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FanGraphs Chat – 10/23/13

11:31
Dave Cameron: We’re going to do a slightly abbreviated chat today, running only 30 minutes instead of the usual 60, since I’m live blogging World Series Game 1 tonight (with Jeff) and need to get some other stuff done before spending ~4 hours doing this again later on this evening. But, we’ll have time for question WS/Free Agent Q&As now, and then you can join us later on tonight for live blog fun.
11:58
Comment From Ben
If the Reds and Braves swap Uggla for Phillips, Atlanta will have ALL OF THE DEFENSE.
11:59
Dave Cameron: My guess is that Phillips ends up in KC. They need a 2B, he’s exactly their kind of player, and they won’t make Cincinnati take back a bad contract in exchange.
11:59
Comment From JAC
Cardinals’ GM admitted that Mujica is on the roster to avoid upsetting any of the players, not because he’s the most deserving. Do you think this “keep everyone happy” consideration has actual value, and, if so, is it greater than the value of having a better player take the 25th roster spot? Pretend for the sake of argument that Mujica is no better at pitching than a position player.
12:00
Dave Cameron: Mujica is likely going to be used in a mopup role, or not at all. In that sense, his roster spot doesn’t really matter. If you’re only going to throw low leverage innings, performance isn’t a big deal, and if it keeps the players happy, I’m not sure why that shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
12:00
Comment From Catoblepas
Can you think of any reason UZR didn’t like Iglesias’s defense much this season? Is he a flashy-but-not-actually-effective type, or is this just a blip?

12:00
Dave Cameron: It actually liked his defense at shortstop just fine, but thought he wasn’t very good at third base, which is understandable, given his inexperience there.
12:01
Comment From Mark
Is there any way to defend the Lincecum deal?
12:01
Dave Cameron: Yes. And that post is coming this afternoon.
12:01
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
How does Lincecum signing early affect the rest of the FA pitchers?
12:01
Dave Cameron: I think it signals that the market is moving away from ERA as a primary driver of evaluations. And that’s good news for guys like Dan Haren.
12:01
Comment From person hscer
At least Lincecum didn’t get Zito years. Can you think of anything “better” to say about the deal?
12:03
Dave Cameron: The pitchers who had large ERA/xFIP splits in 2012 included the likes of Ervin Santana, Justin Masterson, Ivan Nova, Mike Leake, and Jon Lester. Pretending that there’s no chance that Lincecum is worth this ignores everything we have learned about projecting pitchers.
12:03
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Carlos Martinez for Asdrubal Cabrera, who hangs up?
12:04
Dave Cameron: The Cardinals.
12:04
Comment From Erich
Do the Brewers make a run at a short term contract with an SP like Kazmir or Haren to try to squeeze one more run out of a disintegrating team? Also at 1B – is option #1 trying to resign Corey Hart to an incentive laden 1-year deal?
12:04
Dave Cameron: They tried that last year with Lohse. I don’t think they’ll try it again.
12:04
Comment From Mojo
Should Alex Anthopoulos go after Robinson Cano – maybe on a short-duration contract of 3 years, $40 million per? It would give Cano another kick at free agency, and the contract duration would align with Toronto’s current core.
12:04
Dave Cameron: No reason for Cano to take that.
12:05
Comment From ryan
If you “weren’t interested” in Lincecum at 3/40, what level of interest would you have at 2/35?
12:05
Dave Cameron: Not much, but I do think we are going to see the price for these high ERA/low xFIP guys start to climb.
12:06
Comment From Brad Wesley
Something I’ve heard a lot from old timey baseball analysts (like McCarver) and have never fully understood is when they say a pitcher hides a ball well. What does this mean and how does one do it? To me it sounds like someone grasping at straws to explain how a pitcher can get by with lower velocity.
12:07
Dave Cameron: This is definitely a real thing. Think of side-armers and their huge platoon splits; the hitter on the opposite side gets a very early look at the ball and can see the path all the way in. A pitcher who doesn’t give hitters a long look at the ball can limit reaction time and improve their performance.
12:07
Comment From Logan Davis
Lucas Duda and Ike Davis are both interesting LH platoon 1Bs, but neither can play the outfield and so it seems the Mets only really have room for one at most. This makes them rather interesting trade candidates. What kind of value could NYM get back for one of them?
