Chat With MLBTR's Steve Adams: 9/3/19
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Steve Adams
Salutations. Shall we discuss topics in which we hold shared interest?
Daniel G
Steve Adams
There you have it. Seeya later guys
Should Ryan Mountcastle have been called up?
Steve Adams
I don't think he really tore through AAA pitching in the same manner that some more egregiously withheld prospects did. He hit over .300 but without gaudy power numbers and with middling K/BB rates.

.312/.344/.527 would normally be pretty impressive -- and that's not to say it wasn't in Mountcastle's case -- but it's only about 17 percent above league average in this year's video-game offensive environment in the International League
I'd say call him up just to excite Orioles fans, but this isn't like a Bryant, Acuna, Vlad, etc. situation either.
If you are the Phillies, with a train-wreck of a rotation but still a you consider embracing the "opener" strategy now?  With a ton of callup reliever arms it a gamble that looks better than say trying to ride Drew Smiley into a wildcard?
Steve Adams
Against the right type of opponent, sure. I haven't looked closely at their relievers' splits, but if they're facing an opponent with three pretty well set 1-2-3 hitters who are all right-handed and unlikely to be moved down, go ahead and open with a RHP who's death on righties before handing it off to Smyly.

That's an overly simplistic answer, but there's no reason to be closed off to the idea. I'm not opening for Nola, but yeah there are probably spots to give it a look.

That said, it's also not some silver bullet that's going to magically cure their starting pitching woes.
Dave Martinez
Is there any chance that Stephen opts out of his contract?
Steve Adams
Given his age, I have a hard time seeing Strasburg get five guaranteed years, which I think he'd need to do in order to make opting out worthwhile.

Or perhaps I should frame it like this: it's as likely, or likelier, that he ends up with another 4-year deal or even a 3-year deal. If he were 29, it'd be one thing. But he's 31 (32 next summer) and would be saddled with a qualifying offer if he did opt out. I think it's smarter to just keep the 4/100 he's owed.
If you're asking "is there a chance" in the purest sense of the question, though -- sure, I can see it. But it feels more like 10-20% to me than 50%+
Given the news about Giles almost going to the Yankees in July, do you think he gets dealt somewhere in the off season?
Steve Adams
He was 100% going to be traded thi winter as long as he's healthy. Today's report about the near-trade to New York has no bearing on that.
Hawt Corner
With his bat heating up, would someone take a chance on Corey's Brother even with his ridiculous contract?
Steve Adams
No one's going to trade for Kyle Seager unless he waives the clause that converts his 2022 option from a team option to a player option in the event of a trade
And he obviously has no real incentive to do that.
Even if he could somehow be talked into a restructuring of the deal, the Mariners would need to eat some cash.

Bottom line: I don't see Kyle Seager playing anywhere but Seattle next season.
Frustrated Angel fan
I know Cole is hot ticket this off season but would it be better going after 2 or 3 starters for what it will cost for Cole? Hamels, Bumgarner, Roark type and maybe trade for starter?
Steve Adams
They could sign Cole and still add another lower-cost option, be it via free agency or trade. There's enough payroll room there that a huge investment in Cole wouldn't necessarily be the only move for which they have space.
Squirrels Gone Wild
Which prospect was not called up that you're most disappointed in being unable to watch?
Steve Adams
Would've been fun to see Jo Adell or Luis Robert making some highlight-reel plays and clubbing some dingers. I'd like to see Jesus Luzardo, too, but I guess it's not set in stone that he won't eventually be up
Likelihood of Chapman opting out of his contract?
Steve Adams
He's more likely to opt out than not, I think.
Cole Hamels a fit on a 2 year deal? West Coast guy, Angels need some stability, seems to be aging well and he is has pitched in the AL West
Steve Adams
Sure, although if you're saying in addition to Cole (in the aforementioned scenario I laid out), that's a lot of AAV to add to the books two guys who'll reject qualifying offers, meaning some pretty significant draft forfeitures.
I expect Hamels to pursue a three-year deal, for what it's worth. But there's no guarantee he gets that; teams have been increasingly wary of that length of deal for someone in Hamels' age range. I think he'll look for three but two at a strong AAV does feel likelier.
With the possibility of Moronta out for next season, Smith a FA, and Watson possibly leaving on a PO, how do the Giants rebuild their bullpen for next year?
Steve Adams
Seems to be jumping the gun a bit on Moronta -- we won't know his outlook until it's decided whether he undergoes surgery. With regard to Watson... it's not a matter of him possibly leaving. His player option is only for a $2.5MM base, so he's going to opt out. That was put in place basically as a safeguard against him having a season-ending injury in 2019.

I don't think the Giants are going to spend aggressively on relievers this winter given that they're transitioning to a younger team. I anticipate some low-cost fliers, plenty of waiver activity, etc. They don't have tons of offseason trade assets, so I don't think the trade market is extremely likely
Where do you see the market for Moustakas centralizing? Do you think he gets to 4 years and/or $20m a year?
Steve Adams
He hasn't come anywhere close to that in either of the past two offseasons despite being younger than he'll be this winter. He's been a similar hitter for three straight years now ... I can't see him getting much more than 12-13MM per season on a three-year deal -- and that's a best-case outcome. He may land around 20-25MM over two years if the mutual option doesn't happen.
In fact, Moustakas is the first mutual option that's been there in awhile where I wonder if both parties will just pick it up
It's an $11MM option for the Brewers but comes with a $3MM buyout, so they're basically asking themselves if they want Moose on a one-year, $8MM deal. That should be an easy yes.

For Moustakas, who's struggled to find a nice contract in two straight offseasons -- maybe he just takes the option. If I had to guess, I say he declines ... but it's not crazy to think he's just burned out from two straight winters of hearing "nothing yet" for months on end.
MVP of NL, Freeman or Acuna or someone else?
Steve Adams
I don't think either finishes in the top three -- Bellinger, Yelich and Rendon will all be ahead of them, barring superhuman finishes from the Braves duo
Both are having great seasons, but Yelich, Bellinger and Rendon have been three of the four best hitters in baseball this season
Greg Brown
Is there any hope that the Pirates can contend under current ownership, or does Pittsburgh just have to wait for Nutting to sell the team?
Steve Adams
They've been to the Wild Card game recently under Nutting/Huntington. Having actual payroll support from ownership would obviously make things easier, though. I think they can get there, but the struggles of their pitching -- which used to be a strength -- are becoming increasingly concerning. They haven't had much vintage "Ray Searage magic" lately
Braves Country
Don't both Freeman and Acuna sort of drown each other out?  Even if they have superhuman finishes, don't both of them being on the same team take the p out of MVP a little?
Steve Adams
I don't buy that. The most valuable player in the league is the best player in the league -- period. I don't care if he's on a team that goes 40-122 or a team that goes 122-40 and is stuffed with All-Stars.
Alex Reyes, Flaherty, Carlos Martinez, Hudson in 2020... Do I bother getting my hopes up?
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