From a new role but still on the beat, you'll want to ask BP's John Perrotto about what's going on around the game.
John Perrotto: Hi everyone. I am so sorry about my chat whiff last Friday and truly apologize. Just got caught up in my expanded duties and it completely slipped by me. Anyway, let's get started.
Scott (New Jersey): Who is the better bet for a long and effective career?: Rick Porcello, Brett Anderson or Tommy Hanson.
John Perrotto: Tommy Hanson. I really think he has dominant, No. 1-ace stuff, though Porcello and Anderson both have good chances of enjoying outstanding careers, too.
Sean (Newton, NJ): What are the prospects on effective injury comebacks by Anibal Sanchez or Fausto Carmona in 2010?
John Perrotto: All are supposed to be 100 percent by spring training. I've been told Carmona has finally understood that he needs to get in shape and is the Indians are excited to see him in February.
oira61 (San Francisco): John: I find the last bit of your columns, with the tidbits, more interesting than the first 90%. Can you do more tidbits and fewer summaries of stories we've already read? Thanks.
John Perrotto: Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, there are some weeks where they aren't a whole lot of bits of tid to report. However, I am going to move more in that direction this season.
mwball75 (CIncy, OH): How's it going?
John Perrotto: Fine, thanks. How's it going with you?
paulbellows (Calgary): The Twins aren't going into the year with a Casilla/Punto IF are they?
John Perrotto: They are waiting for Hudson's price to drop. That's who they'd like to sign. The backup plan is to bring Cabrera back and move him to second.
dianagramr (NYC): Hi John ... congrats on the new gig.
What do you think will be BP.COM's biggest challenge in the coming year (besides replacing Joe)?
John Perrotto: Replacing Joe Sheehan will be the biggest challenge and, frankly, I'm not so sure we can do that right now. We have a talented group of young analysts and writers, and clearly we're going through a transition phase. I think you'll see us have a "Joe-by-committee" approach until someone emerges.
Chad (Houston, TX): What do you think of the rumored Podsednik signing by KC?
John Perrotto: Apparently, it's an addiction for Dayton Moore in that he can't just help but sign mediocre-or-worse players.
Bill (New Mexico): Congrats on the new role, but this question gets back to your traditional "on the beat" one. Did you ever pick up any indications that anyone was seriously in the hunt for Matt Holliday but the Cardinals? Or were they just bidding against themselves?
John Perrotto: I don't think anyone else was willing to go to $100 million on Holliday, which surprises me that the Cardinals went all the way to $120 million. Also, thanks for the congrats. Can't tell you how excited I am about this new role at BP.
Jimmy (Philly): Do you see the Phillies in on any of the high-upside starter options available (Wang, Sheets, Bedard) to fill the 5th starter role for them?
John Perrotto: Only if the price drops on some of those guys. I don't think they'd go to two years and $12M on Sheets, which is apparently his asking price, but Bedard would be worth a gamble on a contract with a low base and high on performance bonuses.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Should the Tigers target Kevin Gregg on a shorter, cheaper deal rather then Valverde for more money and losing the #19 pick?
John Perrotto: I just am not a fan of Kevin Gregg as a closer. If the Tigers are serious about trying to make another run at the World Series, they should sign Valverde. They, like other teams, are now just waiting for free agent's prices to drop between now and pitchers and catchers reporting.
KO (Pittsfield, MA): Is David Price still going to become a legit #1 starter and will 2010 be ther year he does just that? Thanks JP.
John Perrotto: Yes, I still think he's a No. 1 down the road. I think 2010 is too soon for that but I do see him showing great improvement this year.
Artie (NJ): Do you see further growth and offensive upside for a player like Yunel Escobar? Seems like scouts either love him or think we have seen the best already.
John Perrotto: I think there is probably a little bit more there. I'm not convinced he is going to be a superstar but I think he can have a good career.
Gavin (County Ct.): Assuming we here that BJ Upton is "focused, matured, and in the best shape of his life" do you expect him to become a consistent All-Star caliber talent this coming season?
John Perrotto: Yes but we've heard that before. I really like B.J. personally and it baffles me why he never seems to put everything together. He says the shoulder is finally healthy. If that's the case, then THIS is the year he bcomes a star.
Bossman Sr. (Tampa Bay): In what year does Justin Upton challenge Albert Pujols for the NL MVP award?
