Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 1/23/23

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, welcome to the new FanGraphs-colored chat

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’m Green Ben Clemens, replacing Blue Ben Clemens, your old chat host

2:01
Ben Clemens: Let’s answer some baseball questions, starting with one about board games

2:01
Sharps: How fancy is too fancy for drinks and food during a game night?

2:01
Ben Clemens: This is a question I have a lot of personal experience with. I’d say that there are two possible answers. No amount is too fancy if you’re going to eat before playing

2:02
Ben Clemens: If it’s an eat-and-play situation, the main thing to stay away from is liquid-y sauces and anything that would give you greasy fingers. There’s nothing less pleasant than grease on a game piece or card

2:02
Ben Clemens: Pizza is an exception because you can just eat it like a reasonable person and not get greasy

2:02
Ben Clemens: But generally speaking, no limitations if you’re going to eat beforehand, and keep it simple if you’re going to eat during

2:03
Jeff in Jersey: I won’t hold you to it, but the biggest bats available at the deadline this year are…..

2:03
Ben Clemens: Interesting ones: Joc Pederson, Michael Conforto, and Rhys Hoskins if the Phillies are unexpectedly out of it

2:04
Ben Clemens: Plus, you know, Bryan Reynolds, Ohtani, the guys who have been rumored to be on the block and we already know can bop

2:04
Insert Witty Name Here: Good Q: Are you a smoothie guy, and if so, what’s your go to?

2:04
Ben Clemens: I’m not, but my wife is so I get to live vicariously. I’m a big fan of spinach, peanut butter, and banana

2:04
N. Hornblower: Do/should the Astros use a 6 man rotation again with Hunter Brown as a starter?

2:04
Ben Clemens: I’d start the season this way, yes

2:04
Cal: Given the options (assuming Reynolds stays) what should NYY do in LF? Profar, Cabrera, Hicks, Kepler, none of the above?

2:04
Ben Clemens: I like starting with Cabrera

2:04
Ben Clemens: With the option to pivot via trae

2:04
Matt: Do you think the Phillies sign Nola to an extension?  What about Hoskins?

2:05
Ben Clemens: Speaking of Hoskins! I don’t think he’s in line for an extension, but I think the Phillies will pursue a Nola extension heavily

2:05
Appa Yip Yip: I think in all the excitement over the December signing spree we forgot how interminable January would become I am dying a little inside every day and have become deeply invested in the free agency outcome of Robbie friggin Grossman. Is there a starting job out there for him or is he just going to have to bite the bullet and take the Jays money to he their 4th OF?

2:05
Ben Clemens: This is maybe a silly thing for a writer from a baseball website to say, but: I like that there’s no baseball news in January

2:06
Ben Clemens: I’m reading more books. I have been practicing cooking with the wok I got for Christmas. I did four loads of laundry between yesterday and today and went skiing for a week

2:06
Ben Clemens: It’s kind of nice that I am just doing a bunch of stuff and when I come back, teams are mostly the same as they were before

2:06
Sharps: What style of ball player do you wish would make a resurgence in MLB?

2:06
Ben Clemens: either a)knuckleballers or b)left-handed catchers

2:07
Jon: Is NYY SS really that dire? Don’t think its hard to see 3+ wins from IKF, Volpe/Peraza

2:07
Ben Clemens: I mean, dire is in the eye of the beholder

2:08
Ben Clemens: I think that IKF is not a first-division starter, and I don’t think the error bars are that large there

2:08
Ben Clemens: We’ve had a lot of data points at this stage in his career; he doesn’t have enough contact quality to be an average hitter

2:09
Ben Clemens: So the question is basically whether one of the two prospects will click

2:10
Ben Clemens: I mean, maybe! But it would hardly be a surprise for them to struggle out of the gates and shortstop to look bad as a result

2:10
Ben Clemens: Peraza hit .259/.329/.448 in Triple-A last year, it’s not like he’s a can’t-miss bat

2:10
Hello there: Are you the prospects guy or the HOF guy?  Thanks..

2:11
Ben Clemens: Sadly neither

2:11
RTJ: I liked your analysis of the Marlins trade last week. Maybe I’ve become too brainwashed by the obsession with baseball’s three true outcomes, but it really did seem like an odd trade to me when it went through. If you were the Marlins, is there another move you think would help turn this trade into something productive?

