Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 11/11/15

11:33
Dave Cameron: Okay, we’re opening the queue up a few minutes early today.

11:33
Dave Cameron: With the off-season underway, let’s talk free agents, trade speculation, roster planning, or awards stuff, if you really want to, I guess.

11:57
Dave Cameron: Alright, let’s do this.

11:57
Comment From Jerry
More likely: Brewers deal Lucroy this winter, or let his health increase value and further leverage a playoff team in need in July?

11:58
Dave Cameron: I’d guess they move him now. It’s not that common that teams are looking for starting catchers in July, and I think teams put a pretty big value on letting their catchers work with the pitching staff all year, rather than coming in mid-season and changing batteries.

11:58
Comment From Tim
What would Frazier cost the Braves?

11:59
Dave Cameron: I had him at the tail end of my mid-season trade value list, but a weak second half might have dimmed his stock from July a bit. Still, he wouldn’t be cheap; probably a couple of very good prospects.

11:59
Comment From Mill Burray
Am I allowed to be angry that Simmons didn’t get GG, despite almost all stats favoring him? I guess he just didn’t hit well enough to get a GG?

11:59
Dave Cameron: If you get angry about gold gloves, you’re taking them too seriously.

12:00
Comment From Alan
Lynn’s Tommy John surgery presumably puts the Cardinals in the market for a pitcher. Does this affect their negotiations with Heyward?

12:00
Dave Cameron: I doubt it. You’re not going to decide not to do an 8-10 year deal with a guy because you might need a little more flexibility in year 1. If they found themselves needing to choose between Heyward and an SP, they could always just heavily backload the deal.

12:00
Comment From Pale Hose
Dave, How many baseball operations departments do you think have the latitude to hand out 9 figure deals without ownership approval?

12:01
Dave Cameron: Zero.

12:02
Comment From charlie
what do you see the mets doing? outside of signing a big money set-up guy, there don’t seem to be a lot of obvious routes to improvement.

12:02
Dave Cameron: A middle infield upgrade is necessary. Desmond or Zobrist, with Desmond being more likely. And some kind of left-handed hitting 4th OF type, maybe Will Venable.

12:02
Comment From Pat S
Thoughts on the (very early) discussions about the Yankees trading Gardner to the Mariners? Speculation is for James Paxton…

12:04
Dave Cameron: Joel Sherman just said they’ve talked about it. Teams talk about a lot of stuff. I’ve always liked Gardner, but I don’t know if I’d give up a cheap young arm — even though I’m not that high on Paxton — for Gardner’s 32-34 seasons, when they’ll cost $36 million. I’d probably just sign Denard Span instead.

12:05
Comment From Pat S
Can Greg Bird be a 4 or 5 WAR player?

12:05
Dave Cameron: Anything is possible, but he’s probably more of a safe bet to be a good player rather than a potential great one.

12:06
Dave Cameron: I’d see him as a Brandon Belt type.

12:06
Comment From Brian Cashman
Will you take Jacoby off my hands?

12:06
Dave Cameron: Can he write? If not, I’m not sure what use he’d be to me.

12:06
Comment From RMR
Are people sleeping on the possibility that the Reds are back in the hunt by 2017? If they do pull the trigger on Chapman and Bruce, possibly Frazier as well, that would only supplement what is already one of the better minor league systems, Votto is a darn good cornerstone, and they’re flush with young pitching.

12:07
Dave Cameron: If you trade Chapman/Bruce/Frazier, this is a 65 win team next year, so it’s not easy to get back to 90 wins that quickly. They’d have to hit some home runs on these deals and get guys like Stephenson to develop into quality big league pitchers in a hurry. It’s possible, but I’d say 2018-2019 more likely.

12:08
Comment From doffbhoya123
free agent that’s going to get the most regrettable contract this winter?

12:08
Dave Cameron: My free agent bargains and landmines posts are coming the next two days.

12:08
Comment From Q-Ball
Darren O’Day…can you predict that contract?

12:08
Dave Cameron: I guessed 4/$32M last week. Might end up being low. He might get 4/$40M.

12:09
Comment From The Dude
Will the Hardball Times Baseball Annual be available on the Kindle store? Do I need to have Fangraphs+ to buy it?

