From the grind of being On the Beat, John Perrotto takes the time to take questions on the stretch drives around the game and changes come to the hometown nine in the Steel City.
John Perrotto: Hello. Two and a half days later, here I am. I apologize. Much has happened in the last few days outside my BP world that has caused this to be delayed.
Mike (Utica,NY): What's your own take on Jose Tabata, is he going to be nothing more than a Melky Cabrera or could he be a batting champion.
John Perrotto: I'm not 100 percent sold on him yet. I'd say Melky Cabrera at this point.
mo (vegas): Hello Joe: The number of starts each player will pitch for the Red Sox only in 2010: Bucholz ov/un 10.5; Tazawa ov/un 10.5... thanks!
John Perrotto: Take the over on both.
mo (vegas): Howdy JP, would like your opinion... The best PTBNL the Sox would send for Wagner is a better/worst prospect than Ryan Kalish... Thanks for your answer!
John Perrotto: Worse.
TheBunk (Toronto): It seems whenever Millar is in the lineup, he is hitting cleanup, please talk me off the ledge.
John Perrotto: I don't understand it either. Cito loves his veterans, though youth is the wave of the future with the Jays.
rbm (dallas): Any comments on Asdrubal Cabrera's season? Seems to me he's quietly having a great year. .315/.363/.449's not bad for a slick fielding 23 yr old shortstop.
John Perrotto: I think he's just about ready to become a star. I get to see Cleveland quite a bit in person and this kid is the real deal. Many Gold Gloves in his future.
Capt Science (New York): What are your thoughts on Alex Avila (C, DET) so far? Have you heard anything about his expected role next year - starter, backup, AAA?
John Perrotto: I'd bank on him being the starter next season. The Tigers love him and not just because his dad is the assistant GM. This kid can play and he's a real throwback type on top of having talent.
Capt Science (New York): You've mentioned the possibility of Adrian Gonzalez being traded this offseason. Other than the Dodgers (who you've mentioned), what other teams would be in on it? And if Prince is made available, how would that change the market?
John Perrotto: I think a bunch of teams would be in on Adrian Gonzalez as he is an outstanding offensive players who is making a pittance. Fielder would alter the market but I think Gonzalez would be more attractive because of his lower salary.
jtrichey (Indianapolis): Hi John. Do you hear anything from scouts about Chris Coghlan? Is his future at 2nd base or in the outfield?
John Perrotto: He's certainly a better defensive second baseman than Dan Uggla, but, long-term, most scouts like him better in the outfield.
paulbellows (Calgary): Was there any reason in particular that the yanks claimed Chris Carter on waivers besides kicking a rival while they're down?
John Perrotto: To create roster problems for the Red Sox when they tried to add Billy Wagner to the 40. Just being ornery.
Skillz (Pittsburgh): After all the restocking through trades and the draft, what range would you rank the Pirates' farm among all 30 teams?
John Perrotto: I'd say somewhere between 12-15 but that's without doing much exhaustive research.
Kyle Reese (The Future): If the Padres are serious about trading Adrian Gonzalez this offseason, is the TEX package the Rangers got for Texeira the starting point? Or have GM's wised up since then after seeing Andrus, Feliz, et al contribute so much?
John Perrotto: I think GMs have wised up. The Padres won't get a Teixeira-type haul but I think they'll get a lot. At least three pretty good youngins.
Tricky Kid (Knowle West): How many visas does a team get per year for its DSL/VSL imports? Is there a maximum number that can be brought over?
John Perrotto: That I do not know.
Christopher (Nashville): Can we just admit the Wild Card race is kind of boring and talk instead about the Curse of the Number One Prospect or something?
John Perrotto: The wild-card race is boring? Not in the NL. Giants just tied the Rockies with the sweep.
Matt (Chicago): How plausible would it be for the Cubs to move Zambrano in the offseason? He makes a lot of money (18mil per) but he only has three years left on his deal. Although Bradley is getting
the headlines, people here are quickly tiring of Z's antics.
John Perrotto: I would not be surprised if Jim Hendry overhauls the Cubs. The Cubs panicked last winter when they made those changes off the basis of being swept in a three-game series. They had a good club that turned cold at the wrong time.
Chevy (Grand Rapids, MI): As a die hard Orioles fan, I let myself get caught up in the Matt Wieters as the second coming of Matt Wieters hub-bub. He has shown good skills and improvement behind the plate, but his hitting has been pretty anemic. He seems to be pushing everything to the opposite field without being able to pull anything. Is there a problem? Will he be a Varitek-lite? Have your expectations changed?
John Perrotto: No. He's still a kid getting acclimated to the big leagues. I certainly think his chances of being better than Varitek are pretty good and I'd be surprised if he doesn't become a big star.
dianagramr (NYC): Hi John ... thanks for the chat . . .
Can Omar Minaya get out of his own way long enough to put the Mets back on the road to competitiveness?
