Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:06
Travis Sawchik: Greetings!

12:06
Travis Sawchik: The Angels have won the offseason so we can all pack up and head home …

12:06
Travis Sawchik: But let’s chat anyways …

12:07
Nick: Why did the Yankees trade Chase Headley? They have no obvious replacement and his contract wasn’t necessarily bad. It seems like a 1-2 yr deal for a 3B is exactly what they want?

12:07
Travis Sawchik: Yankees’ stated goal is to remain under the luxury tax threshold

12:08
Travis Sawchik: And if they can remain under it this season they reset, which is important, as the tax-level increases for multiple-year offenders

12:08
The Law: As a Yankee fan I have to know: How bad would JD Martinez be at 3rd and would it be worth it just to watch the Yankees try to break the 300 seasonal team HR mark?

12:09
Travis Sawchik: He’d be awful … but it would be amazing to see JD in this lineup

12:09
Travis Sawchik: JD is going to be a Red Sox DH

12:09
Jose: What are the chances that Hosmer could join the launch angle revolution and does the possibility make him any less of a landmine?

12:09
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, I think he could very well join the revolution … but how much do you want to pay for that unknown?

12:10
Travis Sawchik: I’d be interested to find out more about Hosmer on a shorter-term deal but that’s not going to happen … so he remains the No. 1 landmine in the class

12:11
Jose: Boras is selling Hosmer as a player with his prestige value. Has anyone ever tried to quantify intangibles and if so, how much are they worth?

12:12
Travis Sawchik: Teams have tried … and perhaps some teams have found something … but an intangible is, by definition, impossible to quantify so I have my doubts about how well they’ve been measured

12:12
Travis Sawchik: But having good people in a clubhouse is important, especially if they are good teachers

12:12
Travis Sawchik: Justin Turner had a positive impact on Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger in the LAD clubhouse this season

12:13
Travis Sawchik: Also … we shouldn’t give Hosmer too much credit for the KC clubhouse as a lot of those Royals came through the system together

12:14
Travis Sawchik: Hosmer has actually been resistant to new ideas (launch angle) and not always so welcoming and nice

12:14
Concerned GM: Alex Cobb is super intriguing given what he’s done in the past, but how concerned should a team be about his bloated hard contact rate and mediocre xwoba in 2017? I know the split change isn’t fully back, and the curve presents upside, but looking at those two stats one can’t help but be a little uncertain of what to expect. What would your view be?

12:16
Travis Sawchik: Lot of uncertainty with Cobb, for sure. He’s a bit of gamble. But I’m curious to see him a year further removed from injury/surgery

12:16
Travis Sawchik: There’s risk but there’s upside if he gets his split-change back

12:17
Travis Sawchik: I’d prefer him on a shorter-term, ‘prove-it’ deal

12:17
Travis Sawchik: There were some positive step forward in K% and O-Swing% at the end of the year

12:18
Oddball Herrera: Bear with me on this – in the Marlins teardown are we seeing echoes of the effects of Fernandez’ boat accident? Healthy Fernandez makes them right in the wild card race, his 2016 is 6 WAR better than some of the random replacement level guys who pitched 100+ innings for them this year, and presumably they would be less inclined to blow up a playoff team.  Or do you think this was coming either way with their huge Stanton contract and shallow farm system.

12:19
Travis Sawchik: The Marlins and the sport lost the best young pitcher in a game to a tragedy so that didn’t help their outlook, of course. But I think this teardown was coming regardless of who was on the roster

12:19
Christian: How much trade value do players with 1 year of control like Donaldson and Machado lose by being traded at the deadline as a pose to now?

12:21
Travis Sawchik: A significant chunk … and the team acquiring them at midseason is not eligible for QO compensation … But there’s always the possibility there is a bidding war at the deadline but there should be more suitors in the winter

12:21
Pat G: Keep forever dynasty league, Acuna or Ozuna?

12:21
Travis Sawchik: Acuna

12:21
Wilpon: Is there any chance I decide to rebuild and trade Syndergaard or Degrom at the deadline?

12:22
Travis Sawchik: I think it’s unlikely but it’s plausible

12:22
Travis Sawchik: If the Mets are struggling and there is a Chris Sale return out there then it’s worth exploring

12:22
Alex: If the Giants are one of the worst teams by the summer, could you see them trading Bumgarner? Could they get a Chris Sale like return and what teams would be a fit?

12:23
Travis Sawchik: I think the Giants might want to think about blowing it up before trade values for some of their stars start to really erode

12:23
Travis Sawchik: But the Giants seem intent on trying to win

12:23
Travis Sawchik: It is an even year!

12:24
Tom: Do you think the Giants will put together an average outfield/above replacement 3B situation this offseason?

