Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/8/19

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: I’m sorry about that extra long delay — had a podcast go slightly over

9:08

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:08

Bork: In which way will Melnyk drop the ball with Duchene & Stone?

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: I very genuinely don’t want to talk about it 🙁

9:08

Davis: The Brewers got a guy in Josh Tomlin who posted 2.2 WAR just a year ago. He also has a miniscule walk rate, the smallest among all starters.

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Last season, Josh Tomlin allowed 3.2 homers per nine innings

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: 3.2 homers per nine innings

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: 3.2 homers per nine innings

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: 3.2 HOMERS PER NINE INNINGS

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: If you look at his background, over 900 career innings, he has a 114 ERA- and a 101 xFIP-. Some pitchers might have a soft-contact skill. Tomlin absolutely doesn’t

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: It’s a genuine delight how well he’s able to command his pitches, but the overall sum of the parts is awfully dinger-prone. Tomlin is a fringe big-leaguer, and he’s 34 years old

9:11

Ron: Jeff, I’d really like to know what Kyler’s going to do so please tell me.

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to make the decision that he thinks is best for him

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: Will it actually be what’s best for him? Impossible to say! That’s the funny thing about big, difficult decisions

9:13

Airport Banana: If they can only sign one, should the Brewers go for Marwin Gonzalez or Dallas Keuchel?

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: That depends entirely on what they’re willing to settle for

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: But Gonzalez has been one of the more obvious fits from the beginning of the winter

9:14

diadem: Will Stripling and Strahm start the season in the rotation?

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: Not barring injury or trade

9:16

Ron: Did Realmuto have more trade value last offseason?
Had a huge year last, more established, track record, etc.
That vs. an extra year of club control.

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: I think he would’ve had very similar trade value. It’s no small thing to have a third year of club control, but teams now can feel more confident about Realmuto’s production. He took a meaningful step forward in 2018, that vaulted him to the top of the backstop leaderboards

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: I think 2018 actually helped the Marlins pry away a top-tier prospect

9:19

P: Is there an Astros equivalent to the JT trade? There doesn’t feel like one

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: In terms of just sum asset value, yeah, you could get there. There could be any combination of players. But in terms of talent + volatility, boy, I don’t know. Like, Stassi is a big-league catcher, but he’s not another Alfaro

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: If you did Stassi/James/Guduan or something, that could be similar in estimated future value, but that’s not at all similar in error-bar magnitude

9:21

Condesa: Doesn’t sound like it’ll happen this year, but if the DH came to the NL, which NL team would be helped / hurt the most in 2019?

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s conventional wisdom the Cubs would be helped the most because of Schwarber, but now I think it would be the Reds, because of Kemp, Winker, etc

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: A lot harder to figure out who would be hurt the most. Pitchers all suck at hitting. Maybe the Giants — they don’t even have an outfield yet, let alone an extra hitter

9:25

R Sauce: Who is Ozzie Albies? More 1st half 2018 or 2nd half 2018?

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Neither! I’m going to go off the board and say I believe the current Albies is about what he was from May through July. Aggressive hitter, slightly above average

9:28

Bryce Harper: When do I start to consider taking a 1 year 45 million dollar pillow contract?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: The end of March, by which point you will have signed for something much much bigger in reality

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Harper has giant offers on the table

9:30

Kip: Heyman says the Marlins wanted Riley, Pache and a pitching prospect. Even to keep Realmuto from going to the Phillies that seems way too high.

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: It’s high, albeit not out-and-out crazy — lots of questions still unanswered regarding Riley and Pache’s bats

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: Pache was bad in his initial exposure to Double-A, and Riley’s market value this winter hasn’t been as high as you’d think

9:31

Dave in London: Thanks for chatting Jeff. What’s the likelihood that the Mariners trade Encarnacion before spring training, and if they do, does that leave Vogelbach as the default DH?

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: I feel like, unless there’s an injury, there’s not really any place for Encarnacion to go in the next month

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: Not many fits and he’s not in demand, given his diminishing skillset

9:33

Hebrew: Thoughts on Shane Bieber? I am struggling whether or not to keep him around pick #260 in my 20-team league. We use 6 pitcher categories (QS, k/9, WHIP, ERA, SV, HLD).