12:09
Dave Cameron: Yes, it will be a Kindle product, and it will be available to everyone.

12:09
Comment From Zonk
Reds apparently are listening on “everybody”. Frazier and Chapman are givens. Do you think clubs would be interested in Brandon Phillips? Jay Bruce? Is there positive trade value in either?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Bruce definitely has positive value; Phillips is probably a guy they’d have to eat a little bit of money on to get anything of substance back, and he has a no-trade, so that makes things more challenging.

12:10
Comment From JB
Any insight on the Twins’ logic with Park? Seems like money better spent elsewhere unless Plouffe is traded, or they’re stacking bats.

12:10
Dave Cameron: Teams like the Twins should be making exactly these kinds of upside plays. Joe Mauer isn’t good enough to be blocking anyone at this point.

12:11
Comment From Zonk
Will anyone accept a QO? If you were an agent, who would you advise to accept one?

12:11
Dave Cameron: I doubt anyone takes it. All the guys who got a QO could get 3 years even with draft pick compensation attached, and they’ll take the security over the higher single season salary.

12:12
Comment From Josh
With the Cards losing Lynn, it sounds like they will be in the mix for a FA. Do you see Zimmermann or Samardjzia as options? Thanks.

12:12
Dave Cameron: I could see them getting, and then fixing, Samardzija.

12:13
Comment From Daily Fantasy Shark
Daily Fantasy banned in NY? Per Bloomberg, 91% of prize money goes to 1.3% of players. That doesn’t seem like gambling. It does seem like a few sharks robbing from lots of unsuspecting players though…

12:13
Dave Cameron: I think you just described gambling.

12:13
Comment From The Dude
Theo Epstein talks a lot about payroll restrictions, yet they’re in one of the largest markets. Is ownership restricting significant payroll increases, or are the Cubs preparing for the significant arbitration salaries for Bryant, Russell, etc only a couple of years away?

12:13
Dave Cameron: He’s managing the public’s expectations.

12:13
Comment From Jota P
What is Shields’ value this winter? If he has a good season next year, he opts out into a weak SP market and if he doesn’t, the team’s on the line for another $42M.

12:14
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he doesn’t have much trade value at this point.

12:14
Comment From Free Agent Hunter
Do you expect any significant (top 50) free agents to sign by the end of this weekend?

12:14
Dave Cameron: No. I’d bet we’ll get our first signing sometime next week.

12:15
Comment From Brent Henry
Reds Frazier and Phillips to the White Sox for Rodon and a couple lesser pieces. Improves WS team D and middle order, ’16 and ’17. WS look to the market for starters. Thoughts?

12:15
Dave Cameron: White Sox aren’t giving up Rodon for two years of Frazier and an overpriced aging 2B.

12:16
Comment From Mill Burray
Andrew Baggarly suggested a trade of Maybin & Teheran for Pagan, Strickland, Beede, & Williamson in his blog. That’s selling pretty low on Teheran isn’t it?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Only if you think Teheran is going to bounce back.

12:16
Comment From Nas
If the Cards weren’t willing to break the bank on a then-30-year-old Albert Pujols, why should we believe they would dish out upwards of 150-200 million to re-sign Heyward like many “insiders” have predicted?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Because Heyward is 26?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Also, $200 million in today’s dollars != $200 million a few years ago.

12:17
Comment From Art Vandelay
Teheran & Maybin for Soler, who hangs up first?

12:17
Dave Cameron: The Cubs would block all calls from the Atlanta area code after that offer.

12:18
Comment From Dr Johnny Fever
Yanks going for a top SP ?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Doesn’t sound like it, but you never know.

12:18
Comment From Twins Fan
Do you think there will be a trend towards valuing contact hitters like the Royals? I’m concerned about the Twins k’s after adding Park.

12:19
Dave Cameron: The Royals didn’t win because their hitters made contact; they won because their team performed crazy well in the clutch. If you want to copy KC’s model, get a crazy good bullpen.

12:19
Comment From Ted
Is Travis d’Arnaud the long term answer behind the plate for the Mets? He kind of got exposed during the playoffs defensively. With that pitching staff they should look to upgrade, no?

