Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:05
Travis Sawchik: Greetings!

12:05
Travis Sawchik: It’s been awhile with the holiday last week …

12:05
Travis Sawchik: But don’t worry, we haven’t really missed anything ….

12:06
Travis Sawchik: 29 of Dave’s Top 50 free agents remain unsigned

12:06
Baseball Guy: Best guess as to who’s still out there in, say, June, waiting for the “right offer”? I got Arrieta.

12:06
Travis Sawchik: I would be shocked if a top name was waiting until June … but I could see some high-profile March signings

12:07
Estevao: Starlin Castro has 1280 career hits and he’ll turn 28 in a few months, if he gets 180 hits the next 2 years and averages 170 over the following 8, he gets 3000, that’s a longshot, but would it make him a Hall of Famer?
Rethorical Question

12:08
Travis Sawchik: It’s a long shot for sure, if he had played 20 years earlier … I think so. But the voting electorate is changing and is going to be less into counting stats

12:08
CamdenWarehouse: Independent of what is causing the slowness, do you think the slowness of the offseason itself is a problem for MLB?  Does the sport need some amount of interesting going on in order to maintain interest going into the season or will March 29 come and everyone will be as interested as ever?

12:09
Travis Sawchik: This is a good point. Ideally, MLB should want all its big names to sign before spring training to fill in the offseason news void … Instead the void is being filled with stories about collusion, future labor fights, etc

12:10
Andy: We keep 8. My first 7 are set. Who should be my last?
Keepers:
1B- Goldi
2B- J. Ramirez
SS- Correra
3B- Bryant
OF- Stanton, Hoskins

my options are Carrasco, Pham, Yu Darv, Braun, Shaw.

Whos would fit best in my team?

12:10
Travis Sawchik: Looks like you need an arm so Darvish or Carrasco, who are probably not too different in value

12:11
M Wolicki: Why don’t we see more guys taking Justin Turner type discounts? I’d think once your making piles of money, that you’d want to win. Fraizer to NYY comes to mind.

12:12
Travis Sawchik: I think in any profession you want to be paid at a rate comparable to your talents and peers … also there might be pressure from MLBPA to not take discounts

12:12
Jobu: More likely to be worth 3 wins this year: Brantley or Kipnis?

12:12
Travis Sawchik: Kipnis. I think he has a better chance to stay on the field for a full season

12:12
Jobu: Lindor extension: 7/$150 — about right?

12:13
Travis Sawchik: That seems about right, but he turned down $100 million last winter … so I’m not sure he’d do it

12:14
Rickie: The Blue Jays have quietly added to their outfield and backup infield without spending much money. Do you think they use some of those savings to land one of the remaining big name pitchers on the free agent market?

12:14
Travis Sawchik: Blue Jays are a team in that middle ground that should probably buy aggressively … or blow it up. It doesn’t look like they intend to blow it up, and there is increasingly a lot of value to potentially be found in free agency, so I’d buy

12:15
Estevao: How accurate is this ranking

Proper Top 10 Shortstops.

1A, Corey Seager
1B, Carlos Correa
3, Francisco Lindor
4, Trea Turner
5, Andrelton Simmons
6, Xander Bogaerts
7, Brandon Crawford
8, Elvis Andrus
9, Didi Gregorius
10. Addison Russel.

Tier 1, Correa and Seager

Tier 2, Lindor and Turner

Tier 3, Simmons, Bogaerts, Crawford, Andrus, Gregorius and Russel.

Note: Simmons is kind of in between tier 2 and tier 3.

12:16
Travis Sawchik: Let’s stop and appreciate the shortstop talent in the game right now. It’s a golden era for the position

12:16
Travis Sawchik: 1-5 is Tier 1 for me

12:16
Kristen: How well will Darvish’s stuff age over the life of the lengthy contract he’ll soon be getting?  Will the huge variety of pitches he can wield and therefore not being dependent on just one or two out-pitches compensate for declining velocity?

12:18
Travis Sawchik: Good question and I do think Darvish has the skill-set to age more gracefully than some other high-velo arms. The Dodgers showed us in the second half that through sequencing and pitch usage, Darvish has remaining upside

12:18
Bryan in Boise: Rumor has it Boston has an offer of 5 years at $125 million? Feel like we have been at this point for over 2 months now. If this is actually true one would think JDM should take it right now.

