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July 24, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jayson Stark

Jayson Stark
  (1:01 PM)

Welcome to the last week before the trading deadline, and it's getting good! Just so you know, I've got a lot on my plate today, so I'll have to end this chat at about 45 past the hour. OK, let's get going.

marsain, virginia [via mobile]

will the cardnails make it to the world series with matt holiday or not make the wild card?

Jayson Stark
  (1:04 PM)

I think this deal at least makes them the favorite in the NL Central. To add both Holliday and Mark DeRosa in that lineup gives them a legit middle of the order, to go with the best 1-2 starter combo in the division (Carpenter-Wainwright) and a reliable closer. What we don't know is whether Holliday was just psyched out by the ballpark in Oakland, or whether his numbers were always Coors-inflated. But it's still ominous that in the 30 games before the all-star break, he only hit .236 with no homers and six RBIs.

chauncey (teaneck)

Is Mark Burhle a hall of famer?

Jayson Stark
  (1:05 PM)

He's not a Hall of Famer. But if he keeps winning his 15-18 a year for the next six or seven years, get back to me. Here's what he is, though: The most underrated pitcher in the American League, bar none.

Sam (Cleveland)

Rumors circling around are Cliff Lee to Tampa and Victor Martinez to Boston for Clay Bucholtz any truth to those?

Jayson Stark
  (1:08 PM)

All kinds of variations of these deals have been kicked around, including one you didn't mention -- Martinez to the Rays. But my bet is that none of these happen. I don't see any way the Rays would be able to get either of the two Indians without being willing to move David Price, which isn't happening. And I have a tough time believing the Red Sox are willing to deal Buchholz in just about any scenario. I think the chances are really slim that Cleveland trades either Lee or Martinez.

Zach (Vermont)

I want to know if you see the Yankees making any moves? Possibly a starter for Wang who looks to be out for a long time

Jayson Stark
  (1:09 PM)

The Yankees would love to trade for a starter, even if it's just a guy to serve as insurace. But they can't find one. So at this point, if they make any move, it will be for a reliever.

Lou (NJ)

What is the latest on Halladay to the Phillies? Is it going to happen? If not, will we get someone like Cliff Lee instead?

Jayson Stark
  (1:11 PM)

Maybe JP Ricciardi's gut is telling him Halladay won't get traded. But my gut tells me he's going to wind up in Philadelphia. I think both sides are too motivated to make this happen for it to fall apart. But as I wrote yesterday in Rumblings and Grumblings, the Phillies are trying to make this deal without including either J.A. Happ or Kyle Drabek. And I think that's impossible.

Shoshana (Chapel Hill)

What sort of package would be reasonable for a Sherrill? Do you see him getting moved?

Jayson Stark
  (1:13 PM)

I'm going to take the "won't-go" side on this one. They don't have to move him. They can control him for two more years. So they're telling teams they would need to be blown away, in either a 4-for-1 or 3-for-1 deal headed by a premium prospect. Just have a tough time seeing a reliever going for a package that steep. But there are so few decent bullpen alternatives, it isn't impossible. At least eight teams are still working on this.

Mitch (Orlando)

After this year do you think the Mets start doing some rebuilding?

Jayson Stark
  (1:14 PM)

I think they need to. But it's tougher than it looks? Which of their centerpiece players would they, or could they, trade? Santana? No way. Wright? No way? Beltran? Lot of money. Reyes? Can't see it. So it won't be easy to break up that team, even if they decide they need to.

Josh (NY)

If Halladay is traded, do Rolen, Rios, and Scutaro follow?

Jayson Stark
  (1:14 PM)

I don't know about all three, but they'll try. Most likely to go, in this order: Scutaro, then Rolen, then Rios.

Rob (LA)

Wouldn't it be smart for Philly to trade Happ? He never projected to be an outstanding starter and his market value is probably as high now as it ever will be.

Jayson Stark
  (1:16 PM)

Boy, I totally disagree. I quoted a scout in Rumblings and Grumblings who said he used to think Happ could be a poor man's Andy Pettitte - and "now he IS Andy Pettitte, except he's pitching better than the one in New York." If I'm running a team trying to win, I would never, ever trade away a key part of my big-league group. I know Drabek has more upside, but I'd rather trade the guy who has never done it than the guy who's 7-0 in the big leagues. And the truth is, I know scouts who don't think Drabek's ceiling is much higher than Happ;s.

nancy (florida)

jay the phils need a right hand bat off the bench do you think they get one?

