Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/21/14

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Okay, let’s attempt this baseball chat

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: I have never before used this weird updated version of Cover It Live so prepare for hiccups and delays! What am I doing!

9:01
Comment From Bellingham Guy
SEAHAWKS!

9:01
Comment From Stanatee the Manatee
HE’S ON TIME!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’m getting the hang of this…

9:02
Comment From Masahiro Tanaka
Where do I sign?

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Forever believing Yankees. Even if you end up somewhere else, I’ll still assume the Yankees

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: They have the need, the money, the reputation, and the history of success with other quality Japanese players. Obviously it’s all up to Tanaka in the end but I don’t see them losing out

9:03
Comment From Eddie
Tanaka is just screwing with us now.

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no reason to sign before the deadline. Make people desperate — desperation means the highest possible offers

9:04
Comment From Prich
Bigger miracle: Seattle getting a championship, or Sullivan starting on time?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Seattle has won a championship! Go Sonics! :(

9:05
Comment From bob
How bad was the Yan Gomes,Aviles, – esmil rogers trade for the jays

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yan Gomes last year was arguably a better pitch-framer than Yadier Molina and Russell Martin!

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: He had the same wRC+ as Jose Bautista!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Gomes isn’t actually going to be one of the very best catchers in baseball, I don’t think, but what an awesome development for Brazil

9:09
Comment From swedishfish007
Assuming that either Chase Headley a) isn’t going to be extended by the Padres or b) is going to be traded soon – how does a Cameron Maybin for Dustin Ackley swap sound?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: It sounds interesting. Both in line to be free agents in 2018, although Maybin has a 2017 club option with a small buyout

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m looking at the numbers right now, and…

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I can see why both teams would be interested. Don’t know how highly the Mariners actually value Ackley at the moment, but I wouldn’t hate that for either team

9:12
Comment From Guest
Which player do you think will outperform their projections the most in 14?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to give the Steamer numbers a quick sweep now

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Sonny Gray? Taijuan Walker? Edinson Volquez?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Real interested in the Volquez project, after the Liriano success. Very different pitchers but Volquez couldn’t be going into a better environment, I don’t think

9:15
Comment From The Oberamtmann
Want to edit my dissertation for me? It’s about early modern European history!

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: That sounds like my aunt’s dissertation!

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: No!

9:15
Comment From Grack Zeinke
you buying that the Cubbies will “blow the field away” for Tanaka and that’s where he’ll sign?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I buy that they’ll bid a lot. I don’t think the Yankees’ ultimate offer will be blow-awayable

9:16
Comment From Bellingham Guy
Heres to the Seahawks, Mariners, Canucks and Trailblazers all winning championships soon

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: *Senators

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: :(

9:17
Comment From Masahiro
Finish this sentence: It is decided _____

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: father.

9:17
Comment From jb
Home sick with migraine. I’ve slept all the sleeps, read all the articles, watched all the youtubes, and netflix hurts too much. I’ve been waiting for you! *hoping this is a 2-hour chat type of day*

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Even when I have a lot of shit to do, it always seems to turn into a 2-hour chat type of day. I suck at shutting these things down.

9:18
Comment From jb
First post-Tanaka domino to fall?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Garza? Seems like he’s been talked up for a few weeks

9:18
Comment From Boxy
Chris Cotillo recently mentioned the Jays as being in on Tanaka via agents opinions. Any word on the Jays being heavily involved and if so their chances of landing Tanaka?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: No official word. No official word, really, on anyone — what’s coming out are leaks, and they might be incorrect or otherwise misleading. Teams don’t stand to benefit from publicizing their own interest in the guy, and there might well be more than five teams in on Tanaka. We won’t know anything for certain until Friday (at the latest). I imagine there are some interesting secrets.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think Tanaka goes to Toronto regardless, however.

9:20
Comment From Poochie
More value in 2014: Tanaka or Jeff Baker and Matt Garza?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka

9:20
Comment From Bret
How many days will it take from the moment Tanaka signs for Garza, Jimenez, and Santana to find homes?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: 5-7?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe longer to find actual homes. No one enjoys perusing the housing market.

