Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 12/7/16 by Dave Cameron December 7, 2016 12:00 Dave Cameron: Happy Wednesday, everyone. 12:01 Dave Cameron: Plenty of stuff going on today, and yesterday obviously, so let’s get to it. 12:01 BK: Ian Desmond, $70M first baseman. Your thoughts, please. 12:01 Dave Cameron: I’ll believe he’s going to play 1B when I see it. That’s the kind of thing you float when you did this planning to do some other stuff, but haven’t done the other stuff yet. There are trades coming. 12:02 Dave Cameron: That said, if the White Sox actually ended up with Desmond playing 1B, this would be a disaster. 12:02 Barry: It seems like the White Sox are in prime position to set up a quick 2 year rebuild. What moves would you like to see them do? 12:03 Dave Cameron: Quintana to Houston for a huge haul seems like the next logical step. Then you listen on Eaton and Abreu, though with enough 1B/OFs out there, it might make more sense to hold them until there’s less supply to compete with. You move Robertson once all the closers sign. I don’t know that two years is realistic, but I do think that if they make enough good trades, they could form a very nice young core that could get them back to winning in 3 years. 12:03 Conrad: Why isn’t everyone callling Dave Dombrowski? The guy will give up anything for what he wants. 12:03 Dave Cameron: Most people don’t have Chris Sale. 12:04 acesfull23: What in god’s name are the Rockies doing? 12:04 Dave Cameron: Apparently, every year one NL West team has to get tired of their position and try to win prematurely. Two years ago, it was the Padres. Last year, it was the D’Backs. Now it’s the Rockies turn. 12:04 CarrotJuice: Hottest take on Davis/Soler trade? 12:05 Dave Cameron: It’s a win-win, as I just wrote. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-win-win-trade-of-jorge-soler-and-wade-davis/ 12:05 Zonk: Now that Ruben Amaro and Dave Stewart are gone, I officially nominate the Rockies as our favorite front office punching bag 12:05 Dave Cameron: Please meet the Marlins, who are chasing elite closers for reasons I don’t understand. 12:05 Alex: If I’m the white sox do I push to trade Quintana for Albies + pitching? A Moncada-Anderson-Albies-Abreu IF would be absolutely nuts. 12:05 Dave Cameron: I’d want a lot more than Albies, and the Braves young pitchers are mostly bad. 12:05 Doug: CarGo to the Dodgers for Bellinger and De Leon. Who says no? 12:05 Dave Cameron: That would be hilariously bad for the Dodgers. 12:06 chris: Odds Encarnacion accepts a deal similar to Cespedes last year? 12:06 Dave Cameron: He’s too old to go for something like that. He’ll land a 3-4 year deal at something close to $20M per year. 12:06 Ed in Iowa: I’m confused about Otani… Should we assume from his (and his team’s) statement about coming to the US next year that there must be an Otani-shaped loophole in the new CBA language regarding International signings? 12:06 Dave Cameron: There isn’t one. They are probably trying to create pressure to have one created, but based on my conversations here, that might not be that likely. 12:06 Dodgers: Will Friedman make any major-ish moves at the Meetings? Besides signing Hill of course? He seems to like to go for the deal(s) nobody expects or sees coming so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a big splash that doesn’t include the names the Dodgers have been tied to over the past few weeks 12:07 Dave Cameron: Yeah, there’s probably some three or four team trade being worked on that gets them some prospects and a reliever that we have no idea about. 12:07 John: Given the Sale trade, the Red Sox should trade for more pitching right? Having given up Moncada, there’s not much reason to hold on to Devers and other prospects of note at the moment. 