Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 9/13/2021 by Kevin Goldstein September 13, 2021 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: Happy Monday everyone. Ok, at least mildly happy Monday. Let’s go. 12:01 Toshi: Kevin, thank you for your work. If you were in charge of the Angels, what would you do with Ohtani’s contract in a couple of years? He has all the talents but also risks for pitching, and the payroll construction of the team makes it even more tricky. Thanks! 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Honestly, and it’s not going to sound like an especially helpful answer, but I’d wait a couple years and see if it all holds up. 12:01 RAGBRAI: Do we see many MLB signings or trades before Dec 1st. If I said the over/under total for both was 15, what would you say? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: Assuming the path to a work stoppage continues, I think we’ll see teams be very conservative. gimme the under. 12:02 Graham: Do the Jays make the playoffs? And if so where would you rank them in the playoff field? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Probably? They’re obviously no lock, but their chances are more than 50% at this point. Just by default, being in the wild card game really hurts their chances, but the offense is obviously incredibly dangerous and the rotation is solid. I don’t think they match up with the division leaders especially well, but who knows with short series… 12:03 Cole: Rank the following 4 factors from most to least important when evaluating minor league hitters: Age comparative to level, contact skill, plate discipline, in-game power 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: 2, 3, 4, 1 12:03 johnathan van metro: norge vera’s velo has reportedly spiked to sitting 97/touching 101, is that true and if so how does that change his outlook? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: He’s a very impressive arm, but it’s really hard to evaluate a 21 year old in the DSL. 12:04 Nate: How can anyone possibly wrap their head around this NL cy young race? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: By not doing it? Wrap your head around who YOU think is the best pitcher and they don’t worry about how a bunch of writers vote. 12:04 matt butler: It seems like a lot of Nola’s advanced/underlying numbers are pretty fine, he’s just helplessly addicted to giving up 0-2 bombs. Do you think he’s back to being good next year? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: I really don’t have many concerns about Nola. Lots of bad luck in there and I’d be pretty optimistic. 12:05 matt butler: can and should i get excited for Mick Abel? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: Yes and Yes. 12:05 Mitch: Was there ever a player that you pushed very hard for in a trade or free agency that ended up not happening? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, many. Happens all of the time. 12:05 RAGBRAI: Do you see a change in the next CBA with September call ups? I agree the old way was a bit to much. Is this year’snumber to low? How do FO offices feel about Sept. roster expansions, are they that useful for evaluating talent in such a SSS? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: They’re very useful in terms of evals, but they really do throw off the game. I think 30 might be the best number, along with maybe some kind of limit to the number of pitchers on an active roster. 12:06 Maddoning: Frank Schwindel is a top-5 hitter in baseball since the trade deadline. Obviously he can’t sustain a 169 wRC+, but how real is The Tank in your opinion? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: Stay tuned…… 12:06 James: How long does Kyle Tucker need to be a top-10 bat before Dusty moves him to the top half of the order? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: Probably next year. No need to start messing with a lineup that’s not broken heading into the playoffs. 12:07 Tom: Do you think the Giants legitimately played to the 99th percentile this season as far as projections go, or is there stuff under the hood that the projections didn’t see? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: Most definitely the latter. 12:07 TB: I know every situation is different, but lets say a team receives a fairly significant trade offer that they are heavily considering. About how many people in the FO are responsible for evaluating that offer? Does it stay amongst the executives/VPs or do lower level analysts also get a chance to put in their 2 cents? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: Most teams have an inner circle. About 3-6 people that will begin the evaluation, and then they’ll start leaning on people out of the circle to help with the decision making. 12:08 JC: Hi Kevin. Prediction time, Astros center fielder next year is … Jake Meyers? Chas McCormick? Other? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: Jake. 12:08 Detroit Dennis: can you please rank Yelich, Matt Chapman and Bellinger in order of who you most expect to return to their All-Star form from 2018-2019? Thank you! 