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December 20, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (3:03 PM)

OK, we'll start with a few questions from readers and then I'll have some stuff to ask you, the friendly readers and chatters of ESPN.

Mike (Chi-town)

B.Harper & Teheran - which (if either) contributes more to their respective teams in 2012?

David Schoenfield
  (3:05 PM)

I have a feeling it's going to be Harper. Davey Johnson loves this kid and I get the feeling believes he'll be ready for the majors. At the winter meetings, he compared him to Dwight Gooden, and how he had to beg then-Mets GM Frank Cashen to put Gooden on the big league roster in 1984. From what I saw of him in his brief MLB exposure, Teheran still has some work to do in Triple-A.

Greg (LA)

There's all kind of talk of the Angels looking to move Abreu. Whabt about back to the Yankees for AJ Burnett (if he Yankees eat let's say $12M). Wouldn't AJ at 2 years $21M be better than Abreu at 1 year $9M. If not, how much more money would you want the Yankees to eat?

David Schoenfield
  (3:07 PM)

Why would the Yankees want Abreu? Montero will absorb most of the DH at-bats, they have a left fielder and you don't really want Abreu in the field anyway.

Blake (Atlanta)

Adding Pujols is obviously an improvement to the Angels line-up but he can't get RBIs with nobody on base. Do you think they need to improve the talent around him before we can considered them better than the Rangers?

David Schoenfield
  (3:08 PM)

I wrote on the Angels' lineup last week and that's the problem -- while there are no glaring holes, there are no outstanding strengths outside of Pujols. Their best OBP guys (Abreu, Izturis, Callaspo) aren't guaranteed starting jobs and if Pujols and Hunter hit back to back, the Angels are starting at 50+ double plays from those two.

Jason (Milwaukee)

As a Brewers fan, I am not willing to give up on Fielder yet. Crew needs to trade KRod and Hart to clear salary for Prince. Assuming the trade partners take KRod's entire contract (a bad one) and Hart's entire contract (not so bad), what could the Crew get in return for those guys?

David Schoenfield
  (3:10 PM)

Good question, especially now that the Brewers won rights Aoki, whom they could plug in right field if they want to trade Hart. I don't think anyone is going to take K-Rod, however ... he's really NOT an elite closer anymore and if you do want to pay $10-12 million for a closer, you can just sign Ryan Madson.

Darek (Chicago,IL)

A.Dunn for C.Figgins, which GM hangs up first?

David Schoenfield
  (3:12 PM)

Could you imagine either GM having the guts to make that call? I actually think Kenny Williams hangs up first, hoping against hope that Dunn can bounce back. Figgins is done.

Mike (Long Island)

Speaking of AJ Burnett, seems like if they Yankees are serious about staying within the $189M luxury tax threshold within the next two years, they need to do anything they can to get someone to take at least some of his salary ASAP.

David Schoenfield
  (3:14 PM)

OK, he's owed $33 million for the next two years. Would some team even want Burnett for half that? A guy with a 5.20 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over the past two seasons? I don't think so. Isn't Burnett basically proven he's replacement-level fodder at this point (with a decent fastball)? I think he's untradeable.

Jason (St Louis)

The bizzaro off season continues. The Marlins have made big moves, the AL West has turned in the the AL East, niether the Red Sox or the Yanks have signed anyone. What in the name of all that is holy is going on?

David Schoenfield
  (3:15 PM)

Is this a sign the Royals and Pirates are going to make the playoffs?

Matt (Toronto)

Now that you got Toronto's fan base all riled up with your Another Beast in the AL East article, do you have a Part 2? Thanks for the chat and Happy Holidays!

David Schoenfield
  (3:17 PM)

I apologize to all Blue Jays fans. It was a fun idea though, wasn't it? Anyway ... Blue Jays are still in good shape with that farm system. I still say they have the money to sign Fielder. Not saying they WILL, but it's time for the Jays to start thinking again like a big-market team and do something to get the fans excited.

Jason (Birmingham)

Hi David. Glad you're back on the podcast! Anyhow, what kind of return do you think the Tigers could expect if they trade Delmon Young? Seems like the Reds could be a fit, and their park would minimize his defensive shortcomings.

David Schoenfield
  (3:20 PM)

Man, Delmon Young is one of my least favorite players in baseball, so my general thinking on him is: Why would anybody want him? Is he really any better than Chris Heisey? It seems to me that these front offices are all smart enough these days to realize Delmon's OBP issues and poor defense, so I don't think he has much value. I think he begins the season with Detroit. (And thanks ... good to be back. We had a fun year-in-review show today with Eric Karabell and Mark Simon.)

John (Illinois)

David- With pitch counts playing such a big role in pitching decisions, why do teams still implement an innings cap for young players? Is it just a rough estimate of where there pitch count finally lands?