9:21
Comment From bob
can i draft Yan Gomes as my starting catcher

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: you sure can buddy

9:21
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Balfour market heating back up? think he ends up as a relative bargain for someone now that teams may be a little scared off by the knee & wrist situations?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, in the end I think he’ll be a pretty good get. Probably Rodney too

9:21
Comment From Pig.Pen
Say something funny Sullivan, I’ve been here for like two minutes already.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: ointment

9:22
Comment From Spencer
Braves and Heyward only $300k apart, going to panel. Prado and Braves were only $400k apart before he was traded to the DBacks. You think Heyward will be traded, or just part of process?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: My understanding is Eno is writing about this very thing. One more interview to complete, should be published before too long

9:23
Comment From Seahawks
Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks. Seahawks? Seahawks!

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Wrong weekend for Mariners FanFest

9:23
Comment From Grack Zeinke
how do you see the Drew situation resolving? Cruz? Kendrys?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Gun to my head I’ll say Drew to Toronto, Cruz to Seattle, Morales to Baltimore

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Saw word the other day that Drew is open to playing other positions besides shortstop, and the Jays’ 2B situation is laughable

9:24
Comment From Everyone
Why are most people fond of Mariners fans, but loathsome of Seahawks fans? They’re most likely the same people right?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: The Seahawks are good and the Mariners are bad. It’s like how people felt great for Pirates fans last year, but would never feel good for Steelers/Penguins fans. Nobody likes when other teams are too successful. Everyone feels awful, meanwhile, for fans of the also-rans, because they’re totally harmless and pathetic

9:25
Comment From Eddie
If Tanaka takes someone else’s Brinks truck, do the Cubs trade Samardzija?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll re-visit it. The whole pitching market could/should re-open, with the free agents and David Price and everything. But in the end I don’t think he gets dealt this offseason

9:26
Comment From Guest
The Rangers have went from Hamilton/Cruz/Murphy outfield to Choo/Rios/Martin… is this an upgrade and was it worth it?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love their current outfield, but thankfully for them baseball teams are more than their starting outfields. The Rangers remain in the league’s upper class

9:27
Comment From Pig.Pen
Based on statistics and the black magic that makes up those statistics what kind of year do you think Bryce Harper will have?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: A super good one that’s worse than Mike Trout’s

9:27
Comment From Nick in Cleveland
What would the Indians have to offer Ubaldo to get him back? And would it be a good move for the Tribe?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say, I don’t know, $45m/3yr? I think they could survive that, but I don’t think it would be necessary

9:29
Comment From Not Sandy Alderson
Thanks for doing this Jeff. What would you do regarding the Mets first base logjam (or clogged toilet, in this case)

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Play Davis. Might as well see. He obviously has next to no market value, but he’s more interesting to me than Duda and it’s not like 2014 is going to be a championship season

9:30
Comment From Bret
Why aren’t more teams getting involved on AJ Burnett and making it way too difficult for him to consider retiring? He was really good two years in a row!

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he seems to be dead set on very limited possibilities, he’s old, he’s struggled outside of Pittsburgh, and there are lots of other pitchers on the market

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: But he is definitely better than his reputation

9:31
Comment From Prich
What are the odds that neither Morales or Cruz end up with the Orioles or Mariners?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: 2%

9:33
Comment From ncb
Bobby Abreu- 8 HRs and a 1.531 OPS in the Venezuela winter league playoffs. Does he play in the majors in 2014?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Other people who have dominated down there this winter: Joe Thurston, Hector Gimenez, Freddy Galvis, Ronny Cedeno, Gregorio Petit

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Any job would be a limited one, and I don’t think he ends up on a big-league roster

9:36
Comment From gareth
Which team would Tanaka make the most impact in 2014? The difference being “just winning” versus “just losing” the division.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Among realistic contenders for his services?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’d be awesome for the Angels, although they don’t seem to be in there.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: For the Yankees, Mariners, and Diamondbacks, the impact would be similar — probably not enough to win the division, but enough to become a legitimate wild-card contender, if not favorite

9:38
Comment From Pig.Pen
With a few weeks to digest and some perspective on how their offseason played out, is the Doug Fister trade any less of a dumpster fire for Detroit now?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Still and forever a bad deal. When no one in baseball understands why you did what you did, you were either stupid or genius, and this seems well shy of genius.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, the Tigers used the financial flexibility, but they could’ve gained the flexibility via other means. Or they could’ve traded Fister for more!

