Oops, my apologies for the delay. Was writing the White Sox report card and lost track of the time. Let's go ...
is felix better than verlander?
How much concern do you have about King Felix going forward? If you look at the list of guys his age that have thrown that many innings it isn't pretty.
I think it depends on how far "going forward" means. Three years? Five years? Ten years? I'd compare him to CC, who is still going strong. Although CC only topped 200 innings once before age 26 and Felix did it four times. (Not that Felix was abused; he's been handled just fine). Anyway, overall, I'm not too worried. Never had any arm issues.
What are your thoughts about the Bourne situation. Do u think he'll get that huge deal he's hoping for I mean its spring training is less than a week away.
Doesn't appear to be the case. Nobody wants to give him big dollars AND lose their first-round pick. The MLBPA got snookered on this latest CBA by the owners. Basically, the owners managed to achieve exactly what they wanted: Limit the market for guys like Bourn and Lohse.
The biggest issue I have with the deal is that the 11th pick is considering the same as the 30th pick. Maybe they should have made it teams with a winning record lose their first-round pick or only the playoff teams.
Really you think Darwin Barney is the Cubs lone building block? Samardzija, Castro and Rizzo are the 3 building blocks, and Barney is solid complimentary piece.
That was sarcasm. Barney clearly rates behind those three guys, no matter how good his defensive metrics rated last year.
Where will Loshe be signed....and will he be signed before the start of spring training?
Who knows. Texas? Anaheim? Maybe he goes back to St. Louis? Maybe he waits and sees who comes up lame in spring training. Still hard to believe that a team drafting in 20 to 30 range wouldn't be willing to sign him.
David - Winner take all game, who do you want pitching? Flip side, bases loaded and 2 outs bottom of 9th, who do you want batting for you?
Sandy Koufax and Ted Williams ... oh, wait ... I want to say Verlander, but his track record in big games is mixed, so I'll go with Kershaw. Batting ... Miguel Cabrera.
How will Trevor Bauer do this season with the Indians?
I still see a guy with some command/control issues. I'll say ERA in the low 4s.
Dave: Max Scherzer and the TIgers avoided an arbitration hearing. That makes zero arbitration hearings for GM Dave Dombrowski in his many years with the club. Is he the top GM in the MLB, in your opinion?
Not sure avoiding arbitration hearings is the best (or even important) way to rate GMs. I'd still put a few ahead of him -- Billy Beane, Andrew Friedman, maybe John Mozeliak. Dombrowski has a lot of money to spend, which makes his job a little easier.
Thoughts on the A's-Astros Trade? Will Lowrie finally stay healthy, and even if he is, who wins the trade?
Wrote on this last night, thought it was good for both teams. No, I wouldn't bet on Lowrie staying healthy since he never has. But this gives the A's four guys for three positions, as Lowrie can play third and Sizemore can play second or third. Their infield should be a lot more productive this year.
Mostly likely candidate to challenge Detroit for the AL Central?
I'm writing up the White Sox right now and the problem in looking at their roster: Who's going to have a better year? Maybe Viciedo? Maybe Ramirez? Throw in the loss of Piezynski, Konerko's second-half decline, unpredictable Alex Rios ... I don't know, I guess I'd say the Royals.
We really need to get rid of the refs in football, there mistakes are killing games. But we need to keep the umps in baseball because they always seem to screw up and help the Yankees! :)
Are people still complaining about the Super Bowl? Seemed like bad calls on both sides to me, that final holding call notwithstanding. As bad as baseball umps are, they don't seem to influence the outcome of games as often as NBA or NFL refs do.
What does the A's trade for Lowrie mean for Weeks?
And I wasn't even counting him. So ... five guys for three jobs. I think it depends if Nakajima can play short. If he can, Lowrie moves to third and Sizemore to second. If he can't, then maybe Sizemore moves to third over Donaldson, and Weeks battles Nakajima for a job. He looked like a good player two years ago, so I wouldn't completely write him off just yet.
Cubs fan (enough said...). Please give us fans a glimmer of hope...
Castro has his breakthrough year and hits .300/.360/.500, Rizzo turns into a .280/.375/.525 guy, Samardzija turns into an ace and you have three stars to build around. Then you buy a couple free agents.