2:12
Ben Clemens: That’s a tricky one… I don’t really see how they can pivot with this one, because it’s not as though they got a bunch of pieces to flip. I think the best thing they can do at this point is just see how the reconstituted team shakes out. Arraez’s skills are best paired with either some high-OBP guys for him to advance with his metric ton of singles, or great hitters behind him to get to bat in high leverage situations

2:13
Ben Clemens: So my suggestion, I suppose, is that the Marlins should go acquire more very good hitters

2:13
Dalton Wilcox: I appreciate Lopez’s combo of health and durability, but otherwise isn’t Arreza’s skillset currently harder to find?

2:14
Ben Clemens: Sure, there are fewer players like Arraez, but scarcity doesn’t necessarily equal value

2:14
Ben Clemens: Good luck finding another player like Javier Baez, for exmaple, or Tony Kemp

2:15
Oaktown Blues: Right now, if everyone is healthy, the A’s will have Waldichuk, Muller, and Sears in AAA. They also have said they plan to stretch out AJ Puk to start. Given this, should the A’s be looking to trade Irvin or Blackburn to allow some young auditions? Or am I underestimating attrition?

2:15
Ben Clemens: I think you’re either underestimating attrition or overestimating prospect certainty

2:15
Ben Clemens: These things tend to work out

2:15
CB: Unpopular opinion: Jordan Walker is 20 and should chill/polish in AAA for his own good for a few months (and not just because of the team control benefits).

2:16
Ben Clemens: I don’t thikn that’s a particularly unpopular opinion. I think he’ll have his chances to play in the majors this year, but it’s not like there’s an obvious place for him to play to where it’s criminal to keep him down

2:16
Ben Clemens: It would be one thing if an injury opened up a hole in the lineup or one of the presumptive regulars was a complete black hole offensively

2:17
Ben Clemens: But we have Alec Burleson and Nolan Gorman riding the bench in the majors right now, and Juan Yepez batting eighth for them

2:17
Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical how much of an upgrade Walker would be ex ante, without seeing how he develops this year

2:17
Safety Stegosaurus: Where’d you ski?

2:18
Ben Clemens: Whistler. Overcast conditions all week, and the visibility was sometimes awful (fog banks), but it snowed a ton and I had a great time

2:18
Ryan: Do you think the Padres lock up Machado on a second contract before he opts out?

2:18
Ben Clemens: I do. I think they’ll do a Kershaw type deal where he tears up the opt out in exchange for some kicker

2:18
Oaktown Blues: Who is your favorite rapper?

2:19
Ben Clemens: Ooh, good question. I’d love to go with some ridiculous indy suggestion, and I really do like Watsky more than he is popular, but he’s not my favorite rapper. All time I’d say it’s probably BIG, I like Jay-Z a lot (not now but you know, when he was good), and Run the Jewels gets an honorable mention

2:19
Ben Clemens: I saw Big Boi in concert at a music festival and he was AMAZING, one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to

2:20
Steve: Wins are likely to be few and far between, but what do you expect out of Gore this year?

2:20
Ben Clemens: I’ll be watching for his fastball command

2:20
Ben Clemens: I think that his scattershot location was holding him back in ’22, and it’s funny because I thought he would be good at that before his whole lost 2021 season thing

2:20
New UK fan: Loved the piece on rates and contract length. Any thinking on option valuation in player contracts? Seems to me that is not well understood by fans

2:21
Ben Clemens: Good news, I wrote something about this a while ago when I first started writing here, and there’s even some Python code in it if you want to try it out yourself

2:21
Ben Clemens: It’s player options only, I should maybe do one on team options as well

2:22
CB: Nootbaar’s name seems to be coming up in a lot of rumors. If you were the Cardinals, what kind of return would you have to consider (a la Arraez)?

2:23
Ben Clemens: I’d need him to be the centerpiece for a star controllable pitcher

2:23
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that’s very likely; the Cardinals FO seem like they are as high on Nootbaar as I am (ludicrously high)

2:23
Gross Man: Why the color change? Just branding/aesthetics?

2:24
Ben Clemens: Yep

2:24
Big Fan: How nervous should Atlanta fans be with Vaughn Grissom starting the year at SS?  He started the year in A+ last year and it seems very rushed.

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’d be nervous for sure

2:25
Ben Clemens: He looked pretty overmatched in September. The Braves were seemingly down on him as a starter, they were using Orlando Arcia instead

2:25
Ben Clemens: So like…. huh?

2:26
FV: Scarcity doesn’t equal value: this should also be said of left handed starters.

2:26
Ben Clemens: Oh for sure. I don’t think I’d add much at all to Lopez’s value for being lefty

2:26
Ben Clemens: He’s just a guy who throws bulk innings with a sub-4 ERA, which is valuable period

2:26
RTJ: Is the Red Sox front office flipping a coin each time they go to make a transaction that tells them whether to spend money or dump salary?

2:26
Ben Clemens: I love this concept

2:26
Ben Clemens: Wheel. Of. Red Sox!!!!!!!!

2:27
comish4lif: If you are not the prospects guy or the HOF guy… which guy are you?

2:27
Ben Clemens: I’d say I’m the new guy, but that’s not really true anymore, and hasn’t been for a while. I guess I’m the economics guy? Dan’s the numbers guy in this formulation

2:27
FV: I didn’t mean you were implying that Lopez’s value was increased as a lefty. I just hear announcers talk about this way too much.

2:27
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah 100%!

2:27
Oaktown Blues: Re: Jay Z, his most recent solo album 4:44 was actually really good! Would recommend if you were a fan of his older stuff. No ID on the beats

2:27
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Haters say Jay fell off. How, Ben, his last album was 4:44? (Fun fact, Jay-Z ghostwrote Still D.R.E.)

2:28
Ben Clemens: To be fair, I haven’t listened to 4:44 very much so maybe I’m low on him

2:29
Ben Clemens: There are just too many “hi I’m Jay-Z I’m rich here are songs about how rich and happy I am” guest spots in rotation

2:29
Oaktown Blues: Should I be losing faith in the A’s FO? The book is far from closed on the rebuilding trades they’ve made so far, but the early returns are pretty rough, with only Langeliers looking like an impact player. Is Esteury Ruiz gonna turn into Rickey Henderson and make me look foolish for doubting? Does Billy Beane have another 2012-like miracle season in him?

2:30
Ben Clemens: I feel like I’m taking crazy pills with the Oakland front office. We know they’re good at finding value in ways we don’t expect, and it’s happened before. Could it happen again? I mean, I’m sure, but I don’t see it. I’m with you, I’m pretty down on the recent returns

2:30
hebrew: I’m asking everyone today:

Can you help me solve the logjam I have in Ottoneu?

standard 5×5 league, year 5 so some pretty hefty inflation (35%+)

Cut/Keep:

Gleyber ($13)
Polanco ($11)
McMahon ($6)
Kolten Wong ($5)
Bryson Stott ($6)

(Carlos Correa is my only SS)

2:30
Ben Clemens: So take this with a grain of salt, because I suck at Ottoneu

2:32
Ben Clemens: I think I’d be most interested in Gleyber and Stott

2:32
Ben Clemens: eh maybe McMahon as well

2:32
Ben Clemens: I don’t think Wong plays particularly well in 5×5, and I’m just kinda down on Polanco, perhaps wrongly so

2:32
Oaktown Blues: Do you think either of Nick Allen or Christian Pache will ever hit enough for a full time role in the bigs?

2:32
Ben Clemens: Allen yes, Pache no

2:33
Ben Clemens: I like Allen’s base skillset more, essentially

2:33
Ben Clemens: as a hitter — I think they’re both great defenders

2:33
Telemachus: Do you think the Rays would be open to trading Yandy Diaz? Would a Keston Hiura + Adrian Houser (or Eric Lauer) package entice them? Diaz would bring balance to the Brewers lineup and his strong OBP and high contact approach would help set the table in the two spot behind Yelich.

2:33
Ben Clemens: Eh, for the right return, but I don’t think that would do it

2:33
Ben Clemens: I think I’m finally giving up on Houser

2:34
Ben Clemens: He’s 29 and I’ve had him as a breakout candidate for four straight years

2:34
Ben Clemens: eh, maybe 3.5 straight yeras

2:34
DH only: Is Franimal done?  Haven’t heard any news on him.  Have you?

2:34
Ben Clemens: I haven’t, but I think he’ll find a job somewhere regardless

2:34
A Boy Named Yu: Was Caleb Killian’s debut stretch last year so bad that he’s off the radar now as a rotation piece?

