The World Series is over, signaling the official start of the MLB offseason. The Atlanta Braves figure to be busy this winter as they seek to threepeat as division champs 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, $17.8 million Qualifying Offers to any of their free agents.
The Braves currently have 10 players set to file for free agency: Jerry Blevins, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Martin, Darren O’Day, Anthony Swarzak, Josh Tomlin, Francisco Cervelli, Josh Donaldson, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Matt Joyce. Brian McCann would have also been a free agent but he elected to retire. Only Josh Donaldson is likely to receive a qualifying offer.
Team Options Deadline - (Five Days after World Series ends)
Atlanta currently has four players with contract options for next season. A decision on those options has to be made five days after the completion of the World Series. Of these options, Billy Hamilton’s is the only one that seems likely to be declined, though it’ll be interesting to see what happens with each of these.
Julio Teheran ($12 million, $1 million buyout), Tyler Flowers ($6 million, $2 million buyout), Nick Markakis ($6 million, $2 million buyout), Billy Hamilton ($7.5 million, $1 million buyout)
Injured List Reinstatement - (Five days after World Series ends)
Players that are currently on the 60-day injured list must be added back to the 40-man roster. Atlanta currently has four players who fit this criteria: A.J. Minter, Jacob Webb, Alex Jackson, and Charlie Culberson. There won’t be an immediate roster crunch, though, because of all the free agents-to-be noted above.
November 3 - Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Announced
Rawlings Gold Glove Awards handed out. The Braves currently have two finalists in third baseman Josh Donaldson and second baseman Ozzie Albies.
November 4 - BBWAA Awards Finalists Announced
Finalists announced for BBWAA Awards including Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP. Various Braves should be receiving some votes for these awards, and may even sneak in as finalists.
November 6 - Wilson Defensive Players of the Year Announced
Platinum Glove Awards handed out to the best defender in both the National and American League. This probably won’t be either Albies or Donaldson.
November 7 - Silver Slugger Awards Announced
Silver Slugger Awards named for the top hitter at each position. The Braves probably won’t have any winners here, but you never know.
November 11 -14 - GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona
These aren’t the Winter Meetings, those are down below. The focus of these meetings is to discuss “issues around the game” rather than wheel-and-deal.
November 11-14 BBWAA Awards
- November 11 - Rookies of the Year Announced
- November 12 - Managers of the Year Announced
- November 13 - Cy Young Awards Announced
- November 14 - MVP Awards Announced
November 14 - Deadline to Accept/Decline Qualifying Offers
Players who receive qualifying offers have until November 14 to decide whether or not they will accept or decline. The Braves will almost certainly issue an offer to Josh Donaldson which he will certainly decline.
December 2 - 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 next season. Atlanta currently has nine players who are arbitration eligible this offseason: Grant Dayton, Mike Foltynewicz, Shane Greene, Luke Jackson, John Ryan Murphy, Dansby Swanson, Charlie Culberson, Adam Duvall, and Johan Camargo.
December 8 - Modern Baseball Era Committee Ballot results announced
The ballot itself will be revealed on November 4
December 9-12 - MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego
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, though early December has tended to be a bit of a cold stove for the past few years.
December 12 - 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 did not make a Rule 5 selection in 2019.
January 10 - Exchange of Arbitration Figures
Arbitration eligible players and their clubs exchange potential salary figures. Atlanta currently has nine players who are eligible for arbitration (assuming none are non-tendered). The Braves may elect to avoid arbitration with many of these players to work out one-year contracts agreeable to both sides, or long-term extensions. To the extent the Braves remain a “file and trial team,” they will treat this as a hard deadline for further negotiations — any player not signed to a one-year deal after this date will head to arbitration (see below).
February 3-21 - 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.