12:08 Dave Cameron: Their rotation is Sale-Price-Porcello-Rodriguez-Buchholz, with Pomeranz and some other depth guys behind that. They have Kimbrel, Thornburg, maybe Carson Smith, Joe Kelly, and the starters who don’t start in the pen. 12:08 Dave Cameron: What kind of more pitching do you want them to get? 12:08 NatsFan: Can you explain why the new CBA takes the A’s out of revenue sharing? I assume that it has something to do with them getting a new stadium, but I haven’t seen a good explainer on why they’re doing it, and don’t see how “MLB has stopped paying us, so now we need more public money” is a good negotiating standpoint. Thanks in advance! 12:08 Dave Cameron: Well, Oakland isn’t really a small market. 12:09 Dave Cameron: They’re revenue-broke because their stadium sucks, not because they don’t have access to a lot of potential fans. 12:09 Q-Ball: Wouldn’t Carter, Trumbo, or another cheaper slugger been a better choice for Rockies at 1B? Carter in particular seemed like a good fit, since Rox already had middle order hitters 12:10 Dave Cameron: The Rockies aren’t done. This move will probably make more sense after they do other stuff. That doesn’t mean I’ll love 5/$70M for Desmond plus forfeiting the #11 pick, but I bet this is domino #1. 12:10 Kvn: Is there any reason to think that Quintana, Eaton, or Abreu will still be on CHW by the trade deadline? 12:10 Dave Cameron: Market for Abreu could be better next winter than this winter, given glut of 1Bs out there, and chance he could have a better year. 12:11 Erik: How does Chris Archer’s market compare to where it was before Sale was traded? The supply of top-tier pitchers has taken a hit, but the demand has also gone down a bit, since the Red Sox presumably don’t need both. Which of those effects is bigger? 12:11 Dave Cameron: They cancel out. 12:11 Logan Davis: Where’s Drew Pomeranz on Opening Day next year? 12:11 Dave Cameron: if it was me, the Red Sox bullpen. Good LH relievers aren’t cheap, and they could use one, so might as well keep him in that role. 12:11 Kevin: Using the Sale trade as something of a benchmark, what would the return for Goldschmidt look like? 12:12 Dave Cameron: Goldschmidt is worth a little more, but something like that. 12:12 Jake: Assuming that I spent a year using ad block, how much money do you think I owe you? I love the site, and feel terribly about having used ad block. I would love a membership. 12:12 Dave Cameron: There will be an option to assuage your guilt soon. 12:12 Mike: So apparently the Angels and Padres have been talking. How much would LAA need to give to get Schimpf? Maybe Skaggs? 12:12 Dave Cameron: I bet they’re talking Solarte. 12:12 Kvn: Is Wilson Ramos the most Rays signing ever? Don’t know what to expect from the knee, but it’s exactly what you want your small market team to be doing right? 12:13 Dave Cameron: Yeah, makes a lot of sense for them. Not entirely sure why Ramos took two cheap years, but he gets a little extra security if the knee doesn’t let him catch again, I guess. 12:13 Julio Pepper: Also, am I the only one who thinks the Red Sox severely overpayed for Chris Sale? If you plug in the value of the prospects they’re giving him like $160m for 3 seasons. 12:13 Dave Cameron: You don’t think Sale would get something like $160M for 3 years if he was an FA this winter? Maybe not quite that high, but 3/$145M wouldn’t surprise me at all. 12:14 Dave Cameron: I think they paid a high price. Probably a little higher than I would have paid. But it’s not a severe overpay. 12:14 Zonk: Will IFA slots have more trade value under the new CBA? They did not seem to be worth a whole lot under the old one, but will a harder IFA cap mean they are worth more? 12:14 Dave Cameron: Yup. An underreported part of this change is all the teams that are currently in the penalty box just got a huge gift, because now they can trade their IFA money for way more than it would have been worth otherwise. 12:15 Erik: Which is more likely: 1) Chris Sale’s drop in strikeout rate wasn’t a mere one-season blip, but instead the start of a trend which will continue over the next few years, leaving him as a 2nd or 3rd starter for the remainder of his contract, making this probably an overpay. 