I am not attempting to appropriate Randy Cohen’s job, I swear. But it just so happens I ran up against another ethically questionable move in one of my leagues this week. Since last week’s column got a pretty good response, I’d like to get the readership’s feelings regarding a maneuver many of you have probably encountered or even attempted.
Friday afternoon, I got a call from my co-manager who saw a trade proposal come through his iPhone. He was cautiously giddy when he told me that another owner had offered us Troy Tulowitzki for Joakim Soria. I was actually off from the day job that day and had seen the announcement that Tulo was going to miss six to eight weeks after breaking his wrist the night before. A few hours later, Tulo’s owner posted on the messageboard that he was taking offers in an attempt to move the injured star for a discount.
How do you guys feel about owners trying to pull a fast one and dump guys right after they get hurt and when the ink announcing their imminent DL stint is still wet?
Personally, I can’t say that this practice is actually unethical because it is incumbent upon any actor in a trade to do his/her homework on all the players involved. The tried and true mantra of “buyer beware” is in full effect here and I respect the idea that all is fair in love and war. That said, I do think it’s kind of dirty, or classless, especially in a league of friends.
There are two slight variations of this situation though, one of which I think is fully above board and one I feel to be ethically unacceptable. So, I might as well discuss them as well.
Sometimes you have a player on your team who you know is dealing with lingering injuries and it’s basically just a matter of time before he goes on the DL. I have no problem with any owner shopping this player disclaimer free. A player is not considered broken until he’s broken. I don’t consider this even remotely unethical. Like the original scenario, you are attempting to capitalize a knowledge gap regarding a player’s health, but at this point it is entirely speculative.
There is a variation of this situation that I have seen happen that is unacceptable, though. If you have a live trade offer on your table and the player you are going to give up suffers a serious injury, you can’t pull the trigger on that trade within even 24 hours of the news of the injury becoming public. It is unfair to obligate an owner to have to cancel that trade within minutes of an injury occurring because this is not always possible. Surely, there does reach a point at which an owner must be accountable for his/her own negligence, but courtesy and fairness dictate to me that such a period mustn’t be any shorter than a full day at the absolute minimum.
Have any of you ever been burnt by another owner accepting a trade off minutes after an injury to ship you broken goods?