We have a bunch of rosterbation going on right now, as should be expected, and in those posts, we see some differences in what people think about the trade value of certain Braves players. With the Braves likely to be active in the trade market this year, it makes sense to think of the trade value of our players. So here is my list of the Braves by trade value--I ranked everyone in the system that had trade value different than negligible trade value and zero trade value, but I put in where those categories fall within the list. Afterwards I talk about where I put certain discussed trade candidates from other teams on the list and explain a couple of things. I do not list Billy Wagner because he has announced his retirement, and I do not list Chipper Jones or Tim Hudson because they both have a full no-trade clause via the collective bargaining agreement (they are 10/5) and are not likely to waive it.
NOTE: All ranking here are based on my opinion of true value, not modified by team need. Obviously, some trading partners might value someone more than someone of more value due to positional need. I am not reflecting that in these rankings.
1. Jason Heyward (Team control: 5 years)
2. Tommy Hanson (Team control: 5 years)
3. Brian McCann (Contract: 2 years remaining, $15 million, $12 million team option for 2013)
4. Martin Prado (Team Control: 3 years)
5.5 Freddie Freeman (Team Control: 6 years)
5.5 Julio Teheran (Team Control: 6 years)
7. Jair Jurrjens (Team Control: 3 years)
8. Mike Minor (Team Control: 6 years)
9. Craig Kimbrel (Team Control: 6 years)
10. Randall Delgado (Team Control: 6 years)
11. Carlos Perez (Team Control: 6 years)
12. Arodys Vizcaino (Team Control: 6 years)
13.5. Omar Infante (Contract: 1 year, 2.5 million)
13.5 . Alex Gonzalez (Contract: 1 year, 2.5 million)
15. Johnny Venters (Team Control: 5 years)
16. Edward Salcedo (Team Control: 6 years)
17. Brandon Beachy (Team Control: 6 years)
18. Peter Moylan (Team Control: 2 years)
19. Michael Dunn (Team Control: 6 years)
20. J.J. Hoover (Team Control: 6 years)
21. Christian Betancourt (Team Control: 6 years)
22. Eric O'Flaherty (Team Control: 3 years)
--Players with negligble value---including other ranked prospects, Schafer, etc.
--Players with no value---including orgizational depth players, fringe prospects, etc.
23. Kenshin Kawakami (Contract: 1 year, 6.667 million)
24. Nate McLouth (Contract, 1 year, 6.5 million, plus 1.25 million buyout for 2012)
25. Derek Lowe (Contract: 2 years, 30 million)
That's my list. Some are very close--I noted the ties myself. I also want to note that it is very close between Freeman down to Minor, and from Kimbrel to Venters, as well as other places. And, yes, as you can tell from the list, I disagree with some other posters here on one fundamental aspect---I rank guys who have performed at the major league level well and have less team control time left higher than top prospects who have not performed at the major league level. In my opinion, too many bad things can happen to prospect (injury, adjustment time to MLB like say Delmon Young, who was a huge prospect) to put them as high as the guys who have performed. For those who think my ranking of JJ is against this principle, you are right---but that is because of his injury plagued and ineffective 2010. If he is healthy and performing, I would be him above Teheran and Freeman by the end of May (assuming Freeman hasn't done so well to raise his standing). Here are some other team's players and where I rank them on true value:
Evan Longoria: Ahead of Heyward. He is the only player in baseball I put there, and that is because of his contract (very team friendly) and production. He isn't going anywhere, I just note him because he is the only guy ahead of Heyward. I hope we can sign Heyward to something similar this offseason.
Ryan Braun (Contract: 4 years, 40.5 million). I put him between Heyward and Hanson. Great production, great contract.
Colby Rasmus (Team Control: 4 years). I put him between Hanson and Prado. Yeah, that skips McCann, who is hard to rank, only two years left on the contract plus a 12 million option, so he might be lower, but finding a good catcher is almost impossible in the majors now. Basically, McCann is going nowhere, which I agree with, so I don't know how to rank him against Rasmus. And yes, I have said I would trade Hanson for Rasmus and I would--but that is based on the Braves' positional needs, not on pure value. WIth the extra free year, Hanson is more valuable.
Denard Span (Contract: 4 years, 15.25 million, 9 million option with 500K buyout for 2015) and Ben Revere (Team Control: 6 years). I put them both about the same, even with Minor. Both are similar players, Revere has more team control, Span has a team friendly contract. Both have limited upside with lack of power, but good floors. Span has a higher floor due to having performed at the major league level, but Revere has more control. Gun to my head, I would rather have Span, but I honestly don't care much between them.
Matt Kemp (Contract, 1 year, 6.95 million, plus one extra year of team control as 3rd year arb.). He is tough to rank. He has all the tools and has performed both well and poorly in the majors. He is on a talent level better than Span and Revere, but since he has less team control by a significant amount, I rank him lower. He is a two-year rental, and not a particularly cheap one, especially since if he does well in 2011, he will get a bunch in arbitration in 2012. Gun to my head, I put him between Minor and Kimbrel. That being said, I would trade Minor for him in a heartbeat or even JJ, because of positional need.
Michael Cuddyer (Contract, 1 year, 10.5 million). I put him in the negligible trade value guys. He is a bit overpriced, but clearly better than replacement level. Basically, the Twins can move his entire salary if they want, but they won't get more than a lottery ticket prospect for him.
Well, there are my thoughts---feel free to tell me where you think I am wrong---I am sure I do that in all the threads and will do it in this one, too.
BTW, I owe an I told you so post to someone based on a bet about Wagner and Rodney (which I somehow lost even though I was on Wagner's side due to weird WPA things), whoever you are, remind me, and I'll make the post. I was going to before and said so, but was very busy and didn't have time. Now, I forgot who I was supposed to make an ode to.