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July 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Like a robot from 1984 ... it's Klawchat.

Andrew Davis (San Diego)

Keith, Any rumblings on moves the Cards may make? Despite winning 5 of 6 they've actually lost a game to the Reds, is it a time to just stand pat instead of trying to go for back-to-back especially given the injuries the team has had?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

I don't know about the rumors - that's more Buster/Jayson/Tim's territory - but I do think the Cardinals are good enough to go for it this year. They might be the best team in the NL, and are certainly better on paper than the Pirates.

Jorge Soler (Arizona)

Keith have you seen the two bombs I've hit in the rookie league? Pretty nice huh? Think I need to speed up my home run trot?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

I've seen both of them live, and both were pretty impressive. Those are explosive hands.

Rob (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

How did Nick Travieso look in his first start (albeit only one inning)?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I think he threw ten pitches. Not enough to really evaluate him. I could see from the delivery why some teams saw him as a future reliever.

Jason (Nashville, TN)

If the Braves were to get Greinke or Garza, or another pitching they could re-sign or control beyond this year, should they consider trading Hanson? Or has his value already dropped given this year's performance?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

I think Hanson's value is very low - and remember, if you trade for Greinke, you are only trading for the last two months of this season, not for any years you obtain by re-signing him.

Adam (CA)

Have you seen Michael Ynoa at any AZL games? Does he still flash that massive potential he had when he was signed as an amateur?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

89-93, touched 94 once, really loose and easy, so there's potential there, but all the lost time means he hasn't advanced much if at all in four years.

Sebastian (Germany)

Do you think Donald Lutz has a chance to be the first german big leaguer?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

Yes, but I think Kepler is the better prospect.

Bobby (NY)

Do concerns remain about Gary Sanchez's defense?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

They are much smaller than they were last year.

Bk(Mpls) [via mobile]

Had dempster approved the trade, what would have been in your summary of the trade?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

I actually wrote it up, raving about it for the Cubs.

Sean (Phoenix)

What should Dbacks fans expect out of Tyler Bortnick? Anything more than a utility infielder that can steal?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

If that.

Mike-OB (OB)

I see Ruben is adopting the "that's the next GM's problem" philosophy.

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Moral hazard FTW.

Mike (San Diego)

I know a lot of people rip the 2nd wild card spot, but I'm a fan. Just the potential of the stupid things all of these extra "competing" GMs can do is awesome.

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

#TeamProjectMayhem

David Faris (Philadelphia)

Were the Phillies wise to sign Hamels, or should they have flipped him for some position talent?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

I would have dealt him - I think the contract is reasonable, probably not a bargain but a fair deal, because I think he's going to age better than most pitchers. But the Phillies are going to be hard-pressed to build a contending team around the few guys they have under contract, particularly with a farm system that ranks among the worst in the game again.

martin (sd)

Does Belt have any trade value at this point?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

I think so, but it's lower than it was a month ago. Most teams are going to have very positive reports on him from 2010-11 and would gladly take a chance on rebuilding him.

Starling Marte (Pgh)

How overmatched am I going to be at the big league level?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

You have the bat speed to hang in there, but I can't see an OBP over .310.

Craig (San Bernardino, CA)

I know it's the Cal League and whatnot, but factoring in CJ Cron's early production as a professional and given that he figures to be blocked by guys like Pujols and Trumbo as he moves up the Angels' chain, do you feel that a trade package with him as a key piece would be enough to get the Angels some more immediate help?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Doesn't have huge trade value as a 1b/DH only bat with some injury history - doubt he's the guy around whom the Angels could build a package for a non-rental player. If I'm Milwaukee, I'd certainly like him to be part of a Greinke deal, but he can't be the only guy in it.

Paul (Chicago)

Do you like the Epstein/Hoyer approach of leaving guys at a particular level for a fairly extended period of time even when they're thriving (Baez being the blatant example), or would you rather see a guy like that challenged?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Well, Baez is thriving, except that he's not walking, which you know Theo/Jed are looking at.

Andy (Seattle)

How soon before we see Hultzen in Seattle? Is he close to being ready?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Hoping to see him and blog about him this weekend when they're in Tucson. Based on what I've heard from his AAA starts, his stuff is ready, but his command has taken a small step back.

