One hour till you find out I put Javier Vazquez on all five spots on my NL Cy Young ballot.
Keith, there has been a lot of talk about Trevor Bauer opening the season in the DBacks rotation. Do you think he's more ready to be in the rotation than Jarrod Parker or Tyler Skaggs? On a side note, that DBack rotation could be SCARY in the next few years.
In order of readiness I'd go Parker, Bauer, Skaggs. And yeah, they're set up for a long run of contention if they keep those guys healthy and stop signing the Melvin Moras of the world.
Should the Nats be concerned at all about Cole Kimball being taken by the Blue Jays?
Will the dh rule apply to both leagues when Houston goes to AL? If so stl could be less worried about an 8-9 yr commitments to pujols right?
I believe the players' union prefers the DH in both leagues, so perhaps that's one of the things they'll receive in exchange for allowing MLB to shoot itself in the foot by placing artificial limits on draft/amateur spending.
Hi Keith, thanks for the chat. What's the chances somebody tries and offers real short (LE 3 years) and real big (GE $33 per) to Pujols? Not that he could perform to that value, but I would rather pay that for his next 3 than for whatever he gets in years 8 and 9 (or ten). Any chance he would take something like that?
Zero. Well, zero chance he takes it. Someone will probably offer it, but I would bet Lozano will try to maximize the years on the deal. Even Cliff Lee, who is the best example of a guy who left years on the table (for more money per annum), only dropped from seven years to five. You're suggesting going from 9 to 3; I don't see that at all. And that's without discussing Pujols' potential free agency three years from now if he starts his age-related decline.
True or False: Joe Mauer would be of far greater long-term value to the Twins if he moved to a position where he was less exposed to injury.
I vote true, but I'll concede it might be too late to matter.
What was your impression of Terry Ryan when you were with Toronto?
Didn't know him then. Know him now from the times he's been out here scouting the Fall League. Good guy, extremely sharp - misses nothing on the field, real dry wit (doesn't make him a better GM, but I like dry wit). The one thing I'd like to see him do is add one or two FO people from outside the org. They've grown a little insular as the industry has changed.
Thoughts on the potential Dave Sveunm hire?
I don't think I'm in good position to judge managerial hires unless they've managed in the big leagues before. I like that he has managerial experience in the minors, and that he coached under one of the best managers (Francona) of the last decade. But even those don't make him a good manager per se - they just increase the odds somewhat.
On a scale of 1-10, how bad of an idea would it be for Gio Gonzalez to end up pitching in Great American Ballpark for the next few years?
I don't like that fit for him. Much, if not most, of his success the last two years is a function of where he's pitched (including the defense behind him).
Whose systems look to be the most inspected come Rule 5 time?
No interest, sorry. They gutted the rule 5 draft with the last CBA, and aside from the occasional freak player (Soria with virtually no experience in the minors, Hamilton coming off a four-year layoff), it doesn't produce players worth worrying about. If I were a GM, I'd pay attention, because you might find a nice reliever or bench guy for cheap, but for fans it's barely relevant.
Was 8/$160M for Kemp fair all around?
I think so. High risk, but the kind of athlete who makes that risk more tolerable.
I love that MLB is balancing out the leagues finally, but I hate the extra wild cards. Your thoughts?
I'd prefer to see 16 teams per league, no interleague play, and of course no extra wild cards.
What is your take on Brian Dozier?
Maybe a bench guy.
Can you please tell us your thoughts on Tebow or Penn State or #occupy?
I know there's a real shortage of opinions on those three subjects.
do you ever - ever! think the a's will move to san jose? 5 years? 10 years? or is it more likely for them to a) stay in oakland for 25+ years or b) move out of state (portland, hartford, vegas, etc)?
I think they end up in San Jose with the Giants getting paid for it. I don't think the Giants are seriously worried about the territory, but they see an asset with value and are (rightfully) determined to extract value from it. Correct me if I'm wrong, though - if Congress wiped out MLB's antitrust protection entirely, wouldn't this issue go away?
