Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 12/4/18

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hello all!

2:00
Meg Rowley: And welcome to the chat.

2:01
ChiSox2020: Trade proposal – Carlos Rodon for Nick Senzel.

2:01
Meg Rowley: But not like, a serious one, right?

2:01
CamdenWarehouse: Meg, I’ve been waiting all day to ask you: What did Jerry Dipoto do?

2:01
CamdenWarehouse: Also every time Seattle makes a big trade, that song bounces around my head for a couple days. I am quite unhappy with Baumann.

2:02
Meg Rowley: And it feels kinda strange to joke about with the investigation looming, right? That’s not meant to chastise you at all. It’s an earworm of the highest order.

2:02
Lord Farquaad: meg have you ever fortnite????

2:03
Meg Rowley: I have played exactly three video games in my life: Half Life, Frogger, and a Star Trek: Voyager game where the goal was to defeat the Borg.

2:03
Meg Rowley: Make of that exceptionally strange trio what you will.

2:03
Xolo: Kiley said the Mets are trading Syndergaard and BVW said they’re probably not. Who should I trust?

2:04
Meg Rowley: Both are shifty sorts, now aren’t they? (kidding) I think it is useful to remember that this stuff can move very quickly. It doesn’t mean anyone is fibbing, though it can, but just that stuff changes.

2:04
Xolo: What’s the smart move for the Padres this winter? Go big (trade for Syndergaard, bribe Eovaldi away from Houston or Boston), go medium (Kikuchi? Leake?) or just chill out and wait to see how things look at the deadline or next winter?

2:06
Meg Rowley: I know there have been rumors but I would be surprised if they went Very Big as their prospects aren’t quite cooked yet.

2:07
Meg Rowley: (apologies for the delay there– was answering some Writer Questions)

2:07
Mandy is 92% Fresh: Is taking on portions of bad contracts for prospects the new currency of baseball?

2:07
Meg Rowley: It isn’t a new phenom.

2:08
Meg Rowley: I do wonder if, with so many in various modes of not trying to win right now and so a less obvious (or at least) certain path to the number one pick, if we’ll see more of it as a way to extract prospect value. That’s not a fully formed thought yet.

2:09
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Goodbye to Paxton, Cano, Diaz, Segura, Pazos, Zunino…who is your favorite player on the Mariners next year if Mitch Haniger gets traded too?

2:09
Meg Rowley: I don’t think Haniger will get traded BUT Wade LeBlanc

2:09
Meg Rowley: just cuz

2:10
Grover: Should the Dodgers seriously consider making Bellinger a permanent corner OF?  He is obviously more than capable.  Could that open up the opportunity to add an impact bat at 1B (or 3B if they move Turner to first for his final 2 seasons)?

2:12
Meg Rowley: Even if you assume Muncy will regress some next year (which is fair), I don’t think they’re looking to rush out and sign a 1B, especially with looming decisions on Turner. The versatility is a good thing, so unless there is something they know about how the switching impacts performance (which they may!) it seems like it’s fine now.

2:12
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Meg, if I may humbly request, now that you are upper-upper management at Fangraphs, you should bring back the “business word” segment in chats or pods.

2:12
Meg Rowley: Sometimes bits run their course.

2:12
Brodie is looking pretty cute rn: Is Jeff Wilpon’s statements about payroll indication that the Mets might start acting remotely like they’re a team based in NYC?

2:13
Meg Rowley: Could be! I will believe it when I see it, always a good course of action around teams and promises of payroll increases, but could be!

2:13
Red Shoe: I like the Segura deal for Seattle? Crawford was a top 20 prospect this time last year and it shouldn’t be difficult for Dipo to flip Santana.

2:14
Meg Rowley: I think Jeff made a good point (I mean, he made several) in his post, which is consistent with what I had heard before the deal went through, that Segura’s market was very small.

2:15
Meg Rowley: Now, we can all ask whether we think that trade was necessary, but given some of the scuttlebutt on him, I think they felt this was the best they’d do. I don’t see them winning the trade, even though I find Crawford interesting still and think Santana will be useful for them if they don’t move him. But I understand the logic of it.

