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.


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froglegs_jackson
Guest
froglegs_jackson
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Jorge Fabregas
Guest
Jorge Fabregas
2 years 10 days ago

I imagine he’ll be higher on the list. Really nice contract.

Jack
Guest
Jack
2 years 10 days ago

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!

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
2 years 10 days ago

“i guess Pujols will be in the top 40 since he isn’t in the top 50.”

I’m having a hard time parsing this sentence.

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 10 days ago

Um…you don’t understand the word value, do you?

Lukas
Guest
Lukas
2 years 10 days ago

Might want to lay off the Angel dust there.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 10 days ago

There’s no chance he will be on the list. He is way overpaid.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
2 years 10 days ago

Sure. Because there are lots of teams lining up to pay a guy $200M from age 35 – 42.

rustydude
Member
rustydude
2 years 10 days ago

“Valued a lot.” By his mother?

Johnny Slick
Guest
Johnny Slick
2 years 10 days ago

It’s not that he’s not valued highly, it’s that at this point if the Angels were to trade him at all they’d have to eat most of that contract. I don’t think Dave can run these things assuming that any team will eat a guy’s contract, and if they do, that is going to be expressed in the value of the trade (that is, trading Pujols and agreeing to eat $150M of his remaining deal is substantively the same as trading Pujols + $150M).

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 10 days ago

I would imagine any player that would require his team to “eat” any part of the contract will not make the list…

Prince Fielder
Guest
Prince Fielder
2 years 10 days ago

Mmmmmm… Contracts…

Helladecimal
Guest
Helladecimal
2 years 10 days ago

Reverse web traffic from Fox Sports.

Greens
Guest
Greens
2 years 10 days ago

I think there was sarcasm involved, people.

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
2 years 10 days ago

I guess so. It’s so poorly written that it’s hard to tell.

Slacker George
Guest
Slacker George
2 years 9 days ago

Feel free to bust his chops. He regularly posts animated gifs at allthingsbraille.com.

Phillies' Front Office
Member
Phillies' Front Office
2 years 10 days ago

This list is not ranked in absolute value, only actual value. Otherwise… http://grantland.com/features/mlb-worst-contracts-alex-rodriguez-albert-pujols/

KK-Swizzle
Guest
KK-Swizzle
2 years 10 days ago

#RyanHowardFTW

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Dan Ugglas Forearm
Member
Dan Ugglas Forearm
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 9 days ago

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.

Jeff Chisholm
Guest
Jeff Chisholm
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Harry
Guest
Harry
2 years 10 days ago

Dave,

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

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
2 years 10 days ago

And their sex.

Aaron Harang
Guest
Aaron Harang
2 years 10 days ago

And genus and species too.

Mr. Ed
Guest
Mr. Ed
2 years 10 days ago
John Elway
Member
2 years 10 days ago

Hay that’s awesome.

Joe Montana
Guest
Joe Montana
2 years 10 days ago

Just NEIGHHHHHING!

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

Dave,

Please also list the sport they play and their maiden name, if applicable. Thanks.

johndango
Guest
2 years 10 days ago

Social security numbers as well.

Anonbin
Guest
Anonbin
2 years 10 days ago

We’re working on it.

JKB
Guest
JKB
2 years 10 days ago

Also if they sign on the sweet spot and whether or not you can get them to add an inscription, and if they have a signing fee.

jack zduriencik
Guest
jack zduriencik
2 years 10 days ago

And a “Wins” column please. ( Some strange guy told me to check out this site, but without “wins”…

Westside guy
Member
Member
Westside guy
2 years 9 days ago

Did this strange guy use funny looking fonts in his Excel spreadsheets?

tehzachatak
Member
tehzachatak
2 years 10 days ago

Agreed.

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
2 years 10 days ago

Since many others are ridiculing this, I’ll second it.

Yeah, if I really care for some reason and don’t know I’ll just click on the player name and see who he is. But I don’t know who Chris Archer plays for.

(Goes and looks. Oh, Rays, surprising, I’d have thought I knew the good pitchers there, learn something new every day.)

Anyway, team is easy to list, relevant to trade discussions, not something I have memorized for all 750 players on MLB 25-man rosters, and this list tends to emphasis young guys.

JKB
Guest
JKB
2 years 10 days ago

Kazmir is on the A’s now!!!??? Whoa

Cubs017
Guest
Cubs017
2 years 10 days ago

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.

David
Guest
David
2 years 10 days ago

Agreed, the old format was significantly better.

johndango
Guest
2 years 10 days ago

Yes. Go back to the old way.

hscer
Member
2 years 10 days ago

Yeah, Dave, rework everything you’ve already written, but keep everything on schedule for this week! Chop chop!

Marco
Guest
Marco
2 years 10 days ago

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

“Projected total WAR during controlled years”

“Excess value over projected contract”

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

Dave,

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.

Thanks.

hscer
Member
2 years 10 days ago

Doesn’t it need a “Grit” column, too?

Umpire Weekend
Guest
Umpire Weekend
2 years 10 days ago

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

hscer
Member
2 years 10 days ago

Yeah, but look who I was talking to.

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Sammy Sosa
Guest
Sammy Sosa
2 years 9 days ago

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)

buseythe2nd
Member
buseythe2nd
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Marco
Guest
Marco
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 10 days ago

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

Heh
Guest
Heh
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Dan
Guest
Dan
2 years 10 days ago

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

tct
Guest
tct
2 years 10 days ago

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.

bookbook
Guest
bookbook
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Bubba
Guest
Bubba
2 years 10 days ago

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

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
2 years 10 days ago

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

Bubba
Guest
Bubba
2 years 10 days ago

Oops, 9 figure*

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 9 days ago

Hey, what are three zeroes among friends…can I borrow a dollar? *Watches Bubba peel off ten Benjamins*

buseythe2nd
Member
buseythe2nd
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 10 days ago

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.

