Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/10/17

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:06
Creg: Does Cozart continue hitting enough to be a realistic 3B option for someone?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine he’s going to stay at shortstop, and I imagine he’s going to stay with the Reds

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that’s anything like a guarantee, but it’s my current best guess

9:07
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: We’re a long way out from the MLB All-Star Game, but should there be a substitution rule where one [1] player can be reentered into the game? It’s an exhibition and we all want to see the best players in the tightest spot anyways, right?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “tight spot” in an All-Star Game, especially now that it’s been stripped of any bigger-picture significance

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: And besides, everyone in the All-Star Game is a good player to begin with!

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: This year’s ASG ended with Andrew Miller facing Joey Votto and Cody Bellinger

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: That was in the 10th inning. Seems good enough to me

9:10
BJOGC: Eric Hosmer has never been good 2 years in a row. His above average years have all been in odd numbered years. Theoretically, what would happen if he were to be signed by the Giants?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He would hit six home runs

9:12
divine chanteuse: What happened to Evan Longoria last year? I feel as though the Rays chances are tied directly to his bat and he was below average for the first time. Is this the new normal for him?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Not just the surface numbers — Longoria also fared much worse in terms of exit velocity and expected wOBA

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It kind of reads as if he sacrificed batted-ball authority for contact. Which, in this day and age, isn’t a terrible idea, but it didn’t work out for him

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still just newly 32 so I’d give him some of the benefit of the doubt, but I’d project him as only a slightly above-average hitter now. I think he’s done being something terrific

9:13
Jaff: Should the Giants look at someone like Keon Broxton instead of going after someone like Lorenzo Cain and losing a draft pick?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I’m biased, so I think so. And if not Broxton, someone very similar in Michael A. Taylor. But I don’t think the Giants want to embrace so many strikeouts

9:15
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: You used to live in San Diego, right? Making the move in a few months. What is the best stuff that I wouldn’t have thought of or sought out on my own?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: There’s some incredible food tucked into some wholly unremarkable strip malls

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Get outside of the city, too. If you can come to appreciate the desert landscape there’s some adequate wilderness

9:17
Kevin: I noticed you guys didn’t have anything on the Girardi firing.  Seemed like awkward timing on the Yankees’ part.  Do you think Cashman had simply made his mind up earlier in the season?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think FanGraphs in particular ever has that much to say about a manager hiring or firing. We openly admit that we basically have no idea

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: In the Yankees’ case, it does read as if the team was just looking for any reason to move on. Most managers don’t last as long in one place as Girardi did. Sides grow tired of one another

9:18
BPhoenix 2042: When you first started at fangraphs, how did they respond to your more humorous articles or frivolous subjects? Was it a tough sell or did they embrace that from the start?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the best thing about working here is I can write almost anything I want

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously there are limits, and I don’t want to write something that’s a complete waste of everyone’s time, but I don’t remember the last time an idea I had was shot down

9:19
Bubba: What do you think the Mets should do this offseason?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Depth, relievers, and health

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t need to make a splash. Everything is going to come down to how well guys like Conforto and Syndergaard recover and perform. That’s it

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I know that’s kind of boring, and separately annoying because it’s unpredictable, but it’s the truth

9:20
rhendricks: Who is Josh Lowey and why is he projected to be one of the top 30 SP in baseball next season according to Steamer600?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I was recently wondering that myself!

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: He appears to be someone who has been dominant in Mexico, with an ugly stint in the KBO

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I, uh, wouldn’t put too much stock in that projection

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: For whatever it’s worth though he did lead all starters in the Mexican league in K-BB%

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: This feels like another Cesar Valdez

9:26
Zonk: Is Ichiro at the end of the road?  Can he still contribute on the field?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: We’re reaching an interesting point, where Ichiro will have to find that balance between his desire to keep playing but also his own personal pride

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Like, I don’t think Ichiro wants to go the route of signing a minor-league contract with an NRI

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: To his credit, he’s still okay in the field, and he still makes an above-average amount of contact. Ichiro’s skills haven’t completely eroded. But he’s never been the classic leader in the clubhouse. He’s a role model, but in an atypical way

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Gun to my head, I’d say Ichiro gets one more season. He’s not going to make it to 50

9:29
Nelson: Every other sport has a flurry of FA activity in the first day the period opens. Why is baseball so different?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, I don’t actually know

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I know the other major sports have shorter free-agency windows, but I don’t know enough about how they operate to be able to tell you what makes baseball unique

9:29
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Who is worse for his sport: Tony Clark, Roger Goodell?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like Goodell, but maybe because there’s just more of a track record there

9:30
Mets defense: If Sandy signs Jarrod dyson to platoon with Lagares, signs ToddFather for third, shifts Asdrubel to second, plus a full season of Rosario at short, can I make a dramatic turnaround?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. The Mets just had arguably the worst team defense in baseball. Even getting to average next season would be a monumental improvement

9:31
divine chanteuse: 1.)  How likely is Archer to be traded?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: 60%?

9:32
Lunar verLander: Based on my understanding on wOBA, the linear weights change on a year-to-year basis. Would it be more accurate to calculate those weights on some sort of rolling 365-day basis, instead of just the data from the previous season? I imagine that it would be able to capture the effects of, say, hypothetical changes to the baseball quicker than just using the previous year’s data, though I’m not sure how much of an effect it would have.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Very very very small effect

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: And it’s not like we commonly *expect* a dramatic difference in the way the actual baseball plays

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Here are the year-by-year linear weights http://www.fangraphs.com/guts.aspx?type=cn

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Compared to 2014, the value of a home run in 2017 was down about 7%. Not super meaningful, and this would affect everyone’s homers equally

9:34
Raindog: What kind of prospects would Machado bring back if dealt now?  What kind if dealt in July?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Figure Machado will get paid something like, I don’t know, $20 million in this last year of team control

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably going to be worth something more like $50 million

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re looking at a package headlined by a clearly elite prospect. It would be headlined by a good pitching prospect or a fairly good position-player prospect, and then you’d get another couple interesting prospects to fill out the package

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: This is the trouble with trading guys in their contract seasons. Especially position players, who you can’t leverage for a bigger price around the deadline

9:37
divine chanteuse: 1.) How likely is Archer to be traded? 2.) Who are the contenders for him? 3.) Who is the most likely of the contenders to get him and 4.) What would a package from that team look like?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You can’t ask four questions in one question. That’s cheating!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’d surmise, for now, the leading contender would be the Cubs

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve been linked to Archer before, and it would allow them to skip the Darvish free-agent frenzy

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves, of course, have also been linked before several times, but I can’t imagine they’re looking at that kind of splash now, given their circumstances

9:39
Zonk: Rank these contracts by order of bad-ness:   Pujols, Cabrera, Chris Davis, Heyward, Cano.  Also, are these the 5 worst contracts in baseball, or am I missing someone?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think Heyward is the least bad. He’s still just 28 years old where all the other guys are well into their 30s

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: The worst one comes down to Pujols vs. Cabrera. For now, I’d say it’s clearly Pujols, but if Cabrera has another lousy year then he could step forward, since his commitment is two years longer (from now)

9:41
Vince Clortho: Because life is disappointing, it is unlikely I will get to watch all of Boston’s young and good baseballing men grow old together. Do you think they are likely to move on from one of their young core in this offseason? Any obvious matchups in a trade?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing original here but it seems like JBJ might be the most obvious player to move

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think this is the time to try to move on from Xander Bogaerts, and obviously Mookie Betts isn’t going anywhere

9:43
Hae-Lo Dee: Lots of chatter that Seattle could be the most likely place to land Darvish. Does that make any sense to you?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Not so much sense that I think it’s likely to happen

9:44
Brett W: Any thoughts on the Ryan Schultz situation?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I had to Google to find out what you’re talking about

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: So I guess no

9:45
Q-Ball: Who will sign the most regrettable contract this offseason?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Shohei Ohtani from the player perspective, Jake Arrieta from the team perspective

9:45
Motor are Mindy: I am very impressed that you did manage to avoid writing an article on Jason Vargas all season long.  Just throwing that out there

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: First-half ERA: 2.62. Second-half ERA: 6.38!

