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Chat: Joe Sheehan

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday June 20, 2008 1:30 PM ET chat session with Joe Sheehan.


Joe Sheehan writes "Prospectus Today" for Baseball Prospectus.

Joe Sheehan: Going to start this, but the pace will be slow for the first half-hour or so. Be patient with me.

Tony (Edmond, OK): Which side would say no to a Greinke for Schafer and Lillibridge swap?

Joe Sheehan: That's a close one, especially when you consider how much the Braves need a starter at the moment. I don't think the Braves could make that deal--you could argue that Lillibridge is a major leaguer right now. Something else--Greinke is pretty far along the service time line, I believe. I think the Braves back away first, but it's a good fake trade.

Jeff Francouer (Atlanta): Wasn't I supposed to be really good this year?

Joe Sheehan: I think I might have written something like that. He's stagnated so far--power's about the same, and he's making more contact. But the walks have gone backwards again, and he's not hitting for average. It's strange...I'm not ready to write this off, though. The raw talent is there and he's shown capacity for development.

BernieW (Portland, OR): Joe, What do you think about the Yanks playoff chances as they stand, and how much would they be improved by adding a pitcher the level of CC? Should they move a top prospect to make that happen?

Joe Sheehan: I think they have a 40-50% chance of making the playoffs, maybe higher. They only now have their lineup intact, and while the pitching issues are real, they should get some guys back over the next six weeks to help that. It seems pretty clear that Brian Cashman isn't going to make a move to trade 12 years of value for three months, and I think that's the right idea, so no, I wouldn't trade Hughes for Sabathia.

Amos (New York): Other than Ramon Castro and maybe Endy Chavez, has there been another player on the Mets' bench this year that would have a job on any other team? (As a player, not as a coach.)

Joe Sheehan: Oh, the Mets aren't nearly the only team to value experience that highly. I've no doubt that Anderson, with a rep as a pinch-hitter, would be employed.

Still handling some stuff. You'll have my full attention shortly.

tommybones (brooklyn): Mike Mussina's resurrection has me wondering if he solidifies his HOF resume simply by winning 20 games this season. It gets that stupid monkey off his back, which has been used way too often by lazy analysts eager to write off the underrated Moose. Your thoughts?

Joe Sheehan: Sorry about that. I'm all yours for the next few hours.

I don't know if one 20-win season gets him over the top. Despite having had some amazing postseason starts, he doesn't have a rep as a big-game guy, and increasingly, Hall of Fame voting is about impressions rather than information. Mussina is a low-end HoF guy in my book, and would be helped by one or two more seasons like this, 20 wins or no.

Dan (Brooklyn): What's your feeling about Harang? Will he rebound? Needing a 3B in a keeper, should I deal him for Atkins or Carlos Guillen -- and if so, which one?

Joe Sheehan: The peripherals are pretty good. It was pointed out to me that he's been terrible since the relief appearance, but I don't know if I want to draw a causal line there. It's one theory. Anyway, I suspect he'll be OK, although dealing him for Guillen is an acceptable idea. How good is Atkins if he gets traded away from Denver?

DanBudreika (VA): Does BP really pay better than some entry level baseball ops people?

Joe Sheehan: What do entry level baseball ops people pay?

G-MOTA (Bumpus, MA): Hi Mr. Sheehan! So there used to be player-managers... any reason we couldn't have a pitcher-pitching coach? I think about this when I hear about Pedro or Mussina or especially Maddux talking to the younger folk. You could instantly have a top-flight pitching coach (right?), plus you could use him sparingly in the bullpen.

Joe Sheehan: Sans title, these jobs have existed for some time. Maddux, Jamie Moyer, Clemens...Nolan Ryan. You want that to be an informal situation; you don't need a pitcher worried about 10 other guys. Or 13 other guys, if it's the Brewers.

carl (Boston, MA): Is Nate McLouth's power so far a bit of a fluke?

