What I Learned From Last Year’s Trade Value Series

Beginning tomorrow, the 2011 Trade Value series will kick off here on FanGraphs, but before we go forward with this year’s version, I wanted to look back at last year’s list and see if there are lessons to be learned from some of the rankings. Obviously, things can change quite a bit in 12 months’ time, and many of the outcomes could not have been easily predicted last July, so we can’t just say “that guy got hurt, so it was a bad ranking.” However, I’m wondering if there are trends we can spot that might say something about what has transpired over the last year or perhaps some errors in logic I made that might have led to some rankings that don’t look so great in hindsight.

Before we talk about some of the things that we learned, however, it’d be helpful to revisit the list in its entirety. And so, here’s last year’s Top 50 Trade Value assets.

50. Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia
49. Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees
48. Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto
47. Martin Prado, 2B, Atlanta
46. Mat Latos, SP, San Diego
45. Miguel Montero, C, Arizona
44. Brian Matusz, SP, Baltimore
43. Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay
42. Geovany Soto, C, Chicago
41. Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee
40. Jered Weaver, SP, Anaheim
39. James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay
38. Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas
37. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado
36. Tommy Hanson, SP, Atlanta
35. Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit
34. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida
33. Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore
32. Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas
31. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
30. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas
29. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay
28. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Cleveland
27. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles
26. Brian McCann, C, Atlanta
25. Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati
24. Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco
23. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle
22. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis
21. Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland
20. Zack Greinke, SP, Kansas City
19. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh
18. Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis
17. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston
16. Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado
15. David Wright, 3B, New York
14. Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis
13. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York
12. Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee
11. Justin Upton, OF, Arizona
10. Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia
9. Josh Johnson, SP, Florida
8. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati
7. Jon Lester, SP, Boston
6. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington
5. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston
4. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida
3. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington
2. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta
1. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay

My initial reaction is amazement at just how much can change in a year. Regardless of whether you agreed with their exact position on the list or not, it was pretty much a consensus that Heyward, Strasburg, Ramirez, Zimmerman, Johnson, and Utley were absolutely premium trade pieces who their franchises just wouldn’t trade. Now, they’ve all dealt with injuries (and in Ramirez’s case, decreased performance that may or may not be related to the injury) that somewhat cloud their current trade value, and it’s likely that most of them won’t be quite as high on this year’s list as they were a year ago. And these guys were all in the top 10.

I don’t think I picked the wrong guys to put at the top of the list last year, but I do think these changes help illustrate just how volatile any one individual player is. It’s easy to look at guys like Pujols, Jeter, or Chipper and talk about how valuable having a true franchise player is, but those guys are the survivors — most guys who look like franchise players end up becoming something less than what they could have been had something not gone wrong. There are a lot of potential franchise players, but few actually go on to have that kind of career.

In looking back over last year’s list (and previous versions), I believe this reality is exposed. We can talk about aging curves and probability all we want, but there are a lot of guys who have ranked very highly in previous versions of this list based on their future potential and have never become the kind of player who would justify that lofty ranking. So, while I’m certainly still going to factor potential and long-term value into the ranking, I do believe that the evidence suggests that these factors have been overvalued in previous incarnations, and I’m going to give a bit more weight to present value than I have previously.

That doesn’t mean this year’s list is going to be all veterans and guys with expensive contracts — there is still huge value in having a quality young player under team control for many years at a below-market rate, and that kind of advantage will still be a significant factor in the rankings. It just shouldn’t be the only factor, and I’d like the list to better reflect the fact that there are quite a few teams in baseball who will give up a lot of future value for a chance to win in the present.

The other big takeaway from last year’s list? Either the Royals didn’t get nearly enough for Zack Greinke, or I vastly overrated his appeal as a trade chip. I’m open to either conclusion being true, but man, when you look at some of the guys I ranked him ahead of, and then you see what KC flipped him for… yikes.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Telo
Guest
Telo
5 years 1 month ago

I think the major issue with Greinke was the mental stuff. Based on talent alone you were totally justified ranking him where you did. But when you take some big city/market teams (Yanks) out of the bidding equation because they think there is an outside chance he may end up completely useless due to being a headcase (as unfounded as it may be) it kills his value.

Go To War Miss Agnes
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Go To War Miss Agnes
5 years 1 month ago

See, I really don’t get how this idea continues to perpetuate. I see this almost everywhere I read anything about Greinke. I guess it just speaks loudly to the continued lack of knowledge we as society have about mental illness.

I don’t really know anything about Greinke’s personal illness other than that he summers from social anxiety disorder and depression. The mistake most people make is to assume that these disorders are related to baseball. It’s entirely possible, if not likely, that baseball has little to no effect on his problems (which is not to say that his illness has no effect on his baseball…). We don’t know whether his anxiety is general or specific in nature, nor do we have any idea what conditions exacerbate it. Regardless, the fact that he can pitch so successfully in front of 20,000 people in Kansas City or 30,000 fans in Milwaukee is a pretty good indicator that playing baseball in front of people does not seem to be much of a trigger.

My guess/assumption would be that smart guys like Cashman, Epstein, and others would do their due diligence here instead of just saying ‘he has mental health issues, therefore we will not trade for him.’ I can’t imagine it has any significant impact on his value.

Matt
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Matt
5 years 1 month ago

Didn’t Greinke say he didn’t want to go to a market like that?

Telo
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Telo
5 years 1 month ago

Yes.

NEPP
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NEPP
5 years 1 month ago

So yeah, wouldn’t that be an indication that he DOES INDEED have mental issues with such a pressure situation. Like it or not, pitching in a major east coast market is different than pitching in KC or Milwaukee.

steve
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steve
5 years 1 month ago

It was not the anxiety thing that turned teams off, it was his attitude in general. ESPN had a solid article talking about why teams got scared off and for the most part it had nothing to do with his mental illness. Evidently he is kind of a dick.

jorgath
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jorgath
5 years 1 month ago

Being kind of a dick can be a symptom of social anxiety disorder — you push people away because you don’t want to talk to them. In the case of a player with that disorder, I think it would have a far greater effect on his ability to talk to the press than his ability to play. Being in front of people is less of a trigger than having to converse with them.

That being said, it can have an effect on clubhouse relations too. Some teams may have taken that into consideration, and opted out on those grounds, which means that his value was lowered a bit. Especially true of teams like NYY and BOS, which can look for players without the risk of this problem instead of having to deal with a player with this problem.

Still, I’d say that both are true. Greinke’s value wasn’t quite as high because of some teams opting out on the grounds of his disorders, but the Royals got the bad end of that deal anyway.

Jarred
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Jarred
5 years 1 month ago

Wow – I’m SHOCKED that you would say the Royal’s didn’t get enough for Zach. A major league short stop, a future MLB center fielder and a very good pitching prospect. Escobar is becoming (if not already) the best defensive shortstop in the league and over the past month has been tearing the cover off the ball.

“Mental issues” had nothing to do with anything – Zach never even had mental issues – he lacked motivation at times but it’s tough not to when your pitching for a team that is way out of contention in 115 degree weather. Zach made it clear he wanted to win.

The author (Dave) really missed the boat on this one – if you want to to talk about something for nothing trades try the Royal’s dealing Alberto Callaspo for Sean O’Sullivan – that was UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Ask Joe P. he will tell you – he is the best sports writer in KC Star history!!! He should take over this series!!

Shazbot
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Shazbot
5 years 1 month ago

Any bets on where Joey Bats lands this year?

jim
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jim
5 years 1 month ago

…toronto

Peter
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Peter
5 years 1 month ago

#1

Nox
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Nox
5 years 1 month ago

He and Longoria are #1 and #2 in some order I’m sure.

Telo
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Telo
5 years 1 month ago

As has been said… 1/2 with Longo, depending on how Dave sees him aging.

