Calculating trade value: Garrett Jones edition

Yesterday, I took a look at Paul Maholm’s potential value on the trade block in preparation for the upcoming July 31st deadline. Garrett Jones is another player that may be available for the right price. Some reports have indicated that the Angels are interested in Jones, although the Pirates claim there has never been an inquiry. So what should we expect in return for Jones?

Since Jones is not locked up to a multi-year deal like Maholm, let’s start by projecting his performance. Due to his late major league arrival, Jones is in a bit of a unique situation. Although he is under team control through the 2014 season, he is already approaching the age in which players generally decline. Jones recently turned 29, and he will be 33-years-old when he reaches free agency. As for his projected performance, Jones’ updated ZiPS projection has him finishing the season with a .340 wOBA. Assuming he remains at first base for the rest of 2010 and continues playing about league average defense, that equates to around a two-win season. Let’s estimate that he will be worth 2.0 wins in 2011, 1.5 wins in 2012, 1.0 win in 2013 and 0.5 wins in 2014. Jones will be paid a near minimum salary through 2011 before becoming arbitration eligible before the 2012 season. Let’s estimate that it will cost approximately $14 million to cover his three years of arbitration. I doubt that Jones will end up as a Type A or B free agent in 2014, so I will ignore that possibility. Add everything together and we come up with a net value of $11 million.

 

Year Sal (M) WAR Val (M) Net (M)
2010 $0.1 0.9 $4.0 $3.9
2011 $0.5 2.0 $8.4 $7.9
2012 $2.0 1.5 $6.4 $4.4
2013 $5.0 1.0 $4.4 -$0.6
2014 $7.0 0.5 $2.4 -$4.6
Total $14.6 5.9 $25.6 $11.0

 

As a reminder, here is the prospect value chart, courtesy of Victor Wang.

 

Top 10 hitting prospects $36.5 *
Top 11-25 hitters $25.1
Top 26-50 hitters $23.4
Top 51-75 hitters $14.2
Top 76-100 hitters $12.5
Top 10 pitching prospects $15.2
Top 11-25 pitchers $15.9
Top 26-50 pitchers $15.9
Top 51-75 pitchers $12.1
Top 76-100 pitchers $9.8
Grade B pitchers (as graded by Sickels) $7.3
Grade B hitters $5.5
Grade C pitchers 22 or younger $2.1
Grade C pitchers 23 or older $1.5
Grade C hitters 22 or younger $0.7
Grade C hitters 23 or older $0.5

* in millions

 

The Pirates could probably snag a top 50-100 pitching prospect, or possibly a top 75-100 hitting prospect. Glancing through the Angels’ farm system, the name that jumped out at me was 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards. John Sickels gave Richards a B grade before the season, and he is having a very nice year in High-A. Richards throws hard and boasts a strong four-pitch arsenal, with high strikeout and groundball rates. He struggled with his control in college, but has kept the walk numbers reasonable during his professional career.

Would you make this trade?

 

Author: Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

Share This Post On
  • http://575BaseballonTwitter Alan Horn

    This analysis is problematic because it does not add value to the fact that the team has the choice to retain Jones each arbitration year, which is especially valuable since his performance is hard to predict. If he projects to not be worth his salary in an arbitration year, he can be dropped.

    Using the above numbers, his average value is $16.2 million, not $11.0. With the team both able to use him in right field and not stuck paying out for future years if he has a terrible injury, this is a very valuable player indeed.