As TwinsCentric is working on development of the Minnesota Twins Offseason GM Handbook, it is important to try to keep the many offseason dates and deadlines in mind. When do players become free agents? How long does a team have exclusive rights to negotiate with their own players? When does the 40 man roster need to  be set? There are a lot of decisions that the Twins need to make this offseason on many levels.

The NBA announced on Monday that it is cancelling the first two weeks of its upcoming season. Who knows how long they will continue to argue before (hopefully) eventually coming to an agreement.

One date that Twins fans and all baseball fans will want to know is December 11, 2011. That is the date when the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between MLBs owners and the Players union expires. What does that mean for the Twins? What does it mean for free agents? What does it mean for the Winter meetings?

The NFL had its lockout, but they came to an agreement in time for a couple of hectic weeks of player transactions, training camp and the normal start to its season.

The NBA had since mid-summer to be working on this, and it hasn't happened yet. It has now reached the point where players will be losing salaries and owner's are going to be losing revenues. How strong will the players' union stay? How strong will the owners be?

Baseball's players union is as strong as it gets, and good for the players. The last time the CBA was set to expire, the players and owners came to an agreement without any time lost. Obviously with the agreement expiring in December and spring training starting up in mid-February, there is time to reach a deal. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. Hopefully it gets worked out quickly.

If not, an already interesting offseason of decision-making could become even more difficult.