Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/3/17

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Apologies for this brief immediate delay but now I have a phone call real quick

9:06
ZMP: Do you think we see a spike in K-rate from Stroman or Taillon this year?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Stroman, yes — I think his leg is back to 100%, and he also started to figure out some strikeout techniques last year over the course

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Taillon, I wouldn’t expect a huge boost — I love his skillset, and he takes charge by throwing so many strikes, but I think he’ll be more of a K-BB% pitcher than a straight-up K% pitcher, on account of how few walks he issues

9:08
Bebop: James McCann was the second most valubale defensive catcher according to defensive ratings, is he that good defensively or do defensive ratings not capture pitch framing?
for what it is worth the top 5 is 1.perez 2. mccann 3. lucroy 4.barnhart 5 posey, does that sound about right?

9:08
9:09
Jeff Sullivan: McCann got a +9 by DRS, but almost all of that was because he was so good at gunning base-stealers down. Last year he was a strong thrower and a strong blocker. His receiving actually rated at around league-average, and I don’t believe framing is a factor in the DRS calculations

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Overall, McCann is good back there. It’s why the Tigers talk him up so much even though he hasn’t hit

9:10
Zonk: Should Joe Blanton’s agent just send the Nats a 1 year, $4 mil contract and get this done already?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no way that Blanton should have to settle for less than what Boone Logan got

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: But you’re still pretty close. It’s surprising to me that the Blanton market hasn’t moved faster, given that he can be effective against lefties and righties

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if Blanton’s long-term history is being held against him

9:12
Chaps: With the Astros getting 2 draft picks from the Cardinals, do you think this changes Lunhow’s mind about standing pat on trading for a starting pitcher, or are the 2 draft picks not enough to justify giving up the rumored asking price for Archer / Quintana / Gray?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It doesn’t mean *nothing* but it isn’t going to tip the balance for anything, I don’t think. The draft picks aren’t super valuable and they aren’t even actual players yet. Good prospects in the system are important because they’ve already surpassed a number of thresholds.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros remain interested in adding a quality starter, and that won’t go away. But they won’t, say, give away Musgrove in return, and extra draft picks won’t make other teams like the Astros’ prospects more

9:13
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Loved the piece on my namesake. What prompted you to dig into the quality of pitchers faced?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Desperation

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I noticed it when researching Logan Forsythe the other week, but I couldn’t justify writing another Logan Forsythe post

9:15
Zonk: Why weren’t the Nationals in on Chris Coghlan? I realize he isn’t amazing, but if Seth Smith was a fit, and you have no money, Coghlan seems like a poor man’s Seth Smith…..unless they really like Clint Robinson?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Robinson is projected to be just as good a hitter as Coghlan. Same age. Probably just not worth doubling up

9:15
Chone Figgins: Hi Jeff! How come you haven’t called me lately? I miss you!

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: You suck

9:16
BJOGC: Jeff, I had a dream that we met and I gave you a Keurig machine. You looked at me like I was the weirdest person ever even though you also brought a gift to give to me. I do not recall what you gave to me but I do remember feeling hurt

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I probably gave you your Keurig back

9:16
Ryan: Greater longterm value, Correa or Lindor?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take Correa. Really high offensive potential

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I do realize how good Lindor has been to this point. Don’t @ me

9:18
Q-Ball: Mark Trumbo gets $37 mil. Chris Carter is looking for work in Japan. What is the real difference between these two, other than Trumbo’s ability to be really bad in in the OF?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Basically, Trumbo is a little more versatile, a little more athletic. Also puts the ball in play more often. It shouldn’t make the difference it has on the market, but he’s beyond a certain threshold, while Carter is just below

9:18
Brett W: Any more thoughts on Houston and why they regress so much in your team defense analysis? Is it all Rasmussen, or are other things pushing that as well?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Probably losing Rasmus and reducing Marisnick’s playing time

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The defense will still be OK. They’ll just be a little more offense-first

9:19
Wil Myers: Any chance I stay healthy and repeat production that I had last year?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Well sure. We don’t know nearly enough about individual injury-proneness

9:19
big boy: hey jeff – do you buy the rumours surrounding wacha being pushed to the pen? At 25, he should have something left, no?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s more a question of how much his shoulder can handle. A little like how the Reds have pushed Iglesias to the bullpen because of concerns about his own shoulder. Wacha can clearly be effective as a starter, but if he can’t stay healthy as a starter, what’s the point?