Joe Sheehan: I would use the word "peak" instead of "fluke," and think he can post a .225 ISO for the next few years. McLouth is really a great story...not just the power, but look at his strikeout rate over the last three seasons. The guy has made himself into a very good hitter.

Mark (CT): Joe, here is a hypothetical question. Your lineup spots 2 through 9 are set and you get to pick a leadoff hitter. Do you take the peak version of Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds? Thanks!

Joe Sheehan: I take peak Barry Bonds for any role over any player in history except for Babe Ruth.

Joe (Tewksbury, MA): If Schilling's career is over, when does the five year waiting period start; after his last game in 2007 or after he comes off "active" roster at the end of '08? (He's been "active" but disabled all year).

Joe Sheehan: Using Albert Belle as the guide, it would the last year in which Schilling played, 2007. I'll have more on Schilling in a Saturday column.

Mike (Queens): Who'll be better for the rest of the year, Justin Upton or Jay Bruce? Who'll have a better career?

Joe Sheehan: Upton's contact issues are real, so I'd say Bruce in the short term. Long term, there aren't many properties more valuable than Jay Bruce, but Upton is one of them.

nickojohnson (LA, CA): Joe, are you buying Manny's "return" as an elite player? He's striking out more often than ever. Is he really back?

Joe Sheehan: No, he's a good hitter now, but a step or two down from where he was a couple of years ago. His strikeout rate isn't that much different, but there's less power and less good things on contact in general. The guy is still a very good hitter at 36, and will be a viable DH for at least a couple more seasons. (Have you checked the production of AL DHs?)

Rick (Chicago): Joe, the Reds have announced that Daryl Thompson will make his major league debut tomorrow against the Yankees. Two questions: What do you think of aggressive promotion of young pitchers who are dominant in the minors? Who would've thunk that the Reds may yet end up with the better half of the Austin Kearns deal?

Joe Sheehan: I believe it was Gary Huckabay who proffered the idea that a guy who can pitch in the majors needs to be doing so regardless of age. (I'm paraphrasing.) These guys implode at all levels, so you might as well have him helping your team. I also think the level of health care and coaching is highest in the majors, so why not have a guy like Thompson (or Kershaw, or Chamberlain) benefitting from that? As long as workload is managed--and my god, is workload managed these days--it's a reasonable idea to promote quickly.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Your thoughts on the AL-NL balance-of-power debate?

Joe Sheehan: The NL seems to be catching up based on talent reaching the majors, some guys moving back from the AL, but the AL is still the stronger league. It takes a while for these things to shift back.

JoshEngleman (Tamaqua, PA): OK Joe, I need your help. Will Carroll gave me an answer but Law and Stark both snubbed me. I have a bet with a buddy of mine over who would be voted the NL Cy Young if the season ended today. We need another opinion. There is a Yoo-hoo at stake. Help a guy out.

Joe Sheehan: Edinson Volquez. His ERA lead--having an ERA in the 1.00s gets attention--outweighs the wins he gives away to Webb.

Guido (Charleston, WV): After the carnage this week, I need someone to say something good about the Pirates.

Joe Sheehan: BTW, to the previous question...those guys didn't "snub" you. ESPN chats get a staggering amount of questions. It's all they can do to keep up.

The Pirates are in great position at the trade deadline. They have trade value at a number of positions, in a seller's market, and can do the kind of complete revamping of their farm system than Jon Daniels did for the Rangers last year. The next six weeks could be a turning point for the franchise.

Jon (DC): Is this it for JP? He has been a major disappointment.

Joe Sheehan: He has a contract that runs through 2010, I believe, and a good relationship with ownership. I have been as critical of anyone of the path he's chosen since 2004, and I would be hard-pressed to say he's done a good job. However, he's built an excellent run-prevention team, and if he could just find his way to an offense, he could be the GM of a postseason team. I suspect he'll get one more year to test that theory.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): Brewers at 10-1 to win the NL Central. Thoughts?

