WINNERS AND LOSERS SO FAR IN THE 2016 AFL TRADE PERIOD
* West Coast: The Eagles pulled off an absolute steal, gaining four-time premiership star Sam Mitchell from Hawthorn in exchange for pick 88 and a swap of late picks. The shock trade – designed to create much-needed space in the Hawks’ salary cap – will provide an immediate boost to the Eagles’ midfield but also paves the way for 34-year-old Mitchell to eventually serve as an assistant coach under good mate Adam Simpson. His leadership and footy smarts will be invaluable for rising Eagles midfielders Dom Sheed and Liam Duggan.
* Fremantle.:A long overdue list rebuild looks to be going well so far. The Dockers would be stoked with the generous No.23 compensation pick they received for trading free agent Chris Mayne to Collingwood. Fremantle went on to use the selection on classy Hawthorn winger Brad Hill, who will be reunited with brother Stephen. They also secured long-time forward target Cam McCarthy from Greater Western Sydney and could boost their key position stocks further, with Western Bulldogs defenders Marcus Adams and Joel Hamling a chance to return to WA.
* St Kilda: Jack Steele and Koby Stevens aren’t huge names but they’ll add depth to the Saints midfield and offer handy support to stars Jack Steven and David Armitage. Importantly, the Saints won’t have to give up much. Steele was traded from Greater Western Sydney in exchange for a future second-round selection, while Stevens is out of contract at the Western Bulldogs and looks likely to depart for a late pick. West Coast free agent Mitch Brown could potentially add to their key defensive stocks.
* Hawthorn: Securing Sydney’s Tom Mitchell is undoubtedly a plus, and they could yet secure Gold Coast gun Jaeger O’Meara. But at what cost? Coach Alistair Clarkson’s decision to nudge four-time premiership star Sam Mitchell out the door was shocking enough for Hawks fans. Then it emerged he had made similar overtures to another loyal servant in Jordan Lewis. The Hawks have declared Lewis a required player but a trade to Melbourne can’t be ruled out. Supporters will have high expectations for O’Meara who hasn’t played in the AFL since 2014.
* Collingwood: On the face of it, the Magpies have ticked the boxes after securing free agent trade targets Chris Mayne from Fremantle and North Melbourne’s Daniel Wells. But they didn’t come cheap. Wells is reported to have been offered $1.8 milion over three years, while Mayne signed a four-year deal worth close to $2 million despite signs his best football is behind him. Retired Collingwood star Dane Swan questioned why the Magpies would recruit 31-year-old Wells when they have let go several older players.
* Port Adelaide. The Power are another team desperately looking to clear space in their salary cap so they can rebuild their list after missing the finals for a second-straight year. Vice-captain Hamish Hartlett is one of about a dozen players understood to have been put up as trade bait despite being only one year into a five-year contract. With coach Ken Hinkley speaking of the need for bold list management decisions, ending the trade period without substantial changes would be disastrous for Port.