We’re only a couple of weeks into the 2011 baseball season, so fantasy standings don’t mean much. Just as there are a bunch of players with inflated numbers (Willie Bloomquist is hitting .368/.400/.450 with six stolen bases), there are plenty of star-level players that will see better days ahead (Albert Pujols is hitting .150/.222/.225 with only one home run). Because of this type of disparity between hot and cold in an extremely small sample size, the idea of buy low and sell high can become muddled.
Between 12 leagues, I must have received at least 30 trade offers since opening day and in pretty much all of them, the opposing GM wants a player that was much highly regarded on draft day for a player much less regarded (sometimes even disregarded) on draft day.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve hit the “reject” button, I’d be $30 richer.
This isn’t to say that early season trades can’t be made, but I just don’t see the point in selling low on a player that I invested highly in on draft day. I find it hard to believe that many fantasy GM’s out there are getting trade offers that actually favor them. How many times has someone sent you an offer like Robinson Cano for Howie Kendrick? Yeah, not happening.
Even if your team is filled with slumping stars, don’t hit the panic button. Most players have between 500 and 600 at-bats left to their season and starting pitchers still have 150-plus innings to go. Opposing GM’s will try and convince you that you need to dismantle your team or that you should shake things up. Don’t be afraid to hit that “reject” button early and often.
As for late round sleepers, now is about the time where you can start cutting guys loose to fill other team needs. Players like Dan Johnson, who was worth a last round pick for some power potential, is easily cut at this point in favor of a hot bat, like say, Travis Hafner.
The baseball season is a grind and you’ll have to grind it out with your fantasy team(s) through many more hot and cold streaks. When it comes to trading this early, make sure you feel like you are clearly getting the better end of the deal. What you think might be a need for your team now could change quickly with one or two hot streaks.
Rejecting trades is not nearly as fun as making deals, but it is a skill that every fantasy GM needs to feel comfortable and confident with, especially in April, when the numbers are greatly skewed.
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