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What is a fair trade?

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What is a fair trade?

Postby red » Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:57 pm

OK, so we have a veto-power debate going on- for the time being it's on the first page if you aren't one of the 8,000 or so people who have looked and added a voice to it. There are also "what should I, what could I, how might I, and am I a jerk to" threads all over this forum-- browse as you feel necessary.
So- perhaps we've discussed in detail what ISN'T fair-- but what's fair? What's a fair deal? And, basically it comes down to this: should owners have the keys to their own cars, or should the commissioners hold the keys?
My opinion, for what it's worth, below:
IN GENERAL:
I agree with what the GREAT ONE has been saying for days: Largely, people have the same ideas of value- therefore first round picks shouldn't go for later round picks before the season starts. That makes sense. Logic.

But how then is a trade fair?

Depth for depth- obviously: I have Soriano and Boone, you have Chavez and Rolen, I give you Boone and something, you give me Chavez and something- Logic.

Injuries: Phil Nevin is my 1b, he's hurt, NOW what?! I consider giving you Jeter for Conine because I'm desperate? That is what happens- but is it fair?

What about "my hunch?" what about somebody who traded for Esteban Loaiza last year? Or traded for Morgan Ensberg? What if the guy giving up Loaiza or Ensberg wouldn't give him up except for a fifth or sixth round pick-- in the end it turns out to be fair- but at the time, it looks terrible... do the commissioners take the keys out of the owners cars? say- hey, that's not backed up by numbers, either historically or this year's draft, therefore it's not fair? but in those cases, they were fair, if only proven later?

If we're too strict (I am a commissioner too), then we restrict the amount of good trades and legitimate fun and excitement that can help make a league enjoyable. If we're not strict enough, someone blasts open the doors to the bar and no one else can catch them.

Is the bottom line just to surround yourself with the best players and leave well enough alone? dont' expect much from a public league? In a private league, especially keeper leagues, these things work out-- guys either get good over time or they drop out...

But I think we'd be wrong to say that this is all about mathematics. Maybe pre-season, pre-injury, it can be about mathematics. But that's a very limited time during the entire fantasy baseball season.

In the end, owners have to have the keys to the car...
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Re: What is a fair trade?

Postby wkelly91 » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:13 pm

red wrote:OK, so we have a veto-power debate going on- for the time being it's on the first page if you aren't one of the 8,000 or so people who have looked and added a voice to it. There are also "what should I, what could I, how might I, and am I a jerk to" threads all over this forum-- browse as you feel necessary.
So- perhaps we've discussed in detail what ISN'T fair-- but what's fair? What's a fair deal? And, basically it comes down to this: should owners have the keys to their own cars, or should the commissioners hold the keys?
My opinion, for what it's worth, below:
IN GENERAL:
I agree with what the GREAT ONE has been saying for days: Largely, people have the same ideas of value- therefore first round picks shouldn't go for later round picks before the season starts. That makes sense. Logic.

But how then is a trade fair?

Depth for depth- obviously: I have Soriano and Boone, you have Chavez and Rolen, I give you Boone and something, you give me Chavez and something- Logic.

Injuries: Phil Nevin is my 1b, he's hurt, NOW what?! I consider giving you Jeter for Conine because I'm desperate? That is what happens- but is it fair?

What about "my hunch?" what about somebody who traded for Esteban Loaiza last year? Or traded for Morgan Ensberg? What if the guy giving up Loaiza or Ensberg wouldn't give him up except for a fifth or sixth round pick-- in the end it turns out to be fair- but at the time, it looks terrible... do the commissioners take the keys out of the owners cars? say- hey, that's not backed up by numbers, either historically or this year's draft, therefore it's not fair? but in those cases, they were fair, if only proven later?

If we're too strict (I am a commissioner too), then we restrict the amount of good trades and legitimate fun and excitement that can help make a league enjoyable. If we're not strict enough, someone blasts open the doors to the bar and no one else can catch them.

Is the bottom line just to surround yourself with the best players and leave well enough alone? dont' expect much from a public league? In a private league, especially keeper leagues, these things work out-- guys either get good over time or they drop out...

But I think we'd be wrong to say that this is all about mathematics. Maybe pre-season, pre-injury, it can be about mathematics. But that's a very limited time during the entire fantasy baseball season.

