Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 22, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:01 PM)

Hey everybody, Alex Rodriguez hasn't played a game yet, and I'm already suffering from A-Rod fatigue. I don't have any good conspiracy theories to share, but let's start the chat. (On a side note, I didn't do the chat last week because of the ASG festivities. I might go to the way-back machine and address some leftover questions from last Monday).

Shawn (DC)

Surprisingly, the combo of Smyly and Benoit has been pretty steady. Can the Tigers make to the World Series with them, or do you see Dombroski still searching for a closer?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:02 PM)

Shawn, The performance of Benoit and Smyly has definitely turned down the temperature on the Closer Watch in Detroit. Those two guys have combined for 111 strikeouts and 26 walks. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dombrowski troll the relief market for depth. But that Jonathan Papelbon-to-Detroit rumor sure has lost a lot of traction lately, hasn't it?

zack (stl)

Is it kind of funny that yankees 3rd basemen have been so ruinously awful that AROD is a huge upgrade and the yankees desperately need his production?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:03 PM)

Zack, It's funny until you look at his medical charts and think about how much money they're paying him. I doubt Brian Cashman or Randy Levine are laughing.

Ken (Palo Alto)

Tribe pitching is better than most people give them credit for. And with McAllister coming back that's like making a trade for a workhorse.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:05 PM)

Ken, Yes, McAllister's return will help. But people I've talked to think that Chris Antonetti would add a starter under the right circumstances. They don't want a rental, so that rules out Matt Garza. But I think Bud Norris could be a decent fit in Cleveland if the price isn't too exorbitant.

Kevin - Orlando/Tampa Bay [via mobile]

Who are you taking over the next 4 days - Rays, Red Sox or a draw? Who will be the studs/duds of the series?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:07 PM)

Kevin, When you look at two of the pitching matchups -- Matt Moore vs. Brandon Workman and David Price vs. Felix Doubront -- you have to think the Rays will come out of there with a split. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way. Moore is a real key to the series for me. If he can shut down the Sox in Fenway and maintain the Rays' recent momentum, that's huge. But it's not easy to do at Fenway. Just ask CC Sabathia.

AA (Atown)

Do you see the Dodgers trying to upgrade 2B before deadline. If so, who would be in play besides Utley?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:08 PM)

AA, I wouldn't rule out anything for the Dodgers, because price is no object. But they've already added Ricky Nolasco to stabilize the back end of their rotation, and they're on a 20-5 run now, so they might feel that all they need to do now is stay healthy and they're capable of a big second half run. Also, I would be shocked if the Phillies trade Chase Utley.

Brian (Fishers, IN)

Hard to say whether the Royals should be buyers at the trade deadline and go all-in, or sellers and deal guys like Holland, Santana, etc., and play for 2014. What do you think?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:10 PM)

Hey Brian, I'm getting the impression the Royals won't do much. The only guy they would consider moving would be Ervin Santana, and the price would be huge. They're not trading Greg Holland (by the way, Royals fans, I have a piece on him that's up on the MLB page right now).

Rich (LA)

Will Kemp ever be consistently on the field this year? What a poor way to get injured last night.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:11 PM)

Rich, Last night was more of a freak injury. If I were a Dodgers fan, I would be more concerned about his shoulder. It seems to get better with rest, but every time he starts playing regularly again, it wears down. As it turns out, the Dodgers might need the outfield depth they have with Kemp, Ethier, Crawford and Puig. Kemp can't stay on the field, Crawford is always one trip down the line away from a hamstring pull, and Puig keeps running into things.

Gene (Baltimore)

Krod to LAD a real possibility now? Would he be 8th inning man?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:13 PM)

Gene, His name is coming up more and more lately. People I've talked to think he could be a good fit in Boston, given the injuries to Hanrahan and now Bailey. K-Rod has pitched in big situations before and he's not going to be fazed going to a big market in a pennant race. I think Doug Melvin will just wait to see which team gets desperate enough to make him the best offer.

Ken (Palo ALto)

Giants pitching looks like it might be righting itself. THree well pitched games right out of the gate. Plus Timmy's no-no. Too little too late? Or just in the nick of time?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:15 PM)

Ken, I heard the Giants were right on the verge of going into "sell" mode before Lincecum pitched his no-hitter and they had a good weekend against the Padres. I think they're still a long shot to make the playoffs, because they're not going to win the wild card and they're playing from behind against the Dodgers and D-backs. But Brian Sabean will almost certainly be compelled to wait another week before making up his mind on what they'll do.

Jason (Cincy)

Who should the Reds focus on at the deadline? Seems they could use some help in a number of areas.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:16 PM)

Jason, Definitely bullpen help. The starter search will hinge in large part on Buchholz's medical condition and what they think they can expect from him in the second half.

Manny (Houston)

what is your take on Bedard's situation? He says he didn't want to risk injury, but without any real good highlights for your career or current team, wouldn't you still go out there and try to complete the no-hitter?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:18 PM)

Manny, Bedard is a hard guy to read (I'm putting it kindly). Realistically, it would have been great to see him gut it out in the quest for a no-hitter. But he was at 109 pitches with seven outs to go, and he's not the kind of guy who's going to stay in there for 150 pitches. At this point, I think he's just happy to be in the big leagues, given his injury history.