Joe Sheehan: I wouldn't do it. There's value in the number, but you're fading a Cubs team that's very, very good, can improve internally, has a good manager and all the incentive in the world to play for this year.

jromero (Seattle): Lastings Milledge has not exactly set the world on fire. Anything to be worried about, or just typical young player's struggles?

Joe Sheehan: I never saw the power in Milledge others did (and I can say the same about Andrew McCutchen). However, his complete inability to control the strike zone (48/20 K/BB) is that of a power hitter, so you have a mix that barely belongs on the field. I don't think he's a leadoff hitter, either; more a #2 or #5 guy with doubles, but he has to make more contact and become better about counts. This is where "makeup" becomes less an abstract word and more a concrete question: can the player change?

JKGaucho (DC): Besides losing the friendship of Bud, what do the Mets, Indians, Blue Jays and some others have to lose by signing Bonds? Please tell me that someone will sign him.

Joe Sheehan: No one will. I'd like to be wrong, but I don't think it will happen at this point. As far as what they'd lose, some peace of mind. That matters a lot to people, right or wrong. Signing Bonds would be a pain in the ass in some ways, and it just appears that no GM, or owner, feels the tradeoff is worth it. They're wrong, mostly because no one is accurately evaluating Bonds as a player.

Tommy (OPS,FL): What do you see as the Rays weakness, if any? And can they address it by the trade deadline?

Joe Sheehan: Carl Crawford, Jason Bartlett and Carlos Pena are way off from last year, so the offense is just passable. I don't think the Rays have any place making big deadline deals; something small, sure, but they'd be silly to get too wrapped up in 2008. They're building for a run of greatness, not short-term gains.

brian (brooklyn): Cito Gaston...

Joe Sheehan: For those who haven't caught it, the Jays fired John Gibbons--was there a conference call over the weekend or something?--and hired Cito Gaston to manage out the year. To their credit, the Jays did manage to not just hire a coach on staff, which had been the mistake the last two times they did this in the Ricciardi Era. (If you've fired your manager midseason three times in seven season, your processes are wrong.) Gaston inherits an excellent pitching staff, good defense, and terrible offense that won't be adding Adam Dunn anytime soon.

Brian (Kansas City): Does Lincecum have any legit chance of winning the Cy this year?

Joe Sheehan: He'd finish third if the voting were today. My guess is he'll be one of the two best pitchers in the league at year's end, and finish fourth or fifth because his record will be 14-5 or something like that. The Giants are actually ahead of the game offensively thanks to some weird years by Molina, Winn and Durham.

Kerri Mulqueen (Kew Gardens NY): Realistically, taking Delgado and Castillo's contracts and the Mets unlikelihood to cut them into account, is there any personnel move (or moves)the Mets can make to improve their on the field production? I look at the roster and see so few tradeable parts.

Joe Sheehan: I wouldn't trade Fernando Martinez, so probably not. I guess you could see what the market is for Mike Pelfrey, who's a cheap midrotation starter for a few years, but I doubt you'd get much back. You could always sign Bonds, which would be a huge upgrade for the offense and a wash defensively with Alou. (People who complain about Bonds' defense and availability need to consider that Moises Alou is making $7 million this year.)

Mike (Westbury, N.Y.): Better lifetime keeper for next year and beyond (points based league)...Alex Rios, Matt kemp or Mad Max Scherzer Thanks

Joe Sheehan: Matt Kemp, then Scherzer, then Rios. I really like Matt Kemp. He's got a 15% shot of being Vladimir Guerrero.

Peter (Boston): If the Indians decide to trade Sabathia, what can they expect to get? More than the Twins got for Johan?

Joe Sheehan: I doubt it, since it will be for just 15 starts or so, and I don't see any scenario in which Sabathia signs in midseason. The Twins had other issues, of course.

I don't think the Tribe can fall far enough behind to make trading Sabathia worthwhile.

deadmonkeyhead (CA): OK, so I know lineup order doesn't matter all that much and yadda yadda, but will there be any point in this season that Casey Kotchman gets to bat higher in the lineup than the barely breathing corpse of Garret Anderson? And really, isn't Anderson, along with Matthews Jr., a huge part of the reason the Angels' run differential is so mediocore?

