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November 26, 12:44 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:02 PM)

Sean Avery gets suspended indefinitely for making an off-color (but hardly offensive) comment. Plaxico Burress shoots himself in a nightclub and gets four weeks. That seems right.

Herman (The Wood)

Keith, who do you think has a shot to stick in the Rule 5? Skelton, Morlan (I hear he has gotten bigger and may be injured), Nicoll, Wimberly, Jesus Guzman? Any other thoughts?

Keith Law
  (1:04 PM)

Skelton's a big reach, but you can hide a backup catcher. Morlan's out of shape and his velo's been down all year. Nicoll is just coming back from some serious control issues; it wouldn't be remotely fair to take him and rush him to the majors. The Rule 5 draft is nowhere near what it used to be - the last CBA gutted it, and outside of "freak" situations like Hamilton and Soria (who had, I think, about 15 pro innings at the time he became eligible), the talent pool there isn't worth worrying about.

Adam (Roselle, IL)

Why would the Cubs not offer Wood arbitration? Are they so afraid he would accept? They could use the pick.

Keith Law
  (1:05 PM)

I guess they were afraid of his 10/5 rights ... which is a horrible, horrible decision. Kerry Wood for one year and, what, $8 million? Yes, please, thanks. Cause, you know, Kevin Gregg ain't the answer.

Lou (Smithtown Ny)

Mr. Law, I was wondering how serious are the Jays leaning towards a youth movement? and would like to pitch a trade idea to you if you don't mind? - Roy Halladay - Veron Wells to NYY for Ian Kennedy Alfredo Aceves Edwar Ramirez Melky Cabrera

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

That's nowhere near enough. It would only be fair if the Jays also included Alexis Rios, Travis Snider, Tony Lacava, and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Nick (Detroit City)

Keith, thanks for your time today, is it true that you got your 1st major league job by being at the winter meetings and talking rule 5 draft?

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

No, that's not true.

Pat (Boston, MA)

When can we expect your analysis on the Vazquez trade? Always look forward to it.... maybe we can get a brief comment on it?

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

It's posted. They held it until the trade was made official. I like Flowers a lot - best prospect in the CWS system now - but if he doesn't pan out, that's a lot of nothing.

Derek (Minneapolis)

Ron Gardenhire: "Those three guys [Span, Gomez, Cuddyer] need to play every day. Delmon is in the mix. He?s a hell of a player, a hell of a talent. But to me, those three guys should be your outfield and then you go from there." So, what exactly is Gardenhire trying to do by announcing this? Raise Cuddyer's trade value? Lower Young's? Just be an example of what not to say to the press? We here in Minnesota are confused--any help you could offer would be much appreciated.

Keith Law
  (1:07 PM)

The confused person here is Gardenhire. And seriously, shut your damn mouth before you devalue Young any more. I would be through the roof if I was a GM and my manager started popping off about a player like that. Just. Stop. Talking.

Max (Norfolk)

Mr. KLaw- Can you think of a good reason why the Dodgers didn't offer arbitration to Furcal? What was the worst that could happen? He accepts and they pay him $10-14 million for one season while DeJesus Jr. and Hu develop another year?

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

Not a great decision - the limited PT for Furcal this year would work against him in arb - but there wasn't a draft pick at stake either, so it's not an awful decision like Chicago/Wood, Yanks/Abreu, or Arizona/Dunn.

Mike (Scranton)

Keith, not really a MLB question, but what do you think of the NHL's decision to suspend Sean Avery for his comments?

Keith Law
  (1:10 PM)

It just reinforced for me how bush the NHL is - they're not a major league, they haven't been for years, and I doubt they ever will be again. It also proved that the two dead 3-volt batteries I just took out of my daughter's light-up Tinkerbell clip have more power than the NHL players' union. Each.

RJ Anerson (Tampa, FL)

KLAW, join the Rays front office already, we can't get enough great minds....

Keith Law
  (1:10 PM)

My VORE (value over replacement executive) would be pretty low there.

John, St. Louis, MO

Keith- Thoughts on the Cardinals acquiring Greene? Offensively he's something in between his 07 and 08 numbers isn't he?

