Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/30/14

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I hope you’re having a pleasant this time of year

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: If anybody is around, let us discuss the sport that we discuss

9:05
Comment From John
All this talk of Drew going to get 9-10 a year for multiple years is ridonculous right?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve believed it to be more ridiculous before Kendrys Morales got real money for two guaranteed seasons. Seems teams are willing to forgive the missed-spring-training thing, and Drew is a shortstop in a market that doesn’t have any

9:06
Comment From Guest
Why don’t you do this chat at 3pm or something, take the opportunity to sleep in?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I keep starting later and later, minutes at a time, and eventually these’ll get going at night

9:07
Comment From Guest
I’m having a great this time of year, Jeff, thanks!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you! Thank you everybody!

9:07
Comment From Mike
Happy New Year Jeff. Looks like Asdrubal to the Rays.. where does Zobrist end up?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Popular pick is the Giants. You obviously bet the field over the Giants, individually, but he’d fill a lot of roles there, and they have the resources since he’s only under control one more year

9:08
Comment From Curtis
Susac catching for SF in future or somewhere else?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I envision him gradually gaining more and more playing time each year in San Francisco

9:09
Comment From Tom
ZiPS for the Cardinals has 1B as their only glaring hole. What do you see them doing long-term with that position? Is Matt Adams the answer or do you see them going elsewhere?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Adams is young, cheap, and fine, so he’s not really a *problem* — on another team, a less deep team, he wouldn’t be a concern. Adams clearly isn’t an impact player in development, so the Cardinals’ next franchise 1B presumably isn’t in the organization, but for the time being Adams is a fine plug-in

9:10
Comment From Curtis
2014 role for Marco Gonzales?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not in the rotation right now, but I expect him to pick up a lot of starter innings in the event of DL trips or Carlos Martinez not working out well enough

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Sixth starters, in this day and age, tend to get a lot of work.

9:12
Comment From Birthday Boy
Hey Jeff, if the M’s get Seth Smith, who do you think they will end up shipping to San Diego? Maurer? Thanks.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Charlie Furbush would make a lot of sense in a bullpen that doesn’t have a good shutdown lefty, but then the Mariners also probably want to keep a shutdown lefty. Maurer’s a good guess. Maurer or Farquhar

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I figured there was a good chance that Maurer would be part of a package going to Atlanta for Justin Upton at one point

9:14
Comment From Danny
What would Zobrist cost in trade?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Good player, going to cost about $7.5 million. Qualifying offer at the end. If Zobrist is worth something like, I don’t know, $30 million based just on his wins contributed, then you’re looking at the Rays asking for an upper-level prospect. Obviously not a Kris Bryant level or anything, but Zobrist is going to cost one or two pieces close to big-league ready

9:15
Comment From RyanW
Which pitcher do you prefer and why? Gausman or Aaron Sanchez?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Gausman; superior record of throwing strikes

9:15
Comment From Jose
Is there any chance the Scherzer contract wont be terrible?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but not a 50% chance

9:15
Comment From Aaron
Cabrera to the Rays opens the door for a Zobrist to Toronto or Washington trade, right?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s time now for the Zobrist sweepstakes. But there’s also Takashi Toritani and Hector Olivera out there. Toritani will make a decision soon, but Olivera might be months off. So those are minor complications

9:16
Comment From Curtis
As an Aaron Sanchez fan should I root hard for the Jays to acquire a closer? I hope he gets an extended chance to start….