2:35
Ben Clemens: Not for me, though obviously his star has dimmed

2:37
Ben Clemens: I’m more worried by his control problems in Triple-A, quite frankly

2:37
Ben Clemens: He’s throwing much harder now but hasn’t been able to harness his old command

2:37
Ben Clemens: He was carving guys up in the low 90s, now he’s mid-90s and struggling to locate

2:38
Ben Clemens: Let’s give it a minute to see if he can bridge the two

2:38
Rusty Trombone: You may not be the prospects guy or the HOF guy, but fwiw, I’d still rather read your chats any day, hands down.

2:38
Ben Clemens: heart

2:38
Marco Scutaro: I saw what Benintendi got in free agency for being a slap hitter.  I wish I played in today’s game so I could have gotten paid.  🙁

2:39
Ben Clemens: Funny, I just saw Benintendi in an article I’m writing that features some slap hitters

2:39
Ben Clemens: And I thought yep, that means the statistic I’m using is working

2:39
Jamzy: I’m looking at making my first trip to the Bay area this May. Brewers are in town against the Giants and the A’s host the Rangers. Do I go to a game in Oakland or just hit 3 at Oracle?

2:39
Ben Clemens: it depends on whether you’d get a deGrom start, imo

2:39
Ben Clemens: Also depends where you’re staying

2:39
Ben Clemens: Oracle is great, and Oakland is worse now that the team is in full ‘we dare you to come to a game’ mode

2:40
Ben Clemens: But I LOVE watching deGrom starts, he might be the starter I’ve seen live most frequently

2:40
Bill: You really got the Pablo/Arráez trade wrong. Pablo was significantly worse according to WARin 2022 and Trevor Rogers was never out of the rotation.

2:40
Ben Clemens: Well, I disagree obviously

2:40
Guest: Curious to hear what you think about Dylan Carlson at this point. I’m not sold on him being a plus CF, but I think he can probably stay there adequately for the near future. His batting has me pretty concerned at this point though. His walk and strikeout rates are both trending well, but his low EV has me dimming on the hopes he can be a consistently above average hitter

2:40
Ben Clemens: Yeah, star dimming in my opinion

2:40
Ben Clemens: Looks like Nootbaar is who I thought Carlson was

2:41
Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

2:41
tortycraig: pretty please, need help like our friend hebrew – Keeping 8 of 10 in Roto 5×5 OBP Auction Draft League – cost savings for Lindor over Turner make sense to you? Gausman in for anyone below?

Leave

T. Turner (44)
Gausman (15)

Keep

Lindor (15)
Jose Ramirez (47)
Julio Rodriguez (20)
Mullins (8)
Robert (8)
Rutschman (6)
Cease (15)
Helsley (6)

2:41
Ben Clemens: Looks broadly right to me. I guess it dpeends on what you’d expect Turner to go for with inflation?

2:41
Ben Clemens: But I’m usually a fan of trying to keep low-cost guys even if they’re slightly worse and then just overpay for stars

2:41
Uncle Spike: Can you explain the difference between the ‘Plate Discipline’ and ‘Pitch Info Plate Discipline’ numbers that appear on player pages?

2:42
Ben Clemens: It’s basically just different sources for the data. The big difference is in how pitches on the fringes of the zone get defined as either in or out of zone

2:42
Ben Clemens: Like, it’s all the same swings and whatnot, but how you collect data on the zone borders by pitch is not perfectly consistent

2:43
Snow Burrow: Since you’re not the prospects or the HOF guy, I will ask you a question involving both.  If you had twenty bucks you had to bet on which of Andrew Painter and Eury Perez was more likely to one day grace the Hall, who you got?

2:43
Ben Clemens: I’d slam Painter despite the uphill climb that starters face these days

2:43
Baseball fan: If a AAA team had 5 healthy Degroms all season, would they finish over .500?

2:43
Ben Clemens: It’d be close

2:43
Ben Clemens: I think WAR math would tell you they’d be RIGHT around .500

2:44
Izzy: Does Luis Urias have any shot at being a 4 win player? Are there any extra gears to his offense or defense? Or is this who he is?

