Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 1/15/18

2:01
Meg Rowley: Hello everyone, and welcome to the chat!

2:01
Meg Rowley: Apologies for the slight delay in getting started– I had to check in with some writing sorts.

2:01
Damian: Where do you think the big market teams will be once rising sea levels makes our major coastal cities uninhabitable?

2:02
Meg Rowley: What a happy, happy chat.

2:03
Meg Rowley: The answer here seems like Chicago, Denver, Seattle and St. Louis, (some of those obviously being quite large already) and also that we should take climate reports more seriously.

2:03
Jack : Would you prefer Harper or Machado for the same money/years?

2:04
Meg Rowley: I think right now, absent a specific roster, if I were contemplating a big contract in 2019 and another in 2020, I would like go with Harper and then make a run at Arenado.

2:04
Meg Rowley: Which isn’t to say someone shouldn’t sign Machado for $300 million. A team should do that. Like today. I mean, honestly.

2:04
The Old Buccaneer: Are you going to Spring Training this season?

2:05
Meg Rowley: I am. We’ll have details on it soonish, but FanGraphs will be making a trip to the desert, which will almost certainly include a reader meetup as well.

2:06
Meg Rowley: As someone who lives where it rains and is cloudy much of the winter, and who also likes the desert as a climate, spring training is always very, very welcome for me, and that’s before the baseball.

2:06
Eyebrows: Word is that Ichiro wants to play beyond the Japan series. It doesn’t seem like he has much left in the tank. Wouldn’t those at bats be more useful going to “let’s see what we have” guys like Domingo Santana or showcasing potential trade pieces like Jay Bruce? Or am I just an old grump now?

2:07
Meg Rowley: I am skeptical he will play much beyond that series, at least for the Mariners.

2:07
Andrew: Are you surprised that so few teams are reportedly interested in signing 26 year olds who each have 30 WAR?

2:08
Meg Rowley: Seems very odd. Very, very odd. They are both super stars. They can change the picture for a franchise. They are just like, so much younger than I am.

2:08
Alex: Say the A’s decide to place Kyler Murray on their 40-man roster and give him a major league contract. What kind of reverberations do you think that might have through the league?

2:11
Meg Rowley: Acknowledging that the particulars of them being able to do that are still an open question, I think I might be coming around on it having an impact but it being more limited than I originally thought. Murray’s football picture did legitimately change from the time when he signed his contract to now. This doesn’t read as the sort of pre-draft shenanigans MLB is trying to prevent.  Now, that isn’t to say that savvy agents wouldn’t attempt to find other points of leverage that might have the same effect.

2:11
Meg Rowley: But not every draft prospect is going to be a Heisman winner.

2:12
Bewildered: Why do you act like you care about players on a personal level when you don’t know them? It’s incredibly bizarre.

2:13
Meg Rowley: Because they’re also humans, and while they are very dissimilar from me in many ways, they are still also humans, and sometimes they hit big home runs or mess up badly, and I can imagine what that joy or embarrassment feels like.

2:13
Xolo: Why are the Indians still listening on Kluber after trading EE and Alonso?

2:14
Meg Rowley: Because they think they have deep pitching, can get prospects and play in a division in which most of the teams are pretty bad.

2:14
Meg Rowley: They could just spend money on an outfielder and keep their very good pitcher, but they seem reticent to do that.

2:14
Safety Stegosaurus: Seriously why does Samuel L Jackson have to be cast in so many movies?

2:15
Meg Rowley: He is fun to watch, and a good actor, and we like good fun actors as a matter of course.

2:15
v2micca: So, I would Imagine that teams will be more reluctant to include provisions allowing their new prospect to play a year of College football.

2:17
Meg Rowley: I mean, it sounds like he wouldn’t have signed had that provision not existed.

2:17
Meg Rowley: Then he literally won a Heisman. I get why we are reacting to this, as well we should, but I think it is useful to remember this is a weirdo case.

2:18
Big Wer: If the Reds are interested in trading Senzel for Kluber, or any team is interested in trading a good young third baseman, why wouldn’t the Indians just call them direct?

2:18
Meg Rowley: Might be other players or pieces in the deal necessary for it to come together.

2:18
Meg Rowley: It is a weird-seeming thing, but a not uncommon sort of thing.

2:18
Not mean but regressing: I’m a beer guy. Do most stadiums sell wine? Someone asked me and I have no idea!

2:19
Meg Rowley: I believe most do. At Safeco, you can buy a carafe of wine that literally fits an entire bottle in it. They will offer you two cups, but they will not make a judgmental face if you decline the second. Or so I am told.

2:19
Meg Rowley: Damnit, at T-Mobile park.

