Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 7/18/22

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, welcome to the chat

2:01
Ben Clemens: As a heads up, I was on vacation until last Wednesday (Kauai, lovely), and am hermetically sealed in a container of Meg’s design that only lets me look at trade value questions for the next week

2:01
Ben Clemens: Also there’s no baseball going on

2:01
Ben Clemens: So if you’ve ever wanted to ask me off-topic questions, now’s a great time, but let’s also talk some Juan Soto to start off

2:02
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna need a few minutes to deal with a quick dog thing, but when I come back, we’ll be answering a million variations of this:

2:02
x2R: Soto? In what team do you wanna see him if something happens? For some reason I’m interested in the Giants for the idea of that staff working with him.

2:05
Ben Clemens: Okay I’m back!

2:05
Ben Clemens: My two favorite options (excluding the Cardinals) would be the Giants (I live here so that would be awesome) and the Rays (b/c amazing)

2:06
Ben Clemens: Mets could be fun too, particularly if he goes back to DC and torches the Nats

2:06
Guest: Tatis for Soto. Who says no?

2:06
Ben Clemens: Padres, but also Nats

2:06
Billy: not really their MO (no pun intended) but what would a cardinals trade package for Soto look like?

2:06
Ben Clemens: It would start with Jordan Walker and Nolan Gorman, or maybe Walker and Winn and Liberatore, or something that prospect huggers will hate

2:06
Sharps: Losing Soto from an on-field perspective would be bad, but players acquired in return would help reduce the sting.  Once he’s gone, though…who do the Nats market?  Who does commercials and who do my kids look up to?  That loss is way bigger than the on-field performance.

2:07
Ben Clemens: What, you don’t like Maikel Franco?

2:07
Ben Clemens: Realistically, it’s Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray, and yeah, that’s not a lot of star power

2:08
Appa Yip Yip: Who fetches a bigger return, Soto or Ohtani?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Soto, in my opinion

2:08
Ben Clemens: Ohtani has one fewer year remaining before free agency, which is a huge deal

2:08
Ben Clemens: I’m really struggling with where to slot Ohtani in the trade value series

2:08
Ben Clemens: like, Ohtani or Jeremy Pena, who you got?

2:09
CB: Is there a Soto to STL deal that doesn’t include Walker or Gorman? I assume it would take at least O’Neil or Carlson, Gorman, plus… (plus plus plus)?

2:09
Ben Clemens: The nats aren’t gonna be looking for O’Neill esque players, and they shouldn’t be

2:09
Ben Clemens: if you’re burning it down like they are, guys whose major league clocks have started are just not super useful

2:09
jas: Who do you see as realistic suitors for Soto? Or is there really one? Hard to see any FO giving up the pieces it would take.

2:10
Ben Clemens: I’d put realistic suitors as: Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, Cards (tier 2), Rangers (tier 2), Giants (tier 3), Rays (tier 3)

2:10
Sharps: You get the money to start a twitch channel playing board games.  You have to have another sportswriter, a current player, and one other baseball person of your choice.  Who’s on it, and what game are you playing?

2:10
Ben Clemens: Love this question

2:11
Ben Clemens: I think I’d want Keith Law as the sportswriter, because I love his board game reviews and also would love to pick his brain on the prospecting side of the game. Current player would have to be Ohtani, to see if he really is good at everything. And then, one other baseball person? Hunter Pence, because he’s hilarious and also a big gaming nerd

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think we’d play Six Nimmt, and also maybe Seven Wonders

2:12
jas: Are there any arms available that can solve the Cardinals pitching problems? I think they’ll be wary of Montas after an injury

2:12
Ben Clemens: Yeah, Luis Castillo maybe? Totally agree on Montas

2:12
Malcolm Nunez: Which team acquiring Soto would be the most fun? I’m going with the Twins.

2:12
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah, that would definitely be fun

2:13
Sentimentalist: What kind of dog do you have??

2:13
Ben Clemens: a rescue dog of indeterminate origin. We are dumb and sentimental so we did one of those dog DNA tests, which pegged her as 50% American Bully (weird subset of Staffordshire terriers, basically a pit mix) and 50% golden retriever

2:14
Ben Clemens: She’s just a 75 pound goofball with enormous separation anxiety issues (:()

2:14
👽: This may be a better question for Eric but I’m always curious about these things. If Arias and Vaquero are in this draft, where do they get taken?

2:14
Ben Clemens: Almost certainly a question for Eric b/c I dunno who those people are

2:14
Inaccessible Rail: Hey, don’t FanGraphs writers get the All-Star break off?

2:14
Ben Clemens: This week and next will be the busiest of the year for me, at least

2:15
Ben Clemens: But hey, I’m gonna watch the Derby

2:15
Malcolm Nunez: Alec Burleson, Moises Gomes, and Connor Thomas bring Frankie Montas to St. Louis?

