Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 8/12/15

11:43
Dave Cameron: It’s Wednesday, so let’s chat. The queue is now open.

11:59
Dave Cameron: Okay, we’ll kick this off a few minutes early. There’s some chance that this will be an abbreviated week, as our nanny is on vacation and the in-laws are out of town, so I’ve enlisted the help of some friends to watch our kid for a few hours, but there’s some chance this could go the way of the Padres outfield defense, so we’ll see how long he makes it.

11:59
Comment From Shawn
Do you see the Jays or Yankees making a significant move before the August Deadline ?

12:00
Dave Cameron: Yankees make the most sense for Chase Utley. The Blue Jays need an LH outfielder, and so maybe someone like Alejandro De Aza or a guy like that fits.

12:00
Comment From Hank
You think Jose Berrios gets the call here soon?

12:00
Dave Cameron: The Twins aren’t really in the playoff hunt anymore, so I don’t see a big reason to push him.

12:00
Comment From Jobu
Brandon Crawford as a power hitting SS: are you buying it going forward?

12:01
Dave Cameron: This is probably a peak year, but he does look like he’s made some structural changes.

12:01
Comment From DOUGIE
How about David Stearns from HOU or Mike Girsch from STL as GM candidates in Milwaukee?

12:01
Dave Cameron: I can’t imagine anyone is going to hire any STL employees while the FBI investigation is ongoing. Too much risk of having it look really bad if it turns out more people were involved than have been reported.

12:02
Dave Cameron: Plan for tomorrow is to have a post on some potential candidates for MIL, though.

12:02
Comment From Jack Z
I’m surely gone this off-season, right?

12:03
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t say it’s a foregone conclusion, but rumors are picking up that Dombrowski is more likely to go to Seattle than Toronto. If they lose out on DD, I’m not 100% sure they’ll fire Jack anyway, but they won’t hesitate to give Dombrowski the keys to the organization if he’ll take the job.

12:03
Comment From Andrew
What are the chances that Hanley or Panda are traded in August?

12:03
Dave Cameron: I’d say almost none with Hanley. Sandoval, I could see a deal with SD, and Shields already cleared waivers, so there’s some chance there.

12:03
Comment From IAS
Do the Mets make the playoffs?

12:03
Dave Cameron: I’d guess no.

12:04
Comment From IAS
If Sale were to be made available in the offseason, what kind of package could he command?

12:04
Dave Cameron: A monster package. He’s one of the most valuable trade chips in baseball right now. You’re looking at multiple blue-chippers coming back.

12:04
Comment From mcmadbat
Which team in the AL East is best prepared to contend for 2016?

12:05
Dave Cameron: Probably the Blue Jays. They’ll get Stroman back, probably re-sign Buehrle, pick up Dickey’s option, and then scrounge around for a fourth starter.

12:05
Comment From Andrew G
What do you think of the Jays’ plan to bring back Stroman as a starter?

12:06
Dave Cameron: If he’s healthy enough to pitch, I don’t see why you’d limit him to 20 pitches out the bullpen. He’s either going to be able to push off on his knee or he’s not.

12:06
Comment From Art Vandelay
Who do you think it was who claimed Puig that the Dodgers had zero interest in working out a deal with? I feel like it was probably one of the highest priority teams.

12:06
Dave Cameron: The Phillies should be claiming every player with positive value; I’d imagine it was a team like that.

12:07
Comment From Andrew G
Is John Gibbons a contender for Manager of the Year? Smartly constructed batting order (Tulo, Donaldson, Bautista 1-2-3), good bullpen management, etc.

12:08
Dave Cameron: It generally goes to “team that overachieved relative to expectations the most”, so in the AL this year, that’s Houston. I’d bet A.J. Hinch wins it.

12:09
Comment From Houzer
True or False, Tigers should re-sign Soria to close for them next season

12:09
Dave Cameron: I’d say false.

12:09
Comment From E
Where do you rank Brandon Belt among 1B?

12:09
Dave Cameron: Middle of the pack.

12:09
Comment From Pete
Which one of these 3 players is likely to be the more productive offensively-speaking over the next 2 to 3 year period: Puig, Betts or Buxton?

12:09
Dave Cameron: Betts

12:09
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Rusney Castillo: League-average player?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Seems about right. Maybe a tick above average.

