Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/23/15

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Where based on early indications we’re going to talk a lot about managers? My excitement is through the damn roof

9:05
Comment From Tommy Lasordid
Odds that Gabe Kapler will be Dodgers manager in 2016? I loved him in “Welcome Back Kotter.”

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I kind of thought he’d be named the manager when the Dodgers first hired him a while back, but it makes sense they had to give him a little seasoning. Now? Now he’s the odds-on favorite.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Smart guy, playing experience, a real uniter. Super motivating. If the Dodgers believe a manager’s No. 1 duty takes place in the clubhouse, Kapler appears to be a wonderful option there who won’t give anything back on the strategic side of things

9:07
Comment From HappyFunBall
Scott Servais … thoughts?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Predictable that he was going to end up with the Mariners in some capacity. Really close to Dipoto. Can’t evaluate a manager who’s never managed, but Servais did some good things in his role in Anaheim and based on the early stuff I’m a fan of the Mariners’ new direction

9:09
Comment From CaptainKoloth
Jeff, was pondering your article about Volquez’s perfect pitch. What do you think- in theory- about the merits of a computerized strike zone? Not saying I would support such a thing, but is the goal of umpires to be right, or to keep a human element in the game? What if there was some magic objective guarantee that the computerized strike zone would never be wrong? Should umpires still be present in the game under those conditions?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I would fully support a system that was guaranteed to be right 100% of the time. Unlike replay review, it wouldn’t cause the game any delays, and why not enforce a perfectly consistent strike zone? It’s what everyone wants. As we stand, our systems aren’t close to perfect. And even with an automated strike zone, there would still be a need for on-field umpires for other responsibilities

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day I actually like the human element — in a weird way I like that there are mistakes and disagreements. But I know some of that is just inertia and I could get used to the future

9:11
Comment From Bork
Is David Price going to be David Price tonight?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not going to be R.A. Dickey

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: If you think about it, earlier, he was David Price for six innings and some other guy for one. I like him tonight

9:12
Comment From Sirras
Hi Jeff!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: hey

9:13
Comment From Ben
Mike Scioscia’s famous gripe with Jerry DiPoto was that he was infringing on the territory of the
clubhouse and dugout, places the Front Office traditionally stays out of. Now, given the chance,
Jerry DiPoto has literally installed his Front Office into the clubhouse and dugout. How progressive
is this, and why wont it blow up in his face?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: This isn’t unusual. Scioscia is one of the last remaining managers with outsized power. In the past, managers were among the most powerful people in an organization, and Scioscia is a link back to that. It’s not so much like that these days, as front offices are trying to exert more control over clubhouse and dugout stuff by emphasizing the “GM-manager relationship.”

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: In a lot of ways, the contemporary manager is just an extension of the inner front office. Managers will still have their own particular duties, so they aren’t just puppets, but this is a league-wide trend

9:17
Comment From Rob
Would it make sense for the White Sox to trade J Quintana for Puig? And, would that be enough to get him?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think you’re looking at roughly equivalent trade assets. I haven’t run the numbers but that seems fairly even. You can see why the Dodgers would do it. The White Sox? That’s harder — Puig has the high ceiling, of course, but it’s sort of a lateral move that doesn’t make the 2016 White Sox better. It moves a hole from the position-player side to the rotation

9:20
Comment From Robert
At what number would you start to mostly consider the under on Mike Trout’s career WAR?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: You’re in the vicinity of 100. Something crazy like that

9:21
Comment From Sirras
Mets Narrative : Young power pitching and Daniel Murphy

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Narrative, or thing that has happened?

9:22
Comment From @RationalMLBfan
If the Mariners hire Scott Servais as manager, they should consider going the next step and hiring him to be player-manager. He, even at 48, might hit better than Seattle’s current set of catchers.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Better career hitter than Mike Zunino!

