Inactive Owners - Minimum Roster Size - 2003 Season
From time to time, a league may have an inactive owner.
There may be several legitimate reasons for someone not to pay
attention to their team, but in order to guarantee that the team is
ready for a new season, some actions may need to be taken on their
If a team is not able to field a complete roster after the final
transaction period of the off-season, the League Office will take
these steps to fill the roster. (Remember, minimum roster size
is 26 players - 14 hitters, 12 pitchers - PLUS, a team must have a
valid player for every field position).
- As long as the team has 12 pitchers, the pitching staff is
complete. Relievers might fill starting roles and starters
may appear in the bullpen.
- If the roster is missing 1 player, the Office will calculate
the remaining salary cap money and buy the highest price free
agent that the team can afford to fill that position - regardless
of whether or not that player is injured or will be in the minors.
- If 2 or more players are missing, the remaining cash balance
will be divided by the number of players needed to determine a
maximum signing salary. At that time, the Office will assign
players that are the highest price free agents BELOW the maximum
signing salary. The first priority will be to make sure all
field positions are manned.
- If several players are at the same cash level (for example, if
a team must sign a player at the minimum salary) a random draw
will determine which player(s) they get.
- For purposes of filling the roster, pitchers will be assumed
to be playing at their published role (SP or RP) and will be
selected based on the need of the team.
- If a team does not have enough money to complete the roster,
the team will FORFEIT all games until they can complete the
roster. This will guarantee an 0-6 start to the season.
- Money used for all the above steps is prior to the
distribution of 2 million Benchwarmer Bucks to all teams on
- If a team is not able to have a complete team on Opening Day
and, after receiving the extra cash, still does not participate in
Week 1, the League Office will again attempt to perform the above
steps to fill the team.
Note: If more than one team needs to have their roster filled and
are competing for free agents at the same salary level, the
transaction order for the most recent signing period will be used to
alternate the signings.
Using the two sample free agent lists below...
Example 1: Team has only 13 hitters, but has a player for every
field position. They have a cash balance of 1423. In
this situation, they would sign Herbert Perry for 1408.
Example 2: Same situation as above except they are missing a
shortstop. Now, in order to fill the SS spot, they sign Deivi
Cruz for 1367.
Example 3: Team has a balance of 1640. They have only 11
batters and 11 pitchers, and need someone to play catcher.
Dividing 1640 by 4 yields a maximum signing salary of 410. The
team is completed this way:
- Henry Blanco, to fill the catcher role.
- Abraham Nunez and Orlando Merced (highest FA hitters under
- Chris Holt to fill the remaining pitching spot.
Example 4: Team has only 11 pitchers, but has only a cash balance
of 40. Since the minimum salary is 100, no players can be
signed. The team will forfeit all games in the first week of
Example 5: Team has only 8 pitchers but just a cash balance of
320. Needing 4 pitchers, this yields a maximum signing salary
of 80. Since this is below the minimum salary, no players can
be signed, and the team forfeits all games in Week 1.
Free agent batters list:
B8595 Young Kevin Pit 1477 1B
B8284 Perry Herbert Tex 1408 3B, 1B
B8363 Tucker Michael KC 1405 OF DL
B9072 Singleton Chris Phi 1381 OF
B8133 Cruz Deivi Bal 1367 SS
B8578 Glanville Doug Tex 1336 OF
B8365 Simon Randall Pit 1336 1B
B1023 Uribe Juan Col 1287 SS
B8576 Bennett Gary SD 434 C
B8426 Shumpert Terry LA 427 2B, OF m
B8294 Goodwin Tom ChN 421 OF m
B8089 Cordero Wil Mon 415 OF, 1B
B8147 Palmer Dean Det 412 DH
B8606 Nunez Abraham O. Pit 394 2B, SS
B8371 Merced Orlando Hou 392 OF, 1B
B0273 Buchanan Brian SD 387 OF, 1B
B9080 Liefer Jeff Mon 384 1B, OF
B8498 Blanco Henry Atl 383 C
B8352 Williams Gerald Fla 382 OF m
Free agent pitchers list:
P2054 Puffer Brandon Hou 433 RP
P9504 Smith Dan Mon 433 RP
P8258 Patterson Danny Det 432 RP
P2090 Sosa Jorge TB 428 RP
P2128 Roa Joe Phi 418 SP
P1033 File Bob Tor 412 RP m
P8435 Holt Chris Col 410 SP m
P8429 Magnante Mike FA 404 RP
P0260 Mercado Hector Phi 403 RP
P0063 Maduro Calvin LA 401 SP DL
P0163 Kinney Matt Mil 400 SP
P8148 Walker Jamie Det 397 RP m
P1077 Williams David Pit 395 SP
P8421 Elarton Scott Col 389 SP m
Inactive Owners - Opening Day Lineups - 2003 Season
Should a team not fill out a lineup form for Week 1, the League
Office will automatically generate a lineup in this manner:
- Players known by the Commissioner to be on a major league
disabled list will be placed on the team's taxi squad, providing
that they are otherwise able to fill the other roster spots.
