AFL trades and free agency: Every club's moves rated

What's it like for players during trade period? (1:10)

Jude Bolton recalls the time he thought he was 'in the gun' as the Swans looked to rejuvenate their list. (1:10)

The AFL's annual meat market was again busy, with some deals done early, some only completed minutes before Wednesday's 7.30pm deadline, while some didn't get done at all.

And while it's still way too soon to judge each club's performance, ESPN AFL draft and trade expert Chris Doerre has analysed all the moves and assessed who he thinks the early winners and losers are.


In: Billy Frampton, pick No.37, pick No.45, pick No.49 (Ellis-Yolmen compensation), 2020 round two pick (Western Bulldogs), 2020 round four pick (Carlton), 2020 round four pick (Gold Coast)
Out: Eddie Betts, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Hugh Greenwood, Sam Jacobs, Josh Jenkins, Alex Keath, 2020 round three pick

2019 Draft Picks: 4, 23, 28, 37, 45, 49

Grade: E

Rationale: The Crows lost a lot of talent and gained very little, with nothing better than second round selections received in any of the deals agreed upon. With the drafts this year and next year relatively thin, and the likelihood that after bidding pick 37 will move down a few spots, the returns received are likely to be limited.

Adelaide's midfield is weakened with the losses of Ellis-Yolmen and Greenwood, both of whom are high volume contested ball-winners with the capability of adding value to their new teams. Adelaide's key position stocks are substantially weakened with the losses of Alex Keath, who had a strong season in defence and has improved every year, while the underrated Josh Jenkins subtracts from Adelaide's front half as a key forward who has averaged two or more goals each of the past six seasons.

Of less consequence are the departures of Eddie Betts and Sam Jacobs, with Betts -- other than his two games against Gold Coast - struggling this year while Sam Jacobs found himself superseded by the fast-improving Reilly O'Brien.

Frampton was Adelaide's one addition and has the scope to contend for a position as the club's relieving ruck given his mobility and contested marking.


In: Callum Ah Chee, Grant Birchall, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, pick No.48, pick No.72, 2020 round three pick (Essendon)
Out: Tom Cutler, Lewis Taylor, pick No.46, pick No.91, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 16, 21, 34, 48, 52, 55, 72

Grade: B+

Rationale: Ellis-Yolmen was a savvy recruiting decision as a free agent and will add grunt through Brisbane's midfield as a prolific contested ball-winner. Birchall adds stability and experience to Brisbane's defence, to replace the retired Luke Hodge. The question mark surrounding Birchall is his health as he has only played eight games over the past three years. Ah Chee for a 2020 second round pick is arguably overs for the talented utility given he has struggled to play a consistent brand of football at AFL level or play more than 16 games in a year, in his four seasons with the Suns.

With Taylor getting pushed out of Brisbane's best side, playing only five games and last playing in Round 12, he appeared unlikely to reclaim his position with the trade looking inconsequential for the Lions. The loss of Cutler is a similar story as another player pushed outside Brisbane's best team and not certain to earn back his position.


In: Eddie Betts, Marc Pittonet, pick No.57, pick No.70
Out: Andrew Phillips, pick No.48, pick No.72, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 9, 43, 57, 70, 85

Grade: E

Rationale: A very disappointing trade period for the Blues with neither the Tom Papley or Jack Martin trades eventuating. The pair had requested trades to join Carlton and would have improved the club's best 22 in positions of need, with Papley one of the competition's premier small forwards and Martin, untapped and with the scope to become a difference maker through the midfield.

While Carlton will benefit from the brilliance of Betts to help their struggling front half, his best is long past with his season highlights coming against Gold Coast with six goals in each of his games against the Suns, but little more.

The loss of Phillips and the gain of Pittonet is largely a wash with both ruckmen depth players.


In: Darcy Cameron, pick No.62, 2020 round two pick (St Kilda), 2020 round four pick (St Kilda)
Out: James Aish, pick No.56, pick No.69, 2020 round three pick

2019 Draft Picks: 35, 62, 74

Grade: B+

Rationale: Cameron adds depth for Collingwood behind both Brodie Grundy and Mason Cox as a ruckman capable of resting forward. A solid return was received for James Aish given his fringe status having played no more than 15 games for Collingwood in each of his four years at the club. The St Kilda 2020 second round selection gained in the Aish deal is a good return and will help Collingwood towards drafting Reef McInnes through their next-generation academy in 2020.


