Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/6/15

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to live baseball chat

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Today we hear about the Hall of Fame, which is something I’m told I’m supposed to have an interest in. You are free to ask Hall of Fame questions, but I can’t promise a passionate response

9:02
Comment From Eminor3rd
You should do a weekly podcast even when Dave comes back.

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: All up to Carson but I’m open to it. Maybe biweekly. I feel anxious when we publish a podcast that doesnt’ talk about baseball at all because I feel like we’re letting people down?

9:03
Comment From George is Curious
Hi Jeff. Happy New Year to you and yours! As of January 6, who do you see as the biggest name out there that will switch teams before the season starts?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: If we’re counting Max Scherzer, I feel like he’s the right answer. If not, I feel like Ben Zobrist is the best player, and Jordan Zimmermann is the biggest name

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmermann, of course, is no lock to be traded, but I gotta play the probabilities

9:05
Comment From Vslyke
We all know the Braves are going to be bad in 2015. Will they be good by 2017?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: *Good* good? Probably not. But that many years off, I’d be uneasy predicting that any team wouldn’t be at least WC-caliber

9:05
Comment From Eminor3rd
Do you like baseball anymore?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I like baseball in a very different way from how I used to. Doesn’t feel like a sport to me anymore; feels more like a scientific pursuit, or something. Hockey’s the sport where I still feel like an idiot fan

9:06
Comment From John Farrell
Who do you predict will be the top 3 offensive players for the Red Sox in 2015?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia. Including baserunning. But Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts are close, to me, and then there’s Mike Napoli, and man this team is good

9:08
Comment From Snid
Any update info on Prince Fielder?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been swinging and he’s set to be healthy for spring training. He’ll be in position to play the full year, but there’s real concern the injury will have some long-lasting or permanent effects on his power

9:09
Comment From Eminor3rd
Of all the teams with controversial projections, which do you FEEL will most likely prove their fans wrong?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rays are better than the collective fan estimates

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’m also higher on the Cubs than the community seems to be overall

9:11
Comment From bdhudson
I wish we could all just admit that Barry Bonds was the best real-life video game we’ll ever see and put him in the hall. Nobody else is as amusing

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: If I had to have a Hall of Fame opinion, it would be that the Hall ought to reflect the way that baseball looked in every era. Barry Bonds was one of the most important and recognizable players of a generation. He’s a huge part of recent baseball history. Who could possibly deny that?

9:13
Comment From mtsw
Phillies cover all of Howard’s salary and trade him to Orioles for Mike Yazstremski, a fringe prospect but famous name so allows RAJ to save some face. Who says no?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure either side says no, but Amaro has indicated he doesn’t want to pay *all* the contract, so. Howard isn’t actually worth anything, so that deal is basically agreeable

9:14
Comment From CecilFieldersButtPlug
the lack of new articles on here is driving me nuts at work

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: There are lots of new articles. Previously, it was two weeks of holidays, family, and traveling.

9:15
Comment From Texas Dolly
Thoughts on Derek Holland?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Good. Better than he was. Real quality pitcher signed to a sweet deal

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Holland *would be* a year from free agency. However, he’s controlled through 2018, with a pair of club options. $10m in 2016, $11m in 2017, $11.5m in 2018

9:18
Comment From AL Pitching Coach
What do you expect from Kevin Gausman in 2015? Does he ever live up to his ace-like potential?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: As a general rule I pretty much always bet against a player achieving his ace-like potential. I think as a starting pitcher, Gausman still has issues to work out against lefties in particular, and a big part of his game is trying to get guys to go fishing. If he takes a step forward with his split, he can look like a No. 2, but right now he’s a 3/4 until he proves otherwise. Big obvious upside, but upside is often left unreached

9:22
Comment From Matt
Is the Mariners bench an overlooked weakness for them? Right now it looks like it’s going to be along the lines of Sucre/WFB/Ruggiano/Montero

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that’s not real good. They might still add someone better than Montero. But it’ll help to have one of Taylor or Miller available in Triple-A. If Taylor proves himself a big-league shortstop, then Miller can be around to plug a hole virtually anywhere

9:22
Comment From klof
do you work from home? coffee shops? bars? is it awesome?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Home, almost exclusively. Don’t work well in coffee shops — too many distractions. It is preferable to working in an office, but it’s not quite the dream I thought it would be 15 years ago, in that I miss having, say, interpersonal communication

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve gone full days before without saying a single word out loud. Have you ever tried to chat with someone face-to-face and realized that you forgot how to talk? It’s a surprising feeling.

