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The Houston Astros are the 2022 World Series champions. They defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to clinch the franchise's second championship. The Astros have won four of the last six American League pennants and they've done it with different rosters, different managers, and different front offices.

With the World Series now complete, the 2022-23 offseason is officially upon us, and several significant events are right around the corner. Here are the important dates and deadlines for the coming weeks and months.   

Nov. 6: As of 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, all eligible players are free agents. MLB used to make players file for free agency, but that was a waste of everyone's time. Now players automatically become free agents once eligible (i.e. six-plus years of service time). It is important to note free agents can not sign with new teams just yet. They have to wait five days for that. The first five days of the offseason are an exclusive negotiating period in which the player can only talk money with his previous team.

Nov. 7: Finalists for 2022's major awards will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Those awards are Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player. Three finalists are announced for each award in each league. As a reminder, voting for all awards was completed before the postseason. These are regular-season awards.

Nov. 8-10: GM Meetings in Las Vegas. Generally speaking, the GM Meetings cover off-the-field matters, such as rule changes. But when you put all 30 GMs in one place, inevitably deals get discussed and sometimes completed. Four years ago the Mariners and Rays made the Mike Zunino trade at the GM Meetings, for example. Also, the groundwork is often laid for deals that are completed at a later date at the GM Meetings. 

Nov. 10: Most contract option decisions are due on this date. Some contracts specify a different date (the Yankees had to make a decision on Zack Britton's 2022 club option in Nov. 2020, for example), but the vast majority have to be made within five days of the end of the World Series. Club options are controlled by the team, player options and opt-outs are controlled by the player, and mutual options are kind of pointless. They are essentially a way to move money onto next year's payroll.    

Some option decisions are no-brainers, like the Phillies picking up their $16 million club option for Aaron Nola. This offseason's notable contract option decisions include Jacob deGrom (can opt out of one year and $30.5 million) and Justin Verlander ($25 million player option).

Nov. 10: Deadline for teams to tender their eligible free agents the qualifying offer. Specifically, the deadline is 5 p.m. ET. The qualifying offer is still a thing because MLB and the MLBPA failed to agree to an international draft this summer. An international draft agreement would have eliminated the qualifying offer system and free-agent compensation entirely.

The qualifying offer is a one-year contract worth the average of the top 125 salaries, or $19.65 million this offseason. To be eligible for the qualifying offer a player must have spent the entire 2022 season with his team and have never received the qualifying offer previously. For example, the Yankees can make Aaron Judge the qualifying offer, but the Twins can not make Carlos Correa the qualifying offer because he received one last offseason.

Nov. 10: Free agency begins. The exclusive negotiating period ends and free agents are truly free. They can negotiate and sign with any team as of this date. That said, much like the regular season, MLB free agency is a marathon, not a sprint. We (probably) won't see a rash of signings on Day 1 because MLB is not a salary-capped league, and free agents aren't as worried about getting left out in the cold when cap space runs out. It should be noted that, historically, free-agent spending increases the first offseason after a new collective bargaining agreement. There could be a lot of money thrown around this winter.

Nov. 10: Silver Sluggers announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. If Silver Sluggers are your thing, this is the date for you. Similar to Gold Gloves, there is a new utility player Silver Slugger award this year. So that's the nine usual positions plus the super utility player award in each league. Here are the Silver Slugger finalists.

Nov. 14: Rookies of the Year announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. In our unofficial October voting, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez and Braves outfielder Michael Harris II won the awards.

Nov. 15: Managers of the Year announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. In our unofficial October voting, Guardians manager Terry Francona and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts won the awards.

Nov. 15: Deadline for teams to add eligible minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Generally speaking, college players drafted no later than 2019 and high school players drafted no later than 2018 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter, as are players signed internationally no later than 2018. Among the notable Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects this winter are Orioles righty Grayson Rodriguez and Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz. Expect both (and many others) to be added to the 40-man roster on this date. 

It should be noted there are usually several minor trades on this date as teams get their 40-man roster in order. Last year the Astros traded backup catcher Garrett Stubbs to the Phillies at the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline to clear a 40-man roster spot so they could protect a young player.

Nov. 15: Deadline for free agents to accept or reject the qualifying offer. Players who accept the qualifying offer sign that one-year, $19.65 million contract and remain with their team (players who accept the qualifying offer can not be traded until June 15 without their consent). Free agents who reject the qualifying offer are attached to draft pick compensation. Their former team receives a draft pick if they sign elsewhere, and their new team has to forfeit a draft pick and international bonus money. DeGrom, Judge, and Trea Turner are among the free agents who will surely decline the qualifying offer and instead sign a large multi-year contract.  

Nov. 16: Cy Young winners announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. In our unofficial October voting, Verlander and Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara won the awards.

Nov. 17: Most Valuable Players announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. In our unofficial October voting, Judge and Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt won the awards.

