The Off-Season Calendar and Deadlines and #Nats Free Agents

Photo by Jeffery Salter

The off-season calendar officially began yesterday.  Below are some important dates for your off-season calendar which began in rapid fire yesterday as the Nationals watched 11 of their current players file for free agency and a 12th was added when Adam Lind’s mutual option was declined. Here is the list of Nationals free agents: Adam Lind, Howie Kendrick, Jayson Werth, Jose Lobaton, Ryan Raburn, Stephen Drew, Alejandro De Aza are the 7 position players to join the 5 pitchers that include Matt Albers, Brandon Kintzler,  Joe Blanton, Oliver Perez, and Edwin Jackson. The good news is that the Nationals did not lose a key starting pitcher or a projected 2018 starting position player.

If you want to track the free agents, the only two Nats free agents to make the Top 50 list from MLBTR was Brandon Kintzler and Howie Kendrick. Adam Lind and Matt Albers didn’t make the list or even receive an honorable mention.

Here’s your off-season calendar through Opening Day:

  • November 2nd: The off-season begins and Free Agents declare themselves for free agency. Teams now have 5 days to exclusively negotiate with their own free agents
  • November 4th: This day is set for deadlines for players with opt-out clauses. The Nationals already declined their side of Adam Lind’s opt-out
  • November 6th: 5 days after the World Series ends at 5pm EST sets the deadline for teams to make their QO’s (Qualified Offer) to pending free agents and this is optional for teams to offer and this year the QO is set at $17.4 million. Those players will have up to 10 days to either accept the QO or decline it. If they decline the QO, they become unrestricted free agents. Of note, during the 10 day window free agents can still negotiate with other teams before they formally decide to accept or reject the QO. At the 5pm deadline on this day, any free agent who did not receive a QO becomes an unrestricted free agent.
  • November 13-16: GM’s meetings are a month before the Winter Meetings. This year they are in Orlando, Florida
  • November 16th: 14 days after the World Series ends sets the deadline for Free Agents to accept or reject their QO’s. Players that reject their QO’s automatically become unrestricted Free Agents as mentioned above
  • November 20th: Rule 5 draft reserve lists submitted of unprotected players by 8pm EDT
  • December 1st: Last day for teams to tender 2018 contracts to unsigned players who are not signed to set contracts and this includes arbitration eligible players also.
  • December 10-15th: Winter Meetings (Disney World Orlando) This is now a televised event and is getting more dramatic each year. Your guide is here.
  • December 14th: Rule 5 draft 9am-11am
  • January 13, 2018: Salary arbitration filings are made but does not guarantee it will lead to a formal arbitration hearing as players can sign any time leading up to the arbitration hearing
  • January 2018:  There will be a deadline set in January for any players filing for salary arbitration to formally submit their demand amount and the team will submit their offer amount. Should the two sides actually go to the arbitration hearing in February, the arbitrator can only choose one of the submitted amounts as there is no meeting in the middle once the arbitration begins. Generally the two sides negotiate their own resolution prior to the formal arbitration.
  • February 1st-20th: These are tentative dates reserved for salary arbitration hearings if they are needed for any players who choose that route like Jerry Blevins did in 2015
  • February 21st: Spring Training games begin
  • March 15th:  Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
  • March 26th:  Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a a player who doesn’t have MLB options or a guaranteed contract without having to pay his full 2018 salary
  • March 29th 2018: Opening Day for the Washington Nationals in Cincinnati . Active rosters reduced to 25 players.
  • April 5th 2018: Home opener for the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park against the NY Mets.

As we get closer to each date above, we will have dedicated articles for most.

Throughout November the BBWAA releases the Award Winners in the ROY, MOY, Cy Young and MVP voting.  This is what the ballot looks like:  Many Nats will receive votes like Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez in the Cy Young. In the MVP voting, expect Anthony Rendon to get some votes and possibly even Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy will receive MVP votes, and probably no Nats will receive ROY votes.  There are other awards such as the Gold Glove and Silver Sluggers that aren’t part of the BBWAA voting. The only Nationals nominated for a Gold Glove are Anthony Rendon and Michael Taylor.

Nats specific dates include the Nationals Winterfest at the DC Convention Center on December 16-17 and is the third year of this 2-day format held in December instead of January.  What is most interesting about the timing is that Winterfest once again begins 1 day after the Winter Meetings ends. If the Nats sign any Free Agents or make some trades before or during the Winter Meetings, the players could be available at the Winterfest!

The Nationals Spring Training calendar is filling in as many teams are releasing their dates. The Nationals calendar is here and enjoy the additional upgrades at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

The MLB calendar of off-season awards can be found here.

This entry was posted in Analysis, Awards, Schedule, SpringTraining. Bookmark the permalink.