2016 Trade Value: #11 to #20

2016 TRADE VALUE SERIES
Introduction
Hon. Mention
#41-50
#31-40
#21-30

And now we’re really getting into the best players in the game. This group is made up of some of the elite performers in the sport, and the quality of short-term value is nearly as high as it is with the top 10. The difference for most of these guys is price and control years; many of them are into their arbitration years and are close enough to free agency that they don’t bring a lot of long-term value. But their short-term impacts are still large enough to put them among the most valuable assets in baseball.

As a reminder for those who haven’t read the first three parts of the series, we’ve significantly upgraded the way we’re presenting the information this year. On the individual player tables, the Guaranteed Dollars and Team Control WAR — which are provided by Dan Szymborski’s ZIPS projections — rows give you an idea of what kind of production and costs a team could expect going forward, though to be clear, we’re not counting the rest of 2016 in those numbers; they’re just included for reference of what a player’s future status looks like. And as a reminder, we’re not ranking players based on those projections, as teams aren’t going to just make trades based on the ZIPS forecasts. That said, they’re a useful tool to provide some context about what a player might do for the next few years.

With those items covered, let’s get to the guys who just missed making the top 10.

Team Control WAR Total +13.4
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2019
Previous Rank #33
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 24 +4.2 Arb1
2018 25 +4.6 Arb2
2019 26 +4.6 Arb3
Arb

After a slow start to his career, Bogaerts has blossomed into the star he was expected to become, albeit in a different way than anticipated; he still hasn’t quite developed the power he was projected to have, but has made up for it by becoming a high-average hitter and a better defender than expected. Still just 23, there’s room for him to add more power and become an even more complete hitter, though because he’s already used up his pre-arbitration years, that kind of power spike might not benefit the Red Sox a great deal; at this point, it might only serve to drive up the cost of an extension beyond the point of reason. With Bogaerts headed for arbitration this winter and free agency after 2019, he doesn’t have quite enough long-term value to rank as highly as one might expect from a 23-tyear-old shortstop who can hit like Bogaerts can, but there’s enough short-term value for him to still be among baseball’s best trade chips.

Five-Year WAR +21.5
Guaranteed Dollars $110.0 M
Team Control Through 2022
Previous Rank #18
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 30 +5.6 $21.4 M
2018 31 +4.9 $21.4 M
2019 32 +4.2 $21.4 M
2020 33 +3.7 $21.4 M
2021 34 +3.1 $21.4 M

At 29, Posey is starting to get a little old for a catcher. At $21 million a year for the next five years, he’s no longer the kind of guy in whom every team in baseball would be interested. But if you’re looking for a reason why the Giants are winning yet again, look no further than their catcher, baseball’s overlooked superstar. Posey remains a high-end performer on his way to a third straight +6 WAR season, even without any credit for framing, at which he’s among the best in the game. Twenty-one million a year for what Posey provides is still a huge bargain, and while he’s likely headed for his decline in the next few years, he’s reached a high enough level that a declining Posey will still be a pretty great player. The short-term value of an underpaid superstar, combined with at least five years of control at below-market rates, make Posey a great value even as he ages.

Five-Year WAR +15.2
Guaranteed Dollars $33.0 M
Team Control Through 2021
Previous Rank #19
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 31 +3.9 $7.5 M
2018 32 +3.3 $10.5 M
2019 33 +3.1 $13.0 M
2020 34 +2.6 $13.5 M
2021 35 +2.3 $14.0 M
Team Option

Roughly 800 innings into his career, it’s becoming pretty clear that Kluber is a guy who should be expected to underperform his peripherals, as his career 3.42 ERA is nearly half a run higher than his career 2.96 FIP. So, he’s not quite as good as a FIP-based WAR would suggest, but even adjusting for that, he still remains one of the better pitchers in baseball, though perhaps getting there in a somewhat frustrating manner. With a contract that pays him back-end-starter money for the next three years, then includes a couple of team options in case he ages particularly well, Kluber offers some long-term upside without any real risk, though his age makes it less likely that he’ll be around to rack up value in those option years. Kluber might not quite be an ace, but he’s a very good pitcher signed to the kind of contract that teams love, and in this market, demand for his services would be intense if the Indians put him on the blocks.

