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FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 11/12/13

6:14
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Long time, no see. If you’re wondering why we haven’t chatted lately, then check out my other post from today:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/hark-the-hardball-times-baseball-annual-2014/

Jeff Zimmerman and myself will be here at 9 pm ET tonight to tackle all of your hot stove questions. We can also argue about the Awards voting if you like.

So get in all of your favorite 11-12-13 nominees, and we’ll see you soon!

8:59
Paul Swydan: Hi guys, we’ll get started in one minute. I have to get a fresh beer so that Jeff doesn’t yell at me.
9:00
Paul Swydan: FYI: The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014, which Jeff contributed an awesome article to, and which I helped edit, is now available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Hardball-Times-Annual-2014-Volume/dp/1493711873/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384301846&sr=8-1&keywords=hardball+times+annual+2014

9:00
Paul Swydan: Please buy it and help keep us employed. Thanks!
9:02
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s get started. Going to begin with an old school Red Sox 11-12-13:

Bill Mueller, Ellis Burks and John Valentin.

BOOM!

9:02
Comment From Argis
Pick 3 keepers of Lawrie, Boogarts, Billy Hamilton, and Cueto?

9:03
Paul Swydan: Boegarts for sure. Others depend on team needs, but I would be pretty hesitant to keep Hamilton since I’m not sure he is going to be a full-time player.
9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Not Cueto, he needs to get rid of the twist and he may not be the same pitcher.
9:03
Paul Swydan: Chubby Checker resents the notion that Cueto needs to get rid of the twist.
9:03
Comment From deezy
Gun to your head (don’t worry, it’s just a supersoaker), where does Price get traded?
9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Texas
9:04
Paul Swydan: I will say Cubs. Darkhorse!
9:04
Comment From deezy
Would a TEX/STL/TB trade make a lot of sense? Profar heads to STL, Price to TEX and prospects from both teams back to TB?
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Yea, basically.
9:05
Paul Swydan: Not sure how that plays for TB. Would need to pretty good prospects. Also, TB probably would love to have Profar just as badly as STL would, so not sure that is going to happen.
9:05
Comment From rob
What would the Nats have to give up for Price? Maybe a Rendon, Giolito, plus package?
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Question for the crowd, is Profar extremely slow. His numbers suggest he is about as fast as the average catcher.
9:06
Paul Swydan: That’d be a good start, rob. But I’m not sure that Price is a priority for the Nats. And I wouldn’t want to give up Rendon.
9:07
Comment From A Tribe Called Kipnis
Which free agent pitcher and which free agent hitter do you think will sign the best value deals? Which will be the worst?
9:07
Paul Swydan: Worst will probably be Ellsbury and Garza. Best will probably be one-year deals. Can’t call it.
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Jeff Baker in the right situation. Josh Johnson possible on the one year.
9:08
Comment From Brian
Fielder, Fister & 21 mil(3 per year on fielder’s contract) for Ryan Braun? Fresh start for both? Who says no?
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Bad – Tanaka
9:08
Paul Swydan: I think the Brewers turn that down cold.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see the gain for the brewers
9:09
Comment From Os Nos
The O’s are not going to sit tight again, right? Right? Who ends up at DH and 2B?
9:10
Paul Swydan: Schoop seems like he would get the 2B job, no? As for DH, they have a number of guys in house that can do the job if they are healthy. Nolan Reimold has been pretty good when on the field. I’d be willing to roll the dice on those two being healthy, and focus on pitching improvements this offseason. Their pitching is a much bigger problem IMO.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: I see the O’s going cheap at DH. For 2B, it should be Shoop even though I have no faith in him.
9:11
Comment From Os Nos
Setting aside obvious rivals of your favorite team, which team do you dislike the most, or at least like to watch the least? Which non-favorite team do you have a soft spot for?
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Soft spot for the Rockies, I just despise the Marlins because of their ownership.
9:13
Paul Swydan: Not terribly fond of the way the Mariners run their team, but that is mostly Cameron’s influence. I think the Twins also run their organization pretty poorly. The Marlins and DBacks are pretty deplorable as well. I have a soft spot for the Padres, and a little bit for the A’s.
9:14
Comment From Zach
What do you think of these prospective Tigers/Nationals trade? I think this one may actually be reasonable for both sides. Tigers trade: Max Scherzer (~$14M), Prince Fielder (eating ~$50M or $7M/year, putting him at $17M/year), and maybe Andy Dirks and/or prospect P Jake Thompson. Nationals trade: Anthony Rendon ($0.5M), Denard Span ($6.5M), Rafael Soriano ($11M), and maybe Adam LaRoche ($12M). That fills holes for both teams. The Tigers could then re-sign Omar Infante, it would just leave 2B unanswered for the Nationals.
9:14
Paul Swydan: Wow, that is a long comment.
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Whoa.
9:15
Paul Swydan: It’s interesting, but I don’t think the Tigers would be thrilled about having to eat Fielder’s contract money in a trade where they also lose Scherzer.
9:15
Paul Swydan: And again, the Nats are kind of screwed if they trade Rendon.
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: If I was the Tigers, I would jump all over it to get rid of the Fielder contract.
9:15
Comment From Robo-Questioner
Best robot in movie history?
9:16
Paul Swydan: R2D2.
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: Matt Damon
9:16
Paul Swydan: Second place: The T-100.
9:16
Comment From Robo-Questioner
Assume Houston has to add about $35-$40 million in major league payroll to appease the MLBPA. How should Astros spend the money?
9:17
Paul Swydan: I’ve seen a couple people suggest that Shin-Soo Choo. That wouldn’t be awful.
9:17
Paul Swydan: should sign there.
9:17
Paul Swydan: Sorry.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I would go long on a couple of hitting stars.
9:17
Comment From Lonsway
As a die hard Tigers fan, I hate the thought of trading Max, However I would never commit $100-150 million to that throwing motion.. If I can get anything close to Will Meyers.. I’ve gotta let him go & extend The ever improving Fredrick? What would u guys do?
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: The Rays would not hang up.
9:19
Paul Swydan: I think it’s an odd situation. On the one hand, you don’t want to go long on years because of what you said. On the other hand, Ilitch still wants his title before he passes away. So … you’d have to trade him for players that are already in the majors. And that sort of trade is hard to come by these days.
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: I think it all matters what other teams will offer. Some teams are desperate to win (see Texas)
9:19
Comment From Jimothy
Would Farrell have won M.O.Y if the voting was held after the World Series?
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: but it is not for this reason because the WS winning manager would always win.
9:20
Paul Swydan: Would think his managing in the World Series probably wouldn’t have helped his case.
9:20
Comment From John Jay
Jordy Mercer….is that OPS any near sustainable ? I assume he gets 300 to 400 AB’s next year.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: He .330 BABIP seems like an outlier.
9:22
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say no. But he could maybe survive another year as a stopgap there.
9:22
Comment From Steve C
Why hasn’t hitf/x data been released to the public? Also, sell me the THT book. On the fence about purchasing it.
9:23
Paul Swydan: HITf/x isn’t going to be released, because Sportvision wants to make more money off of it by selling it to teams, would be my guess.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: One month of Hitf/x was released and some people have been given the data. Public will not get it for a while.

