Giambified Fantasy Baseball Rulebook

[1] Rosters
      1.1. Primary Roster
      1.2. DL and NA slots
[2] Scoring
      2.1. Wins and Losses
      2.2. Fantasy Runs Scored
      2.3. Fantasy Runs Allowed
      2.4. Replacement Level Adjustments
      2.5. Standings
[3] The Draft
      3.1. Draft order selection
      3.2. Minor League Draft
      3.3. Major League Draft
[4] Keeping Players
      4.1. Minor League Players
      4.2. Franchise Players
      4.3. Regular Keeper Players
      4.4. Rules for dropping and trading kept players
[5] Revenue and Contracts
      5.1. Revenue
      5.2. Cash reserves
      5.3. Minor league player contracts
      5.4. Major league player contracts
[6] Additional Rules
      6.1. Trade deadline & trade limits
      6.2. Playoffs
      6.3. League Assignments
      6.4. New Managers

Rule 1.0: Rosters
(1.1) Primary Roster
We will have 25 man rosters, with the following positions:
(9 hitters) C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, UT (Utility)
(13 pitchers) 5 SP, 2 RP, 6 P (for backup SP or RP, depending on your needs)
We will also have three bench spots, though you may have more players on your bench if you choose not to utilize all of your pitching slots.

(1.2) DL and NA slots
We will have five DL slots and five NA slots (the maximum allowed by Yahoo). A player is eligible for a DL slot if he is on the disabled list and an NA slot if he is not on his major league club's 25-man roster or the disabled list (in the minors, on the bereavement list, released).

Any players eligible for those slots may be placed in them so that they do not count towards your roster limit of twenty five. Note that Yahoo allows managers to keep players in these slots even if they become ineligible (e.g., if a player comes off the disabled list or is promoted to the major league roster), but Yahoo blocks managers keeping ineligible players in a DL slot or NA slot from picking up or trading other players.

Rule 2.0: Scoring and Rosters
IWP = [FRS ^ 1.83]/[FRS ^ 1.83 + FRA ^ 1.83]
AWP = [IWPA x (1 - IWPB)] / [(IWPA x (1 - IWPB)) + (IWPB x (1 - IWPA))]
Assignment of Wins and Losses
(2.1) Wins and Losses
Each week, pairs of teams face off in a seven game series. Wins and losses are assigned based on the two teams' runs scored (2.2) and allowed (2.3). Each team's runs scored and allowed are used to calculate its Independent Win Percentage (IWP). The IWP of both teams are used to calculate each team's Average Win Percentage (AWP). Wins and losses are then assigned based on each team's AWP.

The formula for IWP is the standard
pythagorean win expectation. The formula for AWP, as well as the cutoffs for wins and losses, can be found in the table to the right.

(2.2) Fantasy Runs Scored (FRS)
Runs Created = (A factor) x (B factor) / (C factor)
A factor = H + BB + HBP - CS
B factor = TB + [.24 x (BB-IBB+HBP)] + .62(SB) -.03(SO)
C factor = AB + BB + HBP

Fantasy Runs Scored = (RC/Outs) x 25.38 x 7
We use the standard "Runs Created" formula as a starting point for a team's fantasy runs scored (FRS). Because each team will have a different number of plate appearances and outs, we scale a team's FRS to the number of runs the team would have scored over the course of seven 9-inning games. We calculate RC per 27 outs (we use 25.38 outs in our calculation, to account for the fact that outs made at the plate or via being caught stealing only make up 94% of outs recorded), and then calculate how many runs would be scored over 7 games based on that rate.

(2.3) Fantasy Runs Allowed (FRA)
FIP = [(13 x HR) + (3 x (BB+HBP)) - (2 x K)] / IP + 3.10
Fantasy Runs Allowed = 0.5 x [(FIP) + (RA x 9 x 7 / IP)]
To calculate FRA, we calculate a team's FRA/9 IP and scale the result to seven 9-inning games. FRA/9 is an average of a team's (actual) runs allowed per nine innings and its Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP).

(2.4) Replacement Level Adjustments
Replacement Level Benchmarks & Adjustments
PA Benchmark: 225 PA
Hitter replacement level: 3.1416 runs per game
IP Benchmark: 52 IP
Pitcher replacement level: 5.0184 runs per game

FRS and FRA with replacement level adjustments
If PA<225:
FRS = [(RC/Outs) x 25.38 x 7 x (PA/225)] + [3.1416 x 7 x ((225 - PA)/225)]
If IP<52:
FRA = [0.5 x [(FIP) + (RA x 9 x 7 / IP)] x IP] + [(52 - IP) x 0.5576]

Replacement level adjustments have been updated to reflect the fact that run scoring has delcined in the years since this league was started. A replacement level team should have approximately a .300 winning percentage.

To construct a measure of what replacement level should look like for hitters and pitchers in our league, I used the average runs scored/allowed by major league teams in 2014 (4.08 runs) as a baseline for hitters and pitchers and modified the baseline to arrive at values that would lead to a .300 winning percentage.