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know a single thing about fantasy baseball, but I am a Bieber fan and I believe he’s going to be underrated in large part because he’s the fifth starter in a rotation with four really really good starters

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: I know it’s possible Bieber has Josh Tomlin disease, but unlike Tomlin, Bieber throws 93 and misses some bats

9:34

TJ: think the MLBPA and owners work it out and we have a league-wide DH by 2020? i hate it, but it makes sense to make the game more consistent…

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: I think the odds are greater than 50% that 2020 has a universal DH

9:35

coach Philbin: not too long ago jose altuve and giancarlo stanton were mvps. do you think they ever get back?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: They probably won’t win MVPs again, because that’s really hard to do, but I do think Altuve, when healthy, is still the same player. For Stanton, I think his lower strikeout rate that one year was a fluke

9:37

Adam: Last year, Washington was all but begging the Marlins to take Robles for Realmuto. Yesterday, they traded him for the 26th-ranked prospect and a couple lottery tickets. GM malpractice or was holding out the right move?

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: I’d prefer a package built around Victor Robles to a package built around Sixto Sanchez, and I do think it took the Marlins too long to lower their expectations

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: At the same time, there’s no shortage of people out there who think the Marlins just ripped the Phillies off. I’m more of a Sanchez/Alfaro skeptic, but if you’re okay with risk, those are two extremely talented baseball players

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: I’d stop short of designating malpractice

9:39

Chancy the six dwarf: Are you buying this Brandon Lowe breakout/hype? He seems underrated

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: I like him a lot. Quiet major 2018 success story. Like a lot of Rays, he’s going to have to find playing time all over the place

9:40

Russell: What are you initial thoughts on the PECOTA predicted standings? The Brewers were are stand out for me, 89 wins and top of the NL Central compared to Fangraphs 79 wins and bottom.

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t seem ’em yet, but I prefer their Brewers estimate to our current one

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve had trouble trying to prove it this week, but I do believe many projections tend to underrate teams with strong bullpens and defense, like the Brewers and A’s

9:42

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: What’s surprised you most from your polls on the rule proposals?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Last I checked, the community was in favor of eight of the ten proposals. That’s welcoming an awful lot of change!

9:42

Condesa: PECOTA and Steamer seem to differ somewhat significantly on the Brewers. What do you think accounts for the difference?

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: As mentioned above, guessing PECOTA is doing a better job of capturing defensive and bullpen inputs

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers are an unusual team. I personally think of them as around an 86-win true talent

9:44

GranFaphs: Tyler White seems like a guy that can continue his success at the plate. Do they play him at 1B or DH most?

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Let me first say this about Tyler White — last year, there were 355 players with at least 200 plate appearances. White had the third-biggest gap between his wOBA (.377) and his expected wOBA (.324)

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s regression in front of him, but he also has the inside lane for regular DH opportunities

9:46

Lerry: Miguel Sano seems like a good bounceback candidate. How do you feel about 25 y/o Sano?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Feel like so much is going to depend on how well he keeps himself in shape. I consider him a comfortably above-average hitter, but he’s going to have to work hard to not be a liability wherever he plays

9:48

Cove Dweller: Do you have a pick for the 2nd AL WC spot?

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: Rays

9:49

Tugs: Do you think Vlad Jr and Bichette last long enough to play in Montreal at the end of spring training or do you think they get cut?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they’ll be there. The Blue Jays want to get eyes on the hopeful core of their future

9:51

Nick Wittgren: How am I any good?

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Can we just chalk it up to a deceptive fastball?

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: But also you’re basically a league-average righty middle reliever

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Sorry if that hurts to read

9:52

Stinky Bologna: I’d like to propose a toast to Jeff for sifting through hundreds of questions related to the NL DH. To Jeff!

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: It hasn’t been as terrible as you’d think!

9:53

DJ Tanner: Who’s a better fit for the Phils between Machado and Harper? Do they even care which one? Seems like if they preferred one they could just up their offer slightly and try and seal the deal and be done with the process.

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: I very seriously don’t think there’s a clear better fit, and I don’t think the *Phillies* think there’s a clear better fit. They’re both great. They’d both help a lot. I think the Phillies just want to end up with whichever one they might be able to get easier

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Personally I’d give the slight edge to Harper, and my guess is the Phillies might believe the same thing, but this is one of those open debates. Strong arguments on either side

9:55

Austin “All I Do Is” Wynns: So the Orioles catchers are now Sisco, Susac, and Sucre. Are sibilant backstops a market inefficiency they’ve tapped?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: I wonder when Orioles questions are going to stop bumming me out

9:56

Xberg: Not trying to pick on Johnny O’Brien, but I couldn’t really figure out what he meant in his anti-analytics answer on EW regarding slumps. What do you think he meant by this?

