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December 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:01 PM)

Like a crash, I wait for the impact ... of Klawchat.

Darren (Lowell)

If Tanaka is not posted, is it because his team believes his value to the team is worth more than $20m, or out of spite for the rule changes costing them $30-$40m more they could have made with the previous posting rules.

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

Yes.

Chris (LA)

Thoughts on Gavin Floyd to the Braves?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

If he's healthy, he'll earn that $4 million and more - but why not sign him to a deal with a vesting option for 2015 at a bigger base? You're buying his readjustment year and not participating in the future upside.

Duck (Eastern Shore, MD)

David Lough looks like an awesome get from the Royals. He had a 2-3 WAR in less than 100 games. How could he have only costed Duquette Valencia? Is this another case of the Royals being clueless?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

This is another case of WAR being less than ideal for evaluating a player - in this case, because nearly all of Lough's value came on defense, and unless you think he's a +20 defender in right, he's probably not going to be a 2 WAR player again.

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I'd rather have Lough than Valencia, mostly because Valencia is pretty bad at third and doesn't hit enough for first. KC could platoon him with Moose, but that would require admitting Moose may not turn into a star or even above-average regular, and also would give up a lot on defense.

Will (Bristol, England)

Hey Keith, big fan of yours from over here in the UK. With the Ashes happening at the minute (big cricket series against Australia for those who don't know), I was thinking about how bowlers in cricket alter their run ups to alter how the ball approaches them; i.e. straight on or from an angle. Do pitchers ever move their starting position on the rubber to get a different angle of approach for their pitch?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Yes. And sometimes moving a pitcher on the rubber for all pitches can result in a major improvement overall.

Benjamin (DC)

The Nationals just traded Corey Brown for cash considerations. Could you explain why teams make trades like this?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

They probably got more than they would have received had they lost him on waivers.

Kyle (Missouri)

When is the baseball movie True Grit featuring Kevin Towers coming to theaters?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

That movie's in turnaround.

David Gustafson (Minneapolis)

Is there anything in the posting rules that forbids a MLB team from making a "contribution" to the Japanese team's owner during negotiations with the player, above and beyond the $20 million posting fee?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

MLB doesn't operate like our judicial system. If the commissioner sees someone circumventing the rules like that, he'll punish them.

Alex Anthopolous (Bottom of Mount Olympus)

Am I playing the right cards these days or being too picky?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Nothing is as important to Toronto in 2013 as health. If they're not healthy, there's nothing AA can do to make them a contender.

Daniel (Arlington VA)

Keith, the Braves cut bait on a former first rounder to bring in a backup C/1B/OF who has a better bat than glove. Is he just there to mentor Gattis (another backup C/1B/OF with a better bat than glove) or am I missing some good reason for the Braves to make this move?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

He was a "former first rounder" but was an overdraft at the time, so that tag doesn't accurately reflect his ability or market value. I don't fully understand the attraction of Doumit to them, though.

Matt (DC)

What are your thoughts on Corey Seager's struggles in High A and the AFL? Just young for the leagues? Tired at the end of the long season? Or cause for concern?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

Extremely young for the AFL, young for the Cal League, also saw some swing adjustments he'll need to make for 2014, especially on his front side.

Rob (SoCal)

Is Calhoun a regular player for you or a fourth outfielder?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

Regular.

Dan (Michigan)

So how embarrassing is that article by Pat Caputo on Jack Morris? I'm rather embarrassed that he writes in the state I live in. So out of touch with reality.

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

It's bad enough when writers fabricate historical events to support Morris, but the misuse of "sabermetrics" was just legion.

Dale (KY)

Junior Lake, I know you are not a fan, but is there enough potential upside to give him a full shot in LF/CF this year, or just wishful thinking?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Wishful thinking. I would trade him for a half-decent pitching prospect in a heartbeat.

Kevin (Memphis)

Sorry if I missed it but can we get a scouting report on Tanaka?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

He's on my top 50 free agents ranking at #2.

Amit (San Francisco)

Can a Rule 5 pick from last year who spent the entire year in the majors (Nate Freiman) be sent to the minors this year and stay in the organization? If you are ever in SF, must eat at Don Pistos, Beretta and Mochica.

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

Yes, he can, as long as he got that 90 days in the majors (which you mentioned).

Tad (Bakersfield, CA)

Hey Keith. With the acquisition of Stubbs, wouldn't it make more sense to leave CarGo in LF and platoon Blackmon/Stubbs in CF? The Rockies seem hell-bent on moving Gonzalez to center for some apparent reason. Happy Holidays.

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

I thought part of the idea of trading Fowler was to get Dickerson and Blackmon more AB. Adding Stubbs seems to contradict that now.

Chris (NYC)

Do you believe Ike Davis can find his swing as a Met? It seems paradoxical to me the Mets went after Chris Young bc of his power potential, but are also desperate to ship Ike off for a decent return based on last season. What gives?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Davis has power, but can't hit enough to get to it. I don't like his swing at all, specifically where his hands start, which seems geared just to lift the ball but not produce enough contact.

