Rule Change Voting 2016

After giving it some thought, we’ve decided that staggering rule change discussion and voting is likely to be the clearest, most efficient way of doing this. Dedicating a couple days to discuss, debate, and then vote on each rule allows the league to stay focused on one thing at a time and not get sidetracked.

We currently have eight rules and proposals to vote on. They are listed below, along with the dates for these rules to be discussed and the vote date.

Results will be published here as they are determined.

As a reminder, it is NOT majority vote. In order for a new rule to be voted into policy, it must receive at least 10 votes.

One vote per team.

Expand postseason championship bracket from four teams to six.

Open Discussion: Monday, September 19 thru Tuesday, 9/20
Vote: Wednesday, 9/21 thru Friday, 9/23

  • Goal: increases odds of teams to make playoffs, thus incentivizing buying, de-incentivizing selling, etc. More playoff spots also keeps teams in the playoff race longer, i.e. wildcard spots in real life.
  • Proposal: expand championship bracket to six teams, where the top two teams that qualified for the bracket based on W/L receive a bye. 
  • Follow up: Changes to payouts for post-season would be rewritten and voted upon.

RESULT: Vote passes. Championship bracket will be expanded to six teams.

Push trade deadline to mid-week.

Open Discussion: Monday, 9/26 thru Tuesday, 9/27
Vote: Wednesday, 9/28 thru Friday, 9/30

  • Goal: Having the trade deadline on a Sunday kinda sucks, because people have shit to do and aren’t necessarily around on the weekend.
  • Proposal: Instead of the end of Week 17 (Sunday), move the deadline up to Thursday of Week 17 at 11:59 PM/EST.

Enforce a minimum number of starts per week.

Open Discussion: Monday, October 3 thru Tuesday, 10/4
Vote: Wednesday, 10/5 thru Friday, 10/7

  • Goal: We had a couple instances where teams only used four or five of seven starts, but ideally teams are using all or almost all of their allotment to compete.
  • Proposal: Minimum of six (6) starts per week, with a -15 applied to each start that goes unusued below that number. Setting it to six sets a baseline for competitiveness but also frees managers up to “protect” big leads over the weekend by not risking using a seventh start that could go haywire.

Simultaneous Schedule

Open Discussion: Monday, 10/10 thru Tuesday, 10/11
Vote: Wednesday, 10/12 thru Friday, 10/14

  • Goal: Create a balanced schedule atmosphere and further removing variance of luck involved in a week to week world.
  • Proposal: Creating a schedule where each roster faces off vs three other teams in the league per week. Each team would play each other team four times in a season. Each team would only manage the one lineup.

Replace free agency with FAAB.

Open Discussion: Monday, 10/17 thru Tuesday, 10/18
Vote: Wednesday, 10/19 thru Friday, 10/21

  • Goal: Make it tougher to stream players, add strategy, eliminate the first come/first serve aspect.
  • Proposal: each team gets $300 worth of free agent budget. This is separate from a team’s auction budget. Use a blind bid system where highest bid wins. You pay what you bid (not $1 more than next highest bid). Minimum bid is $1. Winning bid does not become salary (you may keep a player you add next year for $5, plus they are eligible for greed). Tie bids will be broken based on current standings. Bids process daily at 11 AM/EST (a single processing time makes it so that owners cannot simply wait for lineups, then poach available players who are playing that day).

Prohibit adding free agents directly to the disabled list.

Open Discussion: Monday, 10/24 thru Tuesday, 10/25
Vote: Wednesday, 10/26 thru Friday, 10/28

  • Goal: It is conceivable that a valuable player is unowned, gets added to their MLB team’s disabled list, then picked up by a team and immediately placed to the DL without a corresponding drop/penalty. Probably doesn’t matter but can’t hurt to vote on.

Draft order decided by consolation playoff outcome.

Open Discussion: Monday, November 1 thru Tuesday, 11/2
Vote: Wednesday, 11/3 thru Friday, 11/5

  • Goal: To make the playoffs have meaning for more teams, to encourage year long roster management, to disincentivize bottoming out for a better pick.
  • Proposal: TBD pending possible playoff format change

Make it so that undrafted players who get added from free agency, then dropped, go on waivers.

Open Discussion: Monday, 11/7 thru Tuesday, 11/8
Vote: Wednesday, 11/9 thru Friday, 11/11

  • Fantrax considers you to be in “Period 1” throughout the entire offseason. So if a player is a free agent post-auction, gets picked up, and then gets dropped, that player is immediately available to add instead of being placed on waivers. Another one that is unlikely to matter much but could be cleaned up.

