Holland is the better prospect for me right now because he's so close and still has big stuff.

Shawn (NYC)

You brought up Adenhardt in your blog...is he still a potential #1 or #2 or is he a back-end SP, or has he fallen far enough to be an RP? The stuff is still the same, isn't it?

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

Stuff is the same. Doesn't miss enough bats yet to be a potential #1/#2, but he has that type of stuff. I would bet that he can be had in a trade, based on how Tony Reagins talked about him when I asked him where Adenhart would be in April if the Angels executed on their offseason plans.

Jim (Chicago)

Would the White Sox be able to get Beltran from the Mets for Vasquez and Dye with Fernando Martinez nearly ready to take over CF?

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

Only if Omar took half a bottle of stupid pills that morning.

Tom(Toronto)

Keith, Does Ricky Romero really have a shot at the Jays rotation? What is his upside and your thoughts on David Purcey?

Keith Law
  (2:07 PM)

Yes, I think Romero is likely to win a rotation job if the Jays don't keep Burnett or bring in a starter from outside. Purcey can beat the Rays, but against everyone else he's his usual wild self. Romero's going to throw more strikes and he has three average pitches, probably a 55 changeup. The thing I like about Romero is that the worst-case scenario is a plus pen guy because he won't have a big platoon issue.

Steve (St. Louis)

Do you see the Cardinals trading Ludwick for Yunel Escobar? There have been some rumors and it would be a good sell high for the Cards. Would Atlanta do it?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Great deal for the Cards but I don't see Atlanta doing it. They really like Escobar and they don't have a ready replacement for him.

Andrew (Burbank, CA)

When do we get KLaw's Top 50 Free Agents? It's my favorite piece on ESPN.com all year.

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Next week, I think. Freaking Brewers screwed me up - I had Cameron written up too.

John Cincinnati, Ohio

Homer Bailey for Billy Butler. Who doesn't want to do it and why?

Rich ( Parker, Co )

Hello Keith! Would San Diego accept an offer of Hughes, Kennedy, and Melky for Peavy? Maybe add in a lower level infielder?

Keith Law
  (2:11 PM)

No, that's not even close to what the Padres want right now. All three of those players have reduced trade value now because they struggled in 2008. Of course, Ian Kennedy could probably post a 2.70 ERA in PETCO.

Ryan, Ottawa

Are the Dodgers annoucing this offer to Ramirez as their way of saying "We know we ain't gonna get him, but at least we tried."??

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

My thoughts exactly. I'm not sure why he would take a two-year deal. He should get at least three from the market. And if you believe that players reaching milestones is worth some extra revenue to the team, he's got a great shot to reach 3000 hits in the fourth year and could pass Willie Mays if he really goes bananas.

Patrick (Mobile, AL)

Do you see Peavy going to atlanta and if so will hanson be part of the deal.

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

I still think that's the most likely destination but Hanson and Heyward will not be part of the deal. The bigger question, again, is when and by how much SD lowers its asking price.

Jim (NJ)

Keith, Do you think either Utley or Rollins can complete a HOF career?

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

Utley yes, Rollins probably not, although who knows with that voter pool.

Joe (Raleigh)

Keith, From what I've heard, Jason Donald was exceptional in the AFL. Did you see him play? Does he have a future in Philly?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

He could play 3b for them every day next year and probably give them above-average defense, but less bat than you want at the spot. That means that he may have more value to them in trade to a club that needs a ss or 2b. If I'm Ruben Amaro, that's the guy I'm using to fill whatever needs I decide I have (another starter would be nice).

Paolo (Tempe, AZ)

What's your take on this rumors of the Dodgers being down on Russell Martin? Any hint of truth in them?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

Not enough to trade him. That's directly from Colletti. They don't have another catcher internally.

Jason (Salem, OR)

Could Strasburg possibly slide to the M's at #2 next summer?

