I’m scratching my head on this one. Compare his contract with Strasburg (4 yr/$15.1M (09-12)) – Ubaldo makes less money for the same amount of time (4 yr/$10M (09-12)+13-14 cl opts). I know the hype machine is squarely focused on Strasburg, but NO WAY does he deserve to be higher on this list. Dave, I think you dropped the ball on this one..
Strasburg is under control for more than those 4 years, however. After this season, you get 6 years of Strasburg versus 3 years of Ubaldo (note the clause about the final option being voided, which is very relevant for trade value).
I’m not saying you are wrong, just that it is fully defensible. Far from “dropping the ball”….
Strasburg is under team control for another 6 years after this one. The deal he signed only actually relates to the guaranteed money. Afterwards he’s still arb eligible.
Also, the 2014 club option on Ubaldo doesn’t apply to this because he can (and will) void it if he is traded. If not for that clause I’m sure he would have landed a little higher (maybe even top 10), but losing that extra year (which would only cost 8 million) does affect his value significantly.
No disrespect to Youkilis (who is undoubtably one hell of a player) or your excellent trade value series, but do you really think that if the Indians offered up Carlos Santana (and his three more $400K/year seasons) straight up for Kevin Youkilis that the Red Sox would decline?
Probably depends on who you are, right? If you’re the Braves and you’re going all out to win this year, you go Pujols. If you’re the Pirates and you have no chance of doing anything this year (or next), you go Youk. No way you take Albert just to see him walk since you’re not good and can’t pay him $30/yr
The Indians are rebuilding, so no. If the Indians were 3 games back, had a legitimate chance at winning the World Series, and needed a 1st basement, they probably would. Obviously each team has unique circumstances.
I think it’s the way higher versus the not at all.
I predicted him at 16, but that was before I lost 5 guys predicted ahead of him.
I had Lincecum, Greinke and Jimenez higher than Buch. Only pitchers left that I rank ahead of him now is Strasburg. Can’t believe he would be the second highest pitcher, but what do I know.
I’m betting he’s not even on the list. Forgetting about the pitchers who are “established studs” like Wainwright, Jimenez, King Felix….
Buchholz is in that group of “young, potential studs” like Latos, Matusz, Hanson, Price. I think it’s defensible that Buchholz is not above these guys (although I wouldn’t argue too hard if you disagree). His major league K-rate has been underwhelming… is he as dominant as guys like Hughes and Kershaw have already shown themselves to be? Does he have more upside than Latos, Price, or Hanson? I think Buchholz is a little overhyped (surprise surprise being a Red Sock ;p)
yes, because the Red Sox aren’t constrained by money. Their calculus is different than that of most teams… Youk is a freaking local hero, and they already have V-Mart and plenty of money to fill in elsewhere.
However, that shouldn’t really be relevant to this list, as the decision should be in a vacuum, not based on team context. I guess a lot depends on how “real” you think Santana’s production is. Santana’s unbelievable start is basically equal to Youkilis just doing his thing…we can’t assume that Santana can remain this much of an offensive force quite yet.
Look at it this way — if Santana keep posting a 900+ OPS for the next year, he will be ahead of Youk next year for sure ;-) no shame in that!
As soon as I saw Price on the list, I was pretty sure Buchholz didn’t make it, because I can’t think of any reason he would be higher than Price. Certainly Lester would be higher than Buchholz, and I’m not sure he should be higher than Price once you consider the contracts.
I doubt he’s on the list at all. He’s got a great ERA this year hiding behind a .275 BABIP and a 3.6% HR/FB rate; if not for that he’s only a little above average. Great to have on your team for cheap but not one of the best 15 assets in baseball.
Sure Pujols is a way better player than Youkilis, however this list is about Value….Pujols will cashing in next year on a new contract (probably around 20Mil+ a year), Youkilis on the other hand is locked in until 2012 at 12.5 Mil for the next two years….. Production wise, Youkilis will be the better value. At 20Mil+, Pujols will need to hit 40HR’s to match. It’s that simple…..
Do I think Youkilis deserves to be this high….not really…but he should be ahead of Pujols because of salary….