2:15
Ben Clemens: I’m really unsure what Gomes’s value is

2:15
Ben Clemens: Burleson + makes sense, just not sure of what the plus would be

2:16
Sodo Mojo: Do you think a team like the Mariners who have a bunch of room under the tax cap and can take on a bad contract from the Nats have an edge in the Soto trade talks?

2:16
Ben Clemens: No, b/c the teams that are close to the cap would go over it for Soto

2:16
Ben Clemens: If the Nats package Strasburg and Corbin in moving Soto and get no return, they’ll burn the fanbase down, I don’t think they’ll do that

2:16
Appa Yip Yip: What player so far have you been told to move up the most in your calls about the trade value series from where you initially had them?

2:16
Ben Clemens: Ooh!

2:16
Ben Clemens: Let’s do some mystery items, and then take a few guesses.

2:17
Ben Clemens: I moved: a third baseman who looked like a bust for the first 500 PA of his career

2:17
Ben Clemens: a young hitter who didn’t make honorable mentions last year

2:18
Ben Clemens: and a player who got wildly unlucky in the first two months of 2022

2:18
Ben Clemens: the most

2:18
Justin: Kebryan hayes

2:18
Ben Clemens: Good guess, but I just had him really high up the list to start

2:18
Joey: Votto?

2:19
Ben Clemens: No but the ongoing bit of using the wrong nickname for cities is one of my favorite baseball things this year

2:19
SFOtoEWR: Julio ?

2:19
Didace: Austin Riley

2:19
Ben Clemens: Two of three!

2:19
HYTT: To be fair, you should have had Riley higher before you were told to!

2:19
Ben Clemens: yeah…. two of these three I left a little low on purpose to start b/c I wanted to get more info on them

2:20
Ben Clemens: Riley, and the one people haven’t guessed

2:20
Broken Bat: Alex Bohm

2:20
x2R: Devers

2:20
Ben Clemens: haha

2:20
Guest: PSA: don’t push yourself too hard working outside in the summer heat. I did and I feel awful.

2:20
Ben Clemens: incredibly valuable PSA

2:21
Trent Grisham: How concerning am I? Obviously I’m still young enough to work things out but I don’t seem to be improving on my passive approach at the plate and my defense has seemingly cratered.

2:21
Ben Clemens: I don’t think there’s much concern about the defense, but the bat is obviously very worrisome

2:21
Ben Clemens: I’m of the opinion that he’s a league average bat but he started out so terribly this year

2:21
Ben Clemens: he’s actually a player I got some downward feedback on, and I didn’t have him particularly high to begin with

2:21
Justin: yes… the San Francisco summer heat is brutal 😉

2:22
Ben Clemens: Haha well not for me, per se

2:22
Ben Clemens: But wine country heat can be hot, and it was muggy as hell in Kauai

2:22
Epstein’s Mother: This all [*gestures around at all Soto things*] seems far, far too painful for Nationals fans.  They literally let Bryce Harper get away in FA, and the fan base could at least say, “Yeah well we have Juan Soto AND saved money!”  If Soto leaves, you have to look back at letting Harper go in a totally different light.  You HAD Harper and Soto and now have … a better investment for the owners?  Ick.

So i guess my question is, by what percentage does the Nationals attendance and/or team paraphernalia sales shrink next year if they get rid of Soto.

2:22
Ben Clemens: I don’t know how to measure this, but a LOT

2:23
Ben Clemens: My mom switched to being a Nats fan when they came to town (she’s from the area and grew up an O’s fan)

2:23
Ben Clemens: I think she might end up switching back if they completely blow it up and the O’s get good

2:23
Colton: Cobb?

2:23
Big Pants Pascual: Andres Gimenez?

2:23
Yanks: Gleyber?

2:23
HYTT: bryan reynolds

2:23
Ben Clemens: No to all four, with mixed goodness of guesses

2:23
SFOtoEWR: Kirk?

2:23
Ben Clemens: There it is

2:24
Ben Clemens: the commenter with insane loyalty to United gets two out of three

2:24
Ben Clemens: flying to Newark, hilarious!

2:24
Dipoto: What do you think Dipoto looks to do at deadline. SP is crucial with Kirby running out of bullets and Gilbert likely need skipped on occasion. Wouldn’t Blake Snell make some sense? Padres reportedly wanting to move his salary and they have excess arms, and Snell wants to play in Seattle anyways. Padres want hitting help now. Would a Kelenic for Snell + Prospect make sense on both sides? Teams shift prospects based on positional need and mariners get the innings and upside

2:25
Appa Yip Yip: NGL my entire purpose in asking the question was to fish for some Alejandro Kirk love.

