Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 12/6/21


2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, welcome to the chat.
2:01
Ben Clemens: It’s the first one of the locked out era, but I don’t think that’s meaningfully different than your average offseason chat. In other words, let’s talk baseball, but also I’m going to answer questions about food and board games and OOTP and whatever.
2:01
aj: with minoso and buck o’neill now in the HOF and dick allen, bruce bochy, and mcgriff presumably in on their next chance, who do you consider the best cooperstown candidates still outside the hall? personally, i have keith hernandez, grich, whittaker, dahlen, munson and mccormick
2:01
Ben Clemens: That list seems quite reasonable to me. Bill Dahlen is a guy I only know from OOTP but he was amazing!
2:01
Ben Clemens: He just happened to not become a legend, I guess
2:02
Bernie Sanders: How was your trip to Venice? I’ve heard varying things from people who visited there — some loved it due to its beauty, some thought it was too crowded/overrated.
2:02
Ben Clemens: It’s very beautiful, and a big upside of going in November is that no one was there
2:02
Ben Clemens: Seriously, we went to Santa Maria Gloriosa, which is a big church with cool art inside
2:03
Ben Clemens: Saw two Titians and a statue by Donatello, for a 3 Euro entry fee, and we were legitimately the only people in the church
2:03
Ben Clemens: The streets were pretty empty as well, which was really cool in such a picturesque place
2:03
Ben Clemens: Was it freezing? Sure!
2:04
Ben Clemens: But things were cheap and fun, I’ll take the tradeoff
2:04
Ben Clemens: I don’t have Prime, believe it or not
2:04
Ben Clemens: I’m considering getting it for WoT though
2:04
Drew: Are you surprised they Padres didn’t make a hard run at Marte.  Not a bad contract and his defense would look great in LF.  Plus, the base-running man.  Imagine a 2023 line-up with Tatis, Abrams, Marte, Kim, Grisham, Machado, Crowenworh.  They could steal 300 bases.
2:05
Ben Clemens: I’m not, to be honest. I think they’re probably uncomfortable adding much payroll from here, at least on Marte’s scale
2:05
Ben Clemens: Normally I’d say ‘oh you dang cheap teams’, but the Padres are running the fourth-highest projected payroll for 2022 at the moment
2:06
Ben Clemens: 193 million before benefits
2:06
Ben Clemens: Feels like there are better ways to address the outfield, and I’d prefer not to sign Marte if I weren’t using him in center
2:06
Farhandrew Zaidman: Are we underselling the Muncy injury? Seems like it could be a legit season-ending (avoiding?) injury and the Dodgers’ infield isn’t as deep as it once was.
2:06
Ben Clemens: Yeah, definitely a big wild card in their season
2:07
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to handicap the odds of him missing significant time because we don’t actually know that much about the injury
2:08
Ben Clemens: I think that’s another reason bringing back Chris Taylor makes sense — if Bellinger is gonna be playing a decent amount of first, Taylor’s ability to play a middling CF matters more
2:08
Ben Clemens: and it also means that if Muncy misses the whole season and the team wants to pick up a one-year rental bat kind of guy to make the lineup work, they can sign someone who plays any of outfield, second, or first, and then shift things around
2:09
Farhandrew Zaidman: Is the Schoop-Castro-Baez-Candelario infield core strong enough to support a 95 win team if the pitching is there? I can’t shake the “good-not-great” evaluation I have for them.
2:09
Ben Clemens: I think it’s good enough if it’s not the core strength of the team
2:10
Ben Clemens: Plenty of good teams have just-okay infields. The Brewers won 95 games with a meaningfully worse group
2:11
Ben Clemens: Plus, you can add Tork to that list at some point which will make the whole thin work better
2:11
Ben Clemens: I think it’s enough, but I would not want to be in the situation where you end up with average pitching, an average outfield, and that infield
2:12
Paul: I think any hypothetical 95 Tigers team has Spencer Torkelson in its infield
2:12
Ben Clemens: but yeah, generally agreed
2:12
Derek: How are you feeling about your FA contract predictions now that ~1/2 of the Top 50 have signed?