Telo
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Telo
5 years 1 month ago

That being said, I think it’s hard to draw up a scenario where he’s not #1

Nox
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Nox
5 years 1 month ago

Agreed. He’s #1 for me.

Person
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Person
5 years 1 month ago

If you go back and read the 2010 excerpt on Longoria, it seems pretty certain that he will be #1 again.

Bodhizefa
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Bodhizefa
5 years 1 month ago

I’d have to think that Greinke’s trade worth was significantly downgraded by his lack of interest in going to most teams coupled with his previous mental illness issues. You could make a case that you missed the boat on factoring in his mental problems, but there’s no way you could’ve known he would be picky in where he was dealt.

I, for one, can’t wait for this series again. It’s a very fun read and, despite some quibbles, I generally glean plenty from the column overall. Looking forward to it, Dave.

Blue
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Blue
5 years 1 month ago

This. For example, Danny Espinosa and/or Jordan Zimmerman were being talked about in the Nationals trade he rejected.

That said, I think the Royals got a very nice haul for him,.

Andrew
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Andrew
5 years 1 month ago

when you look at the past few years, it seems like the trade values for pitchers is much less than what you’d expect, not just Greinke. I don’t think people really thought the teams trading away Lee (twice), Haren, Sabathia, Johan Santana and Halladay got true value. I would think it would have to do with mostly the uncertainty regarding injuries and durability that factors heavily in those decisions.

10 Day Fantasy HR Contest
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

I think the Indians got somewhat decent value for Sabathia and Lee. That’s part of the reason why they are in the race this year. Carrasco, Marson, LaPorta and Brantley. None are superstars, but Carrasco has a chance to be really good and compete for a Cy Young. He has 4 good pitches and is really learning how to pitch. LaPorta might not be as good as originally thought, but at the time he was a top 10 prospect. And Brantley is turning into a solid player and I really see him growing next year.

Andrew
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Andrew
5 years 1 month ago

I agree with what you’re saying, but at the time, I don’t recall any of them really being considered a premium prospect with the exception of LaPorta.

DHolc
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DHolc
5 years 1 month ago

Carrasco competing for a Cy Young was a hilarious joke. Thanks. I needed that.

All American Home Run Derby
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Down the road. Have you ever seen him pitch? Great stuff and can locate all 4 pitches.

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
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My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
5 years 1 month ago

On Carlos Carrasco: “Have you ever seen him pitch?”

Me: “Yes, May 24th, Angel Stadium.”

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
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My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
5 years 1 month ago

^^^^^^April 13th

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 1 month ago

I saw him pitch against AJ Burnett (TV) during the game where both were making hitters look dumb.

Seriously, Carrasco features velocity with serious movement. If he adds consistency into that, he certainly could compete for a CYA.

Matt
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Matt
5 years 1 month ago

Don’t forget to mention Bill Simmons, or we will have to deal with his psycho followers again.

Bryz
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5 years 1 month ago

I was fully expecting one of the things Dave learned was to always cite Bill Simmons for an otherwise simple concept that anyone could have thought up.

Snoth
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Snoth
5 years 1 month ago

Don’t be hating on Bill Simmons. As I man, I hate his nasily voice and 5 foot goblin like frame. But as a writer, his articles are awesome. He is funny and writes like a real sports fan. He gets “it”.

Read his article on the NBA lockout. All his suggestions are simple concepts? Not really.

He writes like a child but it works.

Bryz
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5 years 1 month ago

I was talking about the trade value series as being a simple concept, not about Simmons’ articles in general.

Garold
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Garold
5 years 1 month ago

“5 foot goblin like frame”

Uh, isn’t Simmons actually kind of tall? I could be wrong but I always thought he was 6’2″ or something.

Kirkwood
Member
Kirkwood
5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, Simmons is over 6 feet. Makes his voice sound…disconnected.

