The Long Game: Navigating Inflation and NL Endgame Targets

The Long Game: Navigating Inflation and NL Endgame Targets

This article is part of our The Long Game series.

Last time out I offered up some AL players who could come cheap this season and be useful keepers in 2022, and I'll do the same for the NL below. First though, I want to do a quick review of the recent Staff Keeper League auct... err, salary-cap draft, and give some pointers on how to navigate a league with extremely high inflation.

I've used the SKL as an example before, but here's a quick recap of the rules that create an inflationary environment. It's 18 teams mixed, with $260 budgets at the table (less the occasional penalty if someone wants to buy out a long-term contract on an unproductive player) and then 17 spots for minors (10) and reserves (seven) doled out in a draft after all active rosters are full. Big-leaguers have the standard 'two years at starting salary, then a third option year or sign them to a long-term deal at an extra $5 per year' structure for their contracts. The inflation comes from how we handle those minors and reserve rosters. Anyone drafted as a minor leaguer has a $0 contract that becomes a $3A (the equivalent of being picked up for $3 in the big-league portion of the evening) the season after they lose their rookie status. For instance, I currently have Jesus Luzardo as a prospect. Our rookie threshold is 20 MLB games, which he hasn't reached yet, so I could still keep him as one of my minor-league keepers for 2021. Even if

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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