Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/22/16

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Uncharacteristically on time this week!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t get used to it

9:01
Guest: You sell your house to bet on baseball: which team do you bet on to win the AL pennant?

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: and the joke’s on the other guy, because I don’t own a house

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Red Sox are that far ahead of the other top AL contenders, but I think they have the resources to upgrade midseason if they need to

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I also quite like the Jays and the Astros

9:02
Chad: Daniel Norris or Vincent Velasquez? This year and future

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I still like Norris

9:03
NatsFan: If the Nats fail again on Cespedes should we begin to think they have might have a bad rep with free agents?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve already seen a handful of players turn them down. It seems pretty clear they’re paying a price for what happened last season.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Now, that’s the sort of thing that blows over quick if you win 90 or 95 games in 2016. Nothing about this has to be permanent, but last year’s Nats were miserable, and there are indications other players are wary of that keeping up

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’d still be awful surprised to see Cespedes turn down a 5-year guarantee for a 3-year guarantee but we don’t know enough details

9:04
_David_: Percentage chance Leonys Martin out WARs Justin Upton over the next 6 years?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: 10-20%? if Martin doesn’t hit, he’s going to have trouble getting that much playing time, and his defense isn’t going to improve. Upton, at least, we know is going to slug

9:07
striker: What’s Rick Hahn’s plan B if he loses out on Cespedes?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: To this point I don’t even know how involved they are on Cespedes

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: but they could use Kendrick or they could use Desmond

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: and those guys are going to sign somewhere

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Desmond fits easier, of course. As I think about it, Kendrick maybe not

9:10
NutButters: I proposed last chat that the Yankees try to sign Fister on a 1-year deal to replace Warren. Seeing talk of this on MLBTR now, is there really anyone else looking to gamble 2 years on him and his potentially 80s fastball?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Countless teams would be interested in Fister for one year, so it makes sense eventually someone would go to two years to take the lead. As an alternative, someone might offer two, with an opt-out after one

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Opt-outs don’t make analysis easier, but as long as they’re flying around, players might as well try to get as many of them as possible

9:12
Big Joe Mufferaw: Jeffrey, Over/under for yanks 3 headed monster for Ks is 310.5.. What do you think?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Last year they had 347, but Chapman figures to probably get suspended. Given that and regression, I’ll take the under

9:14
Ryan : What is the biggest weakness the Cubs have?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a chance it could be outfield defense if Heyward doesn’t have the smoothest transition to center (and if they don’t make another move)

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: failing that, god, I don’t know

9:15
Will Graham: Who is having the best offseason in filling their vast needs and why is it the Tigers

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Could just as easily be the Cubs

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: But if it’s the Tigers, it’s because they were willing to spend on all their needs, future be damned

9:16
Archie: ZIPs seems to think Dilson Herrera will see significant playing time this season. Where do you see him playing?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: ZiPS and this guy disagree

9:18
CamdenWarehouse: Hi Jeff. What’s the prognosis for Mike Zunino? Is he ever going to be a first division regular?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be fascinating to look at Zunino’s numbers this season, because he’s one of the guys who’s worked to overhaul his whole swing the last few months. He should spend the bulk of 2016 in the minors, and because of his lousy track record skepticism is warranted, but the physical skills are in there. We know he has the defense, and we know he has the power. If the coaches manage to unlock something that gives him an extra split-second for each pitch, he could look like a real starter in a year

9:20
R2D2: Boston won 78 games in 2015. Now imagine you are the Red Sox manager last year and you are responsible for which players play and what positions they play. How many wins do you estimate you could add to that 78 win total if you are free to pick the most efficient lineups and defensive alignments possible? In other words, you don’t need to cater to player egos or fan expectations. All you want to do is maximize win total.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, maybe another one or two, but I feel like I would’ve kept trying to find spots for Ramirez and Sandoval too because I have projections and track records in my head

9:21
Brett W: I am somewhat dubious that Lucroy had such a precipitous framing decline. My guess is part performance loss, part umpire awareness, and also the rest of the league raising the average.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: None of those would be reversible though, right? So even if Lucroy hasn’t physically gotten that much worse, who cares, if his value is down? Fewer runs are fewer runs

9:22
Lee Smurf: Which NL starting position player do you think is the most obvious candidate to switch to DH, besides Schwarber?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Kemp

