Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/13/15

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Within we shall discuss baseball and your experiences with it

9:08
Comment From uruguayan
Played that way, is Brock Holt a league average shortstop?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s kick it off with some Brock Holt questions

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think the answer is no. For a while it could seem like yes, when Holt is riding a wave of singles, but I don’t find him particularly gifted in the middle infield, and I don’t actually like his offense that much

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Useful utility guy, but I think an easy one to overrate. Neat 10th man!

9:11
Comment From ERIC BLAIR
We know what the Jays paid to get Donaldson. As a comparison to what they gave up, what would they get if they traded him now.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Pick a prospect. Any prospect! There’s your starting point

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Three more years of team control, probably three more years of being a top-end talent

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Dave put Donaldson at #17 in his trade-value list in July and then Donaldson was only even better in the second half

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Stupid, stupid value. He won’t be *cheap* in his remaining arbitration years, but he’ll be incredibly cheap relative to what he’s worth

9:14
Comment From Larry Bernandez
So I’m probably one of a million people asking about your thoughts on the Simmons trade. Seems like Anaheim just committed grand theft.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of really strong reactions to this trade! Braves fans seem devastated to lose the best defensive player in the game. Angels fans seem distraught by the state of what’s left of the system

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably not surprising my response is less emotional. I like Simmons quite a bit, although I don’t think his bat comes around all that much. Looking at a 3-4 win shortstop. And I have a thing against pitching prospects who don’t throw enough strikes, which neither Ellis nor Newcomb do

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: So I come down on the Angels’ side of things. I don’t buy the argument that they filled a hole that didn’t exist — Simmons is better than Aybar now, nevermind the other four years

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: What is a tiny bit strange is that the Angels don’t have a groundball-y pitching staff, but then neither did the Braves. And pitching staffs change over five-year windows

9:17
Comment From c
10/10 on the twitter announcement for baseball chat

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: The worst part is going to a website for famous quotes. Those websites are terrible and everything is mis-attributed

9:17
Comment From Bill
Do Angels now have the worst farm system in majors? It’s lookin’ pretty empty.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, it was bad 24 hours ago

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s a part of the reaction here — because Newcomb and Ellis were rated as the top two prospects in the system, it can feel like this is mortgaging the future. But if another team with a thicker system made the same deal, the pitchers wouldn’t stand out as much

9:20
Comment From lunch
can you make me feel better about the simmons trade? being a braves fan has turned into a series of considerable bummers with the promise that things will be better in the suburbs. like if your parents started giving away all your toys when you were a kid, and they were just like “dont worry – we’re only doing this so you’ll have more fun when we get divorced.”

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Things that are good in the long run can feel terrible in the short-term. Later on, after you recover, you won’t remember this pain. Which isn’t to say that every individual move the Braves have made has been good, but overall the process has been rewarding and lucrative in terms of talent acquired, and you have to think some of that talent will develop as hoped

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: In a few years, the Braves will again be competitive, and there will be new players that fans have fallen in love with. Maybe even Sean Newcomb. This is a break-up. But after most break-ups, there are other relationships

9:22
Comment From mmarsden
Surprised about the Rasmus QO and acceptance?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The first one’s always surprising, but if you’re given that someone was going to accept the QO, it’s not a shock it was Rasmus. He’s probably not quite a player worth giving up a high draft pick for.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: The QO wasn’t a shock, either — teams keep pushing the boundaries on what kinds of players get offered these things, and Rasmus is probably worth around what he’ll be paid for a year. The Astros might’ve preferred a higher-profile left fielder, but they’ll take this and move forward, looking instead to add to the arms

9:24
Comment From Phil
Did the Angels give up too much in Newcomb and Ellis to acquire Andrelton Simmons?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Entirely depends on how you feel about the Braves’ ability to teach command

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, they’ve got Foltynewicz throwing some strikes. On the other hand, lots of them were bad strikes

9:27
Comment From Andrew
Are the Astros happy or sad that Rasmus accepted the QO?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’re a *little* more sad than happy, because of course the preference would be to have a new draft pick, but they can’t be too upset. Rasmus is fine, and versatile, and he isn’t 30. When Marisnick and Tucker stopped hitting, it was revealed they don’t actually have that much OF depth

