9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:02
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:02
Matthew: Why are so few players throwing palmballs anymore? Are other pitches that much more effective?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure it accomplishes similar things to the changeup and/or splitter

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have enough evidence to declare that one is better than the other, but I’ll guess that a palmball loses more velocity than a changeup does, and pitchers still want the changeup to get in there pretty good, 8-12 ticks below the heater

9:03
Travis: Could the Braves getting all these veteran pitchers and still seriously looking at guys like Sale and Archer mean that they’re maybe looking to move Teheran?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I was thinking just yesterday the Garcia addition could free them up to move Foltynewicz in, say, a Sale trade, but I don’t believe it’ll actually happen

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: More realistically, these are all one-year moves, and I think the Braves are just trying to reduce the pressure on the young arms. They get more low-pressure development time, which literally all of them need

9:06
Jimmy: Would you rather have a 20 year old prospect with a 4-win ceiling or a 24 year old prospect with a 2-war floow? I’m not sure how often prospects “pan out” and how that rate changes based on expected FV.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely take the 2-WAR floor. I mean, with a 2-WAR floor, you could be talking about at least a 4-WAR ceiling, anyway. But maybe you mean more like a 2-WAR expectation?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’m inclined to like certain league-average players. In order to prefer a younger prospect, I’d need to like the skillset. There’s a lot of value in a cheap player who gives you two wins a season

9:08
Lars: If Mike Trout only had one year left on his contract at its current rate, what sort of trade return would he fetch from, say, the Red Sox? Or really any team you can come up with a hypothetical scenario.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: So Trout’s about to get $19.25 million

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: He’s likely to be “worth” about $70 – 75 million

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: And then, after the year, he’d get a QO and he’d sign one of those deals for $50m+, so there’s additional future draft pick value

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I think, given all that, you could see him moved for Moncada, who is the game’s No. 1 prospect. That might be a little too steep for Boston, but it’s not unreasonable

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: If not that, he might get, say, Giolito + Robles from the Nationals

9:13
Aron: If Dipoto were ever to make a FA splash, would Rich Hill fit the bill? Low years, no loss of draft pick, win-now mode, projected for potential WC? Seems like Karns –> Hill would place them solidly in contention. Then again, I guess you could substitute 15 teams for the Mariners.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: That’s kind of the problem. Hill makes sense for like 25 different teams. So they’re all going to bid him up to, I don’t like, like $50 million over three years or something

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s worth noting that, while Dipoto has shown a tendency toward second- and third-tier additions, we don’t know how he would operate if he weren’t already hamstrung by the preexisting contracts on the books

9:14
Michelle: How late will you be today?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Barely at all this time!

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: And that’s while typing with a cast on one of my hands

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Playing through pain right here

9:15
Mac: What do you think of Adam Wainwright moving forward? Do you think he can improve on his numbers from last year?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I do think his stuff bounced back a little bit. I continue to see him as a No. 3, and quite possibly a No. 2. Still a good pitcher

9:16
Wigwam: Should the Padres trade Wil Myers? What would be a realistic return for him?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: If Myers shows zero inclination to sign a long-term deal, then, yeah, the Padres should probably get out from under that. But the sense I get is the Padres need something to build around and Myers is their guy. I don’t see a move happening

9:17
Coppy: What the hell am I doing? This is all mandated from ownership, right?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Most of your pitchers were terrible

9:18
PleaseTradeCutch: AZ looks to have 7 SPs with a rotation chance. Who among Miller, Shipley, Bradley, and Corbin has the best chance to round out spots 4 and 5?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Miller and Corbin, but it’s possible Corbin could end up in the bullpen. In reality, the DBacks are going to have pitchers get hurt or perform ineffectively, so all the starters and then some will be needed

9:19
Cam: What do you think about Dipoto’s strategy of dealing prospects with potentially higher ceilings who are further away from the major leagues for higher floor, lower ceiling guys that are close to contributing? Or is that just a product of the current roster construction?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Part a product of the construction. Part overreacting to just the Alex Jackson trade. Part short-term priorities, where the Mariners need more certainty for 2017 and 2018

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s important to emphasize that many of the Mariners prospects have been awful. Jackson, for example, has perceived value because of what he was, but what he was isn’t what he is at this point. Only his name has stayed consistent

