Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/18/14

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s live baseball chat

9:03
Comment From Guest
On time!

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: In one way!

9:03
Comment From Guest
OMG! So much has happened! Tell me all about it!

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: A bunch of teams did really dramatic yet reasonable things. Jays very reasonably committed to Russell Martin. Braves and Cardinals reasonably committed to a short-term/long-term value trade. Marlins are looking like they might decide to become a baseball team, which is overdue.

9:04
Comment From Bren
Others have written about it, but how concerning to you is Collin McHugh’s massive reliance, 55%, on breaking balls?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, it increases his injury risk to some real extent. But I’d respond to that with, what would McHugh be if he threw a lot more fastballs at the expense of softer stuff? Would he be worse? Would he even be in the majors? If this is what it took for McHugh to reach the level and stick, he’d probably say it’s worth it.

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Then there’s the matter of the Astros having people in the front office monitoring biomechanics so maybe McHugh isn’t even really in a danger zone

9:06
Comment From Henry
Is Pablo Sandoval the right splash for the Padres to make?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Not as right as the Red Sox or Giants. Padres aren’t close enough, to me

9:06
Comment From Guest
Now that the Jays have signed Russell Martin for 5 years, is 11th overall pick made by the Jays in last year’s draft, catcher Max Pentecost blocked? Would they be considering him for a corner outfield spot or first base?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: As a rule of thumb, teams don’t worry about blocking guys who have so far topped out in low-A. By the time Pentecost develops enough to break himself in — if that happens — Martin ought to be wearing down, and you could conceivably have something of a job share as Martin plays while mentoring the rookie. Not a concern to me.

9:09
Comment From Guest
Do you think Walker and Miller could get Gattis and J-up? and then leave money to sign Hanley for the M’s

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: How right-handed do you want the Mariners to be?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: It would be good talent leaving Seattle, but of all the places that could have use for Miller, Atlanta isn’t one. So that doesn’t work, unless they’re flipping Miller to somebody else

9:11
Comment From Bruce
Why do you think no one has topped A-Rod 25mill AAV from 17 years ago? Was it that much of an outlier at the time, or are superstars just undervalued now

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera is getting something like $31m AAV of new money

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw’s up there. Rodriguez also got more than that in his second contract

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: But aside from the details, A-Rod was an outlier in that he was a free agent at a perfect age with a perfect player profile. He was amazing! And so young!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Coming off a 9.5-win season, turning 25

9:13
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Did the Jays forget that Martin has been a .234 .332 .370 hitter the 5 seasons prior to this one?? (his BABIP was 60+points above his career avg)

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Martin was worth 4.1 WAR a year ago with a league-average batting line

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not paying him to repeat the way he just hit. Then he’d be a superstar. They’re paying him to be durable, good enough at the plate, and tremendous behind it

9:15
Comment From Jon
What could Blue Jays get for package of Navarro and Sanchez?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Cole Hamels?

9:16
Comment From adam
What does the Braves rotation look like on April 1 and how well does it perform?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re going to end up with Jon Lester. I could easily see them turning Gattis or Upton into a young starter, kind of like Taijuan Walker. If/when Beachy and Medlen return, it becomes a hell of an intriguing unit although not one that would be particularly trustworthy

9:19
Comment From Guest
Cardinals or Nationals?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals, for the time being

9:19
Comment From YOLO
What is the first thing Giancarlo buys with his $325 million.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Groceries

9:20
Comment From Lenard
Thoughts on the La Stella trade? This basically means that some Cubs MI will be traded, correct?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it makes a trade dramatically more likely — La Stella probably isn’t a good player today, and he could return to the minors for more work. But the Cubs were already on high potential trade alert, so they’re obviously still a good candidate to move a man away

9:22
Comment From KyleZ
Jays apparently got some money to spend. Who do you see them legitimately going after next? Do they Prioritize SP, RP, OF, or 2B?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: They still need to find a 2B or a 3B, but it seems like the next investment could well be a shutdown reliever

9:24
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
How much money would 2001 A-Rod have gotten in todays market?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: going through this process, he kind of breaks the math http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: But basically without question he becomes baseball’s first $400-million man

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: To balance the fact that no one would want to pay what he’s worth for his peak years, he could end up with a deal that’s like 15 seasons long

9:26
Comment From Triple R
When you wrote about Felix Hernandez’s clutch pitching a few months ago, how did you get those pitch type splits for bases empty/RISP? I can’t find that anywhere on Brooks

9:26
9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Upper right

9:26
Comment From Tom
Chances Heyward signs with the Cardinals long-term?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: 25%?

