League Rules

MLB: Turn of The Century 1997
Commissioner - mattyred
Trade Committee: To be utilized if someone in the league (not necessarily on the committee) views a trade as lopsided in favor of one team. Message the commissioner if you want a trade to be reviewed, and the committee will vote on whether to overturn the trade or not. Since there are 10 members of the group, a 6-4 or higher vote in favor of overturning will result in the trade being reversed, while a 5-5 or higher vote in favor of allowing the trade to stand will result in the trade being confirmed. Message the commissioner if you are interested in joining the committee, or if you would no longer like to be a part of it if you currently are.

Committee Members:
Jason1216 (PIT), nettles9 (MON), MadballNova (CLE), todorojo (ANA), barr512 (BOS), foghorn (KC), goodfella (NYY), erose630 (PHI), tacomaboy57 (CHW) and mattyred (HOU)

League Rules (subject to change)

Team Budget and Salary Cap
Owners will start with a salary cap reflective of the team's real life budget (sourced from http://www.thebaseballcube.com/extras/payrolls/). Real life team budgets from 2001 will be used as each team's starting budget for season one of this league. This is because the minimum contract in PC is 1 million, which is more than the 100k minimum in the 1990s MLB. The extra cap room prevents the issue of some teams being over budget because of higher minimum salaries. In season two, team budgets will be altered to match their teams 2002 budget. Season three will correlate with 2003, etc. If a team's salary cap went down in real life, it will remain the same in this league. Be sure to check the website that is used to see if you will have more cap available next season. The website link is called "Team Budgets" on your red navigation bar. Teams are allowed a 45-man roster, with a max of 25 in the majors and 20 in the minors. Teams are allowed to have a maximum of 40 players signed to contracts on their roster. Failure to maintain the proper roster or budget amount will result in loss of draft pick(s) or cap space as determined by the commissioner.

Tanking is not tolerated in this league. It is the owners responsibility to put forth a competitive lineup each game of every season.
Tanking will be defined as:
1. Playing players out of position, racking up errors
2. Starting players with a lower OPS or higher WHIP than a "should be" starter. Example, .870 ops on bench or minors while a .600 starts. I won't nit-pick starting a .900 guy over a .940
3. Sending players on a contract to minors that are better than players in majors.
Exceptions to rule 3 - 1) a player is on an expiring contract AND is being shopped on the trade market. Or 2) a player has a rookie tag. Or 3) a player is performing poorly in majors compiled stats (under .200AVG, or 6.50 or higher ERA)
---anyone found tanking will lose their 1st round draft pick

Note that cap room may also be increased by improving a team's record from the previous season (see below). The following goals will be based on your end of season record in comparison to your previous season's record.

Starting in 2000
---> Awarded $1 for each level of playoff (WS winner gains $4)

Starting in 2001
---> Awarded $1 - for every 5 games won more than last season. Max of $4 (20+ win improvement)
If your team's record gets worse, budget will not change (other than the normal year to year change based on real life budgets)

Teams can trade cap but it will result in a permanent deduction from that team's budget.

If a team exceeds budget during a season and remains over budget for 1 real days, they will forfeit their draft pick(s) for the upcoming season. The team will also lose a quality player with a contract big enough to cover the difference... This player could be the highest paid offseason FA signing or a 40-70 ranked player on their team. If a team does not have any draft picks available to forfeit, the team will lose up to $20 in cap budget. Teams will also not be allowed to complete trades that further increase team salary at any point while over budget. They can complete trades that decrease their team budget. Trades will be subject to commissioner/league approval.

Player Stats and Progressions

Players will start with 1996 stats. All future prospect creations (when the league gets closer to present time) will use MLEs and/or ZIPs to populate stats if no MLB stats are available. Keep in mind, MLEs and ZIPs are based on players actual minor league stats, so they may not match up with expectations for "top prospects" if they performed sub par or if they spent more time in the lower minors.

Player progressions will take place following every season. All players have received classic progression, as decided by the league vote. This is meant to replicate real life progression where young players slowly improve until age 28, then there peak years occur until age 32. After that they slowly decline at around the same rate that they progressed. Select players will retire each off-season. Player retirements will occur at age 40, unless certain stat requirements are met. Batters must have one of the following to avoid retirement: .250 average / .350 obp / .400 slg / .700 OPS. Pitchers must have below a 1.50 WHIP. Any players worse than that would likely retire in real life, so they'll retire here as well. Players who are above those stat lines may keep playing until they're 42. Any player that is signed to a contract and retires will not cost the team he was signed to any budget room, unless the contract has 2+ years remaining. Any 40 year old player and above who goes unsigned through free agency will retire as well.

