Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/25/14

9:03

Jeff Sullivan: Are we ready to baseball chat?

9:03

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve given the queue a few minutes to get going and subsequently settle down

9:03

Jeff Sullivan: So let’s talk about god knows what

9:04
Comment From garth algar
i fear change

9:04
Comment From CecilFieldersButtPlug
well this looks funny

9:04
Comment From neal
what the heck is this interface?????

9:04
Comment From Chest Rockwell
Fancy new digs.

9:04

Jeff Sullivan: It looks similar to me!

9:04

Jeff Sullivan: But I am nervous on your behalf!

9:04
Comment From J
Will Rockies hitters ever get credit for being good?

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: I like to think that we give them credit — we’re usually quick to note that wRC+ adjusts for Coors and guys who hit well with the Rockies tend to be good hitters. But there’s no way around it: there’s always going to be that “…but”. Always going to be a part of Rockies baseball, as baseball at that elevation is a different game from how it is elsewhere.

9:05
Comment From BBBQ
Who do you think the Red Sox end up trading Cespedes for?

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a specific pitcher in mind, but in my head I see him going for one of those other one-year types. An Iwakuma or a Latos or a Kennedy or something, with a prospect or money going in some direction to even things out. I don’t think Cespedes turns into a long-term asset.

9:07
Comment From Xolo
What is Headley’s updated asking price?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Sandoval minus a year or so. Not a worse player, just an older player. There’s a perception gap between the two, but teams should be smart enough to realize that doesn’t matter

9:09
Comment From Richard
A new update to CoverItLive. Good or bad?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: It looks about the same to me, but from your standpoint I assume it is bad

9:09
Comment From Wesley
What do the Sox have to add to a Napoli-Zimmermann trade?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Why would the Nationals want a first baseman?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: They just let a first baseman go to make room for a first baseman

9:10
Comment From SteveV
How much does lineup “balance” matter? A balance of lefty and righty hitters. Is 3 good, say 1 at top, 1 in middle and 1 at the end of the lineup? Is 4 better or doesn’t it matter much at all?

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately you just want to end up in a situation where you have the best players. Balance comes in as sort of a tie-breaker, where managers are more comfortable with a balanced attack than an unbalanced attack that leaves you susceptible on particular days. Within individual games, you don’t really want to have lefties batting back-to-back, because then you’re vulnerable against a good lefty reliever

9:11
Comment From Josh Bresser
With Hanley in the fold, think Bogaerts might be available? If so, does Cueto+ For Bogaerts+ make sense?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts might be incrementally more available, but the plan is for him to play short. Other guys are a hell of a lot more available. If you’re looking for a Cueto trade framework, you’re adding a lot to Cueto, from Cincy’s end

9:12
Comment From Ember
Who gets Moncada, and for how much?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: Better question for Kiley, because he’s plugged in on this stuff, but it seems like he’ll fetch something in the neighborhood of $40 – 50 million

9:13
Comment From coach
Tulo isn’t beloved because of how often he stays on the field

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: hasn’t played 150 games since 2009. probably not going to suddenly become more durable

9:13
Comment From Ross
What do you foresee being the Mariner’s big move to bring in a bat or do you see them missing out on one? I am starting to get a little worried as bats our flying off the shelves!

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: No, they’ll get something. Maybe a couple things, given that they’re going to trade Michael Saunders. They’ll move Saunders, they’ll add a righty outfielder, and they’ll add a 1B/DH that might not be right-handed depending on the outfielder they get. Cespedes is still out there, Upton is still out there, Napoli is still out there

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if anyone in the league is going to see value in Allen Craig

9:15
Comment From Deevo
When will you guys ever implement your own chat capabilities? This is awful. Seriously, the chat moves down instead of up?! What sorcery is this?!

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: And to think, this is the best that’s available!

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: As Dave has said before, if you have something better, please do let us know.

9:15
Comment From LondonTribe
How long will catcher framing remain a skill? Shouldn’t baseball eventually move to an electronic strike zone for consistency, making it a redundant art?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: An automated strike zone is probably a very long time away, but umpires seem to get more and more consistent with every passing season, and there’s a greater awareness than ever of the magnitude of pitch-framing, with umpires aware of it and more teams instructing it. So you’re seeing shrinking gaps between the best and the worst. It’s going to be a factor for a while, I imagine, but at least in theory in ought to gradually diminish in impact

9:17
Comment From Bret
Why do the Mets seem to think Ruben Tejada is the worst? I know he’s not perfect, but he’s young, cheap, and reasonably productive. Seems like a lot of teams would be satisfied with that, but with the Mets he’s a giant black hole.

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t developed, he’s had some off-field concerns, and while he’s an adequate defensive shortstop, he’s not great and he definitely doesn’t hit, and now he’s getting expensive. He’s not a *problem* but he’s not starter material

9:18
Comment From Ceej
Do you believe the Twins when they claim that Sano and Buxton won’t debut in ’15?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: I could see the players themselves pushing for debuts in September, but I believe the Twins when they say they have a plan for two of the best prospects in baseball

9:18
Comment From Lunch
The Red Sox should sign headley too. The new market inefficiency is having a team entirely of third basemen.

