Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/11/14

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: You have questions about baseball

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I have a responsibility to answer some of them

9:06
Comment From stuart scott
BOOYAH

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hey Stuart

9:06
Comment From Xolo
What do you know about Kwang Hyun Kim? For $2M, doesn’t sound like the Padres are expecting much from him.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s what I’d say: teams are more excited about international players than ever, given their overall success, so for a top bid to come in at $2 million, that tells you not a lot of teams believe in the player being worth much of anything

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, he’d end up a reliever or a nothing

9:08
Comment From _David_
Fearing that the Mariners will trade Brad Miller for Matt Kemp, am I crazy to prefer Miller if Kemp were reduced to the same cost?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: If everything were exactly equal I could see the argument for Kemp over Miller, but everything is not exactly equal, so, yeah, you don’t want to make that trade

9:09
Comment From _David_
Are starting pitchers worth more as free agents because more (all) teams have openings at their position?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Actually seems like with greater supply, they’re worth a little less, relative to what they might be worth in the middle of the year. In December, the A’s don’t give up Russell for Samardzija and Hammel

9:10
Comment From Winpons?
Did we do good? We buy player good?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not good, but not worth freaking out about. It’s almost never worth freaking out about. Cuddyer will probably hit fine

9:10
Comment From peep
do you think we will ever see another 300 game winner?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not in our lifetimes

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Unless our lifetimes become borderline infinite prior to their conclusions

9:11
Comment From King Buzzos Fro
Do you think the Mariners will shell out for another high priced free agent?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll at least try hard

9:11
Comment From adam
Robertson turns down QO, does NYY still sign him or does he walk? If so, Detroit?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I still feel like he sticks around for two years, maybe with an option

9:12

Comment From David
This Cuddyer deal doesn’t make sense to me for either side.

For Cuddyer he’s buying up what, $6M for that second year? Unless he completely craters you’ve got to figure he’d get better than that next off season. Now his next contract is going to be without the benefit of Coors-inflated stats as well.

For the Mets. Sheesh. Rasmus, Morse, Rios, Hunter are all comparable for a similar or lower cost, and don’t have the draft pick attached. WHY?!?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe there won’t be a next contract. Maybe he really wanted to play in New York. Maybe he wanted two guaranteed years of at least perceived stability. Maybe he thinks the Mets are in a better position than the Rockies are to compete. Coors-inflated stats this time around didn’t help him do better than 2/$21m. As for the Mets, they don’t seem to attach a super high value to the 15th pick, and they value having Cuddyer done already. The other guys haven’t hit as well as he has lately, on top of that

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Again, I don’t like it much, but given what Cuddyer has done over his past 750 PA or so, you can see how it isn’t nonsensical. Morse is an even worse defender. Hunter’s going to take a while to make a decision. Rasmus frustrates everybody. Rios hit four home runs.

9:15
Comment From Cooper
Adam Lind enough to at least keep the Brewers relevant?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: No, but Lucroy and Gomez are

9:15
Comment From Guest
What do you make of the Hanley Ramirez rumored connection to the M’s?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: They checked in. It’s pretty damn unlikely. Victor Martinez is not unlikely

9:15
Comment From Guest
With a gun to you’re head, do you weep for your life, or be a bad ass and grab the gun out of you’re assailant’s hand?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: elbow to the junk

9:16
Comment From Billy
How much of Buxton’s and Sano’s shine have come off due to injuries?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not very much. Problems, to be sure, but with position players, you’d rather have years lost to injury than years lost to underperformance, I feel like

9:16
Comment From Gary
I’ve heard positive things about the new Twins home jerseys but I think they’re disgusting. What are your thoughts?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I like them fine and taste is subjective so no one is in the wrong!