9:24
Comment From Bret
Are the Jays going to be able to find a team who will give up something of value for Dioner Navarro? Seems like the options are dwindling.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: As things stand, Dioner Navarro might get taken by someone, but not for anything of real note

9:25
Comment From Dave
woah, the chat is upside down

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I keep waiting for someone to tell me how to fix this. I thought I did but it remains an issue 🙁

9:25
Comment From Hall of Shame
Who deserves to be inducted more, Pete Rose or Barry Bonds?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Barry Bonds

9:27
Comment From CecilFieldersButtPlug
how much would you give Max Scherzer this offseason and for how long? Realistically an offer that he would actually sign for. I enjoyed reading an article citing maybe someone will go short term, high AAV

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be okay with, say, $160m/6, so from there you can tweak the numbers a little bit

9:27
Comment From Eminor3rd
Dave Cameron’s least favorite player is Miguel Olivo. Who is yours?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Francisco Rodriguez

9:28
Comment From klof
are the cubs wasting a year of lester (20% of their budget!) if they don’t make another move (like zobrist) to strengthen their OF and have options for their infield?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, because they’re already pretty good. Also not sure they want to pay for one year of a quality player in Zobrist since they’re thinking longer-term.

9:29
Comment From Eminor3rd
Randy Johnson put up a 3.5 fWAR season in 2006 despite a 5.00 ERA!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Randy Johnson’s page isn’t quite on the level of Barry Bonds’ page, in terms of statistical pornography, but I might have to use today as an excuse to dive deep. So much fun.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Randy Johnson, 2001: 37% strikeouts

second place: 29%

9:31
Comment From CecilFieldersButtPlug
% chance the sox sign Shields or Scherzer

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Better chance for Shields than Scherzer. In Shields, it’s an opportunity to get, say, Hamels lite, for no prospects. But if Shields really has $110m/5yr in hand, and it’s not from Boston, I don’t think Boston beats that

9:32
Comment From _David_
Is there good reason to believe last year’s LoMo is more more real than the two years before?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Best reason, I guess, is that it was last year

9:32
Comment From Matt
Shot in dark at the best player moved at the 2015 trade deadline?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Johnny Cueto

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Alternate fun answer: Cole Hamels!

9:33
Comment From billy
Would modern HOF voters have not allowed Willie Mays in, since he was once accused of distributing liquid amphetamines?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Seems they draw a distinction between temporary and more permanent artificial changes to the body

9:33
Comment From Christian
if Yanks sign Moncada, top 10 system?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Better question for Kiley! Since I’m not Kiley, I’ll guess. Yes! Moncada is super.

9:34
Comment From Curtis
Will Santana play any SS for the Twins in 2015?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: This smells like a fantasy question. The answer, though, is yes

9:34
Comment From Derek
Trammell= Jeter, Jeter will be first ballot while Trammell may not get in

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: ergo Trammel does not = Jeter. If I really cared about this I would probably never stop talking about this particular comparison

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: (for the record, because that seems unclear, I am in agreement with what you are saying)

9:36
Comment From Curtis
If/When Bonds/Clemens/McGwire get in to the HOF, should they be required to wear a pre-suspicion hat? Bonds-Pirates, Clemens-Red Sox, Mac- As? or will it even matter…

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Getting in is the hurdle. Once that’s cleared, there won’t be any restrictions. If Bonds is voted in because of everything he was, and because of how he’s remembered, he should wear the hat he’s most remembered for wearing

9:36
Comment From Curtis
Am I wrong to be excited about the Mariners’ RF platoon?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: You’re not wrong, you’re just unusual

9:37
Comment From Cubdom
The excitement level is high, but what are reasonable expectations for 2015?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Meaningful baseball played into September

9:37
Comment From Gary Bettman
Which NHL team does Jeff Sullivan root for?

