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  1. lawl @ #6

    Comment by Andy S — July 16, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  2. LOL, Seattle #6, good one!

    Comment by Don Coburleone — July 16, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  3. So, our top 5 is….

    1. Longoria
    2. Hanley
    3. Heyward
    4. Strasburg
    5. Pedroia

    It seems too high for Pedroia, even factoring age/contract in….but I can’t see him missing the list entirely. Unless I missed something.

    Comment by Voxx — July 16, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  4. I’m glad he has a sense of humor about himself…good shit Dave.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  5. Dave Cameron wins.

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

  6. I figured Pedroia would be here already. 5.5 WAR locked up through 2015. Figured he’d be below Zim, but that contract is pretty awesome
    (3.5,5.5,8,10,10,15) 51M for what looks to be roughly 35 WAR

    Comment by Rich — July 16, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  7. I’m kind of pissed Eric Bruntlett didn’t make the list

    Comment by kiluckzle — July 16, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  8. Pedroia’s contract is ridiculous. He’s a 5.5 WAR player locked up through 2015 for a total of 51M, and hes just entering his prime, so he might actually end up higher than 5.5WAR

    Comment by Rich — July 16, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  9. Five is WAY too high for Pedroia, he signed the typical Boston “fuck me in the ass” extension where he’s not even paid half of what he’s worth through his prime years…but still top five over all trade value? I dunno…I’d tend to think that his teammate Jon Lester has more trade value than Pedroia, simply because of his ability to dominate in the AL East. That being said, I the only other guy I can think of at the five spot is Roy Halladay, seeing as how he’s the best pitcher in baseball and signed to a below market deal through deals where he should regularly contend for a CYA…it’s not unreasonable to put him there.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  10. 5-1

    #5: Daniel Bard
    #4: Kevin Youkilis
    #3: Dustin Pedroia
    #2: Casey Kelly
    #1: Casey Kelly

    Comment by Tom Zig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  11. That’d be my guess at how the top 5 will line up.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  12. Pedroia is putting up a .380 wOBA while consistently playing +10runs/150 defense, and making $3.5M. That pretty friggen valuable.

    Comment by Rich — July 16, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  13. #621 Carlos Zambrano
    #2 Tyler Colvin
    #1 Starlin Castro

    Comment by Andy — July 16, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  14. It’s becoming pretty clear that Halladay isn’t going to be on this list and with that I say I would rather have Halladay’s contract for the next three years rather than Verlander’s

    Comment by The Bunk — July 16, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  15. Loved number 6. Great writeup in general.

    One typo in the Lester bit:
    “desire of a guy whose already beaten cancer.” Think you meant: who’s, or who has.

    Comment by Phillies Red — July 16, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  16. all those middle aged women with much worse health care options who died of breast cancer just weren’t as tough as Jon Lester. I spit on their graves, thankful their weakness has been purged from society

    Comment by Will — July 16, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  17. Don’t be so sure. During his weekly chats, Dave named Halladay the best pitcher in baseball on several occasions. So maybe? Is a 7+ win pitcher paid $20 Mil / Year a bargain?

    Something inside me tells me that Pedroia’s big Home/Away splits and the fact that established star pitchers like Halladay don’t age in accordance to a traditional aging curve might put Halladay in the Final Five, and Pedroia off…

    Comment by YC — July 16, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  18. Votto is a great hitter but his stats are inflated b/c of his home park. Put Adrian Gonzalez in that bandbox and he would hit 50 HRs with all the toppings.

    Comment by Big Al — July 16, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  19. bad form — way to totally misrepresent the point that was made in the article.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  20. SIGH….

    the point is not that Votto is better than Adrian, it’s that he’s UNDER CONTROL for several more years.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  21. Either way, both guys should clearly be in the top 50. The only thing I can think of is despite Halladay’s perceived value, teams weren’t willing to give up that impressive of packages to get him. The Phillies made Dominic Brown untouchable in their talks for him and he only came in at #50.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  22. #3 Chris Snopek
    #2 Joe Borchard
    #1 Todd Ritchie

    Comment by GBeck15 — July 16, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  23. i don’t like the bald midget, but there is no way that Pedrioa shouldn’t be on the list. that’s insanity.

    Comment by Steve — July 16, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  24. I don’t think the question is whether or not Votto or AGonz is a better hitter (they are obviously both outstanding) it’s that Votto is younger AND under team control for an additional two years. That makes him much more valuable.

    Comment by DaveW — July 16, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  25. Huh. I wonder what will be stronger or more intense: The whiney bitterness from crybabies who can’t handle a Boston or New York player being praised (if Pedroia is in the top 5) or the whiney bitterness from Boston homers if Pedroia is NOT in the top 5.

    Can’t wait to find out…

    Comment by walklightwhite — July 16, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  26. I haven’t seen Ryan Howard on this list. Did I miss it? I can’t imagine he’d be in the top 5 though. Can someone link me?

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  27. “Pedroia is putting up a .380 wOBA”

    And if you trade for him, you’re getting a .341 wOBA player. Because that’s his number away from Fenway during his career.

