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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday September 03, 2008 2:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


What September call-ups will matter?Kevin Goldstein has all the information.

Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone! We got September call-ups, the minor league playoffs, and of course, the Pedro Alvarez/Eric Hosmer situation, which I'll be delivering you 1, maybe 2 more articles on before the week is out. Then we'll do some fun end-of-season stuff before delving into everyone's favorites (including mine) -- team prospect rankings. So lots to talk about!

Clay (Fort Worth, TX): KG, Any thought on giving Neftali Feliz a sniff this September? Similar to Kershaw will he compete for a starting job in the spring, or at some point next year, or is that a bit pre-mature?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a bit premature. The Rangers aren't in the playoff chase, and they have a crowded 40-man roster situation, so that would just complicate things more. I know he's moving quickly, but let's still exercise some patience here.

Fred (Houston): In today's column you mention the K-Rod loophole in regards to David Price. Can you explain the rule please?

Kevin Goldstein: As you know, you have to be up by 9/1 to be playoff eligible. UNLESS you replace a DL'd player who was on the roster before 9/1. Thus . . .

Michael Taylor (Clearwater, FL): What light came on that allowed me to start hitting like I have been? Where was this at Stanford? And how does a guy who is 6'6", 250 have the speed and athleticism to be a decent outfield glove and steal bases? Maybe I grow up to be Corey Hart with an extra 30 pounds of muscle?

Kevin Goldstein: As far as where this was at Stanford, ask Stanford. Scouts talk a lot about "the Stanford swing" which is single-place and designed for contact and not a one-size-fits-all solution. Taylor is now away from that and good things are happening for him. As far as how a 6-6, 250 guy has that kind of athleticism -- you just need to see him. He's not some massive hulking guy one-dimensional stiff, he's ripped like a football player.

Mat Gamel (Milwaukee): You just wrote that I remain a third baseman in name only. You don't buy that I'm continuing to improve, having reduced my error total from 53 last year to 32 this year? As a hitter, will I be more Ryan Braun or Corey Hart?

Kevin Goldstein: I'll buy that you improved, but it's not enough and there's a ceiling here. Give me two years at shortstop and I'd come leaps and bounds ability wise, but still be nowhere near at a professional level.

J.P. (Hartford): Does Brad Holt start 09 at Bingo, or does he stay in PSL until the weather warms up? And how's the breaking stuff coming along?

Kevin Goldstein: Look, I love Holt, but no way he's ready for Double-A, unless you want him to be solely a reliever and move quickly. He's dominating solely off his fastball -- there's still work to be done.

Gary (Boston): Kevin, What are your impressions of Michael Almanzar so far in the SAL? He hit his first two Hr's this past week, do scouts think he can handle 3B or is it more likely he will need to move to the OF?

Kevin Goldstein: The guy can really hit. It's far too early to make any future defensive predictions, but the raw tools are certainly there for him to become a solid third baseman.

Pedro Alvarez (Limbo): Is it possible for me to just fire Boras, take my $6 million, save my reputation, and end this nonsense now, knowing that I've got millions and millions of dollars in my future?

Kevin Goldstein: Technically, yes. But that doesn't mean you should. I got no dog in this fight, folks. I think the Pirates and MLB are just as much to blame for this mess as Boras and Alvarez.

chuckstein17 (Long Beach, NY): In your Boras article, you mention that the Seay, Lee, Patterson, and White signings as without a doubt proof that the draft greatly deflates players’ contracts. Its seems to me an economics arguments can be made that the supply and demand over a pool of four prospects would greatly increase their value and that if thrown into a pool of thousands of available talent world wide they would not have received those large bonuses. Wouldn’t the free agent system outside US/Canada with a larger talent pool be a better example of the types of bonuses that can be expected if there was not a draft?

Kevin Goldstein: It's an excellent point, and an excellent question, which is why I threw that question out to a whole lot of people I know in the industry. The question was:

Pedro Alvarez, free agent = $_____

Answers were generally in the $15-25 million range, which is 3-4x expected bonus. Those '96 loophole players got more in the 8-10x range, so I do think the deflation was counted, but at the same time, I'm not sure how that number would change if EVERYONE was a free agent.