What do you mean next year? He has a club option for 16mm next year, with 3mm deferred at a 0% interest rate. So in 2012 he’ll cash in, but next year he won’t. And if you where trying to win a WS this year and next, would you want Pujols or Youk on your team?
Lester is definitely in the top 15… he’s one of the 5-10 best pitchers in baseball in an absolute performance sense, plus he’s young, established, and signed to reasonable terms with 4 years of control after this season.
He is basically the “best case scenario” that any other of the young guns (Latos, Price, Hanson, etc) project to in 2 years… but he’s already there.
Anyone else think Josh Johnson will show up? The extension he signed before this year was 4/$39, right? Even with durability problems this seems like a steal and a half. And if not, why not? I’m just curious.
Youk over Pujols is easy (and no, I’m not a Red Sox fan). Albert is the best in the game but his contract situation would deter a lot of teams. Youk is just a freak. Surprisingly, he is one of the least hyped players in the game. Don’t know why.
It will be interesting to see if guys with huge paychecks are going to crack the list this late. Halladay is making 3/$60 or 4/$80. He’s exceeded $20m in value for the past 4 years and is already at $18m at the All-Star break. There’s no reason to believe he can’t consistently be a $30m/year pitcher for the next few years. That’s a lot of positive value. Throw in the fact that he is a dominant ace with an amazing track record and I would say he’s pretty valuable.
If you are hoping to win in the next 4 years you take Pujols. I’m suprised by the group think and the blind faith in these rankings. Pujols is younger than Youk. Pujols has proven that he is significantly a better player. Even in a year where Pujols seems to only be playing OK he is producing more than Youk. Pujols has averaged 8 WAR a year in his career. It really isn’t close as to which one is better player. You’d have to pay a ton for Pujols, but he is better than Youk by every objective criteria. I guess this is going to turn into one of these silly series where reality gets thrown out the window and the community just drinks the solvent green from the same folks that made the Ms the number 6 organization ahead of clearly better teams/farm systems like the Braves. This really is complete nonsense that Youk is higher than Pujols.
I absolutely love this series. Amazing job thus far. You bring up a great point about Grenkie. Although he is a cheap, young, excellent pitcher, i am a bit surprised there is not more trade talk surrounding him, although i kind of understand why, considering he is probably one of the few players that draws fans in KC.
Okay, but, I can’t help but think that, if the Cards made Pujols available right now, they could get a ton of young talent for him, like what the Rangers got for Teixeira. No team makes a deal like that for Youkilis.
You wouldn’t have Pujols for all 4 seasons though. There’s no way he signs a 2 year extension. If you want to resign him you have to go out way more long term than that. If my team is in good position to contend for the next 4 years, especially if my chances look better towards the end of that period, then I probably go for Youk.
Of course teams would give up a package like that for Youkilis. He’s been better than Teix had been going into that trade and he’s signed for 2 more years than Teix was. The disconnect here is that guys like Youk basically never get put on the market. How many times has a 6 win player locked up to a cheap deal for the 3.5 years gotten moved?
I would agree that it will probably be Longoria up top.
Strasburg, Zimmerman, Votto, and Heyward are the others that jumped to mind.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Aroldis make the cut despite the control issues. For some reason, I still think that teams would be all over a lefty that throws 103, but maybe that is just me.
Justin Upton should be there.
Considering the names thrown around in his trade rumors already, Adrian Gonzalez has to be there.
Josh Johnson is dirt cheap for 3 years
Mike Leake is a guy that probably should have made the list somewhere, but I don’t see him being top 15, so I will assume he was left off despite 5 years of control, two at league minimum, for a guy with a pretty high floor.
To clarify, the first half of my post was a reply about Buchholz, but Fangraphs burped and instead of ending up as a nested reply it ended up as its own comment. Lester absolutely deserves a spot on this list.
I think the reason that so many people have problems with this list is that they subconsciously don’t believe in the linearity of WAR. It seems to me that people are valuing Pujol’s 8 WAR/yr more than just 2 WAR better than Youk’s 6 WAR/yr.
I hate the Red Sox and halfway like the Cardinals, but anyone saying that Pujols (in the sense we are talking about) is of more value than Youk (who I hate with a passion) is a total homer and needs to stop whining about an article that’s nothing but speculation. Grow up. Are you seriously going to say you’re adults and then come on the internet and whine like little babies? Pretty obvious what kind of life you live (or should I say what kind of life you don’t live?)
1) They doubt them because they’ve read enough of your comments to realize none of you have ever touched a baseball, or dirt before.
2) They are turned off by your blatantly subjective use of statistics, and inability to accurately reflect or interpret context.
3) Because they don’t subscribe to a system that rewards “points” for some wildly volatile, misinterpreted statistic like UZR, in order to quantify value.
4) People refuse to acknowledge a group of people that call the games elites (Howard) “overrated”.
5) Longoria will obviously be #1, and while there’s a strong case for him, it is far from definitive.
6) We already know Strasburg will be disgustingly overrated, and if he later crashes, the same morons overrating him will provide in depth analysis of how all the signs were obvious.
7) The results and analysis is clearly biased to the objective eye.1 player’s weakness, is another player’s strength. The manifestation of an educational system that has taught you to regurgitate, and never to think.
way to totally miss the point of the series, Nick.
I’m not really seeing any “groupthink” here — there is plenty of vigorous debate and disagreement going on here. And these rankings aren’t quantitatively objective, it is one man’s opinion on an attempt to assess value WHEN YOU INCLUDE contract status.
It isn’t “groupthink” just because you disagree with some of the conclusions.
Nobody is disputing that Pujols is a better player than Youk.
What if I’ve touched a baseball and dirt before, but also still live in my mom’s basement and don’t know how to talk to girls? Is there some middle ground for this comically played out bit, or do I have to be either 100% stat nerd or 0% stat nerd?
I’m well aware of the contractual situation. Give me Pujols, give him the money he wants when his contract is up, and I’m sitting good. I don’t care if they have similar numbers this year, Pujols is a vastly superior player and will be in the future.
If the Red Sox called the Cards with that offer the phone would be hung up before Epstein could finish his sentence.
1) We all know. We’re all nerds here. None of have jobs, girlfriends, athletic ability, and are generally as pale as albinos. Regardless, opening an argument with insults inherently makes it a weak argument.
2) This series is clearly subjective and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. There are definitely plenty of objective observed data involved, however. But weighing the upside of David Price against that of Tommy Hanson or Clayton Kershaw is definitely a lot of guess-work and comes down to opinions as much as anything else. This list has no claims to certainty or complete authority; rather, it is meant as a starting point for discussion and debate.
3) The diamond in the rough of your statement. Midseason WAR data can be incorrect or inappropriate based on the high variance of UZR. What UZR is, even midseason UZR, is give us a strong approximate: a +10 fielder is definitely not a true value -20, but he might be a +4 or +14. There’s definitely plenty of readers who treat WAR as if it’s golden even though there’s a good bit of wiggle room in the UZR component, especially with sample sizes smaller than a full season, but that certainly doesn’t invalidate the entire WAR metric. It means that those who use it should really understand a bit more about its variance.
4) Overrated is a completely subjective term. From the rest of your points, it’s hard to gauge where you stand on objective versus subjective evaluations. Regardless, you’re right, Ryan Howard is one of the best baseball players on the planet. He’s got a contract that pays him as though he’s one of the two best firstbasemen in the league, and it’s almost impossible to make a case that he’s in the top five.
5) You’re losing cohesiveness here. You’re bashing the rankings and the people reading them, and then you pause to say that you don’t necessarily disagree with the person who may or may not rank first. I find this odd.
6) Wait, I thought we weren’t calling people overrated because they’re really good at their jobs? So it’s okay to call people overrated, as long as YOU agree? What was wrong with the subjective nature of these rankings, again?
7) It’s okay to have bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation on the internet-it’s not a formal setting. However, if you’re going to point out that someone is poorly educated, ensure that you have subject/verb agreement and are not sprinkling unwarranted commas. Your final sentence is not a complete sentence at all, either. Without even looking beyond the point where you discuss the educational system, I have grounds to question your own level of education.
If you read the introduction to this series, trade value is defined as the player’s value to other teams. The question is not “which of the Indians or Red Sox would balk first at a Santana for Youk trade?” The question is “If Team A had the opportunity to trade Player X for Santana or Youk, which player would they pick?”
