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Benchwarmer Baseball Rules

8.0 Finances

8.1 Currency

All money earned and spent is in the form of Benchwarmer Bucks.

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8.2 Player Salaries

8.2.1 Preseason

Modified 2/25/16 (preseason salary rebate increased from 50% to 80% for the entire preseason and not just the final week)


For first-year leagues, all owners will begin the season with a balance of fantasy dollars equal to the salary cap for that season.  Legacy leagues will be slightly different.  They will begin the season with a balance including the balance at the end of the previous season plus the salary cap figure (see Off Season Procedures for more details).


For first-year leagues, player salaries will be deducted from the balance at the time they are drafted. For returning leagues, player salaries will be paid for when a) players are picked to carry over to the next season and b) as players are selected in the Redistribution Draft. In addition, as players are signed or cut during a league’s free agency period in the preseason, salaries will be deducted as players are signed. If a player is cut in the preseason, that team will receive an 80% rebate of the player’s salary, with the same exceptions as noted below.

8.2.2 Regular Season

Owners will be able to make roster changes that will affect the team's finances as players are added or cut from the roster.  The Commissioner's Office will publish a season schedule, which will also list the pro-rating deadlines for the season.  Owners cutting or trading away a player will be credited with a prorated portion of that player's salary (with exceptions noted below).  In addition, owners signing or obtaining a player in a trade will need to pay only a prorated amount of the salary.  Although there will be some minor modifications, the general rule is that one week of games (6 games) is 4% of the season schedule of 150 games.  Therefore, the prorated amount will decrease by 4% each week.

8.2.3 Exceptions to prorated salary assumption/rebate

Exceptions occur at the beginning and end of the season.  Owners will receive no more than an 80% refund of the player's salary for roster cuts, and will pay no less than 40% of the player's salary for roster acquisitions.


Owners will not receive a salary rebate for a player they release for these situations:

  • Contracts at 200 or less are fully guaranteed.  Owners cutting these players at any time during the season will not receive a rebate.
  • Players under multiyear contracts do not get any salary rebate.
  • All salary rebates end after Week 15.

Note: In trades, player salaries will be fully prorated, without the 80% cap on rebates or 40% floor on salaries. Also, traded players making less than 200 will generate a salary rebate and rebates continue as long as trades are allowed, rather than ending at Week 15.

8.3 Team Revenue Sources

Modified April 2018

8.3.1 Preseason

As mentioned, all teams will receive a cash distribution from the League Office during the winter or, in the case of new leagues, at the time the league is formed.


New in 2018: After the Redistribution Draft, teams will receive 1 million Benchwarmer Bucks to account for some of the "player development costs" of the Prospects roster.  For the 2018 season only, this cash will be distributed during the processing of Week 10 transactions.


On Opening Day, all teams receive an extra 2 million Benchwarmer Bucks. This award is actually made at the conclusion of the Week Zero transactions.  The way that BWB calculates weekly cash and transactions, teams short of cash can actually use that 2 million distribution to help them sign players that week.

8.3.2 Regular Season Team Performance - Modified April 2018 for 2018 Season

During the season, teams will earn additional revenue depending upon weekly performance and position in the standings.


This cash will be awarded 2 weeks after the game week occurs.  For example, cash for games won and division placement in Week 1 will be awarded during the transaction/lineup processing for Week 3


Teams will receive cash per win each week. The amount varies throughout the season to reward better team performance at the end of the season.  Think of this as - the more a team wins, the more fans attend games, and the more cash the team makes.  As a team is pushing for the playoffs or at least improving to win more at the end of the season, that cash should go up.  This is a bit of a carrot to encourage teams to field competive teams throughout the season.  Tanking at the end of the year will harm teams financially as they will miss out on extra potential cash.


Cash per win:

  • Weeks 1-15: $50,000
  • Weeks 16-20: $75,000
  • Weeks 21-25: $100,000



Teams will receive funds based upon their position in the division standings at the end of the week.  Here's where we help keep teams alive - as the money is allocated in reverse order:

  • 4th place:
    • Weeks 1-15: $150,000
    • Weeks 16-20: $100,000
    • Weeks 21-25: $0
  • 3rd place - $75,000
  • 2nd place - $25,000
  • 1st place - $0

If there is a tie for any of these positions, it will be broken with the same criteria as free agent signings. For example, if two teams are tied for first, the team that is determined to get the earlier pick during that week’s transactions is considered the second place team here and the other team considered the first place team. Extra Cash Disbursements

Benchwarmer Baseball will provide an additional 1 million in cash to teams over the course of the season. Each team will receive an extra distribution of 1 million BW Bucks at transaction week 16 (one week before multi-year contract signings close).  Note - previous to the 2015 season this had been 1 million each during the final transaction weeks of May, June, and July.

8.3.3 Postseason

Teams receive financial incentives based on how they finished in their division, as well as playoff performance.  This helps to give teams something to play for even in a season where the division title is wrapped up early.


