FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 1/21/14

5:48
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Welcome to another exciting Tuesday night where absolutely nothing has happened except snow, snow, snow, and I don’t even mean informer. But we’re going to talk baseball anyway, because maybe that will distract our wives from the fact that we didn’t get wood off the wood pile to build a fire tonight like she told us to this morning! Oh wait, maybe that was just me. Ssshh, don’t tell her I forgot.

9 pm ET. You do questions. We’ll do polls.

9:01
Paul Swydan: As Kanye West once said, when you try hard, you die hard. So don’t expect a lot of effort from Jeff and I. Kidding!

Let’s do this thang.

9:01
Comment From Kam
Are we just going to ignore Paul making a Snow reference?

9:01
Paul Swydan: No, you don’t have to ignore it at all.

9:01
Comment From KCFaninPA
Who do you think the Royals should go after as a #2 starter?

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hey lookie lookie, a Royals question right off the bat.

9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: If anyone, it will be Santana on a one year deal.

9:02
Paul Swydan: Not Ervin Santana. I still like Ubaldo Jimenez the best (non-Tanaka division), but you have to give up a pick to get him.

9:02
Comment From Matt
Will the Mets make the playoffs in 2014?

9:02
Paul Swydan: I’m gonna say no, but I like your enthusiasm.

9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I don’t see it.

9:03
Comment From David
If FIP is supposed to be batted-ball blind, why does is it dependent on raw K/BB/HR/HBP totals instead of percentages? If a pitcher had a bad babip and faced 10% more batters, his FIP could change based on the raw totals even if the percentages stayed the same.

9:03
Paul Swydan: Jeff?

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: We knew if was a problem, but it can be accounted for, at least in WAR equations with the semi-new Value breakdown.

9:05
Comment From Jaack
Los Angeles is not projected to get below, like, 70 before Friday, so unless the weatherman are morans, hell will not freeze over before Tanaka signs. The joke here is that LA is hell, in case you didn’t quite get that.

9:05
Paul Swydan: I did. But thank you for pointing it out to the childrens.

9:05
Paul Swydan: In a related story, people in LA won’t have to shovel out of 10″ + of snow tomorrow afternoon, so they might be on to something.

9:06
Comment From Mark Lemke
Nats serious about signing Balfour and trading Storen? Um why-Storen is cheaper and better than Mr. Balfour…unless they’re in talks of getting something good for Storen? What could that be???

9:07
Paul Swydan: That one kind of perplexes me as well. I don’t think I understand or agree with it. If they’re really rolling that deep, they should have scrounged up enough cash for Cano like I told them to earlier in the offseason.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: A LOOGY, I don’t know, but they did trade a while of poo for Doug Fister earlier in the off-season.

9:07
Comment From Chris
Who upsets the Dodgers for NLW title?

9:07
Paul Swydan: If it’s not the Dodgers, I think it’ll be the Padres. But I could also see the Dbacks, especially if they get Tanaka. I guess they’re a darkhorse now.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: The D-backs maybe.

9:08
Comment From Tommy
If the rays trade price, who do you think will take the 5th spot in the rotation from then on?

9:08
Paul Swydan: Well, Odorizzi longterm, but probably someone whose arb clock theyre not worried about in the short term.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I guess Odorizzi also or maybe someone they get in the trade.

9:09
Paul Swydan: Also, I just want to say, you guys are real bullish on McCann staying healthy. Good for you! You’re all very optimistic folk.

9:10
Comment From Redd
I’m in a quandary with my last keeper in a 2 catcher very deep (15 teams) league… in your opinion, who should be my last two kept from: Oswaldo Arcia, J. Pinto, B. Dozier and Chase Headley? All cost the same.

9:10
Paul Swydan: Arcia and Headley. Not close for me.

9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree, Dozier if you are set at the other positions.

9:11
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I just don’t see Dozier as a standout at second base. At best, he’s in that 11-13 range. I don’t see that as a keeper.

