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July 29, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all! What a big day this has been, with two major trades in baseball, including last season's AL Cy Young winner going to the defending World Series champs... yeah, I like it! Anyway, we're talkin' baseball and, if you like, football... let's go!

Matt (Charleston, WV)

probably going to get a bunch of these Eric, but walk through the fantasy implications of Cliff Lee going to the Phils...thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I'd be happy to! In fact, check the site soon, I wrote a quick spin on who is affected. The short version is Lee is already owned in every league, and he should improve some in the NL. He should win at a greater rate, that's for sure. Rodrigo Lopez loses his rotation spot, and the Pedro Martinez experiment now means nothing. For the Indians, the fact they threw in Ben Francisco has to mean Matt LaPorta's promotion is imminent. The Phillies don't really need Francisco, but I bet the Indians insisted. Anyway, look for LaPorta soon. The prospects the Indians got don't excite me much for this season. Carrasco has not been good. Donald has been hurt. Marson doesn't have much power. Knapp is in Single-A. Halladay was more expensive, but I really like how the Phillies played this, keeping their top prospects.

Brian (San Antonio)

EK, so I'm sitting here starting medical school, but I find myself being more concerned with Brian Fuentes latest performance? What should I be more worried about?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

You can check out the latest Relief Efforts, which should be on the site by now. Fuentes has pitched the past two days and not retired any of the eight hitters he faced. Wow! Mike Scioscia claims he's tired. Well, look at that bullpen, he'd better get un-tired soon. I think Fuentes might get a few days off, but this should be a blip in the big picture. I'd be more concerned about medical school!

Nathan (CT)

Hey EK, between harren and Grienke, which one would trade in a package to possibly get Hanley?...keeper league here...

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Well, if I was ranking for next season, I would put Haren ahead of Greinke. For this season it's close. Haren has a notable career split before and after the All-Star break, and let's just say what Haren did last night is not a huge surprise. His numbers the past few Aug/Sept haven't been great. I'd still keep him though over Greinke.

Mike (Tampa, FL)

Snell and Wilson...implications for an AL only league??? Thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Probably not much, though I will not presume Snell is done. He was so great in the minors this season, you know his arm can be electric. He just didn't want to pitch in Pittsburgh I suppose. In 2007 Snell was pretty good, and yes, he could resurrect himself, so in an AL-only I would take a chance. As for Wilson, we know what he can do. No real implications. I'd argue he helps the Seattle pitchers - Washburn! - more in the field than he does at the plate.

Snake (New York)

I am in need of saves and have a excess of starters. I can trade either Sabathia or Wandy for Nathan. Would you make this trade? Which starter would you prefer from here on out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Well, I'm sure I could come up with reasons to keep Wandy over CC, but I wouldn't really believe it. Yes, Way-Rod has been great. CC can still be great as well. But I wouldn't trade either of them straight up for any closer. See if you can move a hitter you don't need for a cheaper closer. There's only two months left. Nathan could get 14 saves, or 6. So could any of 20 other relievers.

Andrew (San Diego)

I almost worked at ESPN, and now I regret not... I just traded Zobrist and Reynolds and got back a recently lukewarm Adrian Gonzalez. Will I regret this???

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Yeah, that's kind of a regrettable trade. I can argue both Zobrist and Reynolds are individually better for fantasy than Gonzalez. But what's done is done.

Lt. Ellen Cardignano (Fallujah)

EK, do you know if Travis D'Arnaud is the C of the future in Philly since Marson got dealt?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I think D'Arnaud is still a few years away, but the Phillies felt like Marson was never going to hit for power, and Carlos Ruiz handles the pitching staff well enough and isn't old. Plus, you can win now.

Hank (The Bronx)

Am I CRAZY for playing Willingham over Hamilton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

The way they are playing, absolutely not. The Rangers have been hitting Hamilton seventh in the order recently. Willingham is hitting near .300 and for power. Just don't drop Hamilton.

Smith (NJ)

What is your opinion on retaining closers in a keeper league? I'm currently in a 14 team 5x5 keeper league where 5 players can be kept. I was surprised to hear that someone would keep K-Rod who I offered Adrian Gonzalez for.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Well, that is a deeper league than most, but the only way I would keep a closer is if he was a top one and I knew many other closers were being kept Even then I might not do it... I would probably try to trade one. Keeping five top hitters is smarter than keeping any closer.

James (Jersey)

For the rest of the year, could you rank Tillman, Snell, Carmona, Rzepcynski?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Impossible to tell. For now I would say none of them are worth much in a standard league. Tillman hasn't even pitched yet! Snell could be very good, or downright awful...a high risk, high reward guy. Carmona scares me, and that young Blue Jay lefty... check his walks.

Phillips (The Rockies)

What are you thoughts on Pedro Alvarez? He seems like he's been hitting for power between A and AA, but he also seems like a bit of an idiot, for lack of a better term. Is he a good guy to target in a keeper league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I've never met him, so I shouldn't judge. Offensively it seems he has major league power, but he's not disciplined at the plate and his fielding has been bad. Could he be up in early-2010? I suppose, but Andy LaRoche is doing OK. It might be another full calendar year before we see Alvarez with the Bucs. As for a keeper league... I dunno, he's a good guy to target, but not great.

