MLBTR Chat with Jeff Todd 10-22-15
Hey all -- feel free to start asking questions and I will begin answering them shortly.
Sorry for the delay getting started -- worked all morning and needed to grab a snack. (Stole my kids' frosted mini wheats, Trader Joe's version, since I know someone will ask.)
Do you see the Cubs trading Schwarber for pitching? Maybe Schwarber and Hendricks for Sonny Gray? Seems like Schwarber is a stud LH Power Hitter with no position and no DH
Well, it's a fair question, because he does seem like he'd be most useful to an AL club that could use him at least some of the time (and while he's developing defensively) at DH. But I'm leaning against that, in part b/c I tend to believe the Cubs when they say they believe Schwarber can catch.
His upside as a backstop is tremendous.
Who do you think will replace Alex Gordon in 2016?
Great question here, and not one I'm sure I can answer. I was surprised with what KC did last winter, but those short-term deals may provide a clue here. The OFers who could fit a similar mold this year are guys like Steve Pearce, Chris Young, Marlon Byrd, and Alejandro De Aza.
That's not terribly exciting, I know, but I don't see them spending a ton of cash unless maybe -- just maybe -- it's to bring back Gordon.
What would your top goals and targets be for the Braves this off-season?
Continue to act opportunistically. I don't see them doing much in the way of targeted acquisitions, though they may try to focus in on a few positions of possible need for the future in trades (e.g., outfield).
In terms of free agency, I'd look for them to try to pick up a few veteran types that might have trade value and who can provide solid contributions in the meantime.
Braves fans will have to wait another year for the pedal to be pushed down, I think.
Who will be next year's surprise playoff team that could make a run? White Sox? Diamondbacks? Twins?
Better question: which teams are really, really unlikely to do that? You could argue for the Rockies, Phillies, Reds, Brewers, at first glance. Barring a Padres-esque offseason from those teams, I would be pretty surprised if they are in contention. Could possibly add Braves to the list. Not sure I'd be willing to count out any AL teams at this point.
Who gets a better deal this offseason: Zobrist or Murphy?
I'm answering because it's a great question. But I don't know! Zobrist easily as of a few weeks ago, but Murphy is much younger and is now super-Murphy. I also think teams will look at him for third base openings, which could really expand his market. Could be close.
What is the likelihood of the Rangers moving one of their big contracts - Prince Fielder/Elvis Andrus or Shin Soo Choo in the offseason?
Don't see this as being very likely. They are going to keep trying to contend, and dumping salary probably won't help in the near term. It's not like they really have immediate upgrades on hand. Fielder and Choo were good (did you realize just how good Choo was late in the year? he was unreal) and Andrus has minimal value and no fill-in. (Profar isn't going back to short any time soon, if ever.)
Looked it up quick: Choo had better than a 1.000 OPS in the second half!
Is there an order to the off-season outlooks? Or just whoever you guys feel on writing about at the time?
Sort of going from worst to first, but it's more just as things get done, reviewed, etc.
is there a hangup on AA resigning with Toronto?
Think they are just waiting to address for the playoff run to end.
Do you see the Dodgers going after Mike Scioscia?
No, unless they are planning a huge new reality TV show. I'd re-purchase cable to watch that.
Buchholz and Tazawa for A. Almora ? Who says no?
Not sure this trade makes any sense for either club. The Cubs would rather spend some $ in free agency and keep their young possible CF of the future. And the Red Sox don't really need a CF of the future.
What do the mets do with Zach wheeler when he's healthy?
Put him in the rotation and make everyone "ooh" and "aah" at this: deGrom-Harvey-Syndergaard-Wheeler-Matz
Seems like the Padres have tons of needs. What is their #1 priority?
For me, it's probably shortstop. Such a revolving door there, and they traded away Turner. It's fine to say you dont think defense is essential, and I agree, but your bats need to be good by an equivalent margin to cover it. Plugging in even an adequate player there would go a long way.
Whether or not they should spend big for Desmond is an open question.
Who are some under the radar names, Seattle could trade for or sign to bolster their OF while valuing speed and defense?
Austin Jackson? *ducks*
Okay, seriously ... if you want speed and defense at a reasonable price, Gerardo Parra could be your man, though I don't think he'll be super cheap. Otherwise ... Rajai Davis?
In your opinion, who goes #3 to the Braves in the 2016 Draft?
Coppy, come on man, you just hired Kiley McDaniel from Fangraphs and you are still hounding ME with draft questions. You gotta pay to get that information, my man.
next dodgers manager is?
Way too early to put much stock in "frontrunner" reports re Kapler, but he makes a lot of sense with the current FO. I'm sure there are other reasonable candidates, but you could do worse than guessing him right now.
Any chance I go after a big-name free agent this winter or are we waiting for more contracts to expire?
Sounds like the latter, but that depends whether you decide it's a rare chance to grab a young player like Heyward.
Why do I keep taking questions from people claiming to be actual baseball people?
Why haven't there been more rumors connecting Alex Gordon to the Angels? Seems like a great fit
As are any number of other corner outfielders. I guess there could be some added merit to Gordon, since he's a fairly premium guy who won't require quite as many years of commitment. Maybe that makes better sense with their contract timeline, though honestly I haven't thought about it closely enough to make a firm assessment.
I realize he'd cost $25m/yr but doesn't it make sense for ATL to go after David Price? From the area (reportedly few years ago said how much he'd love to play for them), Aces don't grow on trees, he's as healthy as you can get as far as Aces go, a 6-8 year deal wouldn't be wasted if they have another dud in 2016...
I think we can put this one to bed now: no, I don't think it makes sense, especially after they have bulked up significantly on young pitching.
And I'm even more convinced that the FO will not do this.
Do you think the Tiger's would find Sean Doolittle appealing? Do you think the A's would
Who wouldn't? He's a great pitcher and hilarious. And he shares my alma mater.
Could they pry him loose? Sure, but I doubt the A's let him go for cheap, because his contract still looks good and he was at least able to show that he is close to full health. (Still needs to build back the velo, but maybe he'll show that this spring.)
What kind of pitching do you think the Dodgers could get back if they trades Puig?
Really good pitching. This is one of those scenarios that is kind of impossible to play out hypothetically, because Puig's value would be viewed so differently by various teams. You might have contenders willing to give up young arms, or rebuilders willing to part with high-end, short-term veterans. Lots of counter-balancing pieces could come into play, etc.
Pagan has health issues. He had the range of a dead corpse this year. Do you see the Giants replacing him?
Just wrote about that in my offseason outlook, which hit the site like 10 minutes ago. They aren't talking like they'll do that, but he was quite bad. (-0.5 fWAR and nearly -2 rWAR!!!)
I kind of like the idea of adding someone who can play center with intentions of using them in left. With the injury and age of the OF in SF, I think they need to think more like 5 OF deep. Blanco has been great, but it wouldn't hurt to pair someone else with Aoki or add a better option and let Aoki walk (or pick up the option and trade him).
Oh, on that last note -- since so many Yankees fans seem to want to trade Gardner, he could work in San Francisco!
Why do executives always seem to fall for the latest hot player. Is Daniel Murphy really worth more today then he was last week.
Maybe a little bit, because you might buy into his power a little bit more. But he was going to get paid more than people realized anyway, because he's steadily above average with the bat and can play second and third. The market at third is basically him and David Freese. And maybe Hwang from the KBO.
James Paxton and Chris Taylor for JD Martinez. Which team says no?
You mean the still-cheap JD Martinez who is one of the game's most fearsome sluggers? Being traded from the Tigers, the club that routinely pays top dollar for top sluggers? No way they do that, IMO, even if Avila sees things somewhat differently than his old boss.
The Cards seem to never overpay. Do they have a shot at re-signing Heyward?
Absolutely. Mozeliak has made clear they'll pursue him. I think he knows that they aren't going to come close with low-ball offers. Remember, they brought back Holliday.
Far from certain they'll be willing/able to beat the market on Heyward, and maybe it would be necessary for him to take less to stay in STL, but I think they have as good a shot as any team.
Does Marco Estrada get a qualifying offer after his performance last night?
That still seems a bit steep for one year, but man, it's kind of a fun question. He was already going to be an under the radar arm going into the winter, and we have him moving into the three-year range. Might have to make that a poll in the coming days!
With all do respect, why does MLBTR seem convinced that the White Sox will suddenly become contenders next year? They have no depth, too many holes, no trade flexibility....
Does MLBTR think that? Tim Dierkes, site owner and noted Chicago area residence, has written and explained on the podcast that he thinks they CAN be a contender, that he thinks they WILL try to contend, and that he believes they SHOULD continue to do that rather than tearing down. That's not quite a prediction that they'll cruise to the AL Central crown -- to the contrary, he talked about how much work they have to do.
In this day and age, with so much talent and so much money, it's hard to just count out many clubs, as I already mentioned. I wouldn't do that with the White Sox, even though I wouldn't label them an obvious contender.
Not sure if my last answer came off as contentious, btw, but I didn't intend it. Fair question. Fast-moving chat.
Will the Warriors repeat
Is this some kind of military history question or is there another sport with a team by that name?
Really, though, check out Hoops Rumors.
Better chances at signing Greinke, Dodgers or the field?
I'll take the field. But for any single team, as of right now (having heard very little in terms of rumors), I'd say the Dodgers.
Should Braves try to extend Shelby Miller long term?
For me, I'd like to see another season before committing.
How long of a leash does Andrew Friedman have?
The kind of leash that you hate to see if you are neighbor to a dog owner and prefer that your lawn stays nice and green.
What kind of return could reds expect from a Frazier deal?
They'd be in the driver's seat, asking for some top prospects. There might be some differing opinions on Frazier, who was a late bloomer and fell off down the stretch, but given the state of the 3rd base market there would be a lot of interest.
Does JA Happ wind back up with the Buccos considering his torrid run with the club? What kind of money does it take?
Charlie Wilmoth, resident Bucs expert, thinks he'll be too expensive. He could get three years.
That's okay, they'll just go find some more pitching corpses to breath life into. (Not to insult they guys who they've turned around. Halloween-themed jokes, is all.)
Where will Jason Heyward play in 2016?
Right field, though he could probably play center if a team was so inclined.
Or did you mean ...
As a Mariners fan let me be the first to say: The Mariners. Re: Paxton for Martinez.
Look, Paxton is a nice player who has some upside, but he's rebuilding his innings right now, already has 2 years of service on him, and hasn't really done it yet in the majors.
But if you want to keep him, your wishes will probably be answered, because I don't think it's a great time to deal him.
What does the MM mean when speaking of contracts? Million monies? Why the second "m" ?
I forget, but it means millions. There are several ways of doing that, this is an uncommon but accepted one. Use the google for more details.
How do you know I'm not asking a question?
Well, now that you mention it, I do remember you appearing in The Sandlot.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that film?
Khris Davis and Lind for Bundy?
Not expecting Bundy or Profar to be traded any time soon.
Should the Brewers ditch Lucroy to really restock on young talent?
My vote, I think: let him rebuild value in the first half while helping along the pitching staff. Hopefully, summer is a good time to sell.
Does Dexter Fowler make sense in DC? Are the Nats gonna be interested if so?
Yes, but I think he's too expensive and will want a more certain role. More likely: Parra, Span (if he can't find better elsewhere, unlikely), or a trade.
Taijuan Walker, Tom Wilhelmsen, Alex Jackson, DJ Peterson for AJ Pollock? Too much or too little for Dipoto to part with for the D-Backs Centerfielder?!
Don't see the Dbacks parting with Pollock. You can always dream up scenarios, of course, but Arizona wants to win now and he has quietly been unbelievable.
Just for fun, and I KNOW this would never happy, but who says No in this deal: Bryce Harper to Boston for Betts, Bogaerts, and Swihart? Thanks.
Oof. I'm scared to answer this for fear of retribution from fans of one or the other team. (DC fans are pretty easy going, but I am from the area and can't put my family at risk, sorry.)
Are the Nationals going to go to rebuild mode?
I saw that report and just don't see it as a possibility. They have tons of good, young players at the MLB level.
Whether or not they keep jacking up the payroll is another question. And they could deal short-term veterans (as they considered doing last winter with Zimmermann/Desmond). But a full-on rebuild? No.
Jeff, M is for milli, the metric 1000, so a million being 1000 times 1000, it's MM.
Thanks, really did not feel like looking this up. I trust that you are correct.
What would it take for the Nats to get rid of Werths contract?
Is it really that bad with two years and 42 million left? Sure, it's more than he'd get as a free agent, but that's the nature of things at this stage of a deal.
They'd have to eat money to move him at this point, but it's not like they are desperate for payroll space (they have some flexibility) or have something lined up to replace him (they traded Souza to get replacements at SS and SP).
Who do you think the Royals sign as a starting pitcher for next year?
Well, they can sign Chris Young and get incredible value, and trade for Cueto and get nothing. So I just don't know. The Royals just confuse the heck out of me. Dayton Moore can do whatever he wants with some cheaper arms, and he and Yost will somehow turn it into treasure, I guess.