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Keepers
Posted by Allan Sellers on Tuesday, May. 10th, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Prior to the start of season 2 all teams can elect to keep 5 players from their season 1 roster.  So at that point (next year at this time), we'll be using the 2011 real stats.  

One manager suggested the idea of allowing teams to keep an individual player for a specified number of seasons.  I'm mentioning it here as I like the idea.   I know we want 'some' continuity between seasons, but it might addd to the strategy a little if folks can't rely too much on that good draft from seasons ago.  

The small number of keepers helps, but I would like to raise that each season too to keep the draft to a reasonable length.  

So, the idea on the table is: Keepers - should there be a season limit on how long they can be on a team?  If so, how many season?

Thanks,

Al

Readers Comments

I like the idea of "term limits" for keepers.  Keeps the league from stagnating, and I also think we may have a greater need  for near-term re-balancing (ie, not keepers forever) due to the league being new and many managers being new.

Mike Cabral on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 12:12 AM
 

I like the idea of "term limits" for keepers.  Keeps the league from stagnating, and I also think we may have a greater need  for near-term re-balancing (ie, not keepers forever) due to the league being new and many managers being new.

Mike Cabral on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 1:20 AM
 

C-Ball, you think we may have a need for near-term re-balancing?  Is that because you're not happy with your draft so far :) ?

I also like the idea of "term limits".  My thought would be that we could structure them like contracts.  All players by default are given a 1 year contract.  Then each team has a certain number of 2,3,4 or 5 year contracts that they can award to certain players.

Brent Hermack on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 3:50 AM
 

I like the contracts idea Mr Hermack has proposed in conjunction with this post.  It might be a bit more complex than we need at this time, but it certainly would add another element of strategy to the game.

I agree that a limit needs to be defined for how long a player can be "kept".  I assume after said limit is reached, the player goes back into the general pool for the following draft?

Brian Beerman on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 5:52 AM
 

Isn't this system saying the guys who know baseball and have experience of this game picked up all the best players and will be keeping them indefinitely and for the others who have far less experience and knowledge hard luck you didn't know in the very first draft who were the best ones to keep but that is how it will be for years to come. Also where is the idea that those with the worst record will then gain with the best draft next time, when all the best prospects are all being kept indefinitely. Just my few cents worth, feel free to disagree...

Jonathan Miles on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 8:45 AM
 
I\'m a couple of chapters into Moneyball. I like that the A\'s could hold onto rookies for longer. So i\'d suggest a rookie could be kept for longer than an already established player. I\'d say 3 seasons for majority, 5 seasons for a rookie?
Roy Rolsten on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 1:56 PM
 

I was going to start a thread for "future ideas" where I was going to bring the notion up about contracts versus indefinite keepers. So, I'm definitely in favor of this idea. 

One way to implement:

Each team is allowed to hold the following types of contracts:

(1) 3-yr contracts
(2) 2-yr contracts
(3) 1-yr contracts

This allows for a team to have 6 keepers at any given time. With only 33 players on the roster, this amounts to just under 20% of the team. Any more than this and I think we'll be risking having too few quality players available each draft.

Players under contract cannot be cut (and I would argue are ineligible to be sent to the minors either). You may trade away players under contract, but cannot then turn around and sign a new player to a contract (ie, if you trade away a player under a 3-yr contract, you cannot replace that contract by any other means than trading for another player under a 3-yr contract).

Once a player's contract is up, you may NOT sign him to a new contract - he becomes a free agent for the following season's draft. 

Rob Peterson on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 8:43 PM
 

I like Rob's proposal.  Accomplishes what has been discussed and easy to do/follow.

Mike Cabral on Wednesday, May. 11th, 2011 at 10:09 PM
 

 

I’m not sure how you could work a 5 year contract, if a player say after 3 years - dies, retires (from say long term injury), doesn’t get the minimum TPA, etc.  Death example is extreme but possible!

Rob’s comments above seem OK.  I imagine how it would work is at the end of this season you nominate the 6 x players for their respective contract periods?  Although the "NOT" being able to sign a player after the contract ends I'm not keen ..... however I can see the flip side in that it would help to spread out the MLB stars.

The key theme on this topic for me is having control at the end of each season to keep a small nucleus of very good players, with also the flexibility to change this nucleus each & every season.  Restricting it to a total of 120 players (or 144 in Rob’s example) across the league also means that there are some very good players going into the next draft each year.  I imagine the worst team would draft first, etc?  I’ve based my early round draft selections on picking up top quality youngish players (Pujol @ 31yrs!) who I could keep for 4/5 plus seasons.

