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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 9/5/23
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Steve Adams
Good morning! Hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday weekend! I'll be back at 1pm CT to kick this off, but feel free to submit questions ahead of time if you prefer.
Getting underway a bit early! We'll still go until 1pm CT
2pm CT
Numbers are hard.
Tha Cardinals will go into 2024 with 3 quality catchers. Who gets moved? I believe Herrera will be the odd man out.
Steve Adams
I'd quibble on the idea that Knizner is a quality catcher. Good year offensively, particularly for a backup catcher, but negative framing grades, just 12% caught-stealing rate, solid though not standout blocking marks. He's fine as a backup, but he'll also be due a raise on his $1.1MM salary.

Herrera is the one they'd be able to get MLB talent for, however, so I agree he's the likeliest of him/Contreras/Knizner to move. At this point he has little left to show in AAA. I'd like to see him get a chance somewhere. I think he's a viable everyday catcher in the Majors
Just a gripe, but I can’t stand the name Loan Depot park, should of kept it Marlins park. Do you share the same feeling? O____o
Steve Adams
They're getting $10MM a year to call it loanDepot Park instead of Marlins Park, so I don't think the team has many regrets.
Angels gives me QO and I take it sit 2024 out from surgery and hit 2025 FA with no QO get better deal?
Steve Adams
I still expect Ohtani to sign the largest free agent contract ever this winter.
So, heart nope on the QO
Guards Fan
With Cleveland having a new minority owner involved is there any real chance of them getting involved in trade talks for Alonso?  I know they just got Manzardo but he would be a place to start in those talks I would imagine.
Steve Adams
Andy Martino at SNY has pushed back on some of the Alonso trade speculation, for starters, though obviously anything can change once offers start coming in. I'd bet against Alonso being moved at all, and even if he were I don't see Cleveland in the mix because the asking price would be enormous both in a trade and in an extension. I doubt the Guards would pay the requisite prospect cost, knowing they're unlikely to sign him long-term.

I don't think the ownership situation changes that. They extended Ramirez, but he took a huge discount to stay and Alonso wouldn't be likely to do the same a year from the open market -- especially with a new team.
Braves just announced that they've claimed infielder Andrew Velazquez off waivers from the Angels
Yonny Chirinos to the 60-day IL to open roster space
They optioned Velazquez to AAA.
Why is Shohei waiting for surgery? They aren’t going to the postseason
Steve Adams
I'd imagine the new oblique injury could possibly accelerate the timetable. If he's going to miss any notable time at the plate due to the oblique, then they'll probably just do the surgery sooner than later. Barring that, he's having an amazing year at the plate and is a fierce competitor who loves playing and is able to continue hitting; I see no reason to begrudge him for that. I enjoy watching him hit, so I say keep swinging if you can, Shohei.
Old Tom
Do the Twins resign S.Gray for $18-$21m and 2-3 years; and Mahle for about $2-4m recovery salary and 2 or3 years about $8m to $10m per year. Or will it take more?
Steve Adams
I think that's light for Gray. Chris Bassitt's 3/63 should be the mark they aim to top, and I think he'll be able to do so, either via a fourth year or an AAV a bit north of $21MM.

Mahle, I could see falling somewhere in the $16MM range for two years, I suppose. Twins liked him enough to trade for him, so reasonable enough to think they'd want to keep him around to rehab and get an eventual full year out of him if he's amenable to it.
The Guardians claiming Giolito, Moore, and Lopez seemed a bit odd since Cleveland had a pretty small chance of making the playoffs and as an organization has been reluctant to spend money. What was the thinking behind the waiver claim moves?
Steve Adams
They'd just taken two of three from the Twins and were five games back. I imagine if they'd been swept, they might not have even placed the claims. In all, they only added about $3.7MM in salary, and they actually trimmed some payroll at the deadline when they moved Civale and Bell, so the added expenditure wasn't all that great.
The Phillies have Cave, Marsh, Rojas, Pache, Schwarber, Harper, and Casty..... How will be the basic three outfielders next season?
Steve Adams
I doubt Cave is there next year; he's an easy non-tender candidate. If Harper's able to throw, he'll see the bulk of the RF time but cycle through the corner OF/DH scene with Castellanos and Schwarber. Rojas has handled himself well but he's 23 and skipped AAA entirely, and he'll have multiple minor league options remaining. Pache will be out of options, and he's hitting in a small sample plus has the plus glove that drove his acquisition in the first place. He's probably the fourth OF based on that.
Jorge Lopez
I was claimed after 9/1, but am I available for the postseason if there's a bullpen injury? I've seen conflicting info on this.
Steve Adams
Needed to be in the organization before 9/1 to qualify even as an injury replacement
Who is the last starting pitcher you want to face in the playoffs, not names spencer strider? Seems like the choice is slim for playoff teams this year.
Steve Adams
Strider is probably No. 1, but there's still some pretty tough names to consider. Luis Castillo, Kevin Gausman, Corbin Burnes, Zack Wheeler all come to mind.
Gunna Henderson
I'm ROTY over Casas simply because SS/3B > 1B value-wise, right?
Steve Adams
Defense matters and is a strong point in his favor, yeah. Having 50 extra plate appearances, adding more value on the bases, and generally being less platoon dependent (hence the additional PAs in roughly the same number of games) also helps.
Skeptical in Seattle
This seems a little like a tale of two teams. There is the team that won 21 games in August and at times looked like the best team. Then there is the team that lost 2 of 3 against the Mets and lost another game to the Reds where the team had a whole just looked overwhelmed and lost.
Steve Adams
And then there's the whole picture: a team that's 17 games over .500, in first place in the division, with a deep and dangerous pitching staff that should frighten any postseason opponent. I wouldn't get caught up on how any team looks at its absolute hottest or especially in a short stretch of losses against sub-.500 teams.
Cody Bellinger
Do you think Bellinger would take less years but go for a higher aav? 5/150 with an option for a 6th year
Steve Adams
I think he has a good chance at more than $200MM and don't think he'd need to sacrifice all that much in AAV over your proposal to reach that point.
In the offseason, do you see BAL spending money or prospects to upgrade the pitching staff?  If the latter, who do you see as the most likely to be moved?
Steve Adams
I was surprised they didn't spend more this past offseason. John Angelos' recent comments about how they'll need to dramatically increase prices to retain this core already sets a pretty ugly tone for O's fans moving forward.

It's a pitching-rich free agent class, though, and they have so many MLB-ready infield prospects. I have to think they'll be in at least the middle ranges of the free agent market -- even if they eschew nine-figure guys -- and be open to offers on most names outside the Adley/Gunnar/GrayRod bucket. Westburg, Norby, Ortiz, Mayo -- they have a lot of bats that'll be of particular interest to other teams, given the lack of impact hitters in free agency
If MVP was actually the player who is on a playoff team that wouldn’t be in the same position without him, would Cody Bellinger win?
Steve Adams
He'd be in there, probably along with some big names on other unexpected contenders (e.g. Zac Gallen, Christian Walker).

I don't think playoff standing should matter for MVP, but I understand the distinction for it. I consider the best player to be the most valuable, but I'm defining value as "who had the best (and thus most valuable season) of anyone in the league, regardless of context." It's fair enough to counter and say "Player X was more valuable to his team than Acuna to the Braves since the Braves would've made the playoffs anyway)."

I just look at it in terms of league rather than most value to a single team within the confines of playoff odds. All of which is irrelevant, since I don't have an MVP vote
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