August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat – 12/8/15

11:37
august fagerstrom: coming to you guys live from FanGraphs house in Nashville! start filling up that queue and we’ll get started in ~20 minutes

11:58
august fagerstrom: alright, let’s do this!

11:58
Crazy Buck Martinez: Please give me some good reasons not to be terrified of the Red Sox next year.

11:59
august fagerstrom: incredible bullpen, ace starter, Mookie Betts + Xander Bogaerts, and Hanley and Sandoval can’t possibly be worse

11:59
august fagerstrom: if I were a Red Sox fan, I’d be feeling pretty good about this year

12:00
Matt: If the White Sox were to sign Upton or Cespedes and trade for Frazier, would that make this legit contenders? Or would it be smarter for them to hold onto their top prospects and go after someone who would cost as much as Frazier (Lawrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, etc.)?

12:01
august fagerstrom: is there any indication the White Sox are in on any of those guys?

12:01
august fagerstrom: they just have way too many holes to be considered a contender

12:01
JW: Your thoughts on Steamer’s relatively pessimistic view of JD Martinez next year…

12:02
august fagerstrom: guys like Martinez are tough, because he was bad for nearly as long as he’s been great, and Steamer can’t know about his swing changes, so it’s got little reason to believe in the last 2 years moreso than the first 3, beyond that they’re more recent. so it throws its hands up and assumes league average.

12:02
august fagerstrom: career average*

12:02
august fagerstrom: given what we know about Martinez’s transformation though, it’s safe to take the over on that

12:03
Spencer00: How much does it cost the Nats to extend Bryce??

12:03
august fagerstrom: not worth thinking about because Scott Boras isn

12:03
august fagerstrom: …isn’t letting that happen

12:04
Cory S.: Best bullpen rebuild so far? Red Sox, A’s, Nats, or other?

12:04
august fagerstrom: well the A’s just went from “the worst” to “probably average or better”

12:05
august fagerstrom: the Red Sox might have the best bullpen in baseball, so I’ll say them

12:05
august fagerstrom: the Nats aren’t done yet. Kelley and Perez are fine additions but we need to wait until they deal Storen and/or Papelbon before we evaluate

12:05
Kyle: Thoughts on the Gyorko?Jay trade?

12:05
august fagerstrom: kinda weird but with the reported money involved it makes more sense

12:06
august fagerstrom: Gyorko’s kind of a weird fit in STL but depth is important and he could probably help Wong’s productivity by giving him some time off vs. LHP

12:06
Kyle: Has there been any release of the potential prospects the reds get for chapman?

12:07
august fagerstrom: deal appears to be on hold now after last night

12:07
august fagerstrom: last night’s allegations*. I’d imagine if anything even gets done at all it’s a Matt Kemp situation where it takes a couple weeks

12:08
Dan: As a Cubs fan should I want to keep Soler, Baez, or both? I’m enamored with Soler.

12:08
august fagerstrom: I’d want to keep Soler, wouldn’t mind moving Baez

12:08
august fagerstrom: all depends on the return though. I don’t think the Cubs need another top of the rotation starter as much as the FO seems to think they do

12:09
Jackson: Where do the Red Sox turn next after the Wade Miley deal? Can they feel confident with Joe Kelly in the rotation?

12:09
august fagerstrom: he’s not going to kill you as a 5th starter, and maybe you think there’s still some upside there. and it might not have to be Joe Kelly. Elias or Owens or Johnson are in the mix too

12:10
Doctor Doom: Given the market for starting pitching this offseason, what kind of return should Cleveland fans expect when they (inevitably) trade one of their young cost controlled arms? Any teams match up particularly well?

12:10
august fagerstrom: I don’t think it’s inevitable, in fact I think it’s unlikely, but I wrote about this last week wrt to Carrasco

12:10
The Dude: I thought that this years crop of FAs would be the one of the deepest we’d see in years. Then I realized that in 2018-2019 offseason, Harvey, Machado, Harper, Donaldson, Mccutchen, Fernandez. Hosmer and Davis will all be FAs (assuming no extensions). So will Kershaw and Price if they opt out of their contracts.