9:37
9:37
Comment From Curtis
Any Jesse Hahn love over there?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s super neat. Totally unknown, also, but he’s part of a massive group of somewhat quality starting candidates for Oakland. If there’s one thing they aren’t lacking, it’s rotation depth

9:38
Comment From C Crawford (L.A.)
Do you know who the first person to write the phrase “because Baseball” to end a sentence was?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: No. Do you?

9:38
Comment From hermanthehermit
Are the Mariners done where they stand now, moves-wise, or are there other obvious pieces that could fall into place?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Only thing left might be finding someone to challenge Jesus Montero for righty 1B/DH. Maybe — maybe — they throw something Chris Young’s way, but it seems like they’re out of space

9:39
Comment From HappyFunBall
If we just renamed it the “Hall of Fear and RBIs” wouldn’t that go a long way to placating everyone’s concerens?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Hall of Fear. I like it! Very American.

9:39
Comment From Lsad
So perceptions and all…you have a much deeper voice than I imagined.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: And Dave has a much higher voice than I used to imagine

9:39
Comment From slightlyawkward
Personal prediction of the mets season?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Second place in the division. Just miss the playoffs, but, the fan morale will rise. Plenty there to like

9:41
Comment From Gila Monster
Is Jim Thome a HoFer eventually? He seems like a borderline guy, but he is also worshiped by the media and is one of the few “big bats” that was never connected to PEDs.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Such an awesome peak. I think he eventually sneaks in should the logjam ever clear

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll get a lot of the Edgar Martinez support, and he also played more games, and more games in the field

9:43
Comment From ThePuck
If you had a HOF ballot, who would be on it?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Ten players, and I’d want more

9:44
Comment From mtsw
Which is more likely: Shields gets 7/150 or Shields gets 3/55?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I guess the first one but they’re both essentially impossible

9:45
Comment From Curtis
Could Susac be the starting C in SF by 2017 or will he be elsewhere?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t need to move him if they don’t want to. He’s still in line to start in SF eventually.

9:45
Comment From Guest
When does Gabby Guerrero make his debut seems like weve heard about him for a while now?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still just 21 and hasn’t played above High-A, and last year he was unremarkable in High Desert. He probably never sees the majors

9:46
Comment From Phillies113
Which team do you think is most likely to surprise a lot of people in 2015, either by being really bad when they’re supposed to be good or vice versa?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: If the Yankees actually have rotation health, I think they’d be damn good, but that’s a heck of a caveat

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think people expect the A’s to be worse than they actually are

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves could be a real nightmare

9:47
Comment From John Red Sox
Talking about the Red Sox, what do you think about the Sandoval’s sign?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Steep but fine. They have to worry about money less than almost anyone, there’s a lot of cheap young talent on the way, and I like that Sandoval’s just 28. Usually when we complain about FA signings, it’s because the guy is already in his 30s.

9:49
Comment From Warren
Who is an example of someone who has better game power than raw power? Is this even possible?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure that’s possible, but I picture a guy like Kyle Seager, who doesn’t have *power* power, but who does have the ability to hit identical home runs when he gets ahead of a pitch over the plate

9:49
Comment From THE Average Sports Fan
You like Rasmus on a 1 year deal?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:50
Comment From TKDC
ESPN is crazy to say that Howard’s list of 9 AL teams is an effort to avoid being traded, right?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Howard probably wants to be traded. He wants an opportunity to play.

9:50
Comment From Stan Papi
I agree with your earlier comment that the Red Sox offense looks good, but I’m not sure about their pitching, especially the bullpen. Do you think the pitching is good enough to make them a top contender (i.e. possible division winner and real threat to advance in the playoffs)?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: The pitching is good enough right now, given the position players, but they should want to upgrade, at least in terms of depth. I think another guy arrives, and I think he’ll be pretty good

9:51
Comment From Matt
What happened to Yunel Escobar in 2014? He had never put up a negative UZR in his career, and somehow had a negative 17 UZR or -24 DRS in 2014. Did something happen or is it typically case of the issue with defensive metrics?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I was trying to figure this out a week or two ago. Came up over the course of the season in TB newspapers, and Joe Maddon suggested that all the tools and ability are still there, but maybe Escobar was having a little more trouble covering the hole up the middle. He was unusually mistake-prone. He’s better than his 2014 defensive numbers, almost for sure

9:53
Comment From Mildly Numb As Fan
Chances of A’s overtaking the M’s and the Angels for the AL West? Chances of a mere Wild Card?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Divisional chances probably 10 – 15%. Wild card probably 10 – 20%.

9:53
Comment From JJ
Hey Jeff – What are your short and long term thoughts on the Twins?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Long-term, there’s real excitement on the way, and I still love Buxton. Short-term, I try not to think about the Twins at all.

9:54
Comment From Ricky
Heyman voted for Mattingly over Edgar.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: One day we’ll all be dead

9:56
Comment From Curtis
Do you know if there is ANY memorabilia in the HOF from the “steroid” guys?

9:56
9:56
Jeff Sullivan: “News that the ball that Bonds hit to break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record would be sent to the Hall of Fame branded with an asterisk to denote his alleged use of steroids didn’t spoil the night for the crowd, which resumed chanting his name toward the end of a postgame tribute to him on the video scoreboard.”

9:57
Comment From klof
what should we look for when david ortiz is done? higher K rate? less power? fewer walks? singles where doubles used to be? which would we see first?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Perhaps a greater fly-ball pull rate?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Sort of the Raul Ibanez approach

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Selling out for the last bits of power

9:59
Comment From mtsw
Any evidence that playing with teammates with bad plate discipline causes young players to demonstrate worse plate discipline? There’s a persistent idea among O’s fans that Jonathan Schoop’s discipline is negatively effected by being Adam Jones’s teammate.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I dont’ think a player’s discipline is ever affected by a teammate’s discipline. Plate appearances are basically independent. However, there could obviously be an effect if the coaching staff is pro-aggressiveness or pro-patience

9:59
Comment From JJ
What kind of plan do the Yankees have for Eovaldi?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Start him

10:00
Comment From johhny hammahstix
Any hope for Javier Baez to bring down those K’s?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of hope that he won’t strike out 40% of the time, but little hope that he won’t strike out 30% of the time

10:00
Comment From Curtis
Can Aaron Sanchez stick as a starter? How far into the season will they give him?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure he’ll even be starting from the get-go. I’m not the biggest fan of these guys, generally speaking, and I think the odds favor Sanchez sticking as a real good reliever, but the Jays will give him a starting opportunity. Just not certain that’ll come in 2015

10:01
Comment From Don Von Handburger
I predict Shields gets 5 years $92 million or 6 years for $102 million. Am I way off?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Not way off, no

10:01
Comment From BassmanUW
Regarding the Cubs, it seems to me that pretty much every baseball community, whether old school or analytics, doesn’t like to guess on teams improving by 10 or 15 games in a season. Personally, one of the fun things for me with the Cubs this season is how big the error bars are. I could make an argument for the Cubs winning 90 games, and I could make an argument for the Cubs losing 90 games. There aren’t that many teams you can do that for without relying on a ton of injuries.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Teams don’t get a lot more volatile. The volatile teams are frustrating for purposes of projection, but they’re also the most exciting, I think. You get huge upside, and enough risk to make actual success feel like a blessing instead of a given

10:02
Comment From Don Von Handburger
Do prefer the Green Monster at Fenway cluttered with ads and junk, or as the vast expanse of green that it was for several decades?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Is anybody out there pro-ads?

