I know baseball is officially in the offseason, but now is the time to make some trade moves in your keeper and dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Be proactive, so you can shore up your fantasy team for the upcoming season.

Since the draft is the most exciting time of the season, most owners will do all they can to improve their quantity and quality of draft picks. There is a lot of uncertainty in the draft and that is what helps build that excitement, but also makes it a risky venture investing heavily in high draft picks at the expense of established veterans. Using your picks now, trading them to get the players you want and need, helps you build a better overall team.

Right now, you have about four months to get your team together before your draft. That will allow you the proper time to slowly feel out your fellow owners for their needs as well as who is willing to part with proven commodities for the unknown of the draft.

At draft time, you are forced to shoot from the hip and take the best player available and still squeeze in a player at every position. What you cannot put together in the draft, you will have to acquire in post-draft trades where everyone can see your desperation at a particular position (or positions) and make you pay more than you want to fill your deficiencies.

In my dynasty league, I recently traded for Justin Upton, Johan Santana and Nick Markakis while trading away the vast majority of my high draft picks over the last month. There is no way that I could get this quality of player with the picks that I had, but I found people who were looking for the one-day thrill of the draft and were willing to part with their stars for what they eventually hope to be the next big thing.

I still have a few picks left to fill in the backup positions, but the meat of my team is set. Knowing what few slots I have to fill allows me to zero in on a few targets to get what I need and not worry about a myriad of positional holes to fill.

Yes, the draft is exciting. It is the best part of the entire season. But, think how exciting the six months following the draft will be if you can manipulate those picks into more value by trading for quality players ahead of time.

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