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Thoughts on my Keeper Format

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Thoughts on my Keeper Format

Postby greeklee11 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:42 am

I was hoping to get some feedback on the keeper format that I initiated in my 10 owner league this year. Under our system an owner can keep any player that he drafts (no waiver pick up, once dropped rights extinguished) who is under 23 years old (opening day) for $12 each year ($260 budget) for the following 9 seasons.

Keeper formats are tough if there is lopsided savvy and enthusiasm throughout the league. I just finished law school and no exam gave me nearly the trouble that designing a keeper league has. But I want to promote this format for the following reasons, and collect thoughts and critiques.

PROS:
-The format seems clean and easy relative to other options.
- The league can easily expand as the years go on. It can also contract without having to sell off teams.
- The thrill of investment is present. I have a formerly disinterested buddy who follows Mike Trout religiously. To secure a player for a decade requires a huge gamble (storing the player on your MLB three-player-bench in Trout's case) but may save you money for a decade if you pick the right guy.
- Protects against "over-investment" as prospect-happy owners only have room to groom so many youngins.
- The casual fans who are not into prospects have a very good chance to win every year. Pujols went for $40. Stanton went for $45.
- Even if you are getting, say, Jason Heyward for $12 each year -- the advantage that even the best bargains create should not lead to unstoppable teams down the road.

CONS: I am envious of you people with close friends who love the game of baseball enough to endure an offline full minor league keeper system. I really do. That is on my bucket list.


Okay, so I am hoping for constructive criticism, I am proud of my creation -- but I'm sure it can be improved and exploited. And on a final note I will leave you with my situation: I paid about $15 for Castro (steal?) and about $7 for Tabata (steal?) and watching these guys get off to these starts is amazing. Bryce Harper ($23) is on my bench, and to have a dude consuming a much needed bench spot makes the investment critical and exciting. Finally, I paid $17 for Madison Bumgarner, while others were getting guys like Josh Johnson for not a whole lot more. So the beauty of the system blowing up in your face can be real and immediate.
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Re: Thoughts on my Keeper Format

Postby bigmck » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:36 am

Any system that allows a team to keep a player for that long is doomed to failure. You need a player to be available about every three or four years in the spring auction to give everyone a chance at them. The age restriction really does not have anything to do with Keepers. A very common Keeper format is as follows == A player gets his auction salary for years one and two of him being in the league. If he has not been dropped year three is the "Option Year". You can extend his contract at five dollars a year. If Joe Blow's Auction Salary was 13, you could extend his contract at $5 a year. This would mean that if you chose to extend by two years, his third, fourth and fifth years salary would be $23. At the end of his contract you would be forced to drop him.
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Re: Thoughts on my Keeper Format

Postby greeklee11 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:08 pm

bigmck wrote:Any system that allows a team to keep a player for that long is doomed to failure. You need a player to be available about every three or four years in the spring auction to give everyone a chance at them. The age restriction really does not have anything to do with Keepers. A very common Keeper format is as follows == A player gets his auction salary for years one and two of him being in the league. If he has not been dropped year three is the "Option Year". You can extend his contract at five dollars a year. If Joe Blow's Auction Salary was 13, you could extend his contract at $5 a year. This would mean that if you chose to extend by two years, his third, fourth and fifth years salary would be $23. At the end of his contract you would be forced to drop him.


I appreciate the response, thanks bro. I was unhappy with most common formats when I created this league. I was aware of the system you mention. My system, however, mimics MLB's reserve clause. Back in the day you could perpetually keep a guy under contract. I prefer a system where you gamble on a guy and then can sit back and watch his career play out without having to pony the dude up in his prime. I don't want to bother my fellow owners with a stack of math each year. I think that a unique connection with a player/investment can develop in this setting where it could not elsewhere, and it is simpler and cleaner for the less than diehard participants.

I very much respect your opinion, and time may prove that you are right. But I do not think that allowing managers to keep a guy for this long dooms the league for failure. On average each owner has a single keeper (there are very few 22 yr. old players in the game, and they must be stashed on your limited MLB roster). Even the most successful owner, in his heyday, will have 10/23 of his roster filled for $120. I'd wager that the advantage will never be overwhelming. Even just going back to 2009's "top prospect" listings, guys like Cameron Maybin often appeared before Colby Rasmus. An owner probably would have paid $20 or so for Maybin, and perhaps realize that Maybin will never be worth the discounted $12 for a single year of his career. People will hit, but people will also miss -- we all do.

In my eyes it boils down to a departure in philosophy. You are saying that every owner should have a crack at a guy after a few years. I sympathize more with the owner that has to surrender a player he believed in more than any other owner. I would liken it to copyright law (gives the author rights to his creation for life plus 70 years). I think the prospect of lasting glory will perpetually spark creativity throughout the league. Finding a balance between allowing for long term investments and safeguarding against future dominance is tricky, and this was my best effort.
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