Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 10/4/2021 by Kevin Goldstein October 4, 2021 11:00 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everybody. Like many of you, I am sad that there is no game 163 today. let’s brighten it a bit with some chat fun. Also . . . Eric Longenhagen and I will be going on Twitch at 5:30 ET to watch some fresh prospect video and talk about . . . . stuff, so we’re trying to fill the void. Let’s get to it…. 11:00 Cakes&Kakes: I know comps are lazy, but I’m going to ask anyways. Is Ryan Mountcastle the second coming of Mark Trumbo? 11:01 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t hate this at all, which is about the strongest compliment I can give a comp. 11:01 Inaccessible Rail: Am I crazy for thinking that we will have a new CBA and no lockout? It just seems to me that the $$$ to be made are too big for either side to let this happen. 11:02 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, I’m old enough to remember people saying the exact same thing before the last work stoppages. I think the best bet for your scenario would be both sides agreeing to just kick the can down the road for a year and get a ‘normal’ year in the books before sitting down at the table. 11:02 Blue Days: Four 91+ win teams in the same division and a 106 win Dodgers team plays a 1 game series to start the playoffs. Is this not enough evidence that the divisions structure needs to be looked at and updated? 11:03 Kevin Goldstein: That’s correct, it’s not enough evidence. This stuff is going to happen, and the only solution is a playoff structure that allows too many teams in. 11:03 Cakes&Kakes: Are the ‘yips’ just a blanket statement for something a team cannot define or fix regarding a pitcher’s delivery? have teams invested more heavily in doing both mental health research and assistance for players in this case? 11:03 Kevin Goldstein: No. Control problems are one thing, the yips are another. The yips tend to have much more of a psychological aspect than a physical ones, and yes, teams have invested MUCH more over the past decade on that side of things. 11:03 Travis: Is this the real Austin Riley? Obviously the BABIP won’t stay that high, but do you see him as a 4 WAR player going forward? 11:04 Kevin Goldstein: At least a three… 11:04 Enlightening Round: JJ Bleday struggled this year, how’s his prospect status in your eyes? 11:04 Kevin Goldstein: Down significantly. The questions on the bat are MASSIVE. 11:04 pakkap: just getting this out of the way at the top of the chat: the one game wild card is an abomination for a sport without a clock and where the season is a marathon, not a sprint. 11:05 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, you could argue that for 5 and 7 game series as well, but we only have so much time. Like I wrote today, how many games would you really need to know which team is better? 15? 30? It’s not feasible. 11:05 Dodger Fan: Kershaw’s postgame press conference a few nights ago was so, so saddening. Have you seen him in person since ST 2014 (as mentioned in your article)? 11:05 Kevin Goldstein: Last in person was actually the 2017 World Series… 11:05 Marc: If the Orioles make the highest bid on a SP, how likely is he to decline due to losing/strength of schedule/small park factors? Or do most FAs just care about the highest bid? 11:06 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, it’s tough to go from 0 to 60 that quick. Big FAs want to win or think that they can. First step for BAL would be signing a good FA as opposed to an elite one. 11:06 Vince L.: How soon after a regular season ends do GMs of non-playoff teams start talking trades? 11:07 Kevin Goldstein: Really not until after the World Series, and then pretty darn quick. 11:07 Zim: In the midst of the potential chaos, did you get any eyes on Joan Adon? Unheralded prospect but seemed interesting? 11:07 Kevin Goldstein: The slider was just flat out excellent yesterday. 11:07 Angelus Novus: How sold are you on Hays as maybe a second division regular? Any upside there? 11:08 Kevin Goldstein: Yes; not really. 11:08 Marc: How do teams reach out to FAs they like but not as their first choice or only if their price comes down? Are they up front about that? 11:08 Kevin Goldstein: I’ll be writing about that in the off-season! 11:08 Your Name: How many of the 10 best teams in baseball made the playoffs? 11:09 Kevin Goldstein: I think Toronto is the only one you can argue for. 11:09 Marc: Do owners give specific ML payroll budgets? A range? How do GMs figure out much they can spend? 11:09 Kevin Goldstein: They do. Usually it’s a hard number, and usually you try to argue for more at certain points. 11:09 Inaccessible Rail: When you had Meg on Chin Music after yourself appearing on Effectively Wild, it was kind of like those crossover episodes that old TV shows used to have. 11:09 Kevin Goldstein: I am the Fonzie of podcasts. 11:11 Doug: How should you feel as a Mariners fan or Blue Jays fan? Mariners fans still have to feel good but feels a little more sour in Toronto I bet? 11:12 Kevin Goldstein: I think both fans should at least be optimistic that this is the beginning of something and they’ll be back next year. I worry that Seattle could be way better next year, but it not showing up in the standings as they SO outplayed their pythag this year. 11:12 Roger: How replicable do you think the Giants’ innovations around matchups are? Do you think that’s their key innovation, or do you think they did substantially more? 11:12 Kevin Goldstein: They did substantially more, and other teams will figure it out and catch up. It’s how it works. 