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Those were black holes last season so they need to to contend

12:24
Spider: Any chance that the Dodgers/Braves read the Fangraphs chat recommending to trade Gonzalez/Kemp etc.?

12:25
Travis Sawchik: Oh, this little thing …

12:25
Travis Sawchik:

This was a question in a @based_ball chat over a week ago and it’s really messing with me
16 Dec 2017
12:25
Travis Sawchik: That was pretty amazing

12:25
Travis Sawchik: Maybe ‘Tom’ is Andrew Friedman?

12:28
Travis Sawchik: If reading a FG chat transformed an idea to an MLB trade … Then maybe there’s hope for Eric Hosmer’s batted-ball profile

12:28
I am the Walrus: FA starting pitchers after Tiers 1- Arrieta/Darivish and Tier 2-Cobb/Lynn, who is the best in Tier 3?   Hellickson, Chacin, Buchholtz?  or Other??

12:29
Travis Sawchik: This is not a great offseason for pitching … I actually liked Fister to the Rangers as a pretty solid value signing

12:29
Psychic: What’s the inside scoop on Kiley’s departure from ATL?

12:29
Travis Sawchik: Kiley has returned to the FG family so you can ask him!

12:29
John S: is there a price point where Hosmer to the Padres makes sense? i can’t think of one.

12:30
Travis Sawchik: 2y/$28m

12:30
v2micca: We need you to weigh in a the debate currently raging at MLB.com.  Is this the silhouette of a lefty or a righty?
http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/12/17/263699910/help-us-determine-if-thi…

12:30
Travis Sawchik: Jordan is a pal of mine …. But it’s clearly a lefty

12:31
Tony: Boras has to be drooling that both the Yankees and Dodgers have made moves to stay under the luxury tax this year.  Maybe $500m for Harper isn’t ridiculous afterall?

12:31
Travis Sawchik: I think he’ll reach $400m but not half a billion …. Of course, he’ll probably have an opt-out after three years

12:32
Travis Sawchik: Harper might be on the LeBron plan where he’ll essentially sign a series of short-term deals and keep betting on himself

12:32
Todd: Does Ohtani immediately become the ace of the Angels? If so, do they still trust him as the opening day starter in Oakland and put that kind of pressure on him?

12:32
Travis Sawchik: He’s the ace. He’s had a ton of pressure on him in Japan, so I think he’s up to the challenge

12:32
Travis Sawchik: It’s still baseball …

12:33
Zock Jr.: So Kiley is coming back! You guys didn’t overlap, but he’s great. Love that Fangraphs is building a prospect coverage dream team.

12:33
Travis Sawchik: The People love prospects

12:33
Travis Sawchik: It’s kind of like recruiting coverage in cfb … people love to hope and dream … and it’s fun to project

12:34
Tina: Does JD Martinez have much of a market outside of Boston?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: The lack of glove skills is dragging his market down, I presume. But, man, I love that bat

12:34
Pumpsie Green: Do you expect the return on Machado to be underwhelming, to the point where trading Donaldson becomes a non-story because it is simply not worth the effort?

12:35
Travis Sawchik: Machado still has pretty significant trade value

12:35
Travis Sawchik: He’s projected to clear about $40 million in surplus value in 2018

12:36
Travis Sawchik: His value is in the ballpark of two years of Ozuna, I think

12:36
Travis Sawchik: I’d rather have had him if I was the Cards

12:36
Travis Sawchik: And I like Ozuna …

12:37
Andrew: How much UZR do you project the Angels infield to be worth? Also, how good are they?

12:37
Travis Sawchik: If you ignore first base … they’re going to be really good

12:37
Travis Sawchik: Should have plus D at 2B and 3B now, after below average (-13 DRS combined) last season … And you’re probably familiar with the shortstop

12:38
Will: So right now, do you see Machado being traded and to who?  And where do you see him and Harper ending up after next season given the recent Yankees and Dodgers moves?

12:40
Travis Sawchik: Cardinals still make sense, right? Flaherty would fit in BAL….Also, I don’t know what Cleveland’s payroll space is or interest in surrendering prospects, but he’d look nice next to Lindor on the left side of the infield for a season

12:40
Travis Sawchik: Of course, Indians can probably win a division title without doing anything of substance this offseason

12:41
maxamuz: Would you rather spend $29 on K.Bryant or $34 on Charlie Blackmon or are both still good value? Assume everything standard.

12:41
Travis Sawchik: I’d rather have the younger guy and the infielder

12:43
Capt’n Canada: Since WAR is purely based on talent instead of productions (Runs, RBI and saving runs on defense are still what wins games). Do you think the name Wins Above Replacement isn’t right?

12:43
Travis Sawchik: Another WAR debate!

