Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 1/11/21

2:00

Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, welcome to another Monday baseball chat.

2:00

Ben Clemens: The offseason continues to slowly grind along, though I do like the Schwarber deal for both him and the Nats

2:00

Ben Clemens: And obviously, Francisco Lindor just got traded!

2:01

Ben Clemens: Let’s talk baseball, and also the roast chicken I made and carved last night, not that I’m bragging or anything

2:01

Craig: Can the Mets start the season ? I’m so pumped

2:01

Ben Clemens: As a former NY resident, I know plenty of Mets fans. “So pumped” is putting it mildly. We still don’t know how Cohen is going to do long-term as an owner but this is a pretty solid win to bank

2:02

Ben Clemens: This Mets team is gonna be a ton of fun. I already thought they were more fun than their record, and Lindor is just the best

2:02

Tacoby Bellsbury: If you were to create a relief pitcher of average overall talent for you to get the maximum possible enjoyment from watching them, what would you choose? A somewhat wild flamethrower? A screwball specialist barely scraping 90 mph? Someone with a Frisbee slider who struggles to get ahead in the count? A sidearmer with a wicked sinker and a delivery that looks like it hurts? The options are limitless.

2:02

Ben Clemens: What a wonderful question

2:03

Ben Clemens: I think I’d go for a knuckleballer

2:03

Ben Clemens: But the screwball specialist works too

2:04

Ben Clemens: The idea of someone coming in and just being bizarre and not very good but also not very bad is just funny to me

2:04

Ben Clemens: Like late-career Chris Young

2:05

JJ: Padres about to sign Tatis Jr to a long term extension after acquiring Snell, Darvish, Kim this offseason. Great for baseball! What type of terms do you think they’ll reach?

2:05

gcat: what do you make of the rumored 300/11 year deal for tatis?  would that even be a wise decision for the padres, considering that (a) tatis is still under team control for many seasons and (b) we only have a sample size of 143 MLB games to go off?  like, what’s even the upside for the padres to be extending tatis so early?  why not a deal like acuna’s?

2:05

Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t put too much stock into the detail until they announce the exact details

2:05

Ben Clemens: I think they’ll end up with something that ends up compensating him at a level higher than Acuna, with team options on the back end

2:06

Guest: Other than possibly signing Molina & Wainwright, do you think the Cardinals will add anybody?  Maybe a backup catcher?  (That is what this offseason has done to me:  Backup Catcher!)

2:06

Ben Clemens: They already got Heineman!

2:06

Ben Clemens: I think that they will add another middling starter, but yeah: the Cards have been pretty transparent about the fact that they aren’t trying to improve this offseason, solely cut costs

2:07

John B: I keep reading that trading arenado is difficult because of the opt out.  In what world does he give up what he already has negotiated ?  His contract is miles underwater.

2:07

Ben Clemens: Yeah, I agree that that take is stale

2:07

Ben Clemens: It might have been true in late 2019

2:07

Ben Clemens: I certainly don’t think it’s the case now

2:08

Ben Clemens: The real problem with trading Arenado is that he’s worth a significantly negative amount of surplus value given his performance and age

2:09

Ben Clemens: I think another problem is that trading Arenado AND something to get a random prospect in reeturn

2:09

Ben Clemens: is just not very palatable to Rockies ownership

2:09

Ben Clemens: I think they’re hoping he’ll opt out and save them the trouble

2:09

C: Hi Ben–I have a hypothetical I’m curious about, since it’s interesting to think about the results different pitches get. Let’s say you have Pitcher X, an extreme soft tosser (mid 80s?) with a low strikeout rate. Pitcher X nonetheless manages to be a strong starter by posting elite walk rates and suppressing BABIP at an elite level by generating extreme flyball and popup rates. What sort of pitch mix/stuff profile would you expect Pitcher X to have?

2:09

Ben Clemens: I think they’d be Kyle Hendricks, basically?

