Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 11/27/23

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, let’s get chatting. I’m gonna try to go fast and furious today, an hour of densely packed questions, so let’s get started right away

2:00
CocoPuffs: I know most writers aren’t a fan of one team, at least after a few years of writing. As a lifelong Oakland A’s fan who’s having his heart ripped out, any tips on being a fan without a team? Baseball has been such a huge part of my life but I’m close to dropping it all together, it’s heartbreaking

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’ve certainly toned down my Cards fandom, but I still do root for them to do well, and a lot of my colleagues feel similarly

2:01
Ben Clemens: That said, I think that life without a strong rooting interest can be fun as long as you’re really into how amazing all these players are

2:01
Ben Clemens: I love watching good defense and weird stuff

2:01
Ben Clemens: But if that’s not for you, you can’t make it be. It’s really tough! What the A’s did sucks

2:02
Sabey Sabes: Thought the Cubs would be in on a Maeda type, especially at that price, to backfill the rotation. Wrong thought or are they tunnel-visioned on the top prizes right now?

2:02
Ben Clemens: I think that there will be enough Maeda-type choices that they aren’t in huge trouble if they miss on all the top of rotation types

2:02
Ben Clemens: Like yes, a Maeda type makes a lot of sense for them. But there are enough other versions that they’ll be fine

2:02
Dk: Chances Mets sign Yamomoto, Imanga and Miley?

2:03
Ben Clemens: Let’s say 3%. That’s a lot of people going to one specific team

2:03
TomBruno23: 2024 St. Louis Cardinals: A Rotation for the Aged. When is the last time the club threw out a projected starting 5 with an average age of 35?

2:03
Frogs: What team is going to fumble the offseason the hardest? Is it already the Cardinals?

2:03
Ben Clemens: Look, if this is the Cardinals’ entire plan, I’ll be annoyed

2:03
Ben Clemens: This is not exactly a fearsome rotation

2:04
Ben Clemens: I do think Sonny Gray is a perfect fit for them, though

2:04
Ben Clemens: good right now, timeline kinda lines up with the Arenado/Goldschmidt side of things, they’re clearly interested in guys who throw sinkers, even if they’re generally moving towards valuing whiffs more

2:04
Ben Clemens: I’m really unenthused about the Lynn and Gibson signings, Lynn particularly

2:04
Ben Clemens: If they are going for one more starter via trade, great! If they’re not, what the heck

2:05
Mike: Seems like the Cards might move Matz now to open up more salary for another top of the rotation arm? Can’t imagine you get much for Matz but 2/22 for him isn’t that bad a contract all things considered

2:05
Ben Clemens: I mean, I don’t see them signing a top free agent from here

2:05
Ben Clemens: It’s just not how they operate

2:05
Ben Clemens: I think they should! I don’t think they will

2:05
TW: Any thoughts on the Tigers’ moves for Canha and Maeda?

2:05
Ben Clemens: I think they both make a ton of sense

2:05
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they should be done

2:05
Ben Clemens: They have a lot of unproven rotation options. Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to struggle. Maybe those should each say ‘some ones’ in fact

2:06
Ben Clemens: Getting good, solidly average players to fill holes that were otherwise getting filled with duct tape and Triple-A lifers is what good teams do

2:06
Ben Clemens: I’m not 100% sure the Tigers have the core to where these patches will make the whole thing work

2:06
Ben Clemens: But I do like that they’re trying. Maybe they have one big signing in mind that will really anchor the rotation

2:06
Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

2:06
Ben Clemens: Welcome back, my friend

2:07
The Batman: Let’s be the maximum version of generous. How does the Eugenio Suarez trade help the 2024 Seattle Mariners?