2:12
Ben Clemens: I’d say that so far it was a learning experience, but that I’m happy with my overall process
2:13
Ben Clemens: The crowd and I both missed low overall, but I think that my estimates seem fairly unbiased
2:14
Ben Clemens: I would re-do my estimate for Kevin Gausman, I don’t think I put enough stock into his realized results, basically, and leaned too much on my previous estimation of him
2:15
Ben Clemens: And the whole two-pitch thing worried me more than it should have, for sure
2:15
GBS42: Board game question: Are you a fan of Ticket to Ride? We started playing a couple of years ago and really enjoy it. Can you recommend anything similar to expand our options?
2:15
Ben Clemens: You know, I haven’t played Ticket to Ride in quite a while, but I always liked it
2:16
Ben Clemens: Acquire is a cool game that is conceptually *kind* of similar to Ticket to Ride, and I think it’s really cool that it’s from the 1950’s or something
2:16
Ben Clemens: Clank and Wingspan scratch similar itches to various parts of Ticket to Ride
2:16
JJ: Are you a Dominion guy? Are you excited for the new expansion coming out in January?
2:16
Ben Clemens: I don’t play that much Dominion
2:17
Ben Clemens: Not because I don’t think it’s a good game, just b/c I played a lot maybe 10 years ago and have had my fill. I do like their commitment to new expansions though
2:18
Marjinwalker: Cubs signing Stroman is really strange, no? If you are going to spend money on FA, why the fire sale last trading deadline? Why get rid of Darvish for very little?
2:20
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s definitely a strange one
2:21
Ben Clemens: On the other hand, winning some more games is nice, and they had a TON of payroll room
2:21
Ben Clemens: If Stroman is great and they compete earlier than expected, awesome. If he’s great and they are bad, they could try to trade him (probably for good value).
2:22
Ben Clemens: And what else were they spending the money on? More bars in Wrigleyville?
2:22
Bob: What’s a realistic expectation for Nootbaar?  could he be a quality regular/leadoff man, or is he destined to be a fourth OFer/Quad A guy?
2:22
Ben Clemens: I think that he’s held back by the Cardinals having a solid outfield already
2:22
Ben Clemens: I definitely think quality regular is in range, and he’s already a fourth outfielder
2:23
Guest: Is there any kind of trade market for Mike Moustakas?
2:23
Ben Clemens: Yeah, the kind that involves the Reds taking most of the money and then not getting much in return anyway
2:25
Ben Clemens: Moustakas with less power is not an enticing trade c hip
2:25
Ben Clemens: They get to their value differently, but I think I’d rather have Jonathan Villar than Moustakas even if I were going to stick them both at third
2:25
Ben Clemens: And Villar isn’t getting nearly 2/32 this offseason
2:26
Jon G: Sorta confused as to why people are confused that the Cubs signed Stroman. Hoyer has talked repeatedly about the bare bones tanking strategy not really being something the Cubs think is advantageous anymore given how prevalent it is. As long as the long-term risk isn’t present, why not sign guys when you have the money?
2:26
Ben Clemens: I’m with you
2:26
Ben Clemens: Good baseball players — they’re fun to have on your team
2:26
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: The modal take on the Wander Franco deal is that it’s a win-win for player and team in terms of security for the former and surplus value for the latter. This glosses over the fact that part of the reason the deal came to fruition, or at least on terms as team-friendly as they did, was the service time manipulation that the Rays engaged in. Thoughts?
2:26
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think that both things can be true
2:26
Ben Clemens: I find the Rays keeping Franco down mere days past the projected Super 2 deadline to be galling
2:27
Ben Clemens: It was very clearly a move motivated by a desire to save money in the future, not at all related to trying to put the best team available on the field
2:27
Ben Clemens: That said, I don’t think I’d find his deal to be unfair if it was buying out 4 years of arb + 2 of minimum instead of the actual 3/3 split
2:28
Ben Clemens: So on net, I’m okay with it, but I don’t like the precedent their move sets
2:28
Marko from Tropoja: The Scherzer contract is atrocious in and of itself, but it potentially sets up the Mets for a messy payroll situation in 2023 and 2024. Assuming deGrom opts out after 2022, he would be well within reason to seek 4/200 relative to what Scherzer just got. How would the Mets navigate paying approximately $90 million to just two players?
