Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/28/14

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys. I’m in poor health, and my internet’s in poor health, but we’re going to do the best that we can today.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: /war cry

9:05
Comment From Stephen
“Waiting for write to provide content”

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: And you can just keep on waiting

9:05
Comment From Oren
Should the Jays have just folded?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: They should probably just fold second base, but the rest of them is all right

9:05
Comment From – Walt
Am I turning the Reds into a non-contender?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: You’re not actively doing anything. Semantics! But the Reds are down on the fringes in the NL, to me. And it’s not an easy team to upgrade. As demonstrated yesterday, their SP depth is pretty woeful, and that’s not the biggest concern.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Get a damned outfielder

9:07
Comment From – big fat old guy
Should we give up on Justin Upton ever becoming a top 5 outfielder?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: You shouldn’t give up on it, because it’s not like hoping costs you many vital resources, but it isn’t something you should expect. Still, go nuts with your daydreaming. What’s the harm?

9:08
Comment From TM
Which of Santana, Jimenez, and Garza would you like to have pitching on your team for next year only, regardless of price?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Jimenez, then Garza, then Santana. Santana troubles me. Jimenez is coming off an incredible statistical season

9:08
Comment From A Busy Man
I haven’t done a live chat with you in nearly a year. Am I a terrible person?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: That more importantly depends on what else you’ve been doing

9:09
Comment From Kris
I’m sure this is somewhere and you’ve answered it many times, but theoretically, how many wins would a team with 0 WAR have in 162 games??

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: 47-48

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it this way. There are, each season, 2430 wins in MLB, and there’s 1000 WAR. So you’re left with 1430 other wins, split up among 30 teams

9:12
Comment From _David _
Who is the Richard Sherman of baseball?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Ruben Amaro went to Stanford

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there is an equivalent. People expected some similarities of Bryce Harper, but it turns out he’s just a guy with skills

9:13
Comment From Ackley and Franklin
What is the likelihood that we are both Seattle Mariners in April?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Low, because Nick Franklin is increasingly likely to end up a Tacoma Rainier. But to actually answer your question, it’s still reasonably low but going up with every day that Franklin doesn’t get dealt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him moved for a starting pitcher, but we’re running out of time

9:15
Comment From Brad
Feel better. Do you think Julio Teheran and Homer bailey can make the next jump to being an ace.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: One could argue Bailey’s already there. Depends how strict you want to be. I’d like Teheran to find some more consistency against lefties before I start throwing around lofty labels

9:17
Comment From gig harbor
Any chance that the Seattle Mariners can convert Nick Franklin into an outfielder?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not real quickly but I have to imagine that’s a conversation the organization has had with itself

9:18
Comment From David
The major FA pitchers and trade candidates were waiting on Tanaka, do you think there’s a similar event that the FA hitters are waiting for that will spark the market?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: No, that’s just a battle of wills. And it’s not like there’s much left. It’s Drew, Cruz, and Morales. They’re all holding out for bigger markets that don’t exist.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Cruz and Morales will be linked since they have such tiny pools of suitors, but Drew isn’t waiting on anything in particular

9:21
Comment From j6takish
Who is playing 3rd base for the Tigers on August 1st?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Castellanos! I’m boring!

9:21
Comment From _David _
So is this the year that gets Jack Z fired?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe if they give up way too much for David Price. Otherwise I’m not seeing it

9:21
Comment From 3s and Puppies
I feel like this is a good time to gloat about not having class today due to cold weather – it’s -13 in Ann Arbor right now! Have fun at work, SUCKERS

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Personally this is my work!

