2022 MLB Winter Meetings: Dates, storylines and everything else to know about offseason’s busiest week

For the first time in three years, baseball’s Winter Meetings — typically the busiest week of the offseason — will be an in-person event this offseason. Last offseason’s Winter Meetings were canceled because of the owners’ lockout, and the festivities were held virtually the offseason before that because of the pandemic. At long last, the real Winter Meetings are back.

The last in-person Winter Meetings (2019) saw Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg sign monster contracts. Zack Wheeler signed as well, plus there were a few trades. All signs point to several deals being brokered this year. Here are the details for this year’s Winter Meetings:

  • Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 4 to Wednesday, Dec. 7

We here at CBSSports.com and on CBS Sports HQ will of course provide around-the-clock Winter Meetings updates and analysis. We’ll have all the latest rumors and break down any and all trades and free agent signings. The Winter Meetings make for a hectic week but also a very fun one. The offseason doesn’t get any better.

Here is everything you need to know about this year’s Winter Meetings.

Rumors! Trades! Signatures!

This is why we care about the Winter Meetings, right? We want action. Trades and free agent signings, plus plenty of rumors in between. The offseason has been fairly slow to date and that is expected to change during the Winter Meetings. It should be an eventful few days in the hot stove league.

Aaron Judge will be the No. 1 story in San Diego and the Yankees have reportedly put an offer “in the neighborhood” of eight years and $300 million on the table. It feels like the rest of the free agent market is waiting on Judge. Think about it. If you’re, say, Carlos Correa or Trea Turner, why wouldn’t you wait to see whether the teams that miss out on Judge turn around and throw all that money at you? And once one top shortstop comes off the board, the rest will fall like dominos.

The starting pitching market is beginning to move with Jacob deGrom’s stunning five-year contract with the Rangers. Matthew Boyd (Tigers), Mike Clevinger (White Sox), and Zach Eflin (Rays) each signed with a new team within the last week as well. Carlos Rodón and Justin Verlander could sign in San Diego, and I expect significant movement among the second tier free agent starters (Chris Bassitt, Nathan Eovaldi, Kodai Senga, Jameson Taillon, etc.) this upcoming week too.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Winter Meetings blockbuster trade. The last few have been dominated by significant free agent signings and smaller swaps. The last true Winter Meetings blockbuster was the Giancarlo Stanton trade in 2017. I’m not sure we’ll see a trade of that magnitude this year, although Athletics catcher Sean Murphy is a popular trade candidate and is very likely to move this offseason. He could be dealt in San Diego.

Here are our top 50 free agents (11 of whom have signed as of Friday) and are our top 20 offseason trade candidates. Expect at least a few of those players to find new homes during the Winter Meetings.

Sunday: Hall of Fame’s Contemporary Era Committee vote

The Contemporary Era Committee will announce its 2023 Hall of Fame class during a live MLB Network broadcast at 8 pm ET on Sunday. To be clear, this is not the same as the BBWAA vote. The Contemporary Era Committee, the current iteration of the Veterans Committee, is a 16-person committee that votes on Hall of Fame candidates no longer on the BBWAA’s ballot.

Our Matt Snyder told you everything you need to know about this year’s Contemporary Era Committee ballot. Here are the eight players on the ballot: Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, and Curt Schilling. Here is the 16-person committee:

  • Hall of Famers: Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas, Alan Trammell
  • Executives: Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter, Kenny Williams
  • Media: Steve Hirdt, LaVelle Neal, Susan Slusser

McGriff appears to have a strong chance at induction. The committee includes three former teammates (Jones, Maddux, Smith), an executive who had McGriff on his team (Beeston), plus others who were similarly outspoken against performance-enhancing drugs and/or failed to get in on the BBWAA’s ballot (Morris , Thomas, Trammell). They’ll lobby the rest of the committee for McGriff.

Twelve votes are required for induction and it should be noted each person on the committee can only cast three votes, meaning at most four players can be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Era Committee this year. In all probability, it will be less than that. The voting results will be announced Sunday and unofficially kick off the Winter Meetings.

Monday: All-MLB Team

The fourth annual All-MLB Team will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 8 pm on Monday. The All-MLB Team honors the best players at each position and there is a first and second team. Shohei Ohtani made the 2021 All-MLB Team has both a hitter and pitcher. The All-MLB Team is selected through fan voting and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the voting closed almost two weeks ago. MLB already knows the All-MLB Team. They’ll announce it to the rest of the world Monday.

Tuesday: MLB’s first ever draft lottery

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a draft lottery to help combat anti-competitive behavior (ie tanking). The first six 2023 draft picks will be determined through the lottery and the teams with the three worst records all have an equal shot at the No. 1 overall selection. All 18 non-postseason teams have a chance at the first pick.

The draft lottery will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 8:30 pm ET on Tuesday. Here is everything you need to know about MLB’s first ever draft lottery and here are the odds for the No. 1 pick:

The tiebreaker is the previous year’s record, which is why the Pirates (61-101 in 2021) have better No. 1 pick odds than the Reds (83-79 in 2021) even though they finished with identical 2022 records. Again, only the top six picks will be determined through the lottery. The remaining non-postseason teams then draft in reverse order of the previous year’s standings.

Wednesday: Rule 5 Draft

The annual Rule 5 Draft is the unofficial end of the Winter Meetings. This year it will be held at 5 pm ET on Wednesday, and afterwards everyone will head to the airport. MLB.com streams an audio broadcast of the Rule 5 Draft but there is no video.

The Rule 5 Draft is a mechanism to prevent teams from burying players in the minors indefinitely. After a certain number of years in the minors, players must be added to the 40-man roster, and if not, they are Rule 5 Draft eligible. Players taken in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team’s MLB roster all next season, or go on waivers and be offered back to their former club.

There are some exceptions due to age, but, generally speaking, these players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason:

  • Players drafted out of high school in 2018 or earlier.
  • Players drafted out of college in 2019 or earlier.
  • Players signed as international free agents in 2018 or earlier.

Most Rule 5 Draft players are returned to their former team or become role players. The Red Sox struck Rule 5 Draft gold two years ago with righty Garrett Whitlock, who they stole away from the rival Yankees. Other recent Rule 5 Draft success stories include Mark Canha (Athletics), Brad Keller (Royals), and Trevor Stephan (Guardians).

If you’re interested, our RJ Anderson will have a preview of some players who could move next week, before the draft, so check back later. There was no major league Rule 5 Draft because of the owners’ lockout last offseason. This will be the first Rule 5 Draft since December 2020.

Can fans attend the Winter Meetings?

The Winter Meetings are closed to the public. You can’t walk in and attend the various trade shows and workshops that take place on the minor league side throughout the week; those are for teams and people in the industry. Our Matt Snyder took a tour through the Trade Show in 2015. You’ll have to live vicariously through that.

You are, however, free to roam the hallways of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego and watch everything that goes on, which I assure you is not as exciting as it sounds. You’ll see a few familiar faces (mostly team executives, although some players also stop by, particularly those who live nearby) but you won’t see, say, Padres GM AJ Preller and Brewers GM Matt Arnold in the lobby discussing a Corbin Burns trade. Those talks happen over the phone or in team suites.

If you’re an ambitious job-seeker hoping to hand out resumes at the Winter Meetings, by all means, go for it. I wish you the best of luck. If you’re a fan just wanting to stake out the lobby and hallways, it’s probably not worth the trip, especially if you’re not close by and can’t easily walk or drive over one afternoon. Speaking from experience, being on-site at the Winter Meetings is not terribly exciting. You can follow all the rumors, trades, and signings just as quickly and easily from home.

Leave a Comment