John Perrotto: Not this year but he'll take another step toward superstardom.
Roger (Cleveland): Do you see Victor Martinez possibly having an even better offensive season having a full year in Boston when you consider the ballpark and lineup protection improvements?
John Perrotto: I think there will be a little regression there but he certainly can hit .275 with 20 homers.
Snickers (NJ): What type of season do you expect from Clay Buchholz? Seems like it is time for him to completely breakout into a legit stud SP.
John Perrotto: I think it's all a matter of foucs for Buchholz and word has it he really matured last season. If that's the case, he certainly has the physcial ability to dominate, so this could indeed be the year he breaks out.
Jeff Burroughs (Walmart): Any idea on what Sean Burroughs is doing with his life after baseball?
John Perrotto: I knew the guy who offered me a cart the other day looked like you. Seriously, I have no idea what's happened to him. He just faded away. Hopefully, he's healthy and happy because he seemed like a genuinely nice guy during the times I talked to him.
Hensley Meulens (The Bronx): Do you think Richie Sexson will ever play in the big leagues again or have we seen the last of Big Sexy?
John Perrotto: We've seen the last of him.
Hensley Meulens (The Bronx): Do you think Richie Sexson will ever play in the big leagues again or have we seen the last of Big Sexy?
John Perrotto: We've seen the last of him.
Wilbur (Atlanta): Over the next 10 years who do you like more and why: Clay Buchholz or David Price?
John Perrotto: Price. Good stuff, lots of smarts and he's a lefty.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): is the chat happening today?
John Perrotto: Depends on what day you're talking about. It's five days late but certainly worth the wait, wouldn't you say?
CrisE (St Paul, MN): The Marlins are saying they don't need to trade anyone and they'll only take offers they like, but can they really take this roster to Opening Day? Is Uggla or Cantu on the way out? Which and where seems most likely?
John Perrotto: Well, I think after the MLBPA put so much heat on them that the Marlins can't sell Uggla off now. Thus, I see them pretty much going with what they have now and look to add some bullpen help in free agency.
JasonC23 (Huntley, IL): John, hope you'll be here soon; looking forward to hearing about your new position and role at BP.
John Perrotto: I finally made it!
CrisE (St Paul, MN): Any rumblings on the upcoming CBA next winter? The revenues are high so there's reason to keep things rolling right along, but the players have to be concerned about how poorly the middle class veterans have fared the past couple years. What's the expectation within the game?
John Perrotto: Well, there is no doubt in my mind that the MLBPA is going to claim collusion at some point. Hopefully, labor peace will continue but we've gone a long time without problems and we're probably overdue for some kind of dispute.
CrisE (St Paul, MN): Don't the Twins kind of have to get a 2b or 3b? Will it be Crede or will they go get someone? (The rumored interest in Jared Washburn has me unnerved a little, so I want to hear how they know what needs to be done and are working on it.)
John Perrotto: They'd take Crede back but only on a cut-rate deal with high incentives. I still think they are quietly players for Hudson.
Brock Dahlke (Shakopee, MN): In the NFL and other leagues there seems to be much talk about changing how their schedules work out, whether it be for playoffs or regular season or preseason. Is there any discussion of anything like that for MLB? Like changin the mandatory report date or the amount of teams reaching the playoffs?
John Perrotto: Well, I think the last postseason showed that the schedule needs to be tightened up. All the off days kill momentum and fan interest. I think you might see MLB address that this year.
Mike (Chicago): Look at John fitting right in with the rest of the full timers at BP being late for a chat. :-) Hope all is well. What is the consensus opinion of people you talk to about the Holliday contract?
John Perrotto: They feel the Cardinals probably overpaid a little but also now you're going to do that with a Boras premium client. On the whole, I haven't heard too much criticism, though.
pxs (cubicle): do you think the giants should leave a spot open in their everyday lineup for one of bowker, schierholz, or ishikawa to emerge as a productive everyday player, especially given the slim free agent pickings? or have we seen enough to conclude that these guys will always be AAAA, and replacements must be found.
what are the scouts views of these guys?
John Perrotto: I think Schierholz should get a chance to play everyday. He has always intriguied me as a guy who could put up some pretty good numbers if he got a chance. Scouts seem to like him to best and think Bowker and Ishikawa are bench players at best.
