2013 Trade Value: #50 – #46

Honorable Mentions

We begin with the last five spots on the list. These guys are all excellent players, but they come with some concerns either about their contract, health, or future performance. Teams would love to have any of them, but there are reasons to think that some would hesitate or back away entirely even if these players were made available. They would have significant appeal to a few clubs, but not the broad appeal to start off a league wide bidding war. On to the list.


#50 Austin Jackson (OF)

26 302 10.3 % 20.5 % .280 .355 .403 .336 110 -0.8 4.7 2.0

Under Team Control Through 2015: Arbitration

While Jackson hasn’t been as good as he was a year ago, he’s still an extremely athletic 26-year-old with a pretty strong performance record. Whether he can consistently hit for enough power to be a true star remains to be seen, but his contact rate improvements have made that less of a necessity. He’s already a very good player, but there remains additional upside beyond what he’s done this season.

The two years of team control are the big stickler here, and why he just snuck onto the list. Any team trading for Jackson would get his age-27 and age-28 seasons at a legitimate discount, given that he doesn’t do the types of things that pay huge money in arbitration, and would have be acquiring the right to try and sign him long term. Without that kind of security, though, Jackson’s value is somewhat limited, but his relatively low HR/SB totals could make a multi-year deal with Jackson possible at a reasonable price.

Unless Detroit gets him to sign that kind of deal, though, this is likely Jackson’s last appearance on the Trade Value list. He’s getting closer to the point where he’d be an extended rental, and with Scott Boras as his agent, don’t expect him to pass on free agency once it gets within spitting distance. For now, though, Jackson’s combination of low salary and high performance earn him the final spot on this year’s list.


#49 Justin Verlander (P)

30 126.0 8.93 3.21 42.3 % 3.50 3.23 3.64 2.6 3.0

Under Team Control Through 2019: $20 million in ’14, $28 million through ’19

This was one of the most difficult ratings of the entire list.  The “What’s Wrong With Justin Verlander” narrative seems to be growing, despite the fact that his 3.23 FIP says that he’s just fine.  Still, Verlander doesn’t look quite as dominant as he did the last few years, and he is a 30-year-old pitcher with a lot of mileage on his arm and a huge price tag for a long time.  Odds are good that the end of his current contract is going to be a bad deal.  

However, we cannot just overlook Verlander’s remarkable amount of present value.  Even at $20 million next year, he’ll be significantly underpaid, and the value of a legitimate #1 starter remains extremely high given that those players just don’t make it to free agency anymore. There are a lot of teams who wouldn’t be able to carry Verlander’s salary, but there are enough high revenue clubs that could to start a bidding war if the Tigers decided to make him available.  

Long term contracts for pitchers generally work out poorly, and Justin Verlander might be showing signs of decline.  However, even during his “struggles”, he’s still among the game’s best hurlers, and his value over the next few years outweighs the potential albatross nature of his deal at the back end.  With money flowing into the game, teams can afford to pay the best players in the game, and Verlander remains a difference maker. 


#48 Adrian Beltre (3B)

34 399 5.5 % 10.5 % .316 .358 .543 .386 140 0.7 -1.9 3.3

Under Team Control Through 2016: $17 million, $18 million, $16 million voidable option

It’s easy to still think of Beltre as a glove first third baseman who also hits sometimes, but since the start of the 2010 season, he has a 139 wRC+, good for 12th best in all of baseball. That’s a better mark that Giancarlo Stanton has put up during the same stretch, if you want some context. Beltre has developed into one of the best hitters in the sport, but it hasn’t come at the cost of the rest of his value. As an all around player, Beltre has few peers, combining MVP level offense with stellar defense at third base.

If he was younger or cheaper, he’d probably be in the top 10, but this ranking reflects the reality that he is 34-years-old and due either $35 million over the next two seasons or $51 million over the next three. For his level of production, the price is still a huge steal, but there aren’t a lot of players that can maintain +6 WAR paces into their mid-30s, and Beltre should probably be expected to slow down in the not too distant future.

However, the contract isn’t so expensive or so long that it would prohibit a team from acquiring a true star who would represent a monstrous upgrade in the present. Beltre might not have as much long term value as everyone else on this list, but his short term value is immense, and would require a significant bidding war to get him from the Rangers.


