2014 Trade Value: #50 – #41

Welcome to the kick-off of this year’s Trade Value series. If you haven’t already, read the intro and get yourself acquainted with what question this is trying to answer, as well as an incomplete list of guys who missed the cut for one reason or another.

There will be a couple of formatting changes this year. Instead of doing two posts per day, with five players in each post, I’m consolidating those posts into one longer list per day. Additionally, instead of having a player listed and then some paragraphs about his ranking, I’m going to list all ten players in a table at the top of the post, and then write about all ten in more of an article style than a selection of blurbs. Having all of the names available in a single table makes for easier comparison of some relevant facts, and in past years, the player capsules started to feel pretty repetitive by the end. Hopefully, this cuts down on some of the redundant text. We’ll find out, I guess.

A few quick notes on the columns in the table. After the normal biographical information, I’ve listed Projected WAR, which is essentially a combination of ZIPS and Steamer’s current rest-of-season forecasts extrapolated out to a full-season’s worth of playing time. For non-catcher position players, this is 600 plate appearances; catchers are extrapolated to 450 PAs. For pitchers, this is extrapolated to 200 innings. It is not their 2014 WAR, or their last calendar year WAR; it is a rough estimate of what we might expect them to do over a full-season, based on the information we have now.

The two columns to the right of that give you an idea of the player’s contract status. “Controlled Through” includes all years before a player accumulates enough time to be eligible for free agency, all guaranteed years of a contract already signed, and any years covered by team options that could be exercised in the future. Player options and mutual options are not included, as the assumption is that players of this caliber will generally opt-out of their current contracts if given the chance.

The “Contract Dollars” column includes the base salaries of each player in the controlled years going forward, starting from 2015 — the 40% of 2014 salary remaining is not included in the calculation — including the value of team options, since we’re assuming that they will be picked up. In many cases, players have incentives for various accomplishments that affect the base salaries, but those are not accounted for here, simply because of the tedious work of calculating all those incentive prices and the fact that $100,000 for an All-Star appearance or $500,000 for an MVP-finish there aren’t going to change the overall calculations. This column is not an exact representation of their future earnings, but should be close enough for our purposes.

For players who are under team control but not under guaranteed contract, I’ve listed out which arbitration years they still have remaining. There are a few players who have both guaranteed contracts and arbitration eligibility remaining, but we’ll deal with those cases in the article when a simple line in the chart doesn’t explain their situation perfectly.

Finally, “Last Year” notes where a player was ranked on this list last year, or if he wasn’t on the 2013 Trade Value series, then he is denoted as unranked. As you can imagine, there’s a lot more turnover at the end of the list than the beginning.

Alright, enough fooling around; let’s get to the list.

Rank Name Age Position Projected WAR Controlled Through Contract Dollars Last Year
50 Yan Gomes 26 C 3.4 2021 $40,950,000 Unranked
49 Starling Marte 25 OF 3.0 2021 $52,500,000 31
48 Kyle Seager 26 3B 3.4 2017 Arb1 – Arb3 Unranked
47 Alex Cobb 26 SP 3.1 2017 Arb1 – Arb3 Unranked
46 Edwin Encarnacion 31 DH 3.7 2016 $20,000,000 45
45 Julio Teheran 23 SP 2.3 2020 $41,600,000 Unranked
44 Chris Archer 25 SP 2.4 2021 $42,250,000 Unranked
43 Devin Mesoraco 26 C 3.0 2017 Arb1 – Arb3 Unranked
42 Corey Kluber 28 SP 3.8 2018 Pre-Arb – Arb3 Unranked
41 Michael Brantley 27 OF 2.6 2018 $30,000,000 Unranked

As noted in the intro, there is essentially no meaningful difference between the guys at the end of the list and the guys who just missed. A reasonable person could easily prefer Adam Jones to Starling Marte, or Adrian Beltre to Edwin Encarnacion, or Todd Frazier to Kyle Seager. We’re hair splitting. It’s the nature of the list format.