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

I think he's more '08 than '07. The move out of Petco will help - the park killed him - but Petco isn't the reason he chases breaking balls away like they're wearing miniskirts and high heels. And Petco didn't make him a dope who breaks his hand because he's mad. Good defensive player, of course ... is he worth two (unknown) prospects plus a few million dollars over Cesar Izturis?

Ryan(madison,wi)

Do you agree that the Brewers should shop Cameron ASAP, move Weeks to CF, Escobar to 2b, keep Hardy/Fielder?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

That would be my strategy if I was Melvin. I think the move to CF will help Weeks at the plate, and I think there's downside risk, even on a one-year deal, with Cameron.

Dan (Atlantic City, NJ)

Speaking of Delmon Young, what prospects might the Phillies need to include with Jason Donald to land him?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

I wouldn't offer too much more than that. Donald's going to be at least an average everyday 2b, could be an average everyday ss, and while I believe Young will hit for more power if he gets away from Minnesota, I wouldn't pay full value on that expectation.

Pete (Columbia)

The Cubs don't have the pieces to acquire Peavy, right?

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

I think they do, or that they can get the right pieces by trading around a little bit. Remember that at this time last year we kept reading that the Mets didn't have the pieces for Santana, and I said that was wrong. The price came down, and they got him for some magic beans.

Lemon (NJ)

Hi Keith, if you were the Mets would you sign Krod or Fuentes for 3 yrs or Wood for 1-2?

Keith Law
  (1:19 PM)

Wood. Not even close.

Carl (philly)

Reports out of Boston and Philly have the Phils making an offer to D Lowe. Any chance he could land there?

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

Yes but I bet he waits till the Yankees sign a starter (or get snubbed by Sabathia and Burnett) to see if they'll be motivated to up the price.

Ray (San Francisco, CA)

C.C. Sabathia's wife said that here number one choice for C.C. would be to play for the Giants. How much of an impact does this have honestly?

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

$40 million buys a lot of ice.

Steve NJ

Would this trade work-Ian kennedy, Melky and a b level prospect for cole hamels?

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

$5.

Elisha Cuthbert (LA)

KLaw, I know at least one person who might have taken offense to Avery's comment. But, to paraphrase David Niven, I won't discuss his shortcomings.

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

I'm sure Betty Friedan was mortified too. If a comment is offensive to one person, then it's not offensive.

Mike (Portland, ME)

Entering the off-season, the Chisox's farm system likely ranked in the bottom five. Do you see the additions of Viciedo, Flowers, Gilmore, Rodriguez, Lillibridge, Marquez, and Nunez as improving the overall standing significantly, marginally, or not at all?

Keith Law
  (1:23 PM)

Flowers definitely boosts them. Viciedo somewhat; talked to someone who'd seen him, said he likes the swing, projects for plus power, very bad body, completely out of shape, both bad signs for a 19 - excuse me, "19"-year-old. (Can we just say he's 19 in Cuban years?) The other guys don't really affect their relative standing.

Chad(Madison, WI)

Hi Keith, I think I read somewhere that arbitration contracts aren't guaranteed so why wouldn't more teams offer all type A and B free agents arbitration and if the player accepts and the team doesn't want them then just cut them in spring training?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

You can't cut a player just for financial reasons - you'd better have a good baseball reason, and injuries don't count. If you cut a player - I'm just talking about guys who went to arb and won - and he files a grievance, you could be on the hook for the whole thing.

Keith Law
  (1:25 PM)

Ignore my comment above about Nunez ... I had the wrong one in mind.

Steve V. (Plainfeild, IL)

Who's the better risk Burnett 4/$80 or Sheets for say 3/$42-$45? Sheets has made more starts (221) and thrown more innings (1428) in his eight year career than Burnett (211, 1376.2) and is 18 months younger. I know Sheets ended with a muscle tear but it's not Tommy John and we all know about the Burnett's injury history.

Keith Law
  (1:26 PM)

Burnett. He's only had the one major injury, and it was several years ago. Sheets has a chronic back issue AND he ended last season hurt.

