2003 December

1st      The Diamondbacks steal slugger Richie Sexson from the Brewers in a 9-player deal. Arizona also receives P Shane Nance and a player to be named while sending IF Craig Counsell, 2B Junior Spivey, 1B Lyle Overbay, C Chad Moeller, and pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Chris Capuano to Milwaukee.

2ndThe White Sox acquire IF Juan Uribe from the Rockies in exchange for minor league IF Aaron Miles.

3rdThe Phillies continue to bolster their pitching staff by acquiring Eric Milton from the Twins. Philadelphia sends P Carlos Silva, IF Nick Punto, and a player to be named to Minnesota.

The Cubs sign free agent P LaTroy Hawkins to a three-year contract.

4thThe Expos send P Javier Vazquez to the Yankees, who will sign him next month to a four-year, $45 million contract. In return, Montreal gets 1B Nick Johnson, OF Juan Rivera, and P Randy Choate from NY.

The Red Sox hire former Philadelphia manager Terry Francona as their new skipper, replacing the deposed Grady Little.

7thThe Giants sign free agent OF Michael Tucker to a two-year contract.

8thThe Blue Jays sign free agent P Kerry Ligtenberg to a two-year contract.

9thThe Angels sign free agent P Bartolo Colon to a four-year contract.

The Mariners land El Guapo, signing free agent P Eddie Guardado to a three-year contract.

The Phillies sign free agent P Tim Worrell to a two-year contract, continuing a tradition of signing the lesser brother ball player: Tim joins Vince DiMaggio, Ken Brett, Mike Maddux, Rick Surhoff, Mark Leiter, Jeremy Giambi and Frank Torre.

The Braves sign free agent P John Thomson to a two-year contract.

The Royals sign free agent P Scott Sullivan to a two-year contract and free agent OF Matt Stairs to a one-year deal.

10thThe Rockies sign free agent 3B Vinny Castilla, bringing him back to Coors Field.

The Mets sign Japanese SS Kaz Matsui to a three-year contract.

The Rangers sign free agent 1B Brad Fullmer to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent 1B-OF Eduardo Perez to a two-year contract.

The Astros sign free agent hometown lefty Andy Pettitte to a three-year contract after the Yankees take their sweet time tendering him an offer.  Newspaper conjecture that Roger Clemens will come out of retirement to join him on the Astros, but the Rocket decides to stay retired.

The Royals sign free agent C Benito Santiago to a two-year contract.

The Tigers sign free agent 2B Fernando Vina to a two-year contract.

12thIn the first move of baseball’s winter meetings, the Blue Jays sign free agent P Miguel Batista to a three-year contract.

13thMLB announces that it will put in place a more stringent drug program in April 2004. This is because more than 5 percent of the tests done in 2003 came back positive.

The Yankees obtain sore-armed, big contract Kevin Brown from the Dodgers in exchange for P Jeff Weaver, minor league P Yhency Brazoban, a player to be named, and $2.6 million. Weaver will thrive in LA: Brown will do poorly in New York.

The Cardinals send OF J.D. Drew and C Eli Marrero to the Braves for pitchers Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright.

The Marlins trade OF Juan Encarnacion to the Dodgers for a player to be named.

The Tigers sign free agent OF Rondell White to a two-year contract.

The Red Sox sign free agent closer Keith Foulke to a three-year contract.

14thMurray Chass of The New York Timeswins the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be inducted into the writers’ wing of the baseball Hall of Fame next summer.

The Blue Jays, Devil Rays, and Rockies exchange pitchers in a 3-team deal. Justin Speier goes from Colorado to Toronto, Joe Kennedy moves from TB to Colorado, and Mark Hendrickon switches from Toronto to TB. The Rockies also receive a player to be named or cash considerations from the Blue Jays.

The Orioles sign free agent SS Miguel Tejada to a 6-year contract. He will have four extremely good years in Baltimore before the O’s swap him.

The Devil Rays sign free agent OF Jose Cruz Jr. to a two-year contract and free agent SS Rey Sanchez to a one-year deal.

The Royals sign free agent SS Tony Graffanino to a two-year contract.

The Devil Rays acquire IF Geoff Blum from the Astros for P Brandon Backe.

15thThe Giants obtain OF Dustan Mohr from the Twins for a player to be named.

The Athletics acquire C Michael Barrett from the Expos for a player to be named.

The Mariners get OF Quinton McCracken from the Diamondbacks in exchange for IF Greg Colbrunn.

The Mariners agree to a three-year contract with free agent 1B Scott Spiezio.

