In last night’s chat, Paul Swydan and I got a ton of questions on Mike Trout’s trade value because of his recent injury. It’s a simple yet loaded question with so many different league types and possible roster construction rules. I will discuss some basic starting valuations for Trout which owners can use.
When looking at possible trade options, I like to start with Yahoo!’s Trade Market page. It lists the most recent trades involving any player. It just lists the last 25 trades so the page can be refreshed with updated information. Here are some post-injury one-for-one trades from the page:
- Mookie Betts
- Manny Machado
- Jose Altuve
- Miguel Cabrera
- Anthony Rizzo
- A.J. Pollock
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Aaron Judge
- Wil Myers
- Andrew Benintendi
Some fairly decent players and Dylan Bundy. From these moves, Trout owners should ask for the stars and work their way down just a bit. I could see league types where Wil Myers and Jose Altuve make sense. It’s time to go over some of those different formats.
Redraft: Roto, Points, Head-to-Head (no playoffs)
In these standard leagues, putting a value on Trout is the toughest. For this reason, I’ve previously created a process to determine an injured player’s value with an update new spreadsheet (File -> Download).
Just fill in the shaded areas with your favorite projection for Trout, find three replacement level players, set the projection playing time percentage and a composite player is created. This projection is what an owner should expect to get from Trout’s two months of production and the production from his replacement for the rest of the time.
Here is the example from a hypothetical 12-team league where I assume 40% ownership as the replacement level.
|Name||Percentage of PA||AB||H||R||HR||RBI||SB||BB||K||AVG||OBP|
|Composite Player (Replacement+Returning)||100%||367||103||63||18||60||11||56||93||0.281||0.376|
Using the composite projection, here are some players with similar rest-of-season projections.
A reasonable range of player from the mid-1st round to around 3rd round talent. Now the replacement level will change depending on league and bench size, so these comps will be different with each league.
Adding a playoff aspect changes Trout’s value significantly. He’s expected to miss just six to eight weeks, so he will be back for the playoffs. Trout owners need to make a serious inquiry of their team and determine if they think they can make the playoffs without Trout. If the answer to this question is no or even maybe, they should look at trading away Trout. Make the playoffs first.
In this case, I would also ask for a top eight talent and really nothing less. The top team should be the first owner bothered. They have the easiest route to the playoffs and Trout could really help once in the playoffs. See if they will bite.
Now, even if Trout’s owner doesn’t acquire top end talent, they need to continue asking and hope someone bites. But if no one does, lower the price and it may be lower than expected as Trout will like only contribute in one of the remaining non-playoff months. The goal is to make the playoffs and hope for some luck. Right now, Trout is not helping. Find someone who will make a move.
Keeper (with a high/normal cost)
If the Trout owner’s team is competing, they should entertain moving him. Another owner will likely overpay and the pieces obtained can help this season (flags fly forever) and into the future.
I’m not even going to try for some comparable players with so many keeper rules.
Keeper and dynasty formats (low to no cost)
I would keep Trout unless two scenarios occurred.
First, if a trade blew me away. Like Bryant, Kershaw, and Correa for him. It’s the type of trade which should be accepted even if Trout was healthy. I asked my Twitter followers the question and here’s how they thought.
Keeper league, keep forever. Going down in order, which is the first trade would you trade Trout for the combination of.
— Jeff Zimmerman (@jeffwzimmerman) May 31, 2017
Maybe owners think they now can pry hurt Trout away. They can as long as they pay up.
Second, if an owner really needs help to win the league. Go for a Hershel Walker type trade. Get at least get one first round talent back and plug every major roster hole. Gut them of any prime players they own. They are getting the best player in the game and it should hurt. And then enjoy your championship.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.