Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/11/16

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Waiting for you, Bork!

9:02
LudeBurger: praise Jeff, for baseball chat!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Praise FanGraphs, for the assignment!

9:02
Big Pete: Joel Sherman tweeted yesterday that the Rays came away from the GM meetings more confident that they’re going to trade one of Archer/Odorizzi/Smyly. Chris Archer for Andrew McCutchen — who says no? And what would have to be added to make it work? C’mon Jeff, rosterbate with me.

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: That would be an exceptionally easy no for the Rays. Really no reason for them to do that. You get a similar level of production, for more money, and with way fewer years of control. Archer is tremendously valuable and the Rays are fully aware of that

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I also feel obligated to say — it’s a virtual certainty the Rays move a starting pitcher, but there’s a huge difference between moving Archer and moving Odorizzi or Smyly

9:05
Xolo: What does/should a Wil Myers extension look like?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: So Myers is coming off a decent year. He has three years of arbitration eligibility. If you just give me a moment to think…

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: You can probably buy out the remaining arb years for $25 – 30 million. Then it becomes a matter of how many free agency years you want. Belt had his valued around $16 million. Let’s say Myers could get…five years, $60 – 65 million

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Now, personally, I don’t love Myers that much, but the Padres need to build around *something* and they can easily afford to have that kind of contract on the books

9:10
Armistice Day: Whats your opinion on Michael Conforto? (besides his misuse last year)

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a player who shouldn’t have a big weakness. I know about the issues vs. lefties and I know that 2016 spiraled out of control, but when I think about his profile I consider him at least average practically across the board. That’s terrific for a guy who’s not 24 until March

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: You can look at him and see some, I don’t know, Seth Smith? Smith might represent the 40th or 50th percentile projection. Smith has averaged 2.1 WAR per 600 plate appearances for his career, but Conforto has more upside than that

9:14
Kiermaier’s Piercing Blue Eyes: Is there any reason to be worried about Archer and Scherzer pitching in the WBC beyond a nonzero injury chance?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think the injury question is the only thing. You also get a slightly abnormal offseason, but that just folds into the injury-concern category. The teams will do everything they can to make sure any WBC pitchers are put on forgiving programs. They won’t get burned out. And then a side advantage is those pitchers could get to 100% earlier than their peers

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Around the start of April, a lot of pitchers aren’t yet quite season-ready. The WBC pitchers should be at a more advanced stage by comparison

9:15
TD: Wouldn’t Rich Hill be a perfect candidate for “relief ace”, like Andrew Miller perfected in the postseason? It would probably be similar money and his innings potential would be close.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Rich Hill is already a perfect candidate for starting ace

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: And being the age that he is, there’s no way he’d be willing to take that kind of usage risk, when other teams will offer ordinary contracts for a familiar role

9:17
Netflix and Rich Hill: Hi Jeff! WAR is not a counting stat, but with the way it appears projection systems assume a run scoring environment and normalize wGDP and UZR, we can treat the projected WAR as a correlated factor of PA, yes?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: sure

9:17
Coppy: I’m obviously signing short term veterans to bridge the gap to our strong farm system. In this same vein, does Jae-gyun Hwang make sense for the Braves? Cheap option that can potentially hold the position until Austin Riley is ready..

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I like Hwang as a fit for a lot of teams, but I’m not quite sure where the Braves stand on Adonis Garcia. He’s their own international project and he’s coming off a quite successful second half. My gut tells me the Braves want to see more of that, and they’ll have Swanson/Albies before long occupying the middle infield

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: So I doubt Hwang ends up in Atlanta. I still think he fits best in Anaheim

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: (I have no idea if Anaheim is interested)

9:20
Nic: Because I’m helplessly addicted to baseball, one of the first things I thought of after Trump won was how Adrian Gonzalez refused to stay at Trump’s hotel in Chicago during the NLCS, and it made me wonder, how many guys from World Series winning teams during Trump’s presidency do you think we’re going to see pull a Tim Thomas and skip out on the White House visit? Guys like Gonzalez and Adam Jones I could easily see saying screw this

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Like you said, it’s an easy thing to imagine. But it’s of course going to depend in large part on the first year of the administration. Some of the more outspoken players will make their decisions based on policy, and despite how the campaign was run, no policies have yet been locked into place

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: You could see Adrian Gonzalez skipping out in the hypothetical where the Dodgers win in 2017. That’s not hard to foresee. But then, maybe all the immigration stuff was for show. And for certain players, the thrill of a White House visit would outweigh the identity of the individual being visited

9:22
Jimothy: How do you expect the Mariner’s offseason to unfold? Big splash? Underwhelming role players?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I expect role players. With Felix/Cano already on the books, they can’t really bring in another huge salary, and they don’t have the young players to exchange for a cheaper impact addition

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: They were a healthy bullpen away from the playoffs in 2016. They don’t need to be splashy

9:24
Rob: Biggest Astros acquisition?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Good chance to revisit my long-shot idea of the Astros trying to trade for Joey Votto

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: But assuming that doesn’t happen, I know the Astros want a top-tier starter, and they want a left-handed outfielder. Like so many other contenders, the Astros would make great sense for Rich Hill

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they say screw the left-handed thing and make a play for Andrew McCutchen

9:26
Dock Ellis: Would Matt Holliday be a good candidate for the Phils to sign/trade at the deadline? He’d be a great stopgap as well as a mentor towards the kids. Phils could offer a few extra mil because they have money to burn.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I like Holliday’s chance to produce in 2017, and the Phillies need outfield help, but I’m unconvinced Holliday would want to sign with a potential cellar-dweller as his career winds down. So there might not be mutual interest

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: He could be a better fit in, say, one of Seattle’s outfield corners

9:28
Rabbinical College Guy: What is your prediction for Billy Beane’s first offseason move?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Reminder: Beane is not the GM!

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if it’ll be *first*, but it shouldn’t be long before Danny Valencia is off the roster somehow

9:29
Coppy: P.S. What is the next Braves offseason move? I’m.. err asking for a friend.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: A catcher or a reliever

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: At some point soon expect them to begin engaging other teams on Inciarte trade proposals

9:30
JDX: Hello, Jeff! Is Joey Votto the most underrated hitter by his peers and the fans? Over the last 2 calendar years, he’s like .320/.450/.545 (165ish wRC+) or something. That is met with 0 ASG appearances and 0 silver sluggers. (Not that those matter, but thought process is interesting to me)

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect most of Votto’s peers recognize that he’s a perfect hitter. And the FanGraphs audience, obviously, recognizes that Votto is amazing. He falls short in the more ordinary public sphere because he’s not amazing in the way people want him to be

9:31
Zonk: Saw Schwarber on MLB Network. Very thoughtful guy on hitting! Childhood hero was Joey Votto. Which made me feel old….

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a funny coincidence

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s easy to profile Schwarber as a player and as a person just by looking at him. That profile misses the mark. He’s highly thoughtful and he seems to be a wonderful person to have around. There’s a reason the Cubs love him to death

9:33
Erik: Is Miguel Cabrera’s contract one of the worst in the league, or actually totally fair? On the one hand, he has a first baseman’s body, is signed through age 42 and has 9 years left for him to just break down completely. On the other hand…he’s Miguel Cabrera.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: The last couple years are actually club options, so that makes things a little better for Detroit

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Cabrera is guaranteed through 2023, for another $220 million. Just using our contract tool, you might expect him to be worth more like $170 million. But if his age-related decline is smoother, then he hits the mark. And there’s little question that he’s one of the best pure hitters the game’s ever seen

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: His contract looks slightly bad, but I expect him to hit for as long as his body allows

9:36
Dock Ellis: Can we please not make rosterbate a thing…

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been a thing for years, man

9:36
Zonk: I’m not Bork, but Howdy good buddy!

9:36
Bork: This isn’t Bork. Hello Friend

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:36
Mad speculator : Where did August end up going?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why we’re not allowed to say, but I’m not allowed to say! He’s in a big-league front office.

9:37
Max: What has surprised you in the 2017 Steamer projections so far?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: First thing that comes to mind, I gotta think the Angels projection. Not because of any particular player. I just didn’t expect to see their WAR so high

9:39
Ed in Iowa: Dave mentioned that he could see the Cubs in on Rich Hill. If this is the case then how about Verlander? How much surplus value does he have? I mean would Soler and a couple A Ball lottery tickets be enough or does he have significant value over the 4 yr/$106 he is owed?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Verlander is locked in for 3/$84m, but given his no-trade protection, you could see him insisting on his 2020 option becoming guaranteed. That would put him at 4/$106m and that would reduce his value a little bit

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: But you’d still be looking at something like $20m+ in surplus value. So Soler+ would make sense as the skeleton of an exchange. I’m just not sure to what extent I buy that the Tigers will really make iconic players available

9:43
5 Run Homer: Bartolo on the Braves! How often have we seen a rotation including two guys in their 40s?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I expected this to be easier to search

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not so easy. At one point the Phillies had a 46-year-old Jamie Moyer and a 37-year-old Pedro Martinez…

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Welp, turns out I can’t help you!

