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Too Early to Trade?
April 23, 2002

Everyone knows that the best part about fantasy baseball is the wheeling and dealing, but many differ on the opinion of when to make the deals.  How early is too early?  Some say that if you drafted correctly then you should have no need to trade until the players have established themselves.  I say if there's a taker, make the deal.

Failing to trade until a specific time of the season is silly.  It is a narrow minded approach that will get you nowhere.  Imagine if you used the "best player available" strategy during your draft.  The next day, looking at your roster, you realize that you have a ton of stolen base potential but very little power and could use an extra reliever.  One week later, guys you own like Kenny Lofton are playing well beyond your expectations and you realize that you are still going to need some power to contend.  Even though it's early April, it certainly makes sense to trade away some surplus (SBs) for a necessity (HRs) especially if you feel the deal will benefit you more than the other owner.  That's the whole point of drafting the best player available - you want to have serious trade bait available to get what you need later.  In this case, dealing Lofton (who most likely was drafted in the middle rounds) for a power hitting outfielder and a second tier closer has to make you happy because you will improve on saves, HRs, and hardly suffer any loss from the stolen bases because of your surplus.

For those owners who draft according to needs, you may not have as large a need to trade, but to simply forego any offers is silly.  If an owner offers you Andruw Jones for Reggie Sanders, just because Sanders is hitting behind Bonds, naturally you're not going to reject the offer just because it's "too early."  You take Jones and laugh all the way until October, watching Sanders post Joe Average stats the whole season.

In short, never say never.  If a deal is being cooked, it never hurts to take a taste.