Fantasy baseball doesn't mirror the on-field game only in a statistical sense.
Over the coming days, you'll surely hear plenty of trade rumors surrounding Baltimore Orioles shortstop -- he's a shortstop, darn it! -- Manny Machado, with the non-contending team looking to cash in its free-agent-to-be before the July 31 (non-waiver) trade deadline in exchange for any young talent it can get. It's much like how fantasy teams in dynasty or keeper leagues play things this time of year, with contending teams looking to pick up rentals from those out of the running in exchange for prospects, cheap contracts or draft picks.
There's no shame in being on either side of such trade talks, but it's a critical time of year to know on which side you reside. The quicker you make your decision whether to go for it or begin shifting your team's focus toward 2019, the better your chances of success on the trade market in the coming weeks.
With the All-Star break here, trade season will only continue to heat up, especially in ESPN standard leagues with the trade deadline less than a month away.
To provide a head start, below is the midseason update of my Dynasty 300, which serves as an effective "price guide" for those evaluating trades in keeper leagues.
The rankings formula
The Dynasty 300 uses the following player valuation formula:
2018 second-half performance: 10 percent
2019 performance: 22.5 percent
2020 performance: 22.5 percent
2021 performance: 22.5 percent
2022 performance and beyond: 22.5 percent
The rationale for these weights is to provide the most accurate long-term projection of the player's value, essentially identifying the wisest, safest long-term investments. In addition, the reason that 2022 gets a greater weight than the remainder of 2018 is that I already provide Going Forward Rankings for fantasy managers focusing solely on this season. They are updated regularly, right here.
Remember that other factors influence these values, beyond simply your league's scoring system. The list below is a starting point, but you need to do your own manual adjustments to account for the following:
Number of keepers: How many players can you keep, and must every team keep the same number of players?
Player pricing: Is your league draft or auction format, and do you keep players in the round they are picked for the auction price paid or are players simply kept without prices attached?
Contract factors: Are there limits on the number of years you can keep a player and/or are there guaranteed contracts, and is there price inflation?
Farm teams: Does your league include minor leaguers and how are these players factored into the keeper system?
Team competitiveness: Are you a contender, rebuilder or something in between? At midseason, a firm answer to this is much more crucial.