Chris McDougall on Thursday, May. 12th, 2011 at 9:14 AM
 

Well, I am thinking a contract is a contract.  If a player dies, that roster spot would be available and I imagine in such an extreme case you'd probably be allowed an "extra" (replacement) contract at the number of years left on the newly deceased player's contract.  As far as injury, if they sit out I think you just eat the contract unfortunately but retiring probably falls under the same realm as death.

The not being able to sign a player after contract expiration makes sense and is "fair".  If we were all at the same level of baseball knowledge (not sure how one would determine that) OR, the more likely method, if there were salaries based upon performance of last season then could  institute signing players for as long as one would like as long as they made the $$$ work out.  Don't think Al and Rob were looking for us to become Brian Cashman or is it one of the Steinbrenners now nor Theo Epstein.  We're more about being Francona, Ozzie Guillen or Gardenhire.

I like the idea of the worst team drafting first.  Drafting Pujols first/early makes sense in any scenario, keepers or not.  We're near the point in this year's draft now that we would be with keepers.  There are some decent players out there but I think we're going to find us scraping for players even at the end of these rounds - sort of a preview once contracts are instituted.  With that said, I don't mind having a shorter/less burdensome draft.

Rob Baptiste on Thursday, May. 12th, 2011 at 8:46 PM
 

I like the contract idea.  There is an element of risk then getting a player for 3 years only for him to lose form in the 1st or 2nd year and you end up saddled with a dead spot in the roster.  Greater risk with pitchers perhaps as they tend to breakdown more frequently.

Rob's idea of 6 contracts of differing lengths is good.  Second time on two threads I have agreed with him!.  Maybe 6 is one too many though....

James Tucker on Thursday, May. 12th, 2011 at 9:24 PM
 

I'm all in favour of limiting length of time you can keep the same players and would not want to see that be any longer than three years.  For those of this side of the pond with only a passing interest in baseball, a keeper league is bad enough, but it's a nightmare if the best players can be locked up for season after season.

Andy Bate on Thursday, May. 12th, 2011 at 9:25 PM
 

OK, here's an idea sort of borrowed from a Fantasy AmFoot  that I play in.

Each player has a draft value (DRV) equal to the round in which they were selected.

At the end of each season a manager may opt to retain up to six players (at a player retention deadline).

Each player that they retain replaces the draft pick in the round equal to their DRV.

In other words, to retain your first round pick in the following season will cost you your first round pick.

All players who are not retained go back into the pool for the following draft and their DRV is reset to 35 (the same value given to undrafted players - if we can sign fee agents?).

All players who are retained have their DRV reduced as follows:

Old DRV    New DRV

1                        0

2                        0

3                        1

4-5                    2

6-7                     3

8-9                     4

10-12                 5

13-16                 6

17-20                 7

21-25                 8

26-30                 9

31-35                10

if a player has a DRV of 0 then they cannot be retained.  Thus, a 1st or 2nd round pick can only be retained for one season (costing you your 1st or 2nd round pick to retain).  a 3rd round pick can be retained for two seasons (costing the 3rd round pick the following season and then the 1st round pick the following season, if desired).

I think this would help to ensure continued interest from everyone, gives managers some tough decisions to make, but also be relatively easy to code.

I am aware that additional rules would be required to cover hanging onto more than one player with the DRV, but I would suspect that it should cost you the next draft pick earlier in the draft, or earlier still if that isn't available, etc.  This may mean a coach has to choose between two players because they only have one pick to use on them both.

Cheers

Andy

(Apologies if the table isn't easy to read.)

 

Andy Bate on Sunday, May. 15th, 2011 at 12:44 AM
 

It's a good idea, Andy, and I have seen it used for baseball and [American] football.  However, I'd still lean towards using the contract system (and this is definitely personal preference as I'm sure both the DRV and Contract methods have their pros and cons) since I like the idea of signing a player.  Also, since we're going to be having keepers, we probably do not need to penalize any further by omitting rounds for teams as the pool of talent will be depleted as the fishing waters of New England during the late 90's. It'll be fun when someone makes that Jose Offerman signing.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-11-14/sports/9811140024_1_morris-engelberg-contract-with-jose-offerman-friend-and-lawyer

11-19-1998
BOSTON (AP) _ As Jose Offerman was introduced to Boston on Thursday, Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said he had no doubt the infielder's $26 million, four-year contract is money well spent. 

``We're basically paying Offerman what we've paid for (third baseman John Valentin),'' Duquette said. ``You're going to have to pay the market for a player who's in the top 10 in six categories.'' 

Offerman led Kansas City this season with a .315 average and .403 on-base percentage, stealing 45 bases, hitting seven homers and driving in 66 runs. He also led the major leagues with 13 triples.

