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Chat: Eric Seidman

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday July 24, 2009 4:30 PM ET chat session with Eric Seidman.


Eric Seidman's in the box to pinch-hit for Marc Normandin's initially scheduled chat, but no doubt you'll find him every bit as interesting and responsive to your questions.

Eric Seidman: Well, hello there everybody. Filling in for Stormin' Normandin today, but I admit I haven't played a video game since Resident Evil 2 scared the crap out of me. Also, I'm on Twitter now and addicted! @EricSeidman. Let the chat-fun begin!

Phil (LA): Topic: Clayton Kershaw discuss...

Eric Seidman: One of the best young pitchers I've ever seen, and I've made it a habit to watch all of his starts now. I'm honestly about ready to put him ahead of Billingsley as the ace of the staff. Assuming he can cut back on some walks, this is a perennial all-star.

JM (Tucson): Thanks for the your last unfiltered spot - it really helped clarify some thing for me. My question is in reference to a potential sim league (Diamond Mind) transaction but am curious as to your thoughts for the sake of MLB. Howie Kendrick for Jon Sanchez. Who gets the better end of this deal for the rest of the year? Rest of the player's careers?

Eric Seidman: Let me ask you this... if Sanchez didn't throw a no-hitter, would there be this hype? Bud Smith and Anibal Sanchez have also thrown no-hitters. Sanchez has talent but I really do fear his career takes the Oliver Perez route instead of the Matt Cain route. I'd need to know more about the league, like who you have in the infield and your staff but I do want to impart not to overrate Sanchez because he threw a no-hitter.

tonipeluso (Oakland, CA): Can you breakdown the Holliday trade. I love Wallace but don't know anything about Shane Peterson or Clayton Mortenson.

Eric Seidman: Cardinals get 2 months of Holliday, As get two prospects (Peterson and Mortenson) that Kevin Goldstein likes but doesn't love, and Wallace, who was likely a 1B in the MLB, and I'm pretty sure Pujols ain't going anywhere. Billy Beane was able to trade Holliday for more than he traded to GET Holliday, and the Cardinals legitimately upgrade their outfield. Is it too cliche to say win-win?

MikeAlan (North Carolina): Please rank these in terms of the better MLB career - Clay Buchholz, Naftali Feliz or Max Scherzer? Thanks! Alan

Eric Seidman: Admittedly I'm biased given my relationship with Max but I really do think he has a better career than Buchholz or Feliz, the latter of whom I own in a Strat league and love. Scherzer has absolutely electric stuff but also the know-how and savvy, as evident in the interview I posted with him last year, to make adjustments when adjustments are needed. He's very into the numbers, just like Bannister, but he throws 98 mph.

mo (las vegas): great work on your "royal" piece; following on that note, if after the season is over, the following scenario appears: Ryan Howard and Carlos Carrasco for Greinke and Kila: a) who do you think is getting the better deal? b)Would the Royals think they are getting the better deal?

Eric Seidman: Carrasco's stock has fallen precipitously lately and Kila, though highly touted, is certainly unproven, so you're basically asking if Moore would trade Greinke for Ryan Howard. I know many KC fans think negatively about Moore but there is no way even he would make that move.

Pat (Tufts): Whom should the Mets sell?

Eric Seidman: Who do they have worth selling? They'll likely have Reyes and Beltran and Maine back next season, and if all of their players were healthy, they would be giving the Phillies a run for the division. In going up and down their roster, I'm sort of stuck with regards to finding who they would even sell if they could... maybe Pedro Feliciano could extract a decent return?

Pizza Cutter (Cleveland): Eric, Would you rather Roy or Cliff for your team's stretch run?

Eric Seidman: Roy, but I'm frankly tired of people thinking it's such a HUGE dropoff to Cliff Lee. Lee is a different pitcher than he was 3 years ago thanks to a well documented change in approach, and any team that gets him isn't getting merely a consolation prize. I liken it to Harden and Sabathia last year... Sabathia has the better track record but do you think the Cubs were pouting about getting Harden?