10:03
Comment From _David_
What do you expect from Austin Jackson in ’15?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Just enough to not be a problem

10:03
Comment From Don Von Handburger
Is Henry Owens the next Madison Bumgarner?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:03
Comment From Don Von Handburger
The obsession with the HOF makes the baseball analysis community look poorly every year. No serious music fan is obsessed with the Rock N Roll hall of fame, and no serious film aficionado gives a damn about the Oscars. Yet, every year, serious baseball minds fall for the BBWAA’s bait and treat the HOF as some big serious baseball issue.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Well, for one thing, clearly people care, or else there wouldn’t be so much content, outrage, and discussion.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: For another thing, it’s January and nothing else is happening. It’s the perfect time to have to talk about a museum.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: And then there’s the matter of the current HoF debate covering the legitimacy of almost a whole generation of baseball. That’s a hot-button topic, even aside from the implications for a museum display. People feel strongly, in two ways, about what happened for 20 years, and this is an opportunity to make those feelings heard

10:05
Comment From Stan Papi
Yankees bullpen looks very strong, starting pitching (if healthy) could be good to very good, and defense looks at least reasonable, with some key upgrades (e.g. SS). But the offense is uninspiring at best. What’s the outlook overall for 2015? I’d guess similar to last year–mid 80s in wins–what do you think?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Playoff team, with enough pitching health. Without enough pitching health, .500 will be a challenge

10:06
Comment From Joe Beef
When you hear a guy like Bill James predict that Mookie Betts will slash a line of .321/15 HR and 40 SB in 2015, your initial reaction is?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: “no he won’t”

10:07
Comment From PL78
Why is everyone focussing on the A’s trading away declining hitters like Moss and even Cespedes and Donaldson, and completely ignoring that they have improved massively on defense and have the most SP depth in their division?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think everyone is completely ignoring that. I think many people think it doesn’t even things out

10:08
Comment From _David_
Would you want to see Felix pitch into his 40s as a 1 WAR junkballer, or would it be too weird considering memories of his current performances?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t mind seeing him end up like Greg Maddux.

10:08
Comment From Guest
% that Miller plays 1st for the M’s?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Won’t happen more than a little bit

10:08
Comment From Matt
You say you are higher on the Cubs than most, so if they are projected for a reasonable 83 wins, where would you place the over/under?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re about 83 – 85 win level. The community seems to think the 83-win projection is high by a game or three

10:09
Comment From mtsw
What percentage of major leaguers do you estimate don’t like playing baseball and only see it as a job?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I think they all see it as a job. No one’s just playing for fun — it’s way too big of a commitment to get to the majors and stay there. It takes every last once of energy out of you. The great majority of them like it; they just don’t always feel that way in the moment.

10:11
Comment From billy
Why is Ichiro thought of as a HOF candidate but Lofton was never a strong candidate, unless we rename the HOF as the international baseball HOF

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why Lofton fell off the ballot so fast, but Ichiro clearly gets extra credit for being the first of something.

10:12
Comment From Hall of Shame
Following up on the Bonds and Rose question, if it were your Hall of Fame, would they both be in already?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

10:12
Comment From JJ
Is CJ Wilson done?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There’s enough still there. He just needs to be more aggressive

10:13
Comment From billy
Pete Rose is like Nolan Ryan, overrated by their longevity

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but also he was excellent

10:14
Comment From Joe
The Rockies only moves were to sign Daniel Descalso & Nick Hundley. Seems new management is just as clueless as the former, no?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. They’re trying to trade Rosario. Right now it’s too hard to trade Tulowitzki or Gonzalez. There’s no attracting any worthwhile pitchers to Colorado. This seems like a situation that will need to be reevaluated in July

10:14
Comment From Midwestern RS fan
About how many starts would you expect from Ranaudo and E. Rodriguez?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Not enough in the majors in 2015 to justify a fantasy roster spot, if that’s what you’re asking

10:15
Comment From _David_
Is Dave’s Mariners fandom on hold for a new regime, or is it permanently gone?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It has regressed strongly to the mean

10:15
Comment From monroe
Will Votto and Bruce bounce back and lead the Reds straight to the middle of the pack?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I think they could definitely be a .500 team, which is actually sort of the worst outcome for them