9:20
Ryan: Do you think Houston shot themselves in the foot by sacrificing defense for offense? Will Springer be a liability in CF?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Springer is young and very athletic, Marisnick is still around for depth, and the offense is the best in the American League

9:22
ZMP: Do you think we see Carlos Martinez take a step forward this year, possibly entrenching himself as an ace if we’re being optimistic?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still a little too wild against lefties for me to be a big believer. Odds are he remains a quality No. 2. But it’s not like I can sit here and predict who’ll successfully keep their mechanics consistent

9:23
Bebop: who starts the most game in CF for the Cubs this year, Heyward, Almora or Jay?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Jay starts the most, and Almora finishes the most

9:24
PF: What do you think of Danny Barnes in the Blue Jays bullpen? The strength of their bullpen kinda hangs on his ability to transfer his minor league numbers…

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Just so everyone knows what we’re talking about: Last year, between AA and AAA, Barnes threw 61.1 innings, with six walks and 77 strikeouts

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Extremely, extremely good

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’m someone who frequently scouts the stat line, so to speak, and it’s pointed me to guys like Andrew Triggs and Grant Dayton

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Barnes has three pitches. In a small sample in the majors, he missed bats with his fastball. Count me as a believer

9:27
Connor: What are the two 2017 AL Wild Card teams?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners and Rangers

9:27
Q-Ball: What remaining FA is still available that puzzles you the most?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s not Blanton, then I’m forgetting someone

9:27
Kyle: How would you grade the Cubs offseason? Have they put themselves in position to potentially repeat?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the best team in baseball remained arguably the best team in baseball. It’s a battle between them and the Dodgers, but they’re both super strong. The Cubs did well enough

9:28
Zonk: If Dave Cameron does his “worst moves of the offseason” article, what are a couple that stick out to you as maybe questionable?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: To be honest, nothing has really sucked. The Kendrys Morales move still doesn’t look so great. The Ian Desmond contract, obviously, is weird. Mike Dunn got too much money. But on balance, the offseason has been reasonable

9:29
GERB: With the success Cleveland has had extending young player, do you expect them getting a deal done with either J Ram or Lindor?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I bet they wait on Ramirez to see if he’s actually legitimate, but they’ll try hard on Lindor, as he could and should be the long-term face of the franchise

9:30
Rich: What do you see from Snell this year? Can he get the walks under control and pitch deeper into games?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Strikeouts + inefficiency. The usual

9:30
Brett W: Jeff, who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Guess I’ll point to Lord Huron again. Second time doing that in a chat but I don’t have much else to say about music

9:31
GERB: Think the Indians make any more moves, or are they done?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t think of much they need to do. They really just need to learn how much they can expect out of Brantley. Gigantic question mark for 2017

9:31
Friday Baseball chatter: Eddie Butler. Wax poetic please.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t understand
How a pitcher with that stuff
Cannot get strikeouts

9:32
Hal: wow, showing up then immediately leaving is such a power move. teach me your ways, jeff

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I AM THE ALPHA

9:33
brad: What’s your take on Correa’s statement? Pure ass covering and sour grapes, or is there something to the idea that the Cards got off light in part because MLB didn’t want to look too hard?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: From my position it’s impossible to evaluate this all fully. That being said, MLB had an awful lot of time to investigate. And Correa’s credibility, clearly, isn’t what it used to be. I would imagine the Astros were doing certain things in a fashion very similar to what the Cardinals did, but you can’t expect Luhnow to just abandon everything he knew upon changing organizations. Processes were going to look similar. That’s all I can suggest

9:34
Joe: Who has a better Hall of Fame chance, Longoria or Donaldson?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Same age, and Longoria has a WAR advantage of 15 wins

9:35
Q-Ball: Jeff, I’m here today in the unemployment office, surrounded by many one-dimensional sluggers. Where is there going to be work for Pedro, Napoli, Chris Carter, and others? Can you create some jobs for these guys?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: For Napoli, Texas feels almost inevitable

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: For the others, get comfortable

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Tampa still makes some sense, but their interest is limited

9:36
Anatòl Roig: Hi Jeff! I remember watching Ryan Rowland-Smith outduel Halladay on a 100 degree Seattle day back in 2009. What’s one of your favorite pitching upsets you’ve seen in person?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how much it counts, but back in April 2007, before Felix Hernandez was *Felix Hernandez*, I was there in Boston to watch his one-hitter upstage Daisuke Matsuzaka’s home debut

9:37
Brett W: Your phone call made me wonder if there is any data about the fastest commencement of a rain delay following the start of a game?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like now I have to know the answer to this

