The Senators trade pitcher Early Wynn and first baseman Mickey Vernon to the Indians for first baseman Eddie Robinson and pitchers Joe Hayness and Eddie Klieman. Wynn will be a four-time twenty-game winner during his ten years with the Tribe.
It's a busy day for the Phillies as the team purchases Ken Trinkle from the Giants and trade pitchers Walter Dubiel and Dutch Leonard to the Cubs for first baseman Eddie Waitkas and pitcher Hank Borowy. Ruth Ann Steinhagen, a female fan totally obsessed with former Cub Waitkas, is very upset with the trade and will try to kill him upon his return to Chicago with Philadelphia.
The owners choose Lou Perini (Braves), Phil Wrigley (Cubs), Del Webb (Yankees), and Ellis Ryan (Indians) to select a new commissioner as soon as possible. In a close vote, 9-7, Happy Chandler's contract was not renewed three days earlier to serve a second term as baseball's leader.
The two new American League franchises, the first expansion teams in over a half of a century, select their rosters in a player draft. The 'new' Washington Senators select Yankee southpaw Bobby Shantz and the Los Angeles Angels opt for Yankee righty Eli Grba.
The Red Sox trade Fergie Jenkins, a future Hall-of-Famer, to the Rangers for a 23 year-old pitcher named John Poloni, who will never play in another big league game. As a starter for both the Rangers and later with the Cubs, the Canadian right hander will post a 69-56 record with a 3.71 ERA during the remaining six years of his career.
After a two-year battle with lymphatic cancer, Roger Maris dies in a Houston hospital at the age of 51. Former Yankees teammates Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, John Blanchard, and Bill Skowron along with Whitey Herzog and Bob Allison will as serve pall bearers.
In the face of the labor uncertainty, the Phillies irk other owners by signing free-agent Gregg Jefferies to a lucrative contract. The Cardinals had refused to give the first baseman/outfielder a no-trade clause in their negotiations to keep him with the Redbirds.
Free-agent Lance Johnson agrees to a two-year pact with the Mets in a deal reportedly worth more than five million dollars. 'Ol' One-Dog', who led the American League in hits last season with 186 playing with the White Sox, will repeat the feat his first season in the Senior Circuit with 227 hits.
In the wake of the Alex Rodriguez deal, the Rangers send Royce Clayton to the White Sox for right-handed pitchers Aaron Myette and Brian Schmack.
The Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis and right-hander Britt Reames are traded to the Expos for right-hander Dustin Hermanson and left-hander closer Steve Kline.
The Giants sign right-hander Jason Schmidt to a $31-million four-year deal. The 28 year-old free agent, after being traded by the Pirates, was 7-1 for San Francisco last season.
Needing to fill the void of a left-handed power hitter created by Jason Giambi's departure to the Yankees, the A's trade lefthanded reliever Mark Guthrie and minor leaguer Tyler Yates to the Mets for David Justice. The Mets had acquired the designated hitter-outfielder only a week ago in a deal which sent third baseman Robin Ventura to the Yankees.
The District of Columbia Council's decision requiring private financing for at least fifty percent of the construction costs of the Nationals’ new ballpark may jeopardize the team's tenure in Washington, D.C. The 7-6 vote in favor of this new proviso clearly breaks the agreement major league baseball negotiated with the city to land the former Montreal Expos franchise in the nation's capital.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control informs Major League Baseball of its decision to withhold the required permit which is needed for Cuba to play on U.S. soil during in the 16-team World Baseball Classic tournament. The Bush administration, in response to a congressional request, is concerned revenue from the WBC will wind up in the coffers of the Cuban government, which is contrary to the current embargo in place against Castro’s country.
It is a busy day on the trading block for the Diamondbacks as the team acquires All-Star hurler Dan Haren (15-9, 3.07) and right-hander Connor Robertson from the A's in exchange for Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carte, Aaron Cunningham, and Carlos Gonzalez. In a separate transaction, Arizona deals Jose Valverde, the major league saves leader, to the Astros to get reliever Chad Qualls, second baseman/outfielder Chris Burke, and righty Juan Gutierrez.
To bolster their bullpen, the Rangers sign Japanese reliever Kazuo Fukumori to a $3 million, two-year contract which includes a team option for 2010. In his 13 seasons in Japan, Kaz compiled a 34-42 won-lost record and 72 saves while posting a 3.72 ERA in 377 games.
