FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/2/14

6:07
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! WINTER MEETINGS!!!!

Jeff and I will be here at 9 pm ET to talk all the sexy rumors that you want to talk. Well, Jeff might be a little late, but we’ll allow it because he’s special.

In any case, fill up the queue and I’ll pop off a few polls, and we’ll rendezvous here soon! Ciao!

9:03
Paul Swydan: OK, enough trying to catch up on rumors, let’s get to this. Jeff will be along after he makes a bloody mary.

9:03
Comment From Park Chan-hos Beard
Should the rockies try to trade for McCann? is that feasible? would the yankees give him up, considering his less than stellar year last year?

9:05
Paul Swydan: It’s definitely feasible from the standpoint of “do the Rockies have enough talent to land McCann.” From a “should they try,” ….. I can see where you’re going, but I think there’s probably a better solution for the Rockies. They can’t afford to pay a lot in trade for McCann and then have him be bad again. Or rather, not as good as expected.

9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they could, but wouldn’t be able to make a reasonable trade to get the Yankees to move. McCann is in NY for a while longer IMO.

9:05
Comment From Ethan
Will we see the flood gates open on trades and signings this year like we did last year in the week before the winter meetings?

9:06
Paul Swydan: Honestly? I kind of hope not. But yes, once Lester signs, the dam will break. We’ve seen cracks in it the last two days with Hammel and Liriano signing.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I think a ton will happen next week when teams can get back home and finalize some deals.

9:06
Comment From Kevin Gausman
Is 2015 the year where I finally break out?

9:06
Paul Swydan: Not according to Jeff!

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe in the bullpen

9:07
Comment From Ceej
Do you see Joc continuing to struggle in his adjustments, or will we start to see the power/speed combo start to come out?

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he needs a third pitch and more movement on his FB

9:08
Paul Swydan: Are you calling his month of service time struggling? Because that’s not struggling. That’s a baptism. And a short one at that.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I really don’t know … he could have been working on just one thing.

9:08
Comment From Ned Yost
What is the likelihood that Jarrod Dyson is a starting OF in 2015? If he were to play regularly, what kind of fantasy line could we expect?

9:09
Paul Swydan: It doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards, but Jeff would know better than me. I wouldn’t blink at a 50-SB, 80 run+ season.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Dyson struggles a lot vs LHP, so probably a platoon option.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: He will be 2/3 time in KC

9:09
Comment From Ceej
The A’s claim that Semien has a shot to be their Opening Day SS and the D-Backs are allegedly trying Tomas at 3rd. Are both of those as bad as they seem?

9:10
Paul Swydan: No, if they can hang, like Flores has so far in NY, that’s great. No harm in trying.

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Semien is workable, now Tomas I heard describe as Visciado (CWS OF) clone, so no at 3B

9:11
Comment From Tony G.
If you were Alex Anthopoulos, and assuming you still had access to as much money to spend as required, what remaining moves would you make this offseason with World Series aspirations in mind?

9:12
Paul Swydan: Well, if I had unlimited resources I would just sign Scherzer and then find me a 2B and a closer and then light up a cigar. But I doubt they are in a position to sign Scherzer. Prove me wrong, Toronto!

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: A couple SP reclamation projects (Dan Hudson) and continue to look for the Donaldson like trades

9:13
Comment From American League Hustle
If the Red Sox lose out on Lester, does Hamels become their next focus? If not, which guys do you expect them to target?

9:13
Paul Swydan: I really don’t see why they would focus on trading talent for Hamels when they could just focus on signing Scherzer, but I’ve been wrong before.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Start with with Shields and Scherzer and then trade.

9:14
Comment From Guest
And Jeff, you butcher Viciedo’s name

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: I know

9:14
Comment From Ceej
Schoenfeld claims that Sano will be ready by mid season. Are you calling malarkey with me?

9:14
Paul Swydan: No, if he’s healthy, he might be. We’ll see.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: He may get the Baez treatment, called up even though he isn’t ready

9:16
Comment From Guest
I know Cubs are caught up in Lester rumors, but tell me if this wouldn’t be a pretty strong offseason without any huge payroll commitments: Headley for 3B (assuming Bryant to LF and that only two of Baez/Castro/Russel will be worth starting (or, ideally, give you depth)), Shields to man top of rotation along with Arrieta, another mid-tier SP so Hendricks is merely one SP in play for 5 rather than a necessary 4, and a defense-first CF picked up in a small trade. Nothing splashy, but shores up a lot of concerns and makes them a pretty legit group w/o too much pressure on rookies but room to let youngsters play, and means no 37-yo Lester putting up a 4.25 FIP in a few years.

9:17
Paul Swydan: No, I can’t see Shields being enough for that rotation, and there’s no reason in the world for them to sign Headley. They got their mid-tier SP already in Hammel though.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t like the Headley signing for them and if Lester is putting up a 4.25 FIP in 5 seasons, it would be a huge win for the Cubs

9:18
Comment From Matt
Jon Lester is holding up the Winter Meetings and as someone whose team is not in on him I hate him for that.

9:19
Paul Swydan: That’s pretty silly. Why is everyone in a rush to get these guys signed? Relax, guy.

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he kind of holding up the SP market, that is about it.

9:20
Comment From Dan
Any free agent starters remaining make sense for blue jays. With their club polices (5 year max). Or should they turn to the trade market?

9:21
Paul Swydan: There are plenty. They don’t need a top-line SP because they already have on in Stroman.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Ervin Santana. I thought Liriano may have ended up there

9:21
Comment From Hannibal Lester
Ottoneu Linear Weights format. Xander($11) for Segura($10), Carrasco($3) and Giolito($4). Should I self-loathe even more for dealing Xander?

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: In a heart beat, take the 3 and run.

9:22
Paul Swydan: Probably do it. Even if Segura is still a scrub, that’s a good price on the other two.

9:22
Comment From Gareth
Who are some other intriguing reclamation projects a la Hudson that you’d be targeting?

9:22
Comment From Toggle+switch
Which pitcher contributes the most in 2015… Brett Anderson josh JOHNSON or Brandon morrow?

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: Toggle with a few others. Medlen and Beachy come to mind.

9:23
Paul Swydan: I like Morrow the best, but I like Beachy a lot too.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree on Morrow

9:24
Comment From Dan
You think Toronto would be interested in Dee Gordon? Navarro and a mid level prospect enough for Dee Gordon?

9:25
Paul Swydan: I think Toronto would be very interested in Dee Gordon. Apparently that rumor has been shot down now, but no, I don’t see that as enough for him. He would command a lot.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sure the Dodgers are in a hurry to trade Gordon.

9:25
Comment From neal
joke’s on you, in 5 years a 4.25 FIP will be a 500 FIP-

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Good point

9:25
Paul Swydan: ha

9:25
Comment From Guest
“The Giants were called by Lester earlier tonight to inform them that he was signing elsewhere”….That is pretty huge

9:26
Paul Swydan: Big, if true.

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Yep

9:27
Comment From Ceej
Stroman/Salazar/Richards/deGrom, all so tantalizing and yet with such short track records, scary fantasy options

9:27
Paul Swydan: I think I like all four, though I probably like deGrom the least, and Richards the second-least for 2015 only just because of his health.

9:27
Comment From Toggle+switch
Ha! Eno just breaks Giants out of Lester sweepstakes on Twitter!!

9:28
Paul Swydan: Wait, he did?

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Stroman the best. Actual pedigree. People are worried about his size, but after studying the subject, I have no issues with it.

9:28
9:28
Paul Swydan: Woot woot! Go Eno!

9:29
Comment From Guest
Speaking of Anthopoulos, He was on the hot seat before this off season. How many years did the offseason alone earn him?

9:29
Paul Swydan: One. One year. If this all goes south again, he’s going to be in hot water all over again.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: One more, 2015 could be a disaster.

9:30
Comment From Ceej
Doesn’t Stroman in the AL East scare you the most, though?

9:30
Paul Swydan: No, he was in the AL East this year and kicked some tail.

9:30
Comment From JimmyJohn
Quick who is you favorite no name prospect to break though this year?

9:30
Paul Swydan: Does Brock Holt count?

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not really. It matters little

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: 3B for Indians …. I can’t think of name.

9:31
Paul Swydan: Chisenhall?

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: His replacement

9:31
Comment From jj
Walters?

9:31
Paul Swydan: Oh yeah, that dude.

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Giovanny Urshela

9:32
Comment From George
Are front office types allowed to play in fantasy leagues?

9:32
Paul Swydan: I think that is generally frowned upon. They usually go in on other sports. I used to play Thad Levine’s fantasy basketball league til I realized Thad was going to win every year.

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: The probably don’t have time, but I have heard of them dabble in football leagues.

9:34
Paul Swydan: At the Rockies, there was a big college football pick em that all of the guys would do. I would do it too, though I sucked at it and just did it so I could keep up in conversations.

9:34
Comment From Sandy Alderson
Any chance Dee Gordan can play SS?

9:34
Paul Swydan: According to Petriello, none whatsoever.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: OK

9:35
Comment From Dan
Sexist team this upcoming year? Like which team is gonna get the ladies (and gentlemen) going?

9:35
Paul Swydan: Now that the Red Sox have two sexy hunks like Pablo Sandoval AND David Ortiz, I mean, swoon.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Cubs, they are going to have a couple big FA and nice young new meat.

9:36
Paul Swydan: FRESH FISH!

9:36
Comment From Compton
Is this offseason a little more zesty than usual, or does it just seem that way because everyone and his mom lives on the internet these days?

9:37
Paul Swydan: The latter. The Winter Meetings used to actually be crazy. Read some stories from before the reserve clause was struck down. Trades on trades on trades on trades.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: The A’s fire sale has helped keep it lively.

9:37
Comment From Malt
I heard a rumor that Rick Hahn didn’t really wanna go the Shark / 8 figure closer route. Any insight?

9:38
Paul Swydan: None, but no one had a gun to his head, so …

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t buy it.

9:38
Comment From Matt
So Masterson should sign with the Rays and learn “Thing #3” from Cobb/Odorizzi and become a guy with an elite sinker/slider/splitter….right?

9:38
Paul Swydan: Sure, if they offer him the most money.

9:38
Paul Swydan: Spoiler alert – they won’t offer him the most money.

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Correct …. Masterson will follow the money at this point in his career

9:39
Paul Swydan: It’s probably the only good money he’s going to get in free agency. Hard to see him doing otherwise.

9:40
Comment From Compton
Why aren’t the A’s an option in the “Which team helped themselves the most in the past few days?” poll? I would definitely vote, and argue, in their favor. At least in terms of overall value without consideration for *just* 2015, there’s an argument there, right?

9:40
Paul Swydan: Compton, my friend, there’s ALWAYS an argument. You’d lose, but there’s one to be made.

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?

9:41
Paul Swydan: I just have a hard time believing that the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers wouldn’t have beat the offer for Samardzija. These look like sell-quick moves, not maxing talent moves. Hard to square that.

9:41
Comment From jj
So if the A’s are going to spend all that money they saved, who should they target?

9:41
Paul Swydan: Someone good at hitting.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: I have a feeling they overspent last year for the playoff run and have to make up for it this season.

9:43
Comment From Bat
Paul / Jeff, can you tell me why so few teams seem to be interested in Scherzer? Is it Boras? Because, for example, on the MLB Network today commentators were saying that if the Red Sox miss out on Lester they are going hard after Shields. But even for a (seemingly) loaded team like the Red Sox, Scherzer wasn’t even mentioned as a possibility.

9:44
Paul Swydan: Mentioned as a possibility by whom?

Boras does this all the time, he waits out the market until his guy is the best guy left.

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Only a few teams can really afford him. I think the Red Sox will be interested in him

9:45
Comment From Justin
It seems like position players have gained value in relation to pitchers (at least from what I’ve been reading). Is it possible GMs are factoring in a possible NL adoption of the DH post CBA end into their evaluation?

9:45
Paul Swydan: No, I think it’s just a supply and demand issue. Good pitchers are easier to find now that the strike zone is getting wider and wider.

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not at all. There are just not many hitters on the market anymore.

9:46
Comment From mtsw
How likely is it that ty Cobb would have note career WAR than Ruth if we had better defensive stats from that era?

9:47
Paul Swydan: That’s a great question! The answer is I have no clue, but I like where your head is at. Those are the questions that get us through the winter.

9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: Ruth was insane on the offensive and I am not sure Cobb would have caught him

9:47
Comment From ArsAryc
With the very shallow pool of SS available this offseason do you agree that the Mets would be better off seeing if Flores can be the guy?

9:48
Paul Swydan: I don’t think it’s the worst idea, certainly. It’s a stand pat move for a team that is most likely going nowhere, but wants to pretend that they are. If they were serious about contending, they’d be flipping for Rollins or Castro. But it’s the Mets, so they’re doing nothing.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Not a horrible backup plan, but I expect them to over pay for SS at some point.

9:49
Comment From Guest
Gammons think Cespedes + De La Rosa for Porcello is possible….interesting.

9:50
Paul Swydan: Very! We’ll see. I’m expecting to be disappointed by the Cespedes return.