12:19
Travis Sawchik: I don’t see many teams beating down the door to give JDM a sixth year. I’d be pretty surprised if he doesn’t sign a five-year pact (maybe with an option) with Boston

12:19
Phil: Where do you see the Pirates confidence in Meadows as the long-term running mate for Marte and Polanco in the OF?  Was interesting that midrange OF prospects Reynolds and Martin were part of the Cutch/Cole returns…

12:19
Travis Sawchik: I have to think while the Pirates remain optimistic re: Meadows there confidence level in his ability to stay on the field and maximize his gifts has probably declined

12:20
Bryan in Boise: As we get closer to spring training who do you think has more leverage when it comes to contracts, ownership or the players agents?

12:20
Travis Sawchik: The clubs have the edge as the calendar moves toward spring training

12:22
Travis Sawchik: I’ve shared this in a few posts, but Royals Review researched our crowdsource estimates (2013-17) and found that deals signed before Jan. 1 were for 4% below the crowdsource average and deals signed after Jan. 1 were for 25% below the crowdsource average

12:22
Travis Sawchik: Waiting is not going to benefit many FAs at this point

12:22
Big Joey: What is the % chance Conforto returns in May, is back to normal and his career is unaffected by his injury?

12:23
Travis Sawchik: Man, I was so disappointed with that injury. Conforto was becoming a franchise cornerstone bat …. I trust modern medicine but I might not expect him to be 95% or better until 2019

12:24
Tom: I would love if Fangraphs would add a feature that allowed you to search players in the “Leaders” section that were currently Free Agents. Just a suggestion and I don’t know who to suggest things like this too anymore now that Dave is gone.

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Not a bad suggestion. I will pass it along

12:25
Tilly: What do you make of Baseball America putting Acuna above Ohtani in the new rankings?

12:25
Travis Sawchik: I’m good with it and I would rank them the same way. Ohtani already has a red flags re: his elbow and pitching prospects are riskier than hitting prospects … and Acuna is a better position player than Ohtani, of course

12:26
Andrew: Odds this is the year the White Sox’ whole thing starts coming together?

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Not this year

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Maybe 2019

12:27
Matt C.: Wondering your prediction for Joey Votto this year. Age would suggest his stats start to decline soon but the eye test proves he’s at the top of his game.

12:27
Travis Sawchik: Even if he slips a little, he’s still going to be elite in 2018

12:28
Travis Sawchik: Votto is an outlier in a lot of ways, the approach is elite, I hate to bet against him

12:29
Big Joe Mufferaw: If MLB condensed the schedule to 30 regular season games. That improves the playoff% of the lesser team more than the top tier teams correct? (adds more randomness)

12:29
Travis Sawchik: Yes … But I don’t think the owners would be on board with this

12:29
Matt Brand: thoughts about grichuk in tor?

12:29
Travis Sawchik: Solid move for Toronto since it appears they are not ready to retool

12:30
resumeman: Happy Monday Travis. Will you guys be putting those descriptive blurbs on all the players’ pages again? I found those to be very useful. If you’ll be doing that, do you know when they’ll be up?

12:30
Travis Sawchik: That’s a great question. I am actually not sure who was responsible for the blurbs but I will pass it along

12:31
Moose Knuckle Curve: I’ve been thinking forward to this year’s draft, and am wondering about the status about the ball that we know was different last year.  Good, consistent pitching was the rarest commodity. In my 7×7 head to head league, is it crazy to consider taking the first two or three rounds to grab top flight SP, and wait on the offense?  It’s an OBP league, I was thinking about grabbing pitching first and then lead off hitters at every position in later rounds, leaving HR on the table. Should we expect this home run crazy environment to continue, blisters to continue to be so wide spread?

12:32
Travis Sawchik: I am not aware to any changes being planned for the ball … so I think we have to assume there will be plenty of HRs. Even if the ball was made less lively, there are going to be more hitters looking to launch … I always hesitate to build around early-round pitchers

12:32
Travis Sawchik: Just because of the increased risk factor

12:33
Travis Sawchik: But I think only 18 arms reached 200 innings last year, so true fantasy aces are harder to find and if there

12:33
Travis Sawchik: ‘s one available in round 2, I think about it

12:33
Bryan in Boise: what is your take on the Cole trade to Houston.

