2023 Trade Value: Nos. 1-10

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As is tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using the lead-up to the trade deadline to take stock of the top 50 players in baseball by trade value. For a more detailed introduction to this year’s exercise, as well as a look at the players who fell just short of the top 50, be sure to read the Introduction and Honorable Mentions piece, which can be found in the widget above.

For those of you who have been reading the Trade Value Series the last few seasons, the format should look familiar. For every player, you’ll see a table with the player’s projected five-year WAR from 2024-2028, courtesy of Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections. The table will also include the player’s guaranteed money, if any, the year through which their team has contractual control of them, last year’s rank (if applicable), and then projections, contract status, and age for each individual season through 2028 (if the player is under contract or team control for those seasons). Last year’s rank includes a link to the relevant 2022 post. Thanks are due to Sean Dolinar for his technical wizardry. At the bottom of the page, there is a grid showing all of the players who have been ranked up to this point.

As you might imagine, we’re well into the good stuff. All of these players are hugely valuable, and few are likely to actually get traded. That doesn’t mean this is purely theoretical, but it’s something approaching that. Like most lists, ordinal rankings can be deceiving; there isn’t an equal value gap separating every spot on the list. I’ve tried to mention where there are large gaps, but don’t read too much into someone being ninth instead of fifth. There just isn’t much difference between those two spots, and both players are a lot more valuable than the guy ranked 15th.

If you have any questions about the rankings, I’ll be chatting today at 10 AM ET.

Now, let’s get to the final batch of players.

Five-Year WAR 18.0
Guaranteed Dollars $74.0 M
Team Control Through 2029
Previous Rank HM
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 25 3.7 $1.0 M
2025 26 3.7 $4.0 M
2026 27 3.8 $20.0 M
2027 28 3.5 $22.0 M
2028 29 3.3 $22.0 M

Strider has changed the way I think about pitching. I’m still in the process of formulating my new viewpoint, but I used to err on the side of “too reliever-y” if a starter only had two pitches. Strider, by way of Jacob deGrom, has changed my mind. I’ll accept a two-pitch pitcher, with some reservations, as long as both pitches are absurdly good. I’m still going to be skeptical — I’m not completely ignoring breadth of arsenal — and I think that having more good pitches gives young starters more paths to success. But Strider’s fastball looks like it was designed in a lab – ideal angle, ideal movement, huge velocity – and that’s enough for me to overlook his lack of variety.

The numbers speak for themselves; he’s striking out nearly 40% of the batters he faces and walking fewer than the league average. Hitters aren’t adjusting, but Strider might be: He’s only issued five walks in his last six starts. That’s absolutely terrifying, and it’s self-perpetuating too. It’s so tough to string together baserunners against him that your best bet is running into a homer, so hitters take bigger cuts, only they can’t hit his dang fastball in the first place, so they’re coming up empty at a comical clip.

I think he’ll always give up more homers than you’d expect for someone so dominant, but I don’t think a .330 BABIP is merited in the long run, and pretty much every ERA estimator agrees with me (they all also think Strider’s 2022 FIP overstates his talent, to be clear). The going-forward picture seems as rosy as can be for a profession as inherently injury-prone as pitching. Heck, he’s even developing a solid changeup to alleviate the two-pitch concern.

As is customary for a good player on the Braves, Strider’s contract is a huge boon to the team. He’s on the books for $74 million over the next five years and there’s a club option after that. It’s hard to get good starting pitching for double that rate. Plus, he’s only 24. I’m of course worried about injury – I’ve thought of him as “baby deGrom” so often that it’s impossible not to think about it – but this combination of player and contract is so good that I’d still trade a ton for Strider if you told me with 100% certainty he’d miss a season.

Five-Year WAR 19.7
Guaranteed Dollars $107.2 M
Team Control Through 2028
Previous Rank #5
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 27 4.4 $10.8 M
2025 28 4.2 $15.8 M
2026 29 4.1 $26.8 M
2027 30 3.8 $26.8 M
2028 31 3.2 $26.8 M

Maybe Alvarez is what we thought Juan Soto would be. His career batting line is ludicrous, and yet when you watch him hit, it’s clearly earned. He has gobsmacking raw power, he doesn’t expand the strike zone, and he covers the whole plate with good contact skills despite an explosive swing. Teams tried to beat him with high fastballs for a while, but he fixed that hole. He has negligible platoon splits. He’s a complete hitter who also has some of the best batted ball quality in the world.

The downsides are just as obvious as the upsides: Alvarez is a big dude with 16th-percentile sprint speed at age 26, and while the Astros noodle around with him in left field, he’s essentially a DH. Every other position player ranked in the top 20 of this list provides real defensive value; Alvarez is his bat, and nothing but his bat. That raises the “first base dead zone” risk I mentioned earlier this week, but it’s not that much of a worry. When you hit like this, it matters a lot less where you stand (or sit) on defense.

Of course, you have to be healthy to hit at all, and Alvarez has a history of knee issues that cost him the 2020 season. He hasn’t topped 600 plate appearances in a season yet, even with the benefit of DH’ing. I’m not really any more concerned about him than I am about any player with an injury history – four hitters in our top 10 have missed an entire season – but it’s certainly a potential pitfall worth considering.

Given both his body type and injury history, all the worries I heard around Alvarez focused on his lack of athleticism. I guess my response is just that I don’t care that much. He’s pretty clearly athletic where it counts, strong and with lightning-quick reflexes. At some point, those concerns will bear fruit, because every player eventually declines, but it’s not enough to alter my perception of the value a team would reap in the here and now if they traded for him.

Everyone in the top 10 is under team control for a long time, and Alvarez is no exception. He’s signed for another five years at roughly $20 million per year, a bargain for a player this consistently great. He’s on a historic trajectory; hitters very rarely post this many superlative seasons to start their careers. The only thing that’s keeping him this low is an oblique injury that has kept him out for just over a month of games. It doesn’t seem like a long-term concern – in fact, the Astros are poised to activate him from the IL Monday – but we’re dealing with narrow margins in this part of the list, so every little bit counts.

Five-Year WAR 29.7
Guaranteed Dollars $324.8 M
Team Control Through 2034
Previous Rank #3
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 25 5.5 $11.7 M
2025 26 6.1 $20.7 M
2026 27 6.2 $20.7 M
2027 28 6.1 $25.7 M
2028 29 5.8 $25.7 M

I’m going to mention this up front, because it’s where any discussion of Tatis as a trade target begins: He has a massive contract, he’s injury prone, and he’s already been suspended for PED use. I know those things. There’s undeniable risk here; Tatis has missed nearly 300 games since his major league debut, almost two seasons. A Ferrari isn’t as exciting parked in the garage as it is zipping down the highway. How can Tatis command a hefty return if it’s impossible to know whether he’ll play?

That’s a serious anchor on Tatis’ value, but let me give you the counterargument: life is risk. Every time you leave your home, there’s a small but non-zero chance you’ll get hit by a falling satellite or zapped by a lightning bolt. Tatis carries more risk than your average superstar, but it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. No one is a lock to be healthy and great; we’re just measuring degrees. Accept that, and then we can discuss whether the juice is worth the squeeze here.

For me, it is. Yes, Tatis is going to make a boatload of money very soon, and he’s under contract for forever. If he’s on the field, though, the money will be just fine, and having a superstar under contract for forever is the entire point of team-building. The rest is just details.

I don’t have enough words to describe Tatis’ immense talent. His bat is thunderous. He cranks line drives and towering fly balls to all fields. He’s in the 95th percentile for xwOBA, the 98th for xBA, the 94th for xSLG – and this is a down year. He’s cutting down on his strikeouts. He picked up a new position basically cold and might win a Gold Glove in his first year out there. He’s still only 24. He missed 32 games in 2021 and still put up 7.2 WAR, and he’s not far off that pace this year even with a year’s worth of rust.

You don’t get a chance to sign someone like this until they’re 35 without eating some really painful years in the future. You don’t unless you acquire Tatis, that is. All the hype we’re projecting onto Julio Rodríguez and Corbin Carroll is a reminder of how absurdly good Tatis is. He’s the success case for those guys! Carroll is rocking a 140 wRC+ and he’s the golden boy. Tatis checks in at 135 with better batted ball metrics in comfortably the worst year of his career.

You have to weigh the chances of Tatis missing time. I’d never try to convince you not to. I’ve weighed those chances, and I’d still give up a lot to get him. I’ll take clear greatness and an elevated risk of missed games over run-of-the-mill availability concerns and a risk that the player might just not be that good. Have you ever heard that concern about Tatis? Of course you haven’t. Look at those statistics. He’s in the top 20 for WAR among position players since his debut, and he’s played 136 fewer games than anyone in front of him on that list.

If a GM traded for Tatis, and he turned around and missed half of the next four years, that GM would probably get fired. So be it. You’d play a game where you pay $50 and either win $200 or $0 with 50% odds, right? The odds of Tatis turning in a henceforth mostly healthy career are unknowable, but I’d take the over at 50%, and he’s so good when he’s out there. I’m not a gambler by nature, but neither am I particularly risk-averse. Valuing Tatis this highly is a percentage play.

Five-Year WAR 23.1
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2028
Previous Rank HM
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 23 4.3 Pre-Arb
2025 24 4.5 Pre-Arb
2026 25 4.7 Arb 1
2027 26 4.8 Arb 2
2028 27 4.8 Arb 3
Pre-Arb
Arb

These are nosebleed heights for a rookie, and if you’re guessing the rest of the list while you read, you might have noticed that there are still two other rookies to go. Henderson was our top prospect coming into the year and he’s lived up to the hype. He’s a selective hitter with huge power, and he’s a solid shortstop defender to boot. He turned 22 less than a month ago; if he were two days younger, this would technically be his age-21 season. Rises don’t get much more meteoric than that.

Worried that the league will figure Henderson out? Thus far, it’s been quite the opposite. He crushed in a small sample last year, came out cold this spring, and then figured it out and started mashing. He has a 153 wRC+ since June 1, to pick an arbitrary endpoint. Hell, he has a 133 wRC+ since May 1. He’s hitting like a solid DH. We’re probably not catching some career-best sample, either. This is 100% of his major league track record, and it’s all green flags and thumbs up.

What’s holding Henderson back from being even higher? The other players are just better, and they’re around for as long. Five years of team control after 2023 is a ton, but these are the seven best trade values in the game. Everybody has a ton of team control. Henderson won’t make much money for some of those years, but again, that’s par for the course here. Everyone is underpaid relative to their on-field contributions, otherwise they’d be further down the list. Don’t leave this blurb thinking I’m selling Henderson short; I see those ZiPS projections. I just want everyone else a litttttle bit more.

Five-Year WAR 18.5
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2029
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 22 2.8 Pre-Arb
2025 23 3.2 Pre-Arb
2026 24 3.9 Pre-Arb
2027 25 4.2 Arb 1
2028 26 4.4 Arb 2
Pre-Arb
Arb

One of the people I talked to for this list lit upon the best way of figuring out where I wanted to rank De La Cruz. He said this: “Rob Manfred is letting you start a team, and you get one of two players with their current contracts. Would you rather have Elly or Yordan?” It was Elly for me. This sounding board did that for everyone I had ahead of De La Cruz at the time, and every time I thought about it and then picked the Reds wunderkind. He got this high before I found someone I’d take instead.

As you’d expect for a 21-year-old switch hitter who only reached Double-A last summer, there’s a lot of dreaming in this valuation. De La Cruz’s promise is meaningfully bigger than his results so far. He strikes out too much. He hits too many grounders. He takes huge cuts from both sides of the plate and comes up empty more often than you’d like. If I needed a shortstop to carry me to the playoffs this year, he wouldn’t be my pick.

He’s also a 6-foot-5 shortstop with 80 speed and 80 power, staying afloat against by far the most advanced competition of his life at age 21. The ceiling here is Aaron Judge with more defensive value. Maybe it’s even higher than that – we don’t have many comparisons to speak of because Elly’s largely unprecedented.

Could De La Cruz flame out? Of course. The strikeouts! The body type! The fact that he swings so hard he looks like he’ll be lifted off the ground on his backswing! We’re not exactly talking about treasury bills here. You don’t have to be a catastrophizer to start worrying about what could go wrong. That’s not normal for the top of the trade value list. I just think the math works.