9:22
Comment From Oren
Has John Gibbons managed poorly in the playoffs?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Strategy-wise, it’s hard to look past the David Price stuff, but you also realize he’s been up against it without Cecil and occasionally without Loup. I don’t think he’s insane; I think he just has a weird David Price blind spot

9:24
Comment From SteveM
If you were signing Estrada to your team next season, would you also try to sign Navarro (his personal catcher) too?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t dedicate two roster spots just so I can try to maximally please a No. 4 starter

9:26
Comment From Phillies113
Would baseball be improved if umpires switched jobs with soccer referees? Punishments would also transfer over; a player arguing balls and strikes would get a yellow, throwing at heads is a straight red, etc. Also, a red card means that player has to sit out the next game.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: That’s sort of how it works now, just without the cards. But if you throw at a head on purpose, you’re likely to be ejected and suspended

9:28
Comment From Rob
What kind of contract (yrs/$) will Mike Leake get?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll guess something like 3/$40m or 4/$45m

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe 4/$50m. He’s a mid-rotation starter and he doesn’t have Ervin Santana’s strikeout upside

9:30
Comment From Bork
Why talk about Managers when you could talk about GM’s? There’s doubt starting to creep in that AA is going to return to Toronto. Media fluff or do you think there’s legit concern with Beeston out and Shapiro in?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Just speculation on my part but there are presumably questions about how AA and Shapiro will get along professionally, and they haven’t had much opportunity to hash that out with the Blue Jays still involved in things. My assumption is that the front office will remain in place

9:34
Comment From Jeff
What would a realistic trade return for Mark Melancon look like? Most pirates fans I talk to seem to think he could get a top 100 prospect if they traded him. I think they’re way overvaluing him. What say you?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I just spent a minute reviewing last winter’s trades

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Not a great comp there — I mean, Tyler Clippard got Yunel Escobar

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: But you’re talking about a good reliever with one year left, who won’t be *too* expensive. There’s real trade value there, but you might get two lower-100 prospects. Maybe one and a throw-in. You’re not getting anything premium

9:36
Comment From Marc
As a Jays fan, I should be elated in having ~1/4 odds to make the world series, no?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Yes?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Especially since the odds were about half that just the other day

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: And today you have one of the two AL Cy Young candidates on the mound

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Tomorrow you get a guy who might be as good as the Cy Young candidate

9:36
Comment From Q-Ball
What is your take on all the rookies managers hired? Many with little to no coaching experience. This is a trend, isn’t it?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Unquestionably

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Even Dan Jennings was eventually welcomed after the initial weirdness. The Marlins came to like him in a dugout/clubhouse role

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You can teach managing. You want to find people who are leadership-capable. And the less experienced a manager, the more influence a front office can have, as well

9:38
Comment From Adam
Do Cubs trade Soler + Baez or Castro for a cost controlled pitcher (Ross, Carrasco?) and also try to sign a free agent pitcher?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Soler gets moved

9:38
Comment From DC
These guys get traded or stay? Puig, Marcel Ozuna, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: trade, trade, stay, right now don’t know. The Reds *should* probably move Frazier, and there’s been more talk about that, but I don’t know if the front office will ultimately be convinced to tear down

9:39
Comment From Gabriel
Although the Royals are up 3-2, why do I feel most of the people believe the Jays are advancing? What do you think?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, the Royals are the obvious favorites, just because they have to win half as many games. But the Jays have their two pitchers going, and because they won the last game people think they have “momentum”. I’m personally just glad the series didn’t end in five

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, if it had, I’d have more of a free weekend…but I like good baseball as an activity!

9:40
Comment From jtt2856
jeff, I have determined that I want to get into hiking/camping but have no idea how. Where do I go? What do I do? I live in SE Michigan and its about to be winter so I guess I have a few months to figure this out

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: One problem is I don’t know anything about SE Michigan at all. So I can’t give you specific place recommendations

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: But what I find personally is that I get pulled to the outdoors. It doesn’t even really matter where — I just feel most centered when I’m outside and isolated. If you can find that feeling within yourself, that’s the biggest thing, because then you’ll always have a drive to go out and explore

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It helps to have a partner or three, but it’s by no means necessary, especially if you just want to go on a hike. Start small, hike a few miles, and get some experience. You might find you want to keep pushing it, so the next hike, go longer. Then go longer again. Eventually, camp overnight. Then camp over two nights. Then backpack for three or four days.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a process, but if the wilderness sings to you, you’ll enjoy every part of it.

9:43
Comment From johnny5alive
im a mets fan, who am i rooting for tonight?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I maintain that the Blue Jays are better, so I’d say the Royals

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s nothing lopsided, and it might depend on whether you think the Mets rotation matches up better with the Jays’ power or the Royals’ contact.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe root for the Jays tonight, just so Cueto and Stroman get used tomorrow.

