Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/12/16

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to the last Friday baseball chat before spring training?

9:03
BossMan: Mark Teixeira HOFer?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t see it. He’d need to have an amazing back half of his 30s to even have a chance

9:04
Lee: Expectations for Blake Swihart?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Below-average offense overall, but not by too much, and the Red Sox in general will be satisfied with their catcher position

9:05
Davecat: How many Joey Votto’s away are the Reds from being good?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Two away from being decent, so I guess that means three away from being good?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully with two of those Vottos in the outfield and one in the starting rotation

9:06
Mary: What would the 2016 WARs be for the following players if they had been drafted/traded for by the Cardinals: Ackley, Zunino, Montero, Smoak.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Just for fun, let’s say…3, 2.5, 0, 1.5

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure if there’s a player-development system that could’ve done much of anything with Montero. Ackley though…what a waste that was

9:07
Jay: How does someone measure the effectiveness of an overhauled development system? Is it strictly results-based after X years, or can you look into the narrative as well?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s enormously difficult to look into the narrative and try to piece something together *outside* of the results. Every organization will have a philosophy and if you were to read an article that focuses on a system, you’d probably come away feeling pretty good about the organization just for the fact of having read an article that focused on it. The best you can do is examine the results; farms churn out so many players that it’s not really that much about a small sample size after a while

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, there’s the complication of scouting — how can you tell if the development is good but the scouting is bad?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: You kind of have to group them together. I don’t know an alternative

9:09
j6takish: Jeff, I discovered this week that Javier Vazquez has 54 career war. Can you think of any other players whose public perception differs so wildly from their actual performance?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: His problem is that his RA9-WAR is 11 wins lower because he always seemed to under-pitch his peripherals, which was frustrating

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think A.J. Burnett is a candidate for a guy who the public has underrated

9:13
Alex: Predictive metrics and projection systems are never too high on Sonny Gray, and yet he consistently outperforms them.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well first let’s be clear about one thing — Gray will only reach 500 career innings in his first or second start of the year. So he hasn’t really consistently outperformed anything yet. He’s just outperformed something so far

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: But any projection system will take a while to come around on a soft-contact guy, which I think is the right approach. It seems like a skill of Gray’s but it does take a while to prove

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, Gray has the potential within himself to increase his bat-missing ability. The fans already think he’s an ace; with an adjustment or two, the projection numbers would agree

9:16
Aron: Most of the criticism of Taijuan Walker that I’ve seen has stemmed from his upright delivery. What potential ramifications does that carry, and have there been any examples of pitchers that have suffered because of a similar delivery (or had successful careers in spite of it)?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Watch some clips of Tyson Ross when you get the chance. You’ll come away believing it’s possible for a pitcher to succeed despite *any* kind of throwing motion

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Walker is less extreme than that, and he’s most of the way to where he wants to be. Last year he started throwing a lot of strikes. The remaining key is command or at least control of his breaking ball

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The fastball is built to live up in the zone and he’s able to bury his offspeed pitch — just needs that breaking ball to increase the speed range

9:22
RK: so gravitional waves huh

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing that makes me feel more stupid than trying to read about space

9:23
Bork: Use 3 words to describe the Orioles current situation.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Could be worse

9:24
Bill: How important is ownership? People in Seattle are always clamoring for their ostensibly absentee owners to sell, but as long as they provide an adequate payroll and give the front office flexibility, does it really matter?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: That’s essentially what you’re looking for. You want enough money, and very limited interference. The interference is frequently a problem

9:26
Jon: Trout starts making $33 mil a year in 2018–with a barren farm system and Pujols’ dead money clogging the books, any chance the Angels start fielding offers at that point, or do you think they’re committed to making sure he’s an Angel for life?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: In 2018, Trout will be 26, getting paid way, way less than he’s worth

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I want to apologize for any perceived hiccups because right now I’m having connection issues and I just lost a longer answer to the above question

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously the Angels will have to try to figure out if Trout is willing to stick around beyond the end of his contract, but he’s almost irreplaceable and I can’t imagine another team being willing to ante up for what would be an almost unprecedented talent exchange. The Angels, I think, have positioned themselves to forever try to build around Trout, and it’s tough to see a better starting point than that

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Like, if it weren’t for Trout, the Angels might be a team you’d expect to rebuild, but Trout keeps them from having to rebuild almost by himself.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard to be awful with an 8-win player

9:32
Currywurst : How do you feel about the Phaneuf trade, and why do you hate it?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I like it, and I’ve intentionally avoided reading any analytical articles or arguments because I don’t want to be told not to like it

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: My hockey fanhood operates nothing like my baseball fanhood

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: and dammit it’s going to stay that way

9:33
Bob: The AL has a DH every game. So why does WAR negatively effect
DH?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Designated hitters don’t play defense

9:34
Saul: Is there any way to quantify “bad clubhouse guy” – thinking of negative value added by Latos, for example. Seems like a lot of people have said that chemistry happens when the team wins.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no good and clean way. I mean, over the course of a career, you could see how a guy’s teams have done relative to preseason projections, but that folds in sooooooooooooo many variables

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: An alternate approach would be to find a selection of “bad clubhouse guys” and see how they’ve been paid, relative to expectations. Latos is clearly being underpaid given the pitching market, and that seems like a reflection of his perceived personality. But how do you identify bad clubhouse guys? Not many out there like Latos

9:38
Kim: How is the international draft/signing system “broken” as people have been claiming, and how might they fix it? Ask the Dodgers to please stop signing all of the good Cuban players?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The spending limitations in place haven’t functioned like spending limitations at all so big-spending teams are throwing resources out there while smaller-market teams are having trouble competing, or not even trying

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Their dream scenario is the international draft, but if that’s a ways away and if they want to preserve something like the status quo for now, they need stronger restrictions, and maybe bigger spending pools

9:41
Davecat: Iglesias or Desclafani going forward?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Iglesias by a little but I like them both as big-league starters

9:42
Guest: Vegas win totals came out yesterday, and SF has the most at 90 (!!!). Are the people in Vegas really buying into the whole even year BS? I almost can’t even fathom the idea that a bunch of fanboys are responsible for setting lines that impact millions and millions of dollars.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why the Giants would be ranked above the Cubs, but it’s easy to see how the Giants could be a really good baseball team this year

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The infield is outstanding and then you’ve got excellent chances for rebound seasons from Span/Cueto/Samardzija

9:43
Who cares?: What’s the big deal about pitchers and catchers reporting? Spring training is only very marginally less shitty than the rest of the off-season….

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’m actually mostly in your corner, but for other people it’s symbolic. People love symbols

9:45
Matt: How would that Kemp to the A’s trade work? The Padres, I assume, would have to cover a pretty significant portion of the contract, and even then I can’t imagine the A’s would surrender any big prospects.

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Padres send Kemp and money, A’s send Butler and a low-level prospect or two, Padres immediately dump Butler, Padres PR tries to emphasize the prospects’ strengths

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It would be a dump the Padres try to push as something otherwise

9:46
GnG: Why would the Padres try and trade Kemp to the A’s?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Why would they try to keep Kemp on the Padres?

9:46
Bork: Here’s an interesting one – Joey Votto a HoFer?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The odds are against it — he needs more seasons like the last one. He’s positioned to age all right, and the voting pool will be younger and more progressive by the time he’s up for election, but right now I’d say it’s more unlikely than likely

9:49
Covelli: Jeff, it took me an embarrassingly long time to cognitively distinguish between the surnames Sullivan and Zimmerman. I apologize for all the questions about Quick Looks and the Mash Report. So, here’s a question for you, who is more dominant at their chosen craft Wade Davis Pitcher or Wade Davis Ethno-Botanist?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Wade Davis Ethno-botanist. Wade Davis Pitcher needs to string a bunch more years of this together to stand a chance

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I somewhat recently finished Davis’ Into The Silence (about Everest, Mallory, etc). Wonderful book!

