This week, San Diego Studios held the much-anticipated March to October and Franchise Mode Feature Premiere live stream for MLB The Show 22. SDS officially added franchise mode to the live stream schedule last week, which gave fans of the series hope. For months, fans have used #MakeFranchiseBetterMLB22 to voice their desire for improvements to be made to franchise mode. SDS adding the mode to the Feature Premiere lineup seemed like a victory for players.
MLB The Show 22 Updates
Trade logic improvement
The nearly hour-long live stream on the developer’s Twitch and YouTube channel began by introducing new team member Tim Barnes. Barnes is a former community member who was brought on to help “take franchise into the future.” Barnes started by discussing trade metrics and logic. Barnes said that the team was not satisfied with the previous trade metric system. This led them to shift to a 3-year weighted wins above replacement (WAR) system for MLB The Show 22. This system considers a player’s three most recent seasons’ WAR value instead of just the most recent season. This statistic, combined with the average annual value (AAV) of the player’s contract, determines their trade value.
The team used this new metric as the foundation to refine trade logic to “reflect current trends.” More trade logic changes included a decrease in the value of relief pitchers and closers compared to starters and position players, and players no longer immediately being traded after signing in the offseason. The team said that teams would also now value top players more, thus making them harder to trade for.
But does it work?
This addition seems to address one of the biggest gripes fans of Franchise Mode had with MLB The Show 21. Big-name players like Juan Soto and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were often traded away for not much in return. At least, that is what it seemed like. The team showed an example of this, where they tried to trade for Juan Soto during the live stream. Juan Soto is supposed to have this new premium trade price placed on him. The team acquired the 24-year-old Soto, who was rated at a 93 overall, for two top prospects that were rated 78 and 76. Though this is an improvement over MLB The Show 21’s trade logic, this seemed to cast some doubt on if the new logic was where it needed to be for some.
Contract and budget improvements
The team also made improvements to the budget system in franchise mode. The CBT levels will now reflect the newly set levels. Team market size was also updated to reflect current data. The budget system in franchise mode will also be changed from being organization based to now only be based on the 40-man roster.
Contract improvements for franchise mode include increases to the max contract length (up to 15 years) and contract AAV (up to $35 million). The new 3-year weighted WAR system was also implemented to update the player contract demands logic.
A unique piece of franchise news was that two-way players, such as this year’s cover athlete Shohei Ohtani, would now be viable in the mode. Two-way players will now be able to DH any day he does not pitch. That player will now recover pitching stamina while they DH. So, if you want to use the Angels in franchise mode, now is the time.
The team also addressed some community requests. The first was that pitchers were not recovering stamina fast enough in the postseason. This fix will allow for 4-man rotations in the playoffs. The transaction log is now expanded to include logs for the entire season. Injury sliders have been split between simulation and gameplay to give players better tuning options.
March to October
The team then switched to talking about March to October and the new additions to the mode in MLB The Show 22. The biggest addition is that the mode is now multi-season. At the end of the season, players now have the choice to either export to franchise mode or continue to the offseason. The latter option would take the player into a new streamlined free agency and offseason process. The free agency process includes player interest, last chance opportunities, and a new contract offer screen. If you can snag that big free agent, you will be rewarded by seeing them walk out in your uniform. This reveal is similar to how diamond players are revealed in Diamond Dynasty. This reveal will only occur for the top 25 free agents in each free agency class.
The franchise customization suite is also now in March to October. This will allow players to completely customize the look and name of their team all the way down to what stadium they use.
San Diego Studios is scheduled to have another Feature Premiere on March 24 to discuss Road to the Show and Ballplayer, followed by the final one on March 31 discussing Diamond Dynasty, Live Content, and Esports.
MLB The Show 22 is available April 5, 2022, on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
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They should add rotating schedules to franchise mode.