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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tenth Thread Franchise Player Tag(s)

I think we should come up with a system to help protect the guy who tried to better his team by sacrificing his team during the last season, only to see the fruits of his efforts traded to the AL without any sort of compensation. I would like to propose a Franchise Tag system whereby a team can tag certain players as their “cornerstones” and if he is traded in the offseason, the team who lost the player would get the guy who came over.

I would be open to ANY sort of compromise on this idea from limiting it to teams out of the money spots to all teams. I would also be open to having bottom four teams able to claim 2 or more players, while others only have access to 1. Let’s discuss some ideas to make this fair.

Only Four teams have said this is a bad idea, with the rest either not having responded or for some sort of resolution as they agree it is a problem. Please don’t just shoot this down. This IS a problem, and by limiting it to only a couple of guys, we could cut down on inequities that people might be afraid of occurring. For example, I highly doubt that if Low Life had Bottenfield signed a few years back, he would have made him his franchise guy, thereby getting Edmonds (I realize that happened post draft and isn’t relevant, but we drafted early that year). This would more than likely be limited to teams losing Miguel Cabrera, Phil Nevin, Criag Wilson, Chris Carpenter, Todd Walker, Corey Patterson, Morgan Ensberg, Armando Benitez (almost happened by the way—how bad would that trade have been then?), Carlos Zambrano, Johnny Estrada, David Wright, or Marcus Giles of the world…..


1. "This is a POTENTIAL problem." (A bit of editing.) Nobody has named a past problem of this kind.

2. Conflicts with one of the hallmarks of BU since its inception; the desire for simple, un-clutterred rules.

3. Teams that tank and trade away their team should not be encouraged further.

4. Outcomes in life are not always "fair" and neither are they in BU.
The concept of a franchise tag is plausible. However, the rules have to be the same whether a team finished in the money or out of the money. Having two sets of rules is too complicated and unnecessary. I would be in favor of limiting the franchise tag to two players per team.
How many times is this thread going to re-appear? Judging from all the previous comments on this issue, I would think that the vote is a resounding NO.
I'm not entirely sure what brought on Stosh's question. This issue has not adequately been discussed, nor has it been resolved. So far teh most vocal teams against this idea have been Cooney and Stosh, while others have stated that a system of compensation might not be such a bad idea. Currently, the Doorights, Wobblies, Ramrods, and possibly Mudhens and Shaggers would support such a system if it was worded in such a way that would be acceptable. Raj's post above indicates he might not be opposed to this either.

The point is, that in the blog or email system, I don't believe an adequate diuscussion of this topic is taking place. I also believe, that on a phone conversation with Stosh, under the right circumstance, you might go along with it as well. We need to figure out what a good system would be, and then submit a proposal, and then vote on it.

Question, for those that are opposed to this notion, why are you so strongly against it? Doesn't it seem fair? How is losing one of your cornerstone players that you traded for fair? I know, sometimes life doles out sacks of shit, right?
From the previous thread.
Bambinos - "I have to go along with keeping the rule the way it is."

Low Life - "I haven't heard a good reason to change this rule. The options are too complicated and have way too many variables. I would keep it as it is - tough luck. There is no crying in baseball !!!"

Mudhens - "I really don't see that protecting one player ( or two if you are a cellar dweller )will really come into play that often. I don't really like this idea so I would vote to leave the rule as is."

Combine these three comments with previous nos from steifels, islanders, rajmaballs, awobs makes 7 against. Obviously these are just comments on the blog and not official votes, but it seems that the league has spoken.

I vote for no change. However, I wouldn't be upset if the league favored a very minimal protection policy, such as reserve one person each team.
Beat a dead horse dept.

Bob, can you respond to my request to cite an example that this rule is intended to rectify. If you can't think of one, can you say so.

