Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/10/15

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys, sorry, it’s bad timing for a chat in the middle of a move. But I’ll do what I can!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll never be this late again in my life!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Now for the baseball

9:19
Comment From Matt
would you trade Desmond for Samardjza? keeper league

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Reminder that I don’t deal well with fantasy questions! Because I don’t know how to answer them, because I don’t play.

9:19
Comment From brad
If you could ban one type of stat from baseball broadcasts forever, what would it be?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: wins for pitchers, game-winning RBI or whatever for hitters

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: but to be honest I don’t really pay attention anymore to the stats being displayed. so I don’t know what the norm is these days

9:19
Comment From The Dude Abides
Have you ever argued with your boss mid meeting?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t say argue, but I have openly expressed skepticism that such meetings are necessary and productive

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: On a related note, the FanGraphs staff no longer has weekly Skype meetings

9:21
Comment From Jaack
Who is the worst player you have ever seen in the majors?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Anthony Vasquez

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Unless you count Adam Greenberg? He was probably very bad

9:22
Comment From Xolo
What team is going to give the most away at the trade deadline and do you think it’ll be worth it?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I could see the Padres turning ultra-aggressive, selling more than the Phillies and Reds. The latter two will have the best pieces for sale, but the Padres could drown them in volume

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: If the Padres go that way, they should clear a good amount of salary. I don’t think they’ll get great prospects back, however

9:23
Comment From Mike H
What sort of return do you think the A’s could get for a package of both Kazmir and Zobrist?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The advantage of selling Zobrist is that he could help almost literally every single team in the race at the moment so there’ll be a lot of demand

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Kazmir’s price is down some on account of his little aches and pains, but still, for those two, you’re looking at two or three close-to-ready young players

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Expect the A’s to, once more, focus on players who can help as soon as next season

9:26
Comment From Bret
A package for both Mat Latos and Dan Haren shouldn’t cost a crazy amount, should it? And it would probably be a major upgrade for Toronto’s rotation.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there’s the matter of Haren’s willingness. Not that he has no-trade rights, and he did ultimately end up pitching for Miami, but the Jays might not want to pick up a pitcher who isn’t delighted by the idea of pitching in Toronto

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Anyway, Haren wouldn’t come free, because the Marlins aren’t paying him anything. There’s no salary to take on, giving him good value. Latos has been better lately, so he’s looking like an asset. We’re not talking Hoffman or Norris here, but the Jays wouldn’t be able to get these arms for dirt cheap

9:30
Comment From MSW
Jean Segura, an upgrade for the Mets? DC doesn’t think so, but at least maybe has some upside?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: There’s some upside there, and the Mets clearly want to feel more stable about their middle-infield defense. Segura obviously is light on hitting, but he’s more defensively reliable, a true shortstop the likes of which doesn’t exist in the Mets’ upper levels. It wouldn’t be a franchise-changer, but Segura would at least address *one* question

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: You’d like to see them set their sights higher, but maybe they see this as a potential buy-low — when Segura was 23, he was worth 3.5 wins. And the shortstop market is kind of weak

9:33
Comment From Lukas
Are the Mets too injured for buying to be worthwhile? Or should they try to take advantage of a weak NL East this season?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it makes sense for them to make a huge splash, but then I’m not sure what splashes are available. Absolutely no harm in little upgrades. If they could actually get Ben Zobrist somehow, that’d be huge. They almost have enough to make the playoffs. Might as well navigate the deadline without giving away any of the crucial bits

9:34
Comment From JCA CPA CA
How much value would a replacement level player have if he would face 10 pitches per AB?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: His value would be pretty damn low. It wouldn’t be exactly replacement-level, because he *would* tire out the other starting pitcher, but bullpens these days are so good there’s not a distinct advantage from getting to them. He’d help within series, tiring bullpens out slightly more than an average player, but you’re still talking about a team weakness

9:36
Comment From John
What can the Twins expect from Ervin Santana the remainder of the season?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: A No. 3 in a rotation full of No. 3 and No. 4 starters

9:38
Comment From Jim
Mike Trout is currently at 34.6 career WAR. “Gun to your head,” what would his career WAR look like if he had come up through the Mariners system?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Oh man

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: This question is everything

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, Trout seems like the kind of talent that no one could conceivably ruin. On the other hand, Dustin Ackley! I’ll say 25.

