Probably one of the gray areas in fantasy baseball even amongst friends is whether or not trades are fair. Now lets be honest, the idea is to give up as little as you can and get the most in return. If I can trade a hot John Danks for a cold Dan Haren, I’m going to do it. As long as no managers involved are undermining the league, or as we in fantasy say “in cahoot’s”, then managers should be allowed to trade who they wish. When you have more seasoned owners, trades like this don’t take place. So to acquire good players you need to trade something in return. You need to identify your teams needs and match them as best you can with other teams to find a good fit. The most successful owners can think more than one step ahead and use one trade to spring another. Here a couple trades I saw recently that were worth examining. At face value they don’t look fair. But many times in fantasy we can’t look at these things in a vacuum.
Ryan Howard straight up for Edison Volquez.
I’ll start by saying I’m not a fan of Volquez this year, especially not for Ryan Howard. But, it is important to understand what kind of league we are looking at. In a mixed 5×5 Howard is a monster and Volquez, though very good is not a top 20 pitcher. So what are some of the reasons an owner would make a trade like this. They might be in a league where pitching is heavily favored. Most leagues you find will wait on pitching in drafts, this league could be different. In shallow leagues, say an 8 team you can find a very good 1B at eighth on the depth chart (Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzales or Kevin Youkilis) so that could be a factor. There is a chance that the league is required to pitch a high number of innings, that requires more starters, therefore SP hold more value. We can’t always look at everything in a vacuum remember.
Fantasy Advice: I wouldn’t have made the trade but then again I’m not a big Volquez fan. If I’m trading a top 20 player I’m getting a top 10 pitcher in return. Most important, know your league and the owners in it!
David Wright and Randy Winn for Adrian Gonzales, Alexi Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez.
This looks to me like highway robbery. We are getting 3 top 50 players for the price of a top 5 player. We need to understand both teams rosters, league rules and scoring to get a full grasp of how this can benefit both teams. If the team acquiring Wright has great depth but lacks that superstar, trading surplus to address a need a third makes sense. I think getting a player other than Randy Winn should have been attempted, maybe it was.
Fantasy Advice: If I’m trading David Wright for those guys I’m excited. Alexi Ramirez could be a top producer behind the big 3 at short and he still qualifies in most leagues at 2B. Again, if I’m the team acquiring David Wright I want someone with more upside than Randy Winn….Justin Upton, Adam Jones come to mind.
Last year Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Carlos Beltran, Brad Hawpe, CC Sabathia and Roy Oswalt all got off to bad starts. Making trades to acquire these guys while their stock was low could have been a huge payoff. This year, look for those slow starters with good track records. Chances are if you like them now one bad month shouldn’t change your mind about them. Just know good owners won’t trade them for .50 cents on the dollar, but .85 cents on the dollar is a nice return.
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