Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top 10 SP Prospects season 9

Top 10 SP Prospects (previous ranking)

1. Johnny Powell-WIC (1) - Struggled at times in AAA
2. Ryan Perry-NY2 (3) went 25-1 in HiA last season
3. Hideo Tamura-OC- (NR) - $16.9M International Free Agent
4. Darwin Power-MAD (4) - career .237 batting average against
5. Calvin Coco- HOU (5) - 172 SO in AA
6. Corey Webb-MAD (7) - 191 SO in AA
7. Kiki Arroyo- MONT (6) - hits and ERA have been an issue
8. Alfredo Velazquez KC ( 8) - 9 wins is acareer high
9. Shayne Nagy-NY2 (NR) - 19-5 at LoA
10. David Estrada- CHY (NR)- .232 OBA in HiA

Monday, July 14, 2008

Top 10 RP Prospects Season 9

Top 10 Relief Pitchers (last season rankings)

1. Joel Byrne-ATL (NR) - 6th pick in S8 Draft
2. Orlando Frias- ARI (1) - yet to win a game in the minors 0-8 career
3. Babe Rose- PHIL(2) - 62 career minor league saves
4. Winston Ryan- OC (3) - 5th year at AAA needs to get to the ML soon
5. Roy Murphy- CIN (6) - career 3.39 ERA
6. York Bradford- CSP- (NR) - 41st pick in S8 draft
7. Stephen O'Connor-KC (NR) - 22/29 in saves
8. Eduardo Campos-CSP (8) - won 17 games in HiA without 1 start
9. Wilson MacRae-WAS (NR) - 9th pick in S8 draft
10. Diego Cruz-MAD (NR) - 37th pick in S8 Draft

Top 10 RF Prospects Season 9

Top 10 RF Prospects (previous ranking)

1. Juan Estrada-WIC (1) - Career 1.183 OBS
2. Chris Dwyer-ATL (3) - drew nearly 100 walks in S8
3. Scott Butler-OK (NR) - major knee injury in S8
4. Shayne Owen-NY2 (NR) - 7th overall pick in S8 draft
5. J.R. Griffith-MAD (7) - brickwall in front of him so he's trapped at AAA
6. Harvey Carson- MIL (NR) - 10th overall pick in S8 draft
7. Patrick Hunter- OMA (NR) - fast tracking minors in 3rd season could repeat AAA
8. Fernando Valenzuela-NY2 (NR) - not showing much power or speed yet at LoA
9. Alex Ashburn-CIN (NR) - batted .403 after repeating LoA
10. Jerry Scalici-OK (NR) - Part-time starter last season at HiA.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top 10 CF Prospects Season 9

Top Ten CF Prospect (last season ranking)

1. Mendy Barfield-WIC-(NR) - baserunning is holding him back
2. Luther Oliver-WAS(3)- 3 seasons .355 career average
3. Sergio Koplove-NY2 (4) - .373/43/161 at AA
4. John Young-SD- (NR) - 26th pick in S8 draft
5. Tony Hartzell-CHY- (NR) - 30th pick in S8 draft
6. Gregg Schoeneweis-NY1- (NR) - 66th pick in S8 Draft
7. Walter Lawrence-PHIL (5) - career year in AA .350/47/142
8. Matthew Hurst-BAL-(NR) - 98 stolen bases between HiA and AA in S8
9. John Gentry-CHI (8) - making is first starts in AAA this season
10. Bill Lampkin-RIC-(NR) - bounced around low minors for 3 seasons this needs to be his year.

