Trading Etiquette

By Randy Shavis

I’ve been pushing a trade committee over the last few years—why? Because nearly every trade raises someone else’s rankles. Not that the trade committee would make every deal fair or wise, but would provide a forum for the complaints to be heard and either sustained or overruled.

What’s a fair deal? A deal that helps both teams. One team’s excess fills another team’s need. That can be by position (I have two starting 3B, and no RF, I trade my excess 3B to a team that has a RF that he can spare), by need (I need to get younger and the other team needs ‘cards’) or by risk (I have extra slots and am willing to trade tangible draft picks for young or recuperating players).

There are several trade methods:

  1. One on one – two teams have mutual needs that the other can fill
  2. Open auction- wide open, highest bidder
  3. Limited auction- a few targeted teams give it their best shot
  4. *Secret auction—trader says you have final call, but he’s really accepting best bid

*Not socially acceptable, but no rules 

There are also a couple of unwritten rules that for the good of the league, members should try to abide by—some are more successful at this than others.

  1. Don’t help out your competition—this is tough, since it either cuts or at least constrains dealing with ten other teams in your league.

But remember, whether it’s this year or next year, an even deal with your competitor gains you no ground. Exact a higher price when dealing with your competition. 

  1. Don’t pick on newer or less successful members. It’s tempting when a newbie offers you three firsts for Jeff Conine, but let’s hope for the sake of the league that you turn them down. I’m not saying it’s a charity league and that you should trade a 2nd for a 5th from the lesser team. Remember, every time you make a shark deal with a GM who doesn’t have proper goals in mind, it ‘forces’ other managers to start circling… and while we want a competitive league, a bloodthirsty league is no fun.

Absolute no nos—ripping off newbies, buddy deals, and secret deals (this doesn’t include post 15 deals agreed on before 15—but they aren’t enforceable ‘til they’re official).

Think before you trade—you may be helping your team, but you’re hurting the league if you make an unfair or unwise deal (whether you’re the winner or loser in the deal).