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Question about Ethics?

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Question about Ethics?

Postby Seatownfavorite » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:40 am

What commissioners corner question isn't about ethics right?

I am in an initial dynasty auction draft. Large field 20 teams. Everything is moving along relatively well and owners are very active. One of the more involved groups I've seen and even more so when you consider how many owners. Here is the dilemma:

1 team got out early and drafted a bunch of studs, he spent a lot of money. I was thinking he would have a hard time rounding our his roster. But, he has since traded off 2 of his studs for minor league picks in the upcoming snake portion of the draft. The key here is he is not counting any of the money he used to draft the players against his cap. He now has a lot of money remaining and a stockpile of early picks. He tried to trade with me and I called him on it and he basically laughed at me.

His reasoning: The owners he traded with got the players they wanted and agreed to pay the salary. The deal is a good one. He gets draft picks every one wins.

My take: It's against my interpretation of the draft rules, unethical, and ruins the balance of the league.


What say you, and how do I handle this (I am not the commissioner).

Draft Rules
1 If you win a player in the auction YOU need to place another player up for bid.
2 At no time can your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
3 At no time can the total of your contracts you have already won, and your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
4 The minimum bid is $325,000
5 The minimum bid increment is $25,000
6 Any bid that has been posted for 12 hours and not outbid is considered a winning bid
7 The clock does not run from 12am to 6am (EST)
8 Contract years will be assigned after the auction. You will not be bidding years as well as dollars
9 Once a bid has been won, the thread will be locked. You will then need to add the player to your roster and post a new nomination thread
10 Any player with more than 130ab or 50ip can be bid in this auction
International players with no MLB experience will be taken during the minor league draft
At no point are you allowed to delete a bid. Once a bid is placed it is final.


Seems like a good league.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby lane_anasazi2 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:57 am

Is it a contract league, or an auction league? Seems like it might be some kind of hybrid, which is the confusing part.

In a contract league, you have a salary cap and a budget - you don't "have" actual money, it's just the sum total of your contracts can't exceed the salary cap.

In an auction league you use money to buy players, and once that money is spent it's spent regardless of trades.

Your league sounds like some kind of combination of the two. Reading those rules I'd have to agree with his interpretation. It sounds like more of a contract-style in that you're assigning values to players and checking them against a cap. If you trade a player he certainly doesn't still count towards that cap.

If I'm getting a good sense of the league, he's probably not doing himself any favors, though. Having a lot of cap space doesn't do you any good inherently - it just lets you be more flexible with your contracts. Trading away a bunch of stud players for minor league picks, no matter how good, is almost always going to blow up in your face.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby Seatownfavorite » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:07 am

Yeah but he's trading away players that he hasn't paid for. Do you see the difference. My interpretation of the 3rd rule is all bids you have won count against your cap number for the draft. He is getting additional draft picks for nothing. When those draft picks turn into top prospects getting paid pennies on the dollar for 5 years of team control that upsets the balance.

It is an auction with a structured salary system that's a little complicated. Basically you have up to 5 years of team control with back-loaded contracts.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby lane_anasazi2 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:34 am

Seatownfavorite wrote:Yeah but he's trading away players that he hasn't paid for. Do you see the difference. My interpretation of the 3rd rule is all bids you have won count against your cap number for the draft. He is getting additional draft picks for nothing. When those draft picks turn into top prospects getting paid pennies on the dollar for 5 years of team control that upsets the balance.

It is an auction with a structured salary system that's a little complicated. Basically you have up to 5 years of team control with back-loaded contracts.


With a complicated league like this, someone like me who's on the outside probably isn't going to grasp the fine points. But I infer that there's both an MLB auction where you assume the auction price as a structured multi-year contract and then a minor league draft? If that's the case, I don't see the problem - he's trading stud players for minor league draft picks, which is hardly "for nothing." And I've never encountered a league where you still count a contract against your cap when you trade the player. The manager you trade the player to assumes the salary.

There's a fundamental difference between strict auction leagues and contract leagues. In an auction league, your $260 actually exists, it's tangible insofar as you spend money to get players. If you trade during the draft, money doesn't enter into it. If I trade you a $20 Zobrist for a $15 Castro, I don't get $20 back or even $5 back. Because I've already spent that $20. That's standard, redraft auction.

However with contract leagues, you don't actually spend any money. You don't have a budget, you have a cap. If I trade you a $20 Zobrist for a draft pick, he's off the books for me and you assume his contract. If I had $7 of cap space now I have $27. That's a contract league.

It sounds like your league is the 2nd type which is why I don't see a problem with what your manager is doing. Like I said, he's giving up stud players for minor league picks, and if he has leftover cap space, so what? Spend extra $$ on Chase Headly and 4th tier closers? Yeah, his team is gonna be really good.