9:22
Comment From Guest
Keith Law said the Mets have the 6th best farm system. Now I tend not to listen to anything he says, but did this just make him totally uncredible to everyone else?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: You are coming from a position of certain bias, seems like.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it less in terms of the ranking, and more in terms of the meaning. He thinks the Mets have a strong, top-third farm system. He’s super qualified to be making these declarations. Other people are going to disagree with him but all input from quality observers has value.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Wisdom of crowds, etc etc etc

9:24
Comment From guest
Loved the column today – and I do think I am a bit more balanced in how I look at things – mix of strengths and weaknesses. So at the end of the seasons the best outfield in the majors will be

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout, followed by Pirates

9:25
Comment From guest
Take it you are not a big Ryan Ludwick fan?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I liked him in 2008

9:25
Comment From _David _
What year will be the Mariners next winning season?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Like just above .500? 2015

9:26
Comment From Kate
What should the Rangers do if Rougned Odor continues to develop as expected and there’s another middle-infield question, what with Elvis, Profar, and Roogie?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: First thing: Odor has 30 games above Single-A. It could be a while.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: But then it sure seems like you bump someone to third after Beltre’s contract is up

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Beltre’s contract will eventually be up :(

9:28
Comment From j6takish
Which near contender is the hardest to upgrade? Has to be the Royals…right?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I was going to say the A’s, but they’re a legit contender, not a near contender .

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: So yeah, I think definitely Royals. I mean, on paper you could upgrade the starting rotation, but it’s not easy with all their limitations. They have a whole lot of adequacy and little in terms of impact talent

9:30
Comment From Guest
Will BJ Upton ever be a top 30 outfielder again?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, 30th-ranked OF posted 3.1 WAR. Year before, 3.1. Year before, 2.9. Upton was worth 10.7 between 2010-2012. I’d give him a…30% chance of making it back one more time

9:31
Comment From Gila Monster
If Burnett doesn’t return, is Chris Capuano a perfect signing for the Pirates?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Sure seems like a good idea

9:33
Comment From gresham
Would the Seattle offseason be a success if the Mariners could sign Bronson Arroyo, Chris Capuano and Oliver Perez? What would be reasonable contracts for each?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Well it wouldn’t be a failure. Not sure they need *two* veteran starters but I could understand it. Off the top of my head, in order, 2/$14, 2/$12, 1/$4

9:36
Comment From Northsider
What is your favorite volcano-themed motion picture?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I think Dante’s Peak is the most watchable. There are not many good volcano-themed motion pictures.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The informational video at the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

9:38
Comment From chuckb
What’s going to happen with Price? It makes too much sense for the D-backs to make a run at him for it not to happen, doesn’t it?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think Arizona makes another run, Seattle makes another run, and ultimately Tampa Bay elects to take their chances and keep Price for 2014. But all it takes is Kevin Towers having one sleepness night and one desperate morning

9:39
Comment From Rated Rookie
Is WAR a little like bitcoin?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: To me, no, because I know what WAR is

9:39
Comment From Grack Zeinke
I do feel like Nelson Cruz in Great American Ballpark is a match made in heaven. It would mean making room for him in the Reds OF. Think there is anything to that?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt the Reds are interested in making that kind of splash. Not that I know what Cruz is going to cost at this point, but it seems like it’ll still be too high for Cincinnati’s comfort level.

9:41
Comment From Guest
Will Trumbo hit 40 homers in 2014?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: No!

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: but almost

9:41
Comment From Grack Zeinke
Dark horse teams for Stephen Drew? A’s, Marlins or Twins?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t stop coming back to the Blue Jays

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins seem oddly smitten with their own shortstop

9:42
Comment From Sean
I recently got a new job and haven’t attended one of your chats since probably early November. What did I miss?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Weekly late arrivals

9:42
Comment From Jake
Most likely to hit the DL with chonic existential angst?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Joey Votto

9:43
Comment From Vinnie Catricala
Surprising decision, huh?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: When you’re not into it anymore, you’re not into it anymore. Can force it for only so long. Kudos to Vinnie on already having something else lined up.

9:43
Comment From Ryan Brain
O/U on Santana – 4 years/40M? Assume the Royals don’t resign him.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: more money

9:44
Comment From Guest
how many wins for the Astros? they’ve put together a much better team and won’t have the worst bullpen in MLB history, but everyone else in the division improved significantly as well

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I could see them right around 70!

