In your career, who would you pay to sit in the stands and watch play?
-- Tom D., Chicago
Hey, Tom. Good to hear from you, as always. Most recently, Mark Buehrle. I loved watching him attack hitters when he was with the White Sox. But the two guys who really jump out are Nolan Ryan (a fellow Texan) and Orlando Hernandez. Their styles of pitching couldn't be more different, but they were both freaks of nature. I'd pay just to watch El Duque go through pregame stretching. His flexibility was crazy. Going back in time, I'd love a second chance to see Mark Fidrych, Fernando Valenzuela and the young Ernie Banks.
Do you think the White Sox will trade Adam Dunn for roster flexibility? Can they keep three first basemen/DHs?
-- Keyvan C., Beverly Hills, Calif.
With Jose Abreu and Paul Konerko on the roster, the White Sox would definitely deal Dunn. But they do value his left-handed power and believe they can find enough at-bats for all three guys. Abreu's performance in Spring Training will determine if the White Sox look to him for 400 plate appearances or 600-plus. If Abreu has a great spring, it could make them more likely to deal Dunn. But by no means do they feel they have to deal him. They would love Dunn to have a big first half and build strong trade interest.
Are the Mets going to make it to the playoffs? Who do you think will win the World Series?
-- Joshua V., Ganado, Ariz.
Wouldn't that be a story? Baseball's a crazy game, so it could happen, with Curtis Granderson winning the 2014 National League MVP Award and Sandy Alderson the Executive of the Year. But I think the Nationals and Braves are far too strong for the Mets to be viewed as contenders. New York's goal has to be a winning season, which would be a major step forward.
Adding Doug Fister to the Nationals' staff makes them more legit than ever. Which of their starters looks the best going into the season?
-- Derrell W., Schaumburg, Ill.
Great rotation. I'll know better in a week or two, after seeing some of them for myself, but with the Grapefruit League getting underway, I'd rate them this way: Jordan Zimmermann (bet the streak), Stephen Strasburg (good feeling for this year), Gio Gonzalez (strong sleeper) and Fister (who will enjoy his move to the NL).