12:34
Travis Sawchik: It’s growing on me. Moran is a swing change guy with untapped upside, Musgrove is interesting, and Feliz can miss bats. Considering that Cole was really a No. 3 starter the last two years, it’s not bad … That said, if anyone is going to get more out of Cole, it’s Houston. And I do think there is more there.

12:34
Travis Sawchik: I think it’s really a win-win trade. Houston basically gave up its spare parts for a potential No. 1 or No. 2

12:34
tacopocket: Where do you think moustakas ends up?   Chances it’s with the mets – 5-10%?   or are they getting Frazier?  Please don’t say he’s going to be a yankee

12:35
Travis Sawchik: Moustakas’ batted-ball profiled would fit well with NYY. There seems to be so little market for him

12:35
Justin Turner’s Hair: Hey Travis!  Thanks for chatting.  Any suggestions to help with my FanGraphs obsession?

12:35
Travis Sawchik: Hey Justin, I would just keep feeding it!

12:35
The final boss: Number of days Fernando Rodney is the closer?

12:36
Travis Sawchik: If the Twins want to maximize their best RPs in leverage situations … then maybe the entire season

12:36
Chris Dunn: Analysts are saying Bryce Harper could break an all time high salary signing in next years free agency. Hypothetically speaking if Trout were also entering the market as a FA, who’d fetch more?

12:37
Travis Sawchik: Trout

12:37
Travis Sawchik: He’s generally on the field and is the game’s best player

12:37
tacopocket: Wasn’t that Reed contract REALLY good?   How did it happen?  Shouldn’t there have been 5+ teams willing to beat that deal (cardinals, nationals, etc..).   Even non contenders could’ve signed him and then dealt him for prospects. I was shocked at the deal – especially after seeing that wade davis deal.

12:38
Travis Sawchik: I like what the Twins have done with their bullpen

12:39
Travis Sawchik: They are another one of those increasingly in-the-middle teams but they are in a good division to buy as the Royals, Tigers and White Sox are going to be among the worst teams in baseball

12:39
Andy: When will we see Acuna?

12:40
Travis Sawchik: I know the answer but I cannot tell you

12:40
capconstrained: Clint Frazier alone was better than the Astros package.

12:40
Travis Sawchik: I think you could argue the Pirates should have targeted higher upside and more risk but I don’t think that’s true

12:41
Billy Beane: Let’s say, for some reason, a team wanted to sign Bryce Harper to play catcher again. How much more do you think they would have to pay him before he might agree to that? Or is there an amount he would take to do that at the likely expense of his (already mediocre) health?

12:41
Travis Sawchik: ‘Yeah, I’ll player catcher for $1 billion/15 years”

12:41
E: Does anyone know how the players are feeling about this offseason? Are they worried at all? Or still mostly confident they will get theirs?

12:42
Travis Sawchik: I have to think anxiety is starting to creep in. It will really creep in for those unsigned players in mid Feb when they watch MLB Network and see players reporting for camp

12:42
Travis Sawchik: Just think two years ago, David Freese was asking for a multi-year/$10m+AAV deal in November and settled for a one-year, $3 million in March

12:44
Dosh Jonaldson: Would the Blue Jays still have budget left for someone like Lynn or Cobb? Would you prioritize starting pitching over bullpen adds for them at this point?

12:44
Travis Sawchik: If the Blue Jays landed one of the top four SPs remaining, that would be kind of interesting

12:45
Sleepy: When Eric Hosmer signs with the Padres (or whoev), what does he do with all his Royals swag?  Dude’s gotta have mountains of the stuff–t-shirts, shorts, etc.  One giant-ass trip to Goodwill?  I think about this everytime a dude changes teams.

12:46
Travis Sawchik: Hosmer could probably clothe everyone in this chat room for the next three years

12:46
Double Dee: In ZIPS, are the comps for current players to be regarded as comps for that player in a specific season. Michael Brantley is compared to Jim Edmonds, but I’m wondering-which Jim Edmonds?

12:46
Travis Sawchik: Age 31 Jim Edmonds

12:47
Travis Sawchik: Who was a 6-win player!

