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Chat: Christina Kahrl

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday July 15, 2005 12:00 PM ET chat session with Christina Kahrl.


Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus.

Christina Kahrl: Hi gang, it's a muggy Virginia day, I've filed today's TA, as belatedly as ever, but it'll be up soon through the unstinting efforts of our editorial team, and have I mentioned how much I love Rich Harden? Let's get this party started, and thanks up front to everyone for their questions...

Amos (Madison, WI): Hi Chris. Biggest names to move by the deadline? Their destinations? Biggest names we'll be teased with but won't go anywhere? Thanks.

Christina Kahrl: Hi Amos,

Given the time of year, there's no better question to lead off with. I expect a little disappointment, with fewer moves than are being speculated about. As much as we're hearing about Jason Schmidt, Mike Sweeney, or A.J. Burnett, the guys I really expect to see moved are the less epic names of Joe Randa, Edgardo Alfonzo, and Miguel Batista. There are three sellers who will make things really interesting: the Reds, the Devil Fishies, and the Pirates. The Reds and Rays are problematic, because they have no plan, and little idea of what they want or need; front offices running scared make boo-boos, or let that fear paralyze them. The Pirates are more interesting, because they have veteran rentals who become free agents at season's end, guys like Mark Redman, Jose Mesa, or Matt Lawton, all of whom might be interesting to the right contender.

JonL (Washington, DC): Given the recent improvement of Ryan Church and the Marlon Byrd Experience (however potentially fleeting), are there any plans for the Nationals to stop trying to trade for an outfielder and look for a shortstop instead? I'm guessing no, but at what point does Guzman's complete lack of hitting make up for his "defense"? And should we be ready to rename it the Guzman line? And (one more) I know Robinson likes veterans, but what is WWI vet Carlos Baerga doing getting all this playing time?

Christina Kahrl: Hi Jon, well, this is the downfall of premature submission, since we here in the DC area get to enjoy the benefits of the Preston Wilson era and its overlapping the Guzman Four-Year Plan. Nobody's going to deal for Guzman, and with or without an owner, nobody in the organization will suggest eating the expense. So we're stuck, praying for a Shawon Dunston the way Cubs fans got through the end of Larry Bowa's career.

As for Baerga, the man's private pornography collection must have pictures of all the right people, because there's no other explanation for why a guy who can't hit, field or run is getting regular PT.

pjvent (Washington, DC): Chris: With Wang likely gone for the season, what do you anticipate the Yankees doing (aside, of course, from getting on their knees and saying lots of prayers)?

Christina Kahrl: Don't you know, we live in a time where the power of prayer is ever-more important. Or was that 'noisy'?

Regardless, I expect the Yankees to do something monumentally stupid, like the Chacon trade. For those of us who remember the team's meltdown from the early '80s, today seems awfully familiar. It's a pity, because they still have strengths, and if they'd been more active in transitioning their ability to contend by blending in some of the kids, their immediate wouldn't be as potentially horrific as I think it's about to become.

maxexpos (Montreal): Chris, As you know, everyday at BP you and your colleagues defy "conventional wisdom". Recently Lou Pinnella had done the same thing with his pitching staff. Although I doubt it will help Tampa (then again what will?) I believe he may be on to something with his theory. Say the Red Sox were to start a game with a struggling Keith Foulke, get 2 solid innings in a low-pressure but meaningful situation, use their explosive offence to get them some run sipport, use another "reliever" until they can get about 3 or 4 innings. The "starter" someone like a Clement or Miller would enter the game and comfortably enter the game for 5 or 6 innings of work. The advantage of this would be you would never have to worry about the quick hook to the bullpen guys like you would a starter. What do you think?

Christina Kahrl: Hi Max,

The 'pen start' concept isn't a new one, but I'd argue it's not the best use of resources. You're claiming that the first two innings are low-pressure, but I'd suggest that first inning performance is one of those areas where starters can have all sorts of problems. Better to retain the initiative by putting the game in Matt Clement's hands than go snark-hunting for a magical player-usage pattern that might or might not fix Foulke. Plus, you won't aggravate or annoy a league full of union men (and their agents).

