Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/23/18

9:03

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:03

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:04

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:04

Jordan: It seems like every publication is underestimating the Jays, they seem to be solid across the board if unspectacular, currently projected for 5th best record in the AL which amounts to a second wild card but when I see publications of contenders they are nearly omitted.
Is there something I’m missing that’s causing them to be completely overlooked?

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Many publications put a lot of weight on previous season record and offseason activity. The Jays are coming off a bad record, and they didn’t have an astonishing offseason. So it goes

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, the projections around here like them just fine. But the Twins made the playoffs and have been super active, and the Angels have Trout and added Ohtani, so you can see how the Jays get lost in the media mix

9:07

DJ: Who would balk MLB or MLBPA:
Kids drafted out of HS are controlled by the drafting team for 10 years and kids drafted out of college are controlled for 8 years regardless of how much time they spend in the majors. Maybe give the players the option of becoming a free agent if they haven’t been in the majors after half their time served.
It would eliminate this silly service time game and reward teams and players for having the most efficient player development system.
Obviously something would have to be worked out for international players too (10 years once they debut in the US?).

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: I think the general idea could be workable, but those numbers might have to come down, because you’d be penalizing the players who fly through systems and get to the majors fast. Someone like Kershaw, who was picked out of high school in 2006 and debuting in the majors two years later. You’d be increasing team control for the most talented young players, which is the opposite of what ought to happen

9:09

Sonny: You have Posey or Sanchez as the 2nd best catcher in MLB behind Zunino?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: It’s like with center fielders. Zunino is so much better than everyone else it’s not even worth acknowledging they’re alive

9:10

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Why is the universal DH considered inevitable? There are enough pitchers who like hitting for the players to avoid lobbying for it. For the owners, I’m not sure of the net effect of paying for a DH vs not losing pitchers to stupid injuries. Without agreement from both sides, who is going to make a concession for it?

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there are really that many pitchers who still love hitting, and guys get injured as batsmen every year. Look at what happened to Jimmy Nelson, the most valuable pitcher in the Brewers organization. Pitching is already dangerous enough — teams shouldn’t want to keep the risk higher than it needs to be

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: Throw in the fact that, Bumgarner aside, all of them suck, and it just doesn’t seem like something that’s long for this world

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: But I could be wrong! Tradition, and whatnot

9:12

THE Average Sports Fan: On the CF list, where you more surprised the Mets were 3rd or that the Twins were 6th?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: The Mets came up quicker than I expected, but the projections pretty heavily regress baserunning and defense, so I see how Conforto wound up elevated above Buxton. Buxton’s best skills are likely to be underappreciated by a projection system

9:13

Bork: If all center fielders are losers compared to Trout what does that make us? What does that make Prince Fielder?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: We can’t be losers if we’re not even playing

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: And Prince Fielder is basically my age but he has an extra roughly $250 million. Money by itself doesn’t make a soul brighter, but at least if Fielder has things to worry about, he doesn’t have to worry about trying to fix them

9:15

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Why is your chat the only one where the queue is not open prior to the start?

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never had a problem getting enough questions. Guess I don’t see the point

9:16

Jack: It looks like Joey Wendle might get to play a whole bunch of second base for the Rays, so can you give me any reason to feel good about that?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: no

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Well, I guess, if someone else emerges, it wouldn’t be too hard to find playing time

9:17

Ross: Will Jose Bautista ever play another MLB game?

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Sure

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: But will he play another 100? That I’m far less certain about

9:18

CamdenWarehouse: The As have had pretty bad luck with pitcher injuries over the last half decade or so.  At what point do you start wondering if it’s not luck but something the organization does?  This probably applies to the Mets too.