    Comment by Zack — July 16, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  28. How will you find out? Only one of those scenarios is possible.

    Comment by Zeze the X — July 16, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  29. the latter, obviously.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  30. is that a joke? are you aware of his contract status?

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  31. You didn’t miss it, but you must have missed his extension.

    Comment by Zack — July 16, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  32. It would be funny if he just completely forgot someone and is trying to figure out how to add an extra number somewhere between 1 and 50.

    Comment by Judy — July 16, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  33. it’s like Schrödinger’s cat!!

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  34. His power is just a product of his homepark, not his overall hitting:

    Home: 306/391/568 15.1 AB/HR
    Road: 315/400/528 23.6 AB/HR

    He’s not quite the hitter or probably fielder that Gonzalez is now, but as he says above he’s further away from free-agency. However he isn’t that much younger than Gonzalez, just 16 months younger.

    Comment by Tom — July 16, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  35. I doubt too many people will be bitter about Pedroia being in the top 5. The only minor quibble you could have with him is that Fenway plays to his strengths as a hitter, so he might be somewhat less valuable to other teams than his batting line indicates.

    Comment by don — July 16, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  36. He has so much power though and leads the majors in HRs and RBIs the past 4 yrs.

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  37. Yes, and a batter’s home numbers don’t matter at all when trying to determine their true talent….

    I’m shocked that someone that even uses wOBA would say something this dumb.

    Comment by Wally — July 16, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  38. Brett Gardner got jobbed!

    Comment by Josh Wexler — July 16, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  39. Obviously Gerald Laird is #1. Just think of all the veteran leadership you can get at such a cheap price!

    Comment by The Doc — July 16, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  40. don’t do this

    Comment by don — July 16, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  41. Subpar trolling attempt

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  42. Jason Kendall would have something to say about that. He can catch every single day. He should be number one and number 3 or 4.

    Comment by SpringtownRoyal — July 16, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  43. Votto is a great hitter but his stats are inflated b/c of his home park.

    Votto, career:

    Home: .402 wOBA
    Away: .400 wOBA

    And yeah, what the other guys said.

    Comment by Teej — July 16, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  44. Its funny how “Ryan” is trying to argue for the high value of “Ryan” Howard.

    Comment by YC — July 16, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  45. Just kidding. I know Ryan Howard is grossly over-paid compared to his production.

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  46. Screw Votto he’s an ass hole for saying that he won’t even give Marlon Bryd a high five when he threw ortiz out at 2nd in the all star game just because he doesn’t like the Cubs. Go Cubs

    Comment by T teg — July 16, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  47. I’ve only been skimming these articles so this question may be way off base but will Miguel Cabrera be left off this list more because of his contract or his defense?

    Comment by Steve — July 16, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  48. Contract. Cabrera hits well enough to make up for any defensive shortcomings, but $20+ million a year for the next five years doesn’t make him a huge value.

    Comment by Teej — July 16, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  49. Obviously I meant I can’t wait to find out which scenario is possible.

    Put, hey. Big ups for being pedantic.

    Comment by walklightwhite — July 16, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  50. i think pedroia is gonna be on this list. halladay should be too but they’re paying $20M a year for his 34-36 seasons. the sox are getting pedroia for his 27-31 seasons.

    Comment by andy — July 16, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

  51. So you are saying that a ballpark known to increase the rate of home runs INCREASES JOEY VOTTOS RATE OF HOME RUNS!

    Break-through stuff!

    I’ll take a .315/.400/.528 road hitter any day of the damn week.

    Comment by Chris88 — July 16, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

  52. I can see 35-40 guys with more trade value than Adrian Gonzalez, but there is no way there are 50 guys. At the very least Adrian is more valuable than Dominic Brown.

    Comment by mowill — July 16, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  53. Maybe. There are also plenty of parks that help out guys like Pedroia even more. For example, Great American or New Yankee’s Stadium…

    Comment by Chris88 — July 16, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

  54. These players and their rivalries. How dare they have passion for competition.

    Comment by Chris88 — July 16, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  55. Logically sure, neither the homers nor the big-market haters will be bitter.

    Neither group tends to be logical though.

    Comment by walklightwhite — July 16, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  56. Except he was joking.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Joey-Votto-says-he-was-joking-at-All-Star-game-a?urn=mlb,256541

    Comment by Kevin — July 16, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  57. Methinks someone needs to learn about sarcasm. Go look at the most recent quote about Byrd and the Cubs from Votto.

    Comment by Jason461 — July 16, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  58. Wow. There’s been some epic failure in the comments here recently. But, congratulations.

    This is head and shoulders above anything else here.

    Well done, Will!

    Comment by walklightwhite — July 16, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  59. wheres buchholz on this list?

    Comment by Dono — July 16, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

  60. if the Pads could trade Adrian for Dominic Brown straight up, they probably would have already done it….

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

  61. already discussed thoroughly in other comments…. he isn’t on the list.

    in the “promising young guns” category, he is not ahead of Price, Latos, Hanson, Kershaw. His K-rate is mediocre and his ERA is a bit of a mirage….