9:50
whay: Have you ever gone to Spring Training in person? Worth it?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone says it used to be more worth it, when it was cheaper and more low-key, but I never attended spring training before it sold out. It’s okay and I’m not heartbroken that we don’t have a company trip to Arizona next month. It’s not going to leave you bankrupt so it would be a fun weekend trip with the right company. But don’t go down there expecting to be blown away by incredible baseball action. It’s mostly about relaxation and sunshine

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Full disclosure: I really don’t like going to Phoenix

9:52
GnG: Why would the A’s EVER consider getting Kemp from the Padres?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: The A’s get to play with a DH and the Padres don’t

9:52
John Nash: Liked your Dickerson piece. Did it strikes you as a bit out of character for a team like the Rays, that usually plays it’s cards close to the vest and is always looking to exploit information asymmetry, to announce in the media a team-wide shift in hitting approach? If the back and forth adjustments of hitters and pitchers is all just an extended exercise in game theory, do you see an advantage to be gained by publicly announcing a change in approach like that?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: It was definitely out of character for the Rays to just broadcast how they changed, so I figure *they* figure it was going to be obvious anyway. Opponents would’ve noticed in a hurry; it’s not like it’s a particularly subtle thing, and since it’s also sort of a league-wide adjustment it’s not Rays-specific. This isn’t a team exploiting an inefficiency. This is a team and a league responding to a change within the game, brought on by pitching dominance

9:54
Davecat: Do you think Mesoraco returns to 2014 form?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Not that good, but I expect him to be strong. Forgotten player

9:55
j6takish: You didn’t ask about him in your poll, but cole hamels has never had a 5 WAR season, has only posted a sub 3 era twice and wasn’t even the best pitcher on his own team for most of his career. He is widely considered to be an “ace”

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: He’s had six 5-WAR seasons by runs instead of FIP. I think he deserves credit for that. He’s not a conventional, overpowering ace, but he’s been so good for so long I don’t disagree with the label

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: For me he’s more Bumgarner-ace than Kershaw-ace. Which implies a hierarchy of aces. But you might just prefer fewer aces and that’s fine

9:57
Hannah Hochevar: Hi. You’ve written about how “interesting” Despaigne’s arsenal is. Any chance he turns that interesting into successful with a change of scenery? And, if so, which team do the O’s deal him to right before he puts it all together and wins a Cy Young?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is there’s a difference between interesting and good

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Despaigne is too hittable, and he doesn’t really have much in the way of a chase pitch. He’s more about trying to be bewildering and that’s an uphill battle

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: There’s ability there and he’s creative enough he could find a path to being a No. 4 but as the Orioles intend, he should be considered depth

9:59
Matt: What meaningful projections can be gleaned from Spring Training performance?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think you’re basically looking for velocity changes or repertoire changes. If a guy comes in suddenly throwing a regular changeup, and he didn’t used to have a changeup, that’s a good sign

10:00
Ben from Taipei: Who should be the backup first baseman for NYY? Hear they are in on former Mets legend Ike Davis……

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I actually kind of like the idea of staying with Ackley but I’m an optimist

10:02
Mike: Expectations for Souza heading into this season?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing too different. He’s like a non-DH Chris Carter

10:03
Paul R: Do you see Machado getting some time at SS this year? Maybe 20-30 games?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see that many games, but he just played 53 innings at short in 2015, so the Orioles are clearly open-minded

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think they trust him as insurance but don’t want to push him beyond that

10:03
Art Vandelay: Lazarito waiting to make a decision probably means he’s going to the Braves, right?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: That was the sense I got

10:04
Jaack: How many Padre-Rockie games could you watch this year before losing your mind?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve watched a lot of Mariners games without totally losing my mind and I think the key is there’s a difference between watching and watching intently

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Like, if you have a baseball game on but you also have Twitter open, it’s amazing how little of a baseball game you can watch

10:05
Don Baylor: Will Christian Vazquez have restrictions this year, post-TJS? No consecutive games for a while, maybe?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll ramp his way up slowly at first but all systems should be go for the bulk of the summer

10:05
Tom: Yadier Molina HOFer?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think no, but he’ll get a lot of support

10:07
Derek: Phillies have a sneaky chance for a top OF defense? Burjols, Herrera and Altherr?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Bourjos is what he used to be. But the defense will be pretty good provided Ruf doesn’t play out there a lot

10:08
Paul: Which Manager would cause his team to lose the least amount of games?
Johnny Manziel
Donald Trump
Terrell Owens
Kanye West
Gilbert Arenas

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Johnny Manziel, because he’d seldom show up

10:08
Dave Stewart: Your colleague has been riding me relentlessly this offseason. Do you think my moves as dumb as he says they are? Not that I care. I’m Dave F’ing Stewart, and I could kill you with just one look.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Diamondbacks are better than they used to be, and that’s what’s most important, but the Miller trade was legitimately godawful

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not just uninformed writer opinion. That’s industry opinion. MLB teams couldn’t believe that trade

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I kind of get the upside in Segura. I think Greinke will age well.