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know exactly when you start to worry; talking to people around the game, everyone considers pretty much every single pitcher a ticking time bomb. Every pitcher kind of expects to get hurt eventually. It’s not so much bad luck when pitchers get hurt, but good luck when they don’t

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: That being said, a theory: Maybe the A’s are willing to accept pitchers with worse medicals than average, because it’s a way to get cheaper talent. They always have to worry about keeping costs down, and perhaps they invest in talent over health

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t explain something like, say, Puk. But, welp, he’s a pitcher. Pitching sucks

9:20

Jack: How has Miguel Cabrera looked in Spring Training?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Good

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: It’s too early for him to be hurt yet

9:21

Tim: Aside from Holland which free agents are you most surprised at being unsigned less than a week from Opening Day? Who are you most annoyed by them not being signed?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. Scott Feldman? Seth Smith? Matt Holliday? There’s not really…I don’t think any of the remaining FA are all that appealing. Several of them have their potential uses, but none of them project to be actually good. No point in signing Matt Holliday for his track record, if you have someone younger and more athletic who could also be about an average hitter

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: Someone like Holliday can still hit the ball hard, but he doesn’t do anything else. Teams want their players to be able to move around

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: Jose Bautista, I did expect to find a job. Forgot about him

9:27

Hae-Lo Dee: It’s been discussed in multiple places that the juiced ball era has helped players with low to middling power more than it has traditional sluggers.

In the steroid era, we saw multiple sluggers putting up crazy seasons of 50, 60+ homeruns. In theory, both a juiced ball and a stronger human result in higher exit velocity, which results in more homeruns. What is the difference that is creating this difference in homerun distribution, or is the difference only perceived?

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: I think part of it is that teams now are looking for guys who can hit everywhere. You no longer find so many guys who are clearly defensive specialists or slap hitters. Home runs are more achievable, so everyone is expected to be able to hit home runs. Lifts up the floor

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Minor aside but it’s worth remembering it also used to be easier to rack up high home-run totals, because there was more contact back then. With strikeouts significantly elevated, there are fewer HR opportunities in the first place

9:29

JInx: Mike Trout struck out in his first at-bat against Ryu last night. Just thought you should know since a whole paragraph in your CF power rankings was about him not striking out.

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Son of a bitch

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: This is precisely why I hate scheduling articles for the next day

9:31

Babe Lincoln: Anyone (other than Nimmo) on the Mets being underrated by the community?  If Bruce’s swing changes from last year are real?

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what there is to believe about Jay Bruce taking a step forward. He’s basically a 110 wRC+ kind of guy. That’s his talent level

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Mets as a general entity can get underrated because of lolmets. It’s not that people are down on the individual players. There’s just an assumption that something stupid is going to happen

9:33

John: Have you ever been to spring training? Would you rather go to Arizona or Florida for it?

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Never been to Florida for spring training and god willing that will always be true

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: Not that I’m a huge fan of the Phoenix metropolitan area either, but the major advantage in Arizona is dry warmth and never a drive of more than an hour or so

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: In Florida, the teams are so damn spread out

9:34

Rickon: Is Luis Severino on the consistent Cy Young threat path? Elite K%, BB%, throws lots of first pitch strikes

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Just a matter of health. The talent is all there but he is an obvious health risk because of the velocity and slider usage

9:35

Hae-Lo Dee: What’s going to happen at first base in Seattle? At this point Vogelbach has to get at-bats, right?

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Healy is going to get his chance, because that’s been the idea all winter, but ultimately, Healy projects for 0 WAR, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Vogelbach emerges down the line

9:36

Bork: Bo Bichette will have a better career than Vlad Jr.

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: He might!

9:36

Brett: Will Acuna be a 20-20 guy this season?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: The odds are fairly good, but the steals could be tricky; it takes time for even good young base-stealers to figure out opposing big-league pitchers, and if Acuna is conservative about his running, he might top out closer to 15 before moving ahead in future seasons

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Billy Hamilton, of course, was confident stealing right away. But Acuna isn’t Billy Hamilton. Look at Byron Buxton and how he took a while to get running

9:38

Erik: Should teams stagger their best starters so that bullpens don’t have to work as hard on consecutive days? Second and third starters end up with the same amount of starts, so why not put your second-best guy third?

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: I think rotations naturally end up jumbled over the course of a year. You don’t see a whole lot of the 1-2-3-4-5 starter order even though every starter has his own number

9:42

Mike NMN: How does luxury tax get calculated on players who are traded for in-season?  Is there a offset for the acquiring team if a player is injured and DL’d for the balance of the season?

