There have been a number of posts on AA lately about possible trades that the Mets should make. The front page staff has a series going where they look at every player on the Mets possible trade value, and the Fan Posts have been flooded with trade ideas. This is not surprising. The Mets are currently 10 games out of a playoff spot and the conventional wisdom is that in order to compete next year, Sandy & Co. will have to pull off a trade or two to get some outfielders in here. Instead of just adding to the chorus, I decided to map out the monetary value all players on the roster currently have, which is a strong guideline in what they would return in a trade. Generally, players traded should be close in expected value for a trade to be considered fair.
I will first include the master chart and then walk you through everything. If how the chart was put together doesn't interest you, just focus on the blue column and skip ahead to the thoughts on the list
|Name||RoS ZIPS WAR||Ros Steamer WAR||Avg. RoS WAR||RoS Value ($ million)||Remaining dollars owed 2013 ($ million)||Surplus value ($ million)||2014 projected WAR||2014 projected value ($million)||2014 projected salary ($ million)||2014 surplus value ($ million)||Total surplus value 2013-2014 ($ million)||Arb status for 2014|
|Daniel Murphy||0.6||1.1||0.85||4.25||1.46||2.79||1.9||9.5||5.7||3.8||6.59||Arb 2|
|Dillon Gee||0.3||0.8||0.55||2.75||0.264||2.486||1.2||6||2.4||3.6||6.086||Arb 1|
|Ruben Tejada||0.5||0.6||0.55||2.75||0.25||2.5||0.8||4||1.6||2.4||4.9||Arb 1|
|Bobby Parnell||0.4||0.2||0.3||1.5||0.85||0.65||1||5||3||2||2.65||Arb 2|
|Ike Davis||0.2||0.8||0.5||2.5||1.56||0.94||0.2||1||0.6||0.4||1.34||Arb 2|
|Mike Baxter||0||0.3||0.15||0.75||0.25||0.5||0.1||0.5||0.5||0||0.5||Arb 1|
|Omar Quintanilla||0.1||0||0.05||0.25||0.25||0||0.2||1||0.5||0.5||0.5||Arb 2|
|Scott Atchison||0.1||0||0.05||0.25||0.35||-0.1||0.4||2||1.6||0.4||0.3||Arb 3|
|Justin Turner||0||0||0||0||0.25||-0.25||0||0||0.5||-0.5||-0.75||Arb 1|
|Eric Young||-0.3||0.1||-0.1||-0.5||0.25||-0.75||0.1||0.5||0.5||0||-0.75||Arb 1|
Note: all stats are from when I began this project, the morning of July 5. Some minor changes may have occurred since then. All War used is the fangraphs version of the stat.
Projecting the rest of 2013 War was done using the rest of season projections found here on fangraphs. The first two columns are just the given rest of the season War from Zips and from Steamer, respectively. The third column is the average War of the two projection systems, which was used to generate the value in millions of dollars for the remaining games in the next column. I used a value of $5 million per win, which is rounded up a bit from the actual number ( I think it actually is something like 4.95). The remaining dollars owed for 2013 was made by just halving the players contract for this year, since as of July 5 they have played exactly half their games for 2013. All contract info comes from Cot's contracts, and from Baseball -reference. All players on a minimum contract were rounded up to $500,000. The surplus value is then the amount of money they are expected to produce above what they are getting paid.
The 2014 projections were a bit trickier. I used a very basic 531 weighted system from the last three years to arrive at the projected 2014 War. The full chart is here:
|2011 War||2012 War||2013 Updated Zips War||2013 Updated Steamer War||Avg Updated 2103 total War||Expected 2014 War|
The blue column of expected War was used to project the 2014 value in the master list, again using a value of 1 War at $5 million. The 2014 expected contract was made using data from cot's and baseball-reference. All players on minimum deals were projected at $500,000. All players eligible for arbitration were projected using 40-60-80% of market rate for arbitration numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively. So for example, Daniel Murphy is up for arbitration for a second time after this season. This projection puts him at 1.9 War for 2014 which would cost $9.5 million on the open market. Since second year arbitration eligible players usually sign for 60 cents on the dollar, I projected him at a salary of $5.7 million for 2014. The surplus value is similar to 2013, the value produced over what he will be paid. The total surplus (blue in the first list) value, is exactly that, the total from 2013 and 2014. Finally I included a column detailing which players are eligible for arbitration, so that you could know how I arrived at the 2014 salary. Another important thing about arbitration eligible players is that nothing is guaranteed, and as they get expensive teams can opt not to sign them, something I fully expect to happen with players like Turner.
