War Room

Trade Wisely

Trading is an artform that few GMs ever master. It's also highly dependant on the league you're in. How active and knowledgable the other managers are. Whether you know them personally and can throw in a Jimmy Paek rookie card on the side in the deal. No matter your situation, there are several rules and strategies that you must master before pulling the trigger on a big transaction.

Trade Offer Considerations

1. Play the Market - Buy low. Sell high. If you see a free agent that is on a hot streak, but you know it's not going to last, pick him up and shop him around. You'd be surprised how much you can get for a guy who was available for free last week. Sometimes an older player goes on a tear for a couple of weeks, and then falls back down to earth. Watch for these.
On the other side, you ought to watch for good players who are in a slump. Marty St. Louis has done this almost every season. He'll start in the tank, or slow down for a month, and GMs start to get anxious. He always comes back strong at the end of the season. Look for guys on rosters who are underperforming and float some low-ball offers out there to see how itchy they are to drop the guy.

2. Two-for-one Special - Newer GMs will be taken in by this every time. Find two average players on your roster and make an offer for one very good player on his. Tell him he can throw in whoever he wants as the 2nd player coming back. More often than not, you can backfill one of those spots with a decent free agent, and you upgraded one roster spot. This worked for me for years. Unfortunately, the guys in my league are smart now. But the guys in your league aren't. Especially that Dave guy. He's an idiot. He'll fall for it for sure.

3. Build for the Playoffs - Be willing to trade for an injured superstar who is due to come back in time for your playoffs. Trade an average guy now for a buttload of points when it matters most. Wouldn't it have been nice to see Gonchar on your roster for the last month of the season, even if it meant giving up Roman Hamrlik for the whole year?

4. Keep it Clean - Don't trade an injured guy to the dumb GM. It's not cool. You'll come out smelling like old cheese and nobody will ever trade with you again. Just don't do it.

Considering an Offer

When you get an offer from another player, it's not too much different than buying a car or a vat of corn.

1. Be Suspicious - You'll always have GMs trying to unload a player who just got hurt. Always check on the injury status of a player before accepting a deal. Don't take Jerry's word for it. He cheated in Algebra and he'd love to stick it to you next.

2. Counter Offer - Don't take the first offer, chump-cake. Even if it's fair, squeeze a little blood out of that stone. If he says no, come back to the original offer. No harm done.