Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 2/19/19

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hello, and welcome to the chat.

2:00
Meg Rowley: HAPPY MACHADO DAY

2:00
Mark: Mannnnyyyyy!!!!!!!

2:00
MadKyleDisease: MEG ITS HAPPENING

2:00
CamdenWarehouse: Congrats to Dave Cameron!

2:00
Chris: I heard some guy signed. Your thoughts?

2:02
Meg Rowley: I think this is very exciting. I think that Machado is being paid fairly, which is also very exciting. I think it does not repair the very bad climate in which we find ourselves, labor market wise.

2:03
Meg Rowley: But him not getting paid fairly would have been Very Bad, so this is good, because it isn’t that. Also, I’m very happy that baseball fans in San Diego get to watch Machado play.

2:03
Meg Rowley: What fun for them!

2:03
Fat Tub of Goo: Does Machado slide to 3B or stay at SS?  With Tatis coming someone has to move off SS but not sure who.

2:03
Meg Rowley: I imagine he’ll see a lot of time at third.

2:03
Meg Rowley: Machado that is.

2:04
resumeman: Will Fangraphs be hosting the player profiles this year? I’ve found them very helpful in the past.

2:04
Meg Rowley: The caps should be up very soon!

2:04
Meg Rowley: Probably this week? Don’t quote me on that but probably this week?

2:05
WabashCannonball: Ok now where does Keuchel go?

2:05
Meg Rowley: I don’t think he *will* go there, but I would like very much to see Minnesota do more

2:06
tz: Scott Boras is the happiest person in America at this moment.

2:06
Meg Rowley: I mean, I think Manny Machado and the people of San Diego might beat him out there.

2:06
Meg Rowley: This bodes well for Harper, obviously, but still hypothetically. Whereas this is good, actually for Machado.

2:07
Manny Machado: I’m rich!

2:07
Meg Rowley: In fairness, you were rich before, but I am very glad that you were compensated in a way commensurate with the value you bring to a baseball team.

2:07
Meg Rowley: That’s pretty rad.

2:08
Slew : Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Machado Thoughts?

2:08
Meg Rowley: Pretty good at baseball, paid like it. Good situation, honestly.

2:08
Mike: Sportswriters generally like to clown on Orange county, but also in the next breath proclaim San Diego to be the greatest city on earth. This is confusing to me, San Diego is Orange county with fish tacos and less culture.

2:10
Meg Rowley: When I lived in New York, I made it a point not to take sides in interborough conflicts because I lacked the proper information to do so from anything like an informed perspective. I shall similarly refrain here, except to say, the tacos in San Diego are very good.

2:11
Marc: Over/under on 60% of the questions in this chat being about Machado/Harper?

2:11
Meg Rowley: taking the over, based on the early queue

2:11
Bill: If they sign Machado, and their prospects develop as projected, when will the Padres be competitive in their division?

2:12
Meg Rowley: I still think they’re fringe contenders this year, and solidly in the window next year. They just moved up the window in a real way. Depending on the pitching, they could move it up further.

2:13
Meg Rowley: I love deals like this. Players like Machado don’t come around often. Being aggressive, so that you have one when you are ready, is smart. And if any of the pieces on the roster outperform, well suddenly you’re positioned to take advantage of it.

2:14
Nick V: Since it seems Manny & Harper were waiting for the other to blink and sign first, T-minus how long till Harper signs? Tomorrow even maybe? Think it’s still Philly?

2:14
Meg Rowley: I do still think it’ll be Philly, and would expect soon.

2:14
Meg Rowley: Maybe even quite soon!

2:14
R: Since Machado is going to the padres, will you tell us what your article idea was if he signed with the white socks?

2:15
Meg Rowley: I was going to go back through all the innings when he and Yonder Alonso were on the field at the same time, and see if I could, through detective work and wild speculation, pin point the moment when he decided he could work with his brother-in-law.

2:15
Meg Rowley: They seem to get along very well, tbc.

2:16
Meg Rowley: But there is getting along, and then there is working a whole baseball season with someone. Those aren’t necessarily the same thing.

2:16
Meg Rowley: Alas, now we’ll never know, though I am glad that Machado was paid well.

2:16
Meg Rowley: My thing is just a minor inconvenience.