Jeff (Oceanside, CA)

Your thought's on Raul Ibanez signing with Angels?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

I have no thoughts on this. He's a bench piece. That's about it.

CMR (Chicago)

Does the idea of Molina/McCann/Lucroy producing 3 wins per year in framing seem about right to you?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

In practical terms, sure. In moral terms, no. It's a clear sign MLB has seriously fouled up the HP umpiring thing and needs to address it.

Robert (Madison, WI)

I noticed a number of writers noted that a factor in the White Sox trade of Addison Reed was that he would be arbitration eligible following 2014. As a closer, he would likely see a huge salary increase. Going forward, do you think economics could be a factor in who is used as a team's closer? Could a team decide not to use an arbitration eligible reliever as it's closer, instead using him in other high leverage situations, in order to save money in arbitration (using a similar or possibly slightly less effective reliever as the closer)? Right now it seems like the market is still overvaluing the "save" statistic.

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

The market doesn't overvalue it as much as arbitration does, but yes, there is still too much value placed on the whole Proven Closer(tm) thing. I do think it's progress that the Phils are finding so little market for Papelbon at two years, though.

John (Austin, TX)

Klaw, I never saw your take on KC signing Infante. Four years is a little long but the AAV seems reasonable to me. And it seems it provides an upgrade at 2 roster spots since Bonaficio is probably below avg as a starting 2B but above avg as a utility guy. Your thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

No way I give him four years. I think he's a glorified utility infielder, not an everyday guy. If he doesn't hit .300+, his bat is giving you nothing.

Ryan (st louis)

Any report on winter meetings eats? Or did you simply return to the old standbys?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Delayed by the music posts. We went to 4 Rivers, Pio Pio, and the Ravenous Pig.

Casey (California)

Have you heard anything about Daniel Roberton's defense at SS? Any chance that he can stick there (not that he'd need to because of the other soon-to-be 20 year old in front of him) or up the middle?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Can't play SS. I believe he'll end up at 3b.

Robert (Chicago)

Is there any narrative RE: HOF that's more annoying and grinding than "first-ballot Hall Of Famer"? I could see if the BBWAA was regularly voting ten guys in, but they aren't. The numbers don't change, a hall of famer is a hall of famer.

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

And there is zero distinction in Cooperstown. The plaque is the same for a first-year inductee and a fifteenth-year inductee. But the electorate has shown such broad ignorance on so many topics that I'm not surprised this meme survives.

Brett (Wisconsin)

Klaw - have you ever eaten at a Culvers? Judging by your food tastes, I think you would enjoy it.

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

I have. The custard is great. The food is nothing special. It's no Shake Shack.

zack (stl)

Do you buy the report that Choo turned down 7/140 from the yankees? Hard to believe he would get a better offer.

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

I don't buy it, but I have no firm basis for my disbelief.

Dale (KY)

Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, Castro. Which positions are the best fits for them?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

3b, ss, 2b, ... lf?

Vil B. (Silver Spring MD)

Is Mikael Franco going to crack your top 30 prospect list or are you still down on him?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Putting a prospect between 31 and 100 would not be "down on him."

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I seem to remember Royals fans angry that I tended to have Moustakas lower than other media lists. Was I "down on him," or just less optimistic?

Dan (Naperville)

Keith, what do you think of Rick Hahn's moves for the White Sox so far? I know they still have a ways to go, but how long would it reasonably take for them to put out a contender again? And Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

And the same to you and yours. I think Hahn's done a great job with little moves that they just didn't make often enough under KW. I also think this is the most coherent strategy they've shown as an organization, MLB to minors to draft, in ages. It's not perfect, but it's a large ship to try to turn in one direction, and so far I'm very impressed.

Brandon (Columbus)

So your exclusion of Deafheaven from your end year tracklist is that you don't like black metal compared to death metal? I just wanted to clarify. I think the album is really amazing but more shoe-gaze / post rock.

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

It's more that I can't listen to a ten-minute extreme metal track, whether black, death, blackened, or any other variety.

Andy (Madison, WI)

What does your normal day consist of during the winter? Are you calling people and still talking about baseball prospects? Starting your write ups for future articles? Binge watching the West Wing?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Mostly phone calls and texts. Been quiet this week though.

Derek (Sheboygan)

You're Doug Melvin. None of these are inspiring, but you choose which option: Michael Young everyday 1B, Juan Francisco/Sean Halton(Brett Pills?) platoon, Hunter Morris everyday 1B, Trade Thornburg for Ike Davis as everyday 1B?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Probably Morris as the path of least resistance. If the Mets would do Thornburg (reliever) for Davis, I'd entertain that. I wouldn't consider any of those other options.

Steve (Pittsburgh, PA)

Was it a blunder for the Pirates to stand pat this fall and winter? The team has a sound strategy. But will failing to add on to the 2013 team prove to be a tactical blunder?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

They've avoided a major pitfall - assuming that they were only headed up and spending too much in the short-term to try to boost that. There are way too many reasons to expect some short-term regression, even though the rest of the decade looks bright. A team with a low payroll can't make the mistake of confusing one year's success with the start of a sustainable run of contention.

