Klawchat 1/5/17.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of. Klawchat.

Ron: Use of second half stats such as your piece on Desmond’s second half slump as a representation of what to expect going forward. This is not true and any study of projections will demonstrate that this is a false picture. Data for players is so limited anyway and full season data is the much stronger option to use. When you use second half stats to misrepresent a player’s value it produces a false narrative just like you always warn against. Of course that doesn’t detract too much from your overall point in Desmond’s case. Anyway not a jab. I follow your work extensively for a reason. Just a heads up
Klaw: Except that I didn’t do that. I pointed out that Desmond’s second half looked a lot like his performance from 2014-15. That’s a much larger sample to work with. Second half stats alone are subject to small sample size issues and caliber of competition problems with September callups.

Niles standish: Does Christian Arroyo have a chance to crack the top 50 on your next list? Do you think moving him to 3B will be a struggle for him due to his limited range? Thank you.
Klaw: I don’t think he’s a top 50 prospect.

ILLINIcheid: With all the talk about the obscure California labor law that could affect player free agency (Trout, Bumgarner, Posey…not Pujols), if a lesser player used this clause would they be blackballed by MLB teams? Would the directive be from MLB brass, owners, or would General Managers take it upon themselves?
Klaw: Fangraphs ran a piece yesterday claiming a California labor law could grant free agency to players with seven years of employment for any California-based team. The article is almost certainly wrong – the CBA would supersede that law – and doesn’t seem to have any opinions of anyone but the author. I didn’t see anyone from MLB or the union mentioned in there. To your question, blackballing such a player would result in a lawsuit and probably wouldn’t stand, even if such a thing happened (all 30 teams ignoring a player of value).

Dave: As someone who obviously values paying for creative services (and rightfully so), what are your thoughts on Spotify and how it pays artists? From what I’ve read, seems that artists (the smaller ones mainly) get underpaid, potentially even enormously. It’s led to my hesitancy to make the switch to Spotify.
Klaw: I’ve asked some professional musicians I know, and they favor it – they do make money from it, hardly enough but some, and it gives them wider exposure. I actually signed up for the paid service after one of the members of Superhumanoids (Cameron Parkins) told me he thought it benefited small artists.

Jamie: Gavin Cecchini made the back end of your Top 100 last year and you still seemed optimistic that he could stay at SS. From all I’ve read it seems his defense got even worse, but he still looks to be a solid hitter. Will he be anywhere near your Top 100 this year? Do you see him ending up an everyday player?
Klaw: No, he got much worse, and I think he’s a 2b only.

Zach: In theory, do you think teams that ask for taxpayer money to build stadiums should have their full finances open to the public?
Klaw: Yes. Or I’d favor a federal law banning this. If no cities can offer it, then the practice goes away. (And yes, this sort of corporate welfare happens in other industries too, probably to states’ or cities’ detriment, but at least those factories or offices create better jobs.)

Trumbo: Why do you think there’s been such a lull in the FA market?
Klaw: Market is weak and most of the top guys on my rankings have already signed.

Jarrod: Recently heard Sam Miller voice his distaste for ROY award, citing it favors older players and is biased against players who enter midseason for fiscal reasons (e.g., Gary Sanchez). As an alternative, he suggests best player awards by age groups (e.g., best under 25). As part of his case, Miller stated that Felix Hernandez was younger than at least one top 3 finisher for ROY for 7 straight years(!). Thoughts on Miller’s idea?
Klaw: My solution to this problem has been to consider players’ ages, look at performance relative to playing time, and perhaps consider their prospect status as well. I don’t think the award should be just “rookie who had the best year.” We’re trying to point to stars here and tell fans, “hey, watch these two guys, they might be stars.”

Sam: I’m struggling with the whole RP shouldn’t be in the HOF argument. I get that many, if not all, relief pitchers are guys who weren’t good enough to be starters, and I get the argument that they don’t throw as many innings as starters so it’s difficult to impact a game as much. However, relief pitching is still certainly a very important part of baseball, and wields itself in virtually every game one-way or another. As so, can’t we just appreciate relievers for what they are and what their role is? And put the guys that were the very best in this role in the HOF? I know you don’t like Hoffman as a HOF’er, but he’s a guy that had a lot of success for a long time, and as we know, that kind of sustained success is rare for relievers.
Klaw: If you put most average, not HoF-caliber starters in relief roles, they’d be as good as or better than nearly all closers (Mo Rivera excepted). Relievers are guys who couldn’t start, like utility infielders are guys who couldn’t play every day.

Nick: Could either of the big name PR players (Ricardo De La Torre & Wilberto Rivera) sneak into the first round of the draft?
Klaw: I think that’s a low probability, maybe 20% chance we see a Puerto Rican player go in the true first round this year. There are a lot of probable top 100 guys in PR this year, but nobody who’s clearly first-round worthy.

JD, Arlington: Does Tyson Ross have anything left? SD ditching him is damning. I’ll hang up and listen.
Klaw: I’m out. Bad delivery, hurt often, never throws strikes.

Mike: Seems like the holdup on the Twins trading Dozier to the Dodgers is the isistance on getting 2 MLB-ready prospects from the Dodgers. Are the Dodgers being unreasonable by trying to hold on to both DeLeon and Stewart?
Klaw: I don’t think that’s an unfair ask for the Twins, but that would severely cut into the Dodgers’ starting pitching depth, and I think the result would reduce the Dodgers’ potential gains from adding Dozier.

Adam: Why don’t people make a bigger deal of Faedo’s knee issues when discussing his draft stock?
Klaw: Because we don’t know anything about them yet. Teams haven’t seen medicals. He hasn’t come back to the mound and had any trouble, or shown no ill effects.

Chris: In some parallel universe where the Wilpons didn’t own the Mets, what kind of return would you expect for Bruce if mets ate his entire salary?
Klaw: Very little. If you get someone’s 8th best prospect you’re probably happy.

Jay: When do you expect to have your top 100 up?
Klaw: The team rankings will appear starting on January 18th, and the top 100 will start rolling out on January 23rd, appearing in blocks of 20 each day.

JR: Surprised at all the bats still available this late in the offseason?
Klaw: I’m not because they’re all pretty flawed. Few guys who can play a position. Lot of platoon DH types. Why pay more for that when you probably have someone who’s 85% of that in your system?

Josh: People have frequently talking about Wieters’ lack of pitch-framing skill this offseason. Do you believe that’s something a catcher can “learn” at some point in their career or is it an innate skill that can’t necessarily be taught?
Klaw: We have tangible evidence it can be taught. Jason Castro is one good example.

Scott: I’ve seen some talk lately of Robert ‘The Lighthouse’ Stephenson being destined for the bullpen this year due to his command issues, but wouldn’t it make more sense to keep trying him as a starter and using those three option years he has remaining to be sure he can’t maximize that potential?
Klaw: I would, because he has three pitches that grade out as above-average to plus, and I think in his case it’s not just the catch-all command issue but the overuse of the changeup.

Jeff: I’ve heard you say repeatedly that the Angels will not trade Mike Trout. But, it just doesn’t make sense to me. If you can trade one 9-win player for three 4-win players, don’t you do that?
Klaw: This isn’t the issue. The issue is the owner won’t trade him.

Rob: Dave Cameron mentioned shortly after the Eaton trade that sources he spoke to said Giolito’s stock is down and those sources have doubts about Giolito reaching the #1 starter type, more of a 3 or 4 now. Do you agree with that assessment?
Klaw: I do not, nor do the folks I’ve talked to; the common refrain has been that the Nats shouldn’t have altered his delivery or brought him to the majors while he was still readjusting, and that the 2015 version is likely still there.

Matt: So…Curt Schilling. He seems like he’s become a bitter angry man that blames others for his own shortcomings. If there is ever an example of money doesn’t make you happy, it’s him. I’m glad I don’t go through life with so much anger and hate.
Klaw: It’s been sad to see; I’ve said before I never had any issues working with Curt, and I think he’s got a lot of stuff to contribute when talking pitching. His commentary of late has moved even further away from anything I can comprehend.

Mike: Has the outlook on Berrios dimmed at all? Any clue on what we can attribute the control issues to?
Klaw: His fastball is flat and straight, and I think in the majors he tried to pitch away from contact more. I have to take a break for that phone call – it moved 1 to 2 to 1:30 – but I will return in maybe 45 minutes to finish the chat.

David: Can you imagine Dusty working with Dave Stewart? That would be a historic train wreck, wouldn’t it?
Klaw: I think that’s too many old ideas and not enough new thinking.

Dustin: I have vowed to listen to (even) more music this year. I am quite open-minded and enjoy many genres. Please recommend as many non-mainstream albums/artists as you feel compelled to name.
Klaw: If you have Spotify, check out my top 100 songs of last year.

Jason: Why has Tyrell Jenkins been picked up and released four times in the last month? Is there a particular reason (contract, options, or otherwise) why teams can’t just keep him stashed in the minors?
Klaw: Talked to a few scouts about him this winter. Consensus is that for a great athlete he’s got a less-athletic delivery, something that either was taught to him or that came about after the shoulder surgery, but that either way the stuff wasn’t as crisp and of course he couldn’t miss bats. I think he’s a perfect project for the Padres – try to restore the delivery, get some length back, take advantage of his size and looseness, see if you can find the missing stuff.

Bob: Here’s an answer to the closers-in-the-HOF argument. Would you have traded prime Trevor Hoffman for prime Curt Schilling straight up? Yeah, I thought not.
Klaw: That’s another way to look at it. So is just the sheer total innings comparison; Hoffman’s career IP is about six innings of a starter, which wouldn’t even qualify you for the Hall.

Bucky: How soon do you think Bellinger can be ML ready? Can you forsee another Belt/Huff situation with he and Gonzalez?
Klaw: Some time this year, and I think the Dodgers will make room when he’s ready.

Gene Mullett: Heard the Goblin Cock LP on JoyfulNoise? Certainly not trying to be facetious, I didn’t pick the name. It’s Rob from Pinback & it’s been a very pleasant surprise.
Klaw: Yeah, it’s actually pretty good, like they started out as a parody band and suddenly made some decent music.

John Liotta: Hope you had a great holiday! I finished the year having read 128 books- my goal was 100. I knocked out a lot of the books I wanted to read. Of course there are still more; there are always more. What were some of your favorites this year? What’s on your list to read this year? And, is there anything you have been continually pushing aside?
Klaw: Nice job! I’ve never gotten to 120 or even 110 in a year. Some of my favorites that I read in 2016: In the Light of What We Know, The Executioner’s Song, the Caine Mutiny, The Vorrh, Station Eleven, The Most Dangerous Book, The Sellout, The Doomsday Book, Predictably Irrational, The Alchemy of Air. The to-do list is already about 20 deep, and the book I’ve pushed aside is Brin’s The Uplift War, which I started reading last January, and gave up when I found it slow and, as it turned out, was about to get horribly sick.

Ryan S: What level of baseball understanding is your target audience for your book? I love your baseball input but don’t want to spend the money if it’s way over my head or meant for a complete novice.
Klaw: It’s not over anyone’s head. A complete novice? Well, I’m not explaining what a ball and a bat are, so you might be OK.

Paul: Hi Keith, what are your thoughts on Louis Gohara? Can he be a number 2 in a few years? I know he had some make up issues but he seems to have found his focus last season
Klaw: I think the upside is at least a two, but there’s huge risk, not least because he’s huge.

JB: Thoughts on what Wikileaks and Snowden have provided? Traitors or heroes?
Klaw: Snowden’s a hero to me. Wikileaks as a conduit is what it is – an outlet for leaked documents. Assange is a sleaze, and I have no idea why the Ecuadorian embassy (or anyone) would protect an accused rapist.

Anonymous: The Yankees appear to be at a critical point in the win curve, have spaces in their rotation that could use an upgrade, have one of the deepest farms in the game, and just gave nearly 18 mil a year for a closer. Specific package aside, are there any reasons why the Yankees shouldn’t press hard for Quintana?
Klaw: No; I think any holdup is over the price in prospects. When you have a deep, strong system, people will ask for a lot.

Bryan: Based on your recommendation, I bought Pandemic from Amazon 2 months ago, and my wife and I love it. However, we seem to be able to win relatively easy. This might seem like an odd question, but how much do you collaborate with other players when you play? We keep our cards face up during the entire game.
Klaw: We collaborate too. You can tweak the difficulty level by increasing the threat level and using more Epidemic cards.

Votto: Klaw, every now and then, usually around HOF time, you insist that “there is no evidence” that PED’s have any effect on baseball performance. So what are you saying, exactly – that you have doubts that HGH or steroids have even an indirect effect on one’s playing performance because a peer-reviewed study in a medical journal doesn’t say so? That until this happens, players may as well be popping Smarties?
Klaw: I thought that was clear. There is no evidence that they help. That’s not saying they DON’T help; it’s saying that the absence of evidence has allowed the tight-underpants crowd to treat all PEDs as superpills and to act like they’re all equal in power. For the record, I believe that amphetamines, which are classified as PEDs, truly do help – but I can’t tell you how much, or even necessarily prove that belief.

J: Smart Baseball book tour means Portland which means Powells which means Apizza Scholls & Le Pigeon. Good reason to write the book
Klaw: Book tour is still TBD but, as Doug Judy would say, that’s still very much on the table.

Albert: As arguably the best defensive CF ever, with almost 450 home runs, Andruw Jones belongs in the Hall of Fame, right?
Klaw: He’s going to be very tough. My gut says yes, the best CF ever belongs in the Hall, and it’s not like he was Bill Mazeroski with the stick, either. But he was effectively done at 30, and I think his career totals across the board are a little light for the Hall. One of my favorites to watch, though. I believe I get a vote in his first or second year on the ballot, so at some point I’ll have to commit.

Shaughn: Keith, with all of the activity around A’s ownership/loss of revenue sharing this offseason, I expected some bigger moves (moving Sonny, exploring more trades), but the lack of activity this offseason (Rajai Davis?) has me scratching my head… is there any hope on the horizon?
Klaw: I didn’t get the Davis move – he’s likely a 1 WAR guy this year, and $6 million for one win in Oakland probably is a net loss (a win isn’t worth much to a below-average team in with a low revenue base). Would playing Eibner for nothing really be that much worse?

G: Word around the time of the Adam Eaton trade was that Giolito’s value amongst teams around the league isn’t as high as recent prospect lists would lead one to believe–and now similar things are being said about Glasnow amidst the Quintana talk. When making your yearly list, do you consult team executives, or do you rely on your own scouting and reports?
Klaw: My list is more reliant on my scouting, notes from all the scouts I talk to, and some analytics work. I do discuss my list with execs, and their input matters, but it can’t be wishy-washy kind of feedback like what you’re describing. Also, bear in mind sometimes you may get folks trying to run certain prospects’ value down.

Orbit: How good can Astros Martes be? Would you have traded martes , tucker for Sale?
Klaw: I wouldn’t have traded Sale for Tucker & Martes.

Anonymous: Am I just being particular and pedantic when I get annoyed by people who talk about an “aging player” or an “aging roster”? I mean we’re all aging. E just aged reading this question.
Klaw: It’s the polite way of saying, fuck, you’re old.

Zach: How high do you think walker buehler’s ceiling is?
Klaw: If he can really hold this stuff over a full season, I don’t see why he’s not a number one starter. But we have no evidence he can do that yet.

Ray Grace: It sounds like Willie Calhoun doesn’t have the defensive chops to be the Dodger’s long term 2nd baseman but I saw someone write that he’s most likely a Zobrist-like super utility type player. Do you agree and does the bat ultimately play in the majors?
Klaw: He’s not a second baseman, and won’t be good enough on the dirt to be Zobrist. That little SOB can hit, though. I think he finds a way to be an everyday player somewhere, maybe LF.

HugoZ: Given that Oakland’s payroll projects to be around 72 million at the moment, is there any real reason to get as concerned about Davis’ salary as one twitter pundit appears to be? They can play him, trade him, bench him, what difference will it make?
Klaw: Their resources are finite, so that $6 million doesn’t go to a player with a real chance to return something in trade. Daniel Hudson got $11 million over two years, and that’s a deal with much more potential upside for the club, either in trade or returned value, than a 36-year-old whose bat is pretty clearly in decline.

ILLINIcheid: RE: blackballing in MLB. You mention that a blackball situation would result in a lawsuit. I would agree except that it can be very difficult to provide evidence of blackballing unless you have a smoking gun that would likely come in the form of an email that would likely require a whistle-blower. That being said, Barry Bonds was a 3+ WAR player coming off a 28 HR season in 2007, and didn’t get a sniff from any team during Free Agency of 2008. Were Bond’s contract demands simply too high or did baseball decide he was not worth the headache?
Klaw: I think Selig – excuse me, Hall of Famer Bud Selig – made it clear to teams he didn’t want bonds to sign. Remember, Bonds offered to play for the minimum. That said, Selig’s gone and I don’t think Manfred would do such a thing.

Aaron C.: As a longtime A’s fan, I wonder if yesterday’s ridiculously passionate defense of the Rajai Davis signing & rumored interest in Mark Trumbo is evidence that the “cult of Beane” is a little *too* in the tank for a front office that is deservingly lauded, but also…guilty of more than a few missteps in recent seasons?
Klaw: This is my interpretation as well.

David Coonce: I read the Master and Margarita on your suggestion. Complex read but I loved it. I’ve read there is a film adaptation in the works but can’t fathom how that would work. Can you?
Klaw: Nope. Unfilmable, and I’m OK with that. I saw The Handmaid’s Tale is coming as a movie or TV project and I’m not sure I could stomach that. It’s bad enough Texans have to live it.

Matthias: I think my biggest problem with top chef this year is that all returning contestants did very well on they’re years. Idea would have worked better if just chefs returning were eliminated in their first or second episode. This is like if you took the all stars season and added eight rookies to the cast.
Klaw: Yes. It’s Top Chef Some-Stars.

Pete the Cat: Cruising to St Maarten, St Kitt, Grand Turk and Puerto Rico next week. Only on land for 8ish hours at each island. Any food or tourist recommendations for those spots? Thanks!!
Klaw: Only been to two. St. Kitts, if you can seek out the Spice Mill, food was good and view was spectacular. Puerto Rico, if you have a car, find Gustos Coffee a little out of San Juan, in an industrial area, maybe the only Puerto Rico-grown coffee you’ll ever have. I wanted to try La Princesa in San Juan but they were closed for a festival the last time I was there.

Gene Mullett: Do you do vinyl/physical copies of music or are you all digital? Are you the same way with books?
Klaw: Mostly digital music other than occasional vinyl I get from friends in the industry. Books I’m split. I prefer paper but if I see something I want for sale on Kindle I buy it.

Paul: Keith – did you happen to read the Thrillist series on the impending burst of the restaurant bubble? (Part 3 is here, with links to parts 1 and 2 inside.). I thought it was really good and, sadly, made all too much sense. I know you have gotten to know some restaurant owners and wonder if you have an opinion besides “this sucks”.
Klaw: I haven’t, but I’ll check it out. I have wondered sometimes how we can possibly support all these new restaurants I see opening – not just famous ones, but even all the chain places i see. There can’t be enough disposable income and people with time to keep them all in business.

Dave: So you do think that Tyson Ross will soon be out of baseball altogether?
Klaw: No. I wouldn’t sign him, though.

John T: My 5-year-old son got Ticket To Ride: First Journey (ages 6+) for Christmas and loves playing it. I’ve been trying to think of some other games to get that don’t involve reading or more than simple addition. Any suggestions?
Klaw: There’s also a My First Stone Age game I haven’t tried but that might work.

Ted Timmerman: Favorite Prankster: Francine Carruthers, Danny Rebus or Manny Spamboni?
Klaw: Annie Scramble was kind of cute.

Ethan: So, the Org rankings are out the 18th. When do the Team Top 10’s come out?
Klaw: The final week. My editors chose to change the schedule and roll all the content out slowly.

Larry: Any early reports on Maitan out of instructs?
Klaw: He looked great, because no player has ever looked bad in instructional league.

Dave: What are your thoughts on Dylan Cease? He throws hard, but barely throws any innings. Is he a bullpen guy?
Klaw: He barely throws any innings because he had Tommy John surgery in 2014.

Larry: Dustin Peterson a regular?
Klaw: I think so – a 40-50% chance to be a regular, maybe.

Aaron (Astrobeerman): No question. Thanks for the turkey spatchcock turkey advice. I don’t see making turkey any other way. Skin was fantastic.
Klaw: It’s unbeatable and so much faster.

MJ: Did you see Nathaniel Grow’s article on Fangraphs regarding Trout (or other CA based players) possibly being able to exploit a law to grant them free agency after 7 years? Thoughts on whether or not Trout is the one (possibly only?) player for which it’d be worth the risk to try to exploit the law?
Klaw: Answered above. I don’t think it’s accurate.

Bob: Should college students have the right to due process when expelled for allegations of sexual misconduct?
Klaw: That’s a complicated question. I will answer an easy question instead: Colleges should turn questions of sexual misconduct over to the police if they appear to break any laws.

Donald J: Mazara, Conforto, & Dahl… 1) How would you rank them this year? 2) How would you rank them going forward? Do any of them have a bigly future?
Klaw: Love them all, they are tremendous players, they get the best hits. This year, Dahl, Conforto, Mazara. Long-term, flip it.

Barry: Speaking of your book tour I’m guessing you’re going to be signing books at independent book stores and B&N? Any chance of linking them too for preorders instead of just Amazon? I’ve checked and indiebound.org and bn.com have your book available to order. FWIW, I don’t mean to sound rude. I work in publishing and authors just linking Amazon is a pet peeve of mine. I’m looking forward to buying and reading your book.
Klaw: Harper Collins’ official page links to all of those. I use the amazon link because then I can see how often people are clicking and/or ordering. I can’t do that through the other sites.

Darryl: Which Stanford hurler has the most future stardom potential…Quantrill, Hock or Beck?
Klaw: Quantrill. Might have been 1-1 if he’d been healthy all spring.

Anonymous: Did you see anything in Patrick Corbin’s delivery last year that explains his fall from his pre-TJ days? Overcompensating to be protective of the elbow?
Klaw: Nope, I have no good explanation for what happened. Although to be fair to Pat, he was far from the only AZ pitcher to struggle in the majors last year.

Marshall MN: The Andruw Jones question is interesting – he is part of a group of CF’s (Edmonds, Lofton, to a much lesser extent Torii Hunter, who I don’t think deserves to get in) that I think will all get overlooked when it comes to HOF voting. And in regards to Edmonds and Lofton in particular, they already have gotten the boot.
Klaw: Andruw was much more famous, he had an all-time elite skill, and had some postseason glory as a kid. I think he’ll stick around on the ballot but not get in.

Dave: Theo/Jed are among the best in the business, but they have drafted over 100 pitchers since 2012, and not one of them is a reliable starter….is it that much more difficult to evaluate pitching? Do you just have to get lucky?
Klaw: I don’t think that’s quite fair. Did they even sign all those guys? And are you counting 2015 and 2016 draftees? Trevor Clifton was a 2013 draft pick and looks like he’s on track to be a big league starter at age 22 or 23. That’s not a failed pick.

Brian: Settlers of Catan – rhymes with “Satan” or “rattan”? It’s really been bugging me. Thanks
Klaw: Rhymes with “rattan.”

Justin: Can WAR be simply extrapolated when talking about a shortened season ala Jose Reyes. He had a 1.3 WAR for 60 games, if he stayed consistent can we assume 3.5 WAR for a season? And if so, at 500K wouldnt that make him pretty valuable?
Klaw: I don’t think that’s a good way to make a projection. You should ask Szymborski et al, but I’m guessing that you’d want to project based on the components that are most predictive. For example, Reyes, who choke-slammed his wife into a door last offseason, posted his highest ISO in ten years. You can’t expect that to continue in his age-34 season.

el fuego 25: If you were granted an expansion team, where would you concentrate your draft resources? It feels much more difficult to predict pitching, but sadly someone has to put the ball in play.
Klaw: In an expansion draft? I’d focus on guys who seemed to have untapped upside – players who might benefit from new coaches, from getting healthy, just from more playing time – and thus who might return more in trade than, say, the generic 5th starter types you might otherwise get.

Mike: Have you had a chance to see Sixto Sanchez ? If not, have you heard from others who have ? Is there serious reason for optimism if you’re a Phillies fan ?
Klaw: He’ll be in the Phillies org writeup. I have not seen him – I don’t see any games in the GCL or DSL.

Telly: Why would an organization draft a player, like Giolito, watch him perform well with elite tools, then decide he needs to change things? If my memory serves right, the Giants tried the same thing with Bumgarner, saw him stink for awhile, then let him go back to his natural way of doing things. At least they realized the stupidity of their ways.
Klaw: I don’t have an answer to that, although I ask the same question. And it’s not like the Nats are dumb. They’ve got good people there, including in player development. Someone made a mistake.

Ed: I think we all know what Reyes did. And no one approves, but what is the point of answering the question like that? Is “chokeslammed his wife” part of his name now for you?
Klaw: It’s part of his identity. That is who he is, and all the fake-apologies and references to “the incident” won’t change that.

John from Cincinnati: You mentioned earlier in the chat about not thinking Manfred would blackball players… am I wrong in thinking that he’s going to be a very good commissioner? I don’t distrust him the same way I did Selig.
Klaw: I’m a fan. I think he’s going to be great for the sport.

Matt: Do you have any recommendations for books/shows on what I’ll call Cooking Theory 101? I’m hoping to get a better, broader understanding of spices, flavors, etc. and how they all go together. Feels like a good way to be able to cook well without recipes.
Klaw: The Flavor Bible. Lists of ingredients that play well with others, based on wide surveys of chefs.

Tom: How would you say the D-Backs FO is doing so far this offseason? Or is there too little to comment on?
Klaw: Small moves so far but I’ve liked them all. The one big move, trading Segura for Walker and Marte, was just the kind of move they need to make – trading a guy coming off a career year with two years of control left for two former top prospects with upside and risk and more years left.

Jessica: Trea Turner’s power and hit tools seemed higher than expected last year. Has his ceiling changed for you? Are we talking about a top 10 player in MLB?
Klaw: Yeah, I was light on his strength overall, so he’s going to hit and have more power than I thought. I changed my personal forecast for him early last season, which is why I kept banging the drum for the Nats to bring him up and bench Espinosa.

John: Two other factors for Theo/Jed drafting pitchers: they haven’t used any first round pick on pitching. That means (1) they haven’t drafted elite pitching prospects, and (2) they haven’t drafted many pitchers who are expected to move especially quickly through the minors. (As an aside, even though they didn’t draft him, they should probably get some credit for some of Hendricks’ development)
Klaw: I believe their draft philosophy specifically excludes taking pitchers up top unless a no-doubt college arm is there, which hasn’t happened. (I think they would have taken Appel in 2013, but he went 1.)

Rob: What are some of the causes of Tyler Glasnow’s control issues and are they fixable to the point where he reaches his potential?
Klaw: He’s 6’8″ and his control has already gotten way better since he first signed and had his velocity jump. Those super-tall guys often need more time and physical maturity to get enough coordination to repeat their deliveries. I’m not terribly concerned.

Pat: Keith – have you spoken with some attorneys on the Trout/CA labor law thing? Just wondering why you think the CBA would supersede. I’m a lawyer — albeit not one in CA and not a labor lawyer — but generally speaking I think a CBA would only preempt a state labor law if it’s made pursuant to a federal statute, like the Railway Labor Act.
Klaw: Yes, I have spoken to attorneys about it, because I am not one and don’t know jack about it.

Sean: Do you care to provide a current or former MLB comp for Amed Rosario?
Klaw: I really dislike doing comps unless something strikes me as very apt.

Bob: Have you ever seen anyone throw as many career innings as J Arrieta before having such a massive breakthrough? What did the Orioles do to him??
Klaw: That’s a long story, but I think it’s fair to say that Buck and Rick Adair did a lot of things wrong with him, with his mechanics and with how they handled him. It’s a mistake they should be very wary of repeating with any of the other very talented arms they’ve brought in recently, like Gausman and now Sedlock or Akin and I hope eventually Harvey.

Klaw: That’s all for this week – thanks so much for bearing with me on the time, but it’s top 100 research time which means a lot of phone calls. I will try to chat every week this month as long as the workload allows me to do so.

Klawchat, 12/22/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: Bow down before the one you serve. Klawchat.

Jimmy: Over/Under 3 division titles for Cubs in next 3 years?
Klaw: Pretty sure “under” is the safe bet on that one. You can build the best team in history on paper, but you can’t control for injuries, non-performance, or, say, the Pirates collectively having career years and slipping past you.

G: So, after the bizarrely affordable Nova signing, do the Pirates still have a series of blockbuster moves ahead of them? Acquire Quintana, deal McCutchen?
Klaw: I’d like to see them do that, if possible – trade Cutch now if a strong offer comes in, because his value will be lower next winter, and of course I’m a big Q fan. Those moves probably make them a 90-win team again, no?

Nathan: Suggestions for an aspiring baseball nerd who has yet to grasp advanced defensive metrics and statistics?
Klaw: I heard about this book called Smart Baseball that’s coming out in April. You should check it out. The writer’s a funny guy.

Matt T: Idk if you have in the past, but if offered a chance for a book signing, would you ever do it? I’d love to get your autograph. Been a huge fan of yours for awhile
Klaw: Yes. If Harper Collins doesn’t have me to do a full book tour, we’ll still do some ad hoc events around my spring travel. Also, I have confirmed there will be an audiobook version of Smart Baseball.

TCJ: Any thoughts on Jason Hewyards new swing?
Klaw: Any thoughts today would be pure piffle. Let’s see it against live pitching before we think anything of it.

Jim: My girlfriend gets bored with board games to the point that she tries to lose on purpose so she can stop playing. What game(s) would you recommend for a smart, creative, and historically-bored-with-board-games person? If possible, something that works as a two player? Thanks!
Klaw: I’d say stick to games that play well in 30 minutes or less. 7 Ronin. 7 Wonders Duel (no connection). Patchwork. Jaipur might be too light, but it plays very fast. I put a whole list of the best two-player games at the bottom of my top 100 ranking.

Jake: Do you see Cody Sedlock starting in high A next season ?
Klaw: I would expect him to, yes. He’s polished enough.

Ross: How high of a ceiling do you see for Delvin Perez?
Klaw: True ceiling, all-star regular at short. Probability of that, maybe 10%.

Aron: Are there any dishes that you never get at a restaurant because you can make it easily/better? Any that are so time-consuming to make at home that you never make them and just get them at restaurants?
Klaw: I don’t order pasta dishes in restaurants unless the pasta is freshly made, and you won’t see me order something like pasta alla carbonara for that same reason. Long-cooked dishes like brisket (smoked or braised), pot roast, etc. are easy choices for me at restaurants because of the time required. I also eat more seafood out because I can’t cook shellfish at home (wife is allergic) and don’t cook much regular seafood either.

Alex: Do you see Dakota Hudson as a high potential guy?
Klaw: High ceiling? no. Move fast, get him to the rotation soon to extract value, mid-rotation upside.

Michael nuno: Your thoughts on Thomas Szapucki. What’s his ipside ?
Klaw: Probably a number two. Well above-average starter.

Mattey: What’s on the menu for Xmas Eve, Xmas day at Casa Klaw?
Klaw: Nothing special on Christmas eve. Going to do a roast pork shoulder on Christmas day.

Pat: Head Like a Hole. If 1st round draft picks were fully tradable, what kind of Major League talent would s straight up trade for a first round pick bring? Obviously, the higher the selection, and the more deep the draft pool the better, how much contract control is left for the Najor Leaguer(s) involved, etc. But any general sense what a first round draft pick is worth in terms of Major League talent?
Klaw: Depends on the pick, too, but a top 10 pick should return an average regular with a few years of control. The expected return on a pick that high probably is less than that in terms of annual production, but it comes with six years of control, three of them (or three-plus) at the minimum salary.

John Wick: What do you see as Kyle Tucker’s upside? Would he be a sticking point for you in a Quintana deal?
Klaw: I’m a fan, think he’s at least an above-average regular in a corner who hits for average with power, but if he’s the best player in the deal, I’m OK with that for Houston, because Q is an ace.

Tom: Do Alex Faedo and Kyle Wright have TOR type potential?
Klaw: Yes, Wright more than Faedo for me. They are the only college starters in this class I’d say have that potential. Houck looks like a reliever. Lange doesn’t have this stuff. Bukauskus has ace stuff but he’s a six foot RHP with some effort.

Anonymous: Keith, I truly appreciate your work. Good stuff. Thank you. Now what do you think about Bud Selig being elected to the Hall of Fame? Don’t you think there’s a bit of hypocracy there considering voters have decided not to let players connected to steroids into the hall? Seelig turned a blind eye to all of it so that baseball could profit. Also, his ideas on how to implement instant replay (4 dude string around waiting to talk to someone in a remote location) and the all-star game winner gets home field advantage were absolutely garbage. Yeah he made MLB a lot of money but is anyone considering the opportunity cost of what could have been. Baseball is truly regional (root for the home team) in that hardly anyone on the east coast knows who Mike Trout is. Thoughts?
Klaw: Absolute joke. It’s a big baseball circle-jerk. But I think it has opened the door for writers to vote for Bonds, Clemens, and even suspected-without-evidence PED guys to get in. So that’s good. But let’s not normalize Selig’s reign. He shut the sport down in ’94. He colluded against free agents in the 1980s. He ran players and the sport down for most of the first decade of the century, caved to Congressional pressure, and instituted policies (e.g., HGH testing) that have delivered no tangible benefit to the sport. The industry thrived under him, and he gets some (but not all) credit for that, but don’t forget the harm he did first to put baseball in the position in which he found it.

JJ: Any thoughts on Josh Tobias, the player acquired in the Clay Buchholz trade? Does he have any upside, or is he just a warm body to complete the salary dump?
Klaw: I wrote that deal up the other day.

Thomas: How is Joe Mixon not in jail?
Klaw: Because he’s good at hand-egg. Better question: How is Stoops or the Oklahoma athletic director still employed?

Doug: Happy Holidays to you and your family KLaw! Thank you for always being accessible and answering questions via multi-mediums! Curious, what kept Patch The Sky off of the top 10 (or expanding the 10 to 11)? I know you loved the three song romp that opens the record…did the back half drop off that much for you?
Klaw: Found it kind of repetitive after that. Not bad, certainly, but I felt like I was listening to the same songs again. Had I gone to 16 albums as I originally intended it would have been on there.

Anonymous: Regarding your answer last week about relievers and the HOF – are you saying that Rivera should be the threshold for relievers to make it in?
Klaw: I’m saying he’s above the threshold, but no other modern reliever comes close to the threshold. There’s an enormous gap between him and whoever you feel is #2 (Hoffman, Wagner, other).

Scrapper: In a year with more celebrity deaths than I can recall, was there a particular celebrity’s passing that impacted you this year?
Klaw: Prince, given his age, talent, and the fact that I have been a huge fan of his music, at least his peak output, for about 25 years.

CB: Now that Ryan Howard, A-Rod, etc. are off the books, what’s the worst contract in baseball right now? Cabrera? Pujols?
Klaw: Probably Pujols. Not that productive, under contract forever. At least Miggy produces. Dark horse right now: Stanton. Can’t earn that kind of coin if you’re rarely healthy.

Ivan’s a BUCKS-aneer: Not that he’s so great, but I’m shocked Nova got so little guaranteed in this pitching market. Toronto’s gamble with Happ paid off so well last year. Granted, he’s a lefty & hadn’t had TJ surgery, but I though Nova would at least match that pact, since so little pitching is available. I think this is a GREAT gamble for the Pirates to take. How do you feel?
Klaw: I think so too. Between that and the bargain salary for Hudson, the Pirates have had a nice week working in a bad pitching market. I’d be very happy with these moves if I were a Pirates fan.

Tom: Hi Keith- what do you think of Marco Gonzales for the Cardinals going forward? Any chance he can stick as a starter or do you think he’s a reliever post-injury?
Klaw: Starter for me. Not sure what that looks like as a reliever – I don’t think he’s going to have better stuff in short stints; he’s a fringy fastball, plus change, above avg CB guy, who’ll have to work to the edges of the strike zone with his fastball. That’s not the profile of a guy who’ll be better as a reliever.

Dave: What would you do if you were the Orioles? Tear it down, make some incremental upgrades for the short term? The system is pretty barren and player development is lacking, so I’m worried about this being a messy rebuild like the Reds.
Klaw: All in for 2017, then look at dealing Machado after the season. Or in July if things go really pear-shaped, which they might if Duquette can’t find some starting pitching.

JWR: What is your favorite holiday movie?
Klaw: Muppet Christmas Carol. We usually watch that, Holiday Inn (yes, the original cut), and White Christmas.

JWR: If you were suddenly instilled as GM of the Angels and if the owner said that he would accede to whatever vision you see for the team, would you trade Trout for a mega-package?
Klaw: Yes. It’s the best path back to contention for them. It’s going to take a lot of time to rebuild that farm system to the point where they can field an organic contender around Trout.

Big Hen: unless the Mets get someone outside the org. isn’t their best OF alignment, Yo-Lagares-Conforto from left to right? I get the skepticism but they can’t play Grandy in CF and Bruce in RF, I will throw up.
Klaw: If Lagares is healthy, yes, I agree with that. I see no role for Granderson or Bruce there at this point.

Lars: How do you think trump’s predictably horrendous approval ratings will impact his decisions? On the one hand, he doesn’t seem to care at all about keeping his word and doing what he promised. On the other, he is about as ego-driven as you can possibly be.
Klaw: I don’t do much in the way of political predictions anyway – I never predicted anything around the election or primaries, because WTF do I know – but I will predict this: Trump is and will remain unpredictable. I guess “mercurial” is the kind word. If the Republican party believes they can control him, I would predict that they’ll be disappointed.