If avoiding arb hearings is your standard for a good GM...well, Dayton Moore has never had one either.
Are the astros positioning themselves to be big players in the free agent market? As far as I can tell they have basically no money committed going forward.
They don't. I don't believe a franchise has ever been gutted like this one. There's no reason they shouldn't be a player in the future -- Houston is a huge market, their local TV contract is pretty good and players like to play in warm weather cities. Trouble is, by gutting, you've also lost a lot of fan base (and thus stadium revenue). It's going to take years to rebuild that faith.
Do you think the RedSox will pick up another outfielder to platoon with Gomes in Lf? What would it take for the RedSox to sign Kyle Lohse?
Lohse makes a lot of sense for Boston, especially since their first-round pick is top-10 and thus protected. Of course, the agent is Scott Boras, so he's holding out for ... I don't know, exactly. How about three years, $45 million?
Daniel Nava is still around and they're bringing Sweeney back. Nothing left in free agency, so it would have to be a trade or a spring training waiver wire pickup.
I'm not so sure that the MLBPA got snookered - there are lots of players who would have cost compensation under the old rules, but didn't under the new ones: Anibal Sanchez, E Jackson, Victorino etc. These guys presumably got more money than they would have.
You could be right. If Victorino had been a Type A free agent, no way he gets $40 million. Either way, it's important to realize it's never really been a completely open market for free agency. Owners are just willing to give up that pick now. (Or is it as an excuse not to spend money to try and compete better.)
So the Braves collapse in 2011, miss the playoffs, and do nothing in the offseason....the Braves lose in a one wildcard then overhaul the outfield, trade their "can't miss" pitcher who missed and uber-utility player. Does this mean that Wren thinks they are closer then they were a year ago?
Well, it helps when Justin Upton is available for 73 cents on the dollar.
Think there might be some collusion among owners again? Some teams - Twins, Marlins, Astros - have really shed payroll.
Why spend and be mediocre when you can spend less and make more profit? That's what drove Steinbrenner crazy about revenue sharing.
Is there any scenario in which you think the mets should give up the 11th pick for bourn? Or is it too high of a price to pay no matter the years/dollars of the deal?
Hold on, I wrote about this a couple weeks ago ...
Answer: Sure. I went back to 1990. Here are the results for the 11th pick:11. Total WAR: 50.4 (2.5 per player) Best picks: Andrew McCutchen, Max Scherzer, Shawn Estes, Neil Walker In the minors: George Springer
So the average has been 2.5 WAR per player (obviously that will go up). But the third-best 11th pick has been Shawn Estes. You can justify signing Bourn. Not saying I would do it, but the Mets could have a playoff-caliber rotation by next year.
Is Billy Hamilton overhyped? I see Dee Gordon 2.0.
I think he walked a lot more in the minors than Gordon ever did. That's the big difference between the two. I think he's better.
Dave, the Ravens are having their parade today. When will the Orioles have a parade?
How much will the Sox miss Punto's intangibles this season?
Ehhh...the fan base was already lost when Drayton McLane decided he wanted to spend enough money every year to go 76-86. The smart baseball fans know the way the Astros are going now is the right way. There's no glory in finishing in fourth place every year.
When you say Upton was available for 73 cents on the dollar, are you lower on Upton, higher on Prado, or higher on the prospects than most analysts?
Not high on the prospects, not as high on Upton as most, I like Prado ... just felt the D-backs could have gotten more. Then again, I'm sure they tried. Maybe GMs didn't value Upton as high as a lot of analysts.
Considering Cashman's desire to lower payroll, the Dodgers lack of regard for dollars, the Dodgers needing a 2B, and Cano saying he's not giving a hometown discount, will this be the last year we see Robbie in the Bronx?
It's not *Cashman's* desire to lower payroll. That comes from above him. But, yes, there's a reason Cano hasn't signed with the Yankees. Can you imagine what the Dodgers will offer him?
Would love to see the Dodgers sign Bourne to a short term (one or two years) deal, move Kemp to RF, and Ethier to a team looking for a OF/DH bat; maybe Texas for a deal built around Olt, for example. Not very likely though, it it?
I agree. Kemp is overrated as a center fielder. You could improve your defense in two spots and you're not losing *that* much at the plate between Bourn/Ethier, since Bourn adds value on the bases.
