Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/14/14

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: So, look, I’m always late. I know this about myself.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I was going to be a minute late today!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Then Cover It Live wouldn’t let me log in and I became seven minutes late.

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: So blame them for 86% of your annoyance

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Now let’s have us a baseball chat

9:08
Comment From wait
you know what they say better 7 minutes late than 1 minute late

9:08
Comment From aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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9:08
Comment From Josh
Signing John Buck is a decent signing for the Mariners right? Not really Miguel Olivo 2.0 for a backup on a one year deal.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Not bad, in that he’s better than Humberto Quintero and probably better than Jesus Sucre and he’s able to start in the event that Zunino isn’t good. Sort of an all-or-nothing hitter who doesn’t have his old power, and he’s not a good pitch-receiver, evidently, but Buck is an adequate veteran on a deal that’s never worth more than a few hundred words.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally, John Buck would represent one possible Mike Zunino career path. Hardly out of the question.

9:10
Comment From Robert
It’s ok, I always add 5 minutes onto the start time anyways

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: This man is smarter than most Roberts

9:10
Comment From Curtis
Why the 24th for Tanaka? it’s going to be a midnight oil offer fest whether it is 3 days or 30 days from his initial announcement..

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Well they had to establish some kind of window and 30 days was a holdover from the previous posting system. Certainly, the most activity is going to come over the final 24 hours

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Unique situation, in that we have essentially a free agent with a signing deadline. As I’ve said before, really no reason for Tanaka to sign before he has to

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Do we know if the deadline is actually midnight, or something more reasonable? Crowdsource!

9:12
Comment From Tim
Ok most analysts and projections are bearish on the Reds. But with that pitching staff they still should reach around 90 wins right?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: 90 wins is optimistic, as they seem more like a .500 ballclub, but here you can see a big difference between ZiPS and Steamer. Steamer thinks the Reds are well behind the Cardinals in the Central. ZiPS loves the pitching staff more, and basically calls the Reds solid contenders

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: The easy way out is to split the middle and say they’re fringe contenders who’ll be good with health/breaks

9:13
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Tony Blengino is a phenomenal addition to the FG writing team; just wanted to say that.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: We agree, and we like that his perspective comes with legitimacy having worked inside multiple actual front offices

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: A nerd who made it!

9:14
Comment From tropicalmug
Did you see how supervolcanoes are powered? Is this news at all? http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/01/earths-devastating-supervolcanoes-powered-by-density-differences/

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s news and it’s neat. And I also wish we could talk a little less often about supervolcanoes, although at least now there seems to be a true difference between them and other littler sorts

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Used to be a supervolcano was thought to be a volcano that erupted all big-like. Now it seems like there are true differences in plumbing preceding a super-eruption or whatever you want to call it

9:16
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Tony Cingrani in 2014: can he keep it up?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Finished with a 99 FIP- and a 93 xFIP-. I like his chances to be at least league-average

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll worry about his repertoire when I actually have reason to

9:17
Comment From Catoblepas
How much of the pleasure you get from writing is due to reader response, i.e. us? My first Community piece got published and I’m thrilled every time someone comments. Has it changed since you started getting paid to write?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Things changed well before that — I’ve been writing online for more than a decade and at some point you just get accustomed to people leaving a lot of comments. It’s a twin process, in that pleasure comes from feedback and also from within if I’m particularly proud of an idea or the execution. I put more weight on the latter, but I’m very much aware of the feedback because like all writers I am thin-skinned and I frequently doubt myself

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Every single writer is a delicate little tulip

9:20
Comment From Cochise
Why don’t the M’s shift their attention to Raciel Iglesias or Sun Min Yoon instead of Tanaka?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Because Tanaka’s better. Also we can’t be entirely sure quite what they’re doing right now

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: besides signing John Buck

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Looking for the latest Yoon update

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: So Yoon pitched last year out of the bullpen and his velocity dropped. That’s not encouraging. Most recent links have been the Twins and Red Sox

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Iglesias was also primarily a reliever in Cuba although he’s going to get a shot to start

9:24
Comment From Robert
So, Mike Trout decided to add 5% to his BB% in 2013. What does he decided to do in 2014? 35 HR? Get back to his steals level from 2012?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: For the record it was also in large part just pitchers pitching him differently and more cautiously. It’s not like Trout squeezed more walks out of the same exact stuff