Aaron (YYZ): What's with all of the boundless enthusiasm for Madison Bumgarner's big season? Is he really that much more than a guy with a plus fastball and plus fastball command dominating Low-A hitters without needing to make use of his secondary stuff (which is below average from the reports I've seen) ?

Kevin Goldstein: Yeah! Why are people excited about a first-round pick who just turned 19 who is six-foot-five and lefthanded and had a 1.46 ERA in a full-season league with 164 strikeouts against just 21 walks in 141.2 innings. That makes no sense to me!

In all seriousness however -- yes, Aaron, he's MUCH more than that. Curveball made great strides, and to call the fastball and command merely plus is doing both a grave diservice.

BL (Bozeman, MT): You've seen Johnny Giovatella (Burlington) play, I think characterized him as having a low ceiling but a great approach. Can he move quickly, and can he be a second base solution for KC?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes and yes. Not a star, but solid.

Kevin (San Jose, CA): Is it any coincidence that Boras tries this trick on an historical inept front office like Pittsburgh now run by MLB's former slot system taskmaster? Also, in your opinion, what kind of harm might this do to Alvarez's career to take this time off and possibly stunt his growth as a player? It seems some of Boras' big "wins" in the draft haven't gone so well for the player in the long term. Hochevar comes to mind.

Kevin Goldstein: It actually is a coincidence. What's not a coincidence is that Boras and new president Frank Coonelly are butting heads here. As far as the long term value proposition goes, the answer is unfortunatly, maybe. Remember, for tons of these guys, that bonus is the biggest payday they'll ever see. Hochevar's holdout also got him 2x the money he would have gotten if he signed, and he got the majors quickly, so how did that one go wrong?

john (arizona): where will A's chris carter rank in the 09 top 1000, maybe top top 75 range? is he still a huge project defensively at 3b?

Kevin Goldstein: He'll almost certainly be in the top 3/4 of the list yes. To call him a 'project' at third, is to call me a 'project' for next year's Mr. Universe title. It just ain't gonna happen folks.

Reggie C. (Baltimore): Alot of the prospect attention is on Sally pitcher Baumgarner and for good reason. But what about Betances? Is Betances flying underneath the radar?

Kevin Goldstein: I've never seen a Yankee prospect fly under the radar. He's a good prospect with a lot of upside and some serious issues as well, and not in Bumgarner's league.

Robert Pollard... (Dayton, Ohio): What's your favorite album by my band? With the talk of the Marlins not giving big contracts again this winter, what type of season would Coughlan produce at second for the Fish?

Kevin Goldstein: I like it all, and I know that hardcore Guided By Voices fans think I'm some lame-o for picking a later record, but I loved Isolation Drills. Coghlan at 2B in the majors in 2009: .265/.343/.465?

DanLong (WFC, NYC, NY): Kevin, any reason why the yankees are choosing to sit Al Aceves and not call up Chase Wright while the worst Aruban baseball player (Ponson) continues to pitch every five games for the yankees? what gives, either of those two should at least get an audition for the job, no?

Kevin Goldstein: Veteran. I kid, I kid. Seriously though, there's some sort of massive uprising for Chase Wright? The Yankees might feel like they've already seen that act, and they're not exactly eager for an encore. Guy can't miss bats.

derek (chicago): will we see josh donaldson move back to his college position at 3b?

Kevin Goldstein: He caught at Auburn too, and isn't a catcher more valuable than a 3B?

MA (Athens, GA): So, is draft theory (from the perspective of the players) a "rising tide lifts all boats" model? I.e., if everyone was a free agent, while the top-tier players would get (much) more money, the lower-round players would get drastically less?

Kevin Goldstein: I think so. Following my theory, you'd have far more big deals, but few fewer mid-range deals. I think the total number of players getting more than say, $250,000 would drop dramatically with no draft.

deadmonkeyhead (CA): Not a Guided by Voices fan, but isn't it annoying how music elitists can't acknowledge anything beyond a given bands' earlier catalogue? I understand that in many cases bands peak with their first record, but the truly great bands find ways to improve and reinvent themselves as time goes by (Radiohead and Fugazi come immediately to mind).

