01 Dec 2018 10:39:59
Another trade I have been trying to work out the details on.

ARI: SP Grienke, 1B Goldschmidt, 30 million dollars

TB: 1B Bauers, SP Baz, INF Fox, RP Stanek

By my math, Grienke has around 10 million dollar surplus value with his contract currently as is. That includes the remaining signing bonus payments (9M) and half of the deferred monies (31.25M) that would automatically be the responsibility of the Diamondbacks. Currently, any team that traded for Grienke would be on the hook for roughly 97M, including deferred monies and 2M assignment bonus, leaving roughly 10 million surplus.

Goldschmidt is a much more straight forward case, as his surplus value stands around 30 million for one season of control.

The 30 million dollars included in the deal would cover 5 million per season over the remaining 3 season and then half of the deferred monies still owed, roughly 15.625M dollars.

This would bring the total surplus value closer to 60-70M, which would net the Diamonbacks a more substantial package in return.

Headlining the package would be Bauers, #43 prospects heading into the 2018 season, who would be able to immediately slot into the everyday 1B role for the Diamondbacks. Also included would be Baz, a back end top 100 starting pitching prospect, Fox, a 45FV middle infield prospect, and Stanek, a back of the bullpen arm and potential closer.

With the money covered by the Diamondbacks, the Rays would be adding roughly 31M in 2019 commitments, which is well-within their available budget. Although Goldschmidt would only be under control for one year, the Rays have top 1B prospects Lowe and McCarthy close to the major leagues.

1.) 01 Dec 2018
01 Dec 2018 15:12:21
Everyone altogether now: SURPLUS VALUE IS A FARCE!

Besides, this is a bad deal for the Rays. Giving up a ton of years of team control for a rental 1B (a market which is very saturated) and an aging SP isn’t a good idea for a small market team like Tampa Bay.

2.) 04 Dec 2018
04 Dec 2018 07:48:01
Are you just going to continue to respond with this pretentious rhetoric every single time? I sure hope not.

Surplus value is not a farce, it's an inexact science in a field that does not exist, a nice little piece in a much bigger puzzle. No one is claiming, myself included, that you should take surplus value as gospel. I never once implied such and it's insulting to suggest I did so. Clearly, there are tons of unprovable assumptions involved in establishing the metric itself. Surplus value is a good place to start when trying to judge what it would likely take to get a player in trade, but it’s not gospel and shouldn’t be taken as such. There are secondary forces at play, as you boorishly pointed out. However, there is a reason why more informed and astute minds than ours continue to utilize applications of surplus value.

Maybe just stick to trade analysis and not your misguided inference skills.

3.) 04 Dec 2018
04 Dec 2018 12:59:20
Only if you promise to stick to inference and not your misguided trade analysis skills.


4.) 04 Dec 2018
04 Dec 2018 14:38:17
lol that was kind of a dick response but i'll take it.

5.) 04 Dec 2018
04 Dec 2018 14:49:41
You threw a similar quip in at the end of yours, so don't act so innocent.

But let's be honest: surplus value guys are like the "mangosteen" guys. you know the guys who try to con you on some pyramid scheme energy drink and they tell you it has "mangosteen" in it and all the great things it can do.

And they think everyone in the room will buy it. They think they sound super-duper smart by saying it. And how could you challenge anyone who sounds super-duper smart?

And in case you do challenge me, then we start invoking the nerds. "But Fangraphs says it! " (Or, "However, there is a reason why more informed and astute minds than ours continue to utilize applications of surplus value. ")

But the moment one guy in the room challenges mangosteen guy on the validity of his argument, on the backing of his argument, he acts super offended and defensive that anyone would dare challenge him. He uses words like "pretentious" and "arrogant" and "this isn't gospel" and "get some inference, dude! "

You're mangosteen guy, bossmanjunior. And that's okay. But like mangosteen guy, you'll be peddling weight loss supplements after you've exhausted your argument and lost all those willing to listen.

6.) 04 Dec 2018
04 Dec 2018 15:22:09
As far as surplus value, it’s just a thought exercise by bored baseball writers trying to find topics to write about. Nothing more, nothing less.

It ignores so many important factors in player valuation that I can’t fathom anyone actually takes it seriously.

So telling me it’s laughable about an idea (that was an obvious exaggeration for rhetoric purposes) and the push your glasses up, wipe the snot from your nose, and say, “BUT SURPLUS VALUE! ” Is also comical. You based your argument on a pseudo stat. Congrats.

7.) 05 Dec 2018
05 Dec 2018 12:00:13
Good lord, man. I keep trying to bring this conversation to a close and then you take it down another tangent.

So just because we disagree about the merit of a stat, I am all of a sudden a conman running a energy drink pyramid scheme? I have to give you some props on that creative analogy. This has honestly become tantamount to talking politics. You know that just because two respective parties disagree on an issue, it doesn’t unequivocally mean that someone is objectively ”right” or “wrong” in their position. It’s ok to disagree on political matters and it’s sure as hell ok to disagree on the merits of a baseball stat.

“…he acts super offended and defensive that anyone would dare challenge him. ”

This is literally the opposite of what is happening here. I am getting “offended” that you are inaccurately defining my position. You are getting “offended” that I am challenging you among a community that you have endeared yourself with. From a distance, however, it appears you derive more pleasure from insulting these people, continually. Rather than offer remedy, you offer contempt.

Which brings me to the underlying question…what do you suggest as a surrogate? Clearly, I am the pretentious one because I reference “fangraphs” and have developed personal relationships with multiple baseball writers, so please, please tell me how do you analytically assess trades? You are the “stat” guy of course, your judgement must be rooted in empirical, objective data, correct? I would just love a look under the hood.