9:40
Comment From FTF
Should the Indians go for it with a trade ? Do they have any valuable minor asset to bring the player that they need ? (a CF or 3B I assume…)

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians are close enough and good enough to be interesting, but they’re far back enough that I don’t think they should cough up much talent for the short-term. Not even clear how much they need — they project out to be successful. The rest of the way, the Indians have the third-best projected winning percentage in the AL

9:42
Comment From Michael Bluth
So, Kazmir for Singleton, Zobrist and Chavez for (Starlin) Castro and Edwards. If the A’s are selling, why not land some nice, measured contracts?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Whatever argument I could make against those, I can’t make quickly off the top of my head. No matter how realistic they might be, I think that’s a decent approximate of what Beane might be looking for

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Possible he wouldn’t want to get himself tied up in Castro’s long-term deal, but you can understand why he’d be an appealing buy-low

9:44
Comment From mtsw
I get that the pre-season projections are more predictive going forward than Pythag, W/L or BaseRuns, but now that the Red Sox look like they’re hanging in the race again, can we at least be spared the idea that they’ve played well so far? Given how the teams have played they’re fortunate not to be FURTHER behind the Blue Jays and Orioles, whatever the undelying amount of talent on the teams are.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s arguing the Red Sox have played well?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Sox are 41-45. BaseRuns has them at 40-46. That’s bad

9:45
Comment From UnluckiestChatteroftheMillenium
Will the Depth Charts be updated at some point (maybe after the trade deadline)? It seems like every player I look up has already exceeded their projected ABs.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Those are projections over the rest of the season

9:46
Comment From Jim
Will the NL be pretty boring for the next three months since we already know how the playoffs will lineup?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: No, because we don’t

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Even the freakin Diamondbacks are right at .500

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The odds are obviously strong for the five teams currently in playoff positions, but one of them will probably slip up or someone else will get hot

9:48
Comment From Cincinnati Kid
Will Puig figure it out or is he just a good OBP guy and nothing else?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: He’s plenty else

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Yasiel Puig is frustrating, but he’s also very very good

9:49
Comment From HappyFunBall
If you were the Nationals, would you be willing to trade Desmond if a decent offer came around? If you were another MLB exec, what sort of offer would you make for half a season of Ian Desmond?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Trea Turner was recently bumped up to Triple-A

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: But I still don’t see this as a trading situation. Contending teams are unlikely to take a shot on someone with Desmond’s numbers. And the Nationals are unlikely to further deplete their depth by selling low on a rental shortstop. Right now this seems like a situation where the Nats might opt to extend a qualifying offer

9:52
Comment From david
Why haven’t Mets put Matz on the DL already.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: maybe they’re still deciding who to bring up

9:52
Comment From adam
what two man team in FG would have the best shot on Naked & Afraid?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what that is so I’ll say Carson by himself

9:53
Comment From Sonny Grays Flulike Symptoms
Any predictions on where Zobrist, Kazmir, Clippard, and Chavez end up?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Not that these are worth anything, but let’s see:

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist: Cubs

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Kazmir: Pirates

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Clippard: Nationals!

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Chavez: Astros?

9:58
Comment From JCA CPA CA
With the specialization of bullpen match ups, switch hitters would have more value? So if there are 3 free agents who all hit the same, how much more money would a Switch Hitter get compared to the lefty or righty?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a perfect comparison, but Victor Martinez just got $10 million more than Nelson Cruz

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Kendrys Morales got multiple years despite a godawful 2014

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, Michael Morse got a similar deal

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: …but Morse was better in 2014. You’re looking at, I don’t know, $1 – 2 million extra per year?

10:00
Comment From Gary
How do you come up with the daily game odds? Use the projected lineups? It has to take into account injuries, right?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It starts with the pitchers and the team talents. Then they’re updated when we have the actual announced starting lineups

10:02
Comment From Jonny
Accounting for salary/arbitration and age, and assuming you don’t have limitless funds, couldn’t you argue that Brad Miller more valuable to an organization than Tulo moving forward?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: You could make the argument. It might not be the most convincing argument, but it’s an argument that would make a lot more sense to the, say, A’s, than to the Yankees. Miller obviously isn’t on Tulo’s level right now. Tulo, though, should be expected to decline, and Miller is dirt cheap. They’re very different valuable players

10:05
Comment From Jason Tyner
All you had to do to get me out was stand two or three guys in the foul territory outside first base!

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: “4.03 When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory.”

10:06
Comment From FTF
Will Carlos Gomes be traded ? Where do you think ?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think Gomez is out the door. Short-term player, and he’s not re-signing in Milwaukee. Destinations are less obvious. Cubs could make some sense. Indians would be really interesting.

10:07
Comment From Sonny Grays Flulike Symptoms
Kazmir to Houston is a no-brainer, right? They seem to be the best fit and maybe Beane can squeeze them a little harder with the “division rival” narrative.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty obvious fit, but then Kazmir is a fit in a lot of places. He’s a playoff-rotation pitcher, and two dozen teams are looking for one of those

10:08
Comment From Brandon
Help Jeff my favorite player is in the Home Run Derby and I don’t want him to be bad for the rest of the season What Should I DO?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Get yourself into crippling debt, so you have something legitimate to worry about

10:10
Comment From TR
Jeff, if the Jays were to stand pat with their starting rotation who would you start in a wild-card game? Sad to think that I might pick Marco Estrada.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I was going to say it might depend on the opponent, but then Estrada and Buehrle have like non-existent platoon splits

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Still, Buehrle against a lefty-heavy team, Estrada against a righty-heavy team. And then you hope the lineup clobbers the hell out of whoever it faces

10:12
Comment From Guesto
So….how bad is Tyler Featherson?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Remember Josh Rutledge? Kind of weird we haven’t seen him. But then Featherston barely has any responsibilities so it’s not a big deal

10:14
Comment From Martin
Why does FIP (and pitcher fWAR) use Innings Pitched instead of batters faced? The number of outs recorded is fielding-dependent.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I could be wrong but I think it’s just for simplicity. What you’ll find is it makes very little difference over decently large samples

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s a short and very old thread http://www.baseball-fever.c…

10:17
Comment From The Dude Abides
Can we start a tradition at the ASG where the fans vote to watch players play roles they are not suited for? I’m thinking Bartolo Colon at SS, CC Sabathia as a pinch runner, etc.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: And then the players, in turn, would start another tradition! Of making up injuries on the eve of the event

10:19
Comment From JD
Rangers hitters are crazy left-handed, both in the majors (Fielder, Moreland, Hamilton, Odor, Martin) and minors (Gallo, Mazara, Williams). Would it make sense to trade Choo’s bad contract for Kemp’s?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Sure it would, for the Rangers

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Padres would be less interested in an older player with a bigger commitment. You’d have to chip in some money or a prospect

10:20
Comment From Xolo
Do you think the Padres could actually rid themselves of Melvin Upton or are they just going to give away Shields and Kimbrel?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: They could get rid of him in the same way the Braves did. That’s about it. They need to decide whether it’s more important to have money or young players

10:22
Comment From Qbert
I consider myself a fairly big Mariners fan and have no idea who their owner is, besides some nebulous Nintendo entity. I can name the owner of a number of other teams. Is that not weird?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Wikipedia!

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: “Owned by Nintendo of America, the Mariners are one of three Major League Baseball teams under corporate ownership; the other two are the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays.”

10:23
Comment From Sean P
What do the Orioles need to do to stay in contention?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: A second-tier starting pitcher would be nice. And it’s probably about what should be expected

10:25
Comment From Brett W
What is the return for James Shields if a buyer assumes the whole contract?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Low. His contract is backloaded — just $10 million in salary in 2015 — and he has an opt-out clause after next year. The Padres would mostly just be looking to be rid of the commitment

10:25
Comment From Dominican Lou
Can Feliz be a useful reliever again?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Mark Lowe came back from the dead

10:27
Comment From Matt
Does an aggressive move for Hamels make sense for Jed, at this point on team’s developmental curve?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, at the right price, but with Lester, Arrieta, and Hammel already around, the rotation isn’t an enormous priority, and it probably makes more sense to shore up the position-player depth. Hamels will cost more, I imagine, than the Cubs would be comfortable giving up at this juncture

10:29
Comment From _David_
Players like Brad Miller, who can’t get into games against same handed pitchers, but don’t have a big enough sample to judge, is it a scouting thing based on swing mechanics? Seems like a self fulfilling notion that a player doesn’t have a track record against lhp, therefore he doesn’t play against lhp…

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, you’re mostly right. And Miller didn’t have awful problems with lefties in 2013. But this is an issue when you have a team that thinks it’s in the race — it makes decisions based more on the short-term than on long-term development. It would be good for Miller to get more reps against southpaws, but the Mariners want to win today, and they’ve decided Miller needs those breaks. You can sort of understand, but it is a point of modest frustration

10:30
Comment From Tanner
Has anyone at FG ever thought of/tried to get a job in a MLB front office? Seems like a bunch of you guys would be good fits for most teams.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: We mostly don’t have the coding chops. Teams don’t have much use for a half-decent writer

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Some have looked, some have been approached, but teams are looking for real analysts, who know math and stuff. Speaking for myself, I fake it

10:32
Comment From Dustin
What’s your gut feeling on Cameron Maybin: Guy Atlanta should look to incorporate into the long-term plan, or trade chip Atlanta should deal for even more prospect depth before he turns into a pumpkin?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Keep him. He can be around through 2017, and position players of his ilk don’t return a lot at the deadline anyway.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Austin Jackson was swapped for Nick Franklin, and at that point in time Jackson had a better track record than Maybin.

10:34
Comment From Kevin
What do you think is the likelihood that Billy Beane loses his job before next year’s draft?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Effectively zero percent

10:35
Comment From Nick
Bryce Harper has a top-15 walk rate and a top-10 ISO among all seasons since 2000. These skills peak late, and Bryce Harper is 22. The conclusion is:

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Pitchers don’t want to pitch to Bryce Harper anymore

10:36
Comment From Dave
What’s the best case for Verlander the rest of this season?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: His velocity is actually up a bit. That’s obviously not everything, but he could still turn himself into a No. 2

10:37
Comment From Bort
Who takes a chance on Feliz? A’s have a crap bullpen and plenty of knowledge of him from Texas.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies should throw money at him and try to get him somewhat fixed so they can flip him for prospects a year from now

10:38
Comment From Mike H
If the Twins become buyers at the deadline, what types of players could you see them moving?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No one of real note. Expect the Twins to keep pretty quiet

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Their attempted big moves were promoting Buxton and Sano

10:39
Comment From Michael
What the heck are the Mariners going to do at the deadline? Are they gonna my to try and buy? 🙁

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: They’re six out of the wild card and they’re just about out of money. If they drift further back, they’ll sell minor bits and pieces. If they’re at least this close, they’ll hold on and hope to make a run

10:41
Comment From Josh
Where will Cole Hamels end up

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if the Padres try to buy and sell at the same time

10:43
Comment From Guesto
If Brett Gardner hit the open market as a FA this upcoming offseason, how much would he get? $150M?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not after Chase Headley got 4/$52m. Gardner’s almost 32 and there would be concern that his power comes in large part from playing in New York

10:46
Comment From GPT
What do you think the price tag on Gerardo Parra is? I would love for the Giants to get him and Mike Leake at the deadline.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Last year Parra himself got moved for two pretty forgettable prospects. This year he’s been better, but he’s also coming up on free agency. Low price tag for a useful player. Good fit for the Giants

