Upcoming MLB Offseason & Free Agency Dates
Nov 3, 2023, 10:58 AM
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The World Series might have concluded just two days ago, but all 30 MLB teams are back to work as the offseason officially begins.
Once the final out of the Texas Rangers’ Game 5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks was recorded, all eyes shifted to the start of MLB free agency, which began at 12:00 AM EST on Thursday morning.
While players without a contract for 2024 are now free agents, the only teams they can negotiate with are the last team they played for in 2023.
Here is everything you need to know for the MLB offseason, upcoming dates of interest, and much more!
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) November 2, 2023
When does MLB free agency begin?
Players officially become free agents the day after the conclusion of the World Series. However, they cannot sign with a new team until five days after the conclusion of the World Series.
While teams can reach out to player representatives, the five-day period serves as an exclusive window in which teams can retain their departing free agents. This is a period that often has very little activity.
When can MLB teams make trades?
Trades involving players signed to Major League contracts are prohibited from the Trade Deadline to the conclusion of the World Series. The trade market opens up again the day after the World Series finale.
What is the deadline for players and teams to pick up options for 2024?
Within five days of the conclusion of the World Series.
What is the deadline for offering, accepting or rejecting a qualifying offer?
Teams have until five days after the World Series to extend a qualifying offer to their free agents.
The players who receive the offer then have until 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 14 to decide whether or not to take it. If they reject it, they are immediately eligible to sign with another team.
What is a qualifying offer?
A qualifying offer is a means by which teams can receive Draft-pick compensation when a departing free agent signs with another club.
Teams can receive compensation only if they have made a qualifying offer to the free agent, and such an offer can only be made to players who have not received a qualifying offer before and who were on the team’s roster for the entire season (i.e., were not acquired via trade midseason).
The qualifying offer is a one-year offer worth the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players; this year, that amount is $20.325 million.
The value, which changes by the year, was $19.65 million for the 2022-23 offseason. This year, offers must be made to eligible players within five days of the conclusion of the World Series, and players then have until 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 14 to accept or reject.
When is the non-tender deadline?
Nov. 17, 2023
What does it mean to be non-tendered?
When a club “non-tenders” a player on its 40-man roster (i.e., not yet eligible for free agency), it has declined to give that player a contract for the upcoming season. The player then becomes a free agent.
MLB Offseason Schedule
- Five days after the World Series ends – MLB free agency begins
- Five days after the World Series ends – Player and team options must be exercised or declined
- November 17th – Non-tender deadline
- December 6th – Rule 5 Draft
- Mid-February – Spring Training begins
SF Giants Schedule
- February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
- February TBD – Full squad workouts
- Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs