Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 2/10/20

12:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon and welcome to today’s chat. As I spent the weekend in Cooperstown at the Friends of Doubleday Hot Stove Weekend event, i’m scrambling to catch up. The chat will begin in a few minutes; thank you for your patience…

12:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: OK, I’m back.

12:08
Sirras: Are you surprised that LAD somehow managed to pay both MIN and BOS more to complete this deal?

12:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: they paid more but they got more, I think. Giving up Downs and Wong was trading from considerable organizational depth — they already have lots of 2B options including Lux, a top-10 prospect ready to take over, and they still have both Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz as catchers, with Wong looking more like an Austin Barnes type. Graterol works as a win-now addition in the bullpen, something that IMO they still needed to add. And if they intend to trade Joc and Stripling, they can further reconfigure.

12:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Leaving the Angels non-deal aside, I’d say that the Dodgers paid more but in doing so also improved their 2020 roster by a larger increment than they had previously done

12:12
Nick: Any thoughts on Hinch’s interview regarding sign stealing?  His decision not to expressly deny the use of buzzers was interesting, to say the least.

12:13
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I didn’t get to see the whole thing as I was at a social gathering as part of the aforementioned weekend but that did seem like some very carefully parsed legalese from Hinch

12:15
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Still, I think it’s irresponsible to deal in rumors and bullshit when it comes to this stuff. if you’re going from “He didn’t rip his shirt off after that homer” to “He obviously had a buzzer under there GUILTY CHEATER” then you’re no better than somebody accusing a player of steroids when he hits a big homer, and really, if you’re that asshole, I want nothing to do with you.

12:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: If somebody can prove the wearable stuff, which will take another Fiers-type whistleblower, then obviously that’s a different story. But if you’ve got hearsay and innuendo, then cram it

12:16
Drunk Vince Coleman: A lot of the talk around the Angels Dodgers fall-out seems to be disbelief that the deal fell through because of Moreno’s irrational reaction to the holdup, but all the reporting I’ve seen doesn’t seem to indicate that any other factors were at play (at least as of yet).

What is harder to buy: That Moreno would actually let this go to pieces because of hurt feelings or that fans simply can’t fathom that the owners that control their teams are so sensitive?

12:17
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yes, I don’t get this angle, and I think it’s very strange except that perhaps there were second thoughts which the Angels org and they believed they’d made a bad deal. Which… I don’t get, because both Joc and Stripling are handy pieces for a roster that’s in the shape the Angels’ is in

12:17
brad: Jay, tell me more about O’Neil Cruz, he has the power of Judge, but is more agile.  Can he keep the K’s down and be an impact MLB player and at what position?  3B?

12:19
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I will tell you this: read the prospect experts, not me.

12:20
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Here’s what THE BOARD says about Cruz in their late-2019 update. I’m sure you’ll get a more recent evaluation later this week. , as our Top 100 airs Wednesday

12:20
Caligula: Do you expect K-Rod to be elected into the HoF eventually?

12:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: No. I don’t see the hook given that he didn’t break any records and has some pretty ugly off-field stuff tied to him.

12:22
Gyroball with sauce: Who puts up more WAR in the next 3 years, Maeda, Graterol, or Price?

12:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The ZiPS forecasts included in my original writeup of the trade have Maeda and Price even at 5.6 WAR over the next 3 years with Graterol at 4.5. I’d say it’s a coin toss between the starters, and that if Graterol winds up going that route he’s still got an innings curve to scale, so I’ll go with the starter with the longer track record of success and that’s Price.  https://blogs.fangraphs.com/dodgers-finally-score-big-by-trading-for-m…

12:24
glt4dc: Obviously, declining velocity is a concern for a starting pitcher, but how much of a year-to-year drop is a red flag?  And how (un)usual is for a pitcher like, say, Chris Sale, whose vFA declined by 2mph from ’18 to ’19.  But this is the 3rd time in his career when he’s had a 2 mph drop and he had a good seasons in the first two “drop” seasons.  On the other hand, there was the end of Roy Halladay’s career. 🙁

12:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d worry about 2 mph lost, but context is important. The first time Sale lost two clicks was his first year in the rotation, so obviously he had to pace himself differently. Losing 2 mph in a situation that’s not accompanied by injury is also different than losing that velo due to injury, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. Sometimes it’s a strategic decision designed to help a player improved stamina and control, in which case maybe it creeps back up. Sometimes it’s an injury from which a player bounces back, which again the velo might be regained. And sometimes it’s the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, and that velo isn’t coming back. We just don’t know how it’s going to go with Sale, but given the shoulder stuff, I’m less than full of optimism

12:28
Kevin No Maas: Who caused the deal to crater, Steve Cohen or the Wilpons?  Or will we ever know?

12:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: absent any other bit of information it’s always safe to assume that it’s the Wilpons, who have a track record for screwing up — particularly when money is involved — that’s longer than the Cretaceous period.

12:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Steve Cohen didn’t get to be worth $13.6 billion by not knowing what was in a deal to which he’d made a handshake agreement.

12:30
Poor Tom Ricketts: Andrew Friedman crushed in that deal. To walk away with Betts, Price, somehow Graterol, a draft pick, and they keep Pederson is some solid GMidenting. Can anyone in history match Friedman?

12:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Friedman did well but let’s see his team win at least one World Series before we start carving a place in history for him

12:32
Matt: Jay- what are your thoughts on Pete Rose’s bid for reinstatement and his reasoning being that baseball didn’t punish the players from the Astros (or the upcoming Red Sox)?

12:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

If there’s a dumber thing in baseball than thinking that the latest scandal — whatever it is — somehow mitigates what Pete Rose did and was deservedly banned for life for, then I have yet to see it. Completely separate situation and entirely deserved punishment. Move along
18 Jan 2020
12:34
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player and as a manager. It matters not whether he gambled on the Reds to win or to lose. He made his hell and he gets to stay there. https://www.si.com/mlb/2015/03/17/pete-rose-reinstatement-hall-of-fame…

12:35
George Stonebrainer: Will Tyler Wade be the backup infielder for the Yankees on opening day?  If not him, then who?

12:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The job of shortstop-capable backup infielder is his to lose, I think. That said, his MLB track record isn’t strong at all, he has an option remaining, and if Thairo Estrada has a markedly better spring than Wade does, he could get the job. Or the Yankees could find somebody on the waiver heap, and farm both out.

12:38
James Fenimore Cooper: Can Miguel Andujar make the transition to jack of all trades in the field?

12:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Considering that he isn’t good at third base at all, and has no pro experience at other positions, then color me skeptical. He’ll hit enough to be on the roster, but right now, the safe assumption is that wherever they put him he’ll be a liability afield.

12:42
vin scully is a religious figure: peter gammons had a great insight about the value of stars on expirings now being set by Mookie, stating that it clearly drastically falls off with 1yr left instead of two… of stars with 2 years left, who is the most likely to be moved: Lindor, K Bryant, Thor?

12:43
Avatar Jay Jaffe: From most likely to least likely: Bryant, Lindor, Thor.

12:43
Scott: Why do so many people think the Red Sox weren’t going to be a playoff-caliber team if they kept Betts? That seems to be missing from a lot of people’s analysis (not Fangraphs).

12:46
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, everything else they had done up to the point of the trade this winter was pretty unimpressive. I like Martin Perez more than most but if that’s all you’re doing for a rotation that has big question marks hanging over the heads of both Sale and Price, then you’ve got a problem. Likewise, reupping Mitch Moreland and adding Jose Peraza to a right-side of the infield where Michael Chavis could probably do a better job than either but still needs a playmate — that’s not nearly enough. And that bullpen doesn’t look any better than it did last year

12:47
Hailey: Thoughts on where Puig will sign?

12:48
Avatar Jay Jaffe: If I had to throw a dart, I’d say the Indians, who could really use the help, as Tyler Naquin ain’t it.

12:48
Big Joe Mufferaw: Re: Hinch, he was asked point blank if they used buzzers, and he plain an simply didn’t say no. If there was nothing going on, OBVIOUSLY you say no. This isn’t reading too much into it, or jumping to conclusion.

12:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: This looks like a very weak and circuitous “no” to me:

“Well the Commissioner – We got investigated for three months. And the Commissioner’s office did as thorough an investigation as anyone could imagine, as possible. I mean I know you mentioned the emails, and the texts, and the messages. And I believe them.”