11:12 Chris: I’m a depressed Rockies fan…is there any reason for optimism with Bill Schmidt 11:12 Kevin Goldstein: He’s a great evaluator of talent. 11:13 TJ177: This comes up every year with seemingly no resolution – what is the size of first inning lead that you would need to feel comfortable pulling your WC game starter to save for LDS? 11:13 Kevin Goldstein: Fun question. Six? That said, it’s still a tough decision. So much goes into starting day BEFORE the start, and you can’t take that back….. 11:14 Angelus Novus: Who do you think performs the best next year: Manoah, Webb, McClanahan, or Cease? 11:14 Kevin Goldstein: You’re talking to possibly the world’s biggest believer in Manoah. 11:14 Robert: did Tork meet your expectations for this year? How successful of a season would you rate it for him 1-10? 11:15 Kevin Goldstein: Reached Triple-A in his first full season with an overall .935 OPS. I have no idea how you can have any problem with his season. 11:16 Guest: O’Neill Cruz has got off to quite the start. I suppose this means he starts in MLB next year. What would your best guess at his WRC+ be for the season? 11:16 Kevin Goldstein: 94 11:17 He Hate Me: Important question with the playoffs getting under way: Is clutch a thing? 11:18 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, but not in the way some thing. For me, clutch is not about getting BETTER under pressure as much as it is about staying who you are. 11:18 Beignet and the Jets: Vinnie Pasquantino: old for his level in a weird year to evaluate prospects’ age, but showed solid power and elite approach/contact. Do you see him as a potential above-average regular or more a second-division starter/quad-A type whose bat won’t play at 1B? 11:18 Kevin Goldstein: TBD, but at least he has a chance. The contact piece you mention is the real key here. 11:18 Matthew: In Kyle Seager’s press conference, he noted he hadn’t talked to Dipoto in 4 years. Is it normal for players to not talk to the GM for that long? What is “normal” GM to player communication? 11:19 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, that felt like a LOT. There aren’t a lot of long discussions between GMs and players, but there certainly is lots of small talk. 11:19 Reggie: Trent Grisham had a disappointing year. Would you attribute that to his injuries or something else. 11:19 Kevin Goldstein: He has a career 757 OPS and just put up a 740 OPS year . . . maybe that’s just what he is. 11:20 TJ177: In basketball and football both teams shake hands after games (playoff or otherwise). Should they do the same in baseball playoff series? Why or why not? 11:20 Kevin Goldstein: I would like that. 11:21 Joe: There are several titles/positions in baseball analytics. Some are some what self explanatory and others aren’t: R&D analyst, major league operations analyst, baseball systems manager, baseball systems developer, pro personnel analyst, data quality analyst, data scientist, data architect, machine learning engineer, mobile engineer, web developer, full stack software engineer, etc. Could fangraphs do an article explaining what each position does in relation to baseball operations? Thanks 11:21 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a huge challenge because of the title game in baseball. One team’s ‘data scientist’ might be doing incredibly different work than another team’s ‘data scientist’. 11:21 David: If a player does exceptionally well in the postseason, could that add as much as $10 million-plus to his contract? Thinking of impending free agents like Scherzer, Correa, KB. 11:21 Kevin Goldstein: In terms of total value and not AAV? Sure. 11:22 October: Are front office executives expected to watch virtually all the postseason even if their teams didn’t make it? 11:22 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely not. 11:22 Nuxie: Why do clubs refuse to go after other clubs executive talent. I see promotions given to certain people but wonder why that should stop anyone from going after someone they want. Is it just an unwritten rule? Is it enforceable? 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: They’re under contract, so teams have to ask permission to speak to somebody under contract with another team. Most teams do NOT provide such permission unless the new job is a promotion, and even then it’s not a guarantee. 11:23 Max G.: How do you think the new CBA affects the possibility of the Astros re-signing Correa? I would think the potential landing spots for him would start with NYY and then include in some order Det, Was, Phi, Hou, SF, LAA (who knows with Moreno), and Tex. How would you handicap the group? 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: I definitely think NYY and DET are the favorites. 11:23 barney gumble: think the yankees will move on from gleyber torres and/or gary sanchez? 2 consecutive bad seasons in a row for both of them. 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: I think they SHOULD. 