Detroit Tigers Signing and Award Dates to Know


Well, that was anti-climatic. After all the hoopla about the midnight arrival for signing free agents, nothing happened at all. The day isn’t over yet, but it’s relatively safe to say that nothing will happen today. But, as well all know, baseball trades and deals seem to come out of thin air. Even though nothing exciting happened today, there are more deadlines and special days approaching for signings and awards. 

Today, November 7, was the first day that free agent players could sign with any teams. Technically, the signing opportunities began at 12:01 am. At this point, it is safe for Detroit Tigers fans to accept that Alfredo Simon will never wear the Old English D ever again. (That sure felt good to type).

Jun 16, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton (6) is tagged out by Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) trying to steal second base in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Expect some excitement during the general manager meetings November 9-12 in Boca Raton, Florida. Managers will get to discuss deals and signings with each other without having to make a bunch of phone calls. Lots of wheeling and dealing will happen under that Florida sun. Several awards will be given out while those meetings are in session: Players Choice Award (Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. MLB Network), Rawlings Gold Gloves (Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. ESPN), Wilson Defensive Player of the Year (Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. MLB Network), and Louisville Silver Slugger (Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. MLB Network). A handful of Detroit Tigers are in the running for Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

November 13 is another important deadline for free agents who can accept qualifying offers from their own teams. As of today, no players have ever resigned with their teams at this deadline. Will 2015 be the first year to break the trend? Most experts say no. None of the free agents leaving the Detroit Tigers were given qualifying offers. Some notable players did receive them including Jordan Zimmerman, Zack Greinke, Daniel Murphy, and Yovani Gallardo. As of today, none of 20-plus players who received offers from their teams have accepted.

Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera, daring to have fun at work. (USATSI)

Just a few days later, it will be time to tune in to see the Baseball Writers Association of America awards. All of these awards will be presented on the MLB Network at 6 p.m. on their assigned days, except the Esurance awards. The Rookies of the Year will be on November 16. Managers of the Year on November 17. Cy Young Awards on November 18. MVPs will be named on November 19. The Esurance MLB Awards will be presented on November 20 at 8 p.m. We know that no Detroit pitchers will win a Cy Young this year, but Miguel Cabrera is up for a few of the more obscure Esurance awards.

November 20 is another notable day. All of the MLB teams need to file their 40-man rosters, also called “reserve lists”. This list is important because of the Rule 5 draft that will happen later a few weeks later. The filing needs to include major- and minor-league rosters.

Mar 19, 2015; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers infielder Andrew Romine at bat against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

December 2 is a major date for players who are in pre-arbitration or arbitration. There could be a large influx of free agents after teams to do not offer contracts to those players. J.D. Martinez will be the one Tiger who receives a good offer from Al Avila. The other Tigers who are eligible for arbitration contracts include Neftali Feliz, Jose Iglesias, Al Alburquerque, and Andrew Romine. Feliz and Alburquerque will probably become free agents. Tigers fans can expect to see Iglesias and Romine remain with the team, but not with a contract as big as Martinez’s.

The most important general manager meetings take place in Nashville, Tennessee between December 7-10. The Winter Meetings will determine where the top-tier free agents like Zack Greinke, Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon, and John Lackey will go.

The last deadline before teams meet for spring training is December 10. On this day, the Rule 5 draft occurs. These selected players go on the 25-man roster for 2016. If they are not selected, their old teams can have one last chance to put them on their rosters. If no one chooses them, they are put on waivers so other teams can pick them. The big free agents will not be affected by this draft. We could see players like Tom Gorzelanny and Randy Wolf still be available by this date.