FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/3/13

6:11
Paul Swydan: HI Everybody!

Soooooooooooooooo….anything happen in the baseball world today?

My goodness. Today there was a veritable bonanza of baseball things. Let’s talk about them, shall we? Jeff Z and I will be here at 9 pm ET to talk all about it. Until then, I will put up some polls (polls at bottom of transcript), and you can pop some questions in the queue.

Also, don’t forget to buy The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014, on sale now!

See you at 9!

9:03
Paul Swydan: Hi guys, sorry, I was on the phone. Let’s light this candle!
9:03
Comment From JonCor
In terms of all the moves, why today?
9:03
Paul Swydan: I wish I had a good answer for this. I have absolutely, positively, no idea.
9:04
Paul Swydan: Jeff will be along in a sec.
9:04
Comment From Pat
Considering their abundance of young arms, should the Mets consider trading low-upside, but steady Dillon Gee to fill their OF/SS hole?

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Here
9:05
Paul Swydan: I don’t think Gee is going to bring enough of a return to fill their hole at SS. I think if they don’t want to play Tejada that free agency is the best route. Hang on to the arms. Harvey happens.
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: i think they should find a way to open their pocket books.
9:05
Comment From Tigerdog1
Tiger fan base is pretty much livid over the return for Doug Fister. What would be a fair return for a SP of Fister’s caliber?
9:06
Paul Swydan: Ray was a good start. Needed more than that though, obviously. I would have pushed for Giolito or more likely, Cole.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the trade started with Ricky P. but some how Fister got added in the negotiations.
9:07
Comment From Rex Kramer
How do you envision the CIN rotation playing out? Will Cingrani stick in the rotation all year? Are we going to go through this Chapman song and dance all over again?
9:08
Paul Swydan: I certainly hope not. I think it’ll be Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake and then either Cingrani or Chapman. I think if Chapman wants the spot, it’s his, and Cingrani becomes closer in waiting. Otherwise, Cingrani gets a chance to prove he can handle SP role until Stephenson is ready.
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Sounds like the Chapman dance will be tried again. I am a bit worried Cueto will not be reliable starter until he fixes his twist (and who knows how effective he will be then).
9:08
Comment From Park Chan-hos beard
thoughts on the Fowler trade? As someone who doesn’t care at all about the ‘stros, I have almost no idea who Barnes/Lyles are. I’m leaning towards it was a bad trade, but I don’t really knwo
9:09
Paul Swydan: It was an awful deal. Lyles is still young, but that’s about the best thing you can say about him. They wanted Fowler gone, and it appears the entire industry knew it too. Last year, the rumor was Fowler for Homer Bailey. In retrospect, they should have taken that deal and ran. Terrible.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I think it is a good move by the Astros. I think the Rockies are having to trade for pitching (like they always do).
9:09
Comment From ethan
Does all the pre winter meetings activity mean more or less activity at the winter meetings?
9:10
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so. Plenty of teams still have plenty of holes. But maybe teams are trying to take care of it now because everyone hates going to Orlando? Ha, that’d be funny.
9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure, but I do think some of the bigger name will get traded/signed then.
9:10
Paul Swydan: For instance, if the posting system gets fixed in the next week, then we’ll get to sweat the Tanaka stuff.
9:11
Comment From Jaack
Luke Gregerson for Seth Smith has to be the most bland trade in history. Neither player is all that interesting and they both have names that sound like the alias of a spy or something.
9:11
Paul Swydan: Ha. But also a pretty fair deal, if you ask me. Smith is a good part-time player, and Gregerson is a good-to-great part-time pitcher. Not sure why the Padres want Smith, but in a vacuum the deal makes a lot of sense.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: I think with the Fielder – Kinsler trade, everyone’s expectation are too high.
9:12
Paul Swydan: True!
9:12
Comment From avoidiam
What the hell were the Rockies thinking?
9:13
Paul Swydan: And to top it all off, they’re going to ask Carlos Gonzalez — the guy with knee problems — to play center field next season. That’ll end well, I’m sure.
9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Fowler must have tea-bagged someone’s cup.
9:13
Paul Swydan: Sorry, I’m going to pick any excuse to b*tch about this trade.
9:13
Comment From Kyle
What are your preliminary thoughts on Carlos Beltran at 3/48? Are you thoughts different on the deal if he signs with the Royals or the Yankees?
9:13
Paul Swydan: I’ll let Jeff handle the Royals reaction.
9:14
Paul Swydan: I would think that with the Yankees signing Ellsbury that they’re out on Beltran.
9:14
Paul Swydan: Gardner-Ellsbury-Ichiro/Soriano is a pretty decent OF…
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Horrible. I ran comps of similar players earlier in the evening., let me get them.

