2004 December

1st      The Giants sign free agent P Armando Benitez to a three-year contract.

3rdThe Yankees trade P Felix Heredia to the Mets for P Mike Stanton. They also send OF Kenny Lofton to the Phillies for P Felix Rodriguez.

The San Francisco Chroniclereports that Barry Bonds admitted to the grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream that were supplied by Balco but that he didn’t believe they were steroids. Yesterday the Chronicle reported that Jason Giambi told the grand jury he knowingly took steroids provided by Bonds’s trainer.

6thBaseball officials report that they are closer to an agreement on a drug-testing program that will incorporate more tests, and stiffer penalties. Donald Fehr says he expects the plan to be in place by spring training.

8thThe Red Sox sign free agent P Matt Mantei to a contract.

The White Sox sign free agent P Dustin Hermanson to a two-year contract.

The Marlins sign free agent P Al Leiter to a contract.

The Phillies sign free agent P Jon Leiber to a three-year contract.

The Padres sign free agent P Woody Williams and IF Geoff Blum to contracts.

The Rangers sign free agent C Sandy Alomar to a contract.

9thThe Diamondbacks sign free agent 3B Troy Glaus to a four-year contract.

The White Sox sign free agent OF Jermaine Dye to a two-year contract.

The Dodgers agree to a two-year contract with free agent 2B Jeff Kent.

The Padres sign free agent IF Eric Young to a contract.

10th   The Angels sign free agent OF Steve Finley to a two-year contract.

The Diamondbacks sign free agent P Russ Ortiz to a four-year contract.

The Marlins sign free agent P Alfonso Alfonseca to a two-year contract.

The Rangers sign free agent OF Richard Hidalgo to a contract.

11thThe Pirates trade newly-acquired P Arthur Rhodes to the Indians for OF Matt Lawton.

The Brewers obtained P Jose Capellan and a player to be named from the Braves in exchange for closer Danny Kolb. Kolb (0-4) had 39 saves and just 21 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.  He is the first pitcher with more than 30 saves and less than 30 K’s.

12thThe Blue Jays trade C Kevin Cash to the Devil Rays in exchange for P Chad Gaudin.

13thThe Angels sign free agent P Esteban Yan to a two-year contract.

The White Sox acquire OF Scott Posednik, P Luis Vizcaino, and a player to be named to the Brewers for OF Carlos Lee. Both Posednik and Lee will make the all star teams.

The Marlins sign free agent P Todd Jones to a contract.

14thThe Angels send P Ramon Ortiz to the Reds in exchange for minor league P Dustin Moseley. Anaheim also signs free agent P Paul Byrd to a contract.

The Diamondbacks sign free agent SS Royce Clayton to a contract.

The Red Sox sign free agent P David Wells to a two-year contract.

The Indians sign free agent IF Jose Hernandez to a contract.

The Blue Jays sign free agent 3B Corey Koskie to a three-year contract.

15thThe Diamondbacks sign free agent IF Craig Counsell, a former D’back, to a two-year contract.

The Red Sox sign free agent P John Halama to a contract.

The Reds sign free agent pitchers David Weathers and Ben Weber to contracts.

The Athletics get IF Keith Ginter from the Brewers for P Justin Lehr and OF Nelson Cruz.

The Cardinals sign free agent C Einar Diaz to a contract.

The Mariners sign free agent 1B Richie Sexson to a four-year contract. Sexson will have two solid seasons before slumping for two.

16thThe Braves obtain ace pitcher Tim Hudson from the Athletics in exchange for pitchers Dan Meyer and Juan Cruz, and OF Charles Thomas.

The Mets sign free agent P Pedro Martinez to a four-year contract.

The Pirates acquire veteran catcher Benito Santiago and cash from the Royals for P Leo Nunez.

17thThe Red Sox sign free agent SS Edgar Renteria, recently with the Cardinals, to a four-year $40 million contract.  He’ll be in Boston just one disappointing year before the Sox trade him to Atlanta.

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

Two days after inking vet Richie Sexton for 4 years, the Mariners sign free agent 3B Adrian Beltre to a five-year contract. Beltre, coming off a .321/48/121 season with the Dodgers, will disappoint in Seattle for five years, then recover in Boston.

18thThe Athletics send star pitcher Mark Mulder to the Cardinals in exchange for pitchers Danny Haren and Kiko Calero and C Daric Barton.

20thThe Orioles obtain IF Chris Gomez from the Phillies for cash. They also sign free agent P Steve Kline to a two-year contract.

The Reds sign free agent P Kent Mercker to a two-year contract.

The Angels sign free agent SS Orlando Cabrera to a four-year contract.

The Rockies and Mariners exchange pitchers, with Aaron Taylor going to Colorado and Sean Green to Seattle.

The Dodgers sign free agent SS Jose Valentin to a contract.

The Padres acquire OF Dave Roberts from the Red Sox, sending OF Jay Payton, IF Ramon Vazquez, and P David Pauley to Boston.

21stThe Reds sign free agent 3B Joe Randa to a contract.

The Yankees sign free agent 2B Tony Womack to a two-year contract.

22ndThe Red Sox sign free agent P Matt Clement to a three-year contract.

The Yankee sign free agent P Carl Pavano to a four-year contract. The young ace pitched for the Marlins last year, but this is a disasterous signing for New York. Pavano is under the impression that he is signing for $40 million, but the number is actually $39.95 million. Pavano will fire his agent because of the shortfall and move on to his fourth agent.

The White Sox sign free agent pitcher Orlando Hernandez to a two-year contract.

No joke. The Cardinals sign free agent P Mike Myers to a contract.

The Padres sign free agent OF Mark Sweeney to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent 1B Josh Phelps to a contract.

23rdThe Red Sox sign free agent P Wade Miller to a contract.

The Dodgers sign free agent OF J.D. Drew to a five-year contract.

The Cardinals sign free agent SS David Eckstein to a three-year contract.

25thMerry Christmas, Jose. The Royals sign free agent P Jose Lima to a contract.

27thThe Reds sign free agent P Eric Milton to a three-year contract.

The Giants sign free agent OF Moises Alou to a contract.

Three more umpires will be rehired by major league baseball and six more will split $2.3 million in severance pay as part of a settlement of the dispute that cost 22 umps their jobs in 1999. The umpires will be brought back as part of a new five-year labor contract, a deal that also settles the nearly two-year-old grievance umpires filed over a computer system baseball has used to evaluate plate umps. Bob Davidson, an 18-year major league veteran, will get the next big league opening. Davidson, 52, umpired last season in the Class-A Midwest League. To resolve the grievance over the computer system, baseball agrees that umpires whose ball-and-strike calls are rated below standard by Questec will be evaluated by umpire supervisors based on videotape and in-game inspection.

29thThe Yankees sign free agent P Jaret Wright to a three-year contract.

31stThe Yankees sign an insurance policy, inking free agent 1B Tino Martinez to a contract.