Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/17/13

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys, let’s baseball chat

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: If I disappear for a few minutes it’s probably because someone is at the door for a routine apartment inspection

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Happening today somewhere between nine in the morning and five in the after-morning!

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Alternatively I’m just taking a really long time to move on to the next question or answer

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: that was not a person at the door! that was me losing a link to something! anyway

9:05
Comment From Guest
Why does Fangraphs project 8 NL teams to get 300 PA at DH?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably because we have a problem with the manually-generated depth charts

9:06
Comment From Masahiro Tanaka
Where could I conceivably end up this spring??

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Like literally anywhere. You’ll be posted and every single team in baseball will place a bid. And I don’t know what your preference is

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees will be in there, of course, and the Cubs seem like a good bet among worse teams to make a strong offer. The Angels might not have the money

9:07
Comment From GSon
You like the Brian Roberts deal?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Seems fine. Kind of funny and sad, but if you just look at it objectively there’s not a lot of risk in $2 million and there’s not a lot of talent out there in the infield

9:07
Comment From _David_
Your USSMariner podcasts are awesome.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Tell Carson :/

9:08
Comment From Justin
Now that the Mariners have a dozen or so first basemen, what’s your best guess as to who plays what position?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: 1B: Smoak
LF: Morrison/Hart split
DH: Morrison/Hart split

not how I’d like to see it done but that’s my current sense, barring a Smoak trade somewhere

9:09
Comment From Guest
Why is Ryan Jackson projected to get PA for both the Astros and Cardinals?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Because the Cardinals depth chart guy probably missed Jackson going to the Astros on waivers, probably because it was right around Thanksgiving

9:09
Comment From Cochise
Do you see the M’s overpaying for Tanaka?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: darkest of horses, not counting on it

9:10
Comment From Evan
Does the Ellis signing mean that we’ve seen the last of Pete Kozma on a 25 man roster?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: On *a* 25-man roster? Kozma’s still young enough and he can play a mean defensive shortstop. Those people tend to stay employed

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees are giving $5 million over two years to Brendan Ryan

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates re-signed Clint Barmes

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Kozma might not be Ryan or Barmes-level good in the field, but he’s good nevertheless

9:11
Comment From Guest
Do the Fangraphs depth charts consider possible platoon situations? (Ex. Ellis in St. Louis will likely hit against a higher proportion of LHP than at other times in his career.)

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I believe that they do not, beyond simply accounting for the expected playing time. But I can ask to confirm later on

9:12
Comment From Guest
Has Dayton Moore become smarter? the Aoki and Infante deals are good, and the Vargas deal is ok.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Assume that he’s the same guy he was a year ago. It’s just that the situation is different, so the needs are different, so the behavior is different. Moore is probably still a big fan of the Myers/Shields trade, and he’d probably make a Walker for Price trade if he were in the Mariners’ situation

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: But not everything that Moore does is a hilarious disaster. Very little is. And I think there’s an argument that having less budget flexibility helps a GM avoid really lousy decisions

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve read a theory about the NHL that teams with lower payrolls have something of an effective advantage because they don’t end up with so much money tied up in declining players. They’re forced to eschew those things and while now this doesn’t have al ot to do with Moore, it’s something to think about as an MLB theory too

9:15
Comment From _David_
Does the Baker article in any way, to any extent excuse/explain the comments of Player A, or is that too far in the past to be relevant?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Scott Spiezio’s just a real douche

9:15
Comment From Prich
When you get married, are you planning on being on time to the following: Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding/Births of Children..?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: MY WEDDING MY DAY

9:15
Comment From Gordon
Are the FA Pitchers or are the teams waiting out the Tanaka situation? think one pitcher will drop before this issue is resolved?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s both. But there’s been talk that Garza could move soon, and realistically you could see movement as soon as Tanaka gets posted. I’m looking forward to that offseason jolt

9:17
Comment From Guest
Should the Mariners try and make a deal for Cliff Lee and Brown?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t hurt to call but don’t plan on that getting close to happening

9:17
Comment From MadLibAdLib
The Yankee’s signing Brian Roberts is a _________ move.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: (n) okay

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Reasonable player last year! Played a lot…after…coming back from injury…

