The lead behind Prospectus Preview drops by to talk about Hot Stove action and take your questions.
Caleb Peiffer: Hey folks. Thanks for stopping by today. This has already been a pretty fascinating off-season with regards to trades, and the big chips are still yet to fall. Looking forward to talking through the possibilities.
peavy (SD): Would Teheran, Rohrbough, Yunel Escobar and the pick of Gorkys or Schafer be enough to make me a Brave? Is this package better than what the Orioles got for Bedard? It does look better than the Twins package for Santana
Caleb Peiffer: I think if the Braves made that offer, the Padres would be thrilled. That's a great package: a pre-arb quality starting shortstop, a center fielder who can step in and start this season, and a pitching prospect in Teheran who Kevin Goldstein said has a higher ceiling than any pitcher in the Braves system. I think that's as good or maybe a bit better than what the O's got, but Peavy is also better than Bedard, and I'm higher on Escobar than most, probably. I don't think the Braves should give up that much, and from what I've read Peavy doesn't want Escobar to be leaving if he's coming.
adamtkay (boston): Which rookie most likely replicates last year's numbers: Volstad, Galarraga or Jurrjens?
Caleb Peiffer: I would think Jurrjens. Volstad had an insanely low homer rate, which he's probably not going to be able to sustain even despite his groundball ways, and his K/BB wasn't that great. As for Galarraga, neither the stuff nor the peripherals match his ERA and WHIP. I think Jurrjens can come close to what he did last year.
Brandon (Charleston): What are your thoughts on Micah Owings? Can he get back to the pitcher he was in 2007? As a Reds fan, I like him. His minor league numbers compare favorably to Aaron Harang's.
Caleb Peiffer: Harang is an interesting comp, because he struggled through his first couple of seasons and didn't break through until his age-27 season in 2005. With Owings, however, there just isn't all that much data to go on--he only threw 200 innings in the minors (Harang threw over 500). I'm not all that high on Owings, and you have to be concerned about the shoulder issues, but I think he can be a solid No. 4 starter. With his bat, that has a good deal of value.
Chad (Flower Mound): Will Jon Daniels deal a catcher? Everyone here seems to want to run Salty out of town, but I still believe he can be an all star caliber guy.
Caleb Peiffer: For what it's worth, Saltalamacchia has three homers and two doubles in his first five games in the Dominican. I agree with you--I think that he can put up some big offensive seasons. Will that be enough for the Rangers to put up with his defense? I'm not sure how they are evaluating that equation. For me, the catcher to deal is Laird, who is set to make a decent chunk of change in arbitration. The Red Sox are likely interested.
jlebeck66 (WI): Is Billy Butler starting for KC on opening day?
Caleb Peiffer: I would put my money on it. He's done nothing to disavow the notion that he's going to be a monster at the plate. I have heard the rumors that Moore is open to moving him, but don't know how much stock to put in those. I think they are probably going to open the season with Ka'aihue in the minors, Jacobs and Shealy platooning at first, and Butler at DH.
Ned (Vin's hometown): Hi Caleb: Thanks for the chat, wondering if you have thoughts on my rotation, in light of Chad's 'spill'? What moves do you think I should make, and what should I realistically expect from Kershaw next year?
Caleb Peiffer: Is James McDonald ready to start? He's going to be 24, so the future might be now. Elbert also might be ready to chip in by the second half. Jay Jaffe proposed taking a chance with a one-year deal on Randy Johnson to complement Billingsley, Kuroda and Kershaw, and bringing in an innings-eater like Wolf or Garland for the final spot. I think that's a sensible plan (I'd take Wolf over Garland, who seems like he wants a four-year deal). You always need at least six solid starters, especially if RJ is added to the fold, so McDonald would be able to step in when the injuries hit.
Dan (NYC): How real do you think the interest of the Red Sox is re: Teixeira?
Caleb Peiffer: Your guess is as good as mine. This article (http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/2008_11_21_Red_Sox_burn_for_Mark_Teixeira/) suggests that the Sox are "burning" for him, and that their "lust" factor is "very strong." So make of that what you will. I'd say that the Sox are currently the favorites to land him, although by the percentages we're talking about a plurality, not a majority, in my estimation.
J.P. (Hartford): Who is the starting second baseman for the Mets on opening day? Furcal? Hudson? Castillo? Murphy?
Caleb Peiffer: Castillo! You love it!
"And with few alternatives at second base, Minaya said Friday that there is a "good chance" Luis Castillo will return in that role."
That could be a bluff to try to drive up trade value, but I think that their best option is just to bite the bullet and see if he can return to serviceability next year.