I have a cross-sport comp to offer you: Watching De La Cruz this year is a lot like watching Carlos Alcaraz last summer. Is he there yet? Nope. Does he just have it, that drive to get better combined with top-tier talent? It feels that way to me. I’m not saying that De La Cruz is a lock to win two of baseball’s next four Grand Slams, or even what the hell that comparison would mean, but if the question is who’s going to be baseball’s next mega-star from among the crop of players under 25, I think De La Cruz might be the best bet, even if he has the lowest floor.

A key benefit? If he doesn’t work out, if it turns out that a guy with his blend of size, strength, speed, and baseball IQ just can’t stay healthy or make contact or whatever his fatal flaw ends up being, he won’t cost you anything. You’ll also get six more years of team control after this one thanks to when he got called up, and half of those years will be at the league minimum, so even if it takes him two years to click, it’s fine. Nobody in the top 25 has more bust risk than De La Cruz, but if he hits, the benefits will be astronomical.

Five-Year WAR 21.6
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2027
Previous Rank #13
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 26 4.6 Pre-Arb
2025 27 4.5 Arb 1
2026 28 4.4 Arb 2
2027 29 4.1 Arb 3
Pre-Arb
Arb

Forty-five blurbs in, I’m pretty sure you know what you’re going to get here. Rutschman is one of the best players in baseball. He takes the field at a premium position and hits like a corner outfielder. That might be underselling his bat, even; he walks a ton and rarely strikes out. Only a power outage has kept his batting line from landing in the stratosphere this year, and his thump looks just fine under the hood. The Orioles frequently have him DH when he isn’t catching to squeeze his bat into the lineup, which helps alleviate some of the catcher playing time penalty I wrestle with in determining value.

Clearly, though, Rutschman’s defense is a big part of why he’s this high on the list. He came into the majors and put on a clinic last year; he was elite as a blocker, thrower, and framer. This year, advanced defensive metrics like everything he’s doing less, but I’m willing to pretty much ignore everything aside from the receiving. His numbers last year felt too good to be true; we had him nine runs above average, and I don’t think anyone is sustainably that good of a framer anymore. Umpires just don’t miss that frequently. Still, I’d call him above average across the board, maybe even better than that, and not a single person I talked to had any concerns about him behind the plate.

Because he was the runner up in last year’s AL Rookie of the Year vote, Rutschman got a full year’s worth of service time despite not debuting until after the Super 2 cutoff. That means he’ll hit free agency a year before anyone else in the top 10 of this list. That’s the biggest knock against him, to be honest, and it’s not much of a drawback. If you think Rutschman is going to turn into a bust, I’m interested in playing poker with you, because I’m pretty sure you aren’t good at calculating probabilities.

The natural next step in his career is for Rutschman to sign a landmark extension. He was the first of this wave of Orioles debuts, and he’s the clear leader of the pack. He’s not getting traded, regardless of the title of this exercise. I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s the best catcher in baseball. He’s young, great, and with offensive upside even from his already elevated perch. And now I’ve officially run out of obvious things to say about an obviously great player, so let’s move on to the next one.

Five-Year WAR 27.6
Guaranteed Dollars $109.4 M
Team Control Through 2031
Previous Rank HM
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 23 5.1 $3.6 M
2025 24 5.5 $5.6 M
2026 25 5.7 $10.6 M
2027 26 5.7 $12.6 M
2028 27 5.6 $14.6 M

When Carroll was still a prospect, I loved getting updates about him from Eric Longenhagen. “I just saw Corbin Carroll do…” was the start to many of our conversations, and the things that followed were usually outrageous. It’s a lot easier to have Carroll sightings of my own now that he’s in the big leagues, and I have to say, he’s just as much fun as I thought he would be. He’s 10 pounds of power in a five pound bag, a fast-twitch athlete redlining at all times. He’s blindingly fast and hits the ball outrageously hard. Think of Elly De La Cruz squished down to 5-foot-10 and you’ll have an idea of the kind of athlete Carroll is.

