OK, I'm not in Kansas City, but let's talk some baseball. Great first half, looking forward to tonight's game ... let's go to the questions.
Booooooooooooooo! Sorry I thought you were Robbie Cano.
The ASG shouldn't count toward home field advantage in the World Series. As a baseball fan, I've always loved the ASG, understanding it is just an exhibition game, where talent alone is put on display. For that reason, it is never boring, though maybe a bit too long. Sound about right to you??
Sounds about right. I still enjoy watching the game. Wish the managers would actually manage like it counts (since it, sadly, does), but otherwise it's still a fun night.
David, what do you think the Cards need to give up to get Huston Street? if they got him who would be the 'high leverage reliever' (not using C word) Street or Motte?
Street would probably cost a couple of Grade B prospects. Not too expensive. I'd make him the high-leverage guy and use Motte to come in for the seventh/eighth.
I know the NL MVP frontrunners are Votto, McCutchen, and Wright, but can we get Ian Desmond in the convo? He has been clutch on offense and defense, plus he is on the best NL team.
He's been great, but I think that's stretching things a bit far. His OBP is still very low. I'd venture without looking that no MVP hitter has had an OBP as low as his. And you're comparing him to three guys having SUPERLATIVE seasons. Desmond isn't in that class.
Am I the only that thinks the Dbacks are insane for looking to trade Upton? He has lost a lot of popularity among fans who claim he isn't good and he has poor attitude, despite never meeting the player. He was 6th among MLB OF between 2009 and 2011 in WAR, ages 21-23. What the heck is going on?
Two things: Bad organizations sometimes project their disappointment on their best players. Two, just because he isn't Ken Griffey Jr. or Ryan Braun doesn't mean he isn't a great player. Even if you FEEL like he's not reaching his potential for whatever reason, that doesn't mean you sell, especially if it's for 85 cents on the dollar.
Underreported story on how different of a hitter McCutchen has become? Used to be a patient, high-walk lower average guy, now he's hitting .350 or whatever while swinging at more pitches outside the zone. Is this sustainable?
It is interesting that his walk rate is lower. I haven't checked the numbers to see how much more he's been expanding the strike zone. My guess is he'll have to start talking more walks again, simply because why give him much to hit right now? But you're right, probably *not* sustainable, although Josh Hamilton does pretty well as the biggest free-swinger in the game. But he's obviously the rare exception.
Why am I struggling so much? I shouldn't be seeing such a drop in fastball velocity at such a young age. And my control is horrible. Do i need to cut my hair so I can see Posey's target?
No command on the fastball right now. None. Velocity a bit of an issue, but the command is the problem. To me, looks like a pitcher with absolutely no confidence right now.
@Sean in Phoenix...also he is linked to his brother, fair or unfair. To me, it's just a case of merely a slump leading to a quick overwhelming negative reaction. Justin will be fine. We Braves fans just went thru this with Heyward.
I cant be a fan of McCutchen because he does not run out all hits. Needs to hustle.
I'm not sure who is more amusing, the KC fanbase being mad at Cano for not picking Butler or the NY fanbase for getting mad at the KC fans for booing.
The whole thing was kind of amusing. Next year, just put the hometown guy in the HR Derby so we can avoid the melodrama.
Fangraphs says HR/FB stabilizes at 300 PA, FB% at 250 PA. Ian Desmond is well past both those PA marks. I've felt the power is fluky, and it still is relative to his career before 2012, but perhaps his HR numbers aren't totally absurd.
He also has 24 doubles. On pace for more than 80 XBH. I think the power is for real. I mean, he may end up with 25 home runs, not 30+, but seems legit to me.
Beltran has a better shot at MVP than Desmond. That's not an insult either.
Can we get a moment of silence for not getting to see Simmons make other-worldly defensive plays for 6 weeks?
Yes, tough blow for the Braves. Our Braves blog had a good idea for an interim solution: Trade for Brendan Ryan of the Mariners (defensive whiz). Pastornicky really struggled at SS the first two months.
If you were KC, would you trade Wil Myers for Upton & Collmenter? Obviously Myers is cheaper than Upton and could turn out to be better. But KC has a lot of risk with all of its prospects, and Upton gives them some certainty, and Collmenter a back end rotation guy.
No, I'd keep Myers. He's cheap and you get six years of him versus three years. Yes, there is a small risk he doesn't turn into a star, but it seems like he's 90 percent likely to be one.
I say it takes Taillon and Marte to get Upton to Pittsburgh. What do you think and is that too much?
I heard that rumor. I think Arizona would be foolish to make that trade. Not sure you want a Class A pitcher to be the centerpiece. So much risk there. Yes, I know Taillon is highly rated. Marte is interesting, alhough a guy I see as having OBP issues in the majors.
Thing is, how many players would actually have taken 2nd on the play Simmons was injured on? 99.999% of players would have taken their single and not even tried to stretch it. Great hustle play, bad result.
Clearly Gary from Houston doesn't watch the Pirates on a regular basis...nobody on that team hustles game in and game out more than McCutchen.
If not Myers, what about Starling, who's much further away?
Bubba Starling? For Upton? No way Arizona does that deal. D-backs probably looking SS and 3B help anyway.
Back to Upton: could the Dbacks be pulling a bait-and-switch? Getting teams talking only to trade Drew instead? Baltimore, Chicago Sox, Toronto, and Pittsburgh all rank in the bottom 10 in OPS at SS, with Pitt being dead last.
Well, three of those teams have "established" shortstops who they will stick with. Pirates -- possible. They need to upgrade their offense somewhere. But Drew also has to show he's healthy and can play (.179 so far).
If you had to guess, what uniform is Zack Greinke wearing on August 1?
Tigers. Just a guess!
Upton for big time timmy jim.. Whos says no first??
Diamondbacks. Come on ...
The reds sure could use a middle of the order bat like Upton, what about Didi Gregorious, Corcino and Sulburban for him? Or would hamilton have to be in the deal?
That's not a bad package, but if you Arizona wouldn't you demand Hamilton? Unless you don't think he can stick at SS.
Thoughts on the impending signing deadline for draft picks? Is Appel foolish to think he can actually waste a year and get drafted higher in '13? Teams could simply bypass him again just like this year.
He has less leverage a year from now in my book. The system is meant to screw the players. PLUS ... the bigger question is he would be delaying his major service time a year. The way you make money is hitting your arbitration and free agent years ASAP. Getting an extra million or two next year would actually mean less in the long run, assuming he turns out to be good.
Medlen and Gilmartin enough to land Greinke?
Hmm ... I don't think Gilmartin projects as more than a back-rotation guy, right? Not a big strikeout guy. And neither is Medlen. I would think the Brewers could get somebody with a little more upside.
Who will be the bigger base stealing threat in 2 years. Dee Gordon or Billy Hamilton
Well, considering Gordon has trouble getting on base, I'll go Hamilton.
Aaron Crow cost himself development time and millions by going back in the draft a year later. It also turned him in to a reliever. I have to believe Gausman and Appel are posturing.
Long time Papi fan. What are the odds he lands in Miami next season
I think he's strictly a DH at this point in his career.
Perez & Olt for Upton? We might pencil Upton in for 40-50 HRs in Arlington. And then the Rangers don't have to go crazy with a long term (10 year) contract for the great, but injury-prone Hamilton in the off-season.
I was thinking of this one this morning. Arizona needs a SS or 3B. Rangers have both in Profar/Andrus or Olt. Don't think they'll trade Profar and don't think they'll Andrus during the season (Profar still needs more time in the minors). But Olt makes sense -- he's ready, he's a good glove at 3B and Rangers don't really have room. Maybe Perez. Maybe another pitching prospect or two like Cody Buckel. Good chance for a match here.
I know the Braves are looking for starting pitching and possibly a bat. Where do they play the bat? You cant sit Prado, Bourne or heyward.
I think they go starting pitching. Lineup is fine.
Matt Barnes and Ryan Sweeney for Grienke?
Greinke, even as a rental, has to be worth more than two back end of the rotation guys. Medlen and Delgado maybe.
I think Braves fans are overrating Medlen. If he can start, why haven't the Braves tried him there? His K rate in relief is low. Look, I like him, but not sure he's the kind of guy you acquire for Greinke. So maybe something more like Delgado + Gilmartin.
Could Toronto offer a lot of B+/A- guys for Grienke --- Gose, Snydergaard, Nicolino, Sanchez etc? Seems like a top 3 of Grienke, Morrow, & Romero (presuming the latter two can get healthy) with those bats might compete.
I think the pitching injuries have the Jays looking more to next year. Could be wrong there, but I think the wise move is to sit tight and evaluate where your staff is in the offseason. (And Romero has really been struggling ...)