9:39
Comment From Beer
Have you observed signs of Seahawks fever in PDX, or is it still a city of split Washington/NorCal allegiances?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s split, but leaning Washington. You don’t get the vibe that the Seahawks are Portland’s team — and they’re not Portland’s team, and the Portland/Seattle sporting relationship is awkward — but there are jerseys and t-shirts all over the place. There’s a buzz. It’s probably not as loud as the Trailblazers buzz

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Went out on Sunday specifically to immerse myself in the atmosphere. Plenty of 49ers fans. Overwhelmed by Seahawks fans. A goodly number of people lost it, in the most enjoyable way

9:43
Comment From Jack Sikma
Favorite Sonic?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Payton, naturally

9:44
Comment From Mike
Jeff, if you have time for a hockey question, I’d love to know what you think of Eugene Melnyk and his ‘forensic’ investigation. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/melnyk-presents-forensic-results-to-nhl/

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I am simultaneously incredibly embarrassed and incredibly supportive of Matt Cooke being drowned in a river

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: #sports

9:46
Comment From heychuck
If the Mariners do not get Tanaka (seems likely) do they grab another one of the big free-agent pitchers?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Santana seems like the most likely bet

9:47
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Masterson to the Red Sox next offseason? Boston has wanted him back since he started starting and the Indians are back to pleading poverty.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, it’s entirely possible, but we’re already looking ahead to Justin Masterson’s free agency now?

9:47
Comment From Eastern NC
For the Orioles, they are being eviscerated by everyone for their offseason, and I agree they should have upgraded the offense. But really, the pitchers…..shouldn’t they just wait for Gausman? Underwhelming.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles haven’t had a great offseason, of course, but a part of this is people overstating the positive impact of landing free agents. Free agency usually makes for a pretty bad market. And the Orioles might still emerge with a player or two on reasonable salaries

9:49
Comment From Formerly the Snasher
Ryan Goins, any chance he hits enough to let his defense be a difference maker?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: The hope should be that no one ever has to find out

9:49
Comment From bababouey
Why does everyone say that the Braves need to trade Heyward before they lose him? Since when are the Braves a small market team unable to sign a big name?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Does everyone say that?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: But the Braves *do* have a fairly static payroll and a terrible TV contract that puts them at a financial disadvantage. Can’t ignore those twin realities

9:50
Comment From Chris206
Going to Portland with the girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. What is the one thing I absolutely positively MUST do while I’m there???

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Get a place to sleep

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: And remember, under all circumstances, it’s less about what you do, and more about who you do it with. The one thing you absolutely positively must do while you’re here is live in and appreciate the moment

9:51
Comment From Guest
How do you think Josh Johnson does this year?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Well enough to be considered pretty good again

9:52
Comment From Eastern NC
where do you stand on Manny Machado, future star, solid regular on contending team, starter for a bad team? What’s the likely outcome?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a guy who’ll end up kind of underrated when people think he’s a disappointment for not hitting enough

9:54
Comment From Eastern NC
Who is Rich Renteria, and why should Cub fans care?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Rick Renteria is the Cubs manager. Cubs fans should care because he is the Cubs manager

9:54
Comment From Formerly the Snasher
Biggest sleeper in the Jays system?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: That right there is a Hulet question

9:55
Comment From Erich
Assume Clayton Kershaw pitches at a high level for 5 years and opts out. Let’s speculate as to how absurd an overpay his next contract will be. 8Y/$280M?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I can get behind that

9:55
Comment From Eastern NC
Is a first round pick really more valuable than Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or Kendrys Morales?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: No, but then, the price is more than that

9:56
Comment From gareth
Does Theo Epstein see himself as a curse breaker? First red sox, now the cubs………..

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Or he just likes good, high-paying jobs that give him a lot of budget flexibility to work with

9:57
Comment From docmilo
If Tanaka takes winning environment into consideration and doesn’t want to be a Yankee, who is closer to having a winning team Cubs, Pale Hose, Mariners?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: With Tanaka the Mariners could be good right now

9:58
Comment From Nelson Cruz
Who is actually, realistically interested in signing me for anything close to what I’m asking for? If no one, who’s giving me a one-year deal?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: What you’re asking for? You’re not getting what you’re asking for. But you’re presumably going to Baltimore or Seattle. Have fun!

