Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 3/14/2022 by Kevin Goldstein March 14, 2022 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: Holy crap folks, no more questions about when this will end and all sorts of questions about actual transactions. FEELS GOOD. 12:00 Cubsfan: Where does Correa sign ? Stros? Cubs ? 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Who knows? I sure don’t. That’s what makes this so fun, and don’t forget about the mystery teams. 12:01 Ed H: If you were the Guardians GM and receieved a “fair value” offer for Jose Ramirez, would you make the trade or not? 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Fair? No. I’d want to fell like I’m winning the trade by a considerable margin. I’d want to be blown away. “Fair value” is not going to cut it. 12:01 171: Do players get pay stubs when they get paid? Is there an interface or website that they log on to to access these statements? Do the statements breakdown the tax withholdings based on what states that they played in during that pay period? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: Sure. They’re paid just like you and me, it’s just that a lot of them have a lot more numbers on the check. They get a paystub, and all that stuff. 12:02 Joe: Hi KG, I saw a pic of Donaldson on the field at Yankee camp this morning. Does someone with the Twins tell the Yankees what sizes he wears or does he show up and pick through a bunch of gear for what he wants? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: He shows up and one of the first person to grab him will be a clubbie, who will fill a bag for him with all sorts of stuff. 12:03 Chris: Is Freddie Freeman really holding up the whole market or are multi year contracts just complicated and should start happening soon? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: More the latter. 12:03 Who’s Fabio?: Hey Kevin – the Jays signed Kikuchi. His movement and velocity look similar to Robbie Ray. My question is, do you think the Jays can help him be more consistent or does Kikuchi need to wear shockingly tight pants to be successful? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s a good sign. The floor is what he is, a solid back-end starter, but there’s a ceiling there as well with some pitch usage changes. 12:04 171: When you work for a FO, do quarter zips and polo shirts with the team logo just show up at your house or on your desk? Or do you have to order them yourself? Is there like an internal catalog for FO people? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: Tons are given as gifts and then you likely get a big discount at the team shop. I lost half my wardrobe a couple of years ago when my time with the Astros ended. 12:04 asinwreck: A couple CBA details I’ve seen seem big for the draft. What do you think the implications of the draft-and-follow rule and the requirement that teams have to offer 75% of slot or the player will be a free agent? What might have happened to Carter Stewart and Kumar Rocker if those rules had been in place the past few years? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: it’s important to note that Rocker did not submit to a pre-draft MRI, so it would not have effected him at all, as that 75% rule only applies to those that do. I like the DNF rule being back, but I don’t like the cap on the post-year bonus. 12:06 Sirras: How much caffeine/energy drinks/other substances is being consumed across MLB (including front offices, agents, other) right now? Please give an answer to at least 3 silly decimal places 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: I wish I knew how many grams of caffeine made sense so I could be more clever, but it’s a LOT. 12:06 Appa Yip Yip: Transactions: as expected, more than expected, fewer than expected? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: I think as expected, no? Easy stuff first with one-year deals and stuff. I’m a bit surprised at how busy the trade market has been. 12:07 Juan Pursuit: Thoughts on the Nats signing of Cruz? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: I’m writing that up right now and will finish it after this chat 12:07 Dan: Put aside whether they will sign Carlos Correa, “should” the Orioles sign Carlos Correa? Seems like he could slide right in with their core of young players. When you have a payroll that low, with a lot of cost controlled players on the way, why wouldn’t you go buy a star? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: I think that would be a touch sell for Carlos. 12:08 RTJ: I’m surprised we haven’t had quite the flurry of big signings that I expected this weekend. Has this surprised you or going about to pace? When does Correa, Story, Freeman sign? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, these bigger names are more complex deals and it was hard to seem them getting done early. 12:09 Appa Yip Yip: What’s your Goldstein Approved bullet point list on how Kikuchi can get his results to more closely line up with his stuff? 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: Throw more breaking balls. Throw more breaking balls. Throw more breaking balls. 