Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 12, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jim Callis

Jim Callis
  (2:01 PM)

Hi, everyone. Just like last week, the signing deadline and the Cape Cod League are foremost on my mind. But as usual, bring on any questions you may have.

Ben (Leland Grove, MO)

With quite a few substantially above-slot signings already taking place in the later rounds thus far, is this an omen that we may see several 1st rounders slide through the cracks and not sign before the deadline?

Jim Callis
  (2:02 PM)

Don't read too much into what's happening. I'd look at it more like MLB playing air-traffic control and landing the deals in reverse order of size. These deals are well above slot, but they'll be dwarfed by the first-round deals. My over/under on first-rounders signed is 30.5.

Jim (Boca Raton, FL)

Does Gordon Beckham stay at 3b or move to a MI spot next season?? Seems like an awful waste to have that stick on the corner.

Jim Callis
  (2:04 PM)

Beckham has enough bat to stay anywhere. Until the White Sox got Alexis Rios, I thought they should think seriously about putting Alexei Ramirez in center and Beckham at short. Ramirez is more athletic than Beckham, so Beckham will probably play third base. I do think he could play a solid shortstop if needed.

Justin (Dallas)

Jim, I'm really glad to see Martin Perez get promoted to Frisco. Do you like the move skipping High A to AA or do you think it's needed in Perez's development to pitch in the Cal League?

Jim Callis
  (2:06 PM)

I don't mind seeing guys skip the Cal League. Perez looks like a special pitcher, and I don't think skipping a level is going to set him back. They can always send him down if needed.

Casey (Walnut Creek, CA)

Do you think Buster Posey should be given a shot prior to the September roster expansions so maybe he could help them in their playoff run? Or does he still need seasoning as a catcher?

Jim Callis
  (2:10 PM)

I don't think there's any question he's their best offensive option at catcher. Maybe you let Molina caddy for him defensively, but I'd get Posey up there in San Francisco.

Jim Callis
  (2:11 PM)

Phone call . . .

Jim Callis
  (2:41 PM)

Sorry about that, I'll make it up to you on the back end of this chat.

Trey (KC)

Is Aaron Crow really going to make the Royals wait until next June to sign?

Jim Callis
  (2:43 PM)

We'll see. Last I heard the Royals were offering $3 million. Crow doesn't have a lot of leverage, because it's hard to fathom he'll return to indy ball again, but he did turn down $3.5 million from the Nationals last year. He could pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but at this point, there's not much other incentive to sign before spring training. So it could drag on.

Scott (Boston)

So you've set the O/U at 30.5 That means there's one guy you know won't sign, and one guy about whom you're unsure. Who are those two?

Jim Callis
  (2:45 PM)

I wouldn't say there's a guy I know definitely won't sign. I do think the Rockies may have a tough time signing Tyler Matzek, and it's easier for them to walk away from a first-rounder because they also had picks 32 and 34 and got steals (Tim Wheeler, Rex Brothers) with both. There could be a surprise breakdown with someone, like there was with Crow and the Nats last year. So that's why I said the over/under at 30.5. I'd probably bet the over and guess 31 or 32, though as noted, Crow could take a while.

Nick (PA)

Is Von Rosenberg a guy with a high ceiling or one of those command types with average velocity who never project as more than a 4?

Jim Callis
  (2:46 PM)

High ceiling. He was one of my favorite guys in the draft, thought he was a late first-rounder/sandwich talent. He has good stuff that will get better as he gets stronger and isn't taxed by playing both ways, and he can really pitch too.

Chaz (WV)

Any update on Miguel Sano's situation?

Jim Callis
  (2:47 PM)

I'm telling you, this guy is becoming the Eduardo Salcedo of 2009. That's a little extreme, but his situation remains in limbo. Our international guru, Ben Badler, says he hasn't heard anything new and teams may be focusing on signing draft picks until after Aug. 17.

jOEY (RUTLAND VT)

How is pedro gonna do?

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

I'm skeptical that he has much left. We'll see.

Alex (PA)

Talk about my boy Heyward!

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

He's the best prospect in the minors! The Braves should call him up!

Tom (Jacksonville)

so i take it you think that heathcott will sign then?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

Yes, I do. I think the Yankees, like several clubs, may announce several signings at once toward the end.

Steve (Kansas City)

What are your thoughts on Will Myers and the Dwyer kid from Clemson signing with the Royals. Will they get both?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

Yes. There has been talk for more than a month that they'll sign both, perhaps for as much as a combined $3.5 million.

Bob (MA)

Some reports have Renfroe signing for 2.7 Mil - that's top 5 money. Was he a top 5 guy on talent alone?

Jim Callis
  (2:51 PM)

I think those reports are wrong. I think he'll sign a two-sport deal with a value similar to what Red Sox first-rounder Reymond Fuentes got as his bonus ($1.134 million). Renfroe is a talented kid, one of the best two-way players in the draft, more scouts liked him more as a hitter.

brad (detroit)

Any news on Jacob Turner or Andrew Oliver?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

There usually isn't a lot of public negotiating involving Boras clients, but I bet the Tigers do sign both of them in the end.

Steve (Ohio)

What was your take on Mike Minor's above-slot bonus?

Jim Callis
  (2:53 PM)

No problems with it, and it was just last year's slot anyway. I wouldn't have taken Minor No. 7 overall, and his deal won't affect anyone else's. Wheeler (No. 5, Giants) and Turner (No. 9, Tigers) already were going to get a lot more, and I don't buy MLB's argument that the Braves should have held off to help the Reds with Mike Leake at No. 8.

brad (detroit)

Any thoughts on Alex Avila?

Jim Callis
  (2:54 PM)

Stunned he's in the majors this quick. He had a good bat, was rough as a catcher, but I never saw him going from the fifth round last June to the majors already. But hey, he's helping the Tigers, so kudos to them for promoting him.

Ryan (Newark, NJ)

Might as well get the biggest question out of the way. Strasburg details please.

Jim Callis
  (3:00 PM)

Sorry, another brief phone call there. It's that time of year. Anyway, nothing new to report. I still think the Nationals will sign him at the last second because he's so talented that he'll get offered too much to turn down. I'm think at least $15 million would be too much to risk, though the Nats could go as high as $20 million or $25 million. Of course, Scott Boras may think there's an avenue to free agency, and Stan Kasten could gum things up, so we'll see. I still think it gets done.

Xavier (IL)

More upside - Jered Mitchell or Trayce Thompson?

Jim Callis
  (3:03 PM)

They both have a lot of upside, but I'd take Mitchell.

Jon (Rivers Bend)

What do you know about Jeff Manship, the pitcher promoted by the Twins today?

Jim Callis
  (3:03 PM)

He's a lot like a lot of their big league pitchers. Solid but not overpowering stuff, knows how to pitch.

Andrew (Florham Park, NJ)

HUGE Giants fan!! Hated moving Barnes and Alderson, but with Posey and Bumgarner still in the minors-- what are the chances we get to see either or both to help us this year?

Jim Callis
  (3:05 PM)

As I mentioned with Posey before, Bumgarner is so good that he could help the Giants now. I think they have to promote them both at least by September if not before.

Brett (San Diego)

Does Donovan Tate sign or are their too many financial problems in San Diego?

Jim Callis
  (3:06 PM)

I'll be surprised if he doesn't sign, even though he has reported to North Carolina for football. The Padres knew he had a huge asking price when they drafted him third overall, and they wouldn't have taken him that high if they weren't prepared to pay it.

Jonathan (Brooklyn )

Does Heathcott have a higher ceiling than Austin Jackson?

Jim Callis
  (3:06 PM)

Yes, he does. That doesn't mean he'll be a better player, because Jackson also has good tools and has performed all the way through Triple-A, but Heathcott has better raw tools.

Bill (Rockville)

The Orioles and Givens supposedly are far apart. Is he worth the "over slot" money that he is looking for?

Jim Callis
  (3:10 PM)

I'm not the biggest Mychal Givens fan. He has a lot of raw talent as a shortstop and a pitcher, but it's very raw. But "worth" is a relative term. The slots don't reflect what teams pay for talent, and the draft itself undercuts a player's value relative to what it would be on the open market. If there was no draft, and we had open bidding on anyone, I bet Givens would get at least $2 million.

Mark (Nj)

It has been very silent with regards to JR Murphy. Is he a safe bet to sign?

Jim Callis
  (3:12 PM)

The Yankees really like him and I can't see them walking away from their second-rounder. I think you'll see them announce several over-slot signings at once.

Jim Callis
  (3:12 PM)

Let's head to the lightning round . . .

ray (burlington nj)

lightning round!- kemp or heyward?

Jim Callis
  (3:12 PM)

Heyward.

Scott (Boston)

Is it the lightning round yet? Who do you think is the Red Sox top prospect right now?

Jim Callis
  (3:13 PM)

First name that popped into my head was Casey Kelly. Will be interesting because they have 4-5 guys who could wind up No. 1.

