FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 6/30/15

3:22
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Join Jeff and myself tonight at 9 pm ET for all the baseballing action you can act on.

It’s Jeff’s last chat for two weeks, so get in all the fancy Royals questions you’ve dying to ask! See you soon!

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi guys! Let’s do this.

9:02
Comment From Jung Ho Kodos
Head to head league where I’ve taken second place 5 years in a row. Should I trade Joc for Stanton if I’m comfortably in the playoff picture and can survive the time between now and when Stanton comes back, or should I be worried about Stanton’s power when he gets back?

9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I would worry if Stanto makes it back at all

9:03
Paul Swydan: I would absolutely be worried about his power when he comes back, because hand injuries tend to take longer to get over.

9:03
Paul Swydan: That’s another good point. Stanton’s injury is a clear sign that the Marlins can sell.

9:03
Comment From season tickets
who would be the best NA (minor league player) to pick up, in hopes of a useful fantasy final month? ill give you bonus points if 1 pitcher and 1 batter….thanks for the chat!

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Severino and Sano

9:04
Paul Swydan: I picked up Jon Gray the other day. Miguel Sano has also gotta be high on the list. I don’t know if they’re both definitively the BEST, but at least with Gray, there’s been a lot of smoke that he’s “ready.”

9:04
Comment From Julio Pepper
Deep AL only, amazing offense and I’m rolling with my patched together rotation of Tanaka/Salazar/Kazmir/Taijuan/Rodon/Happ. How worried should I be about my rotation (and Tanaka’s arm?). Is Taijuan a legit #3?

9:05
Paul Swydan: Oh, btw, USA! USA! USA! That last goal was so pretty.

9:05
Paul Swydan: Tanaka is always a concern, but if he’s healthy, I like your rotation quite a bit. Kudos. Taijuan or Rodon should be good as your 3-4-5.

9:06
Comment From Jose Valentin
If you were in the White Sox position would you even consider trading Sale?

9:06
Paul Swydan: Oops, sorry Jeff.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Walker is looking to be legit. In an AL league, your ration is fine, you may look to do some streamimg with 2 start guys.

9:07
Paul Swydan: As for Jose Valentin’s question (loved you as a player, Jose), no. Hell no.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: No

9:09
Paul Swydan: This new poll is a question I got on Twitter, asking me which Mets pitcher I would trade Xander Bogaerts for. I said I wouldn’t trade him for any of them, but I allowed for the fact that I’m too close to the situation, so I’m opening it up to you guys.

9:10
Paul Swydan: For posterity, it’s who hangs up first in a proposed Bogaerts for deGrom deal?

9:10
Comment From James
How good is Matt Duffy and can we expect him to keep putting up similar numbers for the rest of the season?

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman:

I am not totally buying into him just yet. I haven’t seen why the big turn around

9:11
Paul Swydan: I don’t know that he’s this good, but there are good signs. His BB/K is up from .07 to .28 this year, which is a nice jump, and his BABIP is basically the same as it was last year, and in line with his minors performance. We’ll see. The Giants just find these guys.

9:11
Comment From Total Clown
There was talk of three-way baseball games during another chat this week. How would you gents want the mechanics of a three-way baseball game to go? I’d watch any constellation of that…

9:12
Paul Swydan: I don’t think I’m smart enough to answer this.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Sounds dumb IMO.  

9:13
Comment From Pale Hose
Hey guys. It feels like everyone is predicting a boring trade deadline due to lack of sellers, but everyone was saying that last year too. So, predict the excitement of the deadline from 0 to 10 with 10 as the most exciting.

9:13
Paul Swydan: I’ll say a 9. I agree with you, stuff is going to happen. It might not be blockbuster stuff, but stuff is going to happen for sure.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: 5, I think sellers will take some good hauls and teams in contention will be forced to trade with each other.

9:14
Comment From Rusty Shackleford
So.. guys.. How about that Clay Buchholz lately? Pitching like he means it and the peripherals look sound. What do you see ROS? I still refuse to pick him up because I know the moment I do he’ll have one of his patented 6ER starts.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: or go on the DL. He seems to pitch horribly and then go on the DL a week or so later.  

9:15
Paul Swydan: Your apprehension is totally reasonable. I feel like the real test for Buchholz will be the All-Star break. He’s in a groove right now, but he’ll likely get extra rest over the break, and he could be rusty when he comes back. With Buchholz, something that stupid could throw him off.

9:15
Comment From Norm
Who closes in COL if Axford gets traded?

9:15
Paul Swydan: Probably goes back to Hawkins. I mean, why not, right?

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Who cares.

9:16
Paul Swydan: Jeff pulling ZERO punches tonight!

9:16
Comment From Ryan
Who is number 2 on the trade value list this year?