2:10

Ben Clemens: So they’d feature a two-seam with good movement (if we take the low strikeout rate for granted, two-seamers allow better results for the pitcher on batted balls)

2:10

Ben Clemens: And probably a changeup/slider combo that play off of those

2:10

Jeff: Random but why isn’t there more coverage of the MLB and NCAA courtship last decade and the economics of that relationship?

2:11

Ben Clemens: Not to plug another website on this great one, but Baseball America has always been my go-to for reading about the macro structure of those types of relationships

2:11

Ben Clemens: They’re great, JJ Cooper is great

2:11

Dodger Fan: I’n definitely in the minority here, but I’m really high on Edwin Rios and would prefer the Dodgers to go after depth starting pitching rather than a star 3B/SS. Your thoughts?

2:11

Ben Clemens: I like Rios quite a lot. I also like the Dodgers’ starting pitching quite a lot!

2:12

Ben Clemens: I think they’d be wise to make a bunch of small bets. They don’t need a star 3B, but I wouldn’t mind a platoon partner for Rios, and if they think that the DH is likely Turner also makes a lot of sense

2:12

Ben Clemens: I’d go after reclamation project pitchers too

2:12

Rob: I am getting the sense that baseball in 2021 might be even harder to pull off than baseball in 2020.

2:12

Ben Clemens: I’m not sure, to be honest. The owners are acting like they have leverage, but I’m not convinced they do

2:12

Ben Clemens: If they’re so dang starved for money, and they’ve all taken out debt, then engaging in a standoff about the season is not going to EASE their cashflow problems

2:13

Ben Clemens: And given that it really does seem to be about cash flow, they badly need TV revenue

2:13

Ben Clemens: I’m not saying it’s impossible, but i don’t think that the shoe is as firmly on their foot as people have been speculating

2:13

Tino: Are ready to face the wrath of a certain team’s fanbase today?

2:13

Ben Clemens: Super curious which fanbase this is!

2:14

Curtis: Bauer, Bieber, Clevenger, Kluber, Carrasco would make a decent rotation….

2:14

Ben Clemens: Yeah, but good luck assembling that on a $40 million payroll

2:14

Captain Moonlight: yo Ben! What are some of your favorite 2-person cooperative board games?

2:14

Ben Clemens: I really like Aeon’s End, and they have a legacy version of it as well

2:15

Ben Clemens: I also like Codenames Duet quite a bit

2:15

Ben Clemens: Those are probably the two my wife and I play most often

2:15

Ben Clemens: Honorable mention to Fuse, which only lasts 10 minutes but packs a lot of fun

2:15

Doug: Does Paxton to the Padres on a one-year incentive laden deal seem like a win-win? He needs to re-establish his value while the Padres could use another starter especially with uncertainty around Lamet.

2:16

Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical that he’d want to go to a team that’s so stacked already. He’d be in danger of falling out of the rotation there, which is really not something that would help his long-term value

2:16

Ben Clemens: If I were him, I’d rather do something like what Schwarber did. Go to a team where you’re likely to have a big role even if you struggle

2:16

The Ghost of Wade Boggs: I’m gonna go the Pat Venditte route on the “average but interesting reliever” question

2:16

Ben Clemens: Another reasonable option!

2:16

Mike Rizzo: Do you see the Nats as playoff contenders?

2:17

Ben Clemens: For sure! The NL East is stacked, but with pitching health, I think they’re easily in contention for a Wild Card spot, and could win the division with a little luck

2:18

Herb Kirkstreet: Do you think Cano’s salary should count toward the CBT this year? The Mets benefit greatly by Cano getting suspended, that’s 24 million they get to take off the books for a year.

2:18

Ben Clemens: Eh, gonna have a hard time agreein with this take

2:18

Ben Clemens: The CBT is soooooo weak

2:18

Ben Clemens: It’s a tiiiiiiny tax

2:18

Ben Clemens: Pales in comparison to the fact that they aren’t paying Cano this year

2:19

Gutbuster: Is Kris Bryant going to be dealt, and is the return going to be incredibly mediocre?

2:19

Ben Clemens: I actually don’t think he’ll be dealt, in the end.

