Tell Jason Collette your fantasies and he will tell you your fortune.
Jason Collette: Good afternoon everyone. I have a local radio spot on ESPN1040 at 4:05 so I may be a bit slow for the first 10-12 minutes of this but my attention will be undivided for the remainder of the time.
Justin (Tinley Park): I fantasize of trading Yunel Escobar for Adam Lind...should I try to make it a reality or is it too far fetched of a dream?
Jason Collette: Unless I'm really desperate for a shortstop, I am not making that deal. The worse the guy can say is no, but that's a run production drop-off he/she might not want to take in the stats at this point of the season.
Ron Burgundy (San Diego): Ugh its so damn hot, milk was a bad choice...
Jason Collette: I'm pretty sure that's not love
mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Hey Jason. If you were the collective Rays front office, aside from being unwieldy when entering a room, what would you focus on during this trading season? Thanks for the chat.
Jason Collette: First base. Kotchman is on a one-year deal and everyone not in the #MagicofKotch fanclub is extremely suspicious of him repeating this next season. Russ Canzler is the only guy in Durham that could do first base power wise, but he has some big holes in his swing. The outfield should be Guyer/Jennings/Joyce to open up next season so that area is good. The other area is shortstop to plug the gap between Brignac and whichever of Beckham or Lee make it first. Brignac has looked horrendous all season at the plate but they have nothing else to put in there.
Dennis (LA): Who do you like better for fantasy the rest of the season, Billy Butler or Freddie Freeman?
Jason Collette: I'll go with Freeman because of the power edge. Butler simply doesn't hit enough over the fence and I want as much help in the counting categories now as I can get.
mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Putting on your predicting hat (the one with sparkles and the big fluffy white ball on the top), who do you see as the biggest name moving at the deadline and where will they go?
Jason Collette: I have a big heat so that better be a big hat. Um....Beltran to San Francisco, Niemann to Pittsburgh, Upton to Cleveland, Willingham to Pittsburgh
Dennis (LA): Thank you for the chat, Jason. Please rank the folowing SPs for the rest of the season (head-to-head, standard 5x5 cats): Colby Lewis, Jeff Niemann, Carlos Carrasco, and Josh Collmenter.
Jason Collette: Lewis, Carrasco, Niemann, Collmenter (can't stay this lucky)
Cory (Canada): Jason, Mike Trout: in a ten team mixed keeper league with a short bench and a re-draft at the end of July, would you pick him up knowing you will have him for ROS 2011 and all 2012?
Jason Collette: If you are playing for 2012 and don't mind potentially waiting until mid-June for his final recall, sure. I don't like playing like that myself.
dianagramr (NYC): Can Salty hold off Lavarnway in 2012 and beyond?
Jason Collette: I don't think so. Salty still struggled making contact and breaking stuff is still eating him alive. I went to the game on Tuesday in Camden and watched him flail at Guthrie's breaking stuff. Just as I was telling my friend "as long as he doesn't see a fastball, he's easy to pitch to," BOOM went the dynamite as Guthrie badly located a fastball that ended up bouncing off of Boog's BBQ pit.
Todd (Austin): Is Joyce still hurt?
Jason Collette: He isn't going to play tonight against Sabathia as far as I know. The knee hasn't felt good and he tried to play last night and took the golden sombrero. A loss tonight puts the Rays' post-season chances less than the Extra 2% but Joyce playing through shoulder issues in June and now this knee injury in mid-July hasn't helped. He's been quite unproductive over the last 4-5 weeks.
Jim (Kansas): Do you think Chirinos holds any value this season? How do you see the Rays catcher situation working out next season? Thanks...
Jason Collette: He has not looked good throwing in this series. The Yankees have been giving the Rays a taste of their own medicine and have been running at will with Chirinos back there and it's a matter of footwork. His pop times look good, but he looks like he's doing a jig as he gets into a throwing position and he's thrown out just one guy so far. Jaso has looked bad at the plate this and even worse behind it. I'm not sure the team is ready to do a Chirinos/Lobaton platoon at the major legaue level, but both have looked good in Durham so that may be the situation next season. Catching has been a black hole for the organization throughout it's history save the 08 season from Navarro.
