By then, fans of last-place and also-ran teams have already been posting and debating hypothetical roster moves online for months, dreaming of worst-to-first scenarios if only their team makes the right free-agent investments. Even the World Series-winning team will have a few tweaks in mind to increase its chances of a repeat.
For players, free agency is a hard-earned opportunity. To reach the open market, the player first spends years in the Minor Leagues, and then battles in the Majors for at least six seasons. It's no small feat.
"Making it that far certainly to me is a huge accomplishment," said free-agent reliever Andrew Miller, who posted a 2.02 ERA in 62 1/3 innings this year for the Red Sox and Orioles. "Ultimately this is probably my best chance to make a significant amount of money in this game and take care of my family."
Having gotten a taste of the playoffs with the Orioles this year, playing for a competitor is also a priority for Miller in free agency.
The ability of a player to choose his own team after six years of MLB service hasn't always been a part of the game. It took decades of effort and sacrifice from the players before free agency became a reality.
In 1966, Marvin Miller, an economist with the United Steelworkers union, was hired by the players to help establish the Major League Baseball Players Association. Two years later, he negotiated the game's first collective bargaining agreement, which ultimately led to unprecedented gains for the players, including an independent arbitration process, and, eventually, free agency.
Players like Curt Flood, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally pioneered the cause of eliminating a team's ability to control a player his entire career - the reserve clause -- and dictate his salary without negotiation. After free agency began in 1975, players in succeeding generations sacrificed to preserve that right.
"Certainly we reap the benefits of the strength of this union in the past," Miller said. "The fact that we have the potential to make so much money getting to play a baseball game, we owe that to the people who came before."
Now, Miller feels it is part of his duty to "keep making it better for players or at least do what we can to maintain what we've earned and appreciate what we've earned."
Free agency has increased in importance and interest over time. In the last decade, internet usage has risen from about 65 percent of the United States population to more than 80 percent. With that change, the MLB offseason has become an event itself.
Fans delight in predicting, debating and analyzing free-agent destinations and contracts on their favorite websites and social media. The marketplace interest usually peaks in December during baseball's Winter Meetings. Other sports have free agency, but it's not like this.
In 2014, free agency is a huge part of baseball. Will your team add a No. 1 starter this winter? How about a power bat for the middle of the lineup? The possibilities are endless.
Tim Dierkes is the founder of MLBTradeRumors.com, a site devoted to the baseball marketplace. You can follow the site's Twitter feed @mlbtraderumors for real-time updates.
(Updated 11.03.14) Below is the complete list of 137 free-agent players, sorted by 2014 team, eligible to negotiate and sign with any club beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals
Toronto Blue Jays
*Eligible per contract terms