Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/4/16

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to offseason Friday baseball chat

9:07
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: You are always so prompt!

9:07
CamdenWarehouse: How does game 7 fit into the lessons about reliever usage in postseason?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Game 7 was the first time the relievers looked particularly gassed, which is interesting — especially so given that you’d think adrenaline would be at a total maximum

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Chapman, obviously, needlessly pitched in Game 6. There was a time or two when Miller pitched in a similar situation. I think both Maddon and Francona found the limits of how far those elite relievers could be pushed

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Down the road, you’re going to see the best relievers used more, almost without question. But they won’t be used *that* much, because we just saw real downside at the worst possible time

9:08
EbenezerBatflip: Hark, a new day has dawned

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: A new day, with so much less site traffic!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: When I saw the Cameron Maybin news I got unreasonably excited.

9:09
Buck Saltwater: Is it crazy to think that Ruiz is actually worth 4.5M?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly that’s barely anything these days. Like half a win on the free-agent market. Ruiz deserves that money as a 70-game player or something

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers would happily pay him that if it weren’t for Austin Barnes.

9:11
J: How worried would you be about Chapman’s decline? Intuitively it feels like he would age poorly but he’s an extreme case.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: When Chapman debuted, he threw 100. This past season, he threw 100. He clearly won’t be throwing 100 forever but he remains a freak

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: When I’ve done analysis before, I’ve found that Chapman hasn’t really suffered very much when he’s worked at lower velocity. So he can afford to lose a few ticks — that high fastball will remain a weapon. But of course, the more he loses, the more he needs to locate. Location isn’t a strength of his

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: You wonder if teams will look at Mark Melancon and see a guy they think might age more gracefully

9:14
EbenezerBatflip: So I was good friends with my boss but then I got promoted and now my boss is a jerk to me. Should I quit or accept being abused by my jerk boss?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: There is a third option

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Even a fourth!

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: 3) ignore him
4) be a jerk back

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I guess the third option reads a lot like your second option. So maybe there are only three. I recommend generally accepting the behavior and, every so often, just occasionally, pushing back for the hell of it. Spice up your life

9:15
britishcub: i saw the list of 139 free agents and by my count about 70 sucked is that harsh or is it a really bad class (i classified retirees as sucking as they will provide nothing)

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Most of the annual list of free agents always sucks. The real problem with this class isn’t at the bottom — it’s with the top. Not much in the way of elites, although that’s partially saved by the free agency of three of the game’s best relievers

9:17
mike: has anyone recently looked at what each team’s local TV deals are worth? With the Blue Jay view numbers averaging over 1.1million per game, you have to think they are easily top 5 however Rogers owns both the team and the broadcaster. Because of this success I hope the jays payroll will be over $160mil and they can find a way to keep EE and improve their OF – any thoughts?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Pulling from Cot’s, the last three years the Jays have had opening day payrolls around $137m, $126m, and $137m again. Expecting $160m+ would be a push, and I suspect that sort of leap is uncommon, but I’d like to at least see them get to $150m. God knows they can afford it

9:19
Brett W: Can a .500 true-talent 2016 team even compete in 2017 without emptying the farm or extraordinary internal improvements? Marlins, White Sox, Pirates others seem to have very limited good choices now due to lack of a viable free agent market.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins unfortunately find themselves in a…unique circumstance. I might never be able to bring myself to really discuss the consequences of Fernandez’s accident but you don’t need my assistance there

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the good news, if you want to call it that: even the Rangers look like they were about a .500 true-talent team in 2016. They won the most games in the American League

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: If you project to win 81 or 82 games, you don’t need a miracle to win 88. It’s not the strongest plan in the world, but none of those average teams needs to go crazy

9:22
J: Are we about to see teams focus more on building top heavy pitching staffs?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Not in the offseason — you need that depth for six months, specifically so that the top guys don’t end up overworked

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: You could see an emphasis on teams “doubling up” — adding an elite reliever when they already have another one

9:24
Jeremy: What would Joe Mauer have to do in the rest of his career to make the HOF? Amazing peak years but doesn’t seem to have the career numbers yet.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: He needs to have at least like five more average seasons. And he turns 34 in the middle of April. It’s not impossible, but Mauer is a Cooperstown long shot