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: I think that’s probably the order I’d go with. 12:09 hunny munny: how much do teams trust data for amateur pitcher evaluation? where would, say, a 21 yo rhp sitting 95 w a plus flashing breaker but *zero* in-game looks or stats get drafted? 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, they would trust the data, and they’d certainly also have video on the player. There are a lot of teams that are making big school pitchers (ACC, SEC, etc.) a far smaller priority for in-game looks because of all of the data and video available on these pitchers. There are better ways to spend a Friday night seeing guys who have less data/video available. 12:10 Jefferson: Nick Madrigal is still a long way from baseball, but is now finally with the cubs and major league coaches. Is there actually development for him in the last month of the season? Or is it strictly a personal thing of getting him familiar with the new team and staff? 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: Definitely some familiarity there and also the medical/conditioning staff managing his rehab. 12:11 Cold Turkey Stearns: How does a stripped down non-contender balance getting prospects playing time with maintaining the integrity of the competition for contending clubs? 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: They don’t. 12:11 Appa Yip Yip: What happened to the Yankees? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Everything went bad at the same time. The offense was always one that revolved around big stars but lacked depth in a huge way. The rotation got banged up and the pen has been up and down. 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: It’s the recipe for a streaky team, basically. 12:12 Erik: Gabe Kapler thriving in San Francisco immediately after bombing in Philadelphia continues to confuse me. Did he suddenly become a far better manager, or was he always a great manager and the support system is so bad in Philly that he still failed? 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: Not really. SO many managers looked bad in their first go-around and used the lessons learned to become really good managers. See Joe Torre with the Mets or AJ Hinch with Arizona. 12:13 Dansby SwanSong: Is there any indication that fatigue is more prevalent this season than usual, especially among pitchers, because of the shortened season last year? 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: Teams say yes and I think you’ll start to see some workload management for the teams with big leads. 12:15 Sum: have errors decreased commensurately with the increase in strikeouts? and if yes, have they decreased by such an amount that today’s fielders might appear better than fielders of yore, or are sample sizes large enough that fielding percentage takes care of any of that era-to-era noise? 12:16 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not something I’ve looked at, but errors and fielding percentage are not good metrics to use in evaluating fielding metrics. Also, defense today is better than it’s ever been. So is hitting and so is pitching. 12:16 Jefferson: It’s going to be a shame that one of LAD/SFG has to deal with a single elimination wild card game. If you are running those teams, are you pushing 110% for the division until the very last day? Or maybe hedge your bets a bit and lineup a well-rested starter for a WC game? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Division all the way. Compared to winning the division, earning a wild card spot basically cuts your World Series probability in half. 12:18 Adam: Aside from trading Fernando Tatís Jr, the White Sox have done basically everything else right with their rebuild. Any other legitimate complaints for the fan base? Drafting, maybe? 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, they have a 12 game lead in the AL Central and they’re going to win the division. Why would anyone look for something to complain about? 12:18 Jefferson: Also, thank you for the chats. They are very enjoyable. Right up there with szymbrowskis 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: Thanks. We have fun doing these. 12:19 Jefferson: I think I misspelled Szymborski in that last message. PLEASE DON’T TELL DAN 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: Reported. 12:19 Guest: Padres fan here. The mediocrity and then collapse. % blame for GM, manager or luck. From Vegas O/U of 95.5 wins to worst team in baseball for a month and maybe end up under .500, seems dramatic. What gives? 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, most of it can be explained away by injuries, especially on the pitching side. 12:19 Magic Kingdome: What is the Mariners’ most pressing offseason need? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: They rank 14th of 15 American League teams in both OBP and SLG. There’s your answer. 