The World Series is over signaling the official start of the MLB offseason. The Atlanta Braves figure to be busy this winter and below are some important dates to keep an eye on between now and the start of spring training.
Free Agency Opens – (Five days after World Series ends)
Eligible players will file for free agency the day after the World Series ends. That also begins the five-day quiet period where teams can negotiate with their own free agents but are unable to sign anyone. Teams also must decide whether to extend one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offers to any of their free agents.
The Braves currently have seven players who will be free agents after the World Series. Brandon McCarthy, Nick Markakis, Brad Brach, Lucas Duda, Kurt Suzuki, Rene Rivera, Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Flaherty, Peter Moylan. None of them appear likely to receive a qualifying offer.
DL Reinstatement – (Five days after World Series ends)
Players that are currently on the 60-day disabled list must be added back to the 40-man roster. Atlanta currently has seven players who fit this criteria. (Grant Dayton, Luiz Gohara, Jacob Lindgren, Darren O’Day, Jose Ramirez, Mike Soroka, Michael Reed)
November 4 – Gold Glove Awards Announced
November 5 – BBWAA Awards Finalists Announced
Finalists announced for BBWAA Awards including Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP.
November 7 – Defensive Players of the Year Announced
Platinum Glove Awards handed out to the best defender in both the National and American League.
November 8 – Silver Slugger Awards Announced
Silver Slugger Awards named for the top hitter at each position.
November 8-15 – Japan All-Star Tour
A group of MLB Players including Ronald Acuña Jr. will take part in a seven-game exhibition tour of Japan starting on November 8. This is the 37th time Major League players have toured Japan for exhibition games dating back to 1908.
November 12-15 BBWAA Awards
November 12 – Rookies of the Year Announced
November 13 – Managers of the Year Announced
November 14 – Cy Young Awards Announced
November 15 – MVP Awards Announced
November 26-29 MLBPA Executive Board Meeting, Dallas
Executive meetings held in Dallas. Not as high profile as the Winter Meetings but the groundwork to many offseason signings and trades likely begin here.
November 30 – Non-tender deadline
Deadline to tender contracts to players still under team control. This is mostly where you’ll see some arbitration-eligible players get non-tendered if the Braves are not interested in bringing them back for 2018.
December 9-13 – MLB Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
The annual December Winter Meetings are usually the pinnacle of the offseason. This is typically the time of the year when the most activity happens and rumors run rampant.
December 13 – Rule 5 Draft
Minor League players not on a team’s 40-man roster who have been in professional baseball for four (for college players) or five (for high school players) Rule 5 Drafts are eligible to be selected. During the Major League portion of the draft, any player selected must remain on that team’s active roster for the entire season or be offered back to their original club. The Braves selected reliever Armando Rivero in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, and he didn’t end up pitching in affiliated baseball at all this year.
January 11 – Exchange of Arbitration Figures
Arbitration eligible players and their clubs exchange potential salary figures. Atlanta currently has ten players who are eligible for arbitration (assuming none are non-tendered) in Kevin Gausman, Mike Foltynewicz, Arodys Vizcaino, Adam Duvall, Dan Winkler, Jonny Venters, Sam Freeman, Charlie Culberson, Jose Ramirez, and Jacob Lindgren. The Braves may elect to avoid arbitration with many of these players to work out more team friendly deals or long term extensions.
February 1-20 – Arbitration hearings held
If the teams and the players can’t come to an agreement then they will go to arbitration where a panel will hear player and club presentations and will then decide to award the player his submission or the club’s.