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November 7, 11:21 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:00 PM)

Good fortune happy lucky big time for you and family!

Jesse (Los Angeles, CA)

Boras feels the Dodger offer of $45 million was not "serious". Do you think it was a low ball offer?

Keith Law
  (1:01 PM)

I think Scott knows exactly what to say to get maximum exposure.

Denis (Palo Alto, CA)

Was that really the most Kenny Williams could get for Nick Swisher?

Keith Law
  (1:02 PM)

Probably, assuming that he had to be traded this week or else explode into teeny tiny pieces each the size of David Eckstein.

Antonio (Chicago, IL)

Two talented guys with injury histories on the market... not AJ and Ben but Wood and Prior: what kind of interest will there be in them?

Keith Law
  (1:03 PM)

Plenty on Wood - Cleveland and Detroit come to mind, both looking for proven closers - probably just some tire-kicking on Prior.

James Sirbek Valparaiso Indiana

What do you think the White Sox will do this offseason?? I think they should go after Mark Teixeira. What do you think?

Keith Law
  (1:03 PM)

This question was submitted maybe two hours ago, and I still don't get it. Where would he play? Shortstop?

Biddy

keith, brined some pork chops the other day. huge difference. amazing stuff. quick question: how many compensatory picks can the yanks expect from their crop of free agents?

Keith Law
  (1:05 PM)

Their draft could end up hilariously complex. They get a comp pick for not signing Cole, and another for not signing Bittle. They could get a comp pick for losing Pudge, and a comp pick + a late first-rounder/early second-rounder for Abreu. And they're likely to lose at least their first two "regular" picks after signing Type A free agents, maybe even three. http://riveraveblues.com/2009-draft-order/ has the details.

Adrian (Libertyville IL)

Love the White Sox questions. What do you think the 4 newbies for the White Sox will do this year. Can Alexi, Carlos, John and Gavin have the same type of years they had in 08?

Keith Law
  (1:05 PM)

Yes, not quite, yes, no.

Dan (Thousand Oaks, CA)

Keith, Does Varitek's amazing ability to call games have anything to do with him being a Type A free agent? As someone who despises the Dodgers, I'm hoping there's some truth to the rumor that they're considering moving Martin (either to third or another team) to make room for Varitek. I'm worried, though, that his Type A status will scare them off. Is there anyway we can get him knocked down to Type B?

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

Colletti told me and two other writers at the GM meetings that he's not trading Martin. I think he told Rosenthal the same thing this week.

Ian (Bellingham, WA)

You have good things to say about Tazawa in your free agent rankings. A twenty-two year old potential number two starter with three pitches average or better? Why did you rank him so low? Are you accounting for development time and ranking him based on immediate impact?

Keith Law
  (1:08 PM)

One is the fact that his peak value is further away from today than any other FA on the list. The other is that there's a lot more uncertainty around him than just about anyone else on the list. We have very little to go on here other than secondhand scouting reports and some brief video - no stats, for example, because he's not even in the Japanese major leagues.

Mike (San Diego)

Hoffman wound't accept the Padres' $4 million one year offer with a club option. Do you think he can really do better on the open market?

Keith Law
  (1:08 PM)

No. I think that offer amounted to charity.

Adam (Roselle, IL)

RIP FJM

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

I heard the BBRAA will have champagne and truffles at their meetings next month.

Josh

Is your blog out from behind the wall for good?

Keith Law
  (1:10 PM)

I don't know the answer to that. They're making some changes to what is and isn't Insider. Insider is not going away.

Bobby - Grand Rapids, MI

Hey Keith, do the Tigers have any shot at K-Rod?

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

Yes, once his price comes down.

Eric Byrnes (in the Shagwagon)

Keith, how much more damage is my contract going to do to the Snakes?

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

I think you're just getting started.

Lucas (Athens, GA)

What happened to the rumored Peavy trades? Is the deal to Atlanta completely dead?

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

No, it was just never as close as rumored.

Nathan (Chicago)

What can you tell me about Marquez? I read he was a top 10 prospect in the Yanks organization so where does he fit with the Sox? Will he beat out Richard for the 5th starter spot? Will Betemit hold off Fields at 3B?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Marquez right now does not project as a starter in the majors, and Fields is a way better bet than Betemit. I can't imagine who had Marquez as a top 10 prospect for the Yanks - he's never been that kind of arm.

