FanGraphs Chat – 12/4/13

11:59
Dave Cameron: Going to start a few minutes late today; I’m pretty under the weather and didn’t get much sleep last night, so I’m trying to gain some level of consciousness before answering questions.

12:08
Dave Cameron: Okay, coherence not guaranteed, but let’s try this.

12:09
Comment From Mooser
Better deal for Yanks, McCann or Ellsbury

12:09
Dave Cameron: McCann, pretty easily.

12:09
Comment From SMC
I’m a NYY fan. How should I feel about Ellsbury?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Feel that he’s a good player. Be happy he makes the team better.

12:10
Comment From tylersnotes
how come you didn’t force sullivan to write about every transaction yesterday as payback for his vacation?

12:10
Dave Cameron: No one could type that fast.

12:10
Comment From Jon
Do the Yankees lose their first round pick and a compensatory pick that they might get for Granderson by signing McCann and Ellsbury or do they lose their first and second round picks?

12:10
Dave Cameron: They’ll lose their two highest picks. If they get a pick for Granderson, then they’ll lose that.

12:10
Comment From person hscer
It’s exactly a week ago. I’m a Nats fan. I ask you “Lombardozzi, Krol and Ray for Fister, who says no?” Do you: a) ignore the question, b) reply with snark, c) say the Tigers, or d) other.

12:11
Dave Cameron: B, and then some mocking.

12:11
Comment From Teddy
So craziest single day/48 hour span for the hot stove you even seen?

12:11
Dave Cameron: By far.

12:12
Comment From Cueeeeettttooooo
Am I injury prone? How concerning is my oblique injury?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Considering it landed you on the DL three times, I’d say pretty concerning.

12:12
Comment From Guest
Should the Mariners try and sign Corey Hart?

12:12
Dave Cameron: I think so.

12:12
Comment From Robocles
This is collusion, right? The GMs decided to get it all done and actually take some time off this year.

12:12
Dave Cameron: Everyone wants to ride the rides at Disney, apparently.

12:13
Comment From Nats Fan
Let’s all just take a moment here and wonder how Rizzo managed to pull off that Fister trade….. how many teams would have put together a better offer if they knew fister was on the table and that was the package he could have been had for?

12:13
Dave Cameron: I’d guess at least a few, but the Tigers must have just had glowing reports on Robbie Ray or something.

12:14
Comment From Carlos
Mets seem very interested in Granderson. What do you think is fair for him contract wise? He seems like a bad fit with the Mets – what if hes only an average starter for 1 or 2 years? STEAMER is very down on him.

12:14
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I’m not a big Granderson fan at this point either. I wouldn’t go north of 3/30.

12:15
Comment From Jarrod Saltalamarlinia
How did I get stuck with 3 years/$21M? I have been worth at least 1.6 WAR in each of the last 3 seasons, I did not get a qualifying offer, and I am only 28. I mean sure, I do not do everything great, but everyone has problems.

12:15
Dave Cameron: I think there just wasn’t a big market for mediocre catchers this year.

12:15
Comment From zack
Do the Rockies have a plan? Is it halfway decent?

12:15
Dave Cameron: Yes, no.

12:15
Comment From Cochise
Will you be attending the winter meetings?

12:15
Dave Cameron: Yep. Though if this cold doesn’t go away, I might spend all four days in bed.

12:16
Comment From Jay
Have the Tigers gotten better or worse this offseason? Did the Fister trade negate the gains of Kinsler, Nathan?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Worse, clearly.

12:17
Comment From Chris_FB
Saw your USSM piece on the Cano-to-Mariners rumors. Are the M’s damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t, this offseason? If they get some premium players, great, they have just as good an offseason as the Angels have the last 2 years, and look how that worked out. If they don’t get anyone significant or high quality, it’s more of the same ol same ol. If they “were in on” all the big names, more signs that a lame team has the stink of failure on it.

12:17
Dave Cameron: It’s not like the only way to acquire players is to overpay for big names. There’s no reason they couldn’t have made 5-6 smart, low profile moves that filled out the roster with good upgrades and kept their financial flexibility for the future so that when a free agent actually wanted to come to Seattle, they’d have the ability to sign him.

12:18
Comment From Evan
In regards to WAR, why does 10 runs equal 1 win? That sounds high.

12:19
Dave Cameron: It’s based on historical evidence. A team that scores 700 runs and allows 700 runs will win ~81 games. A team that scores 710 runs and allows 700 runs will win ~82 games.

12:19
Comment From Ricky
Could there be information issues in the trade market? Seems plausible, yet difficult to believe that the Rockies/Tigers would fail to communicate to interested parties that they had valuable assets available for a pittance.

12:19
Dave Cameron: Everyone knew Fowler was available. Not with Fister.