“it’s just a thought exercise by bored baseball writers trying to find topics to write about…I can’t fathom anyone actually takes it seriously.  ”

I am amused how you continually pretend that estimating “value” is not a critical and imperative element in baseball. It clearly is. Teams do not sign players or execute trades based on just past precedence, gut feelings, and prejudices. They calculate and project the intrinsic value involved to the best of their ability. These teams do a better job than the public blogosphere is capable of, due to resources, but it is not a fruitless effort. There is merit. I don’t know how many times I can say this.

This is, and has been, my position. Calculate the objective “surplus value” based on projections, the linearity of cost per win, and prospect valuations, then adjust for other immeasurable variables. This seems like a simple practice. It’s an inexact science, but it’s a good start.

8.) 05 Dec 2018
05 Dec 2018 14:15:12

"Teams do not sign players or execute trades based on just past precedence, gut feelings, and prejudices. They calculate and project the intrinsic value involved to the best of their ability. "

This is true for many teams, and true for many trades. But I also think you overestimate the use of value metrics.

While most GMS go into a trade knowing who they want and what they're willing to give, and most of that was developed by some value metric, it's not as if GMs are sitting at their computer assessing the value of every player mentioned. Go find stories of how GMs trade players. Sometimes it's done at the dinner table or while golfing or having a beer. Sometimes it's done face to face in a 4 hour meeting, sometimes its a 4 minute meeting.

Some GMs get blindsided by trade offers and simply accept the deal on the spot, because it looks too good to be true. Question: do you think Brodie van Wagenen spent tons of time looking into "empirical, objective data" regarding Justin Dunn when he traded him to Seattle? Probably not, to be honest.

If every GM used "empirical, objective data" to make their trades, you wouldn't have trades like James Shields for Fernando Tatis. Teams wouldn't trade Zack Wheeler for 3 months of Carlos Beltran. The amount of silly, nonsensical trades suggests that you're patting your own back way too hard thinking metrics completely rule the roost when it comes to trades.

Even the very "analytic-driven" teams have made horrible trades. Go look at how bad that Carlos Gomez trade turned out for Houston.

Moral of the story: stop thinking metrics are so intrinsically valuable that they can't be challenged. Again, surplus value is simply a metric based on a couple of things: scouting report (future value), WAR projection, and contract estimation. None of this is remotely "empirical" as scouting reports change all the time. And many, if not most, prospects do not live up to their ranking.

I see surplus value blindly touted in many corners of baseball forum world. And it's guys like you who bought the drink because it has mangosteen, and now you think it'll cure cancer, autism, diabetes, and help with weight loss. You've overstated it's value, you're in too deep, and you're hoping others will buy in because it's all you've got.

9.) 05 Dec 2018
05 Dec 2018 14:48:19
One last thing, and this has more to do with the "empirical" data. and perhaps this gives you a greater sense of why I feel surplus value is nonsensical

Let's use Arenado as an example:

In another post, you said that Arenado only has $20M of surplus value. That is, after we take his projected WAR and his projected arbitration salary.

In other words, you're suggesting that Nolan Arenado is worth Corey Ray or Micker Adolfo ($20M in surplus value, according to Fangraphs), straight up. Anything above that would, in terms of surplus value, be more than enough. That's what surplus value says Arenado is worth.

We can both agree that it's pure and utter nonsense, right? We can both agree that if the Rockies trade Arenado for the 88th or so best prospect in baseball that Rockies fans would be right to burn down Coors Field.

Surplus value equivocates actual value with projected value. This is largely why it's a farce, I believe. Because Arenado's "value" to a team is so much greater than some prospect they could send over.

Or think of Madison Bumgarner. If we estimate a win at being valued at 10M, Bumgarner is expected to have 9M in surplus value. Are you suggesting that the owners are going to trade its transcendent star for someone like Anthony Banda? That's what Bumgarner is worth?

I promise you, even the most analytical front offices don't think this way. The Rays wouldn't trade Bumgarner away for Anthony Banda. They wouldn't trade him for Corey Ray. Why? Because Bumgarner's value to the team in many ways in unquantifiable. The fans these stars put in the seats, the clubhouse presence, the marketability and revenue coming from major network games.

Surplus value assumes all things are equal, when almost nothing in baseball is equal, and very little "value" can be objectively quantifiable. It's a farce. And I wish people would stop referencing it.

10.) 05 Dec 2018
05 Dec 2018 20:40:15
"Clearly, I am the pretentious one because I reference 'fan graphs' and have developed personal relationships with multiple baseball writers, so please, please tell me how do you analytically assess trades? "

First off, I don't know if you were being intentionally ironic, or if that came naturally.

Second, I assess many of the things surplus value does not: positional availability, organizational depth (the Giants would value a top 100 prospect differently than the Padres or Braves), performance, etc.

Surplus value has largely been to take the future value and slap a dollar sign next to the guy. It's hardly "empirical" and it's most certainly not "objective". I realize I've simplified it to some extent, but this is largely what it boils down to.

So, in order to agree with the surplus value, you obviously have to agree with the scouting report.

I applaud Fan graphs for coming up with some "system", but if you don't see the flaws in it, and if you're calling surplus value "objective, as you have ("Calculate the OBJECTIVE “surplus value” based on projections" [emphasis mine], then you've clearly bought into the scam. You're not running the pyramid scheme. You're trying to sell all the crap you bought from them.