Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 1/13/20

12:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hey hey folks, happy almost mid-January. Welcome to today’s chat. I’m going to give the queue a few minutes to get stocked. Hot Stove and Hall of Fame questions, ask away

12:03
Larry Walker: Can I snatch victory from the JAWS of defeat?

12:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I certainly hope so! But I’m nervous because this doesn’t look like the election days of Raines and Edgar, both of whom sailed in with like 85% in their final years. The recent projections I’ve seen based upon the tracker and various models have gone both ways — just over the line and just short, but with the odds tilting towards the former. I have to admit I’m quite nervous

12:05
Dave: Hi Jay, what does your crystal ball say about next week’s announcement of the HOF voting results?

12:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Aside from the nailbiter with Walker, I do think jeter will be unanimous, that Schilling will be in high 60s and Bonds/Clemens in the low 60s.

12:06
Travis: The number of ballots tracked by the HoF Tracker is behind last year’s pace – do you sense a reticence from some voters to reveal their choices before the big reveal itself? Is there a reaction by writers with votes to the vitriol on social media? (The Purdy ratio immediately comes to mind)

12:09
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t know if its reticence or a shrinking media (fewer outlets to publish ballot explainers) or a smaller voting body (voters being sunsetted out of the electorate). I was surprised, for example, that there were just 6 MLB.com writers in the latest reveal (also six last year) but 13 two years ago. Right now i think it’s tough to get a sense of the big picture

12:09
Joel: How competitive will the Cardinals be even if they land Arenado and sign an OF (likely Ozuna)?

12:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, some of that depends on what they give up to get Arenado, but I’d think they’d be contenders given the addition of another big bat to the lineup and the conversion of their outfield surplus to fill other areas of need.

12:11
mmddyyyy: If we’re only going to go once, how old should the kids be when they visit the Hall?

12:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think that varies. How much does the kid know about baseball history, and how eager to learn is s/he? Does what we might call the black-and-white era appeal to him/her? Are there players s/he watched who are now enshrined? In terms of younger ones, I think the Hall will have less impact on any kid who isn’t geared to read about baseball’s history in some form, or at least have some way to connect to a few players enshrined.

12:15
Dave: What position do you think currently has the most potential HOF inductees among active players? 3B?

12:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s probably either SS or 3B, and some of it depends on bouncing back from injuries. Lindor’s off to a great start. Can Correa and Seager get back their momentum? Simmons, too? also, will Gleyber and Tatis Jr. stick? As for 3B, can Donaldson play well into his late 30s? Will Arenado’s bat hold up with a move to lower altitude? Can Machado shake off a mediocre 2019?

12:18
mmddyyyy: Can voters voluntarily withdraw from the voting process?

12:20
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Sure. We’ve seen voters renounce their ballots. There was that Ken Gurnick one a few years ago where he voted for Jack Morris (but not Greg Maddux) and declared that he wanted nothing to do with further ballots due to the PED factor

12:21
Dave: Favorite dish to cook during a cold weekend in?

12:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Lamb Ragu, which i can now do in the Instant Pot as well as the oven/stove. Learning how to do that was like unlocking a cheat code to a certain level of happiness.

12:23
John: With the recent Arenado trade rumors, what do you think the Cards would have to give up for him?

12:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I saw this tweet and without knowing a ton about Liberatore I think it’s a decent starting point

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago is reporting that he heard this trade offer made by the Cardinals for Nolan Arenado: Matthew Liberatore, Dakota Hudson, Carlos Martinez, and Tyler O’Neill. #stlcards
11 Jan 2020

Hudson has just 1+ year of service time, Martinez has options stretching to 2023, Liberatore is a prospect.. that’s a lot of players for multiple years

12:26
mike: So the Twins failed to acquire good pitching. Now what? Is there actually anyone available in trade?

12:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The Twins went the bulk route — Bailey, Hill, Clippard, plus re-ups of Pineda (who will miss some time with suspension) , Romo and Odorizzi. That’s not wildly exciting but it’s not nothing. If your’e sitting around waiting for a trade, i’d suggest tempering your expectations until late July because I wouldn’t expect much to happen in the near future

12:28
Dave: Does Bobby Abreu make it to play another day?

12:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I hope so but I think it’s a coin toss, and other than the distinction of not being one-and-done, i’m not sure it matters much. I’m not thoroughly convinced myself, and I’m much more predisposed to consider him than most voters.

12:30
Mike Ford: I realize my Princeton degree does not qualify to play first base for the Yankees, but how about my very high exit velo?

12:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: You’re in the picture, but so is a surgically repaired Luke Voit, and lord knows what happens with Miguel Andujar

12:31
Josh Donaldson: Is my ego holding up the process?

12:34
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I imagine the holdup is the willingness of teams to give a guaranteed 4th year to a player for his age-37 season. “Ego” is a stupid way of thinking about it — this is probably the biggest bite of the apple he’s going to get and if he wants to chase every penny, or find the best situation for himself and his family, well, that’s what the process is for.

12:35
Uh Oh: Assuming Jeter gets in, Walker gets in/ages off, and there isn’t a massive swell of support for Tim Hudson/Mark Buehrle…how likely is it that next year is a solo class of <gulp> Schilling?

12:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s possible, though there will be two Era Committee votes, one for the Early Baseball slate (to 1949) and the other for the Golden Era slate (1950-69). Both were shutouts in their last time under the previous format but the Hall better hope like hell that they get somebody(s) in. that said, I’m not sure people are going to flock to C-town for a Schilling-plus induction, whether it’s Dick Allen, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Doc Adams, or Bill Dahlen on the undercard

12:38
mmddyyyy: Does every position currently have an active future hall member?

12:39
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d have to think about that one. Maybe for an upcoming piece.

12:39
KD: Your thoughts on the game tonight?

12:39
Avatar Jay Jaffe: who’s pitching?

12:41
100%: Say Jeter goes 100. Who might the next one be? Ortiz is beloved but DH etc. Ichiro is slighted by some. Beltre was underappreciated. (And I’m so glad it’s now this discussion instead of “will anyone ever”)

12:43
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think i said last week that it would be Ichiro or Beltre, but somebody pointed out this absurdity from a voter who coincidentally was one of the first to publish his ballot this year. So maybe Ichiro

Good player. Not a Hall of Famer.

Only 4 players have amassed 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 1,600 RBIs, 1,100 XBH & 5,000 total bases.

ALL are within Beltre’s reach in 2017.

25 Feb 2017
12:44
Avatar Jay Jaffe: It won’t be Ortiz due to the DH and PED factors, if not the fact that JAWS isn’t keen on him

12:45
matt: Collin McHugh is a fun free agent… where do you think he signs and do you think there’s any chance another team lets him try to be a starter again in 2020?

12:46
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d imagine any shot at starting depends on his health and that of the other alternatives. if he’s healthy he’s probably worth a #6 spot, a guy who can move into the rotation if he’s healthy and somebody else is hurt rather than a guy penciled in for 30 starts as a 4 or 5.

12:46
stever20: Didn’t the HOF announcement used to be like today or tomorrow?  Why did they push it back?

12:47
Avatar Jay Jaffe: IIRC, It was moved a few years ago i think due to hotel scheduling issues (?) but i’m not sure why they’ve kept it there. Doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

12:47
Johnnt5Alive: What are the dodgers doing? I know they move their pitchers in and out of the rotation and “IL” but does the Nelson and Wood signings suggest maybe Gonsolin or May are in a potential trade for Lindor?

12:48
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think May’s going to be traded, and I also don’t think that the signing of those two guys indicates anything is afoot or particularly different than before — Wood was always a guy who if healthy and right w/b a starter and if not, well, that’s what depth is for. May, Gonsolin, and Urias may be guys they’re counting on to give them quality time in the rotation but all will have some kind of innings restrictions on them too

12:49
Alec : Do you have ballot access next year Jay?

12:49
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I will have my ballot next year, yes.

12:49
Grubbin it with Gruber: I keep forgetting how good Vada Pinson was … how does he do with JAWS?

12:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: he’s 18th among CF, short of all 3 standards (54.3/40.0/47.1) and behind Edmonds, Willie Davis, and Jimmy Wynn, but ahead of the BBWAA-elected Kirby Puckett. Had 40.3 WAR banked through age 26 (1963) but Just 14.0 thereafter, and done by the time he turned 37.

12:52
Alex: What type of punishment in terms of suspensions/bans/draft pick and IFA losses/etc. do you expect the Astros to get? Think the Red Sox are on track to get a similar type of discipline?

12:54
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wouldn’t surprise me if we see Luhnow and Hinch suspended for a year, and the loss of draft picks and int’l money, but how much, I don’t know. Also a suspension for Cora, once the Red Sox investigation is done. A lot depends on how forthcoming MLB feels they were during the investigation, and really, we’re all just guessing. [Update: Wow.]

12:54
Alec : Do Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle have a chance to get 5% next year?

12:54
Avatar Jay Jaffe: doubtful

12:54
Kurupt FM: Because WAR is cumulative and pitchers go less innings nowadays do you think there will come a point where so few pitchers meet the JAWS standard that we’ll have to rethink it’s use?

12:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: It’s something I’ve already thought about a lot. I have some ideas but not room to go into them here.

12:55
Mike in Fort Wayne : Who are the guys on the ballot that you scratch your head and wonder why they do not get more support for the Hall of Fame? Mine is Shilling.  Personality and politics aside-he checked the boxes for me.

12:56
Avatar Jay Jaffe: the one that puzzles me is Kent, who holds the record for HR by a second basemen and routinely drove in 100 runs — I would have thought he’d get a lot of support from more traditional-minded voters even if his JAWS was mediocre. Yet he’s polling only about 28% while guys like Rolen and Helton and Sheffield are blowing past him after getting even less support previously

12:59
Max: Rolen’s not getting in this year (and probably not next either), but this sort of jump puts him on track for Cooperstown, right? It’s been really fantastic seeing how much support he’s picked up this year.

1:00
Avatar Jay Jaffe: He’s not gonna finish at 50% this year (where he is on the tracker) but it does seem possible that he’s going to get around 40%, and if that’s the case I think he’s on his way — maybe not even in 2 years but building gradually towards 75%.

1:00
Bart: Will J Martinez get more playing time now and realize his potential?

1:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: he got 590 PA in 2018 so it’s not like he’s an unknown commodity. Due can hit but not much else. I’d expect a 2+ win season

1:03
Arby Tration: Any big surprises on the arbitration front so far?

1:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I can’t say I followed it very closely or thought tremendously hard about it given how busy I was. I’m always surprised when teams and players aren’t far apart but heading towards a hearing.

1:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Re arb, Craig Edwards is worth a read https://blogs.fangraphs.com/five-things-we-learned-from-arbitration-de… and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand had a good piece as well

1:05
Stephen Carlton Clark: Speaking of Cooperstown, I bet you didn’t know that in addition to founding it, I purchased stolen art on the black market from the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

1:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I hadn’t heard that one but it doesn’t surprise me. Nothing does, when it comes to rich people and dubiously acquired art. Haven’t read this yet but keeping a tab open.  https://web.archive.org/web/20090602184639/http://www.courant.com/news…

1:06
Roy C.: I find it crazy that just ten years ago a 111 WAR (!) Rickey Henderson had 28 voters say he was not a Hall of Famer, and five years ago 16 voters said Greg Maddux/15 said Randy Johnson were not Hall of Famers. What do you think the biggest change has been for why over a dozen, two dozen in Rickey’s case, voters could have no problem saying no to 100+ WAR players but Mariano was and Jeter seems to be on easy paths to unanimity?

1:09
Avatar Jay Jaffe: the process is more transparent now, for better and for worse. We know who’s not voting for these guys and they’ll hear about it if they’re off base.

BTW, i’d think this would go without saying but I would encourage you to engage respectfully if you disagree with a voter’s ballot and want to speak up. There are a lot of differing points of view as to what makes a Hall of Famer, and while some voters — like the 1-vote types — frustrate me to no end, that doesn’t make them bad people or bad at their jobs. Calling them names isn’t going to change their minds and is more likley to do harm to the cause of a more transparent vote than good.

