At the urging of Senator owner Clark Griffith, the other American League owners enact a rule prohibiting the league’s pennant winner from buying, selling or trading players during the following season. The winter meeting decision appears to have the desired effect as the Yankees finish in third place.
1957 – The Associated Press votes Tony Kubek of the Yanks as the Rookie of the Year. Frank Malzone of the Red Sox‚ who was declared ineligible‚ receives one vote. Malzone‚ with better offensive numbers‚ will later claim that he was robbed by New York writers‚ when the BBWAA changed the maximum number of at-bats to maintain rookie eligibility during the season‚ thus excluding him.
Tony Kubek (.297, 3, 39) is selected over Boston’s infielder Frank Malzone (.292, 15, 103) by the BBWAA as the American League Rookie of the Year. Much to the dismay of the 27 year-old Red Sox Gold Glove All-Star third baseman, he becomes ineligible when the writers, during the season, change the minimum number of career at-bats to determine rookie status.
Tom Tresh, the Yankees shortstop and left fielder, is selected as the American League’s Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA. The 24 year-old son of former major league catcher Mike Tresh gets 13 of the 20 votes cast by the writers, with Bob Rodgers (4), Dean Chance (1), Dick Radatz (1), and Bernie Allen (1) also receiving consideration.
The Royals deal outfielder Lou Piniella and pitcher Ken Wright to the Yankees for veteran pitcher Lindy McDaniel. The controversial trade draws the Kansas City fans’ ire, and rightfully so, when the 38 year-old right-hander wins a total of only six games during his two years with the club, with the 29 year-old outfielder enjoying 11 solid seasons in the Bronx, batting .295 and playing a major role in New York’s four appearances in the World Series.
The Mariners sign Mets’ free-agent first baseman John Olerud to a $20-million, three-year deal. The former Washington State University All-American will garner a Gold Glove in each of his three seasons in Seattle, and he will play a pivotal role in the team’s historic 116-46 campaign in 2001, compiling a .401 on-base percentage.
The Diamondbacks acquire All-Star catcher Johnny Estrada (.261, 4, 39) from the Braves for a pair of right-handed relievers, Lance Cormier (7-3, 5.11) and Oscar Villarreal (2-0, 5.27). The deal, which is the first for Arizona’s new general manager Josh Byrnes, fills the D-Backs’ need for a starting backstop and provides Atlanta to give emerging rookie Brian McCann more playing time.
Near the end of the Winter Meetings, the Royals sign Gil Meche to a five-year deal valued $55 million, which matches Mike Sweeney’s contract as the largest in franchise history. During his five years in the major leagues, all with the Mariners, the 28 year-old right-hander has compiled a 55-44 career record with an earned-run average of 4.65 in 147 games.
The Pittsburgh Pirates deal veteran reliever Salomon Torres (10th on the team’s games pitched leaderboard at the time) to the Milwaukee Brewers for Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts, two minor leaguers. Torres, a resident of the Pittsburgh suburbs, says he is considering retirement rather than reporting, but will decide to stay active for one more year. He will have a solid year as Milwaukee’s closer while Salas will only pitch 13 games for the Pirates, with a 8.47 ERA, and Roberts won’t reach the majors.
2008 – It is a big night in Italian baseball. The Italian national team announces their coaching staff and preliminary roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic: Mike Piazza, Mike Hargrove and Tom Trebelhorn will be among those assisting manager Marco Mazzieri. The new inductees are honored in the Italian Baseball Hall of Fame, including former national team skipper Giampiero Faraone and slugger Giuseppe Carelli. Giuseppe Mazzanti is honored as the MVP for Serie A1 in 2008.
The Veterans Committee holds two votes for election to the Hall of Fame, in the managers and umpires category and the executives category. In the first group, former umpire Doug Harvey and manager Whitey Herzog are elected and will be inducted in 2010. No one from the second group receives the required 75% of votes. Harvey is the first umpire elected in 11 years.
The Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox short-season affiliate, well-known for their unique promotional events, publicly extend an invitation to Michaele and Tareq Salahi to attend the team’s Eighth Annual Alumni Dinner to be held later this month at the city’s Memorial Auditorium. The infamous couple has become recently newsworthy for their appearance at a White House State Dinner without being included on the guest list.
Signings today include OF Matt Diaz going to the Pirates and utility player Ty Wigginton going to Colorado, both on two-year deals, and the Mets reaching agreement with P D.J. Carrasco and C Ronny Paulino. Paulino still has 8 games remaining on 50-game suspension for PED use which he began to serve as a member of the Marlins at the end of last season.