Top 10 LF Prospect Season 9

Top Ten LF Prospect (last season ranking)

1. Marcus Thompson-FLA (1) - Blazing speed has not been uncorked in the minors yet
2. Nipsey Diaz-RIC-(NR) - was top 10 2 sacker last season
3. Albert Montanez-OMA-(NR) - 25th pick in S8 draft
4. Scott Clarke-NY2(4) - After Trading C.Thompson he's NY2's LF'er
5. Aurelio Ibarra SD(6) - Avg a 20/20 in minor league play
6. Hunter Wilkerson-PHIL-(NR) - burning through the minors averaging 40+ HR
7. Brian Mouton-SEA-(NR) - 83rd pick in the S8 draft.
8. Turk Thornton-ARI-(NR) - Career .339 hitter with some power
9. Farmer Drese-BOS-(NR) - 100+ RBI each of his 4 seasons in the minors
10. Chin-Feng Meng-SD-(NR) -$6M International Signee

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TOP 10 3B Prospects Season 9

3B Prospects (last season ranking)

1. Max Mills-NY1(NR) - previously ranked as a SS but his skills better mesh here
2. Walt Harris-CSP (NR) - 22nd pick in the S8 Draft
3. Bip Williams-NY2 (NR) - 4th year man who might get away at SS.
4. Minnie Coleman-WIC(5) 2 years in WIC's system he has gotten no few than 160RBI a season
5. Gil Rhodes-MAD (NR) - 31st pick in the S8 Draft
6. Haywood Woods-WIC (1) 5 years and still no sniff of ML action
7. Jerry Robinson-CIN(6) additional year at LoA might stunt him some
8. Joshua Murray-CHI (NR) - pick 20th overall in S8 Draft
9. Erik Blackley-CSP (NR) - Power hitter who might toil in the minors for time.
10. Chuck Blasingame-FLA (NR) - 19th pick in S8 Draft

Top Ten 2B Prospect Season 9

2B Prospects (last season ranking)

1. Johnny Stroud-NY2 (1)- time to be turned loose on the ML
2. Clay Cambridge-LV (NR) - 12th overall pick in season 8 Draft
3. Brett Sager-NY2 (2) - career OPS 1.021r
4. Enrique Chantres-CSP (3) set career highs in all statistics last season in AAA
5. Tony Bravo-CSP (NR)- 16.7M landed Bravo in America
6. Stephen Dreifort-BAL (NR) - 3rd overall pick in S8 draft
7. Arthur Worthington-MIL(7) defensively might be astrong CFer
8. Bartolo Ozuna-NY1 (NR) slap hitting speedster he almost made the list last season
9. Robert Schultz-RIC (8) - Avg nearly 40 doubles a season
10. Ralph Lee-NY2 (NR) - Defense might move him to the OF his bat is nice though

Top 10 SS Peospects Season 9

SS Prospects (last season ranking)

1. Pedro Cela-CSP-(NR) - 140 rbi in 1 full season of work
2. Jose Park-OC-(NR) - maybe a year away from a long ML career
3. Luis Matos-NY2-(2) 31 hrs in AA and a good approach at the plate
4. Julio Amezaga-CHY (NR)- 9.3M International FA
5.Dennis Lockwood-Bal(3) Defensively he's an all-star
6. Roosevelt Murphy-SD(4)-Avg 125 rbi a season in 4 years of Minor league ball
7. Ivan Spehr-STL(6) - called up to the big leagues this season for his shot
8. Deivi Infante-BOS(7) - 20 Ml games already under his belt
9. Dennys Leonard-CSP(NR) 1sr year denfensive wizard
10. Everett Rodgers-LV(NR) - Defensively he will struggle but he will hit the long ball

Friday, July 11, 2008

Top 10 1B Prospects Season 9

1st Baseman (last season ratings)

1. Bo Glanville-SEA (NR)- 8th overal pick in S8 draft
2. Scot Bowman-NY2 (1)- averaging 125 RBI a season
3. Donne Witt-KC (3) - a trade brings him to KC and maybe a place in the bigs?
4. Matty Evers-WIC (2)- .370 career avg in the minors
5. Jordan Williamson-CIN (8)- low stamina will hold him back
6. Sergio Cuddyer-NY1 (NR)- 23rd pick in the S8 draft
7. Doyle Twitchell-MAD (NR) 12th pick in S7 draft
8. Harold Palmer-SEA (NR) - has 41 ML ABs
9. Esteban Gonzales-WAS (NR) - .354 career minor league average
10. Marquis Ashley-ARI (6)- part-time play last season causes the drop in ranking.

