Craig Goldstein is the Managing Editor of Baseball Prospectus and is moving tomorrow so might be distracted.
Craig Goldstein: Hello everyone. Thanks for joining me as I wait for my furniture to arrive. If there's a pause mid-chat...that's why. Probably gonna be a shorter chat today, too.
Chris (Paradise): Hi Craig, I just wanted to ask if you're here for the right reasons. Looking forward to the most dramatic BP chat of all time.
Craig Goldstein: Chris, thank you. I am just here to find glove. I'm looking for a long-term deal, but they have to meet me halfway. I've been cut before, and I don't want to experience that again. I'm tired of being a free agent.
The Berry King (Berryland): Following up on Hindsight 2020--if you were Rick Hahn would you trade one of Madrigal/Vaughn (or both, I guess) + 2-3 guys ranked below there for Syndergaard?
Craig Goldstein: Sorry, my hotspot cut out. Re-answering this:
I think given the state of the CHW DH position, Vaughn could arrive fairly quickly and I'm not one to prospect hoard but I doubt the Mets get what you're proposing for Thor anyway, given their tendency to tank their players value on the way out the door. I guess the answer is no, because I'd want to convince ownership to spend money rather than prospects for the same result in a guy like Cole or Strasburg.
Iruy (Palestine): Blueberry pie is my favorite. Thanks for the chat.
Craig Goldstein: Reverse Yuri is my favorite chatter. Of course, blueberry is nowhere near the best pie.
Carlos Martinez (Saint Louis): What's my future role?
Craig Goldstein: Closer. Maybe on a team that doesn't have a healthy Jordan Hicks.
Yuri (Israel): Craig, if you have better things to do (furniture delivered), why not just get someone better to do your chat today? Someone that will stick to baseball, preferably. Speaking of which, if you were the Nationals, would you start Scherzer or Strasburg in the wildcard game?
Craig Goldstein: Yuri, I'm glad you asked about Below Deck. I think it's been a pretty strong season overall and am disappointed there won't be a reunion episode hosted by Andy Cohen. Captain Sandy is a beast, as always and despite being a terrible crew member Jack was absolutely my favorite guy thanks to his attitude and accent.
Rickey H. (Vegas, baby): With current umpire system do you think there are more pitches in the zone that are called balls or more pitches out of the zone that are called strikes. Thanks.
Craig Goldstein: Easily that more current balls are called strikes. I know everyone gets up in arms about this kind of stuff but frankly I don't mind the varying zones as long as they're called consistently within games.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Craig,
Trying to sort my keepers for a 24 team dynasty league while everyone else is watching football ha!
Would you keep Jonathan Stiever over any of these Josh James,Brent Honeywell,Shane Baz, Luis Patino or Brad Keller?
Probably not in a position to compete in 2020 but hopefully 2021 is the year. Thanks!
Craig Goldstein: I would not keep Stiever over any of them, no. Maaaaybe Honeywell but it's really hard to say at this point.
Mike (NY): So what is your best guess for Juan Soto's batting line when he's in his prime years??
Craig Goldstein: I don't think there's going to be much difference. The way players age is changing and I think this is pretty much what he is. Maybe some more power? But he's pretty mature, physically, as it is.
Sarah (Tacoma): Joey Votto dynasty owner here; what to do what to do?
Craig Goldstein: Sell to whatever degree you can, imo.
D.J. Eaton (@deeej15): Do we have more information on Yuri's whereabouts? I want to make sure the post office doesn't lost these hands I'm trying to send him.
Craig Goldstein: He's here and feisty as ever.
Vic (Baltimore): Wanted to mention that BPs chats are so much more informative than those 'graphing' chats.
This year, in a 525 player keeper league, many decent SPs weren't picked up until a month into the year....like Odorizzi, Bassitt, Davies, and of course John Means. I nabbed one of these four. In 2020, I'd like to draft players like this late, rather than get 25% of them in late April. Who might I target in March 2020?
Craig Goldstein: Appreciate the kind words but also want to say that we're not so much enemies with other sites. We're thrilled you read us and appreciate us, but I'd personally be thrilled if it was on terms that didn't knock others in the process.
I talked to our excellent fantasy team because this is a tough question. We basically came to the conclusion that this is a really rough question to tackle this far out. Those guys are ones borne mostly of opportunity that isn't so much clear in September of the preceding year. The names thrown around were: Kyle Gibson, Alex Wood, Keegin Akin, maybe James Marvel? All the guys you named arrived at where they're at pretty differently, so there's not one way to answer it. Best to ask in Feb/March next year I'd think.
Jarrett (The Jersey Shore): Craij, are there laws when you're drinking Claws?
Craig Goldstein: Yes, but only because Four Loko is anarchy.
jwise224 (PDX): Craig, for a team that needs to shore up its bullpen this winter, what look like the best, affordable bets this offseason? Take Chapmans and Jansens off the market -- who should team without huge dollars to sink into relievers target? Maybe some guys on the trade market rather than FAs?
Craig Goldstein: I actually really like Chris Martin who the Braves picked up this July.
Joe (Chicago): I was listening to some old podcasts as I was working in my garage over the weekend. On a very early episode of TINO Ben and Mau mocked the upset that you are/were a UNC fan and not a Duke fan, and inferred [Ben] that you were "Cardinals prospect level white." How bad did such truth bombs hurt?
Craig Goldstein: It's nothing I didn't know about myself, honestly. Although being thought of as a Duke fan is rude even if my team is just another shade of Duke blue.
Mike (Dover): I'm one of those annoying dudes who has a stacked team in my league(s). I'm well within my window, but I have some older players (Grienke, JDM, Verlander) that I have to start thinking about their successors. We don't have a farm system. What would you advise?
Craig Goldstein: I guess it depends on the number of keepers but that sounds like a problem I'd let Future Mike handle. Enjoy the wins now!
Yuri (Israel): I liked you (and these chats) better when you went on hiatus from BP. Anyway, I'll ask again: Max or Strasburg in the WC game?
Craig Goldstein: Yeah, I think BiP remains a compelling show even without watching the bachelor/ette in and of themselves. I don't think you *have* to know about the individuals involved to watch the show and frankly they do a ton of recaps and voiceovers explaining everything anyway. I highly recommend, and I hope they bring back Winter Games too.
Spotted cow (Rockford ): When the cubs won the world series the front office was decidedly a top 3 outfit according to me and most people I've conversed with. Is it just me or does their evaluations seem to be substantially lower of late? Is this because other clubs have caught up or baseball has pivoted away from areas they excelled. Also which of Baez or bryant do you prefer to sign long term for Harper esque moneys?
Craig Goldstein: I think most of the time those reputations are built on a run of success and it's not really reasonable to expect anyone to maintain that level of success over an extended period. They still set up their foundations really well, won a championship and continue to compete for divisions. I think some of it is brain drain - people leave to other clubs which hurts the Cubs and enhance those clubs, etc. No competitive advantage lasts forever.
I'd sign Bryant, personally. Just more confident in his approach and bat aging, but it's a hell of a problem to have. Baez is incredible.
edwardarthur (Illinois): Any chance of getting DRA and DRC splits on the site? Season-long numbers are great, but can be hard to interpret when a player has an apparent skill change mid-season.
Craig Goldstein: Yes! It's in our roadmap and absolutely something we plan to have on the site.
Michael (Torrance): How fast can you throw a baseball and how fast would the average persons max effort be around?
Is Dustin Mays command going to leave him off the postseason roster for the Dodgers?
Craig Goldstein: Man, great question. I have no idea, I think I could hit 70, maybe? that might be hubris especially given that I haven't tried to go full effort in a long-ass time.
No, I think he makes it. I think that bullpen needs someone with his raw stuff, and ability to go multiple innings.
Chris Cwik (Copyright Denier): I'm trademarking Childish Bambino, bish.
Craig Goldstein: You'll get rejected just like you usually do.
Boog (B'more): Do you buy that the Orioles are doing the right thing with their tear it down to the studs and rebuild approach? Is it simply accepted (and acceptable) conventional wisdom that this is what a smaller market team has to do to compete? I had a hard time swallowing that the O's "couldn't afford to keep" Manny Machado, while San Diego, a comparably sized market, could find $300 million to pay him in a cold free agent market. With revenue sharing, television contracts and closed books, I have a hard time buying the "poor owners" line and subjecting fan bases (especially in smaller markets) to excruciating seasons like the past two in Baltimore. Oriole fans have been there, particularly compared to the Tampa Bay's of the world, but this is an abusive relationship. Isn't Oakland's approach much to be preferred and emulated?
Craig Goldstein: I think there are two ways to look at it. In the environment in which this is accepted by ownership and fans, then sure. It's what everyone else is doing and it is an easy way to have long-term job security because there's no risk in the first couple seasons, at least. It's also a qualifier to long-term success rather than a competitive advantage like it used to be. Sometimes you just have to play the game, even if it sucks.
The other way is that with everyone doing it, the returns are diminishing, and so there should be a way to #disrupt the current market. I'd like to think given all the brains in front offices, that someone could see a path to reset faster or differently than stripping it to the studs, and attempt what Oakland is doing, to some degree. But that also comes with more risk. Trying risks failure. Handicapping your future intentionally has no risk in the moment if people are willing to accept it, sadly.
Will (Chicago): Health aside, what do the Cubs need to do to get themselves back with the elite? They seem to stuck in the good, not great territory with too many hitters that are able to be attacked the same way.
Craig Goldstein: I think they need to find a way to not play Albert Almora and his bat (and others like him) even given his defensive aptitude. The pitching seems to be rounding into form and bullpens are...mercurial. Obviously most consistency there helps but so would health.
Craig Goldstein: Okay everyone, thanks for the chat, I'm sorry it's a brief one. We'll make it up to you next week.
Jeffrey Paternostro will be chatting on Friday, so bring your prospect questions to him.