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Mark P
8:14
After a week off, the Weekend Chat is back with flying colors!  Let's dive into some questions....
Tim
8:15
Has Austin Riley turned the corner enough to be the long term solution at third?
Mark P
8:17
People tend to forget that Riley was a very highly-touted prospect, and while his recent results have shown signs of a breakout, the Braves can probably afford to wait-and-see for a bit longer.  

I'd say they certainly still have him penciled into 3B, but not in pen, if that makes sense.
Gkhoury2325
8:17
Are the Giants going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline? Will the Giants trade Brandon Belt before the deadline?
Mark P
8:18
At this point it certainly seems like they'll be buyers, so the odds of them moving Belt or any of the other veteran contracts seems a little slim (especially since Belt has been quite productive).

The Giants have enough payroll flexibility post-2021 that they could be very interesting deadline buyers.  They have the freedom to conceivably go after some big-salaried players who aren't rental players.
Andrew
8:19
What deadline moves can you see the Miami Marlins doing?
is Starling Marte traded with all the young up-and-coming outfielders in the organization?
Mark P
8:20
It's hard to say about the Marlins just yet, since the NL East is still so tightly packed.  (And Miami, despite their record, is actually crushing the other NL East teams in run differential.)

Marte would certainly be at the top of the trade list if they did decide to sell, but if they decided to be buyers, they could surprise.  Nobody would've expected the Marlins to land Marte last year, for instance.
Question Mark
8:22
Do you think all of the injuries to start the season is concerning?
Mark P
8:23
Ken Rosenthal recently explored this issue, and the sheer increase in the number of injuries since last year is a big concern: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/05/mlb-more-injuries-2021.html
8:25
It's not unexpected since everyone is adjusting after the shortened season, and unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a ton that could be done about it, at this point.
Dave
8:25
looks like RedSox are good. Could they trade for Scherzer if Nats fall out of contention? Can they fit his salary under luxury tax?
Mark P
8:27
Scherzer's contract is a bit tricky due to all of the deferred money, but in short, no, the Red Sox couldn't fit him until the $210MM tax threshold since they're already at roughly $207MM.  Some money would have to be moved for the Sox to add Scherzer or any other major additions.
Caveat: since the Sox have reset their tax payments, they theoretically shouldn't have any problem paying a one-time tax hit to compete for a title in 2021.
Optimist in CLE
8:28
In your opinion, how far into the season do we need to wait to get are real sense of who that team will be this year.  I know all teams go on runs throughout a season, but a what point in a season who you be confident to say a .500 team is going to finish .500?  25 games, 40, 60, 80?
Mark P
8:29
A lot of it is admittedly based on feel and bias.  For instance, I'm not worried about the Dodgers at all, whereas the Royals' big losing streak has me a lot more pessimistic about their chances.

June 1 is usually a fair date to start truly taking stock in a team, since it's a third of the season in the books.
8:30
"Bias" in the sense of preseason expectations about a team's record, I should clarify.
GLW
8:30
Did I see a Greene signing today.
Mark P
8:30
You did!  The questions in these chats can finally halt!
Deep Friar
8:31
Could  Conforto or Blackmon be traded to the Padres?
Mark P
8:33
It's too early to say whether or not the Mets will be sellers.  I think fans may be too quick to turn players who don't seem like they'll re-sign (i.e. Conforto) into trade chips, but if you're the Mets, naturally you're hoping that Conforto will be a contributor to a contender in Queens down the stretch.
8:34
Plus, the Padres or another team would have to top the value of a QO draft pick in a trade offer.

As for the Rockies, they'll definitely be selling, but it remains to be seen if they'd move Blackmon within the division.
Alex Anthopoulus
8:34
How do you evaluate my time as the Braves GM? I think I have my share of good actions, but I've also my share of bad ones, specially regarding of Freeman 's lack of extension talks.
Mark P
8:35
AA inherited a team that had a whole lot of great cornerstones in place, and he has also done well to augment those cornerstones with Donaldson, Ozuna, d'Arnaud, etc.  

No general manager is perfect, obviously, but I think Anthopoulos' tenure is certainly a success.
not Dave
8:36
Red Sox are good, but I still feel like this retool is at least a year away from being competitive. Unless they're 10 games up in the AL East at the end of July, I say sell. In a situation like this, ERod I would want to resign, but who else could bring back value? Barnes? Ottavino? Richards? Enough return to net a few top 100 prospects?
Mark P
8:38
Counterpoint: uh, they look awfully good to me.  I'm sure they'd be open to moving any of those names you mentioned in the event of a big slump and a fall out of contention, but I think Boston looks to have righted the ship quite nicely after 2020.  It might be that last season was the aberration, not the start of a real rebuild.
Angel Fan
8:38
Right move by Minasian, time to move on and get best players on the field. Albert has. been dragging halos down for a long time
Mark P
8:39
GM Perry Minasian wouldn't have made that call without the green light from ownership, but you're right, it doesn't seem like Pujols had much to offer the Angels.
No hitters
8:39
Already 4/5 no hitters.  Do you see the record of 8 in one season being broken?  Why so many so far?
Mark P
8:41
There's certainly a lot to the argument that pitchers have a distinct advantage over hitters these days, not to mention other no-no friendly factors like cold weather, batters being less concerned with making contact, etc.

But it's also worth noting that no-hitters are fluky, so they can come in bunches or we might very well not see another until 2022.
Ross Atkins
8:41
What do I need more 3B or SP?
Mark P
8:42
(Atkins = Jays GM)

Pitching, hands down
JNP
8:42
How much of Angels Pitching trouble has to do with bad defense being played behind them.  It seems as if Angels lost at least 3 to 5 games because of defense
Mark P
Steve Cohen
8:43
Wait, you think I'm going to be a seller my first year as owner?!
Mark P
8:43
No, but that's also because I think the Mets will remain in contention (or at least semi-contention) throughout the season.
Guest
8:45
What should the twins do with Buxton? He’s elite when he’s healthy, but being healthy is increasingly rare for him. Trade while he has value, or extend and hope he can stay healthy?
Mark P
8:46
Buxton has had so many injuries that if I'm the Twins, I don't think I can take the risk of committing a truly big-money, long-term deal.  But, the Twins are also trying to contend right now, so trading him isn't really feasible ---- both because his value (because of those same injuries) is hard to gauge, and because a healthy Buxton is a difference-maker in a pennant race.
8:47
There are worse ideas than just keeping Buxton through his arb years and letting the chips fall where they may
That guy
8:47
As an orioles fan the season has been entertaining despite a loosing record.
Mark P
8:48
They've been competitive!  And Means' no-hitter is the kind of fun moment that stands out as a highlight forever, not just of this rebuilding era
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