Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/21/18

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to one-time Wednesday baseball chat

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Kiley is out of the country and could only chat on Friday this week, so we pulled off a temporary swap. Sorry for you disappointed Kiley fans!

9:07

Ryan H: Thoughts on Forrest Whitley?

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t seen specifically what he’s being suspended for. All I know is he’s being suspended. These things are typically about weed, and while no minor-league player should be smoking weed while it’s a suspension-worthy activity, it’s absurd that they can be suspended for this and big-leaguers can’t

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Speaking just in generalities, I doubt this reflects a huge behavior problem on Whitley’s part, and I expect that he’ll still reach the majors by the end of the summer

9:09

Jim: Colby Rasmus to the Orioles.    Can he pitch?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Can Chris Tillman?

9:09

Ryan H: When will Cameron Maybin be traded?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Fingers crossed that he eventually gets dealt for Miguel Cabrera

9:10

Chip Johnson: The Diamondbacks front office seems to be pretty excellent.

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: I’m a big fan of whichever team goes out and gets Jarrod Dyson. Easy way to earn my support

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Now, I like Anthony Banda, but Souza’s the real deal. Way better than them trying to pay for J.D. Martinez

9:13

X: Were the Orioles wrong to move Machado off of short? At the time, they had an above-average shortstop in Hardy and an average third baseman in Reynolds. Wasn’t Hardy/Machado better than Reynolds/Machado?

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Back then, Hardy was still pretty special, so it would’ve been hard to convince him to move. And Reynolds was something of a defensive disaster, so instead of Hardy at SS and Reynolds at 3B, the Orioles wound up with Reynolds at 1B, Hardy at SS, and Machado at 3B. Made the defense a million times better

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: Then after Machado got injured, I imagine that informed the decision to keep him away from short for a while. Now, in retrospect, he probably could’ve handled it, but I don’t think the Orioles suffered as a consequence

9:15

Jack: The Rays say it’s extremely unlikely that they subtract further and that they’re probably gonna look to add now. They currently have three outfielders, all of whom hit left-handed. Who do you see them signing? Gomez? Bautista? Ideally neither Span or Smith would have to play against lefties

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: I think Gomez would work well as a cheap add, as he’s fairly similar to Souza. The only issue there is that Gomez is a Boras client, so who knows how cheap he might actually be

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Bautista has been connected for a while but that would strictly be to DH; can’t imagine the Rays of all teams would want to watch Jose Bautista in the outfield every day

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: I do take the Rays at their word that they aren’t tanking. They certainly haven’t made themselves *better*, but my personal belief is that the public has overreacted to what’s happening. It’s tough from a fan perspective, absolutely, but the club isn’t bad

9:18

Sterling Malory Chris Archer: What should I tell my boss now that I’ll be here for the next two hours for a surprise Sullivan chat?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Tell your boss to log into the chat

9:19

Babe Lincoln: Has this year had more turnover at FG than usual?

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: No question, mostly because there was never much turnover before. Losing Dave to the Padres was something that long would’ve been unimaginable

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Dave Cameron, Eno Sarris, Paul Swydan, Chris Mitchell — they were all here for a while. Now, we also have Jay Jaffe, Kiley McDaniel, Meg Rowley, and even more contributors who have or have not yet been announced

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: I know that from the audience perspective, turnover is hard to get used to. But if it makes any difference, *I’m* not going to go anywhere

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: Unless the Padres give me an offer I cannot refuse, too

9:23

Ryan H: How much regression should we expect from Marwin Gonzalez?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: A lot. I think he’s more of a 110 wRC+ kind of player

9:23

Corey: Thoughts on Whitley’s PED suspension?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Not a PED suspension

9:23

CamdenWarehouse: I’m really confused about how Arizona is making deals.  How does the America’s Cup get to Phoenix?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Scott Boras is simultaneously very creative and kind of stupid

9:24

Bork: wait what

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend?

9:24

Ehhhhhrly. : Anybody buying Blash? Want to see him come to the Rays.

