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July 1, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

Hey folks, I had an opportunity to see a great concert in Atlantic City last night -- Counting Crows and the Wallflowers. Tremendous show. Drove back this morning, so if I'm a little foggy, you'll know why. Let's start the chat.

Nafis (SF)

Hello Jerry, where do you think Nolasco and Garza will end up and do you think they'll be dealt soon?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:02 PM)

Nafis, Most of the buzz seems to be focused on the NL West. I think Nolasco will be dealt sooner than Garza, quite possibly before the break. No reason for the Marlins to hold onto him.

Adam Schrope from Duncannon Pennsylvania [via mobile]

Should the Phillies consider trading Ryan Howard to gain some key pieces in rebuilding the team?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:04 PM)

Adam, Good luck with that. I like Ryan Howard. He gives the Phils everything he's got, and I think he's been knocked a little unfairly at times at various stages of his career. But the combination of his diminishing skills, huge contract, advancing age and complete inability to hit lefties makes him untradeable unless the Phillies plan to pick up a huge -- and I mean huge -- portion of his deal.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When was the Last Time that the Yankees Stunk in Hitting for the Whole Entire Season?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:05 PM)

Chris, I checked on this, and the 1991 Bronx Bombers contingent with Matt Nokes, Mel Hall, Kevin Maas, Roberto Kelly and Steve Sax wasn't great. I'm being kind with that one.

Alex (Florida)

Jerry with Chad Gaudin coming back soon does he go to bullpen or rotation? Can he continue to pitch as well as he was before DL stint? Thanks

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:08 PM)

Alex, I have to think he'd be an upgrade over Michael Kickham. At this stage, Gaudin is what he is -- a 30-year-old journeyman with some savvy who can give you 5-6 serviceable innings and keep you in games most of the time. And ideally, he's more of a swing man. He'll be back in that role when Ryan Vogelsong returns later this month.

Counting Crow (AC)

Best song performed last night in AC? I always love Round Here with Thunder Road mixed in, but thats me! What could the Phillies expect in return for Utley and/or Lee?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:10 PM)

Counting Crow: Rain King, Mrs. Potter's Lullaby and Omaha were all tremendous. As for the Phils, they could clearly get something for Lee, but Ruben Amaro seems adamant about not moving him. I think Utley will also fetch a decent prospect if he can keep it up and stay healthy for the next 3-4 weeks. It would be a big emotional deal for the Phils to cut the cord with him, but I really think it's time for them to shop him.

Alex (New York)

Jerry, do you think if the Dodgers fire Donny Baseball, there's a good chance he gets back to the Yankees as hitting coach. Kevin Long has done such a bad job over the years, even when the lineup had talent.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:12 PM)

Alex, It looks to me as if he's weathered the storm -- at least for this season. (Thanks, Yasiel Puig). If Mattingly is gone at the end of the year, I think he has a decent chance to land a managing gig somewhere else. I saw him recently in the Bronx and he said he'd like to keep managing. As for Kevin Long, I think you're being a little rough on the guy. Especially this year, when he's had next to nothing to work with.

Ryan (Orlando)

Jerry you think Henderson Alvarez comes back and pitches well for Marlins? Thanks

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:13 PM)

Ryan, He's supposed to be coming back shortly, which could help pave the way for a Nolasco trade. Alvarez has shown really good control in the minors, but the book on him is that he needs to upgrade his breaking stuff. That's a big park, which helps any pitcher, but I don't know if I would jump through hoops to get the guy on my fantasy team.

Al (Boston)

Lee and Papelbon for Smyly, Rondon, Porcello, and Castellanos..who hangs up first?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:15 PM)

Al, I would seriously consider that deal if I were Ruben Amaro. Stud young hitter and some intriguing arms, and a lot of payroll off the books. Mike Ilitch would really have to be in spending mode to make that one happen.

Kardfan (Illinois)

Am I wrong in thinking that the redbirds need to trade for a reliable #3 starter?...As I see it we've got 2 dependable starters( Waino, Lynn)...Westbrook has been terrible since coming back and it seems like Miller has hit some sort of wall....thoughts?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:17 PM)

Kardfan, They have two terrific prospects in Triple-A in Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, so I think they would look to resolve any starting issues from within rather than make a trade. Westbrook was due to regress after the way he started, and Miller is just a kid who's destined to encounter some bumps in the road. Apparently he thinks he ironed out some mechanical issues in his last bullpen session. We'll see.