9:58
Comment From Erich
What would Russell Wilson’s slash line be in the major leagues in 2014 had he chosen baseball?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Something terrible

9:59
Comment From gareth
Pirates and Orioles are very confusing this off-season. Why are they not more aggressive in improving?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t have a lot of flexibility

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: And the Pirates in particular don’t really have a lot of needs

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Best thing the Pirates might be able to do is keep A.J. Burnett

10:01
Comment From Formerly the Smasher
Now that Melky has got the tumour removed from his spine, any chance he returns to 2012 form?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

10:01
Comment From Jake
What team has the least chance of competing few years from now?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Like, the worst outlook for 2016-2017?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the Phillies. Fun answers would be Angels/Yankees but probably unrealistic. Orioles could be challenged

10:03
Comment From Bellingham Guy
Arizona ends up with one of the starters? Or Tanaka or nothing for them?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think they could get re-involved in the David Price sweepstakes

10:05
Comment From Zimm
is there anything to be made of Ryu’s dramatically improved control in the 2nd half?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: The walk numbers got way better, but his strike rate just went from 64% to 65%. Something to be said for gaining comfort/familiarity but while I can see an improvement, I suspect it’s less dramatic than the numbers make it look like

10:07
Comment From Jake
What can a team do otimprove it’s farm, other than spend more money and sign non-comp FAs?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Lose a lot

10:07
Comment From gareth
Are the Indians better off with the Maholm, Marcum, Capuano, baker types or should they risk payroll limitations by getting GArza or reuniting with jiminez?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Capuano seems like a good Cleveland type of alternative

10:08
Comment From Pig.Pen
Follow up question, how bad does Chris Cotillo make other journalists feel about themselves and how little they’ve accomplished at their age?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The worst thing about young ambition is when it goes away and you don’t know what to do with yourself

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Hits somewhere in the 27-35 window. Boy is that a jarring and uncomfortable conversation you have in your own head

10:10
Comment From Jake
Bugs are pretty high in protein. Why hasn’t there been a bug eating health craze stateside?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m hearing more and more about people eating crickets

10:11
Comment From Pig.Pen
Do you think the Tanaka signing could mean a Price trade?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect the Rays will get a lot of phone calls again

10:11
Comment From Jake
Best non-Tanaka FA left on the market? Best value play?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Might feel most comfortable with Garza, Jimenez has most upside, Capuano seems like best value

10:12
Comment From Bellingham Guy
so Jeff, when you play a MLB video game that lets you move or do expansion, what is your go to city to put a team in?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t stand baseball video games.

10:13
Comment From Chris
Why haven’t we heard anything linking the M’s to Tanaka?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: The M’s got a lot of Tanaka pub a week or two ago. It could be they realize now they’ll be outbid. Or it could be they’re just not talking about what they’re doing, because, why would that benefit them?

10:14
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Ackley for Gose may be better fit.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the M’s trade Ackley for a *bigger* project

10:15
Comment From gareth
Who’d you rather have next 4 years – masterson or Jimenez?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Masterson

10:16
Comment From Sadwick
There were 5 offers reported to be out to Tanaka. Yankees and Cubs are definitely in, the Angels said they were out. It probably comes down to the Jays, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Mariners for the last three spots. I’m thinking everyone from that list but the Red Sox, they haven’t shown much interest despite Tanaka listing Boston as a place he would want to play. Who do you think put in the bids?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t it reported they came from the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers?

10:17
Comment From Eddie
Pete Carroll is loathsome.

10:17
Comment From gareth
How was your experience covering Eric wedge? Was it a grind?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t really cover Eric Wedge. You don’t cover a manager. He was just a guy associated with a team I liked that was bad.

10:18
Comment From Slumpbuster
What happens with the ChiSox OF crunch? DeAza or Viciedo both project to have higher WAR than Garcia, so why does the latter still project for 500+ ABs?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Garcia is 22, De Aza is 29, and the White Sox are rebuilding

10:19
Comment From Grack Zeinke
but as 2Bman, Drew isn’t nearly worth the money they are likely seeking. He’s a solid defensive SS. That’s where a good chunk of his value lies. Marlins might be lying in the weeds there.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: A good shortstop is a good second baseman

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: This is the idea behind positional adjustments

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: If Drew can play a fine SS, then he can play a better-than-fine 2B, probably, after adjusting

10:20
Comment From Jake
Your superb owl prediction?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Broncos win and also I know next to nothing about football

10:21
Comment From Chris
I don’t get why anyone would dislike an entire fan group in general. Teams are unlikeable, but projecting that on an entire fanbase seems pretty ignorant

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s ignorant, but a lot of the parts of sports fandom don’t make good rational sense and feeling negative emotions makes the experience more…I don’t know, substantial. The reality is that every team has good fans and awful fans and every team has good players and awful players. But at the end of the day, you pick a side, or you don’t follow sports

10:22
Comment From Chipper (300/400/500 club)
Is there a relationship between having many or few different pitches and injury? Seems like having 7 pitches would hurt you quicker since you use the arm a bunch of different ways…thoughts?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not certain this has been examined, but I think more important than pitch number is pitch type. I think the current idea is that you want to avoid throwing a ton of sliders or splitters?