11:24 Ralphie: I’ve often wondered why some club like Tampa doesn’t move to Brooklyn or New Jersey. There were 3 clubs there in the fifties. Why not now? The demographics would support it 11:24 Kevin Goldstein: They would, but the Mets and Yankees would never allow it. 11:24 Adam: Is the Padres managerial position still very desirable or is the Padres FO/clubhouse situation off too much of a headache? 11:24 Kevin Goldstein: VERY desirable. 11:24 Dave: Over the weekend in a press conference, Joe Musgrove gave a shoutout to Nabil Crismatt for his contributions to the Padres serving as a rubber arm out of the bullpen. How important is it to have a guy on the roster you know is good for 2+ innings/30+ pitches on any given night? 11:25 Kevin Goldstein: It’s massively important. See Petit, Yusmiero. 11:25 barney gumble: if you had to pick a team that was competitive this year to tank next year, who would you say? 11:25 Kevin Goldstein: Does Cincinnati count? 11:26 J: A year ago the Astros FO surprised a lot of people, including me, by extending Yuli Gurriel. Obviously, that’s turned out to be one of the best moves anyone made last year. What did you guys see in him coming off of that atrocious year that made you comfortable taking a risk on him? 11:26 Kevin Goldstein: Contact rate was still there. 11:26 Matt: What do you make of Josh Rojas? Is he a legit piece to build around? Or just sort of a bridge guy. Had a rough start and end to the season, but had a strong middle of the season. He’s already 27, so sort of a late bloomer, yeah? 11:26 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, he’s not a face of the franchise or anything, but he’s a piece. 11:26 Ucloyd: Do you think this is the actual O Neill we’re seeing or just a one year fluke 11:27 Kevin Goldstein: Definitely made some adjustments in the second half that were real and measurable. I’d be optimistic. 11:27 Andrew: Is it really true that you were raised on showtunes? 11:27 Kevin Goldstein: My mom played Broadway cast albums quite a bit, actually. 11:28 Key Flaw: Do front offices ever go to owners and say “we will save money this year on salaries, but use it for higher salaries next year so we can sign a good free agent”? 11:28 Kevin Goldstein: In tends to be year to year. You never want to take a low number because then the owner uses that as a baseline. 11:28 Dan: Random front office question, but I’m assuming that for home games when in-office folks are required to stay for the game after working a full day that they are provided with dinner? 11:29 Kevin Goldstein: Oh yeah, media dining and/or food in a suite is available to team folks. 11:29 Blake: Are there any team stats that are more or less predictive in the playoffs versus the regular season? For example, does having an elite bullpen matter less in the regular season and more in the playoffs? Or does roster depth have more or less of an impact? Or is a general measure of team strength the best predictive indicator for both regular and postseason? 11:30 Kevin Goldstein: I think a good first exercise is to cut off the back of a team’s rotation, but let’s face it, in a five or seven game series, really nothing is predictive. 11:30 Ryan: Opinion on the Diamondbacks bringing Lovullo back for another year (plus a 1 yr option) 11:30 Kevin Goldstein: Fine with it. 11:30 Carl: I always thought it amusing that the Gomez/Fiers for Hader/Houser/Phillips/Santana trade happened just a few months before Stearns took over the Brewers, and certainly benefiting from it now. Do you know what he thought about the trade at the time? 11:31 Kevin Goldstein: The room in general was in favor of it. I was in favor of it. Whooops! 11:31 TJ: Does work for in office front office employees become more of a normal 9-5 during the offseason since there aren’t games to watch, scouting reports to prepare, etc? 11:31 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, it does. 11:31 Brian: Any idea what causes a breaking ball to “hang”? Lack of spin? Lack of velocity? Is the movement the same but the release point changes (so it drops into the heart of the strike zone instead of middle)? 11:32 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, often breakers that get classified as ‘hanging’ are often just a bad location. Sometimes you miss the spin or the spin shape, but often they’re just in the wrong place. 11:32 Jason: If you ran the Giants, would you: a.) Exercise Posey’s option for 22 with and Bart will take over catching in 23 and beyond; b.) Extend Posey for +/- 3 years and trade Bart; c.) Other (if so, please expand)? Thanks so much for the chats; really appreciate the insight. 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: I’d prefer a. but first I’d sit down with Buster and talk about what he wants to do. 11:33 Tom: No way the M’s pick up Seager’s $19M option, right? 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: No way. 11:33 Phil: Any guess among Correa, Verlander or Greinke who is best shot for Astros to retain for 2022? Are the young Latin arms successful enough where for Click the SS is a somewhat clear priority? 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: I think they’re all gonzo. 11:33 Jacques Pederson: Did you ever have a favorite team? Most of the staff seem to have connections to teams in varying degrees. (Also why does it seem like the Mariners have produced 50% of the baseball writers in the country?) 