Wipijewski (Sun Prairie, WI)

What can the Brewers actually get in return for Gallardo?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:19 PM)

Wipi, He's asolid 200-inning guy who's under contract for $11.25 million next year with a $13 million club option in 2015. That's a pretty reasonable price tag given his track record. I would have to think Doug Melvin would want a couple of potential impact prospects for him, given the lack of starting pitching on the market.

Dan (Atlanta)

Afternoon Jerry! Adam Eaton only DHing now so any news on when he'll test arm in field and possibly return?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:21 PM)

Dan, The D-backs are hoping to get Adam Eaton back after the All-Star break, barring any setbacks. They have enough outfield depth that they really don't need to rush him. I'm not entirely sold that his elbow is going to be OK, but I'm not privy to his MRIs. (And even if I were, I wouldn't know what they revealed).

David (Novato)

Hi Jerry, do you think the Rangers still need a middle of the order hitter with Berkman hurting and Cruz facing a suspension? Would Alex Rios or Andre Ethier (if Dodgers ate some of the money) be a better fit?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:23 PM)

David, Berkman requires a lot of care, maintenance and periodic rest breaks because of his knees, but it sounds as if he's hoping to return to the lineup soon. As for Cruz and a suspension, it's hard for the Rangers to make a move in anticipation that it will happen this year. Even if MLB issues suspensions for Biogenesis, I wouldn't be surprised if the appeal process makes the whole thing drag on until the offseason.

John (Cincinnati, OH)

What are the Mets doing with Ike Davis? Looks like he figured some things out at AAA.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:23 PM)

John, I just heard about that second-hand last night. Please enlighten me while I mix in a couple more baseball questions.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hi Jerry, how are the Rangers leading the West with a rotation that features Nick Tepesch, Justin Grimm, and Martin Perez and do you think Perez has turned a corner?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:25 PM)

Keanu, They're getting great bullpen work out of Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross and Joe Nathan, good years from Cruz and Beltre, and they're 22-10 vs. the American League West. Plus, Ron Washington does a great job of keeping that team focused and on an even keel. I know people like to knock him for his moves in October, but he has a style that really plays well from April through September.

nick (ut )

your guess for the team that wins the NL west?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:27 PM)

Nick, I picked the Dodgers to win the division and the Giants to make the playoffs as a wild card, so I guess I'll stick with my spring training choices. I've learned never to count out the Giants (I don't care how grim things look). And Yasiel Puig has changed the whole mindset and dynamic in LA. If Ned Colletti can add another starter, that team could be primed for a big run in the second half.

Glen (Newark)

Never expect it to happen but what could Yanks get for Mo? I mean what contender wouldn't want him closing games?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:28 PM)

Glen, Nope, it's never going to happen. Never, ever. So there's probably not much point even bantering about it.

Phil (Detriot)

Lee and Papelbon for Smyly, Rondon, Porcello, and Castellanos..who hangs up first?Come on Illitch isn't going to go for that.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:29 PM)

Phil, That's what I said. Jonathan Papelbon hasn't been all that great this year, and the Tigers' pitching is already strong enough to get them to the playoffs. Just too much $$ to absorb.

Jason (Philly)

If you had to start one Pirate in the winner take all wild card game, who would you choose? Burnett, Locke, Liriano, Rodriguez, Cole

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:30 PM)

Jason, Great question. I think I'd have to go with A.J. Burnett. At this stage of his career, I imagine he would take the mound for that game without a care in the world.

Kevin (Detroit)

Why do people thing Papelbon is still elite?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:31 PM)

Kevin, I would still take him -- just not for the money that he's still owed. But he's had his fair share of rough moments this year, to put it mildly.

Alex (Cleveland)

Is the Tribe for real this year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:34 PM)

Alex, I want to buy into the Indians. But I have a long line of Cleveland sports fans in my family, and I've learned that it's best not to get overly excited over temporary blips of success. I love the makeup of that team and the way Terry Francona has changed the whole culture. But they really struggled against Boston and NY just when people were getting enthused in May. I hate to say this, but it's Cleveland, so something is bound to happen to break your heart.