9:27
Comment From adam
What do the next three years look like for Billy Hamilton? Is the story a good one?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Something like 8 WAR or so. Obviously heavy on defense, never a threat at the plate. Useful enough, with improvements on the bases, and he should get even better at bunting. For now I don’t like how much he puts the ball in the air, for a guy who doesn’t have power

9:28
Comment From Me
Do you have any problems with the deals being given right now?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Not really, within the economics of the game today. Now if you step back and think about a guy getting paid $325 million because he hits a little ball far away sometimes, that’s inconceivable nonsense, but they only get paid that much money because we can’t stop tuning in to sports

9:29
Comment From THE average sports fan
I have seen many places discuss the issues David Wright had when he got hit in the head. Is this a legitimate concern in regards to Stanton?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an issue. Tony talked about Casper Wells on the site today, briefly. As Tango put it on his site, it stands to reason no one gets *better* after getting hit in the head, and some guys seem to get worse, so on average it would be a negative effect

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: The likely conclusion is that Stanton will be just fine, but there’s a non-zero percent chance it’ll at least take him some time to get comfortable again

9:31
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Say the Barves offer both Uptons in a trade. What could they fetch tethered?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing. B.J.’s negative value is stronger than Justin’s positive value, with one year of control left

9:32
Comment From Bruce
Are you justified in guessing that every overpriced 1B/DH on the free agant market will sign with Seattle?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Have I done that?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Billy Butler feels likely, but that’s because he’s available and they’ve wanted Butler for years

9:32
Comment From Fan of any team thats not the Cards
Should I be disappointed my team didn’t make a better play for Heyward? Seems like a pretty reasonable price, even at just one year.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It would definitely be interesting to know how many teams were in on that, and what might’ve been offered. Not that we’ll ever have a clue

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like the kind of trade most fans would be comfortable with their teams making. The Braves must see something fixable in Miller

9:35
Comment From Vslyke
Let’s talk about the Braves’ other trades: do you think the Braves sold too low on La Stella? What about on Wren?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: La Stella’s the kind of guy who just doesn’t generate much in the way of market value, and Wren has two career home runs to his name. The latter is *probably* a good defensive fourth outfielder, and La Stella needs his offensive game to go perfectly in order to be about an average starting player. I’m a little confused by what the Braves intend to do now at second base, but I don’t think either player is really going to be missed

9:38
Comment From Tyler Lyons mom
How much should I look into the fact that Tyler Lyons steamer projections are slightly better than Shelby Miller for next year?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: From a statistical perspective Shelby Miller last season was not good. That’s the kind of thing that leaves a guy with a not-good future projection

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: But Lyons probably also has a mixed rotation/bullpen projection

9:39
Comment From Chest Rockwell
Let’s talk about the big one – Kyle Jensen to the Dodgers. Seriously though, is it likely the Dodgers can get Alexei Ramirez? It seems like a pretty good fit.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers are going to get a shortstop from somewhere. If not Ramirez, they could end up getting one of the Seattle guys in a bigger deal involving Matt Kemp

9:41
Comment From Diego
Of all the mid-rotation pitchers available on the trade market (Kennedy, Norris, etc.), which brings back the biggest return?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Right now it feels like Kennedy

9:42
Comment From Shawn
What does J Up get in FA vs J Hey?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Less. Clearly the better hitter, but clearly the worse defender, and more importantly, Upton is two years older than Heyward is

9:43
Comment From adam
What do/should teams value more: a long relief guy like Petit or a shutdown 9th like Kimbral?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Kimbrel. If teams actually loved their long relievers, they’d be starters. Now, it changes if you think about the usage pattern for a guy like Betances — that’s pretty ideal — but Kimbrel has a lot of value and not many guys could like like Betances did

