What would it take for each team to snag Vladimir Guerrero Jr? AL Central

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) in the second inning of a baseball game against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, N.Y. on Saturday, May 5, 2018. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)

Toronto Blue Jays’ phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr, son of former big leaguer Vladimir Guerrero, is the consensus #1 prospect in baseball. He plays 3B, but he will presumably move to 1B down the line. 

Vlad was born to play baseball and has stormed through the minors, blowing his competition away. He put up video game numbers at AA and AAA this past season as a 19-year-old…

AA

  • PAs: 266
  • AVG: .402
  • HRs: 14
  • BB rate: 7.9%
  • K rate: 10.2%

AAA

  • PAs: 126
  • AVG: .336
  • HRs: 6
  • BB rate: 11.7%
  • K rate: 7.8%

Steamer projects him to produce at a superstar level for the Jays in 2019…

  • PAs: 550
  • AVG: .306
  • HRs: 22
  • BB rate: 8.4%
  • K rate: 12.9%
  • WAR: 4.7

There is no doubt about it; Vlad Guerrero Jr is baseball’s next big thing. If you are remarkably not buying his unbelievable 2018 minor league stat-line and robust Steamer projections, then here is a clip I will let speak for itself…

In Fangraphs’ Update to Prospect Valuation, Guerrero was estimated to be worth $112 million in prospect value, which is highest among all minor leaguers (they also estimated value of non-top 100 prospects). He is the only prospect who was assigned a 70 FV on the 20-80 scouting scale

“The results are presented in present-day WAR and translated to a rough dollar figure based on $9 million as the cost of a win on the free-agent market. Keep in mind that the dollar figure isn’t a direct value, but rather equivalent value of a prospect relative to the free-agent market. Part of the reason prospects have such tremendous value is due to the suppressed salaries permitted by the CBA until a player has reached six years of service time. By translating the WAR figure into a monetary value, we can compare the value of prospects with the values of major-league players and their contracts. These values likely roughly approximate what an individual player might get as a signing bonus if he were declared a free agent and teams could only provide a signing bonus instead of a long-term contract.”

Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards

Now we will take a look at what types of packages teams would have to offer in order to match Guerrero’s $112 million prospect value:

Indians

RHP Triston McKenzie (50 FV; $28 million), SS Yu Chang (50 FV; $26 million), 3B Nolan Jones (50 FV; $22 million), SS Brayan Rocchio (50 FV; $21 million), LF George Valera (45+ FV; $8 million), [RHP Luis Oviedo (45+ FV; $6 million) OR one of Cleveland’s 45 FV position players ($6 million): C Bo Naylor, 1B Bobby Bradley, or RF Will Benson], and one of Cleveland’s 40 FV pitchers ($1 million): RHP Eli Morgan, RHP Aaron Civale, LHP Sam Hentges, RHP Tahnaj Thomas, RHP Ignacio Feliz

or

RHP Corey Kluber ($63.6 million), RHP Carlos Carrasco ($99.5 million), and $5 million in cash for 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr (70 FV; $112 million) and SS Bo Bichette (60 FV; $56 million)

In order to most accurately gauge the surplus value of Corey Kluber, we need to take into consideration a decline in production as he is already in his early 30s (2019 is his age 33 season).

“a basic rule of thumb is that once a player gets to 30, you sort of expect them to lose about 0.5 WAR per year of value due to aging. Some players will age better or worse, but that’s an average estimate.”

Fangraphs’ Neil Weinberg

Corey Kluber’s Projected WAR (accounting for annual loss of 0.5 WAR off of 2019 Steamer projection)

2019: 4.8

2020: 4.3

2021: 3.8

The Indians are paying him $17 million in the first season (2019), $17.5 million the following season (2020), and $18 million in his final season (2021). The calculations for Kluber’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

[(4.8 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $17 million] + [(4.3 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $17.5 million] + [(3.8 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $18 million] = $26.2 million + $21.2 + $16.2 million = $63.6 million in surplus value

Carlos Carrasco’s Projected WAR (accounting for annual loss of 0.5 WAR off of 2019 Steamer projection)

2019: 4.5

2020: 4.0

2021: 3.5

2022: 3.0

2023: 2.5

The Indians are paying him $9.75 million in the first season (2019), $10.25 million the following season (2020), $12 million annually the next years (2021-22), and $14 million in his final season (2023). The calculations for Carrasco’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

[(4.5 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $9.75 milllion] + [(4.0 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $10.25 million] + [(3.5 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $12 million] + [(3.0 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $12 million] + [(2.5 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $14 million] = $30.75 million + $25.75 million + $19.5 million + $15 million + $8.5 million = $99.5 million

Royals

RF Seuly Matias (50 FV; $22 million), C MJ Melendez (45+ FV; $8 million), RF Khalil Lee (45+ FV; $8 million), RHP Brady Singer (45+ FV; $6 million), 1B Nick Pratto (45 FV; $6 million), SS Nicky Lopez (45 FV; $6 million), LHP Daniel Lynch (45 FV; $4 million), RHP Jackson Kowar (45 FV; $4 million), RF Kyle Isbel (40+ FV; $4 million), LHP Kris Bubic (40+ FV; $3 million), C Salvador Perez ($31.5 million), and $9.5 million in cash for 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr (70 FV; $112 million)

