Important dates

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
10:58
PM ET
With the San Francisco Giants having won the World Series on Monday night, it's now on to the hot-stove season. And this year it starts earlier.

The new rule for 2010-11: Clubs may start bidding on free agents at midnight of the fifth day after the World Series -- which means Saturday night. (Reminder: Sandy Alderson has acknowledged the Mets likely won't be players on big-ticket items.)

For Pedro Feliciano free-agency followers: The Mets must offer salary arbitration by midnight on Nov. 23 for right to draft-pick compensation if the southpaw ultimately signs elsewhere. (The Mets would get a pick between the first and second rounds because Feliciano is a Type B free agent.)

Assuming the Mets offer Feliciano arbitration, he must decide whether to accept by Nov. 30 -- essentially deciding to return on a one-year contract at a salary to be determined by an arbitrator if not settled beforehand. That salary presumably would be at a raise -- perhaps sizable -- from the $2.9 million he made this season. The Mets are still permitted to re-sign Feliciano even if they don't offer arbitration, which differs from the Hisanori Takahashi situation.

Takakashi must be cut loose Friday if he's not re-signed by then. He could not return to the Mets until May 15 if he's released, ensuring he would sign elsewhere.

The non-tender deadline for players with more than three but less than six years' service time is now Dec. 2.

Because those arbitration-eligible players must make at least 80 percent of their 2010 salary -- and rarely, if ever, actually get a pay cut -- John Maine is a goner by that date if not sooner. Maine made $3.2 million this season. (As an aside, Maine indicated his right shoulder is finally feeling well after getting a tear in the capsule surgically repaired.)

Sean Green likely would have been non-tendered as well under the old regime after making $975,000 this past season, but given the lack of arms in the bullpen, perhaps that will be revisited.

Jeff Francoeur, who made $5 million this year, is now a non-tender by the Texas Rangers instead of the Mets.

Besides Feliciano, the Mets have four other free agents: Henry Blanco, Elmer Dessens, Kelvim Escobar and Fernando Tatis. Dessens has indicated he will only pitch in 2011 if he gets a major league deal somewhere -- not his customary minor league deal with invitation to spring training. Otherwise, Dessens plans to retire.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187