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FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/10/13

Posted By Paul Swydan On December 10, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Chat | 11 Comments

6:04
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Join Jeff and myself – and maybe even Chris – tonight at 9 pm ET to talk some Hot Meetings and Winter Stove action. I mean, Hot Winter and Meetings Stove. I mean … you know what I mean.

Get your questions in, and I’ll get some polls up (polls at bottom of transcript). See you soon!

9:03
Paul Swydan: Hey gang, what’s shaking? Baseball things happened today. Let’s talk about them!
9:03
Comment From Joe
How many GMs read FanGraphs?
9:03
Paul Swydan: More than the average bear, I’d wager.
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: At least half at one or another.
9:04
Paul Swydan: And when I say read, I mean, article are likely provided to them in form or another. Don’t know that lots of GMs are actively refreshing the site to see what new form of chicanery we’ve concocted each day. They have lots of stuff to do and junk.

9:05
Comment From Eric
Kershaw for Sale, who hangs up?
9:05
Paul Swydan: The Dodgers. Instantly.
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Both, IMO. With current contracts, I would take Sale.
9:06
Comment From Guest
Who do you see as Giants’ opening day LF?
9:06
Paul Swydan: We have it right now as Gregor Blanco on the depth charts:

http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=30

I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him actually be the opening day starter. As for free agents, I would aim low. Don’t see Giants breaking the bank.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they may have a decent signing left in them or Jeff Francoeur.
9:07
Comment From Tim
Is it crazy to think the Rays hold Price for the next 2 years? They’re right to dangle him but if there’s no knockout offer like there was with Shields, why not hold tight? They held both Crawford and Upton all the way to free agency, then let them walk – so it’s not like it’s unprecedented in their previous roster management.
9:08
Paul Swydan: I agree with this completely. And I think that from a sheer a sheep many times but skin them only once, that the Rays are going to have a hard time duplicating the Shields trade. And that’s OK. That’s a once-in-a-career trade for a GM.

Sorry Jeff.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see them keep him, but he is a huge upgrade for some teams and I think one will eventually bight.
9:08
Comment From Chip
Yankees have apparently called about Ackley, what would it take to get that deal done?
9:09
Paul Swydan: Not exactly sure, but I don’t see why the Yankees need him, to be honest.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Ackley is the up grade for a Yankee starter. Now if they only plan on using him for bench help, I would like the move.
9:10
Comment From Chris
Eaton had to deal with a lot of bizarre health issues this past year. I think he will be the prize of the deal. Not sure what the Dbacks were thinking on this one.
9:10
Paul Swydan: The second Eaton had a setback in his rehab he was a marked man in that clubhouse. If you don’t come back early or just play through the pain, you’re expendable there.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: He may eventually be the best player. I like the move for the Angels. They got some needed pitching from a position of strength.
9:12
Paul Swydan: Of course, if you do come back early (Chris Young in 2011) or play through pain (Justin Upton in 2012) but not at your normal level, you’ll still be expendable.

What it boils down to, essentially, is that the Dbacks are your crazy ex-girlfriend. No matter what you do or don’t do, they’re probably going to hate you sooner or later.

9:12
Comment From Eric
What do you make of the news that Mulder’s trying to make a comeback?
9:13
Paul Swydan: Two things:

1. It’s been a slower Winter Meetings than we’d like to admit.
2. Mark Mulder wants more followers on Twitter and/or a bigger payday for his next media gig.

