Keeper Deadline Adjust if Lockout Occurs

Will the keeper deadline date be adjusted if a lockout happens and lasts into early next year?

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Just like 2020, I’m going to try to stay as flexible as possible with options to make this upcoming year as reasonable as possible for those of you playing fantasy baseball. I think it is very unlikely that the entire season is scrapped, but as we get closer to the keeper deadline I’ll make the call on if moving it makes sense and what date fits given the situation.


I’m bumping this to remind everyone that the baseball keeper deadline may be modified if the lockout isn’t resolved in the next 3 weeks. It still seems unlikely to me that the 2022 MLB season will entirely not happen, but we may be looking at a shortened season. If that is the case, the 2020 pandemic-shortened season is a good guide of what to expect.

Here is the thread if you need a refresher on how things went in 2020:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The main points as they pertain to you renewing your leagues:

  • As long as there is a lockout we will do our best to allow refunds, but refunding/canceling a league means that league will not be able to resume when MLB resumes.
  • If there is no 2022 season we will do our best to offer the option to roll over or refund the prize portion of our fees. If there is no 2022 season, Ottoneu will not pocket prize money. For leagues that want to continue, we will keep our standard administration fee in order to keep the lights on through 2022.

As a side note, unless the season is severely shortened, position eligibility rules will not be altered for the 2022 season.

I might be a little too optimistic but I believe that we won’t have a shortened season but may need to see a slightly delayed keeper deadline, to something like February 15 or so. I’ll update this thread in a couple of weeks based on what is going on then.


I’ve moved the keeper deadline from 11:59p ET on 1/31 to 11:59p ET on 2/15. This should be reflected on every league’s Tools page, where you can see the league calendar.


To answer a couple of questions I got in Slack:

  1. This change is only related to the current lockout and has no bearing on future keeper deadlines.
  2. This is not a final keeper deadline; I’ll continue to monitor the negotiations and see if a second delay makes sense towards the end of January.
  3. This does not affect renewal dates for Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball.
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Could we get a banner announcement on the homepage too? I’m afraid some owners won’t actually click through to the tools page and will miss it.

EDIT: Saw on Slack that the banner appears on the homepage when the deadline is <2 weeks away. Nevermind!

It’s a global announcement on every baseball page and I encourage everyone to post on their league message boards.

Is the goal to have the keeper deadline be after the lockout ends, or what is the general thinking? In other words, if the lockout isn’t lifted by Feb 15 then do we plan to extend again? Just curious why we decided to move the deadline back.

The goal of a keeper deadline is to force decisions to be made about your team. Generally, most FAs are signed by January 31 and a picture of how each MLB team is shaping up is coming into focus if not fully clear. This is important information to have in order to make decisions on who to keep rostered and who to send to the FA pool. None of this criteria would be met this January 31st with the lockout, so the deadline was delayed. This is what I meant by staying flexible in the earlier post.

I made the call to push the keeper deadline back because it is generally agreed that the end of this month is a soft deadline for the lockout to end in order to not miss revenue-generating events in MLB. If negotiations begin in earnest at the end of the month, I believe it would have been unreasonable to expect everyone to make keep/cut decisions without knowing where a fair number of MLB players will be playing in 2022.

I chose to only delay the deadline to February 15 rather than further out because I (perhaps foolishly) am optimistic that sometime next week the negotations will begin in earnest and ownership is very incentivized to make a deal so it may come together quickly in order to not miss revenue generating events.

If there is no movement by the end of the month, I will make a decision on whether or not the keeper deadline should be delayed further and by how much.


Hi @nivshah

Our league was geared up for an early auction, and we were targeting Friday February 4th. However, I see that setting the auction date in the commissioner tools only allows for days after the keeper deadline, which means starting on February 16th and beyond.

Is it the case that our ottoneu auction must always be after the ottoneu keeper deadline? Thanks,

Yes, auctions must always be after the keeper deadline. Another reason I only delayed the deadline a couple of weeks at first.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Rules-Not getting under the cap

Hey Niv, does this include first year leagues?

Nope! Brand new leagues can draft whenever. I think one just did yesterday.

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Given the small but meaningful amount of progress towards the end of a lockout and a new CBA, as of today I do not plan on moving this year’s keeper deadline from February 15, 2022. While I am not certain that Spring Training will be entirely spared, there is still a decent chance that Opening Day happens as scheduled. If that is the case, 6 weeks is a good pre-season draft window and any less time than that might make it hard for leagues to find time to draft.


Niv – I’m sure reading reading between the lines of the CBA negotiations and making decisions on the keeper deadline is a highly enjoyable activity for you :upside_down_face:, but any thoughts on the latest developments and whether the deadline might get pushed back more or if we’re sticking with the 15th? Thanks!

Sticking with the 15th. Locked.

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I could be mistaken, but can’t a league commish effectively set a later league-level keeper deadline by giving every team a round of penalty free cuts after the deadline?

The problem with pushing the keeper deadline back is that there are leagues that want to hold their auctions in the second half of February. Auctions for existing leagues can’t happen until after the keeper deadline.

Yep totally correct. In fact I think that is how some leagues handled 2020 and the delayed start to that season. So you are all welcome to make whatever judgment calls you want to make, but the global keeper deadline is February 15, 2022.

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Can you say more about the penalty-free cuts? I’m not familiar with how that works in this context. Am I understanding it correctly that if that is turned on for each team per the Commish Tools, they would be able to cut players after the draft without penalty, but they’d have to wait until after the draft to do cuts? In other words, turning P-F cuts on doesn’t mean that you can make cuts after the keeper deadline and before the draft, right?