It’s rare the Touts agree on anything, but an overwhelming majority feels the same way about this week’s question:
What is your policy with respect to revealing another person’s offer in trade negotiations?
Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Trading, who would want to waste their time with that? Well, often me. I never, ever reveal other specific offers. It’s not fair to the other manager, who should be able to negotiate with others without me sharing their dealings. I might tell someone that I am negotiating with others. I might (although not usually) tell them specifically who I am negotiating with. But that’s it.
Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I think the key here is remembering that your rep in the league matters. Particularly in leagues where you want to remain friends and want to remain in the league, long-term. I don’t share anything at all, unless it is something to move the proceedings along “I have another offer that I am considering” when I have one that I am legitimately considering. I typically make targeted offers, or receive what I expect is a targeted offer and I don’t try to get something lopsided, so in my experience, it happens quickly or ends quickly anyway. Conversely, I am not mad when someone is shopping broadly and tells someone else they have a potential deal pending. I have never really run into an issue and if I have missed opportunities, I really see no reason for blaming someone or having hard feelings about it.
Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): I would not reveal someone else’s offer for a particular player of mine in a trade scenario. However, if I am open to trading the player who was asked for, I will make his availability public in the hope of receiving a potential better offer. Often you can limit your return when trading in secret.
Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): Don’t a lot of us get into this business because we secretly want to be a GM in real life? If I’m the GM of a MLB team, I’m doing what is best for my team. If that means letting another GM know that I have another, better offer on the table, I’ll let them know I have another, better offer on the table. With that, I usually don’t say what the “better offer” is in terms of player specifics just that I feel the deal is overall better.
Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing the details of an offer I’ve received with someone who didn’t make it. We’re all just trying to make the best possible trades to improve our teams. How can I know that I’m definitely getting the best offer from Person B if they don’t know what they have to beat from Person A? I have zero problem being on the other side of this, either. If you’re negotiating with someone else and want to share the details of the offer I’ve made you, be my guest. All I ask is that you give me a shot to beat what they offer before you accept.
Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): I would never reveal the terms of a trade or discuss them with anyone aside from the person making the offer. I have told other parties that I have another offer, or a better offer on the table, but that’s as far as I would go. Trading in some leagues is tough enough without poisoning the waters by revealing trade offers to other league members.
Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): When reviewing a trade, first does it address a need on my team? How can it be reworked to benefit each involved party? Hopefully one does not receive a lowball offer which happens often. If I consider trading a player, perhaps see if another team with the same need (target) may make a better offer. It’s definitely ok losing a trade on paper if it makes my roster better.
Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): After I have someone sign an NDA and pinkie swear, there’s no backsies on that, and if someone decides to do a backsie, then I will be required to litigate to the fullest extent of the law–What’s that? I have no legal standing. Hmm, hearing from my attorney I can’t sue. Will need to find a new attorney, until then, I don’t share deals with league mates, outside of maybe “I’m in talks with other managers, and that player might not be available for long.”
Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): I like to propose a trade that is slightly more than I want, with the hope that their counter offer meets my original expectations. I do not publicly call out league managers and players during any trade negotiations because it may come back to hurt you. I let every league manager know up front that I am the Walmart of trades, and that I make trades for less.
Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): Each offer and conversation is separate to me. I don’t need to create leverage, I will just go for what I want without the extra tactic. I will disclose if I am weighing other offers, but never cite the actual players involved. Either you and I are doing this or not, otherwise I am moving onto something else. That is just my style. I don’t want to complicate things for us with extra moving parts. Especially in Tout Wars, where you don’t pull sell jobs on others, just be straight up.
Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): I never specify the details of another negotiation, only say: “I’ve got a better offer” and keep it vague, turning focus back on the negotiations at hand.
Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): I would not reveal someone’s trade offer to another owner in order to get better deal from someone else. It might seem like a viable strategy but it doesn’t look good on you and it certainly would not shine a positive light on you with the other manager. This is a long term game and it doesn’t set the stage for future negotiations if you are just flaunting your offer around to others.
Tim McLeod (Prospect361.com, @RunTMc59006473): I’m not one to play the nickle and dime game. Give me your best offer and if it works for me it’s a done deal.
Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I keep trade negotiations private because you never want to potentially embarrass another fantasy manager. Relationships matter. Trading isn’t always easy because we may view player value different, but that’s between just us
Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): Trades are about finding something that works for both parties involved and should be approached with that good spirit in mind. You’re not trying to fleece them, you’re trying to find a fit for both sides! Revealing another trade offer should be an act of full transparency and not one of showcasing leverage. It should only be presented when the response would be one of understanding.
Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): I prefer to keep trade negotiations private for a few reasons. First, I would never want to embarrass another person which sometimes as a byproduct. Second, if used for a negotiation tactic I would prefer to be vague and just let them know “I have a better offer,” rather than reveal specific details. You risk losing the trust of someone by revealing private conversations which could impact future trades with other teams.
Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): In redraft leagues, no. Your trade partner doesn’t really need to know if an offer is better or worse, and I don’t feel any need to provide proof of concept. In keeper or dynasty, though, I find the etiquette surrounding this is different because there can frequently be skepticism about what needs to be done in terms of future value to put a deal over the top. Even then, I try not to mention specific players, but I’ve often walked away from a deal in keeper leagues because without evidence I feel like I’m bidding against myself if I don’t know what offer or offers I’m up against.
Nando Di Fino (The Athletic, @nandodifino): When someone pulls it on me, I pretty much stop emailing and tell them good luck. Like “Oh, Pianowski is offering me Jo Adell and Tyler Glasnow, so you have to beat that.” Alright, dude. Go trade with him. Most of the time that mysterious trade never happens, and they’ve screwed themselves by playing a couple teams against each other when both teams know that’s probably not happening. So I hate doing it. I’ll never do it. Come at me with your deals, I’ll counter the one I like. If it’s a pass, I’ll go to the next one. Work in a vacuum and you get the deal you want without being a dick to your fellow league mates
Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I would feel pretty comfortable telling a potential trade partner I had a competing offer, but like Ray and others, I wouldn’t say from whom or for what players. That said, I typically don’t bother with any of it, since everybody always says they have better offer, and I always figure they’re BSing me, and I can’t blame anybody else for thinking I’m BSing them. I usually assume any potential trade partner knows I’m listening to offers, just as I assume that of them, so we can just get on with it.
Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): I do not mention specific trade offers to others in my league. I may on occasion let others know that I am considering trading a specific player, but never give away another team’s offer. The only exclusion to this, is if I mention it on air. In that case it’s for entertainment purposes, but I keep league GM names out of it and confidential.
CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): End of the day, my job is to get the best offer I can. While I won’t use specific players I’ll give general ballpark. For example, I’m being offered a top 10 1B and Top 15-20 closer for Player. That way I’m not outing the team but also allows me to get best deal I can.
Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’ve never been in a position where revealing an offer I’ve received was even a consideration. Sure, if you think revealing a current offer to another team to try to entice a better offer will work, then by all means, do it. I’m just not sure revealing names is going to make much of a difference.
Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I prefer to keep details about other offers private. I’m not sure it would help move the needle all that much and I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone.
Seth Trachtman (NBC Sports Edge, @sethroto): I never offer specifics, but I will present the other offers I have in general terms when appropriate. For example, if I’m looking for a closer and I receive an offer that isn’t as good as an offer I’ve already received, I will point that out. That said, I don’t have a problem if someone does reveal specific trade offers when they are negotiating. Ultimately, we all want to get the most we can in a trade.
Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ): I’ll generally not reveal specific players, but in some circumstances it’s easy parameters of an offer without breaching confidentiality. For instance in Scoresheet, I can easily say “I’ve got an offer of a round X pick in hand, you’ll have to beat that”. Beyond that, generalities like “Thanks for offering closer X, but I’ve been offered another closer that I value more highly, so you’ll need to sweeten somewhere else.”
Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): I would never reveal another offer. I would say – I’m talking to someone else about player X – but I would never let on what the other offer is. Totally fair to say – I’ve got a strong offer from another – but I just wouldn’t reveal the details.
Michael Florio (NFL Network, @MichaelFFlorio): I do not reveal other offers, but I’ve definitely told someone that I am talking to others and will even say oh I have a better offer. I’ve also spoken about deals I am mulling over with other, individually. But I will say, if you get a terrible offer from someone (you know the classic here’s a bunch of junk for one good player offers) that roasting in a group chat is acceptable!
Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): I don’t do this that often (I probably should!) since my general policy is to not waste people’s time in the trade game. Keep the trade negotiation simple, to the point, and get the deal done. That said, I’m with the majority here on keeping the details of other offers out of it, mostly out of respect for other managers. It’s fair game to weave in generalities to make sure your trading partner knows there’s interest.
James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): I don’t think anything should be off limits with regards to this, but I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly told someone what the exact offer is that they have to beat unless it’s a keeper/dynasty league where I’m looking for a draft pick. In that case, I may say I’ve got a third rounder on the table, so that the prospective manager knows what the high bid is.
Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): It depends on context. If I’m simply auctioning someone off for “best offer,” then I’ll sometimes note the offer to beat – either specifically or more often with generalities. For example, “current best offer for SB-wild Ramon Laureano is an ace and a closer.” Often, I’m trying to pry a specific player from a rival so my due diligence process is to find a couple players I prefer and make the same offer. Rather than reveal someone else’s offer, I’m just shopping my own.
Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I speak in generalities when negotiating / weighing several offers, rather than revealing specific players. I think that comes from my perspective that the offer I choose is going to be what I feel is the best return for my team—and that others may or may not agree with my evaluation of “best.” (It’s what makes all these trades possible, and this game fun: the differing evaluations on players.) So I don’t really see the point in saying, “I’ve got player A and player B on the table, you’ll need to beat that,” as my potential trading partner could well have a different opinion than I of what “beats” that. So I find framing other offers in generalities most helpful and efficient.
Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): OK, full disclosure, this was a selfish question (and I come up with the questions but take requests) because I am in the “None of your business” crowd, but I’ve been wondering if I’m doing it wrong. I polled Twitter: 14% reveal up front, 34% will reveal if asked and 52% won’t reveal — so about half are willing to unveil another offer. I don’t think there is a right or wrong, but I still prefer to keep the actual players under wraps, but like most everyone else, I’ll frame the deal. The main reason is I don’t like it when someone else shares my offer(s), so I assume there are others feeling the same way. That said, each league has its own culture, and if you are at a competitive disadvantage by being covert, that’s a mistake. I used to be in a league like that — operative word “used”.
Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): If you’re negotiating a trade with another team….and you want to reference a “TRUE” trade proposal another team has given you….there is nothing wrong with that….the key is It has to be the truth…….that being said….I personally never did this as a reality or fantasy GM…I always preferred to just say I had a better offer ….I never wanted to hurt my relationship with another owner and if you use this practice…the other owner might be reluctant to make trade offers with you in the future. especially if other owners start to criticize them for the proposals they’ve been making…..
Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): I agree with several here – I would never reveal the team behind a trade proposal, but I would say I what I was offered at least positionally so the team I am currently corresponding with has an idea of what they need to beat or match. You can also make comps to the team you are talking with – “I was offered an OF like you X and a pitcher like Y
Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): As the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, I could never condone violating another GMs trust by disclosing what may be considered confidential information. It is fair game to negotiate with others and say you are having discussions with other GMs and considering better offers. But I would not reveal the specific deals on the table because I would not want my own negotiations disclosed without my approval. Trading is difficult enough, so GMs should be able to negotiate freely without fear that their dealings will be made public. There is nothing wrong with telling another GM that you are considering other proposals, but the terms of the deal should be kept to yourself unless you are given permission to disclose it.
Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I would never reveal the exact details of a trade negotiation to others. I typically would not reveal to others the name of the team that I am negotiating with, but on rare occasion – if I was asked “are you working on a trade with x,” I might say yes or no. I have many times, however – indicated that I was negotiating with another party, and that their current offer was superior or inferior to the team in question.
Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): The Godfather always makes an offer that cannot be refused! I don’t believe in revealing offers I have, but will mention I have other offers.