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I will never for my life understand people who have particularly strong opinions about uniforms

9:17
Comment From Darth Stout
Do you believe the Cubs will trade Starlin Castro this offseason?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I actually don’t, but I’m at about 40%

9:17
Comment From adam
Matt Harvey ranks ___ among pitchers by seasons end?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll rank a little lower than his ability because of some caution as he comes back, but he should resemble at least a lower-tier No. 1

9:18
Comment From JasonJ
Thoughts on Yasmany Tomas? Think he gets 100M+?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Still think he gets nine figures, yeah. He’s got power and age on Rusney Castillo

9:18
Comment From Steve
Even if the Mets sign another player who was offered a QO, that doesn’t make the Cuddyer signing good, right? Who’s a fit for them? Hanley as a SS? Also, good morning, Jeff.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to sniff around all the available shortstops, like Ramirez, Castro, potentially Tulo, Miller, Gregorius, and so on. They’ll get somebody and they’ll look like the favorites to finish second in the East

9:19
Comment From Buford Sartoris
Chone Figgins didn’t have a great arm but played some good third base. Mookie Betts can’t?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Who says he can’t?

9:20
Comment From adam
better career post tommy john – Harvey or Fernandez

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Fernandez

9:20
Comment From _David_
Why do you think the Mariners (seem to) prefer Ackley so much to Saunders? 2nd overall shine?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: They think Saunders is soft

9:21
Comment From Sandy Kazmir
Baseball is fun. No baseball is not. On a scale of 0 – 1 how unrealistic is every fan of every fanbase when they propose trades during the offseason?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes it’s cute when they try to be realistic. They still aren’t, and the effort makes it worse

9:22
Comment From matt
Any guess on where gattis could end up?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Could be a Plan B or C for Seattle, and now that I think about it Kansas City might be of interest. You know how teams feel about right-handed power

9:22
Comment From King Buzzos Fro
If 2 million was the top bid, it sounds like NOBODY was expecting much from KHK

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: That would’ve been a better way to put that

9:23
Comment From Mike
Over/under 4.5 as the number of Phillies currently under contract that are dealt this winter?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say under — 4 — but I can’t tell if Howard will get moved or just dumped

9:24
Comment From Kevin
Let’s get down to brass tacks. The Mets just signed an injury-prone OF, whose offensive numbers were inflated by Coors AND they have to give up a draft pick. It’s a bad move, with potentially disastrous consequences if, as many other Mets signings, he gets hurt.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: The whole point of wRC+ is to strip away park effects. Dexter Fowler just posted a career-best wRC+ after leaving Colorado for Houston. Cuddyer *is* getting older and he *does* get hurt and the Mets *did* lose a draft pick, but Cuddyer’s been a well above-average hitter for years, so it’s not like it’s completely bonkers. I don’t think a guy like Michael Cuddyer has the potential to be disastrous. Disastrous is a very strong word.

9:26
Comment From Sirras One
So the Mets are fairly clearly planning to make a run for the second wildcard in ’15. How many more pieces do they really need to contend? I’m thinking a shortstop would be nice and one or two bullpen arms are needed.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, pretty much. The thing about contending for the second wild card is you don’t need to actually be very good to do it

9:26
Comment From Gary
do you pronounce WAR like “car” or like “sore”?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: sore

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: who pronounces it like car?

9:27
Comment From Billy
Is Billy Hamilton just a newer Rajai Davis, somewhere between a 3rd/4th OF?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Hamilton’s the superior defensive player, so I think he spends years as a regular

9:27
Comment From adam
who would you rather hang out with: felix hernandez or larry bernandez

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Felix Hernandez

9:28
Comment From GK
If MLB or the Rays could actually prove the Cubs tampered with Joe Maddon to pry him away, what type of compensation would TB be entitled to?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Something like a prospect in the 11-20 range, I bet. Nothing that would make a meaningful impact. Potentially just a fine

9:28
Comment From Sandy Kazmir
Braves should probably go for broke with J-Up and J-Hey unlikely to return. Yay/Nay?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Alternatively, they could try to reload to time a big year with when they debut their new stadium. Then they’d be shuffling Upton and Heyward around

9:29
Comment From Stephen
Ryan howard with the Royals? I dont get it. Billy at least had a higher average.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Royals are just looking for bats they could get for just about literally nothing. He’d serve as a role player

9:29
Comment From mtsw
Japan series: just for fun or useful way to evaluate international talent vs major league competition?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Just for fun

