Having just wrapped up my AL- and NL-only keeper-league trade deadlines last weekend, I have some takeaways to help us navigate future trade deadlines. The first is regarding the importance of growing and knowing trade routes when we are faced with limited time. The next is using strategic trends to predict the behavior of our leaguemates. The last is actually regarding FAAB bidding in keeper leagues following the MLB trade deadlines (when players switch leagues and thus become available).
Limited Time, Pop-up Markets, and Trade Routes
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Here's where you can find all of this year's trade deadline coverage in one spot.
At Baseball Prospectus, we'll be bringing you analysis of every trade and transaction up through Friday's 4 p.m. (ET) non-waiver trade deadline. Check back here for the latest links to our coverage, in chronological order.
Strategy, process, and decision-making help for your deadline dealing.
The real baseball trade deadline approaches. The trade deadline in many fantasy baseball leagues also approaches. It is a wonderful time of the year. To celebrate, we will take a look at some of the strategic and behavioral decision-making factors that we should be considering this time of year. Some of these factors will be old friends, while others will be new acquaintances. We will be going more for breadth than depth here.
League Norms and the Default Effect
We are looking at the intersection of two behaviors here, so buckle up. A norm in many a league is for teams to wait to trade until the trade deadline. A less extreme norm is for teams in the middle of the pack to wait until the traded deadline to decide whether to be buyers or sellers. This is often a powerful norm because it provides owners with (i) an easy route for risk aversion and (ii) a nice default option. These decisions are hard, and the default effect tells us that when we are faced with complex or weighty decisions, we rely more on defaults. In this case, many teams will avoid making moves until the trade deadline.
Examining the ninth-inning impact of possible deadline trades involving relievers.
Because of the All-Star break, there wasn’t much closer news this week. Instead of rehashing the same story lines of the last few weeks, I’m taking a different approach to the Closer Report this time around. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, and many closers rumored to be available, I’ll take a quick look at each of the potential movers, and all of the fantasy ramifications from possible deals. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.
Which teams are likely to be sellers, and who are they going to sell?
With the trade deadline just five weeks away, it's time to preview the forthcoming dealings. To do so, let's take a look at the plausible sellers—defined here as the nine teams that entered the week with a losing record and less than a 10 percent chance at cracking the postseason—their perceived strategy and which players they could and could not put on the market. (The teams are ordered alphabetically.)
How much did each move yesterday affect the playoff picture? We let PECOTA and our playoff odds answer that.
We can write about the prospects who can’t locate glove-side, we can write about the fantasy implications of a fourth-outfielder logjam, we can write about the strengths and weaknesses of each player traded and we can give our best assessment of each team’s competitive windows. But what you really want to know is this:
Are the Brewers (or the A’s, or the Orioles, or name a team) any more likely to make the playoffs today than they were before they made the TA-worthy trade? Any by how much?
At Baseball Prospectus, we'll be bringing you analysis of every trade and transaction up through Thursday's 4 PM ET non-waiver trade deadline. Check back here for the latest links to our coverage, in chronological order.
Helpful tips for making the most of your 11th-hour swaps.
Good whatever time of the day you are reading this; more importantly, good almost trading deadline. At this point, you are all familiar with my love of the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amost Tversky as well as my love of Kahneman’s very excellent Thinking, Fast and Slow. Up to this point, when my articles have involved their work, they have been regarding the thinking part rather than the fast and slow part. This has not been unintentional because in fantasy baseball we almost always have time to analyze every decision we make; thus, we almost always get to avoid thinking fast or System 1 thinking as Kahneman describes it. One of the exceptions to this particular “almost always” is your league’s trade deadline. In some leagues, there is a flurry of activity right before the deadline and thus a flurry of System 1 thinking.
This very moment seems like a great time to explain System 1 and System 2 thinking. Kahneman calls System 1, “the brain’s fast, automatic, intuitive approach” and System 2 “the mind’s slower, analytical mode, where reason dominates.” The former is great for making life more enjoyable by lowering the cognitive burden of living in such a complex world. In other words, System 1 is great for quickly and effortlessly making decisions of little consequence. When deciding which parking space you should park in or whether to go with Regular or 100% Colombian at Wawa (#regular4life), System 1 is the perfect system for the job. In fact, using System 2 for these types of decisions would be exhausting. That said, System 1 has many problems for navigating complex problems in that it is affected by biases, finds connections that do not exist, makes counterproductive associations, jumps to conclusions, and chooses the less cognitively difficult path instead of the optimal path. Conversely, System 2 is the better system for making important, difficult decisions. System 2 is not perfect for such instances, but it is the best we have and it is much better at overcoming many of the obstacles presented by System 1. The catch with System 2, however, is that it requires a certain amount of time.
If one of your league-mates wants to buy high on any of these players, Ben and Craig would advice you to let him go.
Last week we brought you six players we’re buying in a dynasty format, so naturally, we thought it prudent to bring you another six-pack of players, this time focusing on who we’re selling, using the same long-term perspective.
Ben: Brock Holt, Everything, BOS
Brock Holt is a pretty decent baseball player. He can play both corner infield spots, both corner outfield spots and second base, and he can fake it in center or at short for a few games. He’s fast enough to be an occasional threat on the bases, he has a patient approach at the plate and he has the bat speed necessary to barrel up good velocity. There are lots of nice things you can say about Brock Holt (o/), and I think he’ll be a unique, valuable major leaguer for a long time.