Yankees trade values and an important reminder

As trade season heats up this month, there’s one very important thing to remember:

This was one of the mantras of everyone’s favorite Yankees blog. But just because RAB is no more doesn’t mean the torch can’t be carried forward.

Of course, there’s no stopping some of the silliest trade proposals that will come about over the next few weeks. But, there is a new aid out there that could relieve the scourge of ridiculous trade proposals. Straight out of the NBA Trade Machine mold is Baseball Trade Values.

The Effectively Wild podcast interviewed the creator of the site, so take a listen to that for a good primer. My understanding is that the site is a database of all major and minor leaguers, each with an assessed value based on statistics and past trades, and that the tool allows you to propose your own trades in order to see if your trade proposal actually sucks.

Now, let’s have some fun with this. Jacoby Ellsbury for Marcus Stroman; who says no?

Darn.

All jokes aside, this site is a good proxy for what the Yankees will have to give up in order to get any one of the pitchers Bobby has and continues to profile. Remember, to get something of value, it has to hurt a little bit! For instance, if you look at any of the shared trades involving the Yankees on the site, you’ll see that many of them include Clint Frazier or Deivi Garcia. Since Bobby just wrote about Matt Boyd, let’s look at a hypothetical deal that someone posted to the site:

Oof. That one is painful. But yeah, it’s probably going to take including Clint to get Boyd or Stroman.

Anyway, you can play around with the trade simulator here. And no, before you try, you can’t just include a dozen players with low values in order to match up with one high value target. Maybe this year your trade proposal will suck a little less.

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24 Comments

  1. H.E. Pennypacker

    22 comments and not one single trade proposal!

  2. RetroRob

    Quick, somebody get this to Bertin.

    • dasit

      my son: dad, i’m hungry
      me: go away, i’m about to fleece the mets for degrom

  3. Your a Looser Trader FotD

    This site could be super cool if they allowed people to up/down vote the values the site comes up with. They don’t seem to have taken actual YTD performance into account, and many are obviously flat out incorrect for whatever algo-related reason. Plus as has been pointed out, negative values are an issue for their algo.

    • Wire Fan

      I have a problem with a system where Mike Trout has only a little more trade value than Bryce Harper. And somehow the low to high spread on Harper is ridiculously tight while Trout has a huge spread.

      I think they incorporate a lot of the right concepts beyond just surplus value, I’m just not sure how well they are quantifying them.

      I also think there is an over-valuing of prospects and not enough weight given to a prospect’s floor, downside risk (potential position change, contact issues, command for a pitcher, lack of a decent 3rd pitch, etc) and distance from the majors (which impacts floor and risk) . I think teams value risk and floor a lot more than the public prospect lists and fans – those tend to lean heavily on tools and upside.

      • I agree with your points about prospect risks. As we explain on the site, we are not prospect evaluators — we are converting a weighted average of the four major prospect ratings services (BA, BP, FG, MLB) into values, based largely on the research we cite by Craig Edwards of Fangraphs and corroborating research by some smart guys at The Point of Pittsburgh. Since those models don’t go much below 50 ratings, we extended the logic all the way down the ranks to 35+ prospects (using the FG scale as a baseline, and adapting other systems to it, while noting that MLB’s system tends to be inflated for political reasons). So your points may be relevant to those services more than ours. Our job is to match the valuations of real-life trades as much as possible with our formulas, and we think we’re close based on the information available.

        To your Trout point: as I mentioned on the podcast, Trout is in uncharted territory. His on-paper value is off the charts, but his actual surplus value is impacted by the fact that no team has shown any interest or ability to pay the level of salary required to match it. So in theory, he has more surplus, but in reality, not as much as you might think.

    • Hi guys. Just happened to notice a lot of folks coming to the baseballtradevalues.com site from here, so thanks for the shout-out. I’m the guy who runs it, so I’m happy to answer any questions about it.

      To this comment specifically: we do allow up-down votes. And we definitely take YTD performance into account. The numbers reflect that.

      I’m not sure I follow your point about negative values, though. To overcome negative values, we have a function where you can include cash to make up the difference, as many users are doing. So I’m not sure what issue you’re seeing with it. Can you elaborate?

