13.1 Inactive Owners – Carry Over Decisions
We’ve gone through some winters where the off-season
activity is delayed by owners not making roster cut-down
decisions in time. In order to keep the league on schedule
and get the Redistribution Draft done in a timely manner,
there will no longer be any date extensions for carry-overs.
If a team does not meet the roster guidelines due to
roster size or salary cap considerations, BWB will take the
- As required, all players currently under multiyear
contracts will be retained.
- Any players known by BWB* to be retiring, strongly
considering retiring, or otherwise ineligible for BWB
rosters next season (foreign leagues, etc.) will be cut.
- Any players known by BWB* to be on the DL at the
beginning of the next season will be cut.
- Any players known by BWB* to be a free agent with
little or questionable expected interest from MLB teams
will be cut.
- Of the remaining players:
- BWB will automatically keep the position player with
the highest salary, the starting pitcher with the
highest salary, and the relief pitcher with the highest
- BWB will automatically cut the position player with
the 2nd highest salary, the starting pitcher with the
second highest salary, and the relief pitcher with the
2nd highest salary.
- BWB will keep any players who were first round draft
picks in the just-completed season.
- Random decisions** will be made after that to get
the roster into guidelines for roster size and salary
- BWB will attempt to leave about $10 million
available for the Redistribution Draft and off-season
*”Known by BWB” is a non-scientific
phrase. Since a lot of effort is required for running the
game, the owner of BWB is often not completely on top of all
the MLB player status. The point is – make the decisions
yourself, rather than tempting fate.
**”Random decisions” often means pulling
out the old Dungeons and Dragons 12-sided or 20-sided dice
and picking cuts that way. Again – make the decisions
yourself and avoid the grief.
13.2 Inactive Owners – Redistribution Draft – Emphasis
Again, we’re no longer able to put off roster decisions
for a few teams while 100+ other teams complete on time.
Since the Redistribution Draft is an optional activity,
teams that do not submit picks for the draft on time will
not participate in it. This is how it’s always been done –
and typically 1-3 teams in each league skip this
(intentionally or not). There are generally some good
players available in the draft – don’t miss out on your
13.3 Inactive Owners – Startup Draft
In most cases, teams will have about a week to fill out
their initial draft lists after the league is completely
full. This deadline may be a bit shorter for drafts started
in mid-March or later. As a team joins BWB, it can begin to
assemble the draft list immediately – even before choosing a
league. So, there should be no excuse – other than perhaps
the late-joining teams – to miss a draft deadline.
If a team does not have a draft list – or if it has
started but is incomplete - the BWB office will randomly
pick or complete* a team’s draft list so that the draft can
proceed on time.
*”Randomly complete” is done by picking a mix of players
with high and low salaries and to fill all the positions.
Some minor leaguers and prospects may be thrown in. No
players who are knowingly questionable to make rosters or to
be injured at the time of the draft will be chosen. When
picking among a group of possible players, the old D&D dice
often get a good workout. The moral of the story is to pick
your own team.
13.4 Inactive Owners - Minimum Roster Size
If a team is not able to field a complete roster after
the final transaction period of the off-season, the League
Office will take these steps to fill the roster. (Remember,
minimum roster size is 26 players - 14 hitters, 12 pitchers
- PLUS, a team must have a valid player for every field
position). The League will operate with these guidelines:
- As long as the team has 12 pitchers,
the pitching staff is complete. Relievers might fill
starting roles and starters may appear in the bullpen.
- If the roster is missing 1 player, the
Office will calculate the remaining salary cap money and
buy the highest price free agent that the team can afford
to fill that position - regardless of whether or not that
player is injured or will be in the minors. 2012
Clarification - BWB reserves the right to pick a player
with a lower salary that is active - thus providing better
competitive balance for the league on Opening Day.
- If 2 or more players are missing, the
remaining cash balance will be divided by the number of
players needed to determine a maximum signing salary. At
that time, the Office will assign players that are the
highest price free agents BELOW the maximum signing
salary. The first priority will be to make sure all field
positions are manned.
- If several players are at the same cash
level (for example, if a team must sign a player at the
minimum salary) a random draw will determine which
player(s) they get.
- For purposes of filling the roster,
pitchers will be assumed to be playing at their published
role (SP or RP) and will be selected based on the need of
- If a team does not have enough money to
complete the roster, the team will FORFEIT all games until
they can complete the roster. This will guarantee a 0-6
start to the season.