9:11
Paul Swydan: But like Jeff said, if you’re good elsewhere…

9:11
Comment From Glen
What do you think would be better for the Yankees: signing Tanaka for $140 million for 7 years (including the posting fee) or either Garza or Jimenez for 4-5 years for $12-14 million/year and Drew for 2 years for $25-30 million? Or if we assume they are over $189 million going crazy and signing all three. At this point it is looking like you could sign all three players for roughly the same amount as Tanaka and I feel like they would be a better team with Drew plus one of the pitchers and a way better team with all three.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see Arcia as keeper either.

9:12
Paul Swydan: Well alright.

9:13
Paul Swydan: Neither Drew nor Garza are players I’d want on multi-year deals, and you’re only signing Drew to keep him around for after Jeter retires, so … no. I’d sign Tanaka. Although I don’t think 7/$140 is getting it done, even without including the posting fee.

9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: IMO, they will get one of the big 4 starters left on the market, maybe even two. I just don’t see them signing Drew.

9:13
Paul Swydan: Especially since they said they wouldn’t be signing any more free-agent position players to major league contracts.

9:14
Comment From Pete
Do you prefer the pitchf/x or non-pitchf/x versions for stats like plate discipline, pitch velocity, and pitch usage, etc.?

9:14
Paul Swydan: I use the PITCHf/x stats, myself.

9:14
Paul Swydan: Though I do like the BIS Swinging Strike%. That’s the one non-PITCHf/x one I look at frequently.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Pitch f/x. One reason: It has been consistent over the years. If you go back and look at the non-pitchfx, it sort of merges to the Pitchf/x values.

9:15
Comment From hnu
Is it fair to say that Harper and Strasburg have been at least somewhat disappointing thus far in their careers?

9:15
Paul Swydan: Not at all fair to say RE: Harper. I’ll entertain it RE: Strasburg, but I don’t think he has been disappointing yet. Keyword: yet.

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: Not yet, that are in the top or so best players in the, when healthy. Now they need to find a way to stay healthy.

9:16
Comment From Meh
Let’s dispense with optimism, is Zunino a soul-crushing waste of fantasy time or was he just rushed up and needed more seasoning? Where do you think Arroyo lands, and does he succeed without a really good defense behind him?

9:17
Paul Swydan: Both things are true, at least for 2014.

As for Arroyo, he’ll sign with the last team that still needs a SP. Avoid at all costs.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Given the two choices … soul crusher. Arroyo is the perfect Twins pitcher.

9:18
Comment From Jim
Mackelmore or Kendrick Lamar?

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Who and who?

9:18
Paul Swydan: Is this a real question, or are you trolling me? K. Dot. Times a million. Macklemore is OK, but he’s not in Kendrick’s league.

9:18
Comment From Guest
What’s your advice to a newbie to Ottoneu … picked up an abandoned team which has pretty good bats, but needs a lot of arms?

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Save a few dollars for undrafted free agents. Some pitchers will come out of no where.

9:20
Paul Swydan: First off, welcome, you’re gonna love it!

Second, don’t forget about that keeper deadline, it’s 1/31.

Third, arms come cheap. Especially RPs. Paying for closers is foolish. One of the great things about Ottoneu is that really good set-up men can earn as many points as mediocre closers, so there’s never a good reason to pay, like, $8 for Tom Wilhelmsen.

9:20
Paul Swydan: Yes, what Jeff said. He got there in fewer words than I did. (What else is new?)

9:20
Comment From Kev
How would you rank d’Arnaud, Grandal and Zunino?

9:20
Paul Swydan: Just like you have it.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Sounds about right.

9:21
Comment From Northsider
The flopping of which Cubs prospect hurts them the most?

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Castro

9:22
Paul Swydan: Seems like Almora is the one that they need to succeed the most, just because he is the one center fielder. But from just a pure talent perspective, I guess Baez or Bryant.

9:22
Comment From Rocket Roger
What do you think Anthony Rendon’s line looks like in 2014?

9:22
Paul Swydan: That of a mid-tier second baseman, with more growing in 2015.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: About what he did in 2013 .260/.330/.400. Nothing great, nothing bad.

9:23
Comment From Quinn
If the Cubs get Tanaka and Bryant/Baez/Soler/Almora all make some type of impact by 2015 can you expect a playoff birth in 2016?

