2010 Trade Value: #20 – #16


#20 – Zack Greinke, SP, Kansas City

It would have been unfair to expect Greinke to repeat his remarkable 2009 season, and thus far, he hasn’t been able to do it. However, even after taking a step back, he’s still among the game’s best pitchers, and he is signed to a bargain contract that will pay him just $27 million in 2011 and 2012. Of all the guys in the Top 50, he’s probably the most likely to be moved before his current contract expires, so it will be interesting to see if we actually find out what Greinke’s trade value is in the next year or so.

#19 – Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh

Teams love players who can do everything, and that’s McCutchen in a nutshell. He’s above average in every area, and as a 23-year-old with a broad array of skills, he’s got room for even more development. He’s already one of the game’s best center fielders and would get significantly more notice if he played somewhere besides Pittsburgh. Given that the Pirates have him under team control for five more years, they don’t have to worry about losing their franchise player any time soon.

#18 – Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis

Anyone who wasn’t sure how good Wainwright’s curve was learned during Tuesday’s All-Star Game. His curve ball is probably the best in the game, and his fastball, slider, and change-up aren’t bad either. He throws strikes, gets groundballs, and misses bats. There are really no flaws in his game. The Cardinals control him through 2013 at a grand total of $27 million, and the last two years of the deal are team options, limiting the liability if something goes wrong and he ends up hurt. Overall, the combination of excellence, low cost, and minimal risk adds up to a highly valued asset.

#17 – Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston

A six-win player signed through 2013 for a grand total of $37 million? Yes, please. Youkilis has surpassed what anyone thought he would become, and has turned himself into one of the best all around players in the game. He hits for contact and power, draws a bunch of walks, and plays quality defense at multiple positions. Even at age 31, he’s showing no signs of slowing down, and while he has a skillset that generally doesn’t age all that gracefully, he should remain highly productive through the rest of his contract.

#16 – Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado

No, he’s not pitching as well as his ERA would suggest. Yes, he’s still a phenomenal pitcher. His combination of stuff and performance is up there with anyone, and when you see him light up radar guns, it isn’t hard to see why hitters are having such a tough time generating runs against him. Beyond just what he brings to the mound, though, his contract is super team friendly – he’s got four years left on his deal (the last two being club options) for a grand total of $21 million. The last option is voidable if he’s traded, however, so an acquiring team would only get three years from him, which keeps him out of the top 15, but still makes him a tremendously valuable asset.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Joe Mic
12 years ago

Ubaldo at #16?

I’m scratching my head on this one. Compare his contract with Strasburg (4 yr/$15.1M (09-12)) – Ubaldo makes less money for the same amount of time (4 yr/$10M (09-12)+13-14 cl opts). I know the hype machine is squarely focused on Strasburg, but NO WAY does he deserve to be higher on this list. Dave, I think you dropped the ball on this one..

12 years ago
Reply to  Joe Mic

Strasburg is under team control for another 6 years after this one. The deal he signed only actually relates to the guaranteed money. Afterwards he’s still arb eligible.

Also, the 2014 club option on Ubaldo doesn’t apply to this because he can (and will) void it if he is traded. If not for that clause I’m sure he would have landed a little higher (maybe even top 10), but losing that extra year (which would only cost 8 million) does affect his value significantly.

12 years ago
Reply to  Joe Mic

Actually, going forward, the money is about the same because $5m of strasburg’s $7.5M bonus has been paid. It is closer to $10m v. $9m, ubaldo getting a number of bonuses on innings and cy young votes that he’s likely to earn. His option for 2013 looks likely to be picked up, which would take him up to free agency. It is a minimum $5.75M. Strasburg will be coming off of a $3M contract and not be arbitration eligible. IOW, Strasburg is likely to make less over the next 4 years than Ubaldo, and will be considerably younger at that point.