>The Composition of a Trade
I heard a handful of people this Rickey season talk about trying to learning the game and wishing there was just more info out there about what to do. I thought it might be interesting to detail the thought process behind a specific trade that I made earlier in the season. By no means is this meant as an explanation of how to make a trade, but merely an example of one way going about it.
Deciding it is time to Deal
The first part of initiating a deal is deciding that I want to trade someone. I’ve known for a while that I need to start preparing for the future because most of my youth comes in the form of thugs who can hit the ball, and my Minor League system is thin with talent. Walking the line between competing a rebuilding is a thin one, but If I make some key deals this season I can keep the Mud Shark rebuild turnaround fairly quick. Oscar Jiang was the best candidate to trade because he can play the SP position and at 27 still has youth on his side. If I were to keep him through a rebuild by the time I get the players around him and a nice system in place, he’ll be on the decline. He’ll lose value each season he gets older, so now might fetch me a peak return. I threw his name out there along with two older, high priced but highly rated vets, in hope that someone wanted to give up a big-time prospect for three impact guys. Jiang would be difficult to see go, but once I decided he would be my best chance to get value back, giving up older guys made sense because I could always use the extra money this season or next.
Shopping a Player
Not expecting much in the way of offers, I was actually surprised to get one good one right away. It was not ideal, but one that I could consider or potentially work with. As mentioned, my ideal offer was (and usually is) to get one excellent player back. Others certainly might disagree, but when I trade I usually look for either even number of players going both ways, or to give out more players than I get back. My approach to running an HBD team is to collect assets and sort specifics out later. Sometimes it means running the risk of ending up with a team of 1B/DH (not unlike the current Mud Sharks) but there’s always that balance to work out. I see owners often claiming that they can offer 2 or 3 guys in return for what they want, but I do not understand that logic; it’s not a lure in my eyes…depth is much easier to acquire than talent in HBD. Anyway, I decided that this initial offer was one that I would eventually accept if no other offers came in, but it’s early in the season and there’s no rush to trade a guy like Jiang. I know that I will probably have to accept less that what I think he’s worth (I’m the one shopping him, after all…and, as a general rule, guys are always worth less that what you think. Plus, it’s partially my own fault since I had been using him as a RP mostly and he doesn’t have the elite SP stats to flaunt.) so, I asked the owner that made the initial offer owner to wait a bit, leaving some time for other offers to come in. Eventually, two other better ones came and I narrowed it down to these three.
Selecting an Offer
Out of the three offers, one was a straight up 1-for-1 deal and the other two proposals were the 3 guys I listed for 2 younger players & some change. Out of the two multiplayer deals, I decided on the one that I thought was better…which was not the initial proposal that I received. I let the owner know that I’m probably going to decline, with a short reason why, and see if he wants to up the offer. Actually, if I remember correctly, since I had a few days with his initial offer sitting there I think I had scouted out his team (draft picks and IFA signings) and did not see anything that would put an offer for him over the top, so I just told him why and we left it at that. There were a few other reason, too, why I declined but I can not get into that here.
As mentioned, my ideal deal would have sent the 3 players (Jiang plus the 2 Vets) for one excellent prospect back, however, between the two deals that I had now narrowed this down to, I was leaning for the 1-for-1 trade. The guy coming back (Chico Villano) was not quite the game-changer I was looking for, but still he looked like a great prospect. The other two coming back to me in the other trade were good, but not on his level, as I estimated. I mentioned to Ottawa’s owner (Villano’s team) that I was looking for a bigger type of deal & he sent over an offer that included some vets and additional baggage that did not really appeal to me. So, as I understood it, he was not interested in taking on old players with high salary. Fair enough. The deal still sat with me as the best one. I let the other owner know that I was leaning another way, just to give him a chance to counter offer if he liked.
I like shopping a player, and even think it is necessary when you are trading all-star talent. Of course any bidding war for a player can work to my advantage, but there’s limit…usually a very low limit. I do not want to drag anything out longer that it has to be, so I usually try to limit it to one back-and-forth or counter offer type of situation. I think that if you plan on staying in a world for the long run, this is a good strategy, because people respect you more and they also bother to come at you with their best offer (or closer to it) from the start. As well, it was easy to see there was going to be no bidding war for Jiang. As things sit in World Rickey, many owners decided to build from the ground up in season 1, and are not going to deal many prospects at this point. I let the owner who had the multi-player offer on the table know that I was leaning another way & told him I’d wait for a bit and also told him what it would take to sway me his way. This type of communication is important, I think. However, constrained by the players he had in his system, it would have been tough for him to do that because I was asking a lot…but at the same time I was being honest, I did not see any other way that it would get done with him. So, I went for the 1-for-1 deal and sent Jiang to Canada for Villano.
Compensating for Loss
I liked the deal for several reasons. After thinking about it, trading Jiang and keeping the Vets still allowed me to compete this season. Sure my team is not as good as with Jiang, but my pitching is solid and I can cover a lot of innings. Keeping Derrek Crane, especially, gives me a very good shot at sneaking into the post season again (currently in the first Wild Card sport). Villano seems like a good prospect, too. I use “seems” (and “looked like” and “estimate” earlier) because my Advance Scouting is very low. What made Villano look good to me is that he was a high draft pick by a guy who’s played this game a lot and has been successful at it. I could see how the trade made sense for Habsfan and he had good sized scouting budget the season that Villano was drafted. Villano had shown normal ratings improvement for the season and, on top of that, he plays a skilled position. My best guess is that he’s a legit prospect. Even with a high Advance Scouting budget, I’d probably look at these other factors first, then the future ratings at the end.
As it turns out, too, I was quickly able to send the other vet, Carmen Wells, off to Nashville (poor guy) for two young player who can actually contribute this season. One of them, a Starting Pitcher, can help to compensate for losing Jiang. Again, it’s not perfect, but one of the biggest things that I look for when I trade is how I can compensate for my loss. This was part of the reasoning behind dealing Jiang (My pitching is deep) and the main reason I was willing to let the closer Wells go. After trading Wells, I called up a young draft pick, Willie Minor, who helped fill the gap. He is not on Well’s level, but he does not have to be…he only has to make Well’s departure less damaging. Knowing where you can compensate for your losses lets you make useful trades, resulting in well rounded teams that maximize your talent.
What’s your take on the trade? Who won? What would you have given up for Jiang?