August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat – 10/27/15

11:46
August Fagerstrom: hi, all. let’s have ourselves a little chat about baseball and life. i’ll be back at around noon to begin taking your questions

12:05
August Fagerstrom: hello! let’s begin

12:05
Comment From Eminor3rd
August what is life anyways

12:06
August Fagerstrom: a series of mistakes, from which you can either learn, or not learn. the good ones do the former.

12:07
Comment From Zonk
Jorge Soler for Carlos Carrasco. Who hangs up?

12:07
August Fagerstrom: nobody hangs up, but the Indians stay on the line to see what else the Cubs are willing to give up

12:07
Comment From Aaron
If Jon Daniels called, what advice/recommendations would you give him about the Rangers’ coming off-season?

12:08
August Fagerstrom: well the first piece of advice I would give him is to not call internet baseball bloggers seeking advice on how to run a team. if he persisted, I’d probably tell him to get another competent starting pitcher, and not do the Shin-Shoo Choo thing again

12:09
Comment From Q-Ball
Do most mid-tier FA pitcher signings fail? It seems the success rate is poor. Garza, Nolasco, Santana, Edwin Jackson, Porcello, Shields, Arroyo, etc…

12:09
August Fagerstrom: i’d wager you could find a number of examples that went the other way, too, and the higher the contract, the bigger the risk. also, Shields is in a higher tier than that bunch

12:10
Comment From lunch
do you think copolella know what he’s doing? do you have any idea how to spell coppolella? i’m gonna take three shots at coppollela and hope one of them is right.

12:11
August Fagerstrom: he’s got a way better idea of what he’s doing than i have in how to spell his name. he hired Kiley, and that seems like a good choice. anyway, it’s far too early to begin evaluating him as a GM. give it a few years

12:11
August Fagerstrom: (it’s Coppolella)

12:11
Comment From Q-Ball
The worst front office in baseball is ___________. And why?

12:12
August Fagerstrom: the easy answer here is the Phillies, but their front office now is different from the one that made all the bad decisions! there’s so many moving parts in a front office, it’s so hard to say. maybe the Marlins? because Loria?

12:12
Comment From Red Baron
Of all the playoff teams, which team or teams do you think are very likely to be back in the playoffs again? What team or teams do you think are least likely to return?

12:13
August Fagerstrom: it’s tough to envision the Dodgers, Cardinals or Cubs not being back again next year.

12:13
August Fagerstrom: the American League seems pretty wide open. i wouldn’t be totally surprised by any of this year’s AL playoff teams missing out next year

12:14
Comment From Zonk
Who do you see as the big financial players this offseason? What teams appear to be re-trenching in terms of payroll?

12:15
August Fagerstrom: you can always count on the Dodgers being an offseason threat, especially if they lose Greinke. the Tigers seem like a decent bet to re-tool, as Ilitch isn’t likely to go down that easy. the Astros and Rangers are close enough where they both seem like they should go out and make an impact addition, too

12:15
Comment From Jadakiss
Why does Yost not get more flack for starting Rios v righties over Dyson? Also, how do you justify not including Gomes on the roster but instead having Raul Mondesi?

12:17
August Fagerstrom: the Gomes thing is actually pretty interesting, as it seems to make a lot of sense, on the surface, to have him on the roster. his only real value, though, comes as a pinch-hitter, and the Royals lineup is one that doesn’t lend itself to any pinch-hitting scenarios. Gomes isn’t ever pinch-hitting for any of the lefties, so why not carry a guy with value in the field and on the bases instead?

12:17
Comment From Zonk
Who would you rather have, long term: Kris Bryant, or Carlos Correa?

12:17
August Fagerstrom: Bryant, I suppose, but really I’d just be glad to have one of them.

12:17
Comment From JZ
Are you from Ohio? Where do you live now?

12:17
August Fagerstrom: i live in Kent, though that’s soon to be downtown Cleveland

12:18
Comment From Joe
Hypothetically, if large bird were to swoop in and grab a ball from the outfield and carry it over the fence, is that a ground rule double?

