Midway through the Winter Meetings, Joe Sheehan shares his thoughts and takes your questions about what's going on.
Joe Sheehan: Starting a couple minutes early, as there's a lot to get to...
wahoohome (DC): What's your take on the Braves signing of Wagner and Saito? Will their bullpen be better or worse than last year?
Joe Sheehan: The risk profile seems pretty close to that of having Gonzalez and Soriano a year ago. I don't think this combo comes with quite the same upside, but it probably has less downside risk--the pitchers aren't going to be bad, just potentially unavailable. I don't think they'll keep Soriano, rather, they'll trade him, with his approval, by Opening Day.
paulbellows (Calgary): With Ibanez and now Polanco do you think Amaro is setting himself up for some deadweight a couple of years from now?
Joe Sheehan: I don't think either contract is crippling, and the Phillies are going to have some payroll room as Brown, Taylor and Drabek make the team less expensive. Ibanez just has two years to go at $10M per, and he was all right in '09. Polanco...yeah, I don't like that deal, but I doubt he'll ever be seen as "dead weight" because he'll hit .270 and won't make many errors.
MikeAlan (North Carolina): Hi Joe, Might you please rank these for the best MLB career? Thanks! MikeAlan
Joe Sheehan: It's hard to rank more than about four guys this way. And I'm not that excited about the field as a whole. I'll say Castro, Sanchez, Lucroy, Conger, Rosario, Avila, Thole.
Mike (Chicago): Ok, the Cubs are going to dump Milton Bradley. But which of these three outfields would help the cubs win more games?
Option 1 : Soriano, Mike Cameron, Fukudome
Option 2: Soriano, Fukudome, Pat Burrell
Option 3: Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley
Am I wrong to think it's 3? I just think the cubs under Jim Hendry overreact to last year, and overreact to media criticism. And I'd like the Ricketts regime to start by flipping off the media/fanbase and keeping Bradley. It would be a healthy thing. Or am I just crazy?
Joe Sheehan: It's 1. Huge defensive difference, and Bradley can't hit, field and stay healthy all at once, so you end up with Bobby Scales in the outfield. Setting aside any and all non-baseball issues, Bradley is a lousy fit for an NL team.
JoshC77 (Columbus, OH): This has not been brought up at all that I have seen, but does it make sense for the Rays to trade Ben Zobrist this off-season? Here is a guy who had an incredible season last year (his age 28 season), a season that no one expected. His salary is reasonable and his trade value has never been (and probably never will be) higher. Do you REALLY see him duplicating his performance from last season? I think he'll still be a solid player, but he has probably already peaked. You can trade him now and get far better return on him then you will down the road. What are your thoughts?
Joe Sheehan: I don't that his trade value is all that high, because of the perception that it was a fluke season in less than full-time play. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think Zobrist's trade value matches his actual value, so you keep him and play him.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): How much do you think Mike Cameron, Jim Thome, and Nick Johnson will sign for?
Joe Sheehan: Cameron for two and $22, Johnson for two and $18, Thome...I think will retire.
paulbellows (Calgary): If the Phils want to trade Blanton for a big bullpen piece wouldn't it make sense to just wait out Valverde and sign him on the cheap?
Joe Sheehan: Not seeing this at all. You don't trade 200 good innings for 70 maybe better ones. Blanton is generally underrated, has a great price tag and, if I'm remembering correctly, is the Phillies' only righthanded starter. I wouldn't trade him except perhaps for a big upgrade at C, or for a real good prospect package from a team like the Rangers.
mgibson (DC): Can one make a rational case for the Mariners' alleged interest in Jason Bay? I just don't see it, but Jack Z is undoubtedly smarter than me.
Joe Sheehan: They can DH him, they don't really have a left fielder (Saunders didn't seem ready at the end of last year, and Endy is coming back from injury), and they seem to making a big short-term push.
The one thing I'm thinking is that they may have decided they can't sign King Felix, in which case they figure they should try to win in the next two seasons, and whatever happens after that, happens. I don't hate the plan if that's the case; better than wasting the last two years of him.
Eli (Brooklyn): Thoughts on the Granderson deal? Prefer three years of Granderson to two-years of Mike Cameron? What do you think the Yankees' next moves should be regarding LF/DH? Thanks!
Joe Sheehan: Yeah, that's a big age difference and actually less expensive over the next two seasons. Cameron carries some risk, as just about any loss in contact rate is going to eat his career. I suspect the Yankees, who have solved CF without moving the 2010 payroll at all, will still look for second-tier solutions that don't involved committing 2011 money.
Given the backscratch trade that just happened for Bruney, I wonder if the Yankees could get Adam Dunn; he'd be a good fit DHing mostly but also playing some left field, with Cabrera and Gardner both available to caddy, costs just $10M and is a free agent after '10.
paulbellows (Calgary): Who wins a Perkins-Kouzmanoff trade?
Joe Sheehan: Glen Perkins, who would make a decent amount of money moving to the NL and Petco. I don't think much of Kouzmanoff, and if the Twins think they can get better by adding a slow right-handed hitter with no OBP...
nick (sfo): Any word on the Jays trading Wells? Or is that just too unrealistic?
Joe Sheehan: I can't imagine any team taking on that contract this winter. At some point, Wells, is going to have an uptick, hit .320 for a half, or have a year at the top end of his range. That's when the Jays have to strike, when Wells is playing well and might fool someone into thinking he's worth the money. Now isn't that time.
chuckstein17 (Long Beach, NY): Why did the Mets trade Billy Wagner? Wouldn't they have been better off with the picks then then "prospects" they received?
Joe Sheehan: At the time of the trade, it wasn't clear that Wagner would be worth offering arbitration to. He eventually proved to be so, but I don't blame the Mets for not wanting to take that gamble. The Red Sox wanted Wagner for September; that he turned out to be good enough to warrant offering arb to was a bonus.
Johnny Tuttle (Battle Creek, Michigan): Which is more accurate about modern (post-modern) offseason coverage: the Internet proliferates ill-formed rumors or the interwebs just let us hear more maybes than we would have before? How do you hack through the innuendo with your machete to find out what does seem real during times like this week?
Joe Sheehan: I'd lean towards the former, with the caveat that I think a lot of front office people float a lot of nonsense just to maintain relationships with people in the media. There's almost no cost to being a source if your name isn't being revealed, and reporters want to be able to report something, even if that something is air.
I enjoy the rumorcycle less than I used to. Maybe that's me getting old, but after a while, you notice just how little is real.
mgibson (DC): What do you think of Goldstein's argument that second-order effects on Strasburg justify the Pudge signing? Sounds barmy to me. Find a great bullpen catcher or hire a retired catcher as coach, save millions.
Joe Sheehan: I strongly disagree with both the concept and the execution.
wgobetz (jersey city, nj): Is Granderson really that much of a better option than Mike Cameron for a year plus Austin Jackson's pre-arb years?
Joe Sheehan: Austin Jackson isn't that good. Not enough glove to play CF, not enough bat to play a corner. Melky without the defense, if you prefer.
warclub (Strongsville, OH ): Joe: Thanks for the chat. Why don't the Indians try to get a serviceable starter? With the Tigers' rebuilding, couldn't the Tribe contend next year if they fix the starting pitching?
Joe Sheehan: Well, it's not just a matter of will. They have to either find a trade partner to take Peralta or LaPorta or someone like that, or identify a FA solution. I think the Indians probably have to spend some money on two starters, and their offense will be good enough that what they need is innings rather than upside. I'm not sure this is the winter for that--many more Hardens and Sheetseses than, oh, Pettittes.
Jack (LA): What are the Brewers doing? making one last run with Prince?