12:09 Krusty: Two parter: the metrics don’t agree on IKF’s defense in 2021. What’s your opinion on his glove at shortstop? and what’s your take on the state of public defensive stats? 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s a good defender at SS, maybe not as amazing as the numbers suggest. I think public defensive stats are highly flawed. I think private, team-generated defensive stats are also highly flawed. Eyeball scouting is still my VERY primary go-to in evaluating defense. 12:11 Jerry Dipoto: Rodon gone, need your help. I’d like to acquire Tyler Mahle from the Reds. Are the Reds more interested in maximizing return for young starters, or shedding some cash by adding Eugenio Suarez? If so – Hancock, Milkar Perez and what else needed to secure Tyler Mahle and Eugenio Suarez? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Jerry, if you can figure out exactly what the Reds are doing, I’d love to hear an explanation. 12:12 Appa Yip Yip: When negotiating between the two coasts do west coast execs get up early, do east coast execs stay up late, do they both agree to keep things between 12 and 6 EST, or is time a flat circle with no meaning? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Right now, teams are going well into the night and waking up early with spring going on, so the time zones really aren’t an issue. 12:13 Frank: Does Jordan Walker have 20 sb potential? Have read conflicting reports about his speed. Thanks 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: nah. 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: He’s still wonderful. 12:13 Inaccessible Rail: Is the owner of a MLB team allowed to own a team in an independent league, like say the Atlantic League? 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: Fun question, and to be honest I don’t know. I don’t think it would be an issue. They can own a team in another sport for example…. 12:14 Bris Chassit: uh, what the heck are the Nationals doing? Just sorta trying to middle through to….? I am perplexed. 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: You and me both. 12:14 Clark: Odds that Greene and Tork both break camp with Tigers? Is there a sense around the industry that the new compensation for bringing up prospects is going to work as intended? 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: There’s isn’t really a sense yet. I don’t think we’ll really know until opening day if teams are loosening up in this regard. 12:15 TomBruno23: Hey Cardinals…you guys do not have a dh or a ss and Kyle Schwarber and Trevor story are sitting out so maybe ah f* it whatever…Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren are enough. This whole 12 team playoff opens up a world of possibilities for your strategy of low impact pick ups. 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see how signing a couple of cheaper relievers keeps them out of still doing something big. Nothing to be upset about on March 14. 12:15 Amir: Of the 4 AL East teams to win 90 plus games last season, which team is most likely to take a back. 12:16 Kevin Goldstein: Unpopular opinion: The Rays. 12:17 Inaccessible Rail: It had been reported that Derek Jeter had a 4% ownership stake in The Marlins. What happened to that when he resigned? Did he cash out? Or is he still a part owner? Or does he just lose that $$$? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: He sold his stake. 12:17 Jason in San Jose: Teams have to create more than just a binary “swing at pitches outside the zone” (e.g. O-Swing%) metric when evaluating hitters, right? I would think accounting for pitch type (fastball, slider, changeup, etc.) and location of pitch they chase would be more predictive of future value and better for development. Right? Growing up I remember Shawon Dunston striking out on a slider in the dirt 1,235 times, so I can’t help but think this metric would have helped back then. 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Teams don’t have to create this. They already have. 12:18 JayJay: Any guess as to who starts the most games at catcher for the Yankees this year? 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: I might take the field. 12:18 Sir Nerdlington: The baseball IQ and simple defensive fundamentals in D1 baseball seem a bit rough for the corner players. Are we at the point where we’re optimizing for power bats and arms at the expense of in-game play-making/knowledge at the high amateur levels? 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think so. D1 baseball is incredibly far from the majors, so you need to adjust your bar. 12:19 Jacob: Woohoo! We have a new CBA! 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: No kidding. I was very happy to see baseball back, and I hope everyone else is as well. 12:19 Jacob: Do you stay in contact with people in front offices regarding free agents/trades or just prospect stuff? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: All of that stuff, but I am not in the news-breaking business. I like that to others. 