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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