10:47
Comment From Sean
The common theme from people is that the Diamondbacks are “bad” and far from contention, but is that really the case? They’re third in the NL in position player WAR and are young across the board. Their pitching is an issue right now, but with Corbin coming back, Ray and Anderson looking like above-average starters with De La Rosa, Bradley, Blair, Shipley, and Webster being MLB-ready prospects. They have the money to sign a big-name pitcher in the offseason. If one or two of their prospects stick and they sign one of Price/Cueto/Zimmerman, they have to be contenders, right?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: There’s some bias at play here — people are down on the Diamondbacks, because they’re down on the Diamondbacks front office. But that’s mostly concern that they’re going to make critically bad decisions. For the time being, they have young pitching, Goldschmidt, and Pollock. Hard to go too wrong with that foundation

10:49
Comment From Donnie Drapes
Which single player brings back the most in a trade?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Chapman?

10:49
Comment From Kim
Do the Mets have anything the Mariners might want/need in exchange for Taylor?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Never anything wrong with collecting young pitching, but I don’t think Taylor’s a great fit.

10:50
Comment From George
The padres pieces look pretty elite – Upton, Kimbrel, Benoit, possibly Cashner, Ross, Kennedy. Why do you think they won’t get good pieces back?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Because few of those players are actually elite, and, say, Kimbrel has a big contract. Upton has an expiring contract. They can get prospects, but they won’t get this year’s Addison Russell

10:51
Comment From Chris
Faced with having to choose one of the Red Sox, Indians or Mariners to win their respective division, which is your choice?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Sox are only 5.5 back

10:53
Comment From kid
Help me understand something – Bryant and Pederson are “similar” players; high K%, high BB%, high-power, good athletes with speed. Yet the projection systems have way more faith in Bryant (~.260/.350/.490 Ros) than Pederson (.220/.330/.440). Any reason why this might be?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant was a little more destructive in the minors

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: So one is projected for a 130 wRC+, and the other 114.

10:53
Comment From Eric
If RA Dickey continues to pitch at replacement level, do you see the Blue Jays moving him to bullpen or releasing him? It seems lIke the potential for upside is gone and his option won’t be picked up at this rate.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That team is in no position to give up on a potentially decent starting pitcher

10:54
Comment From Gumpa
The 2015 Jays don’t appear in your unluckiest teams article even though they have the highest run differential in the AL by a wide margin (second largest in all of MLB) and are now back to only .500. Is this because Baseruns thinks they shouldn’t have scored as often as they have?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, basically. By run differential, the Jays have been almost as “unlucky” as the A’s. But BaseRuns thinks the Toronto offense has overachieved. So it’s competing kinds of opposite luck

10:55
Comment From MSW
Juan Lagares’ elbow problems seem to be impacting his defense as well as his offense. With so much of his value tied up in his arm, are the Mets better off having him get Tommy John now?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Just like Masahiro Tanaka, right

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I know no one ever wants to defer to the Mets’ medical staff, and that’s fine, but we shouldn’t just assume Tommy John is necessary. Maybe he just needs an offseason to heal. And it’s not like the bat was supposed to be special

10:56
Comment From mtsw
Are the Freddie Freeman-less Braves the worst lineup vs RHP in the league right now? Kinda didn’t realize what a crater him being out creates.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I keep hoping for the Braves to finish with more wins than home runs

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to go. Back to moving-related chores and whatnot

10:57
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 — 7/10/15 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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Matt
Guest
Matt

If the White Sox decide to blow the team up (that lineup looks brutal) – what do you think about this trade with the Red Sox? Close?

Red Sox get: Sale, Abreu
White Sox get: Swihart, Margot, Johnson/Owens, Marrero, Joe Kelly, Chavis

busy scouting t-ball
Guest
busy scouting t-ball

Sox of the white variety laugh at you.

Matty Bum
Guest
Matty Bum

No

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000

Even as a Cubs fan I have to laugh at this one. Sale, with his contract, is one of the best values in baseball. Why would they trade *both* Sale and Abreu and not get Betts in return? Come on, man… this is about as bad as Mets fans trying to sell Niese.