Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/18/16

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
LudeBurger: If you’re late again, I swear to all holy heck…

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’m late literally every week

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend! Apologies for my absence last week.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I forgive my friends

9:04
Bret: Did the Jays do a bad thing by signing Kendrys Morales for three-years and $33M in early November?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: A really bad thing involves giving away quality prospects. The Jays just wasted some money. Morales, simply, is not very good, but he has his uses, and he shouldn’t look terrible on that roster for a couple of years

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love the inflexibility of a permanent DH but that might just be my own taste

9:05
Jack: Does a Sonny Gray to Atlanta deal make sense? If so, what would a return look like?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I have a very hard time seeing Gray getting traded this winter. Everyone in baseball would love to buy low, but the A’s have no reason to *sell* low, so it would require some bidder to pay as if Gray just had a normal season. I don’t see that happening

9:06
Roadhog: Cashner is going to be a starter, or a reliever for Texas?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: This addresses the most recent news — Cashner is apparently signing with the Rangers for a year and $10 million

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Every reason to assume he’ll start. He hasn’t been a reliever since 2012, the Rangers have liked him for a while, and their rotation was and is thin

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, their bullpen is deep. They don’t need Cashner in relief right now anyway

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: The fact that he got just one year tells you something about how he’s perceived. Cashner’s just 30 and his fastball’s still 94. He should be pretty good. He’s not! So he’s hoping here for a bounceback

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hard for me to see Cashner being better than Derek Holland, but maybe he’s more physically reliable

9:09
Dan: What kind of contract would McCann get if he were a free agent?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something like 2/$30m, maybe with an option to stretch it to 3/$40m or so. He didn’t have much surplus value, which is why the Yankees had to pay him down to get prospects back

9:11
Ember: What do you think the Yankees will do for DH?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I could easily see Beltran coming back. My sense remains that the Yankees don’t want to end up with a Cespedes or Encarnacion-sized commitment right now

9:13
Matt: Is there a trade scenario where the Pirates could get a top of the rotation arm for McCutchen? Any fits that you see?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I really can’t think of anything like that right now. Not with a starter already in the major leagues. They could get good pitching prospects, of course, but I don’t know why a team would subtract a good player from the big-league roster to add a good player to the big-league roster

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: You’d need to find a team with a hole in the outfield and a pitching surplus, where they could give up a pitcher in a similar contract situation. You could almost imagine Sonny Gray, except the A’s aren’t very good and so McCutchen would hold less appeal to them

9:15
Jimmy: What do you see out of Leonys Martin this year? More like his pre or post-injury self, or in between?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I expect him to be very similar to what he just was, except he should move better in the outfield if he doesn’t hurt his legs again

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s relatively underpowered, so when the fly balls aren’t going out, he’s going to look terrible at the plate. Strikeouts and flies to the warning track are a lousy recipe. But there’s enough pop in there that he can slug another 15-20 dingers

9:17
Jack: Which FA pitcher will end up being the biggest bargain at the end of the offseason?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m enchanted by a hypothetically healthy version of Charlie Morton, as I wrote about, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Rich Hill

9:17
Lure of the Animal: Which result is more surprising: last Tuesday’s, or yesteday’s?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Last Tuesday’s. Yesterday’s was also surprising, but at the end of the day, it makes sense

9:18
Pie: As an Astro’s fan, I’m pretty happy with yesterday. Moving forward, do you see any more potential moves in the lineup? I could see Gurriel slotting into the open outfield spot and/or first base, but I think the team is reluctant to have him play significant time in the outfield.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros have a lot of flexibility right now. And I saw they’re still interested in Beltran, which would only make things more cramped. Gurriel’s only opening at the moment is first base, unless they want to shift Marisnick to the bench and play Springer in center. I think Marisnick’s pretty useful so for now I think you’re going to see the Astros running out a bunch of different lineups to mix and match

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: The elephant in the room is that the Astros could go for a home-run style of pitching acquisition. They could, in theory, deal Springer or something for a Sale or Archer. Springer is very valuable, of course, but they feel like they’re missing a true ace. They have an opportunity, even if something is unlikely to happen

9:21
Steven: On a scale of 1 to Monkey’s Uncle, how surprised were you that Trout actually won last night?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Monkey’s second cousin

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: A vote like that was inevitable, in the big picture. Surprising that it happened in 2016, but so much has been written about Trout by individual members of the BBWAA that it’s not a total shock enough of them were persuaded to break from tradition

9:22
J: Thoughts on the McCann trade? Really like that the Astros got a good player at a barren position for a reduced price although the Yankees also saved money to use elsewhere and got some flame throwers. Seems like a win win.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: As my own personal rule of thumb I almost ignore pitching prospects at the lowest levels. They don’t mean much to me, because their odds of success are so slim. I like the pickup for the Astros, and I actually do believe in that modest value of McCann filling a leadership void

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: So help me but I’m seeing an intangible

9:23
Wild West: You’ve been very disparaging of the Morales signing , Tony Blengino loves it in his recent article. Do you guys ever talk ?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Dave hates it the most, I dislike it, Tony likes it. We’re all allowed to have our own opinions. I think it makes things more interesting

9:25
I am the Walrus: I did an unscientific study of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects over the past 10 year. Bust rate of 1-10 is about 36%. 11-50 about 50%. So my question is how have the Cubs defied these odds? Seems like they have had very few busts.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Soler hasn’t really clicked yet, so there’s that. Baez remains a slightly below-average hitter

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: But mostly, the Cubs have focused on hitting prospects, instead of pitching prospects. And elite-level hitting prospects tend to be reliable. Kris Bryant was almost never going to suck

9:26
Bork: How do you ‘fix’ the award system? Take the voting away from the BBWAA?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know that anything needs to be fixed. The awards don’t have any inherent value. They’re awards made up by the BBWAA, and they’re awards given by the BBWAA, so in that sense whatever the BBWAA decides is right, is right. About the only change necessary is taking care to limit voting to active, baseball-only members

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: There’s always going to be a certain conflict of interest and that’s a problem. A writer can generate content by submitting a controversial ballot. But we can live with that. These are low stakes

9:29
Ken: Jerry Dipoto prefers trades to free agency. The Mariners don’t have much depth to trade from. The Mariners also have a rapidly narrowing window of contention, and presumably a lot of inventive to end their playoff drought. What would you do if you were Dipoto?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Get Zack Cozart and hope my pitchers stay healthy

9:30
Andrew: Chances Asdrubal Cabrera’s August/September performance is even slightly sustainable?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: He was mostly abusing bad pitching down the stretch, like most of the Mets. He’s been a pretty much average hitter before, and I think that’s what he is

9:31
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Say you squinted hard enough to see a Brewers team that at least contends into September. What are the notable things you see?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Health and enormous steps forward from Keon Broxton, Domingo Santana, and Orlando Arcia

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Right now they’re projected for a combined 2 WAR. Not impossible to see them combining for 10

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: (That is very optimistic)

9:32
Ghost of Gred Madduxes Past: I know they’re just rumors, but the Braves dealing a bunch of prospects fro Chris Sale right now is dumb, right?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I believe so, yes

9:33
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What does a sensible, and mutually agreeable extension for Zach Davies look like?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Davies is a pitcher you worry about trying to extend right now. Five years left and he’s not anything like an ace

9:34
Mike: What do you think of the return the Yankees got in the Mccann trade?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s about right. They got players to dream on, and for PR reasons you can sell a big fastball, but they were never going to get strong prospects for McCann’s two years of decline

9:34
Broseph: What can we expect from James Paxton in 2017, following his late-season surge?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’m Paxton’s biggest fan in the world and I love that he sustained his elevated velocity. With a big fastball and a newfound ability to throw strikes, there’s not much left for him to do. He could stand to help himself get more swings out of the zone, but I think a healthy Paxton is a No. 2

9:35
A. Reitz: Hey Jeff. Curious your thoughts on Tyler Skaggs going in to 2017? As well as Joe Musgrove and Jharel Cotton?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Musgrove might not even begin with a starting spot. That’s yet to be determined

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I like Cotton, and so do the A’s, a lot. Skaggs, I worry about, but he came back from injury throwing a little harder than ever. If the Angels make sure they don’t ride him too hard, I think he can help keep them around .500

9:37
CT: Name one surprising off season happening that hasn’t been mentioned yet!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: No one is talking about Hwang. Something will happen with Hwang

9:38
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Wily Peralta: good candidate to undergo “failed starter turned dominant reliever” transformation?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Biggest problem: he sucks

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The upside there is just that he’d be a mystery as a reliever. I don’t see any reason to like him *in particular*, but he’s certainly nailed the first part of the premise

9:38
Broseph: Does Edwin Diaz remain a high-leverage RP? Or is a return to starting in his future?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Reliever

9:39
Andrew: Shouldn’t the Jays have signed Reddick for his deal than Morales for his?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: For all I know it might’ve taken more. Reddick’s from Georgia, and I bet he’s happier to play in Houston than in Canada

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s also worth observing that there are a lot of available outfielders. It’s not Reddick or bust

9:42
TomBruno23: What should the Cardinals do with Alex Reyes to start 2017?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to give him a little more time in the high minors. There’s no acute need in the majors right away, and with Reyes you can be patient

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are, an opening will materialize before too long. He could also, alternatively, bide his time as a multi-inning reliever

9:43
Ed in Iowa: Article idea for you: How does your article submission process work? Does your work go to Carson and then on to Dave and then back to Carson for posting? Does Dave not read everything ahead of time? Does he ever veto anything? Is that different for the core team than it is for writers that just regularly contribute? I mean not everyone is going to care, but I bet a lot of Fangraphs readers would find that interesting.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’m basically on my own. I come up with something, I write something, and then I publish something. Seldom do I reach out for help or editing. This isn’t gloating or anything — I’m just on a faster schedule than many of the other writers, because of the post volume

9:44
Roadhog: The A’s seem to make a lot of trades on Fridays. Today seems like a good possibility of something happening.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I have no counter-argument to this. Are you thinking about the Khris Davis trade? I’m thinking about the Khris Davis trade

9:44
A. Reitz: Liking Houston’s moves so far, especially McCann and what he can do for the young pitching staff. McCullers/Musgrove/Paulino/Martes. Reddick isn’t great, but still an upgrade. Thoughts?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The only issue I have with the roster right now is that there are so many health questions in the rotation. Keuchel, McCullers, Morton — I don’t know what you can count on. Like every other contender in the world, they make sense for Rich Hill

9:46
DTH: is it weird that every deal so far (McCann, Reddick, Cashner) has been met with a collective “meh, that seems about right”? what’s the first FA signing or trade that will make everybody sit up and pay attention?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Morales was a little questionable, right?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The overwhelming majority of transactions will be ordinary transactions. Teams aren’t stupid, they all value players in the same way, and the guy who made the Shelby Miller trade is out of a job

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: There will be some amount of criticism when Chapman or Jansen sign for what they’ll sign for

9:48
Matt: Seeming more likely that the Jays will have to go the trade route to address their corner outfield spots. From where I’m sitting they don’t seem to have a lot of depth in the minors to use as trade capital. Who do you see as potential trade targets and who could they realistically give up?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: They could still go do something like sign Matt Joyce or whatever

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In fact, maybe they should!

9:49
Jerry: How many at bats do you think Vogelbach gets next year, and how do you think he does?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’d say 250 – 300. I expect him to play very similarly to Kendrys Morales

9:49
Not Leaving Las Vegas: If we gsell high on Gsellman, what can we get? Or Lugo?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Lugo would probably get you more. He’s the more interesting of the two. But I don’t think the Mets should be subtracting from their pitching depth. You see how quickly depth can become necessary to stay competitive

9:50
Andrew: On a scale from 1 to Shelby Miller, how stupid would it be for Atlanta to trade major prospects for Sale/Archer this winter?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Well that would depend on the prospects. It wasn’t stupid for the Diamondbacks to trade for Shelby Miller. It was stupid for the Diamondbacks to trade what they traded for Shelby Miller

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: But it looks like Dave just wrote something about this for the main page? Read that!

9:52
Outta my way, Gyorkass: I’ve heard Dave Cameron mention in several chats that for hitters, strikeouts correlate with higher power outputs, but for pitchers, higher strikeout totals do not correlate with higher power against. How does that work – is it the bad and/or lower strikeout pitchers that bear the brunt of the XBH’s and HRs given up by higher strikeout batters?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Pitchers face a roughly average slate of opponents. The more of those opponents they strike out, the fewer opportunities there are for those opponents to go deep

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Now, for any one given hitter in the majors, you sort of have a choice. Most major leaguers could go up and try to slap the ball and maximize contact. But if you do that, you won’t hit the ball anywhere hard. The harder you swing, the more you miss, but the further the ball goes

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: If you want you can always just export some of our statistical leaderboards. You’ll find that, for hitters, strikeouts are correlated to power. Not so for pitchers

9:54
Tom: Is a Kevin Kiermaier comp a fair ceiling for Albert Almora?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, provided we all understand that “ceiling” means “best-case scenario.” Kiermaier is one of the very best defenders on the planet

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Kevin Kiermaier : defense :: David Ortiz : offense. A good hitting prospect might have a David Ortiz ceiling, but that doesn’t mean he’s likely to get there

9:56
Guest: Hey Jeff. I know this isn’t necessarily your jurisdiction, but would Fangraphs ever consider doing some kind of colored shading in the cells on your leaderboards? Green for above league average, red for below — something like that. I often have no idea when looking at some of the more advanced stuff whether a particular stat is good or not.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I hear what you mean, but that might cause things to get too cluttered. You can check averages on the individual player pages. But it might help us to just try to explain somewhere what numbers are good and bad

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I think in our glossary pages for stats, there are reference points showing just that

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Like here! Scroll down to the table http://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/

9:57
Kim: Would trading Taijuan Walker this offseason be selling low, or is this what he is? What kind of return could he fetch?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: It would be selling him a little low, given the problems he had with his foot. Now, even the healthy version of Walker is frustrating and a little overrated, but I don’t think now is the time to strike

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners don’t really have enough SP depth to give a piece away

9:59
J: What is the best stat to measure a hitter’s eye, O-swing or Z-Swing minus O-Swing? I’ve noticed that high strikeout guys tend to swing more overall making their O-swing look worse but they tend to have a higher gap between the two I guess trying to make more contact.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think Z-Swing – O-Swing is probably a little better

9:59
Ghost of Gred Madduxes Past: Do you think Matt Holiday gets priced out of the Rays budget? He seems like an attractive target for them, though he probably makes sense for a number of AL teams looking for some production at DH that won’t break the bank.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Holliday would be a good get for them. I don’t think he’ll command so much that the Rays are driven away

10:00
LudeBurger: Does any team have any reason to “sell low”?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: If a team has reason to believe a player’s stock will only get lower still, then, sure. As a hypothetical example, the A’s trading Sonny Gray would be selling him low. But if the A’s believe, for their own reasons, that Gray is going to get hurt again, or he’s just lost his breaking ball, then it could make sense to make a move, since he wouldn’t have yet bottomed out

10:02
Erik: Did the Howie Kendrick trade make sense for either side? The Dodgers dump salary they didn’t need to dump, and the Phillies acquire an overpaid veteran and don’t even get a lottery ticket prospect for doing the favor. What am I missing here?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Kendrick was unhappy in LA, and the Phillies have been taking a lot of calls on Cesar Hernandez. They could more easily move him now

10:02
JT: Jeff, did Anthony Rizzo’s gratuitous usage of “finger guns” during the postseason taint your opinion of this Cubs team?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Anthony Rizzo comes off like he’s probably one of the five or so most likable players in baseball

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if that’s actually true. It’s just how he seems

10:03
Roadhog: With Fisher as the majority partner, could the A’s increase budget? Taking on a contract like Homer Bailey could make sense

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t there speculation that this happened because the A’s might stop getting revenue-sharing money? If anything that would only make things worse

10:03
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Brett Anderson: worth a flyer for MIL?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Sure

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’d make sense for any losing team looking for a chance to make a midseason trade. The Padres could use a bunch of pitchers

10:04
Goodwin Liu: If the Cardinals go trade to plug their CF hole, what realistic deal, do you think makes the most sense?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Conceivable they’d try to get in there on Lagares

10:05
cashman: what do you think of the arms going back to the yanks from the astros?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: You should just read Eric. I know nothing about low-level pitching prospects

10:05
Bork: Can the Sens sustain their winning ways? That -3 goal differential.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: They sure can’t! 🙁

10:05
iron wolf: Jeff: I’m one of those O’s fans who was hoping that they’d get Reddick. But realistically there was no way they would offer him a four year deal given his injury history. So, do u think they’ll be pursuing Saunders as a LHB for RF or Brandon Moss? I suspect Desmond is out of their price range.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Saunders seems like a Baltimore kind of fit. His market’s depressed because of his second half, but he would love that ballpark

10:06
Matt: ATL should trade Inciarte, right? His value will never be higher, and ATL has a similar, albeit lesser, player in Mallex Smith. What’s a reasonable return?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: The one thing about this: if the Braves really think they’re going to win in 2017, then shedding Inciarte hurts. But if they’re pretty convinced Smith is ready to go, then Inciarte could be part of a package for something else

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Personally, I do believe they should trade him

10:07
Matt S: What if the cards traded fat Adams or Garcia for Jake Marisnick of the Astros? Not a good hitter but a great fielder and base runner

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Marisnick would also be a sensible target, but I don’t think Adams gets you there

10:08
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Who is the sucker GM that gives Mark Trumbo way too much money this offseason? I’d have picked Dave Stewart, but he’s gone now.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve had a Rockies sense for a while. They think they’re ready, and they have a wide opening

10:08
Pat G: Fowler to the Mets seems like a better fit than Yo, right?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes is a pretty great fit

10:08
Berry: Ketel Marte was pretty good two years ago. He was pretty crummy last year. What went wrong and/or what does he need to improve upon to get back to his 2015 levels?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It didn’t help that he lost like 20 pounds from having mono

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: But, mostly, he’s under-powered. So he needs to be able to maximize everything else if he wants to be an everyday player. He doesn’t hit for power and he’s not a great defensive shortstop, but it’s hard for me to see anything more than a league-average player here, if things break right

10:09
Sandra Bullock in Gravity: 50M$ for Reddick! Josh Reddick! Seems like Jason Heyward-lite, does this mean Springer is moving to CF?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Springer could go to CF, Reddick could go to LF, or you could see some mixing and matching since Reddick has never hit lefties very well

10:10
Mike_C: The Braves aren’t ready to be good in 2017. Why is Coppy threatening to derail the rebuild just to add maybe 5 to 6 wins to the 2017 squad?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Swept up by last year’s second half

10:10
GraphsFan: Besides BABIP and FIP, which statistics are leading indicators for regressing to the mean?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: HR/FB