9:31
Comment From Justin
What’s your take on the Jim Benedict for Trevor Williams deal? How much value could a “pitching guru” actually have?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: First of all, for one thing, I’m not all that high on Williams. He’s a prospect, but not an elite one

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: But with Benedict, you’re talking about one of the people responsible for the Pirates’ pitching magic. He’s a guy who’s worked alongside Ray Searage. I’d be willing to pay a good amount to bring some of that into my own organization

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I used to hear rumors that the Marlins kind of sucked at pitching instruction. They’ve had a bunch of real talented arms, but not a lot in the way of guidance. It was kind of, throw as hard as you can and see what happens. If this helps them polish some of that talent, they can turn other guys into the next Trevor Williams

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: The short of it: I like it, for the Marlins

9:34
Comment From The Decadent Moose
Was the Simmons trade as much about Ozhaino Albies as Sean Newcomb? The upgrade in offense isn’t that sognificant considering the #Barves lineup as a whole.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Albies is still 18 and he spent the year in single-A. He was still a year or two from pushing Simmons, at least. So, no, Albies didn’t lead to any sense of urgency. But as related matter, it is worth remembering that when Kiley evaluated the Braves last season, he called Albies their No. 1 prospect. That was aggressive, and I doubt he’s backed off of that since

9:37
Comment From Matt
How are the Braves going to build a quality offense? Is Teheran and a prospect for Baez on the table?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty soon the Swisher/Bourn/Aybar money is gone. So they’ll have money to spend. The offense currently sucks, but it also sucked yesterday, when they still had Simmons. Obviously they’re hoping that Olivera can be good for at least a 100 wRC+. If enough pitching develops, that can be exchanged

9:38
Comment From The Dude
Is Brock Holt the poor man’s Zobrist?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Every organization has a poor man’s Zobrist. Currently zero organizations have a version as useful as Zobrist

9:40
Comment From Rick
How can the Braves possibly contend by 2017, especially if they are unwilling to spend in this year’s free agent market? I was already doubting the timeline, and now it has become even more difficult to envision.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: In 2013, the Astros lost 111 games. The Cubs lost 96. Even the Mets lost 88.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Which is not to say the Braves are on as good a course, but in the recent past, struggling teams have quickly turned into promising teams. All it takes to get the right attention is the development of one or two high-quality young players. Then it’s easier to imagine things snowballing

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t personally think the Braves are real good in 2017, but I think they’ll be plenty interesting. So much is riding on their player development

9:43
Comment From Robert
Jeff, be honest. If these chats were at 10 AM would you be on time?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I do actually hit my peak between 10 – 2. Even when these chats finally get started, it still takes me a bit to get rolling downhill

9:43
Comment From Will Graham
Jeff, please solve the Jorge Posada mystery for me. Why is he constantly the most searched guy? Nobody on Twitter or in articles is helping.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I will make it my personal mission to investigate

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: For whatever it’s worth, there were at least a few minutes yesterday when the most searched player was Joaquin Benoit

9:45
Comment From ERIC BLAIR
Which teams should have pushed harder to make a deal for Simmons.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure. Lots of teams could use him. A’s could’ve found out if the Braves like any of their young pitchers

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Mets are an obvious suggestion but it doesn’t seem like anything was going to happen there

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: You wonder if the Orioles might’ve in any way been able to get the Braves interested in what’s left of Dylan Bundy

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Granted I don’t know what you do with Hardy but I keep imagining Simmons and Machado on the same side of the same infield

9:48
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Would you rather have a avg defensive SS that hit 300/350/450 or a great defensive SS that hit 250/300/350 (same speed, age and everything).

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I assume the two players are supposed to have equal WAR

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t thought this all the way through but I think I want to say the second guy?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: You can reduce his impact on the offense by batting him lower in the lineup, and it gives you the opportunity to acquire groundball pitchers he can make better

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: An unanswered question so far — how important are elite shortstops in an age of constant shifting? If teams get better and better at positioning, how much range will that make up for?