9:44
Comment From Hey
Did you know there was an NHL player named Jeff Sullivan? That’s your name! You like hockey!

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also a photographer in Portland named Jeff Sullivan who likes to take pictures of volcanoes, and there’s another Jeff Sullivan who climbs at my bouldering gym, which means every time I go I have to go through an extra confirmation step

9:46
Comment From Alec
How was Jamie Moyer so effective? Maddux level command? Or did he have a dominant change up or something?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Perfectly-disguised changeup and the know-how of what to do with it. Spent a lot of time off the edges of the zone. Didn’t make fat mistakes. There are some parallels between Moyer and Tom Glavine

9:47
Comment From babaooey
How are we supposed to evaluate players “presence in the clubhouse” The indians seem to be a stat-oriented team, yet they keep bringing Jason Giambi back, citing his positive influence. Is there a way to actually know if hes worth a rosetr spot?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Not from where we sit. Probably from where they sit. Worth keeping in mind that, with a bench player, it’s a lot easier to justify keeping a guy around for his character. Trickier if you’re putting a mediocre statistical player on the field every day

9:49
Comment From john
what’s going on with Luebke? every projected padres roster has him not on the team. Did i miss something?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Far as I know, he’s available. I recall there was talk of their starting him out of the bullpen at the beginning to ease him in and build up his arm strength

9:50
Comment From Jake
Beyond Drew, Cruz, and Young, what position FA is most likely to perform? Anyone left on the scrap heap worth grabbing?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The market’s terrible. Jeff Baker? The market’s terrible.

9:51
Comment From Ryan Brain
Brewers still a lost cause, or have they jumped up to fringe contender with the Garza signing in 2014?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Super fringey. Upper-level talent is there but there’s not a lot of help behind them

9:52
Comment From VB
Mike Trout suffers a freak accident and falls into a coma. He wakes up in January 1, 2018 a free agent. How much does he sign for?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: zero dollars

9:52
Comment From Jake
Be honest, did you ever play right field as a little leaguer?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I only played in high school and they stopped using me as a position player when they realized I couldn’t hit thrown baseballs

9:53
Comment From Dan Duquette
I’m the GM of the Orioles. I will trade you every player on my 25-man roster minus Machado for every player on the Mariners 25-man roster minus Felix. Will you accept my offer?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Sure feels like something I should say no to

9:53
Comment From Dustin
Has anyone ever looked at temporary replacement values, or the actual production received when re-shuffling the bench and lineup to cover for a starters DL stint? Since bench players should be more than replacement level talent, I would suspect that teams are losing even less production than we expect when covering temporary gaps.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think about looking into this probably every single week. Eventually I’ll do the damned research and publish something. Hard to muster up the strength when you’re expected to publish twice a day

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: But related to that, something I stumbled upon yesterday:

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Morneau was having an amazing 2010. Didn’t play after July 7. At that point, Twins were 45-39. Finished 49-29

9:56
Comment From _David _
For you, what makes a great/good/bad/terrible stadium?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Atmosphere. I’m less about things and more about experiences

9:57
Comment From Harry
after your jimenez/santana article this morning I was looking at the Braves SP projections and noticed that Minor and Teheran are projected to pu tup 2.5 less wins in 2014 than in 2013. Shouldnt young guys like that be getting better each yearm not worse?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: A common fallacy is that all improvements by young players are sustainable, and maybe to be built upon. You always have to consider regression to the mean when you’re coming off an unusual result. Also, Teheran/Minor are projected for slight reductions in playing time. Not saying that’s all correct, but players don’t follow volcano curves

9:59
Comment From Rated Rookie
Can a hitter possess elite bat speed and a long swing? Mechanical things are not a zero-sum game, I suspect. But some amount of cancellation would result, right?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I could imagine a player with a lot of weird pre-swing movement, but you’re going to have to talk to a physicist or something. Also people might have a different definition of elite bat speed — is that maximum speed of the swing, or the amount of time it takes to go from swing initiation to the bat head clearing the zone? I presume the former

10:02
Comment From FrustratedHypocrite
Cam you suggest a surprise Pittsburgh 1B, acquired in a trade, who’d make a 2 WAR impact on current roster?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I sure can’t!

10:02
Comment From Steve
Any reasons for optimism with Matt Moore this coming year? Fastball is down, command is somehow still eroding…AND THEN HIS ELBOW BARKED!! Is his new profile more Gio Gonzalez or Barbaro?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I remembered him starting a good second half. Then I remembered what happened in his second half. I think the primary reason for optimism is that he’s still young and talented, and now he’s had a winter to rest and heal up what might have been damaged

10:07
Comment From Tarik
I’m relatively new to sabremetrics. Quick question about wRC+. When we say it’s park league and year adjusted, and that we can therefore use it to compare players of different eras, how exactly does that comparison work? If player A has a wRC+ of 125 for his career in the 1960s and player B has a career wRC+ of 135 in the 2000s, are we just saying that player B was 10% Better relative to his peers than player A was?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: correct!

10:08
Comment From SF DAVE
PIT 1B options… They might be bad but no one seems to be talking about Chris McGuiness. Why not? OBP/Power combo (in the minors anyway).

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: .792 OPS in Triple-A as a 25-year-old

10:08
Comment From Seattle
Where is the best coffee in this city?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Three hours south

10:08
Comment From _David_
Isn’t it more interesting that the A’s and Rays started their relief pitcher fixation at the same time?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Do the Rays have a relief-pitcher fixation? They agreed to pay some of Heath Bell’s salary in acquiring Ryan Hanigan. They signed Grant Balfour, but to a pretty good deal. The A’s are a different story

10:09
Comment From TC
Feel better Jeff! Who do you think will be the best FA value remaining on the market?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Still sticking with Capuano

10:10
Comment From A. Lane
Is there a contract for Drew that makes sense for the Pirates?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but it’s below where Drew would start to make sense for other teams

10:11
Comment From Compton
Pitch values– they’re awesome! But why don’t they take L/R into account for hitters? E.g. a lefty slider and a righty slider behave quite differently.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Agreed. They could be improved, but it’s fairly low on the FG priority list, because the pitch values aren’t really used all that often

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: They’re almost never, for example, cited on the front page

10:12
Comment From chuckb
How low does the price have to come down for Morales or Cruz in order to make it worthwhile to give up the draft pick? I’m thinking something like 1 year/$5-6 million.

10:13
Comment From SF DAVE
How many years should Arroyo get? How many of them will he have a sub 4 ERA?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: probably 2, probably 0, pending defense/ballpark

10:14
Comment From Alan
Drew’s really not that much of an upgrade for the Mets, right? It’s not like Tejada is way below average, and at least he’s got youth on his side.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Well, so far, Tejada for his career is a little over 1 WAR per 600 plate appearances. Could improve. I don’t think Drew would be a massive upgrade, and the team probably won’t win in 2014, but while you can squint and see Tejada’s upside, you don’t need to squint to see how Drew would be better

10:16
Comment From Ryan Brain
With the Yankees and Dodgers both saying “To hell with the luxury tax limit”, does the MLB penalty get harsher with each additional year they exceed the limit like in the NBA? Or, is it a constant, like dollar for dollar? Does either team give a shit?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: It gets harsher up to four years. At 4+ years, the penalty is a constant 50% tax on the amount a team is over

10:17
Comment From Alec
Am I the only one who feels like now that we have Cano, we could have beaten the Nationals package for Fister (I know, we’d be paying more than we got for him when we traded Fister). Franklin+ could have done it, right?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of teams had the young players to beat the Nationals’ package. That’s one of the reasons it was such a surprise and seemingly such a mistake. But the Tigers also seem to really like the main piece they got, and everybody evaluates players differently

