Senators' player-manager Bucky Harris is traded to the Tigers for infielder Jack Warner. The future Hall of Famer will replace George Moriarity (68-86, 6th place) as the Motor City skipper.
The Braves purchase Eddie Mayo from the Giants. The 26-year old infielder will see limited playing time during his two seasons in Boston hitting just .216, but will become a productive war-time player for the Tigers being named the Most Valuable Player by The Sporting News in 1945.
Wally Moon (.304, 12, 106) becomes the first Cardinal player to be selected by the BBWAA as the National League's Rookie of the Year. The 24-year-old center fielder, who replaced Enos Slaughter in the St. Louis outfield, gets 17 of the 24 writers' votes with runners-up including future Hall of Famers Ernie Banks (4) and Hank Aaron (1).
A single-engine plane crashes into the upper deck of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, home of the Orioles, injuring the pilot and three others. Minutes prior to the mishap the plane had buzzed the stadium during the final moments of the Steelers play-off victory over the Colts.
At a press conference, Tiger management and WJR announce 1991 will be Ernie Harwell's 32nd and final season in the broadcast booth. The dismissal of the Motor City's popular play-by-play announcer starts a furor among fans which includes a threatened boycott of Domino's Pizza, a business of club owner Tom Monaghan, and the rise of the slogan, "Say It Ain't So, Bo", which appears on bumper stickers and T-shirts all over Detroit, referring to Bo Schembechler, the team president and former University of Michigan football coach.
The Blue Jays sign free-agent veteran Dave Winfield to be their designated hitter, a role the former Angel fills well when he hits .290 with 26 home runs along with 108 RBIs. The veteran, who will become a fan favorite, provides leadership and experience en route to the team's first world championship.
The Orioles sign former 1984 Cy Young Award Rick Sutcliffe (6-5, 4.10) as a free agent after the Cubs decline to offer him a contract due to recurring arm problems. During his two seasons with the Birds, the right-hander will compile a 26-25 record for the club, and will be Baltimore's starter in the team's first game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Several hours before a midnight deadline, Barry Bonds accepts the Giants' offer of salary arbitration. San Francisco's decision to go to arbitration avoids a bidding war for their franchise player, and this season's National League MVP's award will be likely worth at least $20 million for one year of service.
Free agent Moises Alou (.331, 27, 108) signs a $27 million, three-year deal with the Cubs. The former Astro All-Star's presence in the Chicago line-up, along with Fred McGriff and Sammy Sosa, will give the team a fearsome 3-4-5 threesome.
The Japan's most heralded player, 28-year-old outfield slugger Hideki Matsui (.334, 50, 107) reaches a preliminary agreement with the Yankees on a $21 million, three-year contract. 'Godzilla', the three-time Most Valuable Player of Japan's Central League, rejected the Yomiuri Giants' $33 million, four-year offer opting to play for Bronx Bombers.
Agreeing to a $6 million, two-year contract with Angels, Jose Guillen (.311, 31, 86) will become the team's rightfielder next season. The deal will give Tim Salmon the opportunity to become Anahiem's designated hitter full-time.
Kevin Millwood agrees to the Phillies' surprise offer of salary arbitration. As the ace of the staff, the all-star hurler will anchor an outstanding rotation which includes Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, Eric Milton and Brett Myers.
Gary Deporter, the managing partner of the late broadcaster Harry Caray's area restaurants, submits the winning bid of $106,600 to obtain the foul ball that Steve Bartman deflected costing the Cubs a costly out during Game 6 of the NLCS. The plan is to have the ball destroyed as an act of exorcism during a worldwide toast to Harry on his birthday, February 26.
The Yankees purchase left-handed pitcher Kei Igawa from the Hanshin Tigers for a posting fee of $26 million, and will sign the Eiji Sawamura Award winner to a five-year deal worth another $20 million. The deal, prompted by Boston's signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka, will prove to be diastrous for the Bronx Bombers when the 27 year-old southpaw compiles a 2-4 record in 14 starts along with an ERA of 6.66 over two seasons.
With a 3,200-word posting on his blog, 38pitches.com, Curt Schilling urges Roger Clemens, if the right-hander is unable to clear his name, to give up the four Cy Young Awards won after 1997, the period after he allegedly starting taking performance-enhancing substances according to the Mitchell Report. The veteran Red Sox hurler acknowledged the help the 354-game winner gave him as a young pitcher, but wanted to stay consistent having noted previously Jose Canseco should forfeit the 1988 AL MVP award due to the use of steroids.
Agreeing to stay in Anaheim, Juan Rivera (.246, 12, 45) agrees to a $12.75, three-year deal to roam the outfield for the Angels. The 30 year-old Venezuelan, who was the team’s best pinch hitter going 5-for-14, including two hits which won games, could also be used as the club's designated hitter.
The Dodgers confirmed they have inked their current shortstop, Rafael Furcal, to a three-year deal believed to be worth $33 million. Braves president John Schuerholz, who believed he had an agreement in place to sign the 31-year old infielder earlier in the week, described the negotiation process for the free agent as dishonest, and said his team would never again deal with the Wasserman Media Group.
The Marlins come to terms with Josh Johnson, projected to be their No. 1 starter next season. The right-hander, who returned from elbow surgery in midseason to compile a 7-1 record for the third-place Fish, agrees to a one-year, $1.4 million deal which includes incentives for the number of games started in 2009.
Scott Rolen agrees to a two-year contract extension to stay with the Reds, a team he was dealt to last July by Toronto for third baseman Edwin Encarnacion along with pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart. The seven-time Gold Glove winner appeared in only 40 games for Cincinnati with his playing time being diminished after getting hit in the head by a Jason Marquis fastball shortly after the trade.
The Brewers obtain 27-year old right-handed starter Zack Greinke, as well as shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations, from the Royals in exchange for shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. The acquisition of the 2009 American League Cy Young winner bolsters an already strong Milwaukee rotation that also includes Shaun Marcum, a recent acquisition from Toronto in a deal that sent second-base prospect Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays.
The Diamondbacks and free-agent Jason Kubel come to terms on a two-year deal worth a reported $15 million. The former long-time Minnesota outfielder is expected to add more punch to the reigning NL champs' offense.
After offering a reported posting fee of $51.7 million, the Rangers win the rights to negotiate exclusively with Yu Darvish, the 25-year-old right-hander Japanese pitching ace of the Nippon Ham Fighters. Texas now has thirty days to sign the two-time MVP, who posted a 93-38 record along with a 1.99 earned run average during his seven seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball Pacific League.
The Phillies finalize a $33 million, three-year deal with Jimmy Rollins (.268, 16, 63), which includes a vesting option for 2015 at $11 million. The 33-year old shortstop has been has been an integral part of Philadelphia's recent success of winning five consecutive NL East titles and the 2008 world championship.