9:47
Comment From jtt2856
I understand why saber guys like the dodgers front office but do you agree with the way they are running a big market team? They have a 300mm payroll with a stupid amount of money tied up into bad contracts they took on to get better prospects and buy low guys that didn’t rebound. isn’t part of the appeal of having a ridiculous payroll is that you don’t have to dumpster dive, you can just overpay for known quantities?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a process for them. So far, a lot of that money has been used to essentially buy prospects from other teams. So that’ll supplement something of a young core. But it’s not how they’re going to act forever. Dead money eventually gets cleared

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: And it’s not like they can’t act in different ways at the same time. For example, they’re likely to re-sign Zack Greinke. It would be hard to do that if it weren’t for all the money that they have. Greinke’s a pretty well known quantity

9:49
Comment From Derek
While talking managers: Will Ryne Sandberg ever get another MLB gig? Seems like he was too old-school for this day and age.

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I do think it’s unlikely. He could have a different sort of coaching role, and he was hurt by having to manage under awful circumstances, but he doesn’t seem to fit the new breed

9:51
Comment From Fred
How much money can Price earn/lost today? What’s the difference between a great start and a terrible start? I say 10 million.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, that sounds about right. If he really and truly sucks, like Cueto just did, that’ll be a problem, but it’ll still pale in comparison to the regular season

9:53
Comment From Sirras
Am I wrong to wish we could get the local broadcasters to do the home games for the WS? Meaning, for instance, the AL team’s crew would have 1,2,6, and 7, the Mets would have 3-5. I know it can’t happen because of licensing, but is it such a crazy dream?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when the White Sox won the World Series?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s crazy. I’d be okay with it

9:53
Comment From Andrew
Is there anything you can say about the finalists for the GM position in Philadelphia? Seems like it’s Klentak and Bloom at least.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: No matter who they hire, the organization is going to travel through time to the present

9:54
Comment From Zonk
Theo Epstein said yesterday the Cubs need to improve the OF defense. What steps do you see them taking to accomplish this? Does that mean Dexter Fowler is gone, to be replaced by a rangier CF to-be-determined?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they’ll be closely monitoring the Jason Heyward situation in St Louis

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Makes you wonder about Schwarber, but I don’t want to speculate based on something I haven’t thought much about yet

9:56
Comment From Nice Andrew
What starters should the Blue Jays target this off season? AA has apparently tried to acquire Samardzija, Brett Anderson before. Good fits?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Might end up a situation where he’s having to look for trades, since a lot of free agents prefer not to sign in Canada

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Then you start thinking about all that Carlos Carrasco talk. I assume that’ll be re-visited

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Would be an interesting time to try to take Kevin Gausman from the Orioles

9:58
Comment From Sirras
Chris Young the pitcher vs. R.A. Dickey – essay writing contest. Who wins?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: My sense is Dickey is a better or at least more experienced writer. Young is just generally smart

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Dickey wins the writing contest, Young wins a debate

9:59
Comment From HappyFunBall
Keeping the human element in the game is the dumbest pile of crap I’ve ever heard. If you want randomness, fine, but there are better ways of accomplishing that then relying on umpires sometimes being wrong.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: It ends up on a spectrum of how seriously you want to take sports

10:01
Comment From Brian
I watched a college football game at a friend’s insistence last weekend. The two teams would send a bunch of folks out onto the field slowly. They would stand and chat for a while. They would go get in place. They would begin playing football. 5-6 seconds later they play would end and they would stop playing football. The referees would huddle. They would discuss the play. They would review it on tape. The coaches would discuss with the referees. They players would stand there and discuss what should happen when they play football again. Between each play, minutes would pass. My friend told me baseball is boring because nothing happens.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: More people are involved in a given football play than in a given baseball play. And the average football play involves more moments of interest than an average baseball play. There’s no denying that the physical nature of football taps into something primal. But also, football is just victory in marketing. It’s marketed as a more intense game than it really is

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I personally find football to be really boring. Constant interruptions. It just depends on where you’re coming from. If you’re already a football fan, you’ll prefer it over baseball, and vice versa

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And they’re both less entertaining in the moment than hockey

10:04
Comment From Matt
What realistic improvements can be made to Cubs team D, while balancing optimal offensive group? AJax a reasonable placeholder for CF?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: No, Austin Jackson is a fourth outfielder

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Denard Span could be of interest as a buy-low

10:05
Comment From Sirras
What first got you into baseball? Into baseball writing?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: You know, I don’t actually know. I didn’t grow up surrounded by sports in my early years and I didn’t play organized baseball until high school

