h2h corner ~ Hot Stove Fantasy League

The offseason sucks, right? Day after day, pretty much nothing happens. Sure you stay up on all the news and get excited when your squad picks up a new (malcontented) outfielder – or a stud Cuban who might actually be eligible for social security benefits (if he was a citizen, you know) – or one of the Molina Brothers. For the most part, however, there is very little to keep fantasy players engaged through the long winter months. Lucky for you, I’ve got a solution: Hot Stove Fantasy Baseball.

The league’s set up is really quite simple. Each owner is allotted $230 to build his team. The player universe is everyone that filed for free agency following the 2009 season (including those desperate (smart?) few who accepted arbitration). Each team starts 10 hitters (normal spots plus two utilities), four SPs, three RPs and three general Ps. You cannot make any moves (other than trades) during the regular season and must fill each roster spot with a body. As some picks last year made obvious, the bodies don’t always have to be alive and kicking (heeeeeeey Jim Edmonds).

As I touched on very briefly earlier, the caveat here is that you lock players up for multiple years. For example, Jason Bay ultimately went for $30 per year over the next seven years. This means that his owner must pay that price tag every year for the course of his contract. Will it be a good deal? Will it crush your flexibility next year when you’re going after Carl Crawford? Nobody knows. Just in case things go sour, however, there is also a buy-out clause for every pick – 75% of the dollars and 75% of the years, rounded up. So, while you can get out of paying full price for an Albert Belle-esque signing, you are never let fully off the hook for it.

Once you are done with the auction, load the rosters into your favorite online league and watch as your team produces. Because no roster changes are allowed, this is the perfect league for those armchair GM’s who applaud or complain about moves in December, only to completely reverse their position come July. And, while we run the league as a strict 5×5 roto experience, you can mold it to whatever format you want – SABR, run quantifier, h2h, points, etc. As such, this league helps bridge the gap between the end of fantasy football and that beautiful day when pitchers and catchers report.

In terms of strategy, it looks like the old stars and scrubs works pretty well.

Post a comment if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help you set up this type of league with your friends/officemates.

FB 101’s 411: Fantasy baseball can make the off-season more enjoyable.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Is there an auction or a regular draft in this format?


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on March 17, 2010 at 7:33 am

    This is an auction league, as we want to build long-term contracts for players so you can keep them over multiple years. We capped our years at $10. Two years ago, I signed Randy Wolf to a $1 ten-year contract last year, which is pretty nice. I also signed Teixeira to a 10-year deal.

    We advocate giving each team $230. The majority of teams have money leftover every year, so this is by no means a limiting function.


  3. […] I already detailed one low maintenance version of fantasy baseball, which looked at building the best team from free agents and stretching over an n-year period. […]


  4. How much did you give Texiera?
    We their enough free agents this offseason to fill a 10 team league?


  5. Sorry, one more question.
    If I was to sign Tim Lincecum to a 7 year, $70 deal ($10 a year),
    does that mean I only have $220 to spend on free agents next offseason?


  6. Posted by Albert Lang on March 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I gave Teixeira $35 for 10 years. So every year starting in 2009, $35 of my $230 would go to Big tex.

    The great thing about this league as you have to dig deep and pull some good free agents. While this year didnt have a lot of the top tier, there were definitely some average guys (felipe lopez, belliard, etc.) that went for cheap to fill out rosters.

    Yes, if you were to pay Lincecum $10 per year, you’d have $220 from 2011-2016. It’s not as big a deal as you think. I had only $80 this year (because of first year contracts) and only spent $60. It takes awhile to get use to, but it’s really fun!


  7. […] Scotty Pods is already making White Sox fans miss him…again. Podsednik, who is starting for my hot stove fantasy league team, has scored four runs and stolen five bases, while batting .444 and posting a .516 OBP. Clearly, […]


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