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Also dropped his K% by three percentage points

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe this is the year he ends up with double-digit triples

9:26
Comment From Cochise
How much would you like the John Buck signing for the M’s?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: As much as I like filling out a short online survey in order to get a free coffee from the bagel place down the street

9:27
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Meet the new CoverIt Live, same as the old CoverItLive.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m holding out for as long as I possibly can

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure it’s easy enough to use the new model, but since I’m always late it’s not like I give myself much time in advance to learn the system

9:28
Comment From Ian
Are the Reds having the worst offseason or just a really bad one?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Seen the Orioles?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been depressingly inactive, but at least it hasn’t been a catastrophe. So

9:28
Comment From Stanatee the Manatee
Can we please take a moment to laugh at the Cubs awful new mascot? http://usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/clarkthecub.jpg?w=640

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Totally missed this yesterday. I can imagine exactly what that mascot’s voice would sound like. It wouldn’t sound like a mean bear.

9:30
Comment From SMC
I’m an attorney, and I do arbitration appeals as part of my practice. And I think A-Rod has a better shot than some people do, particularly in light of Horowitz’s “creative” math getting to 162.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I cannot respond to this but I wanted to add the comment regardless!

9:31
Comment From Marvin
Any chance Mariners can pry Gomez from Brewers for some prospects not named Walker? (should they?)

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Unlikely. He’s incredible, and signed to an incredible contract. I’m sure they’ve called, but there’s zero reason for the Brewers to sell Gomez lightly

9:32
Comment From LarryA
Will the Yanks really go into the season with Johnson and Brian Roberts at 2nd and 3rd? Along with Jeter, will it be disasterous for their pitchers?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: They also signed Scott Sizemore, and Brendan Ryan is around for defense, and they’re still sniffing around the market, with a Logan Forsythe rumor coming up the other day

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s going to be…un-Yankees-like. I’m not sure the Yankees right now are a .500 ballclub

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: We have them projected right now to be basically the same as the Mariners

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Pending, of course, the remaining addition to their starting five

9:35
Comment From Mugatu
Doesn’t Jeff Baker just make too much sense for the Brewers? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Makes more sense for a good team

9:35
Comment From Boston Phan
Do framing skills deteriorate as catchers age? Having Ruiz back for a full season should be a boost for the Phils but perhaps forecasting systems are too optimistic given his age?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: To my knowledge we don’t really have a pitch-framing aging curve. And, intuitively, it seems like the sort of thing that ought to age pretty gracefully. I mean, look at Jose Molina, who is older than most rocks

9:36
Comment From Guest
Over or under 1% chance Tanaka signs with Colorado

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Way under

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Somehow way under 1%

9:37
Comment From Ryan
Given that Mike Trout is putting up similar numbers to 22 year old A-Rod, why are we not hearing more speculation about him juicing, especially with the body type that he has, ie. fast and powerful.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Because people want to believe this is a new era and because people aren’t completely insufferable pricks

9:38
Comment From SMC
If the Yanks oir Dodgers offered Tanaka 8/180, he’d have to take it, no?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: That’s my assumption, unless things are even crazier than I think

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: but that should be well more than enough

9:39
Comment From Nick
If Rick Hahn magically signs Tanaka, does that make the White Sox contenders in 2014? A rotation with Sale-Tanaka-Quintana looks very strong.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: No, the White Sox are bad. Arguably the most bad. Bad + 3 or 4 wins = only a little less bad

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: At this point, the White Sox are projected worse than the Astros

9:40
Comment From Kyle in Illinois
What happens to the Mariners’ compensatory pick if (theoretically) Morales doesn’t sign with a team until after the June draft? Do they lose it altogether or get something else later?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I believe they just don’t get compensation

9:40
Comment From tropicalmug
5 pm EST deadline for Tanaka

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Re: earlier. Good to know, thank you

9:41
Comment From Gson
Homer Bailey…gets trade where?..

