Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 12/3/19 by Meg Rowley December 3, 2019 2:00 Meg Rowley: Hi all, and welcome to the chat! 2:00 Meg Rowley: We’ll get going in a second here, but a few things to highlight from the site today: 2:01 Meg Rowley: First, Jay’s Jeter profile is live, and a good read, so read it! https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2020-hall-of-fame-ballot-dere… 2:01 Meg Rowley: Craig took a look at the Moustakas deal: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/reds-go-big-with-mike-moustakas/ 2:02 Meg Rowley: and also at some themes that emerged from the non-tender deadline: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/five-lessons-from-the-wild-non-tender-dead… 2:02 Meg Rowley: Also, this reported piece from Justin Klugh on the Wichita Wind Surge and the controversy surrounding their name is well worth your time: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-change-in-the-wind-wichita-faces-blowbac… 2:03 Meg Rowley: Tony contemplated César Hernández: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/cesar-hernandez-could-be-a-worthwhile-proj… 2:04 Meg Rowley: and shortly, we’ll have trade analysis on the Profar deal from Eric 2:04 Meg Rowley: with all that linked to, let’s get started 2:04 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: It’s non-tender season, which means lots of lazy headlines about how team X is too cheap to pay player Y. While that obviously factors in, has anyone tried to calculate the value of a roster spot? They’re a scarce resource. 2:06 Meg Rowley: I think it can be a bit of both. Yes, roster spots are a resource, and not an endless one, and as someone who’d prefer that players become free agents sooner than later, them hitting that milestone earlier isn’t inherently bad. But those things can all be true and some of the non-tender decisions can still be troubling, either because they indicate cheapness on the part of ownership, or a dearth of trade candidates for good players who ought to be in demand by winnings teams. 2:06 stever20: Why do you think we’ve gone Back to the Future with this Free Agency Period with all these seemingly over value and over long deals(like Moustakas and Pomeranz)? 2:09 Meg Rowley: I think that last year we saw the top of the market paid well and so while I was surprised by the length of those deals, I don’t know that we know nearly enough to say that something fundamental has shifted (I’m skeptical it has). The reliever market has actually been pretty resilient to the downward pressure we’ve seen squeeze other position groups; the Reds want to win, and Moustakas is good. There are more specific forces that are in play for those guys. 2:09 Stuafoo: Does Betances make sneaky sense for the Ms? Offer a one year somewhat high AAV to let him reestablish himself while giving the Ms a good deadline trade chip, which also gets rid of the baggage of a qualifying offer when he hits the market again next year. 2:09 Meg Rowley: My sense of the current payroll situation in Seattle is that they won’t be dolling out any high AAV deals, even of the short variety. 2:11 Meg Rowley: There are a lot of guys who make sense for Seattle to sign now with the understanding they’ll be around come 2021, I just don’t think they’ll sign of them. Some of that is going to be the decision of free agents; not sure you’d want to hitch to Seattle’s train before you have stronger proof of concept with the prospects, as it were. But a not small part of it is going to be a budget thing. 2:11 Brian: Do you ever grab your tummy when hungry and say “Me Growley” in a Cookie Monster voice? 2:11 Meg Rowley: Not my go-to muppet impression, sorry to say. 2:11 Sodo Mojo: Do you expect Dipoto to sign another veteran free agent Starting Pitcher and if so whom? 2:13 Meg Rowley: Yes, but an inexpensive one. Wonder if they look at Walker now that the Dbacks have non-tendered him. 2:13 Meg Rowley: I don’t say that with inside info, just wonder. 2:13 Jon G: The contracts that have been agreed to thus far have been pretty strong for the players, relative to expectations. Is this a blip, or could we finally start tentatively feeling a little bit better about labor’s share of revenue and its implications for a potential work stoppage in 2022? 2:15 Meg Rowley: I doubt very strongly that we see the percentage of revenue shift in a meaningful way. The influence of veterans in the union certainly matters (it’s part of how we got the current CBA), but based on how they’ve ramped up in the last few months, I imagine (hope) the union knows better. 2:15 Meg Rowley: Some guys are getting paid, but you still have a not-small percentage of the league talking about cutting budgets, or stepping back from competition. 2:15 Molecular Lionel: Reds and Moose: good fit, overpay, a little bit of both? 2:17 Meg Rowley: Good fit, maybe a touch of an overpay but far from one that’ll hurt their ability to do other stuff given the current state of their payroll and what they have coming off the books soon. 2:17 Meg Rowley: I love it for them. The Central is far from settled, and they want to win. 2:17 Chris: what do you think of Jurickson Profar? 