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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday February 05, 2020 12:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.

Craig Goldstein: Anything fun happen recently? No? Okay.

Vic (Baltimore): I know the Reds' OF is crowded. But what about Philip Ervin? If we acquired 400 ABs from some team, would he be a 10-15 HR, 10-15 SB contributor?

Craig Goldstein: Maybe? The reality is that 10-15 HR isn't difficult assuming the ball stays the same, and it's not really that valuable, either. I get the speed might appeal for fantasy but he's just not that good a player and any team giving him 400 ABs is in real trouble.

The Peanut Gallery (the back row (with Craij's mom)): JD Martinez might be regretting his decision not to opt out today, but it was financially still the right call, right? Who was going to pay him more than he's already getting?

Craig Goldstein: I think he figured this was a real possibility at the time. I think it was even with the market somewhat returning to health. He can really only DH, cutting his market in half. Then you look at competitive teams with a DH spot available and it is slim pickings. Maybe the White Sox would have gone in, instead of Edwin Encarnacion? But who would they be bidding against? I think it was the right call.

Dave Dombrowski on 3 (Boston): Hey Craig, Regarding the Red Sox luxury tax penalties, the Red Sox lose 10 spots in the draft. Even factoring that in, I'm just not seeing the value in terms of future dollars or even real slot value of trading Mookie Betts to get under the tax threshold for a good but not great player who will probably peak with an all-star season and a pitcher who reads more reliever than middle of the rotation starter.

Craig Goldstein: The Red Sox only lose those spots if they increase payroll to a certain degree. The whole point of a creative FO is to be able to keep your best players, I'd think. Presumably there were other ways of getting under the luxury tax. As it was, the Red Sox payroll had them just shy of $20 million over, and they were paying a third-time offender tax of 50%. It meant they had a $10 million bill for the luxury tax. Not exactly huge money for a franchise like that.

bob m (philly): What are your thoughts about the following 3 players: Van Meter, Franchy, and Tapia? I like the upside of all 3 but I'm concerned about available playing time on their respective rosters! How would you rank them----and can they be considered potential breakout guys in your opinion? Thx.

Craig Goldstein: Tapia, Franchy, Van Meter, if I'm ranking them. I'm just not in on Van Meter and Franchy swings and misses too much for my liking. I think they mostly are what they are at this point but if one of them was going to fluke into a big season, I'll take the guy with Tapia's contact ability.

Vic (Baltimore): My top targets will be Clase, Anderson, Gallegos, and Karinchak. If I miss out on them, please help me group these 9 other relievers into 3 separate target groups. Wick, Pressly, Tuivailala Adams, Munoz, Poche Harvey, Bummer, Stephenson

Craig Goldstein: Pressly, Wick, Bummer. Munoz, Poche, Harvey. Tuivailala, Stephenson, and whoever Adams is.

Peanut Gallery (The back row): Sabermetrics has led to fans thinking about the game in different ways, which is a good thing, but at the same time it (along with fantasy baseball) has also led to fans thinking about team-building from a dispassionate, Wall Street, point of view (and many GMs run their teams this way), but that way of thinking leads to fans siding with owners who cry poor and point to player salaries as an impediment to sustainable success, even though the owners pocket billions of dollars each year. I don't really have a question, I just wanted to say all this in light of the Mookie Betts trade.

Craig Goldstein: I don't know that it's *that* straightforward but on broad strokes it's somewhat fair. I don't think sabermetrics NEED to be employed from an owner/manager-centric viewpoint. That is certainly how it happened, but I think it's possible to be interested in the pursuit of objective truths about the while still preferring labor to prevail. Just because there are things to exploit doesn't mean they need to be exploited. That's not about sabermetrics...that's a different philosophy.

ssimon (Fantasyland): Hi Craig. When will PECOTA and PFM be available?

Craig Goldstein: I have a few questions on PECOTA in the queue, so I'll use this one to address them all. PECOTA player projections will be up on the site tomorrow. PFM...well, it won't be PFM anymore, but that should be available Friday, and I think you're really going to like what we've done with it.

mikewilsonelgin (Bloomington illinois): When Ken Reitz won his gold glove with the Cardinals in the 1970s how bad was his range?

