Live Chat With Tim Dierkes
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Tim Dierkes
2:44
Thanks for joining me today.  I've been looking a lot at the 2019-20 free agent class, with my first Power Rankings post for that coming this week.  The group is led by Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Paul Goldschmidt.
Falvine
2:45
How do you think the AL Central turns out?
Tim Dierkes
2:45
It's difficult to picture the Twins overtaking the Indians, unless the Twins make a couple more moves.
Travis
2:45
Does Trout actually laugh out loud if the Angels offer 10/350?   If Harper got 330, Trout probably starts at 500 mil, no?
Tim Dierkes
2:47
It's so hard to put a value on Trout.  I imagine with a player like this, normal aging curves don't apply.  But if he's starting his new deal as, say, a 7 WAR player, then even at a flat $7MM/WAR, you'd expect an eight-year deal to be worth over $400MM.
I think Trout makes things like the FanGraphs Contract Estimator break.  https://www.fangraphs.com/contract-estimator.aspx?pos=2&war=7&len=8
2:50
So here are the variables that really matter.  1) What's his level of play starting in 2021?  You could say anywhere from 6-8 WAR.  2) How does he age from age 29-36 or 38?  Do you just knock a half WAR off each year?  3) Now that the market seems to be at $7MM/WAR, will it stay there or will there be inflation anew?
2:51
Bryce got paid through age 38, though he took an AAV hit to do it.  I think it's reasonable despite Trout being older that Trout also gets a deal through 38, meaning a 10-year contract.  Putting WAR aside, it seems easy to think he gets a $40MM AAV.  And if you wanted to say 45, I wouldn't fight you.  So 10/350 is an OK opening bid, but I think even in today's climate you have to cross the $400MM barrier.
Brandon
2:51
Kimbrel to the Nats happen?
Tim Dierkes
2:52
I guess they're the current favorite for lack of a better option.  But given the tax situation they'd end up paying out more than $21MM on him for 2019, and that's not a great use of money.
Seebs
2:52
If you were forced to take one - Godley, Nelson or Eflin for 2019?
Tim Dierkes
2:52
I'd lean toward Nelson, he was so good in 2017.
Halo fan
2:52
do you think the lack of interest in Keuchel has something to do with the quality of arms available for the 2020 class?
Tim Dierkes
2:54
I think it's the fact that he's 31, costs a draft pick, doesn't strike people out/is quite hittable, and that he was likely asking for way too much money early on.  A 3/51 deal looks pretty good for a guy like this, but he would probably have scoffed at such an offer in Nov/Dec and now certain teams that might have offered that at some point don't want to spend it.
Chuck-it
2:54
What would next offseason be like for Kimbrel if he took 2019 off?
Tim Dierkes
2:55
I assume about the same - he gains some points for losing the draft pick compensation, but loses some for being a year older/rustier.  I guess you could spin a year off as rejuvenating, but it's still a gamble.
JNP
2:55
Would Trout consider a 13 year contract for $500 Million starting next season to replace the last year with new team?
Tim Dierkes
2:56
Yeah, I think any deal of $500MM+ would simply have to be accepted.  I mean, you take the record from $330MM to $500MM?  I can't see how he'd turn it down.
Travis
2:56
The Marlins trade Ozuna, Stanton, Yelich, and JT in the past year-ish, and still have a bottom 5 farm system.  How does that happen?
Tim Dierkes
2:58
The JTR return wasn't bad, and put aside Stanton because the combo of his contract and no-trade clause definitely put the Marlins in a box.  Meanwhile the main piece in the Yelich deal was Lewis Brinson, who doesn't count in farm system rankings.  If guys like Brinson and Alcantara go bust, then yeah, the Marlins failed.
Abe
2:58
Do you think that the Nationals will re-sign Rendon? I always assumed that’s why they didn’t go harder to get Harper
Tim Dierkes
2:59
I lean toward yes.  Certainly not having Harper on the books increases the chances of it.  Rendon is seeing guys like Altuve and Arenado who have $30-33MM AAVs, so if the Nats are willing to get to that level then it will get done.
Mike
2:59
Where do you think Keuchel finally signs?  How much does he get in a one year deal?
Tim Dierkes
3:00
I'd feel pretty good paying $20-22MM on a one-year deal.  Phillies would make a lot of sense.  Padres too.
Disgruntled Braves Fan
3:00
I have a right to be upset about the Braves offseason, right? All this talk about financial flexibility and we're largely unimproved for 2019 (save the Donaldson signing). Meanwhile, the NL East may now be the toughest in baseball.
Tim Dierkes
3:01
Absolutely.  The Braves should have done more.
daniel1506
3:01
What are the best closers you see in next years class, provided Kimbrell does sign a long term deal?
Tim Dierkes
3:02
It doesn't look super deep at present, but as we saw with Adam Ottavino, guys always emerge.  Top relievers include Dellin Betances, Will Smith, Trevor Rosenthal, and Ryan Pressly.
Vlad
3:02
Rank these guys in terms of innings pitched this year: Kershaw, Syndergaard, Strasburg, Paxton
Tim Dierkes
3:02
Fun...I'll go Syndergaard, Stras, Paxton, Kershaw.
Jared
3:02
Do you think Kimbrel would take something like a 1 year/$40M contract?
Tim Dierkes
3:03
Haha...um, yes.  He's probably not looking at much more than that over three years, so you might as well take years 2 and 3 if you're the interested team.
Cards
3:03
If you could have 1 baseball card and it be for sentimentality, not dollar value, whose would it be? I'd like the Tommy Herr rookie card.
Tim Dierkes
3:05
Interesting question...I imagine having a card signed in person as a kid, perhaps with the autograph personalized, would make the card really special and sentimental.  Like if I'd met Ryne Sandberg or something.  Which he did come to a Target near me when it opened, but I missed it.
Mets optimist
3:05
What is the fascination with Harper? Take out that unbelievable 2015 and he’s been better than average, but superstar? He’s statistically gotten worse defensively, his WAR taking out the extreme in both sides has been approx 2.5-3.0 and it’s a 13 year contract!
Tim Dierkes
3:05
Why would we take out his best season?  That makes no sense.  He owns those skills, he's capable of an MVP again, and the huge 2015 absolutely influences his projection.
3:07
47 WAR.  He's getting paid to put up 47 WAR over the life of the deal.  That's your dividing line, that's even money.  I'm sure MLBTR will still be kicking in 2032 (the site will likely have the same background/design) and we can check back and see how Harper did against the 47.
3:08
Side note, if we see any kind of inflation in $/WAR from its apparent bottoming out, then that reduces how much WAR Harper needs to justify the deal.  Even like 2% inflation from where we're at now would create surplus value on this contract.
Johnny
3:09
10/350 seems light for Trout but I think it would be close for Betts.  Thoughts?
Tim Dierkes
3:11
If we think Mookie is a 7 WAR player in Year 1 of the deal, and we give him a ten year deal at $7MM/WAR with no inflation, we're at $392MM.  But you can see how easy a different assumption changes the valuation, because if you think he's a 6.5 WAR guy in 2021, then 10/350 is just right.
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