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December 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis

Jim Callis
  (2:02 PM)

Hi, everyone. I'm chatting live from the Winter Meetings. We're at the mercy of my laptop, which has not been treating me or the Prospect Handbook kindly.

Jin and Zhen (Seoul)

peavy, buehrle, danks, floyd, Garcia or hudson vs Lincecum, cain, zito, sanchez, bumgarner?

Jim Callis
  (2:04 PM)

I'll take the Giants because they have the advantage at the Nos. 1 and 2 slots.

Randy (Camden County)

Welcome back, Jim. The deal the Tigers made seems to hinge upon one's opinion of Austin Jackson. I've seen a lot of talk that he's an overhyped Yankee who's likely a 4th OF; I've seen others suggesting he could or should be Granderson himself in a few years. What's your take? Thank you.

Jim Callis
  (2:08 PM)

I'm not a huge fan. I like Jackson some but I think his tools outstrip his skills, and I see him maxing out more as a solid regular than any kind of star. I thought the Yankees did a nice job of selling high on Kennedy, Jackson and Coke. I understood the Tigers were trying to shed some salary and liked the arms they got from Arizona. But I'm not sure why the Diamondbacks traded two young pitchers to get Edwin Jackson and Kennedy. They must have a lot more faith in Kennedy than I do.

Rob Deer (Cooperstown, NY)

Jim-- Thanks for the chat and everything you and the rest do @ BA. I am no expert on the draft compensation rules, but the Nats are not shorsighted enough to give up a pick in signing Pudge Rodriguez, right?

Jim Callis
  (2:10 PM)

Rodriguez was a Type B free agent and was offered arbitrations, but that just means that the Rangers will get a supplemental first-round pick as compensation. They won't get any of the Nationals' choices. For a complete rundown of compensation free agents, see <a href="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/269249.html">my latest Ask BA column</a>.

Randy (Camden County)

Is there a way to make what the Diamondbacks just did seem at least a little defensible? Right now, it boggles the mind that they'd sell Scherzer at that low price (presumably over concerns about his health and utility as a starter) while tossing in a first rounder who was supposed to move quickly into the backend of their bullpen.

Jim Callis
  (2:11 PM)

That would be the logic for trading Scherzer. Scouts love his arm but many wonder how long he'll hold up with the effort in his delivery. Still, the Diamondbacks gave up a lot of cost control with Scherzer and Schlereth. If Kennedy doesn't come through, I think they'll regret the deal.

Gerry (Toronto)

I assume you won't tell us who the Jays #1 prospect is (until Monday). Which of the following is the furthest away from #1: Zach Stewart, JP Arencibia, Moises Sierra, Chad Jenkins, Henderson Alvarez?

Jim Callis
  (2:12 PM)

Yes, you'll have to wait until Monday, but I will answer your question. Sierra, by a wide margin.

KO (Pittsfield, MA)

Good day Jim. With all due respect to Josh Johnson; do you think the rumbling that the Rangers would give up Feliz and Smoak for him is waaaaaay too much considering upside and team control of those players?

Jim Callis
  (2:14 PM)

That would be a bit much for my taste because of the financial implications. But the Rangers always need starting pitching.

Mike (Chicago)

There's a lot of chatter about Dan Hudson, I'm curious where his potential is...we hear anywhere from a #3 starter, to a #1...so I'd guess he's more of a #2? what kind of pitcher might he be?

Jim Callis
  (2:15 PM)

I think he's more of a No. 3. He's deceptive but his stuff isn't better than solid. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

Benny (Boston, MA)

I was pleased to read recently that Casey Kelly has chosen to pitch fulltime. Which level can we expect him to start at next year?

Jim Callis
  (2:16 PM)

If Kelly hadn't made that decision, the Red Sox would have made it for him in spring training. He pitched pretty well in high Class A last year, so he could start 2010 in Double-A.

Harold (Detroit)

Would Austin Jackson be the Tigers' new #1 prospect in your estimation?

