Re-ranking the 2018 trade and free agency period

Inside the push for a Tasmanian AFL team (1:07)

Tasmanians are feeling positive about the push for a standalone AFL team based on the Apple Isle. (1:07)

We're now 12 months on from the 2018 trade and free agency periods, so we think it is the perfect time to use some hindsight and re-rank each club's offseason moves from last year.

Note: Picks listed are as they were following the trade period. The pick numbers on draft day changed for many clubs due to bidding for father-son and academy prospects.

Delisted free agents were not included, as delisted free agency happened after the conclusion of free agency and trade periods when the original review was given.

Trades made during the draft were not included.


In: Shane McAdam, Tyson Stengle, pick 13, Carlton 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Mitch McGovern, pick 40, pick 68, 2019 third-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73, 83

Grade then: A

Grade now: B

Rationale: It appeared this time last year that strong value was secured for Mitch McGovern but neither Ned McHenry, drafted with the first-round pick received in the trade, or Shane McAdam have debuted. As expected, Tyson Stengle has proved depth, though with Eddie Betts requesting a trade, he should contend for games in 2020.


In: Marcus Adams, Lincoln McCarthy, Lachie Neale, pick 18, pick 30, pick 35, pick 56, pick 78, Collingwood 2019 first-round pick, Gold Coast 2019 second-round pick, Fremantle 2019 third-round pick
Out: Dayne Beams, Sam Mayes, pick 5, pick 24, pick 43, pick 59, pick 62, pick 80, 2019 first-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 18, 30, 35, 56, 78

Grade then: C

Grade now: A+

Rationale: Brisbane made two of the trade period's best moves and 12 months on appear offseason winners with a lot going their way. While appearing favourable 12 months ago, the Dayne Beams deal now looks completely one-sided with Collingwood giving up two first round selections in a deal for the 29-year-old. The other lopsided trade was Brisbane's pick exchange with Gold Coast, securing what at the time was pick 19, Gold Coast's 2020 second round pick and Hawthorn's 2020 third round pick for Brisbane's 2020 first round pick.

The Lachie Neale trade appeared pricey at the time, particularly given the options Brisbane had available at pick 6, but with Neale having his best season yet and Brisbane improving drastically, the trade is more solid 12 months on.

Marcus Adams as in past seasons was effective when available to play but has kept his streak of 11 or less games a season alive. The similarly injury prone Lincoln McCarthy has exceeded expectations, playing a career high 24 games, his first year with 20 or more. The trade of Sam Mayes also looks much better 12 months on than expected, not managing one senior game for Port Adelaide.


In: Alex Fasolo, Mitch McGovern, Nic Newman, Will Setterfield, pick 71, Adelaide 2019 third-round pick
Out: Nathan Kreuger, Shane McAdam, pick 26, pick 28, pick 43, 2019 second-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 1, 69, 71, 77

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B

Rationale: The positive for Carlton has been Nic Newman, who played 20 games and added much needed drive in defence for the measly price of a 2019 fourth round pick. Unfortunately, Mitch McGovern and Will Setterfield have yet to have the influence expected in their first seasons, though both can still turn things around. Alex Fasolo, who appeared in three games, was unable to recapture the form he showed earlier in his career for Collingwood, retiring after one season with the Blues.


In: Dayne Beams, Jordan Roughead, pick 41, pick 44, pick 57
Out: Alex Fasolo, pick 18, pick 56, pick 75, 2019 first-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 41, 44, 51, 57, 93

Grade: D+

Grade now: D

Rationale: The Dayne Beams trade will be a hard lesson Collingwood must learn from. Turning 29 during the preseason and averaging just 14.5 games for Brisbane in his four seasons should already have had alarm bells ringing, and his request to move back to Collingwood for personal reasons was just another reason to not do the deal. Collingwood's inclusion of two first round selections in the trade for Beams was irresponsible and poor list management.

The saving grace of the period was the good value trade for Jordan Roughead who exceeded expectations, fitting seamlessly into Collingwood's defence.


