Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 11/6/15

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s all baseball chat

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: If you want to, that is. I understand if you’re not ready for the offseason. I’m not either. The World Series literally just ended!

9:12
Comment From Ahem.
You’re late!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Every time!

9:12
Comment From Sad Brad Miller Fan
Can you make me feel better about this, Jeff?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Well, one way to put it — if you’re specifically a Brad Miller fan, then you should be pleased he’s going to a strong organization that will return him to his natural position

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: But, it’s possible Dipoto doesn’t like Miller as a shortstop, or as an outfielder. It’s also possible Powell is a strong defender and therefore has a pretty high floor. Many of us liked Miller but he wasn’t going to be a part of a juggernaut or anything

9:15
Comment From Bork
Instead of questions on if you believe a certain player might get a QO, who would you be very surprised if they didn’t get a QO?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It was weirding me out when people were acting like Matt Wieters might not get a QO

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Wieters absolutely ought to get a QO

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Related — funny thing about Ian Kennedy potentially getting a QO: he allowed the highest OPS in baseball among qualified pitchers (.816)

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Not that that reflects his actual ability, but you can easily see how teams don’t really might the potential burden of a one-year contract

9:17
Comment From ben
A trade!!!! If this trade was made a month from now, would it be noticeable?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think so — you’ve got five major leaguers including an everyday IF/OF and a starting pitcher. It’s a trade of significance, but of course its role today is mostly symbolic. Like, hey, hope you enjoyed that break, but it’s the offseason now

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, the Giants finished off the Royals on October 29. Adam Lind was traded for Marco Estrada on November 1

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Hank Conger was traded November 5. This trade is somewhat similar in magnitude

9:20
Comment From HappyFunBall
10 minutes late, I’m assuming there’s 1,000 words coming about Nathan Karns’ imminent reign of terror?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing quite like acquiring a breaking-ball pitcher who missed the end of the season with forearm discomfort!

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Dipoto described Karns at one point as a power pitcher. That seemed generous

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Has league-average fastball velocity for a starter. But I do like Karns’ curveball, as do most people — good blend of speed and break. It’s like a slightly slower version of the McCullers curve

9:23
Comment From Ian Desmond
What team is the most realistic place I’ll call home next year?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Currently have to say Mets

9:23
Comment From jeff
Will the Blue Jays ever lose again?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Not for a few months

9:25
Comment From _David_
Did your opinion of 2041 hall of fame inductee Ketel Marte change at all during the season?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Still don’t love him, but I liked that he actually managed to walk despite being under-powered. And he hit a pretty impressive homer against…Heaney? that hinted at a bit more power potential

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Starting to see Marte as an everyday player. Kind of a classic No. 2 hitter, which means he ought to be No. 8-9 hitter

9:28
Comment From Guest
Cubs are going to make some massive moves this offseason, but they’ll moves that aren’t obvious right now. y/n/m?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Well let’s see, what’s the potentially obvious stuff? Price, Fowler, moving an infielder…

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: A huge surprise that can’t be ruled out would be a Schwarber trade. Part of my brain says to always expect the unexpected. But the other part says the Cubs are well positioned to move forward without having to be too clever

9:31
Comment From jtt
If Aaron Harang fails to score a major league contract then felix becomes the active leader in post games pitched without a postseason appearance. How this make you feel?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Actually Baseball-Reference tells me it’s Matt Lindstrom

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Then Casey Janssen

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s Harang, then Kevin Correia, then Felix Hernandez among starters

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: It makes me feel bad. It makes me feel that Felix deserves better. It makes me wonder why Felix has been so loyal in the first place but I ought to know better than to question it

9:36
Comment From greg
If you’re the Reds, who do you start asking for if the D-Backs come calling about Chapman?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The good news is the Reds have needs almost everywhere. Maybe target Aaron Blair, and then also try to pluck from the big-league roster

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: See if they’ll give up Inciarte to keep room open for Tomas

9:39
Comment From Ryan
Can Heyward fake it in CF for the Cubs? Seems like with Soler and Schwarber in the corners a real defensive CFer may be necessary.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Not that I think Heyward is *going* to the Cubs, but if he did, I could see a situation where he played both CF and a corner depending on when Schwarber was in the outfield or behind the plate

