A look at ways to avoid a moment that all fantasy owners dread.
There is a moment of dread that almost all fantasy baseball owners have faced, the moment when you are informed that a player you have been intending on targeting gets traded to another team. The metaphorical sibling of this moment is when you are informed that player has been traded and at that moment you realize that you should have been targeting that player, especially given the price tag. The typical response to such a trade usually goes like this (I have removed the profanity and replaced it with the meaning behind the profanity): “That’s really unfair, Team X did not get enough in return.” The best part follows: “I would have given Team X more for that player/those players.” Sometimes, we even get the cherry on top: “Well, we can all pack it in now and hand the trophy to Team Y (the trade partner of Team X).”
Allegedly unbalanced trades usually result in complaints of injustice from team owners who were not involved with the trade and even end up with owners trying to veto trades (my solution: do not play in leagues with vetoes). This is typical human response: Get worked up about unfairness and demand fairness, but do not attempt to fix the root cause, especially when the fixing involves action on our behalf. J.P. Breen (smart dude) sums this phenomenon up nicely in these two tweets:
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Ten players who turned their seasons around after being traded
Brandon McCarthy’s pitch this offseason was probably going to be one of faith. He was going to have to convince teams that he was what his fielding independent pitching said about him, not what the results did. In 78 innings with the Yankees, the whole tone of the presentation changed.
Since his trade from Arizona, McCarthy’s ERA has been cut nearly in half, from 5.01 with the Diamondbacks to 2.54 in New York. His walk and strikeout rates have improved slightly, but they were already fine; it’s been the BABIP and a change in his repertoire from more two-seamers to more cutters and four-seamers that have made the difference.
Examining how the concepts about which Jeff writes can be applied to a real fantasy league scenario.
Less specifically, I type words. More specifically, I type words about the theories and concepts that surround fantasy baseball strategy. Every once in a while, it is worthwhile to zoom in a little, to take a look at an actual fantasy baseball example because it allows us to see how these concepts and theories can play out in our leagues. Consequently, I bring you a case study from my NL only keeper league (which also happens to be my favorite league). The trades and non-trades made by the top three teams in my league provide excellent studies on strategy, owner tendencies, competitive response, and trade markets as well as the interactions of all these concepts. Let us get cracking.
11 team, NL only, 5x5 roto, 15 major league keeper max, 4 minor league keeper max, 12 hitters/9 pitchers/1 utility slot.
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.
A look at the moves buyers might make and the fantasy impact they'd have.
Two weeks ago, I looked at the potential sellers at the major league trade deadline. Today, I will take a look at potential buyers.
The same caveats from my last article apply. What I have compiled for our readers is a helpful, at-a-glance look at the potential trade market this month, particularly from the vantage point of teams that might be adding players. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing guide; it is possible some rumored targets are not listed below. Since this is a fantasy article, I will focus on fantasy impact but if you are a non-fantasy player and a Baseball Prospectus reader I hope this article proves useful to you as well.
A look at the moves sellers might make and the fantasy impact they'd have.
Unless you are in a very shallow mixed league, chances are excellent that the major league non-waiver trade deadline will have an impact on your fantasy league. Even if you don’t play fantasy baseball, the deadline is a fun time if you are a baseball fan, but ever since I started playing fantasy baseball, I feel like I pay extra attention to the rumor mill.
What I have compiled for our readers this week is a helpful, at-a-glance, one article look at the potential trade market this month, particularly from the viewpoint of players who might be on the move. Since this is a fantasy article, I will focus on fantasy impact, but if you are a non-fantasy player and a Baseball Prospectus reader, I hope that this article proves useful to you as well.