Let's eat some cheese and crackers and talk some baseball ...
I live in St. Louis and I am glad too see Stan get his due. I wonder what will happen in 50 years when Albert Pujols passes away. I watched the first decade of his career and it was something truly incredible. I wouldn't trade what I saw him do in St. Louis for nearly anything and I don't care that he left. I know this isn't really a question, but....
It's a good point, however, Zack. How will some of these modern guys be viewed? They have their money but those who move around will never be as beloved as the old guys. Guys like Jeter and Rivera and Chipper being the rare exceptions.
Do you think most baseball players care about being a "first ballot" Hall of Famer? Why does it matter if they get in the first time or not? Don't you think most would be happy just to eventually get in?
For the most part, no. I think it's mostly a creation by the writers.
Nothing makes you want to talk about Hot Stove more than Zero degree windchill factor!
Too cold to take the puppy for a walk! Which means he just peed before the chat began.
Out of spite, I think. Or maybe because of the John Jaso-Mike Morse trade.
Enjoy your chats as always David. John Gibbons announced the top 5 in his lineup.... I smell a lot of runs!Reyes, Melky, Bautista, EE and Lawrie. Does anyone in the east have a better quintet?
I don't think so, not if Bautista stays healthy and Lawrie improves like I think he will. Even with a little regression from EE and Melky, the Jays are going to score a lot of runs. Imagine if Lind comes close to 2009 ... OK, wishful thinking.
Seattle resident; O's fan... What will the Mariners do with Smoak? Is he toast? AAA until he figures something out? He finished strong, would that be enough for another team to target him? Maybe a Smoak and Chris Davis reunion...
Triple-A is pointless at this time. We know he can't hit in Triple-A. It's possible he could still get time -- Morse in left, Montero behind the plate and Morales at DH. So he gets three months to show something, until Zunino is ready to move behind the plate and move Montero to first or DH.
Bowden thinks the Marlins should try and extend Stanton. I realize he isn't exactly the happiest guy, but at his age would he really turn down a Andrew McCutchen/ Justin Upton deal?
The Marlins will have to pay more than the Pirates gave McCutchen, which looks like a sweetheart deal now for Pittsburgh. Not foolish, but position players can take the risk. If I'm a young pitcher, I definitely pocket the money.
I was wondering what you think about the cubs trading castro, jackson and someone else for David Price? what you think?
No way. Jackson isn't that good and I wouldn't trade Price for Castro. I guess it's not a ridiculous offer, but I'm not a huge Castro fan. Not sure he's really going to improve much.
David, who are a few of your breakout candidates for this year?
Hmm ... I should think about this more, but how about: Kyle Seager (actually pretty good last year) and Jesus Montero (Mariners moving in fences will help all Seattle hitters), Eric Hosmer (still on the bandwagon) ...
It won't be a breakout, but I think Jason Heyward may make The Leap (with the bat, he's already there with the glove). I like Brandon Belt as a 15-18 homer guy with an OBP near .400.
Brett Lawrie, mentioned earlier, disappointment at the plate last year, but I think he can be a 20-25 homer guy.
What are you expecting from Pineda in 2013?
Not much. Doesn't sound like any plans for him until the second half. Yankees have the rotation depth to be very cautious.
David Price will likely be a free agent soon. Why would the Cubs trade good pieces now when they might be able to sign Price later at the point they are ready to contend?
And then there's that.
Who is the Yankees opening day 3B?
Youkilis. Unless he got injured in the past three days and I missed it.
Stan the Man, Bonds, Williams and Rickey. That's 4 of the best 15 players ever and they are LF's. Can you think of another position that is so stacked with 4 or more of the top 15-20 players of all time?
Mays, Cobb, Mantle, DiMaggio ... you could make an argument for center field.