12:11
august fagerstrom: and then Trout the next year, right? or maybe it’s 2020

12:11
august fagerstrom: yeah stove will never stop burning

12:11
Alex: What’s going to happen with Alex Guerrero this year?

12:12
august fagerstrom: probably something similar as this year? he has that weird contract where he can’t be optioned without his permission and can also elect free agency at year’s end if he’s traded, so his contract kind of keeps him on the roster

12:13
august fagerstrom: and last year’s stat line looks about right. power, no discipline, kinda always out of position

12:13
august fagerstrom: he’s an odd case

12:13
Kevin: Most random person that you have encounteted at the meetings thus far?

12:13
august fagerstrom: I actually didn’t make it down to the Opryland yesterday. we’ve rented a house a mile or so away and Jeff and I ended up writing at the house for most of the day before dinner. Planning on heading down today though

12:14
The Dude: Alright, time to address the elephant in the room: Thoughts on Shawn Kelly signing with Nationals?

12:14
august fagerstrom: it’s something

12:14
august fagerstrom: the Nats needed to do something with their bullpen, they’ve done a couple somethings and will do a couple more somethings

12:15
august fagerstrom: not sure how much there is to say, really. Kelley was really good last year and less good in previous years, and he’s 32

12:15
Marc H.: With the Kimbrel and Carson Smith trades, some are comparing the potential 2016 Red Sox bullpen to the Royals bullpen of the last few years. But that seems to count on a reliable Koji Uehara. What can fans reasonably expect from a 41 year old who missed a significant chunk of last season?

12:16
august fagerstrom: thing about the Red Sox pen is even if Uehara misses time, you’ve still got Smith in the 8th and Tazawa in the 7th leading into Kimbrel and that still stacks up with about any team in baseball

12:16
august fagerstrom: and Uehara’s suffered no performance decline, either

12:16
Doctor Doom: Ozuna or Bauer. Who hangs up first?

12:16
august fagerstrom: i think Indians, but I might be in the minority on that

12:17
Erich: Of the three NL Central beasts, whose “contention window” closes first, allowing one of the two bottom teams a path back up? Do the Cubs succumb to a curse-like run of regression and implode upon making hasty panic moves, do the Pirates simply wind up having to dismantle an aging and expensive core after a good run, or does the Cardinals devil magic well finally run dry?

12:17
august fagerstrom: Cubs will be good for the longest, I’d bet

12:17
august fagerstrom: my gut tells me Cardinals but it’s just hard to consider that window ever closing

12:18
The Dude: I understand why people are critical of the Smith/Miley trade for the Mariners. However, seeing as Steamer projects Smith to be worth .9 WAR (which makes sense,seeing as Smith had better rate statistics in MLB than in the Minors) doesn’t this trade make a lot of sense for the Mariners? Trading a highly volatile, unproven commodity for an average SP?

12:18
august fagerstrom: I don’t see it that way. kind of a head-scratcher from Seattle’s side, imo

12:19
august fagerstrom: also, Smith’s numbers were incredible in the minors too

12:19
Lawrence: Joey Butler. Starting OF, platoon guy, or 4th OF? Did very well at AAA and for TB, and finished the season with a 3-4 2HR 6RBI game.

12:19
august fagerstrom: he’s a AAAA player who had a fluky first half

12:19
august fagerstrom: Indians likely aren’t expecting much

12:19
The Dude: Carson Cistulli just indicated on Twitter that you two are shairing a hotel apartment. You have my deepest condolences.

12:20
august fagerstrom: house, actually! whole FanGraphs full-time staff (minus Farnsworth) is here

12:20
august fagerstrom: and Cistulli is a pleasure

12:20
Lawrence: If the Mets sign Zobrist to play 2B, is Dilson Herrera a trade candidate or does he become the flexible utility guy?

12:20
august fagerstrom: utility guy

12:20
The Dude: The biggest surprise of the offseason so far is_____?

12:21
august fagerstrom: the entire Chapman saga has been pretty strange

12:22
Tommy Lasordid: Best guess on where Cueto lands? Dollars/years?