Rob Baptiste on Sunday, May. 15th, 2011 at 5:57 PM
 

Well, I do like Andy's suggestion. It places emphasis on value drafting and means that premier players will always be available. One downside is that a first-round player can, at most, stay with a team for a max of two seasons. I thought my suggestion with a max of three seasons was a bit tight... 

Rob Peterson on Sunday, May. 15th, 2011 at 6:03 PM
 

I think simplicity is typically the best option.  I would prefer to see the "contract" method, if my vote counts for anythying.

Brian Beerman on Tuesday, May. 17th, 2011 at 5:41 AM
 

The contracts idea sounds best. The draft should be in reverse order of the previous seasons performance. It should also be possible to trade future picks as well as players (I know there is cash transfer fees in baseball too, but I don't see how it would work with TMBL unless someone can enlighten me). Now all that sounds more like it...

Jonathan Miles on Wednesday, May. 18th, 2011 at 9:30 AM
 

Thanks for all the discussion. Looks like there's some momentum towards the contracts idea.

- I'd like to see/understand a few examples.

- How/when would we implement it?

- When would a manager/player "sign a contract". At what point of the season?

- Are there loopholes or scenarios where a team may end up with an non-contract player (or one who is UNAVAILABLE that season) and they end up with a hole in their roster?

Allan Sellers on Wednesday, May. 18th, 2011 at 4:27 PM
 

 

I think a contract system can only be put in place at the end of this season, as basically all players are on a 1 yr contract anyway (by effect of being in your team for the season).  Timing - similar to MSWL United, instead of pre season orders, you have pre draft orders in which you pick (using Rob’s example) 1 x 3 yr contract, 2 x 2 yr contracts and 3 x 1 yr contracts.  Out of the 33 players, 6 are retained and the 27 remaining players are put back into the draft.

I would for example, give Pujols a 3 yr contract, Lincecum & Scherzer a 2 yr contracts and Wright, Gallardo & Cruz a 1 yr contract in the pre draft orders for 2012.  I would hold them for the 2012 season, and whereby at the end of that season (or before the 2013 draft), Wright, Gallardo & Cruz would go back into the draft – I would then allocate another 3 players for 1 yr contracts.  Lincecum & Scherzer would have 1 yr left and Pujols would have 2 yrs left.

If a contracted player retires (dies, long term injury – [to be defined], not enough TPA’s, etc) then I think you can replace the player in the pre draft orders, but they would have to maintain the original contract period.  I also think by allocating at the end of the season, some people might use later round picks in the following years draft to pick an up & coming pitcher/hitter - if he has an immense season, then you could give him a 1 yr contract the following year.  Talent spotting element.

Also if people leave the game at the end of this season, a new manager has control over who he allocates on a contract for the coming season.

Chris McDougall on Sunday, May. 22nd, 2011 at 11:00 AM
 

I think the examples Chris provides help me understand the contract approach (that I think Rob P originally proposed).  I think we will go with this.

The one area I think we might want to adjust is contract duration.   I think we're really saying one player can under contract for '4' seasons rather than 3.  I think 3 is the top limit we should use.  So I think it will be more of a:

a) get a player in season 1

b) extend their contract for 1-2 seasons at the start of season 2.  Turn them back in after season 2 or 3.

I'd also like to see if there's more we can do with Andy's idea.  It would be nice to have a means to give out say 5 more 1 year extensions...but only for players after Round X.  So let's say, for example, each team can retain 5 players they drafted in rounds 15-33 (not sure what the best range of rounds is here).  

My main motivation there is to 'get rosters stocked with  more players' .  However I don't know if that's a good thing/bad thing in practice.

Anyway, that's where I am with this.  I still need to do some work to make sure the contract idea pans out. 

 

 

Allan Sellers on Sunday, Jun. 5th, 2011 at 8:25 PM
 

I'll have to read that last entry but I liked Rob P.'s actual distribution of player contracts and I believe how I interpreted them as being post season contracts of either 1, 2 or 3 seasons.  (6 players - makes drafting easier the following seasons and there's no guarantee that even the 3 year contract is hording a player as you could potentially sign a Josh Hamilton (get 2 good seasons and 1 injured season) or worse yet Carlos Quentin (get 1 good season, 2 bad seasons and then lose him only for someone else to get his good season again).  6 of 33+ players per team for that first year then 3 of 33 and then 1 of 33; I think we can all live with that even with my proposed 4 season contract reward to the World Series winner (plus the addition 7 contracts).

Rob Baptiste on Sunday, Jun. 5th, 2011 at 10:09 PM