Conor Glassey (Redmond, WA): Hey Chris, What do you think the Royals do with Zack Greinke?

Christina Kahrl: I'm not sure I understand the question, but it seems pretty clear that Greinke is one Royal who's going to remain a Royal, and one of the reasons to keep watching, however deep your despair if you're a Royals fan.

Scott Podsednik- All Star (Chicago): Historically, how many all star OFs have had lower slugging percentages than me, one of the most overrated players in the game.

Christina Kahrl: I'm not a big fan of the All-Star game, but the fans spoke, and they put an interesting player in. I won't say a good or great player, but if one of the other comebacks that comes in the train of Seventies mania is an obsession with speed, the teams that understand the mechanics of the game will profit from it.

Yentah (Hollywood): Chris, darling, love your stuff! Does a Guardado for Shoppach trade make sense for both teams?

Christina Kahrl: Perhaps. With Varitek locked in, Shoppach's future as a Red Sock isn't all that hot, the Mariners seem to always be in need of a starting catcher (call it the Curse of Bob Stinson or Bob Kearney or Joe Bob Briggs), and Guardado would probably agree to go to Boston. A lot will depend on what Embree does in the next couple of weeks, and since the Mariners claim to be waiting until the end of the month, we'll see how this one plays out.

jerjapan (Toronto): Hi Chris, just wondering whether you think the Blue Jays should be buyers or sellers this year? We've got lots of pitching prospects coming up and money to spend, and I keep hearing big rumours about Burnett, Dunn, etc. Is it better to make a trade now or spend the cash in the offseason?

Christina Kahrl: I think the Halladay injury makes them sellers, which I'd suggest might even be a source of relief. If you're perceived as a contender, there might be an elaborate outcry if you move someone like Batista or Orlando Hudson, and that would be silly given the relative value of the players in question. This winter and next spring should be very interesting for the Jays.

jjcole (Houston): of all the Astro rookies which should be a part of the next winning team?

Christina Kahrl: The 'Stros aren't that far from being a winning team now, which is part of the problem. How about Fernando Nieve and Wandy Rodriguez?

Alex C (Huntley IL): Why doesn't Kenny Williams give the Good Minor Players A Chance?

Christina Kahrl: I'm not sure I get the question. If we're talking last year and Jeremy Reed, I can accept that, but this isn't a system as laden with prospects as it used to be. Joe Borchard might be the second coming, but of what? Not something you want in the lineup.

Eddie Wade (Philly): Hi Chris. I could use a good advisor like you. Stop by sometime. My 'Trading for Dummies' cook book just doesn't work. Tell me, if I trade Billy Wagner to Boston, what 1 prospect should I insist upon getting in return? Thanks!

Christina Kahrl: I'd want Dustin Pedroia or Brandon Moss, but there's about as much chance that you'd get them as there is of Wagner getting dealt to Boston.

ElAngelo (NY, NY): You're Minnesota, a team with a few needs that could put it in prime position to take the wildcard. Do you deal Jesse Crain, who's boxed out of the closer spot in the foreseeable future, for immediate help, since flags fly forever?

Christina Kahrl: No, I wouldn't, since Crain is part of the reason why the Twins would do well in a postseason series. Given the organization's depth, I'd be dangling J.D. Durbin or Boof Bonser instead, and not just because Durbin's an injury risk and I think Bonser won't live up to his billing; there are plenty of people in the game who disagree with those assessments.

The larger problem is getting Terry Ryan to address that the team has problems, especially at shortstop and third base. Then there's the question of what to do with Jacque Jones, and when Justin Morneau and Lew Ford will start hitting. The lineup has been underwhelming, but where Morneau should snap back, with Jones, they're getting what they paid for. Do they recognize it's not enough? No.

Dusty Baker (Chicago): Will I have a job on August 31?

Christina Kahrl: You will, because injuries always make a nice scapegoat. Unless of course you resign, in which case I'd expect that ESPN has a place for you anyways. You'll only go fishing if you want to.

