Coach hiring is probably the worst aspect to Hardball. It’s super time consuming, and the negotiation process in general sucks.
The big rule for coach hiring is get ANYONE to fill the spot before the AI fills it for you. Otherwise you’ll end up with a 28 rated AAA pitching coach.
I typically will avoid a bidding contest with anyone outside of the top four major league coaching spots; Anyone else isn’t really worth the time and hassle. If I end up getting a fairly low rated HiA pitching coach, I’ll just make sure not to put any of my decent pitching prospects in HiA. By low rated, I mean a guy maybe 6-7 points below the mean rating for that level, and that rarely happens.
Free agency is different. I won’t shy away from bidding contests, but I don’t get out of control. Well, most of the time I don’t get out of control. Did
Jody DuBose deserve 5 years, at $20 million per? Probably not, but I felt comfortable with his stamina, makeup, and durability to pitch effectively all five years.
As free agency goes by, those players without offers will tend to drop their demands, sometimes significantly, and you can often pick up bargains. I was able to sign
Fernando Manzanillo about 50 games into the season for less than a million, after he just got done with a 4-year, $7.4 million per contract. Didn’t hit the cover off the ball, but certainly was playing better than
Ismael Nieves was.
Also, it’s a good idea to look to fill some of your minor league teams with some guys if you’ve had a lot of retirements.