Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/2/16

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Doing a one-time chat swap with August, as he’s unavailable today, and I’m unavailable Friday

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: So, resuming next week, August is your Tuesday man, and I’ll be there on Fridays. But if you’re looking for August, come back in a few days!

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05
JoshP: So it seems like the Mets front office has decided it’s content with Wilmer Flores as the everyday 2nd baseman next year?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t really have to be true. Let’s see how many more times we can connect them to Danny Valencia

9:05
The Decadent Moose: What were you more surprised by: The Yankees selling or a volcano smiling?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees selling. The other one is just finding the face of Jesus in basement water damage

9:06
Guesto: Yesterday was fun, eh?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: From a site-first perspective, it was kind of annoying to have so much happening at the end, with so little happening in the weeks leading up. But I woke up yesterday with unusual energy and the day more than justified it. Always love that last half hour

9:08
Zonk: Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers look like they are headed for divorce. With roughly $20 mil owed to him through 2018, is there really much surplus trade value there? Should the Dodgers just put him on waivers and see if there is a taker?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: If Puig were a free agent this winter, he’d sign for more than the two years and $18 million or whatever will be left on the deal. So there is some value there still, and other teams were making the Dodgers offers within the past week — they just weren’t deemed to be sufficient

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yasiel Puig remains tradeable. What’s clear is he’s no longer a premium piece, and what’s clear is he’s no longer in the Dodgers’ long-term plans

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Highly doubt he’s waived, but he’s an A-level December trade candidate

9:12
Aaron: What are your thoughts on Willson Contreras? I feel like the Cubs should’ve made a big push for Lucroy to beef up lineup.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Now you’re just being greedy

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Lucroy, very obviously, is a better player right now than Contreras is. But Contreras has been hitting, and he’s been playing acceptable defense when he’s been behind the plate. That would’ve been an unnecessary move that would’ve caused unnecessary complications in 2017

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are the best team in baseball. They don’t really need to get better

9:14
Q-Ball: What team helped themselves the most during the deadline, in your mind?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Short-term, Rangers. Long-term, Yankees

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Brewers are the runner-up to the Yankees

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s weird to be able to put the Brewers and the Yankees in the same category, where the category header isn’t just “major league baseball teams”

9:16
A. Reitz: Thoughts on the price of some of these relievers? Initial reaction is my jaw drops, but Chapman/Miller are two of the best. That said…this is temporary right? Relievers can’t be worth everyday players, or potential all stars.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: The absolute best ones can, and there is no level above Chapman/Miller (and Jansen and Betances and Britton and). These trades can’t be common, and the Cubs probably overpaid by a little bit, but the advantage of having someone like Chapman or Miller come playoff time is huge. They can effectively double their usual innings load. That’s worth a big prospect

9:17
Archer>Picard: The Jays about to take a favourite for the Cy Young award out of their rotation…I have no question, it just makes me depressed for the state of modern baseball. Why can’t we have nice things?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of those cases where we just don’t know enough, and the Jays do have an information advantage, but Jeff Passan was tweeting later yesterday about how he doesn’t think this’ll actually help to keep Sanchez healthy and Passan knows more about this stuff than I do

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Given what *I* know, I’d be inclined to just skip some starts and let Sanchez keep going as long as he seems OK. I don’t know what the Jays see, if they see anything

9:19
drassel: do you think Matt Moore will be solid with the Giants or same numbers than with the Rays ?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s improving. I buy him as a No. 3

9:19
Kevin: Maybe this is being cynical but did the Mets trade for Jay Bruce because of the RBI statistic?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The Mets traded for Jay Bruce because they haven’t been hitting

9:20
A. Reitz: Lets say A. Miller is asked to come in to close a few games in the postseason, and he blows even 1 game. It’s a terrible trade is it not? To trade potential all stars for a guy who MIGHT impact a playoff series seems…insane.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Those same potential All-Stars MIGHT impact a playoff series