9:37
Fritzy: If you’re Rick Hahn, which team are you hoping to see on the caller ID for a Q trade? Who is your ideal headliner?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like it to be July, and I’d like for the Yankees and/or the Dodgers to be in the race and feeling a little desperate

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Now, with the Dodgers, you probably can’t count on them ever acting all that irrationally. But it would be nice to get into the Yankees’ system

9:38
Chip: Is there a baseball equivalent of Portland traffic in inclement weather?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: A ball in play when the Tigers have the bases loaded

9:39
Brett W: Are the Marlins realistic playoff contenders?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Not to me, not without some measure of luck. They’re not bad, but I don’t think they’re good

9:39
Q-Ball: I still can’t believe the Cubs won the World Series. That happened, right?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: No. Sorry

9:39
Slamboni: If Texas is clearly out of it at the trade deadline, how much should they sell? Obvs the pending FAs, but what about Hamels, Dyson, Beltre or Andrus?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll never sell Beltre. Mostly it would be about Lucroy and Darvish, and I’m sure they’d dip into the pen depending on why they were performing so bad in the first place

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, I wouldn’t count on the Rangers being in that position

9:41
PF: Is russel Martin no longer a great defensive catcher?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if he’s great. He is still good. Good everyday catcher

9:42
TooDamnTall: I was wondering about D peaking early in players, and if could think of counter-examples

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Mark Belanger remained an outstanding defender well into his 30s

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Ozzie Smith too

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: For a modern example, it’s worth noting that Jarrod Dyson is somewhat improbably 32 years old

9:43
Ryan: Do you see Musgrove surpassing his 0.7 Steamers WAR projection?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: For sure. He’ll presumably end up pitching in the majors a lot more than is forecast. I should adjust that…

9:43
Ryan: Are you concerned about the Nats lack of depth as Dave Cameron suggested?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a problem, but if a team is going to have a problem, it’s probably the best problem to have

9:43
JT: Carson is extraordinarily good at predicting breakouts but by all accounts, hates baseball. You however, love baseball. Do you ever get jealous, in a Mozart/Salieri kind of way?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I love Carson and everything about him. I love that he’s so good at it while being what he is. It’s like, take that, industry

9:44
Q-Ball: How much better would the Mets be if they declined the option on Bruce and used that money for, say, Boone Logan?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Not much better, maybe the same. Clearly they could use a reliever more than they could use another corner outfielder, but Bruce isn’t totally worthless

9:45
Kevin: In that Kiermaier piece… Someone commented below with the ERA- for all teams – the Rays faced the best pitching by far. Maybe a story on that next?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It follows from the Kiermaier thing. That wasn’t a coincidence; teammates all have similar opposition numbers, of course

9:46
Q-Ball: When you’re looking for something to write about, why not Mike Trout? We need to keep reminding everyone he’s a generational player.

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: You’re right!

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been too long.

9:46
Rb: Martes tucker and what would be fair for Quintana? Musgrove as the third piece reportedly was turned down by Houston. What could be a compromise last player for both teams to get this deal done?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Not convinced there’s an excellent fit there yet. Musgrove would be too heavy a price but I don’t think the White Sox love the Astros’ other prospects. Probably worth revisiting in July to see who’s emerged and gotten closer

9:46
GOAT: Is Eddie Butler the next Arrieta?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:47
Greg: What trade makes the most sense for the Rangers and Jurickson Profar? And what can he do with 600 at bats and his talent?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think any trade at the moment really makes that much sense. The league is down on Profar and he hasn’t shown all that much. He’s one guy who could stand to rebuild some value before getting sent away

9:47
Kevin: BYUNG HO PARK DFA’d

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: First impression: I hate this

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: DFA’d for Matt Belisle?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: As always, I have to note that the Twins know more than I do. Maybe Park isn’t recovering very well from his injuries. Maybe he’s a complete ass. But I hate this

9:49
JT: Why aren’t MLB teams allowed to trade draft picks? With the draft being such a crapshoot, I understand why teams wouldn’t want extra picks over actual prospects but I don’t understand why they aren’t allowed to make the choice?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: It feel like it’s one of those long-term inevitabilities. I don’t know all the various pros and cons, not off the top of my head, but the fact that teams can now exchange competitive-balance picks and international slot money — that seems like the first step

9:50
klof: Eddie Butler as the next Jake Arrieta top prospect reclamation project for the Cubs?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Jake Arrieta is an extremely hard worker

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I will leave that there

9:50
Art: Do you agree or disagree with the notion that Yankee prospects tend to be overhyped? Joba and Jesus Montero were obviously way overhyped. I know its early, but Severino and Judge appear to have been a bit overranked as well. On that topic, Gleyber Torres was a top 20-40 prospect at midseason, is traded to the Yankees, plays worse in the minors and is now being rated in the top 5 by various outlets. I know he had a great AFL, but it was only 18 games and I don’t remember offensive stats in the AFL ever being weighed as heavily as they seem to be with Gleyber.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Just generally speaking, I’m not a believer in this. I don’t think prospect evaluators themselves have any interest in overrating or underrating a given team’s prospects. What happens is that you just hear more about the best teams’ prospects, because they get so much coverage, and then it makes them *feel* overrated due to oversaturation

9:52
Bartolo Colon: Would would you bet I hit another homer this year ?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: No. And it wouldn’t even feel the same. Not close

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I lost my mind when Ben Revere hit his first home run. He’s apparently hit five more

9:52
mike sixel: The Twins DFAd Park to sign a 36 year old RP….

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I will continue to say that I hate this

9:52
Q: Which side of the Robert Gsellman is good vs Robert Gsellman is not that good argument are you on?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’ve gone over this a few times. I think he’s not that good. Serviceable, sure, but the minor-league record doesn’t impress me, and in the majors he faced some lousy opponents. Had one of the lowest opponent OPS marks in all of baseball. Seven starts, with five against the Phillies or Braves

9:55
Keefths: Why are Aaron Sanchez’s projections so down on him ?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer still thinks he’s a 3-WAR starter. That’s pretty good. But Steamer hasn’t forgotten about the previous walk trouble.

9:55
Mike Foltynewics: ETA on Fangraphs framing metrics?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t answer that. I’m given to understand fairly soon?

9:56
Raindog: Hey Jeff, do you know if the forecast systems know about platooning? As in, do they assume a guy will face an normal distribution of RHP/LHP, or for guys like Seth Smith who will be heavily platooned do they assume something different? Basically trying to ask if we should be mentally bumping up the slash lines of guys we know will be platooned.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I think — I *think* — it’s just based on the recent record. And Smith has already been pretty heavily platooned for years, so not much there is likely to change

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It would be more significant, I’m guessing, if you have a guy who’s about to be platooned for the first time

9:57
Hammel Toe: Eddie Butler. Low risk high reward move. The stuff is there. How much of his issues were elevation?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Limited

9:58
Dave: What is Dansby Swansons offensive potential?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty high. He could conceivably run a career wRC+ in the 110 – 120 range as a regular shortstop

10:00
CamdenWarehouse: Park was DFA’d!

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just going to keep adding these comments to the transcript

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like this is where the Rays should pounce

10:00
klof: are you still expecting a mccutchen trade before opening day or is he looking like a mid-season move once meadows proves himself?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’ve given up on the idea of a preseason McCutchen trade, and I think he’ll be too difficult to move in July. So now I’m thinking next winter

10:01
Pete: why did the cubs give jon jay 8 mil? Looks like they could’ve signed him today for like 2-2.5mil

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t know that in November. Teams thought the market would be crazier than it has been

10:02
Jon: How do you feel about a bounce back for garret cole this year?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: He’s good. I think he’ll pitch good

10:02
PF: Blue Jays in one sentence?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: One of the best teams in baseball among the teams who aren’t the best teams in baseball

10:03
klof: Which team is best positioned to lose a core star from their lineup and still make it to the WS? (Schwarber, Cubs, as the example)

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians just made it and could probably make it again without anything from Michael Brantley

10:03
Mike: Rays just re-signed Logan Morrison for 2.5 million. Why’d they do that?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Why’d they want him in the first place? I don’t know

10:04
Q-Ball: Jeff Mathis, 34 years old, 49 wRC+ got a guaranteed contract this offseason, $4 mil. Suzuki got less. Wieters is looking for work. Castillo got $2 mil more, but he can actually hit. Catcher framing is now 100% accepted as a thing by FO, isn’t it?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not just framing. It’s framing in large part, but pitchers just love working with Mathis in general. Calls a good game, too, they say. Wieters, meanwhile, is frustrating. And I’ve heard that Suzuki suffers from having little arms

10:05
a guy: Was Josh Reddick worth the contract? 13m~ a year for a platoon guy seems crazy.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced he’s that much of a platoon guy. Obviously worse against lefties, but I think his true talent is better than what’s shown by the splits. It’s not a bad contract, but the way this winter has played out has made it look worse