12:20 Beignet and the Jets: It’s the time of the season for backfield “buzz” on teams’ youngest prospects. I saw the Bleis writeup last week on the Red Sox list. Any other prospects immediately spring to mind as impressing evaluators enough to shoot up boards? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: Peter Crow-Armstrong making some buzz in Cubs camp. 12:22 Jacob: Did anything surprise you about the CBA? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: Not really. 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: I expected some clawbacks by the union, and mission accomplished. I certainly didn’t expect some kind of structural sea change. 12:22 Jack B: How many words is a typical scouting report? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: Team to team. Some are just very score based. I really like well written reports. Tell a story. Paint a picture. Use your words. 12:23 Sabey Sabes: Follow on team shirts for FO: What sort of mementos (ring aside) from your Houston stint did you keep? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: Most of it’s in a box. I have an altoids tin with mound dirt from Dodgers stadium after game 7. 12:24 Andrew: When you see a guy (like Kikuchi you mentioned earlier) and think some pitch usage changes would help him, do you consider what team he’s on and whether their staff would’ve tried that? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Oh absolutely. You do your work and you definitely learn that some players are more open to changing than others. 12:24 Teddy: During your time in Houston, did you ever push hard to acquire a player that eventually went somewhere else and performed really well? Performed badly? Does that affect your reputation / trust within the org? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: Yes; yes; not really. Everybody gets players right and wrong, it’s more about total score. 12:25 Beignet and the Jets: I know Donaldson arrived clean-shaven, but what’s your best guess of what would happen if a player with facial hair gets traded to the Yankees and just says “no thank you” to their antiquated personal appearance code? The Yanks couldn’t seriously take any action against a player who had no say in going to play for them, right? 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: Oh my good friend, you’ve entered one of my most favorite things to speculate. Super hairy long-beard guy with a 7-10 WAR tells the Yankees he’ll take their offer, but he’s not shaving. What happens? I’d love to know myself. 12:26 John: Another Tatis Injury. Yikes! 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, this really stinks. One of the most exciting players in the game and the game is better when he’s playing. 12:27 Mork Borg: Pizza pie or dessert pie? Cooked fruit pie or cream pie? Pie or pi? 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: Pizza; cream; pi. I’m more of a cookie/cake guy when it comes to dessert. 12:27 Jim Leyland Palmer: I’d like to see Greinke in DET, do you think there is much of a connection with Hinch and him for that to mean anything? 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: Trying to predict this stuff is really tough. Remember Hinch pulled him in a pretty big moment. Doubt it moves the needle in any one direction. 12:28 Inaccessible Rail: Do we have another lockout in five years? I really hope we don’t. 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: Not certainly, but probably. 12:28 Alex: How much can pitch shape be changed? Are some aspects of a pitch shape either unchangeable or just barely changeable? 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: VERY pitcher to pitcher. I think you can have more success in adjusting spin than shape. 12:29 Alex: When you first joined the Astros, did you have any big revelations that completely changed your view on a subject or was it more that you had ideas that were refined? 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, yes, and on a almost daily basis for the first year or so. 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: I thought I understand how things work on the team side, but I really didn’t. 12:30 N. Hornblower: Is it just me or does Cristian Javier seem to have much better control as a starter than from the arm barn fka bullpen? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: I like him much better as a starter. 12:30 Jack B: Do you have a team that you will root for the most this year? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: Nah, I’m back to just being a baseball fan. 12:31 jack perconte: who is the fastest guy you’ve seen that couldn’t steal bases? 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: Springer is up there. 12:31 Teddy: How often do players approach the FO with requests/recommendations on trade targets or FA signings? When they do happen, are they taken seriously? 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: Not a ton. It’s good to reach out to players about ex-teammates you are considering acquiring to get their insight on the makeup and clubhouse presence. 12:32 Sad Reds Fan: Tell me something good about Chase Petty . . . please? Maybe? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: Dude throws incredibly hard. It’s a great starting point. 12:32 RTJ: Crazy thought: Padres go after Correa on a 1 year deal to replace injured FTJ ? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: CRAZY! 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: [Ok, maybe not so crazy] 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: Mystery team identified? 12:33 Mose Allison Brie Larson: 2 questions – do any FO folks really buy into the notion that there are “change of scenery needed” guys (a la Gary Sánchez)? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: Not speaking about Sánchez specifically, but yes, yes they do. 12:34 Zach: If you were the Padres would you throw a 1 year high AAV contract at Correa and see if bites? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know of any team that shouldn’t do that. 12:34 Jack B: Thoughts on Int’l draft proposal and how both sides will still have to negotiate this during the season? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: I’m glad it’s going to be really thought about and considered before being implemented (possibly). Gives a much better chance of doing something sensible. 12:35 Topher: I’ve heard people say Manaea, Olson, and Murphy could all be targets for the Yankees in a trade. What would NY have to give up for that massive haul? 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Like all three in one trade? It would be crazy. Volpe, 2 more top 2-10 names and some sweeteners from there. 12:36 Rodney: With the Tatis news, do you think Abrams could be ready early in San Diego? 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Not right away, no. 12:37 Rich: What’s your view on how effective this CBA will be at preventing service-time manipulation? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: Not as much as we might have hoped for. 12:37 Derek: What kind of work schedule have front office personnel been on since the lockout ended? Just like, 20-hour workdays across the board? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know about 20, but 12-16 certainly. 12:38 Happy Birthday Einstein: Thanks for the chat, Kevin. Do you think that upping the bonus pool / min salary has any chance of attracting multi-sport athletes to baseball? I’d love to see more money get to younger players to attract the best athletes to baseball? 12:38 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, but the bigger issues is the college scholarship situation. Football and basketball gives full rides. Baseball does not. 12:39 Guest: When we talk about how much Steve Cohen is willing to spend, what does that actually mean? Salaries come out of the team’s operating budget, right? So, if he’s willing to spend more, does that mean he is willing to forego more profit? Is there a certain point where he provides a personal cash infusion? 12:39 Kevin Goldstein: He certainly has the option to operate at whatever level he wants. 12:40 Teddy: Pujols is like 27 dingers away from 700 but pretty clearly a below-avg offensive player. What’s the best argument you could make for signing him to a 1 year deal? 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: On the right roster, he’s a fit. Still VERY good vs. LHP. 12:40 Jack B: Best baseball memory as a kid? 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: Ground ball, Bill Buckner, you know the rest. 12:40 Joe: Hey Kevin, sorry if this is tired ground but I’d love to hear about how and why you decided to join the Astros. Were they the first team to reach out to you at BP or was their offer just more attractive for any number of reasons? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: I was talking to three teams when I joined Houston. They had the most attractive offer in terms of heading up the pro scouting group. 12:41 Guest: how much value would a guy who saw at least 10 pitches an AB but never got a hit have (Could walk/HBP) where would he go in the order? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: How often does he walk/HBP? 12:41 Josh: Are dramatic body transformations usually player or team driven? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Ultimately it’s the player who has to put in the work, no? 12:42 Phil: What would it take for Correa to sign a one-year deal? Many bajillions, surely? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: 40? That’s the gut guess. 12:42 Phil: Is Steve Cohen good or bad for baseball, in sum? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Good. 12:42 Inaccessible Rail: I see that Jeff McNeil, Dom Smith, and JD Davis all have options remaining. Any chance one of these guys starts the season in AAA? 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: No. 12:43 Mike: At what point would a player know he’s safe from being traded. Like if McNeil is still in Mets camp on 3/30, should we assume he’s just going to be on the 2022 team? 