I am Commissioner of a Keeper League and the following trade was made at our trade deadline ( August 19th ). Although there is a protest rule in our league of 11 teams ( 6 protests kill a trade ) this one slipped through since a good number of the league owners are already so far behind they lose interest. Here is the trade that went down.
Team 1 received Chase Utley CC Sabathia Jon Lester Jonathan Broxton Bobby Jenks
Team 2 received Hanley Ramirez Adam Jones Andrew Jones Matt Latos Randy Wells
This is a points league - not rotiserrie. A total of 5 keepers are allowed to start each season. I would list both rosters, but that may not be so useful. The best players that remain on Team 2 are Peavy, Kinsler, Carlos Lee, Stasburg, Victor Martinez. Best players on Team 1 are Feliz Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Cole Hammels, Roy Oswalt.
Team 1 was in 5th place when the trade was made and is now closing in on 2nd place finish. Team 2 was in 9th and is still there.
That is pretty bad -- definitely worth pressing them over and/or shooting to the league office for comment. Nobody in the league has 2 teams, right? Because that could look like a classic shuffle-the-rosters-to-stack-one collusion move for sure. But to be conservative, maybe approach with caution at first and then press harder if you aren't given consistent facts from both sides independently.
This looks more like a firesale/consolodation then collusion to me. I'm guessing Team 2 viewed having Hanley and Kinsler as being considerably more valuable then owning both Utley and Kinsler. Considering you only keep 5, Broxton and Jenks are essentially fluff in a deal for the owner in 9th looking to move them. It's also not out of the question that they consider Adam Jones a potential 5th keeper given his blue chip prospect status and age (his season doesn't quite stack up as a keeper in a 5 keeper league, but who knows). It appears that their keepers went from:
Before: Utley Kinsler Lee Sabathia Lester
With V-Mart, Peavy and Strasburg narrowly missing being keeper 5 perhaps to...
After: Hanley Kinsler Lee V-Mart and either Peavy or Strasburg
I would definitely take keepers after considering he'll be filling C, 2B and SS with elite players. Lee was a keeper before and after, and a healthy Peavy is a stud (though the Cell and the AL will probably knock his numbers down a peg or two, he's capable of outproducing Lester or C.C. since on top of pitching in the AL they also pitch in the AL East which is far tougher then the Central). And who knows, perhaps they believe the hype and can't get over the thought of losing out on Strasburg who has the advantage of pitching in the NL over all three, Peavy, Sabathia, Lester, though that might be a bit far fetched.
If your in a keeper league and the team that was in 9th had no chance of winning, then just compare these two scenarios (as B Chad said). Pick one of these in a keeper.
Utley, Kinsler, Lee, CC and Lester (or)
Hanley, Kinsler, Lee, Vmart, Jones
I think you know the answer, and if not post it in the forum like that and see what responses you get. The 2nd scenario is clearly better. What is team 9 supposed to do when they are out of it in a keeper? Improve for next year! If you don't like that, don't play in a keeper league.
Plus you have a rule in place and the trade went through. Again, if you don't like it change the rule, but you can't really complain now. They improved their team and followed the rules!