10:18
Comment From Gila Monster
MLB approved a protective cap for pitchers that protect pitchers up to an 83mph line drive. Does it become widely adopted?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t read about this yet, but such a move was inevitable and they’ll be commonplace within 15-20 years

10:20
Comment From Ms Fans
Are we still supposed to feel like we dodged a bullet in the failed JUpton trade? Franklin was underwhelming and Walker is still an unknown. And now we have LOMO and Hart in the outfield.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Upton was a 3-WAR player and Walker is one of the most prized young starting pitchers in all of baseball

10:20
Comment From SF DAVE
What does Pineda’s FBv have to be to get by with just the FB/SL combo he showed in SEA all those years ago. It was 94.7 when he was good in SEA (with a huge ballpark)

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: You’d like to see him in the 92-95 range but I’m not convinced it’s entirely about velocity — his slider is just good, and he gets a lot of forward extension which should help his perceived velocity

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Eventually he might need to develop a real changeup but the hitters have to prove that before it’s worth really worrying about

10:21
Comment From Ian
Can you elaborate on the Reds SP depth being woeful? Their top 5 are in the conversation for best rotation in the NL, which is a pretty great starting point. Granted, Francis and Wang being next in line doesn’t inspire confidence, but Holmberg is an interesting piece and Stephenson is waiting in the wings.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I just mean the guys behind the top 5. The Reds don’t have much of any projected value. Granted, nobody has awesome pitchers behind the top 5, but the Reds aren’t in position to really manage a long-term SP injury

10:22
Comment From FEI
Mike Trout career WAR – over/under 100?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: under

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll even say way under

10:23
Comment From Ed
If the Angels and Pirates are the best outfields, are the Mariners the worst?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs or White Sox

10:23
Comment From AHume92
At what point will the M’s bring up Walker this year?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s on the team out of camp

10:23
Comment From Unreal tandem
Imagine if Boston traded Bogaerts for Zimmerman and Desmond….Harper and Bogaerts would be worth the price of admission for atleast a decade, no?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Not if the team were bad, because people go to ballparks to see good baseball teams

10:25
Comment From jasper
Do you think Drew would be willing to take a one-year deal and re-enter free agency next winter provided he wasn’t offered a QO? I’m pretty sure teams can’t expressly say they will not offer a QO, but can that really be enforced/proven?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how that could be enforced, but it’s not like the market looks way way better a winter from now. Drew should just settle for two years of millions of dollars

10:26
Comment From Jake
What question do you get the most often that you refuse to answer out of principle/anger/creeping dementia?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: anything that begins with 5×5 league

10:27
Comment From Jake
Have you ever been offered a job with a pro team? Would you take that job?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve interviewed a few times, but at this point, no, I would not want to work for a sports organization

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: at least, not for baseball operations

10:28
Comment From john
Are you as high on Khris Davis as some of the projections? Seems odd that he never showed up on any lists

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not in love. I can see an average player though

10:29
Comment From Guest
will the evil empire get enough production out of 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, and shortstop to make the playoffs? (please say no)

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll get enough production that they’ll play meaningful games in September

10:29
Comment From LarryA
When a contract like Tanakas has an opt-out after year 4 of 7, is it a one-time decision, or can he also opt out after year 5,6 etc,

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: One-time

10:30
Comment From LarryA
Can Beltre get 20 more WAR over his career to catch up to Chipper? He is only 34.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say 25-30%. Not worried about talent — worried about body holding up as he approaches 40

10:32
Comment From Rated Rookie
Yordano Ventura not an impact talent, as a starter?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Impact talent, as a starter

10:33
Comment From Guest
If you value a win at 6M, which is around where Dave placed, it Jayson Werth would need to be worth 13 wins over the remainder of his contract to be worth it. That’s 3.25 wins a year. Maybe he doesn’t quite get there, but at the very least, I don’t think it will end up near the egregious overpay that it was originally portrayed as. Thoughts?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: There is so, so, so much money in baseball

