Craig Goldstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Baseball Prospectus and co-host of the Five and Dive podcast (https://www.patreon.com/fiveanddive).
Craig Goldstein: A third Game 7 in four years! Can you believe it? I was ready for the postseason to end about halfway through it but now that it's here I'm sad it's almost over. That'll learn me.
Mark (The Bad Place): Hi Craig, I'm still not talking to you, but what *realistically* would be an acceptable Lindor trade package? I'm fully prepared for it to be more underwhelming than it should be.
To steal from a wildly successful and rollicking podcast, Thanks, I Hate It.
Craig Goldstein: Okay, so this is picking up on a rumor that Jon Morosi was peddling that may or may not be related to what I wrote in my Dodgers 2020 Hindsight piece. Morosi, stop stealing my bits for news! Anyway, the Dodgers are interested in Lindor and I think there are two ways for Cleveland to go about it from them. One involves Corey Seager as a centerpiece. What he gives you now is the same two years of team control as Lindor, a lower ceiling (but not THAT much, he was a 5+ win player in recent memory), and lower overall cost than Lindor. I think you fill that out with maybe one other significant prospect -- Keibert Ruiz might make some sense with the ascendance of Will Smith and Ruiz's down-ish year, plus maybe a DJ Peters type? Maybe a flier like Gerardo Carrillo (one of my fav arms in that system).
If you're not going with Seager I think you look to start with May or Lux and go from there. I don't know that you get 2/3 of them and Ruiz, but you might be able to pry Jeter Downs as a future shortstop type if you're not getting Lux. The Dodgers haven't tended to part with guys that are part of the current team so I don't know if May/Lux is feasible, but you could also chase an Alex Verdugo, potentially since the team is deep in outfielders. Could also work a throw in like an Edwin Rios, who flashed briefly. Rios types aren't major additions to the deal but he's ready now-ish and could contribute as a DH/1B type.
planetearth1love (Kansas City): Do you like Anthony Santander in 12 team mixed next year. It’s a dynasty format. I picked him up for a buck and can keep him or throw him back? Thank you. Peace1love
Craig Goldstein: No, I don't think he's someone you need to keep year to year in a league that shallow.
Trixie (San Diego): What do you think the Pirates will do this off-season? Are they moving toward a complete rebuild?
Craig Goldstein: I think they have to, right? I hate rec'ing a rebuild but what do you do? Your best or second best position player is Starling Marte, who is 30 and just put together one of his best seasons. Two years left on his contract (via affordable options)...don't you cash in on that? Josh Bell is already 27. He's been in the majors for parts of four seasons. You have to make a decision on him soon, too. Jameson Taillon is out for essentially all of 2020. Your core, should you choose to keep one is Bell/Marte/...Newman? Tucker? Keller? Where do you go from here that makes sense in a highly competitive Central? I think they could do a short rebuild if they marshaled their resources correctly, but it's really hard to say without seeing who is in charge of said resources. It's also hard to believe Nutting won't take any opportunity to spend less money.
sportsguy21792 (Madison): The out call against Turner was a huge call under the circumstance. How would the series be remembered if Houston had come back to win the game with that cloud hanging over? will it be a reviewable call next year?
Craig Goldstein: I think it probably gets forgotten by and large...eventually. Short term it becomes a real issue and maybe spearheads some change regarding the rule (which it might do anyway). This isn't an ump blowing a call like Denkinger, it's a poorly applied call of a by the book ruling that never otherwise gets applied in a crucial situation. In five years someone would say Houston would have won 2 of 3 championships and no one will say "YEAH BUT THE CALL ON TURNER WAS TECHNICALLY TICKY TACKY" because we'd have moved on to 5 million other things to be mad about.
It won't be a reviewable call next year, I think they'll just change the rule or provide a base in foul territory for the runner. They won't make judgement calls reviewable even though getting more eyes and minds together regarding a judgement seems like a reasonable thing to do, to me.
BP Podcasts (Bret's Garage): Other than Five & Dive, do you have any recommendations from the BP Podcast Network for those who haven't listened yet?
Craig Goldstein: My personal other favorite is Three-Quarters Delivery because it touches on all the things I bug Jeffrey about anyway, but I've really been enjoying the TINO reboot despite finding out that Mark is apparently extraordinarily handsome
Quincy (Ames): Randy Arozarena - think he’ll be the regular cf in St. Louis ? Thoughts on the upside?
Craig Goldstein: I think he's more likely to be a solid 4th outfield type, maybe a low-end starter when he gets the reps. It's a crowded outfield even if Ozuna leaves, because Dylan Carlson is on his way.
Ralph (The Internet): If you had to have a combine for BP writers what would the skills/tests involved include, and who would be some of the obvious winners?
Craig Goldstein: Sarcasm: Carsley
The Good Face: Tie - Schaefer/Barry
Making People Mad Online - Tie - Goldstein/Trueblood
Ability to dunk but only between Craig/Ben/Bret: Goldstein
Btw this question has made Ben mad enough that he wants to do an agility drill against me now
Ben (Agile City USA): You're gonna get smoked buddy.
Craig Goldstein: Do you SEE what you've done to us? Yes, we'll probably record it.
Vic (Baltimore): For 2020, I hope to get one of the Top 5 SPs and then avoid the Berrios, Carassco, Syndergaard contingent.....What are some 150-250 overall pick SPs worth considering?
Craig Goldstein: I honestly don't know this far out. I'm not *that* plugged into fantasy that I know which pitchers would be available in that range, especially this far out from drafts taking place.
sportsguy21792 (M): Does the ability to resign Moustakas influence what Milw does with Shaw?
Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think it has to? I mean there are only so many spots on that infield.
The Fonz (Milwaukee): Who do the Cubs add to the rotation this offseason? Ayyyyyy!
Craig Goldstein: I don't know that it's going to be extensive and I don't think they'll play at the top of the market? How does Kyle Gibson and, uh, Michael Wacha sound to you? I do think Ryu would be a really interesting play with his ability to keep the ball in the park.
Jon (Warshington): Do you make your own projections or player rankings? Where do you start that process and how do know where to adjust your thinking for individual players?
Craig Goldstein: For fantasy? I don't. I've mostly always left that to Ben and Bret when we were doing stuff like that and then attacked their rankings as best I could but I've always struggled to just start from scratch and do my own. Everyone has an internal logic that looks or feels right to them and it's important to test that using projections like PECOTA (or others) as a sanity check. I tend to trust projections more than I do my gut instinct but that doesn't mean I ignore my internal logic either. There are some biases that are built into each algorithm and it's okay to acknowledge that and use your own intellect to create what is hopefully a more nuanced valuation.
nschaef (NYC): You wake up. Your bedroom looks a little weird, but you chalk that up to grogginess and a late night watching The Bachelor. You walk over to the bathroom and splash some water on your face and look up into the mirror--Oh my god! You're Rick Hahn! What happened to the man who invented "Childish Bambino?"
You drive into work and learn that, after arbitration raises, you have $50 million committed for 2020 and not much beyond that (Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, basically). You also learn from quickly looking through some spreadsheets that you have been authorized to spend up to $125 million, or $75 million AAV in 2020, to improve the White Sox.
What do you do?
Craig Goldstein: I'd go hard for either Cole or Strasburg, or both, and then maybe Ryu if you can't get both. I know they need offense there, too, but I think you can find useful pieces for what they need other places, and they have some pieces coming, too. Robert is on the way for CF, Madrigal for 2B. If you sign Rendon, you need to move Moncada and he finally flourished at the plate at 3B. That doesn't mean I have an issue signing Rendon, but their rotation outside of Giolito is a problem and I'd pour my resources into that because the division is available, in my opinion. I'd hit the top of the market and I'd go after depth. Maybe you like Wheeler over Ryu, that's fine. Maybe Madison Bumgarner is weirdly undervalued? Maybe you try and fix Julio Teheran who everyone seems to think is bad but is also always like okay as a 4? You can throw some money at a Corey Dickerson type for OF/DH for offense, too. I know there's risk in leaning on those prospects, but I'd mitigate that with solid depth pieces in the lineup more than high-end ones, which I'd save for the rotation.
Mike (Bloomington): If MLB went back to hand-sewn baseballs, how much would league ERA drop?
Craig Goldstein: Honestly I have no idea, perhaps a better question for Rob Arthur. I'd wonder whether ERA drops or we just get way more inconsistent balls, in general.
The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): Tommy Edman or Isan Diaz for future?
Craig Goldstein: I'm an Edman guy at this point
Bernie "Sanders" Williams (Acoustic Guitar / Campaign Trail): Baseball, both on the field and off of it, has had private equity/capital/profit-only motives reaching its tendrils into every aspect of the game. Many seem to think this is a bad thing. What would you propose to fix it?
Craig Goldstein: I'm one of the many there. I don't know that there's a short-term viable strategy. It's about what we demand and expect of ownership and on some level the league office needs to give a shit about this stuff. We have rarely had Commissioners that cared about the interests of the game so much as the interests of owner's wallets, but I think that'd be a cool place to start, if possible. There need to be people who care about baseball and understand what it's for. Yes, it is a business, but it's a business whose purpose is to entertain fans, to provide enjoyment, and show off the incredible athleticism of its players. There's more than enough money to go around to the players and management and ownership and not make it so cost-prohibitive to fans. It's really true, there is. But that's not optimal for short-term bottom lines and until you have people in charge who care about the former more than the latter, nothing is going to change.
Craig Goldstein: Alright, bit of a shorter chat today but it was an odd time for non-West coasters. We're starting prospect coverage next week and Jeffrey will be chatting the day of for each of them. First up is the AL East.