2:16
Rich: Did you make a deal with Manny so he would break the news on your chat day?

2:17
Meg Rowley: It would be so cool if I had that sort of sway, but I very much do not.

2:17
Seamus Catuli: Meg, nowthat Padres are clearly “going for it” will they still engage in service time foolishness with Tatis Jr.?

2:19
Meg Rowley: The incentives haven’t changed, and they likely will determine a few weeks won’t make the difference in their run this year, so I’d think we won’t see him for a bit.

2:19
Meg Rowley: (that the incentives exist doesn’t make following them mandatory or good, to be clear)

2:21
Person with a non-Manny question: Ethical dilemma: as a fan of a team with an MLB-ready top prospect, should I actually want the team to have him on the OD roster, as opposed to waiting a couple of weeks? Big picture, it is probably better for the team and for me to wait, right, given the terms of the current CBT that both sides agreed to? If the player breaks camp with the team and the team loses an extra year of control, then it benefits the player more than the team. As a fan, I like individual players, but am more connected to the team as a whole. Shouldn’t I be rooting for what is best for the team? I am empathetic to the players, not sympathetic to the owners, and think that Rob Manfred is a component bacterium in the sweaty ooze of the sports-industrial complex. But I like my team, and I want them to win– and working within the rules to keep their best players as long as possible should help them win. Can I feel OK about this? What are your thoughts?

2:22
Meg Rowley: I think that we should remember how few teams are pushing up against the CBT. I think we should also remember that there is a mechanism through which teams can try to keep their prospects around: they can sign them to extensions.

2:23
Meg Rowley: Sometimes, those extensions even end up coming at a slight discount to the team.

2:24
Meg Rowley: Manipulating service time isn’t the only option, it’s just the best option if an organization doesn’t want to pay players a market rate.

2:24
Meg Rowley: I think as fans of the game should push back pretty hard on the notion that this is good for the game, or for teams.

2:24
Meg Rowley: I’m not a Blue Jays fan, but I imagine I’d have enjoyed last year a hell of a lot more if I’d been able to watch Vlad Jr.

2:25
Meg Rowley: I’m not a Mets fan, but I would feel pretty squirmy about how Peter Alonso is lined up to probably never get the deal his play will merit.

2:26
Meg Rowley: I am still ostensibly a Mariners fan, and the idea of them messing around with JP Crawford does make me like the team less.

2:27
tommyboy: Your response to hearing that Machado would be signing in San Diego for 10/300 would best be described as a) excited b) relieved or c) indifferent?

2:27
Meg Rowley: somewhere between a) and b)

2:27
Meg Rowley: It doesn’t fix the market by any wild stretch, but him getting underpaid would just make it worse.

2:28
here goes nothing: Which player blocked on a depth chart do you really want to see get enough playing time this year to really sink or swim? Mine is Andrew Toles.

2:28
Meg Rowley: The answer is Daniel Vogelbach, and I will accept no alternatives.

2:28
Reginald the 5’9″: Is Meg short for Megashark vs Crocosaurus?

2:28
Meg Rowley: Yes, my parents are very strange.

2:28
Random: What do you thing the value of the opt-out is in Manny’s deal, i.e what would the Padres have had to offer to remove that?

2:29
Meg Rowley: This is a very good question that I need to noodle on. Opt outs aren’t what they used to be, but then again, Manny Machado isn’t like most baseball players.

2:29
TJB: T/F: this chat will be Fangraphs’ all-time high-water mark for share of Padres-related content.

2:30
Meg Rowley: Probably true, although I think them signing Dave probably gave it a surprising run for its money

2:31
Heather: For Philadelphia, would they be better served by backing up a dump truck of cash for Harper, or maybe looking for some smaller upgrades and keeping their options open for the trade deadline?

2:32
Meg Rowley: I am of the opinion that if you can retain the services of Bryce Harper for mostly just money, you should always do that.

2:32
stever20: Before/After on Bryce Harper signing now is Feb 24(Sunday).  Which side you taking?

2:32
Meg Rowley: I’ll be optimistic and say before

2:33
Madres: Tacos, beer, beaches, military, a now a $300mil baseball player. What doesn’t SD have?

2:33
Meg Rowley: Could still use some pitching, to be honest.

2:33
JCQ: Out of curiosity, based on your comment above, what do you believe would repair the very bad free-agent market, from the players perspective?

