Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 6, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Greetings from Nashville and my least favorite winter meetings hotel ever. The chat will be a little short today because of my travel plans so I apologize if I don't get to everything.

Chris (Phila Pa)

Did the Phillies give up too much for Revere? Is he an extra player, ave regular, or all-star? Ceiling for Worley and May?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

I just filed a blog post on this, but the short version is I like it for both sides but think the Twins get the edge in the long run.

Chris (Alabama)

The Twins' 2013 CF will be _______? Hicks?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I assume so.

Max (AZ)

What do you make of all these Justin Upton rumors going on here is AZ? It seems inevitable to me that the D-Backs are gonna do something really dumb like trade a future MVP for a fringe All Star shortstop like Asdubal Cabrera. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

I think that might be posturing to push the Rangers to up their offer. If the Rangers believe Andrus is too much (he is) for Upton, then why not ask Arizona to add something to balance it out? If Andrus for Upton is unbalanced, what about offering Andrus for Upton and Bauer? Maybe the Rangers would have to add something small to their end, but I don't think Andrus for Upton is a non-starter, just incomplete.

Amos (New York)

Boston trades Reddick and Lowrie for relievers one offseason, then gives three year deals to Napoli and Victorino the next. Is ownership giving a win-now mandate or is Cherington screwing the pooch here?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Is Cherington even calling these shots? Or is ownership saying, "go sign some veterans?"

Ian (MN)

Who has the higher ceiling - May or Meyer? More likely to meet it?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Meyer.

Pete (St. Pete)

What exactly is the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft? Was that ever useful before rule changes?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

That's for players protected on AA rosters. You protect 40 guys (among eligible players) from the major league phase, then I think another 37 guys from the AAA phase.

JMR (Chicago)

Myers for Shileds is a bad move for KC, right? Why wouldn't they try to do Myers for Profar? It would solve a problem for both teams.

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

Myers for Shields will be the death rattle for that regime. Myers for Profar isn't a good deal for Texas.

Carl (Grand Rapids, MI)

What can you tell me, if anything, about the two players the Tigers acquired through the rule 5 draft today a?? Kyle Lobstein and Jeff Kobernus? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

Lobstein was a projection guy who never got stronger and still works in the upper 80s. Good delivery, some secondary stuff, doubt he's major-league ready. Kobernus is below utility infielder level for me.

Bob (Springfield, MO)

I want to put your distaste for Michael Young in perspective. B-R's gives him a career oWAR of 35.2 and a dWAR (yikes!) of -8.7. Until last year, then, he has been a good bat who should be instructed to burn his gloves because he will never be in the field again. So I'm wondering if your criticisms of him are more related to his overratedness than his actual ability. In his good years, I wouldn't have minded having him as my DH. But he is hardly the HOF candidate some project him to be.

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

My distaste is particularly for the portion of the local media in Dallas and for the Rangers' manager all acting like Young walks on water between the bases and cures lepers from the dugout. He was terrible last year. Just say so and move on.

Ian (MN)

Twins seem to have a pretty solid farm system. Sano, Buxton, Hicks, Arcia and Meyer should be in your top 100. Could any of Rosario, May, Gibson or Kepler slip in?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

I think they'll end up with at least 7 guys. Rosario was on it last year, Gibson was on before he got hurt but he's actually better now with the new slider.

Brian (Fremont)

Re Pete (St. Pete): Just so you have an idea of the kind of players that are picked up in the Triple-A part of the Rule 5, Eugenio Velez is the most successful player to come out of it.

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

Yep. Dewon Day got a cup of coffee out of it too. It's a good way to find minor league depth but it's rare to find a big leaguer in that phase.

Scott (NJ)

Is Revere a younger version of Juan Pierre? Great speed, no power, weak arm, lots of range in the outfield, doesn't strikeout but doesn't walk much either. My gut reaction says including May was a mistake, but based on what I hear, he'll never be more than a number 3, and the Phillies have a bunch of those types in the system.

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Much better defender in CF than Pierre. Otherwise pretty similar, but that's a large difference to me.

John (Chicago)

Toronto says D'Arnaud will start they year in Vegas. How far below .300 does JPA's OBP need to be before they realize they superior player is in AAA?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

The superior player needs to keep his act on the field.

White Sox Fan (Chicago)

Are any White Sox prospects going to be on your Top-100 list? Courtney Hawkins?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

White Sox will be on there. The only team that might end up shut out is Milwaukee, I think.

Brett (Wisconsin)

Is Mrs. Law a baseball fan?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Only casually. She finds watching it on TV to be too slow.

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

That refers to Mrs. Law, my wife, as opposed to my mother, who is a lifelong Yankee fan.