9:20
Ronnie: Have you had a chance to watch either of Werner Herzog’s volcano documentaries? If so are they as amazing as I am imagining them to be?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Tonight or tomorrow! Unless the damn Nationals ruin everything by making me write about Andrew McCutchen

9:21
Rob: If McCutchen is traded to Washington, would it make sense for the Pirates to make a play for Sale or Quintana? More depth to trade from in terms of prospects and an affordable ace.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d stick with their own potential aces. I just don’t see the Pirates as being an organization in position to make that kind of splash. Especially with the Cubs looming way over them in the division

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Even after last year, I assume the Pirates believe in their own ability to get the most out of the pitchers they have. So they’ll target more affordable pitchers, guys like this year’s Ivan Nova

9:22
JT: Jeff, like most fans, I really wanted replay, but now that we have it I’m not so sure. I changed my mind during this years playoffs, with the numerous challenges of stolen bases. Did the runner lose contact with the base for 1 nanosecond? I don’t think that is supposed to be the spirit of baseball. Plus, it really slows the pace of the game down and it appears to have ruined the walkoff play at the plate. I had to watch a few NFL games this Thanksgiving and I fear that’s the direction baseball is headed in. Every play is reviewed, coaches can then CHALLENGE the review and we spend the next 3 minutes going frame by frame to analyze the placement of the receivers feet on an ultimately meaningless 3 yard pass that results in a punt

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The instant we got replay, we forgot what it was like before. We forgot how many missed calls we used to accept because there was just nothing to be done. This is a positive step, but it’s also still very, very early in the process, and there are tweaks yet to be made.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Replay doesn’t actually add that much time to the average game. It’s definitely not fun to watch, but MLB knows the process should move faster. And I wouldn’t be surprised if before long they did something about the sliding replays. There are enough objections over that, and I think it could be written away. Dave had a post about that in October, I think

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Overall, this has been a substantial improvement. But you don’t get to go from broken to perfect that fast

9:26
Ned Yost: Let’s say the Astros take Bryant instead of Appel. They feasibly could have gone into this season projected to be one of the great teams of all time, right?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Keeping everything else constant, yeah, they’d project super well. Still not best-ever territory but they’d be amazing

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny the decisions that rebuilds can turn on

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Where would the Cubs be if they didn’t kind of luck into Arrieta and Hendricks?

9:28
Matt: Hey Jeff, It’s been reported by Jayson Stark that the White Sox want “The Shelby Miller deal” plus two additional pieces to move Sale. At the time of the Miller deal, Dansby was a consensus top-20 prospect, Blair was a consensus top-60 prospect, and Ender was an above-average MLB OF (whose calling card was defense, and his offensive abilities questioned). So would that make: Mallex Smith, Matt Wisler, Ozzie Albies, Kolby Allard or Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, and Austin Riley a reasonable offer for Sale? It checks off all of the boxes Stark reported on… One top 15, near MLB ready SS prospect (Albies); one top 40 SP prospect (Allard or Newcomb); two “additional pieces” who are each top 150 prospects (Touki and Riley); two young, controlled, MLB-ready players who together are as valuable as Ender Inciarte was when Atlanta acquired him a year ago (Mallex and Wisler). Am I way off base here?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: That kind of offer would at least get the White Sox’ attention, although there’s a lot of potentially unreliable pitching in there. Albies would be the key, so if the White Sox love him, there’s your workable centerpiece. But I continue to believe this isn’t a move the Braves ought to make

9:29
Brett W: You going to the Winter Meetings, Jeff?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Yes! for some reason

9:29
Jordan: How many ridiculously constructed trade proposals do you see in the Q that you don’t publish?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Not quite as many as you’d think. Way to go, FanGraphs audience!

