Dave Cameron 2017 Trade Value Chat by Dave Cameron July 14, 2017 12:01 Dave Cameron: Happy Friday, everyone. 12:01 Dave Cameron: While Wednesday’s site outage kept me from chatting mid-week, this works out better anyway, as I can now answer questions about the whole list. 12:02 Dave Cameron: We’ll focus primarily on the Trade Value series, but I’m sure there are plenty of Jose Quintana questions too, so we’ll work those in. 12:02 Dave Cameron: And maybe some other deadline stuff. 12:02 Mike: Is the only thing keeping Judge from being #1 another 3 months of sample size? 12:03 Dave Cameron: Well, depends on what he does in those next three months. If he puts up another +5 WAR second half, then yeah, he might fight Correa for the top spot. If he turns into something closer to what the projections are forecasting, then he’s probably still not cracking the top five. Keep in mind, he’s as old as Trout is. 12:03 CarrotJuice: Based on the actual return for Quitana, where would you have ranked him on the trade value series? 12:03 Dave Cameron: Right about where he was ranked. I think the deal was pretty much fair, and confirms that we’re estimating trade value decently. 12:04 Heisenberg: Where would Alex Wood end up on your list, if we knew w/ 100% certainty he would stay healthy? 12:04 Dave Cameron: Well, is he the only pitcher we get to know that about? Because if so, maybe the top 30? But he nearly made the 41-50 range even with his injury history. 12:04 Zonk: Your adoring fans demand a Negative Trade Value article! Do you plan to write one this year? 12:04 Dave Cameron: I do plan to write one this year! 12:05 Jeff’s Friend: You don’t think you jumped the gun at all with Judge’s top 10 placement? He’s been great, but how high does his BA have to be for him to keep his spot? 12:05 Dave Cameron: This is the fun thing with Judge; lots of people think he’s too high, lots think he’s too low. 12:05 Dave Cameron: Not an easy guy to place, obviously. 12:05 Ned Yost: I have a hard time believing that if you surveyed MLB execs/scouts, a majority would take Trea Turner over Gary Sanchez. What’s the reasoning there? 12:06 Dave Cameron: I did survey MLB execs and scouts, and most of them preferred Turner. Sanchez is a big dude, and not everyone thinks he’s going to stay behind the plate for long, even with his great arm. 12:06 Dave Cameron: He’s already shown some receiving issues this year. 12:06 Dave Cameron: Turner’s just a much safer bet to stay at a premium position, and his athleticism will probably age better. 12:07 Rick C: I recall last offseason you said Freeman would not get as much back in a trade as Sale would… didn’t take long for that to change I guess. 12:07 Dave Cameron: Last off-season, that was probably true. Then Freeman ran a 200 wRC+ for a while. 12:07 Dave Cameron: He got better. 12:07 Dave Cameron: It happens. 12:08 Geoff: What does Clint Frazier need to do over the 2nd half to make breaking into next year’s top 50 a strong possibility (I assume he’ll get ABs with the Yankees and in AAA)? 12:09 Dave Cameron: Show he can hit big league pitching. 12:09 Dave Cameron: Frazier’s tools are exciting, but his minor league track record is pretty meh. 12:09 Dave Cameron: There’s a reason our forecasts project him for a 93 wRC+ rest of season. 12:09 Zonk: Speaking of trade value, why do IFA slots consistently change hands for seemingly so little? As highly as teams value prospects, why isn’t the opportunity to get more prospects valued more? 12:10 Dave Cameron: IFA slots aren’t about getting more prospects, usually; it’s about paying a smaller tax on the overage. 12:10 Dave Cameron: Most of the time, these trades for IFA money are done after all the deals are agreed to, and everyone knows who is signing who. 12:10 Dave Cameron: So a team that has agreed to bonuses above what they were allotted trades for money to reduce the penalties for going over. 12:11 Mark: Indians, Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, and Cubs all have 2 players in the top trade value chart. Which has the brightest future? 12:12 Dave Cameron: The Dodgers, probably. They have so many guys that have a ton of value that didn’t quite crack this list. Kershaw, for instance. Wood, we’ve already mentioned. Turner almost made it. 12:13 Dave Cameron: And they have Seager/Bellinger. 