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The World Series is officially in the books, folks. The Houston Astros took down the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. The ‘Stros got to celebrate the accomplishment on their home field. That’s the first time a champion has had this opportunity since the 2013 Boston Red Sox.

Manager Dusty Baker finally gets his well-deserved World Series ring. And last but not least, Houston denied the National League East from winning its third title since 2019 (Nationals in ’19, Braves in ’21).

With outfielder Kyle Tucker securing the final out on Saturday night, the 2022-23 MLB offseason is officially upon us. We know the Mets and Yankees have lots of important decisions to make this winter. But as we wait for pitchers and catchers to report in February, what are some important dates to know? Here is a handful to keep in mind as we progress through the winter.

Free agency has officially begun. The final out of the Fall Classic is the first domino to fall here. Starting on Sunday, players who have been set to become free agents are officially unemployed. MLB teams are allowed to express interest in players who finished 2022 on other teams. However, contract terms can’t be discussed and agreements can’t be reached until Thursday, November 10th at 5 pm ET.

Qualifying offer deadline. MLB teams can extend a one-year qualifying contract offer to their internal free agents if they spent the entire year in their organization. If a player rejects a qualifying offer and signs with another team, that player’s former employer is eligible to receive compensation. Meanwhile, the team that signs such a player must surrender draft picks and/or international signing money.

This year, the one-year offer is set at $19.65 million. Thursday, November 10th is the deadline for teams to extend this offer to their free agents. Players will then have until Tuesday, November 15th at 4 pm ET to accept or reject it.

GM Meetings. As a kickoff for the offseason, the General Manager meetings will be held this week from November 8th through November 10th. Executives from around the league will gather in Las Vegas, Nevada for the event. Not a ton of deals typically happen, but the foundation is laid for free-agent pursuits and trades.

Rule 5 protection deadline. To protect certain minor leaguers from the Rule 5 draft (which happens at the end of the Winter Meetings), MLB teams must officially put them on their respective 40-man rosters. This must be done by Tuesday, November 15th.

Non-tender deadline. Arbitration-eligible players are under team control, but their contracts are only good for one season. At the end of each year, teams must decide whether they’ll be tendering a contract to eligible players. This needs to be done by Friday, November 18th.

Winter Meetings. This is when we’ll likely have the most Hot Stove action in a small window of time. Executives from all teams will be in attendance, as well as player agents, and also some players looking to meet with interested teams. This will take place in San Diego from December 5th through December 7th.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.