If I'm getting the gist of your league wrong, tell me how.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby Merlin401 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:40 am

So but you're missing the problem here. He is winning all the auctions and then trading them to turn them into minor league picks. So he's getting picks for doing nothing but being the winning bidder. I.e.: He wins Pujols for $25 M (trades him for a 1st round pick). Then wins Fielder for $20 M (trades him for a 1st round pick) etc etc until he has all the picks and still has the cap space to draft the full team.

Basically he found a loop hole, the competition are being dumb enough to let him exploit it on THEM, and the result is that he is going to have a stacked team, especially down the road.

Its against the spirit of the intended rules but not illegal. You can close the loophole next year but you'll already having an unbalanced dynasty starting off. Sucks.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby bigmck » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:14 pm

What the guy did seems like it is within the rules to me. A Salary Cap is the total of the salary of the players on your team. If a player is no longer on the team, it does not count. He is going to have draft picks and bad players this year. That is his gamble. Like the others said, I am an outsider and have never played in a league using Millions for Salary. Fantasy Auction Leagues normally use $260. Your rules might have other things that we are not aware of.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby lane_anasazi2 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:23 pm

Merlin401 wrote: he has all the picks and still has the cap space to draft the full team.

Basically he found a loop hole, the competition are being dumb enough to let him exploit it on THEM, and the result is that he is going to have a stacked team, especially down the road.

Its against the spirit of the intended rules but not illegal. You can close the loophole next year but you'll already having an unbalanced dynasty starting off. Sucks.


Right, but having traded all his studs away he's either going to have massively overpaid average players or lots of cap space and bad players. The result is he's going to have a lot of high-upside, high risk talent, some of which is going to pan out and some of which isn't. He's basically punting the first 1-2 years of the dynasty for a shot at having a world-beater team down the road. So what? That's what you do in dynasty leagues. I don't see this as being a problem at all. It's a HUGE risk. What if he drafts the equivalent of Jeff Clement and Andy Marte?

Personally I kind of admire him. Sounds like he had a plan and executed it. He's not taking advantage of anyone; no one's forcing people to make these trades. And like I said, they're minor league picks. It's a big, big gamble. Meanwhile you have teams that have an extra Prince Fielder or two slugging it out for 1st place this year, right now.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby GiantsFan14 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:27 pm

As long as the players salary is counted toward the cap on the new team, I don't see a problem with this. The money has to count somewhere though.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby RDD15 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:59 pm

Seatownfavorite wrote:Draft Rules
1 If you win a player in the auction YOU need to place another player up for bid.
2 At no time can your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
3 At no time can the total of your contracts you have already won, and your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
4 The minimum bid is $325,000
5 The minimum bid increment is $25,000
6 Any bid that has been posted for 12 hours and not outbid is considered a winning bid
7 The clock does not run from 12am to 6am (EST)
8 Contract years will be assigned after the auction. You will not be bidding years as well as dollars
9 Once a bid has been won, the thread will be locked. You will then need to add the player to your roster and post a new nomination thread
10 Any player with more than 130ab or 50ip can be bid in this auction
International players with no MLB experience will be taken during the minor league draft
At no point are you allowed to delete a bid. Once a bid is placed it is final.


Seems like a good league.


If you are not the commish, then there are two ways for you to handle it long-term. Option #1 is to speak with the commissioner, and explain that the rules that he has written are greatly flawed, and sometimes contradict each other, and they need to be fixed. Option #2 is to write the league off, and ask the commish to find a replacement for you.

Right now, these rules are very poor. Unplayable. For instance, rule #2. We all understand what it is supposed to mean, but as it is worded, that rule alone breaks the game if taken literally. "2 At no time can your total bids exceed the $90 million cap". As written, if you bid say 40 million on Pujols, and someone else gets him for 41 million, since you technically did bid 40 million, you now only have 50 million to spend. Gamebreaker.

Another broken rule is rule #1. At the end of the auction, this will cause problems. Say that I just won my last player, and I have $0 left to spend. I go ahead and nominate some player that no one else wants for the minimum, and I win the player. I dont have money and I dont have a roster spot. What now? Nominations need to be handled differently, or another rule must be created to deal with this scenario.

Also a poor rule is "8 Contract years will be assigned after the auction. You will not be bidding years as well as dollars". How can you bid on a player fairly when you do not know the term of the contract? This needs another rule to describe the process on how contract term is to be decided. Perhaps this is a rule that is present elsewhere and you did not include it because it does not pertain to the draft.

As far as the short term, I am not sure how anyone can possibly say that this guy still has a bunch of cap room. Rule #3 clearly states that "At no time can the total of your contracts you have already won, and your total bids exceed the $90 million cap". Say he bid 10 million on Pujols and won, then traded Pujols for a pick. The rule above ABSOLUTELY says that if you win a contract, it counts against your cap. It does not say anything about that not being the case if the contract is traded away. That rule is very clear that once you win that player, he counts against your cap.

I would be very interested to see the entirety of this league's constitution. One thing that I really get into with fantasy sports is the rule set of leagues. Most league constitutions are very poorly written, and have loopholes and contradictions all over them. This one looks like a real stinker in that regard.

Unless that ruleset is fixed, this league is probably doomed.
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Re: Question about Ethics?

Postby Seatownfavorite » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:09 am

RDD15 wrote:
Seatownfavorite wrote:Draft Rules
1 If you win a player in the auction YOU need to place another player up for bid.
2 At no time can your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
3 At no time can the total of your contracts you have already won, and your total bids exceed the $90 million cap
4 The minimum bid is $325,000
5 The minimum bid increment is $25,000
6 Any bid that has been posted for 12 hours and not outbid is considered a winning bid
7 The clock does not run from 12am to 6am (EST)
8 Contract years will be assigned after the auction. You will not be bidding years as well as dollars
9 Once a bid has been won, the thread will be locked. You will then need to add the player to your roster and post a new nomination thread
10 Any player with more than 130ab or 50ip can be bid in this auction
International players with no MLB experience will be taken during the minor league draft
At no point are you allowed to delete a bid. Once a bid is placed it is final.


Seems like a good league.


If you are not the commish, then there are two ways for you to handle it long-term. Option #1 is to speak with the commissioner, and explain that the rules that he has written are greatly flawed, and sometimes contradict each other, and they need to be fixed. Option #2 is to write the league off, and ask the commish to find a replacement for you.

Right now, these rules are very poor. Unplayable. For instance, rule #2. We all understand what it is supposed to mean, but as it is worded, that rule alone breaks the game if taken literally. "2 At no time can your total bids exceed the $90 million cap". As written, if you bid say 40 million on Pujols, and someone else gets him for 41 million, since you technically did bid 40 million, you now only have 50 million to spend. Gamebreaker.

Another broken rule is rule #1. At the end of the auction, this will cause problems. Say that I just won my last player, and I have $0 left to spend. I go ahead and nominate some player that no one else wants for the minimum, and I win the player. I dont have money and I dont have a roster spot. What now? Nominations need to be handled differently, or another rule must be created to deal with this scenario.

Also a poor rule is "8 Contract years will be assigned after the auction. You will not be bidding years as well as dollars". How can you bid on a player fairly when you do not know the term of the contract? This needs another rule to describe the process on how contract term is to be decided. Perhaps this is a rule that is present elsewhere and you did not include it because it does not pertain to the draft.

As far as the short term, I am not sure how anyone can possibly say that this guy still has a bunch of cap room. Rule #3 clearly states that "At no time can the total of your contracts you have already won, and your total bids exceed the $90 million cap". Say he bid 10 million on Pujols and won, then traded Pujols for a pick. The rule above ABSOLUTELY says that if you win a contract, it counts against your cap. It does not say anything about that not being the case if the contract is traded away. That rule is very clear that once you win that player, he counts against your cap.

I would be very interested to see the entirety of this league's constitution. One thing that I really get into with fantasy sports is the rule set of leagues. Most league constitutions are very poorly written, and have loopholes and contradictions all over them. This one looks like a real stinker in that regard.

Unless that ruleset is fixed, this league is probably doomed.


I basically agree with everything you have written and since he had 2 spare owners ready I told him to go ahead and have one assume my team. There are almost always going to be some loophole or another that owners will try and exploit. A good commissioner identifies these as they go, deal with them swiftly and as fairly as possibly while keeping the league integrity in tact. This commissioner decided that it was within the rules technically so it would stand, but that no future trades can do this. This basically rewards the team that chose this tactic and ensures that he is the only one that will get this advantage.


In the real World he won Clayton Kershaw for $13M, traded him for pick 1.1 in the rookie draft, picked Matt Moore (a player that was not eligible in the auction) giving him a 5 year minor contract of $600K, and walked away with the rest of his $12,400,000. On top of that the Minor draft wasn't even set to start but the commish says go ahead, and he pays for the guy out of his Auction money, not in season money where rookies get promoted. He also won Mike Stanton who he traded for a first and second round pick, and was trying to trade Roy Halladay or Jason Kipnis to me for my 1st.

I liken it to this scenario in a snake draft:

I have the 1.1 selection and take Albert Pujols.

I immediately trade him for selection 1.12 and 3.12.

I then take Miguel Cabrera with selection 1.1 because I no longer have the player I selected at that draft position.

Bing Bang Boom, I have a massive advantage because I never had to pay for Pujols.


Anyways I wash my hands of it because the commish said "what's done is done" but no more, ensuring this one guy has a huge advantage rather than correcting it. :-t

P.S. I am looking for a good dynasty league if anyone knows of a 16~20 teamer starting up or in need of a crazy (good) active owner.
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