12:22
august fagerstrom: I guess Giants?

12:22
august fagerstrom: for 6/140 or something?

12:22
Erich: What does the beer selection look like in the FanGraphs house fridge?

12:22
august fagerstrom: Eno is here. it’s good

12:23
Kyle: What would be the odds of Jose Fernandez traded? Price is so high isnt it?

12:23
august fagerstrom: i think it’s less high than a lot of people think. Cameron is writing about this as we speak

12:23
The Dude: When do you think that the FA bats will begin to sign?

12:23
august fagerstrom: when Ben Zobrist does

12:23
Scott: Hey August, any chance we can get a FG meetup over the next couple of days while you guys are in Nashville?

12:23
august fagerstrom: that’s a possibility. i can talk to Dave about maybe setting something up

12:23
Kyle: Who are the main suitors for Chris Davis?

12:24
august fagerstrom: i’ve thought the Astros made sense for a while. Blue Jays could be a possibility, or maybe the Cardinals

12:25
august fagerstrom: things are still so foggy on hitters with Zobrist holding things up. should start to become more clear in the next 48 hours or so

12:25
The Dude: Does Tyler Flowers make sense as backup catcher for NYY?

12:25
august fagerstrom: sure. good framer, right-handed, not much bat

12:26
Slew (Seattle): If the Indians aren’t willing to spend when they have a solid core and the marginal difference of a few wins could make a huge difference in the outcome of the season, should we concede that spending is never going to happen in Cleveland? With this in mind, should the team be moved/sold?

12:26
august fagerstrom: yeah, this offseason to me makes it pretty clear that the payroll will not budge under any circumstance

12:26
The Dude: Who else is at the Winter Meetings?

12:27
august fagerstrom: at the house, it’s myself, Eno, Appelman, Cameron, Sullivan, Cistulli, Swydan and Laurila

12:27
august fagerstrom: at the hotel, it’s literally everyone else in baseball

12:27
I am the Walrus: Best low bargain SS option…Rollins or A.Ramirez? Both only 1 yr removed from 3+ WAR.

12:27
august fagerstrom: i’d prefer Ramirez

12:28
Cards Fan: Who is the favorite in the AL East?

12:28
august fagerstrom: i like the Red Sox

12:28
Nelson: Please tell me the Indians dont start the year with a Chisenhall, Sands, Almonte outfield. Please?

12:28
august fagerstrom: they’ll get someone, but 2/3 seems like a possibility

12:29
Nelson: Anyone sharing rooms or beds in Nashville?

12:29
august fagerstrom: Eno and I are sleeping on adjacent futons, and I think Cistulli and Swydan are doing something similar downstairs

12:29
Kyle: Who would you compare Maeda to?

12:29
august fagerstrom: Eno did this post!

12:30
The Dude: Is Lorenzo Cain due for some regression from his 6.6 WAR 2015?

12:30
august fagerstrom: i mean, yeah, you can’t ever really expect 6+ WAR from a guy unless that guy is Trout or Harper, but Cain is really good

12:31
august fagerstrom: he’s a 4 win player, probably, and sometimes 4-win players have 6-win seasons

12:31
JW: Your thoughts on Trayce Thompson next year and moving forward…

12:31
august fagerstrom: good defensive outfielder, fast, can play all 3 spots but probably shouldn’t be a starter on a good team

12:31
Colo: Is there an updated $/WAR yet?

12:31
august fagerstrom: think ~8 is the general assumption. nothing official from this offseason yet, though

12:32
Scott: What do FanGraphs writers do in Nashville at these winter meetings? Are you all collecting scoops too, schmoozing with the front office baseball community or what?