LarryA: Last week you metionned briefly ordering mail-order coffee beans. Wouldnt lower quality but fresher beans rasted locally be better than older beans packed and shipped from across the country?
Klaw: No, not if they’re packed correctly, and I’ve learned that better quality beans benefit from a few days of rest after roasting, especially for pour-over or other drip coffee use.

Greg: I know you’ve had concerns about Austin Riley’s bat speed. In the second half, his Ks went down a lot and he hit 17 homers while hitting .284. Did you hear anything that was encouraging on him, or are you still really down on him?
Klaw: There’s nothing different; he just hit better in a smaller sample. The default expectation for prospects who aren’t promoted should be a better second half than first, because other prospects in the same league were promoted and, presumably, replaced with younger or lesser players. Sometimes that doesn’t work out – guys get tired, play hurt, etc. – but it’s a good starting point.

Marshall MN: Reports say the Trumbo offer was pulled by the Orioles, the rumored amount seemed really high anyway. I have a feeling internally that they are probably kicking themselves for not pulling their monstrous offer to Crush Davis last year as well. Why pay Trumbo $70 million when you could get a slightly downgraded version of him off the street for less money and less years?
Klaw: Pretty sure the Davis thing came from Angelos, not Duquette. No way I’d pay Trumbo that when you can get the next Trumbo for essentially nothing – trading a possibly-racist backup catcher, or claiming a guy off waivers.

Ty: Acuna is triple slashing 375/446/556 in the ABL through 20 games. Is the ABL High A quality and if so could Acuna open up in AA and be a skip away from the big leagues despite the relatively few professional at bats?
Klaw: ABL is below high-A quality. Maybe below low-A quality. But I like Acuna a lot anyway.

Jeremy: what did you think was the best and worst thing to come out of the new CBA?
Klaw: I hate the international amateur system – the players blew that, they should have taken a draft – and that we don’t have trading of draft picks. I like reducing the link between free agents and the draft, love the ban on hazing (duh), and love that the league is going to stop subsidizing Oakland. Move the team or sell it.

Jiminy Christmas: Michelle 2020? Warren 2020? Hanks 2020? Who would make you most excited?
Klaw: Booker? I really don’t know. Good chance it’s no one on our radar now. The DNC’s position that nothing is really wrong so let’s keep all the same people doesn’t give me a ton of hope.

splash: I have a two hour flight tomorrow. Is there a recent collection of short stories you could recommend?
Klaw: Edith Pearlman’s Honeydew.

Ben: I’ve been tasked with cooking the Christmas prime rib. I just got an Anova sous vide circulator and want to use it. The roast is 10 lbs, boneless, and I’m looking for medium rare. My thought is to cut it in half and put them in separate bags (to make it easier to handle), cook at 134 for about 6 hours, then finish in a 450 degree oven to brown it. Does that sound about right? Got any tips?
Klaw: I have never cooked prime rib via any method, but my gut reaction reading this is that 134 then 450 oven is going to push you to medium. Also ensure you have some resting time, maybe 30 minutes, between the sous vide and the browning step.

Joe: Have you gained respect for anyone (in the public eye) you didn’t expect to since the election? Lost any?
Klaw: Lindsay Graham has been one of the few Republicans to continue to say anything at all against Trump, and while that’s a low bar, I’m pretty impressed by his relative willingness to stand his ground.

Jeremy: seems like whoever inks EE for 3/$60M for DH-only duty will be pretty happy in 2017/2018, no?
Klaw: I think so. If EE’s agent is bluffing, as I kind of think he is, there’s a little bargain potential there for a team with cash.

Craig: Can you win at this game:

Klaw: I think two of those are players. This isn’t as fun as “Ikea item or death metal band,” though. (UPDATE: I only got 2/5 right. Womp womp.)

Tim: Derrick Goold and Baseball America just put out the Cardinals top 10. I was surprised Jack Flaherty wasn’t on it, but Goold did offer a solid explanation. Sounds like managers and coaches within the league just weren’t that impressed. What are your thoughts? I was excited by the selection and he seemed to have success, but that’s admittedly stat-lining.
Klaw: That surprises me that he’s not in their top 10, but I haven’t done anything with their system yet, and as a general policy I don’t criticize anyone else’s lists. Usually I don’t even mention other lists, but Derrick’s a friend and knows that organization extremely well.

Jeremy: Brett Anderson as a 7th starter insurance is a better option than Brian Johnson/Henry Owens/Elias, right?
Klaw: Yes. Most of Anderson’s career, he’s been good when healthy. I’d be fine giving him a deal where he gets like $500-700K a start or something. Like, here, you earn the minimum with your first start, and every additional start where we don’t have to put you on the DL, here’s another check. Not that I think he needs incentive – I’ve talked to Brett, it’s not like he wants to get hurt – but it’s totally reasonable to pay a good-when-healthy guy for how often he’s healthy because you’re probably both going to be happy with the return.

Oscar: Any books for first time parents that you recommend? Thanks.
Klaw: The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Matt: Have you heard anything about Chesny Young in the Cubs system? Seems to be able to hit no matter where he goes…zero power an obvious issue. Is there a potential UTIL here, or just a AAAA guy?
Klaw: No power indeed, don’t see those guys much in the majors any more, think he sees the majors but would say 60/40 against him having any kind of role.

Bryan: Klaw, please correct any portion of the following that I have wrong. Regarding Schilling, I think you have said in the past that you consider him a friend and that you would vote him into the Hall. I am all for his Hall candidacy, but a little surprised you would count him as a friend. Do you object to people that claim Curt is a bigot?
Klaw: You’re conflating a bunch of things here. Yes, Curt’s a friend, and I get along very well with him. Yes, I would vote for him for the Hall, because I think his performance merits it, not because I know him. No, I do not object to people who call him a bigot, and I could not disagree with him more on pretty much anything on politics, race relations, LGBTQ rights, and so on. I can be friends with people I disagree with politically; we’re friends with a family around here who are gun-toting, possibly survivalist Trump supporters. I wouldn’t and don’t support any of the stuff Curt has said about minority groups, and I said at the time I understood ESPN’s decision completely.

Kyle KS: What is the appropriate punishment for college football players that act violently against women? Mixon would’ve been taken in by another college due to his talent. A lessor player would’ve been forgotten and no one would remember the consequence. The NFL tolerates players with recent incidents of violence in college like Tyreek Hill who was kicked off his team but has talent. Should the NFL go to a zero tolerance policy to take an actual stand against this behavior?
Klaw: Zero tolerance policies are complicated, as many people have written recently, because taking away the livelihood of an abuser can make the victim, if she’s still with him, worse off. However, for an individual school to say, we’re revoking your scholarship because you hit a woman … that’s well within their rights, and they can certainly take a moral stand even if Mixon would end up playing for another school. Give the scholarship and the possibility of an education (ha!) to a more deserving person.

JR: How annoying is it when you know you are going to be in a place where you will have some reading time (airplane, doctor’s office, etc.) and then the person next to you tries to start a conversation while you are deep in your book. “what are you reading” “is it good” “what’s it about.” So annoying. I’m not anti-social, but I planned ahead and brought a book, so leave me alone.
Klaw: It really depends. This happens to me a lot, of course, because I always have a book. Sometimes it’s clear the person is just being kind and the smalltalk won’t last. Sometimes the person really knows the book I’m reading, or is truly asking if it’s worth reading. And I’ve had some wonderful, entirely serendipitous conversations because of stuff like that. If my gut reaction is that this person is a wacko, or going to be rude, or about to proselytize to me (that’s happened a few times), then I try to polite close the conversation. But I try to at least start with the assumption that s/he doesn’t realize s/he’s being rude and go from there.

Tim (NJ): We traditionally do a tenderloin for christmas – sear in pan, finish in oven (rosemary, mustard seeds, etc). Any recs/thoughts on how to spice it up?
Klaw: Beef? Black pepper. Cloves. Garlic. Lots of garlic. I’m not a huge fan of beef – I’d choose pork over it every time – so I’m probably not the ideal person to ask. If it’s not a short rib or a brisket, which are both good because they’re fatty as hell, I’ll have the pork shoulder, thanks.

Jeremy: do you do ‘Elf on the Shelf’ with your daughter?
Klaw: No. That little fucker is creepy.

addoeh: I sw you aren’t doing a long write-up, but any quick thoughts on last week’s episode of Top Chef?
Klaw: Yes, I apologize for skipping last week but I will resume with tonight’s episode. I thought it was bad TV, in a sense, that every dish was apparently good, and we didn’t get a ton of explanation of why the guy who went home went home. Asking “did you make your own bread” seemed a bit of a stretch too – we almost never see anyone make his/her own bread on this show. Also, if every dish includes radishes, tell us more about how the chefs are cooking them, because that’s something I have only eaten raw.

Pat D: Should I try to defend that guy by saying “at least he voted for the maximum amount of players” or is the vote for Hoffman over Raines just way too indefensible?
Klaw: If you put Hoffman, who faced a total of about 4400 batters in his entire career, over Raines, who *reached base* about 4000 times in his career, you don’t understand the first thing about the sport and shouldn’t vote. This is so incredibly fundamental, and that voter’s friends being all “don’t ballot shame” is just a way of avoiding accountability, which is exactly the wrong direction for the electorate to take. You want the vote? Fine. Be accountable. Don’t vote stupid.

Ed: Is Dylan Cease ready for Myrtle Beach, or would you keep him at Eugene?
Klaw: You’re skipping low-A there. He needs to go to a full-season league, yes. I might be willing to jump him to high-A because of weather, but I don’t think he’s demonstrated he’s ready for high-A hitters just yet.

Tim (NJ): Top Chef – so they put 8 veterans with a massive thumb on their scale (experience with contest, more experience after contest) against 8 chefs new to the competition. This seems like a ratings grab, bc from a competition standpoint, this seems really fixed.
Klaw: I’ve been disappointed with the season to date for that reason.

Adam: Do you see any HS or college players poised to shoot up draft boards between now and June? Do you see any that look like they’ll fall?
Klaw: No. Too early for that.

Tim (NJ): If a fortune teller told you Senzel would win ROY in 2018, would that surprise you?
Klaw: No. Although it wouldn’t shock me if he played 50 games in the majors in 2017, either. Kid can hit. You’re not waiting on a ton there.

Tom: Just wanted to say thanks for all the columns, chats, Saturday links, your kindness in Twitter convos, and of course, restaurant recs. A lot of people try to speak for me on Twitter that I’m only interested in your baseball stuff and nothing else. “No you can’t take that away from me.”
Klaw: You’re welcome, and thank you for the kind words. I couldn’t stick to baseball if I wanted to. People who demand that of me get muted or blocked.

Zoey: Keith, how much does pedigree play into prospect rankings? I’m wondering even if it’s subconscious, would a guy like Patrick Weigel rank higher if he was a say a top 50 pick?
Klaw: Not on my rankings. Once you’re in pro ball, the slate is clean.

Tyler: So the original title was suppose to be “Smrt Baseball” right? Publisher forced you to add the a?
Klaw: We thought Smrt Baseball would be unsearchable.

Chris: Given the how sharply the cost of good relief pitching has risen, has it caused you to re-evaluate how you rank prospects that are likely relievers?
Klaw: No, because the value a reliever delivers hasn’t really changed, and we’re not any better today at predicting who they’ll be than we were five years ago. Betances is a great example – total washout as a starter, awful command, goes to the pen, completely different guy now.

Carl: No question. Just wanted to say thanks for the great content, science advocacy, & common sense. Now let me get back to Star Realms while eating leftover Ruhlman Roast Chicken and reading this chat.
Klaw: That’s a strong combination. And you’re welcome. I stand for science.

CB: Weird, I heard the author of Smart Baseball is a biased tool of the liberal media who hates all 32 teams and feels the need to comment on things other than baseball.
Klaw: That too.

Ed: What are your thoughts on Eddy Martinez’ first season? About what you expected? Better / worse?
Klaw: Worse than I expected. Same for Yusnier Diaz. Hopeful both are better in 2017 now that any rust is gone. But maybe I overrated both guys.

Andy: Gary Bettman, the NHL commish, overlapping a lot with Selig, seems utterly incompetent. The NHL canceled a full season and had multiple labor disputes. Yet the NHL is still a money maker for the owners. Losing money on an established sports league at this point would frankly be more shocking.
Klaw: TV money is the determining variable here. It’s like when Democrats tried to give credit for the Internet economic bubble to Bill Clinton. Yes, he made some decent policy decisions. He was also sitting on the oil deposit when it started gushing … oh, god, this analogy is terrible, I’m sorry.

Geoff: Hi Keith – spending a year of grad school in Gainesville, is the UF team worth checking out? I’m from Massachusetts, never seen big time college baseball. Thanks
Klaw: Always worth checking out, with two potential first-rounders this year in Faedo and Schwarz, and Guthrie not far behind.

Zach: Hey Keith, aside from ATCQ (Goat) has any hip-hop album really stood out for you this year?
Klaw: Nothing really. Kendrick’s untitled record was good, but I never felt compelled to go back to it after March.

Joe Schmo: My wife went to see her primary because of some numbness in hands and face. He thinks it could be caused by stress so he prescribed Xanax. He’s the medical professional…but it worries me that he’s offering it to her so willingly without going through a proper diagnosis from a psychiatrist. Am I overreacting?
Klaw: Xanax is a go-to script for primary care docs these days, even though it’s quite habit-forming. I feel like i know a dozen people who’ve told me they have it. I’ve taken it maybe four times in my life, all during my episode of panic attacks and inability to sleep in 2012, and then stopped when I was able to sleep again because I worried about long-term use.

Cletus: Nats should give closer to- Glover, Treinen, or other??
Klaw: I bet they acquire someone but I’d put Glover over Treinen.

Felix: In all of your travels, where did you find the best brisket?
Klaw: Franklin BBQ in Austin is the best, Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix is second. 4 Rivers near Orlando is good too.

Zach: I imagine you’re too busy to really play video games, but was the younger Klaw a gamer? Picturing you as the Rpg type.
Klaw: Only a little. I played some computer RPGs like Bard’s Tale and the original Pool of Radiance but didn’t have a ton of patience for them. Loved the original Civilization game, though. I lost a lot of time one semester in college to that.

Andrew: Isn’t there a logical fallacy to the rise in Clemens/Bonds voters as a result of the Selig HOF selection? In theory, if we shouldn’t use Jim Rice to argue that similar players are HOFers….shouldn’t we not use Selig to justify Bonds/Clemens? (p.s. I’m still pro Bonds/Clemens in the HOF, but still)
Klaw: In this case, I think voters are saying, well, we asked you for guidance on PED guys, and you implicitly gave it to us by putting Commissioner See-No-Evil in, so, all’s fair now.

Andy: I know you aren’t a fan of the extremely vague character clause. Bonds and Schilling’s on field play is good enough for you to vote. If it comes up, would someone with an offense like Chapman’s violate your personal character clause to vote for the HOF?
Klaw: Probably not. If he had Rivera’s credentials, for example, and this one incident is the only one of its kind he has (nothing worse, either), I would likely include him, reluctantly. Of course, with Chapman, there’s been other stuff, some smaller offenses that are public, some character issues that are not.

Chris: Do you think people are finding false comfort on stating over and over again that 2016 has been a particularly terrible year? I mean, can’t it get much worse? And isn’t it likely that it will?
Klaw: It can, it probably will, and it’s not like the universe is aware that the western system of numbering collections of days is about to see the last digit roll over.

Jay: Could Bryan Reynolds be an above average CF (offensively and defensively) at AT&T park? ETA in 2018 or 2019?
Klaw: Yes. I’m in. Some risk with high K rate but great value pick there with upside on both sides of the ball.

Ryan V.: Shazaam, starring Sinbad – great movie, or Greatest Movie?
Klaw: That story is in my list for Saturday’s links post. That’s absolutely amazing. The power of a collective delusion?

Andrew: Do you agree with eat like a king during breakfast, a king at lunch and a pauper for dinner? Trying to find ways to improve my diet.
Klaw: No. I eat more at dinner than the other two meals, typically. I don’t know that it’s best, but it works for me.

Mikey: Give me a reason to believe in Javier Guerra. He really struggled with the stick. Can he figure it out or is he a future Rey Ordonez?
Klaw: I think he was very young for the level, has plenty of ability, and is in a good situation now with an organization that is committing a lot of resources to helping him. He’s going to be good.

Dan: Did you watch The Magicians series? Have only read the first book and am ~7 episodes in. It took me a while but I finally enjoy how different it is from the source material.
Klaw: No, it’s on my to-do list, which is getting longer rather than shorter.

addoeh: Through odd circumstances, someone has taken your espresso machine away from you and will give it back if you do one of two things; watch three hours of Calliou or a three hour video of the 2016 Cleveland Browns highlights. Which will you watch?
Klaw: I don’t know football well enough to be bothered by watching a bad team play badly.

Moltar: Definitive ranking of renditions of A Christmas Carol: 1.) Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol 2.) Muppet Christmas Carol 3.) Scrooged 4.) Flinstones Christmas Carol 5.) Patrick Stewart version
Klaw: You missed the George C. Scott version, which I think is my favorite straight-up adaptation.

Andy: If Bud Selig were still commish, he would threaten to contract Oakland and TB, and then sell both teams to Jeff Loria for practically nothing.
Klaw: Also a problem we tend to forget. He certainly didn’t solve either team’s situation, or even push towards a resolution.

Joey Bagodonuts: I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and say that I look forward to being mentioned in your draft projections for 2017.
Klaw: Thank you, and I can tell you now that you merited a mention in Smart Baseball.

J: Yes The R&R Hall of Fame is ridiculous as art is not a competition, but one band/performer you think should be in that is not? Using the current no criteria criteria of couse
Klaw: I was floored that Bad Brains, who are incredibly influential despite having no popularity themselves, were nominated but left out. You don’t have to like their music to recognize that they influenced entire genres and broke the race barrier in punk.

Steve Fratantaro: Hi Keith. i’m curious to hear your thoughts on the contract Odubel Herrera signed recently. Seems like a team friendly deal to me. What do you think?
Klaw: Team friendly if he never gets any better, bargain if he does. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve heard questions about his work ethic, however, and if those are legitimate – let’s face it, makeup rumors can be complete bullshit – then there’s some risk to the team here.

Jeff: Gavin Newsom is a darkhorse I would watch for in 2020, but 2024 is probably a better bet. But given the recent reports of how Trump partially makes his Cabinet decisions based on looks, maybe 2020 is a real possibility. Can you imagine how intimidated Trump would be seeing Newsom standing across the debate stage? He’d probably call him “Dreamy Gavin”.
Klaw: I’ve been impressed by Newsom’s commentary so far, especially on some pretty contentious issues, but it’s easier to take a firm stand when you’re preaching to the choir in your home state. It’s hard, for example, to remain so firmly pro-gun control when you see how much of the electorate opposes that and will vote on that one issue.

Nelson: Coffee question. I use the Kalita Wave with a burr grinder. Do you vary your grind with the bean? Do you locally roasted beans or mail order? Thoughts on Ronald Acuna as compared to Andruw Jones?
Klaw: Yes, I have to vary the grind by the bean for whatever I’m making. I don’t see the Acuna/Jones comparison, though.

Craig: Regarding Schilling’s drop in HOF support, do you think it is permanent or do you think that voters are latching on to his comments as a way to cull their ballot down to 10 names (i.e. “I have 12 guys I would vote for and only 10 slots, so the jerk gets cut first”) and he’ll rebound as the ballot sorts itself out in future years?
Klaw: I think the timing of his post about lynching reporters is having a direct effect on his support, but I don’t know if that endures. We may not know for another year or two until we reach a point where most people agree the number of qualified candidates on the ballot is ten or fewer. Right now I would say there are twelve and I’d accept any answer from about eleven to maybe fifteen.

Ang: What are you doing with the pork shoulder for xmas? I really like the recipes I’ve been using, one Korean with a long gochujang marinade and the other a kind of kalua pork, but would like to try something new this year,
Klaw: Using the Momofuku bo ssam recipe, which is easy, almost foolproof, and damn good.

Klaw: That’s all for this week, and I apologize for being a little slow today – I woke up with a migraine, slept another hour and a half after I got my daughter to school, and still am not at 100%. Thank you all for bearing with me, for your questions, and for your support throughout the year. Have a Merry Christmas, for those of you who celebrate it, and for the rest of you, may the calendar keep bringing Happy Holidays to you.

Klawchat, 12/15/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: Flaccid ego in your hand … it’s Klawchat.

Greg: Atlanta has mentioned wanting a catching prospect in AA or AAA. Would Baltimore part with Sisco?
Klaw: I didn’t think so a few months ago, but now I think they might, especially with Castillo potentially there for two years. I like Sisco – not a star, but a good regular who can hit.

Evan: In a previous chat you mentioned that you used points for a vacation. Curious if you have any recommendations for a hotel chain to use for business travel. Thanks!
Klaw: I’m a Marriott whore like everyone else in baseball.

Matt: So umm…Russia. Apparently more than 50 members of the Electoral Collage demanding an investigation to Russia tampering w/ the election. Think there’s merit to this or it’s just smoke and mirrors?
Klaw: I think it’s probably less dramatic than the headlines appear, but I would also favor an investigation if only to determine whether something happened at all that we need to protect against in 2018 and 2020. If Trump’s camp specifically worked with Russian hackers or authorities, that’s a legal question that I probably don’t know enough to answer.

Armin: Hi Keith, wouldn’t it be the perfect time to trade Masahiro Tanaka? 1. If he stays healthy he will definitely opt out of his contract after the 2017 season. 2. He has had elbow problems in the not so distant past. 3. The market for top talent has been set with the trades for Miller (deadline), Chapman (deadline), Sale, Eaton, etc. I know the Yankees want to be competitive while still rebuilding but this seems like a good opportunity to cash in on Tanaka. What do you think?
Klaw: It’s a good time to explore his market, with no starters really out there, but if the Yanks trade him it’s probably a hit of a couple of wins a year that they can’t easily replace.

Adam: Assuming that the pre-season rankings of draft prospects holds up until draft time, is there a prospect with upside so big that you take him over one of the “big three” of Greene, Kendall, or Wright?
Klaw: We have Kendall 1, and I think that’ll hold for a while unless he has a surprisingly poor spring. Royce Lewis is a guy to watch, with 1-1 kind of upside.

section 34: I keep reading that the CBA is considered a win for the owners. Why?
Klaw: I’m going to write about this very soon. I generally agree with that sentiment.

JG: What ado about the Padres these days? Seems counterintuitive to target any quality SPs to ensure a quality tank. And maybe the same thought about targeting a Jose Iglesias as a SS upgrade.
Klaw: I think tanking in baseball is overstated – teams don’t tank so much as they trade away players who can help now for prospects who can help later. So that implies acquiring a quality SP or two whom you can trade at the deadline.

Ben: No question here. Just find it funny that Javier Vazquez (43.3 bWAR, 53.9 fWAR, 105 ERA+, and one very famous 2nd place Cy Young vote) can’t even crack the Hall of Fame ballot, while Jack Morris (43.8 bWAR, 55.8 fWAR, 105 ERA+, and all teh wins!) came within a whisker of being inducted.
Klaw: All about the narrative. And maybe skin color has a little something to do with it.

Robert: Keith, we don’t know his justifications, but I have a lot of issues with Steven Marcus’ 2017 HOF ballot. What is the fairest way to determine if a reliever is HOF worthy? I have a hard time, statistically or anecdotally, of giving a HOF vote to any reliever outside of Mariano Rivera (but definitely not Trevor Hoffman).
Klaw: I think Rivera should be the threshold for career innings going forward. He pitched more than Sutter, Hoffman, or Wagner, and pitched better than any of them, and had that postseason resume to boost his candidacy. If you can’t even reach Mo’s modest 1200-odd innings, then most likely you’re not worth further discussion, because it’s hard to believe you could have been as valuable as Rivera while pitching less.

Andy: One thing on the anti-hazing thing. It seems like, it’s just banning it as part of a team organized thing. I’m sure that Huston Street is still free to wear cheerleading and Hooters outfits wherever and whenever he wants to. I’m guessing he will choose not to do so, because of various reasons like unmanly and that he’ll be made fun of. And I’m sure he wouldn’t understand the irony.
Klaw: Agreed. A reader said to me on Twitter (I think) that this is not about the 8-10 rookies a year who are fine with dressing up as a gag. It’s about the one or two who aren’t fine with it. And that’s exactly it.

Mike: Given the automatic depreciation of Rockie hitters’ stats, would you project they can get better than a #3 or #4 starter for Charlie Blackmon? Related question: has Bridich lost his mind?
Klaw: Really don’t understand their offseason so far. $18 million for a mediocre LHR after giving up pick 11 for Desmond? Blackmon’s pretty well regarded though because he’s always had great tools, so there’s enough of a belief that he’ll produce outside of Coors. He’s not Dante Bichette.

Nick: If you were Lunhow, would you trade Musgrove + Martes + Tucker for Quintana, and why or why not? I go back and forth as an Astros fan but think I’d be happy with him pulling the trigger.
Klaw: If I’m Luhnow I do it. If I’m Hahn I’m not even countering because it’s so low. FWIW, I don’t know that that was ever discussed by the clubs.

Jake: Hi Keith, not trying to come at you, just legitimately asking. Why do you occasionally rush to break trades on Twitter? You strike me as the type that would say “leave the rat race to Heyman, Rosenthal, etc. and analyze thoroughly once all details are known”. What’s the benefit in those extra 5 minutes? Thanks for the chat!
Klaw: Because if I get news, I share it. I have no idea why you’d even ask.

Keith: Now that the White Sox are clearing their MLB roster, do you think Matt Davidson will get a chance to play? Last I heard, his 3B defense was considered plus. Does he still have everyday starter upside to you?
Klaw: He’s not a plus defender, but he has a good swing and average power. I hope he gets one more chance before he’s discarded to the NRI scrap heap.

A Short Guy: Will guys like Nick Allen (2017) and Nick Madrigal (2018) get first round consideration or does their height hurt them too much?
Klaw: Don’t think either ends up in the first round for that very reason.

Seath: My Fiance and I are having a Christmas Eve Dinner with my parents at my brother and his wife’s house. Because they have a newborn, my Fiance and I would love to provide the main course for dinner but are having a hard time figuring out what we can cook if we have to also transport it. What do you reccomend?
Klaw: You want weight to it so it’ll retain its heat in transport, or can be reheated without doing damage to it. Something like a stew (HT Carl Weathers). Maybe Serious Eats’ pressure-cooker Green chicken chili? That’s a go-to dish for me.

Nick: How close was Clarke Schmidt to making your top 30 draft list? I remember you liked him in previous tweets and chats.
Klaw: I like the stuff, but it’s a bad delivery.

Ceej: Would you move Moncada to CF to take advantage of his speed?
Klaw: If he shows he can’t improve at 3b. Lifelong infielder moving to CF shouldn’t be taken as a given that it works.

Jackson: How is it ok to support a Casey Affleck movie and not support Chapman or any other POS? If you’d resign if forced to sign Chapman, shouldn’t you refuse to see the Afleck movie?
Klaw: Three people have asked variations of this profoundly stupid question. The analogy to seeing Affleck’s movie is watching Chapman pitch, not signing him to an $86 million deal. Think critically for a second before playing this dumbass “gotcha” game.

Jeff: Speaking only in terms of fit, and not expected cost to acquire, is Logan Forsythe, Brian Dozier or Yangervis Solarte the best option for the Dodgers current roster?
Klaw: Dozier’s a legitimate all-star, and if they can acquire him without giving up Bellinger or Verdugo I’d do it. Those two kids are close to major-league ready with huge upsides, and I don’t think I’d part with either for Dozier’s age-30 and -31 seasons.

Ed: Have you ever made figgy pudding?
Klaw: Piggy pudding? With bacon?

Kramer: Can Carson Kelly be an everyday Catcher? What do you see his upside as?
Klaw: Yes, above-average regular for me. Great athlete, great kid, really improved defensively over the last two years, more pop in there than he’s shown to date.

Danny: Thoughts on Josh Staumont? I think he’s a RP without a drastic uptick in command (which is possible but he’s not a fresh prep pitcher).
Klaw: I agree with you completely. He can be around the strike zone, but I saw maybe his best outing of 2016 and it was still below-average command. He was just blowing A-ball guys up with pure stuff.

Marshall MN: The Onion had a great headline this week about Rick Perry getting nominated as Secretary of a department he once wanted to get rid of (Dept Energy) – oh wait that wasn’t a satirical headline from The Onion, it was reality.
Klaw: I’m waiting for General Sherman to get the nod for Secretary of Agriculture.

BoBo from FishTown: Thoughts on Brandon Brooks of the PHL Eagles ‘coming out’ about His anxiety atttacks that have prevented Him from playing the last few games? And His coach calling it a ‘weird situatuon’?
Klaw: I’m glad he felt confident enough to talk about it publicly and deal with the ignorance that he’s getting from his coach and from fans.

John: How does Jeren Kendell stack up with recent draftees from the SEC (Senzel, Swanson, Bregman, Benintendi)? How concerned are you about his k-rate?
Klaw: I ranked him at 1, so I’m obviously not that concerned about his K rate; he’s unusually toolsy for a college hitter. He has more upside than the first three guys you mentioned, but those three were also better hitters as sophomores and better equipped to get to double-A quickly than Kendall is right now.

Pramit Bose: There has been some sentiment around here that the Jays acted too quickly in signing Kendrys Morales to a 3 year deal given that there hasn’t exactly been huge demand for power this off season. Do you think this is the case? And are we starting to see organizations value more “complete” players (i.e. offense, baserunning and defense) than one dimensional ones?
Klaw: Yes, I was out of the country when that happened but I thought it was a bad deal for the Jays given all the comparable players out there who’ll probably end up signing for a year.

Lee: Keith, which of the Braves pitching prospects will likely have the most impact on the team? Seems to me Fried is getting overlooked and could be a future ace.
Klaw: Don’t think he could be an ace but I think he could be an above-average starter. Toussaint might have the best upside of anyone, but isn’t as close to getting to his ceiling as Fried is to his.

Chris: Keith, I wanted to thank you for turning me on to the concept of sipping rums. I now prefer them to bourbon. Have you tried either Dictador or Zaya 12 year?
Klaw: Not yet. Not familiar with Dictador at all.

Marshall MN: Plus just generally in regard to any hazing…why should any of it be allowed? I hate when hear stories about rookies having to buy the vets dinner (especially given how comparatively little most rooks make), or carrying their bags, or doing anything that demeans them. It isn’t needed, there are better ways to build camaraderie, and a lot of times all of this stuff just ventures in physical/mental abuse.
Klaw: I tend to agree with this, as I explained in my email newsletter this week, but I’m realistic about what teams will be able to enforce in the short term, and I thought the introduction of any policy on the topic was a big first step.

Priya: Any trick to identifying which prospect with Sale like deficiencies will defy the odds and stay healthy or is it a fool’s errand?
Klaw: I don’t think so, but I tend to think in a certain way, building heuristics and being very critical of exceptions to those guidelines. Sale violated several of them – the bad delivery, the lack of a breaking ball in college, and the narrow frame – and yet has had a Hall of Fame start to his career. Credit the White Sox with drafting him in spite of the questions about whether he could start, and with getting him from a 40 breaking ball to a 70. But if I saw another Chris Sale I’d probably have similar reservations because the majority of guys with those issues don’t pan out.

Tom: Agree that people are playing the wrong game of “gotcha”. The question they should be asking in relation to the Casey Affleck film is, “If you were still a Yankees fan, would you purchase a ticket to watch a game knowing they employ Aroldis Chapman?”
Klaw: Yep. Or, if I were a film director, would I cast Casey Affleck, knowing the accusations that he’s harassed women? (Probably not.) But for me to deny the quality of his performance would be analogous to denying Chapman’s effectiveness as a pitcher, which I’ve been very careful to avoid doing. Chapman’s a great pitcher I wouldn’t want on my team. Affleck’s a great actor I wouldn’t want in my film.

Pat D: So based upon your answer to Ed’s question, is John Denver & The Muppets the greatest Christmas album of all time, or merely one of the very good? Also, appreciated the Coach Z reference on Twitter this week.
Klaw: I grew up listening to that album so I can’t pretend to be objective. Pretty much any vintage Muppets Christmas thing is good, including the Muppet Christmas Carol, which we watched last night as I sang along with my daughter. If they gave a prize for bein’ mean, the winner would be him!

Tommy Tutone: What do you see from Paxton this year?
Klaw: More of the same maddening inconsistency, I think.

Jason: Keith, hopefully you can help me out here regarding the Russians. I’m a Republican who didn’t vote for Trump (or Clinton, for that matter). Let’s assume that the Russian government did release the emails purposefully to help Trump. Why would that mean that the electoral college should then vote for Clinton? As long as they weren’t actually tampering with the votes themselves, why should this interference be actionable? It’s not as if Putin favoring Trump was some secret
Klaw: Is anyone arguing the EC should vote for Clinton? I have not, and would not, even though I voted for her and would prefer to see her as President than any GOP option. The idea of faithless electors isn’t to give the election to the other party.

Tommy Tutone: How good is Lance McCullers? Will he be a #1?
Klaw: I’ve said for a while I think LMJr will end up in the bullpen because of his delivery. It’s ace stuff, but he has yet to hit 160 innings in any season and keeps getting hurt. I’d rather see him stay healthy all year.

Chris: How batshit crazy are these guys in Washington that are trying to pass legislation allowing guns into the stadiums?
Klaw: I mean, do you want to be in the stadium with people who decide to bring guns into it? Who says, hey, I’m going to see the M’s, where’s my TEC-9?

Troy McClure: I’m surprised someone with social anxiety would say such harsh things to so many readers. You shouldn’t always assume bad intent with bad questions.
Klaw: Don’t drag my anxiety into this irrelevant discussion. And “gotcha” questions always have bad intent.

Perry: What do you think on the next CA Attorney General stating that he will not adhere to federal law regarding immigration and will go so far as to obstruct the federal government from enforcing its laws?
Klaw: This is how we get cases into the judicial system, no?

Jeremy: Who should get the most innings behind the plate in 2017: Castillo, Joseph, or Sisco?
Klaw: Castillo. If Sisco’s not their catcher of the future any more, they should trade him for a young starter.

Chris: Given the amount they can get in return, should Baltimore trade Machado if they get off to a slow start? They aren’t terrible but they aren’t great and their farm system is sorely lacking, so I think this should actually kick start a real fix.
Klaw: I think they’re going to have to explore trading him soon, but since they were a WC team in 2016 doing it now would probably be seen as a white flag. Explore it in July, push it in November.

Vin: Are you a believer in a Parker/Williamson LF platoon for SF?
Klaw: I am not.

Jim: Ken Rosenthal wrote an article about how the Braves farm system is considered not mature enough yet and how that hurt in the Sale talks. Also that their pitchers were high risk with mid rotation upside. Why do people keep writing these things about the Braves system yet they are ranked Top 5 by nearly every prospect guy?
Klaw: No idea. Atlanta has so many prospect arms that I think your second sentence is not a fair summary of the system; they have many with higher upside, and of course many with lower upside. You can’t just take the average of all the prospects.

Jeremy: Any favorite Christmas books for children? We give one to each child to open in bed each Christmas morning and, with 4 kids, we feel like we’re running out of quality options.
Klaw: Not specifically Christmas but my daughter always loved Stranger in the Woods.

Tom: So you wouldn’t cast Casey Affleck in a movie but you’ll vote to put Bill Clinton back in the White House? He settled out-of-court on multiple sexual assault lawsuits.
Klaw: Bill Clinton hasn’t run for President since 1996. It’s funny how people do this with a woman running for office, but never with a man.

Todd-bowls: It feels like Greene is decent at two positions rather than great at one. Agree or Disagree
Klaw: Great defensive shortstop. Questionable bat. Potentially great pitcher, huge upside, not there yet. So it’s a little more involved although I understand why you’d ask that.

Rusty: Keith, do you have an opinion on acupuncture?
Klaw: I’ve seen no research that indicates it works, and there’s no known biological mechanism to explain why it would work. Here’s a good essay on why.

Rob: I know the Pirates are probably unlikely to get involved, but would Meadows, Keller and Newman be enough/too much to get Quintana?
Klaw: I don’t think that fits the White Sox’ goals for such a deal and probably isn’t enough close-to-the-majors value, but it’s better than the reported Houston proposal.

Chris: Rockies with a puzzling offseason so far, eh?
Klaw: I don’t understand it. They’re not a terrible team, but so far they haven’t done enough that I could project them to even 85 or so wins, and I could easily see the Desmond deal going south on them quickly.

Chuck: If there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that something is effective but no science-based research, is there merit for you? Thinking of acupuncture or anything else.
Klaw: Well there’s a lot of research on acupuncture that hasn’t shown it’s any better than a placebo. If there’s zero research, and a plausible explanation why something might work, then I’d consider it.

Aron: What kind of package from the Mariners gets Smyly?
Klaw: Not sure the two teams really line up. The M’s system is thin at the moment. Plus, do they have a shortstop prospect who can’t stay at short? That’s Tampa’s favorite kind of player.

Lee: It appears the Red Sox are going all out for a championshipo with the recent moves they’ve made. So why the apparent hesitation to cross the luxury tax this season? Wouldn’t signing EE to a 3 year deal make them more likely to win a World Series in their “window”?
Klaw: Yes, it would, in year one, but I could imagine they might not want to go that long on a player his age.

