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Posts: 29
Joined: 19 Jun 2014, 7:17 am

Post 20 May 2019, 6:55 am

As it stands, I currently strongly oppose all changes to the current contract and salary structure, unless the topic is minor league players and how we involve them in the salary / contract system. I will try to lay out my thoughts in the most jumbled and random manner possible:

1. The Wolfdogs have long wandered in the dark seeking the right balance of players to be competitive. During that time, certain players became strongly associated with certain teams - the most prominent example is clearly Mike Trout and the Lincoln Lumberjacks. I think many teams, both rebuilding and competitive, were often seeking their own Mike Trout (even if we knew there could be only one). There have been a few other players considered at least at the same "anchor player" level as Trout, even if a step below, including Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Chris Sale, etc. There are the guys for whom third and fourth contracts are a factor. Of the 260 players rostered at any given point (not including IL slots), I think it's safe to say that the number of players in this category has typically been in the single digits.

Well, I have finally likely (not guaranteed) found my "Mike Trout". I may have even found a few complimentary Machados and Harpers, too. I am excited about Ronald Acuna being a Wolfdog for a decade, along with the likes of Hoskins and Ohtani... with Bregman and Correa a contract ahead. From the point of view of my team, it feels like the blue bloods of the league have benefited from the current salary structure for the past decade that I have been in the league and now that their anchor players are getting expensive, are open to changing the rules in a manner that negatively impacts the middle class of the league from benefiting from those same rules. From my point of view, it feels very strongly like an injustice that certain teams have benefited from the current salary structure and now that I have similar anchor-type players, the structure may change so that I cannot benefit in the same way.

2. Both Redscape and MLB operate in cycles. We are currently in a cycle of many exciting prospects being promoted. A similar cycle ramped up through 2010 and 2011, peaking in 2012. There is no guarantee that every year, such a large number of high end prospects will be reaching the majors and ready to contribute. It's highly likely that a number of the prospects brought up in the last year or two flame out. I think, in the end, we're unlikely to see more than ten anchor players in any given season. Many of these players may see a second contract, but I doubt all of them - or even more than a few - reach a third and only the truly exceptional will reach a fourth. Additionally, teams are investing more roster slots in prospects than ever. I'm not sure how I feel about the consequence of making that investment pay off far, far less with significantly increased salary levels and seriously impacting one method of improvement - investing in prospects - for rebuilding teams.

3. As we are currently in a prospect promotion cycle, we're also in a Redscape management cycle, with 1/4 of the league having turned over since the start of the 2018 season. Some of the new managers have come in and competed immediately. Others have gone full Astros on their teams. I think we owe it to them to let them see their efforts play out without a rule change that can seriously impact their strategies in the midst of implementing those strategies.

4. If anyone has shown us that the current auction is sufficient for building a winning team, year after year, it's the Eastside Bombers. Yes, even they kept a whopping five players this year, but George has demonstrated year after year that even as the league evolves, his strategy remains valid.

5. I like that we have players that become associated with our teams and may play their entire relevant fantasy career with one team. I like my guys. I was sad when Adam Jones left the Orioles and I'll be sad if Hoskins and Acuna are no longer Wolfdogs. We're a keeper league that is almost a borderline dynasty league and in the decade I've been here, I've come to love that about the league and it's one of the reasons why RBL was the only league I had done since joining it until this year... and I know that I will not have the same affinity for my teams in my Pitcher List leagues as I do for my RBL team. Losing that attachment to my own team's anchor players would be extremely detrimental to my enjoyment of the league. While it might be nice to have the chance to acquire Trout for a year, I associate him with the Lumberjacks and that's fine. Also, only having him for a year before he went back to the auction because of cost would limit any sense of him belonging with my team.

6. I do not enjoy the auction. I enjoy our auction meet-ups, but I do not enjoy the process. Maybe that's because it has no true counterpart in MLB or because I've never developed a solid model for valuing players. Either way, my enjoyment comes from the day to day roster management, not the auction, so whether teams are keeping 50% of their roster slots or 10% is not a serious concern for me. I lean towards keeping more players because of my feelings about the auction.

7. Following up on the anchor player idea, the average value for a roster slot is $10. Players on their first contract remain below this. On a player's second contract, he is now more expensive than average by at least 40% in the first year and escalating from there. A player on his third contract under the current system
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 4:37 pm

Post 21 May 2019, 3:04 am

I understand and empathize with #1. For your sake I hope that your new anchor players work out for you. But not only is there no guarantee ... but the “blue bloods” as you call them are able to perpetuate their strength for years to come yet thanks to their ability to keep the prospect wheel churning. With so many teams out of the race, they have plenty of potential trade partners every year - folks who have that one or two rentals they got at auction or that one star who’s contract is getting up there and not enough talent around him.

I’ve only been here two full seasons, so I’ve not had to exercise the same level of patience. And I agree and accept the idea of cycles and turnover. I would just like to see those cycles last 2-3 years at most - not entire decades.

Nick asked me a while ago to define what is a viable team, because I said I wanted most of the league to be viable each season. But this post has crystallized my thinking - what I was really trying to get at is that every team should be able to be viable by the next 2-3 cycle.

Maybe that’s possible under the current rules. Frank’s team would certainly be the trial balloon.
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Joined: 19 Jan 2011, 1:12 pm

Post 21 May 2019, 7:53 am

I've been in this league for over a decade and have not been able to put a powerhouse team together. I have gone into almost every year trying to compete.. only to sell off except for maybe 2-3 times and out of those 2-3 times I've made the playoffs once. I think the idea of going into a season with mediocre teams and trying to turn them into a winner just hasn't worked... so this year or rather in December I decided I was selling early. I was going to do what I had to do, to get me a trade chip of a worth player, dump all my bad contracts and completely sell out early. I decided to go after as many prospects as I could and I may not compete next year either, but I think I have a baseline to follow Frank and be competitive the following year. Now if the rules change, that may only last a couple of years for me vs a potential decade long for others. Guess we'll see. Maybe my optimism is completely clouding my judgement and I will continue to just be an average owner doing average things.