MLB Moneyball Power Rankings: Which Team Got the Most Bang for Its Buck in 2019?

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2019

MLB Moneyball Power Rankings: Which Team Got the Most Bang for Its Buck in 2019?

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    Tim Warner/Getty Images

    The Moneyball philosophy and ever-growing implementation of sabermetrics have had a profound impact on the way MLB teams are assembled.

    Whether we're talking about a small-market club facing a payroll crunch or a large-market team with a seemingly endless cash flow, baseball is still a business.

    It's all about getting the most value out of players, whether they're pre-arbitration guys contributing at young ages or big-money stars living up to their lofty paychecks.

    So, which club got the most bang for its buck in 2019?

    That's what I set out to answer.        


    Note: The preseason version of this article can be found here.


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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    There are a lot of numbers to digest in the following article, so allow me to first offer an explanation.

    Total Net Value was the ultimate factor in determining where each team landed in the rankings and was calculated as follows:

    Step 1: I found each player's WAR total for the 2019 season, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

    Step 2: Based on the FanGraphs value system, 1.0 WAR was again worth around $8 million in 2019.

    So from there, each player's WAR from Step 1 was multiplied by eight to give us the player's 2019 value in millions of dollars.

    Step 3: Each player's 2019 salary was then subtracted from his 2019 value, resulting in his 2019 net value. Player salaries came from the team pages of Spotrac.

    • Formula: (2019 WAR x 8) - 2019 salary = net value

    After that, the cumulative net values of all players who were part of the MLB payroll at any point in 2019 were totaled to determine each team's total net value.

    Included is a look at each team's five best and five worst values, along with a few bullet points for each club that consist of notable observations.

    For those of you looking for a complete picture of your favorite team, a link to a full breakdown in the form of a Google Sheets document can be found under the total net value for each team.

30. Detroit Tigers

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    Matthew Boyd
    Matthew BoydMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: -$43.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Matthew Boyd: +$26.2 million
    • SP Daniel Norris: +$21.9 million
    • SP Spencer Turnbull: +$17 million
    • UT Niko Goodrum: +$12.1 million
    • RP Shane Greene: +$10.9 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Miguel Cabrera: -$30 million
    • SP Jordan Zimmermann: -$27.4 million
    • 2B Josh Harrison: -$10 million
    • OF Travis Demeritte: -$9 million
    • SP Ryan Carpenter: -$8.9 million



    • The Tigers still owe Miguel Cabrera another $124 million over the next four years, which will take him through his age-40 season. He's been worth negative-0.1 WAR the past three years and will have a hard time living up to that salary.
    • Despite finishing 27th in the majors with a 5.51 starters' ERA, the Tigers managed to get good value from Matthew Boyd (185.1 IP, 4.56 ERA), Spencer Turnbull (148.1 IP, 4.61 ERA) and Daniel Norris (144.1 IP, 4.49 ERA).
    • Super-utility player Niko Goodrum, outfielder Victor Reyes (+$10.1M) and Jeimer Candelario (+$6.7M) were the only position players with a net value better than +$5 million.

29. San Francisco Giants

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    Mike Yastrzemski
    Mike YastrzemskiLachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: -$13.9 million


    5 Best Values

    • OF Mike Yastrzemski: +$22 million
    • RP Will Smith: +$13.4 million
    • IF Donovan Solano: +$12.4 million
    • 1B/3B Pablo Sandoval: +$11.4 million
    • SP Madison Bumgarner: +$10.4 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Johnny Cueto: -$21 million
    • C Buster Posey: -$15 million
    • SP Derek Holland: -$13.2 million
    • 1B Brandon Belt: -$12.4 million
    • SP Dereck Rodriguez: -$11.6 million



    • Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Donovan Solano, catcher Stephen Vogt (+$9.1M) and outfielder Alex Dickerson (+$7.7M) were all acquired for cheap and provided terrific value. Yastrzemski looks like a potential long-term piece in the outfield after a 21-homer rookie season in just 107 games.
    • Closer Will Smith and ace Madison Bumgarner are both set to reach free agency and could be headed for greener pastures. As arguably the two best pitchers on the roster, the team will have some work to do replacing them in terms of both impact and value.
    • Buster Posey, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford earned a combined $75.6 million in 2019 and posted just 2.1 WAR.

28. Miami Marlins

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    Brian Anderson
    Brian AndersonDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: -$5.2 million


    5 Best Values

    • 3B/OF Brian Anderson: +$29.8 million
    • SP Sandy Alcantara: +$22.6 million
    • SS Miguel Rojas: +$16 million
    • SP Caleb Smith: +$13.8 million
    • UT Jon Berti: +$10.7 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Wei-Yin Chen: -$28.8 million
    • 1B/3B Martin Prado: -$25.4 million
    • OF Lewis Brinson: -$17.9 million
    • RP Adam Conley: -$9.9 million
    • OF Austin Dean: -$9.8 million



    • Wei-Yin Chen has been one of the worst free-agent signings in MLB history four years into a five-year, $80 million deal. He has a 5.10 ERA and negative-1.3 WAR over 358 total innings, and he posted a 6.59 ERA in 45 appearances out of the bullpen in 2019.
    • Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith both look like long-term pieces in the starting rotation, while third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson is a cornerstone piece on the position-player side of things.
    • It was a bit of a surprise to see 30-year-old Miguel Rojas sign a two-year, $10.25 million extension earlier this year. However, he has quietly been worth 7.0 WAR over the past three seasons, so he's more than capable of living up to that salary.

