Rules ⚾️

Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Rules

Table of Contents

Rosters – Overview
The Auction Draft
Rosters – In Season
Adding and Dropping Players


The intention of this league is to mimic the job of an actual general manager as closely as possible. Therefore, there must be 3 main goals of this constitution: 1) create an environment that somewhat mirrors that of actual baseball; 2) to create a competitive league in a given year; and 2) to create a competitive league in following years. It is crucial that those owners who find themselves in the bottom half of the league in a given season have a reason to return for the next year, or else the league will collapse. Therefore, there must be safeguards put in place to ensure competitive balance, while at the same time allowing league owners to keep much of their team in place year-to-year.


a. Each team should maintain at all times a roster of 22 major-league players that can fill out a starting lineup. The remaining 18 roster spots can be used for reserves, consisting of both major and minor leaguers.

b. If at any time during the season any team’s cap room is not greater than or equal to 40 minus the number of players on that team’s roster, you cannot field a team. In this circumstance, your team will be frozen until the issue is resolved. The owner will be forced to cut a player to resolve this issue, and will not be able to perform any other activities in the game, including editing and making auction bids. However, bids already placed will be processed as described in section V. below, and trades that have already been accepted will process as expected.

i. Functionally, this means that while you do not need 40 players on your roster at all times, you must have at least $1 available for every free roster spot on your team, not including extra roster spots due to a player being on the 60-day DL.

c. At no time should a team willingly go over roster and salary cap limits. If a team knowingly does this, they will face penalties at the discretion of their league’s commissioner.

d. Team rosters will be filled at an annual auction to be held some time near the start of the major-league season, as determined by the league’s participants.

e. A team’s starting lineup consists of one slot at each infield position (catcher, first base, second base, third base, and shortstop), five outfielder slot, one additional middle infielder (second base or shortstop) slot, one additional hitter from any position (utility slot), five starting pitcher slots, and five relief pitcher slots.

i. An offensive player is eligible to fill a position if he:

A. Played in 10 or more major-league games at that position in the current or preceding year.

B. Started 5 or more major-league games at that position in the current or preceding year.

C. Played in 20 or more minor-league games at that position in the current or preceding year.

ii. All pitchers will have both SP and RP eligibility. However they will only accrue statistics if you use them in the same manner as their MLB team, meaning SP spots must be taken by starters and RP spots must be taken relievers.

iii. Players can only accrue statistics for your team in official, regular season Major League Baseball games.

iv. Players are locked into a position spot 5 minutes before their game starts.

v. The ottoneu lineups page and roster organizer allows for 2 catchers for platooning purposes; ottoneu is not a 2-catcher game.

f. The player pool comprises of all players in all Major League and Minor League baseball organizations, as well as players who in the past have been under contract to play baseball in the Major or Minor Leagues.


a. All owners will complete their rosters at the annual player auction to be conducted at the discretion of the league members and commissioner.

b. Each owner receives $400 in auction money to fill his or her roster, including money spent on players retained from the previous season.

c. Players are nominated by owners, using the previous season’s reverse order of finish to determine the nomination order.

d. Each owner must conclude the auction capable of filling out a starting lineup.

e. Each owner can leave the auction at any time after fulfilling the requirement in line d. above. Once all 12 owners have left the auction, the auction is complete.

f. Each owner must nominate a player in turn.

g. You may not make any trades during the draft.  Trade discussion is acceptable, however no trades can be processed or acted upon from the time the first player goes on auction until teams involved in the trade both have full rosters as defined above.


a. League standings shall be determined by either category-based (rotisserie style) scoring or points-based scoring, depending on the particular league settings.

b. The categories used for scoring depend on the various game types.


a. Starters can be changed daily by each team owner.

b. There is a 162 game maximum for all positional player positions and a 1500 inning maximum limit for pitchers.

i. A ‘game’ for a positional player constitutes of any appearance in a major league game, whether it be a start or any form of late game substitution.

ii. The league site will not allow owners to start a player at a position where the maximums in games or innings pitched have been reached.

iii. There is a 1250 inning minimum threshold for pitchers in ottoneu classic (4×4) leagues. If a team does not meet this threshold, it will receive 0 points for all pitching categories.

iv. The innings maximum is a soft cap, meaning on the day a team goes over the 1500 IP limit, all the pitchers played that day will receive credit.

c. If a player is on the 60 day DL, an additional player can be added to the roster. However, the injured player still counts against the salary cap, and cap penalties will be enforced as normal for any transactions brought about by the player coming off the DL. There is no 15 day DL.

d. At all times during the season, a firm salary cap of $400 exists for all players.


a. All adds/drops are processed by the team owners. If necessary, the commissioner can be called upon to make these changes.

