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Cleveland Indians 2016 offseason calendar and important dates

Baseball doesn’t stop just because they aren’t playing.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The offseason is getting a bit of a late start for Cleveland Indians fans, but it is definitely here now. It feels weird coming right out of baseball into the qualifying offer deadline, but that’s pretty much where we are. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect in the offseason, as well as specifics for how these dates affect the Indians.

  • November 7, 2016: Deadline to offer a qualifying offer.
    Simply put, the qualifying offer is a set one-year contract that teams can offer qualified players. If that player rejects the QO by the deadline (11/14, in this case), the team that offered the contract will receive a compensatory draft pick if that player signs with another team. This year's QO is set at $17.2 million. The Indians have reportedly expressed interest in extending a QO to Mike Napoli, but I'd be pretty surprised to see it happen. Same goes for their other qualified pending free agent, Rajai Davis. 
  • November 7, 2016: BBWAA Awards finalists announced.
    Finalists for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player will be announced. I expect Terry Francona, and Corey Kluber will be in the running for Manager of the Year and Cy Young, respectively, but I don't know about anyone on the Indians being in the MVP discussion this season. Tyler Naquin will probably be nominated for ROY.
  • November 7, 2016 - November 10, 2016: General manager meetings take place in Scottsdale, Arizona.
    Not quite as exciting as the Winter Meetings, but a couple trades usually come out of the GM meeting every year.
  • November 8, 2016: Free agency officially begins.
    Will the Dolanz b cheep or open their wallets? The Indians roster is pretty solid as-is, but they could probably use an outfielder or seven, especially if Rajai Davis does not return.
  • November 8, 2016: Gold Glove winners announced.
    Tune into MLB Network to watch Francisco Lindor be announced as the winner.
  • November 10, 2016: Silver Slugger winners announced.
    I'm sure Lindor will be in the running at shortstop, but this probably belongs to Carlos Correa. Other than that...?
  • November 14, 2016: Deadline for players to accept or decline qualifying offers from teams.
    If the Indians offer a QO to Mike Napoli, this is probably the time they hope he rejects the offer so they can rake in that sweet draft pick and not be $17 million in the hole for an aging first baseman.
  • November 14, 2016: Rookie of the Year winners announced.
    Give it to Lindor to atone for last season.
  • November 15, 2016: Manager of the Year winners announced.
    Tito has to be close. It'd be a lock for sure if the postseason counted.
  • November 16, 2016: Cy Young winners announced.
    Chris Gimenez has the inside track on this one.
  • November 17, 2016: Most Valuable Player winners announced.
  • November 18, 2016: Deadline to add prospects to 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.
    Don't worry, Bradley Zimmer isn't going anywhere. We'll have more detailed posts as the Rule 5 draft approaches.
  • December 2, 2016: Non-tender deadline.
    Will 34-year-old Michael Martinez be non-tendered? Probably not, unfortunately.
  • December 5, 2016 - December 8, 2016: Winter meetings take place in Washington, DC.
    This is where the hot stove lights on fire and burns your house down. Rumors are going to be flying with every important person in every organization within feet of each other.
  • December 8, 2016: Rule 5 draft
    Last year the Padres selected Josh Martin away from the Indians. Then sent him back in April.
  • January 18, 2017: Hall of Fame class announced.
  • January 19, 2017 - February, 2017: Nothing
    Sadness, darkness, the deep sleep.
  • February, 2017: Pitchers and catchers report. 
    Right now only the Phillies (2/13) and Twins (2/13) have confirmed dates. Last year the Indians P&C reported on February 19 with the full squad joining them on February 23.
  • April 2, 2017: Fake Opening Day
    Yankees play the Rays and Giants player the Diamondbacks, who cares?
  • April 3, 2017: Real Opening Day. 
    Indians start their season against the Rangers. A series with no subtext whatsoever.