Which pitcher that was awful last year will bounce back stronger: Ricky Romero or Lincecum?
I'd bet on Lincecum. He was much better in the second half.
By the way, here's the article on what a first-round pick is worth: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/31840/whats-a-first-round-pick-worth-2
Do you think A-Rod has less of a chance of getting into the Hall than Bonds and Clemens now? I think even when the HOF voters get younger and saber friendly, they may still keep A-Rod out after this latest (supposed) slip up.
I think so. Using PEDs before testing was in place is one thing, but if it's perceived he was still using after testing, I think that's a more severe infraction.
I still don't think its fair to limit how much a team can spend on International FA's. Since when do we not reward teams for great scouting....
Especially since that was one way for smaller market teams to compete as some of them WERE willing to spend on international players.
Who are your ridiculously early picks for the Cy Young?
I'll go way out on a limb here: Verlander and Kershaw.
Deep sleeper picks: How about Brandon Morrow and Mat Latos?
How close do you think R.A. Dickey's 2013 stats will be to his 2012 stats (230 SO - 2.73 ERA - 1.05 WHIP)?
I'd have to see how many of K's came against pitchers. I still think he'll be pretty good: 200 K's, 3.30 ERA (mostly due to park effects), 1.10 WHIP.
Mozeliak indicated in his chat yesterday a willingness to start Shelby Miller in the bullpen and transition to a rotation spot... The O's seem to be leaning that way with Bundy, as well... Is this a trend that will/should continue? Earl Weaver would be proud...
I like the idea, especially if you can get the kid 100-120 innings with some spots. If you're just using him as 60-70 inning reliever, I don't like, but long relief/spot starter makes perfect sense to protect their arms AND get them enough work.
Why are people down on the Phillies? They went 81-81 with 3 months of Utley and Halladay, 2 months of Howard, and no bullpen in front of Papelbon. They added Michael Young, Delmon Young, Ben Revere, Terry Adams, and Chad Durbin... Isn't a healthy season from Utley/Howard/Halladay worth enough to get them to 90-95 wins even without the additions?
You realize Delmon Young and Michael Young were horrible last year, right? (That said -- I'm not counting out a team with Halladay, Hamels and Lee.)
Speaking or Rickey Romero, did he turn into a Oliver Perez 2.0 last year or what! I hope the kid can turn it a around.
He always lived on the edge with his command.
You're John Gibbons. Why aren't you starting Happ over Romero in the 5th spot?
But do you think the Ranger's are ready to consider dealing Olt? My thought is that they may want to look at up grading the offense because of Cruz' possible suspension. Ethier might put up some sick numbers in that park
It makes to trade Olt. His value is as a third baseman. So unless you're worrying about replacing in Beltre in three years, I think you trade him. I was surprised Keith Law had him as low as he did on his rankings, but there are concerns about his ability to hit for average.
What two teams in history would you most want to see play against each other? Bonus question: at what stadium?
How about 2001 Mariners against 1906 Cubs -- tiebreaker game for all-time most wins (both won 116 games). OK, OK ... '27 Yankees (Ruth and Gehrig) against '65 Dodgers (Koufax and Drysdale) would be pretty fun.
I would argue that Ethier isn't that much of an upgrade over Olt offensively. Can't hit lefties.
Garza apparently had a very good throwing session in the bullpen yesterday. What about Garza and Soriano (and a boatload of cash) to the Orioles for Gausen and Schoop? Seems to work for both teams, given there respective needs. Orioles can either keep Garza, or collect the draft pick compensation.
Well, I think he threw 30 fastballs. Which I guess is better than no fastballs. As much as the Orioles needed to make a move, I'm not sure that's it. You can't give up two highly rated prospects for a low-OBP left fielder and a guy coming off elbow problems.
Young and Young were bad ... but Polanco and the mess in the outfield were far worse... But how many wins does a healthy Utley/Howard/Halladay get you?
Utley hasn't been completely healthy since 2009. You can't project him playing 140/150 games again in my book. He's not going to be 7-8 win player. Howard just isn't that good anymore. So *most* of the improvement would have to come from Halladay. Which could be huge -- 6-7 wins. So overall, maybe a win apiece from Utley and Howard and 6 from Halladay.
How much more do you value prospect bats vs. prospect arms?