2) Moncada’s strikeout issues never go away, and they prevent him from ever being anything more than a league average player, making the return for Sale quite light. 12:15 Dave Cameron: 1 is more likely, but both are certainly possible 12:15 Dave Cameron: I do think there’s probably more chance than people are willing to admit that Moncada turns into the early career B.J. Upton. 12:15 Dave Cameron: Great athlete, plus speed, a lot of swing and miss… can still be a good player, but the contact problems could keep him from being a superstar. 12:16 Julio Pepper: Also, the Nationals offer of Robles, Giolito, AND Lopez seems ridiculous. Should everyone be trying to sell aces right now? 12:16 Dave Cameron: Chris Sale is awesome. 12:16 Dave Cameron: And Giolito is probably overrated. 12:17 mtsw: How mad should Orioles fans be if they end up giving Mark Trumbo a bigger contract than Edwin Encarnacion ends up getting? Feels like last offseason where the Orioles were the only bidder for Chris Davis and ended up paying him $150M. 12:17 Dave Cameron: That would be lunacy. 12:17 Dave Cameron: Which is why I don’t think it happens. 12:17 Erik: Alfonso Soriano seems like a fair comp for Moncada. Both are extremely athletic, toolsy infielders with both power and speed, but both have strikeout issues and may be best fit for the outfield. Is Soriano a 90th percentile outcome for Moncada, or closer to 50th percentile? Or is the comp not all that accurate in the first place? 12:17 Dave Cameron: It could work, though I don’t know if Moncada is going to have Soriano’s power. 12:17 I: Thank you for doing what you do, Dave. Where do you think Jose Bautista will sign and why do you think everyone dislikes him so strongly? 12:18 Dave Cameron: I have no idea where he’s going to go. Could see him ending up somewhere weird, like playing 1B in Seattle or something, if his market just dries up. 12:18 Dave Cameron: As to why people dislike him? He’s an intense guy. 12:19 Dave Cameron: And that’s being nice. 12:19 Ronnie: Doesn’t paying 64 million in acquisition fees for Yoan Moncada kind of reduce how much of a bargain Sale’s contract is? 12:19 Dave Cameron: No, those things have nothing to do with each other. 12:19 Janice E: Dave, why has the market for EE cratered to such an extent? 12:19 Dave Cameron: His ask was too high. 12:19 Dave Cameron: Teams had lots of alternatives at DH. 12:20 Jay Bruce: The market for Jay Bruce is pretty minimal. It seems that the Mets should hang on to him and try to trade him during the season as he is one of the more streaky hitters in all of baseball, so trading him at a high point instead of coming off the end of last season makes sense? yay or no??? 12:20 Dave Cameron: No, he’s just not very good, which is why there’s no market for him. 12:20 Curtis: How much of real life trade negotiations is gaming the other GM…I want Pomeranz so I’ll try to work a trade for Buchholz as “my guy” and then try to “settle” for Pomeranz…the guy I wanted all along… is the risk of backfire too great? 12:20 Dave Cameron: Yeah, teams don’t really do that. 12:20 Dave Cameron: At least, not that often. 12:20 Brian: Jeff mentioned in his article abut the White Sox rebuild that Sale had an almost unprecedented trade value. Do you know if he is the highest ranked player on your Trade Value list to ever be traded? 12:21 Dave Cameron: Donaldson was up there. 12:21 Jon Daniels: What do you think about my move to sign Gomez for 1 year/11 million? Overpay for 2 months of good production after being terrible for the beginning of the year? 12:21 Dave Cameron: Well, he was good before 2016, so it’s a perfectly reasonable risk. 12:22 Justino: Would NL teams let Ohtani play in the outfield during some of the games he doesn’t pitch? 