10:16
Comment From mtsw
I feel like any minor league pitcher who their team concludes doesn’t have the velocity to ever play in the majors should attempt to convert to a submarine delivery. it seems like those guys work out relatively often and have real utility (as LOOGs and the like) versus just being some guy who throws 90 mph and bombs out at AA ball. Change my view.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Learn a better changeup

10:16
Comment From _David_
I’ve been hearing that the Mariners absolutely cannot go into the season with Sucre as the backup…Can the Mariners go into the season with Sucre as the backup?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Of course they can. He’s a backup catcher. How important is a backup catcher?

10:17
Comment From J.R
Who will win the NL West in 2015?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers by several games

10:17
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Would your hypothetical ballot be 15+ players long?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, yeah

10:17
Comment From Timber
Toronto is apparently looking to “trade” for a closer. Is Papelbon an option?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: With no inside knowledge, yeah, they’ll call about him if they haven’t already, but it doesn’t seem like anyone really badly wants to take him on, with all his baggage

10:18
Comment From mtsw
Ryan Howard sucks, Delmon Young kinda sucks, but might a Delmon Young + Ryan Howard platoon at DH be pretty good (despite both having kinda upside down platoon splits last year?)

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t need to feature Ryan Howard. You can find that kind of lefty hitter in a lot of places

10:18
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
If Shields were willing to go 4 years, would/should both Chicago teams make an offer?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Almost everyone should make an offer at that point

10:18
Comment From Don Von Handburger
Would ANY order of the AL East finishing this year surprise you?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. Such a volatile division. I guess I’d be surprised if the Red Sox finished last. Same with the Blue Jays. I think their respective floors are higher

10:19
Comment From Prich
What would a team have to dangle in front of the BoSox to get Allen Craig?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Almost anything

10:20
Comment From mtsw
If Aroldis Chapman was a free agent this offseason what sort of deal would he get?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say 4/60

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Still a reliever, with injury concerns, but obviously unparalleled as what he is

10:20
Comment From GoGoMrPoPo
Jeff, what could the Reds’ calculus on Marlon Byrd possibly be? Might they be thinking that, given the dearth of available RH power, they can buy him for less now than they can sell him at the deadline? Otherwise it’s just boggles the mind.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds aren’t ready to give up on 2015 and their previous projected starting left fielder was Brennan Boesch.

10:21
Comment From GS1
The countdown to trade Howard is on considering that he receives 10-5 rights in May I believe. That’s of some consideration

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yet I figure he’ll welcome any opportunity to play

10:21
Comment From Guy
Rusney Castillo gonna start the year in the minors?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it

10:21
Comment From monroe
Last I checked Willie Bloomquist was second on M’s depth chart to Logan Morrison at first base. Were this situation to persist, would you call it a case of GM malpractice?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Won’t persist

10:23
Comment From John
Some talk about the price of drew dropping and the Mets still being interested. Is he really that much better than in-house candidates at this point? Especially given the fiscal restraints Sandy claims to have?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: You could think of it as insurance. Drew probably isn’t that much better than what’s already there, but with Drew, the Mets could buy time and have Flores keep working on playing short in the minors, and then if Drew doesn’t work out, he can go away and Flores can come up. I don’t think he’d make the surface of the Mets much improved, but with Drew, more would need to go wrong for the Mets to have a real shortstop problem

10:25
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Geebus, the questions and answers are all out of sync, super hard to decipher when its 3-5 posts off

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no idea why this seems to keep happening

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe refresh the window? Nothing is wrong on this side, but, blame CiL

10:25
Comment From Josh
Should we expect any more major moves between now and ST from the Dodgers new front office?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they sell Ethier, but the roster’s basically complete

10:26
Comment From kevinthecomic
Any chance Nick Hundley’s power comes back now that he’s in Colorado?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Would that be a return of his power, or just an inflation of his power?

