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Baseball trade values website

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Offline  Baseball trade values website
#1

Posted: July 15, 2019, 10:27 AM Post
Posts: 12
Hi folks,

Some of you may be aware of the new baseballtradevalues.com website (I believe there was a thread about it recently here). I'm the founder of that site, and I've been invited to be a sort of guest here to answer any questions you may have -- be they about the site, how we calculate the values, Brewers player values in particular, or anything else around the larger topic of trades.

Side note: as of this writing, there have been two significant trades (albeit of minor value) -- Cashner and Bailey -- and our predicted values matched up very closely in each case, so we're feeling good so far.

So if you have any questions for me, fire away!

John Bitzer
proprietor, https://www.baseballtradevalues.com


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#2

Posted: July 15, 2019, 10:45 AM Post
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How often are your trade values updated? For instance, Chacin was pretty bad in the first half for the most part, but has now strung together several good outings in a row. I would think that given his affordable salary, track record of being a solid major league starter, the fact that he served as the de facto ace of a 96-win team last year, and that he is again pitching well, that he would have more trade value than the negative number that you are assigning to him.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#3

Posted: July 15, 2019, 10:52 AM Post
Posts: 12
We update the numbers monthly, so the current numbers for Chacin were reflective of his performance and likely projections through the end of June. As we do that, we see the variations, but we have to weigh them against the bigger picture. in his case, we have his AFV (adjusted field value) for the remainder of this year at $2.8M, which is not terrible. But he's due to make $3.4M. So given that and the short timeframe of control remaining, even if he kept improving on the field, at best he'd be close to zero, maybe 0.1 or so in a month. It's not going to move the needle much.


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Online  Re: Baseball trade values website
#4

Posted: July 15, 2019, 11:58 AM Post
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Thanks for your willingness to join the discussion and answer questions about your website.

A couple of things I’ve wondered:

1) I know beyond considerations regarding player ability, salary, and years of control you also take into account things such as options remaining and other potential roster management elements (i.e. likely rule 5 protection) that can affect a player’s value. What have been the most difficult player attributes to quantify in terms of value?

2) Have you received any indication of front office members being aware of your site? I’m sure some are, but curious if you’ve received feedback from any of them up to this point?


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#5

Posted: July 15, 2019, 12:31 PM Post
Posts: 12
1) Figuring out the roster-risk adjustments was a matter of trial and error. As you guys probably know already, I focused on the trade of Domingo Santana as a test case (which I describe on the site on the Effectively Wild podcast) to quantify the reduction amount -- I went back and forth between a percentage and an absolute number (at one point thinking that a roster spot is worth X amount), until I found more and more correlations with similar examples, so I ended up using the percentage approach. I did the same thing with Rule 5 risk.

But the harder part of it was estimating the probability of those things for players who are approaching that status, and doing so with a graduated approach. For example, a prospect who has Rule 5 risk this December may or may not have his value impacted, because it depends on whether the team will add him to the 40 or not (at which point he'd get three option years, which eases the pressure quite a bit). Since we don't know that, we have to take a probablistic approach to that: what are the chances he'll get added to the 40? One example is Nick Solak, who was just traded at a discount to his on-paper value because he plays a position at which the Rays are stacked. He was blocked, so the Rays were less likely to add him to the 40 and waste a roster spot on him. That increased the probability he was a Rule 5 risk. Sure enough, they traded him for what they could get, to ensure they didn't lose him completely for nothing.

We take a similar approach to guys who are in their last option year. I'm an A's fan, and I know Daniel Mengden is likely to get squeezed out of the rotation when guys like Puk, Luzardo, Manaea and Cotton come back. He's just... okay, and he's in his last option year, which means if they don't trade him now, they risk losing him for nothing as a DFA when he's squeezed out of a roster spot. So we anticipate that, and dock his value now thinking that other teams know that. On the other hand, if he started pitching lights-out, that probability would go down. So there's a push/pull dynamic going on with those cases that we monitor for.