Top 10 Catcher Prospects Season 9

Catchers (last season’s rank)
1. J.P. Santiago- NY2 (1) 4th year man looking for a shot thing season
2. Glenn Gibson- csp (6) 2nd year and a deserved jump up the list
3. Edgardo Martinez-SD (4) 8th year man solid but a light hitter
4. Omar Carrara-CSP (9) batted .350 with 28 dongers in AA
5. Vance Buchanan-CIN (NR) 4 seasons 3 years at LoA not going to give you alot of games.
6. Davey Santana- ARI (NR) 1st year 11th overall pick in S8 draft
7. Magglio Silva- CSP (7) 2nd season guy who put up 27 hrs in AA
8. Artie Hausmann-LV (NR) 4th year man left hand platoon but tough behind the dish
9. Chris Bush-MAD (NR) 5th year man stamina holds him back 214 is is career max ab a season
10. Charlie Marion-MONT (NR) 17th overal pick in S8

Thursday, July 10, 2008

SEASON 9 Preseason Primer-


Chicago Bear Cubs S8 Finish: 81-81 Preseason Salary: 90.4M

KEY FREE AGENTS: Hitters: C Ben Anderson (R) backup catcher at this point DH Jamey Jacquez (R) Solid DH. Field liability

BURNING QUESTION: Can no huge losses and 3 MVP caliber players mean they are playoff bound this season, or does this team need a shakeup in chemistry to win?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Phil Becker has won the last 2 CY Young awards though the Bear Cubs have not made the playoffs each year.




New York Bombers S8 Finish: 93-69 WILD CARD Preseason Salary: 54.8M

KEY FREE AGENTS: Pitchers: P Joey Cunningham (R) Solid long reliever could start if called on SP Vitas Burke (L) - at 41 he's still a viable pitcher

     Hitters: DH Bill Darwin (S) - Type B awesome hitter, marginal in the field

age and salary coming off the books and a young team who do they pursue in free agency?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: A team that has reinvented itself with a "rebuilt" but never fields a non –competitive team. A playoff favorite



Madison Massa's S8 Finish: 109-53 WS CHAMPS Preseason Salary: 50.3M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: Bob Hatteberg (R) –type A SP1 type pitcher Gus Tabaka (L) – Type B SP1 Skills aging star Jeff McKnight (R) Type B RP aging but still

Could be effective in the pen

         Hitters: RF Marc Brown (R) - solid contributor has the most WS rings (4)

BURNING QUESTION: Will they attempt to resign their departing starting pitchers? If not that would leave only 1 starter who has been in both Massa's World Series.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Has won the last 2 world series.



Cleveland Indians RECORD 55-107 Preseason Salary: 69.8M

KEY FREE AGENTS: SP Kevin Chace- at 39 his best years are behind him, coming off an injury, but he does have gas in the tank for the right role.

BURNING QUESTION: Big salary and bad records, Will an owner finally invest in a rebuilt?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: team has a great foundation to build around with Lee Adkins







Boston Badasses S8 Finish: 87-75 DIV CHAMP Preseason Salary: 62.9M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: RP Mike Foster (L) 34-41 as a closer shows he can handle the role

BURNING QUESTION: struggled most of last season to get above .500, what is the missing piece?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: has only finished out of 1st once in 8 seasons (season 1)




Washington D.C. old school warriors S8 Finish: 76-86 Preseason Salary: 31M


low; will they go for the rebuild or shoot the moon to try to overtake a faltering Boston team?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: traded away their ace closer last season should be on the prowl for a replacement



Baltimore Wire tappers S8 Finish: 74-88 Preseason Salary: 46.7M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Karl Stevenson (R) - might make someone's rotation Alex Jacquez (L) - might be a good long reliever or spot starter.

         Hitters: 2B Damian Ramirez (R) - should accept more than 2 years on these treads, but he can be a handy utility player.

BURNING QUESTION: What do you do with old pitching and fill the holes they will leave?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: previous season's owner might have done enough to right the track of this team.



Durham Bulls S8 Finish: 66-96 Preseason Salary: 32.7M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Jorel Jenkins (L) - could fill out a rotation in a pinch

BURNING QUESTION: Who's going to anchor the starters or the bullpen?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: team era last season was 5.99 in a solid park






Oklahoma City Chickens
S8 Finish: 107-55 DIV CHAMP Preseason Salary: 38.5M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP B.C. Ozuna (L)-type B type coming off good years in OC SP Junior Dali (R) - Type B should land somewhere

         Hitters: DH Theodore Zoltan- cheap option if you need apart-time bat

BURNING QUESTION: Odds on favorites in season 9, will this prediction be a curse?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Zoltan's overall rating is lower than his age



Charlotte Winstons

S8 Finish: 93-69 WILDCARD AL CONF RUNNERUP Preseason Salary: 60.3M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: P Albert Aparicio (R) - serviceable spot starter, he's no longer a star but can still get the out when needed

         Hitters: RF Billy Ray Moore (R) - still can play and will probably be a good cheap option

BURNING QUESTION: A lot of youth and skills on the team, can the play be duplicated again?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: 3 players stole 40 or more bases in season 8



Monterrey Acero

S8 Finish: 77-85 Preseason Salary:51.6M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Herman Franklin (L) - never a guy to have difficulty finding work

         Hitters: CF Clay Ludwick (L)
should find a home for someone at 2B SS Greg Long (R) he has the glove and the bat to cover the field and be a plus

in your lineup.

BURNING QUESTION: is the biggest thing this team is missing, a consistant owner?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Team on auto pilot early last season was tops in the league. A full time attentive owner might do wonders



St. Louis Stampede S8 Finish: 63-99 Preseason Salary: 36.4M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Yannick Fonville (L) - solid type B pitcher who will round out a rotation

BURNING QUESTION: where will they get their rbis in season 9?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: team has been pedestrian at the plate and on the mound, they need a huge star to shine.





Kansas City McCoys
S8 Finish: 89-73 DIV CHAMPS Preseason Salary: 60.9M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers : SP D'Angelo Mercedes- type B should land on his feet and eat innings somewhere SP Mark Swift- type A anchoring a rotation near you.

         Hitters: 2B Vic Ramirez Type B free agent with a good stick and excellent glove.

BURNING QUESTION: losing a lot in Free agency, are the McCoy's reloading for the future?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: already the 3rd oldest team in the league



Wichita Sizzlers
S8 Finish: 80-82 Preseason Salary: 46.2M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Pepper McCall (R) - call me crazy but he should get a chance somewhere RP Ariel Estrada (R) - leaving Colorado lowered his era by

Almost a run.

         Hitters: 1B Sean Fryman (L) - still has the bat and glove to play everyday

BURNING QUESTION: will the Sizzlers look to make the needed splash and get an ace starter off Free agency

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Roosevelt Williams 3856 career ABs no homers, WOW



Las Vegas Gamble
S8 Finish: 77-85 Preseason Salary: 46M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Louis Medina (R) - type b starter could be solid anywhere SP Shane Mack (L) - better years are behind him and he will make a few

mistakes with his pitches

Hitters: 1B Brace Miller (S) - dominant hitter, but not suited for the field

BURNING QUESTION: My pick for surprise team, will they add pitching to lock my selection?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: OF Del Prieto fell 2 hrs shy of the 40/40 club in season 8




Arizona Rattlesnakes

S8 Finish: 75-87 Preseason Salary: 57.4M

Roger Murphy- solid long reliever/spot starter can fill a need

         Hitters: LF Tsuyoshi Gonzales (R) - type A could play CF solid bat C Bill Hayes (R) - can give you 1 or 2 seasons behind the dish great bat

BURNING QUESTION: a lot of money is invested on starting pitching, what changes will be made to improve performance?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: 51 of Keith Durham's 52 appearances in season 8 were save opportunities






Cincinnati Bowties
S8 Finish: 95-67 DIV CHAMPS Preseason Salary: 62.1M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: P Geronimo Lopez (L) - might be a strong bullpen candidate.