12:18
August Fagerstrom: i love these sorts of questions

12:19
August Fagerstrom: i’d wager it’s either that, or runners just get the base to which they were already advancing

12:19
August Fagerstrom: i mean, if the runner had already rounded second and was heading to third, would be tough to make him go back to second because of the bird

12:19
August Fagerstrom: think that gets laid out in the ground rules before the game?

12:20
Comment From Will
Rank em: Conforto, Bird, Judge

12:20
August Fagerstrom: Judge, Conforto, Bird

12:21
Comment From Norrin Radd
Please tell me you were at this game on October 1st and witnessed the origin of this magnificent paper airplane.

12:21
August Fagerstrom: i was at all the games, and I did indeed witness it. it had quite the flight.

12:21
Comment From Bork
Life is laying in bed at 1 am regretting something embarrassing you did when you were 12.

12:21
Comment From Dodger Fan
Volquez is throwing a perfect game tonight. Book it.

12:21
Comment From Cheese Head Fred
The near-term outlook looks very bleak for my Brewers in a brutal NL Central. If you are Stearns, do you blow it up like the Astros and Cubbies did?

12:22
August Fagerstrom: i don’t think a rebuild ever necessarily -needs- to be as drastic as what the Astros did, but yeah, the Brewers and the Reds are in a pretty tough situation. i don’t really think they have any other options

12:22
Comment From Sean P
Think that the Cubs-Indians could match-up for a trade this winter? Perhaps Soler and prospects for Carrasco or Salazar? As a Cubs fan, I’d be interested in your opinion of a fair value for either pitcher and if you think it is worth it for the Cubs.

12:24
August Fagerstrom: if the Indians trade one of Carrasco or Salazar, either the Cubs or the Dodgers seem to make the most sense, with Soler or Puig being the main piece coming back. with Puig, the Indians likely wouldn’t require much more. with Soler, it would probably take legitimate prospect to get it done, i’d imagine

12:24
Comment From Tom
Do most third base FA signings fail? Pablo Sandoval, Chase Headley, Casey McGehee.. seems like a bad success rate……..

12:24
August Fagerstrom: right. you can always probably point to a few recent examples and make a similar blanket statement

12:25
Comment From Brook Jacobys last HR
Can you talk the FG’s brass into including wOBA-against among the full season pitching stats? It’s available as a split, but not otherwise, which seems kind of weird. Yeah, I know I could just calculate a weighted average…

12:25
August Fagerstrom: i can bring it up

12:25
Comment From Robert
Do you think Mookie Betts for one of the Indians good pitchers is a structure that makes sense?

12:25
August Fagerstrom: the Red Sox aren’t going to trade Mookie Betts

12:26
Comment From Red Fanboy
I feel the Reds could really make hay if they committed to a rebuild; while I don’t think we can contend in 2016, I feel like we have really nice pieces for somebody….Frazier, Chapman, Bruce, we probably could even unload Brandon Phillips. We’d get lots of prospects and re-load for 2018. Thoughts?

12:27
August Fagerstrom: trading Frazier and Chapman seem like the obvious rebuild moves the Reds should be making. not sure what Bruce’s value looks like right now, relative to his potential upside, so i might hang onto him. Phillips’ return seems like it would be negligible

12:27
Comment From Bork
The Jays will be a big financial player this offseason right? RIGHT????

12:28
August Fagerstrom: depends on what happens with Price, obviously. if he’s gone, they’ll look to fill that void, for sure. they don’t need to do much else around that

12:29
Comment From Gary
Who’s the biggest off season bargain (I’m assuming we all think Cespedes will be the worst). Desmond?

12:30
August Fagerstrom: Desmond seems like a decent bet for good value. i’m real interested to see what Chris Davis gets. if his relatively short track record and last year’s inconsistencies keep his price tag down, i think he could potentially be a bargain

12:30
Comment From johnny5alive
august, shoot straight with me… the mets, winning this thing?

12:30
August Fagerstrom: i lean towards the Royals, though i’m not exactly sure why.

12:30
August Fagerstrom: i can’t see a sizable advantage, overall, either way. it’s going to be a fun series.

