MLBTR Chat with Steve Adams 9-29-15
Think I have this working once again for week two! We shall see.
Victory! I am a master of all things technology.
Do you think the Reds will be open to trading Joey Votto this offseason? If so, would they be looking for a big return, or more of a salary dump?
I think a team in their position has to be open to it, but I have a hard time seeing anyone taking on the remainder of that deal. It, like all other 10-year deals, is just going to be so, so terrible at the end. Maybe there's some win-now team out there that's willing to take it on, but I don't think Cincinnati can get a huge return and shed the entirety of the contract.
Do you see the Rangers and Astros making the playoffs no matter who wins the division?
Not a given -- Twins are still within striking distance of Houston, even though I believe Houston's schedule is easier down the stretch.
Name the team and players given up who could legitimately get Sonny Gray this off season?
It's pretty tough to envision him being traded after an on-record denial from Billy Beane. That said, Red Sox are the most commonly mentioned team, and with good reason -- nice farm system, clear need. Moncada, Devers, Margot, Owens, Johnson, etc. -- pick a few of the top usual suspects there and fill in around it with complementary pieces.
Considering who they signed last year and this year's subpar position player FA crop, is there any chance the White Sox dump salary and go younger next season?
Nah I don't think so -- they feel like they're in their window to contend during the primes of Abreu and Sale right now. Re-tool and try again. They might still dump someone like LaRoche, but I don't think they're going to tear it down and do any kind of dramatic rebuild.
Do you think Donaldson or Trout will win the AL MVP?
I'd vote for Donaldson, personally, but either winning it would be OK with me.
Looks like Yonder Alonso might find himself elsewhere next season due to injuries and a lack of power production. Will there be much interest in him if that is the case? I could see Billy Beane maybe taking a flier on him and his nice career OBP. Thoughts on Alonso's future?
Yeah he has a Billy Beane type of feel to him. There'd be interest -- it's not like he's a bad hitter, he just lacks power and didn't develop into the force many expected him to. Houston has needs at first base (though they have a pair of nice prospects in AJ Reed and Tyler White), O's will need a Davis replacement, Pirates could use some help there, Rays if they can find somewhere else to send Loney.
Any way Tigers can get Tori Hunter back next season?
He's pretty much said he's returning to the Twins or retiring. I don't see that.
Who is your pick for AL Rookie of the Year
1. Lindor 2. Correa 3. Sano
What do you see AA doing at this years winter meetings? Sign Chris Davis?
I expect Davis to be more expensive than the Blue Jays would like. Really, their 1B/DH spot isn't terrible with a rotating carousel of Encarnacion, Smoak and Colabello. I don't expect that to be a priority -- Anthopoulos will be more focused on pitching, I'd imagine. Price, Buehrle and Estrada are all free agents. Norris and Boyd traded. He'll have work to do there.
Given his propensity to trade rather sign free agents, who do you see Dave Dombrowski seeking to fill his pitching needs this offseason?
I did like the point someone made at one point that for all of his free-agent endeavors, Dombrowski never went ahead and made a pitching mega-signing. He held firm on their offer to Scherzer, Verlander was an extension and even that might not have been full market value. Anibal Sanchez is his biggest pure free agent signing.
I still expect them to be linked to the top names on the market, specifically Price, but Zimmermann and some of the not-quite-top-tier arms will be in there too. I wonder if he'll try for Fister on a one-year, make good deal.
Does this trade make sense: CarGo, LeMahieu, and Hundley to Angels for Wilson, Newcomb, and Jewell/Prospect?
I don't see why the Rockies are taking CJ Wilson back in that deal. I don't think it's enough going to Colorado.
Do you see Dipoto making any big splashes this offseason for the Mariners? If not, where do you think he can make the biggest impact to get this team out of their playoff drought
First off, I'll say I thought Dipoto rocked that intro press conference today. Came across as intelligent, personable, articulate -- really nailed it. I've had the opportunity to speak to him in the past and had similar impressions of him. I think it was a great hire.
That out of the way, he specifically mentioned trades as an area he excels and a means of both building a farm system up and supplementing a core he believes is already in place. He didn't explicitly state it, but he seemed to hint at an emphasis on pitching and defense, which I think is a good call given the home park. I'd look for possible trades for pitching, signing some second-tier arms and overhauling the defense, specifically in the outfield.
Listening to the Dipoto press conference, he mentions a solid core. I don't see a major league outfield, terrible bullpen, thin rotation, and holes at 1B and catcher. Do you believe that the M's need only a few pieces or should they be overhauled?
I think they do have a small core in place. Felix, Cano, Seager, possibly Marte. Cruz has a good year or two left most likely, and Trumbo has been fine -- he's even drawing some walks for once. I think there's the basis for a contending team there, particularly if Paxton and Walker remain healthy, but I agree there's work to do.
