Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fantasy Baseball Dispute No. 7134-T: Court Upholds the Keeper League Trade of V. Martinez ($42 salary) for B. Boesch ($1 salary)


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x Index No. 7134 - T
Date Rendered: May 25, 2010
Date Issued: May 30, 2010
League Type: 12-TEAM 4X4
Authoring Judge: STUART SHIFFMAN




- against -

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The Beer Batter Leagues brings this claim in the COURT OF FANTASY BASEBALL to determine the status of a proposed trade between the Terminators and Maulers. The trade proposes that the NICE send C-1B Victor Martinez, (year 1 of 3, $42 salary), OF David Murphy (year 1 of 3, $1) and P Mitch Talbot, 1 of 3, $1) to the TERMINATORS in exchange for 1B Lyle Overbay, (year 2 of 3, $4 salary), OF Brennan Boesch (1 of 3, $1) and pitcher Fu-Te Ni, (1 of 3, $2).

This court accepts the proposed trade.

The Law on Upholding a Trade

In this court, it is the general rule that any fantasy baseball trade shall be upheld as long as the trade adequately benefits both teams. (See Public Opinion No. 101, Big Red Rockers v. Big City Bombers). A trade reasonably benefits both teams if it allows both teams to have a reasonable chance of moving up in the standings. (See Unpublished Opinion No. 468-T, Commissioner Gary Benik v. Ever-Lastings and 2 Legit 2 Quit). If the league is a keeper league, as is the case here, this Court will also consider a team’s likely performance in future seasons, especially with respect to the team currently ranked lower in the standings (See Unpublished Opinion No. 3704-T, Commissioner Paul Schultz v. Snakes & Blutos). This Court recognizes that team owners may have different strategies in terms of short-term and long-term goals; and that while one team may try to maximize its chances of winning prize money this year, another team may play for the future (See Unpublished Opinion No. 3731-T, Commissioner v. Muleskinners & Southsiders; see also Unpublished Opinion No. 3797, Commissioner v. Foo Dogs & Maulers).

In addition to these general rules, the BEER BATTER LEAGUE constitution has specific rules regarding trades that involve certain classifications of players. These rules, which appear the Official Rulebook of the Beer Batter League (adopted in March 2010), may override or supplement the court’s general, default principles.

The Beer Batter League Constitution

Section 5, of the Beer Battle League Constitution, which relates to player trades, states as follows:


(1) Trades Allowed. BBL teams may exchange players in equal numbers during the regular season, subject to the provisions of this Subdivision.

(2) Asterisk Player Defined. An “asterisk player” is a player currently in the final year of his contract or a player with a salary of $25 or more.

(3) Regulations. The use of an independent arbiter shall be used to approve or veto player trades, subject to the following regulations:

(a) If a trade does not involve any asterisk players, then no independent arbiter approval is necessary. All such trades shall be allowed.
(b) If a trade does involve asterisk players, no independent arbiter approval is necessary if the BBL teams involved in the trade exchange an equal number of asterisk players and the total salary exchanged is 73.0% or greater. All such trades shall be allowed. “Total salary exchanged” is measured by taking the respective sums of annual player salary to be exchanged by each team involved in the trade and dividing the lesser total salary package by the greater total salary package. The 73.0% salary threshold is a literal requirement and not subject to approximation.
(c) If a trade does involve asterisk players but fails to satisfy either the asterisk player equality requirement or total salary exchanged requirement of Subdivision A(2), then independent arbiter approval is necessary.

(4) Independent Arbiter. Prior to every BBL season, the identity of an independent arbiter to be used for trade approval and veto under Subdivision A(3) of this Section shall be agreed upon by majority vote of the league ownership. The independent arbiter shall not be replaced until the conclusion of the season, unless circumstances prevent the independent arbiter from performing said services. Parties to any BBL trade that is subject to independent arbiter approval shall jointly and severally be responsible for any fees or costs associated with the use of the independent arbiter. Parties to any BBL trade subject to independent arbiter approval shall comply with any procedural requirements of the independent arbiter that are necessary to obtain a decision. In every case, however, said parties shall provide to the independent arbiter a written copy of this Section in its entirety.

(5) Responsibility of Independent Arbiter. Any decision of an independent arbiter under this Subdivision must take into consideration the long-term and short-term best interests of the BBL teams involved in the player trade, while also respecting the best interests of the league and the integrity of a fair and uncorrupt pennant race. In all cases, the independent arbiter shall balance the rights of individual BBL owners to operate their teams in their own discretion with the rights of the league ownership as a whole to fully and fairly participate in healthy competition with one another.

Because Victor Martinez is an “asterisk” player, approval of independent arbiter is required.

The Proposed Trade

The proposed trade is a 3-for-3 trade, with 2010 Statistics as of May 25, 2010 as follows:


Victor Martinez .258 BA 6 HR 20 RBI 0 SB
David Murphy 234 BA 2 HR 15 RBI 0 SB
Mitch Talbot 1 W 0 SV 3.71 ERA 1.24 WHIP


Lyle Overbay .203 BA 4 HR 19 RBI 1 SB
Brennan Boesch .337 BA 4 HR 22 RBI 1 SB
Ni-Tu Fe 0 W 0 SV 2.25 ERA 1.56 WHIP

The Analysis

The Terminators are presently 5th in the twelve team league, while the Nice are 8th.

The trade in question essentially amounts to a review of the career accomplishments, and positional specialty, of Victor Martinez exchanged for the future (and currently emerging) potential of Brennan Boesch. Since the league is a keeper league and Boesch is under contract for 2 additional years, the trade resembles a classic baseball trade wherein a veteran (perhaps on the decline of his career but valuable nonetheless to a team in contention) is traded for a younger player of great potential. The addition of Martinez to the Terminators, presently in 5th place, may well allow them to finish among the top 4 teams of the league thereby winning prize money this season. Meanwhile, the Nice, further down in the standings, may already be looking towards next season. Under these circumstances it cannot be said that the integrity of a fair and uncorrupt pennant race has been negatively impacted by this trade. The trade appears to have value for both teams and therefore under the general law of fantasy baseball trades and the specific provisions of the Beer Batter League should be accepted.


Based on the foregoing, this court accepts the proposed trade of Nice players Victor Martinez (C-1B Boston Red Sox), David Murphy (OF Texas Rangers), and Mitch Talbot (P Cleveland Indians) to the Terminators for players Lyle Overbay (1B Toronto Blue Jays), Brennan Boesch (1B-OF Detroit Tigers), and Ni-Te Fu (P Detroit Tigers).

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