9:51
Comment From Ryan
Historically, what rebuilding philosophy has worked better: stock up on hitting prospects & sign/trade for pitching like Cubs, or stock up on pitching prospects and sign/trade for hitting like Braves?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I don’t think we have enough of a history. How many rebuilding teams have ever stuck with either extreme? And it’s such a hard thing to review after the fact anyway

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: My assumption is that the Cubs have the superior model

9:52
Comment From BengieStacks
Hey Jeff, really enjoy your perspective, you seem like a pretty introspective dude. Got a couple questions for you regarding clubhouse. What’s your take on the importance of having a couple personalities on the team? And based on that answer how much would you pay Jonny Gomes to be your team’s hype man?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s beneficial to have a diverse clubhouse that has a few players who can move around between groups. Unifiers, in a way — guys who can communicate with anyone. Juan Uribe seems to be an example. Hopefully these players can also play baseball

9:54
Comment From TF Fredrik
Crater Lake for Jackson Hole, who says no first Jeff!!!!!!!!?????????

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Be real. Too many logistical problems

9:54
Comment From Hank G.
Do you think we will ever be free of “God Bless America” at ball games? Remember, they started playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in response to World War I.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Many FanGraphs readers will still be alive for the days when we’re free of the song. However some of them will have become dead

9:57
Comment From Baseball Fan
I tried to ask Dave this on Wednesday but failed and used the wrong comment box. Everybody seems to think that the Tigers should dismantle the team right now. But with all their bad contracts that they probably can’t sell to players who might be able to contribute something in 2016 doesn’t it make sense for them to try to reload for one final run in 2016? It seems inevitable they’re going to suck for several years anyway why not try to get lucky with one last run?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a bounceback in them. Just think about what they could get from a healthy and recovered Victor Martinez. If they acquire a pitcher or two and an outfielder, they can charge for a wild card in this coming season. It’s not all so bleak

9:58
Comment From Matt
What , if anything, does Simmons return tell you about value of Baez & Castro?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Simmons has an elite skill he regularly applies. Baez and Castro don’t

9:59
Comment From Derek Carr
Do the A’s sign Bartolo or Kazmir to go with the Reddick extension?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say they’re full on pitchers, but it’s possible they’ll all get hurt again

10:00
Comment From BengieStacks
Simmons deal signal more to come for the Angels? Perhaps a lot more, like going all in for Gordon and one of Zobrist/Murphy?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll try, but I don’t think this “signals” anything. They were already going to look for a left-handed outfielder and/or infielder. Simmons isn’t a classic win-now move; it’s just moving long-term talent from the mound to shortstop.

10:02
Comment From Famous Mortimer
Do you reckon they’ll have to go harder on getting a return for Freeman, after the PR fallout from this trade? Or is there a fallout outside of the internet echo chamber?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Freeman is signed forever, and he’s 26. I think he’s one who stays

10:03
Comment From Marlins Man
Should Cleveland “go for it” in the next 1-4 years and give up prospects for it? Or is the current “wild card” formula such that you should just try to be relevant every year and stay consistent.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Given the Indians’ resources, I think they always have to stay churning. They don’t have the money to try to bounce back quick after emptying the system, so for the foreseeable future I think they’re always blending short-term interests and long-term interests

10:04
Comment From Mike
If you had to guess, do you think AA gets a job with the Dodgers or Cubs? He is on record as saying he wants to keep learning…

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the guy, but I feel like he’s going to want a little more authority than he’d have in Chicago or Los Angeles

10:05
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
If Andrelton Simmons was a 350/450/650 hitter and a FA right now. What kind of contract would he sign??

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: So he’s Bryce Harper as an elite shortstop?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Call him a 10-win player. You’re clearing $400 million, and maybe getting to $500 million territory

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: What I mean is, he’d be a Yankee

10:07
Comment From uruguayan
Is it possible Jay Bruce has simply had a couple of quite unlucky years? There doesn’t look to be a ton of glaring decline in his underlying stats or batted ball profile. Unless I’m wrong?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Injuries took a little bit of his power, and he’s become an easy player to shift. Healthy Bruce can still pop a bunch of home runs, but his BABIPs are likely to struggle

10:09
Comment From Ben
The Red Sox sound like they’re ready to move JBJ. What’s a good matchup with the Mariners for their young, defensively gifted CF that may or may not ever be able to hit a ball out of the infield?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: This is where you get talking about Paxton. Paxton has one less year of control, but he’s still got four seasons, and he has a huge arm that Dombrowski would probably love

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: If not Paxton, welp. The Mariners don’t have a lot to discuss

10:11
Comment From The Dude
Thoughts on Dipoto’s moves so far? I’ve been impressed so far.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t love the Miller trade, but I’m a fan of the new organizational direction in general

10:11
Comment From FireDrayton
In light of your piece on the “extra” value of elite relievers, you think it’s fair to mentally bump up Chapman & co’s WAR by ~1-1.5 WAR? Can you then say Chapman is worth about as much Cueto/McHugh (~4.0 WAR)?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: No, it’s too soon to say that. Much more work could stand to be done. But I do think we’re going to see more heavy investment in relievers, as teams gradually move away from the idea that they can build a good bullpen for nothing. It’s possible, but I’m not sold on relievers being quite as unreliable as has been said before

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m the one who’s wrong here

10:13
Comment From Mike
Front-runner on the Jason Heyward sweepstakes?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Cardinals until someone makes me stop

10:13
Comment From mtsw
Is good pitching wasted on teams with good defense and vice versa?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not *wasted*. But if you have a strikeout-heavy staff that serves up fly balls too, then you won’t get as much out of an Andrelton Simmons as a team with five Aaron Cooks

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: (that second team would still be terrible)

10:14
Comment From Nick
Speaking of pitching staffs, how many new SPs do you think the red siox will bring in?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think one big one, and then another only if they move Buchholz

10:15
Comment From DaMan
Asked Eno yesterday, but just want a second opinion. Should more batters get into a deep squat a la Pete Rose with 3-0 or just not worth it?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Not worth it. And the strike zone is based on hitting position anyway, not batter stance

10:16
Comment From ZachA
Every pitcher in the top 20 all-time (ranked by fWAR) are in the HOF, except for Clemens (#1), Mussina (#17), and Schilling (#20). Are these guy gonna see some love any time soon in HOF voting?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, they will. Check back in five years

10:17
Comment From sox fan
Do you think that trade Hanley + JBJ for Chris Johnson + McAllister make sense for both sides? Sox offset some money, get a quality 7th inning guy and platoon partner for Shaw/Panda, can use that money sign Upton slot in LF. Indian get their CF in JBJ, and use Hanley as DH batting 4th. Some kind of bad contract swap?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Indians are in a position to be taking on that kind of bad contract

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: They haven’t had a $90-million payroll since 2001. They don’t want to give a quarter of their money to Hanley Ramirez

10:19
Comment From Drew
My former teammate plays middle infield in Angels org and Simmons is his favorite player. I can’t tell if he’s happy or sad today.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: He might be good enough to play third base for them tomorrow

10:20
Comment From Eric
4 / 5 years finished on the Ryan Howard contract, and so far he’s accumulated -1.4 WAR and 100 million dollars. Is this the worst contract of all time?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’d assume so

10:21
Comment From Guest
Who is the player that would fetch the most in a trade in all of the MLB? Is it Trout? Harper? Or someone with more cheap control like Bryant or Correa?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say it’s still Trout by a small amount

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: No one can compete with that track record. It’s insane

10:22
Comment From Sean P
Help me understand why the Braves moved so quickly on trading Simmons. Why not wait for more teams to put out offers if they were going to trade him? Was the package from the Angels so good that they couldn’t pass it up?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I assume the Braves *really* like Newcomb. I also assume they don’t think Simmons is going to hit. I doubt they only talked with the Angels before pulling the trigger

10:24
Comment From Roger
We’ve seen the Mariners bring in Benoit and Karns; the Astros bring back Rasmus; and the Angels bring in Simmons. Who is your favorite to win the AL West next year, as of now?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Astros 1, Rangers 2

10:24
Comment From Joe
What is the current state of your Mariners fandom?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I follow them closer than any other team, but I don’t have any kind of meaningful emotional response to transactions. I’m sure something would ignite if they got back into a playoff race, as I quite enjoyed September 2014

