Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/31/13

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I KNOW

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I know I know I know

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: So let’s just move on and talk baseball and pretend this never happened

9:09
Comment From big boy brandon geluso
late brah ya heard?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: At some point down the road we’ll all look back and this will be a delightful character trait

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: See this is why I always chat for like two hours

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Anyway, getting into it

9:11
Comment From Guest
What do the Indians do to improve their starting pitching?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Wait to see if Ubaldo falls back to them. Lean on internal options. Marcum could be a fun little buy-low who doesn’t suck over 150-170 innings

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It helps to have a Danny Salazar

9:13
Comment From Satan
What is your greatest fear

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Mental degradation

9:13
Comment From Guest
Thanks for all the fish, Jeff. How would you sum up your 2013 for someone who isn’t stalking you?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Less Mariners-y, more rock-climb-y

9:14
Comment From Jay
Who is the Mets starting shortstop on Opending Day? If they have the lead in the 9th, who closes?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m actually going to go with Stephen Drew because I like the idea of that fit. And I’ll go with the uninteresting selection of Bobby Parnell as closer, at least most of the time

9:15
Comment From SMC
Of the big three FA pitchers (Garza/Jimenez/Santana), who’s the most realistic fallback to Tanaka? Any predictions on who gets each of the 4?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: The sense I’m getting is that Santana is the most realistic/preferable fallback but the gap between those three and Tanaka, on the market, is enormous

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: In that the teams that want Tanaka *really* don’t want to not get Tanaka

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: In my head I’m giving Tanaka to the Yankees. Absolutely no read on the others — those markets haven’t developed. There are teams with obvious rotation holes, but none of those three pitchers is a great bet

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Fairly meaningful difference that Matt Garza wouldn’t cost a team a draft pick

9:18
Comment From DLowe
So, how much longer does Kendrys have to wait? Where do you see him ending up, and how much do you see him playing? Why wouldn’t he fit in great as the DH in Texas, with Cruz gone (or split 1B / DH with Fielder, as each has their defensive shortcomings…)

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I keep thinking that the Orioles will eventually just give him a couple years, but I do think the Rangers are a dark horse worth considering if he ends up within their limited price range. Morales would be an upgrade over Mitch Moreland, and he’s not going to cost very much outside of that pick, and the Rangers are in that position where another win or two could mean an awful lot

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Morales is very much still capable of playing very often, provided he isn’t in the field too much

9:21
Comment From Harry Truman
Did you see those recently discovered “before” photos of Mt. St. Helens by a photographer who died in the blast? Amazing.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Hell yeah

9:22
Comment From Cochise
Where do you see Cruz and Morlaes signing?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Cruz to the Mariners, Morales to the O’s. Don’t know how the former will happen, but I think it’ll happen more than any other option

9:22
Comment From tylersnotes
jeff sullivan chats are like volcanoes or jonathan papelbon pitches, you know they’ll happen eventually and when they do they’ll certainly be interesting, but you may die before you actually see it

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I take a while to get into a groove :(

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: plus this time I’m weary from traveling!

9:23
Comment From Greg S.
How do you think the Chris McGuiness signing will impact the Ike Davis Market? Will the Pirates still be involved?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that’s not really changing anything

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: How many people out there know one thing about Chris McGuiness?

9:24
Comment From Guest
If you could be drinking ANYTHING you wanted at midnight tonight, what may that be?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Isabelle Proximus

9:24
Comment From Suburbanite
Better year this year, Nolan Arenado or Christian Yelich?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Arenado

9:24
Comment From Zelig
Should baseball play in a football stadium in January to try to get 105,000 people to watch it

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: And it has to be two teams I don’t like

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: And the game counts

9:25
Comment From Guest
What is your greatest beer?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: On hand? Probably Speeway Stout or a 2008 Abyss

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Oh wait no I still have two more Westvleteren 12 so that

9:26
Comment From SMC
Your new year’s resolution?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Sustain my personal gains from last year

9:27
Comment From SMC
What should Dave’s new year’s resolution be?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Visit Portland

9:27
Comment From Harry Truman
Can the Royals really win 90 games with a rotation of Vargas, Guthrie, Duffy, and Ventura following Shields?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: *Can* they? I mean, Duffy and Ventura have obvious big-time upside, so surely there’s the potential for a good rotation in there given luck

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: But more realistically they’re a team a few games over .500, kind of similar to last year. 90′s going to be a real reach

9:30
Comment From Compton
For pitchers with large enough career workloads, why not use individual HR/FB rates instead of league average for xFIP calculation? Is league-average really better to regress to than the players’ career rates?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a lot of noise in career rates, and HR/FB is so volatile that you usually end up having to regress very heavily to the mean even over what you might feel is a significant sample size