12:22 Dave Cameron: The problem is you don’t want him throwing on his off days. 12:22 Grand Admiral Braun: Does the package the Yankees received from the Cubs for Chapman vs the package that the Royals received for Davis mean anything? Chapman was obtained with pretty good knowledge that he’d be there from regular season and playoffs and then out the door. Whereas Davis is *likely* there for all of 2017. Torres’ value is many-times the value of Soler, but is this really all just saying that teams may severely overpay when a title is in sight as it was for the Cubs this year? 12:23 Dave Cameron: Reliever prices go up dramatically at the deadline because teams can have way more confidence that they’re going to make the postseason. 12:23 Steve: Kudos for predicting last summer exactly what a Red Sox trade for Sale might look like (“Moncada and Kopech, plus some sweeteners”) But if you thought that would have been a fair deal on July 29, why are you now implying that Dombrowski gave up too much? (“And the price was definitely steep.”) 12:23 Dave Cameron: I probably don’t make the deal, but it’s because I think it’s a little too much, not a Shebly Miller style disaster. 12:24 Curtis: Has there been an article looking at free agents success tied to whether or not they re-sign with the/a team they already had success with vs. signing with an entirely new team? Seems like the known/familiar environment vs. the unknown/unfamiliar might have an impact on future success…or if it doesn’t at all, I think that would be an interesting outcome too… 12:24 Dave Cameron: Yeah, Matt Swartz wrote about this. 12:24 Dave Cameron: Team changers underperform what they were projected to be, while guys who stay with the same team don’t. 12:25 Dave Cameron: But it’s probably selection bias, based on teams with the best information picking and choosing which guys to sign. 12:25 Erik: The current “power rankings” according to the projected 2017 standings here have the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros, and Nationals as the top 5 World Series favorites. Would you have the same 5 teams in the same order if you were to look at it subjectively? 12:25 Dave Cameron: Yeah 12:25 Q: Thoughts on Nats Gio-Robles-Lopez for Chris Sale offer? 12:26 Dave Cameron: It’s a ton to give up, and they didn’t really need Sale, so I think they’ll be fine that it didn’t happen. 12:26 IsIt2015Yet?: Robles, Gio (+$6M to Pittsburgh), Fedde for McCutchen and Tony Watson: who says no? Anyone? 12:26 Dave Cameron: Washington 12:28 Outta my way, Gyorkass: MIL-BOS Thornburg trade – win for MIL, win for BOS, neither, or both? 12:28 Dave Cameron: I like Thornburg, but BOS gave up a lot. I like it more for MIL. 12:28 Justin: What would a realistic package look like for the Pirates in return for McCutchen? 12:29 Dave Cameron: Giolito and something. 12:29 Dave Cameron: Something is not Robles. 12:29 morehenrycotto: is there more pressure on the dodgers to make a big move, given how strong the cubs are and after what the red sox just did? 12:29 Dave Cameron: I don’t think so. They’re really good too. 12:30 Outta my way, Gyorkass: Thornburg trade brings Shaw to MIL, shifts Villar to 2B – making Gennett expendable. Will Scooter really fetch much of value on the trade market? OK hitter with a bit of pop, mediocre defender, no positional versatility, but will probably be pretty cheap (heard $2M as a likely arb payout). Any takers? 12:30 Dave Cameron: You’ll get a C prospect for him or something. 12:30 Nick: Hi Dave. I’m intrigued by the reports citing serious talks between the Indians and Encarnacion. If the reports of Toronto offering around 4/$80 mil are accurate, the idea of Cleveland going anywhere NEAR that, not to mention giving up the draft pick, seems incomprehensible to me. Has Encarnacion’s bargaining power fell that dramatically in just a few weeks, or what is going on? 12:30 Dave Cameron: Would imagine CLE would be more in the 3/$60M range. 12:31 Nathan: Some mixed reviews on the package for Thornburg. Im not a fan of shaw but Dubon seems like a nice piece (if he keeps his power). What’s your review on the trade? 