When the season is over, it is not the time to ignore a keeper team until next spring. With a few post season chores, an owner can put themselves in better position for next season.
The first item is to find players that owners may covet this up coming season, but were useless this past season. They could have been injured or in the minors. I previously looked at players on the DL that can be picked up as potential keepers for next season (more suggestions in the comments).
The second group of players to target are minor league prospects. Some owners irrationally love them. Use them when making trades with these owners. A few sources released mid season prospect lists to give an idea of what prospects may be the most desirable. Besides using prospect lists, look to the rosters of the Arizona Fall League for inspiration. After the World Series is over, it will be the only baseball going on, so it will get plenty of coverage. A few players will start to get over hyped.
If you are torn between 2 prospects, follow these two rules:
1. Take the hitter. On average, they are more valuable in the long run.
2. Take the player closer to the majors. An owner wants the player to play. They are not wanting someone to look pretty on the bench.
After targeting a few players, it is time to bump the dead weight off your team. These players will not be keepers on any team and are usually non-save relievers and bench players. They were kept to make sure pitching and hitting slots were full during the season, but they are useless now. No one is going to trade for or keep them with dozens of similar players available on the waiver wire. Start filling your roster with some possible trade targets and dump this dead weight.
Next, create a spreadsheet of the players on all the teams. It will take a bit of time, but it is well worth the effort. Go through and designate what you think each team should keep. I begin ranking, linking articles or just jotting a few personal notes on certain players. An owner should then have a good idea of players available in the draft and which owners have an abundance or lack of players you desire. An owner can then begin to target other owners with their roster needs and wants.
After that, post and/or email the type of players you are looking to pick up. Don’t get too specific now, just something like, “I am looking to move SP for IF help”. I wouldn’t push too hard to make trades now since owners are tired after the long season. Owners know you are willing to trade and know your wants. They can contact you once they look at their rosters later.
Finally, check up on your league 2 to 3 times a week during the off season. The main item to look for are players being dump to the waiver wire that are better than the ones on your team. Pick them up. Also, teams may be posting messages of players they are looking to trade. The league doesn’t need to be check every day, but don’t be a stranger.
The season has ended and it is time to take a break from your keeper league. Just spending a hour or two after the season is over will pay dividends later. Around the winter meetings, action will pick up again. Until then, know that your team is in good shape to improve for next season.