12:08
Dave Cameron: I think they’ll move Davis and put Duda at first, and Davis probably has enough of a pedigree and secondary skills to lure a team like TB into giving up a real prospect.
12:08
Comment From JEB
Matt Carpenter on repeating his 2013 next season? Or a big regression?
12:08
Dave Cameron: I’d say he’s more of a +3 to +4 WAR player than a +7 WAR player.
12:08
Comment From JEB
Think the Tigers will move Porcello or Fister this offseason, or worse, Scherzer?
12:09
Dave Cameron: At some point, they’ll have to jettison one or two parts of their core. They can’t keep all these guys forever. My guess is Porcello goes this winter, but they don’t re-sign Scherzer, and he htis FA next year.
12:10
Comment From Guest
Should Orioles trade Chris Davis, give him a 100+M extension or just go to arb?
12:10
Dave Cameron: I’d go to arb.
12:10
Comment From Logan Davis
The Brewers have a trio of interesting outfielders – Aoki as a one-year rental, Gomez as a sell-high CF on a friendly contract, and Braun as a PED-tainted star under control forever. Should Melvin be looking to swing a trade to send one or more of them away in exchange for some younger guys? If so, which one(s)?
12:10
Dave Cameron: No one’s trading for Braun, given the baggage around him right now. Aoki is the one to get moved.
12:11
Comment From Concerned White Sox Fan
What are your thoughts on Jose Abreu? $68 mil sounds like a lot but that is only about 11 mil per year. 2 WAR a year for his 27-32 aged seasons doesn’t seem outlandish.
12:11
Comment From MG Vernon
What type of manager do you see best suited for the Mariners opening?
12:11
Dave Cameron: One who doesn’t mind getting fired in a year.
12:11
Comment From Julian
If Buccholz is actually injured and has to be taken out of the rotation, should the Sox go with a 3-man rotation, or throw Doubront in Games 3 & 6? Why would they do that??
12:12
Dave Cameron: They would just move Peavy up to games 3/7, and Doubront would start game 4, or they’d go Lester on short rest.
12:12
Comment From Gila Monster
Is the biggest problem with introducing introducing a salary cap in baseball that it would mean the end of guaranteed contracts?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Those two things have nothing to do with each other. And a salary cap wouldn’t do anything anyways.
12:12
Comment From George
All the talk of Phillips but is Howie Kendrick the better 2nd baseman on the market?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Yes.
12:12
Comment From Guest
With regard to Jeff Samardzija, do you see the Cubs caving to contract demands or moving him for multiple young arms?
12:13
Dave Cameron: I think they’ll sign him.
12:13
Comment From RobG
What do you project Cano getting in FA and who signs him?
12:13
Dave Cameron: 8/200, NYY.
12:13
Comment From Andrew Brotherton
Are you buying the idea that the Yankees will go on a spending spree? Tanaka, Cano, Beltran or Granderson, Kuroda
12:13
Dave Cameron: Tanaka makes a lot of sense because the posting fee won’t count against the luxury tax.
12:13
Comment From George
Lincecum basically makes the Angels’ task to find pitching even more impossible?
12:13
Dave Cameron: Not at all. There’s still plenty of interesting pitching available.
12:13
Comment From George
Question about the qualifying offer and the CBA: If a club extends the QO in good faith, and the player accepts it in good faith, can the club then trade the player without surrendering a draft pick?
12:14
Dave Cameron: No, MLB won’t allow sign-and-trades.
12:14
Comment From Logan Davis
Nick Franklin’s glove at 2B: scouts seemed to like it in the minors, DRS thought it was solid-average, UZR despised it, and Total Zone loved it. What do you think?
12:14
Dave Cameron: Scouts have never liked Franklin’s glove.
12:14
Comment From Mike
James Loney a good 1B option for the Pirates? Assuming they would platoon him with Sanchez (Jones is getting non-tendered)
12:15
Dave Cameron: Not sure I’d want to pay what he’ll get this winter.
12:15
Comment From Mojo
Would give him a crack at another big contract – and one in an environment where there’d be even more TV money sloshing through the system.