12:31 Dave Cameron: Shaw is a below average but useful role player, Dubon looks like a nice piece, and Thornburg is a pretty risky asset. Definitely the kind of trade MIL should be making. 12:32 Chaps: With the Rangers losing several key offensive players, do the Astros *need* to get a top of the rotation starting pitcher to win the AL West this year (assuming the Rangers are the only team standing in the Astros way)? 12:32 Dave Cameron: No one “needs” to get anything specific; teams just should just get better when they can. 12:32 Justin: Am I crazy for not really wanting the Rangers to go after Encarnacion? 12:32 Dave Cameron: No. He was on my free agent landmines post for a reason. 12:32 Tim: Wait what in gods name is National Harbor? As a frequent visitor to DC i literally don’t know what it is. 12:33 Dave Cameron: It’s a land of strip malls over in Maryland. 12:34 David: Wouldn’t SF have been better off signing Hill? Same price, one less year, same amount of risk as Melancon but more upside? 12:34 Dave Cameron: I don’t think same amount of risk is exactly accurate. 12:37 D: Do you think De Leon and Willie Calhoun is enough for Dozier? 12:37 Dave Cameron: Yes. 12:37 Dave Cameron: At least, it should be. 12:37 Ryan: Do you think teams too heavily prioritize upside over floors? 12:37 Dave Cameron: Less than they used to. I think fans definitely do. 12:38 Pat: What do you think is coming in additional tradesin ref to “desmond not actually playing 1b”? 12:38 Dave Cameron: Well, I think even without a trade, CarGo is the one who would play 1B. But I bet Blackmon gets moved. 12:38 EC: Desmond is going to hit a LOT of HRs in CO 12:38 Dave Cameron: Not if he keeps hitting groundballs all the time. 12:38 Pie: Is there any Astros trade for Quintana that doesn’t involve Bregman? Just reading the tea leaves, but I’m not sure Houston will give him up 12:39 Dave Cameron: They wouldn’t give him up for Sale, so they won’t give him up for Quintana. 12:39 Cam: Divish (I think) said the Pirates asked for Paxton/Diaz/O’Neill for McCutchen. Would you do that if you were the Mariners? 12:39 Dave Cameron: No way. 12:39 Natitude Adjuster: What would be included to get Cutch to the Nats? Is Giolito off the table from the Nats’ perspective? 12:39 Dave Cameron: No, he’s definitely not off the table. I’d do Giolito and something else for Cutch. 12:39 John: Name the Padres season opener starting pitcher. 12:40 Dave Cameron: Luis Perdomo. No, seriously. 12:40 Cba: Are you disappointed that the new cba doesn’t include obvious fixes like expanding to 26 players or reducing September rosters? 12:40 Dave Cameron: Yeah, I would have liked to see more game changes, but apparently, the union dragged their feet so much they ran out of time to talk about that stuff. 12:41 David: What’s the vibe like there? I picture people in suits running around like crazy and Eno arguing with some GM about beer. 12:41 Dave Cameron: The people in suits are kids looking for jobs. 12:41 Dave Cameron: The teams all hang out in their suites, so you never see any of those guys. 12:41 Natitude Adjuster: Over/under wRC+ for Benintendi in 2017: 108? 12:41 Dave Cameron: I’ll go over. 12:41 Gabriel: Isn’t Soler a light return for Davis? I am amzed they couldn’t find a stronger offer. 12:42 Dave Cameron: One year of a guy with a bad elbow. 12:42 Aaron: Re: White Sox: Why should the same front office that wasn’t able to capitalize on the amazingly team friendly deals of Sale and Quintana (by winning games) be allowed to run the rebuild? The White Sox have one playoff appearance since the World Series in ’05 and none under Hahn. Is Reinsdorf being too loyal? Should the Williams/Hahn front office still be in charge? Are they among the worst in the league now? 12:42 Dave Cameron: Why do you assume the same people are still making decisions? 12:42 Dave Cameron: I would imagine Hahn has more influence now than he did before. 12:43 Josh: Can you explain the Mitch Moreland signing? 12:43 Dave Cameron: They wanted a cheap LHB. He’s bad, so he was cheap. 