9:26
Ed in Iowa: Having watched 130 Cub games this year all I can say is…. Phew!!! That was very satisfying!
My question: In thinking about the Cubs offseason plans I got to wondering whether the Orioles are ‘win now’ or whether they might entertain offers for Zach Britton. What do you think?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Britton has two more years of control, but he’s about to get very expensive. I definitely wouldn’t be shocked if the Orioles asked around, since they already have Givens and Brach. The only trouble for them is Melancon/Chapman/Jansen already being available for money

9:27
5 Run Homer: The names of Joel Hanrahan and Josh Johnson have both jumped into my head in the past day. No comment, but remember them?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Johnson is almost 33, but in my head he’s still a 26-year-old. Like Rich Harden. In my imagination, Rich Harden never grows old

9:28
Dock Ellis: Did I miss anything on Wednesday?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of people have been calling that the best Game 7 ever. I remain unconvinced, but I don’t know the numbers on Rajai Davis/Aroldis Chapman vs. Tony Womack/Mariano Rivera

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I also don’t know how much to factor in the Cubs adjustment. What does them being the Cubs add to the entertainment value? Something, obviously, but to what extent?!

9:30
Barnard: In light of Rich Hill becoming an absolute force as a starting pitcher, do you think the Indians (or any future team he plays for) will attempt to convert Andrew Miller back into a starter?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 31 and there’s too much to lose. He’s plenty valuable the way that he is

9:30
Minty: Do you trust Heyward or Baez more to make the adjustments to become more consistent offensively?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward, because he’s been actually good before

9:30
Brett W: Cubs should trade Arrieta, Hammel, both, or neither?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: They can trade Hammel if they want. Don’t see much of a point to trading Arrieta

9:31
Jobu: Is it time to rosterbate?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s never been more that time

9:32
Santa Monica: Highest priority for LAD: Jansen or Turner? Where does LAD go if they don’t go Jansen? Internal or External?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: My gut tells me Jansen, just because he’s three years younger. If they miss on him, I think they go external and try to add a couple guys

9:32
Bryan: You’re Theo Epstein after his month-long bender. What’s your first big move to get the Cubs repeat?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Very, very genuinely, I wonder now what would be Epstein’s motivation

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Like, he’s already checked off two of baseball’s very greatest career accomplishments. He is 42 years old

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the motivation is to try to build a dynasty? Maybe each season is enough motivation on its own? I can’t relate to what he’s pulled off.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The good news, clearly, is that the Cubs already have an incredible foundation. First thing to do, perhaps, is to fill the Chapman slot with a different great reliever

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: And then you hire whoever you have to hire to get into Jason Heyward’s head and make him not suck anymore

9:36
BK: Given his height and solid bat, could Neil Walker be realistically pursued as a 1B by a team who has a long term 2B? I have Toronto (Devon Travis) in mind.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You could see that, especially given the concerns with his back. He is 31 years old. But he also just had a pretty good year at 2B so I imagine that would be his preference

9:39
DN: In Dave’s trade value series how would you compare values? For instance, is someone around 10 worth two in the 30 range?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s test. Would you trade…Paul Goldschmidt for Starling Marte and George Springer?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: That feels too lopsided for the second team.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: It might be that a 10 is worth two…50s, or thereabouts. But in truth you basically have to work out the projected surplus values to find a rough equivalency

9:41
Dock Ellis: MLB has to capitalize on the World Series right? The NFL is on a sharp decline. If they do non-stop promos of the 2016 playoffs, it has to get people excited right?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Problem: excited about what? MLB has nothing to offer for the next five months

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: The World Series spoke for itself. It’s not like people don’t know about baseball. I don’t think the game has to market the playoffs; I think the game has to market its elite young talent

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Market Bryant. Market Rizzo. Market Lindor. Make people love these players. They are ever so lovable

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Francisco Lindor should — *should* — be a superstar in 2017, in the truest sense of the word. He probably will not be

9:43
Guest: Assuming he was a free agent, and would simply go with the highest bidder, what is Theo’s open market price right now?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: What did the Cubs just give him, something like 5 years and $50m+?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe he’d get a few more million per year on the market. But it can’t be overstated that Epstein didn’t just build the Cubs by himself

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: His support staff is phenomenal. A front office is dozens of people, not one GM or president of baseball operations

9:45
Erik: Isn’t the narrative that Chapman was gassed a little overblown? Wasn’t the pitch that Davis hit out something like 99 on the outside corner?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I looked at this yesterday just for fun — at one point Wednesday, Chapman had a 15-pitch sequence during which he threw only three fastballs. He’d never done that before as a big-leaguer

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: He was gassed. Even a gassed Chapman still throws hard, but not *as* hard, and not to the same spots. He wasn’t keeping his fastball up, like he likes

9:46
Bobby Blownilla: In your opinion, what are the Mets biggest needs besides health?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I guess it would be depth, because they’re unlikely to have health

9:46
Santa Monica: Do teams have internal metrics to measure fatigue?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Now, I can’t promise they’re *good*

9:47
GSon: Can the “hybrid” use of a closer be applied to other spots.. example: relievers playing outfield.. Utility IF’ers as set up guys, etc.. I’m sure MadBum would approve..

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I saw the other day that Christian Bethancourt was clocked around 97 miles per hour

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: A reliever/third catcher could be pretty useful

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely want to see more of pitchers playing in the outfield. Such a neat way around platoon problems. Can’t learn a changeup? Learn to play a corner!

9:49
Dom: If Otani put up the same numbers here as he has in Japan (hypothetically) playing two positions, would he be the best player of all time? I imagine the WAR accumulation would be ridiculous

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s try some sloppy math

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Full season as, say, Noah Syndergaard on the mound. 7 WAR

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: But also a great hitter for a pitcher. 2 WAR

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Rest of the time as a David Ortiz-level DH. 4 WAR

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s a 13-win player. Which is absurd! Now, I did screw up there, because he can’t be a DH *and* a great hitter for a pitcher. That doesn’t make sense in either league

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: If he DH’d in the American League, he wouldn’t get the bonus for being a good-hitting pitcher. If he were in the National League, he’d have to learn a position. But keep him around 4 WAR for that and, yeah

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: The worst thing about Otani is that, when he does eventually come over, there’s no way he’s going to be what we imagine

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: He could be an absolute superstar and still he won’t revolutionize the game or be something we haven’t seen

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s our own fault, not his

9:56
Joe, Esq.: Do you know the Mystery Team for August? Will he divulge said team? Will he ever be heard from again? Why is a pair of pants called a pair of pants, sure it has two holes for your legs, but you don’t call a skirt a sole pant.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, we know where he’s going. I’m not actually sure why it’s private — we know where most people have gone. It’s no secret where Kiley is.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: August might find his way back into the public sphere. Depends on his experience! But he has loved being a writer. It tore him up to make this decision

10:00
HappyFunBall: Greetings Jeff, enjoyed “watching” the game with you wednesday night! Question: Which team current hold the futility belt? Everyone seems to say Cleveland, from 1948, but I’d like to propose the Washington Nationals. As a corporate entity they’ve never even been (Expos began in 1969), but as a “Washington baseball club”, the old Senators last won the World Series in 1924. As far as droughts go that’s not as bad as the Cubs, but is more than what Boston endured. The fact that there wasn’t even a team in DC for 30 years in the middle of it only makes it worse!

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’m counting, what is it, 50 years of MLB in Washington without winning a pennant? Spanning three separate organizations

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, yeah, all that time without a team to root for at all

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners are up next at 40 years without a pennant — never been to the World Series in their history

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: So it depends on how you value being in the World Series against winning the World Series. And also how you account for teams coming and going through DC over the decades

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians drought is the easiest to identify. DC makes it all annoying and complicated

10:03
Dustin: Let’s get to the real, important issues, Jeff. Best kind of M&M’s … whatcha got?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: peanut butter

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: somehow they manage to beat Reese’s Pieces at their own game

10:04
Outside Animals: Ruiz a good fit for the Mariners?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, probably, although they do like Sucre. But Ruiz is better than him

10:05
DTH: Theo’s Red Sox core won 3 WS in 10 years, will this Cubs core beat that mark?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Ehh, probably not. We had their preseason odds at 18%. That would work out to two championships over 10 repeat seasons. I know they just won one but competition is going to be stiff. It’s harder than ever to build something consistently great

