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December 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Baseball America's Matt Eddy

Matt Eddy
  (1:53 PM)

Hello folks, and welcome to my first ESPN chat. I'm pinch-hitting for Jim Callis, who has his nose in something we call the Prospect Handbook.

Jim (Haddon Heights NJ)

Great analysis by BA on the players in the Halladay trade. Where would you rank Phillies OF Domonic Brown on the upcoming Top 100 list?

Matt Eddy
  (1:57 PM)

Thanks. Jim is referring to our Trade Central coverage, where we focus on the prospects and assorted players involved in all trades around the game. As to Brown . . . he's the top prospect in a Phillies' farm system that is solid, if not a tick above-average. Because he can hit, run and hit for a bit of power (with more to come), I'd expect Brown to fall in the range of 20-35, but that might be overstating the level of talent in the minors at the moment. We'll see.

Matt Eddy
  (1:58 PM)

Thanks. Jim is referring to our Trade Central coverage, where we focus on the prospects and assorted players involved in all trades around the game. As to Brown . . . he's the top prospect in a Phillies' farm system that is solid, if not a tick above-average. Because he can hit, run and hit for a bit of power (with more to come), I'd expect Brown to fall in the range of 20-35, but that might be overstating the level of talent in the minors at the moment. We'll see.

Matt Eddy
  (1:58 PM)

Thanks. Jim is referring to our Trade Central coverage, where we focus on the prospects and assorted players involved in all trades around the game. As to Brown . . . he's the top prospect in a Phillies' farm system that is solid, if not a tick above-average. Because he can hit, run and hit for a bit of power (with more to come), I'd expect Brown to fall in the range of 20-35, but that might be overstating the level of talent in the minors at the moment. We'll see.

Ken (Philly)

Jim,We know the Phillies lost 3 of their top 4 prospects to acquire Halladay. Where do Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez fit into the into the Phillies Top 10 Prospect List after the Lee trade? Thanks.

Matt Eddy
  (2:07 PM)

I compiled our Mariners' Top 30 prospects list, which you can find in our Prospect Handbook, so I have a unique perspective. Aumont and Gillies both cracked the Top 10, but both are several strides behind Domonic Brown, the Phils' No. 1. Ramirez is a few steps further them. My take: I'd rank Aumont on par with Sebastian Valle at No. 7 and Gillies one place behind. The latter is similar to Anthony Gose in some ways, but with a lower ceiling. In Gillies' favor, he has performed at a higher level.

Onie Wongkam (Thailand)

Would it be smart for the A's to sign Johnny Gomes? He won't command much money, and he's the power bat the A's are looking for.

Matt Eddy
  (2:09 PM)

That's a thought. But with two new righty bats in Jake Fox and (probably) Michael Taylor, there may not be a burning need for Gomes, who brings only power versus LH pitchers. Fox figures to see a lot of time at DH, too, reducing Gomes' utility.

Eric (MA)

Hey Jim, if Theo was willing to include Ellsbury and Buchholz for Adrian Gonzalez, who else would they need to give up? Thanks

Matt Eddy
  (2:11 PM)

These are the types of commodities that the Padres need -- power starters, athletic up-the-middle players -- but don't count on San Diego trading Gonzalez this offseason. Not only is he the face of the franchise, but he's a local guy made good who is signed to an obscenely affordable deal. The Padres will need to generate a little revenue these next few seasons.

Frank Hansinburg (China)

There hasn't been much said about Oakland prospect Michael Ynoa recently. In your opinion, will Michael live up to his potential as one of the best starters in the game despite his injury?

Matt Eddy
  (2:13 PM)

Don't hold the injury against Ynoa. The lost development time stings, but not so badly at age 17 than if he were 19 or 20. Casey Tefertiller, our A's correspondent, reports that Ynoa was sitting 92-94 mph in Dominican instructional league.

Jake Sanders (Amsterdam)

I was wondering on your take on the Wallace for Taylor trade. Who wins? After hearing Wallace touted for so long as the cornerstone of the franchise for the next decade, it seems strange to have him traded in just half a year. What kind of player could Tayler become?

Matt Eddy
  (2:15 PM)

If he's healthy, I like Taylor just a bit more. When all's said and done, maybe he's the lesser offensive player, but I like his ability to play a solid corner outfield spot, whereas Wallace appears destined for a first base/DH career.