10:23
Comment From bababouey
Any feeling about Alexander Guerrerro other than the published projections?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s easy to forget about. I don’t have any strong feelings — I imagine he will be perfectly adequate and he will get very little attention as a member of that particular roster

10:24
Comment From Baxter
Do you remember that bar Toronado, in San Diego with all the craft beers?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I was there for its opening. Only learned about it by chance when I saw a note scrawled on the SF Toronado chalkboard in May 2008

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: That’s when I met Matthew Carruth!

10:26
Comment From Jake
Oliver projects Trout at 9.6 WAR, .323 AVG and .371 BABIP. That’s just too much, right? Right?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Not by a lot

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Which is genuinely insane

10:26
Comment From gareth
Odds of Grady Sizemore taking the field again?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Word is he’s in negotiations with the Reds! And the Reds project to have a left-field disaster!

10:27
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Scott Kazmir in OAK: aside from durability what’s not to like?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Command, quality of contact allowed

10:27
Comment From at the airport
What’s an interesting question that no one is asking?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: This one

10:28
Comment From James
How many years do you see Garza signing for? 3 with an option year too optimistic from the signing team’s point of view? Or is it going to to be “if your years don’t even start at 5 go to hell”.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: There’s been talk that teams are worried about his health, so I could see maybe something like four years with a fifth-year option that looks like the Lackey Clause

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Or maybe three, with a fourth-year option

10:29
Comment From Erich
On the depth chart pages, I see that Milwaukee’s DH’s are projected to be worth negative 1.5 WAR. Is that because the positional adjustment for a DH is that big, or because they’re projected for 285 PA (which, intuitively seems really high)?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Ignore the NL DH projections. Something is wrong there and Appelman is working on it, I believe

10:30
Comment From gareth
Swisher and Bourne were disappointments for Cleveland in an otherwise successful season. Good chance they rebound?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I could see them being worth an extra win, combined

10:30
Comment From Big Tatonka
iPhone or Droid?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Droid and I’m increasingly not liking it

10:31
Comment From Carlton
Is there a league minimum salary for managers and/or bench coaches? Are there stats and evaluation systems for base coaches? Is that the new market inefficiency?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Not that’s public, no, no. I mean, probably not. I guess I’m open to being completely and utterly surprised.

10:31
Comment From JZ
If the Mariners make the playoffs in 2014, what will have gone right for them?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Youth

10:32
Comment From Chris from Bothell
How accurate are the major projection systems, year over year? And how often are projection systems’ forumlas revisited? It’s struck me as odd to see some commenters (here or elsewhere) see a diff in proj v. actual but then conclude “player under/over performed” instead of, say, “proj system is busted, no one knows anything”.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Well, no one DOES know anything. Projection systems are basically just weights on previous results, with occasional comparisons to similar players in the past. There’s a reason no projection system ever really handily beats out Marcel — Marcel is impossibly simple, and still that gets you most of the way there, relative to any other. We just can’t hope to be able to predict the unpredictable. People are always tweaking, but we can’t actually identify upcoming breakthroughs or collapses or injuries. Not right now, not with the data we’ve got.

10:34
Comment From Tony
If you had the talent, what position would you want to play in MLB?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: SP

10:35
Comment From Guest
Why don’t the Pirates make a run at trading for Ike Davis?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The main reason is probably that he isn’t good

10:35
Comment From Prich
With contention in ’14 looking very iffy, would the Reds be wise to flip Bailey for young, controlled talent that could be ready to produce while Votto is still in his prime?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, but I’m not convinced that package is out there for one year of a guy when Price and Samardzija are also on the market. Teams have a pretty good idea of surplus value, and Bailey doesn’t offer a lot of it

10:37
Comment From gareth
I here everwhere that Tanaka will push the yankees over their 189 million payroll goal. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Tanaka signing not affect that as he is an international signing?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: That’s wrong. He goes on the active roster. He’s like anybody else.