In: Tom Cutler, Andew Phillips, pick No.33, pick No.61, pick No.64
Out: Pick No.37, pick No.52, pick No.70, 2020 round three pick

2019 Draft Picks: 31, 33, 61, 64, 65, 88

Grade: C+

Rationale: Sometimes retaining players is the most important thing and the retention of the contracted Joe Daniher, health permitting, appears the best choice. Playing a combined 11 games over the past two seasons, Daniher, if he can recapture his 2017 form, may opt to remain with the Bombers. If Daniher chooses to move next year, Essendon can force a club into trading for him next offseason given his status as a restricted free agent which allows the Bombers to match any bids made on him.

The addition of Phillips is an addition of depth through the ruck to provide a ready-to-play injury replacement. Cutler adds versatility as someone who can contend for a position in Essendon's best side.


In: Blake Acres, James Aish, pick No.10, pick No.22, pick No.58, pick No.69, pick No.79, 2020 round two pick (Melbourne), 2020 round three (Collingwood)
Out: Bradley Hill, Ed Langdon, pick No.26, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 7, 10, 22, 58, 69, 79, 83

Grade: C

Rationale: Fremantle's return for Hill was strong, with Acres an able and developable component with the combination of picks received in the deal including pick 10 appealing. The return received in the Langdon trade though was poor and leaves Fremantle exposed and further weakens the Dockers on the outside.

The price paid for Aish was arguably too much for a fringe player who has not shown meaningful improvement since his debut season and has not managed better than 15 games in any of his four seasons with Collingwood.


In: Josh Jenkins, Jack Steven, pick No.14, pick No.24, 2020 round one pick (West Coast), 2020 round three pick (Gold Coast)
Out: Tim Kelly, Zac Smith, pick No.57, 2020 round three pick

2019 Draft Picks: 14, 17, 24, 36, 93

Grade: B+

Rationale: The departure of Kelly is a major setback to Geelong's win-now chances. The combination of picks received for Kelly was never going to make up for the loss, but the return yielded a strong combination of picks which was the best they were going to do.

With Geelong having enough ruck depth, the departure of Smith, who has only played six senior games over the past two seasons, is inconsequential. The trade of pick 58 -- the pick gained from Gold Coast in the Smith move -- is a strong one by Geelong with Steven a bargain at that price and potentially one of Geelong's best midfielders over the next few years.

Jenkins improves Geelong's front half and provides much needed support for Tom Hawkins. The low cost addition of Jenkins is a positive one having not dropped below two goals per game over the past six seasons.

Gold Coast

In: Brandon Ellis, Hugh Greenwood, Zac Smith, 2020 round two pick (Brisbane), 2020 round four pick (Brisbane)
Out: Callum Ah Chee, pick No.58, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 1, 2, 15, 20, 78, 90

Grade: B+

Rationale: With no trade of the uncontracted Jack Martin completed, it is difficult to judge whether this is a good or bad as it is unclear whether he will re-sign or walk into the draft. Given Carlton didn't put forward an offer suitable for someone of Martin's talent, it seems a reasonable response not to move him to make the point they won't be bullied into making bad trades.

The addition of Greenwood, while under the radar, represents good value and can provide Gold Coast's midfield a boost with his contested ball-winning capabilities and tackling. Ellis adds much needed run, but being entirely outside oriented, it's going to be a lot harder for him to rack the ball up for Gold Coast, with a substantial production dip likely for Ellis.

Following the retirement of Tom Nicholls and Brayden Crossley's positive drug test, Smith is an addition purely to add depth behind Jarrod Witts.

The return Gold Coast received for Ah Chee, headlined by a 2020 second round pick, is a positive return given he has struggled to play a consistent brand of football in his four years with the Suns. Ah Chee is yet another former top-10 selection Gold Coast have been unsuccessful in developing.