10:27
Comment From Boss
Does Rasmus make sense for the Rays? He could be insurance for Souza and add another capable defensive outfielder with a little pop. Personally, I think they would have to trade Zobrist and DeJesus to afford/fit him in.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rays mostly like what they have. They could work to make room for Rasmus, but he’s an easier fit elsewhere

10:28
Comment From JJ
Who leads the Twins in WAR this year?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Hughes by a pinch over Dozier

10:28
Comment From Art Vandelay
Would Mark McGwire even be a guarantee without the PED stigma?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Right on the border

10:29
Comment From Mike
Do you see the Phillies signing a stop gap SS (Drew or E. Cabrera are likely choices) or think they just roll with Freddy Galvis? I know it has little impact on their overall season – but Drew/Cabrera seem like upgrades (with potential to flip) over Galvis.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think they find someone else, to at least pair with Galvis. Drew probably goes somewhere better, but the Phillies did just sign Aaron Harang so Everth Cabrera would make some sense

10:30
Comment From John
if shields does get 110 mil, does that make Hamels trade value considerably higher?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Not considerably higher, but Hamels’ value is up some due to a higher cost of a win in this offseason than projected

10:30
Comment From Gary Bettman
Your team is the Senators?!?! I am a Leaf fan, so while I very much appreciate you baseball-wise, I can no longer say the same in terms of hockey!

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: If it makes you feel better, Ottawa is not good

10:31
Comment From _David_
Ben Zobrist is at 35 WAR and a healthy, linear decline says he could reach 50. I think you know where this is headed. If current defensive metrics stand the test of time…and considering he didn’t start doing this until halfway through his age 27 season…is there an argument?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

10:31
Comment From Phillies113
When will you get a HOF ballot?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Something like ten years after I join the BBWAA, which I’ve never tried to do before

10:31
Comment From PL78
Why do the voters vote in relievers but call DH’s “part time players”?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a good answer for you. It’s stupid.

10:32
Comment From Henry
I’m sure you’ve answered this many times, but, would Edgar eventually get in (not if you think he deserves it or not–I know the answer to that is yes) ?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Given a long enough time window, and given less of a ballot logjam, I think Edgar would eventually receive enough support.

10:32
Comment From jg
fyi just figured out that if I kill the chat and then reopen in a new window all the questions/responses that had been randomly shuffled appear in the correct order. Of course I expect everything from this time forward will be shuffled and I’ll have to repeat the process when I catch up

10:33
Comment From AL East Fan
How many teams from the AL East will make the post-season in 2015?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say two

10:33
Comment From Matt
Is there any player out there who trading Taijuan Walker for makes sense? Best solution I can come up with is Billy Hamilton maybe but I don’t see how they trade Walker at all without a serious log jam on the roster

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of players would make sense in a 1-for-1 for Walker. Generally not one-year players, and it’s harder now that the roster is basically complete, but Walker isn’t untouchable or untradeable

10:34
Comment From hermanthehermit
How do you see Alex Rodriguez contributing? Will he even get enough playing time to make a comeback?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Part-time DH. There’s enough injury risk on the roster that he could end up with 500 PA, but if Garrett Jones is any good, Rodriguez is going to find it tough to get more than action against lefties

10:35
Comment From rockpile
drew wants $7M/year. how many teams could value him at that price?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Considering what Kendrys Morales got , I don’t think $7 million for one year is unreasonable

10:36
Comment From AL East Fan
Following up on your Yankees being damn good with rotation health, would you care to elaborate why? Is their offense worthy of such high praise?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: The offense shouldn’t be *bad* anywhere but shortstop. There’s more name value than actual value on the position-player side, but most of the hitters are at least adequate, and I like a lot of the defense

10:37
Comment From PL78
With all their depth and improved defense, I think the A’s are a Ben Zobrist away from being a 90 game winner. Sure a lot hinges on Lawrie being healthy, but if he is, am I crazy? Lawrie hit 12 HR in 70 G last year, that’s Donaldson-power.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: 90’s high, but if you add Zobrist to the A’s, I don’t think they’re too much worse than the Mariners

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Will be interesting to see if they end up with Hector Olivera

10:38
Comment From mtsw
Would you rather fight two Terrance Gore-sized Prince Fielders or one Prince Fielder-sized Terrance Gore?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to fight anybody!