Aaron (YYZ): Any thoughts on where Milton Bradley lands? Assuming you want him to be a DH 80+% of the time, there don't seem to be a lot of teams that would make a good fit...
Caleb Peiffer: It seems like he's probably headed to Toronto. Gammons says that signing him is the Jays' "top priority":
That seems to fit in with their pattern of recent years--Frank Thomas, etc. It's going to take at least a two-year deal to get him, I'd think.
tmcghan (Bay Area, CA): While you're talking about percentages on Sexy Texy, do you want to give a breakdown as to the top 6-8 contenders with what you rate their chances?
Caleb Peiffer: This is pure and utter speculation, but:
Red Sox: 40%, Yankees: 25%, Angels: 25%, Orioles: 5%, Nationals: 5%
Susan (Sheboygan): Hey, Caleb! If you were Joe Maddon, how much would you limit Price's pitchcounts/innings next year (he's only made 50-something starts & thrown <380 innings over the past 4 years combined). Thanks!
Caleb Peiffer: Going by the Tom Verducci rule, I'd limit Price's innings to about 150 next season.
Benton Quest (Montevideo): I'm confused, Caleb. Did you say Jordan Schafer (.269 in AA this year, with 10 homers, 12 steals in 17 attempts) can "step in and start this season"? Wouldn't Schafer be horribly overmatched in the majors right now? Thanks for taking my call.
Caleb Peiffer: It might be a bit of a stretch. Schafer started slow after coming back from his steroids suspension, but then really hit well down the stretch. If not this season, he should be ready by 2010. He's a little underrated now because of the suspension.
Aaron (YYZ): So if Bradley ends up in Toronto, who gets buried: Lind or Snider? Or do they wait for a Milton injury? or mercifully end the Lyle Overbay era at to install one of the bad defensive LF at 1B?
Caleb Peiffer: I would think that Snider would go back to the minors to start the year, which probably wouldn't be a tragedy given that he's going to be 21 and started last year at High-A. With Bradley's injury history and the age on Toronto's offense, there will likely be plenty of opportunities for at-bats later in the season, as well.
danfinn01 (New York): Who do you see as the starting outfield for the A's this year?
Caleb Peiffer: Right now, it looks like Holliday, Sweeney, and Buck.
deadmonkeyhead (CA): I read today that Chad Cordero is ahead of schedule in his recovery this offseason. The Angels seem like the most likely destination from what I've read. Would he be a smart investment? Do you expect his salary to be heavily incentive based?
Caleb Peiffer: He'd be a smart investment with an extremely low base on a one-year, incentive driven deal, yeah. His injuries were pretty serious, though, so anything more than that would be a huge risk.
Tim (Sonoma, CA): Lot of talk out here in the Bay Area about A) Sabbathia signing and B) Trading a young arm for a power bat. Do either of those happen? Does B happen because of A?
Caleb Peiffer: Giants just signed Renteria... I bet you're pretty glad the Lincecum for Rios deal that was rumored last year didn't pan out, eh? It makes sense to move Cain given all the pitching they have and the arms that are on the way up, but it seems that Sabean is having a tough time finding good value. Cain's severe lack of run support might be depressing his value a little. I can't see Sabathia signing with the Giants, but stranger things have certainly happened.
Andy (Chicago): Who brings back more in a trade Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick--and what kind of package would the Cards be looking at?
Caleb Peiffer: Tough call. Ankiel has two more years of service time, roughly, while Ludwick is a year older. Ankiel can also play center, so excepting contracts, I think he's the very slightly more valuable commodity. As for packages, they could sure use some help in the middle infield.
mattdi02421 (Lexington, MA): How much should Texiera get, how much will he get?
Caleb Peiffer: How much should he get? Tough to answer that one. How much will he get? My guess is around $175 million.
Jed (San Francisco): I seem to remember several years ago reports that Billy Beane was on the verge of trading for Jim Edmonds, but he went to St. Louis instead. I would LOVE to know which side nixed the deal and why. Can I find that anywhere? You could probably write a whole book about stuff like this...
Caleb Peiffer: Not sure. You'd probably have to find an insider willing to talk.
Brandon (Charleston): Thoughts on Chris Dickerson? Is he for real?
Caleb Peiffer: Jury's out and leaning towards "no," but I think the Reds should definitely give him 2009 to make his case. Question is, does he have the defensive chops for center? If he does, obviously his career gets a significant boost.
Caleb Peiffer: Thanks for all the questions. Looking forward to chatting again soon. Enjoy the big-game hunting season that will really get going at the winter meetings.