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Trading: Theory

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

To start us off, we need to first understand the concept of “trading”. While I do believe everyone has an idea of the purpose of trading, I think it tends to get lost due to simple oversight and the tendency to get lost in the moment.

If anyone has taken even the most basic econ class, they will know exactly where I’m going with this. To put it simply, in a trade there is no real “winner” or “loser”. For a trade to occur, both parties need to feel like they are getting something of value in return, and giving up something they value less. While we, as third parties, may be able to step in and render judgement on who got the better deal, both parties will still feel like they’ve won. That’s how trading works, and it always will.

To put it in a less neutral, and more fantasy baseball relevant context, trading is giving up a player you don’t want (or need) for a player that your want (or need). All of you know this, but stepping back and looking at it from a third-person perspective is important.

When you offer a deal to a fellow owner, you are always trying to make your team better. But, so is the other owner. They certainly are not going to accept a deal if they think it makes their team worse, and neither would you.

Remember this the next time you offer someone a deal. Ask yourself “Will they perceive a benefit from this trade,” and you are far more likely to get deals done. Notice that I did not say to ask yourself “Will they get better”, instead “Will they think they are getting better”. While I don’t advocate being a scumbag and ripping people off, you can trick people into making trades that may not actually make their team better.