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: If you root specifically for Aaron Sanchez, and you specifically want for him to start, yeah, you want the Jays to get another reliever. But Sanchez might be best in the bullpen anyway, so

9:17
Comment From GSon
Hamels wears a ________________ Uniform on Opening Day?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve moved my guess from Boston to Philadelphia to San Diego

9:17
Comment From Andrew
Who has a better year: Latos or Carrasco?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Carrasco

9:17
Comment From Sandy
thanks for making the work day bearable. What position on the diamond was your favorite to play back in the day?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Well I pretty much only pitched, but I really miss pitching. I love the feeling of being at the center of everything. You’re the guy in control of the game

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: BABIP luck excepted. But I didn’t think about that in high school

9:18
Comment From Guest
There’s not much exciting going on in baseball lately Jeff. I liked your team projection pieces though, fun stuff. Funny results, too! Surprised we’re not seeing predictions of more variance when the crowd pitches in, though.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: There are a few teams where people believe the projections are off. I’m guessing I’ll re-visit the results in depth early next week. The rest of this week is basically shot but I really want to examine how people have voted

9:19
Comment From Your Display Name
What three teams have the best chance to outperform their projections?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. In no order, and assuming things remain as they are right now:

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Brewers

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Mets

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Orioles

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’ll do

9:20
Comment From Guest
Did you grow up in the PNW, or did you move there? If so, do you miss having proper seasons?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Moved to Portland about five years ago. Great decision by Past Jeff

9:21
Comment From Joe
Would the Yankees have received a draft pick had they offered a Kuroda a qualifying offer (now that he signed back over to japan)?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not 100% certain here, but my understanding is, no, there would have been no draft pick

9:21
Comment From Hutch
M’s fan here. Am I off-base when I say that getting Seth Smith feels like marrying your really boring on again, off again long-term love interest that you don’t really love because you’re 30 and don’t want to live your life alone, whereas getting Zobrist is like throwing off the shackles of society’s expectations and carpe diem and marrying the tatted up professional artist that your mother hates because that’s what your heart feels?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: In this example, Ben Zobrist is put forward as the alternative, counter-culture, rebellious type

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist would be an exciting acquisition, no doubt. Smith would be less exciting, but honestly, I think a chunk of that is because of his name. Seth Smith. Who could give a crap about Seth Smith? Now imagine the same numbers posted by someone named…Xavier Lagodulce.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Getting Seth Smith is like getting Matt Joyce. Pretty useful. Far less expensive than getting Ben Zobrist.

9:25
Comment From Mike
Mets SS: Drew, Flores, Tejada or someone else? Do you think they could match up for Zobrist and play him at SS and shift him all over the place?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Mets would definitely match up well for Zobrist, but I don’t think they’re interested in paying what it would cost to have Zobrist for one year. They’re trying to be in this for longer.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’m assuming it’s Flores

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Tulowitzki is the dream, but I just can’t see a trade getting agreed to before he gets back on a field and proves himself healthy

9:26
Comment From TedR
Victorino’s playing somewhere else in 2015, right?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think it’s that certain. The Red Sox still have a piece or two to move, but I think Victorino is great as part of an outfield foursome

9:27
Comment From RyanW
What’s your Kris Bryant projection in the bigs this year?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not as high on his rookie season as Steamer. Steamer sees a 128 wRC+; I’m more 100 – 110

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I like Bryant a lot, but the gap between Triple-A and the majors right now is enormous

9:28
Comment From Guest
Should I pay $260 for standing room tickets to see the Caps play someone in iced hockey on a rink temporarily placed on the infield of Nats stadium? Leaning no

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I would say no, but I don’t know how much that money means to you. If you regularly drop a few hundred dollars for things like meals or events, then, go for it.

9:28
Comment From Curtis
What will the Cubs OF look like in 2015? would it rank in the top half of MLB?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: No, I don’t think it’s going to be a top-half outfield. I figure they’ll get one more guy, but I dont’ think he’ll be special

9:29
Comment From Dustin
Is there any reason whatsoever for an Atlanta Braves fan like myself to be excited about the upcoming season?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m really super interested in Alex Wood

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: uhhhh

9:30
Comment From GSon
Should the Indians consider trading one of Salazar or McAllister if they can get Wil Myers in return?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:30
Comment From Guest
Most recent word is that a few teams like Drew for 2B…

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Neat thing about shortstops is they can also play not-shortstop