Robert R (Milwaukee): The Brewers finally seem to have assembled a team that's at least mediocre; they've outscored their opponents, the pitching staff has no obvious holes, they have talented prospects at AAA, etc. What do they have to do to take the next step?

Christina Kahrl: Flip Lyle Overbay for as much as they can get, probably in a package where the Brewers can also give up useful spare parts like Wes Helms and Ricky Bottalico, and perhaps Tomo Ohka or Victor Santos. Do this to upgrade in the rotation or right field, because that's where you need to make up ground on the Cardinals, by shedding big-league mediocrity for talent. Pick up Carlos Lee's option for 2006, play Fielder and Weeks, and move heaven and earth to put Geoff Jenkins in somebody else's uniform.

Robert R (Milwaukee): Presumably you've seen Rickie Weeks play by now. Thoughts?

Christina Kahrl: ... and to follow up, I was wrong, wrong, wrong about Rickie Weeks' development as a hitter. I don't mind, and if anything, it helps shore up the reputation of the draft, that good everyday big league ballplayers or nearly ready big league hitters are still to be found in the college game.

jsp377 (Pittsburgh, PA): Is there a reason the Atheletics don't run Bobby Crosby around the bases? He was 38 for 44 stealing bases in the minors, and if Billy Beane doesn't believe that's good enough to steal bases, then he's nuts.

Christina Kahrl: It's an interesting question, but I think the answer involves what you think your desired outcome is. I'm a big believer in the virtues of tactical friction, that you want to wear out an opponent. The stolen base, in itself, isn't that big of a deal to me; chase after them too hard, and you end up costing yourself runs. But if you don't actively threaten your opponent with them, you're making life awfully easy on the defense. If you actually have players who can steal bases at a good clip, let them; if you have Alex Sanchez, just say no.

Guillermo (Montevideo, Uruguay): Chris, could you shed some light as to why did Billy Beane made those trades? I donīt understand them. At all. Jay Witasick? Jay Payton? Is it an infatuation with the name "Jay"?

Christina Kahrl: Hello Guillermo from down in soccer country, and how is Uruguay's national team looking, anyhow?),

I talk about this in today's TA, but I think it's the acquisition of bit parts. Payton can play center and hit lefties well enough to spot for Kotsay now and again, Witasick is less of a situational goof compared to Bradford, and the payoff is taking the chance that Joe Kennedy could be the new Coors refugee who blossoms on someone else's mound. Coming at the cost of a 29 year-old Eric Byrnes, sore-backed Bradford, and the limited future of Omar Quintanilla, it's not a bad pair of moves.

Jays are pretty cool, but my preference is our own Jay Jaffe. Futilityinfielder.com remains one of my guilty pleasures, and not just because I share a love for the game's scrubs.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): Why aren't the Reds shopping Kearns? If they won't play him, there are a bunch of teams who would.

Christina Kahrl: I really think the Reds are frozen with panic, and don't have a plan for what their making deals are supposed to achieve. They need everything, they have desirable stuff, but what are they going to do? Consider this Dan O'Brien's Joe Hooker moment, where he really either needs to make a decision or hand over the reigns to someone who will. Hooker did neither, and that's what I suspect O'Brien will do as well, instead temporizing, complaining about his poor fortune, and not thinking in terms of 2006 or 2007.

skidave (rapid city, sd): is detroit's minor league pitching depth deep enough for it trade one of their veteran starters (maroth, johnson) and still stay on track to try to contend next season?

Christina Kahrl: Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya both look very, very good, so the Tigers do have the talent to turn to if they want to peddle Maroth or Johnson for a center fielder or an upgrade on Rondell White in left. But doing that, I wouldn't automatically predict they'll contend in 2006, just that they'll build on this year. I still think the Indians are the team to beat in this division over the next five years.

Tim (DC): Thoughts about Brandon Wood? Plate discipline? Future positional change?