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: I am almost certain that, for midseason trades, you just look at the prorated salary number

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: Meanwhile I do not believe there exists such thing as a DL offset. Payroll is payroll

9:44

Moltar: Conforto seems to be well ahead of schedule, but given what we know about the Mets and how they handle injuries, is that a good thing? I’m concerned.

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: If Conforto looks good, Conforto looks good. Every team gives players opportunities to return early, if their rehab goes well enough

9:46

Waylan Smithers: Do you buy Quintana’s K% increase? I mean some should increase as a byproduct of going from AL to NL but I have a tough time seeing actual skills increasing? Could it just be having a better pitch framing catcher?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Quintana with the White Sox against position players: 24% K
Quintana with the Cubs against position players: 26% K

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Barely anything to notice. After Quintana joined the Cubs, he faced pitchers 25 times, and he racked up 15 strikeouts. Those are cheap

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: I’m open to the idea that maybe the Cubs are able to make Quintana better, but, also, Quintana was already very good

9:49

THE Average Sports Fan: Mike Trout is amazing, but the Angels have generally been disappointing.  Lebron James is amazing and whatever team he plays for is a championship contender.  Why pay any baseball player big money?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Because the teams that don’t have enough good players are terrible

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: And good players require big money

9:49

Carson Cistulli Sabathia: Brewers and Neil walker, what happened there? That seemed like one of the easiest matches

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: I think they simply don’t see him as very good

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Villar was a three-win player two years ago. Sogard, improbably, just had a .393 OBP. Walker’s not much of a defender. Not a meaningful improvement

9:51

1234: Player who has impressed you the most in spring? the Least?

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely love what Giolito has done

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: Not so much of a fan of Domingo Santana’s 50% strikeout rate

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Lucas Sims, Reynaldo Lopez, and Carson Fulmer have sort of let me down

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Keep an eye on Chris Stratton

9:55

zach: I’m not sure if there’s a way to find this number, but a stat I’ve always been curious on is RISP conversion rates for hitters i.e, you come up to bat with 300 RISP over the course of your season, and knock in 75 of them (be it on hits or sac flies), you’d have a 25% conversion rate. Any insight on how to find these numbers?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Baseball Prospectus tracks a stat like this https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=2529099

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Adam Lind batted with 195 actual runners, and he generated 45 RBI, not counting driving himself in. So he had a league-leading conversion rate of 23%

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Tyler Saladino brought up the rear

9:57

austin, texas: Do you believe the home run rate will continue to rise in 2018?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: It’s way up again this spring, which provides some foreshadowing

9:58

Steve: I’ve been visiting this site for almost 10 years now, can we please stick to analytics instead of SJW clickbait?

9:58
9:59

Jeff Sullivan: The front page is absolutely full of deep and timely baseball analysis

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Why, I can’t even believe how much analysis there is!

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: It would be impossible to read it all

9:59

Dan: MATT KEMP IS GOING TO BE PLAYING FOR THE DODGERS IN 2018, ON PURPOSE

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: I’m so confused as to how to manage the Dodgers’ depth chart, because I have stubbornly refused to believe Kemp will actually get that much of a chance

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Even now, with Kemp having done what he’s done, I’ve read all the praise as the Dodgers trying to push an agenda. They’re trying to build him up so that someone else gets sufficiently convinced to trade for him

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: There’s almost no way the Dodgers can look at Kemp and think, yeah, he’s a good fielder now

10:01

Bean Smuggler: Was Jason Bay elite?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Briefly

10:02

Vegan Man!: Underlying numbers seem to project a bounce back from Kinsler, you buying? Thank you!

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s better than a .244 BABIP

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Kinsler just posted the same expected wOBA that he did in 2016. Two years ago, he overachieved, and last year, he underachieved

10:03

Drew: Is every player in the Yankee lineup above average?

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Neil Walker or Brandon Drury are above average

10:04

Zlatan: Much has been made of Joey Gallo’s minor league adjustments. Should Rangers fans be optimistic his K% will go down? FB% also went down in second half

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: I suspect Gallo is always going to strike out at least a third of the time. But because he walks and hits for so much stupid power, that’s not so big a deal. He’s coming off a contact rate of 59%; don’t know how that can improve very much, given his swing mechanics. George Springer did it, but it’s not like Springer is that much better than he used to be. Just different

10:06

Justin: FanGraphs desperately needs to hire a copy editor/proofreader. Please and thank you.

