I just love the Sky Kalkman Trade Value Calculator. I use it often to try and see what a team can get in a trade. For each of the past 4 seasons, living in Milwaukee, have speculated as to whom the Brewers should trade to make their team better. This was all theorhetical of course, until the TVC came along to help quantify things.
For reference, in 05 it was Geoff Jenkins, in 06 it was Bill Hall, in 07 it was Ben Sheets, and in 08 it was JJ Hardy. These years correspond to offseasons in which the trades (should) have been made by the Brewers.
Looking into 2009, my trade target to better the team is goiing to be Casey McGehee. He will be coming off of a career year in which he will almost accure 2 WAR, is very cheap making the league minimum, and will still have 5 years left until Free Agency. To top it off all of the production he will put up this year is on a part time basis. McGehee will have no where to play next year for the Brewers as top prospect Mat Gamel will man the hot corner and Rickie Weeks will have returned from a wrist injury. The Brewers could keep him as a bench player, but to get full value for him, and build for the future, this offseason will be the time to deal McGehee for the sake of the future.
In using Sky's TVC, and giving a generous 3, 3, 2.5, 2 and 2 value for his WAR the next 5 years, and slight increases in salary next year and the year after, followed by 40, 60, 80% for Arbitration years, and giving a $2.5 value for Type B Free Agent, the value for McGehee comes to about $40 million dollars.
This is astounding. I will just say right now that I do not believe that McGehee is worth this amount. There is a reason players become 27 year old rookies, and McGehee is no exception. McGehee murders fastballs but is very vunerable on off speed stuff. He plays a very good 3B defensively and there is some value there.
But, as we all know, MLB GM's see or want to believe things that we and other fans do not. And some make awful trades and give up the farm for peak years. Would there be a GM out there that would be willing to pay this type of price for Casey McGehee? I have noted on other shots around SB Nation that the Brewers will still need to trade JJ Hardy this offseason. If they were to couple McGehee and Hardy together, and the assumption that the former has this inflated value, could make quite a killing in prospects.
Using the TVC again, I estimate Hardy's value at approximately $16mm, given he probably is going to get an extra year of Arbitration eligibility, and that he still has a decent glove.
If you put these two players together in a package and send them to a team that is weak on the left side both offensively and defensively, the Brewers could definitely make a haul in prospects to bolster the future of the team.
I theorize that the Mariners, Tigers and Red Sox (the Cardinals would be a good fit as well, but the Brewers probably would not want to trade within the division) would be the kind of team that might want one or both of these players. And the Brewers would want pitching in return, and possibly a First Baseman for the future after Prince Fielder departs (and he will leave Milwaukee) in Free Agency.
Assuming $46mm in value (even if you cut this in half the Brewers could land a nice return) the Mariners could give up: Greg Halman, Philippe Aumont, Juan Ramirez and Michael Pineda. The Red Sox could offer Lars Anderson (they could then sign Fielder to a deal and not worry about losing a 1b/dh prospect), Michael Bowden and Kyle Weiland. And the Tigers could offer up quite a few mid level pitching prospects though none as highly rated as Bowden or Aumont. In each case filler players or guys already in the major leagues could make up the difference.
Is this rating too much for either McGehee and/or Hardy? What kind of return could the Brewers get in a deal involving these two players? Btw, the trade the Brewers SHOULD make before the 2011 season will be Prince Fielder. What does everyone think?