Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 12/2/2020

4:00
Chris: You’re back!?!

4:00
Bb: M-Ro is in da house!

4:00
Meg Rowley: Friends, I am indeed returned.

4:01
Meg Rowley: I appreciate your patience with my absence, but I should be able to be back in the mostly regular swing of things from now on.

4:01
Drew: Was the “flood” of coming non-tenders perhaps overestimated? Many of the bigger question marks such as Pham, Gray and Sanchez all seem on their way to tenders, and with the exception of Rosario so far no big profile name has surprised me much

4:02
Meg Rowley: I don’t think we can really gauge it yet. Outside of Rosario, you’re right that no big names have revealed themselves yet, but given the general uptick in non-tenders over the last few pandemic free years, I don’t imagine cost conscious teams are going to be suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of payroll generosity.

4:03
Meg Rowley: We shall see and in short order, though, and we’ll have coverage on today’s moves tomorrow.

4:03
Meg Rowley: I’d also encourage everyone to follow Jason on twitter, and keep an eye on our on RosterResource pages: https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/offseason-tracker

4:04
Cromwell: How is it that teams and players have to make important business decisions and they don’t know if their league will have a DH?

4:05
Meg Rowley: It is unfortunate, but I wonder how much it realllly changes things for the vast majority of free agents. Cruz’s market is likely to be fairly robust regardless, and the 1B/DH guys who get non-tendered are non-tendered mostly because of how fungible they are thought to be.

4:05
Lunar verLander: A FanGraphs chat in the middle of an NFL game…strange times we live in.

4:05
Meg Rowley: 2020 remains deeply strange.

4:05
Toshi: Welcome back! If you are Dipoto 😁, would you trade for Snell, sign Paxton, Walker,  somebody else, or no starter this off season?  Thanks!

4:09
Meg Rowley: I don’t expect Seattle to spend very much this offseason; realistically, they’re fringe contenders this year (and only if the prospects hit) and closer to real contenders in 2022. Paxton and Walker might fit budget-wise, with both recently hurt. Snell might appeal but if you’re stocking a rotation around young dudes, I think you probably want a guy who can eat more innings?

4:09
Scotty: Meg, hello. What was the best food you had on Thanksgiving?

4:10
Meg Rowley: Ate some very good tamales, enjoyed some very excellent mashed sweet potatoes, but the pecan pie probably takes it.

4:11
Appa Yip Yip: Swole Vlad is coming to a Dominican team near you.

4:12
Meg Rowley: I can’t say enough good things about streaming the Dominican Winter League. First, it is baseball. Second, the prospects are quite exciting. Third, it is very affordable. Fourth, it is baseball.

4:13
Meg Rowley: Good luck getting the Presidente Golden Light song out of your head though.

4:13
Guest: for dynasty baseball, who has more value, Dansby Swanson or Mike Yastremski?

4:13
Meg Rowley: Since it has been a moment since I’ve chatted, I’ll remind folks that we have many very good fantasy baseball writes on staff, and I am absolutely not one of them.

4:14
Guest: Offseason topic for EW: a Stove League episode!

4:14
Meg Rowley: Ben, you can just gchat me.

4:15
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Would teams let you interview or do a podcast segment with FG alums working for them as long as you do not discuss substantive baseball matters?

4:15
Meg Rowley: Check out one of last week’s EW episodes! Chatted with an old friend: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/effectively-wild-episode-1620-jeff-sulliva…

4:16
Meg Rowley: Teams differ in their policy on this and it can change over time.

4:17
Bighen: Not to be ghoulish but I was sort of waiting for rolling news all day of guys that were being non-tendered.   Will there just be a list at some point ?

4:17
Meg Rowley: Yup – keep an eye on RosterResource – stuff will hit MLB’s transaction log on a lag.

4:17
Guest: Have you considered / wanted to write about the NFL or Seahawks?

4:20
Meg Rowley: I enjoy having a thing I can be just a fan of, don’t feel technically proficient enough to write about football, and also am skeptical that my brand of whimsy plays with football fans. There are absolutely exceptions, but football folks can be a self-serious bunch.

4:21
Lunar verLander: How different do you think the Winter Meetings will be now that it’s all virtual?

4:21
Meg Rowley: I’ll sleep more and do my hair less

4:22
ryan: Hi Meg, welcome back! I’m wondering which SS you would target if you were the Reds….I’m leaning towards a free agent option over Lindor/Story simply so it’s not a rental, though Garcia may be ready for real in a year or so….thoughts?

4:23
Meg Rowley: I think the Reds have a great deal of general depth and need a few stars – I think if you trade for a marquee guy you can make it not a rental by… offering him a fair extension.

4:25
Josh: What is the biggest non-tender surprise today, if you were to predict?

4:25
Meg Rowley: Pham was pretty surprising to me, but a pleasant one.

4:25
Dayton Moore Talking Head: What is the conventional wisdom among FG staffers regarding the next CBA: lots of brinksmanship but no work stoppage, short work stoppage, lose most to all of a season, end of baseball as we know it, or end of society as we know it (the Brockmire timeline)?

4:27
Meg Rowley: I think the answer to that question will depend a lot on the economics of the 2021 season – if we end up with a shortened season, I’m not sure how much appetite there will be on either side for a third straight year of compromised revenue, though obviously the owners are better positioned to weather that than the players are.

4:29
Meg Rowley: I think it will be acrimonious, both because of the labor issues involved and the way the last year has degraded  the relationship between ownership and the players.

4:30
Ralph: hey meg, do you think teams will focus even more on homegrown talent given the pandemic situation as teams are looking to cut payroll and avoiding big contracts?