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: First-half xFIP: 4.78. Second-half xFIP: 5.16

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Never believe in a low home-run rate

9:47
Raindog: Is it just me, or is Jaime Garcia actually a pretty ok back of rotation starter?  Like, obviously better than Vargas or Cashner?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think he belongs to the same general group. Adequate No. 5 who you’d never want starting for you in the playoffs. Not a guy who should ever see a lineup a third time through

9:50
Natsfan: Michael A Taylor was the best defender in the NL by UZR/150 by a wide margin, and Anthody Rendon was the best infielder in the NL by a wider margin. If I choose to get miffed about Gold Glove awards, is this a reasonable line of argument?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that would be your starting point

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Now, Arenado destroyed Rendon by DRS, so there’s that

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m not sure Taylor was better than Billy Hamilton, who didn’t even win, himself

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Taylor had a case, although he was presumably hurt by his more limited playing time

9:51
Hae-Lo Dee: Does Jose Abreu get traded this offseason, or does the glut of first basemen on the market kill his value enough that Chicago holds on?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, feels like there’s too many first basemen around. And while Abreu is good, he’s probably not great enough to really stand out

9:52
Natsfan: Michael A Taylor is better than Byron Buxton. You heard it here first!

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: You’re right, I did

9:52
Brett W: If the Marlins and Cubs were definitely going to engage in a Stanton for Heyward swap, what other players and cash are moving in both directions?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: As I’ve thought about it more, one of the commenters from last week was correct. Heyward doesn’t make much sense as a swap here because the Marlins would be moving Stanton specifically to shed money

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: If the Marlins are trying to get their payroll under $90 million, I don’t know how you do that while bringing Heyward on board

9:53
Chris Miller: What do you expect Stanton to cost the Cardinals in prospects and taking on remaining contract?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The return package is probably going to feel pretty damn light unless the Marlins assume a ton of the cost

9:54
Stenzy: Would a Denard Span to Baltimore make any sense? Lefty with only one year left on deal.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Classic super boring Orioles possibility

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The rumor I saw yesterday linking them to Vargas and Cashner just bummed me out

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Just sign Jarrod Dyson or something

9:55
groucho: What’s a more likely scenario for a Stanton to StL trade – The cardinals give more/marlins eat more money, or the cardinals give less/marlins eat less money?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think the latter

9:55
Nick: Hey Jeff – this past postseason we saw the home team have an extremely high winrate. Does this benefit MLB by engaging fans better? Do you think MLB has an active interest in increasing the home field advantage in the sport overall to encourage fans to attend games more often? Is there even a reasonable way to do that?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you can really do anything meaningful to boost the home-field advantage. And while this October’s home winning percentage was high, it was low in both 2015 and 2016

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: It might — might — be preferable if the home team won like 60% of the time, but I don’t know how you get there without some weird-ass rules change

9:56
Trixie: Where do you think Freddy Galvis plays next year?  Does he stay with the Phillies?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I have not had and will not have any thoughts on this

9:57
Silly Beane: Oakland needs OF help.  What can the A’s offer Milwuakee or St. Louis for some of their young OF surpluses?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Saw something yesterday linking the A’s to Yelich/Ozuna, which makes a certain amount of sense

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think the A’s would love to move Ryon Healy, although his value is limited. They have more young talent in house now than they’ve been given credit for, so some sort of package could be assembled

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they’d turn around and move Jorge Mateo. Maybe they try to sell someone on Boog Powell’s 108 wRC+

10:00
Jay: Is this the last offseason Cleveland has a realistic shot to get an extension done with Francisco Lindor? Feels like once he hits arbitration years they are going to have a hard time completing one.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: You still see some major extensions within the arbitration years. Jean Segura, Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Votto, Elvis Andrus, Miguel Cabrera…

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’ll get *easier*, as Lindor starts earning more and more money, but this isn’t going to be their last chance