Marissa (Las Vegas): How's going to win the Stanley Cup next season?
Jason Collette: The Lightning, of course
R.A. Wagman (Toronto): Who has bigger upside, Kate Upton or Brooklyn Decker?
Jason Collette: Kate Upton is a 5 tool talent just entering her prime. I'd max bid on her.
jwaxman (DC): Desmond Jennings! Desmond Jennings! Desmond Jennings! Any ETA? What's your best guess?
Jason Collette: July 32nd
Alvin (LA): From this point forward, Cliff Lee or CC?
Jason Collette: Cliff Lee due to the slightly easier schedule
mattymatty2000 (RE: Salty): There are lots of players who hit mistakes so I'm not sure that makes him unsustainable as a catcher. I would think that if the league could get him out with just breaking stuff they'd have done so by now. Salty's OPS the last three months has been .756, .945, and .860.
Jason Collette: and his strikeout rate by month: 31%, 20%, 37%, 31%. That 945 was BABIP-driven with a 24% line drive rate. They'll make a nice platoon next season at the plate.
Brian (Rhode Island): Hey Jason, with Drew going down for the year I'm left with Chipper (DL) and Peralta for my SS/3B who are some available pick ups to see me through?
Jason Collette: I lost Drew too and was immediately offered Ryan Theriot and Tyler Skaggs for Shelby Miller. Um, no. I'm not sure you're going to find anyone better than Peralta on the pickup pile; Peralta is hitting .351 over the last 20 or so games with 12 runs and 11 RBI.
Cory (Canada): Jason, is Josh Reddick for real in your opinion? He's not this good but can he be an above average RF in Boston?
Jason Collette: His power is reddickulous, but he's shown strides this season in his plate discipline that has hounded him in the past. I think he deserves a chance to show he can handle the job, and that lineup can carry him, but I don't see him as above league average in 2012.
Linus (SF): Do you see Goldschmidt as a top 10 fantasy 1B (eventually)?
Jason Collette: With the gains he's made in contact this season, sure. It might take 3-4 season though
Kevin (Portland): Best case scenario for Matt Moore in 2012?
Jason Collette: Is called up mid-June when a starter goes down with an injury to explain ineffectiveness much like what Price did in 09. If Super Two goes away with the new CBA, then Moore could see time before June.
Todd (Austin): James Shields for Mesoraco/Alonso. Make sense for both sides?
Jason Collette: It fits the Rays' needs quite well. Throw in Heisey and I would sign off on it.
hotstatrat (Scoresheet fantasyland): I 've been reluctant to make a trade since my last one was so stupid. Frustrated with Detroit for giving up on Sizemore a month ago or so, I traded Boesch - who wasn't hitting at all and looking like his 2nd half of not hitting last year and Sizemore for Mark Ellis. A few days after the trade Ellis hit the DL, Boesch went on a tear, and Sizemore was traded to Oakland where he was better appreciated. Recently, I almost offered Jennings for Kipnis, but decided not to mess up my team any further. Meanwhile, Ellis came alive in Oakland for a bit and now my Carlos Guillen is up and seemingly pretty acceptable. I still have Granderson, Adam Jones, Melky, Delmon, and Trout for outfielders - not to mention one Jose Bautista, if I didn't need him at first until Butler starts hitting again. Should I make that deal anyway on the assumption Guillen and Ellis will be injured again - or is Jennings' upside too great? (We can keep 13 non-prospects at the end of the season.)
Jason Collette: Kipnis has good upside as well relative to his position. Grandy, Jones, and Trout work for me but I don't see Melky repeating and I have a hate/hate relationship with Young because I see little skills growth and fluctuating states based off short-term success mixed in with long slumps.
buddons42 (Detroit): What are the odds Cory Luebke remains a viable mixed league SP option for the rest of the year?
