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Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade reviews?

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Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade reviews?

Postby AHF » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:18 pm

That probably isn't the most artful title to the thread, but I am in a league now where after a certain point in the season any trade that is agreed upon goes through a bidding process where all other teams in the league can try to top the original deal with a new proposal involving one or more of the players in the original trade. It has totally eliminated controversy in our league which is an auction keeper league (where lopsided trades go down based on keeper considerations).

For example, Team A and Team B agreed to a trade where A trades Justin Upon (keepable at $25) to B for Adrian Gonzalez (not keepable) and Roy Halladay (not keepable).

For the next 24 hours, teams out of contention can try to better Gonzalez and Halladay to get Upton and teams in contention can try to get a better deal in place for either Gonzalez or Halladay.

If a new trade develops, the cycle repeats. For example, Team C comes in and offers a $2 Hosmer and $4 Pineda for Gonzalez and Halladay then the original trade is rescinded and a new 24 hour clock begins with teams trying to better that deal.

In addition to eliminating controversy, it has really helped new and/or naive members to be protected from lopsided trades which in turn fosters better league balance.

Has anyone else used this type of a mechanism? I am a big fan of this and haven't met many others who have used this kind of "free market" trade review.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby pjalst » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:31 pm

I think you should explain why A Gon and Halladay would not be keepable.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby AHF » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:20 pm

pjalst wrote:I think you should explain why A Gon and Halladay would not be keepable.


In our league, it is an auction league where you sign players to contracts with an escalating salary every season. Once that contract expires they go back into the free agent pool. If A Gon is in the last year of his contract, he has zero value beyond the current season since he will be in the pool of available players in the next year's league.

The concept is the same in many keeper leagues where there are mechanisms to limit the length of time a team can hold a player:
* Allowing you to keep players for only a certain number of years;
* Allowing you to keep players in the round of a draft for X where that round moves up every year (Round 4 in 2008, Round 3 in 2009, Round 2 in 2010, Round 1 in 2011, unkeepable for 2011);
* Maximum number of keepers where a team already has those elite spots filled (for example, if you can only keep 4 players and have 4 young players clearly superior to Ryan Zimmerman then he is effectively not keepable for the team looking to trade him);
etc.

There are also common elements in every league that shift value for a player over the long-term leading to "unbalanced" trades relative to the current value of the player:

* A player's age (for example, Paul Konerko and David Ortiz have more current value than Mike Trout but aren't nearly as valuable to a lot of people in a dynasty league such as the recent ESPN );
* A player's injury history (Brett Anderson when healthy and pitching well has very little keeper value because of the risk of the next injury but may have significant present value);
etc.

Even in a league where you don't have ending contracts, you have the potential for what may be perceived lopsided deals by the teams contending for the title this season. Looking at the recent dynasty draft on ESPN highlights some of this. http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseb ... id=6724979

Based on the results of that draft, those fantasy gurus make the argument for the following as a reasonably balanced trade: Mike Trout (#58 overall), Stephen Strasburg (#70 overall), Dominic Brown (#71), and Buster Posey (#90) for Jared Weaver (#41), Lance Berkman (#72), James Shields (#81), Yovani Gallardo (#84).

If the team dropping the near zero 2011 impact group of young players needs a big upgrade for his staff, he just made a deal that is fair under the ESPN logic but could be a source of acrimony within the league.

*************************

To the larger point of the "free trade" mechanism, though, it need not be restricted to keeper leagues. Look at the trades people are discussing on in leagues not ID'd as keeper leagues on this forum and I see quite readily:

Floyd/Lincecum for D. Brown/Capuano
Tulowitzki/A. Jones for Choo/Alex Gonzalez
Jacob Ellsbury for Michael Morse
Lance Berkman, Victor Martinez and Clay Bucholz for Jason Bay, Carlos Santana, and Tim Hudson
etc.

No matter what the league format, I don't see why this mechanism wouldn't promote more balanced trades and less acrimony in leagues. The only downside is time, but it is hard to complain when you knew the terms of someone's deal and weren't willing to put enough in your offer to persuade the other owner.

Since I have had such positive experiences with it, I am curious if anyone else has used this or has any thoughts about it.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby mkultra » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:25 pm

Doesn't this system disincentivize teams from making the initial trade? Part of trading is trying to get the upper hand on someone and, essentially, "steal" players for less than they might go for. Sometimes a BIG part of trading is simply convincing another manager to be willing to give up a certain player to begin with.

If I have to go through all that work only to have it undone by someone who happens to have a better player than me, it seems like it would take a lot of fun and strategy out of the game.
Last edited by mkultra on Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby bigmck » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:23 pm

I agree with the poster above me. If I were in a league like that, I would just accept the first trade and ignore all of the other trades. If I got a good deal to start with, why keep going. This method would also make trades drag on for several days. I don't like it.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby AHF » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:15 pm

mkultra wrote:Doesn't this system disincentivize teams from making the initial trade?


No. Why would it? If your team has a need, you will be incented to trade regardless of the system. Trading is more active in that league than the two others I am in this year.

Plus, parties are guaranteed that their trade will not be vetoed as in the case in many leagues.

Part of trading is trying to get the upper hand on someone and, essentially, "steal" players for less than they might go for. Sometimes a BIG part of trading is simply convincing another manager to be willing to give up a certain player to begin with.

If I have to go through all that work only to have it undone by someone who happens to have a better player than me, it seems like it would take a lot of fun and strategy out of the game.


I get that, but if you look on these boards you will see a lot of "Someone in my league traded Lincecum and Pujols for Smoak" trades that ruin the league for everyone except the player that got the "steal."

Beyond conventional "steals" that create balance issues, it also destroys the unseemly trades that a lot of people spend time complaining about on here. It eliminates the advantage of "I'm buddies with owner X and so I'll convince him to give up his star to me when he wouldn't for someone else" by making the final part of the trade more or less a public auction which in turn leaves no one with room to complain because they had their shot at it and simply didn't value the player(s) that were part of the trade as much as the winner did.
Last edited by AHF on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby AHF » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:17 pm

bigmck wrote:I agree with the poster above me. If I were in a league like that, I would just accept the first trade and ignore all of the other trades. If I got a good deal to start with, why keep going. This method would also make trades drag on for several days. I don't like it.


If you are trying to win your league, getting a better player helps.

If you are building for the future, getting a better keeper helps.

Both parties to the trade could certainly decide to ignore all other offers, but as long as people are acting out of self-interest then they may be reluctant to ignore a better offer.

In terms of timing, it is rarely different than league that involve a 2 day trade review or similar mechanism except that no one is complaining about their trade being unfairly vetoed or a lopsided trade going through.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby AHF » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:20 pm

Fundamentally, this trade system is based on the idea that auction drafts are more fun than snake drafts. In a snake draft you can "steal" a player. In an auction, you have to outbid everyone else. It is a very similar dynamic with this trade system.

Anyone who is in a league where there are too many trade disputes or anyone who likes auctions should give this a try.
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Re: Has anyone used a "free market" approach to trade review

Postby mkultra » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:31 am

AHF wrote:Fundamentally, this trade system is based on the idea that auction drafts are more fun than snake drafts. In a snake draft you can "steal" a player. In an auction, you have to outbid everyone else. It is a very similar dynamic with this trade system.


I like auctions better as well, but I dispute your idea that you can "steal" a player in a snake draft. I see two situations you'd be referring to:

- You grab a guy to prevent someone else from getting him. This is Reaching, and is as old as the sun. It's fine, but you usually pay a large opportunity cost to do so, in that you don't get another player who might be correctly valued at that round.

- You grab a guy who was left on the table too long. Sometimes this happens out of some fluke because of a run on a position, but typically it's more of a "I think I know something about this guy that other people don't". In an auction, you'd be just as likely to win him on a cheap bid.

It's ultimately a matter of taste, but I think the second situation is an integral part of the fantasy game. Because there is so much information available, being able to discover an angle on someone, be on top of the news, or simply have good hunches are what make the game dynamic and interesting.
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