10:05
Sonny: If 20 teams post for Ohtani Nippon gets $400M. The most Ohtani can get in a signing bonus is about $3M. Burn down the damn system and start over.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Nippon Ham only collects $20 million from the team that signs Ohtani

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t get the posting fee from everyone

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: That would be a very different system

10:06
Silly Beane: With Realmuto in place in Miami, that means a potential STL deal for Stanton probably does not move Carson Kelly, right?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the Marlins are more interested in young pitching anyway

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: On account of they have none

10:06
Dan: Because I know you know, where is Ohtani going to throwing baseballs and maybe hitting baseballs in April?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Guesses that mean nothing: 1. Cubs, 2. Dodgers, 3. Mariners

10:07
Q-Ball: If the Braves are going to be punished, and all indications are it’s coming, doesn’t MLB have to lower the boom soon, before the offseason gets fully going?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’ll be long

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone knows there’s a sense of urgency

10:07
T: David Cone said he would be interested in interviewing for the Yankees manager job, would he be the most “fun” choice they could make? As, follow up would he be good a fit for it?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The most fun choice they could make would be someone who trains otters at the zoo

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Then the players could spend time in the clubhouse with otters

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I have no idea if Cone has the personality to manage. I wouldn’t have thought Aaron Boone has the personality to manage, but apparently he’s in the mix. I’ll re-state for the record: we are very bad at knowing who does and does not make a good manager from the outside

10:09
gump: Where does Castellanos fit in with the Tigers rebuild plans? Is he someone a exit velo believing team would try to trade for? Is his combo of decent 3B/underlying stats and disappointing WAR/coming up on FA enough for the Angels to be interested?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I could easily see someone trading for Castellanos this winter and plugging him into an outfield corner

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Someone who figures he might be the next J.D. Martinez, allowing that team to steer clear of the bidding for the actual J.D. Martinez

10:10
Cody: Bigger trade steal: Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon, etc for Tyler Thornburg or Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader and Adrian Houser for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: The second one, pretty easily

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: What an outstanding trade for the Brewers that’s turning out to be

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: And a worthwhile reminder that a team can make an awful blockbuster move and still win the World Series not too long after that

10:11
Erik: Deployment of pitching in the postseason in the last few years has been radically different than during the season. Yet, little has changed in terms of pitcher use during the season. Is it just fundamentally different in the postseason or will these use changes seep in, like starters being used in relief more often or 3-4 IP relievers with a quick hook for the starter?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Starts have progressively gotten shorter and shorter, even in the regular season. That’s something we’re already seeing. There are just more complicating factors when you’re worried about six months instead of one week. You need to keep pitchers healthy and rested and refreshed, and there are only so many guys available to sop up innings on the 40-man roster

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: For that reason, regular-season usage will never exactly mirror the trends we see in the playoffs

10:12
Bork: How do you feel about the Duchene trade?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: It was probably a massive overpay but I refuse to allow myself to find out, so I’m just dumbly excited

10:12
Carbo: Any thoughts on potential Ohtani production and landing spot? The arm/bat combo is fascinating.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: No further thoughts on landing spot — literally no one has any inkling — but it’s really hard to see how Ohtani *wouldn’t* instantly be a very good pitcher

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t buy him as a *good* hitter, but I buy him as a decent hitter who’s a great hitter for a pitcher. Kind of Bumgarner territory. He clearly generates plus exit velocity

10:14
Stenzy: Hamilton and Castellanos to the Giants makes a lot more sense then giving up draft picks or coin for the Cain and Moustakas of the world?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: One might argue the Giants have more money to play with than prospects

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Castellanos would be a nifty fit though

10:15
A.: I was at this year’s ASG and will tell you that the excitement from the fans was the fact that they were at the ASG and got free bags from Coca-Cola, not that the best players were facing off. So many people left after 7-8 innings

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I get why the ASG exists, I really do, and I’m glad some people get a lot out of it. But that break could be handled so much better

10:16
John Gibbons: The Blue Jays seem uniquely positioned to offer Ohtani an appealing package: he can pitch, play right field and DH, live in a diverse city with a Japanese community and a positive, progressive population. Oh, and the team’s corporate ownership could offer him a lucrative deal as a brand ambassador to compensate for his contract limitations. Thoughts?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re as uniquely positioned as you do

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: There are probably like 10 teams who could claim to offer Ohtani the softest, most comfortable landing

10:17
Dylan: Whoever trades for Dee Gordon and his contract is going to sorely regret it. Tell me why I’m right or wrong

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: $38m/3yr with a 2021 club option just isn’t very much money

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Gordon has positive value, especially now that he’s turned himself into a good defensive middle infielder

10:18
Old timer: The A’s seem to have a lot of 4th/5th starter types.  Any predictions on their 2018 starting five?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Heavens no

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly because I imagine it’ll be more like a starting ten

10:20
Q-Ball: Baseball Prospectus says the worst defender in baseball this year was….Jordy Mercer.  Worse than Kemp.  That doesn’t seem right, does it?  Why the huge variation in defensive value between sources? (FG, BP, BR)

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Going to guess those fielding metrics don’t have a position adjustment mixed in

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: So maybe Mercer was quite bad for a shortstop, but he was still a shortstop, meaning his defensive value was much greater than Kemp’s

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if it’s still true but I think BP uses a more simplistic approach to defense. Makes use of play-by-play data instead of more granular batted-ball data

10:21
LegallyEagle: Is there a moratorium or can Otani sign ASAP

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the posting agreement is even official yet

10:22
Brian: What is a realistic expectation for year 2 of the White Sox rebuild? Slightly better than last season? Slightly worse? Chance to compete?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically next to no chance to compete. But they can do better than 67 wins

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: No idea who’s going to be in the bullpen though

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Nate Jones, if he’s healthy, could fetch a premium in July, given his contract

10:23
Mahatma Gagne: How fucked are the Giants?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Less than it seems

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I think they could bounce back by 20 wins or so with very little roster movement

10:24
Show Buckwalter: What team next year will be this year’s Twins or D’backs? The team that really clobbers Low expectations?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m developing a vaguely positive feeling about the A’s

10:25
Q-Ball: What 3-year ML starter do you think about the least?  Would that be Jordy Mercer?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: It probably would be!

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Jordy Mercer or Melky Cabrera

10:25
Old timer: Will Dombrowski trade Devers in a blockbuster for a power guy?  Or will he just go the FA route?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Trading Devers makes no sense

10:25
A.: The first 6 hitters in the Marlins lineup this year were Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, JT Realmuto, and Justin Bour. How many of those guys are gone at the start of next year?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Three

10:26
Hae-Lo Dee: Who’s the Mariners starting outfield on opening day?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think Gamel/Heredia/Haniger is actually fairly likely

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Make of that what you will

10:26
Rod: Should the Braves go all in on Addison Reed?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:27
Jerry: Hey Jeff, does DRS or UZR recognize when a player or defense is shifted?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: DRS might. Pretty sure UZR still throws shifts away

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I could be way wrong! That’s an MGL question

10:28
Cody: Would Otani leading the Mariners to the playoffs next year be the biggest story in baseball?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not if they were eliminated in one or three games

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani will be one of the biggest stories in baseball, no matter what, no matter where he goes

10:28
Zonk: Albert Pujols posted negative WAR this year, and all indicators are terrible.  Are the Angels thinking whether he’s even worth a roster spot at this point?  Is there a graceful way that Albert quits?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the Angels are willing to believe in a bounceback. And to Pujols’ credit, he still timed his hits for when they’d matter the most. He’s useful when there are runners aboard. But, privately, I’m sure the Angels’ front office has had multiple conversations

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: It’s virtually impossible to see Pujols lasting all the way until the end of his deal

10:30
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Does the fact that Roy Halladay is now up for HOF induction posthumously improve his chances, or was he getting in anyway?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think he was getting in anyway, but now he’s going to get in quicker