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: But I know I liked throwing things and I know I was too much of a coward to play football

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I think a lot of it really started on the ESPN message boards. I had a casual interest in baseball, then I started chatting about it every day, and then I got introduced to the turn-of-the-millennium Baseball Prospectus books, which were fun reads at that time

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Made me more interested in thinking about baseball, and playing it, and writing about it

10:07
Comment From Matt
If you’re Epstoyer , do you just buy arms or a bit of FA + leveraging of some “surplus” young talent?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Probably trade for a starter or two. Wouldn’t want to get involved in the big FA starter sweepstakes

10:08
Comment From Joe W
Would 3/45 be a realistic offer for Estrada or do you see his recent performance driving up the term of his next contract?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: You have to *really* believe in Estrada’s contact management, which he hasn’t shown before this year. 7.8 career RA9-WAR, 7.4 career FIP-WAR. 3/45 might be the cap

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: a few months ago, he was a swing guy with a home-run problem. This year helps, but not that much

10:10
Comment From Bill
Jeff, teams that have swept the LCS are apparently 1-6 or 1-7 in the World Series. Small sample size or something to worry about if you’re the Mets?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Sample size. I’m sure there’s something to the idea that teams can get rusty when they sit around for too long, but if I were a Mets fan I’d focus on the extra rest going to the starters

10:12
Comment From Chris S
If you are David Price, are you comfortable with the Royals trying to push all hits the other way like the tough IP last time out? Should he be pitching inside tonight to avoid the BABIP war he may lose?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Last game, the Royals hit .231 against Price, with one double, no walks, and eight strikeouts. One of the six hits was the un-caught blooper. Price overall threw a good game and if he could get the same line again, he and the Jays would be thrilled

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: As I look back on it, Price didn’t not throw inside. Probably could’ve gone in another time or two against lefties, but I’ll trust what David Price wants to try to do in a start

10:15
Comment From Lets say that Price pitches 3 innings tonight and then the game gets significantly delayed due to rain (to the point where they cant put Price back in). When the game resumes, what would be the best course of action for the Jays? Should they throw Stroman
Let’s say that Price pitches 3 innings tonight and then the game gets significantly delayed due to rain (to the point where they can’t put Price back in). When the game resumes, what would be the best course of action for the Jays? Should they throw Stroman (gm7 starter) for the rest of the game and then have Price ready to go out of the pen in game 7?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Go to the bullpen. Their bullpen doesn’t suck

10:20
Comment From Total Clown
According to Brooks, Price has been grooving too many pitches. Velo and movement look fine, just needs to fine tune command maybe.

10:21
10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Price has become a pound-the-zone type of pitcher. He’s always throwing strikes, and a good number of those have long wound up in the center. I don’t think he’d deny to you that he could stand to have better command, but he normally gets a lot of the plate. Again, I don’t think he was actually bad last time out

10:22
Comment From Tommy
Thoughts on the Passan article?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: He wanted to write about the way Price has been used or almost used. He succeeded in doing that

10:23
Comment From James
If the cost of a win in free agency is about $9 million. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to think Bryce Harper could get $60 million per season we he becomes a free agent in 3 years?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, Harper could be worth that much money, but Kershaw signed away some free-agent years for $33 million. Trout, $33.25 million. You’re not going to see a leap from that to $60 million. Instead, you’d see figures like $40 million a year, for a really really long time

10:24
Comment From Zonk
How much extra cash does an NLCS appearance bring in to a club? Just wondering how the Cubs budget picture really changes from the playoffs.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Totally off the top of my head but their playoff run might’ve been worth like, $25 million. They were already super popular so it’s not like they got exposed to some hidden new audience

10:25
Comment From Q-Ball
What top starting pitcher do you think is the most likely to be traded this offseason?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Carrasco?

