Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 1/20/23 by Jay Jaffe January 20, 2023 2:05 Jay Jaffe: Hey folks, it’s been a crazy busy day and I only noticed a few minutes ago that the chat notification didn’t show up on the home page or on Twitter. We’ll see if we can get a critical mass by 2:15 pm ET. Thank. you for your patience! 2:16 Jay Jaffe: OK, since there are at least some questions in the queue that will be fun to answer, I’m going to do a short chat. 2:16 Greg: A player exactly like Barry Bonds has an identical career as him. He gets voted into the HoF. On the day before induction, he comes out that he used PEDs every single day – is the induction cancelled? 2:19 Jay Jaffe: No way. It would be a logistical and public relations nightmare for tens of thousands of people and dozens if not hundreds of area businesses. There’s a sign in the HOF plaque gallery about the membership and the information the plaques reflecting the best available information at the time; this would fall under that category (and the language on that sign might be tweaked). 2:19 Led Tasso: Really enjoy your HoF below 5% posts; when will they be announcing the Hall voting results? 2:21 Jay Jaffe: The results show on MLB Network will air at 6 PM on Tuesday, January 24. I think it takes about 10-15 minutes to cut to the chase 2:21 No Beef: Greinke HoF cap is absolutely KC, right? How many more years would he have to pitch to wear a different cap? 2:22 Jay Jaffe: KC seems like the obvious choice but he might prefer a blank cap à la Maddux, Mussina, La Russa and a few others 2:23 Jay Jaffe: and with Greinke, it’s just impossible to predict what his feelings on the matter are because he always sidesteps any discussion of the Hall 2:24 Travis: Assuming that it’s a narrow election this year, and (very) optimistically hoping that Rolen gets in, that leaves two to three candidates in the 60’s for next year (Helton, Wagner, possibly Jones). With an incoming rush of Beltre, Mauer, Utley and some borderline 5%ers (Colon & Wright stand out)…what does next year’s class look like? How possible is it that some of the big gainers here lose votes? (Thinking of Wagner & Sheffield specifically) 2:26 Jay Jaffe: you’re right, if we do get a shutout it could be a real traffic jam next year. Voters do take time remaining on the ballot into consideration, which probably favors Wagner (who will be in his ninth year) and Sheffield (10th) over Jones (7th), but none of those guys has much margin for error at this stage 2:28 JJ Walker: Hey Jay. Have the Padres not officially signed Cruz yet because their 40-man is full and they are trying to make a trade to clear space? If so, I really hope it is for a #4 starter. The back-end of the rotation is really scary. 2:30 Jay Jaffe: They need to clear a space to make the Cruz signing official but I wouldn’t hold my breath that it’s a signal an upgrade is coming. Generally what’s happening here is they’re trying to find a trade to offload somebody on the fringes of the 40 for a lower-level prospect who won’t take up a space, because the alternative is putting that fringe guy on waivers and possibly losing him. 2:30 Tstats: Any chance at all McCutchen parlays this homecoming to a *great* year and another few years of deals to a borderline HOF? 2:35 Jay Jaffe: i really don’t see it. He hasn’t had a 2-win season since 2017 by either flavor of WAR, and hasn’t been hitting the ball particularly hard. If you squint you might hope he can close the persistent wOBA-xwOBA gap based on the fact that he still has 90th percentile speed, but I would not put good odds on any kind of rebound that moves the needle. FWIW he’s 30th in JAWS, and realistically would need to get to about 15th — about 15-ish WAR. Not happening. 2:37 Pumpsie: Does it seem to you that there was just a lot of shuffling in the AL East, or do you see any team as much better or worse than last year? 2:39 Jay Jaffe: I think the Red Sox, Orioles and Rays look worse, with the Yankees and Blue Jays having shots at improvement, but no guarantees. NY still needs a couple pieces (SS/LF) but I really like the addition of Rodon and the possibility of a full season of Bader. 2:39 RA Niekro: Do you know of any knuckleballers plying their trade in the minors? 2:45 Jay Jaffe: I know of one: the Padres have a 2019 pick named Matt Waldron who’s now 26 and trying to make it as a knuckleballer, but woof, things did not go well for him in 2022. 