Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 12/2/22

2:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, folks, and welcome to my Friday chat. Some minor technical stuff on this end so bear with me for a  couple minutes

2:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Sorry about that _ the chat wasn’t showing up on the home page banner, which make it harder for site visitors to know it’s happening. Anyway, now that it’s up, let’s get going. I’m rollin(s) on my BBWAA ballot profiles (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2023-hall-of-fame-ballot-jimm…), had Billy Wags yesterday (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2023-hall-of-fame-ballot-bill…). Hoped to get the Carlos Beltrán one out this week but there’s so much ground to cover and more care needs to be taken to get it to where I want it.

2:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I did a Twitter thread on the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee ballot, whose results I’ll cover on Sunday

Here’s my @fangraphs intro post regarding the process, and the disappointment regarding some candidates absent from among the 8 on the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee ballot blogs.fangraphs.com/new-format-fam… 1/x
27 Nov 2022
2:07
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and dug into the potential for cronyism now that the Committee voters have been announced https://blogs.fangraphs.com/in-naming-the-era-committee-members-the-ha…

2:07
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Anyway, on with the show

2:08
Kyle B: even if Judge re-signs with the Yanks, do you think they’ll still pursue Turner, Bogaerts or another star?

2:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think they’ll pursue either of those infielders regardless of what Judge does, as they seem dead set on giving Volpe a shot soon, with Peraza as an intermediate and IKF as a fallback. I would expect them to try to figure out some kind of big move to fill the Judgeless void but probably something more along the lines of trading for a corner bat. As to whom, man, i dunno.

2:12
Whaleboy: Verlander: There have been two pitchers maintain an elite level of production in their 40’s (Clemens and Ryan) 3 years 130 M seems insane to me. Please tell me he has to settle for a 2 year deal.

2:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: There are more examples than just those two in terms of their 40s – Randy Johnson, Phil Niekro, Warren Spahn — but I get what you’re saying. I don’t think that JV will get a Scherzer like deal in terms of dollars but it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets something beyond a straight 2-year deal, with a vesting option or a mutual option or something.

2:15
Joe Morgan: Love your HOF stuff but disappointed in your support for ever more marginal Hall candidates  like Billy Wagner.

2:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I go where my analysis leads me, and my analysis says Wagner is the best reliever outside the Hall.  As you’re not the actual Joe Morgan, I don’t really care what you think, but  I didn’t really care what the real Joe Morgan thought either so take comfort in that.

2:16
Marcellus Wallace: Any final predictions for the committee voting on Sunday? Think it’s McGriff or bust?

2:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d say that McGriff getting elected is the most likely outcome, particularly after seeing the committee makeup. It wouldn’t surprise me either way if Schilling gets in or not, but it might determine whether I go to Cooperstown this summer.

2:18
Nelson: Will signing with the Astros have any effect on Jose Abreu’s Hall of Fame chances?

2:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Dan Szymborski made the case that Abreu should draw Hall consideration (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/should-yuli-gurriel-and-jose-abreu-be-hall…) but I’m not sold, as this is the *National* Baseball Hall of Fame, not the international one or the Cuban one. Voters aren’t tasked with evaluating the pre-MLB careers of Japanese stars; Ichiro will be elected based on what he did in the majors. i get that there’s a point of view that Abreu was *prevented* from playing in the majors, likening him to players who fell on the wrong side of the color line or missed time due to military service, but even so, we’re talking about a guy stringing together a bunch of 2-4 WAR seasons since his MLB rookie year, with his MVP year coming in the pandemic season, and I just don’t see how I’m gonna come around to supporting that ahead of numerous guys who spent their full careers here

2:23
ram: Thoughts on Utley for the hall? Big peak guy and better numbers than some other second basemen already enshrined

2:24
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Wrote about him here https://blogs.fangraphs.com/retiring-mauer-and-utley-both-worthy-of-co… and anticipate including him on my ballot next year along with Joe Mauer and Adrian Beltré

2:24
Farhandrew Zaidman: At what point do we seriously consider saying that Kershaw’s career is greater than Koufax’s? Higher career WAR, lower ERA, more IP, more Ks….

2:27
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Some people are already willing to say it. Even Bill Plaschke https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-04-30/dodgers-clayto…. What Koufax did from 1962-66 was incredible, but it’s important to understand how favorable the conditions were for him; Dodger Stadium was Death Valley for hitters in the early 1960s. Kershaw has been successful against better competition under more adverse conditions for much longer.

2:27
Thorn: What has to happen for Pete Rose to be inducted?

2:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

  1. Rob Manfred would need to be replaced by That Shouty Guy Who Wants to Give You Gambling Tips During Drive Time
  2. Reinstate Rose
  3. Wheelbarrows full of gambling winnings to the Hall Board of Directors
  4. Favorable Era Committee named
  5. elected.
2:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think Hell will freeze over first.

2:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Speaking of which, one of the great
“Hell will freeze over first” stories recirculated with the death of Gaylord Perry, who was a childhood favorite of mine and a player I’m hoping to pen a tribute to even amid the chaos of the winter meetings and my regular HOF coverage

2:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Second tweet in this thread

RIP Gaylord Perry, a Hall of Famer, member of the 300-win/3000-strikeout club, and a personal favorite. I only wish I had gotten a GIF of him doing his pre-pitch “where is he hiding the foreign substance” routine that he demonstrated for me before we took this in 2014.
1 Dec 2022
2:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

in 1964, Giants manager Alvin Dark said, “There will be a man on the moon before Gaylord Perry will hit a home run.” Perry hit only major league HR on July 20, 1969, shortly after Neil Armstrong took one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. youtube.com/watch?v=GG0f-b…
1 Dec 2022
2:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Did it really happen? As John Thorn would say, “It’s too good to check,” but some have nonetheless. At one point in 2002 Snopes.com did a partial debunking, mainly on the inconsistencies of the date of Dark’s statement in various retellings by Perry and others, but more recently, supporting evidence came to light. It may or may not have happened as told, but at the very least the timing of Perry’s homer is correct.

2:31
copecru81: Mookie already has more WAR than Tony Oliva and almost as much as Enos Slaughter, both RF HOFers. Will he get in the HOF before Dwight Evans and Bobby Abreu who have more WAR? (but less WAR7)

2:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Mookie is most likely on his way to Cooperstown. I think Evans will be there some day but I’m less optimistic about Abreu.

2:33
Insert Witty Name Here: Great piece on Rollins.  I think one thing that gets missed about his MVP year was that he got 778 plate appearances! I don’t know what to do with that information, but obviously more PA = more counting stats.  Utley should have gotten that MVP methinks.

2:34
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Wow, i don’t think I realized the 778 which is in fact the single-season record, breaking one held by another Phillie  https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/PA_season.shtml

2:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: But yes, count me as someone who thinks Utley was robbed, albeit moreso by Ryan Howard the next year if you look at the WARs.

2:35
John: Can you envision an active player clearing all the hurdles to be HOF worthy if he retired today, then performing so badly in subsequent years he becomes no longer HOF worthy?

2:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: not really. I mean, we just saw Joey Votto post a negative WAR which didn’t help him but it’s not like he’s going to do 3 years of Chris Davis since his contract is up at the end of 2023 and he’d probably have the good sense to retire if he starts off very very badly

2:37
Anon21: If the Braves strike out on all the free agent shortstops, what infield alignment would you expect next year? Seems like neither Albies nor Grissom have the glove for short, and Arcia probably lacks an everyday bat.

2:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I could see them going with some kind of Grissom/Arcia arrangement in the short term, or maybe trading for Willy Adames

2:39
DrSticks fan: Why do you think the projections are down on triston mckenzie when he seems like he has so much room to improve?

2:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: because progressions are fairly conservative, regression is a powerful force, and his track record for being a frontline pitcher is very short. I don’t think a 4.12 ERA median projection is bad, you just have to remember it’s right in the center of outcomes that vary quite widely because of the limited data we have and the inevitability of pitcher injuries.

2:41
Mike: Any value to signing reported good clubhouse guys like Santana and Choi?  Of course, you want them to perform well too, but even if they are one-year stop gaps, their influence on what are hopeful Pirate future cornerstones could be of benefit past just this year.

2:43
Avatar Jay Jaffe: to a point there’s value in those types of signings, sure, but not if they’re taking playing time from a more deserving player — and with Santana, i think he already should be considered a bench guy rather than a starter.

2:43
Guille: Hi Jay, longtime follower from Uruguay here. The Celestes just were eliminated from the Fifa World Cup even when winning 2-0. So tell me something upbeat about the Yankees, can you?

2:47
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hey man! I thought of you today while watching Uruguay lose that heartbreaker – they’ve been my default World Cup rooting interest (besides the US) since that great run in 2010 with Diego Forlan.

As for the Yankees, I do still think they’re going to land Judge, and I wouldn’t be surprised ifthey came away with another starter who’s a midrotation-or-better guy. Rodon? Verlander? Taijuan? Somebody to push Germán back to a swingman role.

2:48
Jason: Hi jay– die hard brewers/baseball fan here. Question– what’s a fan like me to do. I see all the big-time FAs “priced out” of milwaukee. I see us trade hader.  I see our owner cry poor. Yet the rich teams get richer, the CBA did nothing to stop it and they just renewed Tony Clark. What’s a fan like me supposed to think? Enjoy the game and never see a ring?

2:51
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The Brewers are a team that has done a very good job of punching above their weight in recent years thanks to their ability to develop pitching, but i understand why you’d feel like they’re heading for a downturn given the Hader trade, the late-season slide, Stearns stepping aside, etc. I don’t know what to tell you other than the fact that they’ve generally been a well-run team under Attanasio’s ownership and if it’s not 2023 then I at least like their odds of being competitive sooner than most teams in similar positions

2:51
Guest: Kevin Brown’s clubhouse – HOF quality players whose jerkiness kept them out. Who else would you include? Curt Schilling, Dick Allen, Jeff Kent?

2:53
Avatar Jay Jaffe: those are very different guys and I’d be hesitant to lump them together.

2:53
Ben: Why does Dipoto refuse to spend money? If there was ever a time for the Mariners to add payroll, it’s now.

2:54
Avatar Jay Jaffe: 110 times out of 100 — you read that right — it’s not the GM refusing to spend money, it’s the owner who writes the checks

2:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and you’re talking about a team that just laid out two $100-million plus contracts for pitchers in the last year, signed their star rookie to a massive deal, made a nice trade for a corner outfielder, and … It’s December, and nearly all of the big free agents are still out there. I think you’re off base

2:56
Sam: Kodai Senga has never thrown 200 innings in his life, which seems sort of unusual for big time starters coming from Japan. do you think he’s closer to a 5 than a 1-2 starter?

2:59
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Japanese teams tend to use 6-man rotations, and they haven’t had a single pitcher reach 200 innings since 2018, as best I can tell.

3:00
Avatar Jay Jaffe: As for Senga, i think he’s more likely to be a 3 than a 1 or 5. Ben Clemens’ Top 50 Free Agent writeup is worth a look https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2023-top-50-free-agents/

3:00
Phil: As you no doubt have seen, a participant in the ESPN “Hot Stove Survey” floated the idea of Tatis being traded. Does this seem remotely non-preposterous to you? Can you think through what that might look like–what kind of team might be interested, how SD or their counterpart would think about an appropriate return, etc.? I can’t imagine it will happen but it seems sort of fun to contemplate.

3:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it would not surprise me if this comes to pass after he gets back on the field and shows that he’s still star caliber; i can imagine the Padres deciding they’d rather keep Soto — or make a run at doing so — rather than Tatis, but I don’t see that as imminent.

3:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: as to what it would look like, man, who knows. The return would be limited by the risk in involved in taking on $300M+

3:04
ram: Do you think the WBC could ever bring the same fanfare as the world cup?

3:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: No, but then the WC has like an 80-year head start and the sport is the top one in so many of those countries.

3:05
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: Who should be the big names on the next Veteran’s ballot (which I believe will be non-players only)?

3:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: With Bochy and Baker both employed, I’d expect managers Piniella and Leyland plus Sandy Alderson to lead the ballot, with Steinbrenner on there again as well.

3:06
Wise Guy: Bear with you??  This is why you need to carry pepper spray on your person.

3:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Shirley, you jest!

3:07
B-Wags: Always appreciate your work, and always read the articles over the years both to reflect on the careers of the players and a recap/update on where they stand on the current ballot. Case in point – B. Wagner. Happy to read & better understand the RJaws, and glad that’s available/eases the computer load. That said…I can’t let it go without saying that one (small) part of me misses the “gWAR” table, if only for the brief associative joy it brings.

