Pondering a few questions

Some questions to wonder about as we get a new week started:

If Jim Johnson does get moved to the starting rotation in 2012, how many innings will he be able to pitch?

Some feel he will be limited there, but C.J. Wilson of the Texas Rangers went from 73 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2009 to 33 starts and 204 innings as a starter in 2010. Last year he made 34 starts, pitching 223 1/3 innings for the Rangers.

Johnson was already at a heavy relief load of 91 innings last year and there is probably no reason he can’t double that this coming season.

There are those around the game that believe pitching as a bullpen guy is actually more stressful on the arm. Unlike a starter, you don’t know when you will pitch, you may have to get up but never get in the game and you can’t plan out your between-starts throwing.

If the Orioles decided to float Adam Jones’ name for a trade this winter, is now the best time to move him?

Some fans feel his value is pretty high now in that he is coming off a good year and still has two years left before free agency. Any team that acquires Jones now would have him for two years and not be trading for a possible one-year rental.

This makes sense, but Jones could also be floated in a deal next July at the trade deadline, next winter and in July 2013 as well. There is plenty of time for a deal, but the less time remaining on his contract, the less of a package he might bring back.

I am not in favor of trading Jones. I see him as one of those core pieces to build around moving forward. But to get quality back, the Orioles will have to part with something good. Jones, as a young talent with two years left before free agency, is probably one of their most tradeable commodities at this point.

Here is an interesting hypothetical question about the baseball draft that I heard Buck Showalter throw out one day last summer. If you were guaranteed to get a star player with your first-round draft pick, would you give up the other 49 selections for that?

I’m talking a star like Evan Longoria or Robinson Cano or top pitcher like Justin Verlander.

This is an easy yes for me. Some would say why would you give up all those other picks. First of all, many drafts only produce three or four major leaguers anyway and they may be just average talents and not stars.

Look at how so few drafts produce legit stars and look at how many teams don’t draft one, almost ever. Would I trade 49 picks to get one star? Yes, that is an easy one for me to answer.

This Thursday: This time next week, Roch and I will be at the baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas. Coming up Thursday at noon, we will host a live video chat with fans here on MASNsports.com. You can send us questions live or in advance. Be looking for that coming here Thursday.

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