Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/1/17

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: We either have very much or very little to discuss. I don’t know

9:04
The Average Sports Fan: Are the Phillies in a position to make a couple small-medium adds and be a wildcard contender?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, not yet. I see how the core could be forming, but they’d need huge seasons from, say, Hoskins, Crawford, and Altherr or something. And they’d need more than just Nola in the rotation

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think that 80 wins would be a greatly successful season. Sights set on 2019

9:06
Xolo: What if Ohtani came out and said that he’d only sign with a team if they also signed his favorite player, Eric Hosmer? Do you step on that landmind to get Ohtani?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: If a team were given a guarantee, then yes, overpaying Hosmer would be worth it

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani should be *so* *valuable* and Hosmer might get overpaid by, what, like $25 million or something?

9:07
Desperate, confused Marlins fan: Executives meeting with Stantons peeps, does this finalize the “I want to go to the west coast” thing for him?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Seems pretty clear he wants to go west. The one thing we don’t know is whether he’d be open about other options if no team out west that he finds suitable offers up

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: It would appear that the Giants are offering up, so right now they’re the very clear favorite

9:08
Forrest: Very unrealistic, but how cool would it be if the MLB allowed the AL to use the DH for *any* position instead of just pitcher? Make a team decide before each game what position will be subbed out. Imagine Ohtani being able to hit out of the pitcher’s position for an AL team, but maybe have a “designated catcher” that doesn’t hit that day. Honestly seems fair to me. Not sure what the big hang-up would be, just benefits teams that have pitchers that can hit.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m not thinking this all the way through, because I haven’t ever given it a lot of thought, but I don’t know why the rule is such that the DH can only be for the pitcher

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, under regular circumstances, teams would always just DH for the pitcher anyway, but they should at least have the option, don’t you think?

9:09
Xolo: If a rebuilding team that’s not really close somehow signs Ohtani, should they go into a win now (or at least win sooner) mode?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, Ohtani would project to be that significant. Now if you’re, say, the Tigers, I don’t know what you’d…do…but if Ohtani went to the Padres or something, that inarguably moves their window forward. Would suddenly make more sense to pursue other short-term help

9:10
Xolo: Is there a precedent for the way Jeter’s taking a blow torch to his reputation?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Jeffrey Loria!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I know it’s mostly all just optics right now and the ends might justify the means, but to this point the ownership takeover has been a PR catastrophe

9:11
stever20: why don’t NL teams focus more on their pitchers hitting.  I would think with how bulpenning is going, having pitchers able to hit even decently would allow them to save pinch hitters later in the game, which would be a bigger help with the way bullpenning is going.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Some teams have made an extra effort. The Cardinals, for example, have probably spent more time on pitcher-hitting than other teams in the NL. And it is possible to get some separation. But even with all the work, pitchers will mostly be very bad hitters. And they need to mostly focus on being able to pitch. And getting rest, etc.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how much room there is to jam in extra pitcher-hitting work. I’d like to see it, but if the trends suggest anything, it’s that teams are doing the opposite

9:14
mthood: Who has more trade value: Giancarlo Stanton (and his entire contract with an opt-out) or two years of Jose Abreu with a projected 2018 salary of $17.9 million?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I know this is going to sound nuts but I’m pretty sure the answer is Abreu

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: As people have already said, inside and outside of the game, Stanton’s remaining contract is essentially what he’d get right now as a free agent. So his surplus value beyond that is something like $0

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Abreu doesn’t have that much of his own surplus value but it’s just a two-year commitment. Or, really, a one-year commitment with a second-year club option, if you want to think of it like that. Abreu could be traded for something without the White Sox adding money

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Panik/Beede/Shaw rumor is only so because the Marlins would be eating something like $50 million

9:18
tommyfastball: Why do we assume Otani will only sign for ~$3.5m.  Can’t he tell the Rangers/Yankees “trade for another $4m, and I’ll sign with you.”  No matter what his prefered team is, shouldn’t he ask them to trade for more money?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Zero indication that money is a motivating factor for Ohtani at all

