Over the past five to ten years, it has become a staple in baseball circles to determine the value of a player. The best way to determine the value of a player is to do it in the terms of a trade where you must take all the factors of a player into account: age, years of control, contract, position scarcity and most importantly, ability.
Bill Simmons started the craze at ESPN (and then on now-defunct Grantland) with NBA players, which led Dave Cameron to adapt it for the Trade Value rankings of MLB players at Fangraphs. Here at TPOP we do our own Trade Value Rankings, but it is just for the Pirates. The theory is that the player ranked 15th could be traded for the player ranked 22nd plus something else.
In years past I ranked the Top 25 and wrote a summary on all the players. This year I ranked ALL players that I thought had even the littlest trade value and came up with 61 players. They are ranked in the chart below. We’ll discuss the rankings today and get creative tomorrow.
Remember, years of control and contract status are VERY important in trade value; this not only means their contract but Rule 5 eligibility and minor league options as well. The player’s age during the 2017 season is determined by the standard July 1st cutoff date and their projected 2017 level assignment is shown, as well. On to the rankings:
|Rank||2017||Options||Location /Service Time||Contract||Guaranteed Money||Min|
|1||Starling Marte||28||2||4.07||6 yr/$31M (14-19)+20-21 opts||25,000,000||3/5|
|2||Gregory Polanco||25||2||2.103||5 yrs/$35M (17-21) & 22-23 team opt||35,000,000||5/7|
|3||Gerrit Cole||27||2||3.111||1st Yr Arb||3,750,000||1/3|
|4||Andrew McCutchen||30||3||7.123||6 yr/$51.5M (12-17)+18 opt||14,500,000||1/2|
|5||Francisco Cervelli||31||0||6.146||3 yr/$31M (17-19)||31,000,000||3/3|
|6||Jameson Taillon||25||1||0.11||1st Yr on 40 Man (Arb after ’19)||535,000||1/6|
|7||Austin Meadows||22||3||AAA||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|8||Jung Ho Kang||30||3||2||4 yr/$11M (15-18)+19 opt||5,750,000||2/3|
|9||Ivan Nova||30||0||6.024||3 yr/$26M (17-19)||26,000,000||3/3|
|10||Tyler Glasnow||23||2||0.066||1st Yr on 40 Man (Arb after ’19)||86,500||0/6.5|
|11||Josh Harrison||29||1||5.033||4 yr/$27.3M (15-18)+19-20 opts||7,500,000||2/4|
|12||Mitch Keller||21||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|13||Kevin Newman, SS||23||3||AAA/AA||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|14||Josh Bell||24||2||0.053||1st Yr (Arb after ’19)||535,000||1/6|
|15||Jordy Mercer||30||1||4.095||2nd Yr Arbitration||4,325,000||1/2|
|16||Ke’Bryan Hayes||20||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2019||0/6.5|
|17||Cole Tucker||20||3||AA||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|18||Tony Watson||32||2||ML||3rd Yr Arbitration||5,600,000||1/1|
|19||David Freese||34||2||ML||2 yr/$11M (17-18)+19 cl opt||6,250,000||2/3|
|20||John Jaso||33||0||7.032||2 yr/$8M (16-17)||4,000,000||1/1|
|21||Daniel Hudson||30||2||6.117||2 yr/$11M (17-18)||5,500,000||2/2|
|22||Juan Nicasio||30||0||5.084||3rd Yr Arbitration||3,625,000||1/1|
|23||Chris Stewart||35||0||6.091||2 yr/$3M (16-17)+18 opt||1,650,000||1/2|
|24||Adam Frazier||25||3||0.101||1st Yr (Arb after ’19)||535,000||1/6|
|25||Taylor Hearn||22||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|26||Chad Kuhl||24||2||0.079||1st Yr (Arb after ’19)||535,000||0/6.5|
|27||Elias Diaz||26||1||0.167||3rd Year on 40-Man (Arb after ’19)||129,750||1/6|
|28||Nick Kingham||25||1||ML/AAA||3rd Year on 40-Man||129,750||0/6.5|
|29||Will Craig||23||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2019||0/6.5|
|30||Steven Brault||25||2||0.037||1st Yr on 40 Man (Arb after ’19)||86,500||0/6.5|
|31||Trevor Williams||25||3||0.027||2nd Year on 40-Man (Arb after ’19)||86,500||0/6.5|
|32||Phil Goselin||27||1||2.085||Arb after ‘17||535,000||1/4|
|33||Drew Hutchison||26||1||3.165||2nd Yr Arb (of 4)||2,300,000||1/3|
|34||Felipe Rivero||25||0||1.162||2nd Yr on 40 man (Arb after ’17)||535,000||1/5|
