Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

9:45
Travis Sawchik:

How many pound have you added since we last spoke?

0-2 (35.3% | 65 votes)
 
2-4 (38.0% | 70 votes)
 
4-6 (5.9% | 11 votes)
 
6+ (7.0% | 13 votes)
 
Lost weight! (13.5% | 25 votes)
 

Total Votes: 184
9:51
Travis Sawchik:

The Most Important Question Ohtani is Asking Teams to Answer is…

An evaluation of Shohei?s talent as a pitcher and/or a hitter (17.1% | 43 votes)
 
Player development, medical, training and player performance philosophies and capabilities (26.6% | 67 votes)
 
Re: Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training facilities (0% | 0 votes)
 
Resources for Shohei?s cultural assimilation (3.1% | 8 votes)
 
A detailed plan for integrating Shohei into the organization (31.8% | 80 votes)
 
Why the city and franchise are a desirable place to play (19.1% | 48 votes)
 
Relevant marketplace characteristics (1.9% | 5 votes)
 

Total Votes: 251
12:03
Travis Sawchik: Greetings!

12:03
Travis Sawchik: I put on about three pounds in six days

12:04
Travis Sawchik: Not in the best shape of my life

12:04
Travis Sawchik: Now let’s talk about Ohtani …

12:04
P: Is Toronto a top ten possible landing spot for Ohtani? Top 5?

12:05
Travis Sawchik: I think Toronto is a sleeper team for Ohtani . World-class city, large-ish market, high Asian-American (Asian-Canadian?) population and it’s in the AL East ….

12:06
Bored Brad: Oh wise Travis, when will the market start moving? I need something more than a Doug Fister headline to keep me happy

12:06
Travis Sawchik: This has been a little surprising, I’m not surer what is going on … Are teams waiting on Ohtani/Stanton?

12:07
Travis Sawchik: Then again, there are quite a few non-tending clubs intent on rebuilding so that isn’t helping

12:07
Contrarian Librarian : How far does Hosmer’s market have to fall for him to become an attractive option?

12:08
Travis Sawchik: Good question. I’ve thought about it. I’m still not sure what Hosmer is or what he could become so I’d really want the years to come down.

12:09
Travis Sawchik: For me, he’d have to fall to Edwin Encarnacion territory (3y/$60m-ish plus an option) to become a value

12:09
Travis Sawchik: Is that harsh?

12:09
Travis Sawchik: There are not a lot of obvious fits for Hosmer either

12:10
Q-Ball: So, we may as well talk about the Doug Fister signing, for lack of other news….what’s your take?  I know Dave Cameron loves it, based on the low guarantee and Fister’s appearance on the bargain list

12:11
Travis Sawchik: I think it’s a great deal for the Rangers. Low-risk, low-dollar, upside investment for a club in need of pitching.

12:11
Travis Sawchik: It could be one of the best deals of the winter if he’s really back from the brink as Jeff noted a few months back: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/doug-fister-is-all-the-way-back-from-t…

12:11
Jeremy: Hey Travis, could you see a push for teams to acquire ‘elite coaching depth’ as a new market ineffiency to exploit? It would seem to me that having talented coaches with strong communication skills at all levels of your system would be key to trying to unearth the next Chris Taylor – unexpected breakout type, and reap the surplus value rewards!

12:12
Travis Sawchik: Great question. Yes, I think think it is through coaching and player development where clubs can really extract value and there is more and more focus and resources there

12:13
Ben: In 2004 Barry Bonds had 45 HR and 41 SO. Will any current ballplayer ever be able to turn in a full season with more homers than strikeouts?

12:13
Travis Sawchik: That’s going to be tough but a player with an Altuve-like skillset has a chance

12:13
@RationalMLBFan: Even though Thanksgiving is over, I *still* am thankful for these chats and the time that the Fangraphs staff spends interacting with their audience!

12:14
Travis Sawchik: Thanks so much for your readership!

12:14
Matt: What does Theo need to do , in order to close gap with LAD and possibly WAS? Front-line SP , in addition to depth?

12:15
Travis Sawchik: The Cubs need a front-line starter and bullpen help … But they are built to be able to fill such voids in free agency (and perhaps via trade from surplus) with their mostly  cheap position player core

12:15
Travis Sawchik: I think Darvish should be a top target but I like Alex Cobb as a fall-back option

12:16
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: No love for those Spring Training facilities!

