Saturday, July 17, 2010

Top 50 Baseball Players

ESPN.com's Bill Simmons does an NBA column like this every season. He calls it the NBA Trade Value column, and he decides to rank the Top 50 most valuable players in the NBA. Age, future performance, and contract status affect overall value. So, the key is that it’s not just who’s better, but overall whom would a team rather have on their roster. For example, Johan Santana is better than most pitchers in professional baseball, but his contract makes him unobtainable for some teams, so his trade value is not as high in comparison with his peers as his overall talent level.

As another example, CC Sabathia is probably considered a better pitcher than Yovani Gallardo by many talent evaluators. (Not us, but surely by many.) Anyway, due to the big difference in contract status, we think most teams would take Gallardo. As you’ll see in a few moments, Yovani is ranked 48th on our list.

Joe Posnanski has hinted, most recently in this post last week, that he will be getting to his “The 50 most valuable players in baseball” post. I thought it could be fun to beat him to it and later see how our lists compare. Not only that, I saw that the always awesome Dave Cameron started his Top 50 series this week. I purposely avoided reading his posts because I want to compare our lists after going through this exercise.

So, without further ado, here is our countdown of most valuable baseball players.

50. Logan Morrison, Marlins (minors)
49. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
48. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
47. Justin Smoak, Mariners
46. Brian Matusz, Orioles
45. Cliff Lee, Rangers
44. Domonic Brown, Phillies (minors)
43. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
42. Brian McCann, Braves
41. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
40. Prince Fielder, Brewers
39. Phil Hughes, Yankees
38. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
37. Buster Posey, Giants
36. Jay Bruce, Reds
35. Colby Rasmus, Cardinals
34. Matt Wieters, Orioles
33. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
32. Justin Morneau, Twins
31. Mat Latos, Padres
30. Carlos Santana, Indians
29. Tommy Hanson, Braves
28. Clayton Kershaw
27. Joe Mauer, Twins
26. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
25. Carl Crawford, Rays
24. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
23. Justin Verlander, Tigers
22. Chase Utley, Phillies
21. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
20. Francisco Liriano, Twins
19. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
18. Zack Greinke, Royals
17. David Price, Rays
16. Roy Halladay, Phillies
15. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
14. David Wright, Mets
13. Robinson Cano, Yankees
12. Tim Lincecum, Giants
11. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
10. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
9. Jon Lester, Red Sox
8. Joey Votto, Reds
7. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
6. Josh Johnson, Marlins
5. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
4. Ryan Braun, Brewers
3. Evan Longoria, Rays
2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals


We talk about the AL East being the most competitive division in baseball. In the NL East, fans of the Phillies, Braves, and Mets argue for their team to win the division. Look at the other NL East teams, the Marlins and the Nationals, taking up four of the top seven players on this list. Sure, this list is just our list. Anyone can come up with this list.

The insane person in your neighborhood could have his, or her, own list. The fair weather fan from your office might have his own ideas. We fully acknowledge that this is, again, just a relatively meaningless list that could change from day to day, or certainly month to month. Still, looking at our list and seeing the Nationals and Marlins with 4 of the top 7 spots is incredible.

The list below is exactly the same, plus it includes contract details.

50. Logan Morrison, Marlins (m)
49. Aroldis Chapman, Reds, 6 years/$30.25M (2010-15)
48. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers, 5 years/$30.1M (2010-14), plus ‘15 club option
47. Justin Smoak, Mariners, 1 year/$0.400M (2010)
46. Brian Matusz, Orioles, 4 years/$3,472,500 (2008-11)
45. Cliff Lee, Rangers, 1 year/$8M (2010)
44. Domonic Brown, Phillies (m)
43. Ian Kinsler, Rangers, 5 years/$22M (2008-12), plus ‘13 club option
42. Brian McCann, Braves, 6 years/$26.8M (2007-12), plus ‘13 club option
41. Josh Hamilton, Rangers, 1 year/$3.25M (2010)
40. Prince Fielder, Brewers, 2 year/$18M (2009-10)
39. Phil Hughes, Yankees, 1 year/$0.447M (2010)
38. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, 1 year/$0.4225M (2010)
37. Buster Posey, Giants, 1 year/$0.4M (2010)
36. Jay Bruce, Reds, 1 year/$0.44M (2010)
35. Colby Rasmus, Cardinals, 1 year/$0.418M (2010)
34. Matt Wieters, Orioles, 1 year/$0.4M (2010)
33. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians, 1 year/$0.4611M (2010)
32. Justin Morneau, Twins, 6 years/$80M (2008-13)
31. Mat Latos, Padres, 1 year/$0.4078M (2010)
30. Carlos Santana, Indians, 1 year/$0.4M (2010)
29. Tommy Hanson, Braves, 1 year/$0.435M (2010)
28. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, 1 year/$0.44M (2010)
27. Joe Mauer, Twins, 8 years/$184M (2011-18)
26. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, 4 years/$15M (2008-11), plus ‘12-‘13 club options
25. Carl Crawford, Rays, 1 year/$10M (2010 Option)
24. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, 4 years/$41.125M (2009-12), plus ‘13 club option
23. Justin Verlander, Tigers, 5 years/$80M (2010-14)
22. Chase Utley, Phillies, 7 years/$85M (2007-13)
21. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, 6 years/$40.5M (2009-14), plus ‘15 club option
20. Francisco Liriano, Twins, 1 year/$1.6M (2010)
19. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres, 4 years/$9.5M (2007-10), plus ‘11 club option
18. Zack Greinke, Royals, 4 years/$38M (2009-12)
17. David Price, Rays, 6 years/$8.5M (2007-12)
16. Roy Halladay, Phillies, 3 years/$60M (2011-13), plus ‘14 option
15. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, 8 years/$152.3M (2008-15)
14. David Wright, Mets, 6 years/$55M (2007-2012), plus ‘13 club option
13. Robinson Cano, Yankees, 4 years/$30M (2008-11), plus ‘12-‘13 club options
12. Tim Lincecum, Giants, 2 years/$23M (2010-11)
11. Albert Pujols, Cardinals, 7 years/$100M (2004-10), plus ‘11 club option
10. Felix Hernandez, Mariners, 5 years/$78M (2010-14)
9. Jon Lester, Red Sox, 5 years/$30M (2009-13), plus ‘14 club option
8. Joey Votto, Reds, 1 year/$0.55M (2010)
7. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 5 years/$45M (2009-13)
6. Josh Johnson, Marlins, 4 years/$39M (2010-13)
5. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies, 4 years/$10M (2009-12), plus ‘13-14 club options
4. Ryan Braun, Brewers, 8 years/$45M (2008-15)
3. Evan Longoria, Rays, 6 years/$17.5M (2008-13), plus ‘14-‘16 club options
2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins, 6 years/$70M (2009-14)
1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals, 4 years/$15.1M (2009-12)


Thanks again to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the salary info.

2 comments:

  1. I don't think you can have a pitcher in the top 10. Way to injury prone (Wood, Zambrano, Prior, Peavey, Beckett, etc.)

    Longoria has to be 1 with that cheap contract. Also, where's Jason Heyward?

    You need to do the opposite post too starring Alfonso Soriano.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ed Note: Excellent point by Brillian Reader, Jason. "Where's Jason Heyward?" How emabarrassing! I think Heywary falls in the Top 5, 6, 7, 8 range with Ubaldo, JJ, Zimmerman, and Votto.

    Poor Logan Morrison. He gets bumped to #51.

    At least no-one will think we peeked at Dave Cameron's list, since he wouldn't forget to list the Superstar.

    ReplyDelete