9:44
Adam: Were you surprised that Kershaw was left out of the finalists for the CYA?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Not really — voting has always put a high priority on innings totals. I’m not convinced that’s how it *should* be, but that’s how it is. And when there’s uncertainty, writers always find it easy to lean on the precedent

9:45
Q-Ball: I guess the Braves are cornering the market on old innings sponges? Ryan Vogelsong is still available

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves needed some innings sponges more than you know

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Archer has two club options. Let’s pretend that they get picked up

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: That has him controlled for five years at something like $39 million

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s projected, over five years, to be worth something like $170 million

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: And the fact that those are two club options at the end makes him even *more* valuable

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to cost so much to get

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I realize I just gave my response without including the question. So let’s do this backwards!

9:47
Gary: Cameron said Albies/Allard/Fried doesn’t get you close to Chris Archer, which surprised me. Albies is really, really good, right?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: See above!

9:48
Leone for Third: What pre-Fangraphs article that you wrote are you most proud of? What one makes you cringe the most?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Years ago I wrote some horrible article calling Daisuke Matsuzaka a mercenary

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: That one makes me cringe

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I was proud of an article classifying all the various closer celebrations. And also an article about the time an extraterrestrial being played major-league baseball

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where I stand on this one article where I tried to create a Tampa Bay Rays roster entirely out of players named Ray. That one confuses me to this day, where half of me loves it and the other half wants me to quit and go to jail

9:51
Mitch: After watching him pitch Chapman as much as he did in Game 6 and calling for Baez to bunt with two strikes in Game 7, it made me wonder something. It is possible that Joe Maddon is actually a bad tactical manager, and all these years it’s just been hidden behind his charisma and all the good teams he’s managed? And that his wacky decisions have a tendency to actually work out? How many people would have called the Baez bunt call brilliant if it had worked out? I mean he’s literally done stuff like this

Joe Maddon
@CubsJoeMadd
Closed w/ Grant tonight because I saw him walking his grandmother thru the hotel lobby today. It was an impressive moment. Liked his karma.
2 Jul 2014

https://twitter.com/cubsjoemadd/status/484789371548086272

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: If you listen to MGL, Maddon is a *horrible* tactician

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: He is, at best, a controversial tactician. He makes a number of sub-optimal moves. The question is, is there a greater, longer-term benefit to managerial creativity? Does it make players feel like they always have to be on their toes?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: The one thing you can’t argue is that Maddon is a master of building a strong clubhouse community. Maddon’s players tend to love him. And I have to think that outweighs whatever runs he might give back on the field with his in-game decisions

9:53
Cubs Fan: If the Cubs are looking to clear OF space by trading Soler+ for controllable pitching, who should they aiming for? Smyly? Nate Jones? Someone like Gsellman?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: They should be aiming for a pitcher on whichever team finds Soler to be the most intriguing. I don’t think this is going to be up to the Cubs, so much. I think they need to find a GM who most believes in Soler’s potential

9:54
Prich: Would a Walker/Ozuna swap make sense for both players and teams?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I could see something like that happening

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: But I’m skeptical that the Mariners are that confident in their pitching depth. Also, selling on Walker now could well be selling low

9:54
Ben: What’s the Barves’ plan here?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Make the team immediately better without actually losing anything of long-term value

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: The rotation last year was a catastrophe. There’s real value in having some sort of predictability

9:55
Leone for Third: Is Nick Vincent a perfectly cromulent middle leverage reliever?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: And for his career he’s held righties to a .244 wOBA. 156 strikeouts, 16 unintentional walks

9:56
Rob: Aren’t the White Sox in a better position for a full rebuild than say, the Cubs or Astros were? Extremely valuable assets to trade that could facilitate a rebuild much quicker. I know a lot of risk too, but it seems like the smart route to take for them. you agree?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: They are definitely in a position where they can give a rebuild an immediate, massive boost. Other rebuilding teams haven’t had these assets. The flip side of that is beginning a rebuild would be most shocking to the fan base — the short-term product would be lousy, without recognizable players. But the Sox can sell this if that’s what they want to do. With the likely returns, they could have a top-10 farm system almost overnight