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: I want them to do that to just like have him around. Run errands or something

9:19
Comment From Ross
Does Brad Miller or Chris Taylor end up being the answer at SS for the Mariner’s? Miller kind of tanked last year, although he did turn it around a bit and Taylor’s BABIP was totally unsustainable..

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: You might see one of them get traded within the next month and a half, but as things stand at this moment, it looks like Taylor is the starter and Miller is a utility sort. I personally prefer Miller but it’s close

9:19
Comment From Ceej
How will/should the Sox free Bogaerts and Betts?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts is going to play short. Betts will find regular playing time at a variety of positions, especially if Castillo struggles or Victorino/Ramirez end up hurt

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Betts might be similar to the 2013 Jurickson Profar plan

9:21
Comment From SteveV
If teams are willing to pay $50-60 mill + tax = $100-120Mill for Moncada. That includes 1-2 yrs in the minors and the very real possibility that he busts. So wouldn’t it be a better value to just pay Sandoval $100 mill?

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: Moncada’s 19, with superstar potential, and the money doesn’t all count against the payroll like Sandoval’s money does. It’s not one or the other. You’re not signing Moncada to address an immediate weakness

9:23
Comment From Munenoris Espresso Stand
So, the M’s have locked up King Felix, Cano and now Seager, creating a bit of a contention window. Who will likely be the next player that the M’s will sign to a long-term deal?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Do you mean internally, or just in general? In general, the highest probability might belong to Nelson Cruz. Internally, I’m not sure such a guy exists. It would be Mike Zunino if he got better, or James Paxton if he stayed healthy

9:24
Comment From Nick
With Zach Duke and Adam LaRoche added, what would be a reasonable next move to inch the White Sox closer to competing in 2015?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: They still need a good amount of work. They need to address the whole outfield, and much of the infield, and the bullpen’s a question mark, and the starting rotation’s thin behind the top two…people are talking about Melky Cabrera, but realistically, the White Sox are positioned such that almost any kind of upgrade would work. They’re not restricted by what they have around, because beyond Eaton, Abreu, Sale, Quintana, and LaRoche, there’s not much

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: I’m interested to see what they do with Ramirez. It seems like he’s being shopped, but if the White Sox want to be decent in 2015 that usually requires a shortstop

9:26
Comment From Darth Stout
If the Cubs come away with two ‘B’ list free agent starting pitchers and not much else, how would you grade their off-season?

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: B

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: If they don’t like what they see this offseason, it’s because they’re preparing for next offseason. There’s no critical sense of urgency and they’re already good enough to be watchable in 2015

9:27
Comment From GSon
How much does Hanley leaving the Dodgers make them more active in acquiring some guys for the left side of the infield?. Willing to trade Kemp/Corey & Ca$h for Lindor, Frazier, Salazar and Wolters?

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: They knew they were losing Hanley, and they’re going to get a shortstop at some point

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s Ramirez, maybe it’s Miller/Taylor, maybe it’s somebody else. Friedman has tried to get one of the Mariners shortstops before

9:27
Comment From Matt
Does wRC+ have any weaknesses/blindspots? It seems like the most foolproof offensive stat available.

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty great, but I suppose you could quibble with the park factors. General handedness park factors don’t apply the same way to all players of a given handedness

9:28
Comment From Nick
Would the White Sox be better served finding an outfielder via trade or signing Melky Cabrera?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the Cabrera terms. I’m more comfortable with the team spending money instead of depleting longer-term resources, though.

9:30
Comment From Josh Bresser
You think the Red Sox would go for Latos, with his iffy 2014 peripherals, injury, and decreased velocity?

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d have interest. I think they’d also have questions. But, obviously, if he checked out, that would be encouraging

9:31
Comment From Nick
What would the Rockies ask for in a deal for CarGo?

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: Right now, too much. He’s too much of a question mark coming off what happened last year to fetch a great haul. I think Tulo could be moved for a big package, but with Gonzalez, the Rockies are probably better off letting him re-establish value in the first half

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Then you’d be looking for a pretty good prospect back

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Someone’s #2 or #3, perhaps

9:34
Comment From Dewey
Jay Bruce capable of getting T. Walker?

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: Not right now

9:34
Comment From gump
any solution to the international FA market in your opinion?

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Kiley could give you a way better answer. I spend time thinking about how the situation is broken. Kiley spends time thinking about how it could be fixed.

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Kiley’s the expert!

9:35
Comment From Happy Fun Ball
What talking about teams with bottomless pockets, such as BOS, NYY, LAD, ANA, etc… isn’t it sort of silly to look at FA signings in terms of $/WAR efficiency? These clubs are just looking for production … period … and often willing to pay a premium for it.

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: They still run into limits. For the most part, they don’t want to exceed the luxury-tax threshold, so there’s a ceiling there to factor in. Efficiency is still a concern of theirs. Less so than for, say, the A’s, but it’s a factor.