Steve
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Steve
5 years 1 month ago

Snoth – There is very little in his NBA lockout article that hasn’t been said many, many times over. He can write a little bit, no doubt about that, but I am stupified by the number of people who trip over themselves to praise him everytime he repeats something that even your local afternoon sports talk guy has mentioned.

Person
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Person
5 years 1 month ago

One thing’s for sure: no Adam Dunn on this list.

SF 55 for life
Member
SF 55 for life
5 years 1 month ago

“If this was strictly about past performance, he’d rank much higher. The continued loss of velocity, however, raises questions about what kind of pitcher he’ll be going forward, and teams have long been skeptical of his durability due to his size, workloads, and unorthodox delivery.’

That was a portion of the write up for Tim Lincecum. Now that he has gained a lot of his velocity back and pitched more innings last season than ever before (finishing his last two months extremely strong) does he move up? I know he is in line for a huge payday, but without any type of injury concerns I can’t see how he could be ranked behind the likes of Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, or Ubaldo Jimenez.

Andrew
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Andrew
5 years 1 month ago

if Lincecum moves up, shouldn’t King Felix as well? I’m sure you’ll see big drops from Josh Johnson, Wainwright, and Jimenez.

Barkey Walker
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Barkey Walker
5 years 1 month ago

Every pitcher is under suspicion of being injured at all times. That is part of the problem with them.

MLB pitchers perform at the peak of what the human arm is capable of, so they have to be 100%. Imagine there is an injury that would take 10 feet of a longest fly ball a hitter could hit or 2% off a fast ball velocity or 10% off the movement of a breaking ball, the pitcher is toast and the batter lost some but not even most of their value.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
5 years 1 month ago

Wow, I didn’t notice how high Rasmus was last year. I know he’s got a lot of potential but, even with payroll in consideration, can you see any team choosing him over Lincecum or Felix?

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
5 years 1 month ago

Posey seems really low too. You’d rather have Kinsler?

EK
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EK
5 years 1 month ago

What you should have learned is that this is an interesting academic exercise but has no real relationship to actual baseball. In reality, this chart is largely based on an economic misapprehension.

Snoth
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Snoth
5 years 1 month ago

economic misapprehension? Care to explain?

juan pierre's mustache
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juan pierre's mustache
5 years 1 month ago

the belief that most GMs have any sort of economic apprehension is a misapprehension

Someanalyst
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Someanalyst
5 years 1 month ago

Half the universe is based on an economic misapprehension. The statement is useless without elaboration.

Mike Green
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Mike Green
5 years 1 month ago

As usual, predicting performance for pitchers is more difficult than for position players. To some extent that was recognized, as only two of the top 15 were pitchers. I suspect that one would want to make somewhat more of an adjustment for this.

dustygator
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dustygator
5 years 1 month ago

Considering the Giants won the World Series with a mediocre offense last year and are in first place in their division with a putrid offense, yeah I think pitching is undervalued.

Jake R.
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Jake R.
5 years 1 month ago

It’s not that pitching isn’t valuable. It is. But, individual pitchers are less valuable than individual hitters, from a forward looking standpoint, because of their increased chance of injury and pursuant increased volatility.

Ivdown
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Ivdown
5 years 1 month ago

Some of the biggest risers (or add ons) off the top of my head are Bautista (gotta be top 20 if not much higher), Kershaw, Kemp, Weaver, Sheilds, Verlander, McCutchen, and I’m sure a few others.

The biggest fallers have gotta be Choo, Posey, Ubaldo, Hughes, Santana, Weiters, possibly Soto, and Matusz.

I’ve been looking forward to this piece all year, can’t wait for all the ensuing arguments.

Telo
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Telo
5 years 1 month ago

Bats is signed for 13 mil a year for 5 years (if the club picks up the option) and is going to cruise past 10 WAR this year like it aint no thang. #2 is the absolutely lowest anyone could conceivably rank him.

Nitram Odarp
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Nitram Odarp
5 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t just assume he’s going to easily cruise past 10 WAR just yet. He still has to be better over the rest of the season than he was during his very impressive 2010 season.