9:45
Comment From Jonas
Who will get a bigger contract when they first hit free agency (or signs an extension): Harper or Heyward?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think Harper, even when you adjust for inflation

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: That’s only a few years away, and Harper ought to enter his free-agency years as the superior bat

9:46
Comment From Stanatee the Manatee
Does the Cards trading a starter say anything about Wacha’s health, you think, or is it just basic trading from a place of strength?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think they saw a chance to turn a guy with diminishing shine into one of the better position players in baseball. Miller has a lot of question marks. The Cardinals haven’t had trouble finding innings lately

9:47
Comment From Larry
who would you take for the next 4 years, assuming equal salary: McCann or Martin?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I lean slightly to Martin. Interestingly, both project for a 111 wRC+

9:48
Comment From adam
Are the high rates of Tommy John here to stay or will there be an eventual reduction?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In the long term, they should go down, as we develop a better and better understanding of how these things happen. In the short term, rates will stay somewhat high, because they’ve long been somewhat high. 2015 probably won’t be as traumatic a year at the big-league level as 2014

9:50
Comment From Guest
Who’s going to be worse at the end of their contract – Lester or Scherzer?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: aw, what the hell, I’ll say Lester

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: sorry for delay, phone rang

9:54
Comment From Bubbles
Really liked your piece on the Stanton contract. Realize you didn’t talk much about it due to a lack of specifics, but in general how should we be thinking about an opt-out scheme like this? Will we see more of them for top-tier young players?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s a developing trend for younger players who sign long-term extensions http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a benefit for the player, and therefore not for the team. The player gets to decide how to maximize his money at the time that the opt-out kicks in. Now, the opt-out has value, so you can think of an opt-out as replacing a higher AAV, but I think right now teams are trying to figure out what the value of an opt-out really is. It might be they’re being given away too readily

9:58
Comment From John
Cespedes or Napoli for Iwakuma a good deal for both teams?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes for Iwakuma would be about even. Iwakuma’s lower cost balances Cespedes’ lower age

9:59
Comment From balticwolf
If Dave Cameron comments on what Heyward’s next contract might look like, and the Cards are the successful bidders, does it make sense to pay that much for an OF known primarily for his glove? Speed surely pays a factor in UZR, and thus DRS, and the fangraphs staff is always reminding us that speed is the first thing to go. In four years, maybe five, his range should be down substantially and that’s not factoring in injuries. So how is it a good deal for the Cards if it’s an 8 or 9 year deal that Heyward will be after?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: On the contrary, I’m pretty sure we’ve written before about how athletic players tend to age more gracefully than the relatively stationary sluggers. Heyward is well-rounded, and besides, there’s more that goes into being a good defender than plus footspeed. When Heyward hits his FA years, he’ll be young and good. That’s the kind of player worthy of a massive commitment

10:00
Comment From Jimmers
Next big peice to fall will be ________________.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Pablo Sandoval?

10:01
Comment From Opti-Mets-tic
How do you see the Mets SS situation play out: trade for someone like Jed Lowrie, Alexi Ramirez, Didi Gergorius, or Brad Miller, OR stick with Wilmer Flores?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think they make a deal, maybe with the Diamondbacks since they’re looking for another arm. New York and Seattle don’t match up very well, directly, and Ramirez will probably go to a team more poised to win right away

10:02
Comment From Chest Rockwell
Pablo has a couple months every season where his discipline really isn’t that bad. Is that something a batting coach can work on, as he obviously has the ability, or is too much of his value in free swinging?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I think Pablo’s identity is that he swings at everything and is capable of hitting everything. When I’ve looked at this in the past, I think I found an actual negative relationship between Pablo’s “disciplined” periods and his productivity

10:03
Comment From Bret
Is Nick Markakis even better than Alejandro de Aza, who would probably be on the non-tender block if the Orioles re-signed Markakis?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Markakis does not seem meaningfully better than De Aza, no. Maybe we’re underrating his defense, and maybe there’s real extra value tied up in Markakis being a good contact hitter, but talking about four years guaranteed is puzzling