The hitter baseline (runs scored per game) was set to 4.08 * (1 - α) and the pitcher baseline (runs allowed per game) was set to 4.08 * (1 + α). I then solved for the value of α that would generate a runs score and allowed combination that would product a .300 pythagorean winning percentage.

The replacement level for hitters is 3.1416 runs per game, and for pitchers it is 5.0184 runs allowed per game (0.5576 per inning). The calculations for FRS and FRA, with replacement level adjustments, can be found to the right.

(2.5) Standings
Tie-Break % = [FRS ^ 1.83]/[FRS ^ 1.83 + FRA ^ 1.83]
There are not ties in the standings. A team's total runs scored and runs allowed for the year are used to calculate its Tie-Break Percentage, which is used (obviously) to break ties in the standings. Between two teams with the same win-loss record, the team with the higher tie-break percentage is ranked higher in the standings. A team's tie-break percentage is their pythagorean win expectation (the same formula used weekly to calculate IWP).

Rule 3.0: The Draft
We conduct two drafts: A major league and minor league draft. The minor league draft will occur first, and the major league draft second. Each team will draft twenty five players between the two drafts. Both drafts are conducted via e-mail starting on the Monday closest to February 15th. For the major league draft, we will also attempt to schedule two-hour lightning rounds where we will draft over Skype.

(3.1) Draft order selection
Teams will be allowed to pick their draft spot for each draft. There will be two rounds to draft order selection, but the rounds will not correspond to a either draft. When a manager's turn in the first round comes up, they may choose a draft slot in either draft, depending on their preference. A manager playing for the future may decide to select their slot in the minor league draft first, while a manager trying to win it all this year may decide to select their draft slot for the major league draft first. In the second round of the draft order selection process, each manager chooses a draft slot for whichever draft they do not yet have one.

The order in which managers will make their selection will be the same in each round (i.e., this is not a snake process). The order is determined by the previous year's performance. Teams that didn't make the playoffs will choose first, going in order from worst to best record. The playoff teams that did not advance to the World Series will pick next, again in reverse order of record. The team that loses the World Series will pick next, followed by the team that won. New managers are assigned the remaining spots as they join the league.

(3.2) Minor league draft
All players with no major league experience (zero games played) that are listed in the Available Players File are eligible for the minor league draft. They are only available for the minor league draft (and not available for the major league draft).

There will be two rounds each year. The draft will be a snake draft, with the manager possessing the first draft slot picking first in the first round and last in the second round.

All players drafted in the minor league draft are eligible to be kept as
Minor League Players.

(3.3) Major league draft
This draft will consist of twenty five rounds. However, players kept from previous seasons and players drafted in the Minor League Draft will be slotted into a manager's final picks. If, for example, a manager kept two players from the previous year and drafted two players in the minor league draft, those four players would be penciled in to that manager's 22nd-25th draft picks, and the manager would only draft 21 players in the major league draft.

Like the minor league draft, the major league draft will be a snake draft, with the manager possessing the first draft slot picking first in the odd rounds and last in even rounds.

Players drafted in the tenth round or later in the major league draft who had less than six years of experience at the time they were drafted are eligible to be kept as Franchise Players.

Rule 4.0: Keeping Players
(4.1) Minor League Players
Teams may keep up to five minor league players per year. If a team has more than five players who are eligible to be kept as minor league players, the players in excess of the five kept as minor league players can be kept as franchise players.

Minor league players are players who were drafted in the minor league draft and do not have any major league experience (zero games played). Once a player drafted in the minor league draft obtains major league experience, they become a franchise player.

(4.2) Franchise Players
Franchise players are designed to be younger players (equivalent to your "home grown talent"). They are cheaper to keep than regular "Keeper Players," but more expensive than minor league players. In order for a player to be eligible for Franchise Player status, they must satisfy both of the following conditions:

(i) The player must not have spent a significant* part of 6 or more seasons in the majors at the time they were drafted
(ii) The player must have been drafted during the 10th round or later of the major league draft, or in the minor league draft

*Significant is defined has having more than 40 IP (for starting pitchers), 20 IP (for relievers), or 100 At-Bats (for hitters) in a given season. If a player has 200 At-Bats his first season, but gets hurt and does not play the next season, he has only one year of significant experience. For pitchers that served as both a starter and reliever in a given year, they have "significant" experience if the following equation sums to 1.0 or higher: [(IP as starter)/40 + (IP as reliever)/20].

(4.3) Regular Keeper Players
Any player drafted that doesn't qualify for franchise status can be kept as a "Keeper Player" for a higher cost.

(4.4) Rules for dropping and trading kept players:
Any player dropped loses their eligibility as a minor league, franchise, or keeper player when dropped. Eligibility is retained when a player is traded.

Managers who drop a kept player must pay 75% of that player's salary for any years remaining on the player's contract. If a player is dropped after the start of the draft for a given year, the manager must pay that player's full salary for that year.