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Look, I love quality farm systems, and I’m all about approaching the trade deadline conservatively. But Miller is so freaking good. It doesn’t get better than Andrew Miller in the eighth and ninth innings

9:22
Q-Ball: Is there a team that you feel should have been much more active at the deadline?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: So weird to me that Jeremy Hellickson is still on the Phillies. I don’t think Julio Teheran should still be on the Braves. I think the Royals should’ve sold more off although I understand why they were reluctant

9:22
mike: what is wrong with danny salazar? how big of a hit does this turn into for the indians if he has to miss significant time?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: He says it feels like there’s something in his elbow. Last I saw, he said it doesn’t feel like it did when he needed Tommy John, but this is still hugely problematic

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s a bone spur? I’m just guessing now. I think the Indians have the depth to get through the next two months without Salazar, but they could really use him in October

9:24
Hal: Any legitimate argument to be made for Giles NOT being the Astros’ closer?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Probably that Harris and Gregerson have been just as good

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: But Giles has the more classic closer “feel” because of his power stuff, so if that’s your bag, go nuts. Not many bad options in a bullpen that deep

9:25
Q-Ball: What player are you most surprised did NOT get dealt at the deadline?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s Hellickson. Everyone knows he’s still just a 4 or a 5, but that didn’t stop the Orioles from getting Wade Miley

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Derek Norris

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that one is Lucroy’s fault

9:29
CamdenWarehouse: Has anything like Rea happened before?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t think of an identical scenario although one or two could be slipping my mind. Of note is that the Marlins and Padres handled things on their own without getting the league involved. More than a decade ago, Gary Majewski was alleged to have been damaged goods when he was dealt, but that trade wasn’t undone. People were just mad about it

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins got to look at Rea’s medicals when the trade happened and they were also aware that he was shut down later last season. So it’s all odd. Preller probably didn’t have to agree to do this but maybe he’s just really kind

9:31
Ampersand: Hi Jeff! Remember that time you wrote that Danny Duffy is “The Developing Ace of the Royals?” His game last night, oh wow

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Tied with Clayton Kershaw for the most swinging strikes in a game during the PITCHf/x era

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: (35)

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Now, the Rays swing and miss a lot, but Duffy has gotten so good

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s kind of a shame he only has one year of team control left

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe not such a shame for Duffy

9:32
mtsw: How do you expect the Orioles to deploy Steve Pearce? I fear they see him as a platoon-only bat despite his 118 wRC+ vs RHP this season.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: They didn’t use him as a platoon bat when they had him before. He’s going to play a lot

9:33
HS: So, Eduardo Rodriguez looks good

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Believe In Stuff (TM)

9:34
Brett W: Should the Cubs have considered trading Jason Hammel for a lower-quality innings eater and prospects? Does a team with 98% playoff odds need an above average #5 starter so badly that the potential prospects haul isn’t worth it?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt there was a prospect haul to be had. The Phillies couldn’t find anything for Hellickson. How much better than Hellickson is Hammel?

9:35
Nathan: The Brewers have 8 top prospects to go along with a number of guys who could be feature top 100 guys. (Diplan, Diaz, Ponce,…) what’s your outlook on the Brewers organization as a whole?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: David Stearns has done a fantastic job. Many of the best prospects have considerable boom/bust potential, but, compare that rebuild to, say, the Reds. Brewers still a couple years off but it’s getting exciting

9:36
Kyle: What player is the most likely to get traded through waivers?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: James Shields again?

9:37
Puigfriend: Why would the dodgers demote Puig? He has been hitting since he came off of the d.l. and must be a better option than howie kendrick, right?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t been hitting *that* much, the earlier part of the season still counts, and he’s been nagged by an injury. Plus, I bet there’s off-the-field stuff we don’t know

9:38
Stuafoo: Was there any interest in Steve Ciseck before the deadline? Seemed like the Ms would be motivated to get some return for him given the prices relievers were getting back + Diaz waiting in the wings

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: But see, it was good relievers who were getting prospect hauls

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Cishek is better than his recent struggles, but the Mariners have him for next year too. So they didn’t need to scramble to try to move him

9:39
Chris: YOUR TWEET MADE ME THINK IT WAS FRIDAY

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: oh man that’s the worst

9:39
Who: What do you think was the best deal yesterday?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well I was most *interested* by the Dodgers trade for Rich Hill. I love that trade for everybody

9:40
Christian: Beninten-day!!!!