9:30
Comment From Compton
Would you consider Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus to be complimentary or substitute goods?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: They’re fairly complementary in many ways, but then there’s only so much baseball content people can consume

9:31
Comment From Mike
Over / Under on Mets wins: 85

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I mentally think of them as 82 – 83

9:31
Comment From RyanW
The starting SS/2b for the Rangers in 2016 will be?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Andrus/Profar

9:32
Comment From Mariah Carey
Steamer has Logan Morrison at a 117 wRC+. When will Steamer be updated?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, last year he finished at 110. I also did not realize that

9:32
Comment From boss
So Cabrera signing with the Rays…Zobrist is gone, right?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a good time to be selling the best available position player

9:33
Comment From boss
Thoughts on a Susac/Crick for Zobrist trade?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Would be a good trade for the Rays

9:34
Comment From The Colonel
Kennys Vargas, the kid looks like he could be good and he’s OPS’d over .800 every year. The Twins must believe in him because he hits cleanup. What do we have with this guy?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a lot of swing and miss in his game, and while he has a positive track record he’s seldom been dominant. Moved quickly, which is a point in his favor. He obviously hits the ball harder than almost anyone else when he connects, but the same could be said of Carlos Peguero. Vargas is a little better than Peguero, but without much in the way of defensive value, he only really fits on a team presently not going anywhere

9:37
Comment From Eric
Do you think Toritani (at $3M/1) plus Travis is better than Asdrubal (at $8M/1) + Travis for Jays?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I like Travis. Toritani is easier to displace. Asdrubal’s declining. I don’t think the Jays missed out here

9:37
Comment From Who plays 2B for White Sox, who plays 1B for Philly if Howard is jettisoned?
Which OF, if any, are the Giants chasing?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist count?

9:37
Comment From steven
will there ever be harsher penalties applied to teams who go way past their international budgets?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Better question for Kiley!

9:38
Comment From Your Display Name
Do you consider yourself snobby about anything?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: There’s only vestigial snobbiness remaining. People should enjoy what they enjoy

9:38
Comment From The Colonel
A’s seem high on Jesse Hahn. Could he be a mid-rotation guy or do you see him more of a back-end starter?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a No. 3 with questions about his health

9:39
Comment From The Colonel
I read a lot of mixed opinions on Arismendy Alcantara. How do you see his career playing out?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt he ever does a ton of hitting. Obviously like his versatility. I’d be a fan of him as a 450-PA utility player.

9:40
Comment From Compton
Any interesting findings from the projections polls yesterday? I have to assume that there will be a clear skew of people thinking all teams(except the Phillies) will win more than they’re projected.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I want to give them more than a day before I examine the results in depth. But I’m really looking forward to getting everything in a spreadsheet

9:42
Comment From Mike
With Jimmy *officially* gone from Philly, would it make sense for the Phillies to try and go out and sign Everth Cabrera or Stephen Drew to one year deals? Would be able to guarantee them playing time, with the ability to rebuild value. Bigger question would be, would either of those 2 want to sign in Philly.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Would only really make sense if the Phillies intended to make a midseason trade. That would be the upside for the players signing there. But some other team will offer more money or a better opportunity

9:43
Comment From John
does san diego have any lefty hitters? kemp, upton, myers, middlebrooks, gyorko all righties, no? who am i foregting

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Smith, Venable, Alonso, Amarista, Solarte

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: But, yeah, it’s lopsided

9:44
Comment From Mike
Any New Years Plans?