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Beyond that, I don’t know the specifics for each team, but every team has a maximum amount of international money they can acquire. And teams that still have significant international money to move are probably unwilling to move it, since they want to use it on Ohtani or some of the jettisoned Braves prospects

9:21
John Beasley: In 2016 you saw potential in Dario Alvarez. Then 2017 happened. Tough to understand why the Cubs gave him a guaranteed deal. Thoughts?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Alvarez had an elbow problem earlier last year. When he returned, he pitched awfully well in Triple-A. Threw strikes and missed bats. You can’t really know if the elbow thing is fully behind him, but a strikeout lefty reliever can always find a job

9:25
georgehermanski: If a player has a no trade clause in his contract and waives it to allow a trade, does he have a no trade clause in the contract with the new team? Thanks

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve just had trouble Googling for confirmation, but I can’t think of a good reason why the answer would be no

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I can at least tell you that the no-trade clause carries over to the new team in the NBA!

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’d assume it’s the same in the MLB. The no-trade clause is a part of the contract. It’s permanent. It can be temporarily waived

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: In fact, hey, yes!

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Brandon Phillips had to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Braves, then he had to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Angels

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Whew

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: From the Braves’ release when they traded for Phillips: “Teams are obligated to honor the contract of players they trade for. We will honor Brandon’s limited no-trade clause because we are bound to honor the contract provision just as we are bound to honor other contract terms whenever we trade for a player.”

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: When a player has 10-5 rights, those go away upon a trade. But a no-trade clause, full or partial, sticks even through a move

9:31
konoldo: Why is Jabari Blash projected for so much more playing time on the Padres depth chart than Hunter Renfroe?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Some of our depth charts are in better shape than others. The NL West isn’t my jurisdiction but I’ll find out what’s going on after this chat so edits can be made

9:32
Mike Stanton: Jeff, do you agree with Dave that Abreu for JBJ is a bad deal?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: For the Red Sox

9:32
Big Joey: Do you think Miggy gets traded before opening day?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Miggy?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Good heavens, no

9:33
LegallyEagle: You’re the Dodgers GM. Do you try to reset the penalty or do you ignore it and add a player like Stanton (or for that matter, sign a FA like Darvish)?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be interested in Stanton if he were so committed to going to LA and only LA that he could be had for a relative pittance

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Otherwise I’d steer clear of that one

9:34
Big Joey: % chance Vlad jr makes it to the majors next season?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: 50-60%

9:36
tommyfastball: Zach Britton…completely healthy or not?  Velocity was back at end of last year, or not?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: His velocity was still down a little late, and he had 4 walks and 8 strikeouts in September

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe he’s completely healthy *now*, after getting months of rest, but he’s not a good trade candidate until or unless he reestablishes value in next season’s first half

9:37
Jason Grimsley: Sensible usage scenario for Ohtani on NL team:
On his turn in the rotation: have a reliever throw the first inning or 2 of the game. Have Ohtani pinch hit for reliever in his first at-bat. Ohtani throws whatever he normally would have thrown, 6 or 7 innings, but instead gets an additional at-bat.
Seems to make so much sense to be that there’s no way an NL manager will do it.

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t actually know when that reliever-starter’s plate appearance will be. So Ohtani wouldn’t be able to have a consistent warm-up routine

9:38
Nate: If Arod wants to manage the Yankees, should the Yankees be interested?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Sure? I don’t know. I don’t know the guy. Might be a great communicator. Might not have actual leadership potential. Beltran seems to have actual leadership potential

9:40
harmony: What are the chances that aging outfield prospect Eric Filia, who won the Arizona Fall League batting title, earns a spot on Seattle’s Opening Day roster despite having played only one game above High A ball?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Eric Filia hit all of five home runs playing a full season in the Cal League

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Next to no chance he breaks camp with the club. He’ll go straight to Double-A, and he could move to Triple-A in a month or two

9:41
Albert Belle is a very angry man: Crazy thought: Is Terry Francona actually overrated as a manager?  We’ve seen, time and again, Francona give preference to veterans at the expense of his club, make poor managerial decisions.  These decisions include but are not limited to: ALDS rotation, Kipnis in CF after his horrid year offensively and injury, Brantley in LF while requiring surgery, among others.  He’s obviously a great manager but there is no question his lackadasical management-style led to the dismal 2017 (until the streak) and early exit.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Counter-argument: Terry Francona is a very successful manager

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know enough to say anything more than that

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: If Corey Kluber was physically compromised come playoff time, well, what are you going to do?

