Good afternoon. If it's July, it's rumor time. We've already got a bunch of people firing questions, so let's get started.
Do you think a 6 yr 120 mil offer from phillies gets hammels signed?
Since I reported on this story last night, let's get to the Cole Hamels saga first. I actually don't think that gets it done. Not in midseason anyway. My guess -- and I obviously have no idea what Hamels is thinking -- is that this offer has to be bigger than the Matt Cain deal, and the AAV has to approach or beat the $24M a year the Phillies gave Cliff Lee. So it's going to have to be even a bigger number than yours, believe it or not.
Which of the Vets: Colon, McCarthy, Crisp, Suzuki do you think Beane trades by the deadline?
Colon. Just a guy passing through who could break down any time. And they have the pitching depth to replace him. So the sooner they move him the better. I think it's unlikely any of the others get dealt as long as the A's are hanging close. But remember, one of Billy Beane's favorite July strategies is buying and selling at the same time. So if he were to put pieces in place for now and down the road, anything is possible.
Even with the addition of Ben Sheets, do you think the Braves will still be looking to upgrade their pitching staff with someone like Greinke?
Absolutely. Unless Sheets is unhittable in his next two or three starts. But the history of his injury makes him tough to depend on. I still think that if the Braves can make a deal for a pitcher they can control beyond this year (meaning, in Greinke's case, a trade-and-sign), they'll be aggressive. The window to win with Chipper is rapidly expiring.
What can Brewers fans expect to get for Greinke? Obviously a Profar/Machado type player would be a pipe dream, but is a Castellanos-Turner package from the Tigers unrealistic?
Yes. That's absolutely unrealistic. I don't expect the Tigers to trade either of those guys, and if they traded one of them, it certainly wouldn't be for a rent-an-arm. I think the Brewers can get a high-end young pitcher and another young player. But that's about it, unless Greinke is willing to open a window and sign an extension with the team that trades for him.
Will the Royals be able to move Francoeur at the deadline? I'm assume they'd have to eat a lot of salary
When I was in Kansas City, it sounded as if they had no teams seriously interested in him, other than window-shoppers. So I'm not so sure he'll get traded. They only want to do it if they get something useful back.
There's been much talk about the possibility of the Phillies trading Cole Hamels. What are the chances a guy like Pence gets dealt instead?
I'm hearing they've gotten calls on him. But remember, they need to put three outfielders in the lineup every day next season. And if they were to deal Pence and Victorino, that would leave them zero every-day outfielders. So it isn't as easy to trade Pence now as everyone makes it out to be. But they can certainly get more for him than Victorino.
Do you see the Yankees making a trade for anyone at the deadline or do they stand pat?
I don't think they feel any great sense of urgency to do something dramatic. Not on July 13. But if they have any more pitching injuries, or the back end of their rotation crumbles, or the Brett Gardner news isn't promising, that could change.
Does a package of Taillon and Marte pry Upton from the Dbacks?
That's the kind of package that would get the Diamondbacks' attention. It's also the kind of package this Pirates regime have shown no inclination to ever give up. For anybody. The Pirates are trying to deal second-tier prospects, not their elite.
If KC doesn't move Frenchy, do they play Lorenzo Cain long enough to show he's healthy, and try to move him? They can't keep Myers down much longer, can they?
They need to find out about Lorenzo Cain. So they'd love for him to get 250 at-bats in the second half. But I'm not sure how healthy he is, so that's iffy. I think there was more urgency to call Myers up when they were still in the Central and wild-card races than there is now. So it might be longer until you see him than you think.
What are other options outside of Chase Headley that the Orioles could possibly pursue at 3rd base?
There's very little out there. If the Phillies sell, they'll make Placido Polanco and Ty Wigginton available. But I'll let you decide how much of an upgrade those guys are.
Every rumor involving the Rangers and Upton seems to be built around Mike Olt. Olt is only 1 year younger than Upton...how does that make any sense for the DBacks? Any chance Texas includes Profar to get a deal done?
I actually think Olt is being over-hyped right now. Arizona definitely would have interest in him. But a lot of people in the game doubt he'll wind up as a third baseman. Profiles better at first. And despite his power, he's probably not going to be a high-average guy, either. So you're right to think the D-backs would need a lot more back than him. I don't see them trading Profar, though. They'd need a sure-thing superstar coming back to justify that. And that wouldn't describe Justin Upton this year. Would it?
In the case of holding Myers, can it actually hurt a player to keep him down, since there doesn't seem like he can learn anything else from AAA?
They would disagree with that. He's been great in triple-A, but he's so feared now that he's getting pitched much the way he'll get pitched in the big leagues. And they'd like to give him a chance to get acclimated to almost never seeing fastballs in fastball counts before they call him up. But if they rip off a 7-1 streak or something, that could change in a hurry.
Do you see the Reds making any trades at the deadline? They're slowly getting their relievers back (Bray, Masset)- and I dont know what they would add, possibly another Outfielder?
They're definitely shopping for an outfielder, preferably one who can hit at the top of the order. But I doubt that will be a blockbuster kind of deal. The Juan Pierre speculation appears to be legit. But while he's a useful player on a good team, he's no Rickey Henderson at this stage of his career.
Does Appel sign today?
I'm going to bet no. I think Boras will try to make a stand. And this feels like the guy he'll make it with. But the Pirates know this kid's options if he doesn't sign aren't good. Going back into a much deeper draft and hoping he winds up with a higher slot? Good luck on that.
Might it be the right move for the Pirates to offer over slot for Appel? Think of it like football -- everyone thought Appel would be number one this year, so in a sense it's like trading up the 8th pick from this year and next year's first pick for the number one overall this year.
Why would they give away future picks when, if they don't sign him, they'll get an equivalent pick next year in a better draft, plus their own pick? Chances of that are practically none and none.
Hi Jayson! Do you see the Nats picking up another pitcher to replace Strasburg in September?
You can't replace Stephen Strasburg. Can you? But I'd bet the Nationals do something aggressive to send a message to the clubhouse that while they're shutting down their ace out of concern for the future, they're still all in on the present. Too soon to say who or what that would entail. But they're looking.
Any truth to the rumors about Aramis Ramirez being on the block?
He isn't yet. But he could be. The Brewers will make that call in the next 7-10 days.
What are the chances the Braves trade for a hitter rather than a pitcher?
They'd like a righthanded bat. But they've told teams that adding a starter is their No. 1 priority. So I don't think they'd trade for a bat "instead" of an arm, unless there's nothing out there that makes sense and Ben Sheets turns out to be great.
Do you think the Royals will trade Wil Myers? If so, who would be in the market for him?
No way. None.
Name the one realistic thing the Mets could do before the trade deadline to help that ailing bullpen.
There are lots of decent bullpen options. K-Rod. Betancourt. Myers. Balfour. Maybe Matt Belisle. That market hasn't come together at all yet, though.
You know, I'm just finishing up the 5 Astounding Facts of the Week. Maybe I'll toss a question out of that blog at you in about 10 minutes or so. Sound good?
Can the Cardinals swign a deal for Hamels? Even if it jsut gets them through this year? We have no idea on if Carp will ever come back. I dont see them getting Greinke....Will St. Louis really look in that direction?
I'm not getting the impression they're setting the trade bar that high. But the Hamels market hasn't come together yet. The Phillies might not go into full-throttle Sell Mode for another two weeks. So I'm not ruling out the Cardinals or anyone yet.
What move can you see the dodgers making ?
I could see them making several moves. For a starting pitcher. For a corner infielder (either corner). For a leftfielder. They're in position to take on money, and that makes a lot of things possible this time of year.
Do the Pirates pull the trigger for a legit bat in the next couple of weeks. That city is eating up Bucs baseball for the first time in years, so you almost feel like they need to do something.
I'm sure they'll do something. They understand the meaning of this moment. I'm not so sure it'll be something big. As I alluded to earlier, they're mostly dangling second-tier prospects at the moment.
Could the Phillies trade Victorino now and make a play for Michael Bourn in free agency?
I think that's more likely than unlikely if they sell, to be honest. But remember, Bourn is a Scott Boras client, and money is going to be an issue, especially if they tie up $24M a year in Hamels. If not, Bourn might shoot to the top of their free-agent shopping list.