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Ehh, it’s never been great. Dave was the typo king!

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Carson is the primary editor but I’d give him a break for this week and next, because editing the PPR posts, on top of everything else, is a laborious chore

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: The cost of paying for a full-time editor would not be worth the benefit of avoiding an occasional typo here and there. Just doesn’t make sense for our budget

10:08

Jacob: Is the gap between 1 and 2 in the CF positional rankings this year the biggest gap fangraphs bas ever projected?

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t think of a bigger one. Trout used to be somewhat threatened by McCutchen, but obviously that’s no longer the case

10:09

Dustin: Will I be able to watch the Braves this season without crying? I just don’t want to cry anymore.

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: That depends. What are you crying about? If you’re crying about something independent of the Braves, then the Braves aren’t going to make that any better

10:09

Hannah Hochevar: Remember when Chris Davis was a free agent and no one wanted to sign him and then the O’s (always the favorite) swooped in and gave him even more years and money than anyone expected? Trying to remember how that worked out…

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles might have the most unusual front office in baseball

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: As every other team has coalesced, the Orioles are an outlier

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t mean they don’t have their strengths. But they do have their weaknesses

10:11

Mr.Marlin: What are your thoughts on D.Dietrich in 2018?  I think he’ll surprise

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: He’s a perfectly adequate hitter, but I think he’s a player without a strength. At least, in Miami, he knows he’s going to play

10:13

The Man With No Name: Speaking of the Jays, reports are that Marco Estrada looks “unhittable.”  What’s your outlook for him this year?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: The last time Marco Estrada had a really good spring was 2014, when the Brewers turned him into a salary dump

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think his stuff got any worse last year. But it’s also hard to trust someone who leans so heavily on BABIP suppression. I expect a slightly better-than-average ERA

10:16

Desperate, confused Marlins fan: who do you want to build your team around in 2020?

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Are you asking about the Marlins?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Get Mike Trout

10:17

Jordan: How often do readers confuse you and Jeff Zimmerman each chat?   A. Very often. B. Not that often. C. Sometimes.

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: B

10:17

E: What are the odds Ender Inciarte makes the Hall of Fame?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: 0%

10:17

Talia: If the Yankees sign Machado will they have four 5 win players in their 2019 lineup?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Right now the Yankees have one projected 5-win player

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: I know you can make arguments for Judge and Sanchez and whatever. But just don’t underestimate how hard it is to project at 5+ wins

10:19

Mikka: Is Alex Wood really an injury threat compared to other pitchers? 171 IP in ’14, 189 in ’15, and 152 last year. Seems like he could be a consistent 6 IP guy

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Big elbow problem in 2016, two shoulder-related DL stints in 2017. There’s a little bias here because I think observers have just been waiting for Wood to blow his arm out, but it’s not like there aren’t some warning lights

10:20

Vegan Man!: Think Car-Go can get back to form this year? Thanks!

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Based on his September, sure. Based on the rest of his season, I wouldn’t bet on it

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: I’m interested in this case, though, because if it turns out the problem really WAS just poor sleep, that’s important!

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: What a lesson that could be!

10:21

Robert: How many labor problems would be solved if they simply switched the service time clock to start when players were acquired rather than when they make the majors?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Depends on how you’d manage it but if it’s aggressive, then smaller-budget operations would complain about competitive balance

10:22

Nostradamaso Marte: Would you rather bet: (a) Heyward has another disappointing season on offense and the Cubs use his trade protection rollback to move him next winter, or (b) the field?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take the field, because I don’t know why someone would acquire a three-time disappointment

10:22

The Man With No Name: Suppose you’re a team and can choose between Lynn’s and Cobb’s contracts.  Gotta be Lynn, right?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: Even though I do like Cobb more, I don’t like him that much more

10:23

Riyad: How many plate appearances does Jose Martinez finish with?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: 350 or so

10:23

Joe: The Orioles are gonna do it again, aren’t they?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it. That division is impossible

10:24

Harristotle: Give me a real life equivalent to how bad the Orioles baseball ops decision making has been this offseason.

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: Look, I usually like the bargain hunting they do. Like, Colby Rasmus might work out great. Chris Tillman might work out great! The Alex Cobb acquisition was weird. They are so damn weird

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: But I get it — they don’t want to blow it up as long as Machado is around. Same reason the Rangers haven’t blown it up, with Beltre around

10:25

Kenny: How long into the season before the Angels have to sit Ohtani down and say he has to focus on pitching bc of his 9.33 ERA and .098 batting average? Once he feels comfortable pitching then they can allow him to get some ABs.

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the Angels wouldn’t make any changes to the plan for quite some time. Part of the agreement of getting Ohtani in the first place. No one expects him to be this bad during the season. This is kind of the whole point of spring, isn’t it?

10:26

Sam: When looking at Manny machados stats last year it seems he may have just had one of the unluckier seasons in recent memory… increased his BB% and Hard%, decreases K%. BABIP over 20 points lower than career average. Only thing I can see that was negative was a slight increase in GB%. Poised for a bounce back season?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be very good, although he still hasn’t made the leap that I’ve been expecting. With his approach, he might never reach elite batter territory

10:27

Greg: Eno talks about how Mazara has a great 2 strike approach, one of the reasons he will breakout. Would you be able to expand on that? I just don’t see enough improvement from 2016

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like you want to talk to Eno, not me

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Mazara didn’t take any step forward in 2017 that I saw. The big thing he has on his side is his age. I’m not in love with anything else

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Mazara will probably develop into an above-average hitter. That could just about cap it

10:28

Hannah Hochevar: If Colby Rasmus is an mvp candidate come September, does that mean the O’s are in the playoff hunt or that the apocalypse is upon us and we should huddle in place?

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: No reason it couldn’t be both

10:29

Tyler: Which team has a sneaky good offence and which has sneaky good pitching

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: Twins/Cardinals

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: or A’s/Rockies, if you prefer

10:30

kevinthecomic: Regarding the Jays, projections don’t just look at how good a team is, they also look at strength of schedule.  The Jays are almost certainly better than the Twins and the Twins almost certainly have a better chance of making the playoffs than the Jays.

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Even on our schedule-adjusted playoff-odds page, the Jays are projected to finish two games better than the Twins https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds?lg=lg&date=pre

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: The schedule narrows the gap between the two, but it doesn’t dissolve it

10:31

Shuck Bowalter: Why even own a baseball team if you are unwilling/unable to roster a full starting pitching staff. The Rays are setting new records for ways to be embarrassing.

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: The Rays traded Odorizzi assuming they’d have Honeywell and De Leon. Now they’re down all three

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: They still have more than five capable starters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wound up using five capable starters. But they also have a number of potential multi-inning relievers, and, really, what’s the harm in trying this?

10:33

Dodgers Front Office Member: Am I crazy for thinking Joc Pedersen can still be a regular?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: No?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: Career 115 wRC+, and a WAR/600 of 3.0

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t take a step forward last year and he still can’t hit lefties, but Pederson is more good than bad

10:34

Mr. Freeze: How do you see the Brewers rotation holding up now that they didn’t land a SP in FA and lost Miley? Are you a fan of Suter, Guerra, Woodruff, other bottom of the rotation options they have?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: I think they can get by with their current rotation, especially since they’ve made their bullpen so deep, but they’re going to need Nelson to look good when he returns, or else they’ll have to trade from depth

10:35

Sammy : If the Mets wanted to blow it up could they have the best minor league system in baseball?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: So the real prizes would be Syndergaard, Conforto, deGrom, and Nimmo

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: I’d say…definite top 5, maybe top 3. Not sold on top 1

10:36

Acuna Mattata: I have Ian Desmond and Ryan Braun. Should I worry about either or both due to playing time expectations?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Desmond especially on account of last year he sucked

10:38

Lunch Angle: Joey Gallo has only 11 Ks in 53 spring ABs (21%). Can he make a 2017 Stanton-esque adjustment, trading excess power for some contact?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: In 2015, Gallo struck out 22% of the time in the spring

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Gallo doesn’t have the same sort of swing that Stanton does. Stanton’s always been more of a line-drive guy, able to hit the ball in any part of the zone. Gallo’s always going to have that long uppercut, so I don’t think his contact ceiling is very high

10:39

Vegan Man!: Thoughts on Maikel Franco this year? Thanks!

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Not enthusiastic, but willing to be patient

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Will be interesting if Kingery and Crawford both develop as Hernandez stays playable

10:41

Randy: What would a Correa extension look like? 12 years $250 million with an opt out after year 7?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: At this point in his career, Trout signed for six years and $145 million, buying out three years of free agency

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Now, Correa obviously hasn’t been Trout-good, but Trout also gave the Angels a bargain

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: The Astros just valued Altuve’s future FA years at $26 million. He’ll be older than Correa. Let’s say they’d value Correa’s FA years at $30 million

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: 6/$140 million, maybe with a seventh-year option. Don’t think Correa is going to want to sign away the rest of his career

10:45

Roadhog: so uh that A’s rotation

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Not good

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Thankful that the Puk situation doesn’t seem very dire

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Boy could they ever use a Jonathan Lucroy pitch-framing rebound

10:46

THe law : If the Mariners aren’t good this year, should the Yankees make a play for Paxton? Is Frazier, and one of their top pitching prospects (sheffield?) enough?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: If the Mariners aren’t good this year, every contender should make a play for Paxton

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: He would be one of the top starting pitchers on the market

10:47

RK: How do you treat park changes in WAR with regards to park factors?  For example if Zona plays a LOT more pitching friendly, will their pitcher have inflated WAR for this year until the park factors account for it?  Do they get changed retroactively? How do you treat new parks?  Thanks!

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’ll take a while for our park factors to understand changes to the run environment. So if Chase Field is pitcher-friendly this season, the pitcher and batter WAR numbers will indeed likely be off

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: I do think the numbers get changed retroactively

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: But that wouldn’t be for some time

10:49

The Man With No Name: Just saw Josh Shepardson use the term “elevate and celebrate approach” in reference to Yonder Alonso.  This is a fantastic phrase and I hope it catches on.

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: It’s been around

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Baseball players have their own language we’re seldom privy to

10:49

Sleepy: Every player is a free agent following their age-26 (or whatever) season.

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Again, then the problem shifts to competitive balance. You’d need to dramatically increase revenue sharing

10:51

Monroe: In 2013, with 2 years left on his existing contract, the Mariners gave King Felix a five year extension for $135 million. In the first 3 years of that deal he’s accumulated 4.3 fWAR and it’s highly unlikely he’ll match that total in his next 2 seasons. Worst contract in Mariners’ history?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Chone Figgins and Carlos Silva were straight-up negative assets

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: But, yeah, this Felix deal, unfortunately, could be a massive clunker

10:52

Sad Padre: This whole minor league pay thing seems fairly open and shut to me:  Players are under contract with the team that drafted them.  They should be given a “living” wage as long as that team asserts that they have control of the player, even if injured.

Not sure how that is controversial.  If the teams want to pay the minor league players as interns, then as interns, they should be able to quit when they want and go where they want.

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: There are various complications, and obviously the baseball industry doesn’t see it your way, but I agree with you. You could say that signing bonuses don’t get included in these conversations, and the good prospects tend to have received considerable sums up front. But just because a guy is a non-prospect doesn’t mean he should have to share an apartment with six other teammates

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Every organization could afford it. In 25 years, I think we’ll look back on this as a humiliation

10:54

CamdenWarehouse: Bumgarner sucks as a hitter too

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: No he doesn’t. He’s below-average, by wRC+, but there are worse position players

10:55

Sonny: What’s more valuable, a pitcher who can be a league average hitter or a starting position player who can be a league average pitcher for 2IP at a time?

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: The latter

10:56

John S: Service time gamesmanship affects, what, about 5 players a year? let’s not lose focus on the real issue, that being that thousands of players aren’t making minimum wage, aren’t learning a trade that will be beneficial to them, and aren’t receiving an education.  where are Peter Angelos’s principles on this issue?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: There are many issues. Minor-league pay is one of them. Service-time manipulation is another one of them

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: You don’t have to try to fix everything at once

10:57

Justin: Who do you think has the tools to do so but hasn’t done so yet, but could come up with an out of nowhere Judge-like 8 WAR season?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: There is a 0.1% chance that Jabari Blash has been a future Hall of Famer all along

10:57

Snid: What would McHugh look like if he goes to the BrewCrew?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: Collin McHugh, in a Brewers uniform

10:58

B: What do you expect out of Lucas Giolito this season? Is he eligible for the rookie of the year award this season? He doesn’t seem to be getting the hype, which may be a good thing.