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  62. No one would trade a young player that good for Gonzalez. Even if the Phillies didn’t have Howard they wouldn’t consider it. They wouldn’t even consider moving him for Halladay who is significantly more valuable.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  63. “Pedroia is putting up a .380 wOBA while consistently playing +10runs/150 defense, and making $3.5M. That pretty friggen valuable.”

    No doubt…but you also have to consider his away numbers too, and that the best pitcher in baseball is locked up for the next three years below market value. I don’t feel that WAR has linear value, I’m starting to think it’s valued more exponentially and perhaps geometrically at a certain point. Since Doc has established himself as the best pitcher in the game (mainly due to Lincecum’s faltering) that’s significantly more valuable than merely one of the four of five best second basemen in the game. The contracts make it interesting, but for a team with serious WS aspirations, the contracts shouldn’t really matter that much when you consider the difference between the two in talent…and Dustin Pedroia’s away numbers.

    “Yes, and a batter’s home numbers don’t matter at all when trying to determine their true talent….

    I’m shocked that someone that even uses wOBA would say something this dumb.”

    Because batters can’t be products of their home parks? To simply ignore the start difference (44 points of wOBA over 2500 PAs) or to brush it off as Wally did is foolish. Pedroia is a pull hitter who PERFECTLY fits Fenway Park…yes he provides quite a bit of value to the Red Sox (and yes, value to other teams he would play for) but much like how Tulowitzki is most valuable to the Rockies, Dustin Pedroia is more valuable to the Red Sox than any other franchise.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  64. Halladay’s kinda like a fine wine…Pedroia has an excellent case too, but if Verlander’s on the list and Mauer and Carlos Gonzalez “just missed” there’s no reason why Halladay shouldn’t make it at all. He’s the best pitcher on the planet, and he’s a good bet to be the best pitcher on the planet for the remainder of his contract. His injuries have been of the “shit happens” variety, not like a Josh Johnson, Josh Beckett, injury prone type situations. That being said, the exact same thing can be said for Pedroia in terms of deserving to be on the list.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  65. Of course WAR shouldn’t be valued linearly. 4 average players aren’t worth nearly as much as an 8 win player simply because the 4 guys take up more of your limited spots. Still, Halladay doesn’t project to be worth that much more over the next couple of years (we’ve likely seen his peak and while I doubt he declines big time, he won’t be as good) and he’s far more expensive.

    Didn’t we just see that Halladay wasn’t nearly as valuable as we thought? The Phils refused to even discuss Brown to get him and Brown was only #50 on the list. Halladay probably deserved to make the list somewhere, but not this high.

    As for the second part of your comment, you completely missed the point. Zack claimed that someone trading for Pedroia was only getting a .341 wOBA player because that’s what he’s hit away from Fenway. Wally was mocking the fact that he was completely disregarding what Pedroia had done at home, acting as if the away numbers were all that mattered.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  66. He is not a good bet to be the best pitcher on the planet for the remainder of his contract. I wouldn’t bet on anyone staying at the top of the heap for that long, especially not one that’s already as old as Halladay. His production won’t fall off a cliff or anything, but we’ve almost certainly seen his peak already.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  67. Well, I’m sure plenty of teams would trade a player that good for Gonzalez. Not the Phillies obviously since they don’t need a 1B. Here’s Baseball America’s Top 25 Midseason Prospects: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2010/2610314.html

    I’m sure the Rays would trade #4 Hellickson for Gonzalez (however the Padres might not), I’m sure the Braves would trade #6 Teheran, the same with the Rangers and #8 Martin Perez. That’s two of the top 10 right there. Maybe they aren’t quite as good as Brown but they are pretty close (and just because Brown is hitting in the minors doesn’t make him a sure thing).

    Comment by Tom — July 16, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

  68. You’re welcome Dave for asking me to write these up for ya. And ofcourse Pedroia makes the list. Like i’d leave him off.

    Comment by Peter Gammons — July 16, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  69. I can’t speak for the Rays, but I highly doubt the Braves would consider moving Teheran for Gonzalez. The Rangers likely wouldn’t move Perez either, as he was completely off limits for Cliff Lee. You rarely see guys rated that high moved anymore. And none of the guys you mentioned made the top 50, so its not really relevant. As I said, even if the Phils didn’t have Howard they wouldn’t move Brown for Gonzalez. A year and a half of him just isn’t worth 6+ years of Brown.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  70. True, Alex, but I still don’t see why Verlander would be ahead of Halladay. Halladay is better, the money is similar, and Halladay’s contract carries slightly less risk as the 4th year is on option.

    Comment by batpig — July 16, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  71. Omar,

    “Because batters can’t be products of their home parks? To simply ignore the start difference (44 points of wOBA over 2500 PAs) or to brush it off as Wally did is foolish. ”

    I did not brush off any such difference. I was pointing out that YOU brushing off his HOME numbers is idiotic. Most hitters are better at home than away. Going by OPS+, since I don’t know where to find league wOBA splits, its generally about 10% better. So .044 of wOBA is not a whole hell of a lot more than what we should expect. And Red Sox players in general experience a larger split. Doing both better at home and worse on the road.

