Let's get to it ...
In your opinion, how many wins do the Royals get as currently constructed?
I'll say 83-85. Improvement from Hosmer and Moustakas, full season from Perez, better rotation, but still a little short.
Dave, do you think the Rays will start Wil Myers in RF out of spring training or will they wait so he has an extra year of eligibility before arbitration
I think he'll spend the first month in Triple-A. That way they would control him for six more full seasons beyond 2013. Arbitration also an issue, but that means holding him back until mid-June or so. Not sure they can afford to wait that long.
Lots of movement in the AL East - seems like it just got tougher over the past 2 or 3 weeks. How do you see it shaping up in 2013?
I think we still need to say how the Yankees and Red Sox shake out. I still like the Yankees rotation -- Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes, Phelps, Nova and Pineda if he comes. Lots of depth and quality there. And we know they'll score runs.
I know you defended the royals trade, but if it had been your call would you have done this deal?
No. Upgrade from Francouer to Myers potentially as big as Crappy No. 5 starter to Shields. And Shields' home/road splits are a red flag.
With Shields dealt, where do teams looking to trade for pitching head? Still Rays? Cardinals?
Good question. Besides R.A. Dickey? Not sure there's another big name out there. Maybe Trevor Bauer, with Arizona signing McCarthy. I don't think Tampa trades another starter (they like having that depth) and I don't think the Cards trade Shelby Miller. Maybe a guy a like Rick Porcello, who has maybe worn out his time in Detroit.
Better career in order?.Mike Minor, Buchholtz, Hellickson?
Hellickson, Minor, Buchhholz
Do you think Rasmus can regain his once promising career? Can he ever get to .270/.340/.450?
A year ago, I would have said yes, but I'm far less optimistic now. Over 2,000 PAs and he's hitting .243. Just don't think he's a .270 hitter with all the strikeouts.
what is the next move for the Rays after the shields/myers trade? Any chance they make a move for Morse and Ramos of the Nats?
Not sure why the Nats would trade Ramos. Suzuki is borderline starter and Ramos was really good as a rookie. I do think they'll look for a cheap right-handed bat for 1B/DH to platoon with Loney. Morse IS a good fit, of course, but not sure what the deal there would be.
It appears that at the trade deadline and during the Winter Meetings the Rangers overplayed their hand. Where do they go from here? Have they taken a step back in the AL West?
Well, as of this moment, I'd say they have, since they don't have Hamilton. They still have plenty of options and chips to trade -- Olt, Andrus, etc. I still wonder if we end up with some sort of Andrus/Justin Upton swap.
Who are the top 5 GM?s in baseball?
Hmm ... I think there are a lot of good ones, actually. Certainly, Andrew Friedman's track record in Tampa is hard to knock. Mike Rizzo of the Nats is on a good roll. Billy Beane. Jon Daniels. John Mozeliak of the Cards.
Which prospect are you most looking forward to seeing play a full or near full season? Myers? Profar? Bundy? Other?
Profar, especially if ends up at shortstop. But Bundy's potential is certainly top of the line. I suspect he starts out in the minors.
Are the A's going to regress as much as the O's??
I would predict the A's win more games than the Orioles. Wouldn't surprise me to see Baltimore dip back under .500. Sorry, O's fans.
Would Luis Mendoza qualify as crappy #5 starter for the Royals? If so, Shields would need to be a 5 win pitcher next year assuming Mendoza is worth about 1 win, Franchy is worth -2 wins, and Myers is average in 2013. Tall task for Shields.
Right, I guess Mendoza or Hochevar would be that last guy right now. I like Shields and I think a lot of the analysis short-changed him a bit, but pitching in Kansas City just using the same as pitching in Tampa with the Tampa defense behind you.
All these Justin Upton rumors seem a little ridiculous to me? I think Upton for Profar would be fair, but these talks of Upton for either Asdrubal or Elvis Andurs seems absurd. You don't trade a potential MVP caliber super star for a rent-a-player abover average SS. Thoughts?
I like Andrus a little better than Cabrera, mainly because of his defense. It's not a ridiculous offer, but I probably wouldn't trade Upton straight up for either guy. On the other hand, check out Upton's home/road splits. It's possible no team values him as much as Arizona would.
Thx for all the good work Dave! Are you in agreement with the majority of your colleagues that the Dodgers are now the clear favorites in the NL West? As a Giants fan, I think this is great news for my team coming off a WS title. Complacency should not be an issue to the world champs.
I think I would make the Dodgers slight favorites. Some big questions for the Giants, most notably Pagan and Scutaro (can they do it again?) and Lincecum (can he bounce back?). But I think your point is a good one, not that any Bruce Bochy team would ever get complacent.
With the Royals trade, Hunter to the Tigers, etc., how do you see the AL Central shaping up for 2013?
Tigers still the big favorite with that rotation and Miggy/Prince. Hunter, even if he's not as good as 2012, a big improvement from what they got from Boesch and company in right field.
What would it take for the Redsox to sign either Edwin Jackson or Shawn Marcum? What other pitcher's could you see them going after?
Jackson -- I'll say 2 years, $25 million. He got one year, $11M last year, but should be able to get a two-year deal this year. Marcum less expensive. Not sure he's a good fit in Fenway. But I do the Red Sox going after Jackson, Lohse ... one of those guys.
Should teams be worried about dealing for Justin Upton? Given how eager the Dbacks are to trade the former #1 pick, it seems to me there is a pretty real chance that there is a real issue with the guy.
Here's my take: Clearly the D-backs have some issues with Upton. I would suggest that your highest-paid player needs to have some sort of leadership qualities -- not necessarily vocal, but at least work ethic, and you have to wonder if Upton is lacking in that category. My biggest concern is he has a big home/road split in his career. He just hasn't been that good away from Arizona.
Hello, David. Since the Hall Of Fame is a hot topic, I want to get your thoughts on Mark McGwire. Even putting aside PED's, I've never considered him one of the all time greats. He had a great eye at the plate, and could mash, but he was average to poor in all the other aspects of the game. Am I being too stringent?
Not really. I think he's a borderline HOFer without the PED issues. Really only had maybe eight HOF seasons. They were generally *great* seasons, but with all the injuries he didn't have a whole lot around them. I'd probably vote for him, with "fame" being the small bit of criteria to push him over the line.
Seems like the Giants are being lazy faire in the off-season with the Dodgers going nuts over the past 6 months. Do the Giants even contend for a playoff spot next year, cause last year sure did seem fluky to me even as a big Giants fan?
Like I said, I would be worried about Pagan (whose effort was questioned at time with the Mets) and Scutaro (he's not going to hit .362 again). And you have to replace Melky as well.
Back to Rasmus....Do you think the Jays are better off dealing Rasmus now for pitching help (maybe in a package for Dickey) and installing Gose as the CF?
Don't think Rasmus would net much in return. And I don't think Gose is ready to hit yet. Best option probably is to stick with Rasmus one more and see if he improves at the plate.
Think the O's do anything, or is Dan D. counting on a full year from Machado, and an improved Tillman to be his "additions"?
Don't forget re-signing Nate McLouth! They need another bat, whether at first base or DH, with Chris Davis filling one of the holes. Adam LaRoche would be a nice fit, but not sure they want to give up the draft pick.
With the contract that Greinke got from the Dodgers and what the Royals gave up for James Shields, have we entered into an era where we are overvaluing "good pitching" as "great pitching"?
On a dollar-per-win basis, yes. But I think there's hidden value in a guy who can pitch 220 innings a year. A replacement-level pitcher isn't going to give you 220 innings.
Dave, who do you see the Rays targeting to fill the DH spot? Is there any chance that they go after Delmon Young on the cheap?
My least favorite player! OK, OK ... if his only job is to DH against lefties, he's fine. But that's all he can or should do.
I actually think Brandon Guyer can hit. Wouldn't be surprised to see them give him a chance.
Greinke to the Dodgers, Shields to KC, chances now of Anibal Sanchez heading back to Motown?
