Fish Trading

The Marlins have traded three All-Stars and a starter who's 4th in the league in strikeouts this season and all they have to show for it is a middle reliever, two 5th starters, a 4th outfielder and a boat load of suspect prospects.  And all they have saved in salary is $6 million and some change.  If it wasn't clear before that the same organization that couldn't negotiate local media contracts in Montreal the past two years was in charge of the Marlins, it is now.  Considering the successes of the Expos and Twins this year, this most incompetent fire sale makes one wonder if Bud Selig ordered the Marlins' ownership to make that team the most likely contraction candidate.  Or maybe Bud and his cronies knew ownership like that could ruin two franchises sufficiently to contract all by themselves.

Of course, they can't be finished already.  They still have 9 players making over a two million a year, although only one makes more than 3.5 mil.  They haven't shown us anything yet.  Anyone could've dumped the contracts of Alfonseca, Dempster, Floyd and Clement: those guys have talent.  We are still waiting to be impressed with how they dump Eric Owens or Julian Tavarez.  We won't be surprised if they get nothing for them.  The Marlins' "braintrust" needs to demonstrate they have more baseball acumen than a rosin bag by getting an actual baseball player in return.  Or are the guys they're getting the foundation of their rebuilding?  It's impossible to tell with this crew.

Which brings me to trading in fantasy baseball.

Personally, I'm not generally fond of trading.  Unless it's for a guy I lost out on in the draft, I usually don't make many trades.  The biggest reason why is that most owners tend to think that they can equal or surpass the greatest swindles in baseball history on every trade.  Am I more or less likely to trade with someone who offers Alberto Castillo for ARod?  What are my first impressions of that person?  Am I thinking, "hey, this guy's a straight shooter who I can trust to work out a good deal?"  Or am I thinking, "this nudnik is gonna waste a good portion of my life trying to convince me that I really do enjoy cold water enemas"?  (I don't.  No one does.)

Look, most people have plenty of things to do in life and don't need to waste hours on end negotiating for a decent fantasy baseball trade proposal.  The notion that "it never hurts to ask" is so ludicrous it's hard to believe that some people actually think they subscribe to it.  No one actually does; everyone has things where 'it does hurt to ask'.  Everyone has a line that can be crossed that won't be uncrossed.  Salt the ground enough and nothing will grow there, no matter how much fertilizer you put on it.

If you have something reasonable, spit it out and give your reasons why it's a good deal.  By all means, put your offer in the best possible light, but give your potential investor a chance to look at it and get back to you.  Be prepared to answer questions and counters with honesty and openness.  A crummy deal is far more likely to get rejected and build distrust as it is to get a winning result.  Never assume your potential partner will accept something you'd never dream of accepting.  Unless, of course, he runs the Marlins.