27. Colorado Rockies

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    Trevor Story
    Trevor StoryMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$27.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Trevor Story: +$46.2 million
    • SP German Marquez: +$29.1 million
    • SP Jon Gray: +$29.1 million
    • 3B Nolan Arenado: +$19.6 million
    • RP Scott Oberg: +$17.9 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Ian Desmond: -$28.6 million
    • RP Wade Davis: -$28.4 million
    • SP Tyler Anderson: -$9.8 million
    • C Chris Iannetta: -$9.5 million
    • 1B Mark Reynolds: -$9.4 million



    • Ian Desmond has logged negative-3.4 WAR three years into a five-year, $70 million deal that looked like an ill-advised decision at the time. He hit .255/.310/.479 with an 88 OPS+ and 20 home runs in 2019.
    • Homegrown Trevor Story was the second-best value among all shortstops in 2019, trailing only Oakland Athletics breakout star Marcus Semien (+$58.9M).
    • While closer Wade Davis was one of the worst values in baseball, setup man Scott Oberg was a pleasant surprise. A 15th-round pick in 2012, Oberg posted a 2.25 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with five saves and eight holds in 49 appearances.

26. Kansas City Royals

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    Whit Merrifield
    Whit MerrifieldCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$32.1 million


    5 Best Values

    • 2B/OF Whit Merrifield: +$31 million
    • DH Jorge Soler: +$24.9 million
    • SS Adalberto Mondesi: +$20.2 million
    • SP Brad Keller: +$20.2 million
    • 3B Hunter Dozier: +$16.2 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Ryan O'Hearn: -$12.4 million
    • C Salvador Perez: -$11.2 million
    • SP Jorge Lopez: -$11 million
    • UT Chris Owings: -$10.2 million
    • OF Alex Gordon: -$9.6 million



    • Whit Merrifield signed a team-friendly four-year, $16.25 million extension last January that paid him just $1 million in 2019. The 30-year-old led all of baseball with 206 hits, batting .302/.348/.463 with 67 extra-base hits, 20 steals and 105 runs scored.
    • After years of failing to deliver on his vast potential, Jorge Soler finally put it all together over a full season, slugging a franchise-record 48 home runs while posting a 138 OPS+.
    • Catcher Salvador Perez has long been one of the better values in baseball, but a season lost to Tommy John surgery lands him on the worst values list this time around.

25. Seattle Mariners

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    Marco Gonzales
    Marco GonzalesRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$40.9 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Marco Gonzales: +$25.5 million
    • C Tom Murphy: +$20.2 million
    • C Omar Narvaez: +$16.2 million
    • 1B Daniel Vogelbach: +$10.6 million
    • OF Mitch Haniger: +$10.6 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Felix Hernandez: -$32.7 million
    • OF Jay Bruce: -$11.6 million
    • 2B Dee Gordon: -$10.1 million
    • RP Anthony Swarzak: -$7.2 million
    • OF Jake Fraley: -$6.5 million



    • The unheralded catching tandem of Omar Narvaez and Tom Murphy was one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season for the Mariners. Murphy, a former Rockies top prospect, was acquired in a trade with the Giants just days after San Francisco claimed him off waivers at the end of March.
    • Outfielder Mitch Haniger played in just 63 games during an injury-plagued season, yet he was still the team's fifth-best value. The 28-year-old is projected to earn $3 million in his first year of arbitration, and with a healthy season, he could again provide tremendous value.
    • Longtime ace Felix Hernandez wrapped up a seven-year, $175 million deal in 2019 with a 6.40 ERA in 71.2 innings spanning 15 starts. At 33 years old, he may be headed for retirement.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Bryan Reynolds
    Bryan ReynoldsDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$42.7 million


    5 Best Values

    • OF Bryan Reynolds: +$30.7 million
    • SS Kevin Newman: +$24.2 million
    • 1B Josh Bell: +$22.6 million
    • 2B Adam Frazier: +$21 million
    • RP Felipe Vazquez: +$18.7 million


    5 Worst Values

    • C Francisco Cervelli: -$13.1 million
    • RP Nick Kingham: -$13 million
    • C Elias Diaz: -$11 million
    • OF Gregory Polanco: -$10.9 million
    • OF Melky Cabrera: -$10.8 million



    • While the outlook in Pittsburgh is murky at best, rookies Bryan Reynolds (131 OPS+, 3.9 WAR) and Kevin Newman (111 OPS+, 3.1 WAR) provide plenty of reason for optimism.
    • Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz were both among the worst values at the catcher position. That opened the door for 29 year-old Jacob Stallings (+$10.7M) to see more playing time, and the position could be his if no outside addition is made.
    • Center fielder Starling Marte (+$12.9M) will be a hot commodity on the trade market if the Pirates decide to make him available. The 31-year-old is controllable for two more seasons with a pair of reasonable club options valued at $11.5 million and $12.5 million.

