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Trading: Degrees Of Difficulty

This is article five in a seven-part series on fantasy trading. To read the introduction, click here.

Some trades are easier to get done than others. Here we have the three categories of trades, listed from easiest to pull off to hardest to pull off.

Trading Stat Categories
If you’re in a H2H league, this won’t have much of an impact on you, and really doesn’t matter in Points leagues. But, in Roto leagues, this is a big deal.

This is the best example of general trade theory. If I have a glut of pitching and am dominating in those categories, I can trade an arm or two away to help improve my hitting. Chances are, I will only be able to pull this trade off with someone in the opposite position, so we both come out as winners (in our own minds).

Trading Different Positions
You probably think that trading away players who play different positions is one of the easiest way to get things done. But, it’s easier said then done. Not every owner understands the idea of “replacement level” (and z-scores), so completing a deal may take some convincing. Believe it or not, replacement level plays a major role when analyzing fantasy baseball. In fantasy terms, a replacement level player is defined as someone who is freely available on the waiver wire.

For example, a player who hits .280 with 15 homers is far more valuable as a catcher, compared to his value as a first baseman. Everyone knows this, but it can be hard to accept when talking trade. This is because finding a first baseman with those numbers isn’t all that hard, while finding a catcher with those numbers is.

While most people know and accept this theory, they may not be able to give up an OF who puts up better raw numbers for a catcher who puts up worse raw numbers. These trades take some convincing and explanation, but can get done.

Trading Within Positions
These trades rarely occur, and for good reason. It’s rare that I have a 3B that I hate, but you like, and I trade him to you for a 3B you hate, but I like. I’ve seen it happen a couple of times, but it’s very rare. It happens more often when trying to change your team’s Roto focus, but that comes back to the first grouping in this article.