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Almost an ideal hitter for a 22-year-old. Walks, hits for power, doesn’t strike out. Impact promotion

9:41
Grant: What’s your take on Liriano’s struggles? Has he lost something tangible or do you think he can succeed again with the Jays?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think he is not very good. I think he’s now in the tougher league. I think the Jays are trying to be content with Stroman, Happ, and Estrada, and if they’re all right, then Liriano won’t be that important to them

9:42
Josh: What are your thoughts on Benintendi? Do you think he plays every day?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Almost every day. Super good

9:44
Nick: A lot of fans want the white sox to sell, but I don’t think they could have gotten much for Frazier, Abreu, Robertson and Melky at this deadline. Aren’t they better off going into next year as a .500 team then making the decision to sell off the rentals at the deadline (or go for it) than selling now and restarting everything? Sale is still going to have a ton of value at that point as well.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The White Sox could only really sell Sale or Quintana. Those were the only premium pieces, and by no selling them, the Sox still look like a more or less average team. And it’s a team that can try again in a year, so, it’s not the worst thing in the world to hold. Abreu, one would hope, will get better and reestablish some value

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: The Sox have tried to move aggressively and it hasn’t worked, but 2017 could still pan out. They’re not altogether in horrible shape. I don’t think their situation yet calls for a full reboot

9:46
Tommy Lasordid: What is your take on Puig? Just a temporary stop in the minors to work on things, or the end of his Dodger saga?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of both

9:48
Nelson : How would you rank the Blue Jays’ trade deadline moves?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I was surprised they got Upton so cheap

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Could’ve sworn the Padres would do better than that. So I like that move for them the most

9:49
Brandon: who “won the deadline”? Was it the Yankees, the Rangers, Puig’s friends, Twitter, someone else? Sub-question: what is “winning”?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: It would’ve been the Indians were it not for Lucroy’s contract

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees did phenomenally well. Same with the Brewers. Winning the deadline, also, is almost pointless. Remember how so many writers thought the Diamondbacks won the offseason, after the Padres won the previous offseason

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, those writers weren’t writing on FanGraphs.com!

9:51
Brett W: Should Cardinals fans be happy with what the team didn’t do?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not winning the division, so at best they’re looking at a one-game playoff, which complicates matters. And when they’re healthy, the Cardinals are super good. I liked the cheap Duke addition, and the bullpen is much stronger with him and without Rosenthal closing. The Cardinals probably handled things right

9:52
Roscoe: I’m a Braves fan. I’m also a Rays fan. Does the “goodness” of the Duffy-Moore deal outweigh the “badness” of the Kemp deal? Is it a net gain in trade deadline smiley faces for me?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Duffy-Moore deal could be justified on both ends. I don’t think you can really easily justify the Kemp deal, or what it indicates about the front office

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, that’s a net loss in trade-deadline smiley faces

9:53
Zonk: I still don’t know if the Rockies are buyers, sellers, contenders, doormats, or what. Any clue?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: They’re a year away, and they don’t want to destroy any goodwill they’ve built by not being awful. Their pitching is coming along nicely and they didn’t see anything they really liked for Carlos Gonzalez

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve liked to see them try to buy low on Derek Norris but what are you going to do

9:55
PS: Do you think McCann could be a reasonable August Waiver trade candidate?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Borderline. I think, already, the Yankees and the Braves couldn’t find common ground. The Braves would love to have him back. August doesn’t make things any easier

9:56
Billy Beane: Danny Valencia is still on my team. That’s weird, right? He’s bad at third but he can play first or fake it in the outfield. Do teams think he’s that big of a jerk?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Teams apparently prefer Steve Pearce. But Valencia is one of the few A’s who’s hit, and they’ve got him for next year, so they can try all this again

9:57
Jim Wiser: How long before Bregman is sent back down?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he is

9:57
Q-Ball: Who are some August trade targets that could get moved?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: James Shields, Adam Lind, half of the Yankees, Huston Street, Ricky Nolasco?

9:59
Brett W: Best Duffy rest of career:Danny or Matt?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Danny

10:00
Jim Lonborg: I think people (e.g. ESPN) are being too tough on Dombrowski. He didn’t “fail” to trade for Sale, the WS refused to accept a reasonable offer for Sale. It would look different if another team had gotten him.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox don’t need Chris Sale. Nobody needs Chris Sale. Without Chris Sale, the Red Sox are super good, and by holding onto, say, Benintendi, they can do things like promote Benintendi yesterday evening

10:00
Kristen: Surprised TEX didn’t land a SP? Thought it was their biggest need.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: It is their biggest need, but they have a big division advantage and they have two quality starters already in-house, so they bulked up the bullpen instead in anticipation of a playoff series. Every one of their relievers is good now

10:02
Justin: Does the price for Matt Moore seem high to you? At what percent of possibility does he have to perform at to justify it?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Moore seems to be on the rise. All the pieces going the other way seem to be on the decline. Still not a cheap package for the Giants or anything, but I think the trade was OK. I’m a Moore believe

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: *believer

10:02
supertouch: So when was the last time you guys at FanGraphs took your heads out of a spreadsheet and actually watched a baseball game?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Actually we simulate all the baseball games in our spreadsheets

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Takes way less than three hours. You should try it!

10:03
Ronnie: Espinoza, Torres, Frazier & Brinson seem to be the top guys traded at the deadline. Which of the four do you think turns out best?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Brinson

10:04
Chris: What do you think of the Bruce deal from the Reds’ perspective? Herrera a better prospect than Nimmo?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Herrera apparently has less questionable medicals than Nimmo, so that’s a point in his favor

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: This all comes down to your perception of Jay Bruce. I don’t think he’s actually all that valuable of a player, so I liked that the Reds turned him into a potential long-term regular

10:04
Cave Dameron: A’s farm system: top 10 yet? C’mon, give A’s fans SOMETHING!

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Jharel Cotton is cool

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think I like him the best of all three players they just got from LA

10:07
CamdenWarehouse: What team’s fans should be most disappointed with its deadline moves?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Mar…lins?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I guess? It’s hard to say. The Giants paid some heavy prices. But they’re leading a division. The Orioles didn’t get a sexy starter, but then, they couldn’t

10:08
mtsw: Could the Orioles get anything for Ubaldo Jimenez if they agreed to eat his entire salary? (He won’t have any trouble clearing waivers so can still be traded). They supposedly may be close to DFAing him anyway, doesn’t he have some attraction to a non-contender who could attempt to rehabilitate him then trade him in the offseason?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: If the Orioles paid everything, they could get a low-level pitching prospect of moderate interest.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Jimenez can still get some strikeouts. But he’s in his 30s now. This is him

10:10
Zonk: Will crazy prices for starting pitching/relief pitching carry over into the offseason? Or was that a temporary function of deadline supply/demand?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Most deadlines don’t have guys like Chapman and Miller available. And come the offseason, there will be more teams willing to move starters around, so the market will look more responsible

10:11
Oliver: Please say something good about the Pirates deadline. I am #confused

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’m pretty big on Felipe Rivero

10:11
Ben: How much does having an elite defender in CF cancel out a bad defender in LF? Specifically referring to Inciarte & Kemp. Does Inciarte’s elite defense help decrease the impact of Kemp’s bad defense? Is this just wishful thinking?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much all wishful thinking. There is very little overlap between outfielder ranges. Tons of batted balls that will be up to Kemp and Kemp alone

10:13
dock ellis: if you were in the brewers front office, which would you have preferred: the Cleveland Lucroy return + unknown Jeffress return (say something similar to what Smith got), or the return from the Rangers for the pair as a package?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I liked the Rangers return because I like both Brinson and Ortiz. Susac was a nifty get in the Smith move

10:14
Matt: I am a Braves fan, and have totally talked myself into Matt Kemp being an asset for the team in LF…How do you think he’ll transition there? Will his defense improve from “national disaster” to simply “meh” going to LF from RF? (aside: between Markakis and Kemp, Ender Inciarte is REALLY gonna earn that paycheck, huh?)

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I have some concerns about how Kemp has performed on a bad ballclub, and it won’t be any easier for him to motivate himself on the Braves. But at the end of the day, he’s just one guy costing a moderate amount of money, and the books are mostly clean, and the Braves aren’t about to win anyway so they might as well get to watch some dingers

10:15
Hector Santiago: What the hell is going on?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I am so sorry

10:15
Jim Lonborg: Do the (so far divergent) fates of Kelly and Porcello affect Cherington’s ability to get a GM job this winter? Or do teams not think that way?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Ben Cherington’s hirability has anything to do at this point with Joe Kelly’s career developments

10:16
Peter: Two years from now, what’s Edwin Diaz’s role? Dominant closer or does he make his way to the rotation?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Closer

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s never starting again

10:16
Billybob: Of all the “contenders”, could it be argued that the Indians are the ones most playing over their heads? I think we all agree that Napoli, Santana, Naquin, Lindor and Kipnis are playing near their upper percentiles, and they’ve been extremely lucky regarding the health of their SP. Opposed to a team like the Dodgers or the Nationals, who have endured injuries and underperformances.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, the Indians have played pretty much all season without arguably their best player. And he could be coming back! So that helps.

10:17
JD: Do you still see Cubs as the team to beat or has that changed since now that the deadline is over?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs are the best

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs were the best, and they improved

10:17
Brandon: What are your thoughts on Diaz taking over as the closer in Seattle?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Inevitable. He’s amazing

10:17
Roscoe: Had the Braves decided to trade him, Teheran would have fetched considerably more than Matt Moore at the deadline, right? Or were the Giants just really enamored of former superstar prospect Matty Mo?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Teheran would’ve done better

10:17
Chopper Dave: Hi Jeff. Dyson remains the closer in Texas, but how much of a threat is Jeffress?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: They’re actually pretty similar pitchers. Even if they swapped roles, I’m not sure anyone would notice

10:18
Zonk: From a scouting perspective, why did everyone miss so badly on Hector Olivera?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not even all that clear they did. All things considered, Olivera has barely played

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: But that, in turn, has driven down his stock, along with the criminal charges. Now he’s 31 and borderline unemployable

10:19
Matt: The Braves have first crack at Puig if he hits waivers. 1. should they claim him, and 2. what would he cost in talent going back to the Dodgers? Kemp-Inciarte-Puig is a strong OF, right?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: No outfield with Matt Kemp is a strong outfield

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: If Puig were to show up on waivers, then yes, absolutely, the Braves should claim him. But I can’t see him being a waiver trade

10:20
cj: out of all the trades the pirates trading Fran and spects are the most puzzling

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Did you see the Hector Santiago trade?

