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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday April 08, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


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

Craig Goldstein: Well at least nothing significant is happening in the outside world, as we begin our chat.

sportsguy21792 (Madison): Craig...for every reason I think playing games in AZ is attractive I can think of an equally compelling argument not to do this. How do you way in on this?

Craig Goldstein: I actually just submitted an article with some thoughts on it. It should post today or tomorrow. Nuts and bolts: I get why all sides would have interest and it makes absolute sense to think about this stuff as a contingency if you're the league. That said, there are *so* many hurdles and conditions on the reported proposal that it doesn't seem remotely viable to me, at least at this juncture.

P (MN): Thanks for the chat, Craig. Baseball is the main topic, but the detours are enjoyable. Is the complaining about BP's political slant a fairly recent thing, or am I not correctly remembering the site's past? Any thoughts on why - a gradual change in the type of content, a heightened sensitivity to it in the larger culture, or legitimate criticism of BP? Also, will the 2020 Player Cards still be released?

Craig Goldstein: My pleasure. There have been complaints about the way the site has covered things basically the entire time. Each iteration of the site had different genres of complaints, and I think we're in a vaguely more political, or confrontationally political time where almost everything is ripe for accusations of bias because we're constantly looking at the vectors that power and money interact with our society, including sports.

I think that addresses your second option, but I also think the other two are part of it, too. There is a change in the type of content. I intentionally talk and solicit pieces regarding labor, labor relations, etc. And I think there is a legitimate criticism to be had there, too. I mentioned this on Steven Goldman's podcast a while back, but I'm not really apologetic about what we plan to discuss. The site will necessarily reflect my point of view in its editorial choices, even though I absolutely publish things I disagree with, too.

I'm happy to engage in the discussion and I've learned a lot from a lot of our commenters and readers in our back and forths, in the process. But I don't find value in being in the middle or avoiding a topic just because it might expose part of my/our worldview.

Yes, we're working on new cards and they will still be released!

meswan (Texas): Hi Craig, thanks for taking your time to respond to my question. I thoroughly enjoy the BP chat sessions!! What are your thoughts, from a Dynasty perspective, on the tandem of Brayan Rocchio & Aaron Bracho. Do they appear to be a solid long term solution up the middle for Cleveland and my Dynasty team? Or do you think they may not have that kind of staying power or other? Hope you have a great Easter!

Craig Goldstein: Thanks for reading them! I actually think they're better IRL prospects than fantasy. The advanced skills from a guy like Rocchio, at his age, are great, but I question how much power can come from the frame and how much development is realistically ahead of him because of it.

Rodney (Dangerfield): Got offered Goldy, M Brantley and Liam Hendriks for Luis Castillo in a 12 team 7x7 FIP/QS/OPS/Batter K dynasty. Is this the type of deal that looks worse in a shorter season? Which side do you like?

Craig Goldstein: It's not a bad offer to me, especially because Brantley is a huge boon in a league that penalizes strikeouts for hitters. That said, it seems like it would depend a bit on whether you need saves or not. The added categories for QS makes relievers a bit less valuable than a normal 5x5, and starters more, since it's yet another category that can contribute to. I don't think the length of the season is a particular issue in this deal, overall, though.

Concerned Minor Leaguer (Anywhere): New story that baseball may start up in May in Arizona. Looks like the minor league season would be continued to be delayed if not canceled. What does that do to prospects that were close to the majors or even a little further off. If someone was going to come up in September of 2020, will that be delayed to September 2021? Or due to the fact that they are older, teams would consider calling them up sooner.

Craig Goldstein: I touched on this a bit in the service time piece I wrote (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/57956/dissecting-the-service-time-implications-of-the-mlb-mlbpa-agreement/) but yeah, minor leaguers will be affected by this. I don't know that the age thing is going to matter significantly. I do think the lack of development is going to be an issue, but possibly counteracted by expanded rosters and owners who are still going to gripe about a lack of revenue, and thus might want to fill that roster expansion out as cheaply as possible.

Major prospects who teams would mess with for service time reasons will likely see their timelines pushed back more significantly than mid-tier or fringe types, I'd expect.

taco (milwaukee): Hi- do you think there is any chance we see Joey Votto get back anywhere close to where he was prior to the 2018 season. It seemed like a lot of people expected a bounce back in 2019 that did not happen. I know age is not on his side, but the drop off the last 2 years has been huge.