In the end, owners have to have the keys to the car...


I agree ;-D
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Postby Arlo » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:44 pm

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em... Vetos are probably the most controversial part of fantasy baseball (and that includes clutch and contract years ;-) ).

There's no perfect solution (although playing with owners you trust goes a long way), but there's one way to make things a whole lot easier: define the veto policy beforehand, in writing. If the league decides to veto only in cases of collusion or other rules issues, so be it. If teams want to veto when they think trades aren't equal, fine. But there's nothing worse than a league in which all the owners apply different veto criteria.
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Re: What is a fair trade?

Postby Amazinz » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:47 pm

red wrote:I agree with what the GREAT ONE has been saying for days: Largely, people have the same ideas of value- therefore first round picks shouldn't go for later round picks before the season starts. That makes sense. Logic.


I don't neccesarily agree that this is correct or logical. Generally people do have the same perceptions of value. Anybody can draft a decent team by using the ESPN cheat sheets or some similar source. But in my experience championships are won by finding value where there is a perception that there is none. Isn't this what seperates good fantasy players from great ones? And if so isn't it possible that your perception of a player's value changes between draft day and the start of the season?
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Postby CBMGreatOne » Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:45 pm

Couple of things.

Amazinz, you are right, everybody has slightly different ideas of value. Winning managers are the ones who take risks occasionally, but stay fairly grounded in their knowledge of the game and temper their risks with their calculated moves.

I'm all for taking risks too, but picking Tim Hudson with the first overall pick is not advisable to anyone, under any circumstances, though the pick could turn out to be exactly what the future seasonal numbers dictate would have been most appropriate.

There are only a couple of rules about vetoes that I hold as FAIRLY ironclad. One of them concerns the time period between the draft and opening day, during which time I personally am much more conservative in what I feel is allowable.

Immediately following the daft, I will not allow players to trade picks that were made markedly earlier than another player's picks (as long as the picks were made in appropriate rounds). While the exact parameters can never be perfectly defined an example of a trade I would definitely veto is something like this:

Team A gives: Mark Mulder (Round 5) and Jose Reyes (Round 7) for Team B's: Miguel Tejada (Round 2) and Mike Mussina (Round 4)

You'll notice that Team B could have simply selected each of the players he's trading for at or later than the positions he drafted the players he's giving away. This shows abysmal preparation for the draft and poor judgment after the draft. While we can't necessarily expect adequate draft preparation, this is a clear example of the "moron factor."

I hate to use a harsh term, but clearly poor decisions were made somewhere along the line, and allowing this trade to go through doesn't help matters. Meanwhile, just like that Manager A has a team made up of players drafted in rounds 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 8, etc. (Team B is now in a hole at 1, 3, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7 etc.)

Don't underestimate how much even this can change the nature of the league, often for the worse. Team A now has 6 picks in the first four rounds. Team B is left with 2!!! This can't be a good move for Team B, and is probably bad for the whole league.

In some situations it's less clear cut, for example, in our Cafe League a manager traded Manny Ramirez (1st round pick) and Jerome Williams (15th round pick) for Kevin Brown (5th round pick) and Milton Bradley (10th round pick).

Here, although you could make a case for this being a fair trade, I personally see it as veto-worthy. There is a scientific method for determining the value of draft selections predraft, and though I can't tell you precisely how it is figured or how to come up with it (I've only seen the software and used it briefly), I can say that the approximate value of a first round pick is MUCH greater than the combined value of a fifth and tenth round pick. It is actually closer to something like a 2 and a 4, a 2 and a 3, or a 3 and a 4, depending on whether the 1 is early or late, and whether the later picks were early or late.

With a 5 and a 10 being so far behind that, I feel a veto is in order. On the other hand, while I feel that a 3 and a 5 or a 3 and a 6 for a first rounder is lopsided, in this situation I would let it pass. I would probably even let worse trades like a 4 and a 6 or a 3 and an 8 pass. It's all a matter of judgment, and again, it must be clearly lopsided.

To simplify, I often look at the draft position and determine whether the trade would have been lopsided removing the names and considering only the position where they were drafted (again, the players must have been drafted in APPROPRIATE rounds).