Butch (PA)

This Jason Donald Kid. Reading big things about him. How good is he? Chase Utley good?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

No, no, definitely no. Donald makes contact, is versatile, reminds me a bit of Gordon Beckham. Donald should be a major leaguer, but without a defined position, could get tagged a utility guy. The Indians could give him a run at 2B... but I don't expect much power or speed.

Dan (NYC)

Norris worth a flier in a deep H2H league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Sure, I'd take a shot. Oswalt got hurt last night and coincidentally Bud Norris got called up right away... so I would think he gets a chance to start. Decent minor league stats, throws hard. Can't say he'd interest me in a standard league, but in a deeper one, why not...

Tony (SF)

I have Tillman, Harang and Parra. Am I crazy to start all 3 today?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

No, not crazy. I don't start rookies in their debuts, but Tillman is facing the Royals. He's also facing Greinke. Harang is fine, and Parra is showing signs... depends on the situation, pace, a lot of things on whether I would start these three...

Jaon (nyc) [via mobile]

i traded Perdroia for Bruce in a keeper league the same night he broke his wrist at Injury Field ARGH!! Will I ever turn a profit?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Not this year, but I suppose Bruce could hit 30 homers next year, and maybe .275, to make it somewhat close... but I would still rather have Pedroia.

AZ (Cleveland)

Is Mark Reynolds the top ranked 3b for 2010? Dude is nasty.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

No, he is not, but I seem to be alone in thinking Reynolds might not be a fluke. He did run last season, just not as much. He's always going to strike out, but the power is legit, maybe he hits 35 homers. Stealing bases is generally about wanting to run, not needing to with guys like him. Top 40 player I could see...

Jon (Baltimore)

Would you trade Holliday/Sandoval for Howard in a keeper league? i feel that trading those two players is too much for a .260 hitter

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Seems like a lot to me. Howard is great for what he does, but Sandoval and Holliday are pretty valuable as well...

Zak (Cincy)

Blalock or Garret Jones rest of way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Hank Blalock would probably still be the choice here, but if Jones is still hitting for power in a month, I'd change my mind. It's just too early to presume Jones, a career minor leaguer, is this good...

JD (BMore)

Eric, can you rank these "under the radar" pitchers for me? B Anderson, L Hochevar, K Kawakami?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Probably the same order you did. Oakland's Anderson has major upside, just needs consistency. Hochevar is showing signs, with 22 Ks and no walks the past two starts. Not a big fan of Kawakami. He probably loses his rotation spot in a few weeks to Tim Hudson anyway.

Dan (NYC)

Will the Lee deal have any affect on Happ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

No. How can he come out of the rotation the way he has pitched? Poor Lopez is leaving...

David (DC)

If you could pick up one guy who you thought would be closing after the trade deadline that wasn't before who would it be??

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I don't see why the Orioles feel the need to keep George Sherrill around... so I would say Jim Johnson. Not a whole lot of discussion concerning closers being dealt this week...

Aaron (Salt Lake)

Hi Eric - Are you still on the Wieters bandwagon? Would you drop him for Montero or Suzuki?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Still on the bandwagon, yes. Montero will cool down quickly, definitely.

Drew (Hudson Valley)

Eric, Reynolds projections right now are 45/110/.278/30 steals and he plays for an avg. offensive team - I think he is very legit.

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I totally agree... he's going 30/30!

Ray (VA)

Would you do Russel Martin, Figgins, and Youk for Choo, Scutaro, and Franklin if you need saves?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I'd find another way. Seems like you're giving up quite a bit there... Youkilis is a top-30 player. Choo isn't yet. And Franklin should get saves, but ... trade for someone who has an ERA in the 3s. Much cheaper.

Eric (CO)

Should LaPorta be picked up right now in 14 team mixed leagues? I'd drop Luis Castillo.

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Yes, but don't expect he's going to hit 10 homers per month, either. He should play regularly, and soon. And Castillo doesn't help a fantasy team.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

E.K., is Ben Francisco going to get any playing time with your Phils, or is he going to be a 4th/5th outfielder?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

No. He and Kelly Shoppach and Rodrigo Lopez all lose in this trade. The Phillies have three All-Star outfielders. Francisco just caddies for Ibanez now, pinch hits against lefties.

Matt (Chicago)

Football Q! I saw your draft strategy rb,rb,rb. Care to defend? You passed on some good wrs. Aren't wrs - Wayne, Jennings, et.al safer options in rounds 3,4?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Wow! Anyone else have football questions... go for it! I presume you're discussing the mock draft we had. I agree I probably should have drafted a wide receiver in round 3, but I could play all three RBs... Turner, Portis and M.Barber, for those who didn't see. But it was a mock, lesson learned. There are not as many top WRs as people think. I still like the WRs I got, and think it will suffice.

