FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/29/15

5:41
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! We’re one week closer to the postseason! That excites me greatly. Come chat with me (and possibly Jeff) at 9 pm ET and you’ll see just how excited! Well, in theory. We’re hosting a playdate in a little while, so I may be exhausted by the time 9 rolls around. And then I might say something foolish. So, really, it’s a win-win for you!

See you soon!

9:02
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s do this. Jeff might pop in later, but for now you’re stuck with me.

9:02
Comment From Nolan
Is the Shin Soo Choo deal going to be one of those contracts where our perceptions are poisoned by the first year of the deal? Choo has been well worth his salary this year, and the rest of the contract looks much better than it did after the 2014 season. It seems like this could be similar to the Werth or Soriano deals, insofar as it ends up being much better for the team than the first year would suggest.

9:04
Paul Swydan: You know, I want to choo-choo-choose him. But I think it’ll still look like an albatross. The bottom line is that you need the first three years to be very good values to balance the scales. That last year was a disaster makes it really difficult for it to be a good contract in the long run.

9:04
Comment From Noah
Is it just me or did an article just disappear from FanGraphs? I was just reading an article about the difference between the projections being flat out wrong (the Mets) and the projections not anticipating sequencing (the Twins). Now it’s gone! What happened?

9:05
Paul Swydan: Every once in awhile, we slip and accidentally publish an article that is either not finished yet or scheduled for the next day. Entirely possible that that just happened.

9:05
Comment From anon
Will Arrieta get any top 5 MVP votes?

9:05
Paul Swydan: I think he probably will. I’m not certain he deserves such votes, but I can certainly see the argument for them.

9:06
Comment From anon
Would the cubs be better off facing pit or stl in wild card game?

9:07
Paul Swydan: I think in a game like that you would rather face the team with the worse bullpen, and over the last month that has clearly been the Cardinals:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:07
Comment From Jack
Now that the Mariners have a GM in place, does the hiring go any distance toward clarifying what they might do at the outfield positions and at DH next year? I would put Cruz in left, but maybe they prefer him in right because of some Safeco thing, or will just give up and DH him starting last week?

9:08
Paul Swydan: I think it will probably be a few weeks before Dipoto is up to speed with the organization’s total ins and outs. The good news is that it won’t take him as long as it would have most other external candidates, given the fact that he was just a GM for a team within the Mariners’ division.

9:08
Comment From you
What is the order for most money received this offseason? Price, Heyward, Cueto, Davis, Zimmerman, cespedes

9:08
Paul Swydan: Heyward
Price
Cespedes
Cueto
Zimmermann (two Ns)
Davis

9:09
Paul Swydan: Could flip flop Zimmermann and Davis

9:09
Comment From you
Will samardija accept qo or does someone offer a 5/80?

9:09
Paul Swydan: I think someone drops him an offer for at least that much, and he declines the QO to get it.

9:09
Comment From you
Do the Astros make it to playoffs?

9:09
Paul Swydan: I will say yes.

9:09
Comment From what
in yesterdays 11 inning cubs v royals game we had the leagues highest K% vs the lowest K%, yet cubs hitters had only 10ks vs royals with 14ks. Does this mean anything or just random trivia?

9:09
Paul Swydan: Just random trivia.

9:10
Comment From VanExellent
If the Dodgers were in a one game playoff would you start Grienke or Kershaw?

9:10
Paul Swydan: Neither. I’d run the bullpen out there all game.

9:10
Comment From lorenz0
Favorite post-hype sleepers for 2016? THanks

9:10
Paul Swydan: I don’t know about favorite, but Steven Souza comes to mind. I would say Oswaldo Arcia if I knew what the hell was going on there. Rusney Castillo could be a good one.

9:11
Comment From Xolo
Does Desmond’s goodbye ceremony means the Nats aren’t going to offer him a QO or just that he’s not going to take it?

9:11
Paul Swydan: The latter.

9:11
Comment From what
Harper v papelbon… thoughts?

9:12
Paul Swydan: Papelbon was totally and completely in the wrong. We’ve seen plenty of commentary on this the last 48 hours or so, and so I don’t know that we need to get into the specifics, but suffice to say that I don’t think Harper did anything wrong.

9:12
Comment From Stephen
Paul and.or Jeff, whats your gut feeling on Keuchel’s level or performance next year? I usually don’t keep many pitchers in my 12 team league, but he’s cheap as a 12th rounder.

9:12
Paul Swydan: I think as a 12th rounder you have to keep him. No question.

9:12
Comment From Stephen
With Greg Holland slated to get TJ surgery this week, what does that mean for his arbitration meetings for next year? Can they pay him less than this year, or will he simply not get a raise?

9:13
Paul Swydan: He performed most of the year at a high level. He will either be non-tendered – which would be a pretty classless, yet at the same time understandable decision by the Royals – or he will get a raise.

9:13
Comment From Ryan
What’s the tie-breaker scenario look like if we get a 4-way deadlock between the Astros, Rangers, Angels, and Twins?

9:13
Paul Swydan: I’m not sure, but I remember seeing that Jayson Stark had an article about it last week. I would check his archives.

9:14
Comment From Stephen
I made a bet with a friend of mine at the beginning of the season that the Royals would have a better record than the Cubs this year. For a while I thought I had the bet won, and now I’m worried. Will I be owing my Cubs friend a case of Boulevard Beer in a week?

9:14
Paul Swydan: well a question got swallowed

9:15
Paul Swydan: OK, there it is. Yes, Stephen, I think you are in trouble.

9:15
Comment From anon
If Arrieta wins the wild card game, how would you line up the rotation for a game series?

9:18
Paul Swydan: Assuming everyone else is at full rest….

Wild Card Game, 10/7 – Arrieta
Game 1, 10/9 – Lester
Game 2, 10/10 – Hendricks
Game 3, 10/12 – Arrieta
Game 4, 10/13 – Haren/Wood
Game 5, 10/14 – Lester

NLCS Game 1, 10/17 – Arrieta

So that’d be Arrieta on regular rest in Game 3, which is nice. And then you get him on regular rest in Game 1 of the NLCS. If you win the NLDS in 4, then you have Arrieta and Lester for 4 of the 7 LCS games. Which is sweet.

9:19
Paul Swydan: Haren/Wood/Hammel (I guess put him in the mix) for Game 4 would depend on the opponent.

9:19
Comment From you
Most regretted contract this offseason?

9:20
Paul Swydan: I think there’s a good chance it’s Chris Davis. I could see him falling off a cliff quickly.

9:20
Paul Swydan: At the same time, he’s tantalizing. I could see being happy with the Sox signing him. Just boom or bust IMO.

9:20
Comment From Matt Moore
What are your thoughts on me? My first couple starts after returning were atrocious, but the last two have been pretty stellar. Will I maintain that tonight, and is there hope going into next season?

9:20
Paul Swydan: I’ve never been a fan.

9:20
Comment From Roger
Arrieta has the narrative, Kershaw has the FIP, and Greinke has the ERA. So, who is your pick for NL Cy Young, and who will actually win the NL Cy Young?

9:21
Paul Swydan: Oh I think given the way the season has played out this past month, I don’t think there’s any question that Arrieta is going to win. Personally, I would give it to Kershaw. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve really gotta knock the champ off the top of the mountain if you want his crown. Arrieta and Greinke have been good, but they haven’t been SO good that they have clearly been better than Kershaw.

9:21
Comment From Rick
What does Dipoto do this off season in Seattle?

9:22
Paul Swydan: I think that he has to avoid the temptation to make a big splash with a bat. If they want to go hard after a Cueto or Zimmermann, fine, but they need to avoid a bad position player contract.

9:22
Comment From Ryan
The Diamondbacks have some excellent young position players, but their rotation is full of question marks. If they sign a mid rotation starter (e.g., Mike Leake) and bank on a return to health/general improvement from players like Corbin and Ray, are they good enough to make a run at the 2nd wild card next year?

9:23
Paul Swydan: So, I think the big problem with assuming the Dbacks are decent in the long run is that they are getting borderline MVP performances from both Goldschmidt and Pollock this year, and I don’t think you can bank on that repeating itself every year. And if those guys are 10% less good next year, that’s a big gap for the Dbacks to fill. So I’ll say no, they’re another 2 years away. We’ll see if they can be patient enough.

9:24
Comment From Roger
Albert Pujols is rocking a 658 OPS in the second half. He’s also walking less, striking out more, and hitting fewer line drives than he did in the first half. Is this just an older player wearing down in the second half of the season, or can we expect more of the same next year (and in years to come)?

9:24
Paul Swydan: Yes.

9:24
Comment From Roger
Colby Rasmus: does he get a qualifying offer? and does he accept it?

9:24
Paul Swydan: I think he would accept it, so I think it’s likely they don’t make him the QO.

9:24
Comment From Ryan
Who’s the favorite in a potential Los Angeles vs. Toronto world series?

9:24
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say Toronto, but it’s very close.

9:25
Comment From Rick
Who’s a good buy-low reclamation project for the Pirates this offseason? Latos seems like a possibility, but I could also see Kennedy being a decent fit.

9:26
Paul Swydan: Both of those guys would be good fits. Brett Anderson would be a good fit. Jon Niese. Yovani Gallardo. Guys that have shown the proclivity to get grounders.

9:26
Comment From Nick
What do the Yankees doing about their 2B situation this off-season?

9:26
Paul Swydan: I think that they have to take a long look at Refsnyder. Maybe get him down to winter ball.

9:27
Comment From Mike
Same question about Choo for Andrus and Fielder … more broadly, the Rangers should be trying to get out from these deals, right?

9:27
Paul Swydan: I don’t think there is any chance of that happening. Maybe they could deal Andrus, but I would bet all three are in Arlington next season.

9:27
Comment From Jenstrom
Does French shortstop Melissa Mayeux have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting drafted by an MLB team once she turns 18?

9:28
Paul Swydan: Well, I don’t think she would be subject to the draft, would she? Either way, I think there is a decent chance that she ends up on a roster. And then we get to see if this is something that can really happen.

9:28
Comment From Nick
Do you like Wade Miley or Rick Porcello more for next season?

9:30
Paul Swydan: Porcello has the higher ceiling, Miley has the higher floor. I like Miley more to be a steady part of the rotation. If they dumped Porcello I wouldn’t think twice about it, because even though inconsistency can be valuable, he is not doing enough on the positive end of that inconsistent spectrum to justify his contract. At least not yet.

9:30
Comment From The+Dude
Are you guys contractually obligated to do these chats, or what? Do you look forward to them, or do look at your Tuesday schedule and think “Damn it, another chat”?

9:31
Paul Swydan: I am not contractually obligated, no. In fact, when I first brought up the idea of doing a nighttime chat, Cameron laughed at me, and said there wouldn’t be enough traffic. And he’s not wrong. The daytime chats get way better traffic. But I look forward to this chat 95% of the time, because I like interacting with you guys. I get good ideas from them, and it allows me to get outside the echo chamber of my own thoughts.

9:31
Comment From Yankee Fan
Who should I want to see in the wild card game? Houston scares me because we can’t hit Keuchel, Angels are hot, Rangers have Hamels

9:32
Paul Swydan: Oh I would want to see the Angels. Being hot is of little consequence, and after Trout the Angels are paper thin. Plus with Street out the bullpen is weaker, and the bullpen is key in the wild card game.

9:32
Comment From Sumner
worried about Scherzer, or does this most recent start and the xFIP suggest a solid 2016?

9:32
Paul Swydan: Don’t worry about Scherzer.

9:32
Comment From The+Dude
What do the Cubs do this offseason?

9:33
Paul Swydan: Center field is something they have to figure out. My guess is they give Fowler a QO, and if he accepts it, they’ll be cool with that. If he doesn’t, they’ll have to come up with Plan B.

9:33
Comment From Tman
Who do you like better for next year and beyond: Addison Russell vs Rougned Odor? Who is better prospect: Trevor Story vs Tim Anderson?

9:34
Paul Swydan: Russell, though I like Odor a lot.

Not sure, but I think Story.

9:34
Comment From The+Dude
I clicked enter accidentally before, so this isn’t a repeat question that I’m spamming you with. What do the Cubs do this offseason? Besides getting a SP, can Theo simply just count down the days until 2016 starts?

9:35
Paul Swydan: Yes, left unsaid in the previous answer is that they don’t have a ton of work to do. Fill out the edges of the roster. I don’t know that they need a SP. I think Arrieta-Lester-Hendricks-Wood is pretty solid. If they get another SP, so be it, but I don’t think it’s a “need.”

9:35
Comment From Jenstrom
What will the Mets do without Cespedes next year?

9:35
Paul Swydan: They will hope Conforto is the real deal, and that the tape and glue holding Cuddyer together holds for at least 2/3 of the season.

9:36
Comment From David
Does JP Crawford make the same leap in 2016 that Francisco Lindor did this year?

9:37
Paul Swydan: That’d be sweet, but the Phillies aren’t in the same position as the Indians. The Phillies have every reason to give Crawford the whole year in Triple-A. Once they start his clock, there’s no going back, and the Phillies aren’t going to be good for another 2-3 seasons at least. No need to waste a year of Crawford when he’ll be one of the only good players on the team.

9:37
Comment From Sumner
what is Zach Wheeler worth to a team in need of a SP, maybe right on the in-between spot of the win curve?

9:38
Paul Swydan: Until he pitches in a major league game, he’s worth nothing. I was surprised his name even got play in trade talks, to be honest. Just because he is progressing normally now in his rehab doesn’t mean he won’t have a setback once he gets on the mound.

9:38
Comment From Nick
Will Wainwright or Stroman have a bigger impact in the post-season?

9:39
Paul Swydan: I think Stroman, because he is a bigger upgrade in the Blue Jays rotation than Wainwright will be to the Cardinals rotation. Also, there’s no guarantee that Wainwright gets stretched out enough to contribute as a starter.