2:20
ChickenOfTheSea: I am a Marlins fan for some reason. Apparently, my team made an at least reasonably serious offer to sign DJ LeMahieu. They’re also bringing back Realmuto for one more year as well as Dan Straily, Miguel Rojas and lovable fan favorite José Ureña. My question is … why? Is there a plan here? Do they just need guys who can buy beer for the rest of the clubhouse? Is this what normal teams look like when they rebuild? I guess “Tell me there’s a plan” isn’t really a question, but … yeah.

2:22
Meg Rowley: It does appear that they misjudged the Realmuto market, though the offseason isn’t over and there are still teams that need a good catcher. I think the Marlins as an org have gotten to the point where we are, over the course of this season, going to learn what their approach and plan is. When they did their first round of trades last year (which yikes do a lot of those look bad now!), my understanding is that the front office infrastructure and hiring was still at a lag. Now it isn’t.

2:23
billy red beane ice cream: I dunno if enough gets said about verlander. Like, he’s old and still throws upper 90s and just had a 7 war season. He was supposed to be over the hill a few years ago and was open minded enough to change so that he could get back to what he once was. Watching king felix now… verlander is inhuman. It was painful seeing him shut down my As so much in the playoffs over the years but damn. I feel like we all take him for granted.

2:24
Meg Rowley: He was arguably the difference maker on a World Series winning team, and finished second in Cy Young voting this year! I think we talk about him a lot, though I agree that his career course correction remains incredibly impressive.

2:24
Hae-Lo Dee: Seattle has shown a willingness to buy talent for their next run at contention, and has payroll flexibility going forward. Do you see any possibility they get involved with Machado or Harper?

2:25
Meg Rowley: I don’t (though I get the argument you’re making). I also think it is good to remember that free agents are making decisions, too. Don’t think either of those guys sees Seattle as the spot for them.

2:25
Patrick: My dad and I are taking a trip to Spring Training in Arizona for the first time this year.  If you’ve been before, do you have any tips for our first Spring Training trip?

2:26
Meg Rowley: Definitely book accommodations now. For a city that is very budget-friendly every other time of the year, it gets wildly expensive down there in March and April.

2:26
Airport Banana: Which 5+ WAR player form 2018 has the highest chance of finishing below replacement level?

2:27
Meg Rowley: A moment to allow me to look at something, please.

2:29
Meg Rowley: I don’t think he goes below replacement level, but I could see Matt Chapman being a little closer to mortal just because of the shoulder and how important defense is to the profile.

2:29
Meg Rowley: (he is very good, I am not saying he isn’t good)

2:31
Michael J: With it looking less likely the Dodgers pony up and sign Harper, should they settle for Pollock? I think a Joc, Bellinger, Verdugo outfield vs righties is definitely good enough, but some combination of Taylor, Kiké, Bellinger, Verdugo vs lefties might be a bit risky, especially if Bellinger doesn’t start hitting lefties again.

2:31
Meg Rowley: Maybe, though truly, how is he not on Cleveland’s roster right this minute.

2:32
Damian: Who are the best players that are going to get screwed on playing time this year?

2:32
Meg Rowley: [insert young Mets infielder name]

2:32
Meg Rowley: [you can one of several]

2:32
Meg Rowley: [there are several to choose from]

2:32
Casual fan: How much faith do you put into MLB the Show’s predictions?

2:33
Meg Rowley: I don’t play the Show, so very little, but only for not having seen them.

2:33
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: How much reason is there to be optimistic about the Rays getting 2017 Garcia?

2:33
Meg Rowley: Jeff is going to look at Garcia for FanGraphs dot com today!

2:34
DJ Tanner: For how many 10 year contracts that have gone bad, why are people upset that Harper and Machado aren’t getting “paid”? 7-8 year deals seem like they should become the new norm. No one can predict health 10 years out, I can see large yearly salaries with less years. If Harper/Machado get 7 year deals AND stay healthy, they can still make good money in their age 33 contract year. Way less long term risk for clubs.

2:35
Meg Rowley: People are upset because teams are reticent to do $300 million contracts in 7-8 year chunks, and acknowledge that players also assume risk in every deal, and have (generally) been compensated at a discount in the years prior to 10-year, $300 million deals.

2:36
Jeff B: Thanks for chatting, Meg! Is Jesse Winker’s defense bad enough that the Reds would do best by attempting to trade him to an AL team? And would AL teams value the kind of offensive approach that Winker employs at the DH position?

2:39
Meg Rowley: I will admit to the following– I have watched precisely two innings of Jesse Winker defense in which I watched the defense closely. He wasn’t great! But I don’t know if it is irredeemably poor. As for DHing, he’s a good hitter but the power hasn’t been super consistent at the upper levels. Imagine he stays a Red.

2:39
Southerner: Vlad Goerrero or Alex Bregman?  Short term versus long term.

