Choosing a team: Ask yourself some questions.
There are a LOT of strategies that could go into this decision: how many high draft picks has the team had; what is the average age of their Major League (ML) players; what is the projected budget for next season; what will their draft position be next season; how many games have they won over the past couple seasons; who are the team’s core players, or do they have a core; and/or how many owners have been “one-and-done”? Whether you decide to find answers to all these questions or just one or two, it’s up to you. However, my recommendation is not to get wrapped around in detailed strategy picking a team. In the end, you will not know what you have until after you set your budget and even then, nothing can duplicate a couple of seasons of experience. Have a little fun instead. Are you from the west or east coast? Your favorite team is where?
Choosing a ballpark: Its more about you, than you think.
What type of baseball do you like? Are you a fan of “old school” contact and running the bases, or is their nothing better than “power” baseball, or maybe you want to use strict “moneyball” concepts? If you love good pitching then maybe you should steer clear of Coors Field. Perhaps Comerica Park would better meet your goals. My recommendation is to look at the park’s numbers and then think of the team you most enjoy watching/building.
Choosing a name: Be an original, or not.
I am not an original. I saw the color scheme and realized I could not change it, so I just went with Blue Sox, for my Kansas City team. My recommendation is, just don’t pick a name you might regret and make sure you spell it correctly, or the way you want. However, you can always submit a ticket to WIS to change it later.
Before the budget: Reviewing rosters, and contracts.
If you haven’t already, do as WIS advises and review arbitration eligible players and who is headed to free agency. WIS will do some of the work for you in the budgeting window under the Admin tab. My recommendation is to be conservative with your payroll your first season.
Setting your budget: See post- Budgeting tips for new owners.
After the budget is set: Search, compare, and evaluate.
Search, compare, and evaluate, applies to both ML players and your coaches. Become familiar with the Player Search option in the Reports tab. My recommendation is to compare your budget to your fellow owners first, then compare your players. If you decide to trade it will be helpful to know if you are trading with someone who has better scouting than you do. Also, comparing budgets may give you an idea of who (and how many) will be your primary competition for Free Agency, International FA, Drafting, and so on.
Roster cleanup: Promotions, demotions, and releases.
You do not have to wait this long to make some of these decisions, but you shouldn’t wait any longer. My recommendation is to conduct all (or most) promotions and releases during the same “sit-down.” it can be time-consuming to sift through each level and pick out who has the potential and who is eating up space. But, going back to this task a day later would be an even bigger headache to me. Just don’t release too many, you will need fillers at each level and position.