9:24
Paul Swydan: As for the THT book, you can see my post from today, but Jeff’s article is fantastic. It’s got a lot of new shift data that we got our grubby little hands on. And the analysis article from Alan Nathan, Jon Roegele, Dave Allen and others are all top notch.
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul will have to do the selling. All I was able to do was write the article I have wanted to do for years on the effects of the shift.
9:24
Paul Swydan: I really enjoyed Roegele’s work on the changing strike zone.
9:25
Comment From Bob
What are the chances that Choo, Ellsbury, and McCann re-sign with their teams?
9:25
Paul Swydan: Relatively minor. Particularly for Choo.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: I would say slim for all 3.
9:26
Comment From Steve C
So why is pitchf/x public?
9:26
Paul Swydan: The algorithm leaked when it first came about. It was never supposed to be public.
9:27
Comment From Dylan
Have Profar and Taveras lost in luster in you eye?
9:28
Paul Swydan: Profar has lost a little luster in my mind as long as he stays in Texas, because Ron Washington didn’t/doesn’t have the fortitude to tell Ian Kinsler that he doesn’t deserve to be a middle infielder any longer. If that changes, or Profar is traded, then I’m still super high on him.

No loss of luster for Taveras.

9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Profar for sure with me. I will have my opinions out on Thursday.

Taveras – not really.

9:29
Comment From The Wild Pitch
Thoughts on possible KC/SEA Trade: Royals trade Billy Butler and Kelvin Herrera for Kyle Seager?
9:30
Paul Swydan: hahahahahahahahahahaha

No. Mariners are dumb, but they’re not that dumb.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Not horrible, I am not sure of Seager’s contract details.
9:31
Comment From person hscer
2013 HTBA looks good on nook. when’s the 14 coming to that platform?
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?
9:31
Paul Swydan: Thanks! That is pretty awesome to hear.

Hopefully by next week.