9:30
Comment From Sirras One
Do you read every story on the FanGraphs network of sites?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: No. I can’t, not if I want to ever get any work done. I read a lot, though

9:30
Comment From adam
the bigger mistake: QO to Cuddyer or Mets giving up a pick?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I was fine with the QO, so, the latter

9:31
Comment From Steve
What does a potential trade for tulo look like?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: A blockbuster. At least three high-quality young talents in or close to the majors

9:32
Comment From Badison Mumgarner
Jeff, do you feel like the service time clock for minor leaguers is becoming a loop hole for teams to prevent great players from making money early? it just seems like there are many top prospects who may be mlb ready but are languishing in the minors because teams want to “season” them more even though they ought to be given the opportunity to play and get paid for it. thanks.

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, nothing’s “becoming” a loop hole — this has been an issue for a very long time. I expect that it’ll be addressed in the next CBA. At least, they’ll try to address it. Working in, say, the Pirates’ defense is that Gregory Polanco wasn’t very good this year, despite everyone thinking he was ready right away, but it’s no secret that players stay down longer than is necessary for the sake of helping the team’s financial future.

9:34
Comment From _David_
I assume teams will be smart enough to low ball the Mariners for Saunders, but competition dictates that the offers will rise. Will the Mariners know to keep negotiating, or will they take an offer they wrongly view as high, as not to miss the opportunity?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Even when Nick Franklin was obviously on the outs, it still took months for the Mariners to trade him somewhere else. Saunders will be in demand, and assuming the Mariners move him, they’ll do okay in the deal, and they’ll replace him with a worse outfielder, probably

9:35
Comment From Edge O
Or Tor chasing Headley or Sandoval and moving Lawrie to 2B?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think they look for a second baseman. Could be the Kendrick destination

9:36
Comment From Michael
If Headley can be had for 4/$50m, why would anyone even talk to Sandoval?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Because there’s only one Chase Headley

9:36
Comment From EW
Technical Question: Any idea what “PU” stands for? Been seeing it in SIERA formulae, next to GB, FB, PA.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: pop-up, probably

9:37
Comment From Hi Erix
Are teams allowed to move the fences to their parks every season? Why don’t teams do this to adjust for their expected rotation’s abilities?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Too much work, not enough benefit.

9:38
Comment From Sirras One
re: 300 game winner – You don’t see Kershaw getting there?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 202 away. Randy Johnson topped out at 303. Odds are very strongly against Kershaw

9:40
Comment From Billy
Outside of potential growth from Polanco, are the Buccos going to improve at any other position compared to this past season? I only see regression in their record.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Alvarez should be better, but yeah, losing Martin is going to sting. On the plus side, the Pirates just finished with the third-best BaseRuns record in the NL, and there’s talent on the farm, so it’s not like 2015 is going to be a mess

9:42
Comment From Jeff
Assuming (hoping) both Markakis and Cruz are gone, the Orioles will need at least 1 more corner OF. Would Kemp & $ (30mil?) for Miguel Gonzalez, Zach Davies and another low level arm be completely crazy?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it would be crazy, no. I expect that the Orioles will be active in any kind of Kemp market

9:42
Comment From Bill
But really… Sandy Alderson isn’t dumb, right? What does he see that no one else seems to see?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Cuddyer’s a good hitter and the Mets needed one more outfielder. And, he could get Cuddyer yesterday, whereas other guys would take longer. There’s value in settling a question this early in the offseason, so you don’t get strung along

9:43
Comment From Gabriel
Will someone take E Jackson from Cubs? (basically for free) Would it be worth it? I’m thinking teamns like M’s or Pirates that can take a flier on him if Cubs eat dollars and see if he can contribute.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates would be interesting I suppose but no one’s going to count on Jackson to help. He’s either getting bought out or exchanged for another problem contract at another position

