There are two certainties about major league baseball over the next 24 hours.
* The World Series ends Wednesday night.
* Free agency begins Thursday morning.
The Seattle Mariners’ offseason of deals, arbitration and signings will be upon us before you know it, so here are some of the important dates in the near future to know:
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FREE AGENCY begins Thursday
Players’ filing for free agency begins at 6 a.m. PT, and Seattle has five players on the 40-man roster who are eligible — first baseman Yonder Alonso, utility man Gordon Beckham, outfielder Jarrod Dyson, catcher Carlos Ruiz and first baseman/outfielder Danny Valencia.
If the Mariners want to negotiate with any of these players, the organization has exclusive rights for the next five days.
Also, up until Monday, the Mariners can use their club option to retain pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Hisashi Iwakuma. If they do not pick up the club option, both pitchers will become free agents.
TENDERING QUALIFYING OFFERS deadline on Monday
This is a route the Mariners can take with any of their free agents in order to gain compensation if a player signs elsewhere.
The total amount available this year for qualifying offers is $17.4 million. The deadline to make an offer is 2 p.m. PT.
Any Mariners free agent given a qualifying offer has 15 days after the World Series ends to accept or reject the deal.
This is also the date the organization has to return any player on the 60-day disabled list to the 40-man roster. The Mariners have three such candidates — Iwakuma, starting pitcher Drew Smyly and relief pitcher David Phelps.
CLUBS FILE RESERVE LISTS on Nov. 20
This is an important date for the Mariners to solidify their 40-man roster just weeks prior to the Winter Meetings.
Generally, college players out of the 2014 MLB Draft, and high school players from of the 2013 MLB Draft who are not on the 40-man roster will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in December.
NON-TENDER DEADLINE is Dec. 1
Any player essentially not on a multi-year deal must be offered a contract by this date, or he becomes a free agent.
The Seattle player to monitor at this time is Smyly, who is eligible for arbitration after making $6.85 million last season. It seems unlikely the Mariners would hold on to a player such as this even at a discounted rate that will not be pitching for them next season, either.
Other arbitration-eligible players include pitchers James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Shae Simmons, Nick Vincent and Phelps, and catcher Mike Zunino.
WINTER MEETINGS are Dec. 10-15
This is certainly a place (this year, it is in Orlando, Florida) where rumors surface, trades are talked about and ultimately deals get done.
Also, the Rule 5 Draft is set the day before the meetings conclude.