Jeff (San Diego, CA)

I keep hearing people saying that with trading Greene and such, that the Padres may end up keeping Peavy, but what sense would it make to keep an Ace on a non-contender, ala Oswalt and the Astros? (Don't tell Drayton that though.) And if you are the Padres doesn't a package of Pie, Cedeno, Hill, Vitters, sound pretty good?

Keith Law
  (1:27 PM)

You keep him if you don't like the packages offered. There's no reason to trade him right away; there will still be a market for him in 3, 6, 12 months. I would not accept the package you listed. Cedeno's a utility guy, maybe, and Hill has zero value right now.

Max (anywhere but here)

Just when I thought Sabean had regained his GM smarts, he gives $18 million to Edgar " That ground ball is two steps to my left. Should I go get it?" Renteria. That should jump start the offense. I would have rather offered Zito and $50 million to Boston for Lugo.

Keith Law
  (1:27 PM)

I disagree. Short-term deal, doesn't block a major prospect - sorry, Burriss can't hit - and didn't cost a draft pick. Renteria's a clear upgrade over whoever would have played SS for them. Good move.

Eric (Milwaukee)

In all fairness, some of the comments aren't KLawbaiting, it's just "Yankees fans being Yankees fans". Do you think CC and his agents consider things like cost of living and the present value of that 6th year on a contract when making decisions? Or is it simply 6/140 versus 5/100?

Keith Law
  (1:28 PM)

Depends on the agent and player. I know we ran into trouble in Toronto because Canada's top marginal income tax rates are so punitive - we had to come in about 10% higher than a typical offer from a US team just to be at par.

Brandon(Seattle wa)

Beltre to Twins for Young and Liriano?

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

That's worse than the Yankee fan proposals. Come on.

Bryan (Columbus, OH)

Not all Yankee fans are delusional fools. The Yankees apparently are willing to go after Lowe and Burnett. Myself and many other Yankee fans don't want anything to do with those two. Who here is right?

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

I'd take either guy at the right price. I can't see how you'd want nothing to do with Burnett - even with the red flags, he had a great season and has unbelievable stuff.

Jason (Bryan, Ohio)

Recently Baseball America realeased Oakland's top ten prospects and Faustino De los Santos was not listed. What happened from last year to this year for him to drop that much? Any prospects on that list that you see some true star potential in?

Keith Law
  (1:31 PM)

Blew his elbow out. Not expected to pitch till midyear. Anderson, Cahill, and Inoa have star potential. I am much higher on Donaldson than they are.

Jonathan (Tampa, FL)

What is your take on Jhoulys Chacin?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

Command guy, doesn't have huge stuff, great changeup, definitely has to prove it at AA - command guys can make A-ball hitters look foolish pretty easily. I do like him, but his A-ball stats probably give a misleading picture.

Kevin (Houston)

Is Brian Bogusevic a potential solid contributor at the MLB level?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

Right now, no.

Charles Newmarket Ontario

Would you vote for Bert Blyleven for HOF? If not why? If Catfish Hunter is in the HOF then Luis Tiant measures up to him let alone Blyleven.

Keith Law
  (1:34 PM)

Yes, I would, and I'd bring a pickaxe and take Hunter's plaque out (along with Jim Rice's - I'll schedule the trip for Labor Day 2009).

Kevin (Billerica, Mass.)

Keith, Pedroia has a gold glove, RoY Award, an All-Star selection, and a Silver Slugger. I know some of those things actually don't represent much, but wouldn't he have been in line for a pretty sweet arbitration award when his time came, even if he came back to earth a bit next year? What did he gain by signing this deal?

Keith Law
  (1:36 PM)

Yes, but I think his arb years are probably properly valued in this deal because he doesn't have a lot of HR/RBI, which get paid more than anything else in arbitration. If he comes close to his 2007-2008 level over the next six years, the deal will be a huge bargain when he reaches the free agent years the team just bought out, but I don't think he was headed for a $5-6MM arb award in 2010.

Matt (Yardley, PA)

I'm with Bryan. Burnett to me is Pavano ver2.0.