Lift the rule prohibiting minor leaguers (green flags) from being held on the 30-man major league roster.

Open Discussion: Monday, 11/14 thru Tuesday, 11/15
Vote: Wednesday, 11/16 thru Friday, 11/18

  • Fantrax does not have anything built in that will police prospects being on the major league roster as “invalid roster.” Last year, we manually enforced a rule by spot checking rosters for prospects that had been held up for a week (one week was treated as a buffer for when a player gets unexpectedly sent down by his MLB team). 

 

Congrats Team Hydra

The inaugural Dynasty Grinders regular season is over! Team Hydra edges out TBD on the back of recently traded Corey Kluber. We’ll never know if the 90 point swing was enough to sink TBD or not.

Hustle Loyalty Respect edges out the Trumpa Loompas to finish in 3rd place. We Talk Fantasy Sports topped Team Canada to win the second tier bracket. Who’s Your Haddy beat Rocky Mountain Oysters to win the third tier. Finally, In shorter line for the win topped The Foundation to win the Toilet Bowl bracket.

The first season was a real experience. I’m already looking forward to season 2! Have a fun off-season.

Trade: Senior Squids | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Senior Squids sends: SP Matt Garza (FA), SP Christian Friedrich (SP)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: RP Tony Zych (FA)

Andrew’s thoughts: Tony Zych isn’t worth keeping at $5 and neither Matt Garza or Christian Friedrich are likely to be either. So in the end, this is a free handout, giving Hustle Loyalty Respect a couple of depth arms for the balance of the year. Garza’s FIP is 4.57, Friedrich’s is 4.39. These are not good pitchers, but have you seen what’s on waivers? I like it for HLR. I don’t like it for the Squids, who got Garza for Russell Martin and have now given him away, thus making the net return for a quality catcher… Mike Minor.

It warrants mentioning that there was supposed to be some other small pieces going to HLR, but something went awry when offering the trade. So here we are. Let it be a lesson to you that before clicking “send” on an offer, take a moment to quality control yourself.

Jordan’s thoughts: I kind of thought we were over the Jesus Sucre trades, but then it was found out that Sucre is actually also Tony Zych.

Trade: Capital City Ironmen | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Capital City Ironmen sends: SP Tom Koehler (FA)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: 3B Renato Nunez (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts: This one’s kinda boring, but whatever, I wanted to make a deadline day deal.

After picking him up from free agency, I had started Tom Koehler nine times for 30.33 points per start (273 points). That’s quite good. The key is starting him at home and against weaker opponents. WTFS is still clawing for a playoff spot and with Jordan Zimmermann making only one start before returning to the DL, they really needed the arm for the stretch run. For their circumstances, I really like that Koehler was even on their radar. He makes perfect sense for their need, both in terms of what he offers their lineup and what his acquisition cost was.

Koehler was going to be $5 next year and while that’s a reasonable price to keep pretty much any SP you can get mileage out of, I decided to just cash out for an interesting cost controlled prospect at a position of need. Renato Nunez plays 3B now but could end up at 1B in Oakland. He’s not had a great season, but he’s spent all of 2017 at AAA (so he’s close), has some pop, and was the 61st player off the board in our prospect draft. The latter means pretty much nothing, but shows that he was a fairly coveted prospect in the not too distant past. He’s a borderline top-100 guy. I liked the prospect and felt like making a swap.

Jordan’s thoughts: Tom Koehler gets more love here than he does at home on Thanksgiving. Good grief.

Trade: TBD | We Talk Fantasy Sports

TBD sends: LF/CF Charlie Blackmon ($28), 2017 3rd Round Pick
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP/RP Michael Kopech (minors), 2017 1st Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I like this one for We Talk Fantasy Sports. They needed a centerfielder anyway because Byron Buxton sucks, but that need grew over the weekend when Buxton was demoted to the minors because of the lingering issue of him sucking. Also, WTFS has some guy named Andrew McCutchen. Enter Charlie Blackmon!

Personally, Rockies players frustrate me because you never know if they’re good or if Coors is just gassing them up. Often their home/road splits make them platoon players, but Blackmon has been good both in and away from Colorado. He’s got a .369 wOBA at home and a .350 on the road, though his career road wOBA is just .299. Maybe he’s just played at altitude long enough to finally be able to make the proper road adjustments.

Michael Kopech is a decent enough prospect and that pick is nice, but as of today, it projects to be 10th overall. Good, not great. Best case for TBD, it’s probably eighth overall. I think I’d rather just have Blackmon. His salary is reasonable and he seems like a guy you can ride until the Rockies eventually trade him. They were slow to pull that trigger with Tulo and have been equally slow, if not slower, with CarGo. I imagine they won’t rush to deal Blackmon.