Jeff Larish (Arizona)

Can I be a fulltime 3rd baseman?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Probably not.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

Which pitcher has the most upside on a 1-year deal: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Brad Penny?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Penny, easily, but he's the highest risk of the three too.

nick (albuquerque, nm)

Mr. Law, i just read your blog about the Swisher trade. Do you really see him having a big bounce back this season? Does this mean the Yanks are out of the Tex bidding? Thanks!

Keith Law
  (1:15 PM)

I think he'll have a much better 2009 than 2008, but assuming he'll return to his form from before that is optimsitic. The Yanks are indicating that this means they're out of the Teixeira bidding ... but I don't believe it.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think the Mets are all in on Francisco Rodriguez?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

No, my understanding is that they prefer Fuentes.

Mike (DC)

Who is the 4th best pitching prospect for the O's? (after Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta)

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

Erbe. And I'd probably have Matusz over Tillman - Tillman has a great arm, great build, but his command is below-average and his feel for pitching is very limited. He's younger than Matusz and Arrieta.

Victor (NYC)

I know he's not but if Peavy was a FA where would he rank on your FA list? And just humor me because I'm arguing this with my friends, would Hughes and Cano be enough for him or would that be $5?

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

I'm guessing Hughes & Cano is the start of a feasible package but not a complete one. Padres might counter with Hughes, Cano, Cabrera, McAllister? I'm really just speculating there. Peavy would be ... 4th or 5th.

Edison Volquez (Cincinatti)

I was so close this year, I think with decent numbers I should be able to win Rookie of the Year in 2009. What do you think?

Keith Law
  (1:19 PM)

Jamie Moyer's the favorite there.

Ross (CA)

Gonna miss the chat thanks to a flight to Vegas, not complaining, but I was wondering what you estimate some of the Giant's veterans trade value to be? It seems that Randy Winn and Bengie Molina could have some decent value if Sabean decides to shop them.

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

Molina more than Winn. If you have a non-sucky veteran catcher you don't mind parting with, this is the time to move him. I would assume the Orioles would trade Ramon Hernandez for a fair return, with Wieters coming, and the Giants could fake it back there for a year or so while they wait for the Posey train.

Stunned Nats fan, DC

Couldn't the Marlins have gotten more than Bonafacio for Olsen AND Willingham? Did they like start at the bottom of teams alphabetically?

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

I don't get it at all. Especially Smolinski - coming off major knee surgery, no power, probably stuck in LF now. Why?

Adam (Chicago)

In your blog, you mentioned that the White Sox would probably teach Marquez a cutter. Are they better than other orginazations at teaching this? I wasn't sure what you were implying there.

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

That's exactly it - they teach nearly all their pitchers cutters and in general it's worked well for them. They took Danks from 4/5 status to at least solid #2 status by teaching him a cutter.

scott (rochester, ny)

Do you see any takers for Bobby Crosby? If so, who and what could the A's get for him?

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

No, I don't.

Dave (Houston)

How much did Manny pay you to write "all available evidence says Ramirez did far, far more to help the Red Sox in 2008 than he did to hurt them"?

Keith Law
  (1:22 PM)

What did he do to hurt them? I'm looking for specifics, not regurgitation of angry media/blog reports about how he didn't play hard enough. I agree that he didn't run out groundballs like he should have, but he hit well in his time there, including a very strong July during the time he was supposedly dogging it.

Steve (NYC)

Keith, Swisher's BB, K, LD, GB rates and ISOP were essentially unchanged from '07 to '08, but his BABIP dropped from .308 to .251. Does bad luck explain most of his supposed decline last year?

Keith Law
  (1:23 PM)

I've gotten a bunch of questions along these lines ... hitter BABIP isn't entirely luck. A drop in BABIP could also reflect erosion of skills. Swisher is young for that, of course, but we can't just discount the possibility. When I saw him this year, his bat was absolutely slower than in the past.

Robert(Tampa, FL)

Will Sternburg spend the money this offseason on a closer or RF or will the Rays stay true to their cost friendly approach

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

They have to dedicate a lot of salary to raises for all their arb-eligible guys plus players with contracted raises. I don't think they have the flexibility to go get a $15MM player.

Brian (Colorado)

So I realize the logic fail is that the Rockies are interested in winning, but couldn't the Rockies have gotten a starting pitcher better than anyone on their staff for Matt Holliday and wouldn't that have made them a playoff contender?

Keith Law
  (1:25 PM)

I do think they could have gotten a better starter if they'd held on to Holliday into the trade season, but I don't know that for certain. They're more than just one good starter away from contention once you delete Holliday, though.

