Francisco Lindor’s production (and smile) continue to rank highly throughout the industry. (Photo: Keith Allison
As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.
For this post and the top 10 to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.
It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.
With that said, let’s get to the next 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.
|Team Control Through
Snell signed an extension this winter that locks him up through his age-30 season, which would’ve been his first year of free agency. He really belongs as the last guy in the previous article, so you can see him on the tier with fellow possible/current aces German Marquez, Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Jose Berrios, Chris Paddack, Aaron Nola and (given the late revelations I’ve since added to his blurb about the details of his contract) Max Scherzer. All of these guys rank from 20th to the low-30s, and could be put in almost any order. Most sources I spoke with moved them as a group and generally kept the same names at the top/bottom as I have, shuffling the order in the middle a bit. Once you take Scherzer off the table as the best pitcher in baseball, ZiPS essentially has Snell, Jacob deGrom, Marquez, Bieber, and Nola tied for second among those pitchers over the 2020-2024 term. Snell is the only lefty in the group, he’s on pace for his fourth straight year of 31 regular season starts, his velo has been stable year-to-year at an average of 95.7 mph, his 3.12 FIP over his last 58 starts is a sustained run of elite performance, and his extension is for reasonable money, for exactly as long as I’d be predicting No. 2 or 3 starter performance from him. Read the rest of this entry »