Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/16/14

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I suppose it’s time to baseball chat

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, it is indeed time to do that

9:04
Comment From Xolo
How many wins better do Kemp AND Upton make the Padres?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Well, not enough, would be one of my answers

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: What do the Padres give up to get Upton?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Working a little in their favor, perhaps, is that neither the Diamondbacks nor Rockies are particularly good, and the Giants might be kind of stuck. But the Padres need more help than two above-average outfielders can give them

9:05
Comment From Michael
It is time to make the chat scroll in the other direction. 🙁

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I thought I did! God dammit

9:05
Comment From Art Vandelay
Does Ichiro play baseball next year?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he’ll get a job

9:05
Comment From Mooking for Love
Hey! If the moon was made of cheese, would ya eat it?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I would probably try a small part of it if it were presented to me but it is a real big moon and it’s super far away

9:06
Comment From Gob
What are the odds that Danny Hultzen becomes the pitcher we thought he might be before the shoulder injury – 5%? 1%?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you thought he might be, but let’s say 10-15%

9:06
Comment From $10M down the tubes?
How many innings do the Dodgers get out of Brett Anderson this season?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: 75?

9:06
Comment From Walt
if the Reds don’t sign Nori Aoki do they go ahead and blow up the rest of the team? not sure what else they can do at this point with FA dwindling

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I don’t think the fate of any team ought to hinge on acquiring or not acquiring Norichika Aoki

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: But, yes, they do have an absolutely gaping hole with no real organizational depth. If not Aoki, maybe they try, like, Rasmus in a corner, or they can make a little trade. Nothing impactful is going to fill that spot

9:08
Comment From Michael “No Re” Morse
Ok, ok: so they didn’t resign Markakis or Cruz or pick up Melky or Morse for seemingly reasonable contracts. What’s left for the O’s? I feel delusional rooting for us to sign Rasmus…

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if they’re a team that would give a shot to Corey Hart to see if he’s found his legs again

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Alternatively, there are trade options in San Diego in Smith and Quentin who probably wouldn’t cost very much

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: And, yeah, the Rasmus thing. I tell you what, it is possible to do worse than Colby Rasmus on a short contract

9:11
Comment From Tarvis
Are the Red Sox going to Orioles route with their rotation or do you think a bigger splash is coming?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Red Sox will have a bunch more conversations related to top-tier pitchers, but I also think they’d be content to go forward with the current staff if they don’t like the market prices

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: What you’d like the Red Sox to have is more depth. I’m sure they’re not done trying to get Cole Hamels

9:13
Comment From Matt
Jeff, if you’re Epstoyer, what left on the trade/FA mkts interest you for an OF piece-given their supposedly tight remaining budget? Fowler? Rasmus?Gomes?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: None of those would surprise me. I guess Rasmus would surprise me a little, since it was reported yesterday or the day before the Cubs don’t have a lot of interest, and I’m guessing some other team is going to act more desperately. But I think most teams have the same limited remaining OF options. Yo’ure looking to an empty market, a candidate like Fowler, or a few candidates in San Diego

9:15
Comment From _David_
What would you give up for Upton that Atlanta would accept if you were the Mariners?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t work. Last I heard, Atlanta wanted more than I’d be comfortable offering. Like, I don’t think the Braves have a whole lot of interest in Roenis Elias

9:16
Comment From Will
how much better does Melky make the White Sox?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Conveniently, he’s replacing almost a pure 0-WAR player in Viciedo. Viciedo sucks. So Melky makes them better by whatever your Melky projection would be. Mine’s around 2 – 2.5 wins

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I like him a good deal more than I like LaRoche

9:17
Comment From Alex
I don’t get what the Astros are doing. Do you? Lowrie, Neshek, Gregerson.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there are a few different ways to go here

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Most simply, the Astros have money and if you don’t invest that money in even a pretty bad team, people are going to complain and hate your on-field product. The Astros can’t run a payroll of 25 league minimums, so they’ve worked to improve the left side of a lousy infield, and they’ve worked to improve what’s lately been a lousy bullpen

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The Dave perspective would be that, hey, during the year effective relievers get strong markets, so the Astros could try to flip Gregerson and/or Neshek for a prospect or two. With so many decent teams, there aren’t going to be many sellers. If the Astros are a seller, it’ll be a seller’s market

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: And Lowrie is useful. He’s not a shortstop, but the Astros don’t have a shortstop, and to be honest they don’t really have a third baseman either. So Lowrie can just hang around and help his local ballclub until Correa is ready, and then the Astros can evaluate Matt Dominguez

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: What’s weird to me isn’t that Lowrie signed with Houston; what’s weird to me is that another team didn’t offer more. Like, a team that isn’t bad

