Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 11/27/18

2:00

Meg Rowley: Good morning (afternoon) and welcome to the chat!

2:01

Sad Mariners Fan: If Dipoto does the right thing and trades Diaz, what would a reasonable return be? I saw an article recently in the atheltic saying they wouldn’t be able to net two top 100 prospects and I initially dismissed it as wrong. Is it?

2:02

Meg Rowley: Two top 100 guys feels like too much. A top 100 guy and a guy with promise feels closer. Diaz is amazing and has a bunch of team control left, but he’s also a reliever (albeit a really good one!) who throws hard with a delivery that isn’t exactly relaxing.

2:02

And Now, This: If you were one of the other 29 GMs, would you ever trade for one of Van Wagenen’s former clients on the Mets roster? If it was me I think I’d always be wondering: “What does he know about the player that I don’t?”

2:03

Meg Rowley: I think it’s an underreported concern in all of this. As Sheryl wrote this morning, the Mets and Van Wagenen’s answers to questions surrounding his potential conflicts of interests don’t fully address the issue.

2:04

Meg Rowley: It’s quite surprising to me that this hasn’t been a bigger issue just generally, particularly with the union.

2:04

Hello: Cano/Diaz to the Mets for Bruce/2 lottery tickets.  Who says no/how far off is this?

2:04

Meg Rowley: The Mariners, likely. I get that moving Cano’s contract is part of the value here, but you don’t include Diaz to get fliers. The names that have been floated reflect that.

2:05

B3K2: Hi, when do you get hired by an MLB team?

2:06

Meg Rowley: I do not have any desire to work for a team, and I’m not sure I’d offer much of value to one anyhow.

2:06

Syndergaardians of the Galaxy : Why the heck would Brodie Van Wagenen even want the Mets GM job? He must be making less $$$ in his new job, and it’s inherently less stable.

2:07

Meg Rowley: I’m not quite sure how the money shakes out, but regardless, there’s a lot more prestige in being a GM than there is in being a sports agent.

2:07

Meg Rowley: The desire to win a ring isn’t an unusual motivation in these situations.

2:08

All Cats Are Beautiful : Are there players who are openly gay to teammates but not to the media? Would any beat reporter publish that infi against a player’s wishes?

2:08

Meg Rowley: I imagine there are some, and good lord, I can’t imagine a beat would out a player against their will.

2:09

matt klentak: 5/100 get me patty corbin?

2:09

Meg Rowley: That sounds about right.

2:11

Meg Rowley: In our Top 50 Free Agents, Kiley had him at 5 years and $90 million; the crowd number was a touch higher at 5 and $102. I imagine it’ll fall somewhere in there

2:11

Billy: Hi Meg – will you marry me?

2:11

Meg Rowley: Nope!

2:11

pelkey: in addition to the ickyness of the surplus-value perspective on trade evaluation, doesn’t it miss something kind of critical about value? imagine Mike Trout was paid what he is actually worth, so he has no value that a team isn’t paying for. wouldn’t it still be worthwhile to trade for him because he’s amazing and having his amazingness on your team will mean that you’ll win more games than you would otherwise?

2:12

Meg Rowley: It’s certainly something that you have to consider (and that teams do). Surplus value isn’t the only consideration, but its also something you want to properly understand to make sure you’re asking for the right combination of players in a trade for instance.

2:13

Meg Rowley: But you’re right that, as with all evaluation tools, it is the beginning of the conversation, not the end of it.

2:13

PD: If you asked the casual fan who was the better hitter, David Ortiz or Edgar Martinez, what percentage do you think would say Ortiz? 75%?

2:14

Meg Rowley: It probably depends on the casual fan’s age.

2:14

Meg Rowley: I imagine older millennials and up have a greater recall on Edgar’s feats than younger millennials and whatever the heck comes after millennials.

2:15

Meg Rowley: But I think you’re right that Ortiz has greater cultural resonance across the board.

2:16

Meg Rowley: Mariner fans have squawked about him overshadowing Edgar’s HOF case in the national media and I think that’s true to some extent, but as Jay noted in his Edgar piece today, his presence has also helped to shift the attitude around DHs.

2:16

Billy Beane: Hey Meg. I hope you have a good day.

2:16

Meg Rowley: I am, thank you! You as well.

2:17

AK: Do you feel like the online baseball analytics world has fully adapted to the new world in which it isn’t the upstart outsider, but a fully integrated pieces of the baseball industry?