23. San Diego Padres

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    Fernando Tatis Jr.
    Fernando Tatis Jr.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$46.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Fernando Tatis Jr.: +$33 million
    • OF Hunter Renfroe: +$20.2 million
    • SP Chris Paddack: +$19.5 million
    • RP Kirby Yates: +$19.3 million
    • OF Manuel Margot: +$13.8 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Eric Hosmer: -$23.4 million
    • SP Garrett Richards: -$8.6 million
    • OF Wil Myers: -$7.9 million
    • SP Nick Margevicius: -$7.5 million
    • C Austin Hedges: -$6.9 million



    • Because of the backloaded nature of his deal, Manny Machado (+$12.8M) provided positive net value in his first season with the Padres. He earned $12 million and posted 3.1 WAR in the first year of his 10-year, $300 million contract.
    • In the second season of an eight-year, $144 million contract, Eric Hosmer posted a 93 OPS+ with 22 home runs and negative-0.3 WAR. That contract could look worse and worse in the years to come.
    • Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and right-hander Chris Paddack broke through from a stacked farm system in 2019, and more young talent is on the way. More productive youth on league-minimum salaries will be the key to boosting their total net value and climbing in these rankings.

22. Los Angeles Angels

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$50.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • CF Mike Trout: +$48.7 million
    • IF David Fletcher: +$29.8 million
    • RP Hansel Robles: +$19.4 million
    • DH Shohei Ohtani: +$19.4 million
    • OF Brian Goodwin: +$16.2 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Justin Upton: -$25.2 million
    • 1B Albert Pujols: -$24.8 million
    • 3B Zack Cozart: -$19.1 million
    • SP Matt Harvey: -$16.6 million
    • SP Trevor Cahill: -$12.2 million



    • Superstar Mike Trout will see his salary spike from $17.7 million to $37.7 million in 2020. That will take a bite out of his net value, but he still would have been the second-best value on the Angels roster had he earned that in 2019.
    • If the Angeles want to take a step forward, upgrading the starting rotation is a must. The front office settled for adding Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill on one-year deals last winter, and they wound up being the two worst values on the roster among pitchers.
    • Closer Hansel Robles finished as the fifth-best value among all relievers. The 29-year-old posted a 2.48 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 while converting 23 of 27 save chances in a breakout season.

21. Philadelphia Phillies

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    J.T. Realmuto
    J.T. RealmutoRich Schultz/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$58.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • C J.T. Realmuto: +$29.3 million
    • SP Aaron Nola: +$27.5 million
    • IF/OF Scott Kingery: +$22.5 million
    • OF Bryce Harper: +$22.1 million
    • OF Adam Haseley: +$13.3 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Jake Arrieta: -$17.8 million
    • SP Jason Vargas: -$12.8 million
    • 3B Maikel Franco: -$11.6 million
    • RP Juan Nicasio: -$10.1 million
    • RP David Robertson: -$10 million



    • Similar to Manny Machado in San Diego, Bryce Harper also signed a backloaded deal that paid him $11.5 million in the first season of a 13-year, $330 million contract. Many viewed his Phillies debut as a disappointment, but his 4.2 WAR gave him plenty of positive net value.
    • Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin (+$12.2M) were the only standouts from a starting rotation that will need to be addressed this offseason. On the flip side, Jake Arrieta was the sixth-worst value among all starting pitchers.
    • Utility infielder Brad Miller (+$8.5M) deserves a mention as one of the biggest surprises in 2019. After catching on with the Phillies in June, he posted a 135 OPS+ with 12 home runs in 130 plate appearances and 1.1 WAR, all while earning just $322,272.

20. Baltimore Orioles

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    John Means
    John MeansRob Carr/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$68.2 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP John Means: +$36.2 million
    • 2B Jonathan Villar: +$27.2 million
    • OF Trey Mancini: +$25.8 million
    • IF Hanser Alberto: +$23.4 million
    • SP Dylan Bundy: +$15.6 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Chris Davis: -$29.1 million
    • DH Mark Trumbo: -$13.4 million
    • SP Alex Cobb: -$12.7 million
    • SP Dan Straily: -$10.7 million
    • SP David Hess: -$10 million



    • Left-hander John Means came out of nowhere to earn a spot on the AL All-Star team and led all AL rookies with 4.5 WAR. The 26-year-old was an 11th-round pick in 2014 and never cracked any organizational top prospect lists.
    • Homegrown slugger Trey Mancini posted a 135 OPS+ with 38 doubles and 35 home runs to establish himself as the de facto face of the franchise. He could be a candidate for an early team-friendly extension or a valuable chip on the trade market.
    • First baseman Chris Davis was the third-worst value in baseball, behind only Felix Hernandez (-$32.7M) and Miguel Cabrera (-$30M). He still has three years and $63.4 million remaining on his ill-advised seven-year, $161 million deal, and has produced an 82 OPS+ and negative-0.4 WAR.

19. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Cavan Biggio
    Cavan BiggioMark Blinch/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$91.9 million


    5 Best Values

    • 2B Cavan Biggio: +$22 million
    • SP Marcus Stroman: +$20.7 million
    • SS Bo Bichette: +$16.6 million
    • 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: +$16.3 million
    • UT Eric Sogard: +$14.9 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Edwin Jackson: -$12.2 million
    • SP Aaron Sanchez: -$5.8 million
    • OF Socrates Brito: -$5.7 million
    • OF Randal Grichuk: -$5.6 million
    • SP Clay Buchholz: -$5.4 million



    • Who would have guessed it would be Cavan Biggio to lead a star-studded Blue Jays rookie class in net value? The 24-year-old posted a 113 OPS+ with 35 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 430 plate appearances.
    • Outfielder Randal Grichuk inked a five-year, $52 million extension in April and delivered negative net value in the first year of that contract. He slugged a career-high 31 home runs in 2019 but hit just .232/.280/.457 for a 93 OPS+ in the process.
    • The Blue Jays had the most dead money on the 2019 payroll of any team, shelling out $50.4 million to players no longer on the roster. That included Troy Tulowitzki ($19.6M), Russell Martin ($16.4M) and Kendrys Morales ($10M), among others.

