Roster Composition Change
Taxi Squad increased from 2 players to 4 players
In a 2017 change, the number of possible taxi squad spots
you can fill increases from 2 to 4. The overall roster
size is maintained at 40, so this means the minor league
slots are reduced from 12 to 10.
This requires some modifications on several of the rules
pages, but for reference purposes, you can refer to the full
1.1.3 Orphan Teams at League Creation
New rule added 4/25/17 - codifying past practice
Existing rule 1.1.3 renumbered as 1.1.4
See the full rule
Occasionally, in order to get a league to a full 16 teams
and into the draft process, BWB will set up orphan
franchises to fill up the league. This is typically
around 1 to 3 orphan teams depending on the situation.
Usually this happens in mid-to-late March for a
partially-filled league, but sometimes it may occur earlier
in the process if BWB feels that getting the league moving
In a 2017 change, rather than BWB developing the draft
list, it will pick a random draft list from another league
that has drafted in that same season - making sure that any
randomly-selected list is not from one of the new league's
current owners. BWB does reserve the right to adjust
the list after selection to remove injured players, pick
additional players if the random list was light or left a
lot of cash unspent, and to add/adjust draft bidding and
Teams set up as orphans for league creation will not be
awarded the extra $4 million in cash when a real person
takes over that team in the league's first season.
Orphan cash is provided to allow new owners to fix problems
with existing franchises and to help remake the team roster
in the new owner's vision - but in the initial season,
adding that extra cash will be a competitive disadvantage in
a league where everyone started from scratch. If the
team remains an orphan, it will be awarded extra cash when
the team is adopted in the next season.
1.4.1 Price Reductions for Long-time Leagues
Added 4/25/17 - Effective for the 2018 season
See the full rule
To reward private leagues for longevity, prices will be
reduced for league packages based on how long they have
existed. Many of the owners in these private leagues
are in multiple leagues and often have purchased Season
Tickets or Cooperstown Club memberships.
*Based on 2017 pricing. If league package prices
change, these discounted prices will be modified as well
with similar discounts.
For reference, in the 2018 season, these private leagues
will be entering season....Beer League - #12; Murderers' Row
- #9; Moneyball - #6
9.0 Building a Team - The Startup Draft
See the full rule
Phase One Draft - Submission
Instead of adding 10000 to the team balances between Phase
1 and Phase 2, all startup drafts will begin in Phase 1 with
team cash equal to the BWB salary cap + 10000.
Comment: The 10,000 was a workaround added in 2005
after we started increasing the top players' salaries to
counteract the effect of signing long-term contracts.
New teams didn't have the benefit to start with expensive
players on cheaper contracts, so we added the extra cash.
It's been over 10 years - the added cash is permanent - it's
time to have it available up front.
9.1.1 Phase One - Submission
Each owner will submit a list of players. This list must
meet the following criteria:
- Several bullet points here....
- The salaries of the players must fit
within the salary cap. 2017 Change (addition to this bullet point in
the rules): The draft
salary cap for brand new teams is the same as for all of
Benchwarmer teams PLUS 10 million BW Bucks (10000).
This used to be added in between Phase 1 and Phase 2
Phase One Draft - Resolution
Changes to 188.8.131.52 Cash Bids to Break Ties in Player Awards
A few changes to how auction bids work:
- Bids can be placed in increments of 250 now instead
- Because we're giving the extra 10,000 cash up front,
your cash bids need to come out of your starting cash
balance and not out of the Phase 2 cash distribution -
your total salaries for all players drafted + the total
you put down for auction must fit within the New Team
Salary Cap (BWB cap + 10,000)
- When you win a tiebreaker via auction bid, you only
need to pay the amount needed to win the bid over the
See the full rule to view these changes in context
9.2 Phase Two
One quick change - since the 10,000 cash is provided up
front, we remove the first bullet that indicates all teams
get an extra 10,000 before Phase 2 begins
See the full rule to view this bullet point stricken
9.5 Live Drafts
Added 3/1/17 -
the full rule
9.5.1 Live Drafts in 2017
We'll take another shot at live drafts this season.
Instead of using a chat interface as we did in the past,
we'll try to use a commercially available draft
- For 2017, we'll use the ESPN Fantasy Baseball draft
room. Owners who choose a live draft will need to
sign up for an ID/password there if they don't have one
- Users should join the league(s) of their choice in
BWB to reserve a spot. Close to the date of the
draft, users will receive an invite to join the ESPN
- We'll draft via the snake draft format. Draft
order will be done randomly via ESPN.