Erik Bedard (Canada): Where am I going this year? Any chance I actually stay healthy May through October?
John Perrotto: You'll still be on the market when pitchers and catchers report and then jump on the best deal you can get after that.
John (NH): How exactly does one define an 'impact' player?
John Perrotto: Well, in short, I'd say someone who can dramatically increase a team's chances of winning.
Dave Duncan (Florida): Over/under on Chris Carpenter - 125 ip ... what say you?
John Perrotto: Over.
John (NH): St. Louis will regret the Holliday contract by ____.
John Perrotto: 2016.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): STILL WAITING...........GOOD START TO THE NEW YEAR
John Perrotto: Everyone's human, even you.
goldenyeti (The red seat at Fenway): Wasn't this chat supposed to start 3 and a half hours ago?
John Perrotto: Actually, five days ago.
jwpend (Oakland): What is the opinion of Jack Cust outside of the Bay Area? I know he can't field & strikes out a lot. What else?
How does he compare to other Dhers?
Are there stats on how many of his HRs tied or put the A's ahead?
I was very unhappy to see the A's resign him. Another season of watching him swing wildly and take strike three right down the middle.
John Perrotto: Basically, the view of him, which is why he wound up re-signing with Oakland. There was minimal interest from other teams.
lennyd (Portland): Hi John,
What's Joe Sheehan up to and will you be doing an over/under analysis before the season begins as Joe use to do
John Perrotto: Joe is currently a free agent and I certainly feel he won't be one for long. He is one of the best baseball writers going and I wish him all the best. He's been a good friend and the biggest reason I wound up at BP.
Workmanlike Procrastinator (Grey Cube, DC): As BP's Editor-in-Chief, do you have any thoughts on how to make the site friendlier to newcomers? I'm buying a gift subscription for my dad, and I'm nervous that he won't enjoy the learning-sabermetrics-by-immersion experience as much as I have. (My idea: an "About BP" link at the top of the page, with an introduction to the authors and the general philosophy of the site, and perhaps links to touchstone articles of the past.)
John Perrotto: It's interesting you say that. We're very much thinking about doing a series of introductory BP and sabermetric series in the coming weeks.
Rennie (Panama): John,
If you had to predict Pittsburgh's starting rotation after the 2010 trade deadline, it would be....
John Perrotto: Ohlendorf, Morton, Maholm, Lincoln and Veal.
HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): It seems that Mike Rizzo has increased the credibility of the Nationals within baseball, but there are more moves to be made to increase the number of wins they will have. Should the Nats have Orlando Hudson, Adam Kennedy or Cristian Guzman at 2nd base? Which veteran pitcher should they sign? Would accomplishing both moves mean much for their record in 2010?
John Perrotto: There is no doubt that Mike Rizzo is extremely well respected in the game and I have no doubts he has the Nats on the right course. Normally, I'd say go with the kids in their case but they need to establish some crediblity in their market now. THus, I'd suggest they sign Hudson and Doug Davis.
Jake (St. Louis): What should the Cardinals do at 3b? Give Freese first crack? Sign a veteran like Tejada or Lopez?
John Perrotto: I think they need to try to win this season, which means signing Tejada or Lopez. I don't think Freese is a can't-miss guy by any means.
kjjj (boston ): if a hall of famer admitted to PED use, should they remain in hall?
John Perrotto: Well, there are no rules saying you can vote against an admitted PED user. Therefore, I don't see how you can remove someone already inducted who might admit to being a steroids guy.
JayZfan (Toronto): John, doesn't the concept of placing an aterisk beside certain players numbers, from the "steroid era", put baseball's record book on a slippery slope to oblivion? I mean what about the "apartheid era" in baseball. Ruth never had to compete with Gibson, nor did any major leaguer have to face Satchel in his prime. What about the "amphetamine era", a distinct advantage to dealing with the fatigue of a long season, or the "post Tommy John surgery era", which gives modern pitchers a distinct advantage over those of yester year.
John Perrotto: You are right on the money with everything you've said. I couldn't agree with you more.
ScotMartin (TX): Assuming no further moves, how do you see things shaking out in the AL West? What's the one key thing that has to go right for each team in order for them to win the division?
John Perrotto: It's too early, in my mind, to make predictions but here's what I think needs to happen for each team to win:
The Angels need to keep on keeping on and find a way to outdo their expected pythag by 8-10, which is why Mike Scioscia, in my mind is the game's best manager.