9:44
9:44
Comment From Mookie Fan
Can Jose Ramirez keep significant PT in CLE or does he need to be dealt?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Well he doesn’t need to be dealt, but yeah, he’s not going to hold Lindor off forever. Something will happen between today and next December

9:46
Comment From Guest
Sibling question to one asked of you last chat: what’s the least cool thing that has happened to you related to/as a result of your work as a baseball journalist?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: On most FanGraphs trips I share a hotel room with Dave, who snores

9:47
Comment From John
A-Cab. 1 year $8. Good? Should the blue jays be kicking themselves right now?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Jays pretty clearly prefer a guy in the Toritani mold. And Cabrera’s only getting worse. It’s a fine deal, but nothing Toronto needs to worry about

9:48
Comment From Chris
Do you see the Mariners making a play for Zobrist?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll make an offer, if they haven’t, but they’re not a great fit for a one-year player

9:49
Comment From Art Vandelay
If Shields gets the 9 figures he’s allegedly asking for, would that be the worst signing of the offseason?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: That would be bad, but you could still see a worse return from Cruz, or Markakis, or Martinez. Shields remains a pretty good pitcher who’s faced a lot of tough opponents

9:49
Comment From Curtis
Jesse Hahn in Oakland is a good fit, yes?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Many pitchers in Oakland are good fits. Hahn is among them!

9:50
Comment From L. Scott
Will Mike Piazza make the HOF? And do you think he deserves it?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll make it, and he’ll deserve it

9:50
Comment From Ryan
What sort of production do you see from Rougned Odor this year? Is he the everyday 2B in Texas?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Right now he’s the everyday 2B, but only until the Rangers deem Profar ready in the minors. I still see Odor as a real trade candidate and possibly within the next few weeks.

9:51
Comment From Howard
Many of my fellow Mets fans are optimistic of a playoff berth in 2015. I think they are insane and that best case, they’re an 84-win non playoff team. Who’s right?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Well, actual best case, the Mets stay healthy and add Troy Tulowitzki and they hold pretty close to the Nationals. I don’t think the Mets are a playoff team right now, but they’re close enough to the fourth and fifth-best teams in the NL that you might as well dream, right? There’s plenty of talent there

9:52
Comment From Mike
Better Year: Gausman or Odorizzi?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Odorizzi

9:52
Comment From Ed
Who’s gonna be traded first in Rays, Yunel Escobar or Ben Zobrist?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: People want Zobrist

9:53
Comment From jester king
Do you think a GM has ever ponded where to play a middle IF and said “2B, or not 2B” and laughed quietly to himself before taking another drink from the bottle of Jack that moved from a drawer of his desk to on top of it once he realized his team was expensive and terrible and he wasn’t long for this career

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Problem is I don’t think people say 2B out loud like that

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Second base is very easy to say

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: sorry 🙁

9:54
Comment From Compton
Trinity College was an answer(question?) on Jeopardy last week! The only reason I knew the answer was because of your recent FG audio with Cistulli. I guess my point is: you should fill in for Dave more often, the change up was enjoyable!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I like doing the pods but it gets weird when there’s almost literally nothing to discuss, like yesterday. I get uncomfortable when we go too long without talking about baseball because I know why people actually listen to these things, but then when there’s no baseball to discuss…

9:55
Comment From Milton
I ordered a mousepad on snapfish because why not everyone needs a new mousepad now and then and because it was 50% off by S&H is like the entirety of that 50% off and if I would have spent $13 more dollars to get to the point I got free shipping so actually I paid more because I got less what is this I don’t even

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: sweet mousepad though

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: My mousepad has a picture of Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra standing next to one another in sweaters. It says “Any time. Anywhere. Any inning.” and it’s from Fleet HomeLink, which I understand to have been related to a bank at some point

9:56
Comment From Julian
It seems that teams are always looking for a certain type of player, usually at a certain position. The sabermetric community seems to think an upgrade is an upgrade? Why the discrepancy?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s actually much of a discrepancy. Sometimes teams do get locked into thinking they need one thing in particular, but those teams are falling into a trap. Ordinarily it’s just about upgrading however you can, and teams have a bias for plugging holes instead of upgrading positions that are already okay