2) I've seen some very informed commenters on the site, but no one yet has identified themselves as a FO employee. I'm not naive enough to think I'm adding anything to what they already know; quite the opposite. I'm just trying to deduce what they already know for the benefit of the public. So I don't want to assume they'd go there, other than for curiosity's sake, but I do get the sneaky sense sometimes that they're there.


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Online  Re: Baseball trade values website
#6

Posted: July 15, 2019, 1:25 PM Post
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It appears there is going to be a future feature on the site to propose three way trades, is that correct?


Speaking of three team trade possibilities, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com wrote a trade proposal article in which he included the below proposal for a three team trade involving the Brewers. I used your current values to grade out the perceived fairness of the trade...

Milwaukee gets: RHP Trevor Bauer (39.2)

Cleveland gets: OF Trey Mancini (28.9); RHP Dylan Bundy (9.3) and RHP Mychal Givens (3.0)

Baltimore gets: SS Brice Turang (16.6), OF Tristen Lutz (17.4), RHP Zack Brown (3.2), C Mario Feliciano (3.5), RHP Nick Sandlin (1.2) and SS Marcos Gonzalez (0.6)

Using those current values:
- The Brewers would give up 40.7 in value and receive 39.2 in return.
- The Indians would give up 41.0 in value and receive 41.2 in return.
- The Orioles would give up 41.2 in value and receive 42.5 in return.

It looks like Castrovince actually came up with a fairly even trade proposal in terms of value according to your site.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#7

Posted: July 15, 2019, 7:15 PM Post
Posts: 12
Yeah, that Castrovince trade matches up very well!

And yes, it's correct that we're going to add the ability to propose three-team trades very soon (hopefully in the next couple of days). We're just fine-tuning some of the details now.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#8

Posted: July 15, 2019, 7:17 PM Post
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A hypothetical question, but how would you value draft picks if MLB allowed them to be traded?


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#9

Posted: July 15, 2019, 7:22 PM Post
Posts: 18985
johnbitzer said:
We update the numbers monthly, so the current numbers for Chacin were reflective of his performance and likely projections through the end of June. As we do that, we see the variations, but we have to weigh them against the bigger picture. in his case, we have his AFV (adjusted field value) for the remainder of this year at $2.8M, which is not terrible. But he's due to make $3.4M. So given that and the short timeframe of control remaining, even if he kept improving on the field, at best he'd be close to zero, maybe 0.1 or so in a month. It's not going to move the needle much.


Seems about right to me. [smile]


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#10

Posted: July 15, 2019, 8:11 PM Post
Posts: 1149
Location: Ohio
Eye Black said:
It appears there is going to be a future feature on the site to propose three way trades, is that correct?

Speaking of three team trade possibilities, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com wrote a trade proposal article in which he included the below proposal for a three team trade involving the Brewers. I used your current values to grade out the perceived fairness of the trade...

Milwaukee gets: RHP Trevor Bauer (39.2)

Cleveland gets: OF Trey Mancini (28.9); RHP Dylan Bundy (9.3) and RHP Mychal Givens (3.0)

Baltimore gets: SS Brice Turang (16.6), OF Tristen Lutz (17.4), RHP Zack Brown (3.2), C Mario Feliciano (3.5), RHP Nick Sandlin (1.2) and SS Marcos Gonzalez (0.6)

Using those current values:
- The Brewers would give up 40.7 in value and receive 39.2 in return.
- The Indians would give up 41.0 in value and receive 41.2 in return.
- The Orioles would give up 41.2 in value and receive 42.5 in return.

It looks like Castrovince actually came up with a fairly even trade proposal in terms of value according to your site.