They'd need a lot to go right for them in 2016, but I think people forget how much went wrong for them this year. 60% of the rotation has been injured, Cano had a terrible first half before rebounding quite well... they'll need some breaks, but most teams do.
Do you think the Nats will keep Papelbon? Who might have interest in him if they don't?
I don't know who would have interest in him. I think they'll try like hell to move him, but I can also see them having no takers and just sucking it up and putting him in the 'pen.
He's not a bad pitcher or anything, so the contract isn't some kind of albatross, but man who in their right mind wants to take that persona on? On paper, I'd say maybe the Rangers make some sense, and maybe the large veteran presence they have there keeps him from going too crazy, but I honestly don't have a very good answer. He's a mess, and it's an awful situation for them.
What would a potential Ryan Howard trade to the Orioles look like?
The Phillies paying nearly all of his remaining salary and the O's finding a cheap platoon partner. Philly wouldn't get anything of note in return.
Eager Mets fan
With all the animosity that has been built between Matt Harvey any chance the Mets trade him? What kind of return do you think they could get Correa a possibility?
I wouldn't trade Correa for Harvey. His name will probably come up, but the whole thing is overblown to me. They have a clear window to win on the strength of a dominant young rotation that's marketable to the whole city. If Harvey pitches like he's capable of next season and wins a Cy Young or comes close to it, is anyone still going to care about the innings limit? Doubt it.
Everybody knows that the Pirates are not big spenders on the market; and, as a Pirate fan, I support their current philosophy in that regard. However, this is the 3rd year in a row in second place beyond the Cardinals. There are roster spots that will need to be filled next season, but there are also a few spots that could use a significant upgrade--particularly if they want to make a push for 1st place in the NL Central. Do you see the Pirates making any sort of significant market activity this offseason for upper-tier players? If so, who do you think would be the most likely targets
You said it yourself -- it's just not how they operate. If Huntington's not getting the money from ownership, he can't play at the top of the market. I'd look for more reclamation projects for Searage and Benedict to resurrect (Mat Latos, Mike Pelfrey, Rich Hill?) and more piecing it together around the rest of the roster.
It'll be interesting to see what comes of Mark Melancon. His arb salary is going to be enormous -- probably way more than the Pirates are comfortable with. I can see him being traded, so maybe they could get some MLB-ready help for the 'pen, first base, back of the rotation in that way.
Anything to the albatross contract deal of James Shields for Pablo Sandoval?
I never liked that notion, because Shields' deal isn't all that ridiculous. He's signed for $21MM in 2016, and if he has a good season he'll probably opt out. He'll be a bit old, sure, but if he can top 2/44 as a free agent, even with a lower AAV, then he'd probably opt out and do so, especially if the Padres aren't winning yet.
Sandoval's deal looks infinitely worse to me. He brought nothing to the table this year -- genuinely one of the worst all-around players in baseball. Shields has had a decent season and actually contributed positive value, his deal is shorter and less expensive.
In short, no. I never bought that rumor.
Any chance the Orioles deal for Adam LaRoche if they lose Chris Davis?
Wouldn't be a bad buy-low candidate. Sox would probably eat some cash to make it happen, and the O's can't aim too much higher since they don't have much of a farm system. A LaRoche/Christian Walker platoon could, theoretically, be reasonable productive at a cheap price.
Who gets the nod for a playoff rotation spot behind Lackey and Wacha... Jaime Garcia or Lance Lynn?? No C-Mart means one of these guys will pitch. Lynn has labored through his last 3-4 starts and looks tired. Garcia hasn't thrown much this year but looks solid every time out. Your thoughts??
I'd go with Garcia -- Lynn's traditionally too susceptible to left-handed hitters for me to want to run him out there in a postseason series anyway. I'd go Garcia and use Lynn in high-leverage spots against a team's best right-handed hitters, as he carves up same-handed batters in pretty dominant fashion.
Should the blue jays extend qualifying offers to mark buehrle and marco estrada
I'm really liberal with qualifying offers in general, so I might make one to Buehrle if the team thinks he can contribute in 2016. He's worn down a bit late in the year, with his velo dropping quite a bit, but if you think an offseason of rest fixes that, go for it. They need the arms, and his accepting wouldn't be the end of the world.
I think I'd pass on Estrada simply because I don't think he's a $16MM pitcher and his earning power on a multi-year deal isn't THAT much greater than $16MM. He could pull in $20MM+ on a two-year deal, perhaps, but the QO would hurt him pretty substantially, and he'd be the rare player I think would actually have a chance of possibly accepting.
Will Shark get a QO and will he take it if he does?
He'll absolutely get one and absolutely reject it.
Do you think Alexei Ramirez could still stay with the White Sox even if his option isn't picked up?
Yeah I could see them trying to re-work a lower contract with some incentives. His nice second half might get him more elsewhere, though, if the Sox are set on one year.
any chance matt williams gets fired
I'll be surprised if he isn't.
