9thThe last ace is played as the Padres sign free agent P James Shields to a 4-year contract.
17thDéjà vu, all over again. Alex Rodriguez issues a brief, hand-written statement saying that he was sorry for his behavior. While not directly admitting to the use of PEDs, he suggested that the 162-suspension was valid. “I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point.” The apology comes exactly 6 years to the day when Rodriguez stated during a news conference in Tampa that, “I know I am in a position where I have to earn my trust back.”
In a related story, Anthony Bosch, the former owner of a Florida medical clinic that provided PEDs to major league players and others, is sentenced to four years in prison. He pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute testosterone.
18thin a wise move, the Royals avoid arbitration with 1B Eric Hosmer by agreeing to a 2-year contract worth $13.9M. Hosmer hit 35 homers and won his second straight Gold Glove in 2014.
20th MLB announces a series of initiatives aimed at quickening the pace of play in ML games. New rules include making the batter keep one foot in the batter’s box during an at bat and requiring managers to initiate a replay challenge from the dugout.
23rd The Red Sox sign Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada for $31.5 million. The amount is a new bonus record for an international amateur player under the current signing guidelines. The Sox will have to pay a matching amount to MLB. Moncada will stay in the minors in 2015.