Craig Goldstein: Any? Sure, but I don't think it's close to likely unless he finds a way to increase his bat speed in short order. Age is a bitch.

Bingo (Melbourne): Is this the year Mejia breaks out and takes over as catcher in Cleveland? (assuming there is a season, of course). What are your thoughts on his career going forward and do you think he will live up to the hype of 2 years ago? Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: Uncomfortable using the term "break out" about baseball players these days, honestly. Would be even more surprised if he takes over as the catcher in Cleveland.

bgaw (Sand Point): Five best changeups in baseball: Go!

Craig Goldstein: I am not taking your Luis Castillo bait.

CubbieBear (Chi-Town): Always difficult to determine PED impact on performance but I’m thinking if Frankie Montas PED use wasn’t “accidental”, it was likely intended to improve his health. With that aside, do you feel the development of the splitter is enough to carry Montas to a front of a rotation starter?

Craig Goldstein: I would fall short of front of the rotation starter but I do think it was legit and that he's a solid middle of the rotation guy with strong strikeout totals.

sportsguy21792 (Madison): If the season is cancelled is Ryan Braun's career in Milwaukee over assuming the option is declined?

Craig Goldstein: I'd guess yes.

brad (NJ): If there is a very short or no season, how much value do older players lose in dynasty leagues? especially SP like Morton, Scherzer, Greinke, Lester, Hamels etc.. Same with hitters like Cruz, JDM, E5, Escobar, Goldy...

Craig Goldstein: It's hard to know, honestly and something I struggle with. On the one hand, age is a bitch. On the other, a full season off, while they can rest their bodies...seems like not a *horrible* thing, right?

Mike (The Good Land): I just wanted to comment that as a resident of Wisconsin, yesterday was ridiculous and dangerous. Going to vote shouldn't make my anxiety go crazy (the poll workers were great though). With that line of thinking, I just can't imagine it being a good idea to start playing in May. I miss sports, but we can't endanger these athletes and their families, along with everyone who is needed to make that work.

Craig Goldstein: Amen, all the way around.

dylanrox (In the house 24-7): Craig i am at the final selection of a 14 team/27 round dynasty points league draft. And i have yet to grab a catcher. Mejia is still on the board. There are some vets also available - Molina Posey and Tom Murphy. Varsho is also still there although he seems to be a reach for 2020 impact. It’s a one catcher league. Which way do you recommend I go with that final pick? Thanks

Craig Goldstein: at that point I'm probably gambling on Mejia, though Posey would be my second option. I really like Varsho. He's underrated, but yeah 2020 impact is probably unlikely or quite small.

Pete (Boston): I (very smartly!!!!) spent $140 on mlb.tv + milb.tv for the 2020 season, two weeks before they shut down. I'm interested in going back and watching some spring training performances to run the old eye test. do you have any tips for sorting through/identifying which spring training games featured which lineups?

Craig Goldstein: Damn, that's a good question. I would probably search "line up" from various beat reporters on twitter, I guess and find ones that interested me? That's probably a bad approach. Anyone else got any ideas?

Dynasty Player (Boston): I am in a keeper league (can keep guys for up to 5 years max) with 3 spots that can be used to keep minor league players forever until they are called up. I am trying to rebuild this year. I am wondering what the better strategy is. Do I draft TMJ guys like sale and syndegaard (they will be really cheap in the auction) or do I get cheap prospects like Pearson, Manning and Howard. Which way would you lean?

Craig Goldstein: Depends a bit on the size of the league. I'd probably go with the vets, since the impact of their loss is fairly muted if we get a shortened season but there are a lot of variables involved. I'd love some more details on how the league works to better answer the question.

Chris (Chicago): If there is a very short or no minor league baseball season how do you think teams will feel about it. Their players would lose development time, but the minors does not have the TV / radio money like MLB, they need crowds. Plus, wonder what they adjustment may be, if any as guys would maybe get to MLB a year or half year later possibly meaning they are older when they hit free agency. Everyone talks about MLB, I am also curious about MILB.

Craig Goldstein: I expect MLB teams to push for as little MiLB season as possible as a means to get out of paying these guys the nominal amounts that make, and instead just train the guys they care most about, to the extent they can, at extended spring training and the like. I also think it's unlikely the minor league season can happen safely, at this point.

Craig Goldstein: Alright, thanks for all the questions this week. If you have any fantasy thoughts or questions, be sure to check out Jesse Roche at 1 PM Eastern on Friday!

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