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Of course the *right* answer would be to incorporate both league average and career rates but xFIP is more elegant for its relative simplicity and the overwhelming majority of the time pitchers are basically average at this

9:32
Comment From Guest
Is there any reason for Padres

9:32
Jeff Sullivan:
9:32
Comment From Cochise
Do you think the M’s upgrade their OF thru trade?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

9:32
Comment From Compton
Does SIERA have any value given that it is the most predictive of future ERA?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It probably has value but I’d say it’s also unnecessary

9:32
Comment From Harry Truman
Best San Diego area family tourist attraction: Zoo, Safari Park, Sea World, Birch Aquarium, LEGOLAND, Tijuana?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the zoo, depending on how you feel about zoos. Or, Balboa Park. San Diego is where I just was for eight or nine days

9:33
Comment From steve
is it out of the question that tanaka gets something like 7/200? seems like the combination of open bidding/prime years could lead to an insane market

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: It isn’t completely out of the question that Tanaka gets $200 million, but I think there would be more than seven years

9:34
Comment From Seff Jullivan
Over/under on Tanaka being a 4 win pitcher in 2014?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: In my head I see him around 3.5 – 4

9:34
Comment From Tim Raines
Would you bot Edgar in the hall

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Edgar belongs in the Hall

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: This is pretty much my only Hall of Fame opinion

9:34
Comment From John J
Your gut feel on who ends up with Tanaka ? Could we see a feeding frenzy that drives out an 8 year deal ?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I could see the Cubs with the high bid and the Yankees with the winning bid

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: An eight-year deal is absolutely possible. Probably more so than we think as a group

9:35
Comment From bloggers without boarders
Over/under of games you will attend as credentialed media member in 2014:

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no reason for me to do that

9:35
Comment From Urooj
Will we really have to wait until the Tanaka situation resolves itself before anything happens with Garza, Santana, Jimenez and Burnett? It feels like we’ve had two offseason, one pre-Tanaka and one post-Tanaka.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Those other markets will move forward as the Tanaka market develops, and as teams get an idea of whether or not they’re actually in it. There was talk like two weeks ago that Garza could sign within 48 hours and while that obviously didn’t happen, a big bid would be a big bid and those pitchers will sign if the opportunity is there.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: This is irritating, though. At least there’s material of interest into the new year

9:36
Comment From Gregg
Did the Tigers get better or worse this offseason?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Better in the big picture, worse in the 2014 picture

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I liked their idea although I didn’t like the Fister trade

9:38
Comment From Derek Zumsteg Fan Club
Kendrys Morales is going to regret not taking the qualifying offer, right?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not if he really hates Seattle

9:38
Comment From Tom
Which current players belong in the HOF?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Halladay, maybe Sabathia, A-Rod, Pujols, Jeter, Thome if he counts, probably Beltre

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts

9:40
Comment From SMC
Is there not more risk in Tanaka than there is in, say, Garza? Tanaka is still somewhat of an unknown, so couldn’t a team rationally say it makes more sense to spend less money on Garza and know (at least a little more) what you’re getting?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely, a team could justifiably determine that Tanaka is too much of a question mark coming from a different league. But this is why there are professional scouts — the scouts are the ones teams will be leaning on to determine whether or not Tanaka can succeed over here. If the pitches are there, the pitches are there, and it doesn’t matter where you’re throwing them

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Last I heard there are teams concerned about Garza because of the crap in his elbow

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: But I understand you just used him as an example

9:42
Comment From Evergreen guy
Do you think the Yanks are spending money assuming that Arod will stay suspended, or they stopped caring about tax?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ve just lightened up about the tax. It’s weird, obviously, and it cost them Russell Martin and other players/wins, but I suppose teams are allowed to change their minds

9:42
Comment From Evergreen guy
With the Cubs and Mets payrolls being so low, what could a spending spree look like when these teams start spending?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Watch the Cubs on Tanaka. That could be a little attempted spending spree

9:43
Comment From Monroe
Shouldn’t there be some performance standards for a player being allowed to pick his own theme song? Isn’t it kind of like picking your own nickname?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The performance standard is that the player made it to the major leagues

9:44
Comment From Evergreen guy
How much do you love the story of Rakuten trying to get money out of Tanaka? You know, since they got screwed in this whole deal!

