2022 AFL Trade Period – Day 2 featuring Blake Acres

HPN will attack this AFL Trade Period in one post a day. Check back here as the day progresses to get our take on the day’s “action”.

Only one trade involving a player today, with several others nearing completion. As a result, Blake Acres was the star of today’s player movement.

Blake Acres finds a third club at Carlton

This off-season looks like one where the newly-contending Dockers start to move from mass talent acquisition to picking and choosing who they will invest limited cap space and team spots in. The Dockers’ young players will need pay rises, they have at least one big name recruit coming and they need to start planning their future best 22.

As such, Blake Acres is the first cab off the rank among several likely departures by players who are good enough for senior footy, but are probably replaceable.

Acres is generally described as a wing/outside midfielder, and fills a running and ball movement role. He spent most of the year in the Dockers senior team, and is probably broadly underrated. However, they’ve got a number of options such as Clark, Henry, O’Driscoll and Frederick, and it’s a position they probably think they can cover without giving Acres the contract Carlton have offered.

The trade treats Acres as worth Carlton’s presumably middle or later third round pick, probably an under-estimate of what Acres will provide in several years of senior footy. It suggests there may be some good will from the very reasonable returns Freo got in the Cerra trade last year, and that Fremantle aren’t too fussed about letting Acres go. Carlton have the upside here – especially if they rise up the ladder further in 2023.

Verdict: Not quite a fair trade, but not wholly unreasonable.

A Melbourne – Port Adelaide pick swap

On paper, Melbourne have given up a lot of draft value to move their first pick six spots up the order, trading three usable picks for Port Adelaide’s pick 27. These sorts of multiple-for-one trades always favour the side getting extra picks, and usually there’s a specific reason a club chooses to take the hit to their draft position the way Melbourne has here.

Melbourne stated after the trade that they didn’t see themselves using their later picks at this draft, leaving the later picks here of limited value to them. That’s especially the case with the prospect of Luke Jackson returns coming in as well. The Dees currently don’t have a first rounder this year, and they may be trying to improve their first pick even a little bit, just in order to satisfy another deal they have in the works.

Slightly more curious is that the Demons didn’t push for a future third or fourth rounder to even the ledger a little, and maintain flexibility down the track. The timing of this one is also curious – there appears to be little immediate reason for this trade to occur on day two when the Dees could keep calling around to see if other picks in the range were available with future assets coming back/

For Port, the deal favours them and is easy to understand on its own terms. Turning pick 27 down to 33 is not much of a loss and the latter two picks both have value too. Port also have other mooted deals to complete, meaning the extra picks are both more valuable in sum, and also able to be used in separate trades if necessary.

Verdict: Trade favours Port Adelaide strongly.

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. Readers can explore these values with tools such as the HPN Trade Calculator to evaluate potential trades.

Elsewhere, read much more about the method and theory behind PAVExpressing the value of players and picks in terms of expected future PAV provides a common currency for comparing them in trades and other movements. Players are projected using PAPLEY, a method to derive expected future PAVs.

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