Division Position or Playoff Finish



$2 million


$1 million







League Champion*

$4 million

League Runner-up

$2 million



Second-Place Tourney Winner

$1 million

Second-Place Tourney Runner-up




Also-ran Tourney Winner


Also-ran Tourney Runner-up



Note - Financial awards for division finish will be awarded as part of the current season's financial balance.  It will count in the derivation of the salary cap.  Following the distribution of the annual cap money, post-season prizes will be awarded.

8.3.4 Player Performance Awards

Teams that have the top hitters and pitchers will earn Benchwarmer Bucks on a weekly and seasonal basis.


Player of the Week - Winners receive a $25,000 bonus for their team.  There are three weekly awards - one each for hitters, pitchers, and relievers. As with cash for wins and division placement, this will be awarded two weeks after the games occur.  For example, the bonuses for players of the week in Week 1 will be credited during the transaction/lineup processing for Week 3.


Players of the Year - Players finishing in high standing for Player of the Year will earn financial benefits for their teams.  These are awarded separately for position players, starting pitchers, and relievers.  POY money is distributed to teams AFTER the off-season salary cap distribution.

  • 1st place - $500,000
  • 2nd place - $250,000
  • 3rd place - $100,000

Benchwarmer All-Stars - Each team will receive $25,000 for each player on the Benchwarmer All-Star Teams.


Major League All-Stars - Each team will receive $10,000 for each player on the Major League All-Star Teams.

NOTE - All-star teams and bonuses will be selected and awarded based on Week 13 rosters and will typically be disbursed during the Week 15 transaction/lineup processing (subject to change).

8.4 Orphan Team Cash

Added 12/8/15

Orphan teams are often left in an uncompetitive state for various reasons - but whatever the reason often require a great deal of overhaul to make them viable franchises.  During the off season (or whenever they are adopted) these orphan teams will get an additional cash distribution to allow them to reform their rosters and take on additional salary or not worry as much about salary rebates.


Orphan teams, once adopted, will receive an additional 4 million Benchwarmer Bucks (4000).  This cash officially gets added to the team balance at the next transaction processing posting, though teams can usually act as though they have the cash immediately upon adoption.


Added 2/25/16

In situations where a team remains an orphan and in control of the BWB Office as of July 1 of the season, the extra 4 million Benchwarmer Bucks will be added to the team balance at the next transaction processing.  If another owner takes over the team before the regular season is over, no additional cash will be awarded.  Once the off season arrives, the clock resets and any new owner for the following season will be awarded the cash.

Added 4/25/17

Teams set up as orphans for league creation will not be awarded the extra $4 million in cash when a real person takes over that team in the league's first season.  Orphan cash is provided to allow new owners to fix problems with existing franchises and to help remake the team roster in the new owner's vision - but in the initial season, adding that extra cash will be a competitive disadvantage in a league where everyone started from scratch.  If the team remains an orphan, it will be awarded extra cash when the team is adopted in the next season.


8.5 Carry over

Funds remaining in the team's account after the season will remain with the team for the following season. See Off Season Procedures to explain how this works.

8.6 Maximum Cash Balances

Intentionally or unintentionally, it is possible for owners to carry over large sums of cash into the next season.  Over the course of a few years, that could lead to a huge imbalance and allow an owner in a given year to assemble a "super team".  One week before the beginning of a new season (during the financial adjustments for Transaction Week Zero), all teams that have cash balances over $5 million will have those balances reduced to that $5 million mark.


Owners can still accumulate cash after that time - with the $2 million Opening Day cash distribution, salary rebates, and financial gains through wins and position in their division.


To be clear on the order of the process,

  1. Week Zero transactions are conducted - all salaries and rebates calculated, and any trade cash is exchanged.
  2. Team finances are checked for balances over 5000 - those above that value are reduced to exactly 5000.
  3. All teams get 2000 in extra cash.


The spirit of this rule is to attempt to maintain competitive balance.

8.6.1 Exceptions for Expansion Teams

If leagues undergo expansion, those new teams will not be subject to the limit before their second season and will have a $10 million limit before their third season.  After that time, they will be subject to the same cash ceiling.

8.6.2 Exceptions for First-year Leagues

The maximum cash balance limit will not be enforced in the initial season of any league.


8.6.3 Exceptions for First-year Owners

New for 2015 - added 5/7/14

The maximum cash balance limit will not be enforced for owners of orphaned teams who have just joined Benchwarmer Baseball and in his/her first season.  First, depending on league, there may be few opportunities to spend cash on quality free agents.  Second, to require someone to sign players to multiyear contracts to use up cash before they even start playing the game is a source of confusion/error.

8.6.4 Exceptions for Late Orphan Assignments

New for 2015 - added 5/7/14

Any team that is adopted as an Orphan team where the extra orphan cash is credited in Week -2, Week -1, or Week Zero will not be held to the maximum cash balance since they may have not had enough time to spend the money or sign enough free agents to rebuild the team.

8.6.5 Exceptions for Current Orphan Teams

Added 3/26/23

This codifies what has been practiced for many years. Teams currently in orphan status will not be held to the maximum cash balance.


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Next: 9.0 Startup Draft >

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