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  1. #1

    2018-19 Hot Stove Thread

    We are a bit late in getting this started, but the action is heating up.

    Will Bryce Harper cash in? (Likely)

    Is Patrick Corbin really worth $140 million?

    Will Dave Roberts last his 4 year contract extension?

    I'm probably being petty in another thread.

  2. #2
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    Yankees fan here. Apparently they were very interested in Corbin and he grew up a Yankees fan. I think he was really overpaid so I’m glad the Yanks showed patience. Hopefully they will show similar patience with Machado and Harper - I don’t want either of them.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    ...Hopefully they will show similar patience with Machado and Harper - I don’t want either of them.
    Not a huge Harper fan but I don't dislike him, why do you think he would not be a good Yankee addition?
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    Not a huge Harper fan but I don't dislike him, why do you think he would not be a good Yankee addition?
    I don't presume to speak for CrazynotCrazie, but I'm a Yankee fan too, and also don't want either of them, especially Machado. Machado because he's a jerk who doesn't hustle, and even admits as much (although he has awkwardly tried to walk back some of what he said about not hustling). Harper is, by most accounts, also a jerk, and I don't want him just because whoever gets him risks winding up with a contract like the one Pujols got from the Angels: too many years, too much money.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasputin View Post
    I don't presume to speak for CrazynotCrazie, but I'm a Yankee fan too, and also don't want either of them, especially Machado. Machado because he's a jerk who doesn't hustle, and even admits as much (although he has awkwardly tried to walk back some of what he said about not hustling). Harper is, by most accounts, also a jerk, and I don't want him just because whoever gets him risks winding up with a contract like the one Pujols got from the Angels: too many years, too much money.
    Pujols signed his deal at the age of 32. Harper is just turning 26. It is highly likely that the best three or four years of Harper's career will be his next several seasons (most players peak in the mid-late 20s). While I am sure Harper will sign something that takes him into his late 30s and the deal will likely be pretty bad in those final few years, I think you are probably getting at least 7-10 good seasons from him before the deal starts to look like an albatross (and who knows what the economics of the game will look like then, paying $35 mil per season may not seem so crazy).
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Pujols signed his deal at the age of 32. Harper is just turning 26. It is highly likely that the best three or four years of Harper's career will be his next several seasons (most players peak in the mid-late 20s). While I am sure Harper will sign something that takes him into his late 30s and the deal will likely be pretty bad in those final few years, I think you are probably getting at least 7-10 good seasons from him before the deal starts to look like an albatross (and who knows what the economics of the game will look like then, paying $35 mil per season may not seem so crazy).
    The concern with Harper is that, despite being an unequivocally awesome talent, he's had only two all-star caliber seasons in the last SIX years. A combination of inconsistency at the plate and frequent injuries has resulted in four of his past six years being sub-4 WAR produced. That's a real concern. Also concerning is that he's become a BAD defensive player.

    So while offensively he should hopefully be productive (OPS+ of 120 or greater in four of his last six seasons), if his defense stays even remotely like it was last year, he's not likely to be worth the contract even in his prime.

  7. #7
    Harper is intense, no doubt about it but he sure does seem to hustle. I, too, think his upside is huge, considering his age. The right coach will be able to reach him.

    I was sorely disappointed by Machado's jerkitude towards fans. It bit him squarely on the behind.

    In any event, the Tigers will stink for the foreseeable future so I'm staring into the party with my nose pressed against the glass.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  8. #8
    Goldschmidt to the Cards, for a handful of players and a pick. This is a major pickup, he's simply one of the best players in the league, year in and year out, and if nothing else, it'll be nice to see him in a better baseball market where he'll get more national attention. Only signed through this coming season though, so presumably the Cards will try pretty hard to extend him.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/...cardinals.html
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    Goldschmidt to the Cards, for a handful of players and a pick. This is a major pickup, he's simply one of the best players in the league, year in and year out, and if nothing else, it'll be nice to see him in a better baseball market where he'll get more national attention. Only signed through this coming season though, so presumably the Cards will try pretty hard to extend him.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/...cardinals.html
    And he goes from just about the worst uniform in the majors to just about the best.

    Pretty big price, although as long as Yaddy is ageless, they can go intil their next catcher prospect is ready.

  10. #10
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    As a Nationals fan, I sure hope that all of the other MLB teams are convinced that Harper is a jerk and a bad defensive player. His local rep is very different, and I'd love to see him be affordable for the Nationals to bring back on a long-term deal.

    I think the general impression of him is still colored by some of his actions when he entered the league as a teenager who wore his heart on his sleeve. His actions the last couple of years have been significantly different, IMO.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBDuke View Post
    As a Nationals fan, I sure hope that all of the other MLB teams are convinced that Harper is a jerk and a bad defensive player. His local rep is very different, and I'd love to see him be affordable for the Nationals to bring back on a long-term deal.

    I think the general impression of him is still colored by some of his actions when he entered the league as a teenager who wore his heart on his sleeve. His actions the last couple of years have been significantly different, IMO.
    As a Nats fan I'm torn about Bryce. Overall I'd prefer to have him back (in part so my kids don't have to chuck their Harper jerseys) as he's a huge talent and when healthy can be one of the best hitters in the game, but much of what CDu says rings true - he's had 2 amazing years in 2015 and 2017, but the past 5 years he's alternated between amazing years and just ok years. Defensively the same thing where he has years where he is fine and years where he is bad. So if the Nats are going to invest in Harper, are they getting 2015/2017 Bryce (WAR of 10 and 4.7), or 2014/2016/2018 Bryce (WAR of 1.1, 1.5, 1.3), or does he settle somewhere in the middle, or are they going to live with the Bryce roller coaster? I agree with you that I don't think he's a jerk, but at the same time I hear that he is somewhat of a loner in the clubhouse. Not a bad teammate, but not a team leader either, which is fine as not everyone gravitates to that role. I love the rest of the Nats roster; the huge upgrade at catcher; the upgrade from Gio to Corbin; getting Doolittle and Kendrick back from injury; a full year of Soto and Robles; and the bullpen additions that were made. Nats still need to decide what to do at second (maybe bring back Murph for one year to keep it warm for Kieboom?), and probably add an arm or two to the pen, and maybe a backup at 1B in the Matt Adams/Adam Lind role. That said, I felt the same way last year and it all fell apart. They need to stay healthy (especially Zimm and Stras), not run into outs on the basepaths, and get a better year from Davey to keep place in what looks like it will be a hotly contested NL East.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    Not a huge Harper fan but I don't dislike him, why do you think he would not be a good Yankee addition?
    I feel much more strongly about Machado than Harper. I have been a Yankees fan since the early 80s and generally don't like it when they try to be the best team money can buy. The 2017 team was really great because so much of it was home grown (admittedly with plenty of expensive guys around them, but not like in the past). I don't need an all star at every position. I don't need Machado's attitude, and I am perfectly content with Andujar and Didi as the left side of the infield. I recognize that the Yanks need to plug someone in for Didi for at least part of this season, but I don't want that plug to be Machado.

    I think Harper would be a better fit on the team than Machado. His lefty power would be perfect for Yankee Stadium, and he could probably play first base - who knows if Voit can continue with what he did at the end of the year, and Bird might need a change of scenery for his perfect looking swing to work. However, I don't want to pay a small fortune to deal with Harper's ups and downs. I'm happy to take a chance with what we have than bid against ourselves to get him.

    If the Yanks are going to spend on anything, spend on pitching. I'm glad they didn't overpay for Corbin. I felt like Cashman overthought the bullpen last year with all of the moves he made.

    In an ideal world I would also like Girardi back but that's not happening.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBDuke View Post
    As a Nationals fan, I sure hope that all of the other MLB teams are convinced that Harper is a jerk and a bad defensive player. His local rep is very different, and I'd love to see him be affordable for the Nationals to bring back on a long-term deal.

    I think the general impression of him is still colored by some of his actions when he entered the league as a teenager who wore his heart on his sleeve. His actions the last couple of years have been significantly different, IMO.
    I don't think that MLB shares this impression of him. And I don't think he's going to be affordable. Well, I guess anyone is affordable, but I suspect he's going to set the record for the largest contract (both in total dollars and per-year) in baseball history. And as I said in my previous post, I have a good deal of worry that he won't be worth that - even in his prime.

    He's certainly capable of being worth it, as evidenced by his 2015 season. But here are his stats over the last 6 years, including OPS+ (for offense), dWAR (for defense), and WAR (combining the two and factoring in availability):

    2013: 133 OPS+, -0.1 dWAR, 3.7 WAR
    2014: 111, -0.5, 1.1
    2015: 198, 0.4, 10.0
    2016: 114, -0.9, 1.5
    2017: 156, 0.0, 4.7
    2018: 133, -3.2, 1.3

    If you could harness the 2017 player and keep him healthy, he'd probably be worth the $30+MM per year he'll get for the next several years before beginning to decline in his 30s. But it's hard to be confident that he'll do that considering that basically every other year he's been just decent offensively. And he's potentially heading towards trainwreck status defensively, and that doesn't typically get better with age.

    I don't think Harper's personality is going to scare anyone away. I DO suspect that injury history and underperformance this year will scare a few teams away. But it only takes a couple of teams with money to drive the price up. And the Phillies appear to be ready to spend.

  14. #14
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    If I'm guessing, I'd say the key stats re Bryce's less-than-stellar 2018 are 130 walks on offense and 63 games in CF on defense. I'd sign him. He always plays hard and doesn't make excuses or shy away from big challenges. He's still only 26. The average age of AAA players was 28 last season and was 24.5 for MLB rookies (link). He didn't play against a younger player in pro baseball until his fourth MLB season. I don't think it's a tough call at all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    I feel much more strongly about Machado than Harper. I have been a Yankees fan since the early 80s and generally don't like it when they try to be the best team money can buy. The 2017 team was really great because so much of it was home grown (admittedly with plenty of expensive guys around them, but not like in the past). I don't need an all star at every position. I don't need Machado's attitude, and I am perfectly content with Andujar and Didi as the left side of the infield. I recognize that the Yanks need to plug someone in for Didi for at least part of this season, but I don't want that plug to be Machado.

    I think Harper would be a better fit on the team than Machado. His lefty power would be perfect for Yankee Stadium, and he could probably play first base - who knows if Voit can continue with what he did at the end of the year, and Bird might need a change of scenery for his perfect looking swing to work. However, I don't want to pay a small fortune to deal with Harper's ups and downs. I'm happy to take a chance with what we have than bid against ourselves to get him.

    If the Yanks are going to spend on anything, spend on pitching. I'm glad they didn't overpay for Corbin. I felt like Cashman overthought the bullpen last year with all of the moves he made.

    In an ideal world I would also like Girardi back but that's not happening.
    I'd expect Stanton to be asked to play first before Harper. As mentioned below, Harper can still fill in at center, and while some of the advanced stats don't like his defense, it's not conclusive. I'd expect he'd handle left field OK, or switch Judge to left, since that's a tougher place in Yankee Stadium usually. (While Winfield played left, and Reggie stayed in right.) Harper in left, Hicks in center, Judge in right, Stanton at DH, and Gardner filling in when Hicks pulls a hammy would work fine. (Frazier goes to Cleveland for one of their starting pitchers.)

    Bird reminds me of Nick Johnson from about a decade ago. Pure hitter, couldn't stay healthy.

    I'd expect a "temporary" second baseman, moving Torres to short, where he's shown he can handle it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I don't think that MLB shares this impression of him. And I don't think he's going to be affordable. Well, I guess anyone is affordable, but I suspect he's going to set the record for the largest contract (both in total dollars and per-year) in baseball history. And as I said in my previous post, I have a good deal of worry that he won't be worth that - even in his prime.

    He's certainly capable of being worth it, as evidenced by his 2015 season. But here are his stats over the last 6 years, including OPS+ (for offense), dWAR (for defense), and WAR (combining the two and factoring in availability):

    2013: 133 OPS+, -0.1 dWAR, 3.7 WAR
    2014: 111, -0.5, 1.1
    2015: 198, 0.4, 10.0
    2016: 114, -0.9, 1.5
    2017: 156, 0.0, 4.7
    2018: 133, -3.2, 1.3

    If you could harness the 2017 player and keep him healthy, he'd probably be worth the $30+MM per year he'll get for the next several years before beginning to decline in his 30s. But it's hard to be confident that he'll do that considering that basically every other year he's been just decent offensively. And he's potentially heading towards trainwreck status defensively, and that doesn't typically get better with age.

