Now that the 2010 baseball season is officially over, we can all turn our attention to the Hot Stove League. The Yankees figure to be prominent figures this offseason, as always, and their first order of business will be re-signing Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Cliff Lee is a not-to-distant second … or is that third? Either way, you get the drift.
The baseball offseason is full of important dates for various events, such as arbitration deadlines and the like. Here’s a round-up of this winter’s key dates, with a brief explanation…
- Nov. 2nd-6th: Period for teams to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents. This used to be 15 days.
- Nov. 7th: Free agents can now negotiate – and sign – with any team.
- Nov. 16-17th: GM Meetings in Orlando. There will be rumors, but probably not any major moves.
- Nov. 17th-18th: Owners Meetings in Orlando. Everyone complains about the Yankees.
- Nov. 20th: Deadline for teams to set their 40-man roster with regards to the Rule 5 Draft.
- Nov. 23rd: Last day for teams to offer their free agents arbitration, which they must do to receive draft pick compensation.
- Nov. 30th: Last day for free agents to accept an arbitration offer.
- Dec. 2nd: Last day to tender contracts to players with less than six years of service time. Another batch of players will hit free agency as they’re non-tendered.
- Dec. 6th-9th: Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista. All hell breaks loose.
- Jan. 5th-15th: Period for teams and players to file for arbitration.
- Jan. 18th: Salary arbitration figures are exchanged.
- Feb. 1st-21st: Salary arbitration hearings. Everyone likes to avoid these.
- March 2nd-11th: Contracts of players with less than three years of service time can be renewed at any salary by the team (as long as it’s 80% of his previous year’s salary).
- March 28th: Deadline to release players with non-guaranteed contracts without having to pay them their full 2011 salary.
I have no idea when the Rule 5 Draft is this year. Usually it’s on the final day of the Winter Meetings, but there’s been talk that’ll be moved up to late-November. That Nov. 20th date for setting the 40-man roster isn’t even set in stone (all of the other ones are, however). You’re also going to see a lot of options picked up and declined this week, those things usually have to be addressed within three days of the end of the World Series (or something like that) per the contracts.
Anyway, you may notice that everything is earlier this offseason than in years past, and that’s by design. MLB and the union want to give players as much time as possible to find jobs, and it’s hard to blame them given the way the market’s played out over the last few years. It’s also good for us, because all of the Hot Stove action starts that much earlier.
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Here’s your open thread for the evening. The Knicks are playing the Magic in the Garden have been postponed because of asbestos at the Garden, so that’s pretty much it for local sports. Now I remember why I hate the offseason. Talk about whatever, just be cool.