The offseason is upon us. We’re looking at four long months until the next live baseball game. In the meantime, Jerry Dipoto will begin to leave his mark on this team as he retools the roster for next year. Awards will be doled out, players will come and go, and the bright, sunny days of Arizona in February are on the horizon.
Baseball news flows at a sporadic pace during these winter months. To prepare you for the ebb and flow of the offseason, here’s a look at what’s on the schedule for the next four months.
November 6, 2015 – Final day for teams to extend qualifying offers to free agents. The only Mariner who may warrant a qualifying offer is Hisashi Iwakuma, and the Mariners would do well to offer him one if they don’t sign him before this deadline.
November 7, 2015 – Free agency period begins. Free agents may begin signing with any club. Players on 60-day disabled list must be reinstated and count against the 40-man roster.
November 9–12, 2015 – GM Meetings will be held in Boca Raton, FL. These meetings are the symbolic start of the hot stove league during the offseason.
November 10, 2015 – Rawlings Gold Glove awards announced. No Mariners have been named as finalists.
November 12, 2015 – Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger awards announced. Nelson Cruz has a decent case to win his first piece of hardware since 2011.
November 13, 2015 – Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offers.
November 16, 2015 – BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year awards announced. Ketel Marte has an outside chance to pick up some votes.
November 17, 2015 – BBWAA Managers of the Year awards announced.
November 18 2015 – BBWAA Cy Young Awards announced. Felix should receive a few cursory votes but won’t be in the running to actually win the Cy Young this year.
November 19, 2015 – BBWAA Most Valuable Players awards announced. Nelson Cruz put up some monster offensive numbers this year and should receive a number of votes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished in the top-5 this year.
December 2, 2015 – Deadline to tender contracts to players under team control.
December 7–10, 2015 – Winter Meetings will be held in Nashville, TN. The Rule-5 Draft also occurs during these meetings.
January 15, 2016 – Salary arbitration filings due. The Mariners have four players eligible for salary arbitration, Mark Trumbo, Logan Morrison, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Charlie Furbush.
February 1–21 – Salary arbitration hearings begin. Historically, the Mariners have usually avoided arbitration hearings by signing eligible players to one-year contracts near the mid-point of the two parties proposed salary figures.
February, 2016 – Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training facilities.
March, 2016 – Cactus League play begins.
April 4, 2016 – Opening Day, Mariners at Rangers.