Fantasy Baseball — 19 June 2013
Fantasy Baseball 2013: Why Not Make a Trade?

Fantasy hot stove season is upon us. If you’re not seeing a barrage of trades in your fantasy baseball league, or at least trade offers, you might want to do something to correct that. We’ve reached the time of the season when slumps have gone on too long, hot streaks are becoming convincing, last place is starting to sink in, and injuries are messing with playoff plans.

Now is the perfect time to make a trade.

Nobody’s out of the playoffs yet. The bottom feeders are still within reach. And you know what? The bottom feeders are getting desperate. Pretend you’re a last place team for a moment. If you really are a last place team, this should be easy. Your team is terrible. You’d regret skipping the draft to bake that homemade pizza, but what good does that do you now? The cheese melted faster than Hanley’s hamstring.

That’s the cheesiest line I’ve ever written.

Not anymore.

What I’m trying to say is that, while you may not yet be desperate or hopeless, you realize that your situation is gloomy. You realize that the status quo is not enough. Most importantly, you realize that it can’t get any worse. So, if it can’t hurt, why not make a trade?

Now, since you’re actively seeking and reading articles about fantasy baseball, you’ve probably put enough time in to stay out of last place. For you, the reasons to make a trade should be fairly self-evident. We’re halfway through the regular season, and you’re looking to set yourself up to break away from the pack.

If you’re in first place, you may be of the not broke/don’t fix mindset. Though this isn’t necessarily the wrong mindset to have, it’s no excuse to not be looking for ways to be better. Like everything in life, there should be a constant quest for improvement.

Take a look at the 10 players most commonly owned by Yahoo!’s top 500 Head to Head Public League teams:

1. Edward Mujica
2. Shelby Miller
3. Jean Segura
4. Chris Davis
5. Miguel Cabrera
6. Yasiel Puig
7. Dominic Brown
8. Yu Darvish
9. Jim Henderson
10. Matt Carpenter

Seven of those names likely went undrafted. Matt Carpenter is not the difference between last- and first-place. He could, however, be the difference between, say, third- and first-place. He was a free agent pickup. That means that the owner of an already good team was actively trying to improve his roster, and it put him in first place.

One name on that list really stands out. Yasiel Puig is not the reason any of those teams are in 1st place. He’s only been a major leaguer for 2 weeks. But he’s owned by 23.8% of the top 500 teams. The best owners will make room for a player like Puig, no matter how little room their roster has available. Yasiel Puig is a very valuable commodity. Not only is he potentially very productive, but he’s got tremendous trade value in any league. The same goes tenfold for keeper leagues.

But deciding that you want to make a trade, and actually finding a trade that two parties can agree on, are two vastly different things. How many trade offers have you immediately scoffed at? It seems that about 90% of trade offers are extremely lopsided.
Perhaps when people offer a trade, they’re thinking, “I’ll start low and if they reject it, I’ll see what they counter with.” But in reality, you see the offer and just say, “Ha! Yeah, right!” That’s that. No trade. Hell, I’ve sometimes countered with an even more ridiculous trade, just to make a point.

Owners are stubborn and overvalue their own players. It’s easy to get attached to your team, no matter how poorly they perform, but if you want to construct the best roster possible, you’ve got to set those attachments aside. Instead of wasting your time trying to get a player, take some time to evaluate the other team’s needs and offer something that’s worth thinking about. , Use the text box that most sites include to explain how you think trade will help them. At the least, it will open a dialogue that could lead to something productive. And remember, you have to give up value in order to get value back in return.

I get that it’s not ground-breaking stuff, but fantasy baseball trades are dead from the start because, far too often, owners aren’t willing to deal in good faith. Perhaps they just haven’t admitted to themselves that they’re ready to make a trade.

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About Author

Tim Young is a Civil Engineer away from MLBSoup, but at the site he heads the pre-season fantasy baseball draft guide and reviews each week in the big leagues with his weekly round-up report. His heavily math-based background shows up in his writing, as he likes to keep a focus on numbers, and dig deeper than the usual surface scratching.

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