12:16
Travis Sawchik: None whatsoever

12:16
Mark: Ipad or Surface Pro?

12:17
Travis Sawchik: We have an iPad at the Sawchik residence, I’ve never used a surface pro. I’m suspicious of cpus that have multiple parts

12:17
Optimistic Rangers Fan: Should Texas be the favorite to land Ohtani? They have been in on him since he was 18 and are familiar with him, success with Darvish, Darvish still calls Texas home (the state not the team), a willingness to let him hit and pitch, clear need for him on both ends and he would be the face of this franchise once Beltre hangs up the cleats

12:18
Travis Sawchik: I think the Rangers are in the mix. Their history doesn’t hurt and neither does the lack of a state income tax

12:18
Nivra: Should Pittsburgh pull a Houston/ChiSox rebuild?

12:19
Travis Sawchik: I think the Pirates have a shot to beat expectations in 2018 and should at least play out the first three months before blowing things up

12:19
Nivra: What was your favorite activity during Thanksgiving break?

12:20
Travis Sawchik: Hmmm. Perhaps a visit to La Colombe coffee in Philly (where my sister hosted the holiday)

12:20
Travis Sawchik: Cold brew lattes on draft!

12:21
Matt: The trick to losing weight after Thanksgiving is to get really drunk after eating, then again on Friday. You eat a lot on Thanksgiving, but drink your meals for the next two days and there ya go.

12:21
Travis Sawchik: Does your diet have a name?

12:21
Oscar O’Bannon: Has the success of the Cubs and Astros fooled fans into thinking rebuilding is easier and faster than it really is? I’ve heard White Sox fans talking WC next year. White Sox fans!

12:22
Travis Sawchik: I think this is a valid point and I touched on it a little bit recently …https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/what-if-more-teams-follow-the-astros-e…

12:23
Travis Sawchik: Not every team that tears down and rebuilds so dramatically is going to be successful … especially if more teams are engaged in the same practice

12:23
Travis Sawchik: And it also means the gap between the good and poor teams could grow which is not great for MLB (less competitive baseball)

12:24
Matty P: #ChangeTheWildCardGame #BestOf2

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Yes!

12:24
The Oberamtmann: So what was the work uncle-inspired Thanksgiving argument this year?

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Thankfully everyone stayed away from politics

12:24
James: How at risk are the Astros for a Cubs-like hangover? Should they consider some bigger moves to preempt that?

12:25
Travis Sawchik: I think the Astros are in better shape to avoid a hangover r

12:26
Travis Sawchik: A historically-good lineup returns along with a starting rotation that looks better than the one that opened 2017

12:27
Estevao: Eno found this to be very interesting https://maximustake23.blogspot.com.br/2017/11/an-interesting-comparisi…

@E_Max27 @Moonlightswami @DCameronFG @BenLindbergh @cistulli I think age is the missing component, though it’s fair… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
21 Nov 2017

what`s your take on it Travis

12:28
Travis Sawchik: It’s always risking to bet on speed-based players after 30 (which means in free agency)

12:28
Travis Sawchik: But I think Cain is going to be a better investment, in part because he won’t get the same years

12:29
Q-Ball: What was the cause of the Cubs step back last year?  Bad luck, regression from an impossibly-high expectation, unexpectedly bad performances?  Injuries were not really a factor.

12:29
Travis Sawchik: Some of it was regression, including defensively , and I believe they also had the oldest pitching staff in baseball

12:29
Mystery Team: Which surprise team will make the most out-of-nowhere moves to add talent and improve their chances?

12:30
Travis Sawchik: The Phillies could take this route. They have a ton of money if they choose to spend it. And they have Hoskins. HOSKINS. And Nola looks like a great No. 2 if not a true No. 1.

12:31
Soxtober 2020: Can the ChiSox be a sleeper in the Machado race next offseason?  They will have a payroll almost entirely made of rookie contracts and Reinsdorf seems like he will sell the team in the nearish future, so he may not be on the hook for an entire 10 year deal.

12:31
Travis Sawchik: Machado and Harper are so young that you don’t have to be 2019 contender to court them

12:31
Travis Sawchik: So, yeah, WhiteSox are a darkhorse kind of like the Phillies

12:32
NotBoras: I’m hearing I could wait till February for big signings.