9:22
Curtis: any 2B fliers you are digging? seems like a LEAN position…

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what this means but I like Enrique Hernandez

9:24
Bren: Is MLB still using the same ratings system for FA comp? It’s not as big a deal as it was under the old system, but Ian Kennedy netting the highest pick is still a little ridiculous.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I believe those comp picks are allocated in reverse order of the previous season’s record

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: so it’s not so much about Kennedy as it is about the fact the Padres were terrible

9:26
cena: where do you think matt carpenter should hit in the StL lineup?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: First or second

9:27
Brian: Looks to me that the Nats are aiming to have a very crowded NL outfield. Assuming they aren’t just trying to drive up the price for the Mets, doesn’t it make more sense to move Werth rather than Taylor or Revere?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Werth is almost impossible to move. And the sense I get is this is more of an ownership thing than a front-office thing, so this is more like something that would happen to Rizzo than something that Rizzo especially wants

9:28
Brad_in_NYC: What are your thoughts on the new Yoenis Cespedes talks…news outlets here are reporting that the Mets are offering at least a 3 year deal (thinking about more) with an opt out after year 1…I’m torn on this…I think Lagares will work fine just based on his defense and his wRC+ from the second half, but love the thought of a motivated Cespedes for 1 year

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of risk to Cespedes on a shorter-term deal.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: This is why the Mets have stayed in contact. If they actually hold to this constraint, I still find it hard to believe Cespedes would turn down the Nats’ longer offer, but I don’t know the money involved.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: The one-year opt-out is interesting as an idea, but consider the year Cespedes is coming off. He won’t do that again in 2016, and the market is pretty clearly indicating it doesn’t trust Cespedes to age very well.

9:31
NutButters: lol @ red sox being ahead of other contenders, the team and their fans will fade again this year by August. Not sure how they keep getting projection love, is this ESPN?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Well they did add David Price, Craig Kimbrel, and Carson Smith

9:31
cena: will we see mid-season opt-outs?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: They already exist for minor-league free agents. So there’s sort of a precedent, but this seems like a stretch. Maybe one day someone will have the balls to ask about it, but don’t hold your breath

9:34
Ben: Cubs trade Soler for a Rays or Indians pitcher, and trade Contreras & McKinney for Inciarte. Offseason done, World Series here we come.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure that first part is likely to happen. Not straight up

9:35
birdie slanders: What’s the A’s next big move? Lucroy kinda makes sense, as it moves Vogt to DH/backup catcher and lets them dump Butler

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced there is one. Lucroy could definitely appeal to them, but they might not have the prospect ammunition to keep up with the Rangers

9:36
LetsGoSuccos: Think the Pirates have any chance to compete in the NL Central again this year, or will this be a down year? I’d like to think we are okay, but we really could use one more competant SP imo.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Pirates. They’re good at getting the most out of their roster on a yearly basis. I don’t think they ultimately win the division, but they’re right there in the wild-card hunt

9:37
Bob: What’s up with Cliff Lee? He going to pitch this season?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: In the end I don’t think he does. Teams aren’t sure about his arm and Lee has done well enough in his career he doesn’t really want to have to work his way back up to anything

9:38
Walt: is there a time when overpaying is ok whether its FA or trade?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: There are times it’s better than other times. If you, say, have a lot of young players around who won’t be earning much for the next few years, then one of the benefits of that is you can afford to spend more on a high-level FA

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: the whole idea of efficiency is allowing yourself to splurge. otherwise you’re the Rays forever

9:39
Q-Ball: NL DH….are you a proponent?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s inevitable, and because I’ve always been an AL fan I have my own bias. I don’t think it’ll be bad for the sport in any way that actually matters. But I am personally going to miss pitcher-hitting statistics, just for the science of it all

9:41
birdie slanders: What’s your opinion on Mark Canha?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine. Flexibility makes him a little neat, but he’s neither good enough nor bad enough for me to have an opinion that’s in any way strong

9:43
_David_: Austin Jackson had 2.3 WAR last year…has basically been solid except for a half season in ’14 sent by God to keep the Mariners out of the playoffs…And he’s young…Are teams just really afraid of the overall trajectory of his hitting? Seems like he should get paid a lot as an average player at least.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The offense has eroded and teams don’t buy him as a plus defensive outfielder. So he’s a 4th OF who’s still young enough to think he should be a starter, and that’s a good recipe for a drawn-out FA process

