On the beat and every Sunday, you get news about what's going on throughout the game from BP's John Perrotto, who takes time from the Winter Meetings to answer your questions.
John Perrotto: Greetings from Las Vegas. Let's talk some baseball.
Ben (Work): Thanks for taking the time for the chat. We all know there have been substantial talks with a couple of teams regarding Jermaine Dye, but is there any information on players like Bobby Jenks, Paul Konerko, and Jim Thome, who are all possibilities to be traded this offseason?
John Perrotto: It appears that the White Sox are going to hang on to Jenks now and there never seemed to be much of a market for Konerko and Thome, who both have no-trade clauses.
Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): When can we expect Joe Sheehan to get his BBWAA membership, too?
How were some BP writers included, but not all?
John Perrotto: We decided not to be greedy and asked for only two memberships this time. There is a possibility that more writers could be added in the future.
Mike (Motown): Should the Tigers try Edwin Jackson out in the bullpen, perhaps in the closers role?
John Perrotto: Dave Dombrowski said Jackson will be used as a starter. However, I could also see him closing if the Tigers don't land a ninth-inning pitcher via free agency. It appears their sights are now set on Trevor Hoffman.
HeathBP (NW AR): With the M's trading away Putz, who would you peg as their closer in 2009? Also who do you believe will be in the starting rotation?
John Perrotto: Assuming Bedard is not ready to start the season, I would say the rotation looks like this: Hernandez, Washburn, Morrow, Rowland-Smith and Silva. They might take a shot at Heilman as the closer, though Morrow would also be a possibility. But, as Jack Zduriencik said last night, it's still a work in progress because they would like to make some more moves before spring training.
Ben F (California): Any thoughts on the Rule 5 Draft in general? Surprises?
John Perrotto: I like the Mets adding Darren O'Day and Rocky Cherry to possibly flesh out the bullpen. That was a good move at a low price.
Bill (Baltimore): Wieters 2009 = Soto 2008?
John Perrotto: Maybe better. Dave Trembley says they want to break Wieters in slowly but I've got to believe he's the opening-day catcher. He's just too good.
Matt A (Raleigh): Is it just me, or should the Braves let Burnett do his thing in NY and instead offer 3/50 to Sheets and 2/26 to Abreu?
This team contends next year with those two players, and they maintain payroll flexibility for down the road when they're young prospects are peaking. Why the fascination with Burnett?
John Perrotto: I think the Braves feel the division is there for the taking and Burnett gives them the best shot. I'm not a big Burnett guy, though, and I like your plan better.
Andy (Chicago): Any insight into the Cardinals pursuit of Fuentes, or any other closer? It seems like they have a stable of good options to close in Perez, Motte, and McClellan.
John Perrotto: Cards are the favorite now for Fuentes, though the Angels are lurking.
HonusCobb (Wayne, NE): Where is Adam Dunn going?
John Perrotto: That's a great question that some of us were kicking around in the press room yesterday. I'll say the Nats if they don't sign Teixeira with the Mariners also a possibility.
dianagramr (NYC): Hi John ... thanks for the chat ...
This is an e-mail I received from a friend of mine:
Do not expect an email in January asking which Mets games are available for 2009.
The Mets asked for a 33 percent increase for CitiField, bumped us to a
higher tier (worse seats), and said we had to enter a LOTTERY (no guaranteed
This was our treatment after 20+ years of season ticketholding and fan
We passed on a season plan for 2009.
When will the club owners start to take notice .... only when the corporate buyers opt not to renew?
John Perrotto: That makes me so sad. One of the beautiful things about baseball is that everybody could afford to go to a game. Clubs are going to regret losing sight of that, especially with times as tough as they are now.
Matt (Pittsburgh): Any trade interest in Sanchez or Adam Laroche?
John Perrotto: No and no
Matt (Pittsburgh): Do you see Nate Mclouth putting up comparable numbers this year to last year? I think he is an above average player, but his value will never be higher coming off an all star and gold glove season. Would now be a good time to test the trade market for him?
John Perrotto: I love McLouth as a person and his attitude but I'd consider selling high on him, as well. It's pretty clear he'll have to move to a corner once Andrew McCutchen is ready to play center (sometime during the 2009 season) and McLouth's value will be lower in left or right.
