Q. With Arbitration what happens if a player is injured?
A. One comment for owner’s concerned about injuries during arbitration years – we do have an injury settlement rule that will allow you to receive 50% off your player’s salary if you choose to keep them.
Q. Will players going through arbitration still qualify for HTD? Even if they are not offered an extension through arbitration?
A. For players who remain with you for the entirety of their career, whether a 4 years/$500K contract, or a longer term arbitration contract, the HTD will still apply if you re-sign them. In this way, we hope to both mimic real-life, give you the option of an extra year on your rookie contract (which counters the change we are making to the extra year issue) and address the current problem of rookie contracts holding way too much outsize value relative to their free agent counterparts.
Q. Will we still have a Rule V draft?
A. Yes, we will still have a Rule V draft. However, with expansion I wouldn’t expect much this year.
Q. Is there any amnesty or relief for existing teams to get rid of large contracts given these changes? For example, I have XXXX player on a $15m contract, but after losing cheap talent during the expansion draft that was acting as a counterbalance to this contract I am not excited about this contract.
A. This was discussed at length as the CO understands the amount of planning given to building these teams. In reviewing rosters we did not see a glaring need and more importantly this didn’t seem fair to rebuilding teams that might have taken on bad contracts last season. It is thought with the additional rule changes to arbitration and usage that the impacts of larger contracts should not be an issue.
Q. Will existing 250K contracts be grandfathered in? Or will they be increased? For example, I promoted Ryon Healy to a 4yr/250K mid-season, does he now become 500K going forward?
A. Yes existing contracts will remain the same. Or in other words, existing contracts will not be arbitrarily increased. In this example, Healy will be grandfather at 250k.
Q. Will the $50M spending cap in Free agency be relaxed for the next Free Agency period. After the expansion draft, I may have $60 million in available cap space.
A. We have debated this up until last night. A number of teams will not be able to get to $90m after the expansion draft due to the $50m cap. Our concern with lifting it for this year is the impact it might have on free agent classes going forward (a blip every 3 years). An owner would still be able to get the $90m cap through arbitration extensions and trades. Also, the ability to extend multiple rookie contracts should also be considered when contemplating cap room before Free Agency.
Q. Does the 105% usage limit also affect the playoff usage limit?
A. No, the limits for players in the playoffs remains unchanged.
Q. During the expansion drafts (for both major league players and minor league players) can the four expansion teams drop out of the draft at any time?
A. Yes. The same rules apply for these drafts as we use in the normal minor league draft unless otherwise stated.
Q. Why are we not waiting until the new DM database is released or until the Spring scouting reports are released for minor league players?
A. The Co wants to have the expansion draft completed right after the World Series. We appreciate the concern, but all owners will have access to the same information. If we were to wait until mid December we would have a very short window to get things done for the 2018 season.
Q. Am I really going to lose <insert player’s name here>? Had I known that I would have made some trades or not made some trades?
A. If the expansion opportunity had been available before or during the season the CO would still have frozen transactions. Trading away players for something that wouldn’t be exposed in expansion creates too much opportunity for “shuffling”. If that was the goal, then we would allow owners to only expose players that had no value to them. Where would we draw the line? However, my main concern is that any “shuffling” would be ripe with opportunity for angst among both tenured and expansion teams.