9:21
Comment From Michael
Given that (a) Porcello seems to like the Northeast and (b) the Red Sox do not have many pitchers of Porcello’s caliber under long-term contract, it would seem to make sense for the two sides to work out a contract extension. I invite you to speculate on what financial terms might be agreeable to both sides in such an extension.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: If I were the Red Sox, I’d start at, say, 4/60, and then prepare for a little wiggle room

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Ervin Santana just got, what, 4/55? For Porcello, 4/65 might do it

9:23
Comment From Jack
Who do you like better at 2nd going forward: Miller or Odor? Trying to figure out who the Nats should really go after?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a bigger fan of Miller, but it seems like the Mariners aren’t going to move him now that all the outfielders are pretty much off the table. Which means Odor is the more likely get for Washington

9:25
Comment From mtsw
Judging by the Orioles last two offseasons, is not signing any players the new market inefficiency?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: But more to the general point, I do think the Orioles understand that free agency is just about the worst place to try to improve

9:26
Comment From DoolittleFan60
Thanks as always Jeff for your insighst. The Yankees seem to have two players, Headley and Prado, would could be quite good, or they could stink. Do you think their best years were just outliers, or have injuries (esp. to Headley) obscured their real talent, and can they bounce back?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Prado and Headley have both been steadily above-average hitters. I wouldn’t worry about either one of them suddenly sucking real bad in 2015. Now, in 2012, they were worth a combined 13 wins, and I think those are certain outlier seasons, but they aren’t around because the Yankees think they’ll get back to what they were three years ago. They’re around because the Yankees like them as average or above-average infielders

9:27
Comment From _David_
It seems the Mariners are missing the mid-range RF candidates…If they really are drawing hard lines against trading certain players, could we see some horrific scenario involving Viciedo, Jones, or Romero?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners don’t want Viciedo, they know Jones can’t hit, and they know Romero can’t really field. Right now I think they go with Miller, and they’ll find some relatively cheap right-handed complement

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Now, it’s possible they accept Viciedo for nothing and basically pay him as a platoon guy for one year, but I don’t think they stoop to that level

9:29
Comment From DaN
Why do you think the Royals took Rios over Aoki?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m guessing Aoki is set up to require a greater commitment than the Royals were willing to give. Aoki’s 33 in a month, and he’s going to take multiple years. At least with Rios, he has a fine enough track record and it’s all off the books next November

9:30
Comment From Doug
what in the heck are the reds going to do in left field in 2015?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Suck

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: At least, that’s the current outlook. They’ll do something but it won’t be very good

9:30
Comment From Bruce
Whats going on in the picture?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Something better than the default Cover It Live pictures

9:31
Comment From _David_
Am I correct in thinking Brad Miller would have to be 15 runs better in RF relative to positional peers than at SS in order to retain value in a switch?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Roughly, yeah, to retain the same value. That’s what the positional adjustments say. But then, Miller is young and something like an average defensive shortstop, so we should *expect* him to be a good outfielder. Moving Miller would be bad for his trade value down the road, but if the Mariners intend to keep him for the long haul, this is a fine use of resources. He doubles as Chris Taylor insurance

9:32
Comment From L. Scott
Happy holidays! If Troy Tulowitzki is indeed on the block, wouldn’t a vast majority of teams make an offer to CO including a replacement SS, a couple of stud pitching prospects, and a power prospect? Point is, why would just the Mets be involved in a possible Tulo trade?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: If the Rockies were having serious conversations about Tulowitzki, the Mets would not be the only team involved

9:33
Comment From _David_
What do you make of reporters saying everyone in the industry believes the Saunders trade was even? Even if you see them as equal players, it was still 2 years for one, so Happ would have to be quite a bit better, right?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Apparently a lot of people in the game see Happ as possessing rising stock. They think he’s got real upside, and so, you take that for what it’s worth

9:34
Comment From Tice
Think there is any trade market for Cliff Lee before Spring Training?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: nope

9:35
Comment From Scherzer,
Scherzer, $200 million for a pitcher with 1 career complete game? I guess they are selling it as ‘low wear and tear’. Do you think this comes into play at all?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Last year there were half as many complete games as there were in 2000

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Felix, in 2014, had zero complete games. Cole Hamels had zero complete games. Zack Greinke, Alex Cobb, Stephen Strasburg, Jose Quintana…

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody cares. Most of the time, complete games are a little bit stupid

9:36
Comment From Nick
Do the Rockies make ANY trades for SP or RP?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: They traded for Jairo Diaz!