9:30
YOadrian: wouldn’t the players have been much better off just extending the previous CBA?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Well, it would’ve been bad to keep the same luxury-tax threshold, although in this new CBA it didn’t get lifted high enough

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: So, overall, sure, maybe. It doesn’t seem like the players are big winners here

9:31
Mike: What MLB player do you think would be best at another professional sport, and which sport would it be?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see Yadier Molina as an NHL goalie

9:32
Anthony: It was unclear from the rumors yesterday whether the Pirates and Nats were discussing a package with Robles and Lopez, or a package headed by either. For Pirates fans, is getting both too much to hope for? What about Robles and Ross?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Nationals do that for just McCutchen. You start with Robles and you add a lesser piece

9:32
Ben: The projections for the Angels put them at 85 wins, but they don’t seem to be anywhere near that. What am I missing?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Rotation health is a huge question mark, but it makes a big difference if Garrett Richards really can put in a full year

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Tyler Skaggs is in there. In reality the Angels are probably overrated a bit by Steamer but they do have a real path to contention

9:33
Dubya: Is Lopez and Robles too much for Cutch?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:34
biffyclyro: Ender Inciarte’s FGCQQ+ (Adjusted Fangraphs chat question quantity, where 100 is average) seems to be at a 300 or so. Can you think of anyone else who even comes close?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: For the moment, Chris Sale

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Inciarte stuff has, thankfully, shifted to the backburner

9:35
Nick O.: As a STL fan, last night’s Garcia trade seemed pretty even to me. We go 2 RHP who could possibly contribute in ’17 and I think adding 2B depth to the pipeline was pretty key. What were your thought on the trade???

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: In all honesty, I haven’t investigated the return players in depth. I was busy at the time, writing about something else. I think Garcia is a very difficult starting pitcher to rely on, which makes him a better fit in a non-competitive environment, where he’s just there to take the pressure off younger pitchers

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals didn’t need Garcia and he was in his contract year anyway. Trading him is a little like the Nationals being open to trading Gio Gonzalez. Perfectly serviceable starters, but not much value on top of that

9:37
Mike: If you were Dipoto and had to assign percentages, how much of the Walker trade was about getting Segura, Haniger, and Curtis?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: 65/34/1

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: We might like Haniger even more than the Mariners do

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners seem to really like Ben Gamel for some reason

9:38
Xolo: With the new international restrictions in MLB, do the Korean or Japanese leagues try to swoop in and sign some LatAm players?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: They still have far less money to offer. I don’t think that’ll become a big thing

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: And for as much as moving to the US is a massive culture change, now imagine a 19-year-old Dominican trying to live and play baseball in South Korea. It’s not impossible, but it would be a daily challenge

9:40
Roddy: Realistic package for Braves to get Archer?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: It all starts with Albies. Every trade does. Then you add Allard, then you add more, then you add even more still

9:41
mike: how much of a premium would the BlueJays have to get Fowler? If we say he could get a $18m aav would the Jays have to go to 19 or 20??

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Not clear to me what “extra” the Blue Jays have to pay to free agents. But I don’t think Fowler would love the idea of giving up center field

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: What could happen is the Blue Jays could be the team to offer him the longest contract, instead of the one with the highest salary

9:42
20longyears: McCutchen for Robles+Lopez/Ross. Think it happens?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I guess it’s been a few minutes since the last time I said no

9:42
JT: Jeff, whats your prediction for “super obvious trade that needs to happen but doesn’t?”

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Recency bias but I’ll say Jarrod Dyson to the Cardinals

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Underwhelming enough for you?

9:42
Brett W: Next idea for your unique players list: filtered by position.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: This could take over my entire offseason! Hooray, writing ideas!

9:43
Bork: Is Billy Hamilton your spirit animal?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Sea otter

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: or common squirrel

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: but sea otters like rocks

9:44
Erik: So in a battle between the wealthy (players) and über-wealthy (owners) the wealthy get to sell out the very poor (international amatuers) and count it as a sacrifice they personally gave up in order to come to a compromise. Is there any way that could be prevented in the future, or is that just how labor negotiations will always work?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s how they’re going to work until or unless the lesser-privileged have a seat at the table

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: And unions always prioritize the veterans anyway

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Young people just get it in the shorts

9:46
Matt: How close is Archer/Kiermaier for Trout? (Ignoring the near impossibility of a trade with this framework ever actually occurring.)