Jason Collette: He threw 131 innings last season and is only half-way there this season so burnout shouldn't be a problem. The WHIP will come up a bit, but I don't see why he can't maintain his other skills the rest of the way.
Liam (Whippleville, NY): Beltran, Tim Byrdak and $6M to the Red Sox for Ryan Lavarnway and Felix Doubront. Is this feasible for both sides?
Jason Collette: That would create a depth problem at catcher for Boston and because Beltran can't be offered arbitration after the season, the Sox have not to show for it after the season unless they win a ring. Their offense isn't the problem; it's their pitching. Adding Beltran would be overkill, IMO.
Kevin (Portland): If the Rays deal Shields is there a chance Matt Moore opens 2012 in the bigs?
Jason Collette: Not unless Super Two is washed away. Price, Davis, Niemann, and Hellickson all started their seasons in AAA and Moore will as well. It is the Rays' way of doing things.
Derek (Vancouver): Jason, what's your view on Guyer? You mentioned above that he should be in the opening day line up next year in the OF. How will he fare? Will he be rosterable in fantasy next year?
Jason Collette: He can play all three spots in the outfield. I think he falls somewhere in between what Ryan Ludwick and Alex Gordon are doing this season....say .270 with 15ish HRs over a full season given how The Trop punishes RH power these days.
Rob H (Ontario): Eric Thames or Coco Crisp--who's more productive the rest of the season? I'm especially worried about TOR sitting Thames against LHP.
Jason Collette: Thames also got hurt today as he rolled his ankle. LHP has been a problem for him but the power is very real and he may have been the most impressive thing I saw in the Grapefruit League this season. Crisp is always an injury risk.
dianagramr (NYC): In the "help help, I'm being repressed" category, which prospects are "most blocked" right now .... Alonso? Montero? other?
Jason Collette: Alonso is at the front of that line with Votto in his way. Montero and Jennings are there behind him offering support and I think Colin Cowgill has a right to ask into that party as a lesser prospect having a great year for Arizona in AAA that has seen both Wily Mo Pena and Brandon Allen promoted ahead of him.
doog7642 (MN): In a dynasty league where I'm likely to make the playoffs, would you move Pineda for Cliff Lee? How do you weigh the present against the future in such a situation?
Jason Collette: As my good friend Cory Schwartz says, Flags Fly Forever. I know I crapped on trading Shelby Miller earlier, but Ryan Theriot is not winning me a flag. Cliff Lee brings home the bacon....I do that deal.
dianagramr (NYC): How bad a bat could Iglesias swing and still be the Sox shortstop next season? (as bad as he is swinging now)?
Jason Collette: I would not be comfortable having Iglesias and Reddick in the lineup together. One or the other, not both.
Jim (Kansas): Please rank Betemit, S. Sizemore, DeJesus, Moreland, & Thome for the rest of way. I have to start two of them...
Jason Collette: Moreland and DeJesus for me
dianagramr (NYC): Kipnis just tweeted that he got the call.
Jason Collette: I see @MLBastian saying that as well. BTW, if you're not following him, you're missing out. He and @MatthewHLeach are two of the best in the business.
Big Mike (sav): Where's Upton going, Jason?
Jason Collette: I give him a 25% chance of being here on August 1st. This is the perfect time to trade a 2013 free agent and the demand is out there. http://www.draysbay.com/2011/7/21/2275510/rays-trade-values-2-b-j-upton has more on it.
Donny (Chantilly): 15 team league. Got offered Joe Nathan for Adam Dunn. I'm down in the standing and was hoping Dunn could turn it around. But i gotta take this deal right?
Jason Collette: If you are really hurting for saves, sure. But I mean, really hurting.
