Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 2/12/19 by Meg Rowley February 12, 2019 2:00 Meg Rowley: Hello and welcome to the chat! 2:00 Meg Rowley: Allow me a brief moment to retrieve my coffee from the microwave. 2:00 Meg Rowley: Shall be back shortly. 2:02 Meg Rowley: I have returned. Many thanks for your collective patience. 2:03 Chris: Have the odds the Padres land Harper gone up or down since your last chat? 2:04 Meg Rowley: I suppose down slightly, though I still think I think that he ends up in Philly. I still think I think that. 2:04 EL: The Giants ZIPS projections look dire. Any reason to be hopeful this season? 2:04 Meg Rowley: If you don’t spend your hope credits this season, they’ll be worth less next season? 2:04 Meg Rowley: I agree with Dan that MadBum will probably pitch more than ZiPS does? 2:05 Meg Rowley: They could still spend some money on players who would make them better? 2:05 Chris: Who is the Padres Opening Day 3B? Mike Moustakas? 2:06 Meg Rowley: Barring Machado, seems like a real, real good fit. 2:06 oldmannearthesea: Do you think there’s a case being built for some type of informal collusion going on? Or do you just see this as a secular change in the market with no intra-league discussions taking place? 2:09 Meg Rowley: Capital C real deal collusion is a big charge to level, and I’m not convinced that is going on. I think the scarier and more probable motivator is that a lot of teams and teams’ owners are arriving at similar conclusions about how the on-field product and profit are decoupling from one another. Collusion we could prove would in some ways be preferable, because if it were proven, the game has rules to deal with it. 2:09 Meg Rowley: I think what we have requires new legislation, as it were. 2:09 FanGraphsFan: Sheryl deserves a ton of credit (along with everyone else here). She’s like a full-time LAWYER and still has time to write multiple in-depth legal articles a week, on baseball. 2:09 Meg Rowley: Sheryl is a marvel. I will never understand how she makes time for us, but I am supremely grateful that she does. 2:10 Bread Gardner: ADULT MEN ARE BEING MADE MANY DOLLARS TO PLAY CATCH IN SUNNY LOCALES WHILE I AM BEING PAID FAR LESS TO SIT IN A SNOWY OFFICE AND I AM NOT BEING SARCASTIC ABOUT HOW EXCITED I AM 2:11 Meg Rowley: It is not terrible to remember, after a winter that gave us many very valid and serious reasons to worry about the organized, professional baseball, that baseball is in fact, the (Dylan, I’m gonna do a swear) god damn best. 2:11 Zock Jr.: Meg, what ace do you think is the biggest surprise? Like, if you cast your mind back 2-3 years and compare your impression then to now. 2:12 Meg Rowley: Oh that’s a really fun question 2:12 Meg Rowley: Hmmm hold for a moment and allow me to look at something 2:14 Meg Rowley: Depends how you define it, I suppose. Paxton is in there. Patrick Corbin? 2:14 Meg Rowley: Oh you know who it is for me? 2:14 Meg Rowley: I have it. 2:14 Meg Rowley: You have to lean into a particular definition of ace but German Marquez. 2:15 Safety Stegosaurus: Which grammatical mistake annoys you the most? 2:15 Meg Rowley: The ones I don’t catch, which does happen. I hate when I don’t catch mistakes. Don’t enjoy letting folks down. 2:16 ReallySeamus: Service time manipulation really bothers me, both as a fan who wants to see great young players ASAP and as somebody who hates seeing the labor force exploited. Starting a service time clock from the moment a player signs his first professional contract would seem sensible to me, but I can’t imagine teams would ever agree to that. Is there a viable solution out there, or is this just something we have to endure given that the MLBPA seems to have bigger fish to fry? 2:18 Meg Rowley: I think with all of these, there’s the tear down, start over, really make it a free fair market path, and the likely one. I think something like Sheryl’s proposed solution of making a year of MLB service be any year where a player spends more time in the majors than the minors is the best we might get, and even that will face resistance. It has to hurt more for teams to keep top prospects down. It won’t solve it completely, but it will help. 2:18 Meg Rowley: Give. Us. Vlad. Jr. Right. Now. Thanks. 2:18 The Amish: Give me Dan Vogelbach ABs or give me death 2:19 Meg Rowley: I am very sorry that you now have to be a ghost. 2:19 Cody: Do you expect EE to remain a Mariner through Spring Training? 