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January 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

To Klawchat in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.

Trevor (NY)

When are the top 100/team top 10 lists coming out?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Right after the Super Bowl, same as last year.

Rick (Virginia Piedmont)

Keith: Should the Tigers take a flyer on Brian Wilson, so as to ease the pressure on Bruce Rondon?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Speaking as a general skeptic on Rondon, they should sign/add someone to fill that capital-C Closer role.

Tom (LA)

Is Will Middlebrooks or Xander Bogaerts the better long-term option at 3B as opposed to the outfield, defensively?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

What if Bogaerts stays at short? That's not as unlikely today as it looked a year ago.

Colin (Illinois)

Admittedly Silly Question: Any way Cubs get Price on a deal for Baez (and whatever else) but not Soler and Almora? Is that even a good idea?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

You're right. Silly question.

Big Pete (House of Munch)

Does Ryan Wheeler profile as a regular/strong side of a platoon at 3B? What's your take on his defense?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Can't play third.

stan (nyc)

ALL THE PICKLES, KEITH.

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

All your pickles are belong to us.

Mechelle (New York)

Was Santa Klaws good to you?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

I got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Damn right he was.

Steve (California)

Well, MLB has certainly seemed to ruck up the whole FA compensation thing again, haven't they?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Yep. You could write a book on the economics of unintended consequences based solely on MLB's own proposals in CBA negotiations.

@GimpedPimp403 (Canada)

Is Sean Nolin a legit prospect? If so, what's his ceiling? Seemed to handle the late season jump to AA just fine, SSS obviously though.

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

A prospect, yes. An elite one, no.

Matt (somewhere out there)

I'm sure you didn't watch, but any thoughts the Louisville Cardinals pulling the biggest upset in BCS bowl history (both betting line, and ranking disparity)?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

You're right. I didn't watch.

Allan (Wisconsin)

Keith, how polished is Lewis Brinson, is he more of an athlete or baseball player to you at this stage in his development?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Rangers made some significant changes to his swing last summer that turned him from tools guy to potential impact hitter. Very impressed to see how quickly he took to the adjustments.

Joe (Chicago)

Will Brett Jackson of the Cubs ever be more than just another replacement level player or do you believe altering his swing this off season will help him reduce his strikeouts enough to make him an effective 4th outfielder?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

It's not impossible, but it is unlikely that these swing changes - which haven't appeared in a game yet - will help him boost his contact rate to a playable level.

Tim (Philadelphia)

No faux-hall of fame ballot for you this year? Just too busy with other stuff?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

Posted it in the 11/29 chat: Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Raines, Trammell, Schilling, Edgar, Biggio, Piazza, McGwire.

Ryan (MA)

Should the Sox offer Middlebrooks the original Longoria contract?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

No.

Harry (NJ)

Who is the more well rounded SS - Carlos Correa or Addison Russell?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

Russell. I don't think Correa stays at short.

Andrew (CA)

Will Yu Darvish lead the AL in Ks this season? Slider is unhittable when he's on.

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

The version of Darvish we saw in the second half could easily lead the league in Ks or even in fWAR.

yardisiak (CT)

Least talked about Yankee prospect you like? Most talked about you hate?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Is there such a thing as a Yankee prospect who isn't talked about?

Joe (Nevada)

Does the BBWAA understand that in their efforts to "protect the integrity" of the Hall of Fame, they're really just making it irrelevant to most fans in the 20-40 year old age range? And since those fans are the ones currently introducing their children to MLB, they're ensuring that it will remain irrelevant for a long time?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Not only that, but the stain of inanity is bleeding over into the BBWAA as a whole. If you want to make sure that the next generation of fans gets its news and analysis from non-traditional sources, this is a pretty good way to do it.

Paul (Boston)

How do you see Adam Eaton faring as an everday OF for Snakes?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

I don't get the sense they're going to give him the chance, but I think he'd be an above-average regular if they allowed him to play CF everyday.

Matt (NJ)

Hey Keith, Appell still 1-1 for you? do any of the prep bats have a chance of moving into that slot in your mind?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

Still 1-1, yes, but with the caveat that the gap between him and Manaea/Stanek is small.

Paul (Boston)

Where will Correa like end up?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

Third, like, base.

Mike (Mission Viejo)

Is Seager a legit prospect for the Dodgers? How long until he is up with the Dodgers?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

I'm a big fan. Potential star, but have to think 3+ years away.

