Recently, known opinionist Dave Cameron released his Trade Value rankings which are completely based on his gut and have no basis in reality. Longoria was ranked out of the top-5 (9th) for the first time since he has been in baseball. There’s a couple of reasons for this. 1) Evan isn’t as good as he used to be and 2) he’s going to start getting paid real money. Those that think Evan Longoria is a 6-7 WAR player making peanuts need to wake up and smell the motel room floor. Here’s a look at his contract through the lens of net present value which adjusts for inflation to league $/WAR and the fact that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow:
Evan is on pace for a 4.5 WAR season this year and is clearly entrenched in his decline phase so we should feel comfortable knocking off half a win a year going forward. We’re using a 5% inflation/discount rate here which is a little conservative, but should guide us nicely and we’re beginning at a league $/WAR of $5.5M for next year.
You can see that, yes, Evan should be a net positive here from the angle of NPV as he’s going to be paid $95M in 2014 dollars over the life of the contract and should provide something like $111M in production. This makes for a surplus of around $16M. If you’re the kind of cat that wants to use Future Values because you never took an intro banking course, believe inflation is a myth, or have never left your basement then you’ll point to the actual dollar figure of what he’s about to get paid as being higher than the production he will provide by around $10M.
Evan is still likely to be a reasonable value going forward, but it’s time to stop thinking of him as one of the best players in the game on one of the best contracts out there. It’s likely that he’s going to be worth his pay going forward, but he certainly shouldn’t be expected to bring back a top tier prospect, let alone two. If you can find a dumb GM out there willing to give you a few good pieces for this guy while his name is still good then the team should absolutely do it.
“Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.” – Branch Rickey