Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 12/5/2019

Baseball News
1 month ago

Alan: With the news that the Wilpons are giving up majority ownership soon, what could this mean for the team this offseason?

Craig Edwards: I think it makes absolutely no difference this offseason. If the Wilpons actually do sell, the money they are getting right now is probably just paying down their own debts. Five years is a long time before the new owner actually takes over.

Trent: If Wikipedia’s net worth estimates are at all accurate, Steve Cohen is worth more than twice as much as any current MLB owners.  Should we expect the Mets to be running a significantly higher payroll sometime soon?

Craig Edwards: I’ll believe it when it actually happens.

Jerry Dipoto: Are comp picks the most undervalued asset in baseball right now?

Craig Edwards: I think there’s a decent argument they are overvalued. I know the draft is deep next year, but the pick the Mariners got is around 70th. By estimation, that’s worth $3M to $4M or roughly a 40+ position player or 45 pitcher. That’s a nice prospect to have but nothing special. I think teams just like having the ability to choose as opposed to getting a single player among a limited number of options.

Craig Edwards: Here’s the draft pick piece:

Craig Edwards: Here’s the one on non-top prospects:…

Stuafoo: Navarez return feels light on the Ms side (though obviously can’t say how the pick will turn out yet). Shoot from the hip thoughts?

Craig Edwards: It wasn’t a big haul, that’s for sure. He’s somewhat limited by his hope for a walk approach against lefties and very limited by his defense. The Brewers might be in a unique position to mitigate both of those factors with Manny Piña. To carry Narváez, you have to carry another near-starter level catcher and that limits the pool of trading partners.

Joe: Who fetches the highest return: Contreras, Baez, Rizzo, or Bryant (assuming he has two controllable years left)?

Craig Edwards: I think it would Báez 1, Bryant 1A, Rizzo, then Contreras. The first three should bring back a good return if moved but I put Báez first due to a relatively low salary and his ability at shortstop. Rizzo is slightly limited by playing first base compared to the other two. Contreras’ value is limited in a similar vein to Narváez. I think Contreras is a guy the Cubs should have locked up a couple years ago and now they are in a weird spot with him.

Robert: Obviously, Contreras is better, but Caratini put up a very solid 108 +wRC in 2019, in addition to being an above average fielder, being cheaper, and having another year of control. So, what does a market for him look like as the possible Cubs catcher traded vs. Contreras?

Craig Edwards: It’s not there as Caratini’s defense still isn’t stellar and he’s got a career 89 wRC+. Most teams have a Caratini already.

adambulldog: Who is the best starting pitcher the Yankees could get in exchange for Andujar plus Frazier?

Craig Edwards: Hard to know how teams value those guys as Andujar didn’t play while Frazier hasn’t played well and will already be eligible for arbitration in 2021. If Colorado wanted to take a chance on them, maybe Jon Gray would be a fit. I don’t know why the Yankees wouldn’t just keep them and see if they can regain what they’ve lost. They can just go out and buy pitchers. They don’t need to give up players when their value is low.

Dale Sveum: This question may be overly cynical but do you think owners are colluding to spend (almost stupidly, i.e. Moose) this offseason so they can call the past couple offseasons where they didn’t spend outliers going into CBA negotiations? Or is there just more market demand as teams move out of their rebuilds?

Craig Edwards: White Sox, Reds, and Phillies do represent the teams looking to move out of rebuilding cycles so that’s part of it. It’s possible teams are seeing the value in tickets in creating a lot of noise in the offseason. In the not too distant past, the trend was to let the top guys establish the market and have everybody else fall in line. That hasn’t worked the last couple seasons leaving many players with subpar deals. This is probably a combo of a few aggressive teams with agents doing a better job of understanding the market. We might see a slight increase in payroll for next season, but it isn’t going to be some huge course correction.

Craig Edwards: I wrote about teams that might be spending here:…

The lonely Oriole: What do you think of the Bundy trade, I have hind it was a win win

Craig Edwards: I don’t love the Orioles side of it. They just added some very low-level depth which is something they already have a decent amount of. I think given where they are, they would have done better to gamble for half a season to see if Bundy might net some real prospects at the trade deadline. The risk is getting nothing, but the team is in position to take some risks right now.

Angels Fan: Dylan Bundy isn’t our answer for the rotation, right?  He’s just a reliable innings eater to tide us over until Cole, right?  (Also, how crazy is it that Dylan Bundy of all people is now a reliable innings eater?)

Craig Edwards: He’s depth at the back end of the rotation that didn’t cost a lot in prospects. He’s a value play, but that rotation needs more than that. Cole or Strasburg make a ton of sense for the Angels.

Tony: Thoughts on what the Cardinals do this off-season? Hold pat, small moves, big move?

Craig Edwards: We might see some small moves, and they should get a starting pitcher, but they don’t seem too likely to pull off a blockbuster.

BenZ: Do you know when Kyle Gibson will show up on the Rangers depth charts?

Guest: Marisnick to Mets?

Craig Edwards: As long as he only plays against lefties or if desperately needed when there is a fly ball pitcher on the mound, he’ll be an average player, which is fine to have. He’s not an everyday guy, but I don’t think he’ll be used in that role, either.

TomBruno23: Ryu and Miley make sense for the Cardinals, correct? No QO attached, ground ball guys..I’ll hang up and listen (until my next question)

Craig Edwards: Ryu makes sense for just about everybody. Miley’s September raises a lot of flags, which means he seems a better bet to go someplace where he’s guaranteed a rotation spot, which wouldn’t necessarily be St. Louis.

I am the Walrus: What do you think a trade of Bryant brings back in prospects assuming he loses his service time case?
Realmuto traded last yr with 2 yrs of team control.  Bryant now with 2 with team control.  Realmuto best 3 yr period was 4 WAR.   Bryant 6.  
Miami in a trade got Sanchez #21 prospect (according to and Mejia #26 prospect.

And even with only 1 yr of team control Goldschmidt was traded for Kelly #17, Weaver a controllable SP formerly #80.  And again only 1 yr of team control.  
So what say you?

Craig Edwards: I think Realmuto is a good comp. At the deadline, Bryant was ranked 25th by Kiley

Craig Edwards: and Realmuto was 24th the year before.

Craig Edwards: Sanchez was a 60 at the time of the trade and he carried a lot of risk. Alfaro’s prospect shine had come off a bit so trying to put him at 26 is very aggressive. I think two top-100 prospects, one in the top 50 and one near the back end plus a flyer or two is probably reasonable. It’s also why the Cubs shouldn’t trade him if they want to compete.

Joe: Make sense of what the Reds do now with Senzel, Galvis, India and going for it?  What kind of package would need to be put together for Lindor or Betts?

Craig Edwards: I’m not sure that trade is likely, but as to the first part, they keep Senzel in center field. Galvis is the shortstop until they can find someone better and India tries to develop more game power in the minors. If that doesn’t come around, he’s not going to be able to force his way to the big leagues regardless of who is blocking him. If he hits well enough, the Reds will find a spot for him.

Matt: Why do people adore Kris Bryant?   I see an 88mph exit velocity(23rd percentile)
34% Hard Hit Rate(25th percentile)
Batted Ball Distance is trending down(204ft,196ft,186ft, 179ft this season)

He just hasn’t been right since 2016. I’m not saying he is doomed, but I feel he is the type of guy whose a good enough hitter to cover up the signs of “decline” until things suddenly collapse(Matt Carpenter?)

Craig Edwards: Bryant was a five-win player last year and he projects for the same this year. That’s one of the top 20 players in baseball who has shown the ability to be more than that. He’ll still only be 28 years old next season. You might be reaching a bit.

TomBruno23: From 1985-1992, Andy Van Slyke was 8th in MLB fWAR behind 7 HOFers and ahead of several others. How about that?

Craig Edwards: He was a pretty good player.

John: Not sure if this has been pointed out, but the glossary page on WAR still says that pitch framing is not accounted for in catcher WAR

Craig Edwards: Thanks. I will pass that along.

Jerry Dipoto: If I ask the Cardinals, San Diego and Cleveland for their comp A pick and a prospect for haniger who agrees to trade with me?

Craig Edwards: Depends on the prospect but San Diego has the most of them. If you are talking about like Randy Arozarena or Daniel Johnson, then St. Louis or Cleveland would probably say yes as well.

Nolan: Wait…I am the Walrus said they got Mejia (Francisco?) for Realmuto, which you corrected to Alfaro, but the ranking (26th overall) is clearly Mejia and not Alfaro (who wasn’t a prospect any more)

Craig Edwards: well that clears up some confusion I have.

Matt: Could MLB institute the reverse of a luxury tax? Say a “pauper tax” on certain thresholds below league average payroll(with MAYBE some market-size adjustment).

Craig Edwards: That’s basically a payroll floor, which might not be likely. The easiest way to construct a floor is to raise minimum salaries and those who go through arbitration. I also think revenue sharing with incentives for winning also might help.

Deb: What happens to Dom Smith this offseason? Do you think the Mets move him to a team with a 1B opening?

Craig Edwards: I would think so, yes, though that might have made sense last year, too.

Brandon: When do you think Cole will sign? Will Strasburg wait to sign after Cole?

Craig Edwards: I’m hopeful they will both sign this month. I think the only way Strasburg goes first is if he wants to head back to Washington and they give him a huge deal. I could be wrong, but that’s what makes the most sense to me in terms of negotiating.

robert: With Moose to Cinnci, is Ozuna going to ChiSox, Philly or Cleveland?

Craig Edwards: I always thought he made a lot of sense for the White Sox, but with Castellanos and Puig also out there, Gardner as well, picking a landing spot is a bit difficult because those guys could basically play musical chairs.

Chris: What is the backup plan for WSN if they lose out on Rendon and Strasburg?

Craig Edwards: Donaldson would make a ton of sense. They could get any number of pitchers and their rotation would be fine. That’s also what I could have said last year and they signed the best free agent starter available.

Roy: Do you think we avoid a strike seeing as free agents are getting paid again?

Craig Edwards: Avoiding a strike would be nice, but I don’t think the player’s have erased the last few years from memory. We are also only about 10% of the way through the free agent signings. There’s a long way to go.

Grassquatch : How much of a risk do you think Ryu to be?  I love him, and wish Seattle would bid, but I get the impression Dipoto wants to save the team money and find out what the young pitchers (Kikuchi, Sheffield, Dunn, soon Gilbert).

Craig Edwards: Ryu is going to be 33 next year and has a pretty significant injury history. He should only be signed by a team going for it in 2020 and I don’t think that fits for Seattle.

J: Dan had an interesting thread the other day about how teams aren’t paying $8-9M per win, specifically for the 1st win. Is their a way to breakdown how much teams are paying per win that is staggered and not necessarily just $/WAR? Perhaps an update on wins above average?

Craig Edwards: The last I saw was Matt Swartz a few years ago and at that time, he found it still to be linear.

Craig Edwards: We’ve had three seasons since then, and we are perhaps coming to a head in terms of player development and the talent level of players, particularly younger players, where that might not be true anymore.

I am the Walrus: Bieber was never ranked in Baseball America or as a top 100 prospect.  They called him a 4 or 5 and the other a mid rotation guy.  So how do you explain him now being called a #1 or #2.  What happened?

Craig Edwards: I wrote about him early this season, but I think there were some hittability issues that were greatly helped by a change.

Dylan: Why don’t “rebuilding” teams take on bad contracts more often? Do owners not see the big picture, even financially?

Craig Edwards: Most teams with bad contracts don’t attach good prospects to them so the opportunities aren’t great. The owners like rebuilds because they are cheap. If they were expensive, they probably wouldn’t be quite as on board.

TomBruno23: Ryu makes sense for just about everybody? Or only for a team going for it in 2020? I agree with the latter.

Craig Edwards: got me.

GSon: @ I am the Walrus: RE: Bieber: The Indians are exploiting an untapped advantage. The Indians are taking guys who can fill up the strike zone at will w/ control and command & teaching them how to throw harder. Bieber was a low 90’s / upper 80’s nothing special SP.. Same with Aaron Civale..

Eric : Should the next highly desired GM/President…etc seek a deal more like CEOs in various large corporations? A long contract with incredibly substantial costs to voiding, to prevent a Dave Dombrowski-type situation.

Craig Edwards: I’m guessing that would take money out of the salary and the guaranteed portion of the deal, which wouldn’t be as desirable.

mike: Torres isn’t as good a SS as Didi. How do Yanks not resign Didi.

Craig Edwards: If they wanted him, they could have made him a QO. I’m guessing they think Torres is a better player and that they have enough infielders. They need starting pitching.

Craig Edwards: That’s going to do it for me today. Thanks for all the questions.

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