Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Baseball’s Off-Season calendar 2015-16


Published online at Google Docs link here, and included as a link along the right-hand side of the blog.

But here’s a quick table with the dates and events that mark the furious off-season of Baseball:

Date Event
9/24/2015 Nominees for Roberto Clemente Award
10/4/2015 Last day of regular season
10/5/2015 End of Year BBWAA award ballots due (prior to beginning of post season)
10/6/2015 Beginning of 2015 Post-Season
10/23/2015 Gold Glove finalists announced
10/24/2015 – 10/29/2015 NPB Japan World Series
10/26/2015 Sporting News Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
10/26/2015 Sporting News Rookies of the Year AL and NL
10/27/2015 Sporting News Managers of the Year AL and NL
10/28/2015 Sporting News All Star Teams of the year
10/28/2015 MLB Relievers of the year (Rivera and Hoffman Awards)
10/29/2015 Sporting News Player of the Year, MLB
10/29/2015 Sporting News Executive of the Year announced
10/30/2015 Roberto Clemente Award given
10/30/2015 Fielding Bible Awards given
10/31/2015 approx Hall of Fame “Veterans Committee/Golden Era” releases ballot.
10/31/2015 Hank Aaron Awards given
11/1/2015 Last actual day of 2015 World Series; official end of 2015 season
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) MLB Coaches contracts expire
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) MLB announces nominees for GIBBYs
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) Official start of FA period (8am CST the day after the last game of the WS).   First day of the 5-day exclusive window to negotiate with your own Fas
11/4/15 (WS end + 3) Team and player options must be decided three days after the end of the World Series.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Clubs have to re-set their 40-man rosters, moving all 60-day DL players back to active.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) 5pm EST: Deadline to make Qualifying offers for your own FAs (average of top 125 salaries or $15.8M for 2015). 5 days after end of WS
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Last Day of “Quiet Period.” Teams have “exclusive” negotiating rights with their own free agents during this period.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) 5 days after WS ends: Free agent filing period and exclusive negotiating window ends at 12:01 a.m. ET. Free agents can sign with any team.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Free Agency granted to all eligible Minor League free agents (5 days after the end of the WS). Eligibility done on service time; 6 years ML service for college draftees or 7 years ML service for HS draftees or free agents under the age of 18.
11/9/2015 MLBPA announces “Players Choice” awards: Player of the year, Comeback Player of the year, etc
11/10/2015 BBWAA Award Nominees announced on MLB networks
11/10/2015 Rawlings AL & NL Gold Glove Announcements
11/11/2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards, given by MLB to best defensive player on each club.
11/12/2015 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards
11/10/2015 MLB Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
11/9/15 – 11/12/15 GM Meetings, Boca Raton, Florida for 2015
11/13/2015 (WS end + 12) 12 Days after WS ends: Players must accept or reject Qualifying Options by 5pm today
11/16/2015 AL, NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards
11/17/2015 AL and NL Manager of the Year
11/18/2015 AL and NL Cy Young
11/19/2015 AL and NL Most Valuable Player
11/18/2015 – 11/19/2015 Owner Meetings, Dallas for 2015
11/20/2015 Esurance MLB Awards
11/20/2015 Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels. In other words, Last day to add players to 40-man to protect them from the Rule5 Draft
11/24/2015 approx Hall of Fame Ballot for 2015 class officially released
12/2/15 Midnight: Deadline for teams to Tender contracts to arbitration eligible players and/or unsigned players. If not tendered, those players immediately become free agents.     This is the non-tender deadline for arbitration eligible players
12/3/2015 (7 days prior to Rule-5 draft) Last date to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft
12/2/2015 approx Baseball America announces its Executive of the Year
12/7/15 -12/10/15 Winter Meetings, Nashville, TN
12/7/2015 Hall of Fame “Golden Era” (1947-1972) vote announced, San diego
12/7/15 (3 days prior to Rule-5 draft) Last date to outright a player prior to Rule 5 Draft
12/8/2015 approx MLB announces winners of 21 “GIBBY” awards (greatness in Baseball yearly awards)
12/9/2015 approx J.G. Taylor Spink Award voting results announced
12/10/2015 approx MLB Balloting results announced for Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting
12/10/2015 Rule 5 Draft. Occurs on last day of Winter meetings
12/13/2015 – 12/14/2015 Nats Winterfest 2015 (DC Convention center?)
12/31/2015 Deadline for BBWAA ballots for Hall of Fame voting.
1/6/2016 Hall of Fame BBWAA voting announced; the Hall of Fame class of 2015
1/12/2016 Salary arbitration filing Date
1/15/2016 Salary arbitration figures exchanged (1pm)
2/1/2016 – 2/21/2016 Salary arbitration hearings (actual hearing date per player picked at random), Phoenix AZ
2/18/2016 Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for Pitchers, Catchers, Injured players
2/23/2016 Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for position players
3/1/2016 Mandatory Reporting Date
3/2/2015 – 3/11/2015 Contracts of unsigned players who are not yet eligible for Arbitration may be renewed
3/5/2015 First Exhibition Game of Spring training
3/15/2016 Deadline to request unconditional release waivers without having to pay the player’s full salary or $100k bonus for certain types of veterans.   Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days.
4/3/2016 2016 Season Opener; Opening Day 2015; active rosters must be reduced to 25 players and 40-man rosters must be established
4/3/2016 Opening Night 2016: Cubs@Los Angeles Angels