12:44
Travis Sawchik: I think ‘wins’ is what we want since it’s runs that lead to wins … and we’re ultimately trying to boil down talent to a wins value

12:44
Tyler: Under or over 35 homers for Gary sanchez this coming year?

12:44
Travis Sawchik: He could do it but that’s still a petty big number for a catcher

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Under

12:44
Colin : What type of return does Realmuto warrant?

12:46
Travis Sawchik: A solid return …  his trade value might not be so different than that of Ozuna if you believe in the glove

12:46
Sacre Bleu For Life!: How’s your Montreal franchise doing? What MLB are they most like?

12:48
Travis Sawchik: NLDS play begins tomorrow … Chasing a three-peat! … At the risk of seeming immodest, the Dodgers are the top comp

12:49
Justino: If the Cubs were to trade Russell for Machado, what else do you see them having to throw in?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: Ideally if I’m the Orioles, I want service clocks that haven’t begun

12:49
CamdenWarehouse: How Disappointed will you be if Montreal doesn’t win?

12:50
Travis Sawchik: Very Disappointed … but we also acknowledge the small-sample nature of baseball tournament play

12:51
Matt Damon: MATT.  DAMON.

12:51
Travis Sawchik: Oh, Matt

12:51
Travis Sawchik: You shouldn’t probably stop talking

12:51
VampWeekAtBern: Could the Reds compete for the division title if they were willing to trade both Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene?

12:51
Travis Sawchik: no

12:51
Travis Sawchik: Those would be very poor decisions

12:52
Spider: What is the Twins next move? Darvish? Cobb? Another reliever?

12:52
Travis Sawchik: Darvish would like nice, sure … But I could see a Tier 2 FA starter landing there

12:53
resumeman: I notice that the Park Factors on the Guts! page haven’t been updated since 2015. Are there any plans to bring them up to date?

12:53
Travis Sawchik: That’s a good question … I don’t know but I can ask

12:54
JonCor: Seem to be conflicting views among the FG team around the Jays’ ability to contend in ’18. Are you a trade Donaldson and burn it down guy or stay in it and reassess at deadline guy?

12:54
Travis Sawchik: Blue Jays are in a tough spot

12:54
Travis Sawchik: You can make a convincing argument either way

12:55
Travis Sawchik: I

12:55
Travis Sawchik: ‘d lean toward tearing down

12:55
Travis Sawchik: I just don’t think they’re a team that has the ability to play deep into October

12:55
Philly: We’re making a pretty aggressive play for the wildcard. For a team projected to win 76 games this year, do we really have a shot ..?

12:57
Travis Sawchik: Phillies are a long shot … but they have a ton of payroll space and adding a piece like Carlos Santana and some wins in 2018 could helep recruit Haprer or Machado next winter

12:57
Travis Sawchik: There’s a chance the Phillies are a surprise team… someone will likely surprise us … but I’d rather see them use payroll space to ‘buy’ prospects through taking on a bad contract or two

12:58
CJ: Why couldn’t the White Sox trade for Machado and then try to extent him during the Summer? If they can’t extend him , then just flip him at the trade deadline. They should be able to get back some pretty good prospects from a contender.

12:59
Travis Sawchik: I guess they could but they would risk taking a net loss on prospects and it’s unlikely he would consider an extension

12:59
Matt: Let’s say that before Conforto’s arm fell off mid-swing, we expected him to be a 7/10 on the offensive spectrum. We expecting him back at that level, or did he just get Mets’d?

1:00
Travis Sawchik: I have no idea. It’s a shame. I love the swing and the player

1:00
Sonny and chris: Do the yankees really NEED another pitcher? You could say that any rotation would be stretched thin if a top guy goes down, that doesn’t mean every team needs 6 #3 type starters on the roster.

1:00
Travis Sawchik: I think the Yankees’ need to add another starter is somewhat overstated

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Severino-Gray-Tanaka-Monty-CC is pretty solid

1:02
Zonk: Did STL fleece the Marlins in the Ozuna trade?  I understand MIA hands were tied with Stanton, but doesn’t that seem like a middling return for Ozuna?

1:03
Travis Sawchik: The return was light. Surprised to see Flaherty stay in StL

1:03
Machado: If you had to calculate Manny’s surplus value, can you show us your math?  Aside from the value of him playing for a year, I’m curious how much value you attribute to (1) the increased chances of re-signing him due to him playing for the org for a year, or (2) the chance to deal him at the deadline, or (3) the chance to get a comp pick when he signs elsewhere.

1:04
Travis Sawchik: Those factors ought to be considered… I was just simply subtracting his projected surplus value from projected arb salary

1:04
Wadz: What kind of return could Marlins get back from Nats for Realmuto?