10:07
JRuby: Travis Sawchik’s article today suggests that Aaron Nola should consider going the way of Rich Hill and throw his curveball up to half of the time. Do you like that idea?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’d support at least like 40%. He went over 40% a couple games last year. Granted, in this games, he got hit. On the other hand, if the curves in some way led to his arm problems, then that’s a dealbreaker right there

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s worth noting that Hill has a few different curveball varieties. Not sure Nola could say the same

10:08
Raindog: Do you still think the AL is the better league? The 2 clear best teams are in the NL, and the AL now has a couple clearly bad teams to match up with the bottom of the NL

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: AL just won 55% of interleague games again. Still the better league until proven otherwise

10:09
Q-Ball: Tigers had a quiet offseason. They hinted they want to get younger, cheaper, but didn’t do much in the regard. What’s the plan, do you think; see if they contend, otherwise try and move some contracts at the deadline?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there was much for them to do. Not a big market around for their giant contracts and I never believed they’d move Verlander. The league knows all about JD Martinez’s strengths and weaknesses. I think the plan is to try to win as a wild card again, and then reevaluate if needed

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: One minute, having some issues with the chat window

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Keeps telling me my messages aren’t sending. Guess I’ll just have to hope for the best

10:12
Ricky of Sunnyvale: Romo and/or Blanton to LAD. What’s your gut?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll choose Blanton going back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Romo also fell in their lap

10:12
Norrin Radd: Cleveland signed Wily Mo Pena at the suggestion/as a favor to Edwin Encarnacion. How often do you think GMs are scouting players at the suggestion of other players?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes you see these little favors done. The Mariners kept Felix’s brother around in the minors for a while. I don’t think the Indians invested a bunch of resources in Wily Me Pena scouting, especially since he didn’t play professionally last season

10:13
Q-Ball: What do you expect out of Kyle Schwarber? Will his fielding be OK? Or will he hit so much, we won’t care?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly the latter, but I think his fielding will be only a little below average

10:14
Eric Weinstein: If Heyward bounces back at the plate and the Almora/Jay combo struggles, any chance we see Heyward get more time at CF as a way to give more playing time for Baez?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think things will get that far, but you can count it among the possibilities the Cubs can entertain on account of their versatility

10:14
Andrew: Darvish has over or under 250 K’s this year?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: This question has been spammed at least 10 or 11 times, which is a great way to ensure this is the best sort of response you will get

10:14
Naveen: For some reason “J Ram” made me think of Horacio Ramirez.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a curse word in here

10:15
+ison Russell: Can I have a year anytime soon where I go .280/25/95 ?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Do you know how hard it is to hit .280 in the league today?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I bet Russell will have…one season where he hits all three of these marks together

10:16
PF: Better 2017 results Stroman or Sanchez?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve got a Stroman bias. So, Stroman

10:17
Andrew: Is it inconsistent to think that pitch-framing is okay but that flopping in basketball isn’t okay? I don’t want to be a hypocrite….

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch-framing requires a great deal of skill, in terms of forearm strength and anticipation. Flopping is stupid and just opportunistic. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work! But flopping crosses that boundary and makes the game worse. It’s a gut thing. A flop reflects an event that didn’t happen. Pitch-framing is mostly about *not* distracting umpires with exaggerated motion

10:19
JRuby: Of the teams worse than 20 games below .500 last year (Phillies, DBacks, Athletics, Braves, Padres, Rays, Reds, Twins), who’s most likely to make the playoffs this year, and what probability would you give that?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Rays, 10% or so

10:19
Jason Hammel: Might I be the strangest still-an-FA case? It seems like 99% certain that the O’s should have gobbled me up by now.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing it’s about two things: the league questions how healthy the arm is, and Hammel is probably to some degree anchored by the amount of money his option was worth

10:21
Tammy: I really really don’t understand this Gleyber Torres hype. Never hit .280 in the minors but the hit tool is a 70!!

