Live from the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... now 28% stupider than last year! - it's Klawchat.
Take me. Please.
Dude, I couldn't lift you if I had five more pallbearers along side me.
Is AJ Burnett a Yankee yet or does he want to go to the Braves instead?
Last I heard this morning was that it wasn't done, but he's most likely a Yankee. I don't think Atlanta is going to 5/$90.
What does Kenny Williams see in Homer Bailey?
A former first-rounder with a good arm (not as good as it was) who needs a change of scenery. I'm sure he's figuring it worked with Danks and Floyd, so why not try it again? And I can't argue with that logic.
Keith, If there is no market for Varitek, and he missed out on chance for raise by declining arbitration, shouldnt the Sox offer him less than $10M for one year?
congrats on your acceptance into the BBRAA. Does this mean you have to be more civil to the unwashed mass of writers? Or do I owe $5?
Have you met me? Come on.
True or False: Had Joseph K simply ignored his "trial" and continued to live his life the way he did prior to his arrest, he would never have been bothered by the case again.
I wondered while reading it if that was part of Kafka's point.
Can the Mariners mess with Morrow any more than they already have? Is he the heir apparent, or will they go in another direction?
Moving him BACK to the pen, again, would be more lunacy. He holds his velo for 100 pitches and his secondary stuff improved last year. Heilman in the rotation and Morrow in the pen is just backwards.
I know you've been an advocate of Mike Cameron, or at least saying that he is underrated.....how bad of a trade would the Melky Cabrera for Cameron deal been for the Brewers?
It's fine for Milwaukee, although obviously they'd like to get a second player. Four years of control of a guy who's at least a solid 4th outfielder for one year and $10MM of a good everyday outfielder with some downside makes sense to me, and it might free up coin for the Brewers to add a starter.
You said that J.J. Putz is a better closer than K-rod. Can you explain please?
Well, he has better stuff, misses more bats, and has far better control. Does that cover it?
What's your take on Miguel Montero? He's put up better numbers than I'd realized.
I've always liked the swing, and he has some surprising power. I know right now the compass points the other way, but I prefer him to Snyder over the next 3-5 years.
Who's on your HOF ballot? (if you had one)
Rice, Morris, Dawson, Concepcion, Rose.
But K-Rod set the all-time saves record last year Keith!
Exactly. I've been arguing with commenters on Deportes who say that I'm a racist because I ranked K-Rod and Abreu so low. I had exactly one commenter come to my defense.
According to MLBTR, Towers says the Cubs pulled out of the Peavy deal and it is dead. Do the Padres start the season with Peavy or does he get traded somewhere else?
I know they'd prefer to move him for financial reasons, so to me, this just indicates that the price in prospects came down, and some other teams that were out will jump back in.
Any shockers in the Rule 5 draft today?
Not really. Most interesting guy is Miguel Gonzalez, taken by Boston from the Angels. Missed the year, throwing very well in Mexico, avg to above avg fastball with plus command.
Hey Keith, I hope this isn't as bad as some of those Yankees fan trades. If Lowell proved he was healthy in the spring, and the Sox got Tex, would Lowell and Bard get them Salty?
No, I don't see why the Rangers would take Lowell in a deal like that.
As an Orioles fan, do I have to look forward to a rotation full of Paul Byrds and Esteban Loiazas next year? Yuck.
Just hang in there. Help is on the way.
Does Darren O'Day have a chance to immediately replace Joe Smith in the Mets bullpen? And is there much of a dropoff?
The guy who replaces Smith is Sean Green, and that's an upgrade. The guy is a groundball machine. Of course, he needs to direct all groundballs to the left side...
There has been talk about the Red Sox moving Ortiz. Was there any buzz at the winter meetings about a trade for Ortiz?
There has been no such talk. Just stop it.
KLaw, why no Rickey on your ballot?
OK, a lot of people are missing the joke. My actual ballot, if I had one, would be Rickey, Raines, McGwire, Trammell, Blyleven.
What's Ball 4?
Don't worry, you'll never encounter one.
Will Lowe sign with the sox if they only are willing to go 3 years $16M
Te sox would have to give up Buchholz to get a catcher from Texas?
To get Teagarden, probably. I'm not sure if Bowden alone would do it.
I haven't heard a thing about Orlando Hudson during winter meetings. What's the buzz?
Rob Neyer is a big supporter of Tim Raines for the HOF? How bout you? Why or why not?
Yes. Because the 100 best players in the history of the game should be in the Hall.
Will the american public be turned off from baseball if the Yankees spend around half a billion total on CC, Burnett, Lowe and Tex ?
No, but a bunch of BBRAA hacks will whine about it, even though it's not happening. Yeah, I'm still here.
What did you think of the White Sox signing 3B Cuban Dayan Viciedo? Is this kid going to be good? I hear he's only 19 and he came to Chicago because of Jose Contreras and Alexei Ramirez being on the team.
Has a chance to be very good at the plate. Has a chance to be devastating at the buffet.
What is the story with Franklin Morales? Rockies plans for him? Is he available, change of scenery like Bailey? I believe he was in your top 10 prospects to start the year.
He was, but I don't think his arm is 100%. His velo was down and his command was in the tank. I do remember writing about him after seeing him in March, only to have a Rockies fan tell me that the reduced velo was part of the Rockies' pitching coach's plan for Morales. That worked out. It also sounds like the excuses for K-Rod's velo drop.
Do you believe Lou Whittaker should be in the Hall? He didn't make it past the first ballot (which was insane) but seems to have numbers that at least warrant strong consideration.
Yes, I would have voted for him.
Of course you won't whine about the Yanks getting those players. You work for ESPN and we all know the bias your network has towards the Yanks and Sox
I don't know if that's a $5 fine or just a chat rookie.
COuld you explain who's available in Rule 5 draft? Or would it take too long. Thanks!
Very briefly, it's players who've been in an organization for 3+ years (if signed at age 19 or older) or 4+ years (if signed younger than that) who are not protected on the 40-man roster. Baseball America has a page up that explains it in more depth.
Ricky Henderson is eligible for the Hall this year. Do you think we'll ever see a player voted in unanimously?
Maddux will be the ultimate test. What on earth is the argument against him?
Has Dayton Moore gone insane?
I don't get the Farnsworth thing at all.
I have to go tape a quick hit for Baseball Tonight - I'll be back in less than 5 minutes.
I'm back, sorry about the delay.
No argument with the guys you have on there, but why are you not voting for Dawson? You've got space left.
I wouldn't feel compelled to fill the ballot; if there are not ten qualified players, then I wouldn't list ten. Dawson was a huge out-maker for his entire career - and trust me, this whole "he didn't know OBP mattered" thing is just revisionist nonsense. If Dawson didn't realize that making outs was bad, then he was a moron. And I really don't think that was the case.
Is there a chance Lowe would sign for three years in Boston or did that ship sail in 2004?
I think it sailed, and I don't think the Red Sox are going to sign a starter unless it's to a one-year deal, like Penny or Smoltz.
Keith, why do you think Peavy has no interest in coming to the red sox? Scared of the AL or just doesn't want the big market?
I'm sure the AL/NL thing is an issue, and also, if you're Peavy, why would you agree to waive your no-trade clause to go to a high-revenue club? Make them pay you for it.
Teixeira signs with____ for _______
Angels. 7 years, $175MM.
You left Ron Santo off your list. He played for the Cubs and he's complained long enough. Get him in!
Not eligible by the BBRAA route. He's a vets committee guy now.
Can you talk people off the ledge about Clay Buchholz? I am hearing Casey Fossum comparisons which is downright riduclous
It's like we forget that top prospects can stumble in their first big-league exposure and still turn out OK. Everyone's jumping off the Salty bandwagon, the Buchholz bus, and the Hughes hovercraft. Don't hurt yourselves and remember to roll when you hit the ground.
If you're right and Angels go to $25mil per year for 7 years on Teix, is it a good move? And would it be a good move for a team like the Red Sox, Yankees, O's, or Nationals to top that offer?
I've been arguing that the Angels will end up with Teix because they have the greatest incentive. If they don't sign him, their offense next year is weak, potentially quite bad. Unless Vlad finds a fountain of youth, they're very light on power, and as always they won't get on base. Even a good year from Wood would only help mitigate the first point. To the Red Sox, Teixeira is more of a luxury, but to the Angels, he's more of a necessity.
Will Gomez be closer to Torri Hunter or Juan Pierre with an arm?
He has more power potential than Pierre ever had.
Klaw, doesn't Batista have to be the closer for the M's now? He has experience and is a disaster as a starter. That way they could keep Morrow as a starter.
Sure. They're going to lose 100 games either way; a closer is the last thing they need.
Have you heard anymore rumors about Sanchez for Cantu, or can I finally take a deep breath and relax?
Sabean shot that down last week, I think. Not that I've seen him here. He's an absolute phantom at these things.
I've watched prep Matt Davidson play quite a few times and was wondering where you think he'll go in the 2009 amateur draft?
First round, sounds like the middle, although I like him more than that.
You're kidding about Dawson, right? .279, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, 314 SB, 157 Assists, 8 Gold Gloves, 1977 ROY, 1987 MVP. Should I go on?
I like how you left his OBP out of it. That's only, like, the most important stat.
Now that you are a member of the BBRAA, when will you have a HOF vote?
2019. Right around the bleeping corner.
Where would you rank Bryce Harper on the list of high school prospects that you have ever seen?
I never saw the Uptons as high school players, so it's not a great comparison even among recent prospects, but Harper is the best high school player I've seen.
True or false, Teix will be the most overpaid player in MLB next season?
False. He won't even be in the top ten on that list.
Tell me about the player the rays got from the tigers. Thanks
My analyses of that trade and the Putz trade are on my ESPN.com blog.
From Joe Sheehan's chat yesterday....comments? "ericturner29 (Chicago): The ten years standing rule (for BBWAA HOF voting) is to ensure the voters are only crusty old curmudgons. Joe Sheehan: Won't work. Keith will only be 26 when he gets his tenth year."
He's just mad because the BBRAA board made him stand next to the "You must be as tall as this sign to receive a BBRAA badge" and he didn't make it.
You mentioned how Sabean is like a phantom at these things. Who is the anti-Sabean?
That's a great question. I've probably seen Kenny Williams more than I've seen any other GM. He's very social.
Love the chats! I heard Bochey say the other day that he plans on playing Sandoval at 3rd and batting him 3rd. Do you think he's got the chops to hit there? Also, how little range is the left side of the Giants infield going to have?
Hit, yes. Michelangelo's David might have more range, though.
I understand that OBP *IS* the most important stat, but is that reason alone enough to just ignore the other numbers and leave Dawson out?? Aren't there many more undeserving players *already* in the Hall??
That's a lousy argument. Just because the voters have screwed up before doesn't justify screwing up again. And yes, a terrible OBP is a great reason to leave a hitter out. All of those outs he made count against him.
When did the myth of the salary cap = parity begin? Why has it been so successfully sold to the masses? It's the only area I know where the owners making more money and the workers less appeals to the masses.
The mainstream media - and their lack of knowledge of economics - have been a critical component in selling that lie to the public.
Keith, are Gutierrez and Chavez the two best defensive outfielders in baseball?
No, but they're both very good. Dave Cameron and I were talking this morning - he thinks I'm underselling Gutierrez, who is a plus centerfielder and whose bat plays there. I'm still concerned about the platoon issue and the horrid plate discipline, but Dave is right that a .320 OBP/.410 SLG guy who's a ++ glove in center is a very useful, if not good, player.
You think Buster Posey will stay at catcher or will he be like biggio and move elsewhere?
So our new GM seems to value defense much more than his predessor, so that is good news. What other moves do you see him making? Also, wouldn't his focus on defense prompt him to try to retain Beltre? He is the best at 3B.
Beltre's value is declining rapidly as he nears the end of his contract. It makes more sense, given where Seattle is as an organization, to trade him this winter.
Twins resigned Punto. As a Twins' fan, should I be worried that is the biggest off season move they make?
If the Yankees sign Burnett, the Sox sign Teixiera and the Braves have no interest. Where does Lowe end up? Philly?
That is Gutierrez, formerly of Cleveland, now with the Mariners? Wasn't he a corner OF?
Because they had Sizemore.
If you were a Cardinal fan, how comfortable would you be with Colby Rasmus as the Opening Day CF?
Very. Have to let him develop.
Dawson's career OPS is right below Robin Ventura's.
So put Ventura in too! Put everyone in! Most of them are better than Jim Rice anyway!
Is Vlad a HOFer?
Mets are still nowhere: FRod's velocity is going south, and will be hit this year. Putz wants to be a closer, so look for a problem. Sean Green gives up more hits than innings, is wild and his ERA was close to 5
That's not analysis. That's wishful thinking from a fan of another team.
Jonathan Sanchez for Delmon Young....who says 'no' and why?
I have a feeling the Twins would say no. The Giants don't seem to be that high on Sanchez. Not as high as I am, at least.
Can the yanks win it all with the group of guys they have or do they need to improve in a certain area like the bullpen?
I think they need another starter and another bat. It's a tough division.
Dr. Klaw! Perhaps this'll be the day I can finally break through the chat ceiling, so to speak. Anyway! So, everyone here in Albuquerque is excited that the Dodgers have signed up with the Isotopes. My question is- will we see a better club here in town now that the 'Topes are a Dodgers farm team (as opposed to to Marlins)?
Unless I'm mistaken, the Marlins ended up skipping a lot of prospects past Albuquerque because the park is so hitter-friendly. (Or they were concerned about players getting fat at Frontier.) I don't know if the Dodgers would do the same.
I'm a sports radio show host at my college and my listeners slammed me for thinking the mets got ripped off in the Putz deal. How wrong are my listeners?
You think the mets got ripped off, and you're criticizing your listeners?
So if you take a player in the Rule 5 draft, what exactly does that mean?
You have to carry him on your major-league roster for all of 2008, or return him to his former team for $25K (after he clears outright waivers). He must spend at least 90 days on the active roster, and if he doesn't, the requirement carries over to the next year.
Why the K-Rod hate Klaw? His career BAA is .188 the lowest of every pitcher with 400 innings in the live ball era.
BAA is heavily skewed by the defense behind the pitcher.
Aren't you tired, as I am, of hearing the Dodgers "could pursue" this guy or "have interest" in that guy? Why don't they man up and sign these guys?
I don't think they have a lot of coin to play with. It sounds like the money they have (had?) for Manny was separate from the main budget, much like the money Milwaukee had for Sabathia.
Your an idiot.
But at least I know how to use an apostrophe, you twit.
Keith, What am I missing? The Rays are looking for help in the pen but leave Morlan unprotected?
Velo down, out of shape, throwing poorly in winter ball. I was fine with it.
How far have Chuck Lofgren and Alan Horne fallen to not even get selected in the Rule-5 draft?
Very far. Although I was never that high on Horne to begin with.
So I hear that you are chatting with people in the corner of the Bellagio according to my sources at RAM. Yes we Yankee fans have eyes every where!
I don't even know what that means.
Should Ankiel be dealt?
I'm not sure what the urgency is, but if it's just about clearing a spot for Rasmus, I hope they get full value for him. You could always slide Ankiel to a corner and trade Ludwick, who is all downside after the huge year.
Hey KLaw, can you explain why you're down on Abreu, he still hits 290ish, with 20 HRs, 100 RBIs, 20 SBs, and an all important OBP in the upper 300's. I'm hearing the White Sox are interested, and it seems like he's still producing enough to matter, no?
Brutal defensive outfielder with declining power. I do like him, but the minuses are starting to creep up on the pluses.
Do you want a Senate seat?
I'll go hit the slots first and get back to you.
Craps, Blackjack, or Pai Gow? Also - are the Indians going to sign a big bat? Who would replace Franklin G.?
Craps has the highest EV if you bet right. Have not heard Cleveland in on any "big bats."
Do/did you gamble at all?
I have not.
Am I crazy to think that a Tatis/Murphy platoon is not going to be productive enough?
It'll be productive. I like Murphy's approach at the plate, and Tatis can be useful if he's kept in a little box and deployed in case of emergency (a left-handed pitcher qualifies as an emergency).
Is that a good thing or a bad thing you have seen Kenny Williams so many times?
If I was a GM, unless I was Theo or Cash and likely to be hounded by fans, I'd be out and about a good bit. I think there's value in having a lot of conversations with people, not just for the short term, but for the long term as well. You're building relationships, expanding your network, looking for talent to hire down the road, etc. Omar is also very social, and I think at least some of it is by design as opposed to his nature (he's just a gregarious guy).
Fine...Your an i'diot
Are you in Namibia?
I don't think you're an idiot...but do you see the orioles getting anything else done besides possibly Tex?
They'd like to add a starter on a short deal to provide some bulk innings. I don't expect them to make a move towards contention this year, because their young talent has yet to arrive in the majors.
Any food recommendations in the Bellagio? Where do you see the Yankees getting another bat? Any chance they go after Manny?
The lunch buffet here is very good. I've eaten every other meal out of the hotel. (I love Firefly. I might move to Vegas just so I can eat there twice a week.) I don't think the Yanks go after Manny unless they lose Burnett and don't sign Lowe.
So who are the two best defensive OF?
Carlos Gomez and Carlos Beltran.
Thoughts on Cleveland getting Wood for 2Y/20MM?
Borderline steal. Risky, but worth the risk because of the upside in Wood's arm.
What is your impression of the River Avenue Blues (RAB) website?
They're Keith Law fans. I approve.
Tony La Russa says the Cardinals' #1 priority is a closer (read: Fuentes). What do *you* think their #1 should be?
A second baseman with some pop. But I don't think signing a closer/good reliever is a bad idea. They're sneaky-good for '09, especially if Carpenter can add 20-25 starts.
Three marks and no apostrophes. FAIL.
Law, that is because Minaya is Dominican, we are very friendy people. BTW have you been tu Punta Cana?
Nunca fui a la Republica Dominicana, lo siento.
Where does KC's prospects as a whole rank against the rest of the AL Central?
The prospects in their system, or their prospects as a major-league team? They've got one of the top two farm systems in the division (Cleveland). I don't like the direction of the major-league club right now.
Is there a Manny market other than the Dodgers? Where does Man-Ram sign?
I don't think there is a Manny market beyond LAD. Teams like Texas or Detroit - popular landing spot for Boras clients who don't get what they want from NY/LA/BOS - don't have the cash. I think he goes back to LA.
How do you guys have no reports of the Edwin Jackson/Matt Joyce trade? A 14 win starter on the AL champions gets traded and there's nothing at all reported on your website? What gives!?
Second entry in my blog is entirely about that trade. Take a breath.
Concepcion??? Please discuss.
Again, it was a joke. I don't think he's even on the ballot any more.
Fark, Digg, or Reddit?
Was a fark reader before I came to ESPN, but I don't have time for any of those things now.
"Keith Law: (1:10 PM ET ) Rice, Morris, Dawson, Concepcion, Rose. " Put $5 in your own jar.
I owe the Salvation Army a decent check for all my reader-baiting. Their food pantries are hurting right now.
I also don't think you're an idiot. Burnett, Sheets, Lowe - which one or two of the three do you the Yanks sign? And am I wrong to be worried that we're going after injury prone pitchers, given Joba already has injury concerns, and CC has thrown over 500IP the past two years?
I'm not worried about Sabathia's workload, and of course Lowe has no injury history. Burnett doesn't have a history of injuries - Tommy John surgery five years ago, a broken foot in the minors - so much as he has a history of missing time because his arm doesn't feel perfect. I'm not the #1 Burnett fan on the planet, but the upside (possibly the best raw stuff in the majors) outweighs the risk (he doesn't make 30 starts in a season until his next walk year).
Peter Gammons says Manny signs with the Nationals for 4 years $100M because the Nats miss out on Tex and Manny only cares about money and not winning. Plus Boras wants it that way..
OK, I'll buy that.
Do you think Austin Jackson will be ready by Opening Day 2010? What do you project from him?
First half of 2010. Above-average hitter for a CF, good range but mediocre instincts, not likely to become a star.
Thanks for being one of the only guys that doesn't chat and run after 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Now, feel free to say something nice about the Orioles.
Matt Wieters is good.
I just finished "Invisible Cities." I think you should give it another look; I enjoyed it quite a bit more than "If on a winter's night a traveler." "If on a" was clever and entertaining, but "Cities" seems like it has a broader purpose and I found it more fulfilling.
I'm pretty sure that book flew over my head (in other words, roughly 68 inches off the ground).
... and I'm not any taller today than I was when I read it.
You made a comment about K-Rod and BAA ratings saying they were skewed by the defense behind the pitcher. Well, he's going to have Wright, Reyes and Beltran ... not to mention Church is a solid right fielder as well. Not too shabby, no?