#47 David Price (P)

27 80.0 7.54 1.58 48.1 % 3.94 3.45 3.37 0.5 1.5

Under Team Control Through 2015: Arbitration

Last year, Justin Upton was the guy on the list that we all knew was going to get traded, testing the market for his skills.  This year, Price is that guy, as he’s very likely to be moved this winter, as his arbitration payout will price him out of the Rays budget.  So, we’re going to find out in a few months exactly what Price’s trade value actually is.  

My guess is that the price is going to be extremely high.  Price’s mid-season DL stint hurt him somewhat, and his rapidly escalating arbitration payouts thanks to Super Two status have already made him expensive, but for a risk averse team that wants a #1 starter and doesn’t want to commit a couple hundred million to get one, Price might be a very enticing option.  

At probably something in the neighborhood of $35 million in arbitration payouts before he hits free agency, Price isn’t low cost, but he’s easily capable of providing a lot of value beyond those salaries before he hits the open market.  The question will be how whether a team is willing to bet big on a premium arm who both spent time on the DL and showed significant velocity loss.  How he pitches in the second half may go a long way to establishing his trade value, but we don’t have the luxury of knowing how that’s going to turn out at this point.  

So, for now, Price slots in towards the bottom of the list.  There are red flags here, but there’s also a ton of upside.  The trade market for him should be fascinating.


#46 Desmond Jennings (OF)

26 399 9.0 % 18.3 % .267 .335 .449 .341 119 -2.3 3.8 2.7

Under Team Control Through 2017: Pre-Arb, Arbitration

Jennings might be the quietest star player in baseball.  After spending his first few years playing next to B.J. Upton, he’s now taken over center field full time, and he continues to progress as a hitter at the same time.  While he falls into the category of guys with somewhat mixed offensive track records, he’s over 1,000 plate appearances of above average offense and hasn’t yet turned 27-years-old.  

The contract is a significant part of his value as well.  He’s still got another year of league minimum play, as the Rays kept him in the minors long enough that he should avoid Super Two status, and then he has three arbitration years to go before he gets to free agency.  That leaves Jennings with four low cost seasons, coming from ages 27-30, as a terrific athlete who is showing real offensive promise.  

There’s enough variance in his game that he could go either direction on this list.  The upside is there for him to turn into Andrew McCutchen Lite and be among the most valuable players in the game.  If the power disappears again, he might end up in the pile of +3 WAR players just on the outside looking in.  But, the speed and defense aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and Jennings athleticism gives him enough of a boost to get him onto the back end of the list.  Where he’ll be in a year depends on how much of his current power he can sustain.

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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

113 Responses to “2013 Trade Value: #50 – #46”

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  1. Chris says:

    Wow, all American League players. Such a homer, Cameron. I knew you’d purposefully exclude Ben Revere from this list.

    -140 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoshEngleman says:

      You knew he would specifically exclude him from spots 46 through 50? Interesting.

      +53 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        Well he’s not going to be above Jennings now is he? Man, think before you post things.

        The anti-Phillies bashing on this site is nuts. Michael Young is hitting .288 with pop and amazing defense and I bet he doesn’t make this list either.

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        • TheUnrepentantGunner says:

          troll troll troll city!

          i find this hilarious.

          while were here, ryan howard only makes 25 million, and will probably hit 20 homers this year and hit 270. A bargain!

          +56 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Teddy says:

          michael young is also 37 and has a negative fielding of -8.8 this year, he might not even make the top 100 never mind the top 50 lol

          +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Adam says:

          You have to pay the troll toll to get inside the boy’s hole.

          +98 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • WIlliam says:

          Sarcasm does not work as well without the tone of voice

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        • Chris says:

          What? This isn’t trolling, and of course the commenters on this site would think appreciating Michael Young’s value is nothing more than a joke.

          But whatever, I do understand that Young is older and that hurts his long term value.


          He’s making 500k at 25 years old and is hitting .305 while playing a spectatular centerfield, this best in baseball outside Carlos Gomez (forget this year’s UZR; check the last two seasons for a more representative sample).

          Young, fast, a good hitter and cost controlled and a premium position…but of course Cameron doesn’t think he makes the CUT, let alone the list.

          This is bigotry against the Phillies, plain and simple.

          -114 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Caveman Jones says:

          Wait, the same Ben Revere with a career 81 wRC+? I know he’s a good fielder, this year’s UZR aside, but a good hitter? Come on, this guy has exactly 0 HRs in his career and was traded for next to nothing last year… how much value can he really have?!