12:20 Tigers Fan: Thoughts on Riley Greene? All star potential if he reaches his ceiling? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. That said, there are many prospects with All-Star potential and the overwhelming number of them will not reach it. 12:20 zurzles: When it comes to prospect evaluation (and maybe even development?), how much do teams value seeing their minor leaguers in spring training? I was just thinking about how a lockout would mean the minor league season could start before spring training, meaning no minor leaguers in ST 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: Interesting thing to think about….it’s important in a lot of ways. Good way to get in front of the big league staff for the first time. Good way to get in front of execs focused on the big leagues for the first time, etc. 12:21 Guest: The Mariners dropped 2 out of 3 against the goddawful Diamondbacks. They need to sweep Boston to have any shot at a wild card spot at this point, right? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: Even when they were hot it was still an extreme long shot. 12:22 Roger: As pitching development has become more scientific with the introduction of technology in the past decade, how are teams trying to innovate science and technology for hitting development to catch up? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: Blast Motion, K-vests, 3D modeling, etc. Nothing has been an panacea like pitch data, but they’ve all helped. 12:23 Erik: Purely from a standpoint of creating the most entertaining, fair tournament and ignoring financial incentives, how many teams make the playoffs in your ideal world? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: Eight. 12:23 Roger: Will the AFL happen this year? Seems like I usually see rosters by now. 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: It’s happening. We should see them soon. 12:23 DJ: Are there any specific organizations you look at currently and think they are likely onto something ahead of the rest of the industry? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Plenty. Giants, Dodgers, Rays, Yankees, Brewers come to mind, but there are more. 12:24 Sammy So-so: I know Khalil Lee has gaudy numbers at Syracuse, but does his most likely outcome remain a goof fourth outfielder? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: He’s a weird one. I worry he’ll never hit for average. 12:26 Sammy So-so: No team will hand Javier Baez a ten-year deal because of 125 ABs of MVP hitting since joining the NYM, but do you think a club will bite on a three- or four-year contract? Do you think a team should do that? Thank you, Kevin. 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: I think his Mets showing has definitely got him into multi-year deal territory. He’s still exceptionally risky. 12:26 Guest: please rank: ET, Close Encounters, Captain Marvel, Alien, Contact, Gremlins 2 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: Close Encounters and Gremlins 2 the real standouts here. ET is not good, Contact is ok, I haven’t seen Captain Marvel or any comic book movie. 12:28 Guest: If a FO employee (lets say at the analyst level) just decided they wanted better work/life balance and started working only 9 to 5… would they a) get fired b) “counseled out” because they weren’t producing enough work c) management might grumble about it but ultimately wouldn’t do anything for fear of bad press d) management would be fine with it 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: Lots of analysts do the Monday-through-Friday normal work week thing. Lots do not. 12:29 Mike: Kevin, do you believe the Mets get a “big name” POBO like Stearns or Beane, or is it someone like Arnold or Byrnes? I’d be fine with any of those guys but I hope it’s not a “meh” name 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: I think it will be a big name. 12:29 Doug: Keeping in mind the O’s are tracking to pick 1-1 I believe, what % chance do you put on Green being the top pick? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: Right now? Somewhere around 50/50 at best. So much can change between now and the 2021 draft. 12:30 Astros fan: Thoughts on Joe Pérez and also why did the Astros think he was better off not pitching anymore even though he has a great arm? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: He was really just an arm strength guy. Thrower more than a pitcher. 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: Fun Factor? Blue Jays/Mets is one answer. Astros/Dodgers is another….lots of right answers. 12:31 Appa Yip Yip: If Teoscar played in New York or LA would he be famous? 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: Wouldn’t any good player? Does this matter? 12:31 Guest: What FA starting pitchers might the Cubs target in the off-season? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: 1-year make good types. It’s not like they’re going to go for it in 2022 or anything. 