3:10
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Thanks and LOL. I wish Nate Silver would update his GWAR rankings (see https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/goose-egg-new-save-stat-relief-pi… if you don’t know what I’m on about) after introducing them in 2017. I felt that without knowing where Jansen, Kimbrel and Chapman stand half a decade later that it didn’t make sense to keep including that section in Wagner’s profile because the rankings might differ.

3:10
Marshall: Joe Posnanski recently wrote that he has a ranking of the top 100+ eligible players not in the hall. Do you have a similar list? And how many additional players would you personally induct from that list?

3:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I have a mental top 10-15 at any given time but I don’t keep a master list; it’s difficult enough to stay on top of my workload and abreast of the news and my Hall coverage without spending time on subjective rankings. I’m glad it works for Joe, though! He seems to have a lot of fun with that stuff.

3:12
Honkus Wagner: Do you think having Bonds and Clemens off the ballot this year will open up opportunities to any specific fringe candidates?

3:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Possibly Wagner and Sheffield, who might be harder to convince voters regarding once they’ve already taken up Rolen and Helton as the ballot has thinned out in recent years. Maybe Andruw as well.

3:15
btownfritz: The Seattle Mariners 2023 opening day second baseman is______?

3:15
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Julio Cruz.

3:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I kid of course. I can see a Jean Segura reunion

3:16
Phil: HOF question (or related set of questions): do you personally regard the unanimous vote as a big deal? Do you think the electorate has changed in such a way as to make it more likely, and if so, is it Pujols or bust, or would someone like Beltre have a shot?

3:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think it’s really a big deal — it’s kind of like watching a perfect game bid. You hope to see one, you get wrapped up in the suspense of following one, but if something ridiculous happens to prevent it, like some clown not voting for Jeter, you just shrug your shoulders and applaud whoever it is getting in with 99% or whatever. I

3:20
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’m sure some stick in the muds will hide behind anonymity to prevent Pujols and Beltré from being unanimous because they see themselves as Hall gatekeepers and probably think somebody fell down on the job regarding Rivera.

3:20
No question: I don’t particularly care who makes the HOF, but I really enjoy the candidate profiles. They remind me of people and seasons I’ve largely forgotten about. So thanks for them.

3:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Thanks! I enjoy writing them even when they’re about guys who have very little or no chance. I don’t plan to include Jimmy Rollins or Torii Hunter on my ballot, for example, but I enjoyed writing those pieces and getting to understand where they came from. I found myself thinking about the Jake Peavy one from last year multiple times in recent days, what his family had been through and what I learned about him, and I’m really proud of the Wagner profile. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2022-hall-of-fame-ballot-jake…

3:23
LaSchelle Tarver: What’s the appropriate level of skepticism for a pitcher under 6 feet tall?

3:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Some skepticism but it shouldn’t necessarily lead to dismissal. I’d base my evaluation on stuff and performance, with height and mechanics coloring those evaluations but not overwhelming them

3:26
Matt (Oceanside): Hi Jay, just curious, who is your favorite hall of famer? Also, even if Shohei only has a 10 year career, that has to be enough right? I mean Koufax has a weak total career WAR, but there is no doubt in most people’s minds (mine included) that he is a Hall of Famer….precedence has already been set, yes?

3:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I can’t say I have just one. Outside of the obvious ones — Hank Aaron, my first baseball hero, and Jackie Robinson, whose courage and importance can’t be understated — I have great affection for the guys who are there that became my causes, and rallied from low percentages or being overlooked to getting in. Santo, Blyleven, Raines, Edgar, Walker, Trammell, Mussina, Miñoso… I started collecting the plaque postcards of “my guys” last year. All of those guys take up significant real estate in The Cooperstown Casebook.

3:30
Phil: I think you’ve demonstrated pretty well that any argument against Billy Wagner that doesn’t depend on the jury-rigged save rule is just an argument against pretty much any reliever below Rivera-level stupendousness.

3:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Thanks. I think the door has to be kept ajar for relievers becuase it’s damn hard to maintain greatness. Just look at the way Chapman, Kimbrel, and Jansen are trending; if they’re not getting in and Wagner’s not getting in, then the next one might not even be playing in the majors yet

3:32
Matt (Oceanside): Hi Jay, I understand everyone has an opinion regarding steroids and the Hall of Fame. But one argument I find really lacking is the idea that someone would vote for a player who they know used steroids, because they assume that their are players already in who used. Even if that is true, just because one wrong already happened doesn’t justify another wrong. I think that is an extremely weak argument. Do you think I am off-base?

3:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Opinions about how to handle PED-linked candidates vary widely, and I don’t know that there’s a one-size-fits-all strategy because the nuances matter. IMO, it matters whether we’re talking about someone in the pre-testing era or the testing era, and it’s also worth noting that the Hall is already filled with more PED users than we can count because amphetamines are performance enhancers. Different than steroids in some ways, but they helped guys stay in the lineup and pad their numbers, and earn accolades they might not have gotten to.

3:37
James: Do you think the Rays see something in Eflin that they can fix? So wild that this is their largest free agent signing…

3:39
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Michael Baumann wrote about him here https://blogs.fangraphs.com/tampa-bay-signs-this-eflin-guy/. I haven’t read the full piece but i get the gist of the argument: he’s already put together performances that would justify the salary and that’s without getting a chance to fully show off his remade arsenal. In that view it’s less a matter of fixing him than maintaining him over a larger workload.

3:39
Wes: I mean I respect your opinion, but I personally would care a lot if Joe Morgan came back from the dead to tell people his opinion of Billy Wagner

3:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Zombie Joe Morgan would be an interesting novelty act, but I’d give him 30 seconds before I’d hit the mute button on him as if he were still on Sunday Night Baseball

3:41
Farhandrew Zaidman: Seems consensus that Verlander will end up in the hall one day. What team do you think he enters with? Tigers or Astros?

3:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think Tigers or blank cap

3:41
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: Will Felix Hernandez get any support as a peak candidate to stick around on the ballot for a few years? Future ballots seem less crowded than the last 5-10 years, and he had a heck of a 10-year run before his body and arm gave out.

3:42
Avatar Jay Jaffe: doubt it, though it’s tough to compare him in that regard to, say, Johan Santana, who was better but fell off quickly because the ballot traffic was so heavy.

3:42
Avatar Jay Jaffe: He may persist down-ballot like a Pettitte or Buehrle

3:43
Pkpkpkpk: Hi there Jay, thanks as always for chatting. I know JAWS is your primary HOF measure, but are there any active players do you think may fall short of the JAWS standard but still have a good chance at election/get your vote? For example, Freddie Freeman and Jose Altuve look likely to fall a bit short on peak WAR, but if they get to 3000 hits or the career WAR standard for their positions, they both feel like locks to me (sign stealing aside, in Altuve’s case).

3:45
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think there’s much argument that if Freeman or Altuve get to 3,000 they’re going in. JAWS isn’t meant to be a binary yes/no and both of those guys have already started to accumulate the added accessories that burnish a Hall case: MVP awards, championships (beyond the tainted one for the latter). Milestones will be part of that, too.

3:45
Jacob: Rays spent money on a FA SP? W T Ef(lin)?

3:45
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I loved Mike’s headline for that one

3:45
Love the site: What changes would you make to create a more ‘hall of fun’ while still maintaining a hall of fame?

3:45
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Pony rides in the plaque room

3:49
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think the Hall is a fun place — love the baseball card exhibit, for example — but would love to see some kind of cultural impact award that could run in parallel to the Buck O’Neil one for lifetime achievement. Recognize guys like Lefty O’Doul, Fernando Valenzuela, even Jim Bouton for the way they expanded our access and understanding of the game

3:49
Avatar Jay Jaffe: even if they didn’t have the performance that would earn them a plaque.

3:50
Graver: When do you think a Dome/Retractable Roof will be standard/required in Baseball?

3:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: how’s never? Is never good for you?

I just don’t see where an owner who’s bilking taxpayers out of a billion dollars for a stadium is going to be able to REQUIRE those taxpayers to find another half a billion to add a roof or else they bolt town. It’s just not that often that the weather matters so much that a roof is needed except when fans and writers get pissy about cold temperatures in April and October.

3:54
Dalton Wilcox: Thoughts on Dansby Swanson the FA?

3:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think he’s a long-term lineup centerpiece the way Turner is, but his glove and a solid bat will still be worth a lot over the next half a dozen-ish years.

3:56
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wow, look at the time. I’ve got to wrap this up. Thanks so much for stopping by this week, and keep an eye out for the Contemporary coverage, the Beltrán profile, and our Winter Meetings coverage next week. Until them, don’t burn yourselves on the hot stove!





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... and Mastodon @jay_jaffe.

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