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MLB Trade Value Risers & Fallers: Devin Williams, Whit Merrifield, Raisel Iglesias (2022)

by Dan Harris | @danharris80 | Featured Writer
Aug 3, 2022
Whit Merrifield

Each week, FantasyPros publishes a fantasy baseball trade chart. The chart contains player values designed to help you assess the overall weight of both sides of a trade.

The weekly trade charts also keep track of the changes in a player’s value from the previous week. But sometimes, the reasons for a change aren’t obvious. “Why is player X gaining three points in value this week when player Y, who had an even better week, remained the same?”

Good question, reader. There are many answers as to why any given player moves in value from one week to the next. And in this article, we’ll examine some of the biggest risers and fallers each week, and explain the movement.

Here are some of the most notable risers and fallers in the FantasyPros Week 17 Trade Value Chart:

Risers

Whit Merrifield (2B – TOR). Week 17 Value: 18. Previous Value: 12. Change: +6

Merrifield has had a mediocre season. Compare his total line last year to his prorated stats this year:

  • 2021: .277, 97 runs, 74 RBI, 10 home runs, 40 steals
  • 2022: .240, 87 runs, 71 RBI, 10 home runs, 25 steals

But a trade to the Blue Jays is a huge boon to his value, as it should help to buoy his counting stats. Merrifield’s sprint speed remains in the 83rd percentile of MLB, so he can take more bags when he wants to. And being in a playoff chase should only help his motivation.

Salvador Perez (C – KC). Week 17 Value: 15. Previous Value: 6. Change: +9

Perez looks like he’s fully back and past his thumb injury. End of analysis.

In all seriousness, he’s just crushing the ball. Before he came back from his most recent IL stint, Perez had barreled 17 balls in 57 games. He had barreled four in his four games since returning from the IL entering Tuesday.

Perhaps he was bothered by his thumb injury all season. But he looks to be past it. Value him as the top catcher in the game once again.

Devin Williams (RP – MIL). Week 17 Value: 9. Previous Value: N/A. Change: +9

Williams probably should have been on the trade chart in some fashion even before Josh Hader was traded. His overall numbers (1.59 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 41.8% strikeout rate) are exceptional and he probably should have been started in most leagues regardless of whether he had the closer’s role.

But, in all likelihood, he does have that role after Hader moved to San Diego, and that puts him in the upper tier of closers. Here are the categories in which Williams ranks in the top one or two percent of MLB: average exit velocity, xBA, xSLG, wOBA, xWOBA, xWOBAcon, hard hit percentage, strikeout percentage, and xERA.

The reason he isn’t yet valued as a top tier closer is because we don’t know for certain that he’ll have the role, given how valuable he has been in the eighth inning and with the Brewers adding Taylor Rogers. So, once we see how things shake out, he could easily double in trade value if we know he has the role.

Jorge Lopez (RP – MIN). Week 17 Value: 8. Previous Value: 4. Change: +4

Lopez’s numbers have always warranted being higher on the trade chart. But it hardly seemed worth trading for the closer for an Orioles team that was destined to sell. And that line of thinking turned out to be correct.

Except that Lopez was traded to a team in the Twins that didn’t have a set closer. And although Rocco Baldelli likes to mix and match in the ninth inning, he’s already said that he expects Lopez to factor in heavily. At the very least, we know we haven’t seen the last of Lopez getting save chances, and that automatically bumps him a bit in value.

Fallers

Kenley Jansen (RP – ATL). Week 17 Value: 8. Previous Value: 11. Change: -3

Raisel Iglesias (RP – ATL). Week 17 Value: 4. Previous Value: 9. Change: -5

I’ll lump both Jansen and Iglesias together because their decline in value is related to the same event: Iglesias being traded from the Angels to the Braves. As of this writing, there has been no word on how the Atlanta bullpen will shake out, but conventional wisdom suggests that the team is not going to suddenly remove Jansen as its stopper.

Jansen has been solid all season, pitching to a 3.43 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, and 34.6% strikeout rate. Iglesias hasn’t been quite as good, pitching to a 4.04 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and a 32.9% strikeout rate. But Iglesias’s numbers are a bit inflated and he has only allowed runs in eight of his 39 appearances.

Chances are, Iglesias will slide into a setup role, which is why his value plummets. But there is uncertainty now, if for no other reason than the possibility that if Jansen struggles, he could be removed from the role now that the Braves have an established replacement behind him.

CTAs


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Dan Harris is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive or follow him on Twitter @danharris80.

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