      Thanks,

      Joh

      • vincent gagliano

        Really interesting site man. Generally speaking I think baseball traded drive more variables than any other sport. The amount of factors that go into trades are incredible. For example id love to know the value difference between the Yankee package accepted for Stanton. The situation that made that trade happen couldn’t have been factored into any algorithm with his contract, change in ownership, looming free agency with players demands that many believed would have made Stanton’s 22m p yr on the luxury a steal, and willingness to accept a trade to only 4 teams.

        It’s awesome but you created is literally destined to get scrutinized.

        • Thanks. No problem at all on the scrutiny—I welcome it. My goal is to make it as realistic as possible so I’m happy to take suggestions.

          I hadn’t yet built the model at the time of the Stanton trade so I can’t evaluate that one but I agree that there are many variables that go into baseball trades. We explain a lot of them on the site.

          • vincent gagliano

            Best of luck man hope your site gets a ton of traffic.

  4. Raymond Zayas

    Luckily I got my work done, I can procrastinate on this for the rest of the afternoon haha

  5. Brian M

    I think they need to update these player values as of midseason. Tyler Wade for John Means right now would never work, but it might have before the season began.

    • Yes, you caught us just before we updated Wade’s numbers. He’s since gone down. I agree that one wouldn’t work today.

      Having said that, we’re being cautious with Means’ value, as he had no prospect value before this. Every year it seems there’s a breakout from out of nowhere, but quite often those guys turn into pumpkins once the league adjusts to them. Last year, Rays fans thought Joey Wendle was worth $100M, because they were extrapolating a small sample size without considering mean reversion, age, or previous track record. Our system guards against those initial cases of overreach until there’s more proven success at the MLB level.

  6. Raphy

    Didn’t spend a lot of time, but the site has some clear issues with negative values.

    Taking on Cano, allows the Yankees to get deGrom, Wheeler, Alonso and McNeil for Happ and Voit.

    • Dan

      That would be apocalyptic

    • RetroRob

      I like Voit, but, uhh, well, ummm, just hit the accept button!

    • As I noted above, I’m not sure what you mean? The site wouldn’t allow that, so please elaborate. Thanks.

      • Raphael Goldstein

        The site did allow it. Cano’s -88 balanced out the positive values of the other players so it only took Voit to get them.

        • Sorry, I misunderstood the earlier comment. I see your point.

          We do stand by the logic of the negative valuations. Every front office, including the Yankees’ FO, has become rigorously efficient in their spending. (There are a few chapters in the recent book “Inside the Empire” that address this for the Yankees, noting both Cashman’s and Hal’s strong commitment to operating efficiently.) That means that teams will absolutely avoid taking on underwater contracts, especially severe ones. No one’s taking Cano now. (Dipoto was reportedly beside himself with glee when he managed to offload him to the Mets in the offseason.) Therefore, anyone who even considers doing so would have enough leverage to demand at least that much positive value in return.

          Further, there are only so many teams able to absorb all of deGrom’s contract, which is another significant outlay. Taking on both of those would be a tall order even for the Yankees.

          When building the site, I struggled with the budget factor, which is very real for GMs. Since the site is coded by default to match up values based largely on surplus, the size of a player’s contract can sometimes be overlooked. I think there are enough intelligent users of the site who understand that component, such that you can’t just trade one or two good prospects for Mike Trout, but there are others who will propose that sort of thing anyway. We’ll work on ways to make that more realistic in future releases.

  7. Gonzo The Great

    This is wild… That said, some wonkiness still in this, especially the “availability” column. According to this, the Yankees are as likely to make Sanchez available as they are Frazier.

  8. vincent gagliano

    Loaisiga, florial, Wade gets us Bauer. I doubt that.

    Thanks for sending this, I’ll spend the next 48 hours straight on it.

  9. This has Florial and Frazier at the same value. Maybe I just don’t understand this. One has struggled a bit and been mostly injured the last season and a half in the lower minors. The other has shown he can hit major league pitching. Meh. According to the valuation here Cabello and Loaisiga carry a bit more value than I expected with the risk factors being what they are (AC for away and very young, Lo w the injury questions). If you can headline a package with those 2 for Stroman and Giles (meh), that would be difficult for me to say “don’t like it” to. I like Lo, but I don’t see him holding up in the rotation.

    • They adjusted Florial overnight, dropped his value down well below Frazier to where Cabello is.

  10. Well Derek you’ve effectively killed my productivity for the rest of the day….

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