Here are some of the most important dates for baseball transactions:
- January – Players file for arbitration and exchange figures with teams. This process took place from January 5th-20th this year.
- February – Salary arbitration hearings take place.
- March – Clubs can renew the contracts of unsigned players who aren't yet eligible for arbitration.
- June – The first year player draft takes place in early June (it was June 9th this year).
- June 16th – Before June 16th, teams can't deal newly-signed free agents without their permission.
- July 2nd – The International Signing Period begins.
- July 31st – Teams have to put players on waivers to deal them after July 31st, which is why we typically see a flurry of trades before the July 31st deadline.
- August 15th – The deadline by which teams have to sign their first round draft picks or lose the rights to their selections. Some players, like Aaron Crow, are exceptions to the rule. Some years are exceptions, too; the 2009 deadline fell on August 17th because August 15th was a Saturday.
- August 31st – For a player to be eligible for his team's postseason roster, he has to be in the team's organization at the end of August. As a result, August 31st is the last day for teams to acquire players through waiver trades if they want to have them for the postseason.
- September 1st – Rosters expand from 25 to 40.
- October – For 15 days after the World Series ends, teams have exclusive rights to their own free agents. Players can talk with other teams, but only in general terms.
- November – The GM Meetings take place. This year, the GMs will meet from November 9th-11th in Chicago.
- December – Clubs have to offer arbitration to ranked free agents in early December to be eligible for compensation picks if they sign elsewhere. Players have to decide whether to accept their team's offer within a week.
- December – Clubs set their 40-man rosters and take part in the Rule 5 Draft.
- December – The Winter Meetings take place in December and major trades and signings usually go down. This year, the meetings take place in Indianapolis from December 7th-10th.
- December – Teams must offer contracts to unsigned players by mid-December (this year, it's December 12th).
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts.