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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 9/12/23
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Steve Adams
Good morning all! We'll get started at 1pm CT, but feel free to submit questions ahead of time if you prefer. Looking forward to it!
Greetings! Plenty to talk about today, so let's get underway
I think the White Sox should sell high on Robert. The odds of him getting hurt or regressing are higher than the odds of his exceeding this season by enough to increase his trade value and the Sox won't field a winner before his contract is over. Am I wrong and what kind of package would he bring back?
Steve Adams
You're talking four years of Robert -- his age-26 through age-29 seasons -- at a combined $67.5MM. The final two seasons are club options, so even if he suffers a disastrous injury, two of those years aren't even guaranteed.

And Robert is hitting .270/.323/.553 with 35 homers, 17 steals and elite defense. His value is astronomical, and I'd push back on the notion that he could ever increase his trade value over its current level
He's an MVP-caliber player when healthy, which he is right now. The package should be massive -- Soto-esque or more. I don't necessarily agree that the White Sox *should* move him; it depends on whether they're fully stepping back or going for more of a soft reload, which I think is probably more feasible than a lot of Sox fans would posit, given the strength of their core.

If they're going to tear it back down and don't view contending before, say, 2026, to be a viable course, then I'd agree it makes sense to put him on the market. Especially with practically no impact bats available in free agency.
Would you be shocked or surprised if the Unicorn ends up in LA...Lovely Atlanta?
Steve Adams
Signing Ohtani would go against pretty much everything the Braves have done under Alex Anthopoulos; that type of AAV seemingly hasn't been authorized by Liberty Media, and the Braves have made it a point to build the core of their team from within.

Could they do it? Sure. They're owned by a crazy wealthy media company, they have a manageable payroll as it is, and they're booming with postseason revenue every year.

I don't think they will, though. I'd be pretty shocked if they bucked their prior habits to that extent. Ohtani joining that group would be damn near obscene though, haha.
Could the A's be a little decent next year?  I mean Rook, Noda, Ruiz, Gelof, Soderstrom.  They could be kinda fun with more experience under their belts
Steve Adams
Rooker hasn't hit at all since April, really. But Noda is quietly pretty dang good -- one of the better Rule 5 picks in recent memory -- Gelof looks impressive. Soderstrom's had a rough go, obviously, but there's still reason to like the bat.

I don't think they'll be good, of course, and "be a little decent" seems like a vague bar to clear. Better than this year? Sure, but I'd probably still expect them to lose 100 games, pending any surprising offseason additions
The artist formerly known as Trader Jerry
My Ms seem to be in a tailspin. Bottom of the ninth, based loaded, no outs, and no runs.
Steve Adams
The Mariners were the best team in the AL for more than two months. I still like them to get into the postseason, and they're dangerous there with that pitching staff.
Steve, do you see the Rays trading Glasnow this winter in an attempt to maximize the return and save money? Also, are the Cubs a good fit if they do put him on the market?
Steve Adams
I don't think the Rays signed Glasnow to that extension with the intent of trading him, no.
follow up to his question. Would you be surprised if ohtani ends up signing with the rangers
Steve Adams
Will Bautista make it back to the O's by playoff time?
Steve Adams
Greg Holland pitched for like an entire year with a torn UCL for the Royals, I think, during the middle of their back-to-back World Series runs, so I guess never say never. But with any UCL tear, I don't think it's reasonable to expect a swift turnaround and quick return to the mound.

I wouldn't bank on Bautista contributing much, if at all.

If he's able to do it, he'll reach legend status in Baltimore pretty quickly though (if he hasn't already, ha()
Cards fan
First move the birds are making this offseason? Has to start with nola or snell right?
Steve Adams
I wouldn't necessarily get locked in on any one starter. They need to add a ton of pitching, and you can't (or at least shouldn't) consider it a failure if they don't specifically sign one of those two.

