I know that this will be a somewhat trying thread to respond to, so to those that do reply, you have my heartfelt gratitude.
Background: This is a keeper league heading into its third season. The league details are as follows:
12 Teams 30 Man MLB roster of which we currently keep 15 based on their previous draft position or FA add. 22 Man MiLB roster, all kept without penalty. Categories - R, H, RBI, HR, SB, BB, AVG, OPS, IP, W, S, H, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB Positions - C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, LF, CF, RF, OF, OF, OF, U, U, SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, P, DL, DL, DL
While I am an experienced fantasy player, I have zero experience with auction leagues. We've been increasing the value on our keepers by increasing their draft value in each year they are kept. After some reviewing of how things were progressing, found that this set up was going to end in extreme difficulty and increasing amount of work for me, the commissioner. I instead want to move the league to an auction league, and in that process, attempt to carry over the player valuations that we've made via draft rounds into dollar values. So this becomes somewhat of a two part question:
1) How to set up and run an auction league, from the most basic information, down to the very specifics of how to run it, where to run it, etc. 2) Ideas on how to transfer the valuations.
For 1, honestly, I'm looking for any and all advice on how to do this. Ideally, I'd like to have a salary cap, varying contracts, and ideally a weekly FA auction. However, it's actually hard to find information on this kind of stuff. If you do know where to find this kind of information, feel free to tell me where it is and call me stupid. Additionally, information on how to actually run the league, what sites are good for running the auction and league, etc. Any kind of anything I'm looking for. Even if you think it's stupid.
For 2, an example should better explain what I'm talking about. I own Geovany Soto, and picked him up as a FA add in the 2007 season. This meant I could redraft him in the 28th round in 2008. I believe I then get to redraft him at 23 this season. We need to preserve these valuations in the transfer, or no one is going to want to go along with the transfer. However, because the league is full of teams with a tremendous amount of round 1-5 picks, there needs to be a slight adjustment to the players round valuations. Another example would be Delmon Young. A leaguemate foolishly drafted him with his first round pick in 2007. I traded for him. While he does need to be stuck with this valuation, there needs to be a real market value adjustment that decreases his value somewhat (same with Soto, his value should be increased slightly) respective to other first round picks who are worth much more.
Now, say all first round picks start out (Assuming say a 260 budget) at $35 or something (I honestly don't know what a first round pick goes for, on average, on a 260 budget, this is just a guess). What I was thinking is that we'd have a pre-auction post-keeper turn-in valuation auction, where we use hypothetical money and everyone bids on the keepers to create their adjusted value off of their preset round value. Make sense?
Anyway, hopefully this wasn't too confusing. I've done writing for a few sites (including this one!) and would be more than willing to help you out with an in depth answer to a question of your own in return for your assistance. Thanks!
I don't have time right now to go into too much detail, but check out the ESPN auction guide - http://games.espn.go.com/flb/content?page=flbrulesauctionoverview2009 They will have default values assigned to each player. To make it simple, you could assign those values to your keepers. I've never been in an auction there, but I don't think they provide for in-season FA bidding. You would have to handle that on your own. I also do not know how they handle carrying over salaries to the next season, but you could send them an email.
As far as how to run an auction league and where to run it, there's lots of resources out on the web and here on the Cafe so I'll just summarize the major points.
1) Set an overall budget. To make this easiest in using default price guides, most are budgeted for 23 players and $260. If you have 30 players I would increase it non-linearly (in other words, don't just say 23/260 = about $12 so 30 x $12 = $360). Most of the guys at the end go for $1 - $3 so I'd say do an overall budget of $300.
2) Choose a provider. There's lots of different opinions on this and it depends upon how much money you have involved and what bells and whistles you like. We've used CBS for a number of years and so are sticking with them but they do keep increasing the price every year which is not so happy. ESPN now has free leagues with a built-in auction league; if I was starting a new league this year and I didn't care so much about letting my league-mates trash talk and post ridiculous stories and pictures on the league page, I'd probably set it up there. But opinions vary.