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think he does

9:41
Comment From Guest
Do you think the Mariners make a rash decision and trade the farm for Price if they fail to land Tanaka?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think they throw too much money at Ervin Santana in that evenet

9:42
Comment From LarryA
What would Miggy Cabreras line look like if he played in AAA all year?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Best line in affiliated ball last year was .390/.456/.676, belonging to Lonnie Chisenhall over a small sample

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll put Cabrera around .375/.500/.650, given sufficient health and day-to-day motivation

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: maybe a higher OBP on account of all the intentional walks

9:45
Comment From Joe
Does Franklin start the year on the bench if he doesn’t get traded before ?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: minors

9:45
Comment From Vin
Why Brewers prospects suck why?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan:
9:45
Comment From Cochise
Do you watch the frozen 4?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I will if I’m around. I used to care about college hockey lots more

9:47
Comment From Eastern NC
Name five sure fire hall of famers that are currently playing if they retired today.

9:48
Comment From Gson
the cardinals are projected to be a 105 win team.. in that division?.. it’s just not going to happen..

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody is projected to be a 105-win team

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody should ever be projected to be a 105-win team

9:48
Comment From Eastern NC
Do the 1995 Indians have the most near-HOF players in history? Manny, Thome, Orel, Lofton, Belle? If they had won it all, would they be more inclined to get in?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting question. I don’t have a good response off the top of my head, but maybe this’ll inspire a Community blog post, as some prompts do. A championship presumably would have helped everyone’s causes

9:50
Comment From Steve
What are your thoughts on Zack Wheeler? Will he take a step forward next year and lower his WHIP?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I get nervous about guys who don’t throw enough strikes. I think he’ll be better than his debut-season 112 xFIP-, but not by a whole lot — he’s got real kinks to work through and I’m uncomfortable assuming big improvement

9:52
Comment From LarryA
Why are so few of the Community article Fantasy focused?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: People are less interested in writing fantasy content

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Also a lot of the submitted would-be fantasy content has been pretty bad

9:53
Comment From EdgarHOF
Just curious, do you have any idea what’s the difference (in wins the next season) for teams which change their logo/mascot/primary uniform? Never *seems* to be good from my acedotal point of view.

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well this isn’t the question I was expecting

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, I don’t have a good, well-researched answer. Off the top of my head, I’ll guess teams are more likely to make changes when they’re coming off disappointing seasons and need a bit of a PR lift. So if that’s the case I”d bet on improvement due simply to regression up to the mean

9:55
Comment From Jobu
Is there a young pitcher you could see taking a Teheran-like leap forward this year?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I keep thinking it’s time for Matt Moore to get better

9:55
Comment From Eastern NC
If a former player were to turn into a volcano, it would have to be Albert Belle, right? I think Brett Lawrie would also make a good volcano. Ty Cobb too, he punched out a fan!

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Milton Bradley would be one of those volcanoes that’s constantly threatening surrounding farming communities

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: In retrospect probably shouldn’t have settled on the flanks of Mt. Bradley

9:56
Comment From Mike
Jeff – you have helped make volcanos interesting for me, thanks. But what do you make of this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI7AoBFxpAY

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: sorry that took a few minutes

9:58
Comment From Guest
Do the jays have a chance at landing Nick Franklin? Would Drabek and a bullpen arm be enough?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Jays have an obvious need but the teams don’t match up particularly well. Drabek doesn’t have enough value

9:59
Comment From Jobu
Does ZIPS take into account home park factors?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I assume that it does

9:59
Comment From Bobby
Will Rays trade Joyce, Lobaton or Price by Friday, seeing as that allows trading team time to negotiate salary before arbitration offers must be turned in?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Price isn’t getting moved until after the Tanaka situation is settled

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: if then. I assume there’ll be another run on his services after the big fish has committed somewhere

10:00
Comment From Robert
Which team do you consider to have the highest beta in terms of performance outcomes for 2014?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hmm. Actually a tough one

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Might have to default to the Reds, since Steamer and ZiPS think of them so differently, and since we’re not quite sure what to make of Billy Hamilton

10:02
Comment From Dave
How many wins do you see for the Orioles this year?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: 77

10:02
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
best bounce back 2014: Kemp, Granderson, Pujols, other?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Pujols

10:02
Comment From Cochise
Is Fernandez a threat to Kershaw for Cy young?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely, but not if Kershaw throws another 230+ innings

10:03
Comment From Bret
Let’s say your favourite team said that they were going to start Ryan Goins at second base, and then backed that up by not signing anybody who could possibly be competition or an upgrade. What would your reaction be?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I’d look up what a Ryan Goins is

