I don’t know if anyone has told you people yet, but it’s only April and the data we are looking at right now comes from what is known around these parts as a very small sample size. What that means is that there are still five more months….yes, months….of baseball still and numerous players will receive anywhere from 400 to 500 more plate appearances between now and the end of the season. Take a moment. Drink that in. Think about it for a few seconds. And while you do, remember this: a bad trade reputation spreads a lot faster around your league than a good reputation. Unless your league is filled with complete idiots (and that may very well be the case for some of you), your testing of the waters with ludicrous trade offers that you yourself would never accept in a million years is going to potentially come back and bite you in the ass.
Do I like John Buck? It depends on the circumstances. Are he and I out at a bar together having a beer and schmoozing baseball? If so, then yes, I like John Buck. But if you’re asking me that with respect to him being an upgrade over Miguel Montero as you throw a variety of players at me in a feeble attempt to pry Giancarlo Stanton off my roster, then no, I am not particularly fond of John Buck. Stanton and Montero might be a collective mess right now, statistically speaking, but allow me to return you to the opening sentence of this piece.
Is my team in my primary keeper league being ravaged by injuries right now? Yeah, I’d say so. Losing Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes, Ryan Ludwick, Brett Lawrie and Aaron Hill to the DL while players like Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera miss time with minor dings and dents is a clear fast-track to the bottom of the standings. But am I trading away the rest of my roster so that you can get a 4-for-1 deal for Chris Davis right now? Um, no. I am not tanking the year at this time and looking for protects for next season. You cannot pick off my roster like some vulture swooping in on a carcass lying motionless in the desert. Why am I not giving up? Click here and start reading from the top.
I love to trade. Really, I do. I love talking trade, I love negotiating trades, and most of all, I love looking at my roster after a freshly consummated deal. But what I hate is when someone comes at me like I’m an idiot who has no understanding of the game we are playing. I understand the concepts of buying low and selling high and I understand that some people don’t want to float too good of a deal as a starting point, but rein it in, people. If I get an offer that I think is completely ridiculous, how do you think I’m going to react? I’m either going to simply reject the stupidity and not even look at your team for something that makes more sense or I’m going to counter with an offer I deem to be just as stupid and we’ve done nothing but waste each others time.
But while that trade talk may seem dead, it actually continues. It’s like a dead body in an apartment that goes unnoticed until the smell begins to drift out into the hallway. Because now I’m talking trade seriously with another owner or two and inevitably someone blurts out, “Did you get an offer from [insert stupid trade offer guy's name here]?” The conversation immediately turns to what kind of an idiot the guy is, how bad the players are that he’s trying to sell, and how no one else in the league wants to even take his calls (or emails or texts). Suddenly, his brilliant tactic to try and dupe his fellow owners turns the whole league against him on the trade front and it becomes impossible for him to pull off even the most basic of trades.
So while you may think you’re being slick and savvy, trying to get some additional value for guys off to hot starts, you’re likely doing yourself a great disservice in the end. It’s fine to try and deal the likes of John Buck, Chris Davis, and Carlos Villanueva but be realistic about it. You don’t have to undersell them, but let’s not elevate them to the status of a Ryan Braun or a Joey Votto. Use your head, people. And in the immortal words of the late, great Jimmy Dugan, “That’s that lump of crap sitting three feet above your ass.”
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