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: !!!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I could easily see the Rockies dealing an outfielder or Wilin Rosario for an arm or two

9:39
Comment From mtsw
Is whatever stadium one day replaces Coors Field going to be a pressurized dome?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I kind of hope so, and I kind of hope not. I like that baseball has such a wacky environment in it, but then it’s also hell on pitchers and, half of the time, hitters, so I feel like it’s something that needs to be balanced out in a way that doesn’t just rely on a humidor

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Basically the Rockies could play in a giant stationary airplane

9:40
Comment From mtsw
More likely: O’s sign no one or O’s sign Scherzer?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: O’s sign no one

9:40
Comment From Dan
Does Tulo end up getting moved? If so for what?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Not this offseason, I don’t think

9:41
Comment From Cal
Apparently Morse has a 2yr/$8M deal with the Marlins. Is it just me or is this really cheap for a legit righty power bat? Also, how good of a chance do the Marlins have to compete for the NL East title next year after the moves they’ve made?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather have Morse for 2/8 than Morales for 2/17 or Cruz for 4/58

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s a *great* deal, just because of Morse’s injury history and lack of defensive ability anywhere, but that’s a cheaper deal than I expected him to find on the market so in that sense I think the Marlins did fine. They’re still not going to win the NL East, but I think they’re gunning for second place and the wild card

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, we’ll see if the Nationals make themselves worse. If the Nats trade Zimmermann for a longer-term asset, that’ll make the Marlins’ odds better by a few points

9:43
Comment From Rick
What would you rather the White Sox do?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I like what the White Sox have done. Not so much the LaRoche part, but I don’t have a problem with a team trying to contend with a core already in place. I just think they’re still not a great contender

9:45
Comment From Dan
How much does James Shields end up getting?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: either, say, 4/70 or 5/90

9:46
Comment From TKDC
Right now, the Braves are projected at 32 WAR according to Zips projections on this website. The A’s are at 30 WAR. Is it possible that Fangraph’s puts too much stock in Steamer because it is the first projection out? This might apply to the White Sox too.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we can only use what we have, and for the time being our only complete data set is Steamer’s. It will be valuable to have ZiPS so we can go with our 50/50 blend, and yeah, that’ll change the picture some. But ZiPS isn’t really better than Steamer, so I don’t think it makes sense to prefer one over the other.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: It does seem like Steamer is a little high on the A’s, because of its Lawrie projection (and more), but a few wins doesn’t change too much. And I don’t think anyone’s written the Braves totally off. They just haven’t improved, and they’re still looking to trade Justin Upton

9:49
Comment From Guy
Better signing, considering money and health and everything: Brett Anderson or Brandon Morrow?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think Anderson returns more WAR, and I think Morrow returns a better ratio of WAR to salary. So I think Anderson makes more sense for the Dodgers, and Morrow makes more sense for the Padres, than vice versa

9:49
Comment From Jason
With so many teams looking to contend in 2015 and wanting RH power, would any team take a chance on Alex Rodriguez for the league minimum if he was released by the Yankees?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: 99% sure the answer is no

9:50
Comment From DaN
Are the Tigers done with big moves? …Max?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I sense they’re basically done. They’ll try on Scherzer, but I don’t think they’ll try enough

9:51
Comment From Jack
Nats should have signed Lowrie. Now I’m not sure what they do for the whole at 2nd base. I’d go after Miller, Odor or Alcantra..can you help me order them in order of what would be the best decision for the Nats.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I can totally see the Nats going down the path of acquiring Odor. It’s felt right for several weeks

9:51
Comment From National League
Does the fact that Jon Lester will not throw to first base for pickoffs play any differently in the NL?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Now he shares a division with Billy Hamilton

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: But the Cubs will presumably work with Lester on his running-game control in spring training.

9:52
Comment From Xolo
How realistic is it that the Padres just shift Seth Smith to first?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Not unrealistic

9:53
Comment From Daniel
How low is Brandon Phillips’ trade value? Wondering how much the Reds would have to eat for a team like the ChiSox to be interested.

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s more likely the White Sox would get Phillips during the season, not during the offseason. I don’t think the Reds want to keep stripping away parts yet

9:54
Comment From Larry Bernandez
How did a 3.5 win player only net 13MM a year?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Headley had a bigger offer somewhere else, probably from Oakland, and he settled for less money to remain in an environment that he likes

9:55
Comment From Matt
Who would you like to see get 5th spot in Cub rotation among Turner, Wada, Doubront, T Wood, and EJax? Suspect Wood and EJax may not be in that discussion by spring, though.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Wada would be my choice

9:56
Comment From DDSP
are the marlins a playoff team?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re a top-5 NL team, but they’re probably a top…7 NL team, so in that way, they’re not meaningfully far away from being a playoff team

9:57
Comment From Bo Knows
Carlos Quentin is essentially a less healthy Matt Kemp, right?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Not after Quentin’s 2014

