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June 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (1:03 PM)

Let's go ...

Rick (Leesburg, VA)

Dave: Per your recent story, why-oh-why would the Tigers give up a 23 year old such as Rick Porcello or a top prospect such as Jacob Turner for Dempster, a 35-year old pitcher having an improbably good start to the season compared to his track record.

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

I don't *think* they would, but I do think the Tigers are willing to go all-out this season. They have plenty of young pitching with Smyly, Turner, Casey Crosby, so would be dealing from depth. And Porcello just isn't that good. And we would have said the same thing a year ago: Why would the Giants trade their top prospect (Zack Wheeler) for an old outfielder with a long list of injuries off to a hot start?

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

That said, a guy like Crosby is more likely to be traded than Turner or even Porcello.

Matt (Cleveland)

Jason Kipnis - already the poster child for the Indians?

David Schoenfield
  (1:07 PM)

Love Kipnis. Deserves to make the AL All-Star team.

Turner (Boise, ID)

Looking back on the M's No-No, I think that has to be (along with any other combined no hitter) one of the most difficult tasks to complete in baseball. As a starter, you get in that groove and you just keep going. The guys coming out of the bullpen have to be "perfect" almost. Your only getting 10-30 pitches and they have to be the best 10-30 pitches you maybe have ever thrown in your life. I am more in awe of the 5 guys who didn't start the game for seeing the no hitter through.

David Schoenfield
  (1:08 PM)

Right, odds are one of the five relievers just wouldn't have "had" it that night. Like most no-hitters, a little luck involved, but it was a rare fun night for M's fans.

Paul (Boston)

Trout or Harper, which would you build a team around?

David Schoenfield
  (1:09 PM)

I guess I'd take Trout, thanks to the defensive edge in center field. But if Trout's a 100, Harper is a 99.9. The one unknown we don't know yet about these guys is what their health/durability will be.

Evan (Los Angeles, CA)

If the Indians are still in the AL Central race by the trade deadline, who can they target? Josh Willingham? Bryan LaHair? I know their attendance figures are last in the majors, so I'm sure that really destroys their chances of taking on salary.

David Schoenfield
  (1:11 PM)

Yep, not much room for Cleveland to add payroll. Willingham signed for two more years ($7M per), so he's unlikely. Maybe a guy like the Padres' Carlos Quentin, making $7M this year but on just a one-year deal. But I wonder if they'll have to upgrade their rotation ...

Joey (Virginia)

David, any chance the Nationals can acquire Peter Bourjos from the Angels? The Angels have no room for him in Anaheim ever since they called up Trout..

David Schoenfield
  (1:13 PM)

Possibly, but once Jayson Werth comes back, where do you play Bourjos? I assume the outfield will be Morse/Harper/Werth, you're not going to sit any of those guys, so why give up something decent for Bourjos?

Walewander (Detroit)

If the Tigers were going to trade future for present, why wouldn't they forgo Dempster or Garza and address their sucking chest wound at second base? They called up a kid hitting .250 in A ball last week!

David Schoenfield
  (1:14 PM)

True. Tigers have a lot of holes! But who's going to be available at second base? Marco Scutaro? I guess he's better than a sucking chest wound.

Spencer (Pittsburgh, PA)

Should the Pirates risk trading a top five organizational prospect to add an impact bat at the deadline, add a low risk salary dump player and give up little or move veteran pieces for young controllable players and continue the rebuilding prospect despite 19 years of losing? I love the Bucs but still think they are a few years away so either of the last two options would make me more comfortable even as a long suffering fan.

David Schoenfield
  (1:17 PM)

I don't think they *make* a move. This is NOT a playoff lineup. The pitching has been great and while I do believe in James McDonald, the rotation and bullpen is likely to show some regression. The tough call: If you're 3 games out on July 30, do you trade Burnett or Bedard? Maybe Bedard, but Burnett has pitched well enough where he looks like he can still help the club in 2013.

David Schoenfield
  (1:18 PM)

In the end, I think the Pirates end up sitting tight, maybe adding a low-cost, mediocre veteran to help the lineup.

Alex (SF) [via mobile]

Hi david, thanks for doing these chats. Im a fan of both the red sox and giants. Do you think theyre both still in theor respective races? What pieces would they need to pick up?

David Schoenfield
  (1:19 PM)

Yes, both teams are still in it. Red Sox: Upgrade their rotation. Giants: middle infield.

