Grantland's MLB Trade Rankings, part 2


Jonah Keri is back with the second part of his MLB Trade Rankings, this time with No. 31 through No. 1. Here's his list.

Some random thoughts:

  • Jason Kipnis at 31. As bad as the Indians were last year, they actually have some nice assets, starting with Kipnis and Carlos Santana, both of whom made Jonah's top 50. They also have Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera, both rumored trade candidates this offseason. Kipnis looked like a star after his late-season mashing in 2010 and then a nice first half in 2011, but now I'm not so sure. He'll be turning 26 and fell apart in the second half -- .277 to .233, 11 home runs to three, 20 for 21 stealing bases to 11 of 17. I wonder if there was some kind of minor injury he played through.

  • Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore at 27 and 26. Which lefty would you want, both signed to long-term deals? Moore is signed through 2019 (with options) for just $36 million, Bumgarner potentially for $57 million through 2019. Jonah has Moore rated one spot higher and I think I agree. The polish isn't there yet, but the stuff is a grade higher.

  • Brett Lawrie at 21. Jonah lists Lawrie, Dylan Bundy, Manny Machado and Jurickson Profar from 21 to 18. Lawrie had a solid first season, but was a disappointment with the bat. His fielding metrics were terrific, so his WAR rates him as a four-win player. I know these guys are dirt cheap for now, but they're still more prospect than proven. For example, I wouldn't take Bundy over Bumgarner or Moore -- especially factoring in their contracts. Bundy's stuff is great, sure, but we have no idea about his durability and he's barely pitched above Class A.

  • Jason Heyward at 10. Man, talk about an under-the-radar season.

  • Ryan Braun at 6. Followed by Evan Longoria, Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen. Hard to disagree with this order, although I may move Braun up to No. 3. He's signed through 2020 (2021 option), and while he's not cheap, he's awesome, he's durable, he hits, he runs and he's turned himself into an adequate left fielder. Posey is cheap for now, but you would have only four years of team control. Which is more valuable: Four years of Posey at below-market value or up to nine years of Braun? I may lean toward Braun, even knowing catchers are hard to find. Well, so are left fielders who hit .319 with 41 home runs and 30 steals.

  • Trout and Harper, Harper and Trout. Read Jonah's piece to see who he has No. 1.