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: People now are wondering whether Quentin’s career is just toast

9:57
Comment From deezy
Having established himself as an annual 5 WAR player and with only 7.5 owed next season, should the Rays be able to beat the return the Angels got for Kendrick (Heaney) if they choose to trade him?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the Rays should be able to do better than Heaney

9:58
Comment From mtsw
Do certain players play especially good or bad in certain weather conditions? Do we have any data on this?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Not good data. Too many variables. But we can say, for example, hitters do worse in cold weather, and pitchers do worse in warm weather. Everybody sucks in snow

9:59
Comment From Cal
Do the Jays need a true #1 to seriously contend next season? Or is their rotation good enough as constructed right now?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Could be better; is good enough. Would James Shields count as a true #1? Do you think James Shields is going to pitch markedly better next year than Marcus Stroman?

10:00
Comment From Michael Bolton
With Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy filling out the bottom of the Dodgers’ rotation, they obviously need minor league depth. Would you be comfortable with what they already have or would you still be looking to make moves?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Well, how much can you do? You can’t very well add quality experienced starters for depth and then stash them in the bullpen or the minors against their will. I think it’s helpful to have Nicasio around, and who knows, maybe Zach Lee decides to stop sucking. Wouldn’t at all surprise me to see the Dodgers make a midseason move, but I think they’re comfortable with what they have to start

10:01
Comment From Ozzie
Admit it, you wrote an extremely condescending article about the White Sox because you are still pissed off that Don Cooper was able to extract a win out of garbage pitcher and former Mariners Hector Noesi. Clearly.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: More upset about Don Cooper turning Matt Thornton into not a pile of shit

10:03
Comment From Cool Lester Smooth
Michael Morse – best value signing of offseason?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, because he can’t do one single thing besides hit for power, but a lot of teams have spent bigger money worse

10:04
Comment From Rog
The Redsox don’t have an ace – do they need one?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody needs an ace

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Teams just need enough good players

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: As of right now, Steamer has the Red Sox as one of the best teams in baseball, and it still doesn’t have a projection for Rusney Castillo

10:05
Comment From Cool Lester Smooth
Blue Jays have to be division favorite after their moves, correct?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think favorites. I don’t think they’re markedly better than the Red Sox. But I suppose you could try to go with co-favorites

10:07
Comment From Rob
What starter would make sense for the White Sox to sign at this point? Seems like another starter would make sense, then move Noesi to a long relief role

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The easy, high-upside thing to say is that the White Sox should throw money at Beachy and/or Medlen. But I think they’ll also have some fun scouring the waiver wire around the end of spring training. I’ve said this before but I feel like Erasmo Ramirez could be a decent and free fit

10:08
Comment From JL
Even if you knew Zimmerman was leaving, wouldnt this be a situation where you hang on to him?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the trouble with it, right? After this year, the Nationals have nothing in terms of middle infielders. Just Danny Espinosa. So should you trade a good starter now for a long-term 2B or SS? How much of a short-term downgrade is too much?

10:09
Comment From deezy
What should the Rays do at DH? They seem intent on trading one of Joyce/DeJesus and the FA market has dried up. Could you see them going after a bat via trade? Maybe a guy like Trumbo, Rosario, Quentin, etc…

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think Quentin would totally make sense for them

10:10
Comment From Gila Monster
Are the Rays going for it or what? I thought it made a lot of sense to sell off Zobrist for a high price and Joyce as well. Try to acquire close to major league ready talent and retool for 2016 around a very decent core. But they have been very quiet.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like they’re still trying to move Joyce

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: But they’re just in that same situation as the A’s. They have a reasonable team right now. They don’t have the money to try to get much better. They can’t afford to shift long-term resources toward short-term resources. So they kind of just hang out. Many of their good players are under longer control. Zobrist is an exception, but for all I know maybe the Rays think they have an inside track on re-signing him afterward

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays could also wait and sell Zobrist in the middle of the year if things go south

10:12
Comment From brian
Regarding Jordan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, wouldn’t it make a good deal of sense for the Nats to keep them around this year and totally go for it, and then extend a minimum qualifying offer to both of them after the season? They will likely be seeking something like 14+ per year in their FA contracts anyway. If they sign for a year, great! If not, take the picks.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a question of the value of going for it vs. the value of being consistently above-average. Next year, Zimmermann and Desmond are gone, and all the Nats have to show for them are a couple of players who might be years away. So, what if those guys got turned into long-term players who could also help immediately?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Take that trade Rosenthal reported. Is Desmond really *that* much better than Miller? Zimmermann is clearly a good deal better than Walker, but the Nats also have a fair amount of rotation depth. I intend to write more about this after the chat, but it’s complicated

10:14
Comment From Cool Lester Smooth
I think most people saw Melky getting at least 4 years… why did he settle?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It sounds like Seattle offered him those four years, and he didn’t want to play that far west

10:14
Comment From Cool Lester Smooth
Why does Cashman not get the love he deserves? He’s arguably the best GM in the game.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t expect a GM to get too much credit when he’s running the most valuable sports franchise on the continent. Not saying that’s a good enough reason, but that’s the reason

10:15
Comment From Frankie
Who says no; Taijuan Walker for Desmond Jennings?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays, very quickly

10:16
Comment From Alex
Re Astros- Haven’t we proven they’re better off signing the Morrows/Andersons/McGehee. Guys trying to bounce back and get a roster spot.? Not overpriced free agent relievers?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: First of all, what if a guy like Morrow didn’t want to sign with Houston? What if a guy like Anderson prefers LA? Second of all, the FA relievers aren’t really overpriced within this market, and the Astros can trade them

10:17
Comment From Cool Lester Smooth
The As have to sign Scherzer now, right?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think Headley was their guy, and since he opted not to sign with them, I don’t know what else they can do

10:17
Comment From One year with incentives
What pitcher trying to reclaim his value\starter status is the most intriguing for you? Medlen, Beachy, etc.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think for me it’s always Brett Anderson

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: but I want baseball to have more Brandon Beachy in it

10:18
Comment From DoolittleFan60
Given how poorly Gregorson pitched as the stop-gap A’s closer last year, does he have a real short at being the Astros closer? Or do the Astros just throw Gregorson, Quallis etc against a walll in spring traning and see who sticks?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Gregerson will probably close, but the Astros aren’t going to be too loyal to roles

10:18
Comment From maqman
Jim Bowden says Mariners could possibly trade Ketel Marte and Edwin Diaz for Justin Upton. Seems about right, what say you?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think Marte is super overrated, so if that trade were actually on the table, I’d swing it in a second

10:20
Comment From Sean
I’m not sure if this is an area you know much about, but if a team knows about a market inefficiency, would that team then reveal that inefficiency to another team if they’re trying to get the most value out of a trade piece?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Under this very specific hypothetical, no, I don’t think the team would give up its secret

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: If a team has a guy who it thinks is undervalued, it will just keep that player

10:21
Comment From Zack
How much playing time does Justin Ruggiano get on the 2015 Cubs?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Semi-regular. I think it’s telling the Cubs still have him given what he could provide to so many other teams. He’s pretty valuable OF insurance

10:22
Comment From Zack
What does peak Josmil Pinto look like?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: A DH

10:24
Comment From Zack
Should the O’s feel comfortable with Alejandro de Aza as their starting RF?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think they can feel comfortable giving him 500 PA — someone a few weeks back highlighted the lack of a real difference between De Aza and Markakis — but the O’s could feel more maximally comfortable if they had a reserve behind De Aza and Lough as insurance

10:25
Comment From Art Vandelay
What is an out-of-nowhere team that could ostensibly sign Scherzer? Do the Padres fit the bill?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Padres might’ve fit pre-Kemp, but I doubt they fit anymore

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Would the Astros count?

10:27
Comment From Phillies113
Do you think Chase Utley would waive his no-trade clause now that he’s seen Rollins get traded? He must know the writing is on the wall at this point? If so, what would be a reasonable return for him? The Angels suddenly have a 2B need and they’re close to Utley’s home. Thoughts?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Problem with the Angels is the system is no good

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I think Utley might be increasingly willing to consider waiving the NTC, and in that case I’d be curious what Amaro would say to, I don’t know, Heaney + Cron

10:29
Comment From mtsw
Which is more likely: players who are assholes are undervalued (because front offices will pay a premium to not have to put up with them) or overvalued (because their hard-to-quantify impact on team morale isn’t priced in)?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: They’re probably either appropriately valued or a little overvalued. I don’t think teams care very much

10:29
Comment From Guest
Are the Rockies shooting themselves in the foot by not doing anything? They aren’t a bad team, but the middle of the pack is the worst place to be,especially with a strong farm system like they have. Are teams not trying for Tulo or are the Rockies being unreasonable?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The injury stuff with Tulo and Gonzalez just makes a blockbuster trade agreement super difficult to arrive at. Other teams are cautious about fragility. I think the Rockies emerge from all this with an arm, and minus an outfielder and/or Rosario. There’s still time yet but I don’t think you’re going to see a dramatic offseason overhaul

10:31
Comment From null
Why aren’t the Rockies trading some of their OF depth? Bunch of teams need help…

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: still the middle of December

10:31
Comment From mtsw
If you owned a team and were building a new ballpark, would you design to be a pitchers’ park, hitters’ park or neutral?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think slight pitcher’s park

