It is hard to imagine Dayton Moore making anything more than a few minor moves with his 2022 organization but what if he somehow had a change of heart and decided to tear the team down to a more youthful and a cheaper team? One can try to simulate such a fire sale with OOTP23.
I aimed to get rid of any player in the organization over the age of 27 with the exception of future Hall of Famers Zack Greinke and Salvador Perez. I even wanted to part with every minor league player in the organization over the age of 26. I wanted my task to be made more difficult than normal OOTP23 so I set trade frequency to be one click less frequent and I set trade difficulty to be one click more difficult.
Other changes to the default OOTP23 rules were the following:
1. All teams were set to be at least average for market size, fan loyalty, and fan interest as the season began. Those teams already average or above in these categories were not altered.
2. All teams were set to at least have a very small positive amount of budget room as the season began. Those teams already with any positive amount of budget room were not altered.
3. Besides those listed as already injured as the season began new AI created injuries were permitted except AI created injuries were set at one click less frequent than the default setting and new AI created injuries were set to prohibit injuries longer than four to six weeks.
4. Instead of default settings I set both pitcher hooks at -4, set relief pitcher usage as Often, and set pitcher stamina as Normal.
5. All teams were considered the same for scouting, coaching, and morale as all three of these aspects of the game were turned off. In retrospect perhaps the Royals gained by being average in scouting and coaching.
It was very difficult to move some of the older guys with larger contracts under my rules but I did manage to by the trade deadline reach a 40man roster with only Greinke and Perez older than age 27 along with four players aged 27 (Lopez, Speier, Keller, and Snider) with the rest of the 40man featuring fellows aged 26 or younger. Additionally, nobody not on the 40man who was with the organization was older than 26.
I had to eat some money to move some contracts. It cost me 50% of remaining contracts to move Carlos Santana (to Oakland) and Hunter Dozier (to St. Louis along with Garrett). To get a better prospect package I accepted 25% of Benitendi's remaining contract (to Washington). I had John Sherman eat $17.7M to part with the three of Santana, Dozier, and Andrew Benitendi
Whit Merrifield was dealt to Tampa Bay, Scott Barlow was traded to the White Sox, and Josh Staumont was traded to the Rangers. I even traded Adalberto Mondesi before he was injured in real life (also to Washington along with Ryan O'Hearn). Michael A. Taylor and Cam Gallagher were sent to the Dodgers in a package deal. A whole slew of other older 40man players and older minor league players were released.
In return Kansas City mostly received fellows who might contribute in 2023 or later, but a few made some 2022 debuts. I additionally claimed some guys on waivers if they were young and cheap and if they potentially could help and some did play for the Royals in 2022.
My Fire Sale Royals finished with 72 wins and 90 losses, a percentage of .444. They only played to a percentage of .385 after the All Star Break when the youth movement was in full swing and when some of the kids were taking their lumps. Zack Greinke retired after the season in my simulation and so Nicky Lopez became the second oldest player on the team behind Salvador Perez.
The 2023 Fire Sale Royals are expected to have a payroll of $56.5M. They have zero free agents at the conclusion of 2022 and only Lopez, Keller, and Bubic will be going through arbitration. Keller is set to become a free agent after 2023 and everybody else is controlled through at least 2025.
Do you wish to view the final regular season game of my 2022 youthful fire sale Kansas City Royals? Here it is on YouTube: