Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/2/18 by Jeff Sullivan February 2, 2018 9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends 9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat 9:02 Bork: Hello, friend! 9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend 9:02 Forrest: How is everybody’s morning/afternoon? 9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Fine 9:03 Craiggers: With the way things are going, do the owners lean on Glass or Fowler to give Hosmer, and by Hosmer I mean Boras, at least some of what he wants? 9:03 Jeff Sullivan: Hosmer is eventually going to sign for at least seven years and $140 million. He is going to be fine 9:03 Jeff Sullivan: Hosmer will be fine. Yu Darvish will be fine. J.D. Martinez will be fine 9:06 RK: What is the typical payout structure of a draft bonus? I’m assuming Appel didn’t leave any money on the table since it wasn’t mentioned in any of the articles, but I remember reading an elongated structure might have been what was keeping Bubba Starling in baseball a year or so ago. Does it differ based on HS/College is are they all usually about x years? 9:07 Jeff Sullivan: So I took a couple minutes to Google and I couldn’t find anything worthwhile. I’ve always just figured the bonuses came up front, but you could always negotiate an elongated payout structure if desired. I would imagine certain players have gone that route, while most others want the money right away 9:08 Jeff Sullivan: Just found an ESPN link from 2011 saying that the Bubba Starling $7.5m signing bonus was to be paid out over three years 9:08 Jeff Sullivan: I cannot tell you how common that is 9:09 Lunar verLander: Two weeks ago, I said you could turn the hot stove back on whenever you’d like, and you said “maybe next Wednesday or Thursday”…which is when the Brewers traded for Yelich and signed Cain…are you a wizard? 9:09 Jeff Sullivan: The offseason is almost over! Teams need to get done the things they’ve wanted to do. Nothing helps a wizard more than a deadline 9:09 Roog: Do the Rangers finally cave & give Joey Bats a 3 year deal? Is it inevitable that they sign him? 9:09 Jeff Sullivan: A three-year deal? 9:09 Jeff Sullivan: For Jose Bautista? 9:10 Jeff Sullivan: For a 37-year-old Jose Bautista? 9:10 Jeff Sullivan: Coming off an 80 wRC+? 9:10 Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea of giving Bautista one more shot, myself, but three years would be a waste 9:11 Jack: Should MLB change the requirements for a player to be eligible for free agency? It seems wrong that a guy like Josh Donaldson won’t be eligible to test free agency until he’s 33 next year, and even if he has yet another MVP-caliber season, his age is probably really going to hurt him in free agency. I believe the NHL has a system where once players hit a certain age (I wanna say it’s 27 but I’m not 100% certain on that), they can become an unrestricted free agent at the expiry of their contract regardless of how much service time they have. What if MLB had a system where, say, once players were 30, they would be eligible for free agency even if they don’t yet have six years of service time? 9:13 Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the union is going to offer a number of different suggestions moving forward, and something like this will probably be one of them. Of course, many of the best players will be unaffected, since the best players reach the majors sooner rather than later almost all of the time, but if you can help any number of big-leaguers get their money, you have to give it a shot 9:13 Greg: Besides the guys they are paying to play on other teams, the Padres have a payroll of $55M and $20M of that is tied up in the vets they inexplicably brought in (Headley and Galvis). 9:14 Jeff Sullivan: Well, Headley is getting paid because the Padres wanted Bryan Mitchell. And Galvis is getting paid because did you see what their options were at shortstop? 