FanGraphs Chat – 1/29/14

11:42
Dave Cameron: After a week off for a ski vacation in West Virginia, I’m back for the regular Wednesday chat. Queue is open, you know the drill.
12:00
Dave Cameron: Alright, lets get this started.
12:00
Comment From Eddie
What’s a fair return for two years of Jeff Samardzija?
12:01
Dave Cameron: A few solid prospects, the best of the bunch being a back-end Top 100 type. He’s not worth any elite prospects or big league pre-arb contributors.
12:01
Comment From Gson
AJ Burnett… does his return to the open market mean the Indians are more likely to have Ubaldo return?
12:01
Dave Cameron: I doubt it. Ubaldo’s going to get a 3 year deal, and I still think the Blue Jays are the team that will give it to him.

12:01
Comment From Johnson
Why do some experts categorize Stanton as a super star type player and have Bruce in the category below. Bruce is only 2 years younger. Better K rate, line drive rate, swing and miss rate, contact rate. Stanton has the advantage in HR/FB. Bruce is also a better fielder.
12:02
Dave Cameron: K rate, swing and miss rate, and contact rate are all the same thing. You used three different terms to describe one skill. Stanton is clearly better.
12:02
Comment From Fritsche
Is Justin Upton bound for (another) breakout year or should we expect similar production to last year?
12:03
Dave Cameron: At this point, he’s getting pretty close to this-is-what-he-is territory. Barring another big improvement in strikeout rate, he’s a good player, not a great one.
12:03
Comment From Brad
Do you think Xander Boegarts projects to be like Manny Machado or Troy Tulowitzki or somewhere in between?
12:03
Dave Cameron: More bat, less glove than Machado. I think he’s a franchise player. I’d probably take him over Buxton as the best prospect in baseball.
12:03
Comment From Alex
Do you think it’s at all possible for the Tigers to sign Ervin Santana and deal Scherzer in February?
12:03
Dave Cameron: It would be possible if Dave Dombrowski was an idiot.
12:04
Comment From David
How was your vacation?
12:04
Dave Cameron: Pretty great, minus the driving through a blizzard part. But driving through a blizzard on the way to a ski resort means pretty nifty snow when you get there. At least, as nifty as east coast snow can be.
12:05
Dave Cameron: The good news is that the wife officially enjoys skiing (only her second time), so we’re hopefully going to make annual ski trips every winter. Next year, I’m hoping for Utah.
12:05
Comment From Jake
Really surprised their hasn’t been more noise about Dean Anna, and Zelous Wheeler, they actually might be my favorite Yankee offseason pickups. How much potential do you see in either?
12:05
Dave Cameron: I think Anna could be a solid part-time second baseman. Probably don’t want him playing everyday.
12:05
Comment From Jake
Do the dodgers ever consider trading Eithier?
12:05
Dave Cameron: Sure, I think he could be a spring training trade candidate.
12:06
Comment From David
I don’t understand how the league average wRC+ is 96. If it compares to league average, how is not 100?
12:06
Dave Cameron: Click on the NP tab, which excludes pitchers. The average is 100 for position players, but including pitchers drags it down to 96.
12:06
Comment From Bruce
Do the mariners have any idea what the heck they are doing?
12:06
Dave Cameron: Sure. They’re throwing a bunch of money around and hoping that some below average players become above average players. It’s not a great plan, but it’s their not great plan.
12:07
Comment From Concerned Fan
Are we overrating the Nationals again?
12:07
Dave Cameron: I don’t think so. But I was one of the ones overrating them last year, so…
12:07
Comment From RyanS
Dave what was your pop time back in your catching days?
12:07
Dave Cameron: I think it was probably measured in minutes rather than seconds.
12:08
Comment From Rhendricks
Should the Cardinals be concerned with Wong and Adams penciled in as their 2B and 1B this season?
12:08
Dave Cameron: Not really. Craig will probably play a lot of 1B, and Ellis is a nifty little insurance policy.
12:08
Comment From Ski guy
How were the conditions? I’m going to snowshoe this weekend.