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Just in terms of surplus values, very close. However, the Angels wouldn’t do something like that (as you acknowledge). Too much risk in Archer’s arm

9:47
Dirk: Does Dipoto (or does he think he does) gain an advantage by addressing his needs so early in the offseason, or do you think it’s just a preference?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: it feels like the stuff that really drags out mostly involves first- and second-tier free agents. Dipoto isn’t involved in those negotiations

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He also — and this cannot be overstated — is uncomfortably energetic all of the time

9:48
steve: The White Sox have to trade sale after all this hype, right?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Well, no, not because of the hype. This hype existed last July, too

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: But I do expect something to happen in the next week or two

9:49
D: How do You see the Dodgers proceeding, and which holes, at 2nd, 3rd, SP2 or closer do you feel are necessary to fill outside the club?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I get the sense they’ll keep one of Turner/Jansen

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the rotation will be that much of a priority, given all the depth they have

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: This is very underwhelming but it wouldn’t shock me to see the Dodgers make a play for Danny Espinosa after the Nationals cut bait

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Espinosa is super streaky but seemingly underrated and he’s a quality, versatile glove

9:52
Will: Speaking of odd pitches – how do you think Honeywell’s screwball will do in the major’s?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: That is a better question for Eno

9:52
Yancy from Fort Myers: Say you’re theoretically a diehard Tampa Bay Rays fan. What would kind of return would you (as a smart baseball person) be happy with it in trading Chris Archer? I keep hearing speculation but nothing regarding an asking price.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I would want the return to include one high-level position-player prospect. Maybe that means you start with Albies. Maybe that means you start with Verdugo + Bellinger. I feel like the Archer stuff is kind of waiting out the Sale stuff

9:55
mtsw: In what year will the final player whose smokeless tobacco use was grandfathered in in this CBA retire?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: 2029?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who uses

9:56
Brett W: I believe Gant is better than Garcia right now. Why am I wrong?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s not?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Gant is useful, but Garcia’s track record is a lot better if you’re just thinking about 2017

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Never a bad thing to start with strikes and grounders

9:58
Xolo: Do you see what the Braves have done over the past five going better or worse than what the Padres did two years ago?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves haven’t yet blown up their own system

9:59
D: What do you think the chances are the Dodgers trade Kazmir and McCarthy? and what do you see as the threshold for getting a talent return as to paying money? New CBA has to change their spending outlook

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Given that this is going to be a transition year in terms of the luxury tax, I don’t think the Dodgers feel a real urgency to move either guy

9:59
Gary: Are we waiting three years for Otani now? Do you think he’d get $350m if he were a FA right now?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Not $350 million. I think they’ll come up with some kind of Otani-inspired loophole

9:59
Jack: Do you think the Braves could be possibly getting these 1-year deals to potentially move at the deadline?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: It’s definitely part of it

10:00
Big Joe Mufferaw: Prediction for Gary Sanchez next year?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll slug .500 and be worth 3+ WAR, but he’s also going to have a lot of throwaway at-bats

10:01
Buddy: With the Bucs gluttony of OF pros and prospects they are probably looking at the Nats Giolito and not Robles right?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: They like Robles better

10:01
Erik: As a fan of an NL east rival, should I be rooting hard for the Braves to acquire an ace? Or is it possible for them to pull it off without hurting the medium to long term future of the team?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t think about it too much at all. For the most part your team’s future will be determined by the actions of your team

10:02
NatsFan: Price for McCutchen seems higher than you or Dave theorized, Nats overpaying?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Wait until something actually happens

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Prices are always obscene before moves are agreed to

10:03
Carl: Why is college Football so much more popular than AAA baseball?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Football is more popular than baseball

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And people have college loyalties they don’t and will never have with minor-league ballclubs

10:04
Coppy: What would it take to get Schwarber?
Is Teheran, Vizcaino, plus prospects enough?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: That all depends on the prospects but the Cubs don’t want to move him and the Braves realistically don’t have a place to play him

10:05
Buddy: Who’s the best player to get traded this offseason?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Sale

10:05
Ryan: How much of keeping a prospect in the minors is about development vs. maintaining control

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s almost all about development until the very end

10:06
Dan: How’s your Mariners fandom of late? If it’s not strong, think it’ll kick in if they make the playoffs?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll never be what it was, but if they do make the playoffs, yeah, something will re-ignite. I got modestly invested in this year’s final weekend

10:07
jon: Hall of Fame odds:
Scherzer 36 RA-9 war / 38 fWAR, 2 Cy Youngs,

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: He still has just four years of really being an ace. He’s 32 years old. He needs to age extremely well

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: 1-in-4? 1-in-3?