2:40
Meg Rowley: Woof hmmm.

2:41
Meg Rowley: I am going to say Bregman because the profile is more versatile but Vladito’s bat make the convo closer than it has business being.

2:41
Guest: If Harper re-sign with the Nats, they will have 5 outfielders for 3 spots (Harper, Soto, Eaton, Robles, Michael Taylor). What do you foresee them doing in that scenario?

2:41
Meg Rowley: Not re-signing Bryce Harper, and I’m not just saying that because I turned in a BP Annual essay for the Nats predicated on that assumption.

2:44
Meg Rowley: But if they did, I imagine Harper, Soto, Eaton to start, with Robles up at a moment convenient to the team.

2:44
Baseball is a fun diversion: If you could turn into one Major League team’s mascot for one year, what would it be?

2:45
Meg Rowley: Seems like being a tiger would be cool.

2:45
Meg Rowley: Seems like being the Phanatic would be terrifying.

2:45
tb.25: Me growley about the lack of moves being made

2:45
Meg Rowley: Same.

2:46
Airport Banana: As of today, what are the odds of a work stoppage at some point before the 2021 season?

2:47
Meg Rowley: I don’t think we see one before this CBA runs out. I do think we get one before the next CBA goes into effect.

2:48
Patrick: Since 2013, Eric Hosmer has alternated between around a 0 WAR and a 3+ WAR (3.1, -0.2, 3.5, 0.2, 4.1, -0.1).  Which is more likely to happen: Hosmer puts up a 3+ WAR in 2019 or Khris Davis has a batting average of exactly 0.247 (which he has done every year since 2015)?

2:48
Meg Rowley: I’ll take Hosmer and the WAR but I don’t love it. I don’t feel confident.

2:48
CamdenWarehouse: The Steve Stone Interview was awesome. I’d love more pieces like that.

2:49
Meg Rowley: David did a nice job with it.

2:49
Meg Rowley: He does a fair number of long Q&A’s like that each year, so keep an eye out for them.

2:49
mike sixel: How bad is the next strike/CBA negotiation going to be? I mean, the money is just flowing to owners, and not players.

2:50
Meg Rowley: Going to be pretty bad! The power dynamic is pretty out of balance and the players have one big bit of leverage to try to get it back in balance.

2:50
Carson Cistulli: Toronto will not be affected as much by climate change Meg!

2:50
Carson Cistulli: Cheers and Spirited Ejaculations as always

2:51
Meg Rowley: We’re just going to assume this was our erstwhile editor, even though I suspect Carson is actually to busy to bother with my chats.

2:51
Hae-Lo Dee: Why would Seattle not be affected by rising sea levels?

2:54
Meg Rowley: It will be affected but I don’t think the predictions of the rise of the sound are nearly as drastic as any of those assumed for the actual coasts, though clearly there will be a climate effect here as well.

2:55
Bread Gardner: Machado nor Harper has signed, or even seems close to signing.  It’s the middle of January.  They’re likely to be low-balled a collective $100 million under their actual value.  And that’s to say nothing of “regular” free agents’ woes!  And this will likely just get worse!  The MLBPA may have negotiated the last CBA like a group of amateurs—which they are, in terms of union functionality—but I can’t see any way this doesn’t end with a 2021 work stoppage.

2:56
Meg Rowley: The union’s priorities did favor vets in a shortsighted way, though I would stop short of calling them amateurs. I’d also say (for the 348th time) that just as we hold them responsible for a bad job, we can hold ownership responsible for a good job.

2:58
Sonny Slayhern: Assuming the Yanks don’t deal Andujar, and knowing his limitations at 3B, how feasible/effective would a shift be where he rotates with DJ LeMahieu (assuming he’s at 2B) on a batter by batter basis. DJ goes to 3B for a righty pull hitter, DJ remains at 2B for a lefty pull hitter. With all the advanced stats out there on pull%, is this something where they can mitigate his defensive risk?

2:58
Meg Rowley: It’s an interesting idea though I’d imagine from a development perspective, you’d want to get Andujar consistent reps somewhere.

2:59
Egg: Some Robinson Cano discussion has me thinking… what is the relationship between players who do not run hard (max speed minus average speed) vs players who are durable and available every game? It would be an interesting article

3:01
Meg Rowley: I’d expect it’s a tricky thing to isolate as most guys who don’t run max speed all the time are reacting to game circumstance. Robbie legs it out when it is close. Guys who don’t run unnecessarily hard may be more durable, but they also are likely slower to begin with, so the gap is less noticeable, lending the impression they are loafing when maybe they aren’t.

3:02
MGIII: You’re in a hypothetical front office where you can only choose to overhaul/improve one of the following areas of player development: diet, sleep habits, mindfulness. Which do you choose?