    I don't think Harper's personality is going to scare anyone away. I DO suspect that injury history and underperformance this year will scare a few teams away. But it only takes a couple of teams with money to drive the price up. And the Phillies appear to be ready to spend.
    Quote Originally Posted by RPS View Post
    If I'm guessing, I'd say the key stats re Bryce's less-than-stellar 2018 are 130 walks on offense and 63 games in CF on defense. I'd sign him. He always plays hard and doesn't make excuses or shy away from big challenges. He's still only 26. The average age of AAA players was 28 last season and was 24.5 for MLB rookies (link). He didn't play against a younger player in pro baseball until his fourth MLB season. I don't think it's a tough call at all.
    I think RPS hit the nail on the head. How much was Harper's year this year impacted by the injuries to Rendon and Zimmerman earlier in the year, which lead to all of the walks? And I agree he's a below-average CF, but that's not where the Nats will play him when the aren't dealing with injuries to their top 2 or 3 CFs. I wonder what his dWAR would have been if he had played all year in RF? Maybe it stays around 0.0? If so, does that directly add 3.2 to his total WAR, taking him to 4.5 (i.e., a very good year) or is the formulation different than that?
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPS View Post
    If I'm guessing, I'd say the key stats re Bryce's less-than-stellar 2018 are 130 walks on offense and 63 games in CF on defense. I'd sign him. He always plays hard and doesn't make excuses or shy away from big challenges. He's still only 26. The average age of AAA players was 28 last season and was 24.5 for MLB rookies (link). He didn't play against a younger player in pro baseball until his fourth MLB season. I don't think it's a tough call at all.
    First, the 130 walks actually HELP his OPS+ and WAR, not hurt it. Basically, unless you are looking only at old-school stats like AVG, SLG, HR, and RBI, walks are really darn valuable. So walking at a league-best rate improved his stats. Which is good, because he wasn't as effective as usual when he didn't walk (.249 AVG; though his ISO was still really good as usual).

    Second, while the time in CF didn't help his stats, they weren't the only thing dragging him down defensively. He was almost equally bad in RF (UZR -7.4; UZR/150 -15.4) as he was in CF (UZR -7.0; UZR/150 -18.0). He was just a really bad defender wherever he played last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBDuke View Post
    I think RPS hit the nail on the head. How much was Harper's year this year impacted by the injuries to Rendon and Zimmerman earlier in the year, which lead to all of the walks? And I agree he's a below-average CF, but that's not where the Nats will play him when the aren't dealing with injuries to their top 2 or 3 CFs. I wonder what his dWAR would have been if he had played all year in RF? Maybe it stays around 0.0? If so, does that directly add 3.2 to his total WAR, taking him to 4.5 (i.e., a very good year) or is the formulation different than that?
    If he had a 0.0 dWAR, his WAR would then be his oWAR plus whatever WAR he provided on the basepaths (this is almost always very small). So, yes, he'd have had a pretty good, not great (and not $30+ MM per year great) year had his defense been just replacement level (i.e., 0 WAR [technical note: "replacement level" isn't average for a starter; it's what the hypothetical "25th man" at the position would be expected to provide]). But, as noted above, he was almost equally bad in both CF and in RF. So his 1.3 WAR is a pretty accurate reflection of his performance on the season whether he had spent it all year in RF (in that case it'd have been more like 1.5 WAR) or all year in CF (more like 0.9 WAR).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    First, the 130 walks actually HELP his OPS+ and WAR, not hurt it. Basically, unless you are looking only at old-school stats like AVG, SLG, HR, and RBI, walks are really darn valuable. So walking at a league-best rate improved his stats. Which is good, because he wasn't as effective as usual when he didn't walk (.249 AVG; though his ISO was still really good as usual).
    Yes, but they didn't help is psyche. Without protection, and frustrated by all the walks, he still swung at way too many bad pitches. In other words, it looked to me like the walks produced (indirectly) a lot more outs than he otherwise would have made.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Second, while the time in CF didn't help his stats, they weren't the only thing dragging him down defensively. He was almost equally bad in RF (UZR -7.4; UZR/150 -15.4) as he was in CF (UZR -7.0; UZR/150 -18.0). He was just a really bad defender wherever he played last year.
    He *was* a lousy defender in 2018. However, it looked to me (my daughter and SIL have seasons, so I watched a fair amount, even though I have my own Padres tix) like the switching around did him no good. Neither did his general frustration. I'm less confident in this assertion than the first one, but (again), I'd sign him in a heartbeat. He's obviously a great talent. He has performed great before and over long periods. And he's still very young.

  19. #19
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    Interestingly, the Nate front office has drawn a line in the sand on bidding for Harper. My guess is he goes elsewhere. Philly and NY would be my best guesses at this point. The Phils have money to spend, and it is hard to imagine the Yanks not getting involved. I would add the Cubs and Dodgers too, but I think both may sit out the big-ticket items with already bloated payrolls.

  20. #20
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    Harold Baines and Lee Smith were selected by the Today’s Game Era committee as new members of the Hall of Fame.

    And I thought Jack Morris last year was a bad pick. Admittedly, closers are relatively new, and harder to judge.

    But Baines? So far below the average HOFer. On baseball-reference.com, he comes in as the 74th best right fielder overall. (He’d rank even lower as a DH.). Very good player, but not really close to being a hall-of-famer.

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