Outrage by those in the know, casual fan likes it.

9:15
Paul Swydan: I would agree, FWIW. Only way you can go more than 2 years on Beltran is if he’s the DH, and that isn’t an option in KC at the moment.
9:15
Comment From Guest
Hi Paul – Two years of Brett Anderson or two of Jeff Samardzija in the AL East?
9:15
Paul Swydan: Samardzija. You simply can’t count on Anderson to be healthy. Samardzija is up and down, but at least he’s a horse.
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Two year of Anderson is like 15 starts right?
9:16
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Paul, cut it with your professional business pitches for businessmen with synergy. I’ve already bought the damn book, damn it!
9:16
Paul Swydan: Thanks Mr. Wrestling IV! You’re way better than Mr. Wrestling III!
9:16
Comment From zack
Do either of you guys get what the tigers are doing? Dump fister for nothing to find money to pay Joe Nathan? And seriously, even if that was a good idea, there really wasn’t a better offer for Fister? Do they think his shoulder’s about to fall off or something?
9:17
Paul Swydan: Well, I think we should give it another couple of days after the rumor this afternoon that they want Choo. If they get Choo, I guess I’ll allow it, but they still could have got a better prospect or two for Fister.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I look at Fister as an injury risk last night: http://www.baseballheatmaps.com/doug-fister-injury-risk/

The Fister trade make 0 sense.