2:19 Meg Rowley: I do. Doesn’t seem to be any sort of market for him. 2:19 Meg Rowley: Will be weird to watch competent first base play from a Mariner. Hmmm. 2:19 TKDC: What do you think of this theory: Kyler Murray can easily fail at QB and jump back to baseball. He’s going to get a shot this fall. He will be put into the fryer and if he fails in 2019 or 2020, he won’t be too old at all to go back to baseball. It’d be much harder for him to go the other way. 2:20 Meg Rowley: I think it is easier to go that path, but I don’t think we should underestimate what two years away from regular reps might do to a prospect who really needed to see good pitching. 2:20 Padres458: How good would a team be if all 25 players were free agents this offseason? 2:21 Meg Rowley: It would be better than you think up top, but probably not as good as some who are justifiably annoyed by the slowness of the season are maybe suggesting it would be because it would have scant depth. 2:22 CamdenWarehouse: Is it just a coincidence that Prospect Week on FanGraphs is the same time as Romance Week at Goodreads? 2:22 Meg Rowley: We do love prospects, but in a chaste sort of way. 2:22 Slurve: What does the Mariner rotation currently look like – in order? do they need another starter in the top 5 (beyond just depth)? 2:24 Meg Rowley: I think our depth charts have it right (Leake, Gonzales, Kikuchi (who now has a player page!), LeBlanc, and then some combo of Sheffield and Felix 2:25 Poised: Which, if any, of the big name 30 and under 2020 free agents will instead sign extensions with their current team? Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon, Paul Goldschmidt, Xander Bogaerts, Gerrit Cole? 2:25 Meg Rowley: I’m increasingly optimistic Arenado stays in Denver. 2:26 Meg Rowley: Then I guess I would go with Cole, who I always think is older than he is. I think Goldschmidt will test the market. I think Boston will want to bring Xander back, but I wonder if other guys take priority. 2:27 Meg Rowley: Washington should want to bring Rendon back. Bet they do. 2:27 PD: No heat and no baseball make Meg go something something… Chat with fans? Don’t mind if I do. 2:27 Meg Rowley: Thankfully my furnace was fixed just before the worst of the snow hit. The weekend would have been very miserable without it, and we never lost power, either. 2:28 Appa Yip Yip: I’ve seen a lot of NL fans getting mad about the DH coming to their league because it means the “death of strategy” but is there really even much strategy involved when deciding to pull a pitcher or do a double switch? Like, if you have 10 NL skippers the same roster and the same situation, would you really end up with wildly different strategic choices? 2:28 Meg Rowley: You still have to do it, and we do see it get fouled up. It forces decisions that are cool to think about. 2:29 Meg Rowley: I grew up an AL fan watching Edgar Martinez, so I’m never going to bemoan the presence of the DH, but I don’t hate the difference actually. 2:29 Bread Gardner: Which trade do you think was more equitable: Paxton’s or Realmuto’s? 2:30 Meg Rowley: Really depends for whom. I think the Paxton trade has more stable return on both sides. I think Miami could end up looking really good or really silly. 2:30 Meg Rowley: We certainly learned stuff about their risk tolerance. 2:30 CamdenWarehouse: did Carson move to Toronto or does he still live in Maine? 2:31 Meg Rowley: He did not move, though I imagine he will visit more. 2:32 Doug: I know fans usually hate opt-outs (potential to lose their star). But has any real superstar opted out of their contract 1/2 way through that didn’t just re-sign with their current team? I can’t think of any. 2:32 Meg Rowley: I am sure there is a notable we aren’t thinking of, but I can’t either. 2:32 Meg Rowley: I think if Kershaw’s 2018 had looked different, he would have. Maybe. 2:32 Lou: I’ve read a lot of “hot takes” that said Kyler Murray picking the NFL and Harper/Machado not being signed are linked. What do you think? 2:33 Meg Rowley: I think that people are right to note that the current state of the labor market is and will continue to shape the decisions talented athletes make. I think people are right to note that the earning potential away from just a contract is wildly different between football and baseball. 2:34 Meg Rowley: I also think people need to remember just how unusual a situation this is. 2:34 Meg Rowley: It doesn’t mean those other things don’t matter, or that the minor league pay situation isn’t a blight on the sport. But this is a weird one. 2:35 Meg Rowley: I also think you should listen to the FanGraphs Audio I recorded yesterday with Mina Kimes. We talked a lot about it! https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-audio-mina-kimes-considers-kyler… 2:35 Paul Ajize: Which organization will most regret not signing one of either Mssrs Harper or Machado 2:35 Meg Rowley: If neither of those guys go to Philly, Philly has problems. 2:35 WabashCannonball: Surviving snowpocalypse? 2:36 Meg Rowley: It is now getting to the rainy face, which means the city will be a mess for a week and the sidewalks will be impassable but yeah, we’re muddling through. 2:37 Meg Rowley: Working from home is very, very nice in these moments. 2:37 Doug: Can the Padres or Phillies just go ahead and offer Harper $336mil over 12 years (besting Arod’s AAV and Stanton’s total value) and end this thing? 2:37 Meg Rowley: Can they? Sure! Will they? I mean, it would seem they have not, as we are still waiting around. 2:38 Chris: What do the mariners do with vogelbach? Try to sneak him through waivers or sell him for international cash? 2:38 Meg Rowley: I could see them trying to sneak him through. And to be clear, they wouldn’t be selling him (yuck). 2:39 Snid: Microwaved coffee ? Yew!!!! Decaf? 2:39 Meg Rowley: Look, sometimes your coffee gets cold and you don’t want to waste it. 2:39 Meg Rowley: And no, it isn’t decaf. I never sleep. I wouldn’t be alive if it were decaf. 2:39 TKDC: Are fans somewhat to blame for baseball’s new economic landscape? If teams were severely punished at the gate for being awful, they would think twice. 2:40 Meg Rowley: You’re assuming that those things are entangled closely enough for it to matter. 2:40 Meg Rowley: Teams just got a bucket of money from BAM for doing nothing. 2:41 On Company Time: To what degree does the status of the free agent market increase the risk for a lockout during collective bargaining? (And any chance you use your editorial discretion to bring back NotGraphs?) 2:41 Meg Rowley: To a not small degree. 2:41 Meg Rowley: (And not immediately, but boy would I like to.) 2:41 Anna Phalaxis : How shocked are you that the Rockies haven’t done more to close the gap with the Dodgers 2:42 Meg Rowley: They remain just the weirdest organization. Truly a strange set. 2:42 yojiveself: would YOU give machado/harper 10 year contracts if you were running an team? 2:42 Meg Rowley: Yes. 2:43 Meg Rowley: That no team has is silly. This is all deeply silly. These dudes are generational talents, and they are 26. 2:43 Meg Rowley: Truly, what are we even doing here? 2:44 tom: one common conceit against fangraphs is that articles regarding collusion and the free agent market are trumped up to gain readership during a slow time of year. do you find that articles on those topics generate increased clicks? 2:45 Meg Rowley: I don’t think we’ve alleged capital C collusion, and failing to remark upon the slowness of the market and the effect that will have on both on-field play and labor relations would be to misunderstand baseball as it is now. 2:45 Todd: One of the arguments I’ve read in support of getting a larger share of revenue to the players is that so much of owner wealth comes by way of team appreciation (and that annual revenue is somewhat insignificant by comparison). Would legislative measures officially guaranteeing players a certain portion of revenue slow that appreciation? I’m not an owner apologist by any means, but I’d like to understand the issues as best I can. 2:47 Meg Rowley: This is an imperfect comp, and obviously a question that merits further study, but the NBA has an agreed upon rev split; Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers for $2 billion. I think it would be fine. 2:47 PM: Do you find it concerning that there are players who are coming out and blaming analytics for what is happening? If the players are not fully aware of what is to blame for the market how are we to expect them to help fix it? Or do think that the player’s as a whole understand what is at play? 2:50 Meg Rowley: I think that what players are often referencing there is that analytics as a broad category is used as a murky justification for not paying players, and is used as a means to find inefficiencies in the market, which is another way of saying that the market isn’t paying what it should for a skill. 2:50 Meg Rowley: I think players understand the issues at play just fine. 2:50 Kurupt FM: Sonny Gray vs Marcus Stroman, who has the better 2019? 