2:28
Ben Clemens: I, too, hate when my team signs one of the best pitchers in baseball
2:29
Ben Clemens: Steve Cohen spends 150 million dollars on art, I think he can probably swing this. Baseball isn’t a surplus value game, it’s a wins game. I tihnk it is objectively silly to call the Scherzer contract ‘atrocious’ for the Mets
2:29
Appa Yip Yip: Re: two pitch pitchers, aren’t most starters essentially two pitch pitchers and the third pitch is to deal with opposite handed batters? So they throw fastball x to righties and fastball y to lefties. If their second pitch is good enough against both, does it really matter?
2:29
Ben Clemens: I researched this!
2:29
Ben Clemens: And uh, basically no?
2:29
Ben Clemens: I really thought that was the case
2:29
Ben Clemens: But if you look at the population of, say, fastball/curveball/change guys
2:30
Ben Clemens: Most of them are two-pitch pitchers to their dominant hand, and 3-pitch pitchers to their weak hand
2:30
Ben Clemens: Sure, you use the offspeed way more against opposite-handed pitchers, but almost all of those guys still throw their other secondary pitch at least 10% of the time to lefties
2:31
Mike Hawk: Change to lefties?
2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah change to lefties, but also usually a decent amount of breaking pitches there. I wanted to write about this specifically! That Gausman was more like a regular three-pitch pitcher than you think b/c his best secondary works against both hands
2:31
Ben Clemens: But it’s just not quite the case
2:32
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s disqualifying or anything, but I had it in my mind that most righties were purely fastball/change to lefties, and it’s not quite true in practice
2:32
Tacoby Bellsbury: Circling back there: Why do we not see more right-on-right/left-on-left changeups?
2:32
Ben Clemens: Essentially because of two things: the movement draws it toward the bat, and the natural fade on most changeups works poorly with the way pitchers like to construct at-bats
2:33
Ben Clemens: Hard inside soft away is a rule for good reason
2:33
Ben Clemens: And most righties are best at spotting their changeup to their arm side, so the inside part of the plate to righty batters
2:33
Ben Clemens: Throwing something soft inside is a good way to have your opponent pull the crap out of the ball
2:34
RAGBRAI: The lockout says no transactions/trades but does that include fantasy trades? It would be my fantasy for the Brewers to trade for Olson or sign Freeman. Does that fantasy have any chance at fulfillment?
2:34
Ben Clemens: I think Olson is far more likely, but I don’t think either are super likely
2:35
Ben Clemens: I don’t see the Brewers as a team that’s likely to spend on Freeman given their existing payroll situation. I also think they COULD get Olson, it’s just a matter of whether they want to stick with Tellez/Hiura and see if they can resurrect Keston’s stock
2:36
Guest: If the Reds can’t trade Moustakas, what do they do with him?  Second base is no longer an option with India there, and they seem committed to Suarez at third.  Can Moustakas play SS?  The Reds have tried some pretty poor defenders there already….
2:36
Ben Clemens: DH is always an option
2:36
Ben Clemens: If he’s a DH/backup 3b/backup 1b, that’s not a bad use of his skillset
2:36
Ben Clemens: Is it overpaying for that? Sure
2:36
Ben Clemens: Sometimes deals work out that way
2:37
Ben Clemens: It’s that or trade him for a bag of baseballs but still pay him most of his money
2:37
Sirras: Who has the best name in baseball? Skye Bolt and Lars Nootbaar have to be up there, right?
2:38
Ben Clemens: Those two are definitely in the running. I think Nootbaar is helped by the fact that it’s just a cool name, not one that feels like it was picked to be a cool name
2:38
Ben Clemens: I think J.T. Realmuto is a cool name
2:38
Ben Clemens: and Teoscar Hernandez
2:38
Ben Clemens: I dunno, cool names are subjective, but to me there are a lot of pleasing ones at the moment
2:39
Sirras: What 2022 contender (or team that thinks it is contending) has the biggest hole at this point and who would you recommend signing or trading for to fill it?
2:39
Ben Clemens: Yankees at shortstop 🙂
2:39
Ben Clemens: I suggest they sign a Carlos Correa type
2:39
Ben Clemens: by which I mean: Carlos Correa
2:39
Jim: Why so down on Freudis Nova when he’s only 21, playing in a league with the average 3 years older than that, multiple injuries and an incredibly hot stretch mid-season?
2:39
Ben Clemens: Not my area: you’re looking for Eric Longenhagen here
2:39
Ben Clemens: My Freudis Nova take: yet another great name on the rise
2:40
Ben Clemens: Freudis-an Slip jokes incoming when he makes an error on the basepaths
2:40
Appa Yip Yip: Bo Bichette is good bc it’s so easy to switch out “Bo”. Go Bichette! oh no Bichette…
2:40
Ben Clemens: And that doesn’t even consider how much his name sounds like Boba Fett
2:41
Guest: What could the Reds get if they packaged Castillo, Gray, and Mahle together in a single trade?
2:41
Ben Clemens: I think they’d actually get diminishing returns by doing that, because most teams that are trying to trade for pitching don’t need THREE above-average starters
2:42
Ben Clemens: But if they got fair value anyway? Let’s see
2:42
Ben Clemens: Two years of Castillo, two of Gray, two of Mahle
2:43
Ben Clemens: Oh, that’s convenient
2:43
Ben Clemens: It’s like…. 20 WAR for $55 million, with big error bars
2:44
Ben Clemens: That’s a nice combination of top-end talent and surplus value. I think it would fetch a Top 10 prospect and another in the top 50, with some extra interesting players thrown in to boot
2:45
Ben Clemens: Like, I don’t think this would happen b/c the team doesn’t make sense, but if the Mariners traded for that trio, Julio Rodriguez would hvae to be involved along with plenty of other value
2:45
Dan: I made additional bonus goals for ticket to ride. Made them each worth five points. It made the end game more interesting without changing the balance or playability of the game. Wrote them on index card and randomly picked 2 or 3 at the start of the game.
2:45
Ben Clemens: Like this idea
2:45
Ben Clemens: A la wingspan
2:45
CPT KAT: TYLER O’NEAL FOR CODY BELLINGER, who saya no
2:46
Ben Clemens: I…. actually think the Cardinals might say no?
2:47
Ben Clemens: O’Neill is under team control for longer, he’s a ton cheaper, and he might just be better in 2022
2:48
Ben Clemens: Strange to think that. I just don’t think Bellinger has a ton of surplus value in trade — he’s still a good player imo, and I think he’s actually likely to out-perform O’Neill next year
2:48
Ben Clemens: but the money and control both matter
2:48
LenFuego: What about Kelenic instead of JuRod?  Isn’t he top 10?
2:48
Ben Clemens: Oh sure, that would work too
2:48
Ben Clemens: He graduated, actually
2:48
Ben Clemens: But he would be otherwise
2:48
Guest: Re: Mahle, Castillo, and Gray:  The Rangers still need a starting rotation to go with their infield.  Let’s get it done!
2:49
Ben Clemens: I don’ see them having the prospects to make this work
2:49
Ben Clemens: The odds of them trading Jack Leiter seem remote, but even if they did, I’m not sure Leiter/Jung/Ezequiel Duran gets it done
2:50
Dan: If a player was otherwise worth 30 million a year in free agency but told teams he would only play in the state his home team is in who signs him? How much? Does it matter if he’s a pitcher of a hitter?
2:50
Ben Clemens: Iiiiiinteresting
2:50
Ben Clemens: I think I’d prefer it to be a pitcher
2:50
Ben Clemens: The state with the most teams is California (5 teams), so he’d probably sign there
2:50
Ben Clemens: And I bet you’d pay….. 60% of their full salary, maybe less. The roster crunch on the road would be really annoying
2:51
Chamaco: Why do you think Houston has been low-balling Correa? They aren’t exactly a small market team – Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, in the second most populous state.  The other Texas team spent nearly close to half a billion dollars already this offseason
2:51
Ben Clemens: My guess is that they have their eyes on having a new core of Tucker/Alvarez/Bregman
2:52
Ben Clemens: And that they think Jeremy Pena is a good bet to work out at short
2:53
Ben Clemens: I think it’s defensible. They probably have some raises to start giving out soon. But letting Correa go will definitely make them less imposing next season
2:53
namiki: I just guessed (for a right-handed pitcher) why a right-handed hitter needs two pitches while a left-handed hitter needs three.

Judging from RV/100, if a pitcher can throw FF to RISE, then just throwing FF is enough for Count Up. However, a pitcher who can’t will get hit if he throws a FF to Count Up. (SI is the worst for left-handed hitters to begin with.) So secondary pitches such as FC and CU are needed for Count Up.

What do you think?

2:53
Ben Clemens: Yeah, this makes sense to me
2:54
Ben Clemens: Also, when a breaking ball is really effective (against same-handed batters largely), you can expand its usage a bit into Count Up situations… opposing hitters are less likely to swing at it
2:54
SA: I want to throw a new (to me) board game on my Christmas list – right now my go to’s are old reliables like Catan, Sequence, etc – what something a little more unique?
2:54
Ben Clemens: My mother-in-law got me this game Taverns of Tiefenthal last Christmas
2:55
Ben Clemens: It’s a fun theme if you’re into that kind of thing… you run a tavern and win by attracting fancy patrons and improving your bar
2:55
Ben Clemens: Alternately, I’ve been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
2:55
Ben Clemens: It’s only kind of a board game… you basically follow clues to solve a case
2:55
Ben Clemens: By reading from a choose-your-own-adventure style book
2:55
Ben Clemens: So it’s not infinitely replayable
2:56
Ben Clemens: But we’ve had a good deal of fun playing it, and we often make a night out of it…. cook dinner and play while we eat or something
2:56
Appa Yip Yip: I applaud the Rangers for spending money but aren’t they still very bad?
2:56
Ben Clemens: This year? Definitely
2:56
Ben Clemens: Next year? I’m less sure, and it’s not like they can go get Seager and Semien next year
2:57
Ben Clemens: That said, I was slightly surprised by the Semien deal just b/c of his age
2:57
Ben Clemens: But there presumably weren’t other 2B available with anywhere NEAR his skill level
2:57
Ben Clemens: and I could totally see him aging well
2:57
Ryan: Angels can’t be done adding pitching right?
2:57
Ben Clemens: Yeah, they need at least one more
2:57
Ben Clemens: Rodon would be kind of interesting there actually
2:57
Ben Clemens: Sure, Angels and pitcher injuries, gross
2:58
Ben Clemens: But they’re already going to use a six-man rotation, so you could naturally get him his rest
2:58
Matt: What do you see the phillies doing at SS this year?
2:58
joe: What do the yankees do if the plan is ~not~ Correa?
2:58
Ben Clemens: Inter-related questions
2:58
Ben Clemens: I think the Phillies might just end up with Didi again
2:58
Ben Clemens: Not saying that’s a great outcome, just what I think is most likely
2:59
Ben Clemens: If the Yankees aren’t getting Correa, they probably are tryin to get Story?
2:59
Ben Clemens: I really don’t like the plan of putting Urshela or Gleyber there
2:59
Bob: Think the cards are actually in on Story despite their protestations to the contrary?
3:00
Guest: What do you make of the Red Sox rotation?  It’s a little difficult to expect any of Eovaldi, Sale, Paxton, Hill, Wacha, or Houck to pitch a full season.  Do you see them adding anyone else?
3:00
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll probably add one more Hill-level guy
3:01
171: Does Ryan Mountcastle have the best adult film actor name in MLB?
3:01
Ben Clemens: He’s certainly up there
3:01
Dan: I highly recommend asking what board game should I buy at a local board game store.  You can see it in person, discuss the size and preferences of your group, and at many of them try out the game. This is all a huge advantage in picking the right game for you. You might play a good game 4 or 5 times and a great game hundreds of times over your lifetime.
3:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah, agreed with this
3:01
Ben Clemens: There’s a board game cafe type place near me, I used to go there more often pre-COVID
3:02
Ben Clemens: They had a bunch of games you could take out and play, but also you could just ask whoever was working what they liked
3:02
RAGBRAI: Does Melancon stick in AZ all year or is he trade bait at the deadline? I currently can’t see AZ in contention come August but I suppose the same was said of SF last year.
3:02
Ben Clemens: I think he’s trade bait most likely
3:02
Ben Clemens: I don’t think Arizona is close to competing but hey, anything can happen
3:02
Keith: Could you see the Angels being players in the SS market? Seems like a classic Arte Moreno move to overlook pitching for a big bat
3:03
Ben Clemens: I could! I think that’d be pretty funny actually
3:03
Dan: It doesn’t apply to all games (some are too expensive or inherently destructible) but a lot of games you can buy, play for a little bit and then sell as a used game and your net cost per play will be just a few bucks.
3:03
Ben Clemens: Never tried this but it makes sense to me
3:04
Appa Yip Yip: Have you seen the ZiPS projections for Seiya Suzuki? Has Dan run them? Tell us ur secrets.
3:04
Ben Clemens: I haven’t!
3:05
Ben Clemens: Well, aside from the 2022 one in our Top 50 free agents piece
3:05
Ben Clemens: That’s the only projection of the top 50 that was ZiPS instead of Steamer
3:05
Ben Clemens: and it was for .281/.350/.469, 118 OPS+
3:05
Guest: Are the Rangers by the end of the off-season going to have a starting rotation that’s good enough to make them a playoff contender?
3:06
Bob: Mo indicated that the cards would pursue a “different kind of hitter,” which Jeff Jones says means a lefty DH slugger who can play some third.  Is there anyone *beside* Kyle Seager who fits that description
3:06
Ben Clemens: I mean, I don’t think they’re signing Kyle Seager, so I don’t think that the archetype means that
3:06
Ryan: Would you expect another bullpen arm for the angels as well? Outside of Iglesias and Loup it looks pretty rough…
3:06
Ben Clemens: Yeah, they should at least throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks
3:07
Mrs Phanatic: Since owners make a lot of money off non-gate revenues, wouldn’t it make sense to make tickets cheaper and have the stadium full every day?
3:07
Ben Clemens: That makes intuitive sense to me, but it seems like teams mostly disagree
3:07
Ben Clemens: The Rays actively close sections, for example
3:08
Ben Clemens: I think that the fixed cost to running a stadium is higher than you think, but for a team that’s normally drawing, say, 75% of a sellout, it might make sense to aim for 100%
3:08
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it would make sense to go from 25% full to 100% full, though, like in the Trop’s or Oakland’s case
3:09
namiki: Do teams need to worry about the balance between the left and right sides of the Starting Pitcher? Personally, it doesn’t seem like a problem to have a rotation with all right-handed pitchers. (However, Japanese managers are particular about balance.)
3:10
Ben Clemens: I agree with you that the balance is not particularly important
3:10
Ben Clemens: I’d rather just get the best five starters I could than care too much about handedness
3:11
Ben Clemens: Balance matters more in your bullpen, because it’s very useful to have specialists, but in the rotation I’m in agreement, not a problem to hvae all same-handed starters
3:11
Keith: Could an argument be made that Arte prefers big names for marketing purposes rather than practical moves based off of needs/talent
3:11
Ben Clemens: Not even clear if that’s a bad strategy
3:12
Dan: So we aren’t expecting much lockout progress soon because both sides don’t really lose anything (paychecks and revenue) but unless both sides think they other side will lose more shouldn’t they be insensitived to try their hardest to finish before loses are on the horizon? Actual as I ask the question I kinda think that in reality both sides do underestimate the other side/over estimate their side.
3:12
Ben Clemens: I don’t really see much happening before the new year. The problem is that neither side has much reason to capitulate until there’s a deadline
3:12
Ben Clemens: Like, let’s say the players make an offer that the owners are willing to accept
3:13
Ben Clemens: Why would the owners accept it rather than countering and hopin the players improve
3:13
Ben Clemens: Knowing that if the players don’t improve, they can always go back and take what’s currently on the table
3:14
Ben Clemens: It’s a brinkmanship problem, and I think it will push things close to a ‘deadline’ because both sides will behave rationally that way
3:15
Pete: Would you be shocked to see Story take a 1 year prove it deal at this point? What is his market at this point?
3:15
Ben Clemens: I would be, because I think there are still several teams who would be in on him at a higher rate than that
3:16
Ben Clemens: But I don’t know, if he has a place he wants to play, maybe?
3:16
bearproof: any excuse for SEA passing on Stroman?  Dipoto says he’s now looking for a #2-#3 SP via trade.  Why give up prospects when you are almost $100 million below your budget from 2018?  Doesn’t sound like they are going to use the money to double up on top-tier bats either…
3:16
Ben Clemens: Maybe he just didn’t want to play there
3:16
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that would be so strange
3:17
Ben Clemens: But yeah, I hope they were pursuing him
3:17
Matt: Are Rodon and Kershaw likely to settle for 1 year deal or are there suitors willing to go multiple years?
3:17
Ben Clemens: I think that Rodon could get a multi-year deal without a crazy-high AAV
3:17
Ben Clemens: I think Kershaw might prefer a one-year deal, to be honest
3:17
Ben Clemens: Lets him pick what he wants to do again next year, and it’s not like he’s dying for money
3:18
Dan: How many players think they are the best player at their position in baseball?
3:18
Ben Clemens: You don’t get to the majors by thinking you’re bad
3:18
brad penny for your thoughts: matz is a nice pickup but isn’t a little “insulting” that StL isn’t doing more for waino and yadi’s final year?
3:18
Ben Clemens: It suuuuuure is
3:19
Ben Clemens: It’s not out of character
3:20
Ben Clemens: But, shout out to Ben Humphrey, the Cardinals got Dr. Thunder when Dr. Pepper (Marcus Stroman) was available
3:20
Appa Yip Yip: Stroman passed on Seattle because he didn’t want to play in the Jays home park.
3:20
Ben Clemens: joy
3:20
Segiddins: I absolutely have fallen in love with playing Netrunner this year. Do you play? What other similar games would you recommend?
3:21
Ben Clemens: I played a few times and found it scratched an itch I already get from other games
3:21
Ben Clemens: I play a decent amount of Magic: The Gathering which I think is just better than Netrunner
3:21
Ben Clemens: And then I play poker, too, another pretty similar game
3:21
Chris: Are the owners going to just wait till 3 weeks before their deadline before they start negotiating in good faith
3:21
Ben Clemens: The PA might do that too!
3:22
Derek: Any fun/interesting Ottoneu decisions you have to make this offseason?
3:22
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I have a reasonably prospect-y team basically
3:22
Ben Clemens: And need to decide how much to keep them vs how much to re-set
3:23
Ben Clemens: Dylan Carlson for $9, Vidal Brujan for $7, Austin Martin for $6, BWJ for $6, throw in Brandon Marsh for $9 and Daulton Varsho for $10
3:23
Ben Clemens: Can’t build the whole team out of prospects forever, I think I’ll be shipping some of them off for bigger salaries
3:24
Mrs Phanatic: Any love for video games? The physics are incredible nowadays.
3:24
Ben Clemens: I’m alternating between Ghost of Tsushima and Control right now
3:25
Ben Clemens: both have breathtaking physics engines
3:25
Guest: There seems to be a lot of hand-wringing that off-field revenue for owners (e.g., real-estate developments near the stadiums, MLBAM windfall, etc.) is not counted as part of the pie to be divvied up amongst players + ownership. Why does the same not apply to non-game revenue that players earn? (sponsorships, endorsement deals, promotional opportunities, etc.)
3:26
Ben Clemens: I agree with you that it’s a gray area
3:26
Ben Clemens: A far more obvious problem to me is the accounting of local TV revenue
3:26
Ben Clemens: Plenty of teams own their rsn’s in part or whole, which makes the ‘rates’ for those kind of suspect
3:26
Dan: Who would you rather have on your team if you were forced to use them as your starting catcher and give a normal starting catcher workload to? Nelson Cruz or the best college catcher playing Division III
3:27
Ben Clemens:

Starting Catcher Pref?


Nelson Cruz (17.6% | 3 votes)

D3 All-Star (82.3% | 14 votes)


Total Votes: 17

3:27
Ben Clemens: Let’s have a poll before I give my answe
3:27
Harmon Ripkowski: If someone stole 100 bases next season, who could it be?
3:28
Appa Yip Yip: I didn’t read the question I saw Nelson Cruz and smashed the button
3:29
Derek: Nelson Cruz would likely be literally unplayable behind the plate…
3:30
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’d take the D3 catcher b/c I think Cruz would never throw out a baserunner, would average 35 passed balls per game or whatever, and would also hurt himself immediately
3:30
Ben Clemens: if it weren’t for the injury risk, I might still take Cruz
3:30
Ben Clemens: D3 catchers are no great shakes at receiving and blocking either
3:31
Ben Clemens: And their bat would probably be pitcher-caliber
3:32
Derek: Also, there are *some* former D3 MLBers so maybe you get lucky and end up with one of those!
3:32
Ben Clemens: Right but…. you probably wouldn’t
3:32
Ben Clemens: Alright, on that fun note, I’m going to call it a chat
3:32
Ben Clemens: Thanks for hanging out with me everyone, and I’ll talk to you again next week.


 

Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.



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