2:44
Ben Clemens: He does, at least in my Urias-loving eyes

2:45
Ben Clemens: I think he’s found his lane as a walks and pull power guy

2:46
Ben Clemens: He’s never going to be a top shelf power threat but I think his sense of the zone gives him a strong base to build off of

2:46
Ben Clemens: I’m less sure about his defense, but I think he could spike a great season for sure

2:47
RTJ: I’m moving from LA to Chicago this spring. I don’t have strong attachments to any teams (generally have followed the Dodgers while I’ve been living in LA, but originally from the Northeast anyway). So tell me: Who do I give my, primarily disloyal, allegiance to: Sox or Cubs? And why?

2:47
Ben Clemens: I’m going to give you an answer that will make you think I’m a bandwagon fan

2:47
Ben Clemens: That’s convenient, because I’m all-in on the Purdywagon these days after previously not caring about the Niners much

2:47
Ben Clemens: I’d start with the White Sox but be very fickle about it

2:48
Ben Clemens: If you’re moving to a city, you’re necessarily a recent addition to the fanbase, it’s more about present fun being high than your fun being enhanced by warm fuzzy memories

2:48
Ben Clemens: So just stick with whoever is more fun and see if you form some memories to feel warm and fuzzy about

2:49
Liam: What is the main culprit in the differing abilities of player development teams within an org? It seems like we’ve reached the point where every team should be more or less doing the same thing and getting the same results but the dodgers and astros are still lightyears ahead of most others – money? philosophical consistency? other?

2:49
Ben Clemens: I think it’s both identifying valuable skills to teach and teaching them, and I disgree that every team is more or less doing the same thing, or even that they all agree on what that thing should be

2:50
Ben Clemens: It also helps to be more consistent, run a better organization with more cohesion between different employees, all that boring how-too-run-a-good-team stuff

2:50
comish4lif: Wasn’t Luis Urias projected to a batting title winner when he was in the minors? Now a career 239 hitters in the Majors.

2:50
Ben Clemens: He’s had a very strange arc

2:51
Ben Clemens: He was a no power dude coming up, then in 2018 he hit Triple-A and started striking out twice as often as he ever had before but also doubled his ISO

2:51
Ben Clemens: then in 2019 he doubled it AGAIN in the minors, up to .285, and came into the majors as more of a fly ball big swings guy

2:52
Ben Clemens: I’d say his real carrying tools are bat control and pitch selection; it’s not often you see someone who can come up with GB/FB ratios in the 2-3 range and then just transition to the 1-1.5 range

2:52
Felix the Puss: Well, I’m happy that Dayton Moore FINALLY got fired, but not convinced that his long time partner in crime Picollo will be any better.  I mean, JJ ran one of the absolute worst player development programs in professional sports over the last decade and a half. Is there anything positive you can say about the Royals to ease my mind?

2:53
Ben Clemens: The Royals have been to more World Series than the Cardinals in the last ten years

2:53
Rodney: Is Brett Baty the Mets’ 3B come playoff time? Batting fifth behind Alonso – or 7th behind McNeil/Canha?

2:55
Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical of his ability to stick at third, which gives me some hesitation

2:55
Ben Clemens: the guy can hit, though

2:55
Mets fan: Why is Ronny Mauricio falling quickly in prospect rankings compared to Elly De La Cruz? The stories don’t seem THAT different

2:56
Ben Clemens: I have not done a deep dive on either of these guys, so I’m just working off the cuff. But uh, their trajectories don’t look that similar to me. DLC is nearly a full year younger and just spent a year shredding Hi-A and then Double-A (admittedly with concerning strikeout numbers)

2:56
Ben Clemens: Mauricio didn’t show the same kind of raw, and I’m probably equally worried about their approahces

2:57
Ben Clemens: I don’t really know, it’s probably more of an Eric question, but they don’t seem that equivalent to me

2:58
Nick: The crowd-sourcing took Sheffield but not ManRam for the Hall of Fame.  Is there a rationale here?  Sheffield seems to have worse numbers and has PED concerns just like Manny.

2:59
Ben Clemens: The obvious difference is that Sheffield was never suspended for using PED’s

2:59
Kvn: It seems like there have been a couple high profile prospects last couple years that have hit all the way up until they have to do it against MLB velocity and then they cant get on top of the ball (e.g. Kieboom, Hiura). I feel like there should be some way to screen for this, but maybe teams just weren’t looking before? I feel like there has to be some inefficiency here to exploit.