9:58
Justin: What are the actual chances McCutchen gets traded this offseason? 25%? Also, what would the Pirates get in return for him?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll bump it up to 30-40%

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it would be as much of a blockbuster as you might expect — he only has the two years, and last season wasn’t amazing. But you’d probably be starting with one young, big-league-ready starter, and more

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates are in something of a bind. I think they know they don’t want to sell low on their superstar, but they also recognize they’re running out of time to turn him into anything

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they go the Brewers/Lucroy route and make a trade in July if the season isn’t going very well

10:01
Greg: How do you view Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more interested in Lugo, as a potential strikeout starter or impact reliever. Gsellman strikes me as a No. 5 or 6

10:02
Erik: The Phillies have a ton of cash to splash. Do they entertain the possibility of signing three solid free agents to boost them up towards that part of the pack where just a bit of luck gets them in the wild card hunt? Or sit on their hands and wait till next year?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: They’re still far away. They should probably do something like what the Braves are doing. Any big FA splashes they make would probably just have those players in expensive decline by the time the rest of the roster is ready to be competitive

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I’d expect more moves like the Neshek one, where they acquire shorter-term pieces to plug all the holes

10:04
jon: The Cubs payroll is $40 million below opening day 2016 and $70 million below game 7 payroll. They are being coy about a potential Kenley/Aroldis signing. They are hard capped internationally for the 2017 period. Where does the money go?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s about time for them to start talking extensions

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m interested in the Verlander idea that was presented above

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: And some of that money will go to the bullpen, whether that’s on a high-profile closer or someone(s) else

10:06
MiserableWsoxfan: So with many indications that the White Sox are actually going to move forward and sell this offseason, what would a realistic return be for Frazier or Cabrera. While everyone is talking about Sale and Quintana, it seems like others will be the first to go.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Cabrera wouldn’t fetch much of anything. Frazier could pull one semi-interesting prospect, or two lower-level ones

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Even last year, the return for Frazier+ was underwhelming, and now he’s older, with half the remaining control, and he just ran a .302 OBP

10:07
Jake: Who plays CF for the A’s in 2017? Or, hell, who plays any OF spot for them?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think they like Eibner, and I can see him as a legitimate third outfielder, but my expectation is they’ll make some kind of play for Inciarte

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Failing that, they could try for Lagares, depending on what the Mets do

10:08
Q-Ball: What would it take for the Cubs to get Odorizzi? Would Soler be of interest, and what else would it take besides him?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I could be wrong but I doubt that Soler is the Rays’ type of player

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: They’d demand Baez, as they’ve done before, and then it’s up to the Cubs to try to move from there to common ground

10:10
Devin: Do you think MLB will go back to awarding Gold Gloves to three outfielders from each league instead of giving one to a designated LF, CF and RF? Kevin Pillar is one of the best defensive center fielders I’ve ever seen, and may never win a gold glove as long as he’s in the same league as Kevin Kiermaier, who just happens to be even more ridiculous — he led in DRS again this year even though he missed two months. I mean, isn’t it kinda dumb that Cespedes won an American League Gold Glove last year for his three and a half months of work in left field for the Tigers and Pillar didn’t? The current system is largely rewarding players for not being good enough to play center field, or at least play it well

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t the same system reward second basemen for not being good enough to play shortstop? Doesn’t it reward first basemen for not being good enough to play literally anywhere else?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: All the best defensive players in baseball are center fielders, shortstops, or catchers.

10:11
Roberto: Braves are making shrewd moves to lock up Dickey and Colon, giving them approx 400 slightly above average innings (Dickey and Colon combined for nearly 4 fWAR in 2016) – all for a cost of $20M and on a 1 year commitment (Dickey has a team option). Do you agree that these moves are highly intelligent? The Braves get a bridge to their younger arms while gaining innings and also locked up other teams’ fallback options before prices got too high.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re “highly intelligent.” This isn’t some page out of a brilliant playbook. This is just a pretty obvious compromise. They want to get better without giving up young pieces. How do you do that? Short-term FA contracts.