Tim (AZ)

Iam Thomas looks like he could be another Braves find. Any thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

I had him as my "new GUY" in their system back in August, so, yes, I concur.

Alex w. (chicago)

What's a realistic stat line for Jose abreu? And Alexander guerrero? Should expectations be tempered or are these true offensive beasts?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

I haven't heard anything positive on Guerrero yet. Abreu there's much more optimism, seems like a real chance for 30 bombs especially in that park.

Taylor (Pennsville, NJ)

Has there ever been a time when baseball management was more inclined to employ platoons on a regular basis? Is there a specific period we can point to as a way of showing that platooning players does indeed pay off? I am working with a hazy memory on this but I seem to remember the '93 Phillies platooning players at three positions; left field (Incaviglia and Thompson) right field (Eisenreich and Jordan) and 2b (Morandini and Duncan). Why don't teams do this more often? Are they afraid of upsetting the players? Is it not cost effective? Thanks for your thoughts.

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

The short answer is that the 12-man pitching staff makes it nearly impossible. In the AL, you need 9 regular position players, plus a backup catcher and a backup IF who can play short. You now have two spots remaining, and one of them has to be able to play the outfield. Good luck. Or, you know, try living with six relievers instead of 7.

Matt (Kansas City)

Hey Klaw, what are your thoughts on one final Expansion to 32 teams? MLB could re-structure Divisions into 4 teams each, 16 team Leagues. It would eliminate everyday Interleague as well as the one game playoff. Win your Division and your in. San Antonio seems like a prime candidate for a team. Your thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

I wouldn't call it "final" but I do think MLB should add two more teams to reflect changing population growth and demographics. They don't seem to want to move any clubs - in a free and open market, some of the rust belt teams would likely have left for warmer cities by now - but getting into that San Antonio/Austin market seems like good business sense.

Chris (Mamaroneck)

Does it (tick) you off that you had the Trumbo deal first but lots of outlets claimed their "sources" were close to the situation? At one point MLBtv had Kendrick as part of the deal.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

No. For one thing, many, many writers credited me straight off - I know Rosenthal and Heyman did, because I saw their tweets go by, and I did appreciate that. But I also am more concerned with getting quality analysis up and available, and making sure it's read, than I am with the ephemeral value of a "scoop."

Alex w. (Chicago)

Haven't heard anything positive on Alexander guerrero as in only hearing negative reports? Or nobody is positive what dodgers have in him yet? Sorry for follow up question

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

All negative. Terrible in the field, body very stiff, etc. I don't want to overreact - we saw how Puig changed in one winter - but it's not exactly great news.

Ryan (Montreal)

Keith, What are your thoughts on Tim Cooney?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Kind of a sleeper. As if the Cards didn't have enough pitching coming.

Ross (Toronto)

Any change Montreal gets another team if MLB expands?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Doubt it. Don't think Selig has any interest. If there's ever another team outside the US, I bet it's south, not north.

Casey (Fort Madison, IA)

What is the Jerome Holtzman folly that you referred to in your write up of the Addison Russell trade?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Addison Reed trade - and it's the save rule, invented by an overrated writer whose biggest contribution to the industry is a rule that has ruined roster construction.

Jackie (Cincinnati)

Matt Carpenter's career year was probably 2013, right?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Yes, probably. Still a good player, of course.

David (Phoenix, AZ)

I know you communicate frequently with Nick Piecoro...have you received any vibe from sources, including him, on what exactly is happening with the DBacks offseason plan? I can't understand it for the life of me.

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

We discussed that on Behind the Dish this week, actually.

Chris (SF)

Will Mac Wililamson see the big leagues before Gary Brown?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

No, but Williamson is a lot more interesting to me now because of the power.

Alex (Cleveland)

Honest answer: does Cleveland deserve an MLB franchise?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I'll put it another way: If MLB had to start over and place 30 teams, would Cleveland get one? I don't think so, given the population shifts and income levels. That isn't the same as "deserve" (which implies a moral component), but from a business perspective, I think a couple of those towns - Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh - would have lost their teams without MLB protection.

Ira (NJ)

If there's one trade I can't wrap my head around it's the Smith-Gregerson deal. Are the Padres poised to make another move; seems like their outfield is way too crowded.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

I didn't get that either. Gregerson's good - a reliever, yes, but a good one, probably worth more than one year of a fourth outfielder.

Ryan (Montreal)

Keith, I miss your great Movie reviews on The Dish. Have you seen any good ones lately and will you be posting any reviews in the next couple of weeks?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Hoping to get back on that after the holidays, like last year. I've never been a get-there-on-Opening-Night guy, since I'm not actually a critic, just a guy with opinions.