12:09
Dave Cameron: Snow was great for the east coast, but really cold. I bought and wore a face mask for the first time in my life, couldn’t have gotten by without it. WInd chills were -30. If you haven’t done Western Territory yet, try it out. Not overly challenging for any decent skiier, but a fun long run.
12:10
Dave Cameron: Puppy lunch break: she’s shoving her food bowl around the room. I think it’s a hint.
12:11
Dave Cameron: And now that the bowl has food in it, she’s just staring at me. Dogs.
12:11
Comment From Chris
Is it me or are the minors especially loaded right now? Granted all prospects always sound good but this crop of SS’s and talented arms seems deeper than normal.
12:12
Dave Cameron: No, I agree, there’s some really great young talent in the pipeline right now.
12:12
Comment From Kris
Aroldis and the Reds settled for $5mm, Kimbrel requested $9mm…what am I missing here?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Kimbrel’s numbers are better.
12:12
Comment From Oren
AJ Burnett destination and contract?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Baltimore, 1/15.
12:12
Comment From Nate
Are you telling me the Mariners might play .500 ball this season and still finish 4th in the AL West?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Perfectly reasonable expectation.
12:12
Comment From Chicago Mark
Do you think the Cubs are better off in their pursuit of a championship having not spent $170mm on Tanaka and his risk? Is the Yankees risk lower because of their much higher income?
12:13
Dave Cameron: No way they should have given him the contract the Yankees gave him, but I think that’s mostly because of the opt-out. On a straight seven year deal, it wouldn’t have been totally insane.
12:13
Dave Cameron: The opt-out skews way too far to the player friendly side though.
12:13
Comment From Jake
Soriano projects for replacement level play and 94 wRC+. That’s crazy harsh, right? He’s been good for 6.5 wins since 2012, why does he get such harsh projections?
12:13
Dave Cameron: He’s old, and projection systems aren’t going to rate a 38 year old for much defensive value.
12:13
Comment From Justin
Even assuming Guerrero pans out, the Dodgers seem to need infield depth. Is there anyone left that they could target (either FA or likely to be available in trade) to fill that role? Or are significant innings going to go to the likes of Justin Sellers and Dee Gordon again?
12:14
Dave Cameron: There are a lot of teams that need 2B help and are trying to contend. I think Brandon Phillips market is going to heat up during the season, once the Reds realize that they’re probably not still contenders after a wasted off-season.
12:14
Comment From Kris
Did you go to snowshoe in WV? Fond memories of my first ever snowboarding experience there
12:15
Dave Cameron: Pretty much the only mountain in the southeast worth skiing, for me. The NC/southern WV mountains are a waste of time.
12:15
Comment From Seattle Slough
Kolten Wong – top 35 prospect or top 95 prospect?
12:15
Dave Cameron: Top 95, but I’m not a prospect expert.
12:15
Comment From Insert Clever Name Here
Draft-pick valuation seems hard. Do we have any sense of what a second-round pick is “worth”. As in, what deal for Drew would make sense for the Mets, given the pick it would cost?
12:15
Dave Cameron: It depends where in the second round it is. The pool money is worth more than the pick itself, and the amount varies by where the pick is.
12:16
Dave Cameron: But I’d say a not terrible rule of thumb would be 3X the pool valuation. So $750,000 in pool money would be worth ~$2.25 million or so.
12:16
Comment From _David_
Do you think the Mariners should sign Ervin Santana if there were no other choice?
12:16
Dave Cameron: Like, they’ll be contracted if they don’t? Then sure.
12:17
Comment From Seattle Slough
If the Twins were offered Eric Davis and his actual MLB career in exchange for Byron Buxton, would they take it?
12:17
Dave Cameron: No.
12:17
Comment From _David_
How do scouts tell pitch movement from the stands? It seems like a lot of cognitive bias could be at play…Does it just take a lot of practice?
12:17
Dave Cameron: If you sit behind the plate and make sure you’re high enough up, you can see movement pretty well.
