[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.

FULL CALCULATIONS…

 
 

7 Comments

  1. Brad says:

    Desmond Jennings is way too low. There is literally no chance that Jennings is less valuable than John Jaso.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Desmond is no spring chicken. This is his age-24 season and he is still in AAA and there is a chance he won’t see any significant playing time until next season. In 5 years he has played a full season once. And now he is starting to fall down some prospect lists.

      Jaso is a known commodity that plays the hardest position to fill in the big leagues. A young cheap catcher that can get on base is gold in the big leagues.

      • Michael says:

        Cork,

        I disagree 100%. In Jennings, you still have a top 20 overall prospect. In Jaso, you have a guy with horrible defense and who’s bat is really questionable. Also, Jaso has no other posistion.

      • Chris says:

        Gotta agree with Cork. Been watching Jennings for a while now and he just can’t stay healthy. He’s having his best start ever, however, so maybe…

      • Mark says:

        I’m sorry Cork. You are way wrong on this one.

        John Jaso’s value isn’t close to Jennings. Jaso is a backup catcher and he is ranked higher than top prospects Jennings and Archer

        Also Kelly Shoppach over Jake McGee, Josh Sale, Tim Beckham.

        You are completely underestimating prospects values.

        In no universe would anyone ever give up one of those prospects for Jaso or Shoppach.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          I think your underestimating how hard it is to find big league catchers that can actually produce at the plate. Also, Jake McGee is now a relief pitcher, and relievers are just not that valuable and somewhat easily replaced. Until McGee can prove he is a closer, he is just another middle reliever. Beckham is not even ranked on most top prospect lists anymore. Some wonder if he will ever even make it to the big leagues. And Sale has yet to play one professional game.

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