Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 1/28/2021 by Craig Edwards January 28, 2021 2:06 Craig Edwards: We’ll get going in just a few minutes. I posted the chat later than normal so want to get the queue going. 2:14 Guest: Is there a contender with wider error bars on W/L than the Yankees? I feel like they could win 80-100 games and none of those results would be unexpected. 2:15 Craig Edwards: I’m not quite sure the floor is that low. They’ve added even more pitching, even if it is risky, and the bullpen should be solid. We could definitely see a few big injuries and the rotation not stack up and then they are down close to 80 wins, but I would be very surprised if they finished below .500 even if a bunch of bad things happened. 2:16 Mike Rizzo: Who do the Nats need to add to make you think they will make the playoffs? 2:18 Craig Edwards: To think they will make the playoffs heading into the season is going to be tough. There are two teams definitely ahead of them plus Philadelphia just got closer. I think Turner and/or Wong might be decent additions. A trade for a catcher might help. They probably have to do several small things because it doesn’t look like a big thing is available unless they went for Arenado or something like that. I do still see them as intriguing trade partners with the Cubs. 2:19 MLB Draft Results: Has there been any research recently (say, last 10 years or so) about how much more likely a top ten draft pick is to become an MLB regular/star than, say, a 20-30 pick? Or put differently, is it really a big deal to be drafting at the #10 spot than the #25 spot? 2:20 Craig Edwards: I wrote this a while back which should give you some idea. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/an-update-on-how-to-value-draft-picks/ 2:22 Brujan: The Rays middle infield looks crowded, and all the more so with Wander on the way. Realistically how (and where) could we see Brujan playing in Tampa Bay this season? 2:22 Craig Edwards: Eric wrote up the Rays prospects today: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-62-prospects-tampa-bay-rays/ 2:23 Craig Edwards: and he mentioned CF as a possibility so between 2B, CF, and maybe some SS, there are pathways to some playing time even if the Rays have a bunch of guys already there. 2:24 Curtis: Who is the best defensive player in baseball irregardless of position? 2:27 Craig Edwards: That’s tough to say. Overall, it might be Roberto Perez. If you are talking compared to the rest of the players at the position, it might be Matt Olson or Kolten Wong, though with Olson, we’ll get a better idea of just how good Evan White is over a full season. You also have Nolan Arenado and Matt Olson at third. 2:28 Old timer: I have heard nothing on Nomar Mazara? As young as he is, I thought someone might take a flyer with an earlier signing. Japan possible at this point? 2:28 Craig Edwards: The White Sox did take a flyer on him last year and didn’t pan out though it was just a short season. He’s probably further down the list for teams as they look through the still-available players. 2:29 Adam: Hi Craig, I remain optimistic that the Cards will bring back Yadi/Waino…..but do you think they’ll do anything else? I realize the signs points to DeWitt prioritizing profit over wins, but, with the NL Central WIDE OPEN, maybe chasing wins will result in more profit via playoff revenue? 2:30 Craig Edwards: I think they probably will, and maybe another bench bat of some sort, but that alone might make them favorites in the Central. 2:30 Matt: According to reports, 2 teams need a SS: the Reds and Phillies. But did we forget about the A’s? Their current starting middle infield is… Chad Pinder and Tony Kemp. The A’s have said they don’t have money to spend but they have to trade for at least one SS or 2B, right? Between Didi and Amed Rosario, there are only 2 options for 3 teams. With that being said, should the Rays try to trade Adames to whichever team doesn’t land a SS? They gotta make room for Franco, Brujan & Walls at some point. 2:34 Craig Edwards: I’m not sure people have forgotten about the A’s, I know Power Alley on MLBNetwork Radio mentioned them, but I do think people are assuming they won’t be in on Gregorious. The A’s do need a shortstop, and a trade seems like the most likely option at this point with most of the shortstops now gone. I suppose Cleveland could be an option, maybe Tampa Bay as well. Nick Ahmed, Orlando Arcia, or a lower-tier option like Edmundo Sosa, maybe. 