I have a hard time reconciling the stance that you don't think much of a player but think another team would totally jump to trade for him. Teams invest a lot of money in trying to identify talent for trades, and it's rare -- not saying it doesn't happen, but it's rare -- that a team would make a trade for a player thinking, well, huh, this guy isn't all that special, but maybe, shrug, there's something.
With Nootbaar, few players in the majors have done more to heighten interest in them. Seriously. He went from being demoted to Memphis to being coveted by other teams in just a few months -- and the Cardinals aren't exactly eager to trade him, let's be clear.
So, why is that?
Well, it's the combination of things that Nootbaar did in the second half of the season. He was among the leaders in OBP and that put him high up there for OPS with a solid slugging percentage. His slash line was .240/.366/.480. You'll notice that the OBP is well above his batting average and he got there with an elite walk rate. How elite? Well, his 16.7% walk rate in the second half of the season ranked fourth in the majors. Here were the players ahead of him:
1. Aaron Judge
2. Juan Soto
3. Adley Rutschman
5. Josh Bell
Another way to look at the spot Nootbaar put himself is consider the statistics wRC+, that is weight Runs Created +. It takes into account factors such as ballpark and compares hitters against their peers with 100 being the average. Nootbaar had a 140 wRC+, according to FanGraphs. Here were the other outfielders around that production:
Michael Harris II -- 144
George Springer -- 138
Mookie Betts -- 146
and Sean Murphy -- 140
Nolan Arenado had a second half wRC+ of 154 and Goldschmidt had a 168 wRC+.
That's the performance that has evaluators eyes.