1988 January

6th  Free-agent slugger Jack Clark leaves the Cards and signs with the New York Yankees, while free agent Paul Molitor re-signs with the Brewers.

8th  Faced with a midnight deadline to re-sign with the Yankees, pitcher Bill Gullickson agrees to a 2-year contract with Japan’s Tokyo Giants instead.

12th  Former Pirates slugger Willie Stargell is the only player elected this year to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA, and becomes the 17th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Jim Bunning garners 317 (74.2%), and falls 4 votes shy of the 321 needed for election in his 13th year on the ballot.

13th  Steve Garvey retires. He hit just .211 last season and was not offered a new contract by the Padres.

14th  After playing last season with Japan’s Yakult Swallows, Bob Horner signs a one-year contract with the Cardinals, who need a power-hitting first baseman to replace Jack Clark.

22nd  As a result of the Players’ Association’s 1985 collusion suit against the owners, arbitrator Thomas Roberts declares seven players no-risk free agents until March 1st, giving them a chance to sign with other clubs despite already having contracts. The seven are Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, Donnie Moore, Joe Niekro, Butch Wynegar, Tom Brookens, and Juan Beniquez.

29th  Detroit’s Kirk Gibson signs a 3-year contract with the Dodgers. Gibson will be the only one of the seven no-risk free agents to change clubs.