The World Series could be over as soon as Thursday, Nov. 2. And when it finally comes to an end, the offseason begins.
The biggest and most crucial period in the offseason is free agency. This is when teams can sign available players to contracts in order to bolster their rosters. These players can also field multiple offers from other teams and decide which offer is best for them.
But when does free agency actually begin? When are players eligible to sign with new teams and when can teams look into adding new players? Does it start right after the World Series ends?
When does MLB free agency begin?
Technically, free agency can begin the day after the conclusion of the World Series. However, there are some limits. Players who are set to enter free agency can only negotiate with their current teams until five days pass.
For example, Sonny Gray will only be able to negotiate with the Minnesota Twins until five days have passed after the conclusion of the Fall Classic. After the five-day waiting period, players can sign with whichever team they choose.
An important thing to note is that the five-day waiting period is the last chance for teams and players to decide whether or not they are going to exercise options in their contracts.
Eduardo Rodriguez has an opt-out clause in his five-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, which would allow him to become a free agent should he exercise it. The popular consensus is that the veteran left-hander will exercise his opt-out clause. However, he must do it within the five-day period before players can sign with new teams.
Should the World Series end on Wednesday night, players would be eligible to sign with new teams by Monday, Nov. 6.
However, the action doesn't typically start until the beginning of the Winter Meetings, or slightly before. The meetings will take place from Dec. 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Last year, Jacob deGrom was the first major domino to fall in free agency. He signed with the Texas Rangers on Dec. 2, three days before the Winter Meetings kicked off.
Spring training starts towards the end of February. More than likely most, if not all major free agents, will have signed new contracts by then.