Keith Law
  (1:39 PM)

Not even close. Pavano in the NL in his only two healthy years, right before signing with the Yanks: 423 IP, 272 K's, 35 HR allowed. That's in a big ballpark, facing opposing pitchers to boost his K total. Burnett, in the AL East, in a slight hitters' park, last two years: 387 IP, 407 Ks, 42 HR. You can't make a performance argument that he's like Pavano. You can't make a health argument that he's like Pavano (who was hurt in some part of every year until his sixth season). You definitely can't make a stuff argument that he's like Pavano. That's a completely unfair tag to place on Burnett.

Daniel (Boston, MA)

Statistically, it seems like Howry's main problem was a huge increase in HR. With a move to AT&T Park, could we see a Howry more close to his 06-07 numbers?

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

Call me when he throws an offspeed pitch and we can talk.

Andy (Portland, OR)

Do the Mariners have a shot at signing Lowe? How devastating would a rotation with Felix, Bedard, Lowe, and Morrow be?

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

Devastating to whom?

Mike (Portland, ME)

How long until Posey comes up with the Giants? I've heard that he needs time to learn how to call games, but I didn't think that too many catchers actually called the game in the majors.

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

Overrated skill. I think he'll be up by early 2010, chance he gets a cup of coffee in 2009.

Jason (Bergenfield, NJ)

Did Arizona do the right thing by not oferring arbitration to Adam Dunn?

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

No.

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

If you're wondering why I haven't answered your question, there are over 800 in the queue right now, and they're still coming.

Corey (Chicago, IL)

What is your projection of J. Smardijia? Top of rotation starter?

Keith Law
  (1:42 PM)

Middle reliever, maybe setup guy.

Ari (Miami)

Seriously, where else can you sign a sure-thing 40 homers. If the Marlins trade Cantu (or Uggla) who do they play at 2nd Boni or Coughlan? Thanks

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Bonifacio. I can't believe anyone is thinking of acquiring Cantu. He's awful. His .327 OBP was his best ever in a full season, and he's a butcher everywhere he plays. Good luck with that.

Dan (philly)

Any thoughts on Dominic Brown in the Phillies org? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

He might be too well-known for this, but he's a sleeper. Probably their #2 prospect for me, after Donald, although you could make a case for Carrasco.

Joe, Minneapolis

800 questions in queue in December and they say baseballs popularity is waning?

Keith Law
  (1:44 PM)

Teaches you not to listen to a word They say, because now, you know where Their heads are.

Noonan (Philly, PA)

Overrated or underrated - hot stove period?

Keith Law
  (1:44 PM)

Misunderstood.

Bob (Tinley Park, IL)

Which has more value, a prospect like Wieters, with his upside, or a McCann / Soto who is proven? If you had Wieters in your system, would you trade an established catcher to make room for him?

Keith Law
  (1:44 PM)

McCann has the most value - proven, young, and signed to a favorable deal.

matt (kansas)

Alex Gordon to the Indians for Adam Miller, Shoppach, Chisenhall & Mills? Would it take more than that?

Keith Law
  (1:45 PM)

What's in the rag over Shapiro's face - chloroform?

Adam (Chicago)

Flowers better than Beckham, the Cuban, Pedrora? Your that high on Flowers or not as high on the others?

Keith Law
  (1:46 PM)

Beckham would be the only player there I'd consider ranking over Flowers. I like Poreda's arm, great sink on the FB, but he doesn't show an avg second pitch and doesn't miss many bats. Viciedo, QED, has some issues, and the track record of Cuban defectors isn't great.

Mike(San Diego)

To Kevin in Mass: Maybe DP wasn't trying to gauge a team with a huge contract. Maybe he just LIKES to play in Boston and doesn't feel the need to be greedy. Boy, wouldn't that be refreshing.

Keith Law
  (1:47 PM)

Mike, apparently, is a big fan of making sure that billionaires like John Henry keep as much of their money as possible.

Spencer (Orange County)

Where does Tex end up?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

If the Yanks don't land two top starters, I think they'll shift gears to Teixeira. Otherwise, the Angels are the favorites.

BK (mpls)

Can you explain the misunderstandings of the hot stove period?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

For example, fans who think it's like NFL free agency, where a slew of players sign on the first day.

Matt (Vermillion)

Who do you like as the better Twins prospect, Hicks or Revere and why?