10:03
Comment From Ken
Cingrani or Salazar?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar

10:03
Comment From Eastern NC
Who are the best teams you’ve watched that didnt’ win it? I got the 98 Braves, 01 Mariners, 95 Indians, 04 Cardinals, 11 Rangers

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Obvious answer has to be the 2001 Mariners

10:04
Comment From Ken
I haven’t seen your thoughts on the Cards getting Peralta to play shortstop. What do you think?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: They could’ve done something sexier, but I don’t have a problem with it. He’s fine and the team is great around him. They had a hell of an offseason

10:04
Comment From Prich
So, you seem to think the Ms are going to sign Cruz… With that, their mindset will probably be they don’t need any more OFs, so, the question is, what do you think will come of Franklin: Traded for a SP, Super-Utility, or, starts the year in AAA?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I still assume Franklin gets traded, but if he does, he’ll start in the minors until he gets traded or something goes awry above him

10:05
Comment From Cochise
Will Verlander put up monster #’s now he’s back with Kate Uoton?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t it be just as easy to suggest the opposite?

10:05
Comment From Kris
Hey Jeff, is this finally the year Tulo wins MVP!?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: No!

10:05
Comment From Mid round 1B
Better 2014: Belt vs Rizzo?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Belt!

10:06

Comment From JCCfromDC
Looking at the available free agents, do you see any moves that could improve the Nationals’ bench? I keep hearing John Buck as a possible backup catcher, but I don’t see him as any improvement over their in house options worth booting someone else off of their 40 man. Other than that they have a LH bat with speed (McLouth), a RH bat (Hairston), a utility infielder (Espinosa or one of a bazillion options, most notably Jamey Carroll), Tyler Moore in case LaRoche stumbles again, and whoever is the backup catcher.

Is there a transaction/free agent out there that I am missing?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well this is less interesting than I thought. The bench is pretty much settled. They might sign some backstop to a minor-league contract with an ST invite

10:07
Comment From Guest
How cheap would Drew have to be to make sense for the Jays, any chance he could be had for 2 years 18m?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s a matter of price so much as it could be a matter of Drew’s willingness to play second base

10:08
Comment From Kyle
It’s looking more an more like the Rays hang on to Price and make a run in 2014. Or do you still see a move being made before camp opens?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s still a pretty high likelihood of a trade after January 24

10:08
Comment From LarryA
Are there no Craig Kimbrels in Japan? why does it seem like only Starters come over?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Because you’re ignoring the relievers and starters get bigger headlines

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Uehara was kind of a reliever

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Saito, Otsuka, Okajima, Sasaki…

10:10
Comment From deadpool
Walk this Braves fan away from the cliff. Feels like they’re content to get a little worse and still be solid contenders for the East when they should be trying to get better? Does that ever work?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves are projected to be the best team in the NL East

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re on the cliff right now you have bigger problems than the outlook for the 2014 Atlanta Braves

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: They’re pretty light on needs

10:12
Comment From Guest
What would the reaction be like if Trout had a replacement level season?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: We’d all get fired because people would realize we can’t actually analyze baseball for shit

10:13
Comment From Guest
How stupid/incompetent/corrupt was MLBPA in the last negotiation to leave NAPs totally up to Selig and to treat 2 roids at once as 2 violations?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a lot of players are supportive of harsher penalties. Also seems like something people might not have thought of

10:14
Comment From Prich
Is Tampa close enough to a WS with Price -and furthermore, would he be the guy that makes the difference between making the postseason and not- that keeping him through the season is a smart idea?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s obviously not a *bad* idea. It works as a fallback. But Price with one year left would have less trade value than Price with two years left and the Rays need to be focused on their bigger-picture model of sustainability

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: A reasonable Price trade right now probably wouldn’t cost the Rays that much in the 2014 standings, assuming they get back some big-league-ready talent

10:16
Comment From Guest
Would the Angels be better off signing Tanaka or two of the lesser free agent pitchers?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Tanaka by a hair

10:16
Comment From matthew
How about the Dodgers for an overrated offseason? They didn’t answer any questions about the left side of their infield, lost bench depth, and signed relievers to pricey contracts. Oh, and they didn’t resign Kershaw and are going into the season with 3/4 of their infield as a question mark.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s overrating their offseason?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers don’t have a lot of needs. They didn’t need to do much. The Kershaw situation is weird

10:18
Comment From Mike
Jeff – if you know for sure great, if not, what is your best guess at how much an MLB slugger can bench press. I’m just curious. Thanks!

