Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 6/16/17
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Jeff Sullivan
9:27
On the other hand, he *is* a good defender, and even with all the slumping, he's got a wRC+ of 89
9:28
I still believe in Broxton as a regular, but my faith isn't quite as strong as it was a few months ago
Asabin
9:28
Hi Jeff! I think Chris Taylor is the best player on the Los Angeles Dodgers!'
Jeff Sullivan
9:28
He's not!
He's fun though!
PF
9:29
Why isn't Justin Smoak leading AL first basemen in all star voting? He's outperforming all the other ones, yet he's not even in top five!
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
I was going to say something snarky until I realized that Yonder Alonso is leading the voting
Like, it's all just a popularity contest, but who in their right mind would've expected Yonder Alonso to be so popular?
9:30
I'll note that Alonso is easily the most deserving. Leads by WAR and wRC+
The Average Sports Fan
9:31
Who would you rather give a 5 year deal to : Hosmer, Alonso or Morrison?
Jeff Sullivan
9:31
This is actually tough, because Hosmer is three years younger than Alonso is
9:32
Alonso is easily the best of the players today, but he's already 30. Sooooooo I'll still say Alonso but it's awfully close
Big Tuna
9:33
Podhorzer had suggested that he's skeptical about Berrios because he's only getting SwStk with his fastball. What's your view on Berrios on what type of arm he ends up as?
Jeff Sullivan
9:34
I think he's going to make it. Still needs a better changeup if he wants to approach the level of an ace, but I like his fastball/breaking ball combination today. At his very, very best, he'll look like Jose Fernandez. He won't reach that level very often, though
Jake
9:34
Kimbrel has 2 WAR in 29.2 IP. I don't know what the best reliever season ever is but could he challenge it?
Jeff Sullivan
9:35
Highest-ever reliever WAR is 5.2, by 1977 Bruce Sutter
9:36
In terms of more recent baseball, you've got 2003 Eric Gagne at 4.7
Kimbrel isn't going to get there, but he might well end up the most dominant per-inning reliever ever
Bebop
9:37
Vida Blue, take a look at his stats, you think he deserves another look on the Veterans Committee ballot one of these days?
Jeff Sullivan
9:37
Nah
I mean, sure, they could give him another look, but he doesn't strike me as being HoF worthy
9:38
49 WAR according to us, 45 WAR according to Baseball Reference. WAR isn't everything where voting is concerned, but that's not close to the usual cutoffs
Aron
9:39
I think I must not understand what happens if you exceed your bonus pools. Why don't teams take a similar approach to that of international signings and punt the following year's draft? Seems like a team could draft a bunch of first round talents that drop for college commitment/financial reasons, pay them big $$ and blow through their bonus pool, and forego their picks the next year.
Jeff Sullivan
"A team that outspends its pool by 0-5 percent pays a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for exceeding their pool by more than five and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.

In five years with these rules, clubs have surpassed their pool a total of 74 times, but never by more than 5 percent. Twenty-three of the 30 teams outspent their pool last year."
9:42
Based on that, it does seem like, in theory, there's room here to exploit. Just like there was with the international pools. But it has to be meaningful that no team has exceeded its pool by 5% yet, despite how often that happened internationally
Teams have clearly all made the decision that it's not worthwhile. Maybe that's because of pressure from Manfred's office, I don't know. But this can't be something they haven't thought about. Maybe there's just not enough of that talent that falls
9:43
And it would kind of fall apart anyway if a few teams tried to do this. Because there are only so many first-round talents available
Barry Bonds
9:43
Where do the Mariners go in the next 3-5 years? Their team is talented this year, but they have just a 16% chance of making the play-in game. On the one hand, they could stand to rebuild their old roster. On the other, they just extended Segura which makes it clear they won't be doing that.
Jeff Sullivan
9:44
Water-treading time. There are enough potential core pieces there you can see how they could keep themselves afloat, but they're going to need more to start showing up from the farm, post-haste
They're in dire need of some young starting pitching. And they badly need for Mike Zunino to work out
9:45
If Zunino looks like a regular and if someone emerges to become a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, that makes the picture more promising. But the Astros loom as the easy division champs for a while
Jake
9:46
Is Leury Garcia a legit regular in Center? He's looked surprisingly good this year and his defense has been graded well
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
I don't believe in him as more than a backup, but the White Sox might as well let him play for a while since they don't have superior alternatives. There's enough there to hang onto
Lew Alcindor
9:46
I know awards aren't quite won at this point in the season, but Chris Sale pretty much has to be a lock for AL Cy Young already, right?
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
No one's particularly close
9:47
Well, I guess voters would have a tough time overlooking Dallas Keuchel's ERA, but he needs to get healthy. Missed starts work in Sale's favor
mets
9:47
Should we start considering the possibility that Yonder Alonso has pulled a Jose Bautista/Edwin Encarnacion? Nothing in his numbers doesn't look legit at this point. He might be a monster now.
Jeff Sullivan
9:47
Yep. This is as convincing as one of these transitions can get
9:49
It's still been just the 2.5 months, so maybe he doesn't end with a 176 wRC+, but he's obviously very much improved. His case is dramatic
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