2:19 Meg Rowley: Despite everything, he remains interesting. On the one hand, it feels like we know what we’re getting – at some point the prospect shine really does have to fade, but he’s still hilariously younger than you think he is. Still in the “let’s see what we can do with him” bucket for me. 2:19 Chris: Can/should Wil Myers be traded? 2:20 Meg Rowley: From the Padres perspective, he should be, but it’s going to be tricky to find a partner for him. 2:20 Meg Rowley: Eric had some good insight on this in his piece on the Brewers-Padres Thanksgiving Eve trade: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/analyzing-the-brewers-and-padres-swap-of-y… 2:20 Billy Beane: Hey Meg. Watch any good TV lately? I’ve been watching more TV since baseball ended and there sure is a lot of it. 2:22 Meg Rowley: I do not say this in a sassy way, but more in a, I am very overwhelmed by how much TV there is way, but I’ve been trying to read instead of watch TV now that evenings are freer. That said, did burn through a few old X-Files episodes over the long weekend, and will I swear finally get to Succession at some point here. 2:22 Jimmy_Changa: I’m happy for the market in general that Moustakas got his deal and a beefy one at that. But since Eno’s article about he and Hosmer bullying him, I haven’t liked that guy. Is that fair? 2:23 Meg Rowley: There are worse reasons not to like a players, though I’ve mostly heard ok stuff about him since. Never good to be a jerk, though. Hopefully he’s reflected on that. 2:23 Robert: JD Martinez has a three-team no-trade clause that he had to submit by the end of November. Under what circumstances would he agree to a trade to any of those three teams (specifically wondering about the White Sox, who had interest in him before opting in)? Contract extension? 2:24 Meg Rowley: Would imagine an extension that makes the next opt out a non-starter, which seems unlikely, though those lists always have more than money involved, so there might also need to be a shift in how serious they are about contending, which, deals like the Grandal one help with that! 2:24 Meg Rowley: lol remember how the White Sox signed Grandal? 2:25 I love celery: Really curious about your thoughts on Evan White. Do you think he’ll win a starting job out of spring training? What’s his ceiling as a player? 2:26 Meg Rowley: They have absolutely no reason not to have him be the Opening Day starter unless he has a disastrous spring 2:27 Meg Rowley: I think he’s super interesting. You might think, how amped can I be about first base defense, but friends, I am here to tell you can be amped. White’s a backwards guy (bats R/throws L) and if the changes to the swing stick/work, he’s an interesting profile at first, because he doesn’t have huge power but could still be a decent hitter and actually provide value with his defense. 2:28 Meg Rowley: All of that said, I think Kiley got it right when he wrote about the deal. If White is happy, I am happy for him, but deals like this are bad for baseball generally. 2:28 Meg Rowley: Hosmer got (I think) $10 million in some of his arb years — if White is good, he could have done better than this deal’s AAV and now he won’t be in the arb pool as a comp 2:29 Meg Rowley: there’s risk to the profile, and he’s a weird-ass, so I get why he did it, but it’s still a bummer 2:31 E.L.: I don’t have a question, I’m just hiding from Giants fans who are inexplicably livid about Pillar getting non-tendered… 2:32 Meg Rowley: Think Mike said it best Mike Petriello @mike_petriello Kevin Pillar, at this point, is a below-average hitter and a decent outfielder. That’s not terribly impressive, but it also makes him like the third-best Giants player, so yeah, they should probably tender him just to have competency for next season. 2 Dec 2019 2:32 Roger: Have there been any updates on the Kris Bryant grievance? We heard a resolution was expected soon, but so far there’s been nothing. Resolving it would seem to be important for the Cubs’ off-season plans, as well as for teams that might want to trade for Bryant. 2:32 Meg Rowley: You aren’t wrong that it is important for their plans, but no, haven’t heard anything recent. 2:33 Meg Rowley: Imagine that makes it less likely that he gets moved, which, hey, that’s not the worst news. 2:33 Trent: T. Walker, D. Hultzen, or J. Nelson: which broken pitcher would be most enticing to a club looking for a buy-low arm? 2:35 Meg Rowley: Probably Walker just based on age, but Nelson close behind because he’s demonstrated good production recently. 2:35 stever20: regardless- it’s nice here on Dec 3 and have already several free agents signed. 2:35 Meg Rowley: For sure, and it’s really nice to see Moustakas finally land a multi-year deal and for a club that is interesting. 2:36 Them: Starling Marte is a good player, but would be he a significant enough incremental improvement for the Mets in center (over a combination of Brandon Nimmo and, say, Pillar or Hamilton) to be worth trading away significant prospect capital or other young players (that could maybe be used to acquire a starter or good reliever instead)? 2:36 Meg Rowley: I’d be more concerned about the rotation and the bullpen if I were them 2:37 Ryan: Which non-tendered player do you think is most appealing to potential contenders? 2:38 Meg Rowley: Walker, Pillar as a fourth outfielder, Cron 2:38 Lunar verLander: …what IS your go-to muppet impression, then? 2:38 Bring Back Jeff: Okay, well then what IS your go-to muppet impression? We’re asking the tough questions today. 