Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/9/2020 by Dan Szymborski January 9, 2020 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Happy current year everyone! 12:02 Dan Szymborski: It is now time. A time for chats. 12:02 Alex: Do you think the White Sox are done in FA after Cishek addition? With their current team, do you think they top 85 wins? 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Like most teams, they’re essentially done simply because there’s not a lot left out there! I’m comfortable in the mid-80s somewhere, but we’ll see as we get closer to the year. 12:03 Dan Szymborski: I’m happy they have a deal with Luis Robert which means no games on that front. 12:04 Dave: If you could pick any 3 current MLB managers to compete in a chili cookoff, who ya got? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: I have no knowledge of managerial chili interest, but I’d definitely have Gardenhire. He lived in Oklahoma and then Texas and he doesn’t seem to be the type to have tofu-kale chili, 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Maybe Francona and Snitker? 12:06 Dave: There’s a report that Bryant is going to lose his hearing. Do you think having 2 years left on his deal makes him more or less likely to be dealt? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: More likely only that there will be some certainty as to what you’re buying. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Like imagine you’re buying hot dogs at the grocery store and the good hot dogs are now in an unmarket container that says 8 or 16 hot dogs. 12:07 LaVieEnBleu108: why do people think that Ozuna is actually a good investment??! 🤣 12:07 Dan Szymborski: As always, it depends on the price. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: There’s a price at which Ozuna’s a good signing and a price at which he’s a dreadful signing 12:07 Dave: Any chance of you appearing on Effectively Wild someday? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, nobody’s ever asked me. 12:08 GY: Does Puig get 2 years? 1 year 10 million for the indians? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: He might get two. No longer though 12:08 GSon: Chris Antonetti/Mark Chernoff asked for best & final offers for Lindor about 10 days ago. Since then, Antonetti and CLEFO have announced Lindor’s confirmed participation in Tribe Fest (a winter festival all about the indians) and announced that he now strongly believes Lindor will be the Indians starting SS for the 2020 season.. So, when is the trade going down?.. who’s coming back from where?. 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I suspect at this point that it’s not happening unless someone gives a bester, finaller offer. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Remember, these aren’t official designations, just negotiating tactics. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: If the Dodgers came back and offered Lux and May and Seager (they won’t), it’s not like the Indians are going to say “Sorry, we’d take that deal, but it would violate the Covenant of Last and Best.” 12:09 Paco Banane: What do you think of Tommy Edman? 12:09 Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll be a solid starter, but probably nto the level of 2019 12:10 Magic Kingdome: Is ZiPS like that computer in that old 1980s movie Electric Dreams, always messing with your personal life? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Dan has a personal life? 12:10 Don Szymborksi: I got one of your emails and just wanted to let you know that your subscription to the Murray Chass newsletter expires next month. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: OH CRAP 12:11 Corbin Carroll: Kiley mentioned Corbin Carroll was adjusted to a 50 FV mainly due to his abnormally high EV. Do you know where I can find his average EV this past summer? 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I don’t have access to that data, so not sure 12:11 Rox Fan: Greater odds: Arenado getting traded or Bridich getting fired? 12:11 Dan Szymborski: The former. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think either is likely. 12:12 Dan Szymborski: The buzz I’ve heard, which isn’t the least bit surprising, is that the Rockies asks aren’t remotely realistic. 12:12 Dan Szymborski: It would be very Rockies to not understand that a contract affects a player’s trade value. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: As for Bridich, I can’t see him getting fired. The organization is so incompetent that they’ve somehow made loyalty to their employees — a trait we would normally consider laudable — an awful thing. 12:13 Magic Kingdome: Which teams gets to 90 wins again first: Mariners, Orioles, Royals, or Tigers? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: I think Tigers. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: They have pitchers fairly close to the majors. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Orioles have the worst major league roster 12:13 Dan Szymborski: But the Royals have the worst farm system easily of the four, I feel 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I’d say DET–>SEA—–>BAL—————->KC in chrono order. 12:14 Dan Szymborski: Now, the Tigers aren’t my *favorite* organization by a long shot, but I think they’re the closest to 90 12:14 Dbo: Dan, I’ve heard that you were accused of chat stealing where you have been reviewing people’s past chats and know what the questions are before they have been asked or are made available to other members of the chat. How do you plead? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: MYC ATS WERE HITTING TRASH CANS 12:15 Dan Szymborski: The truth is I have advance notice that these chats will largely feature baseball questions. 12:15 BeefLoaf108: Have any of your cats ever tried to sell ZIPS behind your back? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: Galileo would have sold everything I hold dear for Arby’s sandwiches or turkey. My other cats aren’t quite so devious. 12:15 Sir Nerdlington: The Ricketts family actually furloughed the entire Cubs FO to save a few more dollars, didn’t they? I hope TheoJed have enjoyed the time with their family. 12:15 Dan Szymborski: I must have missed this story over the holidays! 12:15 Sir Nerdlington: Cubs situation – exceptionally poor planning by Theo, Tom Ricketts pulling the football like Lucy, or just FA signings not going as planned? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: I think Theo’s largely being given an increasingly difficult situation. 12:16 Dbo: Did you get an exciting gifts for Christmas? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Gifts for me tend to be personal items, so nothing interesting for the public here. 12:16 Dan Szymborski: People know that there’s usually not much actual stuff I want and if I want something, I’ll just go buy it. 12:16 Dbo: What would your rules be if you started a XFL style baseball league? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Bat flips REQUIRED 12:17 Comish4lif: Why so little buzz around Marcell Ozuna? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Because he’s more OK than actually exciting 12:17 Electric: Is zips in the same ballpark with steamer’s Giancarlo projection of ~50 dingers? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, I ahven’t seen the Yankees projections up on FanGraphs yet! 12:17 Desperate Times: I hereby call for Desperate Measures! 12:17 tom: what new years resolution have you given up on already? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: 3840×2160 12:18 Dan Szymborski: While I do have a 4k TV, the gaming monitor is higher quality for gaming and I’d rather play at 1440p/144 Hz 12:18 Jon G: Are we going to get ZiPS prospect rankings again at some point? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Yup, they’re back this winter. 12:19 Nathan: How would taking draft picks away from the Astros or Sox work? If I remember correctly from the Cardinal hacking issue, the league did not really want to give the draft picks to the Astros but the CBA wouldn’t allow picks to just disappear since that would be taking money away from players and so the Astros got extra picks. In that case there was a clear ‘victim,’ yet in this case there are many ‘victims.’ If the picks get taken away, where do they go? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: *Was* that the case? I don’t remember it that way. Not that I’m saying your wrong, just that I don’t remember that. 12:19 Kopech: Does Michael Kopech break camp with the Sox? If so, that gives them 6 starters for 5 spots between Giolito, Keuchel, Gio, Cease, Lopez, and Kopech. Who’s the odd man out sent to the pen? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: I think he starts in the minors 12:20 tom: tofu kale chili sounds good 12:20 Richard Head: How often do you fly by the seat of your pants, percentage wise? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: 0%. I wear terrestrial pants. 12:20 Zips: Will we see any anytime soon? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Astros today, which I will wrap up after this chat. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: I lost a half-hour because of a cat! 12:21 Mickey: Jeff Zimmerman recently had a good piece on the suppressed BABIP of Teheran. Steamer regresses this and so his projections always look terrible. Does ZIPS work the same way and could you talk about how you deal with a strange case like this? 12:21 Dan Szymborski: The longer a player exceeds their zBABIP model, the more ZiPS will believe that they will continue to exceed it. 12:22 Nick Castellanos: Why doesn’t anyone like me? 12:22 Dan Szymborski: D 12:23 Bob Smith: Who is the worst baseball player ever 12:23 Dan Szymborski: Ray Oyler? 12:23 Skip: I know we have a tendency to devalue nostalgia here, but have you even seen the original Chili’s menu from 1975? It has both bean and non-bean chili. It also has a chili taco. Why can’t we go back to those days? 12:23 Dan Szymborski: Do you really want to culinarily go back to the 1970s? 12:24 Dan Szymborski: 12:25 Dan Szymborski: 12:28 Eminor3rd: Is there anything stopping a team doing a Bryant deal that has a PTBNL-style contingency based on the outcome of the grievance? Or are the potential outcomes more numerous than we think? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: I think it’s hard to have a contingent plan 12:28 Dan Szymborski: A team’s interest may be *very* different based on result 12:28 James: Will baseball ever 12:28 Dan Szymborski: Perhaps 12:28 Nick: Which division race do you expect to be closest next year? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: NL East should be a barnburner 12:29 Larry: Any chance of getting projection for Pierce Johnson who signed after you did Padres ZiPS? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Sure, I’ll amke sure to do it soon 12:29 Nolan: Is Shogo Akiyama a true center fielder? I’ve heard conflicting reports on his defensive abilities. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I’ve heard conflicting reports as well. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: He’s probably at least acceptable-ish I would guess. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: NPB defensive data is worse than minor league data 12:30 Dan Szymborski: For minor league data, I have the locations of every hit and calculate probability of each hit ball being played 12:30 Dan Szymborski: I don’t have that for NPB 12:30 tom: when will zips make it into ootp? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: It does every year now! 12:30 Alex: Dan, do you think the Red Sox will get punished almost as severely for their illegaL sign stealing operation as the Astros given this is their 2nd public offense in the last 3 years and they had already been directly warned by Manfred? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: I think the punishments will be comparable 12:30 Robert Contract: What’s your take on the Robert contract? Seems like the Sox gave him a pretty reasonable deal considering how bad the Braves hosed Acuna/Albies. 12:30 Dan Szymborski: It’s a fairer contract, I feel. Especially versus Albies 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Who essentially got Scott Kingery’s deal 12:33 Joe: Do the Orioles need to be this bad? Should they be trying to be better this year? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: I’m really tough on teams that have a hope of being competitive being cheap 12:33 Dan Szymborski: For a team like the O’s, I don’t know what it would actually accomplish 12:33 Dan Szymborski: There’s practically no evidence that attendance reacts to minor free agent spending 12:34 Dan Szymborski: There’s no marketing benefit to third-tier free agents nor will they really add wins 12:35 Dan Szymborski: I’ll bash a team for being an 83-win team refusing to invest in being an 85-win team. 12:35 Dan Szymborski: But I’ll never do that with a 63-win team not caring to drop millions to be a 65-win team. 12:35 Mark: Is it harder to project catchers? I have seen so many catcher project as really high and never amount to anything as a pro. Toby Hall comes to mind. 12:35 Dan Szymborski: Catchers are weird – they tend to drop off suddnely or come out of nowhere 12:35 Alex: Dan, what odds would you put on the Astros getting each of the following levels of punishment by extremity: a. Lifetime ban for Luhnow, 1 year suspension for Hinch, $50+ Mil fine, loss of multiple years worth of top draft picks and IFA pool $ b. Full year suspension for Luhnow, 81 game suspension for Hinch, $30+ Mil fine, loss of 1 year of draft picks and IFA pool $ c. Half season suspension for Luhnow, 40 game suspension for Hinch, $15 Mil fine, loss of this year’s 1st and 2nd round picks and 75% of IFA pool $ 12:35 Dan Szymborski: 80/15/5 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I don’t actually think the penalties will be *as* severe as c 12:36 Dave Szymborski: Don’t you dare think about coming down to NC to steal my appointment. 12:36 Seamus Catuli: Dan, I took your bare-bones recipe for chili from a couple chats ago and ran with it. Results have been great, thank you 12:36 Dbo: Do you prefer your wings bone in or boneless and what’s your favorite sauce 12:36 Dan Szymborski: No such thing as a boneless wing! Don’t let them tell you that. A wing is a wing. 12:37 Dan Szymborski: I love hot stuff, but my gastrointestinal system no longer does. So I usually get the second-hottest available buffalo sauce 12:37 Dan Szymborski: So if a restaurant’s hottest sauce is MASS GENOCIDE, then I will just get MURDER. 12:37 Stuafoo: Any word on if/where Felix plays next season? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: I’ve heard diddly squat about the King 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Maybe he’ll be in some ex-royal commune with Prince Harry 12:38 zIPPY: Dan, when will Zips continue to be released? It’s like Queso to me…i lick the bowl until there’s nothing left. 12:39 Dan Szymborski: We didn’t do any over the holiday break because FanGraphs goes largely dark 12:39 Dan Szymborski: and there were a few elegies to finish up 12:39 Peter Thomas: A lot of people are questioning the FIP projection for Gore. Can you give us your take? Do *you* believe that he could pitch to a ~3.50 FIP starting opening day? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: Yes. Great talent can surprise in great ways. 12:39 Dbo: What’s worse: getting to be a ravens fan but having to be an Orioles fan or being a Nationals fan but having to be a Redskins fan? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: THe latter 12:39 Dan Szymborski: I’m oddly an Orioles/Steelers fan 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Because I “came of age” between the Colts leaving and the Ravens arriving and my dad’s family was from the Pittsburgh area. 12:40 mike: This FO’s largest FA signing is…….3/24 for Jason Castro. Should Twins’ fans give up on them ever playing in the deep end? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: I’m disappointed. 