David (Philly)

You must really not like Sheet's injury risk to have him in the 30s. Why so low on him but higher on Burnett?

Keith Law
  (1:26 PM)

Because of uncertainty. Sheets was telling people in October he had a torn tendon. Now it's just "forearm soreness." And whatever it was, he didn't look good pitching through it in September. He would have been probably 3rd or 4th overall if he was 100% healthy.

scorekeeper(lancaster)

hey the astros class a affiliate just moved to lancaster. any names i should look for?

Keith Law
  (1:26 PM)

I assume Jason Castro will start there next year.

Tim (Chicago)

"The Yanks could still sign Teixeira and play Swisher in left, benching Hideki Matsui (often hurt and not very good when he plays)." Am I reading too much into this comment or do you actually believe that Swisher is better than a healthy Matsui? I'm curious as to what would lead you to that assumption other than heavily weighing their fielding abilities. At least Matsui has the excuse of injury to post a .294/.370/.424. What was Swisher's excuse for his even worse .219/.332/.410? If the Yanks enter the season with Swisher as an everyday player their offense will once again fail to score runs. I would imagine Cashman is thinking along those same lines.

Keith Law
  (1:28 PM)

Matsui can barely play LF at all now, and I know Pete Abraham (LoHud) said Matsui's going to DH. I think a better-than-2008 Swisher, offense + defense, is better than Matsui and his bad knees as a LF option.

Ethan (Pittsfield, MA)

Is J.R. Towles ever going to be any good or was he over-hyped?

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

He was overhyped. Now he's underrated.

Charles (San Jose)

The Unit's people said he'd have been willing to come back for a 50% pay cut. That's just $5 million, right? Isn't it worth $5 million to have him in the rotation instead of Yusmeiro Petit? Thank you Eric Byrnes and Jeff Moorad.

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

Yes, that's a flat-out bargain.

Russ (Orlando, FL)

Is it possible that the Cubs traded for Gregg in order to gain a piece for a Jake Peavy trade?

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

No, they traded a piece in Ceda.

Mike (Detroit, MI)

Other than Porcello, does anyone in the Tigers minor league system have any trade value or project to be at least a solid regular?

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

Casey Crosby, if he comes back well from TJ surgery. Some folks are high on Iorg - I'm not quite there yet.

Ben (Charlotte)

Do you agree with the Cy Young selections?

Keith Law
  (1:31 PM)

Lee was a no-brainer. I had Santana slightly ahead of Lincecum, but I have no real complaint there. However, the SIX typists who gave Daisuke votes when he wasn't even the best pitcher on his own TEAM should have their microcassette recorders confiscated.

Jason (Vegas)

Is it time for MLB to start having a SALARY CAP? I mean come on you know the Yanks are going to go out and buy a team. They have to have a cap right?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

"Buying" a team hasn't helped them in the last five years. Salary caps are just wealth transfers from players to owners.

Jeff, Farmington, CT

How serious are the Red Sox about pursuing Texiera?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

My guess is that they're just pushing up the price.

Ben (Baltimore, MD)

On a scale of 1-10, how serious would you rate the Orioles as a conteder in the Tex sweepstakes? Peter Angelos is just crazy enough to go all out for Tex...

Keith Law
  (1:34 PM)

They're serious on him and Burnett, but both players would have to be willing to take some discount over the top financial offer so they could play in Maryland.

Michael (Arlington, VT)

Is Pedroia the AL MVP?

Keith Law
  (1:34 PM)

I think he's going to win, yes.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

How long do you think until McCutcheon and Alvarez get the call up for the Pirates?

Keith Law
  (1:34 PM)

McCutchen this year. Alvarez probably not till 2010. Let's see how his contact rates are in AA before we get too excited.

David (Tucson, AZ)

D-Backs questions? Who takes on the closer's role? What impact does Schlereth have in '09? And who will be at 2nd base?

Keith Law
  (1:35 PM)

No reason Qualls couldn't handle it. Schlereth, if healthy, probably spends half to 2/3 of 2009 with the club, ends up handling some late-game work by season's end. No idea on 2b for them right now.

Steve (DC)

Going back to the salary cap question. True it hasn't helped the Yanks the past 5 years, but would MLB want all of its teams to have a chance on not just a "select" few? The NFL is healthy because they have competitive balance to where MLB does not. You can say there is or that, but until teams like KC, Pitt, Florida, etc...can afford just to keep there own players and finish above .500, you can't say there is an even playing field right now.

