The first month of the offseason is almost complete. As we approach December, here is a recap of some of the important transactions that took place during November.
The biggest move of the offseason so far was the Detroit Tigers sending first baseman, Prince Fielder, and $30 million to the Texas Rangers in exchange for second baseman, Ian Kinsler. The trade is mutually beneficial. Texas wanted to upgrade their production at first base and Fielder brings some much-needed power. Detroit is now able to move Miguel Cabrera back to first base, a position that suits the perennial MVP candidate better than third base. Kinsler will help the Tigers at the top of their lineup and plug the hole at second base.
The New York Yankees signed catcher, Brian McCann, to a five-year $85 million contract with an option for a sixth year that could push the deal to $100 million. This signing will pay immediate dividends as the Yankees production from the catcher position last season was far below average. Furthermore, McCann is known for his ability to call a game and help lead the pitching staff, as he did for a very good Atlanta Braves pitching staff the previous nine seasons.
The San Francisco Giants added depth to their already deep pitching rotation by signing Tim Hudson to a two-year $23 million contract. A freak ankle injury ended Hudson’s season prematurely but he should be ready to go by the start of spring training. Hudson should provide veteran leadership for the San Francisco rotation.
The St. Louis Cardinals added the best available offensive shortstop by signing Jhonny Peralta to a four-year $53 million contract. Peralta is a significant upgrade over incumbent, Pete Kozma, and will deepen the Cardinals lineup.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sent outfielder, Peter Bourjos, and minor league outfielder, Randal Grichuk, to the Cardinals for third baseman, David Freese, and relief pitcher, Fernando Salas. Bourjos is known for his defense and should help solidify the Cardinals outfield. Freese gives the Angels an above average third baseman.
The Philadelphia Phillies resigned catcher, Carlos Ruiz, to a three-year, $26 million contract. This move makes sense for the Phillies as Ruiz knows the pitching staff and is an integral part of the team, which should rebound from a subpar year.
After a lost season, Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million with the San Diego Padres. Johnson will look to regain his form as a front line starter, just as when he was the ace for the Miami Marlins. If Johnson can do that, this will prove to be a bargain for the Padres and a smart move for Johnson.
Dan Haren signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for one-year, $10 million with a vesting option for 2015. This deal rounds out a solid Dodger rotation headed by 2013 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyu-Jin Ryu as the Dodgers look to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1988.
Chris Carpenter announced his retirement as a result of thoracic outlet syndrome following a stellar 16-year career. During his time in the big leagues, Carpenter pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cardinals, earned the 2005 Cy Young Award, garnered three All Star Game selections and won the World Series twice.