10:33
Comment From RK
1. What % chance do you give Price being dealt at this point? 2 Who would be leading candidates (close to contention in need of SP) – Royals, Indians, DBacks, Jays?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: 35%, Diamondbacks

10:34
Comment From _David_
Doesn’t it seem like the hassle and risk to a star player taking PEDs just isn’t worth it? I mean even in A Rod’s case he was still young enough to be playing well enough to get a big second contract. Maybe there is a definite dollar amount as a percentage increase over what the player would have made but the costs of getting caught seem really high, especially to a star player.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine players rightfully have a lot of confidence that they can use without getting detected. Which, well, they probably aren’t wrong, provided they aren’t idiots. Also, professional athletes are going to be overconfident and they might perceive themselves as untouchable. They’ll go into almost anything believing they can succeed at it, and there’s a lot of pressure on a player to stay as good as possible as long as possible

10:36
Comment From _David_
Do you think players will utilize data about aging curves and defense to try to keep their bodies in the right shape to lengthen their careers and maybe bulk up less?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: They’re always conditioning harder and harder, but not because of aging-curve data. Everybody just wants to stick around as long as they can

10:38
Comment From _David_
Do agents understand sabermetrics in order to talk to certain teams differently?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: only a few of them

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: and even then, it’s generally the support staffs

10:38
Comment From Tom
Are the Indians done with major-league deals this offseason or do they grab a pitcher?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: They’re done being aggressive, but they’re open to having a guy fall into their lap. Maybe a Jimenez return, maybe a Scott Baker

10:39
Comment From Donald Bradman
re: Agents & Sabermetrics. Isn’t Boras a huge statsman?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: In his own way. And they aren’t all like Scott Boras

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: But the industry is getting smarter about those things. Agents are fairly vigilant about finding ways to get themselves more money, and I’ve had a few guys reach out to me to indicate their own interest in the numbers we’re providing. The data can help them out, and more of them are realizing it

10:40
Comment From Jake
What teams would get the most hurt by reducing the amount of players that can be proteted from rule 5 from 40 to 35?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the teams with the deepest farm systems, so consult your preferred organizational rankings. Keith Law’s came out today

10:42
Comment From Prich
Is Tabata/Snyder a good enough platoon in RF to get it done until Polanco is deemed ready, and for Pittsburgh fans to feel comfortable about contending until then?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s only barely acceptable. If it weren’t for Polanco, it would be a position of almost absolute need. As is, it’s like the Pirates need a player for a few months, which is a weird thing to try to purchase.

10:43
Comment From Kris
How big of an overpay would Archie Bradley be for DPrice? Towers said he’d be open to that deal provided DPrice signs an extension…

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Massive overpay

10:44
Comment From Grack Zeinke
yeah, how do the Rays justify trading their ace in a season they are expected to contend for the division title/WS ? iow, it’s insane.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t they just trade James Shields in a season they were expected to contend for the division title/WS? They’d justify it by saying, hey, we’re the Rays. Trading Price wouldn’t cripple their chances of contention, especially if they brought back big-league talent. It’s an awkward situation, but the Rays have demonstrated that they’d okay with these and they understand there are costs to being successful in the long term as a small market

10:46
Comment From yankeesfan1
would the yankees have been better off signing jimenez and garza or tanaka

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly probably the former

10:46
Comment From Sam
Any chance the Cards package Adams or Craig in a deal for Price if Tavares makes it impossible to not play him.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re going to see Price traded midseason

10:47
Comment From Jake
How long till your biopic about a baseball writer turned volcanologist who uses saber principles to save Seattle from an increasingly active Mt Rainier and a lack of starting pitcher depth hits theaters?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I need to be able to write it first and that damned Dave Cameron won’t get off my back about “hey it’s time for work you have to do your work”

10:48
Comment From HOO DADDY
Do you see the A’s taking a big step back this year?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: nuh uh

10:48
Comment From TC
Speaking of Drew, all things being equal, do you think signing Drew is a better option than upgrading the rotation Santana/Jimenez?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t that depend on each team?

