I hope everyone is doing well and is staying safe. Hopefully we are on a road towards recovery now, but please remain careful and we will get through this together.
Very few leagues have disbanded this year and the support means we should make it through 2020. All I can say is: thank you so much. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the community being as great as it is, so again, thank you.
The 2020 MLB season is starting to take shape, so today I’d like to address how Ottoneu plans on handling the short season. Our guiding principle is that Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball is at its best when it creates the same kinds of decision-making facing real GMs, and I believe that is reflected in these rule updates.
Salary Inflation and Arbitration
Going into the 2020-21 offseason, there will be normal salary inflation and arbitration will be available across all leagues. This reflects that service time is accrued during this short season and that MLB teams will have to grapple with arbitration and free agency during their offseason. Salary inflation and arbitration also motivates player movement in Ottoneu and is essential to a fun offseason and auction draft ahead of the 2021 season. Any league can choose to not participate in arbitration as they see fit. As long as teams do not submit votes or arb dollars, the site will not apply arbitration.
During the 2020 season, players will be able to gain eligibility as normal - 10 games played or 5 games started at a position. However, players will not lose position eligibility over the course of this season. Going into the 2021 season, position eligibility will be based on 2020 eligibility and 2019 eligibility. Going into the 2022 season, we will revert to looking one season back instead of 2 seasons back.
MLB Players Opting Out
There is an open question under the MLB-MLBPA agreement regarding players opting out of playing this season. We will monitor this closely to see what kind of mechanism is implemented for these players. If possible, these players will result in an extra roster spot, like players placed on the 60-day IL. This will be dependent on us having access to reliable data, and I will update this as soon as possible.
Multiple Matchup-per-week H2H
H2H leagues will be heavily affected by the short season. In order to reduce the variance and address the shortness of the regular season for H2H leagues with playoffs this year, we will be adding the option to have 1, 2, or 4 matchups per week. Teams will only set one lineup, but if they have 2 or 4 matchups that lineup will go against 2 or 4 teams each week instead of having a single game. This option will be permanent and is not tied to the 2020 season. This option will be available to commissioners in H2H leagues this week.
Once we have a confirmed league schedule, we will assess if the August 31 trade deadline makes sense for this season or if it needs to be shifted. If the trade deadline falls towards the middle or back half of the overall schedule, it will not be changed. If it is in the first third of the schedule, it may be moved back.
The auction draft window is currently expanded to July 31. Once we have a finalized Opening Day for the 2020 MLB season, we will extend the draft window to two weeks past Opening Day.
I hope this gives a bit of clarity around what to expect and plan for this season. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, but I believe we have an opportunity for a very fun and exciting season if it can be pulled off, and most of all I’m excited that baseball may be back soon.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and thank you all so much for supporting Ottoneu Fantasy Sports.