Headley’s an example. You don’t necessarily have to give or get Headley for this example to work, but a comment I got today made me think of him. Someone was offered the trade of Miggy Cabrera and Chase Headley for Haren and Kershaw. Whether you think this trade is fair or not is besides the point, Headley is the point. He’s the sore thumb in this trade. To break this down into a real world example, if you were trading someone for a blueberry pie and you had to give an apple pie and one other component. To sweeten the pot of pie, would you A) Throw in whipped cream? B) Throw in ice cream? C) Throw in dog feces? A and B can open up negotiations. I want ice cream, but I don’t want vanilla. I like your whipped cream, but I’m more of a Cool Whip guy. You don’t have Cool Whip? Okay, maybe you can throw in a fork so I don’t have to use my fingers. Dialogue has now started and a trade may or may not work out.
When I get offered a trade with dog feces, I usually reject the trade and reply, “No thanks.” Negotiations will not start on my end. If someone wants to offer me dog feces, I won’t go out of my way to figure out how a trade could possibly work for our two teams. I don’t counteroffer. Then my favorite thing (and by that I mean least favorite thing) is when someone will offer dog feces, I’ll reject it and then they email me back something like, “You see anything that could work in a trade for our teams?” So let me get this straight, you don’t have the decency to offer me a good trade or have the time to look at my team for a counteroffer so it’s up to me to figure out a trade for us when you were the one who initiated the trade? Yeah, I’m pretty good about getting back to everyone who offers me a trade, but that email could sit in my inbox for days. And when I get around to it, I usually send a clipped, “Don’t see anything.”
If you’re offering a trade, it’s better to offer the real meat of the trade (to switch up our food analogies), rather than tack on some excrement that no one wants. For instance, if you want Haren and Kershaw for Miggy, offer that trade. Don’t push your unwanted Headley onto the trade to sweeten it because it’s doing the opposite. It’s saying to me, “I’m giving you Headley because I think you’re stupid. So stupid in fact, you may spell it stoopid.” Without Headley, the trade is at least respecting the other person’s intelligence and can kick off negotiations.