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: I grew up a Mets fan and still have feels for the 1980s teams. 11:33 All non-playoff team Front Offices: How much are we up to right now? I mean we got some Rule 5 stuff to sort out, but then the CBA will ut us on hold, right? 11:34 Kevin Goldstein: You can’t really assume CBA stuff, so you have to be full-speed ahead. Lots of scouting and analysis on potential free agents and trade targets going on. 11:34 Homer McLongball: As Yankees fans call for the heads of Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman, agree or disagree: The randomness and relative slight competitive advantages of the 3-(now 4) series postseason format and the accomplishment of the Yankees being as competitive as the’ve been for 30 straight years highly misunderstood by fans? 11:34 Kevin Goldstein: Brian Cashman has done, and continues to do a REMARKABLE job. 11:35 Guest: So is Nestor Cortes a mid rotation piece moving forward ? 11:35 Kevin Goldstein: That’s the ceiling, but probably settles as more of a 4. 11:36 Guest: do FO discussions ever include “hey this guy would be fun for our team and attract fans,” as an entertainment component, or are FO’s almost completely focused on on-field production? 11:36 Kevin Goldstein: Not going to say it’s a zero, but if assigning 100 points to it, it would be 97 to talent and 3 points to that kind of thing. 11:37 Doug: How would you approach Correa’s free agency if you were the Astros? 11:37 Kevin Goldstein: All you can really do is stay in touch and make your best offer. 11:37 ALWC: With so many teams so tight, it’s gotta be hard not to remember one particular blown game that could have changed the whole season. Do you think teams or players fixate on that? 11:37 Kevin Goldstein: Players, no. Players have short memories in general. FO people, absolutely. 11:38 Ryan: Before you had said when you went to see Alek Thomas in person he just didn’t hit in those games. Is this something that will significantly move a player down a team’s board or is enough video able to balance the evaluation out? 11:38 Kevin Goldstein: Hopefully you have enough looks and other input to balance it out. 11:38 Peter Off-Brand: Why not ties after 10-11 innings? Not in the postseason of course. 11:38 Kevin Goldstein: Because ties are dreadful. 11:39 Fangraphs Reader: Do you think the Astros took sign stealing the furthest of all the teams? 11:39 Kevin Goldstein: I do. 11:39 Colb: Who in the AL do you see knocking off the Rays in a series? 11:40 Kevin Goldstein: Either the AL WC winner, or their ALCS opponent, or the team that plays them in the World Series. It’s the playoffs, and anybody acting like they know what’s going to happen is lying to you. 11:40 James: Is Cristian Javier still seen as a starter long term? 11:40 Kevin Goldstein: He SHOULD be. 11:40 Guest: Helpful tip of the day: don’t ever break your toe. It really effing hurts. 11:41 Kevin Goldstein: It really does. I have a great story about my wife breaking her toe in the team hotel in Detroit while I was there to see Nick Plummer. 11:42 Guest: Odds Manny Machado gets traded. 11:42 Kevin Goldstein: Exceptionally low. 11:42 Mariners: Has your opinion on Julio Rodriguez changed this year? Up, down, same? 11:42 Kevin Goldstein: Same, but I was very high on him to begin things so there wasn’t a lot of room up. 11:43 Zirinsky: Could you sum up “how the Rays do it” in a sentence or two? 11:43 Kevin Goldstein: No. Not in a sentence or two. 11:43 Plooto: Do you see anything in Cody Bellinger that you think is causing his abysmal run as of the past 2 seasons? 11:44 Kevin Goldstein: I’m not convinced he’s fully healthy. He just absolutely can not get to velocity. 11:44 J: Speaking of bad teams having trouble signing marquee FAs, I remember hearing vague rumors years ago that the Astros made a serious run at Tanaka when he came over, with some claiming y’all made him the biggest offer. I always found that hard to believe with the team coming off of a 111 loss season. Any true are the rumors? 11:44 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know if it was the biggest offer, but it was a good one. 11:45 Dan McGraw: Juan Soto – worth a half billion extension? 11:45 Kevin Goldstein: Around there… 11:45 Jose: Isn’t every GM and manager job highly desirable? There’s only 30 positions in the whole world… 11:45 Kevin Goldstein: You said it. 11:45 Plooto: How common is it for front office executives to not be fans of baseball, or at least indifferent to it? 11:46 Kevin Goldstein: I can’t think of any. Certainly some people in R&D or accounting and stuff, but not in baseball ops. 11:46 Zirinsky: Kevin: what’s your thinking on moving on from Gleyber Torres (I get the Sanchez thinking)? 11:46 Kevin Goldstein: Just that he’s not a SS and DLM is under contract. 11:46 Kurupt FM: Should Montoyo be brought back for another season? As a Jays fan I havent been thrilled with his decision making the past two seasons. 11:46 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s a good manager. 