Dave (Grand Junction)

Why isnt Nolan Arenado up by now? this continues to show the Rockies mismanagement with top 10 prospects...

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

He's hitting .260/.320/.377 in AA. I criticize the Rockies' management all the time, but that one is patently unfair.

Raju (Minneapolis)

Why not trade Hamels and then give him that same deal in free agency plus an extra million for his troubles?? Hamels comes back to an improved team that way...sounds like a win-win.

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Agreed.

Bill (College Station, TX)

Keith does Dan Vogelbach have the ability to play another position or is it just 1B for him?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

He's a DH. Brutal at first. That's some crazy raw power, though.

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

By the way, these AZL games are free - if you live near HoHoKam, you should certainly check this team out. Soler, Dunston, and Almora were all in the lineup two nights ago. Some teams play on the minor league fields but I believe all AZL Cubs games are in the stadium.

Jason (St Louis)

How much more of a prospect is Shelby Miller than Randall Delgado? Big difference?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

For me there is. Much better breaking ball for one thing.

Cory (Oakland)

Keith, Tommy Milone - is he doing it with smoke and mirrors or is there something here... Oakland seems to have a wealth of arms if (and a big if) McCarthy and Anderson come back healthy and Straily waiting in AAA...

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

ERA on the road is nearly 6. I'm not a believer. Agreed that they have a lot of pitching depth, which makes me wonder if someone like Straily could be available in a deal for a bat (my own speculation).

Hogie (DC)

Brian Goodwin going to crack the top 100?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

It's possible - I've always been a fan of the tools, but I'd like to see him perform in AA.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

...since he was old for Hagerstown.

TDK (Pittsburgh)

I know you aren't high on Marte, but he has to be better than Presley or Sutton, right?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

I agree with that, but I don't think it's the ideal move for his long-term development.

Adam (Ft. Wayne)

KLAW, Had the chance to talk to you at the Futures Game about taking a trip to Arizona for Fall League. One question I meant to ask is, what is the best spot to stay in order to take in the most action without having to travel a lot? Or is everything in such close proximity that it doesn't really matter?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Close proximity sounds uncomfortably close. I usually recommend that folks stay in Scottsdale if they can - puts four of the six stadiums within about 15 minutes' drive.

Mike (Seattle)

Is it time to let go of the hope that Justin Smoke will figure out how to hit a breaking ball and be a big league hitter?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

Yes, unfortunately. Hoping to catch him this weekend too, but I think that ship may have sailed.

Brian (Tucson)

Any picks for the new season of Top Chef Masters?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

Haven't watched it yet because I've been out at games. Wondering if folks are interested in recaps or if I should wait till the next 'regular' season of TC.

Jack (Indiana)

Since you brought up Dunston, how does he look? Real prospect?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Yes, looks much better the last 2-3 games, should move up to Boise or Peoria so we can see how much of the improvement is real. I do like the swing and the athleticism but repeating the AZL is not good for any player's development.

Kenny, Bx [via mobile]

What's going on with Bettances and Banuelos? Do you see a future with either of them? Did the Yanks miss their chance to get something of value( especially for Bettances).

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

Banuelos, yes, if he can get healthy. Betances to me looks like a washout - could certainly resurface at some point in the pen, but I don't see him as a starter.

Joe (Green Bay)

Would the Rangers scoff at a Greinke for Olt & Leury Garcia proposal? Will Garcia hit enough at the ML level for him to be an above average regular?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

I would scoff at it. No way I deal Olt for two months of Greinke.

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

If you were Neal Huntington is Alen Hanson untouchable at the deadline?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

I'd discuss him for someone like Justin Upton, where you might get an MVP candidate and you get several years of control.

Alex (NYC)

Any chance you'll take a break from the trade deadline long enough to post a review of TDKR on ur blog and/or on the podcast?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Haven't seen it.

Travis Snider (Toronto)

What do you think of the changes I've made to my swing?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Liked them back in March - but the tiny big league sample so far is pretty mixed.

Don (Chicago)

Why is that everyone says the White Sox have no farm system worth trading for? How about all the young guys they brought up for starts this season that showed signs of something?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I feel like this question comes up every week, but my response is still the same: Who are these "young guys?"

