Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Advice from the Trading Front Lines: I Don't Care

I meant to write something more in depth about trading earlier this year, but time slipped away from me and I didn't get to it. Better late than never, though, and sometimes looking at these sorts of things through a retrospective lens is better than looking at them prospectively.

I thought I'd touch upon some yet often forgotten lessons this week as most of us get ready for our Rotisserie trading deadlines which - for most of us - mirror the non-waiver Major League trading deadline of August 1.

Lesson One is I Don't Care.

When I get e-mail from a fellow owner, I instantly glaze over if he starts talking about what a trade is going to do for his team. If the tone of the entire e-mail is all about his team and needs, he might as well forward me spam about Viagra or the deposed prince of Nigeria and his need for $5,000.

When you're writing to a fellow owner, you're selling a car, not trying to buy one. Of course you're trying to improve your team. But so am I, and if you can't explain to me in 25 words or less how this trade is going to help me and why I should make it, you're wasting my time.

Don't assume that it's evident why I should accept your proposal (unless you're offering me something so one-sided in my direction that you don't even need to explain it). I probably have different ideas about which categories are more or less important, where my team is or isn't strong, and how good or bad the players we're talking about are.

Don't forget that generally speaking I probably like the players on my team. I wouldn't have bought them at auction/traded for them/FAABed them if I didn't want them to be a part of my season. That doesn't mean they're untouchable (in my world, almost no one is), but I do trust my judgment. If you tell me that C.J. Wilson's a bum, you're not convincing me of anything except for your idiocy.

Even if you're opposed to playing salesman (and some experts are, believing that they're talking down to their fellow owners), you had better be able to tell me why your offer makes sense for me when I ask (and I will ask). If you can't do that (and you'd be surprised at how many owners can't or won't do this), then you're not only wasting my time, you're wasting your own time as well.

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