Keith Law
  (2:18 PM)

Sure. If he has a slightly off spring, or some other player bursts forward, maybe a HS kid like Tyler Matzek (who has thrown much better this fall than he did over the summer, prob the #1 or #2 HS arm in the class now with Shelby Miller) or Donovan Tate.

Mike (San Diego)

Buster Olney speculates: "At some point, the Braves and Padres may well strike a deal built around shortstop Yunel Escobar, center fielder Jordan Schaefer, pitcher Charlie Morton and one more pitching prospect. The Padres are known to have interest in left-hander Jeff Locke, a 20-year-old who pitched in Class A last season." Is this enough in return for the Padres?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

Yes, that's more than I'd give up for Peavy. It does give them two major-league players (Morton goes right in their rotation) and two top prospects, but leaves Heyward and Hanson and Freeman and Flowers (how could they not have interest in Flowers??) in Atlanta.

Pat (Philly)

Is this Peavy to Cubs stuff just noise to make Atlanta panic, or are the Cubs competitive in this deal?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

I'm struggling to put together a good enough offer from the Cubs. Vitters and ... um ... well, they could send Ceda back.

David (PA)

Klaw, is there a way that we can fine the entire Astros' fanbase $5 each because of their complaints that no one received a GG despite having the fewest errors in the league?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

Done.

Jeremy (NYC)

What's going on with Matt Holliday? The Denver Post says Philly or Oakland are the most likely destinations. Sound right to you?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

When was the last time Oakland acquired a player like that? Expensive, one year left on his deal, bad defensive player. Plus it's not the sort of arbitrage opportunity those guys like - Holliday's value would take a big hit moving to the tougher league and to a huge park.

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

Oh, I missed the Butler/Bailey question ... I don't know that I could say either team would say no. Both orgs are down on their respective players - I mean, "we acquired to Mike Jacobs to play ahead of you" is the polite way of saying "we think you have no future in this game" - and the Reds are clearly frustrated with Bailey. The one hitch is that Butler's abilities are the same as ever while Bailey's velo has been AWOL for a while now.

adso (melk)

What is your opinion of The Name of the Rose?

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

Liked it. Clever, very well written. A little predictable at the end. Way better than Foucault's Pendulum.

Tim (Lynbrook, NY)

Carlos Santana would've been a nice replacement for Martin.

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

But Casey Blake is a winning player!

Brian (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Tell me Kenny Williams isn't selling low on Swisher and Vasquez. I can't take much more of this.

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

Vazquez is available. Haven't heard anything to substantiate the Swisher rumors.

Eric (Atlanta)

Suprised to not hear Cole Rohrbough's name brought up in the Padres talks. What is his ceiling?

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

I agree - mid-rotation starter potential, had a down year but as much due to injuries (biceps, then ankle) as anything else. In a deal like a Peavy trade, you want to try to add one guy at the back end who is undervalued at the moment - the way Oakland did getting Josh Donaldson.

Austin (Fort Worth, TX)

Are the Reangers actually going to do something, (trade a catcher for young pitcher) or is it just wishful thinking?

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

They're going to trade at least one of the four catchers. I can't imagine they get to March with more than three and I bet they're down to two.

Evan (Austin)

Hey now, not all us Astros fans are that dumb. Is there any way Ed Wade realizes this team is terrible and starts rebuilding sooner rather than later?

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

I don't think it's Wade - it's McLane. Wade is just following orders.

Ian (Bellingham, WA)

Utley is turning thirty this offseason. You really think he can maintain production long enough to make the Hall?

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

He's a good athlete and a plus-plus defensive player - those guys tend to age pretty well. Now, this is the part that might make my head explode, but the voters often look at stuff like Gold Gloves, so he needs to start winning some to boost his HoF chances. In my opinion, if a guy is the best player in baseball for a year or so and stays at/near that peak for a good 4-5 years, he's a HoF candidate. And Utley is the best player in baseball right now.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD)

Are Josh Smoker or Colten Willems going to be any good?