Team Control WAR Total +12.4
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2018
Previous Rank #23
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 24 +6.1 Arb2
2018 25 +6.3 Arb3
Arb

Speaking of true aces, it doesn’t get much better than Jose Fernandez. The Marlins’ #1 starter has come from back Tommy John surgery as dominant as ever, throwing an unhittable slider to go with his high-octane fastball. He would probably be considered the best pitcher alive if it weren’t for that Clayton Kershaw guy over in Los Angeles. But while Fernandez remains an elite pitcher and is just 23 years of age, he really would be a short-term play for any team picking him up, as the Marlins’ decision to promote him for Opening Day in 2013 means that he’s only got two arbitration years remaining after this season, and then he’ll hit free agency after the 2018 season. He’s also never started more than 28 games in a season, so his durability remains an unknown. But even with the risk and his proximity to free agency, the level of performance is so high that contenders would be beating down the Marlins door to add him to the front of their rotation.

Team Control WAR Total +13.8
Guaranteed Dollars $13.0 M
Team Control Through 2019
Previous Rank #16
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 27 +4.8 $11.5 M
2018 28 +4.7 $12.0 M
2019 29 +4.3 $12.0 M
Team Option

The other reason the Giants just keep winning, Bumgarner is in the midst of a career year, and has cemented himself as one of the most consistent frontline pitchers in baseball at this point. He’s headed for a sixth straight season with 200-plus innings pitched, and thanks to his durable excellence — and his ability to put runs on the board for his team with his bat — he gives the Giants a significant advantage every five days. His early-career extension has just one guaranteed year left, but the two option years are clearly going to be picked up at this point, so Bumgarner is owed roughly $35 million over the next three seasons, or what we call J.A. Happ money these days. It’s basically impossible to imagine the Giants trading Bumgarner, as he’s simply too valuable for them to replace.

Team Control WAR Total +17.1
Guaranteed Dollars $12.0 M
Team Control Through 2019
Previous Rank #6
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 28 +6.1 $12.0 M
2018 29 +5.7 $12.5 M
2019 30 +5.3 $13.5 M
Team Option

Among players in this tier, Sale probably remains the most likely to be traded at some point, as the White Sox’ second attempt to go for it is only going a little bit better than their first one. They’re in too strong of a position to sell at this deadline, but if the team doesn’t manage to get off to a strong start next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sale found himself on the trade blocks next summer. The White Sox ace remains one of the best pitchers in baseball, even as he transitions towards a pitch-to-contact approach to try and save some wear and tear on his arm. Like Bumgarner, he’s got one guaranteed year and two team option years left on his deal — option years that are a near certainty to be exercised at this point — and is wildly underpaid relative to his on-field performance. If the White Sox ever do decide to move Sale, assuming he’s still pitching at this level, they’ll get a monstrous return.

Team Control WAR Total +12.0
Guaranteed Dollars $17.0 M
Team Control Through 2018
Previous Rank #17
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 31 +6.4 $17.0 M
2018 32 +5.6 Arb4
Arb

The reigning AL MVP is making a run at a second straight trophy — remarkably putting up an even better year than he did a season ago — and has established himself as one of baseball’s premier all-around players. In terms of short-term value, few players would improve a team today more than Donaldson, which is why the Blue Jays won’t give him up; he’s the reason they’re contenders. But as a 30-year-old with just two years left before he hits free agency — and that 2018 salary could break arbitration records — Donaldson doesn’t offer much in the way of long-term value, and while he’s going to be making a fraction of his market value, he won’t exactly be cheap. But given his high level of current performance, the Blue Jays would get far more for him than they gave up to get him, even after using up half of the controllable years they acquired; the Donaldson deal may very well go down as the best trade in Blue Jays history.