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe, just too many pieces which have to come together.

9:25
Comment From Nicky Numbnuts
Hey Paul, I need to figure out my last 2 Keepers. 10 team, OBP Roto, keep 8 forever. Already keeping Trout, Stanton, Fielder, Tulo, Wright & Kinsler. My choice for my last 2 between Hamilton, Hamels & Rizzo. I’m thinking the first 2. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Thanks!

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Rizzo and Hamels. A person can about stick a fork in Hamilton right now. Hamilton really needs to find some plate discipline.

9:26
Paul Swydan: Definitely Hamels. I can see Hamilton over Rizzo. I’m not real enamored with either. I guess the determining factor is where you’d play Rizzo. His performance last year wasn’t ideal for a UTIL spot, so if he’d just be on the bench behind Fielder, then you go with Hamilton.

9:27
Comment From James R.
11- team A.L. Roto. I have Alcides Escobar, Zobrist, Villar. Lenoys Martin and Des. Jennings as my speed keepers. With 5-more open spots in our auction, should I spend on more speed? I have Ortiz and Middlebrooks for power and I realize I need to spend on more power.

9:29
Paul Swydan: Well, you really still need a shortstop. Alcides posted a 49 wRC+ last year, and Villar was only at 80. Neither one is really a guy you want, especially since Alcides’ stolen base total dropped by 13 bags last year.

9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: I think speed is fine or maybe an overkill. Look for any power sources. Finally, Alcides Escobar should never really be a keeper unless it is for a $1 or $2

9:30
Comment From Jerry
Which player has more upside, Wacha, Cole, or Tanaka? Will you take Bogaerts over all these pitchers in a keeper league? Thanks.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: FYI Paul, all of Alcides dropped in OBP based. He stolen at the same rate once on base.

9:30
Paul Swydan: I guess it’s hard for me to know what Tanaka is, but I definitely like Cole more than Wacha. And yes, I would take Xander over all of them. And all of most people, for that matter.

9:31
Paul Swydan: Yeah, good point Jeff.

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Cole, I lllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeee Cole.

Take the position player.

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: brb

9:31
Paul Swydan: I love Cole too. A full season of him is the #1 reason I’m not bearish on the Bucs.

9:31
Comment From Elvis
Bogaerts & Castellanos – can I pencil them in as a productive 3B/SS fantasy combo?

9:32
Paul Swydan: Productive yes. But for 2014, perhaps not productive enough to net you a championship.

9:32
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Indians asking for $70 million over 10 years from taxpayers for stadium upgrades/repairs. So much for them not being cheapskates anymore. Have fun in Boston/New York/LA next year Masterson.

9:33
Paul Swydan: Is that true? I hadn’t read that. Link?

That said, I don’t think you should be all that broken up over Masterson leaving.

9:33
Comment From Bryan
Who rounds out the Braves rotation after Medlen, Minor, and Teheran?

9:34
Paul Swydan: On our depth chart, we have Alex Wood and Brandon Beachy, though I won’t be surprised if Floyd’s veterannessessesssess get him a few starts.

http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=16#SP

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Wood and ?

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t trust Beachy right now.

9:35
Paul Swydan: Me neither, but it gets thin real fast behind him. And Wood is a health risk too. In other words, the Braves could be pretty screwed.

9:35
Comment From Tim
ZIPS likes the Braves and Reds starting staffs much more than Steamer does. Any idea what accounts for the difference? Is there something similar in the types of pitchers on the Cincy/Atlanta staffs?

9:35
Paul Swydan: Jared Cross and Dan Szymborski are different people?

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I do know Cross bases his projections a little more of more recent data.

9:36
Comment From Chris
How do the Padres have a better shot than the Giants?

9:36
Paul Swydan: Because the Padres have more good players? Seriously, the Giants have like 4 good players.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Morse is starting for the Giants.

9:37
Paul Swydan: Not only is he starting, the Giants were EXCITED to get him to play the OUTFIELD. It’s going to be a disaster.

9:37
Paul Swydan: Even Brad Hawpe will be covering his eyes.