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Could hardly blame them. Good luck if they’re going for it. I don’t really care what they do, myself, and it would make life more interesting during the work hours

9:46
Comment From Guest
What do you believe is Nick Franklin’s value?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Weird question to try to answer but I think he’s a legitimate big-leaguer who’s affordable for six years

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Fringe second baseman, obvious blemishes, but he can walk and hit for some power and he doesn’t cost anything. He’s probably worth a pretty good regular under control another few years, in a trade

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He probably *could* be the centerpiece of a trade for a good starting pitcher, provided he’s involved in a package with other talent of intrigue

9:47
Comment From Internets only Padres fan
What major improvement or change would you make to Petco Park?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In my dream world, it would have an atmosphere

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In my dream world, it wouldn’t get so cold in the right-center bleachers come sundown

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In my dream world, it would be easier to get to although I’ll give San Diego credit for the half-decent trolley access

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I like Petco a lot. Kind of biased in its favor, having lived there a while. Glad they moved in the fences. I just want the team to be good.

9:49
Comment From Kris
Would you vote for Barry Bonds to be in the HOF if you had a vote? If so, would he fall behind Biggio, Glavine, and Mussina (9th overall) as he does on Dave’s?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think about the Hall of Fame very much, but I would vote for Bonds, and I wouldn’t question it. I would not want to be a voting member of a body that doesn’t recognize Barry Bonds as one of the greatest baseball players ever

9:51
Comment From Internets only Padres fan
How excited should the other three Padres fans be over Josh Johnson?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Not quite Chargers-excited, but fairly excited. 7 excited

9:51
Comment From Cochise
Roughly how many games do you attend a seas?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Very few, but mostly because I’m closest to the Mariners and the Mariners have been miserable to watch in person. If they do better, I’ll go to plenty more

9:52
Comment From Marcus A.
Best division in baseball this coming year? Worst?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say…AL West best, NL East worst, but maybe NL Central worst. but probably not

9:54
Comment From Kris
So, the Yankees pres calls ARod ‘Chip’ and suggests that Cano needs steroids ‘fast’…

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: maybe he had an autoimmune disease

9:55
Comment From albert lea
Given each team’s respective needs, what about a trade of six years of switch-hitting Seattle infielder Nick Franklin for six years of switch-hitting Minnesota outfielder Aaron Hicks? Oliver projects a five-year WAR of 14.7 for Franklin and 14.8 for Hicks.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Franklin has more value right now, I think, but you could have the core of something right here

9:57
Comment From Guest
Where does Nick Franklin play next year?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Somewhere outside of Washington state. I’ve heard about a few somewhat surprising suitors. Not many teams out there who wouldn’t take a chance on him if the Mariners are willing to sell him low

9:58
Comment From Monroe
Will the Astros go to the playoffs before the Mariners?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: no

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: welllllll

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: no, still

9:58
Comment From Mark
For how much and how many years do you think Stephen Drew will sign for?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: 2/22?

9:59
Comment From Jay
Why are people so high on the Nats again? 18th in projected WAR on the Depth Charts and behind ATL.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Big-time visible talent, winnable division, carryover hype from a year ago

9:59
Comment From Foghorn Dogbrawler
What is the most Portland thing you saw this year

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: A guy on a unicycle, wearing a Darth Vader mask, playing the bagpipes, at a house party

10:00
Comment From Jay
Nats or Braves? Is it close?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Super close. I’ll say Nats for now, but it’ll be decided by a small number of games

10:01
Comment From big boy brandon geluso
if a tree falls in the woods can my dad stop being such a nincompoop and let me throw my kitty cats a NYE party tonight?

10:02
Comment From Matt
Assuming they find a way to acquire SP through FA and another high draft pick, how quickly can the emerging young core of the Cubs be of competitive caliber?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: By 2016

10:03
Comment From Guest
Why don’t more losing baseball teams pursue FO personnel from winning teams like in other leagues?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: They do to some extent, especially if they have an available job of a higher rank. Like, a team with a GM opening will poke around for desirable assistant GMs and whatnot. But people are also loyal to their own front offices, and each individual person probably makes less of a difference than an equivalent executive in the NFL

10:05
Comment From Dont Be a Jurick, Son
Is it fair to think the gap between the sum of Player WAR and a team’s ultimate Win total includes the WAR for the Manager? From your recent Angel’s article, are you able to see if particular managers consistently outperform their combined player WAR?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: This gets advanced from time to time, kind of like how people used managers to try to explain over- or under-shooting Pythagorean record. What’s funny about the Angels is that people used to say Scioscia might explain how the team OVER-performed its numbers. Now they’re doing the opposite. Probably, it’s noise. We don’t have projections going back far enough to do a real proper analysis, and also you’d figure manager effects will show up already in the projected WAR to a certain extent since managers will have an effect on players already around on the team.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: We need to find a way to analyze managers. We don’t have anything even close to good at the moment. Good luck to the willing researchers. From here it’s a total black box

10:07
Comment From SMC
How bad would it be if the M’a make no more moves?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Old milk bad

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: but they’re not done

10:08
Comment From Chris
The most underrated/overrated managers in the game right now?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, absolutely no idea

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: but let me try this…

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Joe Maddon is probably overrated, and Joe Girardi is probably underrated

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: For all I know Maddon might actually make a huge positive difference, so I could be completely and utterly wrong, but we don’t actually know how he does

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say I’d want Maddon managing my team more than anybody else, but that right there could be evidence of his being overrated, because I don’t know if he’s really and truly exceptional

10:11
Comment From chieftain
What high school did you attend in San Diego? My wife graduated from Clairemont High School.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Francis Parker. Don’t punch me :(

10:11
Comment From Howard
Will there be a USSM lovefest this year or has the dream finally died.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure what you mean!

