Sorry I'm late. I've been laid up with the giggles since I saw the Royals gave Yuniesky Betancourt a major league deal.
Is King Felix available....is that something AA would pursue?? Is Hutchison, Drabek, Snider enough?? Would you do it??
I see no reason whatsoever for Felix to be available except that fans of other teams want him to be available so they make up insane trade offers for him even though there is no reason whatsoever for him to be available.
What do you make of the Marshall/Wood trade? Any word on prospects involved?
If it turns out to be the two guys I've heard, I prefer the Cubs side. Neither is a top-tier guy, but I'd rather have five years of Wood than one of Marshall anyway, and the two prospects are at least good enough to seal this for Chicago in my mind.
Darvish or Bundy for the next 5 years?
As much as I like Bundy, I'd have to take Darvish.
I know giving players an opt-out is generally viewed as good for the player, bad for the team. But I'm really questioning that logic. The Blue Jays should be fine with Burnett opting out. The Yankees are probably wishing they had just waved goodbye after A-Rod's opt-out. I think a team might be smart to give Prince an opt-out after 3 or 4 years and hope he takes it. Basically, the team is almost hoping for the opt-out to avoid the decline phase, while the player still remains close to peak until the opt-out. Thoughts?
What's the benefit to the team of giving the opt-out? If the player is worth more than his salary, he opts out. If he's worth less, he stays, and you're stuck with him. If the player paid the club to exercise the opt out, that would be a different story, but I have never heard of such a thing.
Is Wood a 4-5 or AAAA guy?
He's a 4-5 right now, but I think he could be better than that with a change in his pitching plan, using the cutter and change more and the four-seamer less. That's assuming his shoulder doesn't look like hamburger meat after two seasons with Dusty.
Klaw, would you please explain how and why Mike Trout's rookie eligibility was restored? I haven't heard the story, but on the face of it it seems to be some sort of special exception just for him.
Not a special exception at all, just a first-time interpretation of the rules. He was awarded service time under the CBA (to determine arbitration and FA eligibility) because his option to the minors in August was too short to qualify, meaning he got credit for the days he was optioned because he wasn't down long enough. But the ROY rules are about days on the active roster, NOT service time days. MLB clarified and I agree with the decision, although I wish it had come out 24 hours earlier since I had just put him on my top 50 non-rookies under 25 list.
Is Reddick good enough as a full-time replacement in RF for Drew (I laugh typing that, but still)?
No. And I think a healthy Kalish is better than Reddick anyway.
Is there a possiblity that Gerrit Cole is in Pittsburgh this season
I don't see that at all. Two most likely 2011 draftees to reach the majors in 2012: Bauer, Hultzen.
Gio Gonzalez = Oliver Perez?
That's pretty harsh, but I would say there's a kernel of truth in it. There have always been concerns about Gio's on-field makeup (and I've witnessed this), and he's not going to be close to the same guy away from Oakland's ballpark and defense. Someone is going to overpay on him and regret the move.
Is there any reason why your tweets don't show up on the MLB homepage side bar anymore? Looks like almost everyone else is there except you. That's the only way I can get Klaw tweets at work!
I believe it's because I tweet about so many non-baseball subjects. I mean, I don't know why anyone would want to miss my advice on braising techniques, but to each his own.
From what I've read, the consensus on Brett Jackson is that his high K rate in the minors will really hamper his ability to make an impact at the MLB level. But everyone seems to drool over Gose, who has a similarly high K rate. I know that Gose is really athletic - I'm just trying to understand how much importance to place on certain MiLB stats as an indicator of MLB success.
Gose is faster, has a better swing, is two full years younger than Jackson, and has already shown the aptitude to make significant adjustments since signing. He's still not a finished product, but those are all major factors placing him over Jackson in any rational ranking of players.
On twitter today you said you wouldn't vote Bernie for the HOF, but as Szymborski points out, "During his peak years, from 1994 to 2002, Williams was one of the best players in the game, hitting .319/.404/.525 (BA/OBP/SLG), making five All-Star teams and amassing 44 WAR." I believe you have said you'd have voted for Puckett, so what's the argument for Puckett over Bernie? Was Puckett a much better CF?
I would not have voted for Puckett.
Must be like a bad dream, right?
Should the Cubs trade Garza for prospects or lock up him long term with a deal similar to what Danks signed? What kind of prospects could they get in return?