2:25
Ben Clemens: Whoops, let’s do these in order

2:25
Ben Clemens: Got carried away

2:25
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that Kelenic and Snell will get swapped, with a prospect included

2:25
Ben Clemens: I think the Mariners will be in on pitching, perhaps NLC pitching, and then will make an effort on Soto

2:26
SFOtoEWR: Two of the greatest airports!* *do not fly anything but united

2:27
CB: Southwest is the best airline and this is the hill I will die on

2:27
Ben Clemens: Alaska for me

2:28
Jack: In terms of Soto to NYY, Gleyber would seem to be one of the nicer pieces someone could dangle, although probably doesn’t line up with Washington’s timeline?

2:28
Ben Clemens: Uh…. no

2:28
Ben Clemens: Gleyber would not be one of the nicer pieces someone could dangle, and he also wouldn’t be on Washington’s timeline

2:28
Coliseum Dumpsterfire: Are you surprised at the overall lack of pitching being drafted?

2:28
KGJR24: Where do you expect Logan Poteet to go?

2:28
Ben Clemens: No idea!

2:28
Ben Clemens: I am definitely not the draft guy

2:29
Malcolm Nunez: I’ve changed my mind. Seattle is the most fun landing spot for Soto.  I want him and Rodriguez playing together for the next 15 years

2:29
Josh: How about the Guardians as a Soto dark horse candidate? Need outfield offense badly and have a ton of young middle infield talent. Could send Andres Gimenez, Espino and more. Obviously money could be a challenge here…

2:29
Ben Clemens: oh man

2:29
Ben Clemens: imagine the Guardians trading for a player with short team control and a big salary

2:29
Ben Clemens: hilarious!

2:29
Ben Clemens: I could use a laugh today

2:29
Jason N: Do you think Soto is traded this season, or in the offseason?  Can the Nats pull together all of the in-depth knowledge about other team’s prospects in a couple of weeks or should they wait until the offseason to have more due diligence even if it reduces the offers because you only get 2 championship runs instead of 3?

2:30
Ben Clemens: I think he’ll be traded this season. If the Nats haven’t been pulling together in-depth knowledge about other team’s top prospects based on the contingency of trading Soto, they should fire their scouting department

2:30
Insert Witty Name Here: Look at all the rich people in here who can still afford to fly!

2:30
Travis: I totally forgot Austin Riley is only 25. Is prime Riley a potential 50 HR threat?

2:30
Ben Clemens: Yeah, definitely

2:31
Ben Clemens: Kinda wild that he’s only 25

2:31
GA Blood: Has there been any discussion about someone revisiting Craig Edwards’ seminal articles on prospect valuation? They’re approaching 4 years old, so it might be interesting to see if anything has changed.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s worth doing

2:31
Ben Clemens: It’s probably a me thing

2:32
Ben Clemens: But I would be super happy if someone else did it instead

2:32
Ben Clemens: Otherwise, maybe an offseason idea? It’s a lot of work

2:32
The Real Ben Clemens: speaking of needing laughs, it would be hilarious if this is the year that KC finally trades Merrifield at the moment his value is at the lowest it’s ever been

2:32
Ben Clemens: there’s no accounting for GMDM

2:33
Jason N: What do the Nats need to add to Soto to get Volpe away from the Yanks?

2:33
Ben Clemens: Boy, Yankees fans are hilarious

2:33
Ben Clemens: it’s Volpe plus, not vice versa

2:33
Malcolm Nunez: These chatters have been brainwashed.  There are not good airlines, or airlines worthy of being a favorite.  They are all terrible, and exist with no competition due to federal funding. These chatters are stooges for the socialism-for-business-but-not-people of Late Capitalism.

2:33
Ben Clemens: I think stooges is a bit harsh, but yeah, it’s more about least bad

2:34
KGJR24: Best player under 27 in AL and NL?

2:34
Ben Clemens: hmmmmm…. Alvarez and Soto, I guess

2:34
SFOtoEWR: Maybe you’re a stooge for not being able to detect an ounce of humor ?

2:34
Boing: Who has the highest wRC+ by the end of their careers: Soto, Vlad, or Alvarez?

2:34
Ben Clemens: I’ll take Soto, but Alvarez is closer

2:34
Ben Clemens: than Vlad

2:35
Scott: Given the Nationals situation and the likelihood of losing him as a free agent, isn’t this the best move anyway?

2:35
Ben Clemens: the best move is to sign him!

2:35
Ben Clemens: The Nats aren’t actually budget constrained. They’re running a $139 million payroll

2:35
Ben Clemens: that’s gonna go down next year, and continue to go down

2:35
Ben Clemens: they could bump up against the tax easily if they wanted

2:36
Ben Clemens: having one of the best players in baseball and then letting him leave is dumb, in my opinion

2:36
Shaggy: Does a package of Mayer, Bello, Yorke and Duran get the Nats attention for Soto?

2:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah, probably? I think it’d need a little more but I’m not confident in my prospect evaluations there

2:36
KGJR24: I’m with on Alvarez for sure, he’s a beast. I lean towards Tatis when healthy.

2:36
Ben Clemens: He was my other consideration but that when healthy is doing a lot of work

2:36
Wes: I’m sorry, but if SFOtoEWR thinks that being a stooge means not being able to detect humor, then I know of three stooges that they need to be introduced to

2:37
Didace: Soto likes DC.

2:37
Travis: Tatis for Acuna, who says no

2:37
Ben Clemens: Topical question that I’m not sure of the answer on

2:37
Sharps: Tatis for President, who says no

2:37
Morbo: Me

2:38
Ben Clemens: Morbo prefers to run for galactic dictator, I believe

2:38
Preller: I’m not trading 12 years of Tatis for 2 of Soto. Come on.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that’s an obvious Padres say no in my opinion

2:38
Ben Clemens: But I also don’t think the Nats would do it!

2:38
Morbo: Yes, the puny human is correct

2:38
NobleHelium: Should the Yankees offer Matt Carpenter a contract extension?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Haha oh man

2:39
Ben Clemens: No?

2:39
Jim Bob: Do you see any of these closers getting traded?: G Soto, D Bednar, S Barlow?

2:40
Ben Clemens: No, yes, yes

2:40
Baseball fan: Trevor Rogers and Jazz for Soto – who says no?

2:40
Ben Clemens: I mean, the Nats

2:40
Ben Clemens: I love the varying Soto trade packages

2:41
Ben Clemens: there are the irrationally light ones — like, Volpe for Soto plus value is just not gonna happen

2:41
Ben Clemens: the I kinda get it but wrong idea ones (this one is like that — I think it’s light but I think both Rogers and Jazz have plenty of value)

2:41
Ben Clemens: and then the ones that actually come closest to what I think the Nats want, which is just x team’s top 4 prospects

2:41
The Real Ben Clemens: come on everyone obviously the best package for Soto is Frazier and Andujar

2:42
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure Soto is enough for Andujar

2:42
Ben Clemens: that guy’s a future hall of famer

2:42
Sharps: Rather than the specifics, would you go for lottery tickets or low-risk/low reward prospects as the Nats?

2:42
Ben Clemens: neither!

2:42
Ben Clemens: why would you choose? Go for high-likelihood top prospects

2:42
Ben Clemens: You’re trading Juan Soto!

2:42
polk: Are any players other than Soto going to be traded?

2:43
Ben Clemens: When we have talked about it internally, we’ve focused on Contreras, Soto, Montas, and Luis Castillo as the best players with reasonable likelihood of getting traded

2:43
Sodo Mojo: If you are trading for Soto and you have to take the Strasburg or Corbin contract which one would you take?

2:43
Ben Clemens: Corbin

2:43
Ben Clemens: Just less money, and I’m pessimistic about Strasburg’s health, which sucks

2:44
SFOtoEWR: Mariners going for Castillo seems perfect right ?

2:44
Ben Clemens: Could totally see that

2:44
fan: In terms of a prospect offer for Soto.. The Pads seem like a good mix of MLB ready types and high ranking A ballers right? Abrams, Ruiz, Campy, Hassel, Wood, ect

2:44
Will: Rangers seem to have best combo of prospect quality and depth + timeline to make the Soto deal

2:44
Dave: Obviously, the best offer for Soto is Tristan Thompson + Shumpert + Nets pick

2:44
Dave: Well, maybe not after the Gobert deal

2:45
Ben Clemens: I know this isn’t a basketball chat, but goodness gracious I do not get the Rudy Gobert dela

2:45
Appa Yip Yip: Soto for Kevin Durant straight up everyone wins 👍

2:45
Cardinals: Is there any realistic package St. Louis could trade for Soto that you would think is too much?

2:46
Ben Clemens: Sure. Let’s say that the Nats ask for Walker, Winn, Hence, Gorman, Libby, and Carlson

2:46
Ben Clemens: that’s too much for sure

2:46
Scott: At what point will the Austin Nola trade end up as one of the all-time heists (France, etc for a 0.0 WAR player)?

2:46
Ben Clemens: and that doesn’t even include Munoz!

2:46
Insert Witty Name Here: Haven’t heard any DeGrom comments yet.  How excited are you for his return in less than two weeks?!

2:46
Ben Clemens: Oh man, so much

2:46
Ben Clemens: I’m watching every deGrom start this year

2:46
Ben Clemens: I’ve missed it so much

2:47
Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

2:47
DMcKee: Is a package of Matsumoto, Katoh, Kiyomiya and Renato Nunez enough to bring Soto to the Nippon Ham Fighters?

2:47
Dave Cameron: Don’t give up on Nola just yet!

2:47
Ben Clemens: Nola has time to change the narrative, but man do I love Ty France

2:47
Ben Clemens: and Munoz too

2:48
Ben Clemens: I kind of see why the Padres made that trade, but it has not worked out well so far

2:48
HappyFunBall: Corbin is at least a functional pitcher. He’s a massive overpay for what he gives you, but at least he gives you something. Strasburg’s contract is throwing money in a hole.

