Chat With MLBTR's Steve Adams: 9/4/18
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Steve Adams
3:24
Greetings world. Apologies on the late start. Long weekend has my days thrown off, but apparently, it is indeed Tuesday.
Bob Marvin Sr.
3:26
Should the Indians let Cody Allen walk?
Steve Adams
3:28
It's always going to depend on the asking price -- I imagine he'll be seeking multiple years even after a tough 2018 season, though, and I don't think Cleveland should be in the business of paying top-of-market prices for a reliever. If he's sitting there in February after his market fell through, a la Greg Holland or something, maybe take a chance. Otherwise probably best to let him move on
Kevin
3:28
What are your feelings on "service time manipulation" such as Eloy Jimenez and Vlad Jr.
Steve Adams
3:30
If I were running the Jays or White Sox, I wouldn't want to burn a year of service to bring up a potential cornerstone player for the final month of a losing season, either.

It's nothing new. It happens literally every season. It's a stupid system that needs to be re-worked, but I haven't thought at great length about a better alternative. It's high time the MLBPA busted its ass to get some kind of new system in place, but if you're running a business -- and that's what these teams are -- why wouldn't you hold out for the extra year?
Not like Cubs fans boycotted and didn't show up when they did it with Bryant. Ditto Acuna in Atlanta this year. Etc. etc.
bosox
3:30
will David Price opt out at end of year?
Steve Adams
3:31
I'm sure the Sox would be ecstatic but I can't see him walking away from $127MM as a 32-year-old.
33-year-old**
sportsguy
3:32
what do you think of the Josh Donaldson trade
Steve Adams
3:33
I'd have just made him a qualifying offer, but it seems like the Jays were just ready to move on.
Buddy
3:33
I must have misread this....Bader has a higher WAR than Soto or Acuna? If that's not a misprint, than WAR should be scrapped immediately.
Steve Adams
3:35
He's played in more games than either, and is tied with Acuna in rWAR and narrowly leading both in fWAR.

Is it so hard to believe that a slightly above-average hitter's defensive prowess could make him a comparably valuable asset to a player who is more bat-first but isn't necessarily an elite outfielder with the glove? I don't consider that a stretch, even if I'd prefer Acuna/Soto and would vote for either in ROY over Bader.
3:37
There's some subjectivity at play in terms of defensive metrics, but most fans criminally underrate or just entirely overlook defense. I won't argue that I think Bader is a better player than Acuna or has nearly as bright a future, but if you wanted to argue that they've both been similarly valuable in 2018 alone, given Bader's defensive wizardry, I don't see why that should be considered absurd.
Question person
3:38
Why aren't there more September trades involving players with multiple years of service time. Are trades mostly moved forward due to urgency?
Steve Adams
3:38
Those players would still need to clear waivers in September in order to be moved, and good players with multiple years of team control remaining don't make it through waivers.
End Service Time Manipulation
3:39
Make everyone a free agent when their contract expires.
Steve Adams
3:40
I don't really know what this is trying to suggest. Eloy and Vlad, for instance, aren't even on Major League contracts yet. They're not even on their teams' respective 40-man rosters.
Jeff
3:40
Or everyone plays on a one year contract?
Steve Adams
3:40
You could argue that that's not any better for the players who reach free agency.
Nolan
3:41
Do you foresee a huge change in how teams approach signing free agents, especially those over 30?
Steve Adams
3:43
That change has already been manifesting over the past couple of offseasons. Last year might prove to be a unique instance, as there were three major market clubs trying desperately to avoid the luxury tax and a few other typical big spenders (Rangers, Tigers) cutting back payroll. But generally, I don't think we're going to see too many mega-deals that stretch into players' late 30s moving forward -- at least not ones that are signed when the player is 31 or 32 years old in year one of the deal
If that's the cost of doing business to sign Machado, sure, I can see that. But a team going to that length to sign a player is going to be looking for far more prime years than we saw even 4-5 offseasons ago.
gatorman
3:44
has Acuna passed Soto for NL ROY?
Steve Adams
3:47
I'd imagine he's the "favorite" at the moment since he has more of the counting stats people seem to care about. But this goes back to the Bader thing ... Soto's OBP is something like 60-70 points higher than Acuna. It's perfectly arguable to say he's been a better offensive player who has racked up a tiny bit more (20-30) plate appearances, but some of his value hasn't been as flashy as that of Acuna. I'd have a hard time choosing between the two, but I bet a lot of voters will simply say "Acuna hit more dingers" and give it to him.

To be clear -- I think it's neck and neck between the two, and I wouldn't necessarily fault someone for voting Acuna over Soto or vice versa. But I think it's a lot closer than the voting would reflect if the season ended today.
3:48
National League Rookie of the Year?

Ronald Acuna (69.9% | 299 votes)
 
Juan Soto (30.1% | 129 votes)
 

Total Votes: 428
Guest
3:48
Does beltre retire at end of season?
Steve Adams
3:49
Seems like he might want to play one more year, and likely only with the Rangers.
The Rangers probably won't be any good next season, and you can argue that they'd be better served giving those ABs to someone younger, but I suppose they'll cash in nicely on some farewell merchandise and on tickets if he were to somehow get close to 500 (doesn't seem likely)
Brandon
3:50
Acuna & Soto getting all the ROY love... what about D Rod?
Steve Adams
3:51
Dereck Rodriguez has had a real nice season and been a great surprise for the Giants, but I don't even consider him in the ballpark based on 14 starts and 90 innings.
GrouchyBear
3:51
Just wanted to kindly point out Eloy is on the CWS 40-man already.
Steve Adams
3:52
Ah, so he is. That's my mistake then. Point remains the same and it still doesn't change anything from Chicago's vantage point, really. It's a systemic flaw specific to the arbitration/service time construction. I don't really fault them, even though I want to see both Vlad and Eloy play regularly as much as the next guy.
buster posey
3:52
Do you think I can bounce back after a pretty weak 2018 ?
Steve Adams
3:53
If the hip is healthier, I don't see why not. Won't rebound to peak levels, but it's not hard to see him improving on 2018 after he played most of this season with a bum hip (while catching!)
Person
3:53
Do any of the 3 NL Cy Young contenders get serious votes for MVP?
Steve Adams
3:54
They should. The notion that a starting pitcher shouldn't be considered because he only appears 33 times in a season is silly to me. So long as he's standing on the mound, he's directly influencing every single play of each of those 33 games
Oakland A's
3:56
Will the A's strategy for piling on middle-relievers fail in the playoffs? Couldn't they have picked up a cheap SP like Gio Gonzalez?
Steve Adams
3:57
They could've picked up Gio, but he hasn't pitched well of late and has had shoddy control for much of the season. I wouldn't call that a definitively better move than just trying to cobble together a bunch of 2-inning appearances from solid middle relievers.
Joel Embiid
3:57
Love baseball and MLBTR, but damn my Phillie's are scaring me....do we go 10 years 300 million to sign harper or machado?  I think machado at 7 210 with opt outs after 2nd year and 4th year would be a better deal
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