The A's sell Andy Coakley, a twenty-game winner in 1905, to the Reds. The right-hander, who pitched under the name of Jack McAllister as a rookie in 1902, will later enjoy a thirty-seven year career as the baseball coach for Columbia University.
New York politician James E. Gaffney and former player Attorney Montgomery Ward purchase the National League franchise Boston Doves. Due to Gaffney's tie to Tammany Hall, the team will be called the Braves.
The Dodgers trade third baseman Billy Cox and southpaw Preacher Roe, who will retire before start of the season, to the Orioles for minor league prospects Harry Schwegeman and Johnny Jancse and $50,000. Brooklyn will use the cash for a bonus to sign a southpaw from Lafayette High School with control problems named Sandy Koufax.
The Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the cross-town rivals, the Giants, for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Jackie, who according to some accounts had already decided privately to leave the game to work for Chock Full of Nuts, publicly retires from baseball rather than to accept the trade.
The Giants trade pitcher Bob Priddy and outfielder Cap Peterson to the Senators to reacquire Mike McCormick. In his second stint with the team, the left-hander will win the Cy Young Award next season, compiling a 22-10 record with an ERA of 2.85.
Curt Flood attends the Players' Association executive board meeting to seek financial assistance in his attempt to sue major league baseball on the grounds that the reserve clause violates Federal antitrust laws. Although skeptical about the outcome of the suit, the player reps vote 25-0 to support the recently traded outfielder, who refuses to report to the Phillies after being dealt by the Cardinals.
Free agent relief pitcher Lee Smith, last year's major league saves leader with the Orioles, signs with the Angels. At the time of the deal, he has 434 career saves.
Roger Clemens leaves Boston after thirteen seasons of service and signs as a free agent with the Blue Jays. The 'Rocket' leaves the team tied with Cy Young for the Red Sox record for wins (192) and shutouts (38) and the career leader in losses with 112 (Cy lost 111).
The Marlins obtain Johan Santana from the Astros in the Rule 5 draft, and later in the day Florida trades the 20 year-old southpaw to the Twins for Jared Camp. The Venezuela native will post a 93-44 record and will win the Cy Young Award twice (2004, 2006) during his eight-year tenure in Minnesota.
Outbidding the Indians, the Red Sox sign free-agent Manny Ramirez to a reported eight-year, $160 million contract. The very lucrative deal pales in comparison to Alex Rodriguez's $252 million ten-year agreement with the Rangers, which is also announced today.
The Yankees sign free-agent Jason Giambi to a seven-year deal worth $120 million. The 2000 MVP and this year's runner-up drove in 120 runs, hit 38 home runs, and had a .342 batting average for the wild card Oakland A's this season.
The Red Sox trade frustrated flychaser Carl Everett (.257, 14, 58) to the Rangers for left-hander Darren Oliver (11-11, 6.02). The former All-Star outfielder, who had his problems with players and managers in Boston, says he is looking forward to joining the veteran players in Texas.
The Cardinals trade outfielder J.D. Drew along with catcher Eli Marrero to the Braves for three hurlers, Ray King, Jason Marquis, and Adam Wainwright. Atlanta's new outfielder will have a solid season, but will stay with the team for only one season.
The Mitchell Report, a document of 409 pages as well as a paper trail of 115,000 copies of receipts, canceled checks, telephone records, and e-mail messages, is released. The much anticipated investigative missive, the work of former Senator George Mitchell and his committee, calls the steroid era in the sport a collective failure and names 89 former and present big league players who allegedly used illegal, performance-enhancing drugs, including potential Hall of Famers Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Gary Sheffield.
Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees finalize a 10-year, $275 million contract, making the deal the richest in baseball history. A-Rod, who surpassed the all-time salary record he signed with the Rangers ($252 million in 2000), chastised his agent, Scott Boras, and blamed himself for the poor handling of his opt-out clause with the team.
A collection of rare written documents, including personal letters and canceled checks concerning the Chicago Black Sox scandal, is procured by the Chicago History Museum with a winning auction bid of approximately $100,000. The historical papers offer new details about the White Sox allegedly fixing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Avoiding salary arbitration, Brandon Duckworth agrees to a one-year $600,000 contract, including $155,000 in performance incentives, to pitch for the Royals next season. The 31 year-old right-hander, who spent time on the disabled list with a torn left oblique, posted a 3-5 record with a 4.63 ERA in 26 games both as a starter and in relief.
After the oft-injured right-hander passes a physical taken earlier in the week, the Indians sign free-agent Kerry Wood (5-4, 3.26) to a two-year deal with a one-year option worth a reported $20 million. The former Cubs fireballing phenom saved 34 games in 2008, his first season as a closer for Chicago.
The Blue Jays announced coming to terms with Jose Bautista on a one-year deal worth $2.4 million. The utility player will establish a new franchise mark of home runs in a season when he goes deep 54 times, six more than George Bell's total in 1987.
The Mariners honor Dave Niehaus, the team's long-time broadcaster, who died suddenly last month, with a Safeco Field ceremony that is attended by his family, team officials, former players, and thousands of fans. The Hall of Fame announcer, who had been in the Seattle booth since the franchise's first pitch in 1977, is remembered by Ken Griffey Jr., in a video message, as a guy who was a class act that meant more to the city than the players.