2:18

Meg Rowley: We’re closer but not all the way there. Some of the umbrage we take at goofuses on twitter suggests to me that we are not gotten all the way there yet.

2:18

Meg Rowley: We still occasionally react as if the nerds didn’t win the war, err WAR.

2:18

John: Johan Camargo for Hunter Renfroe – make it happen.

2:19

Meg Rowley: Don’t put things from your to-do list onto my to-do list! My to-do list is so long!

2:19

Johnny: With Donaldson to the Braves and the Phillies looking ready to load up, what do the Nationals have to do to make themselves the NL East favorites?

2:21

Meg Rowley: They aren’t in a terrible spot if guys are healthy. Given that guys aren’ always all the way healthy, depth would be nice, and some reinforcements in the bullpen I suppose. I don’t think 90-wins is going to be enough in that division.

2:21

Grover: With Ryu returning SP appears to be a position of depth for the Dodgers, but would/should that preclude them from dipping their toes in the Kluber or Thor sweepstakes?

2:22

Meg Rowley: As with all of these things, it depends entirely on what they’d be asked to give up. I’m sure the Dodgers would tell you that you can never have enough pitching, especially with DL stints from Kershaw a seemingly much more regular occurrence.

2:23

All Cats Are Beautiful : Which team specific articles generate the least amount of clicks?

2:24

Meg Rowley: Jeff has long said that Rockies posts do the least well. It’s the darndest thing.

2:24

Airport Banana: Does the general public overstate the hostility an MLB clubhouse would have towards a gay teammate? The tweets unearthed this season are obviously quite hostile, but most players have grown up in a much more accepting culture than even 10 years ago.

2:25

Meg Rowley: I would imagine it varies across clubs, but also Josh Hader is 24. I don’t say that to relitigate his case, but isn’t as if the folks who have been involved with these dust ups are ancient.

2:26

Meg Rowley: It’s an inherently small-C conservative culture. The league is working on it (though there is a good conversation to be had about ways they could be doing better), but the shift that needs to happen isn’t insignificant.

2:26

Ed McWilliams: i find it crazy that some of my fellow braves fans are upset at the Donaldson signing

2:28

Meg Rowley: The argument I’ve seen centers around Camargo’s role going forward, which, look at what the Dodgers can do with a big bundle of depth! There isn’t a guarantee his 2019 goes the same way 2018 did. It’s a very good deal for them.

2:29

CamdenWarehouse: nothing comes after millennials. we killed generation names

2:29

Meg Rowley: Such terrible murderers we are!

2:29

Lee: I think it’s OK to say that both Edgar and David Ortiz BOTH belong in the Hall.  Nothing wrong with that position.

2:30

Meg Rowley: I agree they should both be there. Edgar’s regular season statistical case is stronger, which is why Mariners fans get peeved.

2:30

Cistulli : Who’s your first guest going to be on the pod?

2:31

Meg Rowley: Emma Baccellieri! We recorded yesterday, so provided I win my battle with the editing software, it should drop this evening.

2:31

Victorian Free Agents: Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennet ?

2:31

Meg Rowley: Bennet for sure

2:31

Dodgers Gamble: If Hyun Jin flops the Dodgers will rue that qualifying offer

2:32

Meg Rowley: Having contributed to pun culture, I can’t even be mad about this. Look what I have wrought.

2:32

All Cats Are Beautiful : Do the Yankees blow past the salary cap or are they budget conscious for the foreseeable future?

2:33

Meg Rowley: I’m not sure about blow past, but I’d be surprised to see them not make moves purely in service of staying under.

2:33

Stevil: I don’t get the Diaz with Cano to the Mets speculation, but Cano to the Mets alone for for Cespedes and Bruce might make some sense, wouldn’t it? The difference is around 34 million, but it would be spread out further for NY (saving them cash in the short-term) and Seattle would have an immediate answer for LF and 1B for the time being. They would be in the free & clear by 2021.

2:34

Meg Rowley: You include Diaz to get prospects who can help in 2020 and aren’t as terrifying as a wispy reliever who throws gas.

2:34

Mike B: What has been your favorite stadium that you’ve visited

2:34

Meg Rowley: Coors and Miller are both wonderful, and both have much better beer than their names would suggest.

2:35

Meg Rowley: AT&T is also v. nice, though the last time I was there it was for a finance work event. I would like to go back when I am not working hard to avoid alienating clients and co-workers with my baseball crazy.

2:36

Meg Rowley: You’ll be shocked to learn that the FanGraphs crew is much more forgiving of that impulse.

2:36

Rick Hahn: Does Moncada and Zach Collins get me Realmuto?

2:37

Meg Rowley: I don’t think so, and also don’t know why you’d do that trade.

2:37

Syndergaardians of the Galaxy : I think most MLB players want to win so badly that they wouldn’t care that much if a teammate was gay…as long as he’s good. Not so sure how well a bad player who’s gay would fare.

2:38

Meg Rowley: I say this not to snark, but prejudice often doesn’t work this way. It inherently isn’t rational. Perhaps a player being very, very good helps you start to consider them differently as people, but certainly not always and not often in lockstep.

2:39

Lee: Since the Red Sox appear to be turning a profit even with a $250 million payroll, should they just plan on spending far above the luxury tax for the next 2 or 3 seasons?  This tactic is going to hurt their long term prospects (loss of draft position and international money) but teams don’t assemble a young core like the Red Sox have very often.

2:40

Meg Rowley: Before I answer your question, and I don’t say this to take a swipe at you, but can we take a moment to appreciate how goofy it is that there is so much concern in the broader baseball discourse on this question. They literally just won a World Series.

2:41

Meg Rowley: Now, to answer it more specifically, I don’t think team necessarily want to spend willy-nilly but the draft penalties tied to the luxury tax thresholds actually aren’t that onerous when you think about the value of those slots vs. the return on those dollars spent (assuming you get reasonable production). A team like the Red Sox, possessed as they are of a young core, shouldn’t worry about it too much in my opinion. Go win some more rings.

2:41

Ed McWilliams: I think the amount of woman/child beaters in the league are more troubling than teenage tweets.

2:41

Meg Rowley: Many things can be bad at once.

2:42

need multiples: Meg- love your chats. Thanks for spending time with us. My question is about allocating FA dollars. Pitchers break. Often. Doesn’t it make more sense to pay big dollars on free agents that play everyday and don’t break as easily?  An example – the Yankees- I think they should trade Frazierand or Andujar for kluber/Syndergaard and then sign Machado and or Harper to replace Andujar/Frazier instead of signing Corbin. Thoughts?

2:43

Meg Rowley: The injury risk is certainly a consideration in how these deals get priced, as well as their duration. A lot depends on what else is going on with respect to the roster.

2:44

Meg Rowley: The Cubs built their young core around position players. That left them filling a rotation via trade and free agent signing. Some of that hasn’t worked out but they were also positioned to absorb some of the failures.

2:44

Mike B: Best Black Friday/cyber Monday purchase?

2:45

Meg Rowley: [extreme yes, I know how twee this about to sound] I found several good books at my local bookstore, including a very gently used complete works of Dorothy Parker

2:45

Meg Rowley: I am maybe the worst?

2:45

Ersatz Logan Morrison: What are your thoughts on the Twins picking up a second Rays first baseman?

2:46

Meg Rowley: That if present LoMo and possibly future LoMo are ever in the same room together, it could rip a hole in space time?

2:46

Meg Rowley: Cron’s 2018 was promising. There’s limited upside there, but he’s also likely an upgrade on their existing options and isn’t very pricey.

2:47

Triples are Great!: If you were a free agent, would you rather sign with one of the “alphas” like the Yankees or Dodgers or a smaller market team without such a prestigious history?

2:48

Meg Rowley: I am shame-motivated, so I would probably sign with like, the Reds, because the odds of anyone noticing my failure would so low.

2:48

Meg Rowley: Why yes, I am in therapy, thank you!

2:48

Dillon: If the Yankees get Machado would you trade Andujar for a pitcher and plan on Machado being at 3B long term?

2:49

Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t be so quick to move him. Machado likely does end up at third but unless you’re getting Syndergaard, I don’t get the rush.

2:50

Sad pirate fan: If cano goes to Mets and the mariners trade gordon as well who will play 2nd?

2:50

Meg Rowley: Who are they trading Gordon to? Dude just had a pretty rough lil’ season.

2:51

Big Tuna: Will Mariano Rivera have the highest vote% in HOF history?

2:52

Meg Rowley: I’m inclined to say yes, even with the penalty some will give him for being a reliever (which is doofy), but I don’t think he’ll be unanimous.

2:52

Dillon: Predictions on who do the Phillies end up signing?

2:52

Meg Rowley: Everyone!

2:52

Meg Rowley: Corbin seems increasingly likely.

2:53

Meg Rowley: My gut, just my dumb lil gut, tells me that they’ll pass on Machado and wait to make a run at Arenado. But I could see Harper there. Also, Andrew Miller.

2:53

Larry: Why do you refer to yourself in the third person?

2:53

Meg Rowley: I don’t normally? Sometimes for affect. Little thing called flair.

2:53

Syndergaardians of the Galaxy : I’m amazed by how knowledgeable Fangraphs writers are about seemingly every player in MLB and most of the top prospects too. I follow baseball obsessively, but i find that following just one team is pretty much a full-time job and that it’s hard for me to keep track of all the players on the other teams.

2:54

Meg Rowley: Well I can pick the questions, bug Eric and Kiley when I feel like I have to talk about prospects, and look stuff up while chatting, so there is a bit of illusion here.

2:55

Meg Rowley: But thank you! Also, this is our job. We are unburdened by giving eye exams or digging ditches or preparing quarterly reports.

2:55

Hunt for for 28: Now that Sheffield was included in the Paxton deal what do you think it would take to pry Goldshmidt from the D-Backs?

2:55

Meg Rowley: For the Mariners to do that? The Mariners can’t do that.

2:56

Sad pirate fan: Will you be going to winter meetings this year?

2:56

Meg Rowley: I will be. I will there for just such a very long time. So, so long. Too long.

2:57

Bortky: Meg stated on time because she didn’t need to respond to an email/call from her boss…because she is the Boss!

2:57

Meg Rowley: David Appelman is the boss, to be clear. But on this particular day, none of our wonderful staff required my attention.

2:58

You’re not the worst: I bought myself business cards yesterday because my job doesn’t make them. I am the worst.

2:58

Meg Rowley: You know, I would never use business cards except for next week and at saberseminar and then I might really, really want them, so this purchase strikes me as rather practical.

2:58

Rockie Dangerfield: For one glorious exhibition game, replace all the regular wooden bats with other bats and bat-like objects.  Cricket bats, sawed-off oars, metal bats, stop signs, regular ol’ tree branches, and so on.  Who wouldn’t want to watch Aaron Judge try to hit a home run with a croquet mallet?

2:59

Meg Rowley: I think this should 100% be part of the All-Star festivities.

2:59

t Bone: Would the Yankees trade Aaron Judge + and pay the full salary for Mike Trout? Would that be a reasonable trade?

2:59

Meg Rowley: No, it would not be.

3:00

Oops: Worst free Agent first baseman signing.  Eric Hosmer or Carlos Santana?

3:00

Meg Rowley: Hosmer with a bullet (sorry, Dave)

3:01

joe: Meg, can you suggest to the guys running ‘The Board’ to add a column for Highest or Current Minor League Level?  This would be helpful in doing age/level comparisons and just good info overall.

3:03

Meg Rowley: I believe that in our next version of THE BOARD (coming soonish) there is some filtering sort of to this end.

3:04

John: Should top prospects who have been traded be viewed differently than prospects who haven’t been?

3:04

Meg Rowley: I’m not quite sure what you mean by that.

3:04

Lunar verLander: Do you consider Die Hard a Christmas movie?

3:04

Meg Rowley: Yes.

3:04

JimmyRay: Is Paxton still a 4 fWAR starter in YS?

3:04

Meg Rowley: Yes.

3:04

Trout: He’s not getting traded, people.

3:04

Meg Rowley: Yes.

3:04

Playoff Stats: W/r/t HOF candidacy, players shouldn’t be penalized for performing poorly in the playoffs, because who knows how well they should perform against top-tier talent? But they should definitely be rewarded for success in the postseason, right? Because expectations have to be lower, even if we don’t know how much lower.

3:05

Meg Rowley: I think a strong postseason record can certainly be considered. The absence of one shouldn’t ding a guy. Also, big Hall for all!

3:05

Meteorologist Mike Trout: Help me create a forecast of my career stats when all is said and done.  Also, which hat am I wearing on my Hall of Fame plaque?

3:06

Meg Rowley: I think around all-time WAR leader (though maybe not actually all-time) and ummm jeez, can you wear an Eagles hat?

3:06

Meg Rowley: I think he ends up in Philly. I think they win some World Series. So Phillies?

3:07

AC/DC: What is the point of the Texas Rangers?

3:07

Meg Rowley: Some people work through their sadness using baseball.

3:07

Mike b: How frequently will you do these chats, this has been great and I appreciate your outlook on things.

3:07

Meg Rowley: I will continue to do them weekly.

3:08

Ben: Take a wild guess: next big name free agent to sign

3:08

Meg Rowley: Corbin

3:08

Trout: What does all-time but not all-time mean?

3:08

Meg Rowley: Close to but perhaps not surpassing.

3:08

TKDC: Compared to other sports, baseball seems to have the weakest problems. The NFL is full of concussions, the NBA is now basically played among 2-3 teams, and the NHL’s product is still ice hockey. Baseball problem is that it’s fans are older? Is that really that much of a problem?

3:10

Meg Rowley: I mean, there’s a looming labor battle that may result in another strike, and the future of the TV deals, and an aging audience with a league that has shown itself bad at adapting to. Those aren’t great.

3:10

IndyMets: I’m a sucker for a guy who plays his entire career in one uniform.   I feel like there is value in keeping these guys around.

3:11

Meg Rowley: I like it, too.

3:11

Meg Rowley: But interesting second acts are also cool.

3:11

JimmyRay: Real name Margaret?

3:11

Meg Rowley: Megan. Just regular ol’ Megan.

3:11

Meg Rowley: Margaret is my grandma’s name, though.

3:12

Forearm Tightness: Angels pitching woes:  Bad luck or something else?

3:12

Meg Rowley: I think mostly bad luck. Pitching is inherently just terrible for you.

3:12

Jeff: I’m very bored in my economics class. Is reading fangraphs and checking trade rumors on Twitter my best way to kill time?

3:12

Meg Rowley: Yes.

3:12

Meg Rowley: In fact, I can think of few better.

3:13

Nick: Hey boss. Just wanted to say, as a young software dev hoping to get into baseball, thanks for passing through all these jobs with teams lately – have applied to a couple already and continuing to watch out for more!

3:13

Meg Rowley: And there will be more coming! I have a few postings sitting in my inbox now, actually.

3:14

John: Okay, it wasn’t *this* John asking, but what I think that John means is that maybe there’s something people inside know about a top prospect who’s been traded that, if the public knew, might lower his prospect status — hence his team’s (or, for Sheffield, multiple team’s) willingness to part with them. Not saying I agree, but I think that’s the idea.

3:14

Meg Rowley: Depends on the prospect. I am sure there is some of that, but most teams go in pretty clear eyed. There are players who get dealt because the org has soured on them, but often it’s because they have a lot of value. And of course, it can be a mix of the two.

3:15

LosDoyers: Now we know taht certain teams are more “analytical” than others- but even among the so-called “analytics-friendly” teams are there certain characteristics of the players each club pursues in general?

i.e. what is the dividing issue right now in the analytics world?

3:15

Meg Rowley: I spend a lot of time talking to people in the industry about Houston’s approach, both to scouting and employing scouts, and to player development, particularly when it comes to pitchers.

3:16

Chopin Lizst: Any suggestions what I should buy my mom for Christmas? I’m all out of ideas!

3:16

Meg Rowley: Time with you. Moms often like seeing their kids.

3:16

Faithless Friar: Padres fan. Uh, any optimism you can give me?

3:17

Meg Rowley: You have a really good farm system and a front office getting savvier and more analytically inclined all the time.

3:17

DC: Predictions where Harper and Machado end up?

3:18

Meg Rowley: I think Machado ends up a Yankee. I think Harper goes to the NL East (Phillies or Braves.) Did I say something different about Harper up top? Eh, who can say. Cardinals in that mix, too.

3:19

Ryan: Who is your favorite FanGraphs writer?

3:19

Meg Rowley: They are all wonderful. I have been actively reading Jeff the longest. But they are all great.

3:20

Adam: Would you say the Padres as an organization are analytically inclined? From the outside, they still seem to rely more on traditional scouting relative to what a lot of other teams are doing.

3:20

Meg Rowley: I think that is fair, but is shifting.

3:20

Harper and Machado: Sounds like a buddy-cop sit-com on Netflix

3:20

Meg Rowley: Would watch the heck out of that.

3:20

Scary Cubs: Depleted farm system, onerous contracts:  Chances the Cubs have peaked?

3:21

Meg Rowley: They’ll be a playoff contender again, and likely favored to win the Central.

3:22

Rickety Cricket: Any chance Fangraphs signs Ben Lindbergh?

3:22

Meg Rowley: Don’t think we could ever satisfy Ben’s fiendish need to write about video games.

3:23

Meg Rowley: Alright pals, a writer does not require my attention, so I’m going to call it there. Thanks for all the great questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to. Have a great day!

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