Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 6/29/16 by Dave Cameron June 29, 2016 12:06 Dave Cameron: Sorry for being a few minutes late today. With the trade deadline just a month away, I’m guessing most of the questions we’ll get to today are about who is going where, Or about the adorable golden retriever puppy who just left his owner and picked me at the local Starbucks… 12:06 Dave Cameron: If I don’t answer for a few minutes, it’s because I’ve decided petting the dog takes priority. 12:07 Frank: If the Red Sox were to deal for Teheran and Vizcaino, what’s a realistic expectation for what we’d have to give up? Would Benintendi be necessary with Dombrowski’s history of giving up young players? 12:08 Dave Cameron: I’m guessing Benintendi is off limits. Steamer projects him as an above-average big league hitter right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they saw him as their Michael Conforto. I know they’re saying the right things about leaving him down right now, but if he gets hot and they are still struggling to get LF production in left, I bet he finishes the year in Fenway. 12:09 Dave Cameron: That said, Coppy has made it pretty clear he wants big league talent back, not low level guys, so if they say Benintendi is off the table, I’m not sure the fit there is as strong as everyone assumes. 12:09 Matt: Schwarber and good not great prospect for Miller and Chapman. Who say no? 12:10 Dave Cameron: Probably the Yankees. I think they’ll do better splitting them up. 12:10 RJ: Does Fangraphs’ RA9-WAR not adjust for defense? Jim Palmer has 91.6 RA9-WAR, compared to 68.1 on B-Ref. 12:11 Dave Cameron: Correct; RA9-WAR gives all credit for all run prevention to the pitcher. We present FIP-based WAR and RA9-WAR as two opposite ends of the spectrum, and acknowledge that the truth for pitchers is almost always in between. 12:11 Steely Dan: So does a Sonny Gray trade look something like two top 50 prospects and a fringe top 100 guy, but not necessarily a super talent like Moncada or Bregman? 12:13 Dave Cameron: Top 50 is too vague a term, really. If you’re talking about a guy actually ranked #50, that’s not going to get it done, but if we consider guy in the 10-25 range as a “top 50 guy”, then sure. But yeah, I think it’s exceedingly unlikely that any of the elite minor leaguers get moved this summer, and Moncada and Bregman are in that group of guys that teams just aren’t going to think about moving, most likely. 12:13 Zorak: At this stage, should the mets “go for it” and try to aggressively upgrade the team at the expense of the future, or sell off spare parts and try to retool for 2017? 12:13 Dave Cameron: Those aren’t the only two options. I think you make smart upgrades where you can, with Danny Valencia still looking like the best fit to me. 12:14 Guest: Were the Brewers right holding on to Lucroy this winter? They’re going to get closer to their asking price now than they were in January, right? 12:14 Dave Cameron: Yes, I think so. 12:14 baby bull: Rank the Phillies top 5 assets 12:15 Dave Cameron: 1. Crawford 2. Nola 3. Herrera 4. Franco 5. Payroll 12:15 Dave Cameron: Yes, #5 is kind of a joke, but I’m not betting on Velasquez holding up as a long-term starter. 12:16 Tony: Has Stanton started turning his slump around? 12:16 Dave Cameron: There was no reason to think he was going to continue to be terrible, so sure. 12:16 Barack O. : Trevor Bauer has looked fantastic, am I wrong in thinking he’s following the same line as Carrasco? 12:16 Dave Cameron: Too soon. 12:17 Guest: You’ve been given $1 million to spend on a small market team, with every increased win over the previous season earning you $1 million for yourself. What do you spend that $1 million on? 12:17 Dave Cameron: Lessons in the problems with moral hazards for my owner, so he knows what a silly incentive structure he’s created. 12:19 Ryan: Dave, I asked Mr. Eno this on Twitter the other day but he didn’t have an answer for me. Super curious about WAR. I’m looking at Kevin Kiermaier (2014) vs Randall Grichuk (2015) as they seem to be very comparable cases. 364 PA, 842 Innings played in the outfield (298 CF, 526 RF) for Kiermaier, 350 PA/719 defensive innings (344/282/93 split) for Grichuk. Obviously the playing time slightly favors KK, but by what I see as negligible amount (that can be first question, I guess). KK has 14 defensive runs saved, RG has 7 DRS. KK O-line : 263/315/450. 333 wOBA, 117 wRC+ RG O-line : 276/329/548. 370 wOBA, 137 wRC+ KK WAR – 4.0RG WAR – 3.1 KK and RG both + defenders with RG having a significantly better offensive season.How do we get this big of a discrepancy in WAR, with KK being worth more than a win over RG? I know KK the clearly superior defender, but are there really that many outlier plays that a ++ defender can get to in the outfield over just an above average one? 12:19 Dave Cameron: You can always view the exact breakdown of the WAR components on the leaderboards. Here’s the link to the value section for 2014, for those two players. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=11038,10243 12:20 baby bull: How long until Willson Contreras is best offensive catcher in league? tommorow? 3 years? 12:21 Dave Cameron: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves; he’s a long way from being Buster Posey. 12:22 Pessimistic White Sox Fan: The White Sox may relocate to greener pastures within the next 20 years? The attendance numbers are not pretty. 12:22 Dave Cameron: The odds of MLB taking a team out of a market like Chicago are basically zero. 12:22 mtsw: Orioles are now almost even with the Red Sox in Fangraphs’ division odds. Does that seem about right to you or would you still say the Red Sox are the favorites? 12:22 Dave Cameron: I’d still take the Red Sox. They have far more assets to use in mid-summer upgrades, for one. 12:22 Rick: Are new FG shirts still happening? 12:23 Dave Cameron: They are; the first batch were given out at the Staten Island Yankees nerd-fest a couple of weeks ago. So they actually exist. 12:23 Mike S.: Given how young so many of the J2 players who will be signing this week are, should Braves/Padres/Astros fans temper their expectations a bit regarding the “future of the franchise” who is signing next week? 12:23 Dave Cameron: Yeah, getting too excited over 16 year olds is a great way to get disappointed. 90% of these kids will never make the big leagues. 12:24 Mike: What kind of return does bud norris get the braves? On one hand, he’s been great recently, but on the other, he’s still bud norris 12:24 Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think track record will mostly win out there. Teams aren’t going to give up premium talent for him. The Braves can probably get a mid-level upside play, but I’d be surprised if they got a legitimate top prospect for him. 12:25 Erik: Is it possible to make the case that last year’s Bryce Harper with his 197 wRC+ was largely a fluke, and that his 133 this year is closer to his true level, making him a very good rather than elite player? 12:25 Dave Cameron: You can make a case for just about anything, but that doesn’t mean it’d be correct. This one would be wrong. 12:25 Sad Ångels Fan: Would you agree that Kole Calhoun would make for a good trade chip? He’s productive, but he seems a little too old to fit into the Ångels long term plans… 12:26 Dave Cameron: If you’re trading Calhoun, you might as well trade Trout. The Angels will eventually have to commit to a direction. 12:26 Dave Cameron: But that’s probably not something they do this summer. 12:26 Mike: Do some of Coppy’s comments and moves seem strange considering his analytical background ? Shouldn’t he sell high on Teheran now ? 12:29 Dave Cameron: Coppy’s a scout. He’s certainly not anti-analytics or anything, but even he would admit that he leans more towards traditional ideas of building around pitching. 12:30 Justin: Assuming no major moves by the team, how many starts can Kershaw miss before the Dodgers are realistically out of wild-card contention? 12:30 Dave Cameron: You mean the team that is currently leading the NL Wild Card race? That one? 12:31 Dave Cameron: The continuing prevalence of the idea that the Dodgers aren’t a good team is simply bizarre. 12:31 Nick: How are foul pop outs counted? Are they balls in play even though they cannot be counted as a hit? Are they considered infield fly balls? 12:31 Dave Cameron: Anything that is fieldable is a ball in play. 12:31 Dave Cameron: And yes, if they’re caught in foul territory on the infield, they’re an IFFB. 12:32 Kyle: Do you think Altuve has a chance to make the HOF? or is he more likely to wind up in the “also-ran” category and come up a little short? 12:33 Dave Cameron: Depends entirely on how he ages. To this point, he’s seemingly getting better every year, so if he stays healthy, I wouldn’t put Cooperstown out of reach. 12:33 Johnny: I’m at the point of my life where I really need to get the savings fund rolling, but I also have credit card debts to pay off. The debt has a higher interest rate than the savings fund, so I feel like paying that off is a higher priority than putting money into the savings fund. But I should still put funds into the savings, right? What’s a good ratio of money to put towards saving/paying off debts? 12:35 Dave Cameron: You need enough of an emergency fund so that you don’t need to take out even higher interest rate debt if something happens, like your car breaking down. But once you get enough of a cushion to where you can absorb a one-time shock without needing to run up more CC debt, take the rest of your disposable income at throw it at your high-rate balances. Paying off debt is the same thing as saving for the future. 12:35 Daniel: What do the Marlins do at the deadline, sir? 12:35 Dave Cameron: They seem like a good fit for Rich Hill. 12:36 Bill Heywood: How much does the run scoring environment affect the math for intentional walks? Would The Book ever say it was the right call to put someone on base if teams scored 10 runs/game? 12:36 Dave Cameron: The more offense you expect from the hitters behind the guy you’re walking, the less the IBB makes sense. You need a big difference in expected outcomes between the walker and the next guy, and in a high run environment, you’re unlikely to get that. 12:36 Outta my way, Gyorkass!: So, now that Longenhagen is doing Monday chats now, are we ever going to see Szymborski’s chats here again? Or, is he going to man a different day/do random spot appearances? 12:37 Dave Cameron: Dan is still on the Monday chat schedule; he just was busy this week. 12:37 Outta my way, Gyorkass!: Assuming the Brewers finally pull the trigger on a Lucroy trade, what is your best estimation of what it entails? General terms like top-100 prospect or whatever are totally fine, but specific teams and players would be awesome! 12:38 Dave Cameron: Leaning towards Boston as the best fit now, with Vazquez struggling. Milwaukee will have no problem taking the long view and going for far-away guys, and those are the ones DD is most likely to give up. I could see him putting Devers in a Lucroy deal. 12:39 S: How difficult is it going to be for the Rockies to extend Arenado? 12:40 Dave Cameron: Really hard. He’s a Super Two, so he’s going to get paid good money in arb, reducing the need to sign a pre-FA deal. I’d imagine at this point it would take a 10+ year deal to get him to sign up. 12:40 Houzer : If the Tigers become sellers, would the Mariners be a fit for VMArt? 12:40 Dave Cameron: Basically impossible to imagine the Tigers selling, given how far in they’ve pushed. 12:41 David Cameron: Any advice for me and the UK? 12:41 Dave Cameron: Don’t ask questions you won’t like the answer to. 12:42 Houzer : Worried about Nola for the remainder of this year? 12:42 Dave Cameron: Not really. It’s just a rough patch. The stuff is still good, his history of plus command suggests this won’t be a long-term issue. 12:43 kris: you kidnapped someone else’s dog? 12:43 Dave Cameron: He came to me willingly, snuggled up under my feet. Then he went to go say hi to the grump at the table over and that Roger Goodell imitator barked at the owner to put her dog on a leash because he hates dogs. I’m now trying to think of how to make sure that guy gets peed on before he leaves. 12:44 Kevin: Before the season, you said that if a team won 3 World Series in the next five years your top pick was the Dodgers– with the Cubs close behind. Would you like to reverse those two at this point? 12:44 Dave Cameron: Well, the Cubs certainly have the better chance this year now, so sure. 12:44 Dave Cameron: But long-term, the Dodgers remain in a very strong position. 12:44 Joel: Do you reside in Bend, OR yet? 12:44 Dave Cameron: Not until this fall. Moving mid-to-end of September. 12:45 Kevin: Rather build your team around Rizzo/Bryant or Betts/Bogaerts? 12:45 Dave Cameron: I’d probably lean towards the Cubs pair, but not by much. 12:45 Shawn: With the return the braves get for Teheran, would it be smart to flip that for the likes of a Wil myers, or just keep the return? 12:46 Dave Cameron: Some kind of three-way trade might make the most sense if ATL does decide to move Teheran. Myers is an interesting option. 12:47 Turbo: Can you get Cistuili to pay less attention to painfully obscure minor leaguers and focus more on pitchers who are getting close to or who are in the majors? He has been fantastic at finding guys like Kluber, Shoemaker, Keuchel, etc and I’d love to learn more about the next wave. 12:47 Dave Cameron: Cistulli doesn’t really do what I tell him to do, unfortunately. If he did, I’d start with “Buy some new shirts.” 12:47 Thompson: What pitcher are the Rays most likely to trade away? 12:47 Dave Cameron: Odorizzi seems like the one they’d get the most for that they’d be willing to give up. 12:48 Justin: Could Kolten Wong or Grichuk still be a trade asset at the deadline? 12:48 Dave Cameron: For sure. There are plenty of teams who would happily buy low on those two. STL is probably too smart to sell at this point though. 12:48 Q-Ball: Apparently, Kyle Schwarber is off-limits in any trade talks. Do you feel that’s a wise position for the Cubs? Is he THAT good? 12:49 Dave Cameron: No. He doesn’t really have a future in Chicago, it seems to me. 12:49 Guest: carpenter > bryant, true or true 12:50 Dave Cameron: False, but he’s really great. 