Jeff (Colorado)

Dave, Why, oh why, do the Rockies insist on keeping Bob Apodaca? The guy has produced exactly ZERO pitchers that proved to be anything beyond half year wonders. If you can't produce anything in 10 years, shouldn't it be time to move on? This is pretty much the definition of "fail."

David Schoenfield
  (1:20 PM)

Why do the Rockies keep Jim Tracy and Dan O'Dowd? You have two of the best players in the league and your team is still awful. That organization needs a clean sweep.

Hoss (Austin)

Time to break up the Sawx, agreed? And I think this would make an excellent article for a talented writer to undertake (not "if" they should dismantle, but the dismantling/trades).

David Schoenfield
  (1:21 PM)

Too early. Only 6.5 out. Let's see where they are in a month. One 6-0 week and they'll be right back in it.

Jason (St Louis)

Minnesota has stated flat out Willingham isn't going anywhere.

David Schoenfield
  (1:22 PM)

At $7 million, he's at a good price, especially with his performance this season. No reason why the Twins should trade him.

Jason (St Louis)

Some fans discount run diff as a good measuring stick to judge a team's performance by. Could you expand a little on why it is a good tool to do so?

David Schoenfield
  (1:24 PM)

Generally, it's a quick and easy evaluation of a team's overall strength. Certainly, it can be skewed early in the season by a few blowouts (the Mets, in particular, have had several blowout losses but few blowout wins), but it's something I do pay attention to. By the end of the season, most teams are within a few wins of their projected win total bases on their runs scored/runs allowed.

Dom (Pennsylvania)

The Pirates have one of the easiest schedules in baseball coming up. Does that significantly help their playoff chances?

David Schoenfield
  (1:25 PM)

No. Every NL Central team will have a similar weak spot in their schedule at some point, no?

David Schoenfield
  (1:27 PM)

Add: Maybe a little. Here is strength of schedule so far: Pirates have played a tough slate than the Cardinals, for example. But it's a minor help, not significant. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/rpi/_/sort/sos

Rick1V (beverly hills)

Bearing in mind the Angels outfield glut, and how good Trumbo has been and who could be playing 1st with Morales, do you think the Halos would like a re-do on signing Albert?

David Schoenfield
  (1:29 PM)

Well, there's never anything wrong with having a glut of talent (wait, does that include Vernon Wells?) But I'd say no: What does Arte Moreno care if he "overpaid" for Pujols? By the way, has anyone noticed how horrible Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar have been?

alex (MI)

what does bj upton get in free agency? does he get more or less tthan michael bourn

David Schoenfield
  (1:31 PM)

Hmm ... good question. I'll say less. I think there are enough front offices who will like Bourn's defense, speed, on-base skills.

Chris (AZ)

The Royals have several second baseman and will have an extra in a couple of days when Chris Getz comes off the DL. Of course, they may not want to help the Tigers much...

David Schoenfield
  (1:32 PM)

Several second basemen ... and how many of them are good? Getz can't hit, Giavotella can't field and hasn't hit. Yuni? Sadly, he would be an upgrade for the Tigers.

Scott (Pittsburgh)

People are so quick to try and analyze when and how the Pirates are going to come crashing back to reality. Can't we just accept that with a drastically improved pitching staff the Pirates have become competitive in close games? I don't think anyone thinks they're going to win the world series, but the ability to go on streaks like they are currently on, or take a series at Cincy, is something Pirates fans have been missing for a long time. Let them enjoy it.

John (Green Bay)

The Brewers are still in it! Truth or fiction?

David Schoenfield
  (1:33 PM)

Truth!

eric (sf)

So the Giants are 32-16 when all but a certain starter starts and 2-11 in his starts, who am I? Is this a lost season for Linceccum? an the Giants win despite him?

David Schoenfield
  (1:35 PM)

He shows no signs of improving. I don't want to hear about his strikeout rate. He's been terrible. And sure they win despite Lincecum -- if the playoffs ended today, they'd be in them.

Jason (St Louis)

I thought Howie Kendrick was going to make the leap this year. I invested a little too heavily in him for a couple fantasy teams. So yes, I'm acutely aware of his struggles.

Alan (Orlando)

Billy Butler would seem to be an expensive luxury for a small market team. Any chance he is dealt (dodgers, Texas?) this year?

David Schoenfield
  (1:37 PM)

Hmm, I don't see it. Good player, good salary ($8M through 2014 + 2015 team option). You'd want something significant but not sure teams would give up a lot for a guy who is really just a DH.

Lenny (nyc)

If detroit really wants to go "all out' this year, would they consider trading for johan santana? I'm sure the mets would listen given the amount of $ he is owed over the next 2 years.

David Schoenfield
  (1:38 PM)

I don't anyone takes a risk on Santana with his health history and contract.

Mike (NJ)

Will the Yankees hitting with men on eventually start to even out over the course of the season and their runs scored catches up with their OPS?

David Schoenfield
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, I have to think that will improve. Early season sample size fluke.

Tarek (NYC)

Which of these 6 teams will not make the playoffs this year?Yanks, Rays, Sox, Jays, Texas, Angles. Not including Orioles, SP is still to weak.

David Schoenfield
  (1:40 PM)

If I had to bet right now, I'd say Jays and Sox. Jays have some rotation issues as well (Kyle Drabek just isn't that good). Red Sox, we know their issues.

Dom (Pennsylvania)

Not really. The Pirates play the Rockies and Padres for 12 of their games, get Minnesota for three, and then have the Cubs and Astros for 24.

David Schoenfield
  (1:42 PM)

Like I said, it does appear the Pirates have played a slightly tougher sked than other NL Central teams. Only three games each against Cubs and Astros so far.

Jorge (Ontario)

Vladimir Guerrero HOFer?

David Schoenfield
  (1:42 PM)

Yes

Vladimir Guerrero (ANA)

Where do you think I'll end up in the Show? When?

David Schoenfield
  (1:43 PM)

You're in Triple-A with the Blue Jays. Could get recalled soon.

alex (MI)

rank order for FA outfield deals?Hamilton, Bourn, Upton,Swisher, Victorino, Quentin?

David Schoenfield
  (1:44 PM)

I'd go the order you just listed.

Patrick (Pittsburgh)

Didn't the Blue Jays just release Vlad?

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

Ahh, indeed they just did: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8042600/vladimir-guerrero-released-toronto-blue-jays-continue-comeback-attempt

Chris (AZ)

You would be surprised how many Tigers fans have indicated they would like to have Chris Getz.

David Schoenfield
  (1:46 PM)

There's a joke there, but I'm not sure what exactly.

John (MI)

Better DH Delmon Young or Vlad

David Schoenfield
  (1:47 PM)

Do I have to pick?

Dennis McMahon (Butler, PA)

I see the Blue Jays just released Vlad Guerrero. He sure would look great in a Pirate uniform. They could use the bat!!

David Schoenfield
  (1:47 PM)

Too bad he has the knees of a 70-year-old man. Can't play the field anymore.

Vlad Guerrero (not really) (Home in CA, formerly in Toronto)

Toronto released me because I deserve to be in the Show, but there's no room at their inn. Where do you think I wind up? Who could use me most? I've still got power and legs.

David Schoenfield
  (1:48 PM)

You had a .317 OBP last year. Not a lot of teams calling up a DH with a .317 OBP who grounds into a lot of double plays.

Jason (Indy)

How long before I get to see Soler in the Cubs OF instead of the scrubs being run out now?

David Schoenfield
  (1:49 PM)

Keith Law estimated three years in the minors. He'll start in Class A, likely.

John (Green Bay)

Speaking of Santana, how much of him getting crushed in his last start was the Yankees or throwing the no hitter and 134 pitches?

David Schoenfield
  (1:50 PM)

I didn't see the game, so I'm not sure if those were "Yankee Stadium homers" or if he was leaving pitches up or what. So I'll say both. How's that for a non-answer?

Steve (NJ)

How inferior is the NL this year compared to the AL? Look at some of the players in the starting lineups for first place teams.

David Schoenfield
  (1:52 PM)

AL leads 48-40 in interleague, which is a .545 winning percentage. There's still a gap between the two leagues.

Jon (DC)

I presume the answer to this question is "no," but does pitcher WAR take into account wins? Otherwise, why does Edwin Jackson have so much more fWAR than J. Zimm?

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

No, it doesn't. Their difference isn't that large -- 1.4 to 1.0. FanGraphs basically just looks at SO/BB ratio and HRs (and IP). They're pretty similar. Z has better control but Jackson has allowed fewer home runs.

Travis (Oregon)

If the Tigers are "all-in" this season, does that mean Castellanos is in play? Would a trade of Castellanos for Seager make sense, with the intention of moving Seager to second?