10:38
Comment From Dr. Oz
Do you think you could beat Chris Cotillo in an oreo-stacking contest?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’d be the more likely to try to sabotage the other, so, yeah

10:39
Comment From Dave B
Who do you think becomes the most active team, in terms of signing remaining FA’s after Friday? Which team improves the most between now and pitchers/catchers?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think Yankees improve the most, with Tanaka. I think the remaining FAs get spread around, with the Jays probably getting one, and the Mariners probably getting one, and the Orioles probably getting one, and…

10:39
Comment From William
Predict the 5 worst teams by the end of 2014 season

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins, White Sox, Twins, Astros, Cubs

10:40
Comment From Dave B
How come when the Mariners went with a “defense first” team, they sucked, but the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl??

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Defense is half of football and the Seahawks’ offense doesn’t suck worse than literally every other offense

10:41
Comment From Marquis de Grissom
Could Pitch F/X data and situational win expectancy be used to create a sort of WPA for umpires based on missed ball/strike calls? I’d love to have one stat that could tell me the impact an umpire’s missed calls had on the game outcome.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like that would be doable, if rather involved and complicated

10:42
Comment From Tommy B
Twenty, thirty years on from now – what do you want your legacy to the sport of baseball to look like? How do you want to be remembered?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know if I’ll have this job in five years. What is this job in five years? Will this job exist in five years? Why will it or won’t it? Thinking about the future overwhelms me. I hope I’m just not remembered as a total dick. Worrying about one’s legacy seems awful self-important.

10:45
Comment From Chris from Bothell
Am I reading your comment right up above: Tanaka alone is enough to make the M’s a legit WC contender? I.e. the swing from removing the WAR of whoever would be their 5th starter, and replacing it with the insert-WAR-of-Tanaka-here, is enough to get them to ~90 wins? That would say that the M’s could be at 85, 86ish wins now. I think you have more faith in the production of their outfield, catchers and 1st full seasons of Walker & Paxton than I do…

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Legit WC contender, not legit WC favorite. I think the Mariners plus three wins or so are a pretty interesting team that’s more good than bad

10:46
Comment From Jake
Is there an equivalent to WAR in other sports? NHL, NFL, NBA, etc?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think there are attempts, but it’s an awful lot easier to do this sort of thing in baseball, where individuals can be easily isolated

10:47
Comment From Isaac
Is the Tanaka deadline arbitrary? Could they just extend it if they want?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:47
Comment From Chris from Bothell
Why, $$$ aside, would Tanaka want to be a Diamondback? (No insult intended to D’backs fans.)

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: They aren’t bad and you can comfortably live there year-round

10:48
Comment From Orange
On average for hitters, do either BB% or K% improve over time? Is there a link to a Fangraphs study on this?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: You tend to see walk-rate improvements

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall, strikeouts begin to climb toward the end of a career

10:49
Comment From jb
Reduce years of team control from 6 to 4, so that more in-their-prime players are available (…and get paid). What does MLBPA need to concede to owners to make this happen?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Souls

10:50
Comment From Bellingham Guy
Sorry dude, slow baseball time. Any news on the volcano front?

10:50
Comment From Eastern NC
So Carlos Santana at third? Better or worse than Miguel Cabrera? Are they just basically saying 3B defense doesn’t matter?

10:51
Comment From Jake
Steamer has Gardner at 1.8 WAR, Oliver at 3.5. Both have a wRC+ around 100, Oliver just gives him 14 more defensive runs. Fans call 113 wRC+, 3.8 WAR. Who’s right? Why the harsh projections?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I like Gardner around 3 wins or so, and Steamer seems needlessly harsh. Projection systems probably don’t realize he’s going back to LF

10:52
Comment From Guest
Do you think Jesus Montero or Michael Pineda have a better 2014? A better career in MLB?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Pineda for both. Montero is a disaster

10:52
Comment From Wind Jam
About the Padres- do they secretly think they can sneak a wildcard spot?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: They’re close enough to dream, but not close enough to plan

10:53
Comment From guest
As currently constructed how do you rank the AL West teams?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers, A’s, Angels, Mariners, Astros, with the top three tightly bunched

10:54
Comment From Grack Zeinke
think Carlos Martinez ends up in the Cards rotation and Lynn out?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I do not think that!

10:54
Comment From Rauce
The Royals signed G. Mota, and are rumored to be courting Madson. They already have more quality RPs than spots available. Are they angling for another Smith-Aoki-type trade?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Mota got a nothing minor-league contract and Madson has the potential to be a cheap high-upside type. I think the most interesting think is that Guthrie contract restructuring, which gave them a little more money in the immediate. Don’t know where that might go

10:55
Comment From Guest
How awful will Jeter be?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be worse than he looks to the eye

10:56
Comment From Ed
Are you surprised that the M’s weren’t in on Tanaka more than they were? Seemed like a logical landing spot, and they have the money available.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Has Tanaka signed yet?