10:27
Comment From Ben
For those asking about an automated strikezone, we already see the effects of “robot umpires” with instant replay. Players that were safe for the last 100 years are now being called out by replay because they lost contact with the base for a split second. These calls are technically correct, which means that the same calls 30 years ago were incorrect. Are there rules that need to change, or is this just baseball now?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: And also, in this case, there’s no ball/strike equivalent of the same sliding replay review. In a theoretical system with perfect measuring devices and a perfect agreed-upon strike zone, a pitch either touched the zone or it didn’t. End of story

10:29
Comment From greg
Considering how much of Billy Hamilton’s value is derived from a set of skills that age quite poorly, should the Reds look into trading him before he gets too far into arbitration?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Better off seeing if he ever learns to hit. Trade value wouldn’t be that high

10:30
Comment From Tommy Lasordid
When does the trading season officially start?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s World Series wrapped up on October 29. Lind got traded for Estrada on November 1. Conger got traded November 5; the Heyward blockbuster happened November 17

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: the offseason comes quickly

10:32
Comment From Reds Fanboy
The NL Central is brutal, our payroll is pretty maxed, we have money tied up in Homer Bailey, Votto, etc. Would you say our near-term outlook is dim, dark, bleak, or are we talking black hole?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Not black hole because that would successfully also destroy the Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds might be in the worst position in baseball right now

10:32
Comment From MSW
Do you buy in to the idea that the Mets can “go cold” sitting around for five days reading about how good they are? And by the same token, should the Mets be worried about a “resurgent” Blue Jays team or a a Royals team that “overcame” if that series goes 7 games? Or is this all BS narrative stuff we should ignore?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Something needs to pass the time.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Assume that, in the end, the World Series will happen and the teams will look like normal. Even if the Mets *were* flat for some reason in Game 1, you’d think that would get better by the next day

10:33
Comment From Zonk
You are a GM, and the Cubs are calling you to get a starting pitcher. What players are you realistically asking for in return?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Baez seems the most available

10:34
Comment From Zonk
Speaking of Zunino, can plate discipline be taught? Or, once a hacker, always a hacker? Thinking of Javy Baez too…..

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Zunino’s problem is actually his discipline. I think his swing has been such that he hasn’t been in good position to lay off of the right pitches. I think there’s a decent eye in there and it’s begging the rest of him to swing in such a way that it can be put to use

10:35
Comment From Derek in Little Rock
Do you think John Gibbons made David Price throw a simulated game yesterday?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Probably just poisoned him

10:36
Comment From Sirras
Attempting as one message this time: Mets = Murphy and power youth pitchers. Jays = sluggers and Price, KC = speed/defense and bullpen. Which of these do you think lease represents the actual reason for the team’s success?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I guess KC; the offense isn’t bad and in the playoffs it’s been tremendous

10:37
Comment From Birdbrains
Hey Jeff. I mean no disrespect, but you seem like a very intelligent being. Have you ever considered applying such high-functioning brain matter to something more impactful? (ie save planet) Please don’t, you’re the best

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the eternal struggle. I have this conversation probably once a month with different people whose careers interest me. I assume I won’t be writing about baseball for the next 30 or 40 years of my life, so there’ll be an opportunity to do something else down the line

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: like volcano preservation

10:38
Comment From tough critic
What affect, if any, did Joe Maddon constantly shaking his head at the strike zone have on the rest of the Cubs? Maybe if he motivated his team instead of crying “woe is me”, the Cubs might have had a chance.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: you really nailed em

10:39
Comment From Q-Ball
What is your prediction for strike zone size into next year? At its present rate of expansion, by 2040 all ABs will result in either a hit, strikeout, or HBP….

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: The strike zone stayed pretty consistent the last two years, and this year offense went up, especially down the stretch, so I think for the time being, MLB is content

10:39
Comment From MSW
Is it surprising how well Terry Collins has managed throughout the playoffs? His managing of the starters and bullpen (especially Familia) has been better than I’ve ever seen from him.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: It helps when the starters keep being good

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Perfect example of how a thin bullpen doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem in the playoffs, when you can just keep the ball away from the weak links

10:42
Comment From Tom
Mike Matheny has now managed four seasons. Each regular season he managed a dominant regular season team. Each postseason, his team lost three straight games to be eliminated at various levels. Is he a good regular season/bad postseason manager? Or just lucky/unlucky?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s a great manager by any means, but he’s basically .500 in the playoffs (21-22) and this year in particular he didn’t have Carlos Martinez, or a normal Michael Wacha. Yadier Molina was hurt, etc. Below-average strategist, but there’s not enough to say he’s a horrible October liability

10:43
Comment From tom
prediction for today and, if necessary, tomorrow?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Gut says Jays win tonight and Royals rally to win tomorrow. Gut isn’t worth anything, but neither is an actual prediction that I think about