Steve (Twin Cities)

What are the chances the Morneau is dealt by the deadline and what is he worth on the market today?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:37 PM)

Steve, Everytime I ask someone from the Twins, I'm told they don't plan to move Morneau. He's been better this year, but he still has only four home runs in more than 300 plate appearances. I think the name recognition/sentimental value that he has to the Twins outweighs the return haul that Terry Ryan could get for him in trade. Would other teams really value Morneau enough to surrender a big-time prospect? I don't see it.

Adam Duritz (Omaha)

Everyone talks about the phillies big pieces but I think some smaller pieces could help teams? Guys like M Young, D Young, Chooch, Lannan, Kendrick. Thoughts?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:38 PM)

Adam, Michael Young is professional hitter and a leader, but not an elite bat at this point. The only guy in that group who would excite other teams is Kyle Kendrick, and he's quietly been the Phillies' second best pitcher this year. Ruben Amaro would have to be blown away to move him. Don't see that happening.

Robert (Boston )

Hi Jerry - how impressed are you by what Matt Harvey is doing? I don't just mean his numbers. His presence on the mound... I've been a baseball fan for a long time and I can't remember the last young guy who came up and just seemed to demand to be good like this guy.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:40 PM)

Robert, Extremely impressed. I had an opportunity to interview Harvey for a story in May, and he came across as thoughtful, mature and confident without being arrogant or cocky. That demeanor has played a big part in his success -- especially in New York. He has a mindset and approach that should help him stand the test of time as long as he stays healthy.

David (Louisville Ky)

Cincinnati has looked lost offensively the last 2 weeks. They can't bunt,they can't steal and they are abysmal with RISP. Is it too early to panic?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:41 PM)

David, I wouldn't panic. They're going through a funk, but I still see the Reds as a playoff team.

Alex (Cleveland)

It IS Cleveland, but is Jason Kipnis at least a shoo-in now for the All-Star game?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:42 PM)

Alex, He is for me. Even if Robby Cano and Dustin Pedroia both make the All-Star team, they should find a spot for Kipnis. He's been terrific.

Tim (Pittsburgh)

Could the Pirates look to trade for Jesse Crain and Alex Rios?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:45 PM)

Tim, I can certainly see Neal Huntington making a move to add bullpen depth, and Crain is one of the more prominent (and realistic) names being bandied about. Rios would look nice in that order, but I don't see the Pirates doing anything that would require them putting too big a dent in their farm system.

travis (lusby,md)

do you think my nats still have any shot at the postseason if so what do we need to improve

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:47 PM)

Travis, Scouts and other people I talk to still think that team is capable of making a big run. Let's see what happen when Bryce Harper comes back and starts contributing. He sets up that whole batting order and gives them a little energy/edge that they seem to be lacking at times. The problem for the Nats is, the wild card might be a challenge if Cincinnati kicks it back in gear and two WC teams go from the Central.

Tim (Albany, NY)

Will the NL Central get both wild cards?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:47 PM)

Tim, It's starting to look like a decent possibility, but it's way too early to make that call.

Dom (NY)

Cashman's contract is up after this season. (PS: I'm not a big fan of his) Any chance he and the Steinbrothers part ways?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:48 PM)

Dom, I don't see it. We've seen and heard a lot of "Cashman is leaving" stories and speculation through the years, and nothing ever comes of it. Who would you propose the Yankees hire who can come in there and do a better job in that circus atmosphere?

Paul (Chicago)

Jerry, the Cubs look to be set to pick up some real valuable future assets for guys like Garza, Gregg, Feldman, DeJesus (if healthy), etc. For Garza in particular, what should the Cubs be expecting for a return...a top-3 organizational prospect, plus one other top-ten? Or is that too rich?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:51 PM)

Paul, Typically, the demands start out ridiculously high, then drop as the deadline approaches and selling teams have to get more realistic. The problem with dangling guys now is, you don't know how things are going to look in 3 or 4 weeks. If Ryan Vogelsong comes back and San Francisco's other starters pick it up, Brian Sabean might feel less urgency to trade for a starter on July 28 than he does now. The whole situation is so fluid.

