Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 5/17/17

12:02
Dave Cameron: Happy Wednesday, everyone.

12:02
Dave Cameron: We get to chat while Lance McCullers destroys the Marlins.

12:02
Dave Cameron: This should be fun.

12:03
Hector: Should the Pirates trade Cole soon? If they should or do, what would a return look like for the Pirates?

12:03
Dave Cameron: Unless they get hot soon, yes, he should be on the market this summer. They pretty clearly waited too long to trade Cutch, and can’t risk making that mistake again.

12:04
striker: Quintana + Jones for Dahl, Rodgers, Hoffman, Amonte, Pedro Gonzalez.

12:04
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t take that if I was the White Sox. That’s an injured maybe average player, an overrated prospect, an okay pitching prospect, and some stuff. They could do better.

12:05
The Average Sports Fan: How big a problem are Diaz’s struggles for the Mariners?

12:05
Dave Cameron: Huge. That bullpen is garbage without him.

12:05
Dave Cameron: It’s not very good with him either.

12:05
Jeb: What should the Pirates do with Cutch? He has the third worst BABIP in baseball right now, so you would assume some sort of bounce back. But, trading him probably won’t net the Pirates much of anything.

12:05
Dave Cameron: At this point, you have to hold him and hope for the best. No point trading a franchise icon for pennies on the dollar just because.

12:06
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: What’s your take on Tampa Bay sending down Blake Snell?

12:06
Dave Cameron: Guys with 13% walk rates don’t last as MLB starters. He’s got work to do.

12:06
Blackburn: If you were the Pirates what would you do? Trade off pieces (Cole, Cutch, Harrison, Watson) over the next year? Total rebuild? Or hold? Thoughts?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Watson goes this summer, basically regardless of what the team does between now and July; they can’t afford to keep him just for the hope they can make a Wild Card run. Cole you probably take offers on, and Cutch depends on how he hits over the next two months.

12:08
Kevin: A genie appears and you are presented with 2 options: you either never need to pay for food again for the rest of your life (restaraunts, groceries, etc.), or you are given a lump sum of cash. What is the amount of money where you draw the line i.e. any more you choose the cash, any less you choose the food?

12:09
Dave Cameron: My food budget is something like $200 per month, maybe $250. Let’s say $250 just to make it $3,000 per year. If I think I’m going to live ~50 more years, that’s $150,000 in expected food costs, not accounting for inflation. But I could probably get a better ROI from a lump sum than simply keeping up with inflation, so maybe $100K?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Plus time value of money and all that.

12:10
Dave Cameron: I guess the thing that isn’t included in that scenario is that I could dramatically change my food budget if all food was free, but eating insane tasting menus every night doesn’t appeal to me, so I’ll stick with my answer.

12:11
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: The Rays are an impressive 5th in baseball with a 108 wRC+, even without Ramos and Duffy. They’re also running away with the K% record, with 27.0% to the 25.5% of the ’16 Brewers and ’13 Astros. They have a three true outcomes approach, but I feel like we have a good handle on how valuable a home run or walk is. Serious question, are strikeouts the new 2%? In other words, are other teams “overvaluing” the negative value of a K?

12:11
Dave Cameron: I don’t think so; I think part of the HR surge is teams being willing to accept the Ks to get the rest of the power.

12:12
Dave Cameron: I think the uptick in league-wide K% means that the Rays aren’t as big an outlier as they might seem.

12:12
Big Tuna: Podhorzer suggested that Moreland might be due for a HR surge. Do you agree?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Well he has, what, 1? Pretty easy to say he should hit more than 1 over the next 6 weeks. Does that count as a surge?

12:13
Ralph: how will barreto, chapman, nunez, olsen fit into the A’s line up in the future? What happens to plouffe, lowrie, healy

12:13
Dave Cameron: Not all of those guys will develop, and the latter three aren’t good enough to block anyone of note.

12:13
AJ: Hi Dave. Any chance that the Nationals continued bullpen meltdowns push them to do something rash? Maybe an over pay for Kahnle and Robertson? Same question regarding Boston’s 3rd base situation and Todd Frazier. Thanks.