9:15 Jeff Sullivan: It’s also worth noting that the Padres are rumored to be trying to give maybe the biggest free-agent contract of the winter 9:15 Jeff Sullivan: But, I mean, bad and rebuilding teams tend not to spend much on the rosters. They’re not alone here 9:16 Jeff Sullivan: How often did Dave advocate for bad teams buying prospects, when he was a writer here? That would probably be a Hosmer fallback plan 9:16 Ross: If the Dodgers’ plan is to release Matt Kemp if they can’t trade him, shouldn’t they do that pretty soon? Kemp’s done a lot for that franchise, and holding on to him all offseason then cutting him at the last minute right before spring training and not leaving him much time to find a new team would be a pretty shitty thing to do to him, no? 9:17 Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, even if Kemp were a free agent all along, he still wouldn’t have a deal 9:18 Jeff Sullivan: The market right now is full of available decent hitters with basically zero defensive value 9:18 Jeff Sullivan: I expect that the Dodgers will shortly find a team to assume Kemp’s salary. At least, much of it, packaged along with a young player of value 9:18 Bork: The MLB is discussing bringing back bullpen carts. To me this is a little old fashioned. What would you do to make the journey from bullpen to mound more modern? 9:19 Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to be totally honest with you — I have never once thought that relievers took too long to get to the mound from the bullpen 9:19 Jeff Sullivan: What a weird idea this is 9:19 Jeff Sullivan: But then, if I remember correctly, this was a union proposal! Which means it’s something the players do care about 9:19 Jeff Sullivan: Maybe relievers don’t like to jog 9:20 Kev: There were talks last year about Jose Abreu being traded, but it never happened due to lack of market for the position. Do you see him getting traded this season? 9:20 Jeff Sullivan: I’m actually leaning no, now. It depends on how well Abreu produces, but I think the White Sox put a lot of value on his leadership 9:20 Jeff Sullivan: Disclosure: just before this chat, Ben Lindbergh and I were podcasting with Jason Benetti 9:21 HappyFunBall: So this is basically SullivanGraphs now right? If you decide to go Seattle Mariners all day every day, who’s left to stop you? Carson? 9:21 Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see him try 9:21 Jeff Sullivan: But I also have zero desire to actually write about the Mariners very much. One can only write so much about James Paxton 9:22 Jeff Sullivan: I will say that new hire decisions will be announced in the nearer-term future. The FG staff will be filled out, and I’m pretty excited about the names I’ve been told 9:22 CamdenWarehouse: Jeff, I think I speak for many of us when I tell you I really want to give you a hug and say “Please don’t leave us.” 9:23 Jeff Sullivan: Dave was never going to leave until the Padres offered him an opportunity no one knew existed. I don’t think there’s going to be a second one of those 9:24 Tom: How is Buster Posey slated to have a career high DRS according to Steamer (at age 31 nonetheless) 9:24 Jeff Sullivan: I’m guessing our depth charts don’t give him enough time at first base, relatively to his history. Can adjust 9:24 Bud Black: Am I imagining things, or do I actually have like 8 legit MLB starting pitchers available to me? 9:25 Jeff Sullivan: You had eight last season, and only Chatwood left 9:26 Jeff Sullivan: The bigger issue for the Rockies is that only Gray is particularly good 9:26 Jeff Sullivan: But then, he is kind of super good 9:27 GP: What’s the best proposal you’ve heard for a system that pays young players reasonably but doesn’t screw small market teams? 9:27 Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure you basically have to increase revenue sharing. Don’t know what the alternative would be 9:27 Zock Jr.: Hey, Jeff! You weren’t interviewing to go work for the Mariners, right? Right? We can’t lose you too. Please comfort us! 9:27 Jeff Sullivan: They already turned me down a decade ago. Not going to try that one again 9:28 Brett W: Among starting pitchers still available, Steamer says Lance Lynn’s expected 2018 WAR is behind not only Darvish, Arrieta, and Cobb but also Garcia, Anderson, Nolasco, Lackey, and Jimenez. Is Lance Lynn being overrated by analysts, or is Steamer missing something? 