         Hitters : RF Achilles Hayes- type A has speed and a glove to play, limited role last season 2B
Benny Jimenez (L)- Type B solid contact and glove guy C

Montanez (S) - starting C can hit, glove and play. Poor arm.

BURNING QUESTION: who will be providing the rbis after Hernandez and Sheets in the lineup?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: oldest team in the league and runs the only 3 man tandem rotation in Ryan.




Philadelphia Balboas
S8 Finish: 86-76 Preseason Salary: 33M

KEY FREE AGENTS: Pitchers RP Alex Padilla- might be able to reestablish himself SP Joe Stone- also a risk/reward pickup.

BURNING QUESTION: Will they invest in pitching for season 9?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Formally the Montreal Money Shots. Smaller park will help the already good hitting



Seattle Warbirds
S8 Finish: 56-106 Preseason Salary: 32M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Nolan Sodowsky (L) - Former ace now struggling at times he will do more good than harm for any team

BURNING QUESTION: Besides Matt Matthews who can bat them in consistently?

Jumbo Guerrero after earning 16M the last 5 years is now arbitration eligible. How?



Milwaukee Blues
S8 Finish: 55-107 Preseason Salary: 12.4M


BURNING QUESTION: who is going to bat 3rd and lead this offense?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: no one could strikeout like FA Jesus Santiago







New York Burros
S8 Finish: 108-54 NL CONF RUNNERS UP Preseason Salary: 25.3M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers:     SP David Perez (R) - Type a winning pitcher with a knack at the art.

BURNING QUESTION: Is this the year of Johnny Stroud?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: The Burros have never missed the playoffs in 8 seasons



Atlanta Braves
S8 Finish: 75-87 Preseason Salary: 50.9M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Kenny Marte- type B Starter will struggle at times but has many good pluses

         Hitters: 2B Hades Koch- best days are behind him but he still has the skills to play

BURNING QUESTION: Who closes Jose or Ma? Will the other be traded?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: 3 players with 110+ SO's needs to be contained.




Burlington Ballbusters S8 Finish: 74-88 Preseason Salary: 57.5M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Fausto Pujols- coming off arm surgery but might fill a role

         Hitters: 1B Alvin Boudreau (L) - solid hitter with good bat C Ken Lidge (R) - serviceable starting catcher

BURNING QUESTION: Need to establish a consistent lead off man, who will it, be?

Tony Kelly could contend for MVP with his stats in Season 8



Rochester Raging Reverends
S8 Finish: 49-113 Preseason Salary: 59.5M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: Sp Paul Hara (R) - walks might kill ya

         Hitters: 2B Harry Chavez (R) - Solid 2 bagger with pop

BURNING QUESTION: Which Neil Fletcher will show up last seasons or the real Fletcher? HOF honors depend on a good year.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: more number 1 picks have landed here than any other team. Now where are they?






Texas Outlaws
S8 Finish: 101-61 DIV CHAMP Preseason Salary: 28.1M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: P Juan Palmeiro (L) - awesome long reliever will be worth picks to Texas in the least SP Scooter Huskey (R) - has seen better days but

Can still give you the innings

         Hitters: C Luis Belliard (L) - top flight catcher he will be picked up somewhere quickly

BURNING QUESTION: Was last year a fluke, or is this team legit?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Sam Miller stole 132 bases last season, how much will the rule change affect him?




