FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/13/13

6:07
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Join Jeff Zimmerman and myself tonight at 9 pm ET and we’ll talk some baseball. Be forewarned – Jeff is in a good mood tonight, so expect there to be a fair amount of Royals talk.

See you at 9!

7:22
Paul Swydan: Quick reminder – if you’re in Boston on Friday, come join a bunch of FanGraphs writers, myself and some special guests out at Mead Hall for beer and baseball!

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-meetup-in-boston-august-16th/

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hey let’s do this thing, shall we?
9:01
Comment From Hell
It seems the Twins manage to receive some semblance of a prospect in return for Drew Butera. How? Why? Whither?
9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Sounds good Paul
9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Poop happens

9:03
Paul Swydan: Yeah, not too shabby. Repeating A ball, but at 19 that’s allowed. Don’t know anything about Miguel Sulbaran other than what’s on his stat line, but what is there is at least somewhat promising.
9:03
Comment From Grady Sizemore
What kind of a deal do I get this offseason?
9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Minor league deal at best.
9:03
Paul Swydan: Yup.
9:04
Comment From Tim Lincecum
What kind of a deal do I get this offseason?
9:04
Paul Swydan: Now THAT is the question.

My guess is that some team will make a splash for him – say 4 years, $50 million.

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: A one year deal around 15M.

I think it will only be around 10M if a multi-year.

9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see it Paul.
9:05
Paul Swydan: I know, I know – WE don’t see it. But some team is going to have tickets to sell.
9:05
Comment From Zack
How do you choose which questions to take?
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Ask Paul.
9:06
Paul Swydan: I usually pick. I just go down the list and pick. I try to pick questions on which Jeff and I can have a different answer. Or at least two thoughtful answers.
9:06
Comment From Paul Swydan
Let’s light this candle!
9:06
Paul Swydan: Ha, I didn’t say that tonight. Jokes on you! Oh wait.
9:06
Comment From zack
Who would offer more money too: Lincecum or Lester?
9:07
Paul Swydan: That’s a damn good question. Let’s put it to a poll.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Lester, I think.
9:08
Comment From Mark
Mike Stanton hit .261/.344/.525 132 WRC+. Giancarlo Stanton has hit .270/.358/.546 143 WRC+. What do Giancarlo Trout’s numbers look like?
9:08
Paul Swydan: Wowzers.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Wait, my computer is smoking.
9:09
Comment From Jaybo
Fantasy Question Please – Offered Desmond/Fernandez for Reyes/Darvis. I should ask for more, no?
9:09
Paul Swydan: I want at least one more player, yes.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Keeper, I will take the Fernandez side, redraft, I like the Reyes side.
9:10
Comment From Jaybo
Which side wins? I was offered Seager, Myers, and G. Jones for Zobrist, Hunter, and Darvis. Standard 5×5 Keeper League.
9:11
Paul Swydan: Hunter is not a keeper, but neither is Jones. Seager/Myers for Zobrist/Darvish … kind of like the Darvish side. Not sure Myers is ready to be a special OF quite yet. And not like Darvish is old.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: I like the Zobrist side, pretty solid for a couple more years. I see it as Myers for the other 3.
9:12
Comment From Mark
Are Bryce Harper’s “flu like symptoms” related to his inability to hit left-handed pitching?
9:12
Paul Swydan: You mean his incredibly bad luck against LHP? .217 BABIP against them this year, but an 11.9% BB%. I’m not worried.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Could be, but I doubt. I have no idea what the Nats are doing daily nor want to find out really.
9:13
Comment From Jay29
Question about MVP debates and WAR. Can’t we make a case that the marginal value of a win should matter. For example, if I’m a 10-WAR player whose absence would turn a 70-win team into a 60-win team, what’s my value in the end, other than selling jerseys and putting a few more butts in the seats? But take a 7-win player off a 95-win team and they might miss the playoffs with only 87 wins. (Of course, that means a 10-win player on a 105-win team is less valuable too.)
9:15
Paul Swydan: Yeah, you can absolutely make them, but it’s a little more complex than that. Taking a 10-WAR player off a team doesn’t mean the team would lose the whole 10 WAR. Someone else would play his position. If that person is a 0 WAR player, OK fine. But maybe that person is a 3 WAR player, or a 5 WAR player. I don’t think it’s as simple as “take player X off this team and look what happens.”
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree there can be a bump for players on playoff teams if the value is close. Also, I personally only give half credit to defensive value (positive or negative value).
9:15
Paul Swydan: Yeah, what Jeff said. I see it as a tiebreaker, not a large factor.
9:15
Comment From Qwaszx
Who will end up with more career WAR: Andrelton Simmons or Josh Hamilton?
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Simmons easy, Josh is not going to make up over 1 war in a month and a half.
9:17
Paul Swydan: Hamilton is 32 and has 24.7 WAR.
Simmons is 23 and has 5.2 WAR.