12:32
Travis Sawchik: I think you could be waiting a long time on Hosmer

12:32
Ben: Least likely spot for Ohtani? Kansas City? Baltimore? Somewhere else?

12:32
Travis Sawchik: Those are at the top of the list. Detroit, perhaps, too.

12:33
P: If the Yankees get Ohtani and Harper next offseason, should the jays just give up and full rebuild and wait out their window?

12:33
Travis Sawchik: Everyone should give up

12:34
AHume92: Is Bautista done?  I can’t think of a role for him other than first bench bat on an NL non-contender.

12:34
Travis Sawchik: He should still be on a roster in 2018

12:34
He Hate Me: On the subject of “elite coaching depth,” how many WAR has Ray Searage been worth to the Pirates and why isn’t he paid the market rate of $/WAR?

12:35
Travis Sawchik: Even if a coach like Searage is only responsible for adding 1 WAR in a season, or 1/2 a win, he’s still incredibly valuable

12:35
LegallyEagle: From a player’s perspective, better to sign a deal earlier or later in the offseason? Does it matter?

12:35
Travis Sawchik: I think that’s case by case. Boras has shown us that patience can be a virtue

12:36
Travis Sawchik: I think elite guys can afford to wait, but if you are part of that crowded middle class of FAs you might want to pounce on an earlier offer

12:39
John: The Yankees have to be the favorite to land Ohtani right? It seems like they check every box on his list and could go to a 6 man rotation if they retain CC.

12:40
Travis Sawchik: Yankees are the favorite, but I don’t know how strong a favorite

12:40
Matt: If the Marniers actually would have planned for this day Ohtani would be theirs. With the strong Japan market they should have offered him endorsement deals to well compensate any move to United States. If he doesn’t sign those deals dry up.

12:40
Travis Sawchik: Should more teams have better planned for this day and tried to acquire more pool money?

12:42
AHume92: I’m Canadian.  We have Thanksgiving in October (which is awesome for postseason baseball).  We generally eat turkey both then and at Christmas.  Do Americans typically eat turkey at both, or has not enough time elapsed between holidays?  If you don’t have turkey for Christmas, then what?  Ham?

12:42
Travis Sawchik: I’ve had turkey on both holidays but Christmas is often a ham-fest

12:42
Colin : What should my expectations be for the braves in 2018 and looking forward?

12:43
Travis Sawchik: Despite the penalties, Braves still have quite a bit of young talent. All is not lost.

12:44
A cat: Does Dombrowski sit back and force Boras to make a decision between Hosmer and Martinez as to which one has a substantial price drop? DD will pay a good price for either one, but it would be his price, not Boras’.

12:44
Travis Sawchik: I’d much rather have JDM if I’m DD

12:44
Troublewiththecurve: Kevin Maitan is: 1) the next Miguel Sano, 2) the next Yoan Moncada, 3) the next Rusney Castillo, 4) He’ll never pan out… ?

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Those are perhaps all possible outcomes but teams should be buying

12:44
JStine: Assuming the Cardinals miss out on Stanton, who is a dark horse trade candidate they could look to? They’ve said they would rather acquire a big bat through the trade market as opposed to free agency, but I’m not seeing an obvious fit unless Toronto makes Donaldson available.

12:45
Travis Sawchik: I think Donaldson would make a lot of sense … if he’s available. Would the Reds trade Votto in division?

12:46
Small Market GM: With Fister 1/4mm being the only number on the board right now, can I work off of this # and try to stock up on buy low targets?

12:47
Travis Sawchik: Fister was worth 1.4 fWAR last year, so I love that contract as a small-market GM

12:48
Travis Sawchik: Just an update: 5.7% of the audience put on 6+pounds during the holiday. Well done!

12:48
He Hate Me: Does it make sense for a team with international cash but with no obvious path to Ohtani, like the Twins, to go all in on Maitan?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: I think so. If 29 teams are zagging, I’d zig

12:50
Travis Sawchik: But as for the Twins, specifically, I’d wait out Ohtani

12:50
He Hate Me: Re: Cards trading for a bat:  Jose Abreu makes a lot of sense for them, despite only two years of control left.

12:50
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, that could work

12:50
P: How many (if any) troll comments do you get?