9:29 Jeff Sullivan: Lynn has always maintained low ERAs, and despite the missing 2016, he did just make 33 starts. Steamer is far from perfect 9:30 Jeff Sullivan: That being said, Lynn is also coming off a career-worst K-BB%, and his ERA was a function of a .244 BABIP. He had a lousy second half and he can’t pitch to lefties. I wouldn’t be interested in him at his rumored prices 9:31 Sterling Malory Chris Archer: So during the next CBA, player salary’s are going to change somehow. Should they just shorten the amount of years of control? 2 club years then 2 club years seem more fair than the 3/3 they have going. 9:31 Jeff Sullivan: Lots of different things to try to change, but of course it all comes down to offsetting concessions. Less service time for FA would be an achievement. Higher minimum wages would be an achievement. Re-worked arbitration, or changes to the definition of a service year, would also be helpful 9:32 Jeff Sullivan: But the union has dug itself into a hole. The owners aren’t going to give money back for nothing 9:32 steeev: Hi Jeff. Any chance you guys will interview Tommy Pham for print or podcast before the start of the season? Given his interest in analytics–including incorporating them into his training–he seems like an ideal interview for FG. 9:32 Jeff Sullivan: Kind of surprised we haven’t tried yet. I’m going to make a note 9:34 Tim: In your opinion what is the best and worst team name in baseball? I’d say Oakland Athletics is the worst. No one ever even calls them the Athletics because it just doesn’t sound good, they’re just the A’s. And I’d say Pittsburgh Pirates is the best. 9:35 Jeff Sullivan: No matter what I do here this is probably going to get me in trouble 9:36 Jeff Sullivan: Frankly, I hate having teams named after socks 9:36 Jeff Sullivan: It’s ridiculous when you think about it 9:37 Jeff Sullivan: Meanwhile, I’m fond of the Marlins 9:38 Ari: How and when will Franchy Cordero find playing time at Petco Park? 9:38 Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the hardest thing in the world to manage a four-man outfield rotation. And someone could get hurt, or Renfroe could underperform 9:38 Jeff Sullivan: If Cordero deserves playing time, he’ll get it 9:39 Scott: I’m getting pretty annoyed at the lack of free agent signings. Should I be blaming the owners/front offices for being greedy, or the players for negotiating a bad CBA? Also, the NBA guarantees the players a certain % of revenue (I think close to a 50-50 split). The players should really bargain hard for something similar. 9:39 Jeff Sullivan: There’s blame to go all around, and don’t let the agents out of your sights. Agents haven’t kept up, by and large, with the changing game 9:40 Jeff Sullivan: They’re just not very good at negotiating realistically with teams, how they’re presently operating 9:40 Jeff Sullivan: I’d blame front offices the least — every single one of them wants the team to get better. Owners have far more to do with it 9:41 Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the Dodgers’ front office’s fault they’re trying to stay under the threshold. That’s on ownership 9:42 MD: What’s your outlook on Sonny Gray for 2018? Any underlying numbers for homer suppression? That seemed to be his biggest struggle after coming to NY 9:42 Jeff Sullivan: He’s a fundamentally different pitcher than he used to be, when he was known for his dynamite curveball. I like him fine as a No. 2 starter. I wouldn’t expect him to be an ace 9:44 Natsfan: Who is the most average player who gets regular playing time in your mind? 9:44 Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Asdrubal Cabrera 9:44 Jeff Sullivan: Or, younger, Kolten Wong 9:45 Matt: You ever think it’d be easier to pick up chicks if you changed your name to Jeff Sullicoupconvertible? 9:45 Jeff Sullivan: My hair wouldn’t look good flapping in the wind 9:45 BJOGC: Is carson now the longest tenured Fangraphs employee? besides appelman 9:45 Jeff Sullivan: Correct 9:45 Jeff Sullivan: Carson and I now somehow have editorial seniority 9:46 SalYellon: Are you leaving FanGraphs within, let’s say, the next 72 hours 9:46 Jeff Sullivan: Well, I’ll leave my computer, if that counts 9:47 Mike: Going to Redwoods National Park & Boardman Scenic Center next week. Ever been? Any tips? Anywhere to check out in surrounding area? 9:47 Jeff Sullivan: You’ll be vaguely close-ish to Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps. Absolutely spectacular areas 9:47 Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t been to Redwood since I was a child 9:48 Matt: Is MLB’s fantastic stretch of labor peace finally coming to an end? 9:49 Jeff Sullivan: Depends on how you define labor peace. The peace is already broken, in that the players are collectively pissed off. But I still don’t see a strike materializing in the short- or medium-term future. Everyone has too much money to make, and, hopefully, owners are slightly more generous in upcoming negotiations, as they realize how good they’ve had it 9:49 Jeff Sullivan: Now, saying that out loud, I sound extraordinarily naive 9:49 Jeff Sullivan: But here’s hoping! 