10:07
Pessimistic White Sox Fan: I feel like a POW behind enemy lines. Give me a reason to be excited about the White Sox in 4 years. Sale/Quintana won’t be as good probably. No decent young position players outside of Anderson. I need a drink.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Four years ago, two of the very worst teams in baseball were the Astros and the Cubs

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros’ best players were Jason Castro, Jarred Cosart, and Matt Dominguez. The Cubs’ best player was Travis Wood

10:09
Tacos: Who get the bigger contract: Jansen or Chapman?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Chapman, because no QO

10:09
db: Chapman was obviously gassed, yes. But with other G7 pitchers (Kluber, Miller, Lester, Allen, Shaw), we’ve also got the added familiarity of 3rd+ time seen, along with fatigue right? Is that less important in why they struggled more?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: No evidence out there to show that familiarity matters within a series

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Allen was good. Lester was pretty good

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Lindbergh wrote recently about how there’s no observable familiarity effect

10:12
Game 7: Albies, inciarte, Newcomb for Quintana and Brett Lawrie?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Even though Quintana is better than Inciarte, the gap isn’t huge, and Albies and Newcomb are too important to what the Braves think they might be doing

10:13
Chris: Jansen is tied to a draft pick, lowering his value added to any suitors. Presumably, this would impact his contract offers and cost him $$$. Any idea of how much of an impact (if any?) this would have on his offer amount?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t recall what the research has shown but I’d guess somewhere around $10m? The QO has been less of a deterrent for the elite-level free agents, which makes some sense, but clearly it doesn’t *not* matter

10:14
GSon: If the Indians decide to move Andrew Miller, would the return be more (Frazier/Sheff/Heller/Feyeresuan) than what they sent away for him?.. e.g LA Dodgers for Puig/De Leon as the center pieces?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’d top the midseason premium they paid out.

10:15
letswintwo: Chances Cubs decline Hammel’s option and move montgomery into the rotation? Or pick up hammel’s option and move him into the pen/swingman role? The Cubs will be losing SP depth after 2017 and Montgomery could provide a cheap, under control middle of roto SP

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I feel like the Cubs need to prioritize some rotation depth. So it would make sense to me to bring back Hammel, and then have Montgomery available as a sixth man

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: So, you keep Montgomery stretched out in relief

10:16
Andy: Is Chapman going to make $100 million?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t surprise me at all

10:16
Ted: Assuming Fowler leaves via FA, that leaves Schwarber, Heyward, Soler and Zobrist in the OF. Who is the odd man out?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: They could all play pretty regularly

10:17
Hal: A friend argued that baseball could supplant football as America’s biggest sport within the next 15 years, but all I could think of was that Game 7 of the NBA Finals came down to a block by the best player in the world and then a missed three-pointer by the second best player in the world. Game 7 of the World Series came down to Mike Montgomery versus Michael Martínez.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think the particular sequence in Game 7 was a feature, not a bug. But baseball does definitely suffer from two things: it’s slow, and you don’t always get to have the best players on the field

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: But for whatever it’s worth, Game 7 isn’t going to be remembered for the final out

10:18
Aha: Are Mark melancon and David Robertson the same people?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: One of them has a fresh surgical wound

10:19
Tanner: had you ever seen a mid-at-bat defensive replacement before game 7?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, but obviously I don’t keep much of a mental database

10:20
E: I am an Indians fan and was at game 7. I don’t think I can ever appreciate how good of a game that actually was. I also never want to see a highlight of it ever again.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the problem with the best games in history. Half of the people who watched will never want to hear about it

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: It’s why I kind of liked the rain delay — for those 17 minutes, everyone could appreciate the magnitude of what had taken place. Even if Cubs fans were hurting

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: For those 17 minutes, at least to me, it felt like everyone won

10:22
Erik: Which sub-.500 team will sign the most expensive free agent contract this winter?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like the Braves might do something weird