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: I badly, badly, BADLY want to see him get 500 major-league plate appearances. I don’t know who would actually give them to him

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: If I had my druthers, he’d go be the regular DH for the White Sox

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: He can hit the absolute shit out of the ball. Let him try to do it! The world has seen enough of Matt Davidson

9:26

Ross: Donaldson says he and the Jays aren’t really in the same ballpark in contract talks, that he’s shelved those talks for now to focus on the season, and that he expects to hit free agency after the season. Would you put Donaldson’s chances of being a Blue Jay on August 1st at over or under 50%?

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Over. I think they’ll be too close to the wild card to sell their best player

9:27

CJL: How do you respond to the folks on Baseball Internet calling FG “anti-labor” or whatever this offseason? FG obviously is not, but interested in your personal thoughts here

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: Nobody who works for FanGraphs is pro-ownership and anti-labor. The allegation is absurd

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: I understand that we’re entering an era where everyone hates every billionaire, and of course there are owners who don’t invest as much as they ought to. But we write about how the baseball industry functions. The players’ share of revenue hasn’t significantly decreased over the past several years

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: No one on staff doesn’t want the players to get paid. At the same time, it’s true that building through free agency isn’t the smartest idea. It’s also true that baseball has limited spending capability by putting caps on amateur investments

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: The solution is to direct more money to younger players. You raise minimum salaries, and you blow up arbitration. If there’s a problem developing, that’s how you fix it

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Also, you pay the players in the damn minor leagues

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: This has gotten a little rambly, but whatever, it’s a chat

9:34

Rick James: Who has a better chance of having a bounce back year – Price or Tanka?

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: I think Tanaka has done more to put his injury behind him. Price’s is still a little too fresh for my comfort

9:35

Sterling Malory Chris Archer: Replace Buxton with a AAAA CF, how much does this affect Jose Berrios’ stat line?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. Last year, Berrios allowed 101 flies or liners to center field

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: The league-average BABIP on those was .346

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Berrios allowed a BABIP on those of .333

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: We’re looking at a difference of basically just one hit

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: But the Twins overall had a BABIP on those batted balls of just .305. So that would be many more hits

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Buxton is good, is the point

9:39

TKDC: With Dave gone, who should we complain to about the website? I’m picking you. The redesign, after trying to get used to it, is not good. It is too hard to miss things, and too hard to see what is out there once it goes off the main page.

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: I’m probably not the right person, but I’m *a* person, so, all right! I can talk to the right people to see if we can make improvements

9:40

Baseball Guy: Any ideas where the last few 1B/DH types will land? Morrison seems like a bargain-to-be, and Duda has always hit and should help someone. Lind and Reynolds can be major league impact guys too.

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: This is exactly why no one wanted to pay too much for Corey Dickerson, incidentally

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: I could’ve sworn that Morrison would end up in Kansas City, like he said he wanted. I’m shocked that didn’t happen immediately after Hosmer came off the board

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: I think someone ends up DHing for the White Sox. Not hard to see someone going to the Rockies to buy more time for McMahon. I also don’t want to rule the Rays out, now that they have a little bit of wiggle room

9:43

William: Does Moustakas fit in Minnesota? Anticipating Sano suspension and some DH at bats open regardless.

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a perfect fit, but seemingly nowhere is. I don’t think Moustakas would want to sign to be a partial DH, if he has to take a shorter term

9:44

M: 2018 ROY Moncada or Willie Calhoun?

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani

9:45

Mets GM: In hindsight, did I sign Bruce for too much? could have just gotten someone like Dyson or Dickerson on the cheap.

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: I think Bruce is a better hitter than Dickerson, and they probably didn’t feel too strongly about Dyson since they already have Lagares. I don’t love the Bruce investment but it’s not too bad

9:46

Tim: How many teams is it for you that it would just completely unfathomable that they could win the World Series this year? Like, you see no way they’re capable of getting a second Wild Card and then getting hot? The teams where you can’t talk your into believing there’s at least like a 0.1% chance where some scenario happens where enough breaks right for them

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: Marlins. That’s one

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: Tigers. That’s two

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: Royals. That’s three

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: White Sox. That’s four!