9:49 Forrest: I’d say with Hosmer’s age a long term deal is going to be in the works despite his inconsistency 9:50 Jeff Sullivan: A long-term deal is already in the works. He gets seven years if he wants it. Boras is holding out for eight 9:50 Bleachers: What are the chances the Dodgers and/or Yankees are able to move pieces to clear cap…er… luxury tax space for Darvish? 9:50 Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers could do it today if they wanted. It’s harder for the Yankees, with Ellsbury’s no-trade clause 9:50 Jeff Sullivan: I continue to believe the Dodgers will make this happen 9:51 Chris O’Day: If Ariel Miranda can lower the homerun rate (2.1 per 9 in 2017) how good can he become? 9:51 Jeff Sullivan: Why, then he could be a No. 6, instead of a No. 7 9:52 Jeff Sullivan: Last season: 122 ERA-, 123 xFIP- 9:52 Erik: The Marlins ranked 28th in attendance last year with an average of 20,345 people per game. How much lower will that number be this year? Why would anyone besides family and friends of players go to any Marlins games this year? 9:52 Jeff Sullivan: Don’t count out the number of people who just enjoy getting to go to a baseball game 9:53 Jeff Sullivan: The recent Astros bottomed out at 19,849 9:53 Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, that’s tickets sold, not actual attendance. But it’s fun to go to the ballpark, even if the local team is bad 9:54 Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is fun if you can divorce yourself from success-based validation 9:54 Kristen: Re: your column yesterday, would LAD really include someone like Yadier Alvarez in the deal if say TEX agreed to take on Kemp? We need SP prospects like craaazy. 9:55 Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how the Dodgers view Alvarez specifically, but his value has definitely dropped from last offseason. They know the value of being able to drop Kemp’s salary 9:56 Hal: Who’s the guy you’re most surprised is still unsigned? 9:56 Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Lucroy, just because there aren’t many catchers around. But Darvish also should’ve been signed months ago. He’s only out there because of the Dodgers’ luxury-tax concerns 9:58 Brett: How much sense do you think it would make for the Brewers to see if they could try to bring Lucroy back on a one-year deal? He’s probably better than Vogt, right? 9:58 Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if things wound up going here, although I get why they figure Pina/Vogt is just fine, with Bandy at No. 3 9:58 Jeff Sullivan: There’s not a long-term catcher in the bunch, but Lucroy isn’t that guy anymore, either 9:59 LARRY B: Would you pick the Red Sox or the field to sign JD? 9:59 Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox 9:59 Jonathan: IF MLBPA wants to change the system, that’s fine. But at present there is zero reason to overpay free agents for their declining years of production. I’m as pro-player as they come, but this is not collusion at work, it’s intelligence in how to properly allocate resources. Why is this so hard to understand and why must people yell collusion just because teams are making decisions to play within the rules that have been set up? … The Yankees and Dodgers (and others) have significant reasons and incentive to be below luxury tax this season. So they are. And other teams don’t need to spend big dollars on players that will only minimally improve their teams and will be a drain on their teams’ payrolls in future years. 