With the World Series behind us, it is now officially 2014. This could very well be an exciting Hot Stove season for the Astros and their fans. There are a lot of dates to be aware of, as the action is already starting and the rumor mill is beginning to churn.
The potential is certainly there for this be an exciting offseason, but things can move in multiple directions. What I am afraid of, is that Jim Crane will spearhead a reactionary move to generate goodwill and hype among the media and fan base, only for it to backfire in the future. If Crane truly wants to make as statement prior to the 2014 season, he will get Comcast Houston on all carriers. In fact it should be done before the calendar turns to 2014. I will refrain from asking for too much, but it would be nice for it to be done prior to the Winter Meetings.
Let’s take a look at some important dates and what they mean as we hope to move out of the dark ages of Houston Astros baseball.
- As of this morning, any major league player with more than six years of service time without a contract for next season is now officially a free agent.
- Until midnight on the night of November 4th, there is a five day Quiet Period. Until this time free agents are only allowed to negotiate dollars and years with their 2013 team. However, they can have discussions with all other teams. Once the Quiet Period is over, free agents are free to negotiate terms of a contract with all teams.
- In the above five day period, all decisions on options must be made and any qualifying offers have to be tendered. For this season, that is a one year $14.1 million contract.
- Players have until November 11th at 5pm EST to make a decision regarding the offer. This is where draft pick compensation comes into play if a team signs one of these free agents.
- November 11th – November 13th: General Manager Meetings
- December 2nd: This is the deadline for when players eligible for arbitration can be non-tendered.
- December 9th – December 12th: Baseball Winter Meetings. This is when the Rule 5 draft takes place.