Kevin Goldstein: Sure, but Radiohead isn't very good. Man, that was fun. I actually don't totally hate Radiohead, but I only like a small percentage of their songs. As for Fugazi, I dig it and I respect it, but for the love of god, smile once in a while and don't have your fans threaten to "give me a beatdown" when I light a cigarette. Lighten up, Ian.

Matt S (Chicago): When will Brett Wallace be in the majors, and what position will he be playing?

Kevin Goldstein: Next year maybe, and his position will be hitter. I still don't think he can play 3B.

david (chi, ill): Care to explain the "Dellin Betances has some serious issues" part?

Kevin Goldstein: He's had some kind of injury issues every year as a pro, and he's walked pretty much one guy for every two innings pitched. Those are issues.

Baby Tui (Seattle): I like my nickname. Am I legit?

Kevin Goldstein: I love your nickname (we're talking about Matt Tuiasosopo, by the way). I think you can hit. I think you have good pitch recognition and excellent swing mechanics -- I do wonder what your power ceiling is; you're plenty strong, but it's kind of a level swing without a lot of loft and backspin. I'm not sure what to make of you at times, but I do like you better than I did a year ago.

miasmu (boston): How common is it for a guy like Pablo Sandoval to just wake up one day and understand how to hit? He had never been above Double-A and hadn't been all that good even at single-A and suddenly he is a big league catcher...err third basemen...err first baseman? Did the matrix find him? Also, what's his ceiling?

Kevin Goldstein: Dude hit in the DSL, dude hit in the Northwest League, and dude showed some real signs of life even last year, when I'm pretty sure I was the only living human to put him in the Giants top 10. He always hit, it was more of a matter of where he ends up defensively.

Tom (Fishkill, NY): So, Disgaea3... I've got a good 25-30 hours. Better than 2, not as good as 1? Still addictive as hell.

Kevin Goldstein: Ah Tom, a man after my own heart. I'm 16 hours in, level 45. Way better than 2, Not sure about one yet, but we always remember our first, right? I actually like the wackiness of the story in this one a little better. So undecided, and yes, it's digital crack.

Aaron (YYZ): Any scouting reports on young Julio Teheran to offset the (small sample-size) unexciting performances in Rookie Ball?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Still a stud. Had some slight injury issues and was inconsistent, but still touched 98 this year and sat in the low-to-mid 90s. Remain excited.

Joe Lefko (NJ): Austin Jackson hasn't done much in the past few weeks/months. Was last seasons breakout for real? I don't think this kid is going to be as good as a lot of people think..

Kevin Goldstein: I think he's going to be plenty good, solid starting CF, occasional all-star possibilities. That might not be a total stud, but that's still awfully good.

Matt S (Chicago): Does Josh Vitters retain top 50 prospect status after a great second half of the year? I have to admit, I was already about to call him a bust in June.

Kevin Goldstein: Josh Vitters can RAKE. Totally RAKE. Love, love, love him.

Base (Burque): Is this the type of season Royals' fans should expect from Moustakas? Medium-well avg w/ well-done power numbers? ( why don't scouts use steak temperatures as adjectives? Seems natural)

Kevin Goldstein: No. He's better than the whole of his season. He really took a while to get going, and that's totally understandable. I think he's a monster and that the .321/.392/.557 line he put up after the all-star break is more indicative of his true talent.

roy (seattle): aaron cunningham, he produces, but doesnt wow anyone with the athleticism/tools. whats his upside? top 100 prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: The best comp I've heard is a pre-struggles Travis Buck from the other side. That's a nice piece, but not an impact guy.

Matt S (Chicago): Charles Blackmon is supposedly still a bit of a project even as a college player, but he has been great in low A. What's his power potential, and overall outlook? Could he be another Dexter Fowler?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm a Blackmon fan -- but he's one of those weird, unique players where he's a college product, but still a raw tools guy. So I'm a fan with some reservations.