10:04
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
What is Wieters realistically looking at in free agency next year? Or at this point, is it unrealistic to guess because of his short-lived 2014?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, we don’t know yet — it’s going to depend almost entirely on his 2015

10:05
Comment From Guest
So is it Nelson Cruz or bust for the Mariners?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not as long as there’s Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, etc

10:05
Comment From Daniel
Do you believe lineup protection comes from who hits ahead of you or behind you? Ex. Casey McGehee isn’t that much of a threat behind stanton but Yelich seemingly was always on base when stanton came up to bat.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a bigger protection effect if the bases are always occupied in front of you, but most generally, protection isn’t a thing to spend time thinking about. Players will get approached as they ought to get approached, mostly independent of circumstances

10:07
Comment From Matt
Do you think the Jays *should* look for another starter, or should they prioritize their pen/LF/2b?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I mean they should be open to any improvement, but the 2B situation is once again glaring. Or 3B, if they bump Lawrie over

10:07
Comment From balticwolf
Do we have any data on when defense starts to appreciably go down? Ichiro doesn’t count, fitness fanatic that he is, I consider him an outlier.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t anyone who’s a real good defender in their 30s probably be a fitness fanatic to some extent?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: As I recall defense is one of those things that tends to start declining soon after a player makes it to the majors — it’s a young person’s skill — but there’s no age where defense just abruptly falls off the cliff. It ages not unlike, say, a pitcher’s fastball velocity

10:11
Comment From Seff Jullivan
Will the Shelby/Heyward trade be the biggest trade of the off-season?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Where would a Jordan Zimmermann trade rank? To me, it would be about even. So I don’t think we’ll see a *bigger* trade than Shelby/Heyward

10:12
Comment From Jay
Given the market for R. Martin, what kind of trade market would there be for Wieters? What level prospect(s) would be a reasonable return?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: One year left, lingering injury questions. The Orioles could turn him into something like a prospect from the lower third of the top 100, but probably not more than that

10:14
Comment From Annoyed Cards fan
Why do I feel like the Braves ripped us off?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: You like Miller’s raw stuff and you don’t trust player defense

10:15
Comment From Guessed
How do you think the trade affects the 2015 Braves in terms of wins? Maybe previously 77-win team, now a 75-win team?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not too far from correct. They might still be a bit closer to .500

10:16
Comment From Chest Rockwell
I don’t understand La Stella to the Cubs.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Worth finding out if a guy can be Marco Scutaro

10:17
Comment From Guest
Sir! Do you feel the Cardinals traded away some needed rotation insurance in the Heyward deal? Waino showed warning signs last year, Wacha has to be considered a risk, Garcia has had his issues, etc. Do they have the depth to absorb one of these guys missing significant time now that Miller is gone?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: They still have a decent amount of SP depth and the offseason is only just beginning. Depth is a real concern for every team, but you don’t often have the chance to land a premier everyday player. So the Cardinals basically shifted a question mark from one place to another

10:18
Comment From John
Most likely Red Sox outfielder to be traded?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes

10:18
Comment From Mike
Do the Phillies make a trade before Christmas?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: A few of them

10:18
Comment From TL
In light of the Martin deal, what are your thoughts on how catcher framing is currently valued by statistics? Are guys on the higher end really adding 2.5-3 wins to their teams through framing alone? How can we best determine the true value of framing?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m skeptical of the extreme magnitudes. In my head I regress them something like half of the way to normal. On the other hand, when MGL has poked around he’s detected real significant effects with a guy like Jose Molina, so it’s not impossible that some of the high values are real. It would be worth doing a bigger project around pitchers who go to/from having a great framer. I think it’s clear the market doesn’t yet treat good pitch-framers as good, say, hitters or pitchers

10:19
Comment From Diego
Does Heyward have a shot at $300M?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Only in the event of a massive offensive breakout

10:20
Comment From Brett W
Cubs say that the LaStella trade is not a precursor to another move. True or false?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s definitely not a direct precursor. La Stella isn’t good enough to force something like that. But it does up the odds

