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Rule Changes for 2021

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

As the season and then off season progresses, check here for the latest changes to rules

Last update: November 29, 2020

The written version of the rule book is also available, but it is many years old.  If there is a conflict, the online version is now the guide.

Here are the last rule changes in 2018 and the special rule changes for 2020 related to Covid-19 that may need to be revived...

Listing of all rules changes

15.0 Player Salaries

See the rule page


Modified 11/29/2020

This page was updated and reorganized.  The primary change is that the salary calculation formulas that were only present in the old written rule book (2008) were moved to the web.  Perhaps later in the off season, the salary cap calculation will also be copied over. Maximum salary for players who were below salary 250 in the previous season

See the full rule

Added 10/29/2020

In another attempt to limit bizarre and unintended massive jumps in salary from one year to the next, there will be limits on a new salary for players who had salaries below 250 in a previous season:

  1. Calculate player salaries as normal - using statistics from the current season and plugging into the equation of 2/3 of this season's stat calculation + 1/3 of the current season's salary
  2. Inspect new salaries and limit as necessary:
    1. For players with salary this year of 100, the maximum new salary will be 4000
    2. For players with salary this year between 101 and 250, the maximum new salary will be 5000
  3. If appropriate, players with limited salaries may have additional increases during the Premium Player Salary Adjustment phase


BWB Comments:

Partially related to the unique situation of the pandemic-affected 2020 season, Devin Williams' 2021 salary would have jumped from 100 to 7741. Despite an excellent stat line (a 0.33 ERA and almost 2 K/IP), the shortened season contributed to that large increase - a longer season would likely have had evened out things.  Rather than to try to adjust the overall formula - and to prevent Williams from being out of the price range for most teams in 2021 that had not signed him to a contract (primarily for new 2021 leagues), I decided to add this in as a tool for this year and a safeguard for future seasons.


The initial raw salary calculation for Williams was 11590.  Because of Rule that limited salary increases from player-to-player to 10%, his raw salary was reduced down to 9959 (producing a 2021 salary of 6705 and then 7741 after the premium adjustments). Williams' final 2021 salary is 4640 after 16% was added in premium adjustments.


In the BWB history, this would have only been invoked a few times, here are jumps of players from salary 250 or lower to over 4000 (final results after premium player salary increases):

IDLastFirstFirst SeasonFirst Season SalaryNext SeasonNext Season Salary
B3185Judge Aaron2017 1052018 4975


When looking at this list, the jumps for Judge and Trout were probably justified, and so I created one tier at players with salary 100 and another for salaries 101-250.  This will likely get tweaked again. BWB Discretion to Adjust Salary

See the full rule

Added 10/29/2020

With this rule, BWB reserves the right to adjust salaries after the calculations are complete.  I've never really considered manually adjusting salaries - mostly because there was no provision in the rules for that.  However, once in awhile there have been ridiculous salary jumps - mostly in relief pitchers with a combination of low ERA, lots of saves, and few if any blown saves (while blown saves are not part of the BWB game score, they were added to the salary calculation to try to limit big jumps).


So, in the past we've had jumps like:

  • Eric Gagne: 7408 to 17609 in 2004
  • Fernando Rodney: 527 to 15181 in 2013
  • Zack Britton: 3475 to 15007 in 2017

This is not intended to prevent salaries over 10000, but instead to look for anomalies that should be fixed.  It would be used very rarely, if at all, but provides a mechanism to adjust if necessary.


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