Jayson Stark
  (1:19 PM)

Boy, flooded with Phillies questions today. I'm convinced they'll get one. It just might not be till mid-to-late August. I mentioned a bunch of guys they're still looking into in Rumblings -- Ryan Spilborghs, Scott Hairston, Ryan Raburn. And while you could add Josh Willingham to that list, I think they're looking for someone more versatile and less pricey (in terms of what they'd have to give up).

ben (los angeles)

Any Dodger moves in the rumor mill?

Jayson Stark
  (1:20 PM)

I ran through a bunch of these possibilities in Rumblings, too. They're just into the bullpen market at this point, it appears, unless teams stop asking for Clayton Kershaw. So the names would include Scott Downs and Jason Frasor in Toronto, Sherrill in Baltimore, Matt Capps and John Grabow in Pittsburgh, and Arthur Rhodes and maybe David Weathers in Cincinnati. Just to name eight!

Wes (NC)

NON Philly question----Do the Braves make anymore moves?Thanks

Jayson Stark
  (1:21 PM)

They're looking. But what they want doesn't even seem to be out there. They're looking for an outfield bat they can control for a couple of years and who doesn't crush their payroll. They're a very resourceful operation, but I can't find anyone who really fits that job description who is easily obtainable.

Josh (Safety Harbor FL) [via mobile]

Are the Rays going to move Kazmir?

Jayson Stark
  (1:23 PM)

I would say probably not. But I hear they're talking about all sorts of outside-the-box type moves, and they've at least dangled him to see what kind of interest there is. They can't take on much money, so they'd need to subtract money if possible. And he could be that guy. But again, I'd say it's unlikely.

Dave (Ohio)

Jayson- Since the All-Star break, the Reds' record hasn't been spectacular. Have they fallen far enough behind that they should be a seller, a buyer or just stick with what they have and hope to end well enough to build on next season?

Jayson Stark
  (1:25 PM)

I think what they're doing here is twofold: 1) Looking for a bat who could help this year and beyond and 2) seeing if anybody will take the salaries of Bronson Arroyo and/or David Weathers off their hands. That's a stance they can take without saying they're white-flagging it. But I don't sense a lot of interest in either pitcher right now.

Adam (Toronto)

It seems like JP Ricciardi is getting a little frustrated with other GM's. Seems to me that if you want Halladay, the word untouchable better not come out of your mouth or JP is hanging up the phone. Can you blame him?

Jayson Stark
  (1:26 PM)

I don't. This guy is the single most known pitching quantity in baseball. He can go anywhere and win, and handle the pressure and the media. And he's the face of their franchise. So they SHOULD get back somebody's best young player, plus a lot more. I wouldn't trade him without getting that kind of package, either.

Joseph (Sacramento)

What moves do you see the Nats actually doing? Dunn, Johnson, Willingham, Beimel and Guzman all seem to be on the trading block? Who do you predict will be moved and for what type of package? Thanks as always, Jayson.

Jayson Stark
  (1:28 PM)

This is a team that should make about eight deals in the next week, but I bet they only make a couple. They have the most interest in Johnson, Willingham and Beimel. They're not all that hot to trade Dunn. And I haven't heard any team on Guzman.

Swayne (Delmar NY)

Yanks couldn't swing a deal for a mid-to-late rotation guy? Thinking somebody along the lines of a Garland, Doug Davis, Arroyo, Harang, Correia, Gaudin Owings Snell Ducsherer from Oakland

Jayson Stark
  (1:30 PM)

They don't seem real interested in anybody from that tier except Harang. And he's only available if you drastically overpay. That's the problem with this market. You have Halladay. And you sort of have Cliff Lee. And then there's almost no real second tier to deal for.

Sean (Boston)

Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox what do you think it takes to make that happen and who says no first

Jayson Stark
  (1:31 PM)

I've heard that Padres ownership wants no part of trading Gonzalez. So forget that one. Not going to happen.