Like the pair of Orioles behind him on the list, Carroll excelled in the majors right away. A July swoon probably took him out of the MVP conversation, but the fact that he was in the MVP conversation as a rookie at all should tell you everything you need to know about how handily he’s adjusted to the game’s highest level of competition. His bat plays just like everyone expected it would, but with even more power; he has top-shelf exit velocities and he gets the ball in the air frequently enough to make it count. He’s also a holy terror on the basepaths; he’s added more non-steal baserunning value than anyone else in baseball, and he’s also swiped 28 bags while only getting caught three times.

This isn’t a matter of being overly impressed by a little guy doing big guy things. ZiPS positively drools over Carroll, projecting him as the fifth-best player in baseball over the next five years. He doesn’t just look cool; his tools translate to the field in a way that is both good in the present and highly projectable. The biggest risk is injury; he suffered a gnarly capsule/labrum tear combo in 2021 during a particularly vicious swing and missed the entire year, and he’s had a few scares already this season. “My muscles are too strong for my body” might be a funny way to get hurt, but getting hurt is always bad. That’s all I have for this segment with Doctor Ben.

The last piece of the puzzle is contract status, and Carroll will be a Diamondback for quite a while; as late as 2031, to be precise, thanks to a club option. There are some moving parts to the deal based on his finish in MVP voting, but broadly speaking, he’s making roughly what he’d make in arbitration until he would’ve hit free agency, then making around $30 million a year after that depending on performance. That’s a ton of time to keep a superstar around. I’m not ready to buy in 100% just yet – he’s gonna need another year of performing in the majors for me to get as excited as ZiPS, and the shoulder will probably always scare me a little – but this many years, for a guy this good and with this bright of a future? Sign me up.

Five-Year WAR 25.8
Guaranteed Dollars $204 M
Team Control Through 2037
Previous Rank #4
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 23 5.0 $12.2 M
2025 24 5.2 $20.2 M
2026 25 5.3 $20.2 M
2027 26 5.2 $20.2 M
2028 27 5.1 $20.2 M

Last year’s Corbin Carroll is finding life a little bit tougher in his second trip through the majors, but when your down year comes with great defense in center field and superlative baserunning, it’s a bit easier to stomach. Rodríguez’s average offensive line is a bummer, no doubt, but his 2022 and 2023 campaigns look shockingly similar under the hood. He has hellacious bat speed and consistently sprays hard contact to all fields. He swings frequently to take advantage of that power, though that comes with a fair amount of swing-and-miss, so he doesn’t walk much and strikes out more than average. That worked out to a batting line nearly 50% better than average last year; this year, it works out to average. That kind of fluctuation might always be a part of Julio’s game; when you strike out a bunch and don’t pad things with free bases, you’re going to end up with high-variance output. I came out of last season expecting his line to head back to earth somewhat, and I’m going to leave this season thinking the opposite.

But what am I doing here, trying to convince you that Julio Rodríguez is good? Come on – he’s good. We all know that. The tools play. The projections are outrageous. The presence is undeniable. We’re talking about a phenomenally talented player, and no one I talked to, regardless of their analytical bent, thought he was anything less than a star.

That won’t come with paydays quite at the top of the league’s salary range, but Rodríguez is going to be making $18 million a year from 2025 through 2029 and then has just about the most complicated option structure you can imagine after that. There’s a club option for a long-term deal that escalates based on 2022-2028 MVP voting; if they decline that option, Rodríguez can then counter-exercise a shorter player option that itself has escalators based on All-Star and Silver Slugger selections. It’s an interesting framework, something of a cap/floor deal. If things go all the way south, we’re talking about $18 million a year through 2034, but the most likely scenario is that the contract will stretch through 2037 with a higher average annual value. The exact terms aren’t yet known, but the odds that he’ll be a Mariner for the first half of the next decade are quite high regardless.

The way this deal goes wrong is if Rodríguez is more of a one-standard-deviation-above player than a two-standard-deviations-above guy when it comes to star status. I can imagine a world where he’s making $20 million a year and putting up George Springer numbers. That’s not that bad of an outcome, though, and that’s the bad case. The good case is that he spends the next decade as the face of the franchise, a perennial MVP candidate with a few 8-WAR seasons when everything clicks. That makes for a wildly valuable player… just one who’s not quite as valuable as the next two.

