NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the American League Wild Card Game. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After a thrilling seven-game World Series, the Astros have been crowned MLB's 2017 champions. No more major league baseball will be played until next year, but there are plenty of things to keep an eye on. The first important offseason deadline comes today (Saturday, November 4th). It's the last day for a handful of players to announce whether or not they will exercise the opt-out clauses in their current contracts.

An opt-out clause is a simple mechanism in a contract given to offer players flexibility with free agency, allowing them to opt out of the remaining years and dollars on their contract after a given year of the deal. For example, during the 2015-2016 offseason, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes signed a three-year, $75MM contract with the Mets. However, since he was confident he could earn more money the following offseason. His agent was able to negotiate an opt-out clause after the 2016 season, during which he would earn $27.5MM. After an excellent performance in 2016, Cespedes chose to opt out of the remaining 2 years and $47.5MM on his deal. The slugger ultimately signed a new contract with the Mets worth $110MM over 4 years.

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