Jack (St. Paul)

Which prospect has surprised you the most this season?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Straily. Not on the radar before the year. Now looks like a guy with a league-average starter ceiling.

Joe (Chicago)

What has happened to Dante Bichette's power? That was supposed to be his only really good skill coming out of the draft.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Swing has regressed, stepping massively in the bucket all the time now.

Jim (St. Louis)

Whats the story on Robbie Grossman? Did Pirates lose a good potential player?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

I think they did. They disagree.

Daniel (Maryland)

Baseball salaries seem to be spiraling out of control. Will we see this trend continue in your opinion or is there a breaking point?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Out of control based on what? If industry revenues are increasing, player salaries should increase.

Dan (Tulsa)

What would your reaction be if the Cards called up Taveraz for the stretch run, backing up CF and RF? Joe Strauss mentioned yesterday that there was "growing internal support" for the idea.

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

Sure.

MW (GB, WI)

If you were GM in Milwaukee what would you do with Greinke?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Trade him - or at least make it clear that he's available and see if someone bowls you over.

Chad (STL)

Is the narrative of Hamels having the second biggest contract ever for a pitcher a bit askew? Isn't it more accurate to say, he's the most recent superstar pitcher to sign a long term deal, and leave it at that?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Yes. It's like the stories every February about Player X getting a 400% raise, when he actually was just eligible for arbitration for the first time.

Erich (CT)

You keep saying Hamels will age well. Whats your proof? It seems like a baseless claim to me, because its practically unpredictable. Giving 144 million dollars to a guy who's not one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball is ludicrous to me.

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

Proof for a prediction? Seems like an impossible standard to me. It's an opinion, based on my own evaluations. And Hamels is pretty damn good - depends on your endpoint, but he's 3rd in the NL in fWAR since the start of 2008, 5th since the start of 2010.

Greg (CA)

Milone just gave up a 3 run HR on the road. Shocked?

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

Any pitcher with stuff that fringy is going to be homer-prone, right? I don't see how he can avoid it.

Al (D.C.)

I read your review of the film "Pelotero." Do you think the portrayal of the Pirates' Rene Gayo will have any deleterious effects on Pittsburgh's scouting and signing of players in Latin America?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

I do. I think it hurt the Pirates that neither they nor MLB responded on camera. Gayo came off as extremely dishonest. I don't know how they would counter that, but the fact that neither the team nor the league even tried only makes him look worse. If you're the international director for another team and are competing against the Pirates, don't you show any prospect in the D.R. that hidden-camera clip? And why hasn't MLB fully responded to the claims that Gayo colluded with their investigator (which happened off camera)?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

I don't look at the film as proof, but it raised a lot of questions that I think should be answered by MLB.

Mark (NY)

Are you going to be at the Arizona game tonight for Harvey's debut?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

That's my plan.

Sam (Cleveland)

Will the Indians make a notable move a the trade deadline?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Would love to see them cash in Perez and maybe put Choo out there to see what they can get.

Jason (Phoenix)

Hi Keith. Do you think that Paul Goldschmidt's success this season is legitimite, or is it still too small of a sample size?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

He's murdering LHP and can probably have a long career just on that basis. But he's also not productive enough against RHP to call him an everyday player.

JD (DC)

Gyorko and Wheeler -- are both ready for the majors now? Or are you as pessimistic with them as with Marte?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

I don't think I'm pessimistic, just realistic. Ryan Wheeler's issue is a lack of a position - can't play third, bat probably doesn't profile at first.

Rich (Solvay, NY)

Klaw,Thanks for the chat. Do you see Castellanos as an all star calibre 3B? Potentially as good as Lawrie?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Yes, if they allow him to play there. He's been in RF for the last two and a half weeks.

Dan (Tulsa)

Was there a knock on Allen Craig's hit/power tool in the minors? I sort of assumed he'd get a little exposed with regular major league AB's (which didn't happen, of course).

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Knock was lack of a position. Turns out it didn't matter.

John (Arlington)

Whats the percent chance that Alex Meyer stays a starter?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

40%. Maybe more.

