So there's more outcry over the depiction of torture in a movie than there was over the actual torture itself? Do I have that right? Good. Time for Klawchat.
Any signing news on the horizon for the Rangers? Been waiting weeks for them to do SOMETHING, should Texas fans start getting anxious? What is their plan at this point?
Why do they need to do SOMETHING? Doing SOMETHING just for the sake of doing SOMETHING is a pretty bad plan.
Hi Keith, thank you for chatting. Since the new CBA makes it harder for small market teams to invest in the draft and international free agents, do you believe we'll see them turn to different in-game strategies (3-inning relievers, 4-man rotation) to try to gain an edge?
Possibly. I do think the 4-man rotation would be nearly impossible to execute, even though there's no reason to believe it would increase injury rates. But to your larger point, yes, clubs like Tampa Bay will have to find new ways to innovate.
Klaw, do you see TDA continuing at C long term, or do the Mets need to think of him in the outfield or first base (and trading / mivng Ike Davis). If he can stay healthy and at C, the Dickey trade was a no brainer for the Mets, but if not ...
d'Arnaud is a catcher. He's not Posey where the bat might play elsewhere and still make him a star.
Greinke and Hamilton's contracts were more than most teams would pay given the opportunity--are they really being overpaid? Or with adding the Dodgers as big spenders in the FA market, large tv deals, etc., are we seeing the price of poker rising and these contracts becoming normal?
This is the new normal. There's lots of revenue coming into the game, and there are fewer outlets for teams to spend it.
So where do you rank Toronto's farm system now? 1-30
I haven't done firm rankings yet, but top of my head I'd say 16-20 range.
Thoughts on an international draft? Been researching the signing process and it seems pretty chaotic/abusive for players.
I think they'd be worse off in an international draft where they can't negotiate with multiple teams. Just create more transparency in the current system.
Thoughts on Trayvon Robinson? Likely to contribute to the Orioles in 2013?
Fourth OF tops, more likely an up-and-down guy who never sticks.
I love Choo coming to the Reds, but can he play CF every day? He wasn't great in RF last year.
No, he can't. I don't see an actual CF on that roster.
I heard you talk up the Nats in Baseball Today podcast today. On the subject of Rendon, do you think the possibility of him playing 2B has sailed?
I never saw the idea of putting a guy who has now had three traumatic ankle injuries at second base as remotely realistic. That seems to have been a media creation.
Do the top 10 of your personal baseball "Hall of 100" vary in names from the 10 who appeared in the ESPN's Hall of 100? If so who would you add/delete
Honestly, I don't even remember who I put in the top 10.
Are you doing your Top 50 25 years old and under list this year? When is it scheduled to be released? Thanks!
Yes, in early January. Might be fewer names than that, or just formatted differently so it doesn't interfere too much with the top 100 prospects package.
Have you heard anything about Oswaldo Arcia little brother Orlando? Does he have a chance to be an elite prospect like his brother?
Saw him in instructs 2011, not close to his brother.
Of the two, which is most likely to reach their potential, Travis Snider or Jose Tabata?
Snider. Tabata's about ready to collect Social Security checks anyway.
Do you agree that d'Arnaud is a "scouting" prospect, as some have recently suggested? I've seen his numbers, from the hitters-friendly PCL, compared unfavourably to Yan Gomes and Jeff Mathis.
You largely have to discard hitters' park numbers (it's not the PCL specifically, but certain parks, like Vegas and Albuquerque) for top position players and focus instead on performance at other levels and the scouting reports. The main problem is that non-prospects can rake there but top prospects still face a ceiling on their overall stats - a natural .250 hitter might hit .320 in Albuquerque, but a natural .330 hitter won't hit .400. I've seen d'Arnaud, and I believe he can hit and he's coming into some power. He needs to play more than 88 games a year.
Lots of praise for Gattis this offseason here in Atlanta, what do you see his actual ceiling being? Can he legitimately be a starting LF?
Extra guy. Not an everyday LF. If he could catch, that would be a different story, but he can't, and he's just a power bat off the bench.
Can you elaborate on why you feel A. Sanchez is a much superior player to Syndegaard
Better stuff across the board, better delivery, better athlete. Does that cover it?
Will Xander Bogaerts be a SS long-term? Red Sox seem to have doubled down on him being a shortstop
I think it's 50/50 or so. He improved a lot there this year.