His farm system is barren. His big ticket acquisitions are hurting. The new ballpark doesn't seem amenable to their one young power bat (Wright).
Where do they go from here, given the lack of patience in the Yankee-backpage-driven city?
John Perrotto: As much as I like Omar personally, I really think the Mets need to make a change. They were moving sideways for a couple of years and now they're backsliding rapidly. I think the whole organization needs overhauled but the key for them to get a top-flight GM is for Jeff Wilpon to cede some control and let the GM do his job.
KRS (Chicago): John- Phil Rogers suggested an outright dumping of Milton Bradley today in the Trib. While I cannot comment on the perceived/imagined/real abuse Bradley has taken, I see Rogers' point as his behavior will likely be extremely painful to endure for the coming two years. Wouldn't you first try to see if an AL team would take Bradley, assuming of course the Cubs would have to eat at least half of his salary? Thanks.
John Perrotto: I've heard the Cubs will try like hell to trade Bradley and maybe eat even more than half his salary if he had to. I never saw the point in giving him a three-year deal to begin with. He's a talented player but, with his volitility, I'd never go more than one year because he could wear his welcome out at any time.
Dennis (California): Hi John, thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts on Garrett Jones and Jeff Clement? How well do you think they will do next year and what positions do you think they will play?
John Perrotto: I think Jones will start the season in the starting lineup either at first or right field, depending on what happens with Clement. I have some doubts about Clement. The Mariners really soured on him and he certainly is a one-dimensional player. It will be interesting to see how he fares with the Pirates in September.
max (DC): Brian Bixler - whats his upside - might he be a serviceable big league SS?
John Perrotto: No and with his inability to make remotely consistent contact in the majors, I can't even see him fashioning a career as a utility player.
Akneeland (Arizona): What is the ultimate future of both Danny Haren and Brandon Webb going to be with the Diamondbacks? One/both used as trade material, or will they both walk as free agents or re-sign?
John Perrotto: When I spoke to A.J. Hinch about a month ago, he insisted he felt the D-Backs weren't far away from being what they were in 2007 when they got to the NLCS. I assume GM Josh Byrnes feels the same way, so I would suspect the Diamondbacks will try to keep both, though they won't pick up Webb's option, and try to make a run next year. If the teams gets off to a bad start, both could go at the trading deadline.
Dejan (I think you know where....): 'Sup? The Pirates sure are a drag, don't ya agree?
John Perrotto: Actually, they've been a little more entertaining in the last couple of weeks.
Eli (Brooklyn): Were the Yankees really interested in Penny (as a better option than Mitre or Gaudin) or were they just trying to hurt the Red Sox (or both)? Do you see the Yankees making any other moves to shore up the back end of the rotation for September, including giving Jason Hirsch a shot?
John Perrotto: Yankees have no real interest in Penny and I doubt they'll give Hirsch a shot unless they have already clinched as they didn't bring Russ Ortiz up after he pitched well in Scranton.
MB (Dallas): John, thanks for chatting.
What percentage of players get placed on revocable waivers? Does just about everybody other than no-brainer "keepers" run through the process eventually, with many pulled back if claimed, or is there a reason not to do this?
John Perrotto: I'd say 90 percent, especially since they can be pulled back.
hometown (backyard): Rank these pitchers at the height of their prospect-ness, and rank them in the order you would want them now: Greinke, Kershaw, Porcello, King Felix
John Perrotto: Prospectness: Greinke, Kershaw, King Felix, Porcello
For the Now: King Felix, Greinke, Kershaw, Porcello
glenihan (nyc): Is this chat happening?
John Perrotto: Yep, just a lot later than I expected.
David (Winston Salem): Should the Tigers sign Brad Penny, or can they put some faith in Nate Robertson/Armando Galaraga not sucking down the stretch?
John Perrotto: I'd just as soon stick with Robertston/Galarraga.
Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Word on the street is that the Rays just dumped Kazmir on the Angels for unnamed prospects thus far.
What's the logic here for a nominal contender? Cost reduction to keep the core in tact? A sincere worry that Kaz is broken?
It seems so strange for a team with a shot (however difficult) to sell.
If this doesn't highlight economic disparaties in the AL East, I don't know what could--unless we can trust that the Rays saw him as some sort of sunken cost.
John Perrotto: The Rays feel Kazmir is too fragile and would prefer someone else take the risk of paying the rest of his contract.
medeaschild (CA): Two questions not specific to the Pirates:
1) I know a player traded during a multi-year contract can demand a trade the next year...but is this also true of a player changing teams as a result of a waiver claim (such as Rios)?
2) If such a player above has a no trade clause in his contract but declines to use it, can he still demand a trade the next year?
John Perrotto: That's a good question. So few players ever get claimed in such an outright fashion, that it's never been an issue.