12:20
Dave Cameron: I’d imagine they’ll run an offense/defense job share with TDA and Plawecki, and see how well these guys develop before committing either way.

12:20
Comment From mapsamountainrange
If a batter that struck out 15% of the time faced a pitcher than struck out 30% of the batters he faced, what would we expect the strikeout rate to be over a sufficiently large sample?

12:20
Dave Cameron: 22.5%, or something in that range.

12:21
Comment From Matt
Hey Dave, is Martin Prado a reasonable 3B target for the Braves?

12:21
Dave Cameron: I doubt it. I had them signing David Freese in my free agent predictions, but I could also see them targeting a younger 3B in trade.

12:21
Comment From Bret
Ryan Goins had a really good second half when he started taking walks, which is something he’d never done before. If he could keep some of that up, he seems like he could be a league average shortstop. Should a team needing a SS target him in trade?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he could be a sneaky good pickup for a team like the Mets if they wanted to spend on something besides an SS.

12:22
Comment From johnnmo
with lynn going down should I go for broke and sign price or can i stick with the cardianl way?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Signing Price because you lost Lynn for a year is a pretty big overreaction.

12:23
Comment From Jalen
Jean Segura to the Padres for Austin Hedges/Robbie Erlin. Who says no to that trade? It would allow the Brewers to comfortably trade Lucroy with the catcher of the future on the roster…

12:23
Dave Cameron: Jean Segura has minimal value at this point. No one should give up anything of real value for him.

12:24
Comment From Connor
What do you make of Rizzo’s comments on Pap/Storen’s availability? Do you see a trade matchup between Sox and Nats, maybe JBJ+prospect for Storen?

12:24
Dave Cameron: Uh, if one year of a good-not-great reliever could get you Jackie Bradley and prospects, the Nationals would have done that the second the off-season started.

12:25
Comment From Matt
Hey Dave, two questions: is Evan Longoria available? What would he cost?

12:26
Dave Cameron: Unlikely, a good amount. People like to talk about Longoria’s decline, but he’s still a +3 to +4 WAR player.

12:26
Comment From Anon21
You mentioned that this might be the time for a rebuilding team like the Braves to pick up a good free agent, since next season’s class is underwhelming. Which free agents do you think would be a good fit for the Braves?

12:27
Dave Cameron: They could use a good young athletic outfielder who has a lot of prime years left, maybe a guy with elite defense and baserunning and a good enough bat to be a high quality player. If only there was a guy like that available this winter…

12:27
Dave Cameron: (Sarcasm aside, they’re not signing Heyward, and he probably wouldn’t go back there.)

12:28
Comment From majordanby
do you think there are any teams that will make any extreme unexpected changes to their roster in either rebuilding (like the braves did last offseason) or attempting to compete quickly (like the padres)?

12:28
Dave Cameron: The D’Backs seem like the most likely option for middling team that tries to make a leap with big splashes this winter.

12:29
Comment From Fenderman
JBJ and Swihart for Chris Sale reasonable?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Not enough. Sale is crazy valuable.

12:29
Comment From DJ
trading Mookie Betts the Mets for Matt Harvey a good idea for the both teams? Seems like a fantasy baseball trade but one with real world value to both teams.

12:30
Dave Cameron: I’d rather have Mookie than Harvey at this point, and the Mets don’t really need another regular outfielder, honestly.

12:30
Comment From KG
Do you think the Astros will continue to go after Kimbrel or Chapman?

12:30
Dave Cameron: I’m sure they’ll kick the tires, at least.

12:30
Comment From AJ
Better investment for 200M Price or Heyward ?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Exactly $200M? I’ll take Price. But I’d guess he’s going to get more like $215-$225M.

12:31
Comment From The Dude
MLB will increase the luxury tax in the next CBA agreement, right?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Very likely, yes.

12:31
Comment From Gary
How on Earth did Billy Hamilton run a .264 BABIP last year?

12:31
Dave Cameron: He doesn’t hit the ball with any authority.

12:32
Comment From Dooduh
Think the Bucs try to move Walker? Does Niese fit in that scenario? Niese has 2 team options that make him fairly attractive.

12:32
Dave Cameron: I’m pretty sure Niese cleared waivers in August, as those team options aren’t cheap enough to get teams excited. Walker is worth more, but yes, I’d expect them to deal him this winter.

12:33
Comment From Fenderman
Prefer Chapman or Andrew Miller in a trade?

12:33
Dave Cameron: If the talent cost for both is the same, I’d take Miller with the extra years.

12:34
Comment From Matt
Frazier and Phillips (with his entire salary) for Rio Ruiz, Touki Toussaint, Jace Peterson, and Cameron Maybin. Who hangs up first?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Frazier’s worth more than that by himself, and if Reds are eating all of the $27M Phillips is due, then they’d have to get a much better package than that.

12:34
Comment From The Dude
As a Cubs fan, is it crazy for me to prefer Greinke over Price?

12:35
Dave Cameron: No, but it’s also going to be harder to get Greinke to leave LA than to get Price to leave Toronto.

12:35
Comment From Derek
Hypothetically: If a team trades for Chapman, should/could they make him a starter? I know he wants to close, but how do you think he would grade out for 6 IP/100 pitches?

12:35
Dave Cameron: The fact that he wants to close makes it a non-starter. You can’t force a guy to do something he doesn’t want to do.

12:36
Comment From Jalen
Is Jordan Zimmerman an ace? He didn’t look like one last season, but he did look like one the season before. Do you think a team is going to get a steal when they sign Zimmerman?

12:36
Dave Cameron: He’s not an ace, and he’s never really been one. He’s a good strike-thrower who misses enough bats to make it work. I doubt he’ll be a steal.

12:37
Comment From Henry
How much “insider” rumor about FA signings do you hear about?

12:37
Dave Cameron: Some, but to be honest, no one really knows where anyone is going at this point.

12:37
Comment From The Dude
Can a team overcome a no-trade clause by sticking a player in Single A, and keeping him their until he waives the clause?

12:37
Dave Cameron: Nope. Veterans can’t be sent to the minors without their consent.

12:38
Comment From GSon
Cubs get Carlos Carrasco, Padres get Starlin Castro & Rob Kaminsky, Indians get Jorge Soler and Tyson Ross.. Who says no?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Padres turn Ross into Castro and a pitching prospect who just got traded for Brandon Moss? That’s not a good deal for them.

12:40
Comment From Robert
Would you agree that the Angels should go over the tax now and take advantage of this FA class rather than waiting until Weaver, Wilson, and Aybar come off the luxury tax after next season for the next FA class?

12:41
Dave Cameron: Yeah, you don’t want to be shopping for big pieces in next year’s FA class.

12:41
Comment From Q-Ball
What changes do you foresee in the QO system with the new CBA?

12:42
Dave Cameron: I could see the MLBPA pushing to change it to a multi-year structure. So maybe it’s still the same calculation on a one year deal, but teams that make a QO also have to commit to letting the player sign a 2 year deal for 80% of the 1 year AAV, or a 3 year deal for 60%, or something. So that way, the QO is the player’s choice of 1/$16M, 2/$26M, or 3/$29M.

12:43
Comment From The Dude
Farnsworth’s Arizona prospect list was really fantastic. Not a question. Just really impressed and excited.

12:43
Dave Cameron: Glad you enjoyed it. We think Dan’s going to do a great job, and he’s definitely off to a great start.

12:44
Comment From Zonk
Do you anticipate an IFA Draft in the next CBA? Teams aren’t really deterred much by current penalties, are they?

12:44
Dave Cameron: It’s still a logistical nightmare, but yeah, the bonus pool recommendations didn’t work. They’ll change the system.

12:46
Comment From MSW
Any middling SPs with good velocity you could see a team acquire to convert to the bullpen? There has to be more Wade Davis-types out there.

12:46
Dave Cameron: Trevor Bauer, maybe?

12:47
Comment From Matt
I know it may be difficult to compare the two, as one is a pitcher and one is a position player, but who would you rather have long-term? Carlos Rodon or Kyle Schwarber?