9:47

Don Von Handburger: Do you take Roto questions?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know anything about fantasy baseball, so I can only handle roto questions to the extent they mirror actual baseball questions

9:47

joe: How does Whitley positive test affect the timeline on when he will reach the majors

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Pushes it back a couple weeks. But I don’t think he needs all that much more development, and if anything, this keeps him fresher down the stretch

9:47

Timmy: So the M’s are signing Lincecum, right?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: They honestly should

9:48

Jason: Does Drury’s signing put a road block in place for either Andujar, G. Torres or both?  If so, is one more impacted by the signing than the other?

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: It is a clear road block in that now Andujar doesn’t profile as the opening-day third baseman. But Andujar and Torres are highly valued by the team and they’ll play regularly as soon as they deserve it. Drury won’t be an insurmountable obstacle

9:49

HappyFunBall: So the hot stove is actually decently warm now. Yu Darvish was the cheese after all!

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Gotta say, this has been way more fun than having to think about the early stages of spring training

9:49

Riley: What can we expect this year from Miles Mikolas? Is he worth using the top waiver claim in a dynasty league?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: I like him. I don’t know anything about your dynasty league, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Mikolas is a legitimate No. 3

9:50

John: People have assumed LoMo was the backup plan for the Royals if they lost Hosmer, but does he really make much sense for a rebuilding team? They wanted Hosmer back because they felt he’s young enough and would be under contract long enough that he could be part of the next good Royals team, in addition to all the stuff about how he’s beloved in Kansas City, could be a leader for the young players, etc. I don’t know what good signing Logan Morrison to like a two or three-year contract does for them right now though. Just makes the bad teams they’re going to have over the next couple years slightly less bad? Why not just let Dozier run with it and see what he can do? On the other hand, if the Royals aren’t going to sign LoMo, then who is?

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about the price and the market, right? It’s not worth it for the Royals to give Morrison like $18 million a year for four years. But just because they’ll be bad doesn’t mean there’s no value in making a bad team slightly better. Veterans have a place on rebuilding ballclubs. Palatability is important

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Right now the Royals profile to start both Hunter Dozier and Cheslor Cuthbert. This is unnecessary

9:53

Jake: How angry were you that the Rays traded Souza immediately after you published that article about them not getting worse?

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: It wasn’t great

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: Souza is an actual blow to the roster. But I do believe they’ll offset it by adding now. This is not a tank job

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: There’s too much high-level talent in the organization to justify a tank

9:55

Zach: Chris Sale threw 71 innings in 2011. Chris Sale threw 192 innings in 2012. While he did throw 136 in his draft year including college, this spike is unbelievable, and yet he’s been as durable as they come (so far). While there are always exceptions to every rule, do you think we can point at this and say we really just don’t know all that much about innings increases compared to health?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Of course, generally speaking, pitching more is going to be worse for a pitcher’s health. But every single pitcher’s body is different

9:55

A Baseball Person: So, um, did the Rays just wait ’til late February to decide, “no, actually, we’re rebuilding”?

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Not rebuilding! Just being very Rays. The Rays don’t really rebuild. They constantly aim for about 81 wins

9:56

Justin Turner’s Hair: Jeff, please don’t leave us as the others did!

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: No plan to do so

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Paul, Eno, Chris — they weren’t full-time employees. Dave is the only full-time employee who has left, and that’s because the Padres simply bowled him over with a job offer unlike anything he could’ve imagined

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Those jobs…they aren’t everywhere

9:57

Schmoo: Baseball players: on a scale of volcanoes to not volcanoes, how do they compare to volcanoes?