Keith Law
  (1:37 PM)

KC and Pitt stink and have stunk for a long time because they were horribly run teams, making stupid big-league decisions, faring terribly in the draft, and punting on Latin America. Money had nothing to do with it: It was incompetence. As for Florida, the owner simply doesn't want to put money into the team until he can extort a new stadium from the state of Florida. Let's hope the recession causes the state to reconsider the giant toilet bowl into which they're proposing to send a half-billion dollars.

Sean (Des Moines)

By what statistic do you use to show that Jon Lester was better than Dice K this last season, besides your man crush you have had all year on Lester? Dice K has more wins, a better ERA, better K per 9, and more strikeouts.

Keith Law
  (1:38 PM)

Um, for starters, how about the 40+ more innings Lester threw?

Rory: (Villanova)

Where would Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell roughly fit in your Top 100? 5?

Keith Law
  (1:38 PM)

Top 20, definitely. Not sure about top 10.

Kevin M., St. Louis

I'll answer these idiots for you, Keith: TAMPA BAY WAS IN THE WORLD SERIES THIS YEAR WITH A PAYROLL LESS THAN 50 MILLION DOLLARS. SHUT UP!!!!

Keith Law
  (1:39 PM)

Excellent, thank you.

Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)

It's one thing to vote for Dice-K, but do you know if any of them were also one of those who didn't vote for Halladay? If yes, they should be bumped off this earth. Bumped off, I say. Anyway, Marte or 2 draft picks?

Keith Law
  (1:39 PM)

Why not just pick up his option? I hate long-term deals for relievers.

Travis (The OC)

Why are you ignoring me?? I have good questions that need to be answered.

Keith Law
  (1:39 PM)

That's a matter of opinion, isn't it?

Scott (Akron, OH)

Keith, love the chats - best ones on the net. With the kissing up out of the way, do you think, in hindsight, the Indians ended up getting more in the long run for Casey Blake than they did for CC?

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

I think it's possible it will work out that way. Bryson wasn't hurt at the time of the trade, of course.

PaulieP (Scottsdale)

I've heard Rumors of O-Dog (Hudson) to the Mets, any rumbles that way?

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

I know Minaya has liked Hudson for years, but they have a sort of albatross at second base right now and they could probably only move him for another similarly awful deal.

Chris (SLC, UT)

If you were the Red Sox would you try to sign Texeira and then deal Lars Anderson to the Rangers for Teagarden? Love the dish by the way!

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Then you still have to figure out what to do with Lowell (moving Youkilis back to 3b). I'm not sure that's the best use of resources. Plus I believe Texas wants pitching, not another 1b (Davis, Smoak).

Travis (THE OC)

my opinion rocks!! What will the Pads do with Greene if they get Escobar?

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Give him away.

Brett (Boston, MA)

Where would you rank Hagadone in terms of Sox prospects? BA had him ranked at #3 which was pretty surprising

Keith Law
  (1:45 PM)

That seems really aggressive for a guy who hasn't come back from surgery yet. I would have at least had Kelly ahead of him, probably Westmoreland too as long as we're really projecting (because that's what you're doing on Hagadone too).

rerun (su)

the yanks are crazy if the think they can win a WS with Brett Gardner in CF, right?

Keith Law
  (1:45 PM)

Yes, that would be crazy.

Chris (St. Louis)

Money isn't everything, but obviously it helps.

Keith Law
  (1:46 PM)

It's like concealer for a bad farm system. Anyone who looks close enough (or has HD) will see the ugly.

Jacob (dayton, ohio)

what should I look for when buying a food processor?

Keith Law
  (1:47 PM)

Capacity. Most come with a blade and two attachments, and have on/off/pulse settings. Not sure what else you'd need.

Chris (NY, NY)

Keith, do you know where they moved "chat archives" to from the Insider home page? I liked seeing all the chats for the week and now it's gone

Keith Law
  (1:47 PM)

I don't but I'll post this so the SportsNation guys see it.

Blake (River Falls, WI)

With an OPS+ of 99 and an amazing glove, why doesn't Nick Punto get more consideration for starting infield jobs?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

Batgirl? Is that you? BTW, that 52 OPS+ from 2007 might be hurting his case.

Jeff (Sacramento)

Keith, Who would you say is the most feared hitter in baseball since Bonds left? Manny? Pujols? Someone else?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

Jim F. Rice.