10:23
Ross: I believe I saw you mention in a previous chat that you think the Rays will definitely trade a starter in the offseason. In that case, do you think Odorizzi is the most likely guy to go? They’d be selling low on Cobb or Smyly and I’d be stunned if Archer is traded, I think it would take something absolutely ridiculous to get them to move him with five more very affordable years of team control. If so, what can they expect for Odorizzi? Can they get more for him than they did for Moore?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re going to try on Archer — he rebounded down the stretch, and he might turn out to be the best starter available this winter, depending on what the White Sox elect to do. So Archer could be the market’s premium piece. But the Rays will never ever sell someone below a certain level they’ve calculated, so if no one goes over the top for Archer, then Odorizzi, yeah, is the next in line

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: And Odorizzi is better than Moore, so that should help him

10:25
Bullpen Sausage: Do we see more 2+ relief inning stints during the 2017 regular season?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we’ll see much changing during the regular season. Too many other days to think about

10:27
JKD: Who would you be looking for among mediocre starters that even in this hyperinflated pitching market, might be a good target to become if-not-Andrew-Miller-then-at-least-Joe-Blanton?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I liked what Francisco Liriano looked like out of the bullpen

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: For some reason I wonder if Collin McHugh could be converted into a 100-inning fireman of sorts

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t thought this through very clearly

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Michael Pineda could probably be a dominant reliever if I believed he had the psychology for it

10:29
E: Will teams start to change how they use relievers in the regular season? They obviously can’t use them like in the postseason but there has to be some lesson that can applied, right?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: You’re going to see a gradual change toward the best relievers entering earlier. Putting out fires, and whatnot. Like how it used to be. You’ll probably see more tandem relievers, where the best of them isn’t necessarily the guy pitching the ninth

10:31
Kiermaier’s Percing Blue Eyes: Brad commented yesterday that well-run wealthy teams would be baseball’s next crisis. I’m inclined to agree. Is there a feasible solution? How far can revenue sharing be pushed?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’m *pretty* sure that money is currently distributed better than ever. Like, the differences between the top teams and the bottom teams are less stark than they were 20 years ago. It’s still a problem, in that there still isn’t financial parity, but it’s not at the crisis level, I don’t think

10:32
EbenezerBatflip: This would be a great chance for Otani to be the biggest fish in a terrible free agent crop, I think he could get 250M as a kid

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: His team probably wouldn’t be very happy about the $20 million they’d have to settle for

10:33
Outside Animals: Do you think there will be a point where teams start deploying SS-type players at 1B? With aggressive shifting, I think there’s a place for a rover on the right side that can cover tons of ground. Obviously, you’d need help from the pitcher to cover the base too.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of an interesting thought here — shifting might have de-emphasized the importance of range on the left side, but maybe it makes a bigger deal of range at first base?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Or maybe still no — most grounders are pulled, and the right side is generally overcrowded. So maybe range is less important than before, even there

10:35
Josh: How Will CBA negotiations affect this years free agents? Think teams have a good enough sense of luxury tax situation to make it a non issue?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: they probably have a good ballpark idea, and only a few teams would be affected there, anyway

10:36
Erik: What team adds the most payroll this off-season?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Astros?

10:38
Saluki: what kind of contract do you think Fowler is angling for? will he try to lock down something 3 yearsish like he seemed to be looking for with the orioles last year?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He just had the best year of his life, so he’s probably hoping for something like 4/$70m

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Gordon wound up at 4/$72m with what was perceived to be a hometown discount. Fowler probably erased his defensive question mark

10:39
mike: Jays can’t offer Dickey QO can they? Too big a risk he’d take it

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: He is not a $17m pitcher

10:40
JT: so whats up with the maybin trade? He wasn’t expensive and the tigers don’t have any reliable CF options. They are going to sign desmond aren’t they?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: They’re trying to get cheaper, they like JaCoby Jones, and Maybin, at his best, is probably about an average player with one year of control remaining

10:41
Optimist: Are the Twins a dozier-for-pitcher + Berrios improvement away from contending next year? They scored more runs than the Giants and Mets last year, underperformed their base-runs by a lot.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: No, they’re still bad, and trading Dozier for a pitcher isn’t a roster improvement

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: If Buxton is really turning the corner then obviously they get more interesting fast, but they have a longgggggggggg way to go

10:41
Josh: Korean hitters seem to be able to better translate their power upon going to MLB than NPB players. Any idea why that may be?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Korean players are more powerful. Power is a bigger part of the Korean game than the Japanese game

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: In Japan, the priority is still about putting the ball in play and taking shorter swings. In Korea, they’re more willing to let it fly

10:42
Stan: Does anyone test the 2016 projection systems against actual 2016 results and determine which system was the most accurate?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, you see some research on that stuff every year

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Hot tip: the projections are usually almost identical in effectiveness

10:43
E: What offseason moves do you see the Indians making?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I presume they’d like a lot more certainty in the outfield, but that’s going to depend on the outlook for Michael Brantley. I don’t know what’s going on in his shoulder. Last I heard, it wasn’t good.

