This pool is now getting written rules. I was always hoping that this wouldn't be needed, but I guess there are a lot of technical and moral issues that should be addressed, and having somewhere to go when in doubt is something I guess has been much needed.
These rules aren't here to single out anyone, or any one event. The fact that they are coming after our first bout of controversy is so that this kind of thing doesn't happen.
I can't possibly think of every rule this pool needs right this minute as I am making the page, so I will be updating this page as we go, and your input is welcome....
The roster should always meet the following requirements:
Must have at least 1 player that qualifies for each position. 1 player can qualify at more than 1 position, but cannot occupy 2 positions at the same time. For a player to qualify at a position, he has to have appeared a minimum of 1 game during the current or previous season. The only exception to this rule is for the period between the beginning of the MLB Playoffs and the conclusion of Free Agent Day. Seeing that Free Agent Day is the "ultimate" chance to fill your roster spots and meet qualifying positions, it gives a little more freedom to allow everyone to make trades during the off season.
Roster's total salary should never exceed the amount available for that team. The minimum a team can spend on it's entire roster is $3,750,000, meaning every position is filled with a player that can fill the requirements, and is making the league minimum of $250,000.
Players can be traded for anything that is part of the pool. You can trade for other players, minor leaguers, or cash. Keep in mind that the cash received in a trade counts only for the term specified in the deal. At the end of the agreed term, that cash is then sent back to the original team. Update Sept 30, 2001: This will now be inforced to include deals including no-bids. There must be at least 1 minor leaguer or major leaguer coming from each team involved in a trade that includes no-bids.
No Trade for 1 Year: Any player traded cannot be traded back to the original team it was traded from for the period of a full season. To better clarify this rule, the players involved have to play at least 1 full season away from the original team before it can return to that team. The involved players can be traded to any other teams in the pool, but the original team cannot trade for that player until that player has played a full season away from that team. A full season is meant as a calendar season, meaning from March to October. If a player is traded in July, the remaining parts of that season do not count towards the season. This ruling changes somewhat when dealing with a Free Agent. A free Agent acquired at the deadline cannot be traded back to the team he had come from, but that team is allowed to make a bid for that player. If that player is then signed by someone other than the team that originally traded that player away, the "No-Trade for 1 Year" rule applies.
Future Considerations: Trading for Future Considerations is fully allowed. Anytime a trade involving Future Considerations happens, the terms of the Future Considerations has to be revealed. Future Considerations can be the choice of an additional player(s) either from the major or minor league rosters. Where the player is coming from has to be announced (majors or minors), and this part of the deal has to be finalized before the trading deadline of the current year. For off-season trades, that means you have pretty much the whole year to decide who you want. Failure to finalize this part of the deal by the deadline will mean that the player that had that consideration simply loses that aspect of the trade, and the trade stays as announced.
Trading deadline: Update Sept 30, 2001: The trading deadline will now be permanently set. Starting with the 2002 season, the trading deadline for the pool will be the 2nd Saturday of August, 10:00 PM. This can give anywhere from 8 to 14 days after the MLB deadline. This deadline was previously announced at some point during the season, from now on, there is a set date that will always fall on a weekend, hopefully at a time where most of us will be available
Trades involving cash: (Update Sept 30, 2001:) 1 team cannot receive more than $2,000,000 per season from all teams combined. 1 team cannot send more than $1,000,000 to other teams combined. Money can only flow down in the standings, meaning a lower place team cannot send money to a team above them in the standings, latest standings available at the time of the deal will determine if the money can be traded. Money included in these trades can only be for the current season, the money does not carry to the next season.
Minor Leaguers: When calling up a minor leaguer, he is automatically signed to a 3-year deal, worth $250,000 per year. If one of your minor leaguers wins the Rookie of the Year Award, his salary is automatically upped to $1,000,000 per year and your salary cap increases by $250,000, but only if called up. A player cannot be called up after the deadline. Once a player qualifies to be called up, he is automatically added to your roster. This will happen during the off-season, so it should give you plenty of time to free up roster spots if needed. For a minor leaguer to qualify, he has to be as good, or better than the average player for that position. In the case of positions that require more than 1 player to fill (outfield, pitching) the average of the lowest position is the one used. If a minor leaguer qualifies at more than 1 position, and through 1 of those positions, he qualifies to be called up, he gets called up, even if that position is not his primary position. A player does not qualify to belong in your minor leagues only by being drafted. To qualify, that player has to have been drafted, and signed to that team. A drafted player that goes unsigned then re-enters the draft 1 year later if he chooses to pursue a baseball career. Players involved in minor league deals at the MLB level will still belong to the team that drafted and signed them. Update Sept 30, 2001: If a player wins ROY, but does not meet the requirements to be called up, it's your choice to call this player up, but the following applies: 1) The player has to be on a team's roster on Opening Day for the $250,000 ROY bonus to be awarded. If he isn't called up before then, the bonus is lost, and the player may then be called up for the $250,000/3 year deal.
Restricted Free Agents: A Restricted Free Agent is a player whose contract has expired, but the rights belong to someone in the pool. Everyone is allowed to bid on this player, even the original owner. All bids are made secretly. When revealed, the highest bidder then has his bid reviewed by the player's owner. The owner can decide whether to match that bid, or pass on that player, and take compensation in his place. Compensation is in the form of a minor leaguer. If the original owner's secret bid is the highest of the secret bids, then he keeps that player. Original owners have a minimum to which they can re-sign a player. A player re-signed by the original owner cannot get more than a 20% pay cut based on his previous contract. Anyone else can bid any amounts they wish to bid, but for the owner to keep that player by matching, he must obey the 20% rule. The lowest anyone can bid on a Restricted Free Agent is $250,000. Update Sept 30, 2001: The only time a contract can be offered to a player is during the silent bid period. If a player gets called for bids, and no one bids, that's it, he is gone. Even if he your player, your only chance to give this player a new contract is through the silent bid. No bids means no contract. Player can't be recalled in the same year to be bid on again. As well, you do not have to make an offer for any players that you call for bidding.