3:00
Ben Clemens: I really do not think that’s the story with Hiura, for what it’s worth

3:00
Ben Clemens: He’d always had a lot of swing and miss to his game

3:00
Ben Clemens: He was amazing in his MLB debut despite a 31% strikeout rate

3:01
Ben Clemens: Like, if you read prospect reports from the time, I think you could roughly predict the kind of career that he’s had in aggregate

3:01
Jeremy: What are some unexplored areas of baseball you think have more predictive power than people have been able to prove so far?

3:01
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna take the lazy one and say pitch calling

3:01
Tstats: How did you greenify Jotcast??

3:01
Ben Clemens: We just hit the green button. Definitely should have done it a while ago, huh?

3:01
Izzy: To RTJ… I am saying this as a Cubs fan… first of all welcome to our fine city!!! I’d recommend going to both parks. The fanbases are very different. It will be clear to you which one you prefer. You can enjoy both as a fan, or you can give your heart to one, but not both.

3:01
Ben Clemens: I think that’s a good way to put it

3:01
Datt Mamon: How likely do you think a Ketel Marte bounceback is this season?

3:01
Ben Clemens: 73%

3:02
Ben Clemens: To elaborate qualitatively, I buy it. I like what he does. I’m not THAT concerned by the BABIP

3:02
Armadillofury: What do you think of the Marlins decision to move Jazz to CF.? He had a hard time staying healthy at 2B, so CF won’t help right?

3:03
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I see why they’re trying it but it’s a pretty big risk in my opinion

3:04
Ben Clemens: I don’t really buy the Dee Gordon comparisons, they’re very different types of athletes, though the parallels are certainly amusing, but I think that with a guy like Jazz, you should focus as much as possible as just getting his bat on the field

3:04
Ben Clemens: He’s so dynamic

3:04
Ben Clemens: Having him learn a new position, and maybe not be great at it right off the bat, particularly a position with tough physical demands, is weird to me

3:04
Ben Clemens: It’d be one thing if he were a natural outfielder or if he were a fringier bat

3:05
Ben Clemens: But I don’t know how you look at Jazz and think ‘let’s have him learn a tough position on the fly, that’s how we’ll get value from him on our team’

3:05
Ben Clemens: you get value from him slugging the ball to Boca Raton

3:05
Baseball Fan: Re: Jazz – at this point can you argue there is more positional scarcity in cf than SS? If Jazz’s bat is legit, I think he probably has more value as a potentially elite CF, right?

3:06
Ben Clemens: If you’re not trying to win this year, fine. If you think he can become an elite CF in a year, fine. But he was an All Star 2b, I just wouldn’t want to tinker so much

3:06
Appa Yip Yip: The other thing about Jazz is that his waffle cone gloves look extremely cool

3:06
Ben Clemens: People who say baseball isn’t cool have clearly never seen Jazz Chisholm play

3:06
Michael Wacha: How did Jordan Lyles get paid, and I’m still looking for work?

3:06
Ben Clemens: I assume it’s just a situation where no one came in with a contract Wacha likes early, so now he’s waiting for a team to have an unexpected need

3:06
Buttcheex: If the Brewers are 10+ games out of the WC at the ASB, do you see them tearing down this core or trying to reload around Burnes/Woodruff/Adames/Contreras core?

3:07
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll look to move one of the two pitchers

3:08
Ben Clemens: I hope they just compete, though

3:08
Ben Clemens: Milwaukee is a very fun sports city, they deserve a contender

3:08
New UK fan: Options article was great too. Would be interesting to see it extended a) with different assumptions for player volatility (as you pointed out, pitchers are different but presumably even some position player archetypes are too); b) for team options. For b), it always seems to me that they make more sense than player options since utility is probably ~Log(money) for players vs linear for teams

3:08
Ben Clemens: Yeha, I agree on this and I’ll probably do a team options thing in the next month now that I’ve remembered it’s interesting

3:10
Roger: In five years, the best shortstop in the majors will be playing for (A) the Reds, (B) a team to which the Reds traded Elly de la Cruz because he was too expensive even in his arb years, or (C) a team having nothing to do with the Reds because I’m a Reds fan desperately dreaming on a prospect because the off-season has otherwise been so bleak?

3:10
Ben Clemens: I think C is most likely by far, obviously

3:10
Ben Clemens: But I’d take A over B, if that cheers you up

3:10
Appa Yip Yip: Is Keirmaier/Varsho/Springer the best defensive OF in the game? The Jays defense in general seems like it is going to be very good. Bichette is fringy at short but they have plus to plus plus defenders everywhere else.

