While it would be nice to live in a magical world where we could improve our team across all 10 categories in a trade while not giving anything up, the reality is that by the time July rolls around we have tough choices to make about where our team can be improved and where we probably are going to have to cut corners, hold our noses, and hope for the best.
Yet it never fails. Come July, I still e-mails from contenders that look something like this:
I'm looking for power, speed and a starting pitcher. Willing to trade saves.And I'd like to be the King and Queen of England rolled into some kind of superhuman being that shoots lasers out of his/her eyes. Neither one of these things is happening.
By this time of year, most teams have already made trades from their strengths and don't (or shouldn't) have much categorical excess. If a team does have a surplus in HR, SB, Wins, ERA and WHIP that team is probably blowing the doors off and waiting for October to cash the big check.
Before approaching another owner, figure out what he can realistically trade. Asking for Michael Bourn is a waste of your time if that owner is sitting in the middle of the pack in SB and can lose 4-5 points by swapping out Bourn. Ryan Theriot might be a more realistic target.
This all seems obvious, but every summer I see owners fall into analysis paralysis. This usually happens because the owner waited too long to:
- figure out which categories he was weak or strong in and failed to capitalize early
- figure out that he probably should have dumped a month ago and is now swinging for the fences with every offer, or
- identify the targets on teams that were dumping and as a result is left with the dregs.