Fantasy Trades That Weren’t
Sometimes, the best fantasy trades are the ones that never actually happen. Earlier I analyzed the trades that I did end up making and now I’ll take a look at select trades that I didn’t see through to the end for one reason or another.
Offered SP Josh Johnson for various offensive players
From the minute the draft concluded, I realized I had stacked my deck with elite starting pitchers, but lacked an impact bat. My top three of Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright and Josh Johnson were especially impressive and I internally ranked Johnson third of those three, but still marketed him as a top-of-the-rotation ace.
In my pursuit to get a big bat for the middle of my lineup, I shopped Johnson around, expecting him to be the lesser of my three aces. As of this minute, he’s currently ranked as the 7th best Yahoo fantasy player. Wainwright comes in just a nose ahead of him at 6th and King Felix is 42nd and has actually been my fourth best starter. Tim Hudson is ranked 41st overall.
The first player I targeted was Troy Tulowitski, and he has been among the game’s better shortstops, but he spent an extended time on the disabled list and hasn’t come close to matching Johnson’s value. Instead of going through all the trades I tried with Johnson, I’ll list the players I offered him for straight-up.
2B Chase Utley, OF Ryan Braun, 2B Robinson Cano, OF Jayson Werth, 1B Ryan Howard and 1B Prince Fielder.
Of the seven proposals I made, the only one I would still be comfortable with today would be the Cano one. Although had I made that deal, I would never have made some of the other deals along the way. Bottom line is, sometimes you luck out in fantasy baseball. And I certainly lucked out big time that no one had the foresight to predict Josh Johnson’s fantastic season.
Offered SP Josh Johnson and 1B Lyle Overbay for 1B Mark Teixeira
Another deal peddling Johnson and another one I’m glad didn’t work out. The owner here nixed the deal and requested a closer be added on my side. Obviously that was a no go, as I thought I had offered more than enough return for Tex. Against better reasoning, I offered my second closer, David Aardsma alongside Johnson and again it was rejected.
When owners counter a fair offer with a ludicrous one, it often turns me against them and stops me from dealing with them again in the future. This was one of those times. I know what I’m prepared to give up to get what I want, and if I get less value back, I’m not going to make a trade just for trading’s sake.
Offered SP Barry Zito for OF Carlos Gonzalez
Owner’s Comment: No
I wasn’t expecting much to come of this one and nothing did. Owner was very direct as evidenced by his rejection comment. No hard feelings just sending out some feelers to see how much certain owners valued certain players. Gonzalez was a draft target of mine that I thought I’d check in on. He wasn’t a guy I’d overpay for, or even pay equal value to get, so this was a quick exchange.
Was offered OF Raul Ibanez for SP Adam Wainwright
This one got the ax from me pretty quickly. Ibanez isn’t nearly the hitter I’d accept for my best pitcher. A top five pitcher has to bring back at least a top ten hitter, and Ibanez might not even be a top 100 hitter. Can’t blame a guy for trying but can’t blame me for not being an idiot.
Offered 1B/3B Chris Davis and SP Josh Johnson for 1B Kendry Morales and OF Franklin Gutierrez. Was countered with 1B Kendry Morales and OF Franklin Gutierrez for SP Adam Wainwright and 1B/OF Nick Swisher
Owner’s Comment: I think we can do a deal, but I was expecting you to either accept my proposal or make another counter offer. That’s how the real GMs do it!
There were a few more trade ideas bounced around here, but he wasn’t interested in Johnson as a centerpiece and I wasn’t interested in moving anyone else. Turned out holding out for more talent than he should have bit him in the rear as Morales injured himself celebrating a walk-off home run and would be out for the season. Real GM’s also don’t stay in negotiations when the other GM’s who have an unrealistic expectation of what their players are worth.
Offered 1B Gaby Sanchez for RP Leo Nunez
Obviously, this manager wanted to hang onto his closer. I’ve been pretty set with closers and have been pleasantly surprised by the production I’ve gotten from Sanchez this season. I drafted him in the 21st round and is one of only four players drafted in that round still on a roster.
Offered 1B/OF Nick Swisher for OF Brett Gardner
Owner’s Comment: While Swisher is good, Gardner is one of my most productive hitters
At the time I was on the lookout for stolen bases, but in hindsight am glad this one didn’t work out. Swisher has been a tremendous asset to my offense, contributing in all offensive categories except steals.
Offered 1B Adrian Gonzalez and IF Jeff Keppinger for 3B Alex Rodriguez and RP Andrew Bailey
Here’s the same manager that I dealt with when trying to acquire Kendry Morales. Obviously at this point, he’s just lost Morales and is looking for a replacement 1B. We went back and forth for about a week (about seven different proposed deals) and finally settled on the Gonzalez/Callaspo for Zobrist/Feliz deal I swung.
I haven’t missed Callaspo at all, as I found a free agent replacement in Jeff Keppinger, who’s been just as good if not a little better than Callaspo. And Feliz and Zobrist have more than made up for the production I lost from Gonzalez. Zobrist has been stealing more bases, scoring more runs and getting on base at a better clip than Gonzalez, while Feliz has become my best closer, racking up saves and filling out other stats too.
Was offered SP Barry Zito for C Jorge Posada
Owner’s Comment: I got Escobar at short if you want him that’s okay, but I thought Zito makes more sense from a trading standpoint.
Strange, almost incomprehensible explanation aside, this is the manager that I traded Zito TO a few weeks before. I got hosed in that trade, by only getting Todd Helton back, and certainly wasn’t going to trade such a positional value like Posada for a pitcher that I had already determined wasn’t going to be much use to me from that point out.
I offered C Jorge Posada and SP Matt Garza for SP Cliff Lee and OF Carlos Gomez
Owner’s Comment: It’s a fair offer, but I’m pretty weak in the OF and it’s not enticing enough to give up Lee.
At this point, I was looking to go for the kill by acquiring a fourth ace to pitch alongside Wainwright, Johnson and Hernandez. Very valid rejection, and although I’ve never consummated a deal with this particular owner, I’ve found him reasonable and measured as a manager. He understood perfectly where I was coming from by offering this trade, recognized the fair package I was offering and politely declined based on his team’s needs. I can’t complain about anything there.
I was offered SP Mat Latos and OF Carlos Gomez for 2B/SS Ben Zobrist
This proposal came from the same owner as the Cliff Lee deal, and this time it was I that politely declined, citing my preference for Zobrist’s positional flexibility and concerns over an innings limit for Latos. A fair offer, in my opinion, but one that didn’t work for my roster as it was presently constructed.
I offered C Ivan Rodriguez for 2B/SS Reid Brignac. I was countered with 2B/SS Reid Brignac fo SP Tim Hudson.
At this point, Hudson had established himself as the Atlanta ace, and a true front of the rotation arm. And this moron attempts to trade me a part-time middle infielder for him. I noticed this particular owner’s catching shortage and offered one with decent offensive production for an infielder with similar numbers.
I then found myself staring at a counter offer for one of my ace starters and a nasty message claiming I was trying to pull the wool over his eyes dumping a worthless catcher on him. (A worthless catcher I may add, who at the time, had a higher batting average than any one of his offensive players)
These negotiations got a little heated, and broke off on a sour note. We haven’t dealt since then and I’ve enjoyed watching him slip in the standings.
Going back through all these would-be deals,