Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/9/18

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:05

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05

Tim: Does Pecota have a glitch where it just automatically projects the Rays to make the playoffs every year?

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Projection systems always tend to be based on something like BaseRuns. According to BaseRuns, the Rays are always at least okay!

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Every single year, at least for me, I can look at the Rays and see how they could be a wild-card team. It…it hasn’t happened for a little while now

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Even now though, I look at them and see like ten major-league starting pitchers

9:07

Desperate, confused Marlins fan: so whats with these rumors of big FA’s signing massive 1 year deals? tell me pros and cons please. Good afternoon btw Jeff

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Cons: said free agents would always prefer more security and compensation

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Pro: next winter there’s going to be a lot more spending, guaranteed. Might as well try to get involved in that if you can’t find what you want this time around

9:08

David lawrence: The person who leads the Cardinals and saves at the end of the season is:

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: uhhhhh

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Leone?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: I know they say they’re starting with Gregerson and I don’t see them caving for Holland. Pretty likely July trade coming here

9:09

Mavis: If you’re the Padres, do you keep Franchy in AAA to work on his plate discipline or do you just hope he figures it out in the majors?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: I think he can open in Triple-A as long as they’re starting Pirela/Margot/Renfroe in the bigs. But it’s also not impossible to find regular playing time among a four-man OF rotation, so even if Franchy does start in the PCL, he should be able to force his way up before long, especially if, say, Renfroe struggles

9:11

CamdenWarehouse: Chat withdraw…No non-prospect chatting since Monday.  Is someone going to take of the Thursday slot?

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: We’ll be announcing new hires before too long

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: I imagine at least one of them will be a chatter

9:11

Jack: I’m not as ambitious as the guy you had on the podcast who’s doing 30 stadiums in 35 days or whatever it was, but I’ve decided I do want to try to get out to a couple of new ballparks every year. I live in Toronto, and prior to last year, the only ballparks I’d ever been to were Rogers Centre and Fenway Park. Last year, I got out to five new stadiums: Tropicana Field, Progressive Field, AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium (sucks that I didn’t knock off O.Co and Petco while I was in Cali, but the A’s and Padres were on the road while I was nearby). Thinking I’m gonna try to get to Comerica this year since it seems nice and Detroit’s fairly close. Any suggestions for another park I should try to get to this year?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: That’s entirely up to your time and travel budget, and of course a place like PNC would be more convenient for you, but I cannot recommend highly enough the experience of a Safeco matinee in summertime

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: or even a Safeco night game in the summer. Summers in the pacific northwest are amazing

9:13

Sayward: Free agency collusion

Isn’t the owner-player relationship the core issue of the FA controversy? The owners have repeatedly engaged in collusion (1985/86/88, 2002/03), not to mention the deplorable way players were treated before the rise of the MLBPA. The players seem justified to distrust ownership and scream loudly at any hint of bad behavior. As with any repeat offender the owners don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt—isn’t the burden on them to prove that that there isn’t collusion in the market this year?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: How do you prove the absence of collusion?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: And if you’re already inclined to distrust the owners, how would you even accept their proof?

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve seen it suggested that some evidence of collusion is players getting virtually identical contract offers from different teams. That doesn’t work for me. Of *course* the contract offers are similar. Teams currently value players almost identically

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: Even here on FanGraphs, we have a basic contract estimator. Teams all have something even better than that

9:15

Ross: What team are you the least excited about for this season? I don’t mean which team do you think is going to be the worst, I just mean like which team interests you the least right now?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Probably the Tigers

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Let me do a quick check

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Yep, it’s the Tigers

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Almost zero chance of making the playoffs, *and* they have little in the way of high-level youth that I care about

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t mean they have none at all, but, geez, fingers crossed for Daniel Norris

9:18

Sir Nerdlington: Are we seeing a bending of the $/War curve this offseason?  The relationship no longer seems linear as top guys will still get paid, but middling FAs are taking less/fewer years than forecasted with many stuck with MiLB deals.

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Relievers have done pretty well

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: When it’s all said and done, timing aside, I don’t think this market is going to look all that bizarre

9:19

E: At the beginning of the offseason I was more leaning on the side of the teams in terms of the slow offseason and that there just wasn’t a fit for a lot of these free agents. But after reading all the articles about the slow offseason, and Travis’s post about building a contender from remaining unsigned free agents, and now looking at the projected standings, it looks like there are 4 or 5 teams that COULD push themselves from mid 80s projection to upper 80s or low 90s. I don’t think it is outright collusion but I definitely think the players have more of a gripe now than I did in the beginning of the offseason.

