Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:06
Travis Sawchik: Happy All-Star Snub Reaction Day

12:06
Travis Sawchik: There were many!

12:06
Travis Sawchik: The players might be worse at picking All-Stars than the general public …

12:06
Travis Sawchik: Let’s get started!

12:07
Rob: Who benefits more from Machado:  Dodgers or Brewers?

12:07
Travis Sawchik: Brewers, I think. Of each current iteration, FG projects the Dodgers to have much stronger division odds

12:08
Andy: Travis, you were missed.

12:08
Travis Sawchik: Well, thanks. Andy. It was a couple weeks with travel and a vacation day mixed in. Happy to be back

12:08
Zonk: We now live in a world where Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp are deserving All-Star starters

12:08
Travis Sawchik: Can’t predict ball

12:08
Andy: Miles Mikolas – Allstar warms my heart.  Is that wrong?

12:08
Andy: Mikolas is an All-Star.  Is he eligible for comeback player of the year?

12:09
Travis Sawchik: It’s a great story, for sure.

12:09
Travis Sawchik: Mikolas was an intriguing offseason add and he’s exceeded most expectations

12:10
Travis Sawchik: I’m not sure if Mikolas’ career path precludes him from consideration. It shouldn’t

12:10
Chris: What should the Padres do before the trade deadline?

12:11
Travis Sawchik: I think the Padres are in an advantageous spot for a non-tender. They have a lot of interesting relievers and relievers have never been more valued. Every contender probably wants at least one bullpen arm. I’d be trying to get good returns on Hand, Yates, Cimber and others

12:11
Daniel: Who should trade for Brad Hand?

12:12
Travis Sawchik: With Andrew Miller’s health a question and his impending FA status (and the Indians general bullpen issues), the Indians cry out as a fit for me

12:12
David: Who should the Padres target in moving Brad Hand?

12:13
Travis Sawchik: Hand is not quite Miller but Miller netted Frazier and Sheffield in 2016 so the return should be significant.  I’d be asking for a top 100 guy, for sure, and another solid prospect

12:13
Brent Barry: My friend and I were arguing who is the better pitcher, Trevor Bauer or Blake Snell?

12:15
Travis Sawchik: Snell is a AS snub for sure. Both have been outstanding. Bauer is the AL fWAR leader. He has my vote. The slider and command developments are very real

12:15
GY: With Chisenhall out yet again and Mejia weirdly not wanting to play RF, seems like Indians have to get an OF bat…Who do you think the Indians can/will target?  Adam Jones/Grichuk?

12:16
Travis Sawchik: It’s a pretty weak OF market. But the Indians don’t need to have a star to enjoy an upgrade. If Choo wasn’t owed $40 million he’d be a great fit. I don’t think the club wants to play Mejia in OF either …

12:16
Matt: Damn did Charlie Blackmon fall off the map

12:17
Travis Sawchik: Players still think he’s an All-Star though

12:17
Travis Sawchik: That deal he signed is looked more player friendly

12:17
Steve Motivator: Hi Travis. I’m curious what you think of the status of the Twins. They have almost nothing committed in way of payroll next season. They should be selling at the deadline, but how far should they take it? Can they really come back strong next season? Thanks.

12:18
Travis Sawchik: The Twins still have a great thing going for them: they play in the AL Central and get almost 60 games against the Royals/Tigers/White Sox. Also, I still believe in Sano. I’m more worried about Buxton. Rosario/Barrios look legit. While I might try to spin off some pieces this year, I’d expect them to be aggressive buyers in the winter. They were connected to Darvish last offseason.

12:19
Zach: I look across the Pirates and I see a lot of missed expectations with once highly thought of prospects — Polanco, Taillon, Bell, Glasnow, etc… —  what’s going on with that organization? Subpar talent development? Bad scouting? Where do they go from here?

12:22
Travis Sawchik: Bell has -0.1 fWAR on the season and 0.4 WAR in 1119 career plate appearances

12:22
Travis Sawchik: Polanco was the club’s top position-player prospect since McCutchen

12:23
Travis Sawchik: He’s been worth 0.0 fWAR on the season, 5.6 for career

12:23
Travis Sawchik: Those guys were supposed to be foundational pieces and they’ve regressed at the ML level

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Glasnow was always high-risk, high-reward. I’d consider Taillon’s recent development a success in coming back from multiple lost years

12:24
Travis Sawchik: But, yeah, overall the Pirates need much more out of those aforementioned names. They were supposed to be the next core

12:24
Pio: The Indians broadcast was really railing on Mejia yesterday for not wanting to play outfield. Seems like a weird strategy to take with a top prospect/trade chip.