Or to the Dodgers?
Dave, does your view of the Royals trade change if they dump Frenchy and upgrade at RF? I presume the cost of upgrading over Frenchy costs less in the FA market than the cost of upgrading the crappy 5th starter to #1 starter.
Yes, I would like the trade better if they did that. But ...
A lot of Mixed Reviews from Philadelphia in regards to Revere and Michael Young Additions. I love both. Revere is a legitmate Lead Off Hitter and Young can still hit for a nice average and hopefully play adequate DF. Are there any OF bats Left that Philly can bring in?
I like the Revere deal, especially if that means saving money on a center fielder to spend on Nick Swisher. Young is a crapshoot. Won't cost them much but there's a reason the Rangers had him DHing. An infield with Young, Howard and aging Rollins and Utley could be pretty horrible.
In fact ... I'd suggest Young/Howard are much worse than Cabrera/Fielder on defense.
Does Gary Carter seem ridiculously high on the Hall of 100? He just missed the top 100.
He's No. 86. I can't tell if you think he should be higher or lower? Seems fair to me, maybe even a little low. His peak value was pretty ridiculous, eight seasons of 5+ WAR.
in a mythical HOF, how can you compare guys across generations?
It's not easy. I do think there should be some sort of timeline adjustment, which a stat like WAR doesn't account for.
A lot of players have signed mid level deals so far. Is this the winter when one of Boras's guys gets left out in the cold? I'm guessing Soriano.
Funny, I heard an interview with Boras the other day and he was trying to say how teams need a proven closer and how some teams missed the playoffs last year because they didn't have one -- I think he cited the Angels, Brewers and White Sox. Of course, that's ridiculous. The Giants won with their third closer of the year. The Cards won in 2011 with Motte, who didn't start closing until September. The Cards and White Sox won in 2006 and 2005 with rookie closers (Wainwright, Jenks).
Looking at the ESPN Top 100 for Hall of Famers, do you find it difficult comparing players from other eras to each other, or ones you never saw in person? How do you come to a conclusion on those types of things?
Well, you like the numbers and if you've studied baseball history, you know the different eras and get a better idea what the numbers mean for that era. Stats like WAR help you rate the player compared to his peers. But, yes, you certainly miss something on not having seen a player.
By the way, here's the link to the Hall of 100: http://espn.go.com/mlb/feature/video/_/id/8652210/espn-hall-100-ranking-all-time-greatest-mlb-players
David- Why oh why did the Twins waste 2 yrs and $10 million on Correia? Is that going to be worse than the Marquis signing last year? Thanks
Yeah, I don't get that one. I guess $10 million is pocket change in today's marketplace, but still ...
Do the Mariner's overpay for Bourn and/or Swisher? Do they make a trade or 2?
I like Swisher for the Mariners but Bourn seems like a bad fit. I think they do end up with ONE of those guys or Hamilton.
Speaking of Chris Davis, how much is he likely to regress? He's only 26 and wasn't he considered a hot prospect just a few years back?
Hard to put up a 121 OPS+ with a 169/37 SO/BB ratio. He may hit 30 bombs again, but I would predict a regression in batting average (and thus OBP).
# of AL East teams over .500? It's been a slow news week in Toronto, so I'm gonna keep plugging the AL East questions? Who will be the MVP of the AL East? The best pitcher? And the most improved player?
Hmm ... I guess I'd say four, with Baltimore finishing under. But that's assuming the Red Sox sign another pitcher and right fielder. MVP: Wil Myers? (Kidding.) Cano, Bautista, Longoria? Best pitcher: Price. Most improved: Desmond Jennings? Brett Lawrie (at least at the plate)?
How does WAR not account for timeline adjustment? Doesn't it compare to what the current league average is? Not sure you're accurate with that statement...
I mean that I'm more impressed with an 8-WAR player in 2012 than an 8-WAR season in 1922. The overall caliber of play has improved through time is what I'm getting at.
Think about it: Why was Babe Ruth able to be a great pitcher and great hitter? The depth of talent wasn't what it is now. No player could do that now.
