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Thread: FA Proposal

  1. #1
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Default FA Proposal

    OK..aside from some of the mud slinging that was thrown, there were a lot of good ideas thrown about regarding possible changes to RFA.

    Right now there are two opposing viewpoints: those who want to retain final say on whether or not they keep a player, and those who want FA not to be merely a salary setting tool which gives no weight to bidders. In the past thread, I suggested that we transfer some of the advantage from the original owners to the bidders, but some feel that bidding with discounts removes the most critical benefit to the current system: retaining the final say.

    So what to do? One thing that makes this league different that MLB and other leagues is that there's no chance for extending contracts.. Everyone goes to FA in some form. That's not very realistic, and to simulate the retention of players that we lack from contract extensions, we've given a lot of weight to original owners in RFA. As a result, RFA feels like a Dead Sea procedure; nothing much going on. Players are underbid, everyone is retained, and interest level in the off-season isn't as enticing.

    What if we change that? Lord knows I don't want to do contract extensions using the game's tools. That would suck, because the money systems and player valuations are so different from the game to our league. So lets come up with our own contract extension system.

    Fritz had proposed a long time ago attaching a 'market value' to every player, but there were disagreements about what the calculations are. But we've been doing this long enough where most people have a pretty good idea how much players are worth, at least to an extent. So let's come up with some formula that determines a market value for every player, to be used at the time they're about to become a free agent.

    We can devise a formula (I have my prospect ranking formula tool to use as a base) that combines ratings, win shares, and position/age factors and come up with a market salary for each player. Coming up with this formula and having it be fair and equitable will take some effort (myself, Cuervo, PT, Morg and clint are the ones that I had in mind with some knowledge of calculation stuff), but once settled, it can be a working model for all seasons going forward, especially because there is no inflation in this game.

    What I propose is a two pronged FA effort:

    1. When the player hits the last year of his contract, his market salary is devised (we can use the ratings from the All-Star break as the point of reference). During the 2nd half of the season, the owner has that time period in which to decide whether he wants to accept that salary, still using the sliding scale for years of a contract. The one kicker here would be that this salary would not include the discounts. If we want to keep our players, we should be able to pay a fair market value for them. And since the chance of them being outbid away is removed at this time, the discounts would not be as necessary. If an owner accepts, he avoids FA altogether. If he declines, he can do one of two things:


    A. He can send him to UFA as normal

    B. He can put in a QO and have him go to RFA like before. This will be run at the same as UFA, and the parameters can be the same. Then it becomes bidding with discounts. Basically, you're taking a gamble that you can get the guy cheaper than the formula that the market created, either by being underbid, or applying the normal discounts that are being applied. You still have the advantage of getting the player because of the discounts, but you no longer have the cushion of final matching rights.


    This can appeal to all sides: owners still have the right to have final say on whether they want to keep a player, but will have to pay a little more for that right. If they want to gamble on the money aspect, they lose that right, but can still get him with discounts.


    I would still say that a player with discounts cannot be traded until after the AS break of the following season, but players whose contracts are extended can be traded at any time.

    Any thoughts on this? Please keep an open mind. Once the formula is created, it won't add a whole lot of effort on the part of each owner, and it would give owners something to do in the 2nd half of the season when the trade deadline opens.

    Anyhoo, there it is. Please give me your thoughts. I can be very flexible on this.


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  2. #2
    Beloved Former Owner MrIllini's Avatar
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    is this going to bring the forums back to life and increase attendance at the live sims? more trading? aversion to tanking?
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  3. #3
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIllini
    is this going to bring the forums back to life and increase attendance at the live sims? more trading? aversion to tanking?
    One issue at a time, please! I would say that there would be more trading because contract extended players are in 'play' for trades at any time.


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    Owner and GM, Washington Piledrivers and Virginia Woodchucks Subby's Avatar
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    Rope, you ideas are impressive and well-intentioned, but in a league of 36 different owners I think that coming up with a unversally accepted player valuation tool is going to be impossible.
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  5. #5
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby
    Rope, you ideas are impressive and well-intentioned, but in a league of 36 different owners I think that coming up with a unversally accepted player valuation tool is going to be impossible.
    I agree. That's why I don't think it should be created by 36 owners. I say we designate a committee of 6 to 8 owners that we trust to come up with the formula. Let's vote about whether to put the formula in as a generic entity, then once it's created, that's it.


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  6. #6
    Beloved Former Owner MrIllini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozenrope
    One issue at a time, please! I would say that there would be more trading because contract extended players are in 'play' for trades at any time.
    That's my point rope...one issue at a time.

    I'm still somewhat corn-fused as to how a discussion about interest level and activity in the league has devolved into name-calling and another bitchfest about RFA. *shurg*
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  7. #7
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Fair enough.

    Interest level is declining. Problem is on the table. Run with it.


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    Owner and GM, Washington Piledrivers and Virginia Woodchucks Subby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozenrope
    I agree. That's why I don't think it should be created by 36 owners. I say we designate a committee of 6 to 8 owners that we trust to come up with the formula. Let's vote about whether to put the formula in as a generic entity, then once it's created, that's it.
    Trust has nothing to do with it. I don't anyone else but me deciding how players get valued. This is why we got rid of the OOTP financial model in the first place.
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  9. #9
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    If you disagree with the value that's been provided by the formula, QO the guy and send him to RFA. That will achieve the same result that we have now. But if you like the value, you can avoid the gambling part of it and take the deal.


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  10. #10
    Owner and GM, Washington Piledrivers and Virginia Woodchucks Subby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIllini
    I'm still somewhat corn-fused as to how a discussion about interest level and activity in the league has devolved into name-calling and another bitchfest about RFA. *shurg*
    Well, the name-calling is nothing new (although this is about as mild as it gets, you mewling pussy).

    As far as RFA is concerned, there a number of owners who have long been dissatisfied with our current FA process for one reason or another. When talking about improving a league I think it is only natural to focus on the processes and procedures that are central to how the league is run. If owners feel like things are "getting stale" it makes sense to review everything.

    I guess the central question is this - has interest level and activity declined because of core league issues or is it as simple as "boring sims" and "less article writing".
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  11. #11
    FOBL Owner/GM Buddy Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby
    As far as RFA is concerned, there a number of owners who have long been dissatisfied with our current FA process for one reason or another.
    Yes, lots of widely varied opinions on what is wrong with RFA. More benefits for the "RFA Shopper" or more defences the current owner of an RFA player (I'll call this owner the "RFA Stopper") are complete opposite sides of this issue, and I think owners that have not gone experienced the frustrations as both the RFA Shopper and the RFA Stopper might change even a strong opinion after more RFA experience.

    My biggest concern about the current RFA process is the erratic prices that can allow ridiculously cheap RFA deals (like many in this past off season) to the other extreme where a player is targeted with a stratospheric offer, partially to counter the RFA Stopper discounts. The split of free agency periods into RFA and URFA also contributes to this kind of erratic bidding as many owners seem to skip RFA to save money for URFA players they deem as more easily attainable or because they think there is no chance to win an RFA player. Solving this issue (assuming there is interest in doing so) would probably require us to lower the RFA Stopper discounts, a real touchy subject that I can't see passing vote. A less drastic idea to help reduce erratic bids is to combine the 2 free agent periods while retaining the RFA Stopper discounts. Another idea to help the RFA Shopper is the one proposed last season where the 24 hour match clock is removed, I think this idea should be able to pass if put up for a vote and it would help the shoppers while only slightly inconveniencing the stoppers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subby
    When talking about improving a league I think it is only natural to focus on the processes and procedures that are central to how the league is run. If owners feel like things are "getting stale" it makes sense to review everything.
    I guess the central question is this - has interest level and activity declined because of core league issues or is it as simple as "boring sims" and "less article writing".
    I don't believe issues related specifically to the RFA/URFA process have had much or any impact on the interest and activity level of the league, but I'm always interested in talking about how we can make the rules better. If we could give a little more support to .500 teams that are consistently trying to win or less support for the tanking strategy that might be beneficial as well. Some people have no problem enjoying the GM duties of a 100 loss team (Duke is a great example - still very active with the league) but I think some .500 owners feel pushed into tanking by our financial system, and some of these owners have a lot of trouble retaining interest in a league where they are losing a ton of games.
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  12. #12
    FOBL Owner/GM Buddy Grant's Avatar
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    Dola, I think this poor league activity issue has been somewhat overblown. There have been some signs lately - low forum post counts, no trade deadline announcement, poor live sim turn out, and several missed html updates but the day chat seems to be as active as ever and people regularly go through periods of lower interest. The flurry of posts following the doom and gloom FOBL activity levels shows that at least a few folks still follow this league. I think moving some of the deeper and more vital day chat conversations (like most of the rule change discussion) to the main forum would really help out on the activity issue, as the many fobl GM's and followers that cannot participate in the chat feel left out of the picture and gradually less a part of the league as a result.
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    Beloved Former Owner alhill's Avatar
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    To the extent that the league activity discussion continues going totally off-track and just turns into the 100th attempt to mess with RFA, I think FR's idea is by far the best way to go. Here's why:

    1. One thing that most people don't realize is that OOTP extensions work pretty well now in v5 and v6. No one's ever going to agree with every value a plyer asks for, but guys generally are seeking what they are worth.

    2. However, there are two reasons we can't go back to OOTP extensions. First, the numbers generate do not jive with out $60,000,000 cap system. Second, as everyone knows, many OOTP players don't tell you what they want. Instead they play guess the number, which sucks.

    3. So what we do know is that this CAN INDEED be done, since OOTP already does it. We just have to figure it out ourselves.

