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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Over in another thread we were having a conversation about the Salary Cap—or, really, to characterize it right, I was doing my normal pounding on the table and beating my chest. Anyway, I noted that it was easy to spend more than the salary cap on players, and in the process noted one of those ways was the use of bonuses.

This is a thing teams with larger budgets get a bigger advantage, and it’s something the Nine have been taking advantage of for a bit. I mean, my owner, John Little, has handed me a $130M leash. With this, we have to pay our players, our staff, and draft picks.

Our staff payroll is $4.7M
Our draft picks cost us $5M

So, all total, about $9.7M is tied up, leaving us $120.3M. There are a few other expenses to put in, but nothing major. Things like the occasional bonus getting a minor leaguer to sign, whatever. We didn’t sign any IFAs, so that doesn’t impact us this year.

Anyway, given that the salary cap is $110M, this says that if we pegged salary at $110M, we could pay as much as $10.3M in bonuses and still not go over my team’s budget. We’re nowhere near that base salary, but still, it got me to thinking about what kind of expenses we’re really totaling up on bonuses.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Performance Bonuses:

The Nine have several players on bonus-laden contracts. Some of these are fairly easily achieved, others not so much. WE use easily achieved bonuses to entice players to sign for less in hopes that we can then push the cap with other players. This is a great strategy as long as we have that extra budget space. If we ever get to the point where the budget gets shrunk, we’ll have to consider moving guys (of course)

Anyway, three of these have serious chances of being attained:

Jose Chavez will get $1,500,000 if he throws 125 IP
Alberto Sanchez will get $470,000if he throws 160 IP
Roberto Miranda will get $200,000 if he gets 250 PA

This means we need to be prepared to pay these $2.17M in bonuses at the end of the year, and we will need to do that regardless of the salary cap. We also expected to pay Rick Ward $460,000 for 160 IP, but he’s now hurt so probably won’t make it.

Other guys on bonuses that they probably won’t hit on are:

Francisco Delgado gets $280,000 for 550 PA
Steven Gibbons gets $100,000 for 550 PA

Both these guys are part-time platooners, and the chance of use needing to pay these are non-existent, barring injury. That said, Delgado's $280K is maybe 10% likely to hit.

AWARD BONUSES – Nebraska

It would be interesting to know how the players weight these awards. I assume not that heavily, but what do I know. Regardless, we have several pitchers who we would gladly give bonus money to for winning the Nebraska. They are:

Crash LaLoosh: $900,000
Rick Ward: $1,100,000 (Now Injured)
Randal Thomas: $800,000
Jose Chavez: $1,000,000
David Cantu: $1,000,000
Alberto Sanchez: $850,000

From a club standpoint, these are fine to put on contracts because only one of them can actually win. In reality, LaLoosh and Chavez are the two who have the greatest chance of taking this case, though David Cantu is having a very nice year as closer so far. Sanchez has pitched well enough in the past, and Ward is a candidate, but is out for four months, so that’s not happening. A side note, we inherited Ward's contract from Brooklyn, but did take a look at the bonus structure before taking him on.

I would put our chances at paying this out as maybe 25%.

Regardless, the total expense is capped at $1M, but we should plan on it, just in case.

AWARD BONUSES – Silk

We also have three guys with Sawyer Silk incentives in their contract…all because they asked for them. We consider the chances of them making this happen to be about the same chances as Donald Trump has for going through a day without making a self-aggrandizing statement. We’re making no plans to have to cough up this cash. That said, we’ll gladly pay it if they have that kind of season.

Jose Pena: $750,000
Roberto Miranda: $1,100,000
Steven Gibbons: $650,000

Bottom Line:

The Nine has in their plan that we will pay about $2.2M in bonuses, and might need to pay an additional $1M for a Nebraska winner. That’s $3.2M that we might spend off the salary cap books.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:12 pm 
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How are you suggesting this gets handled?

Maybe a penalty against the following year's salary cap?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:53 pm 
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I'm not suggesting any change whatsoever. At best, if I'm saying anything about the game whatsoever, I'm saying this is part of what working in a salary cap means. I've said before, OOTP, as a GM, is a financial/business sim, not a "baseball" sim. It is very important, if you're going to create a "program" rather than compete every now and again, that you understand the nuances of the finances of the game. Even then, you can do everything right and still have things go south.

Blah, blah, blah.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:55 pm 
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I worked very hard for several seasons to get to the point where we could begin to use bonuses this way...and I'll keep using them as long as the finances work to my advantage to do so. When I started, though, we couldn't do that very well because our budget/payroll structure sucked.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:16 pm 
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That's the great part about playing in a league with 27 other real people. We don't all have to follow the same roadmap. Some may be content on making playoff appearances every season, others may have higher goals. For me personally, I enjoy getting the most out of players and trying to create a cohesive team better then the sum of it's parts. If we all studied the game mechanics and did everything "by the book" instead of playing baseball, it would be real boring.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Exactly right. There is no absolute "right" way to do anything...and playing online against smart humans is the only way (IMO) to go. Beating the AI in solo play is merely a matter of time, but every human GM can make decisions that are hundreds of times better than the AI ever will.

Also, the things one attempts to do is always predicated on their specific situation, too.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:58 pm 
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It'd be nice if there were some smart humans in the league...instead of the 20 or so rubes I routinely fleece...

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