Are the Indians still spinning their wheels when it comes to a decent draft? Sure, Lindor looks all right for 2015 or 2016, but do Mitch Brown or Dillon Howard offer any real hope by then?
Brown yes, Howard no.
In your opinion has adding Puerto Rico to the Rule 4 draft hampered the development of talent?
With Nakajima is it the defense you don't like or the bat? Any chance either aspect is league average?
Bat. Played solid D when I saw him in '09 but scouts who've seen him since have told me they think he's probably not a SS here.
Who you got? Norris or Osuna and why?
Osuna. Norris' arm action has never impressed me and I think it's behind the varying velocity and lack of command.
Thoughts on the Cubs signing of E-Jax for 4 years $52mm? I'd bet he's traded mid july for prospects
I don't see the appeal for them, given how bad the major league team will be overall, but it's not a bad value in this market, given his consistency and durability.
Any chance we'll get your breakout list of young MLB players? Always a favorite of mine although I don't recall seeing one last year.
I did one in March and will do another one this March.
Are there any obvious adjustments JP Arencibia make to stop being a total out machine?
I can't imagine a guy with plate discipline that bad suddenly figuring out how to get on base.
Uncomfortable at all with your fellow BBWAA members' moral posturing regarding recent year-end awards and the upcoming HOF ballot?
They do it every year. If that sort of thing made me uncomfortable, I'd be chewing Xanax like they were Smarties.
3 yrs for Casillas? Honestly when will GMs realize giving more than a 1-2 yr deal maximum for relievers is the right way to go? Its ridiculous.
Yes it is.
Do you think that good prospects are currently overvalued in the marketplace? Seems like everyone cares more about years of control than actual production.
I don't think they're overvalued, and I don't think that the second statement is true in the industry. I think it's more true of fans/bloggers/writers than it is of executives.
Odds that Brett Jackson can fix his swing? If not, does not he have any chance to be a ML starter?
Odds are slim. It has happened - Zobrist and Bautista are two good examples - but it's quite rare for a guy to overhaul his swing in a way that massively improves his results.
Cody Ross to the Rangers for 2 yrs/15 million. Good/bad deal for Texas?
Extra outfielder. That's about twice the $ I think he's worth.
Philly's opening day outfield could be Ruf, Revere, and Brown. Yikes?
Keith, is there anything preventing the Nats from taking Matt Purke off their 40 man roster? I wondered around the rule 5 draft if they could take him off (putting him on waivers I believe, where I'd be surprised if he was claimed due to his salary and injury) in order to free up a space for someone else.
No, but he'd be claimed.
If Cleveland signs Swisher for 4/$50 are they just trying to put butts in seats or does he have a chance to be worth that contract in years 3 and 4?
Terrible move for them if they do it. Club isn't good enough to get value from him in the near term. He's not likely to hold his value there for the long term.
Thoughts on Stroman as a starter?You think DJ Davis will ever be able to hit enough to be a good outfielder?
Stroman has the stuff to start but his fastball is pretty flat, a function of his height. I think he's got all the mental variables you'd want to see in a starter, but he might just end up too homer-prone to stay in the rotation.
At what age would you have your son start going to larger baseball camps? 12/13 or wait until high school.consider we are in Colorado which isn't a hotbed. He is 5'7" 145 at 11 playing P and the corners
I'd let his performance tell you. If he's overmatching the competition, then it's fair to push him.
Kaleb Cowart: realistic 3B solution in a few years or better to start looking around elsewhere?
As far as what you said about Cleveland signing Swisher, I feel the same about Chicago and Edwin Jackson. Agree?
I think Jackson's more likely to hold his value.
You OK with the Nats re-upping LaRoche if its something like 2/$27??
Doesn't Vargas seem like a meh return for Morales? I know he eats innings but his peripherals are really bad.
What's Morales, really? Missed almost two years, then posted a .320 OBP as a 1b in almost a full season in 2012.
no reduced rate to become an Insider this xmas?
I've tweeted the link a few times. Not sure if it's still active but try this: http://es.pn/VLSnh2
Cheesecake or Pecan Pie?
Cheesecake is disgusting.
Looks like Michael Young is a stop-gap to Cody Asche in 2014. You see anything from Asche to think he's the answer at 3B? At least until Franco's ready?
I think Asche is another stopgap.
Do you still think I'm not an MLB shortstop?
.248/.304/.349 with most of your AB coming ahead of the pitcher (that is, artificially spiking your walk rate). Yeah, I still think that.