9:59 Jeff Sullivan: Yeah 10:00 Jeff Sullivan: This isn’t collusion. This is teams being smart enough to react to the circumstances. It’s a huge, huge deal that certain big spenders are trying to stay under the tax. Now, whether they actually need to do that — that could be argued. But that’s the operating philosophy, and it’s having an effect. And then you have potential big spenders at the other end, with bad present rosters. What’s their incentive to, say, sign Jake Arrieta? What would he do for the Tigers? 10:01 Jeff Sullivan: Free agency has always been a bad investment, efficiency-wise. Money needs to find a way to get to players before they get to FA age. It’s more urgent now than ever 10:01 Jeff Sullivan: And, of course, beneath all of this, money really needs to find a way to get to the minor leagues 10:01 Jeff Sullivan: Don’t overlook that those are the players in the most financial peril 10:02 Scott: It just feels so greedy by the owners to refuse to spend money on free agents when revenues are at an all-time high. Are they really going to destroy the long-term health of the league to increase short-term profits? 10:02 Jeff Sullivan: Again, in fairness, offers are out there. Darvish could sign today for big money. So could Hosmer and Martinez 10:03 Jeff Sullivan: But there are certain owners who don’t need to be as frugal as they are. Unfortunately, we can’t talk about them with true specificity, since the books aren’t open to the public 10:03 gump: What was your meeting in Seattle about? Was it another pitch talks/live event? 10:03 Jeff Sullivan: Just a planning meeting for this year’s Women In Baseball event 10:04 Jeff Sullivan: Here’s last year http://m.mlb.com/mariners/tickets/group/women-in-baseball-night 10:04 Erik: How different is the Marlins’ teardown this winter from the White Sox’ moves last offseason? Should they really be received so differently? They each took a team with some good young players that could win about 81 games and decided to sell off nearly everything that moved. 10:05 Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, if you don’t hold the current Marlins accountable for what they’ve been in the past, this is just a rebuild. Normal rebuild, shedding present value for long-term value. The White Sox are a good comparison, because both teams assembled stars with very little depth 10:06 Jeff Sullivan: It would’ve been way too horrible to talk about at the time, since it wasn’t at all what was important, but the Marlins as a baseball franchise were very strongly affected by the death of Jose Fernandez. You can’t just recover from that. Fernandez was one of the brightest talents in the world 10:06 Jeff Sullivan: It’s too cold and impersonal for me to want to write about at length, but that weekend changed the very course of the Marlins’ whole operation 10:08 Kris Shaw: re: prospect buys, how motivated do you think the Yankees are to clear Ellsbury’s contract? Willing to include Adams + Sheffield? relatedly, is a Pillar + Morales sufficiently valuable to get a team like CHW interested? (for PTBNL of course) 10:09 Jeff Sullivan: I think the biggest problem for the Yankees is Ellsbury’s NTC. I’ve also heard that so far they haven’t been so willing to include much young value to shed money. They know what it *should* take but they haven’t offered it up 10:10 Jeff Sullivan: On the second one, that might actually do it. The White Sox could actually play Morales at DH, and they don’t have a good CF solution at present. But they’d probably still ask for someone younger than Pillar 10:11 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Have you ever done or thought about doing a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike? 10:11 Jeff Sullivan: We were just there last November and it sparked the notion. Will do something like that one day, but for now there’s so much to explore that’s even closer 10:11 Chris O’Day: Kyle Seager’s average dropped below 250 last year. Do you see this being a constant going forward, or is he going to get back to the 270 range? 10:11 Jeff Sullivan: His career mark is .263 10:12 Jeff Sullivan: He’s a slow fly-ball lefty who pulls his grounders. It’s not going to be easy for him to lift his batting average very much if he keeps putting the ball in the air so often 10:13 Jeff Sullivan: He should still be something of a modest BABIP recovery 10:13 Heathcliff Slocumb: In which capacity is Chad Green most valuable to the Yankees: as a starter, in a multi-inning relief role, or as trade bait? 10:13 Jeff Sullivan: The second one. Don’t change a thing 10:14 Kimball: Writers are moving away from “good” and “bad” contract terminology, but “team-friendly” seems like it basically represents the dichotomy to most fans. Modest proposal: “owner-friendly.” Whaddya think? 