2023 AFL Trade Period Day 2 – James Harmes and nothing else

HPN will attack this AFL Trade Period in one post a day, either as a roundup or with progressive updates through the day.

A typically quiet Tuesday as clubs get deep into the bilateral back-and-forths and mostly don’t want to commit too early to moves which could always be improved.

James Harmes moves to the Bulldogs

James Harmes becomes the latest player making his way from Casey out to the western suburbs in a tidy little move that may give he and his new club a fresh look at a new midfield role.

Harmes was probably surplus to Melbourne requirements by the back end of 2023, seemingly only getting looks at the midfield rotation when a player such as Oliver or Sparrow was not there. His best attribute is probably the transitional escape from the contest, rather than being a true outside player or a primary ball-winner. Melbourne have had little trouble in that specific facet of the midfield game this year.

The trade doesn’t put much value on Harmes, who will be 29 next year. Melbourne are likely to be happy to gain some cap space here, rather than keep it invested in a player seen as depth.

Leaving a strong midfield like the Demons for a different strong midfield like the Bulldogs may seem like a slightly strange lateral move, but on paper he can take some pressure off the stronger inside players such as Liberatore and Macrae, and form a partnership with Treloar in that transitional phase, leaving Smith, Daniel and Bontempelli to ply their own trades in a wider variety of circumstances. He may also provide some defensive nous around the stoppage in what is often quite an attacking midfield group.

If that doesn’t work out, the Bulldogs have lost little in this exchange.

Verdict: Low stakes trade that favours the Dogs, while Melbourne’s gains are probably more intangible.

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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