What Do I Do During the Preseason?
The preseason is one of the most important and most active times of the season in CSFBL. Not only does hope spring eternal for all 24 teams, but there are a lot of tasks that are best handled in the preseason.
Here’s a list for easy reference:
1.) Set Allocations: This is probably the most important Spring Training task. Your 4 allocations (player development, player drills, pitching scouting and batting scouting) lock during the 4/1 sim and stay locked in place until 4/1 of the next season. There are no do-overs.
Your budget for allocations is equal to the difference between the league salary cap and your front office payroll. In other words, If your league’s salary cap is $60 million, and your front office payroll is $45 million, you have $15 million for allocations. For more details on how allocations work, read this >> Front Office Allocations
*HELPFUL TIP* - A great way to get front office payroll as low as possible is to keep all “Zero Experience” players in the minor leagues (AAA, LM) until after the Allocations Lock. Keep some low salary players around to fill active roster spots until your allocations are locked
2.) Sign Free Agents - As teams try to maximize their allocation budgets, quality players are always being cut during the preseason. So a great way to add talent and fill holes is to scoop up the salary cuts from other teams. Keep checking back to your league’s "Transaction" page to see who recently got dropped. Keep in mind … if you sign experienced players before 4/1 their salary will count against allocations. So, for any "marginal" Free Agents, you may want to wait until after 4/1 to try to sign them. However, it is important to remember that there is always a signing frenzy during the first 10 days of April so don’t expect to get every Free Agent you want to sign with your team. For more details on how free agency works, read this >> Free Agents
*HELPFUL TIP* - In the preseason, Free Agents sign at regular intervals. For 8 sims a day leagues, Free Agents sign every 4 game days, starting with March 8th. So you want to get your bids in quickly and pay close attention. Unlike in the regular season, in the preseason you can put in a bid on someone and have him sign with your team at the next sim. For example, If you place a bid any time between 2/28 and 3/7, he will sign on 3/8. Unless the player is over-bid, then he may sign even sooner!
3.) Low Minors Position Moves - Position players can change positions while in Low Minors using the Low Minors Position Manager link accessible from your team’s “Manager” page. The ONLY time of the season this tool can be used is in the preseason, prior to the start of the 4/1 sim. Also, the player MUST remain in Low Minors for the entire season for the change to take effect after the "flip" to the new season. Players in the midst of a position change will appear on your roster page with an asterisk next to their name. For more details on how LM position changes work, read this >> Low Minors Position Changes
*HELPFUL TIP* - Changing position in the majors is not ideal. To do so, you have to play a player out of position for 80+ games (much more for a Catcher), and then their ratings adjust the next season, but the adjustment is much more advantageous when the players are young and still in Low Minors. So, look over the defense for all your position players in LM - if you have a low range SS … move him to a position where he will be more successful. If you have a "big arm" somewhere, maybe they would make a better Catcher. In MLB, players get drafted out of college and high school and often move to a new position when assigned to their rookie ball league. Don’t forget to apply this strategy to CSFBL too.
4.) Trade - Trades happen all season, from the minute Spring Training starts to the trade deadline on August 31st. However, many leagues experience the most trade activity in the preseason. Teams looking to maximize allocations may be more willing to trade that veteran all-star to clear up salary and pave the way for a youngster to come up. Many owners are eager to trade veterans for draft picks or prospects, while other owners are eager to acquire major league ready talent and are willing to trade their picks and prospects. The preseason is a great time for these parties to come together. For more details on how trading works, read this >> Trade System
*HELPFUL TIP* - Go to your league’s forum and post your trade block, and post what you are looking to acquire, or to trade. Let people know what you need and what you are offering and you will get people beating a path to your trade window. Also, check out the new "Player Search" feature to hone in on trade targets. If someone has 2 good shortstops eating up Front Office salary, they are likely to be willing to trade one. "Player Search" can help you find teams that may have "too many" players at one position, or teams that have a void at a position where you have some to spare.
5.) Adjust Your Stadium Dimensions – Note: This is only relevant for leagues that allow stadium changes. Stadium dimensions lock at the start of the 4/2 sim, so if you want to do any “construction”, you need to do it before then. Take a look at your team's strengths and weaknesses. Do you have strong defense? Ground ball pitchers? Lots of sluggers? Maximize your home field advantage by adjusting your stadium to the dynamics of your team. For more details on how stadium setting works, read this >> Stadiums and Stadium Models
*HELPFUL TIP* - There are no magic tips for setting stadium dimensions. The same change that will help your hitters is likely to hurt your pitchers and vice versa. The same change that is likely to help your pitchers is also likely to help your opponents’ pitchers too. So translating stadium dimension to wins can be tricky to say the least. Tinker with stadium dimensions. Pay attention to the changes you see. You also might want to look at leagues that have fixed settings to see the impact. For example, CSFBL Justice is a max stadium league … all stadiums are maximum size. Triples are super high. Homers are relatively lower. ERA's tend to skew higher.
6.) Ask your commissioner to move a prospect back to Low Minors –This does not necessarily have to happen in the preseason, we will add it to the list regardless. Commissioners and admins have the ability to move any player that has NEVER played a single game, back to Low Minors. So if you called up a 19 year old for salary reasons or any other reason, and you want them moved back to Low Minors, ask your commissioner. Just keep in mind...not all leagues allow these moves. So check your league rules or ask your commissioner to see if its allowed in your league. For more details on player reassignment, read this >> Player Reassignment Tool
*HELPFUL TIP* - If a player is age 17 to age 22 and has never appeared in a single Major League game, they will develop better in Low Minors than they would in AAA or on the Active roster. It is an easy request to fulfill, so don’t be shy … reach out to your commish! If it's not allowed, he'll let you know. However, if the player is 23 or older, there is no advantage to being in Low Minors, so 23+ can stay in AAA and enjoy the same development that they would have in Low Minors. (26+ will actually develop better in AAA than in LM)
And there you have it ... 6 things every CSFBLer should pay very close attention to in the preseason.