Rajeev (Galveston, TX): Eric, the Astros are (once again) overperforming their Pythagorean and hanging around a division/wildcard race they have no business being in, just like last year. At what point does this team just fall off a cliff and win <70 games? Horrible farm system, incredibly old team, yet they've maintained this 75-85 win type season for 3 or 4 year now

Eric Seidman: Though I'm inclined to think this could be the last year, Berkman is around until at least 2011, same with Oswalt, Carlos Lee until 2012, with others under control as well. They will lose Tejada and Pudge, and a few others, which unfortunately will likely leave them in the position where McLane thinks they have enough veterans to win and go out and acquire a stopgap as opposed to blowing the thing up.

Mark (NJ): The Mets can sell Feliciano, Livan, Schneider, Redding, Cora, etc.

Eric Seidman: Feliciano would help a team, the others, not so much. Though Schneider's name does intrigue me, as the catching market is drastically thinner than others.

Nick (NYC): "He's very into the numbers, just like Bannister, but he throws 98 mph." That's awesome! Are you noticing this as a trend among younger players or are Scherzer and Bannister the exceptions?

Eric Seidman: I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if those two, and a handful or two of others were more exceptions than the rule.

alboebno (San Francisco): What moves should the Giants make before the deadline to help increase their playoff chances?

Eric Seidman: Get Adam Dunn.

kmorales (new york): Pedro Alvarez ... star, dud, or somewhere in between, or too early to tell?

Eric Seidman: My strat team hopes it's the first one, but it is too early to tell. He has had a great month of July after struggling a bit early on, but I really hope this one works out for the Pirates... and my strat team.

DKANDREWS1 (DC): If Holliday trade was a Win-Win, and Billy Beane got more for him than for what he traded for him. Following your logic, the big loser in the Holliday trade was Colorado, right?

Eric Seidman: Pretty much.

Mike (NY): What are your long term goals for baseball? Do you want to work for a team?

Eric Seidman: I would love the opportunity to work for a team in some capacity, perhaps on a consulting basis. A full-time gig would throw some potential wrenches in there, but my goal certainly involves working for a team in some way, shape, or form.

steveomd (Georgia): Any obvious moves the Braves need to make at the deadline? Don't know how much of a system they have to deal from anymore...

Eric Seidman: One obvious move, don't even THINK of trading Javier Vazquez. I'm not sure where these rumors came from but Vazquez is one of the major reasons they have a fighting chance of the wild card/division, and getting rid of him makes no sense whatsoever.

Tim (Tampa): I proposed this question to David in his chat and I'll ask the same of you: Do the Rays need to add anything to make a run at the Wild Card/AL East, i.e. an arm to replace Sonnastine or someone to man RF to platoon with Kapler?

Eric Seidman: This is a tad tricky because if you put them in any other division in baseball they would be in first place, but they aren't. They're in the AL East, where the level of play is much tougher. Dave Cameron suggested at Fangraphs the other day that they go get Cliff Lee, and I agree. Also maybe see what a team like the Angels would give you for Kazmir, who just clearly isn't going to reach that ace status.

Dennis (California): Hi Eric, thanks for the chat. I own Justin Upton in a dynasty points league (have his rights for the next four years after this one). If I decided to trade him, what would be an appropriate haul? Or is he, as I suspect, just someone to hold onto for the duration as a franchise cornerstone?

Eric Seidman: A 21 yr old decent fielding and athletic outfielder currently hitting .291/.363/.529 as, like I said, a 21 yr old. You should take this question, rip it up, and just pretend it was never asked!

jbuofm (Peoria): I realize this would never happen, but who would say no first in a bad contract trade of Soriano for Zito?

Eric Seidman: Zito certainly hasn't lived up to his contract but few realize he is actually in the midst of his best season since 2005... 6.8 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 4.68 ERA.. nothing that fantastic but certainly good enough to be a #4 or #5 on any rotation. Take away the contracts and who would you rather have, since both are rather absurd? A no-field LF who could be on the decline or could just be in the midst of a fluky bad year, or a #4/5 pitcher? It's a tough call.

Nick (NYC): Any feeling about what the Yanks should do this trade deadline?

Eric Seidman: Move Phil Hughes into the starting rotation, try and trade for someone like Jason Frasor or Chad Qualls.

Jason Rose (Itasca): The Cubs are crushing the Reds. Aramis has a 4 hit day. With him now healthy, can anything stop the Cubs?

Eric Seidman: Yes, Lilly just went on the DL, Harden is a DL-risk every time he toes the rubber, Bradley and Soriano might not come out of their funks, and Ryan Theriot needs a haircut.

Dan (DC): I'm basically a rookie when it comes to advanced fielding statistics. Where's a good place I should start if I want to learn the ropes?

Eric Seidman: In the most recent BP Annual, Clay Davenport has an article about his new found fielding metric, and if you go to Google, type in "MGL, UZR, primer" you will likely find MGL's looooong description of UZR from several years ago.

Hanley (Not Boston): Shouldn't Halladay be a guy that any team and not just a contender should be going after? Like if the Mets want to make changes, but they basically have a bunch of superstars and nobody else, why not Reyes for Halladay? Or something like that? The Orioles seemingly have a nice group. Wouldn't adding Halladay make them a contender in a year?

Eric Seidman: Halladay has a no-trade clause and wants to pitch for a winner. Sure, the Orioles might have nice pieces to add him but why on Earth would Roy approve a trade to a team BENEATH his current team?

Fish Fan (FLA): Is there still hope for Cameron Maybin? While he was initially projected as an Eric Davis type, his power seems to have disappeared. Can he become anything more than a CF with a little speed and pop? Thanks.

Eric Seidman: There is PLENTY of hope, but the Marlins need to get off their butts and bring him up. I don't know what more he has to prove in the minors.

tonipeluso (Oakland, CA): Do you think the Dodgers need to make a trade?

Eric Seidman: To do what, we need to qualify questions like these. The Dodgers and Phillies likely don't NEED to make a move if he goal is merely to make the post-season. To enhance their chances of success in the playoffs, wouldn't you love someone like Doc or Lee to replace the revolving door of Weaver/Schmidt/Milton?

Aunt Jemima (Atlanta): Joe Mauer hit 9HR in May and 6 in the month and a half since then. What's his real power level? What do you see from him the rest of the season? Do you think Weiters will be better?

Eric Seidman: I feel like Mauer is going to be a 16-22 HR hitter with plenty of contact otherwise and patience to boot. A line of, say, .315/.410/.460 with 18 HR. Add in his reportedly stellar defense that spits in the face of Nichols Law, and that makes him the most underrated player in baseball, not this Matt Kemp character. Kemp is underrated in the sense that he is an all-star not known globally, etc. Mauer is underrated in the sense that he is one of the best players in baseball, period, and others might not think of him as anything more than a mere all star.

qbroda (Calgary): Please rank in value over the next 5 years: Jurrjens, Cain, Scherzer

Eric Seidman: Scherzer, Cain, Jurrjens, but we're really just splitting hairs here. I love Jurrjens and have him on my strat team (do you guys know who I have - it seems every question pertains to guys I have) but I'd feel more confident in him if he would whiff more hitters.

RahulN (Oxford, England): With Prado in at 2B, do you think the Braves should try and sell low on Kelly Johnson and get another reliever, or let him play some and help the team while rebuilding value?

Eric Seidman: If the Braves think themselves serious contenders they don't really have time to showcase Johnson if the ultimate goal is moving him. I'd say move him now, give Prado the job permanently.

acmcdowell (Athens, GA): What do you expect from Eric Patterson now that he's been called up by the A's?

Eric Seidman: The same thing we have all expected from every other prospect the As call up that underperforms. Hopefully he can break the cycle of relative failure.

Dan ((DC)): One GM recently said they would trade anyone on their roster for Jason Heyward. Off the top of your head, what GM's could have realistically said this?

Eric Seidman: Who's running the Nationals these days? That Rizzo guy?

kcboomer (KC): Since the end of last season Dayton Moore has made one major blunder after another. And his prior off-season move of hiring Trey Hillman was less than inspired. Royals fans are beside themselves that neither of these two guys seems to have the remotest idea of how to do their job or that there is even a problem. I don't suppose you can tell me that I am wrong and that we aren't staring at, once again, blowing this thing up and starting over.

Eric Seidman: Moore seems to have done a good, not fantastic job with the farm system in his drafts, and an abominable job at the major league level. As I wrote this week, they are using ancient techniques in a business wherein everyone else has moved onto bigger and better ways of evaluating talent. Maybe Moore would be better suited for an assistant GM job, one in which he could pay more attention to the minors, allowing someone else to handle major league talent.

acmcdowell (Athens, GA): Who do you like better as the top player in the two Holliday deals, Brett Wallace or Carlos Gonzalez?

Eric Seidman: In his Single-A stint in 2008 and Double-A stint this year, Wallace has looked like Joe Mauer at the plate, which is certainly solid, but I've heard enough questions about his defense that he seems to be 1B-bound at the MLB level. On that note, if he can sustain patience and develop power, he could be a very productive MLB player. CarGo has been traded about 12 times already and has put up virtually identical OBP/SLG lines in both of his MLB stints so far. I'm always more inclined to take the CF over the 1B, but in this case I'll break from that mold and say Wallace.

Xavier (Alaska (I can see Russia)): So it's a late Friday afternoon, are there many questions coming in? I'd imagine most people are already at the bar. BTW, Aramis has really wierd facial hair.

Eric Seidman: Getting a good amount of questions, yep. It's about 5:30 PM where I am and I don't know anyone who would be at the bar at this time.

MT (Boston): Why aren't the Red Sox making a play for Tejada? His defense is lacking, but his bat is a serious upgrade over Green/Lowrie. They have the chips to trade, and the payroll to take on his contract. I can't imagine that Houston feels they're a legitimate contender, especially with Berkman on the DL.

Eric Seidman: Tejada is projected to hit .305/.337/.448 from here on out with shoddy defense. Lowrie at .235/.320/.392 and Green at .241/.287/.382, so yeah Tejada would be an upgrade, but the Astros still consider themselves contenders and they are unlikely to get rid of one of their perceived key contributors. So you're talking about having to overpay for a hitter whose skills might decline a bit in the AL with the better talent level, making him potentially a marginal upgrade.

Rickey (Cooperstown): RE: Moore and ancient techniques... I'm a big Cubs fan and they don't come off as a really progressive organization either. They just sign a bunch of guys. I'm not very impressed with them. They're basically the Royals with money. Am I being overly nitpicky since they do win? They certainly could be more efficient with their resources.

Eric Seidman: I'm a fan of the Process, not Products. Paul DePodesta used blackjack and it is a tremendous example. If you have a 17, and hit, even if you get a 4 it is still an awful decision. I admittedly don't know much about the inner workings of the Cubs, but I would highly doubt Jim Hendry acts like the main character in Brewsters Millions, simply giving money away because they have it.

glenihan (nyc): Brett Wallace = Nick Johnson?

Eric Seidman: I don't think it's as linear as an apples-apples comparison but, that's my gist, that Wallace may be that sort of first baseman if he becomes a 1B at the MLB level. Not a TON of power like a traditional first baseman, but good on base numbers, and decent enough slugging to hold down fort. But power develops last for youngsters so he may well be on his way.

Colin Wyers (Davenport, IA): As regards MT in Boston - Why wouldn't the Astros see themselves as contenders? They're a game and a half out of first place. (Yes, yes, Pythag, but if the Astros believed in that then their offseason makes no sense at all.)

