Important dates in the MLB offseason and what Yankees fans have to look forward to

Jonathan Daniel

The World Series is over, baseball is over, and now we all have another four months before it comes back. In the meantime, things are still happening and Pinstripe Alley will be there to cover it all. You're welcome. Here is a look at the important dates ahead and what you Yankee fans have to look forward to.

October 31: The day after the World Series, all eligible players become free agents. The Yankees will lose Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Mark Reynolds, Brendan Ryan, Lyle Overbay, Kevin Youkilis, Joba Chamberlain, Travis Hafner, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera to free agency

November 4: Five days after the conclusion of the World Series, teams can officially extend a qualifying offer to their upcoming free agents (who have spent the entire year with them). As an average of the top 125 salaries in MLB a qualifying offer is worth $14.1 million for a one year contract in 2013. The Yankees will be able to offer one to Cano, Kuroda, Granderson, and possibly Hughes.

Contract options must also be decided on by this date. For the Yankees, that amounts to whether or not Derek Jeter will accept his $9.5 million option. Spoiler alert: he will.

November 5: Six days after the end of the World Series, all free agents are now allowed to sign with any team they choose. The Yankees will hope to re-sign at least some of Cano, Kuroda, Granderson, Hughes, Logan, Reynolds, and Ryan.

On the same date the BBWAA Awards finalists will be announced. Like the Gold Glove Awards, finalists will be named for the Silver Slugger, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP Awards.

November 6: The Silver Slugger Awards will be announced. Robinson Cano is likely the only Yankee to have a chance at one of these.

November 11-13: The GM/Owners meetings take place in Orlando, Florida where preparations are made for the team's offseason plans.

November 11: Players have six days to either accept or decline a qualifying offer. If he accepts, he will be paid $14.1 million for the 2014 season, if he declines, he will remain a free agent and his signing team will forfeit their first round draft pick and the team he left will receive a compensation pick.

The BBWAA Rookie of the Year Awards will be announced on this day. The Yankees don't have anyone who would finish in the top five for this award.

November 12: The BBWAA Manager of the Year Awards will be announced on this day. Joe Girardi was once a heavy favorite for this award, but after the Yankees missed the playoffs, it's likely that another manager, likely Joe Maddon, will win it.

November 13: The BBWAA Cy Young Awards will be announced on this day. Kuroda had an outside shot at it before his bad second half.

November 14: The BBWAA Most Valuable Player Awards will be announced on this day. There's a good chance that Cano could rank in the top five.

November 18: The Alex Rodriguez appeal hearing restarts on this date and it could be another month and a half before we hear a final verdict in the case. That's a long time to go without knowing how much money you have to spend in free agency.

December 2: This is the final day that teams have to decide whether or not they will tender their players arbitration eligible contracts in 2014. By this time we find out if the Yankees will bring back Jayson Nix, Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, and David Huff or non-tender them.

December 9-12: The Winter Meetings take place this week. There will be plenty of news about changes to Major League Baseball and potential trades between teams.

December 9: By this date the 40-man roster must be finalized in time for the Rule 5 Draft, where certain minor leaguers are eligible to be drafted away by other teams. Slade Heathcott, Chase Whitley, and Gary Sanchez are a few of the prospects that the Yankees will need to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the draft.

December 12: The Rule 5 Draft will take place on this day. If a player is selected, they must spend the entire 2014 season on their new team's active roster to stay with the team.

Better luck next year?

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