2:33
Meg Rowley: A new CBA that retools when players get money, has higher minimum salaries, and makes service time manipulation harder.

2:34
PD: Odds of Harper signing with the Padres as well?

2:34
Meg Rowley: Very, very low.

2:35
Lou: Better team in 2019, SF or SD?

2:36
Meg Rowley: Assuming today’s rosters, SD eventually. Depends on when the reinforcements arrive from the minors, but SD.

2:37
Corry: Small market teams (Marlins, Padres) giving out the biggest contracts only to see the big market teams take on these contracts 2-3 years into the deal. I don’t wanna hear about small market disadvantages. Royals, Orioles, Pirates, etc. They CAN compete!  They choose not to!

2:38
Meg Rowley: I think it is probably useful to differentiate between low revenue and small market (I don’t think the San Diego media market is as small as KC for instance) and budgets differ, etc etc, but yes, there is clearly more capacity to spend than we are seeing deployed in the market.

2:38
Guest: Is the new market inefficiency spending money?

2:38
Meg Rowley: I’ve been saying. We’ve all been saying.

2:39
LOL: 10/300. FREE AGENCY IS BROKEN!!!

2:39
Meg Rowley: Free agency can still be broken.

2:39
Orange county: Orange county has culture?

2:39
San Diego Dave: Disneyland isnt culture

2:40
Meg Rowley: What have I done?

2:40
Lou: Machado’s contract is the biggest in US pro sports history (until Harper’s).

2:40
Meg Rowley: Adjusted for inflation, I don’t think that is true, as Craig Edwards demonstrated earlier this offseason: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/what-alex-rodriguezs-contract-would-look-l…

2:41
dude: So do you think Harper going to get more years and money than Machado?

2:41
Meg Rowley: Same years, slightly higher AAV, potentially a much weirder structure

2:41
Dads: The Padres pitching is very bad. They have a lot of great pitching prospects, but as Ben wrote about recently, a lot could happen to them, they’re still far away. Do you anticipate more moves being made by the Padres to acquire some SP?

2:42
Meg Rowley: I could see them being active at the deadline, but also, they’re going to be coming in slightly ahead of schedule, so I think they’ll (and this is a boring answer), likely try to balance wins this year with long term org health.

2:42
Random: What team besides the Padres are happiest about the Machado signing?

2:42
Meg Rowley: The Red Sox?

2:43
Rob: What exactly makes ppl feel Harper is more marketable? Seems to me Machado is the better player and should earn a bit more than Harper.

2:45
Meg Rowley: He’s been gracing magazine covers since he was 16. He’s been an MVP. He looked like the only guy who could challenge Trout. And he leans into the spotlight. Also, sadly, some of it probably rooted in some yucky cultural stuff, too.

2:45
Bort: If you’re Manny Machado’s brother-in-law, do you take this personally?

2:45
Meg Rowley: Nah, almost certainly not.

2:46
Meg Rowley: Your family is having a great day, and now you get to enjoy the sort of comfortable distance that is often essential to enjoying one’s relatives most.

2:47
The Amish: Also, Kenley Jansen made roughly $15,000 for every single PITCH he threw in 2018

2:47
Meg Rowley: Ok? Do we want to break out franchise appreciation values here, too, or…

2:47
Jack: Do you think the possibility of a strike in 2021 persuaded teams like the Padres to move their competitive window up? That is shaping up to be right in their sweet spot for contention and while it is unlikely the year is completely lost I wonder whether the mere possibility of such is considered.

2:48
Meg Rowley: I doubt it. They’ll still be very young and need their prospects to work out for Machado’s signing to actually advance the window. I think they looked around and thought, Huh, he won’t be here in two years probably, and we’ll definitely want him then.

2:49
Gaslamp Gary: Y’all are doing the Padres ZiPS projections last because you knew they were getting Machado huh? How many wins does this bump them?

2:49
Meg Rowley: It was not on purpose but my, it worked out nicely, huh?

2:49
MattV: It’s not good for the game. But it’s good for teams and their financial bottom line and that’s always going to take precedence over what fans want.
Which is why we’ll likely see another strike.

2:50
Meg Rowley: I mean, ok, but the question was about how he should feel as a fan.