2:50 Meg Rowley: Stroman, I think. 2:51 Billy Beane: Meg, is it the official editorial stance of Fangraphs(dot)com to use the term ‘swear’ as a noun, rather than a verb? As in, “I did a swear” instead of “I swore”. Because this seems like the kind of thing that could cause regional friction amongst the staff and eventually lead to a mutiny. 2:51 Meg Rowley: I think our staff is capable of tolerating some quirks. 2:51 Meg Rowley: We all have them. 2:51 Meg the Mimic: People ask you for your impression on baseball topics but do you do any impressions 2:51 Meg Rowley: Not good ones. 2:51 Chris: If Harper and Machado were projected to get 400 million and are now getting a max of 300 million, shouldn’t they bet on themselves and go for an extra 100+ million by just taking a one year deal to reenter free agency next year? 2:52 Meg Rowley: What is going to be different in a year except them being a year older and having assumed a year’s worth of injury risk in the mean time? 2:52 The Final Boss: Sup with that Red Sox bullpen? 2:52 Meg Rowley: It is not what you would call good. 2:52 Syndergaardengnomes: Marquez seems like a stretch to call an ace. If you’re going back more than a couple years, seems like deGrom is the right answer… 2:52 Meg Rowley: The question was 2-3 I believe? 2:53 Zach: How worried should Cleveland be without Lindor, in that division? 2:53 Meg Rowley: In that division, probably not very, although they sure haven’t left themselves a lot of wiggle room given how truly terrible that outfield is expected to be. 2:53 Beme : Hi Meg, do you know when the Fans Scouting Report will be released? Love seeing that every year! 2:54 Meg Rowley: I will check with Appelman! 2:54 Shirtless Bartolo on a Darkhorse: Was Jordyn Adams on the same level as Kyler Murray in regards to sign-ability? Angels may have had better success because they were dealing with someone at least 3 years away from NFL draft as opposed to someone that was 6 months away 2:55 Meg Rowley: And really no one saw this football breakout coming 2:55 Lou: Do you watch WWE? What is your opinion of Becky Lynch and the fact the female wrestlers are carrying the product now? 2:55 Meg Rowley: I do not. But I guess, that’s cool! For the people who know and care about that, I bet that is awesome. 2:55 Meg Rowley: I am not one of those people, but I am glad those people get to be happy. 2:55 Ennui: What’s it like as a Mariners fan to watch the current iteration of Felix Hernandez 2:56 Meg Rowley: Truly it makes me a little sad every single day. 2:56 Meg Rowley: I think about it every single day. 2:56 Meg Rowley: And every single day it makes me sad. 2:56 Billiam Burton: I just remembered that the Angels hired Brad Ausmus! Did you also forget this? 2:57 Meg Rowley: I did not, but I sure have forgotten that Brian McCann is back in Atlanta like, a few times. 2:57 Soto: It’s weird to say, but are the Cubs suddenly the best team nobody talks about? 2:57 Meg Rowley: We talk about them a lot, though ain’t none of it good. 2:57 Meg Rowley: I didn’t think any team could have a worse offseason from a PR standpoint than the Mariners. Then the Dodgers and Cubs walked in. 2:57 hooha: As a NL fan, I am all for the DH, but I think it is ridiculous to talk about implementing it for 2019 weeks before the season starts. 2:57 Meg Rowley: Which, they aren’t going to. 2:58 Morbo: Good afternoon Meg! 2:58 Meg Rowley: Hi there! 2:58 Johnny5Alive: RE: Kyler Murray – tim tebow, while by no means a prospect nor a player with any expectations heaped on him, took a decade off from baseball and has fared reasonably well in the minors if you consider that. I would think a player of Murray’s caliber could take 2 years off and still make an impression 2:58 Meg Rowley: Sure. I didn’t say it was impossible. It’s just more development time lost to a guy who needs that. 2:58 In the Gloaming: Are you a morning person? 2:59 Meg Rowley: Very much, and now I really have to be because I am a west coast-based editor who runs a site that operates on an east coast publication schedule. 2:59 FriarFaithful: Have you enjoyed this offseason? Or is this kind of offseason more difficult when you’re the editor of a popular baseball site? 3:00 Meg Rowley: I have not enjoyed it, and it does make it harder. I enjoy very much working for FanGraphs, and working with the people I work with, and am supremely, supremely grateful to get to do this full-time. It is a great gift I will never deserve. But this winter has been a bummer. 