On to part two of this series. If you haven't read part one, you can click here. Again, here's a refresher of the guidelines that apply with these trade value rankings.
1. The value of one's contract: These rankings aren't set forth to assess how good someone is. Rather, we are trying to take a look at asset value. Pablo Sandoval is a better player than Sean Coyle at the moment, but Sandoval's contract ties down the Red Sox for a considerable amount of time and long term money. Coyle is a decent major league prospect under team control, but would likely garner more in return than Sandoval in his contract.
2. Everyone is in a vacuum: We aren't looking at someone's value relative to the rest of the team, except for the whole ranking thing. Just which player brings the greatest return.
3. Age: Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts perfectly encapsulates the value of someone's prime years. A player in their prime or heading into their prime is much more valuable than someone who is near the tail end of their career (David Ortiz for example).
4. Positional depth: There is a reason why the Red Sox wanted to keep Bogaerts at shortstop for as long as possible. Shortstop is a position where there are fewer elite offensive threats. That positional scarcity, as a result, increases Bogaerts' value. It is a lot tougher to find someone who can hit and handle shortstop than it is to find a player that can hit and handle first base. Top major league starters will always be more valuable than top major league relievers. The idea of positional scarcity is duly reflected in the calculation of Wins Above Replacement.
The list that follows is an amalgam of my personal opinion and insight from extensive conversations with multiple scouts, agents and writers around the league regarding player value. Oh, because David Price is not on the 40-man roster as of publication, he's not going to be on here. So without further ado...
Group 3: "Hey! Remember me?"
30. Brandon Workman (RHP)
Workman suffered an elbow strain late in the spring and never threw an inning in a big league game in 2015. After trying to rehab the arm injury, Workman ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery in June. The 26-year-old righty has plenty of experience at the major league level and has a solid strikeout rate of 8.2 K/9 and walk rate of 3.6 BB/9. While his 5.11 ERA isn't too pretty, Workman still could be a solid swingman in the bullpen and could be of value, despite coming off an injury.
Group 4: A Low-Key Fast Riser
29. Marco Hernandez (SS)
Hernandez performed well last year, splitting time between Portland and Pawtucket while accruing a .305/.330/.454 slash line across the two levels. Hernandez's has a quick bat at the plate, and has seen his batting average rise accordingly over the last couple of years. While his fielding ability suggests that he likely can't be a starter at shortstop, Hernandez profiles as a potential utility player at the major league level with a best case scenario of a slightly-below average infield starter.
Group 5: The Owner of the Sharpest Jaw I've Ever Seen in Person
28. Bryce Brentz (OF)
So in the summer of 2013, I was in Pawtucket working on a few stories and needed to talk to Bryce Brentz to get an update on his injuries, something which was relevant with an injury crisis among the outfielders on the big league squad at the time. I walked up to Brentz and when he turned around, he was sporting a Mike Napoli-esque beard that accentuated a jawline that looked like it could cut through granite like a piece of rare steak. This is extremely important. Don't ask why.
Brentz has had his fair share of injury issues over the last couple of seasons and is now 26 years old. Brentz first stepped foot in Pawtucket in 2012 and only made his major league debut last season, which is certainly a red flag. At the end of the day, Brentz still possesses the raw power potential that makes him an intriguing bat, regardless of his age. If Brentz is able to figure out a way to stay healthy consistently, he could end up as a solid everyday outfielder. But staying healthy, for Brentz especially, is a big if.
Group 6: Making the Most Out of Opportunity
27: Tommy Layne (LHP), 26. Steven Wright (RHP)
Both of these guys got their first extended opportunities in the major leagues last year and did relatively well. Layne proved himself to be, at the very least, an average left-handed arm out of the bullpen and performed well enough to the point where teams called about his availability at the trade deadline as a potential piece to add down the stretch. There's a relatively low ceiling on Layne due to his age and the nature of his raw stuff and how his arsenal plays at the major league level. However, you can never have too many solid lefty relievers.
Wright, as a knuckleballer, presents an uncertain ceiling. At times during the 2015 season, Wright displayed the potential to be an above-average major league starter and at others looked like a guy still trying to figure out how to pitch in the major leagues, which rings especially true given that Wright is still learning how to throw a knuckleball. Wright's age (31) is easy to overlook given that he is a knuckleballer and that guys like RA Dickey didn't begin to figure things out until well past that point.
Group 5: Prospects with Drop Offs in Performance
25. Sean Coyle (2B), 24. Garin Cecchini (3B)
Coyle played in a grand total of 42 games last season but remains an intriguing prospect. Coyle possesses surprising power for his 5-foot-8, 175-pound frame, but often struggles to make contact, resulting in a lot of strikeouts. He's a solid fielder at his position and has a best case scenario of being a starter, but more likely projects as an average backup or utility infielder.
Cecchini, on the other hand, is a formerly well-regarded prospect who fell off the map in many regards last season. 2015 marked the worst season of Cecchini's professional career, struggling to make much contact. While he put together a solid July, Cecchini's struggles persisted in the latter half of the season. The 24-year-old added first base and the outfield to his defensive repertoire, but he isn't particularly strong in the field. Cecchini's hit tool propelled him up prospect rankings but regressed significantly last season. 2016 will prove crucial in determining Cecchini's value as a prospect or future major leaguer.
Group 7: Solid.
23. Ryan Hanigan (C)
At this point, Ryan Hanigan is what he is: a solid defensive catcher who can provide average offensive production at the plate. Hanigan, a native of Andover, MA, was thrown into the starting position following Christian Vazquez's injury in the spring and will likely serve as more than just a backup catcher for the Red Sox in 2016.
Group 8: He. Has. Great. Stuff.
22. Joe Kelly (RHP)
Rumor has it that this Joe Kelly fellow has crazy hair and Has Great StuffTM. Kelly was one of the most frustrating pitchers for the Red Sox last year. At times, he looked like a disaster with no shot at staying in the major leagues, while at other times, particularly late in the year, he was among their best. It's no secret that Kelly possesses pretty Great Stuff. But for Kelly, it's really all about command. When he has it, he's a very good pitcher. When he doesn't? Well, it might be worth turning off the game in the first inning.
Group 9: The Great Unknown
21. Rusney Castillo (OF)
There's a total of five years and $60.35M left on Rusney Castillo's contract. While the length of that commitment can appear kind of daunting, the annual salary for Castillo's isn't totally bad given the rate of inflation expected across Major League Baseball over the next few years with more television contracts and business deals of the type. Castillo is still only 28 years old and has displayed his tools on numerous occasions. Castillo is a solid outfielder with an outstanding arm and has the raw tools to be a productive above-average everyday outfielder. After all, Castillo's salary suggests a player with the expectation to be just that.
That's it for now! Part three of the four-part series will come later this week.