10:27
Comment From @RationalMLBfan
There’s lots of talk in NY about the Yankees trading Brett Gardner because he’s a LHB in a LHB heavy lineup that has slumped in the 2nd half for 2 consecutive seasons. But isn’t Gardner a valuable player signed to an affordable contract regardless of when he’s valuable and from what side of the plate? Or is he talked about because folks really want to trade Ellsbury, but can’t,so they take out their trade frustration on the next person sufficiently that resembles Ellsbury?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Gardner’s 32 now, and he’s not *cheap*, and Hicks can do a pretty good job of being a similar player given the chance. So there’s an opportunity here for the Yankees to reallocate some money. It doesn’t have to be that they don’t like Gardner — maybe they’d just prefer to spend his money on a starting pitcher, or something else

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No harm in looking at the market, a market where Gordon and Heyward are going to get far bigger guarantees than Gardner has left

10:29
Comment From Drew
Cardinals are interested in Zobrist but I’m not sure why. Any suggestions?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Prepping for the possibility Heyward leaves

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: They could also, say, trade Kolten Wong

10:30
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
More Likely in the next 6 months… A Bryce Harper Trade or Yellowstone Eruptiing?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Bryce Harper trade by like a million percent

10:30
Comment From Andre Ethier
what’s the best way to get carl crawford off my team?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Exchange him for a similarly bad player with a different name

10:32
Comment From greg
I saw a Chapman/Benintindi swap suggested… seems that could be a decent starting point, no?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: You’d get the Reds’ attention

10:32
Comment From mtsw
Buck Showalter says the Orioles WANT Wieters to accept the QO. Reverse psychology anti-Boras mindgames or empty I-like-our-guysism?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’d love to pay Matt Wieters $15.8 million for one year

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I bet the Yankees wanted Robinson Cano to accept the QO

10:33
Comment From Merv Throneberry
Is Toronto really saying they may groom Osuna to be a starter this year or is this just conjecture on the part of writers? I like the idea but I guess he would have to go to AAA for most of 2016…

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a 20-year-old with three pitches. No sense in shoving him into the bullpen permanently at this age

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Leave him in the minors for the first few months and he could be ready for the big-league rotation pretty fast. He already has high-leverage experience

10:34
Comment From The Dude
I think Ian Kennedy should take the offer. He’s at best been a league average pitcher, and at worst been 2015.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’m with you

10:35
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Lets say The Angels REALLY want to restock the farm system (the owner orders the FO to do it). So they make Mike Trout available for prospects. Which teams could actually afford him? (as a yankee fan, could Severino, Bird, Judge, Mateo, Gary Sanchez and Kapelarian do it)?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: In this hypothetical, the Angels send Trout to the Yankees, and they volunteer to take Ellsbury back, and then they get their pick of the young players

10:36
Comment From Rick
Don’t the Markakis and Olivera deals make even less sense now?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: The Markakis deal never made sense

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Olivera makes some, only in that he’s sort of a prospect despite his age

10:37
Comment From Roger
Steamer sees Rasmus as a 0.8 WAR player next year. That seems very pessimistic to me. What do you think? Does he put up at least 15.8MM in value?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I don’t buy Steamer on that one

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: A discussion: http://tangotiger.com/index…

10:39
Comment From Marc
What does Melancon bring back in a deal and is it worth it for the pirates to then have to find a 8th or 9th guy depending on what roll Watson fills?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates just had a really effective overall bullpen and I’m sure they’d prefer to not pay Melancon $10 million, even given how good he’s been. I don’t think Melancon would bring back a haul or anything, but I bet he’d fetch a good talent close to helping in the majors, and then the money could be spread around

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: You could even add in the package, say, a failed minor-league starter who Searage thinks he could turn into a good reliever in a month

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Remember that Melancon himself seemed broken when the Pirates picked him up

10:42
Comment From Ben
Offering a QO necessarily means that you have to be ready for it to be accepted. But do you *really* think that Jeff Lunhow was prepared to make Colby Rasmus the 3rd highest paid position player in Astros franchise history, and somebody to forego a draft pick for? Seems like somebody didn’t expect this to happen.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine Luhnow was thinking Rasmus probably wouldn’t want to be the first player to do this

10:42
Comment From Mike
Chances the Angels sign Jason Heyward? 0/100%??