Does Javier Baez have star potential with his bat. Is he the Cubs top prospect?
Is there still racism in baseball (MLB)? I ask this because of the polemic declarations of Blatter (head of FIFA) about racism in soccer. It seems to me that in MLB's baseball, it's a minor problem.
Yes, but it's very subtle - like presuming an African-American player is automatically athletic, or that Latin American players are less intelligent because their English is fractured or they have less formal education. I think incidents of explicit racism, such as an exec not getting a job because of his ethnicity or skin color, are either extremely rare or nonexistent. I have heard stories about past execs who expressed such views, but the last one I know of in a GM's chair is no longer in that position.
Yes. Couldn't have said it better myself.
I'm skeptical that Jon Jay can be an everyday CF. The Cards insist he is. Are they right, crazy, or somewhere in between?
I'm with you. They're not crazy, but they're either overrating his bat/glove or setting the bar lower than they should.
As a follow up to Hannah, what did the Orioles get for giving up the Wash area?
A sweetheart deal on the shared cable network.
i see a conflict between two things that seem generally true: large dollar multi-year contracts often become albatrosses v. it's hard to win w/o elite talent. do you think this is a genuine dilemma? if so which teams do you think do best and worst job of managing that reality?
Elite talent is often leaving elite status by the time it reaches free agency, so I don't see those two things in true conflict. You must draft and develop your own elite talent. As long as the CBA has a six-year service time requirement for free agency, this will be feasible for low-payroll clubs. This a major part of Houston's problem right now - they didn't acquire much elite talent through all of their trades the last two years, and as I look through that farm system I see few potential elite players. But they're too far down to fix this club through free agency, where elite talent tends to be overvalued anyway.
Your ESPN associate Adam Rubin just posted in his chat that "Daniel Murphy can will himself to becoming a better than average 2b" are you going to send a memo to management?
I don't think any player can will himself to be an above-average fielder.
Thoughts on the Mike Matheny hire?
I don't understand hiring a manager who has never managed at any level. The history of such managers is not good - they tend to struggle with the in-game stuff - and there are plenty of qualified candidates out there with at least some managing experience in the minors. Matheny might be great, but we have no evidence to argue that he is.
Are you heartbroken that NBC is benching Community, or do you not care?
I've never watched it.
Does anyone outside of PNC Park believe the annual kabuki theater that is the Pirates' purported presence in free agency?
Unfair. They did sign Rod BarajaHAHAHAHA you're right, that's a good one.
Equally skeptical of the double play tandem of Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene?
Like Descalso's bat, glove needed some work. Like Greene's glove, bat is not good.
I consider myself a fairly even-keeled fan. But I have to admit that the Red Sox managerial search and post-meltdown antics are coming across as exceedingly unorganized. Your thoughts?
It's weird. Too many cooks there? I know Cherington well and I don't see him as an indecisive person.
Manager of the year should probably just be decided by whoever acquired, and successfully deployed, the most lions, correct?
Deep-fry, grill or traditional oven?
I'm making duck this year. Daughter is a vegetarian. Wife usually skips the turkey and eats the sides. So why make turkey? It's boring anyway.
I'm just glad that MLB will not let teams go CRAZY and spend a few extra million a year on the draft and IFAs. That money is clearly better spent on a 6th or 7th reliever and/or a bench guy with great intangibles. MLB is spot on in trying to make sure that two sport athletes don't pick baseball. Who needs those guys, right? Matt Kemp, Mike Stanton, Bubba Starling, Zach Lee, Tom Glavine, Bo Jackson, Dave Winfield, the list goes on - we don't need you. Just as long as our insanely wealthy owners don't have to pay an extra couple of million a year.