12:32 Guest: is the lack of diversity (racially and gender) in front offices on the radar of ownership/baseball ops? And if so, do they see it more for a PR standpoint or truly think there might be value in bringing in different perspectives and experiences that could help them win? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: Very team by team, and the answer varies a lot. There are a small number of teams who are trying to address it and doing so because they rightfully value diversity. There are a larger number of teams doing it to check a box, and there are teams who just kind of don’t care. 12:33 Pkpkpkpk: Hey there Kevin. I remember in a chat a few months ago you had mentioned certain skills don’t tend to improve with age or coaching. My background is in music education, and it’s very often the case that the best performers don’t often make the best teachers, because they don’t have a full understanding of how to teach something. Do you think a similar phenomenon may occur with coaching staffs in MLB? I’d tend to think outcomes for fringe or platoon players could be improved if coaching (which is at least partially a teaching position) staffs were given a thorough educational background. 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: As someone without a college credit to his name, I’m not sure I agree with you on the thorough educational background, but it’s definitely the case that really great players often have trouble teaching because they don’t understand or relate to some of the struggles that players have. 12:34 The Opener: Thanks for your article on the Rays last week. 12:35 Kevin Goldstein: Much appreciated. I was happy to hear from one team who started counted their CTB% for their relievers. 12:35 Guest: what’s the last 80-grade meal you’ve had? 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Bavette’s in Chicago, February of 2020. 12:36 JD: Wow, the Jays can’t seem to do anything rightWill they make the playoffs? – “we’ll sure by % points but they aren’t going anywhere”The jays score 40x runs in 4 games – “meh it was aginest the O’s so it doesn’t count”Vladdy deserves some MVP talk – nah theres a guy on a really bad team doing some cool stuff so no one caresThey played in 3 seperate home fields this year – no one noticesits getting really old 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Is this a question? 12:36 Benny: Has this last week secured my spot in LF next year in KC? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: I would hope not if I was a Royals fan…. 12:37 Magic Kingdome: Other than perhaps a welcome break to a long season, what is the view of the All-Star Game itself within the industry? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: Really pretty much just that welcome break. 12:38 Magic Kingdome: What is the most remote place you have personally scouted a player? 12:38 Kevin Goldstein: In the U.S.? Arkansas City, Kansas. 12:39 Dayton Moore: Hey, even if I did only get four No. 3 starters out of the 2018 draft, that’s still an improvement over what I had, right? 12:39 Kevin Goldstein: That would be a fantastic result, but that’s not what they’re going to get. 12:39 zurzles: Can you talk a bit about Elijah Green? Some people treat him like a #1 with a bullet Bryce Harper type, but a couple analysts recently put Termarr Johnson over him. 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: I think that says more about Johnson than Green. Johnson has a really special bat, while Green has really special tools. 12:40 Joey Wiemer Fan Club: Have you seen this dude the past couple months? He’s been a machine. Think he’s a dude now or still just a guy? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: He’s becoming a bit of a dude. Three months ago I would have told you that they should try moving him to the bump….players change and really quickly sometimes. 12:41 Grant: How would you solve the Yankees infield problem this winter? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: Sign a real shortstop. Plenty are available and I personally think Correa would be the best fit. 12:42 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Outlook for Jo Adell? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: The K’s are down, and that’s a very good thing, but his swing decisions are still quite suboptimal. 12:42 War2d2: How would you rank the Cubs’ returns for their “big 3” of Rizzo/Baez/Bryant? My idiot’s opinion is that that’s the order it goes in. Seems like the return for Bryant especially was very light, and the return for Rizzo was pretty heavy. Aside: great to have you back writing! 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: The Bryant return was light because the Cubs didn’t pick up any of the money to buy better prospects. The Rizzo return really surprised me in terms of quality. And thanks! Good to be back! 12:43 Jason: How will club’s approach Scherzer in the offseason? A legit top 5 pitcher but will turn 38 next year. Have to think he’s worth $50m in ‘22, but who know after that 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: Think he gets at least two years, maybe three to get a deal done. 12:44 Kaleb: How crazy would Kris Bryant to KC be? Could they get him at 5/125? Would fill a massive OF hole 12:44 Kevin Goldstein: Bryant will stay on the west coast. 