Keith Law
  (1:49 PM)

I'll go contrarian and say Hicks. Much bigger upside - potential middle-of-the-order bat with power, some speed, great arm, should be above-avg in a corner at worst - whereas Revere is more of a leadoff guy, makes a lot of contact, right now has to hit .320+ for a high OBP, doesn't project to hit for power.

Jonathan (Tampa, FL)

How does Klaw's imaginary HOF ballot look when filled out? I'm guessing: Henderson, Raines, Blyleven, Trammell, and McGwire?

Keith Law
  (1:50 PM)

Exactly right.

Corey (Chicago, IL)

Niemman, Jackson & Brignac for Pence & Valverde?

Keith Law
  (1:51 PM)

Now we have Rays fans making lopsided trade proposals? Is the world ending?

Nathan, KY

How would you rank the top 5 braves prospects? Hanson, Howard, Freeman, Shaefer, Hernandez? Where does their system rank leaguewide?

Keith Law
  (1:53 PM)

Heyward, Hanson, Schafer, Freeman, Rohrbough, Hernandez, Locke. After that there's a big dropoff. Roy Clark and his staff have done a pretty incredible job to end up with a top 7 like that after the Teixeira and Vazquez trades.

Announcer

Welcome to the "Rate That Trade Proposal" chat. Here's your host, Keith Law....

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

I'm only hosting if I get to give a Milgram experiment-type treatment to the people who submit the worst ideas.

Pete (Columbia)

"I think the move to CF will help Weeks at the plate" Is there empirical evidence that a position change can improve an player's offensive output? If so, what's the reasoning for this?

Keith Law
  (1:55 PM)

How would you ever demonstrate that empirically? There's anecdotal evidence - Sheffield, BJ Upton, both similar players to Weeks (strong wrists, great bat speed, athletic, yet erratic in the infield). The reasoning is that such a player ends up spending too much time working on or worrying about his defense, and as a result, his offense suffers.

John (NY, NY)

Keith, I've read your blog before and have one food-related question. When I go to Disneyworld in March, where's the one place I need to go to eat?

Keith Law
  (1:55 PM)

Assuming V&A's is out ($200+ per person), I'm a big fan of the food and Guinness at Raglan Road.

John (Memphis)

Renteria to the Giants. Does that mean Furcal to the A's? (Please say yes)

Keith Law
  (1:56 PM)

Seems more likely now, yes.

Nick (Detroit City)

Is it ridiculous that Detroit wants Jack Wilson and will trade for him? Why not sign a guy?

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

Shorter commitment. I wouldn't give up an actual prospect for him, but the Tigers aren't exactly brimming with prospects anyway, and I have a feeling Porcello isn't headed to Pittsburgh.

Jack, CA

Assuming the LA Philanthropists eat some salary, do you think there is more of a trade market for Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones?

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

Jones. But really, zero for both.

Ross (CA)

Hey Keith, so Affeldt and Howry to short term deals. Apparently going to sign Renteria, and considered by many of your colleagues as a darkhorse for Sabathia. Have the Giants decided they want to flirt with contention in 09? Even if they do fail the next two years, do you believe that the plus depth they have in the Minors should be MLB ready at that time for another run?

Keith Law
  (1:58 PM)

That division is definitely within reach, and I have no objection to the Giants trying to improve their '09 club as long as they don't damage their '10-11 clubs in doing it, by trading prospects or blocking them. And seriously, no Jorge Cantu. Please.

Tim (DC)

KLaw, I look forward to your chat all week. Here's we question. Seeing that the Rangers really wanted Junichi Tazawa and were willing to pay a good deal more money, do you see Theo Epstein turning right around and including him in a trade for Saltalamacchia?? Do you think this is why Theo signed him in the first place? Thanks for the insight.

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

No, I don't think that's it at all, for a number of reasons.

Sam (St Paul, MN)

It's a long way from the draft but the loss of those two draft picks we could have gotten for Dunn really hurts, does the market look so bad right now that Dunn accepting arbitration looks like a real possibility? Or is a big part of it that the D-backs didn't want to have to spend the money on those two extra picks when it looks like they'll already have about 4 or 5 picks in the first 85 or so.