Overall, this group has a few traits in common, though no group of 10 players will be perfectly identical. As a whole, though, this group is made up of above average players, but guys who probably aren’t ever going to become franchise cornerstones. Note that the average age here is 26 and the average projected WAR is 3.1; these guys are close to being in their physical prime, and are not quite at the level of a true star, though they are valuable contributors.

The guys you could argue for breaking out of that good-not-great section include Kluber and the younger guys on the list: Marte, Teheran, and Archer. These guys might have a bit more upside than average, but they also come with additional risk; Marte’s offensive profile provides a lot of seasonal variability, while the other three are pitchers. Kluber’s also 350 innings into his big league career and has a .332 BABIP, so his trade value probably doesn’t quite match his FIP-based WAR value. If you were going to pick a guy from this section who could be significantly higher next year, Kluber would probably be the best bet, but he’s also a pitcher and I probably would have said the same thing about Shelby Miller a year ago.

On the other end of the scale is Encarnacion, who basically has no “upside” remaining, and would be a short-term only play. However, because of the extremely friendly contract he signed with Toronto during his breakout season, he’d also be one of the cheapest sources of elite offense around, and given how much teams covet right-handed power these days, you can bet there would be a long line of suitors lining up for Encarnacion’s services, even given his limited defensive value and the fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30.

Speaking of defensive value, we have to talk about the two catchers on the list. You’ll note that Gomes is projected as a better player than Mesoraco and has already signed a below-market extension with the Indians, and he’s the same age, but is still ranked a few spots lower. This reflects the current reality that baseball teams simply pay for more offense than they do for defense, and players who accumulate their value with their bats are going to command a larger premium than those whose value is tied to what they do in the field.

Personally, I think I’d probably take Gomes over Mesoraco, given just how cheap his extension is and the extra years of team control. But keep in mind that the option years that the Indians hold on Gomes cover ages 32 and 33, and it isn’t any kind of guarantee that he’ll still be a productive player at that point. The difference in years of useful control may be less than what the chart makes it out to be, and while Gomes is certainly going to be cheaper, teams may be more willing to pay a slight premium to get the value from offense instead of defense.

The other positive in Mesoraco’s favor also applies to both Seager and Cobb. The biggest knocks against them are the the fact that all three are headed for arbitration without long-term extensions in place, and are only under control for three more years after this season. However, in each case, the arbitration awards are unlikely to match the player’s expected value, because they haven’t achieved the kinds of milestones that return big arbitration paydays yet.

Seager’s value comes from doing a lot of things fairly well, but he’s not great at anything. He’s a career .263 hitter, he’s never hit more than 22 home runs in a season, he doesn’t steal bases, and he won’t win a gold glove. The case for Seager is built on hitting well in a tough pitcher’s park, but that’s not the kind of argument that is going to win over a panel of casual fans who don’t know what park factors are.

The same is true for Cobb. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but he’s never thrown more than 150 innings in a season and he has a career record of 29-20. The peripherals suggest that he’s a high quality arm, but the arbiters aren’t going to see his track record as being worthy of big dollars. With players like this, a long-term contract isn’t actually that beneficial, because the arbitration system itself will keep the player’s salaries in check without forcing the team to take on the risk of a multi-year commitment.

Teheran and Archer are on the other end of the spectrum. Their traditional stats are more impressive than their analytic numbers, and might not have appeared on the list had their teams been forced into the arbitration process. However, both pitchers signed deals that will keep their salaries to a minimum, and secure significant upside for the team even if they continue to outperform their peripherals.

And finally, we get the guy who doesn’t really fit any of the larger categories of his fellow players on this list. Michael Brantley was a very difficult player for me to rank, and I’ll readily admit that there’s a good case for him to be both 20 spots and 20 spots lower. His ranking here reflects essentially one half of a great season, and he’s never done anything remotely close to this before. His value is tied up primarily in making contact and running the bases, which teams usually don’t pay for, especially if it comes at a corner position. Neither ZIPS nor Steamer think this is a real breakout that is likely to continue, projecting him as closer to an average player than a star going forward.