Unrestricted Free Agents: A player that has never been in the pool, or been away from the pool for the minimum of 1 full season, does not qualify for Rookie of the Year (meaning minimum 131 at bats or 71 innings pitched, for his career) qualifies. The minimum bid for such players is $500,000 per year. Anyone in the pool is allowed to bid for the rights to those players, as often as they wish to. There will be no list made for you owners to search for players. You can research your own lists. if you want to share your findings, that is up to you. Up to this point, I've always shared my findings, this has now changed. Update Sept 30, 2001: I always though the Rookie rule was as above. It is slightly different. A player is considered a Rookie under 3 conditions. If one of these is broken, then the player is no longer considered a Rookie: 130 At Bats or less, 50 Innings Pitched or less, 45 days on a major league roster during the 25-man limit (i.e., before September 1). Time in military service or on the disabled list does not count against this limit. We can't easily keep track of the 3rd condition, so we will ignore this one, but the 130/50 numbers will be used. This means in order to sign a UFA, a player needs to have 131 or more at bats, 50.1 or more Innings Pitched, and/or be over the age of 28. If a player is over 28, and doesn't have the 130/50 numbers beaten, he is still considered a Rookie, and is unavailable. The idea of this rule is that Rookies are not available to be signed.
NEW for 2002: Placing players on waivers: Every team will now have the option to place a player on waivers, as long as that player was on your roster since the beginning of the season. Once a player has been placed on waivers, any team can claim that player. A player placed on waivers doesn't occupy a roster spot, but you still have to pay the salary until he becomes a Free Agent or is picked up by someone else. A player placed on waivers can never be removed from waivers until someone claims him, and can never return to a team that has placed him on waivers (this includes signing as a FA or being traded back). Once a waived player has been picked up, another player can be placed on waivers by the team that lost the player.
New for 2002: Salary Cap Max/Min: The most a team can ever get their team to is $45,000,000. The lowest a team can go to is $40,000,000. This means that no team will be awarded bonuses once they reach $45,000,000, and no team will lose money once they hit $40,000,000.
Call Up Rule
Seeing this is a new rule that is being implemented for the end of this season, just thought that we should all go over it again.
Players from your minors can be called at any time by you, as long as it's done before the deadline, you have sufficient funds to pay that player, and have an open roster spot for that player. The main 3 reasons for wanting to do this could be that the player is needed to fill a roster spot left vacant, the player can actually help your team, or you know the player will get the call at the end of the season for the next 3 seasons, and that player, although he qualifies, does not figure as part of your future plans. Calling him early gets those 3 seasons done a little faster.
Once the season is over, winner declared, I will be going over the players that are playing for MLB teams that have the potential to be called up. The season's final stats will be used to determine the what the average mark per position is. The average will be based on each team's top player for that position. Once a player has counted at a position, he does not get counted again for another position. If the prospect is an outfielder, then aeach team's 3rd outfielder is the player taken into consideration to make the average. For starting pitching, we'll use each team's 5th starter, and for relievers, we will use the 2nd reliever stats. Update Sept 30, 2001: The age used for the callups will be the age as of the 1st day of the offseason. If a player turns 28 at any point after that during the offseason, he is still called up.
There will be no arguing who gets called up. For example, say a starting pitcher from Collin's team (we'll call him Sal Rydemp) was at least as good as the average 5th starter in the pool, he gets the call. If in the off-season, he gets arm surgery, and will miss time, he's still on the roster. Once he makes the team, he's there to stay. Same if he gets demoted the following year, or doesn't make the cut out of spring training. Once he makes it, he's in. I know it will be a pain, but it has to be enforced. There will be no minimum number of games, or at bats, or innings pitched required to qualify. If the player plays the first half, but the 2nd is hurt, or in the minors, or on the bench, but at season's end, he does meet qualifications, he qualifies. Once a player gets called up, he's no different that any other players that were there before. If those other players get hurt, or play so bad the minors is the only place they get to play, or get sent to Japan, you are stuck with them. Because they came from your minors, it makes no difference. It could happen to you and me, so please don't complain about it. Of course, if you have a better idea, let us know.
Keep in mind that the Pool only has a small percentage of players that are actually in the majors....Our average 5th starter is probably as good as the MLB's average #3 starter. Same thing applies for our outfielders. As far as relievers go, MLB teams, for the most part, go with 1 closer. Our pool needs 2 closers, so we wil base the average on closer #2 to get our average.
As far as this rule goes, just need to remember this. He Gets the Points, He Gets the Call
Added - Feb 2/99 - Starting with the 2000 Season, The age limit for someone to still qualify as your Minor League Property will be 27 years of age. As long as a player is 27 or younger on Opening Day, he qualifies. Update Sept 30, 2001: We have been going with 28 for the last couple o fyears, and this will stick. The day of a player's 28th birthday, this player is no longer property of anyone's farm system.
Internet - Pool Page
Update Sept 30, 2001:
Everyone should be getting used to www.poolsters.on.ca by now. I'll work on getting this developed to the point where it will be regularly updated and informative.
Everyone has a @poolsters.on.ca addresss.
Trades should be sent to email@example.com. The Subject line should include: TRADE: Team A & Team B. The reason I ask for this is that this address automatically sends an e-mail to all owners, and also automatically stores this where I can easily search for trades later on.
General comments/questions for everyone should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . Everyone will get a copy of this.