Christina Kahrl: I'd hold my powder just yet. Wood looks great, but he's also hitting in Rancho Cucamonga, and has the whole Cal League helping him along. If I were the Angels, I'd leave him alone at see if short is where he winds up, but they may let their affection for Erick Aybar and the three years they have Orlando Cabrera under contract for get in the way of that, especially if Wood's bat keeps impressing people. It isn't like Dallas McPherson has really run with his opportunity this season, even allowing for his injuries.

GBSimons (Seymour, IN): Chris, what do you think of the A's chances to make the playoffs? Do you like their recent trades short- and long-term?

Christina Kahrl: Sticking with the AL West, I like their chances, but that's in part because I think the Angels might be losing steam at the right time. But I'd still run the odds at 60% Angels, 40% A's. (Fire away, Rangers fans.)

Cris E (St Paul, MN): Does FL have enough other pitching to trade away AJ Burnett? They're in a race that they look like they could win and yet they keep looking past that to the off-season where things might get expensive. Is there more to this than cheapness?

Christina Kahrl: Burnett has always been seen as something of a wildcard, so beyond the skinflint theory of what Jeffrey Loria wants to do, there may be other reasons to wonder about keeping him around. But they don't have the depth to deal Burnett and claim they're still contending. The right deal might help them contend in 2006, though.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Hi Chris: Any first impressions on the O's activating Jason Grimsley and designating Steve Reed for assignment? What can we expect from Grimsley? It certainly seems that the O's signing of the "2 Steves" (Reed and Kline) during the off-season to bolster their bullpen has been a bust, but it has been offset by the emergence of Ray and Byrdak.

Christina Kahrl: Hi Tom,

I see both moves as overdue, and I like Ray's future as much as I know you do, as one of my most frequent correspondents. ; ) I wouldn't get worked up about Tim Byrdak. If he works out, he's proof that you can shake a situational guy out of the free talent tree any old time, which might remind them what a bad idea Steve Kline was.

dantroy (davis, ca): Are there any moves the Mets can make by the deadline that will help them in '06 and '07?

Christina Kahrl: Getting someone ready to play shortstop in the big leagues would be really, really keen. Getting someone who can hit and play first base would be pretty cool too, of course.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): What's your take on the All Star game? Are you a fan of it? What changes would you like to see?

Christina Kahrl: It's a corporate junket, and an exhibition. Making it 'matter' by putting home field advantage in the World Series is one among several stupid things MLB's home offices are responsible for, and something, like interleague play, that I look forward to seeing go away someday.

Dean Fiala (Rockville, MD): Hi Chris, Is there any chance that Boston could arrange a trade for Roger Clemens and allow him to "retire" as a Red Sock?

Christina Kahrl: I think the controvery over whose hat Clemens winds up wearing will be all sorts of fun, but I'd suggest that given the man's accomplishments, let him make the choice instead of invoking the Boggs/Canseco rules about assigning them. The Hall is for the players and the fans, not for the Hall.

Ryan Church (Washington DC): Since it looks like I'm going to be staying around for a while, should I be looking at property in Anacostia or Georgetown?

Christina Kahrl: You're young enough, get something in the Southwest, bike or Metro to work, and buy one of the new developments going up in Anacostia across the river from the Navy Yard ballpark site.

BridgeportJoe (Chicago): White Sox--110 wins, or just 100?

Christina Kahrl: Just 100, although I can't help but wonder if the wheels will come off at some point. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a team with a lot of needs, although a better lefty bat than Carl Everett would be nice to have as an alternative in the outfield, at first, or DH. But what should Kenny Williams do? Barring a certain knock-your-socks-off deal for a veteran, he doesn't have the minor league goodies to really shop in the high-end bins. He's probably going to have to wind up letting it ride.

Melky Cabrera (New York): Do you think I will finish the season in the bigs?

Christina Kahrl: Sure I do. Rosters expand after September 1st, after all.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): In Seattle, Doyle (Snelling) needs playing time. How can the M's make room for him in the outfield? Who could use Winn?

Christina Kahrl: Presumably, Winn can still play center field, so I would think that the Yankees, Tigers, and Cubs would all be interested. But Snelling's fragility is enough of a concern that I wouldn't bet on his capitalizing on whatever opportunity I'd create for him. Just make sure you have a decent fallback for when he falls down.