9:38
Comment From Rob
I’m in a dynasty points format (premium on saves) that makes Trevor Rosenthal an appealing keeper assuming he starts the season with the job. How safe is that assumption?

9:38
Paul Swydan: He’ll either be the closer or in the starting rotation. Either way, that makes him a valuable keeper, especially in a league that puts a premium on saves, as odd as that sounds.

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: 95% – Only chance would be from an injury.

9:38
Comment From John
Do the Red Sox still have the best lineup in baseball?

9:39
Paul Swydan: I think so, but then, I’m a Red Sox fan. Jeff?

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: I think so. The only team who has really improved is the Yankees, but their IF sucks.

9:40
Comment From Blue Jays Fan
Hey Paul. Thanks for giving us something to do on a random Tuesday night. I’m in a 10-team AL-only keeper league with an overall budget of $260. As it stands now, the top 3Bs available in my upcoming auction are Cabrera, Longoria and Beltre, who will all go for a pretty penny. Donaldson, Machado and Seager will be kept by their respective owners, leaving Carlos Santana as the only quality 3B that potentially won’t cost me 10+% of my entire cap. With that in mind, I’m thinking of taking a big risk and grabbing both Mike Moustakas/Danny Valencia who combined, should play close to all 162 games for KC. My thought process is that if Moustakas even rebounds slightly and Valencia continues hitting lefties well, I could end up with a pretty decent 3B at the most minimal of costs. Am I crazy? Will this hurt my team more than it helps? Thanks!

9:42
Paul Swydan: It’s not crazy, but in an AL-only league, third base is the spot to spend your money on, because as you just pointed out, it’s the one with the least depth. Or close to the one with the least depth, in any case.

The other fly in the ointment is that Yost — I believe — said that they ar not going to platoon Moose and Valencia, and if that’s true it might mess up your plans. Because what do you do if they both end up playing on the same night, or neither start on the same night? I don’t like it. If this was an established platoon, I might feel differently. But you don’t know how this platoon will really play out.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s going to hurt you. First, Yost doesn’t know what a platoon is. Second, both aren’t that good.

One note, Moose does destroy FB pitchers.

9:43
Comment From Tom
Gyorko worth keeping in a league? Got him for $1 last year in an auction, keep him for average of last year and his pre-draft value

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: In other news, 3B after about #7 really drop off this year.

9:43
Paul Swydan: I think so, especially if he is giving you the 2B & 3B news.

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: For sure.

9:44
Comment From Gary
Really need help figuring out my last keeper spot in a 15 team mixed league 5X5 league. Last spot is down to Belt-$6, Cashner-$4, Anibal Sanchez-$10. Leaning towards Cashner because I’m expecting big things but really torn. Other keepers are Arenado, Altuve, Desmond, Rosenthal, G Holland

9:44
Paul Swydan: I like Anibal at that price, to be honest, but if I didn’t take Anibal, I’d probably go with Belt. I like Cashner a lot, but he’s not better than those two guys.

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: All the prices are pretty good, I would go with the hitter (safer).

9:45
Comment From Yolo
Dynasty trade: mad bum, mig almonte, #12, #15 OR Archie Bradley, m Franco and #5 pick?

9:46
Paul Swydan: The Mad Bum side. Reportedly a lot of holes in Franco’s swing, and I don’t like any Arizona prospect until they prove it because their manager is a crazy person. IE neither Bradley or Franco are sure things, and even if you’re planning for the future, Mad Bum is still young.

9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: Mad Bum side because he is the only sure thing out of the whole lot.

9:47
Comment From Steven
Choose 8 keepers: Bogaerts, Bruce, Butler, Carpenter, Cespedes, Ian Desmond, Holliday, Puig, Myers, Reyes, Choo, Carlos Santana, Buchholz, Gerrit Cole, Jose Fernandez, Wacha, Taijuan, and Wacha. I’m loaded but not sure what to do.

9:49
Paul Swydan: Wow, can I trade teams with you?

