• Draft order was selected at random.
• Player salaries based on 2009 salaries. For those involved in arbitration cases at the time of the draft, the midpoint between what the player wanted and what the team was offering was taken. Players with 1-plus year of service time but not eligible for arbitration were given 10 percent raises from their 2008 salaries; those with 2-plus were given 15 percent. Those with 0-plus were given the 2009 minimum of $400,000.
• Seeding for the tournament will be based on payroll -- No. 1 payroll vs. No. 4 payroll; No. 2 vs. No. 3.
• Each team must carry 11 pitchers.
• Each will act as a National League team -- so, no DH.
The economy is impacting everyone, baseball included. Teams are looking to build more cost-conscious rosters. But how? Is it doable? Are there enough talented, relatively inexpensive players to build a competitive roster for, say, $40 million, which is roughly the payroll the San Diego Padres hope to operate at in 2009?
Well, ESPN.com put four of its experts on the case.
Over a recent five-day stretch, Baseball Tonight's Steve Phillips, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark and Rob Neyer drafted their own 25-man rosters.
All this week, we reveal their selections -- and their thoughts on each other's selections. On Monday, Feb. 9, the four teams will begin going head-to-head in seven-game series conducted by ImagineSports.com, which provides online simulation baseball games, using its Diamond Mind Baseball software. Our ultimate general manager will pit his budget-conscious team against the deep-pocketed New York Yankees in a seven-game series.
On Day 1, Steve Phillips and Rob Neyer came out spending, while Buster Olney was quite careful with his money. Jayson Stark, meanwhile, wondered if any of the other three GMs really wanted a piece of his team. The guys got serious on Day 2, the chatter less frequent as our execs tried to outsmart one another. By no means, though, has the trash talk ended.