Craig Goldstein: Well, he could only go to his reitz

Jake (State Farm): In a dynasty league, was offered Kris Bryant and Drew Waters for Jack Flaherty. What are your thoughts on that?

Craig Goldstein: Give me Bryant and Waters.

CubbieBear (Chi-Town ): Issac Paredes has an interesting bat. Does it play enough with his average defense to get playing time at SS for Detroit? If not, are there any other regular playing time possibilities for him?

Craig Goldstein: I've always been a little lower on the overall profile, but I do think he could hit enough to be a second-division type at third if shortstop doesn't pan out.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Craig, is Luis Arreaz the most devisive guy in roto fantasy at the moment.For my I got him at 314.11.13. What you got? cheers.

Craig Goldstein: I don't know that he's the MOST divisive. I don't know that I assume he'll hit .315 but he's got good contact skills. I don't know that he's got double digit homer power even with this ball unless he changes something about his swing. Probably too high on the stolen bases (I'm assuming that's what 13 is?) for my tastes too.

bpalee (Dc): Any opinion on Alex Dickerson (SF)? He had a pretty decent 2019 until he got hurt. Decent pedigree. Did he finally figure it out?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not really convinced given the sample size. No argument he was decent in 2019 though, and hopefully it is something that clicked rather than just variance.

Catter (PA): How do you see the Indians rotation shaking out. Specifically, Plesac,Cirvale and Plutko?

Craig Goldstein: I think Civale and Plesac open the year in the rotation and Plutko is more of a long-man/sixth or seventh starter type, ideally. I assume they'd like to have more competition for the back end of their rotation assuming they can do it without spending any money at all.

Ron (Texarkana): Craij, what made Lance Lynn's K-rate jump so much last season, and will his 2020 season mirror 2019, or does he return to his previous self?

Craig Goldstein: I'm going off memory but I think he did a better job of using his fastball up in the zone (his k-rate actually jumped with the Yankees, in this range too).

Tino (NC): Since these owners hate the luxury tax so much, surely they'll be getting rid of it in the next CBA right?....

Craig Goldstein: This is my argument. I'd have a huge problem if I was John Henry, trading away Mookie and Price to get under a luxury tax all while Bob Nutting strips his payroll bare. Anyway, it's obviously not about competitive balance, it's a way for the entire group of them to make more money.

LikesLament2much (DC): Dynasty 13 team 40 man rosters 6x6 (obp, slug, holds, otherwise normal cat): Whitley ($1) RLewis $5, CKelly ($6) or Lament ($7) Bohm ($1) - $1*#years inflation

Craig Goldstein: I'd rather the trio. Also if you like him so much, stop adding a letter to Lamet's name smh.

A Guy (mom's basement): Would you bother rostering Taillon in a dynasty league, or is the slim chance that he's ever a decent SP again not worth the roster spot at this point?

Craig Goldstein: Man, that's a tough one. I guess it depends on who else you're leaving off but I feel like I'd try to have a spot for him, if I could swing it.

Tyler (memphis, TN): What does the Giants bullpen look like this upcoming year? Any clue as to who the closer there will be?

Craig Goldstein: Well, not good, Tyler. I'd bet on Rogers winning out in the long run with Anderson and Watson getting some run in the closer spot too.

sykklone (IA): Thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts on D Varsho? Upside is.....

Craig Goldstein: I'm really in on Varsho. I believe in the bat and he's more athletic than given credit for. I know there's some work to do behind the plate, but he's got the ability to play other positions on the diamond and contribute with the bat otherwise. A really useful piece in the 26-man roster era, if you want a third catcher who doesn't hamstring you offensively or defensively.

Craig Goldstein: Short chat today, but have a bunch of stuff to get to. Thanks everyone for your questions. Jesse Roche will be chatting and answering all fantasy questions Friday!

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