Chris: Do you think Reynaldo Lopez will be given time to develop as a starter with the Sox, with the fallback on going to the pen or will he be a pen guy with the Sox right off the bat?
Klaw: Sounded like they’ll let him try to start, which is fine given that they’re not trying to win right now, but I have said before I think there’s no chance he can stay healthy and effective as a starter.

Jake: If last years draft was held today who would be the top 5 picks? Moniak still #1?
Klaw: I don’t think the Phillies have changed their view on him to alter that. I have a feeling in a few years we’ll look back and wonder how Groome fell to 12.

Anthony: What would do with Joey Gallo? Should they let him play everyday at 1B or start him in the minors?
Klaw: I think he needs to play regularly and the Rangers need to accept that there will be a long period of adjustment. Gallo still strikes out too much, but he’s improved his ability to lay off stuff outside the zone and to make contact within it over the last few years. He’ll come up, he’ll struggle again, but he’ll make some adjustments and get to a point where he’s at least productive. He can strike out 200 times in 600 PA and still be a valuable player because of the power and walks.

brandino: Where would Cal Quantril rank in the hierarchy of college pitchers in this years draft (assuming he was the best college pitcher in last years draft)?
Klaw: He’s another one, like Groome, where we may look back even in a year and think how big a steal he was where he was picked. A healthy Q would be in there with Wright and Faedo.

Jake: Who do you think is the better prospect Gleyber or Rosario?
Klaw: Gleyber. Both studs. Gleyber’s just uncanny though – he plays like he’s 25.

Concerned Giants fan: Read Jeff Passan’s article about how the future Dodgers are quite scary. Your thoughts on how their combination of prospects/$$ compares to the Giants’ also sizable budget? I need to know whether to be concerned about that Dodger prospect pipeline coming up.
Klaw: If they keep that prospect core, they’re indeed going to be very scary, because their lineup will be strong and inexpensive, and they will be able to buy pitching and still stay under the cap. So be concerned.

Ridley Kemp: The Trainspotting sequel is going to break my heart, isn’t it? Everything about it looks like a re-hash (except for the welcome Wolf Alice inclusion). Am I foolish to hope?
Klaw: I’ve actually never seen the original. I’m pretty bad with 1990s movies.

John: Do you see Tom Raines as a much better HoF candidate than Kenny Lofton? Raines a much better hitter but similar overall fWAR.
Klaw: Better peak for Raines too. Raines was one of the 2-3 best players in baseball for a short period. Lofton never had that peak.

Rick Gassko: Do you think Aaron Judge, Hunter Renfroe and/or A.J. Reed ever get past their low contact rates and high K rates seen in their major league debuts to become above-average regulars? What are the odds on each that they are busts?
Klaw: I’m most optimistic about Judge, then Reed, then Renfroe. Renfroe is the one I’ve seen look the worst on breaking stuff, and I think he’s the least patient. Reed’s issue is modest bat speed, but his eye is good. Judge has the best idea, and the longest arms.

David: I know it’s far away, but is there any prospect of Gavin Lux playing SS for the Dodgers? Trade bait in a few years, or could he be their future 2B?
Klaw: I would let him play short for a few years and see how he looks and how his body changes. I think right now he has the raw ability to do it, but if he loses any speed he would likely move to second. Bigger concern right now is cleaning up his swing a bit to address the hit tool.

Reilly: At a recent team caravan event, Frank Coonelly expressed frustration over the fan base’s exhaustion over the FO’s “unwillingness to spend.” My opinion has always been smart moves/spending is more important than moves/spending for the sake of. What say you?
Klaw: Never been a fan of spending for spending’s sake. Is the team in question missing out on good deals? Playing clearly inferior players to save money? Skimping on draft picks or on July 2? Those things would concern me, rather than just looking at total payroll.

Sigmund Fraud: You seem like a great husband/father. Cooks, works from home a lot, involved in raising his kid… so what is Mrs. Klaw’s biggest pet peeve? Surely you can’t ALWAYS be so wonderful. (or would you beg to differ?)
Klaw: Oh, she’d have some things to say, I assure you. Not least among them is how much time I’m online doing stuff.

Steve: Hi, Keith. I know you’re not a fantasy baseball guy but I’d really appreciate your real life expertise here. I can only keep one of Urias or Alex Reyes. Which one? Thanks!
Klaw: Urias. More optimistic about him short- and long-term. Reyes has huge upside but has had arm soreness and the delivery isn’t ideal.

Tim (KC): The Rockies reportedly want Eaton-type return on Charlie Blackmon (free agent after 2018). Seems like they don’t understand player value/contract/economics. They seem to be really become delusional this off-season. Are the Rockies ready to contend or is this the next Padres/Diamondbacks (what is it will the NL West)?
Klaw: Eaton’s value was as much in the contract as in the player himself. Blackmon’s probably a better bet to hold his value, but as you said, Eaton’s contract, both cost and years of control, made him a much more valuable asset.

Chris: Josh Byrnes got a raw deal in San Diego and Preller has ruined the organization. People who point to their minors looking great now forget that Preller dealt Turner, Ross, Grandal and others. How does he still have a job?
Klaw: Byrnes inherited a good system from Hoyer/McLeod and left it in worse shape. Preller’s first year was bad, but this year he’s restocked the system quickly and thoroughly. And while he should have kept Turner/Ross, Myers is a good player and they didn’t end up with nothing.

addoeh: Do you think the new CBA will curb the Dodgers spending? It seems to me they’ll just shrug their shoulders and say “Ok.”
Klaw: I think it will, because it’s a tax and loss of draft position (and bonus pool). Also, they are likely to have Seager, Verdugo, and Bellinger as their core making no money at some point very soon.

Jake: Who would you have taken in last years draft at #1? You seem to like Groome, Rutherford and Corey Ray the best.
Klaw: I had Ray 1, but I said there were a couple of guys who were worth that spot, including the others you named.

Jon: Keith, Re:Gallo. Isn’t he a more athletic version of Adam Dunn? Dunn was productive at the plate in the same manner as Gallo with a ton of K’s but killed teams with his defense. Gallo’s not as terrible. Do you think it will take a new team to get that chance?
Klaw: Gallo’s not a terrible defender – he’s a good athlete, as you said, with an 80 arm. But if he’s only Adam Dunn, well, Dunn was a good player for several years, just frustrating.

Ron: Buxton takes the next step this year? Maybe breakout? Incredible physical tools. If he squares one up he can hit it as far as anyone.
Klaw: I’m buying.

Jim: Shouldn’t Tim Raines get in the HOF before Tom Raines gets any consideration?
Klaw: I wanted to vote for Claude Raines but I didn’t see him on the ballot.

Joe: Keith, I enjoyed your Disney food reviews, even though they are a few years old now. Did you ever publish any reviews about the attractions that you liked at Disney?
Klaw: I haven’t, and it’s funny you ask because my daughter asks when we might go again, but last time around she was only interested in a handful of rides. I think she enjoys being there more than doing the attractions.

Bob: You said in reply to my Twitter question that the gap between the best and worst FOs has gotten small. I wonder, then, if the new market inefficiency is how well you develop talent. Mike Trout or Corey Seegar are going to be stars regardless, but there are plenty of prospects that benefit from good coaching. Some teams seem to do this better than others, don’t they?
Klaw: I think there are still inefficiencies but they’ll be less obvious. Development is a large area for inefficiencies. Health is one. Using Statcast data to improve game plans, or to contribute to development, is another. We just may not spot these until after the fact.

Mark: Any tips for a 24 year old looking to take up baseball in junior college? The one thing I have going for me is that I can really, really run. Like Billy Hamilton run. What do I have to do to get noticed by scouts this upcoming season?
Klaw: I really don’t know the answer to that. I suppose the obvious, but real, answer is that you are going to have to hit a lot to get anyone to overcome the skepticism of seeing a 24-year-old in JC.

Kenny: If the 3 major parts of the game are offense, defense, and pitching, which 2 would you emphasize the most when putting a team together? In other words, if you could make your team very strong in 2 of them, while being weak in one, which 2 would help you win the most?
Klaw: I think there are two major parts: run scoring and run prevention. Pitching and defense go together in run prevention but the share for each is either unknown or variable. If you can build a great offense that also contributes to run prevention, well, that’s a good way to go, but those players are rare and often expensive.

Joe: Does Jason McLeod accept a GM spot now that he has helped the Cubs finally win a WS? If not, what is he waiting for?
Klaw: He just signed an extension so I don’t think he’s going anywhere now.

Walt: The story of the former Wake Forest assistant football coach turned radio announcer, who took his frustrations of not being retained by a new head coach out by giving game plans to other teams, seems to be a cautionary tale for anyone in sports. What kind of safeguards to teams have against former employees giving away all of their secrets?
Klaw: What else can you do besides NDAs? I guess then you sue the hell out of violators to make it clear that there are real penalties involved. Beyond that, I don’t think you can stop someone intent on leaking your secrets.

Scott: I can’t stop buying board games. Any suggestions?
Klaw: You’re asking someone who owns over 100. I have no help for you.

Bob: Follow up, if I may. If player development is an area where you can really improve over the other guy, then this issue should factor into hiring a new GM, shouldn’t it?
Klaw: I think it should.

Tim (KC): What is your HOF ballot this year?
Klaw: Raines, Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Edgar, Mussina, Pudge, Schilling, Walker. Still leaving guys off because of the 10-man limit. (Most of you know this, but I do not have a ballot yet. Two more years.)

Duane: If you had a choice of never reading a new book or never trying a new food, which would you choose?
Klaw: I could go on very happily eating all the amazing things I’ve already eaten, but I’d shrivel up without new books.

MikeM: Is there a release date for your prospect lists in 2017. I really enjoy reading them every year and are one of the main reasons I have an Insider account.
Klaw: It’s up to the new baseball editor but she told me she was looking at the third and fourth weeks of January. We’re going to roll them out over more days – so it might be, say, 25 prospects a day for four days.

HugoZ: Is having an inflammatory statement on a t-shirt a great reason to deprive someone of your HOF vote?
Klaw: The statement in question targeted the profession of the voters. That said, I still had Schilling on mine, as you saw.

Jon: Concerning Mark heading off to JC. If he’s serious about pro ball, would an indy league team be a better route than a Juco program?
Klaw: I think he’s more likely to be seen at a JC, but his performance in an indy league might carry more weight. I assume part of going to a JC here is to work towards a degree, though.

mike: Is Dom Smith the Mets everyday 1b next year? Theres alot of varying opinions about him in the prospect community
Klaw: In 2018, I think so. Still developing but it was nice to see more power from him now that he got out of the Mets’ A-ball environments.

Ben: Piggy backing off of the team building question. If EE’s market were to crater to the point that an NL team gets involved, let’s say the Cardinals. Do you think his bat in their lineup would be worth the defensive downgrade with EE at 1b and Carpenter at 3b?
Klaw: I’d roll those dice, so to speak. Huge boost with the bat.

JJ: Since it appears the Red Sox’ heavy lifting is done this winter, what does that mean for Blake Swihart? Is he ticketed to be the everyday catcher at Pawtucket? How much did the lost year that was 2016 hurt his development?
Klaw: I think that’s indeed the plan, unfortunately. He should be playing everyday for somebody.

Rob: Based on previous statements, I’m guessing you’d advocate for either a long suspension or ban for Familia. My question is: what should players like him, Chapman, and Reyes be doing instead of baseball? Ray Rice has apparently been speaking to NFL rookies, telling them to not make the same mistakes he did. Not a bad intention, but I don’t know if it’s actually effective.
Klaw: I like that Rice is doing that, although I’m not even sure how we’d know if it was effective. Such players could also spend time volunteering at battered women’s shelters. As for Familia, I saw the charges were dismissed but I have no idea what the details were and assume MLB will conduct its own investigation as they have with other players in similar situations.

Greg: Wife and I are going to Charleston for the weekend. Any recommendations on what to do or eat?
Klaw: Husk if you can get in. Fig, Fat Hen, Minero, Evo.

Joseph: I’m interested in getting my brother coffee for christmas. Can you recommend a couple good brands or flavors? My coffee knowledge is non-existent and the only thing I don’t want are kcups.
Klaw: K-cups are evil. If he has a pour-over device (like the Hario V60 I’ve mentioned) or a French press, then you want some good single origin coffees from small roasters. There may be one near you, or you could mail order from places like Intelligentsia, Four Barrel, Cartel, or Archetype, all of whom are among my favorites. I mentioned Royal Mile in NJ on Twitter recently – they have (had) an Ethiopian Kochere that was one of the best coffees I’ve ever tried.

Chief Sockalexis: Given the new CBA does Shohei Otani still sign with a large market team?
Klaw: I think he’s got a few options. I have a feeling he’ll get paid one way or another – perhaps signing a contract here that forces a team to non-tender him after two years or something. I assume every team that can find $20 million for the posting fee will bid though.

Doug: Josh Byrnes traded Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner. But yet Chris thinks he didn’t get a fair shake in SD? Give me Preller all day over Byrnes.
Klaw: And I hated that deal at the time for the Padres. I think Preller’s on the right track but it’s going to take several more years to get to their goal.

Klaw: That’s all for this week – thanks as always for reading and for all of your questions. I will chat again before Christmas, probably at the usual time next Thursday.

Klawchat, 12/9/16.

Klaw: There’s emptiness behind their eyes, there’s dust in all their hearts. Klawchat.

Nate: Keith, do the white Sox have a top 5 system now?
Klaw: No, although they might by the end of the winter. They’ve added a lot of high-end talent, but to be a top-five system you have to have continued strength beyond the top 8-10 guys and I don’t think they do yet.

Michael: I get Eaton is a good player, but if I told you they traded Gioloto for Eaton straight up wouldn’t you say that’s fair? Seems to me that those three prospects should have brought back someone with a longer track record of success.
Klaw: I get the sense that the Nationals, for reasons on which I can only speculate, soured on Giolito after his brief MLB time last year (which wasn’t good). But he was handled poorly all year, from the delivery change in the minors to the constant yo-yo up and down from the minors to the overuse of the fastball when he was in the majors. He’s still 22, healthy, athletic, and has the same stuff he had a year ago when everyone was in love with him. That is the most confusing part of all to me.

Jason (Milwaukee): What do you think of the Brewers’ signing of Eric Thames? Will be be any good in MLB after putting up Bonds-esque number in Korea?
Klaw: Offensive levels in Korea are substantially higher than they are here, and the level of competition is substantially worse. So no, I don’t think he will.

Dutiful Husband: The wife wants a cast iron skillet for Xmas – any recommendations
Klaw: The only major brand is Lodge, and theirs are the best. I find the 12-inch skillet to be incredibly useful, but it is heavy to lift with one hand.

Adam D.: I agree with your take(s) on the downside of signing relief pitchers for more than a couple years. That said, as a Giants fan I can’t remember the need for one player being so acute. Would you agree that in the case of a team like that Giants that is a true threat to win it all, absorbing the back end of a bad deal like that is justifiable? Especially because they didn’t surrender a draft pick to do it.
Klaw: The risk starts essentially on day one for relievers – your ability to project performance and health starts to drop right away, just because of their attrition rates. I think we’ve been a little spoiled of late by some elite relievers having a couple of good back-to-back seasons, but look at Kimbrel, who is still effective but has already started to see his numbers come back to merely good from otherworldly. And he hasn’t blown out or missed half a season or anything – he’s just aged. I agree the need was acute for the Giants, but I still don’t like the signing.

Jeff: If, as we expect, Jansen signs somewhere other than LA, does it make sense for the Dodgers to use more of a committee approach in the pen, or should they explore trades for a “proven closer”?
Klaw: I think they will try to create a closer – find someone underutilized in another pen, convert a guy, etc. I can’t imagine them overpaying in trade for a ninth inning guy.

Preston: Is there a prospect package not involving Eloy or Happ the Cubs could realistically offer to obtain a solid young starter?
Klaw: You’ve asked, in essence, if they can get such a starter without paying for one. So no.

Marshall MN: The Ian Desmond deal has to go down as the most confusing of the offseason right? Non of the components of the deal – the size of the contract, the length, the fit of Desmond on the team, giving up a draft pick – seems to make any sense. I guess it is still early, and a team might “out do” the Rockies and give a guy like Trumbo a 5 year deal and give up a draft pick as well. But I imagine the Rangers front office was celebrating.
Klaw: It’s the worst deal of the offseason for me. Giving up a pick for him, the 11th pick with all that pool money attached, is stupid. I don’t love calling moves stupid, but this time it fits.

Travis: I loved Brotha Jenkins on the Braves. Really really likeable guy. Did it really make that much sense to trade him and was it because the Braves just gave up on him?
Klaw: His stuff hasn’t missed bats in AAA or the majors. Hard to blame them for questioning his long-term value. I’d still rather have him than Jackson, because Jenkins has better stuff and is an 80 athlete, but I get the frustration.

Travis: Higher ceiling, Mike Soroka or Sean Newcomb?
Klaw: Soroka for me.

David: Hi Keith, I’m glad Top Chef is back, but disappointed in so many returning chefs. Like you, I would rather see someone new. With that said, who do you think is the best chef to appear as a contestant on the show? Richard Blais? Kristen Kish? Paul Qui? Voltaggios? Someone else I’m missing?
Klaw: Qui dominated his season like no one else did, but Blais nearly won the first time and then won All-Stars, so I’d probably give him the nod.

Carl C: Klaw, How can you be so sensible in every other aspect but have such a bad taste in music?
Klaw: Do I have only one bad taste in music, or several?

Nelson: Will you do a best books of 2016 post?
Klaw: No, I don’t read many books that are brand-new.

Nelson: What role will Blake Swihart have this year?
Klaw: I thought the Sox might return him to 3b, where he played some in HS, but it sounds like he’s going to catch regularly wherever he plays.

Adam: The general mindset is the Padres took the 3 most talented players in the Rule 5 draft but all are longshots to stick. I know you don’t care about that draft at all, but what are your thoughts on the individual players?
Klaw: My thoughts are (yawn).

Jim: What do you think of the rumors that the phillies might be open to moving herrera? Could he get a lot back?
Klaw: I think it’s a good time to sell. He’s been great considering how they got him (rule 5, so basically free), but I think he showed some flaws in his game in 2016 that may limit his potential to be better going forward, and I know work ethic has been a concern for the team. Explore his value now while he’s cheap for one more year and has four years of control left – and while the OF market is really pretty thin anyway.

JJ: The market for relievers — especially closers — seems ridiculously out of control. By definition, relievers are failed starters. For every Mariano Rivera or Bobby Thigpen, there are literally dozens of BJ Ryans and Jim Johnsons. Why don’t GMs see this? For the money they gave Chapman, the Yankees could’ve signed Edwin Encarnacion.
Klaw: I have asked the same question and I don’t know the answer. Perhaps October is skewing views on relievers – how they were used that month, but also how the teams that got Miller and Chapman ended up in the WS, and the team with Jansen nearly got there, and the team with the worst closer situation (SF) lost its series because they didn’t have a ninth inning solution. But if you’re here, you probably know what I’d do with that money.

addoeh: Odds that Mike Montgomery is a serviceable #5 starter?
Klaw: Ten percent. Maybe 15 percent. I don’t think he has the command for it. He never did before, and he certainly had plenty of chances to start for his previous employers.

Jon v: is the loss of the 27th pick more palatable for Cleveland if they can get Encarnacion on a two year deal rather than the presumed four year deal heading into the winter meetings?
Klaw: Yes, I’d give up a late first-round pick if it meant cutting two years off a long-term deal. That’s a reasonable trade off.

Paul: I enjoy reading your analysis, I can live with your outside baseball comments (I don’t agree with most of them but it is ok with me), but I really was puzzled by one passage in your Chapmann article on espn: ” I can’t imagine giving someone with such serious character concerns […] a five-year deal with life-changing money. To borrow an old line from P.J. O’Rourke, it’s like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” You don’t like Chapman and I don’t either, but I dislike this thinking that since he did something horrible, he should not get to do his job and being paid accordingly. I think second chances, whether it is a pro player or a random dude, and you seem to disagree with it. Would you care to elaborate? thanks
Klaw: You completely misread the comment. If I were a GM, I would not give someone with such serious character concerns that money. He can get to do his job, just on someone else’s dime. Also, let’s not pretend that all “second chances” are equal. If you hit a woman, watching an After School Special isn’t going to suddenly make you someone who won’t hit a woman again.

Jeffrey: If the Nats truly believe they will not be resigning Bryce Harper at the end of the 2018 season, would now be the time to truly explore trading him. With 2 years left on his obviously under market arbitration contract, the Nats would get a haul back for him. I understand the Nats are in a win now mode, but I believe they could get pieces back to make them still a contender in 2017 and going forward. For example, would a Nats and Red Sox deal be plausible? Bogarts, Bradley, Benintendi, Groome for Harper? Maybe I’m way off on that proposal, but it’s something that can be a starting point. Am I way off base on this? Thanks, Keith.
Klaw: It would be if they weren’t contending, but if they want to win the World Series in 2017, which I think they have as good a chance as the Cubs to do, then they need Harper. I would bet on him posting at least a 6 WAR this year if he’s completely healthy again (which I think he will be – I haven’t seen anything to the contrary).

Paul: After reading all your free agent signing analysis, seems like you disagree with the amount of $ or/and the number of years 90% of the time. Time to re-evaluate your scale Keith, seems like the industry has much more money that you think!
Klaw: That would be true if most free agent contracts work out, but they don’t. Free agents are overpaid in large part because players not yet eligible for free agency are so underpaid.

Tracy: I am looking forward to reading your book next year. However, I have to admit when you first mentioned you were writing a book, I thought it was fiction! Any chance you’d ever brush up on your wordsmith chops to write the Great American Novel?
Klaw: This is something I’d truly like to do, and I hope soon – a novel, that is, not that I think I could write the Great American Novel – but I have to put Smart Baseball completely to bed before I can think about it.

Mark: Do you think Huntington would have accepted the Eaton offer for McCutchen?
Klaw: I would certainly hope so. But I doubt Rizzo would have offered it. The difference in years of control is enormous.

Marty: The winter meetings are a great example of market economics. Supply and demand rule everything that happens. For instance, 5-year closer deals seem insane, unless there aren’t many closers and you really need one. That’s how a guy like Encarnacion could be unsigned, when he is arguably one of the best players on the market….only, there are a lot of 1B/DH types and not a ton of teams willing to spend money on them. Heck, you even have the concept of value of things having different meanings to different people, illustrated by the trades both Sox teams and the Nationals made. If you want to teach high school kids how our markets work, the winter meetings are your place.
Klaw: They’re also a good example of the winner’s curse – if you’re the team that has the highest projections for a player, you’re probably going to end up with the player, and that’s not always a good thing.

Phil: Do you see either Machado or Harper signing an extension with their current teams?
Klaw: I would say there’s less than a 5% chance of either guy signing an extension in the next twelve months. I’m tempted to say zero, but it’s not technically impossible, just wildly unlikely.

JJ: Bobby Valentine as US ambassador to Japan — insanely stupid idea, or just an insane idea?
Klaw: Does he get to wear the fake mustache? This is important to my decision.

Meeeeeeeeeeeee: Do you think a Severino-type (trained as a starter, but probably won’t succeed in the role) would be best used as a multi-inning reliever, 40-45 appearances per year, 1-4 innings at a time, one day of rest for every inning pitched? You could easily get 120 high-leverage innings without overtaxing the arm.
Klaw: Yes. Even if it’s 100 innings, with lots of rest, it’ll still deliver a ton of value. Some team is going to try this soon, but I think the Yanks are a good example here – they still hold out hope for Severino as a starter, and they need the starter, so they’re going to give him another shot there.

Joe: Did you go to any restaurants at the casino while you while in National Harbor? I would think the Voltaggio Brother’s restaurant would be on interest to you.
Klaw: The casino opened today. I left NH yesterday. I ate at Rose’s Luxury, All Purpose, Smoked & Stacked, and Succotash while in town, as well as coffee and a breakfast sandwich (for lunch) from Pineapple & Pearls. In a related story, I’ve been full for five days now.

Tim: Would it be fair to say that the industry is converging on a fairly similar set of models and metrics for evaluating and valuing talent? If so, do you see trades overall becoming less lopsided (in terms of there being clear winners or losers even at the time of the deal) vs., say, five+ years ago?
Klaw: I don’t think we’re going to see many deals like the Dansby Swanson trade any time soon – that sort of heist is probably over because there aren’t any FOs that are as far behind the rest of the industry as Dave Stewart’s was. But you may still see unbalanced deals because one team is all in for the current season and willing to pay heavily in future value for a player to win now.

Meeeeeeeeeeeee: I know you’re a foodie (tho not a snob), but do you have a secret fast-food indulgence and supermarket goodie you are ashamed of, but give into a couple of times a year?
Klaw: Everyone knows how I feel about Oreos. I can’t buy them – I eat too many at once. Fast food … I love Shake Shack, and that’s fast food. Any other fast food I eat is a matter of necessity rather than desire. I’ll seek out a Panera or a Chipotle rather than eat at McDonald’s, assuming I’m in the sticks somewhere.

Chris S.: Hi Keith, no baseball questions today…just wanted to thank you for bringing spatchcocking to my attention. It was the best bird in decades of cooking turkeys, and I have been preaching the gospel ever since.
Klaw: Changes Thanksgiving completely, doesn’t it? A better end product in less time.

Stanyon Turtze: Now that you’re so well-known on the internet & ESPN TV, does your wife ever worry about groupies?
Klaw: I ain’t going THAT good.

Josh: Understanding that valuing the return package is important, from on on-field standpoint only, aren’t the Royals probably better off with Soler than Davis in 2017 anyway? Have to figure Davis is never giving 2014 and 2015 quality and quantity of innings again.
Klaw: Even if he is, are the Royals that likely to win 90+ where his extra value will matter to a playoff spot? I feel like the answer is probably no.

Forsyth: Given that the Red Sox have a great young core at the MLB level, is there more justification to sending over Moncada and Kopech to the ChiSox for Sale? Fundamentally speaking, where do you draw the line between giving your young core the best chance to win for the next 3 years vs retaining your kids for the future?
Klaw: The Red Sox have a great young core and still have Devers and Groome, so Moncada and Kopech came from strength – and both guys they traded are still fairly high risk. I could see a 30% chance that Moncada busts because he never cuts the strikeout rate enough. There’s probably about that chance, maybe 40%, that Kopech’s a reliever, even though my gut says he’s a high-end starter. So, I get it, and if Sale doesn’t break down it’s going to work out fine, but I also fully understand why some Red Sox fans are flipping out over all the prospects DD has dealt.

Forsyth: How do you compare Devers and Moncada? Essentially, Devers trading speed for more power? Who do you like more going forward?
Klaw: I’ve always had Devers higher – better hit tool, more power, actually a better 3b although you never seem to hear that.

Ari: Hey Keith – which of the rule 5 picks do you find most intriguing? Do you think Torrens could really stick all year with the Padres? Thanks and love your work.
Klaw: Torrens is a weird case – could you hide a backup catcher all year, and if so, doesn’t that totally screw his development? That felt like Preller saying “I loved that guy as an amateur, let’s take him!”

Todd: What caliber of prospect is Lazaro Armenteros? Top 100 potential down the line? GUY or guy?
Klaw: Nice prospect, don’t think he’s a top 100 type.

Marvin Millers Sad Ghost: Does Tony Clark last a long time as Union chief, & (if so) does he feel pressure to ‘bring down the hammer’ during the next CBA negotiations to make up for perceived failures in this one? Do you think the next negotiations could be more contentious as a result?
Klaw: I’m working on a piece on the CBA for this upcoming week – I think the media coverage to date has unfairly characterized this deal for the union.

Mike: Astros have to make a deal for Quintana at this point no? Assuming the rays aren’t trading archer there isn’t another option that keeps them on their current plan. Seems like the perfect scenario for Hahn to strike gold again.
Klaw: It’s the ideal fit if they can agree on a price. If I’m Hahn, I’m focused on the bigger prospects, but definitely hoping to snag AJ Reed in the deal too.

Lee D: Keith, knowing how badly most long-term reliever deals work out, would you do (or should LA do) 5 years/$80M on Kenley? Is it possible he is Mariano lite (or heavy)?
Klaw: I wouldn’t do 5 years on any reliever, ever.

Andy: On the ESPN article, someone argued for the Ian Desmond signing because of making the All Star team, his batting average, and his amount of RBIs. So my question is, will you have hundreds of copies of your book that you will send to people like that?
Klaw: I feel like someone like that will not read my book even if you clamped his eyelids open and forced him to look at the pages.

Tom: Hi Klaw- no question, just wanted to say thanks for all the writing you do on board games. My then fiancee (and now wife) got Lost Cities in 2012 off your recommendation and now own many games off your top 100 list and hope to add a few more this month. Thanks for the countless hours of fun!
Klaw: You’re welcome. I’m very fortunate to have had a hobby turn into a nice little freelance gig where I get to try lots of games. I just filed my Top 10 games of 2016 piece to Paste, too.

Alan: What do you think about Jordan Adell? Can he stick in center, and how good is the bat? Top 5 pick?
Klaw: Top 5 potential, depends on the bat, which is scouts’ main question on him – is there enough contact there once he faces pro pitching. I’ll see him in the spring.

Larry: When do you guys ramp up draft coverage?
Klaw: Late February. Usually right when the colleges start.

Chip: Keith, you occasionally use rough language in your chats. I’m wondering if that crosses over to your spoken vocabulary, and if so, how did you go about cleaning that up as your daughter developed her language skills? I’m trying to keep my two year from dropping an f-bomb like her dad does from time to time.
Klaw: Although we didn’t use foul language around her, we also didn’t hide it in music she might hear with us, and we just explained when she was old enough – maybe around 7? – that there are some words people shouldn’t use in public (such as, you know, to your teacher). But I felt like pretending those words didn’t exist would only turn her into one of those kids who learns his first curse word and then starts using it all the time, even where it doesn’t make sense.

Larry: I know the joke is always that this year’s draft isn’t as good as last year’s. Is that the case again this year?
Klaw: I think the 2017 class is better than 2016. Way more college pitching.

RB: Bellinger Deleon and verdugo for Quintana? Who says no
Klaw: I bet the Dodgers say no but that’s not unreasonable given Quintana’s contract.

Larry: Cards sign Fowler and have years of Piscotty and Grichuk. What happens to Bader? Is he trade bait?
Klaw: I think he could be trade bait this year, but if Grichuk can’t top a .277 OBP vs RHP this year, maybe Bader ends up their LF in time.

John: Hey Keith. I was wondering if you could have your employer add an RSS feed to your blog when you post new content. Not being on Social Media, I tend to randomly check your blog for new material. Thanks.
Klaw: There was one, but they seem to have killed it some time in the last year or so. I do try to post all my links here on Saturdays and through my email newsletter (which I haven’t sent out in two weeks, I apologize).

Nick: Who serves the best burger you’ve ever had?
Klaw: The Bar at Husk in Charleston, SC.

Jesse: Keith, Addison Russell improved from 2015 to 2016. He lowered his K% by 6% and raised his BB% by 1%. Do you think Russell can continue to improve those number, even slightly, going forward? If he’s even a .340 OBP guy as soon as next year, that’s a damn good young SS for the Cubs. It’s hard to believe he’ll only be 23 going into 2017.
Klaw: Yes. I think he’s going to be a legitimate superstar – OBP, some power, great defense.

Erich: Has Trump made a nomination yet that makes any sense? Seems like everyone picked is incredibly unqualified and/or morally bankrupt.
Klaw: It’s the greatest DC troll job in history. I think if you’re at all progressive in your views, this is the ideal Administration, because it is just so extreme that it might turn off more voters than it pleases.

Nick: You’ve suggested before that the Astros switch Bregman and Correa in the field, and I’ve seen that opinion echoed elsewhere. What is it that makes Bregman the better defender at short? Based on scouting reports it seems Correa has the advantage in arm strength and they’re similar in speed, so I’m assuming it has to do with first step / instincts. Thanks Keith
Klaw: Correa’s numbers at short on defense haven’t been good and he’s only getting bigger. Bregman is not getting bigger (sorry, Alex).

Sean: I’m trying to keep an open mind that MLB teams are run by smart individuals, but I cannot understand how the market is such that Chapman is more valuable than Fowler right now. Can you provide any insight on this?
Klaw: I don’t understand it either, especially because I don’t think there were actually that many suitors for Chapman. Hell, if the Marlins want him, let them sign him, then trade for him in a year when Loria wants to dump the contract.

Steve: Keith, do you think Allen Cordoba has a chance to stick in SD? He’s got tons of talent but he’s nowhere near ready for MLB pitching, right?
Klaw: Right. I don’t think he’s close to ready. I like Santander a little – Chris Crawford thought he was the most interesting guy taken – but I don’t think he’s close to ready. This is another reason I hate the rule 5 draft. The guys who are eligible nearly always aren’t ready.

John Liotta: What are your thoughts on Michael Chabon? His new novel, not surprisingly, is getting a lot of praise. I kind of feel like his stuff has been progressively meh since Kavalier and Clay (which was also badly in need of editing).
Klaw: I’ve only read K and C, and I didn’t love it. You nailed one of the main reasons. It was a very smart book, imaginative, but not compelling enough. And the scene in the middle of the book with the police raid really bothered me – it felt overdramatic, designed to shock rather than to move.

Mark: I think you mentioned you were reading ,”The Caine Mutiny” , but I never saw your review. Was also wondering if you had read any of Ken Follett’s work and if so , what your thought’s were ?
Klaw: I never reviewed The Caine Mutiny, which I enjoyed greatly, because I got horribly sick that week and ended up having to push the top 100 back.

Ethan: I know how to calculate Isolated Power, but what is it supposed to reveal? I’m not a big fan of stats just combine different stats; is there anything to it for you?
Klaw: Are you talking about OPS? Isolated power isn’t combining everything – it’s a quick look at a player’s rate of producing extra bases, most of which result from power. (Some come from speed, especially on triples, which are like fast doubles.)

Nelson: How was Rose’s Luxury? Doing a DC eats post?
Klaw: I’m hoping to do one, but I have a lot of writing in front of me, including this chat.

Pat D: Keith, I wasn’t a fan of the way the Yankees acquired Chapman last year. I like him as a player and loathe him as a person. I’d resigned myself to the Yankees re-signing him a while ago. I’m still not overly thrilled by any of this. All that being said, I’m not going to stop rooting for the team. So on a scale of 1-10, how deplorable a person does that make me?
Klaw: Depends on who you voted for.

James: perhaps I am wrong but as a Cardinals fan I do not care for the Fowler signing. Seemed like Management was just reacting. 5 years was too long …..and the further cost was giving up the 18th pick (and bonus pool money) in a draft with seemingly strong first round talent. Finally Cubs get a bonus 1st round pick. What are your thoughts?
Klaw: I liked the signing. My analysis just went up for Insiders.

Scott of Lincolnshire: I saw this tweet:
Klaw: There are a lot of problems with that tweet, starting with using career data when the two players are clearly not the same players they were in 2012.

Jeff: will Rey Lopez be a part of the rotation in 2017, or does he need more time in the minors
Klaw: I think he’s a reliever, not a starter, due to his delivery.

Marshall MN: The amount and level of prospects that have been traded thus far has actually increased my hope that the Twins get a really good prospect in return for Dozier. Have you been surprised at the level of prospect that has changed hands this year?
Klaw: I’ve been pleased by it, but not that surprised. Lot of teams built to win right now.

Rob: Does it seem to you like Jason Heyward needs to rebuild his swing from scratch? It looks to the naked eye (not a scout) like it’s way too long.
Klaw: Yes. I think the biggest issue is (may be) where he starts his hands, so he’s coming down at the ball and putting it on the ground.

Andrew: What do you make of Otani still wanting to come over next year despite the severely limited earning potential? MLB/owners thrilled or wondering what they haven’t figured out?
Klaw: I have a sneaking suspicion that Otani’s still going to end up with his money one way or another.

Chris: I love going through your chats and reading about prospects and money allotments and who could be traded for who…then all of a sudden come across a great political point from you. Keep up the good work with your “Liberal Agenda” KLaw Marx!
Klaw: I’ll keep pounding the table for such extreme ideas as “women should have the same rights as men” or “we shouldn’t dump dangerous compounds into our drinking water.”

Chris: You ranked Corbin Martin pretty high in your draft rankings since he performed well on the Cape. If he can keep up that type of performance, is he a candidate for top 3?
Klaw: I don’t think he has that kind of upside.

Frank: Is there a more scientific way to test for pitcher injuries? Is there an MRI that can show thickness of tendons, and flexibility of a particular pitcher? Seems like your “eyeball” mechanics test is very flawed to the point of almost useless.
Klaw: Cool, thanks for reading.

Jonathan: any good comparison for Braxton Garrett ? is he ready to start in Greensboro ?
Klaw: I think with that curveball he has to go to full-season ball now, because in extended spring he’s just going to wipe those hitters out with it.

Joe: What were you thoughts on having the winter meetings in National Harbor/DC? The vibe I got from a lot of writers was negative.
Klaw: I don’t like these all-in-one complexes where it’s an effort to go outside, and where we’re a good distance from the city we’re supposedly in. When I travel for work I try to do something to soak up a little culture, whether it’s just food or something like a museum or, say, the Oklahoma City Memorial, which might still be my top memory of something I visited while traveling to see a player. National Harbor is this synthetic shopping complex a good 20 minutes south of a pretty good city.

Ed: Hi Keith. Thank you for taking the time to do these chats. I got Splendor for the kids and me last Christmas on your recommendation and it’s been a hit. May I please ask for another suggestion that would be suitable for 8th and 5th graders? Thank you.
Klaw: Ticket to Ride, Small World, Stone Age (although it’s out of print right now).

