I am chatting today, but am on the phone and will be here in a few more minutes.
Still on phone. Thanks for waiting - I'll be here shortly.
Keith, would you rather have Darvish or Chapman in your organization?
Darvish. Even if Chapman's arm wasn't in question after the poor AFL showing, I'd still take Darvish.
Profar or Machado? Or are we splitting hairs?
Machado. But it's not a huge gap. Pretty strong crop of SS prospects right now.
Why are we hearing nothing about the japenese free agent pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Iwakuma?
Haven't we heard Baltimore with Chen? I also assume that we need to get Darvish cleared from the market before those guys get more interest, just because they're second-tier (not just because they're also international FAs).
Is Xander Bogaerts getting overhyped? If he's a SS, he could have an elite offensive ceiling similar to Machado.
He's not a SS. I don't think the Red Sox really view that as a possibility.
Who were you talking to?
Darvish. Turns out I had the high bid.
If you are Theo, do you sign Saunders and Kuroda? I think the central is ripe for the taking.
And you think Joe Saunders is the key?
If you were in a front office, would you rather sign Soler or Cespedes? Or would it depend on if you needed an outfielder in the next year or two or could wait on a 19 year old to develop?
I've seen neither guy live, but based on what I've been told by guys who have, it sounds like Cespedes is both more advanced and has more ceiling.
Klaw, we are hearing who is in the lead for YuD, but nobody really knows in this Poker Game, right?
There is no "in the lead," as you imply. You won the bidding or you didn't.
Twins rotation is in trouble. Do we need to draft better, develop better or something else?
They haven't drafted much velocity in recent years - they take average-fastball command guys, and you get no ceiling with that group. You might get more probability (fewer zeroes), but I'm not even sure of that.
Klaw, I asked this to Schoenfield but figure you'll have pretty strong feelings as well - shouldn't we be hearing more outrage about Braun's test results being leaked before appeal? We're supposed to trust MLB's test results when it can't keep it's word on confidentiality?
There was no outrage when A-Rod's results were leaked. I think the more salacious the info, the less outraged people get about its release.
Best rookie in 2012 not named Matt Moore?
Mike Trout, now that he's been recertified as a rookie.
When's the ETA in St. Louis for Miller and Martinez? Will they be able to contribute to the title defense this year? Also, thoughts on the possibility of Beltran to the Cardinals?
Miller maybe. Martinez highly unlikely.
How quickly does Jack hang up the phone on a Jesus/Nova/Dellin for King Felix offer?
Pretty quickly. And I say that as a big fan of Montero's bat.
D'Arnaud or Mesoraco? Why?
Mesoraco. Major-league ready immediately, cleaner health record. Both are future stars though.
Keith, it seems that everyone assumes the Rays are going to trade one of their SP, either Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann. Which of those two has the most value? Could you see either of them bringing back a prospect like Yonder Alonso or Logan Morrison?
I'd rather trade Niemann and roll the dice on Davis' stats catching up more with his stuff. I would assume the Reds would listen to an Alonso-for-pitcher offer.
The Pads system seems to lack star power, but makes up for it w/ depth - is it possible they have 7-8 top 100 prospects?
It's one of the best systems in the minors right now. Of course, part of the group that made that happen is now in Chicago.
Would Darvish crack your overall top 10 once he signs? Top 5?
Prospects? I don't include NPB veterans on my top 100.
Any thought on Tyler Pastornicky? Looks like he'll be starting.
Like him, chance to be a solid-average regular. No power, but can play short, good approach, adds value through baserunning.
How do you feel about the idea of "closer by committee?" Is there evidence that shows guys are better with a defined role?
Approve. No evidence I know of. One obstacle is that the current arbitration system rewards players so heavily for saves that players and agents are invested in keeping the capital-C closer role.
Will Francisco Lindor crack your top-100? What kind of ceiling does he have in your opinion?
Safe to assume my entire pre-draft top 10 this year will be on this winter's top 100 - could have as many as 20 2011 draftees on the list this year, since the draft was so strong. Above-average big league regular SS, hits for average, runs, plus defense, not much power.
Strangely quiet in the Fielder camp, where do you think he winds up?
Boras guys sign late. Don't confuse quiet with lack of interest. It's just early.
What are your thoughts on Tommy Joseph? Giants have a lot of depth at catcher. Does he eventually move to 1b?
Catching skills massively improved this year. Could always throw and hit for power, but he's going to stay behind the plate, which wasn't certain a year ago.
Do the Dbacks keep Ryan Roberts at 3B or do they pull up Bochering or someone from the minors? He's the only 'weak' spot in the lineup.
Borchering's bat isn't ready and he can't play third. Davidson's the better option but he's not ready either.
Time to give up on Jared Mitchell?
Give him a mulligan after he lost a full year in 2010. It's not looking good, but I'd like to give him one more year.
Mark Melancon, is... not that good. Agreed?
I think he's better than you're saying he is. He's good. He's not elite, but he's good.