12:26
Travis Sawchik:

Here’s Indians manager Terry Francona on Saturday, discussing top prospect Francisco Mejia’s ongoing transition to… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
7 Jul 2018
12:27
Travis Sawchik: If the Indians told Mejia he was playing right field, i think he’d play. But, yeah, I think he’s right that he fits best long-term at catcher. That’s where his bat is most valuable and he has an 80-arm with positive receiving skills per BP

12:27
v2micca: If the Mets decided to trigger a rebuild and dangle Degrom at the deadline, is there any organization that would consider their top prospect untouchable for a package?

12:28
Travis Sawchik: I think there’s rebuilding clubs that would not tradea  top 10 overall prospect. It’s not like deGrom has six-plus years of control

12:28
Christopher : Are the Padres on the right track?

12:29
Travis Sawchik: The farm system and the hiring of Dave Cameron suggests they are

12:29
Travis Sawchik: And Paddack, Chris

12:32
mike_pez: Where does Manny end up? What kind of haul do we see? Is it right to assume it may well not even feature a top 100 prospect

12:32
Travis Sawchik:

Source on where the Orioles seem to be in their Manny Machado trade process: “(Opponents’) Thirty-five yard-line, and driving.”
8 Jul 2018
12:33
Travis Sawchik: Maybe we’re actually getting close?

12:33
Travis Sawchik: Brewers seem to a growing favorite and they were really aggressive in the offseason

12:33
Concerned Reds Fan: Have the Reds shown enough improvement in the past two months for the front office to justify adding the the major league roster? Could they make a run at the wild card in 2019 if things break correctly?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: 2019 is premature, imo. I do like what Tyler Mahle has been doing.

12:34
Bort: JT Realmuto makes all kinds of sense for the Astros. Can they get him without giving up Kyle Tucker — maybe something like Stassi + Alvarez + Cionel Perez?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: Realmuto would be an even better fit in Washington

12:34
Lee: Did the Yankees really screw up for not trading for Cole when they had the chance this off-season?  It seems like they have a lot of chips to trade with but I don’t see any elite starting pitchers on the block.  I’m not seeing how they can make much of an upgrade.

12:35
Travis Sawchik: I think the Yankees were serious bidders. Pirates were said to have accepted Houston’s offer of quantity over NY’s of abetter top piece. It’s also not clear if Cole would be having the same success in New York.

12:36
Nats fan: Do you think the Nationals make any other moves before the deadline? They’re one of the last in the league in WAR at the catcher position, so i was wandering if JT Realmuto could be on the potential trade board

12:36
Travis Sawchik: Realmuto would be my top target for WSH. Catcher has been killing them for several years now

12:36
Tom: Will the Cardinals fire Matheny this offseason?

12:36
Travis Sawchik: It doesn’t seem like everyone is on the same page in StL. Typically managers go before FO staff

12:37
Josh: Cole Hamels has had a pretty tough season, and is owed a lot of money. Why does it seem as if a team is going to give up actual talent for him at the deadline?

12:38
Travis Sawchik: On the plus side, his swinging-strike rate (12.3%) is right in line with his carer mark (12.2%) and his K-BB% (14.3) is close (16.5). Getting out of Texas should help him.

12:39
Travis Sawchik: The contract isn’t too bad. He has a vesting option for next year.

12:39
Andrew: Joey Bats has been great since the Mets put him back in the OF. Does he have any trade value? Or do clubs believe he is just a mirage?

12:39
Travis Sawchik: I can’t imagine he has much trade value. He might have a tiny bit, though. The weak OF market helps the Mets

12:40
Jason N: I’ve been thinking about how the Padres added a competitive balance pick and money for taking on the Phil Hughes contract.  What would stop them (or another creative team) from doing something even more radical like selling off a bullpen piece in exchange for someone’s pick next year?  Essentially have a team draft for them and use their pool money in exchange for usable MLB talent now.

12:40
Travis Sawchik: I like ideas!

12:41
Travis Sawchik: I think the picks have to be assigned … like you can’t trade for someone’s projected 2021 competitive balance pick

12:41
Rothbert: What is Junior Guerra? Ace or back end starter?

