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Legends On Deck

2016-17 MLB Offseason Important Dates

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs on their 1st World Series in 108 years. But now, the 2016-17 off season is officially upon us. Here are the important dates and deadlines for the coming months. Bookmark this page for future reference.

November 3: As of 9 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, all eligible players become free agents. Here is a list of notable free agents.

November 5: Most contract options decisions due. (Some contracts specify a different date. Usually earlier, not later.)

November 7: Deadline for teams to make eligible free agents the qualifying offer. Also on this date, finalists for baseball’s major awards will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast. That is the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player awards.

November 7-10: General Manager Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona. These are intended to cover various off-the-field matters around the league, though in recent years we’ve seen more and more transactions take place at the GM Meetings. For example, last year the Andrelton Simmons trade went down at the GM Meetings.

November 8: The start of free agency. The five-day exclusive negotiating period ends at 12:01 a.m. ET next Tuesday. Free agents are only allowed to talk to their former team prior to this date. Gold Glove award winners are also announced.

November 10: Silver Slugger award winners are announced.

November 14: Deadline for free agents to accept or reject the QO (Qualifying offer). Players who reject the QO are attached to draft pick compensation. Teams will have to forfeit their highest draft pick to sign the player while his former team receives a supplemental first round pick.

November 14-17: Major award winners will be announced this week. First come the Rookies of the Year on Monday, then Managers of the Year on Tuesday, Cy Youngs on Wednesday, and MVPs on Thursday.

November 18: This is the deadline for teams to add eligible prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Any eligible players not on the 40-man roster can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. (Eligibility: Generally speaking, college players drafted in 2013 and high school players drafted in 2012 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason. Also international free agents signed in 2012.)

December 1: Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement expires. MLB and the MLBPA expect a deal to get done before the deadline.

December 2: The deadline for teams to tender their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players contracts for the 2017 season, otherwise known as the non-tender deadline.

December 5-8: The 2016 Winter Meetings at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, DC. Blockbuster trades, big free agent signings, tons of rumors … they all happen during the Winter Meetings. It’s total chaos. Non-stop 24-hour hot stove action.

December 8: The Rule 5 Draft, which unofficially marks the end of the Winter Meetings.

January 18th: The 2017 Hall of Fame class will be announced. Newcomers to the Hall of Fame ballot this year include Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Jorge Posada, and Magglio Ordonez.

Mid-January: Deadline for teams and unsigned arbitration-eligible players to file salary figures. The exact deadline date has not yet been set because the new collective bargaining agreement hasn’t been finalized.

February: Arbitration hearings take place throughout the month. The player and the team state their cases to the arbitration panel. They explain why the player deserves the salary they filed, not the salary the other side is requesting.

February 19: Spring Training begins.

March 7: The 2017 World Baseball Classic begins with pool play in Tokyo and South Korea.

March 22: The World Baseball Championship Game at Dodger Stadium.

April 2: Opening Day: Yankees at Rays and Giants at Diamondbacks.

Steven Cardona

Steven Cardona

Steven is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida who lives in Naples, Florida. At USF, he is studying Business Management. He has an immense love and passion for the game of baseball. He worked with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2014 as a Public Relations intern. In 2016, he continued his work experiences within America's pastime with the New York Mets as an American Culture Instructor at the Mets Academy in the Dominican Republic.
Steven Cardona