MLB - Better Trades
You own a baseball team. Sounds like a fun way to make better trades, huh? But how much fun could it possibly be if:
- Your team's starting center fielder steps in a hole and breaks his ankle. He's hitting .330 and was on pace to hit 40 home runs. Now he won't be able to play again until next April.
- Your team's third baseman had little too much to drink after last night's game. On the way home he ran a red light and T-boned a car. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but he blew a 1.5 on the sobriety test. He's got problems.
- Your team's shortstop isn't hitting his weight - and he's skinny. Fans are tired of watching this guy leave men in scoring position and allow ground balls to go through his legs. The manager is growing weary of having this huge hole in the lineup. A better trade? How about this guy for a bag of baseballs!
What do you do? In each instance the answer may be a better trade. You call some of the other general managers or owners and try to broker a better trade. Getting a prospect or a veteran from another team can answer questions on your team, as well as help your trading partner. It's considered a better trade when both sides benefit.
Of course, every general manager will start off by trying to make a low-ball offer. This is a case of simply testing the waters and trying to gauge interest. It provides a starting point for the negotiations and permits both sides to see if there is any common ground.
Let's look at the first scenario and see if we can learn how a better trades might be developed. Team A has lost its starting center fielder, who may have been the team's best hitting and best overall player. Is this team going to find someone of equal value to replace him? It is very unlikely. Is Team A going to find someone of approximate value to replace him? It is possible, but the cost is likely going to be very high.
Where can you shop for a legitimate replacement player? Look on the roster of some of the second-division teams in the league. Many times these teams will have two or three good players who just happen to be buried on a bad team. Unless they're trying to hold onto these players for the long haul, they might consider bettertrades by moving them in exchange for some young prospects. Here's where you have to ask the question of yourself: Are my actions going to help me win this year or am I paying too much for this rent-a-player?
Many teams have mortgaged their future for a late-season solution. For teams in a pennant chase, the price may be worth it. Not every team gets a chance to make the playoffs each year. Sometimes there are decades that pass before a franchise qualifies for the postseason. The chance to get in the playoffs and compete for a world championship can be intoxicating.
If you have a player targeted for a trade, you are coming from a position of strength. You have the desired commodity under contract. You can ask for anything and wait for a response. Why should you give anything away? You have to seek the better trade for your own organization. To do otherwise would be irresponsible and unfair to your team and the fans who follow the team.