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Chat: Joe Sheehan

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday July 25, 2008 2:00 PM ET chat session with Joe Sheehan.

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Joe Sheehan writes \"Prospectus Today\" for Baseball Prospectus.

Joe's chat has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

Joe Sheehan: I know the focus is on Fenway Park, but I'm as interested in the Braves/Phillies and White Sox/Tigers series, myself. Should be a great weekend of baseball. Let's get started.

XchancedogX (N.H.): Hi Joe, How does Sexson still have a job? Barry or Teixeira makes more sense to me.

Joe Sheehan: The price was right and there was a need for that specific skill set. Now, I agree that Bonds would be a perfect on-field fit. Really, how much crazier can media coverage of the Yankees get, so why not sign him? For the price and within a role, Sexson isn't a bad use of the roster spot. I'd prefer him, and keeping the talent, to Teixeira. Bonds > all other solutions.

Eric Johnson (Milwaukee): Three better teams in the NL East than the Brewers, eh? Have you seen your own site's win projections?

Joe Sheehan: Getting killed on the Brewers this week. They're playing very well, and adding Sabathia is a huge get--shades of Doyle Alexander so far. However, the performance difference between them and the Braves is pretty small. There's an article in that notion.

Anyway, the Brew Crew is a great story. It will be interesting to see how the bullpen holds up, and whether they keep improving against righthanders. Doug Melvin has done a good job in-season.

Connor (Chicago, IL): This preseason you made the infamous proclamation that Zimmerman could be better than David Wright this season. With the time missed to the labrum tear, the possibility of that happening this year from a production standpoint has obviously gone by the wayside. If Zim doesn't have to have surgery on his shoulder, do you think he makes good on your prediction next year?

Joe Sheehan: It's not just the injuries--Zimmerman didn't make the progress as a hitter I expected to see from him at 23, so even a full, healthy season would likely have left me wrong. At this point, I would say that I'm wrong about him passing Wright in the future, although he's young enough to still be very good.

Hawkeye (ND): Your All Star Game analysis/review was GREAT! Question: Does Ian Kinsler stay at 2b for his career or is he a LF in waiting?

Joe Sheehan: That's a huge change in positional value. I seriously doubt Kinsler would be better than an ordinary left fielder. I think he stays at second base for the bulk of his career, improving a little defensively along the way.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Who makes your short list for Greatest Living Ballplayer?

Joe Sheehan: Barry Bonds. Mays, Aaron and Rodriguez follow.

Craig K. (Fayetteville, AR): $#@!$#@ Cardinals. Who had the worst bullpen you've ever seen, and has anyone ever done a study of the worst bullpens of all time?

Joe Sheehan: The Cardinals are making a run, although the worst bullpens tend to be on really bad teams that don't get to blow this many high-leverage games.

I ran a query in the sortables...1999 Royals--I think Rany wrote about them--were worst by WXRL, followed by 1973 and 1990 Braves.

Pat (Tufts): Brad Holt struck out 14 in 6 innings for the Brooklyn Cyclones last night. Can you say "wow"?

Joe Sheehan: I can also say, "Stay in the league for a few more weeks." I'm supposed to get out there second half of August. Would love to see him.

Randy (Ann Arbor, MI): Joe, can you think of a way to politely let Jim Leyland know that Gary Sheffield has a fork sticking out of his shoulder and it's time to start giving Marcus Thames 80% of the at-bats at DH before it's too late?

Joe Sheehan: I think you're half right. I don't see a lot in Marcus Thames' career that says he can play against righthanders with any frequency. This is another spot for that guy we keep talking about--in fact, he'd probably have MORE pennant impact for the Tigers, all things considered, than for any other team, save possibly the Rays.

nick (sfo): What do you think about Charlie Manuel removing Rollins for being late? Is benching one of your best players really the best way to engage in a pennant race?

Joe Sheehan: I'm not very good at managing people, so this is an area where I'm inclined to keep my mouth shut. That aspect of being a manager is just not something I can relate well to. I'll criticize personnel usage, tactics, what have you, but I just don't know that outsiders can bring a lot to a situation like this, and I certainly don't think I can.

