Here are some important dates to keep in mind (adapted from MLBTR's article here):
Today, Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour officially become free agents. There is a "quiet period" whereby they and the A's (and no other team) may sign a contract for 5 days until 10:59 PM CST on 11/4. It is widely expected that Grant Balfour will depart via free agency, but there is a possibility that Colon will return for a third year in Oakland.
On Colon, after the quiet period, he is free to sign with other teams. It remains unclear whether there is enough mutual interest to make the former happen, but it seems both sides will attempt to negotiate. It seems unlikely, however, that the A's would extend Colon (or Balfour) the 1 year/$14.1M qualifying offer it would take for his signing with another team to trigger an automatic compensatory draft pick in 2014.
Option decisions will be made on Brett Anderson, Kurt Suzuki, Chris Young, Coco Crisp, likely before the end of the quiet period references above. Again, it is expected that the A's will exercise Crisp and Anderson's options, but not Suzuki's and Young's.
Baseball's GM Meetings are from November 11-13th in Orlando, Florida.
The non-tender deadline for arbitration eligible players is December 2nd. If the A's do not tender a contract to their arbitration-eligible players, they become free agents. There is a lengthy list of players the A's have under arbitration control:
I would expect that of those players, Sizemore, Neshek, Blevins, Barton, and Rodriguez are all at risk of being non-tendered. Also, keep in mind that being tendered a contract does not mean that a player will be on the team in 2014. Players can be traded irrespective of their tender status.
Baseball's Winter Meetings are from December 9-12th, also in Orlando. The A's are typically quiet during the meetings themselves, but stranger things have happened.
Stay tuned to AN for all your offseason rumors and speculation!