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Saturday November 15, 2008 5:21 pm

How To Make A Trade - In Real And Fantasy Baseball




Posted by Eno Sarris Categories: Fantasy Baseball, Trades,

Melky Cabrera for Hanley Ramirez?

It seems like every Hot Stove Season, the dumb rumors start to fly. Maybe it’s just a little worse in New York City, but here are some of the ideas that have been floating on chat boards and talk shows in the tri-state region:

Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera & Ian Kennedy for Josh Hamilton
Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera & Ian Kennedy for Jake Peavy
Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera & Ian Kennedy for Matt Holliday

Sense a pattern here? My flotsam and jetsam for your prized prospect currently being paid at under-market rates. I suppose this kind of thing goes on everywhere, but how dumb can you get? Are these the people in our fantasy leagues that are dropping their turds on your doorstep in trade proposals for your best players?

I mean, making trades is difficult in both fantasy and real life, but at least you can go through some basic steps to make sure your trade offer isn’t an epic fail.

1) Examine the needs of the other team.
This is the easiest and most ignored rule of making trades. It’s not hard to examine a fantasy team’s weaknesses and needs - just look at the detailed, expanded standings. Where do you have surplus? Match up with a team with a need, and presto bingo bango, trade time. How stupid is it to think that Robinson Cano would have any value to the Texas Rangers? They have a pretty good second baseman there already.  Ian Kinsler anyone?

2) Try to look at the trade from the other side.
Just try. Is there a single player in the deal that you would be interested in? Do you like any of the players you’ve offered? Does the trade sting AT ALL? You have to give something up to get something, just find the attractive players that you can give up, and then you can get a trade going. Why would anyone in their right mind trade for Melky Cabrera? What skills, beyond adequate defense, has he shown in the major leagues?

3) Quantity does not equal quality.
Perhaps this is more relevant in fantasy than in real life. Dan Haren did go for a bucketload of prospects, none of whom probably have the ceiling of Dan Haren himself. On the other hand, just look at those trade offers above. My garbage pail full of failed prospects with limited upside for your stud. How many times have you seen that in fantasy? It’s tough not to get really angry at some people.

4) Don’t get angry.
It doesn’t help. Try to look at what they’ve offered, pick the only guy that is interesting, and build a new trade that you might actually want to do. Hey, at least they responded and are active. Those non-active owners dragging the league down are worse, for sure.

And in real life? All anger does is shut doors that should be open.

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