12:20
Comment From Prich
Be honest- Are you and Amy hanging a stocking for the puppy?

12:20
Dave Cameron: Amy already ordered her some Christmas presents. So I’m sure she is.

12:20
Comment From Cochise
In your opinion is Cano one of those players who doesn’t care about his Yankee legacy and just wants a huge payday?

12:20
Dave Cameron: That’s not an opinion, that’s a judgment.

12:21
Comment From Jason
Beltran potentially to the Royals. Bad idea at 3 for $48?

12:21
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he’s not worth that.

12:21
Comment From David
Nats seem to have filled their biggest obvious need with Fister. What’s left on their agenda?

12:21
Dave Cameron: Left-handed hitting OF, catcher, lefty reliever.

12:22
Comment From Jay
Pirates and Reds both apparently have little money to spend. Which one enters 2014 with the best chance of toppling Cardinals?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Pirates.

12:22
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
How much is too much for Loney?

12:22
Dave Cameron: More than 2/12.

12:22
Comment From Dave from Pittsburgh
I get insanely bitter every time the Yankees go on a massive spending spree. Remind me again why people think that the MLB is fair?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Because the league has, by far, the most parity of any pro sports league.

12:23
Comment From Mike
Should I want the Tigers to sign Choo if the Ellsbury deal is any indication of how much he’ll get?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Choo will get less.

12:23
Comment From SC
What’s the Best Case you’ve heard or can think of for the Fister Trade from the Tigers perspective?

12:24
Dave Cameron: The only real argument for it is that everyone is missing the boat on Robbie Ray, and he’s a top notch prospect. If he’s a near ready quality MLB starter, then it’s a good deal for them.

12:24
Comment From AL
Do you think that the Winter meetings are going to be a bore, or do you see more of the past 48 hours happening?

12:24
Dave Cameron: They better be boring relative to this.

12:25
Comment From Leroy
In your analysis of the Ellsbury signing, you suggest it’s fine for NY to overpay. I understand a win is worth more to them, but shouldn’t we consider the opportunity cost that they can’t spend the overpayment on something else. Even the Yankees have a budget it turns out.

12:25
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I wasn’t saying it wasn’t an overpay, just that overpays do less long term damage to the Yankees than other franchises.

12:26
Comment From Dale
Dave I noticed you quickly said the Phils’ ZiPS projections are ugly. But how do you get to that idea without an actual win total projected in the post? Do you add up the starters WAR? What is a good barometer for a good total team WAR and bad? Any help with getting an idea of how to formulate these projections into an idea of wins would be appreciated!

12:27
Dave Cameron: ~40 WAR gets you into wild card contention. Adding all the individual WAR projections together misses some things and shouldn’t be taken as gospel, but you’ll note the Phillies are nowhere near 40.

12:27
Comment From Steve
Mariners drop the ball on Ellsbury?

12:28
Dave Cameron: Odds are he wouldn’t have signed with them for same price he got from NYY, so no.

12:29
Comment From J Peterman
Over/Under rest of career WAR for Johan Santana: 3.0

12:29
Dave Cameron: Under.

12:29
Comment From Thad
Does Fister trade make you think Tigers are favorites for Choo?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Yeah.

12:29
Comment From Munchkin
Mets: one fangraphs article late 2012 indicated that they were just a few moves from contention. Does that point still stand?

12:29
Dave Cameron: That article was before they traded R.A. Dickey and went into rebuild mode.

12:30
Comment From Scoob
Reports came in that a bunch of GMs just didnt know Fister was even available. If that’s true, isn’t this just big time negligence by the front office? I mean seriously how do you not at least scope out your options?

12:30
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I’ve talked with friends in the game who had no idea this was going down. It’s weird.

12:30
Comment From David
Robbie Ray wasn’t even the arm the Tigers initially wanted so it can’t be that they just loved him and had to have him. Reports came out saying they wanted Taylor Jordan and the Nats said no and offered up Ray instead.

12:30
Dave Cameron: I’ve heard differently, for what its worth.

12:31
Comment From Chris_FB
Apologies if this is an old question by now, but I’ve been checked out re: baseball so far this offseason. With the influx of money for TV deals, is the rule of thumb of $5m/win still accurate when doing the back-of-napkin calculations for what someone’s worth based on their WAR? Do you think that might be adjusted by this coming spring, depending on what deals happen this winter?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Price is closer to $6 to $6.5 million so far.

12:32
Comment From Seymour
“They’ll lose their two highest picks. If they get a pick for Granderson, then they’ll lose that.” Huh? That must be new. I hadn’t heard that. Used to be they’d gain sandwich pick and could only lose their own picks as compensation.

12:32
Dave Cameron: They changed the rules in the new CBA.

12:32
Comment From Brian
Chances the Mariners sign Cruz, Santana, and Morales and call it an offseason?

12:32
Dave Cameron: They’ll sign a closer too.

12:33
Comment From Not a doctor
If you’re bedridden, it’s probably not a “cold.”

12:34
Dave Cameron: It’s a virus of some sort. I went to the doctor last week, since every cough or sneeze means that my wife worries the leukemia is back — it’s not — and they put me on some drugs.

12:34
Comment From Mike
By my quick calc, Phils projected for +28 total WAR by ZiPS, excluding SP Gonzalez. What does that work out wins wise?

12:34
Dave Cameron: A little below .500.

12:35
Comment From Guest
Freeing up money to sign Morneau seems counterproductive. Morneau is a worse player than Fowler, no?

12:35
Dave Cameron: Yeah, the Rockies are weird.

12:35
Comment From Chris_FB
Good point re: free agency not being the only way to go. Re: “There’s no reason they couldn’t have made 5-6 smart, low profile moves ” – So basically, the M’s specifically and more teams in general, should be like the A’s.

12:35
Dave Cameron: Yep.

12:35
Comment From Seymour
what do you think Garza ends up with and whom?

12:35
Dave Cameron: 4/60 from Seattle.

12:36
Comment From John Mozeliak
How’d I do this offseason? Are there any realistic moves left for me to make?

12:36
Dave Cameron: Really well, and Juan Uribe makes perfect sense for them.

12:36
Comment From Robocles
Is the 10 to 1 with WAR environmental? In the deadball era was it more like 7 to 1?

12:36
Dave Cameron: Yes, the runs to wins conversion changes with the run environment.

12:37
Comment From Ray
I keep hearing that the Mariners have interest in Kemp. What would the Dodgers get in return? I assume some prospects after eating some salary, but what names?

12:37
Dave Cameron: All depends on how much salary LA picks up.

12:37
Comment From Catoblepas
Shouldn’t baseball be fairly close to a perfect market? Obviously teams have different valuations of players based on their needs, scouting, etc., but when people say a team overpaid for someone like Ellsbury, isn’t that almost literally impossible? It’s not like the yankees wanted to pay that much, you have to outbid every other team

12:38
Dave Cameron: The idea that something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it is entirely wrong. Things have value, and people are not always rational. If you offer me $10,000 for a pair of socks, that doesn’t make my socks valuable, that makes you stupid.

12:38
Comment From Doug
It’s great to know how the world works. What do you make as a writer/editor on a yearly basis? Damned good living, comfortable enough to buy a few extra things, or just getting by?

12:39
Dave Cameron: My wife and I have a pretty comfortable lifestyle, but we also live in a city with a very low cost of living.

12:40
Comment From Apple Lover
Will any teams try to lure Cano with a short durations, high AAV offer (like 4 years, $130 million or something)?

12:40
Dave Cameron: No, he’s going to max out dollars.

12:40
Comment From Wilson Ramos
I assume you mean the Nats need a backup catcher.

12:40
Dave Cameron: Correct.

12:41
Comment From JTP
What kinds of things do you do at the winter meetings? What might a typical day consist of?

12:41
Dave Cameron: It’s a lot of sitting around doing nothing and then just being social. The catching up with friends part is really the only thing that makes the week tolerable.

12:42
Comment From uruguayan
Odds one of Kemp, Braun, or Stanton will play left in Boston?

12:42
Dave Cameron: Next to nil.

12:42
Comment From Mike
I don’t get how teams couldn’t know Fister was “available”. I get Dombrowski probably made a blunder here judging the market, but it was out there for months that they were willing to listen on Scherzer and Porcello. If you really liked Fister and were willing to give up something good for him, wouldn’t you at least kick the tires to gauge interest?

12:43
Dave Cameron: It’s not that they didn’t know Fister could be had. It’s that they didn’t know a deal was on the verge of happening and they didn’t know the price was that low.

12:43
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Parity in MLB is a myth. Year to year variation occurs, but consistent winning tracks with money. Just because a few teams have found ways to win without money doesn’t mean there are not glaring advantages to large market franchises. Its humorous to defend the gaping imbalance found only in MLB.

12:44
Dave Cameron: Yeah, you’re right, it’s not like the NBA has been dominated by the same 4-5 teams for the last 50 years.

12:45
Comment From SC
As a Mariner Fan, How would your feelings be different on Cano if they had the true talent level of an 88 Win Team?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Then I’d say go nuts.

12:46
Comment From SMC
I actually really like Kelly Johnson as the big half of a 3B platoon.

12:46
Dave Cameron: Me too.

12:46
Comment From Dumb
Nats need a left-handed hitting OF? Like DeJesus, maybe?