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: But it would be surprising to me to see Heyward put somewhere where he has to play a position he hasn’t played regularly

9:42
Comment From Sean P
Based on your “Let’s Watch ________ Do Something Amazing” series of articles, what was the most amazing thing you saw a player do in 2015?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Oh man. There’s no way my memory is good enough for this

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The first thing that comes to mind is that Bryce Harper hot stretch. 1.744 OPS over three weeks in May

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: But if you’re talking about a singular event? That one I have to mull. It’s hard to think of anything that took place before the playoffs

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Can I go with the Rangers’ three consecutive errors?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: That seventh inning will never be topped

9:46
Comment From Josh I
What’s Oakland’s biggest move this offseason?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Aw, what the hell. Let’s be stupid and give ’em Puig

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll go somewhere and he’s got crazy amounts of team control

9:47
Comment From Ryan
Prediction on biggest offseason acquisition for the Astros?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Davis, Alex Gordon, or Byung-ho Park

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Park, we should find out about before too terribly long

9:49
Comment From _David_
Any chance the Mariners get Heyward, Gordon, or Zobrist?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be very surprised

9:49
Comment From Zonk
What option decisions have surprised you?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Aoki, a little bit

9:51
Comment From Sooo.
Who plays 3B for Braves in ’16? (Please don’t say Adonis, please don’t say Adonis, please don’t say Adonis)

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Really shouldn’t be Adonis. They should do better than Adonis

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: If they wanted to be *really* interesting they could be the team to go after Jurickson Profar

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Failing that, maybe a bad-contract swap involving Hanley

9:54
Comment From Make WAR not Love
Is it typical to see trades like the TB-SEA trade so quickly after the offseason? Would they have been negotiating this during the playoffs?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Word is they were talking about this for roughly 4-5 weeks. It’s not like the Rays or Mariners had any playoff stuff to worry about

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: During October, we’re all distracted by the baseball tournament. But the teams uninvolved in the tournament are tending to their own internal matters

9:56
Comment From Jojo
When do we find out about the KBO postings? I want Park in Oakland already.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see, following the Kang timeline…

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I believe Park bids are due today

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Kang bids were due December 19

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Heyman reported the Pirates won the bidding on December 22

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Deal was completed January 12

9:59
Comment From Xolo
What’s your take on Ian Kennedy? Seems like there’s a lot of baseball writers out there who are really down on him but is he really going to take the QO?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think teams can see past his most recent dinger rate and observe his strikeout-per-inning pace

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Kennedy wasn’t very different between 2014 and 2015, but one year he gave up 16 homers and one year he gave up 31. The real Kennedy’s in between, and he should get something like a three-year deal

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: But if he’s comfortable in San Diego and feels like he can be better in 2016, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see Kennedy try to re-enter the market next year when it’s a bit thinner

10:01
Comment From _David_
What is the highest $ AAV the Mariners give someone, and will it be Iwakuma?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s Iwakuma, somewhere around $15m or so

10:02
Comment From BK
It’s like the argument against giving Estrada a QO, Blue Jays just got to the playoffs, need starters and have a bunch of cash. Who cares if they over pay on a one year deal?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: And think about what the QO is. It’s just shy of $16 million. That amount of money doesn’t get you as much as you might think. They’re paying for Estrada to be something like an average pitcher, and that’s well within reason

10:03
Comment From anon
who is the first FA to sign?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Brain tells me Iwakuma within a matter of days?

10:03
Comment From anon
If you were starting a team, what type of players would you starting with?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Good ones

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: (laugh track)

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I’d want a young up-the-middle regular. Preferably two or three

10:05
Comment From Matt Wieters
The Braves aren’t pursuing me per Gammons, where is my likely destination? Arizona?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: If true, I could see Wieters sticking in the area and going to Washington

10:06
Comment From Ryan
Why wouldn’t every single average starter get a qualifying offer? Even if they take it, it’s not like they can’t get flipped.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah. Basically, if a player is worth…I don’t know, $12 – 13m, it makes sense to give him the QO right now

10:06
Comment From Bill
Do you think Yasiel Puig is traded this offseason? He appears to be the kind of player Friedman would want to aquire, not the kind of guy he’d like to trade away….

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Someone out there probably values his skillset higher than the Dodgers do. So if the Dodgers truly find it really difficult to manage Puig on a day-to-day basis, then yeah, I could see them cashing him in. It makes it a bit more complicated that he had injury problems

10:07
Comment From anon
I thought the rays may have gotten more for the 3 players they traded yesterday

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Really easy deal to evaluate in two different ways. Best spin for Seattle: they got a potential CF and a No. 3 starter for a utility player who struggles against lefties. Best spin for Tampa: they got a cost-controlled regular shortstop for an unreliable starter and a fourth OF

10:08
Comment From Marco Estrada
Should I be pissed I just got a QO?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Guaranteed millions of dollars!

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: You should be pissed about nothing, given where you were one year ago

10:09
Comment From BK
So if making a trip down from Canada to Oregon and I plan on doing Portland, Eugene, Bend and Crater Lake, what else do you recommend? I like nature and the outdoors + food & beer scene

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Take the longer way to Bend and go through Hood River. Hit up Double Mountain while you’re there. Unfortunately this time of year so much depends on weather but the Mt Hood area is spectacular

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: So is the area just west of Bend. One of the best natural skylines in America

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s clear, do what you can to hike to any attainable summit for the views. Crater Lake will be magical with a snow dusting or dumping

10:10
Comment From L. Scott
Lackey got a qualifying offer today. Do you think the Cardinals plan on retaining him?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they do, but he’ll be affordable over the short-term, so they won’t rule it out. They’re pretty stocked however

10:12
Comment From Ryan
Can Miller really play OF? Bat seems really light for out there.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Given enough reps, I think any half-decent shortstop should be able to handle the outfield

10:12
Comment From Bork
The trade kind of reminded me of the Houston/Toronto trade a few years back that was 7 major league players but nothing really that significant.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no great player, but all six players could have roles of big-league significance in 2016. So that’s something

10:14
Comment From ben
2016 AL Central champion- Cleveland 40%, Royals 35%, White Sox 15%, Tigers/Twins 5% each. Your thoughts?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’d change the bottom around a bit — maybe three teams at 10% — but I agree with the top

10:15
Comment From c
jeff, i want you to know that i get through every week by eagerly anticipating how you will announce baseball chat on twitter

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no friend like baseball chat

10:17
Comment From Joe
Is there a realistic starting pitching target for the Orioles to pursue that can have a significant impact on the team?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Second- and third-tier stuff. Gallardo, Lackey, Kazmir…

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Sure would be nice to have Dylan Bundy functional

10:17
Comment From MarinerDan
Should Strasburg and Giolito be worried now that they are “under the care” of Dusty Baker?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: So overblown. Baker doesn’t manage the way that he did 15 years ago

10:18
Comment From Derek
Do the Phillies have any assets remaining to sell? Which FA do you think they should buy for a year and trade for assets at the deadline?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing worthwhile to move, unless they decided to test the market for Giles

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know who they’d sign and flip. Rich Hill? It’s…a weird market for them

10:22
Comment From Matt in KC
A lot was made about how Greg Holland’s drop in velo portended his elbow injury. Should we have the same concern regarding Yordano Ventura?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Holland had a sudden drop between games a year ago. Suggested something was wrong, which it turned out was true. Got worse in 2015

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Ventura has historically bounced around some. Topped out at 99 against the Mets, which isn’t far from his norm. It’s troubling to see him finish at below-average overall velocity but the Royals will check him out and now he gets an offseason of rest. He should be all right

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: But look for Ventura to be eased in during the spring. It wouldn’t be a shock if he had arm problems at some point

10:27
Comment From Derek
Aaron Nola impressed me this year for such a young pitcher. Most people in the game say he’s a guaranteed 3 or at most a 2. But what do you think he can add to his game that can make him an ace?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Any number of potential answers here, but Nola could reach a new level if he figured out how to throw and command a front-door sinker against lefties

