Fantasy Baseball: The art of a midseason trade

Fantasy Baseball: The art of a midseason trade

Fantasy Baseball: The art of a midseason trade

So, you’re in the middle of a season. Take a look at where you are in the standings. That is more or less where you’re going to end up in at the end of the year if you stick to the status quo. Yes, there can be some some change, but the good teams are the good teams, bad teams are bad, mediocre teams are mediocre. If something is going to change between now and the middle of the season, the players on the team need to change. 

So, you can consider this a guide, if you will. 


Your team is good

Standard Operating Procedure: 

 I generally operate under this principle: If my team is in position to contend for a championship, I am not going to break it up unless I am absolutely blown away by a move. Obviously the team I have has gotten me this far. Maybe I don’t have the best player at every position, but the others have picked up the slack. Unless the trade clearly makes my trade better, I am not going to consider it. 

That may mean that you turn down a fair trade. If you’re offering one, you might offer one that no rational owner would accept. The bottom line is that you don’t need to do anything different, so looking for a highly favorable trade only makes sense. 

Exceptions to the rule: 

  1. If you’re in first place but one of your stars just got hurt for a long period of time. In that case, it makes sense to look for a replacement. Your team as constructed got you to contention, but it will not stay that way. 
  2. It’s a keeper league with limits. Generally if you’re contending, I wouldn’t suggest selling a better player who’s a pending “free agent” for a good but inferior one that can be kept, but it’s at least something to consider. 
  3. You need help in a specific category. It’s very possible that you’re contending in a roto league, but need a boost in some category to make the climb from contender to champ. In that case, it’s sensible to look for other players to meet those needs. At this point, you can see where you’re weak and strong, so it makes sense to try to get all possible points.


Your team is mediocre 

Standard Operating Procedure: 

 Your team is sitting around the middle of the pack or worse. What exactly are you clinging on to your players for? This comes back to having preconceived notions. If you’re in mediocre position and still viewing the players that got you there as pure gold, you’re going to stay mediocre. Call me crazy, but I will also guess that it’s not your first or last time. 

Exceptions to the rule: 

  1. It’s a keeper league. I’ve told this story before, but in 2011 I kept Buster Posey and Adam Wainwright on my team for nearly the whole season. Wainwright never threw a pitch (something that I knew would happen before the season) and Posey was lost for the year before Memorial Day. It was also a league with only one DL slot and a cheap bench. Still, it made sense to keep both of them as it’s an auction league and I got both of them at a cheap rate. It 
  2. An injured player is returning. At this point, it will be hard to make up points without a significant shakeup, but if a star has missed a lot of the season and the team has remained competitive, it makes sense to keep it together. In 2012 terms: If you’ve managed to stay in the mediocre despite weak power numbers but have Ryan Howard and or Chase Utley ready to come off of the DL, it makes sense to keep that group together. If those guys struggle when coming back, it probably means you’re not going to have a great season, but it’s a calculated risk that makes sense. 
  3. It’s a head-to-head league with a playoffs. In our head-to-head league in 2011, Nash had a mediocre team that finished the regular season below .500, the definition of mediocrity. Still, that was good enough to make the playoffs. When there, he pulled himself into the playoffs and actually made the finals. In the finals, he actually tied, but lost as the tiebreaker was highest seed. So, he was mediocre but he turned that into being a contender. In head-to-head, that works. In roto, it’s not going to happen without a shakeup.


Your team is bad

Standard Operating Procedure:

Find a way to play the role of spoiler. This is a perfectly acceptable way to conduct business. Find some stats that you can make headway in and look to do that. It’s not going to make sense to make moves to try to fill all the categories. At this point of the year, it’s too late to find your way into contention, but you can keep point totals away from the contenders. This is on par with a team on pace to lose 100 games playing a contender in September. They aren’t going anywhere, but they can have a lot to say with who does.

Exceptions to the rule:

  1. Keeper league has been the top exception all throughout and it still is. If you have to think about future seasons, then you need to make moves accordingly. So, maybe you trade for some young studs who can have an overall impact next year, even if they won’t help you spoil much this year.
  2. Again, if you’re in a head-to-head league, going from bad to mediocre may be enough to make the playoffs. Once there, a run can happen. If you’re in a position to do that, you have to try. Again, in head-to-head, you’re not spoiling categories anyway. Still, there has to be a reason you are going from bad to mediocre. Maybe it’s a returning player, or a potential trade in the works. If your team is in 10th place now, you’re not finding the middle of the road standing pat. That’s true in roto, head-t0-head, or points leagues.


Whenever someone asks for advice on a trade, I need to know where they stand. This isn’t just about what players they have, but also where they are in the standings. You have to have a good reason to do what you are doing. You don’t want to get to a point where you’re trading for the sake of trading. If you are good, then you run that risk. If you’re risk, then you risk coming off as inflexible when you really need to shake things up. Again, that’s not a label that you should want, because if means your team will never be any good.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks.

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By The Baseball Page
Saturday, 23 Jun 2012


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