2016 Trade Value: #21 to #30

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

We’re now halfway through this year’s trade value list, and today’s crop is an interesting group, comprised almost entirely of outfielders and pitchers, many of whom have signed long-term deals at bargain prices, relative to the current market rates for players of their abilities. This group skews a little older than the last ten names we discussed, but the oldest player here is still 29; youth is still a near-requirement for making this series.

As a reminder for those who haven’t read the first two 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. And for prospects who haven’t yet been called up, we have to guess when they’ll become arbitration eligible, since we don’t actually know how their organizations will handle the service time issue yet.

With those items covered, let’s get to the middle of the list.

Team Control WAR Total +12.6
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2020
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 27 +3.5 Arb1
2018 28 +3.2 Arb2
2019 29 +3.1 Arb3
2020 30 +2.8 Arb4
Arb

Springer’s transformation from a swing-and-miss slugger into a quality all-around player has been pretty amazing; he’s raised his contact rate from 61% to 74% over the last couple of years, a stunning improvement in a number that generally doesn’t move that much. He’s managed to retain his power despite getting his swing under control, and now, he’s become one of the best outfielders in baseball, providing value at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. The only reason Springer is even this low is that he took some time getting to the big leagues, not debuting until he was 24, so despite just being in his third year in the majors, he turns 27 in a few months, so he doesn’t have the long-term upside of some of the other young guys ahead of him. But he’s a terrific player and should remain one for the rest of his arbitration years, making him one of the most valuable players in the game.

Five-Year WAR +13.9
Guaranteed Dollars $26.5 M
Team Control Through 2021
Previous Rank #25
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 28 +3.3 $5.0 M
2018 29 +3.2 $7.5 M
2019 30 +2.8 $10.0 M
2020 31 +2.5 $12.5 M
2021 32 +2.1 $13.5 M
Team Option

Perhaps one of the most unique players in baseball, Marte is a combination of skills you don’t see all that often. He’s one of the fastest players in baseball, but plays left field, a position traditionally manned by lumbering sluggers. Marte doesn’t walk at all, but has a career .344 OBP anyway, thanks to his ability to sustain exceptionally high BABIPs by racking up infield hits and avoiding infield flies. He strikes out more than most teams would want from a guy whose not really a power hitter, yet he racks up enough extra base hits to remain an excellent hitter. Like Springer, he’s one of the best all-around outfielders in baseball, though unlike with the Astros situation, Marte’s never really going to get that expensive; the long-term deal he signed in 2014 ensures that. While Marte might not ever get the public recognition he deserves as a high-end player, teams definitely would love to have him, especially budget-conscious teams that need star players at role player salaries.

Team Control WAR Total +15.1
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2020
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 27 +4.0 Arb1
2018 28 +3.9 Arb2
2019 29 +3.8 Arb3
2020 30 +3.4 Arb4
Arb

A year ago, Bradley was in Triple-A, and it was basically impossible to imagine that he’d be considered one of the most valuable players in the game 12 months later. But since this list was last published, Bradley has played 143 big league games, and hit .285/.368/.545, good for a 139 wRC+, and with his defense in CF, that adds up to +6 WAR in less than a season’s worth of playing time; over that time, only Mike Trout has been a more productive CF on a per-game basis. The addition of power to his game has transformed him as a hitter, and now he looks like a guy who is going to hit while also adding substantial value in the field. Even if he won’t sustain his current offensive numbers, an above average hitter who plays elite defense in center field is a coveted thing, and with Bradley having four prime years of control after this season, the Red Sox would be able to extract a ransom for him if they chose to make him available. They won’t, though, because he’s one of the main reasons the 2016 Red Sox are contending for a playoff team, and he’s now a cornerstone of their team going forward.

Team Control WAR Total +10.6
Guaranteed Dollars $16 M
Team Control Through 2020
Previous Rank #39
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 30 +3.1 6,500,000
2018 31 +2.8 8,000,000
2019 32 +2.5 $9.0 M
2020 33 +2.2 $9.5 M
Team Option

An earlier version of this table had Carrasco’s contract information incorrect. It has been updated.

Three years and six days ago, the Indians designated Carrasco for assignment, putting him through waivers to get him down to Triple-A, meaning any team in baseball could have grabbed him for nothing but a small waiver fee. After figuring out how to command his stuff in the bullpen, he’s now in year three of dominating as a starting pitcher, and thanks to the extension he signed with Cleveland last year, he’s going to get paid like an okay middle reliever for the rest of his career. In terms of production at a low cost, it’s hard to find many better values than Carrasco. But he’s a high-risk arm, already having had Tommy John surgery, and never having thrown more than the 183 innings he racked up last year, so while the long-term cheap contract is nice, it’s probably not wise to expect Carrasco to still be pitching well by the time the deal expires. But even if he doesn’t have long-term durability on his side, Carrasco is a very cheap frontline starter, and in a market starved for controllable arms, he’d be a big time target if the Indians started listening to offers.

Five-Year WAR +15.6
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through TBD
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 22 +2.7 Pre-Arb
2018 23 +3.1 Pre-Arb
2019 24 +3.2 Pre-Arb
2020 25 +3.2 Pre-Arb
2021 26 +3.4 Arb1
Pre-Arb
Arb

The best prospect in baseball, the market has already put a high value on Moncada once, back when he came with more uncertainty and was even further from the big leagues. 15 months after signing Moncada for $31.5 million, plus paying another $31.5 million in penalties because of the deal, Moncada looks to be worth well more than what Boston paid, and is generally considered to be the best prospect in baseball at this point. Overflowing with upside, Moncada looks like a potential franchise player with both speed and power, and while he doesn’t offer the present value that most of the rest of the players on this list do, people in the game think he could be a regular as early as next year, and be a star not too long after that. Given his upside, it’s very unlikely the Red Sox trade him; if they do, they’re going to have to get back a pretty great player, because Moncada’s now the kind of prospect that doesn’t get traded very often.

Team Control WAR Total +15.5
Guaranteed Dollars $16.8 M
Team Control Through 2020
Previous Rank #41
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 28 +4.2 6,000,000
2018 29 +4.1 8,850,000
2019 30 +3.8 $10.5 M
2020 31 +3.4 $10.5 M
Team Option

Still one of the most incredible stories in baseball — Quintana joined the White Sox as a minor league free agent, which is basically unheard of for a guy this good — Quintana just continues to get better every year, adding more velocity and increasing his strikeout rate again in the first half of the year, as he continues to move away from being seen as a strike-thrower who is getting by with average stuff, and is now starting to be viewed as a legitimate front of the rotation starter. Like Carrasco, Quintana’s long-term contract will keep his salaries well within every team’s budget for years, but unlike Carrasco, Quintana is a guy who you can count on to give you 200 innings a year, at least as much as you can count on that from any pitcher. His combination of durability and sustained success, while figuring out how to add velocity instead of lose it, has made him one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a guy that the White Sox could charge a ransom for if they became inclined to sell.

Five-Year WAR +15.6
Guaranteed Dollars $32.0 M
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 25 +3.3 $1.6 M
2018 26 +3.3 $4.1 M
2019 27 +3.1 $6.1 M
2020 28 +3.1 $8.6 M
2021 29 +2.8 $11.6 M

The Pirates other outfielder, Polanco has had a breakout first half, adding power to his game and turning himself into a valuable hitter, in addition to the value he already provided in the field and on the bases. Now looking more like a complete player, Polanco is living up to the promise he showed a couple of years ago, when he ranked #30 on this list. But Polanco isn’t really making a leap from off the list last year to up this high simply because of a strong first half; he also signed a long-term deal a few months that gives the Pirates the rights to his services through 2023, so he’s signed for up to seven more years after this one, and at prices that reflected the risk he carried before he put together this strong first half. The contract looked like a nice deal for the Pirates at the time, but if Polanco sustains this breakout, it will end up being one of the most team-friendly deals in baseball over the next decade. Good luck getting the cost-conscious Pirates to give him up now.

Five-Year WAR +15.5
Guaranteed Dollars $48.0 M
Team Control Through 2022
Previous Rank #26
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 25 +3.4 3,500,000
2018 26 +3.2 7,000,000
2019 27 +3.1 9,800,000
2020 28 +3.0 12,500,000
2021 29 +2.8 14,000,000

Yelich is, in some ways, Polanco with a longer track record. They are different hitters, as Yelich continues to hit too many groundballs to become a legitimate source of power, but by not putting the ball in the air, he’s able to sustain the highest BABIP of anyone in baseball, making him an on-base machine in a time where that skill is becoming increasingly scarce. Overall, though, both Yelich and Polanco are quality 24-year-old corner outfielders, and both are signed to long-term deals at prices that every team could easily afford. Yelich gets the slightest of nods here due to the fact that he’s performed at this level for more than three months, but really, both are highly valuable young building blocks, and which one you prefer is really a matter of taste. The Marlins are certainly happy to have Yelich in the fold, and while you never count on anyone staying in Miami their hole career, he’s probably the least likely Marlin to get moved any time soon.

Team Control WAR Total +13.3
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2020
Previous Rank #20
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 29 +3.7 Arb1
2018 30 +3.5 Arb2
2019 31 +3.2 Arb3
2020 32 +2.9 Arb4
Arb

Over the last couple of years, deGrom has risen from overlooked prospect to frontline starter, and even with his velocity taking a step back this year, he’s been as dominant as ever, establishing himself as one of the premier pitchers in the game. If this list was solely performance based, deGrom would be knocking on the door of the top 10. But as Mets fans have had plenty of reminders this year, pitchers are risky, and they break a lot; deGrom has already had Tommy John surgery, back in 2010, and with the industry consensus putting the shelf life of the repaired ligament at around seven years, deGrom may come with more risk than most. Despite having four years of team control remaining after this season, most of deGrom’s value may come from what he can do in the next few years; he’s good enough to justify this placement even with the big long-term health concerns, though. Even if he’s viewed as a short-term asset, there aren’t many who will pitch better than deGrom while he’s still healthy enough to throw with his right arm.

Five-Year WAR +15.8
Guaranteed Dollars $20.3 M
Team Control Through 2021
Previous Rank #10
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2017 28 +3.6 4,750,000
2018 29 +3.5 6,250,000
2019 30 +3.2 7,500,000
2020 31 +2.9 $9.0 M
2021 32 +2.6 $11.0 M
Team Option

A year ago, Archer cracked the top 10 by taking a huge leap forward, striking everybody out and becoming a legitimate ace. He’s carried over most of his strikeout gains this year, but everything else has been off; the walks are up, his BABIP has spiked, and his home run rate has nearly doubled. By themselves, maybe these wouldn’t be that big a deal, but when they all happen simultaneously, they’re something of a red flag, which is why Archer falls ten spots this year. But even with his somewhat-concerning first half, Archer still looks like one of the best young pitchers in baseball; the stuff is still good and he’s still missing bats, so he can probably correct the command problems and get back on track. And if he does, well, he’ll be a #1 starter making #6 starter money. This probably isn’t the right time for the Rays to trade Archer, given that he could increase his value again with a strong second half, but if they do decide to take advantage of the lack of pitchers on the market, odds are good they’ll get a crazy return for him; the upside and the contract make him insanely valuable.

2016 Trade Value, 21-50
Rk Pv Player Age 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
21 10 Chris Archer 27 +3.6
4,750,000
+3.5
6,250,000
+3.2
7,500,000
+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
3,500,000
+3.2
7,000,000
+3.1
9,800,000
+3.0
12,500,000
+2.8
14,000,000
24 Gregory Polanco 24 +3.3
1,600,000
+3.3
4,100,000
+3.1
6,100,000
+3.1
8,600,000
+2.8
11,600,000
25 41 Jose Quintana 27 +4.2
6,000,000
+4.1
8,850,000
+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
6,500,000
+2.8
8,000,000
+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
5,000,000
+3.2
7,500,000
+2.8
10,000,000
+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
3,000,000
+3.3
7,500,000
+2.9
10,000,000
+2.7
13,000,000
+2.2
13,000,000
45 Julio Teheran 25 +3.6
6,300,000
+3.7
8,000,000
+3.3
11,000,000
+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

We hoped you liked reading 2016 Trade Value: #21 to #30 by Dave Cameron!

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newest oldest most voted
005
Member
005

Let the Chris Archer discussion commence…

fredfotch
Member
fredfotch

I am surprised that Archer is higher than Quintana. Archer is more inconsistent than Quintana, who has been good for the past 4 years. I understand that Archer is under team control for1 more year, but I’d rather have Quintana. I think there is a real risk that Archer is on a serious decline.

Emcee Peepants
Member
Member
Emcee Peepants

It’s an extra year of control but also, over those first 4 years assuming team options are executed, Quintana would be paid 37.8MM, where Archer would only cost 27.5MM. That’s a pretty significant difference.

jdbolick
Member

The main reason I would be leery of Archer is the lack of diversification, as his value comes entirely from his slider. It is one of the better breaking pitches in the game, but his fastball and changeup both have significantly negative value. Not only does that mean he’s going to struggle in any outing where he doesn’t have a good feel for the slider, but it also means that he’s forced to rely on it heavily over the course of a season, which isn’t great news for his long-term injury outlook.

Emcee Peepants
Member
Member
Emcee Peepants

I’m more excited for the complaining about the number of Red Sox on the list…

Also, I know it’s splitting hairs at this point, but I would give Polanco the edge over Yelich. He’s signed for an extra year for less money, which, when taking the team that would actually be trading him into account, would seem to make him slightly more valuable (or at least harder to pry loose).

tz
Member

I think Dave loaded this section up with Red Sox so he could sneak Archer through 😉