10:56
Comment From Wind Jam
From a devil’s advocate standpoint, is it boring that certain teams like the Dodgers can exploit the spending inefficiency til the cows come home?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Even the Dodgers have their own limits, and I think it’s interesting to have exceptional organizations in either direction.

10:57
Comment From The Humber Games
Am I right to be skeptical of Tanaka in that bandbox of a Yankee stadium, given that he reportedly doesn’t have overpowering stuff? There is always the specter of Kei Igawa…

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: And there is always Hiroki Kuroda. There is still Hiroki Kuroda

10:57
Comment From The Org Guy
What kind of defence would a team get out of Drew if he moved to 2B?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Above-average

10:58
Comment From j6takish
When factoring in the loss of a draft pick, does it even make sense to sign a guy on a one year contract? Wouldn’t losing the pick be more tolerable if you get him on a multi year contract but at a friendly price?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Of course you’d prefer to have a guy for longer if you’re losing a pick to get him, but at the end of the day, a pick has a certain value, in millions. If you can make up that value on a one-year contract, then it makes sense to do so, even if there’s less in the way of long-term return

10:59
Comment From Chris
At what point do the Halos become sellers? They have to build the minors at some point right?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: They might be a playoff team right now

10:59
Comment From The Humber Games
How many grains of salt would you take Profar’s .284/.439/.398 Dom. League line with? Or, if you’re a preposition stickler, with how many grains of salt would you take it? What’s the real level of competition there?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine giving any shits about winter-league statistics

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: But ask me again in a couple weeks when I’m super-desperate for content ideas

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, every March we write something about spring-training statistics

11:00
Comment From Semperty
If you combined the A’s front office and Cardinals player development system with the Yankees payroll capabilities, would they win the WS every year?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: They would not, but they’d sure be close!

11:01
Comment From jb
who is your favorite player (non-felix division)?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Cliff Lee

11:02
Comment From Logan Davis
So the Mariners targeted right-handed power, and then sign Corey Hart, which looks like a bargain. They targeted a bad-defense backup catcher, and signed John Buck, which looks like a bargain. If they want a proven closer, their options are Rodney and Balfour, who both look like bargains. Sure their “pick-a-skillset” method of player acquisition is dumb, but isn’t it funny how so far this offseason it’s produced a whole bunch of moves that are hard to criticize?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: And hopefully it stays like that another two months. Although I will say not everything they’ve attempted has happened or gone public. So far they’ve gotten some lucky breaks

11:03
Comment From God
Submarine volcano, stratovolcano, or caldera?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Caldera

11:03
Comment From E
how many baseballs would be tossed in Richard Sherman’s direction if he were in the MLB and acted like that?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Somehow Barry Bonds was never hit more than ten times in a season

11:04
Comment From Guest
Does Iwakuma have any greater injury risk, in your perspective, than any other pitcher? Don’t know why, but I always get the feeling people think he’s brittle.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: He had shoulder problems in Japan and he’s not young. An injury wouldn’t be a shock, although he’s also apparently recovered from whatever was plaguing him before

11:05
Comment From Jon Daniels
Do I need to sign one of the upper tier pitchers? Lower tier? or stay in house?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: The Rangers could sign Jerome Williams, and as with everyone I recommend checking out Chris Capuano

11:06
Comment From Guest
Why is there such a complete lack of solid information on Tanaka? Is it safe to assume that reporters in this country and Japan are feverishly trying to get a hold of this guy for 5 minutes, or stealing his garbage or something?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: A better question is, why do we ever get solid information about ongoing negotiations with anybody? No reason for anyone involved with Tanaka to talk. No time, either

11:07
Comment From gareth
Is is crazy that Scott baker and Shaun Marcum have to sign minor league deals while scott Feldman gets a guaranteed 30 million?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Baker and Marcum have been recently hurt

11:08
Comment From Logan Davis
Any particular reason you and Dave keep putting forward Santana/Seattle?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing specific. Just seems like a fit, as they want a SP and probably won’t pay for Price

11:10
Comment From Kole Calhoun
will I be the AL ROY?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m fairly certain you’re not actually eligible

11:13
Comment From Jeff
whats the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen with your own eyes? Aka, in person.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Default answer is a volcano erupting. But man, I’m going to be thinking about this one for the rest of the day.