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: uhhhh

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: “When I was a junior in high school, I bench-pressed 310 pounds, today I probably bench-press 240 or 250.”

10:19
Comment From Prich
Re: Coffee, what’s your poison… Straight Black, w/cream and/or sugar, or foo foo drinks?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Straight black. Black coffee is delicious

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Foo foo drinks if it’s hot out

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: But that’s not coffee. That’s sugar with a coffee component

10:20
Comment From David Pearl
What’s to stop pitchFX from being taken private again, and is this the sabermetric doomsday scenario?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: You know, I don’t actually know. Seems like they could do that. But also seems like they’re focused on other things and the real doomsday scenario is teams getting so much better with so much more advanced data sets that we hardly know anything from the outside

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Like, with HITf/x, and COMMANDf/x, and the theoretical FIELDf/x, we could conceivably be left completely in the dust

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: maybe I’m being dramatic

10:21
Comment From R. Wilson
Off-topic: quantify your excitement for the upcoming foot ball game between the Seattles and San Franciscos.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more excited about any given regular-season Ottawa Senators game but I’ll be happy to watch the football upon kickoff

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Might be a fun day to go out and watch among people, since I expect Portland to be torn

10:22
Comment From DTSS
Should the Nats have signed Buck instead? Ramos has been injury prone and the Nats are relying on a replacement level or sub-replacement level backups.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: They could probably use another guy but realistically it hardly makes any difference. They could just grab Shoppach or Torrealba or something

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s where Michael McKenry goes

10:26
Comment From David Pearl
Who do you feel better about as a prospect, Brad Miller or Mike Zunino?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Miller

10:26
Comment From zack
Odds that AROD never plays in a MLB game again?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Aw geez. 60%? That’s honestly just a guess

10:27
Comment From Catoblepas
It doesn’t really make sense for the Yankees to the be the ones to sign Tanaka then, right? An extra 3-5 wins barely gets them into fringe wild card territory, i.e. where they were this year.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Well remember that Tanaka wouldn’t just be a 2014 investment. And the Yankees being the Yankees, with their budget, they’re never going to be that far out of the race in any given season, so no matter how mediocre they might be now, the door’s open to be quite good again in a short while

10:28
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Did you see that there was a measurable seismic event caused by Seahawks fans last Weekend?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Happens a lot

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: there are twice as many seismometers measuring that stadium as there are measuring Glacier Peak

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Glacier Peak is an explosive and active nearby volcano threatening the livelihoods of thousands

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: In a lot of ways, we’re stupid

10:29
Comment From Bip
With so many people asking what MLB is hoping to gain by going after A-Rod, what is MLB hoping to gain by going after A-Rod?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: We’re well into the message-sending area, and I suspect MLB wants to come down hard on A-Rod in particular for all of his various lies and deceptive efforts. He’s the current face of PEDs, so MLB wants to show that it can bring down an active PED icon

10:31
Comment From Prich
Would Franklin for Hicks be a fair deal, or would one side perceived to be getting hosed, rightly or not?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Favors the Twins. Hicks is coming off an unimpressive season and he’s also older

10:32
Comment From Patrick B.
Is there a team that won fewer than 75 games last year making a jump into the postseason?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: To me, the most likely would be the Jays

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: then the Mariners or Rockies

10:33
Comment From Participant
Over or under 15% chance Tanaka signs with the Cubs

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say 10%?

10:33
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Drew actually makes tons o sense for the Yankees as both 3Bman and SS insurance. They may actually be able to get Drew and Arroyo for the same price as Tanaka.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Drew has to be willing to sign somewhere where he won’t be handed a starting shortstop position

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Might happen, but not his situation yet

10:34
Comment From Grack Zeinke
who do you think Ike Davis eventually gets flipped for?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: An interesting pitcher who never quite makes it

10:34
Comment From kevinthecomic
Writers, like comedians, tend to have similar temperaments: they crave the love that only total strangers can provide. Heck, I left a comment on a NotGraphs article and told almost everyone I know about the 7 ‘likes’ I received!