18. Chicago Cubs

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    Javier Baez
    Javier BaezJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$101.9 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Javier Baez: +$33.2 million
    • C Willson Contreras: +$24.1 million
    • SP Kyle Hendricks: +$23.8 million
    • 1B Anthony Rizzo: +$19.9 million
    • 3B Kris Bryant: +$15.9 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Craig Kimbrel: -$14.0 million
    • SP Jon Lester: -$13.9 million
    • IF Daniel Descalso: -$13.5 million
    • RP Brandon Morrow: -$9 million
    • OF Albert Almora: -$8.6 million



    • Catcher Willson Contreras will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, with a projected raise to $4.5 million after making just above the league minimum in 2019. With a healthy season, he's still capable of providing significant value.
    • With a normal preseason of preparation, Craig Kimbrel will look to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 season. He signed a three-year, $43 million deal on June 7 and was shelled to the tune of a 6.53 ERA in 23 appearances.
    • Yu Darvish (+$4M) and Cole Hamels (+$3.2M) both provided positive value despite $20 million salaries. While Hamels is now a free agent, Darvish is still owed $81 million over the next four years, so the club will be counting on more of the same.

17. Cincinnati Reds

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    Sonny Gray
    Sonny GrayJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$106.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Sonny Gray: +$37.3 million
    • SP Luis Castillo: +$33.8 million
    • 3B Eugenio Suarez: +$28.7 million
    • SP Anthony DeSclafani: +$18.7 million
    • RP/OF Michael Lorenzen: +$17.3 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Matt Kemp: -$21.7 million
    • RP David Hernandez: -$17.7 million
    • 2B Scooter Gennett: -$13.8 million
    • 1B Joey Votto: -$12.2 million
    • SP Alex Wood: -$11.3 million



    • The Reds traded for reclamation project Sonny Gray last offseason and immediately signed him to a three-year, $30.5 million extension that will kick in starting next season. After he posted a 2.87 ERA with 205 strikeouts in 175.1 innings, that looks like a stroke of genius.
    • Using Michael Lorenzen as a two-way player helped make him one of the team's best values. He was lights-out in a setup role with a 2.92 ERA, seven saves and 21 holds in 73 appearances while also going 10-for-48 with two doubles and one home run to log 0.4 WAR as an outfielder and pinch hitter.
    • Outfielder Aristides Aquino (+$11M) was not called up until Aug. 1, hitting 19 home runs in 56 games to rank among the most valuable rookies in baseball. It will be interesting to see what he can do over a full season.

16. Chicago White Sox

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    Lucas Giolito
    Lucas GiolitoJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$109.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Lucas Giolito: +$44.2 million
    • 3B Yoan Moncada: +$36.2 million
    • SS Tim Anderson: +$30.6 million
    • C James McCann: +$27.9 million
    • RP Aaron Bummer: +$21.9 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Yonder Alonso: -$15 million
    • RP Kelvin Herrera: -$11.7 million
    • OF Daniel Palka: -$11.4 million
    • OF Jon Jay: -$10.4 million
    • SP Dylan Covey: -$10 million



    • Lucas Giolito took a huge step forward after struggling to a 6.13 ERA in 173.1 innings in 2018. The former top prospect posted a 3.41 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 228 strikeouts in 176.2 innings, tossing three complete games and two shutouts along the way.
    • Lefty Aaron Bummer was the third-best value among all relief pitchers, trailing only Oakland's Liam Hendriks (+$25.9M) and Boston's Brandon Workman (+$24.5M).
    • The White Sox added Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay in part to help with their recruiting pitch to Manny Machado. The two veterans ended up being among the worst values on the roster, and Machado ended up in San Diego.

15. Boston Red Sox

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    Eduardo Rodriguez
    Eduardo RodriguezMaddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$117.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Eduardo Rodriguez: +$43.7 million
    • 3B Rafael Devers: +$41.8 million
    • OF Mookie Betts: +$34.4 million
    • SS Xander Bogaerts: +$29.6 million
    • RP Brandon Workman: +$24.5 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 2B Dustin Pedroia: -$19.1 million
    • IF Eduardo Nunez: -$17 million
    • SP Nathan Eovaldi: -$16.2 million
    • SP David Price: -$15.8 million
    • SP Rick Porcello: -$12.3 million



    • After teasing his potential for years, Eduardo Rodriguez finally put it all together in 2019, finishing as the eighth-best value among starting pitchers in the process. The 26-year-old tossed a career-high 203.1 innings and posted a 3.81 ERA and 126 ERA+ with 213 strikeouts.
    • Will the 2019 season be Mookie Betts' final in a Red Sox uniform? The 27-year-old earned $20.1 million this past year and is projected for a hefty raise to $27.7 million in his final year of arbitration. With the team focused on getting under the luxury tax threshold and Betts one year removed from free agency, a blockbuster trade could be forthcoming.
    • Despite another strong season at the plate, designated hitter J.D. Martinez (+$2.7M) produced minimal positive value on his $23.8 million salary. If he decides to opt-out of the final three years and $60 million of his current contract, it will be interesting to see how much higher teams are willing to spend for his services.

14. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Christian Yelich
    Christian YelichGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$132.1 million


    5 Best Values

    • OF Christian Yelich: +$47.1 million
    • SP Brandon Woodruff: +$25.8 million
    • RP Josh Hader: +$20.1 million
    • 3B Mike Moustakas: +$18.6 million
    • SP Zach Davies: +$17.4 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Corbin Burnes: -$18 million
    • SP Jhoulys Chacin: -$12.4 million
    • 3B Travis Shaw: -$11.9 million
    • RP Freddy Peralta: -$8.5 million
    • SP Jimmy Nelson: -$7.7 million



    • NL MVP candidate Christian Yelich signed a seven-year, $49.6 million extension during his time with the Miami Marlins, and that remains one of the most team-friendly contracts in baseball. He's owed just $41.5 million over the next three years.
    • Rookie second baseman Keston Hiura (+$16.5M) should be a strong contender for the No. 1 best value spot next year with a full season at the MLB level. The 23-year-old hit .303/.368/.570 for a 138 OPS+ with 23 doubles and 19 home runs in 84 games.
    • Disappointing seasons from Corbin Burnes, Jimmy Nelson, Jeremy Jeffress (-$6.4M) and Corey Knebel (-$5.1) dealt a significant blow to the pitching staff. Filling out the rotation behind All-Star Brandon Woodruff needs to be a priority this offseason.

13. Texas Rangers

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    Lance Lynn
    Lance LynnRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$140.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Lance Lynn: +$51.5 million
    • SP Mike Minor: +$51 million
    • OF Joey Gallo: +$23.4 million
    • UT Danny Santana: +$17.9 million
    • DH Hunter Pence: +$11.6 million


    5 Worst Values

    • C Jeff Mathis: -$16.1 million
    • SP Drew Smyly: -$12.6 million
    • 2B Rougned Odor: -$10.2 million
    • SP Shelby Miller: -$9.2 million
    • OF Shin-Soo Choo: -$8.2 million



    • Lance Lynn and Mike Minor were two of the 10 best values in baseball, trailing only New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom (+$54.2M) among pitchers. Lynn signed a three-year, $30 million deal last offseason and went on to rank among the AL leaders in ERA+ (141, sixth), strikeouts (246, fourth) and innings pitched (208.3, fourth).
    • Reclamation projects Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller and Edinson Volquez (-$1.2M) all failed to produce behind that duo, and the team will need to find more stability for the back of the rotation this offseason.
    • On the flip side, Danny Santana and Hunter Pence both enjoyed a career renaissance on the offensive side of things, making good on minor league deals.

12. New York Mets

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    Jacob deGrom
    Jacob deGromEmilee Chinn/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$146 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Jacob deGrom: +$54.2 million
    • 1B Pete Alonso: +$39.4 million
    • IF/OF Jeff McNeil: +$39.4 million
    • SP Zack Wheeler: +$26.8 million
    • OF Michael Conforto: +$24 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Yoenis Cespedes: -$29 million
    • 2B Robinson Cano: -$16.6 million
    • OF Juan Lagares: -$14.6 million
    • IF Jed Lowrie: -$10.1 million
    • RP Jeurys Familia: -$9.9 million



    • It was a blunder-filled first offseason for Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The trade to acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz (-$5.4M) didn't bear fruit, while free-agent signings Jed Lowrie and Jeurys Familia flopped as well.
    • The Mets will finally be out from under the Yoenis Cespedes contract after next season. He's owed $29.5 million in 2020, and he has played in just 119 games and posted 3.1 WAR over the first three years and $80.5 million of his contract.
    • Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario (+$13.8M) and J.D. Davis (+$7.4M) give the team a good offensive core to build around.

11. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Jack Flaherty
    Jack FlahertyKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$153.8 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Jack Flaherty: +$47.4 million
    • SS Paul DeJong: +$31.1 million
    • 2B Kolten Wong: +$31.1 million
    • UT Tommy Edman: +$30.1 million
    • RP Giovanny Gallegos: +$17.1 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Andrew Miller: -$14.7 million
    • C Yadier Molina: -$9.6 million
    • 3B Matt Carpenter: -$8.4 million
    • RP Brett Cecil: -$7.8 million
    • RP Luke Gregerson: -$6.8 million



    • The Cardinals have not had much success signing free-agent relievers to multiyear deals in recent years. Andrew Miller (2/$25M), Brett Cecil (4/$30.5M) and Luke Gregerson (2/$11M) each ranked among the team's worst values in 2019.
    • The middle infield tandem of Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong provided tremendous value, thanks in part to the fact that both players were signed to early, team-friendly extensions.
    • While the Luke Voit trade initially looked like a mistake, one of the pitchers the Cardinals received from the Yankees at the 2018 trade deadline was Giovanny Gallegos. The 28-year-old posted a 2.31 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 11.3 K/9 in 66 appearances, earning a spot among the team's best values in the process.

