You’d have to be insane to believe MLB Trade Rumors

You’d have to be insane to believe MLB Trade Rumors

I’ve seen some insane rumors over the past few days, with mid-teir pitchers getting traded for top-end prospects, with names like Pelfrey, Humber, Hughes, Salatalamacchia, etc heading the other way. Its not gonna happen. Prospect value is at an all-time high after last season. The only time you’re going to see a prospect get traded is if a) it’s for another prosepct or b) if it’s for a player of real value, which is a young player with upside or a player that had a monster year. On the flip side, I’ve heard about deals involving mid-teir players such as Freddy Garcia and Jordon Tata. Check these rumors out: Freddy Garcia for Pelfrey, Garcia for Young (ARZ), Tata for Salatalmacchia, etc. But for this example, let’s focus on top-end pitching prospects. Now, even if these prospects struggle, they are going to give you the 4.50 ERA that these mid-teir pitchers are anyways.

Jamie Moyer is getting around $5 million a season, a mid-teir starter like Ted Lilly is looking at $6+ million a year. Players such as Pelfrey, and Hughes will get a salary of $350,000 for each of their first three years of service time in the majors. Sometimes, a player’s salary can be bumped up if they qualify for a two year bonus. But the bump isn’t much—couple hundred thousand—so we’ll save that for another day. Also, the three years is three years of service time, which can be stretch out over four+ seasons. Then once that’s over, the player enters arbitration. A team has the option of locking them up, enabling them to avoid competition with other MLB clubs in the free market. Here’s an example of some 2006 prospect pitchers—I’ll even leave out the obvious Liriano’s, Verlander’s, and Papelbon’s.

Matt Cain

$328,000

Felix Hernandez

$340,000

Cole Hamels

$328,000

Chad Billingsely

$328,000

Anibal Sanchez

$328,000

Jeremy Sowers

$327,000

Joel Zumuya

$327,000

Here’s a list of players that have finished their pre-arbitration years. Each pitcher in this list placed within their leagues top 10 in strikeouts. Here are there negotiated or awarded arbitration salaries for 2006.

Jeremy Bonderman

$2,300,000

Brett Myers

$3,300,000

Bronson Arroyo

$3,000,000

John Lackey

$3,340,000

What do you think these pitchers would earn on the open market? They’d all see, at minimum, a doubling of their salary. If you think that a team is going to trade potential, low salaries, and the future rights of a young, highly thought of pitching prospect for a 4.00 era, middle of the rotation pitcher (and most likely a $5+ million salary), than you shouldn’t be reading this, you should be out getting fitted for a straight jacket.

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Kman, I agree 100% Players with little service time under their belts are like nuggets of gold now.

  • Early

    Teams going for a playoff run used to give up their players at the deadline to get superstars. This doesn’t seem to be case too much anymore, losing teams look rather just to get rid of a salary regarless of contract length. Can we imagine any of these Future Stars not being traded in the off-season, I agree it is ridiculus to trade for a mid-level pitcher, but what about trade deadline?

  • If you take this year as an example, prospects stayed put. I can’t think of any real, top-end players except, and this is a maybe, guzman going to tampa. Other than that, you couldn’t pry a top level prospect loose at the trade deadline with a crowbar.

    The times they are a-changin’

  • steve

    Freddy Garcia and Jordan Tata? both mid teir players? Tata may be a mid teir prospect but is hardly in the same discussion as Freddy. Tata for Salty is more of the prospect swap you are talkin about.

  • Yep, my mistake. I think the difference is that Tata is a mid-teir prospect, Salty is top-level. As for Garcia, his numbers last season clearly state that he is now about a middle of the rotation guy, but with a hefty contract. But, again, I can see my error. It will be interesting to see if Garcia does get traded–as he’s getting shopped around– and for what.

  • Tata for now. WooOooOOo!