If the free agent market smacks of desperation, the trade market looks like the new "in spot". Matt Patchell sent invitations a month ago, but it was too early. Now it's the most happening party in town.
The SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League has matured. Two years ago, three-quarters of the league's owners were trying to figure out if WHIP meant the same thing in fantasy baseball as it did on Upper Market. This year, we've had 122 player transactions in the first month. In a deep, 16-team league, that leaves precious few free agents with any value.
It has taken three years to get to this point, but the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League was designed to support an active trade market. That's why there is a cap on the number of free agents you can add but trades are unlimited. Because most of you have never consummated a fantasy baseball trade, here are some simple guidelines to help you:
- Enter the trade market with a clear understanding of your needs. It's usually a position or a scoring category. Any trade you make should help you address a weakness on your team.
- Trades should benefit both teams involved. You need to give something of value to gain something of value. If you are deep in a position or scoring category use that as your trade bait. It doesn't benefit your team to have five power-hitting outfielders if your pitching is weak.
- Don't be afraid of rejection. A trade proposal is the starting point in a negotiation. Good owners understand that it may take a week of back-and-forth before a trade is finalized. It may involve multiple fantasy league owners and rarely does the original proposal resemble the final trade.
- There are no bad trade proposals. New fantasy baseball team owners are often afraid to propose a trade - or accept a trade proposal - because they can't tell whether it's fair. Ask other owners. Tell them about the proposal. Trade proposals are rarely secret negotiations. They are more often on-going dialogue between multiple owners trying to determine a player's market value. Begin the conversation with an email about position or category needs without mentioning specific players. This will get the ball rolling.
- Use the Yahoo! Trading Block. This is a safe way to begin trade conversations. List the stats you want or positions you want and list the stats and positions you have available to trade. List specific players from your team that you are willing to trade. You never know where this might lead. You can find it in the sub-menu by clicking on "League".
- Be Bold. Don't be afraid. Trading players with other owners is one of the best aspects of fantasy baseball. There are precious few games that encourage this type of interaction among players with the results of the negotiations playing out daily on Baseball Tonight. Fantasy baseball trades help shape the story.