9:19
Comment From Justin
Neither Arizona nor SF has done enough to move past the Dodgers in the NL West, correct?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: No, but they’re both perfectly within striking distance. Would’ve been good for the rivals to have Uribe end up elsewhere, since the Dodgers were otherwise hopeless at 3B. But that team isn’t the team that went on an insane run last season after Puig came up. The Dodgers are more vulnerable than that so it’s not an open-and-closed case

9:20
Comment From GSon
Why won’t the Pittsburgh Pirates bite the bullet and sign Shin-soo Choo?..they’d become an easy choice to challenge the Cardinals in their division…

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s asking for stupid money, the Pirates didn’t have the money to make a QO to A.J. Burnett, and it’s not even clear Choo is going to be all that valuable for very long

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: These kinds of deals aren’t the kinds of deals the Pirates should get in the business of giving

9:21
Comment From Prich
If you were Jack Z, would you be willing to part with Walker and Franklin, provided Tampa threw Jennings into the Price deal?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I still wouldn’t do it, although at least you’re making me look things up

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners should just overpay a free agent

9:24
Comment From Kris
What happened to the 34 teams who added the star player??

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Seems ripe for a follow-up!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally I wanted to write that post all last week but kept getting bumped by new news. Still not 100% satisfied with how it came out but at least I did the research I wanted to

9:25
Comment From Lawdog
I’m currently flying at 30,000 feet and participating in this chat. What’s more amazing? That, or Andrelton Simmons’ defense? It’s a trick question. Andrelton’s actually flying the plane.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: The first sentence is enough to make a little liquid brain pool next to where I’m sitting

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS MAN IS DOING

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: THINK ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW

9:26
Comment From Steve
Do the yanks actually plan on starting Roberts?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: As things currently are, he’d play a lot, but I imagine the idea is to add another, better layer above Roberts/Johnson

9:28
Comment From karl
which team will surprise the most this year? (good or bad)

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Angels good, Reds bad?

9:28
Comment From zack
Are you surprised Kershaw hasn’t been extended yet? How much have the dodgers reportedly offered?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Actually very surprised. I all but wrote this off as a formality several months ago. I mean, come on, right?

9:29
Comment From Steve
Anything the Yankees get from Roberts is a bonus, right?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: That would be true if they were not paying him

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: But that isn’t “allowed”

9:30
Comment From Chicago Mark
Although I thought it best that the Cubs wait a year, many thought they’d be active in fa this year. I also thought they’d at least buy some high risk/high reward players to turn over at the deadline. Thoughts?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think they have a shot to do some interesting things in Tanaka negotiations. As for midseason flipping, I don’t think it makes for much of a strategy, per se. It’s just something you do if you end up in that circumstance

9:31
Comment From Conrad
Why do some people ask the exact same specific question at every possible Fangraphs Chat opportunity? is this a test?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Because they’re either unsatisfied by our answers, they’ll polling as many staffers as they can, or they’re sociopathic

9:32
Comment From Steve
The Angels have ___% chance of winning the west?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: 25-30%

9:32
Comment From Zach
What is the deal with the O’s pursuit of Balfour? They dumped Johnson since was going to get $10m for one year but are offering something probably close to $15m over 2 for Balfour. Balfour is older, has been inferior, and is a high-K, high-FB pitcher ill-suited for Camden and the O’s excellent D. I get why they shipped off JJ, but why Balfour for minimal savings???

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: In theory the idea is that you get a lower AAV and you get more years, which is something the Orioles want. But it’s kind of silly. The whole Orioles offseason has been kind of silly and depressing. You almost forget that they’re more good than bad because this feels like an old Orioles offseason

9:34
Comment From Furman
Where will Ackley and Franklin end up?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, honestly my best guess is that there’s still a trade with Tampa Bay, but Kansas City was the obvious Franklin destination until Beltran went to New York and Infante went to KC. Now I’m practically shrugging

9:35
Comment From LarryA
Do you like Denard Span for a bouncebak season? Some article claims that Davey Johnson was holding him back from bunting for hits

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Span was the same player he’s been for years. Nothing to bounce back from

9:35
Comment From A. Lane
Does a player ever lose the qualifying offer attached to him? Can he theoretically take a sabbatical sit out for a year or a month of the season and the QO stain goes away?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think — I *think* — it goes away after the draft

9:36
Comment From GSon
There seems to be some real wild ass guesses on the Tanaka salary.. Darvish 6 years, $ 56 MM, Dice-k six years $ 52 MM.. Tanaka 6 years $ 60 MM?. Why would anyone add the posting fee to the player’s salary?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Because that’s still money spent and now teams will have to negotiate against other teams, giving Tanaka a lot more leverage