12:41
Travis Sawchik: His ERA and FIP tell different stories

12:42
Travis Sawchik: He’s at least a mid-rotation type arm, I suspect

12:42
Ryan : Are Franchy Cordero a viable everyday (albeit flawed) player?

12:42
Travis Sawchik: He’s gotta play more to answer that question. It’s really a matter of if he can get that K% down by 10 points

12:43
romorr: How easy would it be for Adam Jones to play a corner OF spot?  Have to imagine any team that needs OF help would be intrigued by the possibility.

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Jones had a 107 wRC+ last season and 101 this season to date. I’d prefer to do better in a corner, though perhaps the glove would play up.

12:44
Nick : The Mariners just lost a series to the Rockies at home while the Athletics don’t seem to be going anywhere. Is this WC2 spot race about to get closer?

12:45
Travis Sawchik: It’s the only hope the AL has for a race for a postseason berth (The AL East should be interesting). I think the A’s are going to make it interesting

12:45
Pachuca: For a one-game playoff, would you rather have an elite starter like deGrom/Thor or let everyone in a dominant bullpen pitch a few innings? Asking as a Brewers fan.

12:45
Travis Sawchik: Great question!

12:45
Travis Sawchik: It’s even more interesting in the NL as you could add an extra bat or three to the bench and try to avoid the pitcher batting spot

12:47
Travis Sawchik: I’d probably rather have the best pitcher, or close to best pitcher status, in the NL…but it would be fascinating matchup

12:47
Matt: Who is the core in San Diego?

12:48
Travis Sawchik: I think a lot of the next contention-caliber core — if that will be a thing — hasn’t arrived yet

12:48
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Hello Travis. If the Orioles made taking on Chris Davis’s contract as part of giving up a half-season of Machado, how much money would they need to pitch in to get back a net-zero asset?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: Davis is owed about $110 million ….

12:49
Travis Sawchik: Just typing that makes me cringe

12:50
Travis Sawchik: This is how Dave valued prospects back in 2017

12:52
Travis Sawchik: Just get a FV 50 prospect, you’d have to pay the majority of the contract

12:52
Travis Sawchik: Taking on Davis for three months (plus postseason) of Machado is a big net loss for acquiring club, of course

12:53
Pad Squad: How can the Padres trade for the Astros’ Kyle Tucker? Brad Hand and Hunter Renfroe perhaps?

12:53
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think the Astros will give up Tucker

12:53
Pad Squad: Wild speculation. How much of an overpay would it take for San Diego to get a guy like Machado, Harper, or Arenado?

12:54
Travis Sawchik: Lot of Pads talk today …Fan base is alive

12:55
Travis Sawchik: Based upon our initial forecasts, the Padres didn’t wildly overpay for Hosmer relative to expectations. Say a market doesn’t develop like we think for Harper, maybe they just meet initial demands. This seems very unlikely … but Harper’s 2018 is making his market more interesting

12:56
Steve: What do you do with Moncada in a shallow OBP keeper where you’re competing?

12:56
Travis Sawchik: How shallow? Assuming more than like 3-5 players, I’d keep him

12:56
Travis Sawchik: You’d hate to have him reach his upside for someone else

12:57
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Thanks for the answer, Travis. So what you are saying is that the Orioles could give a 70-grade hitting prospect (which they, of course, do not have) and Davis to effectively get a nothing return?

12:57
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, that’s right. Pretty demoralizing for O’s Nation. That was an awful contract from the day it was signed and it’s become worse

12:57
Adam: Andujar and Gleyber  will stand in the way of the Yankees signing Manny as a FA, T/F?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: False

12:59
Travis Sawchik: It allows the Yankees to feel less like they have to sign him but Machado is an elite dual talent at 3B. We’re not sure if Andujar will be that

12:59
Travis Sawchik: Plus, it can also turn Andujar into a massive trade chip

1:00
Travis Sawchik: Yankees have Good Problems

1:00
Jim: Every once in a while, someone asks the hypothetical: Would you rather have a Braves *like* run with no WS, or one fluke championship surrounded by mediocrity? I absolutely used to be in the former camp, but currently living through such a streak I have completely flipped, suffering devastating losses every post season is far worse than being able to check out in mid August.