Steve (SD)

Which teams have the worst uniforms in baseball? I think Milwaukee and the White Sox. Both should go back to their retros, the MB for the Brewers and the batter for the Sox.

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Cleveland, what with the offensive racial term splattered all over them.

KC (Allentown, PA)

Which geographic area in the USA plays the best High School baseball?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Southern California, over Texas, Florida, and Georgia.

Derek (New Jersey)

How do you think Javy Vazquez will perform this year, given the chance?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I'm clearing room on my CYA ballot in anticipation.

BD (DC)

Is there anyone to be excited about in the Nats' draft, as we wait for Giolito to recover?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

They put all their eggs in that one basket.

Jeremy (Scottsdale)

Tim Wheeler a legit prospect for the Rockies? or more of a 4A type player?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Platoon guy most likely.

Liam M (London)

Happy New Year, Keith! A writer has announced today that he's voting solely for Jack Morris on his Hall of Fame ballot. Is that the worst one so far?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

The blank ballot "statement" is the worst, as I would consider that - using the ballot for personal gain - as an abuse of privilege. Morris alone is worse than Murphy alone, IMO.

Asher (Brooklyn)

Are you a Stryker Trahan guy? Seems like his combo of patience and tools is pretty rare.

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

I am, although I acknowledge he needs more work behind the plate.

David (St. Louis)

Wait, "Indians" is an offensive racial term?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Not if we're referring to folks from Chennai or Bangalore - although I still wouldn't want that to be a sports team nickname.

Mike (San Diego)

In addition to the 10 that you "voted" for, are there any other eligible players who you think are deserving?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

I'm on the fence about Larry Walker, but if I'd had an open spot, I would probably have included him.

Ken (MA)

I think the problem with FA isn't the compensation, it's the restrictions on how teams can spend their money. If teams could spend what they want on draft picks and/or international signings, they would be a lot more willing to part with a pick to sign a FA since they would be able to make up the loss by paying whatever it took to sign players taken lower in the draft. In other words, the draft salary cap is what inhibits some of these signings not the compensation per se. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

I agree with this. MLB really botched the draft/IFA system, in my view. Eliminate the restrictions there and let the market determine what is reasonable to spend there.

Robert (Killeen, TX)

I don't know if Indians is offensive, though it isn't exactly appropriate. The caricature that goes along with it, on the other hand, is definitely offensive.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

It's inaccurate. The people referred to by that term are not from India. It's perpetuating a 500-year-old mistake (something we as humans are pretty good at doing, by the way). Would you accept a team known as the Ypsilanti Arabs? The Brooklyn Jews? If not, why accept the Cleveland Indians, or even the Cleveland Native Americans?

Brian (Atlanta)

Is there a scout, front office member, executive, or analyst anywhere in baseball that seriously thinks Dan Vogelbach could ever play anywhere but 1B or DH in the majors? Because many Cubs fans expect a shift to LF is in his future, and that just seems silly.

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

I don't even think he can play first. Any fan who thinks he can play left field is living in an alternate reality.

Joseph (Seattle)

Hearing great reports on Luiz Gohara. What's your take?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

Saw him in rookie ball. Liked what I saw, has potential for a plus curveball, good size, velocity isn't there yet. For what they paid him, I thought it was an impressive set of tools.

Tom (Chicago)

Does Erik Johnson (white sox) have #3 upside? Gavin Floyd a decent comp?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

No, under that.

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Sorry, chat software is extremely slow today.

Dan (Baltimore)

How much does an MLB scout make in salary?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

I believe area scouts start in the $30-40K range, depending on the team and area.

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Sorry, the chat software is extremely slow today. I don't see #3 upside there.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Sorry, the chat software is extremely slow today. I don't see #3 upside there.

Glenn (Fresno)

What a croc! With the logic of the 'Indians' then the 'Brewers' are all alcoholics. Let's just change all sports team names to 'Things' that can't fight back; Cardinals, Orioles, Cubs, Sox, etc.

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

Um, don't the brewers make the beer?

Mike (Atl)

Braves: Racist or less racist than Indians?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

There's no such thing as "a little bit racist."

Drew (Mpls)

It sounds like the Twins will give Hicks a shot to win the CF job. I know you've said it's too soon but do you think doing it stunts his growth as a player or just that he'll add minimal value to the big club?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I'm worried about his development, since he's been a bit of a slow starter. Has the tools, certainly - that's why I left him on my top 100 last year even after the disappointing season.