Not many top prospect bats out there right now according to Keith's list. Factor in the injury aspect and I would value a top hitting prospect a lot more. Which is why you don't see them traded too often.
Why wouldn't the Texas Rangers just sign both Bourn and Loshe? They just got that huge TV deal so money shouldn't be the issue and they both fill need positions for them.
TV deal doesn't kick in until 2015.
If the Mets start the season with Duda, Nieuwenhius and Baxter, that has to be the worst outfield in MLB right. Philly at least has Revre.
I've decided that when I have a son, I'm going to teach him to throw a knuckleball at 8 years old. That's all he's going to throw through high school, college, everything. I figure that's the easiest way to get him to the majors, junk pitch extraordinaire...what do you think?
It's so easy that ... one guy in the majors does it right now.
According to Cots, the Astros do not have a single players signed to a multi-year contract. Thats crazy!
They're just waiting to sign Verlander, Kershaw and Felix for 2015!
Why would Ryan Howard have Subway commercials unless he was a superstar? You need to get your head out of your spreadsheet and watch more TV.
Latos, Cueto, Bailey. Where does this trio rank?
Very underrated. Factor in the park and I think the Reds have a top five rotation. I'd say higher, but Arroyo will probably regress a bit.
A WAR increase of 6 for Halladay? Unless he is from Ork, that guy is old.
I meant to say possible. Prediction would be more like 4-win increase.
The Reds need to see what they have in Mesoraco. He was a top prospect entering last season and the baseball world seems to have forgotten about him after a lousy 270 at-bats. What is the point of drafting and developing if you aren't going to 1) give the young man a fair shake or 2) trade him.
Trouble is, Ryan Hanigan is pretty good. Gets on base (kills lefties) and is regarded as one of the best defenders around. I agree that Mesoraco deserves to play, but I also say that Hanigan doesn't deserve to get less playing time.
Would Scott Rolen as DH for the O's make sense? Maybe play a little 1b.
I think he's done as a hitter. May as well sign Thome.
Better question: Why do people think that the Rangers need Bourn when Gentry/Martin give you 75 percent of the value in CF for a fraction of the cost? They need power in the OF if Cruz is suspended, not Bourn.
Can you please tell me why the Cardinals will never address ss? Furcal has no shot at playing 100 games, and Ronny Cedeno, no thank you.
I am a middle class, slightly over weight white guy. Am I more/less/equally as likely to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds as Astros are to have 2 all stars?
Do you buy that the Giants pitching last season was actually below average according the ERA+?
I've been meaning to address that ... it's hard conceptualize the park effects being that extreme. It also makes you wonder how park effects are applied and how players can adapt so well to their home park. My gut says if you take the Giants staff and move them to Coors Field, it would still be a pretty good staff. But I could be wrong and they could all be overrated.
The reds rotation was insanely healthy last season. How much regression should be expected there?
They didn't miss a start ... had one guy start because of a rainout. And then Cueto got hurt in the postseason. Anyway, yes, unlikely but they have depth especially if Chapman ends up starting and pushing Leake to the pen.
As a Royals fan, your answer about top hitting prospects rarely getting traded just made me sad.
Right, even more reason to dislike that deal ...
@Tarek you can always take heart in the Astros to one-up someone in the "worst of".
Correction. Mesoraco had 165 ABs last season!
To Philly hopefuls, problem isn't that Howard was hurt last year but rather that he could be healthy this year. How much longer can the Phils run him out there considering he owns a pathetic .230/.294/.418 line against southpaws last 3 seasons. Forget the awful contract, he's worse on the field than off.
you are made commish for a day. how would you structure the postseason?
Can I expand to 32 teams? Eight divisions with four teams apiece ... otherwise, I'd go back to the previous system with one wild card. Each round a best-of-7, but no days off except between series.
According to the internet, the Astros have a "Director of Decision Sciences" in their front office. Any idea what that guy does?
Insane trade idea: Cubs send Castro to the Cardinals for Shelby, Trevor and their #1 minor league system. Who says no first?
The entire system? OK, Miller and Rosenthal ... I think the Cards say no.
Thoughts on Chris Carpenter's likely retirement announcement today?