- Money used for all the above steps is
prior to the distribution of 2 million Benchwarmer Bucks
to all teams on Opening Day. However, if the extra
cash distribution is needed in order to sign players to
make the roster legal, it will be used (this is an
allowable loophole for owners).
If a team is not able to have a complete team on Opening
Day and, after receiving the extra cash, still does not
participate in Week 1, the League Office will again
attempt to perform the above steps to fill the team.
- If BWB must cut players in order to
free up salary to make the roster legal, it reserves the
right to do so and will use its discretion to choose
Note: If more than one team needs to have their roster
filled and are competing for free agents at the same salary
level, the transaction order for the most recent signing
period will be used to alternate the signings.
See the full
rulebook for some examples on how this process will be
13.5 Inactive Owners - Opening Day Lineups
Should a team not fill out a lineup form for
Week 1, the
League Office will automatically generate a lineup in this
- Players known by the Commissioner to be on a major
league disabled list will be placed on the team's taxi
squad, providing that they are otherwise able to fill the
other roster spots. If more than 4 players are injured, a
random draw will determine which ones to place on the taxi
squad. Any remaining injured players will be placed in
the lineup as outlined below, as though they were not
- Starting rotation. The five pitchers with SP
position designation with the highest salary will fill the
top 5 rotation spots (in descending order of salary). SPs
#6 and #7 in salary will be the spot starters.
- Bullpen. The five pitchers with RP position
designation with the highest salary will fill the 5
bullpen slots (in descending order of salary).
- Open pitching roles - leftover SPs may be used
to fill the bullpen or leftover RPs may be placed in the
rotation or spot roles.
- Fielders - the player with the top salary at a
position will play that position in the starting lineup.
Of the remaining hitters, the one with the top salary will
be the DH.
- Bench - the remaining batters with the five
highest salaries will be placed, in descending order of
salary, on the bench. This will be done without regard to
- Taxi squad. All unplaced players at a salary
of 250 or below will be put in the minors. Any leftover
players will be put on the taxi squad. If there are too
many minor leaguers, the ones with the highest salaries
will go to the taxi squad (or randomly, if all salaries
- Batting order - a random draw will produce the
Note: Pitching designations will use the player's
published position, which may not necessarily be how they
will be used in the new season. 2012 Clarification: In
order to preserve competitive balance on Opening Day, BWB
reserves the right to place pitchers as expected to perform
in the current season.
13.6 Inactive Owners - Regular
It happens - people's lives and schedules change, their
interest in BWB wanes, or for some other reason they are no
longer actively managing their team. Typically (though
not always), they don't return for the next season and in
many cases we don't hear from them again. BWB has
always at times behind the scenes made some minor changes -
but in the interest of maintaining the semblance of a
competitive team, BWB will step in a bit more actively and
earlier. A team that is adrift for weeks or a whole
season is frustrating for other members of that league since
that team becomes an easy win when others might be needing
it to at least have a chance to knock off some rivals.
It also artifically makes the win-loss record worse, which
puts the team in a better position in the off season during
the Redistribution Draft and at the start of the following
season. But it can also make the team very
unattractive for future potential adopters if the team goes
into orphan status.
Intervention by the BWB Office is not automatic or
mandatory, but will be handled as deemed necessary and as
fits available time constraints. BWB does not expect
to be actively managing these teams on a weekly basis, but
will look for problems and corrections.
As a measure of activity, BWB will look at the "last
connected" date when an owner signed in or connected to the
BWB may attempt to contact the owner to determine if
he/she wants to continue management of the team and, if not,
the team will become an orphan and may be adopted by someone
else for the remainder of the season.
If an owner's "last connected" date is two weeks or more
before a weekly transaction/lineup deadline, BWB reserves
the right to inspect that owner's teams in all leagues and
look to potentially make some adjustments to the active
roster - specifically focusing on changes due to injuries
(players going on AND off the DL) and demotions/promotions.
As that period of inactivity increases beyond that
initial 2-week marker, BWB may make some more substantial
changes, looking at starting lineup/bench decisions and the
pitching and bullpen rotations.
If an owner's "last connected" date is four weeks or more
before a weekly transaction/lineup deadline, the BWB office
may step in to perform limited transactions to fix the
roster. Exception - if, at the 2-week mark, a team is
just so messed up that it can't field a functioning lineup
and pitching staff, then some of those corrective
transactions may be done earlier.