12:48
Gavin: At the end of the day, I could have lived with the Cole return if I weren’t so sad at the departure of McCutchen. The Pirates had a shot at their Craig Biggio or Derek Jeter and blew it.

12:50
Travis Sawchik: From an emotional aspect, yeah, I get it. Pirates took a PR fit that will be tangibly seen in attendance this season. But they were never going to invest in McCutchen’s 30s

12:50
Sonny: Players changing teams = swag bonanza for the people around them. So much team issue luggage, workout gear, etc

12:50
Travis Sawchik: I feel for those people who were gifted late 1990s Devil Rays gear

12:51
E: “When Eric Hosmer signs with the Padres (or whoev), what does he do with all his Royals swag?  Dude’s gotta have mountains of the stuff–t-shirts, shorts, etc.  One giant-ass trip to Goodwill?  I think about this everytime a dude changes teams.” This is the sort of spring training piece that we need Eno to do.

12:51
Travis Sawchik: Eno has already had one negative experience with Eric

12:52
Matt: To what extent is the fear of the long contract a factor in the slowness of the market (as opposed to “saving for harper”), and to that, to what extent does that potentially change the look of whatever deals are handed out next offseason?

12:52
Travis Sawchik: I think we’re going to see shorter deals for non-superstars. For instance, there have been no deals longer than three years for anyone to date this offseason

12:53
The final boss: McCutchens HR total with the giants? +/- 18?

12:53
Travis Sawchik: McCutchen is going to the only park less favorable than PNC for RHH power … but he gets 18 games in Coors and Chase, so I’d take the over

12:54
Bob Loblaw: Outside of JDM to Boston, what’s the one FA signing/trade you are surprised has not happened yet?

12:54
Travis Sawchik: I’m surprised Darvish has’t signed somewhere. Usually the top arms are off the board at this point

12:54
Cory: Crazy idea, but the Pirates need an OF to replace Cutch and a PR win. Why not kick the tires on Yelich? Young, cheap, cost controlled, all things they love. I know Meadows and Glasnow have lost a little shine, but that would be a solid starting point, one would think. It would also show the pitchfork wielding fans that maybe they are serious about winning.

12:54
Travis Sawchik: Not a terrible idea since they don’t plan on having a long down period

12:55
Sonny: Zimmer is comp’d to Jim Edmonds, Brantley comp’d to Wally Moses. Jim Edmonds is a hell of a comp

12:55
Travis Sawchik: That is a hell of a comp

12:55
Doug: If prices are really to start falling, someone like Jake Arrieta could actually make some sense for the Angels, no? Their rotation is deep but definitely fragile.

12:55
Travis Sawchik: I actually matched Arrieta with the Angels in my ESPN piece last week

12:56
Travis Sawchik: Angels should be aggressive, Twins, too

12:57
Harristotle: Do you believe a GM consistently “winning” trades impacts other teams desire to work with them in the future? Cole’s return compared to the rumored Yankees offer strikes me as Cashman ninja fatigue.

12:57
Travis Sawchik: Pirates and Yankees have made quite a few trades recently so I don’t think that was a factor

12:57
Bryan in Boise: As a Cubs fan I am a little concerned about the Brewers interest in Darvish. Brewers look like they have a solid core of everyday players, a top of the rotation arm is something they really need to close the gap between themselves and the Cubs. Maybe the market is picking up after all.

12:58
Travis Sawchik: Brewers have been connected to a number of the top SPs. I feel the Cubs’ pitching is a little vulnerable. Maybe this will get the Darvish bidding war going

12:59
Dave Kingman: Any reason to think Sterling Marte wont return to form in ’18? Will Cutch’s absence have any affect on his numbers?

12:59
Travis Sawchik: I think Marte will bounce back to his previous form

12:59
Reeses Pieces: What would it take to get Lucroy to Oakland? 2/24?

1:00
Travis Sawchik: I’d be hesitant to give Lucroy multiple years given the way his framing has trended

1:00
John: Something i’ve been paying attention to: The Dodgers are publicly trying to reset the luxury tax this year. They are also playing an on the record, off the record game with the press about debt service rules. Somebody in the org whispers to a beat writer that they are restricted by it, and then Stan Kasten publicly says it has no impact at all.  What’s happening here?