Five-Year WAR 26.0
Guaranteed Dollars $178.1 M
Team Control Through 2033
Previous Rank #1
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 23 4.8 $2.5 M
2025 24 5.2 $8.5 M
2026 25 5.5 $15.5 M
2027 26 5.3 $22.5 M
2028 27 5.2 $25.5 M

Last year, Franco was ranked first despite not having put together a great full season. Since returning from injury last September, he’s crossing that off the list. He’s combined the best offense of his career with great defense while staying on the field. As a point of comparison, he’s only played six fewer games than iron man Marcus Semien in that stretch, and has just a hair more WAR (4.6, the sixth-best mark in baseball in that span).

It’s what we were expecting from Franco all along. He’s the best prospect of his generation, with preposterous feel to hit and plus power stapled onto a good defensive shortstop. He’s got a lot of José Ramírez to his offensive game – bat control, eye, and power don’t usually come together like this. As he starts hunting pitches to drive instead of trying to put the ball in play early in the count, his power will likely continue to tick up. He’s already made strides in that direction this year, in fact, and there’s still plenty of room to go.

Lest you forget, he just turned 22 this year. He’s younger than Carroll and Rodríguez, and only 10 months older than De La Cruz. He set to work on improving his defense and did exactly that. He might swipe 40 bags this year. As I mentioned, he’s been the sixth-best player in baseball for a solid stretch and I’m still raving about his untapped potential. That’s the kind of talent we’re talking about here. ZiPS has him averaging more than five wins a season for the foreseeable future.

His contract is the one that recent deals for young phenoms are built off of. The Rays are giving him a small raise on what he likely would have made in his arb years, and in exchange, they’ve tacked on six years of free agency (five and a club option) at $25 million a year. Imagine signing a star shortstop to six years/$150 million at age 27, a contract that gives you his prime and rolls off before the worst parts of the aging curve. That would be a coup of a free agent contract, worthy of being on this list in its own right – and that’s the expensive part of Franco’s deal. The next four years are an even better value from a team perspective. Franco is great, he’s going to be around forever, and he’ll probably never have one of the top-25 salaries in the game. $25 million would be outside that range this year, and inflation mostly goes one way. Sign me up for this, please.

Five-Year WAR 28.4
Guaranteed Dollars $61.0 M
Team Control Through 2028
Previous Rank #2
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2024 26 6.0 $17.0 M
2025 27 5.9 $17.0 M
2026 28 5.8 $17.0 M
2027 29 5.5 $17.0 M
2028 30 5.2 $17.0 M
Team Option

Acuña dropped to the second spot on this list last year while he recovered from an ACL injury on the general belief that even though his 2022 was lackluster, he was still one of the best players in the game. With the benefit of hindsight, uh, yup. The runaway NL MVP favorite has elevated his game to a new level this season, and that’s a wild thing to say about someone who had already achieved such great heights early in his career.

The tools? They’re ludicrous. His power is at the top of the scale, excluding various demigods with Judgian dimensions. He has a tremendous feel for the strike zone, rarely chasing balls but frequently punishing pitches he can drive. He might steal 80 bases. He might hit 50 homers. He has the best outfield arm in the game. This year, he stopped striking out, thanks to the strategy of making a lot more contact without sacrificing quality at all. He’s like a video game character with every slider maxed out.

Here’s an easy comparison, one ZiPS agrees with. Acuña and Tatis have strikingly similar projections over the next five years, within 1.5 wins of each other, with Tatis having the slight edge. Acuña wins out in pretty much everything else for me, though. Even with the knee, he’s been healthier and more consistently available. He’ll be around until after the 2028 season, and he’s making $17 million a year over that time frame, a massive bargain. That’s actually on the shorter end of team control among the top 10 players on this list – only Rutschman will hit free agency sooner – but the value and the length are still drool-inducing. Like Tatis, there’s just no talent question here: When Acuña is healthy, he’s one of the best there is.

I started this exercise wanting to put Franco first; I’m a sucker for young players with decade-long deals. When it was all said and done, though, I went with the more spectacular ceiling. Acuña will be an MVP candidate for as long as he can stay on the field. He’s on a tremendous contract that keeps him in the fold for most of his prime. At the end of the day, shouldn’t the top trade value in baseball be the best player with a bonkers-good contract? That’s Acuña, and it doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

2023 Trade Value, 1-50
Rk Pv Player Age 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028
1 2 Ronald Acuña Jr. 25 6.0
$17.0 M
5.9
$17.0 M
5.8
$17.0 M
5.5
$17.0 M
5.2
$17.0 M
2 1 Wander Franco 22 4.8
$2.5 M
5.2
$8.5 M
5.5
$15.5 M
5.3
$22.5 M
5.2
$25.5 M
3 4 Julio Rodríguez 22 5.0
$12.2 M
5.2
$20.2 M
5.3
$20.2 M
5.2
$20.2 M
5.1
$20.2 M
4 HM Corbin Carroll 22 5.1
$3.6 M
5.5
$5.6 M
5.7
$10.6 M
5.7
$12.6 M
5.6
$14.6 M
5 13 Adley Rutschman 25 4.6
Pre-Arb
4.5
Arb 1
4.4
Arb 2
4.1
Arb 3
6 Elly De La Cruz 21 2.8
Pre-Arb
3.2
Pre-Arb
3.9
Pre-Arb
4.2
Arb 1
4.4
Arb 2
7 HM Gunnar Henderson 22 4.3
Pre-Arb
4.5
Pre-Arb
4.7
Arb 1
4.8
Arb 2
4.8
Arb 3
8 3 Fernando Tatis Jr. 24 5.5
$11.7 M
6.1
$20.7 M
6.2
$20.7 M
6.1
$25.7 M
5.8
$25.7 M
9 5 Yordan Alvarez 26 4.4
$10.8 M
4.2
$15.8 M
4.1
$26.8 M
3.8
$26.8 M
3.2
$26.8 M
10 HM Spencer Strider 24 3.7
$1.0 M
3.7
$4.0 M
3.8
$20.0 M
3.5
$22.0 M
3.3
$22.0 M
11 20 Shane McClanahan 26 4.1
Pre-Arb
3.9
Arb 1
3.7
Arb 2
3.4
Arb 3
12 37 Sean Murphy 28 4.9
$9.0 M
4.2
$15.0 M
3.9
$15.0 M
3.4
$15.0 M
2.8
$15.0 M
13 22 Austin Riley 26 4.3
$21.0 M
4.3
$22.0 M
3.8
$22.0 M
3.3
$22.0 M
2.8
$22.0 M
14 8 Luis Robert Jr. 25 3.9
$12.5 M
4.0
$15.0 M
3.8
$20.0 M
3.6
$20.0 M
15 HM Michael Harris II 22 3.9
$5.0 M
4.3
$8.0 M
4.4
$8.0 M
4.6
$9.0 M
4.3
$10.0 M
16 25 Logan Webb 26 4.5
$8.0 M
4.3
$12.0 M
4.1
$23.0 M
3.7
$23.0 M
3.5
$24.0 M
17 10 Sandy Alcantara 27 3.7
$9.3 M
3.4
$17.3 M
3.0
$17.3 M
2.6
$21.0 M
18 HM Eury Pérez 20 2.4
Pre-Arb
2.6
Pre-Arb
2.9
Pre-Arb
3.0
Arb 1
3.0
Arb 2
19 7 José Ramírez 30 5.6
$17.0 M
4.9
$19.0 M
4.0
$21.0 M
3.1
$23.0 M
2.2
$25.0 M
20 21 Bo Bichette 25 3.8
$12.1 M
4.0
$17.6 M
21 17 Will Smith 28 5.0
Arb 2
4.7
Arb 3
22 28 Framber Valdez 29 4.0
Arb 2
3.5
Arb 3
23 HM Francisco Alvarez 21 3.5
Pre-Arb
4.2
Pre-Arb
4.7
Arb 1
5.0