Francisco Liriano (Rochester, NY): I've been dominating the International League for the past month and a half. When do I get called up? It's not really about the money, is it? And don't tell me I'll be in the bullpen while Livan stays in the rotation.

Joe Sheehan: Pick one: 1) The Twins are a savvy organization well aware of what various levels of service time mean financially and in terms of retaining a player. 2) The Twins are too stupid to notice that Francisco Liriano is better than Livan Hernandez by an order of magnitude.

That's really the choice here. I know which one I go with.

nick (sfo): Is Ricky Weeks going to turn it around this year?

Joe Sheehan: Yes. But I'm not particularly credible on this subject. Now ask me about Jeff Francaeiour.

BL (Bozeman, MT): What now-extinct ballpark would you most like to have watched a game in?

Joe Sheehan: The Polo Grounds, I think. I can't really wrap my mind around the dimensions, and would have liked to have seen how they played.

This is tangential, but I want to put it in here...I was thinking about Joe DiMaggio and his great defensive reputation. I think it was easier for him to have that because of the dimensions of the Stadium. Not that he wasn't great, but when you have that much room to cover, you're going to spend a lot of time catching fly balls. Same for any OF in a huge yard. Now, we can account for that stuff, but with older players, the images and the impressions stay with us.

Yeah, that was random. Drinking a Caffeine Sugar Chocolate Bomb from Dunkin' Donuts does that to me. That's probably not its name.

Frank (Las Vegas): Joe, In trade scenarios involving future free agents, how do you evaluate the potential returns (ie prospects vs supplemental free agents picks). I'm sure it is dependent on the organizations prospects, but is there a rule-of-thumb such as a team's #1, #2, or #3 prospect is better than or equal to a supplemental pick? Thanks, Frank

Joe Sheehan: No, there isn't. It's always about context. We hear a lot about those draft picks, but what doesn't get talked about is that those picks float--they could be #16 and #31, or #30 and #44 or something. So there's a lot of uncertainty involved. You can evaluate the prospects more easily, which is why I suspect--and this is WAGing a bit--that we've moved too far in the direction of "take the picks." The time value of getting the players now and the greater knowledge of what you're getting are fairly valuable.

nickojohnson (LA, CA): You've said in the past that you're still on the Matt Kemp as a superstar bandwagon. I hope you're right, but can I ask why? He doesn't make the contact of a Vlad Guerrero, and he's the only superstar that comes to mind with Kemp's sort of plate discipline. Also DO MORE FANTASY 411!

Joe Sheehan: I keep expecting that to improve. Kemp is a legitimate .310 hitter with so-so plate discipline, and even a little improvement makes him a superstar. I'd like to see him out of the leadoff spot.

Gotta throw some love to Casey, Cory, Mike, Tom, JoJo, Joy and all the rest of the 411 crowd. Love doing that show, lots of fun for me. If you don't watch, check them out at MLB.com now. Uh, in a different browser window.

Bill Smith (Cleveland): Well, does Livan have any trade value, currently?

Joe Sheehan: Randy Wolf brought back a top-ten prospect from a team, so I suppose anything is possible. I'm thinking Ed Wade's in the book, Bill. Call him up.

bp fan (manhattan): I bought the annual ! please answer my question:) bigger disapointment ? laroche or brandon wood? higher upside potential? laroche or brandon wood?

Joe Sheehan: Brandon Wood. LaRoche hasn't gotten enough opportunity to be labeled a disappointment. Wood has pretty much failed to master Triple-A. I'll take LaRoche's upside as well.

Peter (Boston): Joe, do you think stricter drug testing has anything to do with the crazy home/road splits we're seeing this year? Supposedly PEDs mainly help you recover, and travel is grueling.

Joe Sheehan: No, I don't. I think it's a blip, and if I were to tease out a reason, I think the highly complicated schedule necessitated by interleague and unbalanced scheduling is the primary cause.

