Is it ethical to offer a trade to the guy who has the number one priority (who happens to be my brother - who I am sure is far too busy with work to know this Hamels guy exists) for a pretty decent player on my roster? I would tell him that he grabs this player and I will offer him a player that is acceptable to him.
It's definitely ethical. I've been trying to do exactly that in one of my leagues. I don't think it's just ethical, it's smart and pretty cool. I offered Ryan Freel since the guy needs bags. In your example I'd offer all of those players but I might think twice about Pierre. I'd still probably offer him if he wouldn't take anyone else.
Start with something like this in the conversation:
If I dropped X player would you pick him up from waivers?
(Start with the player you'd drop first, then move up from there if he says no.)
That's how I did it. The problem is the guy I'm trying to deal with happens to be a big Phillies fan and knows full well about Hamels. When I said that he knew exactly what I was trying to do. Oh well. He wanted Turnbow or Valverde. I think not. 12 team H2H league I have 3 closers (Otsuka too). I'm not about to go down to 2.