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: We’re pathetic

10:35
Comment From Eastern NC
What would Twitter do if Tanaka ended up being Hideki Irabu?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: be racist

10:36
Comment From Eastern NC
Who was better, the 98 Yankees or 01 Mariners?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: 2001 Mariners

10:36
Comment From Bip
Is there a kind of double standard with the Rockies? I.e. their batters are frequently shot down for being products of Coors, but rarely are their pitchers given credit for pitching in hell.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, people suck at dealing with the Coors Field park factor, in large part because the park factor is insane. It just more or less changes the game. So difficult to evaluate any of those players relative to others in other places

10:38
Comment From Robert
Tanaka to the Angels make them a playoff team for you?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

10:38
Comment From Oren
How do you rank the AL East teams on paper, as of today?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Sox — Rays — Yankees/Jays — Orioles

10:40
Comment From Cochise
Does the Mariners comp pick for Morales go away cuz of Cano?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, if Morales signs elsewhere before June

10:40
Comment From kevinthecomic
The Orioles signing of Delmon Young complete turns their off-season around!!!! You can stop bashing them now. {sarcasm}

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more interested in the Jack Cust tryout

10:40
Comment From Alan
If pitch framing is a real skill, why don’t we see it affect other stats, such as catcher ERA? If catcher A gets more strike calls for pitcher A, wouldn’t it make sense for said pitcher to have a higher ERA with catcher B, who doesn’t get as many strikes? I’ve been led to believe catcher ERA isn’t a real thing, so where does the value in framing come in to play?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Some investigations have shown an effect. Let me try to track one down in particular

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well I’m stuck

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: But basically, a year or two ago, MGL found a strong effect on runs allowed for Jose Molina, that more or less matched what the framing numbers have suggested

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: So something does seem to be in there — it’s just hard to get to, because of all the adjustments and noise

10:46
Comment From Ben
Are there any projections for Jose Dariel Abreu? Right now he’s projected at -1.2 WAR in the depth charts section, which seems to be replacement level?

10:46
Comment From Justin
What’s the over/under on number if major FAs that sign within 5 days after Tanaka’s signing?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be surprised to see all of Santana/Garza/Jimenez go at that point

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: it’s going to be a busy week

10:46
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Interesting how often you guys cite team projections considering how far off many of them end up being. What were the Giants, Red Sox & Yankees projected a year ago? Nationals?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Well, obviously with a sample size of 1 season, you’re going to see a lot of teams end up far away from the projections

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: But projections still give us our best hope of seeing into the future to some extent. Otherwise we just have to treat everybody as equal

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: here are some good 2013 projections http://www.rlyw.net/index.php/RLYW/direct/the_2013_mlb_projection_blowout

10:50
Comment From bucs_lose_again
Who do you think gets more PA this year? Tavares with the Cards or Polanco with the Pirates?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like Polanco has a clearer path

10:50
Comment From Jason
How invested do the M’s seem with Farquar, and if he stumbles out of the gate, who do you think they end up giving the ball to in the 9th. It seems like they really want Pryor to be the guy.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: They’re looking around for some veteran help and in the past they’ve been linked to Balfour/Rodney/Wilson/etc. Farquhar is the guy but the M’s aren’t 100% wedded to him

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: In the short-term, could be Wilhelmsen again, but they do like Pryor’s future if he comes back well from injury

10:51
Comment From John
Do the Royals need to add another starter to contend? Or is potential impact of Duffy/Ventura/Zimmer enough?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: The Royals could really use another 2-3 WAR or so but they just don’t really have the room. The most obvious upgrade would indeed be somewhere in the rotation since it’s mediocre behind Shields

10:52
Comment From The Oriole Bird
It’s frustrating that many people believe that Fangraphs and other similar sites are only interested in stats. We need to do a better job convincing the public that sabermeyrics is based on applying reason, logic, and evidence to baseball–not simply coming up with evermore esoteric statistics.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: All things considered, I think we’re doing pretty well. You’ll never convince all of the public, or most of the public. But traffic keeps building and building. People are more aware than ever that traditional media suffers in its analysis of the sport, and people love sports analysis.

10:53
Comment From Jason
Is Evan Longoria unspectacularly adequate generally speaking? The hype seems overblown.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Overblown? Evan Longoria? Evan Longoria is overrated in your book?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Who even talks about Evan Longoria these days? He was just worth seven wins and he’s nationally invisible.

