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.

Every team in baseball is looking for young hitting, and many of them are wondering where all the third baseman with power went. Sandoval is one of the few good young offensive 3Bs in the game — his career line of .306/.356/.499 is good for a 125 wRC+ — as he doesn’t turn 26 for a few more weeks. He’s had problems staying healthy the last couple of years and the Giants only bought out his arbitration years when they signed him to a three year extension, which drive down his value a bit, but his power and contact skills are rare enough that he’d command a strong return if put on the open market.

34. (4) Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston – Signed Through 2015 for $36 million.

Pedroia is yet another example of a guy ranked very highly last year who has tumbled due to injury and performance issues. A couple of thumb injuries have landed Pedroia on the DL and contributed to a miserable performance in June, but his overall performance even before the injuries was down a bit from what we’ve come to expect. Still, signed for two more years plus a team option for a third year at $10 million per season, he’s a massive bargain and he was an elite player last year, so there’s no question that there’s still a lot of value to be had. However, the multiple thumb issues and disappearing power put a bit of a damper on his current value, and any team trading for Pedroia would have to be aware of the fact that they’d be taking him away from the Green Monster, where he’s done most of his damage throughout his career.

33. (NR) Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit Tigers – Under Team Control Through 2015.

Jackson has enjoyed a breakout 2012 season, already matching his career high in home runs and seeing his walk rate spike as well. The addition of power and patience to a player with good speed have made him an all around performer and one of the best center fielders in the game this season. His track record suggests that the power might be in for a decline, but he’s posted an ISO over .200 in each of the first four months with no discernable drop-off, so there’s a case to be made that the new Jackson is simply a large improvement over the old one. His surge is well-timed, as he’ll be heading to arbitration for the first time this winter, and is probably in line for a lucrative extension if the Tigers decide to buy out his arbitration years. Even with a payday coming, however, Jackson’s performance and athleticism make him a guy that teams would be lining up to bid for.

32. (NR) Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Anaheim – Under Team Control through 2016.

His lack of plate discipline received a lot of attention during his rookie year, but it may have overshadowed the fact that Trumbo is one of the strongest players in baseball, and he’s got the kind of power that allows him to be productive even while swinging at pitches he should probably let pass. Instead of regressing from his rookie season, Trumbo has been one of the most dynamic offensive players in baseball this year, hitting .311/.361/.634, good for a 165 wRC+. Just 26, Trumbo is one of the premier young power hitters in the sport, and he’s athletic enough to not embarrass himself in the outfield. He’s not a perfect player, but his strengths are notably hard to find in the sport these days, and with four more years of team control, he’s an asset that the Angels aren’t likely to part with.

31. (NR) Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox – Under Team Control through 2016.

Sale’s conversion to the rotation couldn’t have gone any better — that is, unless you take away that whole two week blip where the White Sox were moving him back to the bullpen because his arm hurt before changing their minds. That incident has to raise some concern, but it’s still too hard to ignore what Sale has done as a dominant starting pitcher this year. A 77 xFIP- as a starting pitcher in the AL shows just how good he has been even if you regress his BABIP and HR/FB rates, and the White Sox still have another year where they can pay him peanuts before arbitration even kicks in. The drastic loss in velocity and the whole starter-reliever-starter thing would probably serve as red flags for some team, especially given his slender frame, but he’s pitching at a level where you accept some risk in order to get this kind of performance, especially from a 23-year-old making the league minimum.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Michael Scarn
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Michael Scarn

I know you said that guys a couple spots apart are more or less interchangable, but I’d have to think that the Tigers would trade Jackson for Pedroia in a heartbeat.

J6takish
Guest
J6takish

That’s more of an organizational thing, the Tigers have been notoriously shallow at 2b since Polanco left. Austin Jackson is younger, cheaper and on the upswing. He’s a more valuable player at this point

Michael Scarn
Guest
Michael Scarn

Pedroia is 28, signed to a team friendly deal, and has been the 19th most valuable player in baseball by WAR since 2010.