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: For the moment he’s mostly away-away-away and though pitchers can succeed by doing that, I’d like to see Nola run it in on the hands. He has the movement

10:30
Comment From Xolo
Is the draft pick that the Padres will receive after Upton leaves that much worse than getting Fulmer from the Mets? It seems like people kill Preller for a solid strategy.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, CiL starting to have its usual hiccups…

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Fulmer is a starter who already has substantial quality experience in Double-A. So, yeah, the draft pick will be worse. Not by a ton, but by a decent amount

10:32
Comment From Immortan Jew
Is Austin Jackson a fit for the Mets?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Not a great one

10:32
Comment From Xolo
Can Colby Rasmus still play CF?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He won’t kill a team in the short-term. And the Reds did win 90 games starting Shin-Soo Choo out there

10:34
Comment From Derek
Odubbel Herrera impressed a bit. Is he going to regress or improve his rookie year? Shane Victorino 2.0? (solely basing that on the fact he’s a rule 5 pick CF)

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting player who got more comfortable as the season went on. He does have actual power, and while the batting average will drop a good amount, I think he’ll walk more. Good find as a supporting player for a core that doesn’t yet exist

10:35
Comment From Q-Ball
Cubs are apparently “heavy, heavy, favorites” to land David Price, per Olney. Cubs seem to match up well with Price’s stated preferences (NL, Maddon, Contender, etc). Will the Cubs pay the Price?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I still bet the field, but it’s closer than it usually is

10:36
Comment From Norrin Radd
Was the reaction to your Dusty Baker article about what you expected?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, and after a short while I tuned the reaction out

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes people accuse me of writing trolling articles. I don’t actually know why

10:36
Comment From Ryan
Should teams target in division free agents as a way to help themselves and hurt the opponents?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t really matter much. A player who’s a free agent is already an ex-opponent

10:37
Comment From Rob
The White Sox have a few holes to fill (SS, 2B, C, 3B, rotation depth). What do you think should be their priority this Winter?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Assembling position-player depth. They had none of it. They don’t need stars, necessarily — they just need more players who don’t suck

10:38
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Dave’s (very excellent) free agent prediction piece has Cueto and Zimmermann both getting $140 million and Samardzija at about half that at $75 million. Am I wrong for thinking that Samardzija at Cueto/Zimmermann half price is a much better bet given Cueto’s second half and arm issues and Zimmermann’s declining velocity numbers?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmermann found his strikeouts in the second half while Samardzija’s disappeared

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve all got question marks. Samardzija is coming off a career-worst season despite having pitched under Don Cooper. That’s troubling

10:40
Comment From Jesse
Lucroy to the White Sox for prospects a good match?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think there are better matches

10:41
Comment From Bob Barker
If Price really wants to be a Cub as much as it seems, does that mean a discount is in play?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: lol no

10:41
Comment From Q-Ball
It’s only a matter of time before Dave Cameron is promoted to President of Editing Opertions for Fangraphs, and you are promoted to Managing Editor….right?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think my current title is Senior Editor. I think it actually sounds better than Managing Editor

10:41
Comment From Tom
Imagine how many leadoff hitters in the Kansas City Little League will be swinging at the first pitch of the game next year

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: As much as Escobar isn’t actually that good of a hitter, I love the idea behind the approach because it’s time to stop giving pitchers free first-pitch strikes

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: So stupid to be so passive

10:42
Comment From Rick
Where do you think Heyward ends up?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Leaning toward him staying where he is

10:43
Comment From philly
I think it makes sense for the Jays to try to move Encarnacion and Bautista this offseason. They are both going to be FA after this season and are comiing off 39 and 40 HR seasons. Maybe they could fill holes with a FA like Heyward

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The Jays already have a PR mess on their hands. Move those two and the fans in the area will burn the stadium to the ground

10:44
Comment From L. Scott
Last year they traded for Eovaldi, and signed Headley and Miller. Not the typical splashy moves we are accustomed to. What is your plan this winter if you are Cashman?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I was interested in Dave’s idea of their making room to go after Upton. Samardzija makes a good deal of sense for them