1:05
Travis Sawchik: The Nats should be interested in a catching upgrade, imo

1:05
Jeff: When does Cole and/or Cutch get traded? What are the chances they get traded?

1:05
Jeb: When is Cole going to get traded? Or is he even going to get traded?

1:05
Travis Sawchik: I think they’ll each be moved this offseason. That was the buzz in Orlando and it makes sense

1:06
El Jefe: Jose Berrios top 30 WAR SP this year?

1:06
Travis Sawchik: With health, yes

1:07
Nick: Happy Holidays!!

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Happy holidays!

1:07
Steve: Enjoyed your article on a salary floor. Do you feel that MLB will have some sort of cap and floor system in the future? Seems to make sense for both sides at this point.

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Thanks! The sport already has a soft cap that is becoming more rigid and that should have the MLBPA’s attention

1:07
Tony P: Can we make Leff Loria buy the Carolina Panthers? Does he only ruin baseball teams or could he use a new challenge?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Oh man

1:08
Travis Sawchik: The way the NFL operates I could see it

1:08
Jeff: Thoughts on the Phillies and Stroman connection mentioned on MLBTR? I know it’s super unlikely they move him, but there is a price for everyone right? What would the Jays be looking for?

1:09
Travis Sawchik: There is indeed a price for about everything … Phillies are one of the top aggressors this winter

1:09
Britt: If the Angles won the offseason, may I ask who has so far lost the offseason?

1:09
Travis Sawchik: Let me tell you a story about the Miami Marlins

1:09
Jeff: When do the Blue Jays stop living a lie and trade Stroman to the Cubs?

1:10
Travis Sawchik: If I’m the Jays I at least take the temperature of the Stroman market

1:10
Brent: So can we expect combo Kiley/Eric chats and podcasts??

1:10
Travis Sawchik: No idea! But I would submit it to the suggestions box

1:11
cheese: So… Which Dodger prospect is worth about $43 million?

1:11
Travis Sawchik: I’m not sure how much salary the Dodgers are interested in adding

1:12
Andy J.: Cole/Cutch to Dodgers makes a lot of sense, no? Send Kemp/Verdugo/Alvarez/+ . Cutch’s contract is over after this year so LA can dive into FA market and Cole remains a good arm for another year, allowing them to spend on hitters

1:12
Travis Sawchik: I could see them as partners

1:12
Friarfaithful117: What type of prospects would the Padres need to give up to land Yelich?

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Yelich should fetch a monster return

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Probably start with the top prospect and several org top 10

1:13
Bobby Evans: I’m lost, aren’t I?    It’s not like we have a lot of pitching depth either.   So many holes I don’t know where to start

1:13
Travis Sawchik: Giants are kind of like the Blue Jays of the NL

1:14
Daniel: Is there anything the Angels can actually do about Pujols? Will he be DFA’d with multiple years left?

1:15
Travis Sawchik: A negative -2 WAR DH in 2017 who is owed $124 million through 2021 …. Yikes!

1:15
Travis Sawchik: He’s probably a DFA candidate soon

1:16
Rays 7th Infielder: When can we expect any type of FG projections (Steamer, Zips, or otherwise) on Ohtani?

1:16
Travis Sawchik: It’s on the priority list

1:16
billy: any chance phillies put santana at 3b, to leave Hoskins at 1B?

1:16
Travis Sawchik: Santana would probably be willing … but I assume they move Hoskins to LF?

1:17
Esteban: If the Red Sox somehow acquire Realmuto, and sign Martinez to DH, does that put them in step with the Yankees in 2017?

1:17
Travis Sawchik: It wouldn’t hurt

1:17
Jeff S: Does a stat evaluating how a batter performs against above-average pitchers exist?  This would maybe for playoff-contending teams looking for batting help when the time comes where there are only above-average pitchers like the postseason?

1:17
Travis Sawchik: Yes, BP has a measure for quality of opposition faced

1:18
DJ: This is sort of random, but I’ve been thinking – what do you think is the next big quantifiable measurement/stat that will eventually be held in the regard of WAR/wRC+/FIP/etc.  Do you think it’ll be an advancement on those pre-existing numbers or do you think there will be a way to quantify something we currently don’t have access to (i.e. maybe something along the lines of measuring peak performance or something). Apologies if I made zero sense.

1:19
Travis Sawchik: Good question. Maybe something on the defensive side of things … We could use a unifying metric that accounted for Statcast data, positioning, defensive efficiency

1:19
Travis Sawchik: That music you hear marks the end of today’s chat. Thanks for all the great questions

1:19
Travis Sawchik: Sorry we can’t get to all of them!

1:19
Travis Sawchik: Until next week, be good and do good





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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What happened to the feature where we could see all questions (even those that host couldn’t answer)?