Paul gives you some advice on how to get trade negotiations going and cautions against actions that could stop them dead in their tracks.
As we approach June 1, trading is no doubt becoming a bigger part of league activity for the season. Two months have passed, allowing you to start assessing your team’s strengths and flaws, but injuries and, more than anything else, impatience often fuels trade talks. With that in mind, I wanted to offer up some tips to hopefully improve your trading experience when you start firing up talks.
Don’t tell the league to make you offers on your guys: If you are serious about improving your team via the trade, then sending a mass email with guys you’re willing to part with followed by a call to action for other owners to engage you for those players isn’t the way to go. Rarely do emails that announce the availability of a team’s best players make such an impact that other owners are compelled to do the legwork on a hypothetical deal.
One year, four months, and five days ago, the Yankees traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. It was an unusually exciting trade, in that we hadn’t heard much about it before it went down, and it involved two of baseball’s most promising young players. As the internet scrambled to write up responses, a consensus emerged: both teams had done well to address an area of need. The Mariners, who hadn’t hit much since Edgar Martinez retired, had more trouble attracting hitters than pitchers to their big ballpark, and had just batted Miguel Olivo cleanup 43 times, and thus needed someone who wouldn’t look out of place in the middle of a major league lineup. The Yankees, who had a surplus of 1B/DH types signed to long-term contracts, needed a young starter to slot into their rotation behind CC Sabathia. If either team was believed to have “won” the trade, it may have been the Mariners, who wound up with the position player, generally the less risky part of any pitcher-for-position-player swap. But neither team was widely believed to have lost.
Paul offers a few helpful tips for building your confidence when it comes to trading in your fantasy leagues.
If you’re anything like me, trading can sometimes be a scary proposition, especially if your team is shaping up to be a contender. Nothing is worse than an ill-advised trade initiating a team’s downward spiral when maintaining the status quo of players would have been the better option.
As unpleasant as the outcome of a trade can be, equally as displeasing is the feeling of discomfort during negotiations. I’m sure you’ve felt before the pressure to respond decisively to an offer and maybe even formulate a logical counter of your own when really you just want to avoid making any drastic decisions.
After a confession, Mike offers some tips to help you hone and improve your trading skills.
I have a confession to make: In fantasy baseball, trading doesn’t come easily to me.
When I started playing fantasy baseball, I took to auctioning relatively quickly. While I enjoyed trading, I frequently wound up on the shorter side of the deal. In some cases, this was simply due to bad luck after the trade, but more often than not, it was because I did a poor job and negotiated myself into an inferior deal.
What the partisan parts of the internet think Miami's young All-Star outfielder is worth.
Being a baseball rumormonger is a difficult job to do well. First, you spend years building a network of sources who can and will tell you interesting things about baseball teams. Even after you’ve collected your contacts, be prepared to put in long hours and work weekends to stay ahead of the story or be the first to break it. Don’t expect to sleep or be seen without a cell phone.
However, the job has its perks: attract a large enough following, and you can create your own stories. Slow news day? Pick a highly coveted player whom it might make some sort of sense for a team to trade. Ask an executive who works for that team if there’s any chance that said player might be moved. If the executive says the player won’t be traded under any circumstances, you have a story, or what passes for a story in the MLBTR/Twitter era. If the executive allows even the slightest sliver of a possibility that the player might be available, you have a story that lives a long time and begets a long line of other stories, like something straight out of the Old Testament. What is he worth, and what might it take to trade for him? Which teams might match up? Will the team still be willing to trade him tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow? What about the day after that?