10:12
Math-eny: Hello Jeff, with the amount of 1B/DH on the market this year, is EE’s value reduced or will he just separate the good from the replacement?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Every free agent represents a hole on a roster, and Encarnacion is at the top of his position’s list. He’ll be fine

10:13
Leone for Third: Would Dodgers eat money to move Howie Kendrick? He seems to be a decent stopgap 2B who might get you 1.5 WAR

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’d be happy to if it got them a better return.

10:14
joey: Am I wrong for thinking talk of the Tigers blowing it up is crazy? They’re still in a position where they have a reasonable shot at contending, and could still move JD at the deadline if things don’t go their way.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t go with “crazy,” but it is a little weird, with three of the division rivals so vulnerable. Now, I’m not privy to the Tigers’ books, so maybe this is just something they feel financially obligated to do. But I think the roster is good enough today that they could get into the playoffs without too much work

10:15
craig counsell: Wily Peralta isn’t good as a starter, any chance he’d be better out of the pen?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:15
Justin: So the multi-inning elite reliever appears to be the new market inefficiency, if you were projecting, what do you see as the next one?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a difficulty to this — Andrew Miller is not a market inefficiency. There is only one Andrew Miller.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll see attempts to find the *next* Andrew Miller but for now those players don’t exist. I guess the Cubs sort of tried with Mike Montgomery, but he was a whole hell of a lot worse than Miller was

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays have tried with Erasmo Ramirez, but he’s been up and down

10:17
Emperor Vottovus : If you took over the reds today, would you start over and rebuild the rebuild, or do you think there is actually some hope that seemingly underwhelming prospects they’ve acquired can compete in that division while Votto is still good?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what there is for them to do. You’re not getting a strong return for Phillips. You’re not getting a strong return for Cozart. Mesoraco’s injury problems have devastated his value. The Reds aren’t trapped, but they’ve fallen behind, with regard to the other rebuilds. They need a big player-development season

10:18
Justino: Do you think Otani gets posted this year, and if not, when?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t. I don’t know if he’ll ever come over

10:20
Dan: Any chance the Cubs extend Bryant and/or Russell this winter? What would that look like?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I expect the conversations to begin. With Russell, maybe you draw comparisons to the Christian Yelich extension. That was basically 7/$50m for a comparable sort of value. Bryant, of course, would blow that away

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: With Bryant, you start thinking about how closely you want to compare him to Mike Trout. He isn’t Mike Trout, but that’s one point to consider when you’re assembling terms

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Trout got 6/$145m to cover three years of arb and three years of free agency. The FA years were valued at just over $33m. Maybe Bryant’s would get $30m

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just noticing now that the Blue Jays got Lourdes Gurriel for 7 years and $22 million http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/11/blue-jays-sign-lourdes-gurriel-cuba.html

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have insight on this. Gurriel, to me, is an unknown. But I wanted to make sure this had some place in the chat

10:25
Dumpster Fiers: Do you think it would be a mistake for the Rangers not to move Profar and/or Gallo this off-season? I get they’re young, but their stock is dropping. Stanton would be a Ranger if they would have just given up Profar a few years back.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Well that’s just the thing — their stocks are dropping. It would be worthwhile for the Rangers to call around and see who might still love either of the two young players. But I know there’s long been an industry consensus that Profar was overrated, and Gallo didn’t do anything in 2016 to ease the questions about his future

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I get the sense that the Rangers should just give Gallo 400 – 500 PA in a boom-or-bust season. Be the team to take the chance. It might fail, but at least then they’d know

10:27
Bort: Do you think Trea Turner will be an All Star and will the Padres regret that trade?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres won’t regret the trade, because they love Wil Myers, but Trea Turner is better, and Joe Ross is good.

10:28
J: Your thoughts on Hill’s worth?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’d give him something aggressive, like $45 – 50m over two years

10:29
groucho: What should the cardinals do this offseason?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Try to turn Adams and a starter into a center fielder

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: And they should also work to build out the bullpen

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Wacha would make the bullpen a lot stronger but for the time being they still see him as a SP

10:30
Dustin: Is there a such thing as a bad one-year contract?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: There are better and worse one-year contracts, but the bad ones are nothing compared to the bad multi-year types

10:31
JR: Let’s say the Mariners sign Brett Cecil, a MOTR arm like Hammel or Fister and a goodish but not great OF like Jon Jay…is that enough to put them in contention for the AL West?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. They’re not bad