10:31
Comment From Bridgeport Joe
I thought Viciedo was closer to -1 WAR last year?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s actually a -1 WAR player

10:32
Comment From Art Vandelay
What are the chances James Shields gets overpaid by a team like the Giants?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Giants are going to do something with their money. Shields makes sense, but I don’t think SF would sign him to something stupid

10:33
Comment From Jack
why don’t the Nats trade Souza for Miller. Souza is 26 years old. Yes he has speed and power…but I’d rather have Miller going forward. We have M. Taylor to replace Span…and if that doesn’t work…I’d rather be looking for a replacement OF than SS.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners don’t seem to be all that interested in Souza yet

10:34
Comment From Justin
I’m a White Sox fan, and some of the comments in your latest piece were downright embarrassing from my fellow Chisox fans…

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Fans are fans. Nothing wrong with optimism.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day, this is sports. And because FanGraphs doesn’t have a favorite team, sometimes it’s going to seem cold to people who have favorite teams.

10:35
Comment From Prich
Do you really think Stefen Romero can adequately hit major league pitching; at least for what a contender can expect from a platoon player?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: In an absolute emergency, I’d trust him enough to hit lefties and lefties only

10:35
Comment From Andrew
True, but Cole Hamels isn’t that good! I saw on a Red Sox board that the Phillies need to pay his salary to get Allen Craig back.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Allen Craig is so fascinating right now

10:36
Comment From Kevin
Should the Royals trade, say, Wade Davis and a prospect or two, for a starting pitcher?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Whole thing depends on the starting pitcher, doesn’t it? As a general model, it works.

10:36
Comment From TooRemoved
Who has the most under-rated farm system?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Reds?

10:36
Comment From Ray
Is the other team that was involved in the trade proposal that would’ve made the M’s a juggernaut from the NL East?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals. Rosenthal reported the details yesterday

10:38
Comment From mtsw
Dylan Bundy for Aroldis Chapman: who says no?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Ooh, fun one

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Orioles would say no, but there’s the framework for something here

10:39
Comment From M&F
What exactly are the Mets doing? The Cuddy signing was suspect, but it looks even worse if they weren’t going to make anymore notable additions. Is this simply a result of a terrible ownership group and this is how it is going to be? Or does Alderson, DePodesta, et al, have something up their sleeves yet?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: They’re trying to trade some boring starting pitcher, so at least that’s happening

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a little surprised they still haven’t done anything at shortstop, but they didn’t exactly match up well with the Mariners and Didi Gregorius isn’t head and shoulders above what’s already in house. Interested to see if they actually sit out on the Jung-Ho Kang sweepstakes

10:41
Comment From SK
Who has a better 2015 and career: Rusney Castillo or Yasmany Tomas?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think Castillo is a little better for the foreseeable future. But Tomas is three years younger, so eventually that’ll matter

10:43
Comment From Eric
Are you fine with a Saunders-Pompey-Bautista OF for the Jays with Pillar LF/4thOF?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not my favorite outfield in the league, but I think it’s workable so long as you think Saunders can actually play in 130 – 140 games

10:44
Comment From Guest
Speaking of Coors, is it surprising there is no park factor effect on Ks since guys would trying to hit home runs there?

10:44
10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Coors reduces strikeouts, as pitchers don’t have the same secondary stuff as they do elsewhere

10:44
Comment From TRbaseball
Better season in 2015… Kershaw or Felix?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw

10:45
Comment From mattsd
Is Chad Billingsley completely done? Haven’t heard anything connecting him to potential suitors.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’s coming off surgery and he’s thrown 12 big-league innings since 2012. He’ll get a contract in the next few months but he’s a step below even Brandon Morrow

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: There was something about him and the Diamondbacks a month or so ago

10:46
Comment From Eric
If the Jays made no more moves are they significantly better than last yr?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: A small number of wins better

10:47
Comment From mtsw
If they coated the infield with some sort of a hydrophobic substance that would prevent it from getting muddy, could they play pro baseball in heavy rain?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Who wants to throw a wet baseball?

10:47
Comment From mtsw
Are people sleeping on the Orioles? Even with no moves, they’re bringing back the team that won 96 games last season, minus only Markakis (not that good to begin with) and Cruz (a big loss but production should be replaced by full seasons from Wieters and Machado). Or has the SABR community reverted to thinking the 2014 Orioles were a smoke and mirrors team full of non-replicable skills?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s easy to ignore a team that doesn’t do anything in the offseason. The O’s, however, have earned the benefit of the doubt, and they’ll still find one or two role players before spring. The teams getting the most attention in the offseason are the teams who are busiest in the offseason. The O’s understand you don’t need a sexy offseason to have a solid baseball team

10:48
Comment From TooRemoved
Does Cueto get traded before the deadline?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think he ultimately does get dealt during the year, but the Reds are going to try to sign him first

10:49
Comment From STiVo
It appears the Dodgers have moved ahead of the Nats by a hair in the projected 2015 standings. Are all of the Dodgers recent transactions captured in the current depth charts?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The Rollins and Kemp trades still aren’t official

10:50
Comment From Forsyth
Solely going by Steamer, Hamels projects to be a 2.5 win player in 182 IP, making $22.5mm. Joe Kelly projects to be a 1.1 win player in 144 IP, making league min. Why would the Sox pay top prospect(s) plus $22mm for 1.4 incremental wins??