10:12
Comment From Compton
When evaluating WAR, is the r^2 coefficient just basically like the purity of crystal meth? That is, if someone were to come along and produce a formula for a “blue” WAR that crushes the old WAR’s r^2 value, could he corner the market on WAR customers?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Depends what he’s charging

10:13
Comment From Guest
Having never seen him I suppose I shouldn’t say this, but the Tanaka feeding frenzy seems to be based (wrongfully) on Darvish in the way that our prospect expectations are based on Trout, which is more than a little unwise

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there’s also Iwakuma and Kuroda

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: But it is beginning to feel like Tanaka won’t be any kind of bargain at all. He’ll just be a good young player, paid market rate or above. At this point, teams are probably overrating Tanaka and underrating the domestic free agents

10:14
Comment From dbet
Why are averages used more often than medians?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Tradition, simpler to explain

10:14
Comment From SMC
In retrospect: after moving Fielder, should the Tigers have gone 10/240 and signed Cano? (Kinsler to 1B or LF)

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, no. But that would’ve made more sense than Seattle

10:15
Comment From Robert
How likely is it that Tanaka signs before about 15 minutes until the deadline on January 24?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Very likely

10:15
Comment From Jay
Any truth to the rumor you guys may post Eno?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: You can just have him

10:16
Comment From tylersnotes
what is an acceptable amount of time to go between washings of a regularly used coffee mug?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Washings or rinsings?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Rinse it every time. But you don’t necessarily need to do a daily deep clean

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Also depends on how much coffee you drink a day

10:17
Comment From Cochise
Will fewer Npb players posted in the future with the lower fee?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The posting system is probably dying

10:17
Comment From Jay
Thoughts on the new Beyoncé album?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: It’s popular

10:17
Comment From Matt
Do you get the impression that either Franklin or Ackley still gets moved? I think either one is great relocation candidate for some team/fan base with more reasonable expectations.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Franklin is almost certainly going away

10:18
Comment From Guest
what title are you given at fangraphs editor, senior editor, staff writer?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t really have official titles — Appelman lets us call ourselves whatever we want. I just searched my email and my original offer carries the title of FanGraphs Senior Editor

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: But that sounds too important, relative to Dave, who is technically my superior. So, you know, whatever. Some kind of editor, is what I am

10:20
Comment From Vin
Shouldn’t small market teams start bidding on Garza etc RIGHT NOW? once the tank situation resolved they will certainly be outbid by the rich teams that lost put

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the free agent starters might not want to sign until the Tanaka situation is resolved one way or another. So some of those rich teams are coming, regardless.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: If there’s a smaller-market team that really likes one of the FAs, however, it couldn’t hurt to check in often and make that FA feel like he’s really wanted. Could build a bit of a connection

10:22
Comment From Guest
The rumor mill has Been quiet surrounding Price, will he still be traded this off season?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I think he still gets moved, and it’s all just been waiting on Tanaka. Also, the effective holiday shutdown

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Back in two minutes, guys

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, had to pick up some luggage the airport left behind yesterday

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Anyhow

10:26
Comment From Jay
Assuming the O’s are limited in payroll by the owner so can’t add much free agent talent, how should they have approached the offseason? The have very little depth to trade from which seems to limit their options.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Little signings, like what the Indians have done. Get in there on Kazmir or Colon or something. There’s not actually a lot to be gained from major free-agent investments, so there’s nothing wrong with staying out of that pool, but the Orioles’ offseason has really bummed me out

10:27
Comment From Greg
If you’re the Reds, would you trade Bailey for a bat given his impending free agency, or do you try to make it through the division with pitching and make do with the offense that you’ve got?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not going to get a ton for one year of a starting pitcher you kind of still need, so in a sense that would probably just lead to a re-distribution of talent. Say, the Reds should take a chance on Grady Sizemore, just because, sure

10:28
Comment From Guest
Any reason to believe Grady Sizemore resigns with the Indians on a minor league deal (with opt out) for the 2014 season?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, not the Indians

