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Mark your calendar: Important dates this offseason

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MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the World Series has concluded the MLB offseason has officially begun.

The end of the season, which happens with the final World Series out, is accompanied by the expiration of each final year contract. The only player to depart from the Rays roster was left-handed pitcher Aaron Loup, whom the team signed to a one year minor league contract prior to the start of the season.

MLB teams do have a five day exclusive negotiating window with all of their respective departing free agents.

Free agency signings can begin on November 1st, allowing teams to sign anyone they deem fit to join their organization.

Off season is also awards season. The Baseball Writers Association of America will announce and hand out their major awards over the first couple of weeks in November. Shortly after that, the Hall of Fame will announce their ballot of candidates for the Class of 2021.

November 20th would serve as the next major deadline for roster transactions as team have until then to add any player to their 40-man roster from within the organization as to avoid potentially exposing them in the Rule 5 draft.

December 2nd is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players; the Rays have nine players currently on their roster eligible for arbitration.

The Winter Meetings are always full of swirling rumors and speculation, but it remains to be seen how the pandemic will affect this year’s event. It is slated to be held over the second week of December in Dallas, Texas. The Meetings will conclude with the Rule 5 draft, which will be held on December 10th.

Flipping the calendar to 2021, the deadline for arbitration eligible players and teams to reach an agreement on their upcoming season salary amounts will be on January 15th, 2021.

During the lull between then and spring training, the only major baseball events that will occur will be the announcement of the Hall of Fame class for 2021, which will be announced sometime in the middle of January with the date left to be determined.

Spring Training officially kicks off on February 27th, 20201.

Important Dates

  • October 30, 2020 - Deadline for team’s to make decisions on contract options, unless otherwise dictated in their respective contracts
  • November 1, 2020 - Qualifying offer deadline and free agency officially begins
  • November 2, 2020 - BBWAA award finalists announced
  • November 3, 2020 - Gold Glove award winners announced
  • November 9-12, 2020 - BBWAA award winners announced
  • November 11, 2020 - Deadline to accept Qualifying Offer
  • November 16, 2020 - Hall of Fame ballot released
  • November 20, 2020 - Deadline to add players to the 40-man roster
  • December 2, 2020 - Non-tender deadline
  • December 6-10, 2020 - The Winter Meetings will be held in Dallas, Texas
  • December 10, 2020 - The Rule 5 draft
  • December 31, 2020 - Deadline for Hall of Fame voting
  • January 15, 2021 - Arbitration deadline
  • Mid-January, 2021 - Hall of Fame results are announced (Date to be determined)
  • February 27, 2021 - Spring Training begins