9:36
Comment From Shawn
Regarding the Sox signings- they have Victorino/Napoli/Ortiz coming off books in 2015- these deals aren’t as prohibitive as people are making them seem (now they may not be values, but they aren’t going to be cripplers)

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, people tend to exaggerate the extent to which a contract or two can cripple a ballclub, especially when it’s a club with money like the Sox. If they have their way, they’ll have a lot of cheap regulars coming through the system that will allow them to get away with spending big on players who might not quite be worth it

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Now, of course, if the young players bust, then that’s a big problem, but that would be a big problem regardless

9:38
Comment From Shawn
Cespedes to Seattle, Walker or Paxton to Cincy, Cueto or Latos to Boston (obviously additional pieces could be thrown in to Sea for Walker or Cincy for Cueto), but could this work?

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Potential framework there but it’s not even.

9:39
Comment From Andrew
Any idea what the Astros could get in return for Jason Castro? Would the Cubs be interested after missing out on Martin?

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs would be interested — a few teams have expressed interest — but last year was pretty bad for Castro’s trade value. He’s not bringing back much of a haul, not with two years left and an 84 wRC+ last season. Maybe two interesting low-level prospects, or one more established mid-tier prospect

9:41
Comment From Guest
With FA prices soaring, as a Cubs fan, I’m going to be pretty pissed if they aren’t willing to go 6/180 – 200 for Lester. That’s a crapload of money, but is that unreasonable of me? If Lester doesn’t accept that from them, fine. But if they can’t offer it, should I be pissed? (Note: I haven’t been mad about their spending up until this offseason at all. Wasn’t mad they didn’t go where the Blue Jays did for Martin either.)

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs don’t need to give Lester $30 million a season into his deep 30s

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: There are always alternatives. It’s never going to be Jon Lester or bust

9:42
Comment From Shawn
What does a trade for Justin Upton look like?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Pretty similar to the Heyward trade. Worse players coming back, under control for longer. Atlanta isn’t actually going to turn Upton into a massive blockbuster. Teams believe in him less than they did a couple years ago

9:44
Comment From MB
Better option for teams in need of a SS – Steven Drew on a cheap 1 year deal or 1 of Asdrubel Cabrera/Jed Lowrie on a fair market value (say $8-$10 mil annually) on a 2 year deal?

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: If you’re a smaller-market team, Drew. If you have more to spend, I’d take Lowrie and then shift him away from short when I have the opportunity

9:44
Comment From Tony G.
Which players do you think get moved out of Boston?

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes is almost a lock, and Napoli seems likely. If they dip into the prospects, they won’t be moving players from the top of the list

9:46
Comment From Biltmore
The thing about the move-Bogaerts rumors: that doesn’t really solve anything! Ramirez isn’t a SS anymore, so you still have the OF/3B logjam whether you move XB or not. Betts for a big time SP makes much more sense imo.

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: In theory, you could have Ramirez play short in 2015, and then you hope that Marrero is ready soon after.

9:48
Comment From SteveV
Isn’t Plouffe plus 30 BA pts about equal to Panda? His UZR is second to Headley. He also going into his peak and Panda is past his.

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: Plouffe is older than Sandoval

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: As far as his evaluation, depends what you make of his defense at third base. Numbers say he improved a lot in 2014, but if you regress back to his track record, he doesn’t look particularly special

9:49
Comment From Josh Bresser
Do you think the Reds have the potential to contend this year? 97, 90 wins in last fully healthy years.

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Long shot. They’re in one of the toughest positions in baseball right now.

9:49
Comment From SK
How much would a position move to 1B for Panda in a few years knock off from his WAR/year? half a win?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: In theory it wouldn’t really have an effect — the positional adjustment would be harsher, but his defense would look better to balance it out

9:50
Comment From Dewey
How functional would Carlos Quentin be as a DH?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: More functional than he is as an outfielder

9:50
Comment From THE+average+sports+fan
If the Reds are going to be rebuilding in 2016 and 2017 at least. Why not take a shot at it this year?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: Seems like they might

9:51
Comment From MisunderstoodButStillEvilClown
are the white sox the most bimodal of the bad teams? It seems like the top of the roster (1B, CF, SS, SP1, SP2) can play for anybody, but there are more terrible terrible everyday players (DH, 2B, LF, entire bullpen, back end of the rotation) than others. seems like more fun thing to try fix than a straight mediocre team.

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, they feel really extreme in that regard. A little like the Marlins a couple years ago where all they had was Stanton and Fernandez. But it helps the White Sox that they already have some stars, because those are the hardest pieces to acquire. Unfortunately they’re also somewhat ephemeral so there’s pressure to get better quick, which they’re trying to pull off

9:52
Comment From Questions!
Rockies were 1st in Home wOBA, 2nd to last in Road wOBA, and second to last in both home and road FIP. What the heck do you even do to approach this problem if you’re Bridich?

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: You just hope for better health, especially on the pitching side. The hitting splits are always going to be an issue — Rockies players don’t see pitches move the same at home as they do on the road, so when they go on the road, it’s a godawful adjustment. You can’t get rid of the altitude effect, not with pitch movement.