10:29
Comment From Gareth
Weird question but does Yu Darvish deserve a little pity? If he was posted now he would surely cash in big time and earn more than Tanaka. Big win for the Rangers there.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Relative to Tanaka, sure, but he’s way lower on the list than literally every player in his arb or pre-arb years

10:30
Comment From Boris Chinchilla
is there anything resembling a trade equivalency stat?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Not that I know of

10:31
Comment From Gson
Yordano Ventura v. Danny Salazar: Who gets more fWAR by 2016?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I am in genuine love with Danny Salazar

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I write him cards

10:31
Comment From Gareth
I’ve seen Jered Weaver and Hiroki Kuroda comps to Tanaka. I’m sorry but if I’m a GM I’m not breaking the bank for those guys.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Kuroda’s been worth more than 3 WAR a season, for six seasons

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Dan Haren’s another comp, and he’s averaged 4 WAR over the last nine seasons

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: These guys aren’t Verlander-level superstars, but that talent is worth an awful lot of money

10:34
Comment From Rankin Bass
What average or merely good pitcher (2-3 win guy) do you see making the jump to greatness (4 win guy)?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Easy answer’s Matt Moore

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Tempting answer’s Nathan Eovaldi

10:35
Comment From Gson
Is being in the Hall of Fame “being in the hall of fame” regardless of being a first ballot or a 15th year ballot?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think the difference is negligible

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve also never been to the Hall of Fame

10:35
Comment From Boston Phan
Fun fact: Cole Hamels was 9th in Batting WAR on the Phillies last year. When we talk about pitchers’ WAR, does their batting WAR get included?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: The answer’s almost always no

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: so that means it’s always fun to look at a revised leaderboard that does take hitting into account

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Sheets :(

10:36
Comment From Joan Embry
For the Petco bleacher coldness problem, would a volcano feature ala The Mirage in Las Vegas work?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Few problems a volcano or volcano feature couldn’t solve

10:36
Comment From Gson
Would you vote Edgar into the HOF if you had a vote?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

10:37
Comment From Mike
We can assume the worst division is the AL Central until proven otherwise.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Couple of stinkers, but a pretty great team and two reasonably good teams. At least it’ll be competitive

10:38
Comment From Gson
Does an 85 inch HD LED TV make going to a baseball game in person, a waste of gasoline?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Completely different experiences. No substitute for going to a ballpark to cheer for a winning team in a big vocal crowd

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think. Honestly it’s been a while.

10:38
Comment From John J
Any sense who is odd man out in Seattle’s glut of LH hitting IF/OF types, and that includes Franklin & Smoak with their weak splits.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Right now Franklin’s the odd man out, but if the Mariners end up with Nelson Cruz I figure Smoak goes away. As it stands, it’s Hart/Morrison/Smoak as regulars at three positions, so they all “fit”, but as long as Cruz is out there and the Mariners like dingers…

10:39
Comment From Drew
Fairweather fan! But isn’t everyone, to some extent? People like to blame declining attendance numbers on “bad fans” but who doesn’t go to fewer games in losing seasons?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Losing seasons are less-fun seasons. You pay to go to a baseball game to have fun

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Why pay just as often to go to see a losing team just as often? I mean, surely some people just love baseball that much, and have the money, but rationally speaking a losing team is a worse investment because you get a lesser return for what you pay to go to the ballpark.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: What does a fan have to prove to anybody? Attendance doesn’t prove fanhood. Loyalty proves fanhood, and fanhood also isn’t something that even really needs to be proven

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Fairweather fans kind of have it figured out

10:42
Comment From Gareth
Please Please Please Baseball Gods have the Yankees sign Tanaka who then turns into another Kei Igawa. Please?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Big part of me hopes for this, like a mean spiteful person

10:42
Comment From Harry Truman
Best place to sit at Safeco outside of the Diamond Club?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Friends & family section! Take that!

10:43
Comment From Gareth
Best move of the offseason so far? Fister trade?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think Fister trade

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I also really liked the Cardinals’ Bourjos trade

10:44
Comment From STiVo
People “know” that small samples are less precise than large samples. But they don’t realize the following statement is equivalent: small samples contain a greater proportion of extreme outcomes. How can we help people (especially sportswriters) understand this?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Simply continue to write about it. Over time, it makes a difference, and it’s not like there’s a front where we can directly fight this battle. Stuff just has to seep in

10:44
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Is there a starting pitcher who you want nothing to do with at their expected price? I assume Nelson Cruz would be the position player answer to the question

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Not real interested in Ervin Santana

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Remember that one year ago he was a salary dump

10:45
Comment From Ryan
As a Reds fan, what should my realistic expectations for next year be?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: 80-odd wins and competitive baseball into late August/early September

10:45
Comment From Gareth
Tanaka – yankees. Garza – Diamonbacks. Jimizez – Indians. Santana – Toronto. How accurate do you think these will be?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: As good guesses as any. Least convinced by the Santana/ Toronto connection

10:47
Comment From tylersnotes
sam and ben at bbpro answered this in a podcast, but i’d love to know your opinion: would you rather have an infield of 3 left handed andrelton simmons or 6 ryan howards?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: 6 Ryan Howards. You could plug almost every hole and the throwing would grow to become adequate with practice

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Now, if the question were 4 Andrelton Simmonses…

10:48
Comment From Guest
At what point over the next 10 years does Votto become not worth his annual salary?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: 2018?