10:30
Bagel: How do you think the Astros should go about minimizing the injury risk their pitching staff has? Signing more depth, skipping starts?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: DL manipulation and occasional stints in long relief. Figure Keuchel and Verlander stay in the rotation, but of guys like Peacock, Morton, McCullers, McHugh, Fiers, etc, you can shuffle them around so they’re not starting every five days

10:32
Show Hey O’Tawny: Does Zack Cozart to the Pirates make sense? Or is Jordy Mercer a lot better than I give him credit for?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Pittsburgh feels like the kind of ballpark that might make Cozart look terrible

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Cincinnati has the highest right-handed home-run factor. Pittsburgh is second-lowest. Cozart has that middling power that PNC could destroy

10:33
Sam: Prediction for most dissatisfied fan base in next year’s fan experience poll?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins or Rangers

10:34
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Steamer really hates the Brewers going into next season, especially the pitching. On one hand, I get why guys like Knebel (1.1 WAR), Hader (0.5 WAR), or Anderson (1.7 WAR) are getting low-ish projections – trying to remove recency bias and unsustainable outcomes, and all, but if you’re a betting man, are you taking the over or under on those three guys? Hader’s projections seems egregiously low to me, considering he’ll be around for a full season, and *should* get a chance to start.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I like the Brewers more. I might be wrong here but my gut feeling is that Steamer is unusually conservative

10:34
Carnot: Using bWAR, Jean Segura and Taijuan Walker were about equally valuable over 2017 (fWAR favors Segura by about half a win). Who would you rather have going forward? Forget Mitch Haniger exists.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather have the shortstop than the starting pitcher, just because of the risks

10:35
Peter: Curious, what’s your formal education math background?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Not high. Basic stats and some years of calculus. Did math as part of the chemistry program but I am not a skilled mathematician

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Which is why I still cling desperately to basic linear regression techniques

10:36
John Jaso Jingle Heimer Schmidt: Could someone fix Billy Hamilton’s offensive struggles? Or is he always going to be a glove/speed first type guy?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He just can’t hit the ball hard

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t have it in him

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: So he’ll never walk too much because pitchers won’t be afraid to throw fastballs for strikes

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: You’d like to see him make some more contact and shorten up his swing but he doesn’t have Ichiro-style bat control so I doubt he’s much better than an 80 wRC+ or whatever

10:37
Show Hey O’Tawny: How dumb are the Red Sox going to be this offseason? Dumb enough to give JD Martinez a huge contract and trade JBJ, or so titanically stupid that they give Eric Hosmer $100M?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: $100 million isn’t that much anymore

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Eric Hosmer isn’t bad

10:38
Connor: What’s a realistic return for the Marlins if they trade Stanton to the Dodgers? Brock Stewart/Andrew Toles plus a couple of filler prospects?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if they might be able to get Joc

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: That would make it a little easier to digest

10:38
Show Hey O’Tawny: Why would you ever move away from San Diego

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I like it here more than I liked it there

10:39
Les: Jeff, as a native San Diegan who slept in the parking lot to get tickets to the ’98 World Series, I feel there’s some glimmer of excitement for the future. Am I way off, or are the Padres a couple years away from contending again? Also, is it ridiculous for the President of the club to say anything less than a .500 record next season is unacceptable?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s some comfort in having a team that completely leans into the rebuild process. It’s always possible to have hope when your team is accumulating young talent that hasn’t yet had to prove itself at the major-league level

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Padres have a very long way to go, but thanks to moves like the Kimbrel deal, they’ve basically undone a lot of the damage they did a few years ago when they tried to go in the other direction

10:40
Raindog: Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Nats, Astros are all set on the left side of their infield.  Tigers, White Sox not buying now.  Who’s gonna compete with the Yankees to give out megacontracts to Machado and Donaldson? Giants/Angels?  Mets??