Greater Western Sydney

In: Sam Jacobs, pick No.6, pick No.40 (Tomlinson compensation), pick No.59, 2020 round three pick (North Melbourne)
Out: Aiden Bonar, Jonathon Patton, Adam Tomlinson, pick No.12, pick No.18, 2020 round four selection

2019 Draft Picks: 6, 40, 59, 60, 80, 94

Grade: C

Rationale: The versatility of Tomlinson will be missed by the Giants, who were not adequately compensated given his effectiveness in his 73 games played over the past three seasons. Losing Patton for such a poor return is disappointing given how dominant Patton was in 2016 and 2017. While Aiden Bonar is not a required player long term as he does not project to be a best 22 player due to the sheer strength and depth of GWS' midfield, the return was disappointing for 2017's pick 11.

GWS' trade for Sam Jacobs filled the club's most pressing need and was a must following the retirement of Dawson Simpson and query over Shane Mumford's future, with the Giants in win-now mode.

GWS' trade up to pick 6 from picks 12 and 18 is a wise one, with academy prospect Tom Green likely to attract a bid inside the top-five. Once GWS get a feel for which club is likely to bid on Green, it would not be surprising if they offer a pick swap that involves pick 6 and GWS' 2020 first round selection to delay a bid on the academy product.


In: Sam Frost, Jonathon Patton, pick No.42, pick No.54, pick No.63
Out: Grant Birchall, Marc Pittonet, pick No.50, 2020 round two pick

2019 Draft Picks: 11, 30, 42, 54, 63, 87, 92

Grade: A+

Rationale: The trade for Frost was a bargain, with Hawthorn filling a key defence post with a plug and play option. Securing Patton for Melbourne's 2020 fourth round selection is one of the steals of the trade period given how dominant he was in 2016/2017. Patton is a strong list fit and will provide Hawthorn a major presence forward of centre.

With Birchall only playing eight games over the past three years, there were hints late in 2019 in his three games that he is still an asset at AFL level. The loss of Pittonet makes little difference in the short term, as a ruckman behind Ben McEvoy and Jonathon Ceglar who was realistically an injury replacement.


In: Ed Langdon, Adam Tomlinson, pick No.8, 2020 round two pick (Hawthorn), 2020 round four pick (Fremantle)
Out: Sam Frost, pick No.22, pick No.42, pick No.61, pick No.79, 2020 round one pick, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 3, 8

Grade: B+

Rationale: The versatility Tomlinson adds as a free agent provides Melbourne options whether they choose to utilise him in defence or up on a wing. The Langdon signing was a bargain for Melbourne, helping the club address its critical need for outside run. In moving Frost, it appeared the Demons did not to rate him, with the return received poor for the established key defender.

Melbourne's swap of their 2020 first round selection, pick 26 and 50 to North Melbourne for pick 8 is a committal and high-risk trade. The pick exchange in some respects makes sense with pick 8 a sweet spot in the draft and not much worse than pick 3, but with Melbourne finishing 17th in 2019, they could easily look silly 12 months from now if they have another poor season.

North Melbourne

In: Aiden Bonar, pick No.26, pick No.50, 2020 round one pick (Melbourne), 2020 round four pick (Melbourne)
Out: Pick No.8, 2020 round three pick

2019 Draft Picks: 26, 27, 47, 50, 73, 84

Grade: A

Rationale: North Melbourne made a potentially genius trade moving pick 8 to Melbourne in exchange for picks 26, 50 and Melbourne's 2020 first round choice, taking advantage of Melbourne's desire of securing a second selection inside the top-10 this year. Bonar, 2017's 11th selection, is a bargain for the price paid and critically adds athleticism through the midfield.

The disappointing aspect of the trade period for North was the lack of a big name joining the Roos. With the Tom Papley to Carlton talks stalling and then breaking down, there may have been an opportunity for North to jump back in.

Port Adelaide

In: Pick No.12, pick No.18, 2020 round three pick (St Kilda), 2020 round four pick (Melbourne)
Out: Billy Frampton, Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder, pick No.10, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 12, 18, 29, 66, 67, 71, 86

Grade: C

Rationale: The three departures leave Port Adelaide's tall stocks looking thin. The Power received a suitable return for Howard and Ryder, though the loss of Howard particularly will hurt with the club's key defence stocks which are arguably the weakest in the competition following the trade. With Frampton depth for the Power, the return received is as expected.