Joe Sheehan: They really needed some starters, and while I'm not a big Randy Wolf guy, nine million bucks a year isn't that much money right now. This doesn't close the gap on the Cards; for that, Parra and Bush have to come close to being the guys they're supposed to be.
eneff1 (Berkeley, CA): What do you think of the idea of the Angels signing Blalock as a platoon/backup for Wood? He'd come cheap, both have platoon splits, and it gives you two chances to get lucky instead of one, right?
Joe Sheehan: Why not just use Maicer Izturis that way?
don (lansing, MI): in your breakdown of the granderson trade today, you seem pretty confident in relegating austin jackson to an OF corner, so I'm wondering why specifically you don't think he can play center. I've seen a report that the tigers have him penciled in as the opening day CF in 2010.
Baseball America says: "He brings his athleticism to bear defensively in center field, where he glides to balls with good range ... arm strength is above average for center field and allows him to play right field, if necessary." Obviously there's no guarantee that any young CF sticks there forever, but is there any reason to believe he really can't be an average defensive CF during his 20s?
Joe Sheehan: My data-based case is that true center field prospects don't spend a third of the year playing the outfield corners at 22.
Derrth (Chicago): In looking at the market for readily available corner bats, who should the M's be targeting for left field? They seem to prefer spending their cash on Figgins (done), a #2 starter (Lackey or a trade for Lowe?) and perhaps bringing back Beltre.
What's a good option? They need some affordable pop behind their stellar 1-2.
Joe Sheehan: Well, their apparent interest in Bay is one indication. I do think the Mariners recognize how critical a superior outfield defense was to their 2010, and would like to see a healthy Endy Chavez, or a skills clone, out in left field, with them getting increased offense from the infield corners. Nick Johnson would be a nice fit.
There are not that many good players in free agency this year. Teams are going to have to trade or hope for non-tenders to fill many of their holes.
Ethan (New York, NY): I hear so much about how New York and Seattle are the only options for Matsui, but I imagine he'd be valuable to most teams looking for a DH. Any other contenders?
Joe Sheehan: I might have said the Tigers, but they're going in a different direction. The White Sox seem like the best option aside from the two you mention; that may be the best fit for him even with that caveat. They could use the lefty bat and the OBP.
Goose (Chicago): Let's just assume Jim Hendry is unable to unload Milton Bradley by the end of the Meetings...would you then consider this a complete and utter failure for the Cubs? Job costing for Hendry? I think it should be...
Joe Sheehan: Oh, heck no. Signing him was the mistake (and as I keep saying, for baseball reasons, not the other ones). Better to not compound the problem with a bad trade than to do something silly.
RZFanClub (DC): Surprised there isn't more discussion on the three way deal yesterday!
Did the D'backs get a big bag of not much for Scherzer? To me, he's younger, better, cheaper, and less worn down than Edwin Jackson. Fewer innings, more Ks, and still two years from arbitration.
Is Ian Kennedy that valuable? What am I missing?
Joe Sheehan: Column on the trade is up, and I've mostly been taking other Qs. The Yankees made a good deal, not giving up much for a player who helps them. The Tigers made a pretty good trade, getting Scherzer, and it's not clear that they could have won with Granderson in the next season or two. The only rationale for the D'backs end of it is that they are convinced Scherzer won't stay healthy. Burning Scherzer to get an Ian Kennedy, which is effectively what the deal is, makes no sense.
Rob (Alaska): Free Brandon Wood! Wait, what happened?
Joe Sheehan: He's just not that good. The contact rate has eaten his prospect status, and the position switch digested it.
pweiss (MD): Any chance the Yanks sign Cameron to help out against lefties. Neither Granderson nor Melky has a good platoon split from that side. Thanx.
Joe Sheehan: I'm not sure that you sign Mike Cameron to be a platoon player, and I'm certain Cameron isn't going to sign into that situation.
EStanislawski (New York, NY): After the Granderson trade and resigning Andy Pettitte, are the Yankees officially out of the Halladay sweepstakes? If not, who else could they package with Montero and Hughes/Chamberlain?