10:14 Jeff Sullivan: I think team-friendly is more useful and explanatory 10:15 Forrest: Do you think teams (Red Sox) will be weary of J.D. Martinez’s age and being a power hitter, his declining bat speed? Do you think he will get what he commands? 10:15 Jeff Sullivan: Well by definition he will get what he commands 10:15 Jeff Sullivan: Teams are obviously wary of Martinez’s age, but he’s going to get a nine-figure guarantee. It won’t be much longer 10:15 Dustin: The league actually folded and they just haven’t figured out how to break it to us, right? 10:15 Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to come back in a few years as the XLB 10:16 botchatheny: would ray lankford be a god in todays game? 10:16 Jeff Sullivan: Younger than Rafael Palmeiro! 10:16 Erik: The players should negotiate a locked-in percentage of revenue, and if salaries fall below that number, the league should have to pay out the rest of that amount split equally between all players. Basically a league-wide salary floor. Would something like that work? 10:17 Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know all the details of this, but there’s a challenging conversation to have about what should and shouldn’t count toward league revenue. If you consider, for example, the value of MLBAM, to what degree should the players be entitled to that? 10:17 Jeff Sullivan: This is not my area of expertise. It’s far from simple 10:18 Kev: Kiley wrote about the Pirates possibly valuing quantity over quality when trading for prospects, in order to help keep payroll down. Is this a strategy that other low payroll teams, like the A’s, should be considering? 10:18 Jeff Sullivan: Many of them are already there 10:18 Jeff Sullivan: It’s why the lower-payroll teams often have trouble developing stars 10:18 Corey: How much did The Athletic offer you? 10:19 Jeff Sullivan: Have had zero contact, and am interested in continuing that relationship 10:19 Brett W: Is Boras one of the key factors for the slow off-season? Seems like he does this every year, but also seems like his top guys are actually slowing things down this year. 10:19 Jeff Sullivan: He’s a part of it, sure. It’s also hard to blame him; he’s proven his ability to eventually get owners to cave 10:19 stever20: Pitchers and catchers start reporting in only 10 days. How glorious is that? 10:20 Jeff Sullivan: Less glorious when there’s talk of a potential league-wide holdout 10:20 Andy: Courage or Cowardice? Appel walking away from the game. 10:21 Jeff Sullivan: I hope I never associate with the sort of person who would call Mark Appel a coward for stepping away from baseball 10:22 Erik: Where would you puts the odds of a strike/lockout happening within the next five years? 10:22 Jeff Sullivan: 1-2% 10:23 A Random Dude: Expecting Hill to pitch less innings (~120-135IP?), what do you think the quality of those innings will be? 10:23 Jeff Sullivan: I imagine he’ll throw about 130 regular-season innings, and most of those innings will be scoreless 10:24 Kristen: NYY needs a 2B/3B’man, PHI/CHIC/MIL etc., need TORP’s, WAS needs a C. With Profar, Beltre, Hamels and Chirinos, isn’t the timing right for TEX to take advantage of the demand and deal these guys to help restock a barren upper farm system? 10:25 Jeff Sullivan: Profar has no value to anyone right now, the Beltre market is complicated by Machado and Donaldson, Hamels is coming off a pretty bad season, and Chirinos is mostly a part-time player who’s now in his mid-30s. I think the Rangers could be interesting in July, but not right now 10:25 Desperate, confused Marlins fan: What will Realmuto get us from the Nationals? Robles and Soto seem to be untouchable. 10:26 Jeff Sullivan: If pressed, Soto should be a possibility 10:26 Jeff Sullivan: Depends how much you can convince the Nationals that their window is *right now* 10:26 Slurve: What percentage of the lull in free agent signings is on the players? Clubs? is it 50/50? and is there a player signing or contract that will break the ice? 10:26 Jeff Sullivan: Hosmer needs to make a decision, and Darvish needs to decide how much longer he’ll hold out for the Dodgers 10:28 billsaints: How do you think Trey Mancini will do next season? He quietly had a very solid year, making adjustments while playing out of position. Continued improvement? 