9:54
Comment From Allen Craig
Is my career .325 BABIP sustainable, or did I happen to have three inflated BABIP years despite slow footing and an unremarkable batted ball profile, with true talent much closer to 2014 than any years prior? Odds aren’t good on three straight high-BABIP years, but even low odds come out once in a while.

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: You used to be good, and then your bat speed eroded and you can’t pull the ball anymore. And pitchers noticed, so they’re pounding you with inside heat all the time. The hope is that Craig has recovered from his injury, so now he can swing again, but I’d need that to be proved to me before I made any commitments

9:55
Comment From Erix
Jeff, what do you do when you’re feeling down?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: go to the wilderness

9:55
Comment From Biltmore
Why are some free agencies “louder” than others? That is to say, Lester is all over my news feed while I’ve heard nary a word about Scherzer. Is it a matter of an agent’s approach to the media? An agent’s approach to the market, e.g. moving earlier or later? Teams’ interest (in the player absolutely, or in the perceived surplus value that could result from a certain player but perhaps not from another, more expensive player)?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Whole lot of factors but it frequently has to do with the agency. Scherzer is a Boras guy, and Lester isn’t, and Boras is obviously more deliberate. He likes to slow-play these things and he’s going to wait for Lester to establish the market and the demand. When the teams in on Lester miss out, they’ll turn to Scherzer, and then Boras can really go to work. He’ll play his media games, but I don’t think he’s gotten started yet because teams right now are more focused on Lester, specifically because he’s *NOT* a Boras guy

9:58
Comment From Ryan
Gausman vs. Stroman–who would you prefer on your team? Statistically Stroman was better last year, but I know Gausman was more highly touted

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: Stroman

9:58
Comment From Jon Morosi on twitter
#Mariners have had trade talks on multiple RH outfielders, including Matt Kemp, Yoenis Cespedes, and Justin Upton. They want to land one.

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: no shit, Jon

9:59
Comment From Guest
Any protesting in Pdx?

9:59
10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Phillies “love” Mookie Betts https://twitter.com/jcrasni…

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Well of course they do. That’s too bad!

10:00
Comment From Matt
Does Chris Taylor or Brad Miller for Matt Kemp work as the beginning skeleton of a trade?

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers have to throw in a ton of money

10:00
Comment From Snarfle
I’m pretty surprised Hanley didn’t command more $$$. Granted it looks to be a good situation, and there is more to the world than purchasing power, but an infielder with his power and hitting ability ought to break 100 easily no? Even with his defense and health issues?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Health issues, reputation, bad defense. He was a shortstop on a contender last year, but he’s not really a shortstop anymore so this isn’t a shock. I expected more, but if he hits his fifth-year option with the Sox, that’s about what I thought would happen

10:02
Comment From J
With Hanley now off the market, is a Tulo trade more likely to happen soon?

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Independent of one another, mostly — Tulo is an actual shortstop. If that happens, it’ll happen during or after the winter meetings

10:02
Comment From Sadwick
I for one would like to see the chat spiral into an infinite abyss at the center of the screen rather than scroll down or up. Also, can Justin Upton really bring back more than Heyward given the current dearth of RH power, or is that just serious optimism by the Braves front office?

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Serious optimism. Teams like Upton’s profile more than Heyward’s, so there’s an advantage to his supplying right-handed power, but he’ll also cost more than Heyward and he’s been statistically inferior overall, so that’ll balance

10:03
Comment From Oren
What are some teams you can see being interested in Dioner Navarro?

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of teams would have some interest in him as a backup. No one should really look at him as a starter

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: (back in 2 minutes)

10:06
Comment From Dave Littlefield
I’m thinking back to the Pirates from 2007 and 2008 and the barren wasteland that Huntington took over and I cringe at the thought. Can you think of any system ever being worse than the Pirates franchise of that time period. Aside from McCutchen and Neil Walker, BRAD LINCOLN was their best prospect, unless I’m forgetting someone.

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Funny thing is, those Pirates lists also included one Steve Pearce!

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: Those were bad, but, McCutchen. There have been some other bad ones recently. The Brewers drained themselves. The Angels got bad quick after Trout got promoted and they traded for Greinke. The White Sox have only recently begun adding talent to the system after an awful trough

10:08
Comment From mdp
heyman has bruce as a target for the jays. he was bad last year, even considering micro level batted ball/plate discipline stuff. do you peg him to bounce back? what type of offer would the reds entertain?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: I think the line with Bruce is that he never quite found his mechanics after getting hurt. Tried to play hurt, didnt’ work, and messed up his own timing. You have to expect that he’ll bounce back but he’s not bringing back what he would’ve a year ago because teams don’t know for sure that Bruce will recover

10:10
Comment From Mooking for Love
Assuming they trade Cespedes, how is Betts not the #1 OF option (not counting having to find a spot for Hanley)? I don’t see how he’s not far and away a better option to start than Vic or Craig, especially in a lineup with no other great leadoff options.