12:33
august fagerstrom: Laurila is constantly at the Opryland, Cameron did a panel yesterday and is making an MLB Network appearance today. Eno got some quotes yesterday and I probably should today. we’re not much in the way of scoop-getting, though. more of a social event scheduled around work than anything else

12:34
Colin: Do you think the Steamer projections used in the contract calculator take the possibility of long-term injuries in account enough? For example, the likelihood Greinke needs TJS at some point during his contract

12:34
august fagerstrom: well, aging curves kind of help with that. but, yeah, you could probably mentally knock pitchers down a peg or two given their volatility

12:34
The Dude: Well Chapman freely admitted to firing a gun eight times, including one shot that went into a field, so at the very least, he’s admitted to a variety of crimes even if he doesn’t get charged with domestic abuse.

12:34
august fagerstrom: it’s not a good situation for anyone involved

12:34
Norrin Radd: Compare the comments sections on your MLB.com and FanGraphs articles.

12:34
august fagerstrom: FG x1000000000

12:35
Derek: It seems like teams are starting to pay for bullpen depth now. Have FO’s seen something that changes the thoughts that bullpens can be bought on the cheap?

12:35
august fagerstrom: teams have been paying for relievers for a while

12:35
Johnny5Alive: you seem to like the A’s Madson deal, while I think most think it wasnt a good sign and not a very A’s thing to do. Just curious why you liked it

12:35
august fagerstrom: I like what the A’s have done with their bullpen in general more than the Madson deal, specifically

12:36
august fagerstrom: the third year is a bit surprising on Madson, but the money is the money and Madson is really good

12:36
august fagerstrom: I find myself generally ambivalent toward most deals. I can see pros and cons in most, and usually end up in the middle, unless it’s something totally egregious

12:37
Derek: What’s the point of Franco and Bryant filing a grievance with regards to their playing time? Does the CBA pretty much dictate teams can do what they want with their players? Is it just a way to get the conversation going on changing the rules for the next CBA negotiations?

12:37
august fagerstrom: yeah, that’s a principal thing

12:37
august fagerstrom: what the teams do isn’t good for the players, and if the players don’t do something, nothing will ever change

12:37
Doctor Doom: Do the diamondbacks wind up trading Pollock? Is he worth the huge return he’ll get?

12:37
august fagerstrom: he’s gonna be a Diamondback

12:38
The Joje: rockies signed Motte and Qualls. Worst to first, am I right?

12:38
august fagerstrom: Rockies gonna Rockie

12:38
nate: would the dbacks have been better getting iwakuma & lackey or spending the same money on grienke?

12:38
august fagerstrom: Greinke

12:38
Andrew: With Simmons now in the AL, do you expect a big year for d’Arnaud?

12:38
august fagerstrom: i didn’t realize it at first but about an hour after the trade happened i got so sad when i realized it meant the end of the Simmons-d’Arnaud rivalry 🙁

12:38
Scott: The Cardinals SBnation website, Viva El Birdos, has a hypothetical trade: Carlos Carrasco for Kolten Wong and pieces (potentially Siegrist and/or Matt Adams). 1) as someone who followed the Indians, your thoughts? 2) does today’s trade for Gyorko make that more likely?

12:39
august fagerstrom: no, that’s way low

12:39
august fagerstrom: also, why would the Indians want Kolten Wong?

12:40
JW: Which roster do you think has the most depth in the AL right now?

12:40
august fagerstrom: off the top of my head – Red Sox?

12:40
Nelson: What sort of line do you see for Max Kepler this year?

12:40
august fagerstrom: a little better than his projection, probably

12:41
Dan: Gregory Polanco will have a 20/20 season in 2016. T or F?

12:41
august fagerstrom: not out of the realm of possibility, but we need to see more power before we can start thinking about 20 HRs as a legitimate threat

12:41
The Joje: Rockies trade CarGo for pitching prospect(s). Move Blackmon to RF. Sign Austin Jackson to play CF. Sign RHH 1B to platoon with Paulsen. And look to move folks come July. Decent plan to continue slow crawl toward contention (eventually, I hope)?

12:41
august fagerstrom: who’s pitching?

12:42
Ernie Camacho: How many Indians games to plan on attending in person next season?