10:20
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Really good chance Stanton opts-out after six seasons, right? He could bank roughly $150m thru then, and then obtain another 8-10 year deal worth another $300m+…assuming he’s a fine player, of course.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, while we don’t know how the contract is structured, Stanton opting out is a very much legitimate possibility. Loria says he’s certain Stanton will stick around for all 13 years but everyone’s all happy and positive when these things get signed

10:23
Comment From Justin
What would a Miguel Montero to the Cubs deal look like?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: If you believe in Montero’s Steamer projection, an Albert Almora request wouldn’t be unreasonable. If you don’t, you adjust downward, and things drop off pretty quick. Could be a difficult situation where the Diamondbacks believe more in Montero’s upside than other teams do

10:26
Comment From Jeff W
Do the Cubs now try to get Miguel Montero? Could his bat come back to life in a new park?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Problem being, parks don’t get much more hitter-friendly than Arizona’s

10:27
Comment From balticwolf
If Cruz continues to insist on a five year deal with the Orioles, he’s gone. Who would be foolish enough to sign him for that long? As for free agent targets, do you think the Birds should go after Lowrie for 2B?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Cruz isn’t getting five years. That’s just a mistake to be asking for. And yeah, Lowrie would make good sense as a 2B FA

10:29
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Are the Cubs now hoping to have Castillo as their lead catcher for 110-120 games a season and utilize Schwarber as their part-time catcher, part-time left-fielder, when the latter is ready late next year?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Schwarber is really part of the plan for 2015 in any meaningful sense. Castillo makes for a fine enough fallback but I think the Cubs will continue looking for somebody better

10:30
Comment From Guest
Who do you believe is the best prospect traded this winter?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The dark horse is Javier Baez, if he counts

10:31
Comment From Gerry
who would you rather have, M.Montero for a prospect or W.Castillo for arb $?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the prospect. I’ll take Montero over Castillo, straight up, but they can’t be looked at straight up

10:32
Comment From sherman
Justin Upton has a Steammer600 projected WAR of 3.0 in his final season with a $14.5 million salary while Michael Saunders has two seasons with a projected 2015 WAR of 2.5 and a projected arbitration salary of $2.9 million. I suspect the Braves seek longer-term assets, but what would the Mariners need to add to a trade?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: On those terms, a middle-system prospect, but I don’t think the Braves want to trade Upton for two decent assets — I think they’d rather land one potentially impact asset

10:33
Comment From JKD
If the Phils really are committed to a tear-down, doesn’t Chase Utley to the Nats actually make a lot of sense?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: There would be a lot to overcome, there. Add Utley and the Nationals look like a juggernaut, but they’d be a little worried about the future costs, and those are unlikely trade partners. Utley would presumably go somewhere else

10:34
Comment From Guest
Braves going into full-fledged rebuilding mode? If so, what can we make of the trend of new FOs rebuilding rather than looking to compete quickly?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s go with reloading. The Braves aren’t going to be non-competitive in 2015 — they’re just looking more to, say, when they move into the new ballpark

10:35
Comment From Mike
Why have most baseball fans assumed that the Cubs and BoSox will just split Lester and Scherzer? I feel like each fanbase (and the rest of baseball fans, for that matter) feel like one is going to sign with the Cubs, and the other will immediately go to the Sox (or vice versa). It’s like – did you not just see what happened with Martin (while the Jays were mentioned, they were never considered the favorites)?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, there’s always danger in frontrunner assumptions. Teams surprise us all the time. But Boston and Chicago are obvious players, here; big needs, big money, big personal connections. So if you’re betting, you can’t forget about the field, but Boston and Chicago do have high odds

10:36
Comment From savannah
Would the Braves have any interest in five years of Seattle lefthander Roenis Elias in a trade of Justin Upton?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They want more than that

10:36
Comment From TA
Who will be the Mets SS next season?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll guess one of the current Diamondbacks

10:37
Comment From Zizek
A week ago we cared deeply about a jingly internet video pressing our nostalgia and absurdity buttons; this week we don’t hardly care. Is this the norm for this throw-away era, cultural works chewed so thoroughly so quickly that they’re tapped out in a week?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: We process things with astonishing speed. How little time has it taken you to come to terms with the fact that the Marlins are giving Giancarlo Stanton the biggest contract ever?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: We get used to things quickly. We also don’t take the time to allow things to really sink in. I don’t know to what extent this is a modern-day thing, as opposed to a forever-and-always thing, but there’s not a lot that we really and truly *digest*