If more than 2 players are injured, a random draw will determine
which ones to place on the taxi squad. Any remaining injured
players will be placed in the lineup as outlined below, as though
they were not injured.
- Starting rotation. The five pitchers with SP position
designation with the highest salary will fill the top 5 rotation
spots (in descending order of salary). SPs #6 and #7 in
salary will be the spot starters.
- Bullpen. The five pitchers with RP position designation
with the highest salary will fill the 5 bullpen slots (in
descending order of salary).
- Remaining pitching roles - leftover SPs may be used to fill
the bullpen or leftover RPs may be placed in the rotation or spot
- Fielders - the player with the top salary at a position will
play that position in the starting lineup. Of the remaining
hitters, the one with the top salary will be the DH.
- Bench - the remaining batters with the five highest salaries
will be placed, in descending order of salary, on the bench.
This will be done without regard to position.
- Taxi squad. All unplaced players at 250 salary or below
will be put in the minors. Any leftover players will be put
on the taxi squad. If there are too many minor leaguers, the
ones with the highest salaries will go to the taxi squad.
- Batting order - a random draw will produce the batting order.
Note: Pitching designations will use the player's published
position, which may not necessarily be how they will be used in the
Playoff Games - 2003 Season
Previously, the first round of playoff games used random games
from each 10-game span from games 1-70. The second round of
playoffs used a similar pattern from games 80-150. (See
Rules - Season Schedules for details).
While this provides a very clear picture of when players will be
available, many people commented that a hot player in the second
half of the season does that team absolutely no good in the first
So, sacrificing a little predictability for a better chance of
using those second-half performances, the post-season schedule will
be modified in this way.
Note: Games 1-7 indicate the first round of the playoffs.
Games 8-14 are for the second round.
- Game one will be a random game drawn from major league games 1-160.
- The ten-game span including that randomly picked game will be recorded.
(For example, if game 54 is picked, the 10-game span is 51-60).
- Pitching performances will be selected from that ten-game span in this
- A random number: 1, 2, or 3, will be picked, indicating which start from
that span to use for the scheduled starter. If 3 is picked and there is
no 3rd start, a random selection of 1 or 2 will be used instead.
- Using the same random 1-3, relief appearances will use games 1-6, 3-8, or
5-10 of that span accordingly.
- Once a given 10-game span is used, it will no longer be available for use
throughout the playoffs.
Thus, the playoff schedule still adheres to a season-long
approach toward games, but allows for some variation in when those
games are used.
Transaction Deadlines - 2003 Season
There's a double bind in setting the transaction dates. By
conducting the transactions at the beginning of each Major League
week (starting with Opening Day), early-season off dates and
rainouts cause the Benchwarmer season to be delayed at times.
The effect is that the gap between when lineups are issued and when
they actually count grows pretty large.
On the reverse side, to start transactions a week later would
mean that at the end of the season, by the time the Major League
games catch up, Benchwarmer lineups would be due after the actual
games that they use are already played.
To try to be more fair to owners at both ends of the season, the
2003 season will see an experiment in transaction deadlines.
The first week's deadline will be on the Friday of the first full
week of the Major League season. Some pitching performances
will already be known, but that shouldn't have too much of an
effect. The deadline will remain on Friday for the next four
weeks. Then, for weeks 6-10, the deadline will be on Thursday.
