Drawing from discussion in the proposed lottery tie-breaker thread from yesterday (and keeping with the spirit of the Ottoneu Community as an open forum working toward a better fantasy baseball platform, albeit at the risk of drawing any more ire), I suggest tweaking the in-season FA process so that teams which nominate a Free Agent but do not enter a bid on the player would only be awarded the player (at $1) if no other team bids in the auction. If at least one other team bids on the player while the nominating team fails to enter a bid, then the nominating team would not factor in any $1 tie-break process.
The purpose of this suggestion would be to tie-up the loose end that allows first place teams to “up-bid” FA auctions without impunity. As any team could start an auction without placing a bid, the risk of being “stuck” with a $1 FA “up-bid” would be present with every auction. However, because the nominating team would still be “awarded” the player if no other team placed a bid, the present rules that keep teams from over-nominating players would remain in place. Presently, teams are able to use a similar strategy to nominate players without intending to place a bid because they know other teams will use up resources on the player/s; this suggestion would allow teams to play off of that strategy on the other end of the cost spectrum, and would keep teams at the top of the standings honest when choosing to place any $1 bid on a player they could end up winning.
This is meant to be a clean “universal” fix to what has been called a “broken” and “controversial” issue in the game design, and is proposed as an alternative to the ‘lottery’ setting introduced in the other thread. The reasons why I believe it would be a more effective fix than a lottery system would be that it A) maintains a level of strategy within FA auctions that would be removed by a lottery system, B) maintains a consistently true method for determining tie-breakers (the current way, daily standings placement) rather than randomizing tie-breakers that could result in competitively unbalanced player claims, and C) keeps the ambiguous and arbitrary process of determining the weighted odds for any lottery system out of the autonomous Ottoneu design. It’s also a way to “fix” the problem for all leagues, rather than introducing a separate setting which could be problematic in its integration into already established leagues (such as the ones I’ve been paying for and wouldn’t wish to see switch to a lottery tie-break process) and confusing for new players and Commissioner’s starting new leagues.
On A Philosophical Note…
…and not at all with the intention of being difficult or disrespectful but to emphasize my point from the other thread- I see the crux of this issue as a fundamental misperception of Ottoneu’s economic setup.
The argument for a lottery system is that it better fits a Vickrey style auction for in-season FA’s; while true, I suggest that Ottoneu’s in-season economic structure is not designed for true market value price discovery. Because all players have a minimum roster cost of one-half their “salary” when released, the in-season economic system is risk-centric where the risk is in using budget and roster space resources with every add/cut of any player over the course of the season. With regards to the in-season economic design of the game, both $1 and $2 Free Agent buys have the same economic impact because both players carry a $1 minimum roster cost for the rest of the year if they are released and remain unclaimed by another team.
If the economic system was designed for the true market value price discovery of in-season FA’s, then players would not carry a cost against the team’s roster/budget resources when released (because any league’s collective resources to make fair value bids on players continually changes in the time between the draft and final day of the season). A $2 FA buy only has a fair market value difference over a $1 buy after the season, when the player’s base cost is used to add the minimum inflation and arbitration cost increases, however this is part of an entirely separate off-season economic design that includes a universal cost inflation process and does not require owners to stay within roster/budget constraints until the Keeper Deadline (and therefore a player’s potential “Keeper cost” next year, even if based on his “FA cost” this year, has an entirely different market valuation than his FA cost this year).
So- as it relates to the game’s in-season economic design- “curve-fitting” the tie-breaker process because of $1/$2 “up-bids” is entirely unnecessary, and characterizing teams that place $1 bids with the intention of bidding a player up to $2 as having a negative impact on the league’s economy is not only dangerous but it’s also entirely false. Relative to the game’s in-season (post-draft) “risk-centric” economic design, $1/$2 FA up-bids have zero budget/roster difference; and relative to the off-season (pre-draft) “fair value” cost inflation economic design, $1/$2 FA up-bids have a largely negligible difference. The market forces that keep the FA process a part of the in-season strategy of the game with $1/$2 up-bids (which work to reward the owners who best manage their roster/budget resources throughout the year, whether or not they even did the “up-bidding”) ought to be embraced as a useful and necessary competitive feature rather than vilified as some ill-intentioned and Vickrey-violating practice.
A strategic in-season FA process is at the heart of any competitively engaged league. The suggestion here both enhances Ottoneu’s present in-season FA strategy plays and also closes the “loophole” that allows first-place teams to “up-bid without impunity” without having to resort to a less-strategic and more problematic lottery system that is (arguably) against the spirit of Ottoneu in nature. And I apologize if this post is not looked upon favorably among those who matter.