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: Not at all. I’ve seen trades go from first call to done in less than an hour. 12:43 Jack B: Any prospects that didn’t make FanGraphs top 100 that you wanted in there? 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, we all had our players. Check out the picks to click piece. 12:44 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, final 15 minutes or so. Only have an hour or so today, unfortunately. 12:44 Justin Castro: Thoughts on the Yankees and Red Sox missing key players when they travel to Canada due to vaccination rules? 12:45 Kevin Goldstein: I get it. Stinks for them, but get the shot. I don’t feel bad for them or anything. You have freedom but you don’t have freedom from ramifications. 12:45 Teddy: What was your honest assessment of Josh Hader when he was in the Astros system? 12:45 Kevin Goldstein: Thought he’d be a good bullpen arm. Didn’t think he’d be an overwhelmingly dominant one. 12:46 Insert Witty Name Here: Re: that college kid who threw 103 – how difficult would it be to just have him slow it down to 95ish and get better control? Or is that much Velo that much better for his stat line? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not like he’s super wild with it. Joyce isn’t precise but he generally fills the box. The same can’t be said for the slider, which is not insanely hard. 12:47 TomBruno23: Can I be upset on March 14 about the Cardinals signing Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren instead of an actual major league pitcher like Joe Kelly? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: Nope. 12:47 Jack B: Will you watch more ST or college baseball over the next 3 weeks? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 12:47 Maggie: How close was that Jose Fernandez trade to houston? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: Not very at all. 12:47 Sirras: Re: Pete Crow-Armstrong – watched him in Mets spring training a year or two ago. Very fun player to watch, especially in center. He’s a golden retriever, chases down everything! Hope he pans out and we all get to enjoy some highlights for years to come 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: He’s completely re-engineered his swing, and early results are good. 12:48 Alex: I know you’ve talked about how smart some MLB players are but are some just really, really dumb? Or do you have to be relatively smart to be a decent player 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: It depends on how you define smart. I can think of plenty of players I think are very smart who might not do great on an SAT test or something. 12:49 NotAA: What’s your March Madness bracket looking like this year? 12:49 Kevin Goldstein: I can’t name a single college basketball player. Not one. I have no idea who’s even in the tournament. 12:50 Zoidberg: If the Braves decided to change their name to the Hammers in honor of Hank Aaron, how much blowback do you think there would be from the fan base? 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: They should just do it anyway. 12:50 Matt: How would you describe your poker style of play? 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: Passive aggresive. 12:52 Alex: With your knowledge of baseball scouting and interest in sumo, would you be able to identify talent in sumo wrestling if an agent asked you to identify an up and coming talent? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think so. Like I can watch a young gun getting to the top level like Hoshoryu and I can see this kid might be really good down the road, but no way I could do it on a real level. 12:53 B’Ryce Hammer’s Luscious Locks: Favorite chat username of all time? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: Gotta be Matt Damon, no? 12:53 Joe: If you knew Tatis would only play 120-130 games a year but also that he would be elite in those games would he still get his contract? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, probably. 12:53 Mark: How good Landon Sims going to be 12:54 Kevin Goldstein: Good, but I’d lean towards it coming in a pen role. 12:54 Brian: Why do you think the Rays take a step back? 12:54 Kevin Goldstein: It’s my fault. The Rays constantly confound me. I never think they’re going to be as good as they are, and they always prove me wrong. 12:55 Sean: So when word gets to a team about an offseason injury like Tatis, does the front office immediately start an investigation into how it happened? Or do they generally take the player at his word and just tally it to bad luck? 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: No reason to do that. None. 12:59 Tom: Thinking of Oakland’s fire sale, do they really charge a premium for a same-division trade? Would the M’s have to pay more for Olsen than the Yankees would? 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: Nah. It would matter if they were looking to compete right away, but that doesn’t seem like the case. 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I gotta run and work on transaction stuff. Thanks so much for all of the great questions!