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: The good free agents all have offers

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t blame teams for not budging if they’ve offered Eric Hosmer seven years and he’s holding out for nine

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: There are still plenty of teams looking to spend money. They’re just less willing than ever to spend too much of it

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers and Yankees are a real factor, as they try to stay under the tax. Scott Boras is no less of a factor

9:22

Travis: For all of the BSOML/putting on 20 pounds of muscle/blah blah blah stories, how much can a player really improve his game through offseason weight training? Seems like everyone talks about it but do we have any solid success stories?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: The noise overwhelms the signal. In certain cases I’m sure it can be meaningful, and, like, we’ll see what happens with Kyle Schwarber. But conditioning is seldom the main reason why a player under-performs. It’s usually talent. And these players are typically in pretty good shape to begin with

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: It’s also worth considering that it’s hard to maintain premium shape as the regular season wears on. So even if you show up to camp looking better than ever, your body will try to find its level in the months to follow, unless you are *very* committed

9:24

KP: Who would you rather have playing centre field for you for one season? Kevin Pillar or Mike Trout but his daily morning routine involves of half an hour of trampolining

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: Trout. He could miss half the season on the disabled list and still be a great deal more valuable

9:27

capconstrained: Theoretically given the great defensive metrics for the Red Sox for their outfield, Pedroia, Bogaerts and their catchers, their team ERA should be well below FIP. It is not.

So where does all this great defense go? How does it actually effect the game? Now the easiest way to solve this is to say FIP is not a useful statistic but if FIP has any value whatsoever than the defensive statistics are really poor at measuring value.

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Over the past two years, the Red Sox rank No. 2 in baseball in road BABIP allowed. They’re third in road difference between ERA and FIP. I’m guessing it’s Fenway that complicates this, because it allows more hits than the average ballpark, which FIP doesn’t understand

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: To put it another way: the Red Sox have posted an 87 ERA-, and a 92 FIP-, and those numbers are park-adjusted

9:32

Brett W: On the graph from your Franchy Cordero article, who is the player at 82/23? He is one of the slowest players in baseball and also has way-below-average power.

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: I believe that would be Juan Graterol

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: Unsurprisingly, his big-league OPS is .493

9:33

Birddog: Would the Orioles pursuing Lynn then a Lackey/Dickey combo be a decent proposal?

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about what Lance Lynn thinks he’s entitled to get. All three pitchers could help the Orioles right now but they don’t need to give Lynn like ninety million dollars

9:34

David lawrence: Since you climb mountains and such you might be able to give a good opinion on this question. At what elevation would baseball playing stop being an interesting show of how thin the areas and how far the ball flies and turn into something like “these people are having heart attacks and dying? ”

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: The easy answer would be to point to the Death Zone around 26,000 feet

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: FIFA did temporarily ban soccer games played above 2500 meters, citing health concerns

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: A little more on that: http://www.espn.com/espn/wire?section=soccer&id=4349280

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: “According to FIFA, the Hernando Siles is the world’s second highest stadium. The highest, 4,380 metres up in the Peruvian Andes, is home to second division Union Minas in the mining town of Cerro de Pasco.”

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: At particularly extreme elevations, you could see massive home-field advantages for acclimatized rosters

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: That’s one of the reasons it’s not surprising that the Rockies have always played so well at home

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Mexico City is more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Even aside from all the other considerations, that’s a huge reason why it’s interesting that MLB is thinking about expanding there

9:40

Dr Johnny Fever: Is there an opportunity for a team to make a big free agent splash while everyone else is pouting about making markets?

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: In theory, no; if prices are driven low enough, then a whole bunch of teams will get re-involved

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: But I think this is why you shouldn’t count out the Phillies for Darvish or Arrieta. They have a *lot* of money to spend and they could use the help

9:41

Steve: Do the Fangraphs projected standings factor in strength of schedule?

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: Not yet, but they will, when we launch our Playoff Odds page

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: We’ll have a post about it in time

9:41

David: How do you see the Dodgers allocating Catcher innings this year?

