Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dealing with Trader Joe

There may be worse things in life than ending a proposition with a preposition.

But when that proposition is a lopsided trade proposal, few things are quite as irritating.

Sure, Magglio Ordonez is off to a slow start and Mike Jacobs has 6 HR, but no, I'm not about to make that deal.

Yes, C.C. Sabathia looks like he's cooked, but no, I'm not giving him away for Paul Byrd.

If you've played long enough in a league that has so much as a pulse, you've probably encountered one of the following traders. Shoot, you may even be one yourself.


No, not the your-mommy's-so-ugly trash talker; rather, this owner has a way of trashing the guy he wants from your team, pointing out all of the negatives. You know, A-Rod hasn't stolen any bases this year, he's really slowing down. Or, Aramis Ramirez is hitting .222 with only 7 RBI. He's a bust. Only you know Aramis doesn't really start hitting until it hits 70 degrees. It might even be in his contract.


It's one thing to pay retail for a guy; it's another to buy a pair of $400 pair of shoes on Fifth Avenue. Yes, I know who Julio Lugo is. And no, he's not worth Erik Bedard. These owners are the hardest to deal with.


This may be the most offensive of all the offensive traders. You make an offer and it sits to rot like a rotten log floating down the Yucatan. Nobody likes the non-responder
, and nothing earns you less respect than being an inactive owner. You don't have to like the offer. You don't even have to say anything. Just hit the Reject button. Or if you wanna think about it, write a note and say you're deliberating. But giving another owner crickets will ultimately lead to no trade offers and unless you drafted with a crystal ball, you'll need some trade help to win your league. So keep those lines open.


No matter what kind of math you use, Ty Wiggington, Ryan Garko and Ryan Theriot does not equal B.J. Upton. This may be a common misconception for rookie fantasy players, but quantity rarely equals quality. The only exception is if a team is ravaged with key injuries. Bottom line, don't expect to exchange your trash into someone else's treasure. Rule of thumb, if you want a stud player, you have to give up a stud.


They know you are one of three Florida Marlins fans north of Port St. Lucie, so they insist on pushing Jeremy Hermida on you, as if you'll really give up Hideki Matsui. Yes, you'd rather have guys from your favorite team as it makes it more fun to follow, but you can't mortgage your season and you shouldn't be expected to overpay.


So, you already have speedsters Carlos Gomez, Michael Bourn and Rickie Weeks on your roster and someone offers you Jose Reyes for a Ryan Howard, even though you're sitting in the RBI cellar. Yeah, right. You're not dealing with a savvy owner. The best advice in getting a deal done is to specifically address an owner's need. So before you propose, scour the categories. Your odds of getting a deal done increases tenfold.


You start the trading talks by offering Carlos Zambrano for Joe Nathan and after four or five e-mails, the owner is offering Nathan, Abreu, Patterson and Lackey for Zambrano, Hudson, Rios and Velez. It's like buying a house in an older neighborhood. The bigger the deal, the harder it is to assess value. You feel as if you need an engineering degree to break it down. This owner generally hates his team and is trying to shake things up.


Burning bridges is never a good idea at the workplace. In fantasy, it's no different. Maybe you didn't quite bring your best offer to the table, but in your eyes, Jason Bay for Vernon Wells seemed reasonable. However, the owner responds with a simple "Yeah, right." or maybe a counter of Wells for Matt Holliday. As much as you might wanna type in "do you think I'm an idiot or I was born at night, but not last night," I urge you not to. OK, type it in, but count to 10, then hit delete. Snarky responses may feel warranted, but they can cut off trading relationships that you wish you had in August.

Anyone 'Guy' I missed?


Anonymous said...

How about the "Trade 'em before I lose them guy" in keeper leagues?

These guys have a guy like Reyes or Soriano for 3 years and they know they won't be able to protect them for a 4th. Come August trade deadline they are trying to get people to bite on a deal for the guy worse than that "Rolex" dealer in Times Square. Although some leagues have rules against this, it actually is smart if you can get away with it.

Nothing like working out a deal to get rid of Soriano to someone who might want to keep him for a few years when you get someone you can now protect yourself. Usually works out good for both parties until you get the "League Complainer" upset and he starts his campaign to change the rules. If you're going to do it, make sure it's within the rules and make sure you try to do it on the down low, if you can.

Adam R. said...

Great article. Your best one yet!