TIF
Guest
TIF
2 years 10 days ago

Eric Sogard.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Zak
Guest
Zak
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Bomok
Guest
Bomok
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Mike Green
Guest
Mike Green
2 years 10 days ago

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.

SF 55 for life
Member
SF 55 for life
2 years 10 days ago

Mediocre defender though.

Umpire Weekend
Guest
Umpire Weekend
2 years 10 days ago

Am I the only one who regularly confuses him with Michael Saunders?

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

That’s hysterical. They both have the same name Michael. Never noticed that. Different last names though. Still funny though.

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

Michael Bourn too. Lol. Indians.

Logan Davis
Member
2 years 10 days ago

They were very similar players until Brantley went insane this year. (Although Saunders is also doing all right for himself, when he can stay on the field.)

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 9 days ago

I did that earlier in their careers. Probably because Brantley’s dad played with the Mariners for many years (I’m older than mud)

Slacker George
Guest
Slacker George
2 years 9 days ago

These are the Michaels I know.

DBA455
Member
Member
DBA455
2 years 10 days ago

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.]

DBA455
Member
Member
DBA455
2 years 10 days ago

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

Apologies.

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

Mike Trout
Guest
Mike Trout
2 years 10 days ago

You are forgiven, my child.

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Bat
Guest
Bat
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Johnny Bravo
Guest
Johnny Bravo
2 years 10 days ago

Cricket?

BurleighGrimes
Guest
BurleighGrimes
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Sleight of Hand Pro
Guest
Sleight of Hand Pro
2 years 10 days ago

Burleigh – this must be your first time on the internet

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
2 years 10 days ago

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?

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 9 days ago

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.

Jim Bowden
Guest
2 years 10 days ago

Dump the sock, man.

Sleight of Hand Pro
Guest
Sleight of Hand Pro
2 years 10 days ago

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.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 10 days ago

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

Bip
Guest
Bip
2 years 10 days ago

I thought it was funny.

Yuniesky Betancourt
Guest
2 years 10 days ago

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…

Alfredo Griffin
Guest
Alfredo Griffin
2 years 10 days ago

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

k_kralle7277
Member
k_kralle7277
2 years 10 days ago

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.”

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 10 days ago

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.

nickolai
Guest
nickolai
2 years 10 days ago

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?

free-range turducken
Member
free-range turducken
2 years 10 days ago

If they’re whiny or snarky, they’re open game.

The Maniac
Guest
The Maniac
2 years 10 days ago

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.

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 years 10 days ago

Because they never have?

The Maniac
Guest
The Maniac
2 years 10 days ago

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?

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15864

Garret
Guest
Garret
2 years 10 days ago

Swartz has done a very solid job explaining how the arb process works and his predictions are usually very close (+/- 10%). I’d recommend checking out what he has found in his research and modeling:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/11/projected-arbitration-salaries-for-2014.html

Terence
Member
Member
Terence
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Kevin Towers
Guest
Kevin Towers
2 years 10 days ago

There are 40 players left to cover.

Terence
Member
Member
Terence
2 years 10 days ago

Dave said in the intro piece that Altuve missed the list.

Schuxu
Guest
Schuxu
2 years 9 days ago

Knows every player but can’t read.

Ned
Guest
Ned
2 years 9 days ago

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.

Terence
Member
Member
Terence
2 years 9 days ago

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.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Guest
BenRevereDoesSteroids
2 years 10 days ago

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

Bip
Guest
Bip
2 years 10 days ago

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.

jsolid
Guest
jsolid
2 years 9 days ago

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

Torgen
Guest
Torgen
2 years 10 days ago

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

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 9 days ago

Something tells me they won’t give a shit.

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
2 years 10 days ago

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).

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 10 days ago

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

Kershaw
Feliz
Yu
Wainwright
Cueto
Strasburg
Julio Teheran
Jordan Zimmermann
Tanaka
Quintana
Sonny Gray
Rick Porcello
Chris Archer
Zack Wheeler
Matt Harvey
Yordano Ventura
Bumgarner
Tyson Ross
Iwakuma
Keuchel
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.

Jay29
Member
Jay29
2 years 10 days ago

You need to go back to that UMBC economics class, String.

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 10 days ago

Ahh I forgot a couple.

Slacker George
Guest
Slacker George
2 years 9 days ago

Please use *SPOILER ALERT* before dropping a bomb like Stringer Bell was taking college-level courses.

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 10 days ago

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?

The Society
Guest
The Society
2 years 9 days ago

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.

Weston Taylor
Guest
Weston Taylor
2 years 10 days ago

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.

JKB
Guest
JKB
2 years 10 days ago

I figured Singleton would be #42

Elias
Member
Elias
2 years 10 days ago

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.

Jim Bowden
Guest
2 years 10 days ago

I’m too Buzzfeed-trained to know how to read anything else.

Ton
Guest
Ton
2 years 10 days ago

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.

TacticalBear
Guest
TacticalBear
2 years 9 days ago

The Tigers will probably have zero, unless Anibal Sanchez makes it…

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
2 years 10 days ago

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.

TheGrandslamwich
Guest
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 10 days ago

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.

TheKimg5
Guest
TheKimg5
2 years 10 days ago

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.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
2 years 9 days ago

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.

Jon
Guest
Jon
2 years 9 days ago

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?

Intraday Commodity Market Recommendations
Guest

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

SnarkySpamCommentator
Guest
SnarkySpamCommentator
1 year 9 months ago

Wow that’s fascinating! I would have guessed it was closer to 60 percent.

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