9:43
Dr. Pibb: Ignoring their overall value, by what do you think the chances are of JD Martinez hitting better than Stanton in 2018?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: There’s probably like a 40-50% chance Martinez ends up with the higher wRC+

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez also can’t play defense

9:44
Lunar verLander: Man…big news day in college football, big news day in government indictments…wish it were a bigger news day in baseball

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t mind Stanton happening today so we don’t have to report to work over the weekend

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like it’s getting super close

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: At least, if he were willing to go to the Giants

9:45
Big Joey: How do you feel about Conforto now that he has received some positive news about his recovery?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good news to get, but nothing is truly known until we see how Conforto is swinging against live pitches

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say it’s a less-than-encouraging sign that the Mets are reportedly thinking about a Jay Bruce reunion

9:46
Magic 8 Ball: Giants taking on salaries of both Stanton and Gordon in a trade for Panik and a boatload of salary relief seems like a huge gamble for a team already saddled with bad contracts and an aging core. Does it make sense to you for them to go all in before Posey and Bum start fading?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: There’s legitimate reason to see some parallels between the Giants now and the Tigers a year or three back

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Now, the Giants effectively print money for themselves, and they can spend a lot on the roster. But a Stanton trade would really have them leaning in to the shorter-term future

9:47
Mike: How would you describe your feelings when you discovered the O’Brien twins thing?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Deeply excited in a way I could never fully convey to my girlfriend

9:49
DJ : You can start a new team and hand pick 3 current players (and their contract/age/etc) – who are you taking

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Leaning toward Judge/Correa/Trout

9:50
Pedantic: Why do they call it a “leg kick” when you can’t kick with different body parts? It’s just a kick!

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even think it looks that much like a kick in the first place

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: What kick? You’re just lifting your leg up and putting it back down again

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a leg kick, it’s a knee lift

9:51
Niki: What is your opinion on the ph

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Neutral

9:51
groucho: Why would Stanton wanna go to the Giants?  They look like they’re destined to be like the post Ryan Howard extension Phillies…

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: They made the playoffs just one season ago, they play out west, and, very importantly, they’re not the Marlins

9:52
Greg: Should the Braves sign a reliever or two even if it’s multiple years for solid money? They could always flip them at deadline if team isn’t doing well.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be more inclined to take chances. Instead of, say, spending on Anthony Swarzak, find a candidate to be the next Anthony Swarzak

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Go get Trevor Cahill and make him a multi-inning reliever and find out what happens

9:52
Stan: Do you think Ohtani will only go to a contender? The information we have is very limited but that seems like a clear answer.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we know this for sure

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we could rule out, for example, the Padres

9:53
Carl: Matt Adams is available and, presumably, cheap.  The Red Sox need power.  It seems to me that picking him up is a no-brainer for the Sox.  It might mean Hanley gets upset, but who cares?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it’s important to understand that Matt Adams isn’t very good

9:54
Jon: What would you rather see, assuming no injury risk: a home run derby with pitchers, or an All-Star game entirely pitched by the hardest throwing position players?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The former

9:54
Niki: What is your opinion on the purported haul for Stanton?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re referring to Panik/Beede/Shaw and the Marlins picking up like $45 million, I think it’s neutral-ish for the Giants, but Panik is a weird inclusion

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Why subtract if you’re going to add? And why would the Marlins want Panik right now anyway?

9:55
Kevin: How does AA get rid of Matt Kemp, he said his #1 priority is improving team defense.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Cut him

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: He projects to be worth 0.0 WAR

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Over the past three years he’s been worth a combined 0.6 WAR, and now he’s 33

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: He’s useless

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I know it seems like we’re always overly harsh on Matt Kemp, but, I mean, how couldn’t we be?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Statcast has basically proven that his defense is as bad as the other metrics say it is

9:57
Kimball: Are you surprised by how many “names” say they’re persuaded by Bill James’ criticism of WAR?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There are a lot of people predisposed to dislike WAR in the first place

9:58
Lou : If Stanton said he only wanted to play for the Dodgers and the Dodgers wanted him, could he force the Marlins to take a really lousy deal?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: That would be up to the Marlins. Would they rather take a bad deal, or keep an unhappy Stanton around for another season?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: But if Stanton really wanted, here, he could have almost all of the leverage. If he *only* wants to play for the Dodgers, he can just about make that happen, and the Marlins would be left picking between two awful choices

9:59
P: Jays the darkhorse for Ohtani?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: There are like 15 or 20 darkhorses for Ohtani

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Very few teams can be ruled out

10:01
Just Me: Who opens the season at first base for the Rockies?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll guess…Yonder Alonso or Jay Bruce

10:01
gump: Who’s leaking all the anti-Jeter stuff in Miami? I understand he’s not doing great, but some of the scout stuff seems like things all orgs do. Are there internal people pissed at the direction he’s taking, or are they used to the cost-cutting cycle at this point?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: This group has already done a lot to piss people off

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: And the people who are wronged generally want to tell their stories and they know that “Jeter” is a one-way ticket to a headline

10:02
Big Joey: Do you think Lindor can hit 30 HR again? What about Judge hitting 50?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Zero question Judge could hit 50

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: In a great year Judge could hit 70

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Lindor’s cap is probably around 30-35 but who even knows in this home-run environment. Maybe things will get even more extreme

10:04
LegallyEagle: re: Stanton, couldn’t the Dodgers just say “yeah, we’ll offer a package to the Marlins, but it won’t be a great one…but still we offered!” and cause Stanton to say “doesn’t matter if it’s a terrible offer, I want the Marlins to take that one”? Please don’t tell me Stanton will be a Giant after growing up a Dodgers fan…

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not up to me, LegallyEagle

10:05
Estevao: Since 2010, his rookie year MadBum is tied (with Sale) for the 2nd lowest ERA in baseball, thoughts?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a very good pitcher

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s had the good fortune of working in the National League in the most run-suppressing ballpark in the game

10:05
TJ: Who is your pick for new Nyy manager?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t have one, so I’d say Beltran would be the most interesting

10:06
Jay: If the players mentioned in the trade in the Giants/Stanton swap becomes true, isnt this something Manfred has to consider stopping?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: What? Why?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton’s contract is enormous. Manfred understand better than most that a player’s value is about his performance and his contract, and not just his performance alone

10:06
Josh: Rockies seem like a dark horse for Stanton right? They have controllable players to offer back, the only issue seems to be money

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The money is an enormous issue

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the biggest issue!

10:07
Angels: I know money isnt everything, but how much better do the Angels look after the trade with the braves to land Ohtani? Are they now a top/serious contender given the location and bonus $?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Their pitch is probably: you can play out west and be teammates with the best baseball player in the world. Also, with Ohtani, the Angels look like a real playoff contender. Still not enough, probably, to put the Angels at No. 1 on Ohtani’s list, but I could see them around fifth or sixth

10:08
LJ: For the Ohtani lottery, do you think it’ll be beneficial for teams to mention that they’d let Ohtani play the OF, or will come off more as pandering and desperate and turn Ohtani off from those teams?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani hasn’t actually played the outfield since 2014. So while it wouldn’t hurt to express an openness, I don’t think it’s necessarily what he’s after

10:09
Aaron: I’ve wondered this for a while…Why don’t teams have a “tactician”? Why is it the manager’s job to make in game decisions when it appears that a lot of the manager’s value comes from managing personalities and coaching?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I think teams overall function as the tacticians. That is, the front office and the coaching staff will talk about various in-game strategies and optimization. And then the front office will let the manager make the on-the-fly decisions from the dugout, presumably informed by the previous conversations

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Managers take the info they have and weigh that against their gut feelings. Teams can’t have their managers feeling completely neutered

10:10
gump: The questionnaire that Ohtani sent out is remarkably similar to the ones teams ask potential interns to fill out. It gives me some pleasure to imagine baseball execs regressing to their pre-intern days struggling to answer questions with no right answer

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I hope that Ohtani just threw all the responses straight into the garbage

10:12
TJ: How much of the Otani speculation on landing spot is misdirection and wishful thinking?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani is what everyone wants to be talking about, but we don’t have many dots to connect. Still, there’s that existing demand to read more and more about him, which means more has to be written with nothing to say

10:13
JW: Is Stanton’s salary  worth it to move to the fringes of the WC discussion?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: You’re talking about a one-year possibility. He has a 10-year contract

10:14
Tim: I obviously don’t know the first thing about Stanton’s mindset, but why would that dude ever want to play half his games in AT&T?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Because it’s a beautiful ballpark with a dedicated fan base, and he can hit the ball out of anywhere

10:14
Gavin: Are high production players more valuable than their war suggests? One player worth 6 war is pretty clearly more valuable than two at 3 right?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: This has been argued back and forth for years. The downside is that then you concentrate more risk in that one player staying healthy and effective

10:15
JD: Chris Archer lands where?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs if they don’t get Darvish or Ohtani

10:15
ZardozMonkey: Do you think the A’s have any real shot at Ohtani? He can’t be excited to play at the Coliseum, but can I still hold out hope?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Western team, young developing core. Terrible facilities. The proximity to Japan makes the A’s a possibility but they would be no one’s favorite

10:16
Jay: Teams considering playing Ohtani in the outfield semi-regularly in addition to pitching seem to be just flirting with disaster. Why not just take a good good thing and keep him as healthy as possible? Outfield reps probably 2x or 3x his chance of missing significant time.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty easy to express a willingness to try something in the short-term that you could pull the plug on long-term if it’s not working out

10:17
Magic 8 Ball: Wouldn’t the new Marlin’s brass want to make sure they brougt in at least one big-name prospect in a Stanton deal? Dumping him for cash relief and fringe players seems like the wrong message to send the fan base for the upcoming season and beyond.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if it’s possible to successfully sell a trade of the league MVP, no matter what prospects you’re getting

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The only real hope here for the Marlins is that this ends up like the Griffey trade almost two decades ago. The Mariners had no leverage and they were thought to have settled for pennies on the dollar, then Mike Cameron was almost immediately better than Griffey was

10:19
Nooten: Everybody keeps talking about Conforto’s “great news” regarding his optimistic return date. Sure, he’s getting back quickly, but shouldn’t we still be concerned about whether he will be the same player when he does get back on the field?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

10:21
Long Live Jeff Frye: Loria already was disliked in Montreal, though. MLB shouldn’t have let him by another team.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: “The Expos, who under new owner Jeffrey Loria continue to beef up their team, got power-hitter Lee Stevens from Texas while the Blue Jays sent David Segui and cash to the Rangers, acquiring Brad Fullmer from Montreal in the process.”

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: “Loria continues to follow through on his promise to try to make the Expos a more competitive team. Also acquired in the off-season were starting pitcher Hideki Irabu, relief pitcher Graeme Lloyd and second baseman Mickey Morandini.

The Expos also signed No. 1 starter Dustin Hermanson and reliever Anthony Telford to long-term contracts.”

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I think there was a very brief window in which it appeared like Loria might be good

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Things, of course, turned very suddenly

10:23
JW: Jeter and co. have been selling the narrative that they need to cut payroll to save money. Are there other ways to save money which would enable them to support a higher payroll (and presumably demand a more prospect-rich haul for Stanton)?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Take the losses in the short-term, try to build a good baseball team, and eventually sell the team to someone else for a profit

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the sales where the money is really made

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: No ownership group actually really acts like this

10:24
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Ohtani is going to make peanuts while generating millions for some franchise. Last year, Aaron Judge shirsey sales alone could have paid for his contract. It’s no secret that pre-arb talent is the lifeblood of even major-market teams. Does the MLBPA have a realistic path to getting a better deal for players prior to free agency? So many of their short-sighted decisions on rookie contracts or the international market are coming back to bite them.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Higher competitive-balance-tax thresholds, higher minimum salaries, fewer years of control necessary for free agency

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Good luck

10:25
Frank: Could the Orioles be players for the Braves prospects using their 2018 bonus pool, since they obviously have no pre-arranged deals lined up like every other team?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: They have very little money left, right? Haven’t they traded a bunch of it?

10:25
Baseballs: Who’s your KEONNN BROXTONNN for next year? Or is it still Keon Broxton

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Ketel Marte

10:26
John Jaso Jingle Heimer Schmidt: HS baseball allows teams to DH for anyone. As an umpire, I saw teams use the DH for their catcher in more games than their pitcher.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I was DH’d for in my very brief tenure as a first baseman!

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Peak humiliation

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: But mostly bad managing

10:27
Bebop: do the Cubs and Indians match up in a trade for Mike Clevinger? say Russell for him?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the Indians would do with Russell

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Baez could work but he hasn’t really proven much in the outfield

10:29
Shohei Ohtani: If I were to make a GM dance in front of me and then ultimately not sign with them, which GM and which dance should I choose?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Make the entire Dodgers front office do something out of Bollywood

10:31
Silly Beane: Say the Giants land Stanton, what other moves *can* they even make to make it back to October baseball.  Moving Stanton means their already depleted farm will be barren

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if he’s available but I’d try to get Jake Marisnick

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Or maybe Teoscar Hernandez

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: They would have next to nothing left to spend

10:33
GDUBBS: Can you give a little insight as to why the Jeter group has been such a PR nightmare so far with the trade talks and in general?  I haven’t really been keeping up with this stuff

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: And the Stanton stuff

10:34
TJ: Has anyone tried to quantify the performance differentials historically on guys who have opt-outs versus those with vanilla lockef in FA deals? It feels like there is a noticeable uptick in those opt-out walk years

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Anecdotal, but on the other hand, Johnny Cueto

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Also Masahiro Tanaka

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Jason Heyward has opt-outs after next year and the following year!

10:36
MattAdamsBobbleheadNight: It may be overblown how much better the Dodgers are than the field.  Dream seasons from Taylor and Barnes and to a lesser extent Bellinger, Wood and McCarthy.  For comparison, who did the Cubs need surprise seasons from to win 92 games?  Brian Duensing?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Probably why the current Dodgers are projected for 48 WAR and the current Cubs are projected for 46

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: (The current Astros are projected for 50)

10:37
Brian: IF the Padres were to score Ohtani, should they look to adding Gleybar from Yankees and move Tatis to 3B? Probably trade Hand, Arias, de los santos and maybe another prospect in 20-30 range? Hard to think that the Padres could have a legit shot in a few years at something special with a young infield and these young arms coming through their system.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Zero reason for the Yankees to trade Torres

10:38
FatGreenPuppet: “Finding a New Home for Cesar Hernandez” Offseason too busy for anyone to find time for that article?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: San Francisco, if they trade Joe Panik without getting Dee Gordon

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Anaheim, if they have anything to move

10:38
GreGorGeous: What are the Yankees thinking?! None of the six candidates look to be as solid as Girardi

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Literally who even knows

10:40
gump: According to Craig Edwards’ post (and my math), Stanton is actually worth more like $50 MM in surplus value…

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the market in general expects that Stanton will have a great aging curve

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Not saying they’re right or wrong, but that’s the perception

10:44
CamdenWarehouse: Let’s pretend (yeah, pretend) that the Orioles wanted to trade their competitive balance pick, currently #33, for starting pitching.  What is a fair return?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Uhhhh

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not finding great options as I browse the list

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: James Shields, with the White Sox eating the entire contract

10:45
gump: If JP Crawford ends up being a bench infielder (still unlikely, but way less unlikely than last year), what are comps for similarly high floor guys (SS with plus def and hit) who ended up below the floor?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Jurickson Profar

10:45
Just Me: More likely that Carl Edwards closes for the Cubs next year, or they make a move to acquire an established closer?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to get a closer

10:45
anonymous GM: theoretically speaking how would you approach an extension for a player as unique as Altuve?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’d approach him as if he were any other proven great player. I wouldn’t treat him any differently because he’s little

10:46
B: Appel going to be any good as a reliever?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

10:47
Grover: We hear a lot that the signing cost for Ohtani, whether it’s $300K or $3 million, won’t matter because of endorsement possibilities, but is that really the case in baseball?  Mike Trout plays in LA and casual fans probably wouldn’t recognize him if he knocked on their front door.  If Ohtani is as good as advertised, could he still become an endorsement darling playing in, say, Minnesota?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Ken Griffey Jr. became an endorsement darling playing in 1990s Seattle

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: The environment has changed since then, and Ohtani would of course be easier to market if he played in New York or LA, but it’s possible if he’s good enough that he could become a celebrity playing anywhere

10:48
Rick in NC: If one of Stanton’s motivations for moving is to be on a playoff team, what are the chances the Giants could offer that?  The farm system isn’t very promising, their current players are particularly young, and taking on Stanton’s contract would mean the team would pay $1.50 on every future dollar spent on a free agent.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’m 100% certain this was discussed just last evening in the meeting with Giants representatives

10:49
TJ: Unrealistic scenario – but if Otani would guarantee to sign for $300k but you also had to sign his HS buddy (and keep him on 25 man roster) who has no baseball talent, would it be worth it? Like you’d have to eat a dead roster spot but get Otani for minimum wage?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Still worth it. Ohtani’s surplus value exceeds the value of a dead roster spot

10:49
Silly Beane: The more we hear about Ohtani, the more I think people have been discounting Oakland’s chances.  Would Ohtani anchoring the rotation bump the A’s into playoff contender status?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, but why would Ohtani want to play with them, as opposed to the other western options?

10:50
Ryan: Does JD Martinez to the Red Sox make the most sense of anything this offseason?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Andrew Cashner or Jason Vargas to the Orioles feels so obvious I can’t believe it hasn’t already happened

10:51
GreGorGeous: If they miss on Otani what should Yankees do? They seem pretty set, maybe a DH/1B/3B is there a way to get Todd back for two years?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Re-sign Sabathia, try for Frazier. They’re mostly in good shape as is

10:51
Jon: What would Pujols’ WAR be if he played a full season at short?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: -0.1 because he’d be cut after a game and a half

10:51
GreGorGeous: Should the Yankees release Romine and sign Avila or Iannetta? Is the upgrade marginal enough that romine knowing the pitchers is good enough?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea of Avila in New York. But they might feel too strongly about Romine’s “intangibles”

10:52
Mark: Assuming the Brewers could acquire Archer for a fair price (that is to say, several but not all of their top prospects), would you advise them to do it?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more of a no than yes, but I could be convinced

10:52
Paulie Walnuts: Who do you think has the A’s starting CF job by 2019? Fowler? Barreto? Mateo? Boog freaking Powell?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Plurality favorite is probably Fowler

10:53
Dave: Who are, respectively, the best position player and best pitcher who will be traded this winter?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton and Archer

10:53
GreGorGeous: I hope that they don’t trade Betances, but should they?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Depends entirely on how the market is treating him. I don’t know where his trade value might be these days. If teams don’t want to give anything up, then there’s no point

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Probably somewhat helps to have a new manager coming in

10:54
Rockie Dangerfield: The Rockies supposedly being in on Jay Bruce has gotta be agent-driven fluff, right?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think we all thought that about Ian Desmond too

10:54
Pete: So at this rate, there are definitely going to be players signed after spring training begins right?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Jake Arrieta were among them

10:54
RSO: Does it make sense to waste Gleyber Torres at 3B? Shouldn’t the Yankees at least look to move Castro to play Torres at 2B so he’s still at a premium position?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: No difference between second base and third

10:56
Doc: Can a player on the restricted list, such as Jung-ho Kang, be traded?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t find a good answer but I also can’t think of a reason why such a player would ever be traded for

10:57
Joey Gathright: How funny is it to see headlines announcing some team’s “GM confirms they are interested in Ohtani” like no shit they’re interested

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta write something

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: And I guarantee you that, for every team’s official website, the clicks are there

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this much: it’s not often you get GMs speaking so candidly about their interest in an available player

10:58
Monsieur Uru: Does Randal Grichuk’s statcast data suggest he’s pre-breakout to you? Seems like he’s getting squeezed out of STL with or without Stanton.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Six strikeouts for every walk. It’s virtually impossible to be a good hitter with that profile

10:58
Mark: Lots of people have been saying Ohtani as a hitter is a pipe dream. But if he really has 80 speed and can knock one out of the park every now and then, is he really that much worse than Billy Hamilton? All Hamilton can do basically is run and field and no one is questioning him as an every day player.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Well, Hamilton is an elite-level defensive center fielder

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: It’s legitimate to wonder whether Ohtani could hit enough to justify playing DH. At the same time, I think it’s pretty obvious he’ll be a very good hitter for a pitcher

10:59
Worries: What do Angels do about Pujols optics if he won’t quietly retire after this year? ReleAsing a HOF seems like bad publicity

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Well, if Pujols makes a stink, it’s not bad publicity anymore. Fans would turn on the player

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: As is, I imagine Pujols can’t be stubborn forever. Somewhere in 2019, when it becomes clear Pujols just can’t play well anymore, I imagine there will be some behind-the-scenes negotiating where Pujols agrees to retire, and the Angels agree to give him the rest of his contract anyway

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Or at least most of it

11:02
stever20: Do you think we’re going to see the MLBPA finally agree to a salary cap next CBA, so they can get the salary floor to protect the veterans?   Will MLB even want a Salary Cap now?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: The competitive-balance tax already effectively acts like a soft cap

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think it’s in the union’s best interests to harden it

11:02
TJ: Pitching every 5th day instead of 6 seems to sometimes be an adjustment for some Japanese players. Adding hitting to that too adds even more complexity no?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:02
gump: Depth Charts proj right now are just Steamer modified by PA, right? Until the full ZiPS is published Depth Charts won’t incorporate them?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Correct

11:03
Monsieur Uru: Why do Giants fans disproportionately dislike Brandon Belt?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not enough homers and bad body language

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Also the DL stints. Those are frustrating

11:03
Lou : If the team that signs Ohtani was found to have done something shady, would Ohtani become a FA to sign for whatever amount?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably he would be like the Braves players returned to the market — available with nearly identical restrictions

11:04
wooooston: I’m all for estimating surplus value and do it in dynasty as part of my trade analysis.  But, surplus value isn’t everything.  It’s only a piece of the puzzle.

I can’t believe Panik/Beede/Shaw is enough to get the Marlins to move Stanton.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Surplus value isn’t everything, especially when we’re just trying to come up with estimates. But it is a necessary factor, and even a necessary starting point, because too many people fail to understand that the contract situation has just as much to do with a player’s value as his own actual talent

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine if Stanton were under contract for 10/$600m, instead of 10/$295m. Then how would you feel about Panik/Beede/Shaw?

11:05
RSO: Does Jacoby Ellsbury for Jeff Samardizja make sense?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: No

11:06
Anglos: Otani to Angels. Also Stanton. Also let’s say they sign a reliever . Is that enough to challenge Astros?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: So take the Angels and then suddenly add two of the best baseball players in the world

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, that would make them very good

11:06
Ca$hman: How bad is Stanton’s defense?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Not bad

11:06
RSO: Do you think hiring a manager with no coaching experience (Beltran, Boone) would be a bad move for the Yankees?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They know better than I do, and they don’t seem concerned

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:07
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 — 12/1/17 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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goyo70
Member
goyo70

Mariners have an Ariel Miranda they’d trade for competitive balance pick and international slot money probably.