That said, it isn’t unheard of for players to develop some power later in their careers, and Brantley was basically just a power boost away from becoming a good player. If he sustains even part of this increase in home runs, he looks like a three win player in his prime signed to a contract that will pay him a grand total of $19 million over the next three years. If the breakout is real, then the Indians can pick up an option for a fourth year at $11 million; if it’s not, they don’t have to. The risk here is minimal, and there is some legitimate upside if this is more legitimate improvement than good first half.

I don’t know which way Brantley will go. If the projections are right, he probably won’t be on the list again next year, but the chance that he’s going to keep enough of this up to be a very good hitter signed for basically no money gets him on the list this year.

Tomorrow, we’ll do the next 10, and we’ll start to analyze some much higher risk/reward imbalances.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

134 Responses to “2014 Trade Value: #50 – #41”

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  1. froglegs_jackson says:

    I’m a little surprised Jose Quintana didn’t fall in the Kluber/Archer/Teheran/Cobb tier. Is he a player that just missed the top 50, or will we be seeing him later on in the series?

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  2. Jack says:

    i guess Pujols will be in the top 40 since he isn’t in the top 50. Remember to base this on VALUE. Pujols is valued at a lot. Thanks!

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  3. GilaMonster says:

    I’m surprised Teheran is so low. He incredibly young at 23 and signed through his prime until age 29. He is a former elite prospect and has no real injury history. The amount of Whiffs he generates on not only a quality fastball, but two breaking balls and a changeup suggest he should be striking out more batters.

    I mean don’t you think he could realasticly have a sub-3.50 ERA for the next 5 years with a typical fluke fringe Cry Young season in there?

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    • Catoblepas says:

      See: Miller, Shelby, for a non-injury reason, or any of the many, many pitchers out for at least 12 months and potentially never the same with Tommy John surgery. Makes sense that teams aren’t going to pay through the nose for a player who is “merely” young and good-but-not-great.

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    • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

      I think it’ll take another year or two of Teheran outperforming his peripherals to make it into the next tier. While I’m confident that he’ll continue to get better as a pitcher, he’s probably benefited a good bit from his defense, which is why his FIP is never mirrored by his ERA. With only a 35% GB rate, he’s relying pretty heavily on Jason Heyward to track down fly balls, and Heyward may not be around forever. He’s maintained an average HR/FB, though, so the longer he’s able to make it seem like he can give up lots of fly balls without giving up homers, his success will become more believable.

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      • Catoblepas says:

        Yeah, that too — betting on anyone to beat their FIP on any team, not just one with several plus-plus defenders, seems to be a losing proposition.

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        • GilaMonster says:

          I’m not so much betting on him to keep beating his FIP, but for his K% to increase. He generating 11.5% SwingStk% after 10.5% last year. So I believe his K% will end up closer to 25% than 21%.

          He has well above average whiff rates on his Fastball(10th highest) along with above average slider and curveball.

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  4. Jeff Chisholm says:

    Looking forward to this. Love it every year. Though, and maybe just because humans dislike change, but I liked it how you set it up previously with every players details listed by the writeup instead of the chart. Anyways, thanks for saving this for the MLB downtime.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Harry says:


    For future articles, it would be nice to know the team of each player.

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Cubs017 says:

    I always look forward to this series each year. I am disappointed that you changed the format, though. I really think that what you guys did in years past was more detailed, easier to follow, and generally just nicer looking than what we have here.

    +56 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Marco says:

    For me, the table is just begging for two more columns:

    “Projected total WAR during controlled years”

    “Excess value over projected contract”

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    • Kevin Towers says:


      I agree with the above comment. Please also predict the year each player will retire and how many injuries you think they will have during the controlled years.


      -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hscer says:

        Doesn’t it need a “Grit” column, too?

