2012 December

1stThe Rays trade P Burke Badenhop to the Brewers for minor league OF Raul Mondesi Jr.

3rdJacob Ruppert, Hank O’Day and Deacon White are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Halls pre-integration panel.

The Rays reach agreement on a 1-year deal with free agent 1B James Loney.

The Rangers reach agreement on a 2-year deal with free agent closer Joakim Soria (A.K.A. the Mexicutioner). The Royals declined to re-sign Soria, who missed the 2013 season because of Tommy John surgery.

4thThe Diamondbacks agree to a 1-year deal with free agent IF/OF Eric Hinske.

Paul Hagen is announced as winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.”

The Red Sox agree to a 3-year deal worth $39M with free agent CF Shane Victorino. The Flyin’ Hawaiian will move to right field.

The Astros trade P Wilton Lopez and a player to be named to the Rockies for pitchers Alex White and Alex Gillingham. White, a former first-round pick by Cleveland, had fizzled in Denver. Lopez gives the Rocks some protection if 38-year-old closer slows down.

The Marlins send SS Yunel Escobar to the Rays for minor league IF Derek Dietrich.

5thThe Mariners reach agreement on a 1-year deal with free agent OF Jason Bay.

The Diamondbacks agree to terms on a 1-year contract with free agent IF Eric Chavez, who played with the Yankees last season.

The Cardinals reach agreement on a 3-year deal with free agent P Randy Choate.

The White Sox reach agreement on a 3-year contract with free agent IF Jeff Keppinger.

Former Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek is announced as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

The Angels agree to a 2-year contract with free agent P Sean Burnett. They also agree to terms on a 2-year deal with free agent P Joe Blanton.

6thThe Red Sox reach agreement with free agent P Koji Uehara on a one-year contract for $4.25 million.  The agreement calls for an extension for 2014, which the Sox happily agree to before the year is over.

The Twins send speedy OF Ben Revere and pitching prospect Trevor May to the Phillies for pitcher Vance Worley. Worley will go 1-5 in 10 starts before being optioned to Rochester.

7thThe Nationals agree to a 1-year  $13M contract with free agent P Dan Haren.

The Diamondbacks reach agreement with free agent P Brandon McCarthy on a 2-year deal worth $15.5M.

The Cubs ink a deal with Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa for 2 years at $9.5 million.  He’ll win one game in 2 years for the Cubs.

9thThe Phillies acquire IF Michael Young from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.

The Indians agree to a 1-year deal with free agent/free swinger 3B Mark Reynolds.

The Rays trade pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals for prize minor leaguers Wil Myers (OF) and Jake Odorizzi (P), Mike Montgomery (P), and Patrick Leonard (3B). Myers was BaseballAmerica’s player of the year.

11thThe Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks complete a 3-team deal that sees Cleveland sending OF Shin-Soo Choo, IF Jason Donald and cash to the Reds, and P Tony Sipp and 1B Lars Anderson to Arizona. The Indians acquire pitchers Trevor Bauer, a BaseballAmericaCollege player of the year in 2011, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks, and OF Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati. Arizona also gets SS Didi Gregorius from the Reds.

The Yankees reach agreement on a 1-year deal with a former nemesis, free agent 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis for $12M. The Yankee fans don’t like the deal and they are right. Youk will play just 28 games for the Bronx Bomber before his recurring back problems force him to retire.

12thThe Dodgers acquire IF/OF Skip Schumaker for the Cardinals for minor league SS Jake Lemmerman. The move rreflects the Cardinals need for a shortstop heir to Rafael Furcal.

13thThe Angels agree to terms on a 5-year contract worth $125M with free agent OF Josh Hamilton.

The Red Sox agree to terms with free agent 16-year veteran Ryan Dempster on a 2-year contract worth $26.5 M.

The Giants agree to terms on a 1-year contract with free agent OF Andres Torres.

14thThe Twins sign free agent P Kevin Correia to a 2-year contract.

The Cardinals agree to a 2-year deal with free agent Ty Wigginton.

The Phillies agree to contracts with free agent pitchers Mike Adams (2 years $12M) and John Lannan (1 year).

16thThe Twins reach an agreement on a 1-year contract with free agent P Mike Pelfrey.

17thThe Mets trade Cy Young Award winner RA Dickey, along with his favorite catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, to the Blue Jays for two catchers, blue chipper Travis d’Arnaud and John Buck, as well as pitchers Noah Syndergaard, and OF Wuilmer Becerra. It is the second time htat d’Arnaud has been traded for a Cy Young winner.

The Astros sign veteran 1B/DH Carlos Pena to a 1-year $2.9M contract.

18thThe Mets obtain OF Collin Cowgill from the Athletics in exchange for minor league IF Jefry Marte.

The Red Sox reach agreement on a 1-year $9.5 million contract with free agent SS Stephen Drew.  Drew’s last two seasons have been marred by injuries and the A’s declined a $10M option.

The Rays sign free agent P Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, to a 1-year deal worth 3,250,000.

19thThe Yankees re-sign Ichiro Suzuki to a $13 million 2-year deal, leaving Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez out in the cold. Ichiro is scheduled to platoon in RF.

The Angels swap Kendrys Morales to the Mariners for lefty Jason Vargas (14-11). Morales became more expendable when the Angels acquired Josh Hamilton last week. He hit .273 with 22 homers while missing the 2011 season after breaking his leg in early 2010.

Coming off a strong first-half season with the Cubs, Ryan Dempster signs a 2-year $26.5M contract with the Red Sox.  He will go 8-9 with 2 innings of post-season work, but will announce his retirement before the 2014 season and forfeit the second half of his contract.

The Dodgers trade P John Ely to the Astros for minor league P Rob Rasmussen.

20thThe Cubs reach agreement on a 4-year deal with free agent P Edwin Jackson, and tomorrow agree to terms on a 1-year contract with free agent OF Nate Schierholtz.

The Marlins agree to a 1-year contract with free agent 3B Placido Polanco.

The Rangers reach agreement on a 1-year contract with free agent C AJ Pierzynski.

21stThe Brewers sign free agent P Tom Gorzelanny to a 2-year contract.

The Pirates sign free agent P Francisco Liriano to a 2-year contract.

The Astros sign free agent P Jose Veras to a 1-year contract.

22ndThe Mariners agree to a 1-year contract with free agent OF Raul Ibanez.

The Diamondbacks agree to a 3-year $26M deal with free agent OF Cody Ross.

Ryan Freel, who played for eight seasons, mostly with the Reds, dies at the age of 36 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Freel suffered a number of concussions when he played. A year from now an autopsy will reveal that Freel had second stage CTE, a similar effect to that suffered by football players. This likely caused his bouts of depression and memory loss.

23rdMerry Christmas, Swish. The Indians reach agreement on a 4-year deal worth $56M with free agent OF Nick Swisher, an Ohio native.  When Swisher was with the Yankees he would salute the Indian fans in Cleveland by spelling out OHIO with his arms.

26thThe Red Sox obtain All-Star reliever Joel Hanrahan and IF Brock Holt from the Pirates in exchange for pitchers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, IF Ivan DeJesus Jr., and 1B/OF Jerry Sands. Hanrahan will log just 7.1 innings for the Sox before heading for Tommy John surgery and his release. Several ailments, including a second Tommy John operation, will end his career.