10. Atlanta Braves

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    Mike Soroka
    Mike SorokaJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$159.7 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Mike Soroka: +$44.3 million
    • OF Ronald Acuna Jr.: +$43 million
    • 2B Ozzie Albies: +$37.4 million
    • 3B Josh Donaldson: +$25.8 million
    • SP Max Fried: +$22.6 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Kevin Gausman: -$16.1 million
    • RP Jonny Venters: -$9.2 million
    • SP Mike Foltynewicz: -$8.7 million
    • RP Darren O'Day: -$7.4 million
    • RP A.J. Minter: -$6.8 million



    • In a system loaded with high-ceiling arms, 22-year-old Mike Soroka separated himself from the pack in 2019 to emerge as one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He succeeded despite a lack of swing-and-miss stuff, posting a middling 7.3 K/9 in 174.2 innings of work.
    • Josh Donaldson signed the largest one-year deal in free-agency history for a position player when he inked a $23 million pact with the Braves last offseason. Despite that hefty price tag, he was still one of the best values on the roster, thanks to a 6.1-WAR season.
    • The bullpen was an issue for the Braves for much of the season, and that set up a busy trade deadline that included taking on all the remaining money owed to Mark Melancon. Will he make good on his $19 million salary for 2020?

9. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Ketel Marte
    Ketel MarteRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$177.6 million


    5 Best Values

    • IF/OF Ketel Marte: +$53.2 million
    • SS Nick Ahmed: +$32.3 million
    • 3B Eduardo Escobar: +$27.4 million
    • 1B Christian Walker: +$21.8 million
    • SP Zack Greinke: +$19.3 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Yasmany Tomas: -$17.1 million
    • OF Blake Swihart: -$7.9 million
    • OF Adam Jones: -$7.7 million
    • 1B/3B Jake Lamb: -$7.2 million
    • SP Zack Godley: -$6.8 million



    • With the fifth-best value among all players, Ketel Marte was the biggest breakout player of 2019. The 26-year-old signed a five-year, $24 million extension prior to the 2018 season that paid him just $2 million in 2019, and he posted a 149 OPS+ with 36 doubles, nine triples and 32 home runs on his way to 6.9 WAR.
    • Young arms like Luke Weaver (+$13M), Zac Gallen (+$9.4M), Alex Young (+$3.7M) and Jon Duplantier (+$2.1M) all provided positive value and figure to fill key roles on the staff.
    • Healthy seasons from Taijuan Walker (-$4.2M) and Steven Souza (-$4.1M) could provide a significant in-house boost in 2020, as both players have been significant contributors in the past.

8. New York Yankees

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    Aaron Judge
    Aaron JudgeTim Warner/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$178 million


    5 Best Values

    • OF Aaron Judge: +$42.5 million
    • IF DJ LeMahieu: +$36 million
    • 2B/SS Gleyber Torres: +$30.6 million
    • OF Mike Tauchman: +$28.4 million
    • 3B Gio Urshela: +$26.7 million


    5 Worst Values

    • OF Giancarlo Stanton: -$22.8 million
    • OF Jacoby Ellsbury: -$21.1 million
    • 3B Miguel Andujar: -$8.6 million
    • SP Masahiro Tanaka: -$8.4 million
    • RP Jonathan Holder: -$7.7 million



    • A wave of injuries opened the door for Mike Tauchman and Gio Urshela to emerge as significant contributors, while others like Cameron Maybin (+$11.5M) and Mike Ford (+$7M) also made the most of expanded opportunities.
    • The Yankees still owe Jacoby Ellsbury another $21.1 million in 2020 and then a $5 million buyout on a $21 million option in 2021. The last time he took the field in an MLB game was Sept. 30, 2017.
    • The two-year, $24 million contract given to DJ LeMahieu last winter is a strong contender for best signing of the year. The 31-year-old played all over the infield while propping up an injury-plagued offense for much of the season with a 136 OPS+ and 61 extra-base hits.

7. Washington Nationals

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    Stephen Strasburg
    Stephen StrasburgMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$191.7 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Stephen Strasburg: +$47 million
    • OF Juan Soto: +$37 million
    • OF Victor Robles: +$32.2 million
    • 3B Anthony Rendon: +$31.6 million
    • SP Patrick Corbin: +$31.1 million


    5 Worst Values

    • 1B Ryan Zimmerman: -$19.6 million
    • RP Trevor Rosenthal: -$15 million
    • UT Wilmer Difo: -$9 million
    • 2B Carter Kieboom: -$8 million
    • RP Kyle Barraclough: -$6.8 million



    • The net value of Stephen Strasburg takes some explaining. His base salary in 2019 was $35 million, but the team deferred $30 million of that in the form of three $10 million installments paid out from 2020-22. So for the sake of this exercise, his 2019 salary was only $5 million.
    • The outfield of Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Adam Eaton (+$4.4M) was one of the most valuable in all of baseball, while infielders Anthony Rendon, Howie Kendrick (+$16.8M) and Trea Turner (+$15.5M) also provided a value boost.
    • Ryan Zimmerman wrapped up a six-year, $100 million extension in 2019, playing just 52 games and posting an 86 OPS+ and negative-0.2 WAR. The 35-year-old had his club option declined, and he could call it a career or return on a cheaper salary in a part-time role.