Larry (Boston)

For the lightning round:Santana or Montero

Jim Callis
  (3:13 PM)

Montero. Don't think he'll catch though.

Andrew (New Jersey)

NJ Lightning Round question...Knapp or Reckling?

Jim Callis
  (3:13 PM)

Knapp.

Cobber (Madison, WI)

Lightning round question...G. Beckham or Wieters for long term?

Jim Callis
  (3:13 PM)

Still would take Wieters.

Andrew (New Jersey)

Mazzaro or Porcello?

Jim Callis
  (3:15 PM)

Porcello.

Ryan (Burlington, MA)

Hughes or Buchholz?

Jim Callis
  (3:18 PM)

Hughes.

Ryan (FL)

Bud Norris, Derek Holland or Clay Buchholz?

Jim Callis
  (3:18 PM)

Holland.

Phil S. (NJ)

Hagadone or Drabek?

Jim Callis
  (3:18 PM)

Drabek.

Todd (MA)

This chat interface, or the previous one?

Jim Callis
  (3:19 PM)

Previous one.

Kevin (San Diego)

Mat Latos or Chris Tillman?

Jim Callis
  (3:19 PM)

Tillman.

Jon (Jacksonville)

When do you think Drabek will be up?

Jim Callis
  (3:20 PM)

Next year.

Mark (Boston)

Kelly or Martin Perez?

Jim Callis
  (3:21 PM)

Can I take the easy way out and say Perez, because he's lefthanded?

Mike (Boston)

Tazawa or Buchholz?

Jim Callis
  (3:23 PM)

Tazawa.

Mark (Madison, WI)

Julio Teheran or Mike Minor?

Jim Callis
  (3:23 PM)

If you can guarantee Teheran's health, I'll take him.

mymrbig (New Orleans)

Pitching aside, could Kelly be a major league caliber shortstop? What's his upside there?

Jim Callis
  (3:24 PM)

He could, but I think his upside is more solid regular as a shortstop and much higher as a pitcher.

Bubba Brown (Roy, UT)

Heyward or Wieters?

Jim Callis
  (3:24 PM)

I answered this one already, didn't I? I'd take Wieters, he's a catcher.

Ryan (Hixville, NJ)

Holland or Kershaw.

Jim Callis
  (3:24 PM)

Kershaw.

sri (detroit)

Rasmus or Schafer in 5 years..

Jim Callis
  (3:25 PM)

Rasmus.

Alex Fischer (Morristown, TN)

Down on Buchholz? Would you have taken him over Tazawa and Hughes at the beginning of the year?

Jim Callis
  (3:25 PM)

Yes, I would have.

Ted (Toronto)

Assuming the draft needs fixing (and let's assume it does), what would you do to ensure that talent is distributed to teams based on need rather than means? Is there anything short of hard slotting that would do the trick?

Jim Callis
  (3:26 PM)

No, you'd have to have hard slotting. And even then, we'd still have some players who would try to steer themselves to certain clubs.

Nate (Richmond, RI)

I've heard some doubts about the Rangers signing Purke- I have to imagine that Texas knew his price before the draft, and wouldn't have taken him if they didn't think they could land him... Right?

Jim Callis
  (3:27 PM)

Well, his price was $7 million, which clubs didn't think was realistic. I think they will sign him, somewhere around $3.5 million to $4 million is my guess.

Jon (Grand Rapids, MI)

Heyward or J. Upton?

Jim Callis
  (3:27 PM)

Heyward.

Jim Callis
  (3:27 PM)

Heyward.

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Heyward.

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Heyward.

Christian (San Diego)

Is Everett Williams worth 1.4million, what would you pay?

Jim Callis
  (3:30 PM)

I thought his asking price heading into the draft was $1 million, and I would have paid that. If I'm the Padres, if I think he's worth exactly $1 million, do I walk away or overpay a little to get him? I'd pay to get him. I really like Williams, thought he was the best hitter among the athletic outfield crop in this draft.

Glen L (nyc)

Hard slotting transfers money from players to owners ... small market owners get "free" money from both the straight and the fixed revenue sharing pools ... why would hard slotting be good for baseball when it simply "forces" owners to keep MORE of the money generated by players?

Jim Callis
  (3:30 PM)

I didn't say it would be good for baseball. It would be even more unfair to draftees. I just said that was the only way you could distribute talent more fairly than it is now.

Tim (Chicago)

Beckham or Vitters?

Jim Callis
  (3:31 PM)

I'll take Gordon Beckham.

Jim Callis
  (3:31 PM)

I'm going to head back to the phones. See you next week.