2011 MLB CBA in Hardball Dynasty

Awhile back, one of my leagues took long enough to fill that we started tossing around the idea of a themed league to attract new owners. One of the ideas that I pitched privately to the commish was the adoption of the newest MLB CBA rules as opposed to the ones that were in place when HBD was created. That never ended up happening, though, because the league filled without the assistance of adopting a theme and we got on with the new season and I forgot about the idea. That is, until a few days ago, since two of my leagues are on virtually the same schedule and are near the trade deadline which got me thinking about next season’s contracts etc…combine that with the fact that my third league is currently in the offseason, the MLB is approaching the offseason and that two of my three leagues are young enough to be considering the adoption of a finalized set of Private World Rules and the idea popped back to the forefront of my mind.

If you are in one of the two leagues that are quite new, please consider this to be me thinking out loud rather than proposing a rule change or addition. That being said, if a number of people in either of those leagues (or my established league too) would like to propose a new world rule or two or even the adoption of a theme based on this information, any of which would need to be ratified using league protocol, I would certainly support that…once again though that is not my goal with this post. My goal here is to see if such a thing would even be possible and if it is how it would work.

To properly explore this topic, I have laid out the basics of the current CBA, as FanGraphs describes them, and then offered my thoughts (in red italics) on how each rule or policy would translate onto the virtual diamond:

  • The Type A / Type B draft pick compensation method and the Elias ranking system are replaced by Qualifying Offers. (Draft Pick Compensation: full article) {The concept of Qualifying Offers can be used, but since HBD still designates Type A & B Free Agents that would need to be accounted for in the QO process}
  • Players must spend a whole year with a team to be eligible to bring the team draft pick compensation. {aka players who get dealt during the season cannot be offered a QO…if QO’s are adopted this could be as well}
  • Compensation only occurs if the player is offered and turns down a 1-year guaranteed contract with a salary equal to the average of the 125-highest paid players. {The method for calculating the value of the HBD Qualifying Offer might need to be a little different, but the concept is useable}
  • No major league contracts for players in the amateur draft. {this could easily be adopted as a world rule}

Based on the above information, the Qualifying Offers are really the only major difference. Here’s a way that I could see QO’s being put into place in HBD:

  1. Only players that are designated by WIS as Type A or Type B Free Agents who were not traded in the previous season are eligible for a Qualifying Offer. {that’s straightforward enough}
  2. The value of the Qualifying Offer would be the average of all Type A and Type B FA demands {As far as I can see, this would take a high level of cooperation, as I believe the only way to gather this data is for someone to collect it manually…the easiest way I can think of is for each owner to copy & paste the “Free Agent Compensation” inbox message into a sitemail and then add in the demands of each guy and then send each of those sitemails to one designated person. PS- If this happens, I volunteer to be that person.}
  3. Once the value of the QO is determined, the owner who collected all the demand information makes the value public, and all owners have the chance to offer a 1 year deal to their eligible players at that value. If they choose not to make the offer, the player heads for Free Agency.  
  4. Per the MLB CBA, “The team who signs the player [that goes to Free Agency & signs with a team that was not their original one] loses their first round draft pick, unless they are slated to have a pick in top ten. If that is the case, that pick is protected and the team forfeits their next pick. If a team signs multiple free agents who had been extended qualifying offers, the signing team loses subsequent picks.” {Since only WIS has the power to go in and actually remove a team’s first round pick in the engine, the team that is losing their pick would have to agree to leave their pick(s) unsigned. Again, someone would need to keep track of which picks everyone is allowed to sign each season because WIS wouldn’t be doing that.}
  1. Since so many of these steps involve cooperation and trust that nobody is providing false information, there would need to be a penalty for anyone who does intentionally violate the agreements. Off the top of my head, I think it would make the most sense for this penalty to be a draft pick or two because someone would already be keeping track of picks that would need to be forefited based on the results of Free Agency. The penalty would also have to get increasingly worse for those who had more than one violation in the same season.
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