Between now and Opening Day on March 30, 2023, Major League Baseball teams will be doing everything they can to improve, even if it doesn’t always look like it. Free agent signings. Professions. Draft Rule 5. There’s a lot to watch in the coming months, and potentially a lot of questions.
Here are the key dates and answers to some MLB offseason questions.
When does MLB free agency start? Key dates
November 6 – Players become free agents
With a World Series winner decided, the book ends on the 2022 season and all eligible players become free agents. Before these free agents can explore the open market, however, there is a five-day window, known as the silent period, during which their former club can negotiate exclusively with them. Also, from this day forward, teams can start trading players again.
November 10 – Free agents can sign with any club
The quiet period ends Thursday at 5 p.m. ET and free agents can now sign with any club. It is also the last day clubs can extend a qualifying offer to eligible players, and the last day clubs or players can exercise a contract option for 2023.
November 8-10: GM Meetings in Las Vegas
This is the first official gathering of MLB executives during the offseason. In recent years, GM meetings haven’t seen major deals, but getting all the GMs together in one place can spark conversations that eventually lead to deals.
November 15: Rule 5 draft protection deadline
At 6 p.m. ET on that date, teams must decide which Rule 5 draft-eligible players to protect by adding them to their 40-player rosters.
The Rule 5 Draft, held Dec. 7, allows teams to select eligible unlisted players from 40 players from other clubs for a fee of $100,000. Selected players are added to their new club’s 40-man roster and must remain on their 26-man roster or injured list for the entire season or be placed on an outright waiver. If a player selected in the Rule 5 draft clears the waivers, he must be offered to his home club for a fee of $50,000.
November 18: Deadline for submission
Each offseason, teams must decide whether or not to offer contracts for the 2023 season to players eligible for arbitration. Please note that this is not the date on which the salary figures are decided. This usually happens in mid-January, followed by arbitration hearings in February. This is just the deadline for teams to decide which players they will or will not offer contracts. Since non-submitted players become free agents, this gives them time to sign with another team before spring training.
December 5-7: Winter meetings in San Diego
The baseball world will come together again for the annual winter meetings. These will be the first in-person winter meetings since December 2019. In 2020, winter meetings were held virtually due to the pandemic, and in 2021 they were canceled due to the MLB lockdown. As has been the case for the past few years, winter meetings can be the time when major free agent signings and trades occur. The first MLB draw will take place here on December 6. The Rule 5 draft will take place in San Diego on December 7.
January 13: deadline for filing the arbitration
The arbitration hearings will take place between January 30 and February 17.
January 15: Opening of the international signature period
The Major League Players Association and owners failed to agree on an international draft last summer, so no changes have been made to international signings and the qualifying offer remains.
Who are the biggest free agents this offseason?
Keith Law (MLB’s Top 50 Free Agents for 2022-23) and Jim Bowden (Top 25 with Contract Projections) both ranked the best players available.
This winter’s free agent class has proven to be strong, thanks in large part to the return of last year’s No. 1 free agent, Carlos Correa, who leads another very attractive group of shortstops. in a class that also includes the likely AL MVP and Cy Young Award winners. He is much stronger in the position of players than pitchers, while the catcher group and the high-end reliever class are both quite weak.
In addition to Correa, the big names are: Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts, Willson Contreras, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodón, Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga.
Are MLB contracts guaranteed?
Yes, major league contracts are fully guaranteed. Some contracts have player options, club options, or mutual options at the end of the deal.
Is there still an eligible offer?
The qualifying offer remains after the players’ association and MLB failed to agree on an international draft. Getting rid of the qualifying offer, which often negatively affects markets for top players, was the key compromise offered to players in complicated negotiations.
What are baseball’s luxury tax thresholds?
Also known as the Competitive Balance Tax, which was $230 million in 2022, the base thresholds going forward are:
2023: $233 million
2024: $237 million
2025: $241 million
2026: $244 million
The cost to go $1-20 million above the base threshold is a 20% tax for teams that did not exceed any threshold in the previous year, 30% for a team that only exceeded the previous year or 50% for a team over two years old. consecutive years or more.
The cost to go from $20 million to $40 million above base, in what’s called the first top-up, is a 32% levy on teams that didn’t go over any thresholds the previous year, 42 % for a team that topped the previous year, or 62% for a team in two or more consecutive years.
The cost to go from $40 million to $60 million above base in the second supplement is a 62.5% tax for teams that did not exceed any threshold in the previous year, 75% for a team that exceeded the previous year, or 95% for a team in two or more consecutive years.
With the third surcharge, the “Steve Cohen Tax”, the cost to exceed the base by $60 million or more is an 80% tax for teams that had not exceeded any threshold the previous year, 90% for a team that surpassed the previous one. year, or 110% for a team over two or more consecutive years.
Who are the free agents in MLB this year?
From Major League Baseball Player Association through Nov. 7 (does not include those with player, club, or mutual options):
Arizona Diamonds (1): Zach Davies
Atlanta Braves (9): Ehire Adrianza, Jesse Chavez, Adam Duvall, Robbie Grossman, Jay Jackson, Luke Jackson, Kenley Jansen, Darren O’Day, Dansby Swanson
Baltimore Orioles (3): Jesús Aguilar, Robinson Chirinos, Reddish Smell
Boston Red Sox (6): Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, JD Martinez, Matt Strahm, Michael Wacha
Chicago Cubs (2): Wade Miley, Willson Contreras
Chicago White Sox (4): Jose Abreu, Elvis Andrus, Johnny Cueto, Vincent Velasquez
Cincinnati Reds (5): Chase Anderson, Austin Romine, Donovan Solano, Hunter Strickland, Justin Wilson
Cleveland Guardians (1): Austin Hedges
Colorado Rockies (5): Alex Colomé, Carlos Estévez, José Iglesias, Chad Kuhl, José Urena
Detroit Tigers (2): Tucker Barnhart Daniel Norris
Houston Astros (6): Michael Brantley, Jason Castro, Aledmys Diaz, Yuli Gurriel, Rafael Montero, Christian Vazquez
Kansas City Royals (1): Zack Greinke
Los Angeles Angels (4): Archie Bradley, Matt Duffy, Michael Lorenzen, Kurt Suzuki
Los Angeles Dodgers (10): Tyler Anderson, Joey Gallo, Andrew Heaney, Tommy Kahnle, Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Chris Martin, Kevin Pillar, David Price, Trea Turner
Miami Sailors (0)
Milwaukee Brewers (6): Josh Lindblom, Andrew McCutchen, Omar Narvaez, Jace Peterson, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal
Minnesota Twins (6): Carlos Correa, Michael Fulmer, Billy Hamilton, Sandy Leon, Aaron Sanchez, Gary Sanchez
New York Mets (10): Jacob deGrom, Tommy Hunter, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Tyler Naquin, Brandon Nimmo, Adam Ottavino, Joely Rodríguez, Taijuan Walker, Trevor Williams
New York Yankees (9): Andrew Benintendi, Zack Britton, Matt Carpenter, Miguel Castro, Aroldis Chapman, Marwin Gonzalez, Chad Green, Aaron Judge, Jameson Taillon
Oakland A (2): Chad Pinder, Stephen Vogt
Philadelphia Phillies (6): Chris Devenski, Kyle Gibson, Brad Hand, Corey Knebel, David Robertson, Noah Syndergaard
Pittsburgh Pirates (2): Ben Gamel, Roberto Perez
Cardinals of Saint-Louis (2): Corey Dickerson, Jose Quintana
San Diego Padres (8): Josh Bell, Mike Clevinger, Brandon Drury, Pierce Johnson, Sean Manaea, Jurickson Profar, Craig Stammen, Robert Suarez
San Francisco Giants (5): Jose Alvarez, Brandon Belt, Shelby Miller, Joc Pederson, Carlos Rodon
Seattle Mariners (5): Matthew Boyd, Curt Casali, Adam Frazier, Mitch Haniger, Carlos Santana
Tampa Bay Stingrays (3): Corey Kluber, David Peralta, Mike Zunino
Texas Rangers (5): Kohei Arihara, Charlie Culberson, Matt Moore, Martin Perez, Kevin Plabecki
Toronto Blue Jays (3): Jackie Bradley Jr., David Phelps, Ross Stripling
Washington Nationals (8): Steve Cishek, Nelson Cruz, Sean Doolittle, Will Harris, César Hernández, Erasmo Ramírez, Joe Ross, Anibal Sánchez
(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)