Team Control WAR Total +15.9
Guaranteed Dollars $4.5 M
Team Control Through 2019
Previous Rank #35
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 27 +5.5 $4.5 M
2018 28 +5.3 $6.0 M
2019 29 +5.1 $6.5 M
Team Option

A walking lesson in the limits of our ability to know a player’s limitations, Altuve has turned himself into one of the game’s best hitters, adding power to his already elite contact skills, and is now an offensive monster while playing an up-the-middle position. For a 26-year-old who is scheduled to make a grand total of $17 million from 2017 through 2019, Altuve’s combination of performance and price is hard to beat. And remarkably, he’s still the Astros’ second-most-valuable middle infielder, at least in terms of trade value. There’s a reason Houston is expected to be good for a while.

Five-Year WAR +24.1
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2021
Previous Rank #22
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 24 +4.9 Pre-Arb
2018 25 +5.1 Arb1
2019 26 +4.7 Arb2
2020 27 +4.8 Arb3
2021 28 +4.6 Arb4
Pre-Arb
Arb

Before leaving his final start before the All-Star break with arm soreness, Syndergaard ranked in the top 10, and I’ll freely admit that I don’t really know what to do with him now. One of my friends in the game called his ranking “impossible,” as there is just so much unknown at this point. On the one hand, you could argue that teams simply wouldn’t trade for Syndergaard today — not until they see him take the mound again and know he’s okay — so maybe he doesn’t belong on the list at all. On the other hand, he says he’s fine, the Mets have scheduled him to pitch next week, and when healthy, Syndergaard is a dominating ace who is nowhere near free agency or even significant arbitration paydays. So, yeah, the upside here is too high to ignore, but the risks are also substantial, and placing Syndergaard on this list is basically dart-throwing at this point. If you want to argue he belongs higher, feel free. Want to move him down? Okay, no argument here. He’s either so valuable the Mets would never move him, so risky teams would never trade for him, or something in between. So I stick him here, but with zero conviction that it’s the right spot; this ranking is basically me doing the shrug emoji.

Team Control WAR Total +13.3
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2018
Previous Rank #8
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 24 +6.6 Arb2
2018 25 +6.7 Arb3
Arb

The fact that Manny Machado can’t crack the top 10 this year this year speaks to the insane depth of young talent currently dominating the sport. Machado is also a legitimate AL MVP candidate, a superstar who just turned 24 and is coming into his own as one of baseball’s premier players. He even slid back over to shortstop this year, showing his defensive excellence wasn’t reserved for just third base. He’s everything you could want in a franchise player — other than being able to make sure he would stick around for the long-term, anyway. With just two arbitration years remaining after this season, Machado is headed for a monstrous free-agent paycheck, and while I’m sure the Orioles would love to keep him, the price will probably be prohibitive. Machado’s willingness to bet on himself by going year to year is going to pay off in a big way, and that coming massive paycheck is the only reason Machado finds himself outside the top 10 this year.

2016 Trade Value, 11-50
Rk Pv Player Age 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
11 8 Manny Machado 23 +6.6
Arb2
+6.7
Arb3
12 22 Noah Syndergaard 23 +4.9
Pre-Arb
+5.1
Arb1
+4.7
Arb2
+4.8
Arb3
+4.6
Arb4
13 35 Jose Altuve 26 +5.5
$4.5 M
+5.3
$6.0 M
+5.1
$6.5 M
14 17 Josh Donaldson 30 +6.4
$17.0 M
+5.6
Arb4
15 6 Chris Sale 27 +6.1
$12.0 M
+5.7
$12.5 M
+5.3
$13.5 M
16 16 Madison Bumgarner 26 +4.8
$11.5 M
+4.7
$12.0 M
+4.3
$12.0 M
17 23 Jose Fernandez 23 +6.1
Arb2
+6.3
Arb3
18 19 Corey Kluber 30 +3.9
$7.5 M
+3.3
$10.5 M
+3.1
$13.0 M
+2.6
$13.5 M
+2.3
$14.0 M
19 18 Buster Posey 29 +5.6
$21.4 M
+4.9
$21.4 M
+4.2
$21.4 M
+3.7
$21.4 M
+3.1
$21.4 M
20 33 Xander Bogaerts 23 +4.2
Arb1
+4.6
Arb2
+4.6
Arb3
21 10 Chris Archer 27 +3.6
$4.8 M
+3.5
$6.3 M
+3.2
$7.5 M
+2.9
$9.0 M
+2.6
$11.0 M
22 20 Jacob deGrom 28 +3.7
Arb1
+3.5
Arb2
+3.2
Arb3
+2.9
Arb4
23 26 Christian Yelich 24 +3.4
$3.5 M
+3.2
$7.0 M
+3.1
$9.8 M
+3.0
$12.5 M
+2.8
$14.0 M
24 Gregory Polanco 24 +3.3
$1.6 M
+3.3
$4.1 M
+3.1
$6.1 M
+3.1
$8.6 M
+2.8
$11.6 M
25 41 Jose Quintana 27 +4.2
$6.0 M
+4.1
$8.8 M
+3.8
$10.5 M
+3.4
$10.5 M
26 Yoan Moncada 21 +2.7
Pre-Arb
+3.1
Pre-Arb
+3.2
Pre-Arb
+3.2
Pre-Arb
+3.4
Arb1
27 39 Carlos Carrasco 29 +3.1
$6.5 M
+2.8
$8.0 M
+2.5
$9.0 M
+2.2
$9.5 M
28 Jackie Bradley Jr. 26 +4.0
Arb1
+3.9
Arb2
+3.8
Arb3
+3.4
Arb4
29 25 Starling Marte 27 +3.3
$5.0 M
+3.2
$7.5 M
+2.8
$10.0 M
+2.5
$12.5 M
+2.1
$13.5 M
30 George Springer 26 +3.5
Arb1
+3.2
Arb2
+3.1
Arb3
+2.8
Arb4
31 32 Addison Russell 22 +4.0
Pre-Arb
+4.1
Arb1
+3.9
Arb2
+3.9
Arb3
+3.8
Arb4
32 Miguel Sano 23 +2.8
Pre-Arb
+2.9
Pre-Arb
+2.8
Arb1
+2.6
Arb2
+2.5
Arb3
33 Nomar Mazara 21 +3.6
Pre-Arb
+4.0
Pre-Arb
+4.0
Arb1
+4.0
Arb2
+4.1
Arb3
34 Danny Salazar 26 +3.3
Arb1
+3.4
Arb2
+3.1
Arb3
+2.9
Arb4
35 13 Gerrit Cole 25 +3.7
Arb1
+3.8
Arb2
+3.5
Arb3
36 Julio Urias 19 +2.5
Pre-Arb
+2.9
Pre-Arb
+3.1
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Arb1
+3.4
Arb2
37 Alex Bregman 22 +2.7
Pre-Arb
+3.1
Pre-Arb
+3.4
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Arb1
+3.5
Arb2
38 Andrew Benintendi 21 +2.2
Pre-Arb
+2.7
Pre-Arb
+3.2
Pre-Arb
+3.4
Arb1
+3.4
Arb2
39 J.P. Crawford 21 +2.9
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Pre-Arb
+3.6
Pre-Arb
+3.8
Arb1
+4.1
Arb2
40 Lance McCullers 22 +3.3
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Arb1
+3.3
Arb2
+3.3
Arb3
+3.3
Arb4
41 Lucas Giolito 21 +2.4
Pre-Arb
+2.8
Pre-Arb
+3.0
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Arb1
+3.3
Arb2
42 Trevor Story 23 +3.5
Pre-Arb
+3.6
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Arb1
+3.3
Arb2
+3.3
Arb3
43 12 Joc Pederson 24 +3.1
Pre-Arb
+3.2
Arb1
+3.1
Arb2
+2.9
Arb3
44 34 Salvador Perez 26 +3.3
$3.0 M
+3.3
$7.5 M
+2.9
$10.0 M
+2.7
$13.0 M
+2.2
$13.0 M
45 Julio Teheran 25 +3.6
$6.3 M
+3.7
$8.0 M
+3.3
$11.0 M
+3.3
$12.0 M
46 Alex Reyes 21 +2.7
Pre-Arb
+3.0
Pre-Arb
+2.9
Pre-Arb
+2.8
Arb1
+2.7
Arb2
47 Jake Lamb 25 +3.3
Pre-Arb
+3.1
Arb1
+2.8
Arb2
+2.7
Arb3
48 Rougned Odor 22 +3.7
Pre-Arb
+3.8
Arb1
+4.1
Arb2
+4.1
Arb3
49 Jon Gray 24 +3.4
Pre-Arb
+3.5
Pre-Arb
+3.2
Arb1
+3.2
Arb2
+3.1
Arb3
50 47 Carlos Martinez 24 +3.7
Arb1
+3.9
Arb2
+3.5
Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb
Team Option