Keith Law
  (2:00 PM)

The market is weaker than expected, but Dunn's going to get two years from someone, and probably three. P(Dunn accepting) was low, and he would have been very tradeable had he accepted.

Mike Hampton

How are the school systems in Houston?

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

I hope they're better than the food. (Although the restaurant at the Inn at the Ballpark was amazing when I was there in Feb '07.)

Matt (Chicago)

I know it's about 9 months late to ask this, but should Longoria just fire his agent or should he beat him senseless with a shovel for the deal that he signed?

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

Nobody forced the kid to do anything. If he doesn't like it now, he's got no one to blame but himself.

Steve (NYC)

Thoughts on Top Chef this season? Stefan's easily the most talented chef they've had in two seasons.

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

Haven't watched. Tivo'd an episode, never got around to it.

JP Riccardi

Keith! COME BACK WE NEED YOU

Keith Law
  (2:02 PM)

You make it look like I stole one of the "i"s from his last name.

Brian

This is frustrating

Keith Law
  (2:02 PM)

You're frustrated? You should see the questions!

Pete (Chicago)

Don't criticize the Giants for giving a fat contract to Barry Zito. Maybe Peter McGowan decided not to be greedy. Wouldn't that be refreshing?! Seriously though -- how come fans get on players for "being greedy", but not owners?

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

My guess: because they think that being a baseball player isn't a job. They don't understand the hours, the work, the pressure. And as Joe Sheehan once said in more colorful terms, Americans are not very sharp when it comes to basic economic concepts, like marginal revenue product.

Dan - San Jose

Do you actually have a Tivo, or is the term "tivo'd it" kind of like "I just Xerox'd that document"?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

I have a Tivo from DirecTV, the original two-input model. I doubt any piece of electronic equipment has affected my life as much since my first computer.

I love Luke Scott

Just looked at his stats - why is Catfish Hunter in the HOF? Career ERA+ of 104. To give perspective, Ryan Franklin's career ERA+ is, yup, 104.

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

Yeah. I can't really beat that.

Mike (Boston)

Strip T's question: The most excellent Steak Tips or the Fish Burrito. Also who makes the best Burrito in boston. Thanks Klaw you rule.

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

Fish burrito. Haven't had a great burrito around here - Anna's and Boca Grande are fine, Zocalo was very good but very heavy.

Philip (Austin, Texas)

For two-pitchers who have trouble throwing a breaking ball, would the cut fastball (which moves like a slider, I believe) be a good replacement? Why or why not?

Keith Law
  (2:07 PM)

It depends on why they can't throw a good breaking ball. If they don't have that laxity in their wrists to throw a good slider, they may not be able to throw a cutter. A cutter is just a slider with a less pronounced snap of the wrist (or, it's a fastball with a little bit of that slider-snap thrown in).

cole -orlando

Thanks for chatting keith. Bigger upside and futher for cahill or anderson? eta for both?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Cahill's upside. I think Anderson could pitch in the big leagues this year.

Ari (Miami)

any other player in any other sport would have been fined or suspended for those comments. They are unnecessary, disgusting, and offensive. The fact that it was just another incident for Sean Avery is what led to such a harsh punishment.

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

It was crude, but funny, and I still think if that offended you then you're probably offended by things like trees, clouds, and inert gases.

Sean (Seattle)

Is this the year that King Felix takes that next step, and his results match his stuff?

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

After his Sept 3rd start, he had a 3.18 ERA and 157 Ks in 175 IP. He just had four awful starts at the end of the year to make his season line look less special.

Nick (Detroit City)

Keith, If you had an open roster spot is there anybody that you'd select in the Rule 5?

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

I haven't studied the rosters, but I'd probably pass. Pedro Strop would be my top choice if I had to take someone.

Andrew (NJ)

Just a purely theoretical question, if Mariano Rivera was a prospect just coming up right now, how would you have rated him? If we hadn't seen it for years and years would you have believed a guy with just a fastball and a cutter would last as long as a premier pitcher, admittingly a reliever?

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

I would probably never predict a career like Rivera's for anyone, but if you're asking me how I'd rate a guy with a ++ cutter and ++ control, I'd probably like him quite a bit. Reliever with no platoon split who doesn't walk guys and keeps the ball down? Sure, I'll take two.