Yep. And the amazing thing is the fans who parrot the owners' arguments. These owners are all incredibly rich. Why would you prefer to see them pocket an extra $5 million a year than have that spread out among a bunch of high school kids and 16-year-olds from Latin America.
Is there going to be an earlier signing deadline for draft picks?
I don't know this for a fact but widespread speculation within the industry (for months now) has been that they'll move it up to mid-July.
Chris Sale as starter, good or bad? And what level?
I do not see that arm action working in the rotation.
Top Chef Non-Spoiler: Ever eaten rattlesnake?
I have not. But I'd try it. Exotic/game meats I've tried: rabbit (meh), frog (less meh), ostrich (good, but dries out easily), duck (not really exotic) ... don't think I've had venison. That might be it. I need to work on this.
Still somewhat suspect of SS Ryan Jackson's arm after completion of AFL?
Arm? His bat is the question. He looks like a better version of Brandon Crawford, which would make him a fringy regular at best.
A snail is just a slug in a shell.
Keith, is Lavarnway really that bad a catcher? He did throw out a high percentage of runners this year. That's gotta count for something. And is he as good a hitter as Montero?
Montero is a much better hitter. Lavarnway has a better chance to catch.
I'm reading better reports on Arenado's defense. Is this a fluke, incorrect or has he actually improved his defense?
I think he does the best he can given his body. He has slow feet - there's a ceiling on how good an infielder you can be if your legs are just heavy or slow. Matt Davidson is cut from similar cloth. Both can stay at 3b, most likely, but I don't think either will ever save you 5 runs a year on defense.
What'd you think of Padma's reference to "Snakes on a Plane?"
I had tarantula in Cambodia. Do I win?
I don't think I'll ever top that.
who would you rather have in your system, Brett Jackson or Oscar Taveras?
Solis got high praise from some outlets for his AFL performance. has you opinion changed on him at all?
He's a 4th/5th starter. I like him, pretty high probability, good changeup, slider was a little better, don't love the arm action. He did bump some 95s out here, and if he comes out next year sitting 91-95 on a regular basis, I'd rethink that ceiling.
A Toronto baseball writer suggested today that if Bautista has another 40+ homer-monster season that the Jays will have to renegotiate his contract to keep him happy. From your front office experience would this likely happen? Seems to me that both sides took on risk when he signed his extension last year and the Jays shouldn't be punished for guaranteeing him 65 Mil coming off of one great season. Thoughts?
No. Can't think of that happening in baseball.
Was thinking about doing a fun spin on sweet potato casserole this year....Sweet potato gnocchi with a maple, brown butter sauce. Yay or Nay?
Mike Trout hitting poorly in Arizona Fall league = He is Tired, long season. Brandon Short hitting bad = he has holes in his swing..Bryce Harper hitting good = he is a stud Vitters hitting good =everybody is hitting good.. If everybody in the AFL is hitting good then whats wrong with Trout... I hate how people design reports on how they want them to turn on out...
You just answered that question. He looked exhausted. His run times were way up (in the wrong direction, that is).
Has Matt Purke impressed in the AFL?
"Kershaw wins the triple crown so he has to win the Cy Young" is a grossly simplified argument, no?
Yes. The triple crown - and it's not even the Triple Crown - is a fully arbitrary standard.
Do you have any concerns that a move to a 32 team league would water down the talent pool a bit much and result in (even more) absurd contracts for mediocre players?
Talent pool is only increasing as the game spreads internationally.
What's your advice for someone trying to expand his cooking repertoire without a lot of money (read: grad student)? I can kick pasta's ass but what else should I work on without breaking the (very small) bank?
Dried beans and whole grains. Doesn't have to be strict vegetarian - I've got beans and rice with andouille sausage in the slow cooker right now, total cost of all ingredients was maybe $10-11, and it'll provide probably eight servings.
Is Josh Vitters a bust?
He's most of the way there. That approach at the plate just won't work. Beautiful swing, really thought he'd just mash his way to the majors.
