In my post this morning forgot to mention another benefit of using FAAB: you can trade it! This encourages trading in multiple ways. First, trading FAAB can help balance out a trade offer. Sometimes you’re close to agreement, but think the current offer favors the other owner a little more. When you can trade FAAB, you can propose adding some FAAB to the deal, and then the negotiation becomes simply over how much FAAB to include. It’s a good way to make small deals happen that otherwise might not.
Say I have an extra middle infielder on my bench when your shortstop goes on the DL. Your bench doesn’t have anyone I’m interested in, and you don’t want to weaken your lineup by giving me an upgrade at some position. Perhaps I agree to take one of your bench players plus some FAAB – you get the short-term guy to fill a hole, and I get some potential future value.
Near the trading deadline, or when highly sought after free agents are new to a league, then owners who want to bid on the new player will often make trades to acquire more FAAB. Without FAAB there’s no incentive for such trades, nor is there a nicely divisible commodity (money) to try to balance out other deals. So using FAAB not only is a better way to allocate new talent in your league, it also helps make trading easier, too.
Needless to say, RotoValue supports including FAAB in trade offers, and indeed before the auction for George Springer we had two trades involving FAAB, as owners scrambled to increase their budgets. Indeed one trade was simply some FAAB for a player!