Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 11/29/18 by Jay Jaffe November 29, 2018 12:32 Jay Jaffe: Hey folks, apologies for the delay this week. I’m deep into my Hall of Fame profile series, awaiting the publication of my Roy Halladay piece. Later today I’ll also publish a tentative schedule of the candidate profiles as well as a link to a very cool new feature: the FanGraphs Crowdsource Hall of Fame ballot, in which registered users will be able to cast their own votes from 0-10 candidates from now until December 31. 12:32 Jay Jaffe: As I await the delivery of my burrito, let’s get to it, with questions about both the Hall and the Hot Stove. 12:33 Syndergaardians of the Galaxy : Have the Braves already won the off season? 12:37 Jay Jaffe: I really like the Josh Donaldson deal; as we often say, there are no bad one-year contracts, and for a team like the Braves, with a lot of young talent and money to spend (see https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-braves-profits-provide-glimpse-int…), this seems like a good move; if Donaldson is worth about 2.5 wins, it’s more or less break-even from a $/WAR standpoint, and if he’s anything close to his track record besides last year, it’s a bargain, and there’s no long-term risk. As for the addition of McCann, I don’t have high hopes given his recent lack of durability, but he can still be a solid backup and doing so where his career began is one of those nice full-circle stories. That said, the Braves still have work to do, including adding a right fielder and some kind of rotation upgrade, so let’s not anoint them the winners just yet. 12:38 Acunami: With your great work on hitters, how do you see young pitchers and their chances for the Hall? Buehler, even Soroka with his limited but good debut? 12:41 Jay Jaffe: Given the fragility of elbows, shoulders and backs, I can’t even begin to ponder the Hall chances of a rookie, because far too much can happen. Hell, even two-time Cy Young winners like Saberhagen, Santana and McLain are outside the Hall of Fame. There just aren’t any guarantees that even the best young pitcher can survive the brutal realities for even the 10 years needed to qualify for election. 12:41 Charlie Hayes: Where would you peg McCutchen’s chances of reaching the HOF if, say, he plays 5 more seasons and reaches 300 HRs, 2200 Hits, & 60 fWAR? 12:46 Jay Jaffe: Low, if those are his career numbers. He’s not nearly the all-around player Larry Walker was; through age 31, Walker was nearly 200 runs ahead of Cutch in terms of baserunning and fielding via B-Ref’s WAR components, and about 15 WAR ahead overall — and he’s having a very hard time getting voters’ attention. Yes, Coors and the injuries played a part in that, but it goes to show what a hill it is to climb. Cutch is still young enough that he might get something closer to 2,500 hits, which could help, but his seven-year peak score fo 37.8 is about seven wins short of the average HOF center fielder, and guys like Edmonds, Lofton and Andruw Jones, with better numbers, have been rejected by the voters. 12:46 Rox Fan: Which way do you see Larry Walker’s HOF candidacy trending? 12:49 Jay Jaffe: Up, but not to 75% via the writers. He surged about 12 points last year, but only to 34.1%, and with just two years remaining. That said, if he gets to 50%, or even into the 40s, as Alan Trammell did in his final turn, the Today’s Game Committee might well smile on him. Put a guy like Tony La Russa — a huge Walker admirer who had him at his final stop — on that committee and we may well see him elected in short order. 12:49 Will: Do you think the MLB should make more of an effort to bump exposure to foreign baseball leagues to American audiences? Showing ABL or NPB games in the offseason on MLBNetwork, etc. could be beneficial to the health of the game long term. 12:50 Jay Jaffe: It can’t hurt, but i’d imagine that particularly with regards to NPB there are complexities involving TV rights, and you’ve got the additional hurdle of the language barrier to overcome. Is there an English-speaking booth covering every game? I honestly don’t know. 12:50 Slamboni: This Cano/Diaz to the Mets talk is so weird. I could see this being a late Jan/Feb trade if they had no luck dumping Cano but in November?! 12:52 Jay Jaffe: I don’t really get it, on a number of levels. Why deal prospects for Diaz when you can sign, like, Andrew Miller or David Robertson or, uh, Jeurys Familia? Why block either Jeff McNeil at 2B or Peter Alonso at 1B? 12:52 Jared: How would you rank the Brewers three young pitchers — Peralta, Burnes, Woodruff — going forward? 12:54 Jay Jaffe: My credentials to judge young pitching are limited, but I certainly liked what I saw out of Woodruff in the postseason. I’m intrigued by Peralta, whom my colleagues have covered more closely. I don’t know much about or haven’t seen much of Burnes TBH, but I know the Brewers think he can start, too. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. 12:54 Matt: You see the picture tweeted of Corbin on the Yanks video board? That’s a photoshop, right? 12:55 Jay Jaffe: Yeah, Photoshop or something similar. As I understand it, the Phillies did the same thing. Pretty sure at this point every front office can do this kind of stuff for quick PR stuff for actual transactions, so it doesn’t surprise me they use it while wooing potential free agents. 12:56 Hmm..: This Mets deal, who might regret it more? 12:56 Jay Jaffe: The answer to any question along these line is invariably the Mets. 12:57 Joe Simpson: So apparently I am getting bumped to backup duty for Braves TV. Any interest in having me complain about silent traditions on Fangraphs? I can make efforts to equally offend everyone if that is helpful. 12:58 Jay Jaffe: Good riddance. Out of touch to the point of offensiveness, exactly the kind of non-ambassador for the sport that MLB and individual teams should be jettisoning from their booths as they ponder the future. 12:58 Rox Fan: What would it take (combination of prospects and cash) for the Rockies to send Ian Desmond to Miami for Realmuto? I’m sure Brendan Rodgers would have to be included, but what else? 1:00 Jay Jaffe: It would take all of the drugs in Miami to get that deal done, and since the Marlins probably have better hookups than the Rockies do given their geographic proxmity, there’s no reason for a Desmond/Realmuto deal. 1:00 stever20: opening day 2019, where do you think Greinke is pitching? 1:01 Jay Jaffe: Pure speculation on my part but Milwaukee (where he had success) and St. Louis come to mind as possibilities, 1:01 Rockie Dangerfield: Whoa whoa whoa, you’re waiting for a burrito delivery!? Who delivers burritos!? 1:04 Jay Jaffe: This is New York City, man. We’ve even got late-night cookie deliveries, not to mention things that you non-New Yorkers probably can’t even imagine, some of which certainly aren’t legal (not that I utilize those services, but there’s a whole HBO series about that stuff, High Maintenance). In this case, I’m awaiting a burrito from Oaxaca Taqueria. Not the best Mexican food around me, but reliable, especially when it comes to delivery. 1:05 Southern Bleacher Bum: Is Jedd Gyorko not part of the Cardinals plans? Change of scenery candidate? 1:08 Jay Jaffe: We know the Cardinals have been interested in 3B upgrades such as Donaldson and Moustakas. With DeJong, Wong, Carpenter and Gyorko — not to mention Jose Martinez at 1B — somebody’s gonna be the odd man out. At $13 million for 2019, with another $13 million for a 2020 club option, Gyorko is too expensive for the bench, and you have to admit, Jedd Gyorko is an odd name. He can help many teams, though. 1:08 Maximum Munchies: Re: Braves’ offseason, removing the old man that yells at clouds from their broadcast is an off-season winning move. 1:09 Jay Jaffe: I hadn’t seen that news when I answered the first question, but yeah, it bumps their score a little. 1:09 Al: Does Corey Kluber’s current HoF case more closely resemble that of Halladay or Saberhagen/Santana/McLain? 1:12 Jay Jaffe: it’s different from all of those guys in that he didn’t even generate positive value until his age-27 season and (knock on wood) hasn’t missed major time due to injuries since establishing himself. I still think he’s a longshot, HOF-wise, but Halladay’s election would help his cause if he shows some staying power. 1:12 Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: If there was a Hall of Fame for uniform designs, which MLB teams would have their jerseys proudly hanging? Cardinals, Yankees, and Giants seem like shoe-ins. 1:12 Jay Jaffe: I’d put the Tigers and Dodgers there, too. 1:13 Sum: Jeff’s Tuesday piece about MadBum’s trade value raised the question of whether Zaidi would want that trade to be the first thing he did as Pres of Baseball Ops, as it could sour him to the fanbase. in the game that is team-to-team transactions, how much does a fanbase’s opinion of a deciderer impact what deals they are able to make? are other GMs able to leverage a hometown GM’s popularity in any