Several changes are coming in accordance to the things we've all discussed. Randy and I had a chance to talk this morning and iron out the details for each one and settle on a policy to put in place, effective next season. It will all be added to the rule book sometime soon when we're able to take the time to write it out, but here are the highlights.
1) Free Agent Compensation - The comp system that I laid out in this thread will start 1/93. In other words, if you have a pending FA this year, he could qualify for comp according to the guidelines we have set. We will be working out a separate short policy for relief pitchers as well and will have that ready soon.
In addition, Randy and I have agreed to make an offer to everyone as a gesture in relation to the comp system. If you have a player that you extended anywhere between the last couple sims of the 1990 season and now, since comp was not yet available as an option we will let you void the final years of the deal as long as it meets certain criteria. The criteria is as follows:
- Only players that were signed to an extension are eligible. Players that were signed as free agents are not eligible.
- The player must still be playing for the team that he signed the extension with.
- The player must meet the VORP requirements of the comp system. Essentially, if he wouldn't have been eligible for comp then this doesn't apply.
- The last year of the contract can be no later than 1996.
- The extension years starting with 1994 will be voided and the player will become a free agent after the 1993 season.
- Compensation will not be given for these players. This is not a form of retroactive compensation, it is merely a way to let you out of a contract that you may have signed a player to due to lack of viable alternative (trade, comp, etc).
2) International Free Agents - Each season we will import international free agents. Most seasons there will be two of them, and a small number of seasons there will be more but only in cases where more than two high profile IFAs came to MLB in real life. We plan to have as many recognizable names as possible, but will also let the game auto-generate a player during years where there aren't two IFAs that were imported in real life. Both veterans from foreign leagues and foreign born prospects will be part of IFA, but we plan to try sticking to importing veterans as much as possible. They will be visible in the free agent class so everyone can see their ratings before bidding. You can make a cash bid from your cash on hand by sending your offer to BOTH Randy and I. The highest bidder wins the rights to negotiate with the player and sign them to a contract. If after winning bidding you are not able to agree on terms with the player, you do not get your cash back and the player will be released in the FA pool for everyone to bid on. This should be an extreme rarity because asking prices will be known ahead of time and you'll have plenty of time to work out a deal. If anyone signs the IFA players without bidding for negotiating rights, the player will be released.
3) Finances - Cash cap is being raised to $50mil in 1993. This is being done partially to allow for ample bidding power for IFAs, but also because economic growth is simply something we have to consider in a historical league that is quickly catching up with the modern era. The cash cap will be raised $5mil per year until we reach $100mil. At that point Randy and I will evaluate league finances and see if it would be best to stay at $100mil or go slightly higher, although we don't expect anything higher to be necessary. We are just acknowledging the fact that this will be unpredictable. Also, keep in mind that anyone that loses money in a season does not get that money back. So just because we're adding cash doesn't mean you're getting a clean slate if you haven't managed your finances. We'll add the same amount for everyone, but if you took a loss that amount will still be deducted from your cash total.
4) Diamonds in the Rough - DITR is actually the one thing that will be starting this season. Po has graciously volunteered to be the person that chooses the names for Randy and I. Here's how it works...when the draft class is released, Po chooses four players that would likely be later round picks. No one that would go in the first round. We plan to target recognizable names that the game unfortunately generated with crap ratings. Once Po chooses the players he PMs the names to Randy and I. The players will be given a 10-15 point boost in each category. Every four seasons, a fifth DITR will be chosen and that player will get a 15-20 point bump in each category. The editing does not happen until after the draft sim has happened, at which time we will announce the players. These guys won't be turned in to superstars, but will be boosted enough to be the equivalent of a late first rounder.
5) Injuries - Injuries were shut off several seasons ago. Apparently it was done because the frequency and severity of injuries during the early years of the league was out of hand, even with the injury settings in the game set as low as possible. Randy and I have agreed that injuries should be turned back on, and effective next season they will be enabled. We plan to do some testing ahead of time so we know what to expect and how to deal with it. We plan to avoid another mass rash of injuries like what we had in the early years, but we think having injuries gone completely is too unrealistic, and it likely is the reason behind the fact that several players have declined in their mid 20s for no apparent reason. The game always balances out the talent level somehow, and with injuries off it had to find another way.
6) Development - We will be lowering the development speed for prospects to make it a bit more realistic. Having them MLB ready in 1-2 seasons like they are now is ridiculous. We have to do some testing to find the right settings threshold for this, but 3-5 years will be the new norm. This is the way it usually is in MLB, and has been in other leagues. There will always be exceptions obviously (some guys will still develop quickly), but we expect the slower development speed to provide more trade chips and stimulate the trade market.