Trading: Types of Traders

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

If liked my preseason piece on the different types of owners, this is right up your alley.

The Sniper
The Sniper rarely makes an offer, but when he does, it’s dynamite. Reminds some of a cautious poker player, who must have a hand if he raises. He does his research, knows your team, and will always give you something to think about. If he offers a deal, he expects to get it done.

The Master of Propaganda
This trader also goes by his scientific name of “Das Goebbels”. Never offers a trade without writing at least a paragraph in the comments. Never includes any bad stats about the players he gives up, yet can always find the flaws in the players he is receiving.

The Gunner
Can’t go a day without studying an opponents roster looking for a trade opportunity. He’ll make an offer to every team when he wants to trade a player, and won’t stop until he gets a deal done. While he’ll annoy some, others will love him. Because of his willingness to deal, other owners may begin to give him first shot at players they are looking to deal.

The Con Artist
A deadly combination of The Gunner and The Master of Propaganda. Frequently tries to deal players if he finds out they’re injured before others do. His trades tend to get vetoed, and he always complains. His league mates hate him, but any new team won’t know any better. He’s been kicked out of countless keeper leagues, but dominates in newly formed public leagues.

The Mule
The most stubborn owner in the league. If he doesn’t like a deal, he will never make a counter-offer, instead forcing his counterpart to wonder where the deal went wrong. Playing the role of The Mule has shown to be a great negotiating technique when utilized properly.

The Counter-Attacker
Rarely initiates trade talks, electing to sit back and let others come to him. Once he receives an offer, he runs with it and tries to get a deal done. A combination of The Sniper and Counter-Attacker have been seen roaming the world at times, but are now only bred in captivity.




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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.


35 Responses to “Trading: Types of Traders”

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  1. ccoville says:

    What’s the term for a guy who thinks his players should only be traded away for 1st rounders.

    Example:

    Back in 2008 I tried to get Chien Ming Wang from an owner in this league that’s been together for years. I forget what I offered but he countered saying he would only take Miguel Cabrera in return. His reasoning was that Wang had won 19 games the year before. I declined and shortly after Wang suffered the injury that effectively ended his career.

    Other trade offers that I have made to him have met with similar results.

    What’s the name of that guy?

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    • Schu says:

      His name is Jared.

      For extra style points pick up every hot player off of waivers, hold onto them for a few weeks until their numbers look fantastic, and then shotgun trade requests for every teams currently struggling star. Make sure you include a closer in every offer.

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      • 81 says:

        This almost perfectly profiles my trading habit because I know:
        A) the casual fantasy player is likely to succumb to gawdy stretches of performance that have the sabermetrically inclined screaming “sample size”
        B) the casual fantasy player also overvalues saves. Come on, don’t tell me you would have felt comfortable rostering David Aardsma for all of 2009, even if he did pitch exceptionally. This season when someone that’s competing for saves in my roto league loser their best closer I’d be offering Lindstrom or some other closer perceptibly playing over their head for a high-ceiling BABIP victim.

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  2. The Usual SusBeck says:

    The Waiver-flipper: picks up a FA then immediately shops him or includes him as the back end of a 2 for 1.

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  3. Michael says:

    Seriously, describing a trader as “Goebbels”? Seriously? The guy was one of the most infamous Nazi’s !!!! This is done in terrible taste….terrible

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  4. Michael says:

    pick any communist leader, pick any political leader for that matter, or use a different context, but you associated fantasy baseball trading types with a man held responsable in history with the murder of millions of innocent people….bad taste.

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    • Schu says:

      Yes, because the communists didn’t kill millions more people than the Germans did during the Holocaust. I am by no means degrading the Holocaust, but Stalin killed many more people than Hitler did. Add in Xiang Kai-Shek and Pol Pot and you’ve got most of the 20th century murders committed by communists…

      IJS

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  5. Michael says:

    Seriously? And you think any of those people belong in the categorization of a type of a fantasy baseball trader? Just admit it was done in bad taste and no specific names of dictators or mass killers belong there. It’s fantasy baseball !!!

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    • Schu says:

      Yes, it’s a fantasy baseball site, not a forum for political correctness. Get your panties out of their twist. Unless you’re one of those people that walks around all day hoping that you find a reason to be offended over something trivial so you can cause drama take it for the analogy that it was and move on. Poor taste or not, who cares?

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    • James says:

      The point was that Goebbels is the most infamous propaganda pusher in our world’s history, and his correlation as a “Master of Propaganda” fit perfectly with what he was trying to describe, and would resonate with people more than if he made the comparison with anybody else. It wasn’t malicious, and it was a fair comparison. Putting a blinder’s eye to history isn’t going to make it go away.

      You yourself actually made the most prominent point – “It’s Fantasy Baseball!!!”.

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    • macseries says:

      the only offensive part was using the neuter (“das”) instead of the masculine (“der”) article. goebbels is synonymous with propaganda.

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  6. ccoville says:

    How dare you use the term “Gunner”! A gunner is someone who shoots people. Horrible taste. Take the time over this weekend to think about what you did.

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    • macseries says:

      as elena kagan noted, a gunner is a term of art for a law student who raises his or her hand frequently in class to speak, often not adding to the discussion, in order to raise his or her grades, often unsucessfully. pretty apt.

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  7. ccoville says:

    Snipers, Counter-attackers, Gunners, “Das Goebbels”….

    Fantasy Baseball has never sounded so WWII.

    I like it.

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  8. Michael says:

    Awesome reference to taking panties out of a bunch b/c someone might be offended about the refernce to a Nazi leader involved in orchestrating a genocide.

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  9. mark bavaro says:

    Admit you did wrong or else I will lose sleep for the rest of the week!!!!!!

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  10. philchoycubus says:

    There are way too many “Mules” in the world, and not enough “Gunners”, if you ask me.

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  11. Awesome Steve says:

    I believe there is one more trader type missing. The Lacking Foresight Mule, or Turd Sandwich. This type of trader is in keeper leagues only, refuses to offer trades, rarely counters, and doesn’t see any value in trading their old declining players for young promising players.

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    • YG says:

      Yeah, there is definitely someone like this. There are people that refuse to do trades at all costs, because they don’t believe in doing trades; they also don’t like to see other people trade. I know of a person like this.

      You also forgot a very prevalent type of trader, the “Real life player fan” trader. This trader overvalues certain players because they are one of his or her favorite players in real life, and personally doesn’t care about fantasy value. This player will usually be willing to trade high draft picks for his favorite player in real life, and anyone who owns those players has a distinct advantage in obtaining that trader’s best players. This owner often doesn’t consider fantasy sensible things when trading for his favorite real life players and will do things such as: trade a top tier SS for a solid OF with no feasible SS backup in sight, or trade a much more durable player for their favorite player who happens to either be injury prone, or having an injury riddled season. When everyone else has seemingly given up all hope on a specific player, this manager never gives up hope on his favorite players.

      This manager is also known as know as “The Fish”.

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      • STEALTH says:

        I always try to trade for Braun and Fielder, but I make it known that I love the Brewers, I offer a fair trade, and I write in the comments that “I know I’m giving up a lot here, but that’s because I like him so much.” It actually works quite well in competitive leagues because other managers love to think they’re playing on your weaknesses.

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  12. Jakob says:

    Hey Zach, loved the article. Could you give us a link to your “types of owners” piece? I can’t find it and would love to check it out. Thanks.

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  13. jrogers says:

    Possible extra category, or maybe just a subcategory of Mule (Dead Mule?): The owner who doesn’t counteroffer or even respond at all, but just leaves you hanging there until you get a message 10 days later that the offer has expired (or you have to cancel it so you can drop one of the players involved). You see players on his team that would be a great fit for yours, but you wonder whether it’s even worth your time to consider proposals.

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  14. this guy says:

    Most people don’t appreciate that implicit costs are just as costly as explicit costs. I believe the reason for this is simply that it’s easier to identify an explicit cost with the “conscious mind”. I also believe this tendency is found in most leagues, because those that don’t suffer from this irrational behavior, find more useful things to do than fantasy baseball.

    In the context of a fantasy baseball trade, I’d categorize a cost incurred due to inaction as an implicit cost, and a cost as a result of an action (in this case, executing a trade) as an explicit cost.

    I used to believe this was more of a social condition than an intellectual one, because conceptually, the flaw seemed simple enough to recognize. (The idea being that owners prefer implicit costs because they are less recognizable by their peers.) So far, empirical evidence has lead me to believe that I underestimate intellectual shortcomings, and that this hobby draws from a subset of people that fail to understand the ramifications of this irrationality.

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  15. STEALTH says:

    definitely a gunner.

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    • YG says:

      Yeah I probably should’ve stated a different name than what I did. I made somewhat of a blanket statement there but I didn’t really mean it like that. What I really meant are the fans that will blatantly let themselves get ripped off (not in their eyes) to get the favorites. Most people have favorites and can still make fair trades like you said you were doing, but what I meant wasn’t the type of manager you are. I more so meant the combination of the “real life fan” x “the fish”. Basically a manager who doesn’t really understand fantasy players and their values, but knows he/she must have their favorite real life player almost at any cost (that wouldn’t get vetoed obviously).

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  16. I’m always gunning. If I want to move someone, I won’t stop until he’s gone and I’ve gotten fair value for him. Some probably find me annoying, but others know that I’m always open to offers that make sense.

    I love to trade and I’m happiest when the trade works for both sides, since it means I’ll probably have a satisfied trade partner to deal with in the future.

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