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        • Umpire Weekend says:

          And a side of fries while you’re at it.

          +18 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • hscer says:

          Yeah, but look who I was talking to.

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        • Doug Lampert says:

          I prefer the individual components of grit.

          How short is he? How pale is his skin? Was he born in the USA or Canada? How dirty is his uniform 6 innings into the average game?

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        • Sammy Sosa says:

          1. 6 feet tops
          2. Very pale
          3. DR is the 51st state
          4. Never changed my uniform, unless I got a butt slap or bear hug from Alou (some things are too gross man)

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      • buseythe2nd says:

        The very nature of a projection is that it’s speculative. Dave is already essentially balancing each players future WAR, injury potential, and contract value. Marco is simply suggesting a further level of transparency, which, though unnecessary, could be revealing.

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        • Marco says:

          Yes, thank you.

          Additionally, I think it would bring a sense of scale:

          For example, How much more trade value does the number 25 guy on the list have over the number 35 guy?

          Or, Player A ranks higher on the list than Player B because while they’re both projected to generate $20M in excess value, Player A is projected to do it in 2 years as opposed to 4.

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        • Atreyu Jones says:

          One thing to remember is that the list is the author’s estimation of how the actual teams value the players, not simply a prediction of future excess value.

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        • Wobatus says:

          Atreyu is right. Dave would have to provide what he suspects is the projected excess value if the team that most highly values the player.

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  8. Brian says:

    I agree with every single name on this list and the order they were placed.

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  9. Heh says:

    As an unabashed A’s homer:

    Donaldson’s probably somewhere around the 30/20 range, since he’s elite but about to hit 30. I’m surprised Sonny Gray wasn’t here, I suppose he has to be next year. And then… I seriously doubt Norris would make the list, but he would be top 75, right?

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    • Dan says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Gray is in the next 10

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    • tct says:

      I’ve made a post similar to this before, but it is interesting to me that Donaldson seems to be valued so much more than Todd Frazier. Statistically, they are very similar. Both at 3.7 war for the year, about a one win difference in their careers. Both drafted in 2007, Donaldson being about 2 months older. Both broke into the majors late as far as age goes. The biggest difference is that Donaldson was elite last year, where Frazier was just above average. Donaldson has an extra year of team control left, if the info I read is correct. But it also said that he had one year and 158 days which would seem to put him in super two range. I’m not an oakland fan, so please correct me if I’m wrong about that. But if that’s correct, they would both be arb eligible after this year. So, trading for Frazier in the off season would get you his age 29-31 years at arb prices. Trading for Donaldson would get you his age 29-32 at arb prices. Is Donaldson’s age 32 season that valuable to put him in the top 40 and Frazier off the list, or is there good reason to believe Donaldson would be better going forward even though they are pretty equal right now? I’m not saying Frazier should be on the list necessarily, just wondering why 2 players who seem to be so similar are viewed differently.

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      • bookbook says:

        1.5 years of elite production is much more predictive of an elite near-future than half a year. (An extra year of team control isn’t nothing, either, but I suspect you’re right that it’s not the biggest deal in this case.)

        A lot of cromulent players have had out-of-their-mind two-month stretches.

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  10. Bubba says:

    Predictions on #1? I’m guessing it’s still Trout, even after the 6 figure contract. McCutchen #2? Maybe Puig?

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    • MikeS says:

      If Trout had a six figure contract he would definitely be number one.

      +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • buseythe2nd says:

      I wonder how Pedroia and Longoria would rate. They are older and are currently playing far below their prior performance levels, but their contracts are rather team friendly and their reputations within their respective clubhouses are admirable.

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      • Catoblepas says:

        I think they’ll both be in the mid-30s: at 30 and 28 respectively, they’re not exactly young, but with the contracts they’ve signed they don’t need to produce a lot to be worth it. They’re both projected to finish with over 4 WAR, so while neither of them are having their best year, they’re still both very valuable assets.