Fred (Houston): Can you recommend some non RPG titles for PS2? I'm not much of a gamer, but do enjoy offbeat games like Katamari, Endless Ocean, and sports games like Hot Shots Golf.

Kevin Goldstein: As far as survival horror goes, I can't recommend the Fatal Frame series enough, especially Fatal Frame II -- which is crazy great. Also you need to play Fumito Ueda's two artistic masterpieces; Ico and Shadow of the Colosseus.

Al (NYC): Noticed the Rockies called up Fowler yesterday. If you had to make a prediction, is he their starting CF next spring? Do you think he's ready to be?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he'd be given the chance to win the job in the spring; I'm not sure he's TOTALLY ready, but he still might be their best option there.

Shae (Queens, NY): Kevin, Are you excited with what Wilmer Flores has shown this year? Just turning 17, he's producing at Brooklyn, will he be in the Mets top 10 and what kind of upside does he have? thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: He was in the Mets Top 10 coming INTO the year, at least from me, so he'll absolutely still be there.

Matt S (Chicago): Matt Dominguez is a high first rounder, has a really good full season debut, but doesn't get a lot of hype. His draft spot seems to indicate his hitting is no joke, but he doesn't get much hype. What's the story here?

Kevin Goldstein: Overshadowed by Stanton in my mind. But you're right, he had a great debut and really bumped his stock up a ton. I'm a big big fan.

Matt_Alexander (Shadyside): What do you think is the most likely outcome of the Alvarez/Hosmer arbitration hearing?

Kevin Goldstein: I think the union has an absolute slam dunk case here, but the problem is the award. Alvarez and Hosmer are not in the union, so what can you give them, if anything? So I see the clandestine extension system getting totally shutdown, but I see Alvarez and Hosmer's deals sticking. Outside chance it gets REALLY ugly and goes outside the arbitrator and to real court.

JH (Berkeley): Denny Almonte showed some nice power in the Midwest league this year, but K'd a ton down the stretch. Real prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: I saw Almonte plenty this year, and I just didn't see enough to get excited about -- and I don't think there is really anyone on that Wisconsin team position player wise worth mentioning. Good news Mariners fans, I think on a prospect level, they had the best rotation in the league.

Paul Simonon (Paper Planes): Kevin: Love your work, always, but I think your analysis of the latest Boras flap is a little one-sided. To me, the ethics of are pretty straightforward: The Pirates followed an accepted course of industry behavior, one that even Boras himself followed. They reached a reasonable deal with a player, and have the right to have their agreement upheld. I don't see why MLB doesn't just make Hosmer and Alvarez ineligible until next year's draft, and give compensatory picks to ther Pirates and Royals. I agree with Sheehan's analysis of the draft, that it is a system for teams to underpay top talent, but that system doesn't justify Boras's sleazy behavior. IMO, the only reason Boras is even doing this is that he was outnegotiated.

Kevin Goldstein: I actually think your analysis here is one-sided, no offense. The Pirates did NOT follow an accepted course of industry behavior if they got an extension which it not allowed by the CBA and signed Alvarez late. That's not right at all.

John (SF): Where do you see Matt Sulentic fitting in the A's top 10 after his rebound season (.309/.368/.481)?

Kevin Goldstein: I think his bounce back is a great story, and in a normal year he'd probably be back in there, but with all of the moves the A's made to add prospects, plus the Inoa signing, he's probably not going to make it.

Taylor (Toronto): It's a given Snider will make an apperance high in the top 100 but what about guys like Cecil, Mills and even Ricky Romero now that he's showing some progress? Anyone else I'm missing?

Kevin Goldstein: Justin Jackson -- I'm still a big big fan.

J.P. (Hartford): Do you think the mlb is more likely to try and collectively bargain rookie salaries a la the NBA, or just blow up the slotting system? Or are we more likely to see the same sort of problems for the forseeable future?