Obscure question, who is/was a better defensive rookie, Andruw Jones or Simmons?
I haven't seen enough of Simmons, but young Andruw Jones is the best defensive player I've seen in my lifetime. OK, him or Ozzie Smith.
Every team is kicking themselves about Trout, and Storen's a fine pitcher, but could you imagine if the Nats had taken Trout 10th in 2009? At the very least it might have saved the Lerners 126 million dollars...
Funny thing, Angels had two first-round picks that year and took Trout with the second one. OK, there were back-to-back and maybe they used that to save money on Trout. Still, kind of interesting ...
LaRussa can say anything he wants... and analysts can say whatever they want as well...but isn't the truth that the reason Dickey isn't starting is because most "baseball people" consider a knuckleballer to not be a "real" pitcher but instead just a side show?
I think you're making a big assumption there. Cain is a worthy choice and I believe La Russa is rightfully concerned about seeing five passed balls in an All-Star Game. Look for Dickey to pitch once Molina enters the game.
Hi David, I was listening to sports radio this week and they were going through some rules of baseball that I never knew of. They were saying it is almost impossible to watch an entire baseball game nowadays without a DVR because of slow play. They said according to the rules, pitchers only have 12 seconds to throw a pitch once they get the ball from the umpire. Is this true? Cause I swear it seems like every pitcher takes a minute in between every picth. Will an umpire ever follow the rules and what would happen if they called it?
They were talking baseball on sports radio in Denmark? I believe the rule stats that when the bases are unoccupied the pitcher has 12 seconds to deliver the ball. Yes, it would be nice to enforce this a little more. Pitchers don't take a minute. The longest is probably a guy like Josh Beckett, who I believe is about 26-28 seconds between pitches. Rule here somewhere: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/pitcher_8.jsp
Molina is out
Out of the game? I missed that.
To Max in Denmark...MLB should only allow batters to step out of the box ONCE in a plate appearance. It's the Nomars of the league that kill the time.
Molina is on bereavement - Holliday replaced him in the ASG. Ruiz should be a formidable backstop for Dickey, though.
Baseball Reference has Jones at +28 fielding runs his first full season (973 innings) and Simmons at 16 so far this season (289 innings--or a 54 pace for 973 innings!). Not even close to the last word for various reasons, but something for thought.
Have to take in-season defensive metrics with a large grain of salt, obviously. +16 in 32 games is insane ...
Dickey's not starting because Posey's never caught a knuckleballer. Also, better to come with gas and then change up with a knuckeballer vs. oppossing team. LaRussa makes a lot of sense.
Ozzie Smith, I loved Andrew Jones but Devon White covered as much ground as Andrew did.
Hmm ... close. White was terrific. Underrated. Made that great catch in the '93 World Series that nobody remembers. I'd still take Jones.
Fangraphs actually tracks time between pitches, though they bury it (it's under "Pace" at this [long, I apologize] link): http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit
Oops, link got cut off
Clay Buchholz is slowest (among starters) at 25.9 seconds. Link here: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit
Hey David, I know you love the story of the pirates this year but isnt this really the Cardinals division to lose? they are getting Berkman back after the break and the team has really started turning around.
But Berkman isn't an upgrade over what they've been getting from Craig. I'm not sure why Berkman makes them better, other than having more depth? I still like the Reds as well. Yes, I'd put the Pirates third, but I do think they'll hang around better than last season.
Can a great defensive CF (Jones, Hunter, Devo, etc) actually improve the defense of the corner OFs because theoretically they can position themselves better, knowing the CF has great range?
Do you think Pedro Alvrez's development was impeded by Pittsburgh's aggressive promotions? He looks like he's developing at the Major League level (improved defense, solid OPS+, improved K rate), but would he have been better served to have learned how to do this in the minors?
Hmm ... not sure I can answer that. He was supposed to be a polished hitter coming out of college, so I can't blame the Pirates for being aggressive. And, right now, Alvarez's numbers aren't that different from 2010. Yes, better of late. We'll see if this improvement is for real or just a hot streak.
TLR already said that Ruiz will catch Dicky tonite.
Who is better Brett or Chipper?
I think I wrote about this last year ... can't remember how I ranked them. I'd probably give Brett the slight edge, but remember that he played a lot of 1B and DH at the end of his career. Chipper has managed to remain at 3B.
Surprise surprise, Mark Buehrle is the quickest-working pitcher of 2012 so far...
