Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:05
Travis Sawchik: Greetings!

12:05
Travis Sawchik: Man, there are a still a lot of unsigned free agents …

12:05
Travis Sawchik: Including 11 of the FG (Dave Cameron) top 20 …

12:06
Travis Sawchik: Let’s talk it out ..

12:06
kevinthecomic: Is Miguel Sano’s “situation” the reason that the Twins haven’t done anything other than signing Addison Reed?

12:07
Travis Sawchik: Well, the Twins have signed Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke, too …. But wouldn’t Sano’s issues be more reason to kick the tires on, say, Todd Frazier?

12:08
Hotshot: Any chance Senzel breaks camp with the Reds?

12:08
Travis Sawchik: I would say it’s close to zero percent

12:08
Show Hey O’Tawny: Vladimir Guerrero got an 80-grade hit tool on MLB.com. That’s absolutely insane and I am so excited

12:09
Travis Sawchik: Me too!

12:09
Eric: Teams are waiting out their preferred free agents for the prices to drop. Would it be a viable strategy for rebuilding teams with money to spend to swoop in and sign them now? And then either almost immediately or at the deadline eat some money and flip the player for some prospects?

12:10
Travis Sawchik: There is increasingly going to be value in the FA market as we approach spring training, so, yeah, this could be a viable strategy for an opportunistic club

12:10
Mike: How can this offseason get anymore boring?

12:10
Travis Sawchik: If we didn’t have the Brewers …

12:10
Matt: Is MLB (and professional sports leagues in general) a bubble? Team values and TV deals can’t keep rising this fast forever, can they? What would it take to pop that bubble?

12:12
Travis Sawchik: There could be a cable bubble, we’ve seen the NFL and ESPN take some hits, but I think teams will always figure out a way to monetize live competition … I think franchise values will keep rising. There’s a finite limit of them. They are the rarest of toys for billionaires.

12:12
Patty L: Rumor has it that my Blue Jays were runner up in the Yelich sweepstakes. Apparently did not want to give up Vlad Jr. I am happy that they are trying to do something, but ironically happy that they didn’t give up Vlad Jr. We are stuck in the middle here- likely not a competitive team but not a basement dweller. What direction do you see the front office in Toronto taking?

12:13
Travis Sawchik: The Blue Jays are in that middle ground area. Some teams, like the Brewers, are going for it. Others, like the Pirates, are not. I’d probably do a tear down with the Yankees and Red Sox looking stronger on paper, but with half the league rebuilding it’

12:13
Travis Sawchik: s tough to tear down

12:13
Craig (DC): Do you think the Yanks will stick with Andujar as their everyday 3B or likely that Frazier gets signed?

12:14
Travis Sawchik: They have options, but I could see them waiting and trying to get a Frazier or Moustakas at a discount. I cannot imagine they’d go over the tax threshold to do it, though

12:15
Southern Bleacher Bum: What are your projections for Votto for the next 4 years and how do you think Lance Lynn next contract plays out?

12:16
Travis Sawchik: With health, even with modest decline Votto is still going to be an above-average offensive player in four years … Let’s see what the next Lance Lynn contract is.

12:16
resumeman: Hi Travis, Any updates on when the ZIPS projections are going to be rolled into the Steamer ones for the Depth Chart page? I see that there are only a few more teams for Dan Z to roll out, and was wondering if that would be updated shortly after they’re all published.

12:16
Travis Sawchik: A better question for Dan and/or Carson, I think

12:16
Rollie’s Mustache: Regarding the Blue Jays and a possible tear down, why would they do that now when they might only have one team (Angels) fighting them for that last WC spot? Seems like there’s a good enough chance to make the postseason.

12:18
Travis Sawchik: The No. 2 WC spot is very much in play. I think teams might value playing for a wild card differently. How much do you value a coin filp vs. playing for tomorrow

12:18
nuflattop: Who signs Yu, and how fast do Lynn/Arietta/Cobb sign after?

12:18
Travis Sawchik: I still think the Cubs sign Yu, and then I think other arms will begin to come off the board. I think the Brewers will try to land one.

12:18
He Hate Me: Re: the opportunistic team swooping in for the bargain player theory: It doesn’t work.  Say the Rays tried to “swoop in” to get JDM – the Red Sox would simply outbid them. Swooping would simply give the market a little kick start but as long as players hold out for certain amounts, swooping is not going to get you a star on the cheap.

12:19
Travis Sawchik: Probably less likely for a star who has a standing five-year offer, more likely for a player who is waiting for an offer

12:19
Zock Jr.: Hey, Travis! Now that Dave is gone to physically stand between AJ Preller and Eric Hosmer, who’s taking over as Managing Editor? I’m picturing some sort of Battle Royale process, where Carson kills a man with a trident.

12:20
Travis Sawchik: Power vacuums are usually filled via violent palace coups … I expect this to be no different

12:21
Q-Ball: How much pressure is there on FA from existing players to not cave and take a below-market deal?

12:21
Travis Sawchik: Some? That pressurrer probably works better in December than February, though

12:21
ATCQ: Eno prefers Lynn to Cobb, which seems to be a minority opinion…your thoughts?

12:21
Travis Sawchik: Is Cobb going to get his split-change back? I like peak Cobb more than peak Lynn

12:22
Seth: What is the next move for the Brewers? Obviously they have a surplus of outfielders but Braun is going to be almost impossible to trade, Santana is obviously the most viable trade option but they said they are not in a hurry to trade him. They need some SP, do they still have cap room to sign a free agent pitcher? Trade Santana for a pitcher? I was thinking a trade like MIL gets- Brandon Drury, Patrick Corbin and ARI gets- Domingo Santana. What do you think will happen?

12:22
Travis Sawchik: I have to imagine an OF is dealt … probably Santana … for some type of arm. And I suspect they will end up with one of the top four SPs, too

12:23
Matt: Which NL East team has the brighter future? The Braves and their unbelievable farm system, or the Phillies and their good farm system and unbelievable cash reserves?

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Two interesting clubs. I lean toward Acuna leading that deep farm system

12:25
Travis Sawchik: It’s easy to erode a lot of payroll space on one superstar

12:25
He Hate Me: Welcome to Blue Jays chat!

12:25
Travis Sawchik: Hi, Canada

12:26
Matt Damon: MATT.  DAMON.

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Can someone explain the origins of the Matt Damon fascination here?

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Matt, should probably stop talking

12:27
CamdenWarehouse: I don’t see too many of you as the violent palace coup type.  Except Meg.

12:27
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, we gotta keep our eye on Meg

12:27
nicky dubs: mlb trade rumors held a poll asking readers what they thought was the biggest contributor to the slow off-season. What’s your take on the #1 cause?

12:27
Travis Sawchik: Increasingly rational, data-rich front offices

12:29
Fidrych Scratched: Hi Travis!  Recently, Jerry Dipoto argued that he doesn’t want to sign any free agent pitcher not because the club lacks funds but because it would block the progress of Andrew Moore, Marco Gonzales, and/or Ariel Miranda (to say nothing of Erasmo Ramirez).  A) Do you believe this is valid reasoning for a team that has been trading prospects for a “win now” window of opportunity and B) What do you think of Moore, Gonzales, and Miranda as pitching prospects?  Think they’ll turn a corner if given the innings?

12:31
Travis Sawchik: I think there’s some potential back-end depth that you might not want to block with more expensive depth

12:32
Travis Sawchik: The Mariners are one of those in-between teams that could benefit from an impact piece, potentially

12:32
Josh Harrison : If Walker, Frazier or Nunez sign for about $10 million per year, Does that mean I am staying Pittsburgh or will I still get shipped out?

12:33
Travis Sawchik: I think the Pirates would like to ship you out … but they might be waiting on that FA market to play out

12:33
PGH Misses You: Who is going to compete with the Nationals in the East? Anyone? And should the Nats then hold off on a catcher then until the deadline because the lack of competition?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: Hey, Pittsburgh!. I miss yinz, too. … Nats can win their division without doing anything so they can wait. However, you’d like the best team possible in the Last Year With Harper in October … and if you wait you could miss out on the best fit

12:34
v2micca: To the previous poster.  I’m a Braves fan and I think their farm is overrated.  Phillies are in better shape in the long run as they will be able to spend more to add to their core.  Look for them to be in the mix for the Mike Trout sweepstakes.  Until the Braves get out of their broadcast deal they have to operate on much more limited budget.

12:35
Travis Sawchik: We know what the Braves have, we don’t know what the Phillies are going to be able to do with that pile of cash. It’s kind of wait and see, really

12:35
Pete: Gleyber or Vlad jr.?

12:36
Travis Sawchik: Vlad. Jr. for him. I’ll take the elite bat

12:36
Tawnda: Plans for Mike Clevinger with the Indians? And do you see him taking off this season?

12:37
Travis Sawchik: He really began to take off in the second half. He added in a quality curve least season. He’s going to play a significant role

12:37
Andy: Is Cobb a good fit for the pirates?  longer-term deal might not be suicide, Searage could help him rediscover that changeup… just a thought.

12:38
Travis Sawchik: It doesn’t seem like Pirates ownership has any desire to spend any cash this offseason

12:38
Fidrych Scratched: What is happening to the market for Jarrod Dyson and Eduardo Nunez?  Does everyone get paid, or do these player run a risk of getting frozen out by MLB?

12:38
Travis Sawchik: They could be mid-February signings

12:38
Travis Sawchik: Potential value there for MLB clubs

12:39
Mike M: Am I crazy for thinking the Brewers are still a Wild Card team at best?

12:39
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think they are done, yet, but I still like the Cubs as the NL Central favorite

12:40
Batflips for BBs: I really liked the idea of restricted free agency. How big of an ask do you think that will end up being for the union? Do you think that it will guarantee a hard cap for the players?

12:41
Travis Sawchik: That’s a really big ask, I think. And a hard cap that comes with a % of guaranteed revenue for players might not be such a bad thing

12:41
Vince McMahon: I’ve just made offers to every MLB free agent to join my new Xtreme Baseball League.

12:42
Travis Sawchik: You’re going to have some decent ballplayers, Vince

12:42
Moonlight Graham: Travis, the “MATT, DAMON” fascination is in reference to the critically acclaimed feature film Team America: World Police.

12:42
Travis Sawchik: Thanks! (I still don’t get the fascination)

12:43
Billy Beane: How is adjusting to live back in the Suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio

12:43
Travis Sawchik: Thanks for asking, Billy. It’s going well!

12:43
Rockie Dangerfield: Would the MLBPA trade a hard salary cap for a salary floor and guaranteed percentage of revenue to be spent on payroll, a la the NHL’s arrangement?

12:43
Travis Sawchik: I would

12:43
Chief Wahoo: RIP me

12:43
branik: Wow.  Chief Wahoo gone after this season according to NYT.

12:43
TP: Hey, no more Chief Wahoo!

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Oh, interesting. The commish did indicate there would be a resolution this offseason. It’s the right thing to do.

12:46
Morris Buttermaker: You covered Pittsburgh and now live in Cleveland area so you are pretty qualified to answer this. What do you think is the worst city for sports fans. At least Pitt has the Steelers. Maybe it’s self pity but SD has to be near the top of the list.  Cleveland is there too.

12:47
Travis Sawchik: Oakland has lost the Raiders and soon the Warriors … and are the A’s going to get a new stadium? Not a great time for East Bay spots fans

12:48
Travis Sawchik: But the Browns are in Cleveland, so, that’s been rough …

12:48
market zero, dude: what’s Blake Swihart’s future – any chance he gets another shot with the big club? could the Sox reasonably pull a useful bullpen arm in a trade?

12:48
Travis Sawchik: Swihart intrigues me. If the Sox gave up on him I’d be interested. He’s gotta stay healthy

12:48
wadz: Whats your package from WSH to MIA for Realmuto? Nats say Robles and Soto are off limits. They can still put together an appealing package and JTR has no known other suitors… Some combo of Kieboom/Fedde/Romero/Johnson/Stevenson/Severino?read?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: Robles and Soto should be off limits, but I’d be willing to consider other members of the org’s top 10 list

12:50
Jason: IS Josh Hader going to be in the brewers rotation this year or will they sign someone for their last spot?

12:50
Travis Sawchik: I believe Stearns told reporters Hader will open in the bullpen.

12:51
Travis Sawchik: Kind of interesting. I’d like to see what he can do as a starter

12:51
billsaints: Can you envision a future where FA players in their early 30’s start taking short but very high value contracts like 2/70 for a JDM. A team just slightly overpays for a chance to improve now without the long term pain.

12:52
Travis Sawchik: If you’re a superstar who has a lot of confidence, maybe. We’ve seen that in the NBA with a guy like LeBron stringing together two-year deals …. but most guys are aware of age curves and what to get as much as they can in their FA deal

12:52
v2micca: I think the Cubs and the Astros may have skewed the average fan’s perspective of what a successful rebuild looks like.  The Brewers are likely closer to the norm.  Few teams are able to endure a few lean years and leverage that into a superteam the immediately captures a World Series title and then looks set to dominate the division for the next few years.

12:53
Travis Sawchik: There is a danger in tanking if it fails … And the Cubs also had the benefit of being a large-market club to fill in voids with FA talent

12:55
Daron: Brewers signed Matt Albers to a two year deal, do you like that addition to their bullpen?

12:55
Travis Sawchik:

Free-agent reliever Matt Albers in agreement with #Brewers on a two-year contract, sources tell The Athletic. Deal is pending a physical.
29 Jan 2018
12:55
Travis Sawchik: News!

12:56
Travis Sawchik: Alberts was really good last year. Brewers keep being aggressive. I like picking a direction and going for it

12:56
Justin Bour: Help me please

12:56
Travis Sawchik: I wish I could

12:56
Travis Sawchik: I wish I could

12:59
Drew: Better value for 2018…Lucas Duda or Logan Morrison?  Duda crushes RHP

12:59
Travis Sawchik: These guys seem pretty interchangeable … I do like that Morrison showed some batted ball growth last season

1:00
Jim: Love Cards fans that are #MadOnline that the Brewers are now much better than them. FG has the Cards at 88 wins and MIL at 77

1:00
Travis Sawchik: Top of the NL Central is really interesting … FG projections are too down on the Brewers

1:00
Tiss: to v2micca’s point above, do you think there’s anything to the idea that both HOU and CHC emphasized hitting prospects and got pitchers from trades or the FA market?  If pitching prospects are more volatile, it might not be the worst idea in the world.

1:01
Travis Sawchik: I’d lean toward position prospects with premium picks in the draft, for sure

1:01
Travis Sawchik: It also helps to be able to do that when you can go out and sign a Jon Lester

1:01
CamdenWarehouse: Orioles fans want to know what picking a direction and going for it is like?

1:02
Travis Sawchik: I know, I know. Now a direction (not a good one) is going to be thrust upon Orioles fans

1:02
Desperate, confused Marlins fan: omg the Brewers are signing everyone

1:02
Travis Sawchik: The Brewers are the only team participating in the offseason

1:03
Travis Sawchik: Something to be said for zigging when everyone is zagging

1:04
Tiss: If I bet you that one of these teams would NOT make the playoffs would you take it?:  NYY, BOS, CLE, HOU, WAS, CHC, LA?

1:04
Travis Sawchik: We’re going to be surprised in 2018 … we always are. So while most of those teams will be in the field, I suspect one will not b

1:04
Travis Sawchik: e

1:06
ATCQ: Re: hitting over pitching – we’ve also seen the Nats construct some excellent teams by implementing a sort of reverse strategy – trade away all high-level pitching depth, aggressively, for Trea Truner, Adam eEaton, etc.

1:06
Travis Sawchik: Many ways to skin a cat, but I prefer the one with less inherent risk

1:07
Brian Cashman: MLB.com giving Vlad a 80 hit grade is simply ridiculous, made to sell a headline is my guess. There are maybe 2 hitters in MLB with an 80 hit tool (altuve and votto).

1:07
Travis Sawchik: If there’s a milb who can reach that mark it’s Vlad. Jr

1:07
Rollie’s Mustache: I think Chad Kuhl had something like the major’s 2nd highest avg. fastball velo last year. He seems like a really interesting guy heading into 2018. Thoughts on him?

1:07
Travis Sawchik: He is interesting. Needs a third pitch to come into play

1:08
Desperate, confused Marlins fan: Love what the Phillies are doing, signing a bunch of relievers to them trade them in July when teams need relievers, what say you?

1:08
Travis Sawchik: It’s not an awful plan when you have like $70m in spending power this offseason

1:09
Travis Sawchik: … And those are front-loaded deals

1:09
AJB857: Most of the Astros best players didn’t come from “tanking”. Altuve. Springer. Gonzalez. Keuchel. Verlander. Gurriel. McCann. Gattis. Reddick. Marisnick. Giles. Harris. McHugh. Peacock. Devenski. Appel didn’t work out and Aiken didn’t sign. Whitley was drafted 17th in the first round. When will Fangraphs educate the masses? Luhnow was just smarter, that’s all.

1:10
Travis Sawchik: Tanking alone doesn’t get it done ….

1:11
Travis Sawchik: Correa, McCullers, Bregman and Tucker, though …

1:11
Travis Sawchik: Ideally, it’s good to be smart AND have premium draft picks/bonus dollars

1:11
Slew: Lots of Machado talk early in the offseason, but recently crickets. Do you think he gets moved?

1:11
Travis Sawchik: Sounds as if he’s moving … to shortstop

1:12
Travis Sawchik: And ideally, I sign him as a shortstop next offseason if I’m a team paying for him

1:12
Brian Cashman: Talk to me about Greg Bird, is he more “Nick Johnson” or does he finally stay healthy and shows off that bat! (Because, in that line up!! If he puts it together with .850 OPS and 30+ bombs!)

1:12
Travis Sawchik: I’m buying Greg Bird

1:12
Travis Sawchik: He’s going to have a monster year with health

1:13
Bryan: Aiken not signing turned into Bregman

1:13
Travis Sawchik: True … but still a product of being poor

1:13
Travis Sawchik: in the standings

1:14
Bort: The Rockies make all kinds of sense as a mystery team for Eric Hosmer, right?

1:15
Travis Sawchik: Hosmer’s batted-ball profile could also play up in Coors

1:15
Matt Kemp: How come nobody wants me man? I just wanna play some baseball. I’m in the best shape of my life for the third or fourth time now.

1:15
Travis Sawchik: Take a number, Matt

1:16
Ned Yost: McCullers was a compensatory pick. In the mid 30’s. And the only reason they could sign him was because they intentionally passed on the consensus number 1 player (Buxton) and signed Correa for underslot money. So a majority of teams would have taken Buxton, not gotten McCullers, and been nowhere close to the World Series.

1:17
Travis Sawchik: The Astros were creative with getting Correa at a reasonable bonus, but it’s not like they would spend a top pick on Correa if they didn’t think he was a future star

1:18
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: So say that with Machado’s transition to Ss, for whatever reason he’s somewhere within the passably below average to the average range relative to the position defensively. Considering his elite defensive value at 3B, would he still have more value in the FA market as a SS due to the offensive positional adjustment, or is he going to be more valuable at the hot corner?

1:19
Travis Sawchik: I want the positional adjustment, and I suspect he could also be an above-average defender at short

1:19
Travis Sawchik: Moreover, with fewer and fewer balls in play, Machado at SS gives me a chance to add more offense into lineup

1:20
Lazzaro Da Fietta: Bellinger = 40 Bombs?

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Yep

1:20
Travis Sawchik: Alright folks, thanks for all the great questions

1:20
Travis Sawchik: We’ll do this again next week

1:20
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
roadrunner
Member
roadrunner

I am trying to get updated projections for traded players such as Addison Reed who is now with Twins. I looked at his old team (mets/sox) but none there and none with Twins. Where do I go to find the Zips projections for a player like Reed?

Meir-w
Member
Meir-w

Dan’s been tweeting the players who fall through the cracks