2:48
Ben Clemens: Yeah…. as many commenters have also pointed out, you could just jam him in at closer and hope something clicks

2:48
Nuke Laloosh: Help me out here, I can’t figure out why any of the 30 teams shouldn’t try for Soto?

2:48
Ben Clemens: Basically if you aren’t going to offer him a contract (and lots of teams aren’t even if they can afford it)

2:48
Ben Clemens: he’s only around for 2.5 more years

2:49
Ben Clemens: so if you’re the Pirates, and you’re gonna miss the playoffs with or without Soto and aren’t interested in adding payroll

2:49
Ben Clemens: well, what’s the point?

2:49
Justin: more general question inspired by watching degrom – do you prefer to watch great pitching on tv, where you can appreciate the movement of all the pitches, or would you still want to see it live?

2:49
Ben Clemens: Live

2:49
Ben Clemens: I went to so many deGrom starts when I lived in New York

2:49
Ben Clemens: It’s just an amazing atmosphere

2:50
Sharps: Great comment Appa Yip Yip. U made everybody in the chat better today which adds to your legacy.

2:50
Ben Clemens: boy do I love Kevin Durant

2:50
Russo: Are people overestimating what the Nats can get for Soto? People are throwing out four top 100 prospects including a top 10-15 guy and that’s unprecedented.

2:50
Ben Clemens: We’re going to find out pretty soon!

2:51
Ben Clemens: I think that’s unprecedented, but also that someone like Soto getting traded is unprecedented

2:51
Ben Clemens: so, even steven

2:51
Nuke Laloosh: Will or won’t, that makes sense…but all SHOULD right (including signing him too)?

2:52
Ben Clemens: That’s an ownership question, and I’d say yeah. But given budget constraints, no. If you can convince your owner that putting Soto in the middle of your lineup for the next two decades and building around him is worth the money, then you should try to trade for him

2:52
Russo: Is Soto really an unprecedented trade chip? Admittedly this was 15 years ago but Miguel Cabrera got traded, and for two top 10 prospects. But it was two top 10 prospects and then guys outside of the top 100.

2:52
Ben Clemens: Cabrera is probably the closest comparison in the last 30 years

2:52
Ben Clemens: trade markets are pretty different now than they were then, but yeah, that’s maybe the best example

2:53
Ben Clemens: but yeah, two top ten prospects is pretty good! I used the Sale deal as another comp, and that got a highly-regarded #1 overall prospect plus good other pieces

2:53
Dakota mckee: Add Thomas Jefferson to the Soto package than the trade would be unpresidented

2:53
Ben Clemens: just so long as they don’t trade Teddy

2:53
Appa Yip Yip: What, in your opinion, are the s tier vegetables of the world? What about s tier fruit?

2:53
Ben Clemens: now HERE is a question

2:54
Ben Clemens: S tier veggies for me: broccoli, arugula, corn

2:54
Ben Clemens: there are plenty of A tier veggies, of course, but those are the three I use most often and love

2:56
Ben Clemens: S tier fruits? blackberries and apples

2:56
aloha: I trade Soto for a day’s hike on the Napoli Coast trail.

2:57
Ben Clemens: I did the Hanakapi’ai Falls hike, I’m not sure I’d trade Soto for it but I highly suggest it

2:57
Ben Clemens: That was easily the most majestic waterfall I’ve ever seen

2:57
bron cena: Re the mystery 3B— is Moncada not the guy described?

2:57
Ben Clemens: Moncada will not be on the list, I guarantee it

2:57
Cito’s Mustache: Does the money/contract side of baseball ever get you down? Like, it’s kinda depressing knowing rich owners deprive their fans of great players so they can pocket more money. There’s also the whole Minor League salaries thing. Or is the financial side of the game just another element of it that you accept and enjoy covering? Thanks, Ben.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Oh totally

2:58
Ben Clemens: It’s my least favorite part of baseball

2:58
Ben Clemens: It’s funny, you’d think that coming to baseball from finance would make me like that part the most

2:58
Ben Clemens: But it’s kinda the opposite

2:58
Strawberry Bonds: Onions and garlic are the only s tier vegetables. There are a lot of other great ones, but these two are key to so many recipes they are on a tier of their own – hence s tier.

2:58
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that garlic is a vegetable, but onions were a huge miss on my part

2:58
Ben Clemens: automatic S tier, totally agree

2:59
CB: Is there any player who – if added to the trade block – could get the league more hot and bothered than Soto?

2:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah, for sure

2:59
Ben Clemens: Julio, Tatis, Acuna, Yordan, Vlad

2:59
Ben Clemens: just to name five

2:59
Morbo: Shallots > onions

2:59
Ben Clemens: onion family in general

2:59
Ben Clemens: I’m counting shallots, white, red, yellow, and scallions all as onions

2:59
Morbo: Fight me

2:59
Ben Clemens: I prefer not to

3:00
Ben Clemens: My go-to salad is arugula with a dressing of minced shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt

3:00
Guest: How much does Mike Trout fall on the list?

