With the World Series now over and the Houston Astros crowned as the champs, the 2022-23 offseason is officially under way!
Let’s start the Detroit Tigers offseason by setting the stage a little bit. Here are the important dates and deadlines for the off season.
November 6: Free Agency begins! As of 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, all eligible players became free agents. No need for players to file. If they have six years of service time and are not signed for the 2023 season, they are free to negotiate with other teams, although they can not officially sign for another five days. The Tigers’ Daniel Norris and Tucker Barnhart are free agents. Michael Fulmer was traded, while Michael Pineda and Wily Peralta were released.
November 7 or NOV 10: Injured players must be activated from optional assignments to the minor leagues and from the 60 day injured list. Those eligible for free agency must be activated by November 7 and others by November 10.
The Tigers will have to activate (or designate for assignment) nine players, including most of their starting rotation, and room will have to be cleared to get the roster back down to 40 players. New President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris, is going to have to take a scythe to the 40-man roster to get these players back in place and make room for new additions this offseason.
Since we last visited the issue of the roster crunch, the Tigers have added three players from the waiver wire- infielder Jermaine Palacios, catcher Michael Papierski, and pitcher Sean Guenther. They released Drew Hutchison, waived Miguel DelPozo and signed him to a minor league deal, and waived catcher Ali Sanchez, who was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. That’s three players who could have been removed to make room, but now will have to find others to clear the way.
So the Tigers will be designating several players for assignment and releasing them to clear roster space. Those recently claimed on waivers are not necessarily guaranteed a roster spot.
November 8-10:GM Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, the General Managers will address implementation of rule changes that have been approved for the 2023 season including shift rules. The ground work for trades is often laid for trades at this time. As the Tigers have yet to name a new GM under Harris, there could be a little low key intrigue if it’s say, Harris and assistant GM Sam Menzin fronting the talks for Detroit.
November 10: Player and club option decisions are due, unless an individual contract specifies a different date. We already know that Andrew Chafin will opt out of his $6.5 million option and Jonathan Schoop will opt in at $7.5 million for the 2023 season.
November 10: Qualifying offer deadline for teams to tender their eligible free agents the qualifying offer of one year for $19.65 million for the 2023 season, if they want to receive free agent compensation should the player decline and sign with another team. The deadline is 5 p.m. ET.
The qualifying offer remains part of the CBA since MLB and the MLBPA did not agree to an international draft this summer. An international draft agreement would have eliminated the qualifying offer system and free-agent compensation completely.
The Tigers have no free agents that will receive a qualifying offer.
November 10: Free agency officially begins. The “quiet period” ends and free agents are officially free to sign with any team. Without the threat of an owners’ lockout this winter, there won’t be the same pre-lockout signing frenzy, and many contracts will take until the spring to be negotiated.
November 15: Rule 5 roster additions: This is the deadline for teams to add eligible minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Generally, college players drafted on or before 2019 and high school players drafted no later than 2018 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter. International free agents signed no later than 2018 are also eligible.
Among the notable Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects this winter are Tigers’ Parker Meadows, Wenceel Perez, and Andre Lipcius. Each player added to the 40-man roster means that another one bites the dust and will be designated or waived to make room on the roster.
There may be some trade activity around this time as teams try to get some value for players to clear space.
November 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 classified as “non-tendered” and become free agents. The deadline was moved up from December 2nd, when it was set in previous years.
Matthew Boyd was among the notable players non-tendered last offseason, and a decision on Jeimer Candelario, among others will have to be made this year.
November 20: Deadline for free agents to accept or reject the qualifying offer. Players who accept the qualifying offer sign a 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 subject to draft pick compensation. Their former team receives a draft pick if they sign elsewhere, and their new team must forfeit a draft pick and possibly international bonus money.
November 7: Finalists for 2022 season’s most prominent awards will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Three finalists are announced for each award in each league for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player.
The winners will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. eastern time, on the following dates.
November 10: Silver Sluggers are announced. The awards go to the best hitters at each position.
November 14: Rookies of the Year announced.
November 15: Managers of the Year announced.
November 16: Cy Young winners announced.
November 17: Most Valuable Players announced during.
HALL OF FAME
November 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.
December 4: The Hall of Fame’s Contemporary Baseball Era voting results will be announced on 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.
January 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, and the results are announced later during the offseason.
December 5-8: Winter Meetings in San Diego. The Winter Meetings are often the busiest time of the offseason for trades and free agent signings. The meetings themselves are less the focus of attention than the “Hot Stove” action surrounding the meetings.
December 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.
Last year’s Rule 5 Draft was canceled due to the owners’ lockout, In the two years previous, the Tigers selected Victor Reyes and Akil Baddoo, who remain on the big league roster in Detroit.
INTERNATIONAL SIGNING PERIOD
January 15: The 2023 international signing period begins. Without an agreement to hold an international amateur draft, international amateur players may sign with any team, subject to individual team signing bonus limits. The signing period used to run from July 2nd to June 25th each year, but 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.
We’ve mentioned that the date for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is November 18, 2022. Those not tendered become free agents, and those tendered an offer head down this path.
January 13: Salary Figures are exchanged between teams and arbitration-eligible players The two sides can agree to a contract of any size 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.
January 30 to February 17: Arbitration hearings. for players and teams who do not agree on a salary for the 2023 season. 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, not a compromise number. For the first time, if the parties agree on a salary without going to a hearing, the contract becomes guaranteed for the season.
About February 14: Pitchers and catchers report to Spring training camps in Florida and Arizona. Each team sets their own reporting dates. Cactus League and Grapefruit League games begin on February 24, 2023
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. No games in Southern California this year. Pool play begins March 8 in Taichung and the Championship Game will be held on March 21 in Miami.
March 30: Opening Day! All 30 clubs begin play on Opening Day. A more balanced schedule will be featured with fewer games within divisions and every team will play at least one series against every other team in both leagues in 2023.