Live Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 5/23/17
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Steve Adams
3:45
Apologies on the late start! My brain has been operating under the belief that today is Wednesday. Much to my chagrin, it is not.
I'll begin fielding questions in a minute or two but feel free to start submitting now
matt Klentak
3:47
What can I even do at this point? Everyone is underperforming
Steve Adams
3:48
Well, not everyone. Nola has been good when healthy. Eickhoff has a high ERA but promising peripherals. Hellickson's overperforming. Altherr has somewhat surprisingly been great.

But yeah there's a lot of lackluster performances from players that should be in key roles like Herrera, Velasquez, Franco... luckily there's still plenty of pieces yet to come, and some of the struggles are likely to rebound. It'll be another summer of dealing marginal pieces -- Neshek, Kendrick if healthy, Saunders, etc. with probably more of an eye on 2018-19.
Ethan
3:49
Cano back today, Haniger and Paxton by the end of the month, Iwakuma, Felix, Smyly in June. Too late for the Mariners?
Steve Adams
3:50
Not at all -- the entire American League is so bunched together (outside of the top teams) that Seattle's only four back from a Wild Card spot. They've got quite a hole to dig out of to contend for the division, and I don't think the Astros will crumble to the point where that's realistic, but the M's can still factor into the WC picture.
Bobby cox
3:50
MAdams is good pickup and if we tank and he does well, maybe we get a better prospect than one we gave up?
Steve Adams
3:51
I can easily envision Adams bringing more than they gave up to get him. But he's still not going to bring any kind of premium prospect. Nonetheless, a solid and sensible pickup with Freeman out.
And, really, even if they don't flip him again, it's not bad. That Atlanta bench is not a pretty sight
BB-STC
3:52
Which of the current 1st place teams will finish the season below .500, if any? Rockies, Brewers, Nats, Astros, Twins, Yanks.
Steve Adams
3:52
Twins and Brewers are the only two that I think could fall to that point.
Joe
3:52
Do you think the Nats trade for a reliever before July 1st?
Steve Adams
3:54
The rest of the division is so bad that they don't really need to. And given that some clubs won't yet be ready to sell at that point, my expectation is that Rizzo will wait it out until he knows who's going to be available.
That's not to say he won't pounce if there's a great deal on a quality reliever before that point, but the Nats aren't in a position where they need to force the issue. They're nine games over .500 and the next best team in the division is Atlanta at 19-23.
Travis
3:55
Is it possible that we are witnessing Mike Trout's best season yet?? is there nothing he isnt the best at??
Steve Adams
3:56
It is indeed possible -- he's still only 25, after all. He's not the best defensive CF in baseball, though, nor is he the fastest player, etc. His greatness is derived not from being the absolute best but from being among the best at virtually every facet of the game.
OL' PERFESSER
3:56
Are the NYY for real or are we waiting for the ball to drop?
Steve Adams
3:57
They're much better than I gave them credit for to open the season -- tip of the cap to Judge and Hicks, in particular -- but they still need to add starting pitching depth, especially with Tanaka and CC struggling
Jack
3:57
What kind of return can the Buccos get for Cole?
Steve Adams
4:00
An enormous one. King's ransom style. Look at what the Phillies got in return for Hamels a few years ago. Granted, Hamels had 3.5 years of control plus an option, but Cole is younger and vastly more affordable. He'd bring back multiple top 50 prospects and/or a young MLB-ready asset or two. There's not a team in baseball that can't afford him and there's no team that he wouldn't make better.
Aaron
4:00
Do you think the Rangers and Yu Darvish might sign an extension during the season?
Steve Adams
4:01
Nope. He'll hit the open market. Makes for an interesting debate for Jon Daniels... trade him for more than the reduced Qualifying Offer will net the team, or keep him as the Rangers pursue what right now looks to be a Wild Card spot.
Anibal Sanchez
4:01
Do you think it was a good move that I asked to be sent to Toledo? Will it help me get back in the starting rotation?
Steve Adams
4:03
Sanchez has handled his struggles well -- he's been accountable and he's now asked to be optioned to try to sort things out in a lower-pressure spot where he can get back into his old routine. Good on him. I don't know that there's a ton left in the tank there, but the move helps the Tigers organization simply by freeing up a spot on the 25-man roster
Steve
4:04
Was Epplers best acquisition this off season Maldonado? Is he this decent or should we expect a drop off?
Steve Adams
4:06
I'd say his best acquisition was the bullpen made largely of minor league signees that is still producing quite well top to bottom.

Maldonado's a good defender but his production's going to come down once his BABIP drops. He's still striking out at a 24% clip, and now that he's not hitting in front of pitchers, his walk rate is in the gutter.
Rangers
4:06
Are we buyers or sellers?
Steve Adams
4:08
I doubt even Jon Daniels has made that determination yet. He probably won't until mid-July. If you're asking for a prediction, though, I feel like they'll hang on and try to contend... there's so much invested in this season with guys like Darvish and Lucroy hitting free agency this winter, Beltre getting another year older, etc. I'm not saying they have a closing window or anything, but this team was clearly built to contend now and it's going to require some retooling this offseason.
Twinks
4:08
Has sabermetrics allowed teams to be more tolerant of players like Buxton(def wiz, horrible at offense), or has it always been this way?
Steve Adams
4:11
Buxton was only really bad for two weeks. I don't have his numbers in front of me but he has something like a .740 OPS since April 21.

And teams have always had some level of willingness to put up with poor offense for great defense at premium positions. Luis Aparacio is a 13x All-Star and a Hall of Famer and he had a career .650 OPS.
Chris
4:12
Which team is most likely to NOT win their division: Cleveland, Boston or Cubs?
Steve Adams
4:12
I'd say the Sox just because the Yankees have been more genuinely impressive than the leaders in the other two divisions (Twins, Cardinals)
Wizard of wachachie
4:13
What happens to Ulbaldo now?
Steve Adams
4:13
At a certain point they just have to cut the cord.
Casey
4:13
Will the Brewers get a better return trading Braun prior to the July deadline or during the offseason?
Steve Adams
4:16
Depends on the health of the Dodgers in the coming months, I suppose. It doesn't sound like Braun is open to being traded to too many teams, so I'd wager you're looking at LA and maybe SF. If they wait until the offseason, perhaps it's easier to get those two clubs to bid against one another. But, you also don't get to capitalize on the urgency of a contender looking to shore up a hole.

Long-winded way of saying that given the limited number of clubs that are realistic destinations, I don't think it's going to dramatically alter the price one way or another.
Twins Guy
4:16
How legit are the Twins? Will Berrios help?
Steve Adams
4:17
Of course he helps, if he can continue to do anything close to this. But Ervin's going to regress further, and the rotation beyond those two is dicey. Santiago is serviceable, Mejia is interesting, but the back of the rotation is going to be really questionable. Also not a huge believer in their bullpen, though Pressly's numbers will continue to turn around after his fluky bad start.
Jim
4:18
When will Luis Robert join farm system and what level will he start at?
Steve Adams
4:20
Depends when the Sox formally wrap up the deal. They still haven't announced it yet. Once they do, it'll move pretty quick. Think Ben Badler from Baseball America said he could jump into Class-A ball, and he's far more plugged into the international market and Robert's skill set than I am. I doubt he's been playing anywhere, so maybe a few weeks in extended Spring Training then with a Class-A affiliate sometime in June?
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