10:48
Comment From HOO DADDY
If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and the Mariners win the World Series this year, would Seattle erupt into an endless orgy and have to be shut down by the National Guard?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: yes

10:49
Comment From Ryguy
Now that the Tanaka chip has fallen, is there no urgency with certain GMs to acquire starting pitching help that can keep their teams competitive? Yes Dan Duquette, I’m looking at you….

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: seems like there are a bunch of rumors about the Orioles. it’s just that like none of them are particularly exciting

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: When you set your sights on Bronson Arroyo…

10:50
Comment From SF DAVE
Hector Noesi throws 93+ and gets decent wiff rates. He’s all of 27 this year and he’s not going to give up a .400 BABIP agian. Why is everyone so quick to write him off?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Bad command, no great secondary pitch, lousy attitude

10:51
Comment From Beattie
What does it mean when a player generates a very high SwgStr% and a low Contact%, but doesn’t have the strikeout rate to match?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Usually it means regression is coming, but it depends on the player. I think pitchers can sustain those weird differences better than hitters can

10:52
Comment From Johnny Ballgame
How often is the WAR formula reviewed? For example, if a team has high WAR but their win total is significantly lower than expected – would you look for an aspect of WAR that might be under-accounted for? Or is it usually tied to sequencing?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much always sequencing. Sequencing makes an enormous difference some of the time, as one would expect

10:52
Comment From – big fat old guy
will acquiring ryan hanigan turn out to be a steal for tampa?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’m already comfortable assuming that much

10:54
Comment From – big fat old guy
The ChiSox have Konerko, Dunn, and now Abreu for 1b/DH. What happens with that?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Dunn and Konerko take playing-time hits because they are not good

10:55
Comment From Seattle Mariners???
I’m relatively new to these chats and wanted to know if you’re from Seattle, cheer on the Mariners or something along those lines. I’m just trying to understand the reason for what seems to be a lot of Seattle Mariners questions. Either you have some sort of association or Fangraphs’ patrons or predominantly Pacific Northwesters. hahaha.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve written about the Mariners since 2003 so I know them better than anyone. Also my chats are disproportionately populated by people who follow me for Mariners stuff

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Thirdly, the Mariners are interesting this offseason!

10:55
Comment From – big fat old guy
Over/under on 100 abs for Grady Sizemore

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Under :( but hoping so super hard

10:56
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.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: You asked this very question last week, and I answered this very question last week.

10:57
Comment From LarryA
climber, eh? can you do a 1-arm pull-up?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: good god no, I’m a climber, not a freak

10:57
Comment From Gila Monster
Clay Davenport has the Rays winning the AL East with the Jays/Orioles falling under .500, The Mariners at above .500, and the Giants/Braves getting the NL Wild Card with the Padres coming really close. Does this seem right?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing’s absurd. When you have this many teams hovering around being average, any number of outcomes are reasonably possible. We have a sample size of one regular season coming up. One!

10:58
Comment From Robert
If the Angels sign Capuano, would you start Skaggs in AAA or put Santiago in the pen as a swingman?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The second one

10:58
Comment From Jake
Another fan graphs article about Mike Trout! Didn’t see that coming.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: HE’S AMAZING

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: APPRECIATE THIS

11:00
Comment From Tom
What is one change (add/subtract) you would make to how Fangraphs calculates WAR. Assume access to any proprietary data that teams have.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch-framing

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Better general defensive data, if teams actually have that and believe in it with confidence

11:01
Comment From Wind Jam
Do you think it at all likely the Padres would be willing to trade Maybin or Liriano for Franklin?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I could see them moving Maybin

11:05
Comment From guest
Why do some teams seem to struggle so much with development at a certain position. Like STL with SS or KC with 2B or CHISOX with 3B? Evidence of an underlying problem or am I just cherry-picking random data?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Random data. Can’t imagine why teams would have problems developing at one particular position