9:44
Comment From J
Tulowitzki is the starting shortstop for ____ on opening day

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go boring and say Colorado

9:44
Comment From Bret
Jays have been connected to a bunch of top free agents, seemingly under the strategy of, “Let’s see if we can get any of these guys to take our money, and then we’ll figure out the positions later.” Think they sign any of them?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Anthopoulos talks to everyone. He’s constantly in conversation with every team about every decent player in baseball. So his team ends up getting connected to anyone and everyone that makes even the slightest lick of sense. I don’t think the Jays end up with a big single investment, but I suspect they will make one or two second-tier moves

9:46
Comment From Kip
What do the Mets have against draft picks? Cuddyer worth the pool hit from losing #15?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I personally don’t think so, but it depends on where you value that pick. Could be as low as $7 million, could be as high as, say, $25 million. The Mets pretty clearly put it closer to $7 million

9:46
Comment From King Buzzos Fro
Craziest spot you could see Sandoval signing?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: White Sox would be weird

9:47
Comment From Hi Erix
Any idea why we haven’t seen Sandoval linked to the Yankees at all? They clearly want Headley, seems like they ought to be similarly in on Sandoval (I understand he’ll be more expensive, but he also seems pretty universally regarded as the better player)

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: They already had Headley and they want to stick with the smaller investment

9:47
Comment From King Buzzos Fro
how many incomplete questions do you have to look through?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Surprisingly few!

9:47
Comment From jocephus
nothing shocking about NL ROY right?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Nope. deGrom got better, Hamilton got worse

9:47
Comment From mtsw
Is the Cuddyer deal a sign that teams aren’t good at pricing in park factors? His numbers look impressive until you see the home/away splits…

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Home/away splits are misleading for Rockies because they have a real temporary disadvantage when they play for Colorado. They don’t see pitches move normally half the time, so they’re not prepared to hit those pitches on the road. Cuddyer is going to get back to normal in New York. Previously, players have mostly been fine going from the Rockies to another team closer to sea level

9:49
Comment From Guest
Which team is under the most pressure to shift their franchise around this offseason?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I guess you could say the Mets, but people are really running out of patience in Toronto

9:50
Comment From Give the People What they Want!
Are you and/or Dave going to put together a proposed off-season plan for the Seattle Mariners? It’s a time-honored tradition, don’t give up just when it is getting interesting!

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done that in years and I don’t think Dave has, either

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: But this one’s actually pretty simple. Find a bat, find a starter, shut it down

9:51
Comment From Bill
What do we know less about: The Mets internal evaluations of Cuddyer/Granderson or the market as they see it? There has to be some gap that made a seemingly intelligent front office commit to Granderson and Cuddyer.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the contracts give us a clue as to the Mets’ internal evaluations of the players

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they just don’t see all that many outfielders who are interested in signing with New York, and maybe they prefer to overpay in terms of money instead of prospects

9:53
Comment From NL Central Limit Theorem
Do you think it was wise for the Cardinals to give up on the idea of Trevor Rosenthal as a starting pitcher? Are they going down the same path with Carlos Martinez?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they can complain about what Rosenthal’s become, and yeah, it seems to me the Cardinals have already made their decision on Martinez. Generally I’m more for letting guys start until they prove that they can’t, but the Cardinals don’t have that luxury of time when they’re trying to win every season

9:54
Comment From Alex
What should the Nationals do at 2B?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: See what they can do for Kendrick, or possibly turn to Jed Lowrie

9:54
Comment From Sirras One
Would you be surprised to see a trade involving Tulo this year? Who ends up with him if he’s traded?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I actually would be surprised, if only because it would require such a haul, and I don’t know who out there is willing to give up on so much young talent, even with a superstar coming in return

9:55
Comment From Greg
Hamels most talk about trade subject ends up not getting move?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like he gets traded, but maybe not until July

9:56
Comment From Apple n Oatmeal
Who can actually help themselves the most by buying free agents? Who can hurt themselves the most?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: bigger-budget teams, smaller-budget teams

