How to Handle the Trade Deadline


Jun 24, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder

Giancarlo Stanton

(27) connects for a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is fast approaching. Besides using the waiver wire, this is the only other way to improve your team as you prepare for the playoffs. In order to do that, you need to assess your team and find out its strengths and weaknesses.

Take a look at my roster for example. I play in a 12-team league with 27-man rosters. The categories are R, HR, RBI, SB and OPS for hitters and QS, SV, ERA, WHIP and K/9 for pitchers.

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C Yadier Molina

1B Anthony Rizzo

2B Logan Forsythe

3B Pablo Sandoval

SS Jordy Mercer

1B/3B Prince Fielder

2B/SS Matt Duffy

OF Jose Bautista

OF Starling Marte

OF Kevin Pillar

OF Chris Young

OF Lorenzo Cain

UTIL Mitch Moreland

P Madison Bumgarner

P Chris Archer

P Mat Latos

P Jose Quintana

P Jason Grilli

P Cody Allen

P A.J. Ramos

P Darren O’Day

P Kendall Graveman

B Julio Teheran

B Chi Chi Gonzalez

B Yovani Gallardo

B Mark Teixeira

B Cameron Maybin

DL Matt Holliday

Not to brag, but this is a good roster. I currently sit in fourth place with a 61-50-9 record. As you can tell, I have an excess of power with Rizzo, Bautista, Teixeira and the recent additions of Moreland and Young. My strength. My weakness? ERA. I had just one matchup in the 12 so far in which my ERA was below 3.00. The successes of Madbum and Archer don’t overcome the struggles of Latos, Teheran and Quintana.

As a result, I should look to trade some of my power guys, especially since I have four first basemen, for a top pitcher. The problem is the league. There are some owners that are active on the waiver wire, but the majority of owners haven’t touched their rosters in weeks. This makes it very difficult to make moves.

I made a trade with a fellow writer, Craig Melissas, earlier in the season. I traded away Craig Kimbrel for Allen and Ramos. I traded a top closer for two middle-of-the-road closers. This helped me because my team did not accumulate enough saves, and Craig had an excess of closers. It worked out for both of us. 

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Trading is fun. Plain and simple. You examine the other owners’ rosters and see what their strengths and weaknesses are and compare them to your team. When you send a trade offer, do not insult the other owner’s intelligence. They know what a certain player is worth and offering anything less does not help either of you. Instead, trade a player that could help them in order to help a need of yours.

For example, Giancarlo Stanton is a buy-low candidate. He is out anywhere from four to six weeks. That fantasy owner wants to make the playoffs, and an injured Stanton does not help their case currently. As a result, flipping an injured player for a top, active player at another position is the move to make.

Granted, it would likely take a lot to pry Stanton away from his owner, but it could be done.

There are plenty of ways to spark the trade talks. Set up your trading block. This lets everyone know which players are available and what you are looking for. What the other owners do with that information is up to them.

Another thing to do is send and e-mail or text with your league-mates. Start the conversation. Generate interest. Maybe they were thinking about e-mailing you first, but you take the initiative. Again, don’t insult their intelligence. Don’t be known as the guy who sends bad trade offers.

The point is, you need to take a step back and analyze your team. Heck, grab a friend and have them help you if you think you are too invested. The main goal is to make it to the playoffs and win your championship, and making a trade or two is the way to do that.