Blog land can be frustrating. We can all comment, but sometimes it feels that no one is reading or considering each others ideas. I see where Dudley summed up the second thread and asked for feedback, but will anyone respond?
The "league" may have posted those commnets, however, in my conversations with teams, they aren't steadfast against the idea. Raj, recently said he would be ok with something, and the Mudhens told me he could go along with the idea as well. The my count, Ramrods, Humungous, Doorights, Wobblies, Rajmaballs, Shaggers, and Mudhens wouldn't oppose such a measure. That would make 7 teams, which, could theorically cvote in favor of such a measure.

In response to Cooney's request to provide an example, I am fairly certain that players move to the AL via trades every season. I suppose if I had all the info at my fingertips, it would be easy to cite example after example. It might not be the Albert Pujols' of the world, but it hurts teams nonetheless.

This goes to prove my point about this cyberspace conversation. The Mudhens may post a commnet, but when you have live verbal discussion, and explain it better, opinions can change. That is why this hasn't been put to bed.

I still haven't heard a good reason not to do it. I can't for the life of me figure out how you get a guy if he comes to the NL during the season, but if you lose one of your SIGNED guys, you get nothing. THis makes no sense to me. I know about the draft day value and all, but it still doesn't make sense. Opening it up to all players, wouldn't make sense either. That is why I think the franchise player or two is a good plan.

If you are constantly a buyer during the season (going for the gold), I could see where you would be against such a plan. The reality is that sometimes you find yourself in the throws of a miserable season, and the only salvation is to build for the future. You shouldn't have that stripped away, when you can't control it...
Mike asked me to cite examples of players being traded in the offseason which affected BU teams, Here is a sampling from 2003:

1) Kevin Brown to the Yankees for Jeff Weaver and Y. Brazoban (I believe the last time Brown was drafted he was at a very good price. I would have potentially made him a franchise player)

2) Curt Schilling to Boston for Casey Fossum and others

3) Joe Nathan to the Twins for AJ Pierzynski

4) JD Drew to the Braves for Jason Marquis (Granted this was inter NL, but say it wasn't?)

5) J Uribe to the White Sox for Aaron Miles (perhaps if Uribe was a Colorado stud, the trade wouldn't have happened)

6) Mark Kotsay to the A's for Terrance Long and Ramon Hernandez (Losing Kotsay had to suck)

Other players who were traded in 2003's offseason included Richie Sexson and Billy Wagner. These are some pretty big names, and it is not out of the relm of possibilty that they could have been signed at cheap BU prices. If you had Sexson at 17 say, that would hurt a lot.

I could dig through 2002 and 2001 and find more examples I am sure...

Please support this issue. One or two franchise players won't kill the teams that hate it, and it will help soften the blow to the teams it affects...
Rebuttal: (last BU contract for players traded away, next BU contract for players entering NL in parenthesis)

1. Brown last played at 43 for Weaver (13) and Brazoban (FA)
2. Schilling (38) for Fossum (FA)
3. Nathan (FA) for Pierzynski (3)
4. Kotsay (12) for Hernandez (1) and Long (FA)
5. Drew (39) for Marquis (5), Wainright (1)
6. Uribe (15!) for Miles (1)

In all these examples the traded player was worth far more than what came back in return. If Brown was your franchise guy do you pay Weaver and Brazoban 43 between them? How fair is that? Do you get an option, thereby transferring more power to the BU owner?

In the Cruz and Haren examples this year it was the opposite. BU teams would protect cheap prospects in the hopes of hitting the lottery, not established stars. In any event, rarely do trades in the off season contain equal value in BU terms.

Bob, I'm asking for an example of a grave injustice when a BU "impact" player was traded in his prime playing on an undervalued contract. Giles this year would have counted.

What you are trying to ameliorate is the loss of the "undervalued" portion of a BU player. If Giles is "worth" 25 and signed at 1, then he is 24 undervalued. That's what you lose out on. This number has very little bearing on what he is traded for. Your proposed remedies have little or no relation to this "undervalued" portion. I think we as a league should be very careful when considering new rules, making sure they address the problem and that they don't introduce more variables that are potentially worse than the problem. I think the burden is on the proponent of the proposed rule to demonstrate the problem clearly by citing actual grievances and how under the proposed rule those grievences would be fixed.
Here is one possible sollution to the "proctecting a player" issue:

At the end of each season each team can designate one guy their franchise player. That would last for only one off-season and if you traded that player to another team, the "franchise" tag would expire.