PEDs are the too-simple answer to far too many complicated questions.

wilk75 (houston): Rangers-Yanks trade...Salty for Ian Kennedy?

Joe Sheehan: Saltalamacchia seems to be third on the list in Texas, so this deal might make sense for both teams, but I think Daniels would want more back. Would Kennedy and Edwar Ramirez be too much? Kennedy's value has plummeted this year. It'd work for the Yankees, who would have an offense/defense combination behind the plate, and a candidate for a job-share with Posada at C/DH for the next couple of seasons. I just don't know if it's enough to get him.

Chris (New York): Do you believe in the rejuvinated Carlos Delgado?

Joe Sheehan: When a right-hander is pitching.

kevin (boston): Loved your recent articles on santana. The other day my friend said he was having a bad year, when I asked how he came to that conclusion his response was "his era is in the threes." (its 3.05). Let me just say I now completely understand why some people may consider you a bit hawkish, my response used worse language than I have ever heard you use. Has there ever been another multiple cy young award winner that somehow managed to become underrated?

Joe Sheehan: Greg Maddux.

Joe (Tewksbury, MA): Joe, Loved your column today. My thought on Santana being lifted after 105 pitches is that with a 3 run lead you give a reliever some wiggle room. In a 1 run game I stick with Johan but if I have any kind of reliever (and Sanchez is decent enough) he should be able to handle a 3 run lead. What I don't want to do is start the inning with Johan and have to go to Duaner when it's 5-3 with 1st and 3rd and 1 out. Now if Sanchez doesn't have it he's toast.

Joe Sheehan: That's the best argument for taking out Santana, at least in Tuesday's game. Without going through all the scenarios, though, if Santana doesn't work, I probably get tactical to escape the inning. The Mets have good tactical relievers and can play matchups at that point.

This is actually a Strat tactic I employ. I like to use the good complete-inning/multiple-inning relievers up through the eighth, then go tactical and play matchups in the ninth as necessary. I don't know if it's always viable, but in special situations, like "the closer isn't available," I think it can work.

Adam (DC): One more thing about Bonds...is it possible that the "court of public opinion" will actually swing in the opposite direction at some point with the owners/MLB shutting him out, and Bonds will be seen as a martyr?

Joe Sheehan: It'll never turn that much. I do think, though, that if collusion is proven, it changes the narrative on the end of his career a bit. It'll be a while before that happens, if it ever does.

Remember: the owners colluded for THREE offseasons, and the MSM shrugged its shoulders each time. (Great job, folks.) This is a long story, and we're only at the beginning.

ChrisS (Syracuse): Thanks for the free week at BP!

Joe Sheehan: You're welcome. Hopefully, you'll come with us starting next Monday. Comes to pennies an article, and even if you, say, hate me but love Kevin, you'll get more than your money's worth across a full season. Thanks for checking us out this week!

Joel (GA): Is Andruw Jones in Dodger blue in the running for "worst contract of all time" or is Barry Zito still head honcho?

Joe Sheehan: I'm pretty sure Mike Hampton is the leader in the clubhouse, and will be for some time.

Eric (Mpls): Has Denard Span figured it out, or is this small sample size anamoly?

Joe Sheehan: He's not this good. He has value as a fourth outfielder, but because his instincts are so bad in center, there's a limit to what he'll be.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): Why is there no interest in Dunn?

Joe Sheehan: Batting average, and some kernel of truth in the Ricciardi commentary. He'd help all the teams Bonds would, and I can't imagine Jocketty would ask for too much. Dunn's gone come October.

G-MOTA (Bumpus, MA): "The time value of getting the players now and the greater knowledge of what you're getting are fairly valuable." I understand the "greater knowledge" part, but I'm a little unclear about what you mean by "time value." How _do_ we conceptualize "soon-ness" as a value? Is it part "the world could end during the offseason," part "we might stink in 2010," part something else? I read recently that our conceptualization of the future is non-linear... does that have something to do with it? And no, I'm not being sarcastic, and I'm pretty sure I'm sober.