2:20

Ben Clemens: If he is, the return is going to be three shiny pennies, a dull nickel, and maybe a lottery ticket pitcher

2:20

Guest: Mets infield – if they care about defense, would they be better off signing Wong, moving McNeil to 3rd and using JD off the bench (or to trade for depth) or just sticking with the McNeil at 2nd, Davis at third, and signing a utility type (Profar, Hernandez) that you can play almost every day at multiple positions.  I guess is the upgrade in defense of Wong enough to compensate for the loss in offense potential from Davis?

2:22

Ben Clemens: Personally, I’d sign Wong. Davis would still get his AB’s as a backup in many places, particularly if there’s a DH next year. I also think that the Mets should deal one of Alonso, Smith, or Davis, though, so take this whole take with a grain of salt given that

2:22

Isolated Thinker: Is it likely that Taijuan Walker resigns with Toronto or another contender and gets a lucrative contract?  I’m surprised there isn’t more buzz about him.  A 28 year old coming off a solid short season should have many suitors I would think, and he seems to have recovered well from his TJ surgery.  The only rumor I heard was that the Tigers were interested.  How do you view him compared to the other notable FA starters?

2:23

Ben Clemens: I’m not super high on Walker, but I dono’t think he’s bad or anything

2:23

Ben Clemens: I’d just say t his

2:23

Ben Clemens: He was back-of-rotation caliber in 2020, despite the shiny ERA

2:24

Ben Clemens: He doesn’t miss a lot of bats or draw a ton of bad swings even

2:24

Ben Clemens: That said, he has acceptable control, and every team needs pitching

2:25

Ben Clemens: I don’t think he’s getting huge money, but I’m fine with the fans’ (and Craig’s) projections, which are something like 20 million dollars over two years

2:26

Ben Clemens: I have him in the Smyly/Minor tier, which is about what that money would imply

2:26

Richard: After that terrible season, does Javier Báez have any trade value?

2:26

Ben Clemens: I think he still does

2:26

Ben Clemens: He had a terrible offensive season but it was a short one and this is a case where he’s demonstrated the talent before, you know?

2:26

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Tell us about that chicken. I always botch the thighs/drumsticks during carving.

2:26

Ben Clemens: THIS is the kind of content I’m here for

2:27

Ben Clemens: So we spatchcocked the chicken, what a fun word

2:28

Ben Clemens: If you do that, and roast the breast to around 145, you can literally pull on the drumstick with your hand, jab at the joint with a knife, and just pull it off the chicken

2:28

Guest: Just thinking the word spatchcock, let alone speaking it, feels just a bit naughty.

2:28

Ben Clemens: No argument here

2:28

Gutbuster: What kind of b.s. is MLB up to in not letting people know if there will be a DH next year?  Is this considered “leverage” in bargaining with the players union, or is it instead called “running your business badly and negotiating in bad faith”?

2:28

Ben Clemens: Haha it’s bargaining, but I agree it’s silly

2:29

Alec: what is your best guess at the likelihood of a nl DH

2:29

Ben Clemens: 85?

2:29

Ben Clemens: percent, that is

2:29

Ben Clemens: I think it’s gonna happen, it’s just going to be a slog to get there

2:29

Tino: The Mets! Aren’t they a little hard on you at times?

2:29

Ben Clemens: Oh, fair point, fair point

2:29

Ben Clemens: I’m not really sure how Mets fans think of me in aggregate

2:29

Ben Clemens: A few vocal ones think I’m a troll who hates the Mets

2:29

Ben Clemens: I find that…. unconvincing

2:30

Ben Clemens: Also my wife is a big Mets fan and I like the Mets and I used to have season tickets

2:30

Inaccessible Rail: I’ve not been much of a board game player, but we recently got Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Splendor, and we love all of them and have played them a lot. What should we try next?

2:30

Ben Clemens: Underrated one that we got our friends who are in a similar situation (they recently bought Catan and loved it after playing almost no board games before)

2:30

Ben Clemens: Camel Up!