    Now you might have some sort of point, and that we might expect Pedrioa to do a little worse over all if his home park wasn’t Fenway, but its just dumb to regress him all the way to his road numbers.

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

  72. Mostly because of age I guess? I don’t necessarily agree with that particular ranking, but that’s the only reason I can think of. Halladay is more likely to fall off over the course of the contract, and teams seem to be more willing to pay a premium for starters who aren’t yet in their 30s. I would have found a spot for Halladay, but I can see Dave’s reasoning if he leaves him off (especially when someone like Haren didn’t make it either).

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  73. There isn’t any way it’s Halladay that’s left off the top 5. Doc is signed to a contract that is substantially below market value, and is an 8+ win pitcher this year. He is the best pitcher in baseball signed to a considerable discount. My guess would be Pedroia is not in the top 5.

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  74. “Of course WAR shouldn’t be valued linearly. 4 average players aren’t worth nearly as much as an 8 win player simply because the 4 guys take up more of your limited spots. Still, Halladay doesn’t project to be worth that much more over the next couple of years (we’ve likely seen his peak and while I doubt he declines big time, he won’t be as good) and he’s far more expensive. ”

    I meant that the jump between a five win player and a six win player is probably a bigger jump than the difference between a two win player and a three win player.

    “Didn’t we just see that Halladay wasn’t nearly as valuable as we thought? The Phils refused to even discuss Brown to get him and Brown was only #50 on the list. Halladay probably deserved to make the list somewhere, but not this high.”

    The Phillies also dealt Lee for peanuts and thought about acquiring him again, they’re clearly not a “model organization” by anymeans…although if asked I’m sure they would have dealt Brown straight up for Halladay. That being said I don’t think we can use Ruben Amaro’s thought process in determining this list.

    “I did not brush off any such difference. I was pointing out that YOU brushing off his HOME numbers is idiotic. Most hitters are better at home than away. Going by OPS+, since I don’t know where to find league wOBA splits, its generally about 10% better. So .044 of wOBA is not a whole hell of a lot more than what we should expect. And Red Sox players in general experience a larger split. Doing both better at home and worse on the road.

    Now you might have some sort of point, and that we might expect Pedrioa to do a little worse over all if his home park wasn’t Fenway, but its just dumb to regress him all the way to his road numbers.”

    Perhaps we misunderstood each other, I wasn’t suggesting just take his away numbers either…but clearly you can’t just look at his Fenway inflated numbers and expect him to reproduce them at a place like Target Field. I am not saying he’s not a great player, he is, and him AND Roy Halladay both most definitely belong on this list. However, I think top five is pushing it. His swing is perfect for Fenway, and unlike a player who hits in a band box, where HRs may be long doubles elsewhere…a lot of Pedroia’s singles, doubles, and 315 foot HRs would be outs in other parks. That has to count in his value somewhere. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be on the list…just around probably somewhere between 20-10, not top five.

    Comment by Omar — July 16, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  75. If something happened to Glaus and the Braves are still leading the NL East in a few weeks, of course they would trade a Single A pitcher for Gonzalez. Of course, as the situation stands now, there is no way the Padres would do that as Teheran isn’t nearly enough. I doubt that Perez was really off-limits in the Cliff Lee trade, he might have been off-limits if included with Smoak but not by himself.

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

  76. I wouldn’t call 3 years for 20 million per at his age that big of a discount. Certainly not compared to the contract that Pedroia signed. Besides, there wasn’t a ton of serious interest in him when he was available (and apparently willing to sign that extension with a contending team). Teams just don’t seem that willing to give up a ton of value for older pitching, especially when its guaranteed a lot of money. The age thing is the reason Haren didn’t make the list, and likely the reason Halladay won’t either.

    I’d lay 5 to 1 odds that Halladay is the guy who won’t make the list.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  77. I’m not basing my point on what Amaro was willing to do, I’m basing it on the fact that his offer was deemed by the Jays to be the best they could get for Halladay. That tells you how other teams around the league were valuing him.

    And no, I don’t think the Phillies would have considered dealing Brown straight up for Halladay. They seemed pretty dead set on not including him in any offer, even if the other guys in it were non-prospect organizational filler.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  78. Does Halladay have a NTC? I knew he had one in Toronto, and since he signed an extension rather than an entirely new deal, I suspect it could still be in there. Does anyone have any info on this?

    If Halladay does have the NTC, that would probably knock him off the list.

    Comment by Ben — July 16, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  79. Oh, and I was just trying to show an example of why WAR isn’t linear. You’re limited on the number of guys you can play, so the more you can get from each position the better. The difference between the value of 5 and 6 WAR players is going to be greater than that between the value of 2 and 3 WAR players.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  80. They really wouldn’t. They wouldn’t discuss Hanson (a kid who had spent 1/2 a season at AA) for Peavy when the two teams were in those discussions, and they seem to view Teheran the same way. Teheran doesn’t have to come anywhere close to his ceiling to provide the Braves more value than Gonzalez would. Teams have begun to realize this and that’s why you see fewer and fewer truly elite prospects get traded than you used to.

