Some Friendly Advice On The Art of the Deal for OOTP

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Eddie Paxil-Commish
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Some Friendly Advice On The Art of the Deal for OOTP

Post by Eddie Paxil-Commish » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:22 pm

Making a deal in OOTP has it's quirks and challenges. Experienced GMs get used to them. They can confound new ones though. As commissioner, I sometimes won't share a thought or opinion as to not color a discussion. Some guys will stifle their opinion or their discussion when they hear the commissioner chime in with a different thought. So I'm always uncomfortable putting out any message about etiquette, because people are so different.

However, this year I celebrate my tenth year playing OOTP. I think the following thoughts on some points about how to deal with fellow GMs in terms of trading can be generally agreed upon if not generally enforced.

When making a trade or deal there are some things to keep in mind in my experience...

The word NO is very, very powerful and you have every right to use it at any time before confirming a trade. You can field 5 competitive offers on a player from all 29 other GMs, and if you still don't like any of them you can say I'm not trading him, You can negotiate for a week on a trade, be about to make it, even where the other player posts, but get cold feet and decide against it. That's why we confirm. I did that to Jeff Brain once in the League of WAR.

My point is you can set whatever terms you want. If they don't like it that's fine they can find a different trading partner. I think GMs as upset as they may be only really ask three things.

1. Please be respectful when communicating. Guys are just trying to defend their position. They have a plan and trying to negotiate within it. Be understanding of that. Even if you don't understand the plan. Remember, that's not your team.

2. Communicate! As in get back to me timely or at least answer NO. (See Above.) A simple, "There's no deal here I'm sorry," can go a long way even if they may be upset for a moment. Nothing more annoying though than making one last ditch offer and the other GM disappears without even a no.

3. Remember that in a scout league like ours, he sees different information than you. That 75 overall prospect you think he's insane for asking for might be a 33 and far more reasonable to him based on his scout's view. Also even in non-scout league's GMs value different things. I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer in that regard. Though it's served me well.

Now this is just a suggestion that works for me. I get made fun of for my massive untouchable lists. There was a time when I worked in music from home where I went so far as to color code them. But I use them for certain reasons. First, being in multiple leagues I use them as a value guide to myself. I might not remember who exactly John "The Big Red Hat" Simmons is from that league, but when he's on that list I know he's someone that I decided to value. Also I think it wastes less time when you know getting these particular 15 guys will be hard. And I always say in my trade block posts that you can ask about anyone even the untouchable guys, but I can always say no, so please be respectful of that.

Also, this. I have three personal trading pet peeves that I found most share in some form.

1. The reason for my infamous untouchable lists. I'm a big trade block shopper. Be consistent and know what you wrote in your trade block, and what it means. I hate asking about a guy on the block and finding conditions and parameters that weren't there. I'll only trade him if I don't trade so and so. Understand that I'm putting together my offers based on the information I have or ask for. If the ball on what you say you have available keeps moving or you didn't give me that information ahead of time or when I asked for it, you are seriously wasting my time. I am not a real life GM. (Though I aspire to the slim possibility.) I can't waste aimless messages where you keep throwing out new info. It may be cute, gamesmanship, or bluffing to you, but to me it may be getting in the way of picking up my kids from karate.

2. If I ask for your needs, all I'm saying is generally so I'm not flying blind. If you give me no information to work with, I'm putting together my offer based on my sensibilities, don't then get wholly offended by my blind offer. I might not be lowballing you or wasting your time. I might just be guessing?

3. My biggest one. I don't like to give GMs specifics on other offers for a player. Understand that I'm not playing games or gaming you. I will always say, I have another offer with a SP who's (73), a !B who hits with no defense that's (55), and an MLB ready OF who's (50), but you have this SS which is a need of mine can we work him into your offer. I think that's enough info to work with. Again I'm not gaming you, but here's why I do it, and suggest everyone does. In most cases (not all but most) I find that once the GM I'm dealing with knows the specifics of another offer negotiations cease and I frankly want him to go away. Because it ceases to be a discussion on the merits of his offer or how he may be willing to adjust it, but instead his opinion on the other offer and how bad it is. I have taken a l slightly lesser offer just because I got a dissertation from a GM on what was wrong with that other offer. I had one guy write 5 paragraphs on why a prospect was 100% going to end up a reliever. The prospect had been drafted a week earlier and pitched 1 game. For the record I just dealt that prospect as a potential starter to get a 1st Round pick in another league. Amazingly that one game did not define him.

Also one last thing. Keep in mind that all GMs develop a reputation. Sometimes from league to league. That may change as the OOTP community gets bigger, but I don't think so. I generally have a trade rep for creative trades where I'm certainly willing to give up something to get something. And I believe my rep also includes a clarity in what I am and am not willing to do that borders on neurotic, but most appreciate it.

That's all just some thoughts to guide you on trading. Not so much strategy that's more unique to the individual, but more on GM relations.

Eddie Paxil
OMLB Commissioner
New Jersey Pioneers GM (2025-Present) Continental Expansion League Champions 2025 and 2026
Miami Marlins GM (2014-2024) NL East Champions 2016, 2019, & 2022

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