Why aren't the Yankees pursuing Upton? Swisher's gone after this season; who knows when Gardner is coming back? It will keep the payroll low for 2014, and give negotiation leverage when pursuing Granderson (they don't need him as badly). I realize the Yanks probably don't have the major league ready prospects, but do you think that some of their guys in the low minors can get it done? Maybe Banuelos, Williams and a grade B prospect or two?
Banuelos probably doesn't have a ton of value right now. Williams is a long ways from the majors. And D-backs would probably want a SS or 3B. So hard to see a match here.
Brett was more fun to watch. Nothing against Jones, though.
I would agree with that. There was something about George Brett, that's for sure. If you saw him play, you know what John and I are saying.
I thought for a second Ryan/VA was asking about Brett Lawrie, not George Brett...which isn't absurd if the question is about now, rather than over a career. (The latter would be absurd...)
Your mid season predicitions and awards?
MVP -- McCutchen, TroutCy Young -- Dickey, VerlanderRookies -- Miley, TroutManager -- Collins/Hurdle/Johnson, VenturaLVP (least valuable) -- Heath Bell and ... ???
Postseason predictions: Nationals, Reds, Giants, Braves (WC), Cardinals (WC) ... Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Angels (WC), Red Sox (WC)
Least confident pick: Tigers
T or F. Jeter's heir apparent is in their system currently?
Hmm .. I'll say false
The Angels need bullpen help. Bourjos for K-Rod? Do the Angels want him back? Havent heard anything about it.
K-Rod? Hasn't he been pretty bad this year?
AL LVP--Jeff Francoeur?
AL LVP - Vernon Wells (didn't he, among other things, cost Trout a month of playing time)?
Please, David, More posts like this one: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/24632/yankees-in-as-much-trouble-as-red-sox. We love seeing you underestimate the Yankees
haha ... thank for digging that one up, Phil.
You think the Reds would call up Billy Hamilton in September just to use him as a pinch runner? He could be a dangerous weapon to add during the last month of the season.
That's a good question. You have to factor in the service time, so I'm not sure. It's certainly a move teams USED to make all the time 15+ years ago.
Why do you think Youk has had such a turn around in Chicago? Getting away from the drama in Boston, getting healthy, or just a natural correction for an established player?
Well, it's only 13 games.
LVP the whole Rockies team.
The Franchise - an underachieving Marlins team, an unhinged as usual Ozzie...must see TV, no?
With his defense, Mark Reynolds has got to be up there on LVP.
How about Carl Crawford for LVP?
I would suggest injuries shouldn't count. And Red Sox have actually gotten decent production from left field with Nava.
How about Nick Ahmed, Edward Salcedo, JR Graham for Justin Upton?
Umm ... no.
David - Regarding the Red Sox, they're getting a lot of heat, for where they currently stand; which, I personally don't agree with. Can you think of any other team, with as many injuries to star players (Pedroia, Crawford, Ellsbury, Buchholtz, Bailey etc....) and, they're only what, 2.5 out of the 2nd wild-card spot. Ellsbury is coming back after the break, who knows about Crawford, but, I don't necessarily understand all the negativity, both locally and nationally, when you account for all the injuries they've endured, and only being 2.5 out? If they get Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia and some of their pitching back, that to me, would be the biggest (non)-trade of any team in contention. How do you view this? Thanks.
Agree ... Ellsbury could be the biggest "acquistion" of the midseason. And don't forget Daniel Bard returning to the pen as well. I still think they'll add a starter -- maybe a second-tier guy like Dempster.
Reds management has said Hamilton won't be up this year under any circumstances.
Thanks, John. Teams just don't make those moves anymore.
At his cost and production, Lincecum is the runaway winner for LVP in all of baseball.
You're right. As bad as Heath Bell has been, I'd have to give Lincecum the nod as well.
To Mark (NYC), every team has injuries. The Yankees are missing Mo (greatest closer of all time), Pineda, Gardner and have had CC, Pettitte, and Robertson all on the DL for extend amounts of time.
Rays are in a tough spot, if they can get Longoria Back and make the playoffs they still can win it all. But there is a good chance they miss out on one of the 2 wildcard spots and get nothing for Upton.If you were GM would you try and trade Upton now or just go for the shot at the WS.
I'd keep Upton and make a playoff run. It's not like you would get that much in return for him anyway.
Pujols. What do you think his production will look in the second half? He has been better, but not "Pujols." Will he walk and hit for power? Thanks.