2:07
Ben Clemens: It does not

2:07
Ben Clemens: I cannot give you that pitch

2:07
Ben Clemens: I think the argument is this: if the Urias trade only happens if they’re moving Suarez, you can convince yourself that they socked away five million bucks that can be used in the future

2:08
Ben Clemens: plus saved a few million more on a backup catcher that can be recycled, combined, into either a fifth starter or a left fielder

2:08
Ben Clemens: but no, they should have traded for Urias AND kept Suarez, c’mon

2:09
Mr. Fister: With all the talks about shoulder injuries being even worse than elbow injuries for pitchers, should I just stop overthinking whether or not to keep Woodruff @ $17 in my dynasty league?  Stashing during a lost ’24 to have @ $20 in ’25 is dumb, right?  I mean, we can’t expect him after missing a whole year, to be top 10 again, right?

2:09
Ben Clemens: I don’t think we can expect it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility

2:09
Ben Clemens: I think he’s a cut even though the value is there

2:09
Ben Clemens: if he clicks again

2:09
Mr. Fister: Same question, but instead of Woodruff, we’re talking Kyle Wright @ $7, to miss all of ’24 and be $10 in ’25.  Cut?

2:09
Ben Clemens: Easier cut for me

2:09
Ben Clemens: The upside is less

2:09
Princess Leia: Help us Obi-Wan Clemonobi! You’re our only hope!

The Evil Empire of the offseason is building a new deathstar. Our scouts have stolen the plans for this behemoth and it involves lots of Twitter rumors and very little hot stove action. Only you can save us!

2:09
Ben Clemens: Oh man, if you’re counting on me, things have gone wrong somewhere

2:09
Double Hucklebuck: Ohtani…..do you have the Dodgers, or the field?

2:10
Ben Clemens: Field

2:10
Appa Yip Yip: Can you dial up some GMs and tell them to transact pls?

2:10
Ben Clemens: honestly I am pretty happy with the pace so far

2:10
Ben Clemens: I’m taking a reverse staycation this week, i.e. traveling to a remote location in the woods but working normally

2:10
Ben Clemens: so it’s a great time for chill writing

2:10
Ben Clemens: maybe a few minor moves, nothing too crazy, save the fun for winter meetings next week

2:10
Jaffe rhymes with Taffy: Hi Ben – I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  Do you have any new board game suggestions that could work for a family with children as young as 6 and 8?  I’m trying to get something for the holidays.  Thanks.

2:11
Ben Clemens: We played Six Nimmt with my sister in law and her partner on vaca, I think it’s a really good game,a nd definitely for all ages

2:11
Ben Clemens: more of a card game than a board game, and very low barrier to entry/complexity

2:11
Ben Clemens: but really fun, very replayable

2:11
Brad: The NFL and, especially, the NBA have a lot of free agent deals happen during the first hours of free agency.  Do you see MLB getting to that point and, if so, when/how?  Is it desired by MLB at all…or do they like the leisurely paced approach to the hot stove?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Well, the NBA thing is kinda fake

2:12
Ben Clemens: They have a long transaction moratorium, during which everyone unofficially agrees to the deals

2:12
Ben Clemens: So they compress a month of actual negotiation into a single day of announcements

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think baseball should absolutely do that

2:12
Ben Clemens: have a transaction freeze from the WS until the winter meetings

2:13
Ben Clemens: a random group of weekdays in December, when there’s no NFL intervening and no one cares about hockey or basketball b/c it’s the regular season, would be a good time for a concentrated dose of baseball news

2:15
Dave Kerwin: Do you anticipate the NL Central being more competitive this season? Seems like all five teams are poised to be better than last year. Any wild guess at the division standings?

2:15
Ben Clemens: I think the Brewers are definitely going to be worse than last year

2:15
Ben Clemens: No Woodruff, probably no Burnes

2:15
Ben Clemens: but uh, basically no? I think the NL Central will still be not very competitive and that the teams will try to skate by with that knowledge in tow

2:16
Ben Clemens: I don’t like it, but I do think it

2:16
TomBruno23: Mozeliak can now enter SP Trade talks from a position of strength. I think. Right?