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        • John says:

          Doesn’t this site have any better measurements of what makes a hitter “good” than batting average? Maybe we should look at some other stats before we call Ben Revere “good”.

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        • Kazinski says:

          I can’t wait to rip Cameron for Raul Ibanez not making the list either. He’s got 24 HR at the Allstar break. He’s providing more defensive value than Miguel Cabrera, with a higher ISO.

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        • Two More Cuts says:

          Player A) .305/.338/.352/.305/92
          Player B) .267/.335/.449/.341/119


          Both players under team control until 2017!

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        • Mr. Jones says:

          Caveman makes the relevant point here. We saw what Ben Revere was traded for in the off-season. It’s nowhere close to what the guys above would command.

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        • rogue_actuary says:

          I’m still not sure if you’re trolling or not…

          If you’re not, then you clearly don’t understand how this list is being determined. It’s about value in excess of what the player is being paid.

          In the last 18 months, Michael Young has been worth negative-1.3 WAR. He’s 37. And he makes $16M in 2013, which is the last year of his contract.

          Hitting .288 sounds really good, but … there is more to value than batting average.

          Among qualifying batters who play 3B and since the start of 2012, Young’s ranks are:

          OBP: 13th out of 15 (ahead of Pedro Alvarez and Moustakas

          SLG: 13th (ahead of Alberto Callaspo and Moustakas)

          wOBA: 13th (ahead of same two as SLG)

          wRC+: 14th (ahead of only Moustakas)

          Fld: 14th (ahead of only Miguel Cabrera, Zimmerman > neg.-11.2, -17.3 for Young, -21.6 for Miggy)

          BsR: 13th (ahead of Aramis Ramirez and David Freese… and … behind Miguel Cabrera… negative-5.8 for Young, negative-2.2 for the speedy Cabrera).

          WAR: 15th (Moustakas > +2.9, ARod > +1.9, Michael Young > negative-1.3)

          Over the last 18 months, Michael Young has been paid about $24M and has produced negative-1.3 WAR. At $5M/win, one would have expected about 5 WAR over that same time period.

          But… contract aside… Michael Young, relative to his peers, is not even an average baseball player. His exclusion from this list is not a bias against the Phillies, but rather an (I would assume) a very concerted bias against players performing at below replacement levels over 18 month periods.

          Compared to every qualifying player over the last 18 months, Michael Young ranks 135th out of 137 in WAR. Ahead of Delmon Young and Jeff Francoeur.

          Getting back to his contract and the concept of surplus value, he is not under contract beyond this year. So, even if he wasn’t one of the three worst qualifying position players over the last 18 months, any team trading for him would only be “renting” him for the last 70 or so games of 2013.

          The guys on this list are either extremely good baseball players or they play under team-friendly contracts.

          Think Mike Trout. He has created 15.6 wins ABOVE replacement. He plays for the league mininum. I’m not sure when his arbitration years start (either 2014 or 2014), but he’ll start getting big raises at that time. They’ll be less than his market value. And that’s where the trade value comes in.

          I’m sorry that you think he should be on this list. This is probably the wrong website for your consumption of baseball information. Since Young isn’t from Philly, and since you accuse Dave/Fangraphs of a bias against the Phillies, it seems unlikely that you’re related to Young. But, in any event, you’re probably going to find a lot of content here unsettling.

          I would suggest going to the ESPN.com MLB leaderboard and sorting the players by their batting averages. Young’s .288 will be a lot more comforting in that context.

          +59 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • MH says:

          The best way to get taken seriously on the internet: say “think before you post things”

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Matt says:

          “Man, think before you post things.”

          “Michael Young… amazing defense…”

          +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Don't See How says:

          Know what Ben Revere and I have in common? We’ve both his exactly the same amount of HRs in the MLB since 2010.

          +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Chris says:

          You guys just clearly don’t know baseball.

          FINE, if no Revere and no Michael Young, then what about Jimmy Rollins (no way on Dom Brown: he strikes out way too much and takes too many pitches).

          J-Ro is a PROVEN WINNER. He plays a premium position and his deal is reasonable.

          Too bad we’ll probably see Segura, a ROOKIE, instead of J-Ro. wOBA my behind

          -46 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Caveman Jones says:

          Ahh yes, the “proven winner” label, that screams value to general mangers. Jimmy Rollins is a good player, even now in his decline years, no doubt. However, the point of this list is to be valuable in a trade and there’s not much upside left in a 34 year old middle infielder in his decline years. Yes, he’s only making $11M, but that’s because when he was a free agent 2 years ago nobody thought he was good enough to pay him more than that. Any team could have had him for more just a bit than his salary and they all passed, even at a relatively short length deal (3yrs+1opt).