2:50
Meg Rowley: No one is confused about the incentives at play here. What we’re asking is, are those good for the game long term, and are they good for fans and players?

2:51
In Lieu of: Severino exchanges arbitration years for guaranteed money.  Is this the new normal?

2:51
Meg Rowley: It is a very concerning trend, and I think we can call it a trend at this point.

2:52
Kingman’s Rat: if mallex smith misses time, who play CF for the mariners?

2:52
Meg Rowley: Congratulations, it’s you!

2:52
Meg Rowley: More seriously though, Haniger.

2:53
philliesfan: As a Phillies fan, shouldn’t the fan base rather have keuchel than harper?

2:53
Meg Rowley: Why wouldn’t the fan base want the better, younger player?

2:53
Random: Manipulating service time isn’t just “the best option if an organization doesn’t want to pay players a market rate.” All teams have a budget. If you want to put the best team on the field over a long time horizon the service time bs is almost always a good choice.

2:54
Meg Rowley: The San Diego Padres just spent $300 million.

2:54
Meg Rowley: Teams do have budgets, but we should absolutely ask more critical questions of the assertion that teams can’t spend more.

2:55
Nick Mar – Cake is Good: San Diego feels a lot like the 2018 Braves, but you replace Acuña with Machado and add a few more prospects.  Both teams have many young arms

2:56
Meg Rowley: San Diego system is better.

2:56
Tugs: Do you think Milwaukee re-signing Moose pushed San Diego all-in on Machado?

2:57
Meg Rowley: I think San Diego being all in on Machado pushed Moose to Milwaukee

2:57
Jay: Ignoring contracts and payroll for a moment, which of the 30 teams would be the most fun to see Harper sign with?

2:57
Meg Rowley: the Rockies

2:57
Meg Rowley: gimme

2:57
Meg Rowley: Gimme Harper in Coors for half his games

2:57
Meg Rowley: Gimme gimme.

2:58
Daniel: What do you make of an “I wouldn’t want that much $$$ tied up in one player” argument from, say, a chisox fan who didn’t want Machado?

2:58
Meg Rowley: That it is rude to judge the coping mechanisms of others, but that I don’t find that argument persuasive.

2:58
Meg Rowley: But I am sorry for their disappointment.

3:00
Meg Rowley: Apologies friends, I am being pulled away for some Editorial Work

3:01
Meg Rowley: So I shall have to call it there for today. Jeff will have a piece on Machado soonish, so be sure to check that out.

3:02
Meg Rowley: And if you’re going to be in the Phoenix are on March 8, please join us for some drinks and fun, in Scottsdale.

3:03
Meg Rowley: The FanGraphs crew will be down for spring training, and we would love to hang.

3:03
Meg Rowley: Until then, have good days and dream Bryce Harper dreams!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 2/19/19 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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bosoxforlife
Member
Member
bosoxforlife

From a fans perspective, the last thing I want is a potentially great, but very young player, being brought up before he has reached a reasonably high rung on his ladder of development. With Vladito he was probably ready to play major league caliber baseball this past season, but he was still only at perhaps 60% of his potential, I want the center cut of the prime years, not the early years. This is the best argument for controlling the service time. It makes no sense to waste service time when, despite the great potential, it is far, far short of its maximum value to a team. That, of course, is unreasonable but even holding this player back for just three weeks simply makes all sorts of sense.

averagejoe15
Member
Member
averagejoe15

For teams, it’s not about having a player when he is at his best. It’s about having the player when he is most valuable to the team, which are separate ideas. If a player’s “center cut, prime years” don’t align with a contention cycle then those years are not offering maximum value to a team.

Soto is a perfect example, he was likely more valuable to the Nationals last year than he will be in year 6, for example, if the Nationals are in a rebuild cycle. Machado works too, Machado may now be in his prime but his last couple years were wasted on a bad Orioles team. I don’t think the Orioles or their fans will regret missing seeing a couple of years of prime Manny in a very poor team.

Also development doesn’t function the same for all players, some are ready to go from the get go. Look at what Juan Soto did at 19. From a fan perspective, we should want the the ML roster to field the best team possible when we are contending even if a player isn’t quite fully developed.

Service time manipulation has nothing to do with an ML ready player being 60% ML ready and everything to do with the balancing development and team control with contention cycles.