I had high hopes for this game. I enjoy baseball sims, and mostly spend the time in the franchise mode simulating through seasons while making trades and taking care of the offseason tasks -- all of which I was allowed to do with this game.
The pros: Super intricate contract system, allowing the use of option years, minor league contracts, signing bonuses, incentives. A rule V draft, for the first time in a console baseball sim. Worldwide scouting, deep draft.
The cons: Terrible user interface. In order to be a successful GM of a small market team, you need to carefully build an entire minor league system for yourself. However, the game starts out with almost nobody on your team signed to a contract. So you must go sign every single player to a new deal. That's probably at least half of the ML roster, and all of the AAA, AA, A+, A, & Short season leagues. So you're scrolling through hundreds of player names with no option other than to go through one by one. You can sort some lists, but after making a selection, the list returns to its original state. Most minor league players don't want more than a 1 year contract, which means you must go through this excerise each year -- or else recycle your entire farm from scratch.
There are just so many little things that are bad about this game it's hard to remember them, even though I spent all day trying to make the best of them. Players do get better and worse as the years progress, however, there's no report that tells you how, when, or why this is happeneing.
If players retire, they simply disappear.
And the simulations aren't even realistic. The players are rated on the scouts 20-80 scale (20 being the worst). Ervin Santana, rated an 80, pitched a simulated 2010 season where he went 4-24 with a 6.54 ERA.
The contract requests are ridiculous too. Brian Giles after his 2010 season wanted $16M/yr, whereas the aforementioned Santana signed for 9M/yr.... I'm out of characters, this game is a bad joke.