b. If you wish to add a player to your roster, you must start an auction for the player, and bidding will end 48 hours after the start of the auction. The player must be within the ottoneu player universe as defined by I.e. The player will be awarded to the owner who bids the most for the player, with any ties going to the team lower in the standings. If two teams are tied or the regular season has not begun yet, a coin flip will determine who is awarded the player. The team that nominated the player is obligated to bid on the player.

c. The player is awarded to the team who has made the highest bid, and his salary is $1 more than the second highest bid. If there are no other bids, the player is awarded for $1 or the player’s cap penalty if applicable. However, if two teams are tied for the highest bid, the player salary is that amount. If no one bids at all, the nominating team is awarded the player for $1 or the player’s cap penalty if applicable.

d. When a player is dropped, other team owners have 24 hours to claim him on waivers for 100% of his salary, with the team lowest in the standings getting priority. If the regular season has not begun yet, a coin flip will determine who is awarded the player

e. If a player passes through waivers, 50% of his salary, rounding up, counts against his previous team’s salary cap as a cap penalty, until he is claimed by another team or until the end of the current season. Any bids for him as a free agent must be at least 50% of his previous salary. The team that dropped the player may not bid on the player until a month (30 days) after the drop date.

f. Transactions can be requested from the day of the annual draft until the next-to-last day of the regular season. All auctions must be completed prior to midnight of the last day of games of the season.  For example, if the last game of the season is on a Sunday , all auctions must be started by midnight Eastern Time on Friday night.

g. If a team changes ownership, the new owner is given the opportunity to make one round of penalty-free cuts.


a. Trades shall be allowed during the season from the conclusion of the annual player auction until midnight, Eastern Time, on the night of August 31st. Trades will be allowed during the offseason from when arbitration voting is completed until the keeper deadline.

b. Uneven trades are allowed, although they will be handled as follows: If team A is acquiring 3 players while trading 1 to B, team A must stay below or at the 40-man limit or must also cut 2 additional players of their choosing in accordance with the rules in section V.

c. Salary cap dollars can be traded between teams (i.e. team A can agree to count one half of a traded player’s salary against their cap). However, these loans will not remain in place once the regular season ends.

d. After a trade is confirmed, league owners have 48 hours to veto the trade. If a majority (50% + 1 vote) of league owners object to the trade, it will not be finalized. This 48 hour clock begins automatically once both teams have accepted the trade on the ottoneu site.


a. Between the end of the Major League Baseball regular season and the end of arbitration, players may be cut. Between the end of arbitration and the keeper deadline, players may be cut or traded. After the keeper deadline and before the auction draft, teams may not cut or trade any players.

b. Owners shall be permitted to retain any of their players at a salary which is increased based on their previous year salary.  Rules for salary increases are as follows:

i. Players who have no major league service time (as defined by being placed on an active MLB roster at some point in the past 2 full seasons) will have their salary increase by $1.

ii. Players with major league service time will have their salary increase by $2.

c. Owners must always be able to field a 40 man roster for $400; therefore following the keeper deadline, a team salary must never exceed $360 + the number of players on the roster. However, there is no salary cap from the end of the MLB season until the keeper deadline.

d. In the interest of maintaining competitive balance, there are two distinct arbitration options.

i. Allocations

a. The allocation system gives a $25 budget to each team in the league. The team can allocate this budget towards players on other teams. Each team must allocate at least one dollar to every other team, and no team can allocate more than $3 to any other team. At the end of the allocation period, all players have their salary increased by the amount allocated towards them. Allocations take place after the initial offseason salary increase, so any allocations will be in addition to the $1 or $2 increase each player gets at the end of the season.

b. If a team does not allocate at least one dollar to every other team, none of their allocations will count and it will be as if they did not participate at all.

c. If a team does not allocate all $25, none of their allocations will count and it will be as if they did not participate at all.

ii. Vote Off

The vote-off system gives each team in the league the ability to vote on a player on each other team. Whichever player receives the most votes collectively is turned into a restricted free agent that can be bid on by other teams during the auction draft. The team they were voted off from will get an automatic $5 discount towards that player, so if they get the player back, they will get the player for $5 under what they bid. Players who have been voted into restricted free agency cannot be traded.

e. The auction process in each later year is the same as in year 1.

f. Teams may not trade salary cap dollars between seasons.


a. The administration fee for each team starts at $9.99

i. $9.99 is the basic tier, without any prizes

ii. $49.99 is the first tier with prizes, with first place winning $300, second place winning $100, and third place winning $50.

iii. $99.99 is the second tier with prizes, with first place winning $650, second place winning $200, and third place winning $100.

iv. Please read Terms for ottoneu Fantasy Baseball prize leagues for more information.

v. You must own the team on the day payouts are made (generally just before arbitration starts) to be eligible for prizes.

b. Refunds will only be given in the case that a league is canceled or not filled before the Major League Baseball season starts. Teams that have paid for the upcoming season in this case will be refunded.

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