11:46 Guest: Speculation (loaded word, I know) is Springer wanted to go to DET because of Hinch but they weren’t spending yet. Can Hinch be that much of a factor for former players to want to go to DET? 11:46 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 11:47 YardGoat: When does the CBA expire? How is Fangraphs doing with memberships, economically, etc and would a protracted labor dispute be detrimental? How can we help? 11:47 Kevin Goldstein: The current CBA expires on December 1. There will still be PLENTY of baseball below the big league level to write about, and plenty of labor talk as well. Maybe I’ll do some sumo content as well. 11:48 Ralphie: So in regards to relocation when did mlb give clubs veto over relocation? Did sf have a veto over Oakland? Baltimore over Washington? Cubs over Milwaukee? 11:48 Kevin Goldstein: They have veto power when it comes to moving INTO a team’s area (like the previous question re: Brooklyn), but not out. 11:48 Kevin Goldstein: Back in two minutes, going to get my iced coffee. 11:50 Kevin Goldstein: See, that wasn’t so bad. 11:50 Kevin Goldstein: Before I get back into it. . . . 11:50 Kevin Goldstein: I get so many nice comments about how much people enjoy these chats, so I have to let you know that I really love doing them. I have a blast with these. 11:51 Guest: Do you think Kyle Boddy gets another job with an MLB team? 11:51 Kevin Goldstein: I think that’s up to Kyle. I’m not sure he wants to do it again, and I can certainly understand that feeling. 11:51 SJ: Seems like more job postings in the past week than all of last offseason. Sounds like normal hiring patterns are returning? 11:51 Kevin Goldstein: It’s close, yes. 11:52 chilly: aside from free agency and trade deadlines, how often does average ownership speak with their staff? 11:52 Kevin Goldstein: GM nearly every day, AGMs fair often, other staff if they’re in the room at the time. 11:52 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: I have heard that the late Kevin Towers sometimes used to call up other GMs mostly just to chat about baseball and try to build relationships that might lead to a deal down the road. Do today’s GMs/AGMs talk on the phone much or is it all texts or calls with specific inquiries? 11:53 Kevin Goldstein: SO MUCH TEXTING. Honestly, during my time with the Astros, I fought like hell, and as long as I could to keep my MacBook in a PC shop just so I could have iMessage. 11:53 Guest: Is there a way/site to see stats vs pitches 95+ mph? (ala your recent podcast discussion) 11:53 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know of a public resource for that, unfortunately. 11:54 Alf: You seem to be very much in the “playoffs are a dice roll” camp. Is that a common view among baseball insiders? 11:54 Kevin Goldstein: YES. 11:54 Brent: What percentage of this year’s playoff games do you expect to watch in full? 11:54 Kevin Goldstein: I think I’ll end up in the 90th percentile or so. 11:54 Bob: You and many other prospect writers hate comps, but presumably they have a long tradition within the game. Is it that you hate the way fans must-use comps, but understand their value when talking amongst insiders or do you just hate comps and think they are anachronistic junk like The Good Face? 11:54 Kevin Goldstein: I just think they are often forced. 11:55 Tal: How often are analytics personnel given free reign to explore their own ideas rather than getting directives from GMs or PoBOs? 11:55 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a mix. As somebody with a software development background, I often pushed for a skunkworks group within the Astros, but it never came to fruition. 11:55 M: What do you view as the main positives of working in a front office? A lot of the positives I’ve heard people say seem a bit superficial (being able to say you work for X team, reporting to a stadium) and largely outweighed by the negatives (work/life balance, pay). Just interested in your input 11:56 Kevin Goldstein: It’s kind of a soft thing, but the best thing is having skin in the game. I also liked the travel and going all over the world to watch baseball. The negatives are real too. I’m still not sure I want to do it again. 11:56 Fangraphs Reader: Could the Astros add Scherzer to continue the trend of adding HOF-caliber pitchers in their mid 30s? 11:57 Kevin Goldstein: They could . . . . but I think he’ll have many many suitors. 11:57 Plooto: Do you know if there’s any specific reason front offices are usually located in the stadium other than tradition? 11:57 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, it’s insanely convenient. 11:57 kidzero: What’s your take on the Rockies making Bill Schmidt a permanent GM? Do you think Monfort and the Rockies actually went through the proper protocols on interviewing GM candidates instead of going in-house? 11:58 Kevin Goldstein: It certainly felt like a fait acompli. 11:59 James: How does the front office generally respond if they feel like their manager is making unsound tactical moves regarding the bullpen and batting order? 11:59 Kevin Goldstein: Find a time to talk about it and talk about it. 11:59 Peter Off-Brand: Lol. The entire rest of the world is down with ties in soccer, hell even the NFL has ties. Let’s put our big boy pants on and do what makes sense. 11:59 Kevin Goldstein: I really don’t care about soccer or football. 12:00 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Is there any conventional wisdom in the industry as which two cities are most likely to get expansion teams? 