Adam (Houston): Any thoughts on the Yankees again jerking around when Joba Chamberlain starts? Now he will start every 5th day, instead of every 8th day. I understand he has an innings limit, but couldn't they just limit his innings per start, and not mess around with when he starts?
John Perrotto: They seem ready to go with him every fifth day until they clinch. Personally, I think the Yankees have been outthinking themselves about this guy for two years. I've never seen so much fuss made over a pitcher who has really accomplished so little.
mgchgc (ncnbv): nicechatfucker
John Perrotto: Bitemeasswipe. These chats are done gratis by the chatters and I had many things come up in the past few days.
Rob (Alaska): Just wondering if you're hearing anything about what the Rays might do with the financial savings from the Kazmir deal...is this Carl Crawford money or something else? Thanks!
John Perrotto: They will probably either use if on Crawford or to add free agents in the winter. Remember that they also didn't sign their first two draft picks this year.
Rob (Alaska): If the White Sox decline Dye's option as your Sunday column suggests might happen, what's the resulting lineup look like? Does this begin a cascade that moves Rios to RF, Alexei to CF and Beckham to SS?
John Perrotto: It sure makes a whole lot of sense.
xxxx (yyyy): Dave Duncan -- justifiably unhappy with how his son was treated by the Cardinals organization, or an example of why teams shouldn't have the offspring of managers/coaches in the organization?
John Perrotto: It was a truly unfortunate situation. Chris has lost his power because of his injuries and thus all his value. His father seems to have a hard time coming to grips with that.
HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): The Pirates have blown up their roster multiple times over the years, including this year. Mike Rizzo inherited the failed structure put together by Jim Bowden and MLB's neglect before that, yet says he is "building," not "rebuilding."
The Pirates are headed for a record string of losing seasons, but that does not necessarily mean they were wrong this year. Still, I was glad that the Nats held onto Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham. Might Rizzo be onto something here? Could the Nats be Steven Strasburg and a couple of FA signings away from a real advance next year? Returning to the .500 record of 2005 would be the first goal.
John Perrotto: I think Rizzo is definitely on to something. I like the Nats' lineup and their young pitcher. Despite the terrible record, they really aren't that far from being respectable or better. Also, I can't tell you how happy I am that Rizzo got the job there. It would have been absolutely criminal if the Lerners turned to anyone else to be the GM after the way Rizzo quickly cleanup up the mess left behind by Jim Bowden.
bankeravp5 (Cincy): Tell me why Johnny Cueto is pitching Monday?? IF Stewart doesn't turn out to be something, is the Rolen deal still bad?
John Perrotto: Apparently, the Reds want to make Cueto's arm fall off. I have no idea what the Reds are doing. None.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Did the Yankees have any good reasons for letting Abreu go in the offseason? It seems to me he would be an improvement over Swisher. (.294 to .288 EQA)
John Perrotto: They felt Abreu was coming to the end of the line at 35. They thought wrong. The Angels couldn't be happier with what he's done.
Dave (Chicago): Looking ahead, how would you arrange the A's outfield next year between Sweeney, Hairston, Davis, Cunningham, and Buck? Wow, that's a sad outfield any way you slice it.
John Perrotto: I'd go into punt formation. Oops, wrong sport. Yikes. I guess I'd go Hairston in left, Davis in center and Sweeney in right.
Phil S. (NJ): Gut feeling - does the Harden to Twins deal get done?
John Perrotto: Yes, I do. I think the Twins know the division is winnable and they're going to go for it.
russadams (St. Paul): Is this season ultimately going to hurt the Twins if they fail to make the playoffs? Any other division and they would have been out of the race ages ago, and Tyler Ladendorf, Yohan Pino, and whoever goes in exchange for Rauch would still be in the system.
John Perrotto: Normally, I'd say yes but I don't think the Twins gave up an excessive amount to get Rauch. I like that they're going for it in a winnable division.
Josh (NYC): What is wrong with Delmon Young? What do you think his ultimate ceiling will be?
John Perrotto: I think he's just not as good as all the hype that surrounded him being the first overall pick. For me, he's just a tick above average. In a good year, he might hit .280 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs. I'm not a big fan, as you can tell.
Rick (Denver): Maybe I'm forgetting, but it feels like Dave Duncan works best with older, more established pitchers and not young rookies. I don't recall anybody coming up during his time in Oakland.
John Perrotto: Nobody jumps out at me either from the Oakland days but he is the master of getting a lot of mileage out of retreads.
Joe Mauer (Above everyone else): I think I know the Reds' plan. Pitch Cueto until his arm falls off, count on Bowden getting another job, and take advantage of his Red-fetish by bringing in a bunch of promising pitchers for Baker to ruin, thus continuing the cycle.
John Perrotto: That's one helluva idea.
John Perrotto: Again, my apologies for such a delay. I thank you so very much for your patience and look forward to doing it again soon.