Trade-aholic Tips: Learn From Your Fantasy Baseball Offers and Counter

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IApril 8, 2010

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 29:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits against the Minnesota Twins on March 29, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Everyone has an addiction of some sort or another.

Some may be addicted to drugs and alcohol, while others may be overly obsessed with watching HGTV or eating tacos.

I am addicted to trading. I am a trade-aholic.

And I am here to help you dominate your fantasy baseball league through the art of trading. I have made every mistake in the book as well as a few exceptional deals along the way. 

Last year, I wrote my very popular first trade-aholic post at called Confessions of a Trade-aholic: Top 10 tips for trading . The pointers there still apply in your fantasy baseball leagues today.

For our first glimpse into my trading psychosis this year (and I'll revisit my trading personality often in posts this year), let us talk about trade offers you may already be receiving in various leagues and how you should be responding.

So, someone has offered you a trade and you do not know how to react. You may feel the trade is unfairly lopsided in the other person's favor. It probably is.

How often have you gone to a used car lot and were offered a quality vehicle at a ridiculously reduced rate? Likely never.

The fine art of negotiating typically starts with one party offering a deal that is decidedly in their favor, and that is followed by the other party's counter offer. This holds true in fantasy baseball as well as in life.

However, too many owners seem to struggle with this fact. They see a deal that looks unfavorable on the surface, scoff at how ridiculous the offer is, and chastise the other party for an "insulting" offer. Short of Fat Albert straight up for Albert Pujols, however, no offer should be immediately discounted.

Instead, you should look at every trade offer as a learning experience. Sure the deal may seem unfair, but it does tell you up front which of your players the other owner has interest in. It also lets you know which players the other owner is willing to move in a potential trade.

To be successful in fantasy baseball, you should always be looking to improve your team. No one in the history of the game drafted the perfect fantasy baseball team. Every squad needs some tweakage, and every owner should take trade offers seriously and make a commitment to counter offering.

Over the years, I've learned that in most cases it is more productive to counter offer a deal where you pinpoint the players you want, offering the players you don't. Again, it is very unlikely that the other owner accepts your first offer, but it will give them a better picture of what works for you and should lead to a more realistic offer when they counter your counter offer.

So, remember:

1. Take every offer seriously and note which players your opponent is looking to acquire and which players he/she is willing to give up.

2. Develop a counter offer that best illustrates your desires in a trade.

3. Keep communication open and honest with the other owner. If you just won't part with Chase Utley under any circumstances, share that up front to avoid needless offers that will only frustrate both parties.

4. Make it a point to counter offer whenever you can, in place of flatly denying a deal. This is the best way to keep back-and-forth communication in place as you both work towards a potential deal that both sides agree on.

5. If trade negotiations seem to be going nowhere, than take a step back from the process and discuss deals with other teams. The other owner may see that you are willing to look elsewhere for a trade partner and suddenly be more open to caving on some of your trade demands.

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