Dennis: Hi Keith, I’m getting a little bored with literary minimalism, so I’m thinking of tackling Henry James. Any recommendations for a Henry James neophyte? Thank you for the chat, and happy holidays!
Klaw: I liked Portrait of a Lady and hated Wings of the Dove.

Nick: Ever made your own bbq sauce? I’ve been experimenting with my own lately and have found Coke to be a useful ingredient. Any suggestions?
Klaw: That BBQ sauce sounds addictive.

Chris: Fangraphs rated Yadier Alvarez the Dodgers top prospect, which goes against most other rankings. What are your thoughts on that and what do you believe his ceiling to be?
Klaw: I will do my rankings in January, but I would be the last person on earth to say that someone going against most other rankings is just wrong.

Matthew: As a French press guy that has not tried pour over, I was just curious what differences lead to your preference?
Klaw: I think pour-over leads to a cleaner cup.

AJ: Did the Royals get enough in the Wade Davis trade? Did they overvalue Soler?
Klaw: I wrote this up and I don’t think they overvalued Soler or got too little.

Marshall MN: Thus far Trump has named a SecEd that doesn’t believe in public education, a head of the EPA who doesn’t care about protecting the environment, a SecLabor who doesn’t care about laborers, an Attorney General who doesn’t care about civil rights, not to mention other just horrid appointments – things are looking even worse than I feared at this point.
Klaw: And his Labor pick’s ex-wife accused him more than once of assaulting her. Where is the Republican leadership on this? Are they good with a wife-beater in the Cabinet, just to get the policies they want? They couldn’t find a conservative Labor candidate who doesn’t hit women?

ITYSB: What are your thoughts on the DNC leadership refusing to take a long, hard look at reality? Reid said the only thing wrong with the DNC is it’s marketing. Pelosi said they don’t need to learn anything from losing and that Sanders’ progressive values have no part in their strategy.
Klaw: I thought after this debacle, and word that the Clinton campaign did little or nothing on the ground to boost turnout, the DNC would turn its whole leadership over, and instead they’re singing a praise chorus while the ship sinks.

Matt: Aren’t October outs “more valuable” than outs in the regular season? I can see it being dumb to pay so much money for a reliever like Chapman if you are not really expecting to go anywhere. But I’m sure the Yankees have a plan to make a run for the WS in the next 5 years and they deemed paying Chapman that money would be worth it if he’s able to get those outs in October. Then again, you can probably throw any reliever out there to get 3 outs so what do I know.
Klaw: But also can they know with enough certainty that Chapman will still be the best guy for those 3 outs in October of 2019? I don’t think so. Relievers are volatile. And we’ve never seen anyone throw this hard before so we have no comps, good or bad, for his potential to stay healthy and/or effective.

Jarrod: Is small ball officially a thing of the past? There seem to be clear cases where it pays off (a SB can easily shift a teams chance of winning by a few percentage points, which adds up). But the analytics say it’s not worth it. If pitchers continue to become more unhittable, doesn’t that make every little advance on the bases valuable?
Klaw: Small ball is useful in small doses, in specific situations. And we’re getting to the point where it’s used less often than it was albeit probably still more often than it should be.

AJ: In-N-Out vs Shake Shack?
Klaw: Shake Shack, and it’s not even a little bit close.

Andy: Plus almost all of the nominations are millionaires.
Klaw: It’s not like he knows anyone who isn’t.

Matt: My younger sister (24) clearly has an anxiety problem to the point where it interferes with our family dynamic. I’ve begged/insisted/pleaded for her to get help (see a therapist and/or try anti-anxiety medication) but she comes up with an excuse or insists there isn’t a problem. Do you have any advice? Thanks a lot.
Klaw: It’s hard to push someone who doesn’t want help, but the one thing you might try is seeing if you can get her to talk to someone who’s gotten help and seen the benefit. My quality of life improved once I got medication and therapy and developed some coping skills for it.

DH: You’re given carte blanche over the organization of MLB teams. Do you move Oakland? add teams in Charlotte, Montreal, or some other cities? reorganize divisions? what’s your priority list?
Klaw: I think Oakland to the San Jose area solves that problem. Tampa Bay may need a new market entirely. The biggest undeserved market I see in the US/Canada right now is the Austin/San Antonio area, which has over 3 million people in two cities that are about 70 miles apart, but is 3-4 hours away from the nearest team. Of course, Texas’ state government is busy trying to recreate 1890, so maybe that’s not the best target for relocation.

Jesse: You continue to say if you were a GM you wouldn’t sign someone with Chapmans history. What if the owner said “I want to sign him regardless”. Isn’t your job to do what the owner says? I’m sure disagreements come up all the time between what a GM and owner respectively want to do, but it’s not like there are thousands of other GM jobs out there..
Klaw: Then I would quit. This isn’t complicated.

Tom: I know you recommend your espresso machine, but I’m wondering if you’ve heard any good feedback on brands under $500 (price and space constraints are possible roadblocks for me).
Klaw: I had a Gaggia Carezza for years and I liked it, even if it wasn’t as good as what I have now. It’s a true espresso machine, not one of the fakes you’ll see for $60 at Bloodbath & Beyond. I think they’ve replaced that model with the Evolution. But it’s not really any smaller – it’s still too tall for any cabinet I’ve had.

Pat D: I could have sworn you once wrote that you weren’t sure if Kopech could stick as a starter, but your analysis of him this week made no such mention. So am I just obviously misremembering?
Klaw: I don’t remember saying that, but prospects his age change quickly, so maybe I said it about him in high school and revised it this year when he pitched so well and I also got a fresh look?

bill: you should en your chats by just signing off and no good bye. I bet a lot of people will be confused or think they have connection probs.
Klaw: That’s just mean.

Klawchat, 12/1/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Also, my latest boardgame review is up for Paste, covering Grifters, a “deckbuilder without a deck” that I thought played a little too mechanically.

Klaw: Klawchat. To stimulate then activate the left and right brain.

Greg: Keith do you like Atlanta’s thinking in the Alex Jackson deal? Your writeup talked about potential mechanical fixes, do you think those would bring him back close to where he was?
Klaw: I do like their thinking – trade two arms well down their prospect depth chart, get a guy who was at one point a potential 1-1 pick, still young, might need a change of scenery. Definitely a risk that he never pans out, but the reward here makes the high risk worth taking.

Frank: How does the Alex Jackson breakdown happen? It seems like everyone universally loved his swing, he hit against good comp as an amateur. What happened?
Klaw: I don’t think there’s a single answer to that. He didn’t click with the Mariners’ coaching staff. A mechanical issue he flashed some in high school got worse. I am not sure if the position switch affected him. He probably was pushed to full-season ball too fast in 2015, but that can’t really explain 2016.

Cory: Archie Bradley and what else can get Brian Dozier?
Klaw: Why would they want Dozier?

Nick: Could the Braves actually acquire a star like Chris Sale without dealing one of the core players already on their MLB roster (Swanson, Smith, Inciarte, Folty, etc)? Is it even worth it for them to do more than address a couple obvious holes for right now?
Klaw: Other than Swanson, why would you say no to dealing any of those other guys? Hell, you might even include Swanson if he’s the anchor of a trade. Sale’s a 5-win pitcher. Those aren’t easy to find.

Paul: Klaw – thanks for the write-up on great kitchen gifts. It left me wondering – what is the one expensive, non-functional item in your kitchen you alluded to?
Klaw: The espresso machine. Over $600 and it does one thing. But it does it really fucking well.

Fuzzy Dunlop: Do you think the Braves will/should hit the “reset” button so to speak with Alex Jackson and try to put him back at C? He could fall short of his best case scenario offensively and still be a hell of a value behind the dish; however, you don’t want to yank him all over the place and make him readjust again positionally.
Klaw: Although I think he could catch, at this point, I would not want to ask him to do two things (develop as a catcher and re-learn how to hit) at once.

James: University of Missouri has 128 confirmed mumps cases on campus. If we only had a way to prevent such outbreaks.
Klaw: Or a President-elect who didn’t pander to vaccine-denier frauds and morons.

Ceej: As a Pirates’ fan, what should I hope in exchange for Cutch, and is Meadows ready?
Klaw: Robles has to be in the deal. If I’m Huntington I’m asking for Robles and one of the young arms – and yes, I’m including Giolito. Ask for the sun, settle for the moon. I do not think Meadows is quite ready.

Pete: Hey Keith, big fan of your work, just preordered your book! Do you know if there’s a way to be an insider without having the paper magazine? I just think it’s a huge waste, when I was an insider, I never touched them. I would very much prefer to have an option of only receiving the magazine online. Thanks!
Klaw: We do or did offer a digital option.

Jon: Keith, what prospects (hitting/pitching) do you see making a big jump in 2017? Thank you
Klaw: That’ll be something for my top prospects package in January. I haven’t started work on that yet.

Dale: Do you see A’s prospect Frankie Montas long term as a starter or as a reliever?
Klaw: Reliever. Knee and size problems, poor command, inconsistent secondaries. 80 fastball though.

Charlie: Would you give up Robles for McCutchen if you were Mike Rizzo?
Klaw: It depends on what else is required. I’d be open to it.

Mack: Thoughts on Nick Allen? I’ve seen him play 3 times and all that little sh*t does is hit.
Klaw: That’s the perfect summary of him. I will see him again in the spring and Chris Crawford will probably see him a few times. I’m going to try to get to SoCal for a longer stretch than usual because that’s where the players are.

Jack: Keith, what have you heard about Ramon Laureano? Huge statistical season (albeit partly at Lancaster) but got some positive buzz in the AFL.
Klaw: Saw him, wrote positive buzz about him. I think he’s a legit everyday prospect.

Jason: Keith, what is the upside on Sandy Alcantara?
Klaw: Upside is ace. Long way to go to get there, but it is the right-tail outcome for him.

Bob: Now that you’ve been living in the Delaware Valley for some time, thoughts on Wawa and local obsession with it? Going out on a limb to guess you’re not a fan of the coffee.
Klaw: It’s a nice convenience store. I wouldn’t get coffee there with so many better options (Brew Ha Ha, which is a Delaware chain and roaster, is better and you’re never far from one here).

Nats Review Charlie: Robles for 2 year of McCutchen seems pretty fair, but do you think the Nats could do better elsewhere if they’re willing to deal Robles?
Klaw: Maybe. Probably, now that I think about it. But could they get someone who fits their needs? This is a pretty complete team right now. What’s the other big hole? Put Turner at short and then you’re just down an outfielder.

James: Traveling today and getting my questions in early – Would Hellickson and Walker have accepted the qualifying offer under the new conditions? The easy answer is no. I know hindsight is 20/20, but didn’t their agents know the union was pushing for a change in the system?
Klaw: I think the changes come into effect a year from now. Walker probably still accepts given the surgery. Hellickson maybe not. One year and $17 million is pretty good though. I don’t think he gets that AAV on a multi-year deal.

Tye: Opinion on $5M cap on international free agent spending?
Klaw: I’m waiting to get some more details on this – we’ve gotten half-stories so far. If that’s true, the union should be kicking itself for fighting a draft that would have paid the players more.

Mike: Hi Keith, as a new parent I’ve been debating the merits of buying organic produce. I recall a few months ago you said you try to buy organic when possible. What research or reasons led to seek out organic?
Klaw: Organic food is not any more healthful or safer than traditionally-grown food, and there is too wide a range within what you can legally call “organic” anyway. But organic agriculture in its original sense, as proposed by Lord Northbourne and others, is probably much better for the planet. Such practices develop healthier soil, sequester more carbon, and use less water. There’s research to back that, while research on organic ag’s health benefits have found nothing. For dairy and meat, I am most concerned with antibiotic-free husbandry rather than organic feed.

Mark: From what has been published so far, what do you think are the best and worst changes in the new CBA?
Klaw: Again, what we have seems to be incomplete and I’m trying to get some more details. If this bit Jeff Passan tweeted about the IFA age limit going up to 25 is true, then MLB just cut off its nose, lips, and eyelids to spite its own face. God forbid you spend some of your billions to pay better players.

addoeh: Thoughts on new season of Top Chef? Graham Elliot as a host, equal number of new chef-testants as returning chef-testants.
Klaw: Haven’t seen Elliott before, but not a fan of constantly recycling old contestants.

Ron: HI Keith- Nice to see Terry Ryan get a scouting job with the Phillies. Maybe having the analytics and tools to be a modern day GM kind of passed him, I would still bet he is one hell of a scout as far as finding talent and breaking down the physical parts of a prospects game. Good luck to him! Have you had any inter-action with him on the scouting circuit and what are your thoughts? Thanks!!
Klaw: I’ve talked to Terry a few times and I think scouting is really a passion for him too. I’m glad he’ll get to do that and be in an org that will let him have a voice at the table.

Bruce: Any recommendations for meals that can be made on the weekend to be consummed 3-4 days later?
Klaw: Serious Eats has a recipe for pressure cooker green chicken chili that would be great for that if you don’t just eat the whole thing at once like we seem to do.

Andy: Here’s a handy way to teach the Monty Hall door “problem.” You have 100 doors, there’s a prize behind one. Pick one. I’ll open 98 other doors. The prize didn’t move. You can switch doors or you can keep your current door and get beaten over the head with a pipe wrench.
Klaw: That escalated quickly. I’ve explained it this way before: You have doors A, B, and C. The car is behind one. You pick door A. You know, right now, that the odds of the car being behind door A is 1/3, B is 1/3, and C is 1/3. Thus, the odds of the car being behind door B or C is 2/3 (add B and C, or just do not A). Monty opens door C to show you a goat. The odds of the car being behind door B or C have not changed – the car didn’t move – but now the entire 2/3 is shifted to door B. The odds of the car being behind door A remain at 1/3, so you should switch.

Nick: Is Bobby Dalbec legit? I know he had some struggles at Arizona in the spring but he went on a tear in the minors to end the year.
Klaw: We’ll see. Lowell is a step down from good D1 pitching. Dalbec has power, but the strikeout rates in college were as high as we’ve seen for a big-name prospect.

Lyle: Did you see the 10 day DL proposal coming? I don’t recall seeing anything about it beforehand but I think it’s a great change for MLB.
Klaw: I didn’t, but I think we’ll see a lot of shenanigans with teams using it to cycle through extra pitchers.

Lyle: Dipoto seems to be willing to trade any time, any player but I just don’t see that he has the players to make a trade for McCutchen realistic. Probably have to start with O’Neill and Gohara and maybe add Leonys? Leaves the cupboard bare again.
Klaw: That doesn’t get close IMO.

Barry: Climate change. True or false? There are highly respected climatologists on both sides of the issue. Most of the noise is advocacy, not science. Mann of Penn State, Jones of East Anglia, and the falsifying of data. Why the silence? Global cooling, global warming, climate change. Why the difficulty in naming the problem?
Klaw: Anthropogenic climate change is real (true). You’re playing with words to create a false sense of balance (gotta hear both sides!). There was never a global cooling theory. The data and research showing the earth is warming and the oceans are getting more acidic are overwhelming. Grist has a great series of responses to climate deniers: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

J. Kruk: Do you envision Rhys Hoskins or Dylan Cozens being anything more than MLB platoon players? What would be your realistic projection of each?
Klaw: Hoskins I think is a regular. Cozens I’m not sold on, and the makeup issue returning is a real concern.

Mike: How much of a scout’s ability to spot issues with a swing or throwing motion is innate, and how much is learned? When I watch the video clips that accompany write ups on scouting sites I struggle to see the flaws that are mentioned except at the extremes…and when I watch games live swings and throws inevitably happen too fast for me to form any opinion.
Klaw: I think it’s learned. You watch enough, focusing on certain things, you learn to observe different things. It’s how I can watch a delivery and then forget what the last batter did – I just watch the game differently now because I’ve learned to and because I have to.

Brian: Should Mets take advantage of interest and trade both Granderson and Bruce? Conforto is full time, go after Fowler possibly for CF, or trust Lagares and sign a platoon mate.
Klaw: Yes. I see no spot for Granderson now. If they won’t play Conforto every day, I think they’re beyond help.

Mike: Best rum for a Christmas gift? Maybe a top ten list of gift drinks?
Klaw: Ron Zacapa 23 is still the best rum I’ve tasted.

Jeff: I saw you recommend the propornot plugin for chrome a while back, have you seen these follow up articles about it? https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/
Klaw: That wasn’t me.

EricVA: Can Jerad Eickhoff build off last year or is he the same guy moving forward?
Klaw: I think this is what he is and it’s pretty good.

Aubrey: Question on your FA rankings/Comments: An example, when you say on Encarnacion that you’d stop short of 4 yrs/$80 million, is that what you think his value should be somewhat in a vacuum, or you’re saying if you were a GM (avg market size, potential Division contender), you would always pass on the player if the market demanded you pay more than that?
Klaw: I say right at the top of the list, in the intro, that this is what I would pay.

Nolan LeMond: I’ve seen nothing but glowing reports and aggressive projections on Ronald Acuna, despite limited (albeit productive) experience in the low minors. Should I be getting excited or are folks getting a little carried away? What player would be a realistic comp for his big-league projection?
Klaw: I raved about him last winter and spring. I think he can really hit.

James: How do you drink your rums? Mixed or straight? If mixed, what do you mix with? Looking to explore some more rums and appreciate insight.
Klaw: Aged rums I drink straight, preferably chilled and strained (neat), or at most mixed with sparkling water or seltzer. I’ve had the Cruzan single-barrel, and it’s a little rougher than other rums aged that long (Appleton, Zacapa, Barcelo) so I would mix that with some sparkling water. If you want a rum for mixing in cocktails, get something like Appleton XV or Gosling’s Black.

Jesse B: McCutchen for Robles and Fedde. Good trade for both teams?
Klaw: Insufficient for Pittsburgh.

Dave: It appears like we’re not getting draft pick trading again. Shouldn’t this be a simple thing to implement? Seems like something they should have ironed out weeks ago before the big issues came to the fore.
Klaw: It’s nobody’s priority, unfortunately.

Craig: I was very PLEASE with the Mike Hazen signkng as GM for my Dbacks… and then I saw he was keeping around some of the garbage from before like Mike Butcher the pitching coach… because “great morale with players” or some crap. Odd right?
Klaw: I don’t think it’s odd that a new GM would choose to keep some people rather than try to hire an entire front office and coaching staff at once. Some now, some in a year.

Slint: shouldn’t more AAAA players consider going over and playing in the KBO if Eric Thames can get a 3 year deal?
Klaw: He got three years but $15 million, which isn’t even starter money. I don’t think he’s going to be very good at all – he was awful before he went to Korea, and the KBO is crazy hitter-friendly – but it’s not like he got a ton of cash. Ditching Carter for him was weird, though.

Tim: Could Reds actually get value back by trading Billy Hamilton? They could be trading at his peak – but what if he has another gear (5 win player rather than 3)? Could he fetch a guy like Conforto? (who’s stock is down and not an up the middle player)
Klaw: He hasn’t really developed at all as a hitter, and if you believe the main issue is lack of hand and wrist strength, then trade him now because that’s not likely to get much better.

Tom: Hey. I upped our family’s board game game using your recs: Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Splendor, 7 Ronin, Pandemic, Agamemnon, and 7 Wonders. Thanks!
Klaw: That’s a strong collection.

Ben: In your write-up of the Cespedes deal, you suggested the Mets go out and get a true CF. That doesn’t seem like it’s happening. Given these remaining options, which do you think would be best: 1) Trade Bruce, have Lagares/Grandy platoon in CF with Conforto/Grandy in RF; or 2) Trade Grandy, have Lagares/Conforto in CF, and then Bruce in RF?
Klaw: I don’t think Granderson or Conforto can play CF. Conforto just isn’t that kind of fielder or athlete. Granderson hasn’t played it regularly since 2012 and wasn’t good then. So … I don’t know. Lagares is an elite defender but there’s no stick there. That’s why I wrote what I wrote – if they’re even thinking about Cespedes playing another 500 innings in center, they’re making a mistake.

Benjammin: What do the Mets do with Rosario after he torches Vegas? Move Cabrera to third? Also, is Cecchini going to make it at 2B? Thanks!
Klaw: Yes, move Cabrera to third or to New Jersey or something. He’s not a good defensive shortstop, hasn’t been for years. Cecchini’s throwing in the AFL was so bad I’m not sure where he can play now.

Tim (KC): Thoughts on New CBA?… personally I am disappointed that they dealt with only a few issues. But there is no more All-Star winner getting home-field.
Klaw: I’m on board with this.

Mikey: Are you as down on Giolito as some others are?
Klaw: Not at all. People like to be very reactive in this business.

Owen: No question here, just a longtime reader who would love to meet you at the winter meetings, time permitting.
Klaw: I’ll be there Monday to Thursday. If you see me, flag me down. I’m happy to say hi.

MJ: Keith have you seen the movie Zootopia? I watched it yesterday with my daughter and thought it was one of the best kids movies I’ve seen.
Klaw: Loved it. I’ve watched it twice. My daughter has watched it five times, at least. It’s brilliant, it’s a little sweet, it has a fantastic message, and of course it looks great. Jason Bateman’s voice work is incredible, too.

J: Do you consume all your music digitally or do you buy any cd’s or vinyl?
Klaw: All digital. I have a few vinyl records I’ve gotten as promos but I haven’t bought any.

Sean: Over the last few the weeks the local media (Philly) have promoted Scott Kingery. Is a potential long term solution at second for the Phillies?
Klaw: Yes, if he develops some more patience. Didn’t walk much in college, didn’t walk much in high-A (where he should have started last year – that was another strange decision).

addoeh: For Pete asking about not getting a paper magazine, do they still have the option of sending your magazine to a member of the military?
Klaw: I was told they discontinued that, which is a shame. Seemed like a nice way to send even a token gesture of support.

Anonymous: How do you think Domingo Acevedo’s offpseed pitches progressed this year and has your opinion of whether he can stay a SP changed at all?
Klaw: No shot.

Darren: Hi Keith, What are your thoughts on Dorssys Paulino. He seems to be able to hit, but not with a lot of power. He was also moved to the OF. Do you see him being able to play the infield or developing enough power to be a starter?
Klaw: Used to play short. Got too heavy. Not sure there’s much value there now.

Paul S.: Do you think Thames will be worth $5-$6 million per year? (Not counting the beard, which definitely has its own value!)
Klaw: I do not.

Van: I know it’s early, but who would you say are the top 3 offensive prospects in the 2017 draft?
Klaw: Chris and I ranked the top 30 prospects for the draft here: http://klaw.me/2gL6mFe

That One Guy: Carrier in IN: Trump success or roadmap to tax breaks?
Klaw: Roadmap to corporate extortion.

EC: With Top Chef I’ve heard that a lot of actual top chefs don’t allow their employees to participate. I’ve heard Jose Andres doesn’t allow.
Klaw: Doesn’t seem like they’ve struggled to get talented contestants so far, though.

Matt: I know I sound stupid in not understanding the Monte Hall problem, but isn’t it two independent decisions? You make your first choice, not there. You then have two doors, and a 50/50 chance its behind either door. By choosing “not to change,” you are actually just making the decision to choose that door again. I don’t see this as a case of conditional probability, but of two independent events. I feel completely dense!
Klaw: They’re not independent events, though. Hall has given you information on your first decision by opening that door. He hasn’t changed the game – the car hasn’t moved. He’s essentially told you that you can revise your first choice to A or to B+C, in which case you’d always choose B+C.

Scott: Does Conforto to Phillies for Herrera make any sense for both teams?
Klaw: It makes sense for the Phillies if they want to rob the Mets blind.

Jimmy: What are your projections of TJ Zeuch? Reliever or potential back end starter?
Klaw: I think more likely reliever than starter. Maybe 60/40 odds. Don’t love the delivery or the track record.

Greg: What do you think about Max Fried? He looked dominant down the stretch. Is their #2 potential?
Klaw: Yep, I think that’s just right.

Jerry: Is the lack of playing time for Conforto due to the manager, a disbelief from the front office that he is an every day player, or a little of both? Is he potentially a guy who is traded for a modest package that makes the leap once he is in a new environment playing every day?
Klaw: I hear it’s largely the manager, coupled with Conforto himself developing some weakness on the front side because he was only facing RHP. Easy fix – play him every day and send Collins to manage Columbia for a year.

Ryan: Klaw, do you think a valid argument can be made that an over-prioritization of political correctness played a part in Trump’s victory? I saw you linked to the Colin Jost joke story, and as someone who considers themself socially progressive I still think his point is not wrong.
Klaw: I highly, highly doubt that that was a factor at all in Trump winning a few swing states. Is there any evidence whatsoever that people voted on that basis?

Joe: Using $/WAR has become the default method to evaluate free agent signings on the internet. But do teams actually look at free agent contract value through a similar filter? It just seems so overly simplistic, and the assumption that a team is always getting good value if they pay the correct $/WAR amount to a player just seems like a dumb assumption to me–it’s too far removed from any context.
Klaw: Don’t use $/WAR. Just don’t. It’s so flawed that I never use it, because value isn’t linear (roster spots are a scarce resource, scarcer than money) and because the utility curve for each team is going to vary wildly. An additional win is worth more to the Yankees than the Rays, and worth more to a team at 88 wins than a team at 68 wins or 98 wins.

Jimmy: What are your thoughts on Bo Bichette?
Klaw: I think he can really, really hit, and that he’s going to play somewhere in the infield, second or third.

Paul: Going through wedding registry items. Any good cooking knife recommendations?
Klaw: My gift guide for cooks is here: http://klaw.me/2gGVCUD

Anonymous: Thank you for chat, Keith. Possible that Jahmai Jones of the Angels makes your top 100 prospect list next year? How do you like him?
Klaw: Possible. Best prospect in their system.

Justin: Aside from Reyes, who do you view as the top SP prospect in the Cardinal system? Flaherty?
Klaw: Flaherty over Fernandez, yes.

Steve: Any tips for increasing reading pace? I’m about 40 pages/hour, and would love to increase that in order to increase the number of books I can read each year. Also, solid Outkast quote to start the chat.
Klaw: I wouldn’t worry about pace. Read at the pace that is comfortable for you, where you’re enjoying it and are able to retain what you read. It seemed like the right day to quote that song.

Patrick: was Nick Williams’ multiple benchings for lack of hustle overblown? is he still a MLB regular or just a guy with tantalizing tools?
Klaw: I thought his manager handled it poorly, making it such a public issue.

Dan (Oregon): Just moved to the Portland metro area and trying to navigate through all of the coffee options here. What are some of your faves from Oregon? Thanks!
Klaw: heart coffee is one of my favorite roasters in the country.

Joe: What do you think about these dum-dums who say things like, “if I see you burning a flag I’ll beat the crap out of you” – an actual Senator or Congressman actually said that recently. It’s really just cloth, people. And it’s freedom of speech. And going to jail for assault does not give you a higher patriotism score.
Klaw: It’s freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment and multiple court decisions. And yes, it’s just a piece of fabric. Also, if they start arresting people for this, I will join what I hope would be thousands or millions of others burning flags and uploading videos of it. Arrest us all. We know what the Constitution says.

Jebediah: Do you have an opinion on the relative worth of a Baking Steel to make pizza? Winter may be fast approaching outside, but the Steel evidently makes for oven spring!
Klaw: I use a stone for pizza and bread.

Wade: What is the best and most useful presents you remember getting from your wedding? (Hopefully it wasn’t veteran.) Trying to add stuff to our registry, but we are both in our 30s and already have a lot of things that you “need.”
Klaw: Stand mixer. Didn’t ask for a food processor, got one a year later, still using it. I think by now we’ve replaced most other stuff, but bear in mind that’s 21 years ago for us.

Frank: With regard to the 5M cap, I think it should allow small market teams to be much more competitive for talent as once the money is spent by others the team with money left will be that much more attractive to the player. I agree it’s not good for the players but it should help the small market teams a lot.
Klaw: That may be true, but why should the union help the small-market teams? Tell the large-market teams to do it.

JR: Did you ever finish the Night of, or did it fall of your radar?
Klaw: I have three episodes left. I just got caught up on a bunch of other things, then ripped through the OJ documentary, and now am trying to sneak in some top movies since it’s the month when all the good ones come out (screw you, Hollywood).

Owen: Also, I promise I won’t pants you a la Jake Peralta with every member of the Knicks.
Klaw: Oh God, it happened again!

John: The flag is just cloth, yep. And your wife’s wedding ring is just metal, so no biggie if she takes it off when she goes out at night.
Klaw: That’s correct, it’s just metal and compressed carbon. And she’s not my property, so if she wants to take it off, she can do that.

Mikey: Really? I get Flaherty over Fernandez, but Fernandez over Alcantara?
Klaw: Yes. Command, delivery, etc. – these all matter.

Nats Review Charlie: In reference to my earlier question – the only reasonable place for the Nats to improve (I say reasonable because I’m guessing Zim stays at 1B) is catcher – not sure if even Robles and Giolito gets you one as good as McCutchen is though
Klaw: Good point, and … good point too.

Ron: Would Dozier bring back de Leon from the Dodgers? Take more or less or would you not trade Dozier?
Klaw: I would include De Leon in a deal for Dozier, but I doubt that’s enough. Dozier’s really valuable.

Max G.: Klaw, any thoughts on how the Astros are going to play Bregman/Guriel(sp?)/Correa? (Other than what they absolutely should but won’t do, i.e. move Correa to third)
Klaw: You stole my response. Bergman at 3b, Gurriel in LF? I still haven’t given up on Reed as 1b.

Nick: Would a deal between Phillies/Cubs based around Velasquez or Nola for Schwarber be reasonable?
Klaw: Nola finished the year hurt, and Velasquez, while good, has yet to have a full healthy season in the pros.

Hugo Z: Do you think a hard cap on international spending will have a similar effect to what happens in the NFL with quarterback salaries vs. everyone else’s?
Klaw: You’re going to have to explain this like you’re talking to an idiot, because when it comes to the NFL, I’m an idiot.

Jeff: Thanks for being so outspoken about politics and Trump specifically. It’s a scary time, but you have a diverse reader base that need to hear someone standing up for basic ideas and principles that everyone should follow. You’re doing more than most journalists are doing, and it’s more their job to do than yours.
Klaw: You’re welcome. It’s funny – someone last week commented under the chat about keeping my “liberal agenda” out of it (even though this is my personal blog). My liberal agenda includes things like equality and civil rights, science-based policies, environmental protection and ensuring companies cover such externalities. I mean, I’m practically KLaw Marx.

addoeh: 21 years of marriage? Congrats, hope you two got drunk on your anniversary like a 21 year old would.
Klaw: No but for our 20th we went to St. Thomas by ourselves and got drunk on Cruzan for five days.

Mikey: Follow up on Fernandez/Alcantara….Not shooting down your assessment, more just shocked given the Alcantara “ace” potential comment you made earlier. Thanks.
Klaw: I understand now, thanks. I think Fernandez has a higher probability to be a valuable major-league starter, but Alcantara has the better “best case scenario” of the two.

Ryan: Thoughts on Eddy Julio Martinez after his first full year in the states.
Klaw: A little disappointed that he didn’t hit for more average in year one, but I’m hopeful that both he and Yusnier Diaz will make leaps in 2017 now that they’re here and acclimated.

Joe: Re: Monty Hall problem…I think it’s easier to understand it when you realize that there was 100% certainty that one of the doors you didn’t pick was always a loser. So when they selectively (not randomly) show you a goat, you don’t really have any new information probability-wise. They just showed you something you already knew was true, but tricked you into thinking it was new information.
Klaw: It’s a little bit of new information, in that beforehand you knew one of B or C was a loser, but not which one. It’s not new information in that you already knew at least one was a loser when you knew the odds of door A (your pick) were 1/3.

Quinn: Should the twins trade Dozier and what type of return could they get for him, that contract is nice.
Klaw: Yes, I don’t see any reason to keep him when they’re ready to rebuild now.

AAtown: If dodgers don’t resign hill, then don’t they come out big losers in the trade for he & Reddick? For what they gave up?
Klaw: No – they acquired two months of Hill and two months of Reddick. They didn’t acquire any rights beyond 2016.

Michael: Texas v. Johnson was a 5-4 SCOTUS decision. It’s not as cut and dry as you say.
Klaw: Isn’t this like the “first-ballot Hall of Famer” distinction? You’re in or you’re not. The plaque doesn’t change. Unless we get another SCOTUS decision, then the ruling and precedent are the same as they’d be if the decision had been 9-0.

Paul: Speaking of pizza, I made Kenji’s quick cast iron skillet tortilla crust pizza last night (made 3 of them in about 20 minutes). Wow was it good and extremely easy.
Klaw: You could do a lot worse in the kitchen than to listen to Kenji, Alton, and Ruhlman for all the basics.

Eddy: Does Derek Fisher ever make his debut with the Astros? Seems crowded. How does his offense profile?
Klaw: Probably trade bait. Has power, speed, but I’m concerned he won’t be a high contact guy. Also not a good outfielder.

JR: IIRC, Jon Singleton and his agents took a lot of heat for the club friendly contract he signed. With hindsight, sure looks like he made the right choice.
Klaw: Correct, and no doubt. You might argue the contract let him go to seed like he did, but from the player’s perspective, he got a successful outcome.

Stephan: Keith, as a Cubs fan can I be excited about Trevor Clifton?
Klaw: Yes, you have my permission.

Hugo Z: Sorry, should’ve been more clear…I think a hard cap wouldn’t hurt the Maitans of the world because some team will gamble the lion’s share of it’s money on them, but lesser players will get squeezed.
Klaw: Yes, I agree with that. Maitan still gets close to $5 million. The $1-2 million guys might get the shaft. But also there’s no Morejon deals any more – if you’re really worth $10 million, the cap appears to preclude that entirely.

Jake: I think one of the most unfortunate things of the many to come out of this election is how clear it is one party wants to keep people from voting and one wants as many people to participate as possible. And the side who wants to keep people from voting only offer anecdotal information when claiming there is widespread fraud. We have to stop this.
Klaw: I’ll end with this question/point, because it’s a great one. If you believe at all in a democratic system of government – and yes, we’re technically a republic – then this should disturb the hell out of you regardless of ideology or party affiliation. I was appalled when a few readers would respond to my tweets about states reducing polling stations or early voting by saying it was easy enough to vote anyway, so what’s the big deal? Either you want as many citizens to vote as there are citizens who wish to vote, or you do not want us to live in a functioning democracy. If you think your candidate’s or party’s path to victory lies in suppressing part of the vote, then I would suggest that the problem is the candidate’s or party’s platform. Let everyone have their say, and if you don’t like the outcome, then you try again in the next election. You don’t change the rules to make sure only people who think like you, look like you, pee like you, or pray like you get to vote.

Klaw: That’s all for this week – thank you as always for reading and for all of your questions. I will chat either Thursday or Friday next week depending on my travel back from the winter meetings.

Klawchat, 11/22/16.

I’ve got two Insider posts up now, one on the Astros’ moves last week and one on moves by the Cardinals, Twins, and Rangers, plus a small Rays-Mariners trade.

I’ve also updated the Spotify playlist of songs I’ve quoted to start the chats, going back to the beginning of 2016.

Klaw: Captivate the mass, cause the prose is profound. Klawchat.

Dana: What’s Gleyber Torres’ ceiling? MVP-caliber player?
Klaw: I think he’s a future star. Top ten player in the league.

Carlo: Love these chats and am so glad you continued to do them after ESPN. Do you think Bradley Zimmer can do an acceptable impression of Joc Pederson? i.e. power, speed, patience, and Ks in platoon role? Or do you think that’s aiming high or low? Thanks!
Klaw: Yes, that’s a reasonable expectation. I think Zimmer’s entering a critical year – if he can’t cut the Ks and hit LHB better, then it’s a platoon future.

John Liotta: How often do you go back and reread books? I find that I reread a couple each year. A lot of the books I read in high school or early college went unappreciated, and, in other cases, I want to make sure, now that I’m older, the books I’m recommending are still consistent with my current taste.
Klaw: Very rarely. I probably have only reread a dozen novels in my life. Master & Margarita, Great Gatsby, Huck Finn, Pride & Prejudice, and the Eyre Affair (re-read after I read Jane Eyre), plus the HP series with my daughter.

The Sad Friar: Do you still hold out hope for Javier Guerra? Sounds like a lot of people have written him off after one bad year in high A.
Klaw: Writing off a player that talented and young is stupid.

KC: Hi Keith – you’ve often described pitchers as lacking the command to be starters, and I saw similar comments on the recently traded Albert Abreu (not by you). My question is how does that work? I understand a pitcher’s command to be shorthand for ‘ability to throw quality strikes’ or ‘location within the zone’ – is it simply a matter of avoiding 30 pitch innings? So a guy with fringe command is a 100 pitch, 4 IP guy half the time as a starter,, but 30 pitch innings coming out of the bullpen are fine?
Klaw: It’s not “simply” anything with command – control is simple, but command isn’t. A pitcher who can’t command enough of his pitches to start can move to the bullpen and benefit from throwing harder and/or being seen just once per game and have the command deficiency become less significant.

Bill: Do you get your turkey spatchcocked for you or do you do it yourself? That part is by far the most daunting to me.
Klaw: I do it myself, live on Periscope.

Will: Where would you rank Lourdes Gurriel Jr. among Blue Jays prospects?
Klaw: I won’t do org rankings and top tens till late January or early February. He’s not a high-end prospect, though.

Lou (Reno): Why do teams send rule 5 eligible players to the AFL? ( thinking of Eric Wood). Aren’t they just giving other teams an extra look at these players?
Klaw: They’re also giving themselves an extra look at their own players to determine whether to keep those guys or expose them, and giving other teams looks to perhaps try to trade for them before the protection deadline.