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I could easily see something like $100m/6yr

9:37
Comment From person hscer
Isn’t the darkest of horses Black Beauty, and aren’t the Mariners pretty ugly?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Personally I’m just not really into horses

9:37
Comment From Kris
Your thoughts on Gavin Floyd apparently turning down a longer, more lucrative deal from the O’s to take the one year deal with ATL?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The weirdest thing is that he’s *from* Maryland

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to know more about the Orioles’ offered incentives

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: But Floyd probably wants to enter the market clean as soon as he can at full health. Didn’t want to be tied down in a rebuild-value kind of year

9:39
Comment From Max
Jack Z mentioned a couple of further Mariners’ needs a while ago, but adding another OF was not among those things, is there hope?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: At the least, they’ll add a reserve, who might look a lot like Franklin Gutierrez

9:39
Comment From LarryA
Ive slacked off from my SABR reading, is it still the best idea to use your best reliever in the 7th and 8th inings, or assuming fixed roles, should you have him in the 9th?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s best to use him whenever the leverage is highest

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: As it happens, closers tend to end up with the highest average leverage scores

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Current usage is suboptimal, but not extremely so

9:41
Comment From _David_
Would the amount Cruz will get plus the amount Santana or Garza get equal what it would take to get Tanaka?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Thereabouts

9:41
Comment From SteveV
Garza for say 5/$80M or Tanka for say 7/$120M?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I say Tanaka but I’m a dreamer

9:42
Comment From Geust
What are the D-backs doing?!? At this rate any chance Bradley gets moved as well?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It seems that Bradley is a no-go

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: What the D-Backs are doing is trying to win, and at least they’re not picking up a bunch of old short-term commitments. But it’s sad to look at some of their prospect lists from recent offseasons past

9:43
Comment From Justin
I was in Oregon last week when it was -9 in the valley. My parents blamed me for bringing the cold with me from the Northeast. So . . . sorry about that.

9:44
Comment From Dave M.
I don’t know if I’m understanding the DEF stat on player’s homepages correctly. Does the very negative value given to DHs skew WAR or defensive value towards NL teams because they don’t have this DH positional penalty?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Skews defensive value toward NL teams, skews offensive value toward AL teams

9:46
Comment From Guest
Why are we so damn wrong so damn often. For all of our advanced metrics, do we even know anything?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: We know a shit-ton. We just also don’t know close to enough, because baseball is unfathomably complicated and all the interactions make it next to impossible to tell the future. Even if we can identify a guy’s true talent, that comes with massive error bars in terms of projected performance. And then true talent can change abruptly without warning

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball analysis is fun because no one’s ever gotten it right before, and everyone wants to be first.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: We’re great at explaining things. Pretty lousy at seeing things coming

9:48
Comment From Polly
Can you give me an idea of the basic or average WAR progression/regression in regards to age?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: For position players, build up slowly until the late-20s, plateau for a bit, drop gradually and then less gradually. People like to dock 0.5 WAR per year for older players. For pitchers, it’s less of a curve. Pitchers tend to be just about as good as they’re going to be right away, with exceptions of course, and the decline is slow unless there’s an injury

9:50
Comment From GSon
Ubaldo’s history (inconsistency), draft pick attached to signing, and huge price tag.. Is it pushing him back to the North Coast and Mickey Callaway?..

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely a strong possibility because no market has really formed yet, but then Santana and Garza are still out there too and they’ll be in demand so it’ll just take one team that looks at Jimenez and sees a possible staff ace, still

9:51
Comment From JimEd
Name a worse trade than what Detroit got for Fister.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: That time the Phillies traded Cliff Lee for like literally nothing

9:51
Comment From Jay
So would you rather have 1 year of J. Johnson for 10 mil or 2 years of Balfour at 18 with a third vesting option.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: The former by a mile

9:52
Comment From Joel
With the roster as currently constructed, wouldn’t a hell of a lot have to go right for the M’s to just be better than 4th place in the AL West?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: yep

9:52
Comment From Team Theo
Does the loser in the Tanaka sweepstakes come asking Cubs for Samardzija? And here’s holding out hope the Cubs win the Tanaka derby

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: or teams could look to Garza, or Santana, or Jimenez, or Price, or…

