Like many of you, I love progressives because you can watch a player compete for several seasons. But planning ahead for that great season your stud pitcher will have in three years just didn't seem very realistic to me. Where's the spring training anticipation of hoping that THIS is the year your squad finally puts it all together? Will your injury-prone outfielder stay healthy? Will your young pitcher finally handle 200 innings? Can your future Hall-of-Famer give you one more great season? That's what we've tried to create with the Ultimate Random-as-Possible Progressive (URAPP) League.
Season usage: Most progressives follow baseball from year to year in order. This one is different because every player in baseball history is available at the same time. Prior to each season of this league, your player years will be selected randomly. If you have Ted Williams, you'll get any year between (and including) 1939 and 1960. This means you could get a fantastic season out of him, or instead get a non-WIS year. For example, if 1943 is selected (a war year for Ted) you have to put him on IR for that season. The same goes for any year in which a player did not play enough to qualify for a WIS listing. You could even get the same year two seasons in a row. This adds a more realistic element in the sense that you know you have a great player, but you may or may not get a great season out of him. If you have Babe Ruth (or any such pitcher/hitter), you might get a pitching year, you might get a hitting year. After the years are chosen, you may select a free agent to replace any IR player you have. A random season for him will be chosen, and this player will automatically be waived from your team at season's end.
Free Agency: This is perhaps the most unique element of this league. To incorporate the era of free agency, and to add another random element, each team will randomly lose four players after every season. Those players become free agents and can be chosen in the offseason draft. You may waive additional players if you wish. A lottery will determine every draft spot. Ranked in reverse order of finish, the percentages will be 25-20-15-10-7-5-4-3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1-1. The final eight spots in the draft will go to the playoff teams, with each team having an equal chance at each draft spot. The order selected in this lottery will be the order used in every round of the draft. This way, there is little incentive to tank. Even the worst team only has a 25% shot at the first pick.
Cookies: All players in the WIS database are fair game. However, some players had very short careers, or are currently young players in the game. To prevent someone from overloading on players with short careers but great seasons, each team may only have three players with less than a three-year span on baseball-reference.com. So it's a maximum of three one- or two-year guys. Pre-1885 years, and any current MLB season do not count.
Fine print: No DH/WW/clones/salary cap. AAA is for the purpose of filling rosters after 2-for-1 trades, etc. No AAA player should actually play. Yes to trades and live play option (next series only). Random alignment, and every three seasons we'll re-realign randomly. You may name your team whatever you like, it doesn't have to reflect your city or stadium.
League History: We are entering our 19th season. We've had no turnover for the last few seasons. Many owners are still in from the very beginning! Owners who have been in 10+ seasons include: erne6, masterdebate, reddevil19, loyalcanuck, fire13, mosh6800, Galveston, cardsfan, sgsmith, cammer2002, specsman, ht44601, szczubelek, cholatse, dorkster and CLWECW. Many of them would tell you this is their favorite league.
In closing, if you like progressives, random leagues, or something new jump in! It's all the greatest players in baseball history playing in the same progressive. But please be committed to playing long-term and don't drop out if you lose your favorite player to free agency. This league should give every owner a decent chance at winning and make it tough for an owner to dominate. I hope you'll join the URAPP league!