Thoughts about the List:
- Players that do not have a full three years of stats were obviously thrown off by the projections for 2014. Most prominent is the projection of Harvey for only 3.4 War next year. I fully expect that number to be much higher. However, the other players with less than three years of stats are not really expected to have much value, or will be covered by the value they have from being playing in the minors.( More to come on this).
- In reality, any trade for a player will take into account his entire future value, which means I should have continued this list for many players like Duda, Murphy etc.. However, this was already taking me away from my work and the projection system breaks down the further away we are looking. Keep this point in mind however when trying to come up with possible trades.
- Some teams may be willing to pay more than $5 million for a win. If teams think that wins are the difference between making the playoffs or staying home, they may be willing to pay more for a win.
- When looking at players on this list, remember that other teams may have internal options that compete with these players. So say you think a team wants that extra win that Marlon Byrd may give them this year and may want to overpay for him. This only makes sense for the other team if they have no players on the team that can give the same production.
Conclusions from the list:
- No surprises here as the players with the most surplus value are the Mest best players, and the young players playing for a minimum.
- What was surprising is how poorly Byrd was perceived in this study. Neither projection system thinks his play is sustainable over the rest of the season, and anyone trading for him would need to be highly suspicious of this. Also surprising is that Ike has actually some perceived value.
- Finally, the Mets don't have really all that much at the major league level that would return much in a trade. The highest valued, Wright and Harvey, are hopefully not going to be moved which leaves little of value after that.
Well, can we package some minor league players to get a good return?
Minor league players have value, that much is certain. And thanks to Victor Wang's study at the Hardball times (who ironically was looking at the Mets-Twins trade that brought Johan Santana to the Mets), we know exactly how much value they provide. Here is a handy-dandy chart taken from BeyondtheBoxscore and created by Erik Manning.
|Top 10 hitting prospects||$36.5M|
|Top 11-25 hitters||$25.1|
|Top 26-50 hitters||$23.4|
|Top 51-75 hitters||$14.2|
|Top 76-100 hitters||$12.5|
|Top 10 pitching prospects||$15.2|
|Top 11-25 pitchers||$15.9|
|Top 26-50 pitchers||$15.9|
|Top 51-75 pitchers||$12.1|
|Top 76-100 pitchers||$9.8|
|Grade B pitchers (as graded by Sickels)
|Grade B hitters||$5.5|
|Grade C pitchers 22 or younger||$2.1|
|Grade C pitchers 23 or older||$1.5|
|Grade C hitters 22 or younger||$0.7|
|Grade C hitters 23 or older||$0.5|
So using this guideline on the Mets prospects that received a grade from John Sickels prior to the season, we have this list:
|Name||Age||Baseball America's Ranking||John Sickels Grade||Value ($ million)|
|Travis D'Arnaud||24||11-25 hitters||A-||25.1|
|Zack Wheeler||23||Top 10 pitchers||A-||15.2|
|Noah Syndergaard||20||Top 10 pitchers||A-||15.2|
|Matt den Dekker||25||C+||0.5|
Note: I am using Baseball America's pre-season top 100 list and the newly updated mid-season top 50 list. Wheeler's trade value is not affected by his few starts at the major league level. Syndergaard's value gets a bump however due to his high placement on the mid-season list.
Conclusions from the prospect list:
- No surprise, the highest ranked prospects have the highest trade value. The Mets have some mighty valuable trade chips should they wish to part with some of their top prospects.
- The value for prospects also tells us how much the Mets need to give up to get an elite prospect from another ball club. The price may be more prohibitive than you want to believe.
How to use these lists: Well suppose you want the Mets to go out and get a outfield prospect. Suppose you think they should target Joc Pederson for example. A quick check shows Pederson shows up on BA's mid-season top 50 prospects. We already know he is going to be expensive. He is actually in the top 26-50 hitters giving him a value of about $23.4 million. Now the Dodgers may be in win now mode, and be willing to overpay for wins, but the Mets will still have to get close to that $23.4 million for the dodgers to even consider it. A quick look at the MLB list shows only Harvey and Wright near that range. Assuming you don't want to trade those two players, to get Pederson the package would have to be something like Daniel Murphy (plus $7million), Montero and Fulmer (about $14 million) for $21 million. And there you have what a fair trade proposal looks like. So now go forth and rosterbate to your heats content. As the great philosopher Tyler Durden said- all self improvement is rosterbation.