12:42
august fagerstrom: was at all 81 last year. won’t at as many as this year but I’m also moving downtown across the street from the stadium. 70+ i’d imagine

12:43
august fagerstrom: though since I won’t be covering the games, I won’t be staying for all of them. mostly will be at the stadium for pre-game player access

12:43
august fagerstrom: i guess it was actually just 80 last year, due to the Tigers game that didn’t get made up

12:43
Derek Carr: Who’s the A’s next FA target? Kazmir, Colon, Kim, or Maeda? Apparently, they’ve still got a chunk of change to spend.

12:43
august fagerstrom: sounds like Kazmir could be in the works

12:43
Jim: Would cole Calhoun get you Salazar or carrasco in a swap

12:44
august fagerstrom: not a 1-for-1 but he could be a center piece. don’t see what the Angels incentive is to move a position player when they’ve only got 4 good ones, though

12:44
Guest: Did the Dodgers already know about the domestic abuse thing with Chapman, then leak the trade to try and affect some other trade – for the Reds to then get angry – so the Dodgers leaked the abuse thing?

12:45
august fagerstrom: more likely that the Reds were just withholding the information and the Dodgers found out while doing background before completing the trade

12:45
Currywurst: Which Fangraphs writer gets the drunkest during the meetings?

12:45
august fagerstrom: everyone but Cameron does their fair share of drinking

12:46
Nelson: Back to same-old same-old for Wainwright this year?

12:46
august fagerstrom: i’d expect something more like his 2012

12:47
Jim: Why is the Dodgers front office always trying to be so analytical instead of just doing the obvious signing that helps them win a championship

12:47
august fagerstrom: “being analytical” helps win championships too…

12:47
Raindog: wRC+ and wOBA don’t include situational stuff like GIDP or SF right? So does WAR slightly undervalue fly-ball hitters, because they’re more likely to be successful in those situations? I.e., are flyball hitters getting some of their skill treated as clutch?

12:47
august fagerstrom: GIDP were recently added into WAR

12:49
Ernie Camacho: By WAR, which super rookie from the 2015 class is going to stumble most in 2016.

12:49
august fagerstrom: not sure what the super-rookie threshold is, but Matt Duffy isn’t a 5-win player and Odubel Herrera isn’t a 4-win player

12:49
Bocephus: Joe Nathan has been spotted at the winter meetings. Why is he there?

12:50
august fagerstrom: well he wants a job I’d imagine

12:50
Nelson: Favorite (existing) Ballpark youve been to?

12:50
august fagerstrom: Fenway, for baseball-y reasons. PNC is the nicest

12:50
august fagerstrom: I’ve been to something like 25 parks too

12:50
august fagerstrom: AT&T is great too, and Coors might have the best view

12:51
Isaac S: Convince me why I shouldn’t be upset that my Metsies are spending wayyyyy too much on an overpriced veteran AKA Zorilla

12:52
august fagerstrom: well the Mets haven’t signed him, Zobrist is a good player, and the Mets need more good players if they want to come close to replicating last year’s success

12:52
Isaac S: How much more do the Diamondbacks need to do to become the NL West favorites?

12:52
august fagerstrom: I don’t think there’s anything they can do to be considered the favorites over LAD

12:52
august fagerstrom: they’re already in the conversation, though, and that’s what matters

12:53
Isaac S: What kind of deal is Cueto looking at right now? 8/225 to the Dodgers? Or less?

12:53
august fagerstrom: way, way less

12:54
Isaac S: What do you think of Jorge Soler going into 2016?

12:54
august fagerstrom: better than last year, but he’s still very much a “potential” guy

12:54
Isaac S: Any chance Urias starts off 2016 in a major league rotation?

12:54
august fagerstrom: starts? no

12:54
NeftaliAndChill: GM strategy A: make roster moves to put your team in position to make post-season. GM strategy B: make roster moves to put your team in position to win World Series. Difference between strategy A and B (if any)?

12:54
august fagerstrom: don’t think there’s a big difference, no

12:54
august fagerstrom: teams do A and they call it B

12:55
Isaac S: Why do people say Wilmer Flores is extremely incapable of handling the SS position? I think he did a great job, and is only getting better.