2:16
Ben Clemens: I think that’s kinda overrated. There are enough teams who need pitching that it’s not like teams will now say “okay fine you signed Lance Lynn, you can have Glasnow for cheap”

2:16
Ben Clemens: they’ll just trade him to someone else who needs pitching instead

2:16
Expansion: I’m a hardcore Phillies fan, but what’s happening to Oakland is tearing me apart. Vegas should have gotten an expansion team instead of a relocated one. Guess my question is, where would you put another team if not Vegas or Oakland if given the choice?

2:16
Ben Clemens: Nashville

2:17
Ben Clemens: as Michael Baumann’s award-winning article about the league being too small pointed out, the south and particularly the southeast is underserved in terms of teams per capita

2:17
Ben Clemens: Tennessee has some good baseball, Nashville is booming, I don’t really think we need another Florida team; Nashville or perhaps somewhere in North Carolina seems like the obvious solution

2:17
Double Hucklebuck: Cardinals going with “Age in a Cage” this off-season.  Is this more for saving money, or in preparation for Hence, Liberatore, and other pitching prospects cracking the rotation soon?

2:17
Ben Clemens: porque no los dos?

2:18
Joe Boo: Any chance the Angels move Trout, and if so who do you think could pull it off?

2:18
Ben Clemens: I think there’s a chance but I have it well under 50%

2:18
Ben Clemens: The obvious fit is the Dodgers

2:18
Ben Clemens: Just from an available money standpoint

2:19
TomBruno23: I do kind of dig what the Cardinals have done so far in consolidating innings across a relatively low amount of rosters spots and only spending money so far as opposed to cost controlled talent.

2:19
ryan: How much would public reaction be in to the three Cardinals pitcher adds be in the alternate dimensions where they signed in reverse order?

2:19
Ben Clemens: I think that things would basically feel the same

2:19
Ben Clemens: I think that Gibson and Gray are nice signings, Gray more so

2:19
Ben Clemens: I don’t get hte Lynn signing

2:19
Ben Clemens: and yeah, I’m happy they’re only spending money — but they need to spend MORE money

2:19
Ben Clemens: this rotation isn’t good enough

2:19
Ben Clemens: no flip-flopping of order can ch ange that

2:19
bringbackpologrounds: Do you see Altuve and Bregman getting extensions from the Astros? Does the juggernaut survive if one of them is traded?

2:19
Ben Clemens: I think one but not both will

2:20
Ben Clemens: and no, I’m predicting that in five years the Astros feel like just another team

2:20
Ben Clemens: they’re still doing a good job maximizing the core put together in previous years, but the benefits are slowing down significantly, and the dev/acquisition pipeline is not what it once was

2:20
Scotty H: Is Detroit going to be the sexy pick for team that didn’t make the playoffs in 2023 but will for 2024?

2:20
Ben Clemens: I think the Cubs will be

2:20
Ben Clemens: but Detroit for the AL, definitely

2:20
mac: the yankees are screwed, right? there’s no path out of their mess without fixing their atrocious hitting development record, and they don’t even seem to realize there’s a problem

2:21
Ben Clemens: I mean…. I don’t really think so?

2:21
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll be fine

2:21
Ben Clemens: but I understand that it’s easier to say that from the outside looking in

2:21
Double Hucklebuck: Do the Guardians hand Manzardo the 1B job after his good AFL showing, or do they still start him in Colombus?

2:21
Ben Clemens: I think he’ll probably need a month or so to work on his defense

2:21
Ben Clemens: unless he’s a likely ROY winner, I haven’t thought about that enough yet

2:21
Grandpaboy: If you’re the Cubs, would you rather spend your $500m of Free Agent $$$ on Ohtani or some combo of Yamamoto ($210-ish), Bellinger/Chapman ($150-ish each), Imanaga ($100?) and Candelario ($60-70)? Spreading it around is a safer play, but none of those other guys will sell tickets (and Marquee subscriptions) like Shohei.