12:43 Johnny5Alive: We all know the issues associated with Jay Bruce, but given the contract that say, Trumbo is trying to get, is $13 million for 1 year of Bruce really too much that no team is interested? 12:43 Dave Cameron: Teams would take the deal. They just won’t give up any talent to take it. 12:44 Mat: The Braves were supposedly trying to have their rebuild wrap up around the time they opened SunTrust Park. How far away are they from being legit playoff contenders again? 12:44 Dave Cameron: At least another year, probably 2. 12:45 Nathan: So guys like Eno saris and Jeff Sullivan liked the package the Brewers got from the Red Sox. Of course after the deal Keith Law wrote a piece on how he thought the package sucked. Why does Keith Law hate the Brewers and why does he always go opposite of Fangraphs? 12:45 Dave Cameron: Keith likes tools. The Brewers, and FanGraphs generally, like performance. 12:45 Johnny5Alive: surprised by the gomez contract? 12:46 Dave Cameron: Think he could have gotten more on a multi-year, but if he wanted to bet on himself, not a bad deal. 12:46 Zonk: The 3/145 projection for Sale got me thinking. Why don’t top-tier FA ever look for shorter front-loaded deals like that? It would maximize short-term payout, and if you don’t decline, give you another bit at the FA apple. Instead, they all want deals into late 30s….. 12:47 Dave Cameron: It’s not just about money; they also like to be able to buy a house in their new city, know where they are going to have spring training for the next while, not have to worry about relocating the family… 12:47 Matt: Is there a way Otani could skirt the system? Like apply for US residency, and enter the game as an undrafted FA? 12:47 Dave Cameron: No. Not unless MLB makes a loophole for him. 12:47 Julio Pepper: Wait isn’t early career BJ Upton a fantastic outcome? 12:47 Dave Cameron: It’s a very good player, but given Moncada’s hype, might still feel a little disappointing. 12:48 TKDC: Is the return for Shelby Miller better than the return for Sale if you use hindsight to judge Incierte and Swanson (and Blair)? 12:48 Dave Cameron: It’s probably not better, but it’s close. Swanson has gained value since the trade, so it’s not really fair to compare what he is now to what Moncada is now. 12:49 Jane: Without an Otani loophole, does he still come over? 12:49 Dave Cameron: Nope. 12:50 Dave Cameron: No reason to take ~$9M and be subject to pre-arb and arb salaries for six years versus waiting two years and getting $300M as a free agent. 12:50 Colt Holt: Is there anything that would prevent a team from paying Otani an $8 Million bonus (cap plus 75%, minus spare change for 19 more guys at around $5k per to fill rosters), with a promise to pay him a first year contract of $15 Million. As a future contract, no longer subject to limits. (ie. extend the controllable player after signing?) 12:50 Dave Cameron: The CBA prohibits teams from circumventing the rules by making promises of future compensation. 12:50 Dave Cameron: Now, that doesn’t mean teams might not try, but MLB says they won’t allow that stuff to happen. 12:50 Dave Cameron: So you’d have to hide it. 12:51 Nick: Do you know what Dan does differently with his zWAR calculations? Anything substantial? 12:52 Dave Cameron: He uses a less severe positional adjustment for DHs, so they are more valuable in his system. 12:53 Bernie: With a hard international amateur cap and a soft draft cap, do you think a team like the Dodgers might blow up their domestic pool? 12:53 Dave Cameron: No; it’s too difficult to get talent to fall to your picks. 12:53 Ken M: whoah whoah whaoh. 3/145 for sale? 12:53 Dave Cameron: Greinke got $35M per year on a six year deal. Greinke is worse than Sale. As you go shorter in length, AAV goes up. It’s not crazy. 12:54 Dave Cameron: Alright, I have to run a few minutes early this week. 12:54 Dave Cameron: I’m sure I’ll be writing again soon, as I don’t think we’re done for the day in transactions.