It is time to update the Tampa Bay Rays Trade Value Index* in which we rank the top 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…
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 3.0, 1.5, 1.0 and 0.5 respectively. The final value is then based on a scale of 1-100.
- 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. And if another team wants a particular player, the higher they are on this list, the more the other team would have to offer.
- Evan Longoria is #1 for the 4th straight year, based on both his talent level and what may be the best contract in baseball. However, his lead is shrinking as he gets older and length of this contract gets shorter.
- Matt Moore is number two, but in reality, he and Evan Longoria are interchangeable. Moore is a young, lefty, hard-throwing starting pitcher that has shown that he can be successful in the big leagues. The Rays can also keep Moore for at least the next six seasons if they choose. It doesn’t get much more valuable than that.
- The next 4 players (David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, James Shields, Desmond Jennings) all fall in a narrow range. Price comes back to the pack a little bit now that he is in arbitration and there is little hope for a contract extension. Jennings jumps up thanks to his strong second-half showing with the big club.
- At the other end of the spectrum we have mostly players that are marginal major leaguers, and middle relievers. 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. Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta project as Type A free agents, and BJ Upton is on pace to be a Type B free agent. However, when the new CBA is finalized, it is expected that the compensation system will be modified. If that happens, these three players could lose some value.
- 2011 Draft Picks are excluded until we get some sense of how well they will perform as a professionals.
- 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.
* 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.