1. Each MLB Pro team is assigned an “International Free Agency Spending Limit” (IFASL).
2. The IFASL is a two-tiered system based upon a team’s given budget at the start of the off-season.
TIER 1 – At the start of the off-season, MLB Pro teams with a budget >= to the league average budget are assigned to IFASL TIER 1. These teams begin with an IFASL of $5,000,000.
TIER 2 – At the start of the off-season, MLB Pro teams with a budget < than the league average budget are assigned to IFASL TIER 2. These teams begin with an IFASL of $6,000,000
The Trade Bonus – Acquiring Additional Funds
Once teams are assigned their tier level, they may begin to trade any of their IFASL (in increments of $250,000).
TIER 1 teams have a MAXIMUM IFASL of $8,250,000.
TIER 2 teams have a MAXIMUM IFASL OF $10,000,000.
For example, once tiers are assigned at the start of the 2019 off-season, teams may trade IFASL for the 2020 International Signing Period only. This will reset at the start of each off-season. Teams may not trade for future year IFASL.
When a trade for IFASL happens, what actually gets traded? Can anyone trade it?
-No physical asset is moved between changes. It’s simply the amount a team may ultimately spend.
-As far as who can trade it, the team sending IFASL money must not be in a current deficit (ie: the team must have positive total available money.] This is because only teams with cash available are able to sign players. A team over budget would not be able to sign any players and thus in the eyes of the league office should not have the ability to trade space it itself would not be able to use.
Any signing that pushes a team over its IFASL available limit will result in the following:
- The player will be released
- The team will not be able to sign any further IFA during this IFA Period
- The team will be given a fine
- If a team were to violate the rules again, further action will be taken by the league office.
[It really is imperative that teams follow this rule. It is not really possible to release these signings properly back into the IFA Section.]
- It will be the responsibility of the team to prevent overspending. If you have $5M, do not have more than $5M in outstanding bids in case multiple players sign on the day.
Teams Over Budget
Just as OOTP does not allow for teams over budget to make waiver claims or to offer contracts to free-agents, OOTP does not allow teams over budget to make any offers to international free agents. It would not matter if you have traded for additional funds. It would be the team’s responsibility to monitor its own financial situation.
This can be tracked under a team’s front-office page and the “Total Money Available” figure under the Budget Information tab.
The International Free Agency Pool
The 2019 IFA Pool consisted of 68 players. The goal would be to continue to get as many real-life IFA prospects from the current year, as well as any other players that would fit the type not being amateur draft-picks. If class sizes are on the low end of things, additional fictional types could be included.
One additional change to the system would also be the date of the IFA season (as well as a slight change to the MLB Pro Amateur Draft). In order to provide both ample time and focus on each, I would be looking at pushing the MLB Pro Amateur Draft up a week to June 1st. On June 2nd, we would have the IFA initial reveal. The true start of IFA bidding would be made August 1st. This would give plenty of time to create the pool and allow for scouting and the continued trading of IFASL funds.***
This does mean that there is some risk in trading for IFASL funds in the off-season prior to knowing what the IFA Class will look like. I can simply say that I will continue to do things as they have been done in the past when it comes to bringing in real-life players.
[*** – The date portion is TBD, ample time will be given during the season.]