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: They spend a lot more time being active than the average volcano

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: They are strombolian

9:59

Upton Funk: Would love your takes on Godley + Sonny Gray . . . lots of different opinions throughout the industry it seems.  Gray seems like he is what he is (a solid #3) . . . Godley seems to have the potential to pull a DeGrom-type late stage jump into ace/strong #2-hood, between what he showed all of last year, coupled with the #humidor2018

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: I like Godley a little more. His curveball is legitimately special. Gray’s used to be, but he’s somewhat abandoned it. I don’t trust either pitcher totally because neither one throws quite enough strikes for my liking, but missed bats + grounders is a good way to go through life as a pitcher

10:01

Brandon: Is the Cubs rotation the best in baseball?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, but I bet it’s second or third

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: The Astros are really good

10:02

Scott: If you were putting together trade value rankings, how much would Whitley’s suspension hurt him?

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Not very much at all

10:02

E: I don’t understand the player push back on the limit if mound visits. Baseball is the only major sport that essential had unlimited timeouts. You don’t think coaches and players would like to talk about every play in the final 2 minutes of an NBA or NFL game? I feel like being able to execute as a team without having a huddle is part of the game, it’s why you practice.

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: There’s player pushback because limiting mound meetings is a concession, and those meetings have always had a purpose. But they will find a way to adjust around these limitations, because they will find that few of the meetings were actually necessary

10:03

toki: Do the Cubs work the DL to get Montgomery his starts and keep the innings off of Chatwood?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Chatwood might very well keep the innings off himself on his own

10:04

Guest: Do Fangraphs’ projected standings factor in strength of schedule?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Not yet! But they will when we launch the Playoff Odds page, which will be soon

10:07

Motown: So not a lot to think about this season in Detroit, but what do you think Fulmer needs, other than health of course, to take the next step? His GB numbers are so strong but his k/9 is weaker than you’d expect for a guy with his stuff. Word is Bosio is working on his slider, could that be the key to unlocking frontline potential?

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: For getting more swings and misses, I think the slider could stand to have greater depth. But Fulmer also has a good high fastball he should try to use more often in two-strike counts

10:09

Eric: Based on his pitch mix, is there any reason to believe that Chad Green couldn’t translate his bullpen success into the rotation?

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: 90% of his pitches are four-seamers or sliders, so you could see him running into issues against lefties or repeating through the lineup

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: That being said, even despite a bad ERA, Green started eight games in 2016 in the majors and over 36 innings he had 12 walks and 44 strikeouts. It’s not hopeless

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees, though, might argue that Green is no less valuable in his current role

10:13

Steve: It really seems like the Rays got robbed in the Souza deal right?

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they got robbed. They obviously got worse in the short-term, but it’s tough to bet on Souza repeating a batting line like that while posting such a low contact rate

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: And KATOH has been pretty big on Banda, who’s a young lefty starter with three pitches. All things being equal, you’d rather have a position player than a pitcher, but Souza turns 29 in April. I can understand this one

10:15

Dan: Did the Cubs have the best 5 year run of 1st round draft picks?

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. Javier Baez, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Gotta see how that develops. But the Mariners had the run with Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek, Jose Cruz, and Gil Meche

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Phillies weren’t so bad with Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Chase Utley, Gavin Floyd, and Cole Hamels

10:18

Hunky Dory: Who the hell is Brandon Drury?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: A decently powerful 25-year-old with defensive versatility

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: One of seemingly a million recent young Diamondbacks infielders

10:20

Pedantic: Jeff, what is your favorite kind of dinosaur?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: compy

10:20

Craig: Do you think that there will be a higher 1st round success rate due to more advanced scouting/ analytical knowledge?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: A little bit, because of advances in scouting and also advances in player development. But drafted players still face so many hurdles between draft day and the major leagues, so there are years of opportunities for things to go wrong

10:21

Scott: How do you see the market for mid-tier free agents, like Cobb and Lynn, panning out? Something like 3 years/$45 million?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Something like that sounds about right. Can’t imagine anyone wants to go five years at this point

10:22

EbenezerBatflip: Hi Jeff! What do you think is the weakest link of the Red Sox roster now? Bullpen?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Looks like bullpen, but unsurprising health complications could make it the rotation instead

10:26

Sox Fan: How did Cashman trade no one particularly special and end up with a potential 2 win guy who can play multiple positions?  That seems to be a great deal, no?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: One might reasonably counter that Cashman also didn’t acquire anyone particularly special

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: I certainly don’t think it’s a bad trade for the Yankees or anything, but Solak is a real prospect and Drury doesn’t excite me a whole lot

10:28

Mike: Your take on the storyline that teams are more likely to value players the same?  If you agree, will teams assessments continue to converge?  If so, does that mean teams with more financial might will again enjoy the advantages of larger payrolls?