10:48
Comment From Gareth
Why did some Fangraphs guys complain about going down to the winter meetings. Really? Disney. Sun. Baseball talk. I’d have happily gone instead.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Harder to get work done, nothing really happens, and as sunny as it might be outside, you don’t get to go outside or really explore beyond the walls of the resort. It’s a pretty lame event, to be honest, with the only redeeming part being the personal interactions with people you know within and around the industry

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a lot less interesting than you probably think. I’ve only gone once, last year in Nashville, but I’d be happy to not go again

10:50
Comment From Ryan
How bad is the Mariner’s bullpen as currently constructed? The Steamer-based depth charts have them 15th in the MLB, but Dave Cameron recently referred to them as one of the worst in the majors.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty bad after Farquhar and Furbush. No idea what to make of Wilhelmsen, Pryor’s health is a question mark, Medina doesn’t throw strikes…

10:51
Comment From Greg S.
How many actual suitors does Drew have right now? Is it down to Boston and the Mets?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Those would be the prominent ones, with other teams surely being involved to a lesser extent that we just haven’t heard much about

10:52
Comment From Guest
when the clock strikes midnight tonight, what will you be holding in your hand?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Free champagne

10:52
Comment From Boris Chinchilla
Are there Seahawks fans in Portland, or is everyone too busy being unique to care about NFL?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of Seahawks fans here. The whole state’s enamored of U-Oregon football so it’s not like sports are unpopular

10:53
Comment From Dave
Whats your gut feeling on Tanaka? Elite like Darvish or over hyped/paid bust like Matsuzaka?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: uh in-between?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Younger Kuroda/Haren sort

10:53
Comment From Guest
Did Steamer predict the Chaparrastique blow?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: whiffed

10:53
Comment From Rick
How cheap would Bronson Arroyo have to be to make the Reds re-signing him a good idea?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: $5 million?

10:54
Comment From Rick
Who is the best FA reliever still available?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Balfour, then Rodney

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not real concerned about Balfour’s health

10:55
Comment From Gson
Are there any early front runners in the MasaTanaka Sweepstakes?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: All the teams you’ve heard about. Yankees, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Angels, Mariners…

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Rumor has it the Cubs won’t be out-bid, but they could also have trouble attracting a high-profile Japanese import

10:56
Comment From Guest
Is Mt.Rainier a shotgun pointing at Seattle ‘ s head?

10:56
Comment From SMC
More advanced analytics: MLB or NBA?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Probably NBA? But they’re very different kinds of sports

10:56
Comment From howling wolf on a bluff
Orioles and Kendry Morales. Seems like a great fit. Will it get done eventually?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: That’s my belief

10:56
Comment From Jay
How many FO personnel do you talk to regularly? Which FG author has the most FO contacts?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really have my own contacts, nor do I seek them out. Dave seems to know everybody

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not, how you say, a journalist

10:57
Comment From distracted student
crazy hypothetical but if it ever came out that a media darling like Jeter ever used PEDs would he get into the HOF?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see what happens with Pettitte

10:58
Comment From Rawson
Based on what you see today, how would you project AL division finishes?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox win, Tigers win, Rangers win

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Rays wild card, A’s wild card

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka to Yankees might put them ahead of the Rays, especially if Tampa deals Price

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: about Wacha vs. Miller and the Cardinals

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: “I don’t get that sense. You’re judging a team’s opinion of a pitcher based on usage only in October — after one of them had pitched an entire season and was dealing with a shoulder soreness at the beginning of September that he revealed to the team”

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: pretty interesting!