So essentially, Simmons has to be worth roughly 2 WAR a year to pass him. I think, given, robust health the answer is Simmons.

9:17
Paul Swydan: Career WAR, Jeff.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: You and your details Paul.
9:18
Paul Swydan: But that’s also easier said than done. Not a lot of guys are healthy for a decade straight.
9:18
Paul Swydan: Ha!
9:18
Comment From Jasper Francisco
I’m in last place in my ottoneu keeper league and a few teams are hitting me up for Harper. Granted he’s one of the top keepers in baseball, but I might be able to use him to improve my team overall. What is an adequate return for him?
9:18
Paul Swydan: Depends on how much $ you have him at, but assuming he isn’t too expensive, you need frontline prospects or recent MLB graduates for cheap.
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: It really all depends. I would be asking for cheaply valued players and prospects.
9:19
Paul Swydan: For instance, I traded $31 Cole Hamels for $1 Everth Cabrera when I decided to punt.
9:19
Comment From Monty
ROS please rank: doubront, cole, beachy, erasmo & yovani
9:20
Paul Swydan: Basically how you have it. Maybe Beachy in front of Cole.
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: I am agreeing with Paul (dammit).
9:21
Comment From Mark
Harper’s K rate is 25% against lefties, 15 against righties. ISO .103 vs 308. It isn’t only BABIP.
9:21
Paul Swydan: It isn’t, but he’s also 20. I’m not worried.
9:22
Paul Swydan: But if the Nats are benching him, then that’s troubling.
9:22
Comment From Eddie
What kind of extension does Samardzija sign this offseason?
9:23
Paul Swydan: After the way he’s pitched for the last month or so, I’m betting absolutely no extension.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: Nothing more than 3 years.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: I didn’t know of the struggles Paul, let me look.
9:24
Paul Swydan: 5.33 FIP in July.
9:24
Comment From Dayton Moore
You promised Royals talk
9:24
Paul Swydan: I didn’t promise it per se, but we’ll get some in, don’t worry Dayton.
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Once they score
9:25
Comment From mark
favorite movie?
9:25
Paul Swydan: Episode IV: A New Hope
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Office Space
9:26
Comment From CharlieHustle
Reds bullpen – now that Broxton is back, what roles do you see Broxton & Hoover playing? Will one be the 8th inning set-up guy?
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Neither one is the epitome of stability. I might ride the hot hand.
9:27
Paul Swydan: I would imagine Dusty would mix and match them, but Broxton has the higher pLI for the season.
9:28
Comment From Max
Iglesias made a fantastic play last night no doubt, but I’ve seen a lot of people say he’s a better defender than Simmons now. That’s just not true, right?
9:28
Paul Swydan: It might be. We haven’t seen enough of Iglesias yet to determine that. But they’re both in the short conversation — along with Brendan Ryan — for best defensive shortstop in the game.
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: They are both good, I only think time will tell.
9:30
Comment From MeatHammerLambChop
Does Junichi Tazawa have a shot at closing in Beantown this year? I have him stashed, but need to free up a roster spot. Thank you.
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?
9:31
Paul Swydan: I don’t think his chances are so high that I would go to the trouble of stashing him. Uehara’s 2014 option is going to vest, so unless he flames out in spectacular fashion, he will start ’14 as the team’s closer. Tazawa may get the first chance to take over if he fails, but I don’t think it’s a lock or anything.
9:32
Comment From zack
Would you be surprised if Liriano posts the lowest ERA for the rest of the season and posts one over 5 next season?
9:32
Paul Swydan: I would be surprised by both things, yeah. I think that’s the beauty of Francisco Liriano, is that he still has the ability to surprise us. Or, me anyway.
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Or the other way around even.
9:32
Comment From Kyle
If you lived in Alaska, would this still be an “After Dark Chat” since it doesn’t get dark?
9:33
Paul Swydan: Yes, because I don’t like people and I would draw my blinds.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: It is always dark in my mom’s basement.
9:33
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
What would happen is Cuban ballplayers were freely allowed to leave the country and play in North America without anti interference from their government? Would MLB work out some kind of agreement like they have with Japan, or would it be a free for all?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Yes. They would almost certainly be subject to the international bonus rules.
9:34
Paul Swydan: Or, just new international signing rules. You know what I mean.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Free for all for a while, until some new rules are enacted.
9:35
Comment From Mazzone
What do you think the Braves will do with Medlen, Maholm, Beachy & Wood?
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Throw them as needed or send one to the minors like they did the past couple seasons with Minor.
9:36
Paul Swydan: I think the only one of the four who is safe to pencil into the rotation is Beachy. I think Medlen is probably safe. Then it comes down to Maholm and Wood. If they re confident in Wood, they might explore trading Maholm. There would surely be takers for him.
9:36
Paul Swydan: More likely, Wood becomes the swingman.
9:37
Comment From Michael
Of the Red Sox’s expiring contracts, there are four obvious players in contention for qualifying offers: Napoli, Ellsbury, Drew, and Saltalamacchia. Aside from the obvious (Ellsbury), who will get a QO? Will any re-sign?
9:37
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t make a QO to Drew or Salty if I was them. I would to Napoli.
9:37
Paul Swydan: I would think if Napoli gets a QO that he will re-sign. I don’t see anyone giving up a first rounder for him. Ellsbury … we’ll see.
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Napoli would be the only one to get a qualifying offer. Not sure if he would take it though.
9:38
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Are you surprised more MLB players don’t attend games during off days like the BoSox guys did? Does being a baseball player make you less of a fan?
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I think many just want a break from baseball. I would probably send the whole day fishing.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Well, first, it’s not exactly common to have an off-day like that on a road trip. And furthermore, you’re talking three veterans who have probably been to Toronto a million times who have seen all they want to see. Then on top of that, it was a day game on a Monday, which is also rare. So … pretty unlikely occurence.