12:17
Comment From _David_
Yesterday Jeff said it would take something like a disastrous Price trade to get Jack Z fired this year. What about another season under 75 wins?
12:18
Dave Cameron: I think any losing season and he’s gone.
12:18
Comment From Not Stupid
Putting a parenthesis around budget issues, what FA signings, if any, give the Mariners a legitimate chance at a playoff appearence in 2014, if any?
12:19
Dave Cameron: If they signed Jimenez, Santana, Cruz, Rodney, and Oliver Perez, they’d maybe be as good as the Angels. Of course, that would require flushing a lot of money down the drain.
12:19
Comment From @indifferentdrum
Why do you make Sullivan work so much?
12:19
Dave Cameron: Did you not notice the two week vacation he took in November when every single transaction of the off-season took place? Last week was payback.
12:19
Comment From Los
How good will the Pirates outfield be with Cutch, Marte, and Polanco?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Among the best in baseball.
12:20
Comment From Max
What is the difference between Z-Contact% and swinging strike%?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Z-Contact is limited to contact on pitches in the strike zone. Swinging strike rate is strike zone agnostic.
12:20
Comment From Daniel
I’ve seen preseason projections for the Royals all over the place – anywhere from 74 to 89 wins. I understand statistical projections aren’t an exact science, but does a team like the 2014 Royals present mathematical problems moreso than other teams?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Not really. Different models will just produce different results.
12:21
Comment From _David_
What if baseball instituted a system of communism where all revenues went to MLB and were distributed equally to each club…I’m assuming this would be bad because of reduced incentive to win, but could this be solved by setting payroll floors as a percentage of revenue?
12:21
Dave Cameron: You’d significantly decrease a team’s motivation to improve their club, their stadium, and everything that goes along with the MLB experience.
12:22
Comment From Kevin
With Garza now off the table, who is the next domino to fall in the mid-tier SP market?
12:22
Dave Cameron: Jimenez.
12:22
Comment From cb
any chance espinosa beats out rendon or just a lot of gum flapping
12:22
Dave Cameron: Not zero, but close to it.
12:22
Comment From Andrew Brotherton
Could you see the Yankees and Nationals line up for a trade for Storen?
12:22
Dave Cameron: Don’t think WAS is looking to move Storen. They want to add a reliever, not lose one.
12:23
Comment From Guest
I recently read a tom glavine strike zone article and the author used batting average on contact rather than babip, what are its merits over babip (if any), why is it rarely used?
12:24
Dave Cameron: Well, for one, it can be shortened to BACON, which is kind of awesome. But the only real difference is that it includes home runs, while HRs aren’t considered BIP since the primary point of BABIP is to evaluate the rate at which fielders turned fieldable balls into outs, and HRs aren’t fieldable balls. But for a hitter, BACON is probably a better indicator of skill than BABIP, since HRs are a skill.
12:24
Comment From AL
Assuming that the Brewers are within striking distance of a WC spot (probably a big if) at the trade deadline, could you see them going against what they’ve said all offseason and trade a pitching prospect for a real first baseman?
12:24
Dave Cameron: Sure, if they’re contending, I doubt they’ll stick with Mark Reynolds.
12:25
Comment From globe goat
For a team in search of a starting pitcher, which of the following 36/37-year-old righthanders is the most attractive HYPOTHETICAL option: 1)Ryan Dempster, one year, $13.25 million (likely to cost at least one player in trade); 2) Bronson Arroyo, two years, $20 million ($2 million buyout of third-year option); 3)
A.J. Burnett, two years, $24 million ($2 million buyout of third-year option)?
12:25
Dave Cameron: Burnett.
12:25
Comment From Jake
Yesterday, Jeff Sullivan sugested that many agents for players are behind the curve on saber-stats. How on earth can they afford to be? Several players signed for $2-3 mil per projected WAR on their contract, did that happen in part because agents don’t have the common sense to find out how much their players are worth? I know there are other factors, but still, holy shit
12:26
Dave Cameron: There are still some independent agents that aren’t part of a big corporation, and they don’t have the resources that a Boras Corp or Excel Sports Management has. There’s only so many hours in the day, and if you’re a lawyer who needs to stay in contact with a bunch of clients, learning sabermetrics might not be a great use of your time.