It has been said that even the most judicious of foodies have a guilty pleasure that is horrible for them. Mine is Twizzlers. Are Oreos far and away yours?
No question. I can also eat an entire bag of Trader Joes BBQ Popped Potato Chips (or the Popchips brand) in one sitting.
I've noticed you rank a lot of players as "4th outfielder" "25th man" etc. Do you feel there is enough talent in MLB to actually have starting caliber players for each team (distribution of those players notwithstanding)?
No, I wouldn't expect that. You should always see a handful of below-average starters across MLB. The distinction between a below-average OF and a 4th OF is pretty slight.
So the Royals finally look like they are gonna be competitive next year. Oh, and the world ends in the next 36 hours. Is this the curse of Kansas City or what?
Wouldn't know. They're still mad at me because I said their GM, like all other human beings, is subject to moral hazard.
Do you have any tips for making sushi rice? And what's better for the O's? JJ at SS, Machado at 3B or Machado at SS, JJ at 2B?
I use Joy of Cooking's recipe and it works well. Letting the rice sit a good ten minutes after it's done cooking seems to help. I want Machado at SS for his long-term development.
Who is more likely to rebound: Desmond Jennings or Dustin Ackley?
I'm still in on both.
Keith. I was asked to buy a cookbook for my fiance for christmas. Any of them I absolutely MUST own?
Ruhlman's Twenty. All my cookbook recs are here: http://klaw.me/TLFv3i
Are you as morbidly intrigued by the prospect of a sports league committing suicide like the NHL is doing? Even as a Canadian where being a hockey fan is mandatory I have to admit the prospect would be a fabulous cautionary tale.
Yes, as someone who grew up as a big hockey fan, I find it fascinating. I'm very curious to see what rises from its ashes - demand for hockey still exists, so something will emerge to fill such a gap.
I thought the biggest issue in trading d'Arnaud was not necessarily losing him, but being locked into Arencibia behind the plate. Does he still hold value because of his power? Should there be a time share with him and Thole?
Arencibia shouldn't start for anyone, and I think the Jays are well aware of that.
I believe you recently indicated you were giving Arrested Development another try. Did you finish the Series, or was it not to your liking?
Watched the first two full seasons. Enjoyed it much more this time. The first episode I ever saw, with Martin Short, remains the worst one I've seen.
What will you be eating on Christmas Day?
Still undecided. Just the three of us so I can keep it modest.
What do you think is the next popular sport? Seems odd that in 200 years three sports (baseball, football, and basketball) will still be dominating interest when they were all invented within 50-60 years of each other.
I thought indoor lacrosse would break through nationally but both that and the original version remain pretty regionally limited.
By my count, six catchers had a higher BR WAR than Arencibia. When you say "he shouldn't start for anyone", maybe you're overvaluing the catching market?
More likely WAR isn't the be-all and end-all for discussions of player value, amirite?
Keith, Matt Barnes more of a relief prospect at this point?
Starter. Good one, not an ace.
Do you watch Homeland? Have watched Season 1 and the first episodes of season 2 in the last week. Pretty addictive. Also, do you prefer to watch these types of shows 1 hour per week or in bunches.
Yes, reviewed S2 on the dish the other day. Prefer one a week, actually. Marathon viewings make me antsy.
Nieuwenhuis, Valdespin, Cowgill: can any of them post average defense in CF or league average bat?
None of the above.
Which contract and player would you have taken if you were the Cubs GM Anibal Sanchez 5yr/$80 or Edwin Jackson 4yr/$52?
Jack Morris - Deserving HOFer or Next Best Pitcher Who Isn't In, So We Better Get Him In There?
He's not even the next best pitcher who isn't in. He's not even the next-best next best pitcher who isn't in. He's a way for revisionist, reactionary writers to tell you that what you know from the historical record actually happened didn't actually happen because WE THE WRITERS TOLD YOU SO.
Honestly, if you vote for Jack Morris, you do not understand how to separate team results into individual contributions in baseball. This isn't a question of precision. Voting for Morris is directionally incorrect.
Is 2013 "make or break" for Colby Rasmus? Have to think the Jays org will make a decision one way or the other with Anthony Gose seemingly ready to play full time CF.
Yes. If he's not already broke. Gose ain't ready for full-time duty, though. The paperboy just put a little spin on Gose's morning LA Times and Gose swung and missed.
(That joke worked much better when newspapers were a thing.)