Go To War Miss Agnes
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Go To War Miss Agnes
5 years 1 month ago

Stanton’s gotta be among the biggest risers too, right? He’s on track to put up 3.5-4.0 WAR at age 21.

Ivdown
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Ivdown
5 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t argue if he were around number 20 at all. I’ve said this many times, if I could take a rookie from the last 2 or 3 seasons I’d take Stanton to be on my team. He’s a beast.

GScott
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GScott
5 years 1 month ago

If Kemp tried harder, he could be a good player.

mscharer
Member
mscharer
5 years 1 month ago

I suspect Verlander isn’t going to rise much… and may fall down the list. His contract starts to get expensive next season.

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, he’s an absolute monster (according to WAR, the 2nd best pitcher of the last 3 years behind Halladay), but his contract isn’t exactly team-friendly. Not that Mike I gives a damn if he’s pitching this well.

joker24
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joker24
5 years 1 month ago

Santana shouldn’t fall too much. He’s still been worth 2.1 WAR and he’s low in the BABIP department (though the ridiculous IFFB and low LD rates make that less luck than him not hitting the ball hard, but still he has a track record going back to the minors that he should be better than this).

I’ll take a catcher who has a 17.5% BB-rate.

Bill
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Bill
5 years 1 month ago

Weiters is having a decent year. Not a breakout year, but a good enough year that I doubt his stock falls that much.

channelclemente
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5 years 1 month ago

What, no Jayson Werth, oh my.

Jay
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Jay
5 years 1 month ago

Odorizzi has climbed 50 spots in the BA prospect rankings (up to 23), Cain is raking, Escobar is headed to 2.5 wins. Seems like the Royals knew what they were doing.

Anon
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Anon
5 years 1 month ago

.278 wOBA. His value’s being inflated by an unreliable defensive stat.

Xeifrank
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5 years 1 month ago

How many of these players were actually traded?
vr, Xei

Jay
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Jay
5 years 1 month ago

You could, you know, count them for yourself. By my count the answer is one and the return did not comport with Dave’s valuation. Though the return seems to be flourishing .5 seasons after the trade.

Xeifrank
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

I only recognized one, but wasn’t sure if I was missing a few others. I understand where the trade value comes from, but just find it ironic that almost nobody from the list actually gets traded.

Ivdown
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Ivdown
5 years 1 month ago

One thought that comes to mind is Chad Billingsley. He’s not a sexy pick, but just taking a look since the start of 08 he is 16th in WAR, 16 in FIP, 24th in xFIP, and he has that new contract extension as well. I know he wouldn’t be a top 30 guy or anything, but I wonder if he’s got a shot somewhere in the 40-50 range.

Eric
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Eric
5 years 1 month ago

I would agree that in hindsight it seems that potential may have been given too much weight at the expense of actual production.

Dustin
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Dustin
5 years 1 month ago

Can’t believe nobody has mentioned Rickie Weeks yet. He has to make the list.

Xeifrank
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5 years 1 month ago

Would he be higher than Bryce Harper?

Economan
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Economan
5 years 1 month ago

1) In trades, teams are showing at least in part that they have different discount rates. A team whose window for winning is open now, like the Brewers, is likely to be shopping for someone who will provide returns now. To them, Bryce Harper isn’t that valuable, as the teetering structure this team is built on will most likely have crashed by the time Harper is hitting his stride in the majors. To make any one set of trade rankings is to presume that everyone is using the same discount rate, and that’s patently false. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it? No, but then don’t beat yourself up about overvaluing the future. Why?

2) Predicting the future is effing hard. All kinds of stuff happens: people get injured, prospects pan out or don’t (or go become priests, like Grant Desme). Unless you have a better algorithm for making these predictions, Dave, I don’t see much need to mess with the system. You can up the across-the-board discount rate you’re using to account for more uncertainty, and then maybe your list will be more in line with the values put on players by the WIN NOW teams, but the cost there is accuracy to potential sellers, who lower discount rates. I mean, are you kicking yourself for ranking Hanley so high? Seriously? No one predicted this year, and no one could.