9:57
Comment From Im in a keeper league and own Xander Boegarts as my SS. Do you feel Ill need to draft a guy like Asdrubal Cabrera as insurance, or would you feel confident that Xander is going to live up to the hype?
I’m in a keeper league and own Xander Boegarts as my SS. Do you feel I’ll need to draft a guy like Asdrubal Cabrera as insurance, or would you feel confident that Xander is going to live up to the hype?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I like Bogaerts in 2015

9:57
Comment From Flippy
You should flip the chat.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how. No one ever told me. None of the settings I’ve changed appear to have done the trick. 🙁

9:57
Comment From Miranda Remaklus
Have you ever seen Carson Cistulli and Dan Szymborski in the same room together?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: no

9:58
Comment From Big Hurt
Have the Rays given up on Nick Franklin already or do they simply want him to spend another half-year on the farm so they have another year of team control?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: No, they haven’t given up on him, but they dont’ need to rush him and he hasn’t at all proven himself yet.

9:59
Comment From Matt
Has Ben Zobrist generated more WAR/$ in his contract than any other player in the past 20 years?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Without doing the actual analysis, I know he’s up there, but what are we doing with guys like Mike Trout and league-minimum contracts?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist, incidentally, is a hell of a story in retrospect. No power to speak of, and then all of a sudden it appeared. One of the most valuable players in franchise history, acquired for Aubrey Huff

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Half a season of Aubrey Huff

10:02
Comment From Julian
Could Colby Rasmus be a Morse replacement for the Giants on a similar deal?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:03
Comment From McNulty
Does Heyward take a step forward and have a year like 2010 or 2012?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think he slugs in the low .400s, not the upper .400s

10:05
Comment From Mike
Would Dilson Herrera and Steven Matz get Zobrist, or would the Mets have to give more or are they giving up too much, or is it just right?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: That wouldn’t be an unfair trade for the Rays to make, but I feel like they’d be able to get more. More of a certain impact

10:05
Comment From Yrittrea
I think your Twins projection is a bit off.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I made that edit after like 20 minutes. Is it still showing up?

10:05
Comment From Curtis
Maybe the Padres could include Odrisamer Despaigne in a Seth Smith deal….

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Now we’re talking

10:06
Comment From RyanW
What are your expectations for Fielder, Choo and thus the Rangers chances this year? I think the front office is crossing their fingers and hoping we start another run in 2016

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think Fielder and Choo are both in real trouble. Injuries obviously were a factor last season, but I don’t think they explain everything, nor do I think they’ll be easy to bounce back from. I think those are real problem deals, and I think that puts the Rangers in an unpleasant spot where they don’t know which year to prioritize

10:07
Comment From Rhendricks
Sound the Cardinals be a bigger player in the pitching market right now? Seems to me most of their projected starting 5 comes with question marks (Waino’s health, Lackey’s age, Wacha’s health/durability, CMart’s durability).

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Cardinals’ talent and depth. Not sold on Martinez, and anyone in that rotation could get injured, but they have sixth and seventh and eighth starters in place. Everyone could use an upgrade, but they don’t have a real need

10:09
Comment From Ceej
Do you think that Pedro Alvarez will rebound back to around where he was 2 years ago?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Depends what he does with his swing adjustment. He just cut down on his strikeouts, which seems like a good thing, but it also appears to have led to worse contact. Alvarez might be best as an all-or-nothing sort, and considering even last year he had a 103 wRC+, I can see him getting back to the 110 level. Of course, as a first baseman, that’s not so terrific

10:10
Comment From John
if you are the mets, dont you almost want to do a tulo trade now and negotiate on the risk? if tulo comes back and puts up a monster 1st half, then EVERY team in baseball is on him and the mets have no legitimate shot, plus he costs more

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Well that’s the whole dilemma, right? With the risk, Tulo’s value is a little down. But you don’t want to pay as much, because of the risk. And you know the Rockies value Tulo incredibly high. I want the Mets to do it from an outsider’s perspective just because I want to know what it would take to make a trade like this happen, but because Tulo is so good and so unpredictable, I just don’t foresee an agreement

10:11
Comment From Tom
Do you think the Cardinals and Jason Heyward will agree to an extension and if so, what do you think it will approximate?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they will, but I think there’s a pretty good chance they will, and Dave has written about this before. He’s going to cost a ton

10:11
Comment From L. Scott
Do you think Alex Rodriguez will DH almost every day for the Yankees or will he platoon with Garrett Jones and mostly face lefties? Give us your prediction for his numbers this year, thanks!

