Hamels, Greinke, Dempster, Garza & Wandy – Trade Value

There are 5 big name starting pitchers on the trade market this year, as far as most are concerned: Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Wandy Rodriguez. I decided to take a look at their stats going back to the ’08 season, to compare their value at the deadline.

From the start of the 2008 season until today (July 15, 2012), here are the stats of these 5 as per Fangraphs:

Name
W
L
G
GS
IP
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
GB%
HR/FB
ERA
FIP
WAR
Zack Greinke
64
41
146
146
939
8.9
2.25
0.312
72.3%
45.0%
8.1%
3.4
3
26.8
Cole Hamels
60
45
147
146
963
8.3
2.15
0.280
77.3%
44.1%
11.2%
3.3
3.5
19
Ryan Dempster
58
44
146
146
916
8.2
3.28
0.294
73.7%
46.3%
10.0%
3.6
3.7
17.2
Matt Garza
48
48
142
141
884
7.6
2.98
0.279
73.1%
41.2%
9.9%
3.8
4
13.5
Wandy Rodriguez
52
49
139
139
849
7.9
2.87
0.298
74.6%
45.9%
10.5%
3.4
3.7
13.4

WAR/Year – Greinke – 5.96, Hamels – 4.22, Dempster – 3.82, Garza – 3.00, Rodriguez – 2.98

Greinke leads the way substantially in WAR, with 26.8; twice what Garza and Rodriguez have racked up in the last 4.5 seasons. Hamels is 7.8 behind (approx 1.7/season) while Dempster comes in 3rd. Greinke’s FIP is well ahead as well; a full half run better than Hamels, who is in 2nd. In terms of numbers, it’s clear that Greinke is the best pitcher of the 5 over the last 4 and a half seasons. All 5 have stayed pretty healthy over that period though, and are capable of throwing valuable innings for a new team during the stretch.

Greinke, Hamels and Dempster are free-agents at the end of this season, making them all rentals for whatever team acquires them. The Brewers, Cubs and Phillies are all effectively out of the post-season race at this point, and Greinke and Dempster are highly unlikely to re-sign. I don’t think it’s completely out of the question for Hamels to re-sign with the Phils, but the allure of all that cash in Los Angeles may be hard to resist. The Dodgers just spent $42 million on a prospect that there are significant questions about, so Hamels has to believe they’ll throw boatloads of cash his way this offseason.

Garza has one more year of team control after this season, so that could counter his less effective statistics, and make him a more attractive candidate than Dempster. Rodriguez is signed for 2013 at $13 million, and has a 2014 option for $13 million which becomes a player option if he’s traded. The potential to be on the hook for $26 million over the next two seasons hurts his value. He’s also 33, and had a down year last year, so it may be hard for the Astros to get a whole lot in return.

So of the 5 trade candidates, the three with the best numbers are all 1 year rentals. The two that teams could retain past this season haven’t put up as much value over the past 4 and a half, but some of that value could be offset by their contract statuses. It will be interesting to see which one goes first, and what the market value is set at. If teams are willing to give up 3 or 4 pretty good prospects, you may see some other arms such as James Shields enter talks as well.

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