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Trades with Options

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Trades with Options

Postby AHF » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:07 pm

I play in an auction keeper league where you can keep 12 players per season by signing them to a contract with escalating salary. The question is whether a person should be permitted to make trades with options. Our league constitution says you can make trades of "any kind without limit" but the team barred trade discussions involving an option. For example, I have Jordan Walden at $8 who is keepable and want to add additional saves. I trade a keepable Aroldis Chapman at $5 for a $23 non-keepable Mariana Rivera and give the guy the option to deal Chapman for Walden after the season is over. The league decided it would incent too much dumping for keepers and therefore didn't allow those discussions.

I am not in position where I can win the league but I could have made a run for 2nd if I could have made the trade under discussion (the actual players were never revealed to the league just the "option" format of the trade). One of the ESPN guys approved the idea of trading future rights to players (i.e., rentals) in keeper leagues this week so I figured I would ask this group.

This decision didn't frustrate me except the constitution expressly says trades "of any kind without limit" are allowed and I don't see how anyone can read that to impose this kind of limits. The league has already changed the keeper rules since I joined as a result of my keeping players longer than is traditional (for example, I signed Jason Heyward for 5 years last year and have signed Votto, Ryan Zimmerman, and other players to 3-5 year deals when it is rare for anyone to sign a player longer than 2 seasons) and it just miffs me a bit that the league changes the rules to block anything outside of the norm (the keeper change was at least prospective - this one was mid-season).

Is this something that threatens league balance to the point that mid-season change to the rules is necessary?

One final point, I have talked about trades with options each of the last two years with people without comment from those players when they were the ones bargaining with me. The guy I was talking with this year raised the issue and we took it to the group who decided that this type of trade would be immediately banned.
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Re: Trades with Options

Postby mkultra » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:04 pm

By the rules of your league, there's nothing wrong with trading "future considerations". I would offer up these thoughts though:

  • Managers always get testy when someone figures out how to work the margins in a league.
  • You really need to consider some limits around this, or you're going to wind up with teams essentially renting out players, which makes things kind of berzerk.
  • You'd need to, as a league, decide how binding these things are. You're essentially looking at using an off-site service to manage your trade contracts, which may cause problems down the road when someone mistakenly trades away a player who is "owed" to someone else down the road. Again, berzerkness.
  • If your league said no, I see no problem with the Chapman/Rivera deal on its face- if anything, at this point in the season, you're paying a lot for a handful of saves. You can make a "gentlemen's agreement" to do the off-season trade, but bear in mind that neither of you is technically obligated to follow through when the time comes. This kind of trade is discussed occasionally on ESPN Fantasy Focus.
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Re: Trades with Options

Postby AHF » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:47 pm

Thanks for the input. That was roughly my take on things and the potential for abuse is why it didn't bother me too much. The idea of reading limits into something that says "without limit" is annoying but it is a good league with a bunch of good guys so I can put up with it!
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