12:47
Dave Cameron: Depends on my situation. AL team with opening at 1B/DH, probably Schwarber. NL team? Rodon.

12:47
Comment From TKDC
Can guys who were offered QOs negotiate with other teams before rejecting the deals?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Yeah, they get a week to feel out the market before they have to decide.

12:49
Comment From Jalen
Which player is more likely to be traded this offseason: Yasiel Puig or Stephen Strasburg?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Puig. No real reason for Nats to trade Strasburg now. If they have a good year, they’ll keep him for the playoff run, and if not, he’ll be a hell of a piece to trade in July.

12:50
Comment From Snarfle
How big a package does Frazier get? And who takes the plunge? First idea that pops into my head is the Angels.

12:50
Dave Cameron: Angels want a lefty bat. He seems like a Padres kind of player, though.

12:51
Comment From mtsw
2015 was the offseason of the fake Mookie Betts trade. Who gets fake traded the most in 2016?

12:52
Dave Cameron: Based on the queue, Jorge Soler. I doubt Cubs deal him, but lots of people seem to want him.

12:52
Comment From Sean P
What sort of contract do you think Aroldis Chapman gets next year assuming he stays healthy and maintains a similar level of production in 2016?

12:53
Dave Cameron: 5/$80M, maybe.

12:54
Comment From Derek
Re: Chapman – He’s an employee, if I told my boss I didn’t want to do something, I would get fired. Say the GM told Chapman he’s going to start and he’s going to like it. How would he fare? (expecting he’d be a professional about it and not pout on the mound)

12:55
Dave Cameron: If you got hired as an accountant, and then your boss told you your new job was to clean the toilets, you’d tell him to go pound sand. Chapman already tried to make the conversion to starting once, and he was throwing 90-93 in spring training. Some guys just belong in the bullpen.

12:56
Comment From Joe
Don’t guys who want to start get put in the ‘pen fairly frequently though?

12:58
Dave Cameron: Ones who aren’t good enough to start. No one’s putting Clayton Kershaw in the bullpen just because they can.

12:58
Comment From MSW
If next year’s FA class is so bad, would a player be smart to take the QO and then re-enter the market next year?

12:59
Dave Cameron: It would probably have to be a hitter, since pitchers carry so much injury risk. But yeah, a hitter looking to maximize his earnings could take a risk on himself.

1:00
Comment From Q-Ball
When will Dan Farnsworth do his first prospect chat?

1:00
Dave Cameron: We’re aiming for January. Wanted to give him enough time to get the lists rolling, as getting those out sooner this year is a priority. Kiley finished his last team overview like two days before Opening Day last year, so we’re trying to help Dan not end up in that bind.

1:01
Comment From The Dude
Schwarber for Kluber: who hangs up first?

1:02
Dave Cameron: Indians. Kluber is worth more than that.

1:02
Comment From The Dude
Relievers are so volatile: should the Phillies make a point of trying to trade Giles sooner rather than later?

1:03
Dave Cameron: Yes, but given how many relievers are available in trade this winter, keeping him until July would be reasonable too.

1:04
Comment From KG
If all MLB players fought to the death, who would be the last one standing?

1:05
Dave Cameron: Jonny Gomes seems like the kind of guy who probably has a lot of guns, and people like him, so he’d be able to assemble a crew to fight together and keep him safe.

1:06
Dave Cameron: Alright, off to get some work done. Thanks for chatting, everyone.

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Baseball Fan
Guest
Baseball Fan

Everybody seems to think that the Tigers should dismantle the team right now. But with all their bad contracts that they probably can’t sell to players who might be able to contribute something in 2016 doesn’t it make sense for them to try to reload for one final run in 2016? It seems inevitable they’re going to suck for several years anyway why not try to get lucky with one last run?

Baseball Fan
Guest
Baseball Fan

Crap I always make fun of people for hitting the wrong comment box too!

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000

I agree… wrong box 🙂 But I also agree that they’re better off making another run. Let’s see if Verlander can duplicate his second half over an entire season. Trading Cespedes should free up some money for some hitting… and I know KC just won, but they’re going to lose some players, so even if they’re the favorites, it’s not like Detroit has no chance. They still have some good, but overpaid guys.