2004 February

2ndThe Tigers sign free agent C Ivan Rodriguez to a 4-yr. contract.

The Athletics sign free agent 1B Eric Karros to a contract.

3rdThe Marlins sign free agent IF Wil Cordero to a contract.

5thThe Red Sox sign free agent DH Ellis Burks to a contract.

The Padres sign free agent P Antonio Osuna to a contract.

6thThe Dominican Republic clinches the Caribbean Series with a 4-3 win over Puerto Rico. Jose Offerman had 3 hits and scores 3 runs for the winners. It is the Dominican Republic 15th Series crown to lead all participant countries.

The Cubs reach a tentative deal with the city that will allow them to start adding additional night games, starting this year. The Cubs have been limited to 18 night games a year and that number would grow by 4 a year, up to 30 in 2006.

The Yankees acquire 3B Mike Lamb from the Rangers in exchange for minor league P Jose Garcia.

9thThe Mariners sign free agent P Ron Villone to a contract.

16th   In the most heralded move of the year the Yankees obtain AL MVP Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers in exchange for 2B Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named. Rodriguez goes to the Yankees three weeks after he and the Red Sox could not conclude a deal that would satisfy the players’ union. A key to the trade is A-Rod’s agreement to play third base, a position the Yankees need to fill because of Aaron Boone’s knee injury four weeks ago playing pickup basketball.

18thFree agent P Greg Maddux agrees to a three-year deal to return to the Cubs.

19thThe Pirates sign free agent 1B Randall Simon to a contract.

23rdThe Pirates sign free agent OF Raul Mondesi to a contract.

Former major league umpire Al Clark pleads guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his part in selling baseballs that he and a memorabilia dealer falsely claimed were used in historic games. The games included the ones when Cal Ripken Jr. tied and broke Lou Gehrig’s record for the longest playing streak. In May he will be sentenced to four months in prison.

26th   The baseball interfered with by Cubs’ fan Steve Bartmen in Game 6 of last year’s NLCS is blown up in an attempt to exorcise the curse that has kept the Cubs from reaching the WS since 1945. The ball was bought by Grant DePorter at a December auction and sold to Harry Carey’s restaurant for $113,824. The restaurant received more than 20,000 suggestions on how to blow up the ball. ”I have no intention whatsoever of exercising my right to grant clemency or pardon or reprieve,” Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois said shortly before the ball’s demise. ”That baseball has got to go.”