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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rule Change Proposal Comments

As we're dealing with the flurry of messages and decisions endemic to free agency, hopefully we'll all remember that there are proposals to be voted on. It would also be good if there could be some discussion of the proposed changes before the voting, so people can make informed decisions. I'll start the ball rolling with some thoughts:

2 - Reduce the number of AM players
If you read my earlier post, you know I like this one. I'm for phasing out AM players completely, and the logical next step in that process is to reduce the number to either 1 or 2 next year (having gone from 5 to 3 this year). As others have noted, the lack of impact players in the rookie draft pool really draws out the process of turning around a bad team. Plus, the most astute managers tend to also be the best at picking AMs, so dynasty teams tend to get reinforced.

3 - Update dollar amounts
I've been through at least two of these now, and I'd really, really like it if I didn't have to do it again. (I'm talking about rescalings, not a restructuring like when we went to the Y1-Y2-Y3 system.) I really don't care whether our salary structure comes anywhere near matching that of Major League Baseball; that target will never sit still anyway. I want a system that's easy to use and understand, and which balances the different types of costs in a way that makes sense.

Multiplying everything by 3 isn't going to make the system easier for anyone. Not that most of us will have trouble remembering to adjust the numbers before comparing contracts across different years, but it's one more thing to worry about.

Just as with previous updates, it's not just a matter of multiplying everything by a fixed number. If this proposal passes, AM, M0 and Y1 contracts will be cheaper (relative to the revenue stream) than they are now, while Y3 contracts will be more expensive. Should we make those changes? I don't know, but if we do, we should do so explicitly, not as a side effect of/footnote to a general round of inflation.

4. Scale fines to level of overuse
A very good idea, and long overdue; frankly, it's ridiculous to charge the same amount for a ticky-tack foul as for using, say, Barry Bonds full time. I'd like to see the ranges widened somewhat, and/or based on percentages of a player's allotted usage instead of fixed PA/IP amounts. But the proposal before us is certainly better than what we're doing now.

6. Protecting NT players from the draft
This is a no-brainer for me; I actually thought we already required this. The only change I'd make is to allow NT players to be left unprotected as long as the owning team pays the NT cost if the player is claimed by another team.

7. Drafted veterans must be signed to U contract
The problem with this is that it's not always obvious which players are affected. Sure, if the guy had 200 AB the year before, you'll probably know about it. But suppose he pitched 50 innings in 2002, then had a couple of Tommy John surgeries before finally getting back to the majors last year. And suppose you didn't really start paying attention to baseball until 2003. It's going to be an unpleasant surprise when you draft him, then learn that you can't sign him to a Y1 contract.

The nice thing about the present system is that all players in the draft pool are treated equally, regardless of their history. I'd like to keep it that way.

9. Drafted players can be signed MTM
We always had this option (at least once MTM contracts were introduced in the first place) until the overhaul of the contract system. I don't know if the MTM option was removed deliberately or if that was an oversight, but I see no reason for the removal. The MTM contract is the ideal vehicle for a player who doesn't have enough PA/IP to keep on the roster the whole year, and doesn't figure to have any future in MLB. Why shouldn't you be able to use it on a draftee?

6 Swings of the bat:

Other Side said...

I'm in agreement with Steve on all of the issues he brought up, but primiarily I am in agreement with the non-neccesity of scaling up salaries. I stated this in my returned ballot, why confuse the issue? We're used to the $35,000,000 payout. Plus, for those unused to BRASS, there is a compelling amount of history distributed each year at free agency that could be given to new members so they acquire a feel for how the monetary structure works.

I understand those in other leagues, like BLOC, use higher amounts. I am a member of BLOC and have yet to become comfortable with the increased amounts. Leave BRASS's money amounts alone.

mlentz said...

I third the lack of necessity to change the $$$ payout in BRASS.

There is no legitimate reason why are contracts have to even remotely relate to MLB.

That they make sense (which they do) and operate well in our artificial environment is all that matters.

Plus, I'd need Corey to do the math for me, but methinks some undue help would be afforded to those who were not as careful with their dinero as others in BRASS have been.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with most of Steve's points.

The Update Dollar amounts I am against once again. Trying to compare historical free agency info for newcombers will be a bear as they need to know what year we increased salries and then to do the math. And, as Steve pointed out, some signings will actually be cheaper (the AM's and MO and Y1's).

I think the scale for fines is a no-brainer to pass.

And I am a firm believer of the NT's needing to be protected. If you wanted to save those $'s then you should need to lock these players up each year.

I also strongly agree that all players in the rookie draft should be treated equally. If this passes then I would hope the league office would provide to the league which players will have to be signed to a U contract. Without this I feel for all of us but especially the new manager that comes in and drafts a player just to find out that 3 years before they were even in the league a player had gone thru the draft and now they would have to sign them to a U contract.

I do disagree with Steve on his other points. Regarding the MTM's, I do not believe you were ever able to sign a draftee to a MTM contract (though I could be mistaken). I thought it was only the Supplemental draft that you could. I just think teams houdl at least commit the full year to their draftees. I would be frustrated if I saw the team in front of me select that 300 PA OF'er I had my eye on to firm up my OF usage and then see the team sign him to a 1 month MTM.

Anyways, just my .02

Scott

Steve Klein said...

I'm virtually certain that we used to be able to give MTM contracts to draftees; in fact I'm virtually certain that I've done so myself. Later on I might be able to search through old roster files and find an example.

I, too, would be frustrated if a team in front of me gave a one-month contract to a 300 PA player I wanted. I'd also be frustrated if a UFO landed on the roof of my car and scratched the paint. Mostly, I'd be pretty damn amazed if either of these actually happened.

mlentz said...

As the dude who proposed the "vets have to be signed to a U contract" deal, I would be happy to provide a list that make things easier for all.

I know it's a nuanced, extra step, but it just seems one of fairness to the veteran guys. Presumably, they've already been on BRASS rosters and shouldn't have to get paid on the cheap again :-)

My drafting of Eric Hinske last year is a perfect example- me having him for 200K/year for 3 years seems a little ludicrous given that he's been around the BRASS block.

Just sayin'....

Anonymous said...

But for every Eric Hinske example there are probably a dozen examples of a guy playing 1 year under a Y1 contract and never going thru the Y2 and Y3 levels.

Just think this is a lot of work for something minor. This is already a pretty complicated league with Free Agency, Salaries, amateurs etc... Lets at least keep something pretty straight forward instead of over complicating this as well.

My .02

Scott