.305/.378/.555 since his first home run. Sounds about right for the rest of the season. Still great, but not GREAT. I think his days as the best hitter in baseball are done.
How do you see Atlanta replacing Chipper and Bourn, assuming they can't resign him?
Well, losing Chipper's salary means Braves *could* afford Bourn. They have to decide what to do with McCann as well. (Signed through 2013.) Interesting offseason ahead for the Braves, that's for sure.
Will Teixeira ever hit for average again? And it's not just the fly balls, ground ball rate at career high? Is he getting killed by shifts?
Shifts are definitely hurting him. He's hit .252 over 1,700 plate appearances. I think that's what he is right now.
Ruggiano for real?
He's a useful fourth outfielder on a hot streak.
What uniform will Matt Garza be wearing after the dead line?
Cubs or Braves
Why can't the Braves spend more? I know Atlanta isn't a huge market, but it's the biggest between Florida and DC and the Braves have the area all to themselves. The Twins come to mind as a comp who spends more.
Braves owners have kept the line on payroll.
As to why ... they can make money by not spending more.
How about Chase Headley and Joe Ross for Upton?
I think Ross got hurt
Re: Brett or Chipper...It may be due to my status as a 50-year-long Yankees fan, but it's not that close. Brett was the single scariest hitter the Yankees have ever faced since the mid-1970s. Any time he came up, you assumed there was a good chance he was hitting a HR -- just ask Goose.
Hard to find a more clutch hitter than Brett. Had some *great* postseason games. Three home runs. The HR off Gossage. Game 7 of the 1985 ALCS (I think it was Game 7) was one of the great individual games in playoff history.
How bout Garza, Brett Jackson, and Vitters for Upton
Hecchevaria, Gose, Syndergaard for Justin Upton?
Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey for Justin Upton. Who says no first
More likely to right the ship: Drew Stubbs or Cameron Maybin?
Neither? Sorry ... I have no idea. I guess Maybin.
Over under on the number of players that the Phillies trade this month...2.5.
I'll say two .. Hamels and Victorino
If I am Braves, why not take a run at Justin Upton? As Chipper retires, Prado to 3B... sign Bourne. Upton, Heyward, Bourne in OF is stout. Sure it doesn't solve this year's problems, but doesn't it set team up nicely for the future?
Upton for Upton.
Mike, as a Jays lifer I'm with you. Brett was terrifying. Played the game with so much gusto.
I say this as a Reds fan, but what do you mean "right the ship"? Stubbs is playing like Stubbs - there is nothing to right, unfortunately.
George Brett was really scary. Trust me, I would know. I was scary too. Pitchers FEARED me.
Do you realize that if the Phillies had not extended Ryan Howard, he would have been a free agent this year. instead, he is just beginning a 5yr/125millions contract? I seem to recall Philly phanatics a couple years ago having multiple conniptions anytime it was suggested the deal was a poor one. Guess he who laughs last...
Ken Griffey Jr far better than Jones, what are you thinkin'?
Not on defense
Think the Reds could get the Phillies on the phone with a Lotzkar-centered deal for a Hamels rental?
I don't know much about Lotkar. Former No. 1 pick, not a top prospect entering the season. Good K rate, but bad everything else in Double-A. I don't see it being close to enough for Hamels.
Why should Phils trade Hamels instead of taking the 2 1st round draft picks? Will teams really trade that level of talent for a rental when they won't get draft picks in return?
You're talking supplemental first-round picks, which have a pretty low success rate (20 percent?). Odds are you'll get a better package of prospects.
Worst Defensive CF (at least 5 seasons) of all time?
Hmm .. I'd have to think about that one. I hate to say it, but 30-something Griffey with the Reds, after the injuries and with the added gut, was pretty bad.
Regarding McCutchen and his hustling - I'm one of the few people that doesn't want a player to go all-out on every single play. When Bonds was playing, if he hit a ground ball to 2B I was happy to see him jog to first. Maybe he could've gotten one or two extra bases per season by running full speed, but there's a much bigger changes of him hurting himself and missing a few weeks. As one commenter said earlier, Simmons got hurt by hustling. Ruben Tejada missed over a month by tripping over the bag on a bang-bang play. Sometimes hustling can cause more harm than good. Also, I don't think any non-Giants fan would rather see Cain than Dickey. Cain was the story of baseball for one day. Dickey has been the story of baseball for weeks.
