I play in sportsline leagues as well. I'm currently in private commissioner leagues and no public leagues. A few years ago, I played sportsline's public leagues. Thay had draft requirement to fullfill all roster positions. How did that owner get away without drafting any pitchers?
Aside from that, sad but true, it is a fair strategy. Its annoying, but within the constraints of the rules so its also legal. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Unless he holds on to the good arms he manages to stumble on, bye the 2nd half of the season he will have next to no decent starting pitching options to roster churn the FA list with.
I've seen several owners try that tactic over the past years and end up with decent teams in the top 5. I have never seen an owner win a league with that tactic though as after pitchers that are on their way to a good year seperate themselves from the mediocre pitchers, other owners end up grabbing them. That usually bye around the all-star break leaves the owners like the one you brought up screwed big time.
Unless your league has several inactive owners, he wont keep seperateing fom the pack too much longer.
"Son we would like to keep you around here but were trying to win a pennant this year."