          You’re missing the point of this list. It’s either going to be full of superstars who haven’t hit their payday yet or it’s young guys making no money with a high ceiling. Quite frankly, while Revere’s ceiling is an average hitter with plus defense, that’s Jennings floor at this point. Trade value is based on projection relative to salary/cost certainty, and Revere just doesn’t belong.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Scraps says:

          J-Ro is a PROVEN WINNER.

          If anyone had any lingering doubt, he’s a troll, probably a sarcastic troll; the sarcastic troll usually denies it, rolling up the minus votes, enjoying it.

          +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • DarkKnight says:

          Yeah. We’ve moved directly under the bridge here. No one could be that irrational about the garbage offense that the Phillies trot out there on a daily basis.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • bc says:

          Ya, I’m voting all of Chris’ posts +1 just to mess with him.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Røark says:

          Are you saying that you acknowledge that he is not going to be above Desmond Jennings because you acknowledge that he is not as valuable as Desmond Jennings? You might be making Dave’s argument here.

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        • Mcneildon says:

          Oh my God. Listen, when somebody is clearly running out some tired Fire Joe Morgan routine on Fangraphs, as Chris clearly is, just leave it alone. Down votes make them happy, and thousands of words worth of rebuttals make them continue to comment. Just recognize the comment for what it is, ignore it, and save your responses for legitimate comments. He’s probably going to do this on each ranking piece now since so many people responded with serious arguments.

          +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Josh says:

      Ben Revere’s Trade value = Vance Worley

      +74 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eminor3rd says:

      lol Ben Revere

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bab says:

      Do you by any chance come from Butthurt Town? I hear it’s a nice place but you have to tread lightly.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe Veno says:

      They are all from his favorite team too, the Mariners.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Clifford says:

      Chris. You’re comments are now at a combined -345. Congratulations. That’s a great feat.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Yuniesky Betancourt says:

    I wish you’d just release the top 5 already so I could see where I stand.

    +111 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Drakos says:

    It’s not really pertinent to this article, but reading this made me realize that Desmond Jennings is older than Cameron Maybin. That was surprising.

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    • Nick says:

      It is very pertinent because Jennings being on the list is a joke. I understand it’d be boring if the whole list was obvious names, and Dave has to sort of “stake claim” to certain guys and go out on a limb to make it interesting, but I’m not buying Jennings here at all.

      -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Baltar says:

        Your argument would be a lot more interesting if you gave a fact to support it. In fact, several facts would be helpful.
        Actually, I’m a bit surprised to see him here, but I can see the case for him.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jay29 says:

        Dave has to sort of “stake claim” to certain guys and go out on a limb to make it interesting

        No, he doesn’t. The process and the format make it interesting in and of itself. Jennings is a good player that hasn’t hit arbitration yet. He’s valuable. Having 45 players more valuable than him doesn’t seem to be too few to me.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. billy says:

    Cool to see Jennings make it. Called that one.

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  5. Brett W says:

    The only team that should seriously consider trading real talent for Verlander’s contract is the Marlins, since they probably won’t exist by 2019.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. ralph says:

    I do wish you (and FIP)would use K% and BB% for pitchers instead of their numbers per 9 innings. Mostly it’s a negligible difference, but sometimes it’s not.

    If you did use percentages, you’d see things like Verlander this year is down to a 23.3% strikeout rate (down from 25=26% the last two years) and up to a 8.4% walk rate (up from ~6% the last two years).

    This is especially a problem with K/9, since you’d think he’s keeping his strikeouts consistent if you were just looking at K/9. For 2011, 2012, and 2013, those rates are 8.96, 9.03, and 8.93, respectively.

    This is also a problem because FIP in part is based on K/IP, so he is probably not being downgraded by FIP as much as he should be.

    +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dumb Guy says:

      Maybe I’m being dense, but what’s the difference between K/9 and K%?