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: 4%

10:44
Comment From Ben
Reports now that the Braves are listening on Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran. Teheran is younger than Shelby Miller and both reach FA in 2019. So what’s even the difference? Are they listening on Shelby Miller also?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: They might just like Miller more than Teheran. He’s more of the classic power arm, while Teheran has had some really frustrating stretches

10:45
Comment From ZachA
If the offseason ended right now and every team had to play with their current 25 man rosters (or guys already in their systems) as of this very moment, who wins the pennants?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers and Blue Jays?

10:46
Comment From Derek
On the Barves side of things: Defense is a skill that peaks early. Do you think they were smart to get as much value from him while they could? His bat isn’t special enough to cover his eventual decline in the field.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think Simmons should age pretty well, defensively. He’s not going to put on a ton of weight. So, yeah, his next few years will be worse than the last few years, but then given his bat-to-ball skills, I bet his hitting will take a little step forward to offset the defensive decline

10:47
Comment From Jason
How do you evaluate the WAR of a platoon? For example, if Mariners platoon Smith?Guti in LF and both were roughly 2 players last year, what does that look like in terms of wins as if they were one player?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: You have to kind of re-jigger the projections, accounting for how you think the handedness stuff will play out. It’s not real easy.

10:48
Comment From Roger
Isn’t it more the *Angels’* ability to teach command that matters? If they can get Newcomb to better command his pitches, for instance, then giving him up is quite significant. If, on the other hands, the Angels *can’t* teach their prospects command, then giving them up is of no consequence because the prospects will likely not amount to much for the Angels anyway.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners theorem — it doesn’t matter what they did with prospects, because they’d either bust as Mariners or succeed as non-Mariners

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think this was a trade between front offices with different preferences. Eppler & co. might prefer pitchers with more polish. The Braves might prefer pitchers with more raw skill.

10:50
Comment From Tyler
Hearing lots of buzz about CF options for the M’s, who would you like to see them acquire?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be okay with JBJ for Paxton

10:51
Comment From Cory S.
Would you rather you team trade for Chapman or Giles? Maybe nod towards Giles because of age and control?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the acquisition cost and on how many prospects I have. But if I’m gunning for 2016, it’s Chapman. If I’m thinking longer-term, and my bullpen presently sucks, it’s Giles

10:52
Comment From uruguayan
What is your method, if any, for handling discussions about “fat,” “lazy,” or “bad attitude” narratives that get built around baseball players of color?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Generally I don’t give them any weight. The neat thing about baseball analysis is so much of it is impersonal — it doesn’t matter who the numbers belong to, because the numbers are the numbers. If there’s a player where it’s clearly demonstrated that he’s a detriment, that’s one thing. And, like, Puig does obviously have some history that’s made him complicated in Los Angeles. But they’ve won with the guy, so it doesn’t trouble me

10:53
Comment From The Dude
So do the Rockies have like a long term plan, or something? Other than continuing to play games.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty strong farm system, with impact players on the doorstep. There’s a glimmer

10:54
Comment From Mike
With Wheeler returning next season for the Mets, would they consider trading Matz for a big stick like Cargo or Puig?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: If anything, they need a center fielder or a shortstop

10:55
Comment From Sarah
The Padres couldn’t make it happen with Simmons, who do you see that might be the best fit in an under-the-radar trade scenario for a SS? Machado, Goins, Jose Ramirez, Eduardo Escobar, someone else?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Goins would be an interesting gamble, but Baez seems more their speed

10:56
Comment From Miggy Azalea
Seeing a few twitters about Chapman potentially to the Red Sox – who’s a fair return there?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Benintendi was mentioned earlier. I don’t think that would be far off

10:58
Comment From Zonk
Per Heyman, hardly any teams with protected picks figure to be active for top free agents. Taking out the 3 or 4 that might re-sign with existing teams, that means something like 15 draft picks will be lost, and the comp round will be huge. That really changes the draft, doesn’t it?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Would make the comp round a bit more valuable. But a few teams might try to sign multiple top free agents. And also, one of those lesser teams could always pounce, no matter what they’re suggesting today

10:59
Comment From Zonk
Does the Simmons trade signal that the Braves are in “full Astro” mode? Tear down everything for picks, etc?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: They already mostly tore down. I think this is just about a relative lack of faith in Simmons maintaining high value for the next few years

