After purging salaries my first season, I have a payroll of $8m for the upcoming season, and the #1 pick in the draft. I won 58 games last season, and have upgraded several positions via WW claims during the rest of the leagues' playoffs. I have a decent ML SS vs. RHP, but he is rated 1 vs LHP. I need SSs throughout my organization. My question is how to best utilize my funds. Free agents, amateur draft, IPs...or???
3/2/2013 3:12 PM
Im not great by any means at the game, but definitely get one in the draft and then get a veteran fill-in for the next few seasons while you wait for that player to develop
3/3/2013 3:59 PM
thats what I would do, i wonder what other people's opinions would be
3/3/2013 4:00 PM
First of all, your team is awful. That lineup is definitely in danger of violating minimum win rules. I'm actually surprised you even won 58 games. You have some really not ML-quality players on that team. I would not play the "sit around and wait for players to develop" game as the roster you have assembled is quite capable of losing 120 games next year.

The good news is that you have very little salary cap obligation. As far as next year I would keep:

Holloway (C)
Kelly (1B)
Dale (SS)
Flair (CF)
Burks (RF)
Yoshida (Bench)
Burch (Bench)
Meyers (Bench)
Rose (Bench)

Gardner (SP)
Sanders (SP)
Mercker (SP)
Street (RP)
Belinda (RP)
Dali (RP)
Decker (RP)
Santiago (RP)

And designate everybody else for assignment.

If Washington wanted less than 1M to come back I'd keep him to. And then you need to find a 2B, 3B, and two guys who can hit well to play LF and DH or 1B and DH and put Kelly in LF. And then at least two, potentially 3 decent starters. The good news is that, even spending 5M a piece on those guys, your cap figure will still be below 50M, so you should be able to significantly upgrade. You are essentially starting from scratch, so you could very well turn this franchise around pretty quickly. 
3/3/2013 5:29 PM
That team is way bad.  My only team won 98 games last year, we just spring training.  .  Essentially the same team.  I'm good, but not dominant. You have 4 guys that would make the team, I think.

Flair, Decker, Mercker and Kelly.  Kelly would be a platoon RF for me.  All the rest would be support folks, although Decker would be a nice reliever.

But at $8M, that's what you get.  I would almost say that $8M is indicative of tanking.  There is almost no effort to win....

That said, you did win 58 games so tanking is probably the wrong word.

But there's no effort to be competitive, that is for sure.

Anyway, Draft carefully, and spend some money on FA's.


3/4/2013 8:37 PM
I decided to punt all of my salaried players, to rebuild from scratch. The game itself is much deeper and more complicated than I expected it to be. I'm here now, tho, and I am not going to give up, no matter how bad the team does. I saw something that suggests that at certain times free agents reduce their demands. When does that happen? Re: rule 5 players: if a player has good ratings, but has never played above A ball, what is the likelihood he can play in the bigs?Questions like those are what are driving me nuts, now. I have the #1 pick in every draft, and #1 priority on the WW. I feel like I will have the chance to rebuild pretty quickly, I wish I had a bit more understanding of the game. Maybe I am making it too complicated!
3/5/2013 8:51 AM
Hi PK -  you've learned a huge amount this past season, so good work; some answers below...

Re: SS, the guy you suggest is OK vs. RHP isn't so hot.  He'll play adequate defense, which is crucial, but his bat is not so good, even vRHP.  For a season or 2 of cheap service, he can do.  Versus lefties, fear not: SSs are overwhelmingly right handed, and that typically makes them better vLHP. You will either find a waiver wire castoff, a Rule 5 draftee, or a cheap f.a. (see below) that bats well against lefties but is atrocious vs. righties.  There's your SS platoon, and it will cost you nothing.

Re: draft: you've got the #1 pick, and that's probably more important than anything else you asked about.  Take the best player available, whether it's a starting pitcher or a CF or a SS.  Best player, whether perennial MVP-candidate or Cy Young-contender.  There's no point targeting specific positions in the draft: if you get the best player available, you'll be able to trade for what you need later.  

You correctly appreciate that it's a big deal having #1 priority on the WW at this stage.  There will be castoffs for a period of weeks before the season even starts, and with a ML-roster as (sorry!) bad as yours, you've got room to take them as they come. Only a few on the WW are legit MLers, but they turn up, and my first playoff team had quite a few guys claimed off waivers.

Rule 5: trust the ratings, not the level of ball they play.  If a GM just forgot to promote them or was negligent, players with good ratings and growth potential can be mired at the low levels.  Some prospects get left at rookie level for 2 or 3 seasons, which is just silly indeed - it denies prospects half a season of playing time and development.  I digress... Go with ratings.  If they are good enough to play the bigs, draft them. 

Free agents reduce their demands after a few days on the f.a. market in which they don't receive bids. Falling demands includes both annual salary and # of years covered.  Once spring training starts, expect remaining free agents to get much cheaper.  Those leftovers are often pretty good, too, but (as always) you need to be selective.  You're unlikely to find all-stars, but there are guys who can excel as part-time or situational contributors, and there are many vets whose initial demands spooked off other owners (5 years at $6M for a 34 y.o. SP???), but when their demands fall they are absolute bargains (2 years at $2.5M?  Word booty-). 

Hope  this helps, and good luck with your team craft. Judging by your last amateur draft, you learned a lot in predicting ML-quality talent. 
3/5/2013 11:11 AM

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