Each league has a pool of Free Agents that includes players cut from other teams and players skipped in the Amateur Draft.
- You can only bid on Free Agents in a league which you own a team.
- Free Agents will only sign during the ''preseason'' and ''regular'' season. They will not sign after the last day of the regular season.
- Free Agents consider offers during the league's simulation, (meaning the sim must be running). If it is preseason, they do not make decisions until after each contract offer is submitted.
- Free Agents will wait a minimum time before making a decision (to give other owners a chance to make counter offers). The actual time depends on the sim rate.
- 2 games per day leagues: Minimum 4 calendar days from first offer, one day from most recent offer, maximum 8 days from oldest offer.
- 4 games per day leagues: Minimum 2 calendar days from first offer, 12 hours from most recent offer, maximum 4 days from oldest offer.
- 8 games per day leagues: Minimum 1 calendar day from first offer, 6 hours from most recent offer, maximum 2 days from oldest offer.
- Free Agents will always make a contract decision if the highest offer is at least 50% over his base (minimum asking) salary.
Bidding & The Salary Cap
Any bids that take you over the salary cap, will not be processed. You will be prompted with the following message from the popup bid box if you try to make a bid that will take you over the salary cap:"You cannot submit a Free Agent claim for that much, because it will take your team salary over the league salary cap. Refer to the Sign-N-Drop section for more information."
Take an example of a league with a $50 million salary cap, and a team payroll is at $48 million. You can sign a Free Agent(s) that will take you all the way to $50,000,000 exactly. If you bid on more than one player, their bid amounts will count against your team’s salary for other bids you made. So, you can bid on Player A for $1 million, and Player B for $1 million, but if you want Player C who is also at $1 million, you will need to cut/trade some salary before placing your bid for Player C.
Free Agent Decision Factors
When you submit an offer to a Free Agent, you have the option of offering ''more'' than their asking salary, (this is common when multiple teams are bidding on the same player). If you sign a player at more than his asking salary, the amount offered over the player's base salary will be reduced by 50% each year. If the amount offered ever gets to 10% or less of a player's base salary, it is dropped altogether.
If a free agents has multiple contract offers, they will consider more than just salary in their decision. Some of the factors which influence a player's decision to sign with your team include:
- The winning percentage of your team (players prefer winners).
- Whether or not the player is better than the best player at the same position on your team. If he is better, he is more likely to start, so he is also more likely to sign. If he is worse, he is less likely to sign, and may look to play elsewhere.
- The overall payroll of your team. A higher payroll makes a player less likely to sign, as there is a greater chance of him being cut in the future for salary cap reasons.
- Whether you have ever cut the player from your team in the past. Players do not like to go back to teams that previously cut them.
Free Agent Roster Placement
When you sign a Free Agent, he will join either your AAA or Low Minors. If the player has no Active Roster experience, and you have room in your Low Minors roster (Low Minors has a maximum of 20 players), he will be assigned there. If the player has one or more year’s playing experience, or if you have insufficient room in your Low Minors roster, he will be assigned to AAA.
When placing Free Agent bids, you are permitted to select up to three players to be dropped from your roster should that Free Agent sign with your team. This is useful for teams who are currently over the salary cap with no clear path to get back under, or teams who do not want to lose the production of a current player until the replacement has signed on the dotted line. Sign-N-Drop is not without its limitations:
- The dropped player(s) salary must be greater than your offer, or your final salary must be below the league salary cap
- If staying over the cap, the player to be signed must be in the bottom 10 salaried Free Agents
- You must keep at least 14 hitters and 11 pitchers on Active or AAA rosters (including the signed player)
- The dropped player(s) may not be involved in other pending transactions
Once a player is included in a Sign-N-Drop transaction, he may not be included in another one until the first one has been cleared or cancelled. Players from your team who are included in Sign-N-Drop transactions may not be dropped from the roster or included in any trade offers.