meaningful way? (also don’t believe that trading stars is always a net negative, even in the short-medium term, for the GM. see, for instance: Garciaparra, Nomar) 1:16 Jay Jaffe: I think the Giants’ fanbase is sophisticated enough, and understanding enough of the situation, to grasp why Zaidi may need to trade Bumgarner. I think a fan base can eventually make a GM/PrezOps’ life miserable, but more along the lines of a DePodesta-Lo Duca shocker that leaves a red-meat-thirsty media scratching its head as it closes in on said exec. 1:20 Jay Jaffe: Hey folks, my Roy Halladay profile is up https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jaws-and-the-2019-hall-of-fame-ballot-… 1:21 Tyler: How can someone who voted for Vlad not vote for Berkman? Berkman was the better fielder runner and hitter, and put up more value in fewer games. 1:26 Jay Jaffe: First, Berkman didn’t dazzle on an aesthetic level the way Vlad did. Not by a country f’ing mile. Second, Berkman’s career was short enough that he didn’t collect 2,000 hits, which has been a bright-line test for voters in that nobody from the post-1960 expansion era with fewer than 2,000 has been elected. Third, not every voter — less than half of them, I assure you — is guided by value metrics. I don’t plan to “vote” for Berkman on my virtual ballot ( https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/12/29/hall-fame-virtual-ballot-2018), but then I left Vlad off last year, since my exercise is guided by JAWS. I was happy to see his election. I’d be pretty pissed to see Berkman elected and not Walker, not that there’s any danger of that happening. 1:26 Jeff: As a Mets fan, can you talk me off the proverbial ledge? Between seeing the steep price the team is willing to pay for a 36 year old with 5 years left on his deal and now Kiley’s report that they’re very motivated to trade away Syndergaard, how can I not view this as anything other than bad in both the short and long term? 1:27 Jay Jaffe: They’re owned by the Wilpons. We’ll send up some supplies for that ledge. 1:28 Minnie MInoso: Why aren’t I in the HOF? 1:30 Jay Jaffe: Because you never got a fighting chance in front of an electorate that saw the heart of your career — in part due to a clerical error and some bygone rules, and then the cameos — and in part because none of the committees has been able to consider the totality of your Negro Leagues and MLB careers as one. It’s a crime you’re not in the Hall of Fame. You’re number one on my list for election by executive order if anyone gives me that power. 1:30 DJ Tanner: Can’t McNeil play 3B? Maybe Frazier is the one that loses out. He wasn’t very good last year. 1:32 Jay Jaffe: In the short term, yes, Frazier is probably the odd man out, but he’s only under contract for 2019 and can play multiple positions. McNeil and Alonso have six years of control remaining. Blocking either with Cano, until the Mets get a truer sense of their capabilities, is malpractice. Oh, and it’s probably worth pointing out that McNeil played all of 16 MLB innings at 3B. We don’t *really* know whether he can handle the position. 1:32 Confused: Are people ignoring the amount of pitching available when asking what legit return for Syndergaard would be? Seems like not the best time for mets to be selling him with MadBum and multiple free agents available. 1:35 Jay Jaffe: there’s that and the lack of cost control attached to Syndergaard as well. The returns for guys like Sale, Quintana and Archer will wind up higher because they were signed at below-market rates, whereas he’s likely to command top dollar relative to his arbitration class 1:36 The Old Buccaneer: How different will the Giants’ rebuild look from what the Tigers are trying to do? Granted, they don’t have Miggy and his contract to deal with. 1:36 Jay Jaffe: very, in that Zaidi’s front office will be more analytically inclined than Avila’s, and in that he doesn’t have a similar base of young pitching talent to sift through immediately 1:37 IndyMets: Hah … remember Silver’s Burrito Bracket? You could do the NYC version 1:38 Jay Jaffe: Between working and parenting, I don’t have time for that kind of thing, alas. Any surplus writing time will (eventually) go towards some kind of follow-up to The Cooperstown Casebook, whether it’s a revised paperback version or a sequel or what-have-you. 1:39 Insomnia Cookies: So great! In other news, where does Ottavino go? I think a Brooklyn boy might want to return home… 1:39 Jay Jaffe: Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees have shown interest. He’s another guy who’d make more sense for the Mets than emptying the farm system for Diaz. 1:39 Phils Phever: What chance do SABR friendly candidates like Rolen and Andruw that started with a small vote percentage but survived the 5% cutoff have to build momentum? Does their vote total end up at, or at least near, election in their last years on the ballot? 