- There will be 20 rounds to the draft - the draft
rosters will be set up in this manner:
- 9 hitters - One player each at DH, C, 1B, 2B,
3B, SS and 3 OF
- 5 starting pitchers
- 3 relief pitchers
- 3 bench players at any position
- I'm tempted to limit time for picks to 30 seconds,
but things can happen, so we'll set it at 1 minute per
pick, but I strongly suggest you to queue up your picks
in advance so that you can pick as soon as it's your
- If I have the ability to halt/correct the draft, any
"mistakes" by hitting the wrong button must be called
out via the draft chat before the next team picks,
otherwise you have to live with the pick. (If the next
pick is on "auto" or the owner was quick on the trigger,
then with discretion I may allow a fix - but will not
allow that fix to be the player picked by the next
- Once the draft is complete, each team will have 20
players and will only be 6 players short of a legal
roster. We'll use the normal Phase 2 process to
finish up the draft. We should be able to wrap up
Phase 2 with one or, at most, two list submissions.
- We'll utilize whatever positions ESPN assigns to
players, even if they differ from BWB. However, in
order to determine the draft is complete after Phase 2,
each team must have positions filled by someone eligible
via their primary position.
- After the draft, owners will be responsible for
filling out the draft list for their team that is
normally used for list drafts with the players they pick
in the draft. This will need to be complete by
some pre-determined time (about 24 hours). This will be
used in order to fill out the rosters in the BWB system.
Note - if BWB can find a way to take a final draft
report/listing from the draft engine and automate the
process, it will do that instead.
- Different player lists
- Players who are in BWB but not in ESPN:
We'll be limited to ESPN's player pool, which won't
include the deep minor league players (last year's
first round draft picks, for example). They
will not be available in the live draft and will
need to be selected in Phase 2 or via free agency.
- Players who are in ESPN and not in BWB:
Typically these are rookies who weren't on the
40-man roster in December to be picked up on the BWB
list or perhaps some late-signing international
player or a player making a comeback from injury or
returning from Japan that didn't make the 40-man
cut. BWB will attempt to identify any notable
players ahead of time and not allow those players to
be drafted. If such a player is drafted
- If discovered during the draft: If the BWB
office can halt/correct the draft while in
process, at the end of the current round the
draft will be paused. The player will be
removed from the team's roster and that team
will have a chance to make an immediate
correction pick - but only from the available
undrafted players at that moment (can't go back
and select a player that another team picked
after the bad pick occurred).
- If discovered after the draft is over:
Before the Phase 2 lists are opened up for
submission, BWB will get a substitute pick from
that team to replace the player not yet in BWB.
If multiple teams are affected, they will pick
in order of when the bad picks are placed.
- Salary cap problems
- Since the players in the draft rooms we'll be
using won't have salaries attached, it will be up to
the drafting owners to keep salary in mind as they
draft players. They'll need to do this for their own
balance and to ensure they have enough cash left to
fill out the team in Phase 2.
- Following the live draft, each team will have 20
players out of a minimum roster of 26 players.
So when the draft is complete, each team will need
to have at least 600 left in salary to draft 6
minimum-salary players to complete the roster.
- If, after the draft is complete, it is
determined that the team has less than 600 in
cash, then before Phase 2 begins, that team will
have player(s) removed from the back end of
their draft until the cash balance is sufficient
to complete a 26-man roster using minimum-salary
players. Once that is accomplished, the
team will pick player(s) to get to a 20-man
roster. (This will probably be just one
player, but it's possible that it could be
- If the mistake is found during the course of
the draft that causes the team to run out of
cash or not have enough cash left to fill out
their team, then if the draft can be
paused/corrected, BWB will make the change as
above for a mismatched player list - at the
completion of the current round, the draft will
be halted. The team's last pick (or picks)
will be removed to resolve the situation to
provide enough cash to fill out the roster with
minimum-salary players. The team will then
provide substitute pick(s) from the current list
of undrafted players.
- BWB will NOT correct drafts for salaries that
leave the team with little cash for remaining picks
during the live draft or for Phase 2. As long
as the team has enough cash to fill out the roster
with players at minimum salary, that's what it will
have to use.
- Suggestion: As the draft
proceeds, when you pick a player for your team, use
another browser/window to add that player to the BWB
draft list used to collect Phase One drafts.
You'll need to do that anyway to report your draft
results and as you add players, it will
automatically calculate the amount of salary cap