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: Barnes a little more than half, Grandal a little less than half

9:41

Birddog: Is anyone actually shocked that nobody wants to sign the next albatross contract?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: I think the only real surprise is that Darvish hasn’t signed yet, given how many similar offers he’s received. Probably still just waiting on the Dodgers to clear room, if they ever do it

9:42

Russell Wilson: Should I just keep asking to have my MLB rights traded until I’ve shown up at spring training to take some grounders and give motivational speeches for all 30 teams?

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: Just do what Will Ferrell did and show up everywhere anyway

9:44

Alec Asher Wojciechowski: George Springer signed an interesting deal to avoid arbitration that pays him the same rate for the next two year. Has any other player bought out multiple arbitration years for the same rate before, and how will that effect his final arbitration year?

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: It’s uncommon but I don’t think it means very much. Come Springer’s final year, he’ll be compared against other final-year arb players. Of course, this structure doesn’t make a difference as far as the competitive-balance tax is concerned

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Springer, for 2018, will get paid well above the would-be arbitration midpoint. In 2019, he’ll get less than he probably should. It’s just moving a little money around, and for the team it’s not a terrible idea since they’re flush with World Series revenue

9:47

Midway: Will Arrieta’s contract be worth closer to Cobb’s or Darvish’s?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Darvish but I have fairly low confidence of that

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: It’s just that I still somewhat trust in Scott Boras’ ability to persuade an owner

9:49

Birddog: Why don’t the Orioles want to consider RA Dickey? He has to be better than any of the potential backend starters they have and won’t cost them more than 3-4MM…

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Probably because it’s still not clear whether he intends to play this season

9:49

Hack Wilson: It feels like the longer the Darvish situation drags on the slighter the Twins chances get. Does this feel accurate to you?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: That’s my feeling. I think — I *think* — the only reason he’s still out there unsigned is because he’s waiting for the Dodgers to trade Matt Kemp

9:51

Erik: What do you think of Rougned Odor? He was absolutely awful last year in every way except power, but he’s still just 24. Is he more likely to end up out of the league or as an above-average regular?

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: Strikes me as an early-peak player. Bad approach and extreme batted-ball profile that requires him to max out his power. He should bounce back and be fine this season, but there’s not much more he can do unless he pulls off some kind of dramatic advancement

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Whole lot of pop-ups, he pulls his grounders, and he never draws a walk. It doesn’t help that his second-base defense is mediocre

9:54

Birddog: Chances that we have one of the top free agents sit out the WHOLE season and become the next Curt Flood?

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: 0 – 1%

9:54

Arjun: Which 30 HR, sub .250 BABIP hitter last year has a more palatable outlook/profile this season? Kyle Schwarber or Rougned Odor?

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber actually has some understanding of the strike zone

9:55

Yanks fan: Thanks for chatting Jeff – Where do you think moustakas ends up and for how much?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Pure guesses here: Yankees on a short contract if Hosmer stays in KC, and Royals on a longer contract if Hosmer goes to San Diego

9:57

Victor: Is Chris Archer to the Brewers the most obvious trade right now? They’re the kind of small market team that desperately needs premier talent on that kind of contract (I’m skeptical they can give $80 million to Cain and $100+ million to Darvish or Arrieta in the same offseason), and while the Rays still seem uninterested in moving him unless they’re blown away, the Brewers seem like the team that could have both the motivation to acquire him and the available talented young outfielders and prospects to put together a package for him

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: I think that, in theory, the Brewers would be a *great* destination for Archer

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: But at the same time, Archer is tremendously valuable, and the Brewers’ farm was significantly weakened by the Yelich trade. So if the Rays aren’t, say, in love with Brett Phillips, it might not be so easy to find an agreement

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: On the trade market, therefore, the Brewers might be aiming lower. And on the free-agent market, they do still have a lot of money to spend. Current payroll is only about $91 million. Longer-term, Ryan Braun departing would free up more space

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: I have the Brewers as a real Arrieta possibility if he can’t find the years he wants

10:01

Tyler: Do you like websites?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: not many of them

10:01

Endy Chavez: Are you surprised by the overwhelming acceptance of Vlad as a HOF? Fun player and great hitter, but his career numbers (esp. WAR) don’t scream HOF

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Every single person aware of Major League Baseball loved Vladimir Guerrero, so no one wants to be a wet blanket