Highlights the main reason why scouting HS hitters is hard: We can talk bodies and swings all day long, but you never know if the guy can take a walk or recognize a decent breaking ball until he signs.
Keith, are there any current GMs that you'd love to work with in building a winner, if so who?
There certainly are - but I think answering that with names might give people the wrong impression.
Does Robbie Grossman's fractured hamate affect where you put him on the Top 100 list, or even kick him off there completely?
Won't affect his rankings because those are about the long term - but it does lower what I expect from him in 2012, especially in the power department.
I've heard grumblings about the Giants kicking the tires on Sizemore. I'm worried on the health of his knees, but I could see offering him an incentive laden deal based on at bats. I'd feel better defensively with him in CF than Melky, that's for sure. Thoughts?
Can't play center. This is a silly pipe dream - even if he could still handle the range, his knees are so unlikely to hold up ... and the Giants have one of the two biggest centerfields in the game, right? How does this make any sense?
When will the Jays relocate? Having a team in Canada is absolutely stupid.
This has to be bait. Although geography isn't exactly a strong suit of our education system.
I don't think there is anything arbitrary about Ws, Ks, and ERA, in and of themselves. They're just traditional stats that everyone knows. I do believe IP and ERA are the two main "traditional stats" that count the most. This whole FIP thing seems completely inaccurate to me. While Halladay had a great season, with so few walks and HRs allowed, I do believe, when Kershaw wins the award, it will be deserved.
You might want to explain WHY you think "this whole FIP thing" is "completely inaccurate." As for the arbitrary comment, the idea that leading in those three categories is some sort of trump card is the arbitrary part.
Don't think you'll answer it, but as a followup to Nick's question would you rather become GM of a consistent winner (Sox/Yanks), a potential up and coming team (Nats, eg), or one that needs to be rebuilt from the ground up (O's, eg)?
If I were to go back to a front office? I think the last option would be the most fun - just not for that ownership group in Baltimore.
Under the circumstances, the O's coulda done worse than Duquette, no?
Sure, once all the more qualified, more respected candidates were eliminated, he was the best choice.
Is AJ Ellis a poor man's Russell Martin or just another guy? (Or is that the same thing?
Just another guy.
If able to redo after AFL, is Hultzen #1?
What do you do with all those servings? Eat the same thing for 3-4 days in a row? Freeze them? I know for a fact you don't toss them.
Cajun beans and rice is like gumbo. I could eat it every day for a week without complaint.
End of the chat can you reveal your Cy ballot? Been curious for over a month, although I think I know. Halladay, Lee, Kershaw, Hamels, Wild Card. Did I get it?
I have a short blog entry with my ballot and an explanation that will go live at 2 pm EST.
well, they almost hired John Stockstill!! That would have made me cry.
By all accounts, he's one of the people Angelos will not allow a new GM to fire.
If the draft were held today, who's your #1 - Appel, Marrero or Buxton?
Appel, but somewhat by default. He's not the traditional 1-1 candidate; wouldn't have gone first overall in the last three drafts, or over Price/Wieters in 2007. Sleeper might be Matt Smoral, whom I mentioned when talking to Michael Ruhlman on last week's podcast. 6'8" LHP with big arm strength. I haven't seen enough to rank him there, but those are the elements for a HS pitcher to go very high.
Explain what you meant when you said my question "had to be bait" when I asked about the Blue Jays leaving Toronto?
That you were baiting me for a specific response. The alternative was to assume you were completely ignorant about the fifth largest city in North America.
If it is so difficult to scout high school bats then what makes you so confident about Javier Baez? Josh Vitters was thought of in the same way coming out of H.S. Are there key differences between the two?
How confident am I in Baez, exactly? I like the swing, the athleticism, the explosive hands, and I worry about his lack of experience against decent competition and the makeup questions that dogged him before the draft. Saying he's the best Cubs prospect is not equivalent to saying he's low-risk.