      I get that they are different – if a pitcher gives up 9 hits every inning but then Ks 3 guys, he has a K/9 of 27 (!!!) but only a 25% K Rate. I mean in analysis, do they provide different insights? (Similarly with BB/9 and BB%).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jonathon paquin says:

        Well Dumb Guy, the answer is simple. k% is a more accurate statistical comparison from season to season as your dealing with the same denominator. However, with k/9 you are not. If a pitcher is struggling he will face more batters. If he strikes out the same amount of batters as he did before, but faced more batters in total due to struggling, his k/9 would be the same but his k% would have fallen as he faced more batters to get the same amount of k’s.

        +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hildebeast21 says:

        this site seems to be about building models to predict what will happen moving forward, more than it’s about describing what happened. hence K% > k/9. and the lovefest with mean reversion and xfip (although i believe siera is the most powerful predictor of future ERA, but i could be wrong).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • NatsFan73 says:

        Pitcher A gets through an inning: BB, K, BB, K, BB, K. He’s got a K/9 of 27.0 but a rK of 50%

        Pitchers B gets through an inning: K, K, K. He’s ALSO got a K/9 of 27.0, bur a rK of 100%

        Now that’s an extreme example, of course, but it does make a real difference with some pitchers.

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Al Dimond says:

        Ya, K/9, BB/9, HR/9 are all inflated when the pitcher allows more baserunners. The analysis that provides a different insight is exactly the one that ralph posted right above you. Are Verlander’s strikeouts down significantly or level? It’s important when comparing a pitcher’s performance to his past when he’s getting different results, especially during the partial current season where extreme BABIP fluctuation is common.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • MH says:

        Since innings are defined as three outs, the /9 stats essetially reduce to “per outs”. So k/9 is the number of strikeouts per out, or the number of outs that are strikeouts. BB/9 is ratio of walks to outs. K% and BB% are per plate appearance, so they’re a bit more “raw”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eric says:

      So the idea of FIP is that it is trying to be defense independent. K/9 is defense independent, it says how many of the outs possible was the pitcher 100% responsible for (similar for BB/9, how many of the bases were the pitcher definitely responsible for). In K/9 and BB/9, defense plays no role. In K% and BB%, defense is a factor (good defense will inflate K%, bad defense will deflate it). That is my understanding of why K/9 is used instead of K%.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ralph says:

        But K/9 is actually NOT defense independent. K% is. I can explain further if you wish, but the basic idea is that an inflated BABIP (which can be caused by poor defense) will lead to inflated K/9 numbers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • ralph says:

          Here’s another way to look at it. Let’s take a sample sequence of 12 batters faced. Say that the pitcher generates these results:


          That’s an amazing 33% K-rate. What’s the K/9? Depends on what happens on the contact events, which are probably not all HR, and thus are defense-dependent.

          +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Brandon says:

    It’s quality content for free yada yada, but Fangraphs (or maybe just Cameron) would really benefit from some copy-editing. I’m available for cheap.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. channelclemente says:

    Is Denard Spann likely to be on a list?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Matty Brown says:

    I am glad to see Jackson and Jennings get recognized. Very underrated players, whose wide skill-sets and athleticism, leave little room for slumps or precipitous drops in performance.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Professor Ross Eforp says:

    What are the odds that Ben Revere never hits a HR in MLB?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Well-Eared Benglishman says:

    I think it might be helpful to show past calendar year stats instead of 2013 stats.

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    • RMD says:

      Everyone knows you can remove the SSS caveat only after 2.47 years. Bosh! Flimshaw!

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    • Baltar says:

      ZiPS ROS would probably be even more relevant, but I prefer this season’s stats for purposes of this series. That’s the first thing a typical GM would look at.

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  12. Wobatus says:

    Beltre is great but I think I’d value Kyle Seager over him in a trade. Beltre is a tad aided by his home park, whereas Seager is hurt some by Safeco. I mean, look how Beltre hit in Safeco. He’s gotten better, but at his gae I think I’d prefer Seager. I guess I’m not sure other GMs would pay more for him in a trade.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hildebeast21 says:

      wRC+ takes park effects into account. beltre is a better park-adjusted hitter than seager, by that metric. maybe park effects per hitter aren’t measured perfectly, but they’re pretty good. perhaps safeco had some weird mental effect on beltre, but don’t get too married to single season performances–they’re arbitrary end points.

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      • Wobatus says:

        Yikes. Right you are. Still, over the last calendar year Beltre is at 6.6 WAR and Seager over 5. But Seager is much younger and cheaper.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Balthazar says:

        Safeco _did_ have a mental effect on Beltre. And his batting profile was a very, very poor match for the park, so even while wRC+ is park adjusted it doesn’t give fine grain on how a particular batter matches a particular park.

