Sky Kalkman has a great new piece up assessing what JP Ricchardi can reasonably expect to get back in a Roy Halladay deal. Using his model for calculating various prospect’s value, Halladay’s own value and subtracting what Roy earns, he comes to some surprising conclusions. Here’s a taste of his analysis:
Roy Halladay’s Trade Value
Halladay’s under contract through 2010, owed about $7M more this year and $15.75M next year. A rough estimate of production (200 IP at a 3.00 ERA in a 4.40 ERA league) puts him at 6 WAR in 2010, and 3 more WAR in 2009. At $4.5M per marginal win, that production is worth $41M on the free agent market. Add in an expected $5M from Type A free agent compensation picks and a team would get $46M in production at a cost of $23M, or a net trade value of $23M. Not bad. I certainly couldn’t afford that.
What’s $23M Look Like in Prospects?
The Blue Jays are looking to acquire young players with more cost-controlled years than Halladay’s 1.5. Whether the young players are minor league prospects or early-career major leaguers, the method of cost-savings is obvious — these guys won’t make any money their first few years in the big leagues and will be paid less then free agents during arbitration. Therefore, they don’t have to be stars in order to help their teams as much as free agent stars, because they earn much less money. The Jays are trading value now for value later, when it will hopefully do more to help them reach the playoffs.
Top 10 hitting prospects $36.5M 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
It’s apparent that a stud position player prospect would be more than enough of a return for Halladay on his own. Looking at Baseball America’s mid-season Top 25, that could be Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton (not that that Mike Stanton), Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, Buster Posey or Carlos Santana (not that Carlos Santana) .
So according to his player valuation models, Jesus Montero ALONE would be overpaying Roy Halladay’s present market value to a team by approximately DOUBLE. This goes a long way toward explaining why players tend to go for far less than the rumors that get floated in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
It should be noted, that JP Ricchardi will try to get as much as he can regardless of these estimates. In his mind, he has a unique commodity who will be worth whatever the market will bear. And when teams get into bidding wars the auction-style atmosphere can send prices skyward. Especially when discussing a pitcher who will very likely make the team that lands him the overwhelming favorite to win it all this year, assuming he lands with one of the contenders.
But the Yankee business model places a heavy premium on winning it all, and the team spends lavishly to achieve this goal. It wouldn’t surprise me if the team that spent over 400 million this off season will open up the purse strings once again, but this time with talent.
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