3:00
Ben Clemens: A lot, sadly

3:00
Ben Clemens: the health issues are still there, and he’s getting older and not any cheaper, and I’m honestly starting to worry just a bit about his contact rates

3:00
Brandon: Will the Soto trade ultimately come down to what top 15 prospect the Nats like most? Like if it’s Walker vs. Abrams vs. Alvarez, if the Nats just prefer Walker, doesn’t that put Soto in STL?

3:00
Ben Clemens: Yeah I think so

3:00
Ben Clemens: That makes this whole thing hard to handicap

3:01
The Real Ben Clemens: how good would deGrom have to be over an approx. 11-13 start span to get legitimate Cy Young consideration

3:01
Ben Clemens: It’s just not possible sadly

3:01
Ben Clemens: he put up 4.9 WAR in 15 starts last year

3:01
Ben Clemens: and didn’t get legitimate consideration

3:01
Ben Clemens: that’s one of the best 15-start stretches of all time

3:01
Ben Clemens: 1.08 ERA, 45% strikeout rate, 3% walk rate

3:02
Ben Clemens: if deGrom came back and didn’t allow a single run all year, maybe?

3:02
Morbo: I mean Jake arrieta won a cy young for basically the second half of a season and degrom is obviously better

3:02
Ben Clemens: right… but we have a great example of the fact that voters won’t vote for something like that

3:02
Ben Clemens: and it’s deGrom himself

3:02
bron cena: oh I misread that lol. I thought that was three descriptors of one guy, a 3B who looked like a bust for his first 500 PA, who’s young and didn’t make HM, and got wildly unlucky his first two months this year

3:02
Ben Clemens: ohhhhhh that makes more sense

3:02
Ben Clemens: Yeah it was three mystery items

3:03
Ben Clemens: Moncada is a strange one. We had him off the list last year and that was probably wrong. But I think this year it’ll be right to leave him off

3:03
jas: Would the Reds trade Castillo to the Cardinals? Would the Cardinals trade future pieces to the Reds? Not sure who would be more reluctant

3:03
Ben Clemens: I thikn they’d be willing to. The future is in the future. Now is now. Do the thing htat helps you out the most

3:03
White Sox: Would Romas, Montgomery, Colas, and Vera be laughed at for Soto? 28th-30th system means not worth a great deal, so add a 5th prospect?

3:04
Ben Clemens: it would be laughed at

3:04
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that adding a fifth prospect would significantly change that

3:04
Ben Clemens: the Nats NEED to get back a huge headlining top name, in my opinion

3:04
AD: Remider in the Miggy trade comp, Tigers took on Dontrelle Willis’ contract AND gave up two top 10 prospects. If a team isn’t taking Corbin/Stras the top 4 prospects seems legit to me

3:05
Ben Clemens: the Dontrelle contract wasn’t that atrocious, but yeah

3:05
RTJ: Soto to Red sox for X and who else?

3:05
Ben Clemens: why would the Nats want Bogaerts?

3:05
Ben Clemens: why would the Red Sox want to get rid of Bogaerts?

3:05
Another Ben: fun fact:garlic, onion, shallot, leek are all in the same family. They are alliums, or the lily family!

3:05
Ben Clemens: I had no idea

3:06
x2R: Is Shane McClanahan running free for the AL Cy Young? Maybe Verlander?

3:06
Ben Clemens: My top 5 are McClanahan, Wheeler, Gausman, Cease, Bieber in some order

3:06
Ben Clemens: Manoah and Cole deserve consideration to

3:06
Ben Clemens: too*

3:06
Ben Clemens: But also, it’s July. The Cy winner will probably be whoever pitches best in the second half

3:07
bron cena: Wheeler’s not in the AL

3:07
Ben Clemens: uh, I meant to say Verlander

3:07
Ben Clemens: that’s strange

3:07
aloha: BTW, your columns are my favorite.  As is The Napoli Coast…in January/February from Chicago.

3:07
Ben Clemens: Thank you!

3:07
bron cena: If CHW was really going for Soto, conversation Eloy Jimenez + Andrew Vaughn + prospects

3:07
Ben Clemens: yeah… I agree that the Sox would need to start by including good major league talent

3:08
Ben Clemens: and I actually think that’s tough for the Nats, because they’d probably want to flip it

3:08
Ben Clemens: That’s a much harder thing to do in mid-season

3:08
RTJ: stealing this:

I have to admit that I want to see the Angels acquire Juan Soto because I’m legitimately curious if they can get 20 WAR from Trout/Soto/Ohtani in 2023 and still somehow go 79-83.
18 Jul 2022
3:08
Appa Yip Yip: I make arugula tomato salad with a yogurt tahini dressing (honey, salt, lemon juice, thin with water) and it is never not top shelf. Arugula is easily the best salad green.