6. Cleveland Indians

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    Shane Bieber
    Shane BieberJason Miller/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$211.1 million


    5 Best Values

    • SP Shane Bieber: +$38.6 million
    • SP Mike Clevinger: +$33 million
    • C Roberto Perez: +$28.6 million
    • SS Francisco Lindor: +$27.1 million
    • 3B Jose Ramirez: +$22.3 million


    5 Worst Values

    • SP Corey Kluber: -$20.4 million
    • 2B Jason Kipnis: -$10.7 million
    • SP Carlos Carrasco: -$7.4 million
    • OF Leonys Martin: -$5.4 million
    • 1B/OF Jake Bauers: -$5.3 million



    • While it was a disappointing season for veterans Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, young arms Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger emerged as two of the best young starters in the AL, while Zach Plesac (+$14.1M) and Aaron Civale (+$12.6M) helped round out the staff.
    • After Yan Gomes was traded during the offseason, Roberto Perez stepped into a larger role as the team's primary catcher and enjoyed the best season of his career. He was the third-best value among catchers, posting a 99 OPS+ and slugging 24 home runs in a 3.9-WAR season.
    • Production was limited from the corner outfield spots, but Oscar Mercado (+$17.2M) looks like a keeper in center field after a 2.2-WAR rookie season.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Cody Bellinger
    Cody BellingerNick Wass/Associated Press

    Total Net Value: +$229.8 million


    5 Best Values

    • 1B/OF Cody Bellinger: +$71.4 million
    • IF Max Muncy: +$45 million
    • SS Corey Seager: +$28 million
    • SP Hyun-Jin Ryu: +$25.3 million
    • OF Alex Verdugo: +$24.2 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Kenley Jansen: -$17.7 million
    • SP Rich Hill: -$7.5 million
    • RP Joe Kelly: -$7 million
    • IF Jedd Gyorko: -$6.6 million
    • RP Yaisel Sierra: -$5 million



    • After a record-breaking rookie season, Cody Bellinger took a step back in 2018, and there was some question of what to expect in 2019. The 24-year-old erased those doubts by posting a 169 OPS+ with 47 home runs while playing standout defense in right field, center field and at first base. Dollar for dollar, he was the best value in baseball in 2019.
    • The emergence of young, homegrown players like Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler (+$17M), Will Smith (+$12.6M), Julio Urias (+$11.4M), Tony Gonsolin (+$7.1M) and Gavin Lux (+$2.3M) shows that the Dodgers have been successful for reasons beyond their significant payroll flexibility.
    • Closer Kenley Jansen banked $19.3 million in 2019 and had arguably the worst season of his career with eight blown saves and a 3.71 ERA. He'll need to rebound to earn the $38 million he's owed the next two years.

4. Minnesota Twins

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    SS Jorge Polanco
    SS Jorge PolancoBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$270.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Jorge Polanco: +$42 million
    • C Mitch Garver: +$31.4 million
    • OF Max Kepler: +$26 million
    • SP Jose Berrios: +$25.8 million
    • OF Byron Buxton: +$23.1 million


    5 Worst Values

    • RP Trevor Hildenberger: -$10.6 million
    • RP Addison Reed: -$8.5 million
    • RP Adalberto Mejia: -$5.9 million
    • SP Kyle Gibson: -$4.9 million
    • RP Sam Dyson: -$4 million



    • The Twins roster is built on homegrown talent, with Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Max Kepler, Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano (+$22.2M), Taylor Rogers (+$18.5M), Luis Arraez (+$14M) and Eddie Rosario (+$8.6M) all emerging from the farm system in recent years.
    • The $14 million it cost to sign veteran slugger Nelson Cruz (+$20.4M) represented a financial splurge for a traditionally frugal franchise, and he was well worth the investment in a 41-homer season.
    • The front office has work to do in replacing Jake Odorizzi (+$19.3M) and Michael Pineda (+$11.2M) in the starting rotation, and the struggles of several of their relievers also highlight a significant need in the bullpen.

3. Oakland Athletics

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    Marcus Semien
    Marcus SemienRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$309 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Marcus Semien: +$58.9 million
    • 3B Matt Chapman: +$53 million
    • 1B Matt Olson: +$40.2 million
    • OF Mark Canha: +$34 million
    • OF Ramon Laureano: +$29.8 million


    5 Worst Values

    • DH Khris Davis: -$18.9 million
    • RP Fernando Rodney: -$10.1 million
    • RP Blake Treinen: -$8.8 million
    • RP Lou Trivino: -$7.8 million
    • SP Marco Estrada: -$7.2 million



    • First baseman Matt Olson, shortstop Marcus Semien and reliever Liam Hendriks were each the best value in baseball at their respective positions, while Matt Chapman trailed only Alex Bregman (+$64.9M) among third basemen.
    • Mark Canha posted a 145 OPS+ with 26 home runs in 126 games while playing a solid defensive center field, tallying 4.5 WAR after managing just 1.7 WAR over his first four seasons in the majors.
    • After a standout performance in 2018, Blake Treinen lost the closer job, and he's now a candidate to be non-tendered this offseason because of a $7.8 million projected salary. The emergence of Hendriks could help make that an easier decision.

2. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Willy Adames
    Willy AdamesTim Warner/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$327.3 million


    5 Best Values

    • SS Willy Adames: +$33 million
    • OF Austin Meadows: +$29.8 million
    • SP Charlie Morton: +$25.8 million
    • OF Tommy Pham: +$25.5 million
    • 2B Brandon Lowe: +$22.2 million


    5 Worst Values

    • C Mike Zunino: -$5.2 million
    • RP Peter Fairbanks: -$3.3 million
    • RP Jose Alvarado: -$3 million
    • C Erik Kratz: -$2.5 million
    • IF Matt Duffy: -$1.9 million



    • With the lowest payroll in baseball at just north of $64 million, it's no surprise to see the Rays ranked this high on the heels of a 96-win season. This organization knows how to develop minor league talent and pinch pennies to get the most out of its limited resources.
    • The trade to acquire Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow (+$20.2M) from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Chris Archer (-$1.3M) proved to be a net value gain of $18.9 million.
    • The decision to sign Charlie Morton to a two-year, $30 million deal represented a significant financial investment for the franchise, evidenced by the fact that his $15 million salary in 2019 accounted for roughly 23.4 percent of the team's payroll. He's been worth every penny so far, posting a 3.05 ERA with 240 strikeouts in a career-high 194.2 innings in 2019.