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell if you’re forgetting Castillo or not, but as recently as 2013 Victorino was practically a six-win player. The Red Sox are going to give him an opportunity to bounce back from injury, but Betts would find time in between. Guys always need days off, and sometimes guys get hurt

10:11
Comment From Snarfle
I don’t know what their scouts think of him, but it’s frustrating having young talent at a position of need on the open market and feeling like the Mets have zero chance of signing Tomas. “Sorry that the corrupt owners got involved with a more corrupt investor” doesn’t quite do it for me.

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of teams are backing off of Tomas because they question his defense and physical shape. So there are good reasons to be skeptical of him too

10:12
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Now it is skipping questions and posting them later out of order.

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: son of a god damn

10:12
Comment From KB
Realistic best case scenario for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015?

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: World Series championship?

10:13
Comment From KB
Is “Yankees” Curtis Granderson a good comp for George Springer?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: Somewhat statistically, but not really in terms of actual skills. Springer is an extreme representation of a more familiar skillset, in that he swings at 125% every single time and therefore generates unbelievable raw power. Granderson never matched Springer’s strength, but Springer may never strike out less than 30% of the time

10:15
Comment From Ember
What do you see the Yankees doing at SS? Do they sign someone like Drew, or trade for someone like Rollins? Not many great options available to them.

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: They should get Miller

10:15
Comment From Josh Bresser
What do you think the Reds’ outlook for 2015 is?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: fourth or fifth place

10:16
Comment From SteveV
How much has Profar’s star faded?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Some, obviously, but less than you’d think. A year lost to injury is better than a year lost to underperformance, in some ways, and he’s still younger than, say, Carlos Rodon

10:17
Comment From J
Do you have a favorite NL team? Rockies?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: if I had to pick one maybe it’s the Padres, but I’ve never had to pick one

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: it is not the Rockies

10:18
Comment From Tom
How certain are teams on player ages now? Are teams 100% sure that the listed birthdays for Sandoval and Ramirez are accurate? Or is there still some doubt with players from certain countries?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: They’re certain

10:18
Comment From Jay
I see how adding two good hitters helps the Red Sox but assuming they are working within a budget, why not put the Hanley money toward a good starting pitcher or two. I guess I’m not convinced that Hram makes them much better given their internal alternative but the same probably isnt true for their starting pitching.

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: When the offseason is over, the Red Sox will have added a good starting pitcher or two. Things make less sense in the middle than they do at the end. Instead of putting all the Hanley money towards a starter, they’ll trade an outfielder for a starter now that they have a new outfielder. It’s also possible none of the good starters want to sign for 4-5 years

10:19
Comment From seer
When will we have year-round baseball?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: We do. It’s just in a lot of different places

10:20
Comment From SteveV
If a add up the WAR of each player on a 25 man roster, will I come up with total team WAR?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Team WAR is cumulative. It would be easier to just look at the page with team WAR on it

10:22
Comment From ar
if the phillies offered to pay hamels’ entire salary, what’s a fair return from the red sox?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts + Betts

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: maybe another smaller piece too

10:23
Comment From RK
the answers to the questions are getting posted out of order

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: God do I ever hate Cover It Live

10:23
Comment From Houzer
Who hangs up first …. Price for Bogaerts?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:24
Comment From chilton
What’s with the constant concern for “blocking” players? If a player’s good enough, he’ll get in the lineup and you’ll have depth or trade assets. If he’s not, he’s not, and you have insurance for that contingency. Obvi don’t want to do that instead of bolstering somewhere else, but discussions of “blocking” aren’t usu motivated by the opportunity cost of relying on the prospect alone and getting better elsewhere.

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s an exaggerated concern. It’s a real one sometimes, but it’s seldom a huge problem. You can move a guy’s position, or you can move a guy for a roughly equivalent guy somewhere else. Even in the case where the Mariners completely blocked Nick Franklin with Robinson Cano, they eventually turned Franklin into a center fielder, which they needed. No more blockage!

10:26
Comment From harmony
Given each team’s interests, which Cincinnati starter is Boston outfielder Yoenis Cespedes most likely to land for one year: Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake or Alfredo Simon?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Latos

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox would want Cueto the most, obviously, but the Reds know that

10:26
Comment From Guest
Any chance Hanley plays 3rd and Pablo plays 1st in a season or 2?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: doubtful

10:26
Comment From jocephus
who would you rather have in LF…manny or hanley

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Hanley

10:27
Comment From Matt
Just read Colin O’Keefe’s tweet about a Kuma/Saunders for Cespedes/Napoli trade proposal. Have to say I’m a fan of that Idea. Although it would still leave M’s with holes to plug in SP and Backup OF, it gives them the righty thump they are looking for and doesn’t tie any long term expenditures to the M’s.

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: The annoying bit being that the Red Sox aren’t looking to move an outfielder for an outfielder. They don’t have a use for Saunders, so he should be flipped elsewhere

10:28
Comment From Guest
Are the Orioles stuck in basically the same position as the Reds?