9:53
Comment From Bruce
what GB% does it take to be consider a “Ground ball pitcher?” 50? 55?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: 50% works as a handy and easy dividing line

9:53
Comment From JimEd
Why does Ruben Amaro still have a job?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Because that team was good for a decade and just a few years ago the Phillies won 102 games and people in power want to believe that’s possible to get back to

9:54
Comment From Bruce
Bonifacio now just a super multi-position sub for the royals now?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: yeah, nifty one

9:56
Comment From Nick
Which team has improved the most so far this off season?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Hmm. Cardinals? I really like the offseason they’ve put together

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners are the easy answer, in terms of 2014 wins – 2013 wins

9:57
Comment From Guest
who sign first and who would you rather have: Delmon or Francoeur?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Young signs first, rather have Francoeur

9:57
Comment From Bruce
What minor-league teams are in Portland? Just the sea-dogs, or any others?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Portland, OR has nobody, but nearby Hillsboro has the Hops

9:58
Comment From _David_
Is Zunino still an elite prospect, or did his plate discipline get exposed last year and readjust his prognostications?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think his ranking came less from upside, and more from safety. He should be able to hit enough and defend enough to stick as a regular catcher for a while. But he’s not going to be any kind of superstar

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Whole lot of Arencibia in there

9:59
Comment From Eminor3rd
How does Jeff Sullivan feel about Rick Han’s offseason thusfar?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: pleased

9:59
Comment From eric
would you trade Michael Saunders for Gerardo Parra, if you were Jack Z? Easy way to improve the horrendous OF defense without much decline in offense?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: in an absolute damn hurry

10:00
Comment From Semperty
Why do the fangraphs depth charts project Gio Gonzalez to have ~175 IP when he hasn’t thrown less than 195 in 4 years?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Because projections include regression to the mean

10:00
Comment From Hack
What kinds of deals should the pirates be in the business of giving?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Short-term FA deals and long-term deals to in-house products that buy out FA years

10:01

Comment From Gareth
Hey Jeff,

Do you like the Indians addition of john axford and Shaun marcum depth signing?
A total commitment of 5.5 million for them both in 2014.
Obviously there’s risk there (and upside). But looking at all the money thrown around this offseason for the likes of ricky nolasco, phil Hughes, boone logan, joe smith, jason vargas and more – the investment really seems like peanuts in comparison.

Antonetti will probably trade drew stubbs at some point before spring training (for a reliever or starting pitcher prospect) and make a few other minor moves before spring training. Hopefully a stubbs trade ends up like that small trade they made last year – mike aviles and yan gomes for esmil rogers. That turned out ok!

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: holy crap

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: did not expect that much text

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Axford makes sense given the team-control aspect and given that his whole problem has been homers, which might be easily fixable. And Marcum’s always the same effective guy when he’s healthy, which he often is not. Good little pickups for Cleveland, and they might make a difference in 2014, despite being relatively unexciting

10:03
Comment From josh
how is choo asking for stupid money? or did you mean pirates can’t get choo over money?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Word is he and Boras want the Ellsbury contract

10:04
Comment From Guest
Given the past success of Ichiro and Kuma couldn’t the Mariner’s use that to entice Tanaka?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not every Japanese player is the same and Tanaka has his own likes and dislikes. I’m sure the Mariners would highlight that success and the local Japanese community, and the proximity to home, but Tanaka might just want the most money, or he might have his heart set on another place

10:05
Comment From zack
Will some team give Daisuke a rotation shot in the spring training?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Shot, yes, job, no

10:06
Comment From Prich
Alexei Casilla, solid target for the Yanks? Can semi-adequately play 2B/SS/3B in case of injury or upheld PED suspensions, all at a reasonable cost..?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t really add anything to the pile of crap they’ve already assembled

10:07
Comment From Dan
What are the Mets going to do for SS?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: If not Drew, I could easily see them targeting one of the DBacks guys

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: They seem to prefer the trading idea

10:08
Comment From Hickey
How do these rule 5 draft and trades work? For example, what happens if the Angels want to remove Moran from their 25 man roster? Does he go back to Seattle, or is that restriction only on the Toronto since they’re the ones that drafted him?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels would place Moran on waivers, and any claiming team would then have the same Rule 5 obligation as everyone. If he were to clear, he’d be offered back to the Mariners, who could return him to the minors if they liked