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: probably on both sides

10:12
Matt: Would Inciarte and Albeis or Newcomb be enough to get Quintana?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Inciarte and Albies might be enough to start a conversation, but if the White Sox are moving Quintana, I’m not convinced they’d be that interested in a guy like Inciarte, who will never be more valuable than he is at this moment

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Moving Quintana means the White Sox are thinking about, like, 2019 and beyond. So they’d want prospects, not super-2 outfielders

10:13
Tani Cantil-Sakauye: wtf are the Braves doing? Rebuilding or trying to contend? Any chance they move Inciarte for prospects?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll just say, don’t worry too much about the trade rumors until there’s an actual trade

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: But the Braves clearly want to have a competitive product on the field in April

10:14
Okra: What are your thoughts on a team changing their ballpark dimensions in an extreme way to try and create a strategic advantage. I’m thinking move the outfield fences way out and just punt HRs (as an offense) and sign three center fielders to fill your OF. From there, try to build your whole team around speed and athleticism. Shouldn’t cost more to build this team vs a conventional roster. Thoughts?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Players would hate it

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: With any kind of extreme ballpark, either your hitters are upset or your pitchers are upset. The only way to keep them calm is to make sure things are reasonably neutral

10:14
Ryan C: What is the outline for a Junior Guerra contract? A ton of cheap control left, was quite good this season, but is also already in his thirties.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 32 soon and he has five years of team control. No point in an extension

10:15
Dynamite_J: MLB had a pretty fantastic season and seemed to grow in popularity. Besides CBA harmony, anything else they can do to keep momentum moving forward?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Market the shit out of Mike Trout

10:15
Justin Case: What can we expect for the Opening Day RF for the Orioles?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: League-averageness

10:16
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What ballpark figure would you estimate as to the return MIL would get from a hypothetical Junior Guerra trade?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Two moderately interesting pitching prospects. He’s a pretty low-ceiling guy

10:18
Mo Vaughn: How much trade value do MLB-ready prospects who project as league average starters at a non-premium position have? Are these types a dime a dozen?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely not a dime a dozen. A league-average player is valuable, especially when he’s cheap and cheap for a while. Chance Sisco projects to be about average over a full season. BA ranked him #85 in their midseason top 100

10:19
Jon: Is there any way to attempt to quantify the negative value a player might have for being a “bad clubhouse guy”?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, you’d need to start with a list of “known” bad clubhouse guys

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Then you just go through their careers and examine all the transactions. Were they underpaid, relative to what you’d expect? Did, say, Danny Valencia get less in trade than you’d think he would based on surplus value? That would get you somewhere

10:21
Matt S: Or maybe the cards could give up a huge haul for Kiermeier AND Longoria? Thinking Adams, Garcia, Peralta, Bader/Sierra, J Fernandez, and Weaver plus taking on Longo’a contract and paying the $10 on Peralta?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see the part where that’s the Cardinals giving up a huge haul

10:22
Tommy Lasordid: Would Deleon, Calhoun and Verdugo get Dozier?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: That’s way too much for two years of Brian Dozier

10:22
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What happens first, universal DH, or either one of a Reds or Padres WS win?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Universal DH

10:23
Mike: Is Bautista a match for anyone but Toronto now? He’s nobody’s everyday right fielder anymore, and still seems like a very good fit there as a 1B/OF/DH.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He would fit there comfortably, but he could become an option for the Yankees or Astros or something

10:23
EG: The A’s have approximately one outfielder, who may fare better as a DH, leaving them 2-3 spots to fill with (hopefully) Major League starter outfielders. Who might they be?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I do think they like Eibner enough. Canha will be back and he’s played the outfield before. They’ll look for a long-term CF but they might wait and go into the year and see what they have in Gray and Doolittle

10:25
Bork: Please tell me Justin Smoak won’t be the Jays starting 1B next year.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Smoak won’t be the Jays’ starting 1B next year

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Did that make you feel better?

10:25
AKA22: What can you surmise about the Braves plans to contend in 2017 from the offseason so far? Signing Colon and Dickey could be a signal they’re going to make a move to win… or just biding time with depth so they have financial room for 2018 and beyond. What’s your prediction / recommendation?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I have no problem with the Braves signing decent veteran stopgaps. They don’t lose anything from doing that. I would have a bigger problem with them pushing forward by making a huge SP splash. That hasn’t happened yet

10:26
Roadhog: Could the A’s land Dexter Fowler? He seems like such a perfect fit for them

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Problem: the A’s are not good

10:26
Andrew: Yankees should sign Valbuena, right? He, Headley, and Bird can all split DH and Valbuena rotates between 1B and 3B. Yankees don’t like having a permanent DH.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a bad idea. Obvious fit for the park and I like the pseudo-flexibility

10:27
Tani Cantil-Sakauye: Jedd Gyorko hit 30 HR in 400 AB. What sort of package of prospects do you think teh Cards could get if they sell high?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Weird thing about Gyorko: 30 homers, 10 doubles/triples.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: With where the market is right now, I think he should stay where he is. Really useful pseudo-regular. Not a lot of demand at the moment for 2B/SS

