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Offseason ready to start for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 31, 2013 12:13 PM

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There is a parade on Saturday. But the season is over for the Red Sox and the offseason is about to get started.

Unlike the last two years, there is no manager to hire or crisis to solve. But there are some decisions to be made.

As of the World Series ending, SS Stephen Drew, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, RHP Joel Hanrahan, 1B Mike Napoli, and C Jarrod Saltalamacchia became free agents.

The Red Sox retain their rights until Nov. 5, at which point they can sign with any team.

The Red Sox hold 2014 contract options on two players: LHP Jon Lester for $13 million (or a $250,000 buyout) and LHP Matt Thornton for $6 million (or a $1 million buyout). Those decisions are expected by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

The Red Sox also have decisions to make on arbitration-eligible players. That group includes RHP Andrew Bailey, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Franklin Morales, 1B-OF Mike Carp and RHP Junichi Tazawa.

Here is a list of important dates coming up:

Nov. 4: 5 p.m. (ET) Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers (one year, $14.1 million) to their eligible former players who became free agents.

Nov. 5: Free agents eligible to sign with any team.

Nov. 11: 5 p.m. (ET) deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers; BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year announced.

Nov. 11-13: General managers meeting, Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 12: BBWAA Managers of the Year announced.

Nov. 13: BBWAA Cy Young Award winners announced.

Nov. 14: BBWAA MVP awards announced.

Nov 20: Deadline to set 40-man roster.

Dec. 2: Last day for teams to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned players.

Dec. 9-12: Winter meetings, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Dec. 12: Rule 5 Draft.

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