Joe Sheehan: Yes. We kill the Dodgers for Jones and Pierre, but the Angels are paying just as much money to bad outfielders. The Matthews contract was inexplicable, indefensible, and is now part of the Angels' problem. Free Kendry Morales!

Seymour (Brooklyn): Does Trevor Hoffman deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Mariano Rivera?

Joe Sheehan: Sure, you're talking about the two best one-inning closers ever. Rivera is better, as much because of his massive body of postseason work, but it's no insult to compare the two. We may dismiss Hoffman because he holds a record that isn't terribly meaningful; we shouldn't, he's been a great player and will be a legitimate Hall of Famer.

adamtkay5 (Boston): When it comes to the "business" of baseball, how much does the money invested in a player determine their ascent through the system? Who makes it faster, the non-drafted FA with better numbers in the critical areas or the bonus baby who is riding potential and ceiling?

Joe Sheehan: As far as I can tell, statistics don't really get you promoted through the minors no matter what your status. You move forward on scouting evaluations and age, for the most part. I think guys who play very well at Double-A or Triple-A create pressure on their organizations to promote them--I guess Clayton Kershaw and Jay Bruce are the most recent examples. Below that, though, you move based on how you're scouted. I'd be interested to hear Kevin Goldstein's opinion.

dteller1 (home): what do you think of jps adam dunn quotes?

Joe Sheehan: I think I've said stupid things out of frustration, and I'm thrilled that I've so far managed to avoid saying them into a microphone. In the evaluation of J.P. Ricciardi, it's a meaningless moment.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): Floyd, Mussina, and Kendrick are 1-2-4 in unearned runs allowed. Obviously there are more advanced methods, but do you think that's a decent way to see some guys whose ERAs are going to rise?

Joe Sheehan: I'd rather just look at the more advanced methods. I mean, looking at those three, you can surmise that they put the ball in play, which creates more chances for errors, but why not just look at Expected ERA or one of the stats like it?

Johnny (New York, NY): There's still 85-90 games of baseball for all teams to play, but it seems pretty hard to see how the Red Sox, White Sox, Angels, Phillies, Cubs and Diamondbacks don't make the postseason. (Of course, you could have written the same about the Mets this time last year.) That said, of those, who's the most likely to stumble, the ChiSox?

Joe Sheehan: Yeah, you have three teams in there that have pretty small leads and a fair number of flaws. The Red Sox, Angels and Cubs are in good shape. The White Sox have played well, but their pitching remains a question for me--their home-run rate is out of whack--and the Tigers are playing better. I covered the Phillies the other day--they are eventually going to start allowing a lot more runs, and if they don't, it will be a massive upset. The Diamondbacks are this year's Mets--they started well and have been just hanging around since.

Adin ((MV, CA)): How unusual is Thames streak of eight straight hits being home runs?

Joe Sheehan: Pretty unusual. Then again, take enough low-contact, high-flyball hitters, and someone will do it eventually.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): Are basketball questions allowed? Assuming UNC is #1, who's the second best team in the country next year?

Joe Sheehan: UCLA, even losing Love and Westbrook, will be very good in a down Pac-10. Sleeper: Gonzaga, with Pargo back.

Or (Dallas): Rangers: Buyers, sellers, or neither?

Joe Sheehan: Sellers. It's not their year, and they have a chance to build a truly great team. The hitters are there, so leverage Padilla, Millwood, Bradley, et al into six, seven, eight pitchers, fill the system and see who survives.

Ameer (Bloomington, IN): Hey Joe, thanks for the chat! A fantasy question - In my roto league, .20 points in era could mean the difference between 1st and 2nd place for me. I'm thinking of trading Soto (and an OF, which I have a surplus of) for Halladay and picking up Clement or Chris Snyder, with hopes that the drop-off wouldn't be that significant. Worth the risk?