The Phillies sign free agent P Roberto Hernandez to a contract.

The Cardinals reach agreement on a two-year contract with free agent P Jeff Suppan.

Free agent OF Carl Everett agrees to a two-year contract with the Expos.

The Pirates and Indians each lose 5 players in the Rule 5 draft. Pittsburgh C Chris Shelton went to the Tigers with the first overall pick.

16thThe Marlins trade P Mark Redman to the Athletics for P Mike Neu, who signs a three-year deal, and either a player to be named or cash considerations. Redman, a 21stC workhorse, with three outing this year of 130+ pitches faded in the 2ndhalf of the season.

The Red Sox acquire IF Mark Bellhorn from the Rockies for a player to be named.

One day after acquiring him in a trade with the Expos, the Athletics send C Michael Barrett to the Cubs for a player to be named.

The Cardinals sign free agent OF Reggie Sanders to a two-year contract. For Reggie, it is his 7thteam in 7 years, all in the NL. Not once did he change teams in mid season.  Only Shorty Radford (1885-1892) played for more teams in straight seasons with 8.

17thThe Yankees sign free agent OF Gary Sheffield to a three-year contract.

The Mariners sign free agent IF Scott Spiezio to a three-year contract.

The Braves sign free agent C Eddie Perez to a two-year contract.

18thThe Yankees send P Chris Hammond and cash to the Athletics in exchange for P Eduardo Sierra and IF J.T. Stotts.

The Mets sign free agent OF Mike Cameron to a three-year contract.

The Cubs sign free agent P Kent Mercker and free agent OF Todd Hollandsworth to contracts.

The Tigers sign free agent C Mike DiFelice to a contract.

The Twins sign free agent C Henry Blanco to a contract.

19thThe Cubs obtain OF-IF Jose Macias from the Expos for P Wilton Chavez.

The Yankees sign free agent IF Miguel Cairo to a contract.

The Angels agree to a two-year contract with free agent OF Jose Guillen.

The Braves sign free agent P Antonio Alfonseca to a contract.

20thThe Rockies sign free agent OF Jeromy Burnitz to a contract.

21stThe Cubs send C Damian Miller and cash to the Athletics to complete an earlier trade.

The Marlins sign free agent P Armando Benitez to a contract.

22ndThe Orioles sign free agent C Javy Lopez to a three-year contract.

The Athletics sign free agent P Arthur Rhodes to a three-year contract.

The Brewers sign free agent OF Ben Grieve to a contract.

Yankees sign free agent P Paul Quantrill to a two-year contract.

The Braves sign free agent P Armando Almanza to a contract.

The Rockies sign free agent C Todd Greene to a contract.

23rdThe Diamondbacks sign free agent pitchers Shane Reynolds and knuckleballer Steve Sparks to contracts.

Three hours before the Texas deadline on Alex Rodriguez, the Red Sox get their infielder, signing free agent 2B Pokey Reese to a one year contract.  GM Epstein says they’ll give up a bit on offense but that Reese is a defensive improvement over 2B Todd Walker. At 5 p.m., Texas owner Tom Hicks declares any deal with Boston is dead and that A-Rod is a Ranger for the next year.

The Cubs sign free agent 2B Todd Walker to a contract.

The Yankees sign free agent OF Kenny Lofton and free agent P Tom Gordon to two-year contracts.

The Pirates sign free agent 3B Chris Stynes to a contract.

24thThe Yankees receive an $11.8 million luxury tax bill for being the only one of the 30 ML teams to exceed the $117 million salary threshold last year.

25thMerry Christmas, Ron. The Indians sign free agent 2B Ron Belliard to a contract.

26thThe Expos sign free agent 3B Tony Batista to a contract.

27thThe Rangers sign free agent OF Brian Jordan to a contract.

The Blue Jays sign free agent P Valerio De Los Santos to a contract.

29thThe Angels announce that their 37-year old stadium has been renamed Angel Stadium.

The Reds sign free agent P Cory Lidle to a contract.

The Rangers sign free agent OF David Dellucci to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent Brook Fordyce to a contract.

30thThe Tigers sign free agent P Jason Johnson to a two-year contract.

The government announces a ban on the sale of ephedra, the herbal supplement linked to the death earlier this year of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.

31stLet’s celebrate the new year. The Padres sign free agent P David Wells to a contract as Wells spurns the Yankee offer. Supposedly, the Padre contract does not contain a weight clause, which the Yankees insisted upon.

The Orioles sign free agent P Mike DeJean to a contract.