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: I’d have to re-listen to be sure, but my guess is that he means analytics can identify a streak or a slump, but they can’t necessarily help shine a light on how to make a slump end

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t agree in all circumstances, but it’s a valid general point

9:57

stever20: thought the union’s counterproposal on the DL made a lot of sense- 10 days for batters, 15 for pitchers. Seems to make a lot of sense. your thoughts?

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t emphasize enough how little I care, because I don’t think the injured list has been abused as much as people say. But I’m also very open to the idea of treating hitters and pitchers differently, because I think down the road they’ll want to do the same with compensation

9:59

Hebrew: Will Randall Grichuk live up to his Steamer projection? It’s hard to forget about how bad his first half was last year.

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Steamer thinks Grichuk will be about the same overall player. I’ll take it!

9:59

Roger: Article idea: compare the aggregate FAN projections for each team’s players to the aggregate ZIPS or Steamer projections for each team’s players to determine which fan base is most optimistic or pessimistic about the coming year.

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: I always run a project asking the community to evaluate our team projections. Haven’t done it yet because there’s still more offseason to go, and because right now our projections don’t yet include ZiPS

10:00

AJ: Looking at the PECOTA projections and the Depth Charts on here, do people really think Tulowitzki is gonna get the bulk of the playing time at short for the Yankees? I’d be shocked if they start the season with anything other than LeMahieu at 2B, Andujar at 3B, and Torres at SS

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’m going to take another look at that. Would be an easy thing to adjust. Although it’s worth noting that Steamer does like Tulowitzki so it’s not like an adjustment is going to meaningfully impact the Yankees’ projection

10:02

Davy: I thought the differences between your piece and Michael Baumann’s on the Realmuto trade were really interesting. Did you read his?

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s not surprising that, when you have a trade with two such volatile young players involved, you’re going to end up with some widely disparate opinions. Some people will be more inclined to see Alfaro and Sanchez for their strengths. Some will be more inclined to see them for their shortcomings. I lean more toward the latter, personally, but that doesn’t mean I’m more right than anyone else

10:03

Stinky Bologna: RE: analytics, the next frontier. Do you foresee the new CBA incorporating mandating players wear wearable tech in order to further the analytics – both on the fan side and the player evaluation side of the game?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: No. I don’t know how you mandate that

10:04

Bebop: As a Cubs who has always been a little enamored with Evan Gattis, and with the potential addition of a 26 man roster with a 12 pitcher maximum, wouldn’t Gattis be a good addition as a back up cathcer/big pinch hitting bat off the bench? it doesn’t seem as if people are knocking his door down with offers

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: Gattis is definitely the kind of guy who would most support a roster-size expansion

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: Same with Willians Astudillo!!

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: You’d probably see a good number of players added who have some passing ability to defend behind the plate

10:06

@RationalMLBfan: Larger pitching staffs are intended in part to preserve pitcher heath vis-à-vis sufficient rest. But has there been research on the impact on position player health? Small benches mean that position players generally have to play through smaller aches instead of taking a few days to heal. Even positional versatility, which is a partial response to smaller benches, could be problematic, as players are put on the field in positions that don’t match their skills.

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: You’re not wrong, and I don’t know of any overarching studies. But I think that, generally speaking, baseball is less afraid of hamstring strains than UCL or labrum tears

10:07

Jimmy_Changa: How does Alfaro’s ceiling compare to Realmuto’s 2018 production? Higher? Lower?

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: How do we define his ceiling? Presumably, Alfaro’s ceiling requires better discipline. How much better do we make his discipline? Does he become the next Joey Votto?

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: Alfaro has a very high ceiling, wherever that may be. He also has a low chance of reaching it

10:09

Hebrew: What are your thoughts on Brandon Nimmo? Projections seem all over the board on him – steamer/depth charts project a regression from last season, THE BAT and PECOTA are looking at a similar season from him, and ATC thinks he’s going to crush. Wondering if last year’s power was a fluke!

