Eligibility for Single-League Drafts?

I've been playing in an AL-only auction keeper league for the past... decade-plus. We've made some minor rule tweaks over the years, but the one that always seems to cause trouble is player eligibility.

In the past, the rule was "Player must be on an active (25-man) American League roster to be eligible." Unfortunately, that led to a few issues... for example:
  • How do you handle the disabled list? Do players on the DL count as "active?" (This became an issue when players bid the league minimum to grab players who were out for the year due to injury... throw $1 at a B.J. Ryan and pencil him in as next year's closer, etc.)
  • What about guys who are expected to make the team out of Spring Training but don't? Or starting pitchers who are left in the minors when the team breaks camp to get in some work before the fifth spot in the rotation comes up?
We tried to address the second problem by putting a deadline on it... "the player has to be on the major league roster by May 1, otherwise you lose him, and the amount you bid on him at auction goes into your free agent budget." That didn't work particularly well, either, for a variety of reasons.

For this season, one of the other owners proposed a rule change to "simplify" matters. Here's his suggestion:
the ONLY players ineligible to be auctioned or FAABed are those
currently in an NL organization at the time of bid? Minors, DL,
anything else - doesn't matter?


Matt Wieters (even if he starts in the minors)
Manny Ramirez (signed to NO organization as of now - but note that if
you auctioned or FAABed him, then he signed with an NL team, you would
NOT get the FAAB rebate)
Dustin McGowan (first guy who came to mind who is missing a chunk of
the season on the DL)
Me (also signed to no organization as of now)

Jake Peavy (on the theory he'll get traded to the AL at some point,
but is signed to an NL team right now)
Jason Heyward (top prospect, could very well be traded somewhere at
the deadline, but with an NL organization now)
Anyone care to poke holes in this proposal? I don't really like it, but I can't point to a specific reason why it won't work.

My counter-proposal was "must be on the 40-man roster to be bid on, either at auction or as a free agent." That, at least, would put some limit on the universe of potential players.

Any thoughts?


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