David Schoenfield
  (1:56 PM)

I can't see a scenario where Castellanos is in play, certainly not for Kyle Seager (nice player, but not a guy you trade your best prospect for).

Sean (Phoenix)

Hey look, more AL bias. Same story, different year.

David Schoenfield
  (1:57 PM)

Why is it biased to say that the league that has won more interleague games every year since 2004 is the stronger league

Sean (Testerman)

Hey look, more AL bias. Too bad the NL keeps winning World Series.

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

So what happens in a seven-game series is proof that the NL is stronger? You really believe that?

Steve (NY)

The HR's Cano hit off of Santana just landed an hour ago. They weren't Yankee stadium HRs.

Todd (Arlington)

Reference the lineups - the AL is normally stronger but pitching / defense counts too.

David Schoenfield
  (1:59 PM)

And the AL still wins more games. AL bullpens tend to be a little deeper as well.

James (SF)

The AL may be stronger but they choke in the World Series.....2 out of last 3 WS winners in the NL

David Schoenfield
  (2:01 PM)

The Mariners are 5-5 against the Rangers this year. So they're just as good as Texas?

Tarek (NYC)

AL has been better for years and years now. WS (and Playoffs) are a crap shoot so anything can happen then. But for the long season the AL is just better.

John (MI)

Thoughts on Ethier contract

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts had what I thought was a good analysis: They overpaid, but they probably had to do it. The Dodgers need his bat and he likely would have received that kind of deal in free agency.

Alex (OH)

How much difference does an elite starter have regarding WAR as opposed to a closer? Aroldis Chapman needs to start right?

David Schoenfield
  (2:03 PM)

Big difference. Elite starters can have 6 to 8 WAR. Elite relievers 2-3. But starters are harder to find.

Marge (Cincinnati)

Besides the Reds, which fan base has the most knowledgeable fans?

David Schoenfield
  (2:04 PM)

Not a good way to measure this. I think fans are probably similar across the country.

David (New York)

#FREETREVORBAUER

Jay (Baltimore)

You think Either's contract got done using Adam Jones as a barometer? Though, Either seems to have done better, since he is older as well.

David Schoenfield
  (2:06 PM)

Possibly. Jones' deal includes one year of pre-free agency, so that decreased that AAV. But they're pretty similar players in value.

Justin (Redlands, CA)

Mike Trout currently has a WAR of 3.1, which puts him ahead of everyone except Votto, Wright, Bourn, Hamilton, and Adam Jones; in 20 fewer games than those guys, I might add. Should Mike Trout be in most peoples top 3 for AL MVP if the season ended today?

David Schoenfield
  (2:06 PM)

I think you can make that argument, yes. He's been that good.

ASN (NY)

Which Yankee pitcher would you want starting for the Wild Card play-in game? While CC is the "ace" Pettitie looks like the better choice right now. (I'd probably take Nova over CC as well, even with his high ERA)

David Schoenfield
  (2:08 PM)

I'd still go CC. I've been impressed with Pettitte. Didn't expect him to pitch this well.

John (Pittsburgh)

What makes the Cardinals so much better than the Pirates? Look at the standings.

Travis ((Not-Oregon))

No way seattle trades Seager.

Bryan (NYC)

David Ortiz is one of the best players in the AL, but he isn't good enough to play in the NL.

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

Disagree. Plenty of NL teams would take Ortiz as their first baseman. Prince Fielder just spent six years playing there.

David (UCSB)

If the Rangers had the chance, do you think they go back and try to re-sign CJ Wilson instead of Yu Darvish?

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

How do we know they didn't try to re-sign Wilson? But if you're asking: Is Wilson better? I won't disagree. I wrote in the offseason that he could be a Cy Young contender leaving Texas.

Greg (LA)

Not including Trout and Harper in the ASG would be akin to not voting for Jeter first year HOF "it's tradition to make 'em wait"!

David Schoenfield
  (2:13 PM)

Agree on Trout, but Harper faces a crowded field of NL outfielders: McCutchen, Braun, Stanton, Ethier, CarGo, Bourn, Melky, Beltran ... not sure there's room for him. But he SHOULD be invited to the HR Derby.

Todd (Philly)

Compare young Fred Lynn to Mike Trout...is this fair?

David Schoenfield
  (2:15 PM)

Trout has much more speed, although Lynn ran pretty well when he first came up. Big difference: Lynn was 23 as a rookie, Trout is 20. Interesting comparison though; hadn't seen that one before.

Imre (Missoula, MT)

BREAKING NEWS: CUBS FIRE RUDY JARAMILLO! Are you surprised? I thought he was one of the best hitting coaches in the game... On that note, how much impact do hitting coaches really have? More impact on an individual basis, or can they influence a whole team significantly?

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

With all the sabermetricians out there in the blogosphere, this is an area I would love to see somebody study, rather than coming up with another way to rate players. I think they *can* have a small influence, but mostly to help a guy stay in tune with his mechanics, etc. Most baseball people will say a pitching coach can have a larger impact than a hitting coach.

David (UCSB)

If Kendrick and Aybar start to hit at their career levels, do the Angels have a chance to have an above average offense?

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

Yes. Trout, Pujols, Trumbo, Hunter, Morales plus those two sounds above-average to me.

Mark (NYC)

What are your thoughts on Bobby V, the manager, not the personality? I think he was dealt short hand, this year, and, actually, have become quite impressed with his managerial skills.

David Schoenfield
  (2:19 PM)

Considering all the injuries, I think he's done a pretty good job of mixing and matching his lineup. He didn't panic over a couple of early blown saves and the bullpen has generally been very good the past six weeks.

Ellen (PA)

I think the Tigers are gonna call RAJ and ask about Hamels in the next few weeks. If I am RAJ, I ask for Castellanos (3B) and Turner (SP). The Tigers are all in and this should do it.

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

Well, that would be the blockbuster everyone wants to see at the deadline ...

Matt (PA)

Adam Jones the best CF in the AL?

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

No.

Gus (Vermont)

You see any Ubaldo-type trades, coming out of nowhere, this year?

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

What we may see are some deals between contenders, since we'll have so many teams in contention.

Jeff (ABQ)

Why has McCutchen gotten so little attention? He's tearing it up!

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

If the Pirates stay in the race, the attention will come.

Andrew (Toronto)

Baseball question...are the Jays heading in the right direction? I'm hopeful like any fan, but the game is littered with promising looking teams that never made it over the hump. I'm seeing a lot of nice pieces, but not any game breakers save Bautista.

David Schoenfield
  (2:22 PM)

Right direction. Lawrie will be a game-breaker. Triple-A catcher Travis d'Arnaud looks like a potential game-breaker. They're close.

Elray Butler (Seattle)

When are you coming back to Seattle for a visit?

David Schoenfield
  (2:23 PM)

Probably won't make it out there this summer. Maybe the holidays.

Tarek (NYC)

Speaking of Homerun derby, should it just be Stanton and Harper vs Hamilton and Fielder to the death?

David Schoenfield
  (2:24 PM)

Works for me. Maybe Trumbo ... that dude hits some bombs.

Chris (Cincy)

Just wanted to say its awesome getting to watch Joey Votto hit everyday, the guy is amazing.

Mike (Long Island)

Seriously, Bobby V wants computer-based balls and strikes? It's hysterically funny to watch a guy blame eveyone but himself for his team's troubles.

Chris (AZ)

"No way Seattle trades Seager." Wow...please ask Travis what makes Kyle Seager untouchable.

David Schoenfield
  (2:25 PM)

He's better than Chris Getz!

Stan (Chicago)

Do you seriously think the Red Sox rather than the Cubs would veto a Dempster for Iglesias deal? Bring back the survey on who blinks!

Mike (Long Island)

Just want to thank you for allowing your chats to usually extend well beyond 60 minutes. Nice of you to share your time with people who ask some zany questions.

Rick (Cleveland)

What percentage of MLB players would you say are smokers?

David Schoenfield
  (2:27 PM)

Speaking of zany ... hmm, that's a good question. In his new book, Dirk Hayhurst wrote that a couple of the Padres relief pitchers smoked. But I think the percentage is pretty small (not including chewing tobacco, of course!).

Gus (Vermont)

I want Adam Dunn in the HR Derby too. Moonshots!

Drew (Mpls)

I smoked for 15 years and quitting was the most difficult thing I've ever done. So I guess my advice is DON'T QUIT SMOKING IT WAS AWFUL! Or don't start. But if you do, don't ever quit.

David Schoenfield
  (2:28 PM)

OK ... I think that wins our "final post of the chat" entry. Thanks, everyone! Appreciate all the questions and be sure to read the SweetSpot blog when you can!