I could really use some other thoughtful opinions here...
In my keeper league (5 major leaguers + 4 minor leaguers), we allow the trading of next year's draft picks only after the conclusion of the season (in part as a way of ensuring that an owner can't deal away all of his next year's draft picks to contend in the current season and then quit, getting a winn/payoff and then leaving the former team screwed for the next year).
During the season in July, two owners made the following deal:
Gordon, Beltre, Carpenter, and Nunez for Kershaw, Lyles, and Brett Jackson.
It was one of those classic, imbalanced keeper league trades (that as commish I wish I could veto, but don't feel is appropriate) where an owner that is low in the standings gives away many of its "good" players in order to get one "great" one from an owner that's in the hunt.
In general, I believe every owner should get to have control over their own team, and would need to have a powerful reason to actually veto a deal. I tend to let things through as long as both sides are benefiting from the deal in some plausible way, and let this one pass, since the low-return squad was clearly trying to improve his team for the next year.
Unfortunately, now that the season is over and draft picks for 2012 can be dealt, the same two owners have made the following deal:
Lyles, Jackson, and Owner A's final three rounds' draft picks for 2nd, 5th, and 7th round draft picks.
It is clearly the handshake conclusion of the earlier deal, and one of the owner's admitted as much.
I think I have to veto the deal and insist that any trade have at least a clear positive value for each team in itself... otherwise it completely and willfully circumvents the rules and opens me up to exactly the sort of problems the rule was invented to avoid.
Does that sound right? I'd love to get some opinions from a few other commissioners.
You will continue to have this kind of problem as long as you allow the trading of Draft Picks. MLB does not allow the trading of Draft Picks and the teams will definately be back for the next year. In a Fantasy League owners can quit and leave teams in a position of having no hope for years to come. You need to stop allowing the trading of Draft Picks. == As far as the current situation, I think you need to talk to both of the Owners and find out what is going on.
I understand why you would not want to be able to deal future draft picks, but I'm not sure I would draw the conclusion to not allow the trading of future draft picks. Draft picks are a resource, and all resources should be on the table IMHO. While the risk that you state is very real, what's also important is that bad teams stay interested. So essentially one team "went for it all" and another team "built for the future." While MLB prevents trading of draft picks, they are not handicapped by having only a few keepers.
In the end, I think invalidating the trade makes the original trade even worse. Also, since you have a keeper system, your concerns of the winning team cashing in and bolting wouldn't be as real, because if a team was so good as to win the championship, why would they walk away? So while they have fewer draft picks, they should have better keepers.
One thing you may consider is "protecting" certain draft picks, so picks in rounds 1-3 can't be dealt, or whatever arbitrary cutoff you think is best.
Each deal has to stand on its own and thats the risk the owners may run in a handshake deal.
MLB has been talking about the possibility of trading draft picks, and I have always been fine with it in keeper/dynasty formats. Many leagues will require you just to pay in full in advance when dipping into that future impact well.
The challenge in evaluating deal 2 itself is coming up with the value of available player vs the upside of the players coming back. In the end though try to evaluate each on their own for sure. If this trade doesnt pass with you disaalow it based on its own merit and avoid any complexities of the handshake aspect.
"I'm the man with the ball. I'm the man who can throw it faster than F***. So that's why I'm better than anyone in the world." - Kenny Powers
Draft picks are perfectly fine as a resource to trade. You can still run into this problem even without them- how would you handle a "rental" trade, where the same players basically get traded back after the season?
The key point, as others have brought up, is that each individual trade needs to stand on its own, not in a "this makes sense because of some other trade" way. The first trade is, as you say, lopsided, but both owners could probably argue the benefit. The second, postseason one is just ridiculous and should be vetoed.
Your league doesn't allow trading of draft picks during the season which this basically was, don't allow the trade to happen. Trading of draft picks has been 1 of the greatest changes my keeper leagues have made. We don't allow picks to be traded until after the season and after the fees for next year have been paid.Manager turnover is a part of keeper leagues. Allowing an owner that takes over a weaker set to trade away an earlier round draft pick and getting an improved keeper has helped the weaker teams compete in 1 year. It also is an easier way for them to get 1 of "their guys" without having to lose 1 of the keepers they started with. Getting a keeper for a pick normally turns into a buyers market which is a good thing for the weaker teams.Good owners with good teams keep coming back, giving bad luck teams or new owners coming into the league a tool to rebuild with has proven to be a great healthy addition to our keeper leagues. done right, trading of draft picks can be a positive
Many thanks to everyone for the advice. On talking with the owners involved, it became clear that the deal was a handshake from their earlier deal during the season (although I think it was done without quite realizing the problematic nature of such an agreement). I voided the trade.
I think several of the proposed suggestions from people were quite interesting though, including both the idea of protecting people's first 3-4 rounds of picks, and the idea of making people pay their league fees whenever a draft pick trade is made.