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  1. These are so addicting….keep them coming

    Comment by Shane — July 16, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  2. 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?

    Comment by Justin — July 16, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  3. 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.

    Comment by Levi — July 16, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  4. 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.

    Let’s see if this works…..

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

  5. Ryan Howard might be the least tradeable player in baseball.

    Comment by Bob Smith — July 16, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  6. Okay, now its time to speculate who will make the Final Five.

    I’d say it’s gonna be Evan Longoria, Jason Heyward, Hanley Ramirez, Stephen Strasburg, and for the fifth guy, not too sure but probably.. Joey Votto.

    Comment by YC — July 16, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  7. So who’s left for the top ten?
    Longoria
    Strasburg
    Votto
    Zimmerman
    Kemp
    Josh Johnson
    Hanley
    Lester
    Heyward
    Halladay

    That’s ten there. Anyone I’m forgetting or did I repeat someone already on the list?

    Comment by Rob Moore — July 16, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  8. Matt Kemp is not making the list looking at the way he is fielding and running the bases.

    Comment by YC — July 16, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  9. I don’t know about the order but that looks close.

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  10. 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.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  11. I’m guessing no Kemp or Halladay, Utley and Pedroia instead.

    Comment by Judy — July 16, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  12. Well said sir. Took the words straight from my keyboard.

    Comment by Santoro — July 16, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  13. Maybe Adrian Gonzalez for Kemp.

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  14. Agreed on Kemp. I had no idea how much his hideous defense was negating his production.

    Comment by hairball — July 16, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  15. I think I’m in this line. Utley has to be in the discussion, and Halladay is paid a ton, right?

    Comment by hairball — July 16, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  16. Utley. 7.5 WAR player signed for $15M/year through 2013.

    Comment by Abreutime — July 16, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  17. 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.

    Comment by Pat M — July 16, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  18. If Pujols is on the list I don’t see how Adrian can’t be. Same contract situation except he makes about a third as much money.

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  19. 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.

    Can someone justify Cano over Wright?

    Comment by Josh S. — July 16, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  20. Gonzalez was on the list of guys in the introduction that were close but didn’t make it. Definitely not him.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  21. 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.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  22. If you’re guessing, we already know he’s not from the intro.

    Comment by Judy — July 16, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  23. Not really any more than Verlander or Hernandez

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  24. Adrian isn’t nearly as good though.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  25. 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.

    Comment by Neal — July 16, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  26. I’m expecting Pedroia and Utley.

    What’s interesting is that there are a ton of players who are really good, who probably deserve to be on this list but simply do not fit.

    Carlos Gonzalez, Clay Buchholz, Pedro Alvarez, Jeff Neimann, Justin Smoak, Neftali Feliz, Chris Tillman, and Billy Butler just off the top of my head.

    We’ve seen a pretty large influx of young talent recently.

    Comment by Mike — July 16, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  27. Hanley
    Longoria
    Strasburg
    Utley
    Lester
    Zimmerman
    Heyward
    Votto
    Josh Johnson

    I’m not sure who else might be in the top 10. Would Halladay still make it?

    Comment by Ivdown — July 16, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  28. He’s a Yankee.

    Comment by Englishgrey — July 16, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  29. 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.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  30. I have a strong feeling that Miguel Cabrera will not make this list. This would be an unhappy development.

    Comment by RPS — July 16, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  31. 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.

    Comment by Jonathan — July 16, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  32. Yes, of course. If good pitchers with big ass contracts (like Verlander and King Felix) can make it, the BEST pitcher with his not-as-big-ass contract will make it.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

  33. 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.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  34. He’s got $106M left on his deal after 2010. He’s a great player, but I would think he’s in the same boat as Mauer with a contract that big.

    Comment by don — July 16, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  35. 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.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  36. Exactly there would only be a handful of teams that could even consider adding him, which would certainly hurt the return he’d get in a trade.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  37. Needs more reference to #6org

    Comment by TomG — July 16, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  38. Buchholz?

    Comment by Chris — July 16, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  39. Didn’t make the list. Peripherals don’t support the pretty ERA. No reason he’d be this much higher than guys like Hanson and Price.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  40. Tulo? remeber the uproar last year…Dave was right on that one.

    Comment by Big Oil — July 16, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

  41. n/m he is at #37.

    Comment by Big Oil — July 16, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  42. Garret Anderson-aged almost out of the league, sub .200 OBP, poor defender, very limited power. But hey, at least his contract is affordable.

    Comment by Bronnt — July 16, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  43. He’s also the oldest of the three by a lot. I’m a big Phillies fan but if you’re predicting who will be the most productive over the next 3-4 years, I don’t think Utley’s a lock.

    Comment by don — July 16, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  44. Even Dave would admit he was incorrect on that ranking. If he had realized that Tulo had that clause to void his whole deal if he’s traded he wouldn’t have ended up as high as he did.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  45. 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.

    Comment by RPS — July 16, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  46. 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.