9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I thought Kazmir’s comeback wouldn’t work, so who knows.
9:13
Comment From Todd
With a lot of the solid pitchers gone, who should the Braves pursue for their rotation? They’re really not going to go into the season with Medlen/Minor/Teheran/Wood/Beachy and nothing else, right?
9:14
Paul Swydan: Well, that’s five starters who are at a minimum average or better, so you could do a lot worse. But having said that, I think they would do well to try to pull of a three-team trade with someone where they end up with Cliff Lee or David Price. Not sure Atlanta has the top shelf prospects that are close to the majors on their own to get such a deal done, but maybe if they work with someone they can make it happen.
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Quite a few pitchers are left, the problem is they have draft pick compensation with tied to them. Also, I kind of think teams are waiting on Tanaka to make a move.
9:15
Paul Swydan: If they’re going to go the free-agent route, Ubaldo or Tanaka would be my choice. They are the two with star potential if things break right.
9:15
Comment From Edge O
Who has a more a successful switch to the AL, Eaton or Aoki?
9:16
Paul Swydan: I think Eaton is the better player, so I’ll say him, but I expect both to be good players.
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: Aoki, I am not sure how Eaton’s playing time will play out.
9:16
Paul Swydan: Hahn said he is the starting center fielder tonight.
9:17
Comment From zack
If you were talking just about 2014 would you take AJ Burnett over any available free agent starter?
9:18
Paul Swydan: If I was an east coast team and I knew that AJ was going to be happy, it’d be him, Ubaldo or Tanaka. But it seems like the only two teams he wants to play for are the Pirates and Orioles. And I just saw that Orioles rumor tonight.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: For just 2014, I may also take a chance on Santana.
9:18
Comment From Ned Colletti
Suppose Juan Uribe doesn’t sign. Do I look for a new 3rd baseman or shift Hanley to 3rd and find a new shortstop? Who do I go after?
9:19
Paul Swydan: I would think the EASIEST thing to do from a chess pieces perspective is to move Hanley and just sign Drew for shortstop. But if Hanley doesn’t want to move, he isn’t going to move, and then the Dodgers are left trying to trade for someone.
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Isn’t the Cuban signee supposed to be playing in the middle of the field?
9:20
Paul Swydan: Alexander Guerrero. He is slated to be the starter at second base.
9:21
Comment From KB
David Ortiz projections for next year? Can you bet against the guy at this point?
9:21
Paul Swydan: Sure, if you want to be wrong, then go right ahead.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not really.
9:22
Comment From Rufus T. Firefly
Should the Red Sox go to a six-man rotation? Would it keep everyone fresh or mess everyone up?
9:23
Paul Swydan: No, that’s a bad idea. If you can get someone good for Dempster, I’d deal him. If not, throw him in the ‘pen. They don’t need him for the rotation, especially not with Ranaudo and Webster on Alert 5.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: One more on Ortiz, I would keep an eye on his contact%, it did drop 5% points in 2013. Make sure the decline doesn’t continue.
9:23
Comment From Guest
What happened with those comments Kevin Towers made about throwing baseballs at his team in the dugout?
9:23
Paul Swydan: I don’t think I saw those. Link?
9:24
Comment From Meh Bella Ami
Jeter is moving to 2nd right…..
9:24
Paul Swydan: Oh, look who’s got jokes!
9:24
Comment From Guest
Wouldn’t Kemp, Papi, and Nap be fear inducing?
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: for the trainer.
9:25
Paul Swydan: I read today that teams are backing off of Kemp after they’ve seen his medicals. So unless he starts dating Rihanna again, I don’t really want to see him on the Red Sox…
9:25
Comment From Tim H
Your gut, be bold: does Ubaldo regress significantly next year, and if so by how much?
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: I was a team, I want to see Kemp run first. There was talk of him not walking again.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, I need to see more than 2-3 good months to believe in him.
9:27
Paul Swydan: Ubaldo has been a 3-win pitcher or better in five of the last six seasons. I don’t think it’s a real big stretch to forecast him as being that guy for the next three-four seasons at all.
9:28
Paul Swydan: Of course, I’ll remind you that Ubaldo Jimenez is bar none one of my favorite baseball players, so I’m not ENTIRELY objective on the matter…
9:28
Comment From Bree Olson
At what price (if it had to be at least say, 3 years) would you sign Santana? I seriously have no faith in his ability to sustain good numbers at all…
9:29
Paul Swydan: No matter the years, I wouldn’t give him more than $6 M per. I’m not sure he can be a one-win pitcher, but that’s about all I’d be willing to pay for.
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: $30M, I like his ability to stay healthy for 3 more seasons throwing as many sliders as he does.
9:30
Paul Swydan: OK. I don’t think anything happened, because it was the postseason, and it was quickly swept aside in favor of things that actually matter. Namely postseason games.
9:31
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Does the Indians’ signing of David Cooper make you think they don’t expect Giambi to make the roster? Seems like it would be a waste to have 2 lefty 1B/DH types in addition to Siwsh/Santana
9:32
Paul Swydan: It makes me think it’s more likely that Drew Stubbs gets traded and that Swisher sees more OF time. But you could be correct as well. Also, just because they gave him a major league deal doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to break camp with the team.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: What Paul side … as I delete my similar comment.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul, you type too fast.
9:34
Paul Swydan: Every man has gotta have a talent.
9:34
Comment From AJT
Who types faster, DC or Paul?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Oh, Cameron for sure. Mainly because his answers are all one sentence…or less.
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: DC is insanely fast.
9:35
Comment From Matt
Are you surprised how little Pittsburgh and Baltimore are doing? Two solid teams in contention with something like 3 players under contract for 2015. They don’t even have to do that much…
9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Not with Pittsburgh, I see them dumpster diving at the end of the off season. I don’t get Baltimore, they should be doing more.
9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: brb, cookie run
9:37
Paul Swydan: Pittsburgh surprises me a little bit, but the things that they need most are not necessarily positions where they’ve needed to pounce. They could use another starter, but are waiting out AJ, so that’s a little tricky.