2:15
John: Is it just me or are J. Happ, C. Morton and A. Ottavino being massively underrated? Seem like great value buys

2:16
Meg Rowley: I don’t think we can reasonably say we know how they’re being rated yet.

2:16
Brandon Nimmo: Not that it will happen but are the Mets one Bryce Harper away from being NL East favorites? The Cano trade will be even stranger if/when it’s the headlining move of the offseason.

2:17
Meg Rowley: I don’t think they’re one Harper away, though some of that is because they’re still being weird about Syndergaard, and some of it is because the rest of that division is likely to do much more/is good now.

2:17
Meet the Mutts: Do these trades actually improve the Mets playoff chances? Are they actually going for it this year?

2:18
Meg Rowley: Somewhere in all the back and forth on this, folks have somehow forgotten that Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz are really to really, really good at baseball.

2:18
kingofdanger: Hockey in Seattle!

2:18
Meg Rowley: I am Very Excited.

2:19
Meg Rowley: I don’t know hockey super well — I have mostly watched college hockey, and not much of that, but I am jazzed.

2:19
A Regular Ol’ Plumbus: Do you have any advice on working in baseball with non-MLB teams. Are there any other ways to get involved to build the resume? Other companies, platforms, etc.? I thought working with two teams and an advanced degree would help me stand out, but I’m generating zero interest.

2:20
Meg Rowley: Can’t speak to your specific situation obviously, but I will note that many companies in the baseball ecosystem (TrackMan, BIS, etc) send us their job postings, which we put up as we do with teams.

2:20
hooha: Do you think Nicasio will bounce back in 2019?

2:21
Meg Rowley: “Bounce back” is a weird way to describe it, but he had an admittedly weird year last season. His velo was down early, but recovered.

2:21
Meg Rowley: He had a 6.00 ERA and a 2.99 FIP.

2:22
Meg Rowley: His first month and his last month weren’t great, but also, he pitched better than his ERA suggests.

2:23
Meg Rowley: Now he’ll be in front of a Philly defense that wasn’t very good last year, but also, could be peopled by very different folks in 2019.

2:24
Peripherally Aware: Best baseball name on the Mariners?

2:24
Meg Rowley: How do you beat Justus?

2:24
Sir Nerdlington: You get a do-over on which towns get teams.  No sacred cows.  Who loses their franchise?

2:24
Meg Rowley: This the sort of question that is likely to bother so many people!

2:24
Meg Rowley: Hmmmm

2:25
Meg Rowley: Seems a little strange that Tampa has a team maybe?

2:25
Meg Rowley: MAYBE.

2:25
Lunar verLander: Have you read up on the new baseball prospectus stat, DRC+? Any thoughts?

2:26
Meg Rowley: I have read some stuff but not all the stuff, but enough of the stuff to say that they have a smart stats team, DRC+ is interesting, and also, I need to read more.

2:26
Meg Rowley: I like it when new stats come out because they afford us the opportunity to talk about our theory of baseball– what matters, what counts, who is responsible for what.

2:26
Meg Rowley: I find that conversation pretty endlessly fascinating.

2:27
The Amish: Besides Kelenic who is the obvious correct answer. Which of the new Mariners acquired are you most intrigued by?

2:27
Meg Rowley: Dunn

2:27
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Wilpon’s comments about wanting to “block” Diaz from going to Philadelphia strike me as very LOLMets – this can’t be a good fundamental starting point for a decision making process, yeah?

2:28
Meg Rowley: I will admit to not listening to all of his remarks, but I’d be surprised if he meant that was the driving factor. Philly was interested in Diaz, and the M’s were looking at both offers, so I could understand if, knowing that, he was motivated to get a trade he was excited about done.

2:28
Matt: In a world where STL may get Goldy and MIL is very likely to make a significant upgrade to their SP, does Theo *have* to do something consequence?

2:29
Meg Rowley: He doesn’t have to, but he might want to. I also think a healthy and productive Darvish is sort of like getting a free agent given how much time he missed, so I’m curious to see what they do.

2:29
pelkey: Am I wrong that it seems like the Dodgers might want to move joc pederson?

2:30
Meg Rowley: It always depends on the deal, but depth is a good thing. A very good thing! The Dodgers have arguably utilized their depth better than most teams.

