Stay Small


After typing all this up in my efforts to do more researching I found this, pretty much better written and explains more… maybe read it first and then follow onto my article, I had to modify my article to reference it.

The last few weeks I’ve thrown out some pitchers that could potentially have the ability to impact the Mariners within the starting rotation. The key thing to remember is that some of them are still under contract with other teams and we must realize as I’m sure most of us do, “to get something we must give something”. I think it is important to understand that bringing players in via trades is vitally important and that we that we are not limited by the free-agent market when trying to make our team better by acquiring players of value.

The funny thing about value is the term is rather vague and varies from team to team. There is a great piece on player value located at the Hardball Times. While each player has individual value that they contribute to their team  in terms of runs and wins each season. There are also other factors that when used in association with those metrics let’s say for example Tom Tango’s WAR (I use WAR because well I am bias,  Tango was hired by the Mariners and is favored by writer Dave Cameron) that can help provide clarify ones value not just to the team but on the trade market.

WAR can be used based on market value of a win to calculate in dollars how valuable a player is, this is called Win Values. Comparing win values in association with the players contract shows can show you how valuable a player is not just to his current team but also to a team potentially interested in his services.

Lets take a look at the following scenario

Player A stats)  .334/.406/.465  18Hrs 66 RBIs worth 7.4 Wins above replacement

Player B stats) .281/.364/.526     33Hrs  113 RBIs worth 7.2 Wins above replacement

Player A despite not hitting as many home runs or batting in as many runs is worth more value to his team than Player B. That easily devised by looking his WAR, and while this would be a great way of looking at players head to head in an individual setting however it’s far from being the best way to determining trade value.

Comparing both players contract below

Player A contract) 10yr / $189M

Player B contract) 6yr / $17M

Obviously by this time you can most likely tell that Player B is by far and away the better value. Evan Longoria (Player B) is by far baseball’s most valued asset. If a win value is near 5 million dollars than in this season alone he makes up for his measly 17 million dollar contract by being worth over 32 million dollars of value. Player A (Derek Jeter) is obviously also worth his contract (this year) being worth 33 million dollars worth of value and being paid around 20 million.

However when comparing contracts it’s obvious despite Jeter had a better performance Longoria has more value on the trade market because of his contract.

But I do contest that there is still one object that maybe missing from calculating overall trade value of an individual.

The missing ingredient is organizational depth, while being breifly mentioned in the article above we must concede that Franklin Gutierrez was more valued by the Mariners at Center Field than the Cleveland Indians in Right Field. JJ Hardy has less value to the Brewers than Corey Hart because of Alcides Escobar, despite Hardy being worth over half a-win more valuable in a premier defensive position.

While it’s important to take into effect the prospects involved in a trade it’s equally important to take the prospects left behind in the deal.

Mentioned in the BtB article above is the work of Victor Wang published on The Hardball Times and taken tabled by Erik Manning in another BtB article.

Using their values and tables it’s imperative to first value the potential in the AA/AAA system as well as the major league system prior to purposing a trade.

The Mariners have organizational depth at outfield, but due to their lack of Major League ready talent I would in general be hesitant about trading a prospective talent in Michael Saunders. That would leave Ryan Langerhans as the starter and while I have nothing against him and find him an excellent 4th out fielder, I don’t know if he’s an everyday player. He has the potential but then again so do a lot of people. I’m getting off track.

Back to the point you would have to compare the difference in value of Langerhans (who is next on the organizational depth chart) and Saunders to the upgrade of the players you are trading for and who they are replacing.

I would further a guess that the organizational depth of our possible left fielders looks something like this…

Michael Saunders
Ryan Langerhans
Bill Hall
Jerry Owens (AAA)
Prentice Redman (AAA)
Dustin Ackley (AA)
Greg Halman (AA)
Ezequiel Carrera (AA)

NOTE: I obviously greatly respect the work of Victor Wang and I have much more research to do, wouldn’t a B+ prospect closer to the major leagues, such as AAA be worth more value than say a  B+ Prospect in High-A ball.  I would be interested in doing more research into the situation.

Most of the great people that visit this site are smart enough to realize it’s more than just matching up talent and pulling that trigger, like a video game.

Sky Kalkman put together an amazing article and I hope I don’t come across in a negative light towards it. Rather I wanted to expand upon it explain it in further detail and provide other angles and the initial thoughts it was built upon. Then build upon what was written and provide my own valued opinion.

Sky’s trade calculator is perhaps the best out there that I am currently aware of, if there is anything better let me know.