Keith Law
  (2:30 PM)

Both guys have lost velocity since signing. There is so much going wrong in that organization that I don't know where to start. Two people - one FO person, one writer - told me at the GM meetings that "Bowden must have pictures of someone" to still have his job. And oh, by the way, Bowden blew off the designated meet-the-media times both days and apparently bragged about intending to do so.

Zach(Toronto)

Keith, assuming Burnett isn't back, the Jays rotation looks like Halladay, Litsch, Janssen, Purcey and Romero atleast until McGowan is back. That seems weak, do you see them purusing a FA or a trade ?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

They're going to go hard after Burnett, but they're going to come up short $-wise relative to the Yankees and they need to hope that Burnett takes less money to stay in Toronto and work with Arnsberg. Failing that, I think you've got their rotation, although maybe Downs or Cecil takes Janssen's place or they sign a lower-level FA.

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

Just to follow up, JP did mention to me that they don't want to rush Cecil after he moved so fast in 2008, so I wasn't implying that he'd be in their Opening Day rotation.

Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

Better than me?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

Yes.

Will, Boston

Keith, glad you made it. Red eye back? With everyone high on Texas catchers can you say what each offers or rank them at least? Teagarden has got to be the best, hearing that they would want Bowden/Bucholtz for him right? Thanks

Keith Law
  (2:35 PM)

Bad redeye. About two rows behind me, there was a young girl, maybe 1.5-2 years old, who was up screaming for good chunks of the flight - I think the pressure in her ears was bothering her. Nothing you can do. 1. Teagarden 2. Ramirez 3. Saltalamacchia (I like his upside, but he was bad this year) 4. Laird. No one is commenting on whether Teagarden/Buchholz is actually on the table, but if I'm JD, that's where I start.

Matt (Athens OH)

I get that Utley should have had the gold glove this year. How reasonable a pick would Phillips have been in an Utley-less world?

Keith Law
  (2:35 PM)

Fair question. I wouldn't object to it.

Ben (St. louis)

Utley better than pujols or A-Rod? Really?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

Utley's glove is probably worth three wins at an up-the-middle position. Your two guys both play corners; Pujols' glove is great, A-Rod's not, and it's hard to have as much value at a position of less defensive importance.

Dan (des moines)

Klaw, do believe Moore will really trade Butler while his stock is low? Jacobs trade was horrible and will be worse if he does so, and just in case what could KC get for Butler?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

Yes, I think they'll trade him this winter and get half of what they should have gotten. Emphasis seems to be on pitching. By the way, Frank Wren told me flat-out that Francoeur's name hasn't come up, so Royals fans can take a breath.

Rob (Alaska)

Is it just me or is the Hot Stove stuff infuriating? The noise to signal ratio on trade rumors is like 1 to 1,000,000, but - here's the kicker - things actually do happen sometimes. Here's my question: do you enjoy this time of year?

Keith Law
  (2:38 PM)

I had a few execs tell me they felt like the media were running with rumors that had no basis - the word "fabricate" came up at least once - and that it was kind of wasting some of their time in that they end up responding to the ridiculousness. I can't blame them; some of the rumors are absurd on their face. I think the hot stove gets fun once free agency starts. Winter meetings are usually fantastic, and they'll be more so in Vegas this year.

Steven (Toronto)

Just too piggyback on the last Jays question, if were unable to bring back AJ and not add an impact bat, at some point does JP have to change the strategy for 09? into a rebuilding year? Move Doc for a ton of pieces and dump a contract like Overbay?s onto it? I mean were moving into Year 8 of the 5 year plan????

Keith Law
  (2:39 PM)

Like Houston, this is as much up to ownership (and the new President, still not chosen) as it is up to Ricciardi. I suppose he could try to sell them on rebuilding, but I don't think that's his preference anyway. Even with the shaky rotation they should bounce back enough offensively to stay in the low 80s in wins.