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: No, he burned his rookie eligibility last year. I’m still on the fence until we have real regular-season data, but right now, I’m a lot more optimistic than I was two months ago

10:58

Kyle: What’s more likely, Jon Lester puts up a sub-3 ERA a la 2016, or puts up an ERA north of 4.00 last like last?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: north of 4

10:59

OddBall Herrera: Re: the DH, shouldn’t the slow death of bat-first players (ex: Bautista can’t even get a job) make the NL DH a big priority for the players union?  There are basically 15 roster spots out there that could be used for experienced guys who are otherwise ending up in AAA or retired.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s part of the argument. Jobs are jobs

10:59

The ghost of Bruce Bochte: Is it even possible for the Mariner’s to cut Ichiro at some point in the season? What if things go better than expected and they’re in the hunt and he’s hitting sub.200?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Precisely the dilemma!

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: They signed Ichiro, and they hired Edgar Martinez. Can’t get rid of either one of them. At least Griffey up and retired of his own volition

11:00

Jeremy: I appreciate the attempt at positivity in the White Sox in the CF rankings. That could have been so much rougher than it was. Here’s hoping I can say the same about the entire 2018 season.

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: All it takes is one breakout. One young player who scratches at his ceiling, and then the enthusiasm will skyrocket

11:00

Lunar verLander: Have you ever said something (in an article or a podcast or chat) that you pretty much immediately regretted saying?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: good lord yes

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: More commonly in podcast format, because of the immediacy

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve said things that were supposed to be off the record, because my mouth has moved faster than my brain. It’s embarrassing

11:02

Bort: Thoughts on Vogelbach joining the flyball revolution?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: He’s always hit in the minors. The talent is obviously there. Glad to see him so successful

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Still a very low-ceiling player because he can’t do anything else

11:03

Prospect?: Who is your most undervalued/overlooked prospect of 2018?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even have one right now. The answer would be whichever shortstop or center fielder hits enough, and plays elite-level defense

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Look for the next Kiermaiers or Inciartes. They’re hidden, because minor-league defensive numbers aren’t very good

11:04

Moltar: Over/Under the all star break for Adrian Gonzalez’s DFA?

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: Under

11:05

John: Is there anything stopping the Dodgers from signing Holland to a $60MM 15 year contract to stay under the luxury tax threshold, with the plan to release him in 3-5 years?  Not deferred money but a 15 year contract term

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers presumably wouldn’t think Holland is worth the trouble

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: or the free-agent compensation

11:05

Young Willie: That Willie Calhoun kid can hit and the rangers OF isn’t the best so what is he doing in the minors?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he very genuinely cannot play good defense, and the Rangers already have a DH

11:06

Bucn Bob: Let’s say G. Polanco and J. Bell both take the dreamed-about steps forward this year and become a potent 1-2 punch in the middle of the lineup. Everyone else on the Pirates plays more or less to projections. Is it enough for them to be competitive with STL and CHC for division?

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: That’s not enough, but I’m also kind of hopeful on Glasnow, who could become a star

11:06

John S: are the conditions of the PCL so poor that teams should almost universally not send their legitimate prospects to their AAA affiliates?

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: That’s extreme

11:07

Jose Peraza: Can I really just not hit? Are there better days ahead?

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: Very much not a good hitter

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: Not 62 wRC+ bad, but, bad

11:07

Monroe: Will the Mariners ever actually rebuild? They have so many large contracts on the books, yet absolutely nothing in the minors. How is this run of mediocrity going to play out?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: They’ll fall off a cliff soon, whether it be this year, next year, or the year after that. Some kind of rebuild is inevitable, and it is going to be long

11:08

Bean Smuggler: Compare Brandon Webb to a volcano please

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need 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

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: My last chat without regular-season baseball!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/23/18 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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