Jonathan: I enjoyed your article on the Brett Cecil signing, what odds do you give the deal turning out well?
Klaw: Well under 50/50. The history of long-term deals for relievers is awful and not improving.

Elton: How do you like the new Tribe album (We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service)?
Klaw: It’s great. You gotta get it. You got got to get it.

Melky: Do you think Gohara is too much to give up for Cozart? If so, who might be a better fit from the Mariners system?
Klaw: That would be a ridiculous overpay.

Nate: Keith, Carson Fullmer really struggled with his control this season. Did he have this issue as an amateur, but the competition swung at pitches out of the zone, or is this something that has developed recently?
Klaw: Couldn’t throw his breaking stuff for strikes as an amateur (and I noted that when I wrote him up). Also a hard delivery to repeat.

Kim: Has our country always been so racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and sexist and I just didn’t realize it?
Klaw: Apparently so.

Brad C.: Do you agree with those who assert that the Mets MUST sign Cespedes or their season is lost? Conforto, Grandy, Bruce, Lagares is still a good OF.
Klaw: MUST is awfully strong. He’s the best move for them. But they could lose him and sign Fowler and still end up in pretty good shape.

Jen: What’s the best case (realistic) scenario for Trump’s presidency?
Klaw: We avoid mutually assured destruction?

Ethan: Eric Wood performed well in AFL after a breakout season in AA; after being unprotected for Rule 4, could Pirates be losing a prospect with any kind of value?
Klaw: He hit 249/.339/.443 as a AA repeater at 23 (turns 24 today). Not a guy.

Ozzie: Curious to hear your thoughts on the hazing-by-masturbation incident.
Klaw: This involved Rangers prospects in the DR, for folks who haven’t heard it. I’d drop the hammer on the perpetrators, assuming they’re not jailed for sexual assault. MLB should make a swift example of them.

Matt T.: I know you buy, cook, eat a lot of various food, some of of it rich and indulgent as well. My question is, how do you stay in shape? Or have time for it? Traveling all the time for your own job, as well as having a family to raise? How do you find that balance?
Klaw: The foods I tend to discuss here or on social media aren’t what I’m eating three meals a day. My typical lunch at home (which I just ate) is plain 2% yogurt with honey, my own granola, and fruit.

Nils: Hi Keith, thanks for your Thanksgiving tips. Trying to keep my mashed potatoes simple this year, what should I be adding to them? Also, do you have a preference on the act of mashing? Ricer?
Klaw: Ricer. Make sure the cream/milk/butter mixture is hot when you pour it in. Don’t overmix or the potato starches will get long and produce a gluey texture. And I never make mashed potatoes for a crowd because they don’t hold well at all – you pretty much have to make them to order.

Alex: Is the fact that teams are already spending money on FA without the CBA being signed a good indication that it’s going to get done and that there will be only minor tweaks with no major changes to the way business has been done?
Klaw: I don’t think anyone is worried about a deal happening, but even so, any structural or rule changes would go into effect next offseason, not in the middle of one already occurring.

Jones: Given his weaknesses, what do you think motivated Cardinals ownership to resign Matheny?
Klaw: I think they love what he does in the clubhouse, the intangible leadership woo stuff. I see a guy who loses the team a few games a year with idiotic in-game moves and whose mishandling of Kolten Wong in particular may have ruined a decent prospect.

Jeff: Hi Keith, thank you for the chats, really enjoy them. Do you think the Cubs go hard after Jansen? Cubs seem reluctant to commit to that kind of $ but it seems like it would be the prime opportunity to do so while most of their younger players have reasonable contracts. If not Jansen, any ideas on who they might target? Have a hard time believing they’ll be content with Rondon.
Klaw: I have suspected they’d at least go after him, maybe not be the high bidders but be active, rather than hold on to Chapman. Jansen’s better, and he has way better makeup, to say the least. And they’re in position now to forego the draft pick (late first) to sign a free agent.

Frank: Was “letting” Brett Cecil get away a mistake by the Blue Jays, or will we only know the answer to that come spring? Brett was a huge part of that pen, and a big hole to fill now.
Klaw: I wouldn’t have come close to that offer he got.

Bob: Hi, Keith. I was curious as to the reasons for your third place vote for Jon Gray for NL ROY. Statistically he compares well with Kenta Maeda who got more press. His WAR (2.3), however, was lower than that of either Trevor Story (3.1) or Aledmys Diaz (3.5). (WAR is not the end-all, but it’s a handy place to start.) So what was your thinking?
Klaw: That’s his B-R WAR; his Fangraphs WAR, which works off his peripherals rather than his ERA, was 3.7. He was badly hurt by a low strand rate, which is in part a function of the Rockies’ bullpen and the home park. His fWAR was higher than Diaz’s or Story’s, he’s younger than Diaz or Maeda, and frankly I think what he did, in context, is a lot more impressive than, say, Story having a big power year in a great power park.

Jason: Is there a trade offer Atlanta could make for Sale or Archer that (1) the other team would accept and (2) would be a good trade for Atlanta?
Klaw: They could make a viable offer for any player in the majors if they’re willing to give up enough from their system. I’m not sure that would be advisable in either case; I think they’d be better served using all those pitching prospects to trade for a cornerstone young position player than a pitcher.

Kenny: Are there any Rule 5 eligible players who may end up being major contributors in ’17, like Biagini was in ’16?
Klaw: Biagini was worth about a win. That’s not a major contributor. And the fact that he stands out like that is why I ignore the rule 5 draft.

Harrisburg Hal: I know you normally do a kitchen gift ideas post, but can you provide a recommendation on a food processor? We find it useful for more and more recipes than we anticipated when we put a low-quality one on our wedding registry some 14 years ago, thinking we’d only use it for salsa. Have a terrific holiday with your loved ones.
Klaw: I’ll do that post after Thanksgiving. I still have the same old Cuisinart model I’ve had for almost 20 years, so I couldn’t specifically recommend another model since I haven’t tried one. I agree that it’s indispensable, though. I’ll make my pumpkin pie filling in the food processor tomorrow evening.

JR: Every year you get asked about Rule 5 draft, and every year you point out that the rule changes awhile back made it less interesting. With that out of the way, any interesting names in play, or not really?
Klaw: Don’t know, don’t care. Really. The ratio of words expended on it to value produced by it approaches infinity.

Sean: I can’t quite fathom why a team would want Chapman on a multi-year deal. It seemed evident that any dip in his velocity rendered him very hittable. Wouldn’t a reasonable team run for the hills at the idea of hitching their wagon to him?
Klaw: Also that he throws only fastballs with men on. And he’s a terrible human being who’s a fair risk to end up breaking the law or getting sued or just generally making your team look bad for signing him (well, worse than they would for signing him in the first place). I ranked him lower than he would have been on merit because of that stuff.

Paul: I got 10 bucks says Trump doesn’t make it through 4 yrs. Resigns or impeached
Klaw: I think this is a real possibility, but then we end up with Mike Pence, who thinks you can make gay people straight by electrocuting them, and a GOP that has lurched to the right on social and economic issues running the government for the remainder of the term. I’m not OK with that either, and I say that as someone who agrees with some economic policies that would probably be considered conservative or typically Republican.

Chris: Is the Braves offense actually good, or was the 2nd half a fluke?
Klaw: That’s a fluke.

Jeff: Thanks for doing these chats! Do you expect Matt Bush to continue to be successful as a reliever? What comparisons can you use when projecting him? And what do you throw out due to his situation being so unique?
Klaw: Relievers are the class of player where I’d be most likely to ignore the player’s history. Present stuff and control seem to be most important, along with platoon split (ability to get both sides out). You can suck one year and be Andrew Miller the next. That almost never happens with hitters or starting pitchers. So yes, I would be fine counting on Bush to be an above-average reliever going forward.

mike: My son is 7 and a good reader for his age. We go to the library every week and he loves to get a pile of books, but he exclusively goes for non-fiction (which is fine!) stuff. I’ve had trouble finding anything fiction related he gets excited about. Tried Dinotopia and thought I had him hooked, but it faded quick. ANYWAY, do you have any fiction rec’d for that age, something that you got your daughter interested in?
Klaw: Harry Potter, of course. She also got into these Wings of Fire books about dragons around age 8, but I don’t know if those are aimed at girls specifically. We loved the Last Dragonslayer by Fforde too.

Jeff: Looks like Rowdy Tellez will at least get to compete for a bench spot next season, if not the job at 1B. Any chance at all that he can be an average regular?
Klaw: Not to me. Bad athlete, can’t hit good fastballs.

Ryan: Hi Keith…do you think McCutchen bidding will progress to where PIT can realistically acquire a top 1-2 prospect from acquiring team (e.g., Giolito or Lopez from WAS, DeLeon or Bellinger from LAD)?
Klaw: I think so.

It Me: I just wanted to say that I don’t really care for baseball or any sport anymore, but you are my favorite Twitter follow and I love these chats. Please stick to non-baseball 😉
Klaw: I’ve never been capable of sticking to any one topic in my life. I don’t see any reason to start now.

Bob: Thanks for your answer. Good logic. I haven’t used Fangraphs enough.
Klaw: The WAR disparity on pitchers is a question without an answer. Both methods have merit and both results give us useful information. I try to look at both, looking at the components of each, and thinking about what information within those is more meaningful going forward.

Glenn: Realistic outlook for Kaprellian a mid rotation starter?
Klaw: Higher if healthy.

Matt: Thank you for not sticking to baseball. Anyone who says you should can go pound sand. If you had, I would not have learned about Alt-J as early as I did. With that said, can you name any other bands that might be off the radar that one would enjoy if they love Alt-J the way some of us do? As always, thanks!
Klaw: Wild Beasts and Everything Everything.

Eddy: Your former colleague Eric ranked Yadier Alvarez has Dodgers’ #1 prospect. Is the ceiling really that high? What type of pitcher can we expect him to be?
Klaw: Ceiling is high, but I can tell you now I would not rank him over Verdugo or Bellinger, both of whom I think are future All-Stars and are closer to the majors.

Tim: I know rule changes affected the Rule 5 Draft, but could you explain the changes? I was trying to look at had some trouble.
Klaw: The CBA before the current one included a change that extended a club’s period of protection by one year for all players, so in effect, it limited the pool to players who are either still in the low minors and thus unlikely to fare well in a direct jump to the majors or prospects who haven’t panned out.

Bob: Cardinals just raved about their Rule 5 pickup last year, Matt Bowman. While he was serviceable, he provided 0.5 WAR. Whoop-dee-doo. For that half a win, they had to keep him on the roster for the entire year (to keep from having to send him back) and hamstrung themselves at times when making roster moves.
Klaw: Yep. And I like Bowman. But you’re right.

Travis: Hey Keith, I’d like to surprise my wife by turning into A GUY in the kitchen. Where should I start?
Klaw: Go watch Good Eats. The whole series. That’s the best intro you could ever ask for.

Chris: For all the reasons you mentioned, I am dreading the inevitable Yanks’ re-signing of Chapman. I’m tired of having players on my team I loathe (A-Rod, Clemens, Ellsbury for other reasons). I know they can afford it but I’d much rather see them give Betances a chance.
Klaw: I would too, and also, having the greatest bullpen troika in recent memory didn’t get them to the postseason, so why re-sign Chapman when that money would be better spent elsewhere?

Andy: Re Pence: I look at as, Pence is someone I disagree with politically. He and I have very different ideas of what makes the country better. But he’s a politician and he’ll put the good of the country first. I don’t get that feeling for Trump, who seems to value loyalty over competence, and that’s without getting into the fact that he’s a terrible person.
Klaw: This is very fair. I am in the minority on this, but I thought Pence’s response to the Hamilton brouhaha was the right one. It wasn’t great – I mean, he still opposes protecting LGBTQ americans from discrimination – but it was the politic response, a measured answer from a person who at least considers his words before speaking.

Matt: Keith– Did you get a chance to see Greg Allen when you were out for the AFL? His on-base numbers and reports on the glove seem great, but obviously he’s been pretty old for every level as a college guy. Is there anything there?
Klaw: I did and I think he’s an extra guy. No power and didn’t look great in CF.

MJ: Do you think Hellickson made a mistake accepting the QO? Even with the draft pick compensation hanging over his head I’d think he’d have received several solid offers given the absolute black hole that is this year’s SP free agent market.
Klaw: He might have gotten more years at a lower base. I thought accepting was reasonable.

Chris: You always push for teams to hire managers with some actual managerial experience at some level rather than ‘name’ former players. Unless I’m mistaken Alex Cora has none so why do you make an exception for him?
Klaw: You are mistaken. He’s managed in the Puerto Rican league for several winters. Thanks for not giving me the benefit of the doubt.

Jason: Would an expanded roster potentially make the Rule 5 draft more meaningful?
Klaw: It might result in more picks, because hiding a guy would be easier, but won’t improve the quality of the available pool.

Chris: Her mangled grammar and spelling aside, Kate Upton was right, yes?
Klaw: She was right in that omitting Verlander was a mistake.

Tyler: Some “anonymous” FO person recently said he thinks Otani gets $300 million when he comes over. What’s really the realistic contract he gets? And can we stop the narrative of him being a 2-way player, he’s a pitcher and going to be a pitcher here.
Klaw: Doubt he gets that as a pitcher. Really doubt that. Agree that he’s a pitcher only. Could see him getting $150 million over six.

NRWillick: If asked, would you interview on the Alton Browncast? I think the two of you would be great together talking about all issues.
Klaw: Of course, because he’s an idol of mine, but what could I possibly have to contribute to that?

Tom Nieto: What is your take on Weaver and Flaherty of the Cardinals?
Klaw: Weaver looks reliever-ish to me without much of a breaking ball. Flaherty has some mid-rotation potential – great delivery and command, hoping for more oomph as he grows.

Pete: May be too early to ask, but are there any Northern California high schoolers who could be taken within the first 2 days of the ’17 draft?
Klaw: First two days includes more rounds than I cover. I don’t think there’s a day one guy (top two rounds) up there.

Zack: Looking at the Braves past, many of their prospects have been busts…(Marte, Schafer, Capellan, Hanson *RIP*) The odds of their crop of arms producing a few top flight starters can’t be any higher than 2-3 #2-3 starters. Wouldn’t it be smart to ship them off for a Sale or Archer, then possibly ship them off in a few seasons, and get prospects that have a higher probability of succeeding in the future?
Klaw: There’s a risk with Sale and Archer that you may not be including in that analysis – those guys have mileage on their arms and have some injury/bust risk too, lower than that of prospects, but the trade to acquire them reduces the diversity in your portfolio.

Tyler: I think the Cubs are still going to add some potential #5 starters and Montgomery isn’t guaranteed that spot, but what are your thoughts on him moving into the rotation full-time? Can he be a 2.5-3 WAR starter?
Klaw: I don’t think Montgomery can start.

John: I get that throwing 4 year deals at relievers is folly, but WHY do teams keep doing it? What is their rationale? Is it a situation where they feel like, “we have a 1 or 2 year window, so we’ll award a bad contract and hope it pays off in the near term”?
Klaw: I think that’s exactly it. And the market is offering 4 years, so if you want that specific player, you have to go 4 years. Of course, that is how we ended up signing BJ Ryan to a five-year deal where he delivered exactly two years of value and three years of literally nothing.

Jay: What would you do to improve the Nats this offseason? Sign Fowler and return Turner to SS? Sign Cespedes and let Bryce play CF for a year until Werth is gone?
Klaw: Definitely put Turner at SS – Espinosa was atrocious at the plate in the second half, in line with his last few years or even worse – and I am open to putting Harper in CF if they can’t get a plus CF somewhere. That roster is so good that they seem like they should be as motivated to spend as any team.

Ethan: Last chat you stated you’d look for at least 3 legit prospects for McCutchen; I’m assuming that means you think struggles were temporary, injury related, etc., and he’s due for a bounce back?
Klaw: Yes, I think they were almost entirely health-related.

Cory: You often talk or your board games. I have twin boys who will be 2 years old in a couple of weeks. At what age did you start to incorporate games with your children? I feel like 2 is a little early, but I’m curious as I’m excited to have that type of interaction with them. Thanks!
Klaw: When my daughter was four, she wanted to play the Carcassonne app on my iPod Touch, so I showed her how to do it and for a while she didn’t even care about the scores – she just liked manipulating the tiles and getting the rewards of finishing something. So after that we’d invite her to play stuff with us, but her attention span wasn’t really there until she was six or so.

Jimmy: Favorite songs off the new Tribe Called Quest album?
Klaw: Dis Generation, We the People, Space Program, Ego.

Phil: Curious about your take on this…Over the weekend 4 cops were shot and all 4 were shot by African Americans. There hasn’t been one media outlet that has investigated a connection to the BLM mantra of killing cops. Had the 4 shootings been of black pastors by white men, the whole narrative would have been on the rampant racism in our country toward minorities. Why the double standard?
Klaw: There’s a BLM “mantra of killing cops?” You completely lost me there.

Andy: What was the conversation like around the BJ Ryan signing? Were there arguments about whether or not to do it?
Klaw: It was probably the last substantive conversation I had with my boss about a player move. I was opposed to going past three years, and did some basic research that remains the foundation of my belief that relievers shouldn’t get long-term deals today. The way we use relievers, as an industry, contributes to their volatility.

Adam: If you were running Cleveland’s front office, what would be your A plan for CF in 2017: Naquin+platoon partner and hope the defense is at least manageable. Try to go all-in with a potential trade (Cutch or someone else), or short-term FA (Pagan, etc)
Klaw: As well as Naquin runs, it is hard to fathom how he can be this bad in CF. There have been exceptions – Joey Gathright comes to mind – but in general, if a dude can really run, he can at least be average in center. I might give Naquin one more year on that basis. He has the arm to play anywhere, and if he can just show fringy range, he’d be average overall. But he looked bad in CF this year and the numbers supported that. I could understand them punting and going to find a real defender out there – and that’s not Cutch or Pagan, IMO.

Tom: You were wrong about the likelihood of Trout winning MVP. Oh wait, so was I. Here’s to being wrong. (Actual question – what do you think pushed him through this time? I realize it was about his second best season so far, but really thought he’d be punished again for bad teammates and not leading the league in RBI)
Klaw: I saw it while on vacation and I was floored to see that he won and won by a lot, but I never looked to see if any voters discussed their votes. I’d like to think we’re getting more rational about what value is, since front offices are increasingly looking at the question the same way, but I would be basing that on speculation rather than any evidence.

Hugoz: Sorry, but I have to ask…if the Astros weren’t going to retain Castro, what else would you expect them to do if not exercise the Gattis option?
Klaw: Gattis can’t catch – he was probably the worst receiving catcher in baseball last year. (He was among the MLB leaders in WP allowed, despite only catching about 50 games, but that isn’t factored into any public defensive metrics.) I don’t see those two decisions as remotely connected.

Frank: While obviously some major leaguers come from the late rounds, is there really any value in having a draft that is 50 rounds long (or whatever it is) rather than 25 or 30?
Klaw: It’s 40 now, used to be 50, and if they wanted to cut it to 20 I’d be just fine with that. I don’t see a lot of value in its current length.

Jerry: Is the rejection of the split by some organizations due to the fact that many of the Japanese guys who throw the pitch have broken down? Do any of these execs consider the fact that the high school workloads of these guys make those of Kerry Wood and Dylan Bundy seem reasonable?
Klaw: The bias against the splitter predates the Japanese imports – it goes back to the 1980s when there were a few pitchers who developed arm problems, including circulation issues in their throwing hands, after throwing the pitch.

Joe: I am going to the Bahamas in a few months. Are you going to have a post up about your trip?
Klaw: I don’t think so, because most of what we did was at Atlantis, which I’ll say here was very nice but a poor value for the money. (I used points for the room; without that it would have been outrageous.) I do recommend the John Watling’s distillery tour and the on-site bar, where you can do a flight of their three rums for $6.50. We didn’t do the fish fry because of my wife’s shellfish allergy, but all the locals recommend that. The food and drinks at Atlantis are overpriced, and the food in general wasn’t even that good.

addoeh: Good thing the Rule 5 draft isn’t the Rule 6 draft. Because there is no Rule 6.
Klaw: Good point, Bruce.

Chris: I can’t recall you writing about Andujar in any of your AFL recaps. Can he be league avg at 3B for Yanks once Headley’s gone?
Klaw: I think he’s a little below that.

Larry: I, for one, think it would be great to hear you and Alton Brown discuss spatchcocking. As for baseball, the Giants won’t likely be able to spend enough to get both an elite closer and an elite bat, so which would you focus on if you were them: Jansen or Cespedes?
Klaw: The bat is going to have way more impact. Plus they have some power arms who could end up good relievers if they get the time to develop.

Scott: What can a concerned citizen like myself do to challenge voter suppression and gerrymandering? Of all the shitty things happening, this makes me the most hopeless and sad
Klaw: Make yourself heard. Call your state reps – all of them. Call your governor and lieutenant governor. Show up at town meetings they hold. And work to get out the vote in 2018. If you live in North Carolina, call every one of your officials to support Roy Cooper for Governor, since he’s going to win the actual vote count and state Republicans may try a backdoor tactic to steal the election.

Klaw: That’s all for this week – thanks for all the questions. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Klawchat, 11/10/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof. Klawchat.

Rob: Favorite Metal album this year? I’m leaning towards Dillinger Escape Plan or Nails, but I know my tastes tend to skew heavier than yours. Always appreciate the work.
Klaw: Might be Dark Tranquility’s Atoma or Omnium Gatherum’s Grey Heavens.

Peter: The Trump take on climate change is number ___ on the list of reasons to be scared
Klaw: I guess it depends on who and where you are, but the environment in general is my personal number one fear (in terms of direct impact on me or my family).

Nick: What do you think Bryce Harper’s true talent level is?
Klaw: When healthy, he’s a 7-8 win player at least.

Kyle KS: Is Dexter Fowler’s performance both offensively and defensively likely to be repeated? Does he have the ability to stay in CF over the life of a 3-5 year contract?
Klaw: Doubt he stays there 5 years, would bet on him staying there 3. Seemed to really come around as a hitter the last two years out of Denver.

Nick: Is Gausman breaking out or lucky sample size in the second half for a guy with really only 2 pitches?
Klaw: I think he’s for real.

Jay_b: Did the Cubs winning the WS bring about the end of the universe or is it just a symptom of same?
Klaw: It’s a series of unfortunate events. (I kid, Chicago.)

Dick: Does Devers absolute upside look something like Adrian Beltre?
Klaw: Nothing like that on defense. Offense, maybe, but Devers might have a chance to be a little more disciplined at a younger age than Beltre.

Frank the Clown: Is insight into why Wren did not get the GM job in Boston? So many writers like Bob Nightengay said Frank was the clear leader should be a sure bet for the position especially considering he is buddies with Dumbrowski.
Klaw: Don’t think those claims were ever accurate.

Ceej: Baez just showed both extremes in the playoffs. Do you hold out hope that he develops consistency?
Klaw: I think consistency is the least likely outcome. I would hope for more highs and fewer lows. His approach went to shit in the World Series.

VG: Keith, any recommendations for sources of recipies that are designed to help kids who are picky eaters? A book on how to think about this as a parent would be helpful, too. Thanks.
Klaw: Two suggestions. One, when my daughter was younger I found that cooking vegetables with high heat, such as roasting at 450 or 475, so the sugars in them started to caramelize (brown) made her like them more. They end up sweeter and less bitter. The other is to consider making sauces that work with vegetables and that your kids like. My daughter liked the flavor of lemon early on, so I still to this day add lemon juice to lots of sauces, and often will make something more complicated like a lemon beurre blanc specifically because she likes it.

Ryan: let’s just say you’re a senate democrat, what’s the strategy right now? do you blow up the filibuster and pass through Merrick Garland in the lame duck but then give the GOP carte blanche to do whatever they want? or do you let Trump pick the SCOTUS nominee he wants? also, since the GOP over the last 8 years proved kicking, screaming and denying the legitimacy of the president works – you should just oppose anything Trump proposes, right?!
Klaw: I favor the latter approach, which Al Franken said on MSNBC last night is his plan as well. Fight like hell. Don’t help them.

DPF: Asking early due to meetings – Tea leaves seem to say that Cutch is available. Astros seem like a good fit and they have prospects. Who should the Pirates look to get back?
Klaw: He’s been available since the summer, but it’s been kind of quiet publicly. I think you’ll see a dozen teams interested given his age, history, and contract. That’s a three-prospect deal for me – three real prospects, plus maybe something else, but I’d be shooting for multiple high-impact prospects to get enough value and diversify the risk a little.

Tom: I have heard and seen plenty of people label anyone who voted for Trump racist, sexist and xenophobic. Definition of a strawman right? I tend to believe 60 million people are not that but care about other issues and want the Republicans in charge for other reasons then to ban the Muslims and kick out the Mexicans (which if you’re being logical he can yell all about but constitutionally will not be able to do). Full disclosure I didn’t vote for either but the response to ALL Trump voters has me appalled for the country.
Klaw: My wife and I have had this debate, in part while discussing the election with our daughter. My wife takes your side – many people heard what they wanted from Trump, such as promises of jobs for the less-educated part of the workforce by bringing manufacturing back, and the other stuff didn’t matter to them. I take the other side – a vote for him is tacit approval of the racism, the dog-whistling, the pandering, the outright harassment and mockery. You don’t get to sever. It’s why I was no longer a Bill Clinton supporter after his second term: I liked some of his policies, but lying under oath before a grand jury, even over a trivial matter, told me something about his character I could not accept or ignore.

Jake: If Gurriel was eligible for your list, would you consider him Houston’s top prospect right now?
Klaw: Yuliesky? He’s 32. I could not compare him to a bunch of 20-22 year olds on a prospect ranking.

Thomas: Who would you rather have over the course of their careers…Ozzie Albies or Travis Demeritte?
Klaw: Albies. I know he can hit, and I believe he can play short or second.

Jake: Favorite (or least favorite) new MiLB team name – Fire Frogs, Jumbo Shrimp or Rumble Ponies?
Klaw: Jumbo Shrimp is pretty bad, although when they say “batter up!” it’ll be a Jacobi-level pun.

Kelly: Odds of Trump getting impeached are?
Klaw: Nil. The GOP controls the House.

Tracy: It is extremely troubling to me that facts can be so willfully disregarded as to help elect a demagogue such as the one we’re getting, where a huge portion of this country will only believe what they want to believe, feeding off from their isolated bubble of information. Not only that, but whatever is deemed fact outside of that bubble is considered false or even fabricated for the benefit of ideological gain. We are living in increasingly dangerous times, but we need more voices like you, Keith, who will denounce those who choose to be infected by this awful ignorance.
Klaw: We live in a world where people in power – and something like half the country – denies the facts of climate change. Some similar portion of the populace denies that we evolved from lower life forms. A small fraction deny that vaccines are safe and effective and actively court ways around laws designed to make the public safe. You know how that happens? When those of us – teachers, politicians, the media – who have the chance to disseminate information play the game of false balance. I’ll take the hit to my career I get from dealing strictly in facts.

Chad: Do you have any tattoos? Curious what they are if so. Admittedly an awfully personal question!
Klaw: Nope. Never had any interest. I wouldn’t judge anyone who has them, but I don’t want ink on me.

CJ: Hi Keith, On the International signing mess , why not give each team a certain amount they can spend , say 10M. If a team wanted to spend more they could buy some of another teams 4M for the same amount. So say the Dodgers want to add , they could buy 2M from the Twins and pay them 2M .The Twins would then have the Dodgers paying for their signings plus their own. There would have to be some kind of cap on how much each team could add or subtract.
Klaw: I think the fear there is some owners would just sell everything they could and punt the international market. Whatever your cap is, there would be a Loria type who would just sell it and pocket the profits every year. Maybe Liberty would do that, since the expected ROI on a million bucks in international amateur free agency is somewhere between “hard to calculate” and “who the hell knows.”

Woodsy: Tell me why it’s all gonna be all right, Keith. Please.
Klaw: Oh, I don’t think it is.

James: Where would you slot Taijuan Walker into your rotation/bullpen to start 2017? I know you’ve been critical of his development in the past. What steps would you take to salvage a potential career as a SP for him, if you ran things for the Ms?
Klaw: If this is it with him, no more mechanical or pitch changes, then I’d put him in the bullpen as a long man to start the year and adjust his role by how he pitches, probably into a higher-leverage relief role. If there’s still time to change him, though, I’d try to get him back to the longer stride he had in 2012 or so, so that his fastball isn’t ending up belt-high so often.

Mark: Who do you think will accept their QO and who do you think should accept it?
Klaw: Hellickson or Walker might. Walker’s depends on his back. Trumbo … he will probably get more than that in free agency, but there’s no way I’d give him close to that much. I think everyone else declines.

Mark: What’s your least favorite part of your job? I don’t mean things like travel or time away from your family, but rather a specific event you don’t like to cover or article you have to write or people you have to deal with.
Klaw: That’s a good question. Most of the stuff I hated doing, like the old, long previews of each playoff series, are gone. Now it’s more about writing when I don’t feel the spark – sometimes I have to react to a bit of news, but I don’t really have a strong opinion that I can back up sufficiently with data or historical examples, and then I feel like I’m dancing on the hot-takes line. I don’t want to do that; I have strong opinions naturally, so I don’t ever want to feel like I’m faking it in any way.

Jim: My friends are convinced that WAR is a “made up stat” that front offices don’t use. How different is the WAR that front offices use and what we see on Fangraphs/BR?
Klaw: Front offices use WAR. They use their own formulas for the components, but multiple front office people, from GMs to analytics directors, have said to me directly that they value player performance by comparing total production to replacement level.

Mark: What do you think about the Bud Black hiring? You said last week that Colorado should interview Cora….do you know if they even did before choosing Black?
Klaw: Black is a solid choice. He was good in San Diego, with some drawbacks. Denver is a real challenge for any manager, though, and I don’t know what specifically about him might be a good fit there. I don’t think Alex was interviewed.

Bob: I’ve felt unhappy on and off for some time and imagine it falls on the depression spectrum, but haven’t seen a therapist before. The act of seeking one out and talking to someone for the first time is daunting – and frankly, I don’t think I want to “admit” I can’t “fix” this on my own. Do you have any advice?
Klaw: I promise you that after one session with a (good) therapist the mental obstacles you describe will start to dissolve. It feels good to vocalize some of what you’re feeling and have someone make sense of it for you. Just go.

Marshall: With the rumors that Kendrick could be shipped out of LA -Can Willie Calhoun make enough contact and play passable defense to have an impact for the Dodgers in 2017?
Klaw: I don’t think he can play 2b at all.

Elton: What do you reckon the smart plays are for the Cubs this offseason? Let Heyward play center and hope Soler rebuilds his value in right? Sign Hill and Jansen to replace Hammel and Chapman?
Klaw: I wrote about their situation in some of the buyers’ guides that will run this weekend, but I think Soler might be on the trade block regardless. I would try Heyward in CF if Fowler doesn’t come back, though.

Ben: Is it just me, or is Pence almost more concerning than Trump? I mean, Trump is unpredictable and could flip on issues tomorrow. There’s no guessing what Trump really thinks. But it’s always been clear what Pence believes and none of it is good.
Klaw: Pence still believes you can “convert” gay people to straight. This is arrant nonsense, the American Psychiatric Association opposes it, and it may increase the risk of suicide for these folks. If that doesn’t scare you, you may have no empathy whatsoever.

Mike: What are the chances Otani is posted and comes over? What is his long-term outlook?
Klaw: I’m betting it’s after next year. Number one starter. Not a position player here.

Elton: What did you think about that Game Seven? Have you ever seen a wilder deciding game?
Klaw: The only one I could think of was 2001. Game 6 in 1986 had as much drama but wasn’t the winner-take-all game.

Nick: Keith – thanks for all the great work; very excited to read your book once it’s ready. How do you see Addison Russell developing over the next few years? Specifically, will the bat continue to grow?
Klaw: I think he’s going to be a star. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t improve his contact rate starting this year.

Joe: Do you think it will be hard for Dickey to transition back to the NL?
Klaw: Nah, the hard part for him is going to be that he’s just not that good any more.

Armin: Hi Keith, do you think that a position switch of Carlos Correa to 3B is inevitable? If so, do you expect it to happen this upcoming season?
Klaw: I think it is optimal, but the club has to make the decision now and get him to agree it’s for the best.

Bertil from Sweden: Do you think Astros should switch Correa and Bergman during the offseason?
Klaw: Yes, that was my implication just now – Bregman plays short. (I do like that the guy from Sweden wrote “Bergman,” though!)

Nick: Who are some of your favorite baseball writers? You can answer Keith Law if you want, I won’t tell.
Klaw: No, not Keith Law, that guy’s an asshole.

Siggy: I come to you for answers about life and baseball. This is about life. I’ve been having a hard time dealing with the election and have welcomed all forms of humor as a way to make me feel slightly better. On that note, please feel free to weigh in on a decade-old debate I’ve had with friends. Why are farts so funny?
Klaw: Because bodily functions are embarrassing. It’s why grown-ups still giggle at sexual innuendo. And lest anyone think I’m saying I’m above this, I remember being in the visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway Park around 2003 or so and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe because Bobby Kielty was in the can and you would have thought he had 76 trombones in there with him.

Clarence(not M. Diamond): No question, just wanted to say that if someone were to make a playlist of the various songs you reference at the beginning of each chat, that person would have a baller, and eclectic, set to listen to.
Klaw: Funny you say that – I’ve contemplated doing so for a while but I always get sucked into other stuff when I sit down at the computer. It would be a weird-ass mix though. (EDIT: I started this Spotify playlist just now, working backwards from today’s chat.)

ScottyG: What would it take for the Cardinals to get Simmons away from the Angels? And would he make sense, moving Diaz over to 2B?
Klaw: No chance right now. Angels are trying to win with Trout.

JC: The Braves have been on a two year odyssey to bring in as much pitching as possible because: the 90s. After watching the Cub’s run, should the Braves have chosen instead to focus more on position players to build the championship team?
Klaw: Well at some point you have to cash in some pitching for bats. This might be a good time for it. If they called Pittsburgh on Cutch, they could put something pretty compelling together. Or perhaps Arenado, who has a little more team control left, and 3b is a gigantic void in Atlanta anyway.

Enzo Amore: If you were Muslim, how strongly would you consider leaving the country?
Klaw: The whole bit about leaving the country, and celebs threatening to do so, is that this is not a costless transaction. If I had, say, dual citizenship in Italy (I could have, had my late grandfather gotten it for my mom, since he was born there), and decided, the hell with this, I’m outta here, I would have to sell my house and many of my material possessions; secure whatever documentation was necessary for my wife and daughter to live in Italy, and for myself and perhaps my wife to work there; to ensure I had sufficient savings and/or income to travel there, and probably travel back here to see my entire family as well as my wife’s; and find an entirely new job because I don’t think I could do this one while sitting at a cafe on the Palio in Siena. So while I want to say, yeah, I’d be terrified for me and my kids now that Trump has won and the neo-Nazis who endorsed him are feeling empowered, it’s just not that easy to pick up and leave.

Oxfuzz: A few months ago, you recommended the parenting book you read while your daughter was young. Could you share the title again. Thanks
Klaw: The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Kilgore Trout: ‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” – Max Planck…………When climate denialists die off, will it be to late?
Klaw: Yes, if we wait that long, the earth’s climate will have changed to a grave extent.

addoeh: What motivated you to get a puppy? How has it been getting it to adjust to the cats and vice versa?
Klaw: My wife wanted one, and we had friends who needed to give this dog up because the dad was wildly allergic to her. Bella, the dog, thinks the cats are fun and likes the chase them. They do not share her enthusiasm.

Uncle Jimbo: How does your two round international draft suggestion benefit the player as compared to the current system?
Klaw: If the dollar values per pick are set appropriately high, it should ensure that they’re getting closer to their maximum value on draft day (instead of a deal they’re locked into a year ahead of time) and they’re no longer at the mercy of verbal agreements the teams can break. (Teams get the same protection.) Players would be best off in a totally open bidding market on draft day, but that never existed and I doubt it ever will.

Matt: Have you heard of the term Faithless Elector? Basically a member of the EC can refuse to vote for the person that was elected to office. Is it a possible out, or are we really screwed with Trump?
Klaw: Yes, it’s possible. The EC has never gone against the results of the vote, and I don’t believe it’s going to happen now, even with the popular vote going towards Hillary. If it did, we might have armed insurrection, which isn’t an argument against it but is a consequence to consider.

Chris: There’s already talk of sending McCann to Houston, but if they pair him with Gardner w a middling prospect to the Astros, or another team like CWS or Wash with both C and leadoff CF needs, could it net them McCullers, Rodon, or Joe Ross?
Klaw: I doubt that would return any of those arms, who are all high-ceiling guys who make no money.

Jeff: Do you think Adam Brett Walker or Daniel Palka can overcome all the strikeouts to become MLB regulars for the Twins?
Klaw: No, I don’t, especially not Walker.

Andy: The major league minimum salary is $507,500. Players can be paid that for up to 3 years. Josh Reddick and Michael Saunders, two good but not great corner OFs will be paid over $10 million per year. If I’m a member of the MLBPA and want to protect established major league players, over minor league guys (which has been proven over every single negotiation that screwing over non MLB guys is totally fine), wouldn’t raising that minimum and getting to arbitration faster be my main goal?
Klaw: If you ask me one thing I am certain will be in the new CBA, it is a large raise in the minimum salary, to something like $800K a year or more.