12:14
Dave Cameron: The Nationals moved Erick Fedde to the bullpen yesterday, so they have an internal flamethrower on the way. I’m guessing they’ll still trade for a closer, but Fedde might end up being the second addition that we talked about them needing.

12:15
Dave Cameron: For the Red Sox, more and more the answer just looks like Devers. He’s now running a 183 wRC+ in Double-A as a 20-year-old. And this isn’t a Moncada situation, where the Ks make it likely it won’t translate. Pretty good chance Devers is already something like a league average 3B with upside beyond that.

12:15
Crazy 8: Who’s the better hitter, Bellinger or Joc?

12:15
Dave Cameron: Bellinger

12:15
Xmx: I know you were the high guy on the Yankees coming into the season. Where do you see them ending up? Buyers at the deadline and for whom?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Imagine they’ll be in on every SP out there. You add a Darvish or a Cole to that rotation and they’re scary in October.

12:16
Dustin: I’ve been a fan of moves Milwaukee has made in recent years to set itself up for future success. How much of the Brewers’ good start this year is the manifestation of those good moves, and how much of it is a team simply playing a bit above its head over a relatively insignificant sampling of games?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Both. Obviously betting on Thames was smart, but they didn’t think he was going to hit this well.

12:16
im peach: How many games back from a playoff spot do the Royals have to be for Dayton Moore to sell off his impending free agents?

12:17
Dave Cameron: I think if they’re under .500 in July, they’ll sell.

12:17
Nats fan: With all due respect, weren’t you being overly kind to Mike Rizzo (“ Rockies…outbid the Nationals for Greg Holland over the winter”)? Rizzo, who has never had an aversion to taking risks by signing high profile TJ pitchers, lost Holland on a one year $7 M deal but just 3 weeks later gave $21 M to Matt Wieters for a position where he had signed Norris to be the starter just 3 months earlier.

12:17
Dave Cameron: Rizzo didn’t sign Wieters. The owners did.

12:18
JTT: Is Beltran done? K’s are way up, BB’s and hard hit % are way down, Babip is normal and he only has a 83 wRC+. Does it even matter? Astros have gattis and McCann, couldn’t they just call up an emergency catcher and rotate them as DH?

12:18
Dave Cameron: He can probably be a useful bench bat, but yeah, I wouldn’t want him starting in the postseason.

12:19
Dave Cameron: Problem is I wouldn’t want Gurriel starting in the postseason either.

12:19
Dave Cameron: For a team that is running away with their division and seems entirely focused on adding an SP, they really could use a few more good hitters.

12:20
Depressed Pirate Fan: Is there any comparison to the decline Andrew McCutchen is experiencing? A 6-7 WAR player at age 28 that is barely replacement level at age 30. I recognize he’s had poor luck this year but it really seems unprecendented in terms of how far and how fast he’s fallen.

12:20
Dave Cameron: He’s not a true talent replacement level guy.

12:20
Dave Cameron: But to see a guy fall this far, this fast, you’re looking at Andruw Jones, B.J. Upton, and not a lot of others.

12:21
Mike: Is there a way to get wOBA against for pitchers? I see that it’s available via splits vs L or R. Is it available for all?

12:21
12:21
Clamshell Jones: Dave, who do we talk to to get an occasional SABR-friendly broadcast going? Like a livestream of a game with FG guys (or others) doing the voicework. Once a week for a marquee game. I’d kill for 9 whole innings without a single mention of Batter v. Pitcher stats.

12:22
Dave Cameron: MLB did that last year with Mike Petriello. I enjoyed them, but I don’t think enough people watched for them to come back.

12:22
Erik: So if the Cubs offered Schwarber straight up to the Phillies for Altherr, should the Phillies say no?

12:22
Dave Cameron: If I’m the Phillies, with Hoskins ready to take 1B as soon as Joseph cools off, yeah, I say no.

12:23
DTH: I love that you’re leaning into the “OMG DAVE HATES SCHWARBER!!” freakouts from Cubs fans by comparing him to Altherr. still gives me a laugh to see people get pissed over you originally comping him to a pretty great outcome. good article by the way, I didn’t know much about Altherr before reading

12:23
Dave Cameron: I will say that I got 0 angry freakouts from Cubs fans over that piece.

12:24
Dave Cameron: Whether they’ve just started ignoring me or are coming around on Schwarber maybe having some flaws, I don’t know.

12:24
ohioastrosfan: Hearing maybe Gerrit Cole to Houston at the trade deadline? Would a trade K Tucker? He’s the only untouchable for me at this point.

12:24
Dave Cameron: If you wouldn’t trade Kyle Tucker for Gerrit Cole, you’re doing it wrong.

12:24
Effem: Altherr or Haniger? Close call or not?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Fun story: the Altherr/Schwarber post was originally going to be a Haniger/Schwarber post. I started kicking around the idea of which of those two you’d rather have back in April, but then Haniger got hurt, and then Altherr became Haniger-east, so it was easier to write it about the healthy/mashing guy.

12:26
Dave Cameron: I think Altherr and Haniger have a lot of similarities. I’m not sure which one I’d take.

12:27
CamdenWarehouse: JD Martinez is really trying to make up for lost time.

12:27
Dave Cameron: Call me crazy, but maybe the Tigers need to think about hitting him higher than 6th.

12:27
Dave Cameron: Having Victor Martinez hit clean-up is, at this point, insane.

12:27
Josh: Per BaseRuns, the Brewers have been the third worst pitching staff in baseball. Do you see this as an accurate reflection of what to expect going forward?

12:27
Dave Cameron: Yes. Their pitching is bad.

12:29
Dunt: Is Avi Garcia for real?

12:29
Dave Cameron: His upside is Yasmany Tomas.

12:29
Mr. Woods: What are the chances that Yasmani Grandal is the best NL defensive catcher at the end of the season? And if there are any chances, will anybody in passive sports media notice?

12:29
Dave Cameron: He’s not better than Posey.

12:29
Johnny Leonard Roosevelt Martin: Tell me that the Cards won’t deal Lance Lynn in his walk year. They’re smarter than that, right?

12:30
Dave Cameron: They’re a likely Wild Card team in the NL; don’t see why they’d move win-now pieces.

12:30
S: Brendan Rodgers, overrated? How?

12:31
JC: I’d imagine anyone is tradeable on the Braves besides Freeman, Swanson and maybe Inciarte/Teheran. Is there anyone else contending teams would actually want?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Kemp is hitting well enough that they could move him if they wanted to.

12:31
Jason: Can the brewers trade braun or should they just keep him?

12:32
Dave Cameron: Trade him to open a spot for Brinson.

12:32
Mike: Think the Nats trade Robles + for Quintana/Robertson?

12:32
Dave Cameron: No.

12:32
ECinDC: Any thoughts on Nationals shifting Fedde to the pen? In the past have heard writers here and at ESPN say that it might be a good way to break in top prospects at the MLB level a la David Price with the Rays?

12:33
Dave Cameron: Well, pretty sure their decision is more about their bullpen struggles than his development.

12:33
Dave Cameron: Imagine they’re hoping he can be their Edwin Diaz.

12:33
Dave Cameron: And they’ll figure out his future later.

12:34
AJ: If the Giants become sellers, what kind of return would Cueto get? Does his opt out complicate his market?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Yeah, the opt-out is a problem. If he gets hurt after you trade for him, you’re stuck with a huge contract. For that reason, I think he doesn’t bring back what the Giants would hope.

12:35
Joe: By Trading McCutchen, you’re getting salary relief, which is just as important for a small market team relative to prospects.

12:35
Dave Cameron: You’re not getting anyone better than Cutch for $13 million.

12:36
Matt: Do the Brewers go for a #1 starter in free agency next off season (Ohtani, Arietta, Darvish), or trade some prospects for someone like Duffy, Quintana, or Archer? They have money to burn next off season.

12:36
Dave Cameron: Doubt they sign a big time FA.

12:36
Dave Cameron: Could see them making a trade, but bet they go more for undervalued guys than the ones starting bidding wars.

12:36
JTT: $200 a month on food, is that just you or your whole family? Very interested in how you support a family of 3 on $200 a month

12:36
Dave Cameron: That was just me. The genie didn’t say I could feed my whole family.

12:37
Matt: Corey Knebel is a Brewer on the field and does home brewing in his free time. What other team and player would have the most believable occupational crossover if it followed their team name? Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if John Jaso was already and actual Pirate

12:37
Dave Cameron: I could see Yasiel Puig being excellent at Dodgeball.

12:38
Dave Cameron: Thus, making him a Dodger.

12:38
Dave Cameron: Aren’t some of the 10 Rougned Odors twins?

12:38
Dave Cameron: Sidney Ponson got knighted, so he’s a Royal.

12:39
Sam: While Devers may be the shrewd choice, this is Dave Dombrowski we’re talking about. If they dip below .500 and continue to get subpar production from 3rd, even after Brock Holt returns, would you agree there’s a chance they make an overly aggressive trade for someone like Moustakas?

12:40
Dave Cameron: Dombrowski’s history includes promoting elite young players at early ages multiple times. Given what Devers is doing in Double-A, I don’t think they acquire a LH 3B. Maybe an RH 3B who could take over for Moreland if Devers forces their hands.

12:41
vintown: For a team like the Brewers, is it smart to rush the time table of prospects to help this year’s team? You’ll pay in arb earlier, but would the playoff spot make that worth it financially?

12:41
Dave Cameron: They’re not a playoff team this year.

12:41
Josh: If the Nationals are willing to move Fedde to bullpen, why not do the same with Joe Ross, a guy who struggles to pitch deep in games, has some injury questions and is basically a two pitch pitcher. Wouldn’t Ross help a lot quicker than Fedde, especially if Turner can finally reach his potential?

12:42
Dave Cameron: I would guess that they think they can shift Ross the bullpen in October even if he starts during the year.

12:43
Erik: Are we at the point where if two players have identical process stats but widely different results, front offices will still value them equally? Or do result stats still matter?

12:43
Dave Cameron: Well, if everything is equal, you probably take the guy with better results.

12:44
TKDC: If you ordered your food instead of having to prepare it, you could save an enormous amount of time. Time that you could spend writing more articles for all of your devoted Fangraphs readers.

12:44
Dave Cameron: I would give back all that time by dying early due to being insanely unhealthy from eating takeout every meal.

12:44
5 Run Homer: I have no idea why I chose Schwarber over Altherr. But I do definitely believe in Schwarber more at the plate, for whatever reason

12:45
Dave Cameron: Well, that’s perfectly reasonable. I don’t think anyone thinks Altherr > Schwarber as a hitter.

12:45
Dave Cameron: But given the defense/athleticism differences, is the gap at the plate large enough to overcome the other things that matter? That’s the question, basically.

12:45
Nadav: Ok, someone at Fangraphs has to at least mention Jason Vargas in some way or another. There was a thing mentioning the new release point, but what? How is a 34 year old junkballer coming off TJ putting up these elite K/BB numbers and getting these whiffs all of a sudden?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Yeah, we’ll write him up soon.

12:46
NL wild card: Who makes it?

12:46
Dave Cameron: Cardinals and, I don’t know, Rockies?

12:47
Forst: How would you solve the A’s defensive issues?

12:47
Dave Cameron: Get better defenders.

12:47
Los: I just reread the impromptu Fangraphs Chat for the Vernon Wells trade. That seems like it was only yesterday but that was 6 years ago! Thanks for all the great content over the years.

12:48
Dave Cameron: The kinds of things you can do when you don’t have a kid.

12:48
Brian: Does the upcoming free agency of Pineda and (probably) Tanaka make the Yankees less likely to trade for Darvish? I know they have all of the money in the world but it is hard to turnover 60% of a rotation.

12:48
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t assume they all leave.

12:48
Mile High: Rockies deadline predictions if they are in contention?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Coors masks it, but that offense needs help.

12:49
TKDC: When you say the Braves could move Kemp, do you mean that they could move him without eating a lot of his salary? I find that hard to believe, even though it would be great.

12:49
Dave Cameron: The Braves only took on 3/$27M when they picked him up from SD.

12:50
putting on my Dombrowski hat: Most pressing need for the Red Sox: a 3B who’s better than Josh Rutledge, a depth starter who’s better than Kyle Kendrick, or an 8th-inning reliever who’s better than Matt Barnes? I’d argue it’s the last one.

12:50
Dave Cameron: I’d agree. They probably hope that guy is Carson Smith, though.

12:51
Philbert: Justin Smoak is third in baseball in Z-Contact% at 95.5% after being among the worst at 82.2% last year. His K% spiked to 32.8% last year and is currently at 19%. He’s also hitting for more power than he ever has before.

12:51
Dave Cameron: This is the year of the disappointing 1B prospect breakout. Maybe he and Alonso can compare notes at the All-Star game.

12:51
Matt: Hypothetical – Ohtani comes over this offseason. Considering he’d be signed to a standard minor league deal, how does a team handle him? Straight to the majors? AAA for a start or two? Bring him through the whole system?

12:52
Dave Cameron: Pretty sure part of the signing negotiations will be “I want a promise that you won’t send me down.”

12:53
Porcho Villa: Putting aside their creative use of the DL, the Dodgers also seem to be keeping starters with injury histories on low pitch counts. Alex Wood, for example, was pulled from his Coors start last week after throwing 6 shutout innings sitting on an 88 pitch count. Do you see this as an intentional/long-term strategy, and do you think it could catch on with the rest of the league? Or is it unique for the Dodgers with their deep, but injury-prone rotation?

12:53
Dave Cameron: It’s intentional. They have no real reason to push starters deep, and want to keep arms as fresh as possible for October.

12:54
Grand Admiral Braun: More likely trade-candidate for the Cubs this offseason: Baez or Schwarber? Honestly, neither would net an amazing return. The Cubs are on the hook for Zobrist for two more seasons, and he’s their “super-sub” who really can’t play much defense. And eventually there’s Eloy Jimenez, so aren’t we looking at Schwarber deal?

12:55
Dave Cameron: It’s hard to see Theo selling low on either, but given how high they are on Schwarber, I would imagine Baez would go first.

12:55
JTT: Jeff mentions Jason vargas almost daily. He just mentions how he refuses to believe he is suddenly interesting and that he is doing his best to avoid writing about Jason vargas

12:55
Dave Cameron: Okay, great, I’m telling Jeff to write about Vargas.

12:55
Grand Admiral Braun: Does the aforemetioned Rhys Hoskins have a comp that comes to mind? Right-handed Rizzo if all falls in-line?

12:56
Dave Cameron: I’d say more Goldschmidt, but that’s obviously the 99th percentile outcome.

12:56
Dave Cameron: A more realistic version is probably Belt.

12:56
Dave Cameron: Or maybe Carlos Santana.

12:57
Sonny: Least relevant question but just curious. Let’s say Matt Kemp gets traded and as part of the deal his new team pays 50% of what Atlanta is on the hook for, does he receive 3 separate pay checks or is it all rolled into one?

12:57
Dave Cameron: He gets one. The teams pay each other the amounts they remain on the hook for.

12:59
TKDC: The Braves took on 3/$27 million extra when they got Kemp (over Olivera salary). The Braves owe him $18 million this year, 2018, and 2019.

12:59
Dave Cameron: Ah, that’s right, it was an offset deal, not a payment-from-SD deal.

1:00
bk: I’m very impressed you eat for only $3k a year. you sir are a frugal man

1:00
Dave Cameron: You’re surprised that an econ major who writes about ROI on baseball contracts is generally geared towards getting value out of his food purchases?

1:01
tout: If Dahl is just an average outfielder, isn’t that extremely valuable in a trade, considering service time? He doesn’t have to live up to his tools/prospect hype to be a good trade chip.

1:01
Dave Cameron: He has to be healthy, though.

1:01
Elton: I eat more than $200 month just in cereal.

1:01
Dave Cameron: I would recommend seeing a cardiologist.

1:02
Dave Cameron: Okay, on that note, I’ll bid you all adieu.

1:02
Dave Cameron: We’ll do it again next week.

We hoped you liked reading Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 5/17/17 by Dave Cameron!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

newest oldest most voted
victorvran
Member
victorvran

The best part about that Veron Wells chat was this

Dave Cameron: Well, let’s not get carried away. He did put up 4.0 WAR last year. He’s not useless.
8:28
Comment From steve
how do project Wells for the duration of his contract?
8:28
Dave Cameron: I’d probably have him as an average-ish player for the next few years, then maybe slightly below average by the end of the deal. Which is clearly worth $80 million…

It somehow turned out even worse that Dave expected