The art of the deal

After your fantasy baseball draft is over, there are only two ways you can make your team better – trading players and working the waiver wire. Yesterday, I told you that the waiver wire is your key to success. However, a good trade can also help you win a championship.

In fantasy sports, trading players is like trading stocks – you want to trade for an appreciating asset and dump a depreciating one. Another way to put it is buy low, sell high. But I also want you to understand that a trade doesn’t have to be a win/lose deal. It can be a win/win.

Let’s take a look at a trade I completed today. I traded Hunter Dozier and Sonny Gray to another team owner for Matt Olson. I think this trade has the makings of a win/win because parties on both ends of the deal may have improved their team by trading these players.

Only time will tell if it’s a win/win, or a win/lose for one of us. If Gray and Doziiner each have the kind of year they had in 2019, my opponent is going to be happy. And if Olsen has another 36 bombs and keeps his average above .260, I’ll also be satisfied with the trade.

Now, let’s talk about how this deal got done. I was approached by the owner, who offered to trade Christian Walker and Chris Bassitt for Gray and Dozier. This was clearly a lowball offer, bordering on  insulting. I could have rejected it and moved on, but I didn’t.

When I receive a trade offer that I don’t accept, I always counter. But I always offer the player(s) he/she wants, in exchange for player I want. I looked at his team, and I noticed that Anthony Rizzo was his starting first baseman. Josh Bell was in the 1B/3B spot, and Olson was his utility player.

Wow, this guy is loaded with slugging first basemen, is my first thought. He also had Trey Mancini, although the latter is eligible to play the outfield. Clearly, he could part with one of his first basemen. I guessed he wouldn’t part with Rizzo, and I am not interested in Bell. That left Olson.

I like Olson, and he will probably hit at least 10 more home runs than Dozier. With 380 home runs now projected, I could finish first in this category. While Dozier’s batting average was 12 points higher than Olson’s in 2019, he had never hit above .230 before. Regression is very likely.

Regression is also likely for Gray, coming off his best year in 2019. Remember, you want to sell high and buy low. I believe I am selling Dozier and Gray high, and I might be buying low on Olson, who hit his 36 home runs in only 127 games last year. He missed more than a month in 2019.

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