Elton: What did you drink the night of the election? I turned to 8-year El Dorado rum.
Klaw: Beer. And then I realized the alcohol was bringing me down further and that was a bad idea.

Ed: My wife and I are hosting our first Thanksgiving this year! However I just realized that this means that I am responsible for the Turkey for the first time. Curious what recipe / technique you’ll be using, and if it posted anywhere? Also, have you ever smoked a turnkey?
Klaw: Serious Eats’ method of roasting a spatchcocked bird (spine cut out, bird flattened on a roasting pan). Cooks faster, skin still crisps.

Bummer: This election was a result of no one voting. Lowest voter turnout since 2000. The reality is, there’s not some wave of revolution from disenfranchised middle class. It’s a wave of apathy and non-voting that got us here.
Klaw: I agree with this, but my conclusion is that a huge portion of the electorate didn’t find Trump’s comments remotely concerning enough.

Ethan: I saw you liked a tweet suggesting that voters in Florida who voted for Stein should float out to sea–in not as nice terms. If you are someone who truly believes in democracy and our right/privilege/duty to vote, isn’t suggesting who someone vote for the complete opposite of those ideals? Also, it could be suggested to be voter intimidation of sorts, which you were also campaigning against. I’d appreciate a response, as I’m truly interested to hear your thoughts.
Klaw: Your mistake is assuming that when I like a tweet – and FTR I don’t even remember this – it is because I agree with its content. I mean, that’s an enormous error, like an Elvis Andrus in October 2015 kind of error.

Sweaty Fan: All my buddies are fired up about getting a new Rangers’ park that will have AC, but I don’t think they realize that we (as in middle class suburb folk) will likely be priced out of our usual 4-5 games per year. It probably becomes a once or twice per season treat. Kinda sucks. Yeah, it gets hot, but I love the Ballpark. Grew up watching games there. C.R.E.A.M. though, right. If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.
Klaw: The taxpayers who voted to further enrich the Rangers’ owners are somewhat akin to lower-income voters who voted for Trump and his promise to cut tax rates, which will benefit the higher-income strata more than it does them.

Zach: Has Chanel Perez signed with anybody since the Astros voided his deal? Any insight you feel comfortable sharing?
Klaw: Cionel, and no, I haven’t heard it. The reason they voided it was medical but that’s all I know.

Ryan: Sometimes I wonder why you invite the type of firestorm that you did yesterday with the Arrieta tweet. You had to have known what 90% of the response would be before you tweeted it, and one would presume that you felt Arrieta meant nothing malicious or anti-semitic by the tweet in the first place. Yet now, there are inevitably people out there who might think less of Arrieta based on your tweet, and as a result he might want to have a word with you at some point. And it all could have been avoided. Intent might matter to you, but it might not matter to Arrieta, if he feels like he’s defending himself against baseless charges of bigotry by random internet people who latched onto your tweet.
Klaw: Because I say what I believe and don’t worry that a bunch of idiots might yell at me for it. (I did give the Block button a big workout yesterday.) Staying silent because you fear the reaction is how we end up here.

David: Other than De Leon, is Brock Stewart the most impactful arm the Dodgers can plug into the rotation for next year?
Klaw: Internally, yeah, probably, since Alvarez is a ways off. But they’ll add someone from outside.

Lars: Can you explain why you thought Arrieta’s comments were anti-Semitic? The answer is probably obvious and I’m just being naive but it wasn’t clear to me.
Klaw: “Hollywood” as a dog-whistling term for anti-Semites goes back decades. It’s the whole conspiracy-theory bit about Jews controlling Hollywood, the media, the banks, etc., the modern twist on the Wandering Jew character of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Anti-Semitism isn’t as overt as it was a generation or two ago, so a lot of folks didn’t understand why I connected that word and usage to Judaism.

Chris: Am I crazy to think we shouldn’t just assume Greg Bird’s gonna slot right in and be the guy he was in the last few months of 2015?
Klaw: That’s a fair assumption. Plan for that, be pleasantly surprised if you’re wrong.

Barry: You suggest that Obama has been an important president. Obamacare, the pact with Iran, his questionable executive orders that threaten the separation of powers in our government, and the anemic economic growth during his years in office. That’s not much of a legacy.
Klaw: Well, Obamacare gave 20 million people access to health insurance they lacked. The deal with Iran was a huge success. Economist Richard Carroll wrote a piece about two months ago, grading Presidents by economic growth during their terms, and had Obama about average, well ahead of either President Bush. There are criticisms of his tenure – lack of immigration reform, inability to make any real progress on even limited gun control, inaction on marriage equality until it was a fait accompli, no plan in Syria, failure to close Guantanamo – but I don’t think you got any of them.

Darryl: Who cracks the Big Show first…Senzel or Rutherford?
Klaw: Senzel is almost two years older and has SEC experience. He’ll get there fast, like, this year fast.

Sean M: The yankees apparently tried Jorge Mateo out in center during instructs do you think that could be something worth exploring further given their glut of shortstop prospects?
Klaw: If he can’t start to make harder contact, it’s not going to matter where he plays.

Jeremy: Say you’re Jeff Brdich, whats your strategy for sorting out the Rockies outfield. Specifically whats your desired starting lineup in 2018 and what do you do with Cargo/Blackmon/Parra? Thanks!
Klaw: Trade CarGo, since he’s a FA after the year. Dahl has to be there every day. If the plan is to keep Arenado long term, I’d consider moving McMahon to a corner. Tapia-Dahl-McMahon is pretty darn good for three times the minimum salary.

Gerry: Recent story of Dylan Cozens punching Boog Powell in the DWL has sparked past problems about character at draft time in 2012. Do you see this recent transgression as a “blip on the radar” OR a serious character flaw with him.
Klaw: I think his makeup is a negative. But you know how it works – if you perform, then makeup concerns are less concerning. Right now, strictly speaking about his baseball future, I’m concerned about the poor defense, the inability to hit LHP, and his big home/road splits in AA (Reading is a great HR park).

Barry: If your mother was born before your Italian grandfather became an American citizen (if he ever did), then you are eligible for an Italian passport. It was not necessary that your mother first obtain an Italian passport.
Klaw: I believe he became a citizen before she was born. He fought for the US Army in WWII, including as part of the liberating force in Italy. She was born less than a year after he came home, of course.

Jackson: What isn’t to like about the Obama administration? While being obstructed, unemployment is way down, the market is way up, continuous job growth, less boots on the ground, ISIS on the run. Is it a perfect country, no. Perfect job, no. But how is there so much anger against him? Is it because he’s athletic and not gritty with a high IQ?
Klaw: This is my feeling. If you expect perfection from any President, well, Pollyanna, I have some bad news for you. But he did more in eight years than I expected either at the start (when I voted third-party for the only time) or even at the midpoint (when I voted for him).

Patrick: if you are Matt Klentak, do you look at deals for Velasquez since the FA class is weak? If so, what could a young controllable starter like him net?
Klaw: I guess you always listen, especially since he’s a bit fragile, but I would not feel any rush to trade the guy given the absence of anything like him in the system at the moment.

Bill: Do you think any big names will be traded this year (not older players, per se, but rather more impactful ones)?
Klaw: Yes, I think this will be a big winter for trades of big names. I’m hoping it is!

Ethan: Regarding Stein question, I’m new to Twitter, it may have been a retweet, and while not saying it directly, it seems you validated my assertions, so thanks for the response.
Klaw: I would not have retweeted something like what you described. Retweets aren’t endorsements but you bet your ass I’m cautious about what I retweet because it will seem like a passive endorsement no matter what I say.

Jared: Have you watched Disney’s “Peter Pan” with you family?
Klaw: The original? Yep. Once. And never again.

CJ: Can Bellinger be an option for the Dodgers in a corner OF spot out of spring training?
Klaw: I think that’s too soon. But I believe he’s going to be a star.

Hank: Do you feel that Addison Russell could conceivably be a .350 OBP guy in the future? The guy looks like if he could be an absolute super star if he could cut down the strikeouts and improve the walks.
Klaw: I do, I think he’s more selective than he seems, but came to the majors well before his bat was totally ready.

Barry: Guess what? Whenever the loser in the presidential race gets 45% of the popular vote, the country is divided. Isn’t that most of the time?
Klaw: And we get “the country is more divided than ever” stories every four years, don’t we?

JJ: I keep reading that everyone on the Tigers’ roster is available. What kind of trade value does Miggy actually have? Still a superior hitter when healthy, but those healthy days are dwindling as he ages, and that contract is scary.
Klaw: I doubt he or Verlander could be traded given their contracts. I think it’s more likely we see guys like Kinsler or Anibal traded.

Azam Farooqui: Do you think John Olerud would have deserved more consideration for Hall of Fame in modern era?
Klaw: I do not. very good player, not a HoFer.

Rob: Given the dearth of free agent pitching and Arrieta’s proximity to free agency, should the Cubs consider trading Arrieta or do you think that the opportunity for a second world series is too great to do that?
Klaw: I would consider trading him only if I was also acquiring his de facto replacement in the rotation somewhere else.

Confused Lefty: Why are some people on the left so desperate to try to assign blame to liberal comedians such as John Oliver in the wake of Trump getting elected? I would argue that Oliver and his ilk did a far better job than the traditional news media of keeping people informed of the real facts and issues of the election.
Klaw: I agree with your last statement, but the problem with Oliver etc is that they end up preaching to the choir. How many Trump supporters watch Last Week Tonight regularly? The show is overtly progressive.

Biff: Keith I am for Obamacare, from a humanitarian perspective. But it seems like the liberal defense of these massive premium increases has been, “it’s not a big deal, because this doesn’t actually affect the Obamacare users because they are mostly on subsidized plans” – yeah no kidding, but someone’s paying for the increases. If it ain’t the end user, then it’s everyone else. Is that really a good defense of the massive cost of Obamacare – that it’s OK, as long as the poor folks aren’t on the hook for it?
Klaw: If you agree that everyone should have access to health insurance – or, really, to health care – then the question becomes who pays for it. It’s not the poor, because they are poor. (I hope that’s self-explanatory.) So the real question is the redistribution of this cost to the remainder of the population. And I don’t think there’s a ‘right’ answer to that. If you told me, hey, you’re going to pay $500 this year to help make sure the poorest Americans have basic health care, I’d say, OK, I can do that. Many people would say they couldn’t. Others would simply not want to. There’s no ‘right’ answer there. But you cannot take the position that you want to give everyone access to health care as long as everyone pays for themselves. It’s a non-starter.

Jon v: If you were running cleveland’s front office would you be more inclined to listen on Bauer or Salazar?
Klaw: Salazar because forearm injuries scare me, and for all Bauer’s goofiness, dude stays healthy.

Duane: Any new side dish or dessert recipes on this year’s Thanksgiving menu that you can share with us? Thanks again for all you do.
Klaw: I haven’t decided yet. It may depend a bit on what looks good when I shop that Monday morning. There’s a small set of items I have to make, so I only get to experiment around the edges.

Joe: Re: Obama’s legacy: I think it’s also always important to point out just how committed the Republican Congress has been to obstructing Obama and/or doing nothing. They shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act even though Obama was elected twice with that as his top goal, it passed Congress, and was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. They voted constantly to repeal, even though they knew it would never happen. They’re still trying to investigate Benghazi even after several bipartisan and non-partisan investigations have turned up nothing. They refused to even hold hearings on Merrick Garland. The fact that the Republicans held the Senate even after their nonsense over the last several years is just as depressing as the presidential election.
Klaw: I agree with the obstruction bit, and Garrison Keillor made the point in a column yesterday about how now the Democrats/liberals should just say, hey, you wanted the reins, well, have at it, we’ll be over at the bar. But I will say that the Republicans hold both houses of Congress now because that is what the voters have decided they want. If you don’t like this situation, as I don’t, then the answer is understand what the voters want and to show them that Democratic candidates are the more likely ones to provide it, because right now, that is not what the electorate as a whole seems to believe.

Tim (KC): I am surprised that Jose Fernandez did not get top 3 Cy Young… I don’t think the autopsy report had been released as of voting deadline, right? Did the possible involvement of drugs/alcohol play into voters not voting for him? If only writers knew that ERA is an over-rated stat… even though K.Hendricks did have a great season… others had better.
Klaw: I doubt that had anything to do with it.

Joe: It seems worth noting that Obamacare was, as a concept, developed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the 1990’s.
Klaw: And implemented by Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, for whom I voted twice (Senator in 1996, then Governor when he won).

Jeff: Wondering if you ever read The Intercept (Glenn Greenwald’s online news website)? I thought Glenn wrote a superb piece about parallels between the US Election and Brexit, and (partly) about Dems needing to look in the mirror if they want to know who to blame for Trump’s ascendancy. Highly recommended. If you haven’t read it, give it a go.
Klaw: That piece is wonderful and it’s in my links post this week.

Colin: If the Cubs are indeed trading Jorge Soler for pitching, do you think they are targeting a piece for this year or one or two guys that will be ready soon? Or both? Neither?
Klaw: I think any trades now for the Cubs would be aimed at making the 2017 team a championship-caliber club again.

Tim (KC): Which award did you vote for this year?

Ted: Obamacare gets ripped by the masses because their people can see the direct redistribution of wealth that it requires. If the government wants to provide free healthcare for the poor, then government hospitals should be build in low income areas. Those without insurance can visit these facilities free of charge and the staff is paid from government funds, just like any other employee. You would see much less of a backlash from the general public for a system like this, which would likely cost less than the current system.
Klaw: The issue here is “government funds.” That’s taxpayer money, dog. The government generates funds by taxing its citizens. You’re just changing names.

Drew: Is the future of our country dependent on principled conservatives reigning Trump in?
Klaw: excuse me while i research uses of arsenic

Hugo Z: That’s a real reach with Arrieta, considering that he was obviously referencing non-Jews such as Cher and Lena Dunham.
Klaw: To be absolutely clear, again, I did not say he was trying to attack Jews. I said that was how it read, because I’m familiar with the dog-whistle use of the word. If I did that, and a couple of folks said to me, hey, Keith, that word means something, I’d delete and rephrase. (FTR, I didn’t realize so many celebs did the ‘leave the country’ bit. Alec Baldwin said it in 2004 and he’s still here. I guess I just ignored those quotes when they happened.)

JR: Do you buy the “Sanders would’ve beat Trump” argument?
Klaw: No. Trump would have beaten Sanders by a huge margin. I think Kasich would have cruised to victory over Hillary. But Biden might have won over Trump. That’s the one scenario I just don’t know about.

Ed: Re: Spatchcocking – Did you do the dry brine? And how long did you brine it for? Thanks again!
Klaw: I did. Six hours? Does that sound right?

Ben: How many pages is your book? Gotta plan accordingly.
Klaw: It’s going to be under 300.

Steve, Geneva, IL: How about an off the radar prospect that in a year from now we will say, “This is the guy Keith Law told us about.”
Klaw: I will give you at least 30 of those guys when I do the prospect rankings in February.

Jon v: Is dexter fowler a high side outcome for Bradley Zimmer?
Klaw: Er … that seems a little optimistic to me. Zimmer has stalled out at AA and I’m concerned.

Craig: Gut feeling: will Braun be traded this offseason? And beyond the Dodgers, who is the most likely trade partner?
Klaw: Gut feeling is no.

Bill: If you were John Coppola, what moves would you make this offseason for the Braves?
Klaw: I’d flip some of this pitching depth for a young big-league bat or two, and I’d ask my sister what the Japanese director really said to Bill Murray.

Joe: What do you think Machado would be worth on the trade market?
Klaw: Two years left, probably looking at $30-35 million in arb salaries? Still worth a mint, I’d say. I’d be looking for two to three impact prospects plus other stuff. Ask for the sun, settle for the moon.

Hank: Have you ever listened to the heavy metal band Lord Dying based out of Portland? They are amazing, you should check them out.
Klaw: Yes, wasn’t quite for me, but thanks for the rec.

Gary: Keith, you seem to hear a lot of dog-whistles out there, concerning everything from race relations, to the climate, and every injustice everyone has ever suffered over the course of history. Doesn’t it give you a massive headache fighting everyone’s battles for them?
Klaw: Nope, I’m just fine, thanks. You seem like this is really bothering you, though.

Greg: And, thanks for not sticking to sports. I don’t really pay attention to anything outside the sports realm, so it’s appreciated knowledge and insight.
Klaw: I couldn’t stick to sports if I tried. Baseball is great, but baseball all the time makes Keith a dull boy.

Andrew: Who are you hearing gets the final say in decision processes, Atkins or Shapiro?
Klaw: I’m pretty sure it’s Shapiro and has been since day one.

Phil: Can you write an article or blog post in the future, from the perspective of your work while in the front office, about the conversations you and other staff are having when you receive news about Jeurys Familia’s domestic violence arrest?
Klaw: I don’t think I could go to that length, but here’s something for you. This happened when I was with Toronto. A player got in a fight with his baby’s mother and he threw the stroller at her. (WTF.) She called the cops, and they called us, specifically our director of team security. And while I wasn’t in the conversation from there, I know that in the end, she was persuaded to drop the charges. By whom, I don’t know. How, I don’t know. Were any Blue Jays executives really involved in that, I don’t know. I do remember afterwards that it was clear that the player, who was near the end of the contract, wasn’t going to be welcome to return.

Chris: There are rumors out there that the Dodgers may prefer Chapman over Jansen. They seem so close that it is weird that they may prefer an external candidate with baggage issues over a home grown player with none. Thoughts?
Klaw: Might think he’s going to come cheaper. Maybe they know something about Jansen. Andrew Friedman also has a long history of acquiring players with character issues – in Tampa he acquired Josh Lueke and Matt Bush, they played Elijah Dukes, they drafted Brandon Martin (now in jail for a double murder); and in LA they acquired Chin-Hui Tsao, who is banned for life in his native Taiwan’s pro league.

Zach: Did you see that ATCQ is going to be performing on SNL? Any guess on which songs they perform?
Klaw: I did, and I’m excited but confused. This is Tip and Shaheed, right? Without Phife, is it the Tribe?

Jeremy: As a registered republican who voted for Hillary, what do you think would be easier, cutting out the hateful religious extremist voices from the republican party, or joining the democrats and trying to drag them back to earth (in my opinion) on economic/foreign policy? There are ideas on the right in those two areas that merit serious debate, but are getting lost in all the nonsense/hate/denial of facts.
Klaw: Before the election, I hoped the Republicans would lose and it would encourage the center to disavow the extremist wing. Now I think they’ve decided that wing helps them win elections. You might have better luck on the other side.

Jimmy: How do you view the morals of me paying attention to your chat at work instead of working?
Klaw: Nietzsche said it was OK. I asked.

Petru: You’ve been very outspoken against DV and DUI’s and I thank you for that. If you were GM and a player the caliber of Trout, Machado, Bryant, etc got involved with that and the club wanted to keep them, would you resign if you loved everything else about the job and the opportunity?
Klaw: If my team’s star player beat his wife or child and the team’s owner refused to allow any disciplinary action, I would resign, yes.

Tim (KC): Corey Seager, Kenta Maeda… then Trea Turner, Gray, Story, Oh
Klaw: I can’t say if any of that is correct, but I will say the top of the ballot was easy but there were more names worthy of consideration for the last spot than I anticipated.

Ed: Re: Dry Brining – they recommend 12 to 24 hours, but up to 3 days. I’m thinking overnight would be plenty.
Klaw: So maybe it was 12 then. No way I did 3 days. I wouldn’t have room in the fridge for it.

Klaw: Anyway, that is all for this week and there will be NO CHAT next week. I will be on vacation and mostly if not completely offline. I will return the week after and maybe I will do a Periscope chat while butchering the turkey again. Thank you as always for reading, for humoring me, for asking good questions (even the tough ones), and for continuing to show up for these week after week.

Klawchat 11/4/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

My latest boardgame review for Paste is up, covering Beyond Baker Street, a Hanabi-like game with a Sherlock theme and deduction component.

Klaw: Pretend-to-be chats don’t seem to know they limitation. Klawchat.

Brad: So I get that Maybin was a lousy CF defensively, but he was still the only viable CF option in the Tigers organization. Al Avila saying there will be a competition between Tyler Collins, Anthony Gose and Jacoby Jones is all fluff, right? I can’t see the Maybin trade being made unless Avila is confident he can get an MLB ready CF in a trade for JD Martinez or Ian Kinsler. Thoughts?
Klaw: I don’t think any of those three guys is a CF answer. Jones can’t hit and I don’t think he can play center. Collins can’t play CF. Gose can’t hit. I don’t mind the Maybin trade because that’s now two years of atrocious numbers for him in center, but the replacement isn’t here.

John Liotta: I know you have had a busy year this year, what with writing a book, etc., but have you been able to keep your reading pace from last year when you read 100 books?
Klaw: I finished my 78th book in the car (audio, folks, settle down) today driving down from CT. I guess I’ll end up with 90-odd? I’m working my way through the Pulitzer winners, which will slow me down because some of the remainders are very long.

Marshall MN: Klaw have you already begun work on your Top 100 prospect list or do you give yourself a little bit of an “off season” once the series is done?
Klaw: I can’t get to that till I’m through free agent rankings.

Jesse: Adam Rubin noted yesterday that the Mets are very high on 1B Peter Alonso. I was wondering if you could give some info on him and your general thoughts. I was surprised to hear this as most fans have heard of Dom Smith as the 1b of the future.
Klaw: Alonso’s a nice prospect, outside chance to be a regular, not as good as Smith – they’re the same age, in fact, and Smith already has a solid season in AA behind him.

Jeremy: Are we at the point where the White Sox just need to bite the bullet and do a complete rebuild?
Klaw: I think that would be the right direction, given the farm system’s thinness (although it’s improved a lot in the last year-plus). It’s hard to see them buying enough help to contend even with Sale and Quintana leading the rotation.

Tom: Wednesday night was not just #fyeahbaseball, it was #fyeahsports.
Klaw: I would agree with that. I love how many people are still talking about Game 7. When was the last time we had that? 2001?

JT: What is the biggest move your foresee David Stearns making this winter ?
Klaw: Unless he trades Ryan Braun I doubt there’s a big move coming there.

#FlyTheW: Hoping to pick your scouting brain and compare it to what I see with my untrained eye. Addison Russel seems to take a lot of fastballs for strikes early in the count and then often chases off-speed outside the zone later in the count. Do you think he would benefit for jumping in the first fastball he sees, or do you think he is taking the correct approach?
Klaw: I don’t know that that’s necessarily true about his approach.

Rich O: Do the Yankees make a move for an impact bat (i.e. Cespedes, Encarnacion etc) this offseason?
Klaw: Is that what they really need? They have corner bats who need to play. If they go external it should be for pitching, not 1b/dh/lf types.

Chuck: “In a world full of greed, we’ll never want more…” is not entirely true. Do you see any of the Cubs prospects making a difference in Chicago next year? Johnson, maybe? And how long before Jimenez arrives?
Klaw: Jimenez is at least two years off, I think – late 2018 would be the soonest I’d expect to see him. Clifton is probably 2018. Cease further off. Happ could appear in 2017, though I’m not sure where he would fit. Do you mean Pierce Johnson? He just had an awful year in AAA at 25, and I never liked his arm action, so I don’t see any impact from him.

Max: I’ve been pretty set on voting for Stein for quite some time, but with Killary apologists it’s almost driving me to vote for the lesser of two evils from the big corporate party: Donald Trump. Your endless smear campaigns agaibst 3rd party candidates and white washing of every disgusting thing Clinton has done (you aren’t the only one guilty of this to be fair) probably hasn’t just alienated me I’d bet. I hope you and those following the same path as you know you’re just driving people to vote this way.
Klaw: I’m going to go on a limb and say that someone who refers to Clinton as “Killary” is perhaps not the most rational-minded voter in the electorate.

MJ: Other than the managers and Theo, how many future HOF’s in game 7? Lester? I assume it’s too soon for Rizzo, Bryant and Lindor even though they are the right path.
Klaw: Francona yes, Maddon probably has a ways to go but the ring helps. Lester no. Those three you named are all kids who are off to the right starts but way too far off to call any future HoFers. Zobrist has 40 career fWAR – is he the leader on both rosters?

Dave: Know you don’t watch a ton of TV, but any current favorites? I’m currently addicted to Shameless for what it’s worth.
Klaw: Not really. We watch Brooklyn 99, a little behind on the Good Place, and that’s about it. Got some stuff we want to binge on now that the season’s over but we’ll see if that happens.

jimbonova: Criticism of ownership and sports “journalism:” It seems to be me that certain issues are off-limits to sports media. For instance, mistakes by ownership. I am a Red Sox fan and while this ownership group has brought three World Series trophies to the team, it is apparent that they are responsible for many missteps (e.g., departure of Epstein, Francona, Lester, Hazen, Sawdaye), yet there is little reported about these kinds fo mistakes in the press. I live in the Washington DC area and find this true of local ownership in all four of the major sports. Any thoughts?
Klaw: Media need for access colors all kind of commentary. But I think some ownership missteps have come under fire, like the fiasco in Arizona the last two years. A reader also pointed out how Moorad ran Hoyer and McLeod out of San Diego (and Jaron Madison too), and now those guys helped the Cubs win a ring. Angelos has gotten his share of criticism for protecting certain employees in baseball ops during GM changes. So there could be more criticism, but certainly some come out.

Eric: Call me a cynic, but am I the only one that finds it odd when people comment “We forgive you Bart man!” Shouldn’t it be Bartman doing the forgiving? He had to fear for his life for what is, at the end of the day, some silly sports thing.
Klaw: The fan and media reaction to and ongoing fascination with Bartman is disgusting.

Tye: What’s your favorite ESPN show to watch? (Not including Baseball Tonight or Sportscenter)
Klaw: Outside the Lines is the best show on ESPN.

Eddy: Were Xander’s 21 HR a natural progression for him? Is that his peak? 2016 seemed like a great eyar for him, but can he get better?
Klaw: I think he has 30+ potential.

Rich O: Do you see the Yankees and Tigers as a potential match for a JD Martinez trade?
Klaw: Again, I see no reason for the Yankees to acquire a corner bat, especially not a poor defender like JDM.

Dave: Are you or have you ever been a member of the band Arcade Fire?
Klaw: Let me check and get back to you.

Scott of Lincolnshire: Every World Series winner has clubs that try to copy something that they did unique to win. What do teams try to take from the Cubs championship?
Klaw: Get high draft picks, trade aggressively, and spend a few hundred million on long-term deals?

Mike: Now that the WS is over, will ESPN be publishing your top prospects for the 2017 draft soon ? Is Alex Toral a top 10 pick (despite the fact he’s a HS 1B only) ?
Klaw: Toral is not a top 10 pick or close to it. Last I heard, they’re going to run my free agent and trade-market preview content first, and then the draft rankings. I’m sorry for the delays but the schedule is not my decision.

Anthony: Last year in a chat you said regarding a potential move by the Rangers of Josh Morgan to catcher: “I love the idea. Could be a Russell Martin type back there.” Two follow-ups to that. One: why would Morgan be more valuable as a C than a middle infielder — just that you don’t think he can handle 2b or SS or something else? 2: This off-season there is renewed talk of trying Morgan at C, do you remain optimistic about Morgan, especially if he takes to such a change? Thanks!
Klaw: Morgan isn’t a SS, and replacement level at C is much lower than it is at 2b. I’d be very optimistic if they fully commit to the conversion now.

Pat D: If the Cubs had lost, ____% of the blame would have gone to Maddon, and ____% would have been justified?
Klaw: 100% and maybe 40%. I thought he made two clear mistakes: bringing in Chapman with a man on and having Baez bunt with two strikes. Those were indefensible. I thought pulling Hendricks for Lester was overreactive, but not absolutely a mistake – Hendricks isn’t really a 2 ERA guy and he’d already gone through the order twice (I think). The ump blowing the third strike call was the bigger mistake in that inning, and so was Ross making a late, errant throw to first on a ball he should have held.

Brian: What needs do the Indians have to address in the offseason to become contenders again?
Klaw: Get the rotation fully healthy, get Brantley healthy, determine who the CF will be going forward (can Naquin, who runs well but was awful in CF this year, become at least average?), maybe patch a little around the edges of the roster. I don’t think they’re really lacking anywhere.

Adam: Obviously the Braves are rebuilding the farm with arms, so what do you think of yesterday’s hires of Wallace and Chiti?
Klaw: Mixed feelings. Britton credits Wallace with helping make him a new Mariano Rivera, but the moves of Gausman around the rubber, the overuse of Bundy, monkeying with other deliveries … do I want that same guy around all those young Atlanta pitchers?

DC Deac: You were always pretty negative on Severino as an ace for the Yanks mostly due to mechanics. Did we see that this year or was this meltdown something different?
Klaw: I didn’t think he could hold up or have sufficient command to be a starter. That’s what happened this year. I’d leave him in the pen now, where I think he could be pretty electric.

Hinkie: Cameron Rupp, Andrew Knapp, Jorge Alfaro … what do the Phillies do with these three guys next season?
Klaw: Marry, f… oh wait, wrong game. I’d play Rupp regularly and Knapp as the backup, Alfaro to AAA with some clear thresholds for him (that he understands) before he’s promoted. He has to work the count more, and he has to receive better.

Jesse: Baring any major acquisitions or subtractions and assuming Cespedes doesn’t return, how should mets best align their OF? I think Lagares should be playing everyday but not sure how they will make that work
Klaw: Conforto plays LF every day. Everything else comes after that.

Nelson: People sure like to forget that Bill Murray abused his wife for years
Klaw: His public image doesn’t line up well with stories people close to him tell about his temperament or his behavior. (Murray’s wife of about ten years accused him of abusing her and threatening to kill her; she withdrew the claims after their divorce settlement.)

Chris: Would you give Neil Walker a QO? I think I’d take it if I was him. Not sure of his market outside of NY with that balky back.
Klaw: Yes, and probably yes.

Nils: Hi Keith, does Blake Swihart still have a future as a C? Is he a change of scenery candidate?
Klaw: Yes, and probably yes.

DH: T/F: the best fit for Fowler this offseason is the Cardinals, and they will give him 4/64
Klaw: That’s a good call, actually. I don’t spend much time thinking about best fits, though.

Jeff Chisholm: I remember you recommending “The Fresh Beat Band” a while ago for family viewing. I just watched it with my daughter and can’t understand what you see in it. Can you explain? Maybe it was just a bad episode I saw
Klaw: I assume this is a joke, because I complained for years that it was one of the worst kids’ shows I’d ever seen. I had successfully forgotten about it until just now, so thanks for nothing.

ryan: everyone always says, ‘oh they’ll be back’ especially for whoever loses the WS – but if one of these two teams doesn’t make it back, which one is it more likely to be?
Klaw: Cleveland’s payroll limitations are a serious issue. They will never have the margin for error the Cubs had. It’s amazing that they made it to Game 7 despite losing two of their three best starters.

Ryan: I’m happy the cubs won at least so we can retire the idea that curses and voo doo magic are reasons that transcend team performance
Klaw: Yes, more of this superstition-killing, please.

Nate: Keith, if you were Rick Hahn, would you sell or attempt to buy/build around that core?
Klaw: Per above, I don’t think he could build a strong contender around the current core.

Matthew: If you were in Cleveland’s front office, would you consider shopping Andrew Miller this offseason?
Klaw: I’d take offers, with no clear incentive to trade him unless overwhelmed.

CarlC: I read that excellent Frey article you linked too. This may be a 30 year old argument, but Im guessing male media members would never be allowed in a WNBA locker room, right?
Klaw: I’m almost certain that they are.

JMD: What should the mets do at C? d’arnaud seems like he isn’t durable enough and hasn’t produced when he’s played. Plawecki hasn’t made much impression. Should they go external? Weiters?
Klaw: I’d play Plawecki and tell the manager to stop fucking running down his players to the media (which he did to Plawecki in May).

Nick: If there ends up being an International Draft, do you think the the current J2 rules will apply in terms of eligibility or will rules more akin to the Rule 4 Drafr apply? If the latter, this poses an interesting predicatment for 15/16 year old int’l players.
Klaw: I can’t imagine MLB forcing those kids to wait till age 17/18. It’s not like Dominican kids are finishing high school. I’d really object to any rule of the sort that clearly hurts the kids.

Ryan: Keith, What should I say to people who say pitchers should not be able to win the MVP because “they have their own award”?
Klaw: I say read the MVP rules, genius.

Fear: Are you afraid of what will happen post-election, regardless of who wins? I have this great fear (I think justified) that if Trump loses, some of his supporters will go on violent rampages, believing that the election was rigged and they need to get justice their own way.
Klaw: Yes, I am fearful both ways. I’m generally fearful that Trump’s bogus claims of rigging and voter fraud have eroded some faith in our democracy, period, at least in the portions of the country where he has the most support. And I’m disgusted with the media for covering his claims without anywhere near sufficient skepticism.

Andy: It’s a shame that David Ross’s clubhouse leadership disappeared in 2014 in Boston. Luckily it reappeared in the last couple years when he was surrounded by some really good teammates. Perhaps good clubhouse leadership is really about being a solid backup catcher. Or in the case of last year, his leadership lead to the Cubs trading away Wellington Castillo for basically nothing.
Klaw: Grey hair in the beard helps too. In which case my clubhouse leadership skills have advanced substantially in the last year.

Ron: Any thoughts on your alma mater’s decision to cancel the soccer season?
Klaw: I support Harvard’s decision 100% and I’m proud of them for doing the right thing. Would that Baylor had done the same with football.

Albert: Keith, have you seen the Real Sports piece about balls and strikes being called by a computer and relayed to the umpire? I’d like to see that happen. Your thoughts? Also, if you’re thinking about binge watching a TV show Silicon Valley is genius. I think you’d enjoy it.
Klaw: That piece used raw data that had not been checked and cleaned for reliability (e.g., throwing out bad readings by the system, which unfortunately do occur), and so the results weren’t valid. I agree on moving towards computerized ball/strike calls, as most of you know, but that study didn’t present the right conclusions.

Aaron: You were fairly critical of the Reds’ haul in the Cueto trade. Does their trade of Lamb for just cash give further credence to your initial assessment?
Klaw: Well, he was probably the third of three pieces, so I don’t know that I’d say this changes much. Reed should be a lot better than he showed in 2016 – that has been the big shock to me.

Scrapper: What do you expect next season from Alex Bregman?
Klaw: Makes the All-Star team.

Drew: Knowing that ridiculing someone’s stance only entrenches them further into their position, regardless how illogical it might be, how do you balance the choice of trying to change minds as opposed to saying “Eff it, you deserved be be ostracized”
Klaw: I know this is probably about the election, but i compare it to vaccine deniers. If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, well, fine, but they can’t come to public schools, and we’re not interacting with you in any way. We have to make the cost of denial high enough that more people choose to comply with public health rules.

John: There is some sort of irony to all the criticism of how crooked Hillary is. Due to numerous, often times partisan rather than legitimate, investigations, and the hacks you are as close to absolute transparency as you can get. And what did we find, she does things any typical politician does, some of which are morally questionable, but don’t cross the line to illegality. Whereas Trump is the least transparent candidate ever, is under investigation for criminal fraud, and reporters have raised numerous questions on what appear to be numerous explicit violations of charity law by his personal charity, which has already lead to a cease and desist soliciting donations order from the NY dept. that monitors charities, not to mention the stiffing of numerous vendors for over 30 years. Yet she is the crooked one.
Klaw: I agree with this completely. And I’ve never defended Hillary as particularly moral, ethical, or ‘clean’ compared to other politicians. But she’s not a virulent racist, or misogynist, not dog-whistling white supremacists, not talking about using nuclear weapons, and not proposing tax-code changes to benefit the highest income brackets.

Doug: What’s a good game that a 5 year old, a 7 year old, and a 9 year old can all play?
Klaw: Ticket to Ride. You’ll have to help the 5-year-old a little bit.

Scrapper: A pitcher has ___________ control on balls in play.
Klaw: A little bit of.

Rick: I disagreed whole-heartedly with Maddon’s decision to use Chapman when he did in Game 6. Chapman’s rarely been worked hard as a reliever, and always got plenty of rest in Cincinnati. Pitching 2 games in a row was common, but never for more than 3 outs at a time, and his stamina issues on the rare occasion that he was worked hard, were usually easy to recognize. I think his struggles in Game 7 were totally foreseeable and Maddon is lucky that Cleveland didn’t finish it in the 9th.
Klaw: I disagree a bit with your logic here. I think Chapman’s problems were more related to having the man on base, which is when he throws almost exclusively fastballs, than to fatigue, since in the 9th he looked like his normal self.

Zac: You know, it’s people like Nelson that fuck everything up. Just because someone is accused of something, does not mean they are guilty.
Klaw: And an acquittal doesn’t make them innocent (O.J. Simpson comes to mind). Hillary and Trump have both been accused of a lot of things. It’s up to us as individuals to determine which claims appear to have merit and then which of those actually matter.

Xolo: What’s your take on the Selig Rule? The runners up in Arizona were reportedly Cora and Wakamatsu, who are both POC, while the job went to Lovullo, who’s not.
Klaw: Lovullo has a good resume for that job, so I’m not really concerned about that specific hire, as opposed to, say, Milwaukee hiring Counsell or Minnesota hiring Molitor, who were completely unqualified for the role.