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newest oldest most voted
alang3131982
Member
Member

Re: Xander. I was told that no Red Sox prospects ever blossom and are continually overrated….#BIAS

rustydude
Member
rustydude

So we kick off this comment thread with the hottest of hot takes.

JJWattsArmBrace
Member
JJWattsArmBrace

Have Red Sox fans actively taken on the task of lowering the intelligence level of baseball conversations all over the internet?

Damaso
Member
Damaso

APR/MAY: .400babip, 143wrc+
JUN/JUL: .322babip, 108wrc+

has the real Xander stood up?

#reverseblossom?

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000

If the Red Sox offered Xander for Tulo, would you do it?

Damaso
Member
Damaso

xander has more value.

which one helps my team win a world series more this year? not so sure.

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000

So I just looked at the numbers… Xander has been much better on offense, but Tulo’s been better on defense. I prefer Xander, but if Tulo goes on one of his hot streaks like he has in the past, he very well could be of more help than XB… much closer than it seems on the surface…

Damaso
Member
Damaso

tulo seems to back to being Tulo after a horrible first 100pa or so (which may have just been babip driven).

I have some faith he keeps it up but not total faith.

Darren_Dreadfort
Member
Darren_Dreadfort

Besides the never ending debate about his BABIP, it’s strange of often people treat Bogaerts’s underlying stats as if the were set in stone. Last year he supposedly sucked because his ISO and walk rate weren’t good enough. He was *22*

London Yank
Member
London Yank

The babip discussion is a fair one though. Without the babip the past two years he is the offensive equivalent of Didi Gregorious. He currently needs that babip to be an elite player, so wondering whether that babip can last is valid.

Darren_Dreadfort
Member
Darren_Dreadfort

Yea, well Didi Gregorious is pretty good, isn’t he? If he was 23 and pre-arb, he would be pretty high on this list. He had to make substantial improvements in his power and contact from when he was X’s age to get to this level.

amdennis1990
Member
amdennis1990

Didi is a good player but no where near an elite player. Boegaerts’ “poor” 2015 season was basically the same as Didi’s 2016 season.

Damaso
Member
Damaso

I believe the argument was that their improvement would be countered by a likely babip regression.

kbn
Member
kbn

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/hitter-contact-quality-report-shortstop/

Actually, Bogaerts is pretty much just going to run a well above-average BABIP so long as he calls Fenway home. His fly ball profile is significantly stilted toward left field (which makes sense), and the Green Monster rewards that both in terms of easy home runs (for high enough launch angles) and guaranteed doubles (or loud singles). Also, Bogaerts’ fly ball rate is due for some significant positive regression even more than his BABIP is due for some negative regression.

In short, his adjusted production even WITHOUT accounting for Fenway’s bizarre left field is already neck-and-neck with Tulo (and Tulo’s adjusted production accounts for the terrible luck he had in his first 100 PA this year). Once you adjust for Fenway, he’s the clear #2 in the AL for offensive production at shortstop (ignoring Machado), and has a decent claim to being even more productive than Correa.