John (Houston)

You mentioned Flowers earlier and I gotta agree I'm surprised he's being overlooked. Do you think he's one of the most underrated prospects in the league?

Keith Law
  (2:40 PM)

Yes, absolutely. He can catch - not great, but he doesn't have to move - gets on base and has big raw power. Why don't we like him more?

Dan (DC)

Keith, thanks for the recommendation to eat at Frontier in Albuquerque. Pretty good. I read that a scout recently that Hanson has the potential to be the next Peavy. What's your opinion? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (2:40 PM)

I don't see those two players as comparable at all. They're not similar in stuff, delivery, or command.

Kevin (St. Paul, MN)

How much of a difference does a burr grinder make for drip or french press coffee? Or is it only really important for espresso?

Keith Law
  (2:41 PM)

Most important for espresso, but using a blade grinder, especially for larger amounts of coffee, can start to roast the beans again because of the heat generated, and you can get a slightly burned taste to your coffee. Kind of like going to Charbucks!

Andy (Roseville, Ca)

Keith, given the choice, who do you take: Eric Hosmer or Angel Villalona?

Keith Law
  (2:41 PM)

Hosmer.

Kasey (NJ)

What Major Leaguer is Wilmer Flores most comparable to? And is he a Top 100 prospect?

Keith Law
  (2:42 PM)

He's definitely in the top 100. I'm not hanging a big-league comp on a 17-yo in short-season ball.

Glen (SD)

I know you've stated your opinion about it in the past but I want to settle an argument with some friends. In your opinion is the best use for the best relief pitcher on the team his current role: the closer, or a new role in which he is used in high leverage situations, regardless of the inning.

Keith Law
  (2:42 PM)

The latter (new role).

Bruce (Philly)

Do you think the Phillies made the right decision choosing Amaro over Arbuckle (or someone outside the organization such as Keith Law)?

Keith Law
  (2:44 PM)

It's hard to say, because we can point to Arbuckle decisions, but as outsiders we don't know what Amaro's decisions were. I mean, he could have prepared the losing arb case in the Howard hearing, or he could have been the one saying "settle!" because he thought they were going to lose. We have no visibility into a front office like we do into scouting. I think losing Arbuckle, who quit because he was ticked off at being passed over, is huge.

Mark (berlin NJ)

i was thinking that if the phillies sign someone like Garland, and resign Moyer so we never have to see Adam Eaton (and hopefully kendirck.) in a phillies uni again it will make the phillies a far better team then last year. your thoughts?

Keith Law
  (2:45 PM)

I'm not a Garland fan at all, especially if he wants 3-4 years.

Colin (Madison, WI)

Do you think Josh Donaldson will play in the majors for Oakland at some point? He seemed to be out of position at catcher and his bat is a little inconsistent.

Keith Law
  (2:45 PM)

I think he's at least an average everyday catcher. I don't know what the knock on his defense is.

Marcos( miami, fl )

Mr. Law, do you see the Marlins trading Olsen to the Rangers for ramirez or jarrod S. If so, which one is better?

Keith Law
  (2:46 PM)

I wouldn't take a guy like Olsen, whose value has to be way down right now, for either of those catchers.

Shane (Boston)

If the Dodgers were to offer Russell Martin to the Red Sox, what would it take? And would you do it?

Keith Law
  (2:47 PM)

I'd deal Buchholz for him. And I still really, really like Buchholz. I think the scarcity at the position makes Martin's value more than Buchholz'.

Erik H(OutsPerSwing)

Can you explain what the fascination with Matt Holliday is? Away from Coors he's been an average-above average corner outfielder. The Rockies seem to have a big asking price for him. Do you see him being moved this winter?

Keith Law
  (2:49 PM)

I'm kind of with you. Even if we assume that his road stats are underrating him - I think that's been true for most Rockie hitters who've left - he's a below-average defender in a corner and I don't see him hitting 35 homers in a neutral park. He is absolutely available in trade right now, as is Atkins, although dealing one may mean they keep the other.

