I'll give you an excerpt from our constitution in one of my keeper leagues - and believe me, you will need to be this detailed and have it in writing, because something ALWAYS comes up.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
P.S. Thanks to ramble for putting us onto this Contract Year system, it works great.
This league will utilize a Contract Years (CY) system. This means that to retain a player from one season to the next, the owner must offer a player or players 1 or more contract years. Each team is granted 7 CYs each season to use. For example, if you decided that you want Marcus Giles to remain on your team in 2007, you might offer him 2 contract years. This means that he will remain on your team for 2007 and 2008. In 2007 he will cost you 2 CY’s, and in 2008 he will cost you 1 CY.
Alternatively, you may wish to sign 7 players each to 1 CY – this means you will be able to keep 7 players on your team for 2007. Clause 2.4 outlines what occurs at the end of the first season under contract, in that owners are permitted to extend a players contract once, after that they become free agents. This makes keeping a core of 7 players very difficult, and encourages players to draft, trade and draft rookie talent effectively.
As long as the team’s total of CYs add up to 7 at the start of the season, these players can be kept. All other players on the team are released into the draft for that year.
Each team has a total of 7 contract years, unless years are traded to or from another team.
Any major league player not tendered a contract at the seasons end is entered into the draft pool.
When players under contract are traded, their contract remains. This is unless the original team agrees to pay some or the entire contract in return for compensation. If a team is unable to reduce its obliged contract years to 7 or less before the submission date prior to the next season, then the trade cannot go through. This will be rare. See below for an example:
A - 3
B - 2
C - 1
D - 1
E - 6
F - 0
Team 1 trades player A to Team 2 for player F (a guy that Team B picked up in the draft or off the wire). It would then look like this:
A - 3
D - 1
E - 6
That's 10 CY's for Team B. This trade can be done, because the following year 1 year is subtracted from each contract:
A = 2
D = 0
E = 5
Total = 7 CY's.
It just means that Team B can't offer out anymore CY's the following year. However if their total was 8, the trade cannot proceed because the following year their total will not be reduced to 7 or less.
If a player under contract is dropped the team must continue to pay that contract. Another team can pick up the player and offer a second contract if they wish, but the original team must continue to pay their contract.
Owners are permitted to freely extend a players contract once, for any available amount of contract years.
When a player under their second contract with a team becomes a free agent, their current team owner can choose to offer them another contract, or release them.
If offered another contract, all other teams are given the opportunity to offer that player a better contract; through one blind bid (submitted to the commish in confidence, or some outside person). The current owner can exercise a “hometown discount” and match the highest contract offered, or relinquish the player.
If relinquished, and more than one team has bid the equal highest amount then those teams have another blind bid for the player. If after this bid they are still equal then the team with the highest draft pick (the team that finished lowest in the standings) gets the player.
Minor league rosters can have new players added at any time after the draft, up until the all-star break.
Minor league rosters can have players dropped, demoted to, or traded to and from at any time. Dropped players do not go on waivers; whoever puts in a claim to the commissioner first via email will receive the player.
If an owner receives minor league players in a trade, they must not exceed 5 spots, extra players must be dropped. If a player does receive excess players, they have 72 hours to bring their roster back to a total of 5 players, by either dropping players or trading them.
If minor league rosters are not amended within 72 hours, then the league commissioner will drop the most recently added players, until a roster of 5 is reached.
Players can be kept on the minor league roster until the player begins a season on a big league 25-man roster. The player must then be traded, released or promoted to the major league roster.
When a player is placed on a team’s major league roster, they are eligible for two full years free. If the player starts the year on the 25-man roster, their two years commence from that point. If the player is called-up mid season the two years begin opening day the following year. After the two years normal contract extension rules apply.
Minor league players can be moved from the minor league roster to the major league roster and back to the minor league roster at any point during a season.
1) Players can only be demoted to your minor league roster if they are in the minors, not on the DL.
2) Once a player has started a season on the 25-man they can never be demoted to a minor league roster.