18 July 2014

Time to Trade Manny Machado

That sentiment is something I imagine no one said.  Well, maybe, the extreme Chicken Little types who had there sensibilities assaulted when Manny angrily attempted to fling a bat at the opposition a few weeks back.  However, I was intrigued by an article another writer on this site produced discussing what kind of package we could expect from a Nelson Cruz deal.  It was a topic we had covered before and one that went by with little fan fare.

However, this time a few people completely freaked out.  I will share a couple examples:
A commenter referring to himself as 18-1 shared: I think the author is the one who thinks the OS will fall. The AL lEast is theirs to win. What team on paper has better talent?......I will make sure to stop reading blog.

Another commenter going only by Anonymous delivered his letter of reading resignation: This article just made me stop reading Camden Depot. It's been a good ride.
I was somewhat surprised that a single article could impact a reader to such an extent.  I assume if you ignore all of the conditional language of the first two paragraphs that set up the post, then you might be upset over how much Cruz is valued or that anyone is discussing a trade with a team sitting in first.  I would suggest though that such a situation is burn and salt the earth kind of thing.  However, with that in mind, I fully support any gross overreactions in the comments below.

So, trading Manny Machado?  I am going to take a different approach here.  We will not be looking to see what grand package of prospects one could get for Machado.  What we will be doing instead in trying to figure out who we would have to add to Machado to get the best future value player in baseball, Mike Trout.  Yes, the Orioles would never trade Machado.  Yes, the Angels would never trade Trout.  That is not the point here.  This is an exercise in characterizing value of two different commodities.  Put your torches and pitchforks away.

The first thing we try to do is establish how much a player is worth.  For Manny, he is likely to be a Super 2 player this offseason, so he will see arbitration.  For Super 2s, the expectation is that they will receive about 20% of what they would expect to get in Free Agency.  Yes, there are exceptions, but this rule holds pretty firm.  Each following season sees a bump of about 20%, but cost outlay over his four remaining team controlled years is likely to be 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% of his expected "true" value.

A decent way to look at value is to use a projection model to predict Machado's future performance and multiply that with what we think the cost per win will be in the future.  Here is Machado's table according to OLIVER.

Machado Arb wOBA fWAR $/win Salary
2015 20% .341 4.3 5.75 4.9
2016 40% .347 4.6 6 11
2017 60% .350 4.8 6.25 18
2018 80% .351 4.8 6.5 25

Total 113.5

Actual 58.9

Surplus 54.6

That simple analysis suggests that Machado, in his control years, provides the Orioles with nearly 55 MM worth in value.  That is amazing value and his performance so far this year suggests that the team might want to think about solidifying his contract in hopes to avoid what the 50th percentile projection suggests.  Now, what does this approach say about Trout?

Trout wOBA fWAR $/win Salary
2015 .434 10 5.75 5.2
2016 .441 10.4 6 15.2
2017 .442 10.4 6.25 19.2
2018 .444 10.5 6.5 33.2
8 6.75 33.2
8 7 33.2

Total 363.2

Actual 139.2

Surplus 224

Oliver only goes to 2018, so I took the liberty to suggest that Trout's performance decreases by more than 20% simply to provide a conservative value that benefits the Orioles in this exercise.  The difference in surplus value between the two players is about 170 MM.

How many Orioles prospects make up 170 MM in cost difference?

Using Matt Perez' top 100 prospect outcome work and doing some work with Wang's original work, we get a table of surplus value below.

Value (MM)
Rank Pitcher Position
Top 20 40 50
Second 20 25 35
Third 20 20 30
Fourth 20 20 25
Final 20 15 20

That leaves us with this collection to try to make up 170 MM in value using a mix of Baseball Prospectus' pre-season top 100 list and mid-season update.

Player Group Value (MM)
Kevin Gausman Top 20 SP 40
Dylan Bundy Top 20 SP 40
Hunter Harvey 2nd 20 SP 25
Eduardo Rodriguez Final 20 SP 15
Jonathan Schoop Final 20 Po 20

Total 140

That leaves the Orioles package of Machado, Gausman, Bundy, Harvey, Rodriguez, and Schoop about 30 MM short of Mike Trout.  Well, we could add Adam Jones to the package.  Trout naturally would fill his position.  Jones has 62 MM left on his deal after this season and, using OLIVER, looks to be worth about 25 MM more than that.  This leaves the deal 5 MM short, which is more or less a push.  If you want to make up that amount, then Mike Wright could be added to the mix.

Final Deal

Orioles get Value
Angels get Value
Mike Trout 225
Manny Machado 55

Kevin Gausman 40

Dylan Bundy 40

Hunter Harvey 25

Adam Jones 25

Jonathan Schoop 20

Eduardo Rodriguez 15

Mike Wright 5

Total 225
Total 225

The take home from this is that there is an absurd amount of value tied up in Mike Trout.


Anonymous said...

This seems to clearly highlight the difference in how I imagine most GM's and MLB experts view players vs. these advanced metrics. Harvey, Bundy and Gausman all have the potential to be #1 or 2 starters, Machado could be the next Brooks Robinson, and Adam Jones is one of the more proven and consistently good-to-great OFers in the MLB. A trade involving all that talent for one player, best in baseball or not, would be laughed at for a long time to come.

Which is obviously your point, to an extent, but I still think actually convincing most people that all those guys are worth one player is a tough feat. Surely not Harvey, Bundy and Gausman will all fail to live up to their potential, and Jones plus Machado is just a ridiculous proposition.

Matt Perez said...

Actually, it's the other way around. Usually teams undervalue prospects and overvalue established players according to these "advanced" metrics.

Just look at the Shark trade. There's no way our value chart would say he's worth Russell. You'd expect him to be worth between 4-4.5 wins over the next year and a half. Even if you give him an extra 2 wins because of his potential playoff performance he's still worth about 6.5 wins or roughly $30 million in excess value. Russell has to be worth at least $60 million.

It's likely that Jones would be overvalued in a trade and that our prospects would be undervalued. It would probably cost more then what's listed in real life.

Trout has a legitimate chance to be the best player in baseball history and he's 22. Guys like that aren't cheap.

Machado will have 2 years and 51 days of service time after this year. He won't be a prospect so we'd get to keep Wright!

Anonymous said...

Asinine exercise. Isn't there something constructive to report on?

Anonymous said...

Asinine exercise. Isn't there something constructive to write about?

Jon Shepherd said...


Neveraging said...

Reminiscent of the Planet Money podcast of how Lebron James is way underpaid.
Manalive. While I loves me these O's, what the world would be like if we'd drafted trout instead of that bag of balls.

OsMagic22 said...

Go home man, your drunk. Trout is due to have a bad year, we wont want to deal with that.

Liam said...

For a guy who currently looks like the best baseball players ever, Trout get less attention than guys in other sports get who are merely hall of famers. This is probably symptomatic of baseball's terrible marketing but still interesting.

Only problem I have is the blog is you didn't answer the question - would you do the trade?? Otherwise this is just an asinine exercise.

Jon Shepherd said...

Comparing value is a decent exercise. Doing the trade or not doing the trade is kind of a bit more of an asinine thing. It ain't happening.

Liam said...

I'm just curious to see if you would do it, or not. I wouldn't do it, personally, but if we could keep Machado, Jones or Gausman I very well may.

Anonymous said...

Interesting hypothetical.

I think there is too much risk in exchanging all of your talent for one super talent. Of course Trout will be great, but the chance of him getting hurt versus all of the other players getting hurt... too many eggs in one talented basket imo.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Jon's post is mainly highlighting how talented and valuable Mike Trout is. Why does that make you mad?

Jon Shepherd said...

I do appreciate ESPN's marketing that forces people who use computers to read this site. I hope soon they upgrade this feature soon with imparting some level of emotional stability as we discuss athletic men wear varying sets of laundry.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to properly validate this feeling: Oliver projections infuriate me. Like, I honestly think Fangraphs is doing a disservice to their readers by displaying Oliver projections on player pages.

I'd choose Marcel projections over Oliver every time.

That said, if you gave me an over/under on Machado's fWAR (after 2013) total for the next 5 years, setting it at 22.4 would be as good a place as any.

Jon Shepherd said...

The projection models might feel like one is overall better than another and likely are for certain cases. However the main models in use all are similar in accuracy.

Unknown said...

I thought it was an interesting article. Even though it's just a complete off the wall scenario, but that's kind of the point I suppose. Trout is a beast. It's hard to believe he was drafted like 20-something overall, wasn't he? Too bad the Orioles weren't the ones that drafted him lol. Any ideas as to why so many scouts kind of dropped the ball on Trout? Why did so many teams pass on him with their first picks?

Anonymous said...

I think the analysis undervalues Machado quite a bit, but I have no problems with the exercise. The value that Trout brings is extreme.

As pointed out in the article, the Angels would never trade him and it's doubtful any team would offer that kind of package to get him.