Arizona Diamondbacks acquire Taijuan Walker

AP ASTROS MARINERS BASEBALL S BBA USA WA

Here at Random Ranger Fan, I typically don’t write about other team’s transactions. However, this transaction is special in two ways. One, it affects one of our intra-division rival team and therefore the Rangers. Two, how did management over at Arizona pull this trade off? And what was Dipoto thinking?

It’s true, Taijuan Walker is coming off a down year, sure it lowers his perceived value a bit but not his true value. He is projected to produce 2.0 fWAR next season (source Fangraph steamer), which is 1.4 fWAR higher than this season’s value. Ketel Marte is also expected to improve and yield a 0.9 fWAR next season, as apposed to -0.7 fWAR. Jean Segura on the other hand has had a breakout year, yielding a 5.0 fWAR. This is the same guy that had a couple of rough past seasons in Milwaukee (0 &  0.3 fWAR respectively) and ended up being shipped out to Arizona. He overstayed his welcome in Arizona and ended up in this deal alongside C-/+ grade 23 year old + prospects Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis.

I take these projections with a grain of salt, they are of course projections after all and we won’t know what will truely take place and what unforeseen force could impact any of the players involved. Taijuan and Ketel could truely have bounce back years next year. Jean Segura could end up maintaining the success he found in Arizona. Or the C grade prospects he was dealt along with could be impact players for Seattle in the near future and yield higher than average results for that class of prospect. But taking what we have been provided from projections (Segura aside as steamer is not updated for him), we can evaluate the trade value from each side. Also, let’s factor in for all 3 of the major leagues that they would improve by 0.2 WAR each season. For Jean Segura, I averaged out his WAR over the past 4 seasons and applied that to his 2017 season since steamer is not up to date.

taisegura1

You are reading that right, a $79m present worth value compared to Arizona’s $29.6m present worth value. This is also assuming that Segura and Walker would be given a Qualifying offer, and Ketel Marte would not. Ok…it’s not exactly fair cause I assumed Jean Segura would not have a season like he had last year again in Seattle. What if he had an even better year with an experience bump in the year following?

taisegura2

Now we see a $79 vs. $52 present worth value. What if we assume Ketel and Tai end up performing the way they did this season for next season, and the rest of the seasons they are under control.

taisegura3

Wow, now it’s lopsided in Arizona’s favor. Usually deals where teams “buy” pitching or hitting with prospects, they end up having to over pay with present worth value in order to complete the deal. However, this isn’t necessarily a “buy” situation. If anything, the hottest commodity right now is starting pitching, so if anyone is a buyer it’s Arizona. But looking at the previous charts, they have presented a lower value than Seattle. Impact prospects end up being of a B-/B+ grade over their 6 years of team control, However, the two prospects Arizona is sending over, are instead C-/C+ grade according to John Sickels. The surplus value on those prospects are extremely low due to the chance of impact, amount of impact and their salary compared to higher graded prospects.

Ultimately, I think what we have seen here really comes down to each teams scouting, and the differing opinions each have on how these players are projected to perform under their seasons of team control. From my opinion, I think Arizona did an amazing job, and Seattle should have probably asked for more, a bit more actually.

The topic of present value worth and surplus value of players and prospects is something I have been reading deeply into. Please check out the sources that I have been going off of below. Also, the spreadsheet I did not make and you can find it in the links below. All I did was move it to google docs, change values to reflect current day numbers and add a prospects sheet to pull values from.

http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/mlb-prospect-surplus-values-2016-updated-edition/

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/7/15/950094/saber-friendly-blogging-101-trade

The bright side of losing Santana
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/3/3/777412/al-west-farm-system-values http://www.hardballtimes.com/methodology-and-calculations-of-dollars-per-war/
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