Free agency is about to officially kick off. With that in mind, here are a few dates to be aware of.
Starting at midnight tonight free agents can negotiate with any team. As of right now they can only negotiate with their former team. In a related note, Bay just rejected the 4 year, $60 million deal the Red Sox offered right after the World Series.
December 1st at midnight is the deadline to offer arbitration to players. In a lot of ways, this is really when free agency activity starts. Any team that signs a Type A or B free agent before this date automatically gives the former team compensation. This isn't a big deal for Type B free agents, but for middling type A free agents (e.g. Darren Oliver) you're giving up a first round draft pick. Players have until December 7th to accept or reject the arbitration offers.
Finally, you have the winter meetings December 7th-10th. Although any big trades will likely go down later in the offseason, you never know what can happen when you put all the general managers together. With many teams struggling to make payroll there could be some value to be had.