In: Dylan Shiel, GWS 2019 second-round pick, Fremantle 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Travis Colyer, pick 9, 2019 first-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 34, 66, 84

Grade then: A

Grade now: B+

Rationale: The trade for Shiel was a great success as he made immediate impact in the midfield and for a suitable price. Despite that, Essendon's midfield remains one elite ball-winning midfielder short. The pace lost with the departure of Travis Colyer while minor was not ideal.


In: Travis Colyer, Reece Conca, Rory Lobb, Jesse Hogan, pick 14, pick 31, pick 43, pick 65
Out: Lachie Neale, pick 6, 2019 third-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 14, 31, 43, 65, 81

Grade then: A+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: The main change to eventuate from Fremantle's busy trade period is the fact the Dockers have found the key talls they'd long sought but now lack the midfield to support Nat Fyfe. The trade for Jesse Hogan and departure of Lachie Neale looked slightly advantageous for Fremantle this time last year but looks more likely now to be a wash, while the trade for Rory Lobb appears similarly fair one year on.

The surprise winner was the free agent pickup of Reece Conca who exceeded expectations to play all 22 games - the first time the injury prone ex-Tiger has played 20 or more games in a year.


In: Luke Dahlhaus, Nathan Kreuger, Gary Rohan, pick 59, pick 70
Out: Lincoln McCarthy, George Horlin-Smith, Jackson Thurlow, pick 55, pick 62

2018 Draft Picks: 12, 50, 59, 60, 70, 87

Grade then: A

Grade now: A

Rationale: The addition of Luke Dahlhaus was meaningful and an upgrade while Gary Rohan added value during the first half of the season before his form fell away during the second half. 20-year-old key position player Nathan Kreuger has yet to debut but has shown glimpses to suggest he is worth persisting with. Other than Lincoln McCarthy, who exceeded expectations for Brisbane, what makes this a successful trade/free agency period for Geelong is how they improved their best 22 without moving down in the draft.

Gold Coast

In: Chris Burgess, Sam Collins, Josh Corbett, Corey Ellis, Jack Hombsch, George Horlin-Smith, Anthony Miles, pick 3, pick 24, pick 68, pick 80, Brisbane 2019 first-round pick, Richmond 2019 third-round pick
Out: Aaron Hall, Kade Kolodjashnij, Tom Lynch, Steven May, Jack Scrimshaw, pick 19, pick 32, pick 41, pick 44, pick 68, pick 78, 2019 second-round pick, 2019 third-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 2, 3, 6, 24, 29, 80

Grade then: E

Grade now: E

Rationale: Gold Coast lost valuable experience with their two captains of 2018 in Tom Lynch and Steven May departing. While the compensation received for Lynch and the trade for May look fair, with Gold Coast's lack of established players, the moves set the Suns back substantially.

The losses of Kade Kolodjashnij and Aaron Hall did not prove as punishing as expected, with Kolodjashnij and Hall respectively unavailable for most of the season. Jack Scrimshaw on the flipside established himself in Hawthorn's defence after failing to debut for Gold Coast in his two seasons on the Suns list, with the deal looking even more lopsided than this time last year.

Other than Sam Collins, who was effective in defence until he succumbed to a hip injury, the other mature age recruits and depth players from opposition clubs do not appear to be long-term pieces.

The trade that looks like Gold Coast's worst was their pick exchange for Brisbane's 2019 first round pick, exchanging pick 19, Gold Coast's 2019 second round selection and Hawthorn's 2019 third round selection, in a deal the Suns badly miscalculated, even if Brisbane's rapid improvement was somewhat unexpected.

Greater Western Sydney

In: pick 9, pick 11, pick 19, Essendon 2019 first-round pick, Carlton 2019 second-round pick, Hawthorn 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Rory Lobb, Tom Scully, Will Setterfield, Dylan Shiel, pick 14, pick 43, pick 47, pick 71, 2019 second-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 9, 11, 19, 25, 52, 89

Grade then: F

Grade now: E

Rationale: While GWS made it all the way to the Grand Final and drafted well with the picks received, the talent lost is a substantial short and medium-term subtraction. With the retirements of Shane Mumford and Dawson Simpson in addition to a trade request from Jon Patton, Rory Lobb will be sorely missed structurally even more than anticipated last offseason.