10:39
Comment From EHG
What would it take for the Pirates to get Freddie Freeman? Braves are looking like a tear down.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Braves are unloading short-term assets. They’re not unloading long-term assets

10:39
Comment From Guest
Given the price tag on Russell Martin and the teams that didn’t land him, the Mets have to trade one of Plawecki or d’Arnaud, right?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: No?

10:40
Comment From Guest
You are a GM trying to convince the owner to increase payroll now. Given the surplus of talent available next off season, how do you sell a 4yr contract with an aging player like Nelson Cruz?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully you don’t

10:40
Comment From Mooking for Love
Re: Cubs – Any chance they go after Hamels (for MI prospect) in lieu of Lester/Scherzer?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Not as long as the Phillies are looking for too much. The Cubs have expressed a preference for spending money and not spending from the system as well

10:43
Comment From Ghost Hands
Why is Steamer so conservative on pitching projections? The highest WAR for ’15 is Kershaw’s 4.8.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: When the year started, the best team in baseball was projected to win about 90 games. In reality, four different teams won at least 94. Projections have to factor in the possibility of everything going to hell, and that pulls everything closer to the average. By standard deviations, you’ll see pretty normal spreads; you just get lower standard deviations with projections than with the way reality plays out

10:44
Comment From TL
Do catchers on the higher end really add 2.5-3 wins by framing alone?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, but it’s not impossible

10:46
10:47
Comment From TL
From Jays perspective, who makes more sense: Headley or Lowrie?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Headley, on account of being better

10:47
Comment From Jon Hart
Am I done? Or just warming up?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: You’ve got more short-term assets to sell off

10:48
Comment From TL
What kind of package would Kennedy cost in trade? And who do you take between Kennedy and McCarthy, factoring in cost of acquisition.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Kennedy fetches a prospect from the bottom half of someone’s top 10. I’d like to have McCarthy, between the two of them

10:50
Comment From Mike
The numbers (for 1 season) say that Ben Revere was a very good defensive RFer. If the Phillies could sign an actual center fielder, would it make sense to move Revere to a corner spot (LF)?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: What’s your goal here? To try to make the Phillies into winners soon? Seems just as reasonable to keep Revere in center and hope he does better in the field so that he could be traded as an athletic up-the-middle sort. Revere isn’t going to have much market value in a corner

10:51
Comment From Guest
If the Phillies offered you a major league minimum salary, that required you to play every inning of every game, and then hold press conferences with fans after each home game, would you take it?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Yes a few years ago, no now

10:54
Comment From Guest
Are teams allowed to put in clauses for PED use such as a PED conviction voids a contract or that a PED conviction during a season makes a player forfeit their salary for the effected season? Is it allowed? Because that seems like a serious deterent.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Do not believe that’s allowed as currently structured. There does exist the catch-all morality clause, but for anything you’re looking to introduce that could benefit the owners, the players are going to bargain for something in return

10:55
Comment From Other Jeff
What are the chances the Phillies manage to move Howard, and to whom?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: If nothing else they’ll move him to the waiver wire

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: No matter what, they’re eating at least 99% of that contract

10:56
Comment From Not Jeff
With Heyward gone, and Gattis being both cheap and a decent hitter, what are the chances he winds up in the Braves outfield?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: They exist, but someone is going to look at him and see a versatile cheap power-hitter and that someone is going to have a DH roster spot

10:57
Comment From Jake
In your estimation, do the Cubs get Gregerson/ Miller /Robertson RP arm. Or are the SP arms the only thing left on their wish-list?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Cubs are spending big on a reliever

10:57
Comment From Mooking for Love
Was Stanton’s acceptance of the deal at least in part due to getting hit? ie, was he now less willing to risk the down year and then test the market in favor of a presumably better run franchise?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably it was not a huge factor, but you have to assume it was some kind of factor