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Interesting. I think the problem with Royals-ing is you just lose too much interest over an extended period and some segment of fans phase baseball out of their lives

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Baseball attendance is down 2 million relative to a year ago because, in part, there’s no competitive drama in the AL .. or at least very little of it

1:02
Travis Sawchik: We, as a society, place too much value on tournament success relative to sustained success

1:03
Travis Sawchik: What the 1990s-early 2000s Braves did was much more remarkable than, say, the 2005 White Sox but they each have the same number of titles over the last two decades

1:03
Matt D: Andrew Heaney threw 54 innings TOTAL in 2016-2017.  Am I the only one with limited expectations for the 2nd half given he is at 104 IP now?  I promise I’m not Tom Verducci.

1:03
Travis Sawchik: I guess we should expect some second-half regression but I also think we have very little understanding of how to manage arms

1:03
Justin : Since the OF market is so putrid, can you see a scenario where the Indians upgrade their infield and move Kipnis back to the OF? Also in terms of trades, seems they’d match up well with Cincinnati on Schebler and any of their relief options.

1:04
Travis Sawchik: I’ve seen the Indians connected to Reds’ bullpen …. Kipnis did play some OF last year so there is a situation where that is possible

1:04
Travis Sawchik: The Indians can afford to experiment with Kipnis or Mejia or Yandy Diaz (.418 obp in Triple) because they have 99.999999% playoff odds

1:05
Travis Sawchik: But then how much of tomorrow do you give away for today for a team that’s going to almost certainly avoid the Wild Card game?

1:05
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: So what we are *actually* saying is that the Orioles could take a time machine back to having 2011 Manny Machado, and then deal him with present day Chris Davis to get a nothing return!

1:05
Travis Sawchik: That’s the price of the Chris Davis contract!

1:05
Sir Nerdlington: The imbalanced schedule is awful.  With the two wild card spots, it puts teams in a strong division at a disadvantage and, frankly, 19 games against anyone becomes really monotonous.  Will this be addressed in expansion?

1:06
Travis Sawchik: Agreed. The schedule is really something that should be addressed particularly with multiple wild cards involved now

1:06
Moonlight Graham: Has Fangraphs considered hiring another resident sandwich expert (Eno)?  If not, are there any staff writers that seem capable of filling that void?

1:06
Travis Sawchik: We have not, but I can bring it up in the next staff meeting!

1:07
Ben T: Who wins the NL East this year? Are we at a point where the Nats are clear underdogs to ATL/PHI?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: We have the Nats with 47.1% odds of winning the division but still as the favorites. I think we are underselling the Braves and Phillies a bit

1:08
Lee: Does Dave Dombrowski not get enough credit as an elite talent evaluator?   He’s made quite a few trades in the last few years and although he’s traded some extremely highly ranked prospects, he seems to have a real knack for trading the right ones at the right time (Moncada, Margot, Espinoza).

1:09
Travis Sawchik: The jury is out on the prospects, but remains true that prospects are higher risk assets. Perhaps Dombrowksi actually wisely zigged when the rest of baseball zagged (hoarding prospects and surplus value)

1:09
Chipper: You’d rather have the Braves-like run, even without the WS champtionship. That was 14 years of exciting baseball. That counts for a ton.

1:09
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, I think so

1:09
mike sixel: While I generally agree on the sustained success being better, it is very frustrating to watch a team like the Twins last decade NEVER go for the win, and always play for the sustained future. Mauer and Morneau and Santana and Liriano, and one playoff series win…..

1:09
Travis Sawchik: There are times win going for it make sense, when the window is going to close

1:10
Travis Sawchik: OK folks, thanks for the great questions

1:10
Travis Sawchik: It was good to be back after a two-week absence

1:10
Travis Sawchik: Until next time, be good and do good

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A Cleveland native, FanGraphs writer Travis Sawchik is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Big Data Baseball. He also contributes to The Athletic Cleveland, and has written for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Travis_Sawchik.

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2 Comments on "Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat"

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bosoxforlife
Member
Member
bosoxforlife

World Series titles are nice but I will take 180 days of high quality contending baseball over a long period of years every time. As dedicated a Red Sox fan as I am, the TV and radio still seemed to not be tuned to NESN and WTIC as often as the 2014 and 2015 seasons progressed. There have been only a few short stretches since 1967 that the Red Sox haven’t been competitive and the Nation has grown accordingly.

stever20
Member
Member
stever20

You can say that now due to winning at least 1 title. If you haven’t won a title, the thinking is a lot different…. Speaking as a Washington fan- right now there is a pretty big difference for the Caps since they won their stanley cup. Nationals are going to lose traction in this city if they keep on not winning in the playoffs.