Raising a discount rate would just raise the alleged value of Matt Stairs, and while he may make a viable trade chip I don’t think anyone on here wants to spend a whole lot of time fantasizing about how cool it would be to have Stairs on their favorite team. After all, that’s sort of the true purpose of this list, isn’t it? If I were a GM and I could choose players freely with their existing contracts, who would I like to have? I don’t want frigging Stairs, man: last year I’d have taken Hanley and Johnson and Utley, since I couldn’t have known they’d lose some value this year. I don’t think messing with the algorithm in the way you describe is a good idea.

Someanalyst
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Someanalyst
5 years 1 month ago

Matt Stairs is Awesome! NONE of his value is alleged, it is ALL proven.

Note to Blue Jays: please do not aquire him.

JamesDaBear
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Your biggest oversight last year was and still remains… Starlin Castro. You didn’t even put a 21-year-old shortstop in the majors as having the most trade value on his team.

SC2GG
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5 years 1 month ago

I was hoping for an update. “Pre-deadline Trade Value Indicator” – can you make it happen? Who’s worth the 3rd most at the deadline?

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
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My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
5 years 1 month ago

Poor Shin-Soo Choo, Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Santana, Mat Latos, Geovany Soto, and Phil Hughes.

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
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My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
5 years 1 month ago

And with no knowledge on his contract structure, Andrew McCutchen has to be top 5 currently.

Snoth
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Snoth
5 years 1 month ago

So I’m wondering what the premise of trade value is in this particular case: In Dave’s case is it, Team A would not (or should not) trade player A ranked #22 for player B ranked #23 from Team B straight up contracts and all?

That seems to be the case but St. Louis sure as hell would trade Rasmus for people ranked much lower at this point one year ago. No way Cards wouldn’t trade him for King Felix or David Price all things included.

BillWallace
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BillWallace
5 years 1 month ago

I’m surprised Ryan Zimmerman’s injury wasn’t worse.

Bill
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Bill
5 years 1 month ago

Said the same thing about the Greinke trade at the time. Was shouted down by people in the midst of their KC Farm System Euphoria.

Blue
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Blue
5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, well you were wrong then just like Dave is wrong now.

rbt
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rbt
5 years 1 month ago

I agree, because I feel Dave is underrating the Royals return for Greinke. No, they didn’t get a boatload of major leaguers, but in time this trade will be viewed in a better light than it is now.

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 1 month ago

And just as importantly, they also got (1 – Betancourt). Addition by subtraction!!

TK
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TK
5 years 1 month ago

Braun is having an amazing year and STILL should fall on this list.

andy
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andy
5 years 1 month ago

mad bum better be up here. in 225ip he’s been worth 5.1WAR. he’s 21. he’s team controlled through 2016. sporting a 3.15xfip this year( roughly 3.5 for his career). and i dont want any but he’s 4-9, you jack morris lovin p.o.s.

hernandez17
Member
hernandez17
5 years 1 month ago

“mad bum”? Worst….nickname….everrrrr.

Bill
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Bill
5 years 1 month ago

kinda like it.

jessef
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

old hoss?

Chone Figgins & Adam Dunn
Guest
Chone Figgins & Adam Dunn
5 years 1 month ago

Will we make the list?

AC
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AC
5 years 1 month ago

lester ahead of that many pitchers is almost sinful. rasmus unfortunate year, he would have needed to explode for his ranking to be justified. would a team really trade lincecum/felix/price for rasmus? lolno.

Person
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Person
5 years 1 month ago

I’m going to guess that Justin Upton will move up to the top 5 this year.

cs3
Member
cs3
5 years 1 month ago

A few names not mentioned on last years list that will surely be in the top 20 this year.

