FAQ: Everything on this Brewers offseason

November 2nd, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- For two years now, baseball’s general managers have remained nimble and adjusted to uncertain circumstances. That has the potential to continue into the 2021-22 offseason after the final pitch of the World Series is thrown.

Here is a look at some key dates and decisions ahead as they would unfold under the current collective bargaining agreement:

What are key dates?

First day after the World Series: Teams can trade Major League players again, and eligible players become free agents. That starts a “quiet period” in which free agents may negotiate only with their own team.

Fourth day after the World Series: Last date to request waivers on Draft-excluded players until next spring.

Fifth day after the World Series: The last day to reinstate players from the 60-day injured list. The “quiet period” ends and MLB free agents are free to sign with any club as of 4 p.m. CT. Minor League players become free agents at 4 p.m. CT, if applicable. Also the deadline for clubs to tender qualifying offers to eligible free agents.

Fifteenth day after the World Series ends: Deadline for players to accept qualifying offer is 4 p.m. CT.

Nov. 8-11: GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif.

Nov. 19: The deadline to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is 5 p.m. CT.

Dec. 1: Expiration of the current CBA.

Dec. 2: Tender deadline. Sometimes referred to the non-tender deadline, 7 p.m. CT is the deadline by which teams must formally tender 2020 contracts to unsigned players. If a player is non-tendered, he becomes a free agent.

Dec. 5: Last date to outright a player prior to the Rule 5 Draft.

Dec. 6-9: Winter Meetings in Orlando, including the Rule 5 Draft on the afternoon of Dec. 8 -- one day earlier on the meetings calendar than in previous seasons.

Jan. 14, 2022: Eligible players and their teams exchange arbitration figures.

Week of Feb. 14, 2022: Brewers pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

Who are the Brewers’ free agents?

Milwaukee's free agents include left-handers Brett Anderson and Daniel Norris, right-handers John Axford, Brad Boxberger and Hunter Strickland, infielder Eduardo Escobar and catcher Manny Piña.

Will any of them get a qualifying offer

No. This year’s figure reportedly is $18.4 million, down $500,000 from last year.

What about contract options?

Outfielder Avisaíl García has a $12 million mutual option with $1.5 million buyout and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has a $9.5 million player option with $6.5 million buyout.

García earned some say over his contractual situation by compiling enough plate appearances to convert his club option for 2022 into a mutual option, giving him the right, if he chooses, to elect free agency and test the market coming off a career-high 29 home runs. Bradley, coming off his worst season, is more likely to stick with the Brewers for ’22.

Here are the eligible Brewers, with their service class and years of remaining control under MLB’s current system:

• 3B (Super Two, four years of club control remaining)

• SS (three-plus years of MLB service, three years of control)

• RHP (three-plus, three years of control)

• RHP (three-plus, three years of control)

• RHP (three-plus, three years of control)

• LHP (three-plus, three years of control)

• 1B (three-plus, three years of control)

• 1B (three-plus, three years of control)

• RHP (three-plus, three years of control)

• LHP (four-plus, two years of control)

• C (four-plus, two years of control)

• LHP (four-plus, two years of control)

• C (five-plus, one year of control)

• Utility (five-plus, one year of control)

Are any of those players non-tender candidates?

Given the uncertainty of this particular offseason, and the club's especially long list of eligible players, it’s more difficult than ever to predict how the Brewers will approach this arbitration period -- but there will surely be some non-tenders.

Gustave is a candidate given that he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time and he would get a raise under the current system. Vogelbach is a tricky case given that his strengths and positional limits overlap with Tellez.

Maile and Peterson have been nontendered before and could be again. And even Suter is an intriguing test case given that he earned $1.5 million last season and could go over $2 million based on past precedent.

Who needs to be added to the 40-man roster?

Generally speaking, players who signed with their current club at age 18 or younger and have five years of experience or signed with their current club at age 19 or older and have four years of experience, and are not currently protected on 40-man rosters, are eligible to be plucked away in December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Here are the members of MLB Pipeline’s Brewers Top 30 Prospects list who would be Rule 5 Draft-eligible if not added to the 40-man roster (with their Pipeline rank in parenthesis):

• OF Korry Howell (No. 15)

• OF Carlos Rodriguez (No. 22)

• OF Tristen Lutz (No. 29)

• RHP Victor Castaneda (No. 30)

Other notables who are outside MLB Pipeline’s Top 30: Pitchers Luke Barker, Zack Brown, Justin Bullock, Leo Crawford, J.T. Hintzen (who is pitching in the Arizona Fall League), Max Lazar, Carlos Luna, Braden Webb and Noah Zavolas; catcher/infielder David Fry; first baseman Weston Wilson; first basemen/outfielders Chad Spanberger and Ernesto Martinez; outfielders Pablo Abreu, Mitch Longo, Jesus Lujano, Je’Von Ward; and two-way players Clayton Andrews and Lucas Erceg.

Last year, the Brewers protected three players (catcher Mario Feliciano and pitchers Alec Bettinger and Dylan Fyle) and left four of MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 organizational prospects unprotected: Abreu, Brown, Erceg and catcher Payton Henry. None were drafted by other teams.