3) Choose an escalator system. Personally, I dislike systems where people say you increase $X a year and you can keep a player for Y years. In my league, our set-up is that if you buy a player for a certain amount, say $5, if you want to keep him the next year you have to add $3 so he costs $8 to keep (which comes out of your starting auction budget to buy players in the next year; basically you've pre-purchased him for that amount). If you want to keep him for a second year, he costs you $5 more on top of that, so he's now $13. If you want to keep him for any longer than that, he goes up $10 each year, so would be $23 the next year, $33 the year after that, and so on and so forth.
You can monkey around with what values you think are right. The important thing is to think about how long you want to reward someone for being astute and choosing a good, young player without creating a situation where they're keeping Albert Pujols for $22 five years down the road.
You also need to agree on what is the keeper value of a waiver-wire pickup. I like to reward people thinking ahead at the draft more than people who pick up hot WW guys; it just shows more planning and deserves more benefit. So, for us, if you want to keep a guy you got off of waivers, his keeper price is $8 which is about the price of a run-of-the-mill fantasy hitter... someone like Raul Ibanez. Again, you can do whatever you want, but that's how we do it and it seems to work out pretty well.
Now, the trickier question is how to transition over from your current keeper system.
The most fair way (IMO) but also probably the most work is that you find average auction values for the past few years (ideally, from the same source). You then assign those starting values to every player from the year that they were drafted. Then you apply whatever escalator system you agree on retroactively. So to use the numbers above (to keep things easy to understand), if you picked up Soto off of the WW in 2007, you would have had to spend $8 to keep him in 2008. If you wanted to keep him again in 2009, you would tack on another $5 (since this would be the second year he was kept) and his keeper price going into this year would be $13. Similarly, if you purchased Chris B. Young for $1 in 2006, you say we need to add $3 to make him $4 for 2007, $5 to make him $9 for 2008, and so to keep him this year will be $19.
Now, an easier way (but less fair) would be to just agree on one source for auction values from this year. You take those numbers and subtract out a set amount, say $5 or whatever.
A compromise between the two is to take one source for auction values from last year and add whatever escalator to last year's values.
If you want to do something more like what you were talking about re: respecting round valuations, and maybe this would be the best way to do it, would be to look at one source for auction values for this year. Take the top 12 guys and average out their values and say it's whatever, $35. Take the next 12 guys and average their values and it's $28. And so on and so forth through every round of the draft. And then apply that value to whatever round pick you were supposed to give up in order to keep someone. So if you were supposed to give up a 23rd-rounder for Soto this year, you look at the average price of guys # 276 - 287 and then that's how much you have to spend to keep Soto. If you're supposed to give up a 1st-rounder to keep Delmon Young and the average price is $35, well, then that's the breaks.
Hope this helps.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.
Matthias has excellent info and suggestions. The only issue you may have with his methods of assigning salaries to use as a starting point is the level of work/research involved for every player eligible as a keeper. I don't know how many players that would encompass, but that could be a monumental task. That is why I suggested using the default ESPN values. Each GM can do his own research and make decisions, and you do not have to do much work. Best of luck.
"Baizboll bin bery, bery good to me!" ~ Chico Escuela
Basically, the valuation process is going to be tied to previous draft position. So we'll come up with values before keepers are due. We won't have to come up with them for each individual player. Then, if we so desire, can have a nonbinding auction or adjust their values based on some list somewhere, but the amounts would adjust say +/- $3.
one way to transfer the value is to set a set price for each round in which the players were selected (or in groups of 3 or 4) on a decreasing value - so, round 1-3 players selected have say $35-40 value then 30-35 for next three rounds and so on - last 7 rounds or so it should be down to 1 or 2 bucks auction leagues are far superior to snake drafts imho gl