The losses of Dylan Shiel, Tom Scully and Will Setterfield are less than ideal subtractions, but luckily the sheer depth and strength of GWS' midfield means those moves have not proven devastating. The Scully trade continues to look lopsided with far less received than should have been the case for someone with his standing in the game, while the trades of Shiel and Setterfield were more equitable.


In: Jack Scrimshaw, Tom Scully, Chad Wingard, Port Adelaide 2019 third-round pick, Western Bulldogs 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Taylor Duryea, Ryan Burton, pick 15, pick 35, 2019 third-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 53, 90

Grade then: A+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: While Chad Wingard is a significant addition for Hawthorn, early days it looks like the Hawks are on the losing side of the trade, with Port Adelaide not only gaining Ryan Burton but also Xavier Duursma through the draft. Jack Scrimshaw has exceeded expectations and looks like a long-term player for Hawthorn, and for the price acquired is a bargain.

The Tom Scully trade also appears a bargain with Scully surprising onlookers to play 21 games. The trade of Taylor Duryea by contrast looks lopsided in favour of the Western Bulldogs with Duryea rediscovering his best form.


In: Kade Kolodjashnij, Steven May, Braydon Preuss, pick 23, pick 28, pick 62
Out: Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Dom Tyson, pick 36, pick 48

Draft Picks: 23, 28, 54, 62, 91

Grade then: B+

Grade now: C

Rationale: The loss of Jesse Hogan has hurt Melbourne's front half more than anticipated with the Demons unable to make the most of their forward 50m entries in 2019. Hogan's absence was also exacerbated by the fact that Sam Weideman was unable to take the next step many thought he would. Melbourne also took small hits with the losses of Dom Tyson and Dean Kent.

With Steven May and Kade Kolodjashnij combining for just 10 senior games, the return from the injury prone pair has been more disappointing than expected, though if they can get themselves healthy, they may both prove valuable recruiting choices over coming seasons. Braydon Preuss, while recruited to partner with Max Gawn, looks to remain on Melbourne's list behind Gawn solely as depth.

North Melbourne

In: Aaron Hall, Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, Dom Tyson, pick 47, pick 48, pick 49, pick 55
Out: Ryan Clarke, Braydon Preuss, pick 11, pick 31, pick 68

2018 Draft Picks: 42, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58, 86

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: The club's trade of pick 11 in the deal for Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard meant the Roos did not have to use pick 11 on Tarryn Thomas, instead using later picks to match Adelaide's bid of pick 8. Polec and Pittard both have been valuable, with the pair playing 22 games each in 2019.

Aaron Hall and Dom Tyson were unable to have the expected impact, playing a combined nine games, though should improve on that next year health permitting. With the additions of Polec and Pittard, Ryan Clarke became expendable. The loss of Braydon Preuss on the other hand leaves North without an obvious long-term successor to Todd Goldstein.


Inside the push for a Tasmanian AFL team

Tasmanians are feeling positive about the push for a standalone AFL team based on the Apple Isle.

Port Adelaide

In: Ryan Burton, Scott Lycett, Sam Mayes, pick 5, pick 15, Fremantle 2019 third-round pick, Adelaide 2019 fourth-round pick, Hawthorn 2019 fourth-round pick, North Melbourne 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Jack Hombsch, Jasper Pittard, Jared Polec, Chad Wingard, pick 23, pick 30, pick 48, pick 49, 2019 third-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 5, 10, 15, 85

Grade then: A

Grade now: A

Rationale: While Ryan Burton is a downgrade from Chad Wingard, Port Adelaide managed to draft Xavier Duursma with the first-round selection received, so this deal looks a long-term win for Port. The clean-out of Jasper Pittard and Jared Polec similarly are less than ideal losses in the short and medium term, but by moving them and trading for Sam Mayes, Port Adelaide moved up to pick five in the draft to secure Connor Rozee. Port's trades to gain the club two additional first round selections proved to be strokes of genius.