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: At least in terms of expected wOBA last season, Nimmo definitely overachieved. At the same time, he was better down the stretch than he was early on, so I’m a Nimmo fan. Did you see that September? 29 walks and 18 strikeouts

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: While I don’t think Nimmo’s going to become a classic slugger, he’s a 4-win player in my mind, with upside beyond that

10:11

Petyr Baelish: Donaldson is 33 years old.
o/u 33 days spent on the DL in 2019?

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: Taking the slight over

10:12

Baloo: Going to Pompeii in May, have you been? Any tips?

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t been for a while, but have been twice. Very memorable! See about taking a trip to Vesuvius proper while you’re in the area. Helpful to connect the two

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: So much volcanic activity in that part of Italy. From a long-term perspective, Naples is in trouble

10:13

Oklahomabrave : I really thought the Braves would end up with Realmuto as the “big trade” ‘this offseason. Do you see them making any move of significance before OD?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: Less and less likely. I’ll say the Donaldson addition was pretty significant, already. They seem like the kind of team that’ll play out the first three months and then reevaluate at the deadline. Needs will emerge, and so will young players within the system

10:14

Fartrell Cluggins: Will the Realmuto help hurry the process of the Phillies signing Bryce Harper at all?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: Not in any real way, but resolution can’t be far off regardless

10:15

Dealioni: You buying Kris Bryant 35+ HR this year?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: No, but I’ll take 30

10:16

MadKyleDisease: Are the Twins the biggest offenders of this slow offseason? A (relative) ton of money to spend. The favorites in their division doing nothing to get better and possible getting worse. And only reaching into the bargain bin instead of making a push.

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: I think to this point the Dodgers are considered the biggest offenders

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: But looking at the Twins, they’re projected for a $100-million payroll, down from last year’s $129 million

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible, I suppose, guys like Keuchel and Kimbrel just don’t want to play there, or something. But it seems like the Twins should be involved on at least one of them, if not both

10:20

NL East Arms Race: If your the Mets, and BVW is actually serious about “come and get us”, how is he not day and night convincing the Wilpons to swoop in and get Machado or Harper?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: One explanation: maybe, secretly, he is!

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: A more likely explanation: he knows it would be a losing argument

10:21

Warren: Happy Friday! What does a realistic successful season look like for the padres young guys look like? Margot, Renfroe, Hedges, Lucchesi, etc

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: There are too many to name, but I think even the current Padres have a shot to finish around .500. Obviously, it’s a roster with plenty of upside, and more on the way. I can’t review like 20 interesting players in the course of one live chat, I’m afraid

10:23

Dave in London: Do you think Reynaldo Lopez is poised for a breakout in 2019 as he improves his control, or do you see him settling in as No. 3-4 SP?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: More the latter than the former

10:24

Scotty B: Are Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra even going to have jobs? Is Adam jones going to start? Do teams all have a sub-30 policy for outfielders now?

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: All three of those players are coming off a two-digit wRC+, and they’re not great defenders

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: It’s cold to observe, I know, but they’re just not…that…interesting, from a performance perspective. You can understand why no one has been in a hurry to agree to a contract

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: They’ll all get something, and I think Jones will start somewhere, but it’s not unreasonable they remain on the market

10:26

A Sad Fan : Is Harper really going to take a 2 year deal?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine so

10:27

Ryan: Should the Red Sox use their best weapon (Barnes) as closer or let him continue being the relief ace and have Brasier close and hope he’ll be steady?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t forget about Thornburg, too

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: Going to be a lot of mixing and matching, barring a Kimbrel reunion

10:29

Gem 876: What’re your thoughts on Christin Stewart?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Good hitter, worse athlete. One of the few Tigers who should be fun to follow on a regular basis in 2019. Definite fringe outfielder, even at 25 years old

10:31

gravy train: Umm, the Dodgers aren’t done, are they? What do you see them doing?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: The list of things the Dodgers *need* is very short, and they seem like the heavy favorite to win the NL West. Having missed out on Realmuto, they might genuinely be content to wait to do anything until July

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they haven’t had their last chat with Scott Boras, however

10:32

Fartrell Cluggins: Seems to me the the Realmuto trade is sort of lopsided. Sanchez has a bit of an injury history, Alfaro’s walk to strikeout ratio was atrocious, and Stewart is a bit of an unknown. Any thoughts?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I wrote all of my thoughts literally yesterday

10:33

AJ: Better young Catcher…Mejia or Jansen?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Jansen, because I think he’s more of an actual catcher

10:34

Nick: Projections seem to be a bit down on Mitch Haniger. Do you think he’ll continue to improve? Also, was it a mistake for the M’s to not make him available?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: I think of Haniger as a 3-4 win outfielder. And I don’t think it was a mistake to keep him, because this was the wrong offseason to be trying to trade an outfielder

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Look at the Padres. They still have all their guys. They probably didn’t mean to

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: But when Nick Markakis is signing for six million dollars, how do you tell someone to trade premium prospects for the outfielder you’ve got?