I'd trade him, or at least try to do so (that's always the intent - "they should trade him" means "they should fully explore the market, and trade him if they get a sufficiently strong offer"). That's how you rebuild. The Cubs' system isn't in terrible shape, but it's not good enough to turn the major league team around any time soon.
Chances the Rangers DON'T sign Darvish are?
I'll say close to nil. How many posted guys haven't signed? Iwakuma didn't, but he was just one year from free agency. Rangers have a very strong incentive to sign him. Darvish has a strong incentive to sign here. I bet the two sides disagree more on contract length than on anything else.
How high are you on David Dahl? Top 5 pick to you?
Potential first rounder. Top 5 pick seems nuts, even as volatile as the draft can be. Unless you have 30-40 players going in the top five picks.
Just received a $50 gift card to Olive Garden as my Christmas "present". Any ideas on the best use for it?
Sell it on eBay. Then send Krampus after the person who gave it to you.
Seems like the 10 player limit on HOF voting is an arbitrary number that doesn't serve much purpose, but with that said, is it really going to cause a problem going forward as suggested by Buster Olney?
Yep. Buster was dead on.
When will you start your 2012 draft coverage full-time
Mid-February. Usually right after Valentine's Day.
BTW, back to the top 5 for a second - realistically, you have to put Appel, Marrero, and Zunino in there right now, which obviously could change before June but this is what we have at the moment. You could see Wacha go that high to a team that wants a predictable college arm with a pick up there. At most, you've got two slots left, and we haven't discussed high school guys, who would be led by Buxton, Giolito, and Weichel. It's not a deep draft, but it's deep enough up top that picking in the top 7-8 is good. The middle of the first round is where it gets sketchy.
You'll love this Olive Garden story: My grandfather was born in Umbria, Italy, and of course married a lovely woman who was also born in Italy. Once when he was about 75, someone in the family, for some ungodly reason, decided to take him to the Olive Garden. Upon arrival, he became severely disturbed that there wasn't a map of Italy anywhere in a so-called "Italian restaurant." Upon receiving his food, he made the manager come to his table and "explain to me how you can call this Italian food." That was his last trip to the Olive Garden.
I love your grandfather.
Would you vote for me for the HOF? Why not?
No. Peak was high, too short, and you were basically done as a player around 32. Your argument to get in is that you were better than Jim Rice, but Rice wasn't even the best player in his own outfield, so we need to just chalk that one up to voter ignorance and move on.
If you had to name your #1 HOF Blunder. (Either someone in that shouldn't, someone not in that should, or even someone that fell off the ballot) What would it be! HOF of HOF Blunders!
Rice, Sutter, and Tony Perez, of recent guys. I'm sure someone like Rob Neyer could give you better examples from history - I know Rabbit Maranville and the lesser Waner brother usually come in for some criticism, but I haven't given their cases any thought.
Why is my WAR compared to other Italian food joints?
You're below replacement level.
I've always thought that the Brewers tend to move pitching prospects along slowly. That being said, what level would it be appropriate for them to start Jungmann and Bradley at? A+ or AA?
Jungmann at AA. Bradley at high-A. Jungmann doesn't have that much to work on unless they want to lengthen his stride (and this is not an org that has kept its pitching prospects healthy, so maybe tinkering is a bad idea here). Bradley is still in search of a breaking ball, so leave him at the lower level with a mandate to work on that.
I was able to use an Olive Garden card at Red Lobster. Same parent. Steve has a few options.
That's good to know. Red Lobster is surprisingly solid for a chain - their fresh fish is good, and they actually have a director of sustainability to work on global fish supply issues. Not my favorite destination, but above replacement level.
I'm half way through season three of the wire. I'm thinking of taking vacation until I finish watching the show. more addictive than the product their peddling.
I'm at S3E8. Watched four eps on my trip earlier this week.
When projecting HS arms is there usually an expected gain to the MPH on the fastball? If so how much projection? Of the college arms how do you see Kyle Zimmer of San Fran?
Depends on the player's size (height but especially frame and potential to add weight), delivery (can you get him to use his lower half more?), and current velo (if he's throwing 95 and you say he's projectable, you bloody well better have a good reason). I know of no specific formula.
Where would you rank the Padres farm system after the Latos trade?