Joe Sheehan: I chose my words poorly, I believe. (This is a reference to today's Prospectus Today.) Basically, getting the player now versus getting him, to start the 2010 season, which is when most 2009 #1 picks will arrive. That has value in and of itself. And I guess I could have just written that.

Chris (St. Louis): What is more of the culprit in a prolonged slump? Is it more bat speed or lack of pitch recognition? It seems like Manny goes through longer slumps these days where he can't catch up to fastballs and also gets fooled more often than not.

Joe Sheehan: I don't think there's a short answer. I would say that fatigue--physical and mental--plays a part at the core of almost any slump. When you're tired, it's harder to put in the work, harder to stay disciplined in your routines (both micro and macro), harder to execute, harder to focus. All slumps aren't due to fatigue, but I would say that fatuigue is a part of many to most, and manifests itself in things like pitch recognition, bat speed, decision making, etc.

James (Stamford, Texas): Should the Rangers sign Milton Bradley this winter?

Joe Sheehan: If it's another short deal, I'd take that risk. Bradley's age and health history make him a massive risk for anything beyond that, although I suspect he'll get longer offers.

Joe (DC): Hi Joe, thanks for the chat. If you were Bill Smith, what would you give up for Adrian Beltre? Would Duensing and Parmalee be enough?

Joe Sheehan: Still just 29, plays very good defense, signed for next year. If I were the Twins, I might try to do it for just pitching as long as I didnt have to include Swarzak. They don't have many guys like Parmalee, and I say that knowing he's got issues. Adding Beltre and swapping Liriano in for Hernandez--giving them five homegrown, above-average starters--would really change the conversation in that division.

Andy C (Indiana): Are there any moves out there that make sense for the White sox?

Joe Sheehan: They could use an OBP injection at the top of the lineup. The Brian Roberts rumors were interesting, although they require a second move or some juggling. I could see them getting a reliever as well. They'll go as far as the rotation takes them, I think.

James (Stamford, Texas): How hard should the Rangers push to sign Ben Sheets this winter?

Joe Sheehan: He'd be a very good fit, granting the amount of risk involved. I also think there's going to be SO much money chasing SO few players this winter that they end up outbid in the end.

I cannot emphasize this enough: there is SO much money in the game right now that open-market contracts are all going to seem insane.

Pat (NY): Should Cashman deal Gardner and another prospect for Washburn?

Joe Sheehan: No. I'm not the world's biggest Gardner fan, but Washburn isn't worth trading for. Rule of thumb: would this guy start for you in the first three games of a postseason series? If yes, trade for him. If not, don't.

Henry ((ATX)): Who do you like best long-term--Heyward, Maybin, or Rasmus?

Joe Sheehan: Probably Heyward, but that may just be because he's furthest away. He has the highest upside, IMO, while Rasmus is the safest bet of the three.

uptick (St. Louis, MO): ok, i'll take the bait...how about Francoeur from now until the end of the season?

Joe Sheehan: He'll convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. I'm not predicting anything past that.

Chris (TX): What's the dumbest rumor mongering you've heard thus far?

Joe Sheehan: Probably the Astros being interested in Randy Wolf.

Tim (DC): Joe, speaking of the past: for the average fan going back to a MLB game in the mid-20's, what do you think we would find the most surprising? BTW, ever read "If I Never Get Back" by Darryl Brock?

Joe Sheehan: The pace of the game. For any number of reasons, the baseball we watch today is just slower in every respect. And no, I don't know that book.

nick (sfo): Would you trade Halladay considering he he's signed through 2010? What type of package would you have to receive to consider it?

Joe Sheehan: Better than what the Twins got for Santana, and the Indians got for Sabathia. The contract is a good one, Halladay is so pitch-efficient that he gives you innings without injury risk. Sucks for him that he has no chance at the postseason--the Jays are probably one of the ten or 11 best teams in baseball this year.

Mountainhawk (Salem, MA): Are the Phillies done? To me, they are just flat out better than the Mets, but the offense isn't producing, and if it can't produce in July, how is it going to do in September?