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Cardinals

10:41
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: Do writers at Fangraphs ever pop into these chats just to see what’s going on?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, but that doesn’t mean they leave questions in the queue

10:42
Dirty Sanchez: What’s the latest on the potentially erupting volcano in Bali? I’m going there in March. I have a layover in Seoul. Wondering if I’m going to die in a nuclear blast or a volcanic one.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan:

Dr Janine Krippner
@janinekrippner
Latest #Agung graph showing number of earthquakes, 6.11.17 by @id_magma magma.vsi.esdm.go.id
6 Nov 2017
10:43
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Draw me a plausible scenario that puts the Royals in the playoffs in 2018.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Good god

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Big years basically required from Soler, Junis, and the weirdly interesting Karns

10:44
Sri: What can the Twins do to make sure 2016 doesn’t repeat itself and they can build on what they accomplished this year?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Just a matter of assembling more pitching depth. I think on the position-player side they’re doing okay, provided Sano returns at 100%

10:44
Cody: Going into next season, will Eric Thames be over-rated, under-rated, or correctly-rated? He had huge ups and huge downs last year.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Correctly rated

10:45
Jon G: A guess on the Dodgers biggest acquisition this off season?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Brandon Morrow

10:46
Mike: Ian Happ’s minor league numbers and what he put up in the majors appear to be vastly different.  Who is the real Ian Happ?  A slugger with high strikeouts, or an OBP guy with mediocre power?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: He was never much of a contact hitter, even in the minors

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Power started to come on last year in Triple-A. Remember that home-run rates in the majors are currently far higher than they are in the minors. Not uncommon to see someone like Happ get a power boost in the bigs

10:47
Michael: Are brewers fans expecting a similar result to 2017 in 2018 going to be disappointed?  what’s the one move they can make in order to increase the probability of contention the most?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re going to win fewer games, if only because they won’t have a full year from Jimmy Nelson. They’re another one of those teams that could stand to accumulate some more pitching depth, because of it

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll add the Brewers to the list of potential Chris Archer contenders. Falls in line with their deadline pursuit of Sonny Gray

10:49
Ricky: How likely is it that a trade for Grandal develops as the offseason progresses?  What would the Dodgers be looking for in return?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not hard to see a trade getting made here, and since Grandal only has one more year of control, the demanded return wouldn’t be high

10:49
BPhoenix 2042: Would six man rotations help to keep pitchers healthy? Or once a week like in Japan?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t make any sense if pitching less often *weren’t* good for pitcher health

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: The dangerous thing about pitching is pitching

10:50
Raindog: If hitters are collectively shifting toward putting loft in their swing, does that benefit high heat strikeout pitchers and hurt down in the zone groundball guys?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think we’ve already seen that start to happen

10:50
Connie Mac N’ Cheese: Does Heyward get moved this offseason?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it, somehow. Don’t think Chicago wants to see any more of him

10:51
A.: By the end of 2018, do the Royals or Phillies have the better record?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies

10:51
Cody: Would CC to the Brewers for one year make sense?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It would, but I think the Yankees would outbid them

10:51
sayward: The Mariners recently made some changes to their training staff and added Lorena Martin as an exec for ‘high performance’. Given the large amount of DL time they racked up last year and that a lot of that was conditioning related, is this a sign they are getting after it, or just some staff shuffling?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an attempt they’re making. Doesn’t by any means mean it’ll work, but it’s another sign of the league’s progressiveness

10:52
Tony Eusebio: What are the chances Houston adds a bat this offseason? It feels like they will fill DH/LF in house and just add bullpen depth, but adding someone like Santana would make that lineup even scarier

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a 30-40% chance they make an offensive splash

10:52
Connor: Upside for Hoskins? 280/370/560?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Upside? Sure. Realistic projection? Nope

10:52
Sam: What kind of contract are we looking at for Brandon Morrow. Will the Dodgers try to resign him, or are they looking to reset their luxury tax limit?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: 2y/$18m or 3y/$24m

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe two with a vesting option

10:53
Work Procrastinator: Do MLB GMs view bottom tier organizational prospects having zero or near zero utility? I’ve always wondered why GMs don’t trade lottery tickets between each other very much. After a certain point do they just not care enough to even pick up the phone when it comes to Johnny Baseball?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: When you’re dealing with lottery tickets, teams would rather just focus on trying to develop the guys they already have and have known for some amount of time

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re dealing with a player with a 1% chance of making it, what’s the point of getting someone else’s, when you have a history with your own?