Jason (Milwaukee)

Are you surprised that the Winter Meetings are over and Zack and Josh are still unemployed? What are the reasons for this, in your opinion?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

I'm not. MLB free agency isn't like the NBA or NFL equivalents, where players sign right away. MLB free agency is a pretty slow burn.

Mike (Jakarta)

Do you think any of the Rule 5 picks will stick?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Some will, maybe a half-dozen, but no one is likely to have any real impact in 2013. I see some relievers who might be worth a win or so - Fields, Woods, Pressley (whom I saw hit 97 as a starter in Salem) - and Rondon's an interesting guy who just hasn't been healthy in forever. But there's a lot of meh there too.

Josh (Miami)

Any chance the Marlins rush pitching prospect Jose Fernandez to the majors because of the state of their rotation?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I sincerely hope not. He's got upside, but I don't think he's close to ready right now.

Greg (LA)

At what point does Mike Ilitch say "OK Mr. Boras, what do you want me to pay for Soriano, considering that you've received no interest from anyone else?"

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

After January? I can't believe they're serious about Bruce Rondon closing. He throws hard, and he throws hard. That's about it. He's just not that good right now.

Dan (MN)

Will you be posting your analysis on the Revere trade?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

I filed 20 minutes ago, but I don't actually post anything directly - my pieces have to go through an editor. When I get the link, I'll post it here and/or tweeti t.

Steven (Baltimore)

Do you think Nate McLouth has a good chance to sustain his success from last August to October?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Not in the least.

Chris (Alabama)

Could you see the Braves acquiring either Alex Gordon or Jacoby Ellsbury in a package centered around Randall Delgado?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

No.

Todd (Arlington)

Best Rule 5 pickup ever? Is it Robert Clemente or someone else?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Clemente, Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton - but the rules have changed several times over the years. Clemente was drafted under one system, and I believe it changed between then and the Santana pick.

Andrew (Manhattan)

Is Sean Burnett as valuable as that contract implies? To my untrained eye, he has one off-speed pitch that he throw inside to LHB and outside to RHB. He's boring to watch, but does his approach work?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

It does work, and he might be close to worth what he's paid, but the attrition rate of relievers is so high that I can't really like any multi-year deal for a non-elite reliever.

Chris (Alabama)

How did you like Nashville (other than the hotel)?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Great. Weather was better this year and I ate some fantastic meals, capped off by the Catbird Seat last night.

Michael (Chicago)

Do you think either Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters will ever develop into even a solid regular at some position?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

No. Jackson more likely than Vitters, especially if the reported changes to Jackson's swing help him make more contact.

john (LA)

Worst signing so far? I think Shane for 3/39.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

Yes.

Chris (Alabama)

Teheran's last two outings: 10.2 IP, 1 H. How encouraged should Braves fans be? Have you heard any scouting reports to go along with those results?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Two outings? Come on. They tell us zilch.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

Do you in fact think that Nate Schierholtz will in fact see 400-450 PAs as the left handed portion of a RF platoon for the Cubs? Do you think he will be somewhat better than awful?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

In a strict platoon, he can be valuable.

Joey (Oakland )

Should Tampa do Myers for Shields straight up or hold out for more?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Sure they should hold out for more, but in the end they should be willing to take Myers for Shields straight up.

Todd (Arlington)

Is there anyway to not to have your facebook account link when commenting on articles on ESPN? Why are they doing this?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

I don't know what the plan is for comments, but I'm not going to answer questions in the Conversations for the time being. Sorry.

Tony (Pittsburgh)

What's your take on the Pirates' Huntington not contacting Boras prior to taking Appel last Summer? Mistake by the GM? Since he slid, I'd say to not call was a botch on his part to at least gauge their mindset.

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

We have the benefit of hindsight here, but with that caveat, yes, I think the Pirates mishandled the contact with Appel and subsequent negotiations. I wouldn't pin that entirely on Huntington, though - it's unfair to personalize something that involved multiple people.

Jonathan (Detroit)

Thoughts on Andrew Cahsner getting stabbed in the thumb by a friend while processing meat?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

I told you he was injury-prone.

Irving Washington (New York)

Is there any evidence that the much-hyped salary inflation is real? If so, is the primary factor (1) future TV revenues, or (2) the new caps on draft / international spending?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

I think the anecdotal evidence to date is compelling. I think both are factors but (1) is more of a factor than (2).

Monroe (Jet City, Wa)

There are reports that the Mariners are pushing hard for Josh Hamilton. Were the Rangers to let him go, that would be three teams that have walked away from him. do you think the fourth team is destined to lose this game of musical chairs?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

It's unfair to say the Rays walked away from him - they left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft after he'd missed four years due to drug addiction and injury. And the Reds traded him for pitching help, not a good deal at the time but in their eyes trading surplus to fill a need.

