Here are the results of our meeting at the Casa del Beatty. It's a good time to lay down some laws while we're still tight and have a few years of experimenting under our belt. This will set up a framework to prepare us for any future infusion of new people into the league. While we could continue to split hairs over particular issues, we all agreed that the league would be better served by simplicity and stability. To that end:
1. The 2008 stats are good stats, which we will keep for the next five years. If something truly aberrant/outrageous is happening, we can open up discussion of that particular stat.
2. Any change in stats or roster positions will not go into effect until a full season after the change has been proposed and accepted. (Ie, a rule change during or after the 2009 season will not go into effect until the 2011 season).
1. Rosters will consist of 27 players, divided between 9 hitters, 9 pitchers, and 9 bench spots. Hitters are the regular spots in the lineup, with a Util slot instead of a pitcher/DH. Pitchers are divided between 3SP, 3RP, and 3P slots. Teams will have 2 DL slots as well.
1. Each owner will have a budget of $270 million dollars. For simplicity, this will be represented as $270. Upon winning the bid for a particular player, the owner will subtract the amount of the bid from $270.
i. Bid order is determined by the order of finish from the previous season.
ii. Passing is not allowed. Owners must put up a player for auction when it is their turn to pick.
iii. Owners will bid in whole dollar increments.
iv. Owners must fill all 27 positions through auction, thus they cannot bid an amount that, if it won, would leave them with less cash than needed to fill their remaining roster slots.
2. Any money left over at the end of the auction is vaporized. It is not saved. It cannot be rolled over to any future draft.
3. Auction money can be traded up to one year prior to, at the start of, and during the auction. Examples:
i. Halfway through the 2008 season, Owner A trades Eric Byrnes and a promise of $10 at the 2009 auction to Owner B for Chipper Jones. At the start of the 2009 auction, Owner A will have $260 and Owner B will have $280;
ii: In the 8th round of the 2008 draft, after winning A-Rod in the 1st round at $48, Owner A trades him to Owner B for $7 and Jimmy Rollins, who B won in the 2nd round for $42. $7 is added to Owner A's remaining cash and $7 is subtracted from B's remaining cash. Their cash is not re-adjusted to reflect the purchase price of the players they acquired, since this has already been subtracted from their cash and they now own the player.
iii. In 2008, Owners could not trade Eric Byrnes and $10 for the 2010 season.
4. There is a cap on trading of auction money. Owners may neither acquire or sell more than $30 in additional auction cash. The maximum with which an owner may go into a draft or spend during the draft is $300. The minimum with which an owner may enter the draft is $240. The minimum he must spend is $27.
1. At the end of each season, each owner shall have a maximum of FIVE (5) two-year options, whether new or partially-vested, on the players they acquired at auction.
i. Options are exercised at the value paid for the player at auction.
ii. Options may not be subdivided between players; a two-year option may not become two one-year options used on different players.
iii. Owners may not trade options.
iv. Owners do not have to exercise options.
2. The exercise of an option shall be determined on a year-to-year basis; two-years refers to the maximum length of the option, not to a mandate that it be exercised for a full two years. Eg. Owner A acquires Hanram for $40 in 2008. Before the 2009 draft, he decides to keep him at $40 for 2009 and exercises Year One of the option. Before the 2010 season, he may either keep Hanram for Year Two of the option at $40 or he may release him. Owners are under no obligation to keep players for two years.
3. The two year clock on an option is attached to the player, not to the owner. Trades do not reset the clock. In the previous example, if Owner A keeps Hanram with Year One of the option in 2009 and trades him in July to Owner B, B may keep Hanram for one more year in 2010. In 2011, regardless of how many trades he has moved through, Hanram, must return to the free agent pool for the draft auction.
4. Of the five options, a maximum of one may be used to keep a player who is acquired as a free agent after the auction has been completed for one additional year. Two days after the 2008 draft auction, Owner B picks up Joey Gathright from the free agent pool. At the end of the season, B may use one of his options to keep Gathright in 2009 for $1. In 2010, however, Gathright must return to the free agent pool for auction. Only one post-auction, free agent pickup may be kept.
V. FREE AGENCY COOKIE JAR
1. Owners wishing to acquire a player not yet in the Yahoo system shall notify the league of their intent to add the player and create a cookie jar on their roster by dropping a player (exclusive of the DL).
2. The Commissioner will order the player to fill the cookie jar with a listed free agent from the team of the unlisted player. The Commissioner will select the player who, in his opinion, is the most ridiculous or worthless player from the team. This player will stay in the jar and not be started or dropped until the intended free agent is added to the Yahoo list of players.
3. We will never have waivers.
VI. TRADE VETO POWERS
In order to preserve the tranquility of the league, protests of trades will be carried out in the following manner.
1. Upon a formal complaint through the Yahoo system to the Commissioner (ie, not crying over a beer at Rose's) the Commissioner shall call for a vote on the trade.
2. The parties involved (either trading partners and the plaintiff) and the Commissioner do not get a vote. Of the remaining votes, a simple majority to veto will veto the trade. The Commissioner may vote to break a tie, basing his vote on his assessment of the validity of the argument and the motives of those voting to veto. Refusal to vote/abstention shall be counted as a vote of approval.
While we cannot legislate basic courtesy, this is a good time to state that we're all friends, we're all professionals, and we're all committed to a good and healthy league. To that end, take care to respond to trade offers, even if it is to push the reject button. If you're going to have an extended absence, make arrangements for a proxy/surrogate to manage your team in your absence.
(The original letter was sent March 15, 2008, immediately after our meeting on March 14)