12:50
Travis Sawchik: Not too many, thankfully

12:51
Matt: Taking everything into account (versatility, team depth, arb eligibility, off-field/clubhouse traits, likely return) who would you move of Happ, Addy, or Baez?

12:52
Travis Sawchik: That’s a tough question. I like Russell. I think there is more there

12:54
He Hate Me: According to baseball-reference.com, Fister was worth 0.0 WAR in 2017, 0.0 in 2016, and 0.2 in 2015. I don’t know how big the difference is between their WAR and fWAR but it hardly screams “bargain” to me. There’s hope, sure, but in his last 4 starts of 2017 he gave up 17 ER in 16.2 IP.

12:55
Travis Sawchik: I like that the velocity was up in the second half … I think the Rangers are going to get some value out of that deal

12:55
AHume92: How often do you watch an entire MLB game just for leisure and enjoyment?  I hear some notable writers say they don’t, because baseball is “work”.

12:56
Travis Sawchik: I watched a lot of postseason games, beginning to end. It’s more difficult to commit to full regular season games because at FG we’re covering an entire sport

12:57
P: Ohtani or Trout? Can only have one…..

12:57
Travis Sawchik: Trout

12:57
Travis Sawchik: We know he’s a 9-10 WAR player

12:57
Travis Sawchik: Ohtani might be

12:57
Jay: Still dont think Pirates move McCutchen this winter? Cleveland doesnt dabble in rentals much but given the scope of their roster, 2018 seems like a big year for their “window” and he’d be a good fit.

12:57
Travis Sawchik: It could make some sense but not until the trade deadline period

12:58
Doug: Should MLB extend the timeline to sign the Brave’s prospects into January, to allow teams that miss out on Ohtani to spend their bonus money on them?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: Not a bad thought. A lot of teams will be holding back everything until Ohtani decides

12:58
Loren: Anyone you think the Padres will be targeting or makes sense this off-season on the free agent market?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: I think Michael Pineda makes sense for a lot of clubs that don’t plan on contending in 2018

12:59
Michael K Woods: Kind of personal question. What is the ancestry/origin of your last name “Sawchik?”

1:00
Travis Sawchik: Russian … But the name was altered at Ellis Island, I believe

1:00
P: Timing wise, American or Canadian thanksgiving?

1:00
Travis Sawchik: I wouldn’t want a coma-inducing feast to overlap with playoff baseball

1:00
Lendel: Is Lucas Duda a good bounce back candidate. Seems like he could benefit from going to a hitter friendly ballpark

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Mike Moustakas, too

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Ballpark that is

1:01
Josh: Where would you value Ohtani as an asset? Top 15 in the league?

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Given age and dollars, I’d have him top 5

1:03
Travis Sawchik: I think he’s right there with Correa, Trout, Lindor, Seager, Judge and Bryant in terms of trade value

1:03
Ben: If a player (like Ohtani) puts up 3 WAR as a pitcher and 3 WAR as a position player, is that any more or less valuable than a player worth 6 WAR as just a hitter (or pitcher)?

1:04
Travis Sawchik: More, I suspect, since he offers a club more roster flexibility and in-game creativity .

1:04
Daniel: How good is Austin Hays?

1:04
Travis Sawchik: I’m intrigued. Let’s see what he does in 2018

1:05
He Hate Me: I guess I missed the KATOH projection for Ohtani.  What’s the likelihood of him becoming a 9-10 WAR/year player?  Sounds like Kool-Aid to me.

1:05
Travis Sawchik: I think he projects more as a 5-7 WAR player in 2018

1:06
Travis Sawchik: That’s based upon projections of translated numbers

1:06
Brian: Hard to believe but there are now 1 year old babies that have never seen the Cubs win the world series.  The Cubs FO needs to rectify this, and that right soon.

1:06
Travis Sawchik: Pressure is on!

1:07
Travis Sawchik: I do think there is some pressure to keep up with the Dodgers short- and long-term

1:07
Anon: Is there any chance Ohtani is a Sidd Finch-esque prank being played on American baseball fans?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Kind of wish we could wait to have an April 1 signing story

1:07
P: What’ll be the most interesting Otani fallout storyline? How Fantasy baseball deals with it? Details on teams pitches?