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I could see why a team might struggle with position players or pitchers but specific position players, that doesn’t make good sense to me

11:07
Comment From Rated Rookie
When does Stephenson enter the picture as being ready to pitch in Cincinnati? In 2014, right?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: 2015

11:07
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
It’s very possible I missed it, but I’m really surprised there haven’t been articles at FG about hugely expanded instant replay.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I might be wrong but I feel like we wrote things some months ago when the proposal first made the news. Not much to add

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: And even if we didn’t write things back then, so many people have written things in so many places I’m not sure what’s left to be expanded on. Everybody’s already getting used to it

11:08
Comment From DTSS
Aren’t most line drives more than 83 mph?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely, but you have to start somewhere

11:09
Comment From Guest
Have you seen this?: http://baseballsavant.com/pitchfx_search.php

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Use it all the time!

11:09
Comment From company flow
Have you ever seen a game in Angel Stadium? Nice venue, horrible team?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Been there a few times. Nothing particularly remarkable about it. I like sitting out in left field in the late afternoon. Awesome to be able to take the train to/from the ballpark when you live somewhere else around the southern coast

11:11
Comment From Slippery Pope
Let’s say you are King of the Rays. Your devoted nerds tell you that with D. Price, you have a 65% chance at winning the division. Without him you have a 45% chance. You can get a quite nifty prospect, a somewhat nifty prospect and some filler, but no one likely to help you much in 2014. What do you do?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, while it obviously depends, I probably trade Price for the long-term value and turn around and sign an FA starter like Capuano to plug the immediate hole

11:13
Comment From Guest
Are the capuano, arroyo, etc pitchers waiting for Jimenez and Santana to sign?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re fairly separate markets. I don’t know what’s going on with Capuano, but Arroyo is still trying to get himself a third guaranteed year

11:14
Comment From FrustratedHypocrite
So the Pirates should probably not trade for a 1B, correct?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Just doesn’t really seem worth it, at this point

11:14
Comment From Rob, Baltimore
Orioles should stay away from Arroyo correct? Even on a 2 year deal at 20 million? I would rather have Gausman than a token move like this.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: There’s value in depth, and Arroyo doesn’t come with a pick attached. It’s not a terrible idea, although $20m/2yr would be kind of steep

11:15
Comment From Todd
Do you think the Jays should be going after Ubaldo and Santana? Or should they just fill the back of their rotation with Stroman, Hutchison, Happ etc. and hold onto their cash for a Rasmus extension?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think they should go somewhat hard after Ubaldo and less hard after Santana, failing the former. There are wins to gain and there are playoffs to make

11:16
Comment From Jake
I can’t believe agents are even remotely behind the curve on stats stuff. That’s leaving millions of dollars on the table. Murphy, Johnson, Haren, Ruiz were all way under 6-7 mil per WAR, are you telling me those guys lost millions of dollars because a lot of agents are behind he curve? I know there are other factors, but seriously, holy crap

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing is as embarrassing and backwards as MLB’s arbitration process. Agents are a kind of more important deal, but they’re at least ahead of that curve. And I’m not all that tapped into the agent market these days so it’s possible guys have gotten way better over a relatively short amount of time. More and more of them are employing statistical researchers and obviously as an agent you have to be able to speak a bunch of different salesman languages

11:19
Comment From Dan
why has the QO been much more detrimental to current players than offering arbitration was under the previous CBA?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Probably has something to do with the spending limits in the draft. Those spending pools are a big deal

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: I could do this all day long, there are so many questions in the queue, but I just have to cut it off and get on with my day. And I can sense that I”m mentally losing steam, making for a less enjoyable chatting experience for you guys!

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: So we’re going to stop now and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days. Spring training is right around the corner. Which means actual baseball is only a few more corners away. Here’s to remaining free agent resolutions




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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 — 1/28/14”

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  1. SFDave says:

    PIT 1B situation seems bad but no one is talking about Chris McGuiness (From TEX). Isn’t his OBP/power skill set at least better than Gaby?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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