Sauce (Boston, MA)

Do you think Chris Carter has what it takes to break the KO record this year

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:20 PM)

Sauce, He definitely has the swing-and-miss ability, but I'm not sure he'll get enough ABs to give Mark Reynolds' 223 a run. As weird as this sounds, Carter's pursuit(?) of the record also depends on him staying healthy. By the way, have you noticed that Mike Napoli is tied with Carter for the major league lead with 127 K's? Let's not count him out, either.

Free_AEC (South Jersey)

MIGUEL ALFREDO GONZALEZ Why isn't this guy destined for the Phillies? He could solve their 8th inning bullpen problem and he costs nothing in prospects. Where's the money from this team with Dodgers TV dollars on the way and best attendance in MLB?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:23 PM)

Free_AEC, First of all, the competition for this guy is pretty intense. There were more than 40 scouts checking him out recently in Mexico. Second, he wants more than $40-50 million, and that's a major investment. And finally, if you're going to pay him that kind of money, there's no way you're going to use him in the eighth inning. He's going to sign someplace where he knows he can start.

Don (Chicago)

Pretending for a second that Buxton isn't untouchable, would the Twins trade him in a package centered around Chris Sale?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:24 PM)

Don, No. Buxton is a five-tool center fielder that you could build your club around for 15 years. Chris Sale is terrific, but his physique and delivery have some people worried that he's a risk to hold up over the long-term. No way this could happen.

Ben (West Va.)

Hi Jerry! What are Cardinals going to do with C.Martinez? Starter,reliever or back to AAA?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:26 PM)

Ben, Long-term, he's a starter. Right now they'd like him to apprentice and learn the ropes in the bullpen on the MLB roster. Could that change if Lance Lynn keeps struggling or another need arises? I guess. But I'm not sure they have time to get the kid stretched out to the point where he could be a reliable innings eater in a pennant race.

Bill (CT)

Jerry, Even though they are in first place, does the Red Sox FO think the team is good enough this year to win the WS? Are they willing to deal their coveted prospects in a deal that may/may not put them over the top?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:27 PM)

Bill, I believe the Red Sox do think they have a team that is capable of making a deep October run. The problem is, I'm not sure that big difference maker piece is available in trade over the next couple of weeks (unless the Phillies suddenly go into "sell" mode and decide to shop Cliff Lee). For all the hype, it's really a pretty nondescript trade market right now.

Rob (Lime Rock, CT)

Barring a setback, it appears Peavy will get in a couple starts before the deadline. Do you see him being traded and what can the Sox expect in return? THANKS

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:30 PM)

Hey Rob, You sent this question last week, I believe. I think it's going to be tough for the White Sox to deal Peavy and expect a lot in return. He just hasn't had enough time to prove he's going to be healthy enough to contribute 10 effective starts down the stretch. But I know a lot of clubs have been scouting Jake. Given the lack of options, Rick Hahn will be fielding a lot of Peavy calls over the next week.

David (CT)

Hey Jerry. Do you think the Yankees will be active before next Wednesday's trade deadline and if so who do you see them getting? Do you think they will get Alfonso Soriano?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:32 PM)

David, Personally, I think the Yankees have too many holes to plug to think that one or two trades will make a big difference. Soriano would make some sense for them, but the Cubs would have to pick up a huge amount of money for that deal to happen. And I emphasize "huge."

Stu J. (Vineland, NJ)

Jason asked about the Reds a littlr while ago... not the Red Sox. What should/could our Reds do?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:34 PM)

Stu, Oops -- sorry about that. The Reds are in a weird spot because they're waiting to see how Johnny Cueto and Ryan Ludwick can come back from their injuries. As I understand it, they're also a bit hamstrung financially. I think it will be tough for Walt Jocketty to do anything that entails picking up much salary.

Jesse (MN)

Any feelings on where Morneau might end up? Pirates maybe?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:37 PM)

Jesse, I checked on this last week, and Justin Morneau's numbers are very similar to what Gaby Sanchez and Garrett Jones are putting up in Pittsburgh (although in Morneau's defense, he does play in a tougher hitter's park). One problem is, the Twins might overvalue him because of his history and name recognition in that town. He also has some money left on his contract. So Terry Ryan can't expect a whole lot of value in return for him.

Dan (Atlanta)

Jerry your thoughts on W.Peralta for rest of 2013! Can he be effective like he has been since ASB?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:39 PM)

Dan, Wily Peralta was one of the guys Doug Melvin put a lot of faith in coming into this season, and he's been terrific lately. He's only 24, so he clearly has some upside if he can show better command (77 k's and 47 walks this season, but he's been much better lately). I don't know if he's going to continue to be this good. But he's sure to keep getting opportunities in the second half. He could be in for two pretty productive months.

CC (Atlanta)

Can you see the Braves adding anything other than a middling reliever like Mike Gonzalez?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:41 PM)

CC, That's their top priority. They would also like to add a utility player/bat off the bench, but it has to be someone who can give them more offense than Paul Janish. Realistically, Frank Wren will probably just tinker around the edges. Keep in mind that they're also hoping to get Brandon Beachy back soon.