2:21
Ben Clemens: Ooh, good question here

2:23
Ben Clemens: I’d prefer Ohtani if I knew I was going to get him

2:23
Ben Clemens: But given the fact that it’s not a sure thing, I like spreading things out

2:23
Ben Clemens: It’s just a more robust plan, and I really do think that the Cubs are set up to compete now

2:23
Ben Clemens: so it would be a really bad outcome for them to not end up deploying any payroll in free agency

2:24
Ben Clemens: Getting fixated on Ohtani, not signing him, and having everyone else sign while he’s deciding is just the worst possible thing that could happen to them

2:24
jg007: I figure the Pirates probably have about 30 mil to spend on free agents to get payroll from their current $53ish million payroll to 83ish and they currently have one (1) usable SP on their 40 man roster.  Who are some starting pitchers that you could see being imperfect enough to be in their price range to afford two (under 15 mil each?) and you also like enough to be worth signing?   My quick hits are Paxton, Montas, Severino.

2:24
Ben Clemens: I think you have the exact right idea here

2:24
Ben Clemens: talented but questionably healthy guys

2:25
Ben Clemens: maybe add Sean Manaea, who doesn’t quite fit that mold but who I do like

2:25
Rodolfo Castros Phone: KeBryan Hayes finally for real?

2:25
Ben Clemens: Heck yeah

2:25
Ben Clemens: I mean, I have no idea but heck yeah

2:25
Ben Clemens: as you know, I chair the fan club

2:26
ryan: So the A’s are in a weird spot in the great beyond between the end of their lease and the construction of the new LV stadium. Percent of home games in a) the AAA park in LV, b) Oracle Park, c) somehow still in Oakland, d) somewhere in LatAm a la the Expos, e) other?

2:26
Ben Clemens: going to be hilarious

2:26
Ben Clemens: sad, too

2:26
Ben Clemens: but hilarious

2:26
Jax: Will Bauer pitch in MLB in 2024?

2:26
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so

2:26
Appa Yip Yip: Pls help me square this circle: defensive highlights are better than offensive highlights because they’re visually more impressive and contextless homeruns all look the same, but teams built on pitching and defense are less fun to watch than teams like the Phillies that just hit dingers.

2:26
Ben Clemens: Oh, I think I can do this

2:26
Ben Clemens: Okay, so the best defensive teams don’t, I think, have a ton more defensive highlights

2:27
Ben Clemens: because their range makes things look easy, and particularly in the infield, surehandedness really does help

2:27
Ben Clemens: so the range of defensive highlights per team is narrower than teh range of defensive skill

2:27
Ben Clemens: also high scoring games are fun, even if the individual events aren’t fun

2:27
Ben Clemens: 5-3 in the third feels like the score isn’t ending that way

2:28
Ben Clemens: 2-0 doesn’t necessarily inspire the same confidence

2:28
Appa Yip Yip: How much is the television revenue situation going to impact the offseason? Seems like teams with secure financials can scoop up a lot of talent by taking on contracts.

2:28
Ben Clemens: I’ve been thinking about this question quite a lot recently

2:28
Ben Clemens: I’m probably gonna write about it

2:28
Ben Clemens: it’s definitely the elephant in the room

2:29
RH: Where do you think the A’s play in their interregnum? Could Monterrey be an option?

2:29
Ben Clemens: for a second I was thinking Monterey, like where the aquarium was

2:29
Ben Clemens: and I don’t think they have a stadium with capacity over, say, 5,000

2:29
Ben Clemens: so it’d be perfect! (I kid)

2:29
Ben Clemens: but uh, no, I don’t think playing a full season in Mexico is in the cadrds

2:29
Ben Clemens: perhaps they’ll have a stint there, the whole situation is really messy

2:30
TomBruno23: The Cardinals, despite what the say publicly, always construct their roster based on their division opponents. Given that I think what they have done with the SP is more than enough to consider themselves a contender in the NL Central. Not saying that is a high bar to clear.

