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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday November 30, 2018 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey is the lead prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus, and co-host of For All You Kids Out There.

Jeffrey Paternostro: This feels like fortuitous timing, let's chat.

Matzabal (CO): Garrett Richards just signed for 2 yr / $15M knowing he'll likely only pitch 1 year after TJ surgery. Drew Smyly got $10M in a similar deal. The Indians drafted Brady Aiken and paid him a $2.5M bonus when he was recovering from TJ. How do teams value the impact of TJ? Do they just value year 1 at $0, and then take their projected value in year 2 and ajust it down 25% or so? It seems more straightforward for FA than for prospects or draft prospects where the tail of control is longer.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it varies by org. Some teams are going to me more comfortable with TJ rehab guys than other. Obviously the Nats have a long history of taking history of taking these types of arms, although that's more in a draft scenario like you said. I assume most teams build in a certain amount of assumed stuff/performance regression to these contracts. But I feel like it's much more individualized risk than that.

Brandon (Mass): Will we see Dustin May in LA in 2019? Do you think he still has the potential to be a #2 or #3?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Dodgers aren't afraid to be aggressive with their arms, and May already has some Double-A innings under his belt. A 2019 debut would be aggressive but not too fanciful. And yeah, we have him as a 7/6 and a top 30 or so prospect in baseball.

boss baby (seattle): how do you pronounce Jarred Kelenic? Normal Jared, KELL-eh-nick?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Elizabethton PA guy had it as Kehl-LEN-ick, your mileage may vary.

Alex (Trenton): The Padres-Syndergaard packages being floated can't be really be the most the Mets could get for him, right? Given how the Reds are looking to acquire top tier pitching and have Suarez, India and Senzel, wouldn't they make some sense for a Syndergaard package?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So much like the Mets constantly leaked a lighter prospect return on their end of the Cano/Diaz rumors, I have a feeling a lot of the Hedges/Margot stuff is coming from the Padres side. I am sure you can build a deal without their top four prospects that fits your trendy $/WAR surplus balance sheet, but I think treating elite talent in a linear WAR model is a good way to end up with a bunch of cheap, average players.

Larry (NY): So the Mets went from the 15ish best farm to 20ish? Or worse?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably worse. It was shallow even before this trade. They dealt a 101 guy and one of their few upper minors prospects. They have a ton of TJ guys on the list now (like current TJ guys) and 3-5 are all very volatile short-season infielders. The Giants list isn't a bad comp for them now. The Mets have a better system, but it's not that much better now and the Giants are a candidate for worst farm in baseball. So 25ish, maybe?

Mike (NY): Would it be really that surprising if Cano is worth 8 WAR over the next two seasons?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That's maybe a bit high for a projection, but he was worth about 2 wins in half a season this year, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. I think applying standard aging curve stuff to Cano is a mistake because Hall of Fame talents tend to be outliers in general, but he's not without risk. Time is undefeated as Posnanski likes to write.

F Me (Seattle): Mariners fan here. Can't understand how Met fans are so pissed about this trade. Can they not just flip Diaz at the deadline next year for AT LEAST one top 50 guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. That's the other part of this deal, Short of him blowing out, Diaz will bring back more in trade than Kelenic/Dunn at any point between now and like the 2020 offseason. I mean he might blow out of course. You can push for two years and then have a piece you can flip to reload if so inclined.

wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): It seems to me that adding Kelenic to a deal for Cano is too much of a price to pay to allow the Mets to shed salary and obtain Edwin Jackson. This is especially true if the Mariners are desperate to unload Cano. If Seattle is insisting on a high ceiling/low minors prospect to dream on, wouldn't someone like Ronny Mauricio make more sense given the Mets' infield prospect depth in the low minors?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So I think an understated part of this deal is the Mets also really wanted Robinson Cano. Obviously there is leverage with the no-trade but I'm guessing the M's could have walked away at any point and gone to another team and gotten a significantly better return just for Diaz. I don't know how desperate the Mariners actually were. The Mets sure wanted to keep leaking that they were desperate, but how much so, well they run a much tighter ship. Also from the Mariners POV you can't really sell a trade like this without getting one headline prospect piece back. The optics matter. Ultimately I think the Mets just didn't want to walk away from the deal and that included getting Cano for them.

Cesar (cincinnati): Any signs of teams experimenting with the opener or some other non-traditional model for pitchers at the minor league level? And at what point will we see this change impact the way team's approach the draft

Jeffrey Paternostro: I haven't seen it yet, and honestly developmentally speaking I think you want your guys getting all their reps in the minors. Opener is a tactical move not a developmental one.

sportsguy21792 (WI): Brewers farm system ranking has dropped from its lofty heights in the past. Shouldn't the Yelich trade show that moving players at or near the top of your farm system is not a bad approach. A bird in the hand worth more than 2 in the bush approach.

