Draft Rights: A Primer

If you know who this is, I’m both impressed and sad for you (both of us)

– Well, as most of us could have guessed, ESPN done screwed us yet again. This time, they have neglected to add some of those OH SO IMPORTANT low minor leaguers that some (maybe 3) of us covet so greatly. The low minors was basically predicated on getting some of the dudes as early as possible, which could build some continuity in our systems, and add an extra element to trade talks and future negotiations in the league.

FEAR NOT, my friends, as your league leadership has heard your concerns and have devised a plan to rectify these issues that maybe 1 or 2 of you care so deeply about. This plan may seem complex and even needless at first, but it will be useful to all who want it, and if you’re not into the whole prospect thing, the great part is you just really don’t have to participate. A secondary or possibly tertiary goal for me in this league is to make you all more well-rounded baseball fans, and I believe this low minors strategy will enhance the experience from bottom to top. But yea, so, without more word filler, this is the strategy that has been brought forward by me, your minor league coordinator, and streamlined by your commish and his underling:

(Quick note: Before you say “This is needless and stupid, and I disagree with its merits”, please note that there have been MULTIPLE owners who welcome and are excited for these minor leaguers to be available, and this process is a conduit in which everyone could be satisfied, and nobody will be slighted.)



  • The draft will give you an opportunity to draft the rights of UP TO (3) minor leaguers who are not already involved in the LOW ENERGY ESPN player pool. It will shake out like this:

    • Draft will (as stated) be done in order of reverse regular season standings.

    • You will be given the opportunity to draft any player of your choosing from the ESPN player pool OR research and draft a player of your choosing who is NOT already in the player pool itself.

    • The draft will be completely on GROUPME, so we control how the picks are made and managed. A spreadsheet of draft picks and the tracking will be compiled by the staff and tracked on the league blog.

    • Drafting rights to players are totally up to the individual drafting to formulate their involvement or strategy. You can draft anywhere from 0 to 3 players from the tangible player pool, and backfill the remainder with rights players.

    • The rights pick has to involve a player who is PAID BY AN MLB ORGANIZATION. No International players who don’t have an attached organization. This is not a negotiable situation.

    • Before you ask, yes, you will theoretically be able to own 11 minor league eligible players, but you really don’t. You have to make a roster move to actually own a rights player when they become available to the system, which means you will have to drop a player on your roster.

    • Breakdown on how rights picks will be done:

      • Owner A wants to use his #1 pick to draft last year’s #1 pick, Mickey Moniak, but obviously his name isn’t accessible through the ESPN system.

      • Owner A will take Mickey Moniak as a DRAFT RIGHTS player with Pick #1.

      • This means: Owner A has not filled 1 spot in his roster, instead acquiring rights to a player to be added to the league at a later date.

      • They will essentially own Mickey Moniak for WHENEVER he enters the league.

      • This player’s rights will NOT count toward your teams minor league requirements. You will still need to make your roster compliant before March 31st. There are no exceptions.

      • Mickey Moniak’s rights will not be available to anyone but Owner A for as long as he is NOT in the ESPN player pool.

      • Once Moniak is discovered to be in the player pool, Owner A will be given the FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL. This means: They will have to drop a player from their team and use their waiver claim on Mickey Moniak (NO MATTER YOUR WAIVER PICK NUMBER). If you decide you have a nice and high waiver claim and don’t want to waste it on your minor leaguer, you MAY pass on the pickup.

      • If Moniak is entered somehow into the player pool and passes through waivers before discovered, the commissioner will manually put Owner A to the back of the waiver list if Owner A decided to act on acquiring Moniak.

      • If you pass on the pick, the rights to Moniak have been absolved and he is a free agent, available to anyone in the league without the use of a waiver pick.

      • These rights players are absolutely tradable if you so choose, as any player on your active roster would be.

      • After the draft, they will have the opportunity to place a waiver claim on a player to fill that empty roster spot for the upcoming season. This means you could own all 3 rights picks in the draft, and backfill your roster spots with active player pool players AFTER the draft.


So basically that’s it. It’s as simple as it sounds, and there are no loopholes that will be exploited here. This is not a living breathing system, where you can randomly claim a players rights at your own whim in the future. It is ONLY FOR THE 3 DRAFT ROUNDS, and that’s only if you choose. Your level of involvement is entirely up to you, and you have every opportunity to own any player you choose who’s not in ESPN player pool.

Again, your level of involvement is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. Feel free to participate or not. The caveat is you will not have the license to belly ache at all about not having access to a minor league star if you don’t participate, because you had the opportunity. With anything, there will be penalties that will be enforced for compliance, but these will be covered when the PENALTIES for non-compliance come out in relatively short order.

I encourage and welcome questions, comments, or criticisms which will inevitably rise.

Draft Rights: A Primer

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