12:55
august fagerstrom: scouts never thought he could stick

12:55
Doctor Doom: Do you think Trevor Bauer ever figures things out or is he doomed to be a marginal back end starter?

12:56
august fagerstrom: I don’t think he ever becomes the future ace people originally thought he’d be, but I think he can be more than a back-end guy

12:56
Dan: Tell us where Yo-Enis is signing!

12:56
august fagerstrom: Angels make sense

12:56
Dan: Which would you prefer: Mike Trout, but he has to catch, and he has to play every game, or Bryce Harper, but you only get to play 8 players?

12:57
august fagerstrom: Trout

12:57
I am the Walrus: With around $130M to spend (300 last yr and at 170 now) I keep thinking Heyward to LAD and trading Puig or keeping them both.

12:57
august fagerstrom: I dont think the Dodgers were comfortable at 300, and want to get that number down, but I do agree that trading Puig for pitching and signing Heyward makes sense for LAD

12:57
Guest: What kinda music are you into?

12:58
august fagerstrom: cliche to say but honestly, everything

12:58
august fagerstrom: listening to Aphex Twin while doing this chat. it was Talking Heads on the flight i

12:58
august fagerstrom: in*

12:58
august fagerstrom: hip-hop, metal, whatever. if it’s creative I’ll probably like it

12:58
Doctor Doom: True or False: Ozuna and Fernandez will BOTH be Marlins come opening day

12:58
august fagerstrom: false

12:58
Guest: thoughts on brady aiken?

12:59
august fagerstrom: could be a steal for Cleveland. if not, plenty of draft picks don’t work out

12:59
Nuke: Which of Tampa’s young controllable starters not named Archer has the most upside?

12:59
august fagerstrom: ughhhh I’ve always liked Cobb so much but TJ is scary

12:59
august fagerstrom: I like Smyly more than Odorizzi

1:00
Isaac S: Would it be possible to punish the Reds if they knew about the Domestic violence case, but pushed the trade on the Dodgers without telling them? Do they need to disclose that info?

1:00
august fagerstrom: we were talking about this over breakfast. I think so, yeah

1:00
august fagerstrom: doesn’t look good on the Reds

1:00
Snarfle: So, yeah, the Chapman thing. The Reds were talking about wanting to move him before the winter meetings. Now that sounds like they were trying to get him off their hands before this came out.

1:00
august fagerstrom: he was going to get traded anyway, but yeah

1:01
Christian: Does Dave look on in great disappointment while the rest of his staff slams a 24 pack?

1:01
august fagerstrom: he looked pretty disappointed in me driving us home from dinner last night as I struggled to give him clear and concise directions

1:01
Bruce: At what level do pitchers go from being the best hitters on their teams (little-league) to the worst (MLB)?

1:01
august fagerstrom: first off, I think about this all the time, so great question

1:02
august fagerstrom: it fascinates me that even, like, Jamey Carroll, was the best player any of his friends and family had ever seen growing up

1:02
august fagerstrom: sometime between AA and AAA, probably

1:02
Pirates Hurdles: How disappointing is it that we are not getting treated to anything like Preller-mania this year?

1:02
august fagerstrom: you’re getting Dipoto-mania on a smaller scale

1:03
Jim: Do you think mikes trout has had less success in stealing bases because he doesn’t take a big enough lead?

1:03
august fagerstrom: my understanding is that the team/Pujols doesn’t like Trout running in front of Pujols

1:03
august fagerstrom: also, could be Trout just focusing less on that part of his game

1:05
BeerManHere: Tell Eno to grab you guys some Sweetwater brews

1:05
august fagerstrom: Sweetwater is the bomb

1:05
august fagerstrom: love that 420





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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Josh
6 years ago

Feedback re: chat software issues:

The chat interface works fine. If there’s an issue, it’s with the interplay between the chat software and the video ad that’s trying to play on the right side of the page. Once the ad loads and starts playing, the chat gets laggy and freezes — sometimes requiring a Chrome reboot. I’m sure they’re generating a pretty penny for the site, but wonder if a static ad (at least on chat pages) would help things greatly.