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    • TIF says:

      Eric Sogard.

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    • Catoblepas says:

      The contract makes him immensely more valuable! They have him through his age-29 season, aka his peak years, at waaaay less than what they would pay in free agency (if he got there), and they can reassess as the contract comes to a close as he moves toward his potential decline phase of the 30s. No waaaay anyone else is #1.

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    • Zak says:

      I bet Lurcoy in the top 10 maybe top 5, is contract is absurdly cheap. Trout will still be #1 no doubt. Or he might not even be on the list because its unfair to include him, just like its unfair to vote for him as MVP because he would just win it every year.

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  11. Bomok says:

    OK, i can’t hold the suspense. Please tell me Dave, is Matt Harvey on the list? Now let’s be fair. He won’t be traded. Hewont help a contending team much. But if you put him on the block, would he fetch one of the top 50 returns? I think so.

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  12. Mike Green says:

    Michael Brantley is an interesting age 27 breakout case. His power numbers are way up, but the K rate is at career norms (terrifically low), he is hitting more line drives than ever and fewer fly balls. His HR/FB rate has tripled. Is that sustainable? Every one of his home runs this year have been pulled. He has hit them in parks which are friendly to LH hitters and he has not hit them that far.

    I would venture a guess that the power spike is not likely to be sustained, but the batting average spike may be, i.e. some of the home runs he has this year will be doubles next year. He is a very valuable player as a .300/.360/.480 hitter with speed. I think that he probably should be higher.

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  13. DBA455 says:

    Honest question: what’s the relevance of things like Kyle Seager’s batting average and Alex Cobb’s W-L record? On the spectrum of things that influence the “value” of a player, those rank awfully low (particularly the latter)- and this site has been near the forefront of making that point for years – so I’m not sure why they are referenced the way they are above.

    [In the context of how much an arbitrator might award them, I get it.]

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    • DBA455 says:

      And, re-reading the passage more closely, it’s really *entirely* about the arbitration process indeed.


      I award myself no points, and may god have mercy on my soul.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Anon21 says:

      Cobb’s W-L record is put explicitly in the context of his expected arbitration salaries. And Seager’s batting average is cited as a reason why casual fans may not believe he’s a good player.

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  14. Bat says:

    Everyone is making fun of Harry for his comment above asking Dave to include the player’s team, but I don’t think that is warranted? The comment was polite enough and seems to be very little inconvenience to insert an extra column with the team so the reader doesn’t have to click on the player’s name and jump to the page of stats in order to find his current team?

    I am a huge fan of baseball and read most of the articles on this site as well as a number of other websites, but I confess I did not know the team affiliation of every one of these players….

    Just saying.

    +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin Towers says:

      If you don’t know what team those players play for, you are not a “huge” fan of MLB. Maybe you’re a huge fan of college baseball? Little League?

      -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Johnny Bravo says:


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      • BurleighGrimes says:

        Why be a snarky asshole about this? You may know every player and every team, but why be rude to someone who doesn’t? Shouldn’t this site be welcoming to every level of fan?

        +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sleight of Hand Pro says:

          Burleigh – this must be your first time on the internet

          +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Wobatus says:

          I couldn’t resist. It’s not an unreasonable request but then again one could simply click on the link to find the team name.

          All meant in good fun but I’ve been snarked here myself, especially when i first started commenting. Apparently no one gives a shit about my fantasy team. Who knew?

          +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bill says:

          Welcome to the internet my friend! We have a lovely selection of Cat pictures and Weird tricks for just about anything. Do be wary of sarcasm though. The FBI is working on a detector, but it isn’t quite ready for use yet.

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      • Jim Bowden says:

        Dump the sock, man.

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    • Sleight of Hand Pro says:

      I didn’t know Mesoraco’s team…..

      To be fair, I knew the other 9 and fully expect to know the remaining 40, unless they’re a prospect who has yet to make their debut. I do agree with you though, it’s not like it’s a lot of work on the author’s end.