Hello Keith. I currently attend Arizona State, and would love to meet you, my favorite writer! Any plans to go to a few ASU games this year?
I'll be there a bunch this spring to see Marrero and Rogers (and Barrett if he's ever healthy enough to pitch). Will also likely head to Tucson when Stanford comes to town.
You mentioned on the podcast last week that you use an onion almost every meal. Is it mostly white onions or does it matter based on the recipe?
I use yellow or Spanish unless the recipe calls for something specific.
I read that a potential Span for Espinosa trade is in the works. As a Twins fan I'm pretty excited about the thought of Espinosa at short for the Twins for years to come. Thoughts?
Like his glove quite a bit. I'd say there's a 25% chance he posts a sub-.300 OBP in the AL, though.
Will Harper be ready for the bigs this coming season or do you believe he will require a full year in the minors again?
I don't believe he's ready now, or will be ready before August or September.
T/F: The Kemp deal will look even better for LA after Fielder and Pujols sign.
That's almost certainly true, since he wasn't a free agent.
Funny Matt, I heard it would involve Desmond.
If that's true, I'd be rather unhappy if I were a Twins fan.
Who would suggest targeting, Lowrie or Espinosa?
Depends on your need. Prefer Lowrie at 2b.
Do they teach supply and demand at Stanford? If so, was Ruben Amaro, Jr. absent that day?
He decided there were too many numbers involved.
KLaw, I told you Psych would bounce back from the Boggs episode...Molly Ringwald comeback
You did. Actually, Ringwald was overshadowed by Vivian.
Based on recent experience and an organizational philosophy that seems to totally disregard defense, I have a very hard time believing that Green (3b) and Gamel (1b) will be even average defensive players for the Brewers. Am I wrong?
I can buy Green. Gamel looked like a pure DH when I saw him coming up.
what have you heard about Ronald Guzman from scouts you trust?
Saw him. He's a long way off. Floored at the money he got - big kid, big frame, awkward swing, doesn't show great hand strength. Granted, there's always sniping at big-bonus Latin American guys from clubs that lost out in the bidding, but there was an exceptional amount after he and Mazara signed.
Worth mentioning again that they're just 16. Long way off also means more can change than even with the typical American HS product.
OK, one sec, let me get the link for the column.
Sorry, not published yet. But as many of you suspected, I had Halladay in the top slot.
2013.....Stras, Zim, Peacock, Cole and Meyer/Purke....are the Nationals a 90-95 win team?
Peacock as the third starter? Really? I'm with you on the first two, but I think they fill out that rotation with at least one big acquisition between now and then.
You are a jerk for suggesting Oriole fans switch allegiance and become Nats fans, a few weeks ago during the O's GM search. In fact I called you a hack and unfollowed you on twitter. Care to apologize?
No. Because it was hilarious. I'd apologize just for hurting your widdle feewings, but I'm not sorry.
Column is up: http://klaw.me/sfJpar
Is any threat/action less meaningful than unfollowing someone on Twitter?
I have to say I didn't notice he was gone.
Phil K, Keith is right on this one... we've suffered enough. GO NATS!
It's simple - one franchise is run well, the other is not. I wouldn't want to root for a team that the owner treats more as a personal fiefdom than as a way to win a championship.
If you are AA right now; who do you target for the Jays?? I'd avoid Wilson at all costs, None of the big 3 FA's make much sense...Cespedes could clear up their LF situation and give them Thames and Snider as trade bait...Darvish might be worth the risk. Quite frankly, his best move might be standing pat for a trade market to develop.
Wouldn't touch the big 3 - none makes sense for them right now. Agreed on Darvish, but shouldn't about 20-25 teams feel the same?
Best hitter in the 2012 draft = ?
