BRASSBALL LEAGUE
TOLEDO MUDHENS

Rule Proposal- 

As I survey the rosters and look towards the competitive balance, one major stumbling block is apparent.  That of course is that most of the poorer teams that have changed hands recently are saddled with inherited ridiculous contracts.  In order to maintain a sensible competitive balance a very small rule change would allow for the gap to be in effect greatly shortened.  This rule change would be essentially simple, but would have incredible ramifications over leveling the playing field.  With this as an introduction Id like to take a few minutes to explain my rationale in why I believe that each franchise should have the right to sacrifice its first round pick so as to rid itself of a troublesome contract. 

Frankly put, each season a team would be able to declare one contract void and place that player back into the free agent, at the very steep cost of its first round draft pick.  As the costs of players continue to spiral, our budget stays the same, the problem is that mismanaged teams are constantly trading moderately productive players or picks to be rid of these undesirable contracts.  These moves have separated the league into haves and have-nots.  Is it no wonder that the stable franchises are the ones with the owners with the most tenure.  The simple fact is that as others teams have changed hands that the new owners are forced to play with the hand that they were dealt by their predecessor.  This obviously is the nature of the beast, but the competitive spirit and balance can be enhanced through this minor change.   

The dynamics would be simple, as each team owning its own first round pick would have the option of surrendering the pick for the removal of the player.  The move would be made prior to free agency, but the money would be available after free agency.  Two important factors would be that each team would only be able to do this with their own pick, where ever it may fall in the first round, this would eliminate the likelihood of a clever GM, buying the higher pick, trading his lower pick and then having the other GM surrender a lesser pick. Also, a team would be unable to resign the dropped player in the free agency period.  Obviously this would benefit all the teams to some extent, but it would greatly help handy me down teams that are saddled with outrageous contracts on worthless players.  Finally, NT penalties would still apply where applicable. 

Undoubtedly, this idea will meet with a great deal of debate, as many owners will feel that this would somehow do the reverse and throw off the competitive balance. Also, many may feel that these contracts are just a part of doing business and that no escape plug should be put into effect.  But in reality, the notion places a very high price on the removal of the contract, but at the same time it allow for the resurrection of some of these lost franchises.  I do not wish to utilize examples form our league as I do not wish to embarrass anybody, but Id only ask that if you scan rosters you would see which teams are projected well over budget and not surprisingly most of these are the ones that become available.  A four-year contract at 4.25 million could very easily mean a team may be able to make budget and rebuild without a fire sale that inevitably weakens the balance of power.  These 17 million dollars would be available after free agency, at a premium cost of a first round pick.   

Finally, Id welcome ideas to better enhance the dynamics of this idea, especially if it would help encourage sponsors and eventual passing.  Id also welcome criticism and look forward to your response.