10:08
Prich: I’m not a fan of the M’s offseason as a whole. While I understand each move in isolation, I think they are focusing too much on the floor, using assets with value to focus solely on spots 20-40 on the 40-man, when they could have made at least one move to add someone who can make a real difference (Quintana?) then having used FA and trade far away assets to build spots 20-40… Thoughts?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: They just don’t have flexibility. Money-wise, they’ve been nearly tapped out, and the system remains bad. Nothing much for them to do

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: No way to get Quintana without subtracting from the major-league roster, which defeats much of the purpose

10:10
The Tone: Jeff! In the interest of shaking things up with some “krazy” trade ideas, how about the Mets packaging Conforto and Lagares for Kevin Kiermaier and Alex Colome? Rays get lots of years of cost-controlled OF depth (with the upside of Conforto offensively), and the Mets get an instant upgrade in CF and in the bullpen with a decent amount of team control as these guys approach/are in the middle of their arb years?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Feels too light for the Rays, who understand how important Kiermaier is to them

10:10
TKDC: Back on the Braves for a minute, is it most likely that the Sale/Archer talk is still just talk to make a show of being more competitive, and they aren’t really interested (given the costs)?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: No, they’re definitely interested. Teams don’t waste their own time just for show. But when it comes down to it I don’t think the Braves will be willing to give up what the White Sox want

10:11
Eddie: Shouldn’t 2017 be the year that the Braves actually figure out what some of these pitchers are made of? Is AAA really gonna help them? Are they gonna insert 3 young/rookie starters in 2018 when they figure to be in playoff picture?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Garcia probably won’t last the season. Colon/Dickey could easily either get hurt or be moved. There will be opportunities a few months in

10:12
John: You think the Braves are looking at the rookie seasons of Lindor, Correa, and Seager and hoping that Swanson will take a massive step forward this year?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Dude just had a real strong debut. Doesn’t need to take a massive step forward

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Now, Albies, that’s one they’d love to see install himself pretty quick

10:13
Erik: How much did acquiring Jay increase the odds of the Cubs moving one of Soler/Almora/Schwarber/Baez? Or was it just a boring depth signing not attached to anything else?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Boring depth. I think Soler was already a trade asset

10:14
Dae-Ho Lee: Dipoto seems to have done a pretty good job of filling out the 25-man, except for the rotation. There appears to be a pretty significant chunk of cash left to spend, that wasn’t spent on the bullpen or outfield. Do you think he has big plans for the rotation, be it through a high salary trade of one of the remaining free agents?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t say big plans, but I doubt he’s satisfied with the five-man rotation as it is

10:14
what could have beane…: Is there an article on fangraphs covering trout’s mvp win? Cant find one.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I actually don’t think so. Don’t think we had anything new to say

10:15
John: Any rumors about Korean 3B Jae-Gyun Hwang? Do you think he gets a major league deal?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I do think he ultimately gets a shot but I haven’t heard anything in a couple weeks

10:15
Barwin Darney: Do you see the Blue Jays making Stroman available for an outfielder with similar years of control? The Stroman for Ozuna framework is interesting to me.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: That wouldn’t really accomplish anything. They need Stroman just as much as they need an outfielder

10:16
Xolo: Am I crazy or are the ZiPS projections for the Padres young hitters pretty promising? They might not be enough on their own but if they can tank year their way to a Bryant or Schwarber, they might have something.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The actual makeup of the position players is underwhelming, but you never know if Margot or Renfroe might break out. The hitters are, at least, light years ahead of the pitching staff

10:17
Billy Haywood: Are you aware of, either here or on a different site, a way to do dual splits on a teamwide level? The interactive splits tool works great for players, but I’m trying to do research on team performance (i.e. vs LHP at home) and can’t find anywhere that lets me do it

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I *think* we have that currently in development

10:18
Matt K: Seeing that the Pirates are looking for Robles AND Lopez plus more in a McCutchen trade? Is that a pipe dream or for real?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Well, it’s been about half an hour, so, yeah, that’s still a pipe dream

10:18
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