“They didn’t find anything” is not the same as “I know there was nothing to that allegation” and while it still comes down to one man’s word in this context, right now Hinch’s word ain’t worth very much.

12:51
Eric: Who do you think has more all around value for the next 5 yrs, Lux or Hiura?

12:54
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’m going to go with Lux because he should be fine at second base and it’s possible he succeeds Seager at shortstop if he’s eventually traded. Hiura can certainly hit, but his numbers at 2B were dreadful enough that the plan may need rethinking within a couple of years

12:55
Butterball rhapsodo scores: Thoughts on what Dodgers and Rays are doing with so many OF?

12:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Planning further trades.

12:57
John: What do you make of the Cards offseason?  They’ve lost their #4 hitter with an already horrendous offense.  It’s been a frustrating offseason to say the least.  Not to mention our rotation also has some question marks in it.  Am I wrong for thinking there’s a real chance we finish 3rd in the division?

1:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: If you’re not a Cardinal, then it’s They not We… beyond that, yes, it’s a pretty lame offseason. They’ve got back-end rotation help in Kim and the re-upped Wainwright, and Liberatore is a real prospect but he doesn’t help the 2020 team. That outfield looks weak and the infield thinner and yeah, third place seems plausible unless a lot goes right

1:02
Shawn: Did you make it to Ommegang this time?

1:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: SMH no! We drove through a blizzard from Albany to Cooperstown, and had, uh, navigational issues along with traffic ones, which ate into our time, but the bigger deal was that we didn’t check to see Ommegang’s schedule, They were supposed to be closed for a private event… which was canceled due to the weather. That was my only window to get there. But don’t worry, I drank my share of Nirvana IPA and Rare Vos Ale

1:04
Sooge: Agree or Disagree; Nacho fries are the greatest invention of our time.  Also,  What do you expect from Nick Castellanos this season?

1:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I do not believe in nacho cheese. I’m not a huge believer in Castellanos, either, but I think in the short term he’ll be fine, at least offensively, in that ballpark.

1:07
Jerome: With Billy Beane saying at FanFest that Tony Kemp is guarenteed a roster spot, the A’s cannot possibly keep both Mateo and Barreto on the team. Which path forward then is preferable? Trade one of them before spring, or wait to see their spring performances and then trade whihcever you don’t want to keep at the end?

1:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: All three are out of options according to our Roster Resource page, and I think the scouting consensus still puts Barreto ahead of Mateo, so I’d guess that if everybody is healthy then it’s the last of that trio who will be traded at some point this spring

1:09
Guest: Is there any way to distinguish “best shape of my life” BS from a “best shape of my life” change that might make a difference?

1:10
Avatar Jay Jaffe: BSOHL is a talking point for what my wife annually calls “the six-week dry hump that is spring training” — it’s basically meaningless.

1:10
Alex: In light of this most recent WSJ report, seemed like the league could have easily justified a decision to ban Luhnow for life, right? The fact that he completely lied when claiming he knew nothing of the sign-stealing scandal makes it even worse now that we know he is behind it all.

1:17
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, the issue is getting from circumstantial evidence to hard proof. There’s a lot of room for plausible deniability in terms of how much Luhnow knew. And just because there’s a Codebreaker app doesn’t PROVE that it was deployed during games, particularly in games after the September 2017 Manfred memo. I don’t think that Luhnow deserves the benefit of the doubt and I’m skeptical that he works in baseball again, but I do think that Manfred was trying to make sure he had a punishment that could stick, and there’s maybe enough daylight in there to prevent him from going all the way to a lifetime ban or even a multiyear ban.

1:17
Scandal: MLB is clearly losing a lot of respect from fans with the way they are handling the Astros scandal. No players got suspended, the same way they didn’t suspend players for steroids when HRs were good for the game. Is it because Manfried is scared of MLBPA? It seems simple, we have the data of which players were at the plate during the banging. SUSPEND them!

1:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I get the anger, but the commissioner can’t just throw in penalties willy-nilly because all penalties against players are subject to collective bargaining. Manfred’s 2017 memo said he was going after GMs and managers for failing to comply with his sign-stealing prohibition and that it was their responsibility to inform players.