Ben (NJ)

Glenn from Fresno seems pretty reasonable, spelling crock like crocodile to further his point.

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

I assumed he was talking about the shoes.

Chris (CA)

How realistic is it to expect Addison Russell to be in the majors by midseason 2014?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

Unlikely but not impossible.

Andrew Brotherton (Atlanta, GA)

Do you think during the next CBA negotiations they rework the draft and IFA limits?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Doubtful, except maybe limiting the compensation pick process some more. The union has no incentive to fight for the rights of non-members.

Brian C. (Denver)

Change the team names to, "things that can't fight back." Nice thought, but I think you can only use the nickname, "Frenchman," so many times.

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

I fart in your general direction!

Matt S (Indy)

Everyone's a little bit racist/Avenue Q'd

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Sucks to be you.

Steve (California)

In the spirit of LCK, can we vote who we want to kick off Top Chef? Josie would win in a landslide.

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Absolutely. Funny how many of you are saying the same thing in here. As badly as John came off this week and last, she's been that bad all season.

Rick (TX)

Have you ever made risotto before? Is a flat pot absolutely necessary?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Flat on the cooktop, yes. But I can't imagine a restaurant kitchen wouldn't have something as good as the consumer-level stuff I have at home.

Ben (NJ)

Without getting into comps, could Rendon be a star if he reaches full potential?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Yes, absolutely.

Jeff ((MA))

Hi Keith, love your book reviews on The Dish. Do you plan on tackling Infinite Jest any time soon? I'm about 75% through it and it's impressive in its scope and depth. Would love to get your take some day.

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

Yes. Currently reading The Poisonwood Bible, and going to tackle Gravity's Rainbow this month - Mike Schur suggested I read GR before Infinite Jest - so I'll probably get to IJ later this spring.

nick (OB)

Favorite fruit?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

Peach. I do dare.

Nate (KCMO)

Thoughts on the 10-player HOF ballot limit?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

First time I can remember it posing a problem. Arbitrary figure, of course, but the odds of this happening were infitesimal before the whole anti-PED nonsense started.

Sage (Chicago)

Nice name drop on Mike Schur...what a big shot. Will S.Sosa get the HoF votes ?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

My bad, Will Leitch told me never to drop names. No on Sosa.

Jason (St Louis)

Do you own one of those Bob Cramer knives?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

No, but I hear Jerry Manuel does.

Mike (San Diego)

Any other thoughts on Miguel Tejada having a job other than "LOL"?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

No, that's pretty much it.

Chris (Allentown, PA)

Patrick Kivlehan of the Mariners... Big East MVP, Northwest League MVP... high strikeout rate, low walk rate, but improved each month of the year in that regard. Considering his long time away from the game as a football player and good general results... decent chance he makes it to the big leagues regardless of whether he sticks at 3B or has to move to an OF corner?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Doubt it. Just an older guy facing weak competition. Not a 3b.

Ryan (MA)

After watching his 2011 age-22 starts on mlb do com, I think Rubby De La Rosa has been massively underplayed as part of The Trade as has his future impact on the Red Sox. I've seen people say he is going to end up in the bullpen. There is absolutely no way. Where do you see him settling in, middle of a rotation guy?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

I see him as a starter too. I wonder if he's been undersold because he's not on prospect lists, so it's harder to say that "he was the Nth best prospect in LA's system" to summarize his value in a few words.

ugglas arms (FL)

Thoughts on gattis? Serious power right? Should get a shot at LF imo

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Serious power. Not much else.

Billy (CO)

Can CJ Cron play the field at all, or is he a DH only? Does he have the bat to profile as a DH only?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Most likely a DH. More likely to play first than Vogelbach.

Steve (California)

Never thought of asking you this, but tis the season...Keith Hernandez a HOFer for you? Things he did well (defense & OBP) were so underappreciated during his career, not to mention park effects.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I think the argument for him is that he was one of the best defensive 1b of all time, and might have been the best, so even if his resume doesn't meet the general standard for position players, you're putting him in as the best ever at one specific important skill. I thought that was Mazeroski's real case, even if he mostly got in because of that one HR.

Jeff (Chicago)

Which of the TC dishes has your mouth watering the most?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Padma.

Fred (NYC)

Better 1 year deal: Javy Vazquez or Lance Berkman? Any chance either one replicates their last full season in the majors?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Vazquez.

