Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 1/20/2021 by Meg Rowley January 20, 2021 4:00 Meg Rowley: Hi everyone, and welcome to the chat. 4:01 AJ: Way too early World Series matchup prediction? 4:02 Meg Rowley: Padres vs. White Sox. Is it the most probable matchup? Perhaps not. Is it a reasonable prediction? Yes. Would I enjoy it very much? Also yes. 4:02 Rob: How is it possible to own a billion dollar business with all the resources at your disposal and still fail miserably at vetting an incredibly important hire. I don’t get it. To be honest, it seems more like they don’t really care rather than they are incompetent. 4:04 Meg Rowley: I don’t think that they don’t care. An organization that doesn’t care doesn’t fire him. I do think that the fact of his hiring along with some of Alderson’s answers suggest that it is a process in need of reforms, first among them doing background with folks who Porter didn’t have an incentive to manage up to. 4:04 BlueJayMatt: No question, just a Jays fan feeling pretty good today. The next few years in Toronto are going to be a lot of fun! 4:04 Meg Rowley: You could still use some pitching, but yes, that lineup is going to be quite fun, with or without Brantley. 4:05 snowcoast: Hi Meg! What the heck do you think happened with the Brantley signing in Toronto? Rogers employees were tweeting out the signing, then seemed like they were forced to recant. Very odd behaviour for this org. Pls advise thx. 4:05 Meg Rowley: I suspect it was as simple as the sources who folks talked to mischaracterizing how advanced the talks were – clearly there is real interest there, but also clearly, it’s not done. 4:06 Meg Rowley: Doesn’t mean it won’t happen – none of the facts that make it a good fit are different (other than the team having just committed to a $150 million contract elsewhere in the lineup). 4:06 Nolan: (insert ironically sexist joke about being a woman in sports to show I’m One of the Good Ones) 4:07 Meg Rowley: These just really aren’t funny, man. Don’t be exhausting. The real stuff is exhausting enough! 4:07 Steve: More confident is Bauer to the Angels or Realmuto to the Phillies? 2nd most likely team for each player? 4:08 Meg Rowley: Realmuto to the Phillies – it’s a ridiculously good roster fit, his other landing spots are starting to recede, not signing him would be embarrassing, etc etc. 4:10 Kurt: Is there anything realistic that could be done by the Jays to overtake the Yankees and Rays in your mind? How close are they? 4:11 Meg Rowley: They could really use another high-end starter to pair with Ryu, and I’d like more depth there besides. That line up is pretty fierce though. 4:12 Meg Rowley: Do I like them better than the Rays? Hmmmm. 4:12 Meg Rowley: That’s a question to ponder. 4:12 Meg Rowley: You’ve given me a lot to think about, Kurt. 4:12 6 Person Rotations: Which teams do we know are doing this 6 SP in the rotation thing so far? I have Mariners, Tigers, and I’m counting the Angels with their special Ohtani schedule. Am I missing any? 4:13 Meg Rowley: San Diego talked about the possibility yesterday, Boston seems close to backing their way into it one just so they can manage Sale’s innings. 4:13 Meg Rowley: Ben wrote on this recently: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-costs-and-benefits-of-six-man-rotation… 4:13 CarpeDM: We are resetting our keeper league this year. Can you give me two or three deep cut pitchers who you think could provide value over the next 1-3 seasons. Cheers! 4:14 Meg Rowley: Once again, encourage folks to chat with our fantasy writers about fantasy baseball for I am not an expert and think you deserve good advice vs. whatever I’d give you. 4:15 Carlos: Thoughts on an IFA draft replacing the current system? Seems like a big overhaul with a lot of unintended consequences similar to a lot of old standing systems 4:17 Meg Rowley: Just generally, I’m not in favor of drafts. I don’t think they are the only mechanism by which the abuses in the international market can be remedied and think players should be able to pick where they work, and get be paid what they’re worth for their services. 4:17 LLW: Andrew Heaney has pitched for the Angels since 2015 but I have never seen him actually pitch for them. Can you confirm that Andrew Heaney is real and not a composite character that represents every promising Angels pitcher that didn’t pan out in a movie about Mike Trout’s life? 4:18 Meg Rowley: I can neither confirm nor deny this reality, but I would be interested in seeing this as a fourth season of Twin Peaks. 4:18 Rex: The Cubs are making it difficult to be a fan of theirs. 