MLB offseason: Schedule of important dates this winter

USA Today Sports

Wondering when everything is going down this winter? Look no further than here

The World Series is officially over.

What now? When does free agency start? When can the Astros start signing all of the players? Well, I'll tell you. Here's the list of all the important dates for the winter. Bookmark it, revisit it from time to time, treat it like an old college buddy and let it crash on your couch.

Oct. 31 - Eligible players become free agents. Players may talk with any team from this point until they are eligible to sign, but they cannot negotiate on a contract (even though I'm sure they totally do)

Nov. 3 - Last day to request waivers on Rule 5 draft-excluded players until spring (think: Jake Elmore)

Nov. 4 - Last day to reinstate players from 60-day DL

Last day to outright minor league free agents without MLB contract

Last day for free agents to receive qualifying offers from former club

Minor league free agents become...free agents

Basically, this is the 40-Man Roster Day

Nov. 5 - Free agents, both major and minor, can sign with any team

Nov. 11 - Last day for free agents to accept qualifying offers

GM/Owners Meetings begin (where the groundwork for many Winter Meeting moves gets laid)

Dec. 5 - Last day to request outright waivers on a player before Rule 5 draft

Dec. 9 - Last day to outright a player before Rule 5 draft (or Day The 40-Man Must Be Set)

Dec. 9-12 - Winter Meetings begin (aka TCB Goes Crazy)

Dec. 12 - Rule 5 Draft

March 31 - Opening Day

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