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Atlanta Braves 2017-18 offseason important dates

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An uncertain offseason looms for the Atlanta Braves, here are the important dates to keep an eye on.

San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

MLB’s offseason officially gets underway after a classic World Series between the Astros and Dodgers. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Atlanta Braves’ front office, there is much work to be done. Below is a list of important dates to keep an eye on between now and the start of 2018 spring training.

Free Agency opens - (Five days after World Series ends)

After re-signing catcher Kurt Suzuki, the Braves have just two major league players who will become free agents this offseason in R.A. Dickey and Jason Motte. The team declined to pick up Dickey’s $8 million option for 2018 on October 23 choosing instead to pay him a $500,000 buyout. It is expected that Dickey will retire although he hasn’t made that official yet.

MLB Trade Rumors has a full list of this offseason’s free agents.

DL Reinstatement - (Five days after World Series ends)

The Braves currently have two players who are on the 60-day disabled list in reliever Jacob Lindgren and outfielder Danny Santana. They will both have to be activated five days after the World Series ends. Atlanta currently has four open spots on the 40-man roster and will clear two more after Dickey and Motte become free agents.

November 6-17 - BBWAA Awards

The Baseball Writers Association of America will announce finalists for their awards on November 6. Winners will be announced starting on November 7.

Nov 7 - Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET)
Nov 9 - Louisville Silver Slugger Awards (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 10 - Wilson Defensive Players of the Year (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 13 - Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 14 - Managers of the Year (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 15 - Cy Young Awards (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 16 - Most Valuable Player Awards (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
Nov 17 - Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)

November 13-16 - General Manager meetings in Orlando

Annual meeting of GMs and Owners in Florida. Not as active or publicized as the winter meetings but the groundwork to many trades and free agent deals likely begins here. That this set of meetings begins in under two weeks is significant given that the Braves don’t yet have a general manager.

November 20 - Rule 5 Draft protection

Deadline to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster.

December 1 - Non-tender deadline

Deadline to tender contracts to players still under team control. This is mostly where you’ll see some arbitration-eligible players get non-tendered if the Braves are not interested in bringing them back for 2018. (See below for the list of arbitration-eligible players in the system.)

December 10-14 - Winter Meetings in Orlando

The annual December Winter Meetings are usually the pinnacle of the offseason. This is typically the time of the year when the most activity happens and rumors run rampant.

December 14 - Rule 5 Draft

Minor League players non on a team's 40-man roster who have been in professional baseball for four (for college players) or five (for high school players) Rule 5 Drafts are eligible to be selected. During the Major League portion of the draft, any player selected must remain on that team's active roster for the entire season or be offered back to their original club. The Braves selected reliever Armando Rivero in last year’s Rule 5 Draft.

January 12 - Exchange of Arbitration Figures

Arbitration eligible players and their clubs exchange potential salary figures. Atlanta currently has seven players who are eligible for arbitration (assuming none are non-tendered) in Matt Adams, Mike Foltynewicz, Arodys Vizcaino, Sam Freeman, Dan Winkler, Jace Peterson and Danny Santana. The Braves may elect to avoid arbitration with many of these players to work out more team friendly deals or long term extensions.

February 1-20 - Arbitration hearings held

If the teams and the players can't come to an agreement then they will go to arbitration where a panel will hear player and club presentations and will then decide to award the player his submission or the club's.