Dave (Ohio)

Has Halladay's short list of acceptable team's he's willing to go to been released to the press yet? The guy DOES have a no trade clause after all.

Jayson Stark
  (1:33 PM)

No. Nobody is saying who is and isn't on that list. But we know he WOULD go to the Phillies. And JP Ricciardi told me that with a couple of teams he hasn't pre-approved (I'm guessing Milwaukee and Texas) he's at least "on the fence" about going there if a deal comes together.

Haseeb (Vancouver)

If you had one pitcher to pitch a game 7 in the world seris and you need 8 innings from who would you pick

Jayson Stark
  (1:33 PM)

Josh Beckett -- because I've seen him do it, and I know how much he'd love being out there.

Steve (Akron)

Do you think the Tribe is asking too much for Lee and VMart, or do you think they just really aren't that interested in dealing them?

Jayson Stark
  (1:37 PM)

I think they see themselves as a team that can still win next year with them, given a functional bullpen and some health. So they only want to trade Lee and Martinez if it brings back big-time centerpiece players for the next four to six years. That's their thinking, anyway. And it makes perfect sense, I think.

Josh (NY)

So is there absolutely no chance that the Dodgers give up Kershaw for Halladay? If a deal with the Phillies seems imminent, do you see the Dodgers getting desperate and putting him on the table?

Jayson Stark
  (1:38 PM)

There's as much chance of them putting Tommy Lasorda on that table as Kershaw. I don't know if you've noticed, but that guy has been unhittable for the last month.

Marc (Malden, MA)

If the Red Sox were willing to take on Vernon Wells' contract, would they be able to give up less players for Halladay?

Jayson Stark
  (1:39 PM)

Nobody is taking on Vernon Wells' contract. He's got $100 million left! He's the Todd Helton of Canada, a guy who will come up in a million rumors but whose contract makes him untradeable.

Austin (Iowa)

Do you know of any contract extension worked out between the Cards and Holliday? Please don't tell me we gave Wallace for 2 months of Holliday?

Jayson Stark
  (1:41 PM)

If Scott Boras were amenable to a contract extension for Holliday, he'd still be in Colorado. This guy WILL test the market, unless he grabs control of the reins. Nevertheless, this could be a Mark McGwire-type situation, where he goes to St. Louis and falls in love with it, and wants to stay. Also, unless he has a huge finish, he'd have a tough time getting the kind of big, nine-figure contract he and Boras had in mind.

Dylan (St. Louis)

The Cardinals the #3 team in the NL now after the Holliday trade?

Jayson Stark
  (1:42 PM)

Absolutely. And for me, there's a sizable gap between No. 3 and the rest of the pack.

Brian (NJ)

There is some talk that there is great debate within the Phils' organization between those who want to "go for it" (i.e. get Halladay) and those who want to keep the prospects. Gillick seems to be one of the "go for it" club based on his recent radio comments. Any idea who might be on the other side of the debate?

Jayson Stark
  (1:44 PM)

To be honest, I think they all want to "go for it." They just don't want to go for it at any price. If the package for Halladay is Drabek AND Happ AND Dominic Brown AND Jason Knapp, for instance, they won't make this deal. If it's the right combination of two of the above, I think it happens.

Garnett (Ottawa)

So Phillies the #2 team in the NL?

Jayson Stark
  (1:45 PM)

Yes. And I've had several scouts tell me in the last couple of weeks they'd put the Phillies ahead of L.A. But I wouldn't agree, not based on the current composition of those two pitching staffs.

Jayson Stark
  (1:45 PM)

Sorry, but I can only take one more.

Kevin (Georgia)

Since the Braves will have an extra starting pitcher when Tim Hudson comes off the dl. Is there a team with a strong rt handed hitting outfielder they could trade with?

Jayson Stark
  (1:46 PM)

I wrote about this in Rumblings this week, too. Here's the problem with that logic. Hudson is less than a year removed from Tommy John Surgery. And he isn't expected back until mid-August. So how can the Braves be sure of what he'll be when, or maybe if, he comes back? They can't trade away a starter in July, hoping that Hudson comes galloping to the rescue in August. Starting pitching is their one definable strength.

Jayson Stark
  (1:47 PM)

Thanks to everybody who participated. Have a fun deadline week!