Logan Morrison, Jesus Montero, Mark Trumbo... all serviceable to an extent, some more than others, and beyond Montero getting a bit expensive for what they do provide. Any guesses based on Dipoto's philosophy/past experience who he will hold onto and who he will send elsewhere?
I think Morrison's the non-tender threat between him and Trumbo. Dipoto has a past with Trumbo, who has been more productive.
I do think Morrison's a nice buy-low candidate that can be a serviceable platoon option elsewhere (Pittsburgh, Baltimore?)
Do you think the Diamondbacks pursuit of Chapman is a fool's errand?
I don't get the fascination, but Stewart seems to really want to bring in a dominant closer. They have bigger needs, to me, and should focus their money on other areas -- namely the rotation behind Corbin and perhaps evening out the rest of a questionable 'pen.
I don't mean to imply I don't get the fascination with Chapman, in a vacuum, by the way. He's amazing, and maybe the best reliever in baseball. I just don't get Arizona's fixation on an expensive closer who's a year from free agency, even if the intent is to extend him.
When it's all said and done, are Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran hall of famers?
I think both should go in. I'd call Beltre the likelier of the two.
How much would a 2015 Cy Young win for David Price increase his contract next year?
I don't really think it would -- it's not an arb hearing he's going to. Teams have seen Price 30+ times this season and a hundred or so over the past 3-4 years. They know who and what he is. A bunch of sportswriters saying he's the best pitcher in the league isn't going to drastically alter any team's opinion of him. He'll get $200MM+ with or without the hardware, in my eyes.
will the yankees seriously pursue david price ?
I expect them to be involved, yeah.
Do you think the Cardinals will resign Lackey
Seems reasonable -- He's enjoyed it there from everything I can gather, he's a nice presence and their younger arms (plus Garcia) have some injury question marks. If they're at two years and other clubs are willing to do three, though (which I think is possible), I don't really see St. Louis staying in at that point.
I'd QO Lackey without much thought, though. Not like having him back at 1/16 would be a bad thing at all.
who wins MVP in the NL if not Harper
It should be Harper, and I don't think it's all that close. I'd probably put Greinke, Arrieta, Goldschmidt and Posey behind him in some capacity on my very imaginary ballot.
I firmly believe the era of spending large sums of money for free agents will eventually come to and end. Too many of these contracts end up causing more problems than solving. Do you see a shift in baseball where more clubs go the Cardinal way and avoid signing large contracts and instead focus on drafting talent year after year
The Cardinals gave Matt Holliday a seven-year deal -- it's not like they're above spending in the right circumstance.
Could the Giants package up belt and Heston in a deal for a front end starter?
They could use that to get a starter better than Heston, but I don't think anyone's giving up a No. 1 type guy for two years of Belt and a back-of-the-rotation arm.
If Lind is traded, Logan Morrison seems like logical pickup to platoon with Jason Rogers in Milwaukee. Thoughts?
I can get behind that thought process, yeah. Take this with a grain of salt, but Morrison ranks somewhere around 50th in the league in exit velocity among hitters with 100 ABs. That's not a bad trend -- he makes good contact and has power vs. RHP, he just is brutal against lefties.
Any notable international players in the coming offseason?
Kenta Maeda (RHP), Byung-ho Park (1B), Jae-gyun Hwang (3B) all come to mind.
Any trade targets out there for the Tribe?
Marcell Ozuna makes some sense for them if/when Miami shops him.
Any thoughts on the Phillies GM search? Kim Ng perhaps?
If Kim Ng gets hired because she's the best interview, that's great. But I dislike the notion of Internet commenters assuming that she's passed over only due to her gender. She should not be given or denied a job based on that. I don't know enough about her to speak to her candidacy or chances for this position, though I do believe she has some history working with MacPhail, which can't hurt.
Matt Klentak makes a lot of sense to me and also has a history with MacPhail.
if you could take over GM or head of baseball operations for any team, who would you choose
Thought I had the Mariners job in the bag! Not going to lie, I'm pretty disappointed. Jerry if you're reading this -- I'll settle for an AGM position.
Joking aside, pick a club that has a huge prospect reserve and is positioned for long-term success. Cubs, Cardinals, Astros -- Dodgers because of that payroll would be nice. But I don't think I'm at the top of many clubs' lists. Just a hunch.
Do you think that a tear down is necessary to win games and have a good farm?? Or the Yankees method of spending millions in FA can help sustain a team??
It varies from team to team and it depends how bad a spot they're in. The Phillies needed a tear-down. The Rays never seem to tear down but continually field winners. There's no one way to run any team, as market size, payroll, farm strength, etc. all factor into each unique situation. It's not the answer you were looking for, but it's how I see it -- there's no magic formula that will work for any and all teams.
I've got to wrap up for the week. You can ask further questions on Twitter (@Adams_Steve) or email the MLBTR Mailbag (firstname.lastname@example.org), which runs on Mondays. Thanks for chatting everyone!