3:01 Dave: Fangraphs should do staff bobbleheads. You w/ a catcher’s mask, Jaffe’s mustache could bobble 3:01 Meg Rowley: I see no ways this could go wrong at all. 3:01 DaveW: Do we see Senzel from opening day or do the reds play service time games? 3:01 Meg Rowley: I do not think we see him Opening Day. 3:02 You’re gonna need a bigger boat: What is the Giants logic behind their Harper interest 3:02 Meg Rowley: He’s really good and their outfield is really bad, and if he’s around for 10 years, he’ll still be really good when their outfield and other bits are better. 3:02 Poised: What computer do you work on? Docs vs Word? 3:03 Meg Rowley: I have MacBook Air and an Apple desktop. I work in docs, because collaboration is easier. 3:03 Meg Rowley: Usually I do my first little bit of editing from my bed, but switch to my desktop when my laptop battery dies in an effort to have my office be some sort of real work space. 3:03 Jordan: A-Rod opted out of his original Yankees deal 3:04 Jon: What happens in Kyler Murray gets injured tomorrow? At the combine? 3:05 Meg Rowley: Nothing good. I guess it would depend how bad it is. It’s still a QB poor draft class, and he’s still a very good QB. 3:05 Ray: Any idea if Brad Miller is out of baseball, I thought he would sign a minors deal by now? 3:05 Meg Rowley: I don’t think he is retired but I also don’t believe he is signed anywhere. 3:05 Nate: I support your efforts to microwave coffee. That stuff will save your life when you’re too lazy to brew a new pot/too tired to function properly 3:06 Meg Rowley: To be clear, this is just a warm up of a relatively fresh cup. I am not a monster. 3:06 Dann: point of order re BREAD GARDNER – the players are NOT being paid while being required to play catch and do calisthenics in the sun. 3:06 Meg Rowley: Fair, fair. 3:07 Ground out to Turd: The strange thing to me about the Machado/Harper waiting game is that these teams seem to be waiting to save themselves 1/2 years guaranteed on the deal and maybe 2-5vmillion dollars per year by waiting these guys out. Ultimately though, a 275 million vs. 325 million dollar contract is an albatrose either way if they don’t play well so is it really worth sitting on your hands? Isn’t the upside worth the risk of paying $20 million more than the next closest offer? Is that $20 million really that much of a difference? 3:09 Meg Rowley: MLB is currently supporting legislation to avoid paying minor leaguers minimum wage during Spring Training. You’re not wrong, though I think the gaps teams are envisioning for Harper/Machado are bigger than that, but I don’t think we should underestimate how much this about setting precedent as much as it is about a specific dollar amount. 3:09 Nigel: Yea or nea on the Oxford comma? 3:10 Meg Rowley: Yea. YEA. 3:10 Dennis: Does Portland ever get a baseball team? 3:10 Meg Rowley: Yes, I think so. Could be the Rays! 3:11 NA: Who is your current favorite player that you would not want to see play for the Mariners? 3:11 Meg Rowley: Having had the pain/pleasure, Fernando Rodney. 3:11 Jkim: As a pourover drinker, it’s one of those paradoxes of life that I need coffee in the morning to be functional enough to make coffee in the morning 3:12 Meg Rowley: Really all that has stopped me. That, and an acknowledgment (please don’t take offense) that I already have a twee enough personality as is. 3:13 Cathedral_of_Beisbol: Why does everyone assume Machado and Harper are worth the opportunity cost of signing them? Even ignoring the aforementioned cost, both have pretty large downsides. Machado is an immature nincompoop who doesn’t understand how to keep his mouth shut and Harper is inconsistent with suspect defense. Also, why spend $300mm on one 3-5 WAR player and instead spending $300mm on 3/4 2-4 WAR players? The influx of investment bank people (HOU, TB) has eliminated the ignorance of FO’s slowly but surely. 3:15 Meg Rowley: We’ll set aside that the choice at the moment really does not appear to be between spending that much on one player vs. three or four (Harper and Machado are not the only free agents left available and they are not solely responsible for holding up the rest of the market), and instead focus on the obvious value they bring, and have brought, and how they are projected to contribute. 