2004 The Cheap Seats Fantasy Baseball League Rules
I. Teams and Rosters
1. There will be 12-14 teams in The Cheap Seats Fantasy Baseball League, consisting of a mix of AL and NL players. Each team will consist of 30 Major League Players and 6-12 Minor League Players. (23 Starters, 7 Reserves, and 6-12 Minor Leaguers).
2. A teams roster will consist of the following:
• 5 Outfielders
• 1 Catcher
• 1 First baseman
• 1 Second baseman
• 1 Third baseman
• 1 Shortstop
• 1 Middle Infielder
• 1 Corner Infielder
• 2 Utility (any non-pitcher)
• 9 Pitchers (any combination of starters and relievers.)
• 7 reserves (any combination of positions.)
• 6-12 minor league players (any position – see rules on qualifications)
3. There is a minimum innings requirement for all pitching staffs of 1000 innings pitched. Any team that does not achieve 1000 innings of work will be placed last in the categories of ERA and WHIP.
1. Each team must acquire 30 major league players at a cost not to exceed the $280 salary cap. A team need not spend the maximum.
2. The auction date is March 13, 2004.
3. All professional major and minor league players are eligible for the auction. Minor league players may be purchased, however, the auction price will count against the salary cap and that player will lose “free” minor league status (see 12.7) for the entire season. Only if he is dropped from a fantasy team before the next auction and is still a rookie may he be eligible for “free” minor league status again.
4. The team bidding first opens with a bid of $1, and all bids must be in dollar increments, no cents. Bidding continues until only one bidder is left, the commissioner will then state going once, twice, sold. No bids will be accepted after the word sold has appeared on the computer screen. (Auction will be live, via chat room.)
5. No team may bid more on a player than he has left. Example, Team A has 3 slots left to fill on his roster and $4 left. He may not bid more than $2 on a player since it wouldn’t leave $ for remaining slots.
6. The salary of a player acquired at the auction DOES NOT change during the season, including if released and picked up as a FA by another team.
7. Following the MLB auction, teams with open slots on their minor league rosters will conduct a ML draft. The team with the most open slots will go first, if more than one team has the same # of open slots, the team that finished lower in the standings the previous season will draft first. The minor league draft is serpentine style.
8. The salary of a player pulled from the FA pool is the amount of the winning free agent auction bid if he wasn’t auctioned off at a different price. A player who was not purchased at the auction will have a salary equal to the winning free agent auction bid. A player who was purchased at the auction will have a salary equal to the winning bid at the original auction.
III. Position Eligibility
1. A player may be assigned to any position at which appeared in 20 games in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 20 games at a single position, he may be drafted only at the position(s) at which he appeared most frequently.
2. Once the season is underway, a player becomes eligible for any position at which he appears at least 10 times.
3. The position eligibility of minor-leaguers who have no MLB experience will be determined by their projected fielding position for the upcoming season. This position must be confirmed by a minimum of 5 owners present at the draft.
4. Once the season is underway, a minor league call-up who is signed as a FA and has no prior MLB experience will qualify at: (a) the position he most often played in the minors, (b) the first position he plays in the field in the majors. After 10 games at one position, normal position eligibility rules take effect.
1. The entrance fee is $100 per team per season.
2. All fees must be paid no later than February 15, 2004 unless arrangements have been made otherwise. The commissioner can freeze rosters until fees are paid, and if not received prior to 1 March 2004, can award the team to another prospective owner.
3. All transactions throughout the season are free.
V. Player Salaries
1. The salary of a player does not change during the season for any reason.
2. Minor league players acquired through the preseason draft or midseason draft do not count against the salary cap. Minor league players acquired through the preseason auction will count against the salary cap.
3. The salary of a player pulled from the FA pool is the amount of the winning free agent auction bid if he wasn’t auctioned off at a different price (see 2.8). The salary of the player counts against the expanded cap ($340) and is used for calculating future contracts.
VI. Prize Money
1. All fees shall be paid promptly, collected and maintained by the Commissioner.
2. Website fees will be subtracted from the entry fees before the prize money is distributed.
3. The money shall be divided among the top five teams at the end of the season as follows:
• 1st place – 50%
• 2nd place – 20%
• 3rd place – 15%
• 4th place – 10%
• 5th place – 5%
1. The following criteria are used to determine team performance:
• Batting Average
• Runs Scored
• Runs Batted In
• Stolen Bases
• Home runs
• Earned Run Average
• WHIP (walks + hits divided by innings pitched)
2. Teams are ranked from first to last in each of the ten categories, and given points for each place. I.E….if a team is in 1st place in BA, it is awarded 13 (or more if there are more than 13 teams) points for that category. If the team is in last place, it is awarded 1 point.
1. TQStats.com will be the site that handles stats. A fee of $99 is charged against the league entry fees to pay for this service.
2. Any problems with statistics or player movements must be brought forth within 7 days of the occurrence. After that, any challenges will fall under the discretion of the commissioner.