Owen (chicago)

Do you think food processors are a "get what you par for" situation. There are cheap ones out there, but I don't want to pay anything for a pile of plastic and metal that I don't end up using.

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

Home Depot has a 10-cup Black and Decker for $59, 500 watts. I keep wondering what the catch is. I'd give it a shot if I didn't need more capacity.

Corey (Chicago, IL)

Travis Snider looked really good in September - future star?

Keith Law
  (2:17 PM)

Absolutely, top 10 prospect in all of baseball.

Yani(Toronto)

Keith, what is the ceiling for Brett Cecil?

Keith Law
  (2:17 PM)

Absolute ceiling is a 2/3 starter. Hoping they'll be cautious about his innings this year ... career reliever, converted to starting, so far so good, but he threw a LOT of breaking balls in college and was used heavily and strangely.

Rick (Phoenix)

True or False: Kerry Wood has better stuff than Francisco Rodriguez?

Keith Law
  (2:18 PM)

True. It's not that close, either.

Pat (Las Vegas)

Bigger mistake for the Yankees? Not signing Beltran a couple years ago leaving a still gaping hole in center field or not going after Teixeira this year, likely also leaving a large hole at 1B for years to come?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

They're on par with each other.

Frank (NJ)

Ian Kennedy learned how to throw a curveball in the winter league, is it time to get excited about him?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

Threw one in college too.

Andrew (Centereach, NY)

IN regard to the HOF, shouldnt it be limited to players who are no-brainer's? I think if there is a person who is debatable than maybe he should not be in the museum as B.Gibson and Babe Ruth.

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

Yes, I'm a small-Hall guy. But the BBRAA includes too many writers who want to use their votes for "look-at-me!" purposes, taking an unqualified player like Jim Rice or Jack Morris and then building a campaign around him with the writer at the center.

JR (Vegas)

RE: deals to Pedrioa, Longeria and others, we have to assume they have pretty smart people advising them right? Sure it looks like the teams made out well, but there is something to be said about security to right? Longoria was guarnateed over $40 mill before he had even played a full month in the big leagues? I'm sure he would do it again. If he suffers a career ending injury next year (not likely) or regresses significantly (also not likely) he should still be well off for life.

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

Agreed. I'd always be inclined to advise my clients to do a long-term deal early in their careers, even if it seems to leaves some money on the table, to set them up for their lives. For the second deal, you go for blood.

Josiah (MA)

Are the Red Sox gonna get Teixeria?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

My guess is that they're just trying to drive up the prices on these guys, like they did (or tried to do) on Santana last winter. I'm pretty sure Theo knows that he's in the Yankees' heads - likely Hank's.

Brian: Wantagh, NY

MLBtraderumors.com is reporting the braves and royals are considering a Zach Greinke for Jeff Francoeur. Could this be a worse trade for the Royals? Getting another player, let alone an outfielder, with a painfully low OBP.

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

That was reported a few weeks ago and shot down by both GMs. Wren said to me at the GM meetings that it had no basis and there hadn't been talks about Francoeur. So you'll have to forgive me if I'm a little skeptical.

Frank (NY)

Is that your sly way of saying Kennedy has always thrown a curveball (including with the Yankees)? Or had they made him shelve it?

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

I'm saying he's always thrown one and that this is another "player X has a new pitch / has been working out / is in the best shape of his life / wants to steal 40 bases" story that you hear every offseason and need to learn to ignore like the white noise that they actually are.

James (LA)

Hey Keith, In next years draft, if you are the Braves, would you pass on a CF talent like Donovan Tate and go for a pitcher like Andy Oliver, knowing that you have CF prospects like Jordan Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez in your system? Do front offices think like that?

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

Best player available. Period.

Brian (Jersey)

Bill Simmons once wrote that he thought that the Hall of Fame should be a Pyramid with 5 levels. The best players at the top on level 5 and the borderline guys who made it on level 1. The building could even be shaped like a pyramid. Im pretty sure he even nominated you to reclassify the guys currently in the Hall into the 5 levels. I think it is the greatest idea he has ever had.

Keith Law
  (2:25 PM)

I remember that column and I thought it was a good compromise between the Morris/Rice camp and people who want the Hall to mean something.