9:44
Zonk: When we analyze opt outs, doesn’t front-loading the contract in some ways reduce the risk for the club? After all, in a normal contract nearly all the risk is at the back-end anyway. By front-loading the contract, if there is no opt-out you at least have a declining player on a lower contract. If they play well, they are likely worth the up-front cost, and then leave. It more closely mirrors expected performance. What say you?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the deal with all these things:

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: whoopsadoodle

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the deal with all these things: we can only really evaluate a contract if we know what the alternatives were. So just front-loading in general is worse for a team, because of what money is worth and inflation and everything, but you could balance that by front-loading and reducing the overall guarantee. Without knowing what other contracts would be possible, there’s only so much to be said

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: If you front-load a contract with an opt-out, you make it more likely the player leaves. To a very small extent we saw this with the Giants and Cueto. That’s okay for a team provided it’s factoring that in to the actual price. You don’t want to pay full retail price for that

9:48
Ulysses: Smarter for the White Sox to go after Fowler or Desmond at this point? Any starting pitcher they should go after in particular too?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I like Desmond’s potential flexibility, and I think he could be had cheaper

9:49
Matt: May I offer a challenge trade? Ender Inciarte and Arodys Vizcaino for JD Davis, Derek Fisher, and Alex Bregman. Who says no?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros are not going to do that

9:50
Colin: What player benefits most from the DH to the NL?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Schwarber

9:51
mattbalasis: Dave Cameron made a compelling case for Cespedes the other day, why are teams hesitant to offer the long term deal? Do you think there’s a latin bias, specifically regarding concerns over age/identity manipulation, ped’s, & do you think Alderson’s experience as MLB’s “fix-it” guy in the Dominican from back in 2010 informs these proceedings?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think with Cespedes in particular, there are concerns over how much he’ll remain motivated, and how well he’ll stay conditioned. I have no idea how valid that is, because I don’t observe the guy off the field every day, but it’s pretty clear what the market is saying. And, I mean, the guy apparently smokes a lot. I think that’s a legitimate red flag

9:53
Q-Ball: It seems like this offseason has had fewer bad contracts than last offseason. Is that just hindsight, or reality?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: A lot more opt-outs. Clouds the picture

9:53
Greg: This feels like a dumb question, and I know how “Google is my friend”, but could you explain what a “market inefficiency” is and how it’s changed over the years?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: A market inefficiency would refer to an area where you think you’re able to get more than 1 win of value for the average cost of 1 win on the market. The classic example, on account of Moneyball, is OBP-first players, who were getting underpaid, relative to what they contributed

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Over time, there have been suggestions that defense became undervalued. So, if you had a two-win player with a strong bat, maybe he’d get $15 million. But you might be able to spend $10 million on two-win player who’s more glove-first

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: The obvious issue there is our defensive numbers still aren’t great, but you look at, say, Leonys Martin, and he’s been a really good defender in CF, and the Mariners got him for relatively little

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: The last 3 years, Martin has a slightly higher WAR than Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez. The latter 2 are in more demand, because they hit. This could be a legitimate inefficiency

9:59
guest guest guest: what kind of career do you foresee for maikel franco? aramis ramirez-lite?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I could see Beltre’s bat without Beltre’s defense

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Well I guess that’s Ramirez

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: OK!

10:01
Raindog: It’s weird that a to-be 27 year old semi-catcher with a .193 career ISO had to go to Korea for a job, right?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: All Wilin Rosario has is power. Pedro Alvarez doesn’t have a job and he’s the better hitter. Since Rosario can’t actually catch very well, it’s not really a selling point

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: You’d think he could fit somewhere as a bench guy and emergency catcher, but that’s a job with little security. He’ll play every day in Korea, and he’s getting seven figures to do so

10:04
_David_: Can MLB institute a Loria Rule wherein teams have to put a percentage of their revenue towards payroll? Maybe, to prevent forcing teams to spend each year just to spend, put the money in an account that can be used at any point towards payroll, but the team can’t keep it…

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: A few years ago MLB nudged the Marlins because they weren’t spending enough