    All indications are that Perez was off-limits in the Lee trade. Maybe they would have considered him at the last minute instead of Smoak (who was also previously off limits in discussions), but apparently they were unwilling to discuss moving him before hand.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  81. Um, 5 to 1 odds would be absurd because there’s only two possible players that are left off. Give me a return of $500 for every $100 wagered on a 50/50 probability every day, please.

    There wasn’t a ridiculous amount of interest in him because he would only accept a trade to a handful of teams to begin with and two of them were in Toronto’s division, causing Ricciardi to ask for an absurd return from those two. To leave a likely 9 WAR pitcher this season off of the list entirely appears a bit loony. Atleast have the decency to mention him in the introduction with all of the snubs.

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

  82. Why isn’t Liriano here? Is it because he’s an injury risk? And if he is top 5, how can he be with his history of injuries?

    Comment by TFINY — July 16, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  83. Its not a 50/50 proposition though. Just because there are 2 guys who have been left off doesn’t mean they are equiprobable. I think its way more likely Halladay is left off than it is that Pedroia is left off, thus why I’d lay 5 to 1 odds.

    The NTC still applies as well since he is still working on the original deal and not the extension. That definitely holds down his value.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  84. I’ll give you 5:1 odds that it will rain in the Sahara desert tomorrow. I mean, there’s only 2 possible outcomes…

    Comment by Ben — July 16, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  85. Alex – How is 3 years 20 million not that big of a discount? You’re kidding, right? He would have gotten 200% of his current deal if he hit the open market.

    Comment by Joseph — July 16, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  86. He’s still working on the original Toronto deal, so yes. Its not mentioned as part of the extension, but that doesn’t kick in until after this season, so whether it is or not isn’t relevant. This is likely why Dave left him off the list (along with possibly keeping some semblance of suspense).

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  87. Its a discount but not a huge one. He’s an older pitcher so he’s not as likely to get as much as a guy like CC did. He also certainly wouldn’t have been getting 40 million per, or anywhere close to that, as that would still possibly be an overpay for this season, which looks to be the best of his career.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  88. I had forgotten, but Halladay’s NTC is still in effect as he’s still working on the initial deal and not the extension. That’s probably playing into Dave’s thinking as well.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  89. 5 to 1 odds is very favorable, which is why it made no sense to even use that example when you think it’s a lock Halladay will be the one left off.

    Comment by Barry — July 16, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  90. 200% of his current deal would mean 6 years 120 million, which he would have gotten. Not 40 million per.

    Comment by Joseph — July 16, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  91. So on the free market he would have gotten the exact same amount per year according to you. How does that make his current deal a big discount? Sure it helps that its shorter, but the deal you’re suggesting would pay him the same amount per year.

    I also have doubts that a guy who would be going into his 34 year old season would have gotten 6 years guaranteed this offseason. Chances are he would have just gotten more money over a shorter period of time.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  92. I am about 85% sure Alex is really Alex Anthopoulos trying to make his Halladay deal appear better.

    Comment by Ryan — July 16, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  93. Oh no…you got me

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  94. I was leaning toward “14 year old Red Sox fan” instead.

    Comment by Rick — July 16, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

  95. Red Sox fan? Really? Why? because its clear that Pedroia is going to make the list and Halladay won’t? For the record, I’m a Braves fan. I used to pull for the Sox as my AL team until spending too much time in Boston at college turned me off to all their fans and thus caused me to start actively rooting against their teams.

    And I’ve been commenting constantly through out the entire series. This is possibly my favorite feature that Fangraphs runs. I love commenting on this stuff. Just because I have an opinion on who will end up ranking where doesn’t mean I root for the team of the player I’m talking about.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

  96. $20 million a year is a lot of money. It limits the number of teams who could even conceivably trade for Halladay to 2. Great, great pitcher, but not a huge bargain considering the risk.

    That said, I probably would have ranked Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander lower, too (and I love Felix – only baseball jersey I’ve ever owned). Tons of financial risk at play in trading for either guy.

    Comment by JH — July 16, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

  97. “They really wouldn’t. They wouldn’t discuss Hanson (a kid who had spent 1/2 a season at AA) for Peavy when the two teams were in those discussions,”

    For Jake Peavy, who was 1) owed a lot of money and carried a lot more risk, and 2) had a complete no trade clause, depreciating his value. Adrian Gonzalez has more trade value than Peavy did back then. And, the Braves weren’t nearly as likely to make the playoffs in ’09 as they are in ’10.

    “All indications are that Perez was off-limits in the Lee trade.”

    Which was a really dumb maneuver by the Rangers, since Smoak is much more likely to be an average/above average major league player than Perez is. If you can keep Smoak and trade Perez instead, you do it.