Very high. Top 5, certainly. I think I could make an argument to put them at the top. Given how briefly the Hoyer/McLeod tandem was running the show, it's impressive how quickly they boosted that farm system. Their '11 draft was expensive, but with ceiling all over the damn place.
KLaw, As far as the Danks move, doesn't it make sense in that even though he won't be cheap, he is still only 26 so it makes sense to lock him up long term? A major market team is not going to tear it down to $40 million like a Cleveland rebuild, so you have a guy signed for his prime years and if you want you can trade him down the road. It seems strange for a major market team to trade a 26 year old who is a pretty proven commodity for a 23 year old who they hope will be as good as the 23 year old just for financial reasons, no?
First of all, there seems to be no assumption in your argument that Danks will miss any time over the life of the deal. He's been healthy and effective, but that doesn't preclude a serious injury, just reduces its probability. But second, more importantly, Danks alone isn't enough to turn this team around. They have the worst farm system in baseball, in part because the owner wouldn't spend any money in the draft. They need to add bundles of players, not retain two or three core guys and hope they're competitive by year four of Danks' deal.
Do you think the new market inefficiency is overvaluing prospects?
I might say the inefficiency is in assuming all prospects are created equal.
Have you had the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung? They're only in the US in LA and Seattle, but they're worth visiting if you're in the area.
I'm pretty sure I went to one in Taipei in 2004. If I'm right ... it was insane. One of those meals I'll remember the rest of my life.
Who are the GM's on the hot seat going into 2012?
Good question. I'd guess Huntington, O'Dowd, Zduriencik, for starters. Also wondering at what point Reinsdorf looks to hand over the reins in Chicago to Hahn. That's all speculative - I haven't talked to ownership with any of those clubs or anything. And I assume Colletti's fate is tied to the sale of the club.
Curious. Is your aversion to food such as Olive Garden because it isn't true Italian food, or because you don't like the way it tastes? I've eaten Olive Garden, and I've eaten food in several areas in Italy. While they aren't the same, I don't see the disdain for places like Olive Garden. (Disclaimer: I'm not a picky eater)
Both, but more the latter. Chain restaurants in general follow a basic formula: Their food is mild, often bland, to appear to the broadest set of diners possible, using salt and sugar as their primary flavors. Olive Garden is also big on dumping cream into sauces to make them richer, and while I use cream quite frequently, there's a difference between adding a quarter of a cup to thicken a mushroom sauce for tagliatelle and adding a half-gallon of it for a fake carbonara.
What do you think Rizzo's value is on the trade market?
I imagine it's still quite high. He's close to major league ready, still extremely young, and offers defensive value at a position where defense isn't that important but teams often punt it entirely.
Hi Klaw,Merry Christmas. Do you think Mike Napoli had a career year or can we expect him to continue to hit like a superstar?
Likewise. I think if he plays every day, you'll see his rate stats decline to the point where he's an above-average regular but not MVP-caliber.
A year ago your top prospects piece praised Grandal's defense, now you question whether he'll stick there. Did he regress this year, or just a matter of seeing him more? What are odds he stays behind the dish?
Two aspects of his defense - throwing and game-calling - remain strong. But when forced to catch better velocity than he'd caught in college, he struggled with receiving. I don't know if he regressed so much as a weakness was exposed. I'm not saying he CAN'T catch, only that there's a new red flag.
Keith, Curious as to why Jack Z is on the hot seat? he had a huge mess to clean up after Bill B ruined things with terrible contracts and Jack Z seems to have built a strong farm system.
My understanding is that the Lueke fiasco damaged his relationship with ownership. And they're past the point where they can blame the historically bad offenses on the previous regime. I'm not calling for him (or any GM) to be fired - only saying that, relative to other GMs, his situation looks more precarious to me.
What's Jocketty's plan - try to contend with the end of the peak Votto/Phillips years and start a rebuild in 2015?
I don't know about the rebuild, but I see the Latos and Marshall moves as attempts to go for it in Votto's last two years just as Milwaukee went for it in Fielder's last year. And Jocketty has never been afraid to deal all his prospects.
I take it you're not terribly impressed with the manner in which DD has begun his GM stewardship.
Duquette? No, not so far.
Worth giving up both Peacock and Cole to get Gio?
A reliever and a potential top-end starter who's at least two years away for Gio sounds reasonable if you don't share my fears about Gio in another environment.
Well, Duquette at least tried to trade Adam Jones for Jurrjens, Prado and two pitching prospects. I commend him for trying.
But you have to consummate a deal like that before we praise you, right?
Rizzo to cubs for B. Jackson? Yes or no? Good For Pads?
I'd rather have Rizzo and it's not even close.
How long before someone steals Aziz Ansari from Parks and Rec?The guy has just been killing it for that show.
Agreed. And he's not the star - Offerman is - so I could see Ansari eventually leaving for his own vehicle. Hoping that doesn't happen for a while, though.
Zack Cox: Likelihood he is any better an MLB player than David Freese? Their bats seem to profile similarly as below-average pop for 3B, decent contact skills, could learn to take more walks.
Cox has more power than he's shown in his limited minor league time. It's there in BP; that doesn't always show up in games, but I like the odds.
If you could only own 3 knives, which would you choose?
Chef's knife, paring knife, bread knife.
Klaw,Do you think the Angels would have signed Pujols and Wilson if Tony Reagins was still the GM?
No, he would have traded for Ryan Howard.
Bernie Williams, good player but not a Hall of Famer correct?
My #1 HOF Blunder: Lou Whitaker
Thoughts on Bill Mazeroski in the HOF?
I think the best argument for him is that he may have been the best defensive 2b in the history of the game. Does that deserve a plaque? I'm torn, but I'd probably say no. It's a better argument than "he hit that home run," though.
What's for dinner in the Law household for Christmas?
Still working out the menu in my head. Thinking about the pork tenderloin recipe from Ruhlman's Twenty, risotto, some homemade bread, plus vegetables and dessert.
Since there seem to be a lot of HOF questions today - if Ortiz somehow maintains this level for another 2-3 years, is he in? It would be a full decade of playing at an extremely high level.
Seems like a good day for HoF questions with so little else going on. I don't see Ortiz ever getting in. If Edgar doesn't get in, the bar for DHs is going to be pretty high.
Tony Perez in the HOF was pretty danggone horrible as well. Matter fact, why is the baseball HOF such a travesty with a lot of the choices that have gotten selected?
Because of the nature of the electorate. You have to spend ten years in the industry to get the vote, and then you have it until you die. A huge chunk of the voters remain stuck in a thirty-year-old paradigm of how to value players.
Barry Larkin get in the HOF this year correct?
Yep, I think it's him alone. Certainly hoping Morris doesn't get the weak-ballot boost - he'd jump to the top of the list of dumb selections. This is really not an institution with a lot of credibility among intelligent baseball fans. It'd be nice if the voters recognized this and educated themselves a little bit.
Would you vote for Edgar?
Better pitcher: Mussina or Morris? Either for the HOF?
Mussina. Gut feeling is yes on him.
Are you a Keurig owner? If not, have you considered buying one, or are you sticking with brewing by hand?
We have one, but my wife is the only one who uses it here. That's stale coffee.
Careful Keith.... 40 years from now, some enterprising young writer will be complaining about how the Keith Laws of the world are stuck on that outdated stat WAR.
When I stop trying to keep up with advances in the field I cover, I'll hang 'em up. Adapt or quit.
If mariners sign Fielder doesnt the trading of Lee for Smoak seem like a worse move than before as you cant get anything for Smoak now.
DH Fielder, trade Carp. Problem solved.
What are the odds that Barry Bonds is a first ballot HOF'er?
Close to nil, I imagine. I would vote for him, of course.
Bonds is alleged to have used PEDs (never failed a test!), but more importantly, he was a big meanie to the writers.
Assuming Yu gets ~$70MM, wouldn't it be more wise to pay $90MM for CJ Wilson than $120MM for Yu? The Rangers actions seem odd to me.
Guerrieri or Ross? Upside and probability.
In June, I would have said Guerrieri. I think right now, given what else I've seen and heard, I'd probably take Ross.
Keith, what's your take on the National's offseason (in)activity? Boswell puts it entirely down to the Lerners being afraid to spend money, but I can't see it. They lost out on Buehrle due to contract length, joined 28 other teams in declining to spend $51 million for the right to pay Yu (not you) $70 million, refused to offer a 3-year deal to an aging, medically questionable pitcher (but are allegedly in the game now that it's 1 year), etc.? I'm afraid of the "panic signing/trade".thanks, and enjoy the tenderloin!
Offseason's, what, half over? Too early to start handing out grades like that.
Is $/WAR actually linear?
Has St. Louis hired anyone to replace Luhnow
I heard a rumor they were hiring Dan Kantrovitz from Oakland, who was previously a scout for the Cardinals.
Why do say alleged when Barry admitted using PEDs in his grand jury testimony (but claims he didn't know what they were)?
The testimony that was leaked illegally - the leak the government, SO concerned about perjury and obstruction, never saw fit to investigate? Not a big fan of using that, sorry.
Have you seen a Twins prospect named Nico Goodrum? Getting some sleeper status on some prospect websites.
Yep, liked him in his draft class, toolsy kid, kind of raw still, probably ends up in CF.
National's panic signing? What are they going to do - extend Werth's contract for another 3-4 years? There's really not many players out there TO panic sign right now.
Don't taunt them or they'll give Edwin Jackson five years.
Molitor is in the hall and he got most of his stats at dh.
Look that one up. B-R shows more than half his career games at positions on the field.
What board game would you suggest for someone who loves ticket to ride for its fun and simplicity but still has enough strategy to not be entirely luck based?
If you want something with a very similar feel, try Thurn und Taxis. I'd also suggest Dominion, but it's a game of cards/decks without a board - it is, however, incredibly quick to learn. I did a whole ranking of 30 games last month: http://bit.ly/vzremE
Klaw, I'm not clear on your PED stance totally. Are you of the opinion that steroids, for example, do not in any way - even indirectly - aid a baseball player? Because what's indisputable is that steroids do what they are intended to do. They work.
That's indisputable? Why, because you say so? Because you sure as hell haven't shown any evidence.
Frank Thomas first ballot despite all the time spent at DH?
Yeah, he'll waltz in. That's one guy I'm not worried about.
Do you like Chipotle? It's one of my gal's favorite place to eat due to taste and ingredients.
No. Too much salt and garlic. Much prefer Rubio's.
HHI homeowners choose houses like GMs. Always overpaying even when a cheaper option fits their needs.
I watch occasionally for the comedy value. "Oh, I don't like that wall color at all." You idiot, buy the house and you can paint it any color you want. I'm convinced that show is why the world hates Americans.
Have a rec for an iPhone board game app? (usable for 1 person)
I have a bunch: http://meadowparty.com/blog/?p=1856
What would I have to do to get you to join my fantasy baseball league this year?
Convince me to play fantasy baseball for the first time in a decade?
Nick Franklin: After a slightly down offensive year what sort of offensive ceiling do you see for him? Does his swing/approach actually lend itself to any of the power he showed in A ball at higher levels?
I still don't get how he hits for power with that swing, but he does, or at least has so far. I'm writing off 2011 - guy wasn't healthy most of the year. Looked fine in AFL.
In-N-Out or 5 guys?
In-n-Out for fries (well done!). 5 Guys for burgers.
What are your favorite couple holiday classics to watch with your daughter?
Big two for us are "White Christmas" and "A Muppet Christmas Carol."
You can't possible dislike every chain/franchise restaurant, right? What is KLaw's embarrassing guilty pleasure?
I used to like Carrabbas, but they've gone downhill. Not sure there's a national casual-dining chain I actually enjoy going to.
Do you not play fantasy baseball because you don't have the time, or you don't find it interesting?
Adam Jones for Jordan Zimmerman. Who says no?
Any opinion on Noel Gallagher's high flying birds? How about El Camino by "las teclas negras"?
Unimpressed by HFB. Two memorable songs, tops.
What about Panera?
Awful. And now they're ruining Paradise Bakery.
Did you watch Top Chef last night? Comments?
No, so I'm about to end this chat so I can do that.
Does Houston's fall into the casual dining category, or would you put them a step above? As someone in the industry, I'm in awe of how they execute.
Haven't been to one in close to ten years, so I can't offer an opinion.
Will Billy Beane ever be on the hot seat?
I believe he owns a piece of the club, so probably not. Nor should he be - their economic situation is a massive problem.
Keith - I suggest Wildflower Bread Comp over Paradise Bakery here in the Valley o' the Sun.
Thanks for all the questions - might be a while before my next chat. I'll blog about Top Chef later today over on the dish. Happy holidays to all of you, and whichever one(s) you choose to celebrate, please be safe.