12:31
Comment From Batch
Lindor vs. Correa—who’s better in the long run?

12:31
August Fagerstrom: if I were starting a team today and had my pick, I’d take Correa

12:31
Comment From Mark
Hearing that mets will listen in for offers on their big trio. Does boston have a shot at any of them and who would it take?

12:32
August Fagerstrom: Boston’s had a pretty deep system for years, so I’d guess they have the parts to get a big deal done — and they need to do something — but I’m not able to name names off the top of my head. Harvey seems like he could be moved, if the Mets got the right offer. I don’t think deGrom or Syndergaard are going anywhere anytime soon.

12:32
Comment From Tom
The Royals line-up doesn’t lend itself to pinch-hitting, but they do have two games(at least) without a DH so it would make some sense to roster Gomes.

12:33
August Fagerstrom: this is a fair point.

12:33
August Fagerstrom: then again, in those non-DH games, you’ve also got Morales as your first pinch-hitter

12:34
Comment From Tom
Cardinals keep talking about upping their payroll. They have a new TV deal on the horizon. Do you think this is the year they go fishing in the free agent waters? Sign Heyward and another pitcher, like Price?

12:35
August Fagerstrom: I’m sure they’ll make an effort to keep Heyward in town, but if they do that, they’re not going to have room to make another splash the size of Price, unless they go absolutely crazy, which seems unlikely. that rotation, if healthy, doesn’t need much help. this year’s roster in general, if healthy, doesn’t need much help. keeping Heyward around would be more than enough to keep them a serious contender

12:35
Comment From The+Dude
Is Terry Collins a good strategic manager?

12:35
August Fagerstrom: the more important thing is not being a *bad* strategic manager, and I haven’t seen Collins do anything too egregious

12:35
Comment From Bork
So hypothetically Papelbon was right when he told Harper to run it out. I mean, what if a giant bird got the ball??

12:36
Comment From Optimetstic
Sizable advantage: Mets SP vs. Royals SP

12:36
August Fagerstrom: right, of course there are individual sizable advantages. i was talking about as a whole, the rosters seem pretty equal.

12:37
Comment From Neil
Re: mondesi vs gomes- there is a possibility Zobrist may miss a game (or two), as his wife is expecting – so the Royals were working out Cuthbert and Mondesi for the Gore position to back him up (in addition to Colon).

12:37
Comment From MSW
I’m not sure I see the Mets willing to trade Harvey any time soon. Giving him the game 1 start is a pretty big vote of confidence, and they don’t yet seem willing to take on the high salary necessary to replace Harvey’s very affordable production. In a couple of years, especially if Matz and Wheeler fully develop, it might be another story.

12:38
August Fagerstrom: I don’t think they should be in any rush to trade Harvey, but, like the Indians with Carrasco/Salazar, they’re in a position where it certainly wouldn’t hurt to listen. if you can pull off a steal of a trade, you do it, and you still have two frontline starters

12:38
Comment From Jake Arrieta
Do I win the NL CY Young award?

12:39
August Fagerstrom: I think voters are going to have a hard time getting past Greinke’s ERA.

12:39
August Fagerstrom: Not necessarily implying that’s a bad thing. Greinke deserves the Cy. It’s just that Kershaw and Arrieta deserve it, too.

12:39
Comment From Cubdom
who has a better year Drew Smyly, or Matt Moore in2016

12:39
August Fagerstrom: Smyly. I never thought Matt Moore was going to have a good career, and I certainly don’t now

12:39
Comment From zurzles
what do you think the odds are between lindor and correa for ROY? correa a shoo-in or are the voters getting a little more advanced?

12:40
August Fagerstrom: I’m absolutely shocked by how lopsided the SportingNews vote was in favor of Correa. I think Lindor deserves it, and toward the end of the year I was pretty confident he’d picked up enough national attention that he had the leg up, but now I’m not so sure. though maybe I shouldn’t put too much stock in SportingNews award results

12:41
Comment From Milton
So syndergaard/harvey/degrom all seem like bona fide ace,s no? What are wheeler and matz? 2s? 3s?