While Sam Mayes had a disappointing first season, not playing a senior game, Scott Lycett was a strong free agent addition and improved the Power through the ruck. Jack Hombsch was not an essential player but his departure leaves the Power thin in defence with Dougal Howard requesting a trade this year.


In: Tom Lynch, pick 37, pick 64, pick 68, Gold Coast 2019 third-round selection
Out: Reece Conca, Corey Ellis, Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles, Tyson Stengle, Richmond 2019 third-round selection

2018 Draft Picks: 17, 37, 64, 68, 74, 92

Grade then: A

Grade now: A

Rationale: With each of the players lost being somewhat expendable and one of the best key forwards in the competition added in Tom Lynch, Richmond improved their list and simultaneously improved their draft presence. Reece Conca and Sam Lloyd are the two departures who exceeded expectations at their new club, but they may not have provided the same value in 2019 for Richmond.

Considering the Tigers won the premiership and players were shipped out for salary cap reasons to sign Lynch, the moves made were sound.

St Kilda

In: Dan Hannebery, Dean Kent, pick 36, pick 46, West Coast 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Tom Hickey, pick 61, pick 65, 2019 second-round pick, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 4, 36, 46, 67, 79

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: While Dan Hannebery struggled to get fit in the early portion of the year, the five games he did play suggests he has more to give. If Hannebery can remain healthy over the next few years, his leadership and performance will add value for the Saints.

The trade for Dean Kent and trade of Tom Hickey were valued about right as fringe players. The Hickey trade has hurt less than expected thanks to the ascension of Rowan Marshall.


In: Ryan Clarke, Jackson Thurlow, pick 26, pick 39, pick 40, St Kilda 2019 second-round pick, Carlton 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Dan Hannebery, Nic Newman, Gary Rohan, pick 13, pick 70

2018 Draft Picks: 26, 33, 38, 39, 40, 88

Grade then: D+

Grade now: D

Rationale: The loss of Dan Hannebery has left Sydney's midfield looking thin, for less in return than ideal given his standing in the game and the leadership he provides. The compensation received for both Nic Newman and, to a lesser extent, Gary Rohan hurt. With Ryan Clarke and Jackson Thurlow in and out of their best 22, it's unclear whether either will be long term pieces for Sydney, though Clarke is still young enough and with midfield minutes may be able to carve out a role.

Losing three best-22 players who play positions Sydney are deficient in for two fringe types who may not be long term pieces is the story of Sydney's trade period.

West Coast

In: Tom Hickey, pick 20, pick 61, St Kilda 2019 fourth-round pick
Out: Scott Lycett, pick 39, West Coast 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 20, 22, 61, 72, 76, 94

Grade then: C

Grade now: D+

Rationale: The loss of Scott Lycett hurt the 2018 premiers, particularly with the injury-prone Nic Naitanui continuing to struggle to get out on the field. The compensation pick received for Lycett did not mitigate his departure and hurt the club this season. While Tom Hickey proved serviceable as depth, he is a definite downgrade from Lycett.

Western Bulldogs

In: Taylor Duryea, Sam Lloyd, pick 25, pick 32, pick 75, Hawthorn 2019 third-round pick
Out: Marcus Adams, Luke Dahlhaus, Jordan Roughead, pick 64, 2019 fourth-round pick

2018 Draft Picks: 7, 27, 32, 45, 63, 75, 82

Grade then: C

Grande now: C+

Rationale: The losses of Marcus Adams and Jordan Roughead proved somewhat problematic for the Bulldogs considering the seasons they had at their new teams. The value Roughead provided Collingwood in defence was surprising and would have been useful for the Dogs. The departure of Luke Dahlhaus up forward was another significant loss, but the addition of Sam Lloyd added a much-needed avenue to goal for a good price. In defence, Duryea has proven to be a well-priced rebounder, adding a component missing from the Bulldogs in years gone by.