Nov. 18: Non-tender deadline. This is the deadline for teams to offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract for 2023. They don't have to sign them just yet, but they do have to offer a contract. Players who do not receive a contract offer are considered "non-tendered" and become free agents. Notable players are non-tendered every offseason as teams determine their salary outweighs their performance, and the trade market turns up nothing worthwhile. Matthew Boyd, Matt Strahm, and Daniel Vogelbach were among the notable players non-tendered last offseason.  

Nov. 21: The 2023 Hall of Fame ballot will be released. Just the ballot will be announced, to be clear. The voting results and 2022 Hall of Fame class will be revealed at a later date. Here are the players eligible for this year's ballot. Most notably, this is Year 10 of 10 on the ballot for Jeff Kent. It's also Year 2 on the ballot for Alex Rodriguez and Year 6 for Scott Rolen. Carlos Beltrán is the biggest name who will join the ballot as a first-timer this year.

Dec. 4: The Hall of Fame's Contemporary Baseball Era voting results will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 8 p.m. ET. The Hall of Fame announced several changes to their Era Committee voting structure earlier this year and the Contemporary Baseball Era covers players who are no longer on the BBWAA ballot and whose "greatest contributions to the game were realized from the 1980 to present era." The 16-person committee includes Hall of Famers, executives, and veteran media members, and 12 votes are needed for induction. The players on this year's Contemporary Baseball Era ballot have not yet been revealed, though the ballot may include Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Dec. 4-7: Winter Meetings in San Diego. This is typically when all offseason hell breaks loose. The Winter Meetings are the busiest few days of the offseason, if not with big trades and free-agent signings, than with gobs of rumors. It is four days of non-stop hot stove action. Historically, the biggest moves of the offseason are completed at the Winter Meetings. GMs can talk face-to-face with agents and other GMs to get things done.

Dec. 7: Rule 5 Draft. By rule, players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team's MLB roster all season in 2023, otherwise they must go through waivers and be offered back to their original team. Teams don't expect to get difference-makers in the Rule 5 Draft. They often look for middle relievers, platoon bats, and lottery tickets, and most players wind up back with their original team. Last offseason's Rule 5 Draft was canceled due to the owners' lockout, though the previous offseason was a banner year for Rule 5 Draft picks. Most notably, the Red Sox landed righty Garrett Whitlock in that year's Rule 5 Draft. 

Jan. 13: Deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures for 2023. The player files what he believes he should be paid while the team files with what they believe the player should be paid. It is important to note the two sides can still agree to a contract of any size even after filing salary figures, and the vast majority of arbitration-eligible players agree to a contract before the filing deadline. Matt Swartz and MLB Trade Rumors released their salary arbitration projections in October. Their model has proven to be quite accurate over the years.

Jan. 15: The 2023 international signing period opens. MLB and the MLBPA did not agree to an international draft this summer, so international amateur players are still free to sign with any team. The signing period used to run from July 2nd to June 25th each year, though MLB and the MLBPA agreed to push the start of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 signing periods back to January because of the pandemic, and now the new January start is permanent. Here is MLB.com's list of 2023's top 30 international prospects. Venezuelan catcher Ethan Salas, the No. 1 prospect, is expected to sign with the Padres.

Jan. 24: The 2023 Hall of Fame class will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. The ballot is revealed in November, votes are compiled in the following weeks, then the results are announced in the dog days of the offseason. Among holdovers on the ballot, Rolen was the closest to getting in without actually getting in last year. He received 63.2 percent of the vote and 75 percent is needed for induction. There is a chance no players will be voted into the Hall of Fame this voting cycle. It would be the second time that happened in the last three years.

Jan. 30 to Feb. 17: Arbitration hearings. Inevitably a few arbitration-eligible players and their teams will be unable to come to terms on a contract, and they wind up in front of an arbitration panel. Each side states their case -- hearings can be contentious because the team essentially outlines the player's shortcomings and explains why he deserves a lower salary than he believes -- and the three-person panel picks either the salary the player filed or the salary the team filed, nothing in-between. Again, teams and players can work out a contract of any size prior to a hearing, even after filing salary figures. Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson were among the players to go to an arbitration hearing last year.

Mid-February: Spring training camps open across Florida and Arizona. Each team sets their own reporting dates for pitchers and catchers, and then position players, though they'll all be up and running by the second full week of February. Cactus League and Grapefruit League play begins Feb. 24. 

March 8-21: World Baseball Classic. The WBC returns next spring following a pandemic-related hiatus. The tournament expands to 20 teams this time around and games will be played in Taiwan, Japan, Miami, and Phoenix. Pool play begins March 8 in Taichung and the WBC concludes with the Championship Game on March 21 in Miami. 

March 30: At long last, Opening Day 2023. All 30 clubs will be in action on Opening Day, with nine of the 15 games featuring intradivision matchups. Here's what you need to know about the 2023 MLB schedule, which will be the first season with the league's new, more balanced schedule. Every team will play at least one series against every other team in 2023. No more rotating divisions for interleague play.