Francisco (Puerto Rico)

Saludos, What moves do you see the Braves doing this offseason? Will they get Peavy? Dempster, Aj Burnett, Wolf? if they let go Escobar, will they pursue Furcal back? or who? GRACIAS!

Keith Law
  (1:49 PM)

They're still the most likely landing spot for Peavy. I don't think they'll come close on Burnett, better shot at Dempster, best at Wolf. They could just use Lillibridge at SS, although it's a downgrade.

Here to help

http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/story?page=chatarchiveindexhome

Keith Law
  (1:49 PM)

Thank you.

Jonathan (Tampa, FL)

How good is Tyler Flowers? Is he as good as his AFL stats say? 10 HR and close to a .400 AVG?

Keith Law
  (1:50 PM)

He's not a .400/.500/.650 guy in the majors. Of this I am certain. But he's a pretty good prospect - can catch, not great back there, gets on base, has big raw power. At least a solid average regular.

Galen (SF)

I'll answer these idiots for you, Keith: TAMPA BAY WAS IN THE WORLD SERIES THIS YEAR WITH A PAYROLL LESS THAN 50 MILLION DOLLARS. SHUT UP!!!! ... and all it took was a DECADE of pathetic baseball to do it! Ya, really, Tampa Bay will have no problem competing with the Red Sox and Yankees now they don't get high draft picks. Tampa Bay meet Toronto and Baltimore.

Keith Law
  (1:52 PM)

That's just wrong, and I thought we crushed that line of thinking a month ago. Take a look at who is actually on their roster (and producing) and how they were acquired. Yes, they had Upton, and Price (although he had nothing to do with the 95 wins this year), and Garza by way of Delmon, but they also had Shields (16th round), Balfour (minor league FA), Sonnanstine (13th round), Kazmir (traded for ... oh, what was that guy's name ... really stunk, couldn't find the zone ... someone help me), Iwamura (signed from Japan for peanuts, no other team even tried to get his rights), and Pena (minor league free agent).

Michael (Evansville, IN)

Is Gregg just the start of the Cubs bullpen retooling or is it the end in your opinion? Don't they essentially have to replace Scott Eyre, Bob Howry, and Kerry Wood? Assuming that Sean Marshall is probably a part of any trade (wether it's for Peavey or Brian Roberts or whoever) the Cubs surely can't go with their only lefty being Neal Cotts can they????

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

Sure, why not. Having two lefties in the pen isn't a necessity. And you don't "replace" Howry; you don't even worry if the door hits him on the way out. I think Angel Guzman could be a breakout arm for them in the pen next year, so you could tentatively give him some of those lost innings.

Mets Fan (Queens)

VICTOR BLEEPING ZAMBRANO!!!! Yes is still hurts.

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

Oh, THAT'S the guy. That was sort of a big deal when it happened, right?

Brian: (Frederick, MD):

Is Stan Kasten really heading out the door? Seems like Bowden is talking alot more this offseason, which is not part of Stan's long-term plans. Are the Nats really being held hostage by JimBo again?

Keith Law
  (1:55 PM)

I've heard twice now that Kasten is interested in the Toronto President job. Not sure what that means for Bowden or Ricciardi for that matter. Bowden is still wrapped up in that FBI investigation, which means more to his fate than who his immediate boss is.

Mark (Milwaukee)

TB actually got Balfour in a Trade with Milwaukee for Seth McClung didn't they?

Keith Law
  (1:56 PM)

You're right - 7/28/07 according to B-R.

Larry (PA)

Adam Eaton for Andruw Jones. Who blinks?

Keith Law
  (1:56 PM)

Who stops vomiting first? I'm guessing the Phillies would be more reluctant than the Dodgers. You can always talk yourself into having more pitching depth.

Andy (Tampa)

Is it just me or have the Cardinals been one of the least aggressive teams during the last few offseasons? What moves could be out there this year and will they pull the trigger?

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

They did just give Lohse a four-year deal. They need help in the middle infield, at least one lefty in the pen, and maybe a 3/4 starter if they can find one who doesn't bankrupt them.

AB (CT)

Who has more trade value for their current team, Dye or Magglio? Could a package of J Donald and JA Happ be a realistic starting point for either (with PHI paying full contract)

Keith Law
  (1:58 PM)

Dye has more trade value. AL teams are going to look at Happ as a 5/6 starter, tops. He doesn't have much value. Donald's an everyday SS for someone, though - he's a very valuable trade piece.

Ben (New York)

Thanks for the recommendation on "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". I'm about a third of the way in, and finding it fascinating. With Swisher aboard, can you see Cashman trading Damon or Matsui to make room for Texeira (Mark - not the RP they got in the trade)?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

If they sign Teixeira, that would probably put Damon on the block. Matsui has almost no trade value right now.

Kevin (Stamford, CT)

1:59, I guess you won't be getting to a Met comment for me :-(

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

Rookie.

Ron(Toronto)

Keith, can Travis Snider play 1B next year? The Jays could then move Overbay this Winter right ?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

Lind to 1b before Snider. Snider's capable in an outfield corner with probably a 6 arm. Lind is ... shaky.

Stephen (Philly)

When he is ready, should the Phillies put Donald at SS and Rollins at 3b?

Keith Law
  (2:00 PM)

I expect no fewer than half a dozen overturned cars in Philly now that Stephen has suggested this. I'm winding up the Grey Goose bottle as I type.

Mitch (NY)

Other than Beltran, who is int he Mets OF for 2009? Church and Abreu?

Keith Law
  (2:00 PM)

More likely to see Murphy out there than at 2b.

JJ, Liberty Twp OH

Predict the contract Manny Ramirez actually signs this winter, please.

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

4/$80, Dodgers.

Victor Zambrano (Tampa)

You forgot Longoria. And they got Garza AND Barlett for Young. So Upton, Price, Garza, Barlett, Longoria, Baldelli.

Keith Law
  (2:02 PM)

They got Bartlett with Garza by including Brendan Harris with Young. (There were also two minor leaguers, non-prospect OF Jason Pridie, a high draft pick who busted for TB, and RP Eduardo Morlan.) You can hardly count Bartlett in the "high draft picks" column.

Angelo (NYC)

The Yankees will sign which of these free agents CC, Tex, Manny, AJ, Lowe?

Keith Law
  (2:03 PM)

Sabathia and Burnett, or Sabathia and Teixeira. Manny seems unlikely. Haven't heard them on Lowe ... I think that's coming from Lowe's camp.

Paul (Denver)

Is there any rhyme or reason for Hendry to trade Ceda for Gregg?

Keith Law
  (2:03 PM)

Overvaluing saves. He probably can't believe I didn't have K-Rod in my top 5 free agents.

John (MN)

Grey Gose? Really? Try Fris, much smoother. I gues Grey Goose is good for moltovs...

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

It was a joke about a video from the post-WS riots.

Adam (Georgia)

Chance that Keith Law actually answers one of my many questions that i submitted to him?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

100%!

Effram (MI)

When Tazawa comes to MLB will he slide right into a rotation or will he go to the minors?

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

More likely he at least goes to the minors for a month or so - if you're a GM, unless he shows outstanding command to you in March, don't you send him down to get a better read on his level, rather than starting him in the majors and risking having him get destroyed (and demoralized) because he's not ready?

brad (nj)

Any update on Yu Darvish? Will he be posted this year?

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

No.

Theo (Boston)

Players I (and my predecessor) have drafted in the past eight years: Kelly, Bard, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Pedroia, Papelbon, Lester, Youkilis. Those guys are awful. Too bad I don't lose enough to get any high draft picks.

Keith Law
  (2:07 PM)

And I believe only Kelly cost over slot.

Neil (DC)

Jeremy Piven as you in a cameo appearance in the Moneyball movie?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

That movie sounds incredibly boring. Since my only appearance in the book was a fabrication, they'd do well to leave it out of the film.

Doug (Frisco,TX)

Could Victor Martinez bring back more than Shoppach? Would the Indians make a move with Victor for a #3 starter.

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

Can we stop this talk of Shoppach as an everyday catcher, please? I know his stat line was nice this year, but he struck out 133 times in 357 AB and he'll chase that breaking ball low and away until the end of time. He's a really nice backup. If they can trade him and get more than that in return, by all means - Carlos Santana is coming fast anyway.

Ted NYC

Keith i thought this was a baseball chat not a kids booze discussion this is a disgrace!!!! just like espn has become A DISGRACE!!!!!!!!!

John Doe (Right Here)

Keith, I would hate to have your job...People ask some dumb things on this form/board/chat, whatever you want to call it.

Keith Law
  (2:11 PM)

Like accusing me of promoting underage drinking?

John (Dallas)

Keith, when do you think the first big FA signing will be announced, this weekend?

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

I can't remember the last time we had a big signing (that wasn't a re-signing) in the first few days. Toriiiii Hunter was first last year, I think, and he signed on 11/21.

Mark (Tempe, AZ)

Any chance Aaron Rowand is available? I'd love to see him with the Yankees but at what cost?

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

I don't think he's unavailable, but the Giants want to be competitive in 2009, and he's not someone they're looking to move. If I was Sabean, I'd move Rowand in a heartbeat. Ian Kennedy in the NL West in a HR-killing park?

Kevin (Stamford, CT)

Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets Mets....GIVE ME ANYTHING!!

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

Good team. They seem to struggle down the stretch, though.

Ben (Sacramento, CA.)

Better prospect: Jason Heyward or Tommy Hanson. Either way, Braves fans should be pretty excited... right?

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

Heyward. Right.

Ryan (Fargo)

What I never see is ACTUALLY what having money does in baseball. It buys postseason appearances, NOT championships. THIS is why they need a salary cap in baseball, to give more teams the opportunity to compete in the postseason. Am I wrong Keith?

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

2008 counterexamples: Tigers, Mariners, Mets, Astros. Rays, Twins (almost), Brewers.

Pryor ( Little Rock)

What are the odds of Dustin Moseley of the Angels being moved to a team that needs starting pitching?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

Not good - he's a 6th-starter/swingman type.

John (NY)

Think the Mets have legitimate interest in Sabathia? If I list all the reasons why I think it's their best move, you probably won't read the question, but if it comes down to a choice between the Mets and Yankees I think they can pry him away.

Keith Law
  (2:17 PM)

I don't think they're going to outbid the Yankees, and if they don't, is he going to take less money to still play in NYC?

Brendan (Rathmines, Ireland)

Should the Sox deal Clay Buchholz now, even with his value diminished with the terrible season, or retain him and hope he recovers some? I know that was the thinking on Craig Hansen...

Keith Law
  (2:18 PM)

I think they'd be selling low on Buchholz. He's not Hansen. Better delivery, better secondary stuff.

M

Any chance Snell is dealt this offseason? I've heard rumors to Atlanta for K. Johnson, any substance to this?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

He's available - really, most players are available at some level - and I have not heard anything to that effect.

Doug Melvin from Milwaukee

Who would be a better signing for us? Jon Garland, Paul Byrd, or Brad Penny?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

I wouldn't touch Garland with that current defense. Penny's a roll of the dice, but as I said above I like his upside.

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Keith, Any longggggggg term improvement from the Pirates coming? Any thoughts on their front office?

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

It's going to be slow. That earth was pretty scorched. They're making some progress, but Huntington didn't get a ton to work with on the big-league club, and it seems like Coonelly fancies himself a GM too.

eric(lakeville)

would it really take more than a packagea of bowden and bard for teargarden? Is just buchholz enough?

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

I imagine the Rangers would take either offer. Not sure if the Red Sox would do either one, though. They've hesitated on Buchholz, for good reason, and they either love Bowden or they've done a nice job of boosting his value via hype.

Adam (Columbus, OH)

I think people have rapidly forgotten that the most significant portion of the Yankees run was based on homegrown players (Mo, Jeter, Posada, Williams) and some key lower tier free agents (Oneill, Brosius, Martinez) vs. buying all of the best free agents.

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

When they started spending more on big-ticket guys, they stopped winning WS ... then pennants ... and now the playoffs.

ro (nyc)

who hangs up and why: Wright for Krenshaw and Kemp, thanks

Keith Law
  (2:24 PM)

Mets, top-10 overall player signed to a great contract.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

"and it seems like Coonelly fancies himself a GM too." What's the basis for this statement? Also, which Bucco starter is more likely to bounce back this year Gorzelanny or Snell? THanks

Keith Law
  (2:25 PM)

Gorzelanny has to be hurt, so I'll go with Snell. I find it odd that so many public statements that would come from any other team's GM come from Coonelly rather than Huntington. Coonelly handled the Alvarez negotiations and press conferences - again, that's a GM's job, not a President's.

Mike (Louisville, KY)

Keith, would ben sheets be a good signing by the rangers, assuming they don't give him anything longer than a 2-yr deal?

Keith Law
  (2:26 PM)

Sure, I'd give him two years, and I'd be happy to pack it with games-started incentives.

Todd, Hoboken

Do the Mets have enough on the farm to acquire Jenks, Dye and Vasquez in the same deal?

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

Only if the White Sox are more motivated to move salary than we think. Well, unless the Mets want to include Martinez AND Flores, which I doubt. Even so, that's three useful big-leaguers ... I don't see a fit.

