Chat with Keith Law

Chat with Keith Law
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Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, MLB Insider Keith Law will be here to take your questions on anything baseball related.

Law is the senior baseball analyst for ESPN Insider. Before joining ESPN, Law served as special assistant to the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and was a writer for Baseball Prospectus.

Send your questions now and join Law Friday at 1 p.m. ET!

Klaw
I can't believe someone got video of me and Calcaterra getting in a fight in the Dolphin parking lot after he said he was supporting Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame.
Greg (Ladera ranch)
Is CJ Cron a better over all hitter than Trumbo and is he ready now, if needed??
Klaw
He's extremely similar - huge raw power, 1b only, low OBPs to the point of concern that he won't be a productive hitter overall - but also has had injury problems too. I don't think he's ready to help the Angels in 2014.
Ryan (Zona)
On the theory that the D-backs are very average across the board, and that they can't afford to buy players that are both above-average and reliable -- might Jenrry Mejia be a good target in a trade of one of the AZ shortstops?
Klaw
If I'm the Mets I'm happy to take Owings for Mejia, due to the latter's injury history. Mejia has more upside, but who knows when he'll be able to handle 160 innings without breaking down?
Keith (Memphis, TN)
Keith, what are your thoughts on the Tigers signing Joba to a one year deal? Moderate risk with the potential of a big reward?
Klaw
Love it. Exactly the kind of guy they should target for their bullpen - as long as they don't stop there. You can't depend on Joba, but the potential for improvement out of NY/with a change of scenery is there. And the money he's getting is minimal.
Joshua (Richmond, VA)
Keith, sorry if this comes across long winded, but I'm really trying to understand a thought process here. The Nationals just traded a replaceable prospect for a major league lefty reliever, Blevins, who has a total contract value of 2 years and approximately $3-4 million. The Rockies signed a free agent major league reliever for 3 years and $16.5 million. If I were the owner (or whoever has to give approval for all free agent signings) I would have a major issue with my GM for this signing. How can the Rockies GM go to his owner and explain this is a good allocation of that money? I honestly don't understand. Can you provide some insight into how this thought process occurs? Thanks, Keith.
Klaw
In this case, I don't like the Logan signing at all for the Rockies - too much money, too many years for a reliever not named "Mariano" - but Blevins would be a God-awful fit for Coors. So I'm with you about 2/3 of the way.
Kyle (Visalia, CA)
Any reason other than publicity for Texas taking Wilson in the Rule 5?
Klaw
I can't think of one. Good QB. Could never hit. Odds of him becoming even a major-league bench player if he quit football tomorrow are miniscule.
Greg (NYC)
Keith- Does there actually need to be a new rule on home plate collisions? Can't MLB just enforce the actual rule that applies to runners/fielders at every other base? I don't get why some parties feel like it's "part of the game" when there's no actual rule right now that says runners have the right to barrel through a catcher, or that catchers can block the base with their bodies. Is there?
Klaw
If the new rule amounts to enforcement of existing rules, then I'm fine with that. No dead catchers, please.
Taylor (Pennsville, NJ)
Keith, when you attend the winter meetings do you get any downtime or are you pretty much working non-stop. A related question, who is the most likely person from the baseball industry having a beer with Keith Law at the winter meetings from the following categories; player/former player, coach, front office personnel, media?
Klaw
Define "working." If chatting with people in the industry is considered working, then it was close to non-stop; I had a break Wednesday morning/early afternoon, but I forced myself to do that. As for the latter question, the one night I stayed at the bar till (past) closing, we had a group together that, at various points, had at least two front office execs, at least two other writers, a pair of scouts who passed by, and a job-seeker (my cousin!) and her friends. It's all very open - but there are very active few players there.
Jason (Palo Alto, CA)
Keith, as a Giants fan I'm not too excited about the Morse signing - but at least it's only one year. Do you think Williamson will be ready to patrol LF next season since assuming he plays a full season at Richmond this year?
Klaw
Morse can't play LF. It's a bad signing. Williamson might be ready in 2015, but as a guy who'll be a 1-1.5 WAR player, not an impact guy. Still concerned about the bat speed/swing and miss potential.
Max (Florida)
Kyle Zimmer + RMjr. for Price: who hangs up first?
Klaw
Rays, since Zimmer finished the year on the shelf with a shoulder issue (that is not serious, but still, as the centerpiece in a trade that's a risky guy to take). That said, I do love Zimmer when he's healthy.
Dave (Philly) [via mobile]
What on earth is Ruben's strategy? Or is he seemingly completely devoid of one.
Klaw
I don't understand any part of it at all. His stated intentions and his moves never sound like they all came from the same source.
Darek (Chicago)
To me, Rick Hahn gets a C- for me as his first winter as GM. He sells off a decent #4 lefty starter for an outfielder, while talented, was not their biggest area of need. Thoughts?
Klaw
Winter hasn't even started. And the offseason isn't even half over.
Nicholas (SC)
Does a player's health situation impact his arbitration, or is it based on past performance alone? For instance, if Freddie Freeman were to be injured today, would that affect what he'll receive in arbitration for the '14 season?
Klaw
No, but past injuries matter, as does "broken service" - when a player has gone back down to the minors and returned, maybe more than once, since first reaching the majors.
Steve (Anaheim)
Best rule 5 major league pick?
Klaw
I doubt any of them end up mattering at all. Wang is the most interesting, but also might be the least likely to stick. Almanzar's second least-likely. Schuster's a non-prospect for me - no clue how he goes first. Nieto's a decent backup catcher candidate but not more. Always liked Rosin because he throws so many strikes - could see him and Munson sticking as 12th men in those bullpens. Moran might be a specialist LHR, not a huge fan of those guys.
Joe G (Kansas)
Would you still take Hosmer over guys like Freeman and Belt?
Klaw
Yes. Lot of untapped power in Hosmer's bat.
John (Pittsburgh)
Keith, did you understand the pick by the Brewers picking up Wei-Chung Wang? His highest level was rookie ball. How do they expect him to go from rookie ball to the majors?
Klaw
I assume their hope is that they can hide him all year, then send him to high-A or AA in 2015. I don't like that plan, but it's not the first time someone has tried it.

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