9:57
Comment From Michael
Is there any reason to assume a catching prospect, say, Blake Swihart, is anything other than average at pitch framing? And if he is average at it, how much better does he have to be at hitting than Christian Vazquez to be the Red Sox catcher of the future?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Well, you talk to your scouts and you talk to your pitchers, and the Red Sox should have some idea of how well Swihart receives, but if you put him at, say, 20 runs worse than Vazquez at framing and assorted other defense, then you’re hoping for a wOBA advantage in the vicinity of 40 points or so

9:59
Comment From _David_
Any reason to compare Michael Saunders to Michael Brantley in terms of skillset, age, breakout potential? I know they differ a lot in terms of contact, but both otherwise seem like similar, decent at everything type of players…

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The contact difference is substantial, and it’s one of the concerns with Saunders — he still has a pretty long swing. Of course, that means he can drive the ball when he connects, so he has more power potential than Brantley does, but odds are incredibly long that Saunders ever has a six-win season

10:02
Comment From mtsw
Does Nick Markakis realistically better the O’s 4/48M offer looking elsewhere? Seems like there isn’t much of a market for him, but in a world where Cuddyer gets 2/21 I don’t know what to think any more.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine Markakis will find out that there aren’t teams offering four guaranteed years, and then he’ll get back in contact with Baltimore. Doesn’t hurt to see what the market has to say, but I can’t see the market giving him what Baltimore reportedly already offered

10:02
Comment From Guest
Any good brewery/bar recs in Portland?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Bailey’s is the best beer bar, I’m in love with Cascade as a place to hang out and sample if you like sour beers. Hit Apex as well as Belmont Station if you have time

10:03
Comment From David
Given the realities of free agency and the payroll limits of teams like the Twins, often uniforms are all we’re really cheering for. You’d best to have a strong opinion!

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Uniforms are all we’re ever really cheering for 🙁

10:04
Comment From BassmanUW
To me, if the Cubs are actually looking to compete in 2015, they can’t trade Castro this offseason. Castro’s a 3-3.5 WAR player. They could slide Valbuena over to 2B until Russell is ready, but (1) Baez could be a replacement level player or worse this season; and (2) if Russell isn’t ready by midseason, they have no backup plan. I don’t see why Castro’s value would be significantly lower 12 months from now if the Cubs are more confident in MLB success for Baez and Russell at that point.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I mostly agree with you. Castro is the Cubs’ best shortstop right now, and the Cubs want to win, and he’s under contract for a while. The Cubs can move Castro in the future, reducing their need to move him now, and with other shortstops available, I think he stays put

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: People say Castro isn’t an Epstein-style player. He’s a good player. That’s Epstein’s style.

10:05
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Cuddyer nets about 40 games played at first base when the Mets face a lefty….but those games in right field….asking Lagares to be The Flash.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully, Lagares might be The Flash

10:06
Comment From adam
Mookie Betts = younger version of Jose Altuve?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve swings a lot more

10:07
Comment From Sirras One
Is the Cuddyer signing another example of the “sticker shock” issue that we’ve been seeing with extensions and signings in the last few years (Not actually outrageous, just that there is more money in the game)? Or is it actually just that much of an overpay?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s part overpay, and part first FA contract of the offseason. So we don’t have much context to compare it to

10:08
Comment From Guest
Is Saunders soft in your opinion?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: No way for me to know. I’m probably less demanding than Lloyd McClendon is

10:08
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Final guess on Russell Martin

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well it’s not my final guess but it’s either the Cubs or the Dodgers, depending on how much Friedman has available to spend

10:08
Comment From Molly
is it possible that Markakis is being underrated? seems every time his name comes up, the first reaction is he will be overpaid in $ and years.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: If the Orioles are willing to give him four years, that’s too many years. He’s 31 and he’s lost all his power, and he’s not actually a particularly good defender. His big advantage is contact, in a league in which that’s a diminishing skill. But he should realistically get something like the Cuddyer deal

10:09
Comment From Guest
Is Kc for real at looking to Howard to dh?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: part-time, it makes sense to check in

10:10
Comment From mtsw
Does Markakis’s gold glove change the market for him or do Front Offices take those as seriously as we do (which is to say not at all)?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, no, they don’t care

10:10
Comment From Dub
Saunders looks like a perfect Dan Duquette acquisition, no?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

10:10
Comment From Guest
rumors aside, what would be your price tag on Hamels if you were Phillies GM?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I think Hamels is paid at about his market value, so obviously it doesn’t make any sense to hold out for three top prospects. I’d try to get one top prospect, and I’d allow myself to be talked down to a couple B prospects

10:13
Comment From Korean Bat Flip
So who’s closer to contention, Padres, Rockies or Diamondbacks

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rockies would be in the best position to contend in 2015, but if they start selling, then obviously that changes the picture. Then I think it would be…the…Padres?