12:13 Dave Cameron: And unlimited money. 12:13 Bryzzo: No relievers made your list. Yet, in recent history relievers have changed hands for big returns (Kimbrel, Chappy, Miller, Giles). How do you square that? 12:13 Dave Cameron: None of the guys traded for those relievers made the list either. 12:13 TKDC: With how popular the trade value series is, would Fangraphs consider doing a bracket challenge surrounding it. For example, you fill in all 50 spots and you get 2 points for each correct spot, and 1 point if you are off by no more than 2 spots. Winner gets a free FG T-shirt. 12:13 Dave Cameron: That’s a fun idea. We’ll try to do that next year. 12:14 Logan Davis: Which franchise has the least cumulative trade value among its assets? The most? 12:14 Dave Cameron: KC is probably at the bottom. 12:14 Dave Cameron: LAD or CHC at the top. But probably LAD. 12:14 Bryzzo: If Mike Trout hadn’t signed an extension, he would’ve been a FA after this season. Just spitballing, what would that contract look like? Is 15/600-ish not crazy? 12:15 Dave Cameron: A team might make it 20/$600M just to lower the AAV for luxury tax purposes, but yeah, I don’t think it’s insane to think he gets near that. He clears $500M easily. 12:16 Cornercreek: I was surprised not to see AJ Pollock on the honorable mentions list. Too many injuries and too short of a contract for a top 5 CF in baseball? 12:16 Dave Cameron: He’s a free agent after next year. If Harper, Machado, and Donaldson can’t make it from that FA class, no one can. 12:16 Nelson: Its hard to feel bad for millionares, but reading this makes me feel bad that great players need to sustain it until their late 20s to actually get paid. Doesnt seem fair 12:17 Dave Cameron: The union should be more aggressive in changing the system away from “all the money to old guys”. It’s not great for the game that guys at the end of their careers end up getting a big chunk of the available cash, and then get reviled by fans for being overpaid when they struggle, while the best players in the game make relative peanuts. 12:18 Scott: just 3 pitchers in the top 15 and 4 in the top 25. Obviously elite positional players are always going to be more valuable than elite pitchers but is the market locking up elite pitching to bigger deals earlier? I suppose it could be elite pitchers develop later into their 6 controlled years on average? 12:19 Dave Cameron: I think it’s just randomness. Fernandez died, Syndergaard got hurt, and the best young pitcher to step forward this year (Fulmer) doesn’t have that kind of strikeout rate to crack the top 20. 12:19 Dave Cameron: There were a few more pitchers higher up last year. 12:20 Logan Davis: I know that with Quintana moved no one else on this list is very likely to get traded any time soon. But who on this list would you most *like* to see traded, from a perspective of an observer trying to learn about how the league values talent? 12:20 Dave Cameron: Jose Ramriez, maybe? Guys like him are difficult because the performance is so different than what he was expected to be. 12:20 Dave Cameron: Do teams buy into the power spike entirely at this point? 12:21 Bruce: Are you worried about Bill Simmons tweeting at you for “stealing” his idea, like he did Jonah? 12:21 Dave Cameron: He already did that like six or seven years ago. 12:21 Dave Cameron: Bill Simmons @BillSimmons Just stumbled acrouss this link: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2010-trade-value-introduction/ There is no honor on the internet. 4 Dec 2010 12:21 lunch: i seem to remember last year’s list having a lot more prospects on it. was the change to more major leaguers this year caused by those prospects graduating to the big leagues, losing value, or a change in the valuation process? 12:22 Dave Cameron: I talked about this a bit in the HM section, but this year’s crop of prospects aren’t as good as the last few years. 12:22 J: So Judge has performed better than pretty much anyone this year and has an extra year of control over the guys ahead of him. How close was he to #1 and the top 5? 12:22 Dave Cameron: Not that close yet. For me, there were basically groups of 1-5, then 6-15 or so, and then 16-50. Judge was squarely in that second tier of guys behind the big five, but none of those guys were all that close to passing Lindor. 