Joe Sheehan: Soto has been ridden pretty hard and his BA has been slipping. I think the gap between him and Clement the rest of the way, assuming Clement is C-eligible, is worth Halladay.

Conor Glassey (Woodinville, WA): Lillibridge a major leaguer right now? Are we talking about the same Lillibridge, because Brent's "hitting" .196/.263/.255 in AAA...

Joe Sheehan: With a huge jump in his strikeout rate. I'm running this question mostly to get the data on Lillibridge out there. While he's shown himself to be a much better player than this, Conor's right: I can't handwave the 2008 performance, try as I might.

Jon (DC): Joe, during the championship years Cito seemed to get very little credit. Do you think he deserved more, or he won because he had great players and is really not that good of a manager.

Joe Sheehan: He always struck me as a "let them play" guy, and he did have some great talent. There's something to be said for a manager who doesn't get in the way of a roster. When the roster changed, Gaston wasn't wired for that, and he definitely cost Carlos Delgado 25-30 home runs early in Delgado's career. A veteran team, though, is right up his alley.

Jon (SF): Joe, if someone signs Richie Sexson if and when he is DFAd, isn't that a pretty solid piece of evidence that there is collusion against Bonds?

Joe Sheehan: Nah. Sexson can play first base, is 10 years younger and comes without all the headaches. I don't think you'll be able to prove a collusion case against Bonds. The arbitrator (not Nicolau...can't remember the name) could prove collusion in the 1980s because the owners left behind evidence. I'm certain that didn't happen this time.

Stephen (Louisville): Let's go worst-case scenario and say Big Z is out for the year. Should the Cubs trade for A.J. Burnett (or whoever) or give Hill and/or Marshall another shot?

Joe Sheehan: Rich Hill is something like the 25th-best starter in the National League. I have no idea what he did to Lou Piniella, but he can take Zambrano's place with minimal loss in value.

Phil (Toronto): Think Giambi's resurgence this year gets him a good contract and an oppourtunity to be a starter somewhere?

Joe Sheehan: Absolutely. If you can hit, you can play, and Giambi can still hit. He'll take a pay cut, but assuming he finishes the year healthy, I can see three and $30 for some AL team. The interesting question is whether the Yankees have a case for picking up his option, which has a marginal cost of $17 million. This team has showed that the lineup breaks down once anyone goes missing.

oira61 (San Francisco): Joe, you and Keith Law agree about the All Star Game that it should have "stars" who produced more in the past than players having great years like Ryan Ludwick. I simply don't understand how forward thinkers can believe this. How do you justify rewarding the entrenched old boys on reputation over objective performance? It seems to me the same argument as the one that got Rafael Palmeiro a Gold Glove with only 28 games at first base, which I believe you have mocked. How can you justify it? Isn't it out of line with everything else BP stands for, which is generally merit over hype?

Joe Sheehan: You're confusing "objective performance" with "200 good at-bats." If Ryan Ludwick is now a .300/.400/.600 player, he'll make the 2009 All-Star team. If he's not--he's not--he won't. If you don't get that BP isn't about glorifying two months' worth of work, then you have absolutely no idea how to evaluate "merit over hype."

deadmonkeyhead (CA): OK one more, since you brought it up. He's hurt at the moment with a quad strain, but what do you think Kendry Morales can do at the big league level immediately, and in the future?

Joe Sheehan: Outhit Garret Anderson and Gary Matthews Jr.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): You have he choice of any current GM and any current manager to start a team with. Who do you pick?

Joe Sheehan: Theo Epstein and Terry Francona.

SC (Philadelphia): From the sounds of it, the Nats prospects aren't likely to be the high-upside players fans may have hoped, instead a collection of average players. What direction would you take this franchise in the next few years? Make a splash signing Texiera and build a team around him? Try and get CC? Or just hope that nobody minds 90-loss teams indefinitely?