Isn't a catcher with the potential to hit .300/30/100 with a .900 OPS worth more than a pitcher who will be 30 by the time the Mariners have a shot at winning?
Sure. What catcher did you have in mind? Because I only saw a DH and two pitchers.
Last Darvish question: why exactly haven't we heard the winner yet? How hard is it to look at 5 pieces of paper and decide which number is the highest?
IIRC, even the NPB team isn't told who won, merely the amount.
What make/model espresso machine do you own?
Gaggia Carezza. Least expensive true espresso maker they made at the time I got it, maybe five years ago. Old dish post on espresso is here: http://meadowparty.com/blog/?p=337
I see Dee Godon as Juan Pierre Light. You share my pessimism?
If Juan Pierre could play shortstop, and play it well, we'd talk very differently about his career.
What are your thoughts on Jesse Biddle? #1 arm in the Phillies system now?
He and Trevor May are the top two in some order. Interesting arm, never really had much command.
When are we going to get a Top Chef post on your blog? Heather is miserable.
It was 80% done, and then the phone rang. I'll finish it as soon as I'm done chatting.
Theo less likely to give BJax a start than Hendry due to SO %?
I assume so. I don't see any reason to think Jackson is ready. Everyone thought he'd swing and miss too much back when we saw him in college, and nothing's really changed there.
Could you name other SS's of interest other than Machado and Profar? Thanks!
Lindor and Hak-Ju Lee, just for starters.
Is Seth Smith, Tim Wheeler and Josh Rutledge a fair haul for Jair Jurrjens?
I don't think so. More quantity than quality.
If you see a trade/FA signing rumor mill item on ESPN.com that you know for a fact to be untrue due to your MLB connections, do you let the webmaster/journalist know so they can rescind it or take down the post?
I would let them know internally.
Do you think Alex Wilson will crack the 25-man roster this year?
Maybe as a swingman.
Paxton, Hultzen, and Walker. Any of them in the M's rotation out of Spring Training?
Maybe Hultzen? I'd guess none of the three.
Have the Pirates crossed the line of having a middle of the road group of prospects? Cole, Taillon, Heredia, Bell, and a few others with some upside at least offer a glimmer of hope.
Yep, that's a strong group. There's progress on the farm. I just don't get what they're doing in the big leagues.
Does Smoak regain some plate confidence and become the player we all thought he would be?
I am betting he will. Thumb injuries are brutal.
Have you seen Iglesias in person? His offensive numbers look absolutely terrible. Do you think he'll turn out to be an average hitter, or is he Rey Ordonez Part 2 (but with a glove that matches the hype - unlike Ordonez).
Yes, but not this year. You're being kind about his numbers. I still think he makes enough contact to survive as a hitter and let the 10-15 runs a year he saves with his glove (or more?) carry him to real major league value.
Please answer one question on Andrelton Simmons! Is he a SS long term?
Yes. Question is the bat. Plus range and arm.
is Gerrit Cole a top 25 prospect in 2012?
I won't answer questions that specific before the top 100 comes out in late January.
Did you see The Common Man's article about Jeff Bagwell and journalistic plagiarism? Pure gold.
Yep. And it was.
Would you trade for Gio Gonzalez if you had to include Hutch?
Jemile Weeks had a rough year defensively, do you think he has room for improvement or will he have to move off of 2nd base long term?
Lot of room for improvement. Has the tools. His brother eventually figured it out enough for the bat to play.
After one season, who has won the Lawrie\Marcum trade?
Did either team win? Milwaukee got to the playoffs, which was their clear goal. Toronto got a potential superstar going forward. Both teams should be thrilled.
And I don't think that was happening for Lawrie in Milwaukee, either.
The Dish has now frozen up my internets twice. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, this means war.
It's an IE-specific issue with a script. Still trying to figure out what script, but in the meantime, turn off scripts, read it through an RSS reader, or try Chrome/Firefox.
Lots of disappointment in Oakland right now for us A's fans? With the emergence of the Rangers and Angels, we're basically the Baltimore Orioles without the nice ballpark.
But you have competent management. I'm not sure we can say that for Baltimore given ownership's clear intention to meddle.
If yourTexas and could only have one for the money do you take Darvish ($120m total-contract plus posting) or Fielder at $200m.
At those prices, probably Darvish. I think you're high on both, especially Fielder.
2012 AL West Champion is...
If the season started today, I'd pick the Angels. But I doubt the Rangers are done for the offseason.
First and foremost - Happy Holidays to you and your family. Secondly, as the year comes to a close, let me says thanks for the excellent work. Now my question - I have 10 1/2-year-old twin boys who are starting to grow out of traditional board games. Would you suggest Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, or some other game as a good place to start with "grown up" games for them?
Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride.
Who the hell uses IE?
I use it to access our internal expense reporting system, and that's it. I've been using Chrome for years now and couldn't go back.
In your honest opinion, where does Prince end up?
Wild guess? I don't chase those rumors at all, so this is pure speculation. I'd say Seattle or Washington.