Joe Sheehan: About how you would expect it to do overall. The Phillies' offense was going to decline this year, as Rollins would drop off for sure, and it was hard to see where else they'd improve. There's no reason to think there's any difference between July and September; it's just the difference between last year and this one.

Matt (Chicago): 85.5 -- over or under for games won by NL West division winner this year?

Joe Sheehan: Under.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): Who's the best two strike hitter in baseball, and is there a statistic that measures it?

Joe Sheehan: I don't know the answer to the question, but the data is out there for a few seasons now. It's probably Pujols, but I'm just guessing.

hey (you): Get back to this chat right now mister!

Joe Sheehan: I'll be here a while. The tradeoff is I make a sandwich during.

Chris (IA): Since the Yankees are looking for a "cheap" catcher under contract for next year, is it possible that they would deal for Bengie Molina? The Giants also have an outfielder (Randy Winn) to fill the Matsui role.

Joe Sheehan: The Yankees really need a left-handed batter with some OBP to platoon with Jose. They have to add some offense, and I wouldn't gamble on Bengie's career year continuing in the AL. The fit is Zaun or Melhuse or Saltalamacchia...just someone to get the .220 OBP out of the lineup.

Kevin (Redding, CA): Are the A's done trading? It appears that everyone is cooling off on Street. As an A's fan, I think we should keep him anyway. Thanks.

Joe Sheehan: Ellis and Duchscherer are in play, and should be. Duke's been fantastic, but the innings jump is going to be massive, and he'll lose value from here forward. If the A's make zero transactions by Thursday, I'll be surprised.

JROB4349 (jax,fl): why are you so sure the reds arent resigning dunn?..as a reds fan i hope they do..his ops is in the .940 range, not a lot of guys do that

Joe Sheehan: I guess I shouldn't be certain. He's never seemed comfortable there, he's been a whipping boy in the past, and honestly, I don't think he's a great FA signing. Old players' skills and a history of gaining weight make me nervous.

Dan (Brooklyn): Better player when their career is over: Jeter or Reyes?

Joe Sheehan: Jeter. I know the hagiography gets tiring, but he's an all-time great.

Eric (MD): Joe, what happened to Rich Hill, and when/where will he be spotted again?

Joe Sheehan: He insists it's not mental, just mechanical. I doubt we'll see him in the majors this season, even as a September call-up, and I think his next MLB appearance will be with a team other than the Cubs. Medium term, I like the talent and I think he'll pitch well again.

Joe (Washington, DC): Hi Joe. What should the Yankees do with Derek Jeter? At this point, I'm not sure where his bat plays.

Joe Sheehan: The window for making Derek Jeter anything but a shortstop closed when Alex Rodriguez was forced to play third base. He'll be a shortstop until he injures himself, his career ends, or he decides it's time to move. Shades of Cal Ripken, but without a guy like Davey Johnson to force the issue.

Dom (NY): True or False: The Mets will make the playoffs.

Joe Sheehan: True.

Matt (Midwest): Do the Brewers have any sort of "moral" dilemma with their handling of Sabathia and his workload down the stretch? I know he's one of the largest physical specimens in the game and should be able to handle a larger workload but shouldn't the Brewers be looking out for him even though after this year they probably won't have to worry about what they did to his arm? Is it win at all costs and don't worry about the health of a player that will only contribute for 3+ months or should they be thinking about his future and the damage they could do if they sent him out there for 120+ every time?

Joe Sheehan: Teams face this dilemma with everyone; it's just put into stark relief with a guy like Sabathia in a year like this one. A team's need to continue operating within the industry, as well as the bounds of common decency, prevent the truly degenerate cases. However, I think the Brewers should push the envelope within reason as long as they can win a championship. That may mean some starts on short rest in September and October, or some high-pitch-count outings along the way. That's reasonable usage.

Hombre X (Parts unknown): With the injuries to Hudson and Chipper, are the Braves going to be sellers now? Outside of Teixeira, who else of value can/will/could/should they deal?