David Schoenfield
  (3:24 PM)

Well, it's both -- a pitch count limit per each start and an innings count for an entire season. Of course, these limits are so strict that when a guy is ready for the majors, he often has pitched more than 140 or 150 innings in the minors, so may not be ready for an entire MLB season. Speaking of pitch counts, Rick Sutcliffe once told me when he was coming up with the Dodgers, they had a rule -- no more than 30 pitches per INNING. If it was the top of the first and you threw 30 pitches, didn't matter -- you were out of the game. There are some who theorize that a rule like that may actually be smarter than worrying about 90 or 100 pitches per game. (Not that you want a 19-year-old throwing 140 pitches or anything.)

Bobby (Arlington)

With the Rangers winning the bid on Darvish, in hindsight, isnt that a bad allocation of money when an unknown commodity (Darvish) will cost 110+ mil in total with tons of questions marks, when they could've just went to 85 mil for Wilson and had a known blue chip commodity?

David Schoenfield
  (3:27 PM)

I don't disagree, although I don't think we know what the Rangers did offer Wilson; maybe they offered more and he just wanted to sign elsewhere. I'm actually a big Wilson fan and I know people soured on him after his poor postseason, but this guy has proven he can pitch in Texas, in that ballpark and heat, which isn't an easy thing to do. By all accounts, Darvish is a stud (unknown quantity isn't fair to say -- the Rangers have spent three years scouting him), and could pay bigger dividends than Wilson, but there is an amount of risk, yes.

Peter Edward Rose (Sing-sing)

I love what the Reds did in obtaining Latos from SD. Can they get Gerardo Parra from Ariz now??

David Schoenfield
  (3:28 PM)

He'd be a nice fit for them (perfect platoon for Heisey), but I suspect Arizona likes the depth of having four outfielders. Their bench was pretty weak last year.

Stephen (Twin Cities)

How do you feel about the Braun coverage? Seems very unfair to him...more and more information is coming out, and after a HUGE couple days of saturation coverage, ESPN is ignoring the story completely. Never thought I'd be in a position of hoping a star outfielder has an STD, but that's where we are. (Although you probably won't want to use this question, since due to lack of coverage most of your readership won't know what that means.)

David Schoenfield
  (3:30 PM)

We have reporters working on the story. There just isn't anything new to report *right now* and you have to make sure you get these stories right. But the story is certainly far from over and I personally think the STD rumor is a nice smokescreen.

Blake (Atlanta)

You joked about the Royals earlier but with the talent coming up and the moves they've made how far away do you think they are and what do you think of the off-season moves?

David Schoenfield
  (3:33 PM)

I liked the Melky-for-Sanchez trade. Trade Melky while his value his high for a good arm. If they do move Crow into the rotation, I'm not sure if that will work -- his record against left-handed batters is very poor so I don't think his stuff translates into the rotation. Broxton signing is a good $4 million risk -- if he pitches well, he's a great trade chip if you're out of the race. They're getting closer, but obviously remain a starter or two away.

Jason (St Louis)

Did the Cuddyer signing raise the bar for Beltran's expectations? I'd like to the see the Cards pick him up but not at the level of 3/31.5 mil and now it's going to cost more than that in all likelihood.

David Schoenfield
  (3:34 PM)

I'm with you -- certainly *seems* Beltran has to be worth as much or more than Cuddyer. Positional versatility isn't a valuable skill if you're not really any good at any of them. I'd take Beltran over Cuddyer, even with the age difference.

Matt (Toronto)

Either way, Braun is going to be stigmatized for life!

Patrick (Chicago)

Isn't Darvish 6 years younger than Wilson...I know he's unproven, but I don't want to be paying Wilson $20million when he is 35.

Shane (Milwaukee)

Please tell me that the Cubs are not thr front runner for Prince Fielder, it would hurt to watch his play down the road?

Tony J (Decatur, IL)

Does Fielder stay away from the Cubs because there's no one to hit behind him, and he'll probably set the IBB record there--or do these players look at this kind of thing, or is it just $$$$?

David Schoenfield
  (3:37 PM)

Bonds had 120 IBB in 2004, so I believe the record is safe! I always say players want things in this order: (1) Money, (2) Chance to win, (3) Desirable city. So if the Cubs pay, Prince will come.

Justin (Indiana)

What do you see the Padres doing with their surplus of first basemen? Any chance they unload Rizzo or Alonso for a decent shortstop prospect?

David Schoenfield
  (3:38 PM)

Keith Law says Alonso cannot play left field, so it would seem a trade is in order. Alonso is ready now and they didn't trade for him to trade him, so you would think they'd shop Rizzo around. Dave Cameron suggested a deal for Mariners SS prospect Nick Franklin.