2:34 Smiling Politely: Assuming we get no DH, what do you think happens with Ozuna, Turner, and Joc (I assume that’s a big part of why each is unsigned, still)? 2:35 Craig Edwards: I think the biggest reason they are unsigned is that there were bigger names still waiting to go ahead of them. The market should take shape now and I think they’ll probably all get about what was expected going into the winter. 2:35 Old timer: Will the A’s sign any free agents? I always expected them to bottom feed but it is almost February. 2:35 Craig Edwards: There are still a lot of free agents available. 2:35 LB: What do you make of the vaguely-rumored Amed Rosario-to-Reds rumors? I’d be very intrigued to see what Cleveland is asking and/or how acquiring Amed would impact the Reds’ plans 2:37 Craig Edwards: The Reds have a decent team for the NL Central, but they really need a shortstop. Rosario would definitely be a low-cost option and if Cleveland sees Gimenez as the long-term option there, I could see it happening. 2:37 Ohtani’s Rocket Arm: What do you think are the chances Ohtani continues pitching long term? I’ve seen a lot of speculation that he won’t, or that he’ll switch to the bullpen. But wouldn’t the Angels want to give him every opportunity to keep starting if he can do so, given the upside (and frankly, the fact that even if he blows out his arm completely, he could still be a good hitter)? 2:37 Craig Edwards: I don’t know why you’d stop trying at this point unless he proved to be ineffective as a pitcher. 2:37 Deep Toot: Is it worth applying or talking to Paul Spoorer about the part time position if one doesn’t have a writing portfolio? 2:39 Craig Edwards: For any not aware, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs are hiring. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-and-rotographs-are-hiring/ 2:40 Craig Edwards: If you don’t have a writing portfolio, you should highlight what you can do, what other work you’ve done and what you will be able to do. I’m not sure where that puts you among other candidates, but I don’t think applying would be a bad idea. 2:41 Fenway Faithful: Seems like a lot of people are celebrating Dalbec’s mlb entrance, and sure the power is real, but I can’t look past the fact that he struck out basically half of his at bats, and had similar K issues in the minors. What are the chances we see him strike himself out of a starting spot this year and have the Red Sox weighing whether to promote Casas early? 2:42 Craig Edwards: He’s been a guy who has done better repeating levels, in terms of strikeouts. It’s possible the numbers stay really high and his power won’t be able to play without some contact, but if he can get his ks to drop some as he gets used to MLB pitching, he can be a solid player. 2:43 Craig Edwards: Casas might not be without the same issues. He’s likely going to get more time in the minors after not getting enough reps last year. If he hits well in the high minors, he’ll get a chance. 2:43 Mountie Votto: Are there any signs of hope for Amed Rosario to reach anywhere near his Top 10 prospect status beyond youth/relative SSS in the majors? What would he cost the Reds? 2:44 Craig Edwards: Rosario has still shown flashes of being very good so not getting a full season out of him last year delayed finding out more about him. A full season might show him to be an above-average starter, and it seems like he’ll get that chance this year. 2:45 Bones: If you were the Jays, what SP would you be trying to sign? Walker, Paxton, Odorizzi? Someone else? 2:47 Craig Edwards: All three would make sense, as would Tanaka, who is heading to Japan. I’m not sure if they will add anyone else though with a guaranteed spot given they have a little bit of depth now. 2:48 Mountie Votto: Why wouldn’t the Reds be in on Carlos Rodon? Too pricey? They lost 2 rotation members this offseason, and their pitching dev guys + Derek Johnson could potentially work wonders there, no? 2:48 Craig Edwards: Just depends what scouts report on his throwing session, whether he’s more reliever or starter at this point. 2:49 DmvNat: What have the Mets shown or proven recently, to garner all this belief that they will be contenders in the east this year. Braves have won the division last 3 years and the nats are 1 year removed from a championship, 2:51 Craig Edwards: They just added one of the best players in baseball, two good starting pitchers, and a decent catcher to a team that already has one of the best if not the best pitcher in baseball. 