10:09
Comment From Kris
It’s weird how bad the Yankees are actually going to need ARod this year…

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: And yet, Ellsbury + McCann. Add a starting pitcher and somehow it’s still a successful offseason

10:11
Comment From Guest
What is a realistic return for Ike Davis from Milwaukee?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: a guy a half-level below Tyler Thornburg

10:11
Comment From ryan
How tight did the AL Central become?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not that tight, since the White Sox and Twins are bad, the Indians have gotten worse, and the Royals haven’t gotten much better

10:12
Comment From BongDave
If you needed to get SP via FA who would your number one choice be with what’s left on the market?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Well, to cheat, priority #1 would be Tanaka

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard to find a meaningful difference between the remaining top three and you might be able to get Jimenez at the shortest commitment given his own inconsistency

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Garza, of course, doesn’t have the pick attached. Jerome Williams would be a neat little budget acquisition

10:15
Comment From Bkgeneral
What is your bad Reds scenario?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not really a scenario. I could just see them underachieving and falling well behind the division leaders

10:16
Comment From Gareth
Diamondbacks GM qouted they are going after a FA starter. Garza, Jiminez or Santana the best fit (ballpark, budget ect ect).

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Garza to save the pick

10:16
Comment From Procrastinating from studying for finals
Over/under Mariners wins as the team is currently constructed

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: 81.5

10:17
Comment From Steve
Why is RA9 better than ERA?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Errors are pretty silly

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: also the meaningful difference between those two numbers is tiny

10:18
Comment From ryan
How soon do you suspect we will see a player get 30M per year (any length of contract)?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Within five years?

10:19
Comment From Gareth
Terry francona got uppity at a journalist who challenged his old school answer to home plate collisions. Whats your take on the new ruling?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good and I like it, just like the rest of the sensible Internet

10:19
Comment From Big Boi 3
What is your favorite kind of donut and why?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Glazed old-fashioned because I like the firmness of the edges

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t remember my last donut

10:21
Comment From James
Do you think the Deccan Traps contributed at all to the K-T extinction?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: In that they killed some things, yes, but I don’t believe they were a major player

10:21
Comment From Adam Eaton
Chances I’m a 2 win player next year?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty high

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Wait, which Adam Eaton

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Very different answers I”m afraid :(

10:21
Comment From ryan
If Amaro got axed today and you were handed the job, what would your first three moves be?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Call Dave for tips on staffers, call staffers for information and tips on other staffers, hire qualified staffers

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: It’s, uh, not an easy situation to fix. Don’t know what I’d do beyond make everybody available but I don’t know that anyone would be in much demand

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Unrelated:

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: “Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Terry Pluto reports that the Rays asked for Carlos Santana, Danny Salazar and Francisco Lindor when the Indians called to ask about David Price.”

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:25
Comment From Steve
I’ve been saying this for 2 years now but… Albert Pujols bounces back next year…?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: To some extent, yeah, but not to prime level

10:25
Comment From Bkgeneral
Astros have made a couple moves to help the MLB product. Think they are players for any of the QO free agents?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Keep seeing them get connected to Choo, which is kind of weird but okay. Astros could actually push 70 wins this coming season

10:26
Comment From Joel
Do you think some NL team ultimately rolls the dice with Morales? Or he stays in the AL?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t not think Orioles

10:26
Comment From Bill
As regards the Cardinals off season, it’s been good, but is it really enough to compensate for the loss of Beltran? That’s a lot of production that will be playing for someone else now. Off seasons aren’t just about acquisitions; they’re also about losses.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Beltran’s defense negated a lot of his offense

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, we have him at 2.0 WAR, and B-R has him at 2.4 WAR. Now there’s a shiny new Bourjos

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Plus a real shortstop

10:27
Comment From ryan
Has Fangraphs ever considered having a weekly mailbag where users could write in and get (longer-format) answers?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: All I know is whatever this is http://www.fangraphs.com/qa/

10:28
Comment From SMC
There is a theoretical possibility the Astros win the AL West, correct? As in, if everyone hits their 95th percentile performance?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely. Call it 0.5-1.0%

10:28
Comment From Redbeard
5 million for Edinson Volquez doesnt look so bad after 4.5 for Axford?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Stat-wise, better case to be made for Axford. But the Pirates might see a mechanical thing which the numbers would hide

