With the 2021 World Series in the rearview mirror, all eyes now turn toward a crucial winter for Major League Baseball. It’due south an offseason that is sure to be dramatic, in the to the lowest degree, highlighted past a talented-and-deep free agent grade and the looming threat of baseball’southward first work stoppage in 26 years.
It’southward important to know when certain things are happening, especially over the next few weeks. Here are cardinal dates that outline the coming months.
At five p.grand. EST, all contract option decisions (player, gild, mutual, opt-outs) are due. It’s also the deadline for clubs to tender the one-year, $18.iv million qualifying offer to eligible gratis agents.
To exist eligible for the qualifying offer, a player must have spent the entire 2021 season with his order and have never received the qualifying offer previously. If a complimentary agent is tendered a qualifying offer and rejects it, the club who signs him is subject area to the loss of one or more typhoon picks to the erstwhile team, forth with the loss of international bonus pool money (the exact compensation depends on the contract size likewise as the old team’s acquirement sharing and luxury tax situation). However, the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could provide different compensation/penalties (more than on the CBA in a scrap).
Players who receive a qualifying offering have 10 days to accept or reject it.
Costless bureau begins. The exclusive negotiating period that started the solar day afterwards the end of the World Series ends and free agents are permitted to negotiate and sign with any club.
As for the pace of the free agent signings, some winters are tiresome while others are quick out of the gate. With the electric current CBA expiring this time around, you may encounter some mid-tier—perchance one or two big names—sign early, but near of the exciting action may not happen until a new CBA is in place.
GM Meetings in Carlsbad, California. Ordinarily, off-the-field are discussed here, and the looming CBA borderline is sure to be on the docket. It is likewise a place for trades to be discussed, or at to the lowest degree for some framework to be built for time to come trades.
The 2022 Hall of Fame ballot will be released on this date. About notably, this is the final year on the ballot for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling. David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez are the biggest names scheduled to join the Hall of Fame ballot this year. Despite their potent career numbers, their ties to performance-enhancing drugs will most likely continue them out of the Hall of Fame in the commencement yr.
Deadline for free agents to take or refuse the qualifying offer.
Deadline for clubs to add eligible minor leaguers to the xl-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Specifically, the Texas Rangers have a large list of prospects that should exist considered for protection.
Non-tender borderline. This is the deadline for clubs to offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract for 2022. This isn’t a deadline to sign them, but a contract has to exist at least offered, or “tendered”. Players who do not receive a contract offering are considered “non-tendered” and become costless agents.
Okay, here’s the big one. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement betwixt MLB and the MLB Players Clan expires at 11:59 p.k. ET on Dec. ane. Without a new CBA in place, the owners are expected to lockout the players, which would be the first work stoppage the game has seen since the 1994-95 strike that saw the cancelation of the World Series. However, the lack of a new agreement by Dec. 2 does non necessarily mean spring training or regular season games next twelvemonth will be canceled. At least, not yet.
However, a lockout would put an automatic freeze on Major League transactions. That ways trades can’t be made with players on 40-human rosters and free agents can’t sign with clubs. The “Hot Stove” would turn water ice cold until a new CBA is agreed upon.
If you’re looking for optimism, the league and players are currently negotiating. Both sides have traded economic proposals, and the players just offered their second on Oct. 29. The two sides all the same seem far apart on core economic principles, but as long equally they’re talking, there is—and I use this term
“It’s hard to characterize progress,” commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters, including James Wagner of the
New York Times, prior to Game 1 of the Globe Serial. “Progress is you go in the room, you’re having conversations, people are continuing to talk. It doesn’t motion in any measurable way that I’ve always figured out, and I’ve done it a long fourth dimension. The about important point is I know our clubs are 100 percent committed to the idea that they want an agreement by Dec. 1.”
Curlicue to Continue
ESPN’due south Jeff Passan notes that many in the game expect a lockout. And if there is ane, it’s a damn shame for the game of baseball. It’s an heady class of free agents, and a lockout would quench the fire that sets the Hot Stove afire in an instant.
However, even if at that place is a lockout, neither side wants to lose out on games. The level of pessimism in the industry has not fallen to the betoken where regular season games are in serious jeopardy. An understanding by mid-February would withal requite MLB a risk to start the flavor on time, even with a 2- or iii-week complimentary agency frenzy and a truncated bound training.
If there is a lockout, all of the post-obit dates are subject to change.
Winter Meetings in Orlando. This is typically when all offseason hell breaks loose in i big melting pot of club executives, managers, player agents and reporters. The Winter Meetings is MLB’southward marquee event of the offseason. It’south typically the busiest week of the wintertime, littered with more rumors than a high school locker room.
Typically, there is at least one big trade and multiple pregnant free amanuensis signings. Club executives and agents are all in one place and deals are made significantly quicker than normal. Historically, the biggest moves of the offseason are consummated at the Winter Meetings, or serious legwork is done for more than trades and/or signings that come up in the post-obit days and weeks.
If there is a lockout, the Major League portion of the Wintertime Meetings volition likely exist canceled.
Dec. 9: The Rule 5 Draft, which is annually held on the concluding day of the Winter Meetings.
Players selected in the Rule five draft must exist kept on that club’south 26-man roster for the entire following season. If they are removed, they must commencement clear waivers, and so be offered dorsum to the order from which they were drafted. Rule five typhoon selections can spend time on the Injured List, simply must be agile for 90 days to avoid beingness subject to the aforementioned roster restrictions in the following season.
Once over again, if there is a lockout, the Rule five draft would be postponed to after a new CBA is in place.
Deadline for clubs and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures. The player files what he believes he should exist paid in 2022 while the controlling social club counters with that they believe the role player should be paid. The two sides don’t accept to concord by this engagement, and tin fifty-fifty continue negotiating a new contract after filing salary figures. Matt Swartz and MLB Merchandise Rumors released their salary arbitration projections last month.
The vast majority of mediation-eligible players agree to a contract before the filing deadline.
The 2022 international signing period opens. This typical runs July 2 to June 25 each year, but MLB and the MLBPA agreed to push the kickoff of the 2021 and 2022 signing periods dorsum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jan. 31 to Feb. 18:
Mediation hearings. Inevitably, a few arbitration-eligible players and their respective clubs will exist unable to concord to a contract, and they’ll present their cases to a panel of arbitrators. The three-person panel picks either the salary the player filed or the salary the team filed, nothing in between. It can be quite a controversial procedure equally clubs nowadays a player’s shortcomings for why they deserve to be paid less than what the player believes he is worth.
The Rangers have yet to go to this stage with any of their players under Jon Daniels’ tenure as general manager or president of baseball game operations. The terminal Ranger to have his contract decided by an arbitration panel was Lee Stevens in 2000.
Spring training camps open across Florida and Arizona as each club sets various reporting dates for pitchers and catchers, followed by position players for total squad workouts ahead of bodily games. Cactus League (Arizona) and Grapefruit League (Florida) play begins February. 26 with every team in action.
Finally—and hopefully—Opening Day 2022. With a new CBA in place, all 30 clubs will be in action. I’g just trying to speak it into existence.
Promo image: Orlando Ramirez-United states TODAY Sports
Make sure to like SI’south
‘Inside The Rangers’