The second week of free agency in Major League Baseball brought about some interesting deals and signings.
Not much action was had during the winter meetings between the league executives and general managers, but last week teams got busy moving around players, signing others and trading in order to reach the 40 man roster limit for Spring Training.
The week opened with the news that the San Francisco Giants had signed RHP Tim Hudson to a two-year contract. Hudson who was previously with the Atlanta Braves posted a 3.97 ERA last season and managed a 8-7 record. Hudson, 38, joins a stacked Giants roster that is looking to rebuild next season.
On Tuesday news broke that the San Diego Padres had reached a one year agreement with RHP Josh Johnson. Johnson, 29, played with the Toronto Blue Jays last season, but struggled with injuries. He posted a career-worst 6.20 ERA last season and only managed a 2-8 record. The Padres are taking a risk in signing Johnson. If he remains healthy, he could boost the Padres rotation.
Wednesday, November 20 started with news that the St. Louis Cardinals had reached a contract extension with manager Mike Matheny for the next three years. Matheny, who has managed the Cardinals for the last two years, has exceeded expectations and has taken the Cards deep into the playoffs both seasons including a trip to the World Series this past season.
A trade Wednesday evening caused a media whirlwind that lasted the remainder of the week. It was announced that the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers had completed a trade that would send first baseman, Prince Fielder to Texas in return for second baseman Ian Kinsler and roughly $73 million.
Thursday saw the Kansas City Royals agree to terms with LHP Jason Vargas. The 30-year-old pitched to a 4.02 ERA and a 9-8 record with the Los Angeles Angels last season. Vargas joins a very young Royals team that has the pieces to make the playoffs next season.
The Detroit Tigers agreed to terms with LHP Phil Coke. Coke, who has spent the last four years of his career in Detroit, returns to avenge the disappointing season he had last year. Coke pitched to a 5.40 ERA and a 0-5 record last year with the Tigers. The 31-year-old looks to rebound next season under new manager Brad Ausmus.
On Friday, news came out that the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels had completed a trade that sent third baseman, David Freese and RHP Fernando Salas to Los Angeles and outfielders Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk. Freese was the 2011 World Series MVP with the Cardinals and Peter Bourjos has become one of the most underrated outfielders in the league.
The Colorado Rockies also announced on Friday that they had signed RHP LaTroy Hawkins to a one year deal.
With all of this excitement collecting in just seven days, it will be interesting to see what moves are made this week.
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