In: Pick No.39 (Ellis compensation), No.56
Out: Brandon Ellis, Dan Butler

2019 Draft Picks: 19, 38, 39, 41, 56, 75, 77, 95

Grade: C+

Rationale: The loss of Ellis will mean little in the greater scheme of things for Richmond other than to create salary cap relief given his lacklustre finals play in 2017 and again this season. The loss of Butler similarly will matter little with Richmond's depth of forwards and Butler's outside best 22 status making him expendable.

Little done with little required by the premiers.

St Kilda

In: Dan Butler, Bradley Hill, Dougal Howard, Zak Jones, Paddy Ryder, pick No.51, 2020 round four pick (Sydney), 2020 round four pick (Port Adelaide)
Out: Blake Acres, Josh Bruce, Jack Steven, pick No.6, pick No.59, pick No.76, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick

2019 Draft Picks: 51, 76, 82

Grade: B+

Rationale: The positive is the club secured each of its trade targets and still have their 2020 first round choice. It is a list strategy focused on moving up the ladder immediately at the expense of involvement in the draft, which arguably could be considered overly committal given the Saints were last a top-8 team in 2011 under Ross Lyon. St Kilda were smart to split up pick 6 to gain picks 12 and 18 to facilitate the club's other trades and ensure the club secured each trade target.

St Kilda paid a suitable price to trade for Howard and Ryder, with Howard an upgrade in defence while the hope with Ryder should be that he can co-exist alongside Rowan Marshall. The price paid for Zak Jones was a good get, as he adds much needed speed for the Saints. Butler was added for a suitable price and will be a capable role player in St Kilda's front half with his pressure and speed valuable.

While a soundly fitting component, the price St Kilda paid to add Hill was steep and arguably overs with all the picks moving to the Dockers in addition to the promising Acres too much.

Losing Steven for so little will hurt the Saints and leave their midfield weakened. The return received for Bruce was also arguably below his worth as an AFL standard key forward.


In: Lewis Taylor, pick No.32, pick No.76, 2020 round three pick (Fremantle)
Out: Darcy Cameron, Zak Jones, pick No.54, pick No.62, pick No.63, 2020 round four

2019 Draft Picks: 5, 25, 32, 44, 81

Grade: C+

Rationale: The loss of Cameron leaves Sydney thin through the ruck. Only once in his three years with Sydney has Callum Sinclair played 20 or more games, while Sam Naismith has not played since 2017, never managing more than 15 games in a season. The return received for Jones is arguably below what it should be and is a loss for the Swans who need more talent rather than letting go more capable, established footballers.

For the pick spent, Lewis Taylor -- a proven performer at AFL level -- is a good fit for a suitable price. The non-trade of Tom Papley was another good move with Papley one of the best small forwards in the competition and not attracting any suitable offers. Sydney was also sensible in their negotiations with Essendon over Joe Daniher, not making any irresponsible offers and holding their ground on what is a reasonable amount to spend on a key forward who has played just 11 games over the past two seasons, on a team with plentiful key forward stocks.

West Coast

In: Tim Kelly, pick No.46, pick No.91, 2020 round three selection (Geelong)
Out: Pick No.14, pick No.24, pick No.33, pick No.64, 2020 round one pick

2019 Draft Picks: 46, 91

Grade: A+

Rationale: Kelly is a major midfield upgrade and was acquired for a good price. He places West Coast firmly back into the premiership mix.

Western Bulldogs

In: Josh Bruce, Alex Keath, 2020 round three selection (Adelaide)
Out: Pick No.32, No.45, pick No.51, 2020 round two pick

2019 Draft Picks: 13, 53, 89

Grade: A+

Rationale: Keath is a great value get for the Western Bulldogs and fills their most pressing need, adding substantial quality to their key defence stocks with his intercepting capabilities at a good price. Paying only picks 32 and 51 for Bruce is good value and fills a pressing need as a capable key forward who can add to the Dog's best 22.

With the Dogs improving their key position stocks at good prices, it's been a strong trade period that may have some impact on moving the club back into premiership contention.