Baltimore is in a tricky position. They are a +.500 team right now, but with little help coming from the minors, they have to import. But the problem is that there isn’t that one move that makes them instantly better. I think if you study Dan Duquette’s free-agent spending from Boston, he only made that splash one or two times. And when Jose Offerman is one of those splashes, well…no, I’m not surprised that Duquette is being a little stubborn.

9:38
Comment From zack
Someone asked Szymborksi what would be more fun: Joe Blanton pitching in Coors or Stanton hitting there?
9:39
Paul Swydan: Depends on who you’re rooting for. :-)
9:39
Comment From Gila Monster
It appears the Red Sox don’t like Middlebrooks at all. Could they explore a trade for Headley? He is getting pricy for SD and they have seem to have no interest in extending him. I’d much rather have Headley than Stephen Drew.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Make sure someone breaks the humidifier.
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Middlebrooks is souring with everyone. I am not sure the Padres would want him in a trade.
9:41
Paul Swydan: I don’t think there’s any question that Headley is better than Stephen Drew. Stephen Drew is just a guy. The question is what you have to give up to get Headley. If I can get him for Mookie Betts and Ranaudo, sure. But the Sox also have Garin Cecchini about a half-season away at third base. Giving Middlebrooks one more chance while Cecchini is getting one more coat of glaze in the minors doesn’t strike me as the worst idea ever.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Man, I’ve had a lot of long answers tonight. Sorry about that.
9:42
Comment From Tallahassee
Just down the road thinking, when Dempster and Peavy are gone after 2014 (I’m assuming Lester extends), do the Red Sox sign a FA pitcher or stay in house?
9:42
Paul Swydan: I think they’ll have a good chance to stay in house. But for the record, check out the list of available SPs on the MLBTR free-agent list. Lotta goodies there.
9:42
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Burnett lives about 45 minutes away from Baltimore, and apparently his wife drives to see all his starts, so that sort of makes sense.
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they will sign someone, and they may need even more help taking injuries into account.
9:43
Paul Swydan: Yeah, totally. He wants to spend time with his family while he is playing baseball. It’s a novel concept, I realize, but I can’t fault him for that.
9:44
Paul Swydan: Back to Drew for a second. He became a regular in 2007. Since:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2007&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

He has the same WAR as Jason Bartlett, who you know, doesn’t even play in the majors anymore. So, yeah. I still think it was a bigger gamble than people realize for the Sox to make him a qualifying offer. And if ends with Xander moving back to third, well then that’ll be a big-time backfire in my book.