9:18
Comment From JustAGuy
With Ellsbury and possibly Choo, where does this leave Granderson?
9:19
Paul Swydan: I think Granderson is going to be a late January guy. I think he’s one of the guys who will be hurt a lot by the draft pick compensation being attached. Hard to justify giving up a first-round pick for him.
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: He will find a deal some where, Seattle will give him some if they miss out on everyone else.
9:19
Comment From anonynous
You have a poll asking us about the Ellsbury signing. What do you guys think of it?
9:20
Paul Swydan: I think it’s a pretty good deal for the Yankees, as long as the $189 M ceiling is out the window. Ellsbury’s two major injuries were broken ribs and a busted up shoulder. His legs have been fine for the most part. I think he ages well, as much as it will kill me to see him in pinstripes.
9:20
Paul Swydan: And with Gardner moving back to left field, the Yankees suddenly have a pretty great outfield defense.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: A bit of an overpay. It puts him around 4.5 to 5 Win player for next season. I am not sure he is that good.
9:22
Comment From Joe
Does the Ellsbury signing increase or decrease the chances of Cano returning to NYY?
9:22
Comment From Gila Monster
Are the Yankees forgetting that they need to sign pitchers? They have CC and Nova…and literally nothing else.
9:22
Paul Swydan: So, the big question now is — are the Yankees holding to their self-imposed $189M payroll threshold. I say no. What do you guys think?
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: No, they can’t lose like they did in 2013, but I always thought they need to work more on their bench replacements than having All-Stars at every position. They just don’t have tradeable material to fill holes once the season starts. They only fill holes by taking on albatross contracts (Wells).
9:24
Comment From Jay
Tampa showed interest in Moreland earlier, and Texas could use Lobaton. Now that Tampa has Hanigan, What needs to be thrown in to make Moreland (+ ___) for Lobaton (+ ___) happen?
9:25
Paul Swydan: That’s not a bad deal on the surface. Guessing the Rays would have to throw something else in to make that work, since there are more low-cost catching options on the market than first basemen, and the Rangers are theoretically all set at catcher already. IE, the Rays have the clearer hole.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sure Tampa is still interested. I have a feeling they will fill any needs once they trade off Price.
9:26
Comment From Stuck in a Slump
With Fowler to HOU and CarGo slotted for CF do you see the Rockies platooning Blackmon/Culberson in LF or making a big splash in the FA market by signing one of Choo, Cruz or Ellsbury?
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see them sign Cruz, not Choo. Paul will probably have a better answer.
9:27
Paul Swydan: Well, as I detailed on Monday, I would be handing the job to Dickerson. I see Blackmon and Culberson as reserve players only. But I fully EXPECT them to start Blackmon in left.
9:27
Paul Swydan: No, they signed Morneau tonight. That was the BIG move. Also, a huge mistake, as I wrote about Monday.
9:27
Comment From Rick
Whom would you rather have given their current contract situations: the newly-traded Jim Johnson or the newly-signed Joe Nathan?
9:28
Paul Swydan: Depends on how many years Nathan ends up getting. Shorter deals for relievers always best, and Johnson only has one more on his deal, I believe.
9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Johnson, the less years the better. Also, Nathan is probably getting to the end of his useful life on his first TJS
9:29
Comment From Gabe
I have no skin in the game, but I HATE the Fowler trade for the Rockies to the point where I’m just really angry at Dan O’Dowd. Am I wrong to be this confused by the Rox’ logic?
9:29
Comment From Bip
Jim Johnson is younger and has 1 year, not 2, so it’s got to be him
9:29
Paul Swydan: You’re not wrong. Also, this was a Bill Geivett move, not a Dan O’Dowd move. So be mad at him.
9:29
Comment From zack
If Ricky Nolasco get 4/54. can Earvin Santana actually get 90+ million? Can Ubaldo?
9:30
Paul Swydan: Buster Olney was theorizing the other day that their market would be depressed somehow. I don’t see it. They might not get $90 M, but I’d be surprised if they got less than did Nolasco.
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I think both will be near the Nolasco amount (unless a team lose a major starter and gets desperate).
9:30
Comment From Jeff
Where does Kalish go now?
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Truthfully, no idea. Japan?
9:31
Paul Swydan: Ryan Kalish is a good kid, but he’s not going anywhere until he can prove he’s healthy. Gun to my head, I’ll say he signs with the Cubs on a minor lg deal with an invite to spring training.
9:31
Comment From Ryan
7/153 for Ellsbury means Choo gets _____?
9:31
Paul Swydan: Less.
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree, but a bidding war may start for no real reason.
9:32
Comment From zmiko
Its becoming harder and harder to be a Rockies fan.
9:32
Paul Swydan: This is true.
9:32
Comment From Joe
Apparently the Ellsbury deal has an 8th yr option (16mil) – not clear if it is player/club/vesting (per MLBTraderumors)
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks.
9:33
Paul Swydan: When the 8th year is always for less than the AAV of the other years in the deal, I assume that means it is a club option. But I guess we’ll see.
9:34
Comment From Bill Brasky
Where do the Brewers go at 1B? Hart? Loney? Another in house candidate? John Jaha?
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: brb, wine run. I think Hart returns on one year deal.
9:34
Paul Swydan: Apparently Khris Davis didn’t take well to first base the first time they tried it. I would send him to the Dominican or Venezuelan Winter Leagues and tell him, TRY AGAIN, SON.
9:35
Paul Swydan: Because Braun-Gomez-Aoki should be the OF, but Davis proved his power needs to be in the lineup on a regular basis last year.
9:35
Comment From ralph
Apparently Brad Lincoln for Erik Kratz and LHP Rob Rasmussen just happened.
9:36
Paul Swydan: No. It didn’t. No more trades tonight. We’ve hit our limit. We’ll talk about that one next week.