10:45
Comment From Phil
Do teams value postseason performance? Not as a repeatable skill, but as an accumulation of value? We talk about Murphy’s value improving, so it would seem so. If that’s the case, shouldn’t postseason games factor into WAR? Separate from regular season stats, but it is still a player accumulating value in games that actually happen in typically higher leverage games.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s definitely not ignored. If you think about Murphy’s whole 2015, he slugged .449 in the regular season, but if you fold in the playoffs that’s up to .490. Teams recognize that. However, in all cases, the playoff sample size is overwhelmed by the season sample size. And also, this Murphy run is an anomaly. Most players aren’t anywhere close to this, so it’s a very small factor in the end

10:46
Comment From Tandy
If you were Dipoto would you try to sell high on Cruz and try to re-stock the farm a bit? Or would you prefer to not be crucified by the fanbase?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I think I’d try to win in 2016, and that involves Cruz. On the farm, I’d hope for better results with a better player-development system. The problem might not be the young talent itself

10:48
Comment From Tony
Stat line for Darvish in 2016?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: something like 28 starts, FIP- around 80 – 85

10:48
Comment From ShinyThing
What happened to playoff game chats? Or have I just missed it every time?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: No, you haven’t missed it — we haven’t had a chat for I think two weeks. I haven’t had a direction conversation about it so I don’t know why they haven’t happened, but I assume it’s because they are a good amount of work and they make it more difficult to pay good attention to the game. Plus, there are only so many volunteers, and you don’t want to keep giving the chats to the same people

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is we’ll have World Series chats

10:50
Comment From Ben
The Mariners and Hisashi Iwakuma seem to have a mutual interest in returning. What does that new contract look like? And how much of a discount is he giving them compared to other offers he’ll likely receive?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: The discount is that he’ll re-sign in the first place. Expect something like 2/$30m or 3/$40m

10:52
Comment From John
Alex Gordon seems like a perfect fit for the Astros. 1. Do you expect him to walk? and 2. Does he get $100MM?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: yep, yep

10:54
Comment From Yes
How come the Mariners constantly disappoint year after year even when having high expectations

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Two years ago they were a game from the playoffs

10:54
Comment From jtt2856
Which player do you always think is better than they really are? Do you ever look at someones player page and realize they aren’t as good as you thought

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the best example but I keep thinking that Kelvin Herrera has a better strikeout rate than he does

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last two years, Herrera has the same strikeout rate as Chad Qualls

10:56
Comment From Chad
What do the Mariners do with Brad Miller? He seems a capable starter, but they seem not to have room for him. Is he a utility player for them next year or trade bait?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Could be trade bait, could be shortstop, could be center fielder. I don’t know how Dipoto feels about him but his versatility is a good thing

10:57
Comment From Bork
Having a thin bullpen and really good starters is playing with fire, no?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Every model has risk. At least you can hide the mediocre relievers. If you’re the Royals, for example, you need to have a starting pitcher in every game before you even get to the bullpen

10:59
Comment From Sirras
Only problem with your argument re: Mets and weak bullpen – Clippard keeps getting the ball, and Clippard looks like he is going to implode any minute

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: The average leverage when Clippard has come in during the playoffs is 0.59. So his appearances by and large haven’t been critical. It’s not that the mediocre arms have been avoided; it’s that they’ve mostly been avoided in the big spots

11:00
Comment From Phillies113
Which team is more likely to have a bounce-back season: A’s or Nats?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll both bounce back, but the Nats have a better shot at the playoffs

11:00
Comment From Jerry
Dave said that the Padres are now one of the least analytical offices out there with little hope for improvement in the near term. Do you agree? If so what are the conclusions based upon? One offseason of moves as judged from the outside looking in or are you guys privy to some inside info? Thanks!

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Dave has actual baseball sources so I’d listen to him before I’d listen to me

11:01
Comment From Joe
Who’s the biggest name to get traded this offseason?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Sure seems like Puig

11:02
Comment From Brian
And FWIW, Clippard is not a mediocre arm. The guy has a career 2.88 ERA. Sure, the FIP is ugly but he’s been doing it that way for years.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: 2015 has been a step back. Fewer strikeouts than usual, more walks than usual. I agree that he always beats his peripherals, but his peripherals this year slid, so Clippard himself has also slid

11:02
Comment From Richard
Warmer weather tonight in KC has to be a good thing for Toronto (assuming it doesn’t rain). Agree / disagree?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I suppose agree, but very small effect

11:03
Comment From J. Seinfeld
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals “are expected to try to trade” Drew Storen.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: This was inevitable from the day of the Papelbon move