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Hamels is better than that. But I do think it’s clear by now the Red Sox will not trade top prospects to get him.

10:50
Comment From Mike, of Mike and the Mechanics Fame
If I were running the Marlins, I’d spend a lot of time with Dee Gordon working on bunts. Would you?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’s already pretty damn good, but, yeah

10:50
Comment From Guest
What does the Headley signing mean for Arod and the Yanks? surely they wont pay him that much to go away

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It means Alex Rodriguez isn’t a third baseman, which we already knew

10:51
Comment From Alan
When the Royals were in their playoff run, it seems like there were a lot of articles acknowledging that there was value in putting a team in a position to have a wildcard season — even if it was only a chance at a wildcard season. I’d imagine there’s value in having your team have a 30% chance at the Wild Card, for example. But now, as I read articles here and elsewhere, I see a lot of definitive statements about how Team X simply isn’t contending … like say the White Sox, but aren’t we forgetting that teams may be okay with “we’ll contend if we get the breaks”? (note: I am not a White Sox fan)

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Who said the White Sox won’t contend?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: If anything, I feel like we have *too many* articles that refer back to what the Royals pulled off. “If the Royals could do it-” has become almost cliche. So many teams are hanging around the middle, now, and it’s not a coincidence. But with so many teams in the middle, it’s harder to emerge as one of the chosen five

10:52
Comment From Jack
So what is Odor going to cost?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I could see Zimmermann and Odor straight up

10:53
Comment From TimD
Re: Headley, is that contract something the MLBPA will give Chase a talking-to about? 13.5mm/yr to the Yankees doesn’t help set the market…

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:53
Comment From JB
If available, do you think the M’s would make a play for Tulo? What do you think it would take to get him?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: No, I don’t

10:53
Comment From Jeff
Is Kang worth the risk for the Mets? They haven’t been interested in any of the big international guys under Sandy, but Kang HAS to improve their shortstop situation, right? Bar is pretty low.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like there’s skepticism that he’s really a shortstop, but I think the Mets will have more interest than they’re letting on. The Orioles might be in there, thinking of Kang as a 2B

10:54
Comment From Foul Bunt
Hi Jeff. I’m moving up to Portland and I’m looking for a good brunch spot and your favorite hike within a 2hr drive. What you got?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Screen Door. http://www.thegastrognome.c…

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: And then, the Cooper Spur hike on Mt. Hood. Can only do it a few months of the year, in the summer

10:55
Comment From mwgris
Will Kendrys Morales have a better 2015 than Billy Butler

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think Butler by a hair

10:56
Comment From Washington Irving
Thoughts on Volquez? What does he do in 2015?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: If he can actually get 2/20, he should take it. He’s not that good

10:57
Comment From mwgris
If you had an unredacted copy of the Mitchell Report would you release it?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’d sell it to someone who cares

10:57
Comment From Guest
Do you prefer Steamer or Zips? Zips seems more pessimistic but closer to actual production

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I like ’em both. No real difference. So I like having a 50/50 blend and I’m interested to see where the biggest disagreements are

10:58
Comment From Manny
Who throws the other 100ish innings that Brett Anderson doesnt?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Nicasio, minor leaguer, trade acquisition, depending on timing

10:58
Comment From Da DL
Jeff, are the White Sox a playoff team?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: No is more likely than yes

10:58
Comment From Pistol
saying the Rays “should do better than Heaney” for 1 yr of Zobrist is a little fuzzy bc the Heaney was a fantastic get for the walk yr of Heaney. I don’t know if Zobrist returns more than 1 high ceiling prospect.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Heaney’s far from a guarantee. There are legitimate questions about him

11:00
Comment From indyralph
Why would Porcello take substantially less than James Shields or Homer Bailey, given age and performance?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: All right, let’s try, say, 5/85. Maybe 5/90. Bailey was coming off a better year than Porcello, so it could well be possible to get Porcello to agree to a shorter commitment

11:01
Comment From Kevin
Wade Davis for Dillon Gee. Who hangs up first?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t imagine the Royals care too much for Dillon Gee