2:30

Ben Clemens: It’s a game where you get on racing camels

2:32

Ben Clemens: And it’s way more fun than that sounds

2:32

Johnny5Alive: Braves are stacked and still favored to win the division, which I think right now the projections don’t include a DH.  If the DH is added to the NL, does that boost the Mets (in that Nimmo, Alonso, Smith and Davis all get to bat in every game)? What would the Mets need to do to push them over the top?

2:33

Ben Clemens: I think that the odds are overestimating the Braves, tbh

2:33

Ben Clemens: We know they have more moves to make, but that line surprises me given the recent Mets moves

2:33

Ben Clemens: I’m not sure how sharp all the lines are at this point in the offseason, though

2:33

Ben Clemens: I’d take the  Mets straight up, though

2:34

Gutbuster: Should MLB just allow stick substances, and tell everyone that it is fine?  Also, can you tell me how stick grip stuff works differently than vaseline on a ball and offer an opinion as to whether one has merit and others not, etc.?  Thanks.

2:34

Ben Clemens: I do think that they should just legalize some standardized sticky thing

2:35

Ben Clemens: I can’t explain the physics of it, but the key is to make the adhesion between finger and ball stronger so that you can impart more spin on the ball via transfer of momentum

2:35

Ben Clemens: The more slipping, the more wasted energy

2:35

Ben Clemens: Less slip, more spin, more outs

2:35

Tom: Even with Edman moving to 2B over Wong, do you see Cardinals having best defense in MLB in 2021?

2:35

Ben Clemens: I don’t quite see it, to be honest

2:36

Ben Clemens: It would help if they gave Bader and O’Neill everyday reps in the outfield (help the defense, I mean)

2:36

Ben Clemens: I’m not convinced they will

2:36

Ben Clemens: And Edman isn’t as good as Wong, though he’s comfortably plus still

2:36

Ed: Play GM or a moment. Say you’re GM of a SS hungry team. Who would you have targeted – Lindor, Story, Semien, someone else?

2:36

Ben Clemens: Depends on if I have money or not

2:36

Ben Clemens: If I have money, I’m doing what the Mets did and going after Lindor with an eye towards signing him

2:36

Ben Clemens: If I don’t, I’m targeting Story and giving up prospects to get him

2:37

Ben Clemens: I’m just down on Semien relative to the other two, tbh

2:37

Ben Clemens Replacement: Good news! This chat will be extended infinitely. Bring on the questions!

2:37

Ben Clemens: Mechanical chat answerer sounds awesome. I’ll see if Appelman can find room for it in the budget

2:37

Chewbacca: Any chance the Cardinals are laying in the grass with their money whining and will eventually end up with an Arenado?

2:37

Ben Clemens: I hope so!

2:37

Ben Clemens: I still have a good amount of Cards fan in me, even if I can step back from it and be objective

2:38

Ben Clemens: I just think that the Rockies are going to have a hard time trading Arenado

2:38

Ben Clemens: They seem to think he’s a stud with a ton of value, whereas teams think he’s a contract with an above average but below-cost player attached to it

2:39

Ben Clemens: I do think that St. Louis is the kind of place he’d end up going, though

2:39

Ben Clemens Replacement: On that note, I’m off. Have a great day everyone, and I’ll talk to you next week.

2:39

Ben Clemens: Dang robots!

2:39

C: Thanks for the answer! Following up though, wouldn’t a two-seam focus be more conducive to a groundball-oriented approach, rather than Pitcher X’s extreme flyball generating profile?

2:39

Ben Clemens: Ooh I saw the popup thing but not the extreme flyball

2:39

Ben Clemens: My bad

2:39

Ben Clemens: Okay, so new plan

2:40

Ben Clemens: It’s a guy who has a ton of ride on a four-seamer, but who is a suuuuuuuper long strider, such that he’s releasing the ball at a very flat angle to home plate

2:40

Ben Clemens: flat vertical angle

2:41

Ben Clemens: this isn’t a new thing, but it’s a new thing in mainstream baseball analysis (pitch design types have been in on it for a while)

2:41

Ben Clemens: So we’re talking Yusmeiro Petit at this point

2:42

Gutbuster: What do you expect the price difference (AAV/years) is between LeMahieu, Wong, and Profar?  Which of these player puts up the best value (WAR) over next 3 years?