I would pick Stan the Man as the best LF ever for sure, especially since I was in Panama where my dad was stationed when I became a baseball fan. Looking around MLB, it was easy for me to pick Musial as my favorite player and become a Cards fan - something even my dad (an avid Cubs fan) understood completely.There was never a better man with that much talent at any point in my life, at any rate. Still a cards fan despite never living anywhere near St Louis. Thanks for the article
Might Bryce Harper make "the leap" this year?
Well, I guess it depends on how big of a leap ... can he hit .300 with 30 homers? I'm not *exactly* confident he's going to be a consistent .300 hitter, but certainly eight more home runs wouldn't be a surprise, and I wouldn't be shocked if he hits 35. But if I had to predict, I'll say the leap comes at 21 or 22. Griffey's big power surge didn't come until 23.
DAvid, does Homer Bailey continue to improve and finally reach that #1 potential??
I like Bailey a lot, but don't think he has the knockout pitch to be a No. 1. But solid No. 3, close to a 2 if everything breaks his way.
Is it possible the Yankees will actually be underrated coming into this year? The rotation should be above average and they are always near the top in runs scored.
I do think they're underrated, mainly because of the rotation depth. Their offense is one-dimensional (or two: power and walks) but it's a pretty good dimension. I don't believe the collapse comes this year.
what's the hold up on a Hardy/Porcello deal?
Porcello isn't that good?
What is your best guess for where Michael Bourn will land?
Texas ... can't think of another great option, unless he goes back to Atlanta. Orioles would be a nice fit, but Adam Jones just won a GG, so they're not going to move him to left (even though Bourn is the better defender).
Ryan Raburn to the Indians? Because what team doesn't want a guy that can't field, hit or run.
Jays sign Mark DeRosa! AL East - we're coming for ya!!!
Its always fun to think about how awesome your prospects are, but is the real value provided by minor leaguers the fact they provide decent players at low money? That way you don't have to hand out 8 figure salaries to the Earvin Santanas and Shane Victorinos of the world.
Well, yes, but you do need them to be good. The Giants didn't win because Posey, Panda and Bumgarner were cheap, but because they were cheap AND good. Obviously, if your farm system can produce inexpensive talent, you can go out and overpay for free agents to fill out your team.
I know its early, but am I crazy for getting angry the Braves have not started locking up their young talent? With their tight budget, they should approach Prado, Heyward, Medlen, Minor, Beachy, Freeman, Kimbrel, and even Simmons all with deals to lock up their Arb and a few years of FA right? Seems to me they are losing money by the day.
Good point. Considering many young players are so willing to sign long-term deals, it's a bit odd the Braves haven't locked up anybody. Wonder how many of those guys are Boras guys ...
Porcello isn't that good? You put a good infield behind him and he wins 15 to 17 games a year. Either you don't watch the tigers or just don't like them.
There's SOME truth to that, but Porcello also has no strikeout pitch. He hasn't improved in four seasons. And any pitcher is better with a good infield behind him. He's a decent No. 5 starter, maybe a 4 and he hasn't been hurt, but I'm not a big fan.
Think long-term deals get done for Mat Latos and Homer Bailey. If those guys are locked up, I could see the Reds contending for quite some time.
Somebody asked about Bailey, but Latos is the guy who has ace potential.
Do you see Samardzija reaching/approaching ace status, or is he a 2 or 3?
Didn't see much of him (sorry, didn't watch the Cubs much last year), so I'm going on the numbers, which are pretty good. Needs to prove his durability before saying he has ace potential, but with his stuff and K rate, looks like a No. 2. Who would have thought that a year ago?
Who would you take long-term? Trout or Harper? Best rookie season ever versus best rookie season under 20? Lots of factors to consider.
I'd go with Trout. I think the defense and stolen bases put Trout over the top. And while we project more power growth for Harper, who's to say Trout can't be a 40-homer guy?
True of False Schoenfield: Ross Detwiler is the second best pitcher on the Nats staff?
Who's the best? I'm telling you ... there isn't a weakness on that team. I don't want to predict 110 wins, but ... I think they could win 110 if they stay healthy. They need a couple hitters to have MVP-type years for that to happen -- Zimmerman and Harper being the best bets. What a club. Enjoy them this year.