Also, first move could be to trade from the outfield mess, which could bring back one of the SP they're going to be looking for. We'll probably see more trades of moderate note than big-time free agent signings prior to the Rule 5 protection deadline and the non-tender deadline.
Bob "Hammerin" Hamelin
Hi, please give me some hope for the Royals.  My high from 2014-2015 is gone and I need something!
Steve Adams
Bobby Witt Jr. is really good!
Have the Guardians' much vaunted rookie pitchers, Williams, Allen, and Bibee, lived up to the advanced hype? Who will develop into the staff ace?
Steve Adams
Hard to realistically expect a trio of rookies to do any more than what that group has done in 2023. Cleveland's ability to habitually churn out quality pitching is really remarkable. I like Bibee the best of the bunch but might take a healthy Triston McKenzie over any of them.
would you say the Giants are overperforming or underperforming? long overdue for a big offseason
Steve Adams
I think they've overperformed to an extent -- not like the 107-win season, of course, but it's a team with a negative run differential, about 4-5 platoons, a full season of a Rule 5 pick, etc. Being a few games over .500 is probably better than where they should be at.

I agree that they need to have a better and more impactful offseason than we've seen out of this regime so far.
Cubs Rotation
If Stroman opts to stay a Cub after his rough end of year, do the Cubs skip the FA SP market? Starting with Stroman, Steele, and Taillon, they'll have two slots open, with Assad, Wicks, Brown, and maybe Horton to compete for them. Only one if they also keep Hendricks.
Steve Adams
I don't think Stroman will stay, even with the tough finish. And I do expect them to pick up the Hendricks option. He's not who he was at his peak, but it's plenty affordable, he still has elite command, and he's still been a valuable guy.

So you're looking at probably Steele, Hendricks, Taillon, and two of the Wicks/Assad/Wesneski/Brown bucket. For a team with legitimate postseason aspirations, I don't think that's enough pitching, and I think they'd be active in both the trade and FA markets as they seek upgrades.
David Stearns to the Mets.  Do you think that was his best choice
Steve Adams
He's a New York native who gets paid what I presume is top-of-the-market money -- if not a new record for executive pay, since we're talking Cohen/Mets -- to go run baseball ops for the team he grew up cheering for
Tough to beat that for him
What happens with Michael Busch? Does he get traded? Does he get a shot as the full time DH?
Steve Adams
I think even if you got Andrew Friedman to give you a legitimate, 100% genuine answer to that question, the answer would be "I don't know."

The Dodgers will be open to offers on a lot of their young talent this offseason, just like they are every winter. Busch will draw interest and has a chance to move, sure.

If you want me to posit a guess, I'd wager that his lack of defensive upside makes the Dodgers feel he's easier to replace than some of their other prospects, so I'd have him higher on the list of trade possibilities (among prospects, that is)
Thanks for the chat Mr. Adams. It sounds like (and I maybe wrong) Hader and Burnes hate the way Brewers treated the arb process. Do you think this practice will follow the Mets with Stearns at the helm now?
Steve Adams
A lot of players hate the arb process, and Stearns was in an advisory role this past offseason when Burnes went through it. In general, teams and players try to avoid hearings precisely for reasons like this. I wouldn't worry about Stearns specifically in that regard.
Curse of Mike DiFelice
Are the dbacks going to be big players in free agency? Their window is opening, they have some obvious weaknesses and very little committed money on the books.
Steve Adams
Depends on your definition of "big players" I suppose. The Greinke deal several years ago seems like an anomaly now. The recent MadBum deal obviously didn't go well at all.

I still think with such a young core, minimal commitments to veterans and a small arb class, they could very well be players in the middle tiers of the pitching market, but that doesn't mean I see them shelling out nine-figure deals to sign Blake Snell or Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

So... more active than in the past couple offseasons? Sure. Genuine players for top-of-the-market, $100MM+ guys? I don't think so.
Is a trout trade realistic?
Steve Adams
I know Bob Nightengale opened a can of worms with that report, but saying "The Angels are open to listening IF TROUT WANTS OUT" is a long, long, long, long, looooooong way from indications that a Trout trade is at all likely.
Kepler's option, shockingly, looks like a lock to be picked up. With MAT and Gallo leaving, do Twins extend him further?
Steve Adams
I agree it's become an easy call to pick up. I don't think he'll be extended further, though. They have Larnach, Wallner and a bunch of prospects in the corner outfield mix before too long (e.g. Emmanuel Rodriguez). We're coming up on like our third straight offseason of this, but I think there's a chance he's traded for some bullpen help or something like that, given the depth of position players they possess.
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