4:19 Meg Rowley: You’re allowed to take a season off! You’re allowed to take multiple seasons off! It doesn’t make you a better or worse fan, and you only get to be alive the one time. 4:19 Meg Rowley: Use that time however it best makes you happy. If that isn’t with the Cubs, or isn’t with this version of them, don’t worry about it! 4:19 Joe: What do you think of Bauer to the Dodgers? 4:20 Meg Rowley: That his deal will be both shorter and less lucrative that he or we expected if that’s where he ends up. 4:20 Appa Yip Yip: Did teams just kind of agree to take turns this off-season? Seems like teams are taking turns. 4:21 Meg Rowley: The Padres are buying several other teams’ turns in that case. 4:21 Seamball: If baseball tries to muddle through with full payrolls but no fans all season, do you think some franchises might go bankrupt? I don’t see how it’s possible without dipping very deep into owners’ separate businesses and personal finances. 4:21 Meg Rowley: I think you’re underestimating how lucrative central revenues are over 162 games. 4:22 Meg Rowley: I don’t doubt that teams aren’t doing as well as they did in 2019, and that some teams are better positioned to weather another down season than others. 4:23 Meg Rowley: But it would be awfully surprising if they’re that close to the edge. This might be a helpful framework. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/what-the-braves-can-tell-us-about-mlb-fina… 4:24 Meg Rowley: Heh, well you still had a good week, Toronto: Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN Michael Brantley gets a two-year, $32 million deal with the Astros. 20 Jan 2021 4:25 Fernando Tatis-Buck Jr.: Best fit for Kolten Wong? 4:25 Meg Rowley: He was a great fit for the Cardinals! 4:26 Meg Rowley: I’m not snarking – of the contenders, they’re the first place on our depth charts where you think, you know what they need? 4:27 Meg Rowley: I mean, the A’s could use help there, too. 4:27 Meg Rowley: He’s a touch old to be an add for the next Giants core but… 4:28 Jesse: With the Blue Jays spending big money on springer (and maybe Brantley) How do you think they’re going to upgrade their rotation? Bauer seems unlikely now and guys like Tanaka and Odorizzi just dont seem like they’d be high impact players at this point. 4:28 BlueJayMatt: Toronto still needs high-end pitching – I don’t want Bauer so who else is available through the trade market? 4:28 Meg Rowley: I wonder if they look at someone like Paxton or bring back Walker. 4:31 Riann: Meg, the prospect cost for a bunch of Cy contenders and Francisco Lindor was… not high. Are most teams de-prioritizing the short-term because they know something I don’t about how much mileage they’re going to get out of these guys in 2021? Thanks! 4:35 Meg Rowley: While saying that I don’t think the packages for Snell, Darvish and Lindor/Carrasco are equivalent, I think it is more that top prospects don’t move that often to begin with, Lindor is only a year from free agency and Cleveland had 40-man crunch to consider, the Rays prioritize guys who are further away, and the Cubs are… signaling they don’t think they’ll win for a while? 4:35 Guest: I traded away Dallas Keuchel for peanuts at the beginning of 2014. I’m still kicking myself for it. Should I ever forgive myself? 4:37 Meg Rowley: On the one hand, of course, it truly isn’t that big a deal! On the other, I sometimes think about all the shitty things I said to my sister when we were kids who fought all the time at like, 3 AM so… 4:37 Meg Rowley: So I’m not sure I’m the right person to ask? 4:37 Meg Rowley: (My sister is my best friend now, so it is fine. My brain is just not nice to me sometimes.) 4:37 Julian: Meg! Christmas hasn’t really come until it’s Prospect Week at FanGraphs. Any clue when we can expect it? Thanks! 4:38 Meg Rowley: I know you didn’t mean it like this, but I’d be a pretty bad managing editor if I didn’t? 4:38 Meg Rowley: As we have the last few years it’ll be the week after the week immediately following the Super Bowl (the week of Feb 15). 4:40 Andoru: Woah! Brantley returns to Houston! Your first thoughts? 4:40 Meg Rowley: They needed outfielders and he’s a good one. Makes sense. 4:42 Appa Yip Yip: Are you ever tempted to just … give bad fantasy advice? 4:43 Meg Rowley: Yes. I am a human who sometimes feels grumpy. But that’s hardly ever our readers’ fault so… 4:43 Guest: I bet my friend 88 beers that Will Smith (the catcher) wouldn’t be a top 10 catcher at the end of the season. Am I stupid? Or crazy? Or is my lack of faith in catchers performing consistently at a high level justified? 4:44 Meg Rowley: Maybe you just enjoy having beers with your friend! That makes you neither stupid nor crazy. I don’t think your assessment of Smith is accurate, but that’s a separate concern. 