Jeremy (DC)

The Nats are a mess right now and clearly lack pop as well as possibly 2 SPs. Wouldn't they be better off not being buyers and mortgaging more of their future on what's looking like a lost season?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:43 PM)

Jeremy, They're at the point where I can't see Mike Rizzo doing something desperate to add a rental piece (like a Garza). Given the makeup of that roster, with young pieces like Strasburg, Harper, Desmond and Rendon and guys with big contracts like Werth and Zimmerman, they're kind of stuck in the middle right now. It's hard to envision them pulling off a big buy or sell blockbuster deal at the deadline.

JJ (MPLS)

Twins buyers or sellers at the deadline? HAHA okay just kidding, but in all seriousness, do you think they deal Morneau, Perkins or just minor moves like shipping middle relief guys out for A/AA prospects?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:44 PM)

JJ, They'll trade Morneau and some other complementary pieces. But right now the price tag for Glen Perkins is through the roof. Terry Ryan has to be asking for two really good young players for him -- as he should. I would be surprised to see him dealt.

Uh-Huh (Right Here)

A good portion of trades come out of nowhere... what's your out of left field trade prediction?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:47 PM)

Uh-Huh, I wish I had an out-of-nowhere prediction for you. I have a hard enough time coming up with predictions for guys who are in the news every day. I do see Jeff Luhnow in Houston being active as the deadline approaches. He's shown he's not hesitant to make moves, and he's been pretty quiet lately (with the exception of those Carlos Pena and Ronny Cedeno DFA's yesterday).

James (WV)

Do you think the Pirates could look to acquire Frankie Rodriguez? He appears to have figured out how to strike people out again, and with the Pirates starters struggling to go deep into games you have to figure they would want to get at least one or two reliable bullpen arms to take the slack off of an overworked (yet fantastic) bullpen.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:48 PM)

James, I wouldn't be surprised if the Buccos are dabbling on K-Rod. That bullpen has really been overtaxed, and he's one of the few viable options out there. Neal Huntington will get someone for the bullpen or another starter by the deadline, rest assured.

Doug (MT)

Any chance the Mets will get a useful prospect by dealing Byrd at the deadline?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:50 PM)

Doug, A lot of baseball people I've talked to can't fathom why the Mets won't move Marlon Byrd. Will he help them win a couple more games in the second half? Maybe. But if they can get a decent prospect or two for him, I think they would be better served shopping him now. From all indications, they plan to hang onto him.

mike (springfield, IL)

Would the BoSOX be open to trading Drew?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:53 PM)

Mike, This is an interesting question. I recently heard the Dodgers mentioned as a potential Drew destination, although I don't think they'd want to mess with Hanley's head now given the way he's hit the ball lately. Drew has value as a solid, reliable shortstop in a race, and the Red Sox have depth. They could easily move Iglesias back to short, but then they would have to figure things out at third base. It's a lot to digest with all the other things Ben Cherington has going on.

Colin (Clearwater)

Jerrah! Tell me this is the year Andrew Friedman actually gets something of value at the deadline. Any rumblings?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:55 PM)

Colin, Money is always a concern in Tampa, and the DH options don't seem a whole lot better than Luke Scott, so I don't think the Rays are going to do anything too momentous. (Sorry if I sound like a broken record here, poo-poohing so many trades. But it's a lousy trade market and there isn't much available that teams regard as major upgrades. Maybe I'm wrong, but it appears to be slow out there right now).

Rj (Elon, nc)

Jerry, phillies could go either way. What do you see them doing in the next 10 days?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:58 PM)

RJ, If they go in the tank, I can see Michael Young being moved. But I don't think they'll move Utley or Lee. If I were Ruben Amaro, I'd deal Papelbon tomorrow, but he's got a lot of money left on his contract, which complicates things considerably.

Alex (Miami)

Who takes over for Cubs if Gregg is traded==Parker or Strop?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:59 PM)

Alex, Dale Sveum has mentioned both guys as possibilities. It would probably be a case of which guy asserts himself more forcefully and takes hold of the job. Fun fact: People think Strop is a veteran and Parker is a "kid," but they're both 28 years old. They were actually born six days apart.

Ranger Danger (Dallas)

What is the latest on Cubs trading Garza, how do the Rangers fit into that picture and perhaps picking up a bat in another deal?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:00 PM)

Ranger Danger, I think the Rangers are all over the map right now. They'd like a starter and a right-handed bat. They seem to be taking a breather on Garza to assess their options. But that could pick up soon if he's still out there by the end of this week.

UK Exile (London)

Assuming Reuben Amaro sees what the rest of us do, i.e. the Phils need to be sellers, what is a reasonable return for Cliff Lee and Chase Utley?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

UK, Bigger on Lee because he's a bona fide ace (although he's still owed something like $75 million). Utley could give a team a boost in a race, but he's just a rental player and his health is always a concern. So I suspect the Phillies will be disappointed in what they can get for him.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:02 PM)

Thanks for the questions, everyone. We'll see if the trade market picks up in the next few days. Let's talk again next week.