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: There’s no question that evaluations have converged over time, and they will continue to do so. Teams are increasingly looking at the same things. The separators are going to be money and player development

10:29

Babe Lincoln: Thoughts on the Mets offseason as a whole?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t love any one particular thing, but I think they were right to be active in trying to tweak and improve. They’re right on that bubble where extra wins are most valuable, and with Syndergaard back, the team could be very competitive

10:30

Ben: Thoughts on Bellinger? Tough year to follow up and he didn’t end well (see playoff strikeout rate). Was a weakness exposed or does he put up 35/100?

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: I see him being kind of Chris Davis-y. Which is not bad!

10:31

Scott: Is it nice to have more baseball news to write about? Or annoying that it’s all happening at once, after months of nothing?

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mind having a flurry of news. I do mind having a flurry of news at nights or on weekends

10:32

Drew: Did you see Rich Eisen’s comments about how to improve baseball? The short version is that a manager should be allowed to bat any hitter in the 9th inning. On a scale of 1-Trevor Bauer how stupid is this idea?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t say it’s stupid. There are lots of ways to make baseball differently interesting. I do not think the current version of baseball is uninteresting

10:32

Cornercreek: With the additions of Dyson & Souza to play alongside Pollock and Peralta, do the Diamondbacks have the best defensive outfield in the NL West?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:33

John Stamos: Favorite Chipotle stuffings?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: meat

10:33

Justin: Some people don’t like the Drury trade for NYY. I don’t really get why they don’t. Cheap, some upside, more MLB ready IF depth, and it doesn’t mean Andujar can’t win the 3B job anyway. Torres may well just wait a month. I suppose it means less of a chance for Torreyes but, uh, he’s fun, but that’s it.

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: There’s probably the perception that, because of Drury, someone is blocked. No one is blocked. Andujar, Torres, Wade — they’ll get the opportunities they deserve. Every position requires more than one player, most of the time, and Drury improves the depth

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Basically, Drury didn’t bump up the Yankees’ upside very much, but he reduces the downside

10:35

John: You think players should be worried about the kind of incentive-laden contracts that Watson, Cashner, Tillman have gotten?  Looks like upwards of 50% is incentives for them.  Seems to be moving towards NFL style contracts, which seems like a terrible idea, especially for pitchers

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Incentives have been around for a long time, especially for a player like Tillman, who doesn’t deserve much of a guarantee

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Watson’s incentives presumably have more to do with the Giants’ competitive-balance-tax situation, and maybe that’s more of a concern. But my understanding is that the incentives will not be difficult for him to reach

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know all the ins and outs of how incentives factor into CBT calculations

10:36

Keon Broxton : Why don’t you call me anymore?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Do better

10:36

Fat Matt: Untapped potential for Drury?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Untapped potential for everyone in the majors

10:37

David: Oh no, we only get Jeff today, woe is us.
Which teams are in the best/worst positions over the next 5 years

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Yankees are in the best

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Tigers might be in the worst. Perhaps the Royals or Orioles

10:38

Troy: Think the Rockies are ready to give the reigns to McMahon or do you still see them signing someone like Reynolds to a one-year deal?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: I think they sign a guy

10:38

Cody: The people running baseball hate baseball

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: How many people are truly passionate about work

10:39

Ryan: What are your thoughts on how each team made out in that three-way yesterday?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s a good look for Arizona, and it’s a blow to Tampa Bay. I’m very interested to see what the Rays do next to make up for this