Dan (Maryland)

hey jim, love the chats. who says no to this deal first: Felix Pie for Alex Gordon?

Matt Eddy
  (2:19 PM)

The Royals. Gordon's development path has been rocky, and few top prospect have been more frustrating in recent years, but the organization has too much tied up in him to deal him for a player like Pie. Because if there's one thing the Royals have in abundance, it's speed. Maybe K.C. begins to think about moving Gordfon if Mike Moustakas begins to perform like the No. 2 overall pick while he's in Double-A next year

Gerald (St. Louis, MO)

Your thoughts on the Halladay/Lee trade?

Matt Eddy
  (2:23 PM)

I encourage you to check out our Trade Central reviews, for this trade and for all others. In a nutshell: it's hard to argue with the Mariners' portion. They get an ace with a short-term commitment without surrendering a young player crucial to their future. The Phillies get perhaps the best pitcher in baseball, but at the cost of 2 players (Drabek, Taylor) who might have factored for them in 2010 -- plus they have to commit $20 million for each of Halladay's age 34-37 seasons. The Blue Jays avoid a spring training media circus and get a prospect package better than the ones obtained by the Indians in their Lee trade or the Twins in their Johan Santana trade. It does not meet the gold standard of the Orioles' haul for Erik Bedard.

seamsplitter (SF)

Is Johathan Sanchez the real deal--solid 3 or 4? Or a tease that the G's should trade now while he has value?

Matt Eddy
  (2:27 PM)

Though the Padres lineup he no-hit last summer was roughly of Triple-A quality, Sanchez has true strikeout stuff. He gets swings and misses on his fastball and his slider. If he throws more strikes versus RH batters, he might even be an above-average third starter. As long as the Giants don't have to commit a long-term deal to Sanchez, there's little harm in keeping him around as a power lefty complement to Lincecum and Cain.

Doug (NYC)

BAs recently released top 10 Yankee prospects states that Jesus Montero "hasn?t delivered completely on his raw power, but he?s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale." Does he truly have 80 power potential? Isn't 80 power like, 40+ jacks a year without blinking an eye?

Matt Eddy
  (2:31 PM)

You can argue the finer points with John Manuel during his Yankees chat, but you're right in that 80 power (on the 20-to-80 scouting scale) translates literally into 35+ home runs. Montero truly is a special talent, capable of hitting for both average and power while making a lot of contact for a slugger. In that regard, he may resemble Miguel Cabrera, a .311 career hitter with a home run title to his name.

Alex (Miami)

Which up and comer would you rather have for the next 10 years- Kung Fu Panda or Jay Bruce?

Matt Eddy
  (2:33 PM)

A friend of mine in a Strat-O-Matic league pondered this very question in a draft last winter. He chose Bruce, but now wishes he had went with Pablo Sandoval. I think he made the right call with Bruce, but Sandoval has built his reputation on proving people wrong.

Jacok Kidd (Montreal, Canada)

We already lost our Expos and now we have only one Canadian team left and it might be in jeopardy after the Halladay. What are the chances that Bluejays will be in Toronto in 5 -10 years?

Matt Eddy
  (2:38 PM)

Very good. The Marlins have done a little digging into the relocation matter, exploring Las Vegas and Portland scenarios . . . and finding that there is no natural, untapped baseball market. Toronto is taking the proper steps toward rebuilding the franchise, trading Rolen and Halladay for prospect packages and rededicating itself to scouting amateurs. They've more than doubled their scouting staff this offseason.

Joey (SC)

Whats your look on the Braves this upcoming season? Does Billy Wagner really make a big difference? Do you see them picking up a good bat somewhere?

Matt Eddy
  (2:45 PM)

The Braves with Lowe, Vazquez, Jurrjens and Hanson in the rotation would be formidable foes regardless of the makeup of the rest of the club. Then factor in a possible second-half boost from Jason Heyward, our Minor League Player of the Year, and a possible rebound from Chipper Jones. Of course, the Braves reportedly are seeking to deal either Lowe or Vazquez, and Wagner wore down visibly during his dog days of summer with the Mets. He's a top competitor who's accomplished a lot in his career, but he's also 38 years old, coming off major elbow surgery and hasn't appeared in 70 games since '06.

ray (burlington, nj)

Matt-thanks for the chat. How close is Padres prospect James Darnell and what position will he play in SD? What is his ceiling?