Jim Callis
  (2:17 PM)

No, he would not. Would definitely put him behind Jacob Turner, and probably would slide him behind Casey Crosby, too.

John (NY, NY)

Jim, a question about Jesus Montero (imagine the odds, right). Basically everyone agrees that he will not catch in the majors. From a developmental standpoint, when do you move Montero to his new position? Do you keep him at C until his major league call up, start him in training camp, some other time?

Jim Callis
  (2:18 PM)

The Yankees should move him as soon as they come to the decision that he won't be able to catch. Until then, keep trying to make it work. They're more optimistic than everyone else.

scooter (chicago)

Is anyone seriously interested in Milton Bradely? thought he would be gone by now

Jim Callis
  (2:19 PM)

The Cubs will divest themselves of Bradley in the near future. It's just a matter of how much of his contract they're willing to pick up.

jeff (nyc)

Jim, Is Buster Posey really not ready for MLB, or are the Giants delaying his service time. Also, better hitter, Posey or Carlos Santana?

Jim Callis
  (2:20 PM)

The Giants and some scouts from other clubs seem to think he needs to polish his receiving in order to handle the quality stuff from the San Francisco staff. I give Santana the edge as a hitter because he has more pop.

Erik (CA)

Im not a big fan of what the DBacks got out of the trade. The key to them is Edwin Jackson, and Im not completely sold on the guy. He had a phenomenal first half last year no doubt, but those numbers were put up by a guy making half his starts in a pitchers park, and in a place where it doesnt get above 50 degrees until June! I just feel there are too many factors to look into that would suggest a falloff in production in AZ, especially given his time in Tampa Bay which was solid but certainly not enough to give up on Scherzer.

Jim Callis
  (2:21 PM)

Another reason not to make the deal from Arizona's perspective. I have about 20 similar questions in the queue, wondering what the Diamondbacks were thinking.

John (Milwaukee)

Thoughts on Randy Wolf to Milwaukee?

Jim Callis
  (2:23 PM)

That's what happens when you're desperate for pitching. Wolf has had above-average season in the last five, and the Brewers just committed to him for three years. He was one of the better free-agent starters available, but that says more about the market than Wolf.

Joseph (Bozeman, MT)

What are the Yankees going to do with their top pick in the Rule V tomorrow?

Jim Callis
  (2:26 PM)

No one seems to know yet. I've even heard rumors that they might sell it or trade it after acquiring it from the Nationals for Brian Bruney. Hard to imagine the Yankees stashing a Rule 5 guy on their roster all year, but we'll see.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Mr. Callis: Soriano messed up the Braves by accepting arbitration. Who do you think gets him in a trade and will the Braves get anything more than a few prospects for him? Thanks.

Jim Callis
  (2:27 PM)

The Braves would need Soriano's permission to trade him before June 15. They might get a useful player for him but they're not going to get a huge package.

Jack (Detroit)

Granderson's defense and baserunning (which includes more than SB) has dropped off some. The guy is losing some athleticism. Sure he's still got power, which will be exaggerated in that stadium, but he's on the serious decline (unless he found some of that magic juice that so many Yankees seem to have taken) Detroit got out at the right time.

Jim Callis
  (2:29 PM)

Perhaps. The nice thing for the Yankees is that Granderson doesn't have to be a centerpiece of their offense. He's a nice upgrade for them in center and he can bat sixth or seventh in the lineup.

Ike (NYC)

Are the Jays # 30 in terms of ranking farm systems?

Jim Callis
  (2:30 PM)

No. Either the Astros or Cardinals will rank 30th when we finalize the system rankings for the Prospect Handbook.

Velvet Jones (Brooklyn)

Re - Granderson trade: would a deal of Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish plus Michael Bowden plus Dustin Richardson be roughly equivalent to what the Yankees gave up?

Jim Callis
  (2:31 PM)

Yeah, roughly equivalent.