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: Vegas, Charlotte. 12:00 Chris H: What area of baseball still remains most overlooked by sabermetrics? 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: I still think defensive metrics are highly highly flawed. 12:00 Grant: Who will be the next rikishi to reach Yokozuna? 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Am I crazy to say Hōshōryu? 12:01 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Following up on the Kyle Seager question, are there any players who have more than passing conversations with the GM? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Some have long ones, and want to have them. Others want nothing to do with front office folks. Fine either way, really. 12:02 Marc: Why’d the Britton trade fall through for Houston? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: LONG STORY. Ugh. You just ruined my day, Marc! 12:03 Q: How often, if ever, would you speak with or see owners around the office? I imagine their visibility differs from team to team, but in your experience. If you did speak, would it just be small talk and mainly they just spoke to the head of baseball operations about serious business? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, varies from team to team. Some are VERY visible, so aren’t. My personal experience was mostly small talk, but I wasn’t a GM or AGM and I didn’t live in Houston. Had a few longer and deeper conversations, but they were rare. 12:03 Big Bubba Crosby Guy: What are your thoughts on Whitlock in the rotation next season? Easy transition or should Boston consider keeping him in the pen where he’s thrived as a Rule 5? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not broke, so don’t fix it. 12:04 Chris H: What did you think of the proposal that the MLBPA just takes a % of MLB revenue and then gets to decide how players get paid? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s unrealistic. Teams won’t open their books, and there would be a HUGE argument over what exactly is REVENUE. 12:04 Dan: Man I am like 0-50 in questions here lol 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: Now you’re 1-50. 12:05 James: How would the minor leagues work during a work stoppage? Do they play, but without anyone on the 40 man? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: You got it. 12:05 Curtis: What’s the chain of command from the GM down regarding player-related issues (trades, designate, etc) ? is it a strict hierarchy or do different departments carry more weight depending on the transaction, etc? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: VERY team to team. In general teams have an inner circle on trades/signing/roster moves that has a say. I was part of that circle for seven years and it was the best part of the gig. 12:06 Barista: How well did I just get tipped? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: $0.00. I made it. Well, my wife made the coffee itself, but I put a glass in the freezer and then added 1/2 and 1/2 and vanilla syrup. 12:07 Plooto: Any coffee biases you hold against people? i.e. no sugar, way too much creamer, etc 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: I can’t imagine a mindset where anyone would care how anyone else likes their coffee. 12:07 Mose Allison Brie Larson: Hey – last week you mentioned NOVEMBER. Is that the Estonian gothic fairy tale? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: YES. Amazing movie. 12:08 Sharps: Why would Mike Rizzo say he’ll give Zim a roster spot as long as he wants it. Surely he’s just saying that for PR. Can’t keep giving ABs to a guy with his foot out the door forever, even if he is the face. 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: Had a solid year off the bench and is a tremendous presence. I’d say that same thing that Rizzo did. 12:09 Matt: I have seen very little mentioned about Robbie Ray’s velocity drop during the last month of the season. Up until August he seemed to routinely hit 97-98 and then September was 93-94 and sometimes 95. Cause for concern or just the regular wear of the season? 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: I’d need to dig into the data more, but on the surface, it’s concerning. 12:09 Ben: My proposal for shortening extra inning games: sudden death! Visiting team scores, they win. Games will end quicker, sudden death (unlike ties) is awesome and adds tension/excitement, and teams can adjust their late-inning strategy accordingly knowing it’s coming. 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: Stop it. 12:10 Duke: When a player hits the waiver wire, how long does a club have to decide whether or not to pick him up? 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: 48 hours. 12:10 Johnnie LeMaster: Can Garrett Whitlock be a solid SP? 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: Stop it. Just let the dude relieve, he’s good at it. Don’t Red Sox fans remember when the team moved Daniel Bard to the rotation? 12:10 Outside Animals: In preparation for a mega deal, would an intern ever go through the video of a FA and analyse every at-bat, fielding opportunity just to double check all the flukey hits or unlucky hops they got? 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: Often somebody much higher than intern. 