10:29 Jeff Sullivan: His skill, of course, is that he makes solid contact, and that won’t go away. But he’s not much of a runner, which means he’s not much of a defender, and he’s aggressive while making below-average contact frequency. It’s hard for me to see Mancini reaching another level unless he really reins in his swing tendencies 10:29 wily mo: i’m with you on wilmer font being good, jeff. stay strong and we’ll crush the doubters together. (we = you, me and wilmer) 10:29 Jeff Sullivan: I do get it; Font’s record is weird and his age is off-putting when talking about a guy with next to zero service. But I think I might have to quickly write something up about Font post-chat. Gotta defend my opinion! 10:30 Jeff Sullivan: Preview: would you rather have Wilmer Font or Tyler Chatwood? I…I’m not convinced Chatwood is the obviously correct answer 10:30 Nate: Who are some of your breakout pitching candidates this year? Guys who caught your eye at the end of last year or sparked your interest this offseason. 10:30 Jeff Sullivan: Wilmer Font!! 10:31 Jeff Sullivan: I think Glasnow is surprisingly close to being amazing 10:31 Jeff Sullivan: Interested in Chris Stratton, not as an ace, but as a No. 3 who no one talks about 10:31 Jeff Sullivan: The Rays have like a dozen capable big-league starters 10:32 Jeff Sullivan: Excited to see the return of Nick Tropeano 10:32 Jeff Sullivan: Fairly high on Bryan Mitchell 10:32 Jeff Sullivan: Uhhh Nick Pivetta is interesting? 10:33 Jeff Sullivan: And Jakob Junis is good 10:34 Brett W: Personal opinion – the White Sox, Tigers, and Marlins are more primed to buy Kemp and a prospect than the Phillies. The Phil’s are preparing to be competitive again now. They have the payroll but they won’t be as prioritized as those 3 teams. 10:34 Jeff Sullivan: I think they all make sense, and I think you might be underestimating how much financial flexibility the Phillies possess. Almost impossible for them to max out over the next two seasons 10:34 Jeff Sullivan: A few years ago, the Phillies ranked third in baseball in payroll. Right now they’re 29th. Kemp would hardly make a dent 10:35 Spanky: Apple Pie or Cherry Pie? (very important) 10:35 Jeff Sullivan: I usually don’t really like pie 10:35 Jeff Sullivan: I don’t care that much for sweets 10:35 Jeff Sullivan: I do care much for fried chicken 10:35 The Man With No Name: What are your thoughts on Honeywell’s career outlook? 10:36 Jeff Sullivan: Extremely positive 10:37 botchatheny: remember jeromy burnitz? 10:37 Jeff Sullivan: Yes 10:37 Eltneg: The last CBA raised the league minimum to $507.5K all the way up to $535K. Wouldn’t raising that significantly (to like $800-900K) be an easy way for the MLBPA to get young players paid more without placing a ton of stress on small markets? 10:37 Jeff Sullivan: I should hope so 10:39 BuckyBoy: Does Woodruff/Santana land Archer? 10:39 Jeff Sullivan: Nope. Don’t even think it’s close 10:40 Jeff Sullivan: I like Santana just fine, but he’s defensively limited. Archer is under club control another four seasons. Woodruff is fine, but he’s not a first or second piece in a trade like this 10:40 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: It’s something of a reset year for the Rays as they wait to call up Honeywell/Adames/Arroyo/De Leon/Bauers and trade away guys like Odorizzi and Colome. What high-upside low-cost FAs shouid they be looking to sign and flip at the deadline? The reliever market is competitive, but there’s perhaps value in a pillow contract for a LoMo/Duda type. Or Joey Bats? 10:41 Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll sign a first baseman, but Hosmer has to decide where he’s going first. If Hosmer doesn’t go to KC, then they’ll probably sign Morrison, and then so on and so forth 10:41 Jeff Sullivan: Someone like Bautista would be a worthwhile add, but he’s not a player you’ll flip for much in July, given the limitations 10:41 Jack: What do you expect from Jose Martinez next year? He seems to be a pretty polarizing player 10:42 Jeff Sullivan: Good hitter again in a semi-regular role. I think the Cardinals like him a lot 10:43 osick87: Who would be a trade partner for Kevin Pillar? 