Look at the career leaders in WAR: Ruth, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner. All in the top 10, all born in the 1800s. We really think six of the 10 best players of all time were born in the 19th century? Isn't that a little silly? They were able to excel above their peers to a great degree because their peers weren't as good.
It's like you or me playing against kindergartners. My WAR against them would be pretty awesome compared to playing against high schoolers. But my level of talent is still the same. That's what I mean by timeline adjustment.
To add to Boras' "proven closer" statement, the Brewers as an example is BS. Axford WAS considered a proven closer coming in to 2012.
Exactly. Didn't he have like 40 consecutive saves in 2011?
David, you must be misinformed. Michael Young is a Gold Glove winner
And the Rangers moved his position the next year! Next to the year Palmeiro won when he was mostly a DH, worst Gold Glove ever.
Don't you talk bad about Walter Johnson, Big train was 7'4 weighed 500 pounds and threw 150 MPH and you can't prove otherwise!
My peers were unattractive and without personality.
That's why I was homecoming king in high school.
What is Cy Young's career WAR? I mean, he did win over 500 games after all.
160.8 on Baseball-Reference. Second all time behind the Babe, just ahead of Bonds.
Please tell me my Tribe will do something this off season. How likely is Swisher or pitching help?
Have to think there's interest in Swisher from the Phillies and Mariners as well. Assuming the money is close, have to say he probably ditches Cleveland. Not sure what they'll end up doing. Sounds like they've been asking a ransom for Cabrera or Choo, but maybe a Cabrera/Trevor Bauer deal happens.
How nice would Hamilton look in RF for the Phillies with Ruf in LF. Trade Domonic Brown for a pitcher.
Do you think TB can lock Price up with a long term deal like Longoria got? It would be nice if there Ace and best player can stay together for 10+ years.
I think there's room if Price takes a discount like Longoria did. But if Price wants Greinke money, or close to it, I just don't see it.
Don't say nobody could do that now.. what about Brooks Kieschnick? ...ok, ok how bout Mike Hampton? Wait, you might be onto something
If they can afford to give Correia $10 million, it's pretty disappointing the Twins didn't outbid the Cubs for Scott Baker. With the way the pitching market has gone, his 1 year, $5.5 million looks like a bit of a steal right now.
Good point. I'd rather have Baker than Correia. Weird.
@Tarek. The other issue is how close Price is to FA relative to when Longoria was. If they wanted to get him cheap, they missed their chance (think of the Moore deal)
Do you still the Tigers to sign Rafael Soriano? to maybe a 1yr deal?
Wouldn't surprise me, especially when Soriano is still out there in late January with nothing but one-year offers for $9 million.
I think the answer to your WAR comments has to do with the fact that replacement level is calibrated by year, we would expect the standard deviation of players' WAR to be very different in 1920 than 2012.
I believe that is correct.
I had no idea Moneyball Swisher was such a hot commodity.
Not saying he's a hot commodity, but he is an underrated player: Gets on base, solid defender, consistent, durable. He's entering that tricky "turning 32" phase of his career, but I think he's a good risk on a 3- or 4-year deal.
The only way the Rays can extract full value from David Price is to resign him. Letting him walk or trading him would be devestating.
Would you rather have Heyward or Upton?
Heyward. And it doesn't matter which Upton you're referring to.
Old Hoss Radbourn's WAR should have been infinty because he would maim every player on the opponent, thus forcing them to forfeit.
678 innings in one year! Yeah, I'm not sure that was quite the same game ...
Is Boss George ghost running the Dodgers? If so, poor Donnie Baseball, he will be fired May 1st.
Lot of pressure on that club ...
How much would it cost the Reds to acquire Fowler to hit leadoff and is he even worth it?
I've heard Mike Leake. Not sure why the Rockies would do that.
similarly to Soriano, is the Anibal Sanchez "6 years 90 mil" market equally soft?
Considering he's never thrown 200 innings and has a history of shoulder issues, very soft. Which means the Dodgers will give him $100 million.
What does KC need to do to consider the Shields/Myers trade a success?
Make the playoffs in the next two seasons.
If you were Ben Cherington, how would you go about improving the Red Sox rotation? Trade for a young starter like Masterson, Delgado, or Bauer? Or sign a pitcher, maybe Jackson, Lohse or Anibal?
Well, the young starters would cost a good prospects. I'd rather hold on to Bogarts, Bradley, etc. and sign one of the veterans guys to a 2-year deal (Jackson) or 3-year deal (Lohse, maybe Dempster). Not a big fan of Sanchez, especially at what he's reportedly been asking for.
Thoughts on the M's thus far and heading into next season. What's a good year for us?
Still need another bat. I like Swisher and wouldn't be opposed to take on Hamilton risk. They have money to spend. I'm a little worried about the rotation -- Vargas and Iwakuma are flyball pitchers and I wonder how they'll do with the fences moving in. But it's time to take that step forward, win 85 games, and then make the big push in 2014.
Walker, Paxton, Hultzen & Saunders for Stanton - who hangs up?
Wow ... you know that my general belief is that prospects are overrated, but that's a lot to give up for one player, even one as good as Stanton.
Sidd Finch's career WAR?
0.0. Never pitched in the regular season!
Swish is solid player, but if you want to play for the Yankees you can't hit .003 in the playoffs.
Imagine the Babe on PED's instead of hot dogs. He'd probably hit 100 homers per year!
Ryan Dumpster would be a trainwreck in Boston. Seriously, can you imagine?
That 1884 stat line that you were talking about where Radbourn pitched almost 700 innings is AWESOME. 73 complete games! For reference, Halladay leads active players with 66 in his career.
Do the Tigers make a move for a RH hitting OF along the lines of Cody Ross?
I don't think so. If they spend anything more, probably on Soriano? You can always get a guy like Ross at the trade deadline if needed.
What the best case/worst case scenario for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery. My optimism of each player's future declines as that list goes on.
Montgomery has been so bad, it's pretty difficult project any sort of career for him right now. I'm not a scout, so can only look at Odorizzi's numbers and scouting reports, and frankly, they don't overwhelm. He is athletic and young, but his fastball is reportedly straight and I wonder if he'll have home run problems in the majors.
Anyway, best case/worst. Myers: Well, best case is Hall of Famer, no? Considering he's a top-3 prospect, wouldn't that be his ultimate ceiling. Worst case: Never correct his strikeout problems, and turns into sort of a Mark Reynolds type. Odorizzi: I guess anywhere from No. 3 to bullpen guy. Montgomery: Hard to project him as anything other than a bullpen arm right now.
Hamilton to the Phillies, your thought?
Just don't see the Phillies spending that kind of money to bring him in. Swisher would be a better fit.
What do think of Brett Myers as a buy low back-of-the-rotation type starter? What would he cost?
Sure, he wasn't too bad as a starter with the Astros in 2010 and 2011. I'd be wary about starting him in the AL (home run issues), but if Kevin Correia can get 2 and $10, I guess Myers could get 2 and $18.
Always wondered this about WAR...if every team had a Mike Trout clone playing CF, what would a single Mike Trout's WAR be? Compared to his peers, they are all the same so it would be zero right? Or is there something else I am missing? (You can insert any player as the one on every team, like all teams have Chone Figgins!)
I should know the answer to this, but I'm not exactly sure if replacement level is calculated on a yearly basis based on actual numbers of regulars at each position (and adjusted downward) or calculated based on positional adjustments compared to league average (ie, league average hitter has a .720 OPS and a replacement level shortstop would be a certain percentage below that). Anyone know the answer?
Considering the lower bar for replacement players producing higher WAR's for the early 1900 HoFers, does that just make it even more impressive that Bonds is ranked right in the middle of them? Regardless of the PEDs, that's just beastly.
In my book, yes.
What do you think of Aroldis going to the rotation?
Have to see what he can do there. 50/50 he ends up back in the bullpen, however.
I dont care that Posey won the MVP, for my money yadier molina is still the best catcher in the game, he is about the same as posey offensivley and defensivley it is not even close, molina is far and away better. who do you think is the best CATCHER?
Overall, they're pretty even. Posey did a lot of his damage against left-handed pitching, so it will be interesting to see if he produces the same numbers in 2013 since I don't think he'll hit .433 against lefties again. We'll call it a tie for now.
Sidd Finch was my Jr High Applied Arts teacher. Good guy.
Do you think the Giants will react to all of the Dodgers big signings and go after Swisher to play LF?
Sabean's usual plan is to fix holes during the season, so I would guess they'll go with Blanco in left field (with a cheap right-handed platoon bat yet to be named).
I mean all in all, the worst part of this trade from a Royals perspective is all the club control they gave up, right? Shouldn't the Royals, given their market, try to be modeling the Tampa Bay system?
Well, sure, but the problem is the Royals haven't been able to come up with a Price or Shields or Matt Moore. Luke Hochevar need not apply.
Mishandled worse: Joba or Bard? Who has the better career from this point forward?
Bard. Not much reason to think he'd succeed as a starter considering his repetoire. Joba pitched well as a starter; he just got hurt and I'm not sure it's fair to blame that on the way he was handled.
David- If you are the Braves what do you do in Left? Prado or move him to Third and find someone else? I'd leave Prado there and see what you could platoon at Third with Francisco.
Yeah, that may be the best option right now. Prado played well out there.
Does Dale Murphy make it in the HOF?
Sure ... in 2026, via the Veterans Committee.
I think it depends on whether "replacement-level" would be yet another Mike Trout clone, or just the next best available player. If all available CFs are Mike Trout, then I think WAR is 0.0; if all the Mike Trouts are being used, then if one goes down you have to call up a true replacement level player, and Mike Trout's WAR would be exactly the same as if there weren't 29 Trout clones playing on other teams. I think.
That makes sense. I think.
After all of the bile and vitriol spilled over the Yankees' spending over the last 10 years, I am surprised to not read similar sentiments over teams like the Angels, Rangers, Phillies, and of course, the Dodgers who have largely closed the gap/surpassed. Wait, no I'm not. When the Yankees were spending they were "greedy", when everyone else does it it's "the sport is flush with cash". Umm, the yankees were "flush with cash" when they spent.
Because everyone hates the Yankees and everyone loves Magic Johnson!
I feel Like swisher is in this chat trying to drum up interest for himself
The Royals have a great farm system, but have a horrible record of developing pitchers. What needs to change in their minor league approach to young pitchers?
Do they have a great farm system? I don't think we have an answer to that yet. Hosmer and Moustakas haven't done anything yet, for example. Anyway ... pitching: I don't have an answer, other than to say SOME of it is just luck. Why does Matt Moore develop and Mike Montgomery regress? I'm not sure there are good answers to that.
If you are disregarding PED use in Bonds' case, then you should disregard the theory that there was a lower quality of replacement player in the case of Ruth, Johnson, Cobb, etc. Both were factors in what they achieved. (BTW, I've looked at Bonds career WAR if he had a late career path similiar to other top flight HOFers. It would be about even with Rickey Henderson, which to me passes the eyeball test...)
Bonds' WAR through 1998 was 96.7, something like that. I wrote it about this summer. Anyway, that would make him a top-20 all-time position player if he had retired right then. He's easily top 10, maybe even top 5, assuming normal regression for a player of his caliber.
Can you imagine Bonds' reputation if he *hadn't* gone after the glory? Talk about unintended consequences!
The Dodgers are as poised to become baseball's version of the Knicks, aren't they? They've traded for given a ton of money to underperforming malcontents (Gonzalez, Beckett, Hanley) and have a couple of guys who are on the fringes of being that way (Kemp, Greinke). Is Isiaih Thomas secretly running this team?
I have no idea what you're talking about. I would... NICK would never do anything like that. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?
And with that ... thank you, everyone. I shall be back next week. Check out the Hall of 100 all week long!