12:42
August Fagerstrom: yeah, deGrom’s an ace already, Harvey’s shown he can be, and Syndergaard might have the highest ceiling of the three. Wheeler looked like a No. 2-type guy before he got hurt, so I’d give him a year of leeway before you expect him to return to that status. at that point, as long as Matz pitches every five days, anything else is just a bonus.

12:42
Comment From jtt
You get hired as GM of a team that reeeeeallly needs to get blown up (Mariners, reds, tigers) but ownership insists that you go for it. I mean you want to keep the job as long as possible but you’re setting yourself up for failure, what do you do?

12:42
August Fagerstrom: try to compromise

12:43
Comment From The+Dude
August, I’m upset you didn’t go into a rant about African swallows, a la Monty Python.

12:43
August Fagerstrom: this was certainly a missed opportunity, yes. especially considering this is among my all-time favorite movies.

12:43
August Fagerstrom: suppose they’d carry the ball with a strand of creeper.

12:44
Comment From Cory S.
Red Sox would be all over a Carrasco trade, right? They have the system and are still in a win-now mode.

12:44
August Fagerstrom: yeah, Boston seems like a possible fit, but the Dodgers and Cubs still stand out as the favorites, to me

12:45
August Fagerstrom: I really doubt the Indians actually trade one of those guys, anyway. they’d have to be absolutely blown away by an offer, likely one with both immediate talent and future talent. Dodgers and Cubs seem most likely to be able to provide both.

12:45
Comment From Tom
As a counterpoint to the “mid-market arms are bad investments” point just look at this year. Jason Hammel was solid for the cubs and Francisco Liriano might have been the best value pitching signing of the off-season.

12:45
Comment From MSW
re: Collins being a good or bad strategic manager, one thing he has shown all season is an increased willingness to listen to and trust what the front office tells him to do. That’s seemingly played out in his in-game decision making.

12:46
August Fagerstrom: hasn’t made any egregious bullpen moves in the postseason, either, and those are probably the biggest game-decisions a manager makes. then again, I suppose it’s not too tough to just go Starter -> Familia every game.

12:46
Comment From Bork
Will Chris Davis be the most regrettable signing this off-season in terms of contract length/cost?

12:46
August Fagerstrom: I actually mentioned him earlier as a potential bargain buy, if his track record/2014 keeps the price down.

12:47
Comment From Zonk
Good stadium, big TV deal, good farm system, not much dead payroll left, and appropriately low initial expectations. I think the Phillies New GM has the best GM job in baseball. Agree?

12:48
August Fagerstrom: not sure I’d go that far, but it’s better to start with nothing than where they were a couple years ago, and it seems like they got pretty good value on their trades this year.

12:48
Comment From EC
Could Heyward hulk out one year and hit 30?

12:48
August Fagerstrom: easily

12:48
Comment From Zonk
Why exactly does everyone think Yoenis Cespedes will be a bad FA signing? Everyone lists him as “most likely to be a disaster”. Why?

12:49
August Fagerstrom: I could see it. He was barely a league-average hitter the two years before this one, and his late-season hot streak could potentially drive up the price a bit more than it needs to be.

12:50
Comment From Wrigley-In-The-30s
Please rank these young cubs by projected lifetime value: Schwarber, Soler, Bryant, Russell, Baez. How many (if any) total combined MVPs in there?

12:50
August Fagerstrom: Bryant, Russell -gap- Soler, Schwarber -gap- Baez. MVP’s are really hard to win, so I’ll set the O/U at 0.5

12:51
Comment From Bork
Mariners GM has to be the worst job currently, no? You’ve got little to work with financially and a farm system devastated by years of being terribly run.

12:51
August Fagerstrom: Angels GM is a really tough spot to be.

12:52
Comment From Milton
What kind of player can/will wilmer flores be?

12:52
August Fagerstrom: a second baseman who could maybe hit 20 home runs and not do much else

12:53
Comment From Loria
Rank the top 5 closers for the next 3-5 years

12:53
August Fagerstrom: 1. Chapman
2-5. random

12:53
August Fagerstrom: probably Kimbrel and Familia and Davis in there, but 3-5 years is a long time for closers. maybe “1-5. random” would be a better answer

12:54
Comment From Splits
Is there any way to split team pitching stats on the website by who was catching?