12:44 Ivan: Is this who Abraham Toro is? Can he become average at second or does he settle into a Marwin Gonzalez super utility role? 12:44 Kevin Goldstein: He’s much better at 3B, and will likely play there next year. 12:44 Erik: Do you expect elevated pitcher injuries next year due to the fact that many guys went from around 12 starts in 2020 to around 30 this season? Or would most of those injuries have showed up this season if they were going to show up ever? 12:45 Kevin Goldstein: Teams are asking themselves this question as we speak, and don’t have good answers…. 12:45 Yaz: What % of draftees receive >6 digit signing bonuses? 12:45 Kevin Goldstein: In a 20 round draft, more than half. 12:45 Tal: What do you see the Dodgers doing with Cody Bellinger this offseason? Do they still feel like it’s reasonable to view him as a core piece (or a significant piece at all) going forward? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: Such a tough question for them. He just can’t get to velocity at all. I think you start him in 2022 but have a short leash and a solid backup plan. 12:46 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: What do the Angels do this offseason? Buy 2/5 of a rotation and half a bullpen? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: I mean they SHOULD, but hard to know what Artie Moreno is going to do…. 12:47 Ivan: Should the Mariners call up Julio for the stretch run and hope to catch lightning in a bottle, or let him continue to develop in relative peace? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: If they were really in the race, maybe, but they’re really not THAT much in the race. 12:47 Appa Yip Yip: If you took the Dodgers team as currently constituted and dropped them into the 1970s how many games would they win in a season? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: 130? 12:47 Graham: New collective bargaining agreement aside, which players land the biggest contracts in free agency? 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: Correa. Bryant. 12:48 M: If you had 150 mil budget and only like 40 mil locked up for next year and are a rebuilding team would you rather try and buy prospects by taking on bad contracts or throw crazy money at like Verlander, Thor, kluber, cueto, Rosenthal on 1 year deals. Hope a couple hit and you end up having the best starter available at the deadline. 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: A little from column A, a little from column B. 12:49 Dayton Moore: With Mondy at 3B, Nicky locking down SS, and Whit at 2B, and Dozier most likely moving to the RF, where do we put Bobby Witt Jr next year? CF? LF? 12:49 Kevin Goldstein: Witt at SS, Lopez into an all-over the field type. 12:50 Brendan: Has your opinion of Ke’Bryan Hayes changed at all after this season? Does his wrist/hand injury that kept him out for a solid chunk of the season give you any long term concern? 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: It’s more the opposite where I think we need to see what he does next year. Wrist stuff can sap power for an extended time. 12:51 Guest: re: hitting development, I’ve often wondered if players just watching pitches and determining “ball or strike” like in a VR helmet in the offseason (thinking MLB the show) would be valuable to pitch recognition/discipline. Should players be doing more “homework” rather than “practice” in the offseason with regard to hitting? 12:51 Kevin Goldstein: There are teams doing something like this. 12:51 Kate: Nick Yorke with an impressive showing across two levels this year. Do you think there are an supporting tools here (power, run, etc.) or does he end up as more of plus hit, averageish everything else kind of guy (like what it seems Austin Martin is doing)? 12:51 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think he’ll ever be a big power guy, but it’s enough and the hit tool is very much real. 12:52 szakyl: Are relievers legitimately more volatile than starters, or do the amount of innings a starter gets during the game allow their performance inning-to-inning to approach the mean? 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: I get where you are coming from, but I think I’m right when I say that even if the volatility rate is the same, the length of the outings alone makes relievers more volatile. 12:53 Zirinsky: Hi Kevin. Re: your Yankees answer above, what do you do if you’re Cashman for 2022? Assume that some offense will improve or…major overhaul? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: Semi-major overhaul? Defense needs to be a priority. 12:53 Tom: Does Julio Rodriguez break camp with the M’s next year, or will he need some fine tuning for the first month of the season? 