12:26
Comment From Seattle Slough
Of the top 5 shortstop prospects, (Bogaerts, Baez, Correa, Lindor, and Russell) how many become All-Stars?
12:26
Dave Cameron: Maybe all of them, but I think only two or three stick at shortstop.
12:27
Comment From Gson
Are you a west is best, east is least, snow skiing snob?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Pretty sure there’s nothing snobby about noting that west coast snow is so far superior to east coast snow that they’re barely the same sport.
12:28
Comment From pinch
Is skiing in West Virginia more/less awesome than skiing elsewhere?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Snowshoe is a really good beginner mountain, which was perfect for my wife. The top-down concept is pretty neat, since you don’t have to hike to a lift to start your day, and can literally just ski out onto the mountain and go down the hill. And it’s way cheaper to ski out here than in Utah or Colorado or California. So there are advantages.
12:29
Comment From Chris206
the inevitable about to come to pass? Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariner?
12:29
Dave Cameron: I’d bet heavily on it.
12:29
Comment From Jake
What’s a win on the FA market run in 2015?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Probably $6.5 or $7 million.
12:30
Comment From Chris206
Does a package of Paxton and Franklin get Samardzija? Do you make that trade?
12:30
Dave Cameron: Way too much.
12:30
Comment From James
Could you see the pirates giving up their first round pick to sign Morales?
12:30
Dave Cameron: No.
12:30
Comment From BassmanUW
To me this is why Samardzija isn’t getting extended or moved this offseason: For an extension, he wants to be paid like a top of rotation pitcher, but the Cubs want to extend him at mid-rotation prices. In a trade, the Cubs are asking for the type of return you’d expect for a top of rotation pitcher, but other teams are offering a mid-rotation pitcher type of return. Considering the fact that Samardzija at least arguably has the talent to become a top of rotation pitcher, but has yet to do so, it just makes more sense for everyone to wait another half season or season to see what happens, unless everyone is just willing to admit he’s a mid-rotation pitcher.
12:31
Dave Cameron: Yeah, no reason to sell low if you’re the Cubs. Probably just hold him until mid-season and market him as a 3.50 ERA guy instead of a 4.00 ERA guy.
12:31
Comment From Kevin
Does a healthy Giants team have one more shot at contention, or is their window essentially closed as the team is currently constructed?
12:31
Dave Cameron: They could contend if Cain/Lincecum have rebound years.
12:31
Comment From Scotter
Does Jose Fernandez maintain last year’s studly performance? Sophmore slump in store?
12:31
Dave Cameron: Hard to do what he did two years in a row, for anyone, not just a sophomore.
12:32
Comment From Nathan
If Doug Melvin is trying to compete in 2014 (and he seems to be), did he make a mistake in letting Corey Hart slip through his fingers?
12:32
Dave Cameron: Tough for an NL team to commit to a guy with two knee surgeries in the last year. Nowhere to play him if he can’t play the field.
12:32
Comment From Dave M.
If Ubaldo is going to get only three years, why not the Cubs? They missed out on Tanaka — couldn’t Jimenez help them hold the line rotation-wise until their SP prospects are ready?
12:32
Dave Cameron: They value the pick and pool allocation a lot.
12:32
Comment From Dan
Is Theo’s plan working?
12:32
Dave Cameron: I think so, yes.
12:32
Comment From Jake
Trying to learn more about drafting, scouting, etc. Anything you’d recommend? Books, experiences, articles, I’d appreciate pretty much anything
12:32
Dave Cameron: Dollar Sign on the Muscle.
12:33
Comment From Dan
What’s the current window for the Royals? Can they make a playoff push in 2014?
12:33
Dave Cameron: Sure, and then they’re going to have to figure something else out when James Shields wants $150 million.
