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Trading: General Tips (Part One)

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

1. Know Your Opponent
You should have a pretty good idea of your opponents roster entering into trade talks. If you don’t, talks will be far more drawn out and difficult then they have to be. Know what you want from your opponent, and know what he needs.

2. Pre-Offer Communication
I tend not to make offers out of the blue. While there is nothing wrong with just proposing a trade with someone, I always try to send them a quick email to gauge potential interest first. This helps prevent an owner from feeling like you are trying to swoop in and grab one of their players without warning. However, if there is a trading block in your league, and the player you are trying to trade for (or trying to trade away) is on said block, then you do not need any warning before offering a deal, because had a chance to see it coming.

3. Slightly Lopsided Initial Offer
This goes back to our general trading theory. While you need to make an offer they will at least have to consider, you should always try to get the most value out of a deal that you possibly can. Make the offer that gives you the biggest benefit, and once and awhile, it will get accepted. Most of the time, however, it will be the jumping off point.

4. Have A Plan (And Stick To It)
Don’t just offer trades willy-nilly. Before you send a proposal, have an idea of what you are willing to give up. For further clarification, an example is appropriate: Before the season began, I offered  Joel Hanrahan/Jason Marquis for Andy LaRoche/Conor Jackson (20-team wRC/FIP league). I hoped he would take the deal the way it was, because I wanted a 3B and some LF insurance for my bench, and could afford to give up both Hanrahan and Marquis. However, going into the trade, I decided I was willing to give up Luke Gregerson instead of Hanrahan, if it came down to it. And, guess what? It did. We ended up completing a deal because I knew what I was willing to give up.

Part Two will be up tomorrow morning.