Jeff (OH)

Klaw, long time chatter, first time asker. I've been around since Joba Chamberlain used to dominate your chats. Anyway, if you were the Reds right now, would you feel a sense of urgency to trade Homer Bailey? All indications are he will be incredibly difficult to extend, given their budget.

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

Welcome. I don't think they need to trade him and it's hard to see them being better without him in 2014. Unless they're planning to tear it down or someone offers them the sun and moon, they should probably hang on to him.

Ed (Portland OR)

KLAWWW... Why can't the Yankees develop homegrown talent consistently ?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

They were cursed with injuries in 2013. Austin, Williams, Heathcott, Banuelos, Encinas, Clarkin ... they were really banged up. The same group could look a lot better next September if they just stay healthy all year.

Mike (San Diego)

What you just said about Carpenter probably applies to Donaldson as well, correct?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Yes.

Andy (Lynchburg, VA)

Does Max Fried's relatively high BB rate concern you at all or is it just a matter of working on secondary pitches and "normal" for a good young arm to have a rate that high?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

For Mike: Yes.For Andy: No. Archie Bradley had a pretty high BB rate his first year out, and no one seems to mention that any more.

Mike (e-town)

Ever played the board game Terra Mystica? Wife and I just got it and we love it.

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

No, but I know it's rated very highly. I thought I saw 90-120 minute playing times though ... that's starting to sound like Le Havre territory.

Kanye West (Chicago)

Keith, I'm going to let you finish, but how did I not make either of your lists?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Because I only list music I like, which means the music has to be good.

Harper Lee (Calgary)

Where does one find the year end tracklist referred to earlier?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

My top 100 songs of 2013, which went up this morning: http://klaw.me/19zpudz

Dale (KY)

Speaking on board games, you played Strat-o-matic right?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Never.

Mike (Chicago)

Eataly thought? Thinking of taking the family for the holidays.

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Never been. Italy is pretty good, though.

steve (LBC) [via mobile]

Approve of the job DiPoto has done so far this offseason? What move does he need to make before spring?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

One more starter would be nice. I have to think one of the big 3 remaining FA starters ends up there.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

To what level are Kris Bryant's K rates at High A and in the AFL concerning? Or is it too early to be concerned about that, considering how many times he changed levels in just a few months since going pro.

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

That feels to me like looking for something to worry about. He could punch out 150 times a year in the big leagues and still be an MVP candidate.

WTF Pancakes (Cincinnati)

True or false: As a general rule, if you're trading to get a reliever, you've lost the trade.

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

That's a pretty good rule of thumb. When someone writes the Klaw Trade Analysis Generator, that should be the first rule fed into the neural net.

Kelvin (AZ)

In you podcast you said you didn't just want to relegate the DBacks to the wild card race and give the Dodgers the division, but is there really anyone in that division potent enough to give LA a serious run?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

On paper, I don't think so ... but weird stuff happens. If Kershaw rolls an ankle, the whole year could look different.

Why I don't read Pitchfork (San Jose)

Speaking of lists. their top album for 2013 - Modern Vampires. When I hear the "Ya Hey" song, I can't change the channel fast enough. Same with The National

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

The one that kills me is "Diane Young" - when he starts with that "baby baby baby" OH MY GOD MAKE THE BAD MAN STOP

Howard (Dallas)

I'm so confused by George Springer - the strikeouts are high, but the babips have been extremely high - does he just swing super hard every time and crush the ball on the occasions he makes contact or is there something else going on? Do you think he can be successful in MLB in the near future?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

No two-strike approach - but he hasn't needed one yet. I think he will, but you have to fail first to want to change, and he's never failed.

Beign is (Rye)

In one line, why does Jack Morris not belong in the HOF?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

He was barely above-average for most of his career.

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

Which teams are likely to regress in 2014?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

Pirates, Cleveland, Baltimore (maybe). Detroit might be worse, but not enough to matter.

Grant (Chattanooga)

When exactly did hip hop die? Would that be marked by a year or by an emergence of new "styling" that sealed it?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

I blame P. Diddy.

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

How's the family (yourself included) been doing with the new digs?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

I didn't miss this cold. Or snow. Or limited sunlight. The girls are fine, though.

Jon (Bozeman, MT)

Keith, I bought Settlers of Catan junior edition to play with my 7 year old. I tried providing her guidance, but wouldn't listen and quit playing when she kept losing. Did you have this issue and what would you recommend to help her?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

You could maybe let her win once.

Marc (Chicago)

Fair to say that even if Avi Garcia, Eaton and Davidson fail, the process Rick Hahn is using should be encouraging for White Sox fans?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Yes. I don't like Garcia as much as the Sox seem to, but overall I've agreed with a lot of their thought processes. And there is no way on earth KW would have traded for either Eaton or Davidson.

Matt (Steinway)

Thoughts on Amed Rosario? I know he's only 17, but the Mets system is lousy for postiion prospects and I need somebody to care about. It's obvious Cecchini will never be a guy.

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Why is that obvious? I don't think that's the case at all. You can't write a 19-year-old shortstop off after one year.