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Additionally, Vlad possessed a unique set of skills. I think he should get some credit for that, provided you don’t just think of it as a Hall of Career Wins Above Replacement

10:04

Ionni : The reason the Yankees won’t make the playoffs in 2018 is ______

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: If you’re looking for me to say the Yankees won’t make the playoffs, I won’t say it, because they probably will

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: If it doesn’t happen, however, it’s probably because Judge regresses and maybe Severino gets hurt. The Red Sox win the division, the Angels get one of the wild cards, and then one other team slightly over-achieves, keeping the Yankees just outside of the picture

10:06

A big dumb idiot: Do you know when ZiPS is going to be integrated onto the player pages/depth chart projections?

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t, exactly, but the last couple years it’s been at the start of March. I think this year we’re on a somewhat faster timeline

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: So, fairly soon

10:07

diadem: Might we see more one year “pillow  contracts” this season?

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: I think the idea of a pillow contract is to take a year to re-establish value. Like when Adrian Beltre was coming off an 81 wRC+. The good free agents out there don’t need to re-establish value. They just need markets

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m being too semantic. Wouldn’t surprise me to see a few one-year deals pretty soon

10:09

Snid: Likelihood the Yankees trade Frazier? Do you think he would play in MLB or minors?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Short-term, I don’t see it

10:11

Anthony: I know you don’t often see teams trade for players they’ve recently traded away, but Corey Dickerson to the Rockies makes sense, no? Price tag a bit high for Tampa, Colorado has needs in the corner OF, cost shouldn’t be prohibitive…

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Dickerson would make sense there, but I wonder if there are just too many half-decent players available for cheap on the market

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: Like, maybe you just sign Jon Jay for $5 million or something

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: Give Tapia and Dahl a little more of a chance

10:13

Nick: Doesn’t it kind of feel like the Cubs aren’t that good?

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: They’re very good

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re the best team in the National League, and they’ve lost a little bit of the shine from the championship, but they’re exceptionally strong, and they’re almost certain to make another major addition in the coming weeks

10:15

Ned: Should a hit tool be included for NL pitching prospects? A handful of pitchers put up >1 WAR from hitting last year. Seems like it should be more of a factor.

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: No one is going to ever care about it enough. And most of pitcher-hitting is randomness, anyway. Madison Bumgarner aside, pretty much all of them suck

10:16

John Luther: does baseball still exist? I can’t tell.

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Not only does baseball still exist — beginning next week, there will be one more spring-training camp than usual!

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Expansion!

10:16

45blowzbillygoats: Thoughts on Dee Gordon making a successful transition to CF?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: I think his odds are very good. He’s one of the fastest players in baseball, and he’s already shown that he’s adaptive

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: I’d be shocked if Gordon were a major liability in the field

10:18

Nick: Are you buying Schwarber stock right now?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve always believed he’s going to hit, but he’s not going to be suddenly fast

10:19

gump: Which team projection changes the most in the next two weeks (signs FA, other team signs FA, etc)? How much bigger are the error bars than usual given the guys left in FA

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: Cubs’ll do something, and that’ll pad their lead in the NL Central. But I also expect the Brewers to add a starter of their own

10:21

Mr Miyagi : How rare is Aroldis Chapman’s raw velocity going forward? Do we someone else who can hit 105 in, say, the next 5 years?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: In 2016 Mauricio Cabrera was allegedly topping out around 103 – 104

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Chapman is clearly at or around the human body’s physical limit. He’s like five standard deviations separated from the mean. But someone else will get there, within 10 years or so

10:22

JoshSox: Is JDM gonna go to the sox soon? Or is it more likely that he goes to the dBacks again

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: It remains hard for me to see how the Diamondbacks actually compete with the Red Sox’ offer. I know the rumors are out there that the teams have similar offers on the table, but the Diamondbacks have been talking about limited financial flexibility all offseason long. I think he goes to Boston

10:23

Erik: You need to project to about 81 wins to consider yourself a legitimate wild card contender, right? PECOTA sees the Phillies as a 78-win team–one Yu Darvish away from at least being in the hunt. With so much money to spend, would you recommend they make a move like that?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: I think of the Phillies as a dark-horse, for sure. If they add one impact pitcher or maybe two lower-profile pitchers, I could see them pushing