Carlos Gonzalez – really shocked nobody has even mentioned him. Signed for 7 years, all through his prime seasons, at just over 11 mil per yr. Last season accumulated over 6 WAR and this year on pace for another 5 WAR season (assuming injury turns out to be not too serious).
His performance value will obliterate the dollar amount payed to him.over the course of this contract.

Starlin Castro – a 21 yr old kid in just the 2nd year worth of team control, playing a premium position, and worth 4 WAR through his first 900 MLB ab’s.
Only expected to improve

Jose Bautista – the obvious one now, but nobody saw that contract coming. Should top this years list.

Bryce Harper – All world talent. Through half of a minor league season appears to be every bit as good as the hype suggested. signed for ~10 mil over 5 years and assuming he hits the Nats big league team in 2012 he will only need to produce 2.5 WAR/season to be worth his contract. seems like a mortal lock to surpass that. The spike in attendance alone that Washington should see when he and Strasburg finally both take the field should pay most of his salary

Don't forget
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Don't forget
5 years 1 month ago

Curtis Granderson. Gotta make top 15.

ToddM
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ToddM
5 years 1 month ago

Curtis starts to get expensive now. 3/5th of a year at a 40 HR pace isn’t going to make him top 15 at age 30 making $12+ mil a year next year.

I’d still take him back on my Tigers, though. :-(

cs3
Member
cs3
5 years 1 month ago

Also i expect oth Justin Upton and Jay Bruce to move up inside the top 5

The Bruce contract is ridiculously team friendly and hes finally showing some of elite power potential. Signed for 50 mil over 6 yrs, in his age 24-29 seasons

Robbie G.
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Robbie G.
5 years 1 month ago

I am a big “bang for your buck” guy when it comes to evaluating players yet even I think that we tend to get carried away when evaluating players from this perspective. I am also a guy who is always going to root against whoever is playing the Yankees but I try to look at things objectively. Where I’m going here is this: surely it bugs some of you guys that only one Yankee is to be found among the top 48 players on the list above, and #49 is Phil Hughes, who probably wouldn’t crack the top 150 or so players on such a list this time around.

The Yankees do pay a lot for their players but they are generally getting what they are paying for, and then some. The Yankees won 95 ballgames last season. Two wins less than Philly, who led the majors with 97 wins. Look at some of these mediocrities who get $3-$5 mil/year contracts in MLB. Are you telling me that Mariano Rivera is not at least 25-30 times more valuable than, say, Danys Baez? Rivera is expensive but, again, the Yankees have been getting what they have been paying for, and then some; Rivera is probably the best closer in MLB history.

You guys can make fun of Bill Simmons all day long, by the way, but his logic in his NBA trade value rankings is pretty tough to argue with. And no way does he rank, say, Paul George ahead of Kobe Bryant, even though Kobe makes 20-25 times more than George. C.C. Sabathia isn’t on this list. Neither is Roy Halladay. Two first ballot HOFers at the top of their game. I’m sorry, but this just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Bill
Guest
Bill
5 years 1 month ago

The reasoning is that a player being paid what he is worth can be purchased on the free agent market. So, this player isn’t really as valuable a trade chip as someone making less that he’s worth. CC and Halladay are great, but they are paid accordingly. Kobe may very well contribute 20 to 25 times more than Paul George would, but CC does not contribute 4 times more than Ricky Romero, even though he is paid four times as much. This is the only factor. One has to consider scarcity as well, but the argument could certainly be made that Romero is a more valuable trade chip than CC. Only 6 teams or so in the league could afford to CC. Every team can afford Romero.

jessef
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Except Roy Halladay was not purchased on the open market and his contract is nowhere close to what he could have made there.

Halladay’s deal (3 yr/60M + team option for 1 yr/ 20M) really is not comparable to Sabathia’s (7 yr/23M + player option after 3rd season).

Given Halladay’s production, the term of his contract, and his salary, you really don’t think he has top-50 trade value in MLB? If the Phillies were not in contention, they’d be getting a ton back for him.

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
5 years 1 month ago

Where does Danny Espinosa debut, if at all? Is there enough evidence yet?

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