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Limited role for A-Rod. Jones is a pretty good fit in that ballpark on that team, all things considered

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Rodriguez will have to earn increasing playing time. No reason for the Yankees to give him a guarantee out of the gate

10:12
Comment From Joel
Seems like the M’s are in some real trouble if LoMo gets hurt or sucks, both things we saw happen last year. Do you think they’ll address that or just throw Willie Ballgame over there if things go sour?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: They’re working hard with Jesus Montero to make him an acceptable 1B. Nothing really hinges on Morrison — no matter what, first base on the Mariners isn’t good. There’s no good depth, but Montero is an option, as is Ji-Man Choi, as are trade candidates

10:13
Comment From James
While I would love Zobrist on the Mariners wouldn’t just sticking him in RF most of the time deplete a lot of his value? Seems to make much more sense for a team with IF holes like the GIants or Blue Jays. Unless the expectation is they’d trade Miller or Taylor and give him some starts at SS?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Zobrist isn’t a wonderful fit in Seattle. Ideal for a team like Toronto or SF

10:14
Comment From Rhendricks
Do you see Kolten Wong ever developing into a 20/20 player? The SBs are already there and he showed good power late in the year.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He might hit 20 homers once, but I doubt he makes it a habit

10:15
Comment From klof
why on earth would the cubs look at drew and add another piece to their middle infield?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: No one’s sold on Baez, and/or maybe the Cubs intend to explore trading Luis Valbuena

10:15
Comment From mike wants wins
Seattle, Portland, or Denver? I’m moving to one of those next year. You have thoughts on them?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: They’re all outstanding. Portland gives you a better small-town feel. Seattle feels a little more like America. Portland is consistently a bit warmer than Seattle. Denver gets actual snow. If the others get snow, they’re ruined. Similar activities in all places although obviously easier to get to water in the first two

10:17
Comment From Mike
The Marlon Byrd to Reds deal that fell through. Do you believe that it was a “communication” issue (one side wasn’t willing to budge on their asking price) or that it was due to the Reds selling off Latos and Simon and looking toward 2016+ instead of 2015? Also, what would have been a fair return for Byrd? Lively?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: No, the Reds are still trying to improve for 2015. They want a guy like Byrd, because right now LF is a disaster. Talks fall apart all the time. It’s just not always reported. Byrd should not be expensive for a team trying to get him

10:19
Comment From McNulty
Do you see Alex Wood taking a step back this year or will he repeat/improve?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I like him a lot. 3-win pitcher

10:20
Comment From Big Hurt
Wouldn’t Zobrist fit into the Rays’ outfield very well at this point? Do the Rays even have better than replacement level players in the outfield beyond Jennings and Souza?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Last year for Zobrist, and the Rays presumably won’t be able to re-sign him, so these are the players the Rays simply need to think hard about moving, given how they operate.

10:20
Comment From Dustin
My kid slept more than an hour later than usual this morning. Was I correct to be pumped that I had an extra hour to do what I damn well pleased, or should I have been more worried about the kid’s well being?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Kid’s fine. Sleep’s great! Savor the hour.

10:21
Comment From L. Scott
Tanaka, Sabathia, Pineda, Eovaldi, Capuano. Is this the Yankee rotation in April, or do they add a true ace?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they add an ace

10:21
Comment From cheetohs
Do you think you have a sense of humor, Sullivan?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it’s in decline

10:21
Comment From Vslyke
Is giving money to AJ Pierzynski basically the same as setting it on fire?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Less fun than setting it on fire

10:22
Comment From Theoradical
Have you considered a gluten free diet, a vegan/vegetarian diet, or lactose intolerance

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: heavens no

10:22
Comment From mtsw
Is the fact that “The Orioles still want to sign a Catcher” is showing up in MLBtraderumors daily a sign that Wieters might never play at that position again or am I reading too much into this?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Reading too much into it!