Michael: You criticize Gary Johnson a lot for his stance on the government role’s in slowing down climate change. I’m wondering if you could provide some concrete steps the government actually could take without threatening the economy too much. The federal government’s record in subsidizing green companies has not been good.
Klaw: Subsidizing green companies is less promising than subsidizing certain consumer behaviors, such as working with electric utilities to educate consumers on wasting power at home, raising fuel-economy standards in a meaningful fashion, subsidizing solar panel installations in areas where sunlight is copious (and then forcing states to allow negative metering – vote no on 1 if you live in Florida!), and fighting global deforestation. I agree that some proposals would threaten economic growth, but I’m more concerned about proposals (like higher gas taxes) that would have a regressive effect. If you ask me to pay an extra $1 per gallon of gas next year, it’s not going to affect me much at all: I drive a hybrid, so I don’t use a ton of gas, and I make enough money that this will not dramatically affect my purchasing decisions. But to a household making $25K a year, the same tax would have a huge impact.

Anonymous: Playing time aside, what do you see in the cards for Soler’s future development?
Klaw: If he gets regular playing time next year and stays healthy, I think he takes a big leap forward.

Tyrone: With election day coming, do you think America, and Black America, are better off than it was 8 years ago?
Klaw: Yes. I think there is quite a bit of hard data to support this, including the halving of the unemployment rate and real income growth for about 3/5 of the workforce. We’ve also seen some civil rights advances (gay marriage for one) in the interim. But we could lose all of those gains with a Trump win.

Aaron C.: Making blackened salmon tacos with a tomatillo salsa for dinner tonight. Would appreciate an appropriate beer pairing, klaw.
Klaw: Evolution Lot #9.

Chip: Is Ona an elite prospect? Heard he’s looked good but not amazing in instructs.
Klaw: I don’t think he was ever elite, just a solid prospect who was paid more because he was a Cuban FA.

Jake: Do you think Alex Cora is well on his way to becoming a manager eventually or does he still face some prejudicial barriers?
Klaw: I think he’ll get there. The AZ interview was a good step. Colorado is nuts if they don’t interview him.

Daniel: Why is going through lineup 3-4 times in a game bad and starting 2-3 times against a team in playoffs OK? thanks
Klaw: Fatigue.

John: The male reporters in women’s locker room issue is a myth. The WNBA operates under the exact same rules as the NBA for locker room access, the NCAA basketball tournaments operate under the same rules.
Klaw: Yep. And if a male reporter misbehaved in a women’s locker room, I don’t think he’d be employed for 24 hours beyond that.

Todd: Any predictions about the mechanics of an international draft? Number of rounds? How deep does slotting go before capping a given team’s bonus pool? Other pertinent points to consider?
Klaw: I’m guessing it’ll be short. You just need a few rounds to take care of the elite guys, the $500K and up types, and then you let teams sign anyone they want for $300K and under or so after that.

Pat D: So who is your favorite Homestar Runner character? I say “is” because I refuse to think of it as a thing of the past, and I’m not just going to assume it’s either the two-bit wrestle-man or his yellow dog.
Klaw: Homsar’s almost-sane ramblings were always my favorite. “I was raised by a cup of coffee!”

Ben: I know you raved about Travis Demeritte’s defense. But if he can hit .240 in the big leagues with 25+ homers and elite defense, isn’t that still a pretty valuable player?
Klaw: If he posts a .300 OBP, it is. If he posts a .270 OBP, it isn’t.

Frank W.: I got my daughter into Baseball because I love the sport and never really understood why so many girls seem to be forced into playing Softball. With shows like Pitch and the success of players like Chelsea Baker and the push of women’s baseball by boosters like Justine Siegal and her Baseball For All group, do you think there will be women playing professional baseball in the near future?
Klaw: I think it’s a very long way off. The Sonoma Stompers thing was a nice story, but there’s no evidence to say those women could have held their own even in rookie ball. If I saw a high school girl playing baseball who had the abilities of a male prospect, I’d back her completely, but I don’t think this girl exists yet.

Andy: This election, I’m a one issue voter. Which side does the KKK advocate for and support wholeheartedly? Yeah, I’ll pick the other side, thanks.
Klaw: I’m waiting for the Aryan Nations to weigh in.

Joe: Was it just my imagination, or was the strike zone really bad in the World Series? Hard to believe that guys like Joe West get to call the World Series. Hirschbeck was terrible too–was that just a retirement present for him?
Klaw: Game 7’s was particularly horrendous.

Marshall MN: Do you think the addition of Thad Levine to the Twins front office was a good one?
Klaw: I think this is more of the same. Falvey hired someone a lot like him, and the two of them combined have no field or scouting experience. I would have preferred to see Falvey hire someone more complementary, and to at least consider a minority candidate.

Robert: Personally, I don’t take much issue at all with Hillary’s behavior, when taken in the context of what exactly she does for a living. Reprehensible as some of her conduct may be, in the words of our old friend Omar LIttle, it’s all in the game.
Klaw: I’d put it this way: The system is rigged in one very real sense, in that it highly favors the type of career politicians that it tends to produce as major-party candidates. I also think that is part of the appeal of Trump to the people who are willing to overlook the bigotry, the race-baiting, the genital-grabbing, the promises to defund Planned Parenthood and build a wall and stop any Muslims from entering the country.

JWR: Maybe it’s personal preference but baseball games have gotten too long for my tastes and I would prefer a pitch. clock that forces pitchers to use 3-5 seconds less per pitch. And I’d ban Pedro Baez from pitching. Where do you stand on pitch clocks?
Klaw: Pitch clocks make the game move faster and also force pitchers to take less time to recover between pitches. They’re a mixed bag.

Matt: I’d wager to say depending on a dying industry (coal) is far more damaging to the economy than a shift towards green energy.
Klaw: Or petroleum. It’s not clean, and the supply can only decrease.

Drew: Piggybacking off of your spot-on point about Molitor and Counsell, Is there any recent managerial hire more egregious than Matt Williams? Giving that dude reign of the 2014 Nats was about as wise as giving your 16-year old keys to a Porsche.
Klaw: Yep. And when they won that first year he was there, suddenly he was praised as a brilliant manager, when in fact he was the idiot farmer’s son whose shovel happened to strike oil.

STEVE: Should Trout win the MVP?
Klaw: Yes, but I doubt he will.

Marshall MN: The thing about the fervent libertarians and Gary Johnson supporters that I find ironic is that the political free market has spoken and those libertarians ideas just aren’t popular. Obviously that doesn’t preclude them from continuing to make their case, but if libertarian ideas were the solution that they all seem to think they are, then someone from that party would have won an election at some point.
Klaw: I think most people who self-identify as ‘libertarian’ haven’t read either the party’s platform or what true libertarianism entails. The idea that the government should provide very few if any public services would come as a real shock to people who depend on things like interstate highways or a standing army for their life and livelihoods.

Bob: After watching the WS, my wife decided that Kris Bryant is dreamy. Should I be worried?
Klaw: He is dreamy. Have you seen those blue eyes?

JimmyB: Keith. Thanks for everything you do. I, like you, am a huge Parks & Rec fan. However, one question has been bothering me considerably – if Ron is such an ardent Libertarian, why would he ever accept a job in local government? On my third watch through of the series, and I can’t get over this issue…
Klaw: He answers that question in one episode.

Jeffrey: What’s your opinion on divulging the toxicology report for Fernandez?
Klaw: I don’t think they had a choice, did they? But I think we all knew this was a likely outcome. Also, I saw one of those “Recommended for You” ads today using his face and saying “Jose Fernandez’s net worth blew us away.” To whoever designed that ad and placed it, go fuck yourselves and I hope you rot in hell.

Jason: I’m not surprised by the fact that many “fans” disagree with some of your opinions, but I’m often surprised by their vitriol. How do you deal with the stream of vitriol, even if it is coming from a relatively small percent of readers?
Klaw: I block and mute a lot. I even got threats on Wednesday night from Cubs fans mad I said I didn’t want to see Chapman again. A lot of cowards find courage when they’re behind a screen.

Thomas Willard: Do you think Kopech has a #1 ceiling? Possibly called up late next year?
Klaw: Absolutely #1 ceiling, almost no chance he’s called up next year.

Lance: The problem with Washington is that it produces people like Evan Bayh. He was once highly regarded, but was really just looking for a way to stuff his pockets. The partisan nature of politics means no Dems call him out. Just as Republicans wouldn’t. Fortunately, it looks like he may lose.
Klaw: Yes, and to be clear, I don’t think this kind of venal behavior is limited to any particular party or ideology. Our system of government and the laws around gifts, donations, and lobbying make corruption pretty easy.

JJ: Are there teams out there that just flat out won’t consider Chapman because of the domestic abuse? Or does that have a short shelf-life in the MLB?
Klaw: Yes, there are such teams, and good for them, but I think if any executive said so he might face trouble from the union.

Rob: With Schwarber, Zobrist, Heyward, Soler, Almora and Fowler (maybe); what would you do with the Cubs’ outfield?
Klaw: I don’t know if you can pencil in Schwarber for 150 starts in left field, but I’d probably figure him in left, Heyward in center, Soler in right, Zobrist filling in at second and in both corners. Leaves Almora on the outside, which is a shame as I think he’s someone’s every day CF.

Andrew: So everyone was claiming we entered a new age of bullpen usage this postseason….then everyone ran out of gas. Are we going to see any meaningful change in the future in how these arms are used in the regular season? Seems to me that if you can train MIller to be that type of pitcher all year, you can.
Klaw: If teams want to use relievers like that in the regular season, then those teams will have to get used to those relievers appearing in 45 games, not 60. More pitches per appearance should mean more days of rest. Otherwise I don’t think it works.

Winston: Do you think draft picks will be trade-able in the next CBA?
Klaw: No, but I hold out hope I’m wrong.

Joeybats32: Still surprised Giants gave up Phil Bickford for a mere bullpen arm and Lucious Fox in the Moore/Duffy trade. Was this the “cost of doing business” or did the Giants quickly learn that neither is as good as they thought? If the latter, what does that say about the Giants scouting department . . . ?
Klaw: Bickford was never good enough to be drafted that high, and then he got worse in pro ball.

JG: Were you encouraged by Buxton’s better late season stats?
Klaw: Encouraged, yes, but aware that it’s a small sample in September and far from conclusive.

CK: Do you ever recall a player who suddenly lost it to the extent Jason Heyward did this year? I honestly felt sorry for him, to the extent you can for a guy who makes that much money playing baseball and who was in the process of winning a World Series (the way he handled it seemed pretty admirable, I must say). What are the chances he never gets back close to what he was?
Klaw: Mike Lowell. He recovered.

Jesse B: Is Rhys Hoskins the Phillies longterm answer at 1B?
Klaw: I think he is.

Todd: Your next chat, who’s the President Elect?
Klaw: I sincerely hope it’s Hillary Clinton. I believe Trump would be a disaster for our economy, for civil rights, for our foreign relations, for trade, for global peace, and for women’s rights. Whether you like Hillary is beside the point; we will get one of these two people as our next President, and her policies are far superior to Trump’s, in detail, in realism, and in potential effect. If Trump wins, we will see our rights erode, employment and income decline, and global instability increase. That is not the America – or the world – I want for myself or for my child. I hope you will join me in voting for Hillary on Tuesday, and sending a clear message to the Republican Party that we reject everything that Trump and his followers stand for.

Klaw: That’s all for this week’s chat – I’ll be back next Thursday. Thank you as always for all of your questions and for reading.

Klawchat, 10/27/16.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: It’s a Klawchat party. Leave your body and soul at the door.

Jimmy: Any qualms about pitch counts, innings, short rest in WS? Or is it basically anything goes since it’s only one series
Klaw: I think it’s mostly anything goes. You’re going to pull a starter for fatigue/loss of effectiveness long before you get to the point where you think he’s likely to be injured. The short rest concern is that pitchers pitch worse on short rest, so you have to think a short-rest Kluber is better than whatever plan B would be for game 4. (That may be true because their plan B options are bad.)

Steve: Mike Montgomery has been an important piece of the Cubs BP, but sometimes struggles with command. Is that struggle going to limit him to the pen moving forward? Stuff looks so nasty at times that I can see the temptation to move him back to a starters role.
Klaw: Reliever only for me. Lack of FB command has always been a big issue as has any consistency with the breaking ball when he started.

Jimmy: Why did they cancel your podcast with Karabell yet they have fantasy football podcasts like all day every day?
Klaw: Football sells better than baseball.

Anonymous: Keith, what is your take on Kyle Schwarber these last two games? I can’t think of a comparable situation.
Klaw: Looks great. I think I said last year in chat he might have a 70 hit tool.

Jeremy: Would you play Schwarber in the field while there is no DH? Is the reward of winning the WS (and the first in over 100 years, at that) worth the injury risk to a young, very promising player? Thanks as always for the chat, one of the highlights of my workday (don’t tell my boss!)
Klaw: I would not. Less concerned about injury (that was a fluke) than about the defensive hit you’ll take having him or Carlos Santana out there.

Mitch: How does Bo Bichette compare to his brother as a hitter?
Klaw: Not even close. Bo’s a way better hitter, way better athlete, with better instincts. I thought Bo had first-round potential this past year, whereas I didn’t have Dante Jr on my top 100 in his draft year.

Cory: Thoughts on Yadier Alvarez of the dodgers organization? Could he and De Leon be a good starting point for a Dozier trade?
Klaw: Alvarez has huge upside because it’s plus-plus stuff with limited pitching experience, but the experience he has has been positive. I’m sure the Twins would listen on that, although De Leon is kind of more of what they already have in the system.

Mitch: Re: The International draft. Is MLB basically just sticking its head in the sand as to all the reasons it’s a crappy idea?
Klaw: It’s worlds better than the present system, where teams sign players over a year before their eligibility date and then hide them from other clubs. Even a three-round draft to get the million-dollar guys signed would probably clean up the worst of the offenses down there, and then lesser players could sign after the draft up to some predetermined number ($400-500K) that compensates them fairly without the shenanigans.

J: Off the track of the WS… do you think Toles can be an everyday OF for the Dodgers next year? And/or do you think he will?
Klaw: I do not. Never been a big believer in the bat.

Tom: Tomlin’s curve enough to neutralize Cubbies seeking fastballs?
Klaw: Tomlin’s curve isn’t very good. His change is his best pitch. But I think this is a bad matchup for him – the Cubs kill soft stuff.

ASB: What do you think about Trump saying: environmental activists need to get a life? That we should trust Wall Street to regulate itself? That a politician needs a public position to tell people what they want to hear but their private position is really what matters? That a single-payer healthcare system is a bad idea and will never happen? Just kidding, those are all things Hillary Clinton said that came to light from Wikileaks. Now, tell me why I shouldn’t vote for Jill Stein again?
Klaw: Well, Stein opposes nuclear power (safe and clean) and GM foods (safe and probably necessary to feed the planet), openly pandered to vaccine deniers and 9/11 truthers, and can’t explain how she’d actually make her ‘plan’ about canceling student debt work. (There’s merit in that idea, but she has shown absolutely no indication she understands how to do it, nor has she cited the role the borrowers play in making college more expensive.) Also, Stein can’t and won’t win; she’s not even going to get to the 5% for federal funding for the party in 2020, so it’s truly a wasted vote. FTR, Clinton’s support of fracking is a real frustration for me, but there’s a flip side to it – if you want to end fracking, then you are going to see big spikes in fuel prices, including gas, which tends to be highly regressive.

Scott: Klaw, just found your site (sorry….lame I know)! After my Sox collapse, can we just assume Price’s contract will be the worst (yes, even worse than A-Rod’s) contract in history?
Klaw: Klaw about 2 hours ago

Jim: What is your take on the Twins hiring Thad Levine?
Klaw: More of the same – another white male prep-school educated guy without experience in the baseball side or the analytics side of the business. I also was surprised that Falvey didn’t find someone with a different background from his own to try to complement his resume and fill in missing skills.

Biff: Stick to baseball. And board games. And food, I like food. And politics I like when u do politics. And anything else u feel that u can offer an informed opinion on. But only those topics! Otherwise I’ll threaten to stop reading, but I won’t really, cuz I like your stuff and I just want you only write for me and if I don’t like it, you’re gonna need to apologize.
Klaw: I’m sorry, I think.

Todd: Kris Bryant went in the 18th round out of high school. Cases like his fascinate me, because he was clearly a prospect at that point, but there seemed to be an industry understanding that he was going to college. Was this simply the message he sent to teams, or was there clear development he needed to be a legitimate prospect? Most importantly, do you think he would’ve turned into the player he is if he’d signed with Toronto and skipped college? Or was there something he got from college that he may not have by going directly to pro ball?
Klaw: He wanted about a million dollars. I would have given it to him – I ranked him as a first rounder that year – but that said, I think college was a good experience for him and he grew as a player and a person.

Tom: Thoughts on Smoltz as an analyst? IMO a nice change of pace from typical color guys.
Klaw: I think some of his insights are outstanding and he makes the game better. Still drawn to too many cliches.

Tom: On Gary Johnson, at one point I had hope for him but I agree with you that most of what I have seen from him is not good. But the two party system has produce one despicable and one not ideal candidate this year and I can see it continuing to get worse as this country gets more divided. I live in PA which Hillary is going to win anyway so would a vote for Johnson to help the Libertarians get to 5% and federal funding so that maybe in 4 years or 12 or 20 a viable third party contender may emerge be such a bad thing? The rest of the ballot I’m confident in voting for the correct candidates.
Klaw: There is certainly merit in saying you want to get a third party to the 5% mark. I’m just not at all sure it should be that party – and I say that as someone with a lot of libertarian leanings. My real hope is that the GOP loses badly enough in two weeks that it leads to a change in the party leadership. They’re still running on a platform with social views that are decades behind the populace.

TJ: hi Keith! Thanks for these chats! Regarding gleybar Torres, 280/340/440 is that too optimistic for his prime? Can he be better then that?
Klaw: Better. I see a superstar.

Albert: Hi Keith. There’s a lot of talk about pitchers not being as effective the 3rd or 4th time through the lineup.
Klaw: Fatigue is a huge factor in this effect. Also hitters will tell you that seeing a guy three times in one night is a lot different than seeing him three times over three starts.

Jacob: How did Kaprilians stuff suddenly get better? Wasn’t he injured all year? This is really sss for his improved stuff isn’t it?
Klaw: His stuff was like this in March and April, then his elbow barked but he never needed surgery – he just rested and rehabbed. Came back this month and the stuff was still there.

Kier: Seems like most people have Daniel Norris pegged as a #3. That accurate to you? Or could he be better than that?
Klaw: It’s #1 potential. Too good an athlete to just call him a mid-rotation or league-average type starter.

John: Why won’t Daniels trade Profar
Klaw: Probably doesn’t want to sell low on him.

Jean Luc: At this point, is Senzel the obvious hitter you’d want from this last draft?
Klaw: No, Rutherford is.

joshkvt: Agree with your response last week that an all-reliever staff logistically wouldn’t work. But would it make sense for a team to replace the 5th and/or 4th spot with a few long relievers who might be better in terms of quality? Obviously that would require a shift away from the 3-pitchers-an-inning nonsense on days when the regular SP throw, but that would not be a bad thing. 3SP, 1 LH specialist if needed, 6 RP capable of throwing 2-3 innings, and 1 back-end spot-starter type for when needed. Better quality and an extra bench spot so you don’t have to use a pitcher to run?
Klaw: Every team should carry one or two long relievers anyway. Maybe you use them to fake the fifth spot the 20-25 times it comes up each year, or bring guys up for spot starts.

Todd: Chance Adams in your top 100?
Klaw: No. I won’t work on that list at all till after Thanksgiving, but I can say now he won’t be on it.

Doc: You spoke highly of Travis Demeritte’s glove — thoughts on his bat?
Klaw: Same as it was, really: huge bat speed, plus raw power, too much swing and miss. Maybe he should talk to Javy Baez.

Tom: Just read that players voted Altuve #1 and Trout #6 in a Sporting News Player of the Year poll. I guess players judge other players by their teammates as well. Although Altuve’s team didn’t make the playoffs either.
Klaw: The players’ selections for the All-Star Games have been the worst picks every year. There’s no reason to believe they know better than we do; they’re busy being the best in the world at playing, not poring over Fangraphs.

Nic: Does Gavin Cecchini have the bat and glove to be an everyday SS? Would it behoove the Mets to try him at 2B?
Klaw: He can’t play short. His throwing issues are bad enough that I’m worried about him at second.

Travis: Any bats (aside from Kendall and Adell) who look like they could be top 10 picks in the draft next year?
Klaw: Royce Lewis too. That list should go up next week.

BD: How on earth did a guy like Sandy Leon all of a sudden hit like an allstar for a full season??
Klaw: He didn’t. He hit like an all-star for two months. Then in September he went back to being a cipher. And his season was only 283 PA.

Mike P.: Keith, do you ever listen to sports talk radio, if for no other reason than to hear the bizarre stuff callers want to talk about?
Klaw: Never. I only listen to XM in the car – music or BBC world service, pretty much.

Mike: Why build more nuclear power plants when we have this thing called the sun that sends all the solar power we ever need? Not to mention there’s this thing we have called wind? Nuclear power has a place but it’s outdated thinking. It’s pretty easy to throw solar panels on my roof – how many years (not to mention billions and billions of dollars) does it take to get a nuclear power plant built?
Klaw: Solar panels aren’t very efficient, mining the rare metals used in them is not that environmentally friendly, and they actually create a lot of local heat. They’re part of a solution, but the technology needs to improve before they become more of a solution.

Casey: What has caused the mass exodus of so much of Boston’s FO — Hazen, Sawdaye, Tippett, etc.? Is it wrong to see this as a step in the wrong direction?
Klaw: Better opportunities elsewhere, certainly – a successful FO will have guys picked off by other orgs.

Jill: Who is your least favorite coworker?
Klaw: Janice in Accounting.

Frank: SF never seems to have decent outfield prospects, but with Quinn, Reynolds, and Duggar, is it ok to be really excited? How would you rank those?
Klaw: Reynolds is a guy, potential above-average regular. Other two aren’t really more than up-and-down types.

J.P.: So, Manfred says he’s going to look into the Chief Wahoo logo after the WS. Will anything actually be accomplished?
Klaw: Sounds like he’s actually taking the issue seriously. I’m optimistic. The name is bad, but the logo is much worse. And if they kill the logo, perhaps there will be less opposition to rebranding the team?

addoeh: Everyone questions if these are our two best candidates and they aren’t. For reasons I’ll never understand, the Republicans went for the guy who shouts the loudest, but had a couple of good candidates in Graham and Kasich. The best Democrat was probably Kaine, who didn’t run. So we do have good candidates, but they either lost or didn’t run.
Klaw: Biden would have been a hell of a candidate; the sense around here is that he would have tried if he hadn’t just lost his son. But I don’t think this system is really set up to produce the best candidates. We’ll get an Obama or a Reagan sneaking through every now and then, but those will be exceptions.

Jace: So you’re saying the Cubs should have gotten Melancon and kept Torres? I feel like we’ll regret this one in a few years.
Klaw: If they win three more games in the next week you won’t regret it at all.

Candy Maldonado: Thanks for the retweet the other day.
Klaw: You’re welcome!

JJ: Rich Hill seems to be the consensus “best starter available” for free agents. What kind of contract do you see him getting?
Klaw: He will be the top starting pitcher on my free agent rankings, which will appear whenever they’re eligible to sign with other teams. It’s a weak crop, and the starter crop is weaker than anything.

Lee: Although I’m always in favor of more transparency from our elected leaders, I’m not sure it’s fair to judge Clinton based on stolen private emails from her friends and staff members. I’d suggest there would be major issues with any politician if we had access to all their email and all their staffs email.
Klaw: I agree. The discussion of the ethics of these emails would be a good one, if anyone seemed interested in having it. If leaked documents point to evidence of a crime, or a conspiracy to commit or cover one up, then we should probably use them. If leaked documents just show us someone isn’t as nice a person as we’d like to think, should they still be fair game?

Drew: Is David Price’s post-season record anything other than a string of bad luck?
Klaw: That’s what I think it is.

Jimmy: ever eaten somebody food and pretended you liked it because you were a guest at their house or somewhere?
Klaw: Yes, that is the worst. This one time I was over a friend’s house to eat. The macaroni was soggy, the peas were mush, and the chicken tasted like wood.

Craig: I know you were critical of the Brewers for foisting Counsell on Stearns. After nearly two full years at the helm, Counsell doesn’t seem overwhelmed tactically and has done a good job with the young players. Is he a good manager?
Klaw: Has he done a good job with the young players? I don’t think I’d buy that.

Blueberry Johnson: Hi Keith, social anxiety / escitalopram user here… Just curious, how much did you experiment with your dosage? On 10 mg and while it’s helped, I’m not sure it’s quite the life changer that you’ve seemed to experience.
Klaw: I’ve been on 20 mg/day the whole time, although I think in practice I end up taking it 6 days a week rather than 7 because sometimes I forget. I have wondered if I’d be better off at 10, given the side effects, but I’m nervous about losing the benefits.

Harrisburg Hal: You spoke last week about playing board games with your daughter. My oldest daughter absolutely hates to lose games to the point where it’s not much fun playing with her. Last year we bought Forbidden Island (and later Pandemic) because they were cooperative. The last time we played, she got upset when her sister was the one who “achieved the victory” for the group. I’m kind of at a loss. She’s always asking to play games, but I have a tough time getting excited to go through this every time we play and frequently come up with an excuse not to play. She never was interested in sports, and I feel that competing in team sports might have helped with this trait. I’ve been coaching kids’ sports for more than 10 years now and I tell other parents all the time that the thing I enjoy most about team sports are the soft lessons that can be learned – commitment, sportsmanship, supporting teammates, etc.
Klaw: I’d keep playing with her and essentially getting her used to the idea that 1) she will lose sometimes and 2) it doesn’t matter. She shouldn’t be holding on to the loss like that when there is no consequence or nothing lasting from it. My daughter went through that when she was a bit younger, and we’ve coaxed her out of it, mostly just by playing so many games, but also pointing out that you should be satisfied with knowing you played well. I was a terrible loser as a kid, so trying to raise someone who can be happy just playing the game was always important to me.

JJ: The Red Sox still got the better end of the Eduardo Rodriguez – Andrew Miller trade, right?
Klaw: Yes. Did you see Rodriguez at the end of the year? I still think he’s going to be a star.

Moltar: With his current results, should Andrew Miller consider starting again? Or is a multi-inning, high leverage reliever more valuable than a less-than-ace starter?
Klaw: He can’t do it. Doesn’t have the command for it.

Sam: I think the genius of Michael Schur is that he creates shows with diverse actors/actresses and characters, but doesn’t pigeonhole them into stereotypes. He just lets them be funny people. I hope more are following this example going forward.
Klaw: I don’t think anyone out there does sitcoms like he and his team do them. They build ensembles like the classic sitcoms had, but as you said, they break with the custom of having each character in a narrow, well-defined niche. I feel like if anyone were to make Barney Miller today, it would be Fremulon.

Mike: Is it a sure thing Hellickson and Boras refuse the Phillies’ QO?
Klaw: No, but I’d take him for a year at $17 million. 3 WAR starter who was healthy all year is probably worth about that much, and a one-year commitment is basically riskless.

Garrett: Hot Takes aside… why are so many people already writing off the rest of Heyward’s contract? Yes he clearly has some mechanical flaws that might also be affecting his approach (never seen him swing at so many low and in breaking stuff)… But he’s also just turned 27 and should be able to get fixed. Lets not act like this is Dan Uggla losing his power and utility at the same time.
Klaw: I’m with you. I think it’s part mechanical, part mental, unless he’s hiding an injury we don’t know about. Definitely wouldn’t give up on him, and I don’t think they could dump the contract anyway.

Hinkie: Odubel Hererra for James Paxton … who says no ?
Klaw: Mariners say no to that.

Peter: Regarding the earlier Counsell question. He kept Domingo Santana on the bench so Kirk Nieuwenhuis could play. That’s not doing a good job with the young players.
Klaw: Jimmy Nelson went backwards. Arcia wasn’t good, although perhaps he shouldn’t have been up after a lackluster performance in AAA. I am not saying Counsell was bad with the young players, but the argument was that he was good with them and I don’t see the evidence.

Sam: Is Lincecum done? Can he even be a reliever at this point?
Klaw: I think he’s done.

Jerry Skurnik: Either Smoltz or Buck on Tuesday said teams couldn’t use relievers in regular season like Francona has in post season because of 162 game schedule. Isn’t this a red herring. Those who think Francona can & should be emulated in regular season are supporting his flexibilty not the specific actions he’s taken. Not having a specific pitcher for 7th, 8th & 9th inning but using most effective pitcher at the most important time rather would work in July as well as October
Klaw: Right. And it would look different in July. You’re not rolling Kenley Jansen out there for 46 pitches on July 18th, but you might use him to get 5 outs in a tie game on that date.

Rick: Keith, my daughter is 7 and I’m worried about her showing interest in guys too young. Have you worried about that? At what age would you tell child what sex is?
Klaw: We just told our daughter about a month ago because it was clear that she was at least hearing hints about it at school. The conversation ended with her sitting under the table going “ew, ew, ew.”

Marques: On the politics, there’s a lot of false equivalency in this chat. I’m black, one if the candidates owned an apartment complex and wouldn’t rent to black people. Unless the other candidate assassinated Dr. King, there’s pretty much no comparison.
Klaw: So many outlets have named Trump the worst major-party candidate in history that I feel like I can repeat that without further evidence. His loathsomeness is why Clinton is going to win.

Bill: Could the Tigers draw a couple of high-end position prospects from, say, the Yankees or Dodgers if they offered Verlander this offseason? (These teams could afford his rather weighty contract.)
Klaw: Probably. Dodgers seem more interested in contending now. I don’t know if the Yankees are going to turn around and flip prospects right away to add pitching.

Ron: Do you think the increase in hard throwing relievers, along with their potential change in usage, may actually be harmful to the game. While the strategy is completely logical (and great that managers are being more flexible), it seems like the game can be out of reach if you fall behind after 6 innings (certainly some recency bias in this question though)
Klaw: I think it also threatens to make games longer, which isn’t really good for the sport either.

Jimmy: Looking back on the Justin Upton trade with Braves-Dbacks. The return for Uptom doesn’t seem so bad does it? I forget what the Mariners package was but did they get screwed as bad as thought at the time?
Klaw: The Dbacks didn’t get market value. That was the concern at the time – Towers seemed to decide he wanted Upton gone, period, and took an offer that seemed very light.

Jace: When Rodriguez got traded to Boston for Miller, he had an ERA of almost 5.00 in AA ball. What made people think he’d be a stud and how two years later did the Yankees get so much more for Miller?
Klaw: Rodriguez was very young for AA and his stuff was plus – I had ranked him high and seen him three times before that, always talking about the big upside.

Jeff: The world series broadcast mentioned clevenger and the guys that got traded in the Arrieta trade and they mentioned how the Orioles got fleeced. Did you feel bad for those prospects or who was running th orioles at the time?
Klaw: The Orioles’ problems with Arrieta are their own fault, including Buck and then-coach Rick Adair.

Ryan: Most of us agree Trump bad, but what will happen to him and the political operatives (all these crazy people on TV, Guiliani and others) who helped him? Will they be exiled to Elba?!?
Klaw: Oh, some of them will find long-term employment as “commentators” at Fox News, don’t you think? Or perhaps Trump TV?

Marshall MN: If you worked for the Dodgers at this point would you be advocating a 3 man rotation Kershaw-Maeda-Urias with the other two “rotation” spots taken up by RPs who pitch a few innings each? It seems like a way to reduce 3rd time through the rotation problems, not completely overwork relievers and ensure your best pitchers still get more IP’s.
Klaw: I would consider that for one spot, but not two.

Grace: Hey keith! big fan, have the day off work and am finally able to ask question 🙂 What would be the return for goldschmidt? What would it cost the Astros to get him?
Klaw: I don’t know if AZ ownership would entertain this but it’s the best way to restart the franchise. I think you’d ask for a 4-5 player return, two elite prospects at the top, one or two lesser prospects, maybe then someone like an AJ Reed who’d be superfluous to Houston at that point and whose value has taken a hit in the last twelve months.

addoeh: Going to do a Periscope chat while spatchocking your turkey this year?
Klaw: Maybe, seemed like folks got a big kick out of that last year.

Steve: I don’t love taxes, but until the GOP stops rejecting science and reason (evolution, global warming, etc.), there will be only one option to vote for at the national level. I wish there were two legitimate options to choose from but there aren’t and I fear won’t be for awhile. And a third party is not a realistic option in a first past the post voting system like we use (Duverger’s Law).
Klaw: That’s how I feel about economic policies as a whole; I don’t agree with the left on many of those, but anti-science positions are a dealbreaker for me, and so is the bigotry entrenched in the GOP platform (e.g., support for ‘gay conversion therapy’).

Mike: People complain about September baseball being watered down because of expanded rosters. I’ve always wondered why baseball doesn’t just flip the schedule – expand the roster through the end of April and leave September at 25 man rosters. Prospects can get a longer look earlier in the year. Players can ease in better and reduce wear and tear earlier in the year when it’s colder. I assume the biggest issue is the minor league schedules. What are the other hindrances to this plan?
Klaw: I feel like I remember baseball doing that one year … 1995? Teams could carry an extra player for a week or two, and the world didn’t collapse. I’d be open to that.

David: Any advice for a lifelong Padres fan that can’t get on board with Preller and the ownership group after the medical info scandal? Even if Mike Dee (now once again chillin’ on the beach down at Club Med) was more culpable than Preller, I just can’t support an organization that would do something like this.
Klaw: I can understand that, and no one is going to fully trust Preller for a while now. He has to over-disclose info for the foreseeable future.

Adam: Is true outcome data most important for determining a pitching prospects future success?
Klaw: It’s more telling than straight ERA or the like. A pitcher has to be able to miss bats, limit walks, and limit homers to be successful in the majors (I’ve always said at least two of the three is a requirement). If he doesn’t do that in the minors, then you need a real argument that he’ll be able to do so in the majors.

Bob: Hi, Keith. Much of a hitter being “hot” or “cold” can probably be attributed to SSS. However, in a short series like the WS, do you pay attention to that or (barring injury) just go with the players who were the best for the entire year?
Klaw: I would not, because even in (or especially in) small samples there’s no predictive value.

Ricardo: I remember a fan got kicked out of reds stadium last year for yelling obscenities onto field last year at players with children in the stands. Eno Sarris said it was fine because kids will hear curse words in their life. Whats your stance?
Klaw: It’s a private facility and the authorities have the right to kick anyone out; you don’t have the right to go to the stadium and swear at the players. Which raises the question of why Cleveland let that asshole fan in headdress and redface into the park last night? I want some Native American activist to put on blackface and dress up like Sambo and try to get into Progressive Field. I have a feeling he wouldn’t get past security.

Bret: Do you see a change in sight to the 30-something Ivy-league white guy GM trend?
Klaw: I don’t, not until MLB makes structural changes and forces teams to interview more candidates outside of that narrow box.

Henry: Would you be in favor of moving the all-star game after the season to 1) better evaluate player seasonal performance and 2) to give players a proper break midway through the season? Obviously, they’d have to clean up the dumb home-field W.S. advantage thing.
Klaw: No, nobody would watch or care about the ASG in November.

Ethan: Making hamburgers tonight; any suggestions for what do put in the beef?
Klaw: Salt and pepper. That’s it.

Bob: Do you think a daily Multivitamin is worthwhile?
Klaw: All available evidence says it’s not.

Marshall MN: Klaw what stock do you put in the performance of these various winter leagues? How would you rank them as far as quality of play?
Klaw: I don’t pay attention to them at all. Wildly inconsistent levels of competition.

Roland of Gilead: Thoughts on the Dark Tower series?
Klaw: I had to google this to see what it was.

Gerry: Hypothetically…what could the Rockies get for Arenado if they cant get him signed LT?
Klaw: Similar to what I said for Arizona – this is how you kickstart a rebuild. Maybe even more so, because the Rockies have to develop their own pitching, since the odds of free agents choosing them (and of the Rockies outbidding anyone) are so low.

Dave: I know Trump and his sexual assault remarks way crossed the line. But how much do people in your industry talk about sex and woman ?
Klaw: I have never heard that kind of talk anywhere. I’ve heard comments on the appearances of women, but that’s it.

Mike: What will happen to competitive balance lottery draft picks in the new CBA?
Klaw: I don’t know for sure, but I can say with 100% confidence that the Rays will get screwed by it.

Adam: Mallex Smith — a GUY or just a guy?
Klaw: Just a guy with speed.

James: Interesting thing to me on Miller – He has been included in trades in which the teams that traded him have received Miggy, Rodriguez, Frazier and Sheffield.
Klaw: I wonder who has the highest total WAR of players for whom he’s been traded (or included in trades for).

Ben: Thoughts on Cespedes’ plans to opt out?
Klaw: He’d be crazy not to opt out.

Todd: When is Eloy ready to be the man in Chicago and what happens to their OF when he is?
Klaw: I think you see him in September 2018 or early in 2019. Who knows what their OF looks like by then? People who try to forecast that stuff out several years are always too optimistic about the players on the depth chart.

Joe: Do that many people really watch or care about the ASG now? Seems kind of like an antiquated concept now that I can see any player any time on MLB.TV.
Klaw: Still does OK on national TV, good showcase night for the sport. HR Derby does well too. I’d be very much in favor of the Futures Game moving to the evening for a higher audience.

Kevin: As a parent of very young children it scares me a little that there are so many industries like baseball, that become much easier to break into with an Ivy or similar background (Big Law, Finance, Consulting, Journalism. This creates the high stress environment over college admissions. What to do?
Klaw: Depends on what your children want to do for their careers, but I still think studying something you love in college and doing well is the best path to a better job or to a better graduate school – and if your chosen career path requires or rewards a graduate degree, then that is the school that matters the most.

Rick: What was thoughts on Zobrist in minors? just a guy?
Klaw: Yes, just a guy, even after the trade to Tampa Bay, until he totally reworked his swing late in 2008/before 2009.