Georgeous Borgess (Brooklyn)

When is Milledge coming up - the Pirates don't have many players left! Wladimir still untouchable despite the Reds' OF woes?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Yes, we have another trade! The Mariners send Wlad Balantien to the Reds for a minor league pitcher. Woo-hoo! Anyway, I don't think Balentien can hit much, thus the Mariners giving up on him, but if you're going to not contend and give Jonny Gomes playing time, might as well see what Wlad can do. And Milledge could be up any day. I don't know what the Bucs are waiting for if he's healthy, which he appears to be.

Frank (Hartford)

Is Jeff Clement worth an add right now over someone like Pudge?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

No. I think he's heading to Triple-A Indy for a month, so they can see if Clement can catch.

Mike (Erie)

Where should Wieters go in a new keeper draft?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Certainly one of the top-5 catchers without question...

Bob (NJ)

EK! any thoughts on Brandon Inge for the rest of the year with his knee being an potential issue... drop him for Bengie Molina to take his spot (He's C-eligible in my league)

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Not sure if Bengie is the best guy to get, but yes, do not expect Inge to match his first half production with this knee problem. His average could really plummet. Bengie would be safer.

JD (DC)

Does the fact that the Phils didn't have to give the prospects they offered for Halladay keep the possibility of a Halladay deal open?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

In theory, but I really doubt the Phillies would move their top ... what, 8 prospects in the same week? Halladay isn't going to Philly. Too expensive. And I agree with what the Phillies did... nobody they gave up projects to be great, and the Phillies can win right now... again!

George (NY)

Understand alot can change but right now which player do you keep LT, K Smith, B Marshall, R White, K Warner to go with Turner and Calvin

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

LT. I have him ranked No. 6 overall. I know he's not a young guy, but he's going to be productive this season.

Marshall (St. Louis)

Who do I keep in my second year keeper league, Tom Brady or Steve Slaton? We award 6pt throwing TDs.

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Most people will probably tell you Brady, with that scoring system. I would go RB.

Cole ((Baltimore))

Here comes the FOOTBALL -- Can keep 2 players (round penalty in parentheses) -- MJD (1st round), S.Smith (3rd round), Rowdy Roddy (5th), T.Hightower (9th round), M.Cassell (17th

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Probably the two best players, Jones-Drew and Smith. Yeah, you lose two top picks, but you get a lot of production. I might keep White over Smith, now that I think of it. Similar production. Who can you get in round 1 better than MJD?

Mike (Cincinnati)

I've got Percy Harvin as a major sleeper this year...you agree with that?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Would have felt better if Favre was there, but I could see him sneaking up on people. But he's a rookie. I rarely depend on them.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

Everyone talks about AP or Turner being the number 1 fantasy back but I will be the most consistent week in and week out. I get all the carries, catch a bunch of passes and I have a real qb to take some pressure off me this year. I should be the number 1 pick.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Hey, I am totally open to that. I have Forte 3, but I wouldn't laugh at someone taking him first. It's wide open this season in round 1...

al (dc)

bud norris just came in relief of hampton.

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Then maybe that's good news for Oswalt!

Joe (LA)

MJD over Turner in a PPR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Yeah, probably... quick hitters now!

Joe (Shmoe)

Pujols hasn't hit a HR in over a week and a half. Time to cut bait?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Definitely. He stinks now. C'mon!

Greg (Amherst, MA)

Is Carson Palmer a worthy starting QB this season? He could be a nice sleeper

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I guess I can see it, but he didn't make my top-15 at QB.

G Love (Chicago)

In a nutshell, Adam Jones or Granderson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I like Granderson better...

Zak (Cincy)

Going back to, umm, Mr. Forte's question. With the top pick, you want a reliable player. Most publications get 2-4 of their top ten RB's correct (ESPN is no different). So, don't you want a reliable player like Forte or MJD who get all the touches over Turner or AP who, while they run a bunch and score a lot of TD's, are major injury risks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Major injury risks? How? Peterson has been healthy in the NFL and what's Turner's problem? These guys are fine. So are Forte and MJD. Like I said, I can see the case for any of the 4 as the top pick... I still rank them AP, Turner, Forte and MJD is my 5.

Rob (VA)

Better keeper for next year: Cano or Zobrist?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I don't understand why nobody buys into Zobrist. I think it's fair to doubt him until he does it again, but who is better this season? It's not close.

JC (Nashville)

Am I crazy for picking up and starting Kyle Blanks in a 14 team mixed league? His numbers aren't "that" bad....right??

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Has pop, but ... doesn't hit a whole lotta singles, ya know?

KEVIN (NJ)

should i start scott feldman or joel pineiro tonight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I'd go Pineiro... just look at his numbers. Much better than anyone who didn't know would believe...

Pete (Cincinnati)

Are you going near Plaxico this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

For real, or for fantasy? Neither. He's not going to play...

North Dakota Steve (South Dakota)

THoughts on Reggie Bush?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Could catch a ton of passes, should have value, but there's a reason why Pierre Thomas is going in round 4... people like him, and he should be pretty good at RB.

Jake (LA)

14 team league, keep Derrick Ward in 9th or Larry Fitz in 1st?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Very tempted to go Ward there...

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, my time is up. Thanks to all for the questions and have a great day....