Ryan (Toronto)

Jim - what can you tell us about Blue Jays' pitching prospect Rob Bell - he dominated at the High A level both before and after converting to the rotation. What is his upside? Thank you

Jim Callis
  (2:33 PM)

His big pitch is his changeup, so he doesn't have huge upside. A full season as a starter in Double-A in 2010 will be a good test for him.

Jake (Columba, MO)

Will this Kentucky/Paxton situation negatively affect his draft status?

Jim Callis
  (2:34 PM)

Not at all. If he did allow someone to negotiate on his behalf, he didn't do anything that 99 percent of the prominent draftees didn't do as well. That won't be held against him. Even if Paxton were to lose his eligibility, he could showcase himself and pitch in independent ball.

Bernard (Chicago)

Where does Kyler Burke rank among the Cubs prospects?

Jim Callis
  (2:36 PM)

No. 11 on our Cubs Top 30. If you need a holiday gift, don't forget <a href="https://www.baseballamerica.com/store/store.cgi?browse=cat_books">the 2010 Prospect Handbook</a>. (I'm done plugging the book now . . .)

Mr. SKIA (MrSportsKnowItAll.com)

Jim, in last week's chat, a questioner asked for your preference of Wallace vs. Bell, and said that he thought Bell was underrated. You said, "Wallace, but Bell is overrated." I think this was a typo, but it created a stir and even had people asking KLaw about it in his chat. You did mean 'underrated' right?

Jim Callis
  (2:37 PM)

Did I do that? I meant Bell is underrated. My mistake. Didn't realize I could so easily cause some furor.

Rick (PDX)

What is your starting nine for prospects right now? Assuming you have Posey at catcher and Heyward in the outfield... but who else takes the field for the Callis 9?

Jim Callis
  (2:39 PM)

Rick, that's a great question. Send it to <a href="mailto:askba@baseballamerica.com">askba@baseballamerica.com</a>, along with your full name and hometown, and I'll tackle it in the next edition of Ask BA. Not enough time to do it justice here.

Mr. SKIA (MrSportsKnowItAll.com)

Who would you take if you had the top pick in the non-Roman Numeraled Rule 5 draft?

Jim Callis
  (2:41 PM)

John Manuel has been our point man on Rule 5 coverage, and he's out digging up more Rule 5 dirt, so I can't ask him directly. Of all the guys he has mentioned, hard-throwing righthander Arquimedes Caminero sounds the most interesting.

Steve (NYC)

Jim, I love the rankings, but I can't figure out why Jaff Decker is fourth in SD. He killed the MWL at 19 and doesn't look good in a uniform, the same can be said of Travis Snider in 2007, except Decker has better patience and doesn't strike out as much. I'm not sure what I'm missing here.

Jim Callis
  (2:44 PM)

Two points . . . One, there's no definitive correct answer with anyone's rankings. I think you make an argument for Dacker ranking anywhere from 1 to 4 on the Padres list. But two, there's grave concern over his utter lack of athleticism at age 19. Snider isn't a classic athlete, but he didn't inspire any of the same concerns when he was in the MWL. It's a big issue.

John (NY)

What kind of trade value does Andrew Brackman have these days?

Jim Callis
  (2:45 PM)

Next to none, I would suppose. He has an onerous contract and struggled mightily last year.

Nate (Philly)

Jim- What are you're thoughts on Kevin Correia being non-tendered?

Jim Callis
  (2:47 PM)

I don't understand that move. Correia isn't a Cy Young winner, but he can be either an innings-eater or a solid reliever. The Padres couldn't have made a trade and gotten at least something back in return?

Jim Callis
  (2:47 PM)

Let's have some lightning round . . .

Scott (Rochester, NY)

Do you think that B. Wallace can play 3b for the A's, or do they have yet another 1B prospect with him and Carter?

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

I don't think he can play third base.

Dan (Work)

Better closing option for the Tigers from 2011 on, Daniel Schelreth or Ryan Perry?

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

Perry.

Mark (Boston)

Who would you rather have Justin Smoak or Ike Davis?

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

Smoak, though Davis closed the gap in 2009.

Harry (Babylon)

Austin Jackson or Fernando Martinez?

Jim Callis
  (2:48 PM)

Jackson.

rayg (burlington, nj)

Better career-Dee Gordon or Starlin Castro?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

Castro.

Jake (Oakland)

Are you a believer in Trevor Cahill? Or are the lack of strikeouts too big of an obstacle to overcome?

Jim Callis
  (2:49 PM)

I still believe. He had no problem missing bats in the minors. He just had a hard time adjusting to the majors as a 21-year-old.

Dan (Needham, MA)

Does this get it done for Halladay- Lars, Kelly, Westmoreland?

Jim Callis
  (2:51 PM)

The Jays might want more big league-ready talent, but on sheer prospect value, that could get it done. I don't see Boston giving all of those guys up, however.

Eric (Atlanta)

Derrik Gibson: 2b, SS, 3b?

Jim Callis
  (2:51 PM)

2B.

Harry (Babylon)

Dan Uggla or Robinson Cano?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

Cano.

Dale (Calvert City KY)

Take on Esmailin(sp?) Caridad? Decent reliever, potential closer, other?

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

Decent to solid reliever but not a closer.

Rick (PDX)

Cone or Cup? If cone, sugar or plain? (Of course you can't say waffle since we'd all take waffle)

Jim Callis
  (2:52 PM)

Sugar cone.

Scott (Rochester, NY)

So then who do you trade, Carter or Wallace if you're Beane?

Jim Callis
  (2:53 PM)

They're similar enough that it would come down to who could bring me more in return.

Rick (PDX)

Jason Stoffel - major league closer? ETA to SF?

Jim Callis
  (2:54 PM)

He has that chance. Should surface in the majors early in 2011.

Dillon Tung (Pasadena, CA)

Jay Jackson or Aaron Miller?

Jim Callis
  (2:54 PM)

Tough one. I'll say Jackson.

Dale (Calvert City KY)

Samardzija or Cashner? &#x26; where do they end up?

Jim Callis
  (2:55 PM)

Cashner. Bullpen for both.

Joseph (Bozeman, MT)

Jake Fox and Oakland. A perfect fit, right?

Jim Callis
  (2:55 PM)

Yep. Though I'm not sure I would have eaten $1.7 million of Aaron Miles' contract to make that fit.

Terry (MA)

Hosmer or Lars?

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

Anderson, because he has proven much more in pro ball than Hosmer has.

Sean (Seattle)

King Felix worth 6 years/ 100M?

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

Worth a lot more than that if he hit the open market.

Mr. SKIA (MrSportsKnowItAll.com)

Minimum number of walks Josh Vitters needs to draw next year to dispel the lingering questions.

Jim Callis
  (2:56 PM)

42.

Matt (DC)

Mike Trout, I know it's early, but potential all-star?

Jim Callis
  (2:57 PM)

Potentially, sure. He was one of the better athletes in the 2009 draft.

Avery (Walnut Creek)

I assume it's too late now, but if Arguelles would have signed a couple months earlier, would he have cracked the Royals Top 10? Where does he fit in in the slew of 19-20 year old pitchers they have?

Jim Callis
  (2:57 PM)

Not too late, so you will see him in our Royals Top 10. Probably in the 6-10 range.

Dan (Minnesota)

Bromberg or Gibson for the Twins

Jim Callis
  (2:58 PM)

You're talking to the world's biggest Kyle Gibson fan.

Eddie (Fresno)

Assuming command of both pitches, which is most effective for a lefty with above average velocity: curveball or slider?

Jim Callis
  (3:00 PM)

I'd rather have the curveball. Less stress on the arm, more separation in velocity from the fastball, changes the hitter's eye level more.

Jim Callis
  (3:01 PM)

My computer made it through the full hour--who would have guessed? Someone may pinch-hit for me next week as I try to finish the Prospect Handbook, so I'll wish everyone Happy Holidays now in case I don't return until after Christmas.