1. Houston Astros

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    Alex Bregman
    Alex BregmanRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Total Net Value: +$370.4 million


    5 Best Values

    • 3B Alex Bregman: +$64.9 million
    • SP Justin Verlander: +$41.6 million
    • SP Gerrit Cole: +$40.9 million
    • OF George Springer: +$37.6 million
    • DH Yordan Alvarez: +$29.3 million


    5 Worst Values

    • C Max Stassi: -$6.8 million
    • 1B Tyler White: -$6.8 million
    • RP Framber Valdez: -$4.9 million
    • RP Cionel Perez: -$4.1 million
    • SP Lance McCullers Jr.: -$4.1 million



    • The starting rotation of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke (+$5.9M), Wade Miley (+$11M) and Jose Urquidy (+$4.6M) all provided positive value, while relievers Will Harris (+$12.6M), Ryan Pressly (+$11.5M), Roberto Osuna (+$9.5M) and Brad Peacock (+$7.3M) were also well into the green.
    • With a modest $2.3 million salary, Alex Bregman was the second-best value in all of baseball, hitting .296/.423/.592 with 37 doubles, 41 home runs and 112 RBI while recording more walks (119) than strikeouts (83).
    • Rookie Yordan Alvarez managed to secure the No. 5 best value spot on the team with the most net value, despite not making his MLB debut until June 9 and playing in just 87 games overall. He's going to be a special player and another serious weapon in an already stacked lineup.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

25 Worst Values

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    Felix Hernandez
    Felix HernandezRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Here's a rundown of the 25 worst values in baseball during the 2019 season:

    1. SP Felix Hernandez, SEA: -$32.7 million
    2. 1B Miguel Cabrera, DET: -$30 million
    3. 1B Chris Davis, BAL: -$29.1 million
    4. OF Yoenis Cespedes, NYM: -$29 million
    5. RP Wei-Yin Chen, MIA: -$28.8 million
    6. OF Ian Desmond, COL: -$28.6 million
    7. RP Wade Davis, COL: -$28.4 million
    8. SP Jordan Zimmermann, DET: -$27.4 million
    9. 1B/3B Martin Prado, MIA: -$25.4 million
    10. OF Justin Upton, LAA: -$25.2 million
    11. 1B Albert Pujols, LAA: -$24.8 million
    12. 1B Eric Hosmer, SD: -$23.4 million
    13. OF Giancarlo Stanton, NYY: -$22.8 million
    14. OF Matt Kemp, CIN: -$21.7 million
    15. OF Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY: -$21.1 million
    16. SP Johnny Cueto, SF: -$21 million
    17. SP Corey Kluber, CLE: -$20.4 million
    18. 1B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS: -$19.6 million
    19. 2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS: -$19.1 million
    20. 3B Zack Cozart, LAA: -$19.1 million
    21. DH Khris Davis, OAK: -$18.9 million
    22. RP Corbin Burnes, MIL: -$18 million
    23. OF Lewis Brinson, MIA: -$17.9 million
    24. SP Jake Arrieta, PHI: -$17.8 million
    25. RP Kenley Jansen, LAD: -$17.7 million

25 Best Values

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    Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy
    Cody Bellinger and Max MuncyRich Schultz/Getty Images

    Here's a rundown of the 25 best values in baseball during the 2019 season:

    1. 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, LAD: +$71.4 million
    2. 3B Alex Bregman, HOU: +$64.9 million
    3. SS Marcus Semien, OAK: +$58.9 million
    4. SP Jacob deGrom, NYM: +$54.2 million
    5. IF/OF Ketel Marte, ARI: +$53.2 million
    6. SP Lance Lynn, TEX: +$51.5 million
    7. SP Mike Minor, TEX: +$51 million
    8. OF Mike Trout, LAA: +$48.7 million
    9. SP Jack Flaherty, STL: +$47.4 million
    10. OF Christian Yelich, MIL: +$47.1 million
    11. SP Stephen Strasburg, WAS: +$47 million
    12. SS Trevor Story, COL: +$46.2 million
    13. IF Max Muncy, LAD: +$45 million
    14. SP Mike Soroka, ATL: +$44.3 million
    15. SP Lucas Giolito, CWS: +$44.2 million
    16. SP Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS: +$43.7 million
    17. OF Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL: +$43 million
    18. OF Aaron Judge, NYY: +$42.5 million
    19. SS Jorge Polanco, MIN: +$42 million
    20. 3B Rafael Devers, BOS: +$41.8 million
    21. SP Justin Verlander, HOU: +$41.6 million
    22. SP Gerrit Cole, HOU: +$40.9 million
    23. 1B Matt Olson, OAK: +$40.2 million
    24. 1B Pete Alonso, NYM: +$39.4 million
    25. IF/OF Jeff McNeil, NYM: +$39.4 million