Imagining Trades, Part Two

Yesterday, I posted a piece musing on whether or not Mark Buehrle and/or Chris Carpenter would be come available during the season and whether or not the Yankees should be interested in trading for either one. For the purpose of this post, let’s assume they both are available and the Yankees are interested in trading for both (but would, obviously, only trade for one).

With help from Larry, I ran over to BTBS and looked up the trade value calculator, which is really fun to play with. I used Cot’s to get each player’s salary data, and used CAIRO projections and the WAR spreadsheet to calculate the pertinent WAR data.

The trade calculator asks us to put in salary and WAR data, and we’ll start with Carpenter. In 2011, Carpenter is scheduled to make $15M. He also has an option for 2012 that would pay him $15M as well. For the first iteration of Carpenter’s trade value, I assumed the option would not be picked up, so it’s a one year deal. He’s projected by CAIRO to pitch 175 innings at a 3.69 FIP. Punching those numbers into the calculator gives us exactly $8M of trade value, if we assume Carpenter is a Type-A free agent. If he’s a Type-B, he takes a hit down to only $5.5M of trade value. I’m not an expert, but I’d assume Carpenter will be a Type-A at season’s end.

Of course, that WAR projection and the value associated with it represents a whole season of Carpenter. Let’s assume they trade for him halfway through the year. We’ll cut his innings in half, since that’s (theoretically) what he’d pitch with the Yankees. 87.5 innings of 3.69 FIP gives us 1.9 WAR. We’ll also cut Carpenter’s salary in half to $7.5M. With this projection, we get $6.5M of value if he’s a Type-A.

There is no language I can find on Cot’s that says Carpenter’s option is guaranteed if he’s traded, so I’m not going to factor that in; I doubt the Yankees would pick up his option anyway. So where does this leave us? If the Yankees do, in fact, trade for Carpenter mid-season, that’s $6.5M of value. What exactly does that mean in terms of what the Yankees would have to give up? Let’s go to Minor League Ball to find out. Given the information in that post, we see $6.5M matches up perfectly with “Grade-B” pitchers. If we take a look at John Sickels’ prospect grades for the Yankees, he has Manny Banuelos and Hector Noesi as exactly Grade B pitchers. Dellin Betances came in at B+ while Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner, and Andrew Brackman came in at B-. In theory, basically in the vacuum that is this trade calculator, half a season of Chris Carpenter could be had fairly with a one-for-one trade with one of those players. In reality, though, would any of us want to trade Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, or Dellin Betances for half a season of Chris Carpenter and (maybe) some draft picks? I don’t think so. For what it’s worth, I would definitely listen on Noesi, since his upside is the lowest of the pitchers mentioned above. Of course, that’s just one way we could reach the $6.5 number. The Yankees could get creative and do a package instead of a straight up swap.

The “guide,” so to speak says that Grade B hitters and Grade C pitchers under 22 would add up to $6.8M. The Yankees have Grade B (including B- and B+) hitters in Austin Romine (B-) and Slade Heathcott (B-) and Grade C pitchers under 22 in Jose Ramirez (C+) and Brett Marshall (C+). Again, in our vacuum, the Yankees could pair two of those guys and land Carpenter. This seems like something the Yankees could be more willing to do, since these guys are farther off than the ones mentioned above and don’t have the same upside.

Will Chris Carpenter be available? Who knows? Will the Yankees be in on him? Who knows? This is all very far off, considering we’re still a week away from our first Spring Training game. I just thought it would be worthwhile to run some scenarios through the trade calculator to see what quantities could change hands if a trade does go down. Check back over the weekend (or on Monday depending on how many lessons I write this weekend) and I’ll do one of these for Mark Buehrle and his value.

4 thoughts on “Imagining Trades, Part Two

  1. The other thing to keep in mind re: Carpenter is that he’s no spring chicken. He turns 36 this season, and while he’s been stellar the last two seasons, he’s also a fairly high injury risk. Not that the Cards should give him away for nothing, but if I’m the Yankees I definitely wouldn’t trade any significant pieces for him, especially if he’s only a rental.

    I would maybe do Noesi + a pitcher worse than Noesi, which, the more I think about it, makes trading Carpenter almost nonsensical for the Cards given that they can’t possibly expect to extract any premium value.

    • T.O Chris

      I completely agree with you on the Cards getting no value in return for Carpenter and furthermore I think they want to have the ability to pick up Chris’ option if Pujols slips away and decline it if they give in to Albert’s demands.

      I actually don’t think that the Cardinals would be willing to move Carpenter for anything less than Banuelos and they may be so bold as to ask for Banuelos and Betances, despite what a trade calculator says that doesn’t stop the Cardinals from saying that they are trading an ace with 2 years on his contract. In reality they are trading a number 2 older pitcher in the NL (maybe a number 3 in the AL?), with injury history and an pricey option for a 37 year old, but they don’t have to acknowledge that when some team like the Yankees desperate for pitching calls.

      Any deal for Carpenter I can only see being done is one that screws us, I want to stay away from him because of the cost, I also am not a huge fan of Gio Gonzalez (I have heard several times in the offseason trade Montero for Gio on ESPN/net) because they never get jobbed on a trade and almost every pitcher they let go does worse with any other tea while they rake in prospects.

      Interesting question I have… I think we would all agree to trading Montero for Felix Hernandez or Josh Johnson because of their age and ability but what about a guy like Verlander? Would you include Montero in a deal for the Tigers ace hypothetical question of course. I’m not saying Verlander is worse than either or but he is older and has a better chance of his best year being behind him.

  2. Howie

    Don’t we see Sickles rankings as a tougher eval than most other sites? I think that a mid-season trade for a good, but old and injury prone picture shouldnt get more than a Noesi alone. Or…someone that has a higher ceiling, but is much further away like a Brett Marshall. I’d rather give up a Betances for a surer bet mid-season. Or heck, just give Manny a shot…..

    • T.O Chris

      No way in hell I would allow a 20 year old pitcher to pitch in the majors without even having a full year of triple A under his belt and with a smaller frame starter like Banuelos I for sure wouldn’t.

      He needs as much time as possible to fully develops his body and his mind for 100x more stressful ABs that come in the minors, we don’t need to rush an arm with that potential, if it were me in charge Manny wouldn’t see the majors until next season and even then I wouldn’t call him up until July at the earliest and maybe not even until Sept.

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