11:02
Comment From Guest
Who really says no in the Strasburg/Betts trade idea ? Dave had them at 25 and 23 on his trade value it list? The marginal return is greater making the trade for both teams in 2015.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Nats say no

11:02
Comment From Walt Jocketty
Am I tearing down enough to trade Cueto or Leake for the right offer? Or Frazier?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Not until midseason

11:02
Comment From Hammer
How do projection systems look at/handle players with very little minor/major league data, but have made their MLB debut? Such as Sale (at the time), Bundy, Finnegan etc…

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: somewhat poorly

11:03
Comment From Mike, of Mike and the Mechanics Fame
Why do conversations about the Nats include the implicit assumption that they can’t possibly sign some or all of their 2015 free agents? They have money–right?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Evidence suggests they don’t have unlimited money right now, and also, they might not feel like those players are going to get signed to good contracts

11:04
Comment From deezy
3 way trades are impossible to predict, but hypothetically, would a 3 team trade involving Zimmerman (to team X), Zobrist (to Nationals) and prospects (to Rays) make a ton of sense? Nationals seem primed to go for it this year and this allows them to reallocate their talent and improve slightly.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals prefer to turn one-year players into multi-year players. Zobrist doesn’t accomplish that

11:05
Comment From Washington Irving
Given the number of eager Fangraphs chatters asking questions, the sheer number of which one man alone cannot possibly answer, would the authors of Fangraphs consider two concurrent chats daily?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Nope!

11:05
Comment From Guest
The Royals could use their playoff revenue and go crazy for Scherzer. Not like the ownership would spend money…but it would be fun.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like they prefer instead to spend that money on Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios

11:07
Comment From Mike
In a world where Alex Rios and Torii Hunter are making over $10 M a season (albeit for just 1 season), how do teams not want Marlon Byrd (who’s a much better fielder than both – and pretty equal in offense)?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think Byrd will get moved, but there’s a decent chance his 2016 option becomes guaranteed and then you’re looking at two years of a player in his upper 30s.

11:07
Comment From Happy Fun Ball
If the Nats were interested in Odor, wouldn’t it have made sense to work that as part of the Detwiler deal?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: No, because Odor is valuable

11:07
Comment From Derek Smalls
Melky’s gone….ideas for Mariners OF? (was Saunders trade completed assuming a Melky signing?)

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Brad Miller

11:08
Comment From Mike
If the Phillies moved everyone except Hamels, could they get enough back to be competitive in the next 2 years (with Hamels in tow)? Or is moving Hamels the only way to get back in the playoff picture in the near future?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: You can never completely count out a team that has a lot of money to spend, and the Phillies would have a lot of money to spend. But they’re probably at least three years away, and then, what is Cole Hamels in three years?

11:09
Comment From dbet
Do you think the qualifying offer cuts into the value of the super expensive free agents? It seems like it isn’t right that MLB teams have a way to effectively hurt the earning potential for players.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: With the real good players, I don’t think teams worry too much about the QO

11:09
Comment From Phan
Do you despise Harold Reynolds as much as I do?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have cable

11:09
Comment From Guest
Will Bryce Harper be a FA in 2 years?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Huh? No

11:09
Comment From Guest
the Chisox fans kind remind of the O’s fans toward the end of the season

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The O’s had an actual winning team

11:10
Comment From Pistol
you’re incorrect about Halos system btw. very underrated.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t mean it’s not bad

11:10
Comment From Guy
I thought Fangraphs favorite team was the Mariners?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Dave doesn’t even like the Mariners

11:10
Comment From Guy
In your opinion should the M’s have pulled the trigger on the Desmond/Zimmermann trade or were (are?) they wise for resisting?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: They made the right call

11:11
Comment From Aaron
With Alex Rios signed, wouldn’t it make sense for the Mariners to play Miller in RF and have Taylor play SS?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the most likely route now

11:11
Comment From DoolittleFan60
Speaking of Kang, everyone seems to be at a loss on whether his eye-popping KBL stats will translate to the majors. I remember prior to the 2014 season a lot of analysts doubted whether J. Abreau could hit a major league curveball. Thoughts on Kang?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have many thoughts on Kang — never seen him — but there’s a stronger history of Cuban hitters making the transition. For Korean players, it’s Choo and Choi. And actually, Choo and Choi were signed very young and didn’t really play in the KBO

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: So Kang comes with a lot of risk. Maybe that means he has huge upside! But teams are cautious until they have reason to be otherwise. And last year, for what it’s worth, offense levels surged forward in the KBO, so there’s a factor there.

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I need to wrap this up and get to other things!

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/16/14 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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Kevin
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Kevin

Do you think the Royals may still try to trade a reliever for a starting pitcher?