Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 12/16/22

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, folks!

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Welcome to what will be a brief Friday chat due to previous commitments

John: How much $ did Arenado leave on the table by opting out? Seems like they did not anticipate this hot of a market

Avatar Jay Jaffe: That’s a very good question. The market does seem to have taken off in ways that nobody seems to have anticipated. We’ve seen a lot of teams dilute AAVs via longer deals (who’s to say where any of us will be in 11 years?) but Ben Clemens also had a very good piece on interest rates and inflation that even a dullard like me could understand https://blogs.fangraphs.com/why-are-teams-issuing-extremely-long-contr…

ChadT: What are the Dodgers doing?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: that’s a good question. I wish I had a better answer than “waiting to see how much of T***** B****’s back salary they might owe if he wins his arbitration case” but here we are. The Syndergaard deal seems OK but if they could have kept Tyler Anderson at the 3/$39M he took from the Angels that would have been better

Guest: Jay, do you think the standard for a HoF pitcher is going to have to lower significantly for modern candidates to make it. Beyond the guys who are already a lock there is the deGrom/Cole class and then…Aaron Nola? Shane Bieber? It takes a lot of projection to get any other active player anywhere close to current standard.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot over the last year, as you might have seen with the introduction of S-JAWS. I do still keep looking at the Hall cases of candidates like Buerhle and Pettitte to see how their standing has changed and… I still can’t get past the notion that they’d be something like 25th-percentile Hall of Famers. I feel much better about the Dave Stiebs, David Cones, Orel Hershisers and such but good luck getting them on an Era Committee ballot given the format change

Avatar Jay Jaffe: deGrom, Cole, and Nola are three to keep an eye on, for sure.

EonADS: Is there a standard to which relievers should be held for the Hall, or are we currently having to handle it on a case-by-case basis?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: another issue I’ve been hashing out in my profiles. I’m not 100% sold on the idea that we need more relievers in the Hall but it would seem to me that if we do, we should start with the best one outside/eligible, and that’s Billy Wagner. I went into writing K-Rod’s profile dead set against including him on my ballot, but he comes up as Lee Smith-level in R-JAWS and I didn’t mind his inclusion, at least by the time he was elected. Of course most elected candidates will look good next to Harold Baines.

Gross Nationals Product: Who’s had the better offseason … Yankees or Mets?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Everything should be considered preliminary at this point — there are still nine days until Xmas — I’m inclined to say Yankees here because once you get past the expenses of retaining Judge, Nimmo, and Diaz (and boy, those are some expenses) Rodon is such a clear upgrade on Taillon, where Verlander/deGrom is merely trading risk profiles, and Senga/Quintana isn’t a massive change from Bassit/Walker. I do like Cohen’s aggressive approach, though

Datt Mamon: Cubs fans actually think Jed Hoyer is inept and “in over his head.” Thoughts?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: If he’s still using the outdated paradigms by which Epstein and Hoyer built the 2016 team that’s on him, but more than anything, I think he’s been sent to do the bidding of an owner that doesn’t want to invest in the roster and is fumbling for explanations.

EonADS: Do you ever see there being a case for a non-closer RP to make the Hall? Or are people too obsessed with Saves and the mystique of closing?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think that justifying elite reliever placement in the Hall depends so much on leverage, even beyond our traditional calculations of it (the psychological swing of a lockdown guy versus an arsonist), and have a hard time seeing how that can extend to a 7th-8th inning guy

Avatar Jay Jaffe: if he’s any good he’s gonna close eventually

Danboy McGraw: Think the Yankees could trade for Tatis Jr and put a bow on this offseason?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: until he returns from shoulder surgery and an entirely lost season, I think he presents too much risk to trade for

Farhandrew Zaidman: Trevor May bounce back year? He’s historically been very solid and he really started to put it together at the end of the year.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Looks like the A’s are going to find out, but color me skeptical while being happy he got paid. His FIPs have been pretty consistent across the years and he hasn’t been worth 1.0 WAR since 2015

Right-hander Trevor May and the Oakland A’s are in agreement on a one-year, $7 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. May, 33, will get a $1 million signing bonus and can make another $500,000 in performance bonuses.
16 Dec 2022
Guest: Who do you think will be the opening day dh for the mariners?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Edgar Martinez? Or maybe Nelson Cruz

Forst: Are we seeing the huge fall-off in talent from Billy Beane to David Forst in real time? The A’s should have a top-10 prospect pipeline from dealing away Olson/Chapman/Bassitt/Manaea/Murphy and yet all they can fall back on is “we evaluate players differently”

Avatar Jay Jaffe: it ain’t great, for sure. But it does seem like ownership is entirely checked out and focused on cutting costs as they try to sneak the team to Las Vegas

Starters: Well the Buehrle and Pettitte types are not really peak guys. So I wonder if we are going to have to focus on more briefly brilliant guys if we want anyone to enter

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I will be happy to lead the Johan Santana parade when he’s eligible for the Today’s Game ballot but I think that won’t be until 2032

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Stieb, Cone, Hershiser are waiting by the phone

Justin: Do you prefer xERA or FIP and why?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: as with hitter slash stats (AVG/OBP/SLG) I prefer to have both of those AND ERA to get a more three-dimensional picture of a player’s performance and feel for the directions in which it might be replicable (or not).