Also, I think a lot of players would opt for suite tickets or something else that is away from prying eyes. But Pedroia and Gomes are crazy, and Salty probably was scouting.

9:40
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Comeback players of the year: go
9:41
Paul Swydan: I looked at Comeback Player of the Year a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/an-early-look-at-comeback-player-of-the-year-3/

9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Santana – AL
Liriano – NL
9:42
Paul Swydan: I like Santana in the AL, but Mariano is winning it. I still don’t like Liriano in the NL. He wasn’t THAT bad last season. But I know he’ll likely carry the narrative. Unless he keeps allowing 10 runs a start. Either way, I like Melancon more.
9:42
Comment From HanRam
No comeback love for me?
9:44
Paul Swydan: You had 2.9 WAR last year, and had a 20-20 season. Not sure why you would even be a candidate for comeback player of the year.
9:44
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Man I totally read that article the day it came out and completely forgot. Derp.
9:44
Paul Swydan: The important thing is that you read it!
9:44
Comment From HanRam
Made you look!
9:44
Paul Swydan: Bah!
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Now I am for sure not voting for hanRam
9:45
Comment From J.Salt
I hit like 25 homers last year! No QO?
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: and this year?
9:45
Paul Swydan: 9 catchers hit at least 20 homers last year. Shrug.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: 10 this season.
9:46
Paul Swydan: He’s been even better this year. I just don’t see him being worth $14 million.

I won’t rule out him getting a QO because the Sox have the cash and available catchers will not be plentiful in supply, but hopefully if the Sox want to keep him, they work something else out.