12:50 jon: Any way Soler+ gets Miller? 12:50 Dave Cameron: Depends on the +. Don’t think Soler is that valuable a trade chip right now, given the lingering lack of hitting and injuries. 12:52 SMac: Most overrated player in baseball and why? 12:52 Dave Cameron: It used to be easy to answer this; just find the bat-only RBI guy who didn’t get on base much and couldn’t play defense. Ryan Howard or Juan Gonzalez were easy answers, but those guys have been heavily devalued by the move towards analytics, and there aren’t that many of them anymore. 12:54 Frank: It’s not much of a secret that the Braves need hitters. But how do you actually see them getting the hitters? There doesn’t seem to be any obvious way to do it. 12:54 Dave Cameron: They’re likely going to have to sign some free agent bats, but unfortunately for them, it’s a terrible winter to be signing free agent hitters. 12:54 A. Reitz: Herrera, over Vince Velasquez? Injury worries aside…don’t get that one. Herrera is a nice player, but will he ever be an all star? VV, has more ace potential than Nola. 12:55 Dave Cameron: There’s more to life than ace potential. I’ll happily take the nice safe above average player over the guy with a 90% bust rate. 12:55 Untitled1: When the Yankees talk about Aaron Judge needing to work on more things before he’s called up, is that just blowing smoke or is there really something to it? 12:56 Dave Cameron: There are very few players Judge’s size who have been good big league hitters, and he has a long history of contact issues. He is exactly the kind of guy who benefits from more work in the minors refining his game. 12:57 Sleeper Star: I’m a Sox fan, so I’m biased, and I understand all positional adjustments are based on some sort of statistical analysis, but the negative defensive adjustment for a DH just seems to be too much… Over his career, David Ortiz has been worth an absurd -240.4 defensive runs (which, I believe, means 24 wins?)… Shouldn’t there be something here where it’s understood the team is better off having the player not play defense, thereby the player isn’t hurting the team and not costing them any runs? 12:58 Dave Cameron: Do you remember Manny Ramirez and Hanley Ramirez in left field? Do you think that cost the Red Sox actual runs and actual wins? Do you know why Manny and Hanley had to play the field? Because they had David Ortiz. DHs cost their team runs by not allowing the team to DH other bad fielders, so yes, they’re being properly punished for their inability to play the field. 12:58 Brian: If Andrew Miller costs X. What percentage of X do: Chapman or Doolittle cost? 12:58 Dave Cameron: 60%, 70%. 12:58 Dave Cameron: Miller is on another level in reliever value. 12:59 Brandon: Hey Dave, are the Rangers the best team in the AL? 12:59 Dave Cameron: Nope. 12:59 Zonk: Assuming Kershaw gets Cy Young and not MVP, would you buy Kris Bryant as early NL MVP favorite? 1:00 Dave Cameron: The problem for a Cub in the MVP race is they have so many candidates. Easy to see people looking at that roster and saying “eh, they’d have won the division anyway” 1:00 Andrew: Refinancing student loans…am I better off with a 5.3% fixed interest rate or a 4.0% variable? It’s a 5-year loan. 1:00 Dave Cameron: No one can predict the future, but it’s hard to imagine that rates are going up significantly any time soon, especially after the Brexit. I’d take the rate cut and my chances. 1:01 el crapo: quick and dirty way to adjust a batting line with crazy BABIP? e.g. “100 points above expected babip will inflate wRC+ by 30 points” 1:01 Dave Cameron: Depends entirely on a player’s other skills. If he’s a high-contact guy who doesn’t walk (Ichiro, basically), then BABIP will drive huge swings in wRC+. For a three true outcome guy (Chris Davis), it matters less. 1:02 Zach: Should the Padres trade Wil Myers? 1:02 Dave Cameron: I would, but I’m also not hosting the All-Star game and I didn’t just call my team embarrassing in public, so I don’t have to worry about keeping fans watching. 1:03 Kevin: Who do you think has made the biggest leap in the Trade Value rankings? Who has made the biggest drop? 1:04 Dave Cameron: I’ve got the preliminary names for the list finished and have started working on ordering them, so I can actually answer this! I had Stanton at #21 last year, and he’s not going to make the list this year. 1:05 Dave Cameron: Cutch is also going to take a big fall from #9. 1:05 Dave Cameron: But I don’t know if he’s going to be off the list yet. 1:06 Guest: are you considering stepping down in the fall? your commentary is worse than the decision to have that referendum. 