10:28
J: It seems like fans all want to stay away from Rich Hill. Amazing since he’s the top SP on a bad market.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: They’re wrong

10:28
Bork: Is Bautista going to regret not taking the QO?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so

10:29
Kevin: If you took Trout away from the Angels in 2016 and put him on any other team, would their be any 2016 team with Trout that would be as bad as the 2016 Angels without Trout?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. The Twins would maybe be close, but the 2016 Angels without Trout were arguably the worst team in baseball. So

10:30
BennyBoy: Just looked up Nate Karns for whatever reason and somehow he had the fourth highest WAR out of all Mariners pitchers last year. What’s his role like moving forward?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Unreliable No. 4

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll actually probably begin as the No. 5, with Miranda in Triple-A

10:30
Otis Redding: What other moves do you see the Jays pursuing this offseason? Anything fun?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They might get Bautista back, but I think they’ll be about second- and third-tier moves

10:31
Slew: How worried do the Indians need to be about their OF situation? Everything came up roses last year, but it seems a stretch to bank on repeat performances, yes?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: So much hinges on the internal evaluations of Brantley’s shoulder. If they think he’ll be good to go, that makes things so much better. But that shoulder might be shredded

10:32
Erik: If you’re the Phillies and have tons of money to spend but little hope of contending this year, what do you do? Buy all the bounceback candidates? Buy a legitimate top-tier free agent and bank on him still being good in 2018-2020? Or just acquire all the Howie Kendricks for some reason?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Short-term veterans to plug holes and maybe trade in July. And you try to convince ownership to keep that money somewhere such that it’s available again when it’s more useful down the road

10:33
Dominik: is the Mike trout gets screwed because his team loses overblown? if you look against whom he lost there always were other reasons. 2012: miggy TC, 2013: miggy lead the league in ALL hitting categories, 2015: JD almost had identical WAR (only like 0.5 less or so). 2014 trouts team won but he also lead the league in RBI. I don’t think so much the voters have changed but there wasn’t anyone else elite this year. trouts team not winning probably cost him some votes but there were other reasons too (not saying they are valid). Betts and altuve wouldn’t have beaten 2015 JD and 2012/13 miggy either.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: There was always more to it, but many of the voters themselves said they factored in that Trout’s team didn’t win. This year, that clearly wasn’t as much of a hurdle

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: But I do think that if Betts were any stronger of a contender, the vote could’ve looked very different. Or if the Astros had made the playoffs

10:34
Karl: Did you vote?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yes in the presidential election and yes in the AL Rookie of the Year election

10:35
Andrew: Not sure if Matz is a “top of the line arm,” but that 1-for-1 swap for Cutch might work, no?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I could see that!

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Would be five years of Matz, which would be tough, but it would be a fascinating trade

10:36
Erik: Is there any precedent for teams attempting to dramatically accelerate their rebuild in the first year of a new stadium, like some expect the Braves to do? It seems illogical, but if it’s been known to happen before I’d be more likely to believe it’ll happen this time around.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I know the Marlins are unique, as organizations go, but they poured a bunch of money into the roster to coincide with entering Marlins Park. Then they sold again almost immediately

10:37
Drew: Seems like the Astros are one big pitcher away from being a heavy American League favorite. What are the odds you think they’ll trade for Sale/Archer/other?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think the odds are pretty slim, but they’re going to do their due diligence. And they could instead throw money at Hill

10:37
JR: Don’t you think arguing about relatively meaningless, especially in the bigger picture, baseball awards is dumb and pointless and only serves to prolong insignificant infighting? By that, of course, I mean, how do you feel about the MVP awards?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I always think myself into a corner here. You start with the premise of “the awards don’t matter,” but then it’s not much of a leap before you get to “sports don’t matter” and then where are you?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: So I get it for the sake of having a distraction, or an argument. At which point, there’s only value in having reasonable conversations. There’s no room for idiocy

10:39
Okra: Seems there are not enough DH jobs for all the old lumbering sluggers looking for contracts. I think teams like the red sox and yankees would be wise to wait this market out and get a great value signing in Feb/March. Following this thinking, the Jays giving Morales 3yr/$33 will end up looking even worse. Thoughts?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t disagree with you, especially if you figure that teams aren’t very excited about inflexible, permanent DHs on multiyear contracts

10:40
Adam: What do you think the Padres will do via trades (solarte, Norris?) compared to what you think they should do? Preller has been awfully quiet

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: The markets just aren’t very big. They’ll develop over the course of the offseason, but Norris isn’t going to fetch a huge return, and Solarte is so very average

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres just can’t make more big splashes

10:40
Jay: If draft pick penalty goes away for QO guys in new CBA, would that take effect for anyone signed after Dec 1 or only next offseason?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Next offseason and beyond

10:41
DTH: do you expect Javier Baez to regress negatively on defense and positively on offense, just one of those, or neither? and do you think he puts up more or less than 3 WAR next year?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think Baez is legitimately an upper-tier defender. Not on the Andrelton Simmons level, but he’s really good. Offensively, his approach is still exploitable, so I can’t see him doing much more than a 100 – 110 wRC+

10:41
Dan: Julio Teheran for Cutch? Braves bet on a bounceback, Pirates get cost-controlled 2/3

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Braves wouldn’t subtract to add like that

10:42
NotBobby: Does Trout being voted AL MVP make you feel better in a Post-Trump world?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Good lord no

10:42
Miggy: If the Mariners were to acquire a (relatively) impact OF would they have an easy time trading Seth Smith and his $7m contract?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: There would still be room for Smith on the roster. They probably need a semi-regular OF

10:43
sitaman1: You expect Jorge Soler to be traded this off-season? If so, what would be a fair return?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced he goes, but I do see him as the most likely Cub to go. And then they’d be bringing back some sort of young starting pitcher, probably

10:44
Tommy Lasordid: What are your predictions of deals for Jansen and Chapman, considering Jansen has the added cost of a draft pick?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say 5/$100m for Chapman, and 5/$90m for Jansen

10:44
Jon: Any reason why Cashner picked the Rangers – did location/fit factor into it, or was 1/10 really the most he was getting?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Born in Texas, high school in Texas, college in Texas. Guessing he’s a big fan of Texas

10:44
Nobody Important: What is the Angels’ plan this offseason?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Get as much third-tier support as they can and hope the starting pitchers stay healthy

10:45
Rick Hahn: Do you think I should move Adam Eaton? Or only if I move Sale and Quintana first?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Selling Eaton is easier to stomach, but in this OF market I’m not sure the circumstances are ideal.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you go huge and package Eaton with one of the starters

10:45
greg: What feels like a good landing spot for Zack Cozart?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: 1. Mariners
2. Mariners
3. Mariners

10:45
Kahler: Why would the Rays trade Chris Archer now? As a Braves’ fan, I can’t understand this. He’s exactly what a budget-conscious club wants.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Just trying to take advantage of the market. It’s the only reason

10:46
Steve: I’m surprised I don’t see the Astros mentioned for Chris Sale more often. They have the talent to get it done and are in need of a top line SP. Do you see them making a move for him?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: They’d be involved. No reason not to be

10:46
Rick Hahn: Any chance the Astros are willing to move Bregman for a package around Sale or Quintana + Frazier?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Highly unlikely, but not completely impossible

10:46
Miggy: Whose Top 5 Fielding Blunders could compare with Raul Ibanez’s?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Delmon Young

10:47
Curtis: Not to steal the thunder of a great question a couple of chats ago, but in the event the chatter isn’t here, which player would you like to see have a “re-do” on their career? The example from I think Cameron was Eric Davis, which I thought was a great answer… how about a pitcher? or anyone…

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Ryan Anderson

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: There are so many pitchers who lost their careers to injury, but Anderson is the one I’d want to have back

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Struck out a third of his opponents in Triple-A as a starter at the age of 20. Stood 6’10.

10:48
Oleg: Schwarber, Almora, plus for Archer and Kiermaier. What else would it take?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: So, so much else

10:49
Matt D: Not hearing this anywhere but doesn’t Cutch to NYM make a good bit of sense (even if his days in CF are numbered)? I’m mainly hearing CLE but the Mets can handle more salary and have plenty of pieces too. Any thoughts on what it might take for NYM to get him?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: As came up earlier, I could see something built around Matz. Would seem to potentially satisfy both sides

10:49
Andrew: Is there a way to quantify versatility? It seems like Bryant’s ability to play both 3B and LF makes him more valuable than if he just played one or the other. Does WAR or anything else capture this?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, our numbers don’t do a great job of capturing the value of versatility. In truth, it’s not a huge factor, but it’s obviously a positive factor, on account of the increased flexibility. Makes it easier to make the most of a bench. It’s probably worth some fraction of one win

10:51
Joe: Are the Orioles getting close to going off a cliff?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: They’re closer than many teams. Imagine, say, if Britton got hurt in spring training

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles are maybe a little like the Royals — they could stand to make some longer-term moves now to ease the transition into the next stage

10:53
RIck Hahn: Got any advice for me for this offseason?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Just pick a direction and fully commit. Don’t settle for ditching guys like Frazier and Eaton and whatever. Either build or sell.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: You’re presumably going to sell. Make sure you own the winter meetings

10:54
Curtis: Is it generally harder for pitchers to be excellent hitters, or hitters being excellent pitchers? Could Trout or Harper be a better pitcher than say Kershaw or Bumgarner are as hitters?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I…actually…don’t know the answer to this