    Comment by Bronnt — July 16, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

  47. you are totally right, I can’t believe I forgot that.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  48. 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

  49. 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.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  50. That pretty much has to be the top 10, right? I can’t imagine any of those guys getting left off the list totally.

    Comment by Bill — July 16, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  51. 1. Longoria
    2. Hanley
    3. Votto
    4. J. Johnson
    5. Strasburg
    6. Upton
    7. Zimmerman
    8. Lester
    9. Pedroia
    10. Halladay

    Something like this? What do you think?

    Comment by perfectstrat — July 16, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  52. Actually, according to this article, both players are under contract through 2013. Wright will make $6 million more over that time, however. But it’s not that much more.

    Cano has the slightly better stats this year, but Wright has the much better career stats. They are both the same age.

    I don’t think 2 spots is that much of a difference. I would chalk it up to just a preference/whim by the author that Cano came in ahead of Wright.

    If I were a GM I would take Wright because of the better track record and his rep for leadership qualities.

    Comment by caseyB — July 16, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  53. 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….

    Comment by Wally — July 16, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  54. 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.

    Comment by Lucas — July 16, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  55. Obviously Upton isn’t top 10 (he’s #11) and Heyward needs to be on there. I’d bump Votto down a bit and put Heyward in the top 5.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  56. Maybe he was talking about BJ. ;)

    Comment by Ben — July 16, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  57. Oops. I was going to make a Franklin Gutierrez joke at No. 6. Guess I got too tied up.

    Comment by perfectstrat — July 16, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  58. 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.

    Comment by philosofool — July 16, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  59. I can see that Don. That aside, he has got have more trade value than a couple of the other 40 guys already listed.

    Comment by Jonathan — July 16, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  60. Ryan Braun is the biggest steal ( other than Longoria) in baseball. He’s signed for another 5-6 years at bargain basement salary.

    Comment by Bob Jones — July 16, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  61. That would been a pretty fun series as well.

    Comment by marcello — July 16, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  62. I would just like to pre-empt the repliers, maybe this will keep them from posting:

    Don’t you DARE question Dave Cameron. Ever. Why are you even here at Fangraphs if you’re going to disagree with DC? Unreal.

    Comment by Ted Lehman — July 16, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  63. Brandon Lyon and his contract might be an enry on the lowest trade value list.

    Comment by Double J — July 16, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  64. He’s cheaper than Halladay so, in my view, he’s got a better shot of being in the top 10 than Doc does.

    Comment by chuckb — July 16, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  65. agreed.

    Comment by chuckb — July 16, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  66. 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.

    Comment by chuckb — July 16, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  67. my best guess:
    1) longoria
    2) hanley
    3) strasburg
    4) heyward
    5) josh johnson
    6) zimmerman
    7) votto
    8) lester
    9) pedroia
    10) halladay

    i certainly think halladay has to be on the list somewhere, and there’s no way utley’s higher than cano given his age, price, and declining numbers

    Comment by george — July 16, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  68. Zimmerman hasn’t been listed yet? Hmmm…I could have sworn that he’d be on here already. Anyways, I’m surprised to see Cano and Wright (along with his .399 BABIP) this high.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  69. 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.

    Comment by Alex B. — July 16, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  70. Utley’s is most certainly on the list.

    Comment by Teej — July 16, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  71. 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.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  72. 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.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  73. 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.

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  74. Braun is left handed now?

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  75. It’s going to be a heck of a transformation. He will also be transforming from an outfielder into an…outfielder since he’s athletic enough.

    Comment by Tommy — July 16, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  76. Halladay. He was No. 37 last year, but his $20 million-a-year contract probably knocks him off the list.

    Comment by Teej — July 16, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  77. Also, I’m pretty sure CarGo has fewer years of arbitration control. He debuted in 2008, playing 85 games, while Rasmus debuted in 2009.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — July 16, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  78. 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.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  79. Jayson Werth has immense trade value considering his contract, IMO.

    Comment by Chris — July 16, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  80. 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.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  81. Hmm, Werth look valuable. Yanks should trade Javy Lopez… urrr. I mean Vazquez for Werth. Phillies would like Vazquez. He is a winning pitcher. Right. Right?

    Comment by Mike Francesa — July 16, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  82. Fuck…my bad…I was thinking of Fielder, not Braun when I typed that. Miguel Cabrera is a great comp for what I expect Braun to be.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

  83. If Stephen Strasburg is in the top 10, Roy Oswalt should be too.

    Comment by Steve Phillips — July 17, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  84. #1 has to be hanely, right

    Comment by LEE D — July 19, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  85. oh steve, we miss u

    Comment by LEE D — July 19, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  86. I don’t get this one:

    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.

    Comment by John Franco — July 19, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  87. George,
    Nice work on the predictions. You only missed Utley, that’s incredible.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — August 1, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  88. 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?

    Comment by Dan — November 16, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  89. yes

    Comment by CFIC — November 16, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  90. Yeah as soon I starting hearing about the Upton rumors I remembered about the trade values rankings so I came back to see where he was ranked.

    Comment by Rummy — November 17, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

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