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s possible. Not a horrible trade, but I am really down on Rosa. Looked hurt at the end of 2014

9:51
Comment From Zac
Hi, I’m Zac, and I’m a Cubs fan. [Hi Zac!]. Can I just say, whether they sign Lester or not, I’m excited to watch a full season of baseball for the first time in a while.

9:51
Paul Swydan: Thanks for sharing Zac!

9:51
Comment From Hank
How much will it take to pry Cueto from the Eds? Assuming the Red are in firesale mode – how many top 10 prospect from a specific team? 2? 3?

9:51
Paul Swydan: The Reds aren’t in fire sale mode. The Reds are locked in the same Inertia Mode they’re always locked in.

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Do the Reds ever trade?

9:52
Paul Swydan: If baseball were Middle Earth, the Reds would be ents.

9:52
Paul Swydan: Except that the day they storm Saurimon’s castle won’t happen until like the year 3028.

9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Nice

9:53
Paul Swydan: Thanks!

9:53
Comment From mtsw
Is the orioles shuffling David lough, De aza, Pearce and delmon young at DH/rf/lf likely to be any worse than markakis + Cruz?

9:53
Paul Swydan: No, in fact it’ll probably be about the same.

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes and no. All four have major issues. Just hope they don’t all happen in the same season.

9:54
Comment From Zac
Does that mean the Reds are going to get angry, march south, and destroy the Marlins’ home run statue?

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: I hope someone does

9:55
Paul Swydan: Hahahahahahaha. Now I kind of feel like writing a long “Baseball as Middle Earth” article.

9:55
Paul Swydan: If only I had enough time to watch the extended LOTRs again.

9:55
Comment From mtsw
Are terms underestimating aroldis chapman’s value by ignoring how popular hed be among most fan bases (leading to more ticket sales and merch?)? Do teams factor in how “sexy” a player is in their evaluations?

9:56
Paul Swydan: I think that teams like to try, but that effect is usually fleeting. I think the Rockies thought they could bank on Helton selling tickets for eternity when they re-upped him back in 01, 02, but by 05, 06, no one cared anymore. “Todd and The Toddlers” was not something that helped bring people out to the ballgame.

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe with Chapman a half million …. maybe. I bet they have a good idea on the merch. One note on merch, the team only gets the $$ from stuff sold at the stadium store.

9:57
Paul Swydan: Right. Anything sold on BAM gets split up with the rest of the BAM money.

9:57
Comment From Rated Rookie
“Baseball as Middle Earth” sounds like fan fiction, Paul. If you do that, you will not be able to refer to yourself as a writer anymore.

9:59
Paul Swydan: You’re talking to the guy that spent legitimate time wondering if the Rays should be renamed after Evan Longoria. Would baseball as Middle Earth really be my worst idea ever?

http://www.hardballtimes.co…

9:59
Comment From Ryan
What do the Cubs do for pitching if they can’t land Lester, Shields or Scherzer?

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Hamels time

10:00
Paul Swydan: McCarthy and a trade? I don’t know, the thing with the Cubs is that they don’t HAVE TO go balls to the wall this year. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. They’ll still be good next year.

10:00
Comment From Dakota McKee
I don’t know if this is a dumb question or not but what about the face-to-face interaction at the winter meetings makes deals so much more likely than before or after, especially in the age of social media age where most front offices probably can have near-instantaneous communication from anywhere?

10:01
Paul Swydan: I think that is a slightly outdated way of doing things, but there is a benefit for the agents to having everyone there in one place at one time, it allows them to work a little faster.

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the big pieces get worked out, but sometimes the smaller pieces have to be worked out later. The two big Royals trades Grienke and Shields/Meyers happen the week after the meetings.

10:02
Comment From bmac
its obviously the booze

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: And that

10:02
Paul Swydan: The first time I ever saw Dusty Baker in person, it was when he was super drunk at the bar at the 04 Winter Meetings in Anaheim.

10:03
Paul Swydan: Speaking of booze, Jeff and I have to go drink some more of it, so we’re going to call this a chat. Thanks for hanging out guys, as always! See you next week!

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: See everyone next week

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/2/14 by Paul Swydan!

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Paul Swydan used to be the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com and The Boston Globe. Now, he owns The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Acton, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan. Follow the store @SilUnicornActon.

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Jensan
Guest
Jensan

Lester in Boston ? How does the rest of the al East react?

Rrr
Guest

Coolly.