The idea here is to allow teams to protect a guy you traded your whole team away for - but not to increase that players value or allow someone to collect a whole slew of "proctected" players. If you trade away your team to get a M. Giles and then decide to make another trade and move Giles - then you would lose the protection. Doing it this way would be straightforward and simple and would only give you protection during the off-season.


I think we should try and bring this and any other outstanding issues to closure if possible. Should we revote?
I don't think there has ever been a vote on this. Everyone has given comments that can be sonstrued for/against this new rule but I don't feel there has ever been a vote. I know I have not voted.
More thoughts.
This is beginning to look like one team adamantly for a new rule (Rammrods) and one team adamantly against (Islanders) with every other team leaning slightly one way or another or completely on the fence. How many people actually care strongly one way or another? If the rest of the league really doesn't care much either way, should we even be voting on this?
More thoughts again.
I think the Islanders are correct in voicing concerns that there is much more of a chance of a team "winning the lottery" and unfairly receiving a lopsided trade in their favor as opposed to losing a franchise player.

Think about it. Most Bu teams will consider their franchise player a "rookie" they signed very cheap that turns out to be great. Most of these "rookies" are also signed cheap by the NL team and not elgible for arbitration/free agency. NL teams never trade those guys as they are their "franchise" as well.

So, reserving a franchise player will actually result in more lottery wins than in BU teams actually losing a franchise player.

Thinking this way, I might not have designated my franchise player as Cabrera. Sure, he is the best value on my team but I know the Marlins aren't going to ship him anywhere until he becomes arbitration/free agent elgible. So, maybe I designate Juan Cruz as franchise (a potential starting pitcher at 2). I then would have Won the lottery.
Just one more thought.

If we do end up with a new rule such as what is currently being discussed, I would want to see an additional change. BU teams should definitely have to designate the player at the beginning og the season. The proposed ruling is already too lenient towards BU teams, why make it any easier. Would the Ramrods have actually designated Pujols as their franchise player prior to the guy actually playing in the Majors?
My vote.

I think I would have to vote NO on any franchise player rule change. There is much more potential for harm than good.
I don't buy the argument that this idea is bad because it might unfairly benefit a BU team because they happen to "win the lottery" by getting a Tim Hudson for a Juan Cruz as an example. That's just the luck of the draw. Also, who's to say that Hudson will turn out to be worth is value next season. It's all a crap shoot.
Based on the current proposal I would vote Yes for the franchise tag rule.
Bring back the blog!

The FP rule was designed to insure against the loss of your traded player's "under market value". Does it work? Are there cases where a gross injustice may result?

Baseball seems to be going more and more to dumping player contracts or even paying to get out of a contract. Lowell and Thome are examples from this year. When these guys are traded, the MLB team doesn't care who they get back, but it's a lottery win in our league if they happen to be protected as a FP. Manny Ramirez for prospects and Jerry Hairston (1 dinero) anyone?

Sledge and Wilkerson for Soriano: if Sledge was the FP he would have netted Soriano even though Wilkerson was the more valuable player.

What happens when Vasquez (19 dinero) is traded for 3 guys? Do you split up the salary? What if you only want 1 guy? It's so confusing.

If you review the previous comments I think there still hasn't been a case where the "disease" proved deadly. The examples cited by Bob were rebutted. Can anyone cite a good example? For these reasons I would propose deleting the rule.

However, maybe there is another option. The league could determine the "under market value" of signed players at year end and group them in several tiers, say 30,20, and 10 dinero (if they aren't at least 10 dinero under valued, why bother?). BU teams could insure against their loss by paying into an insurance pool (say half the value). If a BU team loses an insured player they would receive that players value in additional dinero at the next draft. If there are no losses, we spend the insurance money on beer.
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