The Rangers need Vlady Guerrero to have a bounceback year because they need more offense.
The Mariners need their pitching and defense to perform at a high level like last last season because they aren't going to score a lot of runs.
The Athletics need their young pitchers to really mature because they're not going to score a lot of runs either.
BL (Bozeman): Hi John, what can you say about Paul Carlixte, the Latin American shortstop the Royals appear close to signing?
John Perrotto: Well, if the Royals are interested then he must be a mediocre veteran at the end of his career. Seriosuly, I really don't know anything about him. They would be more in Kevin Goldstein's territory.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): Say a few words about the discussions that Florida has been having with the union and league offices. How much more of this sort of thing will be coming out and in what towns? Is this `laying groundwork for pleasant CBA sessions next year?
John Perrotto: Well, I know the MLBPA had questions about Pittsburgh but those were answered to their satisifaction, primarily because the Pirates have spent more money on draft picks the last two seasons than any other team and also opened a new academy in the Dominican last year.
Bucsin07 (Pittsburgh): The Bucs are supposedly close to signing Dotel, Carrasco, and some mystery third reliever. Any idea who that is? And doesn't their bullpen suddenly look better?
John Perrotto: Well, it would be hard for their bullpen to look worse. There's not a whole lot there right now beyond Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek.
Rob (Alaska): Hi, John - thanks for the chat! Any offseason scuttlebutt on the progress of our favorite Pirates prospect, Pedro Alvarez?
John Perrotto: He's been working out at API in Arizona most of the winter and is reportedly in excellent shape.
Corey (Atlanta): What are your thoughts on letting Jason Heyward win an OF spot in spring training. Chances he has a starting OF spot on opening day?
John Perrotto: He's got the talent to win a starting job but it's a pretty big jump, even for someone with his talent. I suspect he'll start off at AAA and be up at some point during the season.
Trevor127 (San Diego): I was a little surprised to see the Indians sign Grudz. Surprised they didn't make a push for Lopez?
John Perrotto: They are in no-spend mode, which is why they didn't sign Lopez. Mark Shapiro has absolutely no money to play with.
cubfan131 (IA): Who has the better year in 2010 Cameron Maybin or Carlos Gonzalez?
John Perrotto: Cameron Maybin. I know it's getting to the point where he either has to put up or shut up but I just think he has the talent to be a superstar. I'm not so sure that I can saw that about Gonzalez.
Bill (New Mexico): OK, thanks for the Holliday bidding Q (the old one), so now one for your new role. Have you guys thought at all about a "BP Alumni" event of some kind that might re-unite Joe, Gary, Nate, the Keiths, etc., for some reminiscing? With almost all of the original cast of characters except Christina either gone or inactive (is Pease still around somewhere?), it might be a good time for that.
John Perrotto: That's a great idea. If we could round everyone up at some point, that'd be a lot of fun. I'll keep it in mind.
Sacha (San Fran): What kind of season are you expecting from the Giants? Do you see Posey putting up solid numbers?
John Perrotto: The Giants are a real wild card for me and I'm disappointed they didn't go out and get the type of impact bat they desperately needed. That being said, I can see them winning anywwhere from 77-95 games. So much depends on how much they get from guys like DeRosa and Huff. As far as Posey, there an adjustment period but he's got a lot of talent.
collins (greenville nc): Do the Pirates plan on Ryan Church being an everyday OF or a 4th OF, as far as you can tell?
John Perrotto: Most likely, fourth OF.
Stu (Charlotte): Does Jeff Clement still have a good shot at opening the season as the Pirates first baseman even after the Ryan Church signing?
John Perrotto: The Pirates really want to see what Clement can do. I'd be really surprised if he isn't starting on opening day.
collins (greenville nc): Reportedly, Washburn turned down 1 year for $5M. Any idea whether they'll eventually work it out or if someone else is trying to sign him? Thanks for the chat and congrats on your new position.
John Perrotto: Thanks. He'll wind up somewhere but I really question whether he'll get another offer higher than $5M this late in the game. I firmly believe prices are going to go down for free agents instead of up.
tommybones (brooklyn): Jesus Montero becomes a full-time major leaguer by ___________, as a ____________.
John Perrotto: 2012 catcher.