3:08
Ben Clemens: yogurt + tahini is great

3:09
Ben Clemens: Tahini is jsut great

3:09
Ben Clemens: I make my own chili oil, and a tahini + chili oil + acid of your choice dressing is top notch

3:09
Blake Seams: Who’s gonna bag a 30-30 season this year? Julio, Tucker, neither, or both?

3:09
Ben Clemens: I’ll go with both

3:09
Guest: Would Mets have to pay a divisional-rival premium in a Soto trade, or would offering the best package be enough?

3:10
Ben Clemens: I truly don’t know. It’s uncharted territory. That’s an ownership question wh en it’s a generational talent like Soto, and the ownership picture is murky

3:11
Ben Clemens: But could you imagine the bitterness in the fan base if Soto signs an extension in Queens and then has a great career there?

3:11
Arthur: Do the A’s get a small ransom for Laureano now he’s got an extra year of control?

3:12
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so? I have him in the Trent Grisham tier of controllable but not good enough to fetch a staggering return

3:12
Ben Clemens: I think the A’s might trade him, for sure, but I’m just not a huge believer in the bat long-term

3:12
Matt (Oceanside): Got to get my Soto trade proposal in on behalf of the Dodgers. Do you think Cartaya, Vargas, Busch, Miller, and Pepiot is enough?

3:12
Ben Clemens: probably?

3:12
Ben Clemens: I like 3 of tohse guys quite a bit, and the other two are still good

3:13
Epstein’s Mother: I just tried looking up *on this site* where Soto ranks among active position players in career WAR through age 23 season.  Bryce Harper’s name didn’t come up, because … he’s injured, so doesn’t count as active?  Seems like not the best way to measure ‘active’ is being employed!

Oh, and the answer is he needs 0.7 WAR this season to catch Harper, and 17.1 to match Trout. #TroutFacts

3:13
Ben Clemens: ah yeah… ‘active roster’ stuff is tricky

3:14
Ben Clemens: we could do on 40-mans + 60-day IL or something? I dunno

3:14
Finnegan’s Seam-shifted Wake: In OOTP scouting parlance (but in real life players), favor tools or favor ability?

3:14
Ben Clemens: In real life, favor ability

3:14
Ben Clemens: In my OOTP games, favor tools

3:14
Curious Jorge: Hypothetical about DeGrom: Let’s say he either doesn’t pitch in two more seasons to be Hall eligible, or he comes back and is a shadow of himself. Would he be the best pitcher in their peak not to make the Hall?

And wwo is the best peak hitter not to make the Hall?

(Or should I wait for Jaffe’s chat?)

3:14
Ben Clemens: This is probably a Jay question, but I think that would make dG the best pitcher not to make the hall

3:14
Ben Clemens: as for hitters, hm

3:15
Ben Clemens: what about my boy Hal Trosky Sr?

3:15
Doug: I heard the Nats need leadership. Hosmer for Soto straight-up?

3:15
Dakota mckee: Could Cody bellinger be part of a (boring ass) dodgers deal for Soto as a potential name replacement? Or is his value completely negative at this point?

3:15
Ben Clemens: negative

3:15
The Ghost of Bobby Thigpen: Deal neither team would do

Robert, Vaughn, Montgomery, Ramos for Soto…

Value is probably close (because of total years of control)….but, man…

3:15
Ben Clemens: I actually would prefer the Sox side of that

3:16
Ben Clemens: Robert has exceeded my expectations in the big leagues

3:16
Ben Clemens: as in, I think the Sox would be giving up ‘too much’

3:16
Ben Clemens: it’s still close

3:16
Ben Clemens: but I think Robert actually has comparable trade value to Soto

3:16
hays: Does Santander fetch anything useful?

3:17
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think so

3:17
Ben Clemens: If you’re a contending team with an outfield gap (looking at you, Padres), Santander is a nice bat who you can keep around for a while

3:18
RTJ: I actually asked that dG Q two weeks ago to Jay: 3:06RTJ: Who is the best SP to not make the hall of fame due to injuries, and will it be Jacob deGrom?
3:10
 Jay Jaffe: deGrom (42.4 WAR/39.8 Peak Adj/41.1 S-JAWS) is about nine points behind Johan Santana (51.7/45.0/48.3) and both are well behind Wes Ferrell (60.1/47.5/57.3), who pitched just 2,623 innings, with fewer than 600 outside of a 10-year stretch.

3:18
Mets fan: Where does Trea Turner sign? Seems like a perfect fit for the Mets, especially if Nimmo walks

3:18
Ben Clemens: I could see that, but I think he’s most likely to remain with the Dodgers

3:19
Ben Clemens: They have some money to spend, and though I know he’s not actually a California guy, he seems like a California guy to me

3:19
Mets fan: He actually said he would love to play for the Mets…can’t help but hope!

3:19
SFOtoEWR: Os gonna trade Mancini?

3:19
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so. I’d keep him if I were them. The return wouldn’t be earth-shattering and he’s just a great sentimental O

3:19
McKinley: Congrats, you’ve just traded for Juan Soto!  What now?  Does $400 / 10yr get it done?

3:20
Ben Clemens: I tihnk that’s about right. That’s the arbitrary deal I suggested in today’s article, actually

3:20
Ben Clemens: I dunno if he’d take it but that would require a lonnnnnn glook

3:20
fan: What do you think Josh Bell is pulling as the best rental bat?

3:20
Ben Clemens: A nice prospect, or two interesting prospects

3:21
Pat: Mets have Lindor, why would they sign Turner?

3:21
Ben Clemens: not really sure

3:21
Ben Clemens: but hey, Turner can play second

3:22
Todd Bonzalez: What would the Rockies do if they had the privilege of trading Juan Soto?

3:22
Ben Clemens: pay down some of his arbitration awards to extract more prospects

3:22
Ben Clemens: which is something I respect about the Rockies; even when they do wildly confusing stuff like extending and then alienating Arenado, they went for a prospect return rather than just dumping salary

3:23
Phil: If you were an assistant GM in Washington and your job was to pick the number of players in the return for Soto, and then other people had to work out a package with that number, what would you decide was the ideal number?

3:23
Ben Clemens: four

3:23
PhilsPhan: Any insight into Mavis Graves, the HS LHP the Phils just took in the 6th?

3:23
Ben Clemens: spectacular name

3:24
Ben Clemens: anagrams to VMS vagaries or massive Garv

3:24
Ben Clemens: savvier Mags, if you’re looking for a player comp to Magneuris Sierra

3:24
Alby: What’s hilarious about flying out of Newark? It was the only way I could get to France for two years.

3:24
Ben Clemens: It’s just my least favorite of the three NY airports to fly out of

3:24
Ben Clemens: not that any of them are great

3:25
Guest: I don’t think I’ve ever been looking for a player comp to Magneuris Sierra

3:25
Ben Clemens: Your loss, buddy

3:25
Small important: What’s a small but important trade that occurs? I’m seeing a Robertson return to the BX. And EWR is trash. Trash that is also far

3:26
Ben Clemens: Robertson to NY makes sense. What about the one I just made up, Santander to the Padres?

3:26
Ben Clemens: David Bednar to the Mets

3:26
Pat: Magglio Ordonez is the best Maggs!

3:26
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that’s a very good point

3:26
Ben Clemens: I have no defense except for the one-g two-g difference

3:26
Guest: Side note – is there a “most depressing player” for a draft pick to be comped to? Not a guy that was truly awful but one who would elicit a reaction of “Oh…”

3:26
Ben Clemens: Kyler Murray

3:27
Ben Clemens: but um…. if someone gave me a Mark Prior comp I’d be sad

3:27
Ezra: Hi long time reader first time writer, would Santander to the Pads get Tatis?

3:27
Phil: Trade proposal: Soto for the Orioles’ conceding on the endless MASN dispute.

3:27
Ben Clemens: I dunno which is less plausible but I love both

3:28
Ben Clemens: alright, thanks everyone for a wonderful chat today, but I’m goin to go start preparing lunch

3:28
Ben Clemens: Today we’re doing some leftover collard green pesto my wife made, plus veggies and rice

3:28
Ben Clemens: should be delicious

3:28
Ben Clemens: may all your home run derbies be Alonso-esque

3:28
Pedro: Soto to Russia.  Putin leaves Ukraine

3:28
Ben Clemens: Okay fine one last trade

3:29
Ben Clemens: Have a great draft and all star week, everyone





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

3 Comments
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johndarc
28 days ago

I hate that so many people waste Ben’s time with shitty jokes and/or bad proposals. I wanted to know what the Yankees would actually have to offer to get Soto, not lukewarm “Andujar and Frazier” stuff. Could they get away with keeping Volpe? Or is he a must? Peraza is arguably more ready.

Rollie's Mustachemember
27 days ago
Reply to  johndarc

Is this sarcastic? I can’t tell.

Seanmember
26 days ago
Reply to  johndarc

I’d be curious to hear the FG folks’ take on the valuations at baseballtradevalues.com. My amateur fan view is that they seem pretty accurate. But if you agree with Ben that the Nats are unlikely to include Corbin or Strasburg in a Soto deal because of how much that would kill the prospect haul (which I do), it is impossible to structure a realistic Yankees offer that doesn’t include Volpe.

Soto = $176.8M value

Volpe = $52.6M

Next 5 most valuable Yankee prospects:

Peraza = $20.3M
Pereira = $16.8M
Dominguez = $14.9M
Waldichuck = $9.9M
Weneski = $9.1M