12:54 Kevin Goldstein: He might be ready, but service time hijinks would be likely even if he was… 12:55 Scotty: I know he brings great defense and hits for power, but Nolan Arenado is a few bad games away from a sub-.300 OBP and his statcast numbers aren’t pretty. Is there any concern about his bat going forward? 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, he had 120-130 wRC+ number with Colorado and he’s at 114 this year while entering his 30s. Feels about right…. 12:56 Thunderclap Jackson: Other than the luminaries who have already graced the show, who is your dream co-host for an episode of Chin Music? 12:56 Kevin Goldstein: Good question. I’d be more interesting in the group’s answers than my own…. 12:56 John: What changes or trends have you seen in college baseball in recent years which impact MLB teams’ scouting and development efforts? 12:56 Kevin Goldstein: They’re positive ones in just the incredible availability of video and data from most programs. 12:57 Cobie: I haven’t watched much Patino this year, just the statline. What do you think some of the issues are? Is it still the command? 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: It’s very much command. The stuff is really good. 12:57 Captain Moonlight: Who would win an all-MLB player sumo competition? 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: Vogelbach? Tellez? I bet Sal Perez would be good. 12:58 Frank The Tank: What are the odds I’m actually a late blooming, viable lineup piece for 2022 and beyond? 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: Stay tuned…. 12:58 SJ: If I planned a Thursday-Sunday trip out to Arizona to see the AFL, would you recommend doing it the week of the championship or the week of the fall stars game 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: Definitely the Stars game. Rosters are often depleted by this time the season ends. 12:59 Ben: Can Chris Taylor get 5 years? Should he? 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: I could see four. He’s one of the more underrated players around in terms of value. 1:00 Hank: How will Mike Trout’s 30s look? I’m worried… 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: The injury feels a little freakish — I don’t see anything to worry about long term. 1:00 Ben: Will Correa get 300? 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: I’d take the under, but it’s going to be a very big number. 1:01 Rafael Devers: I’m the best hitting third baseman in baseball. What have you to say about that? 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: You can argue it, but it’s not like it’s a slam dunk. Jose Ramirez and Austin Riley are certainly in the mix. 1:02 Peter: Jordan Walker or Curtis Mead long term? 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: Walker. 1:02 Mets fan: Will Beltran get a shot at managing next season? 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: I would be very surprised. I think that ship has sailed. 1:03 Nate: I know indicated you think Correa is the best fit for the Yanks, and it’s hard to argue just because he’d be a great fit anywhere. But wouldn’t Seager arguably be more desirable just as a similarly talented LH bat though? Or given Hal’s inclination to hover around the luxury tax (Cole signing aside), wouldn’t it make sense to try for a guy more like Simmons/Didi (or similar) and splurge on more pitching? Not a wrong answer I guess, just a random thought I’ve had 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: You’re not wrong, I just think Seager stays in LA in the end. 1:03 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: After money and location, what is the next most important thing for the typical free agent? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: Those are the real biggies. Comfort level and understood role certainly enter the picture. 1:04 Erik: What kind of season are you expecting from Justin Verlander next year? 39 and coming off TJ isn’t the best pair, but he was showing zero signs of slowing down prior to the injury. 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a great question. He’s a bit of a unicorn. He’d be tough to bet on, but I’d certainly never bet against him. 1:05 Henry: What is the single best statistic in determining a hitter’s overall performance? OPS+? 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: I prefer wRC+, but I think it’s better to look at more than just any single number to really understand a player’s value. 1:05 Jason: With the increasing number of soft tissue injuries over the past several years (in all sports really), have you heard of any push to have more amateurs (both stateside and internationally) take up other sports recreationally to help build other muscle groups? 1:06 Kevin Goldstein: Teams are definitely doing stuff to try to address this in terms of better training. The majority of teams are big believers in yoga, for example. 