Jordan (Herndon, VA)

Hi Jerry,Realistically who do the Orioles look at to help their starting pitching?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:53 PM)

Jordan, The names we're seeing out there now (Garza, Nolasco, even Gallardo) don't seem like enough of an improvement to me to justify Dan Duquette making a panic move. And I really don't think Cliff Lee is going to be traded. The Orioles have enough internal options that I suspect they're going to keep trying to figure things out from within until they're absolutely, positively convinced they need to make a deal. It might go right to the wire with them.

Craig (Chicago)

How on earth could Hahn say the White Sox aren't sellers right now? This kind of denial could set back a farm system (and any realistic hope of a rebuild) immeasurably.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:54 PM)

Craig, To me, that team is a classic seller. If Rick Hahn isn't at that point now, I think he'll start warming to that viewpoint sometime after the All-Star break. #backupthetruck

Darren (Santa Cruz)

Is Josh Donaldson going to be the biggest All-Star snub this year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:55 PM)

Darren, He'll be right up there. If Yasiel Puig makes it in the NL, I can see Domonic Brown or some other worthy outfielder getting snubbed, for sure.

Shaun (NJ)

I have a question regarding my fantasy rotation. I have Shields, Zimmermann, Minor, Miller, Griffin, Fernandez, Liriano, Cole and Dempster. Do you think this will last me the rest of the year? Deeeeeeep league (16 teams)

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:56 PM)

Shaun, I'm not a fantasy guy, but yikes. I think nine starters will last you as long as you need.

Mike (Atl)

Hey Jerry, do you see the Braves going after a bullpen arm?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:58 PM)

Mike, Sure. They've gotten some good mileage out of Jordan Walden, Anthony Varvaro & Co., but I can certainly see Frank Wren trolling the reliever market for depth. Him and about a dozen other general managers.

David Gustafson (Minneapolis)

Which of the anticipated buying teams at deadline have the strongest minor league system from which to deal? The weakest?

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:00 PM)

David, Teams like St. Louis, Texas and Boston have strong farm systems. But that might just mean they'll call up kids from the farm and try to solve any issues internally rather than dealing away prospects for veterans or rentals.

Matt (Chicago)

Jerry, I am embarrassed to say that I FINALLY just read License to Deal (late to the boat, I know). But what a fascinating subject, and wonderful writing. Any new projects in the works?

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:01 PM)

Matt, Thanks for the book plug. And don't be embarrassed -- I'm grateful anytime someone tells me they've read it. As for new book projects, there's nothing imminent in the works. I stay busy enough with my day job.

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:02 PM)

I'll take one more before calling it a day. Thanks for taking the time to come on, everybody. I appreciate it as always.

Patrick (Pittsburgh)

Yes, I'm from Pittsburgh but I have a Royals question. Do you see the Royals going after a RF/3B/2B?

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:04 PM)

Patrick, With the way David Lough has been hitting, I think the Royals are ready to give him a shot. And as bad as Moustaka has been, they don't seem ready to give up on him yet. I saw some interesting speculation the other day that KC might be a good spot for Chase Utley as a stretch drive acquisition. (Mike Arbuckle, who drafted him in Philly, is now in the Royals' front office). I don't know if there's any credence to that rumor, but it's a fun one to contemplate.

Phil (Detriot)

'I picked the Dodgers to win the division and the Giants to make the playoffs as a wild card, so I guess I'll stick with my spring training choices.'Isn't that a copout? we're half way through the season, but you guess you're sticking with what you picked preseason. You make it sound like you aren't giving it any thought because you don't want to contradict what you said in March?

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:06 PM)

I know I said I was finished taking questions, but I did want to respond to this. You make a good point, Phil. I just think it's cheesy to change preseason predictions every other week based on short-term trends. I do think the Dodgers have the most talent in the division, so I'll stick with them. And I have too much respect for the Giants to bail on them after a couple of rough patches. I wouldn't rule out Arizona, but I'll hang in there with my preseason picks.

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:07 PM)

Thanks again, everybody. Talk to you next week.