Only reaction — Wow, a lot of teams like Brad Lincoln.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: And someone thought the Gregerson-Smith trade was meh.
9:36
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Brad Lincoln = Eric Hinske
9:37
Comment From Guest
Thought exercise: if Jayson Werth for a free agent today, would 4/80 (the remainder of his deal) seem so outrageous? I dunno how long he keeps it up, but given the season he’s coming off of and the demand for power, I can see some team giving it to him. Even if it’s high, I don’t see it as nearly the albatross it was portrayed.
9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: and Hinske just signed on to be a coach with some team.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Agreed. In today’s market, it wouldn’t look nearly as bad.
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: and that is why inflation is always needed in the calculations.
9:38
Paul Swydan: Which, admittedly, I do a bad job of doing.
9:38
Comment From Guest
Which is the stronger rotation in 2014, Washington or Detroit?
9:39
Paul Swydan: Good question. Think I’ll lean Detroit for now, because Porcello was better, and I like Smyly. But it’s a legit question now.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: I still think it is Detroits, especially if they were in the same league.
9:39
Comment From J6takish
Does anybody on the Yankees hit more than 25 HR next season? Ellsbury seems to create a pretty big power outage
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Cano
9:39
Paul Swydan: Well, they have this Soriano guy…
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Teix may also
9:40
Paul Swydan: 25+ HRs in 10 of 13 seasons for Sori. We’re going to end up realizing one day that he was pretty underappreciated.
9:41
Comment From ralph
McCann in Yankee Stadium could easily hit 25 HR.
9:41
Comment From Joe
McCann will probably be close to 25 too…
9:41
Paul Swydan: Yup. Good point. I’ll bet on Teixeira too. Don’t see the power outage. If A-Rod wins his appeal, him popping 25 wouldn’t surprise me either.
9:41
Comment From Hank
3rd option – I think the Yankees are working to a plan that they are under 189mil if ARod gets suspended for the year (which is 33.5mil of luxury threshold space)
9:42
Paul Swydan: Yeah, if that’s the plan, that’s incredibly short-sighted, or they already know the decision somehow. Which seems unlikely, but who knows.
9:43
Comment From Guest
which team is stronger going into 2014, Red Sox or Yankees
9:43
Paul Swydan: Right this second? I’ll say the Red Sox. But I don’t think that either team is even close to being done reshaping their roster.
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Red Sox, I don’t like the Yankees staff one bit right now. Could change.
9:44
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Trick clause to the Ellsbury contract: He’s going to pitch now, too
9:44
Paul Swydan: Those tricky, tricky Yankees!
9:44
Comment From Giant Gonzales
Wouldn’t it make sense for the Sox to move a starter or two and have a spring competition for the 5th spot between Webster, Ranaudo, Workman, etc in this market? There has to be some value for Peavy at 1/14 and Lackey 2/15 if Nolasco is getting 4/54 and Sox obviously want to go with the youth movement
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Teams need to have about 8 starters to get through the season. I don’t see a real reason to have to move one.
9:45
Paul Swydan: I guess my question is why they want to do that? There might be value in that approach, but the team doesn’t exactly have a ton of holes. If doing that kind of deal gets me Chase Headley, sure. But if not, hard to see the value in dealing for a OF when they could just sign Choo.
9:46
Comment From Joe
Is Feldmen likely to be the best FA pitcher “bargain”
9:46
Paul Swydan: I think Feldman could surprise, but I don’t think he’ll be the winter’s best bargain.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: I will bet on Colby Lewis.
9:47
Comment From Bip
Yankees rotation was 4th in WAR in MLB last year, guys.
9:47
Paul Swydan: OK, but Kuroda is a FA, and Hughes is already gone.
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: and CC was a mess at the end of the season.
9:48
Comment From Dan
What do you guys think of the A’s moves.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I like all but the Johnson trade, they always seem to make small upgrades with high risk players.
9:49
Paul Swydan: Love the Gentry trade. He’s one of my favorite part-time players.
Like the Johnson deal. Weeks needed a change of scenery.
Like the Gregerson deal, though I thought Seth Smith was a great caddy for Cespedes there.
Kazmir deal … I don’t know yet. I WANT to like it, but it seems like a big risk to me.
9:49
Comment From Bip
CC was only worth 2.7 WAR all year. It is totally safe to think he does better than that this year. And who else would be likely to sign Kuroda?
9:50
Paul Swydan: “Totally safe” seems like a bridge too far, but yes, I think he’ll do better than that this coming year.
9:51
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Thoughts on Fielder-Kinsler deal:
9:52
Paul Swydan: I guess we haven’t weighed in on it (ha, see what I did there?) since it went down.

I think it’s mostly a win-win. I actually worry about Kinsler’s slide more than I do Fielder’s.