12:23 curious: suprised to see some aging players so high on your list (Kluber most notably) why are the porjections on his aging curve so generous? 12:23 Dave Cameron: He’s really good. 12:23 TKDC: When a prospect is traded, like Moncada, do you think the trade itself lowers his trade value? Because it shows that maybe his team doesn’t really believe in him? 12:24 Dave Cameron: A little bit. Not in every case. But there is evidence that traded prospects generally fail at higher rates, because teams are selecting the guys they’re worried about to trade. Giolito is a good example of a guy who probably is still being overrated by prospect rankings, and the fact that WAS wanted to dump him should scare us. 12:25 J: Quintana is walking 9% of guys while allowing over 80% contact. How concerned are you that the Cubs didn’t get the guy his track record suggests he is? 12:25 Dave Cameron: Not that concerned. 12:25 Joe: Where would Kershaw end up if he didn’t have the right to opt-out after a trade? 12:26 Dave Cameron: Well, he’d still have the opt-out after 2018 too, so even without the poison pill, it’s 1.5 years. He might have been at the back end of the list even with that, though; he’s more valuable than the three great hitters who didn’t make it due to 2018 FA. 12:26 Cistulli’s Guy: What would happen if one of Cistulli’s Fringe Five-type guys made it onto Dave Cameron’s 2020 Top Trade Value List? 12:27 Dave Cameron: Jose Ramirez and Corey Kluber were in this year’s Top 15. 12:27 Dave Cameron: As much as it’s fun to pick on Carson, his track record of identifying undervalued prospects with upside is actually really good. 12:27 Nate: How much would a large extension factor into a trade value for the younger talents like Correa? Would the value stem more of the WAR projections or the AAV/WAR? 12:28 Dave Cameron: Depends on the extension, but it’d probably help. Getting a few more FA years under control, even at expensive prices, would likely get teams to bid even more. 12:28 Michael Scarn: I know that the list is based your feel via information you get from contacts in the industry – but would you personally place Lamb ahead of Harper if all 30 GMs were Dave Cameron? 12:29 Dave Cameron: Yeah, probably. The difference between Harper and Lamb next year is maybe three wins at most. Lamb will cost ~$15M less, then give you two extra years of control past that. 12:29 Dave Cameron: I think you’re better off with Lamb, whatever $15M buys you for 2018, and two years of a good player at arb prices than Harper for one year. 12:30 RK: See the Fulmer on the block rumors? Thoughts? Think it’s a good time to sell to accelerate rebuild? 12:30 Dave Cameron: All I’ve seen is that teams have called Detroit and been turned away. 12:31 Dave Cameron: Not specifically trade related, but Michael Pineda needs TJ surgery. 12:31 Dave Cameron: Makes it more likely Yankees bid for Sonny Gray, I’d think. A Gray/Alonso package makes perfect sense for them. 12:32 2018: Hate to look ahead to next year’s trade value already but who is the biggest dark-horse to jump into the top 50? So someone outside of the obvious next 20-40 guys. 12:32 Dave Cameron: Probably one of the good prospects. Devers could come up and have a Gary Sanchez-esque second half. 12:33 Slamboni: Do the Rangers have a prayer of getting anyone on this list next year? *weeps* 12:33 Dave Cameron: Sure, if they sign Otani. 12:34 Dave Cameron: If Otani does actually come over this winter and signs the max bonus allowed by the pools, then goes under a standard six year player contract, he might be #1 next year. 12:34 Nick: Did Trout’s hand/thumb injury factor into his #2 spot at all? Wariness towards potential offensive drop-off, etc.? 12:34 Dave Cameron: Not really. 12:34 ECinDC: Really surprised to see how high Trea Turne was. I guess I shouldn’t have been, but he really is valuable and just real fun to watch. What skills do you see him most likely improving on, and what caliber of player do you see him settling in as? 12:35 Dave Cameron: He’s not a free-swinging hacker, so he should start getting more walks eventually. If he can get the strike zone discipline to improve a bit, he’s a monster. 