A judge in the divorce proceedings of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt muddies the waters when he invalidates a 2004 marital property agreement that stated the Dodgers were McCourt’s sole property. As a result, his former wife Jamie is recognized as half-owner of the team; she is considering selling her share to outside investors.
The Marlins continue their free agent signing binge, adding P Mark Buehrle with a four-year, $48 million deal days after signing two other top players, closer Heath Bell and SS Jose Reyes. Buehrle will rejoin manager Ozzie Guillen, who was his manager with the Chicago White Sox since 2004. Meanwhile, the Padres acquire closer Huston Street from the Rockies to take over for Bell.
The Astros hire Jeff Luhnow as the team’s general manager to replace Ed Wade, who was fired last month in the first major moves made by new owner Jim Crane. The 45 year-old new GM, a vice president with St. Louis since 2003, will try to improve upon Houston’s 56-106 finish last season, the worst record in franchise history.
Italy also has its annual awards night. In addition to the previously-announced MVP (Alessandro Vaglio) and 2013 Italian Series MVP (Jim Magrane), the All-Star and Gold Glove awards are given out for the 2013 Italian Baseball League. All-Stars are P Josè Sanchez, Italian P Milvio Andreozzi, C Riccardo Bertagnon, 1B Alex Sambucci, 2B Vaglio, SS Jack Santora, 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti, RF Mario Chiarini, CF Leonardo Zileri, LF Alex Romero, UT Alessandro Grimaudo. Orlando Muñoz is named Manager of the Year and Andreozzi best youth player. Gold Gloves go to P Roberto Corradini, C Marco Sabbatani, 1B Claudio Biagini, 2B Vaglio, SS Erick Epifano, 3B Giovanni Pantaleoni, RF Paul Macaluso, CF Carlos Duran and LF Lorenzo Avagnina. Fabrizio Fabrizi wins Umpire of the Year. The Italian Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame inducts 1970s infielder Carlo Passarotto, coach Guido Pellacini, umpire Alessandro Cappuccini and writer Giorgio Gandolfi as well as a softball player.
Jacoby Ellsbury agrees to a seven-year deal, valued around $153 million, to patrol center field for the Yankees, joining Brian McCann as the team’s second major free-agent signing this week. The outfielder, who played a major role in the Red Sox’ World Championship last season, also received offers from his former team, the Tigers, and Mariners.
A trade between the Reds and Dodgers for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman is held up when a police report emerges that the player fired a gun eight times after a domestic altercation on October 30th. While no charges were made a the time, the incident is still under investigation by police and Chapman also faces a possible suspension under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.
The Diamondbacks obtain right-handed starter Shelby Miller from the Braves for outfielder Ender Inciarte, pitching prospect Aaron Blair, and Dansby Swanson, the first player selected in this year’s MLB June Amateur Draft. The deal marks the first time a #1 overall pick has been traded within the first year of their career, a move made possible because teams are now allowed to trade recently drafted picks after the World Series.
There is a lot of action at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, MD. The Nationals acquire OF Adam Eaton from the White Sox for three young pitchers: Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. The Royals trade closer Wade Davis to the Cubs in return for OF Jorge Soler and the Giants send P Chris Heston to the Mariners for a player to be named. Finally, the Rockies sign SS-turned-OF Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
The Marlins trade 2B Dee Gordon to the Mariners for three prospects, Ps Nick Neidert and Robert Dugger and IF Christopher Torres. The Mariners also receive $1 million in international bonus pool money, which is clearly intended to make a bid to sign Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. Gordon is expected to move to the outfield with Robinson Cano entrenched at 2B for Seattle.
The Cubs sign free agent P Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal worth $38 million. While Chatwood led the NL with 15 losses last year, he has also posted excellent road ERAs for the last two seasons and is seen as a potential break-out candidate now that he no longer needs to pitch his home games in Coors Field.
2011 – Jeff Luhnow is named the General Manager, replacing interim GM Dave Gottfried. Luhnow, signed away from the St.Louis Cardinals, fills the front office with sabermetric types and decides to tear the organization down to the bare bones before rebuilding it into the group that won the Worlds Championship in 2017.
1991 – Houston has a tentative deal in place with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox want pitcher Mark Portugal and are expected to trade a disappointing outfielder who hit just .203 after being acquired from the Texas Rangers. Eventually, the White Sox find a better offer for Sammy Sosa and the deal never happens.