Christina Kahrl's turn today:
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Would you take Shields/Kazmir or Verlander/Bonderman if the choice were yours?
Christina Kahrl: The latter.
MarkBillhorn (Boston): It's my first BP chat! Percent likelihood: The Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs (ever) with Carl Crawford on the team?
Christina Kahrl: Welcome to the party Mark, there's a first time for everything. ;) I'm going to have to say "zero," not as a regular or something beyond a geezer on the bench there to frighten the kids with stories of the bad old Naimoli days. That's not his fault, or the Rays, just my expectation that even if the club picks up his 2009 and 2010 options, that's still not long enough for the Red Sox and Yankees to have collapsed.
eric (montreal): Wha do you see for BJ Upton this year? Make progress after last season, or maybe take a step back because of all the strikeouts? Thanks as always.
Christina Kahrl: Upton's one of the guys I see improving now that his position is settled, and also in light of the increasing seriousness with which to take that team and how it's being handled.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Is there an "irrational exhuberance" surrounding the '08 Rays among many right now? Isn't '09/'10 looking more realistic for the "Surge"? Or is .500 a likely stepping stone this year? Thank you!
Christina Kahrl: You're right to wonder, lemppi, and yes, I don't think it's reasonable to expect a .500 season from the Rays right now. This is sort of like the anticipation that the Brewers would make some noise--we can all see it coming, we're all smart enough to anticipate it, and we're all probably jumping the gun.
There's a ton of other good info in there, but those are the Rays' chunks - I also managed to sneak a question asking how many wins the Marlins would tally in 2008, I think we can set the over / under around 60.