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Better position. Orioles have some more talent, plus they’re magic

10:29
Comment From Mike
What is the chance we look back in 2 years are see that the Red Sox Sandoval and Ramirez signings as shrewd? The free agent market is pretty barren at INF in the next 2-3 years and salary inflation is likely to increase given that fact and that more teams are flush with cash.

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: We adjust for inflation when we evaluate these things. I don’t think the signings are going to look shrewd. I think there’s a pretty good chance they look fine

10:29
Comment From Houzer
can Anthony Gose surpass the usefulness of Austin Jackson in the next 2 years?

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: How much do you believe in Jackson’s collapse in last year’s second half?

10:30
Comment From adam
who wins the NL MVP next season

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: McCutchen

10:30
Comment From Reptar
People exaggerate the extent to which a contract or two can cripple a ballclub? Dan Uggla and BJ Upton agree.

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: Last year Upton was about 10% of the Braves’ payroll. It’s obviously a problem, but it’s pretty much never the biggest problem. And Upton is the disaster scenario. Almost no free-agent contracts turn out *this* bad

10:31
Comment From BBBQ
But doesn’t Lester’s agent realize that Boras is using Lester as a bargaining chip? Why doesn’t Lester’s agent sit back and wait?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Lester wants a decision sooner. Maybe Lester wants to have the biggest possible market.

10:32
Comment From Guest
For the Angels, do you see the difference in them making the playoffs or not coming down to how well Garrett Richards performs relative to his 2014 performace?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I believe in Richards. Might have more to do with how much Matt Shoemaker sustains from his breakthrough campaign

10:33
Comment From David
Philly expected two or more top prospects back from Boston are cray cray right? IF option 1 is trade Betts/Bogearts for Hamels and his contract or Option B) Trade Betts OR Bogaerts for J. Zimmermann let him walk at the end of the year – pick up a QO. Sign Samardjza or Cueto or Iwakuma or Fister or etc..for 5/85 mil – this equals relatively the same cost as Hamels and more WAR…and keeping betts.

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: You don’t move Betts/Bogaerts for Hamels, and you don’t move Betts or Bogaerts for one year of Zimmermann

10:33
Comment From PDX4LIFE
When will Portland get it’s own baseball team, and what will they be called

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be a while, and, the Swifts

10:34
Comment From Doug
Does Amaro think Hamels is the only good pitcher on the trade market?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Sees Hamels as the best pitcher on the trade market. Believes the long-term security adds value

10:35
Comment From More deep thoughts
Last week, Kim Kardashian broke the internet, and the remnants of the week before’s hot new thing parodied it (Smarf posing). Now, we don’t care about either. At least the viral topic of the moment has some heft, but call me when that actually accomplishes something/we don’t just move on to some inane video next week and forget about justice.

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: what the hell is Smarf?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Everything popular on the internet is stupid. Meaningful life is lived away from computers.

10:36
Comment From J
Best career: injury free Brandon Webb, Troy Tulowitzki, or Grady Sizemore?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Ooooh. Tulo? Tough one.

10:36
Comment From Mike
What needs to happen for the White Sox to make the playoffs in 2016?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Healthy Sale, healthy Quintana, impressive Rodon, Abreu stability, gains from Eaton. Also, there are other contributors who aren’t on the roster yet

10:37
Comment From Mike
Buster Posey to 3B?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: He’s still a good catcher

10:38
Comment From BX
The Sean Nolin for John Jaso rumors that have been floating around. Who comes out on top if that trade were to happen one for one?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: The A’s would come out on top there, because Jaso has one year left and who knows how he’s going to recover from the concussion problems?

10:39
Comment From Jim
I’ve actually been reading a lot of fans comments who say Pedro is NOT a 1st ballot HOFer and maybe not a HOFer at all. Am I in Bizzaro World?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Change your reading habits

10:39
Comment From MK
Do you think the Nats trade J Zimmermann and what are some reasonable deals?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: I think they move him for a worse player who is under control for longer. They’re trying to get away from having so many contracts end after 2015

10:39
Comment From MK
What do you think the best option is for the Nats 2B vacancy?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe something they get for Zimmermann. Perhaps it’s Jed Lowrie, which is an idea I won’t let myself abandon

10:40
Comment From john
So, Red Sox signed HanRam and Panda for less (or close) to what was expected. Is it because of the Red Sox? Say the Mets were willing to sign HanRam, would he have done that for 4-88? Mets desperately needed a SS more than the sox

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Hanley Ramirez isn’t a shortstop

10:40
Comment From strong sad
sad teams of recent vintage: the Reds (good but never close to WS, window of contention closing), the Jays (probably at last gasp with this crew that never quite got it together), the Padres (really just hopelessly bad despite all attempts to the contrary), Tigers (so close so often but never sealing the deal), or Rangers (about as close as you can get to a first WS title, and then nope)

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: The Rangers kill me for how close they’ve gotten

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: The Padres are a different kind of pain

10:41
Comment From Michael
So after signing HanRam and Panda, Boston will be paying Craig a coupla million to sit on the bench, whereas St. Louis will be paying John Lackey peanuts to be a solid #2 starter. Worst trade of the year?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox like Joe Kelly, who was the actual get in that move

10:42
Comment From Guest
Why didnt you write the Seager piece for fg?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: I was working on something else, and Dave wasn’t

10:42
Comment From ar
so then… should the phillies offer to pay hamels’ whole salary?