12:10
Comment From Natitude Adjuster
Fangraphs has the NL East at just about a coinflip. Seem right to you?

12:10
Dave Cameron: It’s close, but I still think the Nationals are a better team.

12:10
Comment From Shields Your Eyes
What are the odds the Padres trade Shields before August 31?

12:10
Dave Cameron: 10%

12:10
Comment From Baez Opinion
When do you think the Cubs will call up Javier Baez?

12:10
Dave Cameron: September 1st

12:10
Comment From Jonah
There’s a decent possibility of an Angels-Yankees wild card playoff this year. Who do you think starts that game for both teams? Neither seem to have an unquestioned “ace”

12:10
Dave Cameron: Pineda and Richards, probably.

12:11
Comment From Josh
Was surprised Lorenzo Cain didn’t get any mention in your MVP article. I think he would be my 3rd behind Donaldson and Trout. Hard to see neither of those two winning, but Cain seems to be a strong candidate, no?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Cain has turned into an elite player, but he does it in ways that the BBWAA voters generally don’t reward. I think he’ll finish in the 8-10 range, probably.

12:12
Comment From The Whole Story
Do you think the Rockies will move Jose Reyes before August 31?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Nope.

12:12
Comment From Tim
LaRussa and Stewart have taken a lot of heat. The team is playing well. Everyone is coming back next year. There are many pitchers that could contribute next year in the minors along with O Brien on offense. And finally, they have new TV money that starts in 2016. They can sign a TOR pitcher this Winter also if so desired. I really like what they are doing

12:14
Dave Cameron: They’ve taken a lot of heat because they’ve screwed up a lot of basic things. It’s a .500 team despite getting career years from Goldschmidt and Pollock. O’Brien has been a barely above average hitter in the PCL, and has no defensive value. This is a mediocre team going nowhere.

12:14
Comment From Josh G
Given that the Brewers have announced that Counsell will be staying as manager after a new GM is hired, doesn’t that lessen the appeal to potential candidates outside the organization? Do you see Ray Montgomery as a current front runner?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Yeah, the fact that Counsell is sticking around, and that Montgomery is probably going to be given some increased responsibilities even if he isn’t named the GM, means that you’re probably not going to see the most often rumored guys going there.

12:17
Comment From Andrew
According you this site’s projections, the Nationals are expected to have the second-highest win percentage of any team RoS. Do you believe they will meet that projection?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Depends on health. They’ve been a .550 team despite half their roster missing the season. If Werth, Rendon, Span, Strasburg, and the rest can stay healthy, they’re still very good.

12:18
Dave Cameron: Or in Span’s case, I guess “get healthy” is more accurate.

12:18
Comment From Vance
Do you not like blankets cause you’re #TeamComforter ?

12:18
Dave Cameron: I do like blankets. Usually prefer thin ones over big thick monsters that keep you from moving.

12:19
Comment From Daniel
How does a teams cumulative WAR correlate to their W-L record? Shouldn’t the team with the most WAR be the best team?

12:19
Dave Cameron: WAR is context neutral, so it doesn’t account for any kinds of sequencing, which can have a big impact on W-L record; just ask the A’s about that. It’s also a linear model, where team run scoring is not linear, so at the team level, it’s better to use something like BaseRuns.

12:20
Comment From Brett W
Will Starlin Castro clear waivers if he hasn’t already?

12:20
Dave Cameron: I’d bet the Padres would claim him.

12:20
Comment From Julio Pepper
Looking at stats from 10-15 years ago, it looks like there were a fair number of 9+ win seasons from pitchers (Pedro, Johnson, Maddux, Clemens). Kershaw has never topped 8, even though he’s considered historically great. Is there something about the way WAR is calculated that lets pitchers at the right tail put up higher WAR totals in higher scoring environments (and vice-versa for hitters), did they pitch more innings, or were they just better than Kershaw, or what?

12:21
Dave Cameron: We were spoiled by having four of the ~10 best pitchers of all time all active simultaneously. Kershaw is amazing, but he’s not quite at their level. Few are.

12:22
Comment From Cal C
Best bullpen arm that could clear waivers?

12:22
Dave Cameron: K-Rod, maybe?

12:22
Comment From Larry
Is Matt Williams going to be let go in an effort to shake up the under performing team?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Unlikely, but if the Nationals miss the playoffs, he might end up looking for work. He’s not very good at his job.

12:23
Comment From Doug
Statcast: broken? Currently unusable?

12:24
Dave Cameron: Interesting, but not currently all that helpful for answering questions given what MLB is releasing. This seems like a beta-test year, where they are just working out some kinks. It still has potential to be amazing, but right now, it’s more of a prospect than a guy you stick in the line-up.

12:24
Comment From Josh G
Jung Ho Kang didn’t make your Top 50 rankings for trade value, understandably so given the small sample size at the time. Given his continued production and the seemingly huge bargain the Pirates have for the next 3 years, would he now crack your list if you re ranked today?

12:25
Dave Cameron: No. It’s still only a half-season of production at the big league level from a 28 year old.

12:26
Comment From mtsw
Justin Upton apparently tied the season record for HR at Petco in one season. The record is 15. Petco is amazing.

12:26
Dave Cameron: Petco isn’t as pitcher friendly as it used to be.

12:27
Comment From LimeyJaysFan
Hi Dave, imagine you’re a Brit based in London town, a long time Jays fan dating back to your childhood summers in Ontario. Your wife is Canadian, you’ve a seven month old who hasn’t been to Canada yet. Currently your plan is to go to Toronto in 2016. Do you do all in your power to change that plan and get to some games this year? Or will the Jays still be awesome next year? Thanks.

12:28
Dave Cameron: I’m ~3 weeks away from flying across the country with a seven month old (well, eight month old by then), and I’m not looking forward to it. I can’t imagine flying across the Atlantic with a baby. I’d probably wait until next year, just for the ease of having your kid be able to walk around the airport.

12:28
Comment From IAS
Chances Mets resign Cespedes? Definitely gets QO?

12:28
Dave Cameron: Slim, and he’s not eligible for a QO.

12:28
Comment From Ground Control
Per playoff odds – LAD and STL have almost exactly the same odds of reaching the NLDS, but LAD’s odds of winning the WS are more than double. Am I reading this correctly? I assume it’s accounting for the Kershaw/Greinke effect, but that does seem like quite a significant difference…

12:30
Dave Cameron: Our projections love the Dodgers, and think they’re by far the best team in baseball. Keep in mind that there’s something like a 12 win swing in BaseRuns between LA (who has underachieved) and STL (who has overachieved), and our system doesn’t care about those wins from sequencing, so public perception is going to have those two closer than we do.

12:30
Comment From Reginald Denton III
In your opinion, who has the brightest future of the young Mets pitchers?

12:30
Dave Cameron: Syndergaard.

12:31
Comment From professor ross eforp
SHOULD Sale be made available? It seemed like they were on a great path and then made the “go for it” mistake.

12:31
Dave Cameron: The White Sox have decided they’d rather try to win in the short-term with Sale/Abreu. I don’t think that’s the right call, but they’re committed to it at this point, and it’s past the point of walking that decision back.

12:32
Comment From Drapes
Why would the Padres trade Shields, a productive player going through an uncharacteristic patch of meatballitis, for Sandoval, who’s been the worst player in baseball this year? To save $4M a year?

12:32
Dave Cameron: It wouldn’t be straight up.

12:32
Comment From Lonnie
Think the Braves have any chance to bring Heyward back? Where do you see him landing?

12:33
Dave Cameron: Doubt they have any interest at the price he’s going to command. I could see the Dodgers making a run at him if they trade Puig this winter, which is widely expected to happen.

12:33
Comment From IAS
If the Jays make the playoffs and the Angels don’t, what are the chances Donaldson wins MVP over Trout? Close to 0?

12:34
Dave Cameron: I’d say close to 80-90%, with Price probably as the only variable there. The voters have made it clear that they’re not giving the MVP to a non-playoff guy when they don’t have to.

12:34
Comment From IAS
According to your Manager of the Year definition, if the Mets make the playoffs can Terry Collins win it?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Yep, he’d be the likely candidate.

12:35
Comment From Timber
Year/$ predictions for Heyward, Upton, Cespedes this winter?