10:25

Nate (Seattle): If Yu is signing with the Dodgers, what prospects would they have to give up in order to move Kemp’s contract? Could they pay all of 2019’s salary to entice teams and still be considered under the tax for this season?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: The biggest issue right now is that Kemp’s on-field value is almost zero

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: He’s an adequate hitter who can’t do anything else

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: The name I personally keep thinking about is Wilmer Font, but I don’t know how much money the Dodgers would have to attach to him, if any. I know I might be the high guy on Font

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: What’s holding this all up is that the Dodgers don’t want to package a good young player with Kemp, because they like young players a whole bunch. So they’re trying to get away with offering lower value. It’s that Tampa Bay mindset that can make them frustrating to deal with

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: If the Dodgers relent and package a better young player than they’ve been willing to, then Kemp is off the books, and they can re-sign Darvish tomorrow if they want

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not actually totally clear on what the tax implications would be if the Dodgers covered only Kemp’s 2019 salary. I *think* that would work?

10:31

Anthony: You and Mike Petriello have written about how the A’s are targeting fly-ball pitchers, but they also led the league in fly-ball rate and launch angle offensively last year. Is there some sort of inconsistency there?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: The A’s have hitters who can hit fly balls hard. But not all fly balls are hit hard. In other words, the A’s have pitchers who can generate weak or moderate flies. They have hitters who can generate moderate or hard flies

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: Now, I’m not sure this reflects an actual strategy of theirs, pitching-wise. Hard to ignore the three names they’ve added to the bullpen, but it could be coincidental

10:33

Birddog: Do you think that what is going on with this years market is a “trial run” for next year and the hope that teams may drive down Harper/Machados contract range?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: Won’t happen. Those players are far, far too valuable

10:33

S: Why does PECOTA project Matt Chapman to be as good as Nolan Arenado and better than Machado?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t speak to PECOTA but Chapman just led all third basemen in UZR and DRS even though he played a half-season in the majors

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: He’s really good

10:34

45blowzbillygoats: Scott Boras….good or bad for baseball?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: He’s historically been an extremely effective agent. Players need effective agents. He’s just also kind of annoying

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: I’d never want to be stuck with Scott Boras in a cabin for a week, but I’m glad that players have him at their disposal

10:35

2-D: How much different would this offseason be without the luxury tax?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Fairly different

10:35

Joe: Let’s say the Orioles somehow signed Lynn, Vargas, and Cashner. Would that be enough to put them in the middle of the WC discussion?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: No

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d still be the worst team in the division

10:37

JoshSox: How much can maturing by 1 year help the Red Sox and can they beat the Yankees?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: By “maturing” do you mean getting older?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: I think in some circles the Red Sox are being underrated because they haven’t done a whole lot so far. But the team they already have is terrific, provided David Price keeps his elbow together

10:39

He Hate Me: Even when it was the shining example of how strong a union could be, the MLBPA has always screwed over younger players in favor of old vets on the back nine of their careers. Everyone talks about how dismal the minor leaguer’s plight is. Wouldn’t it make sense for minor league players to form their own union? They may be even less replaceable than big league players, in the event of a strike.

10:40

NerdyMcGerdy: Is spending really gonna be that much greater next year? Maybe for the Machados and Harpers of the world. It seems like teams value age and length of contract a lot more now.

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Teams are more wary than ever of guaranteeing money to players in their 30s, because aging curves aren’t what they were 10 or 15 years ago. But spending next year is still going to be nuts, compared to this year, just because of the players out there, and because of the reset luxury-tax penalties

10:42

Birddog: Do you think that the current market is in fact as Heyman alluded to, an attempt to persuade players to be more open to extensions over testing free agency?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: I feel like that would be a form of collusion

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think this market exists because all of the teams are trying to send players one specific message

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: Now, players might *interpret* this market in a certain way, but I think that would be a consequence, not the core intention

10:43

Jerry: Scenario that keeps playing in my head: A pitcher decides to intentionally walk Barry Bonds. After the first 2 pitches, Bonds throws his bat out for a swing strike for 2 pitches. The count is now 2-2, tempting the pitcher to actually throw to him. Even if he still decides to walk him, you forced him to throw 2 more pitches. I’m sad that Barry never did this

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: It’s like I always say, Barry Bonds was a coward