3. Performance stats of a player only apply while he is on an ACTIVE roster.
4. Standings and Transactions will be tabulated daily on-line and available on the Web.
5. Statistics end with the last game of the season, the playoffs are not included, nor is the All-Star game.
1. From the 1st day after the auction until midnight of July 31st, teams are free to make trades of any kind without limit, so long as active rosters of both teams involved in a trade reflect the required position distribution upon completion of the trade and any subsequent FA pickups.
2. Teams making trades must stay within the expanded ($340) salary cap.
3. No trades will take place from August 1 2004 to Feb 15, 2005
4. Trades are allowed from Feb 16, 2005 to Feb 28, 2005.
5. There are no limits to the number of trades a team may make during the regular season.
X. Free-Agent Eligibility
1. Any player who is on a MLB 25 man roster or on the DL and not owned by another fantasy team, may be acquired as a free agent. Foreign players and players on a minor league roster are NOT eligible to be acquired as free agents.
2. No free agents may be acquired between the end of the season and the auction.
3. Free agents may be picked up starting on March 26 and on every Friday until the end of the season.
4. Each team is limited to the $340 expanded salary cap during the season. The winning free agent auction bid is the player’s salary (unless he was purchased at the preseason auction; see 2.8) and will count against the team’s salary cap. Each team will place their bids to the commissioner (format TBD) by Thursday 12:00 pm. Bids must be in one-dollar increments. The free agents will be awarded by the end of the day each Thursday. There is no limit to free agent pickups as long as each team stays within the expanded salary cap.
XI. The Reserve and Injured Lists
1. A team may replace any player on its 28 man roster who has been placed on the DL by placing him in one of the five allotted Injury slots, and picking up a free agent from the FA pool (subject to normal free agent rules). A team is not required to activate the injured player when the player is off the MLB DL.
2. If you choose to not place an injured player in an injury slot, you may place him on the reserve list and start one of your reserves.
3. Each team has an seven man reserve list comprised of players from a position of the owners choosing.
4. Moves made in regards to disabled players are recorded on the day they happen if done prior to noon EST. If after noon EST, it will be the next day.
5. Players who begin the season on a MLB roster but are later sent to the minors may be placed on the minors list if the owner so chooses. The maximum number of players on the minor league roster is 12.
6. There is no limit to the number of active to reserve moves a team can make during the season.
7. Lineups may be changed daily by noon EST.
XII. Minor Leagues
1. Following the major league portion of the auction, a six-round minor league draft will take place.
2. From July 9 – July 16 (or earlier) the midseason minor league draft will be held. The draft will be held on our league message boards. The draft order will be in reverse order of the standings as of July 9. The last place team will post a message with their selection, then the second to last place team will post a message with their selection, etc. The format is serpentine, and there are 3 rounds. Teams are allowed to hold up to 12 (6 from preseason draft + 3 from midseason + 3 through trades) until keeper lists are due before next season when the maximum will be reset to 6.
3. Only players who qualify as a rookie in MLB are eligible for the Minor league roster.
4. When a player is drafted in the minor league draft, his salary is $1 (does not count against salary cap) and the team that drafts him owns his rights.
5. Adds to the minor league roster are not permitted at any time. Only during the preseason draft or the midseason can minor league players be added to the minor league roster and be kept as “free” keepers.
6. If a MLB team activates a player drafted in the minor league draft, an owner may leave him on the minor league roster up to the end of the season. If the player appeared in more than 130 at bats or pitched more than 50 innings pitched he is not eligible to be kept on the minor league roster the following season.
7. If a minor league player is purchased at the auction or acquired through the free agent auction, he does not have “free” minor league keeper status and would count as one of the regular keepers (max 10) with salary/contracts.
8. Once a player is activated by his fantasy team, that player PERMANENTLY loses minor league keeper status and his $1 salary must fit under the expanded salary cap ($340). He may be placed on the minor league roster if his real MLB team sends him back to the minors but he may not be kept as one of the six minor league “free” keepers. He may only be kept as one of the regular keepers and salary/contracts apply.
9. Minor league players can be retained from season to season without an increase in salary and without a contract. There is no maximum number of seasons a minor league player can be kept as long as he doesn’t meet the criteria listed in 12.6. The salary of minor leaguers is $1 but doesn’t count against the salary cap. $1 is just for contract purposes.
XIII. Roster protection and contract extensions
1. From season to season, each team may retain between 0 and 10 players, not including minor leaguers. There is a limit of 6 minor leaguers that are kept from season to season.
2. The names of the players being protected must be sent to the entire league no later than midnight March 1st.
3. If a player is to be retained, the owner has three options for his next contract. The owner may retain a player for 1, 2 or 3 seasons. If the player is retained for one more year, his salary will be equal to the auction bid. If the player is retained for two more years, his salary will be equal to the auction bid + $5. If the player is retained for three more years, his salary will be equal to the auction bid + $10. Examples:
• Team A wishes to protect Jeff Kent for 1 more seasons. His 2004 salary was $17. Kent’s 2005 salary will be $17.
