Cracking Down On Illegal Lineups in 2017


What do you mean by instantly restock? You mean sell off those expensive players to other teams around the league?

That isn’t really automatic is it? Good owners should recognize the clock is on their side.


I think that if this is an issue that seems to be happening in as many leagues as you guys make it sound, so much so that it needs tinkering, this could be a simple fix:

You can’t really stop guys from starting auctions two days before the last day, right? Keep the “You have to cut page” up until they go legal even after the season ends, and all the way until arbitration starts two weeks later. That will give the commish time to enforce the cuts. A commish shouldn’t have to be prepared to deal with a guy loading up 90 guys, I agree with that, but just make the owner make cuts before arbitration. If somebody wants to get guys and have inflation happen to those pick ups, that seems fair enough to me. Whoever is loading up on $1 prospects, will be loading up on $2 prospects, and veterans will get the $2 hit anyway…

What do you guys think?


Yeah It’s pretty automatic in your run of the mill league. There are always buyers for expensive players in the offseason. We all have seen the horrible trades that happened throughout the year in the trade feed, and the offseason isn’t any different. It’s obviously caused mainly by poor owners and the people who dont understand that keeping or trading for an upper-tier player at $25+ normally isn’t a good thing.


For example with this team:

I’ll have 8 players at $20+ and 3 at $45+ before the +$2. I only have $444 in salary. 6 of them will be overpriced, but I bet I can trade all 6 of them and get good cheap keepers back. In reality, no one should really have much interest in trading anything good for any of them. There are teams everywhere that will have $600+ and probably 12-20 players at $20 who have no business being kept, yet people will give up talent for those players and the cycle will repeat itself every year because they can buy stars cheap early and recycle in the offseason if needed.

If I know that I have to be under $400 by the time offseason trading comes around, I’m going to think twice about playing that game, and that will keep more people interested and in contention. That fixes a lot of inactivity, abandoned teams, and people who quit the game altogether because they dont feel like they have a chance to win.


I don’t think it makes sense to put in a rule to try to stop people from doing something dumb. If you have players who are not worth their salary, we don’t need a rule to make you cut them, people just need to make smarter decisions.


during a side conversation, I realized there was one thing that I think has been unclear here, particularly to those who are arguing the current situation does not need changing. ottoneu is, in large part, a game of market economics. When players are added via auction or waiver claims, the way that their salaries are constrained to fit the market economics of the game is two-fold:

  1. They are kept low by the $400 salary cap and the need to find loans, cuts, etc., if you want to create cap space
  2. They are kept high by the scarcity of roster spots and the open competition to pay players via auction

These two factors combine to set the market for players and to create the constraints in which the game is played.

In the off-season, those constraints are removed, but only temporarily and only because auctions do not exist - the inability for a player to have his salary set in December means that there is no need for any constraints on the market economics. If I could start an auction, like we do in-season, during the off-season, we would need to keep a cap in place.This effectively divides the year into two periods:

  1. The period during which a player’s salary can be set, either via pre-season auction, in-season 48 hour auctions, or waiver claims, which we basically refer to as in-season and runs from 2/1 through the end of the regular season.
  2. The period during which a player’s salary can NOT be set - it can be erased (via cut) or maintained (via keep or trade) but it cannot be set, which we basically refer to ass the off-season and which runs from the end of the regular season through 1/31.

During that first period, the caps and limits (and therefore the underlying market economics) are enforced by blocking non-compliant teams from participating in the league - you cannot set lineups, bid in auctions, offer or accept trades, make waiver claims, etc. This is a pretty solid enforcement because no matter where you are in the standings, the inability to improve your lineup/roster (either for this year or next) is a big penalty. As a result, we rarely see situations where owners flaunt the rules for extended periods of time. It happens, of course, but it is rarely beneficial to the owner to do so.

During the second period, there is no enforcement, as there are no caps/limits.

The problem is that there is a grey area - and it is not grey in the rules but it is in the ENFORCEMENT of the rules. The period of time starting roughly the last week of the regular season through whenever the league makes it’s last cuts before the off-season starts, player salaries can be set via auction or waiver claim, and therefore the salary cap and roster limits need to (and do) exist in order to protect the market economics of ottoneu, HOWEVER, there is no enforcement. Because by this time, you can set your bids, lineup, and waiver claims and there is little lost if you cannot change those.

This loophole in the enforcement of the rules is what needs to be closed up. We need to avoid a situation in which the market economics of ottoneu cease to exist because there is no enforcement of caps/roster limits, but owners have the ability to set player salaries.

I am not going to get into how I recommend we do that here (I have stated it repeatedly above, I believe) but I thought this might help shed some light on what (at least for me) the issue is. I hope it helps and was not just a waste of (digital) hot air.


Enforcing some sort of salary limit at only the beginning of the trade season seems to be the only way that i can think of to give all 12 teams the opportunity to compete every year. No one wants to go into an offseason with absolutely zero chance of winning anything in the upcoming year and the lack of parity and activity is why people quit playing . A salary cap is enforced throughout the year and loans disappear when the season ends, so why should we be able to carry $401+ into the offeason trade period? The teams over $400 are carrying an illegal roster, but people are worried about teams carrying 41 players into the offseason instead of $500-800 in salary. Maybe you make people cut down to $450-$500 to account for arbitration. I haven’t seen any counterpoint that shows how this would be a bad thing for every single league.


Don’t know if this has already been offered up, but how about an expansion of rosters/salary cap from Day 1 of the offseason to the keeper deadline, from 40/400 to 60/600?


@therick since you wanted a response. It just seems like a winners tax that doesn’t need to exist. Loans are fine in season, and you still have to get below the salary cap by the cut deadline, but why would you need to get below some amount (if your roster was already legal at year end). Seems like penalizing a winning team because you want to protect league mates from their own poor choices. If a team goes up to $800 in salary, it’s really simple – just don’t trade with him right?

I think what’s more important is educating teams on why you don’t make those trades, than saying “we don’t trust teams to make decent choices and not let you out of your $800 in salary, so we’re forcing you to prematurely cut to save them.” I’d rather educate teams on why trades are bad than enforce a rule to not let them learn.


My preferred solution to the issue of teams going in to the off season with rosters exceeding 40/400 would be to add in a Rule 5 Draft analogue. This would certainly add complexity, but I think could solve the problem.

The draft could be set to take place the same week as the real Rule 5 draft so that there are still a few weeks to make trades beforehand.

Teams would be able to “protect” up to a maximum of 40 players and $400 salary. Anyone rostered but not protected would be eligible for the draft.

Teams would only be able to make draft picks if they had an open spot on their roster, and if the pick did not take them over the $400 cap.

After every round, players would be able to add protection to one of the undrafted Rule 5 eligible players on their roster.


A post was split to a new topic: MLB 60-Day DL


I am the owner of this team. My mistake was that I didn’t read the rules closely enough to recognize that it was a violation of the rules (I. Rosters, section c. “c. At no time should a team willingly go over roster and salary cap limits. If a team knowingly does this, they will face penalties at the discretion of their league’s commissioner.”) I thought I was being very clever, and wondered why other owners hadn’t thought to do it.


When one of the other owners complained, and pointed me towards the rule I was violating, I dropped down to the legal limit (factoring in 60-day DL players) as soon as possible. Our commish and the rest of the league accepted my apology and no further action was taken. I wasn’t punished or kicked out of the league, although the case could be made that I should have been. In the long run, none of the players I acquired in that final day push were worth keeping. The best prospects had already been claimed. So it didn’t give me any practical advantage. We worked it out with a short discussion.