With the World Series
set to end tonight or tomorrow night ending on Friday night, that means that the first offseason deadline date will soon be upon us. Teams still retain exclusive negotiation rights on all of their pending non-controlled free agents (that is players with at least 6 years major league service time whose contract expired in 2011) until 3 days after the end of the World Series. After that the players are free to negotiate with any other team.
Please keep in mind that some of these dates could be changed if the owners and the players union agree to change them in a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The current CBA expires Dec. 11th, but most prognosticators are predicting that a new CBA will be inked well before that date - with no huge changes in it. Here we go.
October 31 (Midnight EST):
Team-Exclusive free agent bargaining rights for non-controlled free agents expire.
November 14-15, 2011:
General managers meetings (in Milwaukee).
November 15-16, 2011:
Owners meetings (in Milwaukee).
November 19, 2011:
Deadline for teams to file reserve lists for Major League club and all Minor League levels. This determines a player's Rule 5 Draft eligibility.
November 23, 2011 (Midnight EST):
Last date for teams to offer salary arbitration to their Type A or B free agents (players with at least 6 years of major league service time that are not under contract) in order to be eligible for compensation if the free agent signs with another team.
December 1, 2011:
Last date to request outright waivers to assign a player before Rule 5 draft.
December 5, 2011 (5 p.m. EST):
Last date to send a player outright to minors before the Rule 5 draft.
December 5-8, 2011:
Winter Meetings (in Dallas).
December 7, 2011 (Midnight EST):
Last date for Type A or B non-controlled free agents to accept an offer of arbitration from their former team. If players reject arbitration then their former team will receive compensation pick(s) when the player signs with another team. If players accept arbitration then they will remain with their current team for at least one more season.
December 8, 2011:
Major League Rule 5 Draft - Major League and Minor League versions.
December 11, 2011:
Current collective bargaining agreement expires.
December 12, 2011:
Deadline for teams to offer 2012 contracts to unsigned arb-eligible players that are still under team control.
January 5-15, 2012:
Deadline for salary arbitration numbers to be filed by teams and players.
February 1-21, 2012:
Salary arbitration hearings.
February 19, 2012:
Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players.
February 24, 2012:
Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for all other players.
March 2, 2012:
Mandatory Spring Training reporting date.
March 2-11, 2012:
Teams may unilaterally renew contracts of unsigned players that are not arb-eligible and are still under team control.