10:12
Camden Quandry: Orioles – should have blown it up right ? Kept the comp picks & traded A Jones. This team is stuck in the middle.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Orioles should have blown it up. I’m not in favor of teams blowing it up unless they’re in really desperate positions. I think they could’ve just had a better offseason

10:13
Hannah Hochevar: Just reading the start of your Gallardo piece. Why have the O’s’s big transactions this off-season (him and Crush) involved them both only bidding against themselves and also still paying a ton? Who is forcing these numbers?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: With Davis, that was almost all Angelos — Angelos loves him some Chris Davis. With Gallardo, the Orioles aren’t really out-bidding anyone yet, but someone’s going to get hurt in ST. A market *will* exist and that’s what the Orioles want to get out in front of

10:14
Ben from Taipei: How long would it take Loria to start shopping players like Wei Yin Chen or Ozuna?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Less time for Ozuna than Chen

10:15
kris: Should the Angels trade Mike Trout for prospects or is trading one of the best players of all time not conducive to future wins?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: They shouldn’t do it, and they can’t do it

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The point of major-league baseball is not to have the best farm system below the major leagues

10:16
Underdog: Among the teams that are projected to be below .500 by at least a few games by Steamer (excluding strength of schedule considerations), which one do you think has the best chance to make a playoff run?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Diamondbacks, Royals, Orioles

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: In the Orioles’ case, I just can’t help but love that bullpen

10:18
eva longoria: what is kevin kiermaier’s offensive upside, have we seen who he is at the plate or is he poised to breakout?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s a realistic breakout in there. Don’t think he has the strength

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Let me amend that — he has the strength, since even Brian Dozier has the strength, but I don’t think Kiermaier makes enough consistent good contact

10:20
el crapo: Do you take the over on Tulo’s Steamer Projections like the Fans do? Is he still a 130 wrc guy?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more with Steamer than with the Fans. I think Tulo is done as the best shortstop in baseball

10:20
klenphak: who ends up better player? Maikel Franco or JP Crawford

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I like Franco’s potential but I love me some Crawford

10:23
Andrew Friedman: Your grade on the Dodgers’ offseason? And what’s the trade value of Alex Guerrero? Not that I care, I’m Andrew F’ing Friedman, and I could kill you with my army of nerds.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: B? And very low. The Dodgers didn’t get themselves into anything damaging, and they got Maeda for some awful team-friendly terms. Curious to see what happens from here on out with Iwakuma’s health; I loved him as a fit in LA

10:25
klenphak: For 2016 do Phillies have best 3B in division?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Nope; Rendon

10:26
Kenneth: How big of an improvement would you see Lucroy as over Chirinos? If Chirinos stays healthy, he projects as about league average or maybe a little below. Lucroy only projects as a bit above average at this point. Is two years of a probable 1-2 win upgrade at about $5 million extra salary per year really worth giving up Tate, Matuella, and perhaps another piece? I do understand that those wins could be huge in the AL West, and would come at a very reasonable price in terms of dollars, but the trade cost still seems steep.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: It depends on how much of a bounceback you expect from Lucroy, but unlike Chirinos, he’s proven he can play almost every day. He’s also somehow younger than Chirinos, and he improves the depth, since you could conceivably play them both at the same time and sit Moreland against lefties

10:27
baby bull: Who has more upside? Inciarte or Herrera

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Herrera has more power potential if that’s what you’re looking for

10:30
Pretty Tony: Jeff, I have been very down on Nick Castellanos for the last few years. He’s a poor defender, a terrible baserunner, and as of yet, does not hit for much power (and walks too little and Ks too much). He seems to have a 2-3 WAR ceiling, unless he drastically changes his plate discipline profile, starts hitting for ridiculous power, or magically becomes a better athlete. Should the Tigers trade him for a 3B who will help them in the short-term? Is that short-sighted?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think Castellanos deserves another opportunity — it’s important for the Tigers to have players like him around, and he still hasn’t turned 24, and he’s shown some good batted-ball outcomes to this point that point to strength/power upside

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’ll ever be a good defender anywhere, but he showed some discipline improvements down the stretch and the power is real. He won’t be a star, but the Tigers will take a younger regular

