Friends, the long winter is upon us. Baseball is over. No more pitches thrown, no more bats flipped, no more dingers donged ... we must once again huddle together 'round the hot stove and keep each other warm during these dark months. The Houston Astros are your world champions. Most, but not all, of the cheaters from the 2017 team are gone, so at least this victory comes without an asterisk. Congratulations to the Astros, and to Justin Verlander for shedding his reputation as a World Series choker. There will be no CBA drama this offseason, as the contract between the union and the league runs for another four years. Stories to watch: - Where will Aaron Judge land? He just had a monster season and set the AL home run record, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and is seeking a potentially record-breaking contract. - Where's Willson Contreras going? Relations between him and the Cubs seem to have frozen, so it seems a certainty that a bona-fide great hitter who has also become a very good defensive catcher is on the move. - What are the Mets doing? They just signed Edwin Diaz to the biggest contract ever given to a relief pitcher. Very risky given how fungible relievers are. (Looking at you, Wade Davis.) - Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone appear to be safe in New York. Are the Yankees going to run it back with the same lineup? - What the fuck is going on with Pittsburgh? Important dates: Nov. 7: MLB award finalists announced. Nov. 8-10: GM Meetings in Las Vegas. Nov. 10: Most contract option decisions are due on this date. Nov. 10: Deadline for teams to tender their eligible free agents the qualifying offer. The qualifying offer is a one-year contract worth the average of the top 125 salaries, or $19.65 million this offseason. To be eligible for the qualifying offer a player must have spent the entire 2022 season with his team and have never received the qualifying offer previously. Nov. 10: Free agency begins. The exclusive negotiating period ends and free agents are truly free. They can negotiate and sign with any team as of this date. Nov. 10: Silver Sluggers announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Nov. 14: Rookies of the Year announced. Nov. 15: Managers of the Year announced. Nov. 15: Deadline for teams to add eligible minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Nov. 16: Cy Young winners announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Nov. 17: Most Valuable Players announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Nov. 18: Non-tender deadline. This is the deadline for teams to offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract for 2023. Nov. 20: Deadline for free agents to accept or reject the qualifying offer. Nov. 21: The 2023 Hall of Fame ballot will be released. Dec. 4: The Hall of Fame's Contemporary Baseball Era voting results will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 8 p.m. ET. Dec. 5-8: Winter Meetings in San Diego. This is when you can expect a flurry of trades and signings. Unleash hell. Dec. 7: Rule 5 Draft. Jan. 13: Deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures for 2023. Jan. 15: The 2023 international signing period opens. Jan. 24: The 2023 Hall of Fame class will be announced during a live MLB Network broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. Jan. 30 to Feb. 17: Arbitration hearings. Let chaos reign this offseason!