Just an FYI on those Tribe prospects (Sandlin & Gonzalez) in the proposal: both are on the injured list and IIRC supposed to be out the rest of the season (Sandlin as a sidearmer with a forearm issue)


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#11

Posted: July 16, 2019, 4:20 AM Post
Posts: 12
We've only taken a crack at valuing the Comp A and Comp B draft picks that are allowed to be traded today. As I mention on the site, the Claudio trade was a key focus point for that math.

But I assume the nature of your question goes to the grand majority of draft picks. We haven't done our homework on that, because we haven't needed to yet, since those are not tradeable. But off the top of my head, we'd likely apply the prospect model we use (which we describe on the site under "Valuing minor-leaguers"), minus the signing bonus. We think there's a fair amount of surplus built into the system already -- a hitter who's rated a 50 FV on the FG scale is worth about $22M, but his signing bonus will typically be a lot less than that.

One recent clue was the Kyler Murray situation: he got roughly $5M when he was drafted by the A's, but they offered him quite a lot more later in an attempt to get him to give up football. They did that because they knew he was worth closer to $22M, so they were tapping into that projected surplus.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#12

Posted: July 16, 2019, 8:58 PM Post
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John, thanks. This is a cool tool to mess around with. Appreciate it.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#13

Posted: July 17, 2019, 4:42 AM Post
Posts: 12
My pleasure, glad you like it!


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Online  Re: Baseball trade values website
#14

Posted: July 20, 2019, 1:12 PM Post
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A couple additional questions for you, John.

1) You mentioned valuing Comp A and Comp B draft selections. Do you plan to add competitive balance selections as tradable assets for those teams that have them (once they are eligible to be traded in the off-season)?

2) Does your formula for valuing players put much weight on positional flexibility? For example does it adjust Moustakas’ value for having the ability to now play adequately at both 2B and 3B (as opposed to just 3B)?

Also, somewhat related, a few years back there was a dearth of offensive production at shortstop. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore where as catcher appears to be an offensively limited position across baseball. Does scarcity of offensive production at certain positions have a noticeable impact on the values for the top players at those positions?


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#15

Posted: July 20, 2019, 8:58 PM Post
Posts: 12
1) Thanks for the reminder on the Comp A and B picks. Yes, we plan to add those. Basically, any tradeable asset should be in our model.
2) Yes, we adjust for both position and positional flexibility, both for prospects and veterans. Having said that, we have to determine whether the adjustment is permanent or temporary, based on patterns we see in the marketplace. For example, we've found that the ability to play 2B is (perhaps surprisingly) not particularly valuable. This is probably related to the current supply glut of 2Bs, such that adding one more who can do it is just adding further to the glut.
3) Yes, definitely. Because there is currently a general lack of offense from the catcher position, it means the few catchers who can hit are much more in demand -- we talk about that a bit on the site in reference to the Realmuto trade this past winter. Demand for him went up because the supply of offensive catchers was so low. So we give a small upgrade to an offensive catcher as a result.

Having said that, we have to be careful about judging whether it's a temporary situation or a permanent one. As you point out, it wasn't that long ago that there was a dearth of good-hitting shortstops, and now they're all over the place. So that doesn't mean we should make the offensive-catcher upgrade permanent; it just means they're a bit more in demand now.

One positional trend that does seem to have taken on a sense of permanence is the downgrade of corner sluggers. Guys who can slug, but are largely stationary and can't play much defense, are just not valued very highly (see: Castellanos), because they're relatively easy to replace for less cost, and also because teams are smarter now about paying for a true two-way player rather than a bat-first-only one.

So: some positional adjustments are temporary, some permanent.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#16

Posted: July 20, 2019, 9:09 PM Post
Posts: 18985
johnbitzer said:
One positional trend that does seem to have taken on a sense of permanence is the downgrade of corner sluggers. Guys who can slug, but are largely stationary and can't play much defense, are just not valued very highly (see: Castellanos), because they're relatively easy to replace for less cost, and also because teams are smarter now about paying for a true two-way player rather than a bat-first-only one.

So: some positional adjustments are temporary, some permanent.