Joe Sheehan: Yeah, their draft approach has been a bit more risk-averse than their organization might have needed since coming down from Montreal. I don't think a big FA signing will be enough to make them good. You have to let Bowden keep working, keep winning trades, try and find more Jesus Flores-caliber players in the various markets. It's a three-year process, I think.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): How many teams could, realistically, sign Sabathia long-term? BOS, NYY, NYM, LAA, CHC...?

Joe Sheehan: Every team in baseball.

Jon (Macon): What are your thoughts on the Braves kids in the rotation? (Jurrjens, Reyes, Morton)

Joe Sheehan: I don't know that much about Morton, so I'll reserve judgment. Jurrjens is a midrotation guy, maybe slightly less. He reminds me of Jake Westbrook, with more upside than that. Reyes has improved a ton year-over-year, really tightening his mechanics and command, and now looks to me like an above-average starter in the majors. He was rushed last year, and I didn't take that into account enough when looking at him.

nats fan (MD): Is Jesus Flores for real? Should the Nats trade Paul Lo Duca to a contender?

Joe Sheehan: Yes, and my god, yes. Or to a noncontender. Or the UFC. Or the CW.

Tim (Glendale): Do you think Chris B Young will eventually hit for a respectable average (.270)? He seems to have major contact issues right now, but on a positive note, his walk rate has increased.

Joe Sheehan: Lots of Chris Young questions. This is why the Mike Cameron comps were so prevalent. Some guys can strike out this much and be Eric Davis, but more just can't get the BA up high enough to be that valuable. His strikeout rate will improve, and he will hit for a higher average; it just may be that he never bats .300, so he won't be a superstar.

Mike (Chicago): Is fukudome going to hit for more power than this? more doubles at least? And should his being in the top 3 for the NL all-star squad a terrible thing?

Joe Sheehan: Power is the skill that has not really translated for the Japanese position players, save for Hideki Matsui. Over here, Fukudome will hit .290/.400/.425 or so, and if you look at how he hits, you can see that there's not much more power to be had. He's still an excellent player, a better hitter than the guy in Seattle is.

costa24 (Montreal): Considering how far ahead of the pack he is at his position, is it fair to call Brooks Robinson the best defensive player in history?

Joe Sheehan: Ozzie Smith is, and it's not close. Followed then by Bill Mazeroski, then probably Willie Mays.

PJ (Montreal): Chipper Jones slash stats at season's end?

Joe Sheehan: .358/.461/.622

Mike (Minnesota): Carlos Gomez in the future is what kind of player?

Joe Sheehan: 80% of Devon White. Shawon Dunston in center field.

kimi (portsmouth): Which of the following closers do you think will get dealt by the deadline: Fuentes, Street, Nathan, Jones, Borowski & Sherrill? Which are the most likely to be dealt?

Joe Sheehan: Not Nathan, since the Twins signed him. Borowski doesn't have much trade value. The Orioles won't trade Sherrill while they're winning, and I don't see the Tigers trading relievers. So Fuentes, who will probably go, and Street, who could because the A's have such bullpen depth.

john (ct): I hear scouts say the ball sounds different when it comes off Josh Hamilton's bat, kinda Babe and Ted like. How good is this "kid"? He seems to actually be getting better.

Joe Sheehan: He's 27. He hasn't had reps, so he could get a bit better, but I suspect we're seeing Hamilton's peak. And that thing about how the ball sounds different? I'm sure they believe it, but were they saying that in 2006?

Steve (Cambridge): Hey Joe, how long do you think the Blue Jays will let Adam Lind crush the ball in AAA before giving him a real shot in the bigs? I know he has struggled when they bring him up and play him once a week, but will he ever get a fair shot? Is there anybody who has been mishandled more than Mr. Lind?

Joe Sheehan: Plenty of guys have been handled worse than Lind has. Willie Greene mocks his pain, for one. I just don't get how a team can choose Shannon Stewart, who's just a terrible baseball player now, over Lind. Or drag in Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench. Or play Joe Inglett. It just doesn't make sense.

costa24 (Montreal): Has Nate Silver's new politics project had any effect on you or the rest of BP?

