Sunday, December 10, 2017

TAM, Affiliation, and Expansion Draft

There's been a few stories of note since Friday, so we'll go through them all in one post.

First, the league announced $1.2 million in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) each of the next two years.  They also announced that each team could self-fund an additional $2.8 million in TAM each of the next two years.  Essentially they said that teams could spend up to $4 million on TAM players each of the next two years, and the league will cover the first $1.2 million of it.  To remind everyone, TAM is used to sign players that would normally be Designated Players but the TAM brings their salary below the salary max for a standard player.  Players signed with TAM have to have a total cost (salary+transfer fee) of $1.5 million or less and you can convert a DP to a TAM player but you must sign a new DP player to replace him.

This is not great news for traditionally low-spending/small-market teams, like the Rapids.  This will quickly split teams into haves and have nots as those owners who are comfortable spending will spend all $4 million and those who aren't will just spend the league covered $1.2 million.  That $2.8 million difference could have a huge effect on rosters.  I guess now we'll know how interested KSE is in being competitive versus just existing.

The silver lining though is that now that we know the number we might start to see some movement in player signings.  A number of Front Offices have complained to reporters that the question about how much TAM would be available was causing them to delay signings.  Maybe we'll get a signing (or 2?) before Christmas?

Secondly the Rapids announced that the affiliation with the USL Charlotte Independence will be extended though the 2018 season.  The fact that this is just a one year deal leads me to believe that the Front Office has bigger long-term plans than affiliating with Charlotte but they have enough to deal with this offseason with all the new leadership so its easier to just extend it for another year and deal with the long-term plans next offseason.  The relationship with Charlotte came out of the time that Hinchey spent there working with the Bobcats along-side some of the Independence owners so I'm not surprised that with his departure that relationship may be reexamined.

Lastly the available players for Tuesday's expansion draft have been announced.  We can then extrapolate who's on the Rapids protection list, and there's really no surprises.  When I made my forecast a little over a month ago I picked 10 names and left the last spot open to be based on the best info the coaches had.  That was before we knew Saeid asked for his release, but the other 9 names on my list were protected, along with Miller and Watts.  (and of course, our four homegrown players were automatically protected).  In fact, the only exposed players the Rapids have under contract next season are Mike da Fonte (no way he gets chosen, and no loss if he does) and Sam Hamilton (he won't get chosen with the other options out there).  So the Rapids should come through this unscathed and with no surprises.

Also, shout-out to Rapids legend and all around fan favorite Drew Moor for picking up his second ring last night!  He's 2-1 now in MLS Cups, all played in Toronto.  Clint Irwin gets his first ring as well.

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