1:06 Mets fan: Are there any restrictions with offering a massively incentive-laden contract? It would be nice to offer Baez a $10M Base with performance driven incentives that could take him up to $25 – $30M in any given year. Seems fair that if he plays like an MVP he gets paid like an MVP and vice versa 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: There are many restrictions. You can’t incentivize things like HR or RBI or whatever, you can really just incentivize health and availability with thinks like games and plate appearances. 1:07 How Bobby Grich Stole Christmas: Biggest change in next CBA? 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: I think most of them will revolve around service time stuff. 1:08 Nashville Sounds: I often hear people say that defense is better than ever. What does that mean, if you leave out positioning? I can’t think of any meaningful technique development, and the overall athleticism of baseball players doesn’t seem wildly different than prior eras. If anything, might baseball turning into more of an upper-middle-class white kid sport negatively impact defense? 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: The athleticism of baseball players is WILDLY DIFFERENT from prior eras. 1:08 Goldin Kevstein: Most projections/analysts had the Red Sox missing the playoffs and being under .500. Should Sox fans be happy about this season regardless of its outcome? 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: I think so. 1:09 Reid: Maybe a better question for the pod given the length, but I am often frustrated with discussions of ceilings for prospects, (especially pitchers). Who decides what a ceiling is anymore? In the age of fine-tuned development of individual pitches, tracking individual swings, video work for specific area of weakness, development is often non-linear or unforeseen. Beyond obvious physical limitations (Tyler Soderstrom is not going to be a GG shortstop, Nick Madrigal is not going to hit 50 homers) it makes far more sense to me to discuss the likelihood of outcomes (he is more or less likely to reach this ceiling, because of plate discipline, physical tools, etc, or he is “likely” to be a reliever) than a straight “What is Brayan Rocchio’s ceiling” question that gives a hard cap. 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: Yup, email the pod! chinmusic at fangraphs dot com. 1:09 Robert McGowan: Do you think Gleyber Torres will be the Yankees starting SS next year? 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: Nope. 1:11 Alf: What are the Dodgers/MLB going to do about Bauer if no criminal charges are filed and any civil case settles or otherwise goes away? 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: We shall see. I don’t think he pitches again. 1:11 Snakebit: Ferrin for co-host. If for no other reason than him being able to curse 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: We hope to after the season. He’s a crazy person in terms of business during the season. 1:12 Dave: What do you think the chances are that the players get free agency once they hit 29.5 years old in the next CBA? 1:12 Kevin Goldstein: Unlikely, and also not a good solution. 1:12 Ben Cherington: Still want to hear Christman on Chin Music or Kevin on Chapo 1:12 Kevin Goldstein: I would enjoy both! 1:12 Mike: Chances the Mets go big game hunting this offseason? Payroll is already getting up there. Need to decide on conforto/third base 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: I think they will be very aggressive, as long as they address they front office stuff quickly. 1:13 Ben: How confident are you that Kyle Hendricks is better in 2022 than he is this year? 1:14 1970s: What if you dropped the current Pirates or Orioles in the 1970s? 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Not especially. I think this is kind of what he is. 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Pirates or O’s in the 70s would win the division. 1:14 Appa Yip Yip: Does J-Ram ever suit up as a Guardian? 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 1:14 How Bobby Grich Stole the Chat: World Series teams predictions? Dodgers v Jays here. 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Just pick two teams. The playoffs really are a bit of a dice roll. 1:15 Pat Listachio: If you have criterion sub, please give a peek at La Rayon Vert if it’s still there!!! 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Will do! 1:15 Josegg11: Will the astros be in the mix for Trevor Story or Marcus Semien for SS_ 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: I think so. 1:15 Guest: Will baseball ever become popular in India? Does cricket skill translate at all? Seems like an untapped talent pool. 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not an untapped talent pool because of the money. The best and most famous cricket players make more money than Trout. 1:16 Matt: What’s the bigger advantage in getting to top pick in the draft: Having the first choice or the increased bonus pool? 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: Both are very valuable things. 1:17 Robert McGowan: Following up to the above question, do you think Gleyber Torres is a starter at all next year for the Yankees? 