    4. FR is the man who can do it. FR has spent a lot of time working on a system like this with his prsopect ratings. Initially, they sucked, but he kept upgrading ang upgrading, and now it works very well. No doubt he can do the same for player extensions.

    5. An extensions sytem like this has a lot of advantages and essentially gives both the folks that want to have a real final say over keeping their players and the folks that want to see more players in the market without matching rights what they want. Current owners get a thumbs up or thumbs down and can use discounts on the number generated by FR's system. However, players whose offers are not accepted go straight to UFA: no discounts, no matching. This way, both the churners and the non-churners get what they want. Moreover, no 24 hour waiting period, no having to spend a week checking Fishware every few hours. No worrying about whether your player ends up being one of the last few guys left in RFA and thus gets bid too high.

    6. Why can we do it now, when the attempt many seaons back didn't work so well. Well, first and foremost we now have years of real bids from RFA and UFA to go by. This can be our initial rubric for trying to find a good system.

    7. I'm sure people are skeptical it can work. I am too. But in light of how it perfectly it would take care of all RFA issues without damaging the league, I think people should keep an open mind and give FR all the help they can. I think the worst thing is for people just to say it can't work before we even know what "it" is.


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  14. #14
    FOBL Owner/GM Buddy Grant's Avatar
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    After mulling over this proposal all morning I'd favor it if we can reach a reasonable consensus on the formula for deciding player value (tough task but I agree with FR and Al that we could get a fairly accurate figure here).

    The only part I have serious doubts about are the calculation of player value done a full year before he potentially goes into RFA. I'd prefer (1) the calculation be done in the off season of RFA so that talent bumps/hits achieved during the year were included in the valuation, or (2) that the owner be able to calculate the player value at any time during the last contract year, and "resigning" the player based on an up to date value.
    1. This idea would require a an extra pre-RFA off season time frame but that should not have to be very long - 3 days seems pretty reasonable.
    2. It would make no sense to resign a player before the very end of the year (when all the talent and age changes have occurred) so an enhancement to the value calculation formula could include a bonus based on earlier resigning, based on the game calendar. To make this process easily available to all owners we could write an online application that does the calculations, piggy backing on the current data in the MySQL BOSI database.
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    Beloved Former Owner alhill's Avatar
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    I think that you'd be able to check at any time because the stats will have to be done on an average basis, as opposed to based on totals. Otherwise, owners will game to system by holding players out.

    I think the formula would look something like this very roughly, with possible adjustments for positon:

    You would take a weighted average of a player's win shares per game for the last three years, weighing the most recent year the heaviest. You take that number and match a salary to it, based on what similar WS players got in RFA/UFA over the years.

    Then you rate the player based on ratings and talents. This would take some fiddling, but would be similar to FR's prospect rating system. This would figure in sh/lh/rh, proneness, age etc. You would get a rating that would also then match to schedule of salaries based on previous UFA/RFA salaries.

    So you end up with a performance salary and an attribute salary. Average the two together, and that's what the player asks for. Current owner gets to accept the offer with discounts. If he doesn't accept the offer, player goes straight to UFA and everyone can bid with no discounts, matching, etc.

    Is it tough to get the formula right? Yes. Is it possible that people won't be happy 100% of the time with it? yes. But the RFA doesn't give you perfect values either, whether you have matching, discounts or not. No system is perfect.

    But this is by far the best way to go. Everything that shoppers and stoppers hate about RFA goes away with something like this. Plus it's realistic. A player generally doesn't like to change teams if he can get what he wants from his current team. If he can't get it, he often then will go to the highest bidder. Most players do not initially expose themselves to the market if they can get a deal that makes them happy with their current team.

    This is feasible. People will occasionally be unhappy, but the same can be said for every system. This is type of creative, win/win solution that the league should support and try to help develop.


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  16. #16
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    I don't want to give discounts to players who get this market value offer. He has exclusive rights based on average data, he doesn't need the discounts as extra incentive. Then no one would ever go to FA ever. Rather, I'd like to have the owner choose between taking the player at the offer on the table, or having him 'test the waters' of free agency, using the bidding with discounts method and then having a discount option. More players will be out there to bid on, but not the ones that you wanted to keep regardless.

    I think it's a good compromise. It's not so incredibly easy to retain a player, but it does give the original team final say as to whether he wants to keep him with no outside influence.


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  17. #17
    Beloved Former Owner alhill's Avatar
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    I think that makes sense to me, FR.

    I get final say but no discounts, then if I dont accept the number
    I get discounts but not final say.

    I really hope people at least give this idea a fair shot. I think it eliminates just about every current RFA problem, both the things the shoppers don't like and the things the stoppers dont like.


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  18. #18
    FOBL Board of Governors CubsFan915's Avatar
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    I'd want to see more info on this - say, a comparison over the past season or two as to what the formula would have put out for certain players, but this definitely has my interest. Good idea, Rope.
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