10:44
JKD: Seems at least as important a lesson from the 2016 playoffs and bullpen usage is that *renting* closers/back-end arms it at least as useful, and maybe *more* useful, than buying them outright. Relievers break or fall apart all the time and if the rest of your team sucks, a good reliever is really just wasted. If you’re a team that’s projected for 88-92 wins and have a bullpen that’s fine-to-good, does it really make sense to sign Chapman for $100MM, or just sign good-enough arms and then get Zach Britton or whomever at the trade deadline. Chapman and Miller obviously cost a lot, but the Nats basically did this and got Melancon (and had also gotten Scrabble) and they were plenty good enough.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect this plays into why relievers seem to fetch the biggest deadline premiums. You can only really know in July how much a new reliever might be able to do for you down the stretch and into October

10:45
Dock Ellis: Why can’t August tell us what team he’s working for?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know! But all MLB organizations are incredibly private.

10:46
Mason: What’s your bold guess on a name that hasn’t been mentioned yet that has a real chance of being traded this offseason?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard to think of names that haven’t been mentioned. Like, even Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera have their rumors

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Joey Votto’s been mentioned…

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Carlos Martinez? Does that count?

10:48
CamdenWarehouse: The Orioles shelled out 9 figures to a 30 year old instead of a 23 year old last year. They’re still trying to win despite the lack of resources to improve the team.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Orioles could probably convince themselves they could trade Britton without giving up. But it’s one of the more confusing organizations around, in terms of its inconsistencies

10:49
Ron Fournier: Jeff, what do you think (broadly speaking) the Red Sox’ offseason plans are?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Power pitching

10:49
J: Why don’t win now teams trade all their marginal prospects that are far away without a ton of upside to fill a hole?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Because prospects that are far away and don’t have much upside are bad prospects that nobody wants

10:50
Logan Davis: Are elite relievers overvalued? Alternately, are good-not-great relievers undervalued? It seems weird that Chapman/Jansen/Melancon are about to get nine figures but a decent setup-esque guy can be had for a song.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Good setup relievers can’t be had for a song

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry about that, just lost my connection

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: The worry with the top guys is durability. Wade Davis has injury questions, Craig Kimbrel has red flags, Sean Doolittle and Greg Holland got hurt…

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: There is still some sort of elite-closer premium, but I think it’s diminishing

10:54
Three Hamburgers: Any worries about Lester going forward sans David Ross?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Only minor ones. He’s already improved himself, and Contreras will have learned Ross’ techniques from the man himself

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: If one thing is clear, it’s that Jon Lester can be an amazing pitcher even with the yips

10:56
weezy: how funny is it to go from writing about an amazing game 7 to Cameron Maybin?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: It’s actually a little bit of a relief. After Game 7, I felt like there was no way anything I could write could get a handle of it all. I can get a handle of a Cameron Maybin trade.

10:57
Aladdin Sane: Do you think a Soler + Happ + Candelario package is a meaningful offer for Quintana? The Cubs don’t need a starter right now, but Quintana plugs a long term hole the FO is constantly trying to fill and keeps Montgomery in the bullpen another season while moving away from Hammel.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: White Sox are going to want more certainty than that

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: They still can’t be sure Soler isn’t an approximation of Dayan Viciedo

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of upside there, obviously, but Soler faced one of the easiest slates of opposing pitchers in the game in 2016. He is totally unproven

10:59
Bob: Have you considered hiking the full PCT?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t know if it’s something I aspire to do. I think about it probably every month

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: One important question: I have this job that’s important in the summer