10:54
Comment From INNOCENT
What could A-Rod get if he was a free agent right now?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think he might go unsigned

10:54
Comment From chris
Will you try and do a Uss mariner meet up at any of the games you attend?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe, but we don’t really have the best relationship with the Mariners front office people anymore…

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Perhaps something more casual and unofficial

10:55
Comment From jasper
I’m not sure if it was you or someone else, but a recent podcast discussed Coco Crisp’s home runs last year, particularly that about half were “Just Enoughs” according to Hit Tracker, and that his HR total this season should regress. Can this same approach be taken with pitchers?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Not enough information, and we also need to know about fly balls that almost left the park and didn’t. Safest thing to do is simply regress homer totals that seem unusually inflated

10:56
Comment From Washingtons pants
Help me understand Portland’s affiliation w/ San Francisco. Driving time from Portland to SF = 9:42. To Seattle = 2:44. Plus, Seattle/Portland share many cultural similarities.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: and SF/Portland share many cultural similarities, and a lot of Oregon is considered within the SF sports market. Plenty of people who live here have migrated from California; fewer have migrated from up north. I’d say Portland is more or less split in its SF/SEA loyalties

10:57
Comment From Bob Valdez
You read anyone else’s chats?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes. Frequently Dave’s

10:57
Comment From Jake
Oakland’s been getting credit for taking advantage of the FB hitter vs GB pitcher platoon advantage. That advantage was written about in The Book almost seven years ago. What do you think is the next big advantage to be exploited by a big league club?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe someone will figure out proper bullpen evaluation. Or maybe someone will go with more pitch-type matchups, instead of simple platoon matchups

10:59
Comment From Bruce
Do you think “crack off the bat” is a valid scouting tool?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Not if you’re seeing a guy for a day or two

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: But basically you’re just looking for consistency of quality contact

10:59
Comment From Guest
Should Girardi have been Al Coach of the yr?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think so!

10:59
Comment From Jake
How much would it take for the Yankees to buyout A-Rod’s contract? Would he ever even consider taking one?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It would take the remainder of A-Rod’s contract

11:00
Comment From Grack Zeinke
jeez, you are becoming to volcanoes what Eno is to beer. ugh.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: “becoming”?

11:00
Comment From Kris
Should the Braves deal Kimbrel?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there would actually be that big of a market

11:00
Comment From FS
mckenry is a great suggestion for Nationals but he did have a surgery last season. shouldn’t that worry nationals?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re poking around toward the end of the offseason for a veteran backup catcher, there are going to be flaws

11:02
Comment From Jake
Why are all projection systems so pessimistic about Soriano? He hasn’t posted a sub 100 wRC+ since 2009, 2012 he put up 116, 2013 112 wRC+. Steamer and Oliver put him at 94 and 100 for 2014. Sup?!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 38 years old so you’re probably looking at an aggressive aging curve. Might be too pessimistic by a few points

11:03
Comment From deadpool
Is the QO system working the way the players and MLB hoped, or is this going to be another point of contention in what’s building towards a scary CBA discussion in 2016?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to do something to try to fix this

11:03
Comment From Guest
Would the Jays adding Tanaka and a second basemen (either Drew or Franklin) make them the Wild Card favourite?(Because we know how well that predicts things)

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It would make them a very, very solid contender

11:03
Comment From Jake
The new Cubs mascot, Clark, is one outrageous dude!

11:03
Comment From Jake
What team benefits the least from adding Tanaka?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting question!

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say White Sox. Going in the right direction but some years away, and Tanaka would project the best for 2014/2015

11:05
Comment From Jake
Odds Sabathia posts a sub 4 FIP in 2014?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I like ’em

11:05
Comment From Jake
What’s lunch looking like?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: homemade chicken tacos

11:05
Comment From Guest
If SIERA is more predictative than FIP, and describes what happened better, why isn’t pitchers WAR based on it? Also, as an alternative pitchers WAR, wouldn’t one bases on wRC+ or wOBA against

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Whatever advantages SIERA might have are very small and FIP is elegant in its simplicity. Your latter suggestion is basically WAR independent of sequencing, and we sort of have that, if you adjust for LOB-Wins http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=404&position=P#value

11:07
Comment From Jake
Odds every team finishes 81-81?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: not high enough for funsies :(