10:21
yanksfan: this offseason, yanks offer jose mateo + for nolan arenado. What other prospects would it take for the trade to be a win for both teams?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: So, so many of them

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies aren’t trading Arenado this winter, not when they think they could finally win again in 2017

10:21
Bill: Did the White Sox make a mistake not trading Sale or Quintana yesterday?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Impossible to say without knowing what they were offered

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess it was too difficult for other teams to meet that prospect demand in the middle of a year

10:22
Greg: How much gamesmanship do you think there is in trades? Is it like buying a car from a dealership, where you pretend like you aren’t that interested and list all the flaws in an effort to drive down the price? Or are teams pretty straightforward with each other about valuation?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone has a different approach but come deadline time there’s just not that much time available for dicking around. Teams generally have a good sense of what’s out there, and teams know what other teams want. So you operate within that

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Some teams make things difficult by being initially unreasonable. I think the Rays, for example, tend to begin with big asks. That’s annoying. Other front offices look to make deals from the get-go. Like, I think it’s pretty obvious Dave Dombrowski doesn’t want his talks to drag on for weeks on end

10:24
CamdenWarehouse: Shouldn’t Puig absolutely be placed on revocable waivers?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Well pretty much everyone should go on revocable waivers

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Zero harm

10:24
Forsyth: What should we expect from Benintendi? Steamer has him at about .290/.340/.450, is that reasonable?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I really do think that’s reasonable. Not much not to like there

10:25
Nicole: How worried should Indians fans be about Salazar’s arm?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: 8 out of 10. Would be 10 out of 10 but for Salazar saying it doesn’t feel like a busted UCL

10:25
bigsteve: who wins the AL West

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers

10:25
Hal: I get the Braves don’t want to blow it up entirely, but trading Jim Johnson seemed like an obvious move since he’s a free agent after the season. Any insight as to why they didn’t?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Teams probably just didn’t care about him that much. He’s not all that valuable, and just last year he blew up after getting traded. Teams remember that

10:27
Kristen: How would you grade the Rangers’ deals? Gave away some good prospects, but still have a nice bunch of young guys like Gallo, Mazara, Profar, Odor, Yohander Mendez, Ariel Jurado, etc.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I think I would’ve been more willing to trade Gallo. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of moving him. But they did well to build a strong playoff roster without sacrificing all of their youth. A lot of this formula will remain together for 2017 as well. I like the Astros a lot, but the Rangers should be able to fend them off

10:28
Roscoe: When a team that is selling fails to sell of pending free agents that have some modest trade value, have they missed an opportunity? Is there some point where the prospect return is dismal enough that you’d rather hold the guy for whatever value he provides to your losing team down the stretch? I’m thinking about the Braves and Jim Johnson in particular, here.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, at some point you just give up and accept that wins down the stretch are nice for morale. And Johnson has all that veteran experience and presence and whatnot. Just not worth it to flip him for a low-level nobody

10:29
HappyFunBall: Are there any more corner OFs that the Mets could acquire, that might help assure them an NL East title?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Get in on that Matt Kemp

10:30
Billybob: What in the world is going on w/ Bryce Harper? His batting average currently sits in the .230s, which is *100* points lower than last year.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Most importantly, he hasn’t hit for real power since April. This is becoming a problem. He’s better than this, but memories of 2015 have long since faded

10:31
2-D: Are you surprised Philly hung onto Hellickson and Jeanmar?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not surprised other teams aren’t convinced Hellickson isn’t just a back-of-the-rotation starter. Given how much money the Phillies will have available, it doesn’t really hurt them to extend a QO. Might as well try again. And the rotation could use the innings

10:32
Tommy Lasordid: Regarding Puig, what’s your take on Rosenthal’s “storming off” comment? Does he owe Puig an apology?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He sort of apologized on Twitter. I think everyone in the industry knows that Rosenthal is a good reporter who isn’t just out to stir shit up. He must’ve heard the stormed-off report from multiple sources. His relationship with those sources is now damaged, but lots of reporters get fed lies that make their way to the public. The truth is out there now, and the bigger damage should be mitigated

10:34
Bark: If Donald Trump became the MLB Commish in exchange for stepping down from the presidential race immediately, would you do that deal?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: god yes

10:34
Nikko: Do you think the M’s did the right thing at the deadline?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing for them to really do. Didn’t have much to sell, didn’t have much to buy. Turned a mediocre starter into a potential longer-term mediocre starter. Turned a decent reliever into a decent 1B/DH. They did OK

10:34
Alex: WAR takes into account quality of competition right? Getting a homer off Kershaw has to be worth more than one off James Shields?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: It actually does not do that. I want for us to develop and publish some quality-of-competition statistics

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball Prospectus sort of has their own version but I want better numbers

10:36
Tommy Lasordid: Dodgers or Giants now the favorite in the NL West?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Dodgers a little bit more

10:36
Roscoe: Do you think front offices that focus more heavily on the opinions of their scouts are giving up an edge to teams focused more heavily on analytics? Ideally, you’d want a nice blend of both, but I’d imagine some organizations clearly lean more one way than the other.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: At this point the differences between many of the front offices are minimal. There are still a few atypical teams out there, and you probably know who they are, but mostly things have reached an equilibrium

10:37
mtsw: If you ran a team and were up 15 games heading into the deadline, would you consider selling pending free agents for prospects? If you already have the division locked up, you don’t need them for the stretch run and any individual player who isn’t Mike Trout is unlikely to change your odds in the playoffs significantly.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of depends on the player but I don’t want my entire clubhouse to get furious at me

10:37
Billy Beane: Is Frankie Montas the new Rich Harden? He’s going to tantalize me with the stuff and results and never stay healthy?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Better to have rib problems than shoulder problems

10:39
Randy Savage: Do the members of Fangraphs and Baseball Reference have back alley throw downs like in Anchorman? Please say yes.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: What do you think happened to Farnsworth

10:40
Steak from Jate Farm: Why don’t the win probability graphs reflect quality of opposition? E.g. every game — even one between the Cubs and Braves, for instance — starts at 50/50 odds; and doesn’t reflect unique odds against Jake Arrieta as opposed to Brian Matusz.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I thought we used to have that folded in. I guess it’s gone now? Maybe the formulas are being tweaked. But we do at least have estimated game odds on the scoreboard page

10:41
Carter capps: Do u think my throwing motion will make it impossible for me to stay healthy for long

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think I know nearly enough to be able to answer that well

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Sale is still going strong

10:41
Shmaugust: Jeff, you are on record as saying, “August doesn’t make things any easier.” How do you think Mr. Fagerstrom will feel about this?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think he would take it as a compliment

10:41
Mike: Re: Bryce’s poor performance, could the Yankees try and buy low? “Hey, we’ll take him off your hands for Mateo and Tate?”

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:41
ChopChop: At what point do we figure this Harper is closer to the real Harper than last year and slow down the talk about $500M?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still going to be a super-talented free agent hitting the market at a prime age, but obviously, yeah, this weighs pretty heavily

10:42
Andrew Benintendi: Do you find my .287/.338/.451 projected slash line completely batshit insane?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:43
JD: Right now the Cardinals and Mets would not make playoffs. Who gets NL Wildcards?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Giants and Cardinals

10:44
Q-Ball: Still baseball left, but is Kris Bryant your early pick for NL MVP?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I actually would have half a mind to go with Daniel Murphy

10:47
Joel: I like Brinson over Gallo. Longenhagen thinks that Brinson has a shot at 30-HR, with plus defense and good baserunning.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’m really swayed by the defense/baserunning thing. Gives Brinson such a high floor. Not that Gallo is a defensive zero, but he’s not a Brinson-level athlete

10:47
Joel: I understand that Gallo has rare 80-level power, but striking out %35-40 of the time in the minors has to have teams scared that he’s Chris Carter 2.0, right?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Well Carter does have a career 109 wRC+, and Gallo could be a regular third baseman. So it’s something

10:48
Nate: Is Will Smith a strong get for the Giants or should they have set their sights higher?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: If he’s healthy, he’s a really good reliever

10:48
Jim Lonborg: Why don’t teams have the ability to dismiss players for cause (re Olivera or Reyes)? I have tenure, but I’m pretty sure it can be rescinded if I’m convicted of a felony.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The union would fight awwwwwwwwwwfully hard to not allow baseball teams to void any agreed-upon player contract