10:44
Comment From Nick
Did Felix take a big discount to stay in Seattle? I can’t really remember where he was at w/r/t time before free agency when the Mariners locked him in.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The discount was basically his willingness to re-sign in the first place. They didn’t save much money

10:45
Comment From Bork
Morosi linked Chen to the Jays earlier. That’d be a terrible fit, no? Success in AL East but a fly ball pitcher pitching more than half the games in Toronto and New York can’t be a good fit. Although in his defense, Estrada’s the same and he worked out.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: And in Chen’s defense: Baltimore

10:45
Comment From philly
do you see votto as someone who could be moved in a salary dump? If he was moved, how much return would the Reds actually get given the how huge the contract is?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the Reds are actually thinking. They probably *should* be rebuilding, and part of that would be trying to move Votto, but there’s no indication that’s on their radar yet, and there’s a very short list of teams who’d be going after him anyway given the commitment

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve mentioned before the Astros would be a fascinating option

10:46
Comment From Otis
Do Braves regret the Olivera trade already?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they wish he’d be more of a 3B, but part of that was just a lack of faith in Wood and Peraza

10:47
Comment From kevinthecomic
giants don’t pick up option ($5.5-million) on aoki — I get that he was injured this year, but isn’t he worth at least that?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think he is, but given how his season went after June, I can see why the Giants might figure they can replace him for less

10:49
Comment From Bork
People are talking about both Heyward and Price going to the Cubs…there’s no way they do 2 huge megadeals…right?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely unrealistic

10:49
Comment From Gabriel
How probable is that Gordon resigns with Royals? 5/80 would be enough?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll do better than 5/80, but where before I assumed Gordon was as good as gone, the championship I think increases the odds. I actually give the Royals the slight inside track

10:50
Comment From j6takish
I asked eno this but why is everyone assuming puig is gone? Freidman routinely traded for jerks when he was with tampa because he thought teams overrated club house issues and were selling low

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where we actually put the probability of Puig getting traded, but he’s easy to identify as a big name who could move, given the frustrations of having him and given the talk of the Dodgers wanting to improve in the clubhouse

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Puig stuck around. He’s the sort of talent a team would want to be acquiring. But the Dodgers can make a lot of things happen fast, and they might prefer to shuffle assets

10:52
Comment From Jordan
Every year it seems as that a surprise team is bidding for the big fish in the market, what teams do you think this will be?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Arizona?

10:52
Comment From jose
Was A-Rod robbed off the Comeback POTY award? Yes or definitely?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I was a little bit annoyed

10:52
Comment From johnny5alive
could the mets get ozuna for CF?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Sure could! But lots of teams will be calling

10:53
Comment From Bork
If Shapiro really wanted to refill the ol’ prospect farm a little bit the Jays could (sigh) trade Tulo and use Goins at short. Realistically, what kind of return would they get for him?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Not much unless they ate a lot of money. Tulo’s stock is down from where it was a year ago, and even a few months ago

10:54
Comment From Ceee
In the playoffs we saw how valuable a shutdown reliever that can go multiple innings. Do you foresee a 2-3 inning back-end of the bullpen guy a possibility in the future. IMO, the Jays should attempt this with Sanchez & Osuna to build up innings. (If they still view them as SP longterm)

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think we’ll see more of that although it will be difficult to manage innings during the regular season. But we’re definitely trending toward more emphasis being put on the bullpen

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Like, if the Yankees wanted to go crazy, they could go sign O’Day, and then they’d have Wilson, O’Day, Miller, Betances…

10:56
Comment From Tommy
Teams love to come out of nowhere in baseball. People could “see” the Astros, Mets and Cubs with that talent base. Who is best positioned to make the next leap?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies are setting themselves up to happen fast

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry about that, just received a deluge of messages of certain importance >:(

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: As such I need to wrap this up

11:00
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 — 11/6/15 by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
state the obvious
Guest
state the obvious

per the phillies sign and flip topic. doug fister springs to mind.