9:47
Comment From Aceathon
Isn’t the point of the QO that you only offer it to people that for sure don’t take it?
9:47
Paul Swydan: I think the point is to only offer to people who you won’t be pissed off if they accept it.
9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: That is a good way to put it Paul.
9:48
Comment From Guest
So lets say the Tigers win the division by 30 games, and the A’s sneak into the playoffs by 1 game. Would that make guys like Donaldson, Crisp, Lowrie, etc more valuable than Cabrera?
9:48
Paul Swydan: You could certainly look at it that way, yes. I wouldn’t, but you could.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I guess, the best player on the the team which barely made the playoffs.
9:49
Comment From jesse
any thought on what lavrnaway’s future is? His power has evaporated, and his plate disc hasn’t translated in limited time…
9:50
Paul Swydan: He’s 25 years old and has a grand total of 270 major league plate appearances. I think that’s essentially all you need to know. Don’t see him ever being a first-division starter at this point.
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: He will have a long future as a backup/AAAA catcher.
9:51
Comment From Ryan
Do you guys have entries in MLB’s Beat the Streak contest for tonight?
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: No.
9:52
Paul Swydan: I was still an MLBAM employee earlier this year, so I figure I can’t legally win this season. So no.
9:52
Comment From bucs_lose_again
Who you got winning the NL Central?
9:52
Paul Swydan: Pittsburgh.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Pittsburth
9:53
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Are you ever worried that Sullivan will be so late for his chats that it will still be going on when this starts, thus creating some sort of blood rivalry?
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Nice mis-spelling there Jeff.
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: We would win.
9:53
Paul Swydan: I think it’s faulty logic of you to assume that we don’t ALREADY have a blood rivalry with Sullivan.
9:54
Paul Swydan: Also that. Have you guys ever seen Sullivan? He’s like a buck 10 soaking wet, and only wears concert t-shirts of obscure Portland bands. We’d snap him like a twig.
9:54
Comment From Aceathon
Is there a way to make RBI a stat that actually measures something relative to a player’s individual contribution?
9:55
Paul Swydan: Uh, I guess you could use his RBI%, ie # RBI / # RBI opportunities. But there’s a lot of noise in that, and also it isn’t very useful.
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I looked a while back and Runs Scored was a better measure of a player’s value than RBI since a player needed to get on base to score.
9:56
Comment From Jaack
Just got here, so I have to do a minor berating of Paul ofr picking A New Hope over the obviously superior Empire, but its not as bad as it could be.
9:56
Paul Swydan: With IV you wouldn’t have gotten V. IV has to get bonus points for basically inventing a genre of movies out of thin air.
9:56
Paul Swydan: Without
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: At least he didn’t bring up his love for Episode I
9:57
Comment From Jaack
Am I the only one disappointed with Jose Abreu’s first name? Normally Cubans have much better first names like Yasiel of Yoenis.
9:57
Paul Swydan: I just am not ready for another Abreu in my life. But also, yeah. First name was a let down.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: It is probably fake, his real first name is probably Messiah.
9:58
Comment From Nick
when it says a player is +2 fld on their player page, does that mean that they are 2 runs above average?
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: for the positions they have played.
9:58
Paul Swydan: Yes, for their positions. In different eras, the measurement is different metrics, which is why it says Fld instead of UZR (which is what we use right now). At least, I think that’s why it says Fld.
9:59
Comment From Yan Gomes
Will I get any ROY votes?
9:59
Paul Swydan: I am certain that at least one Cleveland beat writer will vote for you, yes.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: You may win it. the race is still to be won.
9:59
Paul Swydan: And he’ll say “hey look, I voted for you for ROY. Can I have that exclusive interview I’ve been buttering you up for all year now?”
9:59
Comment From Smartest, sexiest man alive
Why do so many chatters name themselves Guest? Don’t they realize they can be whoever they want to be.
10:00
Paul Swydan: Some people are just really eager to ask us questions.
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: or could care less.
10:00
Comment From Ryan
Who has a bleaker future: Astros or Angels?
10:00
Paul Swydan: Angels
10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: 2 years, Astros, beyond the next 2 seasons, Angels. The Angels could have 2 good seasons left.
10:01
Paul Swydan: They could, but they were also supposed to be good this year, so … hey, at least Tommy Hanson is going to enjoy Salt Lake City!
10:01
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
It wouldn’t be a Fangraphs chat without a Star Wars debate
10:01
Comment From Mark
Oh shit, Jeff just ruined all of Paul’s cred by saying he likes episode I
10:02
Paul Swydan: I had cred before that comment? Cool!
10:02
Comment From jesse
KC is 19-8 since Bruce Chen has entered the starting rotation, that can’t be coincidence.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: No, Paul said he liked Episode I
10:02
Paul Swydan: Sweet Chen Music!
10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: and George Brett is no longer the hitting coach.
10:03
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
But couldn’t he like. Summon a volcano on you or something?
10:03
Paul Swydan: Sullivan is all talk. How many volcanoes has he sucessfully whispered anyway?
10:04
Comment From jesse
every one in his head, paul
10:05
Comment From kurt
thoughts on breaking bad from you two?
10:05
Paul Swydan: I have never watched it, to Erik Hahmann’s great shame. He’s been trying to get me to watch it for two years.
10:05
Paul Swydan: I AM slowly re-watching Futurama though, if that interests you.
10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t seen a full season through. Just episodes here and there.
10:06
Comment From Guest
Which is more absurd, Alexei Ramirez being a #3 hitter, or Andrus being a DH?
10:06
Paul Swydan: The latter.
10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Chris Getz batting leadoff.
10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Frenchy in CF
10:07
Comment From Lewie
How far away are the Mets from competing for a WC next year?
10:08
Jeff Zimmerman: They need an outfield at least. Just too far IMO unless every move they make works out for them.
10:08
Paul Swydan: We have them slated to finish 75-87 this season, and that may be conservative. So they’d need a 10-15 win improvement. That’s not that far out of the realm of possibility if they spend some money, but a lot of things will need to break their way. Certainly possible though, given the sudden suckitude of the NL East.
10:09
Comment From bucs_lose_again
Where can I find live game win probabilities?
10:09
Paul Swydan: On our “Scores” page.