Greg (KC)

Hello Keith, I just read that Joe Posnanski said Micheal Young won the GG at SS, this is a joke along with McLouth...why even pay attention to the GG awards?

Keith Law
  (2:50 PM)

I don't. Nor should you.

Will (AZ)

Thanks for the chat. Please help me and buddy out on this one. David Price vs Max Scherzer. Who's better next season, career. Thanks

Keith Law
  (2:50 PM)

Price, Price.

Chris (staten island, NY)

Keith, are you surprised the Yankees may not pick up the option for Damaso Marte? While he struggled initially, he did well when he was used more as a left specialist down the stretch. If they let him walk, do you think they gave up too much for Xavier Nady, 3 months of Marte and the 2 draft pick compensation?

Keith Law
  (2:52 PM)

Very surprised, although I understand they want to re-sign him at a lower annual salary. I think he'll find a pretty good market. The only way that deal ends up looking bad for the Yanks is if Tabata fulfills his potential - and he did play very well after the trade, with a lot more energy. The Pirates are actually saying good things about his makeup and work ethic, which is a 180 from where he was in May/June.

mike

scale of 1-10 10 carlos silva, how bad was the lohse signing

Keith Law
  (2:52 PM)

I don't think it was bad. I wouldn't have given him four years, but when you see what other pitchers get this winter, I think it's going to look like a relative bargain.

Ryan (NC)

Former UNC closer Andrew Carrigan do you think he will make it to the bigs at some pt. in the next few years?

Keith Law
  (2:53 PM)

Yes, in the next two years.

Nathan (Marshall, Minnesota)

The Twins have gone a long time without any every day 3rd baseman. Is there any way they aquire Adrian Beltre, or someone else who could sure up the hot corner?

Keith Law
  (2:54 PM)

The Twins and Giants are two of the best fits for him. There's nothing imminent on that front though.

Rory (NYC)

Keith, where would you rank Josh Thole on the list of young catchers in the minors? He is having a fantastic AFL campaign.

Keith Law
  (2:55 PM)

Right now he'd project as a fringe starter or a strong backup in the majors. Don't get too excited over AFL stats. Mark Grudzielanek hit .422 there one year.

Jeff (NYC)

Austin Jackson...closer to gary matthews jr or curtis granderson?

Keith Law
  (2:56 PM)

In between. He's not Granderson-good in center, that's for sure.

Fred (LA, CA)

What is your take on Buster Olney's comments that the World Series should be at a neutral site?

Keith Law
  (2:58 PM)

He's hardly the only one to float what is a profoundly stupid and reactionary idea. I've seen that all over the place. It's just dumb - it's a complete overreaction to ONE rainout/suspension, and it would be a revenue loser for baseball. Aside from a slight inconvenience to fans attending the game - but really, were they complaining? - the split game 5 actually worked out well. It got a lot of extra media coverage and most fans I've talked to thought the 3.5-inning game was fun to watch.

Dave (Raleigh, NC)

Hindsight is 20-20, but with the way money is thrown around, if Lohse looks like a relative bargain, how would you rate the Meche signing two years ago?

Keith Law
  (2:59 PM)

I liked it at the time. He's been an above-average pitcher for two years, good for 200+ innings. If he had an opt-out clause, he'd get a lot more money this time around.

Kevin (San Diego)

Keith, why does baseball overreact to EVERYTHING? Now, because of the rainout we need to use a neutral site?! I've got some news for baseball: even in San Diego, where we have arguably the best weather in the country it rained for 2 straight days over the weekend!!! You want good weather? Finish the WS in mid-October.

Keith Law
  (3:00 PM)

Switch back to two divisions and cut the Division Series. But again, that's a revenue loser. Not going to happen.