11:14
Comment From gareth
Manchester united had a bad weekend, losing 3-1 to Chelsea which spells the end of their title defense. Oh wait. This is a baseball chat, right? Shouldn’t mention other sports.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for mentioning other sports in a free public chat that’s already been going for 75 minutes longer than it’s scheduled for

11:15
Comment From 20longyears
What would be fair for the Pirates to give in a trade for Ike Davis?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Relatively little. Just no reason to give up actual value for that guy, to any meaningful extent

11:16
Comment From Sylas
What’s your favorite food? I’m hungry.

11:16
Comment From Northsider
Who would be considered the replacement level manager?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no idea. Could be anybody. Jim Riggleman?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a team could always choose to hire Jim Riggleman.

11:17
Comment From Sam
Percentage chance the Royals sneak in the playoffs this year?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: 15%?

11:18
Comment From Flo
Are the A’s finally the Favorite in the AL West this year?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Not at this point. Very very tight with the Rangers and the Angels and the Angels might still sign, say, Matt Garza

11:18
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Sulli: Five worst are “Marlins, White Sox, Twins, Astros, Cubs” no Mets or Brewers??

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Those also are fairly bad teams.

11:18
Comment From david
Could the Nats get Belt for Storen/Laroche?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: no

11:19
Comment From Flo
How many wins would having a guy like Tango or MGL on a major league bench be worth?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Would they actually be listened to?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think those are guys you want to be actually close to and interacting with the players.

11:19
Comment From Jake
Does the shift in hitter aging curves, that is, constantly declining ISO and wOBA, make a 55+ HR season in the next five years unlikely?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s unlikely just because there are more and more strikeouts

11:20
Comment From Jake
Big changes in the new 2016 MLBPA contract?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta just do away with the qualifying offer

11:20
Comment From here goes nothing
Is there any team better positioned for the future than the St Louis Cardinals?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: No team has a better blend of the present and the future

11:21
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.

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Bruce turns 27 in April. Stanton turns 25 in November. Stanton has already been by far the better hitter

11:22
Comment From Guest
Is there a medical consensus on how many innings a pitcher should throw in a season? The current seems pretty arbitrary. Are teams doing research into it?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Teams are definitely researching, the Astros in particular, but of course every pitcher is different, with different physical limitations, and not every pitch or inning is the same. There’s still a lot of “feel” to it, and there probably always will be, at least for the foreseeable future

11:23
Comment From Chris
If the Mariners sign Cruz on a 1 yr deal can they still give him a QO?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:24
Comment From Johnson
how many questions sit in your queue?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Hundreds :(

11:24
Comment From Jake
Ever think about growing a mustache?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: My dad had one and no

11:24
Comment From Jake
What fangraphs writer’d look best with a mustache

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Carson

11:25
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Ike Davis hit 26 HRs in the last 4 mos of the 2012 season FTR.

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: And had a 1.1 WAR!

11:25
Comment From Grack Zeinke
still thinking that the Cards made a good deal with Peralta *or* they jumped the gun and way overpaid where the rest of the market was..?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a big commitment, but it’s not outlandish, and they have the money and flexibility to afford it with ease. Probably couldn’t have foreseen what would become of the Drew market, and perhaps they just wanted an answer quickly so they didn’t have to dick around for a while

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: All right, all right, finally time to get going. These keep on getting longer, I swear.

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for coming by, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next Tuesday at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days. Tanaka will have a destination soon! The end of the Tanaka sweepstakes is nearly upon us!




Print This Post



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.


6 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/21/14”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. gareth says:

    I was at a bar in Cleveland end of last season and the old guy next to me told his pal “I like that Jan Gomez, I think he’s my favourite player.” A truly ardent follower of baseball.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Jack says:

    Of all the uber prospects due to hit the majors this year, which ones do you believe have the best chance of making a big impact? (i.e. Bogaerts, Taveras, Walker, Springer, Etc.)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Just to clarify says:

    “watched all the YouTubes” + “hopes this is a 2-hour chat” = not a migraine.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. LaLoosh says:

    Humility. It’s what sets Sullivan apart from his peers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. The Humber Games says:

    Re: Bug eating craze in the U.S.

    Oh, it’s only a matter of time before hipsters are waxing superior about their
    chia seed and beetle kombucha:
    http://www.upworthy.com/watch-the-food-youre-probably-not-eating-for-all-the-wrong-reasons-8?g=2&c=upw1

    Nothing is too absurd for that crowd.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>