Joe Sheehan: They're hanging around, and unless they get belted by the Phillies and Cardinals, I still think they can be a force in the race. If they were to sell, I have to think Mike Gonzalez would have value. He's pitched great and he could get hurt again at any time. That's about it, really...it's a team of untradable parts for one reason or another. Kotsay couldn't have value, could he?

Mike (NJ): Joe, You have been very bullish on Melky Cabrera. What are your thoughts on him now?

Joe Sheehan: I'm just confused by how little power he's shown. He seems to have an idea at the plate, he's not a small guy, and he's even getting the ball in the air more. It just doesn't go anywhere. I'm confused as all hell. Still optimistic/stubborn, though.

strupp (Madison): Smardjiza (However the F it's spelled)... rare case of "figuring it out" while being promoted aggressively? Or just focusing on pitching finally paying dividends? Or none of the above?

Joe Sheehan: I'm not quite understanding the attention this is getting. The guy has been barely functional at two levels this year, and off of six good starts he's been called up. I wonder if this is a "on the 40-man/it's his day" move, rather than a real decision.

nick (sfo): Are any of the NL West teams in the top 10 in baseball? Top 15?

Joe Sheehan: No to the first...marginal call to the second. There's a lot of parity in the middle of MLB.

Razman (Brooklyn, NY): If the Twins had kept Santana, would they be in first place right now?

Joe Sheehan: Santana and Pridie/Span/filler instead of Gomez and Hernandez, and maybe no extensions for Morneau and Cuddyer. Yeah, almost certainly. That doesn't mean it was the wrong decision. The Twins have overachieved.

ew (Madison): Hi Joe, where did you work before BP? ie...what has your career path been like that has brought you to such a cool job?

Joe Sheehan: I was about a year out of USC when this started, and I really don't remember a time before BP. Before I did it full-time, I was a managing editor in legal publishing; a freelance data specialist/editor; did data entry and software training for UC Irvine. Since 2002, this has been what I do.

I'm insanely lucky. Seriously.

nickojohnson (Los Angeles): Any thoughts on a player who hasn't had much of a first half who might be huge for the next two months?

Joe Sheehan: Adam Jones. There's been some improvement along the way, and he has a ton of raw talent, and his job is safe because he plays good defense.

Razman (Brooklyn, NY): You're not wrong to prefer top-3 rotation guys, but the Yanks need to get to the playoffs. Isn't Washburn probably worth 1-2 wins over Darrell Rasner/Sidney Ponson, which could make the difference between baseball and golf come October?

Joe Sheehan: I don't think that he is, and consider that the Yankees could have Kennedy and Hughes in that mix down the stretch. Hughes is better than Washburn, and Kennedy is about the same. You don't get to the postseason by upgrading by a win or less unless you're adding upside. Washburn has no upside.

Steve (CT): If you're Theo Epstein, what do you do about the catcher position next year?

Joe Sheehan: I'd bring back Varitek on a one-plus-vesting, on the notion that if he has a bounceback year, it'll vest, and invite about eleventeen catchers to camp. Don't think Kottaras is the answer, or Wagner.

Stephanie (DC): If you had to pick one position player to build a major league team around, given talent and contract status, who would it be? Maybe relatedly, what can Rays fans hope for from Longoria's peak?

Joe Sheehan: Longoria wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Maybe David Wright or Jose Reyes, tough to choose. Justin Upton, except he's a right fielder.

Tim (DC): Joe, the chat has been great. Besides Liriano, what player in the minors may have the biggest influence on the pennant race?

Joe Sheehan: Great question, and one I have to answer in the next day or so for SI next week. (Come on, I never plug stuff...)

Stan Musial (some small town in PA): I have a pretty strong claim to greatest living player, no?

Joe Sheehan: In the sense that anyone in the top five does, I guess, but I can't see Musial ahead of Bonds, Mays and Aaron. Too much time at first base hurts him when you're talking about this high a level.

