The Dynasty Grinders New Deal…

As discussed in the Slack Channel and Podcast, there is definitely room to improve the overall quality of life in the league. The following proposed rule changes are intended to improve overall competitiveness, bring clarity to confusing rules, and speed up certain aspects of our game that should make playing much more fun.

The simple stuff…

Raising the greed money per team to $2 to spread among each of their 15 peers’ teams. You do have to select two different players who are not cost controlled to receive an extra one dollar raise. Cost controlled players would remain unaffected. However, top 30 players would no longer be a protected class.

This would go into effect after the 2019 season.

I believe the top 30 rule hasn’t been as useful or necessary as originally thought. Inflating everyone’s budget another $15 via the greed rule, theoretically adds another $30 player to the auction pool each year. This helps make the auction draft great again (MADGA), as potentially 15-20 more starters hit the pool each year.

There has been ample discussion on how to handle the current situation where teams have been selling off significant amounts of auction budget in exchange for prospects. I believe that nobody can really determine if it is broken. There is definitely argument for both sides of this logic. However, we believe after much discussion, that its not in our best interest to limit teams’ potential to make these kinds of deals. It is also not in the league’s best interest to allow teams to carry from year to year a budget that clearly overshadows the rest of the league.

The proposal: Adjusting the language written in the current rule regarding the final cut day:

  • Currently: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut players down to their Team budget. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.
  • Proposal: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut down to a total team salary of $500 or less. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.

The term “Team Budget” refers to your team’s individual budget for a season that started at $500 +/- whatever trades you made that incorporated budget.

Essentially, if you have acquired additional auction budget, you may take any surplus budget with you to auction, but will not be able to use it pre-auction to keep additional players already on your roster.

All trades made between the Final Cut Day and Auction that put a team over the threshold for this rule will be voided and reversed.

The rational here starts with MADGA and helps keep some kind of competitive balance. Teams can still swap budget and make trades, but Final Cut Day does impose limits of sorts.

The paradigm shift…

Eliminating long relief appearances. There is big time potential in the immediate future for long relief appearances to become not only more common, but also more predictable as provided by the Ryan Yarbrough/Tampa Bay Rays example. Due to a lack of flexibility with how we can handle these kinds of scenarios, where the majority (if not all) of the player’s fantasy value stems from circumventing our Games Started limit, the proposed solution is to eliminate all relief appearances that are 10 outs or more (3.1 IP). The player would be moved from that active roster to the bench retroactively by a commissioner. The newest solution is to count all appearances that last ten outs or more and take place in the first nine innings of any baseball game, count as one of your seven starts for the week.

This would go into effect for the 2019 season.

It is not ideal that the commissioner needs to be hands on in these cases, but the running theory is that players like Yarbrough become useless less useful on your roster because they will not often score points for you. So they end up taking a roster spot for nothing little return. Thus meaning that only the rare unicorn relief appearances need to be adjusted to count as starts which we believe will be few and far in between. This simply solves an exploit, without much damage to anything else.

The worst system in Dynasty Grinders… gone!

It is no secret that the cost controlled system in Dynasty Grinders is confusing. A series of rules and hard caps were created when the league began to make things simple and after three seasons, there’s nothing simple about it. Currently the following things are true about the cost controlled system:

  • Prospects are valuable and cheaper.
  • We don’t know their exact value until mid- to late-offseason.
  • Its not easy to predict what their value is going to be in-season due to basing their cost on future projections.
  • Its incredibly frustrating to have a player start their cost controlled status because of a cup of coffee stint in MLB.

The first bullet point is fine and in the spirit of dynasty leagues, it makes sense to keep. The other three make sense to eliminate. To do so, the idea is to base the player’s cost controlled raises on their previous season’s performance. This means that after Fantrax rolls over the league, we would be able to update all player salaries (short of the greed vote) immediately and teams can better budget around those changes, which should open up the entire off-season to activity. Subsequently, we can apply greed much earlier in the off-season to allow even more time to plan for the following season.

In almost all cases this causes these cost controlled players will receive raises similar to or less than they would have in the old system. This means that prospects are still valuable and cheaper to keep. But knowing how they’re performing in the year before you can gauge within a few dollars of what they’re likely going to cost the next season. We will also know after the season ends (even before the World Series ends!) exactly what they will cost. In some cases, where players don’t meet the the minimum threshold, they don’t have their “clocks” begin. Easier and more fun.

Currently players follow this system:

  • The year they break into the majors they are $0.
  • The next season they are automatically $1 if they have 1 PA or 0.1 IP.
  • In their 3rd year you pay 20% of their FanGraphs ZIPS auction calculator value.
  • 4th year you pay 40%
  • 5th year you pay 60%
  • 6th year you pay 80% and then they graduate, become eligible for greed, etc.

The redesign of the system will base the players “bonus” on their performance. All players who finish the season with positive point totals will be placed on a scale. Minor leaguers who finish the season below the 60th percentile will not reach cost controlled status. All minor leaguers who finish above the 60th percentile will cost $1 in the following season.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile will get the minimum $2 raise each season.

From there cost controlled players could get raises higher than $2 based if they finish above the following thresholds:

  • 90th percentile: $4 raise
  • 93rd percentile: $6 raise
  • 95th percentile: $8 raise
  • 97th percentile: $10 raise
  • 98th percentile: $13 raise
  • 99th percentile: $16 raise

For some context on what those limits were in 2018: players who scored less than 256 points did not hit the 60th percentile so they would remain minor leaguers. This ensures that players who get promoted in September or otherwise receive “cup of coffee” promotions do not see their clocks start.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile (794 points in 2018) get the standard $2 raise.

Above that 93rd was 867 points, 95th was 932 points, 97th was 1044 points, 98th was 1099 points and 99th was 1197 points.

That’s a lot of numbers and data is going to be provided to show how that affects our league.

In keeping with our existing rule, players who are picked up from free agency and debut in that same season are not eligible for cost control status and will be subject to free agent raise rules.

This achieves all of the goals that we set out to do. We’re currently waiting for FanGraphs to bail us out each year to stick to how the system was designed. That puts us at their mercy and from the first two seasons, it did not do a great or consistent job anyway. Getting away from that, allows a lot more flexibility and the ease of planning for the future sooner. I think these are all good things.

The forgotten topic…

Simply, players who were picked up as free agents during the year who were kept from the previous season currently have their keeper value set to $5. This should be bumped to $7 effective after the 2019 season.

Yep.

THE RESULT…

UPDATED 12/04/2018: By a final vote of 11-5 in favor of these changes, the Dynasty Grinders New Deal package of rule changes has passed.

You can view the results here.