Congratulations to the Houston Astros on winning the 2022 World Series, the second championship in their franchise history.
With that, baseball’s offseason commences.
This will be the first “normal” offseason for baseball in four years, since 2018-19. The 2019-20 offseason was halted by the pandemic, the 2020-21 offseason still had uncertainties related to the pandemic and last year’s was interrupted by the owners’ lockout.
That should make things easier to follow, so here’s a handy calendar to help you fill your fall and winter until Opening Day 2023.
The day after the conclusion of the World Series (today): All players with at least six years of service time who are not under contract for the 2023 season will automatically become free agents (in fact, officially were as of an hour ago, 9 a.m. CT today). Minor league players with six years of service will also become free agents if not added to a 40-man roster. For the first five days after the World Series there is a “quiet period” when clubs can talk to free agents but can’t sign them.
At the end of the quiet period (November 10, 4 p.m. CT), clubs must decide whether or not to extend one-year qualifying offers to their free agents. The qualifying offer for 2023 will be $19.65 million, up $1.25 million from last year. Willson Contreras, as we know, will be given a qualifying offer. He’s almost certainly the only Cub who will receive one.
Players who receive a QO then have 10 days (deadline: November 20) to decide whether or not to take it. If they don’t, they are immediately eligible to sign with another team.
The end of the five-day quiet period is also the deadline to settle 2023 contracts with opt-out clauses, player options, club options and mutual options. The only Cubs player in any of those categories is Drew Smyly, who has a mutual option with the team. Here’s a complete list of players who are in those contract situations heading into 2023.
At the same time, teams are required to move all players on the 60-day injured list back to the active roster. The following seven Cubs players are currently listed on the 60-day IL: Kyle Hendricks, Codi Heuer, Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Rafael Ortega, Ethan Roberts and Brad Wieck. We already know Heyward is going to be released and some of the other six might be as well.
Here are all the players who officially became free agents this morning. There could be others after various contract clauses are exercised. The Diamondbacks and Marlins aren’t listed here because they had none.
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, Rougned Odor
Boston Red Sox (5): Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, J.D. Martinez, Matt Strahm, Michael Wacha
Chicago Cubs (2): Wade Miley, Willson Contreras
Chicago White Sox (4): José 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, Jose Ureña
Detroit Tigers (2): Tucker Barnhart, Daniel Norris
Houston Astros (6): Michael Brantley, Jason Castro, Aledmys Díaz, Yuli Gurriel, Rafael Montero, Christian Vázquez
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
Milwaukee Brewers (6): Josh Lindblom, Andrew McCutchen, Omar Narváez, Jace Peterson, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal
Minnesota Twins (5): Michael Fulmer, Billy Hamilton, Sandy Léon, Aaron Sanchez, Gary Sánchez
New York Mets (9): Edwin Díaz, Tommy Hunter, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Tyler Naquin, Brandon Nimmo, Adam Ottavino, Joely Rodríguez, 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’s (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 Pérez
St. Louis Cardinals (2): Corey Dickerson, José Quintana
San Diego Padres (6): Josh Bell, Mike Clevinger, Brandon Drury, Pierce Johnson, Sean Manaea, Craig Stammen
San Francisco Giants (4): José Alvarez, Brandon Belt, Shelby Miller, Joc Pederson
Seattle Mariners (5): Matthew Boyd, Curt Casali, Adam Frazier, Mitch Haniger, Carlos Santana
Tampa Bay Rays (3): Corey Kluber, David Peralta, Mike Zunino
Texas Rangers (5): Kohei Arihara, Charlie Culberson, Matt Moore, Martín Pérez, Kevin Plawecki
Toronto Blue Jays (3): Jackie Bradley Jr., David Phelps, Ross Stripling
Washington Nationals (7): Steve Cishek, Sean Doolittle, Will Harris, César Hernández, Erasmo Ramírez, Joe Ross, Anibal Sánchez
Here are some other dates to note this fall and winter.