No way Strasburg is #1. Too much injury risk, and isn’t necessarily better than say, Longoria, Upton, Wright, Zimmerman, etc. Those guys are all safer injury risks (well… maybe not Heyward) and are much more proven hitters.
And I’m not 100% sure of this, but I don’t think “extra” financials count. Because sure, Strasburg sells out games, but then again, go to Fenway or Citizen’s Bank anytime you want. Winning sells tickets too.
Longoria is still #1 this year, what has changed from last year (other than another year gone) to make it different. The reasons given last year for why he is #1 were so overwhelming, he would have to fall off the face of the earth (which he hasn’t), to drop. And who has made such a quantum leap to pass him? Upton? Heyward? Han Ram? Braun? DavyBoy? I don’t see it.
Youk has never put up a 6 WAR, he may this year, but that would be a first. Pujols has put up a 9.5 WAR in his career. The difference between the two is just as likely to be Pujols out WARs Youk by 4 WAR a season as it is to be 2 WAR a season. I get the whole point of this I really do, but if I’m offered Pujols (rest of this year + 1 year at 16mm with 3mm deferred) for Youk then I make that trade. I take on the unknown risk of the ability to sign him, but I hope like heck I can, but I’d rather have that chance than Youk. I get the ranking of most of the young guys on this list above Pujols but i don’t agree with the Youk ranking, especially because this smells like a ranking based only this half year where he is on pace to destroy every personal best, but that doesn’t mean he’ll improve again next year and so on..
No, its a bunch of folks that think Pujols is the best player in the league and that Youk is older and not the best player in the league. The whiners get it, this is the Ms ranked #6 all over again. Throw out reality, just like with the Ms, and blindly say “read what the series is supposed to be about” or maybe ask Jeff Nye to stop by and explain it all to us…
As the one reader of Fangraphs who HAS touched dirt, I would like to report to my colleagues that it is overrated and dirty.
Comment by Bill Campbell — July 16, 2010 @ 11:09 am
Actually, going forward, the money is about the same because $5m of strasburg’s $7.5M bonus has been paid. It is closer to $10m v. $9m, ubaldo getting a number of bonuses on innings and cy young votes that he’s likely to earn. His option for 2013 looks likely to be picked up, which would take him up to free agency. It is a minimum $5.75M. Strasburg will be coming off of a $3M contract and not be arbitration eligible. IOW, Strasburg is likely to make less over the next 4 years than Ubaldo, and will be considerably younger at that point.
there is no singular trade value as there is no singular trade scenario. if you trade pujols to the yankees for example, then you better extract more value than #3x or whatever you rank him as, because of the idea that this is the yankees’ only way of obtaining a piece like pujols and perhaps sign him to an extension.
players value, marginal revenue/value per win contributed, is different for each team, and each team’s “replacement level” is also different by their different marginal revenue lines. take the yankees whose replacement level lpitcher is a guy like aj burnett, who is there every season on the fa market. the premium guys will be worth more to the yankees because the number of guys in baseball that are above the higher yankees replacement level line is fewer than those that could make a contribution to the royals.
You would think a 27 year old that has produced 30 WAR since 2005 (5.5 seasons) and is locked up for a long time would have to be up there. He’s just entering his prime and is as sure a bet as anybody to be a 6-8 WAR player per year for the next several years.
If WAR is generally accepted as the indicator of value here, then I think the easy answer here is:
Lester has a accumulated a WAR of 3.6 this season, better than David Price. His WAR is the 5th best in baseball for a pitcher. Lester is only 2 years older than Price. Lester has already posted 2 seasons for 5+ WAR in his career.
Aroldis Chapman has hit 103 on multiple occasions, being clocked by multiple guns. The one that jumped out to me and made me a believer was that John Manuel of Baseball America shot out a photo tweet of his gun reading 103. That is my source
nick instead of being snippy, perhaps admit to yourself that possibly just don’t understand what is being discussed here? the concept of the articles has been explained to you numerous times and its not really complex, yet you continue to reply with the same erroneous argument. perhaps just let the adults talk? ;)