Damian (Chicago)

***Your absolute favorite fast-food?****

Keith Law
  (2:26 PM)

5 Guys.

Justin (Chicago)

Horrible idea. You're in or out, period. This isn't kindergarten where you have to let everyone get a prize.

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

But that's what we have now. Sutter's inclusion is a joke, a monument to the misunderstanding of the save stat and his role in history. Rice's will be almost as bad. Hunter's been covered. Everyone already gets a prize. Even if they're rude to the media, like Rice. Unless the BBRAA-issued remote PED-detectors say that you've used steroids or HGH. Then you NEVER get a prize.

Marcos (Rio do Janeiro)

If Boston getting involved with Teixeira helps the Yankees land him (just because Hank believes that Boston could get it, that much better for New York since they actually need him.

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

The point, if my speculation is right, is to ensure the Yankees pay more.

Phil (PA)

Who are your top 3 Phillies prospects, relative to age and level?

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

Did I answer this above? Donald, Brown, Carrasco, probably Taylor next. I'm a little down on Marson, whose swing is going to generate a ton of groundballs.

Kevin (STL)

Are scouts getting frustrated with Fernando Martinez?

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

I'm not sure what that means. I haven't changed my opinion of him.

Graeme (Denver,co)

Klaw, I pulled my turkey out at 161 degrees, but it was still underdone. What did I do wrong?

Keith Law
  (2:30 PM)

Bad thermometer? Or was the dark meat underdone? I tent foil over the breast partway through to slow its cooking so that the dark meat and white finish at the same time.

Paul, NJ

Recently found your top 100 Novels list- Started with #8, 100 Years of Solitude, and am enjoying it thoroughly. As for baseball, do you expect the Rangers to move a catcher? Is Saltalamacchia to Boston dead?

Keith Law
  (2:31 PM)

Amazing book. I do expect Texas to move at least one catcher this offseason, for pitching. Boston is still involved, but I know of nothing imminent.

Shawn (NYC)

So is Delmon Young a bust? He's still relatively young, no?

Keith Law
  (2:31 PM)

No, not a bust, yes, still young.

Frank (NY)

If they Yankees sign two FAs, the Gerritt Cole and Bittle compensation picks are still protected, right? I didn't think I was going to have to worry about whether they had high ANY picks left until the Yankees decided to act like a small market team and not offer Abreu arbitration...

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

Right, those two picks are protected no matter whom they sign.

Dan (DC)

Any chance the Nats actually sign Texeria or is Dunn (ex-Red) more likely? How does Bowden still have a job?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

Dunn is much more likely, and Bowden is very friendly with the Lerners' son, which I understand has insulated him from all of the outside, rational criticism of his job there.

Cox (Central NJ)

Fernando Martinez being involved in any package for Bobby Jenks and Jermaine Dye - bad idea, or really, really, really bad idea?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

I think Kenny would be selling high on both guys. Jenks may have peaked in October 2005, or early 2006 at the latest. Still good, not the same guy, no way I trade for him with Wood still out there.

John,CA

I ate 5 guys for the fist time Sat. and I still think In-n-Out is better

Keith Law
  (2:34 PM)

Not even close for me - 5 Guys' burgers are much better.

Bob (NY)

If I change names and cities a bunch can you tell or is that all you see?

Keith Law
  (2:35 PM)

That's all I see, but I also don't look at names when I post, so I don't know who you think you'd be fooling.

Steve (NY)

To get good value out of Jenks and then sign Wood would be a stroke of genius. I'd have to imagine the White Sox would be a dream fit for him, no?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

I didn't think about that, but yes, that would be a heck of a sequence for the White Sox. And I'm sure Wood would enjoy saving 40 games across town from the team that discarded him.

Junior (Tallahassee, FL)

What does McPhail do this off-season to continue building the Os? AJ? Tex? Izturis? I sincerely want to know what you think he can pull off...

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

I think they'll be outbid on Teix and Burnett, but I expect them to make serious offers on both.

Keith Law
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks for all the questions - I should be back next week after the meetings wrap up, but it might not be at the usual time. Check the dish for an update on Tuesday or Wednesday!