Monday, November 7: The finalists for the annual Baseball Writers Association of America MLB awards will be announced live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT. Also on Monday, the Hall of Fame will announce candidates for the Contemporary Baseball Era, which consists of players who made their biggest impact from 1980 to the present. A 16-member committee will consider these candidates.
November 7-10: General managers meetings in Las Vegas.
Thursday, November 10: Louisville Silver Slugger Awards will be announced for each position live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
Monday, November 14: The Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners will be announced for the National and American Leagues live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
Tuesday, November 15: Teams must add eligible minor leaguers to their 40-man rosters or risk losing them in the Rule 5 Draft. College players drafted no later than 2019 and high school players drafted no later than 2018 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this year, as well as players signed internationally no later than 2018.
Tuesday, November 15: Manager of the Year awards will be announced for the National League and American Leagues live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
Wednesday, November 16: MLB free agents who received qualifying offers from their teams must declare whether they accept or reject the offer. Last year, 14 players received the $18.4 million QO, but just one accepted: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. A player accepting the qualifying offer cannot be traded until June 15 without his consent. A free agent who rejects the qualifying offer gives the team losing him draft pick compensation. Players who have previously received a QO cannot get a second one.
Wednesday, November 16: AL and NL Cy Young awards will be announced live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
Thursday, November 17: MVP awards for the NL and AL will be announced live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
Friday, November 18: The MLB non-tender deadline (6 p.m. CT). All teams must offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract for 2023 by this date. Players who do not receive a contract offer are considered “non-tendered” and become free agents. This date was moved up from early December to the Friday immediately before Thanksgiving in the new CBA.
Monday, November 21: The 2023 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot will be released, with voting taking place through December 31.
Sunday, December 4: The Contemporary Baseball Era Committee of the Hall of Fame will meet with the results of the vote announced live on MLB Network at 7 p.m. CT. Anyone elected will be inducted in Cooperstown Sunday, July 23.
December 4-7: MLB’s annual Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place in San Diego. These will be the first in-person Winter Meetings since 2019, as 2020’s were cancelled by the pandemic and 2021’s by the lockout.
December 6-7: Winners of the Hall of Fame’s 2023 Frick Award (for broadcasters) and BBWAA Career Excellence Award (for writers) will be announced.
Wednesday, December 7: The Rule 5 Draft is the final event of the Winter Meetings. Players taken in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team’s major league roster all season or be offered back to their original team.
Friday, January 13: Teams must exchange salary arbitration figures with arbitration-eligible players by this deadline. The two parties can avoid arbitration by reaching an agreement any time prior to the beginning of an arb hearing. In most cases, players and teams agree to a contract before filing salary figures.
Sunday, January 15: The beginning of the 2023 international signing period. Since MLB and the MLBPA didn’t agree on an international draft for the new CBA, players from countries outside the US, Canada and Puerto Rico can sign with any team. This system will remain in place through at least 2026, when the current CBA expires.
Tuesday, January 24: The National Baseball Hall of Fame announces its 2023 class in a live MLB Network broadcast at 5 p.m. CT. Any players elected will be inducted in a Cooperstown, New York ceremony Sunday, July 23.
January 30 - February 17: Arbitration hearings for eligible players who have not reached agreement on contracts with their teams.
Saturday, February 25: The Cubs open their 2023 Spring Training schedule against the Giants at Sloan Park at 2:05 p.m. CT.
Wednesday, March 8: The World Baseball Classic begins, with games in Japan, Taiwan, Phoenix and Miami. Twenty countries will participate over a 14-day period. This is the first WBC since 2017, as the 2021 event was cancelled due to the pandemic. The championship game will be played March 21 in Miami.
Thursday, March 30: Opening Day 2023. The Cubs open the season against the Brewers at Wrigley Field at 1:20 p.m. CT. All 30 teams will be in action that day. A reminder that the schedule has now been made more balanced, with fewer divisional games and every team playing every other team each year. This has, for 2023, resulted in four West teams (Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Padres) visiting Wrigley Field in April. Here’s hoping for warm, dry weather next spring in Chicago.