Did you hear the reports of Seattle offering the King another 4 years and 100 millions? If this does happen, how happy would you be.
At this point, they need to make it happen. You can't go into next year with that weighing over the team. And since teams players don't like to negotiate during the season, you have to think if it's going to happen, it happens before the season starts.
Who do you think has the best under 28 talent that is already in the majors? Braves, Rangers, Rays? I would say Braves.
Or Nats -- Strasburg, Harper, Desmond, Espinosa, Ramos, Zimmerman, Detwiler, I think Gio may still be under 28.
I agree that Porcello has not lived up to the hype (in fact his numbers have shown that he's regressed since his rookie season). However he's had the one of, if not the highest ground ball % in MLB the past couple of seasons, so while he might not have a K pitch, his sinker definitely serves it's purpose very well. Coupled with the fact that he's still very young (24, I think) with room to mature, and that fact that Hardy is not a key piece (they do, after all want to put Machado in a SS), I think it'd be a decent trade if the Tigers thrown in maybe some low to mid tier propects as well.
Who plays 3B for the Orioles if Machado is at shortstop? Considering they have Hammel, Britton, Tillman, Gonzalez and Chen, with Bundy on the way, and maybe Matusz having one more chance at the rotation, I'm not sure trading Hardy for another starter who isn't an obvious upgrade is the best use of resources for the O's.
Does Seattle trade for another starter before the start of the season? If so, who do you think they're seriously considering?
They need another guy after trading Vargas. I could see them signing one of the remaining free agents. Joe Saunders?
Who is the best pitcher in the game, and how close is #2?
Verlander and Kershaw. Close. Very close.
Do you think Medlen can be as successful as he was last year?
Not AS good, of course, but very good. That changeup is ridiculous. How about 17-18 wins, ERA of 2.75?
Is Justin Smoak a Seattle Mariner on April 1? August 1?
None of those Braves guys are Boras clients. That why I dont get it. Which 3 would you try to sign first?
Heyward, Medlen and Simmons.
For whatever reason, the Tigers score runs when Porcello is on the mound. He generally ranks pretty high in run support. He's a perfect case for why wins are a terrible way to evaluate a pitcher.
So the DBacks traded Trevor Bauer, but it's tough to find much information on Didi Gregorious. Is he an elite defender at SS?
From what I've read, yes.
Nats are obviously the #1 team going into 2013 season. Who would be your #2 and 3?
I originally had the Reds No. 2, but I think I would adjust that. No Houston to beat up on, Cubs should be better. Maybe the Tigers with that rotation, additions of Hunter and V-Mart, subtraction of Delmon (!) and ... Yankees. I say that reluctantly until we now more about the status of Jeter and Rivera, but I think everyone is underestimating their pitching. But, really, I think you could easily make a claim for 10-12 teams at No. 2.
What kind of subway footlong is Ryan Howard? A Philly cheesesteak because it often misses its mark on taste and is way overpriced?
Curious to know your opinion of HOF voters who steadfastly refuse to vote for anyone during the 'steroid era'? IMO, they are a bunch whiny, petulant, vindictive and petty bunch., who are annoyed that the records of their childhood heroes were destroyed. It reeks of selective morality. Steroid abuse was rampant long before the Bash Bros showed up and we all know the history of greenies in 60/70's and the coke abuse of the 80's. Why selectively ignore the latter 2?
I don't think you can ignore an entire era of baseball. The game looked the other way (for too long) and so should the voters.
Rumors swirling about a Felix extension for 4/100 - sound about right to you?
Oh, yes, didn't answer that before: Seems about right given the Greinke contract. He'd probably get more than that on the market, but he's getting that deal two years before free agency. Fair for both sides.
Shouldn't Vargas be a similar pitcher for the Halos this year? Pitcher's park, great defense . . . can't be be a solid #3?
Exactly. From one pitcher's park to another, and as a fly ball guy with Trout and Bourjos behind you ... thank you very much. Nice pickup by the Angels.
best long term potential .. shelby miller, trevor bauer, chris tillmann?
Tough one. I believe all three made Keith Law's top 25 under 25 list. I think I'd put Bauer third, if only because of the organization. Yes, I know they have Francona, but I think he usually had a veteran staff in Boston. Did develop Lester. I guess Miller has the most potential if he can keep his head on straight.
You can add Span (28), Clippard (27), and Storen (25) to that 28 and under talent. You're right, the Nats have no weaknesses....
Were you surprised the Sox signed DeAza rather than trade him, especially since the press coming out was that the club had soured on him after his poor 2nd half?
Didn't he have an injury?
I hate the steroid guys. The problem is, you don't know who did it, who didn't and when they started. Is anyone above suspicion? Given what they did, would it be a huge surprise if we found out that Cal Ripken or Nolan Ryan used some form of PEDs? Its an impossible situation to figure out. The HOF needs to send out directives.
As a long-time Rangers fan, I can't get excited about this team knowing that Moreland is at 1B. I would give 1B to Kinsler and get Profar every day at-bats. Do you agree?
Moreland had a higher OPS than Kinsler last year, so ... no, I wouldn't necessarily do that.
"No Houston to beat up on"? Watch out, my Astros are going to shock the world and win 58 games this year. Heard it here first...
What do you thing the chances ....of Yankees trading one of both of Cano/Granderson?
Don't see it unless they're 15 out in July.
"Porcello isn't that good?" He's better than Jim Hoey!
That's bunch of ... oh, never mind.
Do real owners read as much as fantasy owners about how bad the WBC pitchers did in the regular season the last time around? Why would you let any of your arms do it?
Did they do that bad? I thought we ran an article saying that's a myth. And even if they DID do bad, there's no way to prove the correlation.
Also don't forget Arrieta in Baltimore. Matusz, Britton, and Arrieta were trumpeted as mid rotaion guys. Do you see any of them realizing that potential this year?
I still like Britton a lot; I think he'll be a very good starter. Much less confident in the other two, and Matusz was so good out of the pen maybe you just leave him there. Arrieta -- remember watching that dominant game he had against the Yankees and thought maybe he was turning the corner. But he wasn't. Can't stay healthy, but SO/BB ratio was better last year. Too many home runs. There's SOMETHING there, just not sure what. (My bet: Bullpen arm, spot starter.)
Do you see Madson winning and holding on to the Angels closer job, or will Friere be the guy?
Frieri was great as the closer. Angels' problems were in middle relief. And Madson may not be ready at the start of the season anyway, so if Frieri is closing, why would he lose his job? Could be wrong, and from a baseball standpoint, Angels may be better off with Frieri in middle relief anyway, but I think he ends up with more saves than Madson.
RE: Chris (Texas) i think you meant 48 games, not 58.
I have a questiobout Storen. Given his three pitch arsenal and the velo he seems able to maintain, I've always thought he could EASILY transition to a starter if the Nats were ever to give him the chance. Now with Soriano in tow for a few years, you think they may give him a chance to do just that?
Considering he was a reliever in college, seems unlikely. Plus -- I think the Nats love that end of the bullpen. And considering Clippard tired down the stretch each of the past two seasons, that should allow Davey to make sure all three are sharp come the playoffs.
Do you think Danny Hultzen can earn a rotation spot with a good spring training for the M's?
Unlikely. Needs to show he can throw strikes in Triple-A. There IS a potential opening, but I think he heads down for a few months.
Wait, did you just say the O's may have too many decent options at SP? The world is upside down!
It's one reason the O's could be good again, even if the bullpen regresses some (which it will). They had a lot of bad starts last year. 20 to Tommy Hunter, 18 to Arrieta, 16 to Matusz, 11 to Britton. That's 65 starts with a collective ERA well over 5.00.
Who's the better hitter long term Lawrie or Machado?
I'll go with Machado. What, three years younger?
How will the Reds OF play out this year? I know the plan, but can Choo stick in CF everyday?
I think he ends up starting about 100 games there. He'll sit (or should sit) against a lot of lefties, and when Heisey spells Ludwick, Heisey should play center. Not that he's great out there either.
Who says I haven't tried to sign any of the Braves young talent? Fans, please don't act like you know what goes behind the scenes.
Of Miller, Bauer, and Tillman, only Tillman made Law's top 25 under 25 because players had to have exhausted rooke eligibility to qualify for the list.
Brain fart on my part. Good correction.
Most people expect Oscar Taveras to come up to majors this year. How is that gonna work out with Holliday, Beltran, Jay patrolling the outfield. Shouldn't he rather stay in minors and get consistent playing time?
I'm sure they'd call him up only if consistent playing time is available -- like an injury. He could probably outhit Jay right now, but Jay is the only true center fielder in the group.
When do you think we see Gerrit Cole debut this year?
Hearing talk that Scott Rolen might like to come back, but why exactly would the Reds want him back?
To the Reds? I'd heard some Dodgers rumors. Not sure why. He looks pretty done to me.
What's up Dave? Do you believe Greg Maddux will be unaminously voted in hall of famer next year or will one of these "tools" writers not vote for him because he's on the ballot for the first time.
Never been a unanimous guy so I'll say no. Heck, one or two guys will just accidently forget to vote for him. Then you'll probably have a few blank ballots again as well.
Javier Vazquez pitched very well in winter ball. Can he help a contender?
Who knows, but he was pretty good in 2011. I believe he's going to pitch in the WBC as well.
Please solve a bet for me! Better chance to win the 2013 World Series, the Angels or Dodgers. This takes into account the competition in each league and probability of actually winning. Not just who is better on paper. Thank you!
Dodgers. Two reasons: I think the NL is a little softer; and Kershaw/Greinke could be great in playoffs.
With Saunders, Morse, Gutierrez, and Bay around in the SEA OF, does Saunders get 500 abs? Does he derserve them or is he a platoon guy?
He should play every day. And he will. What are the odds of the other three all being healthy at the same time?
What are the A's going to do about a back-up SS? And how does 2B pan out with many pegging Scott Sizemore taking the 2B and Jemile Weeks in AAA? Wasn't Sizemore moved from 2B for a lack of range - by the Tigers? He's played almost twice as many games at 3B than at 2B at the major league level.
Great question. I don't quite get the Sizemore at 2B thing either. But, man, Weeks was so bad I can see why the A's don't want to just give him the job. Eric Sogard, Adam Rosales and Andy Parrino around to "battle" for back IF job.
What kind of prospect package is Giancarlo Stanton worth?
Probably take a team's top four prospects. And I mean a team with a good farm system.
That "wait for free agency" view of Price is really flawed. Absolutely no guarantee he ever gets there. When he's inevitably traded in a year or two, that team will probably want to sign Price long term.
What do you the chances of the nats signing both Strasburg and Harper are once their current contracts are up? I'm guesesing if you had to chose one you would pick harper since he plays everyday?
I think both will reach free agency considering their agent and yes on Harper for the reason you cited.
Do you think Uggie Urbina could light a fire under a team in need of relief help?
Is he even allowed in the country?
I know it's splitting hairs, but in your opinion, who has the better 1-5 in the lineup between the Angels and the Tigers?
Let's see: Trout, Kendrick (?), Hamilton, Pujols, Trumbo versus Jackson, Hunter, Cabrera, Fielder, Martinez? I give the slight edge to Detroit. Looks like better OBP from 1 to 5.
how many games do you think the cubs will win this year/
Shouldn't Angels fans be worried about their rotaion after Weaver?
I'm not watching ESPN until the Super Bowl is over. Can someone tell me which baseball team the Harbaughs rooted for when they were growing up?
Phills are looking into Delmon Young. That made me laugh really hard.
OK, chat software or my computer acting very clunky. Time to sign off. Thanks, everyone!