Stats
Guest
Stats

Pedroia has also hit twice as many doubles at home than on the road in his career. So the Tigers wouldn’t be getting that Pedroia.

Michael Scarn
Guest
Michael Scarn

So you have a better method of discounting for home park effects than wOBA and wRC+, which already do that and still show that he is excellent. Like you somehow know the amount of doubles that he would produce at Tiger Stadium? And judging by your comment that number would apparently be 0?

Stats
Guest
Stats

The last five years, Fenway Park has ranked second, second, first, first, and first in friendliness to doubles, so you could easily say that it is well established as the most doubles friendly park in all of baseball. Here are some career splits for Pedroia:

Home: 19.8 LD%, 41.7 GB%, 38.6 FB%, 8.0 HR/FB%
Away: 20.3 LD%, 44.2 GB%, 35.5 FB%, 7.7 HR/FB%

Home: 9.2 BB%, 8.4 K%
Away: 9.6 BB%, 8.4 K%

There is really no difference in his approach or contact rates in either situation. Now, for some results (1599 PA at home, 1602 PA on the road, so fully comparable)

Singles: 284 at home vs. 289 on the road.
Doubles: 130 at home vs. 76 on the road.
Triples: 4 at home vs. 4 on the road
Home Runs: 40 at home vs. 35 on the road.

Stats
Guest
Stats

And those stats do not include this year. But as you can see Pedroia literally hits twice as many doubles at Fenway than he does on the road.

Paul Sporer
Member
Member

Scarn, Pedroia isn’t excellent outside of Fenway. He’s insanely elite at home (132 wRC+) and above average on the road (106). And that’s what he HAS done, he is far from guaranteed to do that going forward even at full health. Either way, I think you’re way off to suggest the Tigers would do it in a heartbeat since I think there is an easy case for them not doing it all.

mcawesome
Member
mcawesome

I guarantee that the Phillies would trade Polanco back to Detroit for a bag of balls at this point.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Nice work on those numbers stats. Also people need to keep in mind that park effect adjustments are good ways of doing things on a large scale but that how a particular park affects a particular player can definitely be different.

Paul Sporer
Member
Member

I actually don’t think so, in fact I know it wouldn’t be in a heartbeat. Yes, 2B has been a sore spot, but if you make that trade, now you have the same issue you’ve had at 2B in a more important position of CF. Take the more expensive (albeit not grossly overpaid at all), older (and yes, also deeper track record of excellence) guy in a value trough for your brightest 25 and under star? Nah, I don’t see it.

Not to mention the value Pedroia derives from Fenway and the fact that 2Bs get really sketchy in their late-20s/early-30s. You’re putting a lot of weight on what Pedroia did in 2010 and 2011, but that’s not who the Tigers would be getting in a deal like that.

Rudy
Guest
Rudy

Not necessarily, QB can easily slide from LF to CF and the defense wouldn’t shutter. However, the last thing the Sox probably want is another OF’er–even though they seem to have every veteran OF’er cast aside by other teams every year. The Tigers also have the talent to fill 2B at AA Erie–his name is Nick Castellanos(3B); yet for some reason, instead of giving him starts and grounders at 2B, they prefer to let him get experience in the OF. If they were smart, they woud move this kid to 2B immediately being that he is eternally blocked by one of the best pure hitters in the game in Miggy.

Ian
Guest
Ian

1. Quintin Berry is not nearly the defensive player that Jackson is – poor routes, brutal arm, bad glove. Tons of speed helps to mask that, but I don’t want him in CF for the Tigers.
2. Castellanos does not move well enough to play 2B, or the Tigers would absolutely move him there.
3. I wouldn’t think the Red Sox would want Jackson for Pedroia, given their OF situation, any more than the Tigers would want Pedroia for Jackson, given Jackson’s surge towards becoming an elite player, contract status, and youth.

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