10:31
Jordan: Who do you want/settle/fear at 1B for the Mariners in 2017.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m still hung up on the idea of Taijuan Walker for Josh Bell. I’d settle for Napoli, and I’d fear a full season of Dan Vogelbach

10:32
J: What is Gardner’s trade value? Pretty small with the contract but above negative?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Very very very slightly positive

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: The club option for 2019 helps

10:33
Mary: Would the Mets trade Wheeler or Matz for Inciarte? If not, would they do it for Gsellman?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Just so we’re clear, Wheeler hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years, and Gsellman isn’t good. They don’t at all compare to Matz, who is a quality cost-controlled starter

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m not sure the Mets see Inciarte as being sufficiently better than Lagares to justify losing one of the starters they need

10:35
Matthew: Assuming Hellickson declines the Phil’s QA, do you see them trying to add vets like the Braves have with Dickey/Colon (or somebody like Hellickson was last year) or do you think they’re now inclined to roll the dice and try and piece together 1000 starter innings from the young guys? Thx.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll get at least one veteran to stabilize the staff and yield predictable innings. Doesn’t have to be a free agent; they could trade for a guy with a year or two left

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they could make the very uninspiring Colby Lewis addition

10:37
Yanks4Life: Now that Atlanta has added starters, would they be open to dealing Folty? Would McCann and cash plus Frazier be enough to get him?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: They love Folty. They’re not going to let him go

10:37
Ricky: Hard for me to see Chapman getting 6 years, that’s a long comittment from a team. How many years do you think he gets?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: At least four, and possibly five. Maybe a fifth-year option

10:38
Jay_B: If Rich Hill is gettable on something like a 2/$40 deal, should the Cubs get involved?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Every contender with money should get involved

10:38
Scott: What are the plans for the Pirates and Cardinals over the next year or two, given the Cubs are in a prime position to run the NL Central?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: There are still wild cards to win, and there are still a bunch of rebuilding teams in the NL who aren’t there yet. The Pirates might be more inclined to sell quality pieces, but the Cardinals don’t have to operate in the same way

10:39
JT: Jeff, what’s the point in anything anymore?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: What’s ever been the point?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Live and love, and do more good than harm. Leave the world better, but mournful for your loss

10:41
Q-Ball: I look at the Orioles roster, and just can’t figure out how they even made the playoffs last year. Machado, Britton, and a whole pile of meh. Am I off base? Are they about to become bad? If they start to look terrible, should they consider dealing those two stars for prospects?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Britton, yes. Machado, you try like hell to keep

10:42
nbgardn: Seems like the Cards will need a middle of the lineup bat. Also sounds like the infield is fairly well sorted. Any thoughts on who would be a good fit for an OF/middle of the order guy in St. Louis?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: 2016 wRC+, National League:

1. Cubs, 106
2. Cardinals, 104
3. Pirates, 99

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: They could use a center fielder, but their offense looks fine. Healthy Matt Carpenter is fantastic

10:43
Q-Ball: Despite the Cubs playoff experience, they seem against a big payday for a top reliever. They are prioritizing the acquisition of young pitching via trade, and more bargain FA. Surprising, given the playoff run and available cash?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: This is a pretty good winter to sit out the FA closer feeding frenzy. They don’t need to be desperate for anything, since they literally just won, and it’s worth noting that before the DL stint, Hector Rondon was as good as pretty much anyone. 1.70 ERA, .462 OPS, five walks and 51 strikeouts. If Rondon is healthy, they have their impact closer

10:45
Scott of Linconshire: Which team is going to really regret paying a closer $80-100 million dollars instead of looking for a failed starter (Cashner the obvious answer) and turning them into a closer for $10 million?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the Giants are actually going to do, but I don’t think they need to make the closer investment so many people feel like they’re obligated to make

10:46
Q-Ball: What rebuilding team, in your opinion, had the best overall year toward making their goal?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers’ moves were the most consistently good, but the Braves’ rebuild surged forward through the Shelby Miller trade alone

10:47
Sean: What is Tomas’s trade value as a DH?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Very low

10:47
Netflix and Rich Hill: Why do you love baseball, Jeff?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball analysis is like science without the stakes

10:47
Travis: Does Bartolo put the Braves over the top in the NL East?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Adding Bartolo makes the Braves harder to pull over the top of anything

10:48
Johnny5Alive: You dont think hwang is a good fit for NYM? Relying on wright for yet another year with no real backup plan seems dumb

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I said Hwang fits in a lot of places. He probably fits best in Anaheim.