Ray (D.C.)

Thoughts on the Pirates trade for Andrew Oliver from the Tigers?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

I don't see Oliver having major league success. Throws hard, poor command, never found a consistent breaking ball.

Andrew (Muniz)

Anyone from the Major/Triple A portion of the Rule 5 Draft that you like?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

Aside from the names I cited above, I'd love to see the Astros put Nate Freiman on the mound.

Zach (Austin)

The recent draft and international signing changes coupled with the diluted rule 5 really seem to hamper teams from building their way back to contention. Do you think the timetable has changed for turning teams around?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Yes. Probably adds 1-2 years to any full-fledged rebuilding effort.

Justin Millar (Newport Beach)

What does Corey Seager's peak look like assuming he reaches his full potential?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Impact third baseman with the bat and glove. All-Star/top 3-4 in baseball at 3b type of player.

Sean (California)

Given contract expectations, are Angels better off with Greinke, or with Blanton and one more 3/4-level starter?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Greinke.

Greg (Knoxville, TN)

If you were a player development guy, is there one breaking pitch or even type of fastball you'd try to implement system wide, or is too dependent upon arm slot to be that systematic?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Too dependent on arm slot and delivery. But I'd definitely be aggressive about adding pitches - not just cutters but splitters, even screwballs for potential relievers.

MeisterNJ (Mendham)

With ARod's 80yr old hips holding him out for a good chunk of this year wouldn't it make sense for the Yanks to slide Jeter over to 3B, easing the stress on his healing ankle? Or is it simply too late in his career and not enough time to acclimate to the position? Should improve the defense too.

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

I agree but you know we'll put a man on Neptune before that happens.

Layla (Seattle)

Oakland A's fans are really high on Dan Straily, as are most fans when it comes to prospects. I see him a guy that is a 2/3 in Oakland, but a 4/5 anywhere else. Would you agree with that? Is he similar to Gio Gonzalez in the fact that he's a big K guy that needs more control? I believe you weren't high on Gio coming up, and I think you are equally not high on Straily. Are they similar in ANY fashion?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

That's a fair assessment. His stuff doesn't profile him as an above-average starter. Gio had real on-field makeup concerns, mostly a propensity to melt down and lose all his command in bad situations, which resurfaced again in the postseason, unfortunately.

Andrew (Manhattan)

If you could have dinner with one current MLB player who would it be?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Good question. Kind of depends whether I want to talk baseball or food or pop culture.

Andrew (Manhattan)

What are the implications of the Astro league switch for fans of teams not in either the new or their old division? De minimis?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Doesn't really affect their short-term outlook. Long-term outlook is worse in the tougher/smarter division. But I don't think Delino De minimis gets to the majors before 2015 either way.

Chris (Ohio)

You're smart and I respect your opinion, so can I just get one sentence on your thoughts on the NHL lockout?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

There's still a hockey league out there?

Kevin (Arizona)

Over/under on Chris Carter (OAK) homers in 2013: 33. You think he could emerge into that right handed Ryan Howard we thought he'd be 3 or 4 years back?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

Bad ballpark for power. I'll take the under for that one reason. He does have 35-HR power in a neutral park though.

Gavin (County Court)

Red Sox signed Uehara to a 1 year deal - did Ben finally get to make a move?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Love it.

Andy (Hawaii)

We all know about Andrelton Simmons' glove, but what is the outlook for his bat? He had some nice numbers last year, but that was a pretty SSS. What is realistic to expect moving forward?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

It's all batting average/BABIP. If he hits an empty .300 most years, which seems like a reasonable/optimistic forecast, he's an All-Star.

Dan (LA)

Would you agree that Edwin Jackson seems like a very good fit for the Angels if they don't re-sign Greinke? Flyball prone, but Weaver shows that plays in the AL West.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Yep. He's a fit for a lot of teams, though.

Steve (Anaheim)

Do you agree with the O's passing on Reynolds in arbitration?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

I do.

Pat (Scranton)

The Yankees are worried about getting under $189 million for 2014 to reset the luxury tax line. Could they restructure long-term deals to include higher 2013 salaries to save in the future? Like increase Rodriguez's 2013 salary by $8million and reduce his annual salaries in 2014-2017? I suppose I'm assuming they are flush with cash and their current reluctance to spend is truly tied to revenue-sharing savings in the future.

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

I think payroll calculations for the luxury tax are tied to AAV, not actual salary in each year.

Ryan (Iowa)

Do you have a scouting report on the new Cubs relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa? Thanks for the chat.

