The Tradeability Index, Volume 1
Those of you expecting to see your regularly scheduled Tuesday 10 today, we’ll return you to your weekly broadcast next week. Instead, I’ve got something a little different for this week.
This weekend, I put it to Twitter to help me out with an interactive project: rank 20 members of the Phillies’ current 40-man roster on how “tradeable” they are. That’s a subjective term, but the basic object was to find out what everyone believes is the best current trade asset the Phils possess on their 40-man. A player received 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 for second and so on down the line to 1 point for 20th place. This is the first of three or four such posts from now until just before the deadline, so the cast of characters and typical point totals may vary between now and then.
The results were intriguing. Here are the top 15, as voted on by readers and Crashburn staff alike. Unattributed quotes in the “What They’re Saying” sections are mine.
40-Man players who received zero votes: Mauricio Robles, B.J. Rosenberg, Joe Savery (39 players on roster)
15. Phillippe Aumont (123 points)
Why He’s Got Value: He’s 24 and flashes positively electric stuff; from a mid-90s fastball to an absolutely wicked slider.
Why He’s Expendable: Aumont has shown considerable control problems (19 BB in 25.2 career Major League IP), pus the tenet that middle relievers can be plucked from the ether.
What They’re Saying: “This might be optimism on my part, but I think a 24-year-old with Aumont’s arm isn’t totally worthless.” – @SoMuchForPathos
14. Jonathan Pettibone (130 points)
Why He’s Got Value: He’s just 22, has shown good command of average stuff, cost-controlled forever.
Why He’s Expendable: He doesn’t possess an exceptional starter profile, has been inefficient in pitch usage to get outs, is only a modest upgrade over Tyler Cloyd.
What They’re Saying: ” He’s shown he can pitch at the Major League level in his brief stint up. A cheap, young, back-of-the-rotation guy.” – @FelskeFiles
13. Ben Revere (163 points)
Why He’s Got Value: A plus defensive center fielder who just turned 25 and only hits arbitration for the first time next season.
Why He’s Expendable: Offensive ability leaves many things to be desired.
What They’re Saying: “I know he’s hitting like Ricky Otero, and his recent May hot streak can be largely attributed to a jump in BABIP (.435 in May), he’s also cheap, under team control through 2018, and can play a heck of a defensive center field.” – @FelskeFiles
t-11. Mike Adams (171 points)
Why He’s Got Value: When healthy, one of the best middle relief/set-up guys in the game. Funky, deceptive delivery, quality stuff even with a velocity drop
Why He’s Expendable: Health issues have some concerned about his durability. Trading him could free up $7M from the 2014 books.
What They’re Saying: “Gopher balls have been a concern, but he’s still been effective.” – Ben Skalina
t-11. Freddy Galvis (171 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Plus defensive player at seemingly any position you can dream of. Has shown flashes of decent power for a player his size.
Why He’s Expendable: Overall contact ability moderates his power. Banned drug suspension and back injury could be red flags.
What They’re Saying: Lack of consistent contact ability is the only thing keeping this guy from being a legitimately valuable piece.
10. Michael Young (200 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Contact ability seems to have persevered into his late 30s, can presumably play most infield positions.
Why He’s Expendable: In the last year of his contract after being acquired in a trade. Could free a spot for Galvis to play every day. He’s not coming back, anyway.
What They’re Saying: “If he keeps hitting, some AL team will want him.” - @Philadelphiandy
9. Antonio Bastardo (214 points)
Why He’s Got Value: A power lefty arm with average fastball velocity and an excellent slider. Two more years of arbitration control after this season.
Why He’s Expendable: He has shown inconsistency with his command and has drastically reduced strikeout numbers in 2013 in a shorter sample.
What They’re Saying: The drop in Ks is a bit concerning, but if Papelbon is moved, this is the guy I’d like to see get some more 9th-inning appearances.
8. Jonathan Papelbon (240 points)
Why He’s Got Value: An excellent reliever who has maintained 93 on his fastball, paired with a great splitter (when used). A lot of teams still value the idea of a “closer.” By “a lot” I mean “just about all.”
Why He’s Expendable: He’s making a whole bunch of money for only pitching 50 or so innings ($13M each of the next two years) and the Phillies still have a bunch of young arms champing at the bit to try their hand at closing.
What They’re Saying: “Despite being overpaid, Paps is still a fantastic reliever and a contender will definitely be interested in him come July.” – @shame_c
7. Kyle Kendrick (270 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Astonishingly, he’s built up some considerable value since the latter part of 2012. It isn’t inconceivable that Kyle Kendrick could be a coveted trade piece, especially with another year of control pending.
Why He’s Expendable: I mean, he is still Kyle Kendrick. Right?
What They’re Saying: I almost feel like this is the greatest gift Kendrick could give this fanbase: inflate the trade value to the point where he could be moved for more than cash or an organizational body. Might as well strike while the iron’s hot.
6. Carlos Ruiz (281 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Trails only Yadier Molina in overall catching package. Super affordable (making $5M in ’13, so his prorated amount will likely only be ~$1M).
Why He’s Expendable: In the last year of his contract and, at age 34 with eyes on Sebastian Valle and Tommy Joseph, not a great fit for a team that could be transitioning.
What They’re Saying: Ruiz will be the most fascinating name bandied about come July. He won’t command a huge haul, but his talent and recent production suggest he should get a decent return, even in spite of an ADDerall bust.
5. Jimmy Rollins (288 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Still a solid-to-plus defender at the most premium position. Switch-hitter with appreciable shortstop power. Still enough speed to be a distraction, at the least.
Why He’s Expendable: Makes $11M in ’14. Galvis certainly has the glove to play SS every day.
What They’re Saying: “He may be old, but 2 years of very reasonable salary at one of the shallowest positions makes him valuable to any potential contender.” – @tylersnotes
4. Domonic Brown (296 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Left-handed bat with flashes of impressive power. Improved defensively as a left fielder. Plus arm.
Why He’s Expendable: At this point, he may not be more than a just-average corner OF. But some other team may see a change-of-scenery candidate.
What They’re Saying: Brown likely still hasn’t built his value back up to anything substantial to a team other than the Phillies. He’s still finding out if he can really play every day, and right now the results are maybe just a tick above average.
3. Cole Hamels (324 points)
Why He’s Got Value: One of the game’s premier left-handed starters. Excellent stuff, still shy of 30 years old. Many years of control.
Why He’s Expendable: Could command an impressive prospect haul in case of a total rebuild.
What They’re Saying: “If I am the Phillies, I don’t move him, but I still think he is a top asset on this team. I would have him higher if he wasn’t carrying a large contract.” – @Living4laughs
2. Cliff Lee (359 points)
Why He’s Got Value: Also a premier lefty. Two years of control left, plus an option. At his best, the most impeccable command in the game.
Why He’s Expendable: Freeing up some of his future commitment would obviously be beneficial, as would the high prospect price tag, were it met.
What They’re Saying: “I think the most interesting debate is whether or not to trade Cliff. If we cover a bit of salary, or even if we don’t, we can expect a pretty sizable prospect package in a trade for him. But Cliff also shows no signs of slowing down. Can Cliff still be a superstar the next time the Phillies are ready to contend in 2015/16? I think it’s a real possibility, if not a likelihood.” – @VojirEsposito
1. Chase Utley (366 points)
Why He’s Got Value: He looks healthy, and healthy Utley is a top three second baseman even now. Will be appetizing even as a rental.
Why He’s Expendable: He is a rental, after all, and it’s possible the Phillies may need to move in a different direction. If this is their last chance to get value back and an extension doesn’t make sense, his moving may be a (regretfully) smart idea.
What They’re Saying: “The one issue tempering Utley’s market is that most of the contending AL teams already have good second basmen. St. Louis looks like a logical fit for his services from my desk.” – Crashburn’s own @longenhagen