Matt Eddy
  (2:48 PM)

The Padres are grooming Darnell as a third baseman, but organizational depth and his own defensive shortcoming might push him to an outfield corner. He may also get a look at second base, but he's more in the Ian Stewart / Mark Teahen mold of keystone experiments than a true middle infielder. Regardless, Darnell has enough bat for the outfield, but don't be alarmed if he doesn't hit as many homers with Double-A San Antonio. That park is death on RH power hitters. Kyle Blanks is just about the only San Diego farmhand who's tamed it.

Ed (San Diego)

How good do you think future OFs Jaff Decker, Everett Williams and Donovan Tate can be?

Matt Eddy
  (2:50 PM)

We ranked them Tate, then Decker, then Williams in our Padres Top 10. We go in to much greater detail, of course, over at BA.com.

Paul (Washington Crossing, PA)

Hey Matt, as a Phils fan I'm ecstatic over getting Halladay but very disappointed in losing Lee. Could the Phils have gotten a decent prospect for Blanton? Seems to me that would be a smarter move, plus his salary is almost what Lee's is. And, by keeping Lee they'd likely get 2 compensatory picks after 2010.

Matt Eddy
  (2:58 PM)

You make good points. Unless Philly has something else up its sleeve this offseason, it's hard to comprehend why they *had to* trade Lee, who's signed reasonably for only one year. The guy did shut down the best lineup in baseball twice in the World Series.

Steve (St. Louis)

Please rank outfielders over next 5 years: Rasmus, McCutchen, Adam Jones and Travis Snider.

Matt Eddy
  (2:58 PM)

Give me McCutchen, Snider, Jones then Rasmus. But they're all excellent young players.

Jesse ((Santa Paula CA))

Is Brandon Wood that type of player Angels fan should be happy to have at 3 base? Do you see any pitching prospects pitching in the Angels rotation this year?

Matt Eddy
  (3:03 PM)

Angels fans should be happy to see Wood get a shot at the everyday job. He's out of options, so it's now or never. The club figures to have Maicer Izturis around in case Wood struggles for an extended stretch -- but 20 home runs are possible in his first full season. As to pitching prospects, well you're seen the best of them already: Trevor Bell and Anthony Ortega (if healthy). Everybody else is either in A-ball or is Jordan Walden, who missed the second half with a strained forearm and can't be expected to contribute in 2010.

Jesse ((S.P. CA))

Matt, As an Angels Fan Im worried about the direction the team is going. As you know we lost Figgins,Lackey, Vlad. Last season we were so close to reaching the World Series, an know we are losing pieces to a championship type of team. Whats the Angels next move everybody in our division is better than last year?

Matt Eddy
  (3:06 PM)

The losses of Figgins and Lackey are troubling (though they do bring back four premium draft picks to help the farm system). Losing a quality leadoff hitter and top starter hurts. However, the Matsui signing is a great low-risk venture for them, and if they can get their hands on another frontline starter, they'll be fine. That's a big if, however, because the system is not brimming with upper-level talent.

denil (memphis)

baseball contracts are guaranteed but happens when those players don't preform. like Alphonso Soriano who will be an albatross for the cubs.

Matt Eddy
  (3:06 PM)

As John Manuel would say, the Cubs have to wear it.

Bill James (Washington DC)

Given that that the Blue Jays aren't getting any Mariner prospects, it seems a misnomer to call this one three (or four) team deal. It's a three team deal (Phils, Jays & As) and a two team deal (Phils

Matt Eddy
  (3:10 PM)

Technically, you're right. The Phillies sent 3 prospects to Toronto for Halladay. And the M's traded 3 prospects to Philly for Lee. However, the second trade was completely contingent on the Phillies first landing Halladay.

Beau (New Orleans)

Who'll make a bigger impact this year: Mat Latos or Brian Matusz?

Matt Eddy
  (3:11 PM)

Latos, in my opinion. Much friendlier home confines and easier lineups to combat.

Joshua B (Syracuse, NY)

Bud Norris: Over of Under: 150 IP in 2010? 10 wins?

Matt Eddy
  (3:12 PM)

Bet the under on unestablished pitchers.

Matt Eddy
  (3:15 PM)

Thanks for the great questions. Tune in next week for another installment, featuring either Jim Callis, Ben Badler or John Manuel.