10:29
Comment From Leo
Looking at the DH depth charts, I’m totally confused. The Pirates project for DH 300 PA at above average wOBA and are at -.07 WAR. The Twins project for 700 PA at basically the same wOBA and are listed at +.7 WAR. What’s going on?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to ask about that

10:29
Comment From Huck
Is it looking likely the M’s go into the season with a starting outfield of Hart/Ackley/Saunders?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: alternating with Morrison/Ackley/Almonte. But there’s still work for them to do and at the very least they should end up with an outfield backup who can play a real CF

10:30
Comment From Guest
Will Ryan Freel’s autopsy/diagnosis change how baseball is managed? Or has concussion diagnosis/awareness been fully integrated by everybody?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: It hasn’t been fully integrated, but baseball’s being pretty proactive about these things. I think managers are pretty cautious with concussion scares, but you can’t really manage an outfielder to not run into a wall in pursuit of a double

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: So it’s going to be on players to manage themselves, as well, once the risks are properly understood

10:31
Comment From Darren
The Twins still have the worst rotation in the AL

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Them or the Astros, yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s still Staff Ace Ricky Nolasco

10:32
Comment From sandusky
Woould you trade four years of Seattle DH/1B Jesus Montero for two years of Cleveland centerfielder Drew Stubbs?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Objectively I think it would be a fair and reasonable deal, but if I’m the Mariners I leave Montero alone and see what he does over five months in Triple-A

10:33
Comment From SMC
NYY signs Matt Thornton. Discuss.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Seems weird that we can talk about a two-year deal as a *short-term* contract for a reliever

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: He still murders lefties. Good Logan replacement

10:34
Comment From john
If you are the Mets – why even trade Ike Davis?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Because some other team might value him more than you, you’re frustrated with his lack of development, and you want to play Lucas Duda somewhere that isn’t the outfield

10:35
Comment From Guest
Does the org that makes a move affect your perception of it at all? Like if the A’s did something that seemed really stupid, would you be more likely to assume they knew something you didn’t than you would with say the Mariners?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: This is absolutely a factor, and I wish that it weren’t, but I can’t free myself of my own biases

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: That said, I think it mostly affects the initial knee-jerk reaction to things. I like to believe that over the course of a couple hours, as I’m writing, I can correct for the bias, at least mostly

10:36
Comment From Steve
Is there a young prospect you dream on more than most?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I am not a prospect guy

10:36
Comment From SMC
Could you see Garza having an Esteban Loaiza-type fluky ace year?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Well, sure, in that almost anyone could do that, but it’s not a thing that I’m banking on

10:36
Comment From GK
Is James Shields an “ace,” something the Royals can build around or is he more second tier? Where does he rank amongst starters?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Shields is very very good, and as soon as he starts getting FA money he won’t be a good investment for that team because they’re on a limited budget

10:37
Comment From Paul
Is the Tigers getting much worse the worst narrative of the 2013 offseason so far? I laugh a little bit every time someone says the Royals are close to them.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Going to write about the Tigers this week, but I’m personally not convinced they got much worse at all. Made a bad move with Fister, yeah, but that was more about opportunity cost. Smyly is fine

10:38
Comment From Marcus A.
I see you communicating with the Lookout Landing guys, particularly O’Keefe, on Twitter, no ill will toward them or SB Nation?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: SB Nation gave me a full-time job writing about sports on the internet. I also have a shitload of stock options. Why would I have any ill will?

10:38
Comment From Brian Cashman
Why do I still have a job?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Because you’re good at it

10:39
Comment From Josiah
Are we on the outside overrating prospects compared to actual value in trades, or is it a product of the GMs making poor judgment?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think GMs, by and large, are getting around to understanding the long-term value of prospects and young, cost-controlled players. I think we’re all mostly more or less in agreement

10:40
Comment From JP
Most wins in 2014: Cardinals, Nationals, or Dodgers?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: What the hell. Cardinals!

