[Ed. note: We have been running these posts for several years now, but ultimately, the original idea was based on Bill Simmons' NBA Trade Value List. Bill gets crabby if we forget to mention that.]
It is time to update the Tampa Bay Rays Trade Value Index in which we rank the top 50 players in the Rays organization (40-man roster plus top prospects) based on their overall value to the team. The rankings consider a number factors in addition to talent and good looks, such as potential, age, contract and depth of position in the organization.
Notes on how the rankings are compiled and a few specific players can be found after the table. Full calculations can be found at the end of this post…
Notes on the TVI top 50…
- The TVI is calculated using four variables: 1) talent (based on a reasonable projection of abilities); 2) age-value (based on age and years remaining until free agency); 3) position (based loosely on Bill James’ defensive spectrum, and adjusted as needed based on team needs) and 4) current level (i.e. MLB, triple-A, etc.). These values are all scaled 1-10 and given a weight of 2.0, 1.5, 1.0 and 0.5 respectively.
- Think of the rankings this way: If the Rays had to choose between Player A and Player B, the player they would pick will be ranked higher in the TVI.
- Evan Longoria is the clear #1 for the 3rd straight year, based on both his talent level and what may be the best contract in baseball. The next 4 players (David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis) all fall in a narrow range. While Price has the clear edge in talent, the Rays still have Hellboy for 6 seasons and Davis for 7 (cost-controlled).
- At the other end of the spectrum we have mostly players that will be free agents at the end of the year who only made the Rays’ roster after signing minor league deals this off-season. These players wouldn’t command much in a trade.
- Players were given a “bonus” based on projected free agent status (Type A or Type B). Even though these players will likely be gone next year, they will command one or two draft picks in compensation. The bonus was loosely based on the values of draft picks in the second-half of the first-round and the supplemental round. Normally we would give players that will be free agents following the 2012 season half the free agency bonus. The key players here would be BJ Upton and JP Howell, but neither is projected as Type A or Type B at this point. Upton could certainly jump up at his current pace.
- Feel free to let us know in the comments if you feel there is variable that should be included in the TVI calculations and if you think the relative weights should be different. This is an evolving process. And while we try to remove as much subjectivity as possible, the nature of the beast will always require at least a little bit.