10:38
Comment From witesoxfan
Who made the best signing this offseason?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Yankees and Headley

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I like the White Sox and Duke, given the reliever market

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I also like the Royals getting Medlen for two years

10:39
Comment From Phil
Maybe better for Dave, but considering a few of you guys seem to essentially be full-time FG employees which I did not realize… what is the primary revenue stream? Just the ads? Also, how frequently do you guys have in-person get togethers? Holidays only?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s ads. There are like seven full-timers on staff, Appelman included. Every March we do a company trip that has in the past gone to Arizona spring training. Some of us get together at the winter meetings. Some also get together for things like the saber seminar

10:40
Comment From Shubox
Despite moves, Padres are still not close to catching Dodgers are they?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so

10:41
Comment From Dave J
Is M. Stroman on the verge of stardom, as some analysts seem to think? Or is he likely to have significant 2nd-year regression as the league catches up to him?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s really good. Star is subjective, but I think he’s the best pitcher in the rotation

10:41
Comment From Shubox
Markakis signing still makes no sense does it?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: It makes sense if you believe how the Braves evaluated him. I don’t believe in how the Braves evaluated him

10:41
Comment From Benny
two best AL East team today? Boston and Toronto? Even with questions about pitching.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think so

10:43
Comment From kevinthecomic
Tom Gorzelanny signed by the Tigers. Discuss.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Today the Tigers signed Tom Gorzelanny, meaning that, today, more than any other day, Tom Gorzelanny is property of the Detroit Tigers

10:44
Comment From jack
how much more could Miller cost than Zobrist…because If I’m the nats I go after Miller vs Zobrist.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Nats have tried for Miller a bunch of times. Obviously, they’ve been rebuffed to this point. They have only very limited interest in Zobrist because they’re trying to lessen the load of one-year players

10:45
Comment From Matt
Here is a fun baseball oddity I found. Henderson Alvarez has nearly identical fastball,sinker, and changeup to Felix Hernandez in terms of velocity,movement, and release point….He lacks the breaking pitches though, which explains a lot. I just found it because they both throw very hard funky chnageups.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Felix has better command

10:45
Comment From Tim
Is there a possibility that hitters with lower strikeout rates will become more valued by teams as the league k rate continues to rise?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Some teams will value them higher, but I don’t think they’ll actually have more value. I sort of predict a greater influx of Japanese position players who make contact, slap, and run

10:46
Comment From Guest
Is Madison Bumgarner the next Randy Johnson?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: uhh

10:46
Comment From GoGoMrPoPo
Jeff, as feedback on the podcast, I listen only a little for the baseball, and a lot for Carson’s wit. Dave’s contribution is so clearly mailed in. Chock full of baseball, but sorely lacking in entertainment value. Kiley gets a little closer, but I can kind of hear Carson’s tolerance for him bend when he ventures too far into Joketown. But you, sir. You are the only one even close to capable of matching his wit while delivering the baseball goods. It really should just be you two every week. And if you never discuss one minute of baseball? So be it.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I appreciate your very kind feedback!

10:46
Comment From Shubox
What kind of season can ManBan have?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know who that is

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Is that Manny Banuelos?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t get your hopes up

10:47
Comment From neal
the green monster was covered with ads before it was a blank space. in a way, covering it with ads makes it more true to the original

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a weird thing about ads — I think people hate them until they’ve been around long enough to be treasured

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Like an ugly lamp, or a baby

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I need to get going — I think the HoF announcement is pending, if it hasn’t been made already

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days. Welcome to 2015!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/6/15 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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Wolfman Shapiro
Guest

Hi Jeff – are you one of the coordinators at FanGraphs – I just sent you an email but for our free on-line newsletter, we would like to interview someone from FanGraphs – our members are into MLB, fantasy baseball and strat-o-matic baseball – if this is possible could you send me an email – to an amazing year of baseball in 2015 – go Cubs!!