9:16
Paul Swydan: Bryce Harper.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I may go with Correa or Bryant, but couldn’t argue with all three

9:17
Comment From Phil
If he keeps this up and finishes north of 3 wins, Ubaldo Jiminez, that’s right – the maligned “bad contract swap in the offseason” bait Ubaldo Jiminez – will post the highest WAR of any Orioles starter since 2007. That’s 8 seasons without a 3 win SP… and it’s Jiminez. I’m not sure if that’s more interesting or depressing. But hey, they are winning and turning guys like Pearce and Paredes into bizarre success stories.

9:17
Paul Swydan: Ubaldo Jimenez definitely has flashes of greatness in him, he always has. I think it’s more a commentary on the Orioles’ pitching development in general.

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: OK

9:19
Comment From Snape
Buy or Sell Cameron Maybin….

9:19
Paul Swydan: BUY!

9:20
Jeff Zimmerman:

Hold to sell. I think he is at his peak, but I am not sure many people, expect Paul, are buying into it.  

9:20
Paul Swydan: Cameron Maybin holds a special place in my heart because he was the subject of my very first FanGraphs article. So there.

9:20
Comment From Guest
Are Joe Panik and Mookie Betts the same player?

9:21
Paul Swydan: I put this together: http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:21
Paul Swydan: So, I see where your head is at. Identical wOBA, close to same wRC+, but they get there in different ways. Mookie has the power and speed, and Panik has the OBP. I definitely wouldn’t have put that together on my own though. I guess now I know why I love Panik so much!

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: No, same final results, but different ways getting there.  

9:22
Comment From Vivalajeter
Jeff, how’d you vote in the deGrom pole?

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Even

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Fair deal

9:23
Comment From Guest
Will Machado move back into the Trout/Harper discussion again? He was up there before the injuries, but isn’t getting a ton of attention.

9:23
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I think he’s probably a top-10 guy. I haven’t really given it much thought, but he’s gotta be up there.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: He needs to compete for more than 3 months. People don’t really trust him 100% yet. I don’t trust Harper’s 2015 production completely.  

9:24
Comment From Merv Throneberry
Osuna’s closing upside could be_______________?

9:24
Paul Swydan: Could be very, very high, though I submit that they’re wasting his potential by limiting him to relief.

9:25
Paul Swydan: Or, instead of submit, maintain, as I’ve submitted that thought before.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: High

9:25
Comment From Dr. Met
Last successful playoff team that scored under 2 runs a game… I need some ray of hope to latch onto here!

9:25
Paul Swydan: Probably none.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe some college softball team.

9:25
Comment From Patrick
Realistically who you do guys see the Padres actually selling at the deadline?

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: No, unless they really start tanking hard. They didn’t spend all that money to throw in the towel.

9:26
Paul Swydan: Oh, I don’t see them selling anything. Preller pushed all his cards into the middle of the table this winter, he’d look like a fool to his bosses if he cut bait on his plan halfway through the year. He’s gotta have conviction in his plan, I think, otherwise he’s admitting he made a huge mistake. And not many GMs do that.

9:27
Paul Swydan: Hence why the Red Sox are trying to deflect all of the Hanley criticism.

9:27
Comment From Mr. Met
I’m not related to Dr. Met. We get that often.

9:27
Paul Swydan: Thanks for clearing that up.

9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Good to know

9:27
Comment From Gila Monster
Do you deal Buccholz if you are the Red Sox? Who could give the pieces for him?

9:28
Paul Swydan: I definitely put him out there. There’s no urgency, but if someone bowls me over, absolutely. Assuming the Sox are going to be all-in on Price this winter. If they’re going to get skittish about free agent pitchers again, then no, I’d hang onto him.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see them do it, interesting that they are sellers two years in a row. I really could see them finally move some hitting.  

9:29
Comment From Tony
Paul recommended selling high on Sonny Gray in late April… still feel that way? K/BB/GB all look the part of a top tier guy.

9:29
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: I would still look to sell. Could his value be any higher.  

9:30
Paul Swydan: I mean, it depends, right? If you’re in the hunt, you gotta hold onto him at this point. If you’re not, then hell yes I still feel that way.

9:31
Comment From Ryan
Could the Reds work out a deal involving Cueto, Chapman, and Phillips for Devon Travis and some kind of TOR pitching prospect? Would the Reds have to kick in money to account for Phillips’ salary?

9:32
Paul Swydan: I don’t think that’s nearly enough. The hard truth is that the Reds don’t need to move Phillips’ contract. They’re run by a billionaire who can easily afford to pay the players his management team signs. They simply choose not to. But if they try package Phillips into a deal for Chapman and Cueto, I’d fire Jocketty before he could even pull off such a stupid trade.

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the Reds will get more selling the parts than one lump trade. With so few sellers, I think they will get a quite a bit of value if they trade. If … it is the Reds who normally do nothing.  