Mike M, Bloomfield, NJ

When are we gonna see some signings already!

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

Settle down. It's been half a day.

Brandon (Sedalia, MO)

What do I have to do to get a question on here are mine that bad!!

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

Nearly 3000 asked so far. Don't take it personally.

JD (Nashville)

No Smoltz on the Top 50 FA list? You forget about him, or do you really think Ramon Fazquez will be more valuable in '09?

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

Hurt. I don't like injured pitchers. It's more KlawBias.

Curtis (KC)

Ok, I've finally finished Simmons' mailbag, so I can fully devote myself to pestering you with Soria questions. KLaw takes over for DM and moves him to starter?

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

Probably not. I'd stretch him out more in relief, though - more 4-6 out appearances.

Steve (IL)

Keith, I keep hearing that Hendry would like to sign Ibanez to play in RF and provide a LH bat to the middle of the lineup. How bad would the Cubs OF defense be with this signing? With Soriano in left and Fukudome misplaced in center, I'd have to think it would be among the worst.

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

Ouch. Yes, that would be bad. Ibanez needs to DH, not move around the outfield.

Slew (Seattle)

Re: The money issue. No intelligent person will argue that a high payroll guarantees anything. BUT, given equally competant managements, the team with more money to spend can reasonably be expected to win more game over the long haul, correct?

Keith Law
  (2:31 PM)

Sure, I'll agree with that. There is a second problem, though, that once a team wins, management often slides into a spending cycle to try to maintain that level of success especially if the farm system goes fallow for a year or two.

Rob Seattle

PLEASE some info on my M's. What is the new GM planning on doing? Anything other than maybe signing JR?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

Jack played everything close to the vest as scouting director; I don't think he's going to be any different as GM. I would expect Beltre to end up in a new home this winter.

Dave (NJ)

But then the Royals wouldn't have a "closer" and you managers head would explode. Could a GM instruct a manager to use his best reliever this way and actually get him to listen?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

Start with "bring him in in the 8th inning if the game is tied or we're up by one." That makes everyone happy.

Derek (WI)

Some info on his Mariners: Rickie Weeks and Taylor Green/Lorenzo Cain for JJ Putz? Seems fair right?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

No, I don't think so. Putz should return more than that. Weeks' value is at a local minimum right now.

Daniel( Los Angeles,Ca)

I am a little dissapointed that the Dodgers did not sign Penny, I think he still has big upside. Do you see the Dodgers signing any big name pitcher, or do you even see them resigning Lowe?

Keith Law
  (2:34 PM)

If they don't get Manny or think they won't get him, I think they'll make a run at Sabathia. There's a timing issue there, of course.

Brian

How's you family?

Keith Law
  (2:34 PM)

Me family good, thank.

Chad (Minneapolis)

Keith - Any info on what the Twins might do? Would they have a real chance to sign Casey Blake or trade for J.J. Hardy?

Keith Law
  (2:35 PM)

The Brewers aren't trading Hardy unless they get a good return - it's not a salary dump.

Randy, Birmingham

The Braves shed the salaries of Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, Texeira dn possibly Hudson's 2009 salary (injury). That gives them between $55MM-$70MM to spend. Yet no one is mentioning the Braves as players for most free agents. Are they not players?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

I don't think they have that much free cash to spend.

Ryan (Greensboro, NC)

What effect does a type A FA tag have on the interest in a player? Is it more pronounced with someone like Renteria rather than O. Hudson? I wouldn't trade my 1st pick in next years draft straight up for Renteria much less the financial obligation.

Keith Law
  (2:37 PM)

The team has to offer him arbitration first. It's possible that the Tigers would choose not to, figuring that he might accept. To your broader question, it's a drag on the player's salary. You might be willing to go $10MM, but only $8MM if it costs you a pick.

Josh (phx)

How exaclty does one scout a HS player? The competition is obviously not the same as in College. How does one compare the two? Is it pure domintaion or intangibles that one sees?

Keith Law
  (2:37 PM)

Tools & physical ability are the most important things at that level. Polish helps.

Doug (NY)

Play day in the life of a GM for me. What are guys like Cashman and Epstein doing right at this moment?

Keith Law
  (2:38 PM)

Reading KlawChat, what else?

Keith Law
  (2:38 PM)

Thanks for the questions - Rob from Brighton, I'll answer your cookbooks question on the dish - see you all next week.