Xander, Desmond, Puig, Myers, Santana, Cole, Fernandez, and then one of Wacha, Taijuan or Holliday. Gun to my head, I take Holliday, just because I already know he’s awesome, but it depends on where you are on the win cycle. I could also see ditching Desmond in favor of one of the final three, but I’d keep both SS and hope someone bowls you over for a trade.

9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: Puig, Cole, Fernandez , Santana, Reyes, Choo, Bogaerts, Myers.

9:50
Paul Swydan: “Sin tax.” God, I love and hate this country so much.

9:51
Comment From Meme
Bud Selig won the first ever Bud Selig award. In related news, I won the first Me award, Paul won the first Paul Swydan award, and Jeff won the first Jeff Zimmerman award. How does it feel to win, guys?

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: I have nothing.

9:51
Paul Swydan: I’m going to DisneyWorld!!!

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Isn’t he gone yet?

9:52
Comment From Oregon guy
Final keeper spot candidatess for a lousy offensive team in a head-to-head points league: Logan Morrison, Mike Moustakas, Jesus Montero, Erick Aybar, Adam Lind. I’m leaning LoMo, Lind and Aybar. Convince me otherwise? Should Tony Cingrani move one of those three to my cut pile?

9:52
Paul Swydan: Yikes. I’ll say Moose, just because he plays a more scarce position and there is just a shred of hope that he puts it all together someday.

9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Cingrani gets the nod, but that line up is horrible and great at the same time. Congrats for actually playing in a somewhat deep league.

9:53
Paul Swydan: Ooops, I missed Cingrani. Yes, agreed on Cingrani. Sorry.

9:54
Comment From Meme
Metal detectors at MLB games by 2015???

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Damn, I can’t wear my lucky metal cup to the game any more.

9:56
Paul Swydan: Total joke unless you’re going to wand ballpark/team employees. I’ve probably said this before, but it’s incredibly easy to get a job at the ballpark. One year, we wanted to track the people selling our team magazines, with the mindset of giving the person who sold the most autographed items, etc., to try to get them to sell more. We had six sellers at max for every game. We had nearly 30 people sell magazines that year, and many people only did it once or twice before quitting.

Now, multiply that by 100 concession stands, and clean up crews, etc. If someone wanted to really bomb a stadium, he’d just get a job working at the ballpark.

9:57
Paul Swydan: To say I’m a little annoyed about this is a gigantic understatement. But whatever. Land of the free has never really been free.

9:57
Comment From Noggin
Favorite baseball player not on your favorite team?

9:57
Paul Swydan: Carlos Beltran? Well, at least before he signed with the Yankees. I don’t know, I always think of a better answer like 10 minutes later.

9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: Don’t know … Greinke after leaving the Royals.

9:58
Comment From Jon
Why doesn’t Steve Staude write more often? I love his articles.

9:58
Paul Swydan: You can’t rush greatness!

9:59
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Derek Norris? Seems like he has good power and draws BB. Starter in ’14? Keeper in 10-team, AL-only/$260 budget at $9?

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul has other work to do … oops.

9:59
Paul Swydan: $9 seems a little steep, to be honest. I do like Norris though.

9:59
Comment From Oregon guy
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, it’s a 14-team keeper league and my hitting prospects largely haven’t panned out (Moose, Montero, LoMo, etc.) while my pitchers have (Cole, Teheran, Carlos Martinez, Strasburg, Zimmerman, Cashner). So, who would you cut out of Lind, Lomo or Aybar in order to keep Cingrani?

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I would drop him and redraft at lower price.

9:59
Paul Swydan: Yes, definitely.

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Aybar

10:00
Paul Swydan: As for Oregon guy, I would drop Lomo. He’s a part-time player now.

10:01
Paul Swydan: Jeff is right though, I have a ton of other stuff to do tonight, guys. So, sorry, but we’re going to have to cut it off here. Thank you for all of the great questions tonight. 2014 is off to a good start!

See you next week.

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye all.



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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XanderFan
Guest
XanderFan

Thoughts on Derek Norris? Seems like he has good power and draws BB. Starter in ’14?

DerekFan
Guest
DerekFan

Thoughts on Xander Bogaerts? Seems like he has good power and draws a crowd during BP. Starter still in ’30?

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