A system of contracts for players

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A system of contracts for players

Post by MikeMangels on Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:14 am

I would like us to use a form of a contract system.  At the time that a player is obtained, the owner states a length of time that they will contract with the player for (we'll talk details later).  Thus, if you sign Mike Trout for 3 years for lets say 50 dollars, he counts 50 dollars against your overall budget for the next three years.  You would have complete control over Trout for those three years, but at the end of three years, he would re-enter the free agent pool and would be available for bidding.  I think this would be a great system, because we could have hot stoves through the winter months, and people could make roster decisions based on when players are becoming available.

I know that this will take some work, but I will handle it through an excel spreadsheet that I will share as a google doc so that everyone is able to view when people are coming available and how much longer each player has on their contract.

Obviously, if you trade the player, the cost of the contract will simply pass on to the new owner.  The more complicated situation is how we deal with cutting players or possible retirements.  These have solutions, but before we get into that discussion, I'd like to know how people feel about the idea of a contract system.

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Re: A system of contracts for players

Post by D'Argenio on Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:21 pm

I'm on board. I like this contract system taken from Rotowire.

"We use one keeper auction format in a number of Rotowire staff keeper leagues that I think works particularly well. After a player's initial year on your roster (called his "A year"), you can elect to keep him the following season at the same price (his "B year"). After his B year, you elect to keep him for either one more season at the same price (his "C year"), after which he must be tossed back into the auction pool the following season, or you can give the player a long-term contract. For each year you extend the contract, you must increase the player's salary by $5. By example, assume I select Gonzalez at auction for $2 in 2009, and keep him for $2 in his B year in 2010. If before the 2011 season I want to extend him through 2014, I would have to pay him a total salary of $17 ($5 x 3 + $2) in each of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The catch is that if I decide I don't like him and cut him prior to the end of his contract, I would lose half of his salary at auction each year until the contract expired. So there are incentives to extend long-term contracts to players who are greatly below market value, but extending a player for too long can have serious consequences if he get injured or becomes ineffective."

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Re: A system of contracts for players

Post by MikeMangels on Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:14 am

I have a few concerns about the Rotowire system, which maybe we can tweak to address. My primary concern is that that proposal with our league settings is going to vastly over-reward lucky guesses of younger players.

I'm going to illustrate my concern with the following and use last year as an example:

Last year, the top 5-10 prospects had different outcomes. If I remember correctly, at the beginning of the season, Joc Pederson, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, Noah Syndergaard, and Francisco Lindor were all considered top prospects. Now, if you were the one who had gotten three out of those six, you would be a very happy camper going into this season. Assuming that prospects will go for a price below the league average (which may or may not be accurate, but I think that it's a fair assumption), under the Rotowire system, you'd have either Bryant or Correa (who standard leagues are valuing as first round picks in 10 team leagues), for a price below average going into next year. And you would have an entire season's worth of performance to make the decision as to whether you wanted to extend them. In comparison, if you drafted Joc, Buxton, or Lindor, you had all of last season to determine whether you want to keep them, and you have all of this season at last year's price to determine whether you want to hold onto them. So let's say that Pederson's entire 2016 looks like his first half of 2015, well now you get to extend him at the end of next year, at a price based off what you drafted him at in 2015 before he had any type of major league resume under his feet.

Now I picked those six guys, because they were all valued at the top of most prospect lists, and even then some of those guys were relative busts. So, even if you do your research, prospects are still at least partially a function of luck. My goal in this league was to limit luck as much as possible. What the Rotowire system does is to discourage caution in prospects, because the cost is deferred until you have a major league resume. It is a much easier decision on whether to extend a player after either one or two seasons in the majors then it is to determine if you want to offer a player a long term contract at the time of signing.

I don't mind this contract system in general, in fact I think that it's pretty good for most players, but I am concerned about applying it to people that are in the minors at the time they are signed. I am only concerned, because the people who happen to make the lucky decision on which prospect to sign are going to be massively rewarded in a way that may be impossible to overcome. Imagine if someone signed Kris Bryant (or Carlos Correa, because Kris Bryant seemed to be primed for success even at spring training) for below a league average salary last season, and they would get that same rate this season and then the option to re-up them for an additional however many seasons. If someone is paying only slightly above league average for a player of that caliber, then that is a huge advantage. So that is my concern wit the proposal. I don't mind the system in general, but if we choose this one, then we probably need to create a separate system for minor leaguers (maybe cap them at 3 years and double their base salary the first year then triple it for the third season or something like that).

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