4:45 Meg Rowley: I don’t think there are 10 catchers I’d take instead of Smith. I’m not sure there are five. 4:45 Rob: I want to believe they (the Mets in this case, but teams in general) do care but can’t help but think if they weren’t taking a PR hit that they would have largely ignored Porter’s transgressions. 4:45 Meg Rowley: The public reporting absolutely mattered here, and I don’t mean to suggest otherwise, or to say that they handled this perfectly. 4:46 Meg Rowley: But I think they care some. Or at least are keen to move on to an era where they’re thought of as one of the game’s premier franchise. That’s isn’t an altruistic reason but… 4:47 Dodger Fan: I’d like a Bauer in my stocking tomorrow morning. 4:47 Meg Rowley: Look I know we’re all playing fast and loose with our housekeeping because well, this is a stressful time, but really we ought to be done with Christmas by now. 4:48 Ad-rock: Hi, Meg. What is the worst text you’ve received from a man? 4:48 Meg Rowley: You didn’t submit this thinking you’d get an answer, right? 4:50 Meg Rowley: I look forward to a time when women and non-binary folks working in sports and sports media don’t have to share their worst days at work/on the planet every few months in the name of illuminating treatment we should all have a handle on by now. 4:50 Nolan: I’m curious about the Padres lack of attachment to the FA bullpen options. For a team that seems to be pretty stacked elsewhere, and with a pretty flush market, the bullpen hasn’t gotten any love. Am I underestimating things like a Pagan bounceback and youngsters like Baez, Weathers, and Morejon performing well? 4:52 Meg Rowley: With the usual “they’re relievers, who the hell knows?” disclaimer, yes, I think you are. I think it’s also a matter of resource allocation. They had to get some other stuff done first – wouldn’t be surprised if they end up with a few other guys, though jeez, at some point they actually will run out of roster space. 4:52 Adam: Joc to Toronto? 4:53 Meg Rowley: So I said that Brantley would be good there, but he’s not strictly necessary and I imagine the focus is going to be on the pitching side. 4:55 Me Growley: I’m sitting on my own in a darkened room, nursing a bottle of vodka and my own misanthropy. C’mon, tell me the Brewers lack of offseason action is because they’re about to make a huge signing. PS Eric Sogard returning does not count. 4:55 Meg Rowley: I guess what I’d say is that it probably won’t be all that hard to win the central this year? 4:55 Meg Rowley: Did that help? 4:56 Guest: Low key, is the Mets acquisition of 3 years of Lucchesi for a minor league catcher really slick, or is it just me? 4:57 Meg Rowley: If you’re asking if I thought the pulled one over on the teams involved, no. It’s a good trade that makes a lot of sense for them, but it also made a lot of sense for the other teams involved to get what they did. 4:59 Corey: What do the Dodgers do at 3rd base? and when? I’m a fan of JT and I’d like to see him come back but I’d like to hear your take. 5:00 Meg Rowley: I still think they end up getting that done – there was a brief stretch where I thought they’d let Turner walk and trade for Lindor and slide Seager over, but Turner seems to want to come back and they seem to want him, so I imagine that’s what ends up happening. 5:00 Andy: Does Albert Pujols finish the season on the Angels active roster? Or does he hang ’em up after they are out of playoff contention in July? 5:01 Meg Rowley: I can’t imagine him retiring mid-season, no matter where the Angels are in the standings. This is likely his final year. He’ll get a retirement tour, and it will be very nice. 5:02 Theo Epstein: What should be at the top of my “To-Do list” now that I’m in with the commissioner’s office? 5:03 Meg Rowley: Convince Manfred to let the shift stuff sort itself out. Teams clearly aren’t optimizing its deployment, but will eventually (which I think will result in being used less) and I’m very much done hearing about it every few months! 5:03 Petty Person, Probably: Is it irrational that I kind of don’t want my favorite team- who needs a good 3B- to sign Justin Turner because of the COVID shenanigans? 5:04 Meg Rowley: Baseball is entertainment. COVID is very serious, and should be treated as such. Turner was a dope. How unforgivable that is is going to vary person to person, but there are way sillier reasons to stop liking entertainment stuff. 5:04 Meg Rowley: Ok everyone, I need to get rolling. 5:05 Meg Rowley: My apologies for what I didn’t get to, and thanks for the great questions. Until next week!