MLBTR Chat With Mark Polishuk
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Mark P
Hey folks, welcome to the Sunday night chat!  Wild guess....we'll get a few questions about Harper and Machado.
What should we do if we miss out on Harper/Machado? Go and get Marwin, or some starting Pitching?
Mark P
A case could be made that the White Sox might do nothing if they miss one of the big stars, and focus on a midseason trade for a controllable big name, or pursuing a free agent star next winter.  I do like your idea about Marwin and the White Sox, though I like Marwin on just about any roster.
What’s worse? Waiting for Season 8 of the Game of Thrones or waiting for Harper and Machado to sign?
Mark P
No truth to the rumor that Queen Cersei and the Night's King are in a bidding war to add Machado or Harper to their armies.
Hi Mark, Who will be the Red Sox closer when the season starts?
Mark P
I'll go with Ryan Brasier, the Sox really seem to feel like they've found a hidden gem in him.

Repeating my theory from last week's chat, I think Boston will use the first few months of the season to experiment with Brasier, Barnes, Thornburg, maybe any others as the closer (if they use a full-time closer at all).  If nobody is working out, they'll trade for someone at the deadline.  The Sox probably feel like they're more or less playoff locks anyway, so they have some time to experiment.
I’m not a jays fan and I think I’m going to riot if Vlad spends too much time at triple A. What’s the solution ?!?
Mark P
I suspect the next CBA negotiations will address the service-time issue for top prospects.  In the short term, however, you can't really blame the Jays (or the White Sox with Eloy, or the Cubs with Kris Bryant, etc.) for ensuring that they get an extra year of control over a potential franchise player.  I do expect you'll see Vladdy Jr. in Toronto by May 1.
Mark! Fellow Canadian here! Any thoughts/opinions on the Stroman/Blue Jays spat from today? He doesn't really deserve an extension, does he?
Mark P
Given how rough Stroman's 2018 season was, I can't imagine the Jays offered him anything close to what he feels he deserves in an extension.  Toronto is likely in wait-and-see mode on both Stroman and Sanchez in terms of extensions, though if I had to guess, I'd say that both of them ultimately won't be Blue Jays in 2021 (either via trade or free agency departure)
Moose back to the Brewers.... was this really better than any of the 1 year options at 2nd for them?
Mark P
Moustakas seemed to be a big hit in the Brewers' clubhouse last year, and is still a productive player.  Milwaukee probably preferred re-signing a player they already know, and already like.  I do wonder about the defensive hit of using Travis Shaw as a primary 2B for much of the year, though it seems the Brewers will mix and match with positions
Any thoughts about the reported use of a pitch clock in spring training games?
Mark P
Seems like just a matter of time before we see it at the MLB level, though I doubt it happens this season.  

Interestingly, a lot of the younger players who have played under a pitch clock in the minors have reported that it isn't really any different.  If enough veterans feel the same in Spring Training, this could end up being a fairly non-contentious issue between the league and the MLBPA.
If Giants don't get Harper it is reported zaidi is working on trades for players....any ideas who they may be?
Mark P
It'll be interesting to see if the Giants can unload any of their larger salaries, both due to possible lack of interest (so many of those guys were hurt or simply not very good in 2018) or the under-reported fact that almost all of them have some manner of no-trade protection.  

In terms of more realistic deals, Will Smith or Tony Watson could be moved in the short-term
Do you see Arenado having the same issues trying to solve a long term contact next Winter?
Mark P
Any of the star 2019-2020 free agents are watching this situation closely, since it's hard to predict how the market may further develop a year from now.  

Arenado doesn't have the attitude/controversy baggage of Machado (or Harper, for that matter), and he has a better health track record than Harper.  Arenado is also over a year older than both Manny and Bryce, however.  I don't necessarily see him signing for more than Manny/Bryce eventually get, though it could be "easier" if more teams are in the market.  For instances, White Sox, Phillies, Padres, NYY may still be in the market for a 3B if they miss on Machado
What do you think of the Moose deal? Over, under , or about what you thought?
Mark P
After last offseason, I kind of figured Moustakas might get stuck with another one-year deal.  While the qualifying offer hurt him last winter, his bigger problem seems to be that teams simply no longer put a big price tag on his skillset
The White Sox have the worst stadium in MLB.  True or false.  If not which stadium is the worst.
Mark P
I've been to that ballpark a few times, and if anything, I feel it's underrated.
What are the odds that the Angels get bounce-back seasons from Cozart, Allen, Harvey, Bour, Calhoun, and/or Pujols (basically what they need for a decent season)?
Mark P
The odds of ALL of them performing well this season is 0%, realistically.  Good seasons from half of them?  That I can buy, sure.
Craig Kimbrel
If the Braves don’t want me and the Red Sox can’t afford me then who’s left? Unemployment line?
Mark P
I see the Phillies eventually getting into the Kimbrel market once the Harper/Machado thing is settled.
Matt Klentak
What's my back-up plan if I lose both Harper and Machado?
Mark P
(Matt Klentak is the Philly GM, by the way)

Kimbrel, Keuchel, maybe Marwin, maybe a trade possibility.  It bears repeating, however, the Phillies have already done a lot to upgrade their team this winter.  The comments about "spending stupid money" really put a lot of expectations on Klentak's duties, to the point that I think people are overlooking a lot of solid moves.  Anything less than Harper or Machado will be seen as a failure for the Phillies, but even without either of those two, the team will contend in 2019
Why haven’t the Diamondbacks shopped Zack Greinke and David Peralta more?
Mark P
Greinke's contract is a big impediment to a deal, even though he has pitched very well the last two seasons.  He also has a partial no-trade clause covering half the league.

Peralta is a guy I don't think Arizona was really keen on trading unless someone made a really huge offer.  Remember, the D'Backs aren't planning a big rebuild; they still hope to contend next year and kind of rebuild on the fly.
Could the possible free agencies for trout and areanado lead some teams to pass on Harper Machado now since those guys are preferable? If you're going to commit a large amount of money over a long time, trout and Arenado are better.
Mark P
Waiting for Arenado or Trout is risky, however.  What if Arenado or Trout sign extensions?  Or they get hurt?  Or they have a terrible season?  Then a team's plan to wait leaves them scrambling for a plan B or C, and that's when you tend to see bad signings take place
What did I mean when I said I'm not finished?
Mark P
It means that, like any GM, the Yankees' Brian Cashman is constantly talking to agents and other front offices about free agents/trades.  You'll literally never see a GM say "my work here is done!" while theatrically dusting off their hands --- any roster can always use a tweak
Who will be this seasons Max Muncy for the Dodgers?
Mark P
It could the next Muncy hasn't yet been signed, and he'll come in some random minor league move that gets a four-line writeup on our site.
So I'm out on Manny/Bryce. Should I entertain Marwin or Kimbrel on a short term deal?
Mark P
(This being a reference to Theo Epstein, I presume)

Marwin would seem to fit right into the Cubs' desire for multi-position guys, and if they can get him on a short-term deal, that would be perfect for them.  The same theoretically goes for Kimbrel, though he'd cost a draft pick (via the qualifying offer)
Medic Mike
More players likely to sign extensions and accept qualifying offers because of the last two offseasons?
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