Did Boras get a bigger Christmas gift ever than the Brewers offering KRod arbitration? I am sure the Yankees forced Attanasio to do it.
I don't see how that's not getting more criticism. That's a HUGE dent in a low-revenue team's budget.
If you had to move either T. Snider or E. Thames for a pitcher who would you want to keep?
Keep Snider. Still a chance to be an above-average player. Thames doesn't have that.
The quality of the chefs on Top Chef this year is not looking to good. The judges seem totally bored with thier food. What do you think the problem is? I think the show is making a mistake going for highly decorated chefs instead of young and hungry up-and -comers. However, Padma is looking hotter than ever this season....don't you think? I think she got a little hopped up with all those tequilla shots which made her even hotter. Baseball question: What do you think of Hunter Morris and Kendrick Perkins? Any chance either of them are future all-stars?
Nah, post-baby Padma was her peak. Perkins is a longshot but you could dream on him as an above-average guy, while Morris' ceiling is maybe an average regular or a little less.
Just remember - alot of people access this stuff at work, especially mid-day chats. On work computers not all of us can install firefox or chrome and are stuck with IE during the day... Any thoughts the Nats Michael Taylor's future?
Understood. Google Reader (if you can access that - and yes, I know they emasculated it) would let you view the dish via IE because I make the full posts available via RSS.
Oh, sorry, Taylor - pretty interesting guy, chance to play CF, approach wasn't great this year but he was young for the Sally Lg, can run and throw, still developing with the bat.
Have you seen Amir Garrett pitch? Did the Reds get a total steal there?
What would be your HOF ballot?
Raines, Larkin, McGwire, Bagwell, Trammell, Edgar. I think that's it - might have forgotten one name. No on Palmeiro or Walker.
Keith, O's pitching moves (Eveland, Wada): reasonable gambles to see who might have a decent enough year to stick, or near-guaranteed 5-ish ERA flameouts? Hope for the future obviously lies with Matusz, Britton, and guys still in the minors, but they could do worse than try Wada every fifth day, right?
I don't see it. Low upside guys in a tough division.
Not eligible yet. When he is, I would vote for him. Same for Clemens.
What is the deal with Heather on Top Chef? Is she really this horrible a person? She stole Ed's cake recipe and won a car, that just isn't right.
I am finding it hard to believe this is all just editing. I would love to see her reactions to all of this.
The no on Palmeiro is because he was a consistent stat builder and not a hof, not because he used peds right?
Correct. Really never among the best players in his league.
Hi Keith. I started cooking eggs the way you discussed with your guest on the podcast a few weeks ago (over indirect heat -- steam in my case), and it makes a world of difference! Everybody should do it this way. Dammit.
That's from Ruhlman's Twenty. It is unreal - regular scrambled eggs won't taste the same after you've had these.
Is Joseph Weiland a 2/3 starter?
Keith, what's your take on STL's Matt Adams now with a huge Pujols-sized hole at 1B? Certainly Adams has the size?
The size and the power. Not ready to step into that role right away, and it's more raw power than advanced hitting approach. I do like him, but there's real risk he can't make enough contact in the majors for the power to matter.
I wanted to follow up on your tweet regarding a posting bid on Darvish to block him from coming to the states. What exactly could Selig do about it and how could that even be proven?
He doesn't have to prove anything - as Commissioner, he could easily invoke the "best interests" clause and at least invalidate the first posting. He might need proof to sanction the team in question, but not to ensure a positive outcome for MLB and NPB.
Oakland seems to be desperately waiting for a new stadium that isn't coming. I know cities like Milwuaukee have shown one or two year attendance increases and then back to normal but I would have to think getting out of Oakland Coliseum would provide a longer term increase because it is such a dump. Agree? Just trying to find some silver lining as an A's fan
Yes. They need to move to San Jose. I'm not saying anyone should build them a publicly-funded stadium, but that MLB should force the A's and Giants to arbitrate over the value of such a move and get it settled already.
Who no on Larry Walker for HOF? Didn't have the counting career totals and Coors Field did help, but safe to say he was among the league's best for a number of years. Elite defense and baserunning in addition to strong hitting.
Never gets a sniff if he doesn't go to Coors.
When steroid testing started, offense marginally declined for a couple of years. Then MLB got serious about amphetamines, and offense crashed. Even if someone wants to make the hugely illogical conclusion that the drop was caused specifically by drug testing, don't they also have to admit that it's clear that amphetamines--not steroids--were the problem? Or would that force too many writers to have to condemn about 80% of Hall of Famers from the 60s and 70s that they want to (falsely) believe were completely pure?
I can't prove or disprove any of that, but it is at least as plausible as the whole steroids mania that implies that most of MLB started using steroids in the winter of 1992-93.
So Keith in other word you are willing and OK with players who cheated the game to get voted to the HOF
I wouldn't vote for Pete Rose. That's someone who actually cheated, in a meaningful way.
Thanks for the questions - sorry for the late start this week. It's been an interesting day here. I'll be back next week for one more pre-Christmas chat.