Jeff: Daughter too young for coffee? Whats right age? soda?
Klaw: Mine is 10, no interest in coffee anything, will drink soda but isn’t a fan. We haven’t explicitly banned caffeine but have just not encouraged her to drink anything with it. (She’s home sick today after throwing up at 5 am.)

Ross: Anything you see in Jen-Ho Tseng for him not to be a starter in the majors at any point in his career?
Klaw: Flat fastball, nothing really plus in his arsenal.

MM: I love how you sometimes present Reagan as a politician you respect…as if you wouldn’t have been calling him a bigot/Hitler/etc on Twitter if Twitter had been around in the 80’s.
Klaw: I think your mistake is taking the person I am in 2016 and transplanting that to 1985 without considering 1) my views have evolved over the years and 2) so have those of society as a whole. You need to adjust your social positions somewhat for the era in which they took place. Would I really have realized at the time how bad Reagan’s policies on AIDS were? And how much slack should we give him given societal attitudes on homosexuality and the medical community’s relative lateness in taking the disease seriously?

Oren: Do you think Eric Thames’ KBO dominance would translate to decent MLB performance?
Klaw: No. He wasn’t good here even in the high minors.

Jake: Trout for Benintendi, Devers, Moncada, and Swihart……who says no?
Klaw: The Angels aren’t trading Trout. Moreno doesn’t want to, ergo, they say no to every offer.

Jeremy: Should Os give Wieters a QO or let him go?
Klaw: No QO. Let him go. Can’t hold Sisco back any more.

Rick: Has the anthem stuff gotten out of control for you like it has me? Gone too far now imo especially now that a black girl tried sing at the sixers game while wearing a “We matter” shirt
Klaw: The anthem stuff is out of control in the sense that there’s no good reason to play the national anthem at a sporting event. This isn’t a fucking pep rally for America.

Hugo Z: How about the ASG a few days before the start of the season?
Klaw: I think the players would oppose that, saying they may not be totally ready by that point. Maybe not. I kind of like that idea as the new Opening Night.

Jeff: Do you think there is an optimal fastball percentage? Are pitchers relying too much on it?
Klaw: I don’t think there is. It’ll vary by pitcher, depending on his velocity, movement, command, spin rate, arm angle, release point, and secondary offerings.

Bob: James Shields announced that he is not opting out.
Klaw: I’m shocked, shocked to hear this. However, I am opting out of the remainder of this chat to test the market. Thank you all for your questions. I may be chatting on a different day next week so watch Twitter and Facebook for an announcement. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Klawchat, 10/20/16.

My latest boardgame review for Paste covers the pretty but boring Islebound.

You can also preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: I like your poetry, but I hate your poems. Klawchat.

Mike: Did Greg Bird have a shot to stick at catcher prior to his earlier injuries, or was he always destined for DH/1B?
Klaw: No shot. I think the Yanks moved him to 1B right away, and he’s never even gotten to average there.

Joe C.: How far away are we from teams having only pitchers who pitch 2-3 innings each?
Klaw: I think the twice through the order starter is a real thing that’s likely to become much more common in the next year or two. That will mean a lot of starters who go 4 innings and are taken out even if they’ve pitched well, which further fucks with the win stat and will cause a lot of “but he was dealing!” comments that ignore the penalties of going through the order several times and of pitching while fatigued.

Tom: Why do you always lose site of the big picture by focusing 99% of your energy on the presidential election? How exactly are the Democrats going to retake the House and hold the Senate with a terrible president like Clinton? I’m assuming Dems have 50+ seats this time. Obama won in 2008 with House and Senate but lost House in 2010 and Senate in 2014. If I want the Republicans out then why wouldn’t I hope Trump wins and turns out to be a disaster, thus losing the House in 2018 and leads to an easy Elizabeth Warren victory in 2020?
Klaw: Because I think the consequences of a Trump presidency – including, but not limited to, who he’d put on the Supreme Court and in charge of agencies that are supposed to set environmental policy – are worse than you realize. Plus I’d hate for President Warren to try to move into the White House in January, 2021, only to discover that Trump has taken out second and third mortgages on it.

addoeh: I’m going to a Saturday Night Live themed Halloween party. My character will be Gene the Anal Retentive Chef. What would your character/costume choice be?
Klaw: Phil Hartman’s Sinatra from The Sinatra Group. UNCLE FESTER!

A Bad Yogi: I’m slow on the uptake sometimes. I read your Joe Black/Matt Moore tweet yesterday and didn’t get it. I was trying to figure out if Death Incarnate is better than a guy and worse than A GUY or better than A GUY. About an hour later, in the middle of yoga, I started laughing because I finally got it.
Klaw: Sometimes I rhyme slow.

Jon: You’ve just been appointed as the blue Jays GM today, congrats!!! Now what do you do this offseason?
Klaw: Impossible. I’ve never worked for Cleveland.

David: Have you seen anything in Heyward’s swing that has made him completely impotent this year and do you think it is fixable in the offseason?
Klaw: The swing is as problematic as it was in 2013 and thereabouts. But now he seems to be mentally lost. He’s cutting through average fastballs in the zone, which he didn’t do even in his down years with Atlanta before the trade and mild resurgence in 2015. I’d like to see him start his hands lower and a little back, but that’s not going to solve it if he no longer sees the ball well or thinks he can pitch up an offspeed pitch.

Casey: What are your thoughts on Carson Kelly…is he the catcher of the future for the Cardinals or is destined to be a career back-up?
Klaw: I think he’s their catcher of the future. I’m higher on him than most scouts I’ve asked; I see a tremendous athlete with ++ makeup, a plus arm, good contact skills, and sneaky power. He may be just fair in his early 20s and turn into Lucroy after several years in the majors, since Kelly wasn’t a catcher until his age 19 season.

Matt: Coppy might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Why do people think Folty for McCann is reasonable? Folty’s value should be fairly high, I’d think…..
Klaw: Ridiculous. NY media/fan wishing there.

Junipero Serra: I’m a depressed Padre fan. When can I start having hope for a contending team?
Klaw: System is absolutely loaded. It’ll just take 3-4 years to get there.

Erich: Did you notice anything that could explain Harper’s lack of power this year? Do you expect more seasons that look like 2015 or 2016 for him in the future?
Klaw: Guy’s shoulder was clearly killing him. He’ll be fine once that’s healed up.

Elton: Francona’s bullpen usage this postseason should be required study for every postseason manager, right? Even if you don’t have an Andrew Miller I believe you need to be more aggressive with your best relievers than most managers are in the postseason.
Klaw: Yes, the approach of getting fresh, high-strikeout arms in there earlier, seizing platoon advantages in leveraged situations even in the 5th inning, is the optimal one given the talent distribution in pitching right now.

Mike Q: Do you think, at this point, Trump is even trying to win the election? In the last two debates he seemed to be signaling to extreme right conspiracy theorists as much as looking like a viable President. As a left-leaning person who thinks we need honest debate on serious issues to remain a healthy political system, the last two months has been terrifying, whatever you think of the candidates.
Klaw: I agree that he’s pivoted to “I’m going to lose, so let’s burn it all down” talk, but your second point is the bigger one for me. I have voted Republican, Democrat, and independent in my life, for local and national offices, but this time around I feel like I had zero choice. I wouldn’t even vote Republican for a minor office, because the party supported Trump, and continues to do so, rather than presenting us with one of the very credible choices they had in their primary process. (I saw Lindsey Graham’s comments about how Trump’s claims that the election is ‘rigged’ are wrong and harmful, and shed a tear for his stillborn campaign.) I’d rather see a real race between two qualified candidates where the one I’m voting for doesn’t win than this travesty.

John: Where are you on A.J. Cole? He seems a candidate for a multi-inning RP with some upside to me more than an SP at this point. Thanks.
Klaw: I could see success there or in the rotation for him. Perhaps the relief role makes sense because they have too many starters?

Elton: Regarding the intentional walk in NLCS game 1 which brought up Chapman’s spot in the order: do you feel like that was a worthwhile risk to force him out of the game?
Klaw: No. I would never push the winning run from second to third base like that.

Bruce: What do you expect from Willson Contreras as a hitter in the future? He looks like he has the tools to be a strong defensive catcher with more experience. Do you see him as a future plus defender at catcher?
Klaw: His framing history isn’t very good, but I don’t think he has bad hands, and he’s got everything else you could ask for – athleticism, quick twitch actions, arm strength, power, an idea at the plate.

Bruce: Jean Segura had a remarkable turn around at the plate this year, his power numbers in particular. Was this season at the plate an anomaly or do you expect him to continue to be strong at the plate?
Klaw: BABIP is clearly not sustainable but I’d buy him as an average regular the next few years given the swing tweaks and the full year of strong performance even outside of the BABIP.

Nate: Keith, if I am Rick Hahn, am I way off base for asking for Benintendi, Devers, Swihart, and Eduardo Rodriguez for Sale?
Klaw: Not off base at all. Just don’t expect them to say ‘yes.’

Adam: Of the Padres J2 players you’ve witnessed, who has been the most impressive. Who has the highest ceiling?
Klaw: I haven’t seen any yet and won’t until at least the spring. Most of them have little to no real game experience yet.

Adam: In Hunter Renfroe’s big league call up, his defense seemed… Fine? What is his value for sped and defense and will it be enough to keep him in a lineup if he doesn’t make a lot of contact?
Klaw: Less concerned about contact than probable sub-.300 OBPs.

Lee D, LA: KLaw — Debating with Dodger fans about pitching Jensen in the 9th in Game Three, after Dodgers expanded lead to 6 – 0. While last night’s blow out made it moot, your thoughts?
Klaw: Would have pulled him. He’s been worked hard this month; if your remaining relievers can’t get three outs without giving up six runs, you’ve got bigger problems.

Adam: Fernando Tatis Jr seems to be getting solid reviews since being traded to the Padres. Is he a sleeper prospect for the 2017 season?
Klaw: Yes. Potential star. I was told he’d be a first-rounder if he were in this upcoming draft, for one opinion.

Todd: If Yanks had the choice of either Torres or Jimenez in the Chapman deal, did they make the correct one?
Klaw: I’ll put it this way: Neither was an incorrect choice. I like Torres a little more because he can play up the middle.

Todd: So far you’ve been correct on Luis Severino and Steven Matz. Severino hasnt shown he ca effectively start and Matz is never healthy. What do you feel is Severinos eventual role?
Klaw: If Betances takes over the 9th inning for the Yankees, I’d put Severino in Betances’ old role. I never, ever disliked Severino’s stuff. It was all about the delivery for me.

David: So what is the point of replay if they still get the call wrong?
Klaw: The point is they get more calls right this way. They will never get all calls right. That’s like saying “we’re going to end world hunger!” Yeah, let me know when that happens. In the meantime, I’ll see about getting one family fed.

Elton: I trust Joe Maddon a lot but I am perplexed that Heyward is starting so much against lefties. Do you think his strong defense makes starting him worthwhile? I guess the lineup alternatives (Coghlan, Ross, Montero, Almora, Soler) don’t make it a no-brainer to sit Heyward but a platoon with Soler sounds very reasonable to me.
Klaw: I had this thought last night – it would have been a good night to use Soler, IMO.

Ted: Who has the higher ceiling of Julio Urias or Anderson Espinoza? thanks for doing these chats
Klaw: Urias. But it’s close.

Jeff: Mike Matuella is throwing again. Is he someone to watch heading into 2017, or a total wildcard at this point?
Klaw: Both, right? Great stuff when healthy. Never healthy.

Dale: I think you are one of the few starting the year that thought Frankin Barreto could make it as a major league short stop. Do you still think that?
Klaw: The AFL is a tough look at young players because they’re often tired by that point. Bearing that in mind, he looked bad on defense.

Tom: I agreed with everything in your article on Tebow especially the parts about the Mets/MLB counting cash. It is an embarrassment and he clearly did not belong on the field. But do you see a little of the point of the other side that it may have gone a little past Tebow’s baseball skills and was somewhat personal? At first read to me it did seem a little harsh on Tebow the person. Which I am not even saying you shouldn’t have done but I can at least see some people’s arguments of that being over the top. Especially the “washed-up Quarterback” line. Not the lunatics trying to bring Religion into it of course. That was just insane.
Klaw: None of it was personal. That’s exactly what he is: a failed NFL quarterback, never any good there, who’s now trying to fail in another sport. I’ve said this before: if Jake Locker called up the Angels (who still have his rights, I believe) tomorrow and asked to come try to make a club in March, they would say yes in a heartbeat because Locker could actually play baseball. He was a first-round talent in HS, and would have been one in college if he’d played just that one spring before the draft. (He played one summer and was great despite two years away from the game.) Tebow never had any of that. This is a joke, for him, for the Mets, and for the league.

Al: On Dillon Tate, one of the NY papers published an article saying he was a good guy, but with a somewhat limited future since he was “too stubborn.” Have you heard anything like that and what does that even mean? Thanks.
Klaw: Oh they can fuck right off with that dog-whistling garbage. And for the record, Tate looked good in Arizona – the velocity was back, the slider was back, and while the fastball remains too straight I think the Yankees did well.

Jack: I think you envisioned Sean Manaea topping out as #3?starter. Now the season have you heard any scouting updates that might up your ceiling.
Klaw: Nope, that’s what I think he is.

Brian (DC): How is Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature any different from a poet winning the award? That has happened many times before and his output is prodigious.
Klaw: I am not a big fan of poets winning the award either. Also, do poets have the kind of mediocre output that we see from even great rock lyricists like Dylan? I mean, “Lay Lady Lay” is one of my favorite Dylan songs, but as lyrics go, it’s practically Dr. Seuss.

Barry: My guess is that next years St Lucie rotation will include Marcos Molina, Thomas Szapucki and Justin Dunn. How would you rank them in terms of upside? Gotta beone of the most exciting possible rotations in the lower minors, right?
Klaw: Dunn, Szapucki, (gap), Molina. Szapucki’s the most advanced, but Dunn has bigger upside.

David: UPDATE – I asked my HR manager what would happen if I ever called a female employee a “nasty woman.” He said without hesitation, “I’d fire you.”
Klaw: Of course he would.

James: Keith, huge fan! Is it just me or do you not post about food very much anymore? Don’t think you posted once about where you ate while back in AZ… No food blog either from your trip? Was really hoping you would hit up Bianco’s new place Tratto! Also what are your thoughts on the trovulla guy I’ve heard rumored as a managerial candidate for AZ because of Hazen?
Klaw: I reviewed Tratto in May.

Peter: Are you a Christian?
Klaw: Ma’am I aaaaaam tonight.

Bill: The solution you bring for baseball’s FO diversity problem does in fact seem to be the long view that is needed (hiring more diversity candidates for lower level jobs who can move their way into prominent positions). However, I don’t really see how it can be fixed at the current momemt even if baseball wants to. At the end of the day there arent enough diversity candidates in the pipeline or in top spots and it’s not like teams are egregiously hiring incompetent losers instead of good ones. If guys like Hazen are indeed the right hires, and there arent many diversity candidates in the wings, is there anything baseball can do other than take the appropriate long view?
Klaw: The Falvey hiring really broke the dam in terms of people talking to me about the issue, because while Derek is very sharp and highly regarded by Cleveland folks, his resume was quite scant for a jump all the way to the President of Baseball Ops position, and I could point to many candidates of color with stronger resumes than he had. The sense that others in the industry have that Korn Ferry pushed him on the Twins – again, to be clear, I have heard nothing bad about Derek here, and feel bad that he’s even at the center of this mini-controversy – drove folks to say to me, in essence, that the deck is stacked against minority candidates. Cleveland’s pro scouting director, Paul Gillispie, is African-American. Why have we seen all of these Cleveland guys’ names in candidate mixes, but not his?

Drew: Rumors that a trade involving Z. Cozart would have landed Luis Gohara ? Seems like a good trade for the Reds. What can you tell us about Gohara ?
Klaw: Would have done that in a heartbeat – I wrote Gohara up in Saturday’s post – but the sense I got in July was that it was discussed but never close to completion.

Bob: Jose Peraza playing a lot of SS for Reds at end of year. You’ve mentioned only way you see him as average regular is a move to SS. What reports do you have regarding his defense ? Also, do you see him being able to maintain his OBP around .340? Thanks
Klaw: Was an average to slightly above-average defender prior to the two-year layoff. I think that’s an optimistic OBP forecast because he has no power and his speed isn’t as helpful in adding hits since he’s a RHB. If I were coming up with a plan of attack against him, I’d pound him with velocity inside and let him ground out to third base. But he could get stronger, and if he’s more like a 60 defender at short the bar is very low for him to become an average regular.

JP: Do you think there’s any chance Andrew Miller could return to starting?
Klaw: I think zero. He never could command that slider enough to start.

Marshall MN: KLaw I know you are just counting down the minutes to your first Tebow question, but this isn’t one. In regard to Gonsalves, do you think that his height presents the opportunity any more projectability in regard to fastball velocity? As a Twins fan I just keep hoping one of our young pitchers ends up becoming a #1 level pitcher, but it sounds like he won’t be one.
Klaw: Height helps but isn’t the sole determining factor of projectability, which is a nebulous, subjective concept anyway. You need the right physical frame too, and he doesn’t really have it. He’s slender like a Conner Greene, but Greene is already up to 98 and I think he’s the same age.

Chris: How do you evaluate guys with big first half/second half splits? I’m specifically thinking of Ian Desmond and how his second half will affect his free agency.
Klaw: Depends. I’d rather look at a whole year than half-year splits, but in Desmond’s case, he was heading down offensively in 2014, awful in 2015, and then pretty bad in the second half of 2016. It’s enough to at least make me wonder if the first half of 2016 is the outlier.

Gerry: IF the Rockies can’t get Arenado signed this offseason, any chance he can be dealt, much like Donaldson was 2 years ago?
Klaw: I think that’d be the best way to rebuild the team, but I understand it would be a dagger to the fans’ hearts too.

Marshall MN: KLaw what is your personal opinion on the cause of the “3rd time through the roster” phenomenon? Is it pitcher fatigue (my personal belief), batters getting a better “feel” for the pitcher, something else?
Klaw: I think it’s both. Fatigue matters, for sure. Hitters at least believe that the more pitches they see from a guy, the better they can pick the ball up. I don’t see how you can mitigate either factor, though, so I haven’t worried about the cause so much as the remedy.

James: Election Question – for those in Utah, do you believe it is a wasted vote if the vote is for McMullin? He has a good chance to win the state.
Klaw: I don’t think so. One, I think it actually might send the message you want it to send. Two, as a map geek, I love seeing the third color appear on the electoral map.

Sean: What are your thoughts on the international draft? I get that the current signing situation is terrible, but will this fix anything or just exacerbate the problem?
Klaw: A draft will fix the problems in the current situation. The current situation was created by MLB, though, so I suppose the conspiracy theorist would say MLB made up this godawful system so that four years later they could say, “See! What a shitshow! Let’s put in a draft instead.” And it worked!

Tom: Every April you get questions from readers overreacting to hot starts/SSS (Chris Shelton is for real, yo!!). However, I think it’s worse in the postseason (at least it has been so far this year). CLE goes up 3-0 (Toronto’s toast!). Tor wins game 4 – look at the pitching matchups – CLE could be in series trouble!! Cubs win game one 8-3 – Cubs gonna steamroll!! Cubs get shut out next two games (against great pitchers) Cubs bats are dead – they are in trouble!! Cubs win game 4, score ten runs – bats are back!! Dodgers in trouble!! Pretty funny to see all the hot takes and overreactions.
Klaw: It’s why I don’t like to write about postseason series as they’re going on. No one wants to hear the underreaction take.

Adam D.: If you are Bobby Evans and Brian Sabean, do you let Mac Williamson play himself out of the left field job and focus on adding bullpen pieces this winter. Or should finding a left fielder be a priority for the Giants?
Klaw: I think they need a little better. I like Williamson but don’t think he’ll hit enough to be an average everyday LF. Very good role player.

Jeremy T.: So I mentioned Greg Maddux on Twitter yesterday when referencing Merritt’s performance and I wasn’t trying to jump the gun with comparison to a HOFer. To follow-up, though 1) What is Merritt’s upside in the MLB and 2) Was it just me or did the CLE bullpen attack TOR’s hitters differently after Merritt exited? Appeared to use fastballs much more than they did in previous games.
Klaw: No worries, I didn’t think you were doing that, and I’m sorry if I dumped a bunch of stuff into your feed. It was more a comment on how Maddux is remembered for the end of his career (when he really would be 82-85) than for the bulk of his career (when he’d sit 88-90 and touch 94). I think Merritt is a 6th starter type, and I thought using him once through the order and then going batter by batter was smart. I did not notice that change, if any, in how Cleveland’s relievers pitched, though.

James: Is it possible legally for MiLB players to form their own union? If so why haven’t they? It would seem to benefit them greatly over the representation or lack thereof they receive from the current players union.
Klaw: I think it’s possible but difficult given how many players there are and how many of those are essentially replaceable. You get guys on short-season and even a few A-ball rosters who’ll play a year and a half and get released for someone just like them right out of college.

Patrick: Keith, you have mentioned in past Klawchats–love ’em all!–that most front offices have access to more data than the common fan. Are they all using the same software, or do most have their own proprietary systems?
Klaw: MLB Statcast is available to all teams in an enormous stream of data. They then build their own software to handle it.

Jack: Do you mind sticking to baseball talk? The politics etc. turns off a lot of people.
Klaw: The door is on your left. This is my site and I’ll talk about whatever the hell I want to.

jeff: Why is this website named meadowparty? What’s the significance?
Klaw: Don’t blame me. I voted for Bill and Opus.

Paul: I think the Red Sox have done a disservice to Swihart (and his trade value) by trying to convert him to outfield. If you’re the GM, how are you sorting out Leone, Vasquez and Swihart going into next season?
Klaw: I do too and I think Swihart is their best option for the long term behind the plate. Leon was a fluke, and Vasquez doesn’t have Swihart’s offensive upside. Let Blake catch every day, even if he has to learn some on the job, because he really should develop into a star.

Biff: 2017 brewers have a ___% chance to make the playoffs. Yeah they are young, but sooooo much talent is starting to pan out.
Klaw: I mean, have you looked at the division? 1%?

Bruce: Do you own a smoker at home?
Klaw: No. I smoke meats on my Weber kettle grill using fire bricks to create two zones. It’s a little extra work but then I don’t need two devices.

Patrick: Do you think James Kaprielian will make your preseason top 100?
Klaw: He was on the top 100 this past February, and his stuff is better today than it was coming out of last season.

David: Can Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell and Chad Green be reliable and good starters?
Klaw: Cessa I wouldn’t rule out but I’m no on the other two.

Mike: With the success that we’ve seen from relievers both during the season and especially this postseason, could an all reliever pitching staff ever work for an entire season, or am I an idiot for even thinking that this could potentially be feasible?
Klaw: I just don’t think teams have enough roster spots to pull this off.

Brian: Do you know anything about Joe Jimenez from the Mudhens. I haven’t heard anything about him but the Sports stations around Metro Detroit are raving? Simple homerism or is there something substantial there? Thanks KLAW!
Klaw: Throws hard with poor command.

Zach: Encouraged by you blurb on Nick Gordon, is there anything you can expand on regarding what looked good to you? Any chance we’ll see him in MN in 2018?
Klaw: That’s probably the absolute earliest, but I’d bet 2019. He’s a good player who just really knows the game – his instincts everywhere are readily apparent. I don’t think he will ever be flashy like Dee, but he’s a better all-around player for me.

Mike: Is Lindor the best shortstop in the American League the next 15 years?
Klaw: That’s not outrageous, but Correa and Bogaerts are stars too and I don’t think I’d pick just one of them to beat the others. Plus Gleyber will show up in the next 15 years and did you really say 15 years?

Matt: Any Intel on Chris Getz’ accomplishments with KC or potential? Hoping this isn’t typical White Sox former player bs move.
Klaw: I know nothing about him, which isn’t to say he’s done nothing, just that no one has mentioned him or his work to me.

Michael Fozard: Keith, what would you put the % of Edwin re-signing in Toronto? If low, are you on board with the Red Sox being his most likely destination?
Klaw: I can’t imagine they choose to re-sign him or Bautista given their ages and likely costs on a market that is light on bats (and arms, and everything else). No idea where he might head – that’s not something I ever look into.

Jeannine: At the peak of Hamels’ season (August), you mentioned his low ERA but high WHIP could be sustainable to the extent pitching with runners on base is a skill (as opposed to luck). Why would pitching with runners on be a skill but hitting with runners be luck?
Klaw: Because with runners on, a pitcher changes his delivery.

Greg: Any early returns on Maitan in instructs?
Klaw: I heard he looked great. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a guy looking terrible in instructs. It’s glorified practice.

MetsFan: How soon will Dom Smith and Amed Rosario make their ML debut?
Klaw: I bet both appear at some point in 2017, but neither becomes a full-time player until 2018.

Brian (DC): What issue do you think the president has the most impact on (e.g. foreign policy, economy)? It seems like we talk about the issues, and rightly so, but never about the power of the president to impact these issues.
Klaw: Foreign policy for sure. SCOTUS picks, not a policy or issue per se but maybe the most impactful thing a President can do. And also the choices of department heads. If you agree with me, that climate change is a major economic and existential issue for our country (and planet), then having a President who first of all accepts the reality of climate change and views it as a policy priority is critical. I think Graham was the only GOP candidate who thought this way, although IIRC Kasich accepts climate change but doesn’t view it as a policy priority. (I hope that’s right. Kasich would have been a fascinating candidate had he won the nomination.)

Larry: Seeing the Baez breakout reminded me, as a Braves fan, of Cubs writers reporting that a Baez for Shelby Miller deal was close this offseason. Should I be happy that deal didn’t happen and the Braves got the Arizona package instead?
Klaw: The deal was never close. I don’t think it ever existed at all.

Doug: Hey Keith, I know you play lots of board games with your daughter. I can’t wait to play board games when my little girl (6 months old) is older. My question to you is, how often do you let your daughter win?
Klaw: She’s ten now, and we never let her win, but we don’t play cutthroat. I try to play near her level, and then sometimes she wins, and sometimes she loses, and once in a while one of us (my wife or I) wins in a rout. She needs to learn how to lose, and how to take a loss and learn from it to play better the next time. We’ve seen her do that more in the last year than she ever had before. Some is cognitive development, of course, but I think all the games we play help her understand, too, that sometimes you’ll make a mistake and you just get over it.

Seth: If Cubs didn’t have Russell, is Baez capable of being an everyday ss?
Klaw: Yes. I always thought he could play the position. I questioned the contact rate.

JJ: Will you be moving to Massachusetts to support your ex-colleague Curt Schilling in his 2018 Senate run?
Klaw: Oh, I support his decision to run.

Adam: Does Newcomb, Acuna and Anderson get a conversation started for Sale?
Klaw: No. I think they could get much more. And would be better off just keeping him.

Frank: The Cubs have so much young talent on the roster which works now when they are cheap. In a few years these guys are all going to get paid and it would seem even the Cubs will not be able to afford all of them. How would you rank the order of your comfort level of paying them long term? Thanks
Klaw: They won’t? I think the Cubs could afford them all but may just choose not to. They’ll also have some internal replacements coming – Eloy and Happ are both strong prospects and will force their way into the lineup at some point.

JR: Don’t the Mets have a reputation for having a pretty smart front office? There’s no way they would’ve signed Tebow unless the Wilpons told them to for marketing/$$ purposes right?
Klaw: One rumor is that Jeff Wilpon loved Tebow and wanted him in the organization. And they are getting paid in that whole jersey deal where MLB exempted them from the regular merchandise revenue-sharing rules.

Par: If the GOP would have nominated a “standard” nominee (say Mitt Romney) would you have been more likely to vote that way?
Klaw: I would have had a real decision to make. I voted for Romney in 1996 (Senate) and Governor (2002) but not in 2012, when he seemed to walk back a lot of his policy positions from when he was in Massachusetts.

Jonah: Eric Longenhagen was saying on Fangraphs Audio that Riley Pint was flashing extremely impressive, advanced stuff (hitting 100+) when he saw him a few weeks ago — so much so that he says he now has him at the top of this past draft’s prospect list. (Eric didn’t actually say that. – KL) How often do you see a guy show something in the first few months after the draft that really shifts your perspective on him?
Klaw: Pint hit 100 for me in April too, so I don’t think his stuff has changed at all. It is rare but not impossible for what you described to happen; sometimes guys get healthy post-draft and look better (Quantrill), sometimes they get into pro ball and make some small change that clicks. I try to stay aware of these things without getting too wrapped up in short term blips in performance.

JJ: Six weeks of Benintendi was enough to make me fall in love. Can he be good enough defensively in CF to make JBJ trade bait? I feel like I just watched Bradley’s peak season.
Klaw: He’s a stud and you’re not off base with any of this.

Chris: Did you happen to hear all of the new Opeth cd? If so, what did you think?
Klaw: I did. I liked it, like I liked their last album, but I also found that after a full listen not much of it stayed with me, which was also true of their last album.

Patrick: Keith, if a front office puts a player in the AFL, do they try to discourage them from also playing in the WBC? Too limited an off season for them?
Klaw: I haven’t heard of this but it’s a good question.

Joe: I read 1984 (George Orwell) a little while back… Personally I felt it was a great book. Have you ever read it? If so, your thoughts?
Klaw: Yes, great book, grows more horrifying as I get older and see technology changing to catch up to the book (even as the world as a whole is becoming more free).

Nate: Other than Collins, do the White Sox have a top 100 guy?
Klaw: Hansen’s a candidate. Of course if they trade Sale or Quintana they’ll get a few more.

Doug: Have you heard anything about the reasons for Mike Dee’a termination? I hear in the local media that sources are saying he did something very bad but no one will go on record.
Klaw: I heard prior to his firing that ownership held him responsible for some of the medical information sharing scandal. Also, I’m mad that I didn’t think to tweet, “Mike Dee! With your bad self no longer running things!”

alex: If the O’s traded Britton, given the control, and the Chapman/Miller/Kimbrel trades– what would be a fair return?
Klaw: Kimbrel and Miller each returned two legit top 100 prospects plus Stuff. I’d start there.

Joe: Did you have any reports on Baltimore prospects from Arizona?
Klaw: They didn’t send much. Tanner Scott was 96-99 with a flat 89-91 mph slider and 40 control, 30 command. Marin looked awful. Stewart is still too heavy, reminds me of Brett Wallace with less hit tool.

alex: Are Os draftees Sedlock, Dietz and Akin all starters– or do you think Dietz and Akin are bullpen guys?
Klaw: Sedlock’s a starter. Dietz and Akin more TBD for me.

Michael: Safe to say Swanson is #1 in your top 100 come January with him still having rookie eligibility for next year?? I know SSS, but he certainly handled himself well like you said and looks like a stud going forward
Klaw: No, that is not safe to say.

Amelon: Hi KLaw, my wife and I are going up to NYC for the weekend in early December (from Philly). I’d like to take her to a really nice restaurant as it is also her birthday. Do you have any recent NYC recommendations? I checked your archive but didn’t find much that was timely and not pizza (not her fav).
Klaw: Narcissa is probably my favorite in NYC right now. The Untitled at the Whitney is also pretty great.

Ben: Jordon Adell – potential guy, GUY, or superstar?
Klaw: Tools guy. Potential star.

Chris: Do you think Berrios will ever be a #1 stud? Or just be a middle of the road starter?
Klaw: Never thought he’d be an ace. Mid-rotation guy, sure.

Jim: Tebow may not be a future big leaguer, but isn’t it more important that he saved a man’s life?
Klaw: I know you’re (probably) joking, but two people cited that story to me as if it were true and I had to explain 1) that’s not what happened and 2) “faith healing” is woo.

Elton: Which drought-stricken team are you pulling for if it ends up being Cubs vs Indians?
Klaw: I couldn’t root against either but would love the matchup where someone’s drought ends.

Ryan: Every October we get caught in the ‘narrative’ that ‘Team X’ is “changing the game” with their roster/decisions. Have any of these champions over the last decade actually forced real, tangible change?
Klaw: Royals did, I think, causing more teams to look for high-contact hitters in the draft and in trades.

David: Klaw, what do you foresee in the next five years for Kepler and Benintendi? Thanks
Klaw: Kepler above-average regular. Benintendi star.

David: You busting out #AndYouKnowIt did not go unnoticed.
Klaw: Thought I was subtle but I really was blatant.

JR: I’ve never understood the “stick to baseball” argument you get? Do the individuals that tell you this only stick to one topic in the various people they interact with in person and social media? It makes no sense to me. Please keep sticking to whatever the fuck you feel like discussing.
Klaw: Thank you. I will. And I don’t get it either. Especially here – this is my site. The only baseball content here is in these chats; all my other baseball content belongs on ESPN.com. Here be nonsense.

Elton: If you’re like me you’ve watched a lot of Pixar and Studio Ghibli movies with your kid. Do you have a preference?
Klaw: Pixar just does better stories. But Ghibli’s stuff has a sweetness to it that we love.

Jimbo: Does Bofa have a chance to make your next top 100?
Klaw: He’ll be right after DN.

Jason (Milwaukee): Is Brett Phillips going to hit enough to be in the majors every day? Low BA this year in AA
Klaw: I think he’s a low BA guy with acceptable OBP, some power, outstanding defense and baserunning value.

Brandon: The electoral college takes away the “meaning” of every vote matters. I live in a southern state that will always vote republican, so how does my vote matter when Trump will get the full state votes no matter what?
Klaw: Then why vote? No state has ever been decided by one vote. I vote because I want to, and because I want the totals for my candidate to be as high as possible, because those numbers matter too – such as which candidates choose to run again, or which races the state and national parties might target in two, four, or six years.

John: Keith, do you have any concerns over the strikeout rate for Aaron Judge? We’ve seen him take some adjustment periods to each new level he’s reached, but the big leagues are a different animal. Will these pitchers eat him alive or do you seem him becoming a capable hitter with monster power?
Klaw: Yes, I’ve voiced those concerns many times. But I have also seen him make a lot of adjustments from low-A up to triple-A and believe he will continue to do so.

Matt in Portland: You mentioned to me on twitter that the data showing the Cubs shift fewer than other teams was flawed. Why is that? Minor positioning movements that don’t count as a “shift”?
Klaw: Correct. People who use that data, claiming the Cubs don’t shift, are either looking at the wrong data (binary “shift or no shift”) or are misinterpreting it.

Dave: I live in a state that FiveThirtyEight.com says has over a 95% chance of going to Trump. Do I have your permission to vote third-party and help one of them hit the 5% mark?
Klaw: You don’t need my permission, but your question about the 5% mark is relevant too because that triggers some federal funding, right?

Craig: Jacon Nottingham had a rough season in AA this year. From what you have seen in AZ, is he due for a bounce back year?
Klaw: Going only on AFL, no. He looked awful.

Corey: Going back for a second to smoking meats in your Weber, you create two zones on either side and leave the middle open for cooking on indirect heat or is it configured in some other way ? Do you have the meat directly over heat at any point ?
Klaw: No, wood on one side, meat over a drip pan on the other, holes aligned so air comes in the bottom on to the wood and exits above the meat.

Stanley: Last chat you alluded to hating your career track after college; any advice for someone who feels the same, trying to find something they love to do and monetize it?
Klaw: Well, not to be too obvious, but figure out what you love to do first, and then see if there is a way to monetize it. That part isn’t so easy. Lots of fun things are hard to do for a career.

Gregory: Connor Joe playing in the AFL; what’d you see?
Klaw: Can hit a little, not enough for a guy with no clear position.

Franklin: My daughter is two years old, and I am thinking about getting get vaccinated for a number of things. I am pro-vaccine and was vaccinated as a child, but my wife is anti-vaccine, so we are at odds on this issue. In this split debate, we have come to let our daughter decide whether she wants them or not. We have each given her our opinion; however, I am concerned that the needles will scare her into choosing no, much to my dismay. Do you have any suggestion as to how to handle this?
Klaw: Really? She’s two. She can’t decide. You’re the responsible adult here, and you need to get her vaccinated. This was a dealbreaker for me – my wife is pro-vaccine also, but perhaps not as, um, fervent as I am, and I think it’s fair to say that we would have gotten a divorce if she had refused to vaccinate our daughter at any point. You’re screwing with your daughter’s health here.

Nate: Does Shohei Otani get posted and what position would he play in the MLB?
Klaw: He’s a pitcher, period.

DTH: Oh Ghibli questions, excellent. What are your top 3? Mononoke has always been my favorite and I understand I’m in the minority, but I’m a sucker for a good fantasy epic and San is so so cool
Klaw: Totoro is a big sentimental favorite for us. Spirited Away is probably the best film start to finish though.

Steve: For the “why vote if my state is solidly Republican” guy, President isn’t the only thing on the ballot. You’re voting for congressmen, state legislators, mayors, county commissioners, referenda, state constitution amendments, etc. Many if not most of these things will have a greater impact on your day-to-day life than voting for US President. It drives me crazy how some people see the presidential race as the be-all and end-all of electoral politics.
Klaw: It’s possible that those other races are kind of determined too. I doubt much is up for grabs here in the People’s Republic of Delaware.

Tom 2: If you stuck to baseball how would I know about all the great restaurants that I’ve sampled over the years based on your recs? (Also, why do people take it upon themselves to speak for me?)
Klaw: Books, music, movies, boardgames. I’ll be damned if I stick to anything.

Donald Trump: I’m not sure I’m prepared to accept the results of this chat. I shall let you know when it’s over.
Klaw: Oh it’s over all right. You’ll have to accept it. I’ll be back next week.