There are deals to be had in every fantasy league. However, managers often prevent themselves from finding their best trades by making some key mistakes in trade talks.
Here are seven things to avoid when you dive into the 2023 trade market.
Don’t get fixated on one player
There are so many players who can help your team win your league. Need saves? There are nearly 20 players who have already posted a double-digit total, and that list doesn’t include a few relievers who have low totals thus far but are likely to get their team’s next save chance. Searching for steals? There are more than 25 men who have swiped at least 10 bags thus far. I’m sure that by now you get the point. Becoming fixated on a specific player is likely to result in either a bad trade or no trade at all.
Don’t talk about your team
Although I’m sure the other managers in your league are nice people, they likely don’t care about your team. When sending trade offers or getting deep into trade talks, you should spend very little time mentioning how the deal will impact your team. You can briefly mention your own club in an effort to explain why you have entered trade negotiations, but a long explanation of why the swap makes sense for you is unlikely to bring about further progress in trade talks.
Don’t rule out other players on your roster
Repeat after me: Every player on your team is available in trade talks.
Although it’s fair to have some players who are more difficult to part with than others, nothing is impossible when it comes to making deals. As soon as you start to eliminate players from trade talks, you dramatically reduce your opportunity to get a deal done. I am not exaggerating when I say that I would trade Ronald Acuña Jr., who has been the top fantasy asset this season by a wide margin.
Give me a couple of superstars, and Acuña is yours.
Don’t get cocky
You don’t know everything about fantasy baseball. Neither do I. There is no manager in this game who can accurately predict the rest-of-season stats for the majority of players, which is what makes this game so much fun. Managers often turn off their counterparts in trade talks by offering too many firm opinions on how much each player is worth. Try not to be arrogant. Keep your opinions on your opponents’ players to yourself.
Don’t beat around the bush
This is going to sound redundant, but when you’re making a trade offer, make a trade offer. I have competed against so many managers who are afraid to do anything more than dip their toes into the trade waters. They send an email that beats around the bush for a trade, but their comments are so vague that things go nowhere fast. You need to put yourself out there to make a trade, and it starts with an initial offer.
Don’t waste everyone’s time
Speaking of the initial offer, please do your best to make a competitive one right off the bat. In some cases, it will make sense to make your best offer right away. But even if you aren’t ready to go to your best offer during the initial phase of trade talks, you should start with something the other manager can consider. Offering a lopsided deal in the initial stages of trade talks could cause the other manager to walk away altogether. At the very least, it wastes time before you get to a stage where a trade could happen.
Don’t be afraid to make a trade
In the end, this game of fantasy baseball is for fun. Whether you play for free or choose to put some money on the line, the whole point of playing fantasy baseball is to find a hobby that is enjoyable and enriches your love for the sport. Whether your team wins your 2023 league or not, you will have the same career, same family and same friends when the MLB playoffs begin.
Once you put fantasy sports into perspective, it becomes much easier to make decisions during trade talks. Go with your gut, analyze the stats, consult a friend — do whatever you need to do. But don’t stress over the situation, as we are all lucky to have the ability to have fun making trades in this silly little game.