Fonzie (the 50's): Is Boston too comitted to Bellhorn at 2B? I know that BP always talks about looking past AVG, bt Bellhorn's OBP is around .330. Why not move Mueller to 2B, and let Youkliss play 3B?

Christina Kahrl: Because Mueller at 2B on an everyday basis would be a defensive disaster; as indifferent as Bellhorn's defense is considered to be, he's better than Mueller. Anyway, I don't think Boston's too committed, because Bellhorn has value, and as I say today, I like the Alex Cora pickup because it gives the team a defensive replacement who can run, also fill in at short, and start against certain righthanders.

Mike (DC): Sadly enough, with the horrible Preston Wilson trade, what on earth makes Church think he'll be here for a while? The Nats bullpen is a mess, exhausted. Does P.T. Bowden have any prayer of trading for a quality reliever? Or are we going to go after more "toolsy outfielders"? I'm sure there's a Red available somehow.

Christina Kahrl: Except that the odds of a deal between the Reds and a smug and bubbly Jim Bowden seem remote at best. Buying real estate in DC proper is a good investment, especially with government's expansion to fend off concerns about the real estate bubble bursting. Or at least the homeowner in me hopes so. : )

Jay (Madison): What should the O's do at the deadline? Is there really interest in Jorge Julio as local media suggest -- me thinks not. Are they just the Royals of a few years back?

Christina Kahrl: I don't know if the Orioles really have what it takes... Julio's value is way down for good reason, and their need for an upgrade in the rotation is pretty obvious. They don't have the talent in their system to get a Burnett, and I wouldn't bet on Schmidt being the answer if they got him. Mark Redman wouldn't fill the bill. I think the Orioles are in a tough spot, but they helped make it that way when they handed Sidney Ponson oodles of cash.

The Neighbor's Dog (I'm Loose!): This isn't something you normally cover in TA but I'm curious where you think the GM carousel will spin this offseason. Cashman, Wade, O'Dowd, Littlefield, O'Brien, Bowden, and (please!) Lamar could all be taking rides.

Christina Kahrl: I wouldn't be surprised to see some things finally get shaken up, but only in the most egregious cases, like O'Brien and Lamar. Wade's a crony in an organization that treasures cronyism more than perhaps any other in baseball, so he has more lives than a cat. Like anyone who likes disaster movies, I think we're all curious to see what happens with Cashman, and what sort of wild-eyed fix they come up with. Given the nature of the roster, Cashman's complaints are spot-on, to the point that even if he's made the fall guy and they turn to Gene Michael, as much as I think Michael's one of the best evaluators in the game, this may be one nut that can't be cracked.

lyricalkiller (the OC): Giants or Dodgers for third place? Giants or Dodgers to acquire Adam Dunn? Giants or Dodgers in 2006?

Christina Kahrl: Dodgers, neither, and Dodgers. But that's part of me taking some measure of glee from the Giants' collapse. Getting Barry back with help immensely, but not enough to matter.

Mike W (Chicago): Here in Chicago we have two fine examples of the "speed at the top of the order" idea that refuses to die. Re the South side, people ceaselessly talk of "small ball" when the Sox are as dependent on the HR as anyone. Evidently the mere possession of Podzilla, coupled with unthinking regurgitation of this spring's mantra, is enough to overcome, you know, reality. And up north, everyone's favorite tactician kept running Neifi and Corey out there, and now that Hairston and Walker are where they belong, people are wishing we had a true leadoff hitter. Can we kill Bill James now so we can watch him roll over in his grave?

Christina Kahrl: The line from Spaceballs seems to be appropriate, that evil always win because good is dumb. Defining myself as a sympathizer with those mean old Moneyball baddies, I can enjoy that sentiment. If people on the inside think they're going to win relying on guys like Podzilla and Neifi Perez year after year, they are GMs in the game and in their divisions who will be eating these goody-goodies lunches for years to come.