1:08
Travis Sawchik: Other than performance, how the team employs him

1:08
P: No offense to Yankees fans, but I’d hate to see Ohtani sign there. That’d have to be the worst case scenario for the league right?

1:08
Travis Sawchik: I’ve argued the best-case for the league is Ohtani on a bubble team to give the league another contender

1:08
KW: What is your interest level in Michael Fulmer as an ace-level SP who could be traded? Do the injuries and the Mets history concern you?

1:09
Travis Sawchik: The injury is a concern, yeah

1:09
John: What would Ohtani’s WAR be around if he were say a number 2 SP and top 5 DH?

1:09
Travis Sawchik: I think he’d be about a 6-win player

1:09
Travis Sawchik: DH production was actually pretty poor in the AL last year

1:10
I Hate UCOR Class: Chances Ohtani ends up with NYY?

1:10
Travis Sawchik: 34%

1:10
I am the walrus: Do you think Profar can someday be a league average player?

1:10
Travis Sawchik: I do. There’s a potential come-back story here. …He was once the No. 1 overall prospect. there’s serious talent and makeup there

1:11
Sterling Malory Chris Archer: How worried should teams be about Ohtani’s injuries last year? No one seems to mention them.

1:11
Travis Sawchik: If this was a free-market, max contract situation, we’d hear more about them

1:12
He Hate Me: I think where the Ohtani train falls off the rails is when people start talking about him as a top-5 DH. Longenhagen has a 40-45 hit tool grade on him. That’s not even starting-DH.

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Not sure about top 5, but I think he’s a better hitter than that

1:12
MooseknuckleCurves: Would you keep Bradley, Berrios or Morton this year?

1:13
Travis Sawchik: Berrios

1:13
Travis Sawchik: While I love the postseason version of Morton, he’s had trouble staying on the mound

1:13
Travis Sawchik: Berrios is already good and should become better

1:13
BJOGC: How is putting on 6lbs even possible over such a short amount of time? That’s 21,000 calories over maintenance. It’s either water weight or you guys are all disgusting

1:13
Travis Sawchik: Salt intake?

1:14
A cat: Ohtani to the Angels to team with Trout would be amazing for baseball.

1:14
Travis Sawchik: Ohtani to the No. 2 team in the No. 2 market where the No. 1 team (LAD) is already elite would be great for baseball.

1:14
Travis Sawchik: Ohtani getting Trout to October would be great for baseball

1:15
Travis Sawchik: The Yankees are going to be really good with or without Ohtani

1:15
Josh: Top 5 favorite/most intriguing landing spots for Ohtani

1:17
Travis Sawchik: LAA probably No. 1, objectively. Seattle. Texas. Philly. Colorado.

1:17
Anon: Which Fangraphs writer would make the best sports agent?

1:17
Travis Sawchik: Carson, obviously

1:17
Brendon: Is the lack of off-season action going to create an especially busy winter meetings?  Or just push things further into the off-season?

1:17
Travis Sawchik: Since it’s been so quiet to date, the chances of a busy winter meetings have increased

1:18
Estevao: Machado career wRC+ 115, 26.0 WAR on 3365 PA           Puig career wRC+ 130, 15.0 WAR on 2321 PA                                          I`m just stating facts, and oh, by the way, Puig`s wRC+ this year was 117 and that was all against righties, 61 wRC+ against lefties, which is bound to increase next year, career versus LH 119

1:18
Travis Sawchik: Puig might be … undervalued?

1:18
AHume92: Any chance Ohtani gets the Kris Bryant treatment of service time, or would that definitely draw a viable grievance from the PA?

1:19
Travis Sawchik: Ohtani better not begin April in Triple-A

1:19
Travis Sawchik: What if Ohtani begins his career as a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider?

1:19
Matt: Self-reported weight gains: under-stated, or proud and overstated?

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Hmmm Depends on the person and the audience

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Thanks for the questions everyone!

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Even the ones not about Ohtani

1:20
Travis Sawchik: I will be back next week, hopefully having shed three pounds

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Until then, be good and do good …

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A Cleveland native, FanGraphs writer Travis Sawchik is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Big Data Baseball. He also contributes to The Athletic Cleveland, and has written for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Travis_Sawchik.

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cemilanese
Member
cemilanese

Who should the Mets get as a Second baseman?

bosoxforlife
Member
Member
bosoxforlife

I understand Neil Walker is available.