Valuing the Tigers Trade Chips at the Deadline

One of the side effects of spending way too much time on Twitter is that you find some interesting questions about baseball to write about. Today’s comes from Jerry Mackinnem, who asked a good question about valuing trade chips at the deadline. Normally for big trades, good analysis would use future projections of WAR/$ (essentially, valuing players at the going rate of $9 million per WAR they expect to put up) and compare that to prospect valuations to try to work out fair trade value. The wrinkle that Jerry adds is an interesting one: how do you value a low WAR player at the trade deadline? Obviously someone like Shane Greene isn’t going to post gigantic WAR totals, but he’s a coveted trade chip. Can we do the math to figure out what he’s actually worth?

More after the cut

Continue reading

Looking at Players in a Potential Matthew Boyd Trade

Major League Baseball is about three weeks out from the trade deadline, and the Detroit Tigers, with one of the worst records in the league, have some assets to deal.

Will he stay or will he go? (Photo by Alexandra Simon)

Shane Greene, the All-Star closer, will almost assuredly  be traded, while a team desperate enough for offense (like, say, the Cleveland Indians) might be willing to pay for Nicholas Castellanos.

But the real prize on the Tigers’ roster is Matthew Boyd, who has broken out to the tune of a 3.56 FIP/3.34 xFIP season. Boyd has been worth 2.8 fWAR in the first half, making him the fifteenth most valuable pitcher in baseball. However, given that Boyd is under team control through 2022, the price tag is sky-high. Complicating things is that the Tigers want an elite bat in any trade package, limiting the number of teams that have the ability to acquire the new Tigers ace.

Thanks to Chris Brown (via Twitter) we know that Boyd is worth roughly $65 million in surplus value. That’s enough to return one elite prospect, in the top 10 range, or a package including a top 25 prospect and a top 100 prospect, with maybe a throw-in or two. Given that the Tigers want an elite bat, though, not ever team is going to be able to pay the specific asking price they’re interested in. Let’s try to piece together what those trades might look like from every contending club. For this exercise, I’ll be using Fangraphs’ THE BOARD!, recently updated post-draft. I’ll toss in some scouting reports here and there, but this one’s gonna be long, so they’ll mostly be for key pieces.

More after the cut

Continue reading

Morning Rewind: You Win a Few, You Lose a Few

The Good: Our blog’s namesake, Michael Fulmer, dealt with a similar issue to Matt Boyd the other day, namely a rapidly mounting pitch count in the early innings. However, also like Boyd, Fulmer was able to right the ship and get his pitch count in order to give the Tigers a quality start, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts, over 6 innings. We can debate the importance of the “quality start” until the cows come home, but Fulmer more often than not gives the Tigers a chance, and he did just enough today. The Tigers’ young righthander felt his stuff was there, but lack of command ultimately “killed” him.

The Bad: Justin Wilson, I guess? He gave up a homerun and another add-on run, but, like. He’s been literally untouchable until this point. Brad probably got slammed by someone somewhere for using him in that inning and situation, because this is Detroit and we love second-guessing our managers/coaches, but Wilson was the correct choice for a tied game in the 10th. It just didn’t work out. More often than not, it will.

The Ugly: I fell asleep during the sixth inning and only woke up in the ninth when Victor homered because Dan Dickerson started screaming. It was just one of those games.

Things of Note:
• Blaine Hardy gave up a homerun to José Abreu, the Sox first baseman’s second bomb of the game and just the second homer of the season for him. Hardy and McCann think Abreu might have snuck a peek at the signs, via McCosky.
• Shane Greene pitched 1.1 IP and did okay. After coming in and promptly drilling Todd Frazier, Greene struck out Avisaíl García to end the eighth. He came back out and pitched a scoreless ninth—around a minor two-out jam—before giving way to the aforementioned Justin Wilson. Greene seems to have better command of the strikezone in his last couple outings, and this is perhaps something to build on.

The Tigers are going to need Greene to regain some semblance of strike throwing if they are to have a chance at even mediocrity. The bullpen is just too thin to carry 4 guys who can’t throw strikes in addition to the Wilsons and K-Rod.
• I admit I cringed every time a ball went Nicholas Castellanos’ way, but he was fine.
• José Iglesias trying and failing to bunt for a base hit in the ninth with two outs, after failing to do so in the same at bat, on the previous pitch no less, was…curious. He certainly didn’t catch the Sox by surprise.
• As far as I know, nobody made any egregious defensive misplays!
• The Tigers’ last few starts have helped reset/rest an overworked, struggling bullpen. Fulmer went 6 on Saturday, while Boyd and Verlander went 7. It seems minor, but the rotation going deeper into games can go a long way.
• Don’t look now, but Buck Farmer is mowing down Triple-A competition with the Toledo MudHens. Fans have bandied his name about as a possible replacement for Anibal Sanchez, and his numbers do look good. Drew VerHagen has also stood out for the MudHens as he works his way back from a few injury plagued seasons. Both could get consideration if the Tigers reach the end of the line with Anibal.