10:58
Comment From john
Its no secret that Harvey ruffles a few feather and certainly doesnt have a glowing relationship with the FO. He’s going to be arb eligible, a Boras client and a well known Yankee fan. At what point should the mets consider trading him?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: 2017, if they’re not winning yet

10:58
Comment From Diego
Do you think that the Braves pulled the trigger on the Heyward trade (I assume it had already been discussed) because of the Stanton extension?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: No, they already knew they weren’t going to be able to keep him

10:59
Comment From “Dr.” Fan
Which side, if any, should be worried about the apparent lack of physicals for the Cards/Braves trade?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Braves

10:59
Comment From mtsw
Pick one: the longer Nick Markakis is on the market the (smaller/larger) his eventual contract is likely to be.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: smaller

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: the longer he waits, the better the chances everyone realizes he’s not a four-year asset

11:00
Comment From Kimball
As a typical stat-informed fan, feels like the Mariners dodged a bullet when Martinez re-signed with Detroit, almost exactly the same way I felt last year when Cruz signed with Baltimore. Martinez is better, obviously, but would have been a bigger drag in years/$$$. Which was the better dodge?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: The contract Cruz signed was short and very reasonable. So Martinez was the better dodge

11:01
Comment From Mike
White Sox are signing Zach Duke (so says a Chicago reporter). Just news – in case you were so busy replying that you don’t see the baseball world happening around you.

11:01
Comment From Doug
Odds the Red Sox sign Lester and Sandoval?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: 10%?

11:01
Comment From TA
Stephen Drew a bounceback candidate?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

11:02
Comment From Mitchell
why aren’t the braves trading for offense? Pitching isn’t their biggest problem

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve made one move of real consequence. In that particular trade, offense presumably wasn’t really available. Value is value

11:02
Comment From Tarvis
Odds Hamels actually gets traded and a guess as to where does he winds up?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: 95%, and I’ll go Boston or Toronto?

11:03
Comment From Guest
Does any team take a flier on Zito?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: NRI, doesn’t make team

11:03
Comment From Hi Erix
You think Andrew Miller will get 5 years? I’ve heard that whispered.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: nooooope

11:03
Comment From mtsw
Amount of Cubs hype is really insane for a team that’s coming off a 90 loss season. Even if they improve dramatically next season they won’t be a playoff team. Or am I being too pessimistic about their ability to flip a switch and start winning?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Slightly too pessimistic given the likelihood that the team makes a couple significant upgrades in the next month or two

11:04
Comment From Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo
What can you foresee the Red Sox getting for Cespedes in the aftermath of the Heyward trade? More, less, about the same?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Similar, but I think they’d trade him for a 1- or 2-year asset instead of a longer-term asset

11:04
Comment From gaslamp
Would Seattle shortstop Chris Taylor be too little or too much to pry DH-to-be Carlos Quentin away from San Diego? How about Seattle shortstop prospect Ketel Marte?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Quentin is not good and Chris Taylor might be a big-league shortstop today

11:05
Comment From TL
How do you compare Shields to Lester and Scherzer, and how would you list them in order of priority for a team in the market for a top-flight starter?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Lester and Scherzer are on the same tier to me, and Shields is a tier and a half below

11:05
Comment From Guest
We haven’t heard a lot about the Rangers. Do you expect them to do anything this offseason? The team is pretty good even healthy and we should expect better health. Does it make sense for them to explore signing a Shields or trying to trade for a RF?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they’ll add a pitcher or two — second-tier or third-tier guys — and they’ll bring in outfield help. Or trade for it

11:06
Comment From 20longyears
Do you like the AJ Burnett signing?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fine. I’m willing to believe at least a little of his 2014 inconsistency was injury-related

11:06
Comment From Guest
What’s wrong with your timestamp? It’s three hours behind.

