Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Trading Advice: I Don't Care (But Maybe You Should)

On Tuesday, I told you that I don't care about what my opponents need or don't need. While this is true, my second piece of advice is you had better care about and know what you need before entering any negotiation.

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:
  1. figure out which categories he was weak or strong in and failed to capitalize early
  2. figure out that he probably should have dumped a month ago and is now swinging for the fences with every offer, or
  3. identify the targets on teams that were dumping and as a result is left with the dregs.
It's too late to fix any of those problems now, in all likelihood. But you can and should figure out how - or if - you can improve your team realistically in the present. Maybe you're lucky and you're in a league where there's a patsy who will make all your dreams come true in exchange for Michael Bowden. Chances are, though, that you're going to have to set realistic targets and decide on the best way to maximize your points total without getting everything that you want.

1 comment:

zucchiniboy said...

Hey guys,

If you were making a play for closers for 2011 (NL), what order would you rank the following guys?

Johnny Venters
Craig Kimbrel
Sam Demel
Joel Hanrahan
Evan Meek

(or any other non-closers now that might become closers in 2011)