11:03
Comment From albertkly
Do you think Kris Bryant is due for some regression in his batting average and OBP next year? His BABIP was crazy high this year and his strike out rate has been so high…

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not posting that BABIP again, but I think he’ll also improve in the walks and strikeouts, and he’ll hit for a little more power. So at the end of the day I bet his wRC+ will look similar

11:04
Comment From Fred
More game power.. Sano or Gallo?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Sano

11:05
Comment From Justin
Pretty much everyone that I know who’s a big football fan drinks a *lot* of beer during games. I don’t think that’s coincidence. You ever watch a football game dead sober? It is *death*.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: It really is quite unpleasant, but then if I’m at a baseball game I’m probably two or three beers in, myself

11:07
Comment From That guy
Help solve a dispute for me. If you can sign David Price for a 5 year, $200mm deal or a 10 year, $200mm deal, which do you choose and why?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: The second one will produce more value, and the total cost has less present-day monetary value than the first

11:08
Comment From MSW
JBJ to the Cubs? Theo certainly knows what he’d get.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Not a bad idea

11:08
Comment From Ben
We saw some really fun, young pitchers breakout this year. Keuchel, Archer. Who are we looking forward to taking a big step in 2016?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: The consensus answer always seems to be Gausman

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: But this is probably something that should be answered analytically, and not off the top of my head in a chat. So I’ll make it an offseason project!

11:09
Comment From BK
Should they change the bereavement leave rule for the playoffs?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Sure seems like it

11:09
Comment From Baseball
Jeff, if I’m mistaken you have to write two articles a day. How do you find inspiration and topics two seems like a lot.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Two is a lot but this is why every so often you’ll see me write about something that’s also been written about elsewhere. If I’m researching something, and then I see a tweet for an article about the same thing, I’m probably not going to give it up, because getting a new idea on the fly is hard

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not so bad in the playoffs because *everything* seems important

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: January is death

11:10
Comment From Jeff Sullivan
Will you ever write a meaningful article in your life?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I write about baseball. So, no

11:11
Comment From Rick
Should I get the White or Blue FG shirt?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Probably blue. I don’t like white shirts

11:13
Comment From Fred
If you were a baseball, who would you want to pitch you?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Clayton Kershaw or Chris Sale or something. Least chance of getting hit by a stick

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well actually I guess that means Chapman

11:14
Comment From Ben
Mike Franscesa now says that Daniel Murphy has transcended his true value as a player and his new legacy as a the catalyst of this Mets World Series team necessitates Sandy Alderson re-signing him.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t imagine being less interested in an opinion

11:14
Comment From tough critic
Why would the Indians trade Carrasco? Seems like the perfect type of player to hold on to.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, but all those midseason rumors weren’t coming from nothing

11:14
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Do you think the strike zone may be bigger in October? Umps fooled by better pitchers or just some old school ideology creeping in. It seems that the way balls and strikes are called in October consistently benefits teams that emphasize contact over walks and home runs

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think there are better pitchers in October, so the pitchers have better command, and better command is rewarded with bigger zones

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: So the zone is probably bigger, but I don’t think it’s really the umpiring’s fault

11:16
Comment From Guest
How does recency have such an effect with front offices as smart as they are? Crazy to me to think Cueto’s value is taking a serious hit based on a few performances, or that 30-yo Cespedes has taken a big leap based on career-high numbers that have a ton of red flags.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Well, don’t criticize front offices for things that haven’t happened yet. We’ll see what the prices end up being. But with Cueto, he hasn’t really been good for a full two months or so. That’s a problem. Cespedes won’t get paid all that much more than Upton

11:17
Comment From bubb12
Do you think pitch calling is underrated? Obviously Dioner Navarro is not a great defensive catcher, but in the last couple years he’s been praised by both Buehrle and Estrada that he allows them to not shake off at all. And those are two guys that I’d argue that pitch selection is super important for

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch-calling is definitely underrated, in that pitchers say it’s a skill some catchers have, and we don’t know how to measure it

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: The general pitcher/catcher relationship is probably underrated. Like, to what extent does it matter that Cueto can’t seem to get on the same page as Salvador Perez?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get going. Been a while and this window is starting to give me browser trouble

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days. And enjoy the baseball tonight! I’m rooting for the same team as you are

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/23/15 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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M W
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M W

Mike Leake’s contract will crush that prediction! He’s entering his age 28 season. There is a reason why he just cracked MLBTR’s top 10 list.