|35||Clay Holmes||24||3||AAA/AA||1st Year on 40-Man||43,250||0/6.5|
|36||Gage Hinsz||21||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2019||0/6.5|
|37||Jared Hughes||30||1||4.162||3rd Yr Arb (of 4)||2,825,000||1/2|
|38||Antonio Bastardo||31||0||7.054||2 yr/$12M (16-17)||6,500,000||1/1|
|39||Alen Hanson||24||0||0.038||1st Yr (Arb after ’19)||535,000||0/6.5|
|40||Max Moroff||24||2||0.004||2nd Year on 40-Man||86,500||0/6.5|
|41||Pat Light||26||2||0.054||2nd Year on 40-Man||86,500||0/6.5|
|42||Yeudy Garcia||24||3||AA||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|43||Luis Escobar||21||3||Low A||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|44||Edgar Santana||25||3||AAA||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|45||Dovydas Neverauskas||24||3||ML/AAA||1st Year on 40-Man||43,250||0/6.5|
|46||Travis Macgregor||20||3||SS||Rule 5 elig. after 2020||0/6.5|
|47||Max Kranick||19||3||SS||Rule 5 elig. after 2020||0/6.5|
|48||Braeden Ogle||19||3||SS||Rule 5 elig. after 2020||0/6.5|
|49||Wade LeBlanc||32||0||3.131||1 yr/$0.8M (17)+18 opt||750,000||1/2|
|50||A.J. Schugel||28||1||1.004||2nd Yr (Arb after ’18)||129,750||1/5|
|51||Tyler Webb||26||3||Rule 5 pick||1st Yr (Arb after ’19)||535,000|
|52||Gift Ngoepe||27||2||ML/AAA||2nd Year on 40-Man||86,500|
|53||Chris Bostick||24||2||ML/AAA||2nd Year on 40-Man||86,500|
|54||Jose Osuna||24||3||ML/AAA||1st Year on 40-Man||43,250|
|55||Jordan Luplow||23||3||AA||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|56||Barrett Barnes||25||3||AAA||not selected in Rule 5||0/6.5|
|57||Adrian Valerio||20||3||Low A||Rule 5 elig. after 2018||0/6.5|
|58||Stephen Alemais||22||3||High A||Rule 5 elig. after 2019||0/6.5|
|59||Michael De La Cruz||20||3||Low A||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|60||Tyler Eppler||24||3||AAA/AA||Rule 5 elig. after 2017||0/6.5|
|61||Pablo Reyes||23||3||AA||not selected in Rule 5||0/6.5|
Gerrit Cole could have the most trade value on the team as a true ace is in more demand than ever, but he is a pitcher that showed chinks in the armor last year and…he’s a pitcher …and could get injured or lose velocity or pull a Steve Blass.Notes:
- The top of the list is heavy in established players, which is good. An organization like the Brewers might not have a major leaguer at its top spot and this is a symbol of rebuilding.
- The 40-man status might play a part in some rosters decisions near the tail end of this year. While it might be nice to have Kevin Newman get a cup of coffee near the tail end of this year, he doesn’t need to have a 40 man roster spot until after 2018. This could keep a 40 man spot open for another player marinating in AAA.
- Speaking of 40 man players in AAA, flamethrowing relievers Edgar Santana and Dovydas Neverauskas are back-to-back on the rankings but Santana gets the edge because he doesn’t need added to the 40 man until after 2017.
- Felipe Rivero seemed like a steal for three months of Mark Melancon, but he’s out of options so he can’t get right in AAA anymore without being lost to waivers.
- Steven Brault and his buddy Trevor Williams have service times of 0.027 and 0.037 respectively. If 110 days of service time seem to be the Rule 5 tipping point then these guys might be up in July versus June as 5th starters or relievers to gain an extra year of control.
- Mitch Keller might be lower on the list than some might have guessed, but he’s a prospect that has yet to succeed at AA, too early to have as much value as many would think.
- The trade value of Starling Marte (or Gregory Polanco) is more than player 31-61 combined.
- The NFL and its non guaranteed contracts and the Francisco Liriano trade have made me list “guaranteed money” and min-max years. All minor leaguers have no guaranteed money and 0 year of min control as well as 6.5 of max control. Arbitration and contracts give the range of years of control and guaranteed monies.
Tomorrow’s article will apply all these values in a practical application.