Adam Adkins (Dayton, Ohio): McGwire! Steroids! Outrage!
John Perrotto: That's a lot of exclamation points in a short number of characters.
Sorrento (Oil City PA): Are the Pirates going to televise day games this year?
John Perrotto: I have no idea.
dantroy (Davis): When will the 2010 PECOTAs roll out?
John Perrotto: Don't have an exact date for you yet but they're coming soon.
Drew (Columbus): Was there anything more to the Pirates decision to non-tender Capps? Huntington has gotten off to a strong start in PIT, but letting Capps go then spending that money on Dotel is a head-scratcher.
John Perrotto: If they do indeed give 3M to Dotel, that's a Littlefield-type move just like trading Chavez for Iwamura was. I think Huntington is off to a good start, too, but he is having a puzzling winter.
JustinC (Wash DC): Just to build on an earlier question/comment, introductory articles to Puck Prospectus would be a big value add as well.
John Perrotto: I'll pass that along to the puck people.
straymond (toronto ): Who will be the better pitcher in 2010 and beyond - Charlie Morton or Yusmiero Petit?
John Perrotto: Charlie Morton. He has much better stuff.
Jay (Grand Prairie): What is the story with Hank Blalock? He seems to be Plan C for a lot of teams right now. Where do you see him landing, and for how much?
John Perrotto: Boy, you talk about someone who fell off the face of the earth. There was some talk early in the winter that the Pirates had interest but I haven't heard a single word about him since. It would seem he's going to someone's camp as a non-roster player.
goldenyeti (SF CA): The 3 and a half hours was from the last time. Real question this time: Daisuke Matsuzaka, is 2010 going to be more 2007 or 2008? Please tell me it's not going to be another 2009.
John Perrotto: The Red Sox are convinced he's healthy and the best shape since he came to the U.S. If that's the case then he's the 2007-08 version.
mattymatty2000 (Philly): Do you think Adrian Gonzalez will be in San Diego this time next year? Thanks for the chat!
John Perrotto: I think it all depends on how the Padres get out of the gate this season. If they play well and Jed Hoyer feels that he might be able to cobble together a contending team by 2011 then Gonzalez stays. If Hoyer feels he needs to begin a total rebuild then Gonzalez goes.
mattymatty2000 (Philly): Hi John, how much will Jason Bay help the Mets? Do you think his fielding is as bad as the metrics say?
John Perrotto: I think Bay will help the Mets more than most people do He's a very underrated hitter. I'm in the minority but I don't think he's horrible defensively. He'll be OK.
dianagramr (NYC): Do you have any influence on the ability to produce the annual as a downloadable PDF .... save a tree (and my arms) please?
John Perrotto: I'm involved with the web site but I certainly can pass your suggestion along.
Rob (Alaska): Thanks for the answer on Pedro Alvarez. Does he stay down for service time reasons with a callup around the All-Star Break or does he legitimately have need for a full season at AAA?
John Perrotto: I think he probably needs at least a little bit of time in AAA. That being said, he won't be up until after he June to save a year of arbitration.
dtisch30 (Philly): John, thanks for the chat. With Hinske departing, what will the Yank's bench look like? If Hairrston and Hoffman are the OF's, is there room there for a lefty masher like a Gomes or Garko as a bat off the bench option? Will they carry Pena and Hairrston or just Hairrston?
John Perrotto: They seem most interested in signing Reed Johnson. Haven't heard them mentioned in regards to Gomes or Garko.
tommybones (brooklyn): What exactly do you consider "soon"?
John Perrotto: Well, the book is going to the printer by the end of the week. It will be after that.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): John-thanks for the chat. My previous question was submitted last week.
Anyway, when does Jose Tabata make it to the majors and when does the power start to appear?
Is Chase D'Arnaud the Pirates 2bman in 2011? or 2012?
John Perrotto: Tabata's power is going to start to show this year and he'll be up by August. D'Arnaud in 2011. I think he's a fast-tracker.
dianagramr (NYC): Given their lineup, why would any team pitch to Sandoval? And given his free-swinging ways to begin with, do you think the league catches up to him in '10?
John Perrotto: I wouldn't pitch to him and, no, I don't think the league catches up. He's just an outstanding hitter who will make adjustments.
John Perrotto: Well, thanks for all the good questions. Let's do it again soon.