Best and Worst Trades
When it comes time for professional teams to trade players, the ideal situation is for the deal to benefit both sides. This is where better trades occurs. But sometimes, because of stupidity or just plain luck, one side will emerge from the deal with the much better portion of the trade. Sometimes it will be so lopsided that one side will remember it for years and years. It will be trotted out as an example of a bad trade or ownership ignorance. These deals belong in the bettertrades hall of fame, depending on your perspective. (Fans of teams on the wrong end must consider as a candidate for the worse trades hall of fame!)
What constitutes better trades for athletic teams?
A better trade occurs when one team:
- Acquires an all-star player
- Acquires TWO all-star players in exchange for one
- Finds a player who is considered washed-up, only to have them return to form
- Find a player who hasn't lived up to their potential, only to see them emerge to stardom
- Acquires a player who is better than the one that was traded
- Deals for a draft choice and the player selected turns out to be an all-star
- Watches a player they have just traded retired a day after the deal is announced
- Watches a player get arrested on a morals charge the day after the deal is announced
- Receives universal praise and approval on ESPN
Teams know they made a better trade when years and years later it brings a smile to face of the local fans. Perhaps it put the team over the top and sent them on the way to the playoffs. Maybe the trade got rid of a local troublemaker that the entire fan base hated. It could be that the new player blended in with the community and made lasting contributions.
But it all probably goes back to winning. Any trade that promotes a better team will be considered one of that club's better trades. Fans are fairly ruthless when it comes to their emotions. They're willing to buy into the deal, but only if it means success, another pennant to hang from the banner or another flag to put on the outfield wall. If moving a player, no matter how popular, means a better team, then most fans will in line and support the move.
Every general manager has had their share of better trades. Some have had more than others; these are the teams that typically win more games and spend more time in the playoffs. But every general manager has also had their share of stinkers, too. Anyone who professes to only making better trades is a liar and can't be trusted. It only matters as long as the good trades outweigh the stinkers. From that point it's all about better trades.