Houston Labs
S8 Finish: 84-78 Preseason Salary: 39.8M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: P Moises Tavarez (R) - has a role somewhere to play

BURNING QUESTION: A team built around speed, is there an adjustment that needs to be made with the system changes?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: ran for the big city and a change of scenery in season 9. Let's see how the team responds.



Florida Marlins
S8 Finish: 78-84 Preseason Salary: 50.0M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Harry Nixon (R) - Type B solid starter SP Rolando Fernandez (L) - Type B in the right situation he might shine

BURNING QUESTION: Can he pitching stay healthy or at least recover after last season?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: no Marlin reached 100 RBI in season 8



Richmond Revolution
S8 Finish: 73-89 Preseason Salary: 54.6M


BURNING QUESTION: When will we see some of those draft picks hit the Pros?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Franchise has never realized a winning record






Cheyenne Marmots
S8 Finish: 91-71 WILDCARD Preseason Salary: 30.3M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: RP Ismael Franco (R) - above average bullpen clog SP Rafael Nunez (R) Type B pitcher, could be a team's ace in a pinch

         Hitters: 3B Luis Amaral (R) - type A speeder, he still has the wheels, fielding and hitting still looking to add to his trophy case.

BURNING QUESTION: Who will win the must win games for the Marmots in S9?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: Chris Durbin's 114 stolen bases to 4 caught stealing are just sick.



San Diego Surf-
S8 Finish: 103-59 NL CHAMPS Preseason Salary: 55.5M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: .RP Brian Huang (R) - former closer looking to return to that role SP Tim Burnitz (R) - former 18 game winner hoping to get 1 last shot

         Hitters: CF Walter O'Brien (R) type B Star could anchor a lineup or just plain contribute.

BURNING QUESTION: who will add to the offence after Thomas Campbell hits?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: second year to take a chance on him man Deion Dunn was 21-2 last season



Colorado Springs Organizational Filler
S8 Finish: 89-73 WILDCARD Preseason Salary: 8.1M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers: SP Doug Perry (R) quality pitcher who is still capable for 1 season.

         Hitters: 1B Jose Mercedes (L) - at 29 he's in his prime with a strong bat

BURNING QUESTION: Is this the tear of Arthur Dellucci?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: had 11 players play multiple positions in season 8



S8 Finish: 73-89 Preseason Salary: 46M

KEY FREE AGENTS Pitchers : SP Fergie Sanders (R)- he's the type of pitcher who will surprise you with his wins nothing pretty just grit SP
Tori Walker- Deserves a shot in the show     Hitters: DH Diego Santiago (R)- he has had a storied career in Colorado, and will continue probably in the AL.

BURNING QUESTION: a move out of thin air Colorado will help the pitching, but what about Beltran and Mullins?

BEYOND THE BOXSCORES: season 8 was the first year the team had less than 90 wins in its history.



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

HBD 101: Trade Vetoes

The ability of fellow owners to veto a trade is one of the most important checks and balances in place to help protect the fairness of the game.

The ability of fellow owners to veto a trade is one of the most contentious elements of the game, which can lead to heated arguments and name-calling on the league's chat board and trade chat.

First, some background: In order for a trade to be vetoed, 10 owners must click the "veto" button. Clicking "approve" or not clicking a button at all counts as approval. If 10 or more people vote to veto a deal, it does not go through. The players are all returned to their original teams. The names of those people who voted to veto the trade will appear in the trade review screen. If nine or fewer people vote to veto, the trade goes through and there's no way to know how many people (or who) voted against the trade.

Every year, it seems, most leagues follow a similar pattern. Someone makes a deal (often involving a new owner) that other owners feel is unfair. The people involved in the trade protest loudly that "it's my 25 bucks, we should be able to run our teams the way we want!" Other owners accuse the team perceived to be getting the better end of the deal of "raping a noob" or something very similar. The parties to the trade ask people to explain why they vetoed, a couple people will, others say, "it's my veto, I'll do what I want with it!" Someone invariably threatens to quit before cooler heads prevail, the trade goes through (or it doesn't) and everyone moves on. By the middle of the season, it seems like everyone basically knows what they're doing and the vetoes essentially disappear.

Every year, the pattern repeats itself as new owners rush to make deals before they really understand the relative value of players.

Everyone has their own criteria for determining if a trade should be vetoed, so this will not serve as an absolute guide. It will, however, hopefully give new players an idea about what to look out for when making and evaluating trades.

Collusion: This is the #1 most defensible reason to veto a deal. In its most egregious form, this consists of an owner who secretly owns two teams in one league and trades back-and-forth between them. We have not had any instances of that in Ryan World, but it has happened (or been strongly suspected of happening) in other worlds. It can also take subtler forms, which are invariably almost impossible to prove. It generally manifests itself in a trade where an older, overpaid player gets dumped for some good prospects.

Taking Advantage Of A New Player: These are the ones that generally spur the slap-fighting described above, and are seemingly an annual rite in public leagues. A new player, itching to make a deal, ends up giving away great prospects for crap because he doesn't understand that a starting pitcher with a great overall rating and great VR/VL splits is worthless if he has a control rating in the 30s or a durability of 9. Or that a pitcher with great control still won't get major league hitters out if his splits are in the low 40s. Or that they should know what they're doing if they trade for the guy with the worst contract in Ryan World history. Older owners need to police themselves and new owners need to take their time rather than rushing into a deal before they really understand the game.

Straight Cash, Homie: These are a point of huge contention in a lot of worlds because there's really no consensus. Can you trade a good player for a terrible one and a wad of cash? Last year, one of these trades got vetoed here, so the answer is presumably going to be "no" again this season. Owners generally don't have any problem at all approving a trade with cash if that cash is going to be used to cover a big salary for one of the players involved in the deal, but straight-up "selling" a player is generally frowned upon.

So what will prevent all the unnecessary drama? Owners who have questions about a trade should post something on the league chat board before vetoing it. It's important to remember that when prospects are involved, your "advanced scouting" budget can have a big impact on the projected ratings you see. That means that a trade that looks like a huge rip-off to you might look fair to someone who has a higher (and likely more accurate) advanced scouting budget.

If you have a question, ask! It's a lot better to have an open discussion on the world chat and then decide whether to veto or not. You might learn something during the discussion and then people don't get blindsided by 24 hours of silence, followed by a veto.

Monday, July 7, 2008

HBD 101: Budgeting

Budgeting is the absolute first thing you do each season and it's one of the most important. Your budget will help determine how active you'll be in the Free Agent market, what caliber of international prospects you'll be able to sign and even how accurate the ratings you see will actually be.

There are nine categories of the budget

Payroll: Pretty self-explanatory. This is the amount of money you will have available to pay your major league and minor league players their salaries, pay your free agent signings their signing bonuses and pay your draftees and international free agent signings their salaries. This is not the budget for signing bonuses for international free agents and draftees. (We'll get to that in a minute). You don't actually set a number for your payroll. This number is determined by taking your total budget of $185M and subtracting the amount of money spent in every other category. You will see payrolls ranging from $25M to $130M, but most teams play with a payroll of $60-100M.

Prospect Payroll: This is the amount of money you will have to pay signing bonuses to your draft picks and international free agent signings. These players will earn the league minimum salary, so it's the signing bonus that will determine whether a player signs with you or another team. In general, it will cost between $6-8M to sign your draft picks, but this can vary dramatically if you sign "risky" draft picks who want more money than they should get for their draft slot. It can also vary if your team loses Type A or Type B free agents. That would give you more high draft picks to sign, and thus cost you more money in signing bonuses.
You can transfer money into or out of your prospect budget from your coaching or payroll budgets. However, you can only do this in increments of $2M and you lose 50% of that money each time you transfer it. For example, if you have a prospect budget of $20M and have $2M left over in your coaching budget, you can transfer that over to prospects. You'll lose $1M of it and have a resulting prospect budget of $21M. Many teams take advantage of this to sign superstar internationals. Teams in Ryan had prospect budgets ranging from $10-33M last year.

Coaches Payroll: This is the amount of money you will be able to pay your coaches. Last season, teams in Ryan World budgeted anywhere from $6M to $18M for coaches, although the majority spent between $10-12M. You can get a decent idea how much to budget by checking how many of your old coaches are interested in coming back. Go to Admin Office --> Coaching --> Rehire Coaches. In general, the more guys you have coming back at the major league level, the less money you'll likely need to spend.
When you spend this money, it's important to note that if you have money left over after coach hiring, you can transfer it to payroll or prospect budgets, but only if you have $2M or more. If you have $4M (or $6M) you can transfer it. However, if you have $1,999,999 left over in your coaching budget after you're done hiring, that money will just sit there for the rest of the year and you can't use it. If you have $3.5M left over, you'll be able to transfer the first $2M, but the next $1.5M will just sit there unused. You can only transfer money in $2M increments.

Domestic College Scouting: This will determine the number of college prospects you see as you prepare for the amateur draft in the middle of the season. It will also affect the "projected" ratings you see for each of those prospects. In general, the more you spend, the more accurate those projected ratings will be. It's important to note that there's no guarantee that the player will reach those projections. It will depend on other factors like injuries, coaching, and how fast you promote them through the minors. The projection should just give you a decent idea what to expect if everything goes pretty well for that player.
You can only change this number by $4M up or down each year, so your first year you'll only be able to set it between $6M and $14M. Your second year with the team, you'll be able to move it up or down another $4M (possibly as high as $18M).

Domestic High School Scouting: Just like the college budget, but for high school players. High school players are younger (18 years old, as opposed to 19-22 year olds from college) but are a little more "raw" and tend to take a little longer to develop. This has the same $4M up or down limit.

International Scouting: This determines how often your international scouts will let you know about a prospect and how accurate the projected ratings will be. A league can see anything from 0-10 potential superstar International prospects in a season, completely at random. You'll also see a lot of crap. The top internationals can fetch signing bonuses of $20M or more.

Advanced Scouting: This determines the "projected" ratings you will see for all of your players as well as the players of every other team. Players 27 and older don't have projected ratings any more-- those are just a duplicate of their current ratings. If you are re-building and will be trading for prospects, it's wise to have as high an advanced scouting budget as you can afford. A low number here might lead you to trade a great prospect who your scouts say is very average. Conversely, you could trade a great older player for a crappy prospect who your scouts think is great. Only one team in Ryan had a scouting budget under $10M last year. 20 of the 32 teams had advanced scouting budgets of $14M or more. This budget can only be changed by $4M in either direction each season.

Training: This helps keep your players from getting hurt. It also keeps your older players (say, those 30+ years old) from having their ratings decline too much. If you have an older team or a bunch of significant guys with lower health ratings (under 60 or so), this may be a very important category. Ryan World teams ranged from $10M to $20M in training budget last year.

Medical: This determines how long your players will be out if they get hurt. This can make a huge difference in some cases. For example, in some cases the same injury can vary from 3 months to 12 months, depending on your medical budget. It can also be the difference between a guy being out 2 days and 2 weeks. Ryan World teams ranged from $8M to $18M last year, although only one team had a medical budget over $14M. More than half of the league used a medical budget of $10M or $11M.

Hopefully this has given you a decent idea what you'll want to do when setting your budget. As always, feel free to ask myself or another veteran owner if you have any questions.

You may also want to check out some past HBD 101 posts which may prove helpful.
Player Evaluation
Managing Your Prospects
The Importance Of Planning Ahead
Manging Your Minor League Pitching Staffs

And finally... The Worst Free Agent Signings In Ryan History. This may be useful in a "what not to do" way: