Last week I did a post (blatantly ripping off a FanGraphs.com idea) ranking the Nationals players' trade value. The first post, ranking the Nationals' top ten and explaining the idea, is here. Following is the second half of my list.
11. Saul Rivera
(30YO; moderate injury risk; 11.7 '08 VORP; 12.7 5-YV; 4 yrs. remaining under team control; $436k '08 salary)
There aren't very many relievers in baseball who have been as good and reliable over the last 3 years as our Sah-ooool. He keeps the ball in the yard, he doesn't walk many, and he gives you a ton of innings out of the 'pen. He's even closed in a pinch, racking up 4 saves in '06 and '07. Teams would have to be concerned about the wear and tear of 132 appearances since Opening Day, 2007, but if I'm a team in the hunt needing another reliable reliever (and who isn't?), Rivera would be a very nice catch.
12. Tim Redding
(30YO; moderate injury risk; 10.7 '08 VORP; 10.3 5-YV; 2 yrs. remaining under team control; $1m '08 salary)
WYSIWYG. (Look what I wrote! I'm definitely a blogger now!) He'll give you 5-6 innings and keep you in the game, but not more. You won't want to start him in the playoffs, but he could help you get there. He's a slight fly-ball pitcher, so teams that play in a lot of hitters' parks might not be as interested. But there are certainly teams in the hunt who could use him as a #5 SP.
13. Jason Bergmann
(26YO; high injury risk; 6.8 '08 VORP; 32.5 5-YV; 5 yrs. remaining under team control; $404k '08 salary)
Younger and with a higher upside than Redding, but not as reliable in the short-term. He's got very good K and BB numbers, but he's an extreme fly ball pitcher, so you aren't going to be interested unless you have horses in the OF and don't play in a bandbox. Regardless, he's clearly in the top 120 starters in MLB or could be a valuable long man from the pen. He has had elbow problems in the past, but has held up so far this year without incident. I worry that we may be on our way to making him the pitching version of Ryan Church by jerking him around from role to role, banishing him to AAA after a rough start or two... But he's more valuable to us than what we'll get back, assuming we don't ruin him.
14. Odalis Perez
(31YO; high injury risk; 13.4 '08 VORP; 6.8 5-YV; 0 yrs. remaining under contract; $850k '08 salary)
Perez was a very nice FA signing this off-season. Give JimBo his due. The dumpser-diver extraordinaire found a useful spare part down there in the muck. But the problem is that Bowden falls in love with his own genius in situations like this. He's liable to re-sign Odalis for 2 years and $10 mil, a la The Meat. Perez right now is a league-average veteran, but he will only get worse. He's exactly the guy you want to flip while his LOB% is still 79% (which is a fancy way of saying that he's stranding more runners than his skill will allow him to maintain and that his ERA is only going up from here). Ship him to the Yankees while you can.
15. Ronnie Belliard
(33YO; moderate injury risk; 6.6 '08 VORP; 16.9 5-YV; 0 yrs. remaining under contract; $1.6m '08 salary)
I'm just a huge fan of Ronnie Belliard. Now there's a winner (as opposed to some cradle-robbing, drug-dealing, degenerate gambler catchers I know). He'd be a great bench option for a team in the hunt. He's been there, he does the little things, and by any measure he's playing pretty damn well. Our HR leader should be on his way to the Rays, Cubs, D'backs, Brewers. Trade him, JimBo. I need a team to root for in the playoffs. Just not the Mets or the Phillies.
16. Joel Hanrahan
(26YO; moderate injury risk; 7.5 '08 VORP; 2.6 5-YV; 5 yrs. remaining under team control; $400k '08 salary)
You know the deal. Great K numbers, good stuff, but too many walks. His BB% is still too high this year (14.8%), but since May 9, it's just 9.5%, which is fine. Is he having a hot streak or has he turned the corner? If you have a GM who's convinced it's definitely the latter and will give you that kind of value, then do it. Otherwise, be happy we have a young power-pitcher with upside.
17. Collin Balester
(22YO; moderate injury risk; -2.5 '08 VORP; 1o.5 5-YV; 6 yrs. remaining under team control; $390k '08 salary)
Balester is better than his ERA would show so far. If Manny would put our best defense behind him, he'll stay around 4.50 ERA from here on out and keep his self-worth intact. He lacks the high-end that would fetch a big return in a trade and is too green to be in anyone's rotation down the stretch. He's more valuable to the Nationals than he is to any other team in MLB.
18. Luis Ayala
(30YO; moderate injury risk; 11.7 '08 VORP; 198.8 5-YV; 4 yrs. remaining under team control; $436k '08 salary)
His ERA this year is ugly, but is it a function of overwork in the early going or is he slipping? His numbers on balls in play are pretty similar to his salad days (44 GB%, 33 FB%). The problem is that his command hasn't been there (10.4 BB%), which sounds like overwork to me. I think Luis, managed properly, is smack in the middle between what he was in 2005 vs. what he's been in 2008: a solid mid-3s ERA arm out of the 'pen. That's nothing to sneeze at, regardless of how many boos he's heard this year.
19. Jesus Colome
(30YO; moderate injury risk; -3.1 '08 VORP; 8.3 5-YV; 1 yr. remaining under team control; $1.25m '08 salary)
He takes a lot of grief as a slow worker, but 8.23 K/9 isn't nothing. He has some value to a team who needs bullpen help down the stretch.
20. Willie Harris
(30YO; low injury risk; 6.2 '08 VORP; 10.8 5-YV; 1 yr. remaining under team control; $809k '08 salary)
Good veteran bench guy. Has been in the playoff hunt before. Could be a useful down the stretch for an NL team.
21. Felipe Lopez
(28YO; low injury risk; -4.6 '08 VORP; 82.1 5-YV; 0 yrs. remaining under contract; $4.9m '08 salary)
Nice looking man. Almost no trade value. Wouldn't you take Bill Bray for Lopez straight up right now? Or Brendan Harris, Daryl Thompson, or Gary Majewski? Wayne Krivsky got the better of that deal, no matter what people say.
22. Chad Cordero
(26YO; high injury risk; 1.7 '08 VORP; 43.7 5-YV; 1 yr. remaining under contract; $6.2m '08 salary)
You thought I forgot about him, didn't you? Well, a torn labrum makes him useless to anyone for the next 12 months or more. Of course, Jon Rauch had that injury in 2001, and he looks ok. But it's a loooong recovery, and there's a difference between a having a devastating injury at 22 versus 26. Chief won't be on the mound again full strength until 2010. Sounds like a long time from now, huh? Back in the day, when I was an undergrad taking Rocks for Jocks at U of I, "2010" was the answer to the midterm question, "when do geologists estimate we'll begin to run out of oil worldwide?" Well, 2010 is pretty far away in baseball time, but not for the oil futures market it's pretty much now. That's why you just spent $100 to fill up. Those prices are only going up, offshore drilling or no. Bottom line: Chief only had set-up man's value when he was regarded as a low injury risk last year. I might even be overrating him here. Think JimBo should have traded him last year? Oh, that's not fair, who could have predicted that a pitcher might get hurt or that a relief pitcher's value could be so erratic from one year to the next? Those guys are all really consistent, right? Jim?
23. Shawn Hill
(27YO; high injury risk; -8.2 '08 VORP; 62.2 5-YV; 4 yrs. remaining under team control; $402k '08 salary)
Healthy, he's a #3 SP on a winning team. But he's never healthy.
24. Aaron Boone
(35YO; high injury risk; 2.4 '08 VORP; 0.5 5-YV; 0 yrs. remaining under contract; $1m '08 salary)
Unless another team out there has a vice president named Boone, he's not going anywhere. But he's more valuable than the next guy.
25. Paul Lo Duca
(36YO; high injury risk; -2.0 '08 VORP; 3.7 5-YV; 0 yrs. remaining under contract; $5m '08 salary)
26. Dmitri Young
(34YO; lead-pipe cinch injury risk; 9.8 '08 VORP; 19.3 5-YV; 1 yr. remaining under contract; $5m '08 salary)
I admit it. I ranked this many guys just so I could get to The Meat here at the bottom. At this price, he has no trade value. Why JimBo gave $10m and two years to a 300-pound diabetic who won't bother to stay in shape is beyond me.
OK, so that's actually 26, but in my first post I left #2 blank to cleverly note the huge gap from Zimmerman to the next most valuable player.
I'm not ranking the rest, because I think the rest of the players on the 40-man roster have essentially no trade value whatsoever at this point. That list includes: Johnny Estrada (done), Wily Mo Pena (maybe if Bowden was someone else's GM), a bunch of organizational arms who are good to have around in a pinch but whom you wouldn't want to trade value for (Mock, Shell, Sanches, Schroder, O'Connor), Matt Chico (whose TJ surgery makes him a risk no one's going to take), and Ross Detwiler (who I guess has some value but given how he's regressed this year I would think it's pretty minimal).