Written by Todd Boss

November 7th, 2015 at 8:28 am

Posted in Baseball in General

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7 Responses to 'Baseball’s Off-Season calendar 2015-16'

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  1. Great post, thanks.

    Todd, I read where you’re going to post soon on the Span blunder.
    I suggest a title — ‘Scott Boras has nose ring installed on Lerners to make it easier for him to lead them around’.

    Mark L

    7 Nov 15 at 3:16 pm

  2. Thank you, Todd.


    7 Nov 15 at 4:34 pm

  3. Suddenly the offseason is exciting again. Which is to say that the Baker hiring quickly evolved into something we can live with, enhanced by two high grade coaches coming into the fold as upgrades for pitching and baserunning. The organization is true to its word about adding experience. A few other points:

    1) I like how the Nats targeted and sealed a deal for Maddux as aggressively as they did. That was Rizzo getting his man, and Rizzo doing what he does great. On top of that, Maddux spells the end of the pitch-to-contact silliness (I hope). When you have people like Scherzer and Strasburg, let ‘em pitch to 15 K’s if that’s their game.

    2) I am just as happy with Lopes having been added. The organization has the ingredients of major speed weaponry, so underutilized. Setting Lopes up with Trea Turner will be one of the great story lines of early 2016. And I think Turner will get every shot to be the everyday SS. Michael Taylor, should he be the everyday CF, will also benefit greatly from Lopes given his speed and great first step. We’re talking two players who both could steal more bases, individually, than any player in Nats history. That would be an incredibly exciting offensive force, and a team that is fun to watch, and team that would table set well for its sluggers. Obviously, Harper can learn and refine his running game with Lopes as well, but the team may want to protect him a bit.

    3) I do not see the Nats resigning any of their free agents, with the possible exception of Matt Thornton. I’m sorry Span did not get a QO, but I understand why. Given 15.8 m, and a one year deal, there would be no incentive for him to return with any speed to the starting and everyday lineup. And then he is gone and the organization puts its development and planning on hold.

    4) The coming of Maddux is a particularly exciting development for Cole, Jordan, Voth, Ross, Giolito, and the group of pitchers who are either there or just about there. How it affects team decision-making is one of the fascinating story lines of the winter, to me. Just as I (correctly) predicted the Nats would bring Turner up last year to get his feet wet, count me as a person who thinks we will see Giolito early in the year, as early as May.

    5) With the caveat of how Mike Maddux-Dusty Baker sort out the starting pitcher resources, the team is right now opting for a Scherzer-Strasburg-Gonzalez-Roark-Ross starting rotation. But since past is prologue, I think the Nats may be in the market for a free agent starting pitcher — but only if they intend to trade Strasburg to get mega value now. And I think they should, especially because they have farm system needs that can only be met to a limited degree with even two extra QO picks (and their money slots). IF the Nats opt to trade Strasburg (as they signed Scherzer a year before losing Zimm), then I think the will make a play for Price or Cueto. Price because he is a lefty ace and young and worth it, Cueto because he excelled for Dusty baker and is a buy low ace and a better risk than JZimm. No QO for either one. And the team has already shown it will spend on an elite player.

