If you look at this trade on paper only (discounting intangibles like age, trading away a fan favorite, captain, and crucial leader, opening up playing time for Adams and Davis, etc.), the trade looked halfway decent when it went down -- because $400,000 of general allocation money smacked of being a huge amount of $$$ at the time.
A year later, my take is that this trade has got to be considered one of the most lopsided in league history.
A few weeks after the Dax trade, Kevin Molino was dealt from Orlando to Minnesota for $650,000 in total allocation ($450k in general allocation, $200k in targeted allocation). Then you've got the Dwyer trade: $1,600,000 in total allocation money ($400k in general, $500k in targeted, and $700k in future allocation based on performance). For the rest of 2017, Ethan Finlay, who wasn't even a starter for the Crew at the time of the trade, was dealt to Minnesota for $425,000 (with just 1 goal and 1 assist to his name in 19 games that season). Then LA received $500,000 in allocation money from the Scum for the rights to Paul Arriola ($300k in general, $200k in targeted). And last, KC got $400,000 in allocation money from the Revs for the rights to Krisztian Nemeth ($200k in general, $200k in targeted).
Now we're hearing we got Parker from Vancouver for Felipe, $500,000 in targeted allocation, AND an international roster spot for 2018...
That $400,000 is looking like chump change now.
If you need a refresher on the difference between general allocation and targeted allocation money (like I did), see below:
General allocation money must be used within 30 days of the close of the third full MLS transfer window after it was acquired. If a quantity of general allocation money is not used within that timeframe, it is halved by the league. That halved amount is then available for use during the next two transfer windows. If it is still not used after those transfer windows, the quantity is no longer available for use.
Targeted allocation money can be used in several ways:
- Sign new or re-sign existing players whose salary and acquisition costs are more than the maximum salary budget charge ($504,375 in 2018) up to $1.5 million.
- Convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down his salary budget charge to below the maximum salary budget charge provided the club then signs a new Designated Player at an investment equal to or greater than the player he is replacing.
- Sign new homegrown players to their first MLS contract using up to $200,000 of targeted allocation money.
- Trade league-funded targeted allocation money to another team.
Targeted allocation money must be applied, if not necessarily used, within four MLS transfer windows of its acquisition. In this case, “applied” does not mean a team actually has to use the amount within four windows. Rather, they merely have to notify the league of how they plan on using their expiring targeted allocation money – allocating a specific amount to a specific player – in the following window by the end of the fourth window after it was acquired. If they do not do that, that amount expires.
Let me rephrase: we gave up Dax, top 3 player in his position in MLS, and top 3 player overall for the team that got him (turned to be #3 in the East in reg season from the absolute worst), 29 years old at the time of the trade, for practically nothing. Water under the bridge - sure. But let's not pretend we didn't fail miserably on this one. Especially in light of the trades we made this year, where the same FO actually showed it is possible to get some good value for players of Dax's caliber (like Parker for Felipe).