• Team A wishes to protect Jeff Kent for 2 more seasons. His 2004 salary was $17. Kent’s 2005 and 2006 salary will now be $22/season.
• Team A wishes to protect Jeff Kent for 3 more seasons. His 2004 salary was $17. Kent’s 2005, 2006, and 2007 salary will now be $27/season.
4. Once a contract extension expires on a protected player, that player is automatically re-entered into the free agent pool for the next auction. EXAMPLE: Team A kept Jeff Kent for only one additional season. In 2003 Kent’s salary was $1. For 2004 it was $1. Kent’s one year extension has now expired and he is automatically a free agent this season.
5. Contracts carry forward even when a player is traded. So, if team A trades away a player with 2 years remaining on his contract to team B, then team B will now retain that player with all his specified contractual obligations.
6. If a team releases a player not under a long term contract (i.e. won player at current season’s auction) during the season, the player’s salary still counts against the salary cap.
7. Cutting a player under a long-term contract will relieve a team of the future years on the contract. Teams will lose $5 of their salary cap the following season for each long-term contract that is broken.
8. Minor league players have no contracts and may be kept forever as long as they meet rookie status and are kept on the fantasy minor league roster. Once they are moved to the fantasy major league roster, all the usual contract rules apply. If the real major league team moves them back to their minor league roster, the fantasy team may do the same but contracts will apply.
9. Trades do not affect contract status of a player.
1. Added league name to 1.1
2. Added home runs to list of categories 7.1
1. Removed separate free agent auction budget and added expanded in season salary cap. (10.4)
2. Removed references to free agent salary not counting against salary cap. Replaced with free agent salary DOES count against the raised salary cap. (5.3)
3. Clarified free agent salary in 2.8
4. Clarified the number of minor league players allowed (12.7)
5. Added rule for minor league draft. If two teams have equal empty slots, the team that finished lower in the standings the previous season selects first (2.7)
6. Removed reference to executive council. (4.2)
7. Separated 12.7 into 12.7 and 12.8.
8. Added an example to clarify a minor league player’s free agent auction salary. 12.7
9. Moved 9.1 to 9.4 and changed it to allow trading before protected player lists are due instead of after.
10. Changed protected player list due date to March 1 instead of February 29. (13.2)
1. Clarified minor league salaries and added reference to mid season minor league draft. (5.2)
2. Changed free agent eligibility to include players on the DL and exclude minor league players. (10.1)
3. Added midseason draft. (12.2)
4. Changed to not allow minor league players to be acquired through the free agent auction and kept as free keepers. (12.5, 12.7, removed 12.8).
5. Changed references to 12.5, 12.6, and 12.7 to 12.6, 12.7, and 12.8.
1. Reformatted document.
2. Changed number of minor league players to 6-12. (1.1)
3. Removed “In the first year of the league, teams will compile a six man minor league roster” from 7.1. Sounded confusing.
4. Changed maximum minor league players to 12. (7.2)
5. Removed “or was on the major league roster for more than 45 days, he is not eligible to be kept on the minor league roster the following season.” (7.6). Most leagues don’t use this rule for simplicity.
1. Added “he is not eligible to be kept on the minor league roster the following season.” (7.6) Was accidentally removed.
2. Clarified 2.3 “All professional major and minor league players are eligible for the auction.”
3. Removed old 110% rule reference. (9.2)
4. Removed reference to free agent auction budget. (10.4)
5. Added “subject to normal free agent rules” to clarify. (11.1)
6. Clarified minor league player salaries when they are called up. (12.8)
7. Fixed conflicting contract rule (one year extension = auction bid). (13.4)
1. Removed 14th from the auction date. (2.2)
2. Added reference to rule 2.8 in 10.4. (free agent salary)
3. Revised 10.5. Removed previous rule about salary counting against a team’s salary cap after cutting a player until that player is picked up as a free agent. Added $5 salary fine for cutting players under long-term contracts.
4. Removed 10.6.
5. Removed “unless another team picks up the player in the current season.” (13.6)
6. Moved 10.5 to 13.7. 13.7 was removed (redundant old rule). 10.5 was moved because it made sense for it to be in the Contract section.
1. Added middle infielder, corner infielder, and one more pitcher to the roster. Reduced reserves by 1. Slightly reworded 1.1 to clarify. (1.1, 1.2, 2.1)
2. Changed website from cbssportsline.com to tqstats.com and reduced website fee to $99. (8.1)
1. Removed “Cutting a player does not relieve a team of his salary in the current season. The original team is responsible for his salary regardless if another team picks up the player as a free agent.” (13.7) This was already stated in 13.6.
2. Changed reserves from eight to seven to match what was changed previously. (11.3)
3. Changed to allow drops from the minor league roster during the season. (12.5)
4. Added reference to maximum number of players on the minor league roster. (11.5)
5. Added “/season” to salaries. (13.3)