Archive for 2012 Trade Value

The 2012 Trade Value List, in Retrospect

Next week, I’m rolling out the latest version of our annual trade value series. Before we get into this year’s list, though, I think it’s instructive to look back at where players were ranked a year ago, and see if there are any lessons to be learned from the placement of various players. I would rather learn from history than repeat it.

Let’s just start with the list itself.

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2012 Trade Value: #5-#1

We close out this year’s list of the top 50 assets in the sport with a fantastic group of young players and The Contract That Keeps On Giving. You can check out 6-50 in the links below, and then scroll down to find out which of the game’s brightest young stars comes out on top.

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31
#30-#26
#25-#21
#20-#16
#15-#11
#10-#6

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

5. (16) Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami – Under Team Control through 2016.

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2012 Trade Value: #10-#6

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31
#30-#26
#25-#21
#20-#16
#15-#11

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

10. (2) Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto – Signed through 2015 for $63 million

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2012 Trade Value: #15-#11

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31
#30-#26
#25-#21
#20-#16

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

15. (NR) Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto – Under Team Control through 2017

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2012 Trade Value: #20-#16

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31
#30-#26
#25-#21

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

20. (12) David Price, SP, Tampa Bay – Under Team Control through 2015

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2012 Trade Value: #25-#21

So, from the land of embarrassing mistakes comes this – I screwed up yesterday and copied the wrong part of the list in to the #30-#26 post and didn’t catch it until this morning. Kipnis, Moore, Upton, Moustakas, and Gio were actually 25-21, and for whatever reason, I simply grabbed those five when transposing the post into WordPress and didn’t notice that I had copied the wrong section. So, this post is actually presenting #30-#26 again. Feel free to call me an idiot in the comments. I certainly feel like one.

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31
#30-#26

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

30. (30) Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas – Signed through 2017 for $76 million.

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2012 Trade Value: #30-#26

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36
#35-#31

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

30. (NR) Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland – Under Team Control through 2017

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2012 Trade Value: #35-#31

#50-#46
#45-#41
#40-#36

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from the 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

35. (NR) Pablo Sandoval, 3B, San Francisco – Signed through 2014 for $15 million.

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2012 Trade Value: #40-#36

#50-#46
#45-#41

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

40. (NR) Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati – Signed through 2015 for $30 million.

Johnny Cueto is one of two types of pitcher — either one who, year after year, produces peripherals that are likely to lead to a league-average ERA or one who, like Matt Cain, has cracked the secret code of batted-ball suppression. The numbers support either thesis at this point. Each of Cueto’s career component stats — his 18.3% strikeout rate, his 7.6% walk rate, his 44.1% ground-ball rate — is within percentage points of league average, respectively. Cueto’s home runs per fly ball and his strand rate, however, have both improved since his rookie season — and his ERAs relative to the league have followed suit. The good news for the Reds is that even the first type of pitcher is an asset at an approximate average annual value of $8 million.

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2012 Trade Value: #45-#41

#50-#46

Note: salaries are rounded estimates and include all team-controlled years. Rankings from 2011 Trade Value series in parentheses.

45. (28) Ben Zobrist, 2B, Tampa Bay – Signed through 2015 for $22 million.

Since 2009, when he became a full-time player, Zobrist has posted the second-highest WAR in the major leagues, with only future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols ahead of him by that measure. Given the deal to which he’s currently signed — a four-year extension from 2010, with very afforadable option years ($7.0 and $7.5 million, respectively) in 2014 and 2015 — there’s every reason to believe that the Rays will extract considerable surplus value from Zobrist. As a trade commodity, however, Zobrist is slightly less valuable, owing to the fact that his production comes from areas that tend to have less value in the open market: defense, baserunning, and plate discipline.

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2012 Trade Value: #50-#46

Now that we’ve looked back at last year’s Trade Value list, we’re ready for the 2012 version. Before we get to the rankings, here’s a quick recap of the idea behind the list, and what we’re trying to measure:

If every player in baseball was made available for trade, who would generate the most in return for their current club? Since it only takes two clubs to start a bidding war, we’re not trying to measure who has the most value to all 30 clubs, but rather who which player has so much value that they’d command a larger return in trade from one team than any other player. Some of the players on this list will be guys that many franchises can’t afford, but they still have significant trade value to high revenue clubs. Others are not quite as strong of performers on the field, but they’ve signed contracts that are extremely team friendly and would be franchise building blocks for lower revenue clubs. I’ve tried to balance out the value of performance and cost over the number of years that a team would control a player’s rights in order to determine which players have the most value as we head towards the 2012 trade deadline.

As a reference, we’ll be listing the years and dollars that a team has a player under control for including all team option years, as the assumption is that those are all seen as positive net value years, and would be seen as such by an acquiring team. The amount remaining on the contract includes half of their 2012 salaries and all future guaranteed salaries plus base salaries covered by the team options, though many deals have complicated option structures, buyouts, and bonuses that make these more of a ballpark figure than an exact accounting of what they’ll make going forward. For players who have remaining arbitration years, it is obviously impossible to know exactly what they’ll make in those years, so we’ll just list how many more trips through arbitration they have coming.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the last five guys on the list.

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