I was excited about the idea that there were major overhauls in future depth charts based on player potential, etc. That had me ready to finally try to develop my own prospects and pay close attention to the scouting efforts in the first few months of each season before the early-June draft.
The goal was to be turned away when I offered almost any trade for top prospects as the GM of the Indians. My targets were three of the top outfield prospects, and arguably the best prospect since Griffey/Trout in Jasson Dominguez. It wasn’t so much about whether any offer would be taken, if the Indians were to offer Bieber, Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes I think there would at least be discussion – not much, but maybe some before they turned it down (if they would). That wasn’t the offer I made in MLB 21 Franchise Mode.
What might be even worse (if possible) is what I offered the Mariners for 2 of the Top 5 Prospects in baseball. I did all of this on the first day of Spring Training.
Below you will find a screen grab of the current Top Prospects in baseball. Jasson Dominguez is listed at #28, but is the most highly regarded.
I was also able to make similar moves for Wander Franco and Adley Rutschman. I didn’t make efforts for Torkelson, but you can probably guess how they would have gone. The fact of the matter is that MLB 21 Franchise Mode Trade Logic is still busted.
The fortunate aspect is we can institute trading house rules as users. This won’t keep the CPU from making trades and roster moves that are idiotic, but at least we can sleep soundly knowing that we aren’t cheesing the trade system to death (if we choose). Let me be clear on this – there is no ‘right’ way to play an offline single player franchise mode. You make the world of your experience anything you want – I will never tell anyone their playstyle is wrong. However, this is one of my worries when it comes to online multiplayer leagues, etc. on top of those that want to have a true simulation experience.
Here are the house rules I have been using since MLB 18 that gave me quite a bit of longevity (3 seasons in 18 and 19 – two season in 20).
Trades/Free Agents During Season –
- You have to select the players you want from a specific team before offering your own player(s).
- You may make one trade in the initial Spring Training (Two trades in following spring trainings).
- You are permitted one trade before the All Star Game and it must not occur until at least May 1.
- You are permitted two trades after the All Star Break.
- You can only sign a free agent during your first season if your team suffers an injury on the MLB level that requires 60 Day – DL.
Scouting Prospects –
I generally prefer to take the scouting aspect as a personal project, but the more I look at how MLB 17 runs things, I tend to believe that leaving scouting on Auto allows your scouts to actually do what they will do based on their ratings. This also prevents the user from figuring out how to find all of the Top Prospects with ease.
NEW RULE – You have to immediately save the Franchise file once you have finished the draft the first time. This prevents the user from going through and looking at the draft position and potential of every player and simply time traveling to the day before the draft.
In-Game Rules –
There are only a couple basic rules I set for myself for MLB The Show. First, I believe that user control generally makes for a better performing team overall. Once you get settings/sliders that provide you with optimal challenge and enjoyment it is crucial to set up a system that you can follow without second guessing your rules.
Here are mine for MLB 18.
- Pitching/Defense – Once you allow the first run you must Quick Manage the remainder of the defensive halves of each inning until the 9th inning. If you wish, you may use your closer if there is a save situation.
- Batting – You get THREE strike outs per game. These can be offset if you draw walks. If you strike out twice and then draw a walk you can subtract one of those strike outs. Once you strike out three times you must quick manage each half inning your team is at bat until the ninth inning. You can also allow a home run to reset all strike outs.