Arb 2
5.3
Arb 3
24 45 Zac Gallen 27 3.8
Arb 2
3.5
Arb 3
25 26 Shohei Ohtani 28
26 HM George Kirby 25 3.1
Pre-Arb
3.1
Pre-Arb
3.1
Arb 1
3.0
Arb 2
2.8
Arb 3
27 Anthony Volpe 22 3.0
Pre-Arb
3.6
Pre-Arb
3.9
Arb 1
4.2
Arb 2
4.1
Arb 3
28 Matt McLain 23 3.7
Pre-Arb
4.1
Pre-Arb
4.3
Pre-Arb
4.4
Arb 1
4.1
Arb 2
29 6 Juan Soto 24 6.5
Arb 3
30 11 Kyle Tucker 26 3.8
Arb 2
3.8
Arb 3
31 16 Ozzie Albies 26 4.2
$7.0 M
4.0
$7.0 M
3.7
$7.0 M
3.5
$7.0 M
32 Luis Castillo 30 4.2
$24.1 M
3.8
$24.1 M
3.3
$24.1 M
2.8
$24.1 M
2.3
$25.0 M
33 HM Logan Gilbert 26 3.3
Pre-Arb
3.1
Arb 1
2.9
Arb 2
2.6
Arb 3
34 50 Randy Arozarena 28 3.5
Arb 2
3.2
Arb 3
2.7
Arb 4
35 9 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 24 3.0
Arb 2
3.3
Arb 3
36 14 Bobby Witt Jr. 23 3.2
Pre-Arb
3.5
Arb 1
3.6
Arb 2
3.7
Arb 3
37 18 Jeremy Peña 25 2.7
Pre-Arb
2.8
Arb 1
2.7
Arb 2
2.5
Arb 3
38 Zach Neto 22 1.6
Pre-Arb
1.8
Pre-Arb
1.9
Pre-Arb
2.1
Arb 1
2.2
Arb 2
39 27 Alejandro Kirk 24 3.1
Arb 1
3.1
Arb 2
3.1
Arb 3
40 Hunter Brown 24 2.3
Pre-Arb
2.3
Pre-Arb
2.3
Arb 1
2.2
Arb 2
2.2
Arb 3
41 HM Hunter Greene 23 2.5
$3.3 M
2.6
$6.3 M
2.7
$8.3 M
2.8
$15.3 M
2.7
$16.3 M
42 38 Oneil Cruz 24 2.1
Pre-Arb
2.4
Pre-Arb
2.6
Arb 1
2.9
Arb 2
2.5
Arb 3
43 HM Jordan Walker 21 0.3
Pre-Arb
0.5
Pre-Arb
0.6
Arb 1
0.7
Arb 2
0.8
Arb 3
44 33 Cedric Mullins 28 3.4
Arb 2
2.9
Arb 3
45 Joe Ryan 27 2.4
Pre-Arb
2.2
Arb 1
1.9
Arb 2
1.6
Arb 3
46 Spencer Steer 25 2.1
Pre-Arb
2.1
Pre-Arb
2.0
Arb 1
1.9
Arb 2
1.8
Arb 3
47 Lars Nootbaar 25 2.3
Pre-Arb
2.5
Arb 1
2.5
Arb 2
2.2
Arb 3
48 15 Ke’Bryan Hayes 26 2.5
$7.0 M
2.5
$7.0 M
2.1
$7.0 M
2.0
$7.0 M
1.7
$8.0 M
49 Josh Jung 25 2.6
Pre-Arb
2.6
Pre-Arb
2.6
Arb 1
2.4
Arb 2
2.2
Arb 3
50 James Wood 20 0.9
Pre-Arb
1.4
Pre-Arb
1.9
Pre-Arb
2.3
Arb 1
2.7
Arb 2
Pre-Arb
Arb
Team Option
Vesting Option





Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

186 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jbgocubsmember
9 months ago

it took corbin carrol (OF – DBacks) 5 days to show up? feel like there’s a lot of value there, a day one type of guy for me. did Goldstein right this?

Tyler Norton
9 months ago
Reply to  jbgocubs

Gotta be tough with only two brain cells to rub together. Stay safe out there.

Sleepy
9 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Norton

It’s a bit.

A bad bit, sure, but it’s a bit.