10:32
Guest: What would be best for baseball’s popularity among the youth; Harper or Stanton beating the single-season HR record, or the Cubs winning the World Series?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think many young people give a crap about the Cubs’ World Series history

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s go with a home-run chase. It would be almost impossible, of course, but the media would be all over it given that Harper and Stanton are presumably clean

10:34
Pitcher: MLB unveiled new protective headware for pitchers. Is their batted-ball evidence that comebackers are becoming increasingly dangerous? Will we see more/less/or about the same frequency of head injuries for pitchers?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Should stay about the same. Maybe even a little bit lower, since it’s harder than ever to make contact. The higher the league strikeout rate, the fewer balls in play there are. And it’s not like batters are hitting a ton more liners back through the box than they used to

10:36
Joe Biden : Why evaluate players by wins above replacement rather than wins above average? It’s not just because WAR sounds cooler than WAA I imagine

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll copy and paste from the Baseball-Reference explainer http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained.shtml

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: “So why don’t we compute Wins Above Average rather than Wins above Replacement? When computing the value of a major league player, average is a poor baseline for comparison. Average players are relatively rare and can be expensive to acquire. Average players don’t make the league minimum. Plus, not all average performances are equal. A team would pay much more for 200 league average innings than for 50. When a star player is injured, they are rarely replaced by an average player — usually their replacement is much worse.”

10:37
Bork: On the topic of Sonny Gray – if the A’s made him available, who would be first in line to try to acquire him?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs?

10:38
burgerburper: In the National League which contender do you think will disappoint and which rebuilding team will surprise?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I could see the Cardinals having some trouble and the Rockies having a little success

10:39
J: How much do you value a low O-swing or high contact%? Brantley in paricular seems to thrive off that.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Very valuable. Brantley has uncommon bat-to-ball skills

10:40
Tf Fredrik: In your article recapping the ‘aces’ vote, I don’t recall you giving your opinion on if you thought 20 aces was too many. Personally I feel that number is too high. Although in this pitching environment, it does seem there are quite a few pitchers with stuff, stats, & health to back up that number.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head I’d probably say there are around 15 aces so I don’t think 20 is too many. You sort of have to mentally adjust for the era, but in any given year, the number should be in the 15 – 20 neighborhood, I’d think

10:42
Momo the Monkey: I need a 10-player, 3-team megadeal bc there’s no baseball right now, and the Hot Stove couldn’t heat day-old soup. What are the chances we see a major deal go down before Spring Training is in full swing?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe a third team can get involved to send Lucroy from the Brewers to the Nationals

10:43
TF Fredrik: An ace is an ace no matter how other any aces are on their team. Agree/disagree?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I personally agree. For the 2011 Phillies, I don’t hold Halladay and Lee against Hamels

10:43
Lazy Dodgers Fan: I live deep behind enemy lines, in Eureka, CA famous for its marijuana, redwoods, and being the hometown of one Grant Brisbee. I got into it the other day with a coworker about why the Dodgers are *slightly* better off heading into this season than the Giants, but it didn’t go well. Please help.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers are super deep and more than anything else you should bond over your shared love for baseball than fight over your particular loyalty conflict

10:44
joey mads: will jorge soler ever reach his full potential or just strike out a ton and look awful doing it

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: In between? I try to never bet on these toolsy players reaching their ceilings

10:45
jay: What’s the best realistic Soler and/or Baez trade out there?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: If something were to happen today, Soler for JBJ

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about Baez but I want him in Colorado

10:46
Jack: Do you think Castro will succeed in NY? Not sure how is style plays in NY and even though still young, will he be anything more than replacement value type player? Thanks

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll do enough — he’s already coming from a high-pressure environment, and it’s a new start in New York, where he’s not being counted on to be anything more than what he is. He’s not a symbol, he’s not a disappointment; he’s just a pretty young second baseman. I think he’ll perform like an average player

10:47
Matt: Expectations for Corey Dickerson in Tampa?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a big fan of the bat. Doesn’t do a lot else but he’ll conquer that ballpark

10:48
The Average Sports Fan: Law has the Brewers as a top 5 minor league system, after being bottom 5 just last year. Impressed?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve quietly done an excellent job of initiating the rebuild. Lucroy’s going to make things even better