9:39
Comment From David
If you had the 2016 #1 overall pick, who would you take?

9:39
Paul Swydan: No clue. You want Kiley’s chat for that question.

9:39
Comment From PaulyOH
So where do you predict Jordan Zimmermann signs?

9:40
Paul Swydan: I would guess in the NL, but I don’t know that it will be with a big market team. I could see a Milwaukee or Miami or Mystery Team being his destination.

9:40
Comment From The+Dude
I just looked at the beginning of the chat. You snuck an I Love Lisa Simpson’s episode reference in a Choo question. Love it!

9:40
Paul Swydan: I try to work in at least one Simpsons reference per article/chat. Otherwise, what’s the point?

9:41
Comment From Roger
It seems like the Nats should try to trade Papelbon at this point, but what teams would be willing to take him on, given his (apparently fiery) temper and his sizeable contract? Would a return to Boston be a possibility? Or perhaps a reunion with Francona in Cleveland?

9:41
Paul Swydan: I don’t see either of those things happening, but some team definitely will trade for him. Especially if the Nats eat about half his salary.

9:41
Comment From Nick
Is there a market for Avisail Garcia this Winter? I know he is bad, but are there GM

9:41
Comment From Nick
’s that like his tools enough to trade for him?

9:42
Paul Swydan: I sincerely doubt it. It’s not that he doesn’t have good tools, it’s just that those tools don’t stand out among outfielders. If he was a middle infielder, it’d be a different story.

9:42
Comment From anon
Who are some good leadoff guys available this off season? FA or trade

9:44
Paul Swydan: Span and Fowler will likely be out there. Rajai Davis. Alex Gordon. Ajax. Zobrist.

That’s just on the market. In trade? No idea yet. Haven’t delved into that.

9:44
Comment From Guest
I have a question about this site that may just be isolated to my experience. Sometimes when I type a name in the search bar and hit enter, the site reloads. It doesn’t go to a player page or another search page of some kind, but just reloads the home page. Can you explain this? Using google chrome if that helps.

9:45
Paul Swydan: The search box isn’t perfect. That happens to me too. I don’t really have an explanation for it, but it doesn’t happen very often.

9:45
Comment From David
What happened to Joe Mauer? Did the bat speed diminish?

9:46
Paul Swydan: I think it’s more the power than it is bat speed, though perhaps they are related issues.

9:47
Comment From Nick
Gardner and Ellsbury have had disappointing second halves (negative WAR for both of them). Are they playing through nagging injuries (that might, e.g., affect them in the post-season) or is it just a run of bad luck?

9:48
Paul Swydan: Gardner has had a banged up shoulder. And this time of year, you can count on something hurting on Ellsbury. So, injuries are definitely a part of it.

9:49
Comment From Jim
Chance the Royals retain Gordon?

9:50
Paul Swydan: I’ll say ~30%. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that they lost him, especially if they make a deep run in the postseason. Combine him seeming like a guy that might not hunt top dollar along with the fact that he is reaching free agency late in his career, and the Royals have a shot for sure.

9:50
Comment From Sumner
where does Wieters end up in 2016, and how big’s the contract?

9:51
Paul Swydan: Wherever he ends up, I don’t think the contract will be that big. He has one 4-WAR season in his career, and it was five years ago.

9:51
Comment From The+Dude
Isn’t it kind of weird that the Yankees two “speedster, table setters” Gardner and Ellsbury are both 32?

9:51
Paul Swydan: Yes, if you think about the odds that it would take for that to happen, it’s pretty weird.

9:52
Comment From Nick
Which post-season “ace” is most vulnerable to an opponent stacking its lineup to take advantage of platoon splits?

9:52
Paul Swydan: I think the lefties are – Keuchel, Price, Kershaw, etc. Right-handed pitchers are more used to seeing their opposite number.

9:52
Paul Swydan: Is my feeling.

9:52
Comment From what
will dipoto in seattle change much?

9:53
Paul Swydan: I think that is going to be interesting to see. He has not had much autonomy in his first two gigs – Arizona and Anaheim. If he gets more autonomy in Seattle I think he will do good things.

9:54
Comment From you
Which playoff team will the most surprising run? good or bad run?

9:55
Paul Swydan: I want to say Minnesota, but the odds on that are incredibly long. Which I guess is why it would be surprising. I could also see the Mets out quickly, which at this point I think would be surprising. We’ll see. It’s more fun to just sit back and watch.

9:56
Paul Swydan: Folks, I’m going to call it a few minutes early tonight. The THT Annual beckons – pieces are starting to flow in! See you next week. And thanks, as always, for hanging out tonight.

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/29/15 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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