http://www.fangraphs.com/livescoreboard.aspx?date=2013-08-13

10:09
Jeff Zimmerman: The Royals are sending up some power in the 8th:

8. J. Carroll: 0-2
9. J. Dyson: 0-2
1. C. Getz: 0-3

10:09
Comment From Zack
To go back to the red sox QO, why not offer one to Drew? He’s the best shortstop on the market, so he probably wouldn’t accept it, but if he did, he could play if Middlebrooks does badly, or we could trade him and probably get a good return if we ate some of his salary.
10:10
Paul Swydan: You don’t want to create a situation where you are impacting Bogaerts’ development by having Drew still around. Bogaerts is so good that you don’t even take the risk of Drew signing.
10:10
Jeff Zimmerman: but who needs a SS now in the offseason besides the Red Sox?
10:10
Comment From Aceathon
Is there a worse feeling than watching your team line into a double play?
10:10
Paul Swydan: Watching your team hit into a triple play?
10:11
Paul Swydan: Line into a triple play, I mean.
10:12
Comment From Zack
When does this end?
10:12
Paul Swydan: Right now! Thanks for hanging out. Night!
10:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks again everybody.

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Paul Swydan is the co-managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for ESPN Insider. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

8 Responses to “FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/13/13”

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  1. Hoofhearted says:

    With Middlebrooks back up, is it safe to assume that we won’t see Bogaerts until September callups, if then?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Joe says:

    Vin Scully is currently shouting out FanGraphs.

    You’ve made it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. gmail@gmail says:

    Yes!!
    Scully with the Fangraphs reference!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Jay29 says:

    Jeff and Paul, just wanted to thank you for the answer to my WAR/MVP question @ 9:13. (I posted it ahead of time and couldn’t make it to the chat live.)

    You make a good point about a realistic fill-in for a MVP candidate. The thing that comes to my mind is Cardinals 1B. If Allen Craig gets hurt, he gets replaced by Matt Adams, who has the same wRC+ as Craig right now. Probably not a big dropoff there (ignoring that Craig plays OF 1/3 of the time).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Roy says:

    Mr. Jeff Zimmerman.

    I am so disappointed in you. In the chat you said “could care less.” That is my biggest pet peeve. Please say “couldn’t care less” from now on.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Edge O says:

    Will we see Yordano Ventura this year? What are his chances of cracking the 2014 rotation?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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