3:15 Meg Rowley: I would point you here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-specter-of-jason-heywards-contract-loo… 3:15 Meg Rowley: and here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/ignoring-bryce-harpers-mvp-season/ 3:15 Meg Rowley: As starting points. 3:16 Rockie Dangerfield: Why do people buy milk before incoming severe storms? If the power goes out for any appreciable length of time, that milk will become a liability sooner than later. 3:16 Meg Rowley: Because sometimes they’re worried about being housebound but not about the power going out. 3:17 Cube Jockey: How cruel to be a Cardinals fan and have MLB decide to add the NL DH only after they get rid of Matheny. 3:17 Meg Rowley: Eh, you folks have been ok, I think. 3:17 Jay: Dont forget the phillies! (Kapler) 3:18 Meg Rowley: Yes. I have mentally associated that more with the Dodgers, but yes. It has not been what one would call an offseason of pleasing narratives. 3:18 Cove Dweller: Are we ever going to see a hyped prospect trotted out on Opening Day ever again? 3:18 Meg Rowley: Sure– might require a change to service time rules, or an owner who just really likes the idea of a World Series, but yeah. 3:18 Doug: ARod re-signed with the Yankees though. 3:18 Meg Rowley: Also true. 3:19 the shadow: Does being located in Seattle and warming up coffee in a microwave constitute a form of PacNW blasphemy? 3:19 Meg Rowley: Perhaps, but because it the Northwest, no one will ever confront me directly about it, so I think I’m safe. 3:20 Jay: Why hasn’t Pedro Strop sparked a league-wide trend to wear hats to the left, a la Griffey Jr. with the backwards hat? 3:21 Meg Rowley: Hard to break through like that as a reliever, I expect. Also, I associate the reliever hat tilt more with Rodney. That might just be a Meg thing, though. 3:21 Ed: Does the looming Trout/Betts free agency in 2021 have any part in teams sitting on their hands with Harper/Machado? 3:21 Meg Rowley: As much as Harper and Machado did for last year’s class. 3:22 Meg Rowley: There will always be another bright young player, another tantalizing free agent. 3:22 Ben: The crazy part that, assuming there is no Collusion (note the capital), all it would take is one owner to say “eff it” and sign Harper AND Machado and go for the ring. I would wager that for at least half the league, signing the two of them would propel them to World Series contender, if not favorite. 3:22 Meg Rowley: I think we really, really miss Mike Ilitch sometimes. 3:22 Appa Yip Yip: Regarding Manny Machado and “not hustling” – he bunted for a hit in the World Series! The definition of husting! It was dope. 3:22 Meg Rowley: Did indeed. Did indeed do that. 3:23 Eloy’s Leg Lift: What should I get my lady friend for Valentines Day? 3:24 Meg Rowley: A really nice meal out the day after? I have never cared much about Valentine’s day. I know there are folks who do, which is fine, but it has never been my thing. I’d rather go out on a night when it is less of a thrash and have normal, more mellow conversation with the gent across from me. 3:25 Meg Rowley: I am Team Go To Restaurants When They Aren’t Crowded and You Can Get a Reservation and also Hear Your Dining Companion 3:25 Meg Rowley: In anticipation of your next question, yes, I am in some ways very much an 85-year-old. 3:25 Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: The reason we buy milk, bread, and eggs when there’s a storm so we can have French toast. 3:26 Meg Rowley: Yes. Yessss. 3:26 Wireless Joe Jackson: The AL Central is really bugging me. The Indians have made no effort to improve obvious weaknesses, and the Twins have made no effort to try and capitalize. the Twins have ZERO salary commitments beyond this year. Get Keuchel and Kimbrel and make this thing interesting! 3:26 Meg Rowley: It is useful to remember that free agents have to want to go there, but yeah, it wouldn’t suck for them to be more engaged. 3:26 Guest: I am planning a career change into data science. I am wondering what data & sabermetric skills you think are most valued by hiring MLB organizations? 3:27 Meg Rowley: I’d take a look at the recent job postings we’ve put up. 3:27 Meg Rowley: The short answer is learn to code, and don’t be a jerk. That second one is just good workplace advice generally. 3:28 2-D: What do you think of these London games? 3:28 Meg Rowley: Growing the sport is cool, growing it in London is a little weird. 3:29 lunch: who you think wins the nl east? 3:29 Meg Rowley: Right now? The Nationals. But it could shift a bunch before Opening Day. There are so so so many guys unsigned. 