Eric Seidman: Exactly. The Astros aren't going to unload players based on EXPECTED results being different than actual. The division is weak this year and they could very well win it. Tejada is on the decline but he is still one of their perceived key contributors.

Lincoln Burrows (Joliet): You talk alot of your strat team. How is it? Learned anything from it that helps you here? How's your competition?

Eric Seidman: This is my very first year running the team and it really has enlightened me with regards to running a franchise, majors and minors, as well as strategy. It doesn't even compare to fantasy baseball in my estimation, or at least the fantasy leagues I am used to. It is an 8-team superstar league, so it's always fun doing studies on, say, the replacement level in OUR league relative to real life.

ed (NY): Pete Abe says there are reports that Halladay in on his way to the Phillies... let's suppose that's true. Want to take a guess at what they're giving up for him?

Eric Seidman: Last I heard, Jays were considering the package of Drabek, Taylor, Donald, Marson. If that offer is on the table and I'm Ricciardi, I pull the trigger.

lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Detroit's farm system is iffy at best....but can they get involved a move for a corner outfielder that is worth the cost or another starting pitcher since Porcello is running out of steam? Perhaps as the third team to facilitate a bigger deal?

Eric Seidman: What corner outfielders do you have in mind? Someone like Dunn would be a DH. I could see the Tigers being the team that gets someone like Marquis or Doug Davis, but their system would likely prevent anything else, if it could even muster up enough for the latter two pitchers.

Jm (Tucson): Not expecting a followup but I think I may be underestimating Sanchez to an extent just because of the hype. If you do have time - Sanchez would be #5 this year and possibly my #4 next year as I will lose Mike Mussina (Beckett, Peavy, Lohse, Braden, Laffey round out the staff). I have Mark Ellis/Blake DeWitt platooning at 2B this year. I guess the question is: am I going to kick myself for getting rid of Kendrick after holding out to him for the last four years? I see his K/UIBB ratio is much improved this year but thats about it.

Eric Seidman: If I'm in your shoes I take a chance on Kendrick since it isn't as if Sanchez makes or breaks your rotation.

lemppi (Ankeny, IA): I was thinking Josh Willingham or Luke Scott. But I think they need the rotation guy more. Would Willingham help in the AL?

Eric Seidman: Willingham would help anywhere. The guy isn't an all-star but he, Scott, Spilborghs are all worthy of being pursued.

dogtothedog (Toronto): If the Jays are trading Halladay why aren't they trying to unload, Barajas, Overbay, Scutaro, Rolen, Wells, Rios as well. I understand why im not hearing Wells Rumours but why not the others?

Eric Seidman: I've heard plenty of rumors regarding Scutaro and Rolen, and in fact I wouldn't be surprised if those two, as well as Frasor are moved.

jlebeck66 (WI): Ever play APBA (or it's PC version BBW)? It's like Strat; only different.

Eric Seidman: Yeah, my brother and father and I used to play APBA, the dice version. In fact we played about 9 seasons from 1996-2004. It occupied much of my childhood. We each managed 8 teams.

Berndaddy (DC): Eric realisticly which Nats is bye bye come 7/31? Is do nothing a good move for Rizzo? Thx

Eric Seidman: Adam Dunn needs to go. Josh Willingham needs to go. These guys will attract decent returns. I highly doubt anyone else they have would get a solid return.

Jake (LA): Do you think Brandon Wood will be freed of the tyrrany of Mike Scioscia?

Eric Seidman: The guy deserves a real extended shot, but I have certainly seen cases--though moreso in basketball--where coaches/managers sour on young players and they don't see the light of day.

Eric Seidman: Alright everyone, time to go get ready for MLB action tonight, and to take a break of going crazy over these Halladay rumors. As always feel free to e-mail me or get at me on Twitter @EricSeidman.

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