Welcome to Part 2 of the 2017 Trade Value player rankings! Breaking down multiple factors (age, performance, contract status, etc.) and using statistical analysis, I’ve ranked the top 50 players in baseball for this season by their trade value—essentially trying to answer the question, “If every team made every player available via trade, which guys would fetch the greatest return?”
Take my hand and come with me on a mystical journey into baseball’s future. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has imposed every single one of his ideas on the game—the good ones and the bad ones. He’s announced expansion into Montreal and Mexico City and codified pitch clocks for all pitchers.
Wait a minute! Do you hear that? The pop of catchers’ mitts, the chatter around the diamond, the glorious thud of flipped bats crashing onto the grass … baseball is back, baby!
Welcome to year two of The 30 here at SI.com. All season long, I’ll rank all 30 major league teams and delve into the biggest stories swirling around the game.
Six months ago, we embarked on a long journey, one filled with brilliant bat flips, goofy GIFs and gobs of analysis. Today, we fete the 10 teams that survived the long slog to earn their way into the playoffs and look at one key player to watch for each.
One more for the road.
This is it. After nearly six months of battling for MLB’s 30 teams, we’re now down to the final week of the season. It’s time to make plans.
This week’s four featured teams are preparing for all kinds of different outcomes. The Brewers are focused squarely on 2017 and beyond.
The longshots have faded, and the early-season flukes have fizzled out. The six-month dogfight is nearly done, and only the strongest teams have survived.
This week’s four featured teams are all either contenders to watch or potentially dangerous spoilers. The Athletics end the season with a four-game series that could decide one American League West contender’s fate.
Few things get baseball fans more fired up than a good redemption story. When a player falls from grace or fails to live up to expectations, we look ahead to the second act, and that he can hopefully salvage that rough start. When that rebound happens, both player and team get to taste sweet vindication.
Trust the process. It’s a phrase that’s gained lots of traction in sports over the past few years. If a team’s making smart moves, the theory goes, then over the long haul those moves should eventually lead to strong results for that team and the players it’s acquired.
The problem is, trusting the process is often easier said than done.
August can be a rough month to be a baseball player. Dating back to the start of spring training, you’ve been diving after liners in the gap and snapping off curveballs for six months. When a day game after a night game comes along in 97-degree weather, it’s easy to feel a little less sharp or to lose that normal jolt of energy.
The concept of momentum in baseball is fraught with counterexamples. Plenty of teams have entered the postseason scorching hot only to flame out quickly. Plenty of teams have backed into the playoffs only to go on to win the World Series. Generating big winning streaks (or big losing streaks) late in the season guarantees nothing.