        That said, I don’t doubt that Beltre’s trade value is higher, and will remain higher, than Kyle Seager’s value. And I like Seager a lot. And I think a _shrewd_ GM would make a high effort to get Seager over Beltre depending upon what was sought. Seager’s young, cheap, and even with no further improvement will be a cornerstone going forward. Beltre, however, is an impact player RIGHT NOW, which was Dave’s stated point. For a win-now GM, Beltre is int he top 50. The only reasons a GM building for right now might seek Seager over Beltre would be a) handedness, if that GM really needed a leftside bat, and b) if Beltre’s extreme pull tendencies and disincilination to walk lined up badly with a particular major leage ballpark . . . like Safeco. (*Sigh* Bavasi fils, whadda dolt.)

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    • Blockhead says:

      You know for a fact that Seager won’t appear on the list later?

      As far as the park argument of yours, that’s what wRC+ is for. As Dave pointed out, Beltre has a 139 wRC+ over the last three years while Seager has a 113 wRC+.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Yes, Seager was already featured on the “missed the cut” list earlier this morning.

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      • SaladFingers says:

        Seager was specifically named in the honorable mentions post. He did not make the list.

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      • Wobatus says:

        Yeah, major goof on my part on the park effects. Although Seager has really been quite good away from safeco. His away wRC+ this year is 153 (Beltre’s 135). Last year Seager was at 121 in away games, Beltre 135.

        Beltre has just gotten better with age, has been a monster hitter the last 3-4 years, and a great fielder, although he may be slipping a tad there. Still a better player than Seager but Seager has become pretty good himself and certainly less expensive.

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        • Wobatus says:

          Actually Beltre’s away wRC+ last year was 127. Probably they have been about the same on the road the last 2 years overall. And you have to regress that.

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    • Kazinski says:

      Of course Kyle Seager is further down the list, he won’t even hit arbitration until 2015 and is under team control until 2018. Since last year’s Allstar break Seagar been worth 5.3 WAR, so there is a lot of excess value there.

      But there will still be 4 or 5 other 3rd baseman ahead of him. 3rd base is one of the deepest positions in the majors right now.

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      • Wobatus says:

        It is deep.

        Last calendar year, 3b:

        Cabrera 9.6 WAR
        Wright 7.0
        Beltre 6.6
        Headley 6.4
        Donaldson 6.4
        Longoria 5.7
        Machado 5.5
        Seager 5.3
        Carpenter 5.0 (much of it earned at 2b of course)

        Then you have Alvarez, Freese, Zimmerman, Lawrie, Sandoval, Moose (who made the list last year, now hard to believe).

        Of course, back to Seager, a lot of the guys on the list ahead of him already have or are about to get big contracts.

        Headley had a brutal June but he’s picked it back up some in July. But he isn’t what he was last year.

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    • Eric says:

      Yup thats the big rub, what his value is in the market he exists in. I would also value Seager over Beltre because of age, but as Dave mentioned, it seems GMs are still overvaluing dingers from their 3b and undervaluing OBP. So even though if you just went by wRC+ and age, Seager would come out better, Beltre has more value on the current market.

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  13. BurleighGrimes says:

    I love this yearly list and am looking forward to the rest of it. So far I’m not so sure about Jennings, gonna have to marinate on that for a while to see if I come around…

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    • Balthazar says:

      I believe in Jennings a good deal more than in Austin Jackson, who was the real headscratcher so far. But hey, it’s not my list, so the value is in considering something I hadn’t before. Like whether Jackson could really have that kind of value.

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  14. theeiffeltower says:

    I realize the values of the guys who just missed and the bottom 5 of the top 50 aren’t that similar, but it’s hard for me to imagine any of these guys (with the possible exception of Price) bringing back more than Oscar Taveras, though of course he’s had some injury issues.

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  15. CabreraDeath says:

    Great start to my favorite feature on FanGraphs.

    Two initial thoughts:

    1) Desmond Jennings finding himself on the list is quite surprising, especially considering that defense was noted as a rationale, despite advanced metrics being somewhat ‘undecided’ on his play in CF.

    2) “Chris”, the Phillies fan, is an asshole.

    Good stuff, DC.

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    • Wobatus says:

      Even as a slightly below average cf (and he was good in left), the positional adjustment helps him.