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: I absolutely think the Phillies should use this chance to buy prospects. The money doesn’t mean much to them. The prospects could change their whole trajectory. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this settles at Hamels + money for a big return. Seems like the most convenient compromise

10:44
Comment From Guest
Any Chance the M’s get Cespedes and Vic from the sox for Iwakuma +?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes and Napoli might be more likely

10:44
Comment From Alex
Is there any validity to the thought that by signing both Sandoval and Hanley before moving some of their other pieces, the Sox will have less negotiating power in trading these other pieces? Seems like other teams can now say: if you don’t meet our asking price, we know you’re going to be stuck with like 8 outfielders

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Nah. All you need is demand. Other teams don’t have leverage by saying that the Red Sox are stuck, because lots of teams would want a Yoenis Cespedes. They’re competing against one another, and if one draws a line in the sand to try to trap the Red Sox, the Sox would just look elsewhere

10:45
Comment From Prich
Thoughts on the Seager extension?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: I like it. I like him!

10:45
Comment From Guest
Would you rather see the mariners get gattis and j-up or cespedes and napoli?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: The former, because they’re better and Gattis isn’t a free agent in a year. But that would also cost more to receive

10:46
Comment From Prich
Jackie Bradley Jr for Latos, who says no?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Reds say no to that, although it’s not unreasonable. They probably don’t need another good defensive CF with all kinds of hitting questions

10:47
Comment From Gila Monster
Is there something we don’t know about Headley. We all identify him at a value because he was 90% the hitter as Sandoval and a better defender. But teams don’t seem to want him. I mean you know something is wrong when the Padres were offer 6/$100M+ for Sandoval but had not interest in talking to Headley

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: Headley’s older, and teams like Sandoval’s contact skills. Headley is going to get his money sometime soon, but you can see why one would be preferred over the other

10:48
Comment From Michael
Does Amaro think? Like, at all?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: He’s not an idiot. He’s just stubborn

10:49
Comment From Guest
Is Headley really only going to sign for 4 years ~50-60 mil? Seems like a steal to me?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: I could see 4/65 or so. Would be similar to the Sandoval contract when you factor in their respective ages

10:49
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Where does Lester end up? In your opinion? and why?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Honestly it just feels like Boston. I expect something soon. I don’t have an insider-y source on this, it just has that feeling of inevitability.

10:50
Comment From Guest
Is Randy Johnson and Pedro unanimous first ballot HoFers? Both were stupidly good.

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: I mean, they obviously should be

10:50
Comment From Yo-Yo
Do you buy the Cards being in on Lester and Scherzer? The biggest contract from outside their team they’ve given is $53 million for Peralta. Are they pushing in most, if not all, their chips for 2015?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I buy their interest. I don’t buy them getting either pitcher. I think they end up trading Bourjos+ for a decent arm

10:51
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Sandoval seems like a very bad signing as of right now (I know we will only know based on on-field perfromance in like3-4 years..BUT). With all the data available and that showed in the article, why do you think the Red Sox pulled the trigger?

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Sandoval’s good, he’s not old, he hits from both sides, he’s popular, he’s performed in pressure-packed situations, he makes contact a lot, and the Red Sox have an enormous budget.

10:52
Comment From Michael
So is there any reason why I should like Joe Kelly too? Because I don’t…

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s a scouting thing more than a statistical thing. Statistically, Kelly isn’t real special, but I think he’s a tweak away from looking like a #2. No guarantee he gets there, of course, but he has a tailing sinker at 95 as a starter. It’s a good starting point

10:53
Comment From Snarfle
Do you ever struggle with procrastination?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: Every day

10:54
Comment From Houzer
Are the Tigers missing a golden opportunity if they don’t re-sign Scherzer and trade David Price? They could really use a young high upside positional player under team control. Profar? Schoop? Bogaerts?

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: The Rays traded David Price for Smyly/Franklin/(low prospect) when there were two playoff races remaining. Now Price is less valuable, so he’d get less of a return. Which means no Profar, no Bogaerts…

10:56
Comment From Happy Fun Ball
What would you think about swapping Taylor or Miller from SEA, with Souza or Taylor in WAS ? A smaller deal, for sure, but addresses needs for both teams

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea

10:56
Comment From J
Why are your chats always longer than the others? You like us more?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: I hit a groove after the first hour or so, and this also lets me do work while putting off doing other work

10:57
Comment From Guest
Wouldn’t you start Castillo in AAA? And have an opening day OF of HanRam,Betts, and Victorino? Because if Victorino is health, you have a problem where you don’t have a spot of Castillo.

