The San Diego Padres might not have to make a huge splash this winter because of how many players they have returning for 2023 but we know A.J. Preller is still going to be active. Below are some key dates for fans to pay attention to:
November 10: Qualifying Offer and Player, Club Option Deadlines + Start of Free Agency
Thursday is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not to make a qualifying offer to their free agents. This year’s qualifying offer is a one-year deal worth $19.65 million. If a team offers this to a player, the player has five days to either accept it or reject it. If they reject it, then the team gets draft pick compensation if the player signs somewhere else as a free agent. The Padres will not be offering the qualifying offer to anyone this year.
Thursday is also the player option deadline, which means players must decide if they want to take the money and return to their team for one year or if they want to decline it and become a free agent. Nick Martinez hasn’t yet decided but Robert Suarez and Jurickson Profar have both already declined their player options and elected free agency.
The Padres have already declined Wil Myers’ $20 club option so he is a free agent.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, free agency officially begins, meaning every free agent can now negotiate with every major league team. Before that time, free agents can only negotiate with the team they were on to end the 2022 season.
November 18: Non-Tender Deadline
If a team doesn’t want to give a player a 40-man roster spot, they can non-tender them. Those who aren’t given a contract become free agents.
December 5-8: MLB Winter Meetings
The Winter Meetings take place in San Diego this year! This is the best week of the offseason, as the entire baseball industry gathers to get offseason business done. The Draft Lottery will take place on December 6. The Rule 5 Draft will happen on December 7. Usually there is a flurry of trades and free agent signings during the week. Scott Boras also speaks in front of dozens of reporters and tries to make his clients seem like the best players on the planet.
January 13: Salary Arbitration Exchange Deadline
If a team and player can’t agree on a salary for the 2023 season, then both sides have to submit their desired dollar amount, which then is used during an arbitration hearing in February. Most teams avoid the hearings with players nowadays, especially with upcoming free agents they want to keep, because those hearings can get ugly. Teams tell players why they aren’t good enough to get a certain amount of money so some players’ feelings might get hurt during this process.