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      • CabreraDeath says:

        Agreed. But, the question remains: Does it help him *enough* to be on this list? I’m skeptical, though I concede that DC has obviously done 3000% more research on the same.

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        • Baltar says:

          He’s borderline, as his rank suggests.

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        • everdiso says:

          I’m pretty skeptical. 27yr old with a career .330obp, .750ops, .329woba, and -0.4uzr/150 rating in CF.

          Entering his late 20s, you’d figure speed and defense would be the first things hit. He’s already putting up the worst baserunning performance of his career (0.38sb/pa, 71.4sb% – down from 0.55sb/pa & 93.9% last year, and 0.70sb/pa & 76.9% in his rookie year) and his defensive performance in his first full year in CF has been less than impressive.

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  16. Kinanik says:

    What effect has the recent CBA (the introduction of the qualifying offer) had on the rating system? Do marginal players, around the $13M mark, lose trade value because of the loss of draft pick compensation? A $12M player in their final year might bring more in trade than a $13M player, because the latter brings a first round pick or better if not traded.

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  17. Jay29 says:

    From http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/hyphenation.html:

    Hyphenate ages when they are adjective phrases involving a unit of measurement: “Her ten-year-old car is beginning to give her trouble.” A girl can be a “ten-year-old” (“child” is implied). But there are no hyphens in such an adjectival phrase as “Her car is ten years old.”

    You got it right in the Austin Jackson section but wrong in the Beltre section.

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  18. Michael Scarn says:

    I am very curious at to where Chris Davis falls on this last. I could easily see anywhere from 15-45.

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    • Baltar says:

      The only thing we can be fairly sure of is that he will be higher than he should be because GM’s still love them dingers.

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  19. Bab says:

    For the love of all that is holy, how many contracts does FG have with digital advertising companies?

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  20. Bip says:

    How many teams are even capable of taking on a contract like Verlander’s? Just the Dodgers? How many times, aside from the AGon-Crawford trade, has a team traded a player in the first couple years of a 7+ year/20+ Million AAV contract?

    Sure, perhaps if you only calculate the surplus value of the player, a big contract like that might still look good, but is it possible that above a certain monetary threshold, a player’s trade value is essentially null?

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    • Mcneildon says:

      I agree with you for the most part, but it’s fair to ask, “how often do teams look to trade a player early in a big-money, long-term contract?” I imagine if the Dodgers tried to trade Greinke, or the Phillies tried to trade Hamels, or the Reds tried to trade Votto, there would be some legit action on them.

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      • Bip says:

        That’s true. It’s definitely a different market than for a guy who isn’t as good by with a really team-friendly contract. The idea here is to quantify the most surplus value. For a guy like Longoria, who has a ton of surplus value and who any team could afford monetarily, the presumption is every team would want him, but the barrier is the Rays’ willingness to trade and the other teams’ lack of surplus value to offer. With someone like Verlander of a lot of teams simply don’t have the budget, so even if they could put together a package of players and prospects that could pry him from the Tigers, they don’t have room in their budget, so it’s a moot point.

        Then again, like 95% of these players definitely won’t be traded (for the same reason that they’re on this list) so they are kind of moot points as well.

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  21. Bip says:

    Also, lol Michael Young.

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  22. Ruki Motomiya says:

    I don’t mind Desmond Jenning being on here…but is Jennings really a “star player”? He seems like a good guy, on pace for 4 WAR the past two years, but not really a “Star”. It’s a clear difference between him and the best, star players, I guess is what I’m saying.

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  23. Grohman says:

    Always enjoy this list but I’m having a really hard time accepting that the Tigers would trade Justin Verlander straight up for either Adrian Beltre or Desmond Jennings. I get that Verlander is a hard one to place…but that just can’t be right.

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    • John Franco says:

      In their specific case, their owner is particularly not worried about the last few years of JV’s contract because he probably won’t be around anyway.

      If you were drafting a franchise from scratch and had to assume existing contracts, who would you pick? Maybe JV because he’d be the face of your franchise, but productive pre-arb guys like Jennings are what allows you to pay a “declining” ace $200mil.

      That said, I do think maybe they should be swapped. If a hypothetical team (not the Rays but a generic team) had Jennings and could afford JV I think they pull the trigger on that deal.

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  24. Swfc-dan says:

    No Price puns?

    Not one?

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  25. Bob says:

    Ben rever is the same as Kawasaki

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