9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: On Sabathia he lost quite a bit of control and velocity at the end of the season (last 6 games or so) Additional his velocity has been on slow decline. Finally, healthy issues and catching up with him more and more.
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree with Paul, a good deal all around.
9:54
Comment From Ryan from that MIT Bar with The $8 Beers
Paul, a few months ago you wrote a mega long article analyzing which team Ellsbury would eventually sign with. I don’t think you ever concluded one way or the other but were the Yankees a realistic option in your mind before tonight?
9:54
Paul Swydan: Here’s the specific paragraph:

NY Yankees — Curtis Granderson is a free agent. Maybe the Yankees want him back, maybe they don’t. Maybe they want Brett Gardner to play center field, but maybe Gardner would happily shift back to left field if it meant stealing Ellsbury from their division rival. One thing is for certain — New York needs to do better with their outfield than they have this season. The Yankees’ 92 wRC+ ranks 23rd in the game and is eight percent worse than the Mets, who were supposed to have the worst outfield ever this season. And spare me the sermons about the Yankees’ newfound fiscal responsibility.

9:55
Paul Swydan: Hold on, patting myself on the back.
9:55
Comment From Eddie
Maybe the GMs want to stay away from Orlando to avoid Bear attacks: http://tinyurl.com/m8q23ad
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: or Disney.
9:56
Paul Swydan: It’s a freakin’ country bear jambor-oo around here!
9:56
Comment From Table
Is the team that trades for Price going to want a negotiating window to sign him long term, ala Santana
9:56
Paul Swydan: Absolutely.
9:57
Comment From studyingforfinals
boys, can you give me some predictions on the jays this offseason so i can get back to studying for finals?
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably, but I could see it as a short term rental
9:57
Paul Swydan: Well, Alex Anthopolous’ five-year plan went in the trash can tonight, if it hadn’t landed there already.
9:58
Paul Swydan: The Blue Jays need to get more pitching. They already lost some in losing JJ, not that I think they needed to get him back necessarily. But they have to do something pitching-wise. They know that, they were in on Fister supposedly.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: The huge trade just disrupted the team, I could see a nice bounce back this season.
9:59
Paul Swydan: True. And Reyes’ and Melky’s injuries didn’t help neither. Still, it will be all for naught if pitching doesn’t improve.
9:59
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
I pay the Homer tax. Let the bears pay the bear tax.
9:59
Paul Swydan: That’s the home-owner tax!
9:59
Comment From Gila Monster
Why would the As sell low on Brett Anderson? He has top of the rotation skills. I’d gamble that he pitches well,convince someone he is an ace and trade him at the deadline
10:00
Paul Swydan: They’ve been doing that for some time. It falls apart because Anderson is glued together.
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the A’s are tired of waiting for the one healthy season.
10:00
Comment From Table
If Jays are out of the playoff picture midway through 2014, do they trade Bautista?
10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I don’t think so.
10:01
Paul Swydan: That is a fascinating question. I have to think that they’ll be tempted. But I don’t see them being SO FAR out of it in July that they’ll know they’re definitely out and can trade him for future assets.
10:02
Comment From Eddie
Does the Ellsbury contract impact the Yankees’ interest in Tanaka?
10:02
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so, no.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not at all.
10:02
Comment From person hscer
Re: Paul’s Bautista answer: Extend the trade deadline!
10:02
Paul Swydan: No way. If anything I’d make it earlier. Chaos!!!
10:03
Comment From Guest
How could anyone have been “in” on Fister and lost out to the package the Nationals offered?
10:03
Paul Swydan: That is a question to which we will probably never find out the answer, but I have to think that the Tigers were more comfortable trading him over to the NL.

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I really want to know how that trade went down.
10:05
Paul Swydan: Me too. But for now, we’ll have to wonder. And we’ll also have to wonder about all of the fun we could have if Jeff and I had another hour to chat with you tonight. But alas, we do not. But we want to thank you for hanging out with us. This was a lot of fun! Same time next week?
10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks everyone for showing up.
10:06
Paul Swydan: Night!

1

2

3

4

5



Print This Post



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.


Comments are closed.