10:04
Kim: If you were Dipoto and were trying to convince a FA to sign with the Mariners, what would your pitch be? I’m especially interested if it’s a position player.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they have to do anything extraordinary. But you make a point to hit on how the park isn’t extreme anymore, and the city is beautiful, and there’s a chance to really be part of something if the Mariners make it back to the playoffs

10:06
guest guest guest: brett gardner for jorge soler + ptbnl. who says no?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs

10:06
Bob Pollard: Victor Martinez: done or will bounce back?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Bounce back. Not to 2014 levels, but he’s too good, and next year he should have his legs

10:08
Zach: When it comes to evaluating/ranking farm systems, do we know enough to say whether it’s more important to be better at identifying raw talent and getting it into your system, or at refining the talent you do have? Obviously the goal is to do both, but is one superior to the other?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is development is more important than evaluation. Most teams should be pretty good at spotting on-field talent. The real difference is in maximizing the talent you have. We don’t know enough to quantify that but I think people have senses of who has and has not been good at the development aspect

10:09
Brett W: Is baserunning a teachable skill? It seems like some combination of baseball IQ, instinct, raw speed, and acceleration.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: To some extent it can definitely be taught. A player can only ever be so good, given his own skills, but there was that year the Mets got Daniel Murphy to steal a bunch of bases

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Awareness is like half of good and bad baserunning. You can grab free bases if you understand the pitcher and catcher aren’t paying you enough attention

10:11
Aron: The Mariners have six starters that could theoretically be in the rotation Opening Day. What’s their best strategy? Keep one in the minors because someone always gets hurt, throw one in the bullpen and have a fireman reliever whatever the hell that means until someone else gets hurt, trade the most injury-prone (Paxton?), or something else?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine Nuno as the swing man, and Paxton to Triple-A until someone or Paxton gets hurt

10:12
Sean P : Approximately how many hours each day do you spend writing?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Actually writing? 3, maybe 4. But several more are spent researching or brainstorming. Or reading, which is part of it

10:13
Bob Pollard: Why have the White Sox not signed Desmond yet? He fits their “patching holes to try to contend” philosophy, and they need a SS.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. I assume price, and maybe Cespedes being a higher priority

10:15
Q-Ball: Is it possible for a player to get a contract clause that prohibits a club from offering a QO? Maybe a club option so large there’s no chance the club will excercise it?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The CBA prohibits such language

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yoenis Cespedes had a clause guaranteeing that he would be released at the end of his deal, and you can’t offer a QO to a released player, but I think that was a special circumstance

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: (because Cespedes was hitting free agency before racking up six years of service)

10:17
Gary: How often do you think teams sign players with the hope of trading them at the deadline?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Infrequently, but it does happen

10:18
Derek: Hey Jeff! Brandon Crawford…everyone says regression but that Giants Magic….think he could actually IMPROVE his power numbers this year?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’ll improve them, but I definitely think he could sustain them

10:19
BurleighGrimes: Given the insane price for pitching this offseason, the volatility of pitcher health, and their payroll concerns, would you have traded Harvey for young position player(s) if you were in charge?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve been open to it, but of course moving him depends on the offers coming back. I wouldn’t have just made a point of trading Harvey no matter what

10:19
Jaack: How impressive is it only took one season for the Padres to go back to being the most boring team in the leage?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Given enough time everyone regresses to their own level

10:20
mattbalasis: Is the Mets rotation a victim of it’s own composition when it comes to rankings? It occurs to me that any of their big 3 (or 4) would feature prominently a majority of MLB rotations, but on the Mets they’re all 2nd fiddle — to each OTHER! … fangraphs projects 84 wins for the Mets? With all that pitching??

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll project better, I think, when ZiPS gets folded in

10:21
Aaron: Is someone going to pry Sonny Gray away from Oakland before ST?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Won’t happen

10:23
Gary: Someone asked this on a chat earlier this week, curious your thoughts. At the end of the year, what do you think people will consider Dipoto’s best/worst moves of the offseason?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Just as a guess, I think people will like the Martin trade, and I think they’ll question the Miley trade. Moving Miller was risky, too, but they seem awful high on Powell

10:26
Kevin: Who says no: Bryce Harper for Mookie Betts? Nationals easily win on expected value, Red Sox would do it because they’re getting Bryce Harper (although as a fan I wouldn’t want them to).

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Nationals pass on that

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: But, god damn, this question

10:27
_David_: Would you rather have Wade Miley 3/27 and a draft pick or Ian Kennedy 5/70 (plus Carson Smith and Roenis Elias)?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the first one, but those aren’t the only options

10:29
Ronnie: The Rays don’t have any money or a legit catcher. Boom! Jonathan Lucroy! I’m fine with no Snell or Adames but would a package built around some combiantion of Honeywell/Guerreri/Faria and Bauers/Robertson be fair for both sides?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I honestly don’t know how interested the Rays would be in two years of a potentially declining Lucroy. They might believe they can approximate him with what they have in-house and they’re not really in a position to try to consolidate value

10:29
Jordan: Are the Tigers the most expensive and flawed team in history?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Remember the Phillies?

10:30
Pinstripe Wizard: Do you think Desmond will have to take a pillow contract and try to prove that last year was a down year for him before he gets a long term deal?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: He might prefer it

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him as a one-year opt-out guy

10:32
Jim: Who’s your favorite all time player under ~5 WAR, and least favorite over ~65 WAR?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Curt Schilling for the second part

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: or Pete Rose, or Roger Clemens

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: first part might be Justin Leone or Michael Saunders

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: oh, or Ryan Rowland-Smith

10:34
Kelly: Mariners biggest weakness this year?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I could see it being the bullpen if Cishek struggles, or power if Cruz takes a step back and the rebound guys don’t rebound very much

10:35
mattbalasis: How do you think MLB will approach the player “opt out” clause in the new CBA?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Probably more of a Dave question. I don’t think it needs to be regulated

10:38
LioneeR: Could the Cubs projecting Heyward as their 2016 CF’er in their pitch for Lester be considered tampering? Feels like it is walking the line.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Teams are allowed to forecast whatever they want. It would only really matter if the Cubs were having conversations with Heyward about it back then

10:39
Trapper: Do these huge (maybe they aren’t huge anymore, but they seem huge) contracts for decent-to-good free agent pitchers make the Wade Miley deal look better?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Miley still cost a seemingly excellent reliever and a 6th starter

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: They kind of make the Happ deal look better

10:40
Meowmix: I know you don’t like fantasy baseball questions, but what if there was a baseball that grew little wings on it and could fly around like a bee? That could be really hard to hit.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Important baseball. Would be terrible if it got fouled off into the seats though

10:40
Montucky: Is Felix due for a bounceback, or have we seen the last run at a CY?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect he was struggling last year with some ankle issues. We have presumably seen the best of him, but I think he’s still an ace when he’s right

10:44
Kevin: What could the Sox potentially get midseason for Christian Vasquez, after let’s say he looks good for a month? What’s their game plan wrt having two of the top young backstops in the game? They can’t seriously ‘use Swihart in LF if Rusney’s bad’ as I’ve read, can they??

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I assume Vazquez begins in Triple-A, and you go from there. He comes up if Swihart struggles. He comes up if Hanigan struggles. He doesn’t come up, if he struggles. And then you don’t really have a roster crunch after all

10:45
Who_Is_Zorbist?: The Rays are waiting til next week to announce Piece signing. Lots of rumors about Cubs/Rays. Any one of the Rays starters seem way more valuable than Soler/Baez. Why would the Rays want another Steven Souza, or another Sean Rodriguez?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Because Soler and Baez have star-player upside and the Rays seldom get a chance to invest in star players

10:46
Pinstripe Wizard: Why are LHPs with good changeups held in such higher regard than RHP with good changeups?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure. Are they? People love Felix’s changeup

10:47
Dan: Is it possible the Nats rotation is underrated? No one seems to talk about Ross or Giolito’s eventual promotion…

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s definitely some Nats fatigue. And there’s Strasburg skepticism. But if this turns into a really strong unit, it shouldn’t be surprising

10:48
Eric: When MLB decided to expand to Colorado, were they aware of the implications that playing a mile above sea level would have on the game?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: You know, that’s a good question

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: There was already minor-league baseball in Colorado Springs

