About equally important as your first several
picks in the draft is your protection list preparation. Not only is it as important protecting the best possible players as
it is to make the best possible early picks, but you should ideally make every effort possible to exchange the players who
can’t protect for as many draft picks as possible – or double them up for even better keepers. If you are on the
fence about a couple of players, then offer them both up and take whichever returns the better deal. Every player has his
price, so there is no point in closing off any offer before you hear it. Some managers have a psychological barrier against
making one-for-two trades. They are reluctant to make yet another player on their team worthless, so it sometimes helps to
include a player from the other team in your two-for-one trade even if you don’t really want him. Nobody likes to be
Here’s a fun thing to do when you are
trying to make trade in order to get your team ready for the draft. Especially when you get older and are having trouble remembering
the needs of every team in your league, it would be nice to have a good visual way to see just that. It is a nuisance to recheck
which teams need a centerfielder or which teams already have two cross-overs every time you have an idea for a trade. Yet,
if you aren’t aware of those things, you are wasting both your time and the other manager’s time with errant trade
offers. So, it is easy and fun to cut the team rosters from your league page. Paste it in a Word document (or whatever you
use) in Landscape and Outline modes. Voila! It should all fit with no page breaks (or a small dotted line indicating the page
breaks). Next, highlight the sure cross-league keepers in red (or orange if you have it handy – Word 2007 does not),
the sure keepers in yellow, the probable keepers in green, the possible keepers in blue, and the probable prospect keepers
in grey. It doesn’t actually matter which colours, but that scheme makes the most sense to me. If a cross-leaguer is
only a probable or possible, you can highlight part of his name in red and part in the appropriate other colour. This also
helps with guessing who might be available. It is best to do this as soon as you have finished evaluating most of the starters
in your league – so you can see which players are most worth protecting. Of course, you can do this right after the
season ends, but it will likely be way off unless you check again after your annual winter evaluations – or you stay
current on every player in your league right to the end of the season. Happy colouring!
As a follow-up John Byrne posting in scoresheet-talk had this advice for managers with several teams:
I keep track of my teams through the
tool on Rotowire that allows you to create multiple teams and to add your players to the list. I get e-mails when news items
arise for each player, but more important for this exercise, the tool also allows you to pull a stats report for the team.
- I cut and paste the batter and pitching
stats for each of my teams at the end of the previous season into an Excel spreadsheet. I use one workbook with tabs for each
- To the right of the stats I create
a box which I populate with definite keepers (13 slots, or more/less if I deal/get others) and below that I populate another
box with the "bubble" keepers - players that either don't make the cut for me, but have value or players that may move up
to be protected based on the off-season activity.
- I then copy from the stats section
the names, team name, position and age of the keepers and bubble players into the appropriate box. Often, I will have two
or three keeper slots free until February when I make my final decisions to move bubble players up. This also helps me remember
where I have the opportunity to deal a keeper slot.
- As John mentioned I also highlight
the crossovers (and potential crossovers with a separate color) using my own opinion at the time. This year, I also have a
third color for Houston Astros. Fortunately, I don't have too many of them.
- I also include my prospects below
the definite and bubble keepers, as appropriate.
- After I populate this in October,
I will continue to tweak as my opinion may shift based on activity in MLB and info I get. Also, as I make off-season trades,
the lists are tweaked as well.
I find having this spreadsheet helps
me look quickly at all the teams I have and to quickly identify where I have strengths and weaknesses to deal with. I can't
say that I use this exclusively, but after looking at this I will usually go to the SS site and work off the rosters there.
But at least it's a starting point for my thought process. If I had just one team, I probably wouldn't need to do this, but
sometimes the rosters blur.
A Scoresheet League, in which I am no longer a member, had some owners who would refuse to share their protection
lists early. They felt that if they did, it would put themselves at a disadvantage to the other owners who refused to present
his list early. Actually, the opposite is true. In a league where owners share protection lists early no matter if all do
it, I’ve seen an owner notice a player they wanted who was dropped by another owner and offered a pick for him. If the
other owner hadn’t presented his protection list early, he would never have earned that extra pick.