Keeper price = Purchase Price + $3 the first year; + $5 more the second year; and $10 every year after.
No problems. Perfect.
Wow you are helpful. He was asking about drafts, not auctions.
Unfortunately there are two ways, and you have tried both. I'm a big believer in a loser playoff for last pick. After the playoffs are set everyone left plays for the #1 pick. While it does punish (slightly) the truly bad teams it also keeps everyone interested until the last weeks of the season and avoids tanking. At the same time, in a keeper, the top pick isnt THAT valuable compared to the other 1st rounders, so a team that wants to trade away veterans at the end can still do so without hurting themselves.
I was saying that this is another reason to switch to auctions and he did ask what other people did for their keeper rules.
But if he wants to stick to something like your current system, think about how it all plays out and what you're really trying to accomplish.
Say you have 1 super-dominant team.... call them Team 1 and everyone else Teams 2 - 12.
Everyone has 3 keepers.
Team 12 drafts 1 player off of Team 1 (his 4th best player).
Team 1 protects his 5th best player.
Team 11 drafts 1 player off of Team 1 (his 6th best player).
Team 1 protects his 7th best player.
Continue on through....
At the end of the way through, everyone has their 3 best players and 1 player off of Team 12.
Except Team 12 has their top 3 players, their 5th best, 7th best, 9th best, 11th best, etc., until it doesn't make sense for him to protect any more. And then he gets to pick someone else's 4th best. They protect their 5th best and you continue on from there.
What ends up happening if I'm thinking this through right is that the team who is supposed to be weakened is made stronger because they get to pick off of higher picks of what everyone else is picking.
There's a couple of ways to address this. First, you could make a rule that every time you draft a player from someone, you also could protect one of your own (in addition to them protecting theirs). This would fix this imbalance. You would probably want to move to only 1 keeper in this instance since otherwise it would be too dynasty-like. Second, you could just get rid of the, "protect your player" rule and do: you do keepers and then draft from there. Third, you could have a round before you start how you do it now where the bottom 8 teams get to pick without other teams being able to protect. That would probably do it, too. Or you could just move to an auction and fix this mess.
Whatever I would do is come up with a proposal, run a mock draft using your current rosters, and see if it gives you the results you want; make sure that you don't mess up with unintended consequences.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.