Looking Back at the 2013 Trade Value List

Next Monday, we’re kicking off one of the most popular things we do around here: the Trade Value series. It’s been an annual tradition for going on 10 years now, and I find it a nice distraction from the fact that the All-Star break fails to give us any interesting baseball to talk about. Plus, it gives you guys all kinds of ammunition to prove that I am, in fact, an idiot.

To that end, I’d like to look back at last year’s list, and make some comments about what we might have learned over the last calendar year. List first, then comments.

Rank Player Position
1 Mike Trout OF
2 Bryce Harper OF
3 Manny Machado 3B
4 Andrew McCutchen OF
5 Evan Longoria 3B
6 Buster Posey C
7 Matt Harvey SP
8 Giancarlo Stanton OF
9 Paul Goldschmidt 1B
10 Carlos Gonzalez OF
11 Yadier Molina C
12 Miguel Cabrera 1B
13 Troy Tulowitzki SS
14 Stephen Strasburg SP
15 Clayton Kershaw SP
16 Chris Sale SP
17 Jose Fernandez SP
18 Chris Davis 1B
19 Madison Bumgarner SP
20 Yu Darvish SP
21 David Wright 3B
22 Felix Hernandez SP
23 Adam Wainwright SP
24 Yasiel Puig OF
25 Dustin Pedroia 2B
26 Jurickson Profar SS
27 Jason Kipnis 2B
28 Byron Buxton OF
29 Xander Bogaerts SS
30 Matt Moore SP
31 Starling Marte OF
32 Shelby Miller SP
33 Carlos Gomez OF
34 Ian Desmond SS
35 Jose Bautista OF
36 Salvador Perez C
37 Anthony Rizzo 1B
38 Wil Myers OF
39 Carlos Santana C
40 Allen Craig 1B
41 Jeff Samardzija SP
42 Jean Segura SS
43 Jason Heyward OF
44 Anthony Rendon 3B
45 Edwin Encarnacion DH
46 Desmond Jennings OF
47 David Price SP
48 Adrian Beltre 3B
49 Justin Verlander SP
50 Austin Jackson OF

Now for the lessons.

It feels like every year I tell myself “no pitchers in the top 10” and every year I talk myself into why this guy or that guy should be the exception. Yeah, the risks are high, but this guy is so good that he’s worth it, right? No, they’re not. They’re going to blow out their arms at some point, and the recent surge in Tommy John surgeries is only going to make teams even more gun shy about building around pitching. Pitchers are great until they aren’t. Hitters have risks too, but they don’t regularly need a couple of years to go heal themselves. No pitchers in the top 10 this year. I swear.

Because the All-Star break was a week later last year, our last calendar year split isn’t exactly “since the list was published”, but it’s very close. And so, with that said, I present Buster Posey’s line very close to since the list was published: .272/.339/.383, .316 wOBA, 105 wRC+, +2.6 WAR. That puts him right between Zack Cozart and Jimmy Rollins in overall value. His track record suggests that he’s better than this, but for the last year, Buster Posey hasn’t been very good, and he certainly won’t be this high again.

There were two guys who really gave me problems last year: Chris Davis and Yasiel Puig. Both were remarkable in small samples, and both provided the kind of skills that teams pay through the nose for. I ended up going with Davis over Puig, but ranked both pretty aggressively. Puig now looks low, while Davis looks high. I still don’t know what I should have done with them. And this year, I get to try and figure it out again with Jose Abreu.

The other challenging guys are star players with big contracts. Of course teams would pay through the nose to get Felix Hernandez, but then you see Justin Verlander and pause a little bit. Yeah, there are rich teams that would take the money, but would they take the money and give up premium talent like the other guys on this list in return? Maybe? I don’t know? I don’t know.

It’s kind of fitting that Dustin Pedroia, Jurickson Profar, Jason Kipnis, and Xander Bogaerts are all right next to each other. It’s like a club for middle infielders who were supposed to hit but haven’t. And Jean Segura thinks they’re all on fire.

Shelby Miller, almost since the list was published: 183 IP, 4.74 FIP, 4.68 xFIP. He’s in a three way tie — with Edinson Volquez and Eric Stults — for last in pitcher WAR among 79 qualified starters. This isn’t a slump. Shelby Miller is broken.

Will anyone challenge Mike Trout for the top spot this year? Who is going to be the highest ranked player that didn’t appear last year? What else should I have seen a year ago that proves, definitively, that I am an idiot? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll see you on Monday for this year’s edition of the list.

We hoped you liked reading Looking Back at the 2013 Trade Value List by Dave Cameron!

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

newest oldest most voted

Surely Freeman makes the list this year, right?


Freeman isn’t free. No, there’s a hefty friggin’ fee. And if you don’t throw in your buck-oh-five, who will?

Freeman costs a buck-oh-five!

mario mendoza
mario mendoza


Boris Chinchilla
Boris Chinchilla

Don’t you give that Lochness Monster no $3.50!