HOW TO: Essentials of Trading

Ever wish CSFBL had a cheat sheet? Some place you could go for advice on how to evaluate players or build a winning team? Maybe you’re thinking about making some major changes to your roster and aren’t sure how to go about it. Well you’re in luck, because all of that and more is explained in the new 'How To' pages.

Essentials of Trading

This Wiki entry is dedicated to helping owners, especially new CSFBLers, realize the market value of their most valuable assets.

Read BEFORE You Trade Your Superstar or Your Top 5 Draft Pick!!

Simply put, a top 5 pick in the draft is likely worth more than you realize. One of the top 10 hitters or pitchers in your league is likely worth more than you realize. Especially if they are still in their 20s.

So, the question is... "What can you get if you decide to trade one of your extremely valuable assets?"

The easiest answer is... you won't know if you don't ask! Just to be clear, I don't mean ask 1 owner - ask the league. Post a message in the forum... "I want to trade the #2 pick ... make me an offer." or "2x MVP Johnny AllStar is on the trade block ... best offer gets him." - or something like that.

Here's what happens WAY too often. A new CSFBLer takes over a team. A veteran owner immediately reaches out to that new CSFBLer with a trade targeting their best player. The new owner wants to make the team their own, and trading one star for a few young building blocks sounds good - so they accept.

Here's what's wrong with that scenario... Trading is not about acquiring players you want or like. Trading is about maximizing the return on the asset you are trading. Sure, you should acquire the players/picks you want, like, and fit with your plan - but get as much of that as you can! However, if you only talk to one owner, or if you take the first offer ... you are almost certainly selling yourself short.

Too many inexperienced owners defend a lopsided trade as "I got players I really like!". That's great, but that's not the way to look at it. Let me give an analogy. We all like quarters. They're great. They're worth twenty-five cents and we can buy stuff with them. But if someone offers me 3 of them in a trade for my $1 bill, should I do that deal? Of course not. Even though quarters are great, and I really like them, need them, and can use them; I'm not maximizing the return on my asset, in this case a $1 bill, if I'm accepting this deal. Similarly, if you trade the #1 pick in the draft for three decent lineup/rotation fillers, sure you will be getting 3 pieces you can use, but you're not getting the value you could/should be getting in exchange for the #1 pick.

Lets also look at the other side of the spectrum. I have already discussed how top draft picks and superstar players have more value than most new CSFBLers realize. To go along with that, older players, players starting their decline, players who make too much money ... all have LESS value than most new CSFBLers realize. So when someone offers you that 34 year old who makes $5 million and is beginning his decline, think to yourself, 'How much is this player worth to the owner who is offering him to me?" In many cases, the owner would be thrilled to get anything for the player just to clear salary and open the position up to a prospect who is ready to take over. Always try to put yourself in the position of the other owner. Try to understand their motivation and what they are trying to accomplish. If picking up a veteran outfielder or a pitcher with some gas left in the tank would help your team, go for it! Just don't pay too much. Youth is worth much more than Old in this game. Don't give up a great young piece to get a decent old piece. You can get the decent old piece for less than you think. Have fun and happy trading!