Which makes me very surprised that you value Jesus Aguilar as a 7.6.

Obviously the Brewers agree as they've stuck with him through some very rough stretches this season.


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Online  Re: Baseball trade values website
#17

Posted: July 21, 2019, 1:50 PM Post
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FanGraphs annually does a Trade Value Series. It is a 6-part series that starts with an honorable mention article followed by releasing the top 50 players in increments of ten. Here is a link to the 2019 Trade Value Series. Each of the six is linked at the top of that final edition.

I took a closer look at their rankings which were previously done by Dave Cameron, and now fall among Kiley McDaniel’s duties. I figured it would be fun to compare them to the Baseball Trade Values site. Below is a list of the FanGraphs top 50, with the value assigned by Baseball Trade Values (BTV) in the next column. I collected the BTV numbers beginning Friday, so if any of these players have been updated this weekend they may have incorrect value numbers. The FanGraphs honorable mentions included Josh Hader (77.1 on BTV) and Keston Hiura (75.5 on BTV).

FG #	BTV	Name
1 178.0 Ronald Acuna Jr.
2 121.2 Fernando Tatis Jr.
3 82.4 Mike Trout
4 151.5 Cody Bellinger
5 151.3 Alex Bregman
6 111.4 Juan Soto
7 116.3 Christian Yelich
8 111 Ozzie Albies
9 102.4 Matt Chapman
10 182.0 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
11 87.2 Walker Buehler
12 91.7 Gleyber Torres
13 96.8 Francisco Lindor
14 63.4 Rafael Devers
15 118.6 Aaron Judge
16 72.5 Shohei Ohtani
17 83.0 Ketel Marte
18 88.7 Yoan Moncada
19 47.0 Xander Bogaerts
20 111.0 Blake Snell
21 51.1 Shane Bieber
22 127.2 German Marquez
23 111.5 Wander Franco
24 66.1 Jacob deGrom
25 57.1 Kris Bryant
26 83.8 Jose Berrios
27 69.8 Trea Turner
28 51.4 Joey Gallo
29 60.0 Paul DeJong
30 58.9 Chris Paddack
31 78.6 Aaron Nola
32 29.1 Peter Alonso
33 59.8 Jose Ramirez
34 50.7 Javier Baez
35 49.7 Rhys Hoskins
36 35.5 Freddie Freeman
37 75.8 Nick Senzel
38 42.2 Jorge Polanco
39 49.0 Jeff McNeil
40 47.0 Max Kepler
41 35.5 Brandon Woodruff
42 56.5 Mike Soroka
43 82.3 Eugenio Suarez
44 36.0 Max Scherzer
45 80.8 Carlos Correa
46 72.0 Gary Sanchez
47 77.5 Corey Seager
48 40.6 Adalberto Mondesi
49 45.6 Matt Olson
50 62.3 Luis Castillo


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#18

Posted: July 24, 2019, 8:50 PM Post
Posts: 12
We respect the Fangraphs series a lot. But as I mentioned in the comment thread there on Friday, their approach is based on what front offices say; our approach is based on what they actually do. Both are valid.

In my view, we are generally aligned. The specifics vary a little, but the top players are grouped in a similar way, as are the next tier. Trout is an exception that is maddening (and the FG guys seem to agree), because he's the top of the market in terms of field value, and his contract undervalues him -- the matter of degrees is purely theoretical since no one's ever been paid that much relative to his production. We took a slightly more conservative view based on the size of the contract being an impediment for most teams.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#19

Posted: July 24, 2019, 8:53 PM Post
Posts: 12
We think Aguilar has just enough positive value to justify that, based on three+ plus years of control and the fact that if the Brewers ever floated him, he'd be attractive as a DH to AL teams.


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Offline  Re: Baseball trade values website
#20

Posted: July 25, 2019, 9:17 PM Post
Posts: 12
One more thought on this: Would any of you trade Hiura for Matt Olson?


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