William O'Brien (Las Vegas): In regards to Bonds... the man hasn't played baseball all season, and got off to slow starts in both 06 and 07. He would need time to get going, time that competing teams might not be able to afford to give. His value to any team would be pretty much limited to September at this point.

Joe Sheehan: And he's one of the few players extant who could be worth 1, 1.5 wins in a month.

Chris (Harrisonburg, VA): Why is the NL West so friggin bad this year.

Joe Sheehan: When you have five-team divisions, this will happen. Take two teams who are or should be rebuilding, one that had a critical injury (Furcal), an expected fallback (Rockies) and one legitimate disappointment (D'backs). Stir.

Side benefit to unbalanced schedules for MLB: it reduces the chance of a sub.-500 playoff team.

Ameer (Bloomington, IN): I just watched Jeff Samardzja make his ml debut and he didn't look half-bad. Did anyone think that was going to happen this year?

Joe Sheehan: That is really one hell of a spot to have a kid who wasn't that great in the minors make his MLB debut. "Welcome to the club. Go protect a one-run lead against the top of the lineup."

ew (Madison): Thoughts about Chris Davis so far? Adam Dunn with less on base skills?

Joe Sheehan: That guy can't play in the majors, if so. There should be some development left, which would make the difference between him being Paul Sorrento and, say, Paul Konerko.

Chris (TX): Odds of Andy LaRoche being traded?

Joe Sheehan: 50/50. I have no read on the Dodgers. I'm not sure the Dodgers have a read on the Dodgers.

I could do this all day. I really could. Except I have to be somewhere at 6. Lightning round.

Steve (Hartford): "Greatest Living Ballplayer" ... where's the love for the pitchers? Clemens, Maddux, Seaver, Gibson, P. Martinez?

Joe Sheehan: I'd have Pedro ahead of Gibby, although I am pretty hard on all those 1960s guys. The 1962-68 was for pitchers what 1994-2000 was for hitters, but good luck getting that generation of players and writers to acknowledge it.

Joe (NJ): So drop Sheffy for Adam Jones?

Joe Sheehan: Yes.

Joe (Tewksbury, MA): Long term - Clay Buchholz or Jon Lester

Joe Sheehan: Buchholz, but Lester has closed a lot of ground in a year.

Geoff (Ashburn, VA): Will the real Curtis Granderson please stand up? 2006, 2007 or 2008 versions?

Joe Sheehan: 2006 and 2008 are basically the same, just some singles falling in. '07 was the peak. He is the '06/'08 player.

Sam (OC): Joe, what do pitchers in the modern era do during the offseason? Do they throw at all? Do they throw crazy hard, like a simulated game?

Joe Sheehan: Hoping Will Carroll reads this and does an article on it. I'd love to know.

Henry (ATX): If the Yanks added Bonds (LF) AND Dunn (DH), would they make the playoffs?

Joe Sheehan: Going away. That would be more than humans should be allowed.

Fun side plot: there is some non-zero segment of fans likely on the fence about a playoff appearance for the Yankees. If you have tickets to the last home game, they would not be "the last home game" if the team makes the playoffs. Kind of a true-fan test.

Jon (Maroneck): F-Mart or Travis Snider?

Joe Sheehan: Different kinds of players, hard to compare. Snider just on health.

Rob (NV): Better long term Rangers catching prospect? Salty, Teagarden, Ramirez?

Joe Sheehan: Ramirez splits the difference between the two in terms of type. I like him best, although Teagarden's defense is the real deal.

Frankie (New Jersey): Why do Spahn and Marichal never get mentioned in these "best living pitcher" discussions? Did they die?

Joe Sheehan: They're not as good as Clemens and Maddux. Marichal is nowhere near this discussion.

uptick (St. Louis, MO): Adam Lind has been raking lately...can he keep it up?

Joe Sheehan: Yes. He's Bobby Higginson or Geoff Jenkins with less defense.

Joe Sheehan: Thank you, thank you, thank you, both for today and for all the support. Check us out next week--we'll be all over the trade deadline with more chats, rumors, analysis and commentary!


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