Have you seen any of Puig this winter? How has he been? Thanks
Missed AFL after surgery to address a staph infection.
Klaw - does alt-j pull an Arcade Fire at the next Grammy Awards and shock the world?
They were eligible this year and received no nods. Nor did Of Monsters and Men. So I won't be watching the Granny Awards this year, I guess.
Is Justin Smoak just about done?
That's my guess.
My favorite pro-Morris argument is "He was the best pitcher of the 80s so he has to get in" as if the decade from 1980-89 means more than, say, '76-85 or '92-01.
Argument from arbitrary endpoints.
Who are the next two best pitchers not in the Hall of Fame?
I have said this before but Dave Stieb belongs in the Hall before Jack Morris. This shouldn't even be in dispute.
Do you like the song Miss Atomic Bomb by The Killers?
I would say that being the best pitcher of an entire 10-year stretch of baseball would warrant Hall of Fame induction. Problem is, he wasn't the best pitcher of the 80's.
Agreed, but the argument isn't that Morris (or whoever) was the best pitcher for each of those ten years, but was somehow the best pitcher over the (arbitrary) ten-year period in aggregate.
How surprising to you is the lack of development of Rasmus? Does TLR & co. get most of the blame, or does it fall more in the category that some guys just don't pan out as expected?
Have to put some blame on Rasmus at this point. He got out of St. Louis and hasn't improved.
Where do you think Hicks should start the season? AAA or trial by fire?
AAA. Still a fan, but he's developed slowly so far and there's no reason to rush him now.
When are you releasing your Top 100 prospects? Late January or after the Super Bowl?
Right after the Super Bowl.
Do you think Toronto will continue to bet on precieved "lower character" guys like Rasmus and Yunel now that both haven't really panned out?
I don't think they were betting on bad-character guys so much as they were betting on guys who appeared to be undervalued by their then-current teams.
I've read several arguments that Mike Piazza doesn't belong in the HOF (steroids aside). Ummm....isn't that pretty ridiculous?
Yes. Totally ridiculous.
you think anything would go differently if the 2012 draft were re-held today? Who would move up, who would move down?
Addison Russell would go in the top ten, for sure.
The contestants who previously competed on Top Chef and returned for another go this year have been a major disappointment, no?
Can we expect Soler to be a better prospect than Almora since he seems to have better plate discipline ?
You're basing the plate discipline assessment on under 300 at bats combined for both players. I can't back that.
Is alt-J love by you a joke? I tried it. Videos are great, but it's sooooo slow.
Best album I've heard in a decade. If you think it's slow, perhaps you were listening to alt-f4 by mistake.
Is there McDonald's in your commute...the McRib is Back!!!
Sorry, I only discuss food here.
In your write up of the Dickey trade you made the point that, despite the extension, the Jays were only trading for 1 year of Dickey. But wouldn't it be correct to say that the Mets are only offering 1 year of Dickey (since that's all they own the rights to), but that when judging the Jays side of the trade it should be assessed against 3 years, $31M since the trade was conditional on the extension?
No. The Jays acquired one year of Dickey for the players they gave up. They paid him for the other two years. This comes up every time there's a trade-and-sign deal and the answer will never change.
Shouldn't the Cubs be seriously trying to pry Giancarlo Stanton with a package of Baez, Vogelbach and even Castro?
Yes because I'm sure including a short-season player with no position other than DH will really appeal to the Marlins.
OK, we all get you love the Oreos. What about a book, magazine, or TV show that you know is just bad or vulgar, but you still find yourself consuming? I assume you aren't a Jersey Shore fanatic, but there must be something...
Nothing comes to mind for books (for just pure pleasure I read Wodehouse, Christie, Stout ... nothing to be ashamed of there) or magazines (I just don't read them). My wife likes the NCIS shows and I'll watch them just to hang out with her; that's easily the lowest-quality TV show I watch.
If you think that fans/bloggers/writers overvalue prospects more than executives do, do you consider that to be true of yourself as well? And maybe everybody shouldn't be quite so critical of some of the trades we've seen this offseason?
I don't consider that of myself; if I did, I would adjust my values of said players. If criticism bothers you, go watch PBS Sprout.
Keith, even though I know that you hate all holidays (especially my favorite), just a note to say Happy Holidays to you.
To you as well - and to all of you. Whatever holiday(s) you celebrate, be safe and spread joy. I'll be back for another chat in January.