Churchill (Seattle, WA)

Curious as to what your take is on the effect a manager has on a team rebuilding. Maddon, even with all his shortcomings with the bullpen, seems to have been quite critical for that club.

Keith Law
  (3:01 PM)

Pitcher management is the most important task for a developmental manager - getting guys in the right roles, regulating workloads, etc. It's easier for a GM to work with the mgr on a plan for hitters, and you're not yanking hitters in and out of games because they have a few bad at bats.

Fred (Long Island)

Consider this a GMAT question (no not the Graduate Business College examine but the General Manager Aptitude Test)-- What should Brian Cashman do for the Yankees Center Field position for next year? A. Melky B. Gardner C. Damon D. A. Jackson E. Other

Keith Law
  (3:02 PM)

The only acceptable answer of A-D is A. But I'd choose E.

Brian (NJ)

Keith, dont mean for this to be offensive, but wouldn't it be to the benefit of society for someone with your skills to use them in another way besides baseball? Not that politics is arguably that important, but look at what Nate Silver was able to do with his site.

Keith Law
  (3:03 PM)

Absolutely, turning politics/election-watching into a spectator sport was a great public service. I could do a lot of things for a living; why not pick something that's fun? If I pick Something of Great Meaning, but I don't enjoy it, I won't do it well anyway.

john (memphis)

How many times does the average person re-post the same question?

Keith Law
  (3:04 PM)

The average person? Maybe five times in an hour. It's the people who post 20 times in one minute who don't get answers.

Nate (Chapel Hill):

Where does Teixeira sign?

Keith Law
  (3:05 PM)

I think the Yankees end up with him and one of Sabatha/Burnett. I didn't mention Baltimore on Burnett - he could choose to spurn a top-dollar offer from the Yankees but go to Baltimore instead of Toronto.

Nick (Long Island, NY)

You say 'Mark Grudzielanek hit .422 there one year' like he is some sort of career minor leaguer. The guy has had played for 14 years in the big leagues and is a career .290 hitter.

Keith Law
  (3:06 PM)

Selective use of stats. Career stat line is .290/.332/.395, OPS+ of 90, and he was nothing special in the field.

Hightower NY, NY

Speaking of playoff criticism, will the first round ever be 7-game series?

Keith Law
  (3:06 PM)

I hope not. I don't want to have to watch playoff games on Thanksgiving, thanks.

Todd (Ann Arbor, MI)

Since the 3.5 inning game was such a huge success, I propose they change the format as follows: Day 1: 6 innings of game 1 Day 2: 3 innings of game 1, 6 innings of game 2 Repeat. Now they can start games at 9pm est and people can still see the ending before they go to sleep on the east coast.

Keith Law
  (3:08 PM)

I'm going to rant again ... I keep hearing complaints about the games ending too late for kids and working people. You want to talk about East Coast bias? They start the games late so that people on the West Coast don't have to leave work at 3 just to see the first inning! If this had been a Dodgers-Angels World Series and the East Coast Mafia had imposed a 7:05 EDT start time, who would have been happy?

Joel (Bham WA)

KLaw - It seems that most baseball analysts agree that gold gloves, silver sluggers, and other awards are handed out poorly but continue to use those awards as reasoning that a player should be in the hall of fame or that x player is better than player y. How can you guys claim the awards are lame but still use them to justify your arguments?

Keith Law
  (3:08 PM)

Your aim is less than true. Have I ever used a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger to justify any argument about a player?

Melissa CT

What do you think cc Sabathia contract will be

Keith Law
  (3:08 PM)

7/$150MM+.

Chris (Dallas, TX)

So the Tigers seem to think Ryan Perry could pitch out of the 'pen in '09. What are your thoughts on that? Read he has the great velo, but what about the command/secondary stuff?

Keith Law
  (3:10 PM)

Slider and changeup had good action but he was leaving them belt-high when I saw him in March. If he's able to change the hitter's eye levels better, yes, he could pitch in the majors in 2009.