12:36 Ben H: Re: comments about skill sets aging; when determining trade value, do you only consider the years under control? Or do you try to look a little beyond, since presumably the controlling team has the best chance of anyone to retain the player? 12:36 Dave Cameron: Yeah, you look at everything. The fact that a team could still maybe be able to sign Correa past his controllable years was a factor in him passing Trout. 12:37 Jim : Has benintendi really been that disappointing? I know you had him in the top 30 but he was the only one in that group that you out-rightly wondered if he’d even make the list next year (not for contract or injury reasons) 12:37 Dave Cameron: I don’t think he’s been disappointing, necessarily; I just was pointing out that he’s not yet a great player (most of the guys around him already are) so it’s a future value bet, and that future value will take a hit if he doesn’t show more power over the next 12 months. 12:38 HappyFunBall: At the risk of angering legions of ATL fans … what would you say the chances are that the difference between Good Freddie Freeman and Great Freddie Freeman is mostly whatever mysterious force we’re going to ascribe responsibility to for the league wide HR increase? 12:38 Dave Cameron: Higher than ATL fans would want to believe. 12:38 Cistulli’s Guy: Without putting too many eggs in this basket, do you think it’s a fair shortcut to look at the number of players a team has in the trade value list and use it as a very rough proxy for organizational strength? Any better or worse a shortcut than looking at a Top 100 Prospect list? 12:39 Dave Cameron: It’s better than nothing, but there are something close to 1,000 guys floating around big league rosters. Looking at only 50 doesn’t tell you enough. 12:40 Brett: How close was Bradley Zimmer making the list after his minor league track record and impressive start? 12:40 Dave Cameron: He was on the big list I sent Dan for ZIPS projections. I’m pretty sure he had the worst five year WAR of those 100 guys. 12:41 Yasiel Pig Pug Puig: Conspicuously absent from this list was another Dodgers outfielder: Yasiel Puig. Is he within shouting distance of the Honorable Mention group? 12:41 Dave Cameron: No. 12:41 YKnotDisco?!: Do you see Houston making a move for Archer? 12:41 Dave Cameron: The Rays are contenders. No real reason to trade Archer right now. 12:41 Donnie: Do you actually believe Noah Syndergaard is the 11th most valuable pitching asset? You ranked him the #1 pitcher mid-season last year, he finished the year leading pitchers in WAR, hurts his lat and is now 11th? 12:42 Dave Cameron: Yeah, I know, a pitcher getting hurt caused his value to fall. How crazy. 12:42 ECinDC: Who pays Scherzer’s deferments if he were to be traded? 12:43 Dave Cameron: The acquiring team picks up the salary of the years they are acquiring, but not any money deferred from prior years. So a team trading for Scherzer would be responsible for the $120M he’s due the next four years ($105M of which is deferred), but none of the signing bonus that hasn’t been paid yet. 12:44 mike sixel: You kept that Simmons tweet all these years? 12:44 Dave Cameron: It’s not like I had it in a vault. It’s public. 12:45 Dave Cameron: The fun part is that an editor at Grantland actually emailed me after that and asked me if I’d move the list there. So I’d still do all the work, but they’d get the traffic, instead of my actual employer. 12:46 Josh in DC: It really does seem messed up that the best players in the game are among the worst paid. Is there anything that can be done in the CBA to remedy this? Or does the union prefer to look out for its oldest members, and the owners think they’re individually smart enough to dodge the worst Sandovalian free agents? 12:46 Dave Cameron: The owners and union would have to agree to overhaul the system, and generally, people don’t like massive changes as long as everyone is getting rich. 12:47 Dave Cameron: But I do think the game would be better off overall if the allocation of money wasn’t so skewed to older players. 12:47 Grant: You said on the podcast that those consuming this seemed to prefer the “sets of 10” rather than “tiers” – Correct? 