For TBD, I get it. Leonys Martin has been useful and Andrew Benintendi just got promoted and is indisputably the greatest baseball player that ever lived before ever actually accomplishing anything and an immediate marked upgrade over literally any other outfielder, so Blackmon was expendable. This way they free up some future budget space and get a couple assets. This trade works for both sides, I just like the side getting the finely priced proven commodity amid a playoff race.

Jordan’s thoughts: I read the Benintendi line and immediately thought about the last player to have that tag… Buxton. So with that, Blackmon is a useful upgrade here. Paid a smallish price of a couple of future assets that may or may not be interesting. Seems like a great deal for both sides.

Countdown to the trade deadline…

 Just a reminder to everyone in the league, our trade deadline this year is Sunday, August 7, at 11:59 PM EDT.

Trade: The Foundation | Hustle Loyalty Respect

The Foundation sends: SP Felix Hernandez ($68), LF Alex Gordon ($17)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: LF Melky Cabrera ($4), LF/CF/RF Harrison Bader (minors), LF Alex Jackson (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts: All the playoff teams are snapping up pitching.

This one’s interesting. For The Foundation, going from Alex Gordon to Melky Cabrera is a very solid upgrade, both in performance and salary. Gordon has traditionally been very productive, but at $19 next year and given how he’s looked this year, he’s an easy cut. Melky at $6 in 2017 is a candidate for greed because of how good he’s been. At just 31-years-old, Melky has a few solid years left and the low starting nature of his salary should keep him on Jordan’s team for 2-3 years.

The balance of the trade is a $68 King Felix, who looks like he might be broken, for two quality outfield prospects that have promise but aren’t atop many lists — though Jackson spent two years in the top-50 or so.

In Bader, The Foundation gets a 22-year-old Cardinal prospect — Cardinals prospects always seem to be worth something — who has hit at four minor league levels in two seasons. He’s not a big time prospect, but he looks like he could be another Stephen Piscotty and if he is, that’s worth quite a bit. Jackson, meanwhile, is risky. He’s almost 21-years-old and still at A-ball, but he’s got a .348 wOBA there this year and may be getting back on the right track. After the 2014 season, he was Baseball America’s 20th ranked prospect, so there’s pedigree here. But Mariners prospects are like the antithesis of Cardinals prospects, so who knows?

Meanwhile, at $70 going into next year, Felix is on track to end up cut and back at auction. He’s been right around a league average performer — he’s averaging 24.73 points per start — but is clearly not what he used to be. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and his FIP and xFIP are decisively mediocre. The downward trend that started last year has continued into 2016. He has 10 seasons of 190+ innings in his rearview mirror and it may be finally catching up to him.

So what I’m saying is, I don’t think Felix was worth a big haul. If he was prime Felix, sure. But this is 30-year-old rental Felix, with maybe a hope that he turns it around the rest of the way and gets kept. Bader and Jackson, plus turning Gordon into Melky, seems about right. I maybe would have preferred a pick upgrade or some other asset to go to The Foundation just as a “pitcher tax,” but that’s nitpicking.

For HLR, this is a fine upgrade heading into the postseason. His rotation is fronted by Adam Wainwright and Junior Guerra, then there’s a big dropoff to Mike Leake, Kevin Gausman, and Yordano Ventura. This is a volatile pitching staff and Felix is, at this stage of his career, a volatile pitcher. But the price was very reasonable and there’s considerable upside in Felix’s arm for the rest of the season. HLR is in a great spot, but his is a team that I don’t think can afford to just stand pat while his competitors get better, as the three other teams that currently hold playoff spots have all outscored his squad on the season.

Jordan’s thoughts: Trading Felix feels like breaking up with that girlfriend that you still care for, but you’re going in different directions. You leave the door open, perhaps our paths will cross again, and you say good bye.

For HLR getting Felix provides some ample depth at a position they could use. Gordon for Melky for this season is not a huge swing in either way, plus they have other hitters to cover. They’ve out grinded the rest of the league anyway.

For me, Bader is an interesting prospect, perhaps he’s good, perhaps he’s not. He is in a crowded system for a team that does not have an extra spot for hitters. I don’t expect him to help me soon. Swapping for Melky just made sense to me. Finally, acquiring Alex Jackson solved the issue of getting offered Alex Jackson on a weekly bases since the day he was drafted. Win-win-win.