4:31
Meg Rowley: Yes, to the extent possible, but also, if every team doesn’t want to spend money, it could create some bargains out there, even if the players are exceedingly (and rightly) grumpy about it.

4:31
Neal: Hi Meg! That’s all.

4:31
Meg Rowley: Hello.

4:32
Nick: How about a Kris Bryant-Gary Sanchez challenge trade?  The Yankees get a versatile hitter who can fill in at OF or IF depending on which half-dozen Yankees get hurt this year; the Cubs fill the DH position they’ll likely need to fill this year; and the players get the chance to leave behind toxic relationships with their current teams for the opportunity to forge new relationships in new cities.

4:34
Meg Rowley: The salary gap might be appealing there but Chicago also has Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo, so that makes Sánchez’s playing time tricky, and suddenly he’s blocked at first if he has to stop catching… again.

4:34
Bb: Favorite baseball moment of 2020?

4:34
Meg Rowley: Selfishly, that there was baseball – I like having a job very much!

4:36
Meg Rowley: On the field, I greatly enjoyed Yu Darvish’s season, the Padres and White Sox were fun, and also Kyle Lewis’ year was a good time.

4:36
Jack: When can we expect the next EW episode? We’ve missed hearing your voice the past week!

4:36
Meg Rowley: We did three episodes last week and I was in all of them!

4:36
Meg Rowley: Ben and I are recording twice tomorrow, how about that?

4:37
Cat Latos: Yay Meg is back!

4:37
Meg Rowley: Thank you kindly.

4:38
Guest: In the era of wokeness, how does one reconcile one’s love of a sports team, with the fact that owner of said sports team is a billionaire who makes political donations one finds abhorrent. Can’t figure out how to give them my money when I know that some small portion of that money is going to end up somewhere awful.

4:40
Meg Rowley: “Era of wokeness” is perhaps a suboptimal way to refer to the idea of trying to spend one’s money carefully, but also, ethical consumption under capitalism is really hard! Some would argue almost impossible! I don’t think you’re obligated to stop rooting for teams because their owners are billionaires, but I’d also say you don’t have to root for teams you find odious. Does that split the difference?

4:40
Guest: Evening, Meg. How do you see the international stuff developing? More games in the UK etc similar to the NFL route or any different challenges with MLB? Ps. thanks for the podcasts 🙂

4:42
Meg Rowley: I continue to be puzzled by the appeal of putting games in the UK rather than trying to more meaningfully partner with countries in Asia/LatAm with vibrant, established baseball cultures. But also, I think any international expansion is probably on hold until a vaccine is more widely available.

4:43
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Happy December Meg! Does the Mike Minor deal suggest a better than expected pitching free agent market or was this just Dayton Moore doing Dayton Moore things?

4:45
Meg Rowley: I think it’s the most player friendly part of the market, and is a good sign of where team priorities are, but it isn’t so wildly above expectation that I think it means we’re in a stronger market than we thought going in.

4:46
Pete: Is the new MLB Draft League going to get higher quality players than the Cape Cod League?

4:46
Meg Rowley: I don’t think so, no.

4:47
Meg Rowley: I’m not sure the timing lends itself to the best amateur talent, and the drafted dudes are just going to go to the complexes, I’d imagine.

4:48
Appa Yip Yip: Completely ignoring the Netherlands and the Honkball Hoofdklasse is a crime.

4:48
Appa Yip Yip: Didi Gregorious is a straight up knight of the order of Orange-Nassau for doing well in the WBC. Sir Didi is not just a fun nickname. The queen of the Netherlands knighted him.

4:48
Meg Rowley: Not saying there aren’t other places that play baseball, but if there is interest in marquee international events, seems like there are better options.

4:48
Michael scott: Meg what was your “ Ive been living under a rock all this time” moment in your life?

4:49
Meg Rowley: When I went to college on the East Coast after growing up in Seattle and realizing how obsessed East Coasters are with American cheese.

4:50
Meg Rowley: Indeed, I might assert it is the single most underreported difference between the PNW and the East Coast. Eat more cheddar, imo.

4:50
Guest: What are some things MLB should be doing to level the playing field for women in baseball? Would a Rooney-rule type requirement be a start?

4:53
Meg Rowley: I think directives aimed at ensuring a robust, meaningful hiring process is important to building an executive body that better reflects the people who play and enjoy baseball. I think improving mentorship and mobility for more junior folks from underrepresented groups is how you get middle management who makes sense to interview for those roles, and is really important, too.

4:54
Dave: Do you think Realmuto goes to whoever offers the most $? He’s played on some awful teams already so it would make sense for him to choose a destination where winning is a priority. At the same time, he is the best FA position player so does he have a responsibility to his fellow players to take the largest possible deal?

4:55
Meg Rowley: I don’t think he’ll have to choose. He’s the best free agent on the market, and at a position that is hilariously thin league-wide.

4:56
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: …are you dissing the best melting cheese?

4:57
Meg Rowley: I think people should eat what they like. I was just surprised that people liked it so much. Wasn’t part of my experience.

4:58
jamesdakrn: Which team has the bleakest future? i.e. stuck in the no-man’s land between contending and rebuilding with a bad farm & mediocre on-field product?

It *has* to be the Rockies right? Even the Pirates have built a decent farm, whereas the Rockies… idk what Bridich is doing

4:59
Meg Rowley: Yeeesh, yes. I think so. There are smart folks who work for the org but they’re pretty directionless, give out weird contracts, have alienated their franchise player, and still have to play baseball on the moon.

5:00
Meg Rowley: Ok pals, I have to get rolling, but I’ll be back same time next week. Meg chat!





Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the co-host of Effectively Wild. Prior to joining FanGraphs, her work appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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John Elway
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NEIGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!