DJ (PGH)

David, please keep quiet about Delmon's suckiness...you might finally kill those rumors of him going to Atlanta for Prado!

David Schoenfield
  (3:38 PM)

Seriously, I really don't like Delmon Young. Did I say that already?

Andy (in the cold)

can we get some applause for gm frank wren for making one of the smartest decisions in baseball: doing almost nothing this offseason (except ship dlowe to cleveland).

David Schoenfield
  (3:39 PM)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL5jq1TDiXQ&feature=related

David Schoenfield
  (3:40 PM)

OK, I have some questions to throw out there: Where does Prince end up landing?

Jason (St Louis)

How can Frank Wren get applause? Standing pat on a team that collapsed down the stretch and has a mediocre offense at best doesn't seem like the most prudent of paths to take.

Alan Carter (Las Vegas)

Is it possible that the yankees are inactive this year, not because no move made sense to them, but because Hal is not George. The Boss cared about winning, but Hal seems to only care about the Benjamins. As a Yankee fan, I sense that the days of glory are over.

David Schoenfield
  (3:43 PM)

From stuff I've read, that does seems to be the case. The all-out desire to win may not be the case. Although we have to remember -- George was really out of the loop due to his health issues for several years before his death. I just don't think the Yankees have the room to make many moves. The lineup is set, they don't want to trade their top prospects, so other than going after Wilson or Darvish, their wasn't an obvious move to make. Still wouldn't be surprised to see them bring in a veteran pitcher ... maybe Oswalt, although ESPNNY said they don't have interest.

Matt (Toronto)

With regards to Prince:heart says Toronto, brain says somewhere else (unfortunately)

Matt (Toronto)

Allan - it's called the luxury tax and the Yanks pay attention to it now...

Jason (St Louis)

Prince to the Cubs. Book it.

Tony J (Decatur, IL)

Prince comes to the Cubs--5 yr., $130 m.

David Schoenfield
  (3:44 PM)

Question No. 2: Assuming the Rangers sign Darvish, where do you rank their rotation -- Darvish, Holland, Harrison, Lewis, Feliz (Ogando presumable to the bullpen)?

Matt (Toronto)

What do you think AA would have offered for Latos? Or rather, which prospects do you think he would consider "in play?"I am assuming things started to break down once D'Arnaud or Gose was brought up?

David Schoenfield
  (3:45 PM)

Could be, and the Padres wouldn't be as interested in the lower-level pitching prospects for a guy as good as Latos.

Stephen (Twin Cities)

Thanks for taking my question! I'm not holding my breath, but I hope we do see follow-ups to the Braun story soon...the claim that nobody ever won an appeal has already been refuted but barely reported-there's information out there about a Brewer minor-leaguer and former college teammate of Braun's winning an appeal, but that's going largely ignored.

David Schoenfield
  (3:47 PM)

Jimmy Rollins also tweeted that he knew of a case that was overturned. Trouble is getting multiple sources to confirm stuff like this ... obviously, MLB has a vested interested in NOT leaking this info, and I'd also say MLB very unlikely to be the source of the Braun leak, even though I saw many suggestions on that. (Why would they leak?)

Ty Webb (Bushwood)

How do I measure the Rangers rotation? By height.

Doug (Cincy)

What do you make about the mound make up issues with Latos? Worth worrying about?

David Schoenfield
  (3:48 PM)

Not to me ... OK, maybe he's not a great guy. He's also just 23. Hopefully he'll grow out of some of that apparent immaturity.

Stephen (Twin Cities)

The Royals just re-signed Yuni B! And everyone outside of Kansas City laughs.

David Schoenfield
  (3:49 PM)

Please tell me you're joking!

Alex (Anaheim)

#6 in MLB

Blake (Atlanta)

I think the Blue Jays get Fielder. Imagine what he could do against the Yanks and Sox in their parks.

Justin (Baltimore)

The Orioles young starters put it all together this year and make a run like the 2008 Rays!

David Schoenfield
  (3:50 PM)

Maybe if they were in the AL Central!

David Schoenfield
  (3:51 PM)

OK ... what were your favorite moments of the season?

Meals (GR, MI)

"Throwing away" $40MM in luxury tax money just to get another aged/past his prime FA isn't smart business. Hall knows this. I don't think it has anything to do with not wanting to win.As a Yankee fan, I'm glad the days of paying FA's stupid contracts for what they did years previously are (hopefully) coming to an end!!!

Sean (lexington)

David- Happy holidays! It has now been...well, months since Theo went to the Cubs. They have yet to resolve the compensation issue. Bud for some reason has backed off his 'I will get involved! don't make me come back there you darn kids!!" threat. What gives? It's almost absurd at this point isn't it?