2:42

Ben Clemens: I think that they’ll go in the order you said in terms of high to low

2:42

Ben Clemens: I think that Wong will probably deliver the best FanGraphs WAR per dollar spent

2:43

Ben Clemens: Teams seem to be wliling to pay less for defense-first profiles like that

2:43

Ben Clemens: My guess as to why is that because players of that type are under-compensated in arbitration, there are simply more cost-effective substitutes

2:43

Ben Clemens: WAR is relative to replacement level, not relative to the players currently on the team, which is why a bias like this can persist without being irrational

2:44

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: How do you standardize sticky substances? It’s hard to imagine the rulebook carving out an exception for BullFrog sunscreen. Maybe the league could provide its own sticky substance, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

2:44

Ben Clemens: Oh yeah I think it’d be their own sticky substance

2:44

Ben Clemens: I personally would not recommend canned worms

2:44

Ben Clemens: They probably wouldn’t give the grip you want

2:44

Ben Clemens: They could also just carry on like they’re doing now, though, I suppose

2:44

Ben Clemens: Do what you want but don’t be a jerk about it

2:45

Brendan: If you were given the choice as GM of the Cardinals, would you rather have Edman or Profar?

2:45

Ben Clemens: Oh slam dunk Edman

2:45

Ben Clemens: He’s so much cheaper

2:45

Ben Clemens: And as a GM, I’d have to care about such things

2:45

Ben Clemens: To watch play? Honestly probably Edman too

2:45

Ben Clemens: I just like Edman

2:45

Ben Clemens Replacement: I have decided to only accept questions on baseball, no more silly cooking or games

2:45

Ben Clemens Replacement: I now won’t answer questions about baseball, just cooking and games.

2:46

Ben Clemens: This robot is getting uncomfortably close to replicating the way I chat

2:46

Amdoru: Does Bauer get $30 mil AAV, assuming he gets a long-term deal?

2:46

Ben Clemens: I don’t think so, but I think it’s close

2:46

Ben Clemens: I think it’ll be more 28 than 32, but more 30 than 20, if that makes sense

2:47

Sodo Mojo: Kikuchi 2020 looked much like his 2019 except for a marked improvement in FIP.  Do you think he breaks out in 2021 and will the Mariners exercise his option?

2:47

Ben Clemens: I would sya that I disagree with the premise here

2:47

Ben Clemens: He went from getting swinging strikes on 8.8% of pitches to 12.1%

2:47

Ben Clemens: His velo was up more than 2 mph

2:47

Ben Clemens: His strikeout and groundball rates spiked

2:48

Ben Clemens: I think he looks unfamiliar in every way except ERA

2:48

Ben Clemens: And even there, his ERA in 2019 was flattered a little bit b/c he had a bunch of earned runs and also stranded runners at a roughly average rate

2:49

Ben Clemens: In 2020 he had a super-low strand rate and also 100% of the runs he allowed were earned

2:49

NashvilleSounds: Is cribbage a board game or a card game?

2:49

Ben Clemens: I think it’s a card game

2:49

Ben Clemens: Given that the board is only used for scoring

2:50

Tacoby Bellsbury: Card game, and how could you even ask that

2:51

Ben Clemens: It does have a board

2:51

Ben Clemens: But I think it’s stlil squarely a card game

2:51

Prophet: Did the Yankees provide a model of the Red Sox to rebuild by flipping players (relievers) even when in the wildcard playoff hunt?  if so, shouldn’t overpay a few one year pillow “contracts” for players to flip in June and July?

2:51

Ben Clemens: If the Yankees provided that model (and to be fair I’m not sure that any team can duplicate that, the returns for relievers aren’t what they used to be)

2:51

Ben Clemens: The Red Sox looked at that manual, laughed, and then threw Mookie Betts out of a speeding car

2:52

kcbg: Commish says no to expansion until Oakland and Tampa get better stadiums. That won’t happen. So expansion won’t either. Is his stance going to hurt the game in the long run?

2:52

Ben Clemens: I think that this negotiating ploy is generally understood to be a leverage game

2:53

Ben Clemens: As in, he doesn’t mean it, but he’ll continue to take that stance publicly to help those teams’ negotiations because this way there are more markets they can threaten to move to

2:53

Ben Clemens: I don’t think it does much to change the expansion timetable, because owners as a whole want expansion to give them money

2:53

Guest: Idea to combat tanking: distribute the league’s central revenue proportional to win totals. What do you think? As central revenue grows while attendance stagnates (even pre-pandemic), it seems worthwhile to link central revenue to on-field performance in some way, otherwise there is a continuously reduced incentive to spend.

2:53

Ben Clemens: I like the idea of linking money distribution to playoff appearances, but I do think it’s easy to go too far

2:54

Ben Clemens: There really are teams that simply don’t have the revenues to run themselves like the Yankees

2:54

Ben Clemens: Plenty of them

2:54

Ben Clemens: I’d prefer seeing baseball go more the way of basketball, with a cap/floor system and more revenue sharing overall

2:54

Ben Clemens: Like, imagine being the Royals and suddenly you’re getting less money unless you make the playoffs

2:55

Jefferson: Does Cleveland give gimenez and Rosario each 600 PAs this season regardless of performance? I can’t see any better options unless they call up Nolan Jones

2:55

Ben Clemens: Very likely so

2:55

Ben Clemens: That said, I think a lot of teams would be happy to do that

2:55

Ben Clemens: Rosario is still a sleeper pick to turn into a stud for me

2:56

Ben Clemens: Maybe I’m just a sucker, I just like what he was doing on offense in 2019, and think that people with his skillset don’t come aorund often

2:56

Reparations: Do you have a pick for AL and NL MVP next season?

2:56

Ben Clemens: Let’s say Trout and Betts

2:56

Ben Clemens: boring!

2:56

Guest: Is selectiveness a trait Rosario can still learn at this point?

2:56

Ben Clemens: Uhhhh…. qualified yes

2:56

Ben Clemens: I don’t think he’s going to turn into Carlos Santana out there

2:57

Ben Clemens: But I think that he has the kind of game that allows you to make gains by doing things like, say, just going up to the plate thinking take every time

2:57

Ben Clemens: He’s displayed the ability to be a little patient before

2:57

Ben Clemens: Not for any lenght of time, admittedly

2:57

Ben Clemens: But I think a chance to play every day will help with that

2:57

Ben Clemens Replacement: I now have decided to have a chat every day!

2:57

Ben Clemens: Hm, good luck Ben Clemens Replacement

2:57

Ben Clemens: That sounds like a lot of work

2:57

Ben Katz: Where do you see George Springer ending up now in light of the Mets trade?

2:58

Ben Clemens: I’ll go with the Blue Jays

2:58

Ben Clemens: Fun landing spot for him

2:58

Ben Clemens: They’ll be an exciting team for years to come

2:58

Ben Clemens Replacement: I now have decided not to have a chat every day!

2:58

Ben Clemens: Hope I’m not this fickle in real life

2:58

Guest: Mets now have 4 players who will be free agents after this season – Conforto, Stroman, Syndegaard, and Lindor. How many do they re-sign?

3:00

Ben Clemens: Huh

3:00

Ben Clemens: Didn’t realize Conforto had been up for so long

3:00

Ben Clemens: I expect them to re-sign 2.5 of them

3:00

Ben Clemens: Or well, that’s my over under

3:01

Ben Clemens: I think Lindor is quite likely, Conforto is quite likely, Syndergaard and Stroman are both marginally unlikely

3:01

Guest: Will Carlos Martinez ever be good again?

3:02

Ben Clemens: I sure hope so!

3:02

Ben Clemens: One of my favorite players to watch pitch

3:02

Ben Clemens: I love that he just throws every pitch

3:02

Appa Yip Yip: If someone were to throw Mookie out of a car Mookie would simply busy out his hitherto unknown acrobatics expertise to land safely on the side of the road.

3:02

Ben Clemens: I guarantee you Mookie Betts is better than I am at correctly exiting a moving car

3:03

Ben Clemens: That said, I guarantee you he’s better than me at pretty much everything

3:03

Ben Clemens: He’s even my equal at being from Tennessee, the one thing I thought I might have on him

3:03

Tacoby Bellsbury: If you put the Pirates, Royals, Rangers and Tigers into a blender and skimmed the best 25 players off the top, could you win the NL West with that roster? (Providing, of course, that no overly important body parts got caught in the blade.)

3:03

Ben Clemens: Ugh, you answered my snarky response before I could even make it

3:03

Ben Clemens: Hmmmmm…. no

3:03

Ben Clemens: You could not

3:04

Ben Clemens: You might be able to win the NL Central

3:04

Ben Clemens: There just aren’t any great players on any of those teams, unfortunately

3:04

Ben Clemens: If you threw the Rockies in, we could talk, but it’s like

3:05

Ben Clemens: KeBryan Hayes, Gallo, some random Tigers, Whit and Mondesi…

3:05

Mike: Who’s the “Blender Team” staff ace?  Danny Duffy? Matt Boyd? ugh.

3:05

Ben Clemens: Oh I like Pittsburgh’s pitching

3:05

Ben Clemens: Musgrove is the ace, I’m interested in Keller in general

3:05

Ben Clemens: Marquez is good

3:05

Ben Clemens: Duffy and Boyd might not have spots in my rotatoin

3:06

Ben Clemens: We project the Pirates for more WAR out of their starters than the Cubs, DBacks, Giants, and Cardinals

3:06

Ben Clemens: Just to pick some marginally interesting teams out of a hat

3:06

Appa Yip Yip: If you still have all your hair Mookie is balding a little. Technically he is mortal.

3:06

Ben Clemens: Always looking out for me, I appreciate it

3:07

NashvilleSounds: If the new CBA did away with up front contracts and everyone got paid for their war or wpa or whatever at years’ end, with some base salary for injury time, would the gains to younger players outweigh the losses for older players? Or would the dollars spent just balance out? The players would have less long term certainty as they age but would also get their $$ to invest way sooner.

3:07

Ben Clemens: It would depend on what number you put on it, but assuming it evens out, I think it would be a way better system for everyone

3:07

Ben Clemens: Er, maybe not better for owners, to be honest

3:08

Ben Clemens: Imagine planning a budget and then your team rips off a 100-win season (or worse, you underperform your BaseRuns by a ton but the payouts are based on WAR)

3:08

Tacoby Bellsbury: How many more bottom-feeders would you have to throw in to get the NL West then? Mariners? Rockies?

3:08

Ben Clemens: The NL West is just hard. The Dodgers have three different players who are better than anyone on any of these teams

3:09

Ben Clemens: Same with the Padres, I think

3:09

Re: Nats: It seems to me, any system that seeks to properly compensate younger players, at the expense of over-compensating veterans, is gonna screw over a generation of players about to hit free agency. Does that keep it from ever getting done?

3:09

Ben Clemens: Yeah this is the big sticking poin

3:09

Ben Clemens: t

3:09

Ben Clemens: Initial conditions matter

3:10

Ben Clemens: I agree with you that that generation would be in the donut hole. I’m not sure if it prevents something from getting done, but I tihnk that the PA would need to provide some concessions to them from other existing players

3:10

Ben Clemens: Which might be tricky to work out

3:11

Ben Clemens: Okay, today was more of a lightning round chat. I think I hit my normal volume of questions answered in a compressed time, but now I’m off to hvae some leftover roast chicken for lunch and finish an article that makes me sad (more reasons that stolen bases aren’t as good as people think)

3:11

Ben Clemens: Have a great day, everyone





Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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