Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Well, actually it's the first Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.  The first Sunday of January in the CFCL designates the beginning of Winter Waivers.  (The most Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is, and always will be, Draft Day).

Winter Waivers is a great time for CFCL owners.  The holidays are fresh behind us and it's time to focus on the upcoming baseball season.  When last we looked at our rosters, we had 40 men (23 Active and 17 Reserved) on our team.  Then the season ended and some teams lost some players due to expiring contracts.  So most of our teams had anywhere between 32 and 40 men on their rosters.

Enter Winter Waivers.  The rules for Winter Waivers are pretty simple.  Get your roster and protect 23 players.  They can be at any position, they can be in the majors, minors, shoot they can even be in the American League.  You have to protect anyone on your roster that is signed to a Long Term Contract.  Other than that you can get rid of anyone you want.

Whomever you don't protect (along with the other nine CFCL teams) enter Winter Waivers.  Everyone unprotected has a chance to be claimed by the other owners.  If they are claimed, the claiming team has to waive a subsequent player.  Anyone not claimed enters the Free Agent Pool and is eligible to be drafted on Draft Day.

It's cool because it gets our focus back on baseball and allows us to improve our teams during the dead of winter.  How much does it help us improve our teams?  Hard to say.  The past four years have seen anywhere from 15-27 players claimed during Winter Waivers but only a range of 3-8 players kept on Roster Freeze Day.

So the pessimist can say it's basically rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  The optimist can say it's worth taking a flier on a guy and seeing how they perform in Spring Training.  The ultra-optimist can say it's definitely worth it because each year you can find someone like AJ Burnett who had 18 Quality Starts and a 3.12 K/BB ratio.  Or you can grab Carlos Gomez who turned in 271 Total Bases and 40 Steals.

And all of them would be right.  Winter Waivers is much like life.  Most often you get what you put into it.  Don't make an effort, you won't get anything.  Research, plan, strategize and more often than not you'll find a piece to your team that is worth keeping.

The other great thing about Winter Waivers and CFCL rules is that after the first round of waivers is complete, trade season is open and owners can be more proactive in crafting their teams for the upcoming season.

No comments:

Post a Comment