12:11 Bill: Do you see yourself going back into a MLB FO again? 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: Never say never, but doubt it. 12:11 Andres Verde: Assuming Jayce Tingler is fired… What are the chances AJ Preller hires Will Venable (feel like he is exactly what the Padres need) over the same old salty manager names that keep being mentioned (Wash, Buck, Bochy etc)? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: I think that would be a good thing, but to be honest, I have very little feel for what’s going on over there. 12:13 Mitch: Who is somebody that works in baseball that you believe deserves strong consideration for a GM job? 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: There are many. Billy Owens will remain my first answer until he gets the gig. 12:13 Sandy Alderson: I’m trying to dig into Javy Baez’s improved BB% and K% as a Met, but it looks like his actual plate discipline numbers stayed about the same. Am I just reading the numbers wrong? 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: You are reading the numbers correctly. 12:14 B: For you personally, who are 2 or 3 people in the game you have a great deal of respect for? From your personal experiences with them 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: Just oh so many. There are really a lot of frankly good people in the game. There are bad ones too, but in terms of being genuinely good people, I could reel off 50+. 12:15 Multiphasic: I’ll answer for Barista: if it’s under $3, the change. If it’s over $3 but just a single drink, $1. If it includes food or is an order for several people, 20%. 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: Working in food service should be mandatory for all people. Always overtip. 12:15 Mike: What do you think the timeline is for the Mets POBO search? If the list is as small as Stearns, Theo, and Beane, then wouldn’t the hire come in short order? 12:16 Kevin Goldstein: Well, they could take to Theo now, Beane now but would take permission, and Stearns would also need permission and they would have to wait until their season ends . . . 12:16 tz: Putting brewed coffee in the freezer – what kind of container do you recommend? 12:16 Kevin Goldstein: I just fill a glass. I’ve never had an issue. 12:16 Max: How is injury recovery handled by teams? Is it kept entirely in-house, or do teams have outside doctors they trust? For longer-term injuries, are players coming into the stadium for daily rehab, or is it all entirely dependent on the injury? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Teams have their own medical/rehab staff, but also have a group of specialists who are affiliated with hospitals or private practices. For the most part, rehabs are done at a rehab place or the spring facility. 12:18 Jason: Has Edmondo Sosa done enough to be the shortstop for the Cards in 2022? 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: I’d go into the season with it, or at least not see it as a focus in the off-season. 12:18 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Is the waiver wire done by text, email, proprietary program, or something else? 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: An email is sent out to MLB every day with the waiver wire. 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: You claim in ebis, and then the results of the claim (success, someone ahead of you claimed and failed) is another email. 12:19 TooDamnTall: Love your chats KG, but it’s late here in China and I am going to bed, night. 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: Good night. 12:19 StuShea: Can Jed Hoyer lead this rebuild? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: Sure. 12:20 Jacob: Do you think the Rockies will really change much under the new GM or just keep doing Rockies things. 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: Rockies gonna Rockie. 12:20 Michael: Do you consider experience in the postseason a factor in outcomes (e.g., HOU, LAD)? If so, how much? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, but only a little. There is some value to been there done that. 12:21 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Without naming them, was there a team that you just hated dealing with? 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: Argh, THEM. 12:21 Matt: As a recent Law School Grad with no programming or statistics background is there a realistic path into working in a front office?\ 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: Sure! Go for it. 12:21 SJ: Never tip below a dollar, even if your order was 50 cents 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: Good rule. 12:22 Joe: Does the Dodgers winning 106 games and then maybe getting knocked out by the Cardinals have any bearing on changes to the playoff structure in the new CBA? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: Doubt it. 12:22 Cobie: Not even a Jays fan, but somehow here I am asking my second Jays question. If you had to bet Pearson’s future role, would you say 85-15 reliever/starter? He’s looked good his last few outings as a reliever 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, somewhere in that range. I do bet they try starting him again, though. 12:23 Q: Why in the world didn’t Ohtani wait to come over here? Is there any way he eventually makes what he would of during that free agent bidding war? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: He wanted to come over here and play at the highest level in the world. Nothing wrong with that. 12:24 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: How is the player notified when claimed on waivers? Does the claiming team call the player directly or his agent? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, anything like that, somebody from the team calls the player to welcome them, and then the travel person will get in touch with them to arrange getting them to the new town. 12:25 Jorge: Are postseason numbers included in player evaluations by MLB teams? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: Not really, no. 12:25 Evan: You mentioned earlier that most baseball insiders view the playoffs as a “dice roll.” Is that also true of club owners? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: Unfortunately, no. 12:25 Joe: How much knowledge do GMs have of other team’s systems? Is that more at the assistant level? 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, that’s more assistant level. 12:26 Dan: On rebuilding teams with a ton of DFAs, how annoying is that for the manger to constantly be having exit conversations? 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: They’re really tough conversations. You just see the name, but these are human being and you are uprooting their lives. 12:26 Francis: Do clubs target particular players because of their agents. I.e. ease in signability 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: No. It feels like a common misconception among fans. Teams certainly note who the agent is, but it shouldn’t move the needle at all. 12:27 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Should the wild card round go to 3-game series? 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: Or just one wild card team and they play the one seen in the DS. 12:28 A cat: Would BOS be interested in Correa if he played second primarily, and some SS and 3B, out of deference to X’s standing in the franchise? Given the choice would CC rather play for Cora or Hinch? 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’d want to play somewhere where he’s the SS. 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, entering the final minutes before it’s time to make room for Ben Clemens. He’s great too, so save some questions for him. 12:29 JP: If money/time was no object, what position of any capacity or role in baseball would appeal to you the most? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: I really liked my last position. Involved with many things, in charge of nothing. It’s a great way to go. 12:30 Cynthia: Do teams measure prospects’ intelligence? If so, is there a point where too high is considered negative? 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: Intelligence is a vague term. Ability to take in information and make adjustments is important, but ‘intelligence’ is only a part of that. I know plenty of players who might not score great on an IQ test or an SAT test but have very high Baseball IQs. 12:31 Vince L.: I see the DET connection with Correa, but why would NYY be a Correa frontrunner? Money only, or other connection? Cole? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, they need a shortstop, and he’s Carlos Correa. How is that NOT a great fit? 12:32 Guest: If there were two relievers who were otherwise equally talented, but one could warm in 35 seconds but the other took 10 minutes, how valuable would the difference be? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: This is why I love the chats, or at least one reason. These questions are amazing. I think there would be minor value to that, but not a ton. 12:33 Guest: Do FOs talk about “winning” trades or is that more fan/media banter? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: More the latter. 12:33 Guest: Will Clayton Kershaw pitch again in the majors? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: I certainly think so. 12:33 Appa Yip Yip: The Jays didn’t deal with Boras for like twenty years because Paul Beeston didn’t like him. To their detriment, but still. 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: Gotta be honest. I like Scott and I liked dealing with Boras and the Boras corp people. They’re tough negotiators, but I can think of multiple agents/agencies that I’d not want to deal with then them. 12:34 5 Run Homer: Crowning the very best team isn’t the point of the postseason, the point of the postseason is that it’s fun, exciting baseball. Sure the wild card games are unfair to teams like the Dodgers but 1) sports aren’t fair and 2) the games are fun! That’s why we watch! 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: YOU GET IT. 12:35 YardGoat: Thanks for answering my question earlier Kevin. Have a great rest of your Monday and happy playoffs! 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Thanks to everyone for the great questions. These are always a blast. Make sure you join me and Eric Longenhagen at 5:30pm ET on Twitch as we watch some prospect video and yammer over it. Also, if you like the chatty chats, I’ll be part of the FanGraphs group one during the AL Wild Card game so join me then as well. Thanks everyone!