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: three hours *better

11:06
Comment From mtsw
Ken Rosenthal reports teams have shown “moderate” interest in trading for Ubaldo Jimenez. If we find out who those GMs are, should they be fired immediately for even considering taking on his underwater contract?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: As silly as that rumor is I’m guessing the part that’s being left out is that the Orioles would have to eat a lot of the money remaining

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Do that and suddenly Ubaldo is an interesting project

11:07
Comment From Greg
Phillies seems to want teams to pay premium prospects and take Hamels’ contract, that doesn’t sound plausible.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not. I might be writing about this shortly

11:07
Comment From Mitchell
Is Aoki a good fit in Atlanta now?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but he’d be a better fit for a team that wants to win in 2015

11:08
Comment From SteveV
Seems like Stl needs power and since JUpton may be more signable, wasn’t he a better fit for STL?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward projects to be better and his long-term contract might be a better value than Upton’s given that Upton is bat-first

11:09
Comment From Guest
Isn’t the Stanton opt-out valuable to the Marlins too? It gives them 4-5 years of peak Stanton at a reasonable price before giving them a chance to get out from under that contract. That time frame works of the Marlin’s win the WS and blow it up cycle as well.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton, after six years, will get to decide which path to follow to maximize his money. That works as a benefit for him and therefore not a benefit for the team. Obviously the real value here is toward the start but now the Marlins only have a 13-year contract if Stanton isn’t worth it. If he’s worth it, it’s six, and then the Marlins don’t get a potentially graceful aging curve. It’s a little complicated to think about but at its simplest, I think it always has a function as more of a good thing for the player

11:13
Comment From Festus Ezeli
Sox need a catcher, Jays need an outfielder. Any chance we see navarro moving to boston, and if so, what might that look like?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible, but Navarro isn’t bringing back much of anything valuable

11:13
Comment From Chris
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Christian Vasquez as part of a deal for Cole Hamels. Do you think there’s a shot that they’d send him to Philly? I remember the article about his pitch framing and it has me salivating (I’m a Phillies fan).

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Not without Philly adding a lot of money

11:14
Comment From Cashmere Taco
Stanton’s deal likely doesnt affect Jose Fernandez’s next contract in amount and years, but how likely is it now that JF has that next deal in Miami?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Boras. Nope.

11:14
Comment From mtsw
Which is more likely: Billy Butler gets 3/30M somewhere or Billy Butler signs for something like 1/8M after he has trouble finding a team?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Latter

11:14
Comment From With lots of teams looking for a SS what could CLE get for Lindor packaged with Salazar?
Do you think that CLE could have had Heyward for Salazar?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but I don’t think that would have been good for them

11:15
Comment From With lots of teams looking for a SS what could CLE get for Lindor packaged with Salazar?
Could Lindor net Noah Syndergaard?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Could a good position-player prospect net an inferior pitching prospect, you mean?

11:16
Comment From With lots of teams looking for a SS what could CLE get for Lindor packaged with Salazar?
Trade Lindor for Yelich?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins think Hechavarria is good

11:17
Comment From With lots of teams looking for a SS what could CLE get for Lindor packaged with Salazar?
What does a reasonable trade offer for Kris Bryant look like?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie Betts+

11:17
Comment From SmoothCootah
why isnt heyward a centerfielder if hes that good in right

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Why I believe there’s a post up about that right now!

11:18
Comment From With lots of teams looking for a SS what could CLE get for Lindor packaged with Salazar?
Which Stratovolcano is the next to have a catastrophic eruption?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Glacier Peak!

11:18
Comment From Mitch
For a starting pitcher, how much of a deterrent is having to hit in the NL? Do you think Jon Lester or any career AL guy would even consider going to an NL team considering he’s never had to hit regularly?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: For pitchers it’s either a non-thing or a good thing. Pitchers mostly love trying to hit. They suck at it, but they love it.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: It was actually one of the things that drew Greinke to the NL

11:19
Comment From Matt
Why dont we include framing in WAR totals?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Super complicated. If you include framing in catcher WAR, what do you subsequently take away from pitcher WAR, since the framing effect is going to be baked in there somewhere?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get going so I can do some other things!

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, 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

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/18/14 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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Eric Blair
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Eric Blair

Now that the Jays have signed Russell Martin for 5 years, is 11th overall pick made by the Jays in last year’s draft, catcher Max Pentecost blocked? Would they be considering him for a corner outfield spot or first base?