9:31
Comment From Benjomon
Who would you rather have: Ervin Santana for $100M or Nolasco for $80M?
9:32
Paul Swydan: Nolasco, probably.
9:32
Paul Swydan: Don’t trust either, so less money, basically.
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Nolasco
9:32
Comment From JT
Does Kinsler (4.9WAR/$16M) for VMart and A Jackson (4.6WAR $17.5M combined) make any sense?
9:33
Paul Swydan: Nope. Kinsler trending way down.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Jackson is the best player of the group IMO.
9:33
Paul Swydan: Agreed.
9:33
Comment From Ryan
Which team are the Reds most likely to trade Phillips to?
9:34
Paul Swydan: The Royals?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Haha, just messing with Jeff……Kind of.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Not unless the Royals move some salary
9:34
Comment From Dylan
Upgrading from Kozma to Tulo gives the Cardinals the best lineup in the NL right?
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: I like a healthy Dodger lineup
9:34
Paul Swydan: It would. But I’m not holding my breath. I think Stephen Drew is much more likely. That still might be enough to give them the NL’s best lineup tho.
9:35
Comment From Rick
Who makes the playoffs first: Angels or Cubs?
9:36
Paul Swydan: As much as I like Jerry Dipoto, I’ll say the Cubs.
9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Angels have a better chance IMO, more talent on the team and it could come together for one season.
9:37
Comment From Nathan
Besides staying in Cincinnati, where is the most likely spot for Phillips to end up?
9:37
Paul Swydan: so, we never REALLY answered this.
9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see him in Detroit.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Bah! You beat me to it.
9:38
Paul Swydan: I could also see Baltimore if the price drops.
9:38
Comment From Jeff and Paul I love you
Cubs. Are they doing the rebuild the correct way?
9:38
Paul Swydan: I believe that they are, but the lackluster seasons from Rizzo and Castro put everything into disarray.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: I think so, they had a ton of dead weight to get rid of.
9:39
Comment From Shane
Thoughts on Danny Salazar for this year – ERA/WHIP/Ks. Thanks gentlemen!
9:40
Paul Swydan: I’m smitten. I think he could get close to 200 Ks. ERA may be high 3’s/low 4’s until he cures the home run problem, but the WHIP should be low.
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: I like him a ton, but I am not a fan of starters who average over 95 mph. They usually end up on the DL (see Harvey and Strasburg)
9:41
Comment From Jaack
Brandon Phillips feels like a dodger to me. They have $$$ and no 2B.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Incorrect, they signed Guerrero, the latest Cuban sensation to rock the nation.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Did they sign a Cuban defector who plays 2B ….. yea him.
9:42
Comment From Jaack
THT book also makes a great gift! To yourself!
9:42
Comment From person hscer
Here’s a sell for the book: two names. Posnanski and James.
9:42
Paul Swydan: True. And both of their essays are top notch, btw.
9:42
Paul Swydan: As is Dave Cameron’s. I feel like Dave’s is going to make some waves inside the game.
9:43
Comment From Jaack
Best idea for a baseball-related cat name?
9:43
Paul Swydan: Dwight Evans. Duh.
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Rosin bag
9:44
Paul Swydan: Jeff wins.
9:44
Comment From Guest
Does a matt adams for alexei ramirez deal work?
9:44
Paul Swydan: No. Matt Adams is just a guy.
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Matt Adams is even less of a guy once teams figured out they could shift him (read more in the THT Annual)
9:45
Comment From Corey
Cat name “King Felix” of course!
9:45
Comment From Jaack
I was going to go with Bengie Meowlina…
9:45
Paul Swydan: Yup!
9:45
Comment From Corey
If the rumor of the Cards looking at Lowrie, any chance the A’s turn things over to Addison Russell sometime in ’14?
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: I love Russell, it all depends on what Beane can get.
9:46
Paul Swydan: They’re clearly very high on Russell, as the promotion for the Triple-A playoffs clearly shows. But it would have to be a second-half promotion. He only has 13 PA above High-A.
9:47
Comment From Zach
What do you expect from these pitchers in 2014: Yordano Ventura, Alex Wood, Drew Smyly?
9:47
Paul Swydan: Very good things, good things, good things (but not as much)
9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Yentura – Needs to find strike zone
Wood – not a fan
Smyly – needs to get a chance.
9:48
Comment From Klutz
Isn’t “The THT Annual” technically “The The Hardball Times Annual”? Sort of like how The LA Angles are “The The Angels Angels of Anaheim” (translating from Spanish)
9:49
Paul Swydan: This is why I try to always spell it all the way out, and not say THT. The problem though, is that I’m super lazy.
9:49
Comment From The Wild Pitch
Would a Hernandez, Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton, Hultzen rotation be the best in the MLB?
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I got Travis and Alex Wood mixed up, Alex Wood could be good, but he may get the Braves run around (see Medlen and Minor)
9:50
Paul Swydan: It’ll be in the mix.
9:50
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I’ll be interested to see what happens with the Braves rotation this offseason.
9:51
Paul Swydan: Also, Keith Law has always asserted that he’s more of a reliever.
9:51
Comment From person hscer
If New Yankee Stadium last as long from its first baseball game to its demolition as Turner Field will, it has 16 years to live.
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: BTW, good stuff on MGL the other day on which pitchers should be releivers and starters
9:51
Paul Swydan: I really don’t like anything about that Turner Field move. Just, none of it is desirable.
9:52
Comment From Table
MGL?
9:52
Paul Swydan: http://mglbaseball.wordpress.com/

Mitchel Lichtman, one of the authors of The Book

9:53
Comment From Table
If Billy Beane ever had access to tons of money, would that open up a world of new possibilities? Or just make the As like every other well off team employing sabermetrics?
9:54
Paul Swydan: That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I honestly don’t think he would change all that much. Maybe lock in his position player prospects to longer deals. But really, he’s not shied away from that. He gave Chavez that big deal, for one example.
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: He may not have to go with platoons as much. He may be able to keep is starters a year or two longer.
9:55
Paul Swydan: The A’s simply haven’t had a ton of star players come up through their system in the past few years that we’ve needed to see what Beane would do. Hopefully for A’s fans, Addison Russell is good enough to force that sort of discussion.
9:56
Paul Swydan: I love you guys, but I think that’s going to do it for tonight. I’m pretty wiped out. We’ll go longer next week, promise. Good to be back. Be safe on those internets. And please buy our book! You won’t be sorry!
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Good night everyone.