Brian C. (Denver)

Assuming he recieves at least 500 AB's, what kind of numbers could Wil Myers put in the majors for this upcoming season? Also, I've heard chatter Maddon will keep Jennings in LF, in anticipation of Myers playing CF regularly. Does Myers have the chops for CF?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

That doesn't make sense to me - Jennings is the far better defender already, and Myers is going to get bigger to the point where CF may not be an option at all.

J (Boston)

alt-J sold out show at Paradise Rock Club, face value $20, secondary market: $66. worth it?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

I thought they put on a great show, a little uneven, but also very bold because their setup was so minimal. They played the whole album, the track from Silver Linings Playbook, and a Dr. Dre/Kylie Minogue mashup.

Nick (Detroit)

I'm having an argument with my boss(a Chicago native) on why Alan Trammell should be in the Hall of Fame. Could you please help me out here?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

His case, and his problem, is that he spent most of his career as the second-best defensive SS in the majors and the second-best offensive SS in the majors, behind two HoFers. After Trammell retired, the nature of the position changed. But on his own merits, compared to his peers and historical standards at SS, he's clearly deserving.

Mike (PA)

I may be wrong, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of focus on developing managers in the minor league systems. Why don't teams approach it more like their player development. Theoretically, a younger manager can be "groomed" and will have experience working with some of the MLB players as they progress through the minors.

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Agree completely. Definitely a lost opportunity.

Andrew Brotherton (Atlanta, GA)

How does this draft stack up as compared to the previous few years? I've noticed a lot of high school catchers but possibly not as many high ceiling pitchers?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Weak. Right now it's lighter than 2012's draft, especially on the HS side.

Aaron (Atlanta)

Got Ruhlman's 20 for Christmas based on your recommendation. I'm about halfway through. Love it so far. And all of the recipes I've tried have been fantastic.

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Glad you liked it. It's a must-have for any serious home cook. I reviewed it in 2011, for those who are interested: http://klaw.me/tGHSWx

Jake (Detroit)

Where do you stand on Lou Whitaker as a HOFer?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Belongs. But he's off the ballot.

J (Boston)

the Blogger that put Morris only on his HOF ballot also wrote, "When I worked for The New York Times, I tried more than once to write about Piazza and steroids, but the baseball editor said I couldn't because his name hadn't been linked to steroids.I can link his name to steroids, I countered, but I had to wait until I started this Web site to talk about Piazza's acne-covered back, a generally accepted telltale sign of steroids use."

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Well, the editor's refusal to print that is a positive point in favor of traditional media - the claim didn't meet the paper's standards for accuracy in reporting. As for the "generally accepted" part, that's an appeal to popularity - just because lots of people believe something doesn't make it true. A *scientifically proven* sign of steroid use would be compelling. A "generally accepted" sign, accepted by unknown persons, is not.

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

I should point out that ESPN.com holds us to the same standard. If I had heard that, say, David Eckstein was a steroid user, I could not say so, even in chat or on Twitter, without discussing it without our news desk and showing that my information met their standards for accuracy and reliability.

Colman (Toronto)

Not saying either belongs, but doesn't Stieb have a better HOF case than Morris?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Clearly yes.

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

You get 1 rule change involving on field play, what is it? For me, you bring in a reliever, he has to finish the inning.

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Plate-blocking on collisions. Catcher can't obstruct the runner, runner can't bowl the catcher over.

Jason (St Louis)

Subtle and not so subtle racism is alive and well in this country. I picked up five books off the Klaw 101 for xmas. Blood Meridian, the Risk Pool, Empire Falls, Straight Man and the Grapes of Wrath. Which one do I tackle first?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Empire Falls.

Seth (LA)

Why oh why is there a Jerry Sands-Matt Holliday comparison going around?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Is the comparison "Jerry Sands has no chance to be as good as Matt Holliday?" I'm okay with that.

Steve (Brooklyn)

Next time you come to NYC you've got to get out to Park Slope and Talde, Dale's new restaurant. A Troutian rookie year.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Will do.

Brian (Milford, CT)

Kind of disappointing Top Chef season so far. Seems like the second straight where one contestant is far and away better then everyone else.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Agreed.

Eric (Chicago) [via mobile]

Why "no" on Sosa?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Very short peak.

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

OK, that's all for this week. I'm on today's Baseball Today podcast, and my top 25 players under age 25 (non-rookies) will go up next Thursday. Thanks for all the questions.