On Monday, this trade was brought to my attention via the @OttoneuTrades account I started on twitter. Good work guys! These are the type of things that I love to analyze. Hopefully it can be mildly helpful to all, and at the very least be a basis for conversation.
- Since March 16, 9:31pm, there have been roughly 200+ messages relating to this topic (yes, I read them all) on the “Bull Durham League” homepage. So, this has definitely been a hot button issue within the league. Lucky Strikes [LS] already wrote a separate post about this as well (yes, I read this too). The original trade was cancelled by LS (using commissioner powers), then re-accepted by We Got Wood [WGW] after more time was given to the league to deliberate.
- At the time of the accepted trade above LS had $7 ($393 of $400) in cap space, while WGW ($389 of $400) had $11 free.
- In total, LS gains $3 of cap space from the move.
Trade Analysis: (Opinion of deal – looking at players in question specifically)
From my experience, the best way to analyze any deal is to break it down piece by piece. This allows everyone to focus on which players are being exchanged for which specific players, along with spot any mismanagement of assets. The easiest component of this trade is Soriano ($4) for Reed ($10) – advantage Reed. I personally do not put much stock in relievers, but I see the upgrade, even accounting for cost, as pretty significant. After checking the RP available in FA, I would pretty easily prefer Steve Delabar or Daniel Webb – both can likely be had for $2 or less – to Soriano.
Baez ($8) for Russell ($7) – advantage Baez. Baez is considered the better offensive prospect to Russell (and I am the biggest Russell apologist you will find). The only way that a case can be made for Russell over Baez is if Russell is staying at SS and Baez is not. Currently, it appears as though the Cubs and Athletics are going to give both prospects the chance to stay at the position. When factoring present and future value, I believe that Baez-Soriano for Russell-Reed is very fair. The gains, from the RP (which matter more to contending than non-contending teams) offset the potential losses on either prospect (this is further justified by Russell’s current hamstring injury).
Fister ($9) for Yelich ($8) – Push. Much can be made about pitcher injury rates, or about the soreness that Fister is feeling in his elbow – Fister threw 2 IP on the 17th, and is scheduled to start Saturday’s spring training game. It is important to remember that for many of these players, spring is the first game action they have had since the end of September. When you see a pitcher with soreness in spring it is easy to cry “INJURY.” However, it is equally as important to realize some of this happens simply due to shaking off the rust. Just because SP get injured more often than position players does not mean that you should not trade for SP or that SP are not valuable. If anything, I think it offers a lot of validity to not paying top dollars ($30+) for a pitcher but loading up on cheaper salary guys like Fister or Cole who still are impactful. This can also be justified by Yelich’s skills. While Yelich could provide a good OBP (which ottoneu FGpts loves), he is likely to do so with subpar to average power but great speed. Now, OBP and Power are the two most important traits for a hitter to have in FGpts, while speed is near worthless (check the point settings). I know, there are different ways speed can be measured, and it has impacts beyond SBs – trying to stay high level here – but my main point is that Yelich has to develop power first (one of the last skills to develop) before he can be a true Ottoneu force. Due to price increases that happen in Ottoneu, it is no guarantee that he is an impact player before he can no longer be kept.
Trout ($70) for Cole ($14) – Push. This will certainly cause debate, but honestly I believe how you see this portion of the deal is centered on 1 issue. Are you fully committed to competing this year? If I was, then I definitely think Cole is a worthy price to pay. However, if this deal was made in July, I could easily see myself pulling Cole off the table. To me, Cole is only available because the deal is being made preseason (I say this being completely open to the opinion that Cole is too much for an un-keepable Trout), but I personally cannot see myself giving up more than Cole for Trout especially if there is any inkling that my odds of winning are not large.
In total, the deal stacks up as I see it and is pretty fair. Could see adding 1 minor piece on LS side, but it is far from essential.
Vetoes and Loans:
First and foremost, I am strongly of the opinion that you make trades because of the players involved and not because of the money changing hands. If the players stack up, then you give the money to make the deal work. There are certainly situations where money can cause too much of an issue with a trade, this is not one of them. Other owners may not see it this way, which is absolutely fine. However, the issue with this is that (as LS described in the Bull Durham message board) it is very difficult to draw a line between what loan is too much and what loan is not enough. If done subjectively, it is completely determined by each owner’s predispositions, which is not adequate objective reasoning to veto in my eyes. Certainly teams can veto because of their subjective preferences, but they should acknowledge that they are doing so. (I will say that I have seen several trades made during the preseason that rival this Trout deal; this loan STILL did not cause me to raise an eyebrow).
It is also important to consider that teams are free to deal with whom they choose (unless collusion can be proven). I agree that a player like Trout should be shopped, but the reason he should be shopped is not to appease your league mates (and this is nothing against your fantasy companions, as keeping up good relations is extremely important). Players of Trout’s caliber should be shopped for the sole purpose of getting the best offer available. If WGW feels that the current deal does that, then I see no problem with the tactic. He may not have spoken with all teams regarding the trade, but it is also possible that he knew he would not trade Trout to certain teams given the assets that they currently possess. Also, it is easy to see what Trout returned in a trade – now that a trade has been completed – and then say you would offer more or less. This is because a baseline of Trout’s value is now set, and teams near the top now have added incentive to keep Trout out of Lucky Strike’s hands.
Lastly, from experience, I will say that vetoes can easily fracture leagues. Personally, I tend to shy away from a veto and will likely only do it as a last resort, and this is one of the main reasons why. The other reason I try not to wield the veto axe is that I believe it is nearly impossible to be objective when analyzing a trade that will impact you positively or negatively. I do not trust my subconscious to stop being biased against helping my rivals when analyzing a trade, when my sole purpose from all my other actions is to crush them into oblivion. So I do everything in my power to not veto as an issue of fairness. In my eyes, it is more unfair to tell a team how he should or should not run his team than it is to try and determine if a team is getting equal return for the assets in question. I have been in on the other side of deals like this – where two league companions make a deal of this caliber – and I will say that one of the most fun parts of that season was consistently trying to catch (and eventually overtake) the team getting an impact talent. I would do it again in a heartbeat. There is no better chance for an owner to prove his competence than to overcome odds that are unfavorable.
One final alternative, if teams do have issues with a veto situation, I would be more than happy to review trades for leagues and act as a mediator. It’s an option if you’d rather not deal with the veto discussion, but by no means necessary.