10:43

gump: Does BorasCorp headhunt FG like the teams do?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Agencies don’t seem to poach public analysts. They probably should

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Now more than ever, agencies are operating with substandard information

10:44

Tanner: Yu Darvish ends up with ___ because ___

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Los Angeles, he likes them

10:44

El Jefe: Fan of Giolito?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Not really

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: I like that he started to throw more strikes last year but I don’t like that his stuff has continued to erode

10:45

Calarx: Erasmo Ramirez start the year in the M’s rotation?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: yep

10:45

JoshSox: What will be the biggest surprise of this year? Giants make the playoffs?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that would be too big a surprise

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I’m starting to bandwagon the A’s and Phillies as potential wild-card teams. *Those* would be a surprise

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: (I like the Phillies more)

10:47

Mat: If the Rays trade Jake Odorizzi, would a similar return to the one they got for Drew Smyly make sense? And if that trade was done with the Twins, who could be the trio?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: Smyly looked better at the time than Odorizzi looks now. Odorizzi just had the worst season of his career, with an FIP- of 127

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s a near-certainty that Odorizzi gets moved, but I think the Rays will get something lower this time

10:50

Brandon: Excluding Luis Castillo, which Reds young SP do you think could breakout?

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Mahle?

10:50

Tyler: What’s your opinion on the Designated Hitter?

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Pro. The designated hitter gave me Edgar Martinez

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: From a writer’s perspective, I love that pitchers have to hit. I also think it’s silly

10:51

West Coast Wreck: Atl has no good prospects to fill RF, a glut of ready/near ready pitching, and Mil & Min needs pitching and have OF prospects galore.  When does a deal happen?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a fair chance of a deal in the next three weeks or so

10:52

Uncle Muscles: The Jay’s keep saying they plan on competing this year but their moves are pretty lackluster. I can’t help but feel they’re being insincere about really trying in an effort to keep attendance up. What do you think?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re in a transition between being really good and having some of the best players on the farm come up and emerge. They’re relevant, and should contend for the WC, so that’s not so bad for a transition phase. Not much they could do right now to keep up with New York and Boston

10:53

Anthony: You’ve been down on Arrieta personally At what price point would you, as a hypothetical GM, feel comfortable jumping in? Does this same price point apply for someone like the Twins or Brewers on the optimal spot on the win curve?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: If I’m the Phillies I try to throw like $100 million at him over three years

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Take a shot, and if Arrieta doesn’t work out, that doesn’t meaningfully impact the budget since so many of the good players will remain affordable

10:55

THE Average Sports Fan: Are the position players and bullpen good enough for the Reds to make the playoffs with a league average rotation?  What would it take for the Reds to get to a league average rotation?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Reds are going to finish in the top ten in position-player WAR again

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: If only because Cozart and his 5 WAR are elsewhere

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Reds have an outside shot at .500 with enough pitching improvement. I’d be satisfied with that much

10:57

Kevin: This may be an absurd question, but do you believe the Japanese/Korean leagues could come in and swoop some of these lower-tiered free agents? And might that cause a shift in the market?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re positioned to sign any of the players who’re going to get major-league jobs, but this could free up Asian leagues to poach some minor-league free agents who haven’t found homes yet because of the higher-level stalemate

10:58

He Hate Me: Guys like Ryan Goins, CJ Cron, Daniel Descalso and Yovani Gallardo get rostered every year. Is that an indication of just how far away 99% of prospects are from the Show? Wouldn’t teams want them to replace the pros who are just hanging on? Seems like every team accepts a meh floor with no ceiling instead of a lower floor and higher ceiling at their 25th and 24th roster spots.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure what Cron is doing in here. At least he theoretically has upside

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: There are always veteran hangers-on. I imagine it mostly has to do with teams not wanting to limit real prospects to infrequent playing time on the roster

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Might as well let them develop as regulars at a lower level

11:00

Billy Beane: Jeff, since you have clearly consolidated all of the power at Fangraphs by slaying your opponents, can you (as the One True King of Fangraphs(dot)com) make sure Meg Rowley gets a chat? By my count we’ve lost two chats and only gained one.

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll find out! But our chat schedule will beef up shortly anyway, for reasons independent of Meg

11:01

I love you Jeff: I miss your podcasts about the Mariners

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t

11:02

Bryan in Boise: Crazy off season if you ask me. I see why the players are upset about lack of movement this offseason. Yet at the same time I understand why the teams are not just blindly giving away long term deals to backend starters like Lance Lynn as well.