1:17 Kevin Goldstein: I would be surprised. Maybe at 2B depending on how the roster shakes out. 1:17 Matt: Where do you see Kumar Rocker being drafted next year? 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: No clue. We’ll have to see how he looks and how other teams see the medical. 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: That said, he should be a free agent right now…. 1:18 A cat: Could BOS pursue Correa,Story or Baez to improve left side defense by pushing Devers and X to DH on a frequent basis? JDM would be traded in this scenario. The new infielder would cover some of his offense while improving that horrible defense (Devers and X are combined -20 OAA) 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a thought. Those dudes are such great hitters, but yeah, the defense really hurts the teams. 1:19 Guest: How does MLB allow minor league players to live on such terrible wages? How does society allow this to happen? Seems like it’s swept under the rug a bit. 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: Welcome to America? 1:19 Mark: The Orioles are an awful team with a generally very highly rated farm system. When do you think they will next post a good (let’s say 90+ wins) record? 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: 2024? 1:19 TT: Does Lindor’s outbreak last night mean anything to his season? Or is it just a one-game blip? 1:20 Kevin Goldstein: Most one-games are blips. I do think Lindor will be fine in the end, however. 1:21 Guest: Why do the Giants love odd-numbered years so much? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: Maybe they don’t like election cycles? 1:22 Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, final few minutes here or Ben Clemens gets really mad. 1:22 Mike: Kumar “should be” a free agent as in “the rules don’t allow him to be a free agent”? 1:22 Kevin Goldstein: Correct. 1:22 Billy G: Could you expand on why in-game power is the most important thing for evaluating minor leaguers? I would’ve thought contact skill or plate discipline would rank above it 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: I thought I put contact first? That said, for the most part, you have to hit balls hard in today’s game. 1:23 Guest: If MLB expands, name your top three cities for expansion. 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: It’s just not my area of expertise, sorry. 1:24 Weekend Hack: “the mariners aren’t in the race.” “the mariners aren’t a contender.” their roster might not be as good as the other teams in the wild card race but they are quite literally “in the race.” its september 13 and they are 3 gb.. they were 1 game out of a playoff spot 2 days ago.. “not in the race.” what a joke 1:26 Kevin Goldstein: I said in April that Seattle was sneaky good. It’s not like I have some bone to pick or anything. But they’re not really in it. Currently at 2.9% to make the post-season and have never really had a high percentage. Maybe they can get something going with 3 vs. KC and 6 vs. LAA down the stretch, but they just lost 2 of 3 at home to Arizona…. 1:26 Mike: Could you see Triston Casas having a better pro career than Spencer Torkelson? 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: I think they’re both going to have career, but I don’t see how you’d take Casas over Tork. 1:27 Dallas Comegys: Julio needs to be called up to Triple-A first; can’t go from Double-A to Majors this year. 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: Sure you can. 1:27 Matt: Are Dominican prospects more advanced at 16 than their American counterparts? 1:28 Kevin Goldstein: Not sure about that, but getting them pro-level instruction and training at 16 is a big advantage. 1:29 Tom: KG – You don’t think Bauer will EVER pitch again? 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t THINK so. I think it’s the most likely outcome, but not an absolute one. 1:31 Berns: How has Dusty looked as a manager in the modern game this year? TLR as well? 1:31 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, both have their issues, and both will be guiding divisonal winners. . . . 1:31 Jeb: Takashi Miike – yay/nay? 1:32 Kevin Goldstein: Hit and miss. He’s kind of an all-or-nothing hitter of a movie maker. Lots of home runs and you gotta live with the whiffs. 1:32 Dan’s Emotional Intimacy: Say I was traded to the Yankees mid year and had a full blown glorious beard. I refuse to shave it because of their dumb policy. What would happen? 1:33 Kevin Goldstein: I’m ending on this, because it’s a great question. I’ve always wondered about this. Like what if it was Mike Trout and he had a ZZ Top beard and would sign with NYY for free if he could keep the beard? Would they change their silly policy then? I hope it gets challenged at some point, because I want to see it play out. 1:34 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, folks, I’m outta here. Thanks so much for all of the great questions and I’ll see you here next week.