Matthew Lobbe had a brief period where he was Port Adelaide’s first choice ruckman in their run to a narrow preliminary final loss. He also played most of 2015 sharing the duties with Ryder, but since then, injury and a tactical shift have seen him pushed out. Port have come to prefer one true ruckman in the side, perhaps learning from the period last year where Lobbe was injured and they went okay using Trengove.
After sharing duties with Ryder in 2016, this year he played basically a full season in the SANFL this season, sitting well behind Ryder this year with the now-departed Trengove preferred as a support option.
His value has dwindled to nearly nothing, and it’s unlikely that his new club sees him as a first choice ruck. In fact, he might be third in line behind All Australian squad member Matthew Kreuzer and Andrew “Strawbs” Phillips. Lobbe is now effectively an SANFL-level talent according to Port Adelaide, so the exchange should be roughly equivalent to the cost of taking a mature age ruckman from the state leagues via the draft. That’s usually the rookie list, meaning Lobbe has effectively no value.
This move represents a club taking on another warm body to place performance pressure on their lead rucks. This is a league where most sides now seem to be happy without multiple rucks in a single side, and as Ryan Buckland argues, given the last two premiership winners this trend may intensify from here.
This is a straight salary dump in practice – the players that Port have brought in has necessitated that they get rid of one more player. Lobbe, who has no real role at Alberton, is that guy. If Carlton get literally anything out of him, they will win this trade.
Verdict: Kinda fair trade, with both sides getting what they want.
Note: This post is part of a series of posts using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Elsewhere, you can read much more about the method and theory behind PAV and also about PAPLEY, the projection method used to derive expected future PAVs. This method expresses both picks and players in terms of expected future value allowing them to be compared on this common basis.