Hustling is the most overrated thing in baseball. It's hard for fans to understand this, but you're usually better off playing at 95 percent than 100 percent. Crashing into walls, for example, is about the dumbest play a guy can make. One out is rarely worth the risk of a longterm injury. Unless you're Nelson Cruz in the World Series ... (sorry, Rangers fans).
Worst defensive CF of at least 5 seasons -- Bobby Murcer in the early-to-mid 70s until Elliott Maddox took over. Loved him in almost every way, but his CF defense was horrible
Wheeler + Harvey for Upton, who says no first? I seriously dont know
I don't think Arizona would deal him for two pitching prospects. They already have Bauer, Miley, Kennedy, Cahill + Skaggs, Corbin, Archie Bradley. They have more young pitching than any team (probably).
The Braves also have the absolute worst TV deal in MLB.
I forget the details there, but you may be right.
There's hustling (always good) and reckless (almost always bad). Running hard on routine grounders is good (geez, baseball players ARE athletes and do keep in shape, so they're rarely going to be hurt), but running into catchers is reckless and almost always has a price.
Yes, that's a better way to put it. But too many fans associate reckless = hustling.
I'm tired of analysts/pundits saying the Cards will be in the running to sign Hamels this offseason. They are loaded with pitching prospects and have to resign Wainwright after 2013. Not happening.
Hustling can also turn into overaggressiveness on the basepaths.
The Nationals would like to talk to Ted/LA about bad TV deals...
Can the twins get anything of value for Liriano? Or will teams not be desperate enough?
He's been better of late. 2.74 ERA since returning to the rotation on May 30. .175 average allowed. Murder on lefties. Still wild. Comes with risk. Good risk if you don't want to pay Hamels/Greinke prices.
Isn't the whole "small market" thing kind of misleading, if not ridiculous? Houston's called a "small market", yet Houston is among the largest metro areas in the country. People say the same of Minneapolis, but Carl Pohlad was one of the richest men on the planet. Owners are billionaires & can spend whatever they want.
Totally agree. There are few teams that will always be constrained -- Pittsburgh, KC, Milwaukee, Tampa -- but that's about it.
You don't become a billionaire by spending recklessly.
St Louis is the 18th largest market and draw over 3 million annually. Put a quality product on the field and the fans will show up.
Seattle, Cleveland, Baltimore -- these were all among attendance leaders (or even first) in last 15 years.
20% success rate for sandwich picks is worse than the % of prospects that turn out? Is that gut or substantiated?
That was off the top of my head. But sounds about right. And even less who become stars. Most draft picks -- even first-rounders -- don't amount to much.
Do you have any idea what an area scout earns?
Not much. Less than $50K, probably more like $30-35.
Is it time to pull the plug on porcello? I'm tired of potential, i want a guy whois clearly the number two to verlander
I wasn't high on him entering the season. Doesn't miss bats and just the wrong fit for that defense. They need to upgrade.
If I'm not mistaken, the supplemental pick is extinct after this season so if the Brewers/Phils lose their pitchers to free agency there is no consolation prize next June.
You get a pick if you offer the free agent $12.5 million (and he refuses). So only a few agents will be worth that, Hamels and Greinke obviously being the exceptions. But a like Shane Victorino -- the Phillies may not want to offer him that.
No Dodger questions yet? If the team is fully healthy heading into the 2nd half, can this team still hold onto the division lead or do they absolutely need to make a trade to stay on top?
I can't see them winning the division with that offense, even with the return of Kemp. Capuano likely for second-half decline, for example.
Market size does matter, but isn't there something to be said about which sport reigns supreme in certain markets. For instance, Southern California is sort of a baseball mecca, while areas in the South live for football.
So the Cardinals just did a deal where they subtracted $12 off a set of tickets for their home Dodger series for the number of home runs that Beltran hit last night. Kinda cool if you ask me.
One thing that is underrated: The ability of teams to market. Why aren't the Mets drawing better this year, for example. OK, they were bad last year, had their ownership issues, expectations were low. But once they starting winning, you'd think fans would turn out. Or Cleveland ... not saying they should be leading the league in attendance, but they shouldn't be last. A team's marketing department can be a very important asset. (Granted: Keep winning and the fans will eventually come out.)
Span for Zack Lee and Baldwin III, fair trade?
Hmm, Span signed through 2015 (team option). I think Dodgers think pretty highly of Lee. Plus, Span's value is as a center fielder, but they're not moving Kemp. Not sure I see it.