12:33
Comment From Robocles
So is 1 first round pick worth more than 3 years of Stephen Drew at a reasonable price?
12:34
Dave Cameron: Depends on the team, pick, and definition of a reasonable price. At $5 or $6 million per year, Drew is more valuable. At $10 million per year, the pick is probably more valuable.
12:34
Comment From AL
What is your opinion on where the Brewers rank in the Central? With the addition of Garza, do the Brewers sneak in at #3 behind the Pirates and Cards? Also how close, assuming Burnett not signing with Pitt, are the Brewers to the pirates?
12:34
Dave Cameron: Probably on par with the Reds, and both of them are behind STL/PIT.
12:34
Comment From Kc
How big of a bargain is Santana three for 39?
12:34
Dave Cameron: Not much of one.
12:34
Comment From _David_
Why do the Mariners keep talking about Nick Franklin as a SS? I know he’s not and shouldn’t be- I’m wondering what the team’s motivation is in portraying him this way and if they somehow believe it…Do they think that prospective trade partners will see the SS stuff and somehow be duped into having a more positive perception of his fielding?
12:34
Dave Cameron: He’s a trade chip, and they’re trying to build his value.
12:35
Comment From Bigger Hurt
Chances that Brad Miller becomes a .290/.360/.450 with 15+ steals guy by 2015?
12:35
Dave Cameron: I’d say .280/.340/.430.
12:36
Comment From Jefferson
If Mike Trout were a free agent and only wanted to sign a 1 year deal, how much would he get on a 1 year deal?
12:36
Comment From Sabermetrics Newbie
For someone who is new to sabermetrics and wants to get a “working” knowledge, how would you recommend one go about doing that? Whether it be to start with a book or the glossary here at Fangraphs, etc. Thanks!
12:36
Dave Cameron: The glossary here would be your best bet for an intro.
12:36
Comment From DTSS
You were a catcher? How was your pitch framing?
12:36
Dave Cameron: Doumit-ish.
12:37
Comment From TB
Thinking of someone like Oscar Taveras…there’s a generally accepted idea that, for development purposes, you’d rather have him getting ABs in AAA than playing a couple times a week in MLB. That makes logical sense, but is there empirical evidence behind it? Are there situations (STL/Taveras probably not being the best example; maybe TB/Myers last year?) where the benefits outweigh the cost? To be clear, I’m asking purely in terms of development vs. on-field value at the time; I know service time is a huge factor in decisions like this but, you know…disregard that for the sake of this question.
12:37
Dave Cameron: Hard to learn how to identify a breaking ball from the bench.
12:37
Comment From Boxy/Smokey
Do you think the Jays have a shot at the WC , or the AL East pennant?
12:37
Dave Cameron: A shot, yes.
12:37
Comment From Tom
What can Mike Matheny do to improve as a manager?
12:37
Dave Cameron: Take out his starting pitchers earlier.
12:37
Comment From Andrew
Before he was traded, would a mark trumbo for homer bailey have make sense?
12:38
Dave Cameron: Bailey is twice the player that Trumbo is.
12:38
Comment From DTSS
No idea about skiing, but the NC/TN mountains are great for hiking. Incredibly beautiful. Also the tallest mountains in the East.
12:38
Dave Cameron: Agreed. Love hiking in the Blue Ridge.
12:39
Comment From Stanatee the Manatee
Do you see Taveras heading back to AAA or staying in St. Louis as the 4th outfielder?
12:39
Dave Cameron: Triple-A for the first half, majors in the second half assuming production and health.
12:39
Comment From Froglegs Jackson
How much would *elite* prospects like Buxton or Bogaerts get if they were free agents?
12:39
Dave Cameron: You just saw the Tanaka deal. Maybe more.
12:40
Comment From Dave
Hey Dave, thanks for the chat. I’ve always wondered about a study that looked at cumulative WAR of drafted and signed players on a team-by-team basis since the early 90s. I think it’d be a great way to look at which organizations have had the most success drafting/developing by player type and draft spot selection. Is there any way one of you brilliant minds at Fangraphs could do that?
12:40
Dave Cameron: Baseball America has done a few of those studies recently.
12:41
Comment From Fangraphs Available Projections
Not sure if you have a preference and if you do, whether you’re at liberty to say but if you do and you can…which of the projections is your “go-to” and for what reason?
12:41
Dave Cameron: I like ZIPS and Steamer, and weight them about evenly.
12:41
Comment From Shauntell
Has anyone written a piece about why exactly Kershaw has been the best pitcher in baseball the last 2 years even though he has more or less the same WAR as Felix and Verlander? It seems like the ERA discrepancy with his peripherals hasn’t been explained well enough…
12:41
Dave Cameron: There are essentially four types of pitchers who have shown some ability to outperform their FIP:
12:41
Dave Cameron: 1. Knuckleballers
12:42
Dave Cameron: 2. Lefty fly ball pitchers.
12:42
Dave Cameron: 3. High strikeout pitchers
12:42
Dave Cameron: 4. Something I’m forgetting off-hand.
12:42
Dave Cameron: Kershaw fits three of the four traits. FIP underrates him.
12:43
Comment From Andrew
Dave, save me from jury duty please
12:44
Dave Cameron: Just start screaming out GUILTY at the top of your lungs during pre-trial motions. They’ll let you go.
12:44
Comment From RJA
What is going to happen with Nick Franklin?
12:45
Dave Cameron: He’ll be traded, probably for a starting pitcher.
12:45
Comment From TB
Are RPs the new OBP? TB, OAK seem to think so. If so, how do/how should they account for the seemingly crazy variability year-to-year in RPs who aren’t Rivera or Kimbrel (and thus probably too expensive to represent some sort of inefficiency anyway)?
12:45
Dave Cameron: I think part of it isn’t so much that they want to invest in RPs, but that the inflation in contract lengths have left RPs as one of the few places to invest free agent money on a one or two year deal.
12:46
Comment From Guest
If players keep getting a smaller share of overall revenue, do you see a major labor battle in the near future?
12:46
Dave Cameron: Sure, but I’m not actually sure that’s true.
12:46
Comment From matt
If you are Neil Huntington are you happy with Gaby Sanchez at first. The Pirates have been rumored on every left handed first baseman, but haven’t made a deal.
12:46
Dave Cameron: They should trade for Mike Carp.
12:47
Comment From Bobby
Hypothetical: You were a GM with a unprotected 1st round pick. Would you sign Nelson Cruz to a 1 year, 1 million contract?
12:47
Dave Cameron: No.
12:47
Comment From Nate
Can you ban that Stanton vs. Bruce question? I’ve read that specific question literally 4 times in the past few weeks in fangraph chats.
12:47
Dave Cameron: Sorry, I hadn’t seen it before. I’ll make sure to not answer it again.
12:47
Comment From David
Is it true that you’ve never said the f-word in your life?
12:47
Dave Cameron: Yup.
12:48
Comment From Tom Servo
ever enjoyed the snow at Mt Baker(WA) or Schweitzer(ID)
12:48
Dave Cameron: Never been to either. We mostly skiied Crystal Mountain growing up.
12:49
Comment From Tom Servo
What’s up with Rob Neyer?
12:49
Dave Cameron: I’m sure he’ll announce his new gig when he’s ready to.
12:49
Comment From Richie
She was mildly entertaining herself with the empty bowl, now you filled it and made it harder to play with. People.
12:49
Dave Cameron: She ended up eating about half the food, then went back to investigate this stupid white stuff that makes her feet cold.
12:50
Comment From pinch
have you skiied me/nh/vt at all? how does it compare?
12:51
Dave Cameron: Went to NH with the wife for a medical conference a few years ago, and an ice storm hit, shutting down the entire mountain except one lift and the bunny hill. So I wasn’t hugely impressed, you could say.
12:51
Comment From Tom Servo
If the Royals start out poorly, how long before they’d dump Shields for the best offer?
12:51
Dave Cameron: They won’t trade him until late-July.
12:52
Dave Cameron: And probably won’t trade him at all.
12:52
Comment From Grack Zeinke
where is Cruz going to play in Seattle?
12:52
Dave Cameron: Right field. Sounds like McClendon wants to limit Hart/Morrison/Smoak to a 1B/DH job-share.
12:52
Comment From Jake
Team with the biggest difference in scouting/drafting and development? That is, who drafts worst and develops players the best?
12:53
Dave Cameron: Impossible to know, because the two are inextricably linked. Was Matt Carpenter a genius draft pick or evidence that the Cardinals can turn anyone into an All-Star? How do you separate the credit there?
12:53
Comment From DTSS
Have you heard anything about why the Nats couldn’t get a deal done to extend Zimmermann or Desmond into their free agent years?
12:54
Dave Cameron: Would imagine it’s as simple as the price was too high.
12:54
Comment From Dan
There’s this guy on the internet, and he really dislikes your dollar value for wins. Can you tell him he’s a jerk so I can screenshot it and tell him to shut up? His name is lower case kyle. Thanks.
12:54
Dave Cameron: kyle, you’re not a jerk, but $/WAR ain’t so bad.
12:54
Comment From Prich
Lets pretend: Jack does not trade away any vital assets, merely signs Cruz (3/36) and Capuano (2/10) and a reliever (1/5) and the ms go 79-83… He gets canned. Can a smart GM build a close to instant-winner by ’15 with smart moves and the talent already on hand?
12:55
Dave Cameron: If the team goes 79-83, that means that guys like Ackley, Saunders, Zunino, and the pitchers didn’t play very well. So probably not.
12:55
Comment From David
Thoughts on the new THT? Will you contribute?
12:56
Dave Cameron: I really like the new direction for THT. Gives a better home to longer form pieces that got lost in the FG news cycle, and really lets us highlight pieces that took a lot of work.
12:56
Dave Cameron: I don’t think I’ll be a regular over there, but I might chip in once in a while.
12:56
Comment From Guest
Re:Buxton/Boegarts free agency, they would get payed that much now, but if the 6 years of team control thing was completely abolished no one would get those deals right?
12:57
Dave Cameron: Don’t think any team would mind signing Bogaerts from ages 22-30. He’d get a crazy long deal if he hit FA right now. Buxton’s a little further away, so his deal would probably be shorter.
12:57
Comment From Eddie
Lefty flyball pitchers…? Why?
12:58
Dave Cameron: Fly balls are caught more often than ground balls, and FB pitchers tend to get more infield flies, which are akin to strikeouts, basically. And lefties keep runners from stealing bases more easily.
12:59
Comment From Guest
Which pitcher do you seeing taking the next step between Estrada and Tyson Ross?
12:59
Dave Cameron: Does that imply that I have to think Estrada and Tyson Ross are ready to take the next step?
12:59
Comment From Beattie
Do you think the way players are paid is unfair? Take Mike Trout, who is probably producing most of his value before being arbitration eligible. Imagine he suffers a career ending injury from being too amazing. He got paid $500k for 20 WAR. While some bum veteran gets a million dollars for being a warm body.
1:00
Dave Cameron: Unions, as a general rule, take money from inexperienced guys and give it to tenured vets. It’s not just baseball.
1:00
Comment From Rob H
I understand that park factors matter, but could you explain how the Giants project for 9 pitching WAR on the projected standings and the Rockies for 17? Seems a little extreme. On paper, the Giants seem to have a clearly superior pitching staff.
1:00
Dave Cameron: I disagree. I don’t think the Giants pitching staff is particularly good.
1:01
Comment From Guest
No chance Franklin is a SS right?
1:01
Dave Cameron: He could play SS in the same way that Delmon Young could play CF.
1:01
Comment From Ryan
Dave, does anyone in the NL even compare to he Cardinals? if not for the team stop hitting in the 2012 NLCS, they would be 3 straight NL champs. 100 wins in 2014?
