Important dates for Pirates’ offseason


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The Mazeroski statue -- DKPS

The Pirates have already had a very eventful offseason, but there are still plenty of key dates and events between now and opening day.

Below are the deadlines, meetings and camps that will impact the Pirates.

Nov. 4: Free agency begins

Teams can begin signing free agents to major-league and minor-league contracts on this date.

The Pirates will also need to have no more than 40 players on their active roster. Players cannot be on the 60-day injured list until spring training begins.

Decisions about player options are also due by this date.

Nov. 11: Rookie of the Year announced

While Pete Alonso of the Mets is the overwhelming favorite for the National League award, Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman are sure to get some votes in recognition for their rookie seasons.

Other BBWAA awards, including MVP, Cy Young and manager of the year, will be announced over the following week.

Nov. 11-14: General manager meetings

The Pirates may or may not have a general manager in place for these meetings. While the occasional trade goes through at these meetings, most of the discussion is on off-the-field issues surrounding the game.

This year's meetings will take place in Scottsdale, AZ.

Nov. 19-21: Owners meetings

Like the general manager meetings, this mostly sticks to off-the-field issues, usually on the business side.

This year's meetings will take place in Arlington, TX.

Nov. 20: Deadline to add minor leaguers to 40-man roster to protect them from Rule 5 draft

The qualifying rule this offseason is players who were drafted out of college in 2016 or before, and high school players drafted in 2015 or before, are eligible to be selected in this year's Rule 5 draft.

Top infield prospects Ke'Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz will need to be added to the 40-man roster or the Pirates will lose risking them. Other notable players who are Rule 5 eligible include INF Stephen Alemais, INF Will Craig, RHP Cody Ponce, OF Lolo Sanchez and INF Mitchell Tolman.

Dec. 2: Non-tender deadline

This is the last day for a team to offer players with less than six years of major league service time a contract for the following season. If a player is not offered a contract, they become a free agent.

Dec. 9-12: Winter Meetings in San Diego

Team executives, general managers, agents, coaches, players and free agents all across the game come together for what is usually the busiest couple of days on the offseason calendar. Almost every team will complete a trade, sign a player or be connected to rumors over these four days.

Dec. 12: Rule 5 draft

The winter meetings conclude with the Rule 5 draft.

Early January: Team minicamps

Not every team has a minicamp, but the Pirates have since 2001. There has not been any confirmation whether or not the Pirates will have a minicamp this offseason, let alone when it would be, but it usually occurs in the first weeks of the new year.

Jan. 10: Deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures

The Pirates currently have 10 players who will be eligible for arbitration in 2020. Keone Kela will be eligible for a third, and final, time. Michael Feliz will go through arbitration a second time. The first timers are Josh Bell, Elias Diaz, Adam Frazier, Erik Gonzalez, Chad Kuhl, Joe Musgrove, Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams.

Feb. 3-21: Arbitration hearings

Teams and players are allowed to negotiate a contract before the player's hearing.

Feb. 22: First spring training game

The Pirates have not announced when players will have to report to spring training yet. Traditionally, pitchers and catchers report about 10 days before games start being played.

The Pirates' first spring training game will be against the Twins at 1:05 p.m..

Mar. 26: Opening day

The Pirates will open the regular season in Tampa Bay against the Rays. A 26-man active roster will need to be in place by this date.

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