12:15
Dave Cameron: He has a chance at a big contract now. There’s no reason to pass that up for the chance to get a big contract in three years.
12:15
Comment From Guest
Rendon and Clippard enough to get Scherzer?
12:16
Dave Cameron: That’s way too much to pay for a one year rental.
12:16
Comment From Gila Monster
Does Haren make sense in Seattle? It will help his HR problem…
12:17
Dave Cameron: He wants to play on the west coast, and they need a pitcher, so there’s some natural fit. But I think they might not be big fans of “hittable” pitchers after Joe Saunders last year.
12:17
Comment From Mariners Fan
Not sure if my question submitted, Scherzer to Mariners or Walker & Franklin?
12:17
Dave Cameron: Again, Scherzer is a rental. Teams aren’t paying that kind of price for him.
12:17
Comment From Tom
Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that the Royals are open to trading Billy Butler. Which team(s) seem like the best fit for him and what do you think he can bring back in return?
12:18
Dave Cameron: I don’t think they’ll trade him. He’s overrated and not that cheap anymore. There’s not a lot of value there.
12:18
Comment From chuckb
Jeff said yesterday that if the Red Sox and Cards played 162 times, he thought the Sox would win 88-90. Do you agree?
12:18
Dave Cameron: That seems a little high. I might go 85.
12:19
Comment From Logan Davis
Fangraphs’ park factors for 2013 Safeco and Petco were 90% regressed to league average (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-park-factors-updated/). As a result, BBREF’s OPS+ (which is using historical park factors) thinks that the Padres and Mariners were significantly better hitters than Fangraphs’ wRC+ gives them credit for. Given previous research on effects of the fence moves, where do you think the truth lies, and how does that affect your thoughts on guys like Venable, Headley, Morales, and MSaunders?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Park factors are a complicated subject, especially when teams start messing with the dimensions. It’s probably fair to assume that Safeco was still slightly pitcher friendly in 2013, but to what extent is difficult to know at this point.
12:21
Comment From person hscer
As an initial guess, how much would Scherzer command on the open market, assuming he has a similar season in 2014? Or should I just wait for next year’s crowdsource
12:21
Dave Cameron: If he has another season like the one he just had, 7/150ish.
12:22
Comment From semperty
Do you think the Cardinals will (not should) extend a QO to Beltran? If so, what type of deal do you see him getting and where?
12:22
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think Beltran gets a QO.
12:23
Comment From Schmiggy
Porcello for Fowler ?
12:23
Dave Cameron: I don’t think Colorado would do that, and the Tigers interest in an OF will probably depend on what they are going to do with Nick Castellanos.
12:23
Comment From Ben Cherington
if you were the Red Sox, how would you handle the Ortiz/Napoli/1B in STL? Is Ortiz that much better a hitter to negate for being worse in baserunning and fielding (talking relatively of course)
12:23
Dave Cameron: Against RHPs, yes.
12:24
Comment From Guest
You mentioned going arb with Chris Davis earlier in the chat. For an extension, wouldn’t the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion contracts be the models?
12:24
Dave Cameron: He’s going to want a lot more than those.
12:24
Comment From Tom
Jeff also said he thought the Red Sox had better SP than the Cardinals. Do you agree with that?
12:25
Dave Cameron: If Buccholz is healthy, yes.
12:25
Comment From David
Sign and trades are verboten, but what about trade-and-signs? i.e. Team A works with Scherzer’s agent to rough out an extension, then makes a trade for him. Is that considered tampering?
12:25
Dave Cameron: Teams aren’t allowed to talk to a player until the trade has been completed; then MLB gives a 72 hour window for the trading team and the player to work out an agreement.
12:26
Comment From Alex
What amount does Ellsbury finally sign for?
12:26
Dave Cameron: 7/140.
12:27
Comment From Joe
Hearing any rumblings on Grady Sizemore?
12:27
Dave Cameron: If something is rumbling, it’s probably his knee.
12:28
Dave Cameron: Okay, that’s going to be it for the Q&A today. Have to go finish my Lincecum article, and then do some WS stuff in anticipation of the game tonight. We’ll see you all at 8:00 for the live blog.