No, but it doesn't make him a better pitcher - it just means he's in a good situation for a pitcher whose K rate is declining.
You mention Colby Rasmus earlier. What is his upper potential? Grady Sizemore w a bit less pop?
More pop, less defense. Perfect world projection, to borrow a phrase from Kevin Goldstein.
What is your take on Biggio and his HOF chances?
Gets in. I'll vote for him if he's still on the ballot if and when I have the vote.
I did not see a White Sox player in the top 50 prospects list that came out earlier this month, about where would you rank Poreda and Beckham, and for that matter Flowers now?
That list was ... well, not good. Flowers might sneak into my top 50, and I'd probably have all three guys plus Viciedo in the top 100. That's a nice change from last year, when it was only Poreda.
Did you have to put one hand on the bible and swear to uphold the sanctity of the pitcher win and the RBI?
I now have a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it and the words "MOST FEARED" on a ribbon around it.
How good is Jason Heyward? What kind of numbers do you think he can put up in the majors? How about Madison Bumgarner, is he as good as Clayton Kershaw?
Those are two of the top 20 prospects in the game. Heyward's going to hit for average and power and get on base while playing a plus right field. (He could probably out-OBP Francoeur right now.) Bumgarner's behind Kershaw at the same age, but still very high-ceiling.
Any good eats in Vegas?
I'll have something up on the dish tomorrow or Saturday.
Dawson's career OBP was .323. He struck out 1 out of every 7 ABs and GDP 1 out of every 46 ABs. Can't really fault the guy for putting the ball in play can you? So, you're saying one stat (OBP) outweighs all the others, correct? Then you better get the broom ready to clean out the HOF.
Straw man. The discussion is not about who's already in, but what the future standard should be. Dawson made over 7000 outs in his career, including grounding into 217 double plays, and didn't do enough the rest of the time in walks, hits, homers, etc. to outweigh that.
What can the Reds expect out of Hernandez at GABP? .260 20 80 sound right?
Optimistic. That's if he realizes it's a walk year and steps it up.
Which team do you think you get the least amount of questions regarding?
Marlins, probably. Rockies would be second.
The cubs have Jeff Samardzja, why not plug him into the 5th spot instead of spending more dough and sending the last of their decent prospects for Peavy ?
I see no evidence he can succeed as a starter. Two-pitch guy who doesn't miss a lot of bats and has fastball command issues. He could have been a starter, or could be a starter if they give him time, but he has been pushed up the system in a way that makes him more likely to end up a reliever.
Why hasn't there been any talk of Fernando Martinez in Queens this year?
He's not ready for the majors yet.
So, ummm, how 'bout those Marlins?
They've got some interesting guys coming. Maybin's a big tools guy, could jack 25+ homers next year with a mediocre OBP and good defense. I like Sinkbeil as a sleeper for their bullpen, two-pitch guy whose stuff plays up there. Curious to see Volstad's development - love the delivery, decent stuff, keeps the ball down but isn't a crazy groundball guy.
How effective will Marmol be pitching the 9th inning for a Cubs team expected to actually make it out of the first round of the playoffs?
He'll be fine. It's Gregg in the 8th inning who should scare you.
what do you think about lou marson?
I think he hits the ball into the ground way too often, and that it's a swing issue. It limits his upside as a hitter.
Ok, How about Logan Morrison? Top 50 prospect yet? Ceiling higher than Anderson or Hosmer?
Yes, top 25 for me. Ceiling is not higher than the other two.
Your thoughts on Nick Noonan
Like his swing and raw power and his defense at second. Very, very disappointed in the horrible plate discipline - did not see that coming.
So are you saying Austin Jackson will be simirlar to Bernie ("Above-average hitter for a CF, good range but mediocre instincts, not likely to become a star.")
Bernie was a star, even if he wasn't recognized as such. AJ is not that good.
More arrogant: you or Top Chef's Stefan? Should the Indians option Joe Smith and put Eddie Moo on a six-week trial before cutting bait, or have we seen the Last of the Mujica?
I bow to no man in that department. I'd like to see Mujica have one more shot.
OK, that's all for this week. I'll be on ESPNEWS at 3:10 ET/12:10 PT to talk about the latest hot stove stuff. Thanks for all the questions - almost 3500 today!