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve more often seen successful-hitting pitchers than successful-pitching hitters, so maybe that answers your question

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: But hitters are also given few opportunities to pitch, because of the health risks. And pitchers, at least, take batting practice

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: What’s probably true is that the skills are so specialized they’re almost equally difficult

10:56
Jason: If the Mariners trade for Cozart what is the return at this point? Probably not Gohara I would assume/hope. What’s fair for one year of a non-elite but not totally sucky SS?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Cozart is a pretty useful player. Gohara *might* be too much but then he’s never pitched above A-ball, and he’s hardly been dominant there. He’s not an elite prospect

10:57
Rick Hahn: Are Sale, Quintana, and Eaton the top 3 available trade targets in all of baseball right now?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Nope, not so long as Archer is out there

10:57
Guest: What do you think of the Reddick deal? I’ve read a lot of people think it’s an overpay…I feel like it a win is worth about 8 million though, it’s a good deal

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s a little expensive, but not by enough to matter. Would’ve been more comfortable with the fourth year being a vesting option based on 2019 PAs

10:58
Mike M: Is Texas Cashner’s last shot at being a starter?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Not a bad way to see this

10:59
Kristen: If TEX makes Choo their full-time DH (which they should because he’s injury-prone), how do they address LF (Mazara would be in RF) this offseason?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: As things stand, I wonder if they’d be willing to move Profar around

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s the internal guy who could use a season to sink or swim

11:01
Andrew: How is history different if the Rizzo/Cashner trade never happens? Paint me a word picture.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Rizzo gets traded somewhere else. The Cubs get like Goldschmidt or Hosmer or something

11:02
Jon: Theo Epstein has said how important getting an elite bullpen arm was to last year’s team, yet the Cubs seem to be signaling that they won’t pursue any elite free agent bullpen arms. Which is the better move, winning the bullpen arms race this winter or going year to year trading for a hot bullpen arm at the Trade Deadline again?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: They’re so good they don’t need to splurge for what’s out there right now. If Rondon is okay and Strop is okay, they can go into the deadline once more and re-evaluate. Maybe in July they can get Zach Britton!

11:03
botchatheny : do you think the president-elects apparent/alleged immigration stances will impact baseball?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I expect that Adrian Gonzalez and various other Latin players would go on to make occasional statements

11:03
Rob: You think the Nationals would give up both, Giolito and Robles in a package for Sale?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

11:04
Slew: The three best teams in the AL in 2017 will be Houston, Boston, and…?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Cleveland

11:04
NotBobby: There are seven volcanoes erupting in Central America. Have you ever seen an erupting volcano?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been on one!

11:04
Nick: Wade Davis for Jorge Soler and Rob Zastryny. Who says no first?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Soler is a Royals type

11:04
Bob: Danny Duffy’s actual ceiling? Is he a top of the rotation type arm?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: A full season of what he just did

11:05
aj: Latino ESPN was raging hard at the Trout victory. They really dont like WAR.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Debates get viewers

11:06
Outside Animals: Jeff, I love baseball, but I hate that so many tax dollars are spent on stadiums when it could be spent on social causes. These owners are rich! Is there a good way to balance this moral conflict?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Speak out against the owners when you can. Reach out to local politicians if you find your own area engaged in such an issue moving forward

11:06
klof: does it make sense for the marlins to be in on jansen? do they have doubts about capps coming back?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They traded Capps for Andrew Cashner. whoopsadoodle!

11:07
Rick Hahn: I should be able to get about 6 or 7 top 100 prospects from Sale, Q, Frazier, Eaton trades, right?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe even more, depending. Sale and Quintana are enormously valuable

11:07
Zonk: What organizations do you feel are the best at developing talent? What organizations lag in that category?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cardinals, Cubs / Angels, Orioles

11:08
Tani Cantil-Sakauye: What do you think the Cardinals best course of action would be to nab an OFer?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: B-level move to land a gloveman

11:08
Kristen: Does TEX have the ammunition prospect-wise to land a #3-starter with? JD has traded away a huge amount of prospects the last couple of seasons.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: They’re in a fragile position. Their best bet might be selling Profar or Gallo to get a long-term pitcher in whom they’re more confident

11:09
Pb&Js: What can the Reds expect from Devin Mesoraco next year? What’s the best case scenario?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Complete unknown at this point. No idea how healthy he can be

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling!

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We…won’t do it next week at the same time, on account of the holiday. So until we do this again, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/18/16 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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Mo Vaughn
Member
Mo Vaughn

“I think Baez is legitimately an upper-tier defender… Offensively, his approach is still exploitable, so I can’t see him doing much more than a 100 – 110 wRC+”

Idk if Baez can consistently put up a wRC+ >100, but if he does, he’s 3+ WAR player for sure. A poor contact rate caps his ceiling, but the .150 ISO he posted in 2016 is probably his floor going forward, right?