3:29 Lazzaro Da Fietta: Offer for Harper: 4 years @ $140M, then a player option for another 4 years @ 140M. Worst case, is 8 years, $280M. Would he take it? 3:30 Meg Rowley: Maybe? I think he has richer deals than that currently. 3:30 atticus: If you had the power to assign a current free agent to a team and they would have to sign a contract with that team that you designed what would the contract look like and with which team? 3:31 Meg Rowley: The Phillies should sign Bryce Harper for $300 million. The Padres should sign Manny Machado for $300 million. This really doesn’t have to be complicated and if I have discretion, I’m not sure why I would make it difficult. 3:32 Meg Rowley: I love the idea of Manny to San Diego. Jump start that window. Don’t let Hosmer define the next era of success. Remember that we’ll all die and parades are World Series wins are fun. 3:32 Meg Rowley: Or so I have been told. 3:33 Dave: As a Cubs fan, I’ve been asked how I can justify rooting for an organization that obviously doesn’t care about women/LGBT/Muslim fans. As someone who is sympathetic to all of those causes, what other answer is there besides the fact that I’ve been a fan since before the Ricketts owned the team? 3:34 Meg Rowley: Woof. I think the really bummer answer is that while there are orgs that do better than the cubs on this stuff, there isn’t a lot of truly ethical consumption of a product that refuses to pay a living wage to minor leaguers. 3:35 Meg Rowley: So, I think the best you can do is listen to your fellow fans, and try, as best as you are able to support them, and demand better of your favorite team. You can’t do a lot to change the way the Cubs do business. You can be a good friend and neighbor to fans who are marginalized by the orgs they like best. 3:35 BigRichie: Folks on the Bill James web site, including Bill himself, are all saying Harper and Machado are unsigned because they’re only very good, but want great money. They were supposed to be great, but mostly have fallen short of that, especially of late. 3:36 Meg Rowley: That is an opinion to which Bill is entitled, but with which I respectfully disagree. 3:36 The rooftile at the Comet : Can you see a path to the playoffs for the 2019 Mariners? 3:36 Meg Rowley: I mean, stuff from space collides with the earth all the time. 3:36 Meg Rowley: It’s just a matter of placement and size. 3:38 Random: If instead of giving Harper/Machado 300 million this year and instead give staggered 1-4 year deals to older but still elite players (such that once one deal expires the next one starts) would I do better or worse in terms of total WAR? For instance, Donaldson is projected for ~4 WAR next year. I don’t think Machado will produce 40 WAR over a 10 year deal. So, 10 Donaldson like deals provides better value right? 3:39 Meg Rowley: You have to find, sign, and roster 10 players then. Machado has in his career produced 30.2 WAR to date; Harper 30.7. 3:39 Tugs: Probably do late for you to see this but your “we hoped you liked reading” link just below the chat is a 404 page. 3:40 Meg Rowley: Hmmm shall pass on. Usually a sign that there is some dev stuff going on behind the scenes. 3:40 Outta my way, Gyorkass: Re: stars opting out only to re-sign – Greinke opted out of his deal with LAD to sign with AZ 3:41 Meg Rowley: Goodness, yes, thank you. 3:41 RAGBRAI: A AA team has banned peanuts and cracker jacks for the upcoming season…has baseball gone mad! Collusion? 3:42 Meg Rowley: I know you’re kidding (?), but I don’t think that’s a good way to describe balancing a minor inconvenience vs. a widespread and dangerous allergic reaction. 3:42 The rooftile at the Comet : Will Fèlix return? 3:42 Meg Rowley: To baseball? Yes. To form? 🙁 3:42 Random: It would still be one roster spot a year and you don’t have as much of the risk that comes with a long term deal. 3:43 Meg Rowley: First, these guys are 26. Yes, there is risk. But they are also 26. Second, you have different risk! You need a bunch of guys to work out exactly right. Or you could risk one guy who is really, really good. 3:43 Ryan: Which would-be contender most needs to improve its rotation: As, Brewers, or Braves? 3:44 Meg Rowley: Braves, because they don’t have as compelling a way out of the bullpen to offset the weakness. 3:45 Meg Rowley: Alright folks, I need to get going and do some editing. Thanks for all the questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to. I hope you all have good days!