Diamond is widely acknowledged as the most successful Fantasy Baseball Pick-up Artist in the world – applying the methods of female seduction to the art of winning fantasy baseball league championships. He travels cyberspace with his wing Saber, teaching those who play fantasy baseball how to be fantasy baseball players.
I don’t spend my days perusing the latest fantasy news. I don’t spend my hard-earned money on the MLB package or pore through box scores like a Kabbalah follower. I am not one of those ‘web experts’ that spouts advice from within the friendly confines of their mom’s basement or a Connecticut cubicle.
So who am I and why am I posting on Razzball? Remember that trade you made last year that blew up in your face? I’m the guy advising your trade partner.
He likely attended one of the many seminars I run across the country where I impart wisdom to my Fantasy Pickup Artists-in-Training via small group sessions. And the question I get more than any other during my seminars: “Diamond, can you teach me how to be an Alpha Trader?” For your knowledge, an Alpha Trader is what we call a Fantasy Baseball Pick-Up Artist who can seduce another participant into making a trade that is more beneficial to your team’s needs than their own.
You may be thinking, “I believe a trade should help both teams equally” or “I’m in a league with friends and I don’t want to manipulate them just to win a league.” or “I’d rather do research and outsmart my trade partner rather than con them.” That’s fine. Organic trades and interactions with league members can often sprout positive results. You may even win a league by chance (assuming you don’t play with any of my students). So if you’re content being a ‘Trader Joe’ - no need to read further. But if you want to master the art of the fantasy baseball trade and transform yourself from winning by chance to winning by choice, you should study this article and bookmark it for later.
Assuming you absorbed the lessons from my previous post, you already have established a Fantasy Avatar™ that radiates power and confidence. Working from this position of strength, we just need to identify our target. Now most experts will tell you to peruse your roster and those of your leaguemates to find someone whose team is the inverse of your teams’ strengths/weaknesses. Take a step back, Trader Joe, and think about what you really want to accomplish here. You want to trade for superior players than those currently on your roster. Everyone in your league must have at least one player that’s an upgrade over yours so why rule out anyone right from the onset? Compatibility is not how we narrow in our target; susceptability is.
We do this by sending private messages to everyone in the league that allows us to gauge each competitor’s temperature. We can then rank everyone based on the likelihood we can Trade Close on them. This process is called Centigrading. This ‘Opener’ must be specially crafted to elicit a response that will determine trading temperature, maintain a position of power, and expose (or impose) any roster insecurities in your opponent. Here are two Openers – let’s see if you can separate the effective from the defective:
- Nice draft. You snagged a few players right before I was going to (K-Rod, Cruz). Good luck in the league and hopefully we can make a trade at some point. Any thoughts?
- Interesting draft. A SS and 2B in the first four rounds – you must really like middle infielders. Good thing you shored those up because it’s not like late round and free agent middle infielders ever work out (DeRosa, cough, Aaron Hill, cough, Jason Bartlett). I like my team a lot but let me know if there are any players you want to overpay for…
So which do you think is the good Opener – #1 or #2? Trick question – it’s neither. The first one is too passive and complimentary. The second is too heavy on the Negs. Here’s the proper balance:
“I like how you held off on pitchers until the 10th round. I had a couple of those pitchers on my wish list for upside 4th/5th/6th starters. Glad to see someone else here has the balls to draft based on instinct vs. the default rankings. Did any of my picks take you by surprise?”
See what I did here? Let’s break it down line by line:
|I like how you held off on pitchers until the 10th round.||I’m smart enough to recognize your strategy.|
|I had a couple of those pitchers on my wish list for upside 4th/5th/6th starters.||…but it seems pretty risky. A subtle but clear neg that might have Mr. Offense Is More Predictable feeling a bit worried by his staff.|
|Glad to see someone else here has the balls to draft based on instinct vs. the default rankings.||I might not agree with your picks but I respect you have an opinion. This is a great line because everyone likes to think they are mavericks even when they are show ponies. It also sets up an environment where your trading partner can accept a lopsided trade and justify it based on their unconventional wisdom. We call this the Disoriental Rug Gambit – disorient your trading partner and then pull the rug out from under them.|
|Did any of my picks take you by surprise?||Three messages in this final sentence: 1) Elicit a response. It’s a pain in the ass to look at another team’s roster to find a potential trade but it’s easy to call out a pick you don’t like, 2) Reaffirm power and confidence. I realize you might not like all my selections. That’s fine. Not all my evaluative methods are apparent so I can see how you’d be surprised but I am confident they are right and 3) Trade Enticement. I’m cocky enough that I might be easy to get the better of in a trade.|
I think I’ve given you all that you can absorb in one reading. In the next post, I’ll go over how to Centigrade the responses from your messages to zero in on our target and my wing Saber will share his secrets on Carrot Theory ™.