9:33
Paul Swydan: Agreed. Don’t package them.

9:33
Comment From Well-Wined Englishman
Paul and Jeff and others: how much do you use Cistulli’s NERD scores to decide what to watch? I feel like I choose what to watch from NERD about 30% of the time.

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Sometimes, but normally I just look for two good/interesting starting pitchers.

9:34
Paul Swydan: The sad truth is that I rarely get a chance to watch non-Red Sox games these days. I have barely used the new MLB.tv. But when I do have a chance, I consult the NERD. I was sad to note the other day that the Sox team NERD is down to a 4.

9:34
Paul Swydan: Giving up big dongs like that (Layne to Reyes) is part of that equation, no doubt.

9:35
Comment From Guest
Do the Rockies finally move either Tulo or CarGo? We’ve been waiting for years and it seems nobody is happy there.

9:35
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t hold your breath.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Nope, they will hold onto them

9:35
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Will Machado ever get a shot at SS?

9:36
Paul Swydan: Seems like that ship has sailed, especially given his past knee issues.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably no, especially since he is only getting older/slower

9:36
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Would you only deal Chapman and Cueto separately?

9:37
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t rule out a combo deal, but it’d have to be one hell of a combo deal. Probably only the Dodgers, Cubs and maybe one-two more teams have the prospect bounty to make that worthwhile.

9:37
Paul Swydan: At least without diluting their whole farm system.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the take would be higher. Not many teams looking for Elite closer and starter. Also they couldn’t give as much when going for both. I could see two teams really over pay for their services.  

9:38
Paul Swydan: I feel very much like the Red Sox are going to blow this lead, FYI.

9:38
Comment From Eric
Which pitcher to the Royals target? Shark seems like to good Royals target to me and will likely be the cheapest.

9:38
Paul Swydan: One for Jeff.

9:39
Paul Swydan: For my part, I’d like to see them get someone who gets K’s. Their rotation still is shallow in punchouts:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Shark is reasonable, Kazmir may be OK. And a whole article on it:  http://www.royalsreview.com/2015/6/30/8865959/royals-starting-pitcher-trade-targetshttp://www.royalsreview.com/2015/6/30/8865959/royals-starting-pitcher-trade-targets

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: oopshttp://www.royalsreview.com/2015/6/30/8865959/royals-starting-pitcher-trade-targets

9:40
Paul Swydan: Killin me Jeff.

http://www.royalsreview.com…

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: It won’t be the last time.

9:40
Comment From Ham+puffs
Blech. Can I run a quick fantasy trade by you? Longoria for Puig? I’m stacked, and only need to know who you would rank higher as a DH for the rest of the year.

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Puig

9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: My only issue with him is his playing time.

9:41
Paul Swydan: RoS projections pretty clearly favor Puig:

http://www.fangraphs.com/pr…

9:41
Paul Swydan: The projections have him outproducing Longo in 11 fewer games though, so maybe that’s not a huge concern.

9:41
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
In hindsight, did Shark make the wrong call in declining the Cubs’ 5/$85m offer before he was dealt to Oakland?

9:42
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so. That’s $17 M per year. Which is less than what Porcello got. Hard to see Samardzija getting less than Porcello this winter.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, old pitchers should really take any good deal they can

9:42
Comment From Ham+puffs
You guys are awesome. Thanks. Next week I’ll try to come up with good questions.

9:43
Paul Swydan: I still believe you have at least one more good question in you this week!

9:43
Comment From Wardo
Any concerns that Frazier falls off in the second half again? I’m working on a trade in a dynasty league that would have my Rendon going and his Frazier coming back (among other parts) but I’m a little nervous that Frazier comes back to earth and Rendon is 90% of Frazier from the ASB forward.

9:43
Paul Swydan: I don’t think Frazier will be as good in the second half as he has been in the first, but if Rendon isn’t going to be right, it may not matter. Jeff has a better read on Rendon’s health than I do though.

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: I would take Frazier. Rendon just seems to be falling into the constantly  hurt bucket of players with Zimmerman and Cargo

9:44
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
it seemed like Longoria was at one point on the fast track to Cooperstown. I would think it’s unlikelynI

9:44
Paul Swydan: I mean, he’s at 41.3 WAR halfway through his age-29 season. He’s still got a good shot.

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree, he just never really improved as a player and his skills are declining.  

9:46
Paul Swydan: Yeah, his health is a factor. But he’s 13th all-time among 3B through age 29, and could be 11th by the end of the season:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:46
Paul Swydan: That’s better than Chipper and Brooks Robinson, though I don’t think we have the metrics to capture Robinson’s defensive brilliance. Or so I’m told.

9:46
Comment From kid
Do we see a rebound from Matt Kemp, to some degree? I mean guy was a .369 wOBA hitter last year, and he’s stealing bases, so you wouldn’t think health would be that much of a factor.