10:39

Alan: Hi Jeff, What is Dylan Bundy’s ceiling?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Very good major-league pitcher

10:40

weezy: who comes up first for the rays: Jake Bauers or Brent Honeywell?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’ll be Honeywell. He’s already been dominant, while Bauers has yet to manage an .800 OPS at any level of the minors

10:41

Ken: I was recently forced to listen to two Dodger-fan friends drunkenly argue about Chris Taylor, so I’m curious about where you stand – is this dude a now-perennial all-star, or is he primed to regress hard this year?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: He will regress and he will be good. Probably not All-Star good

10:41

Erik: Would you climb a volcano of hot talent lava?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Magma becomes lava when it is extruded. I would climb a volcano of hot talent magma, but I would not climb a volcano that is in the throes of eruption. That would be ridiculous

10:42

Sir Bedivere: How do you know so much about volcanos?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: How do you know so much about King Arthur?

10:43

Jimmy Is An Average Poker Player: Do the DBacks try to trade Yasmany Tomas, or are they content to bury him on their roster?

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: He’s a younger Matt Kemp

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: No one is excited about trading for Matt Kemp

10:43

E: Do you care about the winter olympics?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: I feel like I should, but I haven’t

10:44

M: Did the Padres make a monumental team-altering blunder signing Hosmer, or is it ultimately inconsequential?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Even if Hosmer is a *complete* waste of money — I’m talking eight years of replacement-level performance — the Padres could work around that. It’s one salary. So much of their nearer-term talent is going to be cheap. This isn’t a colossal disaster. It’s just not something I would’ve done

10:45

toki: With the limit of mound visits are we going to see teams not making visits and more passed balls and higher scoring games?  Meaning will the effects of this rule cancel out any potential time savings?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it. They’re still allowing cross-up meetings. And catchers and pitchers will adjust pretty quickly

10:46

brad: Jeff, I am as much of a Greg Bird fan as anyone, and would love more than anything to see him healthy all year and bat .265 with 30 plus HR, but wouldn’t Lomo make a lot of sense for the Yankees as a DH and backup 1B?  I assume he could be had for 1 year $8-10M or so???  What am I missing?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I doubt that Morrison is actually that cheap

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I also don’t think he’s much better than Bird

10:47

gcarter: Thoughts on Matt Bush as a starter?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: I’m always interested in these conversions, but I’m also usually skeptical. Don’t know how much velocity Bush is going to lose, and last season he was far from unhittable in the bullpen

10:48

Colin: Is there any evidence that a player who switches leagues in the offseason performs worse the following year?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: Not that I know of

10:49

Chaco Chicken: Is the Toba Supereruption the Barry Bonds of volcanic ejecta?

10:49

2-D: Do you still share an optimism for the forgotten Cody Anderson?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: It’s still in there, but I have to see how he looks post-TJ

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Just saw that the Rays have signed Carlos Gomez to a one-year contract

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Gomez just posted a 110 wRC+. Souza, 120

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Gomez is a little bit worse than Souza is, and he’s a little more injury-prone, but in general profile, Gomez and Souza are very similar. I like this

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Rays add Banda and Solak and two PTBNLs, and they only slightly downgrade in the present

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Plus, Gomez will cost more than Souza this year!

10:52

Marty: Is it now more difficult to gain a competitive advantage using sabermetrics than it was 5 years ago?  Are we close to, and what does, post-sabermetric baseball look like?  If not (close), what do you think are the “new frontiers”?

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Definitely far more difficult than ever. The current or next frontier involves applying sabermetrics to player development. We have all these tools that indicate how good players are. How can teams use those tools to help players improve? That’s where the bulk of the focus is today

10:52

JD: Over/Under 25 HR for Ryan Braun this season?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say under, just because right now I’m not sure he gets enough plate appearances. Crowded roster

10:53

toki: Why does MLB feel the need to bring time into baseball?  Part of Baseball’s beauty is in the fact that it is event based not time based.