10:50
Raindog: Doug Fister 2015: 14.0 K%, 5.4 BB%, 44.6 GB%, 86.2 FBvel. Mark Buehrle 2007: 13.8 K%, 5.4 BB%, 43.2 GB%, 85.9 FBvel. Clearly Fister’s got another 8 good years in him, right?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Just need to turn him into a pickoff machine

10:50
Dan: Nats line up still better than Mets, even if the Mets sign Cespedes?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a little bit, especially if Rendon rebounds

10:51
mike sixel: Have you seen the REI app for the national parks? Looks like a very nice free app for hiking. Odds the Twins’ Park can hit MLB pitching enough to be a good DH?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Just got an email about that. Will give it a look! I like Park. I might be higher on the good Korean hitters than other people but I think he can be an average overall player, even as a DH

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: The downside is he’s Chris Carter

10:52
Tim: Going to Portland for a quick trip this weekend. Favorite restaurant or bar or anything else you’d recommend doing?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Weather looks like it’ll be bad. I love Cascade barrel room. Bailey’s downtown if it’s not crowded which it is. Eat brunch at Screen Door if you don’t mind waiting. Hale Pele is an awesome tiki bar which I didn’t think I’d ever say

10:53
Teddy: Are you a nice person

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think so, but I could be nicer

10:53
Brian: Fernandez and Stanton for Betts and Eduardo Rodriguez?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: nope

10:54
tenaciousdeucer: r.e. Nats bad rep – but they hired DUSTY BAKER!!!!

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: And actually he should help the clubhouse reputation

10:54
mattbalasis: Ozuna or Pearce as an OF sleeper candidate?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Ozuna for upside, Pearce for adequacy

10:54
JV: Samardzija going to have a comeback year in Frisco?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Just about the perfect situation for him

10:54
Jed: Have you ever thought about working out of a coworking space?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve thought about it, but then I’ve also tried working in coffeeshops and it turns out it is impossible for me to concentrate on anything through the slightest of background noise

10:55
Zonk: Everyone thinks Schwarber is a DH, but I think he’s a good athlete who with some training is going to surprise people in LF. No Gold Gloves in his future, but good arm, he isn’t Adam Dunn 2.0 either. What’s your take?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: People literally said all that about Adam Dunn

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: “He was a quarterback, you know”

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely think Schwarber can be playable. Few defensive disasters with players so young. But honestly you can just look at him and know he won’t be a defensive plus. The Cubs should be happy if he’s a -5 left fielder for a few years

10:56
Bill: At 5/100, what teams should NOT be in on Cespedes?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a whole lot of them, if the concerns about him are valid

10:57
Raindog: Austin Jackson put up 2.3 WAR last year, why do I keep seeing smart people say he’s coming off a bad year?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t hit

10:57
jtt: What do you think it is like to negotiate against Scott Boras? Mike Illitch might not know that much about baseball but he is a business man worth 5 billion dollars, he probably isn’t awful at negotiation

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: The Boras pitch is “hey, you’re going to die soon, and you want to win, so you need this player.” It’s hard to argue successfully against that.

10:58
Andrew: Is it just me, or are there more free agents than usual making decisions based on favorite team? Zobrist, Heyward, and now maybe Cespedes are choosing to leave money on the table for a better team environment.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think players are leaving *that* much money on the table. The Cespedes situation would be interesting because his could be the biggest gap turned down

10:59
mattbalasis: Who is the odd man out of AZ, Aaron Hill, Chris Owings or Brandon Drury?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Drury if they can’t make Hill go away

10:59
Big Joe Mufferaw: Are people forgetting that Cespedes had a .296 OBP over 2 full seasons in 2013-14? I don’t get why he should get 100 mil

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: He has other skills and he had a huge 2015. But, you know, his 2012 looked a lot like his 2015. This is one of those things where a year from now we could look at him and wonder why everyone was freaking out about his value

11:00
Sam: Would Dillon Tate and Mike Matuella be a fair trade for Lucroy? I don’t know if that’s still too high an expectation. I’m sad because I feel like Fangraphs lowers Luc’s value every day 🙁

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Tate, Matuella, and a third piece should be sufficient

11:00
Bill: Have you seen any player projections that you have a gut feeling are going to be way off? If so, who?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. Just for example, Steamer gives Brandon Crawford 2.3 WAR and a 94 wRC+. I don’t buy that one bit