10:23
Comment From Rhendricks
What rookies are you most excited about getting a good look at this season?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant, Lindor, Pederson, Kang

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: the usuals, I’m afraid

10:23
Comment From Guest
I’d like to move to Portland, but I have a professional degree and work in a white collar field. I love it there and would be thrilled to establish myself in that town, but I can’t help but feel like my moving there would make the town less cool. Help me solve my dilemma.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of uncool people are moving to Portland!

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: In ever-increasing numbers!

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Portland is actively regressing to the mean. Get there while you can

10:24
Comment From The Kernel
Have you met Eno in real life, and is he a cooldude

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: He’s one of the more unusual people I’ve met, in a good way.

10:25
Comment From Compton
What’s the best way to spend New Year’s Eve that doesn’t involve the company of other, living human beings?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Camping

10:25
Comment From _David_
Should the Mariners go after Scherzer? It might be taking him from the Angels in a year where that would matter.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Nope!

10:26
Comment From Guest
Have you ever entered into a comment-section argument into a sock, on FG or elsewhere? Are you ashamed to have done so, as I often am

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I”ll address things often in the FG comments but when I ever start to feel heated I close the window and go for a walk or something. The self-control has gotten better over the decade

10:27
Comment From klof
dylan bundy not a part of the Os rotation to start the season, but when does he show up and what do you expect from him?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: He’s one of my favorite second-half shot-in-the-arm options. As things stand, the O’s rotation is unimpressive, but we could get to October and see a rotation with a pair of young ace-types in Gausman and Bundy. If that were to happen, who would really be surprised?

10:28
Comment From _David_
What would a 130 wRC+ from Ackley look like? Cutting strikeouts to under 5% and pulling a lot of line drives? Taking walks again? I’m trying to picture his breakout and it seems difficult.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He had a 123 wRC+ in the second half, with a sub-.300 BABIP. It required him to hit for power. Take away some of the power, and you’re needing for him to draw more walks. Basically, Ackley needs to force pitchers to get out of the strike zone

10:28
Comment From gladiolis
Jeff, has hiking ever given you knee problems, and if so, how’d you deal with it?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Hiking never has, but running has. Tried to run with braces but the eventual solution was to take an extended break and then acquire new and better shoes

10:29
Comment From Lukas
Why does Steamer dislike Met pitchers so much? Wheeler and deGrom are expected to regress, which doesn’t quite pass the common sense test.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer regresses a lot of pitchers, and with those two, I’m guessing you’ve got Wheeler’s command concerns and deGrom arriving suddenly out of nowhere. I think on deGrom in particular, you’re free to figure Steamer is off. There’s also some consideration to the idea that we don’t have a perfect park factor for Mets pitchers

10:30
Comment From Guest
What has made the AAA->MLB jump so hard lately?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Teams have reports on everyone, right away, and there’s so much information in the majors that opponents can focus in immediately on your weaknesses. Also seems like players just don’t spend that much time in Triple-A. It’s complicated, and it would be a fun question to ask in a survey of big-league executives

10:32
Comment From Julian
If the Phillies ate all of Hamel’s contract, what could they get? Any reason they don’t approach an all in team like the Blue Jays with that offer?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Then you’re looking at two or three really, really good players. I figure the Phillies will eventually pay Hamels down enough to get the return they want, but right now they simply don’t think they should have to do that to get a good return

10:32
Comment From Pat
Don’t you think it would make sense for the Mets to make a run at Zobrist? He’s a high OBP player, can play short (700 innings last three years, positive UZR), he’s not cost prohibitive… What am I missing?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist is a great fit, but he’ll cost young talent, and he’s a free agent in a year. Mets are trying to just be opening their window