Jeffrey Paternostro: You'd think (and I agree), but if anything teams are moving in the opposite direction (see rumored Syndergaard returns).

Cam (PA): My only issue with this trade, is it seems that there are some teams who were unbelievably high on Kelenic. Say the Mets, like most(?) teams value Kelenic as the 50ish best prospect, which is fine and makes the trade fine. But, if there are 2-4 teams that think Kelenic is the 10th best prospect in baseball, isn't that something that they should find out? Is it wrong to assume they did not do that due diligence?

Jeffrey Paternostro: There's an opportunity cost in dealing Kelenic here, sure. That's always true, but is it teams valuing him that way or individual scouts? You can find a scout to give you just about any quote on a guy (and I've heard from ones that like Kelenic more than I do certainly). If it's a team those teams actually looking to trade something you want and is commiserate value. Major league trades rarely look like your dynasty league, so it's more than just finding one guy who likes him more than anyone else.

Tom (NY): After this Cano/Diaz trade is done, are there any pieces at all left in the Mets farm system to try and make a trade for Kluber? What would a potential Kluber trade look like at the moment?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean sure, if you offer Gimenez/Alonso at the top, I don't think Cleveland is hanging up. I'm still not convinced that McNeil isn't available in a later deal either. I think with Kluber you will run into similar problems with Syndergaard w/r/t to offers. Kluber is obviously an established ace while Syndergaard doesn't have that sustained level of success, but he's also more expensive and that tends to be way too large a part of the calculus now.

Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Jeffrey, what hit & power grades would you now give J. Soto & Ohtani?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Solo's probably like present 7/6. Ohtani 55 or 60/8. Could see Soto's game power ticking up as he ages though. He's a beast. Hell, he might end up 8 hit.

chad (DE): I get that Diaz is an elite RP with two 80 pitches, but isn't giving up the 6th overall pick from a few months ago bonkers? Would it be akin to drafting Diaz 6th overall, or is that oversimplifying it

Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean Diaz would go 1.1 if he was draft eligible, so to speak. So the 6th overall pick as an abstract surplus $ of whatever is one thing. This sixth overall pick has a three year horizon to major league contribution for a team targeting 2019-2021 for contention. So his relative value to the Mets is going to be lower, and that's fine. Team's should't try to operate at peak efficiency or whatever all the time. That's how you end up building an 85 win team that you hope overperforms (Hi 2018 Rays). I think if I told you they gave up the 57th best prospect in baseball or whatever (he's around there I don't have the most recent draft in front of me) it's a different framing.

Mike (NY): So what is the next big trade?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would guess Relamuto goes during or around the winter meetings.

Daniel (NY): Am I crazy to think that even after this trade, the Mets still essentially have a first round pick from the 2018 draft (Simeon Woods-Richardson)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: A little. The velo bump is nice, but he's still primarily an arm strength guy at this point. He's also not super projectable despite being a young prep arm (although he doesn't need more velo or anything). I think the draft position and bonus are about right all in all, and I was down on him around the draft.

Manny (NY): You think the Mets will trade Noah? Who will provide more value this year--Noah or Cano AND Diaz?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it's a coin flip, which I know this is super useful analysis. The Mets for whatever reason are super sensitive about the back pages. Cano wins them the back pages, a Syndergaard deal could be a bloodbath in the press without something better than Austin Hedges coming back. I think there is some internal desire to trade him, let's say that.

Paul (Dallas): It feels like prospect lists undervalue pitchers missing time for major injuries. I get that not everyone returns from TJ, but guys like Jason Groome, AJ Puk or Anderson Espinoza get overly punished in rankings, especially given how Luzardo came back last year. Fair assessment?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So the difference is with Luzardo we had the information that he came back. We don't have that with the other dudes. If Puk comes back and shoves he will get treated like Luzardo did. Personally I'd prefer not to rank them at all, but that's not really viable for my audience.

sportsguy21792 (WI): Keston Hiura sure sounds like the real deal (hitting at all levels so far and AFL MVP) but would likely be a key piece moved in a deal for a #1 starter (Thor, Bumgarner). Didn't 2018 show you can thrive with a bunch of #3s and 4s and a top pen?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a difficult trick to repeat though. Because those 3s and 4s are 3s and 4s because they don't do it two years in a row a lot of the time. That said, from the Brewers end I'd want to make him untouchable (while I'd be demanding him at the top if I'm the Giants or Mets). The compounding issue is they don't have a second top prospect to try and sell them like San Diego or Houston has.

Frank the Tank (NJ): What does your gut say happens with Syndergaard? Traded or not? If so to who and for what?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I know I just said it's a coin flip, but I think he is in the Opening Day rotation because a deal just doesn't materialize that they can stomach.

Cubbie Bear (Chi-Town): Does Yordan Alvarez have the chops to eventually figure into the mix at 1B for Houston or will he fall by the wayside like so many of their other 1B prospects? How does the emergence of Tyler White impact this or does he lack the skill set to get consistent ABs?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So I believe Alvarez would be our highest ranked "first-base prospect," noting of course that he's still mostly playing corner outfield. We're very confident in the bat, but until these dudes do it against major league stuff there's always some risk because the margins are so thin offensively. The Astros of course have also been very quick to dispose these guys when they don't hit (AJ Reed, the first Tyler White attempt). Alvarez's ability to at least stand in left field might mitigate that some at least. White was leveraged pretty heavily against lefties, and he's a useful guy to have around, but I don't know if he's a starter on a first division team. He's also 28 so I doubt he's blocking Alvarez once he gets another month or two of Triple-A under his belt.

Bill (PA): What is the Mets' Opening Day outfielder (starters and back-ups)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Oh the cynic in me says Lagares in CF with Nimmo and Conforto flanking him and a bench of like, heck let's say Austin Jackson and Derek Dietrich. Signing Pollock and just sticking him in CF would solve a chunk of their remaining issues though.

Doug (MT): Is Jarred Kelenic more Michael Conforto or Alex Ochoa?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That's uh, a wide range. I have a free eyewitness up on him, and it's one of I believe only two public reports on him as a pro.


chad (DE): what the heck is wrong with your owls this season? ive been unable to find a consistent Championship stream so ive barely been able to watch also, question in re: your Giants post today- what about heliot ramos suggests that he could be a 6? speed evaporating means he'd have to really rake to be a plus COF, no?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Tactics and formation a mess, and too much squad rotation. Team has been lethargic and lacks quality up front especially with Forestieri's injury woes continuing. Probably needs a new manager, but the players haven't performed either. The transfer embargo in the Summer didn't help, and I imagine they will have to sell off Reach and another big piece to balance FFP for next summer. Playoffs were a bit of a pipe dream but the performances should be better than this.

So I think people are gonna be scared off a bit by Ramos' performance in A-ball, but that was always going to be a tough assignment for him given the profile, but basically we still think he will really rake, yeah.

boss baby (seattle): %chance Kelenic absolutely hits (>=7)? 1%? Higher? Where does that chance rank among prospects, top-20? top-50?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett wrote extensively on percentile outcomes early this year in an article I really need to like promote more or even pin on the prospect page. If you assume the OFP 60 is the 75th percentile outcome, the 7+ outcome is probably like low-90s. That's more than a puncher's chance, but that cuts both ways with the volatility in your cold-weather prep bat as his 25th percentile outcome is going to be lower than other outfielders ranked around him too. I don't like to parse stuff out this much, but I don't think he is particularly more *likely* to pop than the 6/5 outfielders ranked around him which are dudes like Drew Waters, Cristian Pache and Esteven Florial (card subject to change)

Sean (Rochester): Any sense for where Nick Senzel plays in the majors? He's played 2b/3B (and 1 game at SS) and the Reds even tried him in the OF in the Arizona league.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd just let him play third? He's probably fine at second. Center could be, uh, an adventure.

sportsguy21792 (WI): Victor Victor Mesa...when will he land in Miami?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Man, we'll have a much better idea once we get his first pro assignment.

cracker73 (Florida): So, judging from today’s Giants prospect report, the consensus at Baseball Prospectus is that Heliot Ramos is probably not a future superstar, right? What is his upside now considered to be?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Plus regular, occasional all-star.

Mike (CT): Seems Mets are optimistic about a DeGrom extension. Do you think it gets done and if so, for how much?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I vaguely recall somewhere in the last week of just constant Mets leaking of all kinds of stuff that they dumped that an extension is now "less likely." I may have hallucinated it, who knows, lotta long nights. I've generally thought it would get done this offseason for something in the 5/110 range.

Leroy (NY): So sounds like the Mets now have 2 top 100 guys. Who are the guys that can realistically jump into the top 100 with good years? Mauricio, Szapucki, Vientos, Peterson?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Mauricio is probably your best bet, and he was long-listed this year. Szapucki if the stuff comes back will get the Luzardo treatment I suppose (although he is older and always had higher reliever risk). I'm not a huge fan of Vientos, but sure he has a shot. Peterson would have to do a Logan Allen type thing. I'd throw in Shervyen Newton as well. If you want a really, really deep sleeper for it, maybe Junior Santos.

wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Is the Mets' middle infield prospect depth real or a mirage? Andres Gimenez, Rony Mauricio and Sheryven Newton all seem like legit prospects at SS, but ....?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's legit depth, but it's also prospect depth so it can evaporate in a year (also those latter two dudes may slide over to third)

sportsguy21792 (WI): Might be inclined to sign up for the BP360 if I knew what parks you will be hitting next summer. Any early talk about parks yet? The one I attended was a very good time.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't unfortunately, although we always try to balance regionally as much as possible.

tallahassee (Chatham, NJ): Would you feel comfortable locking in either Chris Archer for $28 or Zach Grienke $29 as your frontline starter? Last year the big 4 went for between $38-$42. ($300 budget 20 Starter [11 hitter/9 pitchers] 9 reserve league)

Jeffrey Paternostro: Between the two I'd take Greinke (especially if he moves to a friendlier park)

Brady (Danvile): If $60MM, in addition to Bruce/Swarzak is going to the Mets in this deal, is it kind of a steal? Say they use the $60MM to pay down ~2 in 2019 and ~10 in 2020 to make the money neutral given Swarzak/Bruce, that means they only pay cano ~8 for the last 3

Jeffrey Paternostro: Has that actually been confirmed anywhere because lordy let me tell you the Mets side of these negotiations was leaked like Carlos Marmol's fastball, all over the place and only occasionally effective.

Jon (Boston): How would you rank Bichette, A. Riley, Florial, Hiura, F. Mejia in terms of ceiling and floor? Do you took basically good about all of then? Highest ceiling and floor? Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Ceiling: Bichette, Florial, Hiura, Riley, Mejia. Floor: Hiura, Bichette, Mejia, Rile (gap) Florial. I like all of them as prospects though.

tallahassee (Chatham, NJ): What does a full season of Hyun-Jin Ryu look like this year? Could he have a better year than Buehler?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he goes back to being a solid number 3 with like 90% of the workload you want, but I don't think he has close to Buehler's upside.

Kendrick (Staten Island): Can Alonso play 1B at an MLB level? Having marginal guys like McNeil/Wilmer on the IF will be further exacerbated by a poor 1B not saving their errant throws. Also, if he can’t, then have the Mets made a major mistake not sending him to Seattle? (Instead of Kelenic)

Jeffrey Paternostro: Playable below average is the goal here, and it's probably attainable. It's probable the Mariners preferred Kelenic since that is who they ended up dealing for. You could argue Alonso is a better fit as an AL player of course.

Mike (NY): Whitesox just traded Narvaez for Colome, now could they be a darkhorse for Realmuto?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I have this weird feeling the White Sox will be the third most-interested team on a lot of players this offseason

tallahassee (Chatham, NJ): If the reported possible trade of Sanchez for Realmuto happens does it significantly change the fantasy value of either one? Less running from Realmuto? Fewer RBI's for Sanchez?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Man that's a weird ass trade. That's probably a fair shout on the fantasy implications. But man what a weird ass trade.

Brady Aiken (???): Am I dead at this point?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Tommy John is common but not routine.

Wayne (Chestershire): What kind of FV would you give Lucas Giolito and Dylan Bundy today? If you had to put them on a present day top 100, where would they be, or would they not make it?

Jeffrey Paternostro: FV kind of breaks down when we have actual major league performance and projections to look at, but I'd have Bundy as a fringe 4th going forward, so like a 45/50 and Giolito, I mean mavaaaaaaan. Let him sort it out in relief I guess, 4/middle reliever. Neither of those are really top 101 grades. Also, they are pitchers, man.

wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): What do you think of the Mets' front office moves so far? BVW is out-of-the-box, to be sure, but adding Baird and a new analytics chief seem to be good adds.

Jeffrey Paternostro: They needed to beef up the FO generally and analytics in particular. I don't know if these are adds so much as replacing DePo and Ben Baumer which they needed to do, well years ago. Personally I would have gone with an analytics head already familiar with the proprietary data sets to try and catch up faster. I also have my concerns about Baird being too conservative to run a player development shop in 2019, but he's a fine talent evaluator and a good baseball mind to have around.

Frankie (NY): I have literally no clue how to value Dom Smith. Do you think there is a team out there thats willing to trade a top 150-200 prospect for him? Is that something you think the mets should/will pursue?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think the Mets are definitely open to offers for Dom Smith. I have no idea how to gauge his value in baseball generally, but I wouldn't be offering that good a prospect for him if I ran a team.

Dusty (Colorado): Can I get your thoughts on Wander Javier? What is his upside? Thank you so much for these chats.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Twins list is Wednesday, Big Dust, no spoilers.

Jeffrey Paternostro: In addition Mets on Monday and Phillies on Friday. Have some, uh late edits to make there, so we'll call it a chat.

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