1:01
Travis Sawchik: The public message is often very different than the private/anonymous one … It does seem like the ideal year to reset your tax status

1:01
Ted: The Yankees have about $22m left before they hit the LT. Some of that has to go to midseason call ups, etc. but how do you see them spending the rest?

1:02
Travis Sawchik: Moustakas could be an interesting fit if the price drops enough, and maybe Cobb on a short-term deal

1:02
AdamZ: What’s sadder, having a franchise icon spend the rest of his career with the team, but getting worse and worse, or seeing him traded when he is still decent (but sparing you watching his decline years)?

1:03
Travis Sawchik: Wins are most important to creating fan interest … The one-player, one-team notion is romantic but pretty rare and not an optimum practice for many clubs

1:03
Sonny: One of my favorite parts of ZiPS is the player comp where you see a former player who you forgot was good to a current player you like. Matt Clement was a damn fine SP for a few years and I completely forgot about those seasons.

1:04
Travis Sawchik: Comps are fun

1:04
JKD: Does the slow market in SPs and good-not-great return for Cole end up also suppressing Duffy’s price? It really makes sense for the Royals to make a move and reduce the risk in his arm, but his surplus value right now doesn’t seem to be overwhelming (and I say this as a Nats fan who would be perfectly happy paying any non-Robles cost to get him).

1:04
Travis Sawchik: If Duffy gets his 2016 stuff back, he could be a steal

1:04
Travis Sawchik: I

1:05
Travis Sawchik: So as a club, do you wait and see if his value increases in season and know that comes with an injury risk? That’s the dilemma

1:06
Fidrych Scratched: Has Lincecum had his Driveline showcase or not yet?  Do you think he has more in the tank than say Rafael Palmeiro?

1:06
Travis Sawchik: Not sure. I would think he has more left in the tank than Palmerio. The last time Palmerio played the average fastball was like 4 mph slower

1:06
Mick: Is Salazar a candidate to move to the Tribe bullpen and be groomed as Allen’s replacement?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: I’d be curious to see Salazar in a bullpen role, maybe a multi-inning one like Devinski

1:07
JKD: How smart is Matt Adams going to look for getting a contract when other, actually-good 1B start signing minor-league deals in March?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Pretty smart!

1:07
Matt: You ever get really hungry before lunch, and then buy a really big lunch. And after you eat it, you realize that you’re still hungry and you look down at your belly and cry?

1:08
Travis Sawchik: I probably make 95% lunches myself … more of a go-out-for-food guy for weekend dinners

1:08
Fidrych Scratched: Michael Conforto should not, repeat not check out Dan Hultzen’s player page.

1:08
Travis Sawchik: I really hope Conforto gets back to 100%. The good news is he doesn’t pitch

1:09
Madison’s Bum Gardner: Max Schrock was just named a top 10 2B prospect by MLB Pipeline. How ecstatic is Carson?

1:09
Travis Sawchik: I will have to ask!

1:09
JRA: Can the Nats repeat in the NL East with Matt Wieters as the everyday catcher?  Seems catcher remains the most glaring deficiency in the line-up going into spring.

1:09
Travis Sawchik: I’d be trying to upgrade catcher, for sure. But I think they still win the east with or without upgrading

1:10
45blowsbillygoats: Do you see a platoon situation evolving at 1B for the Yankees or does Bird win that outright?

1:10
Travis Sawchik: It could become a platoon situation, but I think Bird has a chance to put up a monster and 2018 and might seize 80%+ of playing time

1:11
Jeff in T.O.: Yeah, having your Franchise hero wither in their last season is not an enjoyable experience to watch (see: Bautista, Jose. 2017 Toronto Blue Jays)

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Better to trade a player a year too early rather than too late, right?

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Alright folks, thanks for the great questions … Let’s do this again next week

1:12
Travis Sawchik: Until then, be good and do good

We hoped you liked reading Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat by Travis Sawchik!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
montreal
Member
montreal

Meadows shows up as a probable bust in my book. Regarding the Yelich for Meadows and Glasnow trade, no way the Marlins would do that. Glasnow DOES have great potential but Marlins would want more than Meadows as the 2nd player.