6.26 ERA in AA/AAA including 8.84 at El Paso. I wish there were more and if somebody wants to point me to any of them, I have a piece in mind already 2:45 Pumpsie: What do you think will be the most noticeable change due to the less-unbalanced schedule? 2:46 Jay Jaffe: the ratio of griping about the length of Yanks-Red Sox games to the actual number of games will be higher 2:47 Jay Jaffe: the most noticeable thing for most fans will be more road games being played outside of their time zones, since within the divisions they tend to be clustered there. if you’re used to checking in on your team at 7 pm, you’re gonna be watching a lot more 8/9/10 pm starts. 2:47 Jay Jaffe: I’m not really a fan of this change 2:47 TomBruno23: How many future Hall of Famers played for the 2022 St. Louis Cardinals? 2:47 Jay Jaffe: most likely 4: Pujols, Arenado, Molina, Goldschmidt. 2:48 Jay Jaffe: I really don’t see it on Wainwright due to the low innings count. The injuries suck but there’s nothing about him that puts him in Koufax territory as a special case 2:48 Pumpsie: Over or under 50 for Judge? 2:48 Jay Jaffe: Homers? I’ll take the over but not by much. 2:50 i read fangraphs: I was listening to the Cespedes podcast and they were talking briefly about the upcoming candidacies of Jansen, Kimbrel, and Chapman. Putting aside that all three have fallen off enough to not warrant induction on those terms alone, but Wagner gets grief for his low IP, and that trio (and pressumably any closer to ever follow) will not pitch as many innings. How do we evaluate their workloads in context to the changing usage of relievers, which isn’t really the fault of any individual player? 2:54 Jay Jaffe: even assuming Wagner gets in I think it’s gonna be a long time before we get another reliever into the Hall. His 903 innings isn’t enough for some tastes but he’s got the dominant rate stats to overcome that. Given that Papelbon (725 innings) sank without a trace last year I don’t think we’re going to see much movement on a lower bound. That shouldn’t preclude somebody from getting into the 900-1000 range an inning at a time, but maybe trying to throw 102 every time isn’t the route. 2:54 Oaktown Blues: What was Oakland thinking when they cashed in most of Sean Murphy’s trade value on Esteury Ruiz? Even if they like him more than consensus, shouldn’t they have been able to get him for cheaper, especially considering the Hader trade? 2:57 Jay Jaffe: That one really didn’t make much sense from Oakland’s angle at all — if they see something about him that can raise his ceiling, they’re keeping it to themselves. From here it felt like Milwaukee nosed in on the deal and got the better end of it than Oakland for no apparent reason. Here’s Michael Baumann’s write up https://blogs.fangraphs.com/three-teams-nine-players-one-surprising-wi… 2:57 Appa Yip Yip: What does Manny Machado need to do in his 30s to make the hall? 2:59 Jay Jaffe: Remain an above-average regular for a few more years. He’s in good shape, having done most of the heavy lifting, though an MVP award would really punch up his case. 2:59 Andy: The Athletic has been posting about potential MLB expansion cities. Which two cities do you think MLB should expand to? 3:00 Jay Jaffe: Haven’t had a chance to read the series but Charlotte or Nashville and Montreal would be my picks. They need a Steve Cohen type in Montreal to make that one work though — somebody who’s unafraid to spend 3:00 Grand Admiral Braun: Essentially meaningless because we can’t change the results, but how do you feel about little debates about retconning awards? I was debating 1996 AL MVP – Gonzalez – the “preserver of history” said at that time it was the right choice, while I said it fell into the RBI leader/best player on best team problem. 4 WAR vs 9-10 WAR A-Rod and Griffey years. 3:00 Jay Jaffe: those debates can be fun, good hot stove fodder 3:01 Justin: If Rolen doesn’t make it this year, does the presence of Beltre push his support down? Or do you think at this point people who have switched to supporting Rolen are solidly committed? Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem affirming on the same ballot that both Rolen and Beltre are all-time great 3B. But I have a feeling that there’s at least a contingent of people who would drop Rolen “in favor of” Beltre. What do you think of that scenario? 3:01 Jay Jaffe: it’s not out of the question he could lose a few votes but I don’t think it’s a big %. That said, given that he’s probably going to only miss by a handful this year, having another piranha in the tank isn’t to his benefit 3:02 Nick: Did you write up the case for Bernie Williams? 3:02 Jay Jaffe: my first year at SI he got a full-length profile (though those aren’t as long as the ones I do now). https://www.si.com/mlb/2012/12/15/jaws-and-the-2013-hall-of-fame-ballo… 3:03 Guest: A couple months back you talked about Baseball Movie Hall of Fame (and lack of). Have you ever seen Long Gone (1987) and Soul of the Game (1996)? 3:06 Jay Jaffe: Have seen them both. Own a dubious DVD of the former but only watched it once, thought it was solid but it didn’t send me back for more. Soul I’ve seen once plus some other parts flipping past, and I’d watch that again for another look. Really good cast (Delroy Lindo as Satchel, Mykelti Williamson as Gibson, Edward Hermann as Branch Rickey, Blair Underwood as Jackie). 3:07 Gashouse Gorilla: I know that different writer/voters use different rubrics in dealing with HOF-PED nominees, such as when, did they actually fail a test, etc. Do you see the possibility of a consensus emerging on what might be acceptable to 75% (of writers or committee voters) and what clearly will not be? 3:09 Jay Jaffe: I think right now it’s pretty clear that there’s a large enough bloc to filibuster most PED-linked players regardless of whether they were suspended. Nobody suspended is getting in anytime soon. Sheffield is a test case for having even a minor connection. 3:10 Jay Jaffe: No idea what things will be like 20-25 years from now when Tatis is on the ballot. 3:11 Dalton Wilcox: Profile request: JD Drew. Greatedt 3:11 Jay Jaffe: wrote about him here https://www.si.com/mlb/2016/12/29/jaws-2017-hall-of-fame-ballot-one-an… 3:11 Grand Admiral Braun: Let’s assume Wagner gets in next year. Who would be the NEXT relief pitcher to make the Hof? I bring this up because Kenley Jansen could be #4 or #5 all-time in saves by the end of 2023. His career compares favorably to Billy Wagner. 3:13 Jay Jaffe: Kenley is probably in better shape than Kimbrel or Chapman in that he goes into 2023 not needing a bounceback season. But he’s going to have to keep on keeping on despite diminishing stuff, and his health will always be a concern. I’m not sure if the next reliever into the Hall after Wagner is even apparent to us right now. 3:13 Travis: (Belated shout-out/tip of the hat to Ryan Thibodaux & team for running the HoF Tracker once again) 3:14 Jay Jaffe: What they do is informative and entertaining. Essential stuff 3:14 Matt: Pretend you are hired as GM of the Rockies. How do you go about turning that franchise into a contender? What players do you see as a particularly good fit for that team / home park? 3:14 Jay Jaffe: that’s a 3,000 word article and I’m in my last few chat questions. 3:14 Jay Jaffe: Spend. Money. 3:14 Jay Jaffe: Wisely. 3:15 ChicagoDan: Will Carlos Beltran see a big jump in HOF votes and possibly get in on the 2nd or 3rd ballot? It seems quite a few voters said they will withhold their vote for him for at a year or two. 3:16 Jay Jaffe: He’ll probably increase his share but as noted, next year’s ballot is going to be much more crowded because of Beltré, Mauer, and Utley 3:16 Jazzy: How many of these best players at their position not in the HOF do you feel are deserving? C: Munson 1B: Hernandez 2B: Whitaker SS: Nomar 3B: Allen LF: Berkman CF: Edmonds RF: Dwight SP: Brown RP: Papelbon 3:17 Jay Jaffe: I’m a no on Nomar, Berkman, Gooden, and Papelbon. A maybe on Edmonds but not unless Beltran, Jones, and Lofton are all in 3:18 Jay Jaffe: The rest are yes for me, though more lukewarm on Brown and vehemently yes on Whitaker and Allen 3:18 Grand Admiral Braun: Kinda neat on the McCutchen response. Baseball has been around for 150 years or so….and McCutchen has had one of the 30 or so best CF careers…in history! Pretty amazing. 3:18 Jay Jaffe: It is, and it’s easy to lose sight of that when we have these binary in/out debates. Even the guys I just said no on had great careers! 3:20 David: General FG question: Is Prospects week scheduled? 3:20 Jay Jaffe: starting Feb 20, a month from today! 3:21 Jay Jaffe: OK folks, lot of good questions in the queue and I’m glad we were able to salvage this chat after some rough technical problems early on, but ’tis the season where my dance card doesn’t have much room and so I’m going to call it here. Thanks so much for stopping by! Definitely hoping to do a post-election wrapup next week.