Tom (Pennsylvania)

Klaw, do you have any strong opinions on the NCAA sanctions levied upon Penn State? Did you think the school/program needed punished, or were you in the camp that believes this isn't an NCAA issue?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

I thought the whole 'vacating wins' thing was absurd. You can't rewrite the history books. Other than that, I don't really have an opinion on the NCAA's actions - I would just like to see the various people who covered up or enabled the abuse face criminal charges and/or civil suits.

C. (Los Altos)

Who are the best prospects in the Giants system after Gary Brown?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Za... sorry, Clayton Blackburn, Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton. Brown's star has dimmed a little this year.

Geoff (Minneapolis)

Do you think that the tools are starting to translate into production for Aaron Hicks?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

He's had good stretches before, but I am cautiously optimistic this time because he's doing a little of everything.

Danny (NY)

Thoughts on Trevor Bauer situation ?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

His velocity in the big leagues was below his normal level; I don't think I got a pitch over 94 when I saw him against San Diego. I'm not surprised to hear he's got some nagging injuries.

Jeff (Ann Arbor)

Is your issue with moving Castellanos to the outfield more that a hitter with a glove that plays at third is of greater value, or that you don't think Castellanos can play the outfield?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

The former.

Old Prospector (Here, There, You know)

Dustin Ackley: any thoughts/insights into what's up with him this year? From what I've seen, he seems to be making a lot of soft outs. Was the forecast wrong on him, or is he still just waiting to put it all together?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

He, Smoak, and Montero have all been huge disappointments this year. Was the industry wrong on all three? Or is something going wrong in Seattle?

Koz (Gilbert, AZ)

Does Zeke DeVoss have enough of a hit tool to ever allow that OBP and speed to be worthwhile at the higher levels? Can he play 2B long term?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

I'm leaning towards 'no' on the hit tool question.

Justin (Texas)

Since this is going to be Luhnow's first full offseason, do you think the Astros clean house with coaches, instructors in minors and majors?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

I'd expect a lot of changes in that organization, including the scouting staffs, but I don't know any specifics. It's just typical for a GM to want to bring in some of his 'own' guys.

John (Pennsylvania)

Why hasn't Tyler Cloyd's name come up more in the Phillies organization?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Because his stuff is very marginal.

zack (east coast)

Austin Hedges or Tommy Joseph?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Hedges for me. No-doubt catcher. Joseph still pretty rough back there.

Matt (Oakland)

Joakim Noah just did a chat where he mentioned his sponsor ten times. Do you ever get asked to promote a product in chats, Twitter, etc.?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

No, but that's a great idea...

Derek (work) [via mobile]

Is Trevor May still in your top 100 if you updated today?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Probably not. Reports haven't been good.

Kaus (Daley City, GA)

Is the Shields to the Angels trade dead?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

I don't think that was ever alive.

Jason (PA)

I saw Gerrit Cole pitch last night. Pretty much all of the things said about him apply. He only threw a few changeups and of the ones he did throw were nasty. Is he purposely not using that pitch more?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

I was told the Pirates want him to focus more on commanding the fastball and tightening the slider. The change is already a plus pitch. That's part of why his raw stats don't quite match the scouting reports.

Josh (Philly)

Do you smoke ciggarettes or cigars?

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

Never used any tobacco product, aside from trying a cigar the night before my wedding (which I didn't even finish).

Joe (WI)

What about Greinke for Andrus? Would the Rangers do that with Profar waiting in the wings? Is Profar ready?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

That would be a hideous trade for Texas. Andrus has to have some of the highest trade value going right now.

Bill (San Diego)

Do you see teams going back to the 140 inning reliever? Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman seem like ideal candidates.

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

I'd settle for 100 innings. Fifty appearances a year, averaging two innings. And then we wouldn't see so many teams running 3-man benches.

Sean (Phoenix)

Favorite beer in the greater Phoenix area?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Oak Creek's nut brown ale. They're actually from Sedona but you can find it everywhere here.

Jason (SF)

You should start repeatedly mentioning Thomas Keller restaurants and hope for the best.

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

I'm not opposed to your idea per se, but I'm not sure it will work.

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

OK, time to wrap this up. Thanks for all the questions. I should be back next Thursday.