2:30
Lunar verLander: I’ve seen some people saying that the increase in trades is partly due to not wanting to pay free agents as much money. If this is true, is there anything players can do to combat this (preferably BEFORE the next CBA deadline, where the only option is to strike)?

2:32
Meg Rowley: The biggest issue players face is getting money to guys much, much earlier in their careers, and absent a new CBA, I don’t know how you do that systemically. As an aside, the most urgent issue facing players is getting livable money to minor leaguers, but that also requires systemic change.

2:32
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What’s your take on the news that Seattle was just awarded a new NHL franchise?

2:33
Meg Rowley: I’m excited to have a new sport to get into, especially as my football fandom continues to wane.

2:33
Mallexistential Dread: Is there some benefit you see to Dipoto doing all this before the Winter Meetings?

2:33
Meg Rowley: If you know that the prospects you want are coveted by other GMs, though presumably the trading teams also know that about their players.

2:33
Sarah: Dipoto hasn’t traded with five teams as a GM: Angels, Nationals, Reds, Rockies, and Tigers. Can you see any of those getting knocked off this winter? Santana to Rockies seems possible

2:34
Meg Rowley: First base is such a weird spot for them. Like, Santana has value for them! Ryon Healy is not very good and they clearly don’t have much faith in Vogelbach. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold on to Santana for a little while.

2:35
Non Tender: Who pulls out of their tailspin sooner, Giants or Orioles

2:35
Meg Rowley: Giants, I guess? I say that mostly because they seem to have less infrastructure/organizational change to sort through.

2:36
Meg Rowley: They both have to deal with some, tbc

2:36
CamdenWarehouse: Thank you for pointing out Crawford’s 80 grade dog

2:36
Meg Rowley: IT IS SUCH A GOOD DOG.

2:36
Meg Rowley: WHY DOES THIS DOG NOT HAVE ITS OWN SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE?

2:36
Meg Rowley: Mike Trout’s dog does, and this dog is a WAY better dog.

2:37
Hunt for for 28: Do you see Harper signing with the yankees?

2:38
Meg Rowley: That isn’t where I see him. I increasingly picture him in a Phillies uniform.

2:38
Yes to the DH: Was Jerry Dipoto’s extension premature given the end result of the 2018 season? We know that Dipoto wants to refocus for 2020/21 but in reality with the worst farm system prior to these trades, when is the next competitive core of the Mariners system going to come up?

2:39
Meg Rowley: I think the timing looks pretty weird, given how the second half went, but I think the extension + real ownership buy-in is what facilitates this tear down or step back or whatever you want to call it.

2:39
Meg Rowley: I still think 2020 seems aggressive, but not impossible.

2:39
Meg Rowley: And a lot will depend on what they allow themselves to spend.

2:41
Meg Rowley: Assume these prospects pan out. Oh what prospects! It’s 2020. As of right this minute, barring further trades, the only big deals on the club’s books are:

2:41
Meg Rowley: Kyle Seager, who I imagine they’ll try to move if he plays better, and Mike Leake, who I also think they’d be willing to trade.

2:42
Meg Rowley: Oh and I suppose $14 million on Dee Gordon’s deal.

2:43
Meg Rowley: If they have good prospects ready to graduate and a willingness to spend, that’s an interesting team. It has to work, and ownership has to get on board with spending, but it’s not uninteresting.

2:43
Dennis: If Corbin goes to Yankees is that the best pitching staff in the AL?

2:43
Meg Rowley: Depends what goes on with Houston, but it’s up there.

2:43
Reason to Believe: Any interest or thoughts in having an analytically-inclined player or former player contribute a column about the integration of metrics to daily play?  How does it happen?  What is effective?  Conversely, how can it not work?  Who would you consider approaching?

2:45
Meg Rowley: I would love to run something like that. I think that would be fascinating. Nate Freiman’s residency was one of my favorite things we did this year, because that player perspective blended with real analytics is pretty special. The trick is finding someone who can do it who then doesn’t get scooped up by a team.

2:45
Dennis: Meg, I heard u on sound could the other day. Where else can we hear audio content from you?  (really enjoy it thanks)

2:45
Meg Rowley: On FanGraphs Audio, for starters!

2:46
Meg Rowley: I worry I have set a dangerous precedent by releasing two episodes last week.