2:38 Guest: Whats your go-to muppet impression? 2:38 Molecular Lionel: Begs the question – what IS your go-to muppet impression? 2:39 Meg Rowley: some things are just for me and mine, sorry pals 2:39 Meg Rowley: Oh and Treinen, on the non-tender side. Imagine someone tries to right the ship there. 2:40 GSon: Will Brian Cashman be given a mandate to “make a splash” to rile up the NYY fans.. The buzz on them seems to be fading.. Viewership and merchandise numbers aside.. making a “big deal” would re-energize the fanbase.. Lindor to the Indians for whatever they want (not names Gleyber)? 2:40 Meg Rowley: I’m sorry, are we pretending we live in a world where Yankees fans need riling? 2:41 Meg Rowley: They should sign a front-line starter. They should be all over Cole or Stras or Wheeler or some combo, but uh, I don’t think the star is fading, as it were. 2:41 Sanford: Hi Meg, do you think Addison Russell gets picked up, and by which team? 2:41 Ryan: As a Cubs fan, I’m relieved they did what they should have done a year ago by non tendering Russell, but how long will it be before he’s back on a team and in the majors? 2:43 Meg Rowley: He’s a light-hitting infielder who isn’t a defensive standout, and who is three years removed from a three-win season. That’s before you factor in what his signing messages to fans, particularly survivors. He might just go unsigned. 2:43 Sanford: Watching Phil Hughes open up Pokemon cards on his YouTube channel is…..not how I envisioned I’d be spending the off season. 2:43 Meg Rowley: Ummm this sounds delightful. 2:44 Bebo, Sr.: It doesn’t seem like there’s enough concern over the Reds signing Moustakas for four years to play a position he’s never played over an extended period of time before. Or that it forces Senzel into center full time. 2:45 Meg Rowley: I think there’s just a different sense than there used to be about who can play second 2:45 GSon: Four year ARB eligible players of special note are able to get $ 42 – $ 58 MM in salary. (Betts, Lindor, others trajectory). White signing the contract he did, establishes himself as a second tier, non-superstar player.. Comment? 2:46 Meg Rowley: I don’t think it was controversial to say he wasn’t in that tier of player with Betts et al before the deal? 2:46 stever20: Next weeks Winter Meetings will be the busiest Winter Meeting in ??? years. 2:46 Meg Rowley: at least one 2:47 OK Maybe A Little Pepper: What would you name the Wichita AAA team? 2:47 Meg Rowley: I don’t live there, so not really my place 2:48 Zander: Wouldn’t Evan White be more valuable in the OF? I’ve read scouts feel he could play RF or even CF. It seems like value is suppressed so much by the positional adjustment at first. I know a good 1B lifts up the entire infield, but do you think the Mariners should eventually consider a Bellinger-esque transition? Especially since it seems very unlikely that the offense will be anywhere near that level. 2:49 Meg Rowley: Where are you playing Kelenic and Julio then? I wouldn’t be surprised if he got occasional reps out there, but the defense at first really is special. 2:49 Outta my way, Gyorkass: As a Brewers fan, do I have valid reason to be uneasy with my team’s offseason so far? Lot of cost cutting, and rumblings starting to come out that ownership wants to cut back on payroll. 2:50 Meg Rowley: I think unease is an acceptable feeling. I mean, feel how you want, obviously, but I think that is a feeling that is responding rationally to stimulus. 2:51 TC Bear: The Twins not picking up Gibson’s option and non tendering Cron is all part of their plan to move Sano to first and then sign Rendon, Cole, and Strasburg. Rest of the AL, you’ve been warned. 2:52 Meg Rowley: You all hear that. 2:53 Grassquatch : How do you think Omar Narvaez is valued across the league? Is he catcher enough where his offense is valuable? Would an NL team consider him? 2:53 Meg Rowley: He’s getting trade interest, but like, man the defense is not good. 2:54 Nolan: Do you think we’ll see significant progress in the MLB-MiLB negotiations regarding proposed contraction while the two sides are at the winter meetings? 2:54 Meg Rowley: I don’t think so. MLB doesn’t sound particularly pliable at the moment. 2:55 Meg Rowley: (sorry folks, doing a little editorial directing work — a moment) 2:58 Jasper: Hey Meg! Is there/are there any move(s) that would make the A’s favorites in the AL West? 2:59 Meg Rowley: they would involve a lot more money than the team has ever shown an interest in spending or VERY strong punishment heading the Astros way for sign stealing 2:59 Grassquatch : so, is Santana’s non-tender a vote for Vogelbach, or a reflection of a lack of demand for bat first OF? I mean, I would have bet Dipoto has been shopping Domingo hard already, and concluded he’d be left holding the bag. You too? 2:59 Meg Rowley: the second 3:00 Tyler: The Padres now have an infield in which the players as prospects ranked as high as 1 (Profar), 2 (Tatis), 6 (Machado), and 8 (Hosmer). That says “lots of upside,” but I wonder: who has seen his stock fall further–Hosmer or Profar? 3:00 Meg Rowley: Profar for sure 3:01 Meg Rowley: Alright folks, I need to get going to do the whole site running thing. 3:01 Meg Rowley: Sorry for the questions I didn’t get to, and thanks for all of them. I hope everyone has a great week.