Kevin Goldstein: I think they will try to bargain that, but I can't see the union going for it, as they see it as a slippery slope towards a salary cap. We are more likely to see the signing deadline move up to either July 15 or August 1. That's not going to stop the holdouts, and baseball should give up trying that, but at least it gets the holdouts on the field for four to six weeks after they sign.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): Is Boras really to blame for this Alvarez/Hosmer thing at all? It's his job to exploit the rules to benefit his clients, and anything that breaks the draft system seems to do that. If anyone's to blame here, it's MLB for not following their own rules, and then the Pirates for dragging Hosmer and the Royals into it.

Kevin Goldstein: I agree, for the most part, and would even more had Alvarez NOT agreed to the $6M deal in the first place.

Lee (Cincy): How many Reds prospects have a chance at the Top 100?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sure, but this allows me to talk about something bigger. I think the overall crop of prospects in baseball is down. I was trying to thinks about sure-fire Top 100 prospects the other day, and I quickly realized that I was WAY short of 100 with my initial list, so I think there will be some surprises on the list, even for me.

marjinwalker (Atlanta, GA): What do you think of Bogusevic? Is it too late to think he'll be a good outfielder? What's his ETA? Also, haven't been to Chicago in a while. Are there any good places to check out shows? Fireside Bowl closed down I hear.

Kevin Goldstein: It's not too late. I really like the guy and scouts do as well. Not in some sort of superstar way, but he sure looks like a big leaguer, and that's a great story in itself. He'll absolutely be on the Astros rankings.

As for shows in Chicago, I live in corn country now (DeKalb), so it's rare.

Bill (New Mexico): No offense intended, but your Brett Wallace answer is a copout. There's no "hitter" position in the NL; he'll have to field the ball somewhere, somehow. So does he play a tentative 3B, even more tentative LF, fester behind Pujols, or get flipped to the AL for something tasty once his one year of servitude is done?

Kevin Goldstein: I understand why Pujols plays 1B (health), but I'm not sure where else Wallace can end up. Not that St. Louis won't try.

strupp (Madison): KG, By all accounts the Brewers WANT Gamels to play 3B in the Majors... and I think we can safely blame Braun's defense on missing the playoffs last year... is this a case of "those who don't learn from history..."

Kevin Goldstein: And I WANT someone to bring me free Chinese food every night, but that doesn't happen. I don't see anyway he's better than Braun there, and that was a disaster.

Sacha (Toronto): KG, judging by all the Toronto (and surrounding area) chat questions, any chance the BP writers come up here for a signing? BEEEEautiful city awaits the BP greats!

Kevin Goldstein: I don't know -- but I totally, totally LOVE Toronto. I'll make sure the book marketing person knows about this, but I can't guarantee anything.

nick (sfo): Is Snider ready to be the Jays' everyday LF/DH next spring?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think it'll be perfect, but yes, I think he's ready.

J.P. (Hartford): The Brett Wallace thing brings up the question, if he can absolutely mash, say .300/.380/.550 or something therabouts, at what point does his defensive liabilities cancel that out? Replacement level? Below?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a GREAT question, and not one I'm qualified to answer. It's like the Gamel/Braun question before. The reader says Braun's defense cost them the playoffs, but didn't his offense get them close in the first place?

Meddler (Brooklyn, NY): Will Mets prospect Dylan Owen start to get some more attention this offseason? He's had two very good pro years under his belt now. Do his borderline outstanding ratios make up for the little righty with an averagish fastball stigma? What's his ceiling? Back end big league starter who relies on pitchability more than "stuff"? Or just a Quad-A guy?

Kevin Goldstein: No; No; Not very high; No; Yes. I can't see him getting much more than a few bullpen innings here and there. He's not going to miss bats at the upper levels, and Double-A already provided some major issues for him.

jeff (atlanta): Kevin-- i enjoy your work. I'm curious what you think about all of the Giants prospects and quasi-prospects up on the roster right now. Who's really good enough to be in the team's long-term plans? And who's just a 4A player?

Kevin Goldstein: You'll have to wait for the team rankings, but when I think about the most improved systems in the game, between some performances and the draft, the Giants rank right up there.

Tom (Fishkill, NY): If I'm a top prep baseball player right now, does the last few weeks of Boras related events make me want him as my "advisor" more or less? Assuming that the goal at the end of the day is money = good, it would have to be more, right?

Kevin Goldstein: Has he gotten more money for his clients yet with this move? But seriously, the answer, at least in my mind, is it would have no effect. I know people like to vilify the guy, but be TOTALLY HONEST with yourself and think with your head and not your heart. If you had an 18 year old kid with a 98 mph fastball or 80 raw power, can you honestly say you wouldn't strongly consider hiring Boras?

Paul Simonon (Paper Planes): No shout out for the Clash reference? Oh well . . . I thought your article said that teams and players seek and receive extensions all the time. Even Boras himself asked for and received an extension for Hosmer. If extensions weren't routine, how come Boras knew he could get one? There is a common legal phrase taught in first year law school called "Equity abhors a forfeiture". That phrase basically means that the fairness of a situation is more important than a technicality. It seems unreasonable to me that Boras can ask MLB for an extension for Hosmer, but then claim that one of his other clients was somehow harmed by doing the same exact thing.

Kevin Goldstein: One massive problem with your theory. The player/agent side did not/could not ask for extensions, only teams could -- so that's the end of Equity abhors a forfeiture, because that gives additional unfair leverage to teams, and doesn't equal it up on the player's side.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): So, what's going to happen when Boras ultimately wins this deadline dispute? Will MLB change the rules again?

Kevin Goldstein: There's really nothing to change, it's more something that has to be obeyed. There's a rule for the signing deadline, and MLB broke it.

Trent (CT): What do you think of Dan Murphy. Would Youkilis be a good comp for him?

Kevin Goldstein: Maybe in the sense that they are both carbon-based lifeforms . . . and bipeds.

Kevin (San Jose, CA): You keep talking about waiting for the team rankings. Do you plan to do a post season ranking and then a preseason ranking? Or will it be an "every few days" thing starting in November or so like last year? You need to keep prospect boards all over your house so that you can report your rankings at a moment's notice.

Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, it'll be like last year and stretched through the off-season.

Tom (Fishkill, NY): Re: Boras - I think "yet" is the key here. Is there any way Hosmer or Alvarez get less money through this? Worst case scenario is the status quo (monetarily), best case is free agency. I have a hard time understanding why anyone signs with any other agent to be quite honest.

Kevin Goldstein: Worst case is the contracts are voided. Technically they did NOT sign by the deadline. But at the same time, that's NOT their fault, because they were told that the deadline . . . wasn't the deadline. It's a mess I tell ya.

Kevin (San Jose, CA): If you do the rankings that way, can you possibly use an alphabet that puts San Francisco at the front?

Kevin Goldstein: I understand that can be frustrating, but at least I'm starting with the NL this year.

Meddler (Brooklyn, NY): Hey Kevin, Kinda half paying attention at work. I saw someone mention something about RPG's. Were you ever a fan of the Fallout series? With the new one coming out I'm going through my second obssesive phase with the originals, and although they seem very dated now, they're still great, and I'm super hyped for the new one, even if it is Bethesda. I didn't like Oblivion much, but throw in some guns and high tech gagets and the whole post-apocalyptic Washington thing and even if it is just Oblivion with guns, probably could be really great.

Kevin Goldstein: I love the Fallout series, but I do hope it's more than Oblivion with a cooler setting. I hope they fix the leveling system as the one in Oblivion is basically irrelevant as the NPC's level up to match you, so what's the point?

Kevin (San Jose, CA): Sure, it appears the MLBPA is in the right on this issue, but their interests don't seem to align with those of Boras/Alvarez/Hosmer. I see the contracts getting voided scenario as much more likely than the one where they both become free agents (after all, wouldn't Crow and every other player who didn't sign also then become a free agent?). To me, this seems like a case where Boras thought he could drag out the deadline and he didn't anticipate the fallout. In other words, I really do think MLB has him by the you-know-whats in a round-about sort of way. Sure, the Pirates and Royals might pay the price this year, but long term, I think we'll look back and agree Boras made a mistake.