2:46
Cove Dweller: What’s an unhealthy amount of time to spend reading about baseball in the off season?

2:46
Meg Rowley: There isn’t an unhealthy amount of time one can spend reading, though some variety might be welcome.

2:47
Home Run Histrionics: Chest pumping or pointing to God?

2:47
Meg Rowley: Do what feels right for you personally.

2:48
Bob? Bob.: An issue with baseball, and sports in general, is that they pay diddly squat.  Once you’ve tasted the good life, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to give that up for a passion project.  If I was an owner, I would invest $10mm in the analytics department and another $10mm in Minor League salary.  I have a hunch that the $20mm investment would pay major dividends…

2:48
Meg Rowley: You aren’t wrong, but I have a feeling that other teams wouldn’t thank you for the minor league spending, which is part of why we don’t see it.

2:49
MLB teams: Should there be more New York teams?

2:49
Meg Rowley: No, I don’t think so.

2:49
Meg Rowley: It’s a huge (the biggest?) media market but there are other cities who would be great baseball towns that don’t have teams

2:49
James: Wouldn’t raising the minimum salary significantly, to say an even million, help change the market? It would raise career earnings for those who never make it to free agency, and reduce the marginal benefit of youth over free agents. Obviously the players would have to make other concessions but could that be a start?

2:50
Meg Rowley: It would certainly be a start.

2:50
Meg Rowley: I think though, the number that most are or will keep an eye on is the overall split of revenue between ownership and players, which is admittedly hard to fully judge, since we don’t complete looks at team books.

2:51
AL East: If the Red Sox get Eovaldi and the Yankees get Corbin, who do you have winning the division?

2:51
Meg Rowley: I’d favor the Yankees at the moment, given the other moves they have made (Paxton) and that I think they might make (Machado)

2:52
Charles Finley: Dunn over Sheff?

2:52
Meg Rowley: I feel like I know less, and am therefore more intrigued.

2:53
CFH: What if instead of the draft, players could sign for any amount with any team, but the previous year’s playoff teams were limited in what they could spend? That way, players could get paid what they deserve, competitive balance issues are somewhat addressed, and there is no incentive to lose – would the relevant people agree?

2:53
Meg Rowley: It all depends on what your goals are.

2:53
Meg Rowley: If you’re getting rid of the draft (I would like to get rid of the draft), your goal is to get money to players. You wouldn’t then want to limit team spending.

2:55
Meg Rowley: If competitive balance is an issue, and it may well be there, though I think less than folks think because there is going to be a limit to spending at some point, I think there are other mechanisms that address that more directly.

2:55
Nate: So what are your overall thoughts on everything that’s happened with your Mariners over the last week or two? Are you in favor of the moves, or not so much?

2:55
Meg Rowley: Oh sure, now they’re *my* Mariners.

2:55
Meg Rowley: I like the Mets deal for them.

2:55
Meg Rowley: I mostly like the Yankees deal, but felt it was a little light.

2:56
Meg Rowley: I don’t love the Philly deal, but get why it happened.

2:56
Meg Rowley: I mostly would like Jerry to stop doing things on a gosh darned Friday.

2:56
JT Realmuto: What the heck do the Marlins want for him?

2:56
Meg Rowley: Seemingly quite a bit.

2:56
nat: I think trades seem like a bigger deal when the player is going to wear a very differently colored uniform. For instance, Yan Gomes to the Nats seems insubstantial because he’ll still be wearing red and blue. But Cano wearing royal blue and orange? That’s crazy! Agree or disagree?

2:56
Meg Rowley: Disagree, but I like where your head’s at.

2:57
robertobeers: I know you are a season ticket holder for the Seahawks, but are you also for the Mariners? Do you plan on continuing that support in these coming doldrum years?

2:58
Meg Rowley: I was, starting in 2016. I renewed for 2018 before I got this job, which I likely wouldn’t have done had I known about this job, because the number of in-person fan games I have is more limited. I didn’t renew this year, though I decided to do that in early Octoberish.

2:59
Meg Rowley: It doesn’t make a ton of sense for me personally, no matter what the team is doing.