I think it’s fair to question whether that was the right move in light of what happened, but if Manfred had said, “I’m issuing this memo that puts the GMs/managers on the spot, but this winter I think we need to figure out something stronger in the CBA and we recognize that we’ll have to negotiate player punishments with the union and make a concession elsewhere to incentivize that” then we’d be looking at a different situation.

1:22
Peter: If you were starting a sandwich Hall of Fame, which sandwiches would you put in the inaugural class?

1:22
Avatar Jay Jaffe: My first 5: the Reuben, the Italian Combo, the Roast Beef and Swiss, the Turkey Club, and the Meatball Parm.

1:23
John: What type of reputation hit do you expect the Boston front office to get after the way they handled this entire Betts negotiation, mainly the Graterol medicals? Will other teams be more leery to trade with them out of fair that they are operating in bad faith?

1:24
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think teams will be more cautious in dealing with the Red Sox, yes, but every deal is a case-by-case one anyway, and different GMs have different tolerances for risk and also probably different relationships with Bloom, so I’m not sure there’s a blanket assertion that applies.

1:24
Guest: this may seem obvious, but do you think the dodgers make the trade for Betts, without a strong feeling they would resign him.  It seems like they paid a reasonable price for 1 year of the second best player in baseball.

1:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Yes. The one-year stay is baked into that part of the deal. There’s no way the Dodgers make that trade simply *assuming* they get Betts for longer than a year; they decided that this is what they can part with for the one-year upgrade in their chances of winning that World Series. They’ll still have a shot at signing him… after he hits free agency.

1:26
Mitchy TwoBags: misconception that the Sox bullpen was bad last year… yes a lot of blown saves but thats a bit of a misleading stat. Second in relief pitcher WAR (7.5). Workman, Walden, Barnes and Taylor were all good…Brasier, Hembree, Lakins and Brewer were all decent.

1:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The bullpen was dreadful for the first several months and it had a huge impact on the arc of their season. See https://blogs.fangraphs.com/this-doesnt-look-like-the-red-soxs-year/ They got their shit together but by that time it was clear that they were just playing out the string

1:29
Karen Carpenter: How about bringing in Brock Holt as the Yankees’ utility man?

1:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Not a bad idea but I’m not sure there’s enough playing time for him to be satisfied

1:30
Alex: Would I be wrong in suspecting that few teams are going to take any new memo Manfred issues about illegal sign-stealing seriously? There are obviously going to be approaches that teams take to circumvent league action regardless. We clearly saw teams like the Red Sox completely ignore his memo from 2017. What’s going to be different about any memo now?

1:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe: You’d be wrong because A)  there are several heads on pikes now, which show that Manfred isn’t just paying lip service to a rule; B) at the very least there’s likely to be more enforcement of existing rules, with higher security, etc.; and C) we could see even stronger rules in place, and penalties spelled out explicitly.

1:33
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Ok, those sandwiches are calling to me. Or maybe it’s dumplings today. In any event, thank you all 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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fc27
Member
fc27

Why do people always feel the need to correct fans when they say “we” when talking about their favorite team. All it does is further alienate fans from the sport. It is great if fans feel like they are part of the team and the community enough to refer to it as “we” and “our.” There would be no baseball without the fans.

Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson
Member
Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson

Don’t worry about it. Jaffe clearly had a thorn in his paw, from the start of the chat.

“How DARE anyone accuse the known Astros cheaters of also cheating in an additional way?!” How irresponsible! How bullshitty!!”

Consciously or not, Jaffe was just playing the chat-host asshole today, for whatever non-baseball reason(s).

whiptydojoe
Member
whiptydojoe

Totally agree. I usually enjoy his chats, but so many answers in this seemed smug for some reason.

fc27
Member
fc27

I’m not mad at Jay and I really appreciate that the fangraphs writers take the time to do these chats. I just wish it wasn’t as common to correct the fans who say “we.” I really don’t see any benefit to continually telling fans they aren’t part of the team.

mookie28
Member
mookie28

This was almost exactly what I was thinking but was too lazy to type it out. Also I love to break peoples chops about the “we” thing but I don’t go as far as correcting them which just reeked of another level of smugness. Also I’ve generally thought he was the slowest/worst chat writer since he joined and not going to crucify the guy but this whole chat was BS.