Kevin Goldstein: Boras did not extend the deadline, let's make that clear. MLB extended the deadline. They're not going to be made free agents, I agree, but MLB did something wrong here, and the union has every right to a greivance and to relief for it.

JohnHCh (New York, NY): It isn't the players' fault for not signing by the deadline (although aren't the Pirates still arguing that Alvarez did agree prior to midnight?) But it isn't really the TEAM's fault, either; they were also told that the deadline wasn't the deadline.

Kevin Goldstein: How can it be their fault? You can't extend the deadline and tell the players that the deadline is extended and then go back as say that they are to blame for not signing by the original deadline.

Jason (DC): It seems irrelevant to me that only the team can ask for an extension in draft negotiations. If both sides wanted to continue negotiating, the team would request the extension. If either side didn't want to negotiate anymore, the extension would be irrelevant. Why then does it matter whether the team or player/agent is the one putting in the request?

Kevin Goldstein: Because the agent had no knowledge of/ability to get these extensions -- the ability to ask for, and get extensions provided a negotiating advantage to the teams.

jake1m (Jenny Lind, Ca): Sean Doolittle, A's, He really improved his power numbers. What do you see in the future. Move to OF to make room for Chris Carter and/or Matt Spencer?

Kevin Goldstein: Four home runs in 201 Double-A at-bats. I'm still not totally sold here on him.

Trey Hillman (KC): Should I say "screw Shealy and Gload" and just play Kila full time here on out?

Kevin Goldstein: I think you should. He's the guy with a chance at filling that spot next year, so let's see what you got.

Michael (LA): Is Andrew Lambo a top 50 prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely not.

Evan (Vancouver, BC): More importantly, the agreement about the dealine is between MLB and the MLBPA. Of those two, only the MLB was represented in the room where the extension happened, so the MLBPA was clearly wronged, here.

Kevin Goldstein: That's exactly what the grievance is here folks. That MLB granted extensions, which is not in the CBA, and did so without ever telling the union. Can't do that, no matter how you look at it.

Jason (Work): How many 08 draftees made the initial Top 100 list you mentioned a few questions ago?

Kevin Goldstein: 10-15, depending on my state of mind.

marjinwalker (Atlanta): Is Daryl Jones a top 50 prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't THINK so, but I like him.

Meddler (Brooklyn, NY): Re: Fallout 3. I did hear they took that crappy environment-levelling system out. Definitely one of the worst features of Oblivion, and it would completely ruin a game like Fallout. They have some new gameplay vids up on the official website, looks like they did more than enough to stay true to the originals in a modern RPG/shooter way. But I've read a number of articles stating that if you wander too far off the beaten path too early in the game, you're fixin to become Super Mutant-meat.

Kevin Goldstein: Many people have come in with Fallout 3 updates stating this, which excites me even more for the game, because it looks outstanding.

jafessenden (worcester, ma): Kevin, RE: Boras. Doesn't the Boras tatic of waiting to the last minute neccesitate that some contracts HAVE to be approved after the deadline? This doesn't appear to apply to Alvarez, but how is it practically possible for MLB to approve 10 contracts if they all come in at 11:59 p.m. Shouldn't the requirement be an agreement is in place "pending MLB approval."

Kevin Goldstein: It is. You have to SUBMIT your terms by that time, it doesn't have to be approved.

Dennis Rodman (Chicago): My girlfriend is a geek... a really opinionated geek. She makes fun of me for playing fantasy baseball, yet she's part of a Dungeons & Dragons group that gets together every Friday night. How can I make her understand that that's alot weirder than than baseball? She thinks I'm the loser.

Kevin Goldstein: I think you two should realize that fantasy baseball and Dungeons & Dragons are basically the same thing, only with different clothing. Embrace the diversity and learn to accept those that might seem different. And with that, I accept your nomination to be . . . oh wait, sorry.

Kevin Goldstein: With that, I leave you until next time. More talking to lawyers and agents and stuff in preparation for more on this story, which based on your questions, interests our readers as much as it interests me.

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