If true, I'll miss him. Great pitcher, lot of heart, some great postseason performances. On a baseball level, Cards have the depth to pick him up with Miller and Rosenthal. And, who knows ... maybe Kyle Lohse!
re: Brian (Fremont) Ah, forgot about the Astros, sorry for your pain this season. I was just pointing out the Mets outfield to stick it to all mets fans out there. It's good to be a Yankee fan!
So the Director of Decision Sciences lives in his mother's basement and hates guys who are "scrappy?"
Do you subscribe to the notion that a team needs a variety of skill set (some guys with power, some with speed/defense). For example somebody above said the Rangers "need power in the OF if Cruz is suspended, not Bourn." Is that true? If you have an entire team of speed/defense guys with a WAR of 3 vs. a mix of power and speed/defense guys all with a WAR of 3, is there any difference?
You can win a variety of ways. Good players are good players. Although I would say that power *does* play well in Texas. You can't necessarily ignore potential benefits your home park gives you. But that's a small consideration. Just get good players.
Would the Angels be better off moving Trout to the No. 2 spot?
Doesn't really matter. Batting order has a minor, minor impact on runs scored.
Hey, David, do you think Nick Franklin becomes a factor before the end of the season, or is the fact the M's won't compete in the tough AL West for at least another year keep him in Tacoma all year?Thanks.
Unless Brendan Ryan gets hurt, probably won't see Franklin before September. Unless he hits so well you *have* to call him up ...
Zack Wheeler and Travis D'Arnaud for Giancarlo Stanton. Which GM hangs up first?
Wouldn't it matter to have Pujols hitting behind Trout? Then Hamilton and Trumbo?
Not really. A lot of studies have been done on batting orders and unless you're hitting Trout eighth and Pujols and ninth, it just doesn't affect things much.
Have Yankee fans turned so miserable that they resort to "sticking it to Mets fans" on an ESPN chat? How the mighty have fallen...
Given the fact that teams play better at home, doesn't it make sense that they would hit better there? I wonder if more advanced statistics that factor in park effects show that players are better at home than on the road?
Right, I don't believe park effects factor that in.
So if batting order doesn't matter, then it's okay that Bochey keeps running guys with 300 obp out there at #2 because they play 2B/SS?
I said minor. But even then ... say you bat Brandon Crawford. OK, that's fewer RBI opportunities for the guys hitting behind him. But if Crawford is hitting seventh or eighth, he's not going to drive in many of the guys who are on base in front of him.
Certainly, you don't want your worst hitters at the top of the lineup, because those guys get more at-bats. But most managers are smart enough not to do that.
Is it possible that the Indians are underrated? I have heard a lot of people bash their offseason moves, but if you look at their depth chart they look like respectable. Could they be this year's Oakland? It's not like they play in a great division.
Possible, yes. But ... well, they have a lot of ground to make up. Only Seattle scored fewer runs in the AL. Nobody allowed more.
Does that mean it makes sense for me to keep hitting leadoff?
Come on, you only hit leadoff ... umm, 53 times in 2012!
This is a big if.. but if Chapman pans out as a starter this year does that make the Reds rotation best in baseball?
Say an ERA around 3.25? Possibly ... I think they match up pretty well with the Nationals' rotation.
Haha. Good one, Dave! Worst hitters getting the most at-bats...Classic Dave...
I don't think people realize how much of a haul teams would need to give to get Stanton. The guy wont turn 24 until AFTER this season. He has an outside shot to reach 250 career HR when he reaches his "peak age".
What would a trade for Stanton even look like? Its hard to fathom what a fair offer for him would be, considering his skill level, cost, and years of control.
I think winning two of the last three World Series affords Bochy the right to bat whoever he wants in the second hole of his lineup.
One question on 11th pick overall. Those guys do have trade value during the time you own them. WAR really only reflects part of the value right?
I just looked at their career WAR. Tried to keep it simple. Could have looked at the WAR for just their first six seasons, for example, which is all a team really controls.
I think getting the best hitters to the top of the lineup matters a lot... in softball.
One of Hank Aaron's old managers -- I think it was Fred Haney -- always said he was going to hit Aaron leadoff to get him more at-bats, but never did. There's something to that. A guy hitting leadoff versus cleanup may get 45 more PAs over the course of a season.
OK ... have to run and finish up the White Sox report card. Thanks, everyone! See you next week.