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Gets some benefit of the doubt because of his age relative to the league. He needs to keep making progress against more advanced competition

10:21
Merv Throneberry: Hi Jeff…% chances that the Yanks will bring up Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres sometime in 2017?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Torres, basically 0. He’s never played above High-A

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Frazier is far easier to see jump

10:22
klof: Has Effectively Wild dramatically upped the number of words you say out loud in a day?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Twofold, probably

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: It’s wonderful social practice

10:22
Ray Of Light: Will De Leon be a sold #3 or #4 for TB this year?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say No. 3 results plus a stint in the minors or on the DL

10:22
Brett W: Please rank playoff odds best to worst: Miami, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Arizona.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Pittsburgh, Colorado, Miami, Arizona

10:24
Mike: I asked this on EW a few years ago – when was the last time you wore an MLB cap?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Oh man. MLB cap? It’s been years. So many years. I’m not really a hat person. I wear a ballcap if I’m out backpacking in the sun, but it’s not a sports-brand hat

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I was an extreme hat person when I was in elementary school, but then someone stole a Penguins hat I had, and life was never the same after that

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Let the record show that I have never liked the Penguins, but I have always liked penguins

10:25
Joey: Do you think the trade for Cameron Maybin could mean Mike Trout spends more time in a corner this season? I think anything the Angels can do to preserve Trouts legs is a good thing.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Nope. They just wanted better outfield defense

10:26
Hammel Toe: The Shredder on MLB Network had both Tulo and Diaz ahead of Russell for Top Shortstops Right Now. I think that’s pretty ridiculous. What are your thoughts?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Underrating Russell’s defense. I get that list if you’re just thinking bat-first, but Russell is amazing in the field

10:27
Andy: If the 2017 season played out exactly to the W-L spit out by the projections, would it be boring because it was predictable, or fascinating because of the improbability of the event?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: It would be boring if we knew ahead of time that’s how things were going to happen. But if it just happened by coincidence, it would be an incredible coincidence, but it wouldn’t in any way reduce the drama

10:27
NatsFan: Byung-Ho Park just got DFA’d. Discuss. Potential 1B depth for Nats?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Looks like Dave put up a post about this. At least the first part. Good! Korean players continue to get way too little respect.

10:28
Papers Please: Manfred has said he would eventually like to see an expansion team in Mexico City. How realistic is that though? Mexico City is 2000 ft higher than Denver and people love to complain about inflated offensive stats there. Is Monterey, Mexico perhaps a better option than Mexico City?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Way down the line, when this would become realistic, maybe they would’ve figured something out about playing at altitude. Maybe they’ve finally built a pressurized dome

10:29
Papers Please: Should the Dodgers have just held onto Howie Kendrick to play 2b? Then they would be able to keep De Leon as well.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m higher on Forsythe than I think others are. Of course, I’m also pretty high on De Leon, but if they’re legitimately concerned about his durability, it’s not so bad

10:29
Anthony: 2009 draft had Arenado, Goldschmidt, K. Seager, Pollock, Strasburg, and Dozier, in addition to Trout. Will any of those other guys end up with half of his career WAR total?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say…yes to Arenado

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s stupid. I’m not checking the numbers

10:30
EbenezerBatflip: Hey Jeff, not sure why but chat isn’t streaming, i have to keep refreshing the page to see the chat window update, not sure if its just me, but this isn’t normal on my end 😛

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, there have been some technical difficulties for some reason, this week and also last week. I’ll send a note

10:30
EbenezerBatflip: Hmm, and now it seems to be updating normally*

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Well good!

10:30
Choo Choo: Your big on Musgrove, what do you see from him this year?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I like strike-throwers who miss a decent number of bats. I don’t think Musgrove is about to become an ace or anything, but I think he can put up mid-rotation results immediately

10:31
Joey: Remember when AJ Reed was all the talk as the Astros 1B of the future?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when Tyler White was a breakout superstar?

10:31
Zonk: Didn’t Fangraphs post an article entitled “Don’t give up on Byong Ho Park”. So then what do the Twins do? Exactly that.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They must really not think he’ll get over his injuries

10:32
Erik: What are the odds that Theo Epstein is just a run-of-the-mill executive who happened to be in the right place at the right time? Seems quite low to me, but how would we know if he was?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: We wouldn’t, really. But there’s enough evidence that he’s a good one, just in terms of the team and loyalty he’s built around himself

10:32
Prich: Mariners acquiring Gallardo has to be up on the list of bad moves… Espcially considering they could have had Hammel for the same $$$s and used Smith more efficiently

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Oh yeah, that was also bad

10:32
Joe: Does Carson really hate baseball?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: No, but he has a stronger interest in non-MLB

10:33
Norrin Radd: When you scout the stat line where do you start? Do you like going right into the advanced section or starting at the more traditional lines?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: With pitchers in particular, I start at K-BB%

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Which reminds me. James Hoyt!