Ron Shandler (RonShandler.com, @RonShandler): About 15 years ago, I sent an email blast to one league with all the offers I received for a key player. Part of it was wanting to lure out a better deal, part of it social experiment, part of it column fodder. The result was that I got the best deal, but also made enemies, one of whom refuses to trade with me to this day. I suppose it comes down to what’s more important, getting the best players or making friends? It probably depends upon the league, the level of camaraderie and how much you want to win. I’ve never shared trade offers since, and I’ve also yet to win that league. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): In a scenario where a reveal of what another team is offering would even occur it would be as a result of having shopped a player in the first place league-wide. So, there is no advantage to revealing offers from other teams other than indicating you have other offers in hand. Everyone already knows who you’re shopping and if they have any insight at all, they know who they’re competing against for that player and would (or should) make their offers accordingly. More typically if I’m making someone an offer, I want to be as clandestine as possible, targeting a specific player to fill a specific need and certainly would not want my offers being shared with others in that scenario, especially if I’m making a late-season or trade deadline all-in push and trying to making multiple deals occur all at once
Dr. Roto (FullTime Fantasy, @DrRoto): I won’t give out the exact offer of another person but I will say something like, “I know I can get so and so” from another team. This usually helps to get a better offer or have the person say they can’t beat that other offer.
Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): I don’t reveal the details of other trade negotiations when working on a potential deal, though I might let someone know if I’m in talks with another person in the league in order to be transparent about the possibility of players we’re discussing getting moved elsewhere.
Craig Mish (FNTSY Radio, @CraigMish): You get one really bad trade offer from me where I say nothing. The second one I will probably bark back at how ridiculous it is. Three times, and I remove you from my phone like a closer who blows three saves in a row. I’ll deal with someone else. Yeah, I may also out you after the third one too. First two, I’ll keep to myself.
Doug Anderson (Fantrax, @rotodaddy): I usually will not talk specifics of an outside offer, but share that I can gain more of a certain stat or category from another owner. Then talk about how you’d rather have the player on their team, but have to take the best offer.
Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I will let a potential trade partner know that I’m talking to other teams, if that is indeed the case and time is of the essence. But I think any potential leverage that could be created by mentioning specifics to another owner is more than likely outweighed by the bad feelings doing so will probably generate. No one likes to feel used, whether in fantasy baseball trade negotiations or just about any other facet of life. The only miniscule exception I’ll make to the preceding general rule is if I’m trying to get a few $FAAB for a player I’d otherwise release. In that case I don’t think it’s bad to mention to Potential Trade Partner B that Potential Trade Partner A has already offered me $X (assuming that’s in fact the case). Even then, I wouldn’t reveal the identity of PTP A to PTP B. Of course, those types of deals are pretty low impact and account for a small portion of all trade discussions.
Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I rarely play in redraft trading leagues, but do play in dynasty and keeper leagues. In those leagues, I only reveal details if it just involves draft picks, since it doesn’t identify the owner. I do let other owners know if I’m in negotiations with others, but not who.
Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): I won’t reveal details of another trade negotiation. I might say I have a better offer on the table and I will need more to make the trade work to gauge how serious the interest is.
Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): I would never reveal specifics to anyone, but I may let the league know that I’m looking at trading scarce commodity like a closer or steals source. I wish others would also. I don’t have the bandwidth to know how each owner feels about their team and who they are looking to trade.
Scott Wilderman (OnRoto): I think pretty much anything goes except revealing an exact offer, and if the entire league knows an owner is shopping a specific player, bringing that up is fair game. I think it’s even okay to say you have a better offer on the table when you don’t.
Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): The only circumstance in which I might be tempted to disclose another manager’s offer is if the offer itself was hilariously lopsided — like, insultingly so. If you’re trying to flip Jed Lowrie for Juan Soto, then you should perhaps be publicly shamed. But if it’s an honest offer, I wouldn’t generally disclose details to others in the league. In some cases, a manager might be aggressively shopping a player to everyone in a league — sending mass emails, updating trade blocks, etc. — and in such cases it’s hardly a secret, so really there’s no great issue discussing the proposed deal.
Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Revealing specific offers simply isn’t proper etiquette, so out of respect for the league and my leaguemates, I never do it. I might mention that I have another offer that I’m seriously considering and in order to top it, Player X would need to be included in the deal, but that’s as far as I’d go.
Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): With few exceptions, I might say I’ve got an offer from x, but never the specifics.
Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): There’s nothing wrong with letting other owners know approximate parameters of other offers you’re getting on a no-names basis, but sharing a specific offer is both something that is bad form and usually not even helpful in conversations.