11:08
Comment From E
not that it would happen, but how many teams (if any) could put together a package of prospects that the angels would accept for Mike Trout?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Prospects, specifically? So, not counting players on the big-league roster?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe one or two or three

11:09
Comment From Bip
Do you know why Steamer seems so bearish on some elite pitchers? It has both Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw down for less than 200 innings and less than 4 WAR.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The playing times are based on our own depth-chart inputs, and we’re instructed to be conservative there to take potential injuries into account

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m guessing Steamer isn’t a big fan of unusual homer-suppression, a skill both Kershaw and Verlander seem to possess

11:11
Comment From clarification
To be precise, Aaron Hicks is 17 months older than Nick Franklin and has only one more season of professional baseball experience. Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 14.8 for Hicks and 14.7 for Franklin.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Oliver is kind of crazy with minor leaguers

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: and wait, what?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 17.6 for Franklin and 12.3 for Hicks

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Which doesn’t change the point that Oliver is kind of crazy sometimes but Franklin has the higher value

11:13
Comment From FS
prospects have truly taken over the game. trouts, harpers, fernandezs, harverys of the world are talked about so much that longorias of the world don’t seem sexy enough anymore.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: People are just always looking for the next thing. We take greatness for granted real fast

11:14
Comment From Irrelevance
If you were forced to put a Fat Head decal on your wall, which player would go up there?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Felix

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: or Erik Karlsson

11:14
Comment From Yanny
what kind of season do you expect from Yan Gomes?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: a pretty good one!

11:14
Comment From Rated Rookie
The disdain for any non-sabre approach to describing/analyzing baseball seems like another symptom of the battle that plays out as “science” vs. “humanities” in education. Disdain in either direction reeks of ideology.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All anyone should want is a reasonable thought process. Sabermetrics is, at its core, just about reasonable thought processes. Doesn’t really matter what those look like, provided the author is honest with himself

11:16
Comment From rum raisin
The Mariners effectively traded a young pitcher for a young bat in the Pineda for Montero trade. Snark aside, is there any real reason to say a team shouldn’t make this kind of swap? Young player for young player, roughly equally valued despite difference in position?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Usually going to be a good idea to trade a young pitcher for a young hitter. Issue here, specifically, is that everyone seems to have overrated Montero, but some of that is inevitably going to be hindsight

11:17
Comment From rum raisin
Is Carlos Gomez someone you would build a strong trade package to obtain?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:17
Comment From Dan
Awesome fact on the number of seismographs around glacier mountain. It’s like spending more on fireworks than bombs during WW2.

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: :

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: :(

11:18
Comment From Chris Davis Arms
Have you seen the movie ‘Trouble With The Curve’? Holy hell, it’s the worst

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: why literally would I see that movie

11:19
Comment From Dan
Biggest remaining weakness for the Cards?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. Bullpen depth? It’s a really strong and deep team

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they have some issues at second

11:19
Comment From DTSS
FIP is more predictive than SIERA over two-year samples. Hardball Times had a number of posts looking into this.

11:20
Comment From Nats on the Run
Do you think Oliver is so nuts because it assumes everyone gets 600 PA?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not the only reason

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Kevin Kiermaier: 4.9 projected WAR

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie Betts: 5.0 projected WAR

11:21
Comment From 12 Years a Dave
do chats receive more traffic than articles?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: sometimes!

11:21
Comment From rum raisin
Are there rules preventing a sign and trade of Drew? If a team that has already paid a free agent (Mariners) sign another, are they penalized two draft picks or just the one? If just one, is it possible for them to sign Drew and trade him with other bits to a team that wants a shortstop (maybe Rays)? Just asking.

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: This is expressly forbidden

11:24
Comment From Chris Davis Arms
Fix this Orioles off-season in 3 available moves.

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Morales, Capuano, get one of the Padres’ outfielders

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: maybe make a move for Jon Jay

11:25
Comment From Grack Zeinke
If I’m Balt, I prob prefer Cruz to Morales.

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Whoever signs cheaper

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: In the short term, not much difference

11:25
Comment From david
how much would jon Jay cost?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure but he feels pretty gettable

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: All right, time to go! Things to do! The usual!

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for hanging out, and sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next Tuesday around the same time, and until then, be well and have great days



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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