12:40 Trent: Who is your pick for GM of the decade? It’s a tough question, in my opinion, since a lot of the likely candidates (e.g., Theo, Luhnow) have obvious accomplishments (breaking the curse; contributing significantly to two Red Sox titles; breaking down a team entirely then rebuilding a championship winner), but also obvious black eyes (acquiring domestic abusers; throwing money at Edwin Jackson, Jason Heyard, etc.; drafting Brady Aiken and Mark Appell). 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Andrew Friedman 12:41 2020 White Sox lineup: Chance to be a top 5-10 lineup in baseball? Moncada, Anderson, Eloy, Abreu, Encarnacion, Grandal, Robert, Mazara, Madrigal seems likes a nice mix of productive vets, young stars, and high upside pre-prime guys. 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, though there’s a chance 12:41 Dan Szymborski: There will be some Moncada and especially Anderson regression and Mazara’s still more likely to be lousy 12:41 Dan Szymborski: There’s significant upside, maybe I’m being too harsh off the cuff 12:42 Adam: Is there a fair Betts/Price deal to LA where Verdugo is the main piece in return? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Red Sox throw in a prospect? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Even if one doesn’t buy the whole surplus value thing, the Dodgers certainly do and hoard the young players they like. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: There’s this weird kind of argument going on in fandom that David Price is some major catch. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: If he were a free agent right now, he would not get a three-year, $96 million contract. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Betts+Price has *less* trade value than Betts. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Until the Red Sox start talking about eating money. And the whole reason they’re doing this is to remove the money. 12:44 Integrity Boy: Hey I’m officially calling out Desperate Times for making that joke in Kiley’s chat yesterday; 12:44 Rox Fan: Given that The Ian Desmond Contract effectively cost them team both DL MeMahieu and Mike Tauchman, as well as negatively impacting Ryan McMahon’s development, will it ultimately be viewed as worse than the Hampton and Neagle deals? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: It ought to be. It was also worse conceived than these 12:45 Dan Szymborski: And hey, the Rockies got like 4 WAR out of Neagle, I think. They can have Desmond for 100 years and not get that total 12:47 Magic Kingdome: Which player who retired more than two years ago (i.e., last played in 2017 season or earlier) would post the highest WAR if he came back for the 2020 season? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Buehrle 12:47 Dbo: We had a cereal tasting at Christmas at my parent’s house, Nilla Wafer cereal is trash but Nutter butter cereal is decent, my sister forgot to bring the Sour Patch Kids cereal 12:47 Dan Szymborski: ewww 12:48 Magic Kingdome: Which airplane seat would you pick: aisle seat in last row next to bathrooms, window seat in next to last row, or middle seat in exit row? 12:48 Dan Szymborski: aisle seat. 12:48 Dan Szymborski: I never sit at window and definitely not middle. If I have to choose a non-aisle seat, I’ll upgrade to business or first class 12:49 TomBruno23: I can’t stop listening to Badfinger this week. No reason or explanation. Will I be ok? 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Good band, sad story. 12:49 Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: Where do you stand on ramen? I’m about to try some cheese/fromage ramen with frozen chicken and I’m both excited and terrified. https://www.amazon.com/Paldo-Cheese-Fromage-Ramyun-Noodle/dp/B00S7U23D… 12:49 Dan Szymborski: I enjoy ramen. Have not had that before though. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: I tend to like the more noodly than soupy varieties 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Like I really enjoy the Indomie ramens. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: And I have a bunch of these at the house. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: 12:50 Alex: Gary Sanchez has BABIPs of .197 and .244 over the last two seasons. Is he just one of the unluckiest players in baseball or are there exterior factors such as foot speed that you think really depress his BABIP? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Foot speed and stuff can hurt, but nobody’s a .197 guy 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Pitchers aren’t .197 BABIPers 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Freaking Randy Johnson had a .238 BABIP. His approach at the plate was Giant Confused Wendigo 12:51 Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: Made some venison burgers the other day. Very gamey sandwich but very good. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: I don’t get venison that often. The last time was when I shared some Arby’s venison with Galileo. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: He got 1/2 of one, I got the other 1 1/2. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: He enjoyed the cabernet juniper sauce as well 12:52 Billy Beane: every time I see someone vote for Vizquel for the HoF I become the ‘I fell like I’m taking crazy pills’ GIF. 12:52 jamesdakrn: Also: ZiPS does take expected stats from Statcast into account right? Noticed that in the rather bullish take on Lux, that his expected stats in his limited stint int he MLB was better than I thought. His actual line: .240/.305/.400, .301 wOBA His expected stats from BaseballSavant: .288/.349/.455, .343 xwOBA, which for Dodger Stadium would’ve translated to about 113-117 wRC+ 12:52 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has its own expected stats model. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: I will implement as much data from a myriad of sources as I can, but all the calculations are things I’ve developed. 12:52 TomBruno23: Marcell Ozuna returns to STL on a 1 year PILLOW deal. Right? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: He’s good enough that it’ll be better than a pillow 12:53 jamesdakrn: LASTLY: Will you be incorporating the new infield outs above average from Statcast into future iterations of ZiPS? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Haven’t given that much thought 12:53 matthew: sorry for the basic question, but is there a place I can read about how ZiPS works differently from other projection systems? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: It’s hard to say as I don’t know all the inner workings of the other projection systems. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: But I try to answer as many questions as I can 12:53 john: will the mlb still exist in 2050 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Yes. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: We’re already off the Deep Space Nine timeline. Buck Bokai has not debuted and there are no London Kings. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: We’re also clearly not in the Super Baseball 2020 timeline as we do not yet have robot players an dthere’s only three months until the season starts. 12:54 TomBruno23: Do you know Steven Goldman? I’m an avid listener of The Infinite Inning and think you would be a great guest in the rotation. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: I know him and have been on before. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/fanrag-sports-network/the-infinite-in… 12:55 Dan Szymborski: All us 90s baseball nerds know each other. 12:55 Joe: Will I be sad if I play OOTP instead of the Show, keeping in mind that I play at least 200 hours of the Show every year? 12:55 Dan Szymborski: They’re different games. 12:55 kev: what’s the thought process behind releasing zips in parts instead of all at once? 12:55 Dan Szymborski: It’s more fun this way and the traffic is always excellent this way. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: It’s fun to focus on one team, dig into the insa and outs. 12:56 Dan Szymborski: And I usually do a run of local radio stations to talk about the teams. 12:56 Alex: I’m conflicted on the conflicting reports of Akiyama’s defensive abilities 12:56 Dick Williams: Akiyama is as much a CF as Senzel 12:56 TomBruno23: Everytime I read it I see it as The Mike Kingery Deal. 12:56 Dan Szymborski: I was annoyed some years ago to find out that he was not related to Mike Kingery 12:56 Dan Szymborski: (Scott) 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Though not as destroyed as when I found out Andy Ashby and Alan Ashby were not related 12:56 Johnny: Do any HS RHP’s have a realistic shot at going in the top ten picks this year? The college crop is solid. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Kelley? 12:58 omg_pwnasaurus: Wait a minute…Murray Head has a Chess newsletter? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: He’s a Grob player. 12:58 Guest: Post-Deadball, Ryan Doumit is actually the worst position player at -8.6 fWAR. Alan Mills at -3.6 as worst pitcher. 12:58 TomBruno23: and The Mike Kingery Deal obviously refers to his family’s singing group. http://thekingeryfamily.com/ 12:58 TomBruno23: Fangraphs: Turn Off The Dark 12:59 TomBruno23: Mozeliak had a solid run in the 2010s. 12:59 TomBruno23: What is with the emojis and peanuts we can add to the chat? Is that new? Never noticed before. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: They’ve been in my chats. I activate them. 12:59 TomBruno23: Craig Edwards had a great writeup on David Price’s trade value last month. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/david-prices-trade-value/ 12:59 Appa Yip Yip: I developed a new hitting metric, GUT+, based on HR/LBS it is also a pitching metric. Bartolo grades out very well. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: Please join a team so that I can still be a prospect! 12:59 tom: i’m sure desmond likes the desmond deal. 12:59 Jimmy: How possible is it that all of these cheating scandals he’s been engulfed in ends up costing Cora his job? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Not sure, let’s wait and see the penalties 1:00 Dbo: I watched a documentary and they talked about how to make prison pizza: The crust of the pizza is made with crushed saltines, Ritz crackers and ramen noodle soup with the addition of hot water. The toppings include tomato sauce, cheese, Slim Jims, pepperoni and pickles. 1:00 Dan Szymborski: I’d still eat that over the Nutra Loaf stuff 1:00 Cat Latos: I. AM. CAT. 1:00 Dan Szymborski: OK, as I have a 1:00 radio thing, it is time for me to head off. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone! See you next week unless either you or I have gone to the undiscovered country. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: I should portend my death every week so that at *some* point it actually happens and everyone’s haunted by the screenshot of my previous week’s chat.