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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 3/19/24
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Steve Adams
Good morning all! Opening Day is just over a week away (or, for the Dodgers/Padres, less than a day away)! Looking forward to another chat at 1pm CT!
As always, feel free to submit questions ahead of time if you're so inclined.
Let's get underway!
Bora Boras
Does a player signing to a deal similar to Snell's still cost the Giants a pick? Yes he signed for more than 50 million, but with the opt out, he probably won't receive $50 million from the Giants.
Steve Adams
Yes he still costs the Giants the pick. The size of the contract relates to the comp pick awarded to the team losing the player (and includes all guaranteed money, so yes, Snell's deal counts as more than $50MM)
Why do you think Preller is not getting a legit LF and a DH for when Machado can return to 3B? This love affair, or is it arrogance, he has regarding Jurickson Profar is mind numbing.
Steve Adams
Preller's obsession with Jurickson Profar is truly something. I cannot offer a rational explanation, ha. I would much rather have Tommy Pham at $5MM than Profar at $1MM as well, so I don't get the decision to go with Profar.
I'd rather have Pham at like $8-10MM than Profar at $1MM, for that matter. I just don't think Profar is very good.
Steve, looking at yankees roration..whos gonna fill coles spikes and do you think cole will eventually need surgery?
Steve Adams
I see so many comments alluding to eventual surgery for Cole, and I don't really get it. Initial imaging hasn't shown tearing, so there's no ligament damage on which to operate. Maybe once the inflammation fades, they'll see something more extensive. Based on the info we have right now, there's no reason to anticipate Tommy John surgery other than general, broad-reaching pessimism because all pitchers break eventually.
bbgods laugh
What is the difference between opt-outs ts, player options, team options, and mutual options for calculating CBT?
Steve Adams
Money on a player option/following an opt-out is considered guaranteed money because it's the player's call. Thus, it's counted in the AAV for luxury tax purposes. Mutual and club options are not because the player doesn't have full say over whether that money comes his way in the end.
Does the Montgomery waiting till openind day regardless now to avoid a QO next year have wheels?
Steve Adams
Could see it being a factor, but if someone makes him an offer he likes before then I don't think he'll wait just to make sure he can't get a QO next winter. On the top names in free agency, a QO isn't really a major dealbreaker in most offseasons.
2025. If fried and Morton are out and sale doesn't pan out due to age or injury, braves could have a decimated I wrong in thinking I've backed myself into a corner of having to pay up for a big FA pitcher? What say you
Steve Adams
Braves would still have Strider, Smith-Shawver, Elder, Ynoa and Dodd -- plus we'll see if Reynaldo Lopez can really do the starting thing.

Plus they could always look to shorter-term free agents or the trade market to replenish the rotation. So no, I don't think they'll be forced into a "long-term deal or bust" situation.
Will florial see most of the CF playing time this year? Is he a good bounce back change of scenery candidate?
Steve Adams
I think it'll still be Straw in center for the Guardians. They love his defense. Florial has big AAA production but huge strikeout rates even at that level. I don't have high hopes that he'll hit enough to be a MLB regular
Bring back the Kingdome
Do the Mariners have any flexibility to make a mid-season move if they’re in the thick of it? It still feels like they need a substantial bat to get over the Texas/Houston hump. Any possibilities?
Steve Adams
Yeah, they still have a decent farm and the payroll is pretty much right in line with 2023 levels. Dipoto said earlier in the offseason there was room for it to grow some (just not as much as M's fans had hoped, it seems). So I'm sure they kept some powder dry for in-season trades, and they could always send out a different contract or pay more in return to convince a trade partner to pay down some of the salary on anyone they acquire.
Mike elias
Does the glut of orioles position prospects at my disposal hurt in trade negotiations? Opposing GMs know os can’t play them all and thus know they can buy lower plus the os have to say no much more often when teams start w Holliday, then basallo, etc.
Steve Adams
No, I don't think having "too much" young position talent hurts them. I think the Orioles are just generally wary of overpaying in a trade, and I think it's to their detriment honestly. We'll see how the season plays out, but the rotation could badly use another arm, and I think they had more than enough talent to beat the Padres' Cease offer (as one example) without plummeting their farm system's stock
Morel---yes, small sample size---but four errors in 24 attempts....... .833 fielding percentage---this cannot possibly carry into April without disaster type consequences, right?   Small sample added on to six years of not being able to field  in the minors.
Steve Adams
If Morel had a slick-fielding reputation and long demonstrated history of playing quality defense, I'd say who cares about four errors early in spring training.

But defense has always been a huge question surrounding him, and he's trying to learn a position to help him get his bat into the lineup more regularly. Poor defense is going to come with the territory for Morel, but he's going to need to be at least passable at third base if the Cubs are going to play him there with any sort of regularity.
wk kortas
You've said many times that any CBA proposal which involves a salary cap is dead on arrival for the MLBPA.  I would assume the same goes for a salary floor and ownership?
Steve Adams
Ownership proposed a floor during the last wave of negotiations but did so in exchange for either a cap or a massive reduction of luxury tax thresholds. I can't recall which off the top of my head, but it's immaterial as it was a nonstarter for the MLBPA
Did the cards pick up Rivas just in case they move Goldschmidt during the season?
Steve Adams
I think they just like the OBP-heavy approach and big AAA production for depth purposes.
It's a stretch to suggest any waiver claim is a precursor to the trade of an MVP-level talent months down the road.
Rich F
Is JD Martinez just waiting on the Mets at this point?
Steve Adams
If he is I think he's going to be waiting awhile. I don't think they'll sign him
Lalo’s Nachos
The Colorado Rockies plan is what?
Steve Adams
Wait until the bad contracts are off the books and some of the kids have arrived before they spend again? I'm not really sure. They did nothing this winter. Part of that stems from the fact that the roster is so bad they didn't have anyone appealing to trade ... but that's a direct repercussion of hanging onto guys for far too long in the past and not replenishing the system with future talent.

The Rockies are loyal to a fault and fatally optimistic regarding their in-house talent. I don't think anything's going to change for any extended period of time unless they make some larger organizational and philosophical changes.
Duran Duran
Any insight into Jhoan Duran's injury? Is he a safe bet to return in May?
Steve Adams
Twins termed it a "moderate" oblique strain. Somewhere around a month is a decent bet, give or take a week. If he's not back by mid-May, I'd say that's a surprise (or there was a setback or other injury during his rehab)
Late April seems plenty feasible
Is there a chance myself or someone else gets a minor league deal in Minnesota to bolster their rotation depth after the injury news of yesterday?
Steve Adams
I think the Twins will make some kind of rotation addition to help backfill some depth. But as you said, could just be a minor league pickup, waiver claim, etc. Seems likelier it'd be that route than paying up for Lorenzen or especially Montgomery
Dave C
As Pirates fan, I'm obviously excited with O'Neil Cruz spring at the dish after missing most of last year.  I am very concerned however with him being reliable enough at SS with 6 errors this spring.  Do you think he sticks at SS long term?
Steve Adams
Historically speaking, there just aren't shortstops of his size who stay at the position. I've always thought he'd end up moving positions, but I also think the bat will play anywhere and it won't ultimately take away from his status as a high-end -- possibly elite -- player.
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