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Key MLB 2014 offseason dates

The 2014 season, barring weather circumstances, will end tonight. That means the MLB offseason will get underway right after. Here's what you need to know about the key dates coming up in the next few weeks.

Doug Pensinger

Thanks to last night's 10-0 beatdown of the Giants by the Royals, we have an official date for the end of the 2014 MLB postseason - and that's tonight, barring weather delays. That's right, after a seven month odyssey that began in Australia, we will see the final major league baseball game of the year played when Jeremy Guthrie goes against Tim Hudson in Kansas City tonight at 6:07 Mountain. I think most of us will be rooting for the home team.

In any case, the end of the regular season means that the baseball offseason can officially begin. Here's a brief breakdown of the key dates that are on the horizon for the 28 teams that are out of it:

November 4th

First of all, awards season gets under way with the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Three Rockies - Nolan Arenado at 3B, DJ LeMahieu at 2B, and Justin Morneau at 1B - could be winners of the award. In other award news, finalists for the big BBWAA awards (MVP, etc.) will be announced on November 4th.

More importantly, that date represents the beginning of MLB free agency, when players like Michael Cuddyer can begin signing elsewhere if they so choose. In other words, the Hot Stove season is less than a week away!

November 5th/6th

The Defensive Player of the Year and Silver Slugger winners are announced on these dates.

November 10th

From an awards standpoint, the Rookie of the Year and Executive of the Year awards are handed out. More importantly though, the GM meetings will begin and will run from the 10th to the 12th. Also, for any teams that make a qualifying offer to free agents (not the Rockies), this is the deadline for that player to accept the qualifying offer (set at $15.3 million this offseason).

November 11-13

Awards season rolls on with the announcement of Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP trophies.

November 20

The reserves deadline - by which point the Rockies need to have their list of players that will be protected from the Rule 5 draft (major league and minor league phases) finalized.

December 2

This is the deadline for tendering a contract offer to any player under team control - including somebody like Jhoulys Chacin. These decisions will have a large impact on Colorado's payroll flexibility heading into...

December 8-11

The MLB Winter Meetings, during which many a transaction is completed. By this time, Rockies fans will have a much better idea as to what strategy new GM Jeff Bridich and team will be pursuing.

There's more to the MLB offseason than those dates, but that should take you through the end of the year.

Los Links!

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FanGraphs Crowd: The Top 55 Free Agents | FanGraphs Baseball

The readers of FanGraphs provide their top 55 free agents and predict the contract that these players will attract. Cuddyer comes in at #26 and is predicted to receive a two year, $18 million contract. Anderson is #41, with 85% of readers thinking the Rockies will decline his $12 million option.