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Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
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Joined: 08 Apr 2002, 9:45 am

Post 21 Feb 2018, 8:14 pm

Things to address:

1. What are the areas of concern that may be a result of our contract structure?
2. Are those issues bad or undesirable?
3. List possible solutions.

As a reference, this came up about four years ago in this thread: http://www.redscape.com/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=2546
Adjutant
 
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Post 22 Feb 2018, 7:03 am

Using the Fangraphs auction calculator with Steamer projections, the top 30 hitters in our league should cost $1037. Instead, they will cost $550, with only one of them (Nelson Cruz) going back into the pool. Additionally, much of that value is concentrated on a few teams:

Lumberjacks: Trout, Betts, Donaldson, Freeman, Ramirez, Martinez (savings of $108 before inflaction)

Foes: Goldschmidt, Blackmon, Judge, Springer, Ozuna (savings of $90)

Tots: Harper, Votto, Altuve, Machado, Bellinger (savings of $59, which includes -$13 from Votto)

That's over half of the top 30 hitters on three out of 16 teams. Pitching's not much different, with two teams (the Foes and Wolfdogs) owning 10 of the top starters between them (the Wolfdogs also have several of the most valuable hitter contracts).

None of this, of course, adjusts for inflation, and that seems to be where the problems are coming into play right now. Because a few teams have so much surplus value, they are able to spend more at auction, and also keep more marginal players that they might otherwise have to pay more for if they were released to the auction. Nelson Cruz, who is the only top 30 hitter hitter going into the auction (in part because the Jacks and Tots are able to keep Freeman and Votto for a combined $94), now becomes a premium commodity.

Is this a problem? I'm not sure. I'd like to see what happens this year. If only the teams with a ton of surplus value compete, then that does feel problematic. It would be one thing if that value cycled through quickly, but when elite players can comfortably be kept for 16 years (1/6/9/10/15/18/19/24/27/28/33/36/37/42/45/46), they aren't re-entering the pool. Teams with several of these players maintain their advantage for a long time, especially when you consider that these owners are more likely than others to find the next elite group of players too.

Marcos, David, Frank, and I just started another league with very similar settings because we love the format but don't like how generous RBL is with elite player contracts. We decided that 7 years felt about right for a valuable player to be owned, and that the later years would not be at such an extreme surplus value as the earlier years. We decided to keep the first contract the same, but for the second contract, instead of doing another +$5/+8/+9, we did a +$10/+13/+14. Similarly, the third contract is +$15/+18/+19. Suddenly a three year deal isn't a no brainer, and the player has to be ultra elite to justify a 1/6/9/10/20/23/24/39/42/43 commitment. We think this structure will provide a balance of dynasty feel, but also cycle more players back into the pool and help prevent "super teams" from developing.
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Adjutant
 
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Post 22 Feb 2018, 1:38 pm

I just don't see how you make substantial changes to salary without blowing up the league and starting over. What saves things I think is the volatility of who is in the top 30. How would that list looked at the start of 2015? I would guess Trout, Stanton, Goldy,McCutcheon and Votto. Maybe Cruz (who just broke out in 2014) or Donaldson (who had not had his big years, yet). Maybe Dozier but he just had his first big year in 2014. The next 30 looks similar. Abreu, Santana, maybe Marte, Puig, Posey, Miguel Cabrera, Kyle Seager, Carpenter and Upton.



With the exception of a very few players there is a lot of volatility within even elite players' performance. Stanton has not been worth his price 3 out of the past four years, Donaldson was horrible until August last year, Harper had a down year in 2016, McCutcheon had a few down years.Only Votto, Trout and Goldschmidt have been consistent the past three years. And Votto, because he had two bad years from 2012-2014, came out for auction and costs $52 to keep. So no bargain there. Basically, of the guys one might think would be on list in 2015...Donaldson is 33, Cruz is 37 (and coming out for auction), Votto is at market price, Stanton has been very inconsistent, McCutcheon is on a downward slope. So Trout and Goldschmidt (maybe Donaldson)are the reliable cheap superstars from 2015-2017 that are on teams for 2018. 2-3 players elite players on cheap contracts is not enough for the teams that have them to dial it in.

In fact, of the guys that were pointed out on top team--Freeman costs $42 and Votto $52. Most of the guys pointed out as being on top teams have become elite recently.
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Adjutant
 
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Post 22 Feb 2018, 8:23 pm

Something seems different this year, but I can't quite put my finger on what. Case in point: both Votto and Freeman were in the auction last year, but this year they are (presumably) being kept. Is it simply that a trade could be made this year to put them on teams that could afford to keep them, but last year there was no deal to be made? Did we have a sizable shift in talent to younger/more affordable players, so everyone can keep a handful of really expensive contracts?
Adjutant
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 6:35 am

I think the difference is that so many elite hitters and pitchers are kept. It's possible that will cycle through since some of them are getting expensive, but it's hard to predict. It's also been really easy for strong owners to make the playoffs in the past handful of years because so many owners don't compete, but we are starting to get some stronger owners in the league. I think among Josh, Matt, Mike, and me at least this offseason you are seeing us try to hoard as many top players as possible even at high keeper prices because we'd rather secure them now than take a chance at a bidding war in the auction. I don't know if that's good or bad for the league. There are only nine teams I would say are competing for a playoff spot right now, and if the Faut division weren't an absolute joke I wouldn't have to even include a team from that division.
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Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 7:36 am

If I take any issue with our structure, it's that there are fewer good players in the auction. That can make the auction less interesting. You either have few good players to bid on or you are sitting on the sidelines because you have so many slots already filled.

I'm less concerned about competitiveness. Put the work in and anyone can succeed. If you don't want to work at it and are just happy to play, I'm cool with that. If it's overly discouraging, no one is forced to play.

Anyway, I would be amenable to nudging the inflation up in contracts as mentioned in the chat room (+6/+4/+2). We could also go +2 on rookie contracts instead of +1. Remember when it was +0? Over time, this would increase the auction pool with minimal impact short term.

I would not vote what you've created for your new league, Nick. The simpler the better (even though I like the elegance of it).
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Adjutant
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 9:32 am

It's a bit radical but maybe just do away with one year contracts. If you want to keep a player you have to take the risk on them. There just aren't that many players that are like Trout and are good for a long period of time so I do not think the concern is teams keeping elite players for a long period of time and dominating the league that way. Take away the one-year contract and there will probably be a lot more players going back into the auction. +3 on rookies is a good idea.

Take away the one year contract...and we might get twice as many players into auction. I don't think inflation is really going to change things that much.
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Dignitary
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 12:44 pm

There is no problem here.
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Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 1:06 pm

geojanes wrote:There is no problem here.


And this from a successful owner who redrafts most of his team every year. That's telling.
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Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
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Post 23 Feb 2018, 2:41 pm

I plucked the average # keepers from the old conversation (2014) and added the next three years:

2009: 10.786
2010: 11.786
2011: 12.071
2012: 11.429
2013: 12.786
2014: 12.375
2015: 12.938
2016: 13.500
2017: 14.437

It's definitely a trend...
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Adjutant
 
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Post 28 Feb 2018, 10:17 am

I've also had to do a ton of work and suffer through some awful years (especially including my first few years in the league) in order to get my team where it is.