Fantasy author Michael Street stops by for his inaugural BP chat.
Michael Street: Hello, all, and welcome to my first BP chat.
Babo (Phoenix): Why did the Mariners trade their icon, Ichiro, to the Yankees? How are the fans taking the trade?
Michael Street: Ichiro is a key figure in Seattle, so it’s a shock for Mariners fans to see him playing for the Evil Empire. But he asked for the trade, and Seattle’s in full-on rebuilding mode, so it’s a good move. He deserves a chance at a WS ring, something he won’t get in Seattle, and I think their fans understand that. He got a warm reception on the night of the trade, in spite of the suddenness of it all, and seeing him bow to the crowd in his first at-bat was a great moment. I hope he finds his bat in pinstripes—playing for perennial cellar-dwellers has a way of dampening the most competitive spirits, and Ichiro is as competitive as anyone. Maybe that will help rescue his career from the tailspin it’s been in lately; he’s always defied expectations, and I’d love to see him continue doing just that.
adambennett (The Batcave): If you were the Brewers' GM, what would you be looking to do at the deadline?
Michael Street: The Crew is feeling the hangover from last year’s playoff push, and too many injuries makes it clear they won’t be in the playoff picture. So I’d sell, just like they’re getting ready to do now. Zack Greinke is a great trading chip, and I’d move Aramis Ramirez and maybe Corey Hart if I had to—if anyone wants Randy Wolf or K-Rod, I’d trade them as well. Also not a Carlos Gomez fan; I’ve been hoping they’d dump him for years. They need to restock their farm system with some position prospects to make up for last year’s fire sale and give a look to Logan Schafer and Taylor Green. They can be competitive again once the team’s healthy, so there’s no need to dump everyone, but they need to face reality and get ready for 2013.
Sweet Lou (Buctown): Hi Michael,
Would Karstens and Taillon be enough to get Headley from the Padres? Or is there a "safer", less-costly acquisition the Bucs should focus on?
Michael Street: I don’t see the utility of trading for Headley, and giving up Taillon would be too much—he’d be an upgrade over Pedro Alvarez in some areas, and Pittsburgh fans might miss the breeze from all Pedro’s whiffs, but this is a small-market team that needs to focus on developing internal talent. Alvarez is starting to figure things out, and they need to see if their investment will pay off, not look for a marginal upgrade at the cost of Taillon. They’re better off pursuing a shortstop, maybe Yunel Escobar.
sitdancer (DC): Do you see Jacob Turner securing a spot in the Marlin's rotation next season, and, if so, what type of production do you expect out of him?
Michael Street: Turner should have a chance to crack the rotation in Spring Training, especially if JJ gets moves. Turner's got a great chance to stick if he can work out his recent problems with control and command. Shifting to the easier league could help with that; I've also read that Detroit was trying to get him to use his two-seamer to get groundballs, rather than overwhelm batters with his mid-nineties four-seamer. A different pitching coach and a park that's proving to be very favorable to pitchers will help his development. I like his chances to reach his potential, though his chances to pile up wins with a rebuilding team may be slim.
Alex (Anaheim): Do the Yankees really need a 3B from elsewhere?
Michael Street: The Yanks will have to overpay to replace A-Rod, and I think other teams know it. Plus, beyond Headley, there's not much 3B talent available, and the asking price for Headley is reportedly too steep, even for the Yanks. New York has enough firepower elsewhere to hold the line with Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix, or they could give Brandon Laird another look if either one falters. Chavez is having a fine year (he's been my AL-only Value Pick for the last few weeks, just as a fill-in) and Nix has flashed the bat now and again (like he did last night against the M's). I would stand pat unless something fantastic comes along.
19braves77 (Pensacola): What to make of Jemile Weeks season ? He was going to be my sleeper super stud this year.
Michael Street: Weeks is going through a bit of a sophomore slump, and he looks like he's beating the ball into the ground (48.8 GB%), which is leading to a weak .248 BABIP, especially since it's eroding his line-drive rate from last season's excellent 23.3% to 19.6% (about league average). Pitchers are working him better than they did last season, and it will be on Weeks to make the adjustment in return. He's slugging .277 at home, which isn't doing him any favors, either.
tommybones (new york): Re: Yanks
But they need a 3B for 2013 regardless, so if you can get Headley now and sign him, then why not?
Michael Street: They'll need to bump A-Rod off third base sooner rather than later, but Girardi has done a great job of moving players through the DH spot to give them a rest. (Teams league-wide are moving away from having a full-time DH). Headley would remove that flexibility, and make A-Rod a tremendously overpaid DH for the next four seasons of his contract. All of that might be excusable if Headley could be had for the right price, but New York is reportedly unwilling to meet the Pads' price. Overpaying for Headley to end up with a positional conundrum isn't a good long-term plan and, for once, the Yanks seem to be looking down the road more than right now.
tj (jersey): Any updates on Yasiel Puig?
Michael Street: Other than continuing puzzlement at the huge deal he was offered, nothing yet. He reported to the AZ rookie league earlier this month and has yet to play a game. We'll have to wait another year at least to know whether this deal was brilliant scouting or reckless and foolish.
Mikeleelop (toronto): would Toronto giving up one of the Lansing 3, one of Gose/Marsnick and another prospect get a sniff of Johnson from the Marlins?
Michael Street: The latest from Miami is that they're asking for a lot for JJ, but some combination of Justin Nicolino, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, and another OF prospect or two would definitely get their interest. The question would be whether Toronto would want to pay such a steep price for Johnson, who's proven to be brittle and inconsistent of late. The package Miami's asking for is being compared to the Mark Teixiera deal, but I think Tex was a much more valuable commodity. If they'd tried to make this trade two seasons ago, they'd get that high price. I'm just not sure if it's worth Toronto to shed so much talent for JJ when they've got a ton of pitching talent just a year or two from the bigs.
Michael Street: That's all for today--thanks for the great questions!