Joe Sheehan: It was fun seeing my friend on CNN. We're all pretty excited for Nate, who's gotten 538 as far in four months as it took BP four years to get. Maybe more.

Guido (Charleston, WV): Will the Dodgers be dumb enough to trade Kemp? Hu? LaRoche?

Joe Sheehan: I think this is a battle for the soul of the franchise. If Ned Colletti makes another Dioner Navarro deal with one of those guys, I think the Dodgers lose Logan White within the year, and it gets very dark and cold up from Sunset Blvd. If Colletti doesn't do that, perhaps White gets elevated into the GM's chair, and the Dodgers become the Red Sox West in three years.

pete (new york): what type of value does huston street have? enough to get a jackson/kennedy, gamel, bowden/lowrie. or are the A's better off in keeping him? will they get a similar deal to what lidge/valverde went for?

Joe Sheehan: Uh, more the latter. Relievers are pretty easy to come by, so you're not getting the type of prospects in the first part of the question there. Uh-uh. A Lidge or Valverde package is more like it, and neither was that special. You're best off identifying one guy you want and trying to get him.

Rob (Andover, CT): Please tell me that Dan Giese can do a respectable-enough impression of a major league pitcher to prevent "Sir Sidney, The Return." Please. Lie to me if you have to.

Joe Sheehan: Giese can pitch. He throws lots and lots of strikes, and in the new American League, you can survive that way. He's unquestionably a better pitcher than Ponson.

Lightning round.

Omar Minaya (Queens, NY): Help! What should I do???

Joe Sheehan: Don't trade Fernando Martinez. Rebuild the bench. Sign Barry Bonds.

bigpapi34 (Titletown, USA): Gibbon out, Gaston back in as Blue Jays manager. Your thoughts: a needed change or mere deck chair rearrangement?

Joe Sheehan: That's been my argument: the higher bar for success in the AL raised most of the teams' targets. The Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Cubs and maybe Mets should be doing that in the NL now.

Mike (Chicago): Is the AL/NL talent disparity a cyclical thing or is it more that AL teams HAVE to spend more/acquire more talent to compete with the yankees/red sox? Both? Neither?

Joe Sheehan: That last answer goes with this question. Sorry.

Mike (Atlanta): True or False: Jason Heyward a top 5 prospect next year?

Joe Sheehan: True. Maybe #1.

Wendy (Madrid): Why would the same guy that hired Colletti, turn around and fire him, hire White and turn the Dodgers into Red Sox West? Aren't the Dodgers in trouble until they get someone else owning the team?

Joe Sheehan: If we could get Shadow GM Bill Plaschke to offer up the idea, McCourt might do it.

Geoff (Ashburn, Va): Long-term in a 5x5 league: Hamilton, or Ellsbury?

Joe Sheehan: Ellsbury for the steals and the age. Close call.

Matt A (Raleigh): So Chipper's your pick for MVP?

Joe Sheehan: Too soon to tell. Utley's in there.

Simon (Minneapolis): What's the most you'd give CC in his next contract (years and dollars)? What's your guess as to what he gets?

Joe Sheehan: 4/90; 7/150.

airjakub2 (Brooklyn): Is there a better 1-2 of young pitchers in any org. than Billingsley-Kershaw?

Joe Sheehan: I have a hard time thinking of one. Hughes/Chamberlain and Buchholz/Bowden would have their supporters. Lincecum/Cain?

Jon (DC): True or False: In a panic, the Jays will rush Travis Snider to the majors?

Joe Sheehan: False.

theguag (Louisville): What are the trade values for Rich Hill and Felix Pie and should/would the Cubs move them?

Joe Sheehan: Their trade values have been crushed by the organization. They shouldn't trade them, they should play them.

Joe Sheehan: Thanks for your patience today. Sorry I couldn't take more questions. I'll be back before the All-Star break to take more. Have a great weekend!

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