12:54
August Fagerstrom: not that I know. you can do this on an individual basis at baseball-reference. not sure about teams

12:55
Comment From Rob
What pieces would it take for the White Sox to get Marcel Ozuna and also possibly Prado? Montas plus what?

12:55
August Fagerstrom: I don’t think either of those guys would command too much in the trade market. Ozuna is young and raw, but the Marlins seem to have really soured on him. My gut tells me someone trades for him in the offseason and it ends up being viewed as a steal

12:55
Comment From Cubdom
SD needs to move payroll $$ right? J.Shields gone ?how much would they have to kick in ?

12:56
August Fagerstrom: Yeah, the team as currently constructed does not seem to be set up for success. I can’t believe they didn’t trade Justin Upton at the deadline. Shields will be tough to move

12:56
Comment From Ben
If the M’s come up short in 2016 are they looking at blowing it up? I guess Cruz and Seager are the obvious moves? Cano would be difficult to move, and Felix probably harder since he has 10-5 now.

12:57
August Fagerstrom: not sure blowing it up would be the right play. on-the-fly re-tooling around Felix and Cano seems like the better idea

12:57
Comment From I am the Walrus
Heyward last 2 yrs has a Slg% under .420 and averaged 12 hr’s and 21 SB’s. I get it that he’s 26 with a good OB but not great. But $180-200M for that offense and RF defense that’s likely to decline seems real steep to me.

12:59
August Fagerstrom: he’s got the seventh-highest WAR in baseball since 2012, and that includes missing 1/3 of a season mostly because he got his appendix taken out. not to mention he hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential offensive ceiling

12:59
August Fagerstrom: sky is the limit for Heyward, and he’s already a great player.

12:59
August Fagerstrom: when he gets $200M+, in the offseason, he’ll probably deserve it

12:59
Comment From FireDrayton
A perfect offseason for the Astros includes…

1:00
August Fagerstrom: adding another good pitcher to slot between Keuchel and McHugh/McCullers and maybe swapping a bit of power for a bit of something else in the lineup.

1:00
Comment From Eric Blair
Does the Donaldson trade offset what was given up in the Dickey trade by AA?

1:01
August Fagerstrom: I’m not sure moves should be evaluated this way, but they’re probably similarly lopsided deals, yes, though I think the Dickey trade might even be more so

1:02
Comment From LGM
Matz or Severino? Syndergaard or Jose Fernandez? D’arnaud or lucroy?

1:02
August Fagerstrom: Severino, Fernandez, d’Arnaud

1:02
Comment From nolan
yanks call up padres with this offer – brett gardner for kimbrel – who hangs up?

1:02
August Fagerstrom: the Yankees do not make that phone call.

1:04
Comment From London Tribe
Any chance we see Zimmer in Cleveland this year? Seems like the Tribe could use an outfield bat very badly, but giving up any of those starters would really hurt.

1:04
August Fagerstrom: it’s possible that he’s a June/July callup, but I doubt it. Lindor was already in AAA at this time last year, Zimmer has barely played AA.

1:05
August Fagerstrom: alright, that’ll be doing it for me here today. I need to put some food in my stomach. thank you to everyone who participated today, and my apologies to those questions I didn’t get around to. I’ll get ya next time. adios!

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August used to cover the Indians for MLB and ohio.com, but now he's here and thinks writing these in the third person is weird. So you can reach me on Twitter @AugustFG_ or e-mail at august.fagerstrom@fangraphs.com.

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cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000

I’m really surprised at all of the talk of Harvey being moved. I know the Mets are stacked with arms and they’re not the most stable asset. But two years ago he was the righthanded Kershaw statistically, and he’s come back to have the best first season back ever from TJ. Yeah, there was some drama, but he was an ace this year. Why are people so nonchalant about trading him.

Costanza
Guest
Costanza

control & cost. people arent “nonchalant”, but they do think he’s the most likely to be traded of their 3 big arms. Do you think they’re more likely to move deGrom or Thor?