9:44
Comment From AJT
Favorite tea?
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Yerba mate
9:45
Paul Swydan: I don’t drink hot beverages.
9:45
Comment From danny knobgobbler
I miss Carson Cistulli, where is he?
9:45
Paul Swydan: France, pretending he is a soccer analyst.
9:45
Comment From Mr. F
Have you seen the video of Jeff Sullivan on World Star Hip Hop yet?
9:45
Paul Swydan: Um, WHAT? No! You’re pulling my leg. Gotta be.
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: No I have not.
9:46
Comment From Bilbo
I don’t think he was suggesting that the Padres would want Middlebrooks, just that the Sox could trade for Headley (using other prospects)
9:46
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I got that too. We just like bagging on Middlebrooks. :-)
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: I got it after the fact.
9:46
Comment From Bryan
What are the chances that LaRoche gets moved from DC and they move Zimmerman to first? Do you think this year is too soon for all this to happen?
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I read a bit on Zimmerman staying at 3B for now, but the move will happen soon.
9:47
Paul Swydan: As I wrote last week for ESPN Insider, the move to make that happen was signing Cano. Then Rendon moves to third, Zimm to first and LaRoche to DH/bench. Unfortunately the Lerner’s would rather count their money than their championship trophies. Which is cool, I suppose.
9:48
Comment From Will Middlebrooks
Steamer has me at 2.3 and Oliver at 2.8 WAR. I might be ugly, but I have Pedro Alvarez upside.
9:49
Paul Swydan: 2.3 WAR is 0.1 WAR more than he’s achieved in his career to date. That seems more like a best-case scenario than a realistic thing that might actually happen.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not a fan of the back injury. They are value killers.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/is-will-middlebrooks-already-irrelevant/

9:49
Comment From JustAGuy
Is there a logical trading partner for Headley? Is seems like all the usual candidates either don’t have a need or don’t have the prospects to get it done. Should the Padres just hold on to him and hope the draft pick compensation gives them a chance at resigning him next offseason?
9:51
Paul Swydan: Well, let’s be clear — I don’t see why the Padres need to trade Headley. They have one of the league’s lowest payrolls, and Headley is only going to be 30 this season. They absolutely should be trying to sign him long-term, especially since Gyorko proved adequate defensively at second base.
9:52
Paul Swydan: But if they want to trade him, there should be teams interested. I think they haven’t traded him because they want the Godfather offer, and teams don’t really make those unless they’re desperate. And there’s no reason to be desperate in December. Unless you can get James Shields, of course.

Sorry, Jeff.

9:52
Comment From BP
Mariners send Walker, Franklin, Paxson and top prospect Peterson to Whitesox for Sale. Seems to fit both sides. How is it for value?
9:53
Paul Swydan: Great, if you’re the White Sox. Not so great if you’re the Mariners. Sale is even less of a sure thing than Sale both performance and health-wise, and that is a deal that the Mariners aren’t making for Price. So …
9:53
Comment From Admiral Adamalamadingdong
Bautista to the Red Sox for Ranaudo, Cecchini and Betts. Who says no?
9:54
Paul Swydan: Probably the Red Sox. That’s too much for a guy who gets hurt a lot.

(Jeff had to step away for a sec, btw. He’ll be back.)