10:50
Elton: I’m trying to think which team might be the farthest away from contending. It feels like it might be the Twins.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the Twins but it might be the Reds

10:50
Alex Bregman: I was 0 for 6 last night. Should I be worried about Gurriel coming to take my job?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Gurriel is coming for your job. But you’re versatile, so you can do other jobs

10:50
Toki: Any chance the Yankees try to flip Frazier and Judge with other top end prospects for Trout this offseason?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: They can try all they want

10:51
Dope: Are you as high on Clint Frazier as everyone else seems to be?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I would assume not

10:51
Shben: Did August take the day off to celebrate the beginning of his beautiful namesake month?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: He sure as shit didn’t take off yesterday!

10:52
Aaron: Why so sure Cardinals aren’t winning their division? Have you looked at their schedule recently? Next 9 against Braves/Reds, with Phillies shortly after. (and I’m a Cubs fan btw)

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals are eight games behind the best team in baseball

10:53
John: Why is the kemp trade bad? Oliveras also dead weight, plus hes a garbage person. Dingers/marquee name for the fans, bad play to help get a better pick.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves could’ve just rid themselves of Olivera by designating him for assignment

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t need to pay Matt Kemp thirty-two million dollars

10:53
CamdenWarehouse: I don’t understand the Clippard trade?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees probably figure he’s bounced back a bit, so why not take a chance with him filling a depleted bullpen

10:54
Alex Bregman: Why can’t I hit in the majors?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Literally 30 plate appearances

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout started 3-for-25

10:56
Bill: Who wins the AL Cy Young?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Feeling like Kluber to me but Sale is right there with him

10:58
jaysfan: On the Gallo/Chris Carter point: Do we have a sense for how valuable a player with Carter’s offensive profile is worth if he also plays average defense at 3B?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Not really the same hitter profile but if Gallo puts up Carter-like production, then you’d be talking more or less about the Todd Frazier career. He’s averaged a bit better than 3 WAR per 600 plate appearances

10:59
Theo!: I just read that the cubs don’t have enough hitting to make a deep post season run. I guess they aren’t 1st in runs scored so maybe.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who you read but I do know how you could make a change to give yourself more time in the day

11:00
Jim: How funny did you find Lunhow complaining about Tex spending prospect inventory ?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I haven’t seen the full context? I didn’t take it as a complaint. I just took it as a comparison. And it’s true — the Astros aren’t in the same position to buy from the farm, because they aren’t leading their division by several games

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. Writing to be done

11:01
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 back at the normal Friday, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/2/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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d_i
Member
Member
d_i

Elton
10:50 I’m trying to think which team might be the farthest away from contending. It feels like it might be the Twins.
Jeff Sullivan
10:50 Probably the Twins but it might be the Reds

Strongly disagree. I’ll take the Twins odds of making the playoffs before Reds, A’s, Angels, Mariners, and DBacks for sure and if I squint I’d add the Orioles, Phillies, Padres, Royals, Braves, and Rays.

thetoddfather
Member
thetoddfather

Good point, the Twins actually have a good chance of making it this year!! Don’t count them out – they have a certified superstar capable of elite defense at both 3B and SS, along with the league leader in home runs and some other really exciting pieces. Not to mention they are leading a really tough division and actually had the best record in the league as recently as last week.

Oh. Oh that’s the Orioles. Well, at least the Twins have a winning percentage above .400!!

…Oh.

d_i
Member
Member
d_i

I’ll grant the Orioles may be a stretch, but this is their window. If they don’t make it now, they won’t be heard from again for a long while.

d_i
Member
Member
d_i

guess it sort of depends on the definition of contending. If you’re talking about having a 50+% chance of making the playoffs as of the trade deadline, yea the Orioles already are. If you’re talking about winning a division at the end of the year, it’s a different question. I’m thinking of “contending” to mean a top ~2/3 team in the league to make the world series.