10:36

Xberg: What are the chances that Orlando Arcia turns in to an above average major leaguer? Feels like there’s still some untapped potential.

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: I can see him getting up to the 90 wRC+ level with some consistency, and he’s a talented defender, but still, the Brewers should be thinking about their next shortstop

10:37

Timmmay: Robbie Ray seems to go under the radar do you think he gets flipped at the break in 2019? Still only 27

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Definitely a potential midseason trade candidate. The Diamondbacks will market him as a James Paxton equivalent

10:38

greg: If you’re the Reds, would you have included any one of Senzel, Trammell or Greene to get Realmuto?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Not Senzel, but I would’ve been open to the others

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Senzel would be too much of a subtraction from the 2019 roster

10:40

Justin: Should the Pirates do something weird like piggyback Jordan Lyles and Francisco Liriano as their #5 spot? Both have pretty good “1st time thru order” splits, if memory serves.

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: There’s some potential to an idea like that, but whatever happens would just be holding a place for Mitch Keller. Lyles will be competing for a rotation spot this spring, but anything is going to be short-term

10:41

Fartrell Cluggins: What can be done regarding big time free agents signing this close to, or even after, the start of spring training? Any possibility that the it could be a point of discussion with the CBA?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Multiple team-side people have told me this offseason they’re open to some kind of transaction deadline. There’s a lot that would have to be figured out, because, well, players get hurt! But writing a rule wouldn’t be impossible. Just complex

10:42

Baseballball: What would happen if players, instead of playing six MLB years, we’re instead declared free agents after their age 26 season?

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: Small-budget organizations would complain themselves into paralysis

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: But something like that — albeit less aggressive — is going to be proposed, if it hasn’t been already

10:44

Charlie: What do you think of Ken Rosenthal’s report that “Neither [Harper’s nor Machado’s agent] wants to sign first, knowing once one of the players goes off the board, the other will benefit from gaining the sole attention of the remaining suitors.”?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: It’s true, and proof that the slow offseason hasn’t been entirely the fault of the teams

10:44

Cody: Does Texas have a plan? They don’t get talked about in the tankers group. But they definitely aren’t contending anytime soon

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: They’re rebuilding, without tanking. They’re doing what people want would-be tankers to do

10:45

Corry: Will Gary Sanchez ever improve defensively to stick at catcher long term?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to be a good catcher

10:45

FC Barcelona Beisbol: With the difficulty that Harper & Machado have had getting signed, do you think we will see stars transition to an NBA-style contact model (high AAV, short term) in the near future? I felt we saw a mild example of that with Kershaw’s deal.

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I think in order for that to happen and truly take off, we’re going to need to see the CBT thresholds raised by a lot

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: And they *should be* raised by a lot

10:46

Andrew: Is the Realmuto trade a good approximation of what Mitch Haniger night fetch?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: No. Realmuto plays a premium position. It’s easier to find a cheaper alternative to Haniger

10:47

FC Barcelona Beisbol: If the Dodgers had a chance to win the World Series in LA, would it be fair or reasonable to have Vin in the building to call the last half-inning?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: He wouldn’t want it

10:47

Uncle Rico: Dave Dombrowski’s complete and utter disregard for the bullpen thought his career has always baffled me. I have a feeling this season will be no different. What’s on the horizon for the BoSox pen?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: A midseason trade or three

10:48

Dave in London: Any news on Soler’s recovery? Should Royals fans be worried that his history of injuries will substantially limit his 2019 playing time?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: It was just a fractured toe, right? He should be fine. But he should also be expected to have to miss time at some point for something. Nevertheless, he’ll be a regular, and he should get his 400+ plate appearances

10:50

Derek Jeets: Piscotty made a huge jump in ISO and raised his HR/FB to 18%. He looked really really good at the plate last year. Do you think he’s this type of guy moving forward? a 25-30HR guy?

