CRL News

February 17, 2019

Precedent n. (Lat. To go before) - An act or instance used as an example in dealing with subsequent similar cases.


I want to thank at least two of you for pointing out a flaw in my last newsletter.I donít really consider it a flaw in my logic, but it was counter to the way we have done things around here.When I wrote at length about Opening-Day rosters, farm players, etc, I said what I thought made logical sense.(If you want to revisit what I wrote in that newsletter less than a week ago that stirred up the controversy, itís here: )


After reading a couple of concerns from owners, I remembered what a pain it has been the last few years to actually get OD rosters.Nobody actually publishes ďofficialĒ OD rosters anymore.The closest we can get is scouring the transactions wire and trying to compile the results from the often-conflicting reports on the stat site,, and USA Today.Seems nobody really cares but us.


That being said, OD rosters are a pre-requisite for drafting.But as I will show below, they are not a precedent for Roster Freeze Day.(Again, I want to thank those of you who are keeping me honest.)


One of you forwarded me a copy of an email I sent out last year on Roster Freeze Day:Pay special attention to the passages I highlighted in yellow.


From: Jim
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2018 10:33 AM
To: 'Marcus Cathey'; 'steve hutch'; 'Jim'; 'Otis Johnson'
Cc: 'Bill McCausland'; 'Cathey, Marcus B'; 'Craig'; 'Dennis Cabana'; 'Glenn Cekala'; 'Jared Spencer'; 'Jim Fraser'; 'Ken Alexander'; 'Matt Cathey'; 'Ron Budd'; 'Ron Merkt'; 'Scott Cordova'; 'Steve Farabee'; 'Steve Spencer (wk)'; 'Steve Torrens (Hm)'; 'Steve Torrens (wk)'; 'Vern Torrens'
Subject: RE: RE: Roster Freeze Day


Weíve already had some back and forth on this, but not everyone was included in it.  Iím good with Hutchís list, and thank him for doing all the work.  I also understand he doesnít want to share that advantage with everyone unless they agree to his terms.  I am OK with his proposal.

Anyway, the back-and-forth thing Ö

My read is a player is on the OD roster if he is on the roster for the first game.  We have seen instance in the past where someone got hurt on opening day and was replaced.  The replacement is ineligible to be drafted, even though he may be up by draft day, but he was not on the opening day roster and  therefore may not be drafted.

Case in point Ė Greg Holland.  Holland was signed by the Cards on opening day, but not until after the game.  Therefore, he is not eligible to be drafted.  But he is eligible to be saved on roster freeze day. Holland is (was) on Glennís team.  I do not know if he protected Holland, because I have not looked at keepers yet (thatís next).

Here is the reasoning:

The constitution specifically states that draft eligibility as being on an OD roster, plus disabled list.  There is nothing in the constitution, however, that says anything about eligibility for saving a player on roster freeze day.  We have often drafted before opening day, so we naturally didnít have OD rosters.  But we let owners protect players anyway (some of who didnít make the team).  The only difference this year is the timing.  Just because MLB started a few days early doesnít impact our rules.

Besides, there have been multiple instances in the past where, during the year, a player got traded to the AL and his owner elected to reserve the player rather than release him.  A $5 insurance policy in case the guy ends up back in the NL next season.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Time to open the other emails and start putting in protected rosters.  Should be done in an hour or so.  Iíll email everyone when Iím done.




Seems I forgot my own precedent.

Then there was this sent in by another alert owner.This is from the rewrite/cleanup I did on the Constitution just this past year.Iím taking out a lot of the extra verbiage for clarity, but if you want to read the entire section of the Constitution on Roster Protection, it is here: :


I think the source of my confusion was from the original constitution and the way we used to handle things in the CRLís ancient past.Back then, Roster Freeze Day was before Opening Day, with the draft usually occurring after Opening Day.In those dark ages of roto-history, if you protected a farm player on RF Day, and he made the OD roster, you had to declare at the draft whether you were keeping the farm player or not.You had two choices Ė you could waive the farm player, or put him on your protected roster at $5 (and waive another player if you had protected your maximum number of keepers).And you had to announce this to everyone before the draft.This old rule even bit a few people over the years and was a general headache to everyone else because, regardless of which player was newly available (the farm guy or the guy waived from the active roster), they had not been studied (because they were assumed protected) and did not appear in draft valuation lists.We got away from this original rule decades ago.

Since it looks like Opening Day will continue to move earlier into March, we can revisit this if enough of you want (to take effect in future drafts), but Iíd advise against it.

There was one misconception from both owners that emailed me on the treatment of reserved (non-farm) players.If you have a guy that is currently on your reserve list (because he ended the year that way), and you keep him on RF Day, he is activated from reserves (regardless of whether he is on the DL or active in real life) and you owe a $5 activation fee into the prize pool.The player counts toward your protection limit (although farm players do not) and is on your active roster on Draft Day.If the player is still on the DL, he may be reserved and replaced the Monday following the draft just as teams do with DLed players that are drafted.

So, in summation, forget a lot of what I wrote last week about farm and unsigned players and their RF Day status.Weíll do things like we have done for years.But one thing to remember is, if you decide to keep Harper, Machado, Norris, or one of the other unsigned free agents out there, they are on your active roster, their salary counts toward your total $130 cap, and their presence counts toward your maximum protection limit.

Circling back to one of my early points, I would like to ask for a volunteer (or two) to take responsibility for providing the league with OD rosters.Hutch did yeomanís work on this last year.If he wants to do it again, great, but I canít ask him to duplicate the effort he put in.Two things I ask:

We need buy-in from every league owner that we will all abide by the list provided by the volunteer (remember the arguments from years past about whether someone was on the OD roster or not?)We didnít have those last year.


Whoever says they will do it, please email all owners your results by Saturday, March 30 so everyone has the weekend to prepare.

Anyway, thatís enough rambling for what was supposed to be a simple clarification.

See everyone in Vegas.