Predicting Early MLB Offseason Decisions on Qualifying Offers, Contract
Now that the 2023 MLB season is officially over and the Texas Rangers have been crowned World Series champions, the focus now shifts to what promises to be another busy offseason.
The free agent and trade markets don’t generally kick into full gear until the annual winter meetings in early December, but there is a lot of organizational housekeeping that will take place in the coming weeks.
Within five days of the conclusion of the World Series, contract options need to be exercised or declined, qualifying offers will be extended to a handful of free agents, and teams will have to decide whether they want to tender contracts to pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players which will add an influx of non-tendered players to the free agency pool.
Ahead we’ve provided all the pertinent information on these early offseason transactions, along with a wide variety of predictions.
Deadline for all club, player and mutual contract options to either be exercised or declined. Players whose options are declined will immediately join the free-agent pool.
Nov. 6: Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to eligible free agents. Teams have a five-day exclusive negotiating window after the conclusion of the World Series with their own free agents before they officially hit the open market.
Nov. 7-9: The annual GM Meetings will be held. These meetings often produce some early rumors and lay the groundwork for deals to be made later in the offseason. The official vote for the Oakland Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas will be held at this year’s GM Meetings.
Nov. 14: Deadline for players who received a qualifying offer to accept or reject. We’ll dive into the ins and outs of the qualifying offer more in a bit.
Nov. 17: Deadline for teams to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible players for the upcoming season. Any player not tendered a contract or “non-tendered” by this date will join the free-agent pool. Cody Bellinger and Jeimer Candelario were among the notable non-tenders last offseason.
Dec. 4–7: The annual Winter Meetings will be held. This four-day window is often a flurry of activity in free agency and on the trade market, and also features the Rule 5 draft.