9:48
Paul Swydan: I mean, sure, I don’t think he’s a .289 wOBA player. But we’re now nearly three years removed from him being a 3-win player, and nearly 4 years removed from him being a superstar. I think that ship has sailed. That trade really may go down as the worst trade ever. The Padres got fleeced.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not really. I do think health is an issue.  

9:48
Comment From hscer
When you say you don’t trust Harper’s 2015 production, how do you mean? Nobody’s gonna say he’s a true talent 220 wRC+ hitter.

9:48
Paul Swydan: For Jeff.

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he is around a 5-6 WAR player, good, but not great.  And a free agent soon.  

9:50
Comment From mtsw
Too early to start the “do projections systematically underrate the Orioles?” discussion this year?

9:51
Paul Swydan: For me, yes. That gets tired and contentious and doesn’t really serve either side of the debate very well. But I do understand why Orioles fans get upset.

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe, it seems projections have issues with teams with bad starting pitching, but good bullpens. Orioles and Royals. I wonder if there is something to the starters gong as long as possible and then the bullpens can jump in.  

9:52
Paul Swydan: Oh, interesting.

9:52
Comment From hscer
3.5 years isn’t *that* soon! stop trying to take him away from the Nats people!

9:52
Paul Swydan: I think the Nats hitting him SIXTH for a whole season took care of that last year.

9:52
Paul Swydan: Thanks, Matt Williams!

9:53
Comment From Alan
If you were Alderson, would you consider dealing one of the Big 4 to pull in an impact bat? Harvey, Matz, DeGrom and Thor might be one of the most dominant rotations in years.

9:54
Paul Swydan: I mean, it’s a TJ returnee, two rookies, and a guy who’s 27 in his second season. They certainly COULD be, but I’d ease up on such talk. At least until Matz and Thor get, I dunno, at least 20 starts under their belt?

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: No, get a bat another way for now.

9:54
Comment From hscer
Matz is that hot new hitting prospect, right?

9:55
Paul Swydan: Ha.

9:56
Comment From Syphon23
Has there been any other teams(Oakland) in the past 20 years to be 9 games under .500 with a +46 Run differential? If there has, how has that team done the rest of the season? Any hope that A’s can make a playoff push?

9:56
Paul Swydan: Probably, yes. Fate is a cruel mistress.

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I am sure, but would need to dig a bit to find one.

9:57
Comment From Ted
If you had to say right now, who will win the AL East?

9:57
Paul Swydan: Yankees find a way.

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree with the Orioles next.

9:58
Paul Swydan: I’d like to say Blue Jays, but I have no confidence in them upgrading their rotation at the deadline. AA is far too conservative.

9:58
Comment From Phil
What’s a realistic move for the O’s to make at the trade deadline? Are they really going to have to settle for nothing for either Davis or Wieters and either sign them or let them walk? I would say they should try to get young pitching, but considering how they develop pitching talent, maybe an established name would be best. Do they have anything to offer for a name like Kazmir?

9:58
Paul Swydan: I could see them swinging a deal for Kazmir, but that only happens if the A’s punt, and given the softness of the AL West, I’m not so sure that that happens.

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: The Orioles just don’t seem to make moves. I see them standing pat

10:00
Comment From Jeff570
Jonah Keri did a piece today debating the merits of Machado and Arenado currently and moving forward. With Machado a year and change younder, is he the easy choice despite Arenado’s power?

10:00
Paul Swydan: I don’t think that Machado is the easy choice, no. Arenado is really good.

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: I would put them even. Manny’s knees worry me some.

10:01
Comment From mtsw
If the Red Sox finish in last again should Cherington worry about his job? A team with their financial advantages has no excuse to be this bad twice in a row, right?

10:02
Paul Swydan: In a just world, absolutely. But there is talk that he’s Henry’s GM “for life,” whatever that means. They seem to want him around. But someone’s head will likely roll, and if it’s not Cherington’s, it’s gotta be Farrell or one of the star players. I just hope it isn’t David Ortiz.

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul knows more on the situation then me.

10:03
Comment From Tony
Any changes in the top AL pitching tier? Felix still alone? Anyone (Gray? Archer? Keuchel?) joining Felix, Sale, Kluber, Price?

10:04
Paul Swydan: I think Gray has to be in there now, and Archer and Keuchel can work their way into that top group by the end of the year if they keep it up.

10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: None, I can see. I would easily take any of the top 4 before the ones under them

10:05
Paul Swydan: I know one thing – you all are always in the top tier. Thanks for hanging out with us, as always. I’ll be back with you next week, and Jeff will be enjoying a well-earned vacation. Until next week!

10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye

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Paul Swydan used to be the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com and The Boston Globe. Now, he owns The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Acton, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan. Follow the store @SilUnicornActon.

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