Dan (Brooklyn): John, Please tell me (and all Mets fans) that the acquisitions of Frankie, Putz, and Green mean that Schoeneweis can mercifully be put out to pasture somewhere.
John Perrotto: It all depends if the Mets feel all their new right-handers can get out lefties. If not then they might have no choice but try Schoeneweis again in 2009.
ScotMartin (TX): Texas is making some noise on Johnson and Sheets. Do you think they will sign any major free agents this off season?
John Perrotto: No major free agents but I do think they have a legimate shot at Sheets, who is kinda major.
Juan Eduardo (San Francisco): Beyond the fact that he isn't very good... Would it be a smart bet for Billy Beane to trade Bobby Crosby to a potential Furcal suitor just to shrink the market for him? The A's can't outbid anybody who might want Furcal, so shouldn't they want to be the only ones bidding? Then even if they don't sign Furcal, I don't really see some kind of a Gregorio Petit, Pennington, Mark Ellis as a downgrade at all. At least there's SOME defense, power and obp in that group, albeit not in the same place.
John Perrotto: My problem with that is I don't think there is much of a market for Bobby Crosby. His value is lower than ever. It's a good idea in theory but I think it would be hard to execute.
Brandon (Charleston): The Reds are reportedly talking to Rocco Baldelli's agent. Is he capable of playing left every day or will he have to platoon?
John Perrotto: Because of his condition, I think it's going to be impossible for Baldelli to play regularly anymore, which is a shame. However, I think he would make someone a great fourth outfielder or a short-side platoon guy.
Scott (Detroit): The Reds are still in desperate need of OF's and semi-desperate need of a SS. Are they on the radar for any other moves, or is it all wait-and-see mode now?
John Perrotto: Not hearing much on the Reds as they are in the wait-and-see mode. They need a right-handed bat, though.
buddaley (Clearwater): Comment on the Jackson/Joyce trade please.
John Perrotto: I like it for both sides. The Tigers need a starter and Jackson _ who as I mentioned earlier could wind up closing _ was expendable with the Rays. By the same token, I think Joyce has quite a bit of upside and could help the Rays for many seasons.
Matt (Pittsburgh): John, does it really surprise you that there is little interest in Jack Wilson? I think most Pirates fans would agree that he is overrated in Pittsburgh due to his fan popularity. In reality he is a average to below average shortstop at this point in his career who is making a lot of money.
John Perrotto: You've hit it right on the head.
Aaron (YYZ): What's the point of the Rays leaving Morlan unprotected just so they can snag some other random pitcher from the ChiSox to stash in their bullpen?
John Perrotto: The Rays acutally drafted a shortstop. Still, I was quite surprised Morlan was left unprotected and even more surprised he lasted until the 16th pick. He's a nice acquisition for the Brewers.
Katy (Houston): Do you think that the Rangers will trade Saltalamacchia? And if so, to whom and for what? Thank you.
John Perrotto: I think they want to see if Salty can live up to the hype, though I think they would deal him for front-line young pitchers like Masterson.
Ryan (NY): Any word from Seattle about their unsigned first round pick, former college closer Josh Fields?
John Perrotto: They are just waiting him out. He's a college senior and has no leverage unless you consider indy ball leverage, which I don't.
Chad (Dallas): Thoughts on our Rangers this year? Specifically, is Cruz for real? And how do Salty and Teagarden shake out?
John Perrotto: I'm not sold on Cruz, though Ron Washington says he would be their cleanup hitter if the season started today. As far as the catching, I love Teagarden's defense and believe Saltalamacchia will eventually have to move out from behind the plate. My gut tells me Max Ramirez will have the best career of all of the Rangers' catchers.
Ben Sheets (Dallas, TX): Will I keep my house here?
John Perrotto: It's all up to you, Ben.
jklein (TP): So what really is the Cubs plan? Sign a RF and go from that point? They really don't need to do much as the Central competition looks like it might have regressed a bit.
John Perrotto: They would like to sign Milton Bradley but would like to see his price tag drop a bit.
HonusCobb (Wayne, NE): But both of those ballparks are solidly pitchers ballparks. Is Dunn a good fit for either of them? Would he be more of a good fit somewhere like the Chicago Cubs?
John Perrotto: The Cubs don't feel Dunn can play right field and they certainly don't want to move Soriano over there.
basicslop (Alb): There was a report that if the Royals non-tendered/traded the salaries of Teahen, German and Buck they would move enough salary to make a run at Furcal. Not only could they do this, but SHOULDn't they do that?