1:06 Dave Cameron: And yet, here you are… 1:06 CamdenWarehouse: Do you have some sort of dog attracting magic? If so, how does one develop it? 1:07 Dave Cameron: Get a dog, let your dog get their smell all over you, go to places where other people are likely to have dogs. They will smell your dog and instantly want to say hi. 1:07 Larry: I’m struggling to know what this Braves front office wants. It sounds like they legitimately believe they can compete next year in the new ballpark. Please tell me I’m wrong. I hate watching awful baseball too, but this rebuild seems halfhearted as they keep Freeman and Teheran for the future. Tear it all to the bottom and build for years from now. 1:07 Dave Cameron: I think they know they’re not competing next year, but they can’t say that publicly. 1:08 Sean: I made a $50 bet (even payouts) with an irrational Cubs fan on the World Series win; he takes the Cubs, I get the field. I said I would have taken that bet even if the Cubs had a 45% WS% in the playoff odds. What would your cutoff be for a bet of this type? 1:09 Dave Cameron: I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that any team has more than about a 30% chance at this point. 1:09 Dave Cameron: The Cubs basically have the division locked up, barring something insane happening, but even then, they have to win three series in a row where they won’t be more than 65/35 favorites in any of them, and probably more like 60/40. 1:10 Mark L: Haven’t heard Cargo’s name mentioned much lately. Who’s a good fit ? 1:11 Dave Cameron: Rockies aren’t terrible enough to be definitely sellers, and even when they should be trading him, they’ve chosen not to. I could see him as a target for a team like Cleveland if he was available, though. 1:12 Brian: Would CLE trade Carrasco and Lindor for Trout? 1:12 Dave Cameron: I don’t think so. 1:13 kevinthecomic: The last 5 years of Miguel Cabrera’s career: David Ortiz or Ryan Howard? 1:13 Dave Cameron: Frank Thomas. 1:13 mike sixel: In fairness….not everyone wants pets around them while eating. Some people have allergies. Some don’t want pet hair in their food. 1:13 Dave Cameron: He’s at Starbucks, not a restaurant. I don’t think his request itself was rude; it was the way he did it. 1:14 Outta my way, Gyorkass: Your overrated player bit just now was a spot-on description of Matt Kemp. Has the larger baseball sphere as a whole finally caught on to how much of a drain those no OBP guys really are, despite the high RBI totals? 1:14 Dave Cameron: Oh, yeah, Matt Kemp. 1:14 Dave Cameron: Matt Kemp is the most overrated player in baseball. 1:15 The Kid: Uhhh… is the radar hot in this Rays-Red Sox game or did David Price actually just throw the ball 96 mph? 1:16 Dave Cameron: Price has always had that kind of velo. 1:16 tvators: Can a player who accepted the qualifying offer this past off season be offered it again? 1:16 Dave Cameron: Yep. 1:16 Frank: Should I actually be excited about the Braves rebuild? I see Swanson, Albies and a ridiculous amount of pitchers, most of which have trouble throwing strikes. 1:16 Dave Cameron: I don’t love the focus on arms. I think they’re still several years away, and will have to eventually stop collecting pitchers. 1:17 Dog: Seriously, why do you hate the Rangers?! You said before this season “they were no where close to competing” and you refuse to concede that they are the best team in the AL despite them having the best record in the AL 1:17 Dave Cameron: It’s almost like mid-season W-L record isn’t the way to judge a team’s quality. 1:18 Konnor: What are your “rational” explanations behind saying the Rangers aren’t the best team in the AL? Are you really that biased against them? 1:18 Dave Cameron: When you believe that a writer is biased against your team, you’ve left rationality and are reacting emotionally. 1:18 Archie: Would Boston do a 1 for 1 swap, Vizcaino for Devers? 1:18 Dave Cameron: No 1:19 Jerry: Schwarber is the Cubs left fielder. He was totally passable out there prior to the injury, and the offense is special. Cubs love his makeup. He will not be traded. 1:19 Dave Cameron: Oh, the big-bodied catcher was passable defensively in the outfield as an early-20s guy before he blew out his ACL? That definitely means he’ll be able to play the position long-term then. 1:20 get a grip: What are your “rational” explanations behind saying the golden retriever puppy is “cute”? Are you really that biased for it’s adorable face? 1:21 Dave Cameron: This puppy is running a 250 Cuteness+ 1:21 Dave Cameron: It’s just a fact 1:21 Dave Cameron: Her Peeing-On-Jerks-Score is still quite low, though. 1:22 Dave Cameron: Okay, I have to wrap it up for this week. We’ll see you guys next Wednesday. Enjoy your 4th of July, and remember that dogs hate fireworks, so try to keep your explosions to a minimum on Monday.