The Cardinals agree in principle to a deal which sends 37 year-old Jim Edmonds and approximately $1 million to the Padres in exchange for minor league prospect David Freese. San Diego's need for an outfielder was accelerated when talks earlier in the day broke off with Mike Cameron, a free-agent who played centerfield for the team last season.
David Eckstein (.309, 3, 31) and the Blue Jays finalized a $4.5 million, one-year deal which brings the short-statured shortstop north of the border. The 32 year-old All-Star infielder's leadership and attitude played an important role on his previous two teams, the Angels and Cardinals, in winning the World Series in 2002 and 2006, respectively.
The Rangers invite Edgardo Alfonzo, a career .284 hitter, to spring training. The 34 year-old former All-Star infielder, who played with the Mets, Giants, Angels, and Blue Jays, spent last season in the independent Atlantic League playing with the Long Island Ducks.
In an effort to fill the void created by Delmon Young's trade to the Twins, the Rays sign Cliff Floyd (.284, 9, 45) to a $3 million, one-year deal to play right field in Tampa Bay. The veteran 35 year-old left-handed fly chaser has been a productive hitter during his 15-year major league career, but has had difficulty staying off the disabled list.
The Twins sign another former Astros infielder, acquiring Mike Lamb ($6.6 million, two-years) after getting Adam Everett yesterday ($2.8 million, one-year) in the free-agent market. Lamb will provide much needed offense at third base and Everett, although a light-hitter, is a slick-fielding shortstop who will add to the club defensively.
The Royals trade hurler Billy Buckner to the Diamondbacks for switch-hitter Alberto Callaspo. Kansas City's new player is an infielder, who appeared in 56 games for the NL West champs, mostly in a pinch-hitting role, and Arizona receives a pitcher who compiled a 1-2 record with a 5.29 ERA in 34 innings of work last season.
Randy Wolf and the Brewers finalize their $29.75 million, three-year deal. The 33 year-old southpaw, who signed a $5 million, one-year free-agent contract with the Dodgers last season after the Astros pulled a $27 million, three-year offer off the table due to the nose dive in the economy, posted an 11-7 record with a 3.23 ERA with L.A.
After being dealt by the Phillies, Cliff Lee returns to the club to join National League Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, the key person in the deal that sent him to Seattle in last season's four-team, nine-player trade. The 32 year-old free-agent right-hander, who will be joining unquestionably the best starting rotation in baseball, agrees to a deal that guarantees him $120 million over the next five seasons, spurning the Yankees' offer of $30 million more.
The Orioles announce the signing of Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who agreed to a two-year, $8.15 million deal that includes a $5 million option for 2014. Baltimore hasn't determined the role the 30 year-old Japanese hurler will play on the team, but is counting on the hard-throwing southpaw to be a major upgrade to the O's woeful pitching staff.
Hoping to fill the void after losing closer Jonathan Papelbon to free agency, the Red Sox obtained Mark Melancon, who had 20 saves during his first full major league season, from the Astros in exchange for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland. In a separate transaction, Boston signs free-agent utility infielder Nick Punto to a two-year contract as a replacement for Lowrie.
Kevin Youkilis, best known for being a member of the Red Sox World Championship teams in 2004 and 2007, signs a one-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees, once considered the 'Evil Empire' by his former club. The 33 year-old infielder, who was traded to Chicago's south side in June by Boston, will help fill the void at third base while Alex Rodriguez recuperates from hip surgery.
After inking Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract earlier in the week, the Mets sign Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million free-agent pact. The 40 year-old All-Star right-handed starter, who is slated to replace the innings the team will need as Matt Harvey recovers from Tommy John surgery, compiled an 18-6 record with a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts for the A's last season.
Warren Cromartie, a former outfielder and first baseman with the Expos in the 1970s and ’80s, shares a $400,000 feasibility study which reveals that the return of major league baseball to Montreal would be feasible if a team plays its home games in a government-financed downtown stadium with an owner with deep pockets. The report suggests that MLB’s national television deal and revenue-sharing scheme, which has changed radically since the franchise moved to Washington in 2004, would ensure a competitive $75-million payroll could be met before a single ticket is sold, with the government subsidy being repaid within eight years.
In one of his first major actions since becoming commissioner, Rob Manfred denies Pete Rose's application for reinstatement to baseball, citing a reversal of the lifetime ban would risk the sport's integrity. The four-page decision concludes the career hits leader had continued to gamble legally on horse racing and professional sports, including baseball, disregarding all the circumstances which led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.