John Perrotto: It's something to consider but I think giving Furcal four years is a risk with him having back surgery this year. I like him as a player but I don't know how much I will like him in 2011-12.
Swen (Minneapolis): Do you think Delmon Young will be back and, if so, how much will he play (Gardenhire's comments notwithstanding).
John Perrotto: I get the strong feeling the Twins would prefer to play Denard Span and trade Young.
dsnengnr (Arkansas): Who are the Marlins willing to give up for Max Ramirez?
John Perrotto: Not Jeremy Hermida and that's a deal breaker, at least right now.
J.P. (Hartford): Putz is saying all the right things about being a set-up man (his agent not so much). What are you hearing?
John Perrotto: I've had the chance to talk to Putz a few times and he seems like a really decent guy. I think he'll sacrifice the closer's role for a chance to win, knowing he can still market himself as a closer in free agency and make some serious loot.
jammingecono (VA): Any Texeria buzz?
John Perrotto: Nationals have offered 8 years for between 160-180M. I predicted at the start of the offseason that Washington would pull out all the stops to sign him and I'm sticking with it.
BL (Bozeman): What are the odds KC moves Greinke before spring training? How about the odds KC signes Greinke to a long-term deal in the same time period?
John Perrotto: I think he stay but neither side seems all that interested in a multi-year deal, so I could see him getting traded in July or next winter.
Aaron (YYZ): What is with all the bagging on AJ Burnett as being fragile, injury prone, and generally unreliable but then offering up Ben Sheets as a replacement suggestion? Burnett has pitched more innings than Sheets each of the last 4 years (in the AL East for a team that breaks pitchers no less!).
John Perrotto: Sheets at 26M for two years is less risky than Burnett at 80M for five, though your research at least gives me more pause for thought.
David (NJ): Any rumblings about where Pedro ends up? With the Mets out on Lowe it might make sense to bring back both Perez and Pedro.
John Perrotto: My gut tells me Pedro ends up with the Pirates, where he could mentor the youngsters, including his cousin Denny Bautista, and be reunited with Joe Kerrigan. I just don't think there is going to be much of a market for him.
HonusCobb (Wayne, NE): How much is Milton Bradley going to cost in free agency? He put up incredibly numbers last year (in a great hitters ballpark). But he's also injury prone and apparently not a very nice guy. Who's going to spend on him and how much are they going to spend?
John Perrotto: I'm hearing four years and 40 million, though nobody seems willing to go that high.
Kevin (San Jose): Is anyone asking the Giants about Molina? It seems to me that Sabean is holding onto a valuable trade asset in the hopes that the team can win 78 games instead of 74.
John Perrotto: Heard his name a lot at the start of the offseason but not once here in Las Vegas. I'd like to think he would have value at the July 31 deadline but Sabean does indeed seem to not yet fully embrace a total rebuild.
dianagramr (NYC): Fill in the blanks ...
1) Jeter will be moved off of SS (when)
2) His new position will be (position)
3) After his current contract expires, the Yanks will offer him (years/$$$)
John Perrotto: Not to give a non-answer but I feel Jeter will never move off shortstop with the Yankees, who will never let him go.
James P. (Austin): What is the general consensus on how Rangers GM Jon Daniels operates?
John Perrotto: He's gotten some heat, justifiably so for giving up too soon on young pitchers, but he and his staff have put together an outstanding farm system that is ready to start producing talent at the major-league level in 2010.
SOJseth (NY): So, the Mets are out of the Lowe sweepstakes? Who end up the fourth and fifth starters? The bullpen looks good but now the rotation has serious questions. Maine's coming off of surgery, Pelfrey's coming off of a ridiculous innings increase, and Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell are unproven at Triple-A, let alone the majors.
John Perrotto: They want to re-sign Perez and feel Niese or Parnell can make a serviceable No. 5.
HonusCobb (Wayne, NE): How excited are the Giants about Buster Posey? When are we going to see him in the bigs? I think he was the best mlb ready hitter in the draft and you don't often find that at the catching position.
John Perrotto: They feel he could ge to the major leagues fast, perhaps by next September and certainly by sometime in 2010.
Aaron (YYZ): Eh? The mlb tracker says:
Pick# 19 Derek Rodriguez RHP, by Tampa Bay, from Chicago (AL)
John Perrotto: I just double checked and he is indeed a right-handed pitcher. They announced him as a shortstop at the draft and I didn't see the actually printed list. Now, leaving Morlan unprotected really makes no sense.
buffum (Austin TX): Should the Indians option Joe Smith and put Eddie Moo on a six-week trial before cutting bait, or have we seen the Last of the Mujica?
John Perrotto: I'd take Smith over Mujica any time. I think Smith, Jensen Lewis and Rafael Betancourt will set up Kerry Wood.
Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): No matter how I see it, I can't see the Jays being as good in 2009 as they were in 2008, and all that got 'em was 4th.
How about some hope and faith for a Blue Jays fan?
John Perrotto: Well, with so many pitchers on the shelf, it's tough to see them getting to the playoffs.
Aaron (YYZ): Will the Rays bank the savings from shipping out Edwin Jackson and possibly non-tendering Gabe Gross to bring in a tasty DH like a Milton Bradley (whom I think Joe Maddon would be great for)?
John Perrotto: Well, they have interest in Bradley and Abreu, so they've got a really good shot of getting a proven hitter to DH and bat in the middle of the lineup. All of a sudden, The Trop looks like a good place to play.
James282 (Nj): What's the story with Juan Cruz? As Mets fan, I was excited by the idea of him being the setup guy -- and IMO he is a better bet than Putz. Who is knocking on his door?
John Perrotto: That's a great question and I don't have a great answer. It is like he's become the invisible man. I never heard his name mentioned here and I don't know why. I think he is going to make a fine pickup for somebody.
David (NJ): It's a nice gesture by the Nationals but wouldn't they be better served using those resources to rebuild? I'm not sure of the rules but would they lose draft picks by signing Texiera?
John Perrotto: They would lose their second-round since they were in the bottom half of the majors with their record last season.
Corkedbat (Dallas): Did the Orioles make any attempts to fix the situation at SS? You think they'll miss Rocky?
John Perrotto: They are on the verge of signing Cesar Izturis to play shortstop. While I love his name, I don't think Rocky Cherry will be missed.
Dante (NY): With the Yankees signing CC and most likely add Burnett or Sheets, is Phil Hughes still as untouchable as ever, even with their huge need for a young/solid catcher?
John Perrotto: They are willing to trade Phil Hughes, who other teams are starting to see as really nothing more than a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
HL (Rockville, MD): Speaking of the Nats - what's your best guess about Elijah Dukes 2009?
John Perrotto: Flip a coin. I think he could become a star but, sadly, he is his own worst enemy and could possibly implode at any time.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Are the Yankees putting effort into moving Matsui? Or are they loth to sign a big DH w/ Posada's situation?
John Perrotto: I don't think there is much of a market for Matsui and they are stuck with him.
Dave (Chicago): Any idea what the A's are up to?
John Perrotto: They are after the Big Unit, believe it or not
Cambridge (BP New England): According to an MLB.com story: "(John Russell) suggested that the Pirates will start the season with Nyjer Morgan, Nate McLouth and Brandon Moss manning the outfield." Are you surprised that McCutcheon isn't in that equation, and whether he is or not, should the Pirates be looking to add a more legitimate home run threat to that mix?
John Perrotto: McCutchen didn't have a good second half at Indianapolis and they feel he needs a little more time there. Yes, the Pirates need a power hitter in the worst way, but they don't seem too intent on getting one.
Corkedbat (Dallas): Did the Orioles shop Huff and/or Roberts?
John Perrotto: Not actively but I get the sense they'd listen to offers for both.
Will the Thrill (NE): What F. Carmona do you think we will see in 2009. The 07' or '08 version and why
John Perrotto: Eric Wedge said he is throwing well in winter ball and completely healthy, which is a good sign. I think he'll bounce back with a really good year.
Fred (Houston): Any interest in what the Astros are selling (Wigginton, Valverde, Tejada)?
John Perrotto: Pretty mucn not, though Wigginton interests some teams because he could be a super utility type.
Anthony (Paramus, NJ): If the Cameron deal is dead (according to the latest reports), who is Plan B for the Yanks in CF?
John Perrotto: Melky Cabrera or perhaps Willy Taveras if he gets non-tendered tomorrow as expected.
John Perrotto: Well, I have to get running here. Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions but thanks for participating and let's do it again soon.