10:48
Mort: Do you think Neil Walker will accept QO?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:48
Moose: do you think its good or bad idea that the Braves signed Dickey/Big Bart

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Good

10:49
Tom: Biggest silver slugger snub?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I have very genuinely never cared

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who won and I can’t imagine caring who won

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Confession: I don’t really care about any of the awards. Not even the big ones. That doesn’t mean I’m right and you’re wrong! People are free to care about whatever they want to care about. But on my own personal register, postseason awards do nothing

10:50
fr6hm: how do the Cubs manage the packed outfield?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Even as is, there are enough plate appearances to go around. But Soler is an obvious trade candidate

10:51
I am the Walrus: Seems like Astros and Sale with a deal built around Bergman makes sense for both, no?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: If the White Sox can do something like that, they should try hard. I’m not so sure of the Astros’ willingness to lose that sort of six-year asset, but I know they know their competitive window is open now, and Sale would bring something they just don’t have. Would be a bold move, but not an unreasonable one

10:53
Dustin: Who’s the 2017 Orioles 1-year reclamation project this year that rebuilds his value en route to a multi year deal? Is it Carlos Gomez? It’s Carlos Gomez. In retrospect I didn’t need to ask the question.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The hiccup with Gomez is there’s a rumor out there he wants five years. That’s crazy, but it would take a lot for him to wind up with one year in Baltimore

10:53
Noah: Can you explain the difference between the BP and HBT annuals? What is in each?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think the major difference is BP has those player paragraphs? The HBT annual doesn’t provide that particular service

10:54
Ike: Do you think Archer or Gray are more likely to be traded?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think a Gray trade is almost impossible given that the A’s won’t want to sell him after the season he had. An Archer trade is differently challenging to imagine, but it’s more likely

10:55
Dustin: Say the Orioles offseason involves getting two of the Nova/Hellickson/Hill combo… is this a win for them, or does this look a lot like adding more erratic fringe MLB starters to a stable of them?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’d trust Hill more than the others. He could actually help them

10:55
E: If you ran the Indians would you trade any combination of minor league players that the Angles wanted for Mike Trout?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: No. The Indians aren’t that sort of operation, and they literally almost just won the World Series with Tyler Naquin in the middle

10:57
fresh basil: A voice in your head tells you to build a baseball field in the middle of a cornfield. Who’s the first player you want to see walk onto the field?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Curt Schilling, because then he’d be lost and trapped in a rural cornfield

10:58
Chris: Why would the A’s want to dump a player like Valencia?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t like him

10:58
Dustin: What kind of deal do you think Trumbo gets? Starting to feel that so many are expecting an error contract coming that I think he may actually be paid a reasonable amount based on who he is.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him getting something similar to what Nelson Cruz got. Cruz feels like the slightly more dependable hitter, but Trumbo’s younger than Cruz was

10:59
Dan: Not picking up hammels option tells me that cubs are going to aquire a mid-rotation or better SP. Agree?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Not guaranteed, but probable

11:00
Joe: Would it be crazy for the Cubs to consider trading Baez in a package for someone in the Archer/Sale/Quintana class following his postseason run? Seems to be the type of high profile headliner the White Sox or Rays would be looking for. And because he’s been so inconsistent with the bat, I wonder if the Cubs might ultimately benefit from selling high.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It definitely wouldn’t be crazy for the Cubs to think about trading Baez. He’s an exciting but flawed player, and his flaws generally don’t go away over time

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays have insisted on getting Baez in trade negotiations before. So that sets a precedent. They used to insist on getting Brad Miller, too, and then they eventually got their man

11:01
majordanby: last year the angels made the first big move of the off-season by acquiring simmons, but remained inactive the rest of the way. this year they pick up maybin – predictions on what else the angels will do this off-season?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll get a 2B/3B, they’ll get at least one reliever, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up a starting pitcher as well

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing huge

11:01
dgrussel: Can we confirm that Kiley McDaniel is the reason the Braves signed Colon? ’cause if not, the credit should be attributed to him anyways

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: After the Colon news came out, Kiley texted me this morning to say it’s time to re-run those projected standings

11:02
majordanby: most likely to be dealt this off-season – sale, quintana, gray, archer, odorizzi, smyly, tehran, miller, verlander?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Odorizzi