For instance, if someone offered you their 2nd, 6th and 10th picks for your 1st, 3rd, and 5th picks before the draft, would you accept? Well of course you wouldn't, so why wouldn't you expect the other members of your league to be upset just because these picks have names attached to them now?

Other trades that deserve a review are the two classic fantasy sucker plays that fantasy managers see ALL the time. (If you can get away with them in your league, I STRONGLY suggest you try them, if you like this kind of action).

Sucker play #1- Good player + marginal player (nearly waiver wire quality) = Stud player (top 2 or 3 rounds)

Every league I play in one or more of these goes through. Not all should be vetoed, but some deserve a look. For instance, how about a?: Team A gives: Jose Vidro + Juan Gonzalez
Team B gives: Vlad Guerrerro.

Popular defense: "But Team B's second baseman is Junior Spivey, and if Juan Gonzalez stays healthy, it helps his team."

OK, I see where these defenders are going with this one, but consider the heist relative to draft position. Vlad Guerrerro was selected in round 1 or early in round 2, and Team A has only given Team B his tenth and 20th round picks for him. Allow or Veto?

In this case I say veto, though a veto is not necessarily automatic, it depends on the atmosphere of the league. If it's a serious league with a lot of tough players, don't expect that it'll ever go through.

I would allow it if it were closer, say something like Jeff Kent and Jim Edmonds for Todd Helton (I wouldn't expect any cafe member to make this trade, but if someone did, at least they're giving up two legitimate players)

Sucker Play #2- Marginal Hitter + Lower Tier Closer = Stud

Again, a trade I used to make all the time (or at least attempt) only problem is, if the players in your league are dumb enough to accept these trades, it probably isn't worth playing in this league in the first place.

Example: Team A gives Frank Thomas and Rocky Biddle
Team B gives Albert Pujols.

Perhaps Team B has ZERO closers, and perhaps his team name is ChiTownSluggers. I've seen it before.

Popular defense: "But he can't win without closers and Biddle had 35 saves last year. Frank is going to hit forty HRs again, I'm not even sure HE isn't getting the better of the deal."

Yeah, but he picked Pujols 2nd overall, and you gave him your 10th and 20th picks. Veto or Approve?

No question in my mind it's a veto.

And again, it is still allowable if it's closer, even if lopsided.

Perhaps a trade like Mark Teixeira and Armando Benitez for Richie Sexson. Sexson side still makes out pretty big, getting what could have been a 3rd round pick for what figure to have been picks around numbers 7 and 13, but at least they are giving up SOMETHING of value.

When the season starts however, more variables are introduced. Now we have numbers to play with too. This clouds the differences in value and makes trades harder to evaluate objectively. While my above rules still apply as far as I'm concerned, the cloudier the situation, the more doubt is introduced, and the more doubt is introduced, the less inclined I am to veto.

Of course, if somebody tries to trade Dontrelle Willis for Curt Schilling in the second week of the season after Willis throws fifteen scoreless innings, I'm still probably going to veto, but when Colon throw's a shutout and Kerry Wood gets shelled, and they all of a sudden get swapped, I'm not going to give it a second thought.

OK, that was more than a couple things, and certainly more than 2 cents, but it pretty well wraps up my philosophy.
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Postby red » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:01 pm

I actually read that whole thing. Twice even. A couple questions:
one) are you a hockey fan? it's a nickname thing, the great one, just had to ask;
two) I don't disagree with anything you've said;
but-
three) you didn't address the fundamental question:
when is it OK to take the keys out of the drivers hands?
You've said it's based on rounds, now, pre-season, pre-(most) injuries-- no problem, I agree with you.
But look at an example you showed in your own post: Dontrelle Willis for Schilling-- at one point last year, Willis was throwing twice as well as Schilling; I'll raise the stakes, even-- what about Dontrelle Willis for Randy Johnson last year-- when RJ, even after returning, was a shell of himself. By your standards, trade is vetoed; but by "smart fantasy" rules or something-- you're actually protecting the wrong person. The guy with RJ would have been thrilled with that deal last year. (believe me, I had RJ last year-- I hate Willis, but I would have definitely traded him for, say, Bartolo Colon or someone who would have gone noticeably later in the draft).
I'm just saying-- it's good for you to have rules. It's good for all of us to have rules. But it's not good to limit the opportunity of the players. Some horrible trades don't turn out as horrible as they seem on paper (some do); but some don't. Who are we to judge?

In my league we have no trade voting. I also trust all 12 players. It works very well. IT's also a keeper league and we're friends. That's not to say that we don't disagree on trades; it's that we all realize that generally good ethics go with a generally good league.
And people are in control of their teams. Isn't that, after all, why we play?
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Postby CBMGreatOne » Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:18 am

But look at an example you showed in your own post: Dontrelle Willis for Schilling-- at one point last year, Willis was throwing twice as well as Schilling; I'll raise the stakes, even-- what about Dontrelle Willis for Randy Johnson last year-- when RJ, even after returning, was a shell of himself. By your standards, trade is vetoed; but by "smart fantasy" rules or something-- you're actually protecting the wrong person. The guy with RJ would have been thrilled with that deal last year. (believe me, I had RJ last year-- I hate Willis, but I would have definitely traded him for, say, Bartolo Colon or someone who would have gone noticeably later in the draft).


Well, in the example I give about Dontrelle and Schilling, I'm talking about one or two weeks into this season. Last year Willis came on with Schilling and Johnson out with injuries, or at least out for the bulk of his epic rookie run.

I used that time frame (one or two weeks) to show a situation where I'd still be kind of strict. If at the middle of May, Willis still has better numbers than Schilling, I'd probably let the trade go, no problem, but I'm talking after two starts here.

The more games have been played, the less I can rationalize a veto.

Thus, those rules I consider relatively concrete before the season starts take a backseat pretty quickly. Nothing can be clearly defined once the games are being played.

Once numbers are on the books, if they are similar, and drawn from a relatively good sized sample rate, like close to 100 ABs or 50+ IP, then numbers become a huge consideration, and even novices don't make poor trades with big differences in numbers.

In any case, once the games start being played the draft pick consideration starts to be pushed further and further back in my mind. Numbers and history are the main factors at that point, and as long as each side has something going for them in a trade, I'll probably stay out of the way.

I just don't want to see anything too lopsided. I mean, there's no way to say EXACTLY when you take the keys from a manager, no "If player A's total number of RBIs divided by his number of steals less than the league leader, times the cube root of his OPS is greater than player B's total bases divided by his strikeouts times..."

You see where I'm going, no absolute formula, just judgment. You have to be sensible and err on the side of NOT vetoing, but sometimes it's an easy decision, in those cases I don't have any reservations about playing the veto card.

As for my handle, it's a shoutout/tribute to the People's Champion, the Brahma Bull, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment history himself. I don't watch wrestling anymore, but anybody who has checked it out should attest to the fact that the Rock is the man.

If you think that was painful to admit try telling people you are a regular contributor to a fantasy baseball discussion website, lol.
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Postby Pedantic » Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:32 am

Well, I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but I thing I think might affect player value is the manager's view of a sleeper pick. For instance, Roy Oswalt. When he's healthy he is up there with the best, thus some managers might be willing to give more for him, or vice versa.
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Postby red » Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:30 am

CBMGreatOne wrote:
As for my handle, it's a shoutout/tribute to the People's Champion, the Brahma Bull, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment history himself. I don't watch wrestling anymore, but anybody who has checked it out should attest to the fact that the Rock is the man.

If you think that was painful to admit try telling people you are a regular contributor to a fantasy baseball discussion website, lol.


LOL ;-D

I like your assessment; the more time a player logs the less strict the rules have to be.
I think in general, the rules should be fairly leniant anyway; but at this particular moment, post-draft, pre-season, I agree that a conservative veto is probably the safest solution.

Thanks for the discussion!
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Postby wkelly91 » Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:21 pm

Some horrible trades don't turn out as horrible as they seem on paper (some do); but some don't. Who are we to judge?

In my league we have no trade voting. I also trust all 12 players. It works very well. IT's also a keeper league and we're friends. That's not to say that we don't disagree on trades; it's that we all realize that generally good ethics go with a generally good league.
And people are in control of their teams. Isn't that, after all, why we play?

I agree with the above statement. ;-D
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