Or to put it in terms Keith Woolner might use, the competitive ecology of the game will be much more... dynamic... if some GMs are using demonstrably illogical decisions about who to play, and others do not.

Let's hear it for the comeback of bad ideas. It's a sign of the times.

Jetson (NC): Do you think trading Adam Dunn is a logical way to rebuild, or would you build around him? How much buffer does a ballclub need before a player earns a real serious paycheck in order to determine that they should build around him and not move him? As you can probably guess, I question the wisdom of this.

Christina Kahrl: Trading Dunn would be a case of trading the best player because you wish the other guys were as good. Dunn's 25, and even if he's a player with an old player's skills set, and perhaps not someone who will age gracefully in his thirties, he's still a guy who I think will have more value as a hitter than anyone else in the organizatino over the next five years. Would he bring a great swag? Possibly, but would you want to bet on O'Brien's additions in such a deal providing the innumerable fixes this organization needs? I don't, but the Reds need to buckle in for a rebuild, not think another Eric Milton signing might help.

Joel (Washington, DC): Following up on the Pirates, what do you think is a realistic return on Redman or Lawton? And would you try to move Kip Wells now or wait until the off season?

Christina Kahrl: It depends on the value you think you can get for Wells, but given that I really like Wells, I'd have to think that going to arbitration and then possibly dealing him to whoever loses out in next winter's spending frenzy on free agent starters might generate a better package than what they might get now, when everyone wants starters, and there are many on the market.

Redman and Lawton are both rentals, but Lawton can fix a team's leadoff problems, and Redman's a plausibly useful third starter in a contender's rotation. As a package to the right team (the Rangers?), or individually to different teams (say, Redman to the Yankees, and Lawton to the Cubs), getting a second-tier prospect seems possible.

Greg Tamer (Lafayette): BP seems to be the home of the undiscovered niche. You have transactions, Carroll has injuries - what's the next uncovered area of baseball that you think will become covered?

Christina Kahrl: Thank you for the compliment, Greg, although I'd say I'm simply a chatterbox, while Will has created something truly unique.

As far as undiscovered content, I think there's more to be done with box scores, using them to illustrate tactical choices, player usage patterns, and really get into the art of managing on a day-to-day basis. We have a lot of work to do in adequately describing the value that managers can add in creating successful roles for players; the answers are in the boxes, not just in gross summaries. If I didn't require sleep, I wish I had the time to start digging.

Tim (DC): Boston's bullpen: will Schilling provide any value? Does Theo trade for a closer, or a set-up guy?

Christina Kahrl: Theo trades for a high-leverage reliever, who closes or not depending on how well Foulke bounces back. Getting beaten by A-Rod aside, I think Schilling will be useful enough, although I wonder if the tocsin's already being beaten that he's too emotional for a relief role, and needs the long exercise of starting to keep focused. I'd call that silly, but you know how journalists like to fill column space.

As far as targeted relievers, Guardado can be all sorts of things, so he might be a particularly good match. But part of me secretly hopes that they do something like go out and get LaTroy Hawkins, just because it would be fun to see him thrive and pitch into October, and leaving the Cubs choking on an extra helping of bile.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): It was a freebie for the Twins to try Bret Boone out, so if it fails they can just move on, but what are the chances there's something there? Is that a fork in his back or angel wings?

Christina Kahrl: Can forks flap? I think Boone's done, but this might be his last good deed, keeping Luis Rivas out of the everyday lineup. I really don't think Terry Ryan's going to fix his team's problems, though.

Yenta (H-wood): Not to beat a dead horse, but why wouldn't the Red Sox be a likely destination for Billy Wagner? Philly is toast, and will need a new catcher too in 2006, so Shoppach would work there too, no?

Christina Kahrl: As cool as it would be to get Shoppach, not pick up Lieberthal's option for '06, and spend the money some other way, you're hoping that the Red Sox decide to put their trust in Wagner's elbow, and I don't think that's a gamble Boston wants to take, or should.

AST (Oakland): Hey, I love Rich Harden too! I realize I'm still a little giddy after last nights game, but does he have the best pure stuff in the game right now?