10:33
Comment From James
Are you in the BBWA?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Not yet, but I also haven’t tried yet. Maybe in a year

10:33
Comment From _David_
If you assume Cano declines at an average of .5 wins/year and use $7.5M/win, he could actually earn his contract…Isn’t that amazing?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a pretty amazing player

10:34
Comment From Josh I
It seems like every day, another middle infielder is off the board. So what the heck do the A’s do at second base?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Reports have them linked to Hector Olivera

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I buy that, as an alternative to their pursuit of Chase Headley

10:34
Comment From Buck Turgidson
We are living in a 2015 world where Cubs, Marlins and Mets can turn in .500 seasons. agree/disagree?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Agree! I think two of them do it, but all three have a real good chance

10:35
Comment From The Colonel
I thought Nick Franklin might win the 2B job in Tampa. Is he a bust yet or is there still hope of him being an average everyday 2B?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of hope. He’s 23. Rays are always trying to accumulate depth

10:35
Comment From Josh I
Fun fact – Derek Norris had a higher infield hit percentage in 2014 than Jose Altuve, Billy Hamilton, or Dee Gordon.

10:35
Comment From _David_
Should Mariners fans be annoyed with a middle of the pack payroll or thankful it’s not a disastrous situation?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They should be thankful for the team being in a real good position to compete

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: If payroll were really holding them back, they wouldn’t have dropped $58 million on Nelson Cruz

10:36
Comment From Jca cos ca
If the yanks were smart, they’d out miller in the 9th inning to keep betances arbitration numbers down, agree?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: In an ideal world that would be a good strategy, but maybe sometimes Betances is the better matchup, and I’m guessing the Yankees are the last team that will fret about a player getting a little expensive in his 4th-6th years

10:37
Comment From Pat
Plug, Zobrist in at shortstop, does that get the Mets to a playoff team in your mind? At least make it closer?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think Mets + shortstop = Cubs or so, and the Cubs are good. The Mets can be good

10:38
Comment From Matt
Victorino a good fit in SF if Zobrist trade doesn’t happen?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but only if Boston actually wants to trade him

10:38
Comment From Dr Hocker
Javier Baez and Matt Harvey in 2015–what is your gut feel projection wise kind sir?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think Baez has a pretty rough season, and I think Harvey is outstanding, albeit less outstanding than he was

10:39
Comment From John
you are sandy alderson. what are you willing to trade for tulo?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard, Plawecki, third and relatively unremarkable thing

10:40
Comment From Alex
I feel like last year you took some time off during the off season and a bunch of big transactions went down (hope I’m not making this up). Looks like Dave picked a pretty quiet week to drop off the grid. Think he

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: When I took a couple weeks to go to Central America like pretty much everything happened even though it was right before Thanksgiving. Dave told me I could never take another vacation again

10:41
Comment From Ermo
Long-term – would you rather have Plawecki or Swihart? Are either/both potential top 5 catchers?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Swihart by a little, but they’re both real real good

10:42
Comment From Birthday Boy
If the M’s land Seth Smith and decide to go with Taylor at SS, what do you think Miller’s role will be?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Minors until something happens or someone under-performs

10:42
Comment From Chris
Best option for O’s: Rasmus, Aoki, or trade for Seth Smith, Venable, Bruce, or other?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it’s trading with the Padres

10:42
Comment From Cole
First word that comes to mind when you think of Dustin Ackley (don’t say beard)

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: dang

10:43
Comment From Guest
Shannon Drayer ?@shannondrayer 10s10 seconds ago
Been brewing for awhile but hearing #Mariners are Very close to trade for Seth Smith.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I should get going and deal with baseball!

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Traveling today anyway so I need to be more expedient. 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

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Have a wonderful calendar-flipping occasion

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 12/30/14 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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