Exploring Mock Trades with “Baseball Trade Values”

There’s a fairly new & very interesting website I ran into called BaseballTradevalues.com. The creators have been analyzing and recording real-life MLB trades for years, and have used that information (and a background in finance) to build a model for player trade value. It’s very complex, and totally worth your time to read up on their methodology. You won’t find every last professional player here, but you will find every MLB player & every noteworthy prospect.

Doing mock trades is really something else, as I’m convinced that there isn’t one single proposal out there that fans from both sides won’t whine about (WAY TOO MUCH!; OVERPAY!; NOT ENOUGH!; HARD PASS!). Though the complaints usually come from people who are either uninformed or too lazy to do their own research, it’s still exhausting. That’s why I really like this site, which allows you to simulate your own trades while taking 99% of the bias out of the equation.

I spent some time playing with the trade simulator this morning, and wanted to share some of the “deals” I came up with. While nobody seems to have a stronghold on Farhan Zaidi’s plans for the deadline, it’s still fun to see how the Giants match up with other organizations.

Most of these deals are of the selling variety, but I did include a couple low-grade “buyer”  deals in there too. Hey, you never know…

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The Rays, like most teams, would love Will Smith. Their system is loaded, and the Giants probably aren’t touching their top 5. By himself, Smith only nets $9M in value. That’s not near enough to get Vidal Brujan (31M) or Shane Baz (19M). It does put them in the ballpark for Lucius Fox, but I opted for McClanahan, who’s having a great first full season, instead. I would have loved the Giants to get Nick Solak, who went to Texas, but Colin Poche is an MLB-ready lefty who I’ve had my eye on for a while. There’s probably room for a low-level player add-on here as well.

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Farhan has given some hints that he would like to both buy & sell this year, if possible. With that in mind, one question I had was, “What would it take to get Tyler O’ Neill?” Turns out it would take quite a bit, according to the simulator. Gott’s controllability is worth decent value, and helps get the Giants in the ballpark. Oviedo is a tall righty in AA, the #18 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Gotta think Cards fans would feel like they won this deal if it went down…

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Would any of us be surprised if the Giants and Twins hooked up on a Smith & Bum blockbuster? Probably not. But just how much would those two net together? According to these projections, it’s about $20M in trade value. That’s about even value for Trevor Larnach ($19.5M), and just enough to package beast right-hander Jhoan Duran (#8 MLB Pipeline) with Brent Rooker (#7). I decided to spread the value out a bit, adding a couple of former high draft picks in Nick Gordon & Travis Blankenhorn. I considered rising righty Jordan Balazovic & SS Wander Javier as well. Boy, the Twins are loaded!

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Speaking of teams who have what it takes to load up for Smith & Bum… I know a lot of us are dreaming on names like Drew Waters & Kyle Wright, but those guys appear to be too rich for what the Giants can offer (imagine that!). I’ve liked Bryson Wilson for a while, and frankly, I think if the deal went down like this, the Giants would end up with 3 arms who would see a good chunk of time in their future rotations. All three are 21 years old. Crazy thing is, this deal doesn’t even dent Atlanta’s prospect depth (though Allard & Wentz are both considered top 10 in their system). This one feels like a win-win for me.

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The Giants should have made an offer for Santana when he was still with Milwaukee. They have another chance now, and there’s decent 2nd & 3rd tier depth in the farm system to move a few of these guys if need be. Santana will swing and miss like Tyler Austin, but he’s also proving to be a guy who you can pencil in every day (at least offensively). He’s controllable for 4 more years to boot…

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See my rationale for Tyler O’ Neill above. I know the Yankees want to act like Frazier is their golden boy, but I don’t think anybody’s really buying that. If it came down to getting a Bumgarner/Moronta package from the Giants, I think they’d be more willing to part with Frazier & Albert Abreu than some of their rising studs like Deivi Garcia & Luis Gil. I don’t know why, but I just have this hunch that Frazier is the type of player Zaidi is going to bother Cashman about.

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Oh boy, Brewers fans aren’t going to like this… but here’s the deal. Outside of Hiura & Brice Turang, their farm system isn’t very good. If the rumor is the Giants like Dubon (#5 in the org), we’ll start there. Aaron Ashby (#9) is a lefty with a 65 curveball who’s having a nice year in A ball. Jake Gatewood is a former top 50 pick who just hasn’t put it all together.

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If the Giants want to tighten their lineup a little bit, Panik’s spot is a pretty obvious place to upgrade. Farhan seems to like dealing with Baltimore. I really wanted to find a package for Trey Mancini, but his value is just too high right now (near $30M). Villar’s having a nice year, as is Shaw… Would the Giants do something like this?


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