1:01
Dave Cameron: The Dodgers are just as good, maybe better.
1:02
Comment From Major Major Major Major
What if you said the F word right now, just to try it out?
1:02
Dave Cameron: What fun would that be? Cal Ripken didn’t take a day off just to see what it was like.
1:02
Comment From Robocles
Where do you come down on semi~curses like fartknocker?
1:02
Dave Cameron: I say crap a lot.
1:03
Comment From Catoblepas
On a scale of 1-10, how amusing would it be if Houston’s best pitcher by WAR was a reliever?
1:03
Dave Cameron: Considering they have Jason Castro and Dexter Fowler, I’d bet against that.
1:03
Comment From Eastern nc
Any snow in Winston-Salem? Teacher here, going on our third snow day tomorrow!
1:04
Dave Cameron: Got a couple of inches last night. Took my wife an hour to get home, and she works about 4 miles from our house. The south is insane when it snows.
1:04
Comment From Jason
Have you ever been to Canada?
1:04
Dave Cameron: Victoria is one of my favorite places on earth.
1:04
Comment From Billy
Do you think at least some teams are starting to feel that their corner OFs should have more in common with their CFs than their 1Bs?
1:04
Dave Cameron: Yep, no question, the days of the lumbering slugger in LF/RF are coming to an end.
1:05
Comment From Bob
Is it more likely to have a fluky (good or bad) season as hitter or pitcher?
1:05
Dave Cameron: A pitcher, because your defense has more control over your outcomes than opposing defenses have over a hitters.
1:06
Comment From Brad
What do you think Homer Bailey gets when he hits the oepn market?
1:06
Dave Cameron: If he has a good year, 6/150.
1:06
Comment From Dave
If draft pick compensation weren’t attached, what would you offer Cruz?
1:06
Dave Cameron: 1/10, maybe.
1:06
Dave Cameron: He’s just not very good.
1:06
Comment From Guest
You don’t think Abreu would be more comparable for Buxton and Bogaerts?
1:07
Dave Cameron: Abreu is a 27 year old bat only guy who may or may not hit. He’s not even in the conversation with those guys.
1:07
Comment From TKDC
What would happen to the cost of a win in free agency if there were no draft and everyone was a free agent and there was no “six years of team control”?
1:08
Dave Cameron: It would go way down. The league spends about $3.2 billion on 1,000 WAR, so average $/WAR would be around $3.2 million if everyone was an FA and money was allocated fairly.
1:08
Comment From Eddie Oropesa
This is a really, really early look, but is the potential 2015 FA class the best in a while?
1:08
Dave Cameron: Free agent classes two years away always look good, because those guys haven’t signed extensions yet.
1:09
Comment From Billy
If you ever take Liberty to places with heavy traffic, may I recommend a leash with a harness over a collar? It’s safer. I got a puppy just a few weeks before you got Liberty and we he got hit by a car and died on Friday.
1:10
Dave Cameron: Man, I’m sorry. A friend had her dog get hit by a car a few months ago. Can’t imagine how tough that must be.
1:10
Comment From David
RE:Victoria Why? Come to Montreal and sit with Jonah Keri. Oh ya, and you can meet me.
1:10
Dave Cameron: I asked Jonah about going to Montreal for our winter vacation, and he warned me against it, unless I like pneumonia.
1:11
Comment From Dustin
“A pitcher, because your defense has more control over your outcomes than opposing defenses have over a hitters.” On balls in play, the control is the same for pitcher vs hitter, so where is the difference? Controlling K/BB?
1:11
Dave Cameron: No, on balls in play it is not the same, because a pitcher carries his own defense with him for all 33 starts, whereas a hitter faces a variety of defenses that are likely to come out close to average overall.
1:12
Comment From David
Great point, but doing it in the summer is cool.
1:12
Dave Cameron: It’s on the list of places I want to visit.
1:12
Dave Cameron: Okay, lunch time, plus Liberty is now asking me to snuggle, which is too cute to ignore.
1:12
Dave Cameron: See you next week.


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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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