12:46
Dave Cameron: Yeah, someone like that, but not him, because they had him and gave him away.

12:47
Comment From Semperty
How do you get contacts in the MLB…? Hoping to get there myself, and would love some direction.

12:48
Dave Cameron: Go to minor league games, sit behind the plate.

12:48
Comment From Matt
Give me the quick version of your opinion on the Phil Hughes signing?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Perfectly reasonable.

12:49
Comment From David
Recent Rizzo trades: Matt Capps for Wilson Ramos, Cole/Peacock/Norris/Milone for Gio Gonzalez (this one was pretty even imo), Morse for AJ Cole, Blake Treinen and Krol as the PTBNL, Meyer for Span, and now Lombo/the aforementioned PTBNL Krol/Ray for Fister.

12:49
Dave Cameron: He’s good at trading.

12:49
Comment From Billy Beane
Sorry to break the theme of Mariners, Ellsbury, and Fister talk but I really need to know who to target with my Brett Anderson trade.

12:50
Dave Cameron: You seem to have a reliever fetish at the moment so maybe send him to Toronto for a few of theirs.

12:50
Comment From Guest
What do you think of the two Twins signings?

12:50
Dave Cameron: Reasonable.

12:50
Comment From David
Do you think Juan Uribe could play 2B considering how good he is at third?

12:50
Dave Cameron: Could, sure, but Cards wouldn’t need him to because of Carpenter’s ability to bounce between spots.

12:51
Comment From Jono
do you enjoy chatting? this will sound ungrateful, and i know there’s no obligation for you to do these, but you rarely stay beyond the 60 minutes. Is it always the dog calling or are you just looking to get in and out as quixk as possible

12:51
Dave Cameron: I enjoy the chats, but the reality is that I have a lot of work to do at nearly all times, and I can’t afford to spend all day chatting.

12:52
Comment From Jay
How much time and effort go into a trade? I always imagine it being a very involved process with lots of internal meetings and discussions. The Tigers-Nats trade makes me think it’s more like that scene in Moneyball. Rizzo sits down in Dombrowski’s office and starts rattling off names, and Dombrowski says yes because Jonah Hill was home sick that day and there was nobody to remind him that Fister is a 4 WAR pitcher.

12:52
Dave Cameron: That trade was a long process.

12:52
Comment From Tyler
Better option (lesser of two evils): trade paxton & franklin for kemp assuming LAA picks up 30 million or so, or sign cruz and morales?

12:52
Dave Cameron: Just fold the franchise if those are your only two options.

12:53
Comment From Semperty
Does WAR account for run environments, or just one flat line standard?

12:53
Dave Cameron: The values that go into WAR change with the run environments, so therefore, so does WAR.

12:54
Comment From Jay-Z
Relatively new to the analytical world of baseball. Which books would you recommend reading to get better versed with all the terminology?

12:54
Dave Cameron: I’d start with the FanGraphs Library, accessed from the main page. It should get you started with what the terms mean.

12:55
Comment From Guest
Re the lifestyle question: does your wife work?

12:55
Dave Cameron: Yes, and she makes more than I do.

12:55
Comment From AVO
Does Ellsbury make Gardner expendable? What’s your best-case estimation of his trade value?

12:55
Dave Cameron: Gardner has value in LF too.

12:57
Comment From Patrick
Can you remember a worse trade than Fister deal in your lifetime?

12:57
Dave Cameron: The Erik Bedard trade was a disaster.

12:59
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
I can understand your view that financial issues aren’t a critical problem, but I can’t understand why you would not want a level financial playing field with full revenue sharing like the NFL. Why wouldn’t that be better for MLB?

12:59
Dave Cameron: I’m not saying it wouldn’t be better; I’m saying it’s not nearly as big a problem as people make it seem to be.

1:02
Comment From Doug
“disaster” sounds post hoc

1:02
Dave Cameron: I spent two months railing against the Erik Bedard trade before it happened.

1:02
Comment From Los
The Vernon Wells trade is still the worst…

1:02
Dave Cameron: Yeah, that one was perhaps the most head scratching deal I can remember.

1:03
Comment From Steve
Vernon trade was so bad you hosted a spontaneous chat to mock it. That was a great night.

1:03
Dave Cameron: That was a pretty great night.

1:03
Dave Cameron: And on that note, let’s call this a day so I can go back to bed.

1:03
Dave Cameron: MLB teams, do nothing today. Take the day off.

1:03
Dave Cameron: We’ll do this again next week from Orlando.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Monty
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Monty

If you were an owner and you HAD to choose Ruben amaro jr or Dayton Moore as your GM, who would it be and why?

Caveman Jones
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Caveman Jones

You are sick!

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