David Schoenfield
  (3:52 PM)

I don't know what's going on here either. Maybe the Red Sox are waiting for the Cubs to sign Prince and then demand him as compensation!

Chris (KS)

As a Royals fan...please shoot me and put me out of my misery now! Yuni??? Why are you doing this to me???

Stephen (Twin Cities)

Yes, the tweet from Rollins was murky at best and needs to be sourced. However, Brendan Katin has talked in detail about his experience and almost nobody is picking it up...http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/former-brewers-minor-leaguer-had-drug-test-reversed-r53gh35-135902123.html

David Schoenfield
  (3:53 PM)

Thanks, Stephen

Patrick (Chicago)

Rangers with Darvish are behind Giants, Phillies, Angels, and Rays for sure. Probably also behind Brewers and Braves.

David Schoenfield
  (3:54 PM)

I do think the Rangers' rotation is a bit underrated, especially considering their home park. In fact, I'd like to see Weaver, Haren and Santana in Texas ... how much would their ERAs rise?

Matt (Toronto)

Yuni B.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/royals-sign-yuniesky-betancourt.html

David Schoenfield
  (3:54 PM)

OK, let me revise what I wrote earlier about the Royals ... then again ... the Brewers just won a division title with Yuni at SS!

Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]

Better deal from the Ohio teams perspective? Reds getting Latos or the Indians getting Ubaldo?

David Schoenfield
  (3:54 PM)

Readers?

Jason (Birmingham MI)

Justin Verlander completing his second no-hitter in Toronto!

Jason (St Louis)

Are you kidding? I'm from St Louis so game seven of the World Series!

Matt (Toronto)

The Man in White was my favourite moment of the year... oh wait, it never happened!

Blake (Atlanta)

Will the Astros ever finish their fire sale and trade Wandy and Myers for future pieces? they aren't going anywhere for at least 3-4 years.

David Schoenfield
  (3:56 PM)

They're trying ... nobody seems to want Wandy at $13 million per at two years.

Matt (DC)

The Bryce Harper HR trot kiss...not MLB but hilarious still!

Tony J (Decatur, IL)

Am I the only one paying attention to your questions: That's easy--Game 6 of the World Series--by a hair over Game 7.

Jason (Birmingham MI)

Both OH teams paid too much. But the Reds deal was better.

Matt (DC)

Latos, hands and feet down.

Jim C (Houston)

The Astros finally pulling the plug on Bill "Chewtoy" Hall!

David Schoenfield
  (3:57 PM)

Man, it sure isn't fun to be an Astros fan right now, is it?

Doug (Cincy)

I'm biased, but I think the Reds got better deal because they (for the most part) gave up prospects who were blocked by better players.

Alan (Las Vegas)

Seattle for Prince. They need him right now, they will pay, and the park does not play that badly for left hand batters. Prince does not exactly hit wall scrapers. Sooner or later, King Felix, Pineda and ultimately Hultzen will tire of losing 2-1 games and go elsewhere.

Jason (St Louis)

Counting backwards, you have to put the Phillies first, then the Giants and Angels to round out the top three. I'd rank them with St Louis, Milwaukee and the Braves if everyone is healthy. Top seven I guess?

David Schoenfield
  (3:59 PM)

Looks I need to do a post on this ... seems to me all the top rotations are pretty complete now, once (if) the Rangers sign Darvish. Although we still have Kuroda, Oswalt and Edwin Jackson out there.

Blake (Atlanta)

Did you watch Ubaldo pitch last year and the last half of 2010? Latos will win 15 with a legit offense.

Chris (KS)

Latos is better, but the Reds way overpaid. Then again, the Indians overvalued Ubaldo, so both teams were foolish in their own way.

Mike (Chicago)

What if Kenny Williams offered Danks to the Yanks and asked for two of their top two guys back...but also took on Burnett? The Yanks would have to at least think about that, right? Kenny has never feared taking on cash. Sigh. A Sox fan can dream, can't he?

Alex (Anaheim)

Why would the Yankees do a trade just to dump salary? Prospects are worth more than money to them.

ASN (NY)

As a Yankees fan, watching the over-hyped Red Sox choke down the stretch, even if their fate was sealed by Tampa beating my team that last day.

Fred (Austin, TX)

Favorite "moment" had to be game 6 of the 'Series- Best... Game... Ever.

David Schoenfield
  (4:04 PM)

It ranks right up there in my book, alongside 1960 Game 7, 2004 ALCS, 2001 WS Game 7, 1975 WS Game 6 ... an unbelievable game with amazing plot twists and turns. Game 7 was a bit of a letdown, but Game 6 was the perfect capper to a remarkable season. I'll certainly never forget it. And that's a good way to end the chat -- thanks to all of you for joining the chats all season long and for reading the blog. Happy holidays to all of you!