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: And keep an eye on a potential Will Smith trade

10:49
AS: Does it annoy you that the “Scores” link on the menu at the top isn’t in caps while all the other links are?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Well now it does

10:50
hindsight: Howie Kendrick, Gallardo and Fowler’s Agents should all be fired.. why would they think rejecting a 15M contract was a good idea knowing that would tie a draft pick to thier client

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Did you see what Ian Kennedy got?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: The money was out there. It just almost all went to pitchers

10:52
Bob: Is there a player that you believe will have a true breakout season ala AJ Pollock last season?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not banking on it but I could see Bogaerts consolidating his skills and getting up to 6 wins

10:53
Bork: Does your hockey fanhood call your baseball fanhood a nerd?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: They both try not to call attention to themselves because their respective favorite teams have not been very good

10:53
Gabe: I was always a huge Ackley booster (and I’m not a Mariners fan). What do you think the M’s actually did wrong with him, such that he would have thrived in another system?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect Ackley was given very inconsistent instruction, and I’m not sure the Mariners identified that he’s a player who lets a lot get into his head. A lot of this is just speculation on my part of course

10:55
Sim Sam: Did the Tigers get what they needed as far as relief pitching goes?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I like what they did. They might still be one reliever short but Lowe/Rodriguez/Wilson is a pretty good trio

10:58
e: Say there was a 2 outcome hitter, strikeout or home run, how many HRs would he have to hit to have positive value at the plate?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Roughly two home runs every 13 plate appearances (one per 6.5)

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: So his batting line would look like .154/.154/.615

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: That would make him slightly better than average

10:59
Momo the Monkey: Can you write something else about the “reverse Coors effect”? Every time a Colorado slugger gets traded some doofus says “but look at his road splits” as if those road splits are indicative of how he’ll perform when he’s traded. I don’t have the resources at hand to correct them all.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been written about a few times. Petriello just did it most recently on MLB.com. The problem is the limited sample size of players in recent history but, yeah, there’s not really anything to worry about

11:00
Kimball: Did you, Brisbee, Miller and Lindbergh make a pact years ago that each of the others had to be the people you list when asked who you read? Or did one of you do it first, and now the rest of you feel guilted into doing the same?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: We mostly have similar interests and personalities and I suspect we all decided we like each other a while ago and now we’re too threatened by new talent to think about them or want to advertise for them

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It’s pathetic, really. We’re all cowards

11:01
Oooh ooh that smell!: with his low walk rate, is Odor going to continue to improve or does that 5.1% number ultimately doom him?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: It won’t doom him, because he’s pretty good at making contact, and he’ll force pitchers out of the zone more often. But it will put a limit on his upside

11:02
Troy: If every FG writer had their own focus– ‘prospects guy,’ ‘projections guy,’ ‘finance guy’ etc– what would yours be considered?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hmm. Individual player analysis?

11:03
Stuafoo: Pick one component from another sport that you think would improve baseball (or at least make it more wacky/interesting)

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Ice

11:05
Compton: Cory Luebke: good, low-risk, high-reward signing or the best, lowest-risk, highest-reward signing? What are the chances he starts a game for the Pirates?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The name is interesting but you’re talking about a guy with multiple Tommy John surgeries. So it’s kind of the same deal as Brandon Beachy

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Kris Medlen shows the upside but Medlen wasn’t exactly fantastic a year ago

11:07
majordanby: which major league players, if any, would be recognized by the average person if they are walking down a street on a relatively busy sidewalk in the downtown area of a large city?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not convinced it’s any of them

11:07
buster : who has better future? Harvey or Wacha?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Harvey

11:08
Guest: does anything matter

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Find something you enjoy and cling to it forever

11:08
Guest: Do you think the Cubs or the Giants have had a better offseason so far?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs offseason has been fantastic!

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time for me to get rolling

11:09
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 — 2/12/16 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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Past a Diving Jeter
Member
Past a Diving Jeter

David Ortiz, A-Rod, and perhaps Bryce Harper would be recognized. And a Cubs championship would be a huge story with youth baseball fans, they generated a ton of interest with their NLCS run this year and have increased their profile.

Sam Samson
Member
Sam Samson

Ortiz was the first player I thought of on reading that question. A combination of fame, longevity and a distinctive look.