10:54
Nick Morris: Which young Braves player do you think takes the biggest step forward next year?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Swanson is going to shrug that season off and look like a roughly average hitter

10:54
Skip: All this talk about the Marlin’s selling confuses me. I feel like they are just a few right moves from making the playoffs. Am I over estimating their production from their current group?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: They’re a money-losing operation. So they want to start over again, for hopefully the final time

10:55
Erik: How about Ichiro: the manager?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Not going to happen in the States

10:55
mattador: What will the Red’s starting outfield be to begin the season?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Mediocre

10:56
Through the looking Glasnow: Talent wise, with contracts neglected, would you rather have Gerrit Cole or Trevor Bauer moving forward?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Cole

10:56
Matthew: How crazy is this idea… Darvish and Otani to the twins?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Very crazy

10:56
Legeisc: If Mariners don’t make playoffs in 2018, should they rebuild? Will they?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly depends on the reasons for why they aren’t in contention

10:56
Tomkiel: Padres sign Tyler Chatwood?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, why not

10:57
Long Live Jeff Frye: Am I crazy to think that the Darvish contract will be a lot riskier than Hosmer’s? Likely worst case scenario with Hosmer is a roughly league average 1st baseman. Worst case for Darvish is he barely pitches.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Massive pitcher contracts are always hugely risky

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Now, in fairness, you are not giving a proper picture of Hosmer’s worst-case scenario. He’s been a replacement-level player in two of the last four seasons

10:58
: There aren’t a lot of good SPs on the trade market and the Cubs don’t really need an ace, just depth. So why does everyone think this is the year the Cubs trade a position player for a pitcher?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Because they need to add to their rotation anyway, and they’re running out of space for position players

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: And there are certain guys, like Russell or Baez, where the Cubs might choose to move on before they establish themselves as players who’re falling short of their ceilings

10:59
Mahatma Gagne: Someone asked Dave what it would take for his Mariners fandom to return, and it was largely based on his son. Since you probably aren’t going to reproduce intentionally anytime soon, what would it take for YOUR Mariner fandom to return?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Not having this job anymore

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Job just doesn’t allow for it. Can’t focus that much on one team and still be any good at what I do

11:00
PTBNL: Lots of rumors tying the Sox to Hosmer – would it make more sense to go after Moustakas (more pop, fewer ground balls, possibly less expensive) and move him over to 1B?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why Moustakas would accept a deal where he’s changing positions like that. I’m sure he’d much rather stay at third base

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Players tend to take pride in remaining where they’ve been, until they’re forced. Moustakas won’t be forced

11:01
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: Would the fact that there is no salary cap be a reasonable hypothesis as to why it takes longer for FA activity in baseball? Players have more incentive to wait longer for the most money possible?

11:01
Johnny5: Other sports have a flurry of FA signings because they have salary caps – spend or lose out.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Works for me!

11:01
Compton: Does Fangraphs still update park factors?  The most recent updates appear to be from 2015.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll ask Appelman about that

11:01
Long Live Jeff Frye: Sometimes I feel like we have very little understanding of catcher value. And then I think about Varitek catching four no-hitters. . .

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think we’re closer than ever, but at the same time I still think we’re missing a lot

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. I won’t be around next Friday so maybe I’ll chat a different day next week. Who knows! Anyhow, until whenever, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/10/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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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.

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Dave T
Member
Member
Dave T

“Oh, and the [Blue Jays’] corporate ownership could offer [Ohtani] a lucrative deal as a brand ambassador to compensate for his contract limitations. Thoughts?”

I see basically zero chance that MLB would allow such a deal for Ohtani. MLB has been very clear that Ohtani is subject to the international bonus pool rules, and MLB has historically sanctioned teams for violating those rules with side deals. A deal like this idea would be opening a huge can of worms for teams to get around both the international bonus pool limits and the luxury tax line. MLB would have every incentive to void such an arrangement, both for the specifics of the Ohtani situation and for setting a precedent for the future.