by Howard Bender
I can hear Ol' Blue Eyes singing it right now. "Regrets, I've had a few; but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course; each careful step along the byway, but more, much more than this, I did it myyyyyyyy waaaaaaaaaay!!!!" Truly spectacular isn't it? Truly spectacular. And oh so appropriate for fantasy baseball trading, if you ask me. Sinatra was an expert and not looking back on his mistakes and as a fantasy baseball GM, you must adopt that belief as well.
I've heard it in dozens of emails; owners from around the country lamenting over the fact that they traded a player just before his breakout and how much they wish they had him back. We've all been there. Heck, even this year, I caught myself stressing that I traded Dexter Fowler away for some pitching help and now find myself shorthanded in the outfield. Not to mention, the half dozen bases he swiped in the week and a half that followed my deal. But you can't live like that. It's going to eat at you and likely cause you to do something stupid this close to the trade deadline -- yours, not MLB's.
With any luck, you're smart enough to take the time to analyze your team and its needs before pulling the trigger on any deal. You've evaluated all the players involved, examined your place in the standings, and studied your team's strengths and weaknesses. I should hope that's the case. You never make a deal on the fly. Never. So with that in mind, when you do actually pull the trigger, be confident in your move.
It's real easy to watch a guy you just acquired fall into a slump or end up on a quick DL stint while the guy you traded seems to have suddenly found a groove. But this is a long term process, right? Fantasy baseball is a marathon, not a sprint right? Say it like a mantra for crying out loud. You can sit and dwell on the short term if you like, but you're only going to give yourself grief and anxiety and likely cause yourself to make another deal that you probably shouldn't be doing.
Take my situation as an example. I had solid depth in the outfield and a good hold on my position in stolen bases. I wasn't running away with it, but there were two of us competing for second overall in the category. First was way ahead. Neither of us appeared to be in danger of dropping any further and Fowler was on my bench anyway, so I figured I could just package him up and grab myself some much needed pitching help.
Well, as you can imagine, the guy I was competing with went on a little stolen base run and gave himself a 6 base lead on me in the category. I conceded that point and then watched as the guy behind me dealt for steals and was right on my tail. Suddenly it was another point I was almost losing. Meanwhile, the pitcher I acquired was anything but special and in his first 3 starts got me no wins with middling ERA and WHIP totals. I didn't lose any points, but I wasn't gaining any either.
So what was I going to do? I now had pitching depth and was looking like I was in trouble in steals all of a sudden. Did I make a mistake? Should I have just stood pat and shuffled Fowler in and out of my lineup? Should I try to deal one of my pitchers for some steals elsewhere and gain back those points? Hell no! Come on! It was 3 starts for a pitcher and 2 weeks of a struggling hitter getting hot. If the season had only 2 weeks left, then maybe I'd regret the move, but let's be realistic. There's more than 2 months of baseball still to go from now and more than that at the time of my trade.
I did not make a mistake. I did what was best for my team and I have to understand that, no matter how it looks from the onset, the trade I made was the right thing for my squad in the long run. And the proof is in the pudding. Here we are another 2 weeks since my deal and Fowler has cooled off and suddenly I'm right back to where I was in SBs. I endured a cold spell from my other basestealers, and now they're all doin gwhat they are supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, I've gotten 2 more starts out of my newly acquired staff, received 2 wins and am slowly but surely climbing up the ladder in the ratios categories. Everything is going according to plan.
So be confident in the moves you make. With your trade deadline approaching, it's going to be real easy to get caught up in th ehype and the swing of things. You have to keep a level head and make sure that the moves you make are the right ones for your team. And after that, let it go. Don't go checking up on players you've traded, don't look for their names in the boxscores, and don't go sweating what they're now doing for someone else's team. Let your trade marinate for a bit. You had your reasons for making the deal in the first place, and I highly doubt you did it for a two week period. You did it for the long haul, so give in to that. It's real easy to look back and regret. Hindsight is 20/20. But you're smart enough to know that there's still plenty of baseball to go and, more than likely, you've done the right thing.
Want the lowdown on all of the MLB trades that are going on? Need to hear some of the rumors? Looking to see the fantasy impact of all of these deadline deals? Well then check out what's going on over at RotoBuzz.com.
Howard Bender is a freelance fantasy sports writer and champion in both rotisserie and head to head leagues. For questions, thoughts, or comments, you can email him at Howard.Rotobuzz@yahoo.com.