For each fifth of the season, the deadline will move one day earlier
until, in the final five weeks of the season, Monday will be used
for the deadline day.
See Transaction Deadlines
for more details.
Trade Review - for 2002-03 Off-Season and beyond.
Note: Despite the confusion of the trade review process in
early February 2003, this system will continue to be used this
season. Special emphasis is placed on the fact that this is a
review consultation, not a voting system, and the Commissioner
retains authority for all trade decisions.
Beginning with the transaction periods after the January 2003
Redistribution Draft, the Trade Review committee will no longer be
used. Instead, each trade will be reviewed by the entire
league. Once a trade is agreed upon, the details will be sent
to all team owners. They may vote yes or no about whether they
believe the trade is balanced and fair. Owners will have 48
hours after the trade is announced to make their vote.
If 50% or more of the remaining owners vote "no," the trade will
receive an automatic review from the League Office. That is,
seven or more "no" votes. The more "no" votes that are
received, the higher the likelihood that the trade will be
overturned. However, it is still not a guarantee and the
Commissioner may still allow the trade to stand.
Additionally, the League Office still retains the right to
overturn trades that do not meet the 50% threshold. Owners
that disagree with a trade are encouraged to vote and provide their
opinions. Trades that still receive a few "no" votes may be
reviewed by the League Office more closely.
If an owner does not vote, then they are giving a tacit "yes"
vote. But the number of conscious "yes" votes will be taken
Owners are asked to consider these factors before voting "no" on
- There are no huge prizes or cash rewards for winning this
- Please vote on the merits of the trade, not how it affects the
prospects of a rival team.
- Salary levels may be seen as a general basis of equity, but
might not be the only measure.
- Some trades may be seen as unbalanced, but allows a team to
free up salary dollars this season or next.
- Players on multi-year contracts might need to be considered a
- There are long-term implications in this league, so a team may
appear in the short term to be giving up too much, but there may
be future benefits.
This is not to say that every trade should be given a free pass.
We may find that more trades are disallowed now that all teams can
Trade Logistics - for 2002-03 Off-Season and beyond
In the past, trades were not announced (even to the review
committee) until the weekly transaction deadline. With the
start of the league-wide review of trades, they will now be
announced immediately after the teams reach agreement.
All approved trades will still be officially executed at the
transaction deadline - at the same time as all other cuts and
free-agent signings. Players will continue to remain on the
original rosters for that week's lineups and will not change teams
until the following week.
All trades approved by both teams before the transaction deadline
will be included in that week's transactions. All trades still
have 48 hours for league review, however, so a couple days might
pass before they receive official approval.
Salary Formula - for 2003 Season
Last year we modified the higher-end salaries. This year,
we attempt to increase the number of middle-class players available
and to prevent late-season callups from ranking too high to be in
the minor leagues next year. In the calculations for salary
from a given season, if a player does not have the statistics to
qualify as a rookie - 130 AB or 50 IP or 45 days on a ML Roster
(which might be harder to come by) - his maximum salary will be 250.
Keep in mind, that the final salary level is still an average of the
results of the current season plus the previous salary.
There may also be some minor tweaking with the mid-range salaries
in the 250-1000 range.
Post-Season Playoff Expansion - for 2002 Season
Starting immediately with the 2002 Season, there will be two
yet-to-be-named post-season tournaments that will include all teams
in the league. See additional rules below for the financial
benefits of winning these tournaments.
All four second-place teams will compete in a separate
tournament. The four teams will be seeded from 1-4, regardless
of conference. Each series will be best-of-seven games, which
will correspond to the same random-game schedule as the championship
series. Between rounds, the winning teams will have the
opportunity to change their lineups.
The eight remaining teams will be seeded 1-8 by regular season
record, regardless of division or conference, and compete in a
separate tournament. The teams will be re-seeded between each
The first two rounds will correspond to the same random game
selection as the Conference Championships. These series will
be best-of-three and will follow a home-away-home format.
After the first round, no roster change will be permitted.
The games for the second round will start with the FOURTH pitcher in
the rotation, regardless of whether the teams played two or three
games in the first series.
The championship round will be best-of-five (2-2-1) and will
follow the same random game schedule as the League Championship.
The two teams will be able to change their lineups before this set