10:43 Jeff Sullivan: Right now, he would not be in high demand 10:45 Rickey Henderson: Fun Fact that people don’t talk about: Larry Walker was an Undrafted Free Agent and didn’t play baseball growing up, he played “About 15 games of softball per year until I was 17”. He learned to play baseball in the minors. How AMAZING is that!? 10:45 Jeff Sullivan: Thought he was going to be a hockey player! 10:46 Jeff Sullivan: First year in the minors: .604 OPS 10:46 Jeff Sullivan: Second year in the minors: .999 OPS 10:46 Jeff Sullivan: Went from 12 extra-base hits to 63 10:47 Choos on First: When are we going to see the continuation of the organizational prospect lists? 10:47 Jeff Sullivan: Soon. Lots of prospect content coming next week 10:47 Phan: Should the phillies run their current starting staff out or should they get a pitcher via trade/fa 10:47 Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re going to end up adding one more starter 10:47 Jeff Sullivan: Probably not a high-profile one. Just somebody 10:49 Prich: At this rate, does Dyson to the Mariners for something like 1/7 make sense for everyone? M’s can use him for 400 PAs and awesome D, be CF insurance in case Gordon bombs out there, use Heredia/Gamel to a 4th OF/AAA insurance role. Or is Dyson going to wait for someone to get hurt in Spring Training? 10:49 Jeff Sullivan: As much as I’m not sold on Gamel and Heredia, I think Dyson would rather take a shot with someone who has a real CF need. Gordon is going to play almost every day 10:50 Tom: If you had to put money on it, where do you think Darvish ends up? 10:50 Jeff Sullivan: 1. Dodgers, 2. Brewers 10:50 Baseball Guy: Any thoughts on the Van Wagenen flame thrower at owners this morning? Can the whole MLBPA boycott Spring Training? 10:51 Jeff Sullivan: There’s been talk of players not showing up until the mandatory reporting dates in later February 10:51 Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think such a movement could actually materialize and be implemented, but I don’t have a window into the union, and it’s clear that a *lot* of players are supremely pissed off 10:51 Jeff Sullivan: I think things will cool off just enough if free agents sign large contracts in the next week and a half 10:52 Drew: Sox won 93 games last year, have no significant losses, had several players underperform in 2017, have a few key pieces getting healthy (Price, Smith, Thorn) and the thing they lack the most is the most available thing in MLB at the moment. Just wondering if you think sox fans being overdramatic? Thanks. 10:52 Jeff Sullivan: I don’t interact with any overdramatic Sox fans, so I don’t know, but the team is really good 10:52 Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they’re not Yankees good, but they’re close, and they’re one of the superteams in the AL 10:52 Mike: How do you feel on a possible Ellsbury to arizona trade ? Estimate on how much would be paid by NYY & what kind of prospect going ? (Assuming he waives ntc) 10:53 Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure Arizona is right up against their spending limits 10:53 Jeff Sullivan: It’s why they’ve given so many relievers minor-league contracts, despite a seemingly glaring need for help 10:54 Dave: Which currently unsigned free agent is most likely to sign a one-year contract and end up winning the MVP award, a la Andre Dawson in 1987? 10:54 Jeff Sullivan: Uhh Jake Arrieta? 10:54 Jeff Sullivan: Maybe substitute Cy Young for MVP 10:55 ROBOCOP: What makes more sense for the White Sox as they fill out the rest of their roster; trading bloated contracts with prospects attached, or signing vets or players coming off down seasons on 1 year deals? 10:56 Jeff Sullivan: I think for the most part the White Sox don’t have that many openings they’d want to fill with a vet. So it would make more sense to me that they trade for dead money with a prospect attached 10:56 Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling 10:56 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 10:56 Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully none of the players decide to revolt in the meantime!