10:33
Poseidon’s Beard: Mariners pick Park up and revisit idea of Vogelbach era?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t see it

10:33
Rex: What do you think of the latest rumors regarding PED use by Cubs players?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I have not heard them and will not seek them out

10:34
EbenezerBatflip: Pablo is still updating social media with pics/video of him working out and looking slimmer and more fit. How much will his body shape really affect his ability to hit? I expect him to be better defensively, but will being in better shape really help him remember how to hit?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I refuse to believe there’s zero correlation between Pablo’s health and Pablo’s performance. When you’re out of shape, literally everything is harder to do and keep up

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: The big question, of course, is how long this sustains. He’s gained the weight back before, pretty quickly

10:35
Robin: How does payment work at FG? Do you get paid annually or by the article? If it’s the latter, Travis will be a millionaire by the end of the month!

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Once a month

10:35
Guest: Blake Snell: A lefty McCullers?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Works pretty well

10:36
Hannah Hochevar: Would you put in a waiver claim on Park with 9.75 million still owed over 3 years?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Depends who I am. I’d love him in Colorado

10:36
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: If you won a Spend-a-Day with Mike Trout, what would you do?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Probably challenge him to an article-off just so I could pat myself on the back

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Guy probably can’t write for a hill of beans!!

10:37
EbenezerBatflip: Which relief pitcher should Boston fans be most excited for in 2017, Thornburg, Carson Smith, Joe Kelly, or another guy?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Smith, if he’s at 100%

10:37
HappyFunBall: Speaking of Nats and depth and old players … Mike Rizzo should run, not walk, to snap up Byung Ho Park shouldn’t he?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Similar-ish to Zimmerman, in terms of promising EV numbers

10:38
James: Apparently the Dodgers were considering trading Alex Wood to Seattle for prospects(most likely Gohara+), then flipping them with De Leon for Dozier. Would you have done this or the 1 for 1 Forsythe deal?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: The latter. I like Forsythe a lot

10:38
Joe: Chat tip: if you have the question “Is [former top prospect pitcher just acquired by my team] the next Jake Arrieta?”, the answer is always “No.” Arrieta is an extraordinary situation that almost never happens.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Correct!

10:38
Ryan: Will Mitch Moreland be the Red Sox starting 1B at the end of the season?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:38
Reds Fan: When does Amir Garrett get the call up? Chance to grow into a #1/#2?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not going to speak to his top-of-the-rotation potential at all, because he still has plenty of work to do, but he’ll get at least…six starts or so in the majors this year. That rotation will be fluid all season long

10:39
Ryan: Do you think Houston will soften their stance on including Martes and/or Tucker to acquire a SP at the deadline?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re the problem. Musgrove has been the problem

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: But by the deadline, those prospects could be closer to major-league ready, making them that much tougher to move

10:40
Chaps: Home runs around the league are up, but stereotypical HR-hitters are having trouble finding jobs. Coincidence, or is there something else going on?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Well, their strengths have been somewhat mitigated. But also pretty much all of them hit homers and do nothing else

10:40
Matt: Is it just me, or do too many baseball fans seem to lack a grasp of the concept of market economics, and think too much along the lines of steadfast prices?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Most people just want to watch baseball for baseball. Don’t want to have to think about it — especially the econ part

10:41
Jacob: So are the Angels this year’s hot sleeper license

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the Rays, but I do think the Angels are being a little underrated

10:41
Joe: The Yanks make the playoffs if _________

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Severino and Pineda are legitimately good

10:42
Erik: Why would a team go for Park rather than someone like Carter?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Cheaper, and a more poorly-understood ceiling

10:43
Robbie: Did you hear much about a Jake Lamb thumb injury in the second half of 2016?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I know there was probably a thing there, but also simple regression to the mean. His power was way overachieving in the first few months

10:44
Robbie: What do you think about moving Patrick Corbin to the bullpen? Andrew Miller Lite?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be very intrigued, and in that bullpen, he’d have room to grow. Real bad season last year as a starter. Could be an impact 8th/9th inning guy

10:45
Mr. Smith: 2018 Free Agency. The Cubs need 2 starters. Darvish and Tillman. What say you?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Tillman probably isn’t good enough and Darvish might end up too expensive — they’re going to have a lot of really awesome position players costing more and more and more

10:45
Erik: If a player is traded multiple times in the minors, is that generally a good or bad sign for his future? Does it mean he’s in high demand or everyone wants to get rid of him?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, but I’m going to guess it leans slightly negative

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Suggests that other teams value the guy more than his own teams. That’s seldom good

10:46
PF: What and how much needs to go right for the Blue Jays to make it to the playoffs?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Not that much. Looking for solid seasons from Stroman/Sanchez, and a reliable bullpen. They’re right in the thick of things among those wild-card contenders.