Rytor (CT): Howdy, Jason. Desperate for runs in a fairly shallow 10 team league. Should I nab M.Brantley, A.Jackson, C.Maybin, or A.Escobar?
Jason Collette: I Like Brantley in that group because he's the better overall help
Dennis (LA): Thank you for answering my earlier questions. I apologize if you've been asked this before, but what are your favorite baseball books? Favorite fiction writers?
Jason Collette: Veeck as in Wreck is my alltime favorite baseball book. The last fictional book I read was Confederacy of Dunces but I do not enjoy fiction as much as I enjoy reading historical books about the Civil War.
Dennis (LA): When it comes to fantasy baseball, are you more of a trader or someone who likes to stand pat more often than not? And are you able to quickly forget about bad trades you make and move on, or do you tend to brood over them?
Jason Collette: I would trade away my children if it meant winning a title. I don't do anything in the first six weeks unless someone offers me a very dumb trade on their part, but I will turn over an entire roster if the situation presents itself. I'd even trade Matt Moore for a pennant.
Jim (Kansas): Why are the Mets using Izzy over Parnell? Don't you need to close games in order to "be trained" how to do so? I've been holding onto Parnell all year waiting for this opportunity. WHY??? :)
Jason Collette: Because the Wilpons didn't think it was enough to piss off Mets fans so they decided to piss off fantasy owners as well. Izzy is the clear loser in the skills category, but they're going to let him do it for now. Closing is all about opportunity - you don't need to be trained for the role. The Rays have had 7 different relievers lead the team in saves over the past 7 seasons and that includes the likes of Tyler Walker, Dan Wheeler, and now Kyle Farnsworth.
Kyran (Searsburg, ME): What about this hypothetical trade...Beltran to Atlanta for Arodys Vizcaino?
Jason Collette: That's more damage to Atlanta than Sherman inflicted in 1864.
Jake (Alburg, VT): I take it you don't expect the Mets to get much for Beltran? Who would risk offering Beltran arbitration anyway?
Jason Collette: He's a bad rental because there are no picks after he's gone. You have 2011 and that is it. The Mets would have to pay nearly all of his remaining salary to get a guy like Vizcaino in return.
Pablo (SF): Which will be better Beckett's first half of the season or Greike's second half?
Jason Collette: Greinke's 2nd half.....better schedule
Nate (Pittsburgh): Hunter Pence is heading to Philly, isn't he?
Jason Collette: As a final parting gift from Ed Wade before he loses his job? I'm doubtful.
Jim (Bleeding Kansas): As a fan of reading about the Border War, I recommend the following book to all Civil War buffs: Bloody Dawn: The Story of the Lawrence Massacre. On that note, now that Betemit is gone, who else do you see the Royals 'bleeding' off? Any chance we can find a real catcher prospect? Thanks...
Jason Collette: Catching prospects are tough to find and tougher to get in a trade. I don't see it happening. They've said they don't want to bleed off Melky or Frenchie and that's a huge mistake.
Kent (Coppell TX): Please rank the following players according to who will have the best career: Colby Rasmus, Desmond Jennings, Dexter Fowler and Cam Maybin.
Jason Collette: Rasmus followed closely by Jennings. I think Rasmus will flourish away from LaRussa
BillJ (New Mexico): If "Rasmus will flourish away from LaRussa" (with which I agree), what's the right trade to make it so? Who does St. Louis get in return that makes it win/win?
Jason Collette: A starting pitcher would be the best target.
Carp (MO): Who says no? Soria and Cain or Melky for Rasmus?
Jason Collette: w/o knowing parameters, party A says no
hinnenra (Chicago): What kind of performance should we expect from David Wright from now until the end of the year? Were his early contact problems a direct result of the back issue?
Jason Collette: His strikeout rate has been declining since 08. 19%, 26%, 27%, and 29% this season. The back would explain the drop in power, but the strikeouts are mostly on him.
Jason Collette: OK folks, we'll do it again soon!