John (NJ)

Could Brad Holt get ML hittiers out right now in a relief role?

Keith Law
  (3:11 PM)

No.

Todd Nizzle, SF

Any Giants news from the meetings? What do you see Sanchez's value as?

Keith Law
  (3:12 PM)

I saw Sabean once the entire time, and he didn't come to the GM/media hour either (although to be fair, he never does). I think they should hang on to Sanchez - he's likely to be much better in 2009 than he was in 2008. They're not as bad a team as you might think; if they add a bat and one or two good defensive players in the infield, plus get a full year of Sandoval ... Cain improves and gets some run support, Sanchez improves ... it's not hard to see them winning 83-85 games, which is contention in that division.

Pat (Philly)

Im positive I asked this question earlier this year, but I cant find it in the chat logs. Anyways the question is, Soto or Russel over the next 5 years?

Keith Law
  (3:13 PM)

I don't think you asked me. Whole package? I'd probably take Martin. Younger, better defender, outweighs Soto's superior bat.

Dave, San Jose

Keith, love your stuff & your ability to mix in food & literature, always good to have someone in the rotation who can command a few pitches. If I had to rate you on the scouting scale I'd give you a 70 on the baseball analysis, a 60 on literature and a 65 on the food. Ok now that we've dispensed with the Klaw-butt kissing, please tell me which 5 prospects in your top 20 or so are going to get the most PT in 2009 & why? Thanks!

Keith Law
  (3:14 PM)

Price, Wieters, Snider, and Rasmus for starters. Maybin, if he's still in the top 20.

Brian (Philly)

Curious as to what your favorite movie all-time is?

Keith Law
  (3:15 PM)

Probably Amelie. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is another one. Charade. Double Indemnity. I'll do a top 100 on the dish this offseason.

Rob (Alaska)

Speaking of Pablo Sandoval, would a team be better off with a guy who also can play elsewhere as their #2 catcher than the no-hit, some-glove guys that usually get that spot? Doesn't that buy teams an extra spot on the 25-man roster essentially?

Keith Law
  (3:15 PM)

Yes. But most managers wake up in a cold sweat at night at the thought of running out of catchers during a game, so it's not likely to happen.

Ifs and buts (Yearlong Christmas)

Lot of ifs for the Giants, no? You could if the Nats to just over .500. Well, maybe not them.

Keith Law
  (3:16 PM)

Nor the Mariners. I was asked by our editor if I could find a 90-loss team that could end up contending. I ended up going to the GM meetings instead of doing that article, but the Giants would have been my pick. Good pitching, bad division.

Jon (DC)

Gotta love Bowden. That Dmitri Young move is really panning out.

Keith Law
  (3:17 PM)

Remember the angry Nats fans who said I was just anti-Bowden when I panned the Young and Belliard contracts? Yeah. They're not here any more.

Todd (atlanta)

Hey Keith, Rob Neyer mentioned yesterday that he thought Tram was a HOFer in the context that he and Concepcion shoudl be in before Omar Visquel. Agree? Is Tram a HOFer? Why no love for the man from the powers that be?

Keith Law
  (3:18 PM)

I think he's a HoFer, but defense isn't properly valued and his stats don't look as impressive compared to the offensive shortstops who arrived in the 1990s. He's a lost cause - better to fight for Tim Raines.

Kyle J (Philadelphia, PA)

Cooking Question: So you salt the water for pasta, rice, etc. Ever use other spices in addition to salting the water?

Keith Law
  (3:19 PM)

No, spices usually work best if "activated" in hot oil, so I might add them to the sauce, or to the onions at the start of a pilaf, but not to the water.

Neil (MA)

If Porcello continues to impress at AA and maybe AAA next year....could the tigers see him in spot starts next summer?

Keith Law
  (3:19 PM)

I wouldn't support or expect that.

Julius (Miami)

Wait, theres such a thing as a Nats fan?