10:41
Comment From Guest
Who leads Yankees in AB at DH next year?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Soriano by a little

10:41
Comment From Boston Phan
Which groundball pitcher is least perceived as such?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Joe Saunders

10:41
Comment From john
Is Colon at 2/20 still viewed semi-favorably at fangraphs given the 1/4.5 that roberto hernandez received?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, since Hernandez has real dinger issues that don’t appear to be a total fluke

10:43
Comment From JimEd
How will the Red Sox be able to put any of their 5-6 prospect SP into the rotation (and have patience)? They are almost cursed with their big budget in this regard.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Peavy’s contract runs out this year, Dempster’s contract runs out this year, and pitchers get injured like all of the time

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: This is a good problem

10:44
Comment From Matt
As a Twins fan I was horrified by the Mike Pelfrey deal. Can you make me feel better or is it as bad as I think?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s getting Boone Logan money for 2/3 of the years

10:45
Comment From Officer Farva
Freidman should be laughed out of his own GM office for asking for that package for Price from Cleveland right…. i know start high and meet in the middle is a tactic but……….. Cleveland should respond…”nope we’ve got this bag O balls we think thats fair….”

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: (1) rumor could be wrong
(2) might as well ask, whatever
(3) what a dick though

10:46
Comment From senorpogo
All Plain Dealer reporters are goofs. EVERY. LAST. ONE.

10:47
Comment From john
but duda is worse than davis in just about every respect, so i dont understand why the FO is spews hatred for davis and praise for duda. Duda is older davis with less upside

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I mean I don’t like Duda much either but I imagine a lot of it has to do with trajectory

10:47
Comment From josh
since you don’t remember your last donut, are you ripped?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think I would be unsatisfying to eat if a hiking party were stranded in the woods

10:48
Comment From ryan
What do you think is the upper limit of WAR for a single player in a single year? Could someone like Trout get to 15?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Bonds topped out at 12.5, in 664 PA. So my answer would be 12-13

10:48
Comment From Guest
If you’re in Andrew Friedman’s shoes, do you prefer a Price trade built around Taijuan Walker or Danny Salazar?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar by a little, I think

10:49
Comment From Mike Trout
My over/under for WAR in 2014?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: 8.5

10:50
Comment From Tim A
I wonder with Cashman a bit how many of his worst moves were driven by ownership. He seems to do fairly well mostly with ownership running off the rails more.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of like the situation with Jerry Dipoto. Dipoto is only responsible to a certain extent for the current situation of the Angels

10:51
Comment From Prich
Justin Smoak for Jose Tabata… is there a trade match-up there?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Probably could be/should be, but the M’s seem really fond of Smoak for some reason

10:52
Comment From Daniel
How does fangraphs WAR do park factors for ballparks that have changed? Like Petco Park?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I believe use data just since adjustments and then regress heavily to the mean until there’s a bigger sample

10:52
Comment From Sadwick
You can’t remember your last doughnut because it has been that long, or you have eaten sooo many?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t eat many donuts. Not because I’m disciplined, more because I eat more bagels

10:53
Comment From Marcus A.
Do you think prospect evaluation is a little too “upside” driven right now? It seems like a decent amount of the “busts” were highly rated Low-A players that were exposed by higher levels.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’s always going to be a problem to not just see young players by their possible upsides. We’re probably always going to be a little too optimistic. Going to be important to at least separate prospects into buckets, where we figure out who’s more safe and who’s more of a risk. But we’re definitely bad at understanding that, okay, even the most talented A-ball player is most probably going nowhere

10:55
Comment From SMC
Would you have given a ten-year contract extension to 31-year-old Barry Bonds?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: in hindsight?

10:56
Comment From LarryA
Who is the player most likely to finish with a higher WAR than Trout in 2014

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Easy answer’s McCutchen

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Tempting answer’s Tulowitzki

10:56
Comment From SMC
Eduardo Nunez for Danny Espinosa. Who says no?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals

10:57
Comment From Prich
Do you think there’s a chance –ANY chance– Jack/Hart/Morrison are just posturing, and they really aren’t going to be run out to the OF on surgically repaired knees 3 times a week?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Some chance, yeah, but they made a big deal about bringing in Morrison, and they really like Smoak somehow, so I think what we’re looking at is what we’ll be looking at too often

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Time for me to wrap this up! Things to do! Things to figure out that I have to do!

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Thanks everybody for coming by, sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address, and…I don’t know what the plan is for next week, given the holidays. Uhhh we’ll do this again at some point on some Tuesday at the same time. 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.


One Response to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/17/13”

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  1. Duplicato says:

    “Jeff Sullivan: 1B: Smoak
    LF: Morrison/Hart split
    DH: Morrison/Hart split”

    does this mean 1B, LF, DH to split among Smoak, Morrison & Hart?

    and btw, doesn’t DeAza seem destined to be in the M’s OF? for Ackley or Montero?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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