11:01
Da Bum: Do Cubs let Fowler go, assuming he gets a pretty big contract, and slide Heyward over? They don’t need more OF. They have Schwarber in LF, Soler in RF, Heyward in CF with Almora backup to RF/CF. Plus with Baez being so valuable defensively, Zobrist has to play somewhere. Any chance they move Bryant to RF predominantly, Baez at 3b and Zobrist at 2b with Schwarber back?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: If there’s one thing that’s clear about the Cubs, it’s that they like their positional versatility. I wouldn’t expect them to worry too much about regular locked in defensive spots

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: They definitely don’t need more players, though, assuming Heyward bounces back some, which I think he will

11:02
Roadhog: Who says no to Sonny Gray for Andrew McCutchen?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: A’s. They both have to bounce back, and Gray has an extra control year

11:03
StackedDeck: Does Greg Holland find a job this offseason?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: No question at all

11:03
Ant: Can Puig be what Yoenis is today?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s something like his 90th percentile projection

11:03
Urban: The rain delay likely hurt the Indians.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I think it hurt them more than it hurt the Cubs. But not to any measurable extent, and, most importantly, oh well!

11:04
End The Drought: If you were the Giants, would you have any interest in the sweepstakes for Trout, Harper, Machado, or Otani? Or will they be albatrosses, like most free agent mega deals? I miss watching the greatest player in baseball every day.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Giants are going to play at that end of the market. It’s not their style

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: You do get Buster Posey. That’s pretty nice.

11:05
E: The rain delay was not fun for non-baseball reasons in the park. They shut down all concessions after the 8th inning, I thought people were going to riot, no water, soda, etc. Luckily after about 10 minutes they opened some stuff back up but it was tense.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I know where you could’ve found some water

11:05
Toki: Braves do something weird…. Like give Cespedes 6 or 7 years?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’ll be THAT weird.

11:06
James: What about something like Newcomb for Odorizzi?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Newcomb probably wouldn’t appeal to the Rays

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays are numbers-driven, and Newcomb’s numbers are marginal

11:07
Dumpster Fiers: Odorizzi to Tex for Gallo

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Now we’re talking!

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Going to be interesting to see what happens with Gallo this winter. He could be lined up for a regular spot in Texas, but the Rangers seemed to indicate down the stretch they don’t trust him a lot

11:07
weezy: does making the WS and having some extra revenue change the Indians offseason plan from what they would have done a month ago?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, now they’ve got some extra tens of millions. That’s more important to them than the extra revenue is to the Cubs, relatively speaking

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, the general plan is probably still the same, but they can just go a little higher with their investments

11:08
Nick S: I think it would be wise for teams with clear postseason aspirations to use their closer a few times during the regular season for more than 1 inning, especially if they are rested with an upcoming day off. They need to break closers from the “1 inning in the 9th and only with the lead” mindset.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a conversation more teams will be having

11:08
Logan: Does Atlanta acquiring James Shields make some sense? Veteran Innings Eater, likely won’t cost much at all.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is he’s bad

11:08
Guest: how many more years until postseason baseball no longer resembles regular season baseball?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Arguably zero?

11:08
Um: Francisco Liriano was very bad for the Pirates, and then very good for the Blue Jays. Just SSS?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Some of that. But also worth remembering that Ray Searage isn’t the only coach in the world who can make a guy better

11:09
Alex: Ender, Albies, Newcomb, and Touki to LA for Urias?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea but LA wouldn’t do that. Not enough upside, I don’t think — Urias, they believe, can and will be an ace

11:10
Dock Ellis: How well do you think Steve Bartman will sleep this weekend?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not very well unless he puts his phone on silent

11:10
Miky: Hi Jeff, is it possible the A’s will trade for McCutchen? If so, what would it take?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I see them more in the Inciarte pool. McCutchen would be a big get for them but I don’t think it would work to their benefit to deplete some resources for a two-year player

11:11
Snarfle: How many wins would you project current roster Braves and Phillies for?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: 70?

11:12
RaysFan#1: What do you think of something like Archer heading to Atlanta, maybe we could get Swanson and Allard? They have Albies to replace Dansby?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: This trade idea holds much appeal to me

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Fascinating to think about — the Braves lose a year of control going from Swanson to Archer, but Archer is also locked in at some incredible prices

11:13
Dock Ellis: Do you have an opinion on the international draft that’s coming?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Not a very informed one. This isn’t my area of expertise. I’d like to be smarter but it’s a work in progress. In the meantime, talk to Dave!