3:02
Meg Rowley: Sleep, diet, mindfulness in that order, I think.

3:03
Bread Gardner: So as things stand today, who are the divisional favorites?

3:05
Meg Rowley: It isn’t super spicy but, Astros, Cleveland, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cardinals (sup), Nationals

3:06
MGIII: If you were a teammate of Addison Russell and you’re asked about him by someone in baseball media, what would you say?

3:07
Meg Rowley: That how someone is at work isn’t necessarily how they are at home, and that I hope Melisa has the support she needs, and that Russell takes seriously the responsibility to do the work to be a better person.

3:07
Francona : Doesn’t it seem the Redsox are following the same script with Kimbrel as JD Martinez.

3:07
Meg Rowley: I think he ends up back with them, yes.

3:08
Jerry B: If you could go back in time, would you take Jeff Sullivan’s twitter handle as your own?

3:08
Meg Rowley: No, I would not.

3:08
Meg Rowley: megrowler is perfectly fine

3:09
Meg Rowley: there can be only one based_ball

3:09
Curious: What’s the story behind that picture of you in a Catchers mask.

3:10
Meg Rowley: It is a weird thing that I bought at a Mariners game, I enjoy catchers and am fascinated by them, and I don’t dislike being ever so slightly more anonymous as a woman on twitter.

3:10
Rick Hahn: I know, I know, I’ve asked this question 5000 times, but are White Sox getting Machado?

3:11
Meg Rowley: I don’t think they will, but I really hope they do (at a fair price for him) because of one specific piece I want to write.

3:11
Kevin: Which replacement level player from 2018 has the highest chance of finishing with 5+ WAR?

3:12
Meg Rowley: Wouldn’t it be cool for the enjoyment of Seattle based baseball fans if it was Kyle Seager?

3:12
seattlecougar: Seattle is at sea level and T-Mobile Park is landfill adjacent if not built on the landfill part of SoDo. Are you proposing that they’d become true Mariners and play in a floating stadium?

3:12
Meg Rowley: The whole city won’t be under water.

3:13
Bork: Do players really feel the need to be compensated for the discount years through large contracts later on though? It seems more of a CBA issue with rookie contracts/arbitration.

3:15
Meg Rowley: The way the system worked for a long time was that pre-free agent years were at a discount because teams didn’t want to pay for production that wasn’t proven, and then players would be made whole on the back end. If we agree that Machado should get a $300 million deal, we have to think about the length of the deal.

3:15
Meg Rowley: If Cot’s is up to date, and I think it is, the highest AAV deal baseball has seen is Greinke’s, which was $34 M and change a year.

3:17
Meg Rowley: Teams aren’t going to want to compress $300 million into a 7 or 8 year deal, because they aren’t going to want that much of their payroll tied up into one player.

3:17
CamdenWarehouse: oh, you’re in the BP annual again? I figured with your new job, it wouldn’t be allowed. Looking forward to reading it.

3:18
Meg Rowley: Given the timing, it would have been horribly poor form to back out when Carson departed and I was promoted.

3:18
Meg Rowley: We endeavor to not be monsters, particularly to people as nice as Patrick, Bret, and Aaron, even if they work for another site. But I do expect this is my last essay for a BP publication.

3:19
Just Wondering: Do you think Bryce Harper is thinking twice about the Phillies because of their fans are jerks

3:19
Meg Rowley: I do not.

3:19
Meg Rowley: All teams have bad fans because all teams have humans as fans, and some of us are just rotten.

3:19
So…: …what’s the next farticle this year? come on, you know it is your destiny

3:20
Meg Rowley: Just the weirdest freaking beat there is.

3:21
Crawfishboxes: What do you think the impact would be if Minor League players unionized?

3:22
Meg Rowley: They might get paid a living wage.

3:22
CSZ: Seattle will be long gone from the Cascadia Subduction Zone letting loose before we have to worry about parts of it being underwater due to climate change…

3:22
Meg Rowley: Thank you, I needed to think about this again today.

3:23
Matt: Fwiw, I believe there was intel that said the Nats would try to trade Eaton if they re-signed Harper.

3:23
Meg Rowley: Could be true! Depth is good! I don’t think it’ll really matter.

3:23
Carl: What does Meg’s stomach say when it’s hungry? Me growl(e)y

3:24
Meg Rowley: This is perhaps a good place to start as my stomach is in fact doing this, and I have to go ready a post.

3:24
Meg Rowley: Thanks for all the questions, and apologies for the many I didn’t get to.

3:24
Meg Rowley: Have a good week!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 1/15/18 by Meg Rowley!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs, the host of FanGraphs Audio, and the co-co-host of Effectively Wild. Her work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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gavinrendar
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gavinrendar

You all forgot to ask about corporate tax rates and foreign policy.