Player Position Changes

Teams are allowed unlimited position changes in the off-season. However, the owner must make a logical request with solid reasoning in the opinion of the commissioner for wanting to change the players primary position. A player must have played the position that you want to switch him to in real life for the switch to occur. Expect a decrease in fielding percentage and Range Factor upon requesting a position change.
Starting Pitchers can be switched to relievers after their age 28 season. This change will result in Stamina decrease, but also a lower WHIP and higher K/9. Relief Pitchers can only be switched to starters if they thew at least 100 innings in this league and started more than half of their career games in the MLB. The commissioner reserves the right to deny any position change request.


All players have been given their real life contract amounts and years as of 1996. Please note that we will be using the PC feature that gives players an extra year of a contract. For example, if a player is signed to a $30/4 year deal, this means that you will have him on your team for this season and four seasons after that. All rookie contracts will be signed by the team that drafts them via the "Manage Contracts" section. These contracts can be for a minimum of 1 year and a max of 10, with salary determined by the CPU. If a team does not have enough budget space to sign the player right away, they might need to clear cap room, unless their budget went up the next year in real life.

1) Any rookie called into the majors between day 1-150 will need a rookie contract. (or PC contract)
----September call-ups are free.
2) Rookies who were drafted in the 1st round have a $3/3 contract, 2nd round players are $2/3
3) Any rookie contract can be cut at any time, but you WILL lose the player. The cut players will be placed up for auction, players not claimed by any team will be placed in free agency the following offseason.

Rookie tags will stay on just to keep track of ROY eligibility stats and to keep track of age... 25 year old rookies will be lost to FA if not on a rookie contract by then.

Rookie Contracts can be cut at any time during their 3 year term. But you will lose the player... the player will be able to be bid on by the league and receive a new contract, in the event no one makes a new bid, they will become a normal free agent.

Free Agency & Roster Moves

Free Agent Contracts

Following the season, players that had expiring contracts will become free agents. Free agent bidding will occur after this. All bids will be sent to the commissioner, who will update the homepage every three hours with the teams who are leading the bid races. The update times will be announced a few days before FA begins. In Free Agency, teams can not back out of bids once they are submitted. If a team wins a player in free agency, they cannot back out of the deal, even if the deal causes the team to exceed it's budget. The minimum FA contract is 0 yr/$1. The max contract length is 10 years, but there is no limit on the total contract dollar amount as long as the team is able to maintain the minimum amount of players on their roster and remain under their assigned budget.

International Free Agency

Probably the most unique feature about this league is international free agency. After day 85, the international free agent class will become available to be bid on. The player pool is created by the commissioner and includes all international free agents that signed that year and went on to have MLB careers. The same free agency rules as above apply here as well.

Offseason Imports

Any players that are not in the league and are not in the upcoming draft class will be imported to their team's roster for the next season. To qualify for the import, relief pitchers must have at least 30 IP, starters 75 IP, and batters 200 AB. Stats will be doubled/edited as commish sees fit to best create the player so that his pennantchase career resembles his actual career. This won't be a huge number of players, but some notable one's could occur (Jorge Posada in '97 for example). Check out your team's upcoming rosters to see if you'll be gaining any good players via offseason imports.

Expansion Draft

Following the conclusion of the 1997 playoffs and after progressions, player imports, and advancing contracts have all happened, an expansion draft will occur. This will allow the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays to join the league. Two new owners will need to be recruited to join the league. Before the draft, each team will select 15 players to be protected from being drafted. Anyone not protected will be eligible for to be selected by one of the two teams. The order will be as follows: Rays, D-Backs, D-Backs, Rays, Alt picks rest of way. All protected players will be listed on the homepage, and the owners of the two teams will message me with their selections. They will need to make sure a player they choose isn't on the protected list. The first round will conclude when each team has 14 players. The second round each team will receive 14 more players, and in the third round the teams will get seven players each. Every team must lose a player in round one and two, but in round three it doesn't matter who the players are picked from.


Following day 60, a two round live rookie draft will take place. The player pool is created by the commissioner, and it includes the top 30 pitchers and hitters from that years draft (plus a few extra players too, including some that went undrafted). Draft order will be based on the previous seasons standings, from worst to first. For the first draft, order was determined based on real life MLB standings from the year before. Any undrafted players will become free agents able to sign with any team.

Rookie Thresholds are used for ROY and to keep players from harboring young talent
1) Compiled 120AB or 50 IP (25 for RP) in a season (minimum 35G for hitters, and 8/15 GS/G for P)
2) Are 25 years of age or older (will go into FA if not signed to a contract on the age 25 season)

ROOKIE CONTRACTS ($2/3 or $3/3)
As soon as a rookie is called up to your team before day 150 they will need a contract. Please message commish to call-up one of these players.
**Rookies will be given a contract based on their draft position (1st rounders - $3/3... and 2nd rounders - $2/3)

Therefore any player in your majors between day 1-150 and playoffs. Will need a contract. Rookies will have a $2/3 or $3/3 contract based on draft round (when you call them up, free in minors)

The final 30 days of the season is expanded rosters. You can call up rookies free then.

At the very beginning of the expiring year, the contract is removed and a PC contract will need signed that season.
So essentially you will NOT get the expiring year of the rookie contract but you will at the end of the PC contract

Beginning in 2012, free agents who spent the entire previous season with one team will be eligible to receive a qualifying offer. Once a qualifying offer is extended, the player will still be put into free agency along with all of the other players with expiring deals. If he receives a contract from a team in which the yearly value exceeds that of the qualifying offer, the player will decline the qualifying offer and sign with the highest bidder. However, if he doesn't receive an offer with a higher yearly value than the qualifying offer, then the qualifying offer will be accepted and the player will return to his former team on a one year deal. A team that agrees to sign a player who declines the qualifying offer will forfeit their first round draft pick (top 10 protected), and the player's original team will receive a compensation pick at the end of the first round. The qualifying offer values will be as follows:
2012 --> $13
2013 --> $14
2014 --> $15
2015 --> $16
2016 --> $17
2017+ --> TBD (based on average of top 125 salaries in this league)

All qualifying offers are reflective of real life MLB qualifying offers, rounded to the nearest dollar.


If cash or draft picks are involved in a deal, each team involved in the trade must message the owner with trade details. Only players, cash, and draft picks can be traded. Draft picks can only be traded 1 year in advance, which takes effect after progressions run. The commissioner reserves the right to refuse to allow any trade that is deemed to have a negative impact on the team or league. The trade deadline will be day 120 of the season.

Designating for Assignment

The DFA process allows owners to cut players who are signed to contracts. To DFA a player on your roster, you must message the commissioner. You then have 2 real days where the player can be claimed by another team or you can trade the player from your team. If a trade or claim does not occur, the owner must either decide to release the player or reassign him to the major league roster. If released, the player's full contract will be deducted from the team's cap. For example, a player with a $5/2 yr deal that gets DFA'd then released will result in a $10 deduction from the team's budget. Any trades involving a DFA player should refer to the rules on Trading above. When a player is DFA'd, a 48 hour window will be initiated where teams can claim the player for their team. When a player is claimed, the player is moved to the claiming team's roster and they assume the contract at it's total current value and years. The player will be moved to a Waivers Holding team for the duration of the DFA process.
Waiver claim order will be in reverse standings at the time of the DFA. So, the last place team gets first dibs on any player if they choose to claim them. After the 48 hour window, the team with highest waiver priority to submit a claim will be awarded the player. You can only claim a player on waivers if your team is under budget and you have enough roster space to accept the player. Be sure to check the homepage throughout the season to see any updates on players who were DFA'd or placed on waivers.

Regular Season Sims

There will be 9 games simmed per day: 3 games in the morning, 3 games in the afternoon, and 3 games in the evening. The commissioner reserves the right to increase the number of games simmed each day if necessary.


Playoffs follow the current year of the league's format. So until 2011 in this league, three division winners plus one wildcard will make the playoffs. Tie-breaker for team seeding is 'run differential.' The team with the better +/- will receive the higher seed. Teams tied for a final playoff spot will play a one-game playoff preceding the official playoffs.
The playoff schedule will be as follows (until 2011; after 2011 a 1 game wild card playoff round will be added):


All-Stars will be voted on by the owners. No all star game will be played, but three days off will be granted. All teams will have at least one representative selected to the ASG. MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Reliever of the Year winners will be voted on at the conclusion of the postseason.


Day 1-6 - "Opening day"
Day 60 - Rookie Draft
Day 85 - International Free Agency opens
Day 100 - All Star Break (all stars selected, three days off granted to all teams)
Day 132 - Non-Waiver Trade Deadline
Day 150 - Free Agency closed
Day 181 - Regular season ends, Waivers/trading closed.
After Day 181 - Playoffs begin


After World Series ends...
Awards voted on
Budgets Adjusted to match new real life budget (starting with 2002 for next year), Cap Space awards given, player position conversions
Waivers/Trading turned on
Contracts Signed, due 3 days after World Series
Rosters cleared, Stats archived and cleared, players progressed & retired (42)
Free Agency Bidding Opens
Free Agency Bidding Closes
Start of new season - Rosters & Salary Caps must be set