Fremantle become Hogan’s heroes

Jesse Hogan becomes a Docker in one of the more fraught and contentious moves of the period. His quality is unquestionable, his body is a big issue.

Even as a dispassionate valuation question that’s tricky, and being contracted changes the negotiation platform moreso. Throw in wild claims and counter claims played out in the media (He failed a medical! He has serious mental health issues! He’s asking for 8 years at a million a year! He considers leaving every year!) and this was never going to be a simple trade.

Projecting Hogan accurately probably requires a knowledge of his medical status to balance what he can do with how much he’ll be able to do it. Most seasons he misses footy and plays through injury, with different issues ranging from back, to hamstring, to knee, to ankle, and he ended this season with a fracture in his navicular. That last one is a particular worry, and navicular injuries have played havoc with several careers over the years – the Dees will remember the case of Jack Trengove.

As it happens, against our injury-impacted projections for Hogan, Fremantle have paid a premium in terms of projected future value, but one they’ll feel quite comfortable with given the obvious upside that Hogan presents. 

This is exactly the sort of trade where one expects, and thinks it reasonable, for the recipient club to sacrifice more than might seem balanced in this sort of “exepected future value” accounting.

An unavoidable fact is what Hogan represents; a proven, young, homegrown key position forward who actively wants to play for the club. The Dockers have not succeeded in gaining an opportunity like this for a while, maybe ever (quick, name Fremantle’s all time leading goalkicker after Matthew Pavlich). They seemingly felt compelled to overlook some of his risks to get him onboard. The swap also should be viewed in conjunction with the favourable Neale trade which produced most of the premium sent to Melbourne here.

For Melbourne, this is part of a broader move of personnel, but even in isolation it represents faith in their other key position stocks such as Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman, and even a sign that they may give the Gawn/Pruess two ruckman experiment a go.

Verdict: Unfair trade, with Melbourne getting the upper hand.

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.

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