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: I think you just have a rotation with Castillo, Victorino, Ramirez, and Betts. And then when somebody gets hurt or underperforms, problem solved

10:58
Comment From Chris
Do you think the Phillies could (or should) throw in an extra piece into a Hamels+cash for X deal? Say, Asche or Brown (if only to be rid of him). Or would the Red Sox consider that a deal breaker?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know what the Red Sox would do with those guys

10:58
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
how much further ahead are team analytics compared to what we see here on FG and other sites?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Ahead, but by less than you might think. They have access to more information, but seldom does that information meaningfully change the way a player might be evaluated

10:59
Comment From harmony
Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano — who posted fWAR of 6.2, 5.5 and 5.2 this year — each remain under team control for at least six seasons. Given their young lineup (and young pitching staff) do the Seattle Mariners have one of baseball’s widest windows for contention?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Hard to trust pitchers, and Cano is 32. They’re definitely more than a one- or two-year thing, but I’d trust a team with a stronger system more

11:00
Comment From Josh Bresser
Is Walt Jocketty a top 5 worst GM in baseball?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but I don’t really rank GMs.

11:00
Comment From Nate
Tell someone this is broken. Unreadable. We see 3 or four user questions in a row, then try to decipher which of your answers goes with which question. (Assuming you’re not actually publishing in that order.) Not your fault, but maybe you guys should get your money back?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Ugh. I hate this software so much.

11:01
Comment From Michael
Isn’t RAJ just setting himself up for a PR disaster by publicly demanding 3 top prospects for Hamels? Won’t the phans be vastly disappointed when they see the actual return, assuming RAJ even manages to trade Hamels at all?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Amaro can solve it by throwing in money to pay for some of Hamels’ contract. Then the team can get a good return, and the fans generally don’t care about money going the other direction to balance things out.

11:01
Comment From _David_
Isn’t $18M for Seager what an average player will be paid in 3-7 years? Seems like he’d still be above that age 30-33.

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Eventually he’ll get worse and he’s probably only some seasons away from looking vaguely average. Maybe he loses some of his power, maybe his defense regresses. He’s not a surefire long-term superstar

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully he’s not being paid like one

11:03
Comment From Josh Bresser
What do you think a healthy Joey Votto’s likely ceiling is for 2015?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: The last version of a healthy Joey Votto

11:03
Comment From Matt
Wasn’t the marginal value of upgrading the OF for the Red Sox significantly less than upgrading the rotation with a lesser player? People will say it doesn’t matter because they will fill pitching needs, but it seems the marginal value would be greater in upgrading the rotation until you replace all but Kelly and Buccholz.

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: They’ll get there. They just aren’t going in the expected order of things. They have a lot of value left to gain by adding to the staff and kicking out the mediocre bits

11:04
Comment From Michael
Is the value of pitch framing lower than what numbers from BP and co. suggest or are teams just completely unwilling to pay for it for some other reason?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Teams don’t like to pay for it because the perception is that there’s a high pitch-framing replacement level, and teams don’t quite trust that it’s a long-term skill as MLB becomes more aware of it. Teams value framing — otherwise they wouldn’t be teaching it — but a strong market hasn’t developed because there aren’t a lot of guys who are good hitters *and* receivers

11:07
Comment From Alex
Mets send: Jacob deGrom, Kevin Plawecki, and Daniel Murphy. Rockies send: Troy Tulowitzki . Who says no? What’s added to each side? Do you think the Mets try to push for Tulo?

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: Rockies say no to that

11:07
Comment From Michael
If the solution for Amaro is to throw in money… why are the Red Sox considered the most likely partner? Don’t they have enough money that they don’t need to sell their prospects?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: The money would allow for Hamels to cost less against the luxury tax. The Red Sox don’t want to exceed the luxury tax

11:08
Comment From gump
saw an article a while back about the gap between AAA and the majors being bigger than ever (bohaerts/polanco/profar all struggling). just a one year blip or a real thing? how does it affect aging curves?

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s a legitimate concern. I don’t know what it might do to aging curves, but it would force people to reduce their expectations for top prospects on the rise.

11:09
Comment From Tony
Rumor just started flying around the Cubs have offered Lester 6 years and north of $135 Million. How much higher will his future contract go from that?

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: Not much higher. That should be just about enough to get it done

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you end up with an option, but that right there seems fair

11:09
Comment From David
Name one current player that currently blows – that would have been amazing in the 1920s

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: All of them

11:10
Comment From Sweet Lou
How smart/foolish would it be for the Mariners to hang on to both Taylor/Miller and try to develop Miller into a Ben Zobrist-type?

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: That wouldn’t be foolish

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get going. The queue is clear!

11:10

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 — 11/25/14 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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Release the Quackenbush
Guest
Release the Quackenbush

Whatever this new chat format it, it is terrible. Not possible to scroll back to the beginning of the chat. Wtf

Release the Quackenbush
Guest
Release the Quackenbush

Ok, much better on a PC. Definitely not iPhone friendly though…

Release the Quackenbush
Guest
Release the Quackenbush

I lied. Still sucks