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Yes, here: http://klaw.me/UyUe6o

Bret (Columbia, SC)

Keith, does Hak Ju-Lee or Tim Beckham have a shot to make the Rays by 2014?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Lee yes. Beckham, maybe as a utility guy.

Charles (San Jose)

Can Chris Owings be an average MLB SS?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Plus defender who can't survive with his current approach, where he only walks on days that end in "q."

Matt (Philly)

I'm not expecting him to develop any power but with Revere still being very young, can I at least expect his patience to get a little better in the coming years? If he could up that walk percentage 3 or 4 ticks I'd be thrilled.

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Why would pitchers pitch around him? Better to just go after him, knowing he's unlikely to hit more than a single.

Steve (California)

Help me out on this....Mets have the worst OF & Cs inMLB, no money to spend in a week market, 3 spots open on the 40, and they pass on the Rule V. Isn't Hagerty a better C today than Thole? What's the downside of trying?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

I wouldn't have taken Hagerty to be a regular, but I think he could be someone's backup in 2013.

Greg (Knoxville, TN)

Do you think Nashville would support an MLB club?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

No. Too small - I think it would be the smallest MSA by population in the majors.

Keith (Cleveland)

Re: Upton for Andrus...I know shortstop is a very important position on the field, but if you only look at Andrus' offensive numbers, he is a fringe starter. Sure, he can hit .275 - .290, but he has no power, and only reasonable speed (20SBs).Have you come down on Justin THAT much that you no longer believe he's capable of an MVP award, or do you really put that much stock into Andrus' postition and defense?I would think a good glove / mediocre hit SS would be well worth giving up for a MVP caliber player who can play a little defense, too.

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

You can't just look at a player's offensive numbers without considering his position. It's like judging your restaurant meal by the size of the plate.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Klaw, I recently re-read your first scouting report on Aroldis Chapman. You were quite high on his potential then. Now that the Reds have screwed with him for a few years and you've seen him in relief, has your outlook on his potential as a starter changed drastically?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

No, unless there's an underlying health issue I don't know about.

Tyler (Lexington)

You say that about Revere in a negative way, but what's the biggest difference in him and Billy Hamilton? You see Hamilton developing a little bit of power? Maybe 10-12 HR's a year.

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Hamilton is stronger (by a little) with a better arm (by a lot).

Ronny (New Haven)

What is Taylor Guerrieri's best-case scenario in terms of upside?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Ace.

Jason (Seattle, WA)

I'm not a huge fan of Shane Victorino, but fangraphs does have him as a pretty steady 3-4 WAR player who only just turned 32. In this market the deal seems pretty fair, and certainly a viable alternative to giving out longer deals (with significantly higher AAV) to Swisher or Hamilton, no?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

I don't think he's that player going forward, given the loss of bat speed, and WAR doesn't do a great job with players who show wide platoon splits.

Mike (Ohio)

Milwaukee is just a tiny bit smaller than Nashville. Of course, your point still holds.

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Well, Milwaukee isn't so much a city as a suburb of Chicago.

Steve (Anaheim)

Is Tillman and Schoop enough for Butler? If not, is it close? Also, vitamin mix blender - worth the $400 to $500 bucks?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

I wouldn't give up that much for Butler. Tillman's late-season breakout looks sustainable to me and I think Schoop is going to be an impact guy. I have a Vitamix and it's awesome.

Jon (DC)

Why doesn't your blog have a clever nickname like "Laying down the Law?"

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Because that's about as clever as playing the breaking glass sound for every foul ball.

Greg (St. Charles)

What was the name of the restaurant that you went to in Chicago over the summer? I remember your glowing review of a doughnut of some kind??

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

2 Sparrows.

Chris (Illinois)

I'm a college student craving seafood with no seafood joint anywhere near me. Got any good recipes that won't kill my wallet?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

The issue is getting good seafood, which isn't easy and should be expensive. If it's cheap, it's almost certainly not good. I would look for trout, which is one of the least expensive fish, can be found between the coasts, and is sustainable.

Mike C (Somerset)

Wanna fight?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Oh, you're not big enough.

Bill (College Station Tx)

Keith, I love playing Settlers and TTR with my 8 and 10 year old, so what is next for us?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Check my 2012 boardgame rankings: http://klaw.me/SxJBfR Lots of age-appropriate games in the top 10.

Dan (Idaho Falls)

Better prospect going forward - Arenado or Schoop (assuming 3B as likely position)? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Schoop.

Jeremy (Boston)

did you ever do a 3-way in Toronto?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Nah, it just seems so impersonal...

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

OK, time to pack up and head to the airport. Sorry again for the abbreviated chat. I'll be back at some point next week.