11:00
Comment From Boston Phan
Looking at ZIPS projections, the Phils’ batters should net improve by 4-5 wins in 2014. Basically only Utley gets meaningfully worse and adding Byrd is a two-win improvement. Was 2013 perhaps abnormally bad for the Phils and in 2014 they should be around .500?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: A reasonably successful year would be 80 wins

11:02
Comment From Red Fraggle
Lovefest: Will Jack Z show up to a meet up to get grilled by USSM reading fans?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Jack’s probably not going to hang out with us anymore

11:02
Comment From Guest
What would you rather have: Ellsbury or Bradley plus ~$120M

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: The latter

11:03
Comment From Dayton needs help
Does Ventura make the Royals starting rotation out of spring training?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll probably mess around with Wade Davis again for a little bit

11:03
Comment From Guest
you going to tell us the inside scoop on the Mariners “not being done”?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll add to the rotation and the bullpen and they’ll presumably move Franklin

11:04
Comment From Guest
Which team this year will suffer the biggest drop in wins?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Reds?

11:05
Comment From Ryan
Which team’s window of contention is nearest to being closed?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like saying Reds or Orioles

11:06
Comment From Enrique Palazzo
Shouldn’t there be an exponential rate on $/WAR? Not because a win from one guy is more valuable than from another but because the supply of low WAR players is far greater?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Just not what we observe. The counter to the advantage of having a lot of WAR in one player is that you’re kind of screwed if something happens to that player

11:07
Comment From Guest
Last team to make the playoffs? Marlins?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s make this interesting. Phillies!

11:07
Comment From lance henrikssen
to what extent do you think the team reputation/history will play a role in tanaka’s ultimate choice (i.e. yankees have prestige, despite being in a weird spot, whereas cubs might have a brighter future)

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect it’ll mostly be money. Other factor will be perceived comfort of living situation

11:08
Comment From Guest
Why don’t the M’s sign a fa pitcher and trade for a young controlled OF?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the FA starters aren’t signing

11:09
Comment From Nats Town
Can I see the data that shows Nats as “18th in projected WAR on the Depth Charts”? That seems unlikely. But I’m biased.

11:09
Comment From Gson
Franklin/Miller/Other: Aren’t these guys just another pair of soon to be failing Seattle Mariner prospects that will fail like so many before them? (Ackley/Saunders/Smoak, etc etc,…the list is endless)

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Saunders hasn’t failed

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Miller seems pretty good

11:09
Comment From League of Angels Girls
Am I crazy, or does Salazar have the potential to become a top-10 starter within the next 2-3 years?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar has stupid-high potential if he’s able to increase his average pitch counts

11:10
Comment From Johnny Pondbottom
What is the estimated net value of the draft pick a team would lose by signing Santana/Cruz/etc? $50M, +/-?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not even close to that. A few million dollars. Maybe in the $5-10 million range.

11:11
Comment From The Monitor
Hey Jeff, any chance Justin Morneau has a big bounceback in Colorado? Only 33, another year removed from concussions, and moving to a freindly ballpark… or am I too blindly optimistic?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I, uh

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Hey, Troy Tulowitzki is really good!

11:11
Comment From Monroe
Would you take the over on Bill Hamilton having a .315 OBA ? If not, shouldn’t he be batting, like, eighth?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Under

11:11
Comment From Jupa
The next season that Mike Trout does not lead all of baseball in WAR will be ___

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: 2016

11:12
Comment From Leone for Third
Best cheap free agent starting pitcher still available?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Capuano

11:13
Comment From Eddie
Best value for a player (in terms of salary) who is not a young, pre-arb player?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Feel like it’s still Longoria

11:14
Comment From Compton
Give me x reasons why Salazar is the real deal where x = any number that proves your point.

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: He throws really super hard with weapons for both lefties and righties and he’s coming off a sub-3 xFIP

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar could be amazing

11:15
Comment From Eddie
What’s your go-to projection system?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I like ZiPS the most but I’m happy with the convenience of Steamer

11:16
Comment From Todd
Do you thinkMariners will be going hard for Tanaka? Will they get him you think?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, no

11:16
Comment From Leone for Third
Eovaldi is an interesting answer. What are you thinking about him?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I just love under-the-radar hard throwers

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Raises the ceiling, greater margin of error

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Henderson Alvarez is so damned confusing to me

11:17
Comment From David
What’s your favorite stat that most people (and by people I mean FanGraphs readers) haven’t really heard of/never look at?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: This isn’t my official answer, but I like to look at how often a pitcher allows balls in the air to be pulled. For example, last year, 44% of fly balls were pulled, on average. Against Danny Salazar, it was 33%. Not sure what it means yet but it adds some color

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think we all look at an awful lot of stats. Not many secrets out there

11:20
Comment From Jake
Stay at home and watch an ALDS win, or go to the stadium to watch a regular season loss?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Home. Playoffs!