12:47 Dave Cameron: Yeah. People like ordinal rankings. If i just had “here’s the top five, pick any of them”, people would just want to know how I’d order them if I had to. 12:48 Bill: How close did Amed Rosario come to making the Top 50? 12:48 Dave Cameron: Not that close. He was in the mix of prospects considered, but not clearly ahead of any of the Devers/Guerrero/Torres types. 12:48 JTT: Mookie Betts was a cistulli guy also. So was Blackmon but he isn’t on your list 12:49 Dave Cameron: Mookie was a Cistulli guy, but he also became a legit prospect before he got to the bigs. 12:49 Dave Cameron: He made a few top 100s, and even a top 50 or two, I think. 12:49 mike: How do you think the red sox should balance the upcoming free agency of betts, bogaerts, bradley 12:50 Dave Cameron: You probably hope to keep two. Preference would be for Betts/Bogaerts probably, but if one of those two proves too expensive, you at least have Bradley around as an alternative. 12:50 Shawn : Re: trade value bracket winner – forget a free t-shirt, how about a lock of Eno’s hair! 12:50 Dave Cameron: Are you going to drug test it? Because I’m pretty sure he’d fail. 12:51 Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Where was Aaron Nola considered? Injury concerns probably dropped him right? 12:51 Dave Cameron: He was #49. 12:51 Shawn : If Cleveland approches a young guy with an extension offer, he should no! 12:51 Dave Cameron: Lindor apparently did. 12:51 Dave Cameron: Rumor is he turned down over $100M. 12:53 Jaime: Who was the hardest to place? Syndergaard? Judge? Ramirez? Someone else? 12:53 Dave Cameron: Syndergaard. 12:53 BringInDaFunk BringInDaNiese: How many Royals were on the list of 100 players sent to the Digital Dandy for ZIPS projections? 12:53 Dave Cameron: 2, I think. 12:54 Dave Cameron: I will say that Salvador Perez was on an initial version of the list. Then a bunch of friends offered “Sal Perez? Hell no.” feedback. 12:54 Hi Erix: Can the Yankees get Gray and Alonso without giving up Gleyber? 12:54 Dave Cameron: Sure. 12:54 Dave Cameron: They have a lot of talent. 12:55 Beasy Bee: This part of my week is typically reserved for Jeff Sullivan’s love of all things. Please respect this space. In return, I will not ask any Nick Markakis questions. 12:55 Dave Cameron: He’s climbing a volcano. 12:56 HappyFunBall: Speaking of mysterious forces responsible for more HRs across the game, were you able to read between the lines when asking FO types about trade value and make any inferences about the sustainability of the surge? Or to put it another way, do you get the idea that FO’s think these mysterious forces might just disappear as suddenly as they appeared, and don’t really trust mid-range power guys any more than they used to? 12:56 Dave Cameron: Yeah, that came up. 12:56 Dave Cameron: Especially when talking about guys like Jose Ramirez. 12:56 Dave Cameron: How do you project his future power? I don’t know. I don’t know that anyone does. 12:57 uru: Does Giancarlo Stanton have negative trade value? 12:57 Dave Cameron: It’s probably close to zero. I don’t know if it’s negative. 12:58 Hi Erix: Wasn’t the the source of that Lindor rumor a 7 year old? 12:58 Dave Cameron: No. A bunch of people in the industry heard the $100M rumor. 12:58 Dave Cameron: I think Passan even tweeted it, maybe. 12:58 Dave Cameron: It was floating around for a bunch of Spring Training. 12:59 TKDC: If Otani were to sign a deal, but he couldn’t get to the majors before right at the All-Star break next year (let’s call it a visa issue, so no injury or anything), where do you think you’d rank him w/ zero USA experience? 12:59 Dave Cameron: I’m not sure, honestly. 12:59 Jaime: Which of the young guys should the Yankees look to extend? Will they he successful with any of them? 1:00 Dave Cameron: I think you want to get Judge signed as quickly as possible, because his arbitration numbers will be absurd. 1:00 Dave Cameron: Will almost certainly have ROY, could have an MVP, might hit 60 HRs… you don’t want to go to arb with that. 1:00 MetsFan: Bregman, Tucker, Whitley, and Nova for deGrom. Who says no? 1:00 Dave Cameron: The Astros 1:01 Dave Cameron: Alright, thanks for the questions everyone. We’ll have plenty of coverage of all the news and rumors over the next few weeks, so buckle in for an exciting few weeks.