I'm just curious what everyone's thoughts are on the question, "What time of the season is best to formulatet trades?"
I'm usually fairly conservative when it comes to my fantasy baseball trades, and wait at least a month into the season before I activley start generating trade ideas. I don't know what it is, but I have a reluctance during the early season to think about trading. For instance, I have Pedro Martinez on one of my teams. He got rocked today btw. So I tried to envision trading him away, but whatever trade I think of, a little voice ends up saying, "Well, there's a chance that he'll be the Pedro of old and once again be the most dominating pitcher in baseball." It's pretty much like that for all my players, this early in the season, I'm too optimistic about their chances to think rationally about any trades.
For instance, today I thought, maybe I should propose a trade of Pedro for Ivan Rodriguez, maybe the sucker would take that trade. But then the doubts crept in: "Elite pitching is next to impossible to get," "Ivan is probably getting bad knees, he'll end up on the DL," "Pedro will be incredible," etc.
I see early trades as risky because you don't truly know where you're weak or strong compared to the other teams. You think you're weak in HR's, but in reailty the HR talent is evenly dispersed in the league. So that big trade you made for Sosa left you weak in pitching, and suddenly your teams unbalanced.
I trust the guys I drafted and also wait a long time before considering trading one of my top picks. Baseball is a game where everyone has his ups and downs. Hitting 60 HRs means getting one every third game. It's a great accomplishement but if you decide to trade Sosa because he doesn't get a homer his first four games you're outright stupid or you got a glimpse of the future and saw he'll end this campaign with less than 10 HRs.
If you can trade one of your guys that's not supposed to have a great season but starts out hot, and you get a slow starter you might end up with a championship!
Don't mind if your hot guy stays hot for a month or two if you get a fantasy stud!
I generally stick with your suggestions and play it very conservatively, too! (you will for sure get a different view from Arlo, as he is as qucik as possible a trader)!
If you trade, you have to be careful on what basis you rate the trade.
If you do the trade just on your cheat sheet made for the draft, you can start trading immediately after draft! Then you can also do trades in the first week of the season.
But never do a trade based on just one bad performance! Pedro is of coz best example here. I wouldnt put him away now...he will for sure bounce back! And if you really want to get rid of him, then you would have to do better than IRod....he is at least as much a question mark as Pedro.
So I would, as you suggested, generally wait a few weeks into the season, then analyze the performance of your team! Then you can ged rid of players you have lost faith in (thats maybe the key thing...if you have guys in there, whom you hesitate putting in your lineup day after day, then it may be better parting ways!).
But never do any trades based on one bad performance!
Hey guys, all great points. I also agree about waiting to make a trade. My philosophy has always been to put my best linep on the field and stick.
Exceptions to the rule would be in case of injuries obviously. Remember, just because you may be playng conservative someone else may not. There's always one guys who wants to "shake up the league" and make an early trade. Be wary though.
Also, be sure to scour the waiver wire for someone on your sleeper list that may have gotten dropped.
Wow - some great thoughts on an important subject. I fully agree about not trading a stud after one weak performance, or even a lackluster month. To me, that's not being conservative - it's just common sense.
On the other hand, early in the season can be a great time to trade because other owners may start to panic too soon. Last year, I was able to pick up Tim Hudson on the cheap because his owner was disappointed with his early performance, and there are deals like this available in many leagues. If you have Pedro, by all means hold on to him, but if you don't, it can't hurt to ask if he's available...
I also like the first few weeks for trades that help both teams fill a gap. If you have a lot of speedsters, find a team with Mo Vaughn as its primary sb threat, and see if a power hitter is available. Chicago is right: there's a risk involved in this, since you don't know exactly where you stand, but in categories such as steals, I think you can trust your projections to at least give you a reasonable approximation. Especially if, at some point in the draft, you took the best available player instead of filling a need (as we all do on occasion), this is a good time to convert that player into one of equivalent value who can help your team more.
Good point by uanap about the waiver wire, too. Very often, the wire will be a better source of upgrades early on than trades, even in deep leagues.
Never during a draft ..... But after that ... I am eyeballing two for ones all day long ... If I can upgrade in a roster slot for the next month on ... I am all over it, Look for teams weekness, and make sure "they are always getting the better deal" ..
and another key to tradeing is 'Chat' ... its hard as hell to trade over emial .. 'Chat' gets its done quicker ...and you get to know the guy a little better for future trades... IMO
to awnser the question ... "early and often", but never "trade just to trade"