2010 Trade Value: #40 – #36

Introduction
#50-#46
#45-#41

#40 – Jered Weaver, SP, Anaheim

Weaver’s breakthrough performance has come at a good time for him, as he heads towards his second year of arbitration eligibility. Already a quality pitcher, he’ll now take a career year built around an improved strikeout rate to the panel when asking for a large raise this winter. And, that is really the drawback that keeps him this low on the list – even as well as he’s pitching, he’s only got two years of club control left, and he’ll make decent money in both 2011 and 2012. However, even factoring in arbitration raises, he’s still going to be a bargain, and he’d be one of the most sought after pitchers in the game if the Angels put him on the market.

#39 – James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay

Like Weaver, Shields has seen a big jump in his strikeout rate this year. However, it hasn’t led to better results, as his home run problems and a high BABIP have undermined what should have been a breakout year. Those should even out sooner than later, and Shields abilities as a solid front of the rotation starter will again shine through. And, of course, since he’s a member of the Rays, he has a team friendly contract that includes three team options after 2011, giving Tampa Bay a cheap, quality pitcher with very little risk attached.

#38 – Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas

Similar to Weaver, Hamilton has had a monstrous breakout season, and he’s going to reap the rewards when he heads back to arbitration this winter. Power hitters command a large premium in the market, and so while Hamilton only has two more years of team control, those are hugely valuable years where he’ll be earning far less than what he would as a free agent. Given that he’s also a quality defensive outfielder with physical tools that have suggested this kind of performance was always possible, and Hamilton would be near the top of every GMs shopping list.

#37 – Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado

There is no player in baseball less likely to be traded than Tulowitzki. Not only is he a great player at a premium position signed to a bargain of a long term contract, but that deal also contains a provision that lets him void the rest of the contract if he’s moved to another team. That makes him far more valuable to the Rockies than to potential suitors, who would only get two years of Tulowitzki’s services at arbitration salaries if they acquired him. However, that he won’t be traded doesn’t mean teams wouldn’t love to have him, and those final two years are extremely valuable, given the dearth of good shortstops in baseball and how much he adds both at the plate and on the field.

#36 – Tommy Hanson, SP, Atlanta

Don’t let the ERA fool you – Hanson has gotten even better after a strong rookie season in 2009. His velocity is up, giving him better stuff across the board, and it’s translated into fewer walks and more strikeouts this season. Still just 23, Hanson has the ability to dominate with regularity, and it won’t take long before he’s recognized as one of the National League’s premier arms. With five more years of team control after 2010, the Braves ace is going to be providing tremendous value for Atlanta well into the coming decade.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.



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Jeff
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Jeff

I would think Hanson would be rated much higher. Young ace with 5 1/2 more years of control?

vivaelpujols
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Not quite an ace yet. xFIP’s of 4.02 and 4.03 in his first two years. But the fact that his stuff has improved across the board is encouraging.

Realist
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Realist

I knew he’s been lucky with those hr/fb for 220 innings.

vivaelpujols
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Sarcasm?

Alex
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Alex

Even as a Braves fan I disagree. While his stuff appears to be better, I don’t think he’s been using it that well. For the most part he’s just a 4 seam FB and slider guy. While the curve seems to be getting more movement, it hasn’t been nearly as effective this year and the change up still doesn’t seem to have progressed. If he can figure that stuff out he could be one of the best pitchers in baseball, but if not his effectiveness will be limited. I’m am encouraged by what appears to be a 2 seamer he’s mixed in some his last few starts. Right now he really needs another weapon against LHB.

Honestly, Hanson comes with a lot of the caveats of most young pitchers. He hasn’t proven he can handle a full season’s workload yet, and there is always the worry of injury, especially with a guy that relies so heavily on the slider. On top of that, his FB rate is a little scary to me. He’s been able to limit HR in spite of it thus far, but I’m not sure he can continue at his current level.

Phantom Stranger
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Phantom Stranger

I have to agree with Alex on Hanson, as someone else that watches the Braves on a daily basis. His stuff is ahead of his knowledge as a pitcher, and whoever is calling games for him is doing him no favors.

drumzalicious
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drumzalicious

His stuff is fine. His curveball hasn’t been as effective because he isn’t getting it called for strikes. There was a game the other day where the announcers were saying that because so few true 12-6 Curveballers are out there umpires don’t see them to much and often times call them balls when they’re strikes.

I do agree about his change up though. He seems to have forsaken its development for a Cutter and a 2SFB this year. I really feel a good change up would take him from a high #2 to an Ace.

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