Keith Law
  (3:19 PM)

They're an amusingly angry bunch. Their GM has done a horrible job and is in legal trouble and they like to deflect their anger on people who criticize the team's moves.

Kyle(Philadelphia)

Do the Phillies have the prospects to get Holliday?

Keith Law
  (3:20 PM)

Carrasco, Donald, Taylor? Why not? I'm not saying they will do it, but the Rockies would have to listen to that, right?

Nick (Allston, MA)

Do the Sox still win in 07 if they had kept Hanley and signed Burnett? What about 08?

Keith Law
  (3:20 PM)

No on 2007. Maybe on 2008 given Burnett's contract-year push.

Steve (Boston)

WOW! Is this your first chat with minimal Red Sox questions???

Keith Law
  (3:22 PM)

I'm on a small-markets kick this week. Both my notes columns from the GM meetings focused on clubs outside NY and LA. I went to talk to the lonely GMs - there were no local writers from Pittsburgh or Toronto there, just one from St. Louis, I think one each from Cleveland and Detroit, etc. Why go annoy Kevin Towers with 20 other writers looking for the same empty quotes when you can have a real conversation with a GM who probably wants to talk to you about his plans?

SJ (Troy, NY)

Zach Daeges. Any chance for big leagues? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (3:22 PM)

Bench guy, maybe. Not a starter.

Chris (NJ)

I'm with on Raines, but he'll have to stand in line since '09 is the Jim Rice Love Fest. Can we expect some new non-quantifiable terms added to the English language by Boston writers in the coming months?

Keith Law
  (3:23 PM)

I set the nation's Hyperbole Threat Level to red after the election, but I'm going to leave it there through the HoF announcements. Vigilance is key.

Ben (New York, NY)

Phil Coke: Flash in the plan, or good bullpen arm?

Keith Law
  (3:24 PM)

How about "useful" bullpen arm? I think he spends much of 2009 if not all in their pen. It's telling that they haven't been linked to any free agent relievers yet - other than Marte, it might be all kids in the setup corps.

Ellis (Kansas)

How good do you think Zach Greike can be?

Keith Law
  (3:24 PM)

#2 starter, maybe even more. If the Royals do make him available, the queue of GMs at the Bellaggio should stretch to the Venetian.

Jan (Amsterdam)

Small market kick, huh? How about an A's question? What's the next step in the Billy Beane master rebuilding plan? Is it time to start adding established ML talent or still trying to stockpile the minor league system? Who's left that would have value in a trade?

Keith Law
  (3:25 PM)

I think it's still all about value. If they can package a few of the prospects they have to get a young big leaguer who's cost-controlled for a few years, they'll do it. But they're also happy to sit on the prospect bulk they accumulated and let the kids trickle into the big league club.

Matt (Phoenix)

Your thoughts on what Peter Gammons said last night. "Shorten the season by 14 games and have and extra wild card team. The two wild card teams play 3 game series to make divisional round".

Keith Law
  (3:26 PM)

I don't want more playoffs. The regular season just gets devalued under that plan. It'll turn into the NHL.

Bob(Lowell)

What do you think happens with Giambi? Also on the starting times in WS, I would rather miss the first 3 innings of a game than the last 3.

Keith Law
  (3:27 PM)

I don't think he signs early - too many superior options, not a lot of teams with DH openings. Move further west.

Jon (Columbia, SC):

What order would these guys be drafted if they were all eligible for the 2009 draft: Inoa, Darvish, Strasburg, Harper

Keith Law
  (3:27 PM)

Darvish, Harper, Strasburg, Inoa.

Alexei Ramirez

Were you late due to watching the Alexei Ramirez Batting Technique dvd?

Keith Law
  (3:28 PM)

No, I got sucked into a Derek Jeter fielding highlight reel.

Keith Law
  (3:28 PM)

Thanks for all the questions - sorry about the late start!