10:47
Robbie: Should Diamondbacks fans acknowledge that Ketel Marte exists, or would that be ultimately pointless?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly pointless. Everything’s pointless

10:47
v2micca: Harper isn’t going to sign an extension before free agency. So, if you are the Nationals, and you are 2 games out of a wildcard spot at the deadline in 2018, do you go all in, or see what you can get for him?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t trade Harper under those circumstances. You just ride it out

10:48
Poseidon’s Beard: Mariners go out and get Dyson and Segura to put at the top of their lineup. But teams don’t run like the once did. How has running (and stealing) in the game changed in the last 10 years?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Steals have historically been trending downward, but they’re still around in great number, and there are other ways to contribute on the bases, too. Teams can still be outstanding baserunning teams. Or, in the Tigers’ case, awful ones

10:49
Poseidon’s Beard: But is Gallardo bad? And is Hammel healthy? Do we know this for sure yet? There are 100 people I might rather have had than Gallardo, but now that we have him, I want to believe that his first bad season was the anomaly not the inevitability.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know about Hammel, but with Gallardo, we do know that pretty much every single stat line has trended in the wrong direction for a number of years

10:50
Connie Mac N’ Cheese: Could it be the NLCS is being held against Blanton?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: More likely it’s his own history of being a bad starter

10:50
Jason : Yankees offer Carson a 15 year contract that pays $1mm per year but he has to live in Manhattan and wear a suit and tie every day. How quickly does he say no and what would his counteroffer be?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’d say yes and retire after a year or three

10:52
Frostilicus: In your opinion, who is the best pitcher without impressive K-BB% numbers?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Brad Ziegler. He’s a weirdo

10:54
Robbie: This would obviously never happen for a million different reasons, but would the Diamondbacks be able to package Goldy, Greinke, and Tomas in a trade and get anything back?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a no. Goldschmidt remains incredibly valuable, but he has just the three years left on his deal, so that value pales in comparison to the two other negative assets

10:55
The Toe: Out of all the low minor pitching studs the Cubs currently have who do you see being a future #1 or #2? DLC, Albertos or Cease?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Let me stop you right there. The answer for every single team is none of them

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously some low-level starters will eventually become great major-league starters, but it’s never the most likely result

10:56
EbenezerBatflip: Who is the second best team in the AL East in 2017?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Jays

10:56
Poseidon’s Beard: Dipoto launches Tyler O’Neill for pitching help unless his K% drops sharply in AAA. T/F?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the pitching need, doesn’t it? O’Neill has already consistently trimmed his own K% so that’s trending well

10:57
botchatheny : are you in the best shape of your life right now?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. Probably two years ago

10:57
The Toe: Did you like the Soler for Davis deal? I felt it was a little much given Soler’s control and upside. What say you?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t love it, but I can justify it because I’m not really that high on Soler as an asset

10:59
Chaps: If you HAD to add Johnny Manziel, Russell Wilson, or Tim Tebow to your 40-man roster, who would you pick?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Tebow

11:00
JRuby: Assuming he starts 150 games or so, does AJ Pollock beat his Steamer projection of 3.3 WAR?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say yes. Would’ve easily cleared that mark in all three of his big-league seasons before

11:00
Kevin: AL Wild Card based on Fangraphs Projection has what, all but 3 teams within two games of the wild card?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be super close. We still need to fold in the ZiPS numbers, so some stuff will change, but there’s a whole group below the top three AL teams

11:01
Hank: Would it make sense to incorporate exit velocities into infield shift configurations? As in considering not only where a batter typically hits the ball, but also factoring in the time the fielder would have to react and weighting that as a factor as well

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, before long you’re going to see Statcast stuff incorporated into almost literally everything

11:02
Robin: Had the M’s drafted Trout way back when would they have A. wrecked him B. allow him to be this good. C. Traded him for Jose Vidro

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Philosophers will debate this question until the heat death of the universe

11:02
Guest: Who is the biggest know it all at fangraphs

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Dave, because he might actually know it all

11:02
Pat: Here’s a wild idea: Rangers trade Rougned Odor for Quintana. Maybe not straight up, but around there. Slot in Profar at 2nd. Could be a move to sell high on Odor?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Too much subtraction for the addition. I get a certain amount of Odor skepticism, but he’s only 23 years old, and contending teams shouldn’t deal big-league regulars to get a big-league regular

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: All right, that’ll do it! 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 — 2/3/17 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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