    Comment by BX — July 16, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

  98. #5 Sidney Ponson
    #4 Bruce Chen
    #3 David Segui
    #2 Daniel Cabrera
    #1 Brady Anderson ca. 1996

    Comment by tbad — July 16, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  99. Peavy was also under team control for a lot longer on a contract that many people thought was a good deal at the time. I was never a fan of it, but the Braves did really like Peavy as evidenced by their willingness to trade there starting SS at the time as part of a package to get him. The fact that the Braves valued Hanson more than they did 5 years of Yunel Escobar at the time says something.

    I’m a stat head like everyone else here and I understand that pitchers are riskier than hitters. At the same time, I also realize that teams with great scouting reputations are far, far better at evaluating prospects (especially pitching prospects) than I am. These teams are so comfortable with particular prospects at times that they won’t trade them for any player they aren’t going to get for at least a couple of years. That’s where the Braves were with Hanson at that point, where I believe they are with Teheran at this point, and where it seems the Rangers are with Perez.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  100. I don’t think Anthopoulos needs to cover his players and former players on Fangraphs to look good.

    Comment by BX — July 16, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  101. Only two possible outcomes? Not really; there’s a range of possible outcomes of which very few include rain.

    Comment by The Ancient Mariner — July 16, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  102. I think you are overrating prospects too highly. Take a look Baseball America’s Top 100 the past ten years: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2010/2610314.html

    There are plenty of busts among the Top 10 from each year and even the top ranked player from 2007 (throwing out Dice K) is a bust so far. So are some of the #2′s which Brown might be as Mike Trout might end up being the top ranked prospect.

    Also, Domonic Brown probably isn’t the 50th most valuable player, that spot is probably just reserved for the top minor league prospect. I highly doubt that anyone would trade Mike Stanton for Brown considered that Stanton is 26 months younger.

    Comment by Tom — July 16, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  103. Stanton ranked even higher than #50. And Heyward and Strasburg were the only two prospects to make it last year and neither ended up #50 overall. Brown was ranked there because that’s where Dave thought he deserved to be.

    Obviously prospects are a risk. If they weren’t there would be a heck of a lot more of them on here. The point is if they end up good, they are the best values in baseball. That’s the nature of MLB’s salary structure. If a team really believes in an elite prospect, they aren’t going to trade them for anyone they can’t control for awhile.

    Comment by Alex — July 16, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  104. top 5:
    5. halladay
    4. strasburg
    3. pedroia
    2. longoria
    1. hanley

    Comment by William — July 16, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  105. Okay, I hate to be “that guy”, but as I look at this list, I’ve come to the realization that David Wright will not be top 50. Seriously? Club control through 2013, tied for second in WAR in the National League. The projections portray him continuing his trends through the second half. Additionally, his worst non-rookie year had him posting 3.4 WAR… He’s consistently posted like a superstar, and therefore he has to be in the TOP 50. I know theres an anti-mets bias thanks to Omar The Terrible, which is fine because hes an idiot, but quite frankly it would be an embarassing omission. He would get more trade value than Martin Prado in today’s market, like it or not.

    Comment by Tobias Funke — July 16, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  106. I, on the other hand, have no problem being “that other guy” and pointing out that Wright was #15.

    Comment by DKC — July 16, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  107. #15 :)

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 16, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  108. Heyward not Halladay. Evan will be #1

    Comment by ShawnG — July 16, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

  109. Halladay not being in the top 50 or even in the first 5 out list in the introduction is about as big a disgrace as I could possibly imagine.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  110. I have no problem admitting I’m mentally disabled

    Comment by Tobias Funke — July 16, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  111. I think pretty obviously, he was reducing the choices to (a) rain (50%) and (b) not rain (50%). “Everything else” falls under (b).

    And I think that’s the same logic that lottery players use – hey it’s 50/50! Either I win or I don’t!!!

    Comment by Jason B — July 17, 2010 @ 1:59 am

  112. Then you’re not imagining very well – try harder.

    Comment by Jason B — July 17, 2010 @ 2:01 am

  113. No Kemp in the top 50? I find that hard to believe, even with the defensive woes and raising salary his value and long term potential seems higher than quite a few of the guys on this list.

    Comment by Chair — July 17, 2010 @ 4:18 am

  114. Please don’t feel bad, that was one of the most entertaining comments from this whole series, so you’ve performed a valuable service.

    Comment by Judy — July 17, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  115. NTC limits his value big time. Probably would have been somewhere in the top 50 without it.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  116. He’s only got two more years of team control after this one and he’s hitting like crap right now. His long term potential means very little when we’re looking at a 2 year window.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  117. Top 5:

    Brennan Boesch
    Rick Porcello
    Brennan Boesch
    Brennan Boesch
    Brennan Boesch

    If you disagree, it’s cause fangraphs hates the Tigers and they can’t accept they’re wrong about Brennan Boesch.

    Comment by Nick — July 17, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  118. We forgive you, Tobias Funke. As long as you are indeed the real Tobias Funke. (And even if you’re not. I GUESS.)

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 17, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  119. Ugh I hate when I reply to the wrong one. Y’all know where that belongs.

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 17, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  120. You know who else left Halladay off their list? THE NAZIS.

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 17, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  121. Liriano is not on here due to injury risk, and that’s a pretty good reason.

    Comment by bill — July 17, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  122. While Votto’s under team control longer, you can probably assume that over the next three years, the gap between what he and Gonzalez will make isn’t huge. Even if Gonzo gets the same deal as Teix, and is making $20M each in 2012 and 2013, his total salary in the three years is $45.5M.
    Votto’s almost certainly looking at somewhere in the ballpark of what Howard got over his three arbitration years: $44M.

    I realize that if a team traded for Gonzalez, they would only be guaranteed to have him for one of those years, which certainly matters in this list, but the real dollars they’ll make over the next three seasons aren’t too different.

    Comment by realitypolice — July 17, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  123. Would Dave keep Strasburg off the list because he cannot be traded until 8/15, one year after he signs?

    Comment by JCA — July 17, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  124. No, he made the list last year even though he hadn’t signed yet. And He could still be traded as PTBNL.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  125. No, he’s actually imagining fine. It’s a borderline travesty that he’s not on the list.

    Comment by Matthew — July 17, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  126. Your joke is weak. Two of the handful of best players in the game, in their prime, signed to laughably below market deals don’t belong in the top 10? EAST COAZT BIAS OMG!!11

    Comment by Chris — July 17, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

  127. People will be doubting Pedroia up to and including the day he gives his speech in Cooperstown.

    Comment by Makel — July 17, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  128. you would be “right” if their races were reversed.

    Comment by tom — July 17, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  129. Do you really thing Geovony Soto has more trade value than Kemp? Soto has one extra year of team control, and is a catcher, but he is also one year older has less upside and trading for catchers is risky due to their long term wear and tear.

    Comment by Chair — July 17, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  130. The long term wear and tear means nothing when we’re talking about a 3 year window.

    Soto is a better hitter right now and he has more defensive value. As you mentioned he’s also under team control for an extra year and will likely be cheaper through the arbitration process (because of how the evaluate salary demands, Soto will be more undervalued).

    I know this may be hard to imagine, but no one would realistically be looking to trade a reasonable package for Kemp right now. He’s hitting like crap, his fielding has been terrible, and his baserunning isn’t too hot either. His value is at an all time low. Who is going to give up a lot of value for a guy that isn’t even an average player right now?

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  131. I might be alone in this, but I think Heyward is ranked too highly, if he is, indeed, in the top 5. Yes, yes, team control, potential, etc. But I’d rather have a slightly more established player with 1-2 less years of team control, I think, and there are several of those floating about.

    Comment by Voxx — July 17, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  132. Of course he’s in the top 5. A 20 year old who has already established himself as a BB machine and slugger in the big leagues is insanely valuable. He’s one of the most hyped prospects we’ve ever seen and he’s already living up to it in his first season before he can even legally drink. It’s not just the team control either. He’s already a very good player and he probably has a higher offensive upside than any other young player in the game.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  133. Strasburg is on an 8-WAR pace over 32 starts this year. Even if you dog on the guys strikeout and walk rate something heavy, and I don’t know if there is even good justification to do so, he’s easily at minimum a 6-WAR pitcher over a full season.

    4 seasons at 15 million and then his last 2 years of Arb – even if he gets the richest arbitration deals in history we’re talking about a player who, if healthy, is going to be a minimum of 36 WAR for ~ $55 mil? with the potential to be worth 48 WAR over that span?

    Nuts!

    Comment by Chris88 — July 17, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  134. After last year Kemp was perhaps at an all time high in value. I don’t see how half a season of sample size can disintegrate so much of his value. I think most GMs would not be so short sighted as to view him purely on his 2010. Also I disagree about looking only in terms of the windows of team control, as that is often not the case when such players are actually moved. The Phillies and Tigers viewed acquisitions of Miguel Cabrera and Roy Halladay as acquiring the ability to resign the players in addition to their remaining team controlled years. That may not be the smartest strategy, but it has weight to it.

    Comment by Chair — July 17, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  135. I hear the following (and its ilk) a lot, but it doesn’t make complete sense:

    “Of course WAR shouldn’t be valued linearly. 4 average players aren’t worth nearly as much as an 8 win player simply because the 4 guys take up more of your limited spots.”

    If we’re talking in terms of free agents, that 8 WAR player is very probably being paid more than 4 – 2 WAR players combined, thereby devaluing his worth. You’re also getting off the roster, in theory, its three weakest contributors, any or all of which may be below replacement level, so the overall value of those spots is very small, and may even be negative.

    If anything, the reverse is likely true: that one 8 WAR player is more costly to his team than 4 – 2 WAR players.

    Comment by Jack Str — July 17, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  136. The whole idea behind replacement level players is that they are pretty much freely available to replace a roster spot. Thus the name behind them. I understand the whole idea behind WAR and I agree it is useful, but we have to be willing to accept its limitations. Players who can produce exceedingly high WAR values should come at a premium. Teams are limited in how many guys they can play, and thus the more WAR you get out of any particular spot, the more valuable it becomes.

    Now this doesn’t necessarily apply the same to every team. Teams that are especially bad may be able to extract more value numerous average or better players. Obviously they have a lot of holes to fill. The top teams on the other hand, those that are looking to extract as many wins as possible to get to the post season and succeed once they get there. This is especially true for teams with larger budgets that aren’t generally settling for replacement level players on their 25 man roster to begin with.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

  137. Besides. we’re not talking about free agency here are we? We’re talking about trade value, and the guys who can produce the most WAR should come at a premium.

    Comment by Alex — July 17, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

  138. Yes, but, see, the thing is, you’re not really paying $20 million (say) for an 8-WAR player and only $16 million (say) for 4 2-WAR players. You’re paying $32 million (at those entirely made-up rates) for 1 8-WAR player and 3 2-WAR players. You’re still paying more per WAR, but it’s worth it because you’ve got a better team. You can field a team of 2-WAR players cheap (hello Pittsburgh!), but you need to spend that extra payroll space somewhere, right? Even if it’s not as good a deal per WAR, you ain’t gonna win with 2-win players.

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 17, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

  139. He’s a regular Freddie Wilson, that one.

    Comment by O.o — July 18, 2010 @ 1:26 am

  140. “This allows him to pitch like more of a power guy even though he doesn’t light up the radar guns as often as others.”

    Jon Lester has the 12th-highest average fastball velocity in baseball this year, and a quick glance seems to show that Francisco Liriano is the only lefty ahead of him.

    Last year, he also had the 12th-highest average fastball velocity, and the only lefties ahead of him were Sabathia and Kershaw.

    I think that qualifies as “lighting up the radar guns”. If you watches his starts he regularly touches 96-98 mph.

    Comment by Linus — July 18, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  141. So even though he made it to # 7 o the list, you are still complaining? nice. It’s not like having the fastest stuff is so important anyways.

    Comment by Chair — July 18, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  142. hahaha, well played

    Comment by pirate — July 18, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  143. kapootz!

    Comment by Matt Murton — July 18, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  144. You’re not alone. I think this list is a little strong on the value of Heyward and Strasburg, especially Strasburg. He definitely looks like a great pitcher, but I find it hard to believe he’s really more valuable than Ryan Zimmerman or Jon Lester without knowing how much he can really pitch in the next few years / injury risk. Heyward also doesn’t have a great track record with staying healthy. I assume the top 2 will be Longoria / Hanley, who are legit superstar players with good contracts, and that’s fine. And while Heyward/Strasburg are the top hitter/pitcher respectively, there’s something to be said for a real track record.

    There’s no doubt Heyward / Stras are top 15-20, just top 5 is a little strong.

    Comment by bill — July 18, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  145. Ya but Dave wouldn’t have traded Jeremy Reed for both Lester and Papelbon a few years ago. Nice to see that sort of thing is gotten past (or conveniently buried) when listing good players now. Kind of like Cano having no shot to make the bigs or the opinion that Adam Jones should have been switched to pitcher. Long list of flailing misses from someone whose every word seems to be hung on at a couple of websites.

    Comment by CaR — July 18, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  146. Do you really think a team wouldn’t consider trading Zimmerman to get their hands on Heyward? Think about it. Heyward has already posted 2 WAR this season despite missing time and playing much of the season injured. Without the injury he’s on pace for over 4 WAR, possibly in the 5 to 6 range. And he’s 20 years old.

    Throw in the contract status and I think its a pretty clear case. You get Heyward for the next 5 years and he’s going to cost you significantly less than Zimmerman will for the next 3. Given his age, there is a pretty good chance that Heyward is also more valuable than Zimmerman over that period of time. Guys who do what he’s doing at the age of 20 are almost a sure bet to be superstars.

    Comment by Alex — July 18, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  147. Has there been a Jays player yet?

    Comment by tdotsports1 — July 18, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  148. Ricky Romero #48.

    Comment by Judy — July 18, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  149. So, they will be doubting him for the rest of eternity then?

    Comment by Ryan — July 19, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  150. In stat-world, possibly. In the real-world, not even close.

    Comment by SomeDude — July 19, 2010 @ 2:22 am

  151. Wow, Dave was wrong on a couple prospects. How shocking..

    And while Dave hated Adam Jones the first year, he was among the first bloggers to praise him when he broke out. Adam Jones did a massive 180 in one year. There was nothing wrong with Dave’s criticism of Jones (Alot of scouts thought the same); Jones deserves credit for making the best of his ability.

    Comment by Naliamegod — July 19, 2010 @ 2:32 am

  152. So exactly what time is 5-1 coming out.
    The suspense is killing me.
    But more importantly, I need to get back to work sometime soon.

    Comment by jamesquinn57 — July 19, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  153. I’m not complaining about his ranking, I’m complaining about Mr Cameron’s continuing ignorance of facts, which is a chronic problem of his. But sure, engage in petty sycophancy on the internet, I’m sure that’s fun for you.

    Comment by Linus — July 19, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

  154. “Probably the best all-around player in baseball, Utley is a true superstar.”
    -
    Utley is probably not the best all-around player in baseball.

    Comment by WY — July 22, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

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