Joe Sheehan: Signing Pettitte, on top of the talk about payroll, seems to cut off that line of action. Not that it ever made much sense to give up the world for 33 starts of Halladay, who wouldn't be the team's #1 starter and would maybe be a one-win upgrade on just letting Chamberlain and Hughes start. Two wins if you measure to Aceves.
RJ (Pittsburgh): Any chance lightning strikes twice and the Mets walk away with Halladay? Something like Pelfrey, Davis, Holt, Tejada for Doc and Wells' contract? Jays get some good stuff and major payroll flexibility while Mets don't give up their highest upside youngins. It would add a ton to the payroll, but, really, shouldn't the Mets be outspending everyone in the NL anyway?
Joe Sheehan: The Jays don't need five guys, they need the right two guys. I don't think the Mets can afford to sign Halladay, which would likely be a prerequisite for making that deal. Can you have $48 million atop the rotation with a $140 million payroll and huge holes at four lineup spots?
misterjohnny (Los Angeles): Is there a GM out there dumb enough to take on Juan Pierre and most of his contract?
Joe Sheehan: The damage is mostly done at this point, and if you're the Dodgers, you just live with an expensive fourth outfielder. Pierre at least is a decent use of the roster spot, as opposed to say, Matthews Jr.
Ryan (Denver): From John Perrotto's column: "If the Red Sox fail to sign Bay, they are expected to vigorously pursue a trade for Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera." Um, why not just forget about Bay and go for Cabrera?
Joe Sheehan: Because one costs money (lots less, too) and the other costs talent and money.
JoshuaJ (White Plains, NY): Which of these lottery tickets would you buy: Harden, Bedard, Sheets, Duchsherer?
Joe Sheehan: Harden for sure. Probably Sheets, then Bedard. Two years ago, if I'd told you you could have that as your rotation this winter for just money, would you have taken it. The Nationals or Royals or Pirates should just sign all four guys and see if they can get incredibly lucky.
Scott (Chicago): Any rough assessment of Kenny Williams' offseason so far? Can't say I'm a fan of the Teahen extension, but I love the Jones signing, especially if he's replacing Podsednik. Still shown he can go get it in the OF (+10/UZR in limited innings last year). If they sign Crisp to anything less than $2mil, color me excited.
Joe Sheehan: Andruw Jones is just a bench bat at this point, and marginal even in that role. I really would take the small-sample UZR from last year with a whole quarry of salt. I love the idea of Crisp for them, actually; I'm pretty high on him, think he has a whole range of skills and is still developing as a player.
ackbar (outerspace): Have you given up on Dioner Navarro?
Joe Sheehan: No. (Bandwagon!) He's a .275/.340/.400 guy with good defense. He's been all over the map, of course, but basically he's a plus catcher.
Ryan (Denver): With Peter Gammons leaving for MLB Network, is there any reason to watch Baseball Tonight anymore?
Joe Sheehan: My biggest complaint with the studio shows for baseball is the lack of other voices. My god, how many ex-players do you really need? So Peter will be a real asset for MLBN, which is overwhelming playercentric. I get that it sounds self-serving, but I'm not applying for the job; just give me some analysis that goes beyond what players bring, because there's not nearly enough variation in there to warrant having 16 on staff and three at the table.
Steve (NJ): Does Pedro sign before ST this year, or will he join a contender in July or so (a la the last couple yearts of Clemens career?)
Joe Sheehan: Well, he wanted a decent guaranteed contract coming off a crappy year, so I'm thinking his demands haven't gone down after pitching well for the Phillies. The gap there is why we didn't see him until July last year, and I expect we could see that happen again.
RZFanClub (DC): Thanks for the chat....what kind of upside progress is possible and who has the highest peak among Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, and Jeff Niemann? All young guys, Braden's yet to put together a full major league season...do any of them have #1/#2 potential?
Joe Sheehan: Anderson's well ahead of the other two, and will pull down his share of Cy Young votes in his career. Neimann is a midrotation guy, and Braden is a back-end starter/swingman.