2:59
Jerry D: Do GM’s have team profit sharing as part of their contracts

3:00
Meg Rowley: I don’t know, actually. I think Beane does, but his contract situation is different just generally.

3:00
Meg Rowley: Wouldn’t be surprised if many have performance related bonuses? It’s a good question.

3:00
Portland MLB baseball: New franchise or break some poor city’s heart?

3:00
Meg Rowley: God I hope it is a new franchise.

3:01
Charles Finley: Pretty sure Dave Cameron did a deep dive a few years ago in an article and concluded raising minimum wage to $1MM would be the best thing

3:01
Meg Rowley: Could be true– I think some shifts in the labor market probably warrant another look.

3:01
Ted: Say you’re Patrick Corbin. You want to be a Yankee. The Yankees say great, but then float the idea of offering you less than the Nats or Phillies. How do you take that?

3:01
Meg Rowley: I guess it depends how much less.

3:02
Meg Rowley: Of the three, the Yankees are the best positioned for a deep playoff run (which comes with its own bit of cash).

3:02
Meg Rowley: I guess depends how much $$ and how much you want a ring soon.

3:03
Bcb : I tend to be very sceptical of public apologies (especially when there is something to be gained from same), but the Addison Russell/Cubs statements seemed sincere?  Actual acceptance of responsibility and course of action for rehabilitation…thoughts?

3:03
Meg Rowley: I am going to say a number of things here.

3:03
Meg Rowley: First, all of this has to be viewed through the lens of them deciding to tender him a contract.

3:04
Meg Rowley: Maybe they think he will finally improve (I remain skeptical and was before the suspension, and the abuse that prompted it), but he’s a so-so shortstop and a below average hitter.

3:05
Meg Rowley: They could have moved on for baseball reasons, or because they felt the baseball reasons in conjunction with the taint on the org wasn’t worth it. But they didn’t.

3:06
Meg Rowley: And they have a terrible track record, both with the player acquisition/retention decisions around this stuff, and with how senior level people in the org have talked about it publicly.

3:06
Meg Rowley: As these statements go, the one from the team was pretty ok. But we can’t divorce it from the decision, or their history, when we assess it.

3:06
Meg Rowley: Now, it’s better than it being a bad statement!

3:07
Meg Rowley: I think how teams talk about this stuff is really, really important, both because it shapes our discourse around these issues, and because it clearly defines a standard to which they can be (or should be) held accountable. But it is going to take more than this, for all the reasons I laid out, for me to look at them as leaders here.

3:08
Lunar verLander: At least Jerry didn’t make any moves on Thanksgiving day…though maybe he will on Christmas day…

3:08
Meg Rowley: Then we riot.

3:08
Meg Rowley: RIOT.

3:08
The Old Buccaneer: Too many teams wear some combination of blue and red.

3:08
Meg Rowley: I agree with this take.

3:08
Morbo: I saw above that you would like to replace the draft. What would you propose as a replacement for the draft?

3:09
Meg Rowley: Teams and players negotiating market rate contracts. I know this won’t happen. I know. Don’t yell all yous, because I know. But that would be what I prefer. Just a complete reimagining of the labor market. Should be simple.

3:09
Lunar verLander: What’s the one baseball-related headline you think you’ll see in the next few years that fills you with dread?

3:10
Meg Rowley: I guess, further revelations about some players being bad people.

3:11
Eternal Skeptic : Are you worried that even though the Mariners are acquiring talent said talent is somewhat low ceiling and even in 2021 might not have the horses to make a deep playoff run. Front line starting pitching and middle of the order bats don’t seem to be in the farm right now and major trade pieces are gone.

3:12
Meg Rowley: I mean, if you’re asking if I’m worried this won’t work the answer is strongly yes.

3:12
Meg Rowley: Alright all, I have to get going.

3:12
Meg Rowley: I’m sorry for what I didn’t get to, and appreciate all the questions.

3:12
Meg Rowley: The chat schedule next week might a little whackado with all of us at Winter Meetings.

3:13
Meg Rowley: But we will be sure to let you all know about once we know more.

3:13
Meg Rowley: Until then, have great days.

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 12/4/18 by Meg Rowley!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the host of FanGraphs Audio. Her work has appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing and Just A Bit Outside.

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DAMellen

80 grade dog?