10:14
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Would it be humanly possible for RAJ to turn down a reasonable offer for Howard?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: No, I think there, even Amaro can’t have his usual blinders on

10:14
Comment From john
given the value of a draft pick, the mets really ended up paying ~35 mil for cuddyer, no?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: In the ballpark, yeah

10:15
Comment From Jim
Matt Kemp finally got healthy and put up a 170 WRC+ second half, hard to see the Dodgers trading him and letting Hanley go.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s exactly how the Dodgers are going to pitch Kemp to other teams

10:16
Comment From Guest
Is there anything to J-up taking the M’s off his no trade list?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not really

10:17
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Could the Rays and Cubs do a wink-wink deal to avoid any ongoing tampering charges with the Maddon hiring? For instance, Dan Vogelbach for Jeremy Hellickson, even though the former has may have more value than the latter.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: No reason for the Cubs to do anything if they don’t think that they in any way tampered

10:17
Comment From CharlesBarkley
i bet a buddy for a heft sum that the cubs will win 79+ games next season. What are the odds im made to look like an idiot?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: 30-40% chance you lose the bet

10:18
Comment From Kevin
Did you think that Jason Bay had the potential to be disastrous though? These are the Mets we’re talking about. This stuff happens.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: difference between 2/21 and 4/66

10:18
Comment From Rob
Is the Phils’ expectation of 3 top prospects as unrealistic for Hamels as I’m thinking it is?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: More unrealistic

10:19
Comment From Terrible Ted
Mike Trout suddenly retires from baseball. Which position does he play in the NFL?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Free safety. Is that a position?

10:19
Comment From BassmanUW
To me, I think the Cuddyer hits enough of the check marks to be a questionable move, maybe even a bad move (his age, giving up the draft pick, serious questions regarding whether he does enough to help competitiveness in the short term to make up for what they’re giving up in the long term), but a 2/$21 million can almost never be “disastrous”.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: This is how I feel. Let’s say 0 is a perfect move, and 10 is a disastrous move. Cuddyer might be a 6

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: There’s only so much damage you can do when you cost $10.5 million a year and you’re not a terrible baseball player

10:20
Comment From Michael
Does a potential trade for Tulo look much like what RAJ thinks he can get for Cole Hamels?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Good way to look at it

10:21
Comment From Rick
What do you think the M’s opening day payroll ends up being? North of $120MM?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: $110m-ish

10:22
Comment From Andy the Clown
Danks + Ethier: The framework of an expensive players trade?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Ethier has twice the money coming, so you’d need a lot chipped in to balance things out

10:24
Comment From Spencer
If you were in charge of the Braves, what would you do with Evan Gattis? Braves seemingly making a big deal out of his injury history and defense (which is actually not terrible as a catcher), and they may look to move him. I’m inclined to believe he should be kept for at least another year on the team-controlled contract, but I do recognize that he may bring back a pretty good haul. What would you do?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: He looks an awful lot like Mark Trumbo, with one more remaining year of control. I liked what the Angels did with Trumbo, so if the Braves could cash Gattis in for a higher-impact player or for quality youth, I think it’s worth it. Still, he has a good amount of value due to his power and his four years of control, so there shouldn’t be urgency. Odds are, he belongs in the American League

10:26
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
If the Cubs absolutely knew that Bryant could not play third base, would they be a bidder for the likely to be underpaid Headley?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Or they’d try one of their other prospects at third base

10:26
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
There was an article written by a celebrated writer at the Worldwide Leader Network in which he expressed shock that a survey of baseball people would still take Kershaw over Bumgarner…