Jody (Baltimore)

You'd have a lot more credibility on music if you didn't like Alt-J. I listened to their concert on Sirius and it sounded like they were waiting to play a song or goofing around. Mumbling nonsense. So boring.

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

I'd view that as a point against your credibility.

JD (CT)

Better bet to stay at SS -- JP Crawford or Alen Hanson?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Crawford. I'm all in there.

Chad (Macon)

Can you write Kaleb Cowart off?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

I tried last year but the IRS declined it.

Gary (Annapolis, MD)

Your thoughts on keeping Barry Bonds out of the HOF. Like him or not, he belongs there, now. Like him or not was the most mistreated ballplayer in history in the end. Agreeing to play for nothing and no takers, a flagrant violation of his right to work.

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

He belongs in because he's one of the ten best players in history. The Hall is incomplete without him and Clemens.

James (Cleveland)

Just to clarify your top 100 is your opinion only right? Even if you dislike certain music it doesn't mean the many other people who like it are wrong. Your Kanye comment seems to imply otherwise.

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

People I respect adore the National. I just can't deal with the guy's voice. That doesn't mean I think everyone else is wrong.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I don't get the Kanye love, though. He's not original and he's not a good rapper.

Grace (Elgin)

Chat schedule next couple of weeks? Also we could use some Christmas dinner tips here!

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

This will be the last chat of 2013. Next one will probably be the second Thursday of January.

MS (Ohio)

Who is a good rapper in your opinion?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Rakim is the standard to whom all other aspire.

Lucas (Owasso, OK)

Does Archie Bradley start the year in the D-Backs rotation?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

I see no way that happens - not quite ready, no reason to trigger free agency a year earlier.

Tim (Arlington)

Now that the options have dwindled, looks like the Pirates are circling Ike Davis. Aside from the ridiculous rumored original request of Nick Kingham in return, what's your take on Davis and what would you surrender to get him if you were the Pirates?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Not Kingham, of course, but given the rest of their roster, taking a flier on him IF they think they can alter the swing enough to make his hit tool playable makes some sense. They're in that grey area where getting a crazy 3-4 WAR season from someone might make them a playoff contender again.

Brian (NJ)

Just found the Pat Caputo article. He wears a hat in his picture. HatGuy 2.0. Where is FJM when you need them?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

They're busy playing Cones of Dunshire. I hear Ken Tremendous is the Ledgerman this time.

Beign Likesto (Rye)

Gabe Kapler: better player or analyst? I'm very impressed with him.

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Analyst. He's outstanding. Between him and Brian Kenny we've got two high-profile baseball folks on TV (I'm excluding my own employer, of course) preaching the gospel of rational baseball though.

Chris K (NJ)

You've mentioned on Twitter really liking Carson Kelly. What makes you so high on him?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

A catcher with that kind of athleticism and offensive upside could be pretty special.

JT (Alliance, NE) [via mobile]

Klaw, I saw a video online outlining Albert Almora as a five tool player with power probably being the last to come along. Do you agree? Could playing in Wrigley slow down or help his power?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Uh, no. Speed is one of those five tools and Al-Al (sorry, I'll never call him that again) doesn't have it.

Rick (Chicago)

When can we expect a Top Chef recap? Happy to see the person that got kicked off go last night

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Later this afternoon/evening - watched it, took notes, just need time to write it up. Agreed on the elim.

Doug (Santa Barbara, CA)

Are you happier with the two pitchers the Halos received AND Ibanez, or would you rather have Trumbo?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

No question - they did it the right way. Filled two rotation spots in one move.

Norm (New Mexico)

Merry Christmas to you and yours. We'll miss your straight talking. Were you implying above that Baez would replace Castro at SS?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

I think Baez will be a better shortstop than Starlin, if given the chance. But I also think if Castro doesn't hit, and take an occasional pitch, it won't matter at all where he plays.

Drew Pomeranz (Oakland (Thank God))

Can I live up to my hype and draft slot now that I am out of Colorado? Do I have any chance to start this year?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Sounds like Oakland plans to use Pomeranz in the pen, and from what I heard after the trade from a scout who saw him in AAA, that is probably his ideal role.

Mike (Chicago)

Taillon and Polanco, summer call-ups for Pittsburgh?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

I think so.

Dave (Chicago)

In 1993 at the age of 30, Roger Clemens had an ERA of 4.46. Over the next 14 years, he never had a season with such a high ERA. Don't you find this the least bit odd?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

If I had never heard any other information than what you gave me, I'd say "so what? You cherry-picked one year, and seem to assume no pitcher can ever get better after age 30."

Matt (AZ)

Not sure if you want to dig into this one so late in the chat, but can people stop defending whoever that Duck Dynasty guy is by invoking the 1st Amendment? This really isn't the appropriate defense of such bigoted comments.

Josh (Washington)

Hearing that Mariners are near the end of spending limit but conflicting report that they are still in on Ervin Santana. Which seems more likely them being done? Or one more big move?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Nor is it an appropriate use of the First Amendment. The government isn't trying to jail him because he said bigoted stuff. And I'm with the people who believe someone who holds such hateful views shouldn't be paid to have a forum for them.

Wally (DC)

Do you think Stephen Souza can be a MLB regular?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

No.

Rated Rookie ( Atlanta)

If you were Andrew Friedman, would you prefer Danny Salazar or Taijuan Walker as the centerpiece in a trade for Price?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

That's a tough call. Salazar's a little more attractive to me now with the better secondary pitch and with the regression in Walker's delivery ... but Salazar has also had a major arm surgery (TJ) while Walker has never been hurt.

Mike (e-town)

Re: Terra Mystica - with 2 players we finish a game in about an hour, maybe a bit more with setup. With 4 players, we only played once and it did take us over 2 hours but we were all learning the rules.

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

Might have to show this to the wife, who hates long "work" games like Agricola.

Mike (Kansas City)

Bubba Starling??? Is he ever going to be a major league contributor?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

I think so. He'll be here in Wilmington next year with the good Mondesi son, Dozier, maybe Manaea ... going to be a fun team.

Andrew (Toronto)

Mentioned this to Schoenfield the other day - doesn't it seem odd that the Hall Of Fame welcomes a guy like Tony LaRussa with open arms, when so many of his wins came on the backs of admitted or supposed PED users that the Hall is appearing to shun? You'd think it should either be you block all of them, or block none of them.

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

Managers skate when they had to know their players were using. Also, the Vets Committee had no problem admitting a drunk driver and a wife beater this year.

Mike (Worcester. MA)

Is Austin Hedges defense so good that it will carry his bat even if he's a .215/.275/.325 hitter?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Way better hitter and power hitter than that.

Soda Popinsky (Canvas)

Is Bryce Harper overrated?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

No. He's the Jake Bugg of baseball and both will have huge years in 2014.

Chris (SD)

In your Top Chef recaps, when you write "This is foreshadowing..." are you writing that in your notes as you go or after the fact justification?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

As I go. I try to recapture the experience of watching it, like a live blog. I take a lot of notes, then I clean up the grammar afterwards and add a few jokes.

CC (Atlanta)

Do you believe in redemption or are you a "The die has been cast" type?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Depends on the crime.

Carlos Martinez (St. Louis)

Should I be starting or setting up...I'm nasty out of the pen!

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Starting, but there's no room at the inn.

Scott (Westminster, CO)

Not a fan of Passenger "Let Her Go"? 2012 song I suppose but not on either list?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

It's fine. First time I heard it I was sure it was the guy from Turin Brakes.

Rated Rookie (Atlanta)

What's your general assessment of power hitting catchers with questionable defense (e.g., Gattis, Rosario)? Is the *more* quantifiable offense worth the loss of pitchframing, gamecalling, throwing out basestealers?

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

The more we learn about catcher defense, the more it seems like that's a poor strategy. The difference is that the Rockies seem to understand that and want to upgrade, while Atlanta seems to want to cover its eyes and give Gattis 400 AB this year.

Matt (Northern VA)

Hey KLaw, what is a reasonable return for a potential Craig Kimbrel trade? Seems like Cripps and Seager for Kimbrel is a great trade for both ATL and SEA.

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

Who the heck is Cripps?

Kelvin (AZ)

I don't understand the moralizing of the Hall of Fame. It's a museum. There is no reason Pete Rose's gambling should negate the player he was on the field. Same goes for the steroid guys or even racists. It's not a morals Hall of Fame, it's a baseball Hall of Fame. Lets admit people off their contributions, not who they are as a person.

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

I've always separated Rose, because he broke the cardinal rule, the one in place to prevent the entire industry from crumbling ... but readers have pointed out, correctly, that the Hall needs to have him in there to be a complete record of the history of the sport.

Wes (Memphis)

Kudos to you and Matt in AZ for becoming the umpteen millionth person to misuse the term "bigoted" and "hateful." Try toning down the hyperbole some and using words like "careless" and "insensitive" that may be more appropriate.

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

I read the comments. That's bigotry. Bigotry can be careless and insensitive, but it doesn't make it less bigoted.

Mitch (Udel (home for holidays))

How good can Juan Lagares be? Seems like a younger version of Carlos Gomez - great D in CF and built-in speed but bat has to come around.

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

Don't see the bat ever coming around like Gomez', but the glove is legit.

Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston)

Starter or Reliever? What's my ceiling for both?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Power reliever, potentially a game-changer (as much as possible in 70 innings). Starter is all over the board. It's ace stuff at times, but could end up far less than that because of command and control.

CC (Atlanta)

The charges against Cox were dropped w/in 24 hours and his wife claimed he did not hit her. And no other incidents since '95. Don't you take that into consideration. That's why you seem to be a "die has been cast" type. We weren't there and he's been clean since. Just don't see how you can be so condemning based on this info.

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

Took a second, but this is from an SI column about the incident: "The report said that after the guests left, Bobby, 53, 'hit her in the face with his fist,' pulled her hair and called her 'a *****.' When they reached the house, the police reported, they heard arguing inside, where they found Bobby drunk and Pamela with the left side of her face swollen." Also, the victim refusing to press charges isn't exactly an unusual occurrence or evidence that the crime didn't occur.

Wes (Memphis)

By the way, this is exactly why people accuse you of being an extreme left-winger. You go out of your way to entertain an off-topic subject like that and then use amped up rhetoric to denigrate what is considered to be the more conservative-leaning viewpoint. So you're not fooling anyone when you play the innocent bystander card and pretend to be "independent," as I've seen you do in the past.

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

Bigotry is a conservative-leaning viewpoint? News to me.

Seth (Dallas)

Profar's value diminish with the move to 2B? Still a potential superstar type? Pedroia, Utley type value?

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

Different shape to the production, but star defender who hits for average, adds value on bases, maybe ends up in the 20-HR range. I still think he's a superstar.

Tarek (NYC)

Speaking of Rose, is he the most overrated player of all time or is that Jeter? Both are HOF players but the general public (and some MLB insiders) act like they belong with the Ruths, Cobbs, Mays and Bonds.

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

Rose is wildly overrated in my view, always has been.

Japhet (Amador)

Will I ever be a major league regular?

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

I'll bet no.

Warble (Garble)

WHY YOU NO LIKE THING I LIKE AND AGREE WITH MY NON SPORTS RELATED OPINON?????

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

because the internet

Brett (Wisconsin)

Thoughts on Dustin Ackley going into 2014?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

(throws hands up in air, wanders off muttering)

Roger (OH)

To clarify some of your bewilderment as to why people like Kanye, I think he's been one of the first rappers in the last 10-15 years to really show people that you don't have to be rapping about violence and drugs to sell records. Kanye is a suburban kid, who came from a good family, and still found a way to succeed in an industry that is for the most part filled with, for lack of a better term, "thugs." Of course, the guy is an egomaniac, and makes a ton of delusional comments, and you're right, he's not the best rapper. But his lyrics are very insightful and unique, and he's not afraid to touch on topics that most other artists tend to stay away from. Just one man's opinion, but I certainly respect yours as well!

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Very interesting. That's the first time I've heard his appeal explained like that.

James (Morristown)

Klaw, everyone who is enjoying this chat knows damn well that they better be careful with the cocktails when it comes to driving during the Holiday season. And I appreciate your commentary on it over the years. But that previous crack at Bobby Cox was a bit of a low blow. Everyone makes mistakes. Heck, I think LaRussa also got busted for DWI, but that doesnt make him a worse person than you or me (and I happen to really admire all the charity work he has done regarding animal cruelty). And it has NOTHING to do with the Hall of Fame. The previous reader's question was about steroids, i.e.: something that affects the play of the game.

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

I'm still waiting for anything concrete on that last point. How do steroids affect the play of the game? To what extent? Does HGH, when studies show no athletic benefit in men of playing age? Why don't we count amphetamines, when we've got MLB players racing to get exemptions for Adderall, which is just speed with a script? (That's not proof of efficacy, of course.) This all falls under the "morals" banner for me, and the distinction between using drugs that might affect the game and actions that might seriously harm or kill other people feels arbitrary.

WTF Pancakes (Cincinnati)

While you're on the subject of trying to read the Seattle tea leaves, where does Nick Franklin wind up? I was sure there was going to be a Brett Gardner for Nick Franklin trade, but that seems unlikely now.

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Unclear. Now the M's might not spend more money? I don't know where that leaves them, since dealing Franklin would have likely meant acquiring another veteran to help in 2014.

JT (Michigan)

I was surprised by the lack of rap on your lists, at least that I was able to recognize. Best rap in 2013 for you? Run the Jewels, Joey Bada$$, Black Milk, Danny Brown, something else?

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

I'm still convinced half or more of Run the Jewels' success with critics is because they made it a free download.

Sean (NJ)

Do you think MLB will stop testing minor leaguers for marajuana as it becomes legal in more and more states?

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

That has to be negotiated into the next CBA/JDA. I do think the union will end up pushing for it at some point, as long as MLB doesn't try to gain financial concessions.

joe (bronx, ny)

You know what... maybe getting busted for DWI or hitting your wife does make somebody a worse person then you or me.

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

I'm just saying...

Matt (Northern VA)

Cripps is an auto-correct. Should have been CAPPS and Seager for Kimbrel.

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

Capps is now a Marlin. Even so, that's not a great package for Kimbrel.

Steve (Chicago)

Does it make sense for the Cubs to sign Choo? I'm not sure where he fits, but you need some good veterans sprinkled into your youth movement, don't you?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

No, and not per se, although getting good veterans is generally a good thing anyway, more because they're good than because they're veterans.

Justin (Boston)

I love how not being a homophobic jerk is now considered extreme left-wing behavior.

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

We need @RedScareBot to make this complete.

Michael (New York, NY)

Hey Klaw, love the chats and snarkiness. I was wondering about the draft pick loss when signing an FA...if your team didn't sign its 1st rounder last year, assuming it isn't protected, can the replacement pick this year be lost when signing an fa who received a qualifying offer, or only your natural pick this year can be lost?

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

Yes, I believe the new CBA makes any pick subject to loss for signing a FA. I'd have to double-check to be sure but I think that's right.

Jay (Oregon)

So just because the delineation between steroids and amphetamines is blurry, means that we should just put all moral-related issues in the same bucket? Regardless of steroids' tangible, quantifiable effect on performance, it is baseball-related... at the very least on intent. Having nothing to do with moral-related comments. DWIs, as bad as they are (worse), still are not baseball-related. Let the justice system deal with that.

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

The outrage over steroids and HGH seems to be far more about intent, which is a moral issue, than about effect, which we can't quantify or even seem to roughly estimate.

Henry (Jamaica Plains)

I wish I could punch you

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

Yes, very impressive.

Bruce (RI)

Did the mariners pass any al west teams at all this offseason in your view?

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

On paper, I don't think so. Doesn't mean they'll finish fourth, just that I don't see them being demonstrably better than an improved LAA, or OAK/TEX roughly the same.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

Is Daniel Snyder a worse professional sports team owner than Jeffrey Loria? Snyder tries to win, but stupidly, and, well, the whole issue with the name. Although I guess that's probably not as bad as essentially defrauding a city.

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

I don't follow enough to answer that.

Matt (NYC)

Keith, I think part of the "logic" to support the thesis that steroids affect performance is that "players wouldn't be taking them if they didn't have a chance to give them an edge." Well, lots of players wear those Ionic Titanium Necklaces with the hope/belief that they will gain an edge, which seems to be pure superstition. Until we see some concrete evidence that illustrates the affect of steroids on performance, why can't we refer to steroid use another (possible) widespread superstitious practice in baseball?

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

If MLB and the union agree to suspensions and fines for positive tests, I can't argue with that. But for the Hall, we're holding players to an illogical standard, keeping guys out who never failed a test, putting guys (managers) in who nearly killed people. It makes no sense to me.

Jeff (Orlando)

What can we expect from Sano?

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

If the elbow issue isn't serious - there's a chance he'll need surgery, albeit a small one, supposedly - then I think he mashes his way to the majors this summer. That's 35-40 HR potential.

Tom (Philly)

Do you think Don Mattingly should be a HOFer?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

No. And I grew up cheering for him.

Dave (Schenectady)

Klaw, I believe that compensatory picks for not signing last year's draft choice are not subject to forfeit for signing a free agent with a qualifying offer. However, all other draft picks (e.g. supplement picks for losing your own free agent) are fair game.

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

This is what I wasn't sure about. I'd need to look that one up.

Mike (Memphis)

People just don't like Bonds, Clemens, McGuire, Sosa...that's what it is all about.

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

But Bagwell? Who did he ever hurt, other than Larry Anderson?

Ray (RI)

Did Baltimore get a big steal when they landed Michael Almanzar in the Rule 5?

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

No.

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

No. I doubt he sticks.

Tyler Smith (Atlanta, GA)

Do you see BJ Upton having a rebound season? Can you remember a player in their prime losing his skills so fast? (Andruw Jones?)

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

I'll bet on yes - but he needs a swing overhaul. He was a mess all of last year and I'm not even sure where you'd begin.

Bill (CT)

Keith, Allen Webster is a highly touted prospect in the Red Sox system. He got hit hard and showed no command in his "cup of coffee" last season. Eventually, where do you slot him in the Red Sox rotation?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

I'm on the fence about him, because it's premium stuff, but between the lack of command and the tendency for that fastball to straighten out (and get whacked as you said) make him look much more like a future reliever. The lack of a good breaking ball doesn't help either.

Tarek (NYC)

If Bonds is the best player you ever saw, who would be second? For me it would be Schmidt.

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Rickey.

Pat (DC)

Nats fans have anything to worry about in losing Nieto?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Maybe a decent backup.

Mike (Rutland, Vt)

Keith,No question today. Just wanted to wish you and your family joy and blessings during this holiday season.

Tony ((Phoenix - where you want to be today))

As another year passes, just want to thank you for the hours of entertainment and enlightenment in all forms. The podcast got demonstrably better as the year went on and all the other forms in which you partake are as enjoyable as ever. Happy Holidays.

Matt (CT)

Keith - No question, just want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New year, and thanks for all the great content both here an on the dish!

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

Thank you all so much, for the holiday wishes, for all the questions this week, and for your readership throughout the year. It is a privilege to do what I do and a responsibility I take seriously, including the responsibility to tell you all how grateful I am. May you all have a safe and happy holiday season, may you drink your fill (without taking the wheel) and eat to excess, and may the baseball gods give us much to discuss when next we convene in January. Happy New Year, everyone, and, to quote a certain rat I admire, thank you for making me a part of this.