Farhandrew Zaidman: If you were a player in FA, what percentage of your decision making would be controlled by the most money versus the best org fit?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: i think that really depends on how far apart two offers are in terms of dollars. Most Money/Bad Fit doesn’t make sense if. you’re talking a few million of difference but a few tens of millions? or contracts of different length. Different story. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer

Mike M: Do you think that the WAR positional adjustments are accurate?  That JAWS uses the WAR calculations but still makes position-specific comparisons seems like a way to get around possible errors in WAR positional adjustments.  That is, even if the WAR positional adjustments changed, the conclusions you make from JAWS would be relatively unchanged.  Or am I wrong about that?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: The positional adjustments are estimates, but they’re estimates made by people who have studied the matter much more closely than me and they seem to work pretty well. Comparing like to like in JAWS does provide some insulation but players do change positions (CF to corner, OF to 1B, 1B to DH, etc) which blurs the lines a bit.

WinTwins0410: Jay, I was happy to see Crime Dog get into the Hall, but did you feel (as I did) that the announcement itself wound up feeling kind of anti-climactic?  That’s how it felt to me (and to others I discussed with) — and I was in *favor* of McGriff getting in!  It seems like given so much suspicion (paranoia?) over how the ballot was stacked, the rules for voting, and who was on the committee — all that corrupted the process in a way that made the final result less than satisfying.  Do you agree?  And more broadly, shouldn’t these Era Committees just have broad ballots and let the 16 voters vote for as many candidates as they want?  I know that when it was a broad ballot and a lot of (Hall of Fame) voters on the Vets’ committee (2003-2007), no one got in.  But I feel like the four guys getting in with last year’s Vets committee was a really joyous occasion, and it received little criticism.  This process — yeah, lots of criticism.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I definitely think that the peculiarities of the construction of this ballot and this voting pool — both of which were focuses of my coverage — did do something to diminish the proceedings. And I’ve been vocal about not liking the format change much. Dick Allen aside, last year’s results certainly left us a lot more to celebrate.

Tom: I understand the angst regarding the Cardinals starting rotation and how it doesn’t compare to other teams. But haven’t the Cardinals’ front office shown a pattern of trading for upgrades to the rotation at the trade deadline? And isn’t that a sound plan with their rotation – see who shakes out as healthy and dependable and then go out and trade from their depth for someone like, say, Bieber or Lopez?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: The big, longstanding complaint about the Cardinals’ rotation is that they just don’t invest in pitchers who can miss bats. And I don’t think their recent midseason additions (Quintana, Montgomery, Lester, Happ) change that impression. They haven’t been acquiring Bieber-level guys

Pitch_Out: In your FG Audio w/ Eno, he was talking about the Yankees getting caught with an iWatch in 2017. I thought that was the Red Sox getting caught sign stealing and the Yanks got fined for improper use of a bullpen phone.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: if that’s what Eno said (I have to go back and listen) it was a bit jumbled and I think you have it correct. The Red Sox used an iWatch according to Manfred’s unsealed letter, while the Yankees used the dugout phones https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/26/sports/baseball/mlb-yankees-letter….

Nate: Does Don Mattingly have a realistic chance in a future Era committee after finishing second this time?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I am not so sure Era Committee trends mean anything when the ballots are constructed so haphazardly and the committees are three years apart and turn over in their construction. Ask Dwight Evans and Lou Whitaker about Era Committee trends

Joey Gallo: Best fits for me?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: rangers. Seems like a guy who really needs a familiar environment because he did not adapt to his new surroundings.

Mike Trout: Assuming they don’t actually have unlimited budget, is it weird to see the Mets sign Narvaez instead of a reliever like Ottavino?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Who’s to say they won’t sign Ottavino or that it’s either/or? He’s still out there.

MilwaukeeBeerJays: Good afternoon Jay. Any advice on making beef bone marrow broth? I get Big Broth Energy from your stache.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ve never made it! If i were to, I’d start by looking at Serious Eats, though.

Oddball Herrera: Well – absent a Dansby Swanson signing, which is a longshot, the Twins are officially in “Rearrange the deck chairs” mode for their offseason.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: It does seem that way. They were well short on Correa and haven’t added anybody of note.

Farhandrew Zaidman: Dodgers haven’t signed a Boras FA in…well, ever. Bad news for re-signing Julio Urias?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Not necessarily. Especially with Buehler’s injury and Kershaw’s year-to-year status they seem to be primed for a long-term commitment to a frontline starter

Avatar Jay Jaffe: ok folks, i said this would be short and indeed it is. Thanks for stopping by this week! Will take the temperature on getting another chat in before the new year. If I don’t, thanks for all of your support in 2022 and enjoy the holidays!

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, and a Hall of Fame voter since 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe... and BlueSky @jayjaffe.bsky.social.

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