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like a bad part of an article

10:27
Comment From Jeff
Is the Cuban player market in the midst of a bubble or do you see prices staying high?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think they stay elevated, but I”m not sure how much more elevated they can reasonably get

10:28
Comment From adam
Not that they are but if the Red Sox traded Cespedes, what does his value look like? Similar to the deadline deal?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not good enough to get dealt straight-up for an ace

10:29
Comment From Brett W
Runners on first and second, no outs, weak-hitting pitcher (right-handed hitter) up to bat, batting team down by 1 run. Pretty much a guarantee that a sac bunt is coming. Why deploy 3 outfielders?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: What are you going to do with an extra infielder? You don’t practice sac bunt defense with extra infielders. The defense you have should be plenty fine enough to get the out

10:32
Comment From Hmmmmm
Didn’t see this angle discussed much as of yet. How much value does the Cuddyer deal gain by Cuddy acting as the platoon mate with Duda. You are increasing your production greatly at 1B by shifting those left-handed at-bats to Cuddyer. Just need a strong 4th OF.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a little bit of value in Cuddyer’s versatility, but probably not much. If Duda badly needs a platoon partner, the Mets could give him one without paying what they paid for Cuddyer. That said, they look okay all around if they bring in one more good outfielder

10:33
Comment From john
Since they clearly don’t care about defense, would the mets have been better trying to get into a Kemp deal?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Not if they wanted something done soon

10:34
Comment From But!
Who says no, Cargo to Pirates for Polanco?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates hang up before they even say anything

10:35
Comment From Guest
Do you think the Indians match up in a trade for one of the Dodgers’ extra outfielders? What would it take to get Van Slyke in that kind of deal?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: He’d be affordable. Good Indians type of transaction

10:36
Comment From Give the People What they Want!
What do you think the Mariners SHOULD do as the centerpiece of their offseason moves?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Brandon McCarthy

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically, an affordable 1B/DH, an affordable SP, and an affordable righty fourth outfielder. Maybe you trade one of the shortstops for one

10:37
Comment From mtsw
Why is moving fences around not worth the benefit? Probably a lot of room to move without obstructing views and its just plywood covered by foam in many areas. Seems like you could rebuild a section of fence for a few thousand dollars.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an expensive project that requires a good amount of time, and the benefits are somewhat poorly understood. Certainly, you couldn’t move the fences to make a bad rotation into a good one. Just doesn’t make sense to do it every year or two; such bigger concerns to deal with

10:38
Comment From Mooking for Love
Per MLBTR’s report, the Phils are trying to move anyone and everyone this off season, save for Hamels or Giles in the greatest of deals. Chances they ACTUALLY get rid of Howard and Byrd before opening day? Chances that RAJ is actually an extraterrestrial lizard person that gets baseball confused with a different sport on his home planet?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Howard’s gone. They’ll dump him if they don’t trade him. Byrd’s not so obvious, but he should be on the outs as well, if not now then in June or July

10:39
Comment From J
Tulo needs to be traded, no? 30 years old with high value. Build around Arenado, Dickerson, and an already strong farm system

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t need to be traded. He can still serve as part of the core

10:39
Comment From Rob
Are you tired of answering questions about the Cuddyer signing?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Not really — no one’s going to care in a few days, so we might as well get this out of the way today. It’s the thing to discuss

10:41
Comment From Disco
What kind of contract would it take for the O’s to lock up Pearce for a few years? Seems like it would be a decent gamble to get some cost certainty if the price is right.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’d see how willing he’d be to sign for 3/21, and then I’d allow for room upward, like 3/30 or 3/33

10:42
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Why are people pegging Hanley as a 100 mil $ player? over the last 4 seasons he has hit .277 .351 .464 .816 (boosted by his absurd 2013 SS) and avged 116 games. Are they kidding themselves in thinking he is a true SS?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been worth 11 wins over three years, he has a lot of name value, he’s still technically a middle infielder, and he isn’t too old. Also — perhaps most importantly — $100 million isn’t that much these days, if you consider what it used to mean.