1:42 Jay Jaffe: We’ve never seen an modern-day candidates (since 1966, when the voting returned to annual) start from that low a share and get elected; the low is Duke Snider’s 17.0% and he needed 11 years, which is longer than the current eligibility period. The evolution of the electorate and thinning of the ballot will help Rolen and Jones, but realistic hopes probaby center more around getting to 40-50% and setting up for Today’s Game than getting to 75%. 1:42 James: Segura for Cozart, no prospects, just contracts, who says no? 1:43 Jay Jaffe: Mariners. Segura”s value is MUCH higher due to age and cost control (thru ’22 with ’23 club option). 1:43 Roman Numeral Three: Assume Mussina gets into the HOF. Which cap does his plaque wear: Orioles, Yankees, or Blank? 1:44 Jay Jaffe: Orioles. All of the numbers, both traditional and advanced, point to his Baltimore tenure as superior save for the fact that he never pitched in a World Series for them. 1:45 Matt W: When it comes to ordering food in NYC, reliable, fast delivery >>>>>> taste 1:45 Jay Jaffe: Yeah but where is my damn burrito, this is longer than I expected to wait. 1:45 Nick: Should the Mets be pursuing any starting pitching (i.e. Eovaldi) to bolster their rotation? 1:46 Jay Jaffe: per Kiley’s scoop, ( Kiley McDaniel @kileymcd Sources: Mets are motivated to trade Noah Syndergaard with GM Brodie Van Wagenen initiating talks w/multiple clubs…. twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 29 Nov 2018 ) they’ll sign a free agent to replace Syndergaard, so he figures to be in the mix. 1:46 Matt: Could you rank the following SPs from most likely to least likely to get into the HOF: Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer, Greinke, Sale, Sabathia. Is that the order? 1:49 Jay Jaffe: Sale doesn’t really belong in this discussion yet, he’s 136th in JAWS, where Sabathia and Scherzer are 71st and 72nd. So he’s last. As for the rest, that order looks about right though i might move CC forward another notch or two on the basis of the 250 win/3000 K combo that he should reach next year. 1:50 Big Tuna: Are you a big Insomnia Cookie guy? I prefer Chip in Astoria. 1:50 Jay Jaffe: I’ve actually never had either. My discretionary late-night calories tend towards beer, not sweets. 1:51 D: You often mention the average JAWS score for a given position when discussing a player’s HOF worthiness. Is average or better your default standard? Or would you want a player to be considerably better or allow him to be considerably worse? (Keeping in mind it’s not written in stone, of course.) 1:53 Jay Jaffe: JAWS is a starting point, not the end of the discussion. Average or better is perfectly reasonable, IMO, but I’m inclined towards high-peak exceptions like Halladay. The relative ranking at the position, particularly at a skewed one like center field, where Beltran, Lofton and Andruw are just below the standard but rank 9, 10, 11, is important too. 1:53 stever20: how much do you think Machado’s comments are going to hurt him in FA? it seems like it could be more than thought? 1:54 Jay Jaffe: Eh, right now it’s all posturing for PR purposes. I won’t believe it cost him a nickel until we see the final contract. 1:54 Phan: What should the phils do to their infield this offseason? 1:55 Jay Jaffe: transplant a young player’s knees into Chase Utley, trade Cesar Hernandez for prospects, sign Machado, and win the NL East. 1:56 onomatopoeia: I read your piece on Steinbrenner for the HOF. Are there other owners that you think could have a chance some day? 1:58 Jay Jaffe: I haven’t thought about it for much longer than I’ve been typing this answer but John Henry’s remake of the Red Sox from a competitive and cultural standpoint makes him worthy, particularly as an antidote to Tom Yawkey’s regrettable presence in the Hall. 2:00 Jay Jaffe: OK , folks. Burrito is here, and I’m out of time. Look for an InstaGraphs post on the writeup schedule and the crowdsource ballot, and check out the four profiles in the series thus far: Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Roy Hallladay — the cream of the 2019 crop. Thanks for stopping by!