2:51 Raleigh: La Stella to the Giants. Thoughts? Should see full time at bats. The park factors might revert back to normal. Are we suspecting giants hitters to dip in production this year or do you think they can maintain similar levels going forward? Guys like Yas, Slater, Flores, Belt 2:52 Craig Edwards: I think that’s an interesting play by the Giants. They probably won’t compete this season, but La Stella is a relatively-low cost guy with upside given his bat who could give them a head start on 2022 if things go well. 2:52 Aceman: Are Phillies gonna make a move for a SS? Can’t imagine they wanna go with Segura….maybe trade for Andrus or maybe Tucker or Newman from Pittsburgh? 2:52 Craig Edwards: I assume they will do something. 2:53 Devers: Any reason to worry about my strikeout rates last year and my chase rates generally? I’m still young and have a great season to my name, but what’s the level of concern (if any) about my plate discipline moving forward? 2:53 Craig Edwards: I’d chalk most of it up to the small sample in an unusual season. I think the 2019 breakout is still real. 2:54 Nationals Outfield: What to do with Victor Robles? Do you see a path to his becoming the all-star the Nats hoped they had in him? Or is his weak contact and poor statcast data just too much to overcome? 2:55 Craig Edwards: He was an above-average player in 2019. I think you just hope that 2020 was an anomaly and that he can get somewhere close to average on offense and use his speed and defense to make him a good player, overall. 2:55 Mountie Votto: When you say Rosario would be “low-cost” are you talking salary cost (yes, it’s low) or acquisition cost? 2:55 Craig Edwards: i was referring to salary, though the prospects needed to trade for him wouldn’t be exorbitant. 2:57 Johnny5Alive: The Mets need SP depth, and yet they traded a potential starter. I know Matz has not realized his potential, but he was still better than trotting out some of the 4A guys. This has to portend a future deal right? Either with Bauer or at least a second tier guy? 2:58 Craig Edwards: I think when you look at in tandem with Lucchesi it was just getting a similar pitcher for less money, but they probably aren’t done. 2:59 Mountie Votto: Which of the stagnant NL Central teams has the most untapped upside? 3:00 Craig Edwards: Probably the Brewers or the Cardinals. Milwaukee has a bunch of players with relatively modest projections who could break out, and with Woodruff and Burnes, there’s a ton of potential there. The Cardinals have a weird outfield situation and a bunch of arms in the rotation with unclear futures, but if they figure things out, they could be really good. Plus, St. Louis’ bullpen has huge upside. 3:01 45 blows billygoats: Looking at the plethora of SEA young arms, does Gilbert get that #5 shot out of ST or just a sniff at end of year? 3:02 Craig Edwards: I assume he’ll get a shot, but I don’t see him with the inside track. https://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=11 3:02 Costanza: What does it take to make Nolan Arenado a Met? Would Colorado take Cano as part of any package? 3:03 Craig Edwards: I’m not quite sure if he can be traded, but even if he could, he’s got a no-trade clause, and even if he didn’t, that would increase the prospect cost considerably, which I doubt the Mets would want to do. 3:03 Spleebs: What do you think of the Blue Jays and Mets trade of Steven Matz for Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diáz and Josh Winckowski 3:03 Craig Edwards: Tony Wolfe wrote that one up. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/blue-jays-add-even-more-rotation-depth-in-… 3:05 Craig Edwards: I’m not sure there’s that much to it. Maybe Matz is better than he showed last year, but the prospects sent over aren’t any guys Toronto couldn’t do without. 3:05 Old timer: Anyone interested in Homer Bailey? Another player I thought someone would take a flyer on by now. He can’t be asking for a lot. 3:05 Craig Edwards: He’ll probably find a home when things clear out a bit. 3:06 GDiggity: Highest ceiling…Kelenic, Rodriguez or Torkelson? 3:07 Craig Edwards: Rodriguez, Kelenic, Torkelson in that order. 3:07 Craig Edwards: Going to have to cut things a bit short today. Thanks for all the questions. You all are the best.