In response to the Red Sox and Yankees having players out, what about the Dodgers? Kemp, Ethier, Ellis, Gordon, Uribe (although that may be a good thing), Rivera, Guerra, Coffey, and more....and they are still in first place!
Remember, market size has to take into the account the amount of fans. Phoenix is a huge metro area, but it probably has one of the highest number of fans for non-Dbacks teams because 1) Phoenix has more out-of-state residents (like Chicago, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin) than natural-born residents and 2) The Dbacks franchise is only 15 years old. This is just an example but market size also has to consider the size of the fanbase, not just the size of the city.
Why does no one in the media seem to understand WHY the fans of KC booed Can0? It wasn't because Trumbo was put on the squad, or because Can0 is a Yankee, or even because Can0 didn't pick a Royal for the derby. It was because Can0 SAID he was going to pick a Royal, then didn't. Plus, I thought it was fairly obvious the fans were having fun with it and had no malicious intent.
I thought they were having fun. Plus, Royals fans dislike the Yankees going back to the 1970s playoff battles. (Well, OK, everyone dislikes the Yankees ...)
Good point about marketing, David, but remember that "promotion" isn't the same as marketing -- it's a small subset. A key part of marketing is making smart decisions to increase your business opportunities. For instance, Vince Naimoli's decisions on (A) where to locate his monstrosity of a stadium and (B) loading his team with aging sluggers were terrible marketing decisions.
Yep, excellent points.
I both love and hate the trade deadline. I love it because of the speculation (and dream) of a better home team. I hate it for the ridiculous trade scenarios people pitch. Case in point, I heard this today: "would Porcello, Young, and Bosch be enough for Hamels?"
As Bill Simmons would say, that's the proverbial poo-poo platter.
I like the 0 for Cano there. Even as a yankee fan that was sweat. And i know why they booed him and i though it was awesome.
It's not just the amount of star players that you have out, its your competition. Missing star players on an AL East team is much more difficult to overcome than the NL West.
With your answer about the Dodgers, what is an attainable bat that is out there? Not sure the Dodgers have much in the minor leagues. I think they should wait for free agency to beef up for next year.
That's the problem -- not a lot of bats out there. Would Jeff Francouer actually help much? Not really. Chase Headley? Padres and Dodgers never make deals anyway. Carlos Lee would have helped a bit. Otherwise ... not sure. You don't want the new owners making a bad deal for a short-term rental just to make a splash.
Can Royals fans at least agree that Trumbo was a lot more entertaining to watch in the HR Derby, than Butler would have ever been?
Amazing that hustling in this chat got so twisted around. I'm talking about hustling in the sense that McCutchen jogging to 1B on balls he hit to the OF walll, thinking it was a homer, ends up bouncing around, and he's stuck on 1B instead of 2B. Seen it with him 3 times this year alone. You hit ball, you run hard to 1B in case you gotta go to 2B. Nothing reckless about that. It's how you play the game, and how we need to teach our kids. Ask Pete Rose if hustling is overrated.
Actually, I think too many Royals fans suffer from a Yankees-inducted inferiority complex, which is very bizarre. Yes, the Yankees did great Kansas City (when they were the A's) as their personal trading patsy in the 1950s and they never got over the three consecutive ALCS losses in 76-78. But remember that ridiculous protest the Royals fans did about 10 years ago when the Yankees were in town -- they got up and turned thier backs on the Yankees in the field because they spent too much money. Get over it.
Anybody know what David Glass' net worth is?
My point is that both the Sox and Yankees are missing big name players. Both are obviously in the same division. One has the best record in baseball and the other is .500. Injuries are often a convient excuse of poor managment and not chemistry in the clubhouse.
OH MY GOD! MCCUTCHEN DIDN'T SPRINT OUT OF THE BOX 3 TIMES THSI YEAR!!! Maybe the Pirates should trade him like Arizona is looking to shop Upton because of his overall lack of effort.
Forget Rose, ask Ray Fosse what he thinks about Pete's "hustle". Time and place.
Do you think the reds need a table setter like Span or a middle of the order type guy like Upton more? I tend to lean towards some one who can get on base in front of Votto.
Reds need some production from the leadoff spot. You do that different ways -- get another bat and move Phillips there or get a guy like Span.
Quick Braves question, with Ben Sheets coming up and possible trade looming, whom of the young arms would you sit? Jurrjens, Minor, Delgado? Jurrjens has pitched somewhat better as of late and Minor was highly touted at times.
I guess I'd sit Minor. Not sure Braves have announced their post-break rotation ...
Forbes recently put David Glass' net worth at $2.8 billion. That's a lot of free agents....
There you go. And he paid "just" $96 million for the team. And if Royals were actually good again, they'd draw. They once had one of the best fan bases in the game.
Francouer would be great for any team to trade for, he always comes out of the gate for a new team fantastic. Every single time. I'd welcome him on my team for 3 months if I could be assured that he'd leave before the start of the next year.
Geez Yank fans (most fans, not all). The Royals booing Can0 has NOTHING to do with him being a Yankee. If Prince was the Derby captain and he said he'd pick a Royal, then didn't they would have booed him (and he's not a Yankee). Royals fans aren't saying that Butler should have been in the Derby, they are saying "Why say you'll pick a Royal, then don't?". It's that simple. Has NOTHING to do with the Yankees. Get over yourselves ...
Jean Segura, Kaleb Cowart, and Garrett Richards for Cole Hamels?
That would seem like a pretty good package. Mixed reviews on Richards. Throws hard, but will he ever have the command to remain a starter?
Just a "thank you" to David for doing these "extended play" chats. Very fan-friendly of you.
Sure. I enjoy doing them. Today seemed like a good day to go a couple hours.
Hi Dave. Little late to the party. What can Giants expect out of Lincecum in 2nd half?
I wrote a little bit about him yesterday. I watched his start two starts ago against Washington. He was terrible. No command on his fastball. Hung a couple offspeed pitches. I know the K rate is still good, but I think that's a little misleading: He's getting to a lot of two-strike counts because hitters are taking a lot of pitches. I guess my answer: I have no idea. I assume he'll do better since it's difficult to do worse, but I'm not sure what "better" means.
Trevor Bauer going to be a second 1/2 star?
I think he'll be OK, but not a star. Still has some command issues and will run up high pitch counts.
Are we Jays fans seeing the real Colby Rasmus? Or will his production drop? His talent is to drool over, but I'm still nervous.
I do think this is the real Colby Rasmus.
Manny Banuelos, Dante Bichette & Mason Williams for Upton?
Don't see it. Bichette hasn't hit this year and Banuelos hasn't pitched well. And none of them can play SS.
If Trevor Bauer faces the Dodgers every outing he'll be fine.
Exactly. Lincecum shut out the Dodgers as well.
Justin Upton is horrible! He's terrible! Arizona, we'll do you a favor and take him off your hands. Would Castellanos and Turner get it done?
It's a start, but Turner's stock has dropped a little this year. Upton is not going to come very easily people.
I don't know if you've heard this yet, but Dillon Gee has a blood clot in his shoulder and will miss the start of the 2nd half for the Mets. Do you think this means we could be seeing Matt Harvey a lot sooner than we previously thought?
He would seem like the best option for the Mets, yes.
Do you think there are any general managers who would trade their star player (Upton) only for prospects?
Good question. Obviously, it happens for rentals. But your larger point is correct: You're not going to trade Upton for three Class A guys.
How about Hanley Ramirez for Justin Upton straight up?
Challenge trade! Upton has one more year and is younger, so I think Marlins would have to throw in something else. Maybe a lot of something.
Angels playing at a .636 clip (42-24) since the first 20 games when they went 6-14. Rangers playing at .560 clip (37-29) since their 15-5 start. If they continue these paces, won't the Angels win the division by 2-3 games? (Pace has the Angels winning 49 more, and Rangers winning 42.5. Say that goes to 42) That's 94 wins for the Rangers, and 97 for the Angels.
Why can't Drew Smyly be the #2 to Verlander? Sample issues understood, but has 75 Ks against 21 BBs, was always scouted as having plus control and struck out guys in the minors. 91mph fastball nothing to sneeze at for a lefty.
also to consider: Ramirez 15M/year FA 2015, Upton 11M/year FA 2016
Upton for Starlin Castro
I think fans need to remember that Upton is under control, not overly expensive, and was 6th in OF WAR the last three years. That's a steep asking price.
Exactly ... Very. Expensive. Anyway, good chat everyone. I think we've run out of Justin Upton trade scenarios. Enjoy the All-Star Game tonight -- I'll be live blogging so check that if you get the chance. See everyone next week!