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Good hitter. Should be a consistently good hitter. I see a lot of J.T. Realmuto in his bat, which is convenient timing. He’s Realmuto at a weaker position

10:51

Tim: What would you put the odds at Machado and/or Harper putting opt outs in their contracts after the 2021 season in anticipating changes to the CBA?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re negotiating for opt-outs almost no matter what

10:51

LScott: Mike Trout has 64.7 WAR through his first 7 full seasons(combining 2011 and 2017 as one season). For the NEXT 7 seasons, do you think his total WAR will be over or under 64.7(assuming no major injuries)?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly under

10:52

pelkey: As a Braves fan, relamuto to the Phillies was the start of my nightmare scenario. I cant imagine they dont sign Bryce and kimbrel now. And I am sad about that imagining.

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins are going to get destroyed

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: And the NL is going to have two very fun divisions

10:52

Fred: Has there been any influx of free agents signing minor league deals or does it just seem like that

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: A bunch of them usually happen about now, with spring training around the corner and people looking for work. It’s not a hard deadline, but it’s a soft one. Miss the start of camp as a fringe big-leaguer and your odds of seeing the majors drop by a lot

10:53

A cat: Is winning the World Series no longer the top priority for MLB teams? How long does the financial boost last for a Champion?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: I think every team would tell you winning the World Series is the top priority, but every team would also tell you there’s not much you can do to ensure that. The playoffs are just so random. So the *true* priority is being consistently competitive, trying to win 85+ or 90+ games every single season

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: That helps to explain the Dodgers’ behavior. With the way the playoffs go, there’s limited value in making your roster better once it’s already good

10:55

Grimace: What’s the ETA on the Jeff Sullivan 2019 breakout candidate article?

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: If anything Jeff Sullivan is in precipitous decline

10:56

Matt W: If you could force Melnyk to sell the Senators, but the only people who could buy them are the Wilpons, would you do it?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: My first inclination was to tell you to go away but then I realized hockey payrolls are much lower than baseball payrolls. Bring on the Wilpons!

10:56

stever20: are the Dodgers looking more and more like the CBT is a very real thing to them and they aren’t looking to go over that threshold any longer?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s been made abundantly clear

10:57

Pip: We’re 8-9 days away from position players reporting for most teams. Whats the over under and this point that Harper and Machado aren’t signed by then? Maybe this years the Free Agent spring training camp can just make their own league or something.

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: J.D. Martinez signed on February 26 and he had a great season. Harper and Machado will both sign soon, but I don’t think the start of camp is a firm deadline for either

10:58

Tom: DH would also help Cardinals with Jose Martinez, no?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

10:58

Dylan: I find the return for Realmuto very underwhelming. Sixto is fantastic, but has more injury risk than the average pitching prospect, and Alfaro has nothing resembling a sustainable major league approach at the plate. Am I wrong?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re wrong. I also think it’s more fair than underwhelming

10:59

Sig My Dell: What are the actual statistical odds of a reader of this chat, someone with zero FO experience and just loves analytics and FanGraphs, actually becomes a GM one day? > or < 1%?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Way under 1%. There are very very few MLB GM job opportunities

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: And so many people in front offices already want them

11:01

Grimace: Which team’s offseason has disappointed you the most thus far?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Easy pick is the Pirates

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: They haven’t done anything stupid. They just haven’t done anything

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: And they were a winning team last season!

11:02

Cube Jockey: How much advance notice should NL teams get about instituting the universal DH? Even a year out, 2020, seems unfair from a roster construction standpoint.

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: One year should be enough. Finding an extra hitter is easy

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:03

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

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/8/19 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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bosoxforlife
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bosoxforlife

The comments about who would benefit the most from a 26 man roster struck me as very relevant. The huge hole in most teams roster construction is the lack of a third person who can fill in adequately at catcher, Most teams end up hamstrung because they don’t use the back-up for fear of injury. The Red Sox use of Swihart, even if he did play very well, enabled them to use their entire roster. I think every team would use the 26th position to fill this need, especially if there was a 12 pitcher limit. One of the most bizarre stats of all-time is that of Ralph Houk. Between 1949 and 1953 he was on the Yankees active 25 man roster all-season every year and appeared in 37 games and made 36 PA’s never appearing in more than 10 games in any year.