11:01
Jack: Do the Mets even need Cespedes? He really shouldn’t play CF and Conforto and Granderson are pretty fine options in the corners.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: No, they don’t need him, but if they can have him for a three-year guarantee with a one-year opt-out, that’s hard to turn down

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Get a motivated Cespedes in 2016 and make another run for it

11:03
Kyle Seager: If I play like this for 25 more years I’m probably in the HOF

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: One day at a time

11:03
Carl: Let’s say the Mariners are in contention come the deadline and are wanting to make a move. Who/what (as specific or vague as you’d like) do you think they will be targeting?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a reliever and a better 1B partner for Lind

11:05
Devin: How has Alex Wood’s star dimmed so much in a year? He’s still young, and it doesn’t feel like people are really talking about him, or thinking he has the upside to be more than the projected 1.5 win pitcher

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Over 2 years, he’s lost a ton of strikeouts, and over 3 years, he’s lost two miles off his fastball. There’s reason for concern here

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, two years ago he got his strikeouts despite a fastball that looked a lot like the 2015 version. So people are probably also underestimating his bounceback potential

11:05
Zonk: Maybe Cespedes’s agents are just trying to get the Nats to add an opt-out. If they do, they likely get it done. Agree?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I bet the Nats are already offering an opt-out

11:06
Pinstripe Wizard: Which MLB team is most like the San Antonio Spurs?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know much about basketball but it’s the Cardinals

11:06
Zorak: If everybody is so afraid of Cespedes’ motivation, why doesn’t somebody offer him a Maeda type deal? Low base salary with crazy incentive bonuses.

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: He can still do better than that

11:07
Ptite Graine Cameron: I don’t get the sox hype… They were pegged as favorites last year, and now Ortiz is 40, Pedroia is not getting any better, Hanley and Pablo have not shown any sign of life, their SPing is thin and People are simply banking that Betts and Boggarts continue to improve (improvement is not linear)

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: They improved the rotation and the bullpen. They look good.

11:07
Norrin Radd: Andre Drummond of the NBA shoots free throws at 36%… 36%! I feel I could easily beat that. If the given the opportunity, what stat do you think you could beat a MLB regular in?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: If I were a pitcher I bet I could lead the league in hit-by-pitches

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I bet I could post a pretty low walk rate, since all my strikes would get hit somewhere

11:08
Kevin: When, if ever, will we be able to see if the Mariners’ overhaul of their development staff will be successful?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: 4-5 years

11:08
Guest: You can’t have a mid-season opt-out in a Major League contract. The standard contract obligates a player to play the entire season.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Neat! Thank you

11:09
jtt: Jeff – Carlos peugero just signed with the cardinals. How excited would you be if they can work their devil magic on him? I know you irrationally love you some carlos peguero

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Peguero + literally one clue = MVP

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time for me to roll

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/22/16 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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JCCfromDC
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JCCfromDC

NatsFan: If the Nats fail again on Cespedes should we begin to think they have might have a bad rep with free agents?

Jeff Sullivan: We’ve already seen a handful of players turn them down. It seems pretty clear they’re paying a price for what happened last season.

This narrative has been kicking around to the point where it’s a thing people talk about because people are talking about it. But I’d argue that the reason that the Nats haven’t closed deals with players they’ve talked to has a lot more to do with Mike Rizzo not being willing to go out of his valutation assessment than with the way the players see the team.

Heyward: Nats offer is nominally more money, but over a longer period to time (10/$200M) which lowers both the AAV and the present value. Heyward got $23M/year guaranteed over eight years, plus two opt outs. As Cameron pointed out in another chat, Heyward got a better offer from the Cubs. Nats decline to match, Heyward goes with the better deal.

O’Day: it come down to the Nats and the O’s (the one negotiation where Angelos will hang in to the bitter end). O’s guarantee O’Day a fourth (age 37) year. Nats decline to match, O’Day goes with the better deal.

Phillips: demands that the Reds guarantee an extra year before he will agree to trade. Reds decline. Nats decline. Deal falls through.

Zobrist: OK, here the player took less money to sign with another team. But the Giants made the same offer the Nats did (4/$60M) and Zobrist didn’t take that offer, either. Strongly suggesting that signing was more about the Cubs than anything to do with the Nats.