Trading players with the express intent of cutting them

Hi Niv, we’re having a debate over in league 977 about a move that it seems like you’re describing here, where two teams traded with the intent to cut and then re-buy the play, effectively getting around the 30 day penalty.

A lot of the teams in the league are ok with this, but some of us feels like it undermines the 30 day penalty. As you’ve discussed above, this is a pretty important part of Ottoneu.

Is this something you’ve dealt with before? Should their be a mechanism to prevent this, or is this ok?


There was a long-ish conversation about this league in Slack this morning. Will let others take it up here if they want to.

My 2c is that it is cheesy (at best). If the agreement to cut the players had been made clear in the trade notes, then the league would be able to have a conversation about vetoing it. Without that disclosure you could argue its collusion.

That’s me speaking as commissioner of league 1.

Speaking as the person who makes sure the site works, end of the day its league discretion.

Is there additional context, or are you just really concerned they are trying to reacquire a player? They have to compete on waivers to require the player, I’m not seeing what is wrong.

FWIW, if I were in your league, I’d be lobbying people to unwind the trade.

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I’m largely concerned with this becoming a strategy for routinely avoiding the penalty imposed by the 30 day penalty. This example isn’t too bad, because those players may well be competitive at auction, but I think an example where the players are basically worthless is more compelling and problematic.

Say two teams have $20 pitchers who are done for the year. Usually they would be cut, and they would have a $10 hit for 30 days. Then they can reauction, cut them, and have a $5 hit.

With this strategy, you would each trade (2 days), then cut, then auction (2 days) your original player, then cut him again. So now you’re at $5 for the player after 4 days, instead of 30. Am I missing something on that?

To Niv’s point - I totally get that this may need to be dealt with within the league. Without the trade note or message board posting, it is, IMO, collusion, but if my league is fine with it, it is what it is.


This scenario presupposes 2 players that went for auction for $20 each and no one else in your league wants at half that price. Which is to say: either those players are GROSSLY overpaid or someone will break this up via bidding in one of the 48 hour auctions.

As a commisioner, I would make sure everyone in the league had given their opinion on this if I could reach them in the 48 hours. Additionally, I would ensure that both teams followed through with what they wrote on the the note. If there was no note and this went down, I would take a league vote on reversing it.
I as a league mate and not a commish, dont see an issue with this, if they left a note with their intentions, as it also requires two teams that have cuttable assets that they like more than the asset they are trading for, that they now know the other teams wants to cut and they could just wait to bid on themselves. And, like Leif said, they still have to win the player in auction, giving every other team an opportunity at said players.


That makes sense, and yes, maybe this never really becomes an issue because other teams can claim or bid on the player if they want.

I could see there being a rule that you cannot bid on a player that you have owned in the last 30 days. But that might create more issues than it solves.

Being upfront with the trade note and having the league vote on the trade may well be the best solution.


IMO - If you want to make it a rule, that could be a league specific rule that the commish could enforce. But I dont think that any rule is being broken or skirted around as set forth in the ottoneu ruleset that would require any site changes to be made.

I went through and read the message board posts on this reading the arguments. I think first off, something like this needs to be written in the comments of the trade. That’s essential and lets everyone know what is happening. Otherwise I think it can be considered collusion.

I’ve done a lot of creative trades and pushed the boundary on things like this. But I think the issue here stems from the fact that you have 2 teams working together to reduce cap penalties for each other. I agree that breaks the system because now it can be endless once two teams are working together. If Team A is willing to give up something to get something like this done and searches for the best deal around the league to have someone do that, I see no issue with that. The owner is then giving up something to get the right to rebid on Chris Sale. But once two teams are getting a quid-pro-quo benefit, then I think it’s crossing the line because there really is no limit there to how far that could go.

So I agree that this trade should be reversed. And the rule should be put in place that A) All trades that include cutting/auctioning players as a condition of the trade are clearly stated in the notes so the league can vote to veto it before it goes through. And then, either as a rule or not, the point should be made that quid-pro-quo arrangements are not allowed in any way…


If you were interested in the resolution of this, here was the final league decision, after the trade was undone. Essentially, the majority of owners were either ok with the move or did not respond, and the commissioner made this rule:

“It is legal to trade players with the sole intention of cutting them for salary cap purposes. Teams are also allowed to trade players recently acquired via auction back to the team that has cut that player. These deals must benefit both teams and it must be clear that each team is acting in their best interest. As a courtesy, but not required, please note this in the trade”

A post was merged into an existing topic: Accidental illegal roster