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: So much of this has to do with agents just not understanding the reality of the market. They’re holding out for terms they’re not going to get. But you don’t hear a whole lot about that because it’s mostly agents who are talking to the writers who are driving the national conversation

11:03

Doug: Don’t the Padres have to pull their Hosmer offer off the table soon? If converting to LF, Myers will need tons of reps on Spring Training.

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: He probably won’t need that many. He was an outfielder before he was a first baseman

11:04

Joe: What realistic thing would convince you of collusion?

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: Written evidence

11:04

Baloo: As a Tigers fan, ouch, but also I get it.  Personally, my fingers are crossed for Shane Greene to have a really good first half.  Seems about our only chance to pick up more prospects at the deadline.

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: This was always going to be inevitable for the Tigers at some point. They were competitive for a while, which was a plus. It can potentially get better quick, given good trades and development. But, for now, yikes

11:05

Lunar verLander: What was the last thing you actively cheered for/against in a baseball game?

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: I have little rooting interests all the time but the last time I truly lost my mind in an excited way was when Rajai Davis took Aroldis Chapman deep

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: I also lost my mind in Game 5 of this year’s World Series but for different reasons

11:07

Todd Frazier: Is my “taking a hometown discount” at all related to the fact that the two most interested teams were both in NY?

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: What a coincidence

11:07

TJ: If the Brewers are offering 100+ million contracts, but a player doesn’t want to go there, does that hurt the MLBPA’s stance. Who’s to say a player would even want to go to a non-contender or a small market even if they have the highest offer.

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: That’s one of the funny things about the complaints about tanking. The bad teams have never been the ones driving the free-agent market!

11:08

@RationalMLBfan: So how are you settling in to being top dog at Fangraphs in the wake of Cameron’s and Sarris’s departures? Or would you have preferred to have assumed power via rousing revolt, rather than a bloodless coup?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: As long as someone else’s name is signed on my paychecks, I’m not the powerful one

11:09

Tom Shane: The Mariners have reiterated ad nauseum since missing out on Ohtani that they’re happy with the rotation as is/want to give their young guys time to figure it out. This seems to fly in the face of pretty much every evaluation of their team if they’re trying to make the playoffs. Does this seem like brash confidence, bluffing and posturing, or something else?

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: They’re lying

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: I mean, all teams lie, and all teams express optimism about what they have, but the Mariners have been basically pushing propaganda

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: They know their pitching is bad, and losing out on Ohtani was one of the worst days in recent organizational history

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: All right! It’s time to get rolling

11:10

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 — 2/9/18 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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nathanj
Member
nathanj

Jeff, thanks for answering my Yu/Dodger question but I was a little unclear. I was referring to which Dodger prospects need to be included in a Kemp (dead contract) trade. Perhaps a theoretical trade would be: Kemp, Alex Verdugo & Gavin Lux, plus $20 million in 2019 to the Brewers for Hernan Perez. In effect, Milwaukee would be buying prospects from the Dodgers. Then, Milwaukee could flip those prospects to Tampa in a larger Archer deal or in a deal with Domingo Santiago in a deal with Cleveland’s Danny Salazar. The Dodgers could then sign Darvish and Milwaukee could avoid paying going rate for the likes of Darvish, Arriets, or Lance Lynn.

SeattleBlue
Member
SeattleBlue

I think he did, right…Font? Assuming Kemp has 0 on-field value, then his contract is $40M underwater. I think Jeff is saying Font plus $ “x” M from LAD = $40M worth of value. It’s about finding the right prospect and dollar subsidy that makes this fair for another team. The Dodgers don’t want to go too high on the x dollars side (defeating the purpose of this for them) but also want to horde prospects and are reluctant to part with any of their intriguing guys.

Your proposal assumes that verdugo and Lux combined are a $20M asset, and I think that way undervalues them (though I admit I’m not terribly familiar with Perez, and if he’s a siginificant positive asset that changes the math).

SeattleBlue
Member
SeattleBlue

let’s go with *hoard in there too I think

Stevil
Member
Stevil

Font is out of options, though, if I’m not mistaken. Hard to envision LA having leverage to package Kemp with him, regardless of how much dough they eat.