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: And/or Eric.

11:14
Robin: What’s the most interesting story on your notepad that you didn’t write up this season?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I just about exhausted every idea I had — I’m not in position to let an idea go to waste. I think I was going to try to write something historic about Billy Hamilton right before he got hurt

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: But that could be re-visited in the offseason

11:15
Andrew: Astros have huge holes in the OF. Assume they don’t sign Cespedes…does trading for J Upton make sense? (a) Detroit wants to shed payroll, (b) he’s only signed through age 34, (c) you may be buying a little low on him, and you may get him for a light prospect package if you take on the contract. He’s overpaid, but the Astros’ best players are all underpaid for the next few years.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a terrible idea, but I think the Astros want to get more left-handed, and they’d be conscious of assuming someone else’s potential albatross. So many of their good players are cheap now, but cheap players get expensive in a hurry

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Astros might prefer to focus on shorter-term investments — Rich Hill could be perfect. Throw money at him for two guaranteed years

11:16
Ted: Since it’s been like the only move so far, what do you think of John Lamb? Were you surprised the Reds already gave up on him? Is he already hopeless?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I have to assume his medicals just suck

11:17
britishcub: odds of cba talks affecting next seasons games? 0%?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: 0.1%

11:17
Aaron: This question should be an article: “Who would you be looking for among mediocre starters that even in this hyperinflated pitching market, might be a good target to become if-not-Andrew-Miller-then-at-least-Joe-Blanton?”

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m sure that it will be!

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: And it’ll probably even be mine, now that August is gone!

11:17
Matt: Do you think Dombowski brings in a big name to fill the DH spot or a Steve Pearce type?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m hoping that this is the winter Steve Pearce finally has an active market. He should be in pretty high demand

11:18
Roadhog: Eric Thames to the A’s?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a good one, although the A’s really need some defensive improvements

11:19
tahoe willie: Who is the 2017 Mookie Betts?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: If Lindor taps into more power, he could become the best player in baseball

11:20
Nick: What is “crisis level” financially for you? The Cubs payroll was almost double that of the Indians, if I remember correctly.

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: And that’s not good! But a decade ago, the Yankees spent almost eight times as much as the (Devil) Rays. This year, the Dodgers spent less than four times as much as the Astros

11:21
John: Cleveland just announced that Brantley is expected to resume baseball activities in December and be ready for spring training.

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: That’s obviously huge for them, if his shoulder is back close to 100%. He’s one of the better outfielders in the game when he’s going. But it’s worth wondering how much permanent damage has already been done

11:21
5 Run Homer: Does McCutchen get back on track? And where does he start the season? Pittsburgh, or somewhere else?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll be a real good player again

11:22
Jaff: What team do you think would win in a 7 game series. 2016 cubs or 05 white sox?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: The 2016 Cubs had the better Pythagorean record by 16 games.

11:22
Southi: Of the Braves outfielders whom do you think is the most likely to get traded? Kemp, Inciarte, Markakis or Smith?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Inciarte

11:23
Gabe: Mariners best chance for contention next season is _____?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t get how to answer this. Yes?

11:23
Tanner: Can you think of one sure-fire or borderline HOFer in the game today who’s largely overlooked?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like people might’ve already forgotten how good Pujols used to be

11:24
Logan Davis: To given an example: the Mariners got Joaquin Benoit for essentially just his 1/$10M contract. Really, any of the relievers the Padres have traded recently. A lot of the deadline reliever trades seemed way out of whack with the Miller/Chapman deals.

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Joaquin Benoit was already showing real signs of decline in 2015. He lost almost a quarter of his strikeouts, and his walks went up. When he was at his best, Benoit was underrated, but the Mariners didn’t get him at his best

11:25
Ant: Why aren’t elite closers starting pitchers? What stops them from being a starter? curious

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Usually, it’s either durability or lacking a third pitch

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Kenley Jansen essentially throws one pitch. It’s reasonable to question how good he’d be over six-inning stints, with his cutter also losing a couple miles per hour

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time for me to get rolling

11:26
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. Welcome to the offseason!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/4/16 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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