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Creating an Auction Keeper

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My league has been a 12-team MLB keeper with 16-player active rosters hosted by Yahoo. This year, we're switching over to an auction keeper hosted by Yahoo. Here are my proposed settings:

  1. 23-man active rosters so that the standard $260 budget is appropriate.
  2. $300 in-season budget to prevent an excess of dump trades.
  3. Up to seven keepers per team each year.
  4. Players picked up during the season (even if they were drafted and then dropped) can be kept for $5.
  5. Keeper salaries rise by 50% per year. This is the hardest part for me. Is there an industry standard? My thought is that if you got a bargain - a superstar ($40) for the price the average player (~$10), then his salary would work like this (let's assume production stays constant):

    1. Yr. 1: $10 salary, $40 production, $30 profit
    2. Yr. 2: $15 salary, $40 production, $25 profit
    3. Yr. 3: $23 salary, $40 production, $17 profit
    4. Yr. 4, $35 salary, $40 production, $5 profit

Four to five years seems like about the right amount of time to keep a player on one team, but am I missing something?

Any other settings we should add?

Also, there's a bonus problem. We haven't decided whether to start fresh or try to convert existing keepers to auction keepers for this year. Right now, each team can keep 7 players as long as they want. I think that we could convert by doing this: (1) using Yahoo default $ values; (2) adding $3 for guys under 25 and subtracting $3 for guys over 30 (since Yahoo values are for single season, this would adjust it closer to what market price would be in a keeper league), and (3) discounting each player by 20% (owners should be rewarded for previously finding good deals - it's not much help to have drafted Mike Trout last year, only to have to pay $45 this year already).

Thanks in advance everyone - much appreciated.

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50% is a lot, your league will never keep anyone over $30. While that isn't terrible, it does hamstring your 7-keeper options -- even if you don't require 7-keepers from each team, very few teams will have 7 solid options to keep.

Your 50% system works good specifically for players around $10 that return $40 value, but what about $20 players who put up $40 value? Can only keep them for 1 year at profit; a $27 player won't even turn a profit in year 2, you'd be better off tossing him back than paying $41 for him. On the flip side, if someone had say Mike Trout for $1, then with the 50% increase Trout will be owned by that guy until he's an old man ($1, $2, $3, $5, $8, $12, $18, $24, $36 -- at least 9 years of ownership up through $36), good luck competing with that guy for the next few seasons.

I'd look into something more of a step increase, like $5 the first year, $10 the second year, $15 or $20 the third, something like that will more fairly increase players -- dirt cheap players increase faster, but expensive players who will have an impossible time earning a 50% raise can probably still be able to outearn a 12-15% raise ($5 on $30-$40 salary),

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I'm with RMA, 50% seems like it wouldn't work. In my auction league, we have a rule where you keep your keepers for the same price for that year only, and then they become unkeepable for the next year unless they are dropped and picked back up. We just call them A's, people drafted, and B's, the keepers, so everyone knows who they are before trades. I personally favor this rule because it stops people that have Trout, Harper, or any other young stud from basically keeping them forever.

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Thanks, both of y'all. RMA, you're right about the 50% issue. That said, our league won't be interested in anything remotely approaching an administrative hassle - they'll want to be able to look at players and know their price for the next year. Ergo, I think there's got to be the same increase across the board.

I'm inclined to go with a $6 or $7 escalator across the board. We'd like to be able to keep players longer than Baltimore's league, but not for an entire career. Seems like a $6 or $7 escalator could make the $25 player who's a $40 value useful for about 3 years. Similarly, if you draft Harper at $5, you'll have him for about 5 years, which'll definitely give another owner a crack at him during his prime.

Thanks for helping me thing through this, y'all.

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Here is what we use...

A player who has been under contract at the same salary during two consecutive seasons and whose service has been uninterrupted (that is, he has not been waived or released, although he may have been traded) must, prior to the freezing of rosters in his third season, be released at the end of his third season; signed at the same salary for his option year; or signed to a long-term contract.

If released, the player returns to the free agent pool and becomes available to the highest bidder at the next auction draft.

If signed at the same salary for an option year, the player must be released back into the free agent pool at the end of that season.

If signed to a long-term contract, the player's salary in each year covered by the new contract (which commences with the option year) shall be the sum of his current salary plus 5 dollars for each additional year beyond the option year.

Example: Let's say you drafted Barry Bonds for 2 dollars in 1991. It's now the spring of 1993. You could let Bonds play one more season for you and get a tremendous return on your 2 dollars.Taking a longer view, you sign him to a four-year contract. Bonds' salary zooms to $17 ($2+$5+$5+$5), but he's yours through the 1996 season.

NOTE: This rule is intended to prevent blue-chippers, low-priced rookies who blossom into super-stars, and undervalued players from being tied up for the duration of their careers by the teams that originally drafted them. It guarantees periodic transfusions of top-flight talent for Auction Draft Day and provides rebuilding teams something to rebuild with. And it makes for some interesting decisions at roster-freeze time two years down the pike.

In determining a player's status, "season" is understood to be a full season or any fraction thereof. Thus, a player called up from the free agent pool in the middle of the 1998 season and subsequently retained at the same salary without being released in 1999 (even though he may have been traded) enters his option year in 2000 and must be released at the end of the season, signed at the same salary for an option year, or signed to a long-term contract.

A team may sign a player to only one long-term contract, at the end of which he becomes a free agent.

Option-year and long-term contracts are entirely transferable, both in rights and obligations; the trade of a player in no way affects his contract status. A player with a long term contract may be released back into the free agent pool.

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