NL Central Surplus Values

A few years back, Sky Kalkman over at Beyond the Boxscore introduce me, and anyone who read his posts, to the Trade Value Calculaor. It was an Excel spreadsheet in which you would enter a player's salary year by year and their expected WAR for those years, and then also if draft compensation was merited for a player. Its a nice tool to determine which side won a trade, or whether a trade propsal was plausible or worthwhile, or even fair. The simply math of it is player expected WAR multiplied by $5 million per Win, minus salary. And then add $5 million to the final value if draft compensation is awarded to that player if they leave their current team.

Over the weekend I complied a list of Trade Values for players in the National League Central. I did not include 2012 rookies, relief pitchers, or players who not only greatly exceeded their expected WAR, but who also had very low expectations going forward. The sources used were Cot's contracts, Baseball Prospectus for the expected WAR, and fangraphs as a baseline for the WAR projections above or below the 2012 pre-season projections for each player. I did this for 44 NLC players and here is how they ranked:

Player MultiplierSalary WAR Adjusted Value Surplus

McCutchen1.45 63.25 22.3 32.335 161.675 103.475*

Braun 1.21 129.5 35.3 42.713 213.565 84.065

Castro 1.02 69 24.8 25.296 126.48 62.48*

Craig 1.36 16.6 10.7 14.552 72.76 61.16*

Walker 1.66 15.1 7.9 13.114 65.57 55.47*

Latos 0.92 15.5 11.4 10.488 52.44 41.94*

Holliday1.07 68 18 19.26 96.3 33.3*

Alvarez1.16 7.6 6 6.96 34.8 27.2

Jay 1.29 8.1 5.3 6.837 34.185 26.085

Freese 1.26 10.3 5.6 7.056 35.28 24.98

Garcia 1.36 34.25 8.3 11.288 56.44 22.19

Lucroy 1.4 15 5.2 7.28 36.4 21.4

Tabata 0.89 35 12.3 10.947 54.735 19.735

Wood 1 4.25 4.4 4.4 22 17.75

Hanigan1.43 7.65 3.4 4.862 24.31 16.66

Cueto 1.38 27.4 5.6 7.728 38.64 16.24*

Gallardo0.9 32 9.6 8.64 43.2 16.2*

Leake 1.08 7.15 4.1 4.428 22.14 14.99

McDonald1.21 6 3.3 3.993 19.965 13.965

Martin 0.87 15 5 4.35 21.75 11.75*

Stubbs 0.83 5.5 4.1 3.403 17.015 11.515

Jones 1.28 4.3 2.4 3.072 15.36 11.06

Ramirez1.29 30 6.3 8.127 40.635 10.635

Beltran1.1 13 3.1 3.41 17.05 9.05*

Wainwright1.32 12 3 3.96 19.8 7.8

Schumaker1.3 1.5 1.3 1.69 8.45 6.95

Ludwick1.23 15 3.1 3.813 19.065 4.065

Hart 1.23 10 2.1 2.583 12.915 2.915

Weeks 0.82 31.5 8.3 6.806 34.03 2.53

Stewart0.5 2 1.5 0.75 3.75 1.75

Schierholtz0.5 2.25 1.4 0.7 3.5 1.25

Bruce 0.86 55 11.8 10.148 50.74 0.26*

Baker 0.5 5.5 2.3 1.15 5.75 0.25

Rodriguez1.33 8.5 1.2 1.596 7.98 -0.52

DeJesus0.95 10.75 2 1.9 9.5 -1.25

Burnett1.65 8 0.8 1.32 6.6 -1.4

Furcal 0.5 7 1.9 0.95 4.75 -2.25

Barmes 1.02 5.5 0.5 0.51 2.55 -2.95

Garza 0.5 11.5 2.3 1.15 5.75 -5.75

Carpenter0.5 12.5 2.6 1.3 6.5 -6

Soriano2 18 1.1 2.2 11 -7

Molina 1.38 74 8 11.04 55.2 -18.8

Phillips1.28 60 5.7 7.296 36.48 -23.52

Votto 1.03 242 32.5 33.475 167.375 -74.625

Some terms to explain before doing some analysis: The multiplier is a simple regression factor that I used relating the 2012 projection versus the actual 2012 WAR to get a more accurate projection going forward; when an asterisk appears after a player's surplus value that means that I expect them to be offered the new qualifying offer at the end of their contract, increasing that value by $5 million; and then the only other needed explanation would be for the salary numbers and surplus value, and that is that the numbers are in millions of dollars.

Along with the term exlanations, the numbers since they are sort of jumbled because of the new SB Nation Formatting rules are in order, Multiplier, Salary, WAR, Adjusted WAR, Value and then Surplus value.

Observations: Anyone with a surplus value over $50 million would have to be considered an "untouchable" player as it most likely would require two top 10 prospects to actuire that player, and not many teams are willing to part with such talent these days. And when I say "top 10" I dont mean organizational top 10, I mean entire MLB top 10. For example, I couldnt see the Orioles giving up both Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy to acquire a player like Niel Walker or Allen Craig. Both players will produce and will be cheap for a long while, but why would any team give up two players with that same potential for one?

The contract given to Andrew McCutchen is really, really, really good. Not only is it a team friendly deal for an MVP type player, but if the situation came about where the Pirates wanted to move him for a rebuild or to upgrade at a position of need, they get the added bonus of adding a $5 million premium to the asking price.

Despite the fact that the Reds have locked up 3 really good players to extenstions, the greatly overpaid those players to the tune of about $100 million. That's a lot of World Series Championships they need to win in order to justify the overpay. They wold need the Dodgers to come and bail them out the same way they did with the Red Sox this year with the Gonzalez/Crawford/Beckett trade.

One really interesting note on the Pirates would be Jose Tabata. He is locked up cheaply for a nice long time, but is only expected to be leauge average performance wise. With Starlin Marte ready for prime time, Tabata could net them a starting pitcher for a pennant push if need be. Of course any deal for Tabata would rest on his health and his performance, but if he lives up to expectations, I would be shocked to the the Bucs hold onto him.

I am going to attempt to do this for the entire leauge, but would be interested to see what people think of what I have posted here. There is an older prospect valuation method created by Victor Wong of The Hardball Times, but they are a bit out of date, but are still close to accurate.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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