The World Series is over and for the standard redraft roto GMs out there, the season has been over for even longer. However, the end of the fall classic brings about an entirely different roto beast: The Keeper Leaguers!
Deciding on who to keep, what values can you get in trades, what positions do you need to upgrade and all at what cost? Oh, yeah, and prospects — the great unknown! — who is for real and who is the next Brandon Wood (sorry Brandon, I'm still not over you). It's a complicated decision making game almost (if not) more complex than the regular fantasy baseball season. And keeper league GMs LOVE IT!
I'm in a great keeper league –10 teams, OBP instead of AVG, deep enough rosters that there is still plenty of skill involved in in-season pickups — and I have found that this league LOVES to trade. After all, acting like a real GM while the real GMs are meeting in California is part of the fantasy. While it is rare that we see star players being traded for star players in this day-and-age, our keeper leagues allow us to do just that. Troy Tulowitski for Jason Heyward? Sure! Michael Bourn for Wil Meyers? Why not?
However, one thing that I have found throughout the years is that I just don't go trade crazy over the winter. There are a few reasons for this, and reasons that might end up saving your fantasy kepeer league team in the long-run…
1. I like my players – I drafted/traded for these guys for a reason. I know that Justin Upton had a down year and that Eric Hosmer failed to even come close to living up to expectations, but I still really like both over the next 5-plus seasons. The only way I would deal one of these two would be if the opposing GM was willing to pay full price, which rarely happens after a down year. And I completely get it. Heck, I am trying to do the same thing.
2. I don't even consider "throw-ins" – Adding stacks of middle-of-the-road starting pitchers just doesn't do it for me. When I do get an offer with a bunch of throw-ins, I always respond by taking those names out of the equation and presenting how I actually look at the trade. Unless you are in a dynasty league and need bulk over Braun in order to rebuild, I see no upside.
3. It's still waaaaaay too early – A lot can happen between now and the start of spring training. Trades, injuries, changes in lineup construction and offensive support for starting pitchers…the list goes on. I want to see Derek Jeter running at full speed before I consider making a deal for him, just like I'd want to see Michael Pineda throwing in the upper 90s again before I even consider buying low.
4. I'm picky – That's just how I am. If I don't feel like I'm coming out ahead on a deal, I have major reservations about pulling the trigger. This ties back into point #1: I like my players.
How do you approach offseason trading?