Richmond fill one of their most glaring needs at the deadline, and Carlton accumulate another high pick.
Carlton value in = 980 points – Pick 19.
Richmond value in = 1312 points – Chris Yarran.
Verdict – Unfair trade (Richmond gains 332 points of pick and player value, or 1.34 points back for every point given up).
For most of Thursday, it felt like this trade was going to be a touch-and-go proposition. As indicated above, on demonstrated value alone Yarran is worth more than pick 19 in isolation. For a different look on why, this piece by The Age’s Liam Mannix demonstrates why in a nutshell.
But Yarran wanted out of Carlton, and right now Carlton doesn’t have a need for players like Yarran. As difficult as it to frame, Carlton’s goal in 2016 isn’t necessarily to win games of football, it is instead to shape their list into a position where they can win games of football in 2019. Like the Saints recent teardown of their list, the Blues are rebuilding from the ground up around a select few older heads who want in for the long term. With his desire to leave the club, Yarran didn’t fit in those plans. If Yarran stuck around for an extra year before heading off during the next offseason, he might actually perversely hurt the club by helping them win a couple of marginal, if not meaningless, games next season, which would hurt their subsequent draft position.
Make no bones about it; Yarran is a good football player. Perhaps even a very good or great one if placed in the right situation. Last season, even though Carlton had an inability to score goals, Yarran was flung away from the forward line for much of the year. While Yarran has played some good footy running through the midfield or down back, he’s most dangerous with the goals in sight. This is likely why Richmond recruited them, as they were in desperate need for a somewhat defensively minded small forward who could punish the opposition if given space.
Earlier in the week when analysing the trade that sent Richmond’s pick 31 and their 2016 second rounder to Gold Cost as a part of the Dixon trade, we wrote:
“Richmond obviously have plans for the pick, reportedly offering it for Yarran, but if those plans don’t come to fruition they are going to look quite silly, and probably the first team to have conclusively stuffed up future pick trading. Early reports being that Carlton weren’t interested in pick 19 for Yarran – and though they may relent, they’re right that it’s modest unders for him (his true value is around pick 9). And even if the swap happens, if Carlton would prefer pick 19 alone to pick 30 and pick 31, that seems like a strange call on their part.”
This quote remains true, but Richmond’s ability to make the Yarran trade work somewhat redeems their involvement in the Dixon move. The Yarran trade was ultimately a game of chicken, and Carlton blinked first.