Who has the most & least trade value on the current 25 man roster when all factors are considered? I took all contract info from Cots, and tried to be as objective as possible; i.e. think how other teams will be thinking about our players as opposed to how we, as fans think about them.
Feel free to object, I was a litle surprised with my results to be honest. I tried to list from 25-1 the players that would bring us back the most in return. It really isn't that pretty. I think there are only about 3 or 4 players whose value to the Royals now or in his under contract/team control future is less than what we could get in return.
#25 – Tony Pena Jr.: This is pretty much a no-brainer. I have half a mind to think the reason they DFA’d Luis Hernandez over TPJ is there is at least the vague possibility that someone could offer a C prospect, or a PTBNL for Luis Hernandez in the next 10 days.
Tony Pena Jr, when his trade value was at his absolute peak! via mlb.mlb.com
#24 – Ryan Freel: He has only slightly more value than TPJ at tis point. We just gave a PTBNL, and some think that was too much. Hard to imagine people having any more interest in him than TPJ @ the deadline. Plus he has about $2M left on his deal that expires at the end of the year.
#23 – Mitch Maier: Mitch is a fine 4th OF'er for a team like the Royals, but I don't think he is good for much more than a 5th OF'er for a contending team, which of course is who is buying at the deadline, and they are buying in order to get an impact player most of the time. MM, just isn't that type of player. Owed about $200K on a contract that is expiring (though still arb eligible)
#22 – Brayan Pena: I think there is a decent chance that BPmay just be a starting catcher in the league someday. More than likely, he will be a really good backup. If there is a team that is in contention that is is in need of catching depth, he may get looked at, but I'd think they'd be more interested in one of our other C's if that was the case.
#21 – Bruce Chen: I think 90% of contending teams have a Bruce Chen or better in AAA if they have an injury situation and need a starter. The fact that he is LH is the only reason he is this high on the list. Owed about $300K on a contract that expires at the end of the season.
#20, 19, 18 – Robinson Tejeda, Roman Colon, Jamey Wright: I can't see any contending team clamoring to get their hands on any of these 3 bullpen arms at the deadline. Wright probably has the 'most' value oft he three, since he is a decided GB pitcher, and he did show a month of being a really good bullpen guy earlier this year, and has been good again his last few outings, but I think any value here is negligible. Tejada is owed about $225K, Wright about $300K, and Colon about $200K and they are all on 1 year deals that expire at the end of the season (Colon & Tejada are still arb eligible).
#17 John Buck: Almost any trade value that Buck had accrued over his career was lost when he went down with a back injury. If he puts together a hot couple of weeks, he may get some value back, but I don't see it. Owed about $1.5M for the rest of '09, and has 2 years of arb. left.
#16 Mike Jacobs: This is the one that really hurts IMO. I think that when GMDM traded for him, he envisioned him having 15-20 HR's, and an OBP northof .330 at this point in the year. It that were the case, I think he would be a decent chip to dangle out there for a contender that needs a Lefty DH/PH type that can get a big HR. As it is, I think his value is negligible at this point. As with Buck, there is still a chance that he puts together a hot streak and regains some of that value & is moved for a piece in a month, but I don't really think the odds of that happening are very high. Owed about $1.6M for the rest of this year, has 2 or 3 years of arbitration eligibility left.
I'm starting to think that Mike Jacobs brought this bat with him to KC...and used it in most of his AB's via www2.pictures.gi.zimbio.com
#15 Jose Guillen: This one hurts too. Again, I think GMDM was hoping (or expecting) that JoGui would keep putting up some numbers and would be a attractive piece for a contender. His contract is a trainwreck,which is also a huge factor in his low appearance on this list. If KC eats 1/2 of his remaining contract # (about $9 Mil), he could sneak up to the top 10, but I'm not sure if he would bring anything of too much value in return.
#14, 13 John Bale, Ron Mahay: Similar situation with these guys. Neither has been 100% healthy the entire season, but both seem to be in good health now. Mahay is due just under $2M for the rest of this season, which is kind of a high price tag for a guy that will probably pitch about 20 innings for a team that he is traded to. Bale is still owed about $600K, which is obviously a little easier pill to swallow. Again, the main reason they are this high on the list is due to them both being LH.
#12 Alberto Callaspo: I thought when I started making this list, that he would appear higher on it. Then I got to thinking about something that is true about almost every playoff contending team; they play real good defense up the middle. Alberto decidedly DOES NOT fit into that category, though the kid can rake and rarely K's. He;s only owed $200K this year, and I don't think he has hit arbitration years yet, though next year may be his first arb. eligible year.
#11 Luke Hochevar: Hochevar is a strange case. His value would be really high for the teams that are typically selling at the trade deadline. I think his value is less for a team that is in the race, but the value is still there. His contract is strange. If I am reading it right, he is entering arbitration eligibility next year, but is poised to take a big increase in pay, as he will probably be a Super 2. I do no think the value of Hochevar on the trade market is high enough for KC to consider trading him at this point, but that could change if he becomes coveted by a contending team after a few more slod starts (in which case, I really, really doubt he'd be moved as the potential for a 1-2 of Zack & Luke would begin to emerge).
#10 David DeJesus: Every year at this time, we start talking about how teams covet guys like DDJ around the trade deadline. I don't see it. DDJ is a good player. He has a good glove (whether UZR backs me up or not), and he is closer to a career .300 hitter than what we have seen this year. He is owed about $6M guaranteed over the next 2 years, with a $6M club option for '11 (or a $500K buyout), which I don't think lures, or detracts potential suitors for him. That is a pretty fair number for a player of his caliber, but he isn't a guy that puts a teram over the hump. He is more of a guy that will be looked at if a team suffers a 4 week+ injury to an OF'er the last week or 2 in July and are void of OF depth in MiLB and need a solid guy to fill in for a month, then move to a 4th OF, spot start role after that.
Jose Guillen is apparently sick of seeing David smile too via seattletimes.nwsource.com
#9 Juan Cruz: He should be higher on this list, but the fact that he struggled mightily this season, and the fact that his struggles came at the exact time that Soria was out injured lowered his value dramatically IMO. True or Not, GM's seem to believe in the "He's got good stuff, but lacks the mentality to be a closer" logic. He doesn't seem to be missing bats at the same rate he was last year, even when he has looked good. His contract is very good, only being owed $1M for the rest of this year, $3.25 next year and a $4M option for '11 (or a $500K buyout). I don't think KC has a strong desire to move him, given his attractive contract, and current lack of bullpen depth, but if a team makes a good offer, I think he could be moved.
#8 Miguel Olivo: Miggy, Miggy, Miggy. What to do with Miggy? Everything he does good is equally offset by something he does bad. I know that he is about as unpopular of a player as you can find in RR, but he has been a pretty damn good offensive catcher. This is despite his refusal to walk, or take a pitch that bends that he can't hit. He is also a defensive liability, as he lets almost anything in the dirt get by him, which is in stark contrast to his laser arm. Contending teams typically aren't looking for catching, so I doubt he gets moved. His contract is OK, as he is owed about $1.2M for the rest of this season, and has a mutual option for '10 (value isn't listed on Cot's). If a team has a solid C, a weak backup AND lacks a RH bench off the bat, he is an attractive player, as he could be used as the occasional DH/PH in late innings.
#7 Gil Meche: Gil is another interesting case. Reports are that Philly covets him. This makes sense as Philly has coveted injured pitchers in the past (remember when they got Freddy Garcia for Gavin Floyd & Gio Gonzalez?). If there is a team out there, like Philly, that covets him, I think his place on this list is too low. I think the consensus among us, and I'm assuming most organizations, is that he has been overextended in a few games this season, hasn't appeared to be 100% healthy for a while now, and hasn't been sharp with his command in recent outings. If a team looks past that data, he still has a No-Trade clause that he would have to waive, not to mention the nearly $30M that is still left on his contract that includes $12M each of the next 2 seasons.
# 6 Billy Butler: The most attractive thing about Billy to a potential suitor will be his potential, his youth, and his contract. He isn't putting up the numbers that a contender would typically be looking for from 1B, so he is a lot like Hochevar, in that he is the type of player that teams like KC are looking FOR, not looking to deal.
# 5 Willie Bloomquist: This is where my list started to surprise me a little bit, but when you look at what a contending team may be looking for near the deadline, Willie fits a lot of the criteria. He is versatile, he can steal a base, he is getting on base at a decentclip (though not optimal). He'd be a really valuable guy to an NL team as he could be used a lot for double switches, at a lot of different positions. He is owed about $2.5 over the rest of this year and next (+ PT bonus that he will SURELY get if he stays in KC).
Interesting shirt. Too bat they misspelt "Utility Man" via royalsblog.kansascity.com
# 4 Brian Bannister: Who'd a thunk it? I feel like I may have made a mistake here, but as I delve into the numbers a little bit, I'm not so sure. In '09, he sports a 1.29 WHIP (20th in the AL), 1.96 K:BB (27th in the AL), .255 BA against (20th in the AL), .370 SLG against (10th in the AL). When you figure those numbers into the fact that he is only owed about $800K for the rest of this year, and has 3 + years of team control left, you start to see why I think he is so surprisingly high on this list. All that being said, I'd HATE to see him traded. He is in the same category as Butler & Hoch. We should be looking for guys LIKE Bannister at the traded deadline, not looking to get rid of them.
# 3 Mark Teahen: TeaBag is probably too high on this list, I'll admit it. I think he is akin to DDJ, in that us Royals fans tend to overvalue his value as the trade deadline approaches. This is evidenced by the Mark DeRosa trade, in which the Indians got a Set-Up guy (albeit a young set up guy that several scouts believe will grow into a closer in the near future) in return. He is owed about $1.7M for the remainder of '09, and I believe he has 2 more years of team control remaining, which will probably cost in the neighborhood of $9-10M. I don't think he is a building block for KC anymore, but he can be a good piece on a good team. I think his value on the Royals for '10 & '11 will outweigh anything he can return in a trade at this point, but I wouldn't mind being proven wrong about that.
# 2 Joakim Soria: He's not going to be traded, there really isn't much point talking about it. Jon & Jane fan would boycott the K (more than they already do) if GMDM traded away the Mexicutioner. THAT being said, should they consider it? He showed earlier this season that the injury concerns of his past are not to be forgotten. It is obvious to me that KC is never going to explore the option of him being a starter (especially after the injury concerns popped up). With a contract that could run as long as 2014, all of it at reasonable $$ amounts, he is a valuable piece for somebody. We've seen this year that a dominant closer like Soria is all but wasted on a bad team. I'll argue that a dominant closer like Soria is worth his weight in gold on a good team, which is what the Royals aspire to be.
# 1 Zack Greinke: We could trade Zack and Soria, and probably get back 2-4 prospects in return that are = or > Moose Tacos & Hosmer. We could probably fill most of the holes that we have, or will have the next couple years at SS, CF, C, RF, RP with quality prospects if we traded those guys. It aint gonna happen, nor should it. We have an absolute ANCHOR of the rotation in Zack for the next 3 years (and hopefully beyond). He's probably going to start the All Star game this year, and there is still room for improvement in Zack.