11:20
Comment From samp brockson
has there been any work done on what amount of money teams spend on research and other non-payroll team-building costs? and if richer teams do better at this than others?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: This information’s basically impossible to collect. The numbers are small, for everybody, relative to the average major-league salary. Research doesn’t cost a lot of money, especially when it’s conducted by 25-year-olds

11:21
Comment From Rated Rookie
Reasons why Taijuan Walker will or will not become an ace?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Great repertoire potential, unreliable breaking ball

11:22
Comment From Jay
Next GM openings? PHI, TOR, SEA?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: SEA

11:22
Comment From Adam
Could you see the Yankees really going for it and adding both Tanaka and Jiminez? They would be way over the cap at that point, but it’s the Yankees.

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, that would be unnecessary

11:22
Comment From Compton
Super Bowl prediction?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Seahawks lose

11:23
Comment From El Sid
If you ran a baseball team, what’s the most radical strategy (or whatever) you’d consider trying?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Do away with bullpen roles

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: be aggressive about going to the bullpen in the first place

11:24
Comment From El Sid
According to you, how good is Xander Boegarts? (Or however you spell it!)

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Extremely

11:24
Comment From Boris Chinchilla
You don’t owe us 2 hours, man

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m avoiding my other tasks!

11:24
Comment From Gila Monster
Why will Tanaka get more money than say….Anibal Sanchez got? Sanchez was an absolute bargain.

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka is years younger and doesn’t have the injury history

11:25
Comment From Gareth
The Rays are due to be bitten in the butt for dealing away Price.

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe, a little, in the short-term

11:25
Comment From Timothy
What projection system do the team depth charts use?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer

11:25
Comment From Nick
I have a kind of a random question about player options but I haven’t been able to find the answer anywhere. If a player has a minor league option and is non-tendered, does he still have the option when he signs with a new team? I’m thinking specifically about Justin Turner.

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: I believe he still has the option

11:26
Comment From Timothy
Franklin to the Braves to fill 2b black hole? Or do they go with La Stella?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think Franklin’s a possibility there

11:27
Comment From SteveV
Cubs went way over the international salary allotment last year. Don’t they lose a pick? But they can trade their money correct? What is that worth?

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t lose a pick. They just pay a tax on the overage and they get a temporary limit on how much they can spend on any single player

11:28
Comment From Gila Monster
Are the Padres underrated? Johnson,Luebke,Cashner,Kennedy,Burch Smith,Tyson Ross,Kelly,Wisler..etc form a deep and strong pitching staff. Their offense isn’t terrible if Headley stays.

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: Underrated and forgettable but they’re not making the playoffs. That whole division, though, is full of decent teams. Padres could reasonably be .500

11:29
Comment From Zack
You live in Portland? If I wanted to randomly run into you on the street today, where would I stake out?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: northwest

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: but I won’t be on many streets :(

11:29
Comment From Boston Phan
How can your 2014 improve upon your 2013?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Greater efficiency. The Internet is its own constant obstacle

11:30
Comment From Matt
Who will beat Trout in WAR in 16?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: No idea. I just had to pick a season

11:30
Comment From Rated Rookie
Paxton: late-season mirage or revelation?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Decent young starting pitcher

11:31
Comment From Jay
Why don’t you use capital letters on twitter when you use them here?

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: This is more formal and my Twitter account has a particular tone that’s developed somehow

11:31
Comment From Jay
Do you miss your old twitter followers?

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think I have them

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t miss the bots

11:31
Comment From Guest
So what did you do in San Diego, if this hasn’t already been established?

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Had a guest and we went everywhere from Coronado to Stone in Escondido. Spent time in Balboa Park for the first time in years. Criminally underrated

11:32
Comment From Leone for Third
Best San Diego area beach?

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Torrey Pines State Beach in January/February

11:32
Comment From James Clack
Have you given any thought to writing a semi-autobiographical novel about Carson?

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: That’s basically his Wikipedia page

11:33
Comment From Leone for Third
If the Mariners did a do over on the nickname, what would you vote for?

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners is super fitting

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: but I want a team named the Lahars, god dammit

11:34
Comment From Guest
What is special about Balboa Park?

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s beautiful

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: and remarkably dense

11:34
Comment From SEAHAWKS
Will you watch outdoor hockey tomorrow?

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: Oh yeah. Yeah!

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: Okay guys, it’s high time I acknowledge that I have other things to do.

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for coming by and hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next Tuesday, and until then, be well and have great days. And happy new year to everyone who believes in that. If you don’t believe in the new year, then, well, uh, so I didn’t think through this sentence all the way to the end. I am the worst at goodbyes. Goodbye!




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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.


4 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/31/13”

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  1. Boris Chinchilla says:

    Its 9 o clock somewhere

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Monroe says:

    With the loss of Choo and the uncertain addition of Hamilton – not to mention Ryan Ludwick slated to start in left – the Reds outfield might just be what keeps Cincinnati from making the playoffs. What can Walt Jocketty do to mitigate this disturbing situation?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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