3:11
Ben Clemens: I think that some configurations of the Yankees will have something to say about that. Hicks/Bader/Judge is a really good group

3:11
Ben Clemens: DBacks too, some kind of Carroll/Thomas configuration sounds great to me

3:12
Ben Clemens: and Buxton puts the Twins in the conversatoin by himself

3:12
Insert Witty Name Here: Which Cruz would you rather have, Elly or Oneil?

3:12
Ben Clemens: I’d take Oneil, I’m just in love with the potential

3:12
Joey Votto: Do I have one last bang in me?

3:12
Ben Clemens: There’s got to be a better way to say this

3:12
Ben Clemens: And I’m gonna be a grinch and say no 🙁

3:12
Buttcheex: Buying or selling Andrew Vaughn taking the next step to impact middle-of-the-order bat?

3:12
Ben Clemens: Buying! My love for Vaughn is abiding

3:13
A Boy Named Yu: What do you expect from Seiya Suzuki this year?  Was last year it or is there more to come?

3:13
Ben Clemens: I think there’s more to come

3:13
ram: Lopez is a RHP

3:13
Ben Clemens: haha see I focused so little on it that I got it completely wrong!

3:13
Ben Clemens: (oof)

3:14
A Boy Named Yu: Does it make more sense to just keep Madrigal for now if your the Cubs?  His market is low right now and he has minor league options still.  No need to force a trade right now.

3:14
Ben Clemens: Yeah I thikn I’d keep him and just see what happens

3:14
HOF: Excluding roid stuff, was there someone whose career you thought was definitely going to take them to the HOF but then they fell apart too early?

3:15
Ben Clemens: Ian Kinsler

3:15
Ben Clemens: Stanton, really

3:15
Ben Clemens: Carl Crawford probably doesn’t cross the line for me, I never really thought he’d be a hall of famer

3:16
Ben Clemens: on the pitching side, Chris Sale stands out to me

3:16
Ben Clemens: and this isn’t quite the same category but Ben Sheets

3:16
FV: Regarding Madrigal, don’t all players take a couple of years to recover from wrist injuries and regain their offense?

3:17
Ben Clemens: It varies, but yeah, I’d give him a bit of a pass, though he was already displaying concerning ML issues pre-injury

3:17
FV: Better career: Vaughn or Tork?

3:17
Ben Clemens: Vaughn for me but I think that’s a minority opinion

3:17
Pkpkpk: Which 2021-2022 free agent do you think lost the most money compared to what he would have gotten as a 2022-2023 free agent? I’m assuming Correa because of the wonky ankle stuff but I keep coming back to Dansby Swanson somehow getting more money than Freddie Freeman

3:18
Ben Clemens: yeah it’s Correa. I think Dansby got more than he would have in the previous year, and that Freeman got less than he would have this year, but not by enough to offset Correa’s drop if that makes sense

3:18
Gabe: Thoughts on Nolan Gorman, long-term?

3:18
Ben Clemens: I dunno, I’m kinda skeptical

3:18
Ben Clemens: All my statistical models have always been iffy, for whatever that’s worth (not much)

3:18
Ben Clemens: and then I never completely bought in to the eye test with him

3:19
Ben Clemens: It just feels like he needs a lot of things to go right to be a seriously positive contributor given the shape of the Cards roster

3:19
Ben Clemens: maybe they trade him, and he plays third somehwere and gets more time to develop

3:19
Ben Clemens: On that note, folks, I’m going to call it a chat and go heat up some leftovers for lunch

3:19
Ben Clemens: I hope you had a great time talking baseball today, and we’ll do it again same time next week.





Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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hughduffy
11 days ago

For RTJ: As a former Chicago resident, whether you root for the White Sox or the Cubs is largely governed by geography.
If you live north of Madison St, i.e. the North Side, you root for the Cubs.
If you live south of Madison St, i.e. the South Side, you root for the White Sox.

As a new transplant to the city, your geographic obligations will be seen as lesser for a short while before social pressure will inevitably force you to side with your appropriate geographic team. I’d take that time to see games at both stadiums: Wrigley Field is a treat, and Comiskey Park the Cell Guaranteed Rate Field has been extensively renovated over the years since I was last there.

Last, both teams had long World Series droughts broken after I left the city (you’re welcome Chicago I’ll always love you).