Christina Kahrl: Keeping in mind that that's a question a scout or Gary Huckabay could answer far better than I ever could, I'd think he has to be on the short list.

erghammer (DC): The Reds have to be sellers. Do they know this? Do you see them jettisoning Dunn or Kearns and building around the 'solid core' of Joe Randa and Rich Aurilia? If so, can you recommend some nice drugs that will ease my pain?

Christina Kahrl: I see them moving Randa, because there are teams who need third baseman, and Randa's adequacy will seem attractive. But it won't fix this team's problems, and I really expect the Reds to flub resolving the outfield issue. Ideally, they'd deal Casey and move Dunn to first, but that's my Ohio pipe dream.

ElAngelo (NY, NY): You're John Hart, and while you're 2 games out of the AL wildcard, any realistic assment says that you're probably in deep water with the Yankees and Twins to catch for the WC. Do you trade away some kids to make a run at it, even though your pitching won't get your anywhere in October, or do you punt and play for 2006, when you'll have a better shot? Or do you sit and do nothing, as usual?

Christina Kahrl: The Rangers aren't dead yet, and if they could shore up their outfield and their rotation (and find a start-worthy starting catcher), they'd be much better off. Part of their solutions they can find down on the farm: they could bench Richard Hidalgo, move Dellucci to the outfield, move Teixeira to DH, and call up Adrian Gonzalez, for instance. Maybe it's time to turn catcher over to Gerald Laird.

But the rub is the rotation, and there, it's a tough call. Ian Kinsler is a keeper, and this isn't a system that's rich in depth. Deal Soriano for pitching? I don't see Hart doing it, and he'd still have the problem in center field.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): Is Riccadri just stalling until the trade deadline or is he really holding on to Shea Hillenbrand for the long haul? Why not move him before Randa shrinks the market?

Christina Kahrl: It makes sense to bluff, to see if that generates a more desperate and particularly juicy offer. Randa should be seen as the consolation prize, by contrast, the guy you settle for if you can't get Ricciardi to move.

Okay, a few lightning round type questions, and let's rap up this chat marathon. ; )

maxexpos (Montreal): As an Expos fan who is tormented by DC's successe, when will this team go back to earth?

Christina Kahrl: August 17th.

Tim (DC): What do the Rangers do with Soriano/Kinsler as we approach the deadline? Will they be buyers, perhaps moving Kinsler, or sellers?

Christina Kahrl: I'd take the risk and move Soriano, and plug in Kinsler as well as Adrian Gonzalez, but I don't think Hart will do these things.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Chris: If you were a GM, would you go after Kearns? What would it take to get him?

Christina Kahrl: I'd go after Kearns, and when in doubt, offer pitching. The Reds need it, and assuming I was so smart as to have a great scouting network, I'd count on finding more.

Chien-Ming Wang (New York): The doctors won't tell me, so how hurt am I?

Christina Kahrl: You seem to have strayed into chatty banter, when I think you want Will Carroll over in the pointed information office next door. ;)

Sweet Lou (Tampa): Do I resign? Get fired?? Will I only see Young in the OF as a paying customer?

Christina Kahrl: Resign, or learn to love what it is you can do now with what you have on hand. Be a teacher, help set a professional tone, and you might still be a productive member of society in your sunset years.

iamdanthemanstan (Washington DC): How bad can the Yankees farm system be if it has already produced three major league starters?

Christina Kahrl: Counting on Melky Cabrera a bit early, aren't we? Cano and Wang were the cream of the crop outside of Eric Duncan, and Wang's apparently done. This isn't a farm system noted for its depth, or its parent organization's trust in it.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Is Sosa done?

Christina Kahrl: Essentially. He can limp along for a while, but he's no longer a significant asset.

Christina Kahrl: Okay, enough's enough, I need to do stretch my legs, do some yoga, and catch some baseball later on tonight. I hope everyone enjoys the weekend's action, and if you're going to be at the White Sox-Red Sox/University of Chicago alumni event next weekend, I'm looking forward to seeing you there or meeting you in person.

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