The World Series is over and the 2021 MLB season has officially ended with the Atlanta Braves hoisting the championship trophy. While we are planning on celebrating that championship for a few more days, baseball moves on and the offseason is now here. Below is a look at some of the important dates to keep an eye on over the next few months.
November 5 - Atlanta Braves Championship Parade
Details will be announced Wednesday but the Braves will hold their championship parade this Friday. We will add more details when they become available.
November 7 - Free Agency Opens
Eligible players will file for free agency Wednesday. That will also begin the five-day quiet period where teams can negotiate with their own free agents but are unable to sign anyone. Teams must also decide whether to extend one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offers to any of their free agents. To be eligible for the qualifying offer, a player must have spent the entire 2021 season with his team and have never received a qualifying offer previously.
The Braves currently have eight players that are set to file for free agency: Ehire Adrianza, Jesse Chavez, Freddie Freeman, Chris Martin, Eddie Rosario, Drew Smyly, Jorge Soler and Stephen Vogt. Of this group, Freeman is the only one who will receive a qualifying offer. There could be three more names added to this list who currently hold team options.
160 Players today were declared XX(B) free agents. Additional Players may become XX(B) free agents pending option decisions in their Uniform Player Contracts.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) November 3, 2021
MOST UP-TO-DATE LIST: https://t.co/8k5kg5apB0 pic.twitter.com/9qC8aii7qU
November 7 - Team Options Deadline
The Braves have three players that have options built into their current contracts. Josh Tomlin has a $1.25 million option for 2022 that Atlanta is unlikely to pick up. It includes a $250,000 buyout. Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall both have mutual options built into their deals. Mutual options mean that the player and the club have to be in agreement to execute it and that seldom happens in current times. Pederson has a $10 million mutual option that includes a $2.5 million buyout. Duvall’s option is worth $7 million and includes a $3 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 five days after the World Series ends. Atlanta currently has three players that fit this criteria in Ronald Acuña Jr., Grant Dayton and Mike Soroka. There won’t be an immediate roster crunch due to the free agents-to-be that are listed above.
November 7 - Gold Glove Awards Winners
The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be handed out on ESPN Sunday, November 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Braves have four finalists in pitcher Max Fried, first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies and outfielder Adam Duvall.
November 8 - BBWAA Awards Finalists
Finalists will be announced for BBWAA Awards including Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP will be announced on MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, November 8.
November 9-11 - GM Meetings
These aren’t the Winter Meetings but this is the annual meeting of General Managers which will take place in Carlsbad, California. These meetings typically focus on off the field matters but often the groundwork to future trades is put in place here.
November 11 - Silver Slugger Awards
The winners of the 2021 Silver Slugger Awards will be revealed on MLB Network at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 11. Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Adam Duvall and Max Fried were all announced as finalists.
November 15-18 - BBWAA Awards announced
- November 15 - Rookie of the Year
- November 16 - Manager of the Year
- November 17 - Cy Young Award
- November 18 - MVP Awards
November 17 - Deadline to accept qualifying offers
Free agents who were issued qualifying offers must decide whether to accept or reject the offer by Wednesday, November 17. Players who accept will be awarded a one-year, $18.4 million contract for 2022. Those that decline will have draft pick compensation attached to them meaning should they sign with another team, their former team will receive an extra pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
November 19 - Rule 5 deadline
This is the deadline for players to be added to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Atlanta’s most notable prospect that will be Rule 5 eligible this offseason is outfielder Drew Waters.
December 1 - Non-tender deadline
This is the deadline for teams to offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players a contract for 2022. Players who don’t receive an offer are non-tendered and become free agents. The Braves currently have 13 players who are eligible for salary arbitration this offseason: Orlando Arcia, Johan Camargo, Grant Dayton, Max Fried, Guillermo Heredia, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, A.J. Minter, Sean Newcomb, Austin Riley, Richard Rodriguez, Mike Soroka and Dansby Swanson.
December 1 - CBA expires
Probably the most important date on this calendar. The CBA expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1. If a deal isn’t struck by that time, then it is likely the sport will have its first work stoppage since 1994. Transactions can still take place during this time but it is unlikely that we will see a lot of activity. This doesn’t mean that the 2022 season will be delayed. That would depend on when the league and the players can find enough common ground for a new deal.
December 6-9 - Baseball Winter Meetings
The Baseball Winter Meetings will be held in Orlando, Florida during this time. These meetings are normally the busiest week of the offseason for teams and players. However, it remains to be seen how much activity will take place after the CBA expires.
December 9 - 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.
January 14 - 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).
January 15 - International Signing Period opens
The 2022 international signing period will open on January 15. This used to take place starting on July 2 but is out of sequence due to the pandemic. This is notable for the Braves as they will finally be clear of the MLB sanctions that were handed down to them by the league for transgressions on the international market under former GM John Coppolella.
January 20 - Hall of Fame voting results
The 2022 Hall of Fame class will be announced on January 20. Former Braves outfielder Andruw Jones will be part of the ballot which will be released in mid-November.
January 31 - February 18 - Arbitration Hearings take place
If 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.