Kind of confusing as to why Rasmus is so high, while Carlos Gonzalez didn’t make the list. I think they’ve got the same number of years remaining under team control. I admit Rasmus is a better defender, and has a better idea of the strike zone, but does that warrant such a wide gap between the two?
They should start a “Lowest Trade Value” series based on the developments so far this season: Zambrano has lost even more value while guys like Wells, Zito, and Soriano are gaining small amounts of value but still not living up to their albatross contracts by any means.
I would just like to pre-empt the haters, maybe this will keep them from posting:
OMG, I cannot BELIEVE you just ranked XXX over YYY!!! This list HAS LOST ALL CREDIBILITY! Dave Cameron and Fangraphs, you guys are like LeBron James, devoid of a soul, eating the blood of little innocent babies, spreading pestilence….
Everyone who is reading this is a fool and a victim of groupthink. All you do is sit in your basements, wondering what human flesh feels like, suckling at the teat of WAR and UZR.
Dave C. already explained why he wasn’t as high on CarGo — plate discipline. CarGo is exciting and athletic, but DC doesn’t see quite the upside in him that he does in Rasmus.
The argument here is that Rasmus is just better — his secondary skills are much stronger. Better BB%, better ISO….. and the gap is larger than it looks due to their home parks (the new Cards’ ballpark is playing like a pitchers’ park, whereas CarGo plays in Coors).
CarGo’s slash numbers look great now because he’s hitting .313. But what if he’s only a .280 hitter? If he can’t sustain a 300+ avg then he might be a 280/330/470 guy, which is still excellent… but he’s going to struggle to crack an 800 OPS. Whereas Rasmus’ secondary skills mean that even if he ends up as a .260 hitter (as postulated in the article) he could still put up 350+ OBP and 500+ SLG annually.
Again, this is just the argument, I don’t necessarily agree fully. It’s a tough call really, CarGo is so talented that he could start learning the strike zone and take a big leap forward and become a Carlos Beltran type. But when you equalize out the ballpark effects, Rasmus is easily outperforming him this year, and he’s younger, has better secondary skills, and has just as good of prospect/scouting cachet.
Yea no way Kemp makes it, he’s having a terrible year and has never been a good defender. I’d have to think Pedroia makes this list as a top 3 2B and with a long, below market value contract. I want to say Utley is in there too, just cuz he is so good and so reliable. I’d also be surprised if Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t make it. You’re getting a year and a half of elite production out of him for ~$8M dollars, thats a value.
Not really sure how you can say that Cano is improving his defense… Isn’t everyone always stressing sample sizes… Maybe I’m off base here but isn’t 3 years of fielding data basically equal to 1 year of hitting data?
I enjoy the list but I’m just not sure I can see how Cano is ranked above Wright. ZiPS projects a .400 RoS wOBA for Wright compared to just a .366 for Cano. Not to mention Wright is a better fielder.
Kemp gets replaced by either Pedroia or Utley. I’m thinking Pedroia because he’s cheaper, younger, and under team control an extra year. Utley may be further back due to his age and current injury (maybe?), though I still would have thought he’d make an appearance.
No love for Haren? He’s not top 10 so it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it. Kind of surprising considering he’s coming off of two great seasons and, despite a higher ERA this season, his underlying performance seems to be pretty close to his last two (6+ wins each) seasons. He’s not super cheap compared to other pitchers on the list but he still should significantly outperform his contract. I was expecting to see him somewhere in the middle of the top 50.
Well over the last 4 years he’s been roughly average despite a terrible 2008 than appears to have been an aberration all around. I’m inclined to think something was wrong with Cano that year.
I’m assuming the question with Wright is about the ridiculous increase in K rate over the last 2 years. He probably can’t maintain his current pace with that sort of K rate and it may portend an early decline.
They’re so close its not really worth arguing about though.
No feasible way Pedroia doesn’t make this list with Cano up there. Pedroia is younger, has wracked up more wins in over a season and a half worth’s less service time, is signed longer and paid less than Cano. The ONLY reason I would cite for Cano potentially having higher trade value is that he has significantly better splits (He’s practically dead even home and away while Pedroia’s OPS drops significantly out of Fenway). That aside, the bigger picture makes Pedroia a definitively higher value trade candidate.
I could see a case for Utley POTENTIALLY not making it. He’s locked up through 2014 and definitively the best of the three, but he’s also the most expensive. That said, I’d say he should be in there.
Miggy Cabrera is owed over $100MM for the next five seasons. He is undoubtedly great, and given the age/talent difference he is much more likely to be worth his contract than Ryan Howard…. but that’s still a crap ton of money.
actually, I just looked at the numbers and his contract terms ($20M/yr) are actually similar to Verlander’s…. but only $60M guaranteed (the 4th year is an option) and he is a better pitcher than Verlander.
But Pujols was on the list. Cabrera is $4 mill more this year and next, but I’m pretty sure Pujols will be far more expensive than Miguel after that. I’d also much, much rather have Cabrera’s next five years than Pujols’s. I could certainly understand Miggy not being on the list, but I can’t see any reason for him to not be ahead of Pujols.
I don’t think Matt Kemp’s UZR for this year are an accurate reflection of his real defensive ability. Prior to this year, you had a couple of season’s worth of him being fairly average in CF, and this year he’s horrible? Outlier, and it’s not a full season’s worth of data yet.
Wright is under contract for a year less than Cano, and is being paid more over that period than Cano is. Cano also gets a bump in value because of his performance this year. Remember, this isn’t a ranking of how good these players are, it’s how valuable they are on the market. And when a 2nd baseman is hitting like a batting-champion-first-baseman, he’s bound to get a bump in (perceived) value on the market.
Comment by Rex Manning Day — July 16, 2010 @ 1:41 pm
The fact that Pujols will be more expensive down the road is irrelevant because a team wouldn’t be forced to sign him. The financial commitment to Cabrera would be prohibitive, with only a few teams possibly bidding on him.
I could understand if some GMs and casual fans are down on Kemp, but they really shouldn’t be. His BB rate has improved in the last few seasons, his K rate is up (but as you can kinda tell thats true across the leagud) and his BABIP is way down. The average of his last two seasons puts his BABIP in the .350 range. Its now at .310. The Zips ROS puts him rate back up at a .361 wOBA, which would be perfectly in line with his previous year. Then his defensive numbers are probably nothing to worry about. There is just no way he’s -30 in true talent in CF. Maybe he’s actually -5 or something, but he isn’t this bad. No chance what so ever. So if everything normalizes to those kind of numbers, he’s still a 4+ WAR player. His only problem in trade value is relatively limited team control at this point in the list. Though the total money is really low to go alone with the limited years, so maybe that evens out….
I think it’s right that Miggy’s in Mauer country with his contract. A great player payed owed a great amount. How about this comparison though:
Youkilis, 31, owed $37m through 2013, ~$12.3/year
Morneau, 29, owed $42m through 2013, $14/year
I think before the season you clearly would have taken Youkilis for those terms, but now I’m not so sure it’s clear (although if I was a GM, I’d wait for Morneau’s current head injury to clear up before trading for him). I’m sure Morneau’s not top 10, but I think he deserved a spot on the list given Youkilis at #17.
A lot of these guys strike me as “top prospect” trades, but they’re not so much guys you would plan to build a team around. Smoak and Alvarez both seem to need more development, but the talent is there. Same with Tillman and Buchholz–and pitcher’s develop less predictably than hitters. Feliz hasn’t actually shown that he can start, which hurts his value. Butler isn’t much of a defender at 1B and hasn’t really shown true 1B on-base + power skills, but given his age, he’s the guy first guy from this list that I would add.
Halladay won’t be on the list. He’s owed $60 million over the next 3 years. That’s a really tough contract to trade for. He’s a great pitcher but his surplus value isn’t that much greater than the money owed to him. The others in your top 10 list are much more valuable than Halladay.
Are these rankings assuming Braun is a DH or a LF? He’s cost his team a win against replacement already this year and defense is not an area that tends to get better with age. Also, his offense is not improving. Certainly he is worth his contract and then some, but I would not have ranked him this high.
As to Pedroia in the top ten…he’s kinda like Tulowitzki, his value is highest in Boston. If Tulowitzki is only 37 I have a hard time ranking Pedroia top 10, that’s just me though. There’s about a fifty point difference between his home OPS and away OPS, I realize he’s still a great player and players typically perform better at home anyways…but it’s still something to consider.
As to Braun, I have a feeling he’s going to finish the transformation into a left handed Miguel Cabrera at the plate. I’d have no reservations placing him in the top ten, and maybe even the top five. Once Prince Fielder leaves they might move him to first, he seems like an athletic enough dude to play the OF though.
It seems like someone really good is not going to be on the list. Maybe Utley replaces Halladay because of Halladay’s age?? Or Utley is docked because of his age?? It will be interesting and that is for sure.
Tulo’s contract clause kills his trade value. You only get him for 2 years at arbitration prices. Pedroia on the other hand you get for 4 years at 33.5 million, though I could see Dave not realizing that Pedroia’s last option year would be voided now if he’s trading, thus meaning in his mind a trading team gets Pedroia for 5 years at 44.5 million.
They also get “away” Pedroia and not Fenway Pedroia…I know too much is made of home/away splits, but over 2500 career PAs the difference between home and away Pedroia is 44 points of wOBA, that’s a stark difference. That has to be accounted for by anyteam that trades for him…it’s not that Fenway is a “bandbox” (well it is…but that isn’t the point) it’s that it perfectly suits his hitting moreso than any other park in the majors.
Rasmus: 33% K rate and 2.3 WAR this year. Turns 24 in August. 4 more years of club control. 12% walk rate is pretty nice but a negative UZR in CF this year.
McCutchen: 19% K rate and 2.2 WAR this year. Turns 24 in October. FIVE more years of club control. Still a solid 11% walk rate. Also a negative UZR but not quite as bad. He doesn’t have Rasmus’ power but he is a great basestealer which makes up for some of it.
I don’t see trading Cutch for Rasmus if I’m the Pirates. Not at all. If either of them is going to improve their UZR I would expect it would be McCutchen. I know it’s 100 points of ISO but I’d rather have another year of team control AND the baserunning skills.
Interesting to see 2 of these guys being mentioned in trade talks. If a deal goes down it will give us a better idea of the actual instead of relative trade value of the list and how it compares to real mlb GM lists.
Would a GM be crazy to trade a guy in the top 15 on this list?