11:02
I am the Walrus: Seems like Schwarber has a big work ethic. What are the odds he becomes only an average defender in LF?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely think he could pull himself up to being a -5 to 0 LF. Being average might be his ceiling, but one knee surgery isn’t a defensive death sentence

11:03
Alec: How about Matt Holliday in Cleveland as a 1B/DH?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I like it. He’d also offer some emergency corner OF flexibility

11:03
John: What does Detroit do if Miguel Cabrera turns into Ryan Howard?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Suffer

11:04
majordanby: i like the articles that you and dave wrote regarding arguments for and against the blue jays rebuilding now. what are the for/against arguments for the royals and d’backs?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: The D-Backs have a half-decent roster core — they should push forward, given a healthy Pollock, and then re-visit where they are in July. I could see them winning something like 85 games

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: As for the Royals, their situation is obviously complicated, with so many pending free agents and so little on the farm. I don’t think they need to completely tear things apart, but it would make sense for them to think about dealing Wade Davis if the market believes that he’s healthy

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: The Royals could use some bridge players. They could withstand the loss of Davis and still be all right. They probably don’t have the stomach to move Hosmer

11:07
Eric: I noticed this yesterday: there hasn’t been an article written about Melky Cabrera since 2014! That’s pretty much his whole tenure in Chicago

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: who would want to

11:08
Tits Mcgee: Inciarte for Joe ross… Who be saying no?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves probably want someone with fewer health concerns

11:08
Doolitte’s Beard: RE: Rosenthal’s article about the A’s open for business, wouldn’t Vogt, Gray, and Doolittle all have more value at next years deadline? Should they even be selling these low-cost controllable team leaders when there is a young core coming?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I could see them moving Vogt now, as an affordable regular catcher. But, yeah, no point in trading Gray or Doolittle soon

11:09
majordanby: do you have any insight on why Kim Ng hasnt been hired as a GM? Seems like she interviews for a GM position every year (this year was the D’backs), but gets passed up.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: This is going to sound more accusatory than I intend, but teams are always supposed to interview a minority candidate for those positions, and it’s hard to do better than interviewing an Asian woman

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I have to question the collective teams’ level of interest. But, also importantly, I have no idea to what degree Ng is actually qualified to run an organization.

11:11
Sonny: If you only read these chats you would think Inciarte is one of the five best trade assets in baseball

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: At least among the assets available for trade!

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: You know you’re on FanGraphs when _

11:12
Roberto: Nicolas just posted an article on Bartolo signing with the Braves and called it a “brilliant” move. I’d say it was highly intelligent despite your characterization of the move as hardly novel.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Brilliant is very strong

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I just don’t see brilliance in this. It’s good, but it’s not groundbreaking

11:12
Outside Animals: Do you ever think that WAR will ever be added as a performance bonus?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Contracts aren’t allowed to have performance bonuses built in

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Playing-time bonuses are different, and those are correlated to performance, but that’s the extent of it. Playing-time bonuses and milestone bonuses

11:13
Dudley: Any expectations for the new CBA’s initial luxury tax level?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing specific, but you can probably assume a modest increase

11:13
P: Do you think the election results will make Toronto a more attractive free agency destination?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Nope!

11:13
Don: I suppose the wildcard makes anybody halfway decent a “contender”, but what’s the likelihood that the Rockies are “really good” in the next 5 years?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Where is the “really good” level? 90 wins? 95 wins?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I can see the Rockies pushing 90 wins once or twice. 95 would be considerably tougher because to me, a lot of the pitching remains unproven

11:14
jon: Hosmer is garbage. Why would KC want to keep him?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: They like him more than WAR does

11:14
jon: the drop in Sale’s K rate is ____ for potential buyers

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll mostly accept that it’s a consequence of Sale intentionally trying to generate earlier contact

11:15
Dudley: Who/what has stood out for you do far in Arizona?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I am in Portland, Oregon

11:16
Erik: Is the whole $8 million per WAR theory based on flawed logic that a win costs the same for every team? Doesn’t that skew some of our ideas about trade value as well? Or am I missing something there.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Players tend to go to the highest bidders, and the highest bidders tend to coalesce around the $8-million mark

11:16
Dudley: Do you read the McCann chatter as accurate reflection of market or someone attempt to create one?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s almost certainly going somewhere.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time to get rolling!

11:17
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 — 11/11/16 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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