10:43
Comment From Greg
Where does Betts rank in trade value?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Way high, but you could ask Dave tomorrow

10:43
Comment From Alex
Does Michael Morse count as “a bat”?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: More than he counts as anything else

10:44
Comment From Jeff
Is this the most interesting Michael Cuddyer has ever been?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: He won the battle title. That’s nuts!

10:44
Comment From EP
Will the Giants have a winning record next year?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:44
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on the Royals making an attempt to trade for Justin Upton?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I like that less than the rumor about the Royals meeting with Brett Anderson

10:45
Comment From mtsw
If a dome team manipulated the air conditioning during a game to say, blow in from the outfield when their opponent was batting, is there an existing rule they’d be violating? Has anyone ever tried this?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t people accuse the Twins of doing this?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure if it could be proven, there would be discipline. But, how do you prove it?

10:46
Comment From Ben
Tulo for Miller, Saunders, and some arm?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Rockies could do better

10:46
Comment From Padres Fan
Who do the Padres trade out of Ross, Cashner, and Kenendy? We know its gonna happen.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Kennedy

10:46
Comment From Connor
Cubs look dangerous for 2015. How will they do?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: If they actually make two splashes, they’ll contend for the division

10:47
Comment From Guest
Keep Ventura for $13?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: the league minimum is something like $500,000

10:47
Comment From Ron Swanson
Is it safe to assume that teams who will end up with McCarthy and Headley will be winners? They seem like 2 great value FA.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, the league is smart enough now that they might be priced appropriately. And it seems now they might just re-sign with New York

10:48
Comment From Michael
And if Swihart (better at hitting) and Vazquez (better at framing) are equally good overall, you trade Swihart because framing is undervalued on the trade market, right?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Something like that

10:48
Comment From MarlinsFan
Christian Yelich….what kind of player is he? Star, overrated, underrated?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I like him a lot. I don’t think he’ll be a superstar, but he will definitely be underrated

10:49
Comment From Munchkin
If the Mets sign/trade a SS, where to they improve next? They wouldn’t be a contending team yet, but the rest of the starting positions are kinda locked in.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d count as a contending team

10:49
Comment From mtsw
Has anything discovered by the analytics communities for other sports been useful in baseball or is the perception that baseball analytics is far ahead of the other major sports correct?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball has been pretty far ahead in the past, but the basketball player tracker might help in terms of developing framework to make something out of the coming StatCast data avalanche

10:51
Comment From peachesnnuts
Rumors the Braves were shopping Gattis and the Rays were nearing a deal with an NL team for Hellickson appeared almost at the same time. Are those things related?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Hellickson isn’t valuable enough

10:51
Comment From here goes nothing
Why do people keep talking about Oakland tearing down? I could see them trading from the roster to get better (a la Cesp/Lester), but freaking come on. They’re third in Steamer-projected WAR. They’re fragile in places but by no means is it time to give up the ship.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think people just assume that Beane will always zig instead of zag. More realistically, Beane is just always trying to do the best he can while keeping an eye on the following season. The A’s are going to contend again

10:53
Comment From Mooking for Love
Could this be real life? http://www.philly.com/phill…

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: If the Royals do it for anything less than the Phillies eating Howard’s entire contract…

10:53
Comment From Taco Lips
Do you have a least favorite team in the game or are you too objective for passion etc?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I used to, but not really anymore. Now I channel all my hate toward the Maple Leafs

10:54
Comment From Guest
So are the Cards now players for Tomas? I haven’t heard any chatter, but obviously their outfield situation is different now and they have money to spend.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: No, not buying that — their outfield is crowded enough.

10:54
Comment From Wes, NY
Is Baez basically Trumbo, except can play MI?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Higher ceiling

10:54
Comment From peachesnnuts
Was just seeing the projected value of the worst starter at each position, and wouldn’t you know, the 90th projected outfielder next year? Michael Cuddyer.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Steamer isn’t really buying the last 750 PA or so

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to wrap this up and get writing about god knows what

10:55
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

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/11/14 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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