10:59
Comment From The Dude
You mentioned on Twitter that Kiley was really high on Albies. Is he the mastermind behind this whole trade? Is his plan for world domination finally coming to fruition?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess Kiley was high on Albies in part because the Braves people he talked with were high on Albies. So the whole organization is probably high on Albies. #hivemind

11:00
Comment From Zonk
Gammons sez Chapman will be traded by the end of this weekend. Any insight into that? Who do you think is a great fit?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox are obvious. Astros are in there. Yankees are an unrealistic dream of mine

11:00
Comment From Greg
Carter or Gattis fetch anything better than a mid level prospect and a lotto ticket?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Cheap power will always get attention, but you can’t use those guys to re-stock a system or anything

11:01
Comment From mtsw
Future bright for the Phillies given that the other 4 franchises in their division seem to be, at best, questionably managed? Even the Mets, who seem like they’re cleverly run have that awful ownership situation.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Future independently bright for the Phillies. Lots of young talent, new direction, ton of money

11:02
Comment From Steve02
Any link to how we felt about last season for our teams and how those teams behave this off-season?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: To be determined!

11:02
Comment From Josh
Now that Simmons is gone, who’s the best defensive shortstop in the NL in 2016?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford is awesome

11:02
Comment From Drew
When Chapman gets dealt, what are the Reds looking for in return?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of needs, but I bet they’d love an outfielder

11:04
Comment From Rick
The Braves will have money, but who will they spend it on? They don’t seem inclined to spend right now, and next year’s FA class is pretty bad.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Last year the Astros gave their free-agent money to Rasmus, Lowrie, Gregerson, and Neshek. You don’t always have to spend at the top of the class

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: But right there you have two decent regulars and two good relievers

11:05
Comment From Reds Baron
If my Reds are trading everyone, should we be shopping Votto? Who do you see as a fit? He would help many clubs, but oh that contract…..

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll listen on Votto, but, yeah, the contract makes him super difficult to move. I don’t think the no-trade would be a huge obstacle — he’s smart enough to know what’s going on around him. But it’s a very limited acquisition pool

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The crazy idea I always come back to is the Astros taking the plunge

11:07
Comment From Bill
What’s your take on the Alex Reyes DoA suspension? Does it raise a real character concern, or do you simply write it off as one of those stupid things 21-year-olds do?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Reyes is a 21-year-old who smoked weed. I can’t imagine being a person who would use that to try to read into Reyes’ character

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s irresponsible, given that weed is against the rules of his job. But would it be better if Reyes got a DUI? It’s fine. This is all stupid and 10 or 20 years from now we’ll look back on this and laugh

11:09
Comment From Steve02
Is it the perfect time to trade Chapman? Has the Royals victory really increased reliever trade values?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s a good time to be selling the best reliever in the game. Ideally he’d have more than one more year of control, but he should be worth a QO, so then that’s a draft pick you get at the end

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Hey, Wieters is taking the QO from the Orioles

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Good news for the Orioles!

11:12
Comment From Jimmers
Scouts of every team are walking down a street one night and they see this 16 year old kid run a 4.25, 40 yard, throw 100 mph and hit a baseball 400 feet off a tee. Kid says I’ve never played baseball. Its 24 hours before the draft.. Where does he get drafted?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. The Pirates signed Singh and Patel for a combined $8,000…

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Singh reportedly threw up to 92mph

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think the scouts would bank on the kid as a pitcher, and not as a hitter. And he’d go toward the end of the first round

11:14
Comment From Zonk
If you had to pick one team that is most doomed to years of mediocrity, who would that be, and why?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I’ll say the Rockies, until they demonstrate they can actually develop pitchers

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: But maybe they’ll just out-slug everyone

11:15
Comment From TF Fredrik
When you were in Patagonia, did you have a car rented the whole time or did you use public transit, flights, etcetc.?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Decided against renting a car. Buses and flights worked out just fine

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Car would be nice for a longer trip

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time to wrap this up!

11:16
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 — 11/13/15 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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Seth
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Seth

The Braves are no longer looking at being able to contend in 2017, correct?