This Day In Baseball December 19
On December 19 on this day in baseball history, there were over 200 notable events. Including, debuts, birthdays, deaths and final games. All on December 19 on this Day In Baseball history.
Washington manager Clark Griffith meets with Walter Johnson in Kansas City and convinces the star to re-sign for $12,500, considerably less than his recent contract with the Chifeds, with the assurance that Griffith would convince the Washington management to spring for a bigger contract later. Washington will later sign Johnson to $16,000 a year for five years. Griffith gets $6,000 from Charles Comiskey to allow Johnson to repay his Chifed signing bonus.
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 will be likely worth at least $20 million for one year of service.
2002 – One of Japan’s most heralded players, 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 the Bronx Bombers.
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 26th.
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 disastrous 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.
Agreeing to stay in Anaheim, Juan Rivera (.246, 12, 45) agrees to a $12.7 million, 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 game-winning hits, could also be used as the club’s designated hitter.
Kansas City trades ace pitcher Zack Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner, and SS Yuniesky Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for a package of young players, headed by SS Alcides Escobar. P Jake Odorizzi, OF Lorenzo Cain and P Jeremy Jeffress complete the Royals’ haul, as Milwaukee outbids the Yankees and the Rangers to obtain Greinke.
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 an integral part of Philadelphia’s recent success of winning five consecutive NL East titles and the 2008 world championship.
2013 – After three months of frenzied speculation, it appears that Japanese ace hurler Masahiro Tanaka will not be posted after all, and thus will not leave Japan for the United States next year. Tanaka went 24-0 for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and led them to the first Japan Series title in franchise history, but his team is unhappy that it can only receive $20 million for its top player, after changes to the posting system agreed to recently by Major League Baseball and Nippon Pro Baseball. However, in five days’ time, Rakuten will turn around and grant Tanaka’s request.
The Dodgers end the Yankees’ fifteen-year streak of owning Major League Baseball’s biggest payroll. When the luxury tax calculations are in for the year, the Dodgers owe $26.6 million, based on a payroll of $257 million. The Yankees also need to pay the tax levied on payrolls above $189 million, and their bill is $18.3 million, down from $28 million in 2013.
A busy off-season continues with a number of trades and signings. The Padres acquire their third starting outfielder in a few days, landing Justin Upton from the Braves for four prospects, and also obtain 3B Will Middlebrooks from Boston, giving up catcher Ryan Hanigan, who has been with the team for less than a week. The Marlins also continue to be active, as they get OF/IF Martin Prado and P David Phelps from the Yankees for P Nate Eovaldi, 1B Garrett Jones and prospect Domingo German and also send 3B Casey McGehee to San Francisco for a couple of minor leaguers. The Dodgers complete their rumored deal for Jimmy Rollins, sending a couple of pitchers to Philadelphia to obtain the Phillies’ long-time shortstop. In free agent signings, the Royals ink OF Alex Rios for one year at $11 million and the Cubs add back-up C David Ross.
2017 – For the fourth straight year, the Dodgers are assessed the largest luxury tax payment in MLB, while the Yankees have to make a payment for the 15th straight year – in spite of going through a successful youth movement before the season. Los Angeles will have to pay $36.2 million and New York $15.7 million. Three other teams are assessed much smaller amounts.
2018 – Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation reach a historic deal that will allow players from the island to be scouted and signed without having to defect. This recognizes the fact that there should be no going back to the days when players had to put their life and the well-being of their families at risk, and deal with unsavory criminal elements, in order to come to the United States. It creates a situation that is akin to that which prevailed before the Cuban Revolution in 1959. However, the Administration of President Donald Trump will kill the deal on April 8th as part of a policy of maintaining as hard a line as possible in dealing with Cuban authorities.
1996 – Outfielder Luis Gonzalez and pitcher Mike Magnante are signed to free agent deals. It’s the second go-round in Houston for the popular Gonzalez who, after leaving again, would find a home run stroke and blast 57 for Arizona in 2001 and muscle a bloop single off Mariano Rivera to beat the Yankees in Game Seven of the World Series.
Major League Baseball Birthdays on December 19
Major League Baseball Deaths On December 19
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