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      • TKDC says:

        Of all things, I did not expect the vast majority of the comments to be about this and Pujols’ exclusion from the list.

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    • Bip says:

      I thought it was funny.

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  15. It’s nice to be able to watch from overseas instead of waiting to be called. Just too much stress on me in the past…

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    • Alfredo Griffin says:

      That’s the difference between you and me Yuni. Gotta be available to get the chances for your star to shine.

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  16. k_kralle7277 says:

    Honestly i know about 99% of everyone in the MLB and their teams, and 100 percent of everyone in this top 50 trade list, but its understandable if a casual fan doesnt know Mesoraco’s team, Brantley, seager or archer as those are guys who have only been relevant the last couple of years. Lay off the casual fan who maybe came here to learn more about MLB players instead of being berated by “experts.”

    +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tz says:

      Exactly. Heck, at least once a year Fangraphs posts an article about a real-life Twins pitcher that I’d honestly never heard of before. And I think I follow MLB too closely if anything.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • nickolai says:

      What about the casual fan who doesn’t know Mesoraco’s team, and is too lazy to finger-twitch his/her way to Mesoraco’s player page? Can we make fun of that fan?

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  17. The Maniac says:

    The views of the arbitration process in this article seem oversimplified and unsubstantiated. I don’t mean to criticize the author too harshly because I see this idea pushed all the time, but I’ve never seen any evidence to support it. I’m not sure why arbitrators are assumed to be incapable of grasping intuitive concepts like park factors.

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    • bdhudson says:

      Because they never have?

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      • The Maniac says:

        Hahaha thanks but I’m asking why that assumption persists. Is it backed up by any evidence? It very we’ll may be and I missed it, but I’m just challenging it. Very few cases actually go to hearings these days anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter what the arbitrators think anyway. But if GMs can evolve over time and accept ideas, it seems absurd to assume that arbitrators are not able to do the same.

        According to this baseball prospectus article, “The MLBPA and the Labor Relations Department of MLB jointly agree upon a slate of 16 or so arbitrators to hear all cases in panels of three (one of the three is designated the “Chair” of the panel)”

        What causes the assumption of incompetence?


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  18. Terence says:

    I was fine reading in the first article that Altuve just missed, but after looking at this list, I have to believe he belongs. Younger than all of these guys (except the pitcher) and signed to a better contract.

    I’m not sure there’s a single GM in baseball that would rather have Brantley than Altuve. Brantley “looks like a three win player in his prime signed to a contract that will pay him a grand total of $19 million over the next three years.” Altuve is a 3+ win player at 24, signed to a contract that will pay him 10.5 over the next 3 years and then has 2 cheap options.

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    • Kevin Towers says:

      There are 40 players left to cover.

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    • Ned says:

      Your statement is definitely incorrect. Even a team like Atlanta, whose second basemen have collectively been at replacement level all year, would have much more use for Brantley (Heyward to CF, Jup to RF) than Altuve, as LaStella is basically an Altuve clone in skillset. Then go to teams who have better second basemen than Altuve, and that list of GMs who prefer Brantley will grow very fast.

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      • Terence says:

        The whole point of the series is context neutral. Obviously the Mariners would put forth zero effort to acquire Altuve but their GM can still consider him more valuable than Brantley. The question Dave is asking is, “What is the player worth,” not “How does he fit in with this certain team’s roster construction?”

        And for the record, just because La Stella is a small framed second baseman who doesn’t hit homeruns, that doesn’t make him “an Altuve clone in skillset.” No one has Altuve’s skillset. Altuve has a 95% contact rate on pitches in the strike zone. La Stella is at 82%. Altuve has a successful stolen base for every 16 PA, La Stella has one for every 90. This besides the fact that Altuve is a year younger with 1800 additional MLB plate appearances.

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  19. BenRevereDoesSteroids says:

    I want to see where Rougned Odor falls here. If he even makes the list at all.

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    • Bip says:

      He was never a top-top tier prospect, and he’s not blowing anybody away with his MLB performance this year. I have to think he isn’t going to be ranked.

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    • jsolid says:

      You just wanted to say “Rougned Odor”. And I dont blame you.

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  20. Torgen says:

    The Jays are going to be real disappointed if Esmil Rogers isn’t on this list.
    (Read: when.)

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  21. Wobatus says:

    I’m wondering if Lagares will make it. It’s starting to look like his D really is 30 uzr per 150 sustainable in cf, and even at 20ish he might be a 3 win guy per 150 (he’s at 5.1 in 180 thus far).

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  22. Stringer Bell says:

    I’m constantly flabbergasted at the Alex Cobb love. He’s going to be a 27 year old without a single 170 inning or 2.5 WAR (barring a huge second half) year. There’s nothing that special about him, especially in a league absolutely loaded with pitchers, that warrants a top 50 trade value pick.

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    • Stringer Bell says:

      Just adding onto that, here’s pitchers I’d take over him, trade value wise…

      Julio Teheran
      Jordan Zimmermann
      Sonny Gray
      Rick Porcello
      Chris Archer
      Zack Wheeler
      Matt Harvey
      Yordano Ventura
      Tyson Ross
      Anibal Sanchez
      Tajuan Walker
      Archie Bradley

      That’s 24 pitchers at least. You can’t say there are more pitchers than position players on this least.

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  23. Josh says:

    I find it strange that Corey Kubler made the list with a breakout first half and not much other track record but Garrett Richards was just an honorable mention with his breakout first half and not much other track record. My curiosity on that comes from the fact that Richards is younger and has a better pedigree. So why Kubler over Richards?

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    • The Society says:

      3.25 SIERA and 78 xFIP- last year (compared to 3.63 and 90 over almost the exact number of innings).

      Richards’ WAR is built on a 4.4% HR/FB rate, and has a 8.6% BB% despite a league trailing (among qualified) 53.2% F-strike. ZiPS is low on Richards, predicting a 3.7 FIP RoS for him.

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  24. Weston Taylor says:

    I don’t know if you’re open to suggestions, Dave, but I thought Simmons’ was an easier read just because he goes player-by-player.

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  25. JKB says:

    I figured Singleton would be #42

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  26. Elias says:

    I’ll disagree with folks who want the old player-by-player format. I like the compare and contrasts Dave is able to draw between players in the new format. I do think subheadings would be useful to help break up the text (like “Catcher Defense may be Undervalued” and “Arbitration Salaries Boost Values of Some Players”), but that is a suggestion I would extend to many Fangraphs articles.

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  27. Ton says:

    I wonder how many Oakland A’s make the list. Perhaps only 1 for the best team in baseball is really interesting. Team built around the short term for sure.

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  28. My echo and bunnymen says:

    I have to say I agree with the huge confusion as to why Jose Altuve in particular was left off this list. If this year is any indication of what may come or that he has progressed slightly. I don’t see what nitpick occurred to leave him off but as you said there really isn’t much different between these guys and the honorable mention.

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    • TheGrandslamwich says:

      He’s never even had a league average 2 WAR season before this year. He’s relying on a career high BABIP. The minuscule K% this year might be a real improvement, but he’s still a poor defensive 2B with no power.

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  29. TheKimg5 says:

    Any chance Lagares makes the list? Similar projected WAR and salary numbers to the guys listed so far and although a huge chunk of his value is derived from defense it seems not to be the results of SSS.

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    • wobatus says:

      Some teams will covet him in a trade because they’ll believe he’ll be valuable and relatively cheap. Other teams will not see the value. All depends on your view of the value and consistency of cf fielding.

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  30. Jon says:

    Dave, is it possible to have a list of which ice cream flavor each player prefers? Along with if they like sprinkles and whip cream?

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  31. Internet buyers of gold have some of the worst purchase price rates, often ranging in the area of 50 percent

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