Rule 5.0: Revenue and Contracts
(5.1) Revenue
Revenue = (Tie-Break%)1.5 x $45 Million
At the end of the season, each team will receive revenue to use to pay their Keeper and Franchise players during the next season. The revenue you receive will be determined by your Tie-Break Percentage for the just-completed season. The average team will get about $19 Million. The lower bound tends to be around $16 Million.

(5.2) Cash Reserves
Revenue is placed in your cash reserves at the end of the season. There is no limit on how long you can keep cash.

(5.3) Minor League Player Contracts
Minor league players can be kept from year to year for $1M. There are no long-term contracts for minor league players.

(5.4) Major League Player Contracts
Players who are kept are signed to contracts for the upcoming season and, if desired, beyond.

(5.4.1) Payment Date: Contracts are paid in full for on the first day of the draft using cash reserves. Only managers in possession of a player at the start of the draft pay for that player's services (unless otherwise stipulated in a trade).

(5.4.2) One-Year Contract Salaries: The cost to retain players you have drafted will be determined by their years of experience (franchise players) or the round they were drafted in (non-franchise players).

For Franchise Players
Experience Salary
0 Years $3 million
1 Year $3 million
2 Years $3 million
3 Years $4 million
4 Years $5 million
5 Years $6 million
6 Years+ $8 million
Non-Franchise Players
Draft Rd Salary
1st $14 million
2nd $13 million
3rd $12 million
4th $11 million
5th $10 million
6th + $9 million

(5.4.3) The Multi-Year Contract Discount: The major benefit to signing long-term contracts is that you get a discount for doing so. The Discounts are as follows:
2-Year contract: $1 Million
3-Year contract: $3 Million
4-Year contract: $6 Million
Note: These discounts are halved for relievers.

(5.4.4) Contract Length: Contracts may not exceed four years in length. Multi-Year Contracts must have a total value equal to the amount of money they would be owed, based on the player's experience (franchise players) or the round they were drafted in (regular keepers), over the length of the contract if they had been signed to single-season deals (minus the Multi-Year Contract discount).

Example: if you sign a player with 4 years experience to a 3-year contract, the contract value must be for $16 million - the sum of $5M, $6M, and $8M, minus the $3 million discount.

(5.4.5) Contract Structuring: Each year of the contract, the player must be paid at least [1/(x+1)] of the total contract value, where x=the length of the contract in years. This will hereafter be referred to as the X+1 Rule.

Example: if you sign a player to a 3-year deal worth a total of $16 million, you must pay them at least $4 million in each year, meaning you could pay them $4M, $4M, and $8M if you wanted to, or $6M, $6M, and $4M, etc.

(5.4.6) Special Rules for Relievers Relievers may be kept at half the regular cost. A player will be considered to be a reliever if they logged at least 2/3 of their appearances as a reliever. If a reliever signed to a multi-year contract pitches less than 2/3 of their appearances as a reliever at any point during the length of the contract, the salary for the remaining years on the contract will be adjusted so that the total value of the contract reflects a starter's pay for the remaining seasons and not a reliever's. The player's owner may instead opt to terminate the contract. If this is done and the contract had been backloaded, the owner will be required to pay the difference between what has already been paid and what should have been paid had the contract not been backloaded. A refund will be issued for front-loaded contracts.

(5.4.7) Inability to pay contracted players: In the event that you do not have enough cash to pay for players you have under contract, you will need to drop players (and take 25% of their contract value back).

(5.4.8) Luxury Tax: If a team's roster payments exceed $35M for a season, each dollar spent over $35M will be taxed at a 40% rate.

Rule 6.0: Additional Rules
(6.1) Trade deadline & trade limits
The trade deadline for the league will be 9 am on Monday of series 15. Series 15 marks the 2/3 point of our regular season. Once the season ends you may trade freely again.

Prior to the trade deadline for any season, managers are limited to trading six draft picks for the following season (e.g., prior to the 2013 trade deadline, a manager could trade no more than five picks from his or her 2014 drafts). No pick traded for a future season may be traded for any pick in that future season that is more than 9 rounds in distance from the traded pick.

(6.2) Playoffs
The playoff format is as follows:
Round 1, Championship Series (two weeks*): For each league, the two teams with the best records will face off.
Round 2, World Series (two weeks): The two league champions will face off for the title of King of the Diamond!

* In years where MLB's regular season end mid-week, the first round of our playoffs will end mid-week (after only 1.5 weeks), to allow for a two-week World Series. Our schedule cannot be set up this way on Yahoo, so Mike will remind players when the Championship Series ends.

(6.3) League Assignments
Players will be assigned to the AL and NL according by tie-break percentage. Assignment will occur in snake order from best to worst TB%.

(6.4) New Managers
New Managers will get to take one franchise-eligible player from teams exiting the league. In addition, they will receive one sandwich pick between the 11th and 12th rounds and one sandwich pick between the 12th and 13th rounds. If they wish, they can take a second sandwich pick between the 11th and 12th rounds in place of taking a franchise-eligible player from an exiting team.