2:30
Ben Clemens: Completely agree with this. The Cardinals just try to beat the second-best NLC team

2:30
Ben Clemens: and the NLC makes it easy for them to do that without spending too much

2:30
Ben Clemens: when the Cubs went big in 2016-2018, whoops, the Cards didn’t make the playoffs for a few years

2:30
Can’t see the lines, huh Russ?: Has there been a bigger piece of fool’s gold on the market in recent years than Cody Bellinger?  I can’t believe some team is going to give him 10 years and close to $200 million.

2:31
Ben Clemens: I mean, I think that a lot of the reason teams will sign him is because the defense doesn’t slump, but yeah, I’d be verrrrrry scared to give him a big contract if I were a GM

2:31
Ben Clemens: I’d just hope to not be in a position of needing a hitter this offseason. It’s a dire crop

2:31
Well-Beered Englishman: Defensive highlights are way more fun to watch the next day outside the context of the game. The next day, all homers look like homers. But in the game, when you don’t know the outcome, a homer is always thrilling.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Another good point

2:32
CrazyInNYC: This may be a very silly question, but: Fernando Tatis for Logan Gilbert. Who says no? Maybe the M’s throw in Canzone and the Padres throw in a minor league lottery ticket who might turn into the next Munoz or Brash.

2:32
Ben Clemens: I mean the Mariners say no by a mile

2:32
Ben Clemens: they can’t afford to pay for valet parking

2:32
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they’re taking on Tatis’s contract

2:32
Ben Clemens: I think the Padres would probably also say no because Tatis is part of the future of the franchise and sells tickets, but I’m less sure about that, and I also think it’s pointless

2:32
Ben Clemens: b/c the Mariners are just not adding salary

2:33
Rainbow Sprinkles: How many combined PAs do you see for Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch this season? And… for what team(s)?

2:33
Ben Clemens: 1000, and honestly both for the Dodgers

2:33
AL West enjoyer: The Mariners desperately need bats, and seem unwilling to spend big. Enter… Rhys Hoskins? 1B/DH upgrade probably available at a post-injury discount? Am I crazy for thinking that’s a great match because I haven’t seen anybody linking them together all winter

2:33
Ben Clemens: Makes sense to me, but uh, I dunno if they want to pay money

2:33
Ben Clemens: it’s not very fun to say but it’s true

2:33
Ben Clemens: they might just roll with what they have

2:34
Ben Clemens: there sure are a lot of righty power bats available, though, so maybe they just pull a Brewers and wait to see who has the least interest, then try to sign that guy for cheap

2:34
harry: sorry for another cardinals question — which outfielder is most likely to move this offseason? what does the starting outfield look like next year?

2:34
Ben Clemens: i think Carlson, b/c it seems like the Cardinals are intent on getting a real return for TON and no one is going to offer them that

2:34
I Don’t Know, Margot!: Who is your bet for team most likely to go all Mets, spend a ton of money in the off-season, and still not be relevant in their division, and why is it the Giants?

2:35
Ben Clemens: It’s probably the Giants, sadly

2:35
Ben Clemens: I want to see Ohtani home games next year SO badly

2:35
Ben Clemens: But if that doesn’t work out I can completely see them just getting Bellinger and running back an old team that wasn’t great last year

2:35
Insert Witty Name Here: How bad will the Phillies core of aged stars in 2030 be?

2:35
Ben Clemens: Okay, I was going to give this a sarcastic answer but let’s do this for real

2:36
Ben Clemens: Turner, Harper, and Nola are the guys signed beyond 2026

2:36
Ben Clemens: so Harper, eh, LHH 1b/dh, probably still gonna be mashing

2:36
Ben Clemens: he has old guy skills

2:37
Ben Clemens: won’t be as good as he is now, obviously, and he’s signed until even longer than that, but I don’t see him being unplayable. Error bars are huge that far out, of course

2:37
Ben Clemens: Nola? Yeah, I don’t think he’ll be very good. He’ll be a fifth starter or not in the rotation most likely

2:37
Ben Clemens: Turner, probably not incredible by then either

2:38
Ben Clemens: But teams have guys like that on salary from time to time and it’s fine

2:38
Ben Clemens: those are the only three signed beyond 2026, so they could have more big contracts by then, but I hardly see this as some unfixable burden

2:38
ryan: Do you find the Tatis playing SS in LIDOM thing as funny as I do? Like, do you think the Padres want him to occasionally get reps there to keep the muscle memory, or is this some kind of act of civil disobedience?

2:38
Ben Clemens: I want it to be civil disobedience for sure

2:38
Ben Clemens: I definitely find it very funny

2:39
KBO: What are your thoughts on Jung Hoo Lee?

2:39
Ben Clemens: Wrote about it a little in the top 50 free agent piece, which you can find here:

2:39
Ben Clemens: I’m less sure than Eric that he’s going to be a plus center fielder, but there’s a decent chance of it

2:40
Ben Clemens: teams are definitely going to be interested in finding out

2:40
Farhandrew Zaidman: Hey Ben! Resigning J-Hey pretty much guarantees Mookie is playing 2B versus righties again, right?

2:40
Ben Clemens: I believe so, yes

2:41
Well-Beered Englishman: Will anyone top Maeda in the department of “Contracts That Make Fans of the Other 29 Teams Wonder Why Their Team Didn’t Sign That Guy”?

2:41
Ben Clemens: Almost for sure, yes

2:41
Ben Clemens: I can’t tell you who

2:41
Ben Clemens: but almost for sure, there are a LOT of free agents

2:41
Sean: Is it possible the M’s money thing is just a smokescreen and they come out of all this with Ohtani?  It seems like just last year they put forward a ton of money into Castillo and Julio?

2:42
Ben Clemens: Possible? Sure

2:42
Ben Clemens: Likely? Definitely not

2:42
Ben Clemens: it’s not like this ploy started last week

2:42
Ben Clemens: It’s been a long-term frustration, and frustrating enough taht team leaders like Cal Raleigh are talking about it

2:42
Travis: How come baseball players don’t hold out? I feel like if this was the NFL or NBA, Acuna would’ve just held out for more money by now. Much more money. And if he didn’t get it, demanded a trade

2:42
Ben Clemens: I really don’t know, to be honest

2:43
Guest: Thinking about realistic Orioles’ offseason moves, would something like E-Rod for 4/100 (first off realistic contract?), be enough for solid contention, or would an addition move like Cowser/Ortiz for Cease need to be done as well? (envisioning something like Bradish/Cease/Erod/GrayRod/Means/Kremer

2:43
Ben Clemens: I think that E Rod deal is reasonable if he’s interested in playing in Baltimore, and I think he is, he seems to mainly want to avoid the west coast

2:43
Ben Clemens: I do think it’d be enough for solid contention. They won the East this year and I think they do a great job of building redundancy that makes them play up over a long season, no embarrassingly bad plate apperances or batters facded

2:43
Ben Clemens: or at least, fewer

2:44
Ben Clemens: I’m just a lot lower on Cease than I think others are, and it sounds like the White Sox want a lot for him

2:44
Ben Clemens: that said I also think the O’s should be trying to consolidate talent into the 26-man roster right now

2:44
Ben Clemens: I’d prefer Burnes, though, basically

2:44
Gimme an Ace: Pessimistic on O’s moves, would a single addition like Stroman push the needle at all for the Orioles? Bradish/Stroman/Gray-Rod/Means/Kremer

2:45
Ben Clemens: Same deal, I think that’d be good for htem, and maybe they then try to add a starter at the deadline if GrayRod isn’t pitching like an ace?

2:45
D: Given all the predictions of Ohtani getting somewhere around $500 mil, what is the consensus on what he’d get if healthy?

2:45
Ben Clemens: More, or the same over less years? I struggled mightily to come up with an Ohtani contract estimate because it’s past ‘no comps’ and into ‘no one has been like this’

2:45
Marlins man 2: Doesn’t Cease and Robert make a lot of sense for us? Sandy gone for year and losing Soler. Also, have a lot of pitching prospects.

2:46
Ben Clemens: Sure, I guess? I don’t think the Marlins have enough juice to trade for both, though

2:47
Ben Clemens: Robert just put up a 5 win season and just turned 26, plus he’s under team control through 2027

2:47
TomBruno23: Still on pins and needles awaiting word on the Paul DeJong contract details…MLB Deal for a guy who was DFA’d twice down the stretch in 2023?

2:47
Ben Clemens: I’m very surprised too

2:47
Bresbian: For a team with as many clear needs and as much money as the Red Sox, their rumour mill is strangely quiet. What’s your  best guess on how they allocate resources?

2:47
Ben Clemens: I think they’re figuring out if Ohtani is interested, and then going to go hard at some pitchers if not

2:48
Ben Clemens: I think they can afford to take a longer view and not try to fix the whole team this winter, go pitching this year and hitting next

2:48
KC Pain: Behind the scenes does ERod’s nixing of the trade then saying he will play anywhere make a difference to a front office? Tigers seemed to have supported him w his fam issues.  I figured he would stay put, but then opting AND being open after the season.

2:48
Ben Clemens: I think west coast teams will be a little skeptical

2:49
Ben Clemens: honestly, though, what else is he supposed to say?

2:49
Ben Clemens: don’t limit your own market, you know?

2:49
Depressed M’s Fan: It’s sad to watch the team who manufactured a competitive window by putting up $300 million for Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz act like broke losers when they have their best young core in 20 years

2:49
Ben Clemens: I do not know many Mariners fans who are happy about it

2:50
Smiling Politely: NFL players hold out for guaranteed money (it’s insane to me that the one sport that actually can kill you has nonguaranteed contracts on the regular); the NBAPA has a better union and the advantage of one star player being able to make or break an entire team’s decade.

2:50
Ben Clemens: Yeah the NFL side makes total sense to me

2:50
Ben Clemens: and I think I can buy the NBA side? There are also fewer true holdouts tehre

2:50
Ben Clemens: it’s more trade me or I’ll be grumpy

2:51
Guest: When do you think we start hearing about expansion? The Tampa stadium situation (Seemingly) appears to be agreed too, and the A’s situation seems to be progressing (though who knows). Would MLB wait until the new stadiums have been completed or would a groundbreaking be enough to start the process?

2:51
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah, I think a groundbreaking will be enough

2:51
Ben Clemens: And I also think that depending on how Bally stuff goes this offseason, the league might be in the market for a cash infusion sooner rather than later

2:51
Ken Blemens: Odds that the Phillies get either Yamamoto or Imanaga? In the event that they add another starting pitcher, how much will they have to pay a team to take Taijuan Walker? Seems like he could have some value to a team low on pitching depth.

2:52
Ben Clemens: I think Yamamoto is unlikely, Imanaga makes more sense

2:52
Ben Clemens: I think they’d probably dislike what they could get for Walker so much that they’ll just keep him as depth

2:52
Ben Clemens: like, the Phillies are a team low on pitching depth, because every team is

2:52
mac: the yankees’ hitting dev question is because all of their hitting prospects have been busts for half a decade. volpe, peraza, cabrera, pereira, florial, even going back to frazier have all failed miserably at MLB level despite modest to major hype and minor league success. at what point is that no longer bad luck and instead indicative of a horrible system?

2:52
Ben Clemens: a longer time frame than this, imo

2:53
Cooooors Lightyeat: Is Trevor Story cooked

2:53
Ben Clemens: We’re gonna find out in 2024

2:53
Ben Clemens: I think he gets a pass for ’23 because basically playing his way back to major league readiness in season is tough

2:54
Ben Clemens: he only had 48 minor league pa of rehab assignments after missing a full year

2:54
Ben Clemens: you obviously have to revise your estimates down, though, and mine were already low, so I’ll say yes, but with the acknowledgement that it’s certainly not a settled question

2:55
Farhandrew Zaidman: Following up on Vargas/Busch – where are the 1000 ABs coming from? Everything except LF is blocked, and there’s a big time DH down the 5 freeway that’s being targeted…

2:55
Ben Clemens: I still think it’s more likely than not that Ohtani signs elsewhere

2:55
Ben Clemens: but injuries, LF, 2b when Mookie plays the outfield, DH, 3b if/when Muncy misses time, that kinda thing

2:56
Ben Clemens: I’d revise that estimate down if they landed Ohtani

2:56
Econ Student: Hey Ben! I am currently writing a research paper on the determinants of a player’s salary using coefficients such as player’s age, war, etc. Would you be able point me in the direction of an article here that may be benefitial?

2:56
Ben Clemens: hmmmm

2:56
Ben Clemens: there’s this:

2:56
Ben Clemens: and here’s an older version that uses some good methodology that I think I lifted in part for mine

2:56
Mitchell: Jay Jaffe’s recent piece on Lou Piniella’s HOF case reminded me that when Lou wanted to go home to close his career the Mariners received Randy Winn from TB as compensation, who proved a real steal. How many GMs do you suppose would trade their manager today for 2-3 years of a 3-4 WAR player? Conversely, how many teams would trade 2-3 years of a 3-4 player for a manager today?

2:57
Ben Clemens: I don’t think any teams would trade Randy Winn for a manager today

2:57
KC Pain: Why do teams kick tires on guys like Dejong and not Hiura AAA type and hope for a JD, Duvall, etc. type breakout? (diff positions all around I know) Feels weird w Jon Singleton getting chances at 30+ and Hiura is 25-26(?).

2:58
Ben Clemens: Teams love these kinds of deals, I think that he’ll end up somewhere

2:58
Ben Clemens: I mean the DeJong thing is just bizarre

2:58
Ben Clemens: I think it’s fair to assume he’s cooked

2:59
Ben Clemens: I think Hiura is likely cooked, too, and he can’t really handle the middle infield, but why not find out?

2:59
EL: Do you think Kim Ng is going to take a year off and see if there’s any GM vacancies next offseason, or is she likely to slot into a team’s existing front office structure?

2:59
Ben Clemens: yeah I think she’ll likely take a year off

2:59
Ben Clemens: when you’ve been GM, it’s probably very difficult to take what amounts to a demotion

3:00
KC Pain: Do you think Seager’s contract will be like Scherzer’s in Washington?  OMG SO MUCH $$$ then the guy lives up to it?

3:00
Ben Clemens: Trending that way for sure!

3:01
Ben Clemens: I think from the Ragners’ perspective, he’s already lived up to it

3:01
Ben Clemens: on that note, I’m gonna call it a day

3:01
Ben Clemens: thanks for all the great questions, everyone

3:01
Ben Clemens: Odds are low that I’m gonna be chatting next week, because I’ll be at the winter meetings, but I’m going to start getting back to a more regular schedule now that I am not constantly traveling to weddings or covering playoff games

3:01
Ben Clemens: have a wonderful week





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

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Mac Quinnmember
2 months ago

It just beats me why there is such hesitation among writers at smart publications to call the Yankees’ hitting development a disaster. Is their xwOBA in High-A against teenagers really so good that it outweighs half a decade in which no prospect has made a successful transition to the majors? In the time since Gleyber Torres’ rookie season, Chaim Bloom was hired, turned a bottom 2 farm system into a top 2 farm system, and was fired. Things move fast, and from the results, the Yankees seem woefully left in the dust.