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Thursday 18th Jan 2018

Remember in Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves, right after the terrific buffalo hunt scene. Rodney Grant (Wind in His Hair) is trying to get Dunbar (Kostner before his complete transmogrification to his Lakota nom de plume) to tell again how he shot the rogue buffalo that almost kills Smiles a Lot.

While imploring Dunbar, Wind in his Hair admires the lieutenant's cavalry jacket, and Dunbar gives it to him. In exchange, Grant gives him his beaded vest, and Kostner comments, "this is a good trade." Later, that evening, Dunbar confronts a member of the tribe who picked up Dunbar's cavalry hat. Dunbar wants it back, but eventually the hat is swapped for a knife, as negotiated by Grant. As the trade is completed, Grant notes to Dunbar, "Good trade."

That scene says so much to me. I really love it. And, I always think about it when I make a swap in any one of my leagues.

Well, this week, in my MidWest Strat League, in which all 30 teams are now setting ourselves up for the coming rookie draft, and then the season.

I pretty much made my moves for this during the season last, trading for an extra pair of first round selections in what will be a very nice draft, with the likes of Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, and Carlos Santana available.

Brendan coveted one of my pitchers, Vicente Padilla, who with a 1.08 WHIP will likely have a very nice card in the coming year. Brendan offered me Armando Galarraga, Augie Ojeda, and a fourth round pick, for Padilla and Aaron Laffey. Now, again, before you choke, this is as deep a league as there is, with 30 teams, and tight rules around playing time so that a good card, like Padilla's cannot be abused and in the process skew the results.

Well, I could use a younger arm, and the idea was agreeable, but just in case, I decided to review Brendan's roster, and therein I spotted Jeff Niemann, a hurler I liked better than Galarraga.

So, I offered Laffey and Padilla, straight up for Niemann, and Brendan countered, exactly as I feared he would, asking for Padilla, along with James McDonald in exchange for Niemann and that fourth round pick.

Now, I really love McDonald, and think he will be good. But, I also like Niemann, and, well, it was a fair trade. My team is basically young, and I am hoping to land, at worst, Daniel Hudson, Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata, and Jason Castro with my first four picks.

Add those guys to Ryan Zimmerman, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jonathan Sanchez, and Carlos Marmol, and I will have a pretty dominant basic squad going both into this season, and hopefully the future.

I thought about it, but knew I had to do the deal. So, within a few hours I accepted, and when Brendan responded, he said it was a fair deal, but he hated to part with Niemann, and I responded how much I hated to part with McDonald. But, I said, since we were both getting something we wanted, but letting go of a player we really loved having, that it was fair.  I wrote this to Brendan, and he agreed.

It was, as Wind in his Hair would say, a good trade.

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