    6) With Maddux coming over, don’t forget that Texas and the Nats discussed Strasburg last winter. The Ranger still have a lot of prospect depth even after the Hamels trade. Maddux has his preferences of the undervalued, and that is an intriguing trade partner should Strasburg be dangled. So is Los Angeles, given Lopes’ proximity to the major league talent and Friedman braintrust.

    7) With all of the money off the books, it doesn’t get any better than now to sign Bryce Harper. Even with the disappointments of RZimmerman’s deal, there is no comparing the two. Harper has not yet peaked and the Nats are better off taking the chance that he peaks in DC. Back up the truck. Bryce Harper, though not a free agent, is THE most important free agent. Baker will turn him into LeBron.

    8) I do not see the Nats signing any of the MLBTR predictions (Upton, Wieters, Parra). Upton is not good enough defensively to lock up the lineup with another long term contract, with Victor Robles coming here in 2018. The only free agent arguably worth that (and losing a draft pick) would be Alex Gordon. One can make an argument for Cespedes, whom Rizzo loves, but I don’t see the Nats spending the number of years for Cespedes, especially after the Papelbon outcome. If the Nats get a big time OF, I think it will come via a trade, as a younger controllable piece. As for Wieters, signing him costs a draft pick and displaces Ramos. I don;t think there is that much an upgrade and I am leery about a high investment on a catcher who has had TJ surgery. That would be a sell low move. I am on the bandwagon that sees Ramos having a much better year next year, and think the Nats should try to lock him up for a few years, right now, while his value is lower. As for Parra, I think KW captures my thinking precisely that denDekker is a comparable and perhaps better option. denDekker would provide better power, better splits, better pinch hitting, and way cheaper and still controllable.

    9) For all of the above reasons, I think the Nats should sign Zobrist and I hope they do. He fits so many of the needs and gives so much roster flexibility at a time that the Nats need to tweak and potentially upgrade, including its minor league system. Having Zobrist at 2B with Turner at SS, of moving him to the OF to fit in for injury while Espinosa plays 2B, or as an insurance policy if Rendon gets hurt again just makes too much sense. All this and no QO? I’m way in.

    10) As for the bullpen, it’s impossible to anticipate how Dusty assesses and will resolve the Papelbon and Storen decisions. The easy resolution is a trade of both, especially since both have only one more year of team control. Where does that leave the bullpen? It seems to me that Kimbrel is a great option, and the Nats can accumulate pieces like Zobrist or even an ace pitcher to help them pull off the trade to get him here. I would imagine that many would find Chapman attractive, but given his impending free agency in 2016, I am less sanguine. Kimbrel’s long contract is a real plus to a reconstructed bullpen.

    11) Count me among those who hope the organization stockpiles enough starting ML pieces to enable a Mike Morse type deal to restock high ceiling talent at A+-AA. There are too few high ceiling position player prospects in the organization right now, even with the 2015 draft looking like the best we’ve seen in years.

    12) And yes, Todd :), I am still hoping and rooting for Rafael Martin!


    7 Nov 15 at 4:35 pm

  4. I’d like to see the Nats make a play for Norris to return at C. I think Difo plus something minor could get him, and they can either pair him with Ramos or flip Ramos for something, like pen help or prospects. I think Norris has three years of control left.

    As for the MLBTR predictions, I don’t see it either and don’t think a high profile corner OF is coming, not unless they find a way to trade Werth, which is unlikely.

    I have a hunch that they’ll trade some pitching. Stras is being mentioned, speculated really, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Gio was traded. He is slipping a bit, but still talented and under control for a few more years. If they do make some trades for prospects, I’d love to see some higher level OF prospects returning. They lose Werth in 2 years and Harp in 3 (I don’t see the extension happening).


    8 Nov 15 at 7:57 pm

  5. Todd, I’m going to link this on our site. Great comprehensive calendar.

    Ghost of Steve M. (

    12 Nov 15 at 7:28 am

  6. Thanks Steve. Believe it or not I also keep it updated with links as awards are given…. at least I try :-)

    Todd Boss

    12 Nov 15 at 8:48 am

  7. Just re-uploaded it actually, to links to the 11/10/15 awards. I know there’s more from last night, will get to them incrementally since there’s like an award a day over the next two weeks.

    Todd Boss

    12 Nov 15 at 8:56 am

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