12:36
Dave Cameron: 8/180, and then ~6/140 for the two sluggers.

12:37
Comment From I am the Walrus
Is team WAR valid? I’ve looked at AL WAR for each team to date and I found Royals 4th, Cleve 5th, Angels 9th and Twins 15th! That’s 25% inaccurate which is really high.

12:37
Dave Cameron: WAR isn’t “inaccurate” because it doesn’t align with team win-loss records perfectly. It isn’t designed to, because team W-L records include a lot of things that aren’t player-skills.

12:38
Comment From ndbrian
Buccos fan who argued with a Buccos writer. He wondered who’d hang up first if the Pirates and Mets discussed Kang for Degrom, Harvey or Thor. I love Kang, but I think the Mets would laugh and hang up. He thinks it’d be a lot closer. Even given Kang’s great contract, he’s crazy, right?

12:38
Dave Cameron: Yeah, no way do the Mets consider swapping one of those three for Kang.

12:38
Dave Cameron: Unless they know something about Harvey’s medicals or something, but assuming they’re all healthy, no chance.

12:39
Comment From GSon
Michael Brantley has hit .398 since the break, leads the ML’s in doubles, plays stellar defense in LF, finished 3rd in MVP voting in 2015 and is a team leader… Where’s the MVP-Love for him?

12:39
Dave Cameron: He’s 17th in the AL in WAR on a losing team. He has no chance, nor should he.

12:40
Comment From Larry
How do you see the AL cy Young shaping up? Kluber wont win with 15 Ls, Sale has not enough wins and too high an ERA, is it Price’s to lose at this point?

12:40
Dave Cameron: Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel also have a case. Chris Archer is in the mix too.

12:41
Comment From Harrisoned
Nick Cafardo is claiming Red Sox should trade Bogaerts for Harvey – which team hangs up on that offer? I assume Red Sox

12:41
Dave Cameron: Yeah, no real reason for Boston to do that.

12:42
Comment From Scrapper
You have previously suggested that Jason Heyward may get close to $200 million in the offseason. How confident are you in that projection? Feels a bit high.

12:44
Dave Cameron: He’ll get close. He’s going to be a 26 year old coming off a +4 WAR season (+5 WAR if he finishes strong) with a good track record. At worst, you could see him as a younger version of Jacoby Ellsbury, who got $152 million. Add in inflation and youth, and I’d say $160-$170 million is his floor. Whether he cracks $200 million depends on who bids.

12:45
Comment From Ray
What is the likelihood the Dodgers new front office trades Yasiel Puig this offseason? I imagine it is pretty high, and I am a Dodgers fan.

12:45
Dave Cameron: Everyone I know in baseball expects Puig to get traded this winter.

12:45
Comment From Mike
Who would you have valued higher as a trade chip for Price; Sanchez or Norris?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Norris, by a lot.

12:46
Comment From Matt
If the Jays end up in the wildcard game, does it make more sense to throw Price out there for it, or is there a case to be made to treat it more as a bullpen game and try to save Price to get 2 games in the division round?

12:46
Dave Cameron: I’d always go bullpen game in an elimination contest.

12:47
Comment From Matt
Looking ahead to ’16, what are the key moves CHC need to make to get to next level? The obvious things is to say “sign David Price”. Is it something more subtle like a mid-rotation SP signing or trade and someone like Heyward?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think they need bats more than arms. An outfielder, a better second baseman (with Russell moving to short full-time), and a back-end starter is probably a better plan than throwing money at Price.

12:49
Comment From Julio Pepper
But at the same time, John Lackey put up a string of 5-ish win seasons early in his career, which is comparable to Chris Sale. I get that those four guys are some of the best pitchers ever, but things just made me wonder if it any of it could be a bias resulting from the era. If a replacement pitcher would have an ERA of 6.50 then by 5.00 now, wouldn’t it be harder for the very best pitchers to add value today? You can only give up so few runs per game.

12:50
Dave Cameron: If the very best pitchers are giving up only 3.00 runs per nine innings less than a replacement level pitcher instead of 4.5 runs per nine innings, then they aren’t as good.

12:50
Comment From Guest
Re: flying with young ones. In my experience it’s ok as long as you go in to it knowing it’s a high-leverage playoff situation- all hands on deck. Throw out the rules. You limit screen time at home? Great, but on the plane have several of their favorite shows loaded up on the tablet. Have stickers/small toys to give to them at various intervals out of a mystery bag. Have favorite snacks to distribute every half hour or so.

12:50
Dave Cameron: So my “drug him” plan isn’t recommended?

12:51
Comment From Larry
I have 2 young kids and travel with them a lot. Much easier to travel when they are in a stroller or carrier, before they can walk. Unless you enjoy chasing after them non-stop. Also flights are free from 0-2.

12:52
Dave Cameron: Lots of parents chiming in telling me I’m wrong about flying with mobile children. I’ll defer to them. Fly to Toronto now, apparently, earlier question guy.

12:53
Comment From Kris
Why do you dismiss Kang because it’s “only been half a season of production” but say Syndergaard has a brighter future than DeGrom and Harvey despite Thor only doing it for “half a season”?

12:53
Dave Cameron: We have Syndergaard’s minor league performances too, which are more informative than Kang’s Korean league numbers.

12:54
Dave Cameron: And tools wise, Syndergaard > Kang by a lot.

12:54
Comment From Tom R
Going off your comments in the podcast, I’ve got to imagine that Carl Crawford clears waivers – any chance the Dodgers and Jays can work out a trade? LH OF and any salary taken on by the Blue Jays is savings to the Dodgers

12:55
Dave Cameron: I bet they’ll go cheaper. You can get a guy like de Aza, who is of similar value, without taking on any money.

12:56
Comment From War2d2
I took your comments about not using ad-blocker software to heart, and turned it off on my browser. I’m a state employee on a crappy 5-year-old PC with very little RAM. Anyway, now that I have it off, FanGraphs routinely causes my machine to bog down to unusable levels. When I look at the task manager, the FG tab is routinely using 5x the amount of memory of any other process (even the dwm). Who can I bring this up to? It’s almost certainly your ad service, but I don’t want you guys to not get paid; FanGraphs is like 90% of what gets me through my workday (the other 10% is coffee).

12:56
Dave Cameron: We’re aware of it, and trying to fix it. I wish I could say it was something we were in control of and could just turn off, but unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy.

12:57
Comment From Yo, Cespedes!
There is some logic to Boston possibly dealing Bogaerts tho. Hanley only real value is at SS given the stick may not stand out at 1B. If they can clear 3B maybe he works there. Not seeing who’d deal for Panda tho. I don’t get the Shields swap from the Pads side at all…

12:57
Dave Cameron: Hanley will never play SS in the big leagues again.

12:57
Comment From Vance
Just realized this: now with Melvin gone, who will inherit the crown of WORST GM IN BASEBALL?

12:57
Dave Cameron: Ruben Amaro hasn’t been fired yet.

12:58
Comment From Ricks
Can you elaborate on why you go with a bullpen game in an elimination game?

1:00
Dave Cameron: The times through the order penalty and the inability to get the platoon advantage by using a starter make it more likely that even an ace will give up more runs than running through a bunch of relievers. And since you can set your roster for just that one game, you can load up on specialists and shut down an opposing offense while still having your #1 starter available to make two starts in the division series.

1:00
Comment From Sam the Butcher
Giants, Cubs or 2nd place finisher in the NL East- who gets the final WC spot in the NL?

1:00
Dave Cameron: Cubs

1:01
Comment From nombre
Do you get paid for running ads even if I never click on them?

1:01
Dave Cameron: Yep. Clicks don’t really have anything to do with it; we get paid per ad impression.

1:02
Dave Cameron: Alright, that’s going to be it for me today. Thanks for hanging out everyone.

1:02
Dave Cameron: Eno will be here tomorrow, and I’ll be back next Wednesday.

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newest oldest most voted
al
Guest
al

Dave you’re the best. No sarcasm here. I swear.

damnit this sounds like sarcasm.

I just want Dave to know that people appreciate him. seems some folks like to pile on during chats, which is insane….

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000

I was just about to post something similar… some people have really been giving it to Dave lately for having an opinion that doesn’t mirror their’s. Or jumping on him for not knowing every stat off the top of his head. In a chat format, you don’t have the time to research your answer… it’s very similar to the treatment KLaw gets from some of his readers.