Ryan (Denver): The Rockies are evidently closing in on a two-year deal for Yorvit Torrealba. Hasn't Chris Iannetta earned a shot yet?
Joe Sheehan: You would think he had after killing the ball in '08, but he was back on the bench in '09. If this contract happens, 22 GMs should be calling O'Dowd, immediately. Iannetta can play.
Dan (NYC): Well, I'm assuming that Gammons leaving ESPN for MLB is one of the two "major announcements" that Will Carroll tweeted about last week. Has the other happened and I just missed it (or didn't see it as "major") or is something else coming?
Joe Sheehan: Bloomberg is getting into the baseball market.
ct tiger (ct): are the tigers done? or is laird/guillen next in the salary dump?
Joe Sheehan: You might get something for Laird, I guess, but I see six contracts in Ordonez, Guillen, Inge, Willis, Robertson and Bonderman that are just immovable, and involve players who just won't provide enough value. Tough, tough spot.
J.P. (Hartford): How much longer can Beltran stay in center field? Granted he is still probably a better defender than Granderson, but shouldn't the Mets have been in on this? Martinez is a better prospect than Jackson (though with a much lower floor), and it was an obvious upgrade that would keep some payroll flexibility. (still haven't figured out why they need that)
Joe Sheehan: Given what the Yankees paid, lots of teams should have been in on this. (I should not here that I seem to be the outlier on Jackson, so that colors my view of the package.)
ct tiger (ct): verlander, porcello, scherzer. sounds like the best 1,2,3 in baseball by a wide margin, no?
Joe Sheehan: Simmer down now. Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals...maybe the Dodgers depending...Winston Wolf has some advice for you...
MarkakisFan (Baltimore): There are talks between the O's and Rangers for Millwood. I wouldn't care if the O's gave up Chris Ray and a minor leaguer. But to dip into their talent pool for 35 year old would be asinine. Wouldn't they be better off signing a Jon Garland-type (if that's the type of pitcher they're looking for)? I just don't see the point of this trade. Maybe you could shine some light on it.
Joe Sheehan: Millwood is better than the field, and the Orioles have enough depth that they can dip into it to make this deal. Frankly, they should eat all the salary if it means giving up less in the way of prospects. I'm not sure they need another innings guy--Jeremy Guthrie is supposed to be that guy, I thought--but it doesn't hurt to have a 33-start, 200-inning guy in the fold when you're bringing young pitchers along.
Gilberto (Sao Paolo): Any chance the Rockies trade some of their OF and/or minor-league depth for an impact SP or bat?
Joe Sheehan: The only places they could play an impact bat are 2B and 3B, and I don't think there's a trade target they could afford. Maybe they could put together a package for a starter, but Jimenez/Cook/de la Rosa/Francis/Hammel/Chacin doesn't scream "upgrade me." It's also not an organization prone to making the big move.
Adam (NY): Thoughts on Pettitte at nearly 12 million? Does it really matter at this point what he gets paid?
Joe Sheehan: Seems fair, maybe a little high. He's settled in at a pretty good level and seems like he can keep having 2008-09 for a while. One-year deals for pitchers rock.
ct tiger (ct): in a perfect world projection, austin jackson becomes _______
Joe Sheehan: Vernon Wells, I guess?
ct tiger (ct): ryan perry, dan schlereth, joel zumaya. pretty good back end of the bullpen, no?
Joe Sheehan: Do we have any proof at all that Joel Zumaya is still alive? And Schlereth walks six men per nine innings.
cjbuet (madison, wi): Do you think Lastings (finally) puts it together this season? He seemed to fit in well on the Pirates last season.
Joe Sheehan: That trade seemed to work for him, and I'm optimistic that he can move on from here to become an above-average outfielder. I was maybe the last guy who liked him in center field, and I think the move to a corner was probably the right play. He's a building block for that team.
Matt (SD, CA): Who do you like better, Yunel Escobar or Elvis Andrus?
Joe Sheehan: Elvis, for the glove and youth.
Rob (Alaska): How does Miguel Montero stack up against other catchers? I know there are problems with half-season splits, but he went nuts this year in the second half.
Joe Sheehan: I'm a huge fan, have been for a while. (And as I write that, I feel like I answered this question in my previous chat.) In any case, I see him as a .290/.370/.480 catcher with average defense, a championship-caliber player.
dannykugler (Oregon): Any thoughts on where Beltre might land? It seems like he might be a good fit for a more hitter friendly park in the AL, but his best numbers were during his NL time. So?
Joe Sheehan: I loved him for the Phillies. Still do, if they can void the silly deal. Otherwise, you have the Orioles, Twins, Cardinals--I like this fit--and Astros on the list of teams he would be a big upgrade for.
Kenny Williams (US Cellular Field): The Tigers don't have the best 1/2/3 in their own division; Peavy, Floyd, and Danks are better than that.
Joe Sheehan: Yeah, that overrates Peavy by a lot. It's pretty close there...John Danks is a very good pitcher.
Reds99 (California): Thanks for the chat, Joe. What do you foresee in 2010 for Jay Bruce?
Joe Sheehan: I'm willing to write off his '09 as an injury year, but I am concerned that he's going to be less and average and OBP guy and more a low-BA power bat with good defense. Tom Brunansky, maybe?
Rob (Alaska): Should the DBacks really be looking to deal Chris Snyder? I don't know much about Montero's defense and while his second half offense last year was prodigious, can you really assume he's that hitter going forward?
Joe Sheehan: Yeah, you can safely bank Montero's offense. Snyder's contract and back don't pair well together, and they'd like to not have their backup making that much more than their starter. I just don't think there's any kind of market for Snyder.
JZirinsky (Washington, DC): Hi Joe. Where do you think Damon ends up?
Joe Sheehan: Should the Mets be kicking the tires here? He'd slide into that #2 spot pretty nicely.
ElAngelo (NY, NY): Why haven't the Mets made the Hart-Maine swap yet? The idea that they need to sign another pitcher first seems crazy, and I can't think the market for a declining Maine is going to get better.
Joe Sheehan: Nor the market for a declining Hart. How much better than Jeff Francaeiour is he, anyway? He has sucked since 2007. I'd rather keep Maine and sign three NRIs.
J.P. (Hartford): Lincecum stands to get a ton at arb this year, but doesn't it make sense to come together on a long term deal with the Giants? He's not an injury risk, per se, but he has thrown a lot of innings before his 25th birthday.
Joe Sheehan: The thing is, he doesn't think of himself as an injury risk because of his mechanics. Besides, even granting some kind of discount over the year-to-year price, you're talking about someone who stands to make $20 million next season; how do you build a long-term deal with that fact out there? Certainly the Giants should want to reach an agreement, but what's reasonable? Four and $95 million? If Lincecum were on the market this winter, he'd top Sabathia's deal.
akachazz (DC): I'm a regular reader, but I'm still not very comfortable with what "contact rate" is. Is it the how many swings and misses a guy has, or how many times he strikes out? Why don't you just say "strikeout rate"?
Joe Sheehan: Because sometimes you try to mix in different words when you write and talk a lot.
Jackson (Philly, Pennsylvania): Who's the most valuable commodity in baseball, taking into consideration his age, contract/status and growth/decline? Justin Upton?
Joe Sheehan: Strasburg, probably. Once you put contract status in the mix, you're really down to prospects and 0-1 guys. Andrus. Weiters. Kershaw.
David (Boston): This has been over-analyzed, but what IS the best option for Red Sox LFer? Bay, Holliday, Hermida or Option D?
Joe Sheehan: Hermida and some Option D. The price/return for Bay and Holliday isn't worth it. I actually like the idea of them signing Cameron and having four "starting" outfielders in various configurations.
Frank (NJ): The Braves just DFA'd the guy they traded their hometown here for. Think this sends a message to Omar that maybe a three year extension might not be where to go with Frenchy?
Joe Sheehan: I don't know if I'd look to a front office so terrified of costs that it released its third-best outfielder as an example of what to do.
Jeff (Philly): Joe, in your column you said the Tigers had x dollars of dead weight and x dollars of worthless contracts. What's the difference?
Joe Sheehan: Inge, Guillen and Bonderman might play enough to generate some value, but not come close to their salaries. Willis and Robertson are just useless, and Ordonez may well be, despite his strong second half.
dtwhite (Toronto): Is the Granderson trade another example [a la Seattle] of teams wanting to employ more than one CF-caliber outfielder?
Joe Sheehan: I don't, I think it's just a team wanting a better CF than the one it had. Defense is, however, still ascendant this winter.
Greg (NJ): What do you think the Mets should do with their catching situation? This Benji Molina talk is making me sick.
Joe Sheehan: Not sign Molina. I don't know what the affirmative answer is, but signing Molina at any price is a mistake. He cripples an offense.
Mike (Lynn, MA): Thoughts on the Scutaro signing?
Joe Sheehan: He signed for less than I thought he would, so while I don't think he can repeat 2009 or sustain a starting job, the price means he can go back to being a UT and not be a payroll suck. The Sox have Lowrie, still, and Iglesias coming, so they'll have options.
Matt (SD, CA): Thoughts on Kevin Towers getting the boot?
Joe Sheehan: KT was there a long time, through a number of cycles. I think he did a tremendous job over the years, and I find him to be engaging in person. He'll get another GM job by 2012.
Greg (DC): Who's a better player in 2012-2014: Mauer or Weiters?
Joe Sheehan: Mauer.
eneff1 (Berkeley, CA): What do you do now if you're Frank Wren?
Joe Sheehan: Work with Soriano to reach an agreement that will allow him to be traded for a right fielder who can hit. Deal might not be there, but it's a good use of the asset.
Joel (GA): The Mariners seem to be quietly putting together something for a push in the AL West. Could they be 2010's surprise team?
Joe Sheehan: They wouldn't be a surprise if they did so after spending a bunch of money. I agree that they should be better.
Gerard (Chicago): Ryan Church a good fit for the White Sox at a corner? How much do you expect him to get on the market?
Joe Sheehan: Not much, a one-year deal, maybe not even three million. I could see him in Chicago, but I think they can do better.
Adam (Wyoming): What type of contract is Carl Crawford worth next winter? Significantly more than Holliday/Bay?
Joe Sheehan: Yeah, because he'll be a few years younger than those guys. With the caveat that his '10 will affect this, I'd say he gets five and $75M.
Hawkeye (Grafton, ND): Breakout batter and pitcher of 2010 is?
Joe Sheehan: Jeremy Hermida and Mike Pelfrey.
Jackson (Philly, PA): Are Arroyo and/or Harang worth trading for?
Joe Sheehan: Harang more than Arroyo. Harang is underrated, IMO, and I'd love to have him.
ericturner29 (Chicago): Should the indians look to move Peralta and play the kids?
Joe Sheehan: Very much so.
Carlos in CA, not dealing with that in chat, but I'll pass it along. I agree, actually, but I just work here.
duh (Chicago): Strassburg Debut ETA & All star appearance ETA:
Joe Sheehan: June 2010, July 2011.
strupp (Madison): Joe, I agree, partly, on Wolf. But three years? Really? That just seems puzzling.
Joe Sheehan: If it were 2/27, it would seem to make more sense. (To me, anyway.) So think about it as the right amount of money for 50% more time.
judyblum (MA): What do you think about Beltre for the Red Sox if they can find someone to take Mike Lowell? Or, is that not realistic?
Joe Sheehan: Wouldn't anyone willing to take Mike Lowell just sign Beltre?
Joe Sheehan: Pretty sure that'll be my last chat for the year, folks...thanks, as always, for reading BP, participating in the comments and these chats, listening to us on radio and watching on TV. Thanks for expecting more from your baseball coverage. Happy Holidays!