1:09
ajnrules: What was the most surprising thing you learned about the one-and-done players when writing their profile?

1:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: oh, there were some gems. I knew about Adam Dunn’s brief time as a U of Texas QB but it’s still surprising to read about. Jose Valverde worked in a cheesecake factory as a teen. Heath Bell was a 69th-round draft choice. Both had noteworthy save streaks that I’d long forgotten about.. Raul Ibanez started his pro career as a catcher (as did Paul Konerko, which I knew). Carlos Pena’s family emigrated from the DR, Ibanez’s from Cuba. All of these guys have interesting stories and did a great job of carving out careers.

1:12
Chris: Why is the outfield market so slow? Is castellanos holding it up like Donaldson?

1:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Probably because the best of the outfielders (Ozuna, Castellanos, Puig, Gardner, Dickerson) weren’t game-changers in the grand scheme, placing them much lower in priority than the other big-name free agents.

1:14
Don’t Let Kent Hrbek Sit On You: Do you miss the simpler time when the ballot was uncrowded and one-and-done guys like Jim Deshaies could get a career achievement vote?

1:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The 2001 election where Deshaies got his one vote was the last one I didn’t cover. Kirby Puckett was elected that year, Gary Carter fell short for the 4th time at 64.9%, and Lou Whitaker went one-and done — did the guy who gave Deshaies the token support include Whitaker? I doubt it, so that’s a total failure. Things are much better now than they were then as far as HOF elections go.

1:17
Yankees’ Injured List: Is there a HoF veterans committee case to be made for Willie Randolph?

1:19
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Eh, he’s kind of a lite version of Whitaker, with far less power, nine less WAR and a slightly lower peak. A part of multip WS teams but terrible postseason numbers and he missed all of October 1978. I’d put him 4th on my want list, significantly below Grich/Whitaker/Utley

1:19
Alex: Could you see Maybin returning to the Yankees on a 1 year mlb or minor league type deal if he’s still not signed come Spring Training?

1:22
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Possible. They have to figure out what to do with Frazier, which probably isn’t riding the pine in the Bronx, and with Hicks having undergone TJ, that leaves them with Judge, Stanton, Gardner, and Tauchman for the bulk of the playing time if everybody is healthy. Room for a 5th, definitely

1:22
Ryan: What do you think of the new Outs Above Average data for infielders?  The usual suspects top the charts (Arenado, Simmons, etc.), but as a Reds fan I was pleasantly surprised to see Freddy Galvis rate so well (to say nothing of seeing that Didi Gregorious might not have been such a great fit for the Reds after all).

1:22
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Intriguing at first glance. Will certainly be something I look at alongside other metrics going forward.

1:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I like how it handles shifts by noting where players were positioned

1:25
Alex: What type of contract would you expect James Paxton to command (now if the Yankees try to re-sign him or later in FA)? Something similar to the Ryu deal?

1:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think the Ryu deal is a pretty good starting point. Lefty in early 30s, good pitcher when healthy, which isn’t always. I’d be very surprised if he signs an extension given that this is his walk year

1:28
Juan: Do you envision any time in the near future where we don’t have any inductees – either from the eras committee or the writers?

1:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: not out of the question that’s the case for next year (see above).

1:28
Juan: Any chance that Doc Adams gets in next year? He’s perhaps the most overlooked 19th century guy.

1:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Certainly a chance. especially with the old-timers, it all depends on how willing the committee members are to do their damn homework, because it’s not like an ex-player is going to stand up and say “I played with this guy and thought he was a Hall of Famer and so did everybody else.”

1:30
Rob: Do you think the ballot being cleared with inductions the last couple years is the reason for increased support for the likes of Rolen, Vizquel, Sheffield, and Wagner to name a few or is there another factor?

1:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s the space cleared by inductions AND fewer clearly worthy candidates hitting the ballot for the first time, leaving room to reconsider the holdovers.

1:31
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Care to share that pressure cooker lamb ragu recipe?

1:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: So it’s based on this https://www.foodpeoplewant.com/pappardelle-with-lamb-ragu-ricotta-and-… which itself is an adaptation of a version made with ground lamb. The thing you have to remember when using an Instant Pot is that thick tomato sauce will scorch and so what you have to do is layer it on top before you pressurize. Brown your meat, do your veggies, add your tomato paste, deglaze with wine, return the lamb to the pot, throw in your herbs and spices, then add your crushed tomatoes — and DON’T STIR, let them sit there — then pressurize. I did 50 min and instant release for 2lbs of lamb and that worked fine, another recipe had 40 min + natural release which might have worked too.

Once you release you have to shred the meat and reduce the liquid, which can take some time, but you’ll end up with a very satisfying dish.

1:36
TomBruno23: Why is Dontrelle Willis the 5th most searched MLB player on FG today? I am confused. Arenado/Wood/Frazier/Trout as the top 4…sure…but the D-Train?

1:37
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s his birthday and MLB sent a tweet to that effect

1:37
Roger: I was hoping the Dodgers might be interested in Mahle or DeSclafani as part of a trade for Seager, but their signings of Nelson and Wood seem to make the former pitchers unnecessary.  Is there still hope for a Seager trade to the Reds?

1:37
Avatar Jay Jaffe: probably only if they’re getting Lindor

1:38
WinTwins410: Jay, who gets in in the December 2021 Today’s Game Era committee?  Can Lou Piniella get in?  He was the only one close last time.  Or do other newcomers (McGriff, McGwire and maybe Larry Walker?) push him to the side?  Does anyone else who got less than 5 votes last time (Hershiser, Belle, Will Clark, Joe Carter, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, George Steinbrenner) have a shot in 12/2021?

1:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t see McGwire getting anywhere but McGriff will be elected, and quite probably Walker if he winds up there

1:39
Soundwave: What was your thought on the Rays & Cardinals trade?

1:39
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

With today’s trade, it’s the perfect opportunity to rename Tropicana Field

Every time the TBS broadcast mentions Cardinals outfielder Randy Arozarena, I’m hearing “Randy Rhoads Arena,” like it’s a venue named in tribute to the late, great Ozzy guitarist
10 Jan 2020
1:39
Matt W: Are the Mets gonna do more than just spin their wheels until Cohen takes over? They have a solid core they could build around but they really haven’t tried to so far.

1:44
Avatar Jay Jaffe: they’re trying, not necessarily in ways that I would do it, but it’s not like they’re sitting on their hands. They retained deGrom, didn’t trade Syndergaard, restocked the back end of their rotation, got some bullpen help. I think they need to move Dom Smith while his value is relatively high but I think they’re capable of contending if things go right.

1:44
Concrete Fan: Which division are you most excited for in 2020?

1:44
Avatar Jay Jaffe: NL East should be fun given 4 teams competing.

1:45
Greene: Any chance the Astros can extend Springer?  The large gap in arb filing numbers suggest they don’t see eye to eye on his value, and the likelihood of a contentious hearing means there could be some acrimony developing between the two sides in the near future.

1:45
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i’d doubt it, My guess is he wants to test free agency

1:46
Greg: Do you find it strange that Mariano Rivera was a unanimous Hall of Famer?  As a relief pitcher, Rivera almost by definition is someone who is not as good as the best MLB pitchers (i.e., starters).  Why reward someone who wasn’t good enough to make it as a starter by making him the first unanimous pick?  It would be like inducting the best pinch-hitter of all time as a unanimous Hall of Famer?

1:47
Avatar Jay Jaffe: see there for my thoughts

1:47
Dan Shaughnessy: Did John Henry just play me?

1:48
Avatar Jay Jaffe: in order for me to answer this I’d have to read you to know what you’re talking about. Which ain’t happening.

1:49
Guest: if Walker falls short by 2 or 3 votes as agonizing as that is, would one consider him pretty much a shoe in for 2022?

1:49
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yes but with any committee the chances that something goes haywire can’t be discoutned

1:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: ok folks, I have to go. Lots of good questions still in the queue but work beckons. Thanks for stopping by!

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Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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The current active leader in WAR among shortstops is Elvis Andrus, who ranks 35th among position players.