Here’s a complete list of all the dates you need to know for the 2017-18 MLB offseason.
November 2, 2017 – Free Agency Begins. At the conclusion of the World Series, all players with expiring contracts and enough service time will become free agents. Teams will then have an exclusive five day negotiation period with their pending free agents. For the Cardinals, Lance Lynn, Seung-hwan Oh, Zach Duke, and Juan Nicasio are pending free agents.
November 6, 2017 – Exclusive negotiation period ends, Qualifying offers due. After the conclusion of the five day exclusive negotiation period, players are eligible to negotiate with all teams. If teams intend to make a qualifying offer, expected to be a 1 year, $17.4 million offer this year, they must make it by 5 p.m. Eastern.
November 7, 2017 – Gold Glove winners announced. For the Cardinals, Yadier Molina a finalist for the Gold Glove Award at catcher.
November 8, 2017 – Silver Slugger winners announced.
November 13, 2017 – Qualifying offer decisions due. Players who were offered a qualifying offer by their former team must accept the offer by today. Teams who sign players who rejected their qualifying offers will give up a compensatory draft pick to the player’s previous team.
November 13-16, 2017 – General Managers’ Meetings in Orlando, FL.
November 13, 2017 – Rookie of the Year winners announced.
November 14, 2017 – Manager of the Year winners announced.
November 15, 2017 – Cy Young Award winners announced.
November 16, 2017 – MVP Award winners announced.
November 20, 2017 – Rule 5 protection deadline. Any Rule 5 Draft eligible players that the team wishes to protect must be added to their 40 man roster by this deadline. In general, players who were signed out of high school or international free agency in 2013 or earlier and out of college in 2014 or earlier are Rule 5 Draft eligible.
December 1, 2017 – Non-tender deadline. Teams must tender contracts to their players under team control. Players who are ineligible for salary arbitration will have their salary determined by the team during spring training. Players who are eligible for salary arbitration have more power to negotiate their salary prior to arbitration hearings in February. Potential players who could be non-tender candidates for the Cardinals would include Trevor Rosenthal and Aledmys Diaz.
December 10-14, 2017 – Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL.
December 14, 2017 – The Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft is one of the last things that takes place during the MLB Winter Meetings. The idea is that players who may be blocked or who have hit a ceiling in one organization can be picked up by another and given an opportunity. More information on who may be eligible is above with the November 20, 2017, description. The Cardinals took Matthew Bowman from the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft two years ago.
January 13, 2018 – Salary arbitration filing deadline. Players and teams will officially file their salary arbitration requests. The Cardinals last season followed through of a threat of “file-and-trial” with Michael Wacha. The idea being that if a player had not come to terms with the team by the filing deadline, that they would go to the arbitration hearing. Carlos Martinez filed as well, however agreed to terms on a 5 year extension soon after.
January 29 – February 16, 2018 – Salary arbitration hearings. If the team and the player remain unable to reach an agreement on salary for 2018, the two sides will each present their cases to an arbiter who will then decide which number the player will be paid. Last season the Cardinals took Michael Wacha to arbitration and won. Before that, they had not taken a player to arbitration since 1999.
February 13, 2018 – Pitchers & Catchers report.
February 18, 2018 – Position Players report.
February 23, 2018 – Spring Training games begin. The Cardinals open the 2018 Grapefruit League as the visiting team against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.
March 26 & 27, 2018 – Exhibition in Montreal. After breaking camp on March 25, the Cardinals will head to Montreal, Canada, to play a pair of exhibition games against the Toronto Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium.
March 29, 2018 – Season opener. Cardinals open up the 2018 MLB season against the New York Mets at Citi Field.