Salvador Perez’s Projected WAR (accounting for loss of 0.5 WAR / yr once he reaches the age of 30)

2019 (age 29 season): 3.0

2020: 2.5

2021 (age 31 season): 2.0

The Royals are paying him $10 million the first season (2019) and $13 million annually in his final two seasons (2020-21). The calculations for Perez’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

[(3.0 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $10 million] + [(2.5 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $13 million] + [(2.0 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $13 million] = $17 million + $9.5 million + $5 million = $31.5 million

Tigers

RHP Casey Mize (55 FV; $41 million), CF Daz Cameron (55 FV; $39 million), and SS Isaac Paredes (55 FV; $39 million) for 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr (70 FV; $112 million) and $7 million in cash

or

OF Nick Castellanos ($5.8 million), RHP Matt Manning (50 FV; $15 million), RHP Franklin Perez (50 FV; $14 million), DH Christin Stewart (50 FV; $13 million), RHP Beau Burrows (50 FV; $10 million), C Jake Rogers (45 FV; $6 million), SS Sergio Alcantara (45 FV; $6 million), 2B Dawel Lugo (45 FV; $6 million), SS Willi Castro (45 FV; $6 million), SS Wenceel Perez (45 FV; $6 million), and [($2.1 million in cash) OR (one of Detroit’s 40 FV position players: 1B Reynaldo Rivera, C Sam McMillan, LF Dustin Peterson, or 3B Adinso Reyes)]

Nick Castellanos’ projected arbitration salary for 2019 is $11.3 million, per MLB Trade Rumors. Steamer projects him to worth 1.9 WAR. He is tentatively scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season (has one more season of control). The calculations for Castellanos’ surplus monetary value can be seen below…

(1.9 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $11.3 million = $5.8 million in surplus value

Twins

SS Royce Lewis (60 FV; $56 million), RF Alex Kirilloff (60 FV; $54 million), and [($2 million in cash) OR (one of Minnesota’s 40 FV position players: C Ryan Jeffers, CF DaShawn Keirsey, CF Gabriel Maciel, RF Jaylin Davis, 1B Lewin Diaz, 2B Luis Arraez, 2B Charles Mack, 1B Ryan Costello, 3B Andrew Bechtold, CF Misael Urbina, or CF Zack Granite)]

or

2B Jonathan Schoop ($11.4 million), RHP Kyle Gibson ($15.5 million), SS Nick Gordon (50 FV; $27 million), RF Trevor Larnach (50 FV; $19 million), and RHP Brusdar Graterol ($19 million) for 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr (70 FV; $112), C Russell Martin ($-14.6 million), DH Kendrys Morales ($-7.5 million), and [($2 million in cash) OR (one of Toronto’s 40 FV position players: C Reese McGuire, SS Orelvis Martinez, SS Leonardo Jimenez, 3B Miguel Hiraldo, CF Chavez Young, 1B Rowdy Tellez, 1B Chad Spanberger, 2B Samad Taylor, C Riley Adams, or C Hagen Danner]

The Twins owe Jonathan Schoop $7.5 million this season (2019). Steamer projects him to be worth 2.1 WAR. He is tentatively scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season (has one more season of control). The calculations for Schoop’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

(2.1 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $7.5 million = $11.4 million in surplus value

Kyle Gibson’s projected arbitration salary for 2019 is $7.9 million, per MLB Trade Rumors. Steamer projects him to worth 2.6 WAR. He is tentatively scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season (has one more season of control). The calculations for Gibson’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

2.6 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $7.9 million = $15.5 million in surplus value

White Sox

RF Eloy Jimenez (65 FV; $64 million) and 2B Nick Madrigal (60 FV; $53 million) for 3B Vladimir Guerrero (70 FV; $112 million) and $5 million in cash

or

SS Tim Anderson ($24.65 million), RHP Michael Kopech (55 FV; $44 million), and CF Luis Robert (55 FV; $43 million) for 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr (70 FV; $112 million)

For the purpose of this investigation, let’s assume that Anderson is worth 1.3 WAR (for the duration of his contract) and that White Sox do not pick up his options for the 2023-24 seasons.

Tim Anderson’s Projected WAR

2019 (age 26 season): 1.3 (according to Steamer)

2020: 1.3

2021 (age 28 season): 1.3

2022: 1.3

2023 (age 30 season): 0.8

2024: 0.3

The White Sox are paying him $1.4 million in 2019, $4 million in 2020, $7.25 million in the third season (2021), and $9.5 million in his final season (2022). The calculations for Anderson’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…

4 (1.3 WAR * $9 million / 1 WAR) – ($1.4 million + $4 million + $7.25 million + $9.5 million) = $46.8 million – $22.15 million = $24.65 million

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