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: But baseball has also been getting slower. People say they don’t want baseball to change. Well, baseball has already *been changing*. And even if it’s not a problem now, what if games added another 15-20 minutes? At some point you have to intervene

10:53

John: Has a topical post of yours ended up having worse timing than the Rays one yesterday?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’ll look too bad. Same idea applies to swapping Souza and Gomez. This team is not tanking

10:54

Big Cheese: What do you think the likelihood of further big trades before opening day are?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Fairly high!

10:54

Forrest: What do you think the Diamondbacks outfield rotation is going to be like this year?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Peralta/Pollock/Souza, with Dyson playing a few times a week

10:55

Drew: Is it bad if I’m a Yankees fan and I didn’t know who Chris Drury was until today?

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: Well no, because Chris Drury is a retired NHL forward

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: Granted, one who played for some years in New York

10:56

Dingers!: Better chance at a 2018 resurgence, Kyle Schwarber (best shape of his life) or Jason Heyward (probably made swing adjustments again?)?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber

10:56

Jake: On Whitley…I read that his story was his friend gave him something one night to help him stay awake on a long drive. What are the chances it was just adderall or something? Can’t imagine smoking weed in order to stay awake

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t seen that since I’m actively chatting, and in cases like this players often don’t tell the whole truth, but unless Whitley has an actual, destructive substance-abuse problem, I don’t think this is going to matter

10:58

gump: What do you make of the huge WAR disparity on Souza between FG, BP, BR? The lower 2017 WARs help make his 2018 projection seem more reasonable, but hard for me to understand how much regression FG and BR have to have

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: FG WAR: 3.7. BR WAR: 4.2. Nothing major there

10:58

George: Any possibility the Drury trade turns out to be a repeat of the Didi situation and the Yankees get a true steal?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Some possibility, sure, but the Yankees acquired Didi to be a long-time regular. They still figure Torres and Andujar will be their long-term regulars at second and third

10:59

Craig: Odds JDM opts out?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: At this point I’d put them a little above 50%

10:59

Chaco Chicken: Where might Jonathan Lucroy land? Should the Nats consider him?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: The A’s would be interesting

10:59

Jordan: Do you think the Pirates should look into picking up Dickerson to fill their LF void?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Nah

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: But I like Luplow

11:00

Hruska: Am I the only one who isn’t completely down on what the Rays are doing? They seem to be pivoting philosophies away from strikeout heavy power bats (Souza, Dickerson) by pursuing young guys who put the ball in play. All of their pickups this offseason are more contact friendly and their drafting on the hitter side has leaned that way too. That’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard when the ball might fly a little futher.

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: No, you’re not

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: But this is an offseason in which the consensus seems to have turned against Rays-model roster building

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: If the Rays owners aren’t going to spend more, this is how the front office has to function. No alternative to constant churn

11:01

Josh: So teams should be going hard after Archer now, right? Would a Verdugo, Alvarez, Joc and Will Smith package get it done?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: They’re not trading Archer

11:02

Craig: Do you think opt outs are (almost) inevitable in big free agent contracts? Is it something that should be expected next offseason with Harper, Kershaw, etc.

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Yep. Those contracts are going to have to be creative, given how expensive they’ll be and given the ever-present competitive-balance-tax thresholds

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Teams need to find ways to include value without maximizing AAV

11:02

Ryan H: If you’re the Rays, why stop now? Why not trade Archer, Kiermaier, etc?

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Because there’s too much high-level talent around to blow it all up

11:03

Dan: Gonna end up worse contract, Heyward or Hosmer

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Well, Heyward already has two years of not being good

11:03

Jim: Did you read the article where San Diego owner basically threw Myers under the bus by saying “Finally, we have a leader of the team” (referring to Hosmer) – thoughts if you are Myers

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess Myers has admitted as much

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think it’s a huge secret that he doesn’t thrive on being the guy

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. There’s Carlos Gomez news to discuss!

11:04

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 back at the normal Friday slot, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/21/18 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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jetzzfan
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jetzzfan

I agree that Drury is a decently powerful player. I caught his final home run playing for Arizona last season.