Junior Lake: bench guy, average starter or all-star. I keep thinking somewhere between bench and average starter. you?
steve: Marrero is the safe bet now. Buxton is the wild card, gets compared to BJ Upton at the same age, but plays in a rural part of Georgia so the concern is the quality of pitching he's faced.
Paul: His approach right now is so bad, and his instincts in the field so limited, that I'm not calling him anything more than a bench guy, if that. Has tools, but right now no clue how to use them.
You a believer in Rymer Liriano? Can Padres fans be excited??
Yes. Great farm system right now. Had to bug Hoyer and McLeod to leave it.
Do you find the London Rippers name more appalling than the Redskins or Indians?
No, the latter two are far worse. But there's a difference between a name chosen decades or a century ago and one chosen today when we are, presumably, less stupid.
Do you buy into the reports from yesterday that Darvish might not post and doesn't want to come stateside?
Anything is possible. I believe he'll post, as do most people I talk to in the industry, because of the huge amount of money involved for all parties.
Not too make you jealous, but I was a guest diner on Top Chef this season. One of my friends is a producer for the show.
I am very jealous.
Don't be afraid to hook up your favorite snarky baseball writer...
Ian Kennedy got a first place vote.
You were wrong on the CY Young...Kershaw wins!
I was wrong because I voted for someone else?
Any movies you are looking forward to this holiday season?
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. And The Muppets, of course.
Have your opinions of Taylor Lindsey changed at all after his success in Orem last year?
Not really - always loved the swing, position still a question, wish he'd take a walk now and then.
Hola Klaw!!! I know you don't pay any attention to AFL hitting stats because the ballparks are so hitter-friendly, but I was curious if you evaluate pitchers at all using their AFL stats. For example, Forrest Snow has pitched extremely well this fall. I would also like to get a scouting report on him. Do you see him becoming a starter long-term or is more likely to be a reliever?
The samples are so small and the conditions so structured (e.g., relievers almost never pitch on consecutive days) that I hate to read much into them. Snow looked good though, 91-94 with some tail, decent curveball, fringy changeup.
The same guy who gave Valverde a second place vote this year voted for Ordonez over A-Rod in 2007. Can the BBWAA remove him from AL award voting?
I don't know any procedure for that - the only guys I know who lost their votes were the ones who put Volquez on their ROY ballots when he had 3 years of experience. Two of those three voters aren't even BBWAA members any more.
LeCarre fan? Favorite novel?
Loved TTSS and Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Constant Gardener was fair, Russia House slightly worse. Tailor of Panama ripped off Greene's Our Man in Havana. Put down A Perfect Spy after 50 pages.
Mike Olt moving to 1B would diminish his value a bunch, right?
Yes. He had a great defensive rep at third in the minors (was brutal at SS as an amateur), but looked shaky at third out here. May have been tired/rusty from the layoff, so I don't want to overreact to that.
Are you as snarky to actual people as you are on here?
Come see me at a game and you'll find out.
How far are you in The Wire?
I'll finish season two tomorrow night.
Am I wrong for thinking that Anthony Rendon will end up the better player than Bryce Harper in DC?
Yes, you are wrong.
See you at a game? I find you the type of person who finds others "unworthy to talk to."
That's absurd. I've spent lots of time with readers at games. We're working on a fan meetup, probably here in Arizona during spring training.
Cooked shrimp for a cooking show? Judges make the right choice?
Just posted on the dish about last night's episode, so please head over there for discussion about that (since I'm about to wrap up the chat).
Should the Dodgers trade Ethier? Who will be the Dodger's 3B next season and who will be in the rotation?
Given the Ellis and Treanor signings, I'm not optimistic about who'll they'll fill those other spots with.
Did you catch any flak for your Ackley vote? For the record, I think Pineda had the better season.
I actually did not have an AL ROY ballot. That was hypothetical.
Thanks for all the questions - busy afternoon ahead. I'll be on KTAR here in Arizona at 2:30 pm today. Next chat will be in two weeks!