In one of the more complicated trades you’ll see, Carlton essentially exchanged Troy Menzel for five players: however, they should not have done so.
Carlton received Sam Kerridge and pick 28 from Adelaide for Menzel, before sending picks 28, 77 and 95 to GWS in exchange for Liam Sumner, Jed Lamb, Andrew Phillips and Lachie Plowman.
They also received pick eight in the draft, exchanging the future first round compensation pick they received from Geelong for Lachie Henderson.
While exchanging one player for five seems like a win for the Blues, it brings up a quote from Geelong premiership coach Bomber Thompson. During an interview on Open Mike, Thompson stated that clubs should never trade out talented players because it will come back to bite you – and Troy Menzel is as talented as they come.
To make it clear, Carlton initiated the trade with Adelaide, offering Menzel up as opposed to Menzel saying he wanted to leave.
In fact, Menzel recently moved into a new home in Melbourne, signalling his desire to stay.
This is a textbook situation of a club seeking to trade out a talented player in order to get another deal done.
Sam Kerridge seems to be the deciding factor in this trade.
Carlton could easily have sent pick 21 to GWS as part of the deal for the four Giants players, but they instead elected to offload Troy Menzel for pick 28 to send to the Giants, also receiving Sam Kerridge as part of the deal.
Breaking that down further, Carlton have clearly decided that Sam Kerridge and pick 21 are of more value to the club than Troy Menzel. While Kerridge and 21 gives you a young, promising player and a draft selection, it robs you of a prodigious talent and it could come back to seriously hurt the Blues.
There is speculation Carlton could be using pick 21 to lure another GWS player in Adam Tomlinson to the club, which could explain why Carlton needed to bring in pick 28. However, they’ve decided that Menzel is less valuable than an early second round draft choice and Sam Kerridge.
Should Menzel live up to his undoubted potential, the deal will do more harm than good in the long term for the rebuilding Blues.
Menzel turned 21 this year and while he had a poor 2015, he was plagued with injuries throughout the season with rumours going around that he could barely train most weeks.
However, you only have to look back to 2014 to see what he is capable of, kicking 26 goals from 19 games in just his second year of football.
Menzel’s major flaw is his lack of a tank, which flows back to his knee reconstruction as a junior and subsequent knee issues at the Blues. However, Carlton clearly saw the potential for him to play through the middle, using Menzel as an on-baller at various times throughout the year.
Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni stated that Sam Kerridge’s elite endurance running was one of the reasons the club wanted him, with the interchange cap coming down to 90 next season. One can only assume that Menzel’s endurance issues were part of the decision to let him go.
Carlton could easily have gotten this deal done without trading Menzel, but Silvagni – who has a reputation for wanting to have as many draft picks at his disposal as possible – clearly decided that keeping pick 21 in a shallow draft was the priority.
Another issue is Carlton’s continued trading of forwards, with Menzel and Henderson to be added to a list including Eddie Betts, Mitch Robinson, Jarrad Waite and Jeff Garlett in the last few years alone.
While they are rebuilding and making sacrifices in order to get youth into the club, since when has a 21-year-old former pick 11 who is as talented as anyone else at the club become someone worth sacrificing? Carlton should be looking to bring players like Menzel into the club, rather than the other way around.
Carlton could have gotten the GWS deal done without giving up Menzel in what was an unnecessary sacrifice. this decision is further compounded by the fact that Carlton’s list is, in the words of Terry Wallace, “the worst list that he’s analysed in recent years”. Now they’ve lost one of if not their most talented youngster.
Obviously, the future will be the deciding factor in who wins this trade and a lot will ride on how well Carlton uses pick 21. However, as Thompson said, you back in talent and Adelaide would be doing backflips right now knowing the prodigious talent they have at their disposal.