9:54
Comment From Guest
Crap… I missed most of this chat for a Mario Kart tournament. Was it worth it?
9:54
Paul Swydan: Probably, yeah. You can always read the transcript later.
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, just read the transcript
9:54
Comment From Jaack
I come just to say that this stupid DBacks trade has gotten “Lido Shuffle” stuck in my head, except with ‘lido’ replaced by ‘Zito’. Stupid Boz Scaggs.
9:54
Paul Swydan: Uh, thanks Jaack.
9:55
Comment From BP
You must be nuts, given his contract Sale is >>> Price
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Just Paul
9:55
Comment From Jaack
Your welcome
9:55
Paul Swydan: Fairly certain I said performance and health-wise. I think the Mariners are showing this winter that they don’t give a hot damn about contracts, so I don’t see why that would be relevant in the slightest.
9:55
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Tully Blanchard was Nick Saban before Nick Saban was Nick Saban. -Dayn Perry
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: OK then.
9:56
Paul Swydan: I love Dayn, but he needs to less watch less college football.
9:56
Comment From Gila Monster
Cory Hart is likely to sign tonight. Is we a Ray,Pirate, or remains a Brewer? He apparently wants to stay in Milwaukee…which I don’t know why anyone would wish that.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he will be a Brewer. Also, if I was another team, I would see how interested the Brewers are in him since they know the most about him.
9:57
Paul Swydan: I mean, if you like beer and you like brats, there aren’t a lot of cities that do it better than Milwaukee. I hear they also have some mean summer festivals. But … yeah, if I was him I’d be signing with Pittsburgh or Tampa. Pittsburgh I guess would be my choice, since he’s probably a lot more familiar with the ballpark. And also because the ballpark isn’t a cesspool of suck like Tampa.
9:58
Comment From Matt
What kind of package do you think it would take to get Sale from Chicago?
9:58
Paul Swydan: I think, for most teams, as was said previously, his contract is so desirable that the package will have to be considerable. I don’t see him getting traded.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: A ton, it would have to be a similarly controlled player.
9:59
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
And more 80s wrestling?
9:59
Paul Swydan: Junkyard Dog is still must-see TV.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: 80’s wrestling was the bomb, I loved the 4-horsemen and the Road Warriors.
10:00
Comment From Dan
What was your guys thoughts on the Granderson deal?
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Good deal even though I was a little surprised to see the Mets spend some actual money.
10:01
Paul Swydan: I don’t mind it, but to me the Mets need to do a lot more this offseason if they’re going to justify giving up a draft pick for him. Can’t just roll into the season as they are currently constituted and then give up a draft pick to have an 76-82 win team.
10:01
Comment From 10Q
Is there something fishy about the yankees proceeding as if they know A-rod is going to be off their books in 2014?
10:01
Paul Swydan: Just the opposite. If the Yankees weren’t arrogantly acting like they had everything figured out, THEN I’d be suspicious.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: IMO, A-Roids only hope is to extend the trial to the season’s start.
10:02
Comment From Krupkee
Are the Blue Jays still in win-now mode? Or are they in a weird limbo now that a lot went wrong in 2013? It seems like if they can get 2+ good prospects for Bautista it would be worth it, unless they’re making another run. Thoughts?
10:03
Paul Swydan: They should be gearing up again, but they’re a team we’re hearing even less about than the Orioles. That I definitely don’t get.
10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they wait and see how the start of the season goes and then look at trading if they are out of contention.
10:03
Comment From Alice Cooper
Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans. Actually, it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land.”
10:04
Paul Swydan: Fun facts from Alice right there. Thanks.
10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: and knowing is half the battle.
10:04
Comment From scatterbrian
The A’s seem finished, but they don’t *feel* finished. They’ve made a few lateral-ish moves — getting slightly better or slightly worse — but it still seems like they need one more piece to push them over the top. Does Beane have a f***ing-A trade in his pocket?
10:05
Paul Swydan: If he does, I think it’ll involve Yoenis Cespedes, but that’s just my gut feel. I agree that he’s not finished, but that I don’t see the home run move. Then again, with Beane, we never do.
10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure. He really doesn’t have any real trade pieces.
10:05
Paul Swydan: What I can see however, is that Jeff and I ARE finished. At least for tonight. Thanks, as always, for hanging out. We’ll probably do one more chat next week before calling it a year. Hope you can join us!
10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: See everyone then.

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