The Twins desperately need pitching, and have no depth in their farm system to build from within. Do you see them dealing Willingham, Morneau, Span, others? Liriano has bounced back, and could be decent trade bait, but I just don't see them getting much in return there. Thoughts?
They've been noncommittal so far about their plans. They've told teams they could decide to move a bat, but haven't said which one. And they're not there yet. They seem really reluctant to move Willingham, though. And Morneau's value would be so low, how would that be worth it? Span is the guy who could help them put multiple pieces in place.
What do you see at the Tigers biggest need? Pitching, 2B, or OF?
They could use an impact player at any of those spots. But second base seems like the most feasible right now. Or at least they've been more aggressively shopping in that aisle than the others.
Is there a team currently sitting outside of the playoffs that will make a surprise run in the second half?
I'd say the Cardinals. Their run differential suggests they're a much better team than their record would indicate. There's a decent chance Wainwright gets better down the stretch. Berkman will be back soon. And I think they'll trade for another arm. I still expect them to win the Central.
Do you think the Padres will actually trade Chase Headley, and who or what do you think they could get for him?
They have so many teams interested, I expect that to happen, even though they're saying they don't want to deal him and they'd have to be overwhelmed. He's not a star, but he's controllable beyond this year and he plays a position where a bunch of teams are trying to upgrade. So I could see this being a 3-for-1 deal built around one stud centerpiece prospect.
OK, I promised you trivia. So here goes. Besides Cain/Lincecum, there are 4 other sets of current teammates who have each started at least one All Star Game. Name them.
Any info on Cub player movement (i.e., Garza, Demp, Sori, LaHair)?
They're all out there. But it sounds like they're not ready to close in on any particular deal yet, even for Dempster. You really think they can move Soriano? I don't.
Would you rather have Moustakas, Olt, or Vitters for the next 5 years?
Moustakas. That one's easy. Should have made the all-star team this year, if I were picking it.
Halladay and Lee
That's one. Three to go.
Do you think Hamels accepts a deal before free agency. I think it would have to be around CC money to forgo that.
I don't know about CC money, but as I said earlier, I'm guessing it will have to be in the Cain neighborhood, only with a bigger AAV. Somewhere between Lee and Santana is my guess.
Sabathia and Petite
Nope. That's incorrect. Neither of them ever started an ASG
Hudson & Sheets?
Nope. Neither of them ever started an ASG, either.
Wainwright and Carpenter?
Wainwright never started an ASG. Sorry.
Weaver and Haren
That's two. Two more to go.
Zack Greinke/ Livan Hernandez
You're kidding, right. Livan never started an ASG. And neither did Greinke, even though that's a lot more plausible.
Jimenez and Lowe?
Very good guess. That's three. One set of teammates to go.
Shields and Price?
Nah. Good try. Price has. Shields hasn't.
You're 0 for 2 there. Sorry.
Wait. Hang on. I miscounted! It was four total. So you've got them all. Sorry for the confusion. I even confused myself with that one! Good work on this. Thanks for playing.
any chance the Red Sox make Jon Lester available?Any chance the Braves match up? Minor or Delgado, Gattis or Salcedo, and Ahmed??
They've said unequivocally that's not happening.
Peavy and Buhrle, even though I guess they don't play together this year...
That would have been correct nine months ago!
Could you see the Jays attempting to acquire both Dempster and Garza in a real old fashion blockbuster?
I don't. Doesn't make sense for them to trade for any rental. Only Garza fits for their purposes.